For the Love of Leo

by christina rai

 

Image result for cc leo zodiac image

Most astrologers co-relate this fiery fixed sign with love, birth, creativity, power, luck and romance! Sounds pretty attractive to me! Leo is aligned to the 5th house in the natural wheel of the zodiac thus endowing that segment of the horoscope with Leo-like attitudes. If, for instance, you are not born under the sign of Leo but have a lot of your planets in the 5th house, especially the personal ones like the Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars; you will probably be interested greatly in the things associated with that house of the horoscope, like love, children, creative activity, self-expression and any and all forms of ‘drama’, just to name a few things. And, you may approach life in a Leo-like way; that is, with gusto, intensity, self-interest and dramatic flair. Certainly, you should have some sort of creative outlet to exercise all that potential heart-based energy that will, no doubt, be a significant influence in your life. This does not mean that you MUST be an artist, but it does mean that you must FEEL like you are being artful in some way. If you like cooking—experiment. If crafts interest you, develop one to a high level of proficiency. If you adore children, expand this love in your life either through having your own or taking care of others.

Of course, the actual sign that any of these personals—the planets mentioned above– is in will modify the way you behave in the end. For instance, you might be a “5th house Capricorn”. Capricorn is much more sedate, more reserved than Leo so you might be creative, but quietly so, romantic, but with some reserve, powerful, but in a dignified way. Or, one could observe that you have a deliberate approach to your creative side, a controlled response to your love life or you might be a strict disciplinarian when it comes to your kids, expecting them to step up and perform on your command. (These are merely random thoughts and not set in stone pronouncements. So many factors affect the way any individual functions that each horoscope MUST be evaluated individually. However, understanding how energies might perform in the 12 sectors of the chart certainly is helpful when initiating an analysis.)

Leo’s opposite sign is Aquarius and according to the law of polarity, duality is the underlying resonance of all manifestation. Applying this to the zodiac then, we can see that the energies that sit ‘across’ from each other in the zodiac wheel ideally work in harmony with each other and the ebb and flow of anything is regulated by polarity forces. While Leo brings focus to all that is primarily personal—the ‘me’ factor, Aquarius brings focus to all that is primarily collective—the ‘we’ factor. So, the intention of anyone with a focus in Leo is to find a way to pull in the energy of that opposite force. So, Leo, what can YOU do for the greater whole? What is the focus in your life that relates to community? What is the gift that you bring to society?

Leo loves the limelight and who is it that is able to give the limelight? The collective, of course! If Leo has no audience for the sheer magnificence of his manifestation, well, then, he might just lazily lie around doing nothing and basking in the noonday sun!

The shadow side of Leo is the tendency to rest on ones’ laurels and on a deeper level, a sense of entitlement. There is a reason why one of the archetypes linked to Leo is “The Royal” or “The Aristocrat”. Taken too far, this self-image can cause trouble in Leo’s life and relationships. The all powerful ME can eat up a lot of space in any room, leaving little for anyone else. Here is where the simple use of principled love can minimize the tendency to move into the shadow side of this energy. Love for the sake of love itself can help to refocus the Leo persona that has gotten caught up in ego concerns or self-love, become overly invested in the drama and as a result lost sight of what is actually real and true. Again, pulling in the Aquarian ideal, that sense of collective power rather than singular power, can be helpful to balance out any preoccupation with self. Not to say that the self should not be served! It is through the self that we all get things done so let’s not be too quick in battering the ego senseless! The key is common sense at all times. By all means use your ego gifts but keep focused on what is really true, what is really real. The ‘truth’ is, that when one stands alone, one can easily be toppled but when one stands united with others, a wall of protection can be developed.

Another Leo shadow is a deep-seated feeling of insecurity. Another one of Leo’s archetypes is The Child. Childish energy requires ongoing and even limitless affirmation so if the Leo soul is not given just the right amount of affirmative response, he might develop a lop-sided need to seek it at any cost. We have all met those individuals who constantly require affirmation for every step that they take. The little lost girl or the sad and hungry boy persona is a shadow energy that can cripple relationship and impede self-growth. Of course there can be many different real-life triggers that kick-start this kind of behavior and that sort of self-study can take up a lifetime. Still, just identifying a presence of Leo energy in any one of the personals can be helpful when doing this kind of reparative therapy. Ultimately, the key to healing is also found in the opposite sign of Aquarius. By connection to the higher self and tapping into the collective consciousness, Leo can come to some profound understandings about himself and his place within that collective thus alleviating some of the needful pressure to be constantly affirmed by another.

Leo co-relates to the heart chakra and, indeed, the physical heart is linked to Leo when one studies medical astrology. Working with the heart chakra is always beneficial for strong Leo types. If you have a lot of Leo energy, create meditations for yourself that focus on moving within to the center of your heart. Work on building that love energy, fortifying the heart chakra. Visualize a soft pink glow around the heart center. This can calm the self and bring it balance. By mindfully drawing in the highest form of love energy—that of the divine, Leo can amplify his already ‘sunny’ self and become an inspiration to those around him. This is a fixed energy so the inclination is to stay centered, to sustain. Just think of the Sun, the celestial object associated with Leo. It burns with a constancy, and we have the assurance in the last fingers of the dusk and the first tendrils of the dawn, that he will never let us down; that there will always be a new day on the horizon. Like the Sun, strong Leos can provide security and stability to those they love. Think about the last time you lay out in the Sun and how scrumptious that was. Sort of like being loved by a Leo!

