Archive for connection

New Moon Forecast: Inspiration and Practical Work

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The New Moon appeared on November 29, influencing the energy for the next 7-10 days. The New Moon marks the beginning of a new cycle of energy, making it a good time for inner contemplation. The chart focuses on aspirations, dreams, and manifestations, but there is a significant emphasis on moving through illusion (Neptune) and finding the inner strength to move through karma (Saturn.)

Many of the planets are placed in fire, which can bring spiritual inspiration or a flare of emotion. Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Saturn sit in Sagittarius, a fire sign that symbolizes the “quest”, courage, frankness, and impatience. Sagittarius is a mutable sign and can move into many—sometimes too many—directions at once.

The challenge of the New Moon chart lies in remaining optimistic while seeing the truth about others and life. On a larger scale, we may love people or our country—for example—but it’s necessary to look at problems while finding solutions.  These are not easy solutions; these are the type of answers that come from soul searching and inner work—and are rooted in personal growth.

Sun (outer life), Moon (inner life) and Saturn (karma, discipline, time) square Neptune (illusion, mysticism). Squares cause tension between two sets of thoughts and inclinations; they are not comfortable. This square demands a different kind of spirituality, which is not related to personal adherence to the role of light worker. It demands “real” work and sifting through illusion to find universal truth.

Sun, Moon, and Mercury are conjunct (close to) Saturn in Sagittarius, bringing a somber note to the chart. Saturn takes life seriously, and it demands work and commitment to higher principles. These energies can be helpful in bringing projects into fruition and finding dedication to inner pursuits.

Venus sits in Capricorn, bringing focus on financial matters, the material world, and coolness to relationships. Venus (love, beauty, material belongings) squares Jupiter (good fortune) and Uranus (new beginnings, quantum field). With this placement, it’s important to focus on unconditional love occasionally because Venus in Capricorn can obscure “warm” feelings.

Mars (overall energy, masculine) is placed in Aquarius, placing a focus on individuality and creativity—which is another theme of the overall chart. Aquarius loves change, humanity, and brotherhood; it is a fixed sign can also act with a strong will, which does not always leave room for other points of view. (Remain open to the ideas of others and allow for their point of view.)

Mars also trines (harmonious) Jupiter, and both planets are in air signs. Air is thought, giving the opportunity to align with our higher mind and to create abundance in many forms.

Jupiter in Libra favors positive partnerships, fairness, peace, and harmony. Venus squares Jupiter, and Jupiter is opposite Uranus (new age principles) and Pluto (the underworld.) These aspects indicate good fortune relies on balancing love in the material world (Venus), underlying beliefs and hidden information (Pluto) and balancing desires with the energies of the New Age (Uranus)—if we want true success and the manifestation of our dreams.

Uranus (new age principles, sudden change) and Pluto (underworld, subconscious) move more tightly into the square, experienced since 2012. This square continues to reveal our individual and global darkness for cleansing and transformation. It’s not an easy journey, but it clears the underground rivers of darkness and brings light to the planet in a strange, subtle way,

Neptune is in Pisces rules the water, washing away boundaries and the structure of life as we’ve known it. Neptune in this position also rules emotion—the unity of consciousness and the mysticism of love, pointing to the possibility of creating life in higher sense.

Sabian Symbols

Based on readings by Lynda Hill

Sun and Moon are on 8 Sagittarius, Deep within the Earth, New Elements Are Being Formed. The symbol could relate to physical changes based on our spiritual growth. It indicates changes, which are not obvious on the surface.

Mercury is on 26 Sagittarius, A Flag Bearer in a Battle. It represents a position of honor and risk, the person who goes ahead of the troops and carries the flag. With Mercury (communications) on this degree, it could refer to journalism, blog posts, or radio communications that depict the state of the nation—or practical application of light in the outer world.

Venus is placed on 21 Capricorn, A Relay Race. This symbol implies a group effort based on timing and cooperation. On a larger level, it could refer to light workers and their collective energy. It’s important to share, acknowledge others, and exhibit with our personal part of the endeavor.

Mars sits on 16 Aquarius, A Big Businessman at His Desk. The business man represents responsibility, order, and control. Success with business can indicate achievement and accomplishment, or it can denote unethical procedures.

Jupiter is on 17 Libra, A Retired Sea Captain Watches Ships Entering and Leaving the Harbor. It refers to quiet contemplation of the past with an eye on creating another adventure or journey in life. The Sea represents water and emotion; the retired captain has completed his task with the trials of emotion.

 

Julia Griffin, intuitive healer and owner of One True Self, began her work fifteen years ago under the tutelage of real wolves. Following their direction, Julia sees and reads energy, including animals, plants, and people. She works with people in session to find their resonance with the soul, clearing patterns and creating alignment with their inner path.

