Aries is the first sign on the Zodiac. From a Western Astrological perspective, Aries reflects the energies of both the new beginnings of a new year, as well as a New Moon on April 1, 2022. Feelings of uncertainty make it tempting to run the hurry up offense by trying to solve problems faster than is natural. Do not rush as if there was a deadline. It is wise for the Ram to try to slow down their steps so that they can decide what they want to do and proceed at their own chosen speed. In the heat of the moment, remember the cool, wintry transitional shoreline tides of Pisces to take a deep breath, relax and go with the flow.May this be a gentle letting go of the heavy blanket of Winter, including any judgements you have been carrying in your backpack.The mystical, soulful travels of other dimensions are as important as the practicality of knowing how to live on this Earth.We all go through ages and stages in our life cycles. As humans, we all get insecure and suffer. We have neglected and even discounted our spirits. Vanity and glorifying youth culture can become a barrier to embracing our cosmetic imperfections. No, we can’t turn back the clock. With meditation, the aging process can be slowed down and even reversed. But meditation isn’t a cure nor is it a cosmetic approach. Developing a regular meditation practice is an inside-out approach to nurture our spirits (as well as our bodies and minds) that can have a meaningful and sustainable impact on our everyday lives. As we change the way we look at ourselves in the mirror of the mind, the way we look in the mirror changes.
Aries the Ram brings the element of fire and is a life force to be reckoned with because they can be fiercely deliberate in their approach. Aries is the part of our personality that embodies the power of our will, which is masculine or yang. Keep in mind that all women have masculine energy in them, while all men have feminine energy in them. So as the yin and yang, these energies flow within all of us and have a natural desire to be expressed. The Billy Joel classic song, My Life, captures the self determination of Aries to do whatever it wants. An intentional selection of crisis reflects the mountains we choose to climb. This writer remembers tapping into his inner ram during some radical hiking adventures, where being present with secure footing and listening to the elements could literally mean the difference between avoiding serious injury, or even life or death on any given moment. There were times that he lost his way, ran out of water and had to pull from resources that he didn’t even know were there. But the spirit of Aries is an intense and direct warrior and they will be sure to bring fire to their target. It won’t be a question of how to avoid stress because Aries attract stress like a magnet. The question is what form will it take. It’s as if the Aries positive self talk mantra asserts: pick your battles, as its signpost. Energy is energy. It’s what we do with it that counts and our approach that matters.We do not need to draw our swords or go to war with each other.Nobody likes feeling like they’ve been thrown under the bus or ambushed in relationship with each other. Remember that anger is the bodyguard of our fears, which explains why most, if not all emotional reactions come from a place of anxiety. Like the yin and yang, order and chaos are always at play with each other.
Check out this Civil Rights oriented video that captures the intersection between the powerful energies of Aries and feminine youth poetry in motion:
A Full Pink Moon, which gets its name from vegetation known as moss pink, arrives on April 16. The Cree Indigenous People called this Full Moon the Frog Moon. It is also known as the Paschal Full Moon because it is the first Full Moon of Spring. Easter is always celebrated on the Sunday after the first Full Moon of Spring, following the Spring Equinox, which was on March 20. This year, Easter falls on Sunday, April 17th. Like humans, flora and fauna; traditions have been mixing since creation. The light rises till its climax on the Summer Solstice on June 21, 2022. After that, the sunlight will slowly start waning until light and dark energies are equal again on the Autumn Equinox in September.
Artwork by Barbara Merlotti
When Frog sings in the torrential downpours of rain falling onto your Being . . .
No need to let it dampen your spirits!
Soak up the cleansing shower of Heavenly tears
by letting yourself bathe in a colorful
rainbow that shines on your golden soul.
What does Frog have to say to you about cleaning up
your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors?
Is there something you need to release or let go of?
How are you weathering the spirits of your daily routine?
A Full Pink Moon reflects an early arrival of spring vegetation in our outer world.
Let Frog guide you into an internal spring cleaning.
Clean, purify, detox and release any dirty, stagnant energies
that muddy the waters your soul wants to set free.
The winds of change are in the air!
Here we are hopping further along into Spring . . .
Frog showers us with purifying songs of April rains!
We branch out of a wintery coffin after a soulful energetic spring cleaning.
Rainbows reflect colorful flowers blossoming with clean care;
A Full Pink Moon signals an early arrival spring of flowers spreading outside –
Abundance and fertility are in the air!
Time to clear away the internal clutter . . .
Are you remembering to take deep, cleansing breaths to stay grounded?
Might as well transform the way we hop through life.
Call on the positive vibrations to reverberate in your soul’s acoustics.
Metamorphosis abounds as May flowers whisper in the winds of change.
Frog awakens magical elemental forces of water and land;
What needs to be released from your mind-body-spirit?
Picture a Frog to help you develop a deeper respect for boundaries.
Visualize transformative travels through powerful conductors of water and sound;
Your creative powers want to spring forth!
Now is the time to let go of stale, stuck energies
that want to uproot your soul’s impetus to evolve and grow!
Showers in April are a good reminder that it is time a good Spring clean-up. Time for cleansing, purification, detoxification and release. Nature reflects our inner world for us to examine. The beauty of a rainbow could not exist without the storm that preceded it. It’s when we feel lost and alone that a rainbow appears that brightens our spirits. Otherwise, we would not be able to differentiate a dark sky from a clear day. From a spiritual perspective, we are living in a time of transition, where there is the death of an old world and rebirth of a New Earth. We are literally taking our first quantum leap onto the lily pad of the Aquarian Age. In this process, we need to let go of divisive us and them, stale, boxed in thinking, old ways of being sacrificial lambs, dog eat dog, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours, male dominating female, fear of feminine power and unbalance of power by subjugating Black Indigenous People of Color and Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer people. The awakening New Age of Aquarius is a time where we can find our way in our own uniqueness by aligning who we are as individuals that mixes with group consciousness. Diversity within Unity. We are moving into a time period where the ego does not dominate the playing field anymore. It is about us becoming what is in tune with our Higher Selves or our Better Angels, as President Lincoln said. We can be aligned in our heads and our hearts with each other and come from a place of authentic soulful recognition. Yes, we have our prewired and learned fears, negative self talk and voices of trauma. But we don’t have to be seduced or submerged by them. Sitting with the Lotus flower out in Nature will help show you the way by becoming the change you want to see in the world.Observe this transformative process unfolding within yourself.
