June Astrology For Us All; Finding A New Way To Love by Chani Nicholas

June Astrology For Us All; Finding A New Way To LoveIn her book All About Love; New Visions bell hooks explores and challenges our often-limited notions of Love.  One of her primary questions is; where is it?  As a nation we certainly have a difficult time speaking about any kind of love that isn’t sappy or overly romantic (and therefore delusional) and we have very few role models for the kind of strength of character it takes to truly Love as a daily practice. Love is not something we can read about or fantasize about in order to intact any real change.  Love as it is lacking today is a verb; it is in the doing and the be-ing of life. That is one of the many gifts I receive when practicing astrology and teaching Yoga, the modalities themselves lend me the lenses of compassion and understanding that my personality often neglects.  Most of our modern structures and systems are built to divide us, to alienate us and separate us from each other, from nature, from Love.
Venus the planet of Love, relationships, beauty, erotic energy, attraction and creative female power has been retrograde, and therefore encouraging us to review this terrain since May 15th.  On June 5th at 6:09 pm She will come in-between the earth and sun and will appear as a black dot making Her way across the face of the most luminous body in our solar system.  As the sun offers us light, warmth and life, what could this mean for Venus?  More importantly, what could this mean for us?  Ms. hooks writes, “Without justice there can be no love.”  This is an interesting mantra for Venus at the moment because her transit is so closely linked to the larger 2012 astrology that is responsible for the rise of so many of the current social justice movements.  There is obviously so little justice in the structures of the world today; our food supply being treated as a great science experiment by corporations, our rights to natural and alternative medicines are being stripped from us daily and our right to freedom is being radically reduced. And yet we do so little.  Perhaps because we are facing a massive recession, we are over worked and underpaid and in addition to it we are so far from living with Love at the center of our lives and communities. How much of our days, our time, our energy is applied in cultivating more Love in the world?
With a Lunar eclipse (June 4th at 4:04 am) mere hours before the transit of Venus to the sun we are having both of the visible female bodies of our solar system involved in some major cosmic dancing. Patriarchal consciousness teaches that love is a form of ownership and an issue of property, a business transaction between families depicting the female as commodity traded.  What does female consciousness have to say about the topic?  In matriarchal cultures monogamy isn’t a core cultural norm or belief, how odd than that these days we have this Bridezilla archetype of a woman so invested in becoming a wife that she looses all sense and heart.
Saturn and Venus both finish up their retrograde cycles by the end of the month, within two days of each other.  Saturn is also in its last months of Libra between now and October (not to happen again for another 30 years) rounding out the last two and a half years of it’s journey through this sign.  Libra, one of the signs connected to Venus, teaches us about relating through romance and also through justice.  I am always so grateful to those friends in my life that have a strong Libran signature in their chart, they have so much to teach me about connection and extending oneself to another.  Libran energy doesn’t hold itself back (that is Saturn and Capricorns domain); its M.O. is to initiate relationship.  Saturn here is exalted meaning it’s happy in this sign.  Saturn in Libra teaches us about developing all sides of ourselves (anima/animus in Jungian speak) in order to be able to be in a functional relationship.  Saturn brings meaning and a feeling of responsibility to whatever it touches.  Saturn’s last months in Libra has pushed gay marriage onto the presidential platform (with the help of Venus retrograde in Gemini, the sign of androgyny) asking us; what relationships have meaning and why?  Saturn defines space and creates boundaries and the culmination of this energy is demanding that as a nation we define what marriage really is.
In The End Of Manhood John Stoltenberg writes, “Justicebetween people is perhaps the most important connection people can have.” The only path to justice is a dedication to becoming conscious of how we affect others and an admission of our transgressions matched with an appropriate amends when applicable.  Saturn in Libra, and Venus being infused with solar power is pushing these topics to the forefront.  How can we use the freedom and power that we do have to become allies for those who do not? This societal review of justice in relationships extends to all of the people we are in relationships with and I include institutions here because Saturn rules them.  Therefore our relationship to the bank, the state, the police and the government apply.  Saturn is always asking us to claim our power and be our own authority, Libra always wants to do things with a loving style that promotes peace and balance.  How can we stand for Love, justice and equality?  In her book Making the Gods Work for You, Caroline Casey writes, “He who hesitates gets bossed!”  Let us not hesitate to Love, let us instead Love so fiercely, so deeply, so completely that there is no other reality but freedom and equality for all.Many blessings,
all art by http://www.kathleenkaller.comAries and Aries Rising

