Grounded, Purposeful Service: Virgo New Moon

The Virgo New Moon falls on Tuesday, September 19th at 10:29pm PDT, and on Wednesday, September 20th at 1:29am EDT. The first New Moon after Leo’s spectacular double take last month, with a mind-blowing full solar eclipse to boot, this New Moon hearkens Autumnal energies and a settling into the changes that last month brought with it. If the changes for you were palpable and full on, this new moon time is one of integration and movement forward with renewed commitment, perhaps carrying with it a feeling of completion of one phase of the journey and the opening of a new one, or clarified intent and purpose.

And I must express this, as well, with all the hype around last month’s full eclipse::  if you did not experience a sense of profound revelation last month, not to worry! We’re certainly not all effected by cosmic events in the same way or at the same time, nor do we need to be! Because each person’s birth chart, often seen as a soul contract of sorts, is unique in its needs, gifts, and ways of expressing, the ways that each cosmic event effects a soul and her chart is unique as well. Thanks to the synchronicity of the Universe and its inherently intelligent rhythm, each person is given just what she needs and is ready for at just the right time. Because evolutionary astrology is personal astrology, we recognize from the get go that while the transiting planets (where planets are currently moving in the sky) are of utmost importance, the ways that this importance is revealed and integrated is absolutely different from one person to the next. So if you experienced the eclipse with many people who have the 2nd half of Leo, Aquarius, Taurus, or Scorpio lit up in their natal charts, you may have all been having epiphanies that wouldn’t quit! But if your experience of the eclipse with people with not much at all in the above signs, it would’ve been an incredible show from nature, but without the energetic fireworks attached. And this is the beauty of astrology, and of Life!

But alas, we’ve moved from the explosive creative energy of Leo to a more concentrated, focused energy with Virgo. Of all the signs in the zodiac, this one is the most interested in and capable of deep and sustained transformation and growth. As a mutable earth sign, Virgo has the ability to see where she is, and simultaneously where she wants to be but perhaps isn’t, and put steady and consistent time and energy into moving toward her aspiration.

What is the driving force behind this characteristic of Virgo? A deeply-seated desire to become skillful at her trade, not simply for the sake of it, but to enhance the ways that she is available to be of service to her people. Virgo is here to become masterful at her craft, or crafts, as the case may be. She is willing to put forth all that it takes to hone and refine her skills, over and again, for the sake of her offering. Be it teaching yoga, playing the piano, calculating taxes, or writing novels, the fruits of Virgo’s labors must be experienced by others. She is utterly tied to her purpose, and she needs ways to express this meaningful work in the world so that she might be genuinely fulfilled. 

Virgo is known for commitment to the craft, as well as a detail-oriented way of being that borders on anal retentiveness. But remember, it’s for the sake of the craft! This attention to finely-tuned detail is absolutely essential to Virgoan energy. For example, if someone is in Trikonasana with her front foot turned in just a bit too much, there could be binding in the front hip flexor, pain in the knee, or an inability to fully integrate the femur bone into the hip socket. Turning the foot so that it’s “‘perfectly” parallel to the sides of the mat tends to create stability in the supporting muscles, proper alignment of the bones, as well as freedom and flow of energy. This is when complete accuracy is important, especially if someone practices the asana everyday! When Virgo can use her knowledge to be of assistance to others in ways such as this, she experiences deep satisfaction.

