Mercury Retrograde/ Summer Solstice

summer solstice.png

Here’s a quick  heads up, as we scurry or scuffle towards the end of the year. Mercury in Capricorn turns retrograde on the 20th December until the 9th January. Being the planet of communication, it can and often does coincide with  disturbances or breakdowns in all forms of communication and conveyance. SO, even if it feels like you don’t have the time,  take a few moments to back up your ALL your data – across all your devices. Check your travel bookings and allow for extra time to get wherever you’re going. Check documents before you sign them and take ten deep breaths before you react verbally – to anything. Mercury is travelling alongside Pluto right now, which could make for some fairly intense interactions!

Apart from the irritating stuff, at a deeper level, we are all being given an opportunity to carefully consider, assess (Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn)  and transform ((Pluto) the way we think and communicate.

Over the next few weeks, see if you can  unplug from the continual influx of information whenever you can and re-flect on the quality of your thoughts. Ask whether the story you’re telling about yourself and your world is true. If not, set the intention to ditch some of the old mental garbage and start re-designing and re-framing your thoughts.

Down south, we have the Summer Solstice on the 21st December which is the longest day of the year, after which, the days start to get shorter.

The Solstice is always significant and powerful and is the perfect time to  release the old and dream in  the new – before we get carried away with Christmas and New Year festivities. If you haven’t yet, take a few moments (that’s really all it takes) to reflect back on the last 12 months (See my last blog) . Recognise  the wins,  losses,  challenges and  victories, acknowledging every single thing as integral to your journey.

A lovely ritual you can do at the solstice, is to write down anything you want to release from the year and surrender it into a candle flame or a bonfire. Remember that fire transmutes and transforms, changing what was into something else.

Then – write down your hopes and wishes for the next year onto another piece of paper. Light it and watch as the paper transforms to smoke, carrying your intentions out into the Universe.

I’ll be running two Vision board workshops in January to get those intentions working even more. Vision boards really work folks. See below for details or if you don’t receive my newsletter, email me on michellemcclunan@gmail.com

Thank you all for reading my ramblings and for those of you who have had readings done, attended my workshops and classes or in some way, been part of my 2016, I’m filled with appreciation and gratitude for the richness you’ve added to my life.

May you all have a stunning Solstice, a blessed Christmas and Fantastic New Year !

Love

 

Michelle

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Lifelight Astrology – Summer Solstice & New Moon – 21/22 December 2014

wish dandelion

As the Christmas and New Year festivities  approach, I thought I would give you a heads-up on what’s happening this week in the stars … and the planets. The big news is that in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the Summer Solstice on 21st December at 23:03, followed closely by a brand New Moon at  3:35am on the 22nd .

The Solstice is always significant and powerful and when accompanied by a new moon, even more so. This one happens at 0 degrees Capricorn, known in Astrology as the Cardinal point or the Alpha point, indicating strong beginnings. This is the time to  release the old and usher in the new – before we get carried away with New Year festivities.

Take some time on Sunday before 23:02 to reflect on the last 12 months.  Think back on what you can remember about each month and how this year has shaped you, grown you and expanded you. What have the challenges been and have they helped you in any way to reach another level of understanding or self acceptance?  What have you achieved and what have you not? Who has entered your life and who has left – and what have you learnt from that? Take time to recognise the wins,  losses,  challenges and  victories, acknowledging every single thing as being integral to your journey. See my last blog for more on this subject.

A lovely ritual you can do at the solstice, is to write down anything you want to release from the year and surrender it into a candle flame or a bonfire. Remember that fire transmutes and transforms, changes what was, into something else, so the process of burning is really  powerful.

On the  the next day ( 22nd preferably – after 3:35 am), allow yourself the freedom to dream.  Write your hopes and wishes for the next year onto another piece of paper. Light it and watch as the paper transforms to smoke, carrying your intentions out into the Universe.

I’ll be running two Vision board workshops in January to get those intentions working even more. Vision boards really work folks. See below for details or if you don’t receive my newsletter, email me on michellemcclunan@gmail.com

This morning this video popped into my inbox and apart from bringing tears to my eyes, it really did make me feel astoundingly grateful for all I have. Our journey on this little spinning planet really is about gratitude and attitude.  How best can you use this one precious life, if you had to put your perceived limitations aside?. What do you yearn for? What is it that really blows your hair back and if you’re not doing it in some way, why not?  The chap in this video proves that ANYthing is possible if we set our minds to it and it all starts with loving and accepting ourselves – exactly as we are

May you all have a stunning Solstice, a blessed Christmas and Fantastic New Year !

