Thursday, August 26, 2010

Erin Reese’s Top Ten Berlin

Bold Berlin, cultural and political center of Germany, is my Euro-home and base for the “Dreiecke” (triangle) of nations in which I find myself moving about on the planet.

As my heart desires and the weather requires, I bop back and forth between Europe, India, and the U.S. After having spent the better part of four years in subtropical climes, I have thin skin and have developed sheer Angst toward cold. I run from plummeting temperatures. Frankly, I flee. When the thermometer wavers around 15 degrees C, it’s “Get me back to India, I decree!”

But in the warmer summer months, now in Olde Europa, I can break out the short skirts and t-shirts. When the sun’s out, I smile, hop on the bike, and explore and enjoy Germany’s cosmopolitan capital. Eine Amerikanerin in Berlin.

For visitors to Germany who are keen on moving beyond the beer garden, polka und kitsch Romantic Road route, consider the following “Top Ten Berlin” highlights von your Travel and Soul Writer – mein Liebsten discoveries of die deutsche Haupstadt.

I’m quite certain you won’t find half of these in any guidebook.

1. The smell of the subway (U-Bahn)

Yes, smell. Though I am usually found above-ground, riding the bike around, there is a completely unique odor to the Berlin U-Bahn (Underground subway) system. The scent stirs up tremendous associations through the emotional memory of the olfactory, this unique mix of grime, grease, sweat, steel, and pulsing humanity. I’ve never experienced anything like it. The scent waves waft up through the street grates – odiferous gusts of Monroe dress-blowing wind.

Immediately upon receiving an inadvertent blast up the nose, I am plunged back into the first years after the Berlin Wall fell, in the early 1990’s. Freshly-reunited Berlin had an aura of Mad Max Meets Past – the real Wild East. The smell of the U-Bahn conjures up the open frontier of the newly-accessible former Communist East beyond the Wall, with twisted tango nights under the moonlight, illegal squats, and bizarre prostitutes. The U-Bahn was a cultural necessity, a part of ‘getting there.’

Loud beats and house music, Love Parade, a new bar in a former fruit and vegetable stand. All-night parties, discos opening at 6 a.m. to clubbers. Funky gallery openings and entire buildings turned inside out into art installations. All of these were accessed via a night ride on the U-Bahn.

2. Fernsehturm – Television Tower

This spacy, shiny, towering disco ball is a perfect geographical reference point in the city. When you spot the silvery, ominous orb, Berlin’s tallest structure and the fourth highest in Europe, you always know in which direction and how far you are from Alexanderplatz.

When I took German in school studied a bit of deutsche Kultur, my teacher referred to the Fernsehturm as “The Pope’s Revenge.” Why would it have such a funny name?

First, you must understand that the Communists prided the Fernsehturm and promoted its presence to East Berlin residents as a sort of highlight of modernity – as long as the imprisoned citizens had their eye on the glamorous TV Tower – sexy, shining, gleaming and symbolic of ‘the future’ – well, then, they wouldn’t feel like rebelling or wall-jumping, would they? They had TV and they had a symbol of the future – all they needed.

As you know, the Communists destroyed many aspects of church and spirituality, labeling religion as “weak.” The Fernsehturm became “The Pope’s Revenge,” because when the sun shines on the big disco ball at just the right angle, it creates a perfect illuminated cross. East Berliners, deprived of freedom and soul, could look up on sunny days and be reminded, deep in their hearts, that religion and Christ (for those who still believed) were still very much alive despite Communism’s attempt to bury them.

3. Tiergarten

The “Golden Gate Park” or “Central Park” of Berlin, the Tiergarten is a huge expanse of nature in the middle of the city (630 invaluable green acres) with running, walking, and biking trails, lakes and trees galore. Breathe deep – ah – and inhale via the lungs of the city center at this former game reserve.

4. Falafel

Found at any most any streetcorner in the small cafés known as “Döner Kebab.” Berlin is the largest Turkish city outside of Turkey. And the Turks know falafel, schwarma, and all that’s fit to stuff inside a pita. Cheap and best.

5. Strolling Down Huge Broad Boulevards and Vast Skies with Big Puffy White Clouds

Verboten (forbidden), I walk like an Indian milking cow directly in the streets of Berlin. Strolling down the middle of the grand boulevards is such a delight.

