Long distance Hiker Emma (Grandma) Gatewood’s Soul Astrology Chart – Post #1

grandma gatewood natal 0 Aries rising
Time of birth is Unknown ~ Chart is cast natural houses; 0° ARIES Rising

Time of birth is unknown according to her granddaughter (per Bette Lou Higgins, author of a book about Grandma Gatewood and an upcoming PBS Special called Trail Magic).  Therefore, I have cast a chart with the natural houses, 0° ARIES Rising.  It shouldn’t be too difficult to rectify this chart sometime in the future which will be my next project as time permits.

Grandma Gatewood hiked the 2,000+ miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine for the first time at age 67. Then she did it twice more and after that the 2,000 mile Oregon Trail followed by many other hikes!

Her life was phenomenal and by all accounts Continue reading

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The Nature of the Mind – The Nature of Reality – The Fascinating Study of Enlightenment and the Karma of Ego

nature of the mind

This is IT for me, you know?  Contemplating the nature of the mind and reality makes it all bearable.  No.  Not right.   Much more than bearable; it makes life a total celebratory event.

You see, we all think (or feel) that we have our own personal single mind that is so very real because it experiences and recognizes things.  Yet, how often (if ever) do we stop and examine those experiences that the mind thinks are so real?  Break them apart, open them up, see what’s there at the core–do people do that?

Trauma or crisis can help us contemplate this type of thing (or not)–happiness too; any intense experience.   Many times doing that drives us to addictive distraction instead of some level of enlightenment and joy.  But if we really examine the experiences that the mind is having and we do so carefully, and we really contemplate this experience that this mind has and we look for that mind that has this crisis or happy experience, we cannot find a single thing!  Not one single thing but a blend of many components that we call “consciousness’.    It’s NOT YOU!

Here’s what I mean–there is no solid mind or self at the core of the experience or no real experience-ER.  I know, it sounds crazy if you’ve never thought about it but give me a chance to explain.

Consciousness has many various components–parts!  You know like a car, a vehicle has many components, parts–engine, tires, frame, door and so forth.  Is not our mind and our consciousness the same?  Consciousness has awareness of visual objects (forms, shapes, colors) and then there is awareness of sound, touch (tactile consciousness), taste consciousness and all these are separate parts or functions of the mind.  It’s like the car analogy–separate parts, gas tank, gas pedal, speedometer, steering wheel and so forth.

Consider the experience of anything for a moment–it doesn’t have to be crisis or trauma.  Anything.  Happy experience let’s say.  If we consider that each type of consciousness recognizes a particular field of experience (sound awareness or consciousness recognizes sound and visual consciousness is aware of shapes and colors of forms)… if we consider this as part of any experience we see that each of the types of consciousnesses function in an independent way from the others.

So the mind is a blend of consciousnesses and not one single unit or not one single, unitary thing.  Rather it is a compound object just like the car, the vehicle.

There are said to be six consciousnesses and in some books I’ve read there are eight.  And one of those eight include the consciousness which clings to the notion of EGO or “I”.  And another consciousness that is part of what we think of as “me” is called ground consciousness — and I wrote about this a week or so ago.  

The ground consciousness  stores information from all other levels of consciousness and accumulated past lives.  You can see how this level of mind would easily support the idea of an individual identity called “me”.  It would seem so ‘real’ but it is a grouping of consciousness; a grouping of experiences.

To explain further, it is fairly easy to grasp that the visual consciousness perceives objects–that’s the potential of the visual consciousness.  If you look at a red cloth, you see red.  If you look at snow on a mountain, you see white.  We are able also, quite obviously, to see things in succession–first seeing one thing and then the next with one thing disappearing and the next thing appearing in consciousness.  So visual consciousness is multiple and successive and has the potential to see many things at once and so is not single or solitary or one thing.  Nor is it one single solitary unit of time.

strawberry fields foreverEven if we could isolate a single solitary unit of time, it would only occur within the framework of ongoing consciousness because awareness is never static–its fluid.  So every moment has to relate to a previous moment and a future moment—meaning, it is not any more singular than we ourselves are.  The future moment is the present being the past in relation to it.  Yeah, I know that last sentence is pretty deep; but the point is that time is not solid, solitary and static and neither is consciousness and neither are we!  

