Sedona Conscious Magazine

The Accidental Shaman

The Accidental Shaman

Excerpt – 5

SOUL RETRIEVAL  

“The soul is not in the body, but the body in the soul.” 
     –Alan Watts

For thousands of years the most prodigious philosophers, sages, and theologians have attempted to define what the soul is. More than two thousand years ago, Aristotle in his book De Anima (On the Soul) acknowledged that this is one of the most challenging enigmas for a philosopher to master. In Greek the word for soul is psyche, and this term in contemporary usage has varying interpretations; it is worth noting that the term psychology literally means “study of the soul.” 

To provide a working definition of soul in a healing and transformative context I refer to it as life force. This is the life force that animates our physical life on Earth. Soul is metaphorically in the body, in our guts. It responds to life, to rhythm, the joy of life, music. The purpose of soul retrieval is to have as much of our life force as possible in order to live this life to the greatest degree that we can as human beings. 

My subjective vision of the soul or life force is of a bio-geometric structure that contains our memories, our emotions, and our experiences from our very beginning in the physical world–the moment of our conception. I usually describe the soul using a metaphor of a three dimensional tapestry consisting of threads, fibers, and filaments. Each thread is a discrete element, a story or an experience that stretches back in time. In addition these threads form part of a larger geometric structure of our parents and personal ancestry that also stretches back in time and is part of a larger more encompassing structure and so on. 

Soul retrieval is one of the most effective and well-known practices to restore lost life force. The loss of life force is known as soul loss, and this can take place when we suffer a trauma—an accident, separation from a partner, the death of a loved one–or go through a pervasive period of difficult circumstances. When we undergo a severe trauma typically a part of our life force goes away, so that we can survive whatever is happening to us. It is a way for the body and consciousness to survive severe trauma. But problems develop when the soul part or fragment does not return. 

Shamanism does not dwell on past events; there is only this great moment of now where there is no separate past, present, or future. It is possible for a practitioner to journey and move outside of linear time to go to the place where that traumatic event is still occurring for a person and to locate and restore that person’s life force, which has been held in that energetic event. When this restoration has been carried out, the deep healing can truly begin. 

The concept that the threads contained in our individual soul connect to larger structures or fields of consciousness is shown in the following story. Helga, a German woman in her early thirties, came to see me with severe asthma, which she had suffered with most of her life. I must point out that her intention was purely for relief of the asthma and not any soul retrieval or related work. 

As I made my initial energetic connection to her, I felt this overpowering sense of smothering, oppression, and choking. The feeling was so strong that it didn’t seem possible that it came from her. I started to energetically move through the layers of her soul-tapestry, and as I followed the thread I entered Germany during the Nazi era. I saw the Swastikas, and I could hear the voices and marching music of that time. Although this was unexpected, I have learned through experience to trust my vision and intuition, after all I was following the thread of her asthma. 

I suggested that I take a shamanic journey to explore the source of her asthma. She agreed, and I started to journey. At my initial “conference” with the Spirit guides they issued me a gas mask. Again, this was unexpected, but I put it on. I came into a town where the atmosphere was filled with thick, yellowish, pungent fumes. I walked around this town covered in this thick yellowish fog, and then felt a “pull,” a kind of magnetic attraction to enter a particular house. I entered the house and down below in the cellar I found Helga as a young girl of about eight or nine. She was sitting against a wall, with her knees drawn to her chest in great fear and anxiety. I gently approached her and told her who I was and why I was there, which was to rescue her, to take her out of this place and bring her home to her future self. 

I brought her back. In that reality she was a little girl and in the physical reality the little girl became energy or life force. I blew the returned soul part into the woman’s chest, at which she experienced an enormous shudder, followed by very deep breathing at the return and union of her life forces. Helga’s immediate response was that she felt energized, clearer, and just lighter in her body, and no longer had the feeling of being crushed in her chest. 

Once she had rested, we spoke again, and she told me that in the town where she was born there was a factory where the poisonous Zyklon B gas used in the Nazi extermination camps had been manufactured. She emphasized that “although everybody knew this, no one ever talked about it.” So this young woman who was not even alive at the time of the war had suffered what I can only describe as an existential trauma–a collective soul wound. Her lifelong breathing predicament–manifested as asthma–connected directly to the figuratively speaking poisoned atmosphere that resulted from the unspoken conspiracy to conceal this dark secret.

Author bio:  Howard G. Charing is a director of the Eagle Wing’s Centre for Contemporary Shamanism and has taught at Dr. Michael Harner’s Foundation for Shamanic Studies. He holds workshops internationally and in addition runs Plant Medicine Retreats in the Peruvian Amazon. He lives in England and Peru.

The Accidental Shaman by Howard Charing © 2017 Destiny Books. Printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International.  HYPERLINK “http://www.InnerTraditions.com” www.InnerTraditions.com

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Transformational Astrology March 2017 by Henry Seltzer

Transformational Astrology

March 2017

by Henry Seltzer

The astrology of March features Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Eris. All the outer planets are once again invoked, presaging the transformation of life structures and urging us to reach beyond the surface events of our lives for the deeper meaning. The very dynamic New Moon and Solar Eclipse of late February has ignited a lunation cycle for the current month that has plenty of strength of movement. In the midst of a series of powerful monthly cycles, we therefore come upon what might be the time of peak intensity for the first half of a very intense year. This is so because the Uranus-Jupiter opposition is still close, emphasized by Eris in close conjunction with Uranus, coming to exact by March 17th, and this opposition is triggered by Mars in conjunction with Uranus in the solar eclipse configuration. This brings into full prominence the Uranus-Pluto square, hallmark outer-planet combination of this decade, so that Pluto moves front and center into the picture, square to both ends of the opposition. Additionally, the Sun and Moon at the eclipse moment closely conjunct Neptune, allowing all the subtlety and the paradox of this numinous other-dimensional planetary archetype to hold sway. This is a quite potent brew, aimed directly at all of us, encouraging us, if we have the courage, to begin letting go of previous assumptions and habitual modes of behavior in favor of the unknown possibility.

My research has shown Eris to be a Feminine Warrior energy for soul intention. Eris and Uranus in combination lead us to the inescapable conclusion that we must strive to the utmost to understand and express our deepest truth, and act upon that knowledge no matter how unusual the messenger or how much this might run counter to the consensus thinking that we see evidenced all around us. This makes for an important catalyst, encouraging us to boldly continue with the radical structural changes of this potent decade, as indicated by Uranus and Pluto in their square alignment in support of meaningful change.
Along with Uranus, and Eris, for the March cycle both Venus and Mars are found in Aries. Mars is in perfect conjunction with Uranus in the eclipse configuration, while Venus in mid-Aries turns to retrograde motion on March 4th, introducing an introspective turn of mind and heart. We may well be looking under the covers of all our relationship motivation. Our values and our basis for feelings of security also come into greater scrutiny. Intuition and impulsiveness run strong. We may need to beware of jumping ahead so fast that mistakes or even accidents take place. Brilliant ideas become the norm, and can be useful for allowing us to think about old difficulties in new ways, or to make an imaginative leap outside the box of former conceptions.
A dynamic month of March awaits us, with the potential for either disruption or radical new beginnings. Instead of choosing to quail before the power of these changing times, let us rather celebrate them as the harbinger of a brighter dawn, for our beleaguered society, and for each one of us individually.

 

ARIES (March 20-April 19).This is an entirely dynamic month of March for you, Aries. You have an amazing collision of energies in your sign that practically jet-propel you out of existing ruts and onto the trail of new endeavors, while, at the same time, you are also paying even closer attention than in the recent past to your own deep interior process. This is a powerfully transformative time, most of this past year, in some ways peaking now. In another month full of surprises, you could find that you are being challenged to leave behind outmoded dysfunctional behaviors that are holding you back. Partners are extremely helpful, with new perspectives on ancient situations. The New Moon eclipse that preceded the advent of the current month by a few days’ time took pace in your sector of dream imagination and inner work, indicating that most of your transformation is taking place on the inside.

 

TAURUS (April 20-May 19). This is a month that takes you away from ordinary pursuits, Taurus,  the better to allow you to return, eventually, to your more authentic self. There are several indications in the astrological currents swirling about you now that you are passing through a deeply meditative time when much of what seems to be on the table for you is shifting and morphing. You may have become dissatisfied lately with future prospects, and yet, this month, finding renewed optimism. With a powerful emphasis on inner work, you are looking to the inside for better answers. Your ruler, Venus, is retrograding for most of the month in this same sector, so that you are driven further inward. Due to this retrograde cycle, Venus, now in Aries, will not enter your sign until early June. You are thus in the midst of a months-long period of reassessment, and of increasing meditative awareness, that you do well to make the most of.

 

GEMINI (May 20-June 20). This is an interesting, powerful and somewhat crazy time for you, Gemini, in the midst of months of such intensity. The surprises keep magnifying upon each other and exceeding the previous high-water mark for the unexpected. To keep sane, the trick is that you can read the events your life just like a novel, the symbolism is so direct, even stark, and that they can lead you to some overwhelming conclusions if you will let them. You are finding your way forward in an innovative manner that allows business as usual to take place, and yet to also be transcended by that which is of greater value. Your self-expression is powerfully invoked, along with all the many layers of your career aspirations, and yet there is a sense that it must be more. When your creativity fits itself into a pattern of concretely available societal evolution, only then does it becomes truly satisfying.

