Tag Archives: journey

Let Healing Wash Over You: A Guide to the New Moon in Cancer

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At 10:31pm EST, the Moon will go completely dark in order to rebirth herself, as she does every 28 days. I don’t imagine too many people announce that at a specific time, the life of a fetus will go completely dark in order for it to pass through the vaginal canal. And yet, that is exactly what happens. A baby’s entire body contracts in ways that seem kind of unimaginable and impossible in order for them to commence breath on this Earthly plane. Birth, typically, is one of the most traumatic experiences of a person’s life. One theory of consciousness developed by Stanislov Grof and others even suggests that the primary essence of all psycho-spiritual work of a human life is connected to one’s birth story. While fellow water sign Scorpio is probably more apt to bring up the darkness associated with birth, Cancer knows your birth story better than anyone. Cancer knows your birth story best, because she is the womb that pushed you back out into the world. One. More. Time.

When the Sun returns to Cancer, she returns us to the womb—not necessarily the physical womb of this life’s origin, but the primordial womb from which we come and to which we return no matter how many physical wombs our spirits pass through. She is the Great Mother. She is the Ocean in constant motion, the Moon that empowers and enrages the ocean, and the wind that reflects and affects its currents. Cancer is flow. As the Sun moves through Cancer (as it is doing right now), we connect with the Cancerian energy we hold and the Cancerian energy we need to receive. It illuminates the area of your chart inhabited by Cancer, the area of your life and your psyche in which Cancer manifests itself. Yet, there are Cancerian themes that will arise for many people, regardless of where Cancer lives in your chart.

Cancer is the nurturer, the healer of the zodiac. She is the most intuitive and perceptive sign. She is the one who knows—knows when you’re in pain, knows the exact place on your back where it hurts and exactly how to massage that particular knot out. Whether the knot is physical or emotional, Cancer can sooth it. She knows what to say to reach your heart. She can bring you through the storm because she is the storm. She knows cycles. She knows your cycles. She can read them like a book.

Cancer is the 4th sign of the zodiac, representing the 4th House associated with house, home, family, ancestry, roots and foundations. This house is associated with comfort and security and what you need in order to feel comfortable and safe. In your chart, the sign in your 4th house represents both what you experienced in your family of origin and how it affects what you need in your family and home of choice. No matter which sign inhabits your 4th House and no matter which House is inhabited by Cancer in your chart, there is a good chance that these themes of family, ancestry, home and roots will emerge over the next month and over the next few days during the New Moon in relationship with those other factors.

The Moon is receptive feminine energy and she loves to be in Cancer, the sign she rules. The New Moon in Cancer, perhaps more than any other moon can receive what you need to release and offer you what you need to heal. No matter the depth of your pain, she can take it from you if you’re willing to give it up to her. Given that she rules family and ancestry, she is the one who knows the deepest wounds. She is the one who has felt the deepest wounds. Given that she is primordial water, she is the one that understands the wounds and traumas passed from generation to generation through physical genetics and she knows the wounds you carry from lifetime to lifetime through spiritual genetics until you’re willing to give it back to her. Give it all back to her. Fully.

Cancer is the Ocean. She is the one who can transform any experience, any pain, any trauma, any moment into something else, something better, something more beautiful than you can ever begin to imagine. She is the ultimate alchemist. Turning lead into gold is child’s play compared to turning pain into beauty everyday. The Ocean has the capacity to reorganize the ionic makeup of each cell in your body. That is the power of Cancer. If you’re ready to give your wounds to her, she is the one who can heal and transform your life so intensely that you will slowly re-write your story into a narrative unrecognizable to an earlier version of yourself, unrecognizable to those who knew you before your healing journey, to those who haven’t been available or able to bear witness to your internal transformation and your external transformation over and over and over again.

Cancer receives pain and transforms it. She can take it. She can hear whatever you have to say because she does not live in, does not understand a dualism of rational/irrational, sanity/insanity. There are no lines to be drawn or crossed. There are only spaces of feeling, spaces of being, rivers and oceans of healing. The river runs. The tides come in. The tides go out. We are multidimensional beings. When we are lucky, we move in and out of many dimensions, even as the capacity to do so is sometimes pathologized by modern western psychiatry. Cancer won’t pathologize you. She will listen. She will receive. She will protect you. She will allow your being to flow. It is not through an effort, but through a presence, a way of being, that you can then receive the power to heal your mind, heal your heart, heal your body, heal your life. If this is what you seek, ask her specifically for the healing you need to receive and then watch as she washes over you like a clear gentle wave on a really hot day. She isn’t predictable, so there’s no need to waste time trying to control, manage or understand what you need to do ahead of time. Just ask, listen, receive and follow the signs she’s posting to guide you on your path.