 

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Creating More Blessings

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It’s interesting to note that it is possible to expand your blessings by altering the flow of your mind. When you learn to focus on universal connection, the direction of life often changes.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Imagine blessings as a gentle, soft wind. If you stand in the wind, it lifts your hair, brings warmth, and makes delightful sounds. Imagine this as an energy, which you can feel and touch. It is moving gently through your life, and you receive its loveliness. (In general, people tend anticipate or feel anxiety about future. In this case, you are simply receiving.)
  2. When you meditate, think about the feeling of blessings in your life. Imagine the sensation expanding and growing. Feel the universal connection as it flows through this feeling.
  3. Send love and light to everything good in your life. Practice seeing more of it. When you focus on anything, you expand it. This includes material objects, love from people, and success in life. (Think of the mind as a magnifying glass. Look at the good things!)
  4. When you desire change, bless what exists. Give thanks for the good things while visualizing new ones. If you work with light, you will always desire expansion and growth. Part of light work involves dealing with duality and finding interesting solutions.
  5. Open to larger blessings than you’ve imagined in the past. (I like to use the image of an open door with light flowing through it. The light represents blessings and love.)
  6. Take a few moments daily to grasp the loveliness of your light and the power of your inner being. Direct your light to a higher level on a daily basis.
  7. Expect blessings and look for life to turn and change its direction in a wonderful way. It’s said that the universe knows what you want before it is voiced. (It’s the dance between the spirit world and physical world that brings beautiful things to life.)

Julia Griffin, intuitive healer and owner of One True Self, began her work fifteen years ago under the tutelage of real wolves. Following their direction, Julia sees and reads energy, including animals, plants, and people. She works with people in session to find their resonance with the soul, clearing patterns and creating alignment with their inner path.

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Planetary Change: A Change in the Weather

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The past few months have been filled with unnerving astrological aspects such as the Uranus/Eris conjunction (new beginnings and changes combined with discord and upset) and Saturn/Neptune square (confusion, difficulty with decisions about right action), and Uranus/Pluto square(the periodic descent into darkness followed by regeneration.) These aspects remain but have weakened–and changes in the weather provide new tools  to better deal with them.

Relatively speaking, the planets are quieter after the super moon. It feels as if they settled after taking on material form in the outer world—at least for the moment. As we pass through periods of intense growth, it’s likely that we’ll continue to feel strong emotions, conflicts, and challenges because it’s how we gain mastery.

Currently, more developed souls are working with collective by learning methods of sending light to larger groups and developing their personal calling. Other light workers have identified their calling and are putting into form on an individual level. But everyone is working on the development of their personal life as well as the perception of energies in the outer world. (We cannot change everything, but we can send light and work together in the achievement of a higher frequency.)

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This week’s astrology offers an interesting and easier walk on the path. Sun in Scorpio (intensity, magnetism in outer life) trines the Moon (emotions, inner self, maternal energies) in Cancer. Sun and Moon trine in water signs can help to create harmonious emotions and positive feelings about life. Both Sun and Moon trine Chiron, the wounded healer, bringing power to heal the inner and outer life.

Mercury (mind, communications) in Sagittarius conjuncts Saturn (structure, time, karma) and gives insights about long term plans and structure in life, particularly in relationship to philosophy and the spiritual journey. Saturn gives perseverance and patience, and Mercury can give connection to the Higher Mind. (Mercury also squares Neptune (mysticism, idealism, illusion), meaning it’s important to see through the idealism and illusion of New Age spirituality to find a greater truth.)

Mars (overall energy, male, assertion) helps in realizing our inner potential. It sharpens the body and the higher mind; it can bring us back into alignment with universal ideals. It gives power to move more deeply into spiritual realization, and it helps with positive group endeavors. Mars trines Jupiter (good fortune), which can bring success in a harmonious sense.

Venus (love, beauty, feminine) sits in Capricorn, which bring feelings of rejection and loneliness to the surface. It also squares Jupiter (good fortune.) With this aspect, it’s important to think encouraging thoughts about love—and to know lower thoughts and fears about love and/or relationships are only temporary. This, too, will pass.

Jupiter in Libra balances energy, focuses on partnerships, and harmony. Currently, Jupiter is opposite Uranus, which doesn’t favor new endeavors. Plan to finish or work on projects planned in the past. Jupiter also squares Pluto and brings tension around our hopes and desires, but Pluto can reveal the blocks and hidden issues, which slow the progress of plans.

On the positive, Saturn (karma) trines Uranus (new beginnings), and both planets are in fire, which rules the heart. It indicates the possibility of creating an entirely new structure based on the voice of the heart and interests of the soul. It’s a beautiful opportunity.

 

Julia Griffin, intuitive healer and owner of One True Self, began her work fifteen years ago under the tutelage of real wolves. Following their direction, Julia sees and reads energy, including animals, plants, and people. She works with people in session to find their resonance with the soul, clearing patterns and creating alignment with their inner path.

 

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The Lightness of Being

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Article Reprint/Courtesy of Spirit of Maat

 

It was a great joy and privilege to speak with Lama Surya Das, one of the West’s foremost teachers of Buddhist meditation and one who is uniquely qualified by his own inner convictions to speak about Lightness of Being.

As a long-time friend and student of the Dalai Lama, Surya Das tells the story of how he received his first teaching about Being Light from this great spiritual leader:

In the early 1970s, I was fortunate enough to be present when the Dalai Lama was teaching at Bodh Gaya, the town in northern India where the Buddha became enlightened. Tens of thousands of people came to hear the Dalai Lama speak. … When the Dalai Lama was finished, he asked if there were any questions, and one long-haired American guy stood to ask the Dalai Lama the following question: “What is the meaning of life?”

