Don’t Know

Our personal selves are changing every second of every day – our minds and our bodies. So are the other beings around us. Our culture changes. Conflicts between nations flare up and calm back down. Science makes new discoveries and questions old theories. Babies grow into children and then adults. The seasons come and go. The moon makes its monthly cycle and the sun its daily cycle – marking the passage of what we name time.

Do you see, we have the evidence of and model for change and transformation all around us and in us.

To me transformation means turning fear, aggression, doubt, insecurity, hatred and emptiness into their opposites. I think we are all on the journey to do just that – some more consciously than others. Somewhere deep inside we all crave meaning in our lives and the answers to life’s big mysteries – what is love, what happens at death, exactly what is god or the mysterious energy that seems to permeate all. We are all sort of looking for the hidden dimensions of life.

Its’ funny – seems the more we know as a people the stronger we crave knowledge. People from ages past could well have had far more understanding than we do today. Maybe we are on a quest to rediscover or remember? I wonder what? It’s as though something unknown wants to be known. How exciting!

Many ancient wisdom teachings tell us the path to transformation is not through our minds – not through thinking. It is through the heart – through softness, spaciousness, gentleness, compassion.

Some of the most powerful words are don’t know. What can your thinking mind do with don’t know? It allows space. Relaxation. No trying. Your mind may even relinquish the illusion of control – at least for a little while.

In the peace of don’t know you may find a path to great change and transformation.

Namaste.

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Codependency

“The next time someone upsets you, think, ‘Thanks for pointing out that I’ve begun depending on you. Time I lose the expectations.’” – Mike Dooley, The Universe

Codependency – when you are angry at the other person for not living your life the way you want them to. In any relationship, and especially in committed, intimate relationships we have expectations of the other person. Nothing wrong with that – to a point. Hopefully, we share values and see the world in a similar way as a basis for the relationship in the first place. Our souls may connect in a deep way and we help each other grow. Where we can get into trouble is when we need the other to take care of us, to help us feel safe in the world or to complete us in some way.

A good way for you to tell when you have crossed the line from growing together to dependency, is when you seem to constantly feel anger, agitation, unease, disappoint and upset at the other person. That’s when it’s time to examine your own inner being. No relationship can thrive based on need. Want and need – two totally different feelings. Is the other person in your life because you want them or because you believe at some level you need them?

Our emotional needs are symptoms of our feelings of inadequacy, not being good enough, fears of abandonment, powerlessness, and many others resulting from our life experiences in the womb, childhood and throughout life. With some awareness, we can bring those emotional wounds up into the light, see them and give them some space. Darkness dissolves in the light of consciousness. Working with a therapist, a very wise friend, journaling, meditation – all can help these old hurts be healed. And as they heal, your needs drift away. Consider giving it a try – the reward is freedom and peace you never thought possible.

Namaste.

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The Great Mother

“She used to tell me that a full moon was when mysterious things happen and wishes come true.” – Shannon A. Thompson

The Moon cycles every month from New Moon to First Quarter Moon to Full Moon to Last Quarter Moon and back to New Moon in a never-ending dance. The oceans feel and respond to her energy and so do we. The Moon was depicted as the Goddess, by various names, in cultures of old. The Great Mother.

The Moon’s cycle affects our emotions and feelings. She is in each sign of the zodiac for about two days. When the Moon is transiting through Pisces your imagination and intuition may be strong, you can feel vulnerable and may feel like withdrawing from the world. You can be easily discouraged. When she moves into the following sign, Aries, it’s as though someone flipped the energy switch. You may feel like beginning new projects. This is a time when you may be impulsive and not really think through your next steps. And, so it goes as she moves through all twelve signs each month. A wonderful way to begin tuning in to the energy we all live in is to monitor your feelings, subtle and pronounced, as the Moon moves through the signs each month. In addition, we all have sensitive points in our natal charts and when the Moon touches one of those points, that energy is felt more acutely. She accounts for many of those “mood” swings we feel.

The Moon’s cycles also bring another energy to us. As she moves from New to Full and back to New, we are supported in the growth cycles of our lives. If we attune to this energy it can be very supportive, thereby helping us flow with life – everything has the potential get a lot easier.

