“We cannot think our way out of this crisis, we must imagine it.” ~ Becca Tarnas, Toward an Imaginal Ecology
That echos two of Albert Einstein’s insights. Here’s the first, and you’ll likely recognize it:
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
Imagination and intuition have at times, ancient and current, been called gifts and arts of the ‘right brain’, the Feminine, and/or part of the ‘intelligence of the Heart’ that were minimized (a.k.a. “soft” skills) and cast aside as the culture leaned far into its experiment (over)emphasizing the left brain, analytical, Masculine mind.
Well, we can see where that experiment has gotten us.
Life, ever-reaching for the restoration of balance, or Ayni in the Andean tradition (and other words for the concept in other traditions), has been stirring and calling us to remember, restore, and reintegrate the imaginal, intuitive, and Heart-intelligence that’s needed as ‘medicine for our times’.
Becca Tarnas muses on this in her lovely, inspiring essay,Towards an Imaginal Ecology, which speaks of the vitalness of tapping these imaginal and heart-centered intelligences as a way of whole-seeing, restoring our eyes to see the interconnectedness, where we’d bought into a lie of isolation and disconnection that has been part of the mechanical worldview.
And we know that our imagination, like others of the Divine Inheritance Sophia-Gifts, has been pretty well co-opted or colonized (you’ll remember that theme in the recent Decolonizing the Imagination & Soul post here.)
Here are just a few excerpts from Becca’s essay, but do visit it for a full cup of inspiration.
“ (Joanna) Macy writes, “The imagination needs to be schooled in order to experience our inter-existence with all beings in the web of life.” For Macy, the imagination learns through meditative practice, through exercises that focus “on death, loving kindness, compassion, mutual power, and mutual recognition.” Such practices can expand one’s sense of self …”
“The deep ecology of mind (Christopher) Bache cultivates in his work allows us to envision our potentially dire future while learning to cultivate the strong spiritual center needed to stay grounded in such an unstable time.”
There’s much more inspiration and many worthy insights in Becca’s essay, so check it out.
So what did Albert Einstein say about imagination?
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
We might say that imagination and her sister-gifts access from the vast ocean of wholeness, while knowledge and what’s already in our mind is a much more limited database in comparison.
The Feminine Mojo Mystery & Wisdom Schoolincludes audio programs and workshops created to stir and strengthen just these gifts … working with the imaginal, with energy, intuition, and whole-body intuition, and other practices that “expand one’s sense of Self” simply by helping to remember one’s Self.
You’ll find moreon the Feminine Mojo Mystery School — as well as Sophiastrology and Golden Thread coaching & consultation options — on the Summer Specials page here.
Many of us are conditioned to reach outward for confirmation, affirmation, approval, validation, and/or understanding from others, with mixed and often deeply frustrating results.
This is particularly true if wehave been and are marching in any way, shape, or form to our own proverbial different drummer, which pretty much means that we’re in some way different from the cultural norm.
The different drummer category has long included introverts, empath-sensitives, psychic-sensitives, artists, creatives, innovators, and nonconforming horizon-edge-walkers of these and various other kinds.
In Human Design, those of the Projector profile,for instance, often live into greater awareness of this frustrating conditioned habit of seeking recognition, acknowledgement, understanding, and approval from those who cannot or will not give it.
The same is the case with empath-sensitives or any of the other types of constitution and expression mentioned above.
The more we seek understanding, affirmation, recognition, acknowledgement, and/or approval from those who can’t or won’t give it (e.g. the withholding thing I’ve mentioned in recent posts and in the Empath-Sensitive Series), the more that one-way energy flow becomes a drain.
When there is a one-way energy flow,there’s a win-lose proposition afoot. There’s a lot of that in our culture.
When there is reciprocity or energy balance, called Ayni in the Andean tradition and by other words in other ancestral-wisdom traditions, there is energy balance … everyone benefits.
I’m always revisiting these reminders, and I’m glad for it.
With all of the churn-and-swirl in the psychic soup or collective ‘mind field’ now, it’s more and more important to tend this balance.
This is one of those ‘energy fundamentals’ that seems straight-forward and easy enough, yet can be one of the greatest challenges while also being one of the most important energy mastery lessons.
In Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Bilbo Baggins tellshis old friend and wizard, Gandalf, that he feels like “too little butter spread over too much bread.”
That’s what being dispersed feels like. That’s what being dispersed is like.
We know this already — our energy follows our focus and attention.
With so many people, circumstances, and an over-abundance of seductive distractions calling our attention (and thus our focus and energy) ‘out there’, we find ourselves again and again overly dispersed … ‘pulled thin’ like too little butter spread over too much bread.
When we’re ‘stretched thin’,we’re much less centered, rooted, anchored in our body and on the Earth, and we’re much more vulnerable to the chaos of all that’s swirling in the shared field or ‘psychic soup’.