New Moon Blessings

 

If you would like to receive more information about how this New Moon is affecting your chart personally or if you have other specific or general questions about your chart and would like to receive a reading, please contact me at HilaryB130@gmail.com for further information.

 

Follow the Light of Your Path: A Guide to the Summer Solstice

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Today, in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the Summer Solstice. The longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice marks the Sun’s fullest expression, the beginning of a new season, and the Sun’s movement into the 4th sign of the Zodiac – Cancer. The 4th House is the House of House, Home, Family, Ancestry and Roots. Cancer nurtures. Cancer feels. Cancer feels to the end, feels to the bottom. And then, she feels a little bit more. Cancer is primordial water, the womb. She hold us in her tides—at once, reliable and variable. She is the only sign ruled by the Moon herself. Given that she’s ruled by the Moon, she values security, she needs security, she gives security. As a water sign, she finds security in Earthly containers (after all, she exists on the same axis as Capricorn).

 

Today, as Summer arrived, Mercury caught up with the Sun just before the 1st degree of Cancer delivering messages about the season and about security in various aspects of life. Most likely, the messages you received and will continue to receive throughout the week correspond with the house of your own chart where Cancer resides. But there are certain themes that will probably emerge for many people. Cancer rules the 4th House. The 4th House is the House of House, Home, Family, Roots, and Ancestry. This season and the New Moon born at the end of the week have overtones of roots, family, and home.

Family doesn’t necessarily mean the people with whom you share genetics. Ancestry is not necessarily blood. Ancestry can be intellectual. Ancestry can be spiritual. Family is a network of support. Family is a network or group of people with common beliefs who are committed to supporting one another in maintaining those beliefs. Family is a group or network of people around whom you feel safe. Family is security. If the people with whom you share genetics do not fall in this category, there is a good chance that this season will shift the perceptions and people that shape and comprise your family.

Your family is home. Home is a place where you go to feel safe. If you don’t feel safe in the place where you live–physically, spiritually or emotionally–then, you aren’t living at home. If you don’t feel at home around the people with whom you live and associate daily, you aren’t surrounded by your family. Find your family. Share your story. Don’t choose a family that can’t handle hearing your story, that can’t respect your story and don’t choose a family that burdens you with or blames you for theirs. Right now, many people are shifting their paths–moving to new places, changing relationships and relationship structures, leaving familiar jobs and careers, branching out into the unknown and connecting with their tribes, their soul families. This Summer will solidify many of those moves.

 

At its best, the axis of Cancer/Capricorn presents, at one end, the flow of emotion, the flow of energy … just, the flow. At the other end, it presents the opportunity to block and/or open that flow—not to control it, but to contain it and direct it, to build channels and open pathways, to go further, to go deeper. The difference between a glass of water and a puddle has nothing to do with substance and everything to do with container. This Summer Solstice and the corresponding Moon ask us to be clear about the containers that facilitate our sense of flow. Perhaps paradoxically, Cancer wants to remind us that facilitating flow, that being open, that compassion, nurturing and love also require the security of containers.

Cancer the Crab needs boundaries between which to walk because it is a creature that walks sideways. These walls protect the crab from moving into unsafe spaces while allowing it to move in its own natural ways. It might have to change direction. It doesn’t change the way it walks. In the same way, in order to walk in our own natural ways, sometimes we are asked to shift directions and build boundaries that allow us to know when it’s time to do so. This Summer, we are all being called to move in our own natural ways so that we can learn how to love, so that we can come into our own understandings of what love is, of how we want to give it, and how we want to receive it—with friends, families, romantic partners, even complete strangers. Love requires the support of containers that we must build for ourselves based around our own natural movements.

 

This Summer marks the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love, the revolution that initiated the massive counterculture of the 1960s and “The Movement.” Peace, love, revolution. Sex, drugs and Rock N Roll. This is it. “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” Flower Power. The Commune Movement. The Diggers. The events and effects of the Summer of 1967 have influenced my life and my work profoundly (despite the fact that it took place long before I was born) and I will write more about those influences and effects throughout the Summer. But for now, let it suffice to say that I sense that this Summer will have undertones of that Summer. Can you dig it?