And talking about love…When Leo loves, he loves magnificently! He can be completely attentive and single-minded in his focus. His loved object will feel herself totally consumed by the heat of his attention. Of course, she must be very certain to let him know how splendid his love is—the best love, the hottest love, incomparable love. If he is sufficiently stroked, Leo will keep purring contentedly, keeping his eyes fixed on his darling. If not, well then, he just might feel that he needs to move along and find a more worthy recipient of his lordly love. So, all you who partner with a Leo, make sure you keep scratching him where he wants you to scratch!

Everyone has Leo somewhere in their psyche as represented by the birth mandala. And whenever the Sun transits any energy, that part of the psyche is illuminated—brought out into the light, so to speak. The Sun transits or moves through Leo during parts of the months of July & August. As I have often stated when discussing this subject of transits, each cosmic connection is necessarily personal. (Yes, yes, there is the whole issue of the collective consciousness but that is another topic!) So, in some ways, transit reports can only give the reader a general sense of what is going on since that reader has her own unique energetic construct that is interacting with the energy swirling around her. The way to get the ‘most’ out of following the stars is to have a familiarity with one’s own natal horoscope so that one can follow the star crossings with the mind’s eye.

So, picture your natal mandala (birth chart) and plop the transiting Sun into that area of your chart that is described by Leo. Wherever that is, it is this area of life that will be under the spotlight when the Sun is transiting Leo. Even if you have no formal training in astrology, you can begin to track external events and then go back to the diagram and see if anything makes sense. This is called the ‘observation and co-relation’ method of learning, experiential learning.

The horoscope can be divided into 4 quadrants, two below the central dividing line (ascendant/descendant) and two above. Even just noting which one of these 4 quadrants is being ‘lit up’ can be very revealing. Remember, wherever the Sun is transiting in your personal horoscope as it moves through the Zodiac sign of Leo is where your psyche reflects the properties of Leo. This is the area of life that you may approach in a Leo-like way. Or, that part of your life may have aspects of the Leo energy woven into it.

So, when the transiting Sun is moving through the lower left hand quadrant of YOUR chart, you might be feeling somewhat preoccupied with your own personal concerns. Your sense of self-worth may be of paramount or at least increased importance. During these transits you may be thinking about what you really want to do with yourself, what holds true value for you, what you have on your mind and just exactly how to express it so that you are properly understood. If you have Leo in this area, you could well be an imaginative and creative thinker, get ‘big’ ideas, be a dramatic communicator. The Sun’s transit of this area could trigger ideas that you can explore or develop.

If Leo is present in the second quadrant, your focus may turn to family issues, love, romance and fun, or how to energize your own work life. Having Leo energy in this area of the psyche suggests an individual who has a flair for family life or is an artist or works in a creative field. This could be an individual who loves intensely, has a desire to express herself on a creative level and approaches her work with zest and panache. All of these sorts of concerns, then, would take center stage at this transit time.

When the Sun is transiting the 3rd quadrant, the focus turns outward. Relationships take on more importance or things begin to happen in the relationship life. You may find yourself dealing with issues of power, control, even life and death or taxes. This could be a good time to sign up for a course that you have wanted to take for a while or just buy a book on an esoteric subject. You might suddenly find yourself dreaming about distant places.

Finally, when the Sun lights up the 4th quadrant of the mandala, you are ready to rock! You may feel the need to be seen, noticed, talked about upon. You could find yourself getting more involved in social issues, community work, or even just partying. On a more spiritual level, you may find that you have the urge to more completely align your outer self with your inner set of values. At some point, when the Sun transits this sector, most everyone needs to take a breath or two. Track yourself. Monitor your body rhythms. Pay attention!

Leo is the energy of expression, joy, creativity in both physical and emotional ways and more subtly, the need for recognition; the need for affirmation, approval and ultimately, the urge to both draw love and express love. The absolutely first step into Leo is the plunge into SELF-LOVE. If we are not able to wholeheartedly love ME, it is, indeed, impossible to draw the kind of love from others that we need so that we can feed our soul.

There is incredible joy in discovering the ‘Leo’ part of your psyche. Go on a journey of search and discovery and see if you can locate your little Leo self. And then, plunge in and just revel in the sheer joy of being.

Following is a snapshot of what its like to have Leo occupy the 12 houses. (In no way complete or ultimately definitive.)

HOUSE 1—creative action

HOUSE 2—an exquisite sense of correctness

HOUSE 3—dramatic communications

HOUSE 4—familial love

HOUSE 5—self-expression

HOUSE 6—personal commitment to service

HOUSE 7—a personal touch with others

HOUSE 8—fearless exploration of the mystery

HOUSE 9—an appetite for the unknown

HOUSE 10—a flair for leadership

HOUSE 11—love for the ideal and the community of choice

HOUSE 12—inspired dreaming/magnificent meditating

 

Thought For the Month

I am the fullest expression
of love that I can be.

Let me shine my light
upon everyone
I greet

Blessed be the joyful
for they will fill the earth with
laughter.

Poem

i laugh and laugh
into the face
of the goddess
she plays me
she tempts me
she loves me
long
and long
and i curl into her
bosom
where i am warm
and safe
and surrounded
by her Sun

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Cancer: The Great Embrace

by christina rai

Related imageSummer Solstice, and the beginning of the Zodiac energy—Cancer—is a time of the ‘great light’ here in the northern hemisphere. This is the ‘Full Moon’ point of the yearly cycle. At Winter Solstice, we were at the point of ‘least light’, with the days short and the nights long. This point can be co-related to the New Moon. If you go outside at New Moon and look into the sky, you will see stars but no trace of Luna. It appears that the sky is moonless! New Moon time is the seeding time, a time of gestation, womblike, mysterious and fertile. On the other hand, Full Moon is a time of revelation, fruition and manifestation. This is a natural cycle of becoming and does not alter in its flow. First we are born—the seeding and birth, the beginning. Then begins the unfolding, the growth. And then comes that point of full manifestation where much, if not all of the potential of that original seed is revealed. The Moon’s ongoing immutable cycle in the celestial sphere is a mirror of this organic process of which we are all a part. This serves as a reminder to us to pay attention to the natural cycles and meditate on what they can teach us.