There is no single unit of identifiable reality in either the external world of appearances or in the subjective mind.  Even space does not have a fundamentally real, inherent existence. Space is not a compound, and does consist of various parts like the car or like our mind.  Space is not a thing–it seems to exist but it is the negation of a particular appears of anything else.  Even the space in a room only exists because of the walls–take away the walls and the space that you thought existed in the room is not there and only depended upon the walls around it to appear as if it existed.

So the whole point in this blog post brings me to the point of liberation–even if I can’t fully understand it all in a way to describe it in words; in an experiential way I’ve known this truth from meditation…   it’s all true.

For example, in a contemplative meditation last evening, I tried to find… well, I asked, “Where is Joy?  Where am I located?”  It took less than a nano-second to realize I’m not my body and once you get past that basic truth, look for the location and you will find it’s everywhere!  And now here!  and nowhere!

And this, my friend, helps me to chill-ax (chill out and relax) and to see the humor in it all…. appearances are empty forms!  And again, quoting the Beatles once more, in the Strawberry Fields song, “Nothing is real; and it’s nothing to get hung about.”  

DEDICATION:  May this post help another in a way that is in divine order when they come upon this post–for this is my true intent in writing it today!  

The Grand Cross April 2014 It’s a Season of Astrological Weather and Everyone’s Affected

astrological weatherPeople with natal (birth) planets in CARDINAL SIGNS (Aries/Libra, Cancer/Cap) that are close to 15° in their birth chart are going to be most affected personally by this months intensification of the Cardinal Cross.

I’m one of those lucky folks (rocking my 2nd house); it is the same with my oldest daughter.  In another daughter’s chart, it’s hitting her natal Pluto and NN combo and yet another daughter has the grand cross really affecting the area of her Ascendant; so all of  my daughters are being affected by this grand cross because their natal houses have planets in those signs at those approximate degrees, just like mine.

I have to cringe a bit when other people shrug, smile and say something like, “I don’t think astrology works for me–because in my life things are rolling along just fine and actually better than ever, thank you”.    They probably don’t have natal planets in in those degrees in those signs, but everyone is going to be affected in some way, if not so personally, on a community, city, state, national or global level. 

And if your personal life is not deeply affected, it may be affected by someone else’s life who “is” deeply affected personally by this grand cross energy–in which case, you are still impacted in some way. I’ve always admired the way astrologer Steve Forest drives the point home with words.  In his recent newsletter, he wrote:  “Push comes to shove. Breaking points are reached. Crisis reigns. Squares and oppositions are exactly like the sound your engine eventually makes when you’ve decided to ignore the little red oil light on your dashboard. And the reasons are exactly the same: at squares and oppositions, bad behavior catches up with us. The law of consequences reigns.”

I’m not sure its all ‘bad behavior’ like Steven says; but then, he’s more of a master of astrology and myself the apprentice.  I think karmic situations are triggered–certainly and cause us to “work on our stuff” because that crisis energy helps us to see ourselves more clearly.  The cardinal energy is pretty stubborn stuff in our psyches’ and sometimes a bit of a crisis helps to move things along where we may have held on or been resistant.  It can move things along in a very positive way.

Maybe it’s the optimist in me but I can see that’s exactly what is happening in my life–moving things along in a direction that I’d not have (without that crisis push) taken.  But the direction is positive–or that’s how it looks from this point in time anyway.

DESCRIBING THE FEEL OF THE ENERGY:  Cardinal energy goes outward and then withdraws taking two steps forward and one step back and I must say that’s how a lot of energy in my own life has felt–very cardinal!   The energy sort of reaches out for freedom and then steps back for security and containment. AND with cardinal energy there can be a lot of projecting onto others instead of being responsible for one’s own emotions.  Holding other people responsible for one’s own happiness is an example of projection.

Using Steven Forests’ example of the red oil light on the dashboard you ignore right before you “blow a rod” and destroy your engine…. let’s say that if you’re in bumper-to-bumper traffic and somebody else’s light comes on in their dashboard, their engine cuts out and doesn’t restart, you’re going to be affected anyway–maybe not directly, but indirectly.  AND, I might add, in a way that’s in divine order for you too!   The universe is magical that way–everybody gets what they need to evolve in one way or another.

Astrology can be vastly complicated or quite literal and simple.  There’s so much to be said about the dynamics of the Grand Cross and it has been — just Google the term.

I like the way Steve Forest puts it all.  Why re-invent the wheel (especially when I’m supposed to be packing right now–best get at it, chop! chop!)

