What is one of the most life-changing moments you can remember having – not because of its external appearances or circumstances but because of how it triggered a shift in your consciousness?
First, here are my astrological notes:
Jupiter in Cancer’s opposition with Pluto in Capricorn seems to be stirring the deep sub and super planes of existence, along with our memories, and how these further connect or remind of us of divinity, or at least, the question as to where we originated. Jupiter is all about philosophizing, traveling and expanding while Cancer takes or keeps us close to home. Pluto continues to push our buttons so we dig deeper inside of ourselves for answers and solutions while Capricorn relates to family values, political and religious traditions, now outgrowing their structures or levels of functioning within society. Mercury is approaching opposition with Uranus in Aries, as the four so far mentioned planets form a grand square. Electric zaps from the Universe are entering our brains quicker than we can blink or think.Capricorn’s ruler Saturn in Scorpio is still in a separating trine with Neptune in Pisces, enough to merit some mention. Neptune’s influence punctures our egos at some point in order to allow a flash of divine light into our consciousness that had previously been blocked by delusions, addictions, and denial. There is an approaching Saturn trine with Chiron, which will become more prominent during October. This interaction is bringing up wounds of the past, with the capacity to reach some deep set core issues, extend healing to others and connect with Christ consciousness.
I suddenly awoke this morning with a memory from my childhood, around age 11 in the Pentocostal Christian church I had been raised in, close to the mission district of San Francisco. One Sunday morning there was a cool looking gay dude (his sexual orientation was obvious to me only because of the jacket he wore with two large interlocking Mars symbols on it) with tall spiked hair and combat boots who was a first time visitor to this church. He seemed to be floundering in a sea of jellyfish after the sermon, until quite randomly he spotted me, and approached. With large doe eyes full of a mixture of innocence, pain, and curiosity, without having ever seen me in his life, he asked me point blank, “Hey, do you love me?”
I will always remember the shock, poignancy and potency of that moment. It all happened so fast, so unexpectedly, that I stopped dead in my tracks, probably with a deer-in-the-headlights expression on my face, unable to utter anything other than “uh….”.
I later regretted my speechlessness, and upon further pondering this encounter my heart sort of broke open. I thought about the vulnerability and searching in his eyes, for a sense of truth to back up all the passionate preaching he had heard from behind the podium. He was testing the waters, to see if love – unconditional love was real. He was a nonreligious person, coming with an open mind and heart to explore what religion had to offer. Whether skeptical or not, he was definitely looking for something. Although it was not up to me to show him the way, it felt as though I had somehow let him down with my lame response. As silly as this whole story may sound, it haunted me for quite some time. If I could go back in time I would thank that man for being such a huge catalyst in my awakening.
My tied tongue and dropped jaw had nothing to do with his double Mars symbol or anything of that nature. It was due to being so taken off guard by a complete stranger basically asking me if my heart was open. It was a turning point. Already I had begun to break away from the church because its doctrines made less and less sense to me – they never really made full sense to begin with. But I realized that in the process, as a witness to so much hypocrisy, that bitterness was sinking in. I was seeking for a way to break away from religion without breaking away from God….love was still important but beginning to take on a new level of meaning. From that time period on, love was to become a journey of self-discovery and ultimately expansion into the awareness of the Oneness of all beings.
Over time and many levels of purification and adjustment, religion has become a source of inspiration and enlightenment for me, even without my fully subscribing to any of it. As the famous slogan goes for the Theosophical Society, I’ve come to believe there is “No religion higher than truth, no power greater than love”. As it also happens, truth and love are both what we make of them at any given moments in life.
Although currently practicing Tibetan Buddhism, there are no rules that say I cannot pray, meditate or dance with those of other religions or philosophies. I have friends who are Wiccan, Catholic, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, plenty of New Age, eclectic tree-huggin hippies, and Atheist as well. No matter. Religion is meaningless unless it does good for a person, a nation, or the world. Usually that’s not what happens though. When it is used to manipulate and control it becomes perverse. Like a clock, religion doesn’t actually tell time but gives us a good sense that time exists for the sake of helping us navigate planet Earth….until we can manage without it.
A couple years ago I sat in a prayer circle with Brian Head, the guitarist from Korn after his rock concert. It was a sweet experience, especially knowing how deeply Christianity helped transform this man’s almost destroyed life and he is now sharing so open-heartedly with his many fans what he has gained. He is providing for others what could be a major trigger for their awakening – their release from bondage and addictions, and perhaps a greater sense of self-love.
Tibetan Buddhism teaches to treat all others as though they could be the Enlightened One – the Buddha. The belief is that all of us are evolving and will be enlightened in our own way, on our own time, just as the great revered Buddha himself did. This means that obviously it does not matter what color, sexual orientation we are, what religion we practice or don’t or what we like to eat. We grow when we’re ready to grow, and who knows what will be a trigger for that growth!