 

CANCER (June 21-July 20) This is another month of intensity for you Cancer, and yet also of the opportunity to take away some fresh insights, as you are able to read between the lines of events and stories. Even though your work in the outer world is buzzing like a super productive hive, although at times in unexpected directions, your primary mission is to glean wisdom from everything that is happening to you now, including on the relationship front. In spite of business accolades you are very tied to your own inner world, just as the astrological currents have stimulated your thirst for an expanded worldview that depends on more fully understanding yourself in these deeper layers of your psyche. In the midst of turns and twists of circumstance, and in spite of preconceived ideas, you are being gently nudged to embrace the fundamental paradox of existence and to surrender to what is.

 

LEO  (July 21-Aug. 20) This is a month of discovering, growing and transforming, Leo, like many of the past six months or more. There yet is a way that you will reach new levels of growth over the course of a wild cycle of surprising and even startling enlightenment. Your learning curve is steep right now and so too are the rewards you will glean from following your inner instincts in this quest for knowledge and self-understanding. You have likely been a bit stuck in certain ways, reluctant to fully let go of some element of your behavior that has long passed its usefulness, and if so it is time to accept your flaws and move on. In furthering your continuing psychic momentum, communication and perception are key. The more you take in, the greater the opportunity for allowing that to ferment inside you in order to produce meaningful, and lasting, change.

 

VIRGO (Aug. 21-Sept. 21) This month in many ways concerns partnership, Virgo, and its effect on your life, but it is also about your own self-development. It might be that a huge role is played by a process of mentorship and the helpful perspectives that important others bring. The issue of partnership is symbolized throughout the March lunation cycle, as this was kicked of by a powerful New Moon eclipse in your opposite sign. You could be celebrating the importance of your relationship connections, or become engaged in mulling over the ways that others impinge upon and enrich your own experience. This month is also all about getting a better handle on values, goals, and settling into a sense of psychological security that is based on inner knowing rather than any form of outer validation. As you look within, and study your relationship interactions, you will be making headway in better understanding yourself.

 

LIBRA (Sept. 22-Oct. 22) This is an interesting month for you, Libra, one of attempting to more firmly establish a sense of personal mission for yourself. Your process there is fraught with many unexpected twists, turns, and confusions. Your ruler, Venus, located in your relationship sector as the month begins, turns to retrograde motion on the 4th and does not re-enter your opposite sign until nearly the end of April, symbolizing that this is essentially a month and a half of introspection and of getting your bearings. You might spend an extraordinary amount of time mulling over recent events, and your responses to them, trying to find the golden thread connecting these to your true destiny. This involves inner values over outer concerns, and takes partnership interaction very definitely into account as well. You benefit by paying close attention to intuition. You are in an essentially fortunate place of good instincts and of forging ahead to the destination your angel guides are nudging you toward.

 

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) This is a month of finding your path forward in innovative ways, Scorpio, while exercising your individual talents to the max in favor of societal evolution. Holding on to more established tracks has its appeal, and yet some aspect of that idea may be gradually yielding. You have an unusually strong configuration of planets, including Mars, your ruler, nudging you toward more completely defining your sense of personal mission. As you deal with surprises amidst day-to-day ordinary events, you also find unexpected enlightenment in so doing. All the while your self-expression is sizzling, along with your communicative outreach. Your sense of how to get your point across is continuing to evolve, finding strength in inner work equally as much as in outer. The bottom line is that you are tired of productivity for the sake of productivity and are searching for a means to convert your efforts into benefits for the social setting that surrounds you.

 

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 20) This month is yet another instance of intensity, uncertainty, and introspection, Sagittarius, the culmination of a series of such months. Surprising and perhaps startlingly unexpected events abound, and yet these all have something to teach you, when you look at them objectively. If you have the habit of projecting your own ideas into interpreting the details of whatever you experience, now would be a good time to abandon that practice, preferring to take each moment of the day as an entirely fresh start. You are exploring new beginnings in home and family matters, and the better understanding of what drives your behavior from below the level of consciousness. Old patterns can trip you up unless and until you are willing to consider ditching them for a different alternative. All the while you are very focused on establishing a life plan for yourself that takes inner priorities more firmly into account.

 

CAPRICORN (Dec. 21-Jan. 19) You have a very intense month of March coming up for you, Capricorn, in the midst of a succession of such months. In particular, you are being challenged to stretch the boundaries of your beliefs and values, in response to new information. This month initiates an even steeper learning curve whereby you will more deeply explore both your own internal states, below the level of conscious control, and also question certain aspects of what you are doing with yourself out in the world. There could be a way that you have fallen out of alignment with what you most deeply aspire to, and if so, adjustment is required. You are at an important crossroads, and have the introspective cast of mind to begin to more closely examine your life and where it is truly headed. Only the path with heart will truly satisfy you now.

 
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 17) You are coming into another month of intensity, Aquarius, but you will be taking something away from it in terms of increased understanding of your innermost values. There is a major axis in the current astrology along which brilliant concepts can flow, that has been growing in influence in recent weeks, peaking in March. If you are feeling stuck in certain ways, or on the horns of a dilemma, innovative ideas and creative solutions are available that can help you to find a third alternative. You are very invested now in discovering the true underlying motivation of all that you do. Your values are shifting and your relationship to your finances also. You could encounter challenge to your ideals, or vague goals, or might even encounter outright deception to deal with. As you look more thoroughly below the surface layers of your psyche, you are potentially exploring every aspect of what makes you tick. You win when you pay the closest possible attention to everything that happens to you.

 
PISCES (Feb. 18-March 19) You are changing, Pisces, no longer any doubt about that. This month represents a significant stage on your developmental arc leading from one version of yourself to what will be quite another. While you are making great strides in the world of concrete achievement you find that you must also take inner priorities into greater account. A major shift in self-identity is indicated by the recent powerful Solar Eclipse in your sign, conjoined your ruler, Neptune. Deep-seated changes are taking place within you, although the full extent of your transformation might only become evident with the passage of time. Your values and your basis for feelings of security are altering. This also involves adventures in intimacy with important persons in your life, a growing closeness that depends on more fully understanding your own inner world. When you find familiarity within yourself you are more available to discover it with others.

Heal your Heart by Sherry Klinger

Heal Your Heart-
Can a gift prevent disease?

by Sherry Klinger

What goes into maintaining a healthy heart? Is it just the physical heart muscle and circulation that matters, or is there an active emotional component? Can the simple act of conveying your best wishes and intentions make a real difference in the health of the recipient’s heart — and even your own?

What does the science say?

These questions are being addressed, some for the first time, by Conscious Inspirations, Inc., the American company which makes Cards&Cloth™ — a new, patent-pending product that features “The Gift of Blessings” — emotionally-powerful tokens of affection and blessings that come in the form of an actual blessing cloth wrapped inside specially-created message cards.

What effect does this kind of “gift of blessings from the heart” have on the receiver, and on the giver?

Dr. Joshua Leichtberg, MD, Internist, states that the act of conveying positive, heartfelt messages to a friend or loved one is good for all concerned. “Giving your genuine best wishes to someone else has a twofold effect,” says Dr. Leichtberg. “The receiver benefits to the extent the salutary message brings comfort and lowers anxiety levels. The fascinating part, though, is the extent to which the giver also benefits. Giving, it seems, is as good as getting… possibly better.”

According to Dr. Wendy Basil, PhD, Psychologist, “Everyone benefits where blessings are concerned — both the receiver and the person sending good thoughts. This is backed by real science.  Blessings and good intentions are part of what I call Heart-to-Heart communications.”

No one believes in this more than the folks at Conscious Inspirations, who created Cards&Cloth™ for this very purpose. Every Cards&Cloth™ unit features the integration of a genuine blessing cloth into a heartfelt message card designed for maximum emotional impact.

How important are these emotions to the physical health of receiver and giver?

Research has shown that emotional stability, faith and contentment can actually reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. One groundbreaking 10-year research study reported in the European Heart Journal found that certain emotional factors such as happiness and satisfaction appear to play a direct role in preventing heart disease. Participants were able to reduce their incidence of cardiovascular disorders by as much as 22% just by having a positive attitude.

And a number of studies have confirmed the physical health benefits associated with giving to others, including signals of good health such as lower blood pressure, improvements in chronic illness and a significantly lower risk of mortality (Ironson, 2007; Piferi & Lawler, 2006; S L Brown, et al., 2003; McClellan, Stanwyck, & Anson, 1993).

The idea behind Cards&Cloth™ is to give consumers a powerful, heartfelt, all-in-one solution for effectively conveying their best wishes, love and blessings to anyone, on any occasion. The combo product offers comfort, hope and inspiration along with a tangible gift (the Blessing Cloth) that detaches from its message card and may be kept forever as a keepsake — a permanent memento of the giver’s best intentions.

Shelly Dubow, a company spokesperson, puts it this way: “What better gift is there than one that so clearly comes straight from the heart? And people love carrying the Blessing Cloth everywhere… for comfort and good luck.”