The Dalai Lama answered, “To be happy and to make others happy.”

At first, Surya Das admits, this seemed a superficial answer. Today, he appreciates the wisdom of those simple words.

“Think of what it would mean,” he says, “if we were always able to be happy and to make others happy — truly happy and fulfilled, not just paying lip service to happiness and wearing a facile smile. … What an amazing goal! What amazing lives we would have! What amazing people we’d be! What amazing spirits we are.”[1]

Julia: For many of us, the spiritual path has been difficult. And yet we know there must be a place where it becomes lighter — where the struggle becomes less arduous and we begin to experience that lightness of spirit we knew as children. Can you speak about this, please?

Lama Surya Das: Part of lightening up is letting go of some of the burden. We take spirituality, religion, identity, and the big questions in life very seriously. And they are serious. But they shouldn’t be too serious. It’s important to wake up to the funny sides of things, and not believe so much in our self-importance, our prejudices, our heavy opinions, perspectives, and beliefs.

Buddhism teaches the eightfold path, the eight steps to enlightenment. I always say that if Buddha were alive today, he would say that the ninth step was good humor (and the tenth step would be good health and exercise). If we take ourselves too seriously, life isn’t much fun.

Julia: I hear you saying that our beliefs and opinions are part of the burden we need to release in order to be Light.

Lama Surya Das: The Buddhists say to cherish the truth, but not to cherish your opinions.

Of course, we all have opinions and preferences. That’s only human. But we don’t have to hold them so heavily. We can wear them more lightly. For example, I’m a Buddhist, but I don’t take it that seriously. I’m sure that Buddhism is not the final word.

We need to realize that we will lose some of our opinions as we travel the path. We need reality and truth, not just opinions. And truth has to be personal experience. Whether or not we decide to believe or join or sign on to some outside system, we have to find reality and truth within ourselves.

Julia: And what about the opinion we have of who we are?
Lama Surya Das: We need to let go of that. The lightness of being or joy begins with authenticity, and this means letting go of who we think we are, leaving more room in present time to find out who we really are — and letting that new identity emerge.

The extra baggage from the past is something we have to pay for, just as we have to pay for every extra kilo of baggage on a flight. Living in the moment is really the ultimate, and when we can get into the moment we can free ourselves from the burdens of the past.

In Eastern mysticism, there is a lot of thought about returning home — coming back to who we really are, finding something outside of ourselves, or even within the next life after we die. But it is important to realize the joy or buoyancy of being right now, here in this world. There is an updraft of joy and buoyancy to the spirit of Being Here Now.

This awareness of the moment frees us from our karma. It actually frees us from our karmic conditioning, and then we can let go of who we used to be. This is the subject of my book, Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be. By doing this, we make room for authenticity, for who we are in the present. We are actually free from the voices of the past and past conditioning.

How do we live more in the Now? This is the question. Of course, the Now is where we are. But we need to be aware of this, and for that we need practices — like meditation or exercise (see Four Meditations near the end of this article). We need a place in which we are aware of the time and space we are in now, but simultaneously aware of the timeless Now.

We have to connect the eternal Now with the present now — not the spaced-out presence of watching television, or mindlessly completing tasks like parking our car and not remembering afterward where we parked it.

We need to be connected in a sane, healthy way to the timeless Now — the moment — as well as the past, present, and future. I’m talking here about clarity and balance, and not going over the deep end.

In this place, we are free. We are of the world and living in it. We don’t have to negate the world, we don’t push anything away — but we are also not overly vested in it, either. We become One with it. This is the Buddhist teaching of the Middle Way.

There is a balance, a freedom, a lightness, a joy in this place. Spirit is joy, Spirit is freedom, and Spirit is bliss. It is not a chore, a dogma, or a mental belief. It is like rest, because it is born every minute.

And there is joy in the transparent quality of Light, not just in its degree of brightness. Instead of just seeing things “out there,” we begin to see through things. And when we reach this point, we start to see that everything — not just human beings, but all beings, all parts of creation in every moment, every molecule of the Universe — takes on the appearance of Light.

Lightness is joy. Life is a delight. Life is a joy.

Julia: I think for me the greatest heaviness comes when I focus on the need to change someone else in order to be happy. Can you give us some advice about this habit of thinking?

Lama Surya Das: There is something that we never learn in school, an incredible secret teaching: Whenever we change, everything changes.

Just realize that when we fight with reality as if we are going to change it, all we do is stir up more dust. The situation wouldn’t be there if we weren’t supposed to see the Divine in it. If we can’t see the Divine — or the joke — in it, we have to keep living through it and be reborn until we get it.

We always want to change our mates, change our present circumstances, change our child or colleague. But when we change ourselves, the world looks different.

Moreover, the more we love and accept ourselves, the more others will love and accept us. And when we accept our mate, for example, this creates a transformational magic that completely changes our relationship.

It’s counter-intuitive, but we should accept this as a great spiritual magic.

Julia: Why is it so difficult to hold on to our profound realizations? Sometimes we “see” in a way that makes us believe everything is going to be Light from now on — and the next thing we know, we are back in duality.