 

Summer is a time of work, but it’s also a time of fun. It’s a time of reaching beyond oneself. It is a time to enjoy life. Enjoy your life. Know and own what that means for you personally. The right work is still work but it isn’t hard. The right love is still work but it doesn’t have to be hard and it definitely isn’t meant to hurt if you’ve done your own work. Enjoy the Summer. Don’t think too much. Settle into it. Cancer feels into things. Cancer trusts her gut. Trust your gut. On paper, something might make sense. If it doesn’t make sense in your gut, it doesn’t make sense. Period.

Put one foot in front of the other (or next to the other if you’re walking sideways). Just walk your path. Focus on walking. Focus on the path. Go with your gut. Have fun–not at the expense of your responsibilities, but make sure that having fun and finding joy are included on your list of responsibilities. Respond to the calls that excite your soul. Breathe. Keep walking. Keep breathing. Breathe in. Breathe out. Let your love determine your definition of rationality. Love who you love. Do what you love. Remember why you do what you do. Let your love light the path. Let your love keep you walking it. No matter what.

 

Solstice Blessings

Divination: A Gateway to Psycho-Spiritual Healing

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This practice is a conversation. 

Everyday, I ask, “what is the energy I need today in order to manifest my destiny today?” Every day, the universe responds. I am responsible for reading the energy in the ways that will allow me to work with it–even when it’s hard. 

This practice is a meditation. 

Meditation is an ancient practice prominent in spiritual and religious traditions throughout the world. It brings the practitioner into the presence of their own divine, into conversation with the voice of god. Whether you believe that voice is only within or only without doesn’t really matter. Whether you think that’s one voice or many voices, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you are conversing with the divine through your own being. 

This practice is divination. 

Throughout human history, we humans have been divining–engaging in practices that connect us to that which is greater inside of ourselves and outside of ourselves. We have used bones, shells, sticks, nuts, seeds, leaves, cards, rocks, and many other objects to facilitate readings of the world, readings of the energy that we inhabit and the energy that inhabits each of us. Divination is a tool. Divination is not a religion–though many religions have and use divination practices that are specific to their own spiritual values and orientations. 

Having gone through Catholic school for 12 years, I was taught that divination is evil, a work of the Devil (which, of course, presumes that the devil is always bad, which is a belief antithetical to my spiritual foundation now). Like all powerful spiritual gifts, divination practices must be respected as tools through which to encounter the divine. Given the broad array of energies present in holistic divination systems, there is plenty of space for those with beliefs of all kinds. There is plenty of space to interpret the energies that present themselves in ways that align with and make sense in one’s own life. 

As above, so below. As without, so within. I don’t engage with the Tarot and astrology as ways of trying to predict the future. Rather, I work with them to find my own understanding of myself and the world and to help you find yours. I work with them to come into my own truth, and to help you come into yours. I use them to understand the energies that are present in my life and in yours and how best to interact with them. I wish the people I trusted when I first felt drawn to these ideas had been able to explain to me the beauty of these gifts–both the tools themselves and gifts they develop within the practitioner. I wish I hadn’t been left in fear by people who denounced these practices as evil. 

Look–there is evil in this world and there is dark energy. And that energy can and does come into any religion, any church, any spiritual practice. We are all dealt demons and I have experienced exorcisms in many manifestations. Those questionable figures that remain (both internally and externally) might be demons. But they are also my angels. They bring out the best in me–whether they are trying or not–by challenging me to be my absolute best and most confident self. For better or for worse, these people, energies and spirits continue to work this jagged soul into a refined river rock. And I am grateful for their presence in my life.

If you are interested in receiving a Tarot reading or a reading of your astrological chart, please contact me via email at HilaryB130@gmail.com or via Social Media @HilaryB130.

Love is always there

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In my last post, I wrote about Venus’ Retrograde. Venus is well into the thick of her descent into the underworld. As she descends, the Venus in each of us is also asked to descend into the underworld, to review the aspects of our lives that are housed in Aries in our charts so that we can be transformed and emerge anew. This Retrograde is spring cleaning and redecorating our lives. Better to let her do her thing. Trust her—she has impeccable taste! It’s time to release the baggage, garbage, and dust associated with what we love, how we love, our senses of self-worth, our attractiveness, that to which we are attracted, what we want, what we deserve, the resources that we receive–tangible and intangible–that are associated with particular aspects of our lives. Where you will feel this Retrograde most depends upon your individual chart. In my chart, this Retrograde runs deep. It is in my 4th House, the deepest house of a chart–roots, house, home, family, ancestry. This is the house from which we are born. This is the house that represents our childhood home. This is the house that represents how we need to feel in our living space in order to feel comfortable. As a result, this Retrograde is reviewing participation in, perpetuation of, and release from family and ancestral cycles, patterns, and constellations. I have felt that Astro constellations help to understand and navigate family constellations. Venus is asking me a lot of important questions—including what I want and need in my physical home and what I seek to build in my family of choice that is similar and different from my family of origin.