See, coming from India – we simply don’t understand sidewalks. There is so much more space in the middle of the street – why not walk there? The cars can easily swerve around to miss us. We get a much better view of the sky, the horizon. And, in the middle of the big road, there’s no one to compete with for room, right?

I also have to remind myself to stay stopped at the red light. Just today, in fact, a scowling Frau yelled at me, “Rot!!” when I scooted past the crossing when the light had just turned red, to which I replied, “Es ist keine Katastrophe.”

Ach, the rule-bearing nation. Everything functions perfectly. Which is nice. Except when when you’re waiting for the light to change with no car for kilometers in sight and it’s perfectly safe to take my life into my own hands and cross the damned street. Like an Indian. (Traffic light? What’s that?)

6. German Brot (Bread)

Fantastisch for the palate, Scheisse for my waistline. What to do? Enjoy. We don’t get bakers’ delights like this in India by any stretch of the imagination. When you’re completely burnt on chapatti and naan, it’s hard to resist. Kartoffelbrot, Sonnenblumenbrot, Bauerbrot. German bread is the best. Load it with Tomaten, Senf (mustard) and a chunk of Käse (cheese) and you’ve got a cheap eat picnic to drool for.

7. Birkenstocks

Oh… my… God… I have never known tootsies to be so happy. My first pair of Birkenstocks after all these years walking, walking, walking. It’s as if my feet have discovered arches for the first time. I’ve never felt so held in a pair of shoes. Not only that, but Birks are cheaper here in Germany where they are manufactured - almost half the U.S. price.

I highly recommend every man, woman, and child to try a pair. I know now why they are considered “hippie shoes.” Clearly, it is because there would absolutely be World Peace if every one wore them. We’d all be so comfortable, we’d never fight.

The first few weeks of my Birk-ownership, I actually couldn’t wait to go on a walk for any reason, just to feel the mini-orgasmic squeals of delight my feet would emit at every step. Who cares if you’re lookin’ Crunchy Granola Feet on the street when you're so darn happy?

8. Bicycle Bonanza

Berlin is all about the bike – when it’s not raining or snowing. Totally flat, with a bike-friendly awareness of car drivers – there’s no better way to get around the city, to a park, to a lake, to work. You can lug the bike on the subway or the S-bahn, no problem. Stay fit, save money, be happy.

Most every day I cycle symbolically back and forth between my central Mitte neighborhood located in the former East to the former West, crossing over the River Spree and over the rubble of the ruined Wall, and back again.

Berlin has been a terrific transition from the wild east of India, to the modern west. It’s a perfect, slow, symbolic reintegration, and a necessary one at that. I’ve found over the years that the ‘in your face’ and fast pace of Americana is a rough reentry. Berlin is a great buffer, and getting around on the bike is the way to love it.

9. Free Art!

Every Thursday night, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., Berlin’s best museums are FREE. This is a huge savings as the entry fee is usually about $15-20.00. I’ve soaked in the sights of western masters – quality art-food for my eyes, eyes that have only feasted on temples, gods and goddesses of Hinduism over the past years in India.

My favorite Berlin museum is the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) of modern paintings and sculpture, with works from approximately 1900-1945. Breathtaking. I turned the corner to come upon the wood carving of Max Ernst’s sculpture, “Capricorn” (see image) and literally let out a loud, spontaneous guffaw of awe.

I love masterful modern art!

10. The Reichstag (Bundestag) and Cupola Dome – German Federal Parliament & National Capitol Building

Chock full of world-changing moments, this mammoth structure is more than the national capitol. It is an historic landmark.

On Tuesdays at 12 noon, there is a free English lecture and Q&A session in the actual chambers of Parliament – super! And, as a reward for attending poly-sci class and observing Ms. Merkel’s stomping grounds, you get to bypass standing in the usual 2-hr Schlange ("snake" - that’s German for ‘queue’) to visit the modern, transparent Cupola dome at the top of the Bundestag.

The controversial Cupola was designed by renowned British architect, Lord Norman Foster and was completed in 1999. Many felt the modern glass dome detracted from the historical tone of the Reichstag building; however, in the end, it was decided that Germany needed a new image for its main government building – that of embracing the future, seeing clearly, and – perhaps most importantly – a symbol of transparency, so that the public would always have access to the proceedings of decision-makers inside parliament.