It matters not how skilled we may be in being aware of and working with energy and the psychic stir that swirls in it, though the awareness, experience, and repertoire of practices we’ve gathered into our ‘magic backpack’ can help us to notice it and gather our energy back to center more quickly.
With so much upset and turbulence being stirred upon a regular basis, it’s become more and more important to tend to our own energy hygiene, and going back to the basics, the fundamentals, and drawing back from the over-complexity and into more simplified center-ground.
Needless to say, this also means drawing back from the conditioning of being in perpetual motion, busy-busy-busy, telling ourselves we don’t have time for the practices that help us to slow down, gather ourselves and our energy and our focus back, ground, and center.
It also asks that we draw back from and ‘re-condition’ from the old, deeply conditioned habits of being ever-‘nice’, ever-pliable, overly available, like the supply pipeline for others (and supply for the Narci-types as well!).
As a spiritual mentor once told me of her own experience, “When I don’t go to stillness, stillness comes looking for me.”
She meant that when she ignored the need to let the swirl settle and let herself slow, gather back, and center, she’d get sick or something else would very surely slow her down, but this forgetful way is much less pleasant, as we know.
Another ancestral-wisdom-traditions teacher reminded us that,“When we don’t consciously choose which energy stream we’re aligning with, we automatically align with whatever is dominant and swirling in the collective field. We know that’s not helpful.
When we choose to honor this energy hygiene need, and prioritize it, we’re reminded yet again that when we’ve slowed down, gathered back, and centered, we allow the chaotic swirl drain, calm, and become the ‘still, calm lake’.
From this, we tap the wellspring from which we restore and rejuvenate, and can be much more resource-full … and magnetic to what’s most aligned with us versus the strongest current of what’s wafting willy nilly in the psychic-soup.
We can’t control and sometimes we can’t even influence what’s ‘out there’,but we can choose to cultivate the quality of our own energy and focus, though it may take practice to overcome the conditioning otherwise.
In doing so, each time we do so, we not only feel better ourselves,and are able to be more resourceful and skillful in responding rather than reacting, but we’re more able to be a blessing and ‘good medicine’ by our very presence.
Here are a couple of related Sophia’s Children musings on this topic:
You’ll find more inspiration via the links and tags you’ll see below — there’s a whole lot here on energy hygiene and energy mastery.
For more personalized counsel-and-coaching on these mastery areas, check out the Current Offerings — you’ll find the Feminine Mojo programs there, too, with audio-lessons on various energy mastery practices.
Questions or comments?
Share your comment or story below, or send along a direct email if you prefer a more private conversation (info ‘at’ sophias-children ‘dot’ com).
This is a musing on well-lit houses, inner (and outer) gardens, being refuge and/or refugee, among other things.
In his July esoteric astrology letter, Phillip Lindsay shared the above ‘keynote’ for the archetype of the moon-ruled sign of Cancer, along with other powerfully insightful and inspiring observations and reminders.
(Thank you, Phillip. Kindred-spirit readers, you’ll find the link to Phillip’s full article below — highly recommended inspiration!)
We’ve recently had this Cancerian wellspring stirred, as the Sun did its annual meander through Cancer, along with Mercury and Venus.
Beyond these few weeks, the invitations and deep wellsprings of this deeply feminine, Yin-Water archetype are vitally important for these turbulent times we’re living in.
The same could be said for the ‘greater angels’ of each of the archetypes, and may it be so, but moreso just now for the gifts and good medicines symbolized by the Water and Earth signs as potential ‘waters that nourish the wasteland and cause the desert to bloom again’.
Lindsay, in his July letter, writes powerfully of refuge and refugees, both physical/material and spiritual, as well as of “inner gardens” as well as outer sanctuaries of various sorts.
True to the wholism associated with the feminine, this is an ‘and/both’ rather than an ‘either/or’ — inner and outer, both.
But if the inner garden and well-lit house are neglected,defiled, desecrated, or forgotten, the outer reflects that, as we can see all around us just now.
As in the Grail stories, or in Demeter’s mourning for her Underworlded daughter Persephone, the ‘seen world’ becomes a wasteland when Life is not honored, when “nothing is sacred,” when interior spaces are kept in the more toxic type of darkness — when the sacred balance (energy reciprocity) is thrown off.
As Thomas More has written,
“Frequently when we have lost a sense of the sacred, it reappears in a negative form. The work of dark angels is not altogether different from those who wear white. Here, then, is another way to interpret the abuse of things – as an underworld attempt to reestablish their sacredness.” (Care of the Soul)
Lindsay insightfully links the recent and current epidemic of refugees, for example,with those who are spiritual refugees — those who, “Instead of abiding in the refuge of the heart they have become – refugees of the heart – the homeless of heart, bereft of compassion by ignoring human plight; this is the festering sore in the world today and of course is the disconnect between the 1% and the 99%.”