The New Moon phase is a time of beginning. The Moon is Waxing, getting larger in the sky. Take a few moments each month at the New Moon and set your intentions for the coming month. What do you want to change? What do you want less of? More of? This can be something out here in the material, seen world or something in the interior, unseen world.

The First Quarter is a test of your intention. Are you keeping your intention in your heart? Are you taking any necessary steps to bring your intention to fruition? Are you letting go and trusting that the Universe/God/Goddess/Spirit/ Divine/ Source/Creator/ Your Own Word is supporting you? Action and Inaction. Both. The wisdom at this phase is to check in, adjust and keep going.

The Full Moon is the peak of the cycle – “when mysterious things happen and wishes come true.”  After this day, the Moon will be Waning, getting smaller in the sky. Your intention is blossoming into reality. If all is going well, you are living in a slightly different energy place than before your intention. These are mostly subtle shifts, although in any given month and depending on your own natal chart, they could be quite amazing.

The Last Quarter is the final test of your intention. If all is going well, changes are happening and you are flowing with life, great. If not, then let it all go. Nothing will be gained from trying or pushing at this phase. This is a time prior to the next New Moon, the next new beginning, to consider again what you want in the coming monthly cycle of the Moon.

For gardeners like me, we plant, prune, weed and harvest in accordance with her cycles.   We plant in the waxing, increasing, phase of the Moon in a water sign for above the ground crops – and so it goes through the Moon’s cycles and through the garden’s cycles.

Our ancient ancestors honored these energy fluctuations. It’s amazing that we have gotten so far away from the natural world we live in. We suffer because of it. We live in a seen and unseen world. Discover the unseen – you’ll be amazed!

Namaste.

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You Get to Choose

“With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.” – Wayne Dyer

Life brings us challenges sometimes. I’ve had times in my life where I felt I had been kicked to the ground and then an army was marching over me. When we are in one of those times of growth, it’s really difficult to see the lesson.

Years ago, I wondered if God was punishing me. That’s back when I bought into that view of the world. I eventually came to believe in a divine power/source/creator/ god/goddess/universe/your own word that is pure unconditional love. We aren’t punished by a supreme power. Just think about it for a minute. Imagine a power so great it created all that is – you, me, the earth, our solar system, the universe, multiverses, and beyond. A power that awesome has no resemblance to our human actions and reactions. Humans may punish. I simply don’t believe great love and wisdom punishes. A good parent doesn’t damn their child to hell for all eternity because they made a mistake.

So, what does account for those difficult times we all encounter in our lives. The Buddhists teach something like “what you do is what you get.” I think that’s much closer to what’s going on than an all wise, powerful, loving God punishing me.

When I look at an astrological chart, I can see lessons. And, I can see lessons that repeat. Think of it this way. You signed up for English 101 and you are in a school that requires you pass all your classes. So, the first semester, you goof off and fail English 101. Ok – no problem. You will see that class on your schedule next term. And, so it goes, term after term until you pass English 101.

Look at your own life. What lessons keep coming back to you? God isn’t punishing you. You are simply not learning what you signed up to learn. Mostly we resist our lessons because they take us way out of our comfort zone. Courage – feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

Or, maybe you pass English 101. Congratulations. Now it’s time for English 201. And, so it goes through our lives. From metaphorical kindergarten through multiple Ph.Ds. That’s why it’s really important to stay in class and to keep feeling the fear and doing it anyway. The reward is a life filled to the top with growth, aliveness, freedom, peace and love.

Namaste.

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Wearing Gloves

“We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are, when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time. When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy. It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.” – Mark Nepo

Don’t think I can add anything to that! Great Wisdom.

Namaste.

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Smile

“I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.” – Paul Simon

Isn’t it easy to get caught up in the challenges of life? Ninety-five percent of our life can be going along great and yet we can so easily focus on the five percent that is disappointing. We can be consumed with stress, worry or simply over thinking our problem to be solved. Meanwhile the minutes, days and weeks are passing on by.