No secrets – that is the intended message.

The Roof Terrace of the Reichstag boasts panoramic views of all of Berlin. Take a spin around and see all the monuments, landmarks and highlights of Germany’s capital. There’s even a free audio-guide tour for every visitor in every language. The ecological consciousness with which Lord Foster designed the cupola is touching.

My favorite aspect of the Bundestag cupola is the totally open dome – welcoming the rain, snow, fresh air, starlight and white puffy clouds. One feels they could fly to heaven out the top of the national dome – open, light and liberated. Perhaps that is how politics could be.

Chapeaux! to Lord Foster.

BONUS: Take a Little Trip with Me...

Now, turn up your sound, sit back, relax, and take a virtual trip via my mini-film, "Wanderlust am Bundestag,” and enjoy the Reichstag terrace, cupola, and Foster's architecture right here.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tarot and Astrology Worldwide

Watch this NEW live clip to see Erin Reese, Intuitive Consultant giving a Tarot reading via Skype. Now available for appointment via phone, Skype, or email. Click here to watch full size on Erin's YouTube channel.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Revealing the Soul's Intelligence

Ursula Kirti Grimm’s unique soul-level work goes far beyond traditional psychotherapy methods. In fact, Kirti works from a different dimension entirely. She is a soul therapist, guiding clients through the process of releasing traumas and blocks that prohibit expression of our most authentic, soul-connected qualities. Her work with clients combines a non-dual approach along with the Family Constellation work of Bert Hellinger and bioenergetic mind-body therapy.

Kirti and I met in South India through a shared connection to advaita (non-duality). Over several conversations with Kirti, I learned the importance of bringing ever-deeper awareness to one’s personal history, even after one has plunged into the heart of Self-realization.

In Kirti Grimm’s unique approach to psychotherapy, it is the soul that knows exactly what is needed in any circumstance.

Erin Reese:
Kirti, since I’ve met you, I’ve been fascinated by the particular approach you have to psychotherapy – that of clearing a person’s entire energy field of traumas from generations, in order to allow one’s soul to reveal itself and express itself. It is as if you are going into the Matrix and healing one’s very history.

Kirti Grimm: Yes, an ‘individual’ is simply a collection of experiences. Without going into the field of experiences to see what is there, what is happening, and clearing the blocks, these experiences continue to play over and over again, like a cassette tape, repeating themselves through automatic actions and reactions. Without awareness, the tape keeps rolling and we continue to experience suffering. One’s soul, the true nature, is not able to express itself unless the blocks are cleared.

ER: What are these blocks?

KG: The blocks are traumatic events that have occurred in a person’s history and make up the constitution of you as an individual collection of genes and experiences. These circumstances – events, personalities, dramas, situations, relationships between people – repeat themselves again and again in the family structure throughout generations, causing real suffering in this present daily life. An individual who is exhausted from this suffering may eventually come to me for assistance in clearing the blocks.

ER: It sounds like cleaning a house.

KG: Yes, it’s exactly like that! If you have a dirty house filled with clutter and garbage, you have to clean it with awareness. Otherwise, the fresh soul energy will not come in and the situation or pattern will not change!

ER: Can you give us an example?

KG: Sure, let’s take a person who continues to experience one failed partnership after the next – conflicts, heartbreak, sadness in relationships. This person has undergone years of therapy, self-examination, and so on and so on. Perhaps she has tried to change her external behavior and has met with some success, yet every time she comes into contact with a man with the possibility of starting a relationship, there is quickly suffering and things fall apart. This is due to the field she carries with her from one generation to the next. Until she goes deep into this energy field – the collection of experiences – to see what actually happened in her family history beyond the current generation, the trauma will repeat itself and she will continue to have unhappy relationships with men.

ER: Is that karma?

KG: Yes, it is karma. But make no mistake: it is not only personal karma we are talking about. It is not as if you did something bad to someone in a past life, and now that person is taking revenge on you. It is much bigger than this. It is a collective karma of happenings amongst individuals and over several generations. It is in this field that we must observe what happened and therefore unravel the knots that affect us in this present.