Lama Surya Das: The problem with profound realizations is that they are not enough to overcome the conditioning around us. That’s the problem. We may have a real epiphany or awakening or satori, but our habits, conditioning, and the world around are so strong that we cannot be changed by it. We fall back into our ordinary way of thinking.

We have to develop our realizations into a spiritual life, a mystical life, on a day-to-day basis — just the experience itself is not enough. So we obtain spiritual guidance from outside teachers and texts. But we also can obtain spiritual guidance intuitively from our inner guru, guides, and allies, and through prayer and introspection.

Julia: My own feeling is that we cannot really accomplish this lightness of being until we change our habits.

Lama Surya Das: That’s absolutely correct. Spiritual practices come into play here, because they help us ultimately detach ourselves from our conditioned responses. Starting new spiritual practices and better eating, exercise, and work patterns definitely makes us more joyful and brings wonder and lightness into our lives. This is the way we connect to the Divine on a daily basis.

The bad news is that we really are heavily conditioned with the old habits, patterns, or karma. But the good news is that these habits, patterns, and karma are just ruts we are in, and new, lighter ruts can be made through spiritual practice and discipline. So we can recondition ourselves through better habits and thus detach from our old conditioning.

There is a great deal of freedom and joy in changing our habits and doing spiritual practice, a lot of wonder and joy in freeing ourselves from our old patterns. There is re-invigoration and refreshment from this. It is actually like having a second or third youth!

Four Meditations

  1. One of the shortest and most effective meditations is to take a short breath and smile. This only takes five seconds, but it can be repeated for one minute. This can be done either sitting or standing, eyes open or closed. This is one of my favorite American meditations. It’s short, easy, and you can do it anywhere.
  2. Another traditional Tibetan exercise that I like is called “sky gazing.” You simply lie on the grass and look at the sky. We all did this as children. As children we may have tripped out looking at the clouds and finding faces or shapes, but we don’t want to do this in our meditation, because that’s more like daydreaming. There is a real difference between daydreaming and meditation.
  3. A third easy meditation consists of the last pose of Hatha yoga, the corpse pose or sivasana. This is a natural meditation we all know how to do. You lie flat with your legs slightly apart, hands at the side slightly away from the body, with natural breath and energy. Believe it or not, this pose is a great natural meditation. You can do this and the “sky gazing” meditation at the same time.
  4. More formally, if you want the yoga or Buddhist style, you sit up with crossed legs and relax the breath, energy, body, and mind, breathing in the physical sensation and coming into the present moment. You observe the breath while inhaling, and observe breathing out while exhaling. You notice the physical sensations as an anchor to the present moment. You let everything be as it is, without reaction. This is mindfulness, rather than mindlessly sleepwalking through life. When we can observe our state without reaction, this is meditation.

Mindfulness means attentiveness, vigilant alertness. Awareness becomes like a mirror.

Julia: Thank you. That’s great. One more question. I know that at some point on the path, everyone realizes that the Universe is One. But we move back and forth in and out of polarity. How can we stay grounded in Oneness?

Lama Surya Das: The whole question of duality and non-duality is a very deep metaphysical, mystical question. It is addressed in many religions and philosophies. We have to move from the mere knowledge of it to some kind of experience and, ultimately, a realization about it.

Just talking about it is not enough. But generally, our human nature is the tip of the iceberg of the Buddha nature. Our mind, our neuroses even, our body, are just reflections in the Cosmic Mind of God. So reality appears to be two, although it is not really two. We appear to ourselves to be separate from our Buddha nature, just as a rainbow appears to be separate from the sky. The rainbow is part of the sky. It is not separate.

So our thoughts and our mind seem separate from our Buddha nature, but they are not. We have to be able to see the unity in the diversity, the One or the Divine in everything in order to realize Oneness in everything. Yet we still must use discernment, discerning right from wrong and left from right. That’s seeing the One in the many. That’s the secret of non-duality.

There really is non-duality. Everything is God or Buddha nature. Everything is as it is. Everything is radiance. It takes different forms. There is a whole spectrum of color, but all the colors are in white light, and the spectrum of light has not changed — it is merely contained in the whole. We see the many shapes of the vessels made of clay, but they are all clay. The creation is not separate from the creator.

Everything takes different forms, like the colors in the rainbow, transparent and luminous, yet all contained in the One light.

The true source of Light, the true nature of Light, is not changed in its diversity or separation. It is One and more than One. It is about seeing the One in the Many.

There is no fall from Grace. There may be a change in the state, just as water may be ice, fluid, or steam, but they are all H20. There are different levels of vibration, but they are all the same essence.

This is really a dance of the universe. All of the movement of the universe is the undulation or dance of the universe. Everything is One with the dance.

Lama Surya Das says that he was “born Jewish” as Jeffrey Miller before studying with Tibetan gurus in the Himalayas, including the Dalai Lama, and with the great masters of Asia. His parents now call him the “Jolly Lama.”

Today, he lectures and teaches around the world. With the Dalai Lama, he founded the Western Buddhist Teachers Network, and is the founder of the Dzogchen Center and Foundation in Massachusetts and California.