In the northern hemisphere, winter drives most of us inward. We slow down and even, for some, hibernate, metaphorically speaking. This meditative state can facilitate the birth of new projects, new mind sets, new protocols. After the gestation period, we start to implement until finally, we see the results of all of our dreaming and activity. So, if you follow the flow of energy mindfully, you can take a moment now, as we approach the Summer Solstice, and review for yourself, how you have worked with your own cycle of growth. Did you set any specific goals at the Winter Solstice? (New Year’s resolutions could substitute for this purpose.) How have those goals or resolutions formed so far? Are there aspects of your own unfolding reality that need adjustment and refinement? If you are a journal keeper, you can look back at your December and January entries and note how you have evolved over the months following, how initial ideas have changed, how your perspective of situations has shifted. Summer Solstice is a good time to make some evaluations and necessary adjustments!

And, as the Sun enters Cancer the natural cycle shifts into waning of light. The days will begin to shorten and slowly we will move into the dark. But, at that point of 0* Cancer, we still have glorious sun filled days. We are bathed in the light and warmth of summer.

Cancer is one of the Water signs, flowing, emotional and sensitive. It is also a cardinal energy, keyed to movement, relatively swift in its reactions and attuned to growth. The element of Water is usually associated with the emotional body and Cancer does indeed correlate to the breast area of the physical body as well as the stomach. The breasts are the outer layer of the heart area, suggesting a connection here with love and nurturing. The stomach, of course, is critical to our well-being, since we need nourishment in order to live and Cancer is the nourisher. In fact, it is ‘the gut’ that often serves as a danger signal on a variety of levels. Instinct helps us to stay safe. Stomach aches often indicate a need to adjust ourselves physically. It is no accident that in this day and age of stress and trauma that there are so many ‘cleanses’ that address stomach and gut problems.

The celestial object associated with Cancer is the Moon. Constantly shifting above us in the sky, the Moon is the least constant heavenly body except for, perhaps, the comets and meteors. At any given moment, we can look up and see a transforming Moon, first a little sliver, then a delicate crescent, then a whole half pie, then a humped back old woman, reversed, and finally, the full fat globe that rivals the sun—sort of…☺ The Moon’s changeable nature lends insight into something important about Cancer. This is an energy that is constantly flowing from form to form. On an ego level, this could manifest as a certain moodiness, a restlessness that could externalize as irritation. If you have an accentuated Cancer energy in your psyche, you must honour your very real need to follow your feeling nature and if you feel grumpy, it might be that you just need some down time to unwind and re-integrate. Or, check in with yourself—when was the last time you ate? Blood sugar, don’t you know! Experientially, Cancer types are absorbent, like a sponge and as a result, must take the time to sort through the wide array of emotions that they take in through their skin. Once this is understood, both by the Cancer types and their loved  ones, life gets much easier to bear. The old scripture that tells us about there being a “season for everything under the sun” is particularly true about the Cancerian experiential process. Laughter is often followed by tears and sorrow leads to peace.

Cancer is found in the 4th house of the natural wheel of the Zodiac. This 4th house is all about the deep things of the personal, where we come from; where we are, in theory, most comfortable or, at the very least, where we better come to some sort of terms of agreement; our deepest emotions and our impulse to nest, to build home and family; to be ultimately who we truly are. It is the ego in search of its roots. No wonder that Cancer is attuned to caregiving and nurturing. One of the archetypes that comes to mind when talking about this energy is The Mother. Of course, just what kind of a mother springs forth from the Cancer soul is quite another matter. We can witness the inspirational mother, the loving mother, the mother as teacher, the ultimate nurturer mother, the mother as friend, the critical mother, the ineffective mother, the forgiving mother, the controlling mother, the absent-minded mother, the oppressive mother, the mother as manager, the detached mother, the monster mother, and so forth. The maternal demonstration is entirely dependent on other factors in the natal structure! However, with mindfulness and intention, the strongly cancer type can find her way into the arms of the ‘Model Mother’ who nurtures just enough to give support without eating her young one up or infusing the fear of failure into that young one!

The symbol for Cancer is The Crab. Here is the little creature who, basically, carries his house around with him. Think about this for a moment. What is a home, really? Is it a place or is it a feeling? For Cancer, it is the feeling of Home that is of paramount importance, thus the image of the little crab, trucking around all that is familiar and secure wherever he goes. And, as long as there is a sense of security, then the Cancer type can really step out and shine. It is only when she does not feel safe that she recedes into her ‘shell’ to hide away from the world.

The Cancer Lover is caring, kind and full of warmth—when she loves you! But watch out if you break her heart. She just might make a few nips at you with her claws. The forgiving side of Cancer, the soft side gives way, under stress, to ultimate pay back. Attack her in her security or her comfort zone and she will muster all of her resources to withstand you and bring you down.

The shadow side of Cancer is moodiness. Ruled by the Moon, that changeable trollop who loathes to spend too long in any one energy, Cancer types must monitor all of their body systems, from the physical to the emotional, to the mental and the spiritual. The strategy to deal with that changeable temperament, that tendency to fall deeply into the ‘dumps’, is to be strict about routines that build you up, habitual rituals that provide you with structure. Remember, Cancer is a water sign. Water flows and changes and is difficult to contain unless that container is rigid, not porous, fixed. With good support systems in place, cancer can moderate the changeable nature of its cycle and diminish any tendencies to fall into funks. If you have a prominent Cancerian signature—personals in this energy, angles in this energy—find something that you can nurture. If you can express that inner need to ‘take care of’ then you will be less focused on any lack in your life that may cause you to get depressed.