He quotes The Tibetan, Djwal Khul:
“The great error of the neutrally minded” is a refusal of empathy and compassion that overflows into action in order to be complete, or to be ‘grounded’.
This requires sacrifice, though, and that’s inconvenient and undesirable to to those who hoard and withhold whatever they have that they might otherwise (and often, easily) share.
And so, “Sympathy which does not produce positive action of some kind becomes a festering sore.”
We see a whole lot of festering sores these days,and each is very much evidence of the Wasteland in which the sacred has been too long desecrated and ignored in favor of the “bread and circuses” that keep so many ‘entertained’, entrained, and entranced.
Hence the refugees of the heart,an epidemic of heartlessness and spiritual impoverishment that allows to grow and fester the myriad festering sores of misery that otherwise wouldn’t exist. And then demonizes and blames those suffering from the sores rather than those responsible for creating them in the first place and allowing them to continue festering.
That’s always been the modus operandi of Empire. If you look at the history, it’s there again and again, as if sourced from some hidden playbook (just look at the history of Rome’s genocide-conquests and you’ll see that nasty pattern glaring out at you).
For the ills and the sources of festering sores there is always remedy, though. We see the Golden Threads of their “greening,” (as Hildegard of Bingen called it) when we look.
“In your wake the living waters rise and flow over
the parched wilderness of the soul, and we are revivified.”
~ Mirabai Starr in Mothers of God
The root wisdom of every spiritual tradition of which I’m aware speaks ofthe importance and vitalness of turning within and cultivating the connection, tending the gardens of the sacred within, restoring that sense of right-balance and ‘fullness of joy’ that overflows into what we might call right thought, right speech, and right action.
And more and more research verifies that such practices also have plentiful health and wellness benefits as well.
Since we live in a culture that has long diminished and even demonized turning within — another desecration — while providing more and more temptations that skillfully seduce and draw our attention, imagination, and thus energy “out there,” restoring this balance is not the simple thing that the spiritual platitudes would suggest.
Still, while many of the most important spiritual teachings are simple rather than easy, they’re powerful, too … within and without.
There are epically powerful forces at work here and now, and epically powerful forces have both their benevolent expressions and their dark-side, sorcerous or ‘shadow’ expressions as well.
We have to acknowledge this head on, in a sort of courageous, fiercely heartful witnessing, if we’re to re-orient to and stand for (and as) the ‘good medicine’.
Any garden requires cultivation and regular tending,lest it become defiled, over-run with weeds, polluted, litter-full, blighted, or altogether forgotten … a wasteland.
Any “lighted house” requires building and regular tending,lest it become similarly defiled and a center for unwelcome, even malevolent presence.
On this, Phillip Lindsay shares another insight and reminder from Djwal Khul:
“Is the house you are building yet lit? Is it a lighted house, or is it a dark prison? If it is a lighted house, you will attract to its light and warmth all who are around you and the magnetic pull of your soul, whose nature is light and love, will save many.”
Our inner gardens, the “well-lit house” that we tend and fortify withinbecomes not just as the refuge in the storm, or the calm ground in the midst of the storm, but also an offering of refuge or sanctuary for others caught in the storm, and overflows into outer expression in the physical-material world around us.
The challenge is to defy the false prophet-profiteers of sorcery, and gather back some of our focus, attention, will, and energy from all of the myriad distractions and ensorcelments, and draw it inward to cultivate the inner garden and well-lit house.
That’s a bit like breaking spells and addictions,because spells and addictions they are.
But it can be done and though it’s not easy nor is it instant gratification, its rewards are many — some we’ll see and feel (and sometimes we do notice these welcome shifts quickly), and some of its blessings are beyond our seeing and yet very real and very vital, Life-honoring contributions and ‘good medicine’ none the less.
To do that, and in doing that, we remember who we are and why we’re here,and I’m pretty sure that’s not to be one of the legion of the ensorceled, zombie-fied Walking Dead or bling-bling-bling addicts with two-second attention spans.
How might we tend our garden, and light another candle in our house?
“Come into this place of peace and let its silence heal your spirit; Come into this place of memory and let its history warm your soul; Come into this place of prophecy and power and let its vision change your heart.”
~ William F. Schulz **
For reflections and affirmations on your own greening, inner garden, and ‘well-lit house’ gifts, have a look at the current offerings for Golden Thread consultations and Sophiastrology readings – you’ll find them here.
Though I’m writing about sensitivity to ‘energy gunk’ and why that’s important, I’ll start with Chiron, since I mention him, too.
This insight from Brad Keeney speaks well to ourChirotic Quest, as it’s sometimes called:
“This is where the heart becomes an instrument of alchemy and transforms noxious odors into nectars of the gods. Here darkness is turned into the golden rainbow body of luminous wisdom.” ~ Brad Keeney, Shamanic Christianity
Chiron is one of the clues about where and how we turn poison into remedy or ‘good medicine’.
