Yearly Archives - 2007

Starcodes horoscopes for week of December 28 – January 3

 

by Heather Roan Robbins

 

2007 ends in a quiet, thoughtful mood, while 2008 begins with a blast of fresh energy. The weekend’s milieu may be as warm and cozy as hot buttered rum in most daily interactions, with deeper changes simmering underneath.

 

Serious tones offer a chance to straighten things out with one another; it’s a healing time as long as we don’t make the mistake of thinking we know what’s good for others as Mercury sextiles Uranus. Review the year gone by but let go of what went wrong; Focus instead on what can be healed and fixed in the year ahead. Engage in analytical conversations with a quirky sense of humor.  Keep them solution oriented, health activities, healthy foods and exercise.

 

Political critique may scintillate, but let’s keep it off our beloveds It help to have something to do with one’s hands, to build, make or create,  put together the holiday presents as a project with the kids.

 

We’ve been in an intimate, introspective streak for the last few weeks as Venus in introverted Scorpio and Mars in more domestic Cancer, good for family depth and deep connections with family and old friends, though hard to be around people for too long. But the mood shifts early next week, the energy revs up and community comes alive. People drop their grudges given half a chance (though brand-new ones may brew soon) as Venus enters Sagittarius and Mars retrogrades into Gemini under a friendly Libra Moon.

 

New friendships spring up easily, though not all will last; enjoy the contacts and flirt away.  New Year’s Eve could be a blast.

 

But willful Mars, full of fresh energy and direction as an adolescent male, wanting decisive action whether it’s wise or not, opposes magnifying Jupiter and intense Pluto this week. Some argument, power juggling, or other crisis of will that percolated at the end of September reactivates now. Whatever we don’t resolve now will come back for the next chapter of work the first week of March. 

 

This aspect offers high energy with a short attention span. Just watch the safely factor. If there’re differing opinions as to where to go, make two short stops rather than argue, because new arguments erupt with surprising vigor if not much long-term rancor as Mars opposes Pluto. Engage in any wresting over power or territory with great care. But if we break the momentum, the fire goes out easily.

 

Mars –Pluto also asks us to contemplate what we truly want or feel called to do in the New Year, and asks us to put that resolution into action now.

 

Friday, Dec 28 brings a magnanimous if serious morning as the Virgo Moon conjuncts Saturn, trines Sun and Jupiter. Big issues can subsume more personal news. We move efficiently and kindly in the morning, but exercise discipline and boundaries midday; focus on personal behavior and leave theirs alone. Good for planning and journey-making, if subdued for holidaymaking.

 

Saturday, Dec 29 listen to a spontaneous streak this morning, but avoid long-term changes as Mercury sextiles unexpected Uranus. Conversation bubbles with possibilities and a bittersweet review as Venus semi-sextiles Pluto. If recent losses linger in our hearts, instead of bitterness, let it dedicate us to a better future.

 

Sunday, Dec 30 morning impatience clears with a whiff of fresh air as the Moon enters friendly Libra and Venus enters sociable, restless Sagittarius as Sun trines constructive Saturn. Cheerfully tactless evening could enliven any party.

 

Monday, Dec 31, get out and dance this New Year’s Eve as Mars retrogrades back into Gemini; good with the quick comebacks, though easily ticked off by being held emotionally responsible. Restlessness adds circus-like festivity to any celebration, but watch for undercurrents of old animosities or inattention accidents.  Be wild but be cool.

 

Tuesday, Jan 1 fuzzy thinking with or without a hangover as Mercury semi-sextiles Neptune can make our judgment questionable this morning. An urge to purge can make us clear out the closet for the New Year, just watch what’s thrown away as the Moon enters Scorpio. A serious streak needs careful direction; act rather than react.

 

Wednesday, Jan 2 decisive action as Mars opposes Pluto; potential for military maneuvers that will be regretted later, let’s not make the same mistake personally. Watch a mechanical problems or accidents prone in a hurry or under distraction. We feel rebellious about obligations or any oppressive-like behavior, but are capable of great concentration towards our goals. Be safe and be dynamic.

 

Thursday, Dec 3 is strategic; stay involved with ongoing decisions. Cheerful discontent can disjoint the day unless we pour it into longer-range plans. Later, our thinking narrows or focuses, depending upon our heart, as Mercury sesqui-squares Saturn.

