Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Zero Circle by Rumi

On this most precious day, look to what is beautiful within you and then to what is beautiful without, for the inner will be mirrored by the outer. Open your eyes. Look. Be aware! Know that each day is perfect as it is, that you are perfect as you are. Love fully and freely.

A poem by Rumi

"Be helpless, dumfounded,
Unable to say yes, or no.
Then a stretcher will come from grace
to gather us up.

We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty.
If we say we can, we're lying.
If we say No, we don't see it,
That No will behead us
And shut tight our window onto spirit.

So let us rather not be sure of anything,
Beside ourselves, and only that, so
Miraculous beings come running to help.
Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute,
We shall be saying, finally,
With tremendous eloquence, Lead us.
When we have totally surrendered to that beauty,
We shall be a mighty kindness. "

note: Rumi never put any of his poems into writing, but rather he would spin and as he did, his scribe would listen and write down as much as possible. It is from this practice that the Sufi Whirling Dervishes were born.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Soul's Purpose (book excerpt)

The North and South Nodes of the Moon
"To the astrological layman, the north and south nodes of the Moon are more than likely something they have never heard about. Placed in opposition to each other in the birth chart, they illustrate perhaps more clearly than any other aspect not only what it is you came to learn about (north node), but also what stories you brought in with you from past incarnations (south node). Most people are allied with the south node up until the time of the fourth transition, and it is not until its completion that north node energies come into focus, often with startling outcomes.

It can be that during the external phase ideas that have long
been gestating become more tangible and possible. A long held
desire for leadership in the work place, the trademark of the north
node in Leo in the tenth house, comes to bear following the internal
work when there is now courage to ask for what is wanted. A fifth
house Moon in Gemini conjunct the north node now seeks creative
self-expression through the written word or the performing arts.
Take for example a Cancer south node that indicates that the
home, in a past incarnation, was extremely important along with the
natural instincts of mothering (Moon ruled by Cancer) and caregiving.
For the first forty or so years, Joanie had devoted herself to her
family and the raising of her children often to the exclusion of her
own needs which always came second. After the completion of her
midlife transition, she began to turn her attention to her north node
in Capricorn when she became an expert in finance, applying her
people skills to the housing industry as she helped families refinance
their homes. Megan on the other hand experienced her Sagittarius
South node in her lust for travel, spending the early part of her life
trying all kinds of different jobs in various countries, satisfying her
south node desire for expansive educational experiences. When her
north node came calling at the age of forty-three, she settled down
as a teacher of foreign studies at a local college, all the while writing
her personal story that she submitted for publication, much to the
delight of her north node in the air sign of communicative Gemini.

Changes such as these do not indicate that the south node
influence has evaporated, only that the focus of the individual is now
on the north node. The soul focus in early life is primarily on finishing
up past-life issues, developing the fundamental skills that will later
be used for the life work, and basically setting the stage for the true
work to emerge after the completion of this monadal transition. At
this point, the south node stays more in the background with the
north node moving into a position of primary interest and influence
with a defined energetic push toward new awareness related to life
purpose. It is then during the external phase that actions may be
taken that set up the next twenty years of life where the life focus
will be completed."

c. 2011 All rights reserved

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Living the Simple Life

"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials". - Lin Yutang (1895-1976)

Harvard scholar and Taoist Lin Yutang wrote about the importance of living a simple life, one that is uncluttered with the many non-essentials that seems to take up our time and energy. For him, taking the time for a relaxing cup of tea, a long walk along the seashore, conversations with friends are all equal in importance to work and the tasks of making a living. These activities fill our spirit, helping to revitalize our energy. There will always be another dish to wash, floor to sweep, call to make, and paper to write. Allowing for daily "non-doing" is one of the keys to living the Simple Life.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Favorites from our Archives

Addiction in Fairy Tales: Soul Loss and Recovery

A continuation of the exploration of Addiction and our desire to connect with the Divine.


There was once a little girl who was very pretty and delicate, but in summer she was forced to run about with bare feet, she was so poor, and in winter wear very large wooden shoes, which made her little insteps quite red, and that looked so dangerous! In the middle of the village lived old Dame Shoemaker; she sat and sewed together, as well as she could, a little pair of shoes out of old red strips of cloth; they were very clumsy, but it was a kind thought. They were meant for the little girl. The little girl was called Catherine.On the very day her mother was buried, Catherine received the red shoes, and wore them for the first time. They were certainly not intended for mourning, but she had no others, and with stocking-less feet she followed the poor straw coffin in them.

