Lifelight Astrology 2014

heart filigree

The Open Heart

Last month, as the Sun moved through the moon-ruled sign of Cancer, we connected to our feelings and embraced our cracks and imperfections.  In August, with the Sun blazing in Bright Royal Leo, the soil is soft and ready for us to open our hearts, take responsibility for ourselves as individuals and connect with our unique creative expression.

Leo rules the Heart centre, which is the place where our core energy resides, focuses, distributes and flows … or doesn’t. It’s the control centre from where we choose to allow or shut off the energy that flows into us, in each moment of each day.

The full moon on 10th August is in Aquarius (ruler of energy and the detached observer), so the theme of this month, as I see it, is that we’re being encouraged to make a conscious choice of becoming the observers of our hearts… to notice when they are opening or closing, expanding or restricting. When we close our hearts in an effort to protect ourselves, we create blocks which have far reaching effects.  It is  simply not an option any more.

I’m reading the most beautiful book called “The Untethered Soul”, by Michael Singer (thank you Diana and Wendy), which I highly recommend. In the book, Michael explains the heart and the journey of the soul in a way that I’m really starting to “get”  at a deeper level.

Although I can’t possibly explain or convey all his wisdom here, I’m going to share my understanding so far, as it relates to the astrology of this month This is how I see it.  There you are merrily moving through your day, taking in gazillions of stimuli, with all your senses and allowing them to pass through you, attaching to nothing. Basically you’re allowing energy to flow into and through you, unrestricted. You’re enjoying the sights, sounds,  smells,  tastes and feelings. You’re in the flow of life, living in the present moment, open and aware.

Then all of a sudden, you see, hear, smell something and bam!… before you can blink, there’s an unsolicited physical sensation or emotional reaction. Depending on the stimulus, you might feel a wave of love or fear or anxiety or panic or sadness (the list goes on) Or you might feel as if you’ve been kicked in the solar plexus, or your heart might start pounding, or your palms might start to get clammy. Or it might be that you’re feeling all warm and fuzzy and loving towards somebody,  until they say something and suddenly… there it is … a contraction and like a tap, you shut down and switch off the flow. You no longer feel love for the person, or for anything else for that matter. We all experience this, but most often we don’t notice, because we’ve programmed ourselves to repress that irksome sensation or feeling and continue on like good little soldiers, not giving it a second thought.

Every time this happens, Life is providing us with an opportunity to grow and learn and expand. Whenever we ignore or repress the trigger, we are actually creating a block in our energy pipeline or re-inforcing one that’s been there since the year dot.

Michael describes it as “encrusting the valve of the spiritual heart, until eventually there is very little energy actually flowing and what is, is circling around the same old thing”  This is how he explains it “ Just like energy waves, the energy that comes into you must keep moving. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be blocked within you There is a way that the energy can both keep moving and stay in one place and that is to circle around itself. We see this in atoms and planetary orbits. Everything is energy and energy will just expand outward if it’s not contained. For there to be manifest creation, energy must get in the dynamic of cycling around itself to create a stable unit. The process of cycling energy is exactly what happens with “Samskara”, or a block, which is a cycle of stored past energy patterns. It is your resistance to experiencing these patterns that causes the energy to keep cycling around itself and is stored in your heart centre. All the blocks you have collected over your life are stored there”

In my experience and in the work I do with Process Art and the energy healing I’m currently studying, I see and feel this happening all the time. We connect with an image or a sensation, we breathe into it, we soften, we allow it to move through us, without attaching to it or going into the melodrama of it and the pipe clears. This is the step-by-step process that Singer suggests – try it… it works!