Your area of the body is the head.  Sometimes this relates to being hotheaded and certainly reflects the main sport of your mascot, the ram, locking horns and going to battle.  Another way to see this is that most of us are born head first, and since Aries is the first sign and the great initiator of the zodiac the expression “Head first” belongs to you.  I bring this up because this month it is your head, or more specifically your mind that is being re-arranged and rather than seeing this as an identity crisis of sorts I would encourage you to see this as an opportunity to use your intellect as you have never before.  Know the areas in which you have a weak perception of yourself or others and seek counsel from your trusted guides (in body or not).  Humankind doesn’t have the time to luxuriate in negative thinking, it’s lazy and slow and we are deep in the quickening of time.  We “mustn’t grumble”, as the English say and if you must, do it intensely, intently and intentionally as a form of exorcism and to gather appropriate data on the state of your Chicken Little brain.  Once disgruntlement is brought into the light of awareness swiftly move into gratitude.  Caroline Cassey calls this the “Hurumphitude Composter”.  Hurumphitude inhibits us from playing in the game of life, and if there is one thing that it’s time for you to do, it’s to get in the game of life and play ball.  Onward!

Taurus and Taurus Rising

Feel blessed and muster as much gratitude as you possibly can for every experience as of late that has illuminated any and all self-worth issues.  I know that this can be a tricky topic for you because you are inherently so confident, or at the very least that is what you are brilliant at projecting to the rest of us.  What is much more difficult for you to do is to let go, but this full moon eclipse on June 4th is asking you to do just that.  We cannot move forward with the weight of our past tied to our ankles, strapped to our backs or invisibly carried in our bodies.  Your self-worth is not determined by how many relationships you hold onto or how many people depend on you.  However the more you can help to empower others to be there own authority the more self-respect and love you will be able to cultivate for yourself.  Notice how letting go of your old values and out-dated beliefs around what role you play in your current relationships invokes a spontaneous sense of health and well-being.  In short you have out-grown who you thought you were and you are being asked to commit to stepping into the unknown in order to honor yourself.

Gemini and Gemini Rising

I have dreamt twice now of the astrological event on June 5th when Venus will conjunct the sun (visible from earth and an event that will never happen again in our life times).  In the first dream there was an experience of being divided into two (very Gemini) and then fused back together.  In the second, I dreamt of being filled with the light of the sun, infused with solar energy.  It feels to me that the first dream informs the second; sometimes we need the experience of separation in order to individuate, and only in an individuated state can we truly allow ourselves to be infused with new energy.  Last June was the beginning of this initiation for you and those of you born around June 4th or 5th (give or take a couple days) are right in the middle of your trip into the underworld, but don’t despair!  This is where the gold is if you can stay with the process.  Your only job for the first week of June is to ask to know what will set you free and then listen, deeply, for the answers.  There is a beautiful meditation that I encourage you to practice, here is a link to a version from Jack Kornfieldhttp://www.soundstrue.com/shop/Guided-Meditations-for-Self-Healing/3059.productdetails if this doesn’t resonate with you find a version that does.  Basically the meditation has you sit for a moment in a comfortable seat, finding your body and breath.  You then imagine a great healing temple, take time to see it, feel it, smell it and listen to the sounds of it.  Enter the temple and sit for a time, eventually the spirit of this temple will greet you, and you will greet it.  If you have a question you may ask it, if you have pain you may ask for help with it, anything you need help with you can bring it to this spirit and receive their healing powers.  When the session is complete you will know, give thanks to this being and know that you can come back anytime.

