Tag Archives: love

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

Falling into the Abyss: A Guide to Neptune Retrograde

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On Friday, Neptune went retrograde. Neptune spends about 6 months of each year retrograde. The large planets’ retrograde cycles don’t necessarily affect us as acutely as smaller planets’. We feel these retrograde periods most around the periods during which the planets station in one direction or another. It can be similar to the movement of the Sun in and out of different houses. The messages and experiences that correspond with a certain house or sign appear most intensely during the couple of days at the beginning and end of the Sun’s transit through a sign and house. As is always true, different people experience retrograde periods in different ways, depending on where the planet and the signs it rules fall in your chart.

Neptune is a god of the sea. He is considered the higher octave of Venus–meaning that he is associated with many of the same themes as Venus, but in their spiritual/divine manifestations. Venus rules love and lovers. Neptune rules unconditional love, soul mates and twin souls. Venus is associated with abundance and creativity. Neptune is associated with calling and the creative work that connects people with the divine. He rules Pisces, the most spiritual sign, the infinite waters. He opens portals, bringing us into connection with all spirits and voices inside and outside of us. He rules dreams, delusions, illusions. He is connected with all things mind-altering–including meditation, contemplation, substances, kundalini yoga, etc. He rules intuition, psychic capacity, and psychosis. He knows no boundaries. Where Uranus breaks, Neptune blurs. He is fluid. He runs all over everything unless he is contained. Venus rules the heart. Neptune reaches for the soul. 

What can you expect during this time? Confusion. Chaos. Blurred boundaries. Deep connection to people’s energies and the spiritual world. Softening. Forgiveness. Healing. Smoothing over. Soothing. He is the Coco Butter for your soul that India Arie sings about. He is also the inability to discern. Or maybe, it’s not an inability to discern as much as it is the Universe offering a few extra moments for the truth to be revealed so that the best choice can be made at the right time–who knows? (That sentence is very Neptunian). 

A retrograde is the appearance that a planet is moving backwards through the sky. When a planet goes retrograde, astrologically, it represents a review, a reflection, an examination of the part of one’s life associated with the themes and characteristics associated with a planet. A Neptune Retrograde will bring reviews of one’s spirituality, spiritual, and creative practices. It will bring up a review of one’s relationship with the divine. It might be a time when one assesses one’s relationship with mind-altering substances. Perhaps it’s a time to reduce one’s use of these substances or consider how to use them safely and moderately for one’s psycho-spiritual development and/or healing. It’s a great time to meditate and listen to what the universe is trying to tell you. It’s a time to assess your relationship with water, bodies of water, salt water. It’s a time to engage in healing activities associated with the ocean and Neptune is also very sensitive, so people with strong Neptunes and/or Pisces in their chart will tend to be more sensitive physically and spiritually. This time might be a good time for taking a more ascetic approach. It might be a time for a more lush approach … who knows? Only you. You must listen to the messages being offered you. Oh … hey Neptune …

During Neptune’s Retrograde, connect to the depths of the ocean and emotion. You might feel everything just a little bit more over the next couple of days. Offer yourself some of that unconditional love and forgiveness. Most importantly, make sure to give a little extra love to the mermaids in your life. 💛

If you want to learn more about the effects of Neptune or other celestial bodies on your chart or if you would like a general reading, please contact me for further information at HilaryB130@gmail.com.

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.

 

“Don’t be afraid, it’s only love”: Preparing for Venus Retrograde in Aries

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Tomorrow, Venus goes retrograde. Venus goes retrograde every 18 months. As she reverses her path, she touches and reminds us of things that happened 9 years previous. Venus holds our love, what feels like love, beauty, our sense of beauty, abundance, how and where we find abundance, how we get paid – financially and emotionally, jealousy, vanity, and issues of self-worth. She is receptive. She craves connection. She rules Taurus and Libra–though she manifests in these signs in different ways … but that is a topic for another day. Because, now, Venus is in Aries. As she reverses direction, she will also spend a couple of weeks in Pisces–her most favorite place to be and where she is loved most. So what does this mean?

