by Nancy M. Turcich, NTS, RPP, RPE
On October 16, 1982, I fell forty feet from a cliff and crushed three vertebrae in my upper back. The fall briefly left me paralyzed from the chest down. While in the hospital, I underwent a four hour surgery to place stainless steel Harrington rods on either side of my spine. Bone was taken from my hip to fuse and stabilize my spine. At the time, I was subjected to everything allopathic medicine had to offer- CAT scans, Physical Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, Drug Therapy, surgery, and a plaster body cast. The medical community succeeded in putting me back together and they reintroduced me to the world of self mobility. Slowly, all the things most people take for granted were once again becoming a part of my daily life. After spending four weeks in the hospital, I was released to continue recovering at home.
I was very fortunate to “recover” quickly, or so it seemed. As time passed, I was able to independently get up and walk although I was far from grace. Over time, my limitations began to manifest themselves and frustration followed. I found myself having to deal with muscle spasms and a nervous system that felt clumsy. For years, I stumbled around thinking I was asking too much for a body that was calm and ran smoothly.
Eventually, my life took a big turn. After getting back on my feet, I decided to help other people to do the same. I enrolled in a pre-Physical Therapy program at NIU to prepare for a career as a Physical Therapist. However, that was not to be.
In 1985, I entered The New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics in Albuquerque. Prior to my enrollment, I had no knowledge nor awareness of the natural therapy field. The school program began with the exploration of Massage Therapy. Due to nerve damage, I knew my legs and feet were most sensitive and they responded to touch in a big way. Although my body was very spastic, it was accepting positive touch more and more as the program progressed. Natural healing methods truly jump started my inner healing process.
Shiatsu (Japanese Acupressure), Deep Tissue Therapy, Polarity Therapy and Craniosacral Therapy were methods of healing explored within the program. Each and every therapy worked wonders upon my system. Slowly but surely, I was getting in touch with my body, my mind, and my soul. I felt wellness was within my reach; a long awaited process.
During the course of study we were introduced to Bach Flower Remedies®. Dr. Bach delicately removed flowers and plants from the environment and placed them in spring water. After allowing them to sit in nature and absorb its energetic vibration, he used them for healing purposes. These remedies facilitate healing on the mental-emotional level. In class, I chose “Star of Bethlehem” as my remedy due to its potency upon trauma. After considering all that I had been through, it seemed like a good place to start. Per instruction, our remedy was taken for a period of three weeks. At first I felt little change, but by the second week I was becoming despondent. That feeling lasted into the following week and then I felt happiness- happy to be alive. I used this remedy several times with a week or two between doses. Each time I had a similar reaction to the first encounter. Yet, through it all, as I sifted through the emotions I discovered missing pieces of myself. I was finally getting in touch with my emotional self and I was much more confident in my abilities on all levels. The “Star” was guiding me towards the light.
Throughout my time in therapy school I was feeling my body shift, which made it much more comfortable to live and enjoy life. I was amazed at the changes that had occurred simply by human touch. The most dramatic changes happened while receiving Polarity Therapy. Polarity Therapy facilitates the movement of energy throughout the body. This system works directly with the nervous system of the body and therefore, it provides stability and balance to the body. My body drank Polarity Therapy in as if it was nectar from the Gods. Although I didn’t know what Polarity Therapy was nor why it worked, I found it extremely soothing. My body was being stroked, sometimes without direct physical contact. Previously, I felt that my fall had only impacted my physical body. However, going through the Polarity process, I learned how deeply my entire “being” had been affected by my fall and my recovery. The trauma may have started out being physical, but as time passed it became clear how many layers the trauma had touched. Therapy school had shown me what to look for in therapy and what would assist my healing process.
In time, I found a therapist to work with me who specialized in Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy works with essential oils to help the body heal. These oils vibrate at various frequencies which, in turn, affect the body’s frequency, bringing it into harmony. I happened to resonate with the essence of Myrrh. Myrrh eased my pain and calmed my nerves. Once again, energy was at work. As time passed, my body became somewhat addicted to energy work. In 1989, I returned to New Mexico for continuing education classes. I was introduced to yet another healing technique. My instructor had noticed my body’s behavior in a previous workshop and he insisted that I participate in his Unwinding class. I entered the classroom with no preconceived notions nor expectations, which worked in my favor. Unwinding Therapy is a technique which allows a person to enter into old traumas and release them in a safe environment.
The Unwinding process unlocks many hidden emotions that may surface and be released in the session. A person can get into many awkward positions which mirror what occurred at the time of the trauma. Trauma can be on many levels and it is not only reflected on the physical level. My instructor seemed to know what was going to happen in my case and he arranged for me to be the first person on the table. There were groups of two or three people assisting each person on the table. Although my experience began on a table it didn’t end there. One of my classmates held my head and I felt anger quickly surface although I didn’t know what to do with it. As we proceeded, my body heading toward the floor. My therapists gently guided me and once safely on the floor, I curled up in a ball. They continued to assist me as I drew myself into a fetal position. As they held me there, I struggled to be free as I fought to release the trauma. My body temperature rose as a vast amount of energy was dispersed. After emerging from a ball on the ground I moved through various physical positions. Many things transpired in the two hours I was Unwinding, although I can only recall a few select events. When I finally opened my eyes the entire class had gathered around to watch my process in awe. It took some time to come back to reality after that, but it was worth the trip. What exactly happens while a person is Unwinding isn’t always clear. I recall the struggles I felt from within and the contortions my body took while it released. Things that had been hidden in my tissue finally saw the light of day. I discovered within the struggle lay a calm state; an inner peace felt deep in my soul.
Every trauma that we have experienced in our lifetime does not release at once. The body reveals pieces of the puzzle on several levels at different moments in time. Emotionally, I felt as though a floodgate had opened as anger, frustration, sadness and joy pumped through my veins in various stages of the treatment. As I was uplifted and protected while revisiting past events I also felt a great connection to spirit. The next time I went through Unwinding Therapy was at a workshop. Here too, I found myself accessing another level of my trauma. There was a great deal of physical pain, but it was accompanied by euphoria. My body arched just as it had when I landed on the rock in 1982. This time, however, I felt the impact and saw my body bouncing as it hit the boulder. The arching increased as I relived the experience. I could feel the rock spreading over countless areas of my backside causing discomfort throughout my body. It was surreal. I can’t say Unwinding is time travel, but it certainly feels that way. It provided me an opportunity to explore myself and the events that shaped my life for years. Unwinding seems to have its own agenda- overall well-being. I say that because it seems to show itself at the most appropriate time, not my time, but at the moment that works for everyone involved. It seems to have a mind of its own. This shouldn’t be too surprising because we all have Pure Consciousness within every cell. The body has all the wisdom and knowledge needed to provide us with the power to heal. Unwinding allowed me to tap into my inner abilities and discover the answers that I didn’t even know that I possessed. My healing process continues daily. I find people willing to help me negotiate the intricate doorways that lead me to a greater understanding of myself. Round N’ Round I go and where I stop, nobody knows.
For more details about holistic therapy and Nancy’s experience with healing refer to her book “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life.” Reproduction of articles are permitted by Nancy M. Turcich, NTS, RPP, RPE, author and holistic bodyworker, with acknowledgments and credentials included. www.naturalmassagetherapy.com For further information or questions, please contact Nancy @ Natural Massage Therapy at 928-717-1251, email@example.com. All articles are for informational/educational purposes only. This information does not take the place of current treatment plans nor medications prescribed. Always consult your physician to determine the most beneficial course of treatment for your individual needs. Disclaimer: All of the material provided by naturalmassagetherapy.com is for educational purposes only. This information does not replace medication nor present treatment programs. Please consult medical personnel if you are presently under a physicians care, if you are taking medication, or need additional medical care.
by Henry Selzer
An April to Dig In, and to Remember to Breathe
The astrology of April features two eclipses, counting last month’s Spring Equinox solar eclipse that began the current cycle, and as well the lunar eclipse and Full Moon of the first weekend of April. With this potent configuration, this is shaping up to be a volatile month, also emphasizing singular Jupiter, as well as Chiron, Uranus Neptune and Pluto. We are all to a certain extent still reeling from the volatility of what we have been through over these first three months of the year, and are now attempting to integrate what we have learned.