Here we see that the little girl Catherine has suffered a great loss with the loss of her mother. She and the wise woman, the Dame Shoemaker, fashioned together a simple pair of shoes that, while not beautiful, were of her own making, echoing the "Resiliency of the Human Spirit".

Suddenly a large old carriage drove up, and an old lady sat in it: she looked at the little girl, felt compassion for her, and then said to the clergyman: "Here, give me the little girl. I will adopt her!" And Catherine believed all this happened on account of the red shoes, but the old lady thought they were horrible, and they were burnt.
The little Red Shoes were thrown into the fires, not to be transformed, but to be discarded. What was precious to Catherine meant little to the Old Woman in the Carriage. Catherine was beginning to lose her connection to her Spirit. The Old Woman in this does not represent wisdom but instead staid social values which are unbending and "frozen" in time, disallowing for the regenerative youthful spirit of little Catherine.

Now Catherine was old enough to be confirmed; she had new clothes and was to have new shoes also. The rich shoemaker in the city took the measure of her little foot. This took place at his house, in his room; where stood large glass-cases, filled with elegant shoes and brilliant boots. All this looked charming, but the old lady could not see well, and so had no pleasure in them. In the midst of the shoes stood a pair of red ones, just like those the princess had worn. How beautiful they were! The shoemaker said also they had been made for the child of a count, but had not fitted. "That must be patent leather!" said the old lady. "They shine so!""Yes, they shine!" said Catherine, and they fitted, and were bought, but the old lady knew nothing about their being red, else she would never have allowed Catherine to have gone in red shoes to be confirmed. Yet such was the case.
Catherine looks outside of herself and her own beauty and is tempted by the glamour of the shoes and of being a "Princess" in the eyes of the world. She wants the acceptance of others and chooses external riches, The Red Shoes, because she thinks that wearing them will make her feel whole. She wants to fill her emptiness with The Perfect Thing.

Everybody looked at her feet; and when she stepped through the chancel door on the church pavement, it seemed to her as if the old figures on the tombs, those portraits of old preachers and preachers' wives, with stiff ruffs, and long black dresses, fixed their eyes on her red shoes. And she thought only of them as the clergyman laid his hand upon her head, and spoke of the holy baptism, of the covenant with God, and how she should be now a matured Christian; and the organ pealed so solemnly; the sweet children's voices sang, and the old music-directors sang, but Catherine only thought of her red shoes.In the afternoon, the old lady heard from everyone that the shoes had been red, and she said that it was very wrong of Catherine, that it was not at all becoming, and that in future Catherine should only go in black shoes to church, even when she should be older.
The Church represents the influence of cultural expectations and the imposition of morality in this story. The power of the Collective is strong and demands that the individual adhere to rules and regulations. She can think of nothing else, she is obsessed.

The next Sunday there was the sacrament, and Catherine looked at the black shoes, looked at the red ones--looked at them again, and put on the red shoes.
Catherine hears the call of the Red Shoes, the Red Shoes that make her feel pretty and well liked, and she answers that call regardless of what the consequences might be.

The sun shone gloriously; Catherine and the old lady walked along the path through the corn; it was rather dusty there. At the church door stood an old soldier with a crutch, and with a wonderfully long beard, which was more red than white, and he bowed to the ground, and asked the old lady whether he might dust her shoes. And Catherine stretched out her little foot."See, what beautiful dancing shoes!" said the soldier. "Sit firm when you dance"; and he put his hand out towards the soles. And the old lady gave the old soldier alms, and went into the church with her. And all the people in the church looked at Catherine's red shoes, and all the pictures, and as Catherine knelt before the altar, and raised the cup to her lips, she only thought of the red shoes, and they seemed to swim in it; and she forgot to sing her psalm, and she forgot to pray, "Our Father in Heaven!"
The experience in the Church represents Catherine's distraction from her internal connection to the Divine, to God. She thinks only of the Red Shoes, of what will make her feel full again.