Cancer and Cancer Rising

There is an undeniable ceremonial nature to life that we have mostly forgotten about in the modern world.  Most things we do during the day are ritualistic in their nature.  We wake up and our routines take over, and mostly we mindlessly stumble through them. This month my homework for you is to add an intention to your everyday activities.  There is still much going on behind the scenes for you, you are integrating recently discovered talents and long lost skeletons, and my wish for you is that with the passing of everyday there is less emphasis on what you have lost and more emphasis on what you are secretly creating.  I suggest that you use the first three weeks of June to research yourself, go on a great expedition of self-discovery. Investigate your emotional and relationship lives, but approach it as a form of ritual.  Honoring the unseen elements of Spirit and Nature, ask for help and guidance in your quest.  Clean out closets as an offering to align with the universe and give yourself to the task paying attention to what emerges in the process.  There is a rebirth coming for you on the Summer Solstice (June 20th) and the time taken from now until then to do a little extra psychic housecleaning will be well worth the time spent.

Leo and Leo Rising

One of the many spontaneous eruptions of the Occupy movements that warm my heart are all the teaching communities that have sprung up at the base camps around the world.  Lecturers, poets, academics, artists, teachers of all professions (institutionalized and not) are actively engaging in trading knowledge.  What are emerging worldwide through this movement are teaching/learning communities.  Folks from all walks of life engaged in exchanging information from many different lineages of knowledge.  Of course on a broader scale the movement is the very articulation of bringing hidden information out into the public discourse in an act of solidarity for freedom.  From looking at your charts one question comes to mind for you this month, how are you actively engaging in your community?  On a deeper level the question is, how are you engaging your feelings about how you are engaging in community?  My advice to you this month is to suspend your beliefs about how you do or do not fit in and instead align yourself with the part of you that many traditions call the Witness.  Simply observe how you get in your own way in groups of friends, social gatherings and movements of any kind.  I say this because you are being infused with the light of your astronomical body, the sun, this month in that area of your chart.  Healing in this area may come from a woman, or from someone in touch with his or her feminine energy.  Focus on receiving in social situations rather than getting caught up in the tendency to perform.  Relax, you are loved and appreciated by the universe itself simply because you have incarnated.

Virgo and Virgo Rising

If you ever find yourself in Northern California, one of the most mind-altering journeys you can take is up to Sequoia National Park.  This park is home to five out of ten of the largest trees on the planet and to stand in their midst is a religious experience.  It’s also the home of the mighty General Sherman tree that is estimated to be 2,300-2,700 years of age.  When you stand under a tree like that and realize that not only has it stood through most of our known history, but it also comes from a seed smaller than the nail on your pinky finger it’s humbling to say the least.  There is magic in that seed, a potential so immense that it dwarfs most known possibilities and has the ability to withstand the tests of time.  This is the power that Virgo contains, the power that is contained in the seed.  It may not be bold or flashy, but it is not to be underestimated in it’s potential.  In your meditations this month I would like you to use this image of a giant Sequoia taking root in the area of your deepest calling, your true career.  In the coming months trust that the seed has been planted and hold the vision of those friendly giants, steadily reaching for the heavens rooted in a wide, interconnected and vast root system.  Your sign is famous for not seeing the forest for the trees, but this one I recommend paying attention to.

Libra and Libra Rising

This month your homework is to watch this wonderful little video of world-renowned yoga teacher Annie Carpenter speaking on Avidya (not seeing clearly or not having correct knowledge).  Click here to watch:http://youtu.be/vQdTzEvs5nU Basically your chart is speaking of a split in the mind, or a truth raising to the surface.  It isn’t always pleasant to experience where we have gone dim, where we have disconnected or disassociated, but it is necessary when walking a spiritual path. There is an adjustment that you are being asked to make and part of it may be about admitting where and when you get confused about your own aspirations.  Libra energy tends towards beauty and light, it strives for balance and sometimes balance has to come from the darker parts of us, especially if that is what we try to avoid.  Nothing in the universe is only light and to truly embrace Libra is to except both sides, now, in this moment and every moment hereafter.  As Annie suggests the teaching ask us to focus on what is everlasting, not on what is bound to decay.  Orient your mind to this ultimate source of knowledge and equality this month and be content with what is.

