Monday, February 22, 2016

Full Moon in Virgo: Clearing the Decks

Gustav Klimt's Hygeia

Today we have a Full Moon in the mutable earth sign of Virgo, sign of purity. This is an important lunation, and we are called to attention, as it is the preparation for an intensely spiritual solar eclipse coming up on March 8. For the next two weeks, we are coaxed to tidy up our affairs. Little by little, we are asked to organize our minds, our living spaces, our paperwork, and even our bodies so that we can handle the changes speeding our way next month.

If we are ready, receptive, we will be able to benefit greatly from the coming cosmic download of the upcoming Pisces Solar Eclipse. Next month, our hearts our going to be stretched wider and we will be called to find more compassion, acceptance, and love than we knew was possible. Because it is an eclipse, something unexpected and life-changing is likely to occur in the area of life where Pisces falls in our charts. In some ways, it’s impossible to prepare for an eclipse. I believe that the real preparation is spiritual fitness.

We are entering a time of dissolving of the ego. Jupiter and the Moon’s North Node in Virgo are opposite the wounded healer Chiron at this lunation. With expansive Jupiter in town, whatever area of life is going to require more scrutiny, perseverance, discipline, and “hygienizing” is going to be inflated and seen as bigger.
As I was preparing to write this post, I had a dream in which I saw myself alongside the woman in Gustav Klimt’s famous painting (a favorite of mine), Hygeia, goddess of health. In mythology, Hygeia was the daughter of the god of medicine, Asclepius, and Epione, the goddess of soothing pain. Hygeia is depicted holding a large snake, symbol of healing and transformation. We humans are born with the capacity to tap into our inner gods and goddesses of healing in order to transform the body, the mind, and the spirit. If we pay attention to our dreams, to signs and symbols revealed to us in Nature and in our daily lives, we will be guided. Pay attention, and peace will be our reward.


And what does this week’s Full Moon in Virgo have to do with this? I contemplated this in yoga class this morning, as I worked hard to stay balanced and properly aligned in "Warrior Three" (Virabhadrasana III). Over the years, I've slowly improved in increasingly difficult asanas that force me to use awareness of breath, drishti (mental focus), and stamina. As those who have been practicing yoga for some time know, our time on the mat is preparing us for whatever life delivers off the mat.
Virabhadrasana III
We are less thrown and bowled over by the changes that are hurled our way. Even a tsunami can be endured when we stay centered in the calm “I” of the storm. If we have honed our rhythmic discipline – regular time on our Nature walks, regular yoga classes, regular meditation, regular sleep and rest, regular housecleaning – we will be able to recognize the love and healing that can come through when something eclipses our life. When surprising news, a death, a birth, a job change, a person entering or exiting our lives – has the potential to throw us off guard. We will be able to sense the gold hidden in the shadow.

Not only that, but we will be able to exemplify one of the truly Virgoan gifts: that of service. Service to self, and service to others. Your merits will be shared with people in your life at the perfect time.

This Full Moon is shining a light on the areas of our lives that we need to dust off, to clean up, before the next big wave of evolution washes over us. Take time over the next two weeks to clear the decks. Get your taxes done early. Do a mini detox cleanse. Haul a bag of old clothes to Good Will. Get your dental appointments taken care of. Recommit to a daily walk in Nature, or take a yoga class a few times a week. What is your sadhana (practice)? Get back into it.
It is going to be vitally important to feel at peace in your corporal self and your surroundings because, when eclipse season hits in March, we will need to be able to Let Go in a big way in order to float with the news that flies in through the window. When our inner and outer structures are more properly in place, the heart will feel safer to crack open. When the mother of all Big Events occurs, and the psyche knows that all systems are a-go, we can more easily allow the let-go.


Erin Reese is an author, spiritual guide, astrologer, and modern psychic reader based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She works with clients all over the world. For readings and spiritual counseling by Skype, phone or email, contact her directly. She can be reached at erin@erinreese.com.

Monday, February 8, 2016

New Moon in Aquarius: Who Are You?

