The Ugly Truth and Beyond

(approximate reading time 5-10mins)

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I hope that your holiday is filled with community, love, healing and abundance.

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration that was simple and sweet: only myself, my sweetheart, my new friend/housemate and her daughter, an afternoon movie (Justice League!) and later, “breaking bread” together, but only very light cooking on our parts (thank you, “Evolution Fast Food”, for our vegan meal!).  

Done!  Lovely!

Sitting down to eat with my friends, I was overcome with gratitude, and we toasted our appreciation of each other and the beautiful day we were experiencing together.  But something was moving in the shadows of my awareness, and I couldn’t ignore it.

Here I was engaging with others in a tradition that has come to be about sharing with a community of loved ones the prosperity, abundance and blessings that are experienced-symbolized by plentiful dishes of food and drink-and in the midst of my appreciation and joy, something was bothering me and didn’t quite sit well in the moment.

I couldn’t help but think about the genocide of the Native Americans. 

Yes, I’m going there.

In honor of the sign Scorpio, I have to talk about the ugly truth on which this holiday is built.

It’s very Scorpionic to look at these uncomfortable truths within ourselves at an individual and collective level.  It is during the Scorpio times that we have extra support for doing the “dirty-work” of confronting our shadows, our wounds, our unconsciousness and healing.

And as a collective, we have never healed from the genocide of the Native Americans.  All of that remains in shadow.

But I think all of the wounds and pain from this (and many other collective wounds from other events in our history), the beginning of our country, are beginning to rise to the surface of our consciousness for confrontation, healing and ultimate transformation.

So, there I was celebrating with friends, but I felt like crying because the Native American pain and wounding is my wounding.  It is all of our wounding.

If we are all celebrating with gratitude, then we must bring into awareness the ugly truth that we are celebrating the Native Americans’ great sacrifice so that we could have this country called America.

And in some twisted way, in that moment with friends, I felt like offering up a solemn “thank you” to my Native American brothers and sisters, those long gone and those still with us.

And of course, I hope the awareness doesn’t stop there but expands further and further into ancestral, collective and individual healing in this web of planetary consciousness we all share.

I know we don’t want to think about this during Thanksgiving.  I know it is uncomfortable. 

It’s also uncomfortable for all of the women and men who are courageously coming forward and revealing the ugly truths of sexual harassment and misconduct forced on them in their pasts.  I’m sure it is just as uncomfortable for them as it is for the perpetrators of the sexual abuse who are being outed.

All of these ugly truths are being brought up from the depths and into the light of day. 

This is Scorpio’s function.

I suppose we would all be paralyzed with bitterness and depression, if we only did the digging up of the shadow material but never healed it.  But if we respond well to Scorpio’s process, then we begin the healing process, and we eventually move on to Sagittarius’ processes.

Whereas Scorpio focuses a great deal of its energy on the truths buried in the shadows of the unconscious (and not all of these truths are ugly!), the truths that we don’t want to face, Sagittarius explores many more of those truths that help to lift us further out of our pain and wounding-universal truths.

At its best, the quest of Sagittarius is all about the ever-expanding journey of updating truths and ultimately coming to know those universal truths about our existence that would serve to anchor our joy, inspiration and hope for the future of our species.

Now, with Venus and Jupiter in Scorpio and the Sun, Mercury and Saturn in Sagittarius, we are attempting to integrate these two psychic functions and evolutionary processes.  

Let’s get down into the muck of those ugly truths and do that Scorpionic work of making the unconscious conscious and healing, but let’s not stop there.  Let’s continue on in our evolutionary journey into the exalted truths of life and existence that our Sagittarius natures can help us to know and integrate into our ever-spiraling journey of expansion.

One of these truths is that in spite of the ugliness we have done and continue to do as individuals and as a collective, there is beauty alongside it. 

There is far more beauty.

And there is far more love than we have ever been capable of comprehending.

We are growing and becoming more aware.

We are brothers and sisters, all, in this ancient, collective evolutionary process.

I am hopeful that we are more ready than ever for some of these more loving and beautiful truths to dawn in our hearts.

A Libra Moment

(approximate reading time 10-15mins)

I didn’t know what I was going to write about for Libra season. The inspiration was slow to come, and I didn’t want to force the flow of words.

Yesterday, my own struggle was the catalyst for the in-breath of inspiration, and it came in the midst of taking action that very much represents the Libra way.

You see, five, sometimes six days a week, I drive for Lyft in the San Francisco Bay Area. Oh, but I don’t call it by its real name. To me it is “San Obstacle Course: The Wild, Wild West Edition”! It is a high-difficulty course that is full of people in a rush to get to where they are going: cyclists, pedestrians, skate-boarders, and of course, the cars, Muni-trains, buses and large trucks. On top of that, the city has decided to do a huge amount of street construction all at one time (this is not including the many building construction projects that are happening at the same time and causing various lanes to be shut down), and it is being done during the middle of morning rush-hour!