A New Moon in Aquarius on February 1, 2022 aligns with the same date as the Chinese New Year of theTiger. It is also the Imbolc/Groundhog Day on February 2nd. Our ancestors honored the Imbolc because it is the approximate midpoint between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. At this time, we are reminded that, in spite of the colder temperatures outside, daylight is gaining, and Spring is on its way. This is a complicated time with emotions, as there is a strong need for emotional freedom now. We are in the early stages of the Age of Aquarius, and this transition into a New Age and Paradigm is not without the experience of labor pains. Can’t you feel the contractions on the Planet right now? Life is always with its tension of opposites, or duality. As we have discussed, the Chinese symbol of the Yin and Yang reflects this. Meditation on the energy of Duality helps you feel at peace with your own inner duality. It helps you live in balance, in oneness and harmony, so that you may continue your path in a cosmic consciousness. It helps you discover life through enjoyment and play.
Truly, the energy of Aquarius has an assertive need for being an individual with a fiercely independent streak. But Aquarius also begs the question of how do I be my authentic self, and at the same time, fit in to group consciousness? As such, among groups, it can be easier to understand your feelings and free yourself from negative emotions such as fear, anger and jealousy. Linking up to the right groups can support us in accessing our inner genius, to think in new ways, even divergent from what we have been taught by family/societal conditioning. Getting in touch with inner freedom can be liberating for a soul in a way that transcends rules and defiance of them. Diversity in Unity is the Aquarian mantra. Gone are the days of the Lone Wolf.
Also, a Full Snow Moon arrives on February 16th. The Ojibwe called this moon the Bear Moon, while theAlgonquin called it the Groundhog Moon. Winter is a good time for human forms of hibernation and nurturing our inner cubs before they are ready to come out into the sunlight for the spring thaw and begin manifestation on the Spring Equinox.
Artwork by Barbara Merlotti
When Turtle swims into your stream of thoughts
Remember to picture Mother Earth
loving you with patience and kindness
The river does not need to be pushed
Slow down and take it one step, one breath, and one
moment at a time
How does slowing down help you stop and smell the roses?
What happens to the river’s rapids, when we go with
the flow instead of pushing the river?
Do you need to curl up in your shell and hide, or do you need to come out
into the sunlight and be with people?
Our ancestors celebrated the Full Snow Moon as the peak snowfall accumulation.
Beneath Winter’s dirge,
stirrings of Spring are beginning to think about coming out of Plato’s Cave.
Picture a Turtle protected by an invincible shell,
securely anchored deeply into Mother Earth.
Turtle’s spirit is an ancient reminder of our soulful connection to our living planet.
Our ancestors celebrated the Imbolc,
the mid-point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.
Also, this February brings the Chinese-Lunar year of the Tiger.
Now more than ever, meditation on Tiger can inspire a deep freedom for
cultivating ourpassions, power, devotion and sensuality.
Running a hurried up offense is a popular way to live on Earth today . . .
Might as well wise up to Turtle’s wisdom to remember
Do you need to escape from the worries of the world for a spell?
Mother Earth’s ancient wisdom to slow down our tempo and anchor in Her ground
Or do you need to come out of your of your shell and be more social?
Meditate on Turtle for a deeper understanding of
patience and planetary connection
A Chinese-Lunar New Year reminds us that Spring is arriving energetically
In spite of probable peaks in snowfall accumulation . . .
Do you feel the seeds underground starting to think about waking up?
Time to bury your ideas in the ground and let the sunlight do its business . . .
So that they may organically blossom in the Spring
Turtles are older than dinosaurs and carry an ancient wisdom on their backs. If there are any spirit guides to help us open up to the idea of Karma, Turtle is a good role model. Karma can easily be understood as the law of cause and effect. If you are paying attention to the big picture, you start noticing how cause and effect impacts your life and then have ability to transcend it. Have you ever noticed that the more you hurry or try to expedite a process, the more your hurried pace slows you down in the long run? Through patience and compassion, we become equipped to harmonize with our conflicts. T’ai Chi is often practiced in slow motion. The idea behind this slow and meditative internal martial art is that if you practice it at a slow pace, you will be fast if and when the situation calls for fast action. When we slow down, observe the moments as they come without judgment and learn to be with what is. May we cultivate energy gradually and powerfully like water.
In my orientation, I came into this realm strongly aligned with the energy of Rabbit. I remember Grandmother taking me to see story hour at the local library in my Preschool years. I had a hard time understanding the story of the tortoise and the hare. But that makes sense to me now, especially because I was raised in a culture that did not teach us about opposites. We were taught that it’s either this, or that . . . just say no, just do it. Living in America was a sea full of mixed messages that mirrors growing up as a child in a psychotic household. Meditating on Turtle helps relax any pressures of the cultural river we might feel we are pushing against. Just knowing that these creatures are older than dinosaurs helps me appreciate a long range perspective. Rome wasn’t built in a day. All we really have is right now. Might as well take it in. If you need to, go within your shell to take refuge from the worries of the world, or you can come out of your shell and congregate with others. Knowing when to turn inward, and when to socialize is about knowing balance within yourself. Some people are naturally more monkish and hermit like, while others are more pod oriented, and thrive on others to feed them. Nature just reflects to us where we are at and what we need to work with. Let Turtle guide you in wise council.