Now all the people went out of church, and the old lady got into her carriage. Catherine raised her foot to get in after her, when the old soldier said, "Look, what beautiful dancing shoes!"And she could not help dancing a step or two, and when she began her feet continued to dance; it was just as though the shoes had power over them. She danced round the church corner, she could not leave off; the coachman was obliged to run after and catch hold of her, and he lifted her in the carriage, but her feet continued to dance so that she trod on the old lady dreadfully. At length she took the shoes off, and then her legs had peace.
The Soldier is The Devil in traditional terms, or Fear in modern psychological ones. He is the "tempter" who ceases to remind her at every opportunity of the Red Shoes and how she feels when she wears them. She is caught up in the ECSTASY OF THE DANCE which soon will begin to spiral out of control. She has found her Drug, her Substance, which mimics the ecstasy of oneness with God but is based in fear, not love.

The shoes were placed in a closet at home, but Catherine could not avoid looking at them.
She cannot resist. She must wear them.

Now the old lady was sick, and it was said she could not recover. She must be nursed and waited upon, and there was no one whose duty it was so much as Catherine's. But there was a great ball in the city, to which Catherine was invited. She looked at the old lady, who could not recover, she looked at the red shoes, and she thought there could be no sin in it; she put on the red shoes, she might do that also, she thought. But then she went to the ball and began to dance. When she wanted to dance to the right, the shoes would dance to the left, and when she wanted to dance up the room, the shoes danced back again, down the steps, into the street, and out of the city gate. She danced, and was forced to dance straight out into the gloomy wood. Then it was suddenly light up among the trees, and she fancied it must be the moon, for there was a face; but it was the old soldier with the red beard; he sat there, nodded his head, and said, "Look, what beautiful dancing shoes!" Then she was terrified, and wanted to fling off the red shoes, but they clung fast; and she pulled down her stockings, but the shoes seemed to have grown to her feet. And she danced, and must dance, over fields and meadows, in rain and sunshine, by night and day; but at night it was the most fearful.
She spirals out of control, totally lost, at the whim of the Red Shoes, of her addiction.

She danced over the churchyard, but the dead did not dance--they had something better to do than to dance. She wished to seat herself on a poor man's grave, where the bitter tansy grew; but for her there was neither peace nor rest; and when she danced towards the open church door, she saw the Spirit of the Dead standing there. He wore long, white garments; he had wings which reached from his shoulders to the earth; his countenance was severe and grave; and in his hand he held a sword, broad and glittering."Dance shalt thou!" said he. "Dance in thy red shoes till thou art pale and cold! Till thy skin shrivels up and thou art a skeleton! Dance shalt thou from door to door, and where proud, vain children dwell, thou shalt knock, that they may hear thee and tremble! Dance shalt thou--!""Mercy!" cried Catherine. But she did not hear the spirit's reply, for the shoes carried her through the gate into the fields, across roads and bridges, and she must keep ever dancing. One morning she danced past a door which she well knew. Within sounded a psalm; a coffin, decked with flowers, was borne forth. Then she knew that the old lady was dead, and felt that she was abandoned by all, and condemned by the angel of God.
There is no safe haven to return to. Catherine has lost her natural instincts, she is lost in her addiction. She can no longer see the true nature of The Red Shoes, she only knows she must dance.
She danced, and she was forced to dance through the gloomy night. The shoes carried her over stack and stone; she was torn till she bled; she danced over the heath till she came to a little house. Here, she knew, dwelt the executioner; and she tapped with her fingers at the window, and said, "Come out! Come out! I cannot come in, for I am forced to dance!"And the executioner said, "Thou dost not know who I am, I fancy? I strike bad people's heads off; and I hear that my axe rings!" "Don't strike my head off!" said Catherine. "Then I can't repent of my sins! But strike off my feet in the red shoes!"And then she confessed her entire sin, and the executioner struck off her feet with the red shoes, but the shoes danced away with the little feet across the field into the deep wood. And he carved out little wooden feet for her, and crutches, taught her the psalm criminals always sing; and she kissed the hand which had wielded the axe, and went over the heath."Now I have suffered enough for the red shoes!" said she. "Now I will go into the church that people may see me!" And she hastened towards the church door: but when she was near it, the red shoes danced before her, and she was terrified, and turned round. The whole week she was unhappy, and wept many bitter tears; but when Sunday returned, she said, "Well, now I have suffered and struggled enough! I really believe I am as good as many a one who sits in the church, and holds her head so high!"

Catherine has made a sacrifice in order to reclaim her spirit. She has surrendered the shoes.