Love

Michelle

 

Lifelight Astrology – December 2014

Middleground

By Michelle McClunan

Well, here we are, heading for the home stretch of 2014, which has been a blurringly quick, busy, somewhat challenging year for many of us. It’s certainly  been a bit of a whopper for me, but the blessings and learnings have been immense too!  Dark and Light, Pain and Liberation, Sadness and Joy – the polarities or life!

When I look at the Astrology for December, it’s clear that this is a month filled to the brim with more of the same paradoxes, contrasts and perhaps challenges, as well as great opportunities to shift, heal and grow.

In astrology we have these pesky little aspects called squares, which occur when two planets are locked into a stressful ninety degree angle with one other – a lot like being confined in a room, with someone whom we have nothing in common with, or seriously don’t like… for an extended period of time.  With nowhere to run, we are pushed to find the commonalities between us and to reach a level of acceptance.  This is exactly what squares do – they aren’t designed to just give us a hard time. They’re there to help us  s t r e t c h and grow, tiresome as that might be sometimes.

Many of us may find ourselves facing some squares over the Festive Season, which is when we get to spend more time than usual with family, extended family, partners,  in-laws, step relations and the like. This is generally guaranteed to bring to the surface all sorts of issues, which we thought our adult selves had dealt with and packed neatly away. As they say, if you think you’re enlightened, spend a weekend with your family!

Without going into too much complicated Astrology, we essentially have two major squares between slower moving planets that are being activated this month.

The good old Uranus Pluto square, which I’ve written about a lot in past, becomes exact for the 6th time since 2012. The last time it will happen will be in March 2015 –  glory be!

Briefly, Pluto, the agent of death, rebirth and regeneration (transformation) is in patriarchal conservative Capricorn, which represents control, tradition, the old guard, governments, corporate structures etc.  Revolutionary Uranus is in fiery, impulsive, aggressive Aries, defender of the peoples’ rights. What this means for the planet is essentially a revolution, where “the people” fight the establishment. It also has a habit of bringing deep dark secrets and compulsions  (Pluto) out of hiding and into the light – largely through the media (Uranus) The latest sex scandal with Bill Cosby is just one example. The women who he allegedly abused, are risking their reputations after decades and spilling the beans to the media, about the man who was a traditional father figure to so many, for so long. This is a literal example of Uranus Pluto at work.

What it means for us personally is that it’s yet another opportunity to connect with whatever is lurking in the shadows of our own psyches, bring it up to the surface, pick out the gems and ditch the rest.  As a fellow coach said the other day, “Decide what’s not serving you, kiss it goodbye and let it go”.

It’s a time for questioning the old guard that resides within us and ushering in the new. All those old hackneyed beliefs and judgements about everything that we’ve held for so long – are they even valid and how are they serving us?. It’s also about asking where and how we are trying to control the world around us and how that’s   working.

Anxiety levels about our country, our world and our planet are running high, as everywhere you go, people are talking about the crime, the injustice, the unfairness, the ineptitude, the insecurity.  Although most of us can relate to it in some way, we need to ask ourselves whether it serves us to talk about it all the time or to engage with people who do.

Is it changing anything or just bringing our personal and collective vibrations to their knees?  It’s one thing if there’s something we can actually do to change a situation, but if there isn’t, our energy is better employed at addressing what we can change about our own lives or attitudes For me, the quickest way to change my attitude, is to enter into a state of gratitude. I was given such a wonderful example by a friend the other day, who, whilst  driving to class, ran through her body and expressed gratitude for each part of it. This instantly lifted her vibration and her spirits. Every single one of us can do that, any time we choose to.

We also have the choice, every minute of every day, as to whether we are going to enter into the downward spiral of judgement and criticism or not.

The other square that’s happening involves the giants, Jupiter and Saturn. These two polar opposites are currently engaged in an interesting kick boxing match. Where Saturn is about old knowledge, maturity, tradition, categorising, control, judgement, limitation, contraction,  duty, conservative outlooks and responsibility, Jupiter is about liberation, expansion, broader perspectives,  new knowledge and higher learning.

This square asks us to consider, in any given moment, whether something is contracting or expanding us and then make our choices from there.

As we hurtle towards the finishing line of 2014, Saturn and Jupiter advise us to take a bit of time out, to do a stock-take and ask ourselves some questions that will reveal what we’ve learnt this year.

I’m running one workshop on the 13th December, where we will explore this theme as a small group, through visualisation, reflection, and art. Using a combination of painting, words and imagery, we will tell our 2014 story in a GRATITUDE COLLAGE.  I still have a couple of places available, so please email me for more details.  michvr@intekom.co.za

An unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates

Here are some of questions to ask yourself before year end – the Gemini full moon on  6th December would be a great time to do it.