Venus is one aspect of the feminine energy that appears in each of our charts. To clarify, when I discuss feminine and masculine energy, I am not referring to gender, but to energetic archetypes that we all possess to varying degrees (which is why gender is fluid). Relationships between the energies of planets and signs in our charts are much like relationships between the energies of individuals. I want to emphasize that astrological events play out in each person’s life in a totally unique way. No two people will have exactly the same experience because no two people have exactly the same chart–but there are some similar themes that might arise for many people based on the energy of a planet, the sign it is transiting, that sign’s ruler, and that sign’s House of the Zodiac.

Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac. Your chart indicates which house is your First House, but since Aries is the First House of the Zodiac, it represents a little First House energy for each of us. The First House of the Zodiac is the House of Self–a person’s identity, how a person appears in the world. Typically, the characteristics of the sign of one’s First House demonstrate how other people perceive them in the world, whereas the Sun represents their true identity. Aries energy is the energy that shifts consciousness, allows birth to happen, flowers to bloom, butterflies to bust out of cocoons. Aries energy busts through portals. It can push through anything. It is fire, it is explosive, it ignites, it initiates, and it is ruled by Mars. It is passion, desire, power, and control. Aries is all man–pure masculine energy. So what does it man for Venus to be in Aries? To be moving back through Mars’ house?

Venus and Mars are considered the lovers of the heavens … but that doesn’t mean that Venus loves being in Mars’ house. Aries is a man house. There’s not always toilet paper. There’s no kitchen table. The dish selection is questionable (except for bar ware–especially beer and shot glasses) and the only thing guaranteed to be in the refrigerator is leftover pizza and craft beer. The furniture is comfy, though the space can be a bit dark … it lacks that “feminine touch” … so when Venus walks in Aries with her bag of tricks, she is like, “oh no!” She GIVES Mars’ house her feminine touch, whether he wants it or not because that is just who she is. She oozes feminine beauty. She leaves a trail of it with her footprints … but that poses a problem because, well, this is MARS’ HOUSE!

If this situation sounds familiar to you, then you will understand what is about to happen in the skies over the next 6 weeks. As above, so below. As without, so within. Each of us will be experiencing this dynamic in part of our lives both externally and internally. Each of us is going to spend the next 6 weeks trying to reconcile these energies. Venus tends to be a bit rowdier in Mars’ house … after all, she has to be if she’s going to stand up to all that aggressive energy. Many of us (regardless of our gender identities) will be reconciling these different pieces of our hearts, minds, and souls—the receptive and the protective, the push and pull of our desires and our destinies. The ultimate goal is to find a dynamic balance between the masculine and feminine in each of us and between each of us. If there is one thing studying Ecology has taught me, it’s that balance is not stasis, but the ability to dance. Learn to dance. In fact, this is a good time to take those dance classes you’ve been considering.

But make sure your dance partner has a style compatible with yours because Venus is the Roman goddess of love and Mars is the Roman god of passion and when they each bring their best selves to each other, when they agree to listen, when they agree to leave their bullshit at the door, when they decide that all they want to do is just dance … miracles can happen. True love is a beautiful dance. The balance of masculine and feminine energies—in partnerships and in individuals—is one of the most beautiful sights to behold. We are meant to surrender to our Selves, to our hearts, to the partnerships (of all kinds) that help us to remain whole. These are transformative times.

Venus’ Retrograde is a review. She’s reviewing and revising these areas of our lives. Venus has her issues (we all do) … but one thing you can place your trust in is that when she loves, she loves HARD! Especially in Aries. Venus is connected to your heart. What does your heart need? What is your heart trying to tell you? Allow her to run her hands over your being and find the place where it hurts most. Then, let her gently satiate your heart’s fissures with her salve until the pain diminishes. There’s no guarantee that pain will disappear fully, but Venus’ Retrograde is like an amazing massage. It mostly feels great and every once in awhile it hurts good … but mostly, it’s exactly what you need. Just don’t forget to drink water because that’s plenty fire. Don’t hate–HYDRATE!

Don’t be afraid. It’s only love.

*If you want to know more about how this Venus Retrograde will affect you specifically and how it shows up in your chart, please contact me for a personal reading at HilaryB130@gmail.com*