But how can giving a heartfelt, inspirational gift like this affect your own heart, as well as the recipient’s?

In a 2006 study, researchers at the National Institutes of Health found that the act of giving stimulates the reward center in the brain of the giver, releasing endorphins in the brain and creating what is known as the “helper’s high.” These effects lead directly to lower blood pressure, reduced stress levels and improved cardiovascular health.

In another study published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology, people who gave support to others were found to have lower blood pressure and fewer cardiovascular problems than those who did not.

Neurologist Dr. Norman Narchi, MD, says that receiving — and especially giving — elicits the relaxation response and helps harmonize the nervous system.

And as Psychiatrist Dr. Karl Menninger, MD, famously said: “Love cures people, both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.”

Cards-&-Cloth’s extensive line of blessing-cloth/message-card combinations is currently rocketing in popularity as a single-purchase solution to some difficult questions:
What shall I get him/her?
How can I best express the feelings in my heart?
How can I do all this within a reasonable budget?

The key is realizing that it’s always the thought that counts. Research has shown that it’s the emotions conveyed that have the most impact on the receiver as well as the giver.

Cards&Cloth’s patent-pending blessing-cloth-gift-inside-a-message-card retails for about $10-$11 and is as thoughtful and impactful a gift as you are likely to find at any price — because it is actually priceless — the “Gift of Blessings,” from the heart — with measurable benefits for all concerned.

The company website is located at www.cardsandcloth.com.

Interview with Judith Orloff, MD: The Empath’s Survival Guide by Laurie Sue Brockway

Interview with Judith Orloff, MD:

The Empath’s Survival Guide

By Laurie Sue Brockway

The Empath’s Survival Guide is a new book that offers life strategies for sensitive people who need help staying centered and hopeful in a sometimes difficult world.  It also shows us how to hone our gift of empathy to make the world a better place.

No one knows the joys and challenges of being an empath better than Judith Orloff, MD.
She was born with second sight, into a family of 25 physicians and several generations of healers. She struggled in her early life to find a way to cope with and then finally embraced her gift of intuition. Her journey led her to devote her life to helping others.
Her latest book, The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, is a guide for a wide range of empaths and all sensitive people who struggle with managing the gifts—intuition, creativity, and spiritual connection–with challenges that overwhelm them. The book also offers a much-needed acknowledgment that empaths are not imagining the things they feel and sense.
As Dr. Orloff explains, “We actually feel others’ emotions, energy, and physical symptoms in our own bodies, without the usual defenses that most people have.”
An Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, she synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality to achieve physical and emotional healing.  Her bestselling books, The Power of Surrender, Emotional Freedom, Second Sight, Positive Energy, and Guide to Intuitive Healing offer readers practical strategies to overcome frustration, stress, and worry.

We spoke with Dr. Orloff about The Empath’s Survival Guide and she shared wonderful insights.

So many people have been told “you’re too emotional” or “too sensitive”  and they grow up feeling like there’s something wrong with them. Is it your experience that many of these people are empaths?
Absolutely! I wrote The Empath’s Survival Guide to legitimize the gift of sensitivity and teach sensitive people of all kinds to protect their energy so that they can thrive. As an empath I know how demoralizing it feels to be labeled as “overly sensitive” or told “Honey, you have to get a thicker skin” by parents and society, as if we were some kind of weaklings who just need to “steel up.” The opposite is true. I believe that empathy is the human trait that will help all of us to save the world. Everyone who is an empath or who simply wants to lead a more heart-centered life in an often insensitive world can benefit from learning skills to protect their gift of empathy.

What are some of the common hallmarks of an empath?
Empaths are sponges who absorb the emotions and physical symptoms of others. They don’t have the usual defenses that other people have to filter out noise, light, sound, intense emotions or stress. So empaths often end up taking on other people’s stress in their bodies–and they feel exhausted, anxious, depressed or sick. As a psychiatrist, I’ve worked with many empaths who come to me totally worn out and misdiagnosed by mainstream medicine as being hypochondriacs, neurotic or with some “disorder” that requires antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication. With the empaths in my private practice, I always begin with teaching them how to avoid absorbing other people’s energy so they can feel stronger and more grounded within themselves. The upside of being and empath—and there are many– is that empaths have depth, intuition, deep compassion, deep spirituality and are passionate lovers and mates. As an empath, I would never give up my sensitivities for the world. They let me know the secrets of the universe because I can feel the energy of all things.

What is the difference between an empath and a Highly Sensitive Person?
Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) have all the sensory components of extreme sensitivity such as sensitivity to light, sound, touch, crowds but empaths actually absorb emotions/energy/stress /physical symptoms from other people. As a result, empaths can become exhausted or ill and not know why. They are emotional sponges! Empaths also have heightened intuitions. Both highly sensitive people and empaths have very action mirror neurons to increase our compassion.

Can you share some of the gifts of being an empath?
I cherish being an empath and I’m grateful for the blessings my sensitivities bestow on me each day. I love being intuitive, feeling the flow of energy in the world, reading people, and experiencing the richness of being so open to life and nature.   We empaths have many marvelous traits. We have huge hearts and the instinct to help others in need or who are less fortunate. We’re dreamers and idealists. We’re passionate, deep, and creative, in touch with our emotions, compassionate, and can see the big picture. We can appreciate other’s feelings and become loyal friends and mates. We’re intuitive, spiritual, and can sense energy. We have a special appreciation for the natural world and feel at home there. We resonate with nature, plants, forests, and gardens. We often love water. Whether we are soaking in the womb of warm water in a bath or living by the ocean or a river, it energizes us. We may feel special intuitive bonds with our animal companions and become involved with animal rescue or animal communication.

What is the biggest challenge for empaths in intimate relationships?
Empaths have different requires in a relationship for it to work. Empaths need a lot of alone time. They sometimes need separate beds or even bedrooms. Empaths get overstimulated with “too much togetherness” and need to authentically communicate this to their partners. Empaths are often unconsciously attracted to “unavailable people” who don’t let them come close enough to have all their fears of intimacy arise. It’s possible to have loving, healthy relationships if empaths can define and express their special needs.

What exactly is emotional contagion?  And how does it impact the empathic person?
Research has shown that we actually “catch” other people’s emotions and empaths are more prone to doing this because of their high sensitivities and openness. Research has shown that many people pick up the emotions of those around them. For instance, one crying infant will set off a wave of crying in a hospital ward. Or one person loudly expressing anxiety in the workplace can spread it to other workers. People commonly catch other people’s feelings in groups. A recent New York Times article stated that this ability to synchronize moods with others is crucial for good relationships. What is the lesson for empaths? To choose positive people in our lives so we’re not brought down by negativity.  Or, if, say a friend is going through a hard time, take special precautions to ground and center yourself. These are important strategies you’ll learn in this book.

An old cliché is that woman is more sensitive than men. Does gender play a role when it comes to being and empath?
I have a Facebook empath support community with over 6000 people and most of them are women! Women tend to be more open in expressing their emotions, and take on a lot of stress and get drained. Men are also empaths (of course!) but sensitive boys have often been shamed by their sensitivities so they shut them off as adults. I embrace sensitive men, and urge them to come out of the empath closet and shine!

Do empaths have to be especially careful about exposing themselves to negative news coverage and social media?
Because empaths have such big hearts, they often hurt very deeply too. For all my empath patients, I suggest limiting their exposure to the news so they don’t start absorbing the suffering of the world. This doesn’t mean that we don’t keep informed. It means we get the basics and don’t allow sensitive selves to be demolished by the massive suffering. I also recommend news and technology fasts so that empaths can regenerate themselves in nature or during quiet time.

What is the neuroscience behind being an empath?
In the book, I discuss five intriguing research findings. Empaths may have hyperactive mirror neuron systems which heighten our compassion for loved ones and fellow humankind. Other findings include the possibility that empaths are reading the information in other people’s electromagnetic fields (such as those around the heart and brain.) Also how we process dopamine, the pleasure hormone, is a factor. Empaths don’t require as much dopamine stimulation to be happy– but extroverted people who aren’t empaths do. They can’t get enough of parties, and high stimulation events—whereas empaths love their alone time and quiet meditation—they need a lower amount of dopamine input to be content.

What is empathy so important in our world today?
Empathy will help us know what it’s like to be in other people’s shoes. It will foster compassion in a divided world. It will help our families and world come together in harmony. We all desperately need to develop and practice more empathy to bring our troubled planet together. Empathy is the most important quality we need in our world today!

Click to get your copy of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People.
To learn more about the power of empathy, Dr. Orloff’s book tour schedule, and to sign up for her Empath Support Newsletter visit www.drjudithorloff.com.