A prolific writer, in addition to his new Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be: Lessons on Change, Loss, and Spiritual Transformation, Surya Das is the author of the “Awakening Trilogy” (Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment; Awakening to the Sacred: Building a Spiritual Life from Scratch; and Awakening the Buddhist Heart: Integrating Love, Meaning and Connection into Every Part of Your Life) and The Snow Lion’s Turquoise Mane: 155 Wisdom Tales from Tibet, and is coauthor of Natural Great Perfection: Vajra Songs and Dzogchen Teaching.

For more information about Lama Surya Das, or about his workshops, books, and classes, please visit his website at Surya.org.

 

Julia Griffin, intuitive healer and owner of One True Self, began her work fifteen years ago under the tutelage of real wolves. Following their direction, Julia sees and reads energy, including animals, plants, and people. She works with people in session to find their resonance with the soul, clearing patterns and creating alignment with their inner path.

Footnotes:

  1. See Awakening to the Sacred, Part IV.

 

 

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Mastery in Strange Times

Oil painting Colorful spring summer rural landscape. Abstract Tulips flowers blossom in the meadow with hill and blue sky color background.

As light strikes the planet, the shift ensues. Some of us experience the shift through a yearning for greater awakening. We also see others who sleep, are indifferent, or express the emotion of fear through anger, sadness, or despair.

Although the energies are very beautiful, they also move—lifting our feelings upward and downward at various times. This oscillation offers the opportunity for mastery when we can hold a higher thought, send love, or project a peaceful vision.

Moving into a higher state of consciousness is never easy because we experience the highs and lows of physical reality. We also release aspects of life that reflect the lower self. If we persist, then the experience is one of increased light, insight, and love.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Go into the heart space and turn to love for answers. Listen to the heart where love abides. See if a particular decision leads to greater light and love. (Peace and stillness come with the right decision, and there is usually more “light”. Sometimes, light is visible in the room, itself, or the sun may seem to grow brighter.)
  2. Conversations with the inner self occur in meditation. We may see Images, which flash, or hear words—or simply have a “brilliant” idea. When the inner self imparts information, it will repeat the idea until we “get” it. Make time to listen and take small actions.
  3. Everything is energy, and energy alters with our vibration. Energy eventually takes on the shape of our thoughts, emotions, and actions. It’s an universal law. It may take time, but everything changes with positive imagery, love, and supportive beliefs.
  4. Our thoughts and feelings count—even the small ones when we think negative thoughts about others, the economy, or the environment. It’s helpful to learn to “stop” negative thoughts and feelings by meditating on peace, the inner self, or the heart. (Whatever we think/feel composes the substance that charges our energy field.)
  5. Our greatest power lies in our ability to act as creators. We can see good things for others, a beautiful future, and create loveliness in our personal world. However, it is an active choice. (We can see a homeless person and decide the world is terrible—or we can see the same person with a job and home. It’s always up to us.)
  6. Seeing “truth” is part of spiritual growth. It involves the uncomfortable experience of seeing aspects of people and life that we’d prefer not to encounter. After the initial “shock”, it’s important to know our realizations bring freedom in the biggest picture.
  7. Make a decision about the placement of consciousness. Many of our experiences come from where we dwell in our mind and emotions. (We can only feel “stillness” when connected to the inner self.)

Julia Griffin, intuitive healer and owner of One True Self, began her work fifteen years ago under the tutelage of real wolves. Following their direction, Julia sees and reads energy, including animals, plants, and people. She works with people in session to find their resonance with the soul, clearing patterns and creating alignment with their inner path.

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Full Moon Forecast, November’s Super Moon

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The full moon appears on Monday, Nov 14, and it is a super moon—the closest positioning of the earth and moon since 1948. This is a particularly powerful full moon, ushering in cosmic energies and ending the Scorpio moon cycle. With the moon placed in the water sign of Scorpio, there is an intense emphasis on emotions.

The Sun sits in the last degrees of Scorpio, an intense, intuitive sign. The Moon is opposite the Sun in Taurus, a fixed earth sign, which rules the earth, possessions, and physical life. One of the gifts of this moon is transforming spiritual desires and longings into physical form.

Both Sun and Moon are placed in feminine, magnetic signs, making it easier to “pull” our desires. Sun in Scorpio gives intuitive power to see beyond limitations by finding the right vision. It bestows the needed concentration to focus on the dream. Moon in Taurus brings a strong connection to the earth and physical body. Moon in Taurus also confers the ability “feel” our desire on a physical level with full sensation so that we can fully create it.

Mercury (thought, mind, communication) sits in Sagittarius, adding fire and creative expression to the line-up. This placement ignites our passions and spiritual pursuits. It can also give a feeling of restlessness. Mercury squares Neptune (mysticism, illusion) in Pisces, increasing the need of seeing through illusion and finding a higher truth.

Venus (feminine love, material possessions, beauty) is placed in Capricorn, and it’s not a perfect place for this planet. Venus in Capricorn brings a strange equation of strong and suppressed emotion, which can bubble to the surface in strange ways. With this placement, there’s an opportunity to build structure in relationships, but it’s also important to remember it’s more difficult to correctly convey emotion from the heart.