The following Sunday, when the family was going to church, they asked her whether she would not go with them; but she glanced sorrowfully, with tears in her eyes, at her crutches. The family went to hear the word of God; but she went alone into her little chamber; there was only room for a bed and chair to stand in it; and here she sat down with her Prayer-Book; and whilst she read with a pious mind, the wind bore the strains of the organ towards her, and she raised her tearful countenance, and said, "O God, help me!"
Now that Catherine no longer is dancing the dance of the shoes, she begins to return to her innate connection to God through prayer and contemplation. She begins to heal.

And the sun shone so clearly, and straight before her stood the angel of God in white garments, a Spirit as she had seen before but he no longer carried the sharp sword, but in its stead a splendid green spray, full of roses. And he touched the ceiling with the spray, and the ceiling rose so high, and where he had touched it there gleamed a golden star. The clear sunshine streamed so warmly through the window to where Catherine sat! Her heart was so full of sunshine, peace, and joy, that it broke. Her soul flew on the sunshine to God.

From the works of Hans Christian Andersen, adapted by Clarissa Pinkola Estes (c. 1992) Illustration by Anne Anderson. The Golden Wonder Book for Children (c. 1924)

Comments in bold italics by Victoria Marina-Tompkins

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Revisit: Pluto in Capricorn

Several years ago Pluto began it's march through Capricorn and what a series of events unfolded! Take a look at this blog from Sept. 2009 with it's focus on the upcoming Plutonian changes and then review your own life. What has happened? Have you encountered forces seemingly beyond your control? Pluto is now retrograding at 6 degrees of Capricorn and bringing up issues for each of us to consider- are we holding on too tightly to control? Time to let go.....

Pluto in Capricorn: Gold in the Shadow

On Sept. 11th Pluto will once again station at 0 degrees Capricorn and turn direct, focusing its penetrating eye on the fundamental structures of our lives including the financial system and anything which needs "adjustment". In March of 2008 Pluto first entered Capricorn after a long stay in Sagittarius (its orbit is 248 years so it is in each sign for a long while) as we saw the first glimpse of its intention with the fall of Bear Stearns and the beginning of the global economic meltdown. During the summer of 2008 Pluto was again retrograde and we had a brief respite from the transformational process, some time to "regroup" before its next efforts which began Sept. 10th of 2008 as it moved directly into Capricorn and well, we all know what happened in the following months! It was during this time that the beginning of Pluto's intentions became apparent: to rebalance power that was out of control and in favor of the small majority at the top, those who had used power inappropriately through greed and manipulation. The shadowy underbelly of our monetary systems began to be revealed which included corruption, deceit, and behind the scenes wrangling which cost millions of dollars for those who had trusted the very basis of our banking system. Pluto had begun its journey through Capricorn by showing us what needed changing.
Fast forward to Sept. 2009: In the next week Pluto will again move direct in Capricorn, this time at 0 degrees with the Sabian Symbol "An Indian Chief Claims Power from the Assembled Tribe" or "the power and responsibility implied in any claim for leadership".
This symbol speaks to the need for decisive leadership which will guide the community to ensure its physical survival, depending on group cooperation to achieve the greater goals for the common man. It is easy to see how this symbol is playing out with President Obama'sfocus on reforming health care and his stepping up to the plate in order to provide health care for millions who are unable to afford it. Here Pluto is demonstrating that power has been held by the Pharmaceutical companies and cooperations who have locked up our health care system with rising costs which literally have disregarded the needs of the many and supported the bank accounts of the few. We have first row seats as Pluto works his magic on this aspect of our system which is drastically in need of reform.

On a more personal level, Plutonian transits most usually affect us in deep ways, most of them unsettling to say the least as they plumb the depths of our fears, in this case related to survival and abandonment. Over the past year many of us have pared down, gone "back to basics" and reevaluated what was of true importance to us. Pluto will never take away that which truly belongs to you, but it will challenge you to let go of that which is not yours, or which is outworn and outdated. A look at where transiting Pluto is in your astrological chart (0 Capricorn) will indicate where Pluto is working on your own psyche as well as where it isnatally (your birth chart), the two of which can provide some valuable insight as to where your own transformational Plutonian process is taking place.

Take heart for even as Pluto destroys it always transforms and rebirth occurs. Due to its slow planetary movement, the process is a bit grinding, giving us all plenty of time to surrender to the process of change. It may not be comfortable, but there is always "gold" in the shadow and this is the reward of the transformational process.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Nine Needs: Expression

"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique."  Martha Graham

Those of us, myself included, who have chosen expression as one of the three primary needs need to find ways of expressing ourselves in order to maintain psychological health. With expression in the lead position or one of the top 3, it is important to allow for personal expression in as many ways as possible and which could include

* Artistry in the life  Any number of ways to express in daily life such as how you dress both yourself and your environment

*Express yourself through the many choices you make including personal preferences ie food, daily schedule, sleeping patterns, and friends. 