Just as we are coming off of the final of seven exact hits of Uranus in square with Pluto, signifying the transformational tenor of these intense times that we are currently living through and the extent to which we are all of us in major flux, we have another opportunity for a look inside ourselves in resonance with this volatile aspect of revolutionary/evolutionary change that will last in one form or another to the end of the decade. The Full Moon eclipse of April 4th opposes Uranus and squares Pluto, while the Sun conjuncts Uranus. These two powerhouse planets are still only separated by less than a degree from the perfection of their recent square.
There are also definite cosmic stirrings currently that relate to Chiron, the Wounded Healer, which is strongly aspected in the timing of these eclipses, with the solar eclipse Sun and Moon in close parallel to Chiron. At this timing also, Venus was in perfect semi-sextile to Chiron, bringing relationship and aesthetics into the field of difficulty and also opportunity symbolized by this ultimately healing energy. When inner wounding comes up, especially in inter-personal interaction, there is always an opportunity for healing if we remember to take it.
Mars, was also prominent at the eclipse timing, and in forming conjunction to the new planet, Eris, beyond Pluto. There is a Venus aspect to this interesting new archetype as well at the time of the April 4th eclipse. According to extensive research that I have been conducting, this recently arrived factor in Western Astrology represents a Feminine Warrior for Soul Purpose. Her strong presence now implies that over the course of this present month we will become more conscious to a greater sense of self that exists within each of us. This stems from an inner mandate for being yourself at all costs; for finding deep with you the potential for that which only you can provide. This way of being more fully in alignment with yourself at deep levels leads to greater happiness, as you suddenly find that you have a way to respond to the urgency of these fraught times that we are all living through.
Saturn is also prominent in Sagittarius, being almost exactly inconjunct Venus in her own sign of Taurus at the beginning of this extra-strong lunar cycle, and also inconjunct to Mars in Taurus at the timing of the April 4th lunar eclipse. The limitations and grounding provided by the wise old teacher archetype are a good complement to the high-flying symbolism of other prominent astrological factors such as Jupiter and Neptune.
Neptune is emphasized now, being conjunct Mercury at the timing of the Spring Equinox eclipse, and thus lends a strong component of imagination and idealism to the current astrology. With Saturn, Jupiter and Neptune all strongly configured we have a unique situation of push-pull for both a practical and a mystical way of seeing the word around us. We win when we allow both of these approaches to have their day, steering for the golden mean of a middle course that is neither too cautious, nor allowing ourselves to go so far out there that we lose contact with the earth beneath our feet.
ARIES (March 20-April 19). This is another climactic month for you, Aries, when many things come together. You have been riding the wave of transformation for many months, feeling the ultimate implications although perhaps unaware of specifics, heading for a hazy future. You are suddenly taking up the reigns in a more purposeful manner. You find support from allowing in the viewpoint of significant persons in your life, appearing as either mentors or as foils for your emerging position. Partners might thus provide a conceptual framework that enables you to more fully visualize your own. Your transformation is still in process, of that you can be sure, and with new stage you are getting more seriously committed to making only those changes that truly matter to you, deep down, and that will bring you into closer alignment with your soul intention.
TAURUS (April 20-May 19). This is another powerful month for you, Taurus, in a series of these, taking you forward in ways not always completely anticipated. You could feel lately like you are moving through molasses. You are heading toward an unknown future that beckons you, through a combination of idealism and fond illusion. These first few months of this year have been revolutionary and eye opening, especially referring to your inner eye, as your mystical journey continues. Partners continue to have a strong role to play, perhaps serving as catalysts to your own development. Your very identity is shifting, including your worldview. You might sometimes feel as though you are stuck on the verge of breakthrough. Your progress is subtle and yet nonetheless profound, and the ultimate outcome will be longer lasting and more greatly stabilized within you as a result of this longer term in your process of getting there.
GEMINI (May 20-June 20). This is an interesting and important month for you and your ongoing transformation of values and of societal connection, Gemini. There have already been the psychic storms of February and March, and as you slide into April you are continuing to fire on all cosmic cylinders. The concept of partnership provides grounding and a sense of serious commitment to the potential bond. Your vision for the future is constantly changing and yet has a mystical quality of enduring truth that you are quite aware of, at least subliminally. This has been a metamorphosis in which every facet of your life is in flux, including your goals themselves. These have been undergoing a revision of priorities from an outer orientation to the consensus thinking of the surrounding culture, to what is a most decidedly inner alignment to deep intention.
CANCER (June 21-July 20) This is yet another intense month, Cancer, after the crescendo of major change that February and March might have meant for you. Your vision is strong for a better way to be of service to the world around you, involving new vision for social responsibility and for professional activities that have a serious point to make, and a light way of going about it. You continue to morph in the way that you bond with others for both personal and business relationships. Your own sense of self-satisfaction is thereby enhanced, so that you also better partner yourself and your own deep intention going forward. You are committed to a form of service that leaves your ego out of the picture, while yet your personality becomes the fundamental fulcrum of the spirit in which it is performed, to the ultimate advantage of everyone around you.
LEO (July 21-Aug. 21) This is yet another big month for transformation on many different levels, Leo. You are in the midst of a sensitive and potent lunar cycle, yet one having a definite edge, and representing a quest for action in support of soul intention. Your self-expression is studied and slowed down right now, perhaps in order that you might examine more closely what you are producing and your underlying motivation in so doing. You are occupied with idealistically looking within yourself for a better understanding of your own inner workings, and for clues to removing barriers to intimate connection with significant others. As you investigate and make necessary changes in habitual patterns, you might begin to notice that there is no way to separate yourself and your beliefs from the evidence that you gather; you are an indissoluble part of all that you observe.
VIRGO (Aug. 21-Sept. 21) This month continues the beat, Virgo, of transformational change that you have been dancing to all year. Uranus and Pluto, still upending your world, have precipitated major results including dramatic changes in your creative self-expression, and are still a big part of this month’s swirl of cosmic energies. Your partnership dynamic has been alternately fluctuating and deeply intentioned, and while somewhat filled with rose-colored visions of extraordinary outcomes is also seriously practical in its scope. Your intuition too is sizzling with enlightenment for new life direction, and nearly takes you to right within the psyches of others. You are making a serious application of effort to dig further into your own psychological territory as you encounter limitations on one level of family entanglements or home based concerns, simultaneous with breakthrough on another. You may also find yourself taking on issues for the way that you resource yourself, whenever it is that you are required to.
LIBRA (Sept. 22-Oct. 22) The rhythm of revolutionary change continues, Libra. The tidal pulse of major transformation keeps pounding away at the very underpinnings of your life and your personality, seemingly without letup. You remain full to the brim with lingering vibrations from recent months sparking attitudes of cosmic intentionality. These seem to come from outside of yourself, perhaps arriving on the wings of relationship interaction, and yet still very much hit the mark. Something about your life is irrevocably altering and the contribution of intelligent and deeply connected partners and fellow travellers contributes greatly to your own arc of development. You are magnetically pulled to visions of future circumstance that even though largely insubstantial; you can nearly see and feel with your physical senses. Practical magic is one watchword for your current transitional state, as you leave behind one layer of consciousness for what turns out to be quite another.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) This is your time of coming into yourself in a new way, Scorpio. Relationship is powerful for you right now, and allows you to better understand where you are coming from. The point of view of active partners helps to pave the way to your own ongoing transformation in communicative outreach and service orientation. This current cycle leads you to exploring the mechanics of public achievement. You are lucky with your outer world circumstance, which also gives you the space to more deeply investigate private areas and concerns. You are simultaneously taking your creativity to the next level, by placing it in harness to others, laying it at their feet for the benefit of partners and of society itself. Most importantly, you are discovering a component of soul intention that complements every gesture you make in the line of more ordinary mundane layers of commitment.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 20) The beat goes on, Sagittarius, and it seems like the intensity has barely diminished, although perhaps subtly shifted in direction. During this rather intense time, you continue to deal with a flood of radical change. You are exercising increased spiritual creativity in everything that you do. A sense of responsibility to the ordinary requirements of daily life might at times feel like a burden, and yet suddenly it morphs into joy at serving your higher calling. Your understanding of soul-level mission that you have been feeling these last few months has become a factor in assessing how to determine your true priorities; you are finding that some formerly important details and previously treasured habits could fall away, while the ones that you choose to embrace are those that accord with where your inner guidance is directing you.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 21-Jan. 19) This is still the season of your transformation, Capricorn, as it has been all year thus far. The recent crescendo of radical evolutionary change has lessoned slightly and perhaps turned more profoundly inward. You have mellowed into the changes of this timeframe, accepted your seat on the roller coaster, and even begun to enjoy the view of the moving landscape before your ever-widening gaze. Partners provide an interesting catalyst for your own inner exploration that has taken you into some very deep and far down places already in the weeks and even months preceding this current one. You have a creative tension available to you now that takes inner presence into outer achievement almost without conscious effort. Your intuitional inspiration descends from angel guidance and grows easier to understand with each fresh experience of insight.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 17) Your metamorphosis continues, Aquarius. This has been a season of adjustment with multiple levels of progress, and yet your changes are not complete. This month represents another dip into the transformational tide, rushing through you toward an unknown endpoint, subtly molding and fluffing you in the direction that the cosmos seems to want your life to take. There is a call from deep inside, and you feel that you must heed it, or else falter and remain floating the shallows. This is along the lines of a different and more personal educational experience than anything that has come before. Your future orientation is summoned to a higher responsibility than the mundane task list. This sense of your mission of learning and spiritual growth that has overtaken you is more profound, and will eventually lead you out of your current conundrums and into greater clarity of purpose.