Like many, I have been in a place of wishing the weather was different from what it was. After I was a child, back when enjoyed being outside regardless of climate, I started to internalize an adult-centric perspective about certain weather being preferable to others, namely complaints about the cold, dark and stormy, and the like. For many people, it doesn’t really matter – it’s too hot, bright, buggy, windy, the laundry list is endless. But for those of you who live in a northern climate, and really hate winter – knowing the half way point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox happens this month may help you appreciate that the sunlight is rising, and warmer temperatures are on their way. I remember being up in the Andean mountain range in South America, and the little Indigenous children were trying to sell us rotten berries for a buck or two. It was a sobering reflection for me to see such a pristine, natural habitat, and yet such abject poverty. Privileged first world people were traveling here to appreciate the natural riches of this land, and yet the Indigenous people who lived in this natural treasure were fighting for survival.
I remember some of my old football coaches telling us that we should play every down like it’s our last. It was a good metaphor for life. Like the Hopi say, we are in the 11th hour, and we are the one’s we have been waiting for. The time is now. We are at a point in our current experience that we have the power to make ourselves go extinct or awaken to a massive shift in our collective consciousness. The reality is that an old world is dying, while the trumpet of a new world sounds its call. Out of the ashes, a phoenix rises. May we become beacons of light in a world of darkness. Mindfulness isn’t a cure. It is a way of paying attention to the present moment, and noticing what it is, without getting sucked in to labels or judgment.
In Chinese Astrology, Tiger’s cycle of power is around the darkness of New Moons and the brightness of Full Moons. Specifically, this is the Year of the Tiger, according to the Chinese Lunar New Year. Unlike the Gregorian calendar that follows the Sun, the Chinese calendar follows the Moon. It is both a New Year and a New Moon on February 1, 2022.
According to ancestral legend, Tiger settled for third place in the Celestial Race, climbing out of the river believing he finished first, after the cunning Rat jumped the diligent Ox for the win. When the Buddha summoned all the animals for his first teachings, Tiger was among those creatures that showed up.
The energy of Tiger invites meditation on personal space. In general, Tiger people tend to have a strong sense of freedom, fiercely independent streak, keen sense of justice, and dream of changing the world. They are also notorious for being prideful, authoritative and self accepting. Because they have a tendency for being cute and charming, they might get away with some of their other traits like rebellion, challenging the status quo and breaking apart traditions, to the chagrin of the rule followers and protectors of conservatism.
Cats in general are nocturnal creatures that see effectively in the dark, thus representing the mystery of life. Humans can develop an attitude about cats because they do their own thing, like people that are considered free-spirited. I learned how to meditate from cats.
How can they be so relaxed, seemingly asleep and docile, and then immediately become alert, suddenly be on all fours and ready to take action?
Specifically, the spiritual energy of Tiger represents passion, power, devotion and sensuality. These areas can awaken within, especially during this year of the Tiger. New adventures can awaken new passion and power within your life.
Notice what happens to your sensitivity to touch. Sense awareness is an everyday part of mindfulness that you can breathe into the moments of your daily routine.
Human spiritual activists like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Thich Nhat Hanh were drawn to each other, influenced one another and developed a sacred bond. MLK Day is a national holiday in America and is celebrated on January 17. The Chinese New Year either falls in January or February, depending on the Moon cycle. February is Black History Month. Although these two spiritual leaders were known for their peaceful and non-violent practices, including Civil Disobedience for doing the right thing, they were considered radicals by the Establishment. King was assassinated for standing up against society’s injustices, while Hanh has spent most of his life living in exile from his native country of Viet Nam for challenging the status quo.
Meditation on the Sun and the Moon reveals the omnipresence of the Yin and Yang in Nature and how it reflects in our everyday lives.
Meditation on the Chinese symbol of the Yin and the Yang teaches us that balance is key. There will always be masculine in feminine, sun in moon, and light in dark.
Even in crisis, there is opportunity, as it says in the I-Ching.
Life is not without its darkness. In modern society, we have been taught to fear the dark, that darkness is bad or that the light is good. But this is not so because you cannot have the yang without the yin.
When you close your eyes to meditate, you are taking a step into primordial darkness, or the Womb of Life. Black is symbolic of creation, as is water.
Further movement into a New Aquarian Age supports both the identity of the individual and how they interact with the group consciousness. Diversity within Unity.
In American culture, Groundhog Day is a popularly celebrated holiday that takes place on February 2nd.
In this popular ritual, a groundhog comes out of hibernation for everyone to witness whether this creature will see its shadow or not. As the story goes, if the groundhog sees its shadow, then we will have to wait six more weeks till spring. Or if it doesn’t see his shadow, then spring will come early.
But long before that, our ancestors also honored this day as the Imbolc, or the approximate mid-point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.
Moreover, they also realized, that the Spring (Vernal) Equinox always happens on March 20th, and reflects equality between the light and dark. After that, masculine/yang/light energies will continue to rise till their climax on the Summer Solstice on June 20th, the longest day of sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere.
Regardless, the spiritual energy of Groundhog is significant at this time, as Groundhog symbolizes death without dying. Groundhog medicine reflects that the energy of Winter is a time to go into the dark, turn inward, slow down, rest and be quiet.
This shamanic process of alchemy is when we can transform who we are now (death of the old self) through rebirth of who we are becoming (without actually dying). The death of Winter can bring grieving of the old self, whilst the rebirth of Spring can awaken seeing from new visits.
