Nothing lasts forever

“Even the prettiest flower will wilt one day.  It’s nature’s way of teaching us that nothing lasts forever.” – Unknown.

triffidI’m currently experiencing the first hit of my Pluto square and it’s making me reflect even more than normal.  This is one of the major ‘mid-life crisis’ aspects in astrology (that sentence makes me feel quite old!).  The Pluto square can be a point in our life where we become very aware of our own mortality.  I was struck by this today when I was admiring the Amaryllis I’ve been growing, which has finally flowered.  My plan was to have them flowering for Christmas, but obviously they had other ideas.

I’m really enjoying the flowers now they’re here.  They’re so majestic and the colour is beautifully vivid.  However whilst watering them today I felt quite sad that they won’t last in their current state for very long.  The Hyacinths I grew over Christmas are already fading, although their perfume is still lovely.

This made me think about the Buddhist teachings on impermanence.  This tells us that no matter how substantial something may seem, everything changes and nothing lasts forever.  I find this teaching very comforting.  Of course it means the flowers will eventually wilt and die, but it also means that in our darkest hour when things seem overwhelmingly awful, it’s ok because that won’t last either.  Everything changes eventually and none of us will be around forever.  That’s why every moment is precious, to be appreciated and experienced to the full.  So, I’ll enjoy the flowers while they last and appreciate every moment they are here for the pleasure they bring.

1010956_10151837551786981_1673004426_nAnd that goes for all the other good things in my life too.  It’s almost too easy to focus on the negatives, so it’s time to take a moment, say a quiet thank you and appreciate all the good things I have.

The Solar Myth of Capricorn

The  Sun is now over halfway through the cardinal earth sign of Capricorn.  Capricorn is ruled by Saturn and it’s therefore no surprise that those born under this sign can have a serious or even stern quality to them.  Saturn wants us to work hard and be responsible, so hard work is not something Capricorn is afraid of.  

A myth associated with this sign is one of sons fighting and overthrowing fathers.  We begin with the story of Uranus, father of the Titans who became afraid of the strength of his twelve children.  His reaction was to hurl them into the dark abyss immediately after birth and bind them with chains.  Their mother, the earth goddess Gaia protested but Uranus would not relent.

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Rubens: Saturn, Jupiter’s father, devours one of his sons, Neptune

Gaia pleaded with her children to rebel against their father, but only Saturn had the courage.  Gaia gave him a sickle knife and Saturn over threw his father by slicing off Uranus’ genitals and claiming the throne – nice, imagine what Christmas was like in their house!  Uranus cursed Saturn with the same fate of being destroyed by his children, but Saturn ignored him, freed his siblings and brought peace to the world. (As an aside, when Saturn threw the sliced off genitals into the sea Aphrodite was born and from the drops of blood emerged the Furies and Meliae.)

Now it would be too simple to end things here, what about that curse?  It came back to haunt him when Saturn was given news of the birth of his first son.  He went to his wife Rhea who handed him his son who Saturn promptly swallowed.  He did this with every child.  Rhea became angry as Gaia had before her and eventually came up with a plan.  When Zeus (or Jupiter to the Romans) was born rather than handing over the baby she wrapped a stone in swaddling cloth and gave this to Saturn instead.  Clearly not the most attentive of fathers, Saturn didn’t notice the difference and swallowed the stone instead.  Rhea hides Zeus and when he is grown he returned to confront and defeat his father, freeing his siblings and claiming rulership of the world.

For Capricorn the fear of failure and being usurped underlies all their drive and hard work.  They want to be in control and hold authority in order to avoid failure.  This can lead to taking on responsibility prematurely and fear and depression if they feel they have failed to meet their goals.  For Capricorn the lesson is that time is on their side.  They must learn to set their own goals and grow into their position and authority.  They need to ensure that they do not find themselves living to other people’s goals and standards, be it their father, boss or any other authority.  Only by dancing to their own tune can they achieve the success they work so hard for.  The aim, be the wise leader and not the dictator.

Everything Changes?

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary OliverNew and Selected Poems

 I love this quote.  It’s inspiring, but also slightly confronting.  How many of us can answer this question in a way that demonstrates how much we appreciate our wild and precious life?  It’s so easy to get caught up in the stresses of every day life and lose sight of the big picture!

One of our resolutions for 2014 is to write a new website presenting all that we do in a way to help you with whatever may be happening in your life.  Previously our website concentrated on the astrology work we do, but over time we’ve added other techniques and want to be able to let everyone know about those.  Over the last few weeks Matthew and I have been working on our new website entitled www.everythingchanges.co.uk.  It’s still a work in progress, but it will include information on not just astrology but also essence healing, reiki, feng shui, and coaching.