PISCES (Feb. 18-March 19) This is another quite interesting monthly cycle for you, Pisces, in regard to your ongoing changes, still incomplete. Each passing day you better hone in on what exactly you are up to. Your matrix of connection to friends and to your social setting has been long evolving, and future plans are similarly transforming as you come to a place of soul-level intentionality. Your idea of what lies ahead suddenly depends for its guiding principle on what makes you feel good inside. The mundane daily run of events become, through another way of looking at things, of sacred portent. Being out in the world has served you well lately, and yet you find that the accolades of the marketplace only represent one part of the story; these fade to meaninglessness unless they allow you to make an all-important connection to Spirit inside you.
Henry Seltzer, transformational astrologer and creator of the TimePassages astrology software, is based in Santa Cruz, California. An extended look at this month’s star signs and a variety of astrology reports are available on his website. His new book is about Eris, the planet discovered in 2006, beyond Pluto. It is entitled: The Tenth Planet: Revelations from the Astrological Eris.
Look for it this Spring. Henry also offers life enhancing private astrological counseling. Call him at 831-425-3686, or visit his website: www.astrograph.com.
The Secret to Everlasting Valentine Spirit
by Satya Kalra
Do you wish the spirit of Valentine’s Day last longer than just one day, and went beyond balloons, hearts, flowers, cuddly teddy bears and evening dinners? Let’s first understand the true meaning and purpose of Valentine’s Day: how to build long lasting relationships and become the everlasting valentine - let’s discover the Secret to Everlasting Valentine Spirit.
February 14, Valentine’s Day, is a day to appreciate and celebrate with your loved ones, to rejuvenate and grow your relationship; a day to say, “I care.”
What message will you send this Valentine’s Day and how can the meaning of this divine day enrich your life all year round?
The words VALENTINE’S DAY express the true meaning and purpose:
V: Vines entwined, heart to heart soul to soul
A: Always heart filled with love
L: Love is Life, life is love; life without love is like a tree without leaves
E: Equanimity in love
N: Never blame
T: True Love with Trust and tolerance
I: Intuitive love
N: Never, Never, Never give up
E: Everlasting love never dies
D: Drop your anger, resentments, let go…
A: Affinity in love
Y: Year around love
Valentine’s Day means the love within ourselves and the love we share with others. The symbol of Valentine’s Day is the heart. Heart filled with true love can only build a true relationship.
What does True Love mean?
True Love is unconditional love that does not demand, expect, judge, compete or criticize. it just loves. It deepens our soul-to-soul connection with others. All relationship and intimacy is built upon one secret ingredient, “True Love” and Valentine’s Day is a reminder of it.
True love is the most powerful energy that emerges from the depths of our Consciousness and guides us to true happiness. It can only be understood by experiencing it.
LOVE is like a fire, burning down resentments and all the negative feelings.
Love is our true nature that reflects in our behavior of joy and happiness. Filling your heart with love will gradually erase past hurt and remove the darkness. Love will ultimately override the grudges and resentments.
True Love has no expectations
True Love is
Free from fear and envy
Free from ego and arrogance
Free from attachment
True Love is compassion and caring
True Love is forgiveness
True Love is
Goodness and positive attitude
Contentment and patience
Respect and righteousness
Calmness and equanimity
True Love is Trust
True Love never gets sick or dies
It only gets stronger with time
True Love is Divine Love, the Ultimate Love; peace and eternal happiness, “Sat Chit Ananda.”
(Gita. Chapter 12, Yoga of Devotion)
However, today, the meaning of Valentine’s Day has been somewhat lost. Relationships are built on body and mind connections, not on connections between hearts. Although the symbol of Valentine’s Day is a heart, stores are full of gifts for the body, with little to offer the heart. Deep connections have been lost and instead, the puppy love that flourishes on February 14 has become yet another money-making opportunity for businesses.
How can we be intimate with another person in a chaotic world? How can we reach the depths of happiness, love and intimacy?
Happy people build happy relationships; unhappy people build unhappy relationships. Your relationships reflect what’s in your heart and mind. Today, many people lead unhappy lives: insecure, fearful, angry, and full of hatred, resentment, jealousy, and negative attitude… and that makes them emotionally weak.
How can unhappy people build a happy relationship? It’s like trying to build a house on an earthquake fault. Any tremors of disagreement will shatter the house.
When our relationships are built only on attraction between bodies and minds, we’re drawn to the other person’s superficial details – titles, name and fame – these are temporary relationships. Only relationships built on heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul connections will last. Let’s build those connections instead.
A loving heart is the only heart that can build a true, long-lasting relationship.
To build an intimate and lasting relationship you must start loving yourself first.
How to develop True Love and a True Relationship in your life
- First, fill your heart with love and then extend it to others.
- Practice forgiveness.
- Take full responsibility of your action.
- Self- awareness: accept your limitations and others’.
- Extend goodness and positivity. No competition/ego, judgments or blaming
- Take care of yourself with Yoga, Pranayam (breathing exercises), meditation, affirmations and prayers.
- Do your best…and Let go.
Goodness and Positivity.
Shift your perception and focus on the positive. See good in others; everyone has some good qualities. Recognize them and do not judge others. This will build your own self-esteem and soul-to-soul relationships. “Problems in relationships occur because each person is concentrating on what is missing in the other person.” – Wayne Dyer
Dr. Sandra Murray of the University of Michigan spent years studying “positive illusions.” When partners let go of bitterness and focused on positive messages about themselves and their partners, “relationships persisted, satisfaction increased, conflicts were averted, doubts abated, and personal insecurities diminished.”
When couples filled their hearts with forgiveness, True Love grew. You, too, can reap the reward of an everlasting Valentine’s Day.
Do your best – and let go.
When we love ourselves and others, put our best efforts to build relationship, open our heart, then the divine qualities of True Love develop automatically. We enjoy your life more and have good health, everlasting relationship with self and others- not just for one day. As Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, “When we put our best efforts to develop divine qualities- forgiveness, compassion, love, and tolerance, we not only become dear to each other and build intimate relationship but become dear to God also [His Valentine].” (Gita. 12.20)
The Heart filled with True Love is ready to pour out and build long lasting relationships.
A pure heart, filled with forgiveness, letting go and True Love, is an uncontrollable fountain of love that will pour itself outward, build long lasting relationships that is free from demands, judgments, and expectations and have a positive effect on others. This is the secret of long-lasting relationships. To enjoy an everlasting “Divine Spirit of Valentine” in your life, fill your heart with forgiveness and let go. Forgiving, letting go, plants the seed of True Love in your heart and you will celebrate Valentine’s Day forever.
How to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year?
Love All, Serve All. - Satya Sai Baba
Valentine’s Day is all about True and unconditional love. Therefore, this Valentine’s Day, go beyond body-to-body and mind-to-mind relationships and discover true heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul connections. Heal yourself to become a better soul-mate: offer up your eternal love, rather than dozens of roses that will fade before the weekend’s over.
Once you let go of bitterness and resentment, develop divine qualities, you’ll enjoy being with your loves ones not just for one day. You will finally connect to self and enjoy your life more, enjoying everlasting relationships and also attaining the purpose of life, Love, Peace, and Eternal Happiness, “Sat Chit Anandam.”
May this Valentine’s Day be filled with love, peace, and everlasting happiness as you journey through yourself and together!