When I think about stories of Buddhist monks who set themselves on fire in protest of the injustices of occupation, I think about the sacrificial lamb/savior complex remnants of the dying Pisces Age. We will need to let go of this tendency as we surrender to the transition into the new consciousness of the Aquarian Age. We can be light of Christ Consciousness without carrying the heavy burden of the Cross. The energy of surrender helps you focus on your heart and your feelings. Surrender is necessary to let go of old patterns that prevent you from opening up your heart. Surrender makes your fear vanish.
In a Karmic sense, we can experience reincarnation in this lifetime through deaths and rebirths during the natural cycle of the season. We can intentionally work out our karma by making connections between cause and effect, and even transcending it.
Meditation on Groundhog can help you with that.
Learning to think in the death and rebirth of moments can help stimulate this process. Remember to come back to the home of your breath.
In this early stage of a New Age and Paradigm, we are facing escalating crisis and intensifying chaos. All you have to do is look at the outer world events and turn within to and feel your awakening.
It is a process that is shines in the rays of Love and Truth. But it is also with its share of dark and stormy weather, which does not make for smooth sailing.
Trust in your personal authority, your inner royalty and stay in alignment with the power of your Higher Self.
In this year of the Tiger, call on this big cat to shed light on the darkness so that you can see effectively in the dark like a cat does. This is a powerful trait to adopt, as mystery is a hallmark of the Universe, especially in the early days of this New Aquarian Age.
Having a spiritual outlook on life and a regular mediation practice is critical and will help support you along your way.
A New Moon in Capricorn on January 2, 2022 inspires meditation on accepting that reasonable boundaries and rules actually do offer us freedom from things like worry and chaos. For example, setting goals for ourselves allows us to focus on what really matters.Following an internal path with commitment through the Sea Goat’s footsteps transcends the judgements of the audience, whether or not they boo you offstage or give you a thunderous applause in the theater of life. Remember that without that roaring laughter, there would be no Tao. Strategy is dependent on finding practical supports for self-sufficiency through enthusiastic transformative opportunities for solitude. A mighty will of oneness of the inward and outward reality reflects the Aquarian Age’s mantra of Diversity within Unity. We have our diverse expressions but we are also cut from the same cloth.
The Full Wolf Moon rises on Monday, January 17, 2022. The Western Abenaki Indigenous Peoples called this moon Greetings Moon, while the Ojibwe Native Americans called it the Spirit Moon. Our ancestors observed that wolves were more likely to be heard howling at this time. Wolf communication generally reflects defining territory, locating pack members, reinforcing social bonds, and coordinating hunting.
Artwork by Barbara Merlotti
Become the Full Wolf Moon by allowing Wolf to guide you
beneath your anger into your deeper and higher wise mind.
Yes, there was a time to howl in the night at the madness in the world.
The time is now to feed our Wise Wolf within,
whilst making friends with our angry inner wolves.
When Nature blows in the hot air of the Big Bad Wolf
There is no need to freeze dead in your tracks or tear
everything you see into tiny little pieces
Remember to picture the moon and breathe your spirited Wise Wolf into your being
Are you feeding your calm, peaceful wise wolf, or the
pouting/temper tantrum ways of your angry wolf?
Wolf guides us along the trails to balance
our own unique tracks with our kindred pack connection . . .
Do you remember when hungry wolf packs howled outside old tribal villages?
Humans, like wolves have a strong orientation of rugged individualism –
Coupled with a strong sense of pack family kinship
A passing Winter Solstice reveals an exit strategy for many souls
that leave behind Earth at this junction . . .
But their imprint lives on . . .
Wolves embody a delicate balance of authentic soul expression
with respect for the pack mentality
Our key connections to the Moon –
unlock hidden knowledge and wisdom
What is lurking beneath your conscious experience with reality?
Let Wolf awaken your own wise teacher within
May we learn to sit with Life’s unfolding mystery
Contemplate on your experiences with anger for a moment . . .
Are you feeding your inner wise wolf or the angry wolf?
Feel the fire of a wolf’s heartbeat . . .
Picture a Wolf to fully become the Moon –
Lay the tracks of change you want to see in your field of vision . . .
Lighten-up your energy field to see positive and constructive pathways ahead
Anger is a primal emotion that is an integral part of being human. Some of us do not go any further than our anger – constantly reacting to the ways of the world without reserve. Intimidation, aggression and even violence are a way of life. And it is easy to stop at justifying our anger by looking at someone or something else as the target of our problem. But Wolf can guide us into the deeper, hidden dens of our souls. Meditation is a process learning to self-reflect. Our emotions are part of being human. We are here to learn how to effectively integrate our emotions into our lives for authentic living. We still have a long way to go. But take a look at the Civil Rights movement and remember how Apartheid was driven out of American culture. Wolf government is inspiring to our developing New World because it is a complex hybrid of a hierarchical and socially democratic culture. Within this balanced system is a carefully woven tapestry of novelty, structure, consistency and predictability. By feeding the wise wolf teachings, we can learn to transform the energy of our anger and use it to take constructive action. Perhaps you get involved in politics to stand up for social justice. Or you could start meditating everyday to lead the sea of change by starting with yourself. It will have a ripple effect that will help heal the whole wide world and beyond. We are not victims to the dictates of the Universe. Rather, we are the Universe. And it is here to serve us as we serve it. Let Wolf show you the way.
The Law of Impermanence teaches us that everything changes in the naturalistic environment. Even in a sterile laboratory, or in a carbon copy, no snowflake is exactly the same, just as no scientific experiment is not without a subtle mutation. And we know from thermodynamics that energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Our modern culture, in its over identification and over emphasis of materialism – including being in our bodies, has left us with little regarding stories about death and dying, loss, letting go, etc. In many cases, the mystery of our experiences have been explained away and squelched. But the truth is, “the Lord works in mysterious ways.” Fixed ideas about the after life are no exception. The reality is, none of us really know all of what is going on, or where we are going, not really. We have been taught to be afraid of the dark, and be scared stiff of ghosts – of things that aren’t supposed to be real, or seem to lack rational/logical explanations. I have come to look forward to life, including its deaths and rebirths as surprise birthday parties. Like the box of chocolates metaphor depicted in the popular film Forrest Gump, you never really don’t know what you’re gonna get. Isn’t that what makes novel experiences grand – that you can’t really predict what will happen by a completely controlled design?