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Transformational Astrology – February 2017 by Henry Seltzer

Transformational Astrology – February 2017

by Henry Seltzer

The astrology of February features Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Eris, and two eclipses. By now, Mercury has fully recovered from its recent retrograde, as of last January 27th, and as it does so, conjuncts Pluto in mid-Capricorn in the chart of the January 27th New Moon that holds the keys to this month’s astrological cycle.  Many of the themes from January, involving outer planet combinations, are true for this month of February as well, and with even greater intensity. Jupiter stations at 23 Libra in the first week of February, late on Sunday evening, and thus maintains his recent and very strong opposition to Uranus and Eris, the new planet beyond Pluto. Uranus and Eris continue to be separated by less than two degrees, increasing the active potency of both archetypes. In particular, with Uranus conjunct Eris, opposed to Jupiter, and also still in square with Pluto, there are loads of brilliant new ideas and insights flooding in, with consequences for individual and collective agendas. Things will not go at all the way that was planned, but what is equally true is that there will be a great deal of learning in the side roads that are unexpectedly taken.
Then too, we have the very powerful Lunar Eclipse in Leo of February 10th, which aspects Eris, by trine and sextile, within 10 minutes of a degree, and therefore also triggers the Jupiter-Uranus opposition, and Uranus square Pluto. The February 26th New Moon at 8 Pisces also makes many powerful outer planet connections, indicating that our massive structural transformation continues into the following month. Of these, the most notable is to numinous Neptune. Everything, it is said, is an illusion here below, which might explain the recent rise of “alternative facts.”

Because Mercury conjuncts Pluto in the chart of the New Moon that initiates the current cycle, having taken place a few days before the start of the month, this implies greater conscious participation, all through February, in the deep-seated and massive changes that are going on for you. Mercury has been in its retrograde cycle until this same day, counting the shadow period, so that a new vista is also opening up for each one of us that takes the lessons of the recent retrograde and begins to apply them to current needs. Mars hovering near the Aries point at the January 27th New Moon further enhances the active nature of this month, and the strength of Uranus in Aries, which he rules. With the revolutionary impact of Uranus square Pluto – the aspect that defines our decade – so thoroughly triggered, nothing escapes being changed; there is a transformational component to everything that is currently taking place. You benefit when you can slow down to meditate, paying an almost literary attention to your own life, as if it was a form of carefully crafted movie.

Chiron is prominent this month as well, being aspected by Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Eris. Mars is also closely parallel to Chiron, so that this archetype of the Wounded Healer is an important part of what we are dealing with. Indeed some of the actions of the new administration here in the U.S. seem to arise from painful feelings of powerlessness that seek an outlet, and also there are painful consequences to the more extreme positions that are being taken. Individually we can at least deal with our own issues, and by our inner work heal others around us as well.

We live in the strangest of times. And yet we might take solace in the thought that everything happens for a reason. The eventual lessons of the first two months of the year, with its mixture of both positive and negative examples, will ultimately bear fruit. It is already a more conscious 2017 than was generally available during all of the twelve months previous to it.

ARIES (March 20-April 19). This is a month of further adventures in transformation for you, Aries. You have the highlighted presence of Saturn, Uranus and Pluto in key sectors of your chart to indicate that major structural change is still an enormous factor as 2017 continues to unfold. You are also in the process of redefining yourself somewhat over the course of another very interesting and intense month. You find that your belief in yourself is powerful, and becomes even stronger the more you consult inner guidance for what it is that you truly want, deep inside, in allowing your private inner life to unfold just as it should. As a consequence, your activities out in the world will follow suit. Whatever you sincerely promote this month as possible future self is quite likely to come true for you, so that you benefit when you make sure to think carefully, and choose wisely.

TAURUS (April 20-May 19). This is a month of contrasts and contradictions, Taurus, as you come out strongly for what you want in terms of business accomplishment and your own creative self-expression. This is a great month for progress on outer world fronts, yet most of the real action is taking place on the inside. Your inner world has much to tell you over the course of another quite interesting lunar cycle, although this takes remaining open to the powerful intuitional information that you receive in this way. It is as though your angel guidance was whispering in your ear the entire month, on a frequency that only you can understand. Your faith in yourself is thus severely tested because the great temptation is to think more practical thoughts, and to behave according to the way the world around you behaves. It’s a little subversive, but you win when you can turn inside to listen and close your eyes to see.

GEMINI (May 20-June 20). This is an informative month for you, Gemini, particularly if you are willing to open yourself up to all forms of knowledge that are coming to you. This is a continuation of past weeks, back to December, but with a potent twist, in that Mercury has now escaped its shadow, while the recent New Moon landed in your sector of higher mind. This implies that what is vital for you right now is understanding, in the most complete terms, everything that is going on both within you and outside of you. You are filled with a mystical mandate to fearlessly explore all that you can perceive, with logic and also through intuitional means. In the course of your investigations you are likely to encounter evidence of prior trauma, old wounds that affect you still. If so, this presents a terrific opportunity for you to move beyond these, with acceptance, forgiveness and self-love, into healing.

CANCER (June 21-July 20) This is another rather intense monthly journey for you, Cancer.  You are very invested in being out in the world in some startling new ways, a continuation and a culmination of a movement within you that has been ongoing for many weeks. This month, also, you could reencounter inner wounding, the residue of prior undigested trauma, as part of your discoveries, and recognize that this could be holding you back from being all that you can be. Your internal realms are there for you to better comprehend and feel into. Your ongoing transformation proceeds apace, and involves the way that you connect with important others in your life. This is long-term and yet also very immediate, in the sense that everything you learn about partnership informs you of yourself, and about this hidden inner world operating just below the level of consciousness that is such a significant part of your psychological makeup.

LEO (July 21-Aug. 21) This is yet another month of amazing twists and turns for you, Leo, with many insights and learning along the way. Right now, too, much of your spirit of investigation has as its focus the subject of relationship connection. You are very aware of the contribution of significant persons in your life to your own shifts in your ways of seeing and even of influencing the world around you. They say that “two heads are better than one,” providing complementary viewpoints to your own. A richer amalgam than can be cooked up by yourself in solo is the result. You are all out for learning, and for serious expression, so that the joys and the potential conflicts that partners – or intended partners – bring to the table can also be seen in the context of your own process of growth and awareness. This has been building over recent months and still has legs, so enjoy the ride.

VIRGO (Aug. 21-Sept. 21) You are coming into yourself in a new way, Virgo, over the course of another very interesting and somewhat intense month. In a midst of what must feel like distinct shift from January, you are exploring issues of service to others, and of your own mission statement, as you recognize in all of these the opportunity for further growth. Indeed your transformation proceeds apace, and must be aligned with your deepest and most sincerely felt values in order to be satisfying. You are in something of an emotional push-pull between taking the most outrageous action that you can think of, versus a more conservative approach. Part of you feels like isolating, while part of you feels like reaching out. It’s a time of major transition. You are plugging away at all this, walking your ordinary road, and suddenly finding diamonds in the dust of your trail.

LIBRA (Sept. 22-Oct. 22) This is an important month of transition, Libra. Your creative self-expression takes center stage, and as well the way that you have for reaching out to important others in your life. With Jupiter opposite Uranus and Eris across the axis of your chart that symbolizes self and other, insights have been flying fast and furious; and because these cosmic triggers are still quite active, the flood of intuitional information is far from over. Partners are potent for you in this month’s cycles. Some of the messages that the universe has been giving to you are likely being delivered by means of these significant others. As the month continues to unfold, you are investigating to serious purpose a variety of ideas. You might also be coming to some painful realizations concerning prior patterns that you are more than ready to let go of, and that have their corrective in greater acceptance and awareness. The deep transformation in which you are engaged arises from within.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) This is another month of relative intensity for you, Scorpio, with nearly all the action happening on the inside. You continue to have many astrological indicators of depth connection. You have recently have been reexamining your values and questioning your resources, perhaps your entire connection to the material world, and this form of mental exploration does not let up in February, although it shifts into a new phase. Then, too, after the first nine days of the month, an extremely potent Full Moon eclipse in the sector of your public persona allows you to focus on your mission statement in this life, aligning your evolving awareness from inner realms with professional and career choices that will have significant implications for the remainder of your year. It’s an exciting and changeful cycle in which you are engaged, and you do well to make the very most of the realizations that are coming your way.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 20) This is another exciting month for you, Sagittarius, with the emphasis on learning and growth of awareness. Your months-long process there is on-going, and takes on further twists over the course of the rather intense lunations of February. Your curiosity about the world around you is high, and dovetails nicely with your feelings of activism that have been flavoring the tone of your self-expression and spurring you to constructive action. Your own unique point of view has never been quirkier, nor more important to your well being. This is a confusing time, and your task is to deeply tune in, and go with the messages that your deep intuition brings you. You have had occasion during the beginning of the year to reflect upon your most basic values, and now the time has come to act upon this renewed understanding, without looking back.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 21-Jan. 19) Welcome to the transformational stew, Capricorn. This month greater consciousness is calling you, concerning the major life changes you find yourself in the midst of. This may be a turning point for the way that you see your worldview continuing to evolve over the remainder of the year. You are opening to new possibilities arising directly from your deep intuition, even though they may seem destabilizing, and accommodating a variety of approaches to real world and business concerns that take your inner point of view more completely into account. After weeks of questioning who you really are, you have come to some interesting conclusions, and might be willing to try a new and more productive approach. As you internally debate your actual values, and what you get from others, and strive to escape the limitations of well-worn ruts, you may find that you have to have the full courage of your deepest convictions.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 17) This is another wild and wooly month for you, Aquarius. Your very sense of your identity is on the line, and in connection with important partners. It isn’t easy being you if you are intent on staying stuck, but terrific breakthrough is also more than likely. In the midst of your huge learning curve these past few weeks and months, you are at this point in time beginning to see things in some very different ways. This is true to the extent that you remain open to new possibilities and beliefs. There are competing feelings that you still must navigate between moving ahead with novel ideas versus holding back for a safer and a more sustainable future. The best answers to your conundrum might lie within you. Your intuition has always been strong, and now is the time to trust in this ability more completely, remembering that the way up and the way down are one and the same.