For a long time in my life, I walked around with a devastating narrative: “when I needed you most, you weren’t there. When I needed you most, you were never there.” I applied this to almost everyone in my life to whom I felt close and/or to whom I wanted to be close. I was attached to certain people providing me with certain types of support. I wanted to define who could support me and how—rather than creating or existing in spaces that allowed me to discern whether or not the people in my life had the capacity to support me in the ways that I needed. When certain individuals in my life couldn’t provide me with the exact form of support I desired from them, I became sad, angry, unhappy—and I blamed them (sometimes overtly and sometimes passively) for being unable to provide me with what I needed and wanted from other people in my life. Worse still, I did not ask other people what they needed or wanted from me. There was no opportunity for right relationship. There was no opportunity for reciprocal growth.

Luckily, the past several years have offered me numerous opportunities to accelerate my own growth and transformation. I have become much more conscious of my own journey. One such opportunity was a spiritual healing retreat that opened my mind and my spirit to seeing my life and myself differently than I ever had before. Among the changes that occurred as a result of that retreat, the narrative I mentioned above changed from, “When I needed you, you were never there” to “When I needed love, it was always there.” This is one of the most dramatic shifts of consciousness that I have ever experienced in my life. I realized that when I’ve needed love, it’s always been there. Maybe it didn’t always look how I wanted it to look. Maybe it didn’t always come from the people I wanted it to come from in the ways I’d hoped it would appear. But it was always there … in forms that were sometimes hard, sometimes strange, sometimes beautiful. Now, looking back, it was all beautiful.

When I let go of my expectations for how life is supposed to look, I realized that love comes in an infinite number of forms. It looks so many different ways that I couldn’t have anticipated until I saw them, but that I recognized clearly when I became open to the possibility that love is infinite in quantity and in form. When I became open to the infinite quantity, capacity, and forms of love, I was able to remain non-attached to the outcomes of my relationships with any particular people, places, and processes in my life. Non-attachment is not the same as detachment. Detachment is disconnection, isolation. Non-attachment, alternatively, creates the opportunity to feel connected to everything, to know that I am always supported—especially when I take responsibility for ensuring that I remain in physical and emotional spaces where I can receive the support that I need. When I detach, when I disconnect, when I separate myself or put myself on a different level as others (either as superior or inferior), when I judge myself, when I judge others with comments such as, “I wouldn’t do that,” I deny myself the opportunity to receive love from myself or anyone else.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t miss people—it means that I don’t expect anyone to give me more than they can. It means I know that I don’t get to choose where love comes from or in what forms it arrives, but that I’m responsible for receiving it when it does. I often wonder how many times love has been offered to me in forms that I needed it and I denied it because it didn’t come in the form I wanted or in the form with which I was familiar. Equally as much, I wonder how many times I have received something that appeared in the form that I expect love to appear, the shape or color I was taught love “should” arrive, and have actually received or taken in, attached myself to something or someone that caused me harm, that wasn’t love at all, that was not what I needed. I have learned that the secret of love is closing my eyes and allowing the feeling to carry me, not the person. If a person has to carry me or I have to carry them, love can’t possibly exist because there’s too much weight. Love is spacious. Love is infinite. No one person will ever be able to carry me – and that’s not their fault. It’s by design. I know that I am meant to walk my path, to run my track, to climb my mountains. That doesn’t mean I am meant to do it alone. On the contrary, it is only on these treks that are mine, uniquely, that I have ever or could ever encounter those who are meant to walk, run, and climb next to me.

My journey to this point has been foothills compared to the mountains in front of me. At this moment in my life, I am placing the extra baggage at the bottom of the mountain. I will only take the absolute necessities. I will travel lightly. I will not carry anyone else’s baggage. I will not give my baggage to anyone else to carry. Anything that weighs me down, slows me down—it must be released and I will watch it fall into the canyon and break into a million pieces. This is the agreement I am making with myself. This is the agreement I am making with those who are climbing this mountain with me because even though we are right next to each other, climbing the same mountain, we are all having completely different experiences, facing different challenges, owning different victories. I refuse to believe that I know another person’s experience and I refuse to allow another person to treat me as if they know mine. This is a requirement for holding space for one another, for loving, for all to accomplish and enjoy the climbs to which we have been called and which we have chosen to embark upon. We are here to support each other, to cheer each other along, to challenge each other to be better—not by exerting force or challenges, not by throwing rocks at one another to be dodged, but by continuing our own climbs alongside one another.