Therefore, I refer you to Steve’s newsletter for more.

 

Difficulties and Tensions Happen to Spiritual People and the Truth about the Number 11! Spiritual Flaccidity, Hunger Games and May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

Hunger Games
Hunger Games

Difficulties and Tensions Happen to Spiritual People and the Truth about the Number 11!  Spiritual Flaccidity and May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

Maybe it’s the Aquarius or Uranus part of me, but I’ve always gone the opposite way of the crowd.  And in this instance I’m talking about the crowd that thinks or believes that if you have a difficulty in life or tension in any way that you’re doing something spiritually wrong!  Natural Law, you know?  Nature as an example:  the flower, in order to grow, requires the resistance of the earth to push against in order to find the light, the Sun.  Of course, how often do we hear of the other example of the lotus pushing up from the mud to symbolize our life on earth—without the mud the lotus couldn’t grow!

Tension!  There’s been a lot of that this year so far but this is (for me) and 11 year after all – numerology.  Anyway, the soul needs the tension, the strain, the stress, the pull within caused by life on Earth for growth and development just as flowers need rocks in their soil against which to push in order to reach the sun.  If we avoid tension at all costs—the way that the spiritually elite white-lighter population does—we become flaccid of spirit!  And live in yet another delusional state!

We seem to learn and to grow though tension:  maybe that’s what an 11 personal year is all about.  Does the tension and stress of earth living keep the spirit from going flaccid or getting fat and flabby?  Don’t we have to keep in shape (even spiritually)?  And so don’t we need challenges or some sort of oppositional energy (Ha! Thinking in astrological language now) in order to draw us out of our otherwise sleepy white-light delusional haze?  I’m just asking, contemplating—that’s an 11 year thing.  The word “tension”, interestingly enough, is used in describing the vibration of the number 11; Google it, you’ll see.  Other “T” words associated with the 11 vibration are these:  trials and tests.  Surprised?  If so then you might be a white-lighter in need of some 11 “T” vibe reality.

I mentioned at the start of this post the Uranus/Aquarius aspect of psyche and guess what the number 11 is associated with in astrological terms?  Yeah, Uranus/Aquarius is the answer.  And in soul astrology when we look in a chart to find where the soul has experienced trauma or wounding, we usually have our eye scanning for the location of Uranus and what where Aquarius is located.  Anyway…

Any trauma or crisis creates divine possibility and probability for spiritual growth—right?  We can’t have a flaccid soul or spirit now, can we?

Like I was saying, we need that tension in order to grow—or so the theory goes.  Tension is the key to growth; we learn through tension and we exist through tension here on Earth.  Tension creates that oppositional energy that pulls our lotus-flower-self right up out of the mud!  Light does that, sun does that and who says that the light or the sun (the 11 energy) doesn’t come right along with exactly what we need to grow, including crisis and all those T words mentioned earlier?  I’m just sayen’—just contemplating the idea of the necessity of opposition, of the right amount of necessary tension to shape our souls, our hearts, our minds, and our spiritual journey here.

Take the Yin-Yang; within the light there is darkness and vice versa.  And as the white-light crowd goes one way seeking spiritual flaccidity and I go the other contemplating the necessity for oppositional tension, life goes on as it will despite our theories.  Are our experiences in life on Earth all about haphazard odds? Or is there a divine force of intelligence guiding those odds?  As they say in the book and movie The Hunger Games, “May the odds be ever in your favor!”

Meanwhile, if any of those T words are part of your experience (tensions, trials, tests, and trauma), don’t immediately jump to the conclusions that those white-lighter’s push about creating your reality and positive thinking and all the rest of that.  You don’t need a crash course in the Law of Attraction (gimmie’ a break!) and you don’t need to escape into the white-lighter nihilistic delusion either.  Simply realize the true 11:11 vibrational message:  there needs to be balance, yin/yang and avoid the flaccid spiritual extremes.

White and black are the colors of the numbers of 11 which is reminiscent of the yin/yang symbol—two sets of opposites, the world of duality—light in the darkness and darkness in the light.

The number 11 represents challenges; do people know this?