  1.  NOTICE  the change in your energy and the feeling that you’re getting drawn into a story.
  2.  BREATHE AND RELAX – The moment you feel the change, breathe deeply, drop  your shoulders and soften the area around your heart – this automatically opens the heart centre.
  3.  STAY WITH IT – Commit to staying open. Say to yourself  “I choose to remain open anyway” or “I consciously open to this feeling/discomfort/reaction”  Play with letting go of and falling behind the sense of being bothered – are you willing to release it in order to liberate yourself?
  4.  RELEASE – Let go – just let it go – Decide that no matter what your mind says, you’re choosing not to get involved, hang on to it or make it into a mental story
  5. REPEAT THIS AS MANY TIMES AS NECESSARY until you feel like it’s cleared.

The first few times you do this, you might feel pain in the heart area, because there is likely to be a whole lot of old stuff that needs to be released. The more you do it, the easier it gets. If you’re battling on your own, come and join us for a Wednesday morning Art & Soul class or book a one-on-one session with me and I’ll lead you through it.

My understanding is that consciousness is essentially about keeping our hearts open to everything, resisting and judging nothing… just noticing, becoming the gentle observer to it all. Doing this stops us from going around and around in ever increasing circles and starts to liberate our real power as co-creators and healers of our own lives.

As life continues to present us with some rather hefty challenges this month, and as local and global volatility seems to escalate, this is probably the most important work we can do for ourselves and for our planet.

In life and light

Michelle

   

New Moon 27th July 2014

Magic

 

Joy of Joys… The Sun has entered Leo and we have a beautiful, brightly packaged, brand spanking New Moon in the early hours of Sunday 27th July.  This is the New Moon astrologers everywhere have been waiting for, because the Sun and Moon are both in a vibrant cheek-to-cheek dance with expansive, positive, abundant Jupiter. With this being the Chinese year of the Horse, hopefully our regal steeds, who have been champing at their bits for months now, will finally get to leap out of the starting gates.

We can all use this as a powerful opportunity to send out intentions that will help launch new creative projects and bring more love, joy, peace, abundance, meaning and passion into our lives.

But first of all, we need to check the inner gardens of our souls for any weeds that might be choking the tiny sprouts that are trying to bust their way to the surface.

Just before new moon (Saturday night) is the ideal time to put the hoe to work on the undergrowth –  the resentments; ancient family hurts: the things that you’ve tried to resolve with others but haven’t succeeded in doing;  people you need to forgive, accept or  let go of;  expectations; and those gnarly stubborn weeds of doubt that tell you that you’re flawed and faulty and will never amount to anything.

Once you’ve  unearthed them, write them down on bits of paper and then with a great deal of love and compassion, feed them into a fire and watch ’em burn.  In my own experience this really does work – try it. Each time we do it, we let another layer go…

And then… have some fun… connect to that childlike sense of wonder and magic … let yourself dream about 5 things ore qualities that you  really, really, really want to bring into your life.

Then hand the reigns  to your inner child, who is eternally creative and playful and let him or her come up with a way of sending them into the Universe.

You might want to  write them on stones and throw them into the river or  the sea. Or really get into  party mode,  put some upbeat, inspiring music on  and dance your wishes into your body… and then just after midnight… the magic hour… blow them into bubbles or balloons … one…by… one and watch as you set them free.

Enjoy… Believe in the Magic!

In life and laughter

 

Michelle

 

Lifelight Astrology Update – Full Moon 12th July

Full moon commitment

The full moon on Saturday 12th July is in no-nonsense, goal-driven, committed Capricorn, the sign of the trusty mountain goat. It feels as though the summit of our mountain is in sight, but there’s still a way to go.  Full moons are always intense and this one’s no exception as it activates the conflicted, agitated Grand Cross again, challenging us to grow, stretch and commit. However, the good news is that it also forms a graceful kite, assisting us with gentle healing, insight and flow.

After months of soul searching, there’s now a compelling need to finally stop ruminating and to actually make the changes we need to make, in order to become the authority in our lives. As we make our way up our own personal mountains, we need to check whether we’re actually on the right one and that we’ve selected the best path possible… or whether we need to consult with our internal GPS (our emotions) and reassess our route. Do we have the provisions we need to make it to our summit and if not, how can we go about procuring them?  Perhaps we need to dump some excess baggage so as to lighten our load or have a snooze under a tree, replenish our energy and gather our wits, before resuming our climb?