Another important part is what happened during conception, pregnancy, and very early childhood, the relationship between the individual and the parents in this present life. That part of the client’s history has to be closely examined as well.

ER: I see, so what’s happening now is simply a reflection of what happened then?

KG: Exactly. You see, if we take one traumatic event in a client’s life, and we go into the field, there we will find a whole generational family structure – a field of partners, jobs, money, sexuality, abuse, death, war, abandonment and so forth. It goes far beyond just what seems to be happening today. That is just what’s happening on the surface of the field.

ER: Okay, so let’s say I enter this ‘field’ with you as my guide. Is that what happens? Are you accompanying me so I can look safely? Because it seems I wouldn’t want to enter these fields alone.

KG: Exactly. The therapist is holding the space in the field of the trauma.

ER: What’s next after we see the situation in the generations and in early childhood as it actually happened? Am I better? Can I go forward into a happy life without this old pattern repeating itself?

KG: That is really up to the intelligence of the soul. We are only freeing the field so that the soul is able to express itself. This is a process that varies from person to person. Usually, it takes a long time. That is why I generally work with clients that are truly committed to the work over a period of time.

ER: How would one know that the process is working?

KG: Some change may happen after a series of sessions, giving the individual relief. Relationships may begin to shift and the daily life begins to change, all without any external “doing” or “effort” from the individual. This is the soul’s intelligence at work.

The idea is that awareness of the field grows over time, so for example if you have stress with your partner or with your job, you become trained to see how this is your history showing up in your daily life. And then, the field opens up more and it is easier to make the therapy sessions. Eventually, there is no separation between the therapy and the daily life awareness. When the awareness is deep enough, then the transformation – the healing – occurs.

ER: I see.

KG: We are building a foundation – a ground – for the soul to express itself. It is slow. The ground builds according to the time we need. It is nothing we do, or that we make. Over time, we see that the life itself brings all the information of the generations to work with. All that we need to do the work with is right here in the current field, and we stay in our awareness, being with whatever happens.

ER: So everything that happens in my present life has connection to the field?

KG: Yes. There is no ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in the field. When you come into the soul, you have all that you need. Through awareness, and through feeling, it happens by itself. Healing has a mysterious quality. Until we actually go into the field and feel it, we cannot have the awareness, and we stay in a victim mode, or child consciousness. We say (whining), “I don’t like this job,” or “this relationship” or “this pain,” but we are completely at a loss as to why it is this way, or how we can come out of it. So we continue to suffer. Wherever there is awareness, there is soul energy.

ER: I see. That’s the drama – the lila of life. But how exactly does this clearing happen?

KG: In the therapy session, we use the Family Constellation model [of Bert Hellinger] to literally lay out the various parts and players of the drama in the therapy room. I personally use a large room so we can easily move about to have a clear feeling of the dynamic.

We talk about the current issues in the field of the client and then write down the names of the mother, father, grandparents, sisters, brothers, and so forth on separate pieces of paper. We also write down the names of strong feelings, issues, themes, and messages that are present. Then, we lay the papers down on the floor, arranging them in such a way that reflects the interrelationships. Next, we enter the field and feel the actual soul energy connecting the family members.

We have to feel what the soul intelligence reveals about the situation. Then, we leave it up to the soul to unravel the knots. We don’t have to do anything but see it – and feel it.

ER: That last part seems to be a very important point – we don’t have to do anything but see it and feel it.

KG: Yes, very important. You have to come into contact with the feeling. That is where the awareness lies – in your own body. There is no other way. The blocked soul energy will only open up with awareness. We have to go from mental awareness into body awareness. The Family Constellation and generational work connects to the blocks in the body. After we know the history, it is much easier to step into the physical awareness and go through the feelings from that point because we then have an orientation. The field gives an orientation.

ER: Ah, I see, it’s like the constellation work is our own personal GPS system – a map!

KG: Yes! That is just like it. I love my nice GPS in the car. It gives me direction, and orientation – I can relax and know exactly when I need to turn left, and turn right when I need to turn right. The GPS tells me, like Family Constellation, exactly where I need to go. It’s the best navigation system for this sort of therapy – it’s so easy then to know where to put our awareness.

ER: That’s exactly how I work with my astrology clients. The chart is the map, the guide – the literal constellation of the person’s life!