Here’s something I found online [http://www.professionalnumerology.com/chaldeansystem.html] about the number 11:  This is an ominous number to occultists. It gives warning of hidden dangers, trial, and treachery from others. It has a symbol of a “Clenched Hand”, and “a Lion Muzzled”, and of a person who will have great difficulties to contend against.   [Based on Chaldean numerology]

My greater point is that great difficulties happen even though we wish that “the odds be ever in your [our own]  favor” …  despite that, sometimes struggle, strain and striving happens and like the flower pushing against the rock and soil or mud, that’s how we grow.  Don’t let those white-lighters make you feel bad – it doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong! It’s only life on earth; it’s soul growth and maybe it’s the odds!  😉

divider3-15-13

I just remembered a few things.  First, I’ve not been blogging regularly and with this recollection, I (once again) vow to be more consistent.  Secondly, what ever happened to the 37 Verses of the Bodhisattva that I said that I was going to start doing?  Opps, see all of the above; it’s an 11 year!  However, with the above in mind, I did draw a verse number out of the basket here to add to rectify my delinquency.  I drew vow #23 which has to do with attachment and impermanence.  It talks about not holding on to anything — yin or yang, light or dark and those rainbows in life and not being attached to anything.  What do you think about how this verse applies to what I’ve written in this post?  Here it is:

When you encounter attractive objects,

Though they seem beautiful

Like a rainbow in summer, do not regard them as real,

And give up attachment.

Life Crisis, Co-Emerging Wisdom and Confusion, Bardo States

sky
Sky Consciousness

The wisdom teachers tell us that this reality, this lifetime is a bardo state just as the state after death is known as bardo—and that bardo states are states of deep uncertainty.  Many people live their lives in that state of deep uncertainty while being out of touch with the self as well as, anxious, restless and often paranoid.  I don’t think there’s all that much difference between the state after death and our states-of-being while alive; yet, I’ve not much aside from my own intuition to base that on.  Anyway, I’ve been thinking how what can be true for people is how we have energies that co-emerge especially in times of crisis—wisdom and confusion arising simultaneously in ways that life presents us with a choice.

There does seem to be a certain clarity and wisdom behind the confusions of life (the dramas) and this is where we can turn to for our guidance moment-by-moment.  It is not a contradiction; we can have and do have (if we self-examine our life with honesty) both clarity and confusion arising at the same time.  It’s like we have a choice to look deeper for the co-existing wisdom that exists with or right alongside confusion; it’s always there.

I’ve also been thinking about gaps in thinking as being the basis for primordial consciousness or what I’ve heard referred to as sky consciousness—the sky is always there while there can be local weather and dark clouds or even thunder storms; if you go high enough you see there is clear and calm sky above the storms.  Within our minds, this clear sky is the god-consciousness or use the word (s) you prefer to describe that clear sky—First Cause, Divine Intelligence, etc.  I wrote about that in this week’s newsletter:  The essential nature of mind has been called “God” by the Christians and Jews; Hindus call it “the Self”, “Shiva”, “Brahman” and “Vishnu”; Sufi mystics name it “the Hidden Essence”; and Buddhists call it “buddha nature”.

So these gaps in thinking during meditation and the gaps that happen and get even wider during a shock or trauma are opportunities to experience moments of enlightenment if we see them, recognize them.

Oh, my car used to give me those moments, believe it or not!  One minute driving along and then suddenly the engine chokes and then surges and then chokes again; a bit shocking!  Once it even (due to near zero transmission fluid/leaking without my knowing) went from 70 mph to 5 mph in less than 5 seconds.  Well who had time to count seconds?—seemed instantaneous to me.  Like some invisible force slamming on the brakes while you were fly along the Interstate Highway!  Yeah, talk about giving you pause!  Recently I slammed my small toe into furniture resulting in it hanging off to the side of my foot at about a 90 degree angle.  Again, talk about slamming on the brakes!  Those types of moments when the entire reality seems to change and one holds one’s breath in a way—time standing still because you are a bit shocked by what is happening… those are moments of heightened awareness and a bit of that clear sky manifests in the mind.

First there is a shock and you are a bit paralyzed and that is followed by a moment of deep stillness.  It’s like you take a second or two to realize something horribly different from the previous reality has just occurred and then time stands still—any previous state of mind has completely vanished and in that in between state where one reality changes in to totally and drastically different one there is a peace in that transition, a deep relaxation and it can even become a momentary feeling of bliss as everything let’s go.  There is something there in that transitional moment when reality suddenly changes in those ways and it’s that primordial sky-type of Presence with the capital P.  There comes along with that an acute alertness that the reality isn’t real – the mind becomes totally free, liberated.