Mars (overall energy, assertion) recently moved in the sign of Aquarius, which encourages free thinking and the New Age. (Thank goodness!) Mars represents overall energy, and Aquarius represents individuals working together in groups to collect light and create change. It’s a very helpful energy at this particular time.

Mars trines (harmoniously) Jupiter (good fortune), which means our work can benefit from humanitarian efforts and sharing our light. Jupiter (good fortune) is opposite Uranus (spiritual change) in Aries, placing a focus on balance as opposed to new beginnings.

Saturn (time, limitation) trines Uranus in Aries, emphasizing the need to stay on the spiritual path as well as possible benefits for this focus. Saturn (time, karma) squares Neptune (mysticism), creating the continued emphasis on discerning the difference between illusion and truth, particularly on the spiritual path. Uranus and Pluto are more tightly squared, continuing periodic blasts of darkness as we walk toward the light.

Overall, there are many planetary placements for development of spiritual life, manifestation, and cosmic growth, but it requires a strong focus and commitment to love with a big helping of faith.

Sabian Symbol Reading, based on Lynda Hill’s Sabian Symbols

Sun is on 23 Scorpio, A Rabbit Metamorphosed into a Nature Spirt. This symbol speaks about the transmutation of a lower, physical form into more spiritual being—or a specialized state of being. The motion into a higher form and frequency is a natural change associated with spiritual work.

Moon sits on 23 Taurus, A Jewelry Shop Filled with the Most Magnificent Jewels. This symbol speaks of physical rewards, wealth and gifts. To receive them, we must acknowledge our worthiness and our wiliness to receive.

Mercury is placed on 4 Sagittarius, A Little Child Learning to Walk with the Encouragement of Parents. This symbol refers to the need for support when learning new skills. It also speaks about the uncertainty of growing into spiritual gifts but taking the first steps—regardless of hesitancy.

Venus is on 3 Capricorn, The Human Soul in its Eagerness for New Experiences Seeks Embodiment. The symbol refers to new levels of consciousness, which will soon be revealed. It can refer to creativity, love, intuition, or a physical gift, but “something” will soon make itself known.

Mars is placed on 4 Aquarius, A Hindu Healer Glows with a Mystic Healing Power. This is a wonderful symbol for Mars, which refers to overall energy—particularly physical energy. Mystic healing power can refer to prana, light, or simply channeling the Divine, but it does indicate an increased ability to heal the self.

Julia Griffin, intuitive healer and owner of One True Self, began her work fifteen years ago under the tutelage of real wolves. Following their direction, Julia sees and reads energy, including animals, plants, and people. She works with people in session to find their resonance with the soul, clearing patterns and creating alignment with their inner path.

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The Toltec Art of Dreaming with Don Jose Luis

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Don Miguel Ruiz, best-selling author of The Four Agreements, is a nagual of the Eagle Knight lineage who has passed his knowledge on to his son, Don José Luis. Here, Don José Luis speaks about the three basic skills — awareness, stalking, and intent — that a warrior develops in order to transcend the realm of the ordinary, and their esoteric application to dreaming.

Julia: What is the difference between Toltec dreaming and some of the Western teachings regarding lucid dreaming?

Don José: Dreaming is a big Being, and we are married to Dreaming. All of life is a dream. We are a walking mirror.

God is a mirror — everything we think, feel, or believe is reflected back to us through this great mirror that is life. The world is a mirror that reflects back to us all that we believe. The world does not create what we are experiencing. We do that.

We create our beliefs, and the mirror of God reflects them back to us. God can send us only love and beauty. We create the distortions in this mirror of our life that is so short — and so beautiful.

There is an exercise I like to use with mirror work:

Put a candle in front of a mirror and look at yourself in the mirror. Look at the image as though it is a person you have never seen, and think about this person. It is the only person who is completely loyal to you and who totally loves you. When you think about your image in this way, it will help you to pull out of the lies and move into love.

Julia: A shaman uses stalking in dreaming to find the weaknesses in his consciousness. How is the art of stalking used in Toltec dreaming?

Don José: Stalking is used in dreaming to find the mental and emotional images that prevent us from being free. When we dream, we must learn to discover in our dreams the forms or energies that limit us. They may repeatedly take the same form, or they may take different forms. They may appear in many different dreams, or just one dream that reoccurs.

We must dream with the purpose of stalking, to try to stalk who is within ourselves and see what our beliefs are. We primarily stalk two things in dreaming: thinking (what is in the head) and heartbreak.

By heartbreak, I mean the incredible pain we feel from the terrible things that have happened to us. When we feel the pain of heartbreak, we close off parts of ourselves. In some way, we stop living. If the same situation comes up again, we say, “Oh, no, I won’t let myself be hurt again!”
But this is no way to live.

Life is so short and so incredibly beautiful. It is such a gift. You must forgive yourself for experiencing heartbreak. You must love the heartbreak in your life, because it is part of living. Most importantly, you must create a better dream.

We also stalk to find the thoughts that keep us chained in “reality.” These thoughts that we think so many times limit us. If we can identify these limiting thoughts, we can pull the energy back from their mental patterns and create anew.

It is so important to take back these lost energies and share with the world the gifts given to us from the angels and God. Heartbreak and limiting thoughts are like a cage. They keep us caged, imprisoned, in the three-dimensional world. The cage is created from the fear of being the Self, of being authentic.