My lesson at these times is always to let it all go. Worry and stress aren’t going to change a thing. When I can stop, look around and remember to see and be grateful for my many, many, many blessings, it puts it all in perspective. Life is sweet!

It’s hard to stay in a stressful place when you are smiling and genuinely grateful. Give it a try.

Namaste.

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Do You ‘Believe’ In Astrology?

I recently came across this excellent article by Alexandra Karacostas concerning what astrology is. Enjoy!

What is astrology? Frequently I am asked if I “believe” in astrology and if I think we have “free will.” Or if we are “predestined.” By way of response, I usually begin by clarifying a few possible misconceptions.

Astrology is neither a religion nor a faith. It is a symbolic, archetypal language used to understand the world at large as well as the world within. It is the study of nature’s celestial cycles from the universal to the minute.

When describing the connection between the heavens and earth, the micro and the macro, astrologers say: “As within, so without.” And “as above, so below.”

Astrology is framed by both the motion of the sun and planets, and other objects of our solar system, and their context against the celestial backdrop. In short, astrology uses the relative positions of the heavenly bodies as a mirror to reveal the stage upon which we, individually and collectively, act. Until the seventeenth century, astrology and astronomy were essentially the same science. By noting and observing the cycles of planets, or “wandering travelers” as the ancient Greeks referred to them, astronomers/astrologers were able to identify and document specific patterns in the heavens. Thus, they began to correlate certain kinds of patterns or phenomena to particular events relevant in daily life.

Useful Cycles

The most obvious is the daily cycle commencing with the sunrise and ending at sunset. One of the most useful cycles since ancient times correlates to the moon’s cycle. It was used extensively for planting crops, commencing wars, predicting weather patterns and more. In fact, today it is still used by many for some of the same reasons.

Each one of us is unique! Even if twins are born within a minute of each other the likelihood of them experiencing and responding to life in the same fashion is unlikely. The key differences lie in an individual’s experience and ensuring choice or response to specific events. Though the timing of particular events in the twins’ lives will undoubtedly be closely linked, their individual reactions from moment to moment will determine separate outcomes.

It is how we use our innate qualities that is significant. In other words, our choices fulfil our potentials. We all get what we need, not what we want, especially when it comes to personal and collective growth!

The late Dane Rudhyar, a highly-respected philosopher, author and the grandfather of modern astrology wrote, “Events do not happen to us, we happen to events”. Though this idea may be a bit esoteric, he captures well what modern science is now discovering through quantum physics. It is the connection of all things at the quantum level that explains the ability of far flung objects, like a human being and an asteroid or galaxy to influence each other.

In order to exercise free will there must be a context within which to function. This context is revealed and articulated in astrological charts, or maps. Our horoscope does not MAKE us who we are. It is simply a reflection of our own unique potentials and capacities. What makes us who we are is comprised of genetic heredity, our socio-economic and educational background, our cultural and ethnic roots, etc… In a horoscope, an astrologer can identify family patterns and dynamics, inherited strengths and weaknesses. What we do with those is up to us, our empowerment lies in choice. This is where consciousness, awareness and self-knowledge is critical to our destiny!

Limits and Boundaries

Another one of my favorite astrological sayings is “our character is our destiny.” It is unrealistic to think that an apple seed will grow up to become an orange tree. We all have natural limits and boundaries! As a human, for example, we can only consider how to nurture ourselves as a human, not as something else. And the same follows for an individual amongst many, or a country amongst nations. All entities have their unique potentials, capacities, and limits. Our empowerment lies in choice. And astrology is a tool that helps us to become informed.

We often hear that “timing is everything”. Knowing what phase of a cycle we are currently in can be greatly advantageous. Opportunities come and go, but unless we personally reach out and grab them, they simply pass us by. We can benefit in various ways by more fully comprehending our journey towards authenticity, in becoming who we really are. The symbolic language of astrology is a tool that can help us do just that.