  •  What would you like to kiss goodbye to, along with 2014?
  •  What were the things or who were the people that challenged you and contributed to your growth in  2015?
  •  What are you grateful for, right now?
  •  What new truths have you learnt this year and how will you embrace them and expand them further in the year to come?’
  •  If you made one lifestyle change for your mental, physical, spiritual, emotional health in 2015, what would it be?

When I did this recently with a bunch of life coaches (thanks to you all), the clearest thing that came up for me was the word “Surrender”. Much of what has happened in my life this year, has been largely out of my control and has more or less pushed me into a place of acceptance. While I was mulling this over yesterday, the word middle ground kept on coming up.  I looked up some synonyms for the word –  golden mean, centre, happy medium, neutral territory, interface – all of which resonated hugely.

For me, taking the middle ground seems to be one of best ways to navigate the extremes and embrace the changes that are happening at any given time. It means not judging whether something is good or bad, but rather staying neutral.

Words like “neutrality” and  “surrender”  get a bit of a bad rap, unfortunately, as they’re often seen as boring or weak or jelly fishy. That’s certainly how I used to perceive them. However, more and more I’m realising, that when things feel overwhelming, if I can remember to stop, lean back, step away, breathe deeply, soften and unclench my jaw and my fists, I start entering into a place of neutrality and can actually feel my heart softening. The neutral place is where the Divine resides.

It’s the still point in the storm, where we can connect with the higher part of ourselves,  see the situation from a broader perspective and open the way for magical, infinite insights and possibilities. I’ve noticed when I do loosen (not let go of) the reigns for a while, Lo and Behold, things actually have a way of wobbling into place all by themselves, without my controlled intervention…fancy that!

Another tool that helps us find the middle ground is to find a symbol or an image that re-aligns us.  It might be the centre point of a spiral or the place of meeting in an infinity symbol or the dot in the middle of a circle (the symbol for the Sun) or something else that resonates for you. You could imagine gathering your energy inwards, towards a core centre line, or walking to the centre of a labyrinthe or  bringing a wildly swinging pendulum to the quiet, stillpoint close to the ground.

Whenever you need to re-align yourself – call your image up in your imagination, take a few deep breaths, relax, soften, run through your 5 senses and then consider 3 things that you are grateful for. Et Voila – you will be back in your centre – back in the middle ground. The more we do that, the more fertile that middle ground will become and the easier it will be to go there.

The grass is not greener on the other side, its greener where you water it.

Thank you to all my valued friends, clients, colleagues and readers of my ramblings, for being such a vital and cherished part of my life. You are my teachers and my  green grass.

With love

Michelle

 

 

Lifelight Astrology Update – Full moon 16 January 2014

Mandal 10

EMBRACING THE FEMININE

Full moon this Thursday the 16th January is in the “feeling” sign of Cancer. Together with Venus in retrograde, the focus is firmly on embracing and expanding the mature feminine within us – men and women alike. Rather than expecting and waiting for someone else to provide what we need, we need to give it to ourselves.

With the Sun still in Capricorn, much of our energy is on our personal and practical goals, as we immerse ourselves into the responsibilities of the year ahead and work out how we intend to climb our individual mountains as it were.

As we do this, we’re being asked to remember that we are human beings and not human doings. We’re reminded this week to balance the “doing” with some heart-centred feminine “being”.

Take moments out of your busy schedule to stop… connect with your body and just notice what’s happening. Bring your attention to wherever you feel tension, pressure or pain. With gentle awareness breathe into it and allow whatever comes up to just be there, without judgement or resistance. You might see or sense a colour, a sensation, a symbol or a feeling. Notice it, accept it and allow it with a soft heart. Ask what you need and give it to yourself. This might sound “me” centred, but amazingly  the more you do this, the more you’ll notice the relationships in your life begin to change, as your gentleness and compassion is reflected back to you. As our own responses become less spiky and more considered (Capricorn), our interactions with others become smoother as well.

If each of us brings more softness, more gentlenesss into our lives, it magnifies out into the world and brings about change at a level we cannot even comprehend.

“The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers restorers, story tellers and lovers of all kinds”. These are the words of the Dalai Lama, who like our beloved Madiba is a Cancerian – real men, completely in touch with the Divine Feminine – that’s what the world needs now.

Footnote – As a fellow Cancerian, I wanted to share this mandala with you, painted recently by me, after a heart-centred meditation.