The Dagara wise woman, Sobonfu Somé, could be talking about the Chiron archetype when she said, “The wound is where the gift is.”
I’ve written before about Chiron being one of the major ‘purpose clues’ in our astro-natal chart, and I’ll be sharing additional musings on more recent insights about Chiron in these whackasaurus times we live in.
We all live our Chiron story,and we can find specific insight and affirmation in the sign and house of our natal Chiron, along with how it relates to other Planetary Peeps and the cosmic imprint we embody.
Since Chiron is now in sensitive Pisces,and Chiron in Pisces peeps have been in the life-milestone Chiron Return passage, it’s relevant as an example of ‘sensitivity to energy gunk’.
I’ve also written before about Generation X — the so-called ‘Lost Generation’ — who were born when Uranus and Pluto were conjunct in Virgo, Chiron was in Pisces opposite Virgo, and Neptune was in Scorpio.
This is the very embodiment of transformative dynamics,and most have seen that in the highly transformative, not all that ‘secure’ nature of their life experience.
With Chiron in Pisces and Neptune in Scorpio — and with other highly sensitive constitutions — we have a combination that creates an innate and super-heightened sensitivity to the energies that swirl around us.
This heightened empathy and ability todiscern and sense other energies makes for both innately gifted healers and a definite disposition towards getting cluttered up with astral energies, or what I’ll call ‘energy gunk’.
The link is the archetype and energy symbolized by Neptune in astrology.
Pisces is ruled by Neptune, and with Neptune in the transformative, psychic, and empathically sensitive water sign of Scorpio, there is both a purpose of bringing in awareness of how to work with and help ‘bring to Earth’(and thus into the collective field) Neptune’s diffuse, unitive essence, and also the possibility of getting slammed by the energetic and psychic garbage that fills the ‘psychic soup’ we live and breathe in.
Even with awareness of how energy works,and how to work more consciously and skillfully with it, the sensitivity to all that floats in the shared pool remains.
So it’s essential for those with Chiron in Pisces and Neptune in Scorpio (and other uber-sensitives) to become aware of it, learn to work with it, and cultivate a ‘magic backpack’ of practices that help to:
• stay afloat,
• clear the gunk, and
• cultivate the gift of access to and ability to work with these energies in a way that’s healing for ourselves, others, and the whole.
No small task, and no easy, instant-gratification-pill feat.
Taking care what we empathize with…
One thing I’ve noticed over recent years is that we have a great need to take care and be mindful about what we focus on, give our attention to, and identify or empathize deeply with.
Florence Scovill Shinn said, “You combine with what you notice.”
This is particularly true for those with Chiron in Pisces and Neptune in Scorpio — and others who have a very psychic-empathic-sensitive constitution (you’ll see clues in your astro chart).
So bringing greater mindfulness and consciousness to what we notice,what we focus on, give our attention to, and empathize or identify with, is an important strategy for those with the heightened sensitivity to ambient energies and thus the energy muck in the psychic soup.
But there’s another layer to this insight.
What we ‘combine with’ and what we take into our energy fieldwill affect how we feel, what we think, and horror of all horrors, what we manifest … or have challenge manifesting no matter the other external efforts.
That can be extremely frustrating, yes?
Learning to work more consciously and skillfully with energy in the various ways available to us is vital if we’re to bring our ‘good medicine’ into the world rather than be perpetually inundated with and manifesting from the ‘psychic and energy gunk’ or ‘mal-juju’ that’s routinely wafting around and purposely stirred up even more.
With Chiron in Pisces and Neptune in Scorpio,the level of heightened sensitivity woven into the constitution makes this challenging, and also makes it important for our own health, wellbeing, and expression.
The same would be true for others with very watery astro-charts (and thus constitutions and one’s purpose on the planet). Those with other element balances that don’t include so much water would have other needs and soul imperatives in order to bring their ‘good medicine’ and live into purpose.
There are many ways to increase awareness and work with and ‘cultivate’ a healthier energy and thus psychic state,including those which are aligned with any specific spiritual or religious tradition, so our personal approach and ‘magic backpack’ or practices-repertoire can be aligned accordingly.
I’ve written quite a bit about some of the practices for working more skillfully with energyhere at Sophia’s Children, and I share practices through the Feminine Mojo and Wisdom Ways programs, and in personal work with clients as well.
This is also something I’m always in deep and ongoing practice with, always tweaking and learning, for the same reasons I’ve shared above — because we’re living in a swirling and often toxic ‘psychic soup’ that we don’t and can’t control, and we are very much affected by that, for better and for worse.
I mused on this in a recent Sophia’s Children article:
I share the following from Alastair McIntosh’s 2015 Sunderland P. Gardner Lecture (Canadian Quaker Learning Series #7), with Mr. McIntosh’s permission.