To put the icing on the cake, every now and again, you get a poor, homeless soul who decides to
tempt fate, walk right out into on-coming traffic and then proceed to shout obscenities at all the people in the cars (and at the cars!) for daring to come screeching to a stop before almost hitting said soul.

So, you can imagine the stress level and jangled nerves of just about everyone driving on these streets from day-to-day. It’s hard to keep one’s cool, composure and sense of peace. If everyone were patient, courteous, forgiving and kind, it would all be much more pleasant. But many are exactly the opposite and contribute whole-heartedly to the chaos that regularly erupts on this modern city obstacle course.

I do my darndest to stay calm and peaceful, to “let go” of hostile, crazy energy flying my way on a regular basis.

The past few weeks, however, I have noticed a certain voice in my head getting louder and louder. I call this voice “Irritable Igor”. He is unhappy about everything and complains about everything. From his high-horse of righteousness, he judges, criticizes and condemns others for every little and big thing they do on the road (or near the road!) of which he doesn’t approve. He likes to point out what is wrong, flawed and needs to be fixed.

Along with this voice comes tension and an elevated heart rate. Let one person on the road even make a tiny mistake and it can sometimes feel as if I’m about to explode!

“Whoa, hold on, here,” I said to myself yesterday. “Just STOP!”

In that moment I made a choice to shift my perspective. Either I was going to continue to focus on all the “wrong” in my reality, or I was going to choose to focus on all the “right”. Either I was going to continue to add to the chaos on the roads, or I was going to respond with peace and kindness and contribute to what I would like to see and feel more of on the roads.

I took a few deep breaths. I told myself the truth that none of the chaos was personal. And then I decided to become aware of the miracle of my existence right in that moment, riding down the street in my car that I had previously named “Tao 2.0”.

It was a moment of grace. A moment of relief. I started to pay attention to my life flowing in that moment and all of the input coming in from my five senses. A miracle. I sighed and felt some of my awe for life return. Yes, even in the midst of “The Wild, Wild West”.

Peace returned.

Inspiration returned.

I had a Libra moment.

Libra is the part of us that seeks peace, balance and harmony. It is all about relationship and how to relate from a place of grace, poise, equilibirum and harmony. Libra’s challenge is to hold it all, the good, bad and the ugly, and still maintain its balance and poise.

No easy task, right?

Not at all. But we do have help. We have love always quietly calling us to embrace a more inclusive perspective and set of behaviors that will lead us to the peace we seek. We also have tremendous and infinite beauty to be seen and experienced any time we choose to see and experience it. We never have to go anywhere to find it. It is always right there where we are, breathing us, living us.

And we have each other.

Right now, Venus, goddess of peace, love and the arts/beauty (and ruler of the sign Libra), is still in critical Virgo. So, even though the Sun and Mercury are in Libra and supporting that movement toward deep peace and harmony, Venus is still prompting us to see what’s wrong in an attempt to improve it. This positive intent can easily turn negative and become harsh complaining and criticism and nothing more. This has been a tricky time for seeing the beauty of it all! But as she crosses over into Libra on Saturday, October 14, we may all find ourselves breathing much needed deep sighs of relief.

It doesn’t always come automatically. Sometimes (much of the time!) we have to work for it.

Choose peace within first.

Come into harmony within first.

Experience the beauty in the present moment.

Share it with someone.

Even one brief moment of grace, of peace, makes the work worth it.

Peace has a magical quality that renews us and turns our chaotic perspectives into something brand new.

Season of Virgo: Humility & Service

(approximate reading time 10mins)

I felt a distinct shift around August 22nd.

Could you feel it, too?

Perhaps it was because we recently had two new moons in Leo, simultaneously with the sun and mars in Leo.  And one of those new moons was a super-charged solar eclipse.

All of this planetary energy in Leo during the season of Leo made for quite an amplified Leo energy in the atmosphere and psyche, especially if you have any prominent planets in Leo in your natal chart.

Romance was likely in the air, whether it was renewing old sparks or enjoying new flames of passion. Having fun would have been a high priority.  Party much?!  Creative self-expression is another area that would have been highlighted with so much emphasis on Leo, also known as “the performer”.  Playing in general is Leo territory and letting the inner child express boldly and spontaneously so that it can be appreciated, praised and even applauded.  Being fully present as the unique self, experiencing and sharing joy, is Leo’s aim.

This energy was thick!

So it might have felt like hitting a wall of some kind when the sun transited into the humble sign of Virgo on August 22nd.

I felt it as a distinct impulse to “get down to business” and do some much needed work that I had been putting off.