For us the title Everything Changes is important.  It is fair to say that most people struggle with change, at least at some point in their lives.  We can even find the change that we choose a struggle sometimes.  Think about moving house or getting married – right up there on the lists of most stressful events, yet these are things we have chosen to do.  These are large events, but change is happening constantly.  I will not be the same when I finish writing this blog post as I was when I began.  Small physical changes will have taken place meaning that I am no longer who I was even a minute ago.  Everything changes, all the time.  Accepting change is one of the biggest challenges any of us will face, whatever form this change may take.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao Tzu

So that’s one of the reasons why we decided on the title Everything Changes.  We’ll still use Ho’oponopono because the aim of ‘making what is right more right’ is also important to us.

I hope you like the changes and enjoy the direction we are moving in.  2014 looks set to be an exciting year and we wish you all the best in whatever it brings to you.

Resolutions anyone?

CandleAt this time of year we all get a bit reflective.  Another year has passed and we are wondering what the next will have in store.  Sometimes we look back on the year with fondness, whilst other times we have regrets of things left unfinished or wishes that we could have done things differently.  Are you starting to think about resolutions?  Things you want to change or improve in your life?  Many of us will be and how many of those resolutions will make it through until the end of January?  If you’re in that group of people who would answer that final question with ‘not many’ or ‘none’ then you definitely need to read on.  If you’re not, then great, but read on any way…

I’m not normally one for making resolutions at this time of year.  With the excess of Christmas and the cold, dark mornings of January and February to come, it simply doesn’t feel like the time to be ‘super-positive’ and the time for big changes.  However, I’m thinking that this new year’s eve is different.  For the first time in 19 years there is a new Moon on the 1st January.  AND it’s a supermoon!  New Moons are the perfect time to set goals and intentions for the coming days, weeks and months ahead.  This is the time to plant the seed, which will grow and blossom into something wonderful.  This is true of every new Moon, but it seems so perfect falling at the point in the year we see as a new beginning (even if it is a made up new beginning!).New Moon

And as if that wasn’t enough the new Moon falls within a degree of Pluto.  If this isn’t the perfect time to think about transformation and change then I don’t know when is!  There might be areas of your life you are already thinking about, or you might like to consider where Capricorn falls in your birth chart.  The astrological house where you find Capricorn is where the new Moon is happening and will give you some indication of the area of life that might be most ripe for change.

However, I’m all for starting small.   After all, acorns make oak trees!! If you haven’t come across the superb Zen Habits then I’d highly recommend you take a look.  There’s lots of inspiration and the gentle Buddhist approach of author Leo Babauta shines through.  He doesn’t talk about whole sale instantaneous change, because how many of us can truly manage this, let alone sustain it?  He advocates small, almost minuscule changes that are sustainable and eventually grow into something much, much bigger.  Using this approach he has turned his life around and is happier and healthier for it.

The key to setting goals it that they must be measurable.  It’s no good saying, ‘in 2014 I’m going to get healthier!’, because what does that actually mean.  Does this mean exercise, food, giving up smoking, drink, drugs?  Set yourself a measurable goal and you are far more likely to be able to achieve it and be able to work towards it.  For example, ‘I’m going to be healthier by eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day’.  Now there’s more clarity and you can start to plan.  Or, ‘I’m going to be healthier by exercising four days a week for 30 minutes’, okay, so what’s the exercise going to be?  Walking four days a week for 30 minutes is a measurable goal.  Why not tell someone, or ask them to join you?  That way not only is the goal measurable, but now you’re accountable too.  These are the small things that make it possible to not only make our resolutions achievable but to actually achieve them.

Setting goals and being accountable is where a coach can help you.  Coaching is another technique we’ll be adding to our services in 2014.  Our goal for 2014 is to launch our (in-progress) new website that will better let you know the range of services we can offer.  I’m really excited about this and am looking forward to seeing it all come together.  I’ve got a few other more personal resolutions forming too, but my goal for this afternoon is to ponder how to make them measurable and put a timescale on them.  That way I can make the most of this new Moon energy and tap into the power of the supermoon.

Whatever you decide, we you all a happy, healthy and fulfilling 2014!

The Winter Solstice

So here we are moving towards the end of another cycle.  Earlier today the Moon was full and the rest of 2013 sees the closing out of this lunar cycle before the new Moon on January 1st.  We are also moving towards the Winter Solstice, the point when the Sun moves into the cardinal sign of Capricorn.  For those of us in the northern hemisphere, the tilt of the Earth puts us furthest from the Sun creating Winter.

tiltI’ve blogged a bit this year on cycles, especially the lunation cycle, but the nature of astrological cycles is the same whether we are talking about the Moon, Pluto, or the whole astrological year.  Long before Christmas this time of year was a period marked as important in the calendar.  This is the point in the cycle which equates in the lunation cycle to the dark of the Moon, the point just before the new Moon where the sky is dark and the Moon is invisible to us.  It is a point for introspection and reflection.  We celebrate the year giving gifts to those we love and cherish, but will we make it through the winter?  This was a genuine concern for our ancestors.  Had they stored enough food to get them through the dark and cold months until Spring? 

winter-solsticeWhatever this time of year means for you, I hope over the next week you’ll be able to celebrate the Solstice (and Christmas) with those you love.  Eat, drink and be merry, but spare a thought for that waning phase of the Moon that follows and look inward to see what comes next.  What are you hoping to give birth to in the New Year?  What does 2014 look like in your mind’s eye?  Reflect on your highs and lows of this year and consider what you want from the next.  This is a time to remember that the answer isn’t always ‘out there’, in fact it rarely is.  The answer is inside, you just need to give yourself time and space to find it.