The Partner sign to Cancer is Capricorn. Winter solstice occurs when the Sun moves into Capricorn, exactly 6 months after Summer Solstice. Where Cancer is soft and emotional, Capricorn is all business. Where Cancer can typify the feminine side of parental care, Capricorn is the disciplinarian, the task master. While we recede into the security of our own space in Cancer, we face the external world in Capricorn and carve out a place for ourselves in society under the auspices of that energy! Together, working in harmony, we see a complete picture of the self, both private and public, in here and out there. Cancer is, as I mentioned, a water sign. Capricorn is an earth sign. When you mix water and earth, you get mud which, with some expertise, can be made into bricks and bricks, after all, are what make up a building, a home, a structure to be safe in and for all the world to see. What a fitting metaphor for the energy of Cancer/Capricorn!

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Gemini: An Elegance of Mind

by christina rai

 

As the Sun apparently moves through that part of the heavens that we can see with our physical eyes, students of astrology can locate the zodiac sign through which it is ‘transiting’ (seemingly moving). So, at various times of the year, we can say, “Oh, the Sun is moving through Aries, or Taurus or, as in the case of this commentary, Gemini…” May 21 ish-June 20 ish.

Of course, the Sun does not move around the Earth; rather, the Earth and other planets revolve around the Sun, creating a Solar System which itself marks an orbital path, but this time on a much larger scale, around the galactic center. This galactic center is merely the heart of one of many such systems that comprise the universe. Yes, we live in a physical reality that seems, to us mere mortals, to be an infinite place of unending possibilities. It is up to us to perceive this potential and then to explore the possibilities and turn them into probabilities and realities as and how we are able to.

For our simple human purposes, we can happily spend a whole lifetime just focusing on the here and now of this Solar System and our place in it. Maybe one day, we will once again be able to call ourselves true citizens of the universe or even whatever lies beyond what we designate the universe to be, but for now, the solar system feels big enough for search and exploration. The signs that make up what we call the Zodiac, are representative of what we see from our vantage point on Gaia. Over many centuries of observation, our foremothers came to designate the twelve signs that we can recognize by name teo8uws. Myths grew out of an experiential process and attached themselves to individual ‘signs’ and these myths gave insight into the nature of the energy of a given zodiac sign. We are, after all, the sum of our stories. Observers co-related celestial events to events on earth, further fleshing out our understanding of the various signs and planets. Everyone has heard of the heightened emotions that can manifest at the time of the Full Moon. This is merely one example of how observation and co-relation works. We experience something specific and even measurable, we pause and take note of our environment and over time we observe a certain consistency between what we experience and the environment that exists at the time of that particular experience. Thus, using the example of the Full Moon, centuries of data supports the idea that when the Moon is at this point in its cycle, there appears to be an increase of emotional charge in the minds and hearts of collective humanity here on Earth. As an Evolutionary Astrologer, I understand that this is the ‘mirroring’ effect described centuries ago in the expression, “as above, so below”. We are all a part of a unified field; a reality that is interconnected and interdependent. Nothing stands alone in this web of existence. As we turn our eyes to the sky, we are looking into a reflection of ourselves. Whatever we observe in the heavens above is merely a concrete representation of what is at work within our singular body systems. How simple! How complex!

And now, back to the light and lovely energy that we call Gemini! As I have mentioned in the commentaries on Aries & Taurus, the flow of energy follows an unchangeable pattern, moving from Fire, into Earth, and then on through Air. Gemini is the Air sign that comes after Taurus. The impulse that was born in Aries, and began to take form and consolidate in Taurus, now is ready to take flight and conceptualize in Gemini. This is the stage where that forming impulse begins to be intellectualized, verbalized, communicated and through the dialogue involved, adjusted. If we do not understand what we are creating, it will never come to a full fruition, no matter the scope of the energy or the shape of its form. We exist to interact for the most part, to share and to exchange with each other. For most humans, community is a centralizing force for the developing self. It is through networking that we expand ourselves, adapt ourselves and stretch beyond whatever limitations we may think that we have. Dialogue, at its most productive level, sheds light on otherwise foggy thinking. Who has not had the experience of suddenly having that ‘aha’ moment of understanding because of a comment that someone else makes? Through posing the question, through expressing doubt we find our way into knowledge and eventually, maybe, even faith. This is Gemini.

It is the mind that seeks understanding of whatever is taking form. It is through the intellectual process that we begin to formulate the parameters of our world. Gemini is that energy that reflects the thirsty mind.

This is a mutable energy indicating fluidity and malleability. It can bend itself into whatever shape is available to it and it is exactly through this process that it actually seeks its own form. The planet associated with Gemini is Mercury, designated in myth to be ‘the messenger’. Again, just this little piece of data increases our understanding of this energy. Messengers carry information. Information can greatly illuminate and enhance and even change perception. The more pieces of information that we get and integrate, the greater our fundamental understanding of whatever it is that we are exploring.