Virgo’s name might steer us in a certain direction, as it almost fully contains the word “virgin,” but this misses the point of her true meaning. And in fact, Virgo in olden times often represented the bounty, harvest, grain, and fertility. Interesting how the lens has changed, and I’m quite confident that we could have a lively discussion on this! Yet rather than being virginal, this energy is one that naturally moves toward purity and perfection. She is, indeed, the perfectionist. Virgo recognizes that she can always better herself and the world in some way, and she’s wired to find deep fulfillment through evolving in a specific direction. There’s absolutely a part of this energy that wants to make life better through effort and offering. A sentiment here might be, “I came here to add what I have to give.” And this addition isn’t for recognition, fame, or anything of the sort; these aren’t things that fulfill Virgo, and deep down she knows it. Her offering is for the sake of the offering itself, and the knowing that what she contributes can, and likely will, make a difference to the whole. This “whole” can be translated in Sanskrit to “purnatva”. Interestingly enough, this word is also a word that can be used for “perfection,” although it’s from a much different lens than we Westerners might use! Other translations of “purnatva” are “fullness,” “completeness,” or something that is brimming over with perfection that it could never be lacking in any way, shape, or form. When Virgo is able to fully offer her gifts, skills, and “magic” in the moment, completely bringing all of herself to her work, she gains access to this fullness. She becomes it. She’s of course been this fullness all along, but the act of expressing herself skillfully to help others connects her with this deep knowing. And the world is made better for her doing so.

Like Gemini, Virgo is also ruled by the planet Mercury, the messenger god, who, if you remember back to June’s piece, has quite an affinity with Saraswati. Sally Kempton reminds us that Saraswati “is the offering we make to perfection. She has this virginal, above-the-word quality, which teaches us that we need dedication and immersion in order to extract the subtle truths of life and art” (Awakening Shakti 189). A beautiful aspect of Saraswati most present in Virgo is resonant with Kempton’s sentiment here, and it is Virgo’s ability to be articulate — not just with her words, although that may be, and not just with her numbers, although that may be — but with her efforts. As the goddess of flow, Saraswati is the mother of voice, speech, learning, music, creativity, and insight. This borders on Virgoan territory in the way that Virgo expresses her time, energy, and efforts; she does so with great articulateness, efficiency, and effectiveness. She can have a clarity of expression that is direct, precise, and highly refined. Think of someone who’s been perfecting her craft for three or more decades; it’s as though she could do whatever it is she’s good at in her sleep! It seems effortless and almost magical, and she has an ability to express her natural gifts with ease, yet complete refinement; this is a lovely example of the effective energy that lives within Virgo. Yet it didn’t happen overnight — it’s been a long process of distillation, refinement, and transforming the skill into true excellence. 

From the evolutionary perspective, Virgo has come here to learn humility; yet this is different from humiliation. She has come here to be of service; yet this is not subservience. Sometimes this energy, because it is so humble and service-oriented, can border on unworthiness and self-doubt just because she’s not already perfect at the new craft she just picked up an hour ago! Or because she taught a class or wrote an article that wasn’t up to par with some expectation she’s created in her mind. A helpful way of working with this shadow expression of the energy is to celebrate the small things. I like to remind people that the small things are often the big things — remember our Trikonasana example from above! What our mind considers a small thing might have enormous repercussions, and when any shift is made in a pattern or perspective, there is growth and change. This is something for Virgo to celebrate! Yet she might continue looking at where she is and where she wants to be longingly, and perhaps even a feeling of desperation enters her mind and spirit. The perfect chant for her in a moment such as this one sums up all that we’ve explored. It is the Wholeness or Fullness chant that you’ve likely heard or chanted, and perhaps it’s even a favorite:: 

“Om purnamadah purnamidam

Purnata purnam udachyate

Purnasya purna madaya

Purnam eva vashishyate

“That is whole; this is whole. From wholeness emerges wholeness. When you take the whole from the whole, wholeness remains.” All of Life, including YOU, is what this wholeness refers to. Virgo is here to know this. Then everything she does is an expression of that knowing.

Virgo can respond especially well to mentors, as they provide her with the guidance she so craves in moving forward on a particular path. Think of an auntie figure who’s able to show her niece the ropes in a way that mom can’t. And when it comes to the actual craft, if you want to want to get better at something, hang out with people who are better than you at the said task. By spending time closely working with and learning from people whose artistry Virgo admires and seeks to embody herself, she expands. And if she does fall into the shadow tendency of being hard on herself, a mentor is the perfect person to turn to for reminders of just how far she’s come. In time, Virgo becomes the mentor herself.