This reflection is also very much aligned with some of the archetypal macro-themes of the current Saturn-Neptune and Uranus-Pluto squares, and what I shared in my recent recent Mars-Yang reflections, among other astro-energy and archetypal stirrings in these times.
One macro-theme is this:
We are being invited and often pressed to transform those adopted, inherited, or conditioned norms that are really toxic normal; and reclaim the spirit, soul, imagination, and mind that have been co-opted, colonized, and packaged into toxic ‘perceptual prisons’ that have, in turn, created or maintained toxic, life-and-soul denigrating ‘realities’.
A great part of this invitation requires us to remember and reclaim sovereignty over our focus, attention, imagination, and thus our energy (this has long been the crux of ‘magic’, whatever it’s been called), and these have been very much and very skillfully co-opted by all that seductively draws our attention, purposely stirs our fear and sense of separation, and pours like garbage into our imagination and mind.
In alignment with this theme, Alastair McIntosh shares this:
“My theme is Decolonising Land and Soul. This intends to express a sense that it’s not just the land that’s been colonised, and on both sides of the Atlantic; the soul of the coloniser has also been colonised by the spirit of colonisation.”
“This spirit runs through most of us, mostly unconsciously, therefore decolonisation is a multi-layered process. I define colonisation as the presumption to take that which has not been given. Is that any different from a straight definition of theft?” …
“A colonising mentality can only be perpetuated when the soul of the coloniser has become a carrier for the spirit of violence. That infection, as I have shown with this brief case study of Scottish history, is infectious.”
“We need to make sense of the layers and layers of violence and privation that were often heaped upon our forebears, and became internalised, normalised and perpetuated by them.”
McIntosh quoted the theologian Walter Wink, who wrote:
“To engage the Powers is therefore a redemptive process. The name of the game is not to destroy, as with the path of violence, but to wrestle the Powers that Be back to their higher, (Divinely inspired) vocations. Set in this framework, our activism for social, environmental and perhaps religious change becomes spiritual activism.”
“Such cultural psychotherapy is what the shamans, bards and prophets have always done. It is guided in part by the head, but the greater part is of the heart, thus often given voice through poetry, protest song and the other arts.”
These are themes I’ve written much about, as the pearls and clues from my own experience arise and are shared through me as little lanterns along the way for others traveling the path of ‘transformed nonconformist’ and transformation catalyst.
Alastair’s insight reminds me of a recent Sophia’s Children post in which I shared complementary wisdom from Brad Keeney and The Spirit of Radical Experimentalism. You can read or revisit that one here.
“A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.”
“Most people love you for who you pretend to be. To keep their love, you keep pretending – performing. You get to love your pretense.”
“It’s true, we’re locked in an image, an act – and the sad thing is, people get so used to their image – they grow attached to their masks. They love their chains. They forget all about who they really are. And if you try to remind them, they hate you for it – they feel like you’re trying to steal their most precious possession.”
It’s important to have at least one person with whom we can ‘show up as we are’, without having to pretend, fake it, posture, or perpetually apologize for our soft spots, blind spots, raw spots, or other beautiful, wabi-sabi/kintsukuroi vulnerabilities.
If we have such a friend, an anam cara to be sure, then we’re blessed. If we have more than one, we’re wealthy, indeed.
If we are such a one — who can be the sacred, safe, unconditionally loving space for others to show up true; and reflect back the beauty of who they are in all of their wabi-sabi selves — that’s quite a gift, quite a ‘medicine’ to be in this stormy time and stirred-up collective.
I also included some sharp, inspired insight from Jim Morrison in Free Your Heart & Mind, an earlier Sophia’s Children article. Read it here.
Are you shedding your own false-masks and looking for true-you reminders and clue-trails?
Schedule a Sophiastrology and/or Golden Thread reading/consultation.
With Mars in the archetypal Scorpion-or-Phoenix zone just the now, additional key shadow possibilities include the hoarding-witholding typical of the Taurus-Scorpio shadow.
With Scorpio, it’s about power,and whether it’s used for good or for ill; for creative transformational purposes or for epic snark and rather nasty scorpion bites.
The Mars Issue is deeper than that, though; it’s an important archetype to look at, exactly because it’s about life-force, energy, and power, as well as the way the Masculine is focused (or not) and expressed.
In archetypal and mythic astrology, Mars requires a worthy purpose,a gallant quest, a worthy lover in order to be best focused as life-force in action.
Often, it’s co-opted (power given away or stolen through ensorcelment and sophisticated methods of persuasion) or not well-focused at all and thus just erupts all willy nilly in less than productive or constructive ways.
This makes sense, yes?
As Mary Oliver asks us in her poem, The Summer Day,“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
We can change ‘life’ to ‘day’, or ‘week’, or ‘month’, or whatever.