With the moon being opposite the sun in Cancer, the spotlight is on finding the balance between –  our private life and our work life;  being and doing; striving and nurturing; our home and our business; our feelings and our responsibilities; our child-like self and our adult self.

The time has come folks to seriously ask ourselves what our real bottom-line priorities are… and then commit to them absolutely.

I was speaking to a friend yesterday and we were saying how time is flying by, leaving us with the feeling that we haven’t actually achieved anything much by the end of each week. If you feel the same, then ask yourself what the most important thing is in your life… what is vital to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing?  And then strategically plan to make more time for it.

I think it’s about putting that priority before everything else. For example, if you really want to write, or paint, or meditate, or exercise, or eat well, or love more… maybe it’s about doing that before you do anything else, before you open up your laptop or turn on your phone – or schedule in a specific time in your day for it?  I read some very good advice the other day which suggested that we ask “ What’s the one part of your day that you’d like to change?” If we make a change in that one area, everything else starts to shift too.

Have a wonderful wintery weekend. Wrap up warm and nurture yourself

In light love and with commitment

Michelle

 

Lifelight Astrology July 2014

Cracked sculpture

There’s a whole lot going on astrologically this month, especially right now and  for the next two weeks, when the Grand cross is being activated  once again.  Since the new moon in Cancer on the 27th June  and up until the  full moon on the 12th July, the energy may feel a little like a  pressure cooker that’s about to pop it’s lid, unless some steam is released

A myriad of emotions  may be  bubbling under that lid – tension, dissatisfaction, discordance, confusion  separation, grief, pain or even desperation

When the sun makes its annual sojourn through Cancer, deep feelings are always stirred up, but with Jupiter (the expander)  in the same sign this year, this is more prominent than ever.  We’re being asked to connect with the broader scope of our emotions, to dive deeper and be present for them all, the uncomfortable ones too.

Very often when I suggest  this to clients, they get a sort of a glazed look in their eyes, start fidgeting or have a sudden desperate need to go to the loo.  Even the word “uncomfortable”  or “discomfort” makes us feel ….well uncomfortable.  So what we clever little human “beings” do is become human “doings”, finding ways  to ease the discomfort or make it go away completely.

But what if, by escaping from or suppressing those feelings, we were missing the lessons too?  If I look back on my own life, each and every time my inner or outer landscape has become almost unbearable, it has catalysed me into making changes, which have often  opened the door to the  next step of my growth or the next opportunity.

The butterfly has to break out of the cocoon in order to survive. It’s a necessary struggle.

What if, out of discomfort, grief, sorrow, anger or loss, comes renewal?

What if Discomfort or Dis-ease serves  a crucial purpose and by disregarding it, we’re throwing our navvigational equipment into the furnace.

What if, the only way of truly  healing the heart is to feel everything? Oscar Wilde wrote “Hearts are meant to be broken”  and maybe he was  right!

What if, the next time we felt an uncomfortable niggly unwelcome feeling, we allowed ourselves to be completely present to it,  surrendered to it entirely? What if we invited it in, just as we do joy, love and peace. What then?

What if the uncomfortable feelings you’re having now are actually your faithful servants?

One way you can find this perspective is to reflect on the people and things you value in your life right now … your blessings.  Then look  back in the  rearview mirror, until you find a time when you experienced a challenging or uncomfortable life situation. When you’ve got one, find a thread linking it to your current blessings. IIf  it hadn’t been for the crisis,  the dirty rotten son of a gun,  the illness , you wouldn’t have met your best friend, lover or landed up living in the place you live in etc etc.  The discomfort with your situation may have pushed you to make  important changes, to take better care of yourself, to move out of a limiting job or relationship…all of which just may have served you… but you had to feel the discomfort first.