During this New Moon time, I invite you to steep in the part of you that is already full in the ways that you feel it most, whether it’s through gathering herbs, making potions, writing, practicing yoga, chanting, or anything else! How do you take the time you need to refine your craft, honing your skills so that you can be of greater service to our world? How do you care for and nourish yourself to ensure you have the energy needed to be of service? How do you remember the innermost nature of Wholeness, even when the record player of the mind begins its old script? What meaningful skills do you have to offer, and how can you do so with even greater excellence and effectiveness? And when you remember that you’re already THAT, how does this change the expression of your gifts? Enjoy!

Creative Play:: New Moon in Leo

This first of two Leo New Moons this year falls on Sunday, July 23 at 2:47 AM Pacific Time/5:47AM Eastern Time, and brings with it a feeling of powerful and playful creativity. Leo roars into manifestation what she feels called to create from deep within her spirit. And with the next Leo New Moon being a Total Solar Eclipse, this first round of Leonine energy is an opportunity to get clear on what’s ready to come to life in the world of manifestation!

With the New Moon in Cancer needing to probe the depths of the inner world, this Leonine New Moon brings an energy of resoundingly expressing what delights the heart and soul. And this expression beckons to be seen, heard, and felt in the world; it seeks an audience and playmates so that others might experience this offering and be delighted just the same. 

Whenever I sit with the energy of Leo, a Broadway (or off-Broadway!) musical comes to mind, its characters acting and singing to life their heart’s yearnings for the whole audience to experience. Many performers are familiar with the idea of “the 4th wall”, the invisible wall that’s between the performers and the audience. Knowing that there’s a whole universe of people out beyond this “4th wall” is part of what evokes the depth of emotional range that lives within the performance. Having an audience to aide in bringing to life creative force and potential can be revealing for everyone involved, most especially the people on the stage! If you’ve ever been invited to demonstrate a yoga posture in front of an entire class, you’ve experienced firsthand what Leonine energy is about. Perhaps you were “shaking in your boots” before the demo, not quite sure if you’d even be able to do what your teaching was asking of you. Yet with your peers silently cheering you on, and the Shakti (life force) working from deep within you, you likely did a lovely demo, maybe even expressing the posture more beautifully than you had ever done it before! This energetic dynamic is an example of Leo at work: other people help to “draw out” the expression that’s inside, just waiting to be made manifest. And the relationship that takes place between the “performer” and “audience” is where so much of the magic takes place!

But having an audience isn’t exactly what Leo is about, although it certainly helps! Leo needs to create for the sake of doing so, not merely for others’ approval. Leo is the astrological sign of the Lila, a Sanskrit word meaning the “divine play of Consciousness.” From the Tantric yoga view, all of life is a play ofthis One inherently divine energy, and the Shakti that animates all things to life is an inherently blissful energy. We as participants are encouraged to cultivate practices that allow us and others to delight in the dance of Shakti and live life as a celebration. To do so, Joseph Campbell expressed well, “Follow your bliss. Find what it is and don’t be afraid to follow it.” Perhaps in your upbringing or culture you weren’t taught to do the things you love, yet this New Moon is calling for liberation — doing what you love is exactly what this play wants! The Lila seeks expression as and through all beings, and part of this is connecting with the seat of authentic spirit, then expressing what naturally springs forth from there. In other words, remember who you are in your Lion’s heart of hearts, and do what you love in the world from this place! The Lila is a grand affirmation of Life, delighting in the diversity of the expression that comes from each participant, regardless of the results. As long as you’re coming from the most resonant place within, you can’t and won’t be led astray!

The Queen, radiantly shining and with poised dignity, is one of Leo’s archetypes. This isn’t the Queen in relationship to the King; rather, she is a being who is sovereign unto herself, capable of holding the fort down when times are peaceful or intense. When she arrives in the room, others are immediately soothed, feeling a sense of safety that comes from her grandeur. This aspect of Leo is that of shining so brightly that others may be temporarily blinded. Yet eventually they become inspired to their own greatness as well, for in Leo’s shining brightly, it frees others to do the same. The Marianne Williamson quote comes to mind:: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us….we are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” What would happen if you were to don the regalia of a Queen, shimmering in greatness and splendor, not from haughtiness, but from grace? What would happen if, during this New Moon time, you allowed yourself to be the brightest version of yourself possible, regardless of your social or cultural programming? What would that FEEL like deep in your being-ness?