PISCES (Feb. 18-March 19) This is a month of renewed optimism for your ongoing identity crisis, Neptune. You have been hard at work making things happen in the world of affairs and events, while also paying closer attention to what is going on deep inside, where your true answers reside, those that inform and underlie the decisions of your public persona. You may also be applying a form of meditation to some painful episodes arising out of the past, on the road to greater integration and healing. You are fortunate now, because, with your co-ruler Jupiter aligned with your twelfth sector ruler, all last month and this, the connection between your inner and outer worlds is very strong. Brilliant ideas are your trademark, as your beliefs, values and future plans continue to morph and evolve. You win when you pay the closest possible attention to everything that is happening to you, leaving no possibility unturned.

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, astrograph.com. His new book about Eris, the planet beyond Pluto only recently discovered, in 2006, is entitled: The Tenth Planet: Revelations from the Astrological Eris, and is available on Amazon, or from your local bookseller through New Leaf distributing. Henry also offers life enhancing private astrological counseling. Call him at 831-425-3686, or visit his website at  www.astrograph.com.

Subject: Putting Your Emotions in Check

Putting Your Emotions in Check:

Five Ways to Get Something Positive Out of Dealing with Your Emotions

Emotions come and go throughout the day and are ever changing. The health experts at Envolve, an integrated healthcare solutions company, are pleased to share tips to help you channel your emotions into something positive.

1.   Make some noise. Playing an instrument or listening to music can be a healthy way to express your emotions. Music is emotionally charged in its own right and finding comfort or release by listening to your favorite band or a sympathetic song can help you relax and come to terms with whatever emotion you are experiencing.

2.     Get crafty. Using your imagination is a fun and invigorating way to demonstrate your emotions. The great thing about art is that there are endless amounts of ways to express yourself. You can paint, draw, use charcoal pencils, make pottery or color a coloring book. Art allows for increased self-awareness, engagement, learning of new skills or advancing current skills. Get a group together and go to a class to try something new, or simply break out the crayons and get to coloring!

3.     Work it out. Exercising allows you to channel your emotions into something productive- your physical health. Not to mention that because of the physical stimulation, it can help clear your mind. Some exercises, like yoga or Tai Chi allow for both mind and body exercise to release stress and emotions.

4.     Write it down. If you don’t feel like getting crafty, your gym membership has expired, and you don’t feel like talking about your emotions, writing might be for you! This is private time that you can spend on a personal diary or blog to keep track of your experiences, thoughts and feelings. Or take a more creative approach and write a short story based on your experiences. Whatever way you choose, sometimes getting it down on paper and reviewing what you have written is a good way to assess your feelings and help you decide how to handle them.

5.     Pay it forward. Regardless of what mood you’re in, good or bad, it always feels good to help someone else. Creating happiness in others inspires us to be happy and increases our wellbeing. Buy a stranger’s coffee, hold the door open for someone, say good morning to the other people in the elevator – it doesn’t have to be grand gesture, even simple acts of kindness can brighten someone’s day.

About Envolve, Inc.™

Envolve, Inc.™ is a family of health solutions, working together to make healthcare simpler, more effective and more accessible for everyone. As an agent for change in healthcare, Envolve is committed to transforming the health of the community, one person at a time. Envolve unifies medical management, care management and coordination, specialty pharmacy, PBM, vision, dental, behavioral health management, life and health/wellness management, empowerment and education services, telehealth services, 24/7 nurse advice services, and data, analytics and IT solutions.For more information, please visit our website www.envolvehealth.com or contact us today at info@envolvehealth.com.

Judith Orloff’s New Book!

 

 

 

9 Self-Protection Strategies for Empaths and Sensitive People

Combat Toxic Energy and Stop Taking on Other People’s Stress 

By Judith Orloff, MD

Empaths are emotional sponges who absorb other peoples’ stress into their own bodies. As an empath myself I know how exhausting this can be. Here are some basic strategies for empaths and all people battling with low energy from my new book, The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People. I practice these strategies in my life and teach them to my patients and workshop participants— and you can turn to these techniques if you’re absorbing the stress or symptoms of others and you need ways to release them. Experiment. See which ones work best for you. Use them in situations where you are feeling ill or upset and suspect you’re taking on someone else’s physical or emotional distress.

1. Ask yourself, “Is this symptom or emotion mine or someone else’s? 

A tip-off that you’re absorbing someone’s energy is to notice if you experience a sudden

change of mood or physical state around that person. Most likely, if you didn’t feel anxious,

depressed, exhausted, or sick before, the discomfort is at least partially coming from him or her.

If you move away and the discomfort dissipates, it is definitely not yours! Sometimes, though, the emotion or symptom may be both yours and another person’s. Feelings are catchy, especially if they relate to a hot button issue for you. You are more prone to take on the emotional or physical pain that you haven’t worked out in yourself. The more you heal issues that trigger you, the less likely you’ll be to absorb emotions from others.

2. Breathe and repeat this mantra to counter negative energy 

When negativity strikes, immediately focus on your breath for a few minutes. Slowly

and deeply, inhale and exhale to expel the uncomfortable energy. Breathing circulates negativity

out of your body. Holding your breath or breathing shallowly keeps negativity stuck within you.

As you breathe, I suggest firmly repeating aloud this mantra three times in a tone that conveys

you mean what you’re saying: Return to sender, return to sender, return to sender. The power of your voice can command the discomfort out of your body. Your breath is the vehicle that transports it back to the universe.
Also, while saying this mantra, you can specifically breathe toxic energy out of your

lumbar spine in your lower back. The spaces between the lumbar vertebrae are conducive to

acting as channels for eliminating unhealthy energy. Visualize the discomfort exiting through these spaces in your spine. Declare, “I release you” as it leaves your body and blends with the

giant energy matrix of life.

3. Step away from what’s disturbing you 

Move at least twenty feet from the suspected source. See if you feel relief. Don’t worry about offending strangers. In a doctor’s office, movie, or other public place, don’t hesitate to change seats. If you’re sitting next to a noisy group in a restaurant, you don’t have to stay there and feel uncomfortable. Feel free to move to a more peaceful table. It’s fine to lovingly say “No,” to certain energies. Giving yourself permission to move is an act of self-care. Empaths often find themselves in overwhelming social situations. If that happens to you, be sure to take breaks to replenish yourself. Then, if you want to return to the gathering you can be in a more serene place.

4. Limit physical contact. Hugs are a choice! 

Energy transfers through the eyes and touch. If you’re uncomfortable with someone, limit eye contact and touch, including hugs and hand-holding. Though hugging a loved one in distress

often benefits you both, if you are wary of taking on their stress, make the hug short. You can

keep sending them love from a distance. You have a choice about the kind of physical contact you participate in.

5. Detox in water 

A quick way to dissolve stress and empathic pains is to immerse yourself in water. Empaths love water! Epsom salt baths are divine and also provide magnesium which is calming.

You might want to add a little lavender essential oil to your bath—it is calming after a long day. The perfect empath getaway is soaking in natural mineral springs that purify all that ails you.

6. Set limits and boundaries 

There’s no way around it. To survive and thrive, you need to set limits with people. If someone is draining, don’t be a doormat. Control how much time you spend listening to the person. “No,” is a complete sentence! It’s okay to tell someone, “I’m sorry, I’m not up for going to a party tonight,” or “Let’s discuss this when you’re calmer. I can’t tolerate yelling,” or “I need to meditate and be quiet right now,” or “I can’t talk more than a few minutes unless you want to

discuss solutions.” Sometimes changing communication patterns with friends is a retraining

process, but being consistent with setting kind but firm limits will protect you from energy vampires.

7. Create alone time to regroup 

Empaths need alone time to reconnect with their power. If you’ve picked up unwanted

energy, be sure to take some alone time to center yourself. For a few minutes or more, quiet

everything. No noise, bright lights, phone calls, texts, emails, internet, television, or conversations. It’s sometimes important to just feel your own energy without anyone else

around. You are being your own best friend which is a way to nurture yourself. By decreasing

external stimulation, it’s also easier to clear negativity.

8. Spend time in nature and practice ‘Earthing’

Empaths love nature and feel at ease there. Being in a fresh, clean, green environment or around water clears negativity. The Earth emanates healing. Try lying in a meadow and soaking up its energy in your entire body. This feels sublime! Earthing means going barefoot and feeling

the earth’s power through your feet. To shed other people’s energy, feel the grass between your bare toes, walk in the sand or the soil. Sense the nurturing medicine of the earth coming through your feet to ground you—a beautiful experience.
9. Take breaks from being online 

You need regular time-out from technology that inundates you with too much information. Online media that triggers your emotions—such as Facebook groups, Instagram, violent news feeds—can impair your ability to fall sleep. It’s easy to pick up energy in the virtual world, so make sure you spend time in nature, meditating, or participating in other off-line activities that restore you. A complete technology-fast once in a while will do wonders for your sense of well-being.