 Whilst  most of us (and I haven’t met many exceptions) embrace the light, the joy and the love in our lives, we very often  push the “bad” emotions or hard times away or really wish that they would end… and quickly too. When is there a light at the end of the tunnel? When am I going to feel better? When are things going to make sense?

When last did you hear anyone say “ I’ve really had enough of all this joy, love and peace?

We have somehow  managed to make ourselves  believe that feeling uncomfortable or sad or stuck or confused or even angry is a bad thing and should be banished at all costs.  But if that were true, how would we know when things needed to change?

What if we just stopped judging… everything?

What if we loved and accepted ourselves despite our cracks and imperfections or maybe even because of them?

What if we relieved the pressure by allowing ourselves to honour our precious feelings … all of them… giving them the chance to reveal our next steps.

Let yourself notice in the next few weeks the activities, people and situations that make you feel heavy or restricted.

Also notice when and where you feel light,  expanded and empowered.

Feel the feelings in your body, breathe and just take note – witihout judgement, as if you were the witness. Eg. Its interesting that when I walk into this space, this person’s presence, I feel……

Journalling or visual journalling are excellent ways  of checkin in with how we are feeling. I still have a couple of places on my Visual Journalling workshops on  the 5th and  19th July.  Contact me for details.

Jupiter the great motivator of the zodiac is spending his last few weeks in Cancer, helping us to connect to our feelings and reveal our next growth steps. When the giant planet moves into Leo on the 16th July, we will feel the need to implement changes that expand us – there may be a quickening, a lightening, as the focus shifts to creative expression, leisure, fun, entertainment and love.  Time to dust off those dancing shoes, get the paints out, re-string the guitar, plan that next exciting trip… Let the light in.

This is an amazing story written by Jack Kornfield in a Path to Love, which demonstrates the power of this work.

Naomi Remen, a physician who uses art, meditation, and other spiritual practices in the healing of cancer patients, told me a moving story that illustrates the process of healing the heart, which accompanies a healing of the body. She described a young man who was twenty-four years old when he came to her after one of his legs had been amputated at the hip in order to save his life from bone cancer. When she began her work with him, he had a great sense of injustice and a hatred for all “healthy” people. It seemed bitterly unfair to him that he had suffered this terrible loss so early in his life. His grief and rage were so great that it took several years of continous work for him to begin to come out of himself and to heal. He had to heal not simply the body, but also his broken heart and wounded spirit.

He worked hard and deeply, telling his story, painting it, meditating, bringing his entire life into awaraness. As he slowly healed, he developed a profound compassion for others in similar situations. He began to visit people in the hospital who had also suffered severe physical losses. On one occasion, he told his physician, he visited a young singer who was so depressed about the loss of her breasts that  she would not even look at him. The nurses has the radio playing, probably hoping to cheer her up. It was a hot day, and the young man had come in running shorts. Finally, desperate to get her attention, he unstrapped his artificial leg and began dancing around the room on his one leg, snapping his fingers to the music. She looked at him in amazement, and then she burst out laughing and said, “Man, if you can dance, I can sing”.

When this young man first began working with drawing, he made a crayon sketch of his own body in the form of a vase with a deep black crack running through it. He redrew the crack over and over and over, grinding his teeth with rage.  Several years later, to encourage him to complete his process, my friend showed him his early pictures again. He saw the vase and said, “Oh, this one isn’t finished.” When she suggested that he finish it then, he did. He ran his finger along the crack, saying, “You see here,  this is where the light comes through.” With a yellow crayon, he drew light streaming through the crack into the body of the vase and said, “Our hearts can grow strong at the broken places.”

This young man’s story profoundly illustrates the way in which sorrow or a wound can heal, allowing us to grow into our fullest, most compassionate identity, our greatness of heart. When we truly come to terms with sorrow, a great and unshakable joy is born in our heart.

Embracing the cracks

Michelle