By imagining a world out in nature, you can get a feel for nurturing your natural need to support your own individual needs versus your need to be part of a group to support the needs of the collective whole. Human beings are part creature and part divine. As such, we all need to learn how to work together in social circles, as well as go back to our dens and be alone with ourselves by sitting with is going on inside our being.
There are old stories that our elders passed down from oral traditions that humans descended from wolves, and from the skies. Given that dogs have been called “man’s best friend,” metaphorically this makes sense. Humans, like dogs, have been genetically engineered in a variety of ways. Even our sciences have discovered that we all have stardust in our constitutions. And we also now know that we have the built-in capacity to change our DNA, but changing our thinking, our attitude, shifting our perspective, and our power to choose the meaning about how we experience reality.
Just because much of humanities experiences to date have been to a large degree unconscious and subconscious creations out of the shadow building of a men who know not what they do, does not mean that we are victims to circumstance. Part of the reason the elite few have stayed on top is that they have learned the secrets of how to manipulate and control the masses by tapping into primal desires, and also dividing and conquering by driving people to distraction. People who march to the beat of their own drum, question authority, and dream of a different world where everyone can win are lucid dreaming. The trick is to remain grounded in the reality we live, so that we can empower ourselves to remember that we are spiritual beings that live on this world, but are not of it. When you dig a little deeper, and tap into the kingdom of heaven within, you know the experience of inner peace. Happiness as a way of life is not without pain, and uncomfortable experiences or tension. Inner peace and experiencing happiness as a way of life is about leaning into the unwanted scenarios and exchanges, facing your fears about them head on, building up your tolerance for that, and coming to an acceptance, and even embracing any arriving imperfections.
We all have an inner genius within our being. The difference is that only a minority of people either believe it, or are even willing to entertain or imagine this possibility. I remember a time when I at least started to consider the idea of an inner genius as an intellectual possibility, and started focusing on it in my mind, and reading books that were spiritually instructive and inspirational in content. And I craved talking with people that were tapping into this kind of thinking. But like anything, you have to test it out for yourself, and be willing to move beyond the intellect, and into your heart, deeper into an intuitive understanding of just knowing. And you can’t do that without trust, and a leap of faith. Not blind faith of dogma, but a faith that makes the jump when you’re not really sure where it will take you in your consciousness. To do that, you need a callback to stay grounded in this reality. Wolf is good energy medicine for making friends with that.
Anger is a primal emotion, and I came into this world with a built in anger. I also had many experiences in my early years, and of course later in life that have made me angry. Whether it was not every knowing what it was like to have two parents living together, and taking care of me, my behavioral struggles in schools, heightened sensitivity to the moods and emotions of others, and then reacting to that by not knowing the difference between what was mine and what was theirs, or seeing people out there that seemed to either have it better or worse of than me. I remember when an older friend told me the truth about Santa Clause, and then another one told me about the truth about nuclear weapons. I was enraged at being lied to, and the hypocrisy of our species to be so intelligent on the one hand, but doing such stupid things with that intelligence on the other.
The wisdom of Wolf is to understand that we all have two wolves in our heads at any given moment. And they are always fighting. But it is the wolf that we choose to feed that wins. It’s akin to the saying that energy is energy . . . it’s what we do with it that counts. We can either work it in the positive or the negative. The choice is ours. Meditating on Wolf in the positive can help lead you in the right direction.
Spiritually, the energies of the Sagittarius New Moon on December 4th are inspirational for expanding our horizons and challenging our old beliefs systems. Sag’s free spirited and fiery personality characteristics, magnified by a solar eclipse has the potential to ignite radical changes in our perspectives, and chart new pathways of thought. It will be harder to stay stagnant, as movement towards breaking out of our comfort zones will feel natural and needed. It is as if the Universe is asking us to come to terms with our inner truth and take some risks for the sake of personal and collective growth.As bitter as this pandemic is to the taste, can you see how the virus has been pushing humanity further into the uncertainties and unknowns of a New Aquarian Age and Paradigm?
A Full Cold Moon sits on the horizon on December 18, 2021, followed by the Winter Solstice a few days later on the 21st. Like all full moons, this one goes by many names but this name traces its roots to Mohawk Indigenous Peoples. Here in Maine, the Indigenous Western Abenaki name is Winter Maker Moon. As many of you already know, the Winter Solstice is the darkest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Our ancestors noticed this phenomenon, and observed that Nature signaled a green light to begin coaxing back the light. It is a good time to venture yinward, go into deeper meditation, introspection, contemplation, rest, sleep and go into your cave for inner exploration and self discovery. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the opposite. It is their Summer Solstice, where the light reaches its zenith, and the amount of light in a day starts slowly waning thereafter. Conversely, this is a time to be more of a social butterfly, festive and outwardly expansive.
Artwork by Barbara Merlotti
Mountain Lion guides us toward a Full Cold Moon
with subtle leadership through gradual softness.
These are the coldest, darkest and longest nights of the year.
It is time to coax back the light, and look forward to brighter days,
as we climb the mountain toward energetic alignment again.
Our spirits can get cold after a long December . . .
But we can climb down into our souls, and connect in our hearts together
Picture a Mountain Lion to come down from the
mountain to live with the peeps in the valley.
Be a unique cat, and lead by example
Do you look to others to tell you about who you are?
Or are you finding out about what makes you your own person?
In a world full of loud leaders pounding their chests to be seen and heard . . .