Erin Reese (Photo: Alix Rauh)

Today we celebrate seed-planting time of the New Moon in the fixed water sign of Aquarius. Aquarius the Water Bearer is the sign of freedom, individuality, and emerging consciousness. It is time to reclaim our uniqueness, to boldly express Who We Are without shrinking.

Aquarius is both revolutionary and evolutionary in tone. Ask yourself, where do I need to initiate a mutiny in my life? Where do I need to bust a move, rattle a cage, break free from society's shackles? The time is now!

Remember, you can only be THAT which you cannot NOT be. Wrap your head around that double-negative, and you've cracked the code, split the atom, and unleashed the Power of the Universe - Aquarian style.

It's a glorious time of year - the stars are flooding us with light and insight, right and left. The cosmos is handing out consciousness boosts like candy! In fact, I'm so caught up in the effusive rays of awakening that I need to pull a rabbit out of my hat for this forecast. So I'm going to offer you, my dear readers, an Aquarian encore... a redux of one of my favorite Bindi Girl blog pieces from 2008.

This short story, original entitled "An Angel Appears," is a spiritual traveler's tale, unfolding just after the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 26, 2008. Our heroine encounters a hero on his own mythic quest... and their conversation exemplifies this energy of the New Moon.

Read on, and enjoy!

WHO ARE YOU?
"An Angel Appears"



Who are you?
Who who, who who?
I really wanna know…
~ Pete Townshend (The Who)

All I knew was: "I must leave today, today, TODAY for Mumbai!" Time to put aside the uncertainty. The concern and doubt. Pray for protection and peace. And go.

Ever since the tragedies of November 26 [the terrorist attacks on Bombay, 2008], I had been working sincerely on getting back in touch with pure, positive energy. With so much fear and negativity flying around, the only thing I COULD do to serve self and others was stay connected to my heart, to the Source.

After a good, solid week of spiritual solace, being in Nature, a lot of rest and eating right, it was time to return to my beloved Bombay – to pay my respects to the city that captured my heart, take care of a few items of necessary business, and – most importantly – to see my teacher.

Ramesh Balsekar and Erin Reese (Mumbai)
Apparently, my aging guruji Ramesh Balsekar had fallen ill; it appeared he may soon enter mahasamadhi (ultimate resting place). I recalled a story from the kirtan musician, Krishna Das, who had a vision that he should get back to India to see his guru, Neem Karoli Baba ("Maharaji"). Krishna Das was a bit caught up back in the world, in New York, and thus did not heed the call. Maharaji passed away before Krishna Das got to say goodbye face to face.

Needless to say, I had to get my butt back to Bombay. I didn't care that I'd have to take an 18-hour train, without reservation. The heart gives a strength from beyond. With, as per usual, too much stuff, too much luggage, I hauled myself up to the platform at the local railway station. I overheard a young French backpacker wearing a trรจs stylish red and black fedora discussing his upcoming overnight bus journey from Goa to Mumbai, as he could not get a train booked to Mumbai but had to catch a flight back to Europe.

"Heading home?" I asked.
"Yes, unfortunately!" he replied.
"That's OK, you'll be back."
"Mais oui!" the Frenchman agreed. "Absolutement."

I'd also noticed a bright and shiny young man perched between us and all my bags, but it wasn't until he turned to me and addressed me directly that I noticed he was a doppelganger of my former travel partner, Tim, with whom I had traversed India from September to December 2007. 

[This was most significant, in that approximately one year prior, Tim had played a pivotal part in my spiritual journey, culminating in my discovery of advaita – the path of non-duality that turned out to be what I had been seeking the past seven years in India… but did not know it until it looked me in the face on Thanksgiving Day 2007 when I met my spiritual teacher in Mumbai.]

With the exception of this golden-haired stranger's subtle lip piercing and lovely London accent, I felt I could have been speaking to my old friend. Now, this particular tall and muscular, blue-eyed, blonde Brit – Chris - turned to strike up a conversation with me on the railway platform. We chitchatted for a bit: how long I'd been in India, where I'd been, favorite places – the usual. Chris was particularly interested in hearing what it took for me to make the transition to living in India, material renouncement, the uncertainties of the future, and the guts it takes to follow your bliss.

