Sunday, November 29, 2020

Full Moon Eclipse in Gemini: Think for Yourself

"A holy person is someone who is whole; who has, as it were, reconciled his opposites." - Alan Watts

Tonight, we have a full moon lunar eclipse in the mutable air sign of Gemini, the mentally questioning and flexible Twins. Eclipses are known for big surprises and major life changes that seemingly come from nowhere. Does that make you uneasy? Well, if we’ve learned anything in 2020 it’s that anything can happen, and change is swift and unpredictable. If you can get on board with impermanence, you might be able to ride the wave and enjoy the activity. Highly recommended.

The eclipse in the sign of Gemini Twins brings up the theme of opposites, polarities: hot and cold, light and dark, beautiful and ugly, yin and yang, etc. The critical thing to understand – that is, if one wants to be free of existential suffering and angst – is that polarities are perceptions. What is hot to one, might be cool to another. When is it a warm day to an eskimo? A hot day to a desert dweller? Think about couples sharing a bed – who needs the blankets more at night? Who wants a cooler room to sleep in? Perception!

And regarding beauty and ugliness – have you noticed the range of beauty exhibited in movies made outside of the image-focused U.S.? Humans with real features, real aging, real noses, teeth, body size, etc. are considered beautiful, and not ugly. Put those real folks in a Hollywood film? Doesn’t happen so much unless they are cast as the outcast or oddball. Perception!

It is the mind that creates issues by labeling and judging appearances. To be free is to go beyond these fixed ideas, and that is where Gemini the Questioner can be a guide. In addition, Neptune in Pisces stationed and turned direct Saturday, November 29, giving us the power to dissolve our fixed perceptions and allow things to be a bit more fluid – our thinking, our timing, our dreams. Neptune brings us out of the fixed ideas of duality and allows us to rest in the vastness of Existence.

Gemini Sisters, Jeffrey Maddex

Stepping Out of the Societal Superego

A simple definition of the superego is the Inner Critic, the evaluative aspect of the ego that tells us how we “should” be doing things, to fit in and adjust to the world around us. In a large percentage of modern humans, the superego gets overblown on steroids, causing us to doubt and question our natural inclinations. Some of us spend many years in therapy and self-help realms to combat the harsh voice of the Inner Critic. However we face the superego, happiness comes when we make choices based on who we really are, sans expectations.

Did you know that societies, cultures, countries all have a collective superego? When one becomes sensitive enough to input and conditioning, the collective superego can actually be sensed in consciousness, felt like a sticky glaze over the mind. Stepping out of the societal superego is why it feels so damned good when we travel internationally, especially to cultures that are vastly different than our own. We feel the freedom, viscerally – the freedom to think, act, err, express, move, breath outside of the constant, subconscious monitoring that is ever-present in our native land.

This is why a simple Thoreauvian “Walden Pond” experiment – leave everything familiar – can be so completely vital in one’s life, for a certain period of time. It can be six hours, days, weeks, months – or six years. The point is to disconnect from what you believe is true, because it’s always been said it’s true.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

For about five years in my thirties, I spent 90 percent of my time in India, solo. I wanted to disconnect from the West in order to see how I really felt about things, and to learn to think for myself. I wanted to step away from even the “good” conditioning of California – being a healthy person, a spiritual person, a successful person, a moral person – and see what I was without all of these inputs. I immersed myself in a culture that wouldn’t automatically reinforce my regular thought patterns and habits.

Was this easy? Um, no. Did I feel alone and adrift some of the time? You bet! Did I feel unhinged at times, unsure which way was up and which way was down? Absolutely.

And you know what? As a result, I gained true, lasting happiness. I am Free. Dismantling belief systems and facing existence without the constant feedback of whether I was doing it right, I fell back on the Self. I examined my value system as well, and found that it was also fluid.

How do we move out of the conditioning of right and wrong, good and bad, and all of the other judgements that we carry with us, in our bones – genes and conditioning – if we can’t do a Walden? Some folks find that meditation helps, as well as other contemplative processes, time in nature, time with animals, time off the phone and computer, and languorous time in bed with a lover (another form of meditation!). It can be helpful to read news or follow media from other sources than the usual, or people you disagree with without categorically dismissing what they’re saying before you consider their point of view first.

At this Gemini lunar eclipse, we can take the opportunity to step outside of what we are being fed mentally. With flexible minds and hearts, we can take a good look at we’re being guided internally to do, to uphold, to live. And interestingly, the more we know ourselves, the less we need others to agree with us.

In good Gemini fashion, it is a fascinating experiment to question everything. Ask your body, your mind, your heart – is this true? Is it really true for you? Or are you swallowing what you’re told? When you ask, “Why?” do you automatically hear “Because it’s good for you” or “Because it’s the right thing to do”?

Is it? Inquire within. And be free.

