2012 — learning to live authentically

‘I saw an angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.’

The Awakening Slave (1525–30), Michelangelo Buonarroti.

I thought I was done with Pluto when it crossed my Ascendant and completed its cycle through Sagittarius, but it turns out Pluto wasn’t done with me. Hitting a whole series of personal planets as it dug deep into my first house, and still only two-thirds of the way through, 2012 ends nowhere near where it began.

I could never have seen it coming, this end of the Mayan cycle, this end of my year, this return to self, to a sense of home. As a saying attributed to a Zen master goes:

Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and waters as waters. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and waters are not waters. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it’s just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters.

A year ago, I was looking to possibly move jobs, towns, relationships. I felt the need for a shift, a change in energy and dynamic, but the shift was not to be found in events, or places, or other people. It was found, ironically, by being where I am — any movement has been internal, psychological, spiritual, emotional. I took a tip and ‘let go of my year’, and can only offer heartfelt thanks for the treasures that remain, return, and resurge anew.

2011 — stepping across the line

I’ve had so little time for this blog this year, I’m still amazed (and grateful) that people seem to still be subscribing to it…! Thank you!

2011 — what a year for everyone! In all, I would say that I’ve had a good one in spite of the chaos and anxiety swirling everywhere. I’ve tried to stay centred, to not get caught up with other people’s crises, and by and large I’ve succeeded.

Looking back, 2011 has been a year where I’ve tried to put the lessons of the past few years into practice — not simply to discard, or run from, what I didn’t want, but to articulate what I did. To step across the line and be counted, even if only within myself. What was I willing to put up with, what could I change, what are my politics, my values, who did I want to be? Who do I want to be with?

The Uranus-Pluto square in the coming year promises more upheaval, but after the last two eclipses in Sagittarius and Gemini, I have no fear of coming through the other side.

My resolution for 2012 is that it is okay not to have a resolution. Just be yourselves. Happy new year, all.

Death and Facebook

I experienced my first Facebook bereavement today. A friend of mine whom I didn’t realise had cancer had passed on, and I only found out when his brother (whom I didn’t know) sent me a Facebook message and broke the news.

I try and cultivate the responsible use of Facebook, carefully managing my privacy settings and posting only news of genuine amusement or interest (as opposed to flooding others’ newsfeed with Farmville updates). I know Facebook has its critics but it appeals to my Gemini Sun and my Aquarian 3rd house, and I use it to support existing relationships.

Still, nothing prepared me for the news of a relationship prematurely terminated in this manner. And yet, I am grateful for it, for I might never have found out otherwise.

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2010 — self-alignment

The cardinal cross of 2010 has been good to me on many levels, though it hasn’t been by any means easy. Occurring in the angular houses of my chart, it has become evident as I look back on the year that 2010 has been for me a series of lessons on aligning my inner self with my outer world. It has been about learning to be comfortable in my own skin, but also about creating environments — physical, social, emotional — that resonate well with my instincts.

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Learning to receive

Hands and hearts

I was reading something today about ‘learning to receive’ and was thinking how underrated receiving is. We’re all taught that giving is a good thing and taking is generally frowned upon, but how many of us are socialised into receiving with grace?

I’m bad at asking for help but quite good at volunteering to do things. Hence, my plate is almost always too full. But when someone offers to help, it is only very recently that I’ve learned to simply say ‘Thanks’, instead of ‘Thanks, it’s ok.’ Because it isn’t usually ok, if I’m honest with myself. And I’ve learned to appreciate the offer, not just of help, but of human connection.

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Share the joy

I was reading a story not too long ago in which one of the main characters learns that while close and intimate relationships may be forged from common pain, it was ultimately more fulfilling to nurture the ones that share a common joy.

The point of connection need not be profound, and may be as simple as a shared hobby — cooking, fishing, poetry, etc. — or something more complex and subtle, like a system of shared values. Whatever it is, gratitude for the smallest happiness plants a seed for a more promising future, rather than a lifetime substituting the intensity of pain for love.

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Happiness is …

Mars stationing direct after a long retrograde (since last December) seems to be easing the energy constipation I have been experiencing around me in the past months; not to mention the number of men that seem to have been incapacitated in one way or another — I have lost male colleagues temporarily to illness, broken bones, sprained backs, and other leaves of absence!

Even the mood in my therapy group was much lighter this week compared with the intense self-scrutiny of the past weeks (you might say that that’s what a therapy group is for — yes, but the easing of tension today was quite noticeable). We talked about the things that made us happy, which we almost never do, les misérables that we usually are! :)

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