But asking the question invites the awareness (and a type of benevolent magic) and thus the possibility that we begin to invest our life-force and energy into that which has heart and meaning for us — in a way that syncs with and supports what is of true worth and value to us.
As Robert Phoenix points outin one of his recent and worthy articles, we very often give our power away, wittingly or unwittingly, and we do it in a variety of ways, every day.
“So what do I mean about reclaiming our “power?” If we are ruthlessly honest with ourselves, we can witness a pattern of giving “It” away, ….” ~ Robert Phoenix, Tyranny of the Status Quo
This is as important, if not more important, than ever, in this hyper-digital age of ours — an age of epic, perpetual distraction — where we learn that unconscious, constant tech-use and other cultural conditioning is resulting in:
• a 40% drop in empathy (this stat is cause for major concern by itself);
• a sharp rise in narcissism;
• reduced attention span – less ability to pay attention;
• reduced comprehension and ability to connect the dots;
• ironically, a decreased sense of connection and increased sense of isolation and anxiety;
… and so on.
And I point these things out as a technophile, but every blessing has its shadow side.
With all of that, though, comesplentiful byways through which the sophisticated neuro-based marketing and advertising ensorcels by capturing the attention and colonizing the imagination and energy.
So when we speak of Mars and life-force, energy and attention (attention follows energy), it makes sense to consider taking a step, making an intention, to gather back attention and energy and power that we’ve given to things that aren’t really what we’re about, and re-allocate and re-dedicate that attention and energy to what has heart and meaning for us … what’s really, truly valuable and worthwhile to us.
Next up on the Mars, Power and Masculine roster … the conversation unfolding about the demasculinization and unwarrioring that’s been underway. Stay tuned.
How is Mars working with the other members of your cosmic inner-council in your own life?
“Each time a person stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, these ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
~ Robert F. Kennedy, speaking in Capetown, South Africa, June 6, 1966
In the spirit of Independence Day, celebrated in the U.S. yesterday, and linked to an ongoing theme here at Sophia’s Children, I found myself dipping back into some past musings, journal notes, blog posts, and this (and other) insights spoken by Bobby Kennedy arose to share, along with several from his contemporaries, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Thomas Merton.
This very Uranian-Promethean liberation theme continues.
What quotes, insights, or history-bits inspire you when it comes to the themes of independence and liberation — or stirs the heartful daring alive in you?
Yesterday, given Mars’ energy-tide shifting from low-ebb to returning tide, we had the Fire element.
Today, in honor of all that Water juju working its wavy, tidal, dissolution-magic in our shared field, not to mention the waves of Galactic Center intensity, here’s an apt musing from Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee.Very Lunar and Neptune-Pisces, this one.
It also reminds me of a dream I had some years back now, of a known guru (though I didn’t know who he was then) leaning towards me and saying, “Seek the Pearl of Great Price.”
Like that was an option you could say ‘no’ to, or negotiate or reschedule, akin to “Go to the grocery store for cucumbers.”
Not. The pull and call of those pearls prove disturbingly magnetic and compelling.
“There may be a period of grace that is given at the beginning, a time of peace, bliss or inner joy that comes from reconnecting with the Divine. But this is always followed by the turbulence and uncertainty that comes when the two seas meet. This is the inner turmoil the mystic knows so well, when nothing is certain, when the patterns that define our human existence are affected by the more powerful currents from the divine sea, by the vast swells that come from the beyond. We are swept into these seas and then back again into the more inland waters of our human self. Often we need all of our determination to stay above the surface, not to sink gasping for breath. … It is not for the fainthearted or those who need the security of a defined world.”
“For many years the wayfarer is battered by the powerful currents of love’s vast ocean, by chaos and confusion, “the dark night, the fear of the waves, the terrifying whirlpool.” Often without understanding what is happening, we are surrounded by love in all of its intensity and wonder. This is the love that draws us into the depths, that seems to drown us again and again. And yet always we return to some fragment of self. We come back to the surface, looking for shallower water, a ground that is solid under our feet.”
“And we bring back images of our adventures, dreams of a pearl we have been seeking or an abyss that is always waiting for us to plunge into. These are our stories of the journey, our poems to our self. We try to convince our self that we are not crazy, that this is a planned journey with stages, stations along the way. And yet we know in our belly that nothing is certain except fear and insecurity.”
Can’t really say it any better than this, but we know the truth of it if we’re walking this path, yes?
I did change the original title from ‘the Mystic’s Reality’ to ‘the Transformer’s Reality‘, since I know there are overlaps and ‘shift’ is happening through each of us in either of those categories-of-being.
For another story of archetypal dreams, Pearls of Great Price, and wild-mystic journey story, read “Living at the Edge of Uncertainty” from the archives of one of my experimental Priestess in Blue Jeans blog.