* Creative outlets   Music, Art, Drama, Writing, Dance  These expressive venues can include both doing them yourself or going to hear music and other expressive arts.

*Verbal expression   Yes, those of us with expression as a primary need seem to need to talk alot!  It's ok, it's just part of who you are.

Question: What are the ways you choose to express yourself? How would you like to express yourself?

Photo: Urban Art by Brendan McCarthy, San Francisco, California

The Nine Needs: Communion or Life as Temple

This is the first in a series of articles on the 9 Needs that include communion, security, expression, exchange, power, acceptance, freedom, adventure, and expansion. Most of us choose 3 as our primary needs in life and find that if they are met, then we feel at ease and satisfied. Today let's begin by taking a look at the need of communion.

COMMUNION or Life as Temple

Middle English, from Latin communion-, communio mutual participation, from communis
Date: 14th century

1 : an act or instance of sharing
2 a capitalized : a Christian sacrament in which consecrated bread and wine are consumed as memorials of Christ's death or as symbols for the realization of a spiritual union between Christ and communicant or as the body and blood of Christ b : the act of receiving Communion ccapitalized : the part of a Communion service in which the sacrament is received
3 : intimate fellowship or rapport

Communion is one of the 9 needs psychological needs according to the Michael teachings and this need has to do with creating connection with others which can be met through one on one contact, with groups, and, in the larger sense, with the Cosmos or God. Communion is not the same as conversation which tends to be more like the exchange need where information is traded back and forth, but is experienced as a blending of energies, a release of the individual personality and an opening to one-ness.  Group rituals including music, drumming, and dance can be gateways through which the communion need is met as is sensuality and sexuality where the mind is set aside in favor of feeling and movement.  Communion is all about feeling!

The quoted definition is partially aligned with the Michael definition in terms of feelings of rapport, but not in terms of religious affiliation which is not at all related to the Michael's definition of communion. The original intention of the sacrement of communion is similar in that the ritual was designed as a way for the individual to interact with the Divine, but in most cases the scripting involved did little to allow for a pure experience to occur. We have the opportunity now to experience communion on a daily basis by expanding our conscious awareness of our connection with all that is, by feeling our breath and the sun and moon on our skin. Open your awareness!

Next: Expression

Monday, June 13, 2011

Reactions and Perceptions

hear the dog barking outside and immediately tense up- how can I do my work while he is interrupting me?  I reconsider after taking a breath- perhaps he is alerting his master about something important and serving as protector of his home.

My plans include a trip to the store and once in my car I see that the road is blocked for repair and by the time I wait and resume my trip, the store is closed. I reconsider after taking a breath- perhaps by going another time I will meet the best person to help me in my process, or run into an old friend.

A relationship ends after many years, the loss of which is difficult and emotionally painful. I reconsider after taking (many ) a breath- participating in the relationship itself was draining energy from me on a daily basis creating health problems, anxieties, and depression. Perhaps letting it go will in time allow for more healthy relationships to develop.

All of the above are examples of how we often automatically react to life changes, both small and large. Our first reactions may be fear based but we need not stay in fear and can instead "regroup" by taking a breath, releasing the fear, and then allowing our perceptions to expand which then opens our awareness. Only in retrospect can we easily see what did in fact happen, that it all worked out so to speak, and wonder "Why did I worry so much about that?".

The past teaches us that life unfolds in it's own way and by being in the present while applying this perception of the natural flow of life, we can release the hold of fear and experience more joy. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Creating Personal Rituals

During times of personal transition, it can be both inspiring and motivating to create a personal ritual focused on the outcome you wish. Here is a simple outline that you can use for your ritual once you have decided on the intention of the ritual. Remember to have fun! Ritual does not have to be serious, but it does need to be focused. 

1. Create your environment.
Here you gather together the tools that you will need during the ritual. This might include objects to represent each of the 4 directions or elements (air, fire, water, earth) a candle for focus, things that are important to you. The space should be a place where you can be uninterrupted for about an hour. Use music, incense, candles.