Strange as it seems to write about it now, those moments are weirdly comforting.  Makes you wonder about people who continually seek those types of moments out—thrill seekers and the like.  That’s not me by any means!  Nor is there an intention to seek out those kinds of moments.  Yet those moments can be really good re-aligners (if that’s even a word) helping us to come back into alignment and fully “present”.   Personally, I’m for allowing things of that nature to happen naturally and only if necessary.  I’ve been thinking about these types of events and wanted to blog about it.  Next time (if there is a next time but certainly the time of death will be that type of time for all of us) my reality changes drastically like that, I’m going to try to hang out in that moment, that gap, intentionally for a bit longer in even more of a state of awareness if possible.  The trick, I suppose, if there is one, is to remember to do that in the moment of crisis.  Here’s hoping!  🙂

Daily Divination 9-3-11 A Shake Up That’s a Wake Up and Dramatic Power Shifts; I-CHING KUA 51, The Arousing

Wow – that image will get your attention won’t it? The image and today’s message is inspired by the I-CHING Kua 51 called “The Arousing” and also “Shock” and “Thunder”. This energy archetype is about movement that is so violent that it brings forth terror, fear, trembling. Yike! Sure sounds a bit like Pluto and Uranus together, doesn’t it? (by the way, both planets are retrograde right now—Uranus goes direct in December and Pluto goes direct in a couple of weeks).

This makes me think of an old teacher of mine. People would come to her telling their tales of woe about personal loss—jobs lost, people dying, cars crashing and deep betrayals. And she’d have this look of magical enchantment on her face and tell them that this is all wonderful. They’d look at her like she’d lost her mind but she’d explain that the events were evidence of the soul moving forward and spiritual progress potentials at hand. She was filled with reverence for the transformational energies manifesting in those people’s lives and she’d encourage that same appreciation within them.

In the Wu Wei Book of Answers here’s something it says about this Kua and today’s cosmic communiqué: “Most people react to shock with fear and trembling, but superior persons do not let shock from their mind effect or change the constant awareness that they are divine creatures in a divine Universe, and that the shock was entirely for their benefit.”

If a person doesn’t “get that”, they remain stuck in a victim mentality and the true meaning of “the arousing” and the shocking event will be completely missed as-well-as the potential success that can come from it.

It goes back to something I write a lot on this blog and that is: either you believe that you live in a universe that is working in your favor and that all that happens contains meaning and purpose or you don’t. And if you don’t, you are stuck in the swamp of complaining and bemoaning your fate.

When events occur, such as 9-11 or Katrina or even her recently visiting cousin, Irene, wise individuals are awed by the forces of nature and use the event as opportunities to examine their life, study whether their affairs are in order, and reflect upon how they have and will live their lives. Many times people find strength and compassion for others that they did not know they had at these times.

I’ve always loved the stories about the animals who know the storm or tsunami or earthquake is coming before their human cousins. They don’t miss the buildup of energy that occurs preceding these events.

If we are more like these animals and remain tuned into the signals of our lives and the universal force of energy, we would avoid the panic and fear at those times.

This Kua makes me think of that movie, “Inception”, with Leo DiCaprio and the wake-up “kick”. I do love that flick! The Universal alarm clock gives us wake up kicks all the time and I’d say that so many outer planets retrograde right now are providing the wind-up needed for that alarm to go off. If the alarm clock goes off and a “shake up that’s a wake up” happens in your life, remember that all that occurs is for our benefit—no matter how it looks! It is up to us to find the benefit of the potential success that can come from it.

These “arousing” times are moments of brilliant illumination and clarity when suddenly everything comes into focus… think: near death experience and that type of thing to get the full meaning here. These are times when we can learn a great deal about ourselves.

Think of a dark night with no moon and suddenly the sky lights up from a lightning strike and for a brief second, everything appears as if in daylight. Will you close your eyes at those moments unwilling to see what is there? Or will you keep your eyes open, stay alert and ‘take in’ what is being shown to you?

Crisis always brings opportunities for awe-inspiring change… remember this next time lightning strikes in your life and think of Kua 51, The Arousing.

PS.  Jupiter – is the god of rain, thunder, and lightning! And his calling card is the thunderbolt.

As Jupiter goes stationary and then direct, there may be a culmination of energy at that time.

Jupiter will station on the christian’s Christmas Day, December 25th (2011) at 0 degrees Taurus will begin to resume its forward movement on the 27th.