Sunday, January 16, 2011

Has astrology been debunked?! What's my zodiac sign?! Help!!

So, as semi-professional astrologer (e.g., someone who has been studying alot in the past several years, and has just begun to get paid for it in the last year or so), I've been hearing alot of people asking, in the last few days, about what's going on with the "new zodiac".  Wondering if, and why(?!), their sign has suddenly changed.  And the people that I know have all been asking me (because I'm the resident astrology geek that they know ;-)).  So, I figured, it's about time that I blog about this, right?

In case you've been under a rock, and am wondering what I'm talking about. . . Apparently, this past Thursday, some "new news" surfaced in which an astronomer was debunking astrology, based on the fact that the signs that have shifted over the past several thousand years.  (For example, if the Sun was passing through the constellation of Aries on March 29 two thousand years ago, it would be passing through the constellation of Pisces on March 29 this year.) On top of this, a 13th sign (Ophiuchus) has been introduced, wreaking even more havoc, especially to those born around Thanksgiving (Scorpio/Sagittarius) time.  If you somehow managed to avoid hearing about this controversy, check it out here.

On Thursday evening, my friend Jason Bloom wrote me an e-mail, titled "Ophiuchus?", which read:
"I'm no longer a Sag.  I just read that all the astrological birth signs have shifted, and a thirteenth has been added, a sign that I now straddle along with Scorpio.  You are the best qualified person I know to ask about this.  :)

What's with the change?

After poking around on the internet a little bit for clarification/support, I wrote this reply:

Hey Jason,

I hope you don't mind that I copied my friends, and astrology students, Tre and Jenesta, too.  Tre sent an article out to me earlier today about the same matter. . .

So, basically, Tropical (Western) astrology uses a fixed system, which is based on the start of the seasons, and uses an even division of 12 signs for simplicity's sake.  This differs from Sidereal (Vedic) astrology, which is more concerned about direct correlation of the Sun's path with the constellations that it travels through in the sky.  (In short, the Tropical zodiac is more concerned about the Earth's relationship to the Sun, while the Sidereal zodiac is more concerned about the Sun's relationship to the stars.)  Although there was no difference between the systems several thousand years ago, this has changed, due to a process called the precession of the equinoxes.

So where does Ophiuchus fit in? Ophiuchus is a 13th constellation that the Sun can be observed to pass through for several weeks (about 17 days), as opposed to only a week in Scorpio.  (It has actually been known about for a LONG time--Ptolemy wrote about it in the 2nd century A.D.  The astronomers are just wanting to acknowledge more now, I guess. ;-)) But, keep in mind, that Tropical astrology is not based on the exact measurement of how long the Sun goes through each sign (it's about an equal division of the seasons into signs--30 degrees per, regardless), so us Western astrologers aren't phased by this news. 

With all this being said, I didn't actually know anything about the symbology/mythology of Ophiuchus (the serpent bearer), but I found an interesting sight that delves into this a bit, as well as explaining the division of the zodiac a bit more: (Click on the link "Saturday Extra Post!" for more about Ophiuchus.)

Hope that helps!


P.S. Mind if I post this to my blog, too? ;-)

Jason kindly agreed to let me repost my reply to him (thanks, Jason!), so I thought it would make sense to include this as my next blog entry (and first astrologically related blog entry for 2011--more to come!).  So, the long and short of it? The "new news" is actually old news, and you are still the sign that you have always been! (. . . at least according to Western astrology, which is what I practice, and what I have observed to be relevant over and over again.) You can breathe easy now. ;-)

Now, as far as whether you should read the same horoscope sign in the paper, well--I don't actually "believe" in the validity of paper horoscopes myself (don't really read them anymore). . . But that's a whole other topic to delve into.  More later! In the mean time, here's wishing you peace of mind, love in your heart and continued good fortune (no matter what the stars have in store for you). . .

Blessings to you,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lessons from anger (an inspired message)

Alright.  This is where things get weird.  I will warn you that I do have some trepidation about writing this blog, but my enthusiasm is over-riding it.  Allow me to explain:

One of the things that I have experienced throughout my life, but especially in the last couple of years, are writings (sometimes poetry, sometimes simply messages) that come "through" me very quickly, in the space of minutes, with little or no conscious editing.  For this reason, I call tend to refer to these works as "channeled", all whether that is literally true, I cannot say for certain.  (Feel free, if it seems more comfortable, to call these messages "inspired" rather than "channeled".  That would be fine with me.) Nonetheless, I am choosing to share a channeled/inspired message that came "through" me just in the last hour.  I am sharing it because I feel it is so relevant to my life and what I am currently experiencing, and if I am finding it helpful, then perhaps you will, too.

To first give a little context: I have been feeling discouraged, and sometimes angry or frustrated, over the last few days, at my perceived inability to focus on goals that I need or want to accomplish.  This appears to be accompanied by an abundant willingness to focus on other people's goals, or to avoid goals all together and just spend time with other people.  So, I found myself, this morning, having "accomplished" nothing before noon, except for my basic morning routine (showering, eating breakfast), which happened late in the morning, and chatting with/helping others (one person in particular, whom I am quite close to).  At 11:20 or so, after over an hour, I cut myself off from this person (finally), in order to focus on my own tasks--e.g., my delayed morning routine and preparing to teach at noon.  I felt a large amount of annoyance that I had "wasted" my time "helping" this other person, and a large amount of self-anger (disgust would perhaps be a better word) at all that I had not accomplished.