Another of Leo’s archetypes is the child, as mentioned above, playing and shining by virtue of being herself. Children are masterful at being spontaneous…play a game with a child, and you might be saying things, in character I might add, that you’d never imagine yourself saying in another context. This spontaneity of spirit is a gateway through which Leonine silliness can come, jubilantly making itself known in the world. Honoring the inner child is a perfect practice during this New Moon, sitting with and listening to her needs. Our inner children seek expression through the current version of who we are, and when they’re feeling seen and heard in the ways they need to be, there’s balance within our own personality and character. There can be a deep and real integration amongst all the different facets of being when we create a relationship with and truly value this beautiful little presence inside. 

Often in pop astrology we hear of Leo’s pride. Yet there’s something to be said of being healthily proud of one’s creative endeavors, be they actual children, projects, gatherings, or otherwise. During this Leonine New Moon, what would you be proud to be a part of or to create? What is seeking expression through you, as you? Which blissful endeavor or creation is wanting to blossom into the realm of manifestation? Which inner processes need to be roared to life? Gather together with people with whom you can celebrate life and be your silly self, and play a bit!  Follow what’s beckoning you to an even more full and content heart, and delight in where you’re led!

Cancer New Moon ~ Nourishing the Inner Realm

The Cancer New Moon falls on Friday, June 23 at 7:32 PM Pacific Time. Gemini’s hustle and flurry of activity brings Consciousness to a quiet, inward space that is Cancer’s home. The most subjective of the astrological signs, Cancer seeks to shelter itself from the chaos and intensity of the world, creating a sacred place in which to withdraw and find nurturance. 

The first of the water signs, Cancer makes its appearance in the zodiac just in time for Consciousness to seek and to find the solace that it requires. Often considered the sign of “nesting”, Cancerian energy lovingly creates a sanctuary of nourishment. It’s in this space, the boudoir, that the goddess Parvati goes to soak in bath salts, adorn herself with the luscious scents of her favorite essential oils, and nourish herself in the ways that revitalize and rejuvenate her goddess-ness. The boudoir is tucked away from the rest of the world, with Parvati the only one allowed within its walls. It was in this space that she concocted a magical potion that contained turmeric, just the right amount of each of the elements, scents, herbs, and spices. Through her care and magic, Parvati created her own little boy who came to be Ganesha, guardian of the threshold. She and the energy of Cancer represent the deep Ocean of Consciousness that lives inside one’s heart, and Ganesha the one who keeps the space safe, only passable when we’re soft and open enough to enter its realm. 

The tucked-away nature of both Cancer and Parvati’s boudoir is also synonymous with the care that a Mother provides. The womb-space, a place that gives rise to creative energies in the myriad of ways they express themselves, childbearing or otherwise, contains the essence of potentiality. Like an egg, filled hidden possibility, the depths of the heart and the womb are the places where dreams not yet shaped marinate before making themselves known in the world. Basking in the creative inner space to bring new projects to life contains the essence of Cancer, as care must be given in order to nourish the possibilities within a child, an endeavor, or a vision brought to life. Yet Cancer must remember that this same support must be offered to herself, lest she “over-mother” others, becoming identified with the role of Mother rather than balancing this task with that of honoring her own needs and taking excellent care of herself.

Cancer is the only sign that is ruled by, or has quite an affinity for, the Moon; so it’s the most lunar of them all! Read the word lunatic as loon-A-tic, and you get an idea of la luna’s connection to the emotional realm with its immense capacity to take us as far beyond the rational mind as we can possibly go. Stand and let the moon, at whichever stage it happens to be, captivate you with her beauty, and you’re generally taken over by a sense of awe for her magnificence. All thoughts leave, and you’re likely left with feelings instead. The lunar territory that Cancer inhabits invites us to feel into the depths of our souls for yearnings waiting to be expressed, personal myths longing to be constructed, and inklings of stories waiting to be brought to life.