There are numerous types of astrology used today. There is Natal astrology which deals with the individual. Mundane astrology explores national, international and economic cycles. Meteorological astrology is used to study weather patterns and cataclysmic events. Electional astrology helps us determine the best time to initiate a project. Financial astrology concerns itself with macro and micro economic cycles. Relocation astrology helps us identify what particular qualities in us are highlighted by relocating to different geographical locations. There are others as well, and as our world and universe expands we continually discover new ways to apply this body of information and wisdom.

So what does this mean for YOU? What is going on in your life? For everything there is a place and a time and, as nature would have it, a sequence to how life unfolds. I invite you to reflect on the cycles, patterns, and habits of your life. How can you increase your awareness, fulfil your creative potential, and refine your relationship to the world? You can “paint” your life with the strokes of choice, to fully become the magnificent being you are!

About the author Alexandra Karacostas

Alexandra Karacostas is a professional astrologer, teacher, and writer based in Chico, California. She has been a student of astrology since 1975. Alexandra currently serves on the board of OPA, the Organization for Professional Astrology. Contact her at http://www.WisdomAstrology.com or e-mail AlexandraKaracostas@yahoo.com

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Our Expectations

“…the basic stuff of the universe, at its core, is looking like a kind of pure energy that is malleable to human intention and expectation in a way that defies our old mechanistic model of the universe — as though our expectation itself causes our energy to flow out into the world and affect other energy systems.” – James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy

I re-read The Celestine Prophecy once a year or so. A lot of wisdom in that book. What if every true, heartfelt desire, intention and expectation really does affect the universal energy system at every level? Wisdom from across the ages has been saying this for a very long time. Some people live by it, most think its nuts. It’s not.

Life is simple and easy. We make it difficult. Once we can tune in to our own heart and soul, and genuinely decide how we truly want our lives to unfold – that’s exactly what will happen. Maybe not as fast as you want or in exactly the same way you envisioned. It will happen.

It happens every day in your life right now. No exceptions. For most of us we are unconscious. We drift – not understanding we can create anything in our lives. We simply take what comes.

Consider giving it a try. Set an intention and then live in accordance with that intention as best you can – the energy in the world will do the rest. Let go of your illusion of control and trust in the pure magic of existence.

Namaste.

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Love for No Reason

“Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It’s not ‘I love you’ for this or that reason, not ‘I love you if you love me.’ It’s love for no reason, love without an object.” – Ram Dass

When we think about love, many of us wonder who loves us. Does anyone love us? Or, we may stop and contemplate who we love. Who do I love the most? Who do I not love? What’s love anyway? Remember the Tina Turner song –

“What’s love got to do, got to do with it/What’s love but a second hand emotion/What’s love got to do, got to do with it/ Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken”

Been there and get that! I’m sure you do too. Emotional love has the ability to bring us great joy and great pain.

In the above quote, Ram Dass is talking about unconditional love as a part of our deep inner being. Its who we are. Maybe it is the same as our concept of god/goddess/creator/source/universe/divine. Limitless unconditional love. We can relax into and be held by the arms of the Great Mother. It’s a place where we are always good enough – no trying. Where we are honored and celebrated for our unique, authentic, magical selves. Resting in love for no reason at all.

Namaste.

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Beginnings

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch

Its Spring here where I live in western North Carolina in the United States. In my yard early flowers are blooming, the grass has been growing and was cut for the first time yesterday – what a wonderful smell. The trees have mostly leafed out and everything is that beautiful shade of light green. Today the sky is a cerulean blue and I can hear lots of birds singing this morning. I feel like I live in a magical world on days like this one.   The world is coming alive again after a long winter’s rest. The cycle of life begins – the wheel turns.

Endings precede beginnings. In nature we accept Winter which brings harsh weather and cold, dark days. In our own lives, we have difficulty seeing endings as simply part of a cycle. Most of us experience personal, emotional Winters as the days and years pass on by. It helps if we can stop in the midst of a tough lesson and realize “this” is simply part of a cycle – an ending. The sooner we can let go and accept what is, the sooner our suffering will end. We tend to cling to our comfort zone – what’s familiar, even long after it serves us well. Change can feel like hell sometimes.

And, as Neale Donald Walsch says in the above quote, “Life begins” once we can step into a new place, both inside and outside. Spring has arrived.

Namaste.

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