Please contact me if you need help with navigating the year ahead. I offer private and group Process Art sessions and astrology consultations. There are still a couple of places left on my two Vision Board Workshops on the 18th January and 8th February.

Blessings

Michelle

Lifelight Astrology Update – 6th January – All Aboard for 2014!

Ahoy Matey

Well Matey’s, we’re almost a week into 2014, which promises to be a  powerful, exciting and challenging voyage! As the RaRa and hype from the festive season starts to settle down, many of us are starting to face the realities and practicalities of the year ahead. There’s a chance that some of the intentions we set whilst raising our glasses might not be all that realistic or may have already seemingly fallen by the wayside… or perhaps we’re just not feeling the same verve and vigour we did a week ago…?

It’s  ok … and it’s not too late. The moon is still waxing until 16th January, so we have ten days to reassess our intentions for the month and the year ahead and to prepare ourselves for our annual voyage. To provide us with some oomph and initiative, our Lunar Mother moves into Aries late on Monday evening and on Wednesday forms a square to the sun, a lunar phase often referred to as a “crisis of action”. This is when we realise that our dreams and intentions are only going to happen if we have some kind of plan and actually put it into action and stick to it.

The Universe applauds action, not thought.

The grand cross I wrote about last week is still in play, so the energy continues to be powerful, yet potentially challenging.  Venus (the planet of love and money) joins with Mercury (communication) to assist us in facing whatever we need to in our relationships and finances. This is a good time for serious discussions with the significant people in our lives, although we need to stay centred and calm, as there may be differences of opinion or even clashes of wills.  As we look at our relationships without blinkers, some may end or need to be re-structured and others will get even stronger and more enduring.

We’re the captains of our own ships and this week we’re readying ourselves for our 2014 voyage…. Making sure we have the right people on board; checking our life-saving equipment; offloading whatever is weighing us down; setting our GPS’s for the right destinations; ensuring that our holds are well stocked, leaks are plugged and equipment is running smoothly… all ready to sail into the wild blue yonder.

If you feel that you need some help in navigating the year ahead, I’m available for astrology consultations or private coaching sessions.

My Wednesday morning Art & Soul classes resume on the 15th January.

And if you haven’t yet done one, a vision board really helps to clarify your route and is a powerful goal seeking missile – see here for details on the workshops I’ll be facilitating in January and February.

Bon voyage

Michelle

January 2014 – New Years Day – Leaping Goats, Gifts & Good intentions

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On the very first day of the Year, we have a highly significant New Moon in Capricorn and then a second one on the 30th January in Aquarius. Two new moons in one month is  relatively uncommon, although this year it happens in March as well. New moons always mark new beginnings and are a powerful opportunity every month to set intentions, send them out into the Universe and start new endeavours.  The house where 10 or 11  degrees Capricorn falls is the area of your life where you’re likely to make a new start this year.

This particular new moon is a whopper, with 5 planets in Capricorn (including transformative Pluto), all activating a Cardinal Grand Cross with three other planets.  This is an unusual, challenging but potentially incredibly powerful planetary formation, which has been happening in fits and starts for a while now and will continue for months to come. It’s intensified radically this new moon and sets the scene for 2014.

Let’s try and understand it better, so we can work with it and harness its energy. Cardinal signs (Capricorn, Cancer, Libra and Aries) have a pioneering, brave, initiating, “take no prisoners” type energy and we have 8 (out of ten planets)  in Cardinal signs  this new Moon. If you have any of your personal planets in Cardinal signs, it will be especially powerful for you.

The bunch of planets in Capricorn – (lets call them our little herd of mountain goats) –  are standing by, beckoning us to journey with them up the mountain, utilising their resourceful guidance, disciplined, mature, tenacious energy to introduce order and structure into our lives and make solid plans. First of all though, we need to identify which mountain we want to set our sights on and start the clamber, one step at a time. Somewhere along the journey, the chances are we may have to take a calculated risk and leap across a crevasse to get to another place in our lives or our consciousness.

And this is where the other planets involved in the Grand Cross come into play this year. First let’s look at what a Grand Cross formation is – it basically occurs when 4 planets or groups of planets are in a square (or challenging) aspect to each other, normally depicted by red lines.

Blog chart 1 jan

The best way I can describe this energy is as a red box. Imagine yourself for a moment, inside this box, with no view out…. scurrying from corner to corner and back again, not able to see anything other than red.  How does that make you feel… stuck, heavy, energised, tired, agitated, irritable, emotional, panicky, or maybe even a tad aggressive? Wanna get the hell outta there?  That’s the energy of the Grand Cross. What to do?  Walk slowly and gently towards the middle of the box, gathering your energy into a core centre line. Connect with the stillness of the present moment, in the centre of your heart, lift yourself up… and “transcend” out of the “chaos” – one Goat step at a time.  From there, you become the observer, with a birds eye view of what’s going on, the patterns that are being triggered and whether  action is required or not.