The Virgo function is very different than Leo.  Whereas Leo basks in the glory of its ego with a kind of enlightened selfishness at its best (and an obnoxious self-absorption at its worst!), Virgo attempts to acknowledge the flaws of ego, set it aside and get down to business working on crafting some skill that can be offered up to others in the spirit of service.  With Virgo, it’s not all about fun and joy.  It’s about being responsible, fixing and improving things that are broken (including the ego) and doing what needs to be done because it is there to be done and, quite frankly, who else will do it?!

It takes humility to set the ego aside and place the focus on meaningful work that can be of use to ourselves and/or others, and Virgo, at its best, has this humility in spades.

But what about Virgo’s worst?

Have you ever been so hard on yourself, so self-critical, that you felt like disappearing?  But before the disappearing act, you would definitely punish yourself with feelings of guilt and shame?  And this self-flagellation would be so intense that no self-sacrifice would have been too miserable to assuage those self-defeating thoughts and feelings?

This is an extreme picture, I know.  But this is the worst of Virgo.  

During Virgo season we are prompted to be critical of ourselves, our lives and even others.  The task is to see what is wrong and what is broken so that it can be adjusted, fixed and improved.  Virgo’s vision of perfection is meant to keep us striving to do our best, not to demean and punish ourselves.

So, if you have been feeling a bit of hopelessness at the reality of your current circumstances or have been beating yourself up as you acknowledge the gap between where you are and where you would like to be, stop, take a deep breath, and use this Virgo energy to discern one or two things you can work on and improve and get down to business!

And while you are working away, remember to be kind to yourself and to always practice unconditional self-acceptance.

Embrace the paradox that you are perfectly imperfect and always will be. But don’t let that stop you from continuously striving to bring out your full potential and excellence as a service to be offered to the world.

And right about now the world desperately needs your service.

Welcome to Virgo season.

August Eclipse Season ~ The Only Constant is Change

(approximate reading time 10-15mins)

The only constant is change.

I’ve been thinking allot lately about this profound truth.

Impermanence.  Life moves.  Nothing stays the same.

So why do we resist this truth so much?

It’s one thing to acknowledge this truth when nothing seems to be changing, while we are merrily going about our lives, humming along our familiar territories, content and comfortable with the status quo, and quite another when change is upon us, and we have to deal with it in the now.

Our bodies are hard-wired to survive.  Fear is our body’s primary tool used for keeping us alive.

But I often wonder why most of us seem to fret and worry about change and survival far more than is appropriate or useful?  

The body itself is constantly changing.  If we really pay attention to it, we see that nothing stays the same from day-to-day.  

Well, if the body knows this, why all the fuss when external change comes a’knockin’?

Somehow we’ve been programmed to resist the ground of our existence as change itself.  We’ve been brainwashed into believing we can freeze time and circumstance to remain just the way we think we want it.

But do we really want things to stay the same?  I bet a part of us does indeed.

And the other parts?

Is there a deeper part of us that seeks change?

Is there a deeper part of us that seeks to grow, evolve, experience ourselves anew and have new adventures?

Is there a deeper part of us that seeks to discover and reveal new potential?

I think there is.

So maybe our deepest selves are intimately aligned with the truth of impermanence.

And maybe the changes that are upon us personally and collectively are exactly what we need and want.

I’ve been thinking allot about this lately and hearing the quiet voice of spirit whispering-

“Let go and embrace change because you are change.  Your peace and happiness depend on you embracing and being who you truly are.”

These thoughts are not random.  My own life is going through major changes right on schedule with two powerful eclipses that are approaching this month, and I bet your life circumstances are shifting, too, as we near these symbolic markers:

August 7th ~ Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius

August 21 ~ New Moon Solar Eclipse in Leo

Astrological tradition teaches that eclipse seasons are usually experienced as accelerated times of change and transition, of endings and beginnings.

Life is always moving and changing.  Nothing stays the same.  So, what’s the big deal?  

I think the big deal around eclipse season is that we usually go about our lives rather unconsciously, but eclipses are symbolic of the “wake up call.”  Doors close.  We lose something.  Something ends.  Simultaneously (or seemingly and uncomfortably delayed), a door opens.  We find something.  Something begins.  These changes tend to jolt us wide awake so that we can participate in our evolution more consciously and without resistance to the fundamental ground of our existence-change.

So, we are all likely going through it this month as life highlights the necessity for change and evolution.

I take comfort in the knowledge that we have all been here before.  We’ve been through many, many changes.  In fact, we are change itself.  If this is what we are, then a deep part of us knows how to navigate merrily through the changes and use them to evolve and expand into ever more awareness, fulfillment, prosperity and wholeness.

Every week I receive Rob Brezsny’s Free Will Astrology Newsletter and horoscopes.  This week I appreciated synchronicity’s hand in delivering to me this message from Rumi via Rob Brezsny:

“And so the best way to cultivate inner peace might be to learn to love the way everything keeps changing.”

Right on time.

There is a great mysterious beauty unfolding its being through the eternal constant of change.

We are this being and becoming.

Navigate with calm confidence and enjoy the ride!

See you on the other side.