2. Call in your helping spirits or allies.
Using a rattle or drum is great, but you can also use any musical instrument which calls attention to the beginning (and later end) of your ritual.

3. Do a meditation or drum to help you move into a deeper state of consciousness.

4. Set your intentions.
Here you would say what it is that you intend to do.

5. Make your ritual action.

6. Sing a song, say a poem, bring something creative into your ritual. Be spontaneous!

7. Say thanks and give gratitude.

8. Close the circle. ( Sound the chime, or say "It is done.")

Sample Ritual:  A good place to begin would be in a natural setting. Find a tree. Sit with your back up against the tree and listen. Let your mind become still and clear. The tree will remind you that you are a very ancient being with many lives and many experiences. There have been times when you have been filled with love and there have been times when you have been filled with fear. Let yourself remember some of these times. Breathe. Then let yourself remember a time in the recent past when you were very afraid, a time when you were unable to stay clear of negative energy. Breathing deeply, let the energy flow down your chakras into the earth, Say 'I now release all negative and distracting energies for the benefit of all concerned'. Breathe. Listen to the tree again. Remember that you are loved. Be grateful.

c. 2011 Victoria Marina-Tompkins

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The 7 Body Types: A Closer Look

There are 7 Body types and we usually choose two in each lifetime, one as primary and the other secondary. Different cultures value body types differently; Westerners prefer the slender look of Saturn and Mercury while South Pacific Islanders are comfortable with the abundant look of Jupiter or Venus body types. We also choose our body types as part of our genetic composition or bloodlines- ever notice how some families seem to have the same look?

The Body types are divided into 3 sets of pairs that are attracting to each other. For example, a Mars body type man or woman would naturally be physically attracted to a Venusian woman or man. The square and strong Mars type likes the curves of Venus body type! In contract, the Jupiter body type likes Mercury, the small and light body type. Have you ever seen a couple with one partner who is quite large and the other quite small? That's Jupiter and Mercury. Lunar body type is attracted to angular Saturn, the "bones" look of the body types. The soft and luminous aspect of Lunar is mated with the long and lean body type of Saturn. And finally, solar body type, the lone singleton of the group is neutral and can pair with any of the other types!


LUNAR: + Luminous - Pallid

SATURNIAN: + Rugged - Gaunt

JUPITER : + Grandeur - Elephantine

MERCURIAL: + Agile - Frenetic

VENUSIAN: + Voluptuous - Obese

MARTIAL: + Wiry - Muscle-bound

SOLAR: + Radiant - Ethereal

BODY TYPE COMFORT    Have you ever felt instantly comfortable with someone, feeling at ease with them? You probably share at least one body type. Jupiter feels comfortable with others with large body types including Venus, while Mercury can feel at home with other swift body types such as solar which tends toward lightness. Recognizing body type comfort is very positive and just as valid as the "pizazz" of body type attraction. Many older couples will have found their perfect match with someone with the same or compatible body type rather than the roller coaster and fireworks of body type attraction.

Accepting your chosen body type as valid for you instead of trying to change it to meet current social standards can go a long way toward creating a healthy and happy life. Take a look at the list and see what combination of body types you have chosen and then look at those around you. Sometimes it is easier to spot your mate or friends type than your own!

The 7 Body Types: What's Yours?

As some of you know, I live on the coast of northern California about 20 miles south of San Francisco. What is often referred to by locals as "heaven on earth" about 9 months of the year becomes a fog laced haven of summer weather, often times bringing cold spells that are good fortune for those folks who live over the hill on the peninsula as they come here for relief from the heat but become weary days for those of us living by the ocean. Now of course I don't speak for all coastal dwellers, but it is common theme in July and August.

Facing another Sunday of fog, I realized that I was perhaps quite sensitive to the lack of sun and that this sensitivity might relate to my chosen primary body type, Solar. Give me a mildly sunny day, not too hot and not too cold, about 72 degrees and Im a happy camper! Today even with the prospect of sun which began with increased light, I began to feel much improved both in terms of energy and attitude. I am thinking then that the various body types of which there are 7 and include Solar, Lunar, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Saturn, and Mercury (quite planetary aren't they)each respond more favorably to certain conditions than others, with Solar needing both light and warmth. The positive pole is Radiance with the negative pole Ethereal which has an insubstantial or fragile quality to it with Solar body types tending toward delicate features including bone structure (facial, hands, feet)and overall frame. When Solar types are in the positive, they tend to have a brightness about them which comes from within and when in the negative they can appear sickly and almost breakable.