Excerpted with permission from The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People (Sounds True, April 4, 2017).  © Judith Orloff, MD. All rights reserved.  Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, a NY Times best-selling author and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. To learn more about the power of empathy, Dr. Orloff’s book tour schedule, and to sign up for her Empath Support Newsletter visit www.drjudithorloff.com

Transformational Astrology – January 2017

Transformational Astrology – January 2017

by  Henry Seltzer

The astrology of January features Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Eris. Both retrograde Mercury and Mars in Pisces are strongly placed this month, being aspected by the potent Capricorn New Moon from the last few days of December. Mars being conjunct Neptune in this timing, you can count on it that, for the entire thirty-day cycle of this lunation, lasting to January 27th, there is uncertainty of activity and of outcome. Mercury, also highlighted at the New Moon, remains in retrograde throughout most of the month, when you take the period of its retrograde shadow into account, roughly 2 ½ weeks following the station to direct motion that Mercury makes on January 8th, as it returns to its starting point in mid-Capricorn. We therefore have before us an introspective month of looking more deeply within ourselves for answers that can be found nowhere else. There is quite a lot going on. Jupiter and Uranus are found in a powerful T-square, being closely opposed, with Uranus conjunct Eris, and both in square to Pluto. Saturn is parallel Pluto. The presence of conservative Saturn in the same degree of Sagittarius as Jupiter is in Libra completes the picture, with Saturn almost precisely trine Uranus/Eris. This is an exciting aspect pattern, indicating that new information abounds, and that everything that comes to light contributes to the ongoing massive transformation, in this decade, of ourselves as individuals and of the society that surrounds us.

Saturn’s participation in this Grand Cross alignment is profound, and is reminiscent of the volatile sixties, when Uranus and Pluto, conjunct in Virgo, were opposed by Saturn during the 1965-66 exact conjunction, and when, during the famously divisive summer of 1968, Saturn stationed in precise quincunx to the position of Uranus in late Virgo. We have before us now a quite similar time, when polarities and fractures in the social structure are very evident, and when what is required of us is that we do our utmost to keep our own heads on straight.

The increase in consciousness that is part and parcel of our response to difficult circumstances is indeed important, which is also the message of prominent Eris, which my research has been able to characterize as Feminine Warrior energy for soul purpose, Eris is part of the powerful month-long T-square described above, and therefore greatly emphasized. Once we know of what our deep intention actually consists, we are empowered to attempt those changes in the social structure and within ourselves that truly support it.

Besides Saturn and Eris, another planetary archetype associated in the Grand Cross alignment is Chiron, the Wounded Healer. In the New Moon that characterizes the month of January, Chiron is located at 21 degrees of Pisces, in close semi-sextile to Uranus/Eris and in exact square to Saturn. With Chiron so fully participatory in these intense planetary patterns, we might want to ask ourselves what fears are coming up, and how do these tap into feelings of insecurity that we have going as a result of early childhood trauma, which is Chiron’s province. As we proceed through the decision process of this difficult time, we therefore also have another opportunity to move through our wounded places within us, toward a more integrated perspective.

Because transformational Pluto is so greatly emphasized in this first month of the New Year, and also the confusion and uncertainty of outcome represented by Neptune, we have a situation in which the best that we can do is to get clear in our very own minds and hearts on where we ourselves, personally, stand. Once we unequivocally know what we deeply believe, and can articulate that viewpoint, and decide to act on it, than nothing can harm us.

Bernie Sanders, who lost the U. S. presidential nomination over the summer, might prove to be a good example of someone who acts on this principle. Whether or not you agree with his politics, few would argue that he does not know what he wants. You didn’t see him upset or even dismayed by his primary election results, but, rather, you saw him digging in to fight even harder. He therefore exemplifies a battle cry for these fractious times that we are living through from which we can all take heart: when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

ARIES (March 20-April 19). This is a month of mystical confusion, Aries, sponsoring feelings of commitment to a higher intention. There are frustrations for you now, and yet also tremendous opportunities that are available to you provided you can stay open to all your possibilities. Proactive partners can help you to see the potential inherent in events, even ones that initially do not seem to be going your way. With Mercury in retrograde motion it is not the best timing to push the river or to wildly diverge from pre-existing plans, although you will likely be sorely tempted to make sudden departures into new directions. As you come to the beginning of another powerfully transformative year, you are rethinking the way that you exteriorize all that you have inside, with an eye for depth and for purity of purpose. Only the very best that you have will do, at this important life turning.

TAURUS (April 20-May 19). This is a month of profoundly changing worldview, Taurus, unbelievable as that might initially seem, and of a renewed sense of life mission. You are taken by a series of almost mystical visions for a future that you can actually live with, and for, as you explore new educational or travel moves, and the novel way that you are able to re-conceptualize the world around you. Sudden epiphanies that you have recently been experiencing intensify, as what is a fundamentally spiritual month for you continues to unfold. You are at times filled with great clarity, at times confused, so that you benefit from attempting to simply have faith in your process. Your angel guidance is diligently looking out for you, somewhere in the woodwork, and you can get yourself pretty far down the road of your onrushing destiny based on this simple assurance.

GEMINI (May 20-June 20). This is an interesting and contradictory month for you, Gemini, with tons of energy at your disposal and yet uncertainty about where to put it. You are on the cross of countervailing tendencies for movement and for stasis that is frustrating and yet profoundly enriching. Your ruler, Mercury, is moving backward in the sky, increasing introspection, and yet you remain, within many parts of your being, optimistic and outgoing. You are caught up in the contrast between the restrained and traditionalist outlook implied by prominent Saturn versus your impulse for adventure and for innovative approaches to future plans. These remain undiminished but must yield to the compromise of a more conservative attitude in order to be maximally effective. You want to leap tall buildings and burn all bridges, yet it is for the truly long (and thoughtful) haul that you must currently focus your energies.

CANCER (June 21-July 20) This month is another rather intense journey for you, Cancer, when you are investigating your relationship with significant others, and also within the home, family and root psychological structures that define you to yourself. You have been on a serious and lengthy developmental arc to better understand the effect of committed relationship upon your life, and this month, when Mercury is retrograding through your relationship sector, in connection with transformative Pluto, completes one important phase of this months-long exploration. You are also more connected in this quiet and meditative time with yourself at the deeper levels of your being. You seek new ways of showing up in the world around that express the facets of your personality that are most uniquely yourself, and this goal, like those concerned with partnership connection, is fundamental to what you are trying to achieve in this significant turning of the year.

LEO (July 21-Aug. 21) This is yet another month of important transition, Leo, even though a bit short in terms of concrete accomplishment. With Mercury currently retrograde, your progress is likely to be of an introspective kind, measured in attitude shifts and stages of preparation for coming greatness. You are quite introspective now. Areas of intensity are issues of higher mind: learning and teaching, perhaps foreign travel, beliefs and worldview. You are perfecting your notions of life mission, and you may discover that this involves an ideal of service to others. Startling realizations come fast and furious, and not all will survive the tests of practicality and of time. Those that do become tenets of a new way of seeing the world around you that makes for a better jumping-off point, leading to a more magical and expansive future than has lately seemed plausible, or even possible.

VIRGO (Aug. 21-Sept. 21) This is a month of introspection and fantasy for you, Virgo, with also in the mix a conservative pulling back from over-idealism. This is therefore a month of contradictions, and of finding a careful balance between extremes. It is important to recognize that the retrograde of your ruler, Mercury, has a strong grip, nearly all month long, and that this is not a terrible thing. You are now inclined to look below the surface of your typical behavior, the way that you come across to others, and might remain longer in a state of simple witnessing than you are used to; and this is recommended. There are things in your life that you need to move beyond, and this form of seeing more deeply is a necessary precursor. As you think things through, and meditate on what you truly want, many doors that are now closed off will ultimately open.