Scorpio and Scorpio Rising

“I don’t want my life to be defined by what is etched on a tombstone. I want it to be defined in what is etched in the lives and hearts of those I’ve touched.”― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

When having worked through fear of abandonment, betrayal or being devoured by another, there is no one, no one who does intimacy like Scorpio.  It’s your deal, your talent, and your place in which to shine.  True intimacy starts with ourselves, and practices like yoga, creating art, dance, singing or any other modality that brings you into direct relationship with yourself is an exercise of your talent.  Meditation of course is one of the most intimate practices we can engage, the simplicity of following our breath and continually placing our awareness there is the way we learn to put our focus on ourselves instead of wondering incessantly about what everyone else is doing or thinking about us.  Though this months big astrological events have to do with how you are intimate in your relationships, my reading is that none of that can be of any value until you develop a regular and consistent relationship with yourself.  This month I feel you have ample opportunity from the cosmos to align yourself with the angels of self-love and the guardians of compassion and with their help I encourage you to see the divinity in every life partner you have.  It doesn’t matter if the relationship is romantic in nature or not, it only matters that you practice seeing the God/dess, Divinity, Spirit in each person you are in contact with.  Try this and you will find that much of your anxiety and feelings of isolation is eased.

Sagittarius and Sagittarius Rising

I hate to be a broken record but who can argue with the planets?  The focus this month, especially early in the month is still on the self/other axis of your chart.  Relationship issues will most likely come to a head early in the month (if they need to) and if they are not conscious for you or your partner there can very well be eruptions that feel out of the blue, or dreams that inform you about what material is lurking beneath the surface.   This in no way has to be a negative realization; it could be a deeply intimate and loving exchange between partners or a melting of usual boundaries.  However there are indications in your chart that you feel polarized by your own personal desires and the desires of your mate, lover, partner or any person you are in an intimate relationship with.  If that rings true for you I say use it!  The universe is conspiring to get you to admit what it is you really want and need from life right now and I suggest listening to yourself especially if you think a desire may cause strife in one of your relationships.  This may just be a pre-conceived notion that holds you back and instead of being held hostage to your past patterns use these first two weeks of June to explore new ways of being you.  The June 4th eclipse of the moon is in your sign and it’s not always an easy transit to experience.  Often we bear witness to a part of ourselves that we have been ignorant to so be extra cautious and sensitive to your needs and desires.

Capricorn and Capricorn Rising

I am very excited to see what comes to fruition for you this month in the workplace.  The first couple of weeks of June are invigorating to your daily routines and work life.  Make doing little tasks and the details of the day sacred, honor the small steps and the pieces of the process.  The Goddess of Love and Wealth, Venus, is conjuncting or being infused with the suns rays on June 5th in your 6th house of work and service.  Goddesses, as one of my teachers told me, loves to be sung to, they love to be honored and remembered.  Your work place is your temple this month; so let that be reflected in your physical space.  Make your desk into an altar/altered spaced, get your car washed and play inspiring music on the way to work, honor your computer by smudging it and even if subtle, dress as though you are going to meet the divine when going to work.  Later this month your planet, Saturn, turns direct after being retrograde since early February.  Saturn has been in your solar tenth house of career and true vocation, and this retrograde period has slowed things down in the workplace, but on a deeper level Saturn has been asking you if you are on the right track.  This transit denotes an accumulation of experiences and if you are in alignment you are experiencing a certain amount of esteem for the work that you have accomplished.  From this place you can see where it is you need to go next, and these past months have been a sort of double-checking of your intentions.  You are preparing to move forward, but before you get there, honor the present and the details here.