Keywords: True Love, Relationships, Meditation, Heart, Soul, Spirit, God, Connection, Gita, Valentine’s Day, Body, Mind, Spirit, Heart, Soul, Peace, Anandam, Sat Chit Ananda, Forgiveness, Self-acceptance, Everlasting
Satya Kalra is a former CEO from Biotech Industry and founder of Path to Anandam (Path to Blissful life). She is a philanthropist, spiritual guide, self-transformational and happiness coach, spiritual guide, meditation and self-healing expert, international speaker.
She has published many spiritual articles and 6 bestselling books such as My Questions and God’s Answers-Bhagavad Gita, 108 Mantra to Awaken Your Soul and four of Path to Anandam pocketbook series. Her recent bestselling book is “Prosperity Forever through art of work”.
Over 35 years, Satya has been practicing and propagating blissful living and helping others to become more self-dependent and self-reliant
She teaches how to attain eternal happiness and peace within and reach your unlimited potential by raising your conscious level.
She has coached, taught and trained 1000s of people on radio stations, TV shows, universities, government agencies non-profit organization and entrepreneurs, CEOs, managers, youth, and families.
In the Company of Sages
by Greg Bogart
Choosing a Teacher
Finding the Lineage and Qualities that Speak to Your Path
Meeting a teacher can impact us so powerfully that we’re seized by a desire to change our lives and embrace the quest for mystical realization. When Rumi, a highly respected scholar, met his teacher Shams of Tabriz, Shams took a book Rumi was writing about philosophy and threw it into a well. Rumi became an ecstatic devotee of Shams and abandoned all else, including scholarship and family responsibilities. After finding a teacher a person may begin to undergo a noticeable transformation and change of habits and lifestyle. One may experience deeper meditations or feel a blissful energy or an opening of the heart, the kindling of an inner fire. Rumi said:
What draws Friends together
does not conform to Laws of Nature.
Form doesn’t know about spiritual closeness. . . .
A hand shifts our birdcages around.
Some are brought closer. Some move apart.
Do not try to reason it out. Be conscious
of who draws you and who not.
A common experience after meeting a teacher is for everything in our lives to fall apart. In the Koran it is said, “I am with those whose hearts are broken for My sake.” Old interests fall away, and old friendships become less compelling as a seeker turns toward the path of spiritual awakening. The disciples of the Indian guru Ramakrishna underwent a profound transformation as a result of their contact with their saintly master. Many were filled with a feverish devotion and burning for enlightenment. Many of them renounced worldly life soon after Ramakrishna’s death and became monks committed to pursuing Self-realization.
We accept a teacher who inspires us to attain the enlightened state through meditation, yoga, and other consciousness-enhancing practices. In deep meditation, the mind quiets down and awareness turns inward, becoming self-reflective, becoming aware of itself as awareness. The diligent practitioner experiences the growth of tranquility, contentment, and wisdom. In Buddhist terms, meditation reveals our dharmakaya nature–the truth body, the pure mind, like a clear mirror. In the Hindu tradition this is known as realization of the Self or Atman, which is one with Brahman, the Absolute.
We need a teacher not only to teach us techniques and doctrine but also to embody the enlightened state, so that we can recognize it in ourselves and attain it. We may also choose a teacher to learn a particular method such as meditation, yoga, or shamanic journeying. Even in cases where a teacher isn’t a fully enlightened Buddha, sage, or siddha guru, we could still grow by studying with that person for a period of time–if the teacher seems clear and balanced and we feel confident that this person can guide us effectively through a stage of our transformation. It’s enough that the teacher embodies a quality of freedom that we wish to emulate.
Teachers appear in many guises. When I met my hatha yoga teacher, Allan Bateman, in 1979, I found that he was quite an unusual individual. Self-taught in yoga, Allan looked like a muscle-bound jock. He moved around his studio in a bikini, sang opera arias, and held in the palm of his hand an enormous cat named Godzilla, who lay on his back stretching out his paws in a magnificent backbend, in full spinal extension. Allan bragged modestly about this and that, and talked about his cattle ranch upstate where he had a herd of Beefalo. I learned so much yoga from this man, I didn’t care if he was some great pundit or intellectual. He wasn’t trying to be saintly. He used his body in his teaching. He was very graceful and respectful and supportive of intelligent movement. He was a free and sexy guy, very confident, and a positive male role model.
John Welwood, author of Awakening the Heart, notes, “Since genuine spiritual teachers come in many different shapes and forms, we’ll no doubt fail if we try to spell out how a good guru should behave.” David Frawley, founder and director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies, echoes this view, saying, “Great gurus may be saints with impeccable characters and lifestyles. However, they may also look like madmen and refuse to conform to any social norms. Society may consider them scoundrels.” We shouldn’t accept a teacher just because everybody else says this is an enlightened sage; nor should we immediately reject all teachers who don’t conform to our expectations or conceptions of holiness. The teacher doesn’t have to be famous, or an impoverished ascetic, or surrounded by important disciples. What’s important is that the teacher’s personal example inspires us, the teacher’s words speak to us deeply, and the teacher’s presence affects us intensely. The guide shows us glimpses of the goal of the spiritual journey, as well as a path we can follow to reach this goal.
In this book we’ll consider how spiritual teachers have been described in a number of world religions. From the insights derived from these traditions, we’ll reach a number of conclusions:
1. Spiritual apprenticeship begins with a personal relationship with a teacher who tangibly affects our awareness and inspires us to practice a contemplative discipline in order to attain enlightenment.
2. Initiation connects the student to the influence of a spiritual lineage that transcends the individual teacher.
3. The student-teacher relationship involves the mutual meditation of the student and teacher upon one another, and may entail the deliberate cultivation of a form of psychic merger or unity that can have a transformative effect upon the student.
4. The relationship may involve experiences of grace in which the teacher functions as a conduit for transmission of transpersonal forces.
When choosing a guide, proceed with care. It’s important to take sufficient time to examine the teacher’s character and note any internal changes that occur as a result of contact with this being. A powerful inner shift of consciousness after meeting a teacher signals us to seek further contact and instruction.Author bio:
Greg Bogart, Ph.D., MFT, is a psychotherapist in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a lecturer in psychology at Sonoma State University, a teacher at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and the author of numerous books on astrology, dreams, yoga, and spiritual depth psychology.
A Difficult and Yet Illuminating January
by Henry Seltzer
The astrology of January features Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto. This large list is due to a very active New Moon chart from the 21st of December, when this start of the current monthly cycle coincided with the Winter Solstice, that in one way of thinking represents a symbolic beginning for the entire year to come. By this measure, we are in for a very intense 2015. The sectors of your chart occupied by Uranus and in particular Pluto will be activated, as well as a general sense of your own personal transformation unfolding. Everyone is in the same boat, although each will respond differently to the evolutionary pressure of this powerhouse combination of planetary energy. It seems that the universe provides what you need at the time that you need it, and that even though what you are going through might be difficult, you always have the ability to rise to the occasion. And, indeed if you do not take this opportunity, you will have another chance.
The process of transformation amounts to letting go of what you no longer need, while strengthening that which you can come to recognize as representing the best part of what you have to offer. This is easy to say, hard to do. And yet we each do what we can of what is before us to accomplish, to the best of our current ability. We are fortunate now in the sense that expansive Jupiter remains quite prominent in the chart for this month and new year, still in trine with a powerfully placed Eris, standing for exploring soul intention. Jupiter also stands apart from the rest of the planets, on one side of the zodiac, therefore stronger by position. Saturn, newly entered into Sagittarius, is also highlighted. There thus is both runaway optimism and an excess of caution available in this month’s astrology. This is a potent combination for finding an opening to your future and yet also getting serious about what is before you.
In the chart of the Capricorn Solstice New Moon that kicked off the current lunation cycle, the Sun is parallel to Venus, and the Moon is parallel to Mars, as these two planets also make aspects to Uranus and Pluto in square alignment, that are square as well to the nodal axis. This is one reason to suspect that this month will be rather intense in terms of the transformational effects of Uranus and Pluto in combination, while another is the closeness of their cardinal degrees, never more than a degree apart from exact for the entire month, and beyond. Uranus and Pluto are separated from the perfection of their square alignment by less than one degree during all the early part of this year, through mid-March. This timing now and over the next few months is in one sense the peak of the entire Uranus-Pluto square alignment, which has lasted from 2009, through the first exact hit in 2012, until now.