Erin Reese, M.S.
is a contemporary spiritual teacher, author and guide. A modern mystic with over thirty years of experience, Erin Reese offers incisive, practical intuitive readings to her clients worldwide. She is a counselor, guide and mentor to those seeking an alternative to traditional psychotherapy or business coaching. Erin also offers non-dual meetings and retreats on embodied liberation and freedom from suffering. Visit for more information.

Friday, November 13, 2020

New Moon in Scorpio: The Shadow is Confronted

This weekend, we welcome a New Moon in the fixed water sign of Scorpio. Themes arise of transmutation, magic, depth, intensity, and alchemizing the personal and collective shadow. This is the weekend of Kali Puja – celebrating the wrathful goddess and destroyer of illusion and egoic attachments. In addition, it is Diwali – the Festival of Light, bringing gifts! Mars stations direct after a long retrograde – still in Aries until January, confronting everyone with everything imaginable. And, last but not least – this week's conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto (ruler of Scorpio), just about puts us all into hyperspace!

What to do, Kathmandu?

We arise and shine, baby. When we face the shadow, we are no longer entrapped. Take a look at what is all up in your business, and accept everything. Truly everything. That which we dismiss as unpalatable, unacceptable, disgusting, unjust, unfair, unrighteous – well, those are exactly the things that we get to eat for lunch, and transform into nectar, ambrosia, amrita.

Such is the power of the Goddess Maa Kali. Remember: the role of the Divine Feminine is not to make YOU feel comfortable. Her role is to keep the balance of the universe.

Let’s examine this week’s impactful Jupiter/Pluto conjunction, archetypally. Jupiter is Zeus, ruler of Olympus and God of the Skies, and Pluto is Hades, God of the Underworld. Zeus and Hades are brothers (along with Neptune-Poseidon, but he's smartly sitting this one out, resting in the ocean of Piscean oneness). Think Cain and Abel. Karmic siblings. Both are necessary in the cosmic play.

The righteous Olympians, ruled by Zeus, truly despised Hades, lord of the underworld, and all he represented. They wanted to keep things looking good, kosher, organized, and righteous - they wanted him put away and out of sight, out of mind. But this doesn't work in the long haul, and that's what this week's meeting of Jupiter and Pluto is bringing to the fore.

We cannot disregard Hades-Pluto and lock him in the basement forever. Same goes for the absolutely despicable things that we try to deny or annihilate both within and outside of ourselves. It will seep up through the cracks, eventually.

Facing the Shadow

Now is the time when you need to ask yourself, can you hold the tension of opposites in your own soul? Can you experience true joy and elation and celebration in your heart, without being in opposition to something, whether a politician or a personality or part of self?

On the other side, can you feel pain, grief, powerlessness or put-upon-ness, and not polarize or make another suffer because you yourself have suffered?

Until we begin looking at our own individual shadows, we will have need to externalize it in the form of a despised leader or marginalized group or any easy target. We will continue to make them a repository of Hades, pointing fingers and doing our best to banish them to the underworld.

Ask yourself, what is your worst? What do you find absolutely unacceptable in yourself? This is where the real work begins. Are you jealous or envious of others? Do you crush others (or attempt to) in order to gain (false) power? Do you posture or politic with others in order to gain ground? To be liked? To manipulate outcomes?

In Truth, there is no elimination of any part of Nature.

From the perspective of the Absolute, and of Unconditional Peace, you are not separate. You are Life Itself. Face the Self as the Self, and it is easy to see there are zero problems in Reality.

Reality is Love, defined here as total acceptance. Zero resistance to What Is. No separateness from other, no opposition.

If you are celebrating some favorable outcome or 'win' this weekend, by all means dance in the streets, pop the champagne, and enjoy your victories. And if you want the joy to go all the way to your bones, be sure you check to see if you can LOVE that which you HATE.

Can’t stomach it? The very evil you are pointing a finger to is seething, boiling underneath your own ego.

That which you vilify will persist. That which you accept as part of the cosmic play will no longer make even a tiny speck of dust on the tabula rasa of an awakened mind.

The idea of being “just” or “correct” keeps one trapped in the layers and folds of dualistic thinking, a world wherein things must look a certain way in order for it to be acceptable, palatable, correct.

Love everything, and see there never was an issue to begin with.

So, as we head into this Scorpionic weekend, domain of the Serpent Eagle, the phoenix rising from the ashes, this Diwali-Kali Puji be sure to embrace the transformation of dark into light, through the very force of Love and clear seeing. See that the Love was there all along. For it is the Truth. It is What Is.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

~ Rumi

Erin Reese, M.S.
is a contemporary spiritual teacher, author and guide. A modern mystic with over thirty years of experience, Erin Reese offers incisive, practical intuitive readings to her clients worldwide. She is a counselor, guide and mentor to those seeking an alternative to traditional psychotherapy or business coaching. Erin also offers non-dual meetings and retreats on embodied liberation and freedom from suffering. 
Transformational collage by Erin, November 2020