The solar myth of Scorpio

It’s been a tricky few weeks!  With my stellium in Scorpio I’m suffering from all the Saturn transits at the moment and am slowly recovering from a painful trapped nerve in my shoulder.  Needless to say, this has held up the blogging and I’m a bit late with the myth of Scorpio – oops!

The most intensely powerful of signs has some pretty powerful myths associated with it, not least that of Medusa which illustrates all those scorpionic issues of betrayal of trust and the use and abuse of power.

As always with the classical myths there are variations, but the version I use with Sun Scorpios (assuming they ever come to see you and reveal their inner workings!) starts with Medusa as a lovely young woman.  She is said to have had beautiful hair and so captivated Poseidon, god of the sea that one night he seduced and raped her in Athena’s temple.  Horrified when she discovers this defilement of her temple, but unable to punish Poseidon, Athena instead turns her anger on Medusa.  She transforms her beautiful hair into snakes and makes her face so hideous to look at it turns any who look on her to stone.  Filled with fury at the injustice and horror of what she has become Medusa hides away in a cave so no one can see her.  She lives alone with her anger and bitterness, turning all those who try to slay her to stone.

Finally, Perseus completes the hero’s task of killing Medusa using gifts from Hades, Hermes and Athene.  When he cuts off her head, the winged horse Pegasus springs from her severed neck, a product of her union with Poseidon. Pool of bitterness

The test for Sun Scorpios is to be able to bond and trust with those around them.  The twin themes of the Medusa myth are intensity and betrayal.  Scorpios make faithful friends and lovers, but can struggle with forgiveness when they feel their trust has been broken.  They can hold on to these feelings of betrayal leading to bitterness, anger and that famous Scorpio trait of the search for revenge.  The aim for Scorpio is to release the fury and learn to see situations clearly.  This allows them to control their emotions and free the wisdom and spiritual energy of the Pegasus held inside.

The solar myth of Libra

I’m a bit late on this, oops!  With less than a degree to go before the Sun heads into the depths of Scorpio, I thought I should add a post about one of the myths traditionally associated with Libra.

The one I use most that seems to speak to the Sun Libra is the Judgement of Paris, traditionally told as a precursor to the Trojan War.  Paris, the son of Priam King of Troy, finds himself roped into judging a goddess beauty contest.  Given that Zeus has already backed out of the judging as he didn’t want to deal with the fallout, we can guess that this isn’t going to go well for Paris.

The prize for the winner of the contest is a golden apple from the Garden of Hesperides and the three goddesses competing are Hera, Athena and Aphrodite.  It is said that Paris had previously proven himself to be fair when judging a bull fighting contest Ares has been part of.

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All the goddesses make themselves as beautiful as possible, but are so keen to win that they decide a little bribery might be in order.  Hera offers to make Paris King of Europe and Asia, Athena offers wisdom and skill in war (something he might wish he’d chosen later!), and Aphrodite offers Paris the most beautiful woman in the world as his wife.  The woman in question is Helen of Sparta, who just so happens to be married to the Greek king Menelaus.  The story tells us that Helen was so sought after as a bride that when her father accepted Menelaus as her suitor, he made all other suitors swear to come to his aid should she ever be stolen from him.

Paris is a young man and Helen’s beauty sways him to choose Aphrodite and he heads back to Troy with his prize.  Unfortunately Menelaus and all Helen’s previous suitors follow him, amounting to quite an army and so begins the ten year siege of Troy.  Libra, like Paris, is drawn towards beauty in all its forms – colour, shape form and balance.  They are the interior designers of the zodiac!  As they get older they realise that beauty is more than skin deep and there is more to love than looks.

Librans are often called indecisive, seeking harmony and balance in all things.  They are praised for their tact and diplomacy, but accused of constantly sitting on the fence, coming down on neither one side nor the other.  The key to the myth is the fear within Libra of the possible consequences of making a decision.  The challenge for Libra is always, how can I assert my own individuality and make my own decisions without upsetting anyone (and starting a ten year war!).  With the Sun in fall in Libra, this will always be challenging.  An unbalanced Libra Sun may become overly aggressive or angry, in a worst case Aries (it’s opposite sign) way.  The trick is to be able to say what they want and need in a way that is true to themselves and to those around them.  Not easy!