The body types are usually chosen in pairs with one being the dominant for a person; for example 85% Solar, 15% Mercury or 75% Jupiter, 25% Mars. The choice of specific body type combinations are made in order to support completion of the Life Task and genetic predispositions from the parents are then used as the template prior to birth; in other words, the available genetic body types are part of the decision making process prior to birth and the body type emerges as the fetus grows, fully in place at the time of birth. If you need say Mars and Venus for your life task, then choosing parents who have those types in their genetic makeup will be useful. Efforts made during the course of the life to adhere to cultural standards of beauty which may or may not be your body type are likely to lead to frustration as the body is what the body is. But that topic is a large one and another blog.

Check back for next blog: The 7 Body Types in Depth

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What Do You Love?

"You will enjoy any activity in which you are truly present, any activity that is not just a means to an end.

It isn't the action you perform that you really enjoy, but the deep sense of aliveness that flows into it."

Eckhart Tolle   from Oneness With All Life

What Tolle is speaking to here is being alert in our daily activities in such a way as to promote stillness within you that is "the background of the activity". (Tolle)  Immediately my mind went to the yea buts which included things I don't like to do ie how can I possibly enjoy them? But upon looking more closely, I found that many of the daily activities which can be tedious and which could include driving, laundry, dishes, chores, even obligatory email exchanges can in fact be far less stressful, even positive when bringing alertness into the picture.

One of the most simple ways to begin this process is to bring your attention to your breath. The act of shifting attention to our breathing brings us into the present moment and allows us to become more alert and centered. Once we become alert, then we are no longer resisting the activity in which we are engaged and we can enjoy the flow of conscious awareness into our actions and we may even begin to enjoy life more fully.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Astrology and the Third Transition (book excerpt)

Astrology and the Third Transition (excerpt from Chapter 3 Spiritual Turning Points)

"There are several astrological transits to the Natal or Birth chart which every person experiences in order to evolve. The first one occurs at about the age of 15. 

Saturn oppose Saturn (15-16 years)

Astrologers refer to this transit as one of the first karmic events you have in a lifetime. It’s a “Me versus the World” confrontation and introduces the primary issue that will become a focal point throughout the life. This transit can coincide with the choosing of the primary defense system and marks the creation of a solid False Persona as the Saturn opposition creates tension and the strong desire to break away from the demands of the nuclear family.  Suddenly childhood is over as the challenges of life become clear. Saturn transits often include tangles with authority figures, legal problems, rules, and physical plane limitations. It is a time of testing and hard work. But Saturn also gives rewards: this may be a time when, after the work has been accomplished, a new vision of one’s mission in life becomes apparent even if it is not clear until after the completion of the 4th Transition somewhere in the late 30’s to mid 40’s.

Uranus square Uranus (20-21 years)

Uranus is the planet of surprises, breakthroughs and breakdowns, change, and freedom. It’s the “I Gotta Be Me” planet and seeks non-conformity. Perfect for a 20 year old!  This is the time for trying new things, travel, and more experimentation. It rocks the boat until you step out. For the young adult who has played by the rules for the most part, you may see them leaving college early and moving in with their boyfriend. Or a major relocation may be in the works, perfect for a BIG break from the family of origin as a plan is put into place for moving across the country. Whatever the choices here, this time period is a major shake up time with the mantra “Change is Good!”

The First Saturn Return (28-29 years)

The first Saturn return is an important transit that marks the completion of the first full cycle of Saturn’s movement through the birth chart as it reaches its natal position. This time period is the beginning of a new cycle and also requires a serious look at what has occurred in the life to date, what structures are no longer useful and need attention and revision, after which the now almost 30 year old can begin to build the foundation for the next phase of life. Since Saturn is the natural home of the earth sign Capricorn, most of these events are tangible and easily seen or grasped and may include job and location changes, malfunctions of the physical body such as the need for dentistry or chiropractic work, and an underlying need to change anything that isn’t going to be used in the next phase.

For many, this time period can be rocky as old structures disintegrate and the new ones have yet to be created. It also marks the time when the 3rd transition is usually complete in Western culture but it may not be until after the resolution of this transit that the monad is finished due to the changes that are usually necessary during this Saturn transit. Lasting about a year, many challenges are presented that hopefully can be addressed, resolved, and integrated as part of the restructuring process."

c.2011 All rights reserved Victoria Marina-Tompkins