LIBRA (Sept. 22-Oct. 22) This is another wild and wooly month for you, Libra, one in which you will be celebrating and also pulling back from celebrating.  The astrological indications are strong for both positive forging ahead, perhaps most especially in relationship matters, and for also making a conservative and meditative reassessment of where things are going for you in all areas of your life. Part of this forecast depends upon the existence of a rather potent Mercury Retrograde period, already underway, that is taking place in a key sector of your solar chart.  Even as you expand your activities in both private and public spheres, and move in a positive direction (or several, all at once) toward committed partnership, you are likely to be feeling a bit isolated, and taking at times a pause in order to introspect, and to reconnect with yourself only.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) This is another month of cosmic revelation for you, Scorpio. If you want to discover new philosophical and intellectual horizons, in the course of your daily life, then you have come to the right place; as they say, wherever you go, there you are. The themes of this month for you would seem to be that revelations continue to come at you fast and furious, granting you the choice to either go with them into new territory of beliefs and of life mission, or to decline to follow the call of your inner guidance. Be aware that the message is likely to repeat. As you reexamine your stance on worldview and self-identity, you move through confusion and illusion to a form of truth that feels somewhat right to you at this current moment in time. This is not perfect, but it might turn out to be enough.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 20) This is an interesting and changeful month for you, Sagittarius, continuing and accelerating the series of major life transformations that you have been subject to, over the course of this past year or more. With Mercury retrograding through your sector of values and assets, you have been somewhat questioning your very basis of security, financial and otherwise, as well as attempting to more realistically marshal your resources for the task of activism to which you have recently assigned yourself. You are comprehending in greater detail than ever before your deepest beliefs and standards, and the activity that these imply if you are to actually “put your money where your mouth (and heart) is.” You are feeling into your next stage, that will blossom at the end of the month and over the remainder of the new year, as you further refine your understanding of the talents and abilities that you bring to the table, and where to put them to best use in fulfilling your most sincere soul-level goals.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 21-Jan. 19) This month represents a turning point for you, Capricorn. You are, in some important way, reborn. This is indicated by the flowering of astrological indications that represent significant developments on both outer and inner levels, evolutionary progress that has been slowly building up for some time now and is ready to move. It is a meditative time. Mercury is in backward motion, or recovering, nearly all month long, and located in your sign as it begins and ends its significant retrograde period. Refining your sense of identity through self-reflection comes up for you quite strongly now, with eventual partial resolution late in the month. You are trying hard to understand where your life is taking you and to what ultimate purpose. Your deep-seated intention for yourself has been a moving target in recent months, and yet this intensity of transformation – of identity and values – still takes a good deal of getting used to.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 17) This is another amazing and confounding month for you, Aquarius, one in which you come to more fully explore your own vast personal unconscious that reigns deep inside you. You could be one who lives gladly and exuberantly in the surface layers of your personality, filled with broad-minded understanding of the world around you from a logical/mental and quite conscious standpoint; or at least some part of this description might ring true for you. This month the astrological indications are there for you to delve, even more deeply than in recent months, into the shadowy and unknown realm of your innermost psyche, where dragons lurk. This is a different road to a darker form of knowledge and a fuzzy logic that defies simple binary decision points of right and wrong, up and down, familiar and unknown. The light of your conscious understanding still thrives, and helps you to integrate all levels of your experience into a more inclusive whole.

PISCES (Feb. 18-March 19) This is a month of principled action, Pisces, and yet also of meditative refraining from activity; of feeling seriously stymied in following grandiose schemes and yet of dreams coming true. The paradoxical nature of life in the physical is fully upon you, and although your mind might have some catching up to do, you know in your heart of hearts what to expect. Because Mercury is in retrograde motion, or recovering, for most of the month, moving backward through the sector of your solar chart that looks to the future, you are driven to the inside in your quest for a more inclusive life direction. What is true for every moment of your existence is true today, and more greatly highlighted, namely that whatever you sincerely focus upon is very likely to eventually come to pass. The recommendation is that you choose wisely.

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, astrograph.com. His new book about Eris, the planet beyond Pluto only recently discovered, in 2006, is entitled: The Tenth Planet: Revelations from the Astrological Eris, and is available on Amazon, or from your local bookseller through New Leaf distributing. Henry also offers life enhancing private astrological counseling. Call him at 831-425-3686, or visit his website at www.astrograph.com.

A Brand New Day: An Interview with Jorge Luis Delgado

A Brand New Day:

An Interview with Jorge Luis Delgado

by Corinne L. Casazza

Jorge Luis Delgado is an indigenous Inca, shaman, healer and mystic with a great gift for expressing the wisdom and knowledge of his Peruvian spiritual heritage in practical, straight-forward terms. He is leading the Spring Equinox ceremony which includes a despacho at the Self-Empowered Wisdom conference in Sedona on March 20, 2017. The Inca call this time on earth, Pachakuti – the new sun rise, the return to the light after 500 years of darkness. The energies of mystical Peru are deepening, according to Delgado and we can release resistance when we’re there. It’s imperative to release our resistance so we can step into the light of who we truly are.

“All these power places really help to release the resistance for us, but what is resistance?” asks Delgado. “Resistance is heavy energies from the past. One of the strongest blockages we have in our lives is our past. We believe that the past, our history, is who we are, but it’s just an experience.” Delgado believes our tendency to carry our past with us creates resistance. He feels the more we bring our past forward the more resistance we create – our minds are great at reinforcing our resistance to keep us from remembering who we truly are.

“One of the biggest challenges is to really to love the past. When we love ourselves, we must love all our experiences, even the shadow part of ourselves. Being able to love these heavy energies and not have any attachment to them is when we can let them go. It’s so important to release the resistance so we can become aware that we have great powers like love and wisdom – the birth rights that bring us into the consciousness for the new cycle, the new day.”

Delgado reminds us that we always have the choice between fear and love. “Fear is really the disease of humanity. All we are doing, the direction we’ve been taking with our consciousness is really the fear direction. We’ve been under the control of it, but now in this new cycle we start to be aware of our fear and also the essence of who we are. When we start to believe we are our history we want to make sure that we don’t repeat it. Whatever decision you made in love will always bring you freedom and joy, but if it’s based in fear, it will bring you suffering.”

As we become aware of our spirituality, as we start to awaken, “we have the powers of ancient wisdom. We always want to share. Sharing allows us to expand. The way to expand our consciousness is by sharing love, service and wisdom.” The most common way we share in our daily lives is through our relationships, so all our relationships are an opportunity to expand who we are; our essence. When we consciously do this, “we are devoted to life, devoted to being a contribution for the evolution of life. Our love expresses in our life. The Inca tradition is not just about the knowledge, it’s about sharing. Love grows by sharing it.”

Our remembrance of who we truly are must include our cosmic origins. “We come from love. We don’t come from fear,” says Delgado. “We come from the profound love of the cosmic father and cosmic mother.” The Incas believe the light that we are is more than just a physical effect. It’s an expression of love, service and wisdom. “We really become the expression of mother earth and the luminosity of the seven rays shines through us, so everybody is like a crystal. Everyone is a ray of sun – that’s the origin of the name ‘Inca.’ Everybody is an Inca.”

In the new day, “we don’t have worry about each other. We just have to love ourselves. This is the most important contribution we can bring in the new day because through the love of ourselves, we can see with clarity who we are, we can experience life as transparency. We can bring warmth to our words to ourselves; to our internal conversations.”

Delgado believes we are multi-dimensional beings and we had forgotten this piece of our ancient wisdom. Peru awakens our multi-dimensionality by helping us let go of our resistance. “Peru is a magical world. Our ancestors found such powerful places. They anchored beautiful dreams in many, many spots. They anchored prayers, they anchored refined energies.” In communion with the spirits of the mountains, the Incas created cities, “where we can have the opportunity to have an explosion inside of us. This explosion is really the explosion of the resistance inside of us. We can flow with our one essence.”  The Incas use the land, the power places, “to leave something that doesn’t belong to us – something that we want to release. Always the place awakens the multi-dimensionality we are talking about.”

Once we release our resistance and become aware of our multi-dimensionality, “we start to see that everything is alive, it’s amazing. When we walk in the forest, we can experience that it’s alive. We can see through every eye of an insect, or a bird; we become aware that this being is divinity watching you. We can see from this innocent eye all expression, so we are celebrating life with no reason at all.”

To those who would sojourn with him to Peru, Delgado invites you to his mystical homeland, “Peru is a place to remember,” he says. “A traveler to Peru will say ‘there was my life before Peru and my life after Peru.'”

For more information on Jorge Luis Delgado and the Self-Empowered Wisdom conference, visit stellarproductionslive.com

A Transformational November of Taking a Stand by Henry Seltzer

astrologyA Transformational November of Taking a Stand

by Henry Seltzer

The astrology of November features Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Eris. All the outer planets are strongly represented in the New Moon and Full Moon configurations, so that, as the month continues to unfold, our awareness of the transformational intensity of these times that we are living through is ever-present. The October 30th New Moon sets the stage for this powerful November cycle, bringing forward into the picture the astrological factor of thoughtful Mercury, in close conjunction with the Sun and Moon that day, and representing greater consciousness and a species of abstract logical analysis. The sign placement of these personal planets being Scorpio becomes an added factor of emotional intensity that stirs us deeply, especially when we consider that Mercury is in partile or same-degree trine formation with the Pisces placement of numinous Neptune. We are therefore this entire month experiencing a compassionate and a highly idealized time of recognizing what we all hold deep inside ourselves, that directly connects with, and supports and underlies, the surface details of all our activities in the visible physical plane that we more consciously inhabit.

As befits this Scorpionic time of the year, the surface layers of our more normative comings and goings are only part of the story now, with the vast unseen realm of unconscious process taking a major role in the characterization of this month’s true activity. Neptune, along with the other outer planets, represents access to numinous realities beyond the purely physical, the significant life of our deep internal process. This is the vast unconscious realm, deep within, which Freud and Jung first annunciated in the early 20th century, and which finds even greater credence today. The highlighted placements of Uranus with Eris, and of Saturn and Pluto, complete the roster of planetary significators, also including Venus in close aspect with Mercury and Mars at the timing of the mid-month Full Moon that punctuates this rather intense monthly cycle.