Aquarius and Aquarius Rising

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” ~ Edgar Degas

There is something about your perception of the world around you that is changing and I want you to pay close attention to the qualities of that shift of consciousness.  Your art, whatever modality it may be in, is a key point to integrating the energies of the transits early in June.  When I say art, I include romantic encounters and lovemaking in general.  A horoscope is written for one twelfth of the population and therefore it has to be open to interpretation for many, but this month your tribe needs to express something deep within its soul.  If you feel that you aren’t artistic than in some way feed those sensibilities with other peoples creations, but pay close attention to where it brings your imagination and let your mind dream about the possibility of creating works yourself.  Our artistic expressions, no matter how rudimentary afford us the opportunity to experience the subtler parts of our personality.  Art doesn’t lie, even when we try to.  We cannot hide behind our creations as everything we make exposes us in ways our ego won’t allow.

Pisces and Pisces Rising

“All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret.”
― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, Gabriel García Márquez: a Life

Astrologer Lynn Bell explains mutable signs (of which you are one) as “the movement between things”.  Pisces moves “between things” the most.  Its glyph is two fishes moving in opposing directions, one swimming with the current and one swimming against it.  Your movement this month is within, and this turning in of psychic energies is essential for your mental, emotional and spiritual well being.  Mutable signs disperse energy so that a new cycle may eventually begin, and this is a crucial and often misunderstood part of the process of life.  We cannot always be on top, starting or sustaining, we cannot always be in the light of day.  The full moon eclipse on June fourth will happen in your tenth house of career and lime light and the very next day the transit of Venus across the sun is happening in your fourth house, which is to say the interior of your being.  So even though it seems as though events are pulling you out into the world early in the month, trust your gut to then swim against the popular current of extroversion and allow yourself respite in your private and secret life, for it is here that the real action happens this month.

My Love Affair With Yoga: How Yoga is Like a Long Term Relationship

Yoga and  I  are in a long-term relationship. It is one that I am continually finding new reasons to fall in love over, and over and over again! It’s spicy! I love that it isn’t just down dog and warrior two. Even if those may have been the reasons I fell in love with it in the first place.

No, it’s mysterious. Dangerous! Even more than a hint naughty!

Just when things are threatening to get a bit stale, it surprises me. Sometimes it’s a nuance in the way to place my hands on my mat. Other times, it’s floating into scorpion handstand from the back of my mat. It keeps my interest piqued and coming back for more.

Oh sure, there are days I am so frustrated I want to swear it off all together! We have our fights. No relationship is entirely drama free. I don’t always get my way. I pout. I lay blame where it doesn’t belong. It’s the poses fault I can’t do them. Perhaps I’ll just ignore certain poses as a way of “getting back at them”. Of course we make up and I realize it’s not anyones fault. Relationships are just hard work. Gaining deeper understanding requires a lot of work, time and patience. Patience I don’t always have. It also provides a mirror. One I don’t always want to look into.

Yoga often offers me well meaning yet unsolicited advice. I sometimes feel its being bossy. I don’t appreciate being told what to do. I’m not proud to say that I ignored a lot of it on good days. On bad days, I even did things out of spite! (Oh, I should take it easy today you say?! Well, maybe I will practice twice today….take that! I can do whatever I well please!) I usually come around and realize that yoga does really have my back and is just trying to look out for me. I feel lucky to have it in my life. It seems to know what I need before I do. It brings to my attention that which I would otherwise miss.

However, regardless of the hard work, the ups and downs, and disagreements nothing soothes me like those first few ujjayi breaths in down dog. I am suddenly home. This is love.

What Happens? ~ A Love Poem by Hafiz

lovers holding handsWhat Happens?

What happens when your soul

Begins to awaken

Your eyes

And your heart

And the cells of your body

To the great Journey of Love?

First there is wonderful laughter

And probably precious tears

And a hundred sweet promises

And those heroic vows

No one can ever keep.

But still God is delighted and amused

You once tried to be a saint.

What happens when your soul

Begins to awake in this world

To our deep need to love

And serve the Friend?

O the Beloved

Will send you

One of His wonderful, wild companions ~

Like Hafiz.

~ Hafiz