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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2009 — through the looking-glass

What is there left to say about 2009 I haven’t already done? (See archive on sidebar!) 2008 ended with a measure of optimism, 2009 is ending with a measure of relief. tPluto square nPluto, tPluto opposite nVenus, tSaturn conjunct nPluto, Jupiter, my chart ruler playing hide-and-seek all year with Chiron and Neptune as part of Lucy’s Clusterfuck of Doom, and so on and so forth, haven’t by any means been fun, but they have been ultimately revealing.

The bumpiest ride since my Saturn return — just over one seven-year Saturn cycle since then — has undoubtedly been uncomfortable, but I think it’s also done the job of shaking loose more bits of old baggage. None of those cycles are yet complete but I look forward to entering 2010 lighter and leaner (meaner, too?). Looking ahead to the fact that nearly all the eclipses in the coming year make contact with a personal planet or node in my natal chart, I suspect that 2009 was merely the preamble to further changes in 2010.

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The lunar eclipse and my 2nd and 8th house axis

Really, I was going to come up with a wittier title to this post, but I’m still ‘reverbing’.

This lunar eclipse is supposed to ‘sprout the seeds’ of the solar eclipse in Cancer.

Well, on the day of that solar eclipse, after my happy encounter with the new energy provider, I went to see my bank for a debt consolidation loan and was turned down. Okay. It wasn’t too unexpected. Banks are jittery these days. I just made other plans to reduce not-a-very-large-but-large-enough-to-cause-minor-cash-flow-headaches credit card debt each month. Part of it is caused by a dispute with a previous employer, the details of which I will not enter into. This lunar eclipse is supposed to bring closure to events occurring about 18 months ago when this cycle of Leo-Aquarius eclipses began. Well, about 18 months ago, I left that job and started a new one.

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Grateful for zazen

862412_hand_of_buddha The past few months have been rather trying, and while I can easily point to Pluto (see past few posts), ‘blaming’ the transits is missing the point. Life happens. Learning about Pluto is a means of understanding what’s happening. A means of coping with it is practice.

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Retrieving lost parts of myself and keeping them

This happens to me from time to time. I think I’m whole. I share what I think is my whole self. It gets accepted for a time, then rejected in stages, and then (what feels like) it gets thrown back at me broken fragment after broken fragment, from which I have to find and fit the pieces back again, hoping I get the combination right the next time.

972812_mosaic

Today, after some help, I see I’ve got the metaphor wrong. The mosaic is what it is — a whole made up of fragments. What I can share are the different shapes and textures, the colours and the combinations, but the whole of fragments is mine and mine alone.

When I enter relationships, part of me dissolves, but I don’t notice it dissolving at first. (In fact, it is good to know that I’m not alone in this respect, but it is the form it takes in me that I want to explore.) I feel it a strengthening, like growing a new limb. What I don’t realise is actually part of my boundary collapses, like a broken levee, whether to let more of the other in, or more of me out, I don’t know. What I do know is the other spots the crack like a beacon, and then I’m chucked, for having lost the integrity of the shape they were originally drawn to.

As Venus continues her retrograde through Aries, highlighting the need to have healthier relationships with ourselves, I’m writing this just to bring it to my consciousness, to retrieve and keep parts of myself that I’ve lost, and to say thank you to the experience, and the people involved therewith, for the lesson I hope never to forget thereafter.

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Rainbow connections

The mood of the times is such that we need to be reminded of rainbows from time to time.

Here’s a cloud-chasing, funk-busting, happy-making video for all. I bow in gratitude to those dedicated to making us smile.


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