Cancer is considered to be the most sensitive of the astrological zodiac, feeling with such immensity that it can sometimes be overwhelming. Yet that’s exactly what Cancer came here to do — to remind us to trust in and fully open to the emotional tapestry that is available within. The emotional realm may seem a daunting one at times, yet each emotion holds valuable keys for the heart and the soul to express themselves and, ultimately, to heal. All of the emotions (rasas, or flavors, feelings) must be felt and moved through the body in order for vibrant health to be fully present. Cancer reminds us that this is the most natural, and can be one of the most graceful, processes we experience as humans. When we open ourselves to this inner landscape and allow the energy to move in ways that it needs to, we become conduits for life’s expression, thereby allowing for a healing to take place. We learn to trust in our own intuitive capacity as women to let emotions flow, trusting their natural movement, for it is ultimately to the experience of Wholeness and Oneness that IS everything.

Evolutionarily, Cancer is here to shed her shell at just the right time, opening up and trusting her emotional processes, even when that feels like the most challenging thing to do. But she’s here to do this anyway, though having the support of just the right people is always a good idea. Cancer reminds us that withdrawing from the world can be the perfect opportunity to immerse oneself in the inner realms to gain clarity and understanding of what is to be created in the outside world at just the right time. 

During this Cancer New Moon, how can you turn inside to marinate in your own creative juices? Perhaps you find (or create!) a space in your home that is sacred to you, one that inspires you to connect with your intuition and feeling, letting the power of potential energy “speak” to you in an utterly “sensational” way. Perhaps you marinate in the tub, allowing your favorite essential oils and bath salts to work their magic on you as you absorb the nourishment. Open yourself to the inner tapestry that beckons you to its chamber, allowing the feelings to flow, the emotions to move, and the space of possibility to awaken you in a way that is truly healing.

Taurus New Moon ~ Settling into Simplicity

The Taurus New Moon falls on Wednesday, April 26 at 5:18 AM Pacific Time. After the intensity of Aries, Taurean energy invites us to a calmer, more grounded place. In a word: simplicity. Imagine a bull resting in the pasture, chewing the green grass, breathing in the fresh air, nourished by his sensory experience. Tap into the feeling of this scene, and you’ve tapped into the energy of Taurus. This energy is about coming home to the body, and giving it what it needs to feel nurtured and secure. The security of materiality for the sake of it is not the point of Taurus — but the security of being in one’s body in a healthy way, absolutely is. 

Creative projects often begin with an energy of excitement and enthusiasm, just as Spring often does. Yet we’re not meant to be in the beginning phase of a cycle the entire time. If we lived here for the whole cycle, burnout would certainly ensue. Taurus comes at the perfect moment, when the fire of Aries and the power of Iccha Shakti has been lighting up our lives, perhaps quite powerfully; and at this point in the zodiac, we get to uphold our creativity differently. The passionate burst of Arian vitality gives way to a sweet and sensual energy that invites us to settle down.

Taurean energy is symbolized by the bull (and not the Hemingway bull, mind you, running through the streets of Madrid!), doesn’t need to talk. It is quite happy living life through the senses: breathing, experiencing, being. That is what brings Taurus back to herself. Animals and the natural world are wonderful ways of reconnecting Taurus with her sense of animal kinship. Notice how you feel when you spend some time with your favorite four-legged friend! Each has an instinctual way of bringing you back to your uncomplicated, sensory self.  

Taurus is nourished by activities that invite her into her body — activities like a slow, intentional yoga practice, a massage therapy session, or a date with her essential oils. A quiet walk in the forest is especially effective, as it’s an opportunity to be embraced by nature’s abundance, a place where Taurus feels especially connected. Yet even the activity of washing dishes, of knitting, or of doing something crafty with her hands, is a lovely Taurean outlet. Practices that give Taurus the ability to be comfortable in her own skin, and to feel good in her body, soothes this energy.