Mars, the planet and archetypal energy of raw life-force, brash Yang, passion, and momentum stationed direct after its retrograde vision-quest cave-time that started in mid-April.
In mythology, the only time Mars did cave time was when he was with his lover, Venus… the only one who could influence Mars to channel all of that life-force and passion in more constructive, creative, and wise ways.
Otherwise, much to the constant chagrin of his fellow gods,Mars was out stirring up trouble, knockin’ heads, and generally bustin’ shit up, and thinking about it later, if at all.
What’s interesting is that — whether they ‘believe in astrology’ or not —a lot of people have been reporting the withdrawn energy, feeling the need for more rest or a more gentle pace (like it or not), feeling more inward than usual, and/or noticing delays, slow-downs, or shifts in momentum, progress, and passion in recent months.
Other expressions of Mars Rx archetypal-energetic influence in real life include behind the scenes, covert aggression and passive aggression, or an actual ‘cease fire’ in relationships or interactions that are often more tinged by hostility or aggression.
Have you noticed these ebbs or (behind the scenes) flows in energy, passion, or momentum in the last couple of months whilst Mars went into subterranean vision-quest mode?
The energy-ball of Eros, passion, young Yang warrior juju emerges from the retrograde cave into forward, externalized expression as of June 29th, so let’s see what we notice about those energy ebbs and flows as the days and weeks unfold now.
I appreciated Robert Phoenix’s insights in one of his recent musings. It’s very relevant to the Energies of Now. Here’s an excerpt:
“If we can engage in this process, we can move forward with a greater sense of who we are, in a world that is constantly chipping away at us in so many ways, seen and unseen.”
“The more push back that’s happening, the more fuel it’s adding to fire of awakening and that fire of course is Uranus in Aries and Saturn in Sag. By years end, they will be in a tight trine and the radical impetus of the self to express at an authentic level, will be in alignment with discipline, focus and form.”
“Many of us are taxed, sapped and zapped, but if we can remove the detritus, unplug from the programs of approval, stop seeking outside of ourselves, we get lighter and as we get lighter, we have more energy, and when we have more energy, we can address our lives from a very different perspective. When we slay the “Status Quo” inside of us, the outer is just a shadow play across the scrim of life.”
Phoenix’s insights here are relevant not only when we’re talking Mars, a.k.a. life-force, energy, passion, and a sense of momentum, but also interconnected with the other archetypal energetics in play now:
Saturn vision-questing in Saj, squaring watery, diffuse Neptune in Pisces; expansive and visionary Jupiter and depths-master Pluto (Persephone) both in Earth-element signs; Venus and Sun now in Water, too, along with Mars.
The invitation is for thebrash, rash, immature warrior to move from ramming through life (and anything in the way) and bustin’ the place up all willy nilly — or having that beautiful life-force co-opted to serve nefarious purposes — to using that life-force and beautiful passion more wisely and creatively as a sacred warrior, a spiritual warrior, a noble warrior aligned with the deepest, truest values (Venus) and in service to a truly worthy, Life-and-Earth honoring vision or cause.
One main question during the Mars retrograde since mid-April until now has been this:
•Just what have we been giving our energy and thus our power to, and are we still thinking that’s a good idea?
•And is it a worthwhile investment of our greatest resource — our very life-force — or might that attention, energy, and life-force be better focused to something more truly worthwhile?
Where Saturn is involved, we see cultural conditioning that isn’t always life-force or creativity honoring, so that’s part of this puzzle now, too.
Okay, so technically that was two questions and a comment.
Here are two more questions to help orient us into the good and fruitful uses of these Energies of Now:
•What part of your life-force, passion, creative-fire, and ‘outer life’ has been doing cave time, vision-questing?
•What might you notice as these fiery self-facets emerge now from the cave, resurface, and gain momentum?
“The whole art for the new humanity will consist in the secret of listening to the heart consciously, alertly, attentively. And follow it, go wherever it takes you. Yes, sometimes it will take you into dangers — but remember, those dangers are needed to make you ripe. Sometimes it will take you astray — but remember again, those goings astray are part of growth. Many times you will fall — rise up again, because this is how one gathers strength, by falling and rising again. This is how one becomes integrated.” ~ Osho, Courage: the Joy of Living Dangerously
This has been a couple of days of unexpected chaos and the related challenges such stirrings require, and also of what Frederich Buechner called crazy, holy Grace.
On one hand, my hub merchant account was hacked and a stranger enjoyed a nice little spending spree, sending everything into (temporary) mess, since it rippled through all accounts. So very not helpful!
On the other hand, some exquisite grace in the way of time with a beautiful friend, wandering wild Nature, and receiving some encouragement and support from someone from whom I’d not have expected it, given the history.
And such are the wild waves we surf in these times, yes?