 

Being grateful and starting where you are

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A Winter morning sky in Wilmington

A Winter morning sky in Wilmington

“Get grateful!”

Improving your life, many self-help and life coaches proclaim, requires a gratitude practice. Those proclamations are made, because it works. When I stop and take even 3-5 minutes to list as many things as I can for which I’m grateful, it totally changes my mood—no matter what I was feeling before. Starting the day with gratitude transforms my whole day, sets the intention to be grateful for the rest of my day. It’s like putting “gratitude” into my search engine so that seeking things for which to be grateful is built into my mental settings.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting ignorant positivity. This is about something more. A healthy gratitude practice exists despite the fact that life is challenging, exists alongside life’s challenges. For example, right now I live in the mid-Atlantic United States, where the weather this past week has been uncharacteristically warm, and it has illuminated the complexity of my gratitude practice. As someone who is an Eco-phile and embedded in the climate change science and critical theory, this weather concerns me for a lot of reasons. Yet, I am also grateful for the sun and warmth. This is an approach to life with which I feel most comfortable. It is possible to be grateful and concerned at the same time. It is possible to appreciate what feels good while also acknowledging what doesn’t. Not only is it possible. I have found it to be the best path to success, the best path to sustainable change, the best path to healthy relationships with myself, other people, and the planet.

On my own journey, gratitude is important right now, because I am seeking to shift my own reality. I want to support myself better physically, spiritually, and financially. I want more people in my immediate community whose being has the capacity to support the reality of who I am. I want to be in a space culturally and geographically where what I value and my ways of being are embedded into the dominant cultural paradigm. Over the past couple of years, I have been mired in all of the ways that Delaware and the mid-Atlantic fail to support me. And the narrative of “I don’t want to be in Delaware. I don’t have the sort of life I want. I want to be somewhere else. Nothing here is what I want. There aren’t people here like me, doing what I do” needs to go. It’s true that many of the ways of being I choose are not embedded into the culture in which I was raised. Nonetheless, to say that there is NO ONE doing the things that I value is a lie. It prevents me from attracting more of what I want into my life. Equally, it fails to honor the courage and tenacity of those attempting to go against the grain, to create a different reality.

After spending two years locked away in the library, it’s time for me to reintegrate myself back into society. It’s time for me to take those precious ideas and bring them into the world. The challenge I have faced, however, is trying to integrate myself into a society that is part of my past and resisting integration because I want to maintain the narrative of “I don’t like Delaware” and all of the accompanying narratives that anyone who knows me at all anywhere in the world can probably repeat verbatim. But I’m not comfortable holding those narratives anymore, because I know that as long as I hold onto those narratives, I fail to see that Delaware, too, has its beauty. I prevent myself from exploring this place with the same sense of adventure that I would explore another place. And who am I, if not an explorer? The people, spaces, and frameworks in which I was embedded growing up are not expansive enough to hold the reality of who I am now, but that doesn’t mean that there are not people, spaces, and frameworks that CAN hold the reality of who I am now. I just have to focus on the ones of which I’m aware and find what else exists … which is the exciting part.

Last week, the Sun moved into Pisces. In my astrological chart, Pisces is my third house. The third house is the house of one’s immediate surroundings, one’s neighborhood, one’s neighbors, one’s siblings and cousins, one’s associates, short trips, communication, early education, and divination. In conjunction with this cosmic reality, I plan to spend the next month honoring the ways in which my immediate surroundings support and resonate with the truth of who I am. It is a gratitude practice that allows me to explore the realities of the people and spaces in my immediate surroundings that exist in actuality, rather than dismiss the possibility that what I want, need, or appreciate can exist within the vicinity of where I currently reside. I will do this through Instagram (HilaryB130) and Facebook posts (Hilary Booker), a podcast, and this blog. The Instagram and Facebook posts will be informal snapshots and descriptions, whereas the podcast will take a local focus to a larger project as I continue to transform, expand, and shift the ways in which I engage with the idea of Hilary’s House. The blog will draw everything together … since the paradox of freedom is that it requires connection, or acknowledging that everything is connected.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to bringing you with me on this journey!