Music also has the ability to pull Taurus into a place of serenity, and its pull can be quite direct. A harmony experienced by the ears is easily felt by the heart, and for Taurus, it has the capacity to welcome a similar tranquility as the forest might. The Musician is an archetype for Taurus, as one who both works with her hands, while also creating melodies that pull on her heart strings! Listen to a symphony play your favorite Mozart piece, and you might just be basking in Taurean reverie.

Routine can also be a fantastic way to calm the energy of this time, aligning with Nature’s flow. Yet routine is not synonymous with the mundane, so as long as the routine is purposeful, and feels grounding and clarifying, it feeds this earth sign.  

Enjoy the sweetness of this time…take a forest walk, light some candles, pull out your favorite essential oils, and put on some heart opening tunes. Sink down, grounding into the earthy simplicity of Taurus!

Aries New Moon ~ Cultivating Courage

Happy New Moon in Aries! The first new moon of the year, this is a celebration of life and its reemergence. It's a time of revivification, of waking up, and of living one's authenticity out loud. Aries carries with it vitality, as it represents the life force itself, an energy of Awakeness and Aliveness. Nature sings its expression all around us with the return of this vigor. Evolutionarily, Aries is about the cultivation of courage...we have an invitation to start the cycle of life anew, daring to dream a life that is as spacious, clear, and unique as possible, and to now bring it fully into being in all the ways we're called to. Are you willing to stand in the most powerful and conscious version of yourself? Are you willing to face the fears of your ancestors, your family, yourself, and to skillfully use the energy you transform by facing these fears as the Force for healing, good, beauty, and bounty? Now is the time to embody the spiritual warrioress, roaring to life all the dreams you've come here to create. What stands between you and these dreams? Whatever it is, Aries' warrior strength and commitment to truth can give you the boldness you need to face what is no longer true for you, and to enliven your highest potential here in the world. If you act from the place of fear, you'll never know what might have been. Aim your arrow of truth in the direction of your Heart's deepest yearnings...the power of the Cosmos are with you as you stand in your authentic truth and courageously bring it to life.

Pisces New Moon Solar Eclipse & ShivaRatri

Happy New Moon Eclipse in Pisces! Happy ShivaRatri! During this time, the energy of possibility becomes more palpable, and we're invited into the formless mystery, the void, & the Ocean of Consciouness to connect with all possibilities for expression in the world of form. As this is the last New Moon of the Winter and the first Eclipse of 4 this year, we're being beckoned deeply into the vast inner tapestry to prepare for what we're calling to life this Spring and this year.

This is also a celebration of Shiva, who, in his personified form, is the meditating yogi, the one who can be seen sitting on the mountaintop, dreaming the Universe into and out of existence for thousands upon thousands of years. His realm is that of Pisces and the place we go when we're beyond rational mind and thoughts, as he rules the domain of imagination and intuition. It's time to connect with these much-needed facets of the human experience in order to dream a reality that is harmonious, compassionate, and unified...one in which we see beyond the veils of perceived separation to the underlying Oneness that IS. Shiva beckons us into his space of Unity consciousness to merge with all of Life so that we can live in the world from a clear place that's beyond old patterns of thinking and being. He invites us to our innermost nature. In fact, he IS our innermost nature. This potent new moon eclipse portal reminds us of who we really are...the part of us that's beyond old belief systems, thought patterns, and separating ways of understanding. It invites us to the collective expanse of humanity, a place where all limitations dissolve into the One.

Shiva is both this and the energy of transformation, representing what is needing to be let go of, shed, and even to die, in order to create space for the Truth of what is unfolding from within our hearts and within our lives in the present. Shiva serves as a support and guide when doing the work of taking a real look at ourselves and ushers us into the place of what's real, raw, and vulnerable so we can move through the process of becoming whole once again, reminding us that we were always so. His powerful Piscean presence reminds us that we have the strength and love we need to move through all that arises, and that going through the process of shedding layers to live from the ground of Truth gives us access to compassion of what all beings must go through on the sweet yet sometimes challenging journey of life. His nature, your innermost nature, reminds us that all of this life is sacred and valuable, and the ways that we show up in the world bring this knowing to form.