January also has its downtime with another Mercury retrograde period in the offing. Mercury stations in mid-Aquarius on January 21st, just one day after the Aquarius New Moon of Sunday, January 20th, and thus the last ten days of January have both the fresh energy and future orientation characterizing a New Moon, and the reflective and meditative thoughtfulness implied by Mercury retrograding through the very same sign. Pluto remains prominent so that the pace of major radical transformation does not let up, urging us to be all that we can be as we tackle the challenges of another intense year of change.
No matter where your evolutionary path might lead, this entire year is definitely a time for stepping up to greater understanding of what you feel in your heart that you must do, in order to fulfill to the promise of your incarnation.
ARIES (March 20-April 19). This is a firecracker of a month for you, Aries, involving both personal and professional growth. Your outer world presence is really taking off in this new year, and taking on added dimensions as well. Individualist though you may be, you find that going it entirely alone is not really an option for you if you are to make happen what you know deep inside to be the result to go for. Group activity of all kinds is also powerful for you now, in the context of your overall achievement orientation. In the final analysis, it is not accomplishment in the eyes of the world that you truly crave. Your triumph comes in small ways as well as large, and your relative success will depend to an extraordinary degree upon your soul intention, of which only you can estimate the true value.
TAURUS (April 20-May 19). You have before you a philosophically acute month and year, Taurus. This is a powerful time of learning for you; an education of a most mysterious and deeply informative kind. This course of study will not lead to a degree, and it as much about inner as outer. Your unconscious is extremely active for you now, and is working behind the scenes in your own best interest. An intuitive process brings you insights that come to your listening ear almost unbidden. Your principles normally tend toward the practical and yet you are in the process of reexamining these in the light of recent circumstances. A new idea is emerging of what is truly practical; what it is that in fact actually works for you over the long haul to move your life forward.
GEMINI (May 20-June 20). This is a pivotal time for you, Gemini, in your fierce drive toward greater wholeness. This month you enter into a more mysterious segment of your already intense learning curve from the previous year. You are descending into your own depths, there to discover the darker side to your normally light-filled personality. As you do, you are going for an even greater degree of connection with important others. There is quite a lot that you can and will learn from partners, and by the exercise of your intuition and by your willingness to probe beneath the surface of your everyday awareness. A process of philosophical speculation drives this home even more profoundly as the month continues to unfold. Plans might go awry and yet still be on target for increasing your awareness of what it is that truly counts.
CANCER (June 21-July 20) This is an important month for you, Cancer, and for your process. Your rather intense arc of development from the previous year continues, with significant persons in your life taking on a larger role. Relationship has been huge for you from the holiday season on, culminating with the January 4th Full Moon in your sign. You are also getting serious about finding your true work in the world, that which, along with providing for your more obvious needs, satisfies your soul. Important persons in your life provide a contrast and an aid to your own efforts, as you seek a greater integration of all your parts. You may currently be feeling the weight of this responsibility for moving toward meaningful change, as well as the joy of beginning to know what it is that you are actually after.
LEO (July 21-Aug. 21) Welcome to a forward-looking month of intense activity, Leo. You are feeling optimistic and fortunate now, and this continues to the extent that you make your own luck with your choices. This is a very philosophically inspiring and service-oriented month for you, as symbolized by the dramatic recent Capricorn New Moon. You are discovering the worldview that allows you to move ahead with your most sincere effort, while coming from your deepest understanding, in a way that enhances your experience and that of others around you as well. You are dedicated and sincere with your idealism and also must remember to bring to the fore every bit of your practicality and caution you can muster. This allows you to shine your light more fully, even as you allow yourself to be held back in following your most extreme impulse.
VIRGO (Aug. 21-Sept. 21) This is the start of an exciting month, Virgo, launching another amazing year of transformational change. Your vision for what you believe that you need to accomplish is rapidly evolving in what seems like a whirlwind, and this includes your ideals regarding the way that you can incorporate the input of significant persons into your own arc of development. You have two powerful concentrations of energy and one involves delving into mystical inner places, with the inspiration of partners, where you discover hidden secrets governing the wellsprings of your more overt behavior. You might find yourself going at this study with a take-no-prisoners attitude of succeed or die in the attempt. The other energy center is very strong right now, and connected with full-on glorious self-expression that yet constantly transforms itself even as you attempt to focus your gaze upon its workings.
LIBRA (Sept. 22-Oct. 22) This is an interesting, fundamentally optimistic and yet in some ways difficult month, Libra. The degree of ease or of difficulty depends entirely upon how well you have been doing your spiritual homework over these past few years. In any case, things might be coming to a head over the course of this month, and somewhere inside yourself you are very aware of this simple and inescapable fact. Key relationships in your life continue to provide surprises, and unexpected enlightenment, as you dream your way into new beginnings regarding your pathway forward. You are changing in the very depths of your being and at some point must acknowledge how radical and how remarkable is your metamorphosis. In the process you are discovering further facets of your path, and coming into greater alignment with your soul intention for this lifetime.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) This is a good month for you, Scorpio, and for communications of all kinds, written, spoken, and as well as the thoughts within the confines of your own mind and heart that will carry you further along the lines of your soul intention. Your psychic environment also includes a great deal of good fortune with professional and career aims that is available for you now to leverage into a broader notion of what success truly means for you. An additional focus is on home and family concerns, and the deep transformation that comes to you through this important area of life, as you evolve and grow. The learning curve that you are ascending is a steep one, and leads you to peaks and vistas that are beyond the ordinary triumphs that are called success in the eyes of the world. Yet they are yours.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 20) This is another interesting and rather intense month for you Sagittarius, furthering your ongoing transformation of values. You have tons of wherewithal at your disposal, and the ability to place your energy in many different directions of accomplishment. Your understanding of what you have, including your finances, is also radically shifting, completing an arc of development that has been years in the making. With concerted effort you have built up your spiritual reserves, while the ordinary run of your worldly affairs is suffused with additional dimensions of meaning. You are exceedingly practical now, and yet retain at least one foot out the door, beyond simplistic reality. By persevering you will move through uncertainty toward a new synthesis that enables you to come at the world more whole, and available to create from an evolved standpoint that includes all of who you are
CAPRICORN (Dec. 21-Jan. 19) Your birthday time continues, Capricorn, and it is rebirth that you seek. You are in for another vibrant month of change as you resume your self-imposed task of soul growth in this powerful season. You are still in motion, your sense of yourself on the line, as much as you have been all this past year. Surprises on the home front are also clues that foster a thought process that is vital for your continued well being. You cannot hesitate but must find within yourself the intrepid explorer, delving down within to bring up the pearl of wisdom. The fear that does not allow you to relax and let go into the chaos that inevitably precedes new birth is perhaps only a mirage. This is to be banished by an act of will arising out of the very depths of your being.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 17) This is an important month for you Aquarius, for what is hinted at in subtle ways and all might be surmised, as you continue the development of your understanding of what lies hidden in the depths of your interior world. This is something of a mysterious cycle that you are in, following upon the recent Capricorn Solstice New Moon in your sector of unconscious process and inner work. Your dreams are likely quite vivid these nights and could conceivably provide clues to what is bubbling up from deep inside you. Your communicative outreach is also enhanced at this time, as is, paradoxically, a sense of introspection later in the month, during your birthday timing. You are therefore extending out to others and simultaneously reaching deep inside, in a form of emotional yoga that leaves you stretched and more fully integrated.
PISCES (Feb. 18-March 19) This is a month of intense transformational power for you, Pisces. You are aiming for an entirely different future than the one that you were heading for a few short weeks ago. You are fundamentally optimistic in a spiritual way; even fluctuations in finances have their positive slant for you. This is an active time of friendships that appear purposeful and group activity in collusion with a burgeoning new directive awareness that arises from your very depths. You are feeling your way into concepts of greater societal involvement and service to others, with the implication of a growing sense of self-identity on a different scale of values from anything prior is emerging in this new month and year. A budding spirit within you that has been on the verge for many months has suddenly taken wing.
Henry Seltzer, transformational astrologer and creator of the TimePassages astrology software, is based in Santa Cruz, California. An extended look at this month’s star signs and a variety of astrology reports are available on his website. Henry also offers life enhancing private astrological counseling. Call him at 831-425-3686, or visit his website at www.astrograph.com.