Mountain Lion embodies a gentle roar quietly leading by example
But in authentic feline fashion, your leadership will probably go unnoticed by many
Know that your personal power makesyou a cool cat commanding the call of respect
A Full Cold Moon signifies the coldest, darkest and longest nights of the year –
Especially on the Winter Solstice, where the dark night of
feminine-yin energy reaches her energetic peak
Following that, we start coaxing back the light as the days slowly become longer
as the sunlight of masculine-yang energy gains momentum
On the opposite side of the same coin –
our friends in the Southern Hemisphere experience peak light as
masculine-yang reaching its zenith on the Summer Solstice
Now their days will slowly become shorter as movement into the dark grows in power
True power builds gradually like water
But the attached price-tag of responsibility need not make you hiss
Mountain Lion is king of playing situational football at its finest –
Know in your personal authority that you have the ability to effectively
adjust your game plan at any given moment and respond accordingly
Do you remember the power of our tribal African shamanic brothers and sisters?
Fly away and meditate on the elemental forces of water and darkness for a spell . . .
How many times have we feared our own primal, dark and feminine nature?
The power of the internal martial arts is cultivated gradually
A cumulative effect of simmering softness of feminine energy has risen again
Cats are curious creatures, and will take their time observing, watching, and exhibit stealth beforethey pounce onto a scene. Jurisprudence and the ability to delay gratification are dying traits that are critical to remember as we move forward in our personal and collective evolution.
In our modern world, we often think of power as a position of leadership that basks in the limelight. We often look for those in positions of leadership to the answers and solve our problems. Yes, we do need movers and shakers to share access to resources and do their part with the right intention. But we all have a natural humble leader on the inside. Like an ocean bowing to the rivers that flow into it, the energy of Mountain Lion is quiet, yet powerful spirit guide to tap into. In terms of a popular leader, the Dali Llama symbolizes this kind of power. He represents the wave of the future when it comes to an embodiment of egoless power and a good role model. This is the kind of power, though radical humility, that you can relax into by just knowing that it is there for you and society to share. But don’t go looking for awards, accolades or special recognition. Because this kind of cat is working in hidden shadowy caverns and crevasses more than out in broad daylight.
Slavery has arguably been with us since we humans were created. But there is nothing more degrading than working on command and living a life that you were not authentically meant to live. I think about our primal human nature, when our ancestors sat around fires, playing music, and spitting lyrical poetic prose to the beat of universal drums. This is part of our creative nature.
We live in a world that has programed us into buying into a membership has its privileges mentality, that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, etc. But a different kind of power does exist. In a New Aquarian Age Earth, we are awakening to a vibration and dimension that rises up from the kill or be kill, dog eat dog, social darwinism survival of the fittest cannibalism of the oppressive old world. Leadership doesn’t have to be a bullying top down, hierarchical system. Cats have a natural Tao-centered way of living. Yeah, cats are predators, and are capable of killing indiscriminately, often apparently just for the pleasure of toying with their prey. But when they are left alone, and allowed to be who they are, cats tend to take the path of least resistance, and are incredibly affectionate creatures with amazing psychic abilities, and a penchant for being present and still with their surroundings. Human beings are evolving into less like sheep, and more like cats. Might as well learn to understand what you might have once feared. Cats embody mystery, which merely reflects our deeply mysterious Universe. That isn’t so scary when you start embracing your dark, feminine, yin part of your nature. Paradoxically, there is lightening up of your energy field the more you relax your resistance to that truth.
Take care of yourselves everyone,
Check out this podcast version of this blog at the link below:
May the animal spirited grace of Swan inspire you to paddle with the current instead of fighting against the rapids of everyday life. Notice the flow of grand moments, and the intersection between the extraordinary in the ordinary, as well as the perfection within the imperfection. If only we can gently allow ourselves to let it go instead of trying to grasp onto it, whatever it is.
Sometimes, all you can do is sprawl out and surrender to the will of the Universe, and trust that its winds will guide you to where you need to go. We all know the curse of this pandemic, particularly on humanity’s plight. But the blessing is also the gift of surrender among our human kinfolk.
A Full Flower aka Sagittarius Moon arrives on May 26th 2021. Not coincidentally, it gets its name from an abundance of flowers that spring forth across North America. When I think of Sag, meditations of fiery energy, mixed with new philosophical ways of intuitive knowing resonates in my soul. Also, this Full Moon is the second consecutive supermoon, and biggest and brightest moon of the year. It is also a Total Lunar Eclipse, meaning that it is fully obscured by Earth’s shadow, giving the Moon a reddish hue, which is where the term blood moon comes from.
Moreover, please consider the following Sacred Geometrical Arcturian Wisdom, via the Third Wave Positive Self Talk Mantra: “The energy of the Third Wave makes you aware of your choice to be here on Earth. Accept who you are on this Earth, and your strength will increase.”
Artwork by Aunt Barbara Merlotti
I remember when Grandmother talked about being called “white trash”, during her formative years in St. Louis, growing up in abject poverty during The Depression. In fact, she never saw a dentist until she was 18 years old, when she walked in off the street with bleeding gums, and the kind folks at the dental office followed their “hippocratic oath” and did the right thing. In this day and age, it’s mind boggling that our current healthcare system, in the wealthiest nation of the world, can still be viewed by the Establishment as a privilege rather than an entitlement. In the American political scene, we can at least directly trace this old world attitude to the England’s Elizabethan Poor Law of the 1600s. If you would like to delve further, check out this link:
During her childhood and premarital adolescence, Grandmother was a member of what sociologist and Harvard professor William Julius Wilson many years later referred to as “the underclass”, in his book The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy. When I read his book in college, I learned also by experience that he accurately noted that this underclass was a growing epidemic in our world, as well as in the US. Grandmother being spoken to in a derogatory way was the kind of racial epithet that is analogous to prejoriative language to characterize someone who is LGBTQ or BIPOC. Negative self-talk is typically not regarded as helpful, but it is less so when it is spoken aloud, with an underlying edge especially. What is with the attitude about the poor and oppressed, that they are deserving of their suffering, should be controlled, and punished accordingly?