KG: That’s right. And you and I both know how powerful this work and astrological counseling go together! That’s your part.

ER: Can you tell us more about how your work differs from traditional psychotherapy?

KG: In soul work, the important point is that we are working to free the field from past traumas so you can experience the soul connection. Over time, we are softening the ego structure so that a person can come into contact with the essential qualities of the soul – joy, vitality, love, compassion, real peace, and so forth – freeing the natural potential that we bring into this life to express. This is what makes soul therapy different than traditional psychotherapy. Most therapists say, “Okay, let’s look at your family history,” and it stops there. If you’re a spiritual seeker, you go separately to a spiritual advisor or meditation class. Usually, therapy just rearranges the ego structure – your behavior, your collection of experiences – so the client feels, “Okay, now I have this nice new ego structure and things are changing on the surface,” but then they soon realize they are still suffering. These are the people that come to me. Here, we are really coming at it from another dimension entirely. We start from the knowing that you are not the ego structure. I am always looking at both the ego structure and the soul – we soften the ego structure so that the person can live from their real nature, the soul.

ER: I get it – you’re the next level, the deeper revealing.

KG: Exactly. Not everyone will want to do this work – only those who have real curiosity about the mystery of life, and those that are truly ready to move beyond suffering. The people that come to me are interested! They want to inquire!

ER: Yes, that makes perfect sense. It would take a lot of curiosity to want to dive into these depths, not knowing what one might find there. I have a question, though, about those folks on the spiritual path who have had a lot of experiences of oneness with the soul, experiences of union or ‘enlightenment.’ I’ve heard some spiritual friends say they wouldn’t need therapy anymore, that their guru has cleared the past entirely, or they need to simply forget the past and move on, or simply say that it’s all an illusion anyway, and it doesn’t matter – that sort of thing. Why would these people need to go back into psychotherapy? Shouldn’t they just meditate more?

KG: That’s a great question. Every single one of us has traumas that need clearing… everyone. And spiritual practitioners that have had deep experiences of the soul also tend to have huge, traumatic experiences arise to be healed. This is because, when the soul opens up, there is more space, more room, more power in the field – more strength is present. There is enough energy, and the awareness has increased enough to hold a traumatic experience. This is why it is often exactly those soul-connected people that have a major crisis even while they are minding their own business meditating in an ashram or doing their spiritual work. Out of nowhere, they are attacked by some external circumstance that forces them to look at their history once more. This is because, on a soul level, they are now strong enough to do so.

ER: A-ha. And the converse is true, is that right? That a client who is working on healing deep trauma may experience a state of oneness?

KG: Exactly. It is a state of oneness – in 99.9% of the cases, it is not permanent. There is a back and forth between this movement of oneness and soul, and separation and ego or pain. By doing this work over time, there is more relaxation as we move in and out of these states. And as the client heals deeper layers of trauma, there is a settling deeper into the soul’s essential qualities. And this is the peace which we all seek. That is the whole point.

ER: Right. That is the whole point! (laughs) Great, Kirti. You’ve explained the fundamental connection between spirituality and psychotherapy. It actually gives me incentive to do the work. Thank you.

KG: You’re welcome. Now let’s see what happens.

Ursula Kirti Grimm, soul- and psychotherapist, can be reached for individual and group sessions in the Baden-Württemberg region of Germany. She can be reached at +49 (0754) 8105 or

Erin Reese is a freelance writer, astrologer, and yoga instructor. She divides her time between the U.S., Europe, and India. For more information, visit her website,

Watch a video clip of Erin Reese and Kirti Grimm discussing the soul's intelligence:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Awakening in Asana

Feeling rather inspired by teaching private yoga lessons here in Germany. Thought I'd share with you a few insights about yogasana today...

Asana (pronounced AH-sahna) is the third limb of Raja Yoga as defined by Sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. Asana is defined as a steady, comfortable posture.

Yogasana practice emphasizes control and fine attunement to the body in order to gain mastery over the mind – the "Yogah Chitta Vritti Nirodhahmaster goal of Raja Yoga as defined by Sage Patanjali.

In Patanjali yoga, great emphasis is placed on asanas that help keep the head, chest, and body straight and erect, and strong enough to endure long periods of concentration (dharana
) and meditation (dhyana).