Other than our little bunch of mountain goats, the other planetary gifts in our red box are Jupiter,  Uranus and Mars, describing the landscape for the rest of the year. Jupiter in Cancer calls upon us to connect with what we’re feeling… in fact, without reacting, to let those feelings to grow, rather than push them away. To allow them to be present so as  to assist us in expanding our consciousness in a nurturing  way.

Using our feelings as our compass, we’re then encouraged to journey a little deeper beneath the surface  and unearth whatever has been stashed there, which is potentially the source of our greatest transformation. This is where Pluto comes in (which is positioned in the midst of all the mountain goats), encouraging us  to investigate and question everything …our  beliefs, the roles we play, whether we’re being honest with ourselves and others, where we break our promises, whether we’re living authentically and maturely or expecting someone else to take the lead in our lives.

Mars in Libra invites us to discover whether our inner masculine or feminine is running the show and asks us to balance them by placing ourselves in the centre of our internal scale, thereby embracing  the qualities of temperance, tolerance and balance.

And lastly Uranus in Aries encourages us to be active revolutionary agents of change in our own lives and on the planet; to leap out of our comfort zones, speak our truth and to really be the change we want to see in the world. This really is a make or break year people, where we have the potential of raising our consciousness to another dimension… or not. It all depends on whether we’re prepared to commit ourselves to making deep inner change. If so, the forces are with us. If not, I’m afraid we’re going to feel more stuck in our little red boxes than ever before.

Before or on Old Years Eve, do yourself a favour and quietly contemplate or journal the past year, sifting out the lessons and the awakenings. And then let go symbolically or ritually of whatever you don’t want to carry into 2014. Reflect on the changes you’d like to make in the New Year and what you’re prepared to commit to with your whole heart.

Then on New Years day, just start one thing you’ve committed to and stick to it for 21 days. Why not speak your intentions out loud to the supportive people in your life, or write a mission statement for yourself and put it somewhere you can see it every day

Energetically the next two months are  definitely the best time to clarify our visions and put them out there, so I’ll be running two VISION BOARD workshops – one on the 18TH January and the other on the 8th February. Quite a few people have told me that the visions they worked with in last year’s workshop have already manifested 🙂 –  so its really important to keep them updated and fresh. For more info

Have a wonderful New Year everyone. I look forward to sharing it with you

Blessings

Michelle

LIFE LIGHT ASTROLOGY UPDATE – 10th November 2013

Mature feminineSunday’s first Quarter moon has set the scene for an interesting week. First of all, most of you will be pleased to know that Mercury will turn direct on Tuesday, so computer and communication glitches should start easing up. However there’s still some dreaminess and possible confusion around  for most of the week, so be careful when making decisions or signing contracts. Use the creative energy to make or appreciate art, music, dance,  or to spend time in nature, connecting with the beauty around you, even for 5 minutes a day.  

The focus this week  is firmly on the Feminine, with Venus, the planet of love, beauty and money having just entered Capricorn, where she will stay until March next year. She brings with her a level of maturity in the way we handle our relationships, our finances and whatever is valuable to us. If you have a creative outlet which you enjoy, you may feel called upon to spend more time with it and take it more seriously. This earthy Venus also encourages us to find and feel gratitude in our everyday lives, to roll up our sleeves and commit to attending to the present moment, with as much grace as possible.

In my December Art & Soul workshop – we’ll be looking back on the past year and creating a beautiful Gratitude Collage. Click here for more details

As Venus joins Pluto on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, she invites us to  consciously excavate whatever’s been left unattended to in our relationships, financial affairs, or our creativity, without being drawn into the drama of the story, which will be very tempting. Make a commitment to yourself to bring anything you’ve been ignoring or putting off, out into the open.

Those financial worries and woes? – sit down and face them.

Whatever you’ve been procrastinating about – just do it.

The relationship issue that’s been niggling you? Have a heart-to-heart discussion with the person. This is a powerful opportunity to heal our relationships on a deeper level than before.

Any gremlins left unattended and ignored are likely to come bubbling, full of fire and brimstone, to the surface anyway, so we might as well lift the lid gently before that happens.

All in all, this is a great week to embrace the mature, grounded feminine side of yourself, to  show up, feel what you feel and deal with what needs to be dealt with, one step at a time… mountain goat style.