 

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Slow Time: Recovering the Natural Rhythm of Life

Slow Time: Recovering the Natural Rhythm of Life
by Waverly Fitzgerald
Priestess of Swords Press, 2007
184 pps, $19.95

Three words for Waverly Fitzgerald’s Slow Time: Recovering the Natural Rhythms of Life: It’s about time! I say this not to just make bad puns, but as a long-time follower of Fitzgerald’s School of the Seasons, I had read about this, her upcoming book, for some time and eagerly awaited it.

It was worth the wait. Fitzgerald breaks the book up into twelve weeks of lessons, but one can easily read the whole book in a few sittings as her concepts about time are both fascinating and illuminating. The author offers a number of different calendar options and time logs that one can keep, from a daily journal to a seasonal graph. She even offers her own “creative calendar” where she creates a large collage of the twelve months ahead, using pictures and images that convey the goals of each month.

Realistically speaking, it turns out that most people simply try to pack in more into their schedule in one week than 168 hours can possibly hold. Fitzgerald discusses a number of techniques to resolve this issue, often citing other compelling sources she has come across. For example, the author suggests Barbara Sher’s (Wishcraft) idea of a “love showdown” where for one week you give up a half-hour activity that you do for others and replace it instead with something you love to do.

Fitzgerald has researched much about the body’s own rhythm in relationship to time, including circadian rhythms and also ultradian rhythms – a concept I had never heard of – which is like a clock within the body clock. I was pleased to find out that although eight hours of sleep was both optimum and necessary, one need not sleep eight hours straight through to achieve this. Blocks of sleep in four hours and another four hours are apparently perfectly acceptable, something this reviewer with a penchant for “pre-sleep naps” was happy to learn about.

The author stresses that her solutions to the challenge of keeping on a schedule are unique and any one reader’s experiences may be different. For example, Fitzgerald cites January as the “empty month” in her own life, one where not much happens and planning for the more active months later in the year occurs. For me, this structure would not be efficient as January is often the time of initiating new projects that just seem to manifest for me at the end of the year. And while autumn is the author’s favorite time for focused activity, for this reviewer, autumn is a time of review and letting go.

This book was a pleasure to read as it both entertained as well as encouraged me to reframe my constructs of time, and in fact I actually found time to read this amidst the busy holiday season, which speaks volumes about this book’s obvious appeal.

Review by Diane Saarinen

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Deep, Effective Change for a Better Life: the Six Stages

by Michael Lewin

Our lives can change for the better – we have to recognize this. We have to acknowledge, trust and work for this to achieve a deepening personal growth. A growth that can expand to benefit everyone.

Our lives can change for the better – we have to believe this. We have to think, feel and act on this otherwise we will just fall back and accept less than we could be. It’s a conscious, affirmative act of giving ourselves – of committing to a more enriching life.

Our lives can change for the better – we have to accept this. We have to nurture, nourish and embrace this idea. We have to draw on a self-confidence that tells us that we can become ‘ bigger ‘ than we are now. A self-assurance that can help us to exceed our personal boundaries, to encompass a better existence.

Risks are ever present in our quest for a better life – and that can be scary – but they are still present if we decide to hold back and become entrapped in fear. The life journey we take is our choice, very much a part of our own decision making process, so do we go for growth through self-empowerment and discovery or do we pull back to restriction and self-closure?

If we do decide to move forward (is there really a choice? ) it is likely – dependent on the magnitude of the change – that we will have to engage with a complex dynamic to achieve our goals. However, to help us on the way, to guide us on the journey, I would like to offer up six ‘ signposts ‘ that can contribute to our understanding of what is involved in achieving personal growth.

AWARENESS

Before we can proceed on the journey to secure a better future we must first be awake to the need for change. But this is never quite as automatic and self-evident as it may seem. Often we can become so embedded in the familiar patterns of our lives that we fail to recognize the presence of pain and discomfort – and hence the necessity to move on.

In Buddhism the road to liberation and salvation starts with the First Noble Truth -recognition of suffering (Dukkha). At times this recognition is a slow boil, a simmering experience that suggests that perhaps all is not well. At other times it can erupt with volcanic force to explode all over our hitherto calm and accepting lives, creating havoc.