The Science and Practice of Humility
by Jason Gregory
The Way of the Warrior and Path of the Sage
The structure of consciousness is broken down into three planes that build the fabric of reality–physical, mental, and spiritual. Consciousness is not only the foundation of the universe, but it is the whole universe. In discovering this we come to the question of which plane is the truth? If all is consciousness, could one level be more truthful than the others? We could say that those who dwell within the physical and mental planes or body-mind state are under the spell of the deluded mind and do not know their true selves nor their place within the universe. While those on the spiritual plane know who they really are, know their relationship to the universe, and can see reality as it truly is through the evolution of perception. Although one state knows the truth of evolution and the other is still a slave to the ego, the fact is they are both the truth–all levels are needed to make up what we call existence. Without the contrast of the mundane, we could not see harmony. To perceive harmony you need the intrinsic parts that make up the formation of what you see.
The fundamental truth does not lay in the levels of consciousness but in awareness itself. The individual who truly sees the world has had an overwhelming transformation. So when we mention truth we are not referring to one level as better than another but to an understanding of the correct way to see the totality of existence through consciousness. And the holy sage’s perception is a mirror reflection of how the universe is; this is called the “evolution of perception.” The way in which the universe moves in its flow and patterned harmony is within our consciousness as well. We either know this or we don’t. The way we see the world holds us to what “is” and “isn’t.”
Two Primary States of Awareness
A human has two primary states of awareness or modes of Being–those who are drawn into the daily dramas of life and those who have the elevated perspective of seeing a fractal harmony within all life. These two states of awareness run parallel with the conscious state of the false ego and the true self. The ego perceives the fine detail of reality. Like a microscope, the ego focuses on very tiny matters of life but then mistakenly builds its psychology around these insignificant situations. On the other hand, the true-self is a state of consciousness so pure that it constantly sees that life is pattern. In this state one can visualize the unfolding universe. This state of awareness is a mind of no deliberation, a mind that does not attach itself to any circumstance or thought–past, present, or future. The true self is one who dwells within the spiritual plane and knows the soul vibrations, hence the evolution of perception. The state of consciousness we are referring to here is associated with the teachers of eternity, while the state of consciousness of the ego caught in the details is referred to as the masses or the profane.
In all levels of life we find the teacher and student relationship–parent and child, teacher and student, or the most mysterious of all, the master and disciple. Both primary states of awareness are reflected in this immutable relationship between master and disciple. Disciples are still deluded by the mind, whereas masters know the totality of their own Being. In the great work of eternity these two modes of Being are known as the warrior and the sage. Evidence of these two modes are found throughout ancient scriptures and mystical stories, most notably in the Vedantic treatises of the Bhagavad Gita and Ribhu Gita (or Song of Ribhu). In both classics the warriors are suffering from their own minds and blights within this world. As they begin to question their minds, out of nowhere the guidance of the sage appears. The whole process in both scriptures is to take the warrior’s mode of perception out of the details of life into the vision of the divine. The Bhagavad Gita demonstrates this as Krishna, the sage, is attempting to move the warrior Arjuna’s awareness out of the daily mundane struggles of life into the vision of Brahman so that he might see the infinite in all things. Texts 31, 32, and 33 of the Bhagavad Gita state:
When a sensible man ceases to see different identities due to different material bodies and he sees how beings are expanded everywhere, he attains to the Brahman conception.
Those with the vision of eternity can see that the imperishable soul is transcendental, eternal, and beyond the modes of nature. Despite contact with the material body, O Arjuna, the soul neither does anything nor is entangled.
The sky, due to its subtle nature, does not mix with anything, although it is all-pervading. Similarly, the soul situated in Brahman vision does not mix with the body, though situated in that body.
Through the awareness of a warrior and a sage either chaos or order descends upon Earth, but again it’s a matter of perception. Throughout time one of the biggest problems to plague this planet has been the fostering of the warrior’s consciousness and the continual suppression of the sage’s consciousness. There is no one to blame for this other than ourselves. Our obstinate refusal to look within ourselves to find the true problems in our world has allowed us to further justify our own habitual ways that are slowly killing the human species. For us to ward off this fate we really need to grasp where our awareness is rooted. To do this we need to explore the characteristics of a warrior and a sage.
Jason Gregory is a teacher and international speaker specializing in the fields of Eastern and Western philosophy, comparative religion, metaphysics, and ancient cultures. For several years he studied with masters in Buddhism, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Hinduism, and Taoism, traveling to some of the most remote places in the world. The filmmaker of the documentary The Sacred Sound of Creation, he divides his time between Asia and Australia.
Printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com
by Henry Seltzer
November: An Important Transitional Month
The astrology of November features a recovering Mercury, along with Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Although improving nicely, Mercury is still shaky from its recent retrograde that ended on the last full weekend of October, the final of 2014. These happen three times a year, usually in the same element. Mercury’s next retrograde will be on January 21st in Aquarius, and all three 2015 occurrences will be in Air signs. On into the current month, Mercury leaves Libra behind for the second time this fall on Saturday, November 8th, returning to the sign of Scorpio where it started its retrograde motion in early October, and thereby escapes its “retrograde shadow.” Then the last vestiges of this particular retrograde period will be over. For the remainder of the month we will perhaps still be integrating the lessons learned during this introspective and revealing period of time.
This month as well, Uranus and Pluto are drawing closer to the next hit of their storied square, perfecting in mid-December. They are separated by a mere 2 ¼ degrees as the month begins, still less by its close. The Scorpio New Moon eclipse from late October, when the New Moon and Jupiter made quintile aspects to Pluto while retrograde Mercury opposed Uranus, triggered these two powerhouse planets that are thus featured in this monthly cycle as they draw near to their recurring square, a major theme lately. The final denouement has yet to take place, with the next year representing perhaps the most intense example of their transformative and revolutionary interaction, manifesting on both a collective and a personal level, as this decade of the turbulent teens continues to unfold.
Neptune is equally triggered during this rather intense month, which is actually a transitional time leading to the ending of the year. In addition to its prominence in the Scorpio New Moon configuration, being trined by Sun, Moon and Venus, with a close parallel from Venus to Neptune, there is also the factor of its speed. Neptune stations to direct motion on Saturday, November 15th, standing dead still in the sky. Moving quite slowly now, Neptune is therefore greatly emphasized, changing its position by a matter of only a few minutes of Zodiacal longitude from November 1st through to the 30th. All month we will be enjoying an extra dose of his otherworldly and spacey energy. Idealism bordering on illusion, perhaps confusion, will be the rule rather than the exception.
Expansive Jupiter, traveling through Leo and having a similar spiritual meaning to Neptune, although more engaged in the here-and-now, is also highlighted in November’s astrology, being powerfully configured in the recent Scorpio New Moon eclipse. When Jupiter moves into the 22nd degree of the sign of Leo, during the mid-month Last Quarter Moon, with the Moon in close conjunction, Jupiter makes an almost perfect trine with the new planet, Eris, in the 23rd degree of Aries. This recently discovered planetary archetype seems to be involved with a warrior-like stand for deep purpose. This mid-month period is therefore a powerful time, when you might expect to encounter further facets of your own internal fortitude. We all need this expansive and visionary energy, along with an increased awareness of the deeper process within us, in order that we attune more completely to our soul intention.
ARIES (March 20-April 19). This is the start of an exciting climax to an intense year, Aries, as you enter into yet another new and dramatic phase. You have been very busy these past few months creating a better alignment between your vision, your actions, and your deeper purpose as you are coming to understand it, a work in progress that is far from complete. This month takes you into new territory. You are finding out what your dreams are really made of, more concretely than you would have formerly thought possible. These messengers from your unconscious can come to your active aid as you scale the walls of your ambition once again, this time in a more integrated fashion. You are learning to be yourself in a way that permits others in, without losing your own sense of unique destiny.
TAURUS (April 20-May 19). This is an interesting month for you, Taurus, especially with regard to of the key relationships in your life and your desire for better connection. You are coming at life from the inside out. You might feel within yourself a tendency now to leave yourself behind for the sake of others, although this is an illusion. You are being asked by cosmic powers to go beyond previous limitations in whatever way you can. This refers to ideas or beliefs that could be holding you back from a fuller experience of life that is all around you, awaiting your readiness to participate. What you are after is in essence deeply lodged within you. Your gains could be enormous in terms of partnership trust and recognition, plus your own understanding of yourself at profound levels.