The old world, and the status quo of its power structures are being dismantled, white privilege and white supremacy notwithstanding. In fact, a growing number of white people, including white men are part of this shift in equanimity in consciousness that is of mutual aid to the goose and the gander. We are living in a time when there is too much information, and it does seem to be harder to discover the truth. It is as if we are being asked by the Universe to discover the truth on our own individual basis, which is part of honoring our diversity. The unity piece comes in where we can know a collective truth. To do this, it requires that we are open to relaxing our attachments to the mental boxes that we have bought into.
Race and class in America are nothing new. But even in this day and age, we still experience cultural denial that we have institutional structures in place that are barriers to personal freedom and liberty. For example, some of our “friends in Congress” are trapped in a “fake news” denial that we have a system in place that is rooted in class consciousness. Dr. King and others fully recognized that we have both intentional and unintentional consequences of discriminatory oppression of certain populations – both vis a vis legal laws and unwritten rules that are perceived as “that’s just the way it is”. It was never easy to move up the socioeconomic ladder. But Grandmother admitted to me that her movement into the Middle Class during the 50s was made easier for her to assimilate into because of the complexion of her skin tone, and white anglo Saxon protestant lineage, in spite of the culture of poverty that she was born into, and converting to Catholicism. If anyone could have chosen to stay in denial about her racial privilege as a coat of armor to hide behind, it would have been Grandmother. But she never forgot about where she came from, did what she could to help others like her get a leg up, and be a good role model for overcoming obstacles. Besides, demonizing the oppressor, whatever he or she looks like, is not the solution. Overthrowing the government or powers that be will only replace the same tyranny and corruption that you seek to dismantle. This is a cold hard fact of life that must be understood. The looting and rioting, militarization of the police, the education to prison pipeline, and bloated military that protects the stock exchange under the guise of puppet dictatorships of dirty energy is a recipe for a widening gap between the haves and have nots.
For example, I remember the cultural context of African American culture in America, during the time period called the Great Migration, when black folks sought personal freedom by risking their lives to escape from the oppressive Jim Crow South. Part of staying alive, and reinventing themselves into a new chapter in life, many secrets were kept to hide from the collective trauma of their shared experiences. A historical debate sprung up about where to focus on the advancement of black people. In the Booker T. Washington camp, blue collar jobs were seen as a way out of poverty and socioeconomic empowerment. Basically, the belief was that black people could get a leg up if they had access to blue collar jobs in the trade industry, production, manual labor, etc. Sadly, but understandably, the decimation of the manufacturing base and labor movement have reinforced the truth of this point to appreciate. Proponents of Dubois bought into the idea of the “talented tenth”, which posited that the focus for black progress would come from the upper echelon of African American society via assimilation into the college educated, white collar world. For those of you that recall the 70s TV show The Jeffersons or the 80s The Cosby Show, you can see comedic caricatures of these nuances play out in sitcom format. Today, the rise of the black middle class reinforces both perspectives, as both camps are true, on some level. The real division was in a segregated either/or mindset that mirrors how divided our country is today. So even in black culture, as in other BIPOC cultures, there are hierarchical structures in place of who is perceived as entitled to privilege, and who is not.
Check out this brief video on “Being 12: What Are You?”
In fact, people that identify as BIPOC and LGBTQ and know their history understand the experience of “passing.” For example, you might see yourself as black, but you could pass as white. Or if you are gay, you could pass as being straight by pretending to be, or a trans person could front as being “cisgender” or in gender alignment with the sex they were ascribed at birth. But at some point in the game, waking up to who you are, and being allowed to express yourself in your true colors is suffocating if you cannot pass as yourself. Meditation on this perspective can help build empathy for another who might walk in different shoes than you do. On the other side of the coin, there is peer pressure to identify as LGBTQ, even if you are not because it is becoming the hip or chic thing to do. In early adolescence particularly, this can be a form of attention seeking, and over reliance on peers for identity development.
Psychologically, Albert Bandura was a behaviorist and father of the social learning theory, as the primary medium of personality development in children. In short, role modeling, or monkey see, monkey do is how we humans learn. Abraham Maslow, on the other hand was known for his pyramid called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, with basic survival needs at the bottom and self-actualization at the top, and some other areas of personal growth in the middle. If you don’t have equal access to basic resources, or feel safe or a sense of community connection or belonging, then it’s hard to move into the area of self actualization. It can be done, but you have to work a lot harder. A more fair and just society is created when incentives are in place for “these truths to be self evident.” Of course a child that is raised in a loving home where they feel wanted and loved reinforces this natural belief to a soul that its inner light can awaken and shine through its form. We are all born into this world with a unique blueprint that is designed to love. Yes, we have different temperaments, and our personalities evolve during our life cycle. What matters is how we work with our core temperaments, and evolving personality characteristics. You can be born with an anxious-avoidant temperament, an insecure attachment with your primary caregiver, and without an athletic bone in your body. But you can still learn to relax, feel safe inside yourself, and take up athletic exercise for your own wellbeing. Who cares if you’re bursting with nervous woodland creature energy like a squirrel or never become a famous Olympian. Squirrels learn by imitating, like we humans do, and you can always go to your inner Olympian for building your athletic confidence.