Lies and fears about our Self are the forces that keep us in the cage—and they are not real. We must reclaim the key to our cage by pulling the energy back from our thoughts and our heartbreak. In this way, we become free.

Stalking in dreaming can be compared to opening gates. If a state of mind or heartbreak has been identified in dreaming, then we find the opening point of the wound, or the judgment, and we go in our memory to the point just before it occurred. When we remember the time before the memory occurred, we find a closing point for the wound — and then we go a little further back in time, so we can avoid returning to the wound.

Now we can see an entirely different world, or movie. We have created a better dream. It is possible to use this technique to open a gate and see a different view.

Julia: Can you explain a little more about using stalking to create a better dream?

Don José: Again, until we are free, heartbreak and thinking will always appear in our dreams. This is because life is nothing but a reflection of ourselves and our memories.

One way of using stalking with heartbreak is to relive all the heartbreak in your life. Take one incident at a time and imagine that you are pulling all of the energy out of that terrible experience. Imagine it over and over until you can feel nothing when you watch images in your mind.

Then take the experience and “dream” a whole different reality. See your life moving in a different direction, a wonderful dream, with a happy experience in place of the heartbreak.

See the way that you want to live, as opposed to how you have been living. It is possible to do this with all of your life.

For example, let’s say there is a teenage girl who has a beautiful voice. She goes about singing with this exquisite voice, and the birds answer her. Everyone pauses to hear her. Then one day her mother tells her, “Stop singing. You have an ugly voice.”The girl stops singing, and the world is deprived of the beauty of her gift.

She could imagine, in place of her heartbreak, that the experience with her mother never occurred — or that she told her mother that she was wrong. Then she must see herself singing during those lost years, and in the present and the future.

It is so ironic. We listen the most to the ones we think love us the most, and so often they do not know us at all. These people that we think love us don’t even know themselves, so they cannot possibly know us. And yet we lose our gifts and powers to these people.

An exercise I use with group dreaming is called “Mirror Mitote.” You imagine that the voices in your mind are like the sounds in a supermarket, where we can hear other people talking very loudly and we have trouble focusing.

The mind reflects this kind of environment. We hear the voices and opinions of others when we don’t believe in ourselves. The voices become very loud. We have to learn to look at our beauty, and see the opinions as lies.

Julia: I remember reading about recapitulation in Castaneda’s books. How does that relate to dreaming?

Don José: Recapitulation is more like daydreaming. We use recapitulation during our waking hours to review our limitations, our fears and heartbreak. We review experiences that keep us in limitation until those experiences become like a ghost town, until visiting them is like going to a village that used to be alive and is now gray and old with no one in it.

Before recapitulation, the memory may have been vivid — you could hear all the characters speak, and you reacted to them. But now the memory, or the town, is empty. There is no emotional or mental response. You have recaptured all energy from that moment, from that time in your life. It doesn’t have the same flavor or taste. It is flat.

Detachment is a principle point to achieve. Whenever we are living in our opinions, we are in judgment of our Self or other people. We are seeing only our own expectations or limitations. Doubt is also a lie that inhibits intent.

Even our names are a lie. Have you ever thought of that? All of our lies, opinions, and judgments keep us caged inside the body. All limitations come from fear. We must detach from our fears.

When we achieve detachment, we pull the energy out of the lies in our lives, and it goes back into the assemblage point.

Julia: What is the assemblage point? How does it affect dreaming?

Don José: The assemblage point is our point of focus. It is one of the keys to dreaming. It is exactly like a television with many channels. You can choose any channel, and anything might be on that channel — wrestling, a sad love story, the news… Our assemblage point is like a vortex of perception, an altar that opens us to experience. We can expand or reduce that perception.

Everyone thinks of something as they fall asleep. I do not care what people say — everyone thinks of some incident, person, or place. And as they fix their minds, they are focusing their assemblage point. People do this in real life when they go into a theater to watch a sad movie. What happens when they come out? They are sad or crying. Why? The emotional state changes because they have shifted their assemblage point to experience sadness.

When we can pull all of the energies of our life back into the assemblage point, we begin to become free.

We can focus the assemblage point on any channel. But we are accustomed to focusing on the channels we have learned through our life’s memories and the channels that are familiar to the mass consciousness.

We have to learn to change our perceptions from our reason, which is composed of our objective thoughts, to our Will. When we will the dream, our personal power changes from the mental construct to spiritual perception. When we are free from the cage of the mind, our energy increases dramatically, and we can discover our true identity.

It takes faith, strength, and tenacity to learn to change the focus of the assemblage point through intent. It also takes patience. Intent is faith — it is believing in our magic more than we believe what we think we see in the mirror called life.

The Buddha turned arrows into flowers. He understood the dream. Intent is a silent knowing that we are the creator of the dream.

A true master knows that anything is possible. He no longer doubts. And everyone can be a master. Everyone can create an incredible life through the magical part of the Self, and dreaming is a vehicle to do so.

Julia: When we begin to dream with intent, how does this change our lives?

Don José: We become free of expectation and limitation. We are no longer bothered by the opinions of the mass consciousness. Our desire or intent for freedom becomes so strong that we dream it and live it.