GEMINI (May 20-June 20). This is an exciting month for you, Gemini, as you head into the ending of a climactic year. You are strong on service to others right now, and for finding your sense of higher duty to some important part of yourself of which you are perhaps becoming more aware. Workplace concerns and health issues play into this. You are striving to discover the essence of what you truly believe and have the determination to bring forward. As the retrograde of your ruler, Mercury, begins to disperse over this first week of November, it leaves you with a residue of fantastic vision that you might be able, with effort, to bring closer to fruition over the next two months. Partnership in your life plays a key role right now, allowing you to open further to your innermost self.
CANCER (June 21-July 20) This is another amazing month for you, Cancer, as you head into the transitional closing weeks of the old year and come to a totally new phase with your life and work. You are full of playful enthusiasm right now and more confident of your choices, which have a serious edge beneath the jollity. Your work in the world has been successful lately although it can also seem an empty category without a distinct component of your deeper purpose, and you are feeling this quite strongly. As you navigate the aftermath of the recent Mercury retrograde you are coming to some startling conclusions, the springboard for meaningful action. You are dwelling in some of the deeper places within your psyche, and starting to accept these as normal parts of who you are and what you do, to your great advantage.
LEO (July 21-Aug. 21) This is a rather strange month for you, Leo, in the aftermath of a powerful October cycle. This is in fact a time of exploration of new possibilities, both in terms of outer world commitment and also for a different set of priorities corresponding to hidden facets of your personality. You are finding joy and a great deal of enthusiasm in pushing your persona, as you move quite naturally further into self-confident personal interaction. It is also likely that issues could arise on the home front, or that situations could trigger you in unexpected ways. The good news is that once you adopt a subtler and more accepting mindset, all this can lead you to a much better understanding of dark places within you, paradoxically granting you broader scope in outer world affairs as well as inner.
VIRGO (Aug. 21-Sept. 21) This is an interesting and informative month for you, Virgo, even though in order to see further into your situation you might have to acknowledge a deeper mindset than your ordinary everyday one. Riding on the coattails of your philosophical explorations lately, your worldview is subtly altering to accommodate a wider perspective that includes greater recognition of your inner world. With your ruler, Mercury, just beginning to straighten out, still residing in your resources sector, you have likely been experiencing fluctuations in your finances or at the very least taking an unusually deep interest in these matters, attempting to come to a new understanding of your agendas and desires. You have made significant progress during the past month, and this current cycle could include sudden breakthrough, enabling you to put the icing on the cake.
LIBRA (Sept. 22-Oct. 22) This is an important monthly cycle for you, Libra, that can perhaps best be thought of as one of transition, following upon a somewhat difficult and life-changing Mercury retrograde period last month that had you reviewing your foundations. This is leading you toward a new set of realizations concerning your deeper process and your partnership dynamic as you head into the ending of the year. The tenor of this penultimate month is one of consolidation of your process over this entire year and yet also expansion of your personal worldview and your ideas for your next phase. You are taking relationship with significant others as an important component of your idealistic future plans, while also acknowledging the power of own viewpoint.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) This is potentially a huge monthly cycle for you, Scorpio, beginning as it does with a solar eclipse in the very first degree of your sign. This follows a thoughtful and even introspective month of October, when Mercury began its period of retrograde motion there as well. This is also a time of highlighted Jupiter, residing in your sector of outer world activity and prominence, indicating that even as you pause to look more closely into your activities, you are enthused about your work and status in the world. With your ruler, Mars, recently entered into your third solar sector of communications, there is plenty of juice for you right now in the way of sharing your ideas with others around you. As you do you recognize the contribution of your inner world.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 20) This is a strange month Sagittarius, in many ways a transitional one as you head into the ending of a climactic year. Deep inside, your angel guides are calling you to an unusual summit. As you become more aware than ever of what is going on for you beneath the surface layers of your personality, your values and your understanding of who you are and what you can yet produce are a moving target. This has been true for some time, and right now they seem to be seeking a new level of depth and also commitment from you. This is confusing and yet invigorating. You are questing to discover the qualities of self-expression that match your most profound inner purpose. Once you find this, than everything that you touch, even of the most ordinary nature, turns to gold.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 21-Jan. 19) This is a powerful time for you, Capricorn. This month represents a definite shift and movement into the final stages of the year, as well as your birthday time, and the springboard for the opening weeks of 2015. This is a year that promises to be even more exciting in many ways than the current one that is coming to its close. You are sealing the deal on changes that you have been somewhat aware of and yet also unsure about, even as you take faltering steps toward them. This is almost in spite of the way that your egoic self sees things. One faction within you is glad and another is afraid regarding the idea of leaving behind some part of yourself that has grown so very familiar. This evolution is however fully in accord with the unspoken desires of your deeper being, whose call is becoming more insistent as time goes on.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 17) An interesting and perhaps somewhat confounding month awaits you, Aquarius. There has been a time of soul-searching, especially where profession is involved. You might still be reviewing where your life is heading or the way that outer world performance interacts with your most fundamental beliefs. Having been through the wringer, you are feeling a sense of release. Your communication is inspired and sporadically magical as you continue to wrestle with issues of allowing your deep inner perspective a more prominent place at the table of your conscious awareness. As you race ahead with outer world commitments you are feeling the connection with inner realities in a way that is more accessible than ever. That these subtle factors are vital to your continued well being is something that you are now more fully prepared to admit.
PISCES (Feb. 18-March 19) This is a fabulous time of revitalization, Pisces, heading into the ending of the year. This is for you an interesting season of more and greater conscious transformation. You are coming into yourself in a novel way, as though your world were being born anew all around you. It could be that various voices speaking their truth can come to be viewed as constituting an important wisdom that you are finally ready to hear. This is also with reference to the battles you have gracefully fought for the past several months regarding how to plug yourself in with social setting that you find yourself in the midst of. A new understanding is being forged within you, independent of what has come before, freed from the constraints of early conditioned response or consensus thinking.
Henry Seltzer, transformational astrologer and creator of the TimePassages astrology software, is based in Santa Cruz, California. An extended look at this month’s star signs and a variety of astrology reports are available on his website. Henry also offers life enhancing private astrological counseling. Call him at 831-425-3686, or visit his website at www.astrograph.com.
The Pleiadian House of Initiation
by Mary T. Beben
Excerpt from Chapter Eleven
Ten years passed between the day I met Grandmother Spider in the hallway on the third floor of the Pleiadian mansion (when I thought I was about to discover more of the marvelous fourth level but instead was catapulted into the deepest dive of my life) and the time I began to recover and re-enter my life. At that point I felt as though I could go on and live a productive life again, but it seemed to me as if I had been permanently broken in some unrecoverable way. I felt my age more than ever before–I was seventy-four and did not believe there was much of life left to me. Still, I could smile again and enjoy family and friends. And then . . .
. . . I died.
In January of 2012 I contracted a sudden and very pernicious pneumonia in both lungs. I was hospitalized for seven full days in a state of weakness and illness that frightened my family and worried the doctors. I was not as aware of the seriousness of my state as they were, although I knew I was very sick. During the first hours after being placed into bed in the hospital room I went through the death experience that I will attempt to describe. I must truthfully say that none of the attending staff were aware I had actually passed over the line. It must have been very brief in linear time, but what I experienced was rather long and terrifying.
I did not see any lights or tunnels or friendly beings, as is so often the report of those who have had NDEs. Instead I was taken to hell while still alive. This part of the journey was real beyond tolerance and unendurable. Other than the illness I felt no physical pain, but I was immersed in scenes of unbearable cruelty of one human being or more to other humans. I was unable to turn away or shut my eyes, even though I’m sure my physical eyes were closed in the hospital bed. No matter how I prayed and pleaded not to have to see, I was exposed to up-close scenes of the most bestial horrors. Over and over again I retched as the brutality could not be endured. What made the events so terrible was the fact that I knew beyond question that these were not imaginary scenes from a movie or from some distant memories but were actual happenings on Earth right then–happening in the moment right before my eyes. I cannot prove this statement, of course, but there was no doubt or thought of any kind except that I was witnessing a reality, not a dream.
After what seemed a full day and a half, this mercifully ended. I was then taken by what felt like two winged beings to a place that at first I did not recognize. Although I had never read a real description of this place, I soon understood that it was the River Styx and I was about to have my life entirely extinguished. The winged beings were holding me by my head and feet and were lowering me toward the repulsive swamp. I could see immediately that there was no coming back from this place of decay. It was a sluggish, yellow mud, not a river as I would have pictured from mythology books. It was just liquid enough to gurgle slightly as it barely moved, and the stench of sulfur was overwhelming. It looked like nothing so much as putrefied matter that would be toxic even to breathe. I was inches away from it and about to be dropped in.
