We Are Ablaze
Updated: Sep 16, 2020
As I write this, we continue to stay close to home and wear masks because of this global pandemic and I hear helicopters overhead dropping water. It is both a comforting and unsettling sound. Comforting because of the heroic people helping and unsettling because it's a constant reminder that the mountains behind us (in Monrovia, California) are on fire. Note the mountains below - they don't normally look like that.
For the past week, we've had our to-go bags packed with our essentials, valuables and important papers by the front door. Jen, my wife, put out our Biden/Harris sign as we are revving up to a presidential election and as a nation we are still at the beginning stages of facing white supremacy head on. #blacklivesmatter
WEE BIT OF ASTROLOGY: Mars is in Aries for over six months (June 27th, 2020 - January 6th, 2021) and now in its retrograde phase (September 9th - November 13th, 2020). It hasn't been in this position since 1941. Ahem. (Let us not ignore a dictator this time). Cosmic Cousins has a great podcast all about Mars Rx and also a workshop available and Jessica Lanyadoo's Ghost of a Podcast is always SO insightful. This transit allows for a lot of passion that can be cultivated with Mars in Aries for this long of a period and also a warning to not lean into unproductive aspects of anger and frustration and hatred. Jenny Yates Astrology - Current Planetary Positions is a great resource for quick insight on the planets. There is a new moon in Virgo 9/17 at 4:00 a.m. PST. New cycles continue.
Personally I've been busier than ever with clients, taught a workshop last week (more on this below) and have been finding great comfort in vegan, gluten-free, refined-sugar-free, chocolate chip and cranberry cookies that my incredible wife has been baking from scratch. Even our non-vegan, non-gluten-free, sugar-loving friends LOVED them. Recipe HERE.
This past week, some of my Facebook memories popped up from a Labor Day in 2010. (Time is wild). All these photos appeared from the first time we visited dear friends at their vacation home in New Hampshire. A bunch of queer folks on a boat with our dogs enjoying the sun, beautiful, pine trees and the lake. It is so tempting to want to go back to that time, to want things to be simpler, to say that this is the worst year and even the apocaly***.
HOWEVER that's too easy and maybe even a little bit lazy. THIS is the time that we're in and THIS is the time to wake up, be uncomfortable, change our priorities, reach deep within and find out what we're made of. THIS is the time to face our personal shadows and the country's shadows of racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, ageism (to name a few shadows) and the reality that most of our current infrastructures benefit the very few. How the heck do we face this? Well, I find that pain is the wellspring for growth and leads to the willingness to do things differently. Start by feeling the feelings . . . and then here are SOME EXAMPLES OF THINGS THAT WE CAN DO:
Read something ------------------> that educates you, recycle, limit your single-use plastic, VOTE, join a group that organizes actions around the things that you care about or start that group and, adopt an animal, stop eating cows, connect with someone who has different viewpoints than you AND please, please, please listen to your heart and make the art or tell the person you love them or write the book or call and apologize or start taking care of your body. Live this precious life like it's the only one you got because each day really is a gift. Simply saying that these are end times is throwing in the towel and I really don't think that we went to all the trouble of incarnating (birthing is no joke for either party) and living this life to give up because things don't look how we would like them to. We need to collectively change how things look. TOGETHER. NOW. THROUGH ACTION. (And action can include care for yourself). I deeply believe that the more of us that hold positive visions for our planet and take actions in that direction, the more likely we are to heal collectively.
On a spiritual note, the workshop that I recently taught was new for me, but something that I've studied a long time. I love working with archetypal guides and find that connecting with them energetically, physically and emotionally is absolutely, mind-blowingly transformational and empowering. This workshop focused on four feminine archetypes - the girl, maiden, mother and crone. There were some others that wanted to join: high priestess, seductress, queen/empress, hedonist and the warrior. The image below is designed by the amazing folks at The Alchemist's Kitchen where I often teach.
Full disclosure - I threw in the neon lights above. I am a child of the '80s. Louder, faster, more, more, more. (That attitude is what got our planet into all this trouble). Where was I? Archetypes. What is an archetype? The dictionary definition of archetypal is: "Very typical of a certain kind of person or thing." So there are common traits of archetypes. If I say student or rebel or healer, there are qualities to each of these we will probably agree upon.
One aspect of archetypal work that I love is that no matter your age, your relationship to gender or your history, you can tap into any archetypal energy at any time. While there is an aspect of being an archetype that makes it universal, what I find most interesting is how does this archetype channel through you personally?
SPIRITUAL EXERCISE: Write out these archetypes: child, maiden, mother, crone, high priestess, seductress, queen/empress, hedonist, warrior. List three or so words or phrases that you associate with each one. Circle the archetype that resonates the most for you - that you feel the most comfortable with. Circle the one that scares you. And lastly circle the one that you yearn to invite more into your life.
NOW for the three archetypes that you've circled, (or maybe you circled the same one for all three questions) take a moment to get to know them. This is a kind of channeling - be it channeling an inner aspect of yourself or channeling an outside energy. WHENEVER I channel, (and we all can and do) I always like to have a clear boundary that I am channeling for my highest good. I liken it to wearing a coat in the winter or having an umbrella in the rain. The two multidimensional guides that I always ask for help goes something like this: "Archangel Michael and Goddess Durga, please protect me as I channel messages for my highest good. Only energy and messages for my highest good are welcome here." If that resonates for you, say it out loud or in your head.
Okay! Now ask each of these three archetype some questions. You can write them out or think them in your head and see what comes. Something like, "How would you like to work with me?" "Am I connecting to your evolved aspects or shadow side?" "I am craving transformation in X area of my life - what do you suggest?"
And then for some real fun, find out how you can physically embody these archetypes. When you do this, let yourself be big. Imagine that you're a Shakespearean actor and you need to project with your physicality all the way to the back of a 1,000-seat auditorium. Do you stand up taller as the empress? Do you relax your stomach and breathe deeper as the hedonist? Does your crone meet life head-on? Perhaps your child wants to roll, skip, jump, clap. Get the body moving and see what shakes out. If you want things to be different, you have to do different things. (I'm reminding myself of this as the journey is spiral, not linear). Write me if you have questions.
In all of this, let's please help each other keep our hearts open. I suggest listening to some Leonard Cohen and feel the feels, take the action, give yourself permission to do what you need to do to take care of yourself, others and your passions. May our hearts be ablaze with compassion, empathy, willingness to change and LOVE.