The Bhagavad Gita declares, “Let him firmly hold his body, head, neck erect and still, gazing at the tip of his nose and not looking around. (6.13)” Asanas like padmasana (lotus posture) and vajrasana (thunderbolt posture) are ideal for meditators as they keep the spine erect and straight, and the mind alert.

The great yogis remind us that if the body is not in a fit state, our higher stages of yoga practices leading to samadhi
will be obstructed by aches, pains, and an inability to rest comfortably in mind and body, hence, the importance of asanas.

practice contributes to ‘waking up’ directly: during yogasana, a great deal of nervous activity in new nerve channels is being activated. Literally, a new body is being formed with new vibrations primarily occurring down the spinal column; therefore, proper alignment of chest, head, neck, and back is crucial.

Beyond meditative asanas, we have more complex yogasanas modeled after seating positions of animals (dog, crow, cobra, cat, cow, fish, locust, and so on). Animals, as we observe, are quite comfortable for long periods of time in their natural postures.

All asanas should follow a three-stage process of ideal implementation in order to gain most benefit, described as “sthila, cira, sukha.”
  • (1) sthila: the posture should be stable;
  • (2) cira: it should be steady and not shaky;
  • (3) sukha: it should be comfortable – one should be able to smile and be happy in the posture.

Once the asana is comfortable, according to the above steps, Patanjali describes the process for the sadhaka to reach “asana siddhiwhich is freedom from pairs of opposites (duality). The yogi is no longer bound by hot and cold, pleasure and pain, like and dislike, etc. and a higher level of consciousness is reached:

  1. Sthira sukham asanam – the posture should be stable and relaxed (see above process)
  2. Prayatna saithily ananta samapatibhyam – relax the posture by withdrawing effort and tune into infinity (e.g. “the vast blue sky” or “infinite blue ocean”)
  3. Tatah dvandwa ana-abhi-gatah – finally, the sadhaka reaches “asana siddhi
Once a sadhaka has sufficiently mastered a few key asanas and feels stable, steady, and comfortable in these postures, she is well-prepared to undertake pranayama breathing practices or flow right into extended periods of meditation which will bring her increased awareness and greater peace of mind.

Erin Reese is a certified hatha yoga instructor and is available for private consultations and group instruction. She can be reached via email. Check out her yoga background on her website here.

This post is dedicated to my very first yoga guru, Lilias Folan!

Thanks to the fantastic public television show, Lilias! Yoga and You, and to my progressive mom - an avid fan - I was hooked on yoga at age four!

Who wouldn't want to imitate a Lion, a Cat, or a Cow, right? Yogasana is FUN, feels GREAT, keeps your spine healthy and your soul happy.

For those that remember Lilias' show which debuted in 1972, you'll get a kick out of this archived clip. Watching it reveals to me how influenced I was by her gentle, no-hype teaching approach.

Yay, Lilias!

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Come Together: Saturn in Libra


Saturn in Libra now through October 2012 calls for each of us to get our diplomatic hats on. Libra is often misunderstood as purely peaceful, and that is the comfortable, pleasant side of the sign. Yes, it is true that in the highest vibration, the Scales represent harmony and balance. But, those Scales of Justice are also about open enmity – those times we have it out with the other in our words and actions, sometimes with restraint, sometimes with great passion.

Just as Saturn in Virgo kicked our behinds into shape work-wise, financially, and health-wise – on all practical fronts – we 're about to get a global lesson in cooperation and teamwork, beyond the sweet talk that Libra is so fond of. We’re going to have the hard conversations. You know, those discussions we’ve been avoiding but we know are inevitable.

Don’t worry: it will get easier with practice, and we have over two years to get really good at it. We’ve only just begun. A kiss for luck and we’re on our way. (Remember that cheesy song by the Carpenters – an example of romantic Libra to the hilt!)

We’ve learned to eliminate the non-essentials over the past two years of taskmaster Virgo Saturn. We’re primed now – leaner and tougher. While the financial world went to hell in a hand basket, some of us began to realize that it’s the relationships we’ve cultivated that count; oh yeah, those people in our lives – they’re the ones that make the whole thing hum. Duh. We’re in it together. In this next karmic chapter, we gotta share.