Some observing function in me was still operating and this part was totally mystified by the situation and by my own behavior. For I was not struggling or fighting it in any way. The observer was thinking: “This is not how God would have me die, surely!” It made no sense that I would die and lose everything I had worked for in my whole life. I could see that there was no resurrection of any kind possible after this. Yet the other part of me just yielded to the choice and said, “Oh well, if this is how it is . . .” right before I was totally blotted out.
As I began to recover from the pneumonia and eventually left the hospital, I distinctly remembered this extremely real episode but did not understand what it was. It took weeks and then more weeks as I began to understand the momentous thing that had happened. I did not tell the doctors about it because I was very puzzled about it myself. Little by little, the facts sorted themselves out as I realized it was another spiritual experience of transformation. This seems to have been, for me, the definitive experience of leaving behind all broken-ness, all past history, all sense of a former life, and beginning life in the Eternal Now. I have come back from death itself to bring my message of what one knows after passing over. And that leads us right back into the marvelous mansion.
Since my dip into the River Styx, a new life has taken over my entire being. It has been sixteen months since then, and shortly after this experience I was finally admitted farther into the fourth level of the mansion in the Pleiades. There is where I discovered trunks overflowing with the fabric of creation. I have received almost constant guidance about the way we shall build the Earth together, using our own chaos to weave the future. It only needs sorting and dedicated weaving to create anew from what the Earth has provided.
I have learned that fear is absolutely useless and that everything can be worked out from this higher level.
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The Pleiadian House of Initiation by Mary T. Beben © 2014 Bear & Company. Printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com
Grail Alchemy: Initiation in the Celtic Mystery Tradition
by Mara Freeman
Excerpt: Connecting with the Higher Self
It will take most of us countless lifetimes to attain the union of Soul and Spirit, an achievement we usually associate with a few exceptional men and women like Theresa of Avila, Meister Eckhart, Ramana Maharshi, or the Buddha: those whom we call mystics or enlightened ones who have achieved a state of direct union with God or the Absolute. Yet we do in fact have access to a high spiritual source through a Higher Self (sometimes called the Divine Self) which resides within each of us and with whom we can make a connection. In some esoteric circles the Higher Self is called the Holy Guardian Angel, and regarded as one of the angelic kingdom who resides outside of ourselves and who walks by our side as a guide and mentor from birth to death. Yet, as Dion Fortune writes, it is not a separate entity at all:
The Higher Self is a single, unified whole, which builds up around the Divine Spark, which is the nucleus of each human manifestation.
This spiritual influence emanates from the highest Source, the Great Spirit, Radiant Mystery or Absolute, yet is ‘stepped down’ in frequency so that the human nervous system can handle the energy. For readers familiar with the Qabalistic Tree of Life, this is the equivalent of raising one’s consciousness to the level of the sphere of Tifaret where the spiritual force can flow down from Keter and be grounded at Malkut on the Middle Pillar.
Once you have been able to sense a connection with your Higher Self you will find it is always present to be of help and guidance when called upon, especially if you are in crisis. You may experience it as male, female, neither, or both. It is a wise and loving mentor and guide, ever present to help each of us grow and evolve to our highest capacity in the current lifetime. The Higher Self is not as interested in what you are doing as much as who you are becoming, how much you are willing to open to the Light of Spirit and let it shine through all that you do and are while you are here on Earth.
It is the personal tutor of your soul, whose role is to gently instruct, encourage and awaken you to the qualities of compassion, wisdom, tolerance, generosity, patience, humor, detachment, and inner peace. The Higher Self is the one that heightens our consciousness at those times when the world seems shot through with an otherworldly beauty and joy; or we feel inspired and ennobled, and can see beyond all doubt the perfect unfolding of the tapestry of our lives, and perhaps even catch a glimpse of the Weaver at work on the Loom of the Universe. Above all, the Higher Self is always there, waiting patiently for us to open to the pure, unconditional love and healing it has to offer us on our earthly journey.
When we quieten the Ego enough so that the soul opens to allow the Light of Spirit, to shine in via the Higher Self – we fill our inner Grail with divine energies. The processes described in this chapter will give you a way to open the necessary channels and begin to make contact with the divine being within you. After that, your progress is entirely dependent on how willing you are to make a commitment to your spiritual growth, which requires a great deal of one-pointed intention and disciplined practice. Even more important is the willingness to surrender our little self to the Greater – a concept that the Ego is guaranteed to resist with every fiber of its being!
Seeing with the Eyes of the Soul
Wellesley Tudor Pole once wrote:
One great truth has become my constant companion. I sum it up thus: “Empty yourself if you would be filled.” The Waters of Life can never flow through me until I have surrendered my whole self.
Each of us is already connected with the soul within – after all, the soul is who we really are! The challenge is to consciously know this at more than the intellectual level: to be living our lives as much as we can from the perspective of the soul. There are as many different ways of doing this as there are spiritual paths, east and west, and such methods usually come under the heading of ‘meditation.’
There are of course many different varieties of meditation, and one of the simplest and most effective methods is a Yogic practice called Inner Silence. It is a way of learning to see with the ‘eyes of the soul.’ Practicing the Inner Silence meditation allows the mind to process and release material that has been buried in your subconscious for a long time. Your psyche becomes less encumbered and cluttered with unwanted patterns of thinking, negative programming, and old psychological issues.
This is what Tudor Pole means by ‘emptying yourself’ so that you can become a clear, still channel able to receive spiritual influence from a higher plane of being. It is a subtle form of meditation – simple, but not easy – but is an essential first step towards disengaging from the constant clamor of the egoic mind in order to identify with the serene and unperturbed field of the soul, and come to know that this is truly who you are.Grail Alchemy: Initiation in the Celtic Mystery Tradition by Mara Freeman © 2014 Destiny Books. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com
Parenting With Authenticity
By Dr. Marta Adelsman
I grew up with parents who played roles. My father wore the commander-in-chief mask, using orders and threats to try to control my sister and me. My mother played the consoler. Rarely did they reveal the real person behind the roles.
You probably saw your parents play roles, too, and those roles became the model for what a parent “ought” to be. Later, if you had children, you slipped easily into the mold of that “ought.”
As perceptive little people, your children know when you play a role. They see right through your inauthenticity. Since they don’t know how to talk about their perceptions and their feelings, they let you know you’re being inauthentic by misbehaving. You, their teachers or your friends may label them as “sassy,” “trouble-makers,” or “disobedient.” They push your buttons and, just when you want them to behave and make you look good, they embarrass you in front of your friends. Can you tell I’ve been there?
A wise parent will learn from the feedback provided by their children’s misbehavior. When you can see their acting out as a mirror for your own lack of authenticity, you have taken a big step toward becoming more authentic.
How do you drop the roles you play with your children? You relate from your humanness. You let them know your real feelings, thoughts, doubts, joys and insecurities. You become an authentic teacher, modeling for your children how to tell the truth.
One day my oldest son, Aaron (then 12), became irate that I had allowed his youngest brother, Paul, to get away with something. “Mom!” he protested, shaking with anger and red in the face. “If that were me, I would have gotten into deep trouble!”
I recalled how, before I transformed my parenting, I had sometimes treated him harshly. I responded authentically: “You’re right,” I confessed. “You’re our firstborn, which means we’ve never done this parenting thing before, and we’re learning on you. I know I don’t always get it right. I’m sorry you got caught in my lack of experience, and I’m really sorry I treated you harshly before I knew better.”
I saw Aaron’s anger drain out of him. My confession of imperfection made me more human in his eyes, and he could identify. Other authentic confessions might sound like: “I feel terrible when I yell at you.” “I don’t know the answer to your question.” “Sometimes the choices you make scare me.”
“If I talk like that, my child will never respect me!” you say. On the contrary, if you express your emotions and tell on your insecurities, you give your child permission to do the same and he will respect you more. Be willing to look deeply at yourself to become authentic with you. As you shine that authenticity onto your children, you will reap huge benefits of mutual respect.
Dr. Marta practices in the Verde Valley of Arizona as a Life Coach in Communication & Spiritual Consciousness. She earned a doctorate in Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and received her Life Coach training from The Institute for Global Listening and Communication. She is the author of Why Wallow When You Can Soar? firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 928-451-9482.