The new planet, Eris, beyond Pluto, only named as recently as 2006, represents the astrological archetype of Spiritual Warrior: that is to say the determination to stand up for what one most deeply believes, at soul level. This energy is strongly highlighted now, and is thus prominent on our inner radar, because still within little more than a degree of Uranus, and closely squared by Mars, in the timing of the New Moon that initiates the Scorpio cycle. The question that comes up for everyone quite poignantly these days is whether you can find that inner urge for true achievement, what you feel, at the most profound level, that you must, at all costs, accomplish in this lifetime. This might have nothing to do with success in the eyes of the world, but is nevertheless vital from the standpoint of an inner drive, deep within, for what feels most important.

This month of November represents quite a ride. When we see in the timing of the First Quarter Moon of Monday, November 7th, that the Sun and Moon are closely aligned with both Saturn and Pluto, in the same degree that they occupy, in the two signs between, and that Saturn is almost exactly in parallel aspect with Pluto, we can be sure that in some profound and completely individual fashion, the structure of our lives is changing. We can see this also in the collective, where this thought can give us courage as we come to understand that we are not hopelessly enmired in an existing status quo, but that everything, even the underlying social fabric of our lives, is in serious flux.

With the Full Moon of the following Monday, November 14th, at the 22 degree mark of Scorpio, the same degree that Eris occupies in Aries, we come to a culmination of these remarkable two weeks, the launch point for the remainder of the November cycle. We come as well to a better understanding of what we have going on deep within us. This includes the necessity for standing up for ourselves, and for our most deeply held values, no matter what.

ARIES (March 20-April 19). This is another month of transformational intensity for you, Aries. The good news is that, after leaving something behind that no longer serves you, space is being made for what does. Relationship concerns gain in clarity. Your fundamental mission this month is to explore your own depths in creative and constructive ways, which allows you to connect more fully with others. Issues of self and other that have been in process for the last month or more are now arriving at a new stage, and contribute directly to career changes and new attitudes regarding the possibility of more purposeful progress. The structures by means of which you run your life constitute a moving landscape for you these days; things go much better when you allow yourself to relax and enjoy the ride.

TAURUS (April 20-May 19). This month represents an important turning point for you, Taurus, one in which you are getting a much better handle on issues of partnership and close bonding. An active process of depth intuition reveals much to you when you can stay open to the messages that you receive. The very structure of certain aspects of your life is irrevocably altering, particularly in the way that you are now coming to regard this area of committed relationship. There are limitations in the realm of interpersonal linkages that you have had to deal with lately, perhaps creating barriers to intimacy. If so, then these seeming restrictions have in fact been a blessing, as will become more clear as the current month of November continues to unfold. You are in a position to make great strides in the way that you pursue deep connection with others, and, in the final analysis, with yourself.

GEMINI (May 20-June 20). This is another amazing and rather intense month for you, Gemini, when many aspects of your life are in flux, and you are called to deeper purpose. Issues of finding your true path forward, combining career prerogatives with concepts of service to others around you, are emerging further into consciousness. These are tinged with idealism and yet are also very real, taking you out of your normal round into a world of mysticism and greater meaning. You are also making a move toward better understanding your own internal motivation in the field of close interpersonal relationship. This is an active and intense area for you right now, and is also tied to your ongoing explorations of your intentions for the future. You are in essence seeking a new way forward that is more closely aligned with that in which you most deeply believe.

CANCER (June 21-July 20) This month is a sensitive time for everyone, Cancer, and for you in particular. You are very attuned now to the deep emotional energy represented by your sign, and to issues of exploration and evolving self-definition. What comes up for you most strongly, perhaps, would be the external productions of your mind and heart, expressed through drama and artistic tasks of all kinds, including any work you may do with children. There is also a way that important area of committed relationship is still a changing landscape for you. Changes there are still in the works, accelerating over the course of this monthly cycle. You continue your ongoing process of seeing more deeply into your inner world as a way of exploring the full spectrum of true identity. As you integrate these various factors, you are getting a better handle on who you are below he surface layers of your psyche.

LEO (July 21-Aug. 21) This is a month of exploring your depths, Leo, so that you feel more private than usual, and less on stage. The recent New Moon from the last days of October comes to you straight from the dark and hidden places within your psyche, as represented in your chart structure by Water signs such as Scorpio. You are feeling into issues of home and kin, including family of origin, and as you do might also be exploring poignant concerns stemming from early wounding. Your creativity is also going through changes as this rather intense month continues to unfold. You could find greater focus now on the productions of your self-expression, becoming temporarily slower and more thorough in what you are accomplishing. This does mean taking more time, but on a more positive note, the lessons that you absorb will be longer lasting.

VIRGO (Aug. 21-Sept. 21) This month, Virgo, is a time for you of financial and material good fortune, along with partnership progress. Potential developments in understanding of how your relationship component plays itself out in your life lead you to a better comprehension of the powerful factor of one-on-one connection with significant others. This is also a time of tremendous opportunity for you in terms of evolving worldview, provided you can stay open to all your possibilities. You are in the midst of a dreamy period of time that partakes of idealistic relationship conceptions, and also getting clearer regarding the necessary compromises that you must make with contrasting practical considerations. You are seeking renewed inspiration from the inside out. Your fundamental approach is bolstered by a series of cosmic promptings that you make serious commitments, but only to that with which you most deeply resonate.

LIBRA (Sept. 22-Oct. 22) This is a month of relative contrast, Libra, when you have a spiritually active and fundamentally optimistic attitude pervading your soul, and yet also feel the pull of a practical, overly restrictive and even pessimistic feeling of hard and fast reality closing in on you. This occurs together with a sense that something deep within you is irrevocably changing. This is therefore in some ways a difficult month for you, more so if you try to avoid transformation and the process of letting go. Certain parts of yourself are restless with the urge to move on, while with other parts of your psyche you may be holding back. The factor of important partners in your life becomes more relevant to this issue as the month continues to unfold, and can help you to break free of attitudes and habitual patterns of behavior that have become obsolete to your expanding self-concept.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) This is an interesting month for you, Scorpio, in this your birthday time of the year. The inner work that you have been doing is a natural fit for your energies, and is bringing forth greater understanding of the vast and yeasty area within you that surpasses the surface layers of your psyche in both volume and profundity. Your relationship orientation is also strong right now, and becoming more freely flowing as the month continues to unfold. There is a powerful contrast that forms within you between working in concert with an important partner, and alone. You are pursuing your inner sense of destiny wherever it might lead, taking on with renewed commitment to a sense of mission that goes to your very depths and can be considered as a form of discipleship to a higher power, one that is found strictly within the confines of your very own mind and heart.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 20) This is a month of definite advancement toward achieving your intended future, Sagittarius, although it is progress on both inner and outer levels that you are making. Your goal orientation this month is striking. Success in the eyes of the world is indicated, although the path leading to it is neither rapid nor easy. Along with outer achievement in the works, you are simultaneously striving to better understand yourself in the very depths of your being. This monthly cycle has much to contribute in these subtle and more profound areas, which do not lead to any obvious outcome, but are nevertheless vitally important for everything that you are striving for. A different form of success is thus blossoming for you, at the deeper layers of your psyche, as you get a better feel for what it is that you ultimately came into this lifetime to accomplish.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 21-Jan. 19) This is a very good month for progress, Capricorn, and for achievement in the public sphere where your proclivities in large part take you. There are likely to be positive developments in the field of your professional concerns; with a catch however, in that your movement forward in outer affairs must be accompanied for their greatest benefit by private advances within the sphere of your ongoing exploration of your own inner world. Your vast unconscious is a vital part of your psyche and contributes to everything that you say and do. As your inquisitiveness begins peaking, during this present monthly cycle, this intellectual curiosity can be brought to bear in many different directions. You are encouraged not to skip the inner investigations that, although barely recognized in narrow materialistic tracks of consensus thinking, have been calling you to greater perception of all that you hold inside.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 17) This is another powerful monthly cycle for you, Aquarius, although something of a confusing time as well, because your work in the world of schedules and events is emphasized, while much is simultaneously cooking beneath the surface layers of your psyche. You are very aware these days of how directly your inner experience contributes to your outer persona, but that doesn’t make their integration any easier. After a sizzling summer and early fall, over the course of an active November you are coming to startling new conclusions regarding world view, both philosophically and in terms of more normative behavior. You might be unsure of where you stand, as you combine mystical realities with the concrete behaviors of the actual physical world. The solution is to give each of these very different parts of yourself their due, without worrying too much about the seeming contradictions between them.

PISCES (Feb. 18-March 19) Welcome to the maelstrom, Pisces. This month promises to be dramatic for you, although in a good way. You are being hit quite strongly now with a combination of archetypal energies that strike a vibrational chord along every angle of your chart. These key areas are all being activated: this includes your sense of identity, and of partnership recognition, as well your feelings of deep inner process and the way that you put yourself out there in the world. While maintaining a communicative achievement orientation, you find strength in looking ahead to new paths to conquer. You are planting your flag even yet more firmly in the practical application of an enormously profound sense of values. In the midst of all of this, you are finding the philosophical wherewithal to advance your understanding of the world around you and of yourself as well, at the deeper layers of your being.

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 about Eris, the planet beyond Pluto only recently discovered, in 2006, is entitled: The Tenth Planet: Revelations from the Astrological Eris, and is available on Amazon, or from your local bookseller through New Leaf distributing. Henry also offers life enhancing private astrological counseling. Call him at 831-425-3686, or visit his website at www.astrograph.com.

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