Gorgeous, twenty-something Chris had been a professional dancer in London, working on music videos and stage shows before blowing out his knee last year. Absolutely clueless as to what he should do next and perhaps influenced by his Bikram Yoga teacher, he decided to come to India.
"I guess I was looking for some sort of epiphany here."

Chris was searching for The Answer to that all-pervading question hanging over the heads of young (and old) westerners everywhere:

"What should I do with my life?"

"Since this injury to my knee happened, and I can't dance professionally anymore, I gotta figure out what to do," explained Chris. "I've traveled all over India the past three months," he said, "and I still haven't got my epiphany. And I've only got four days left!"

In spite of my usual standard of keeping my opinion to myself (unless solicited), in this case, I couldn't help myself. A reaction flew out of my mouth:

"With all due respect," I began, "I have to say, I believe the reason you haven't got your answer, is that it's the wrong question…" My words drifted off, as I wasn't really expecting Chris to be interested in hearing my personal philosophical dribble.

"Really? Tell me more." Chris leaned toward me on our shared bench.

"Well, I just hear so many folks running in circles, chasing their tales, asking themselves what they should do with themselves. Honestly, have you ever known anyone to actually get an answer to that question?"

"Actually, no!" he answered. "That's true!"

"That's because the very question is non-resourceful." I continued, since he seemed interested, and our train was late anyway. "The very question, 'what should I do?' doesn't work, and only invites frustration and anxiety. It can't be answered. In my opinion, and, more importantly, my direct experience, we are NOT human DOINGS. We are human beings. If we identify ourselves with what we DO, it is a set-up for disappointment."

"Go on," encouraged Chris.

Since he seemed to know I wasn't proselytizing, I continued. "I have found that the better question is 'Who Am I?' Find out who you ARE. The true you is pure source energy, or Consciousness. That is the truth that is never changing. If we can get in touch with THAT, my experience is that the 'doing' takes care of itself. It is like Life, or Nature, is the real director, and we humans naturally do whatever Life has designed us to do as a natural expression of who we are, and we don't even have to think one iota about it."

"That totally makes sense!" Chris was really getting into it now. I could see it in his eyes. "It's… it's… ORGANIC."

"Exactly! That's the exact word for it." I couldn't believe these words were coming from my lips. I was talking in hushed tones so as not to attract attention from the other backpackers sitting nearby. Although I didn't care if they heard, I wasn't into sounding like a preacher. It was simply a conversation…

A conversation that simply happened. Naturally. Spontaneously.

Organically.

Now, Chris put two and two together, and made it clearer for both of us. "Ah, I see, so if we identify ourselves with what we DO, then if the thing we're doing doesn't work out, then we feel like it's US that has failed."

"Yes."

"And if we focus on who we ARE, we can't go wrong!"

"Yes."

"Wow." Chris looked directly and soulfully into my eyes. "I think I just got that epiphany."

A whistle blew. Our train was arriving on the platform.

As we gathered our bags, I happened to glimpse golden rays of light streaming between Chris and I. (Of course, I didn't tell HIM that; I do still know when to keep a few things to myself, though I can't resist telling you!)

It was at that moment, that fleeting phenomenon of bliss, that I realized that Chris was the real bearer of gifts. In that five-minute chat on the railway platform, this stranger had embodied the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…

Like a big, gorgeous mirror, smiling and waving right back, declaring loud and clear - just like that whistle-blowing train barreling into the station:

"Hellooooooo, Erin! You ARE on the right track."

No doubt, I was surrounded by angels, filled with traveling mercies, and fully protected.

And with that great boost of confidence and grace, I boarded the train bound for Mumbai, knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt, whatever happened, I would be fine.

Just fine.
No matter what.
With love,
~ Erin
 

"The very act of perceiving shows
you are not what you perceive.
You are the limitless being."
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That
 
[Praying+Buddhist+Temple+Malacca.JPG]
 
Erin Reese is an author, spiritual guide, astrologer, and modern psychic reader based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She works with clients all over the world. For readings and spiritual counseling by Skype, phone or email, contact her directly. She can be reached at erin@erinreese.com.