When my noon student canceled (due to circumstances beyond his control), I felt compelled to sit down, to settle, and focus inwardly for a bit.  (One could loosely call this meditation.) As I could sit feel the remnants of anger and un-settledness in my body, I called to mind a particular figure that I thought might help to bring illumination, whom I have evoked before: Medicine Buddha.  (Medicine Buddha is associated with the transformation of negative emotional states, amongst other things.) And then, grabbing a notebook and a pen, I wrote down this question:

What is the lesson in this?

This answer arose in my head, and I wrote it down:
The goal is to learn patience with all states of mind, to understand that all states are created equal.  Each has it's place, and each holds it's particular quality of illumination.

 Thinking that that was an interesting answer, I wrote down this followup question:
So, what, then, is  the goal of my anger?

And, in response, a lot more came forth, namely:
"The goal of anger is to clarify what is important, and when priorities have been misplaced.  Particularly, it illuminates when one has placed faith in another as opposed to holding that faith within themselves.  

Often, we expect others to do for us what we are not willing to do for ourselves.  Or, we expect others to validate and praise us when we sacrifice ourselves on their behalf.  These are examples of expectations that have been misplaced.

When anger arises, you can notice the feeling quality that it brings up in your body.  Where are you holding tension? Where are you trying to force a result? Be willing to see these things clearly.

But then, and always, come back to love.  Begin with self-love.  Where is it that you have turned your back on yourself? Where is it that you have denied yourself, thinking that investing in another would bring you the confidence that you need? 

Do not be afraid.  The answers to these questions ARE NOT a reflection of your self-worth, for you are already whole and perfect in God's eyes.  The answers to these questions are merely a source of illumination, given to you that you might come back to a conscious alignment with validation of self.

Remember that anger has given you this gift of awareness, and once you accept it, you will find yourself angry no longer.  Residing now in love, you may bring yourself back into alignment with the goals that will support your highest need and God's divine order.

Blessings to you always on your path,
Medicine Buddha and 
Gabriel (God's messenger)

I will say that I am not quite sure how Gabriel crept in there (as I did not consciously call on him) but his name popped up for me, and I do feel like he (or she--Gabriel's gender is debated) had some association with this message.

So. . . I still feel kind of wacky after typing up this message (What will people think of me?), but I am taking the risk to record this, because it feels so personally relevant, and maybe will speak to you in some way (regardless of whether you "agree" with the idea of channeling).  And, now that I feel more calm and complete within myself, now that I have engaged in some so needed and personally relevant, I feel that I am ready to turn my attention to other matters.

I welcome your comments, and send you blessings on your path! Here's wishing you, and all, a beautiful and heart-filled day.   

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hello, 2011! :-)

So, here I am: It's a new year, a new blog, and I'm both excited and nervous about the idea of documenting my journey over a full year (as opposed to the monthlong venture that I undertook in May/June of 2010).  And yet, I feel that it's an exciting venture for me personally, whatever it may turn out to be (or not be) for anyone else "out there" who chooses to join me (or not) or my personal journey.  So, here I am, and here it is--in it's most fledging, "first entry" form.

I have a couple of reasons behind wanting to tackle this year-long blog, and a couple of different things, content-wise, that I will be wanting to tackle:
  • First of all, and perhaps most selfishly, this is a blog about me--that is, about my interests and my personal development.  I want to watch myself develop as a human, as musician/teacher, as a fledgling healer-astrologer, as a brilliant and confused thinker/spiritualist, as a wife and a lover and a friend--and I want the opportunity to share that journey along the way, however it may go.
  • Secondly, this is a blog about the things that sustain me: music, dance, astrology, healing, meditation/self-inquiry, and (most profoundly) my relationships (with my husband, my friends, and God/"The Source").
  • Lastly, I am hoping to touch you, dear reader, in sharing my own journey.  This is a wonderful and messy life that we live and I want to share my particular rendition of how I strive to both better myself and to accept myself exactly as I am (ah--the greatest conundrum!). 
In summary, if this blog speaks to you in any or all of these ways, then I invite you to join me in my journey.  I invite you to chuckle in recognition, to share your own thoughts/opinions (where you resonate with me, learn from me, or have a completely different point of view from me), and/or let your own memories/emotional reactions bubble up in response to what you read from me.  Finally, if you are willing to come along with me and support me in my journey, then I would like to do the same for you (should you so choose).  So, if you have your own chronicle/blog, or should you wish to contact me to share your own experiences, then I vow to listen and support you as well, to the best of my ability.

Finally, the commitment: I will check in at least once a week, more often if and as "the spirit moves me".  So, expect at least 50 or so entries over the course of the year. 

Thank you for reading this, my very first post of 2011, and I look forward to sharing this journey with you! :-)