Yoga Therapy & Astrology Posts

I was running late to class and hobbling still on my sore ankle.  I’ll remember Mars turning retrograde at 4 degrees Aquarius (ruling  zodiac sign of ankles) for a long time!  As soon as I got to the top stair and turned the corner to the studio I saw it, a large white shopping bag with a big pink post-it to Ida…and a heart drawn with red markers.  It was sitting on the chair in the hall by the door to The Sanctuary.  I looked in the bag and saw a bunch of books with a piece of paper on top.  There was no note or card or any clue at all as to the giver of this gift.  I grabbed the bag and hobbled some more into the studio.

 

My curiosity was stoked!  The bag held a delightful assortment of astrology books, most very old, but well kept and well read with pages dogeared and jacket covers marking pages.  I already had a few of them but some I’d never seen before.

In addition to the books was a piece of paper with what might be a natal chart but there’s no name or birthday or birthplace or any personal data at all.  It didn’t look like any other natal chart or chart form I’d ever seen before, and I’ve been seeing charts since 1970 something.

The other item in the bag was an aspectarian, and that item lit me up like a firecracker!  But, that’s another story.

Students began to arrive and I put the books away holding aside Dane Rudyhar’s, An Astrological Mandala – 360 Symbolic Phases.  I have a yellowed paperback held together with a rubber band at home.  I can use this hardcover one for sure.  Usefulness is important when you have Mars and Saturn in Virgo like I.

Another Solar Eclipse was due on Aug 11 at 19 degrees of Leo.  I look up that degree in Rudyhar’s book thinking it would be a good reading for the class and might offer some timely discourse.

Class begins.  It’s a struggle, at first, to pull my mind away from the mysterious gift.  But, by the time we got to “OM”, we were all centered, grounded, and ready for our yoga practices.

After class, we chatted some and I remembered how I wanted to share the page on 19 degrees of Leo,   Instead, I opened the book to the page that was marked with the book cover.  I looked and it read Phase 279, 9 degrees Capricorn. An Angel Carrying a Harp.   Stunned, I looked from the page to the beige nubby carpet up to the creamy tan wall and over to the small, Wm Reese, fully levered, maple lapharp perched on her stand in front of me.

Was that page marked for me?  Even the remaining students in the room were curiously mystified.

After they left I considered what to do with the bag.  I pulled out the piece of paper and the aspectarian, packed the books up, and left it at the studio.

Later that night, I looked at what I brought home, and it does appear like a natal chart of someone born in the 40’s or perhaps early 50’s.  Sun in Sag, Moon in Taurus (?) the symbols here are unclear, Capricorn is rising.  I can’t think of anyone offhand that has that astrological signature.    But, Scorpio’s love mysteries.   Sometimes.

Is this a gift from a peer, an admirer, or a stalker, or someone who has found me on the internet and chooses to remain anonymous for nefarious reasons, or what?

I am well acquainted to what an imaginative monkey-mind can do.  Yet, the bag was left anonymously, on purpose?

Anyway, if you’re still reading this and you know who left it, would you please let me know.

Meanwhile, the solar eclipse has passed and we can now try to make sense of all this summer has revealed…….so far.

Om Shanti….

 

Astrology Blogging Creative Non-Fiction Yoga

The premier text for defining creativity is probably Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book: Creativity – Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention.

The second  book that impacted my understanding of the creative process was the Bhagavad Gita.

You can’t not be creative.  We are born with galaxies filled of ‘potential’….inside and out.

Our Inquire Within Summer Intensive is scheduled for July 28   Today is the deadline to register.  Om Shanti.

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Hardware, Software, and a big book of numbers.
Some tools of the trade.

Did you know that there are two zodiacs?

The difference between them is largely a question of measurement and how and where to begin measuring. Volumes have been written and it’s not necessary for our purposes here to go into it in any detail.

The tropical zodiac is mostly used by western astrologers and looks at the sky with reference to the solstice and equinox points. Then they divide the sky up into twelve sections that may or may not be equal, depending on other data points.

The sidereal zodiac is primarily used by eastern astrologers and is more closely related to the actual placement of the stars in their constellations.

The actual difference between these two zodiacs is approximately 23 degrees depending on which astronomer you consult. This difference is called the ayanamsa.