Gemini is the energy of investigation and it has a hunger for unending bits and pieces of data. No one conclusion satisfies the Gemini need to expand its perceptions. Sometimes designated as being curious, the real motivation for this curiosity is not merely growth but metamorphosis. As the Gemini persona explores, investigates, samples, tastes and discards, the very nature of its reality organically changes. Think of a butterfly that has a garden of delights to explore. There is a beauty and elegance in the intricacies of the butterfly’s flight from flower to flower. There is no partiality. Each flower is, in itself, beautiful, not lesser than or greater than any other flower. In Nature, the butterfly is one of the most delicate and adored of creatures. We never denigrate the butterfly’s need to flit from bloom to bloom. Rather, we revel in watching its progress as it samples the nectar of every blossom it can. So, if you have someone in your life with a focus of Gemini in their psyche, support their desire to embrace a multitude of experiences, honour their need to move into change and shift on every level. Keep in mind that they are acting from a deep inner need to move beyond all limitations and restrictions.

Astrologically, we understand that all energy is connected in some manner. One of the primary connections within the wheel of the zodiac is the polarity relationship defined by the 180* aspect. To understand any of the 12 energies, we must also integrate the nature of whatever energy stands across from it within the wheel. Gemini’s partner is Sagittarius. Just as Gemini has the need to search and explore in what may appear to be a random manner, when we dig into Sag, we see this very same impulse at work. But in Sag, there is a certainty as opposed to the ambivalence and skepticism of Gemini. And the balance between certainty and skepticism lies in a goodly amount of challenge and questioning.

“You can be certain of what you think you know, Sag,” says Gemini, “but I intend to keep on looking!”

So, the faith of Sag is balanced by the doubt of Gemini. It is doubt that propels the soul to seek the truth and to find the faith and so the circle is completed over and over again. And really, what is life without the adventure of the quest that we see woven into the fabric of both of these energies. Essentially, there is no destination, only a never ending journey of discovery which, on the one hand reinforces (Sag) and on the other, creates further questions (Gemini). Remember, without doubt, there can never be an experience of inner faith. It is the question that finds an answer. If we never question, we will never find.

Reactively, Gemini must mind its physical house. A very real consequence of not doing so could be nervous exhaustion. This is a highly charged energy and the electrical body can run fast and furious. People with a lot of this energy in their psyches, absolutely must drink lots of water, integrate regular exercise into their daily routine and preferably something that involves the feet and hands moving. Mostly, (and this is a general statement), Gemini is kinetic energy that constantly builds upon its own movement.

Another reactive manifestation of this energy could be a lack of focus resulting in unfinished projects and incomplete undertakings. Gemini has to develop protocols for itself that keep it engaged and interested. A simple technique to address this could be just keeping all projects short term. This is the sprinter, not the long distance runner! And really, who says that a 5 year project is somehow better than a 2 month project? For Gemini, it is the short term project that can keep it interested and fully engaged. Multi-tasking can also facilitate engagement. For a Gemini persona, it is absolutely appropriate to have several intricate and complex activities on the go at the same time. Thus, as soon as the boredom starts to nibble at the corners of the mind, off you go to another project! Because Gemini has such a nimble intellect, it can hold a multitude of concepts in its mind at the same time, jumping from one to another easily and happily. In fact, creativity is enhanced in this way. As an example, let’s say the Gemini soul is a writer. It would be appropriate to have several stories on the go, a variety of research projects on the side. While paying attention to one, ideas for the other can be left to percolate happily in another part of the mind. Suddenly, the outline comes through, full blown and ready to be written!

The Gemini Lover is an adept. Quick and nimble in her responses. Technique is constantly sought and explored so that being loved by a Gemini Lover can be a VERY satisfying experience. Lots of tricks up her sleeve to keep you totally engaged. Just don’t expect a marathon of love-making. Remember, this is the sprinter. Reactively, Gemini can get lost in her own mind while in the midst of the intimate moment. Detachment can take over and finally, if she gets bored with you, she just might spend most of her time in fantasy where the titillation is at its max. But if you like phone sex, this is your partner in crime. No touching to drive you crazy!

Everyone has this energy wired into their psyches somewhere. Even if you have no planets located in this energy, it will be found in one of the ‘houses’ of the horoscope. It will colour that part of your life and overlay it with a mental energy, a connective energy, possibly even a somewhat nervous energy. Intuitively, you can review your own reality and try to determine when the intellect likes to take over. Do you like to analyze your relationships? (7th house) Is conversation critical to connection for you? (8th house) Do you want others to see you as a mentally adroit person? (10th house) Do you have so many friends and associates that their names fill up several notebooks? (11th house) What are your nerves like? (6th house) Are you a prolific dreamer? (12th house) These are just some of the questions that, if answered in the affirmative, could indicate that Gemini energy is wired into that part of your persona.

At the highest level, this is an energy of elegance, adroit and fluid, kinetic and carefree. If you have a focus of this energy in your psyche, embrace your butterfly self, dance through the garden of life sampling the beautiful blooms therein. You have come to this plane to grow your perceptions, to open the doors of your reality into realms yet unexplored. Drink up and enjoy, thirsty soul! If you have Gemini prominently situated in your psyche, we are so glad you are here with us! You make us laugh, you keep us engaged, you challenge us with your endless questions and we love your wit!

Winter Solstice 2016

by christina rai

 

The Winter Solstice is one of the most magical times of the ‘wheel of the year’. This is when the Sun is reborn and the earth begins to turn her frosty (for us Northern Hemispherians) face towards him. From now on, the days will get just a little bit longer and the light a little bit stronger. Yay!

It is always useful to take some moments and reflect on all that has transpired since the last Winter Solstice. These Cardinal Ingresses are much more coherent with a ‘New Year’ than the calendar date of January 1.  However, the Capricorn Ingress is so close to the calendar date that the mundane world uses that we can just elongate our reflective demeanour all the way into January.