The planet Saturn’s rings of containment don’t need to feel like constriction. As soon as we let go of resistance, we will feel much more confident as real collaborators and honest communicators. While those saturnine rings are shining their Libran luster, we are supported to grow in Together Land.

Yes, we’ll all be forced to share and care more during Saturn’s Libran sojourn. But make no mistake: this is NOT about compromise. No siree. In fact, I feel strongly about the word compromise. The word is a death knell if it sounds too often. Anytime someone compromises, there’s a potential resentment being harbored. We give in for a temporary semblance of ‘keeping the peace,’ or ‘people-pleasing’ (another Libran shadow), and all the while, needs aren’t truly met, underlying issues aren’t duly addressed.

No, it’s not about compromise. Rather, the approach to take is that of NEGOTIATION, which may take a bit more fancy footwork, a little creative effort, but it’s worth it. In the art of negotiation, each party must walk away feeling that their needs are met.

It’s not, “Okay, we’ll invest our life savings into this house even though I have a really bad feeling about it (and I’ll be secretly fuming inside the whole time).” Rather, it’s, “Let’s give it some more time so we can discover – together – how we can create security while at the same time we don’t feel trapped.” It’s learning to aptly care for ourselves within the context of relatedness, so we have something to smile about and share later at the dinner table.

If you’re one of the ones reading this saying, “Yeah, but I try that, and it’s not working.” How honest are you being, then, both with yourself and the other? One of Libra’s shadow sides is glazing over, or skewing, the truth to avoid the unpleasantness of confrontation. Libra likes it to look all smiley-like on the surface, preferring to keep the charm levels high. But when we start digging and cutting – as Saturn’s sickle will surely force us to do now – we’ll quickly unearth any cracks lurking in the foundation. The whole diplomatic effort will come a-crashing down until we determine to get it right.


Words will have even more power than usual during this transit. Libra is prone to gossip. Being a socialite is one thing – chitchat happens naturally as a way to ease tension and build connections with people, and that’s one of the beautiful traits of Libra. But if there’s a judgment or resentment brewing underneath, or any hint of malice, we can be sure the words will get back to the party being talked about, until we learn that Truth with a capital T, used with discretion, is of the highest we can aspire to now.

We will all want to look more closely at the written word, too, during Saturn in Libra. Watch for manipulation or tricky business in journalism, ruled by Libra – whether electronic, televised, or printed. Become aware of subtle conditioning and advertising that is not in alignment with your core values. Double-check contracts and agreements with a fine-toothed comb. Before making a commitment – spoken or written or legal or otherwise – ask yourself if you are in the deepest level of self-integrity before you sign or say yes.

Deep healing with the ‘others’ in our lives is possible while Saturn wields his scythe in the sign of the Scales. By ‘others,’ I mean those individuals in relationship to you who act as a real mirror, for better or for worse. This can be a friend, family member, coworker, boss or enemy. Saturn will not allow us to get away with vagueness, side-skirting, misrepresentation, or that old Libran fallback of indecisive waffling, the latter being a trait of Libra’s not wanting to upset any apple carts. That’s too messy, they say. It’s not pretty.

My sense, however, is that there will be a lot of apple carts – and orange carts, and bullock carts, and shopping carts – upset over the next two years. That’s how social evolution happens, and that’s how the interpersonal scales get back into balance.

During Saturn in Libra, we may experience symbolic or actual warfare on the planet or in our personal lives. While I’m hardly advocating bloodshed, I am foretelling more getting down ‘n dirty to get to the root of a problem – let’s try and keep it dignified. That may mean digging in to find out exactly who is responsible for what, and for how much, whether we’re talking oil spills, violation of international law, or simply, whose turn it is to take out the household garbage. We are meant to take responsibility for our part – no more, no less. That’s all the Karmic Cop is asking. Even Lindsay Lohan has to pull her weight for violating parole: “Yes, your honor, I have erred, and even I must do my time.” No one – not even a movie star – is immune to old-fashioned justice while Saturn’s in Libra.

It’s such a relief, actually. If you’ve ever paid off an exorbitant amount of debt, or back taxes, or simply made amends on a wrongdoing toward a friend or loved one, you know how much soul space opens up when we clean up our side of the communal street.