As an astrologer, I can’t help but think that the Sidereal folks are more connected to ‘reality’ since they are looking at the sky as it is, rather than observing it as a mathematical construct.  But those same astrologers have yet to acknowledge Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in their interpretations.  For them Saturn is an absolute boundary.  Regardless, both systems work.  Time & experience have established that fact, conclusively. 

All said, I have had many wonderful discussions with astrologers of both systems.  Aside from it’s practical or impractical uses, just the study, alone, of astrology helps to balance out a lot of mis-thinking that goes on in the world.

 

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Watercolor geometric patternMany years ago I had the pleasure of working at the NJ Center for the Healing Arts. A wonderful group of various therapists, psycho-, massage-, art-, and other practitioners of the alternative/complementary arts/sciences all worked under one roof. The founder had a vision for how to treat mental illness in today’s society. She was a beacon of light to many and I applaud her for her accomplishments and the ripple effect of healing & inspiration she provided to the whole community, clients, and the world-at-large.   I was honored to offer astrological & feng shui consultations along with some hatha & dancing yoga classes during my early years studying yoga therapy.  It was a rich time.

While there, it was clear that much of the physical space was dedicated to art….The walls were filled with paintings painted by past & present clients.  Every now and then new ones would appear.  I loved peeking into the art room to see them in action.   It never occured to me that art or painting or drawing could be therapeutic, or healing, or anything other than a means to an end, a picture upon which lots of opinions/judgements might be heaped.  “I like it” I hate it” etc.    Of course, I proved myself naive, again, it happens a lot.

Anyway, today  it’s nearly two decades later and I’m excited to be working around art again.  It’s in a different context, of course, but after such a long time learning & practicing integrative yoga therapy I’m comfortable teaching whever the winds blow me.

Anything can be therapized these days and that’s maybe a good thing?  It acknowledges that we all need healing.  All of us.   Everybody.  This is something I know to be true.

And, the kind of healing that occurs when we fully engage in a process that eliminates words can be felt thru and thru.  It has to do with how the hemisphere’s of the brain are organized.  Healing, though, is not a right-side/left-side experience, but rather what happens naturally when balance is acheived.  This is what yoga/meditation teaches us.  That amazing blissful state that occurs after one does some focused hatha practice, is the same calm, blissful state that occurs when we’re in the zone of: artistic expression, dance practice,, or musical harmonies & rhythms.

That zone, that particular kind of present moment is a very seductive state of being, and once you’ve experienced it your entire being becomes engaged with trying to have the experience again.  The challenge & difficulty is to get there naturally, chemically & substance free.  But, I digress.  Neptune is one of the astrological significators for spiritual practice, yoga, imagination, fantasy and more.  For more keywords of Neptune go here.

On July, I’ll be facilitating a weekend of workshops on yoga & creativity at The Sanctuary.  For the *intensive* on Saturday we’ll be at a local art gallery.  I’m excited to see what happens!   Namaste.

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BlueStars, 8-fold,
Complete BlueGreen 8Fold acv

….and I’m still experiencing the joy of learning with every new pattern that I put together.  I’ve moved on now to what’s called stitching and weaving.  This pattern I focused on stitching.  I don’t have the energy right now to explain in words what that means artistically . .  Suffice it to say that I fell in love with the technique and choose to continue.  Here’s my latest, painted to celebrate grandson(s) and birthday’s.

I’m gonna start an absolute beginners yoga therapy class in June for 6-8 weeks, yoga….for the rest of us.

I sent an email newsletter to my list today.  Are you on it?  Do you want to be?  There’s a widget for easy signup onsite.

Asbury Park Blogging Doodles Geometric Art Yoga Therapy

Photo Mar 04, 3 03 53 PM

It’s been a long time since I blogged or posted anything here.  Sorry about that.  The reason for my absence online was the unexpected Photo Feb 07, 11 31 25 AMdiscovery of a new hobby that completely captured my attention.

I guess it was sometime in December when I stumbled onto a website which had a few free lessons on how to draw geometric patterns using only a compass and a ruler.  I was curious and the patterns looked interesting and would be perfect to paint with my new watercolors.  So I got out my old drafting tools from college and tried one.  Well, that’s all it took.

 

Photo Feb 07, 11 31 14 AM

 

Today, I’m completely obsessed with drawing these intricate designs and painting them.  The process is tedious but allows my mind to become deliciously absorbed into a meditative state.  I watch myself struggle with perfectionism as well as self judgement.  Those observations allow me to bring my yoga practices into this new found creative activity.