Call on this force of awakeness and aliveness within you! This force of intuition, imagination, compassion, and unity. Take some time to meditate, go deep into the chamber of your heart, and open to what the Universe is wanting to bring to life through you without limitation. The Universe is with you...enjoy!

Aquarian New Moon 2016

Happy Chinese New Year! Happy New Moon in Aquarius! Aquarian energy, from an evolutionary perspective, is about authenticity and individuation...marching to the rhythm of one's own drum. Whether the peanut gallery agrees with you is not the point...what does your authentic and clear voice sound like, even if it's whispering? What truths are you being invited to uncover and live? Now is the time! Especially with Uranus (Aquarius' ruling planet) in Aries sextiling this New Moon, we're being invited to courageously look at and embody the truth of who we are in the world. And because Aquarius is also an energy that needs its tribe or sangha, we attract the "right" people to ourselves when we're able to be the people we were born to be, rather than the people we were conditioned to be. You are NOT the stories you've told yourself for so long. You are authentic aliveness, in this very moment, without a story attached. Aquarius, as an air sign, can see life from an expanded vantage point, or with upeksha. This is partly why it's called "the water bearer", because it has access to seeing from a panoramic view, then responding accordingly. Rather than doing what's always been done, this energy welcomes a perspective that is innovative, fresh, and that pushes the bounds of society into new ways of being, thinking, and understanding. When each person stands in her or his authentic truth, (the truth of being that can never be conditioned), our world changes as a result. "The truth will set you free," but being willing to recognize it might shatter your old views in a big way. And what are we waiting for?! May we welcome this expansive energy and call forth the most authentic version of ourselves during this powerful time!

Capricorn New Moon 2016!

Happy New Moon in Capricorn! We get an extra dose or two of Capricornian energy for this new moon with Pluto conjunct the Sun and Moon and Mercury retrograde in the sign of the sea goat. This mythical creature is the only sign of the zodiac that thrives in the water and on the land, making her an unstoppable force. Yet Capricornian energy is slow and steady, recognizing that in order to carry out any task with success, there must be patience and perseverance. This earth sign has to do with creating structure and form and has the awesome power to uphold and support the framework that's being manifested! The time is potent for setting long-terms goals, whether they be for a one-year cycle, a 5-year cycle, a 10-year cycle, or beyond. Mercury's retrograde status in Cap invites us into ourselves so that we connect fully with our own inner values and let them guide us to create these important goals. Pluto represents both wounding and fierce empowerment, so be sure that you're creating from a discerning and conscious place. What have you learned over the past year or few that can be used to create a clear trajectory moving forward? Integrity is the key word here...this energy is about marrying your outer world with your inner world and the awareness that lives there. Rather than doing something because it's expected or comes from a place of obligation, Capricorn teaches us to be wise and competent masters of our own design. The sea goat is especially good with strategies and carries with it a sense of inherent practicality, so tapping into its formidable force allows you to bring whatever task is at hand to completion. Yet as with any astrological influence, nothing is guaranteed. Take time for solitary endeavors and things that allow you to simply be with yourself to get super clear in your stance, no matter what the peanut gallery expresses. Then move from this place, one step at a time. Be open to what is offered, but never forget the truth of your own inner voice. “The journey of 10,000 steps begins with the first.” Cap understands this like no other sign. Tap into its wisdom to create what is wanting to unfold from within you.