Even if everything is apparently going well for us, and we feel settled and content, there will still be scope for improvements and adjustments – new roads to travel, new adventures to pursue in the quest to lead a full and nourishing life.

At their best, the forces of change may present us with a ‘ eureka moment, ‘ a creative insight that takes us to a wholly higher level of presence where we firmly and decisively arrive at a new way of looking at things. But in whatever way we may experience the ‘ tap on the shoulder ‘ of change, one certainty is assured, it will be working away in the background with or without our consent. So shouldn’t we trust the process, give of ourselves in the spirit of discovery – despite all our reservations and uncertainties – to see what may emerge?

PURIFICATION

Before we can fully cultivate the new we have to spend some time in clearing the ground of the old. We have to neutralize past impurities that could influence or damage fresh growth. We could describe this phase as the incubation period where we can reflect and open up our thought processes before we welcome the new.

To aid us at this time it is preferable to create a context of solitude and silence that could provide a seedbed for evaluating life change strategies.

During this period we may have to seek guidance and support, from wise counsel, on some of the deeper proposed changes we are contemplating so that we can reduce, and minimize the risk of any likely failure, hurt or harm.

Listening is also very much a part of this process. A listening that goes deeper than the surface chatter that keeps telling us that we are limited and fixed in what we can achieve. A listening that opens us up beyond the presence of the strongest doubts we have about our potential. And in this listening, this deep and affirmative listening we can start to gain confidence in, and recognition of our inner strengths and abilities that can turn our lives around.

Insights can surface in this mode of being; fresh ways of seeing that will guide us to a better future. They may not be detailed blueprints for precise action but they will offer up ways forward to escape from a previous impasse.

PLAN OF ACTION

After the muddy waters have cleared, and we have gained greater clarity of vision, we are in a position to start thinking about drawing up an action plan for proposed changes. It may very well be provisional, open to revision and alteration, but there is an imperative to engage, to set something down. The Bible states that: “ A people without a vision perish.” And so it is with the individual. If we lack a vision to realize, goals to achieve, then we are effectively holding ourselves back and missing out on opportunities for personal fulfillment. Our imaginative and creative energies need to be harnessed to some cause; otherwise they will dissipate and eventually die. This, we must never allow to happen. We all have within each and every one of us a huge potential for shaping and reshaping our lives so we must acknowledge this gift and never let it fade from sight.

Writing down positive affirmations, to support us through difficult periods, can be a good way of sustaining our enthusiasm and belief in the journey. Simple and direct, we can refer to them in order to stay focused and motivated. But a word of warning: they are no substitutes for action plans, which are pragmatically driven. Action plans that are: specific, goal orientated, set within time frames, open to evaluation and realistically achievable.

PASSION

A vital aspect of the process that keeps everything on track, fired up and sustainable over time, energy wise, is passion. A passion about the merits of what we are trying to achieve – a passion about our commitment and ability to work hard to secure our desired ends.

Passion is a heartfelt feeling, a ‘ promise ‘ to our selves (consciously realized or not) that we can effect positive change in our lives. Many people have dreams and inspirations but fail to realize their potential because, deep inside, they somehow lack the power of passion, the power of intent to bring them to fruition. Realistically and honestly assessing these personal qualities, for undertaking any particular task, is an essential prerequisite that avoids wasting our time and energy. It is pointless to start on some goal or objective we have in mind, if we know that we will never complete the task. This could undermine our self-confidence and self-esteem knowing that we have ‘ failed ‘ yet again. Better to revise our thinking about what we can sensibly complete, and stick with that. Success breeds success, so if we just take one step up the ladder, successfully, then the next step not only becomes easier, it becomes a welcoming necessity.

Without our full-hearted engagement, our passion and commitment, we can expect little by way of successful outcomes. We rarely ‘ drift ‘ automatically into any real success; it is only really ever achieved when we apply ourselves fully in a determined manner. And once we do, once we fully give of ourselves, authentically and true, the universe will step in to support us. But you have to take this on faith, confident enough to believe that it will happen, then you must go one stage further and try it……

REVIEW

In order to deliver long lasting, effective change we need to monitor progress throughout – make soundings to see that we are on course.