As is always the case, my own experience and ‘refresher courses’ find their way into my writing and my work. Life is ever wanting to ensure we don’t get complacent or overly cerebral, and stay grounded in experience!
The above-mentioned friend reminded me of Osho’s wisdom, which was timely and appreciated, so I dipped back into my Osho musings and wanted to share the above bit.
There are more wisdom bits, but it’s oh so true that when things get stirred up, centering in the powerful heart center and grounding ourselves, centering, helps us to stay creative, intuitive, and resourceful.
For a few additional heart-stirring, heart-power inspirations, see a few of my own favorite Sophia’s Children musings:
“The New Venus, New Woman, is Venus become one with Persephone her deeper nature. She emerges as the Woman of Revelation “clothed with the Sun” who brings new feminine consciousness, an artful mindfulness and imminent being that is here and now, beyond words, fully aware.”
~ the late Steve Nelson, Gaiastrology
In our mythic stories, Persephone — among others —symbolizes and speaks to us about the innocent ‘maiden’ Feminine that, through the spirals of initiation and Underworld-born mastery, emerges as the initiated Wise Woman, the wise Feminine.
Steve Nelson also shared an ally-understanding about the importance of Cybele and the deeper and broader awareness of the mysteries of energy that our ancestral wisdom included. He affirmed, “Cybele governs primal energy training, something our culture dearly needs.”
Persephone, Cybele, and other ‘teaching stories’ remind us and stir alive the deep ancestral memory of these Mysteries and the areas of wisdom and knowing that were squelched or severed, uprooted or mutated into more toxic expressions over the generations of often-violent Dominator Culture incursions.
It’s been re-awakening, though, stirred alive by Life herself because the balance of life has been violated and the wisdom is once again needed in the collective.
So, as often happens in natural systems, it begins to come alive at the fringes and sends its slender root-tendrils into the collective.
But it also requires more than just the surface-skating ‘spiritual entertainment’ approach flourishing in our social-media, tweet-length attention spans.
All powerful emerging waves of potential awakening get co-opted in a Dominator culture, the attention and thus the energy diverted into culture-maintaining and consumption-strengthening memes and entertainments.
Awakening wisdom and certainly the initiations from ‘maiden awareness’ to initiated Wise Woman requires dedication, resilience, perseverance, but births pearls and rubies beyond price.
It’s substance more than surface-veneer; quality over quantity.
And it’s more important than we realize for the reason hinted at by this little koan:
The sun doesn’t know its own brilliance until it’s reflected back by the light of the full moon. (JW)
More musings about this coming soon … it’s been incubating and ripening over the dark-moon months of my year.
But for now …
Stir the Wise Woman, the Initiating Persephone & Cybele, within you
Become a member/supporter of the Feminine Mojo Wisdom eSchool and access a collection of wisdom-stirring programs.
Albert Einstein said that we can’t solve the problems we face using the same mindset or consciousness that created the problems in the first place.
Countless wisdom traditions have said as much — that it takes a change of heart and mind to create change ‘in the world’.
What’s pretty clear is that we need a big-time change of heart, mind, and consciousness to find our way through the rather impressive collection of challenges currently facing us.
Perhaps we’re living in a “Tipping Point” time, that point where we have that shift of heart, mind, and consciousness. Or the possibility of it, anyway.
A tipping point requires or is preceded by friction — a.k.a. challenge, restlessness, epically transformative experiences — because it needs that energy to fuel the ‘tip’.
Otherwise, we’d just meander along in our normal — though normal is not a virtue (as Aunt Frances reminded us) — without the catalyst or desire to shift, the courage of a particular purpose-related conviction unripened and laying fallow within us.
The feel of the Tipping point:
If you’ve been tipped, you’ll have an internalized, experiential sense of this.
We move along with things ‘business as usual’, normal as usual, la dee da, it’s all good, or good enough.
Then something happens … or a string of somethings happen … and we find ourselves in the middle of a mess, or feeling restless or besieged by challenges.
We might very suddenly find ourselves with a completely different set of priorities and perspectives, and restless with ‘life as we’ve known it’.
We may not know exactly how to shift it — to get where we might prefer to be — but we DO know that we can’t stay where we are.
That’s when we feel the friction, the heat, the fuel … the alchemical process, catalyzed.
That’s the ‘tipping point‘, where something clicks or catalyzes and shifts mind, heart, and perception.
Then we’re able to begin approaching to issues or problems or challenges differently than we did in our ‘business as usual’ mode. It’s a practice; something we live into.
Once we find ourselves ‘tipped‘, we contribute to the momentum of the tipping point collectively, though we must also learn to live having been thus transformed and needing new skills of navigating the radical discontinuity — the new normal — with no maps at all.
Step by step, guided by the ability to read the clues and respond accordingly. An ancient art, remembered.
Have you been tipped… or are you in the friction just before the ‘tipping point’ or that radical post-tip discontinuity zone?