 

So, that’s why I’m not here.Photo Mar 27, 8 13 02 AM

Here’re some of my patterns.  They are a far cry from the doodles that captivated me the past few years!  Let me know if you’re interested in learning and I’ll share the resources I’ve found.  So much is online these days….it’s amazing what one can learn if motivated.  The draft at the top of this page took me two days to draw and is my largest most complicated pattern yet.  I finished yesterday and today I plan to transfer it to watercolor paper and paint it.  Thinking about using some spring colors.   I’ll post when I’m done.

Have a nice day.  Namaste.

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canstockphoto15147107 (2)When an outer planet (Uranus/Neptune/Pluto) first enters a new sign or a new house it can be a momentous occasion and often manifests in some kind of (symbolic) event (major or minor) to announce the ‘new’ energy pattern that is about to unfold.  Of course, leaving behind the old sign, or old house also has its own significant events that sum up the lesson(s) of what’s being left behind, at least until the cycle repeats again.  Such is the ‘wheel’ of Karma, what goes around, comes around.

Neptune entered Pisces in 2012 and with all the turmoil in our mundane world, Neptune in Pisces can be a welcome antidote or a dangerous escape.*

Neptune rules all things ‘spiritual’. Spiritual yearning, spiritual awakening, spiritual enlightenment, spiritual growth, spiritual development are all indicated until it moves into Aries in 2026.  Many will be drawn towards exploration and experimentation during these years.  Ancient spiritual seekers spent whole lifetimes exploring these spiritual dimensions.  Along the way they developed many different techniques that helped them achieve enlightenment and higher consciousness  They showed us that transcendence and transformation is possible. Those that follow eastern philosophies and techniques are taught that “the guru is within” and enlightenment is possible at any moment.  Karma & dharma are the foundational principles and Astrology is a respected resource for guidance and comfort.

Today, we can’t go away and live in a cave for 30 years. We are ‘householders’ on the path.  We have worldly responsibilities to attend to. Still the yearning for spiritual communion persists.  And, the same practices that bring enlightenment can also bring us an expansive experience of happiness, health, and wholeness.  Rarely do these practices harm us in any way.

The explosion of yoga & meditation into today’s mainstream is one of the most visible manifestations of this illusive transit. Yoga, the original mind/body/spiritual practice, is a powerful practice to access the deeper parts of our consciousness, particularly when you go beyond asana to include off-the-mat techniques with an experienced teacher. Inner space explorations stir up the unconscious and help us to see places we don’t visit consciously. For this reason, it is important that people who do this work are prepared, willing and emotionally ready to do so.  Self-study (svadhaya) and discipline (tapas) are required.

When Neptune reached 8 degrees in spring of 2013, she slid into my ninth house. Neptune can deliver some frightening experiences if left ignored so its always best to find healthy ways to experience it.  Such is the gift of astrology, to make one aware of what is possible. So it’s my intention to use it wisely.  She’ll be there until 2029 after which she’ll connect with my midheaven and enter my 10th house.

During these  years  she will slowly dissolve what was before and invisibly recreate all ninth house affairs.  Our personal philosophy is described in the ninth house and with Neptune here I expect I’ll think about things quite differently before it’s over.

Other ninth house  topics include: long distance travel,  foreign or distant places, aliens, immigrants, as well as judges, religious authority figures, philosophers and athletes.  Travels need not be physical, but could be intellectual or spiritual .

In order to understand a transiting planet in one’s personal horoscope, you must first investigate the natal placement of that planet first.  And that’s where it gets impossibly ridiculous for me!  Because, you see, I was born in Neptune, NJ, and lived from 0-8yrs in Neptune City, NJ.  Natal Neptune is in my 4th house of home, real estate, and early childhood.  Neptune is demanding my attention!

*Neptune rules a lot of other things too. Keywords are here.

 

Astrology Doodles Planets and their Cycles

“It’s impossible, ”  said Pride.

“It’s risky,”  said Experience.

“It’s Pointless,”

said Reason.

“Give it a try,”

Whispered the Heart.

~Unknown

Blogging quotes

schat“…….(on)Writing: shitty first drafts. Butt in chair. Just do it. You own everything that happened to you. You are going to feel like hell if you never write the stuff that is tugging on the sleeves in your heart–your stories, visions, memories, songs: your truth, your version of things, in your voice. That is really all you have to offer us, and it’s why you were born

Annie Lamott

I’ve been getting my stories down on paper for the last 3 years.  Now What? 

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