An old friend sent me the article below that reinforces the figure above:
Additionally, many of you know that Ghandi, who gave up his privilege, stood up to the British Empire, and India’s Caste System at the time. Also, Siddhartha Gautama aka the Buddha, left his father’s empire that was set up to protect him from suffering, and then he subsequently gave up his privilege to awaken his inner light and know his Higher Self. There are risks inherent in living a life with purposeful attention that is in alignment with the living moment. To trade that for fame, fortune, and complacent personal contentment is a choice wrought with victimhood. That’s why the oppressor suffers just as much, if not more than the oppressed. It’s a heavy cross to carry when you defend the status quo of an oppressive regime. At the end of the day, it’s a lose-lose situation, even though the illusion shows winners and losers, and justification for that paradigm.
Furthermore, in the film The Trotsky, the main character plays the role of a High School Student who believes he is the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky, the late Russian revolutionary. In the film, this Canadian youth inspires his school peers in a way that moves beyond their boredom and apathy into the self evident truth that “school doesn’t have to suck”, and that student empowerment is a real possibility. In a nutshell, the students in the film move from being “sheeple” to empowered youth, in a prosocial power through legitimate means. You know, the only kind of power that is sustainable, vis a vis an externally inspired prompting but internally directed fruition.
Interestingly, some cultures have a common language and shared stories about reincarnation. Basically, the idea is that our souls are real and are recycled as part of its evolutionary process. While this process can be accelerated in a single lifetime, because of the way the established paradigm is right now, the precedent has been set up to take many lifetimes for a soul’s personal growth and transformation to take place. But the flowering of consciousness taking root on the planet right now is flipping the script on all that. Perhaps you lived as a member of a different gender or race in another lifetime. This could leave you feeling more empathic to the plight of the people who remind you of your old self, or it could paradoxically leave you feeling entitled today. Past Lives Matter. Do you have memories of your soul having experiences in another form(s)?
More importantly, a spiritual perspective that aligns with the human potential movement, and a generalist social work perspective understands that basic needs or equal access to concrete resources supports other areas of psychological growth and self-actualization. If human beings are encouraged to harness our strengths, recognize our blind spots, explore what we are passionate about, and what builds their resiliency, then before long they want to be an ally to support others in having this quality of life. Is this social engineering? Yeah, but only in a more mindful, meditative, positive self talk kind of light. Just imagine the possibilities without Berlin Walls, Glass Ceilings, Ethnic Cleansing, Weapons of Mass Destruction or fixed ideas that inhibit connections between new neuronal pathways. When we rework our DNA with “plasticity of the mind”, we open up to new ways of doing things, a relaxation of attachments to conventional boxes in cognition, and emotional reactions to our engrained repetitions. In this space, we observe a calming down of thought forms manifesting as verbal and physical escalations and behavioral traps respectively.
What is more, brain science reveals a false dichotomy” about trying to differentiate between the brain/body, in much the same way as we try to do between mental health and health. You can see this misunderstanding happen in the compartmentalized culture here in the US. The reason that meditation is good medicine is that it literally rewires the brain toward equilibrium so that we can respond to our emotions effectively. Daily practice is a general workout that exercises our social skills because the rehearsal pays off. Self awareness is knowing our triggers ahead of time. When we lean into our pain, and then shift our focus toward peaceful, calming thoughts and mindful breathing, we are putting the spotlight on our emotional centers in a positive way. Can you become more connected, in a way where you could tune into sensing a feeling a sense of ease or unease? For example, might you ask yourself some reflective questions like, am I needing to rest, take care of myself in a way that I haven’t, or am I congruent with my values at this moment? Personally, I like to think of the children’s story The Little Engine That Could for an inspirational friendly reminder. It helps me stay on track and not run out of steam, if you’ll pardon the pun.
Many of my students (and coworkers) have good “bullshit detectors.” As such, they know the difference between those that fake self confidence (we’ve all done it) versus those who have developed a “realistic self confidence.” And given that we humans have the ability for pretending, we can all learn to “fake it till we make it.” Along the way, we can see ourselves standing in our own personal authority by growing roots in the living moment.
But beyond a sense of entitlement, is a value attached to taking ownership for awakening our personal and collective power. This can happen through currency or any energetic exchange, like bartering. Reciprocity isn’t about the old egoic state of “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine” mentality. Rather, it is an evolutionary step into and coming from our Higher Selves that embodies win-win situations.
Be kind to your mind when recognizing that there have been abusive matriarchies in place in human history, where men were subjugated. Where do you think the fear of feminine, yin energy or woman’s power came from? Whether realized or not, men have been programmed, as we all have, to have a fear of feminine power, albeit the connection to this fear is often unrecognized and can play out in silly “facebook wars”, cyberbullying experiences, and in person interactions. Of course this also can occur in trans-racial and cross-cultural communication too. So it stands to reason that if suddenly, magically overnight the LGBTQ and BIPOC identified groups were to be in the majority and in control of the hierarchical power structure, we would not be living in a utopian shangri la. Keep in mind that was Hugh Heffner’s vision of the Playboy Mansion. You can see how sustainable that vision worked out, if you can appreciate the sarcasm.
Finally, in our Civil Rights Teamwork, our students often freely initiate conversations organically. Because we established guidelines early on, they rarely need to be redirected to follow “the rules” of maintaining communication that embodies dignity and respect. For example, in a recent meeting, they initiated a healthy conversation about their respective astrological signs. During that conversation, we had an animated discussion about how you can take 10 people from the same race, ethnicity, ancestry or cultural background, who all might look similar on the surface, but could all have different astrological signs, meaning diverse orientations intrinsically. Like personality characteristics that are unique to the individual, a person’s astrological sign reflects their uniqueness and diversity, on a deeper level. Yet we all share the common tapestry of our humanity. Diversity in Unity. Remember that we are all mostly water in form. But on a deeper level, we are formless, yet luminous, energetic beings. Recognition of this does not discount our diverse expressions of form. If anything, we should honor those differences, as well as highlight our unity.
Take care of yourselves everyone,
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