When heartbreak occurs, we begin to see that it is illusion. We are able to say, “That was a good one, that illusion almost tricked me. But I won’t fall for it.”

We realize that all of the “bad” things that have happened in our lives are just that — stories that we tell to ourselves and to whomever will listen. We stop letting our stories hurt us. We learn to take the energy back from the story and end it in a different way.

You see, we are always doing one of two things: We are either creating, or we are living lies. When we are creating, we start to have faith, love, and gratitude. We say “thank you” to the Earth and God for everything.

We learn to speak in the true language of feelings or emotions, rather than opinions and words. We begin to create our dream through the good feelings and happy thoughts that we have. This leads us to God. Through the clear channel of the Self that is created, many miracles happen, like the flowers that the Buddha created. This makes us fall in love with living.

Love of life is contagious. When we are not affected by illusions, we can create, and we can help other people find love in living.

A good analogy is to look at both dreams and life as a vacation or a movie. It is best to plan our vacation, to drive the correct vehicle, to make reservations, to choose the right geography. Or we can make a great movie if we plan or create it. If we don’t create or plan, then obstacles occur. The obstacles could be compared to the illusions of the mind. But if we have created carefully, we make the most beautiful movie imaginable.

This is how it is to live on Earth. We can travel blindly through the obstacles of our thoughts and emotions, or we can gather back the energy and create the dream. It is a catwalk between illusion and creating, but we must do our best to enjoy the gift of living. When we are capable of creating the dream, all of living becomes a Paradise on Earth.

It is all about spirituality and love. The angels are taking over the planet, little by little. We are all angels, and we have forgotten. We must let the flow of life within us live. We must remember that all of life is a dream, a movie — we can choose to watch a beautiful movie.

It is all beautiful if we can only remember.

Julia Griffin, intuitive healer and owner of One True Self, began her work fifteen years ago under the tutelage of real wolves. Following their direction, Julia sees and reads energy, including animals, plants, and people. She works with people in session to find their resonance with the soul, clearing patterns and creating alignment with their inner path.

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Sharing Our Light, A Gentle Way of Creating Change

introspection
Part of everyone’s purpose is to share light and love. As we become adept at it, our higher purpose (dharma) is revealed. Wherever we are and whatever we are doing–we can always choose to send light to others–and to the world. When we send light and love, we create positive change within ourselves and the world. We also help ourselves by shifting into a higher frequency. 

Here are a few tips:

  1. Take a few minutes to meditate and find the inner self. Send light to distracting thoughts, small problems, and the state of the world. Feel the energy falling like sunlight on the world. (Over time, the universe and inner consciousness will direct the thoughts.)
  2. We can send love and light to everyone in our life—the good, bad, and indifferent. It’s important NOT to see the person changing and to refrain from a desired outcome. Simply see their higher self and send light to this part of the person. (There is generally a feeling of softness or a click when we connect appropriately. At this point, pull back and send light to another person.)
  3. It’s helpful to see the placement of our consciousness as a directive. What we find bothersome in the outer world is a good target for light. We can send light to pipelines, politics, or poverty, (As light accumulates from many people, the vibrations heighten—eventually, altering the way that matter takes form.)
  4. We can create self-healing by sending light to any tension, pain, or lack of alignment in our body. See golden light filling the place of weakness and pain. Feel the relaxation and let go. (Everything is energy, and energy responds to light.)
  5. On an intuitive level, one of the most harmful human practices is sending anger or disturbed emotion to whatever we don’t like—including other people when they don’t follow our agenda. By sending light, feeling the “good” and returning to the inner self, we create a practice of heightening—not lowering—the vibrations of everything in our life. (Problems with other people often disappear without discussion when we become adept at this technique.)
  6. Send light to environment around you, including nature, people, trees, and buildings. The auric field extends for quite a distance around awakened people. It’s helpful to send love and love to everything within our energy field so that they vibrate with us.
  7. Sending light leads to greater connection. It speeds the vibration of particles in our field. It connects us with our heart and universal love. It’s a wonderful way of loving ourselves and bringing “good” into the world

 

Sending Light, Easy Exercises

Exercise One

  • Sit in meditation until a feeling of connection occurs. Choose an issue in the world, a part of the self, or a person as a recipient of light. Imagine golden light filling your energy field and bringing a feeling of softness and warmth.
  • Imagine sending the golden light to the chosen “object”. See golden light filling every particle of the situation, person, or place. A happy, relaxed feeling should follow.
  • Pull back and refill the self with golden light.

Exercise Two

  • Imagine a beautiful pink light filling the heart space. Let the light grow until it fills the body. Feel the loveliness of universal love.
  • Send it to a person, place, or situation. Send it as wave—or like the beam of a flashlight. Continue to send for a few seconds. (Some people cannot feel universal love, but it does help them.)
  • Pull back and return to the heart space.

 

Julia Griffin, intuitive healer and owner of One True Self, began her work fifteen years ago under the tutelage of real wolves. Following their direction, Julia sees and reads energy, including animals, plants, and people. She works with people in session to find their resonance with the soul, clearing patterns and creating alignment with their inner path.

 

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