We’ve got a long way to go, but with the gift of astrological awareness, we have a huge start. Those lucky few of us in tune with the stars, for starters, at least know the name of the game we’re being asked to play. To truly come together in maturity, we get to brush up on Saturn’s rulebook, and get on with the two-and-a-half-year tête-à-tête.

And, if things get tough, remember to toss in a spot of Libra’s special blend of charm, cheer, and social grace. After all, Sir Saturn is the ultimate lover of tradition - he's sure to give great marks of distinction to those of us behaving like proper ladies and gentlemen whilst learning the fine arts of togetherness.

Want to know how Saturn’s shift into Libra is likely to affect YOU personally?

Get an astrological consultation with Erin Reese. She’s available for readings via Skype, telephone, or email. Contact Erin, your international intuitive consultant, for more information.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Are You Ready for Saturn in Libra? Let's Review...

On July 21, 2010, Old Man Saturn – the cosmic cop and astrological taskmaster – entered the sign of Libra, where he will put his karmic clean-up committee to task for the next two years (until October 2012, to be exact).

After two-and-a-half long years of learning how to ‘get practical’ during Saturn’s realist stint in Virgo, we’re collectively ready for a new chapter.

Whew. Right?

Following Saturn’s heavy-duty, deep-cleaning of house in efficient, earthy Virgo, we are all feeling the need for a bit of a break from ‘paring down.’ Just how streamlined can our pocketbooks be? How much more penny-pinching, time-tightening, and waist-trimming can one do before we start to feel sociologically anorexic?

The tides are certainly shifting, but before we get into the next bag of Saturn’s tricks – those lesson plans he’s only just begun dishing out in peace-lovin’ Libra, let’s review: what exactly did we learn during his foray in the sign of the Virgin? How prepared are we to pass this grade and move on to the next level? (Saturn’s the teacher planet, you know – he wants to make sure we’ve got it down.)

After the last two years of planetary and political shift, at least internally, it seems we do have a more solid ground to stand on, a stronger core from which to branch out. Here are just a few ways Saturn in Virgo may have passed his trusty scythe through the jungle of our lives:

Many of us were forced to establish a firmer financial footing. Perhaps we sold a home or apartment, and right-sized to a renter or a smaller condo. Maybe we’ve thoroughly de-cluttered closets, or renovated the office, or secured the house foundation. We may have done a real roll-up-the-sleeves ode to our inner Virgo and finally completed those back-taxes. Give yourself an A+.

Some of us actually got our butts up off the couch and stuck to a fitness program. Hurrah! We may have begun cooking more at home, meaning we are more aware of what we are actually putting into our mouths and bodies (Virgo is the ruler of grain and nutrition). With the world economy in recession, most of us had to tighten our belts a bit, and with that, we dined in restaurants less. We may have started a small vegetable garden, or at least began plotting the parcel of land.

Many folks began to get creative on the earning front. Some began bartering more of their services in the community. Since hours at the office may have been cut, and some may have been laid off, we got really clear on what our true priorities are: spending more time with the kids, with our lover, or with the yoga mat. Some of us found we had more time to be in Nature, and rediscovered the best healing money can’t buy.

You get the point. In general, over the last two years, Saturn’s sharpened sickle sliced through our lives with Virgo precision to cut away the crap – uh, I mean, chaff.

Now, we have ourselves a Reality to work with.

Now, we can make real progress. Together.

That’s the tone of Saturn’s shift into Libra.

Now that we’ve all gotten down to brass tacks, and we’ve been forced to take our personal business, bank accounts, and bodies a bit more seriously, Saturn shifts into the relationship-oriented sign of “the other,” the Libra Scales, for the next two years.

And what’s that all about, hmm? "We can work it out." Is it true?


“Come Together: Saturn Tests the Relationship Scales, 2010-2012”

Do we now have the necessary elbow grease - in war and in peace - to work it out now, together? In the words of one of the most famous Libras of all time, John Lennon, “I know you, you know me. One thing I can tell you is you got to be free…” Now, taking care of our selves and our individual needs – the me’s in the we’s – in the context of collaboration.

That’s where it’s about to get really interesting…

How will Saturn in Libra affect you personally over the next two years?

Interested in an in-depth astrological consultation with Erin Reese? She’s available now for readings via Skype, telephone, or email. Contact Erin, your international intuitive consultant, for more information.