Blind adherence to any plan or objective, without any form of on-going evaluation, could lead to us into serious trouble. All plans have to be adjusted and modified in the light of ever-changing conditions. At best they are only provisional guides that help lead us to where we need to be they are never, per se, a final destination.

Over time our aspirations and ambitions – that were once absolute and rigidly fixed – can start to become fluid and no longer important to us so our plans and objectives, which grew out of them, must also change. We may need to talk things over with a close friend who understands what we are trying to achieve. Seeking a wise, second opinion is always of value if we are to maximize our efforts. Then, if the advice we receive is truthful and reliable we can consider changes; for it is easier to implement alterations in the early stages of our plans rather than pushing blindly ahead to goals that no longer inspire us.

PERSEVERANCE

Running along side all our efforts to keep on the right course, maintaining our goals, reviewing our progress, is the dynamic of perseverance. That quality of ‘ never say die ‘ which fuels us on the home straight and further – the extra mile. This vital ingredient, which resides in all of us will ensure our eventual success – believe that, feel that, know it to be fundamentally true. “ Victory,” as Napoleon said “ belongs to the persevering.”

The past is not the future, we must constantly remind ourselves of this. Each new moment presents us with new opportunities, fresh chances to start again. So do we continue to chose our old, personal history that brings the same, tired results or do we chose a different, brighter future?

Belief in our selves and our latent abilities, belief in a benign universe that will undoubtedly support our best efforts, is so important if we are to gather in a rich, full harvest. However if, even at this advanced stage, after all the planning and implementation, self doubt still creeps in then we should just ignore it. This is often when the inner voice screams loudest: “ I can’t do it! I can’t do it! “ But this is just the last, residue expression of fear before it dies to the new and we take a step into a more positive future.

The strength to overcome, to reshape our future, grows out of the struggle and as this struggle intensifies so does our ability to grapple with it. We have so much to give, so much to do, if only we can leave behind our self-limiting view and embrace our latent potentiality for future expansion.

“ When struggle is grasped, miracles are possible.”

Mao Zedong

GOOD FORTUNE…..

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Starcodes horoscopes for week of December 21 – 27, 2007

by Heather Roan Robbins

For those who celebrate, Happy Winter Solstice Dec 21 at 10:56 pm MST. At this time of year it’s traditional to go back to our roots and familiar cultural celebrations as the Sun enters Capricorn. It’s time to remember where we came from and be nurtured by our traditions. And take on the next layer of family karma-slogging.

There’s an extra level of holiday magic in the air this weekend as artistic Venus squares imaginative Neptune increases our sensitivity and decreases our realism. It adds a beautiful spiritual glow but we can naively romanticize whatever sits in our blind spots.

Misunderstandings, or our tendency to over-sentimentalize conditions, can be dangerously confusing. The road may still be treacherous even if moonlight glows across its sparkling surface, and the lovely creature at the bar may have heart just as cold. One person’s wafting holiday mindset can irritate others less patient as Mercury opposes Mars; this aspect picks up the pace and intensifies speech, makes us more impulsive, but can add an irritated, accident-prone edge unless we stay awake, aware and open hearted. Let’s safety enjoy the sparkling beauty and sentimental hearts, and prepare for a very busy week ahead.

This could be a pivotal week for some as one chapter complete and seeds of the next one are sown. The Sun, Mercury and Jupiter and Pluto all swirl around one another, and three out of four enter Capricorn (Pluto is a few weeks behind), which suggests a real change in temperature, a shift in agenda which will resonate a long time.

We feel the weight of what we owe the world as these planets shift into responsible Capricorn. Our work beckon, but not the usual busywork; Capricorn asks us what is our true profession, our Dharma, what do we owe the changing Earth and all sentient beings. In a minor form it can make us wonder if got the right holiday presents, or leave us distracted by worldly duties or the changes we’re contemplating.

Just before Christmas the Full Moon in deep-feeling, domestic, and sometimes crabby Cancer intensifies our family dynamics whether we’re with blood relatives or projecting old patterns onto total strangers. Under this Cancerian influence, it’s easy to long for an ideal, or expect too much our of our family. And, equally Cancerian, if we feel impossible expectations are heaped upon our heads, and know that we just can’t live up to their ideals, we may be tempted boycott the event and not even try. Remember that, too, weaves karma between.