So, at 4:44 am on December 21, here in the central time zone, we shake off the last few fiery impulses of Sagittarius and enter into the steady and secure energy of Capricorn. I know, it doesn’t feel all that secure or steady. In fact, with Pluto currently transiting Capricorn, any steadiness is being shaken, as we are all witnessing in the chaotic events of these past few years. Nevertheless, evolution involves a measure of random destruction. Whatever is no longer useful or applicable must be done away with. Not everyone will be on line with that and sometimes, it may not even look like that is what is going on. Trust the process. Though it may be incomprehensible from this point of view, there is a method in the madness. So, just set your egoic fears to one side and try to see the big picture. To come up with a new world order, an old world order must be eradicated. Remember, we are merely at the beginning of the process. Most surgery, at the start, can be a scary.

So, what to do on an individual level at this most magical, most mysterious time of the year? The Sabian Symbol for 1*Capricorn is AN INDIAN CHIEF DEMANDING RECOGNITION. I will restrain myself and not co-relate it to the literal world—smile.  Rather, let’s find that inner personal place of authority and use it in this coming year. What have you learned? What do you know to be true? Have your values changed, grown, shrunk, whatever? These are useful questions to ponder because what we are is the sum total of all that we have experienced. Have your experiences opened your heart and mind or have they shut it down?

The light of the Capricornian Sun is fully focused on the 2nd house of value. We should all examine what means the most to us and then adjust our actions to reflect those values. The Moon sits lightly in the sweet sign of Libra but challenging the Sun to use his authority wisely, Moon square Sun, waning. Where Capricorn rules with an iron fist, Libra likes to put a velvet glove on it. Kindness and love, peace and grace are the keywords of this energy. Let’s all dare ourselves to be that much kinder, that much nicer, that much sweeter than we were before. Yes, we must be strong but we must also be soft.

Two things to consider. Mercury shifted retrograde on Monday and will move all the way back into Sag before he is done. Back up your computers. Walk carefully on ice. Slow down and don’t be in a hurry to rush into anything. A Capricorn retrograde can be much less irritating than a Sag one so enjoy the slow down until January 4 and then be cautious until we get out of the shadow of the retrograde on January 27, 2017.

Also, the nodes are stationary retrograde after turning direct for a couple of days. These nodal stationary periods are wonderful for re-adjusting inwardly. It’s sort of like taking 5 good deep belly breaths and letting all the toxins out. Increase your journalling time, writers! Sketch out a few potential projects, painters! Sort through your art supplies, crafters! Get ready for what is to come.

So, take a moment this Wednesday and set some intentions for yourself. Who do you want to be this coming year? If you can’t come up with a coherent response, then give some thought over the course of the day and when you have a quiet moment, see if you can articulate a plan of action. If you can’t, never mind. The alternative course of action is to just move lightly through the next few weeks and let your feet find their pathway.

 

Happy solstice to all and to all a good night!

Organically Yours, Love Taurus…

by christina rai

 

Each of the individual 12 signs coincides, not with a particular month of the year, but rather, a particular time of the year. As we consider where each sign falls, we get some insight into the workings of the energy described. Even if you know nothing about astrology, just working with this little piece of information can give you much insight into the different energies of the zodiac. Traditionally, Aries is designated as being the ‘first’ sign of the zodiac. This makes sense from an organic viewpoint since Aries coincides with Spring, in the Northern Hemisphere, when the Earth ‘wakes up’ after the slumber of winter. Aries is a Fire energy and again, this is evocative of warmth, activity and awakening. Astrologically, Fire co-relates to Spirit and everything is born at this level—the spiritual level of being.

After Fire comes Earth. How fitting! The inspiration that is born from the fire of spirit now finds form, flows into a vessel that can receive it, is grounded and concretized. The second sign of the zodiac, after Aries, is Taurus, a fixed earth energy. In Taurus we meet the organic process and get to know our selves as physical beings. Fittingly, Taurus falls across the months of April and May, when, in the northern hemisphere, the ignition process that began at Equinox is now coming into ‘bloom’. The trees are leafing, the grass is greening, robins return to find the worms which have moved up to the surface of the ground and we, the humans, can finally take our winter jackets off and feel the heat of the Sun on our skin. Ah, vitamin D…at last!

Taurus, then, is representative of the organic part of the spiral of life. Sexy, sensual and receptive, Taurus loves the simple process of just ‘being’. In Taurus we celebrate all things physical and revel in the literal 5 senses that flesh out our world. Taurus loves the vista of the landscape, taking delight in the organic environment. Aromatic surroundings are a must. Harmonious and pleasing melodies soothe the Taurus soul. And no wonder since Taurus co-relates to the throat chakra. Slipping into luxurious fabrics, warm, watery rivers and lakes or just simply lying naked in the sun are all aspects of the Taurus need to feel good. Flavours that entice the tongue and burst onto the taste buds are what Taurus prefers. Never mind the spartan and austere. Bring on the abundance and glory of the organic. Revel in the joy of being physical and all that comes along with it.

Whenever I work with the Tarot, and I draw The Empress, I think of Taurus. I am reminded that I am physical and that I must pay attention to my organic self. I understand that to work with my creative energy, I need to find a place of balance in my physical self. I need my physical energy if I am to do the work of a creative being—whatever forms that creativity takes, whether artistic, crafty or even within the realm of what we sometimes regard as the mundane, ordinary daily routines that we all must do. When you prepare food with creative energy, it always tastes better than if you prepare it ‘in absentia’. This is the Taurus part of the psyche, the love that is the basis of all creative flow. If we fall in love with what we are doing, and desire to infuse it with feeling and the texture and depth of emotion, we are much more likely to produce something that will be well received by others. Taurus energy, then, is very much connected to that need that we all have to connect to something beautiful, something rich and lovely, something full and ripe and which gives pleasure, contentment and eases the spirit. How many of us have not relaxed to the sounds of a favourite piece of music, sipping some aromatic beverage, nibbling on some satisfying snack, wrapped in a comfy blankie in a soft chair or bed with the light of a glowing candle around us, after a challenging day of activity? Everyone, probably…

People who have a focus of Taurus energy in their psyches are the lovers of the zodiac. Often calm, quiet and comfortable, they can be the rocks that everyone turns to in times of trouble. Taurus intuitively understands that everything is cyclical. Taurus knows that the underlying principle that governs life is that there is a pattern to organic flow, that life is a spiral with no real ending.