Gemini Full Moon

Happy Full Moon in Gemini! Gemini energy invites us into the flavor of adbhuta, or WONDERment and awe. This time is one of being open to shift your perception of reality, being available to the Universe's messages and omens, and allowing them to work on you in just the right ways. How can you open yourself to the Universe's moment-to-moment play, letting it reveal just what it's meant to right now? This time is one of gathering information through the conversations you have, be it with a stranger or a dear friend, or with the Universe itself through signs, symbols, numbers, and however the bigger intelligence is seeking to get through to you! Communication is a word that is typically associated with Gemini in the astrological realm, but remember that this communication isn't just with people...it's with all of Life! Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, is the messenger god, as he flies through the Cosmos at warp speed with wings on his shoes and on his hat, collecting and sharing data with different parts of the Universe. Said to be a keeper of boundaries, he is the bridge between this world and the underworld, or the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. He gives access to the deeper layers of one's inner reality, allowing the information there to percolate up into the conscious mind, revealing itself when you're open to it, or the time is right, or both. The key with Mercury and with Gemini are staying open to what Life is offering, no matter what it reveals, while not getting pulled into the onslaught of information that is constantly available. For Gemini's shadow is just this: moving into an inner state of overwhelm, gathering so much information that the mind moves into informational deluge, becoming disconnected from the body and the heart. So be open to what's being offered, and allow it to come into your awareness from without or within! Then be so available to each moment that the continuous flow of Life simply moves you along in just the right ways. This requires connection with the mind, the body, and the heart. Slow down, check in, and open up!

 

As with any Full Moon, the Sun is in its opposing sign of Sagittarius, the sign of the gypsy, the student, and the philosopher. Ruled by Jupiter, Mercury's pops, Sag is all about expanding your understanding of the Universe and your place in it. Also needing to remain open to different perspectives and vistas, Sag is here to immerse itself into those diverse experiences that call you to them, stoking your inner fire so you can live from this place of brightness and warmth. This is an energy that needs the freedom to live life as an adventure, one that leads to deeper meaning, greater knowing, and the awareness that all paradigms are useful, all vistas are valuable. How does being open to the Universe's play allow you access to a greater understanding of what it means to be alive? How does opening to a shift in perception invite you to an expansion of your awareness in just the right ways? How have you been closed to what the Universe is offering? And how can you open to it for a limitless experience of what's available, right here and now? As always, enjoy the ride!

Gratitude 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Isn't it awesome that we have a holiday that's about celebrating the people, events, and things we're grateful for? That we have built into our year a time of reflection, gathering with loved ones, and enjoying each others' company? I always get a bit contemplative at this time of year and enjoy spending time in reflection with questions like these.

This Thanksgiving for me is truly a time of celebration, and of humbly offering gratitude to Life and its journey. After 2 years and 3 months of being in Canada, things are now official:: I received my open work permit on Monday of this week, just in time for the holiday of gratitude. This means I can teach yoga and offer astrology wherever I'd like in the country of Canada! It has certainly been a long time coming....I had no idea what I was jumping into when I said "yes" to the adventure of moving to the "great north", but it's been filled with ups and downs that I believe have built my character into something more interesting, complex, fierce, and humble. So much of this is what life is about...learning to navigate skillfully and gracefully even the most daunting and challenging of situations. And although I wasn't as graceful at times as I could have been, the journey has taught me more than I could have imagined. And for that, I am infinitely grateful.

Joni Mitchell, as well as many others, has said, "don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone." I think I fully understand the meaning of this one, and I'll bet many of my community members do too. Stepping away from my Southeast community was one of the most challenging decisions of my life, yet there was a part of me that knew it was the right one. The great thing is that I will always come back home to the South, no matter what, and I always find myself carrying the people, the experiences, and the energy of the South in my heart, wherever I go.

In Tantric philosophy, the spanda, or pulsation, is the relationship that takes place everywhere on this plane of reality. From the beating of our hearts, to the in and out of the breath, to the vibrations of our thoughts, the spanda is in everything. There are times of increase, there are times of decrease; times of concealment, and times of revelation. And each time actually contains a bit of its opposite. While the past 2 years have been a time of concealment overall for me, there have still been amazing moments of revelation, opening, and expansion within the cloaking face of grace. It's during these times of concealment that it becomes most important to remember and FEEL into what we're grateful for. What are the things that open your heart, allowing it to expand beyond any idea you have of yourself? What experiences has the past year offered you that have made you stronger, brighter, kinder, wiser? Who are the people who have lighted your path from their example, modeling what it means to be a quality human? Which experiences have made you more graceful, wise, and loving? I encourage you to spend some time with these things, allowing them to bring you into your heart over and again so that you can live and breathe from this place! And I'll be doing the same...resonating deeply in this space of richness that fills us up in the most meaningful ways.