It helps to reminisce together, but look at one another with fresh eyes; don’t waste time in old and difficult patterns as first Mercury, Sun, then Jupiter oppose Mars. If crankiness piles up, it can feel good to get physical, as in a long walk, not a fight. Look for an opening to have a real talk, not to dispense advice (so tempting in Capricorn season,) but a talk about what’s really going on as Mercury trines Saturn. If we can drop our expectations (and forgive them theirs), enjoy their company, and laugh with their eccentricities, it can be a very cozy time.

By the end of the week we’ve had enough with the family, now we want to tango with friends and strangers, and the stranger the better as the Moon heads into Leo. Macho Mars opposes Jupiter which makes for great debates and snow ball fight that just won’t quit. It turns up the volume on competition, assertion and, in worst cases aggression, just as a few Neptune aspects fuzz out our rational thinking. It’s a great time to be on an active vacation, a magical world between the worlds, where we can stretch our soul and our muscles, and not strain our relationships. Sibling rivalry or a fight for attention can send us to our least mature places if there are not enough outlets for healthy competition and exertion, but we can redirect it into a search for our personal best.

Friday, Dec 21 energy winds up as the day progresses and Moon enters Gemini while Venus sesqui-squares Mars. Don’t take disjointedness, or occasional social awkwardness, personally; appreciate a puppy -like enthusiasm in the air. If a serious note seeps into the conversation, our heart is more there than we may like to admit. A highly social evening can expand our community; reach out and connect.

Saturday, Dec 22 brings a dreamy morning though our judgment may be off; great conversation with an impatient, rushed edge midday. If a disagreement brews, check for misunderstandings or false assumptions but protect their pride in the process. Easy surface conversation glistens over deeper feelings. It’s tempting to long for an idealized reality, then become impatient with, and so miss, the beautiful flawed gift of this moment. This evening we can present our most potential-filled selves as the Sun conjuncts Jupiter.

Sunday, Dec 23 a moody morning could leave us tired or aching for missing warmth. Rest, take care of self and check in with the soul in the midst of seasonal buzz. The Full Moon at 6:15 pm MST can really stir up the heart; old emotional issues vibrate but we can make better choices. Do not enable bad family dynamics, but kindness to self can translate into compassion with others, and vise-versa. Tread carefully on territorial issues.

Monday, Dec 24 a dangerous impulsiveness and crankiness early on Christmas Eve as the Sun opposes Mars can move into coziness in the afternoon if we prioritize tenderness, comfort foods, and familiar people. Camaraderie matters, the details do not; relax and let go of the illusion of a perfect holiday. Extend a familial hand to those without home at the moment. A pleasant twist on old themes tonight as the Moon trines Uranus can help us release the past and honor this moment’s beauty.

Tuesday, Dec 25 respect traditions; history feeds our soul. The deeper the better, older than the grandparents if possible, as Saturn whispers to us of ancient wisdom. Enjoy serious and sane conversations, just avoid the temptation to tell others what to do (unless begged for advice) and don’t take it as an insult if others are not so restrained; it’s a natural, if not effective, outpouring of love under the aspects. Let go of the family and seek peers this evening as the Moon enters festive Leo.

Wednesday, Dec 26 Mars opposes Jupiter just as the Leo Moon brings out our gregarious and competitive nature; all the puppies want petting and all the children need praise, all countries want to be right. Redirect this into exploration and a contest with one’s personal best; boldly snowshoe where no one’s snow shoed before. Just hold the spiked eggnog before the adventure or the argument as an intoxicating Sun-Neptune semi-square can fuel misperceptions. Better to turn its glamour into great storytelling. We are loved in proportion to the attention we offer, not demand

Thursday, Dec 27 another morning between the worlds, let go of the plans and look for the adventure. Be consciously diplomatic this morning, kindness weaves a deeper unspoken connection. Avoid entertainingly true, but uselessly tactless, comments as Mercury semi-squares Venus. Artistic and technical work needs attention. Tonight, we ache for more, can take our work deeper or reevaluate our life with fresh eyes and a new sounding board. Let the conversation unfold without trying to fix their problems. Unwind; renew health as the Moon enters Virgo.

Visit Heather Roan Robbins’ Website

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