This is probably the main thing to understand when exploring Taurus; that there is a place for the organic, the physical. In Taurus we face our physical selves, the container for that energy of spirit that finds its home therein.

At a core level, in Taurus, we confront ourselves in the expression of our values and the concretization of these values in the context of desires. We seek that which we value and esteem. It is of great importance to be clear about the nature and structure of our values. How does our value system translate into the concrete? How do we organically process that which we hold at our core level? Does the construct of our life reflect our inner values? These are the issues that we are dealing with in Taurus.

Taurus occupies the second house of the natural wheel and the ruler of Taurus is Venus. If there is a focus of energy in the second house of a person’s natal horoscope or in the energy of Taurus, then the keywords, worth or value hold a prominent place in that psyche. Such a person will naturally be concerned with all levels of this thing called resource, from the material all the way to the conceptual. For such a person, it is vital that she ‘concretize’ what is meaningful to her.

The symbol for Taurus is The Bull, signifying unmovable strength or power, fertility and regeneration, that connection to the organic. Sometimes Taurus is dubbed as being stubborn but in reality, it is the energy of constancy that the Bull represents though, if the ego self does not consciously manage this powerful and forceful presence of mind, it can be mistaken for intransigence. But if you have ever seen a bull at full bore, bearing down on its target, you will see that this energy can move if needed. The key, for strongly Taurus types, is to channel their intrinsic forcefulness into just cause based on lofty values. This then is the appropriate use of power and might.

The planet, Venus, is the second planet of the solar system, Earth’s sister star. She has the most beautiful cyclical pattern which, when tracked over an 8 year span, creates a perfect pentagram or five pointed star in the circle of the zodiac. Ancient star-gazers decoded this beautiful pattern millennia ago and this was probably the root reason for the magical and mystical associations that this symbol has. I associate this pattern with the creative impulse since desire and the need to express in concrete terms something of our inner values is what triggers creativity on every level, whether the purely physical, procreativity, or something more ethereal like the birth of art, thinking and so forth.

A very easy ritual to include in your life is to commemorate your 8 year Venus Return cycle. Even if you do not know where your Venus is placed astrologically, you know that at every 8 year point in your life journey, 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, 56, 64, 72, 80, 88, 96, 104 (I am being proactively optimistic here), you can do a reboot in relation to your value system, your desire patterns, and even your organic self. Make a vision board for what you want the next 8 years to look like. Where would you like to be at the end of those 8 years? What do you want to look like? What do you want your life to be structured around? Who do you want to love? Be specific. 8 years is just long enough without being too out of sight. Most of us can just about imagine 8 years forward, right? It is this kind of mindfulness that ultimately contributes to a satisfying and contented existence—two very strongly Taurus words!

Finally, just a word about Taurus’ partner sign. Sitting across from The Bull is the shape-shifting magical and mysterious Scorpion/Snake/Dove/Eagle/Phoenix—Scorpio. Together, these energies balance out to represent all that we hold and all that we release, all that is known and material and all that is hidden and non-material. It is the juxtaposition of the LIGHT and the DARK, the dance of birth and death. Together, they find completion in each other and create order out of chaos. We humans need to understand our world in terms of balance, harmony and duality.

Taurus, then, teaches us to accept, to receive, to luxuriate and to be content. Wherever it is found in YOUR psyche, is where you want to get real, get down. It is strong, silent and sublime and honestly, we love Taurus. How can we not?

The Aries Imperative

by christina rai

 

The Zodiac sign of Aries aligns with the Spring Equinox. First, let me just say that the Spring Equinox is one of the 4 major gateways or significant angles of the ‘wheel of the year’. This moment in time is marked the equality of light and dark. From this point onward, the days will be getting longer until we get to Summer Solstice when, in some places on this globe, there is no night at all! Because of this, the zodiac sign of Aries is associated with birth, beginning and fresh starts—a new cycle or even, new year.

Aries is a cardinal fire sign, full of verve and buoyancy. It is part of the family that includes Leo and Sagittarius elementally and Cancer, Libra and Capricorn, modally. Fire is the element that is linked to spirit, creativity and inspiration while the cardinal modality is thrusting, forward moving, assertive and initiating. Some other key words (a great way to begin a study of astrology) that describe this perky little energy are enthusiastic, adventurous, enterprising, forceful, fast, abrupt, impulsive. It is the energy of action, not consideration. For those of you with prominent Aries in your psyches, it is important to keep moving, to always find things that engage your interest and to satisfy that deep need for exploration, innovation and individuality, that IMPULSE towards the ever shifting horizon.

Aries is often associated with the idea of ‘rugged individualism’. This lends some insight into basic needs for the Aries type persona. This type needs to be challenged, needs to feel a sense of accomplishment and essentially needs to win, and all the while, doing it HER way! If there is a flavour of combativeness, it is more about the thrill of the battle, the rush of the face-off rather than anything personal. There is no viciousness in the Aries need to prevail, just the sheer joy of engagement and victory.

In the ‘natural wheel’ of the zodiac, Aries is associated with the 1 st house of self, exploration and initiation. This helps us to understand that the seemingly self-centered Aries persona is only acting according to the impulse to explore and experience herself. And there it is; the key to truly understanding the Aries types in your life. Their world resonates to EXPERIENCE. They thrive on being ‘in the thick of it’. If they happen to shove you to the side in their haste to get to the action, it isn’t about you, it’s about them!

Sharp, quick and always to the point, this type can be incredibly agile mentally. If you decide to debate them, get your track shoes ready since they will be several points ahead and leave you in the dust if you don’t keep up with their mental acrobatics. Not always entirely logical, but always incredibly inventive!

The archetype of the frontier cowboy is a good image for the Aries spirit; ready, willing and able to rough it, if needed. Able to live the solitary life, if necessary and incredibly resourceful about getting basic needs met even under trying circumstances. The mountaineer tackling the near impossible climb is another image that references Aries energy. Courage, an intrepid attitude and nerve take her to the top of the mountain. Even at the summit, Aries is already imagining the next climb rather than savouring the moment.

Reactively, this energy can get into trouble since the desire to get going sometimes eclipses the need to plan. However, the fighting spirit of this little warrior is so prominent that winging it is never seen as a problem for these types.

The symbol associated with Aries is the Ram. Representing the ability to but his way through any impasse, we begin to understand the forcefulness that is associated with the energy. When exploring animal energies, we find that force is one of the main qualities of the Ram, along with curiosity, an adventurous spirit and a keen sense of balance. Imagine the ram with his beautiful curled horns picking his way through narrow passageways with grace and lightness. He is free to be just who he is, able to navigate even the most challenging of landscapes. This is Aries, the hero, ever seeking a new frontier!

Of course, Ares was the Greek god of war and many of the myths that come from this source also shed light on the impulse and impetuous nature of the Aries type. Let us remember that in ancient times WAR was regarded as an honourable business.

Sometimes it is difficult to actually understand this since we are children of a different time and today war is only a business and more and more seen as not honourable. But, there was a time in history when this was not the case for the people who lived through that time. The astrological age that preceded the age of Pisces was the Age of Aries. During that 2000 year period which began some 2 millennia before the birth of Christ, societies were built around the process of expansion through conquest. Civilizations rose and fell by the sword. A King or Emperor retained his power through the use of FORCE (Aries quality) and COURAGE (Aries quality) as he marched forward gathering new lands and peoples into his realm. The stalwart and courageous ram energy bred warriors who were lusty in battle and not afraid to stand up boldly for their cause, loyal to a fault. Today, this translates into the crusader types who have no fear in the face of gross injustice, who will battle for a cause, often taking the lead boldly when others may shirk away from commitment. The zesty, strong and sure heart of the Aries type is well suited to the championing of right in the face of opposition!

There is an immediacy in everything that the Aries type does whether in terms of function and all the way into issues of the heart. There is a need for a clear and decisive demonstration of affections and an impatience if confronted by reticence or uncertainty by the other. If you have a strongly Aries type in your life, give them what they seek, emotionally and do it yesterday, please! The Aries type is demanding as a sexual partner but don’t worry, the demands won’t last all that long! Their needs are intense but rather quickly filled so love-making will be hot but never tedious. Mostly they will want to get right down to it and finish with a volcanic and joyous blast. While you are still lying exhausted in a daze, they will be up and in the shower, ready to get going—come on, come on….

The partner sign to Aries is Libra and this, above all other things gives us the deepest insight into the Aries nature. According to the law of polarity, that which stands opposite us is the very thing that we must integrate into our awareness so that we may become whole. While Aries typifies the self, alone and sovereign, Libra teaches us about partnership, considered compromise and balance. Aries, then, must discover a way to be singular but connected to community, to stand alone but be willing to receive support, to celebrate the sound of their solo song while knowing full well that harmony can enhance any melody. The journey of Aries is the journey into interdependence without any forfeit of individuality.

The Planet associated with Aries is Mars and again, when we reference mythology, this time Roman, we find the stories of the mighty warrior. In the psyche, the Mars placement, that is, the sign of the zodiac and the house of the horoscope where that sign is found, co-relates to one’s passion, and the ability to act on the DESIRE that burns within. It is through the Mars principle of the persona that we take action. This is also the planet that was once associated with the zodiac sign of Scorpio and though there are dissimilarities between the two energies, there is also an underlying ‘recognition’ when the Aries type encounters the Scorpio type. In modern times, Pluto was designated to be the ‘ruler’ of Scorpio and here’s an interesting thing…In Evolutionary Astrology, Pluto is representative of the soul—something that is, by and large, inaccessible to most individuals, a deeply unconscious element within the functioning personality. Mars is associated with the mechanisms that we use to implement the ‘soul purpose’ in any given lifetime, and these are impulses that we can more consciously explore and understand. So, though dissimilar in many ways, there is a simpatico between Aries and Scorpio and with some adjustments, there can be a reasonable working relationship between them.

How fitting it is that the Spring, with all of its hope and rekindled joy is linked to Aries, an energy that is above all things, full of promise and filled with light. Remember, EVERYONE has this energy somewhere in their psyches. We, each one of us, contain within ourselves all of the energies of the ‘wheel of life’ as represented by the Zodiac. If you are born with the Sun in Aries, you know that this lively and courageous energy fuels your every action. However, you may have your intellectual body running on this fuel—Mercury, or your emotional body—the Moon, and for that matter any one of the planets that make up the ‘map’ of your unique character. For a more personal investigation into how Aries factors in your life, find a competent and sympathetic astrologer who is sensitive to YOUR needs and get a personal session set up!!!