Nimitta – progress signs of Samadhi Meditation

I am going to post this on each of my website blogs as well as my newsletter.  Why? Some information that recently crossed my path explained many of my meditation experiences of the past and currently as well.  Many students of the psychic development class and those interested in spiritual and psychic/intuitive development may have had similar ‘signs’ of their spiritual progress or evolution.

Before I go into what those are, it’s probably best to offer the disclaimer that if one looks for these signs or tries to manifest them, they will be blocking their energy and possibly delaying further consciousness expansion in some way.  My teachers have always guided me not to get “hung up” on manifestations and to take with a grain of salt.  It is just the natural process of the mind—don’t be overly concerned, they’d say.

If you have read much on my website (www.psychicjoystar.com), you will see that I’ve mentioned mysterious occurrences that came about as part of my meditative absorption over the years.  Those were a total and complete mystery to me until this past week!

The history of experience for this life has always evolved in a way that much later explanations arrive that validate occurrences and I’ve always been grateful for that as it assures me that there was no conscious influence on my part.

As many readers may know, my tendency is to reach toward eastern philosophy my deeply personal effort to understand life, the mind, and of reality itself.  My studies and meditation time have not been in vain and have helped me to cope with some very difficult life circumstances.  Yet, there were always those mysterious events lingering in the memory of my mind.  Up until now, there were not fully explained in any kind of satisfactory way.

Then this past week there comes the information that does so!  I simply must share it.  It will be a brief outline and I will paraphrase some of it while keeping true to the text.  I will add some personal notes in parenthesis.  I hope this will be of use to others.
The signs of meditative concentration are known as “nimitta” and include the following:

  • For beginners, it is usually grey smoke color appearing in front of them.  When this occurs, the instruction is to concentrate on the natural breath; and gradually then, the breath and nimitta will become one.   In this stage the mind usually stays automatically will become one.  (Personal note:  when I would go hiking and be breathing more heavily, I would see more of this grey smoke in front of me.  By the way, it started out looking like black ink in the atmosphere, as if someone dumped a bucket of black ink in the sky.  I could see around it and through it and then gradually it lightened.)
  • As meditative concentration develops further, the gray smoky nimitta will change in color to white.  (This is exactly what happened to me.)  This is given the name of “the learning sign”.  As one continues to concentrate on the learning sign, the white form nimitta will change to a transparent nimitta and this is called “the counterpart sign”.  (I was in Sedona, Arizona atop a mountain at the time this occurred.  That was sometime in the late 1990’s.  I was still working as a Physical Therapist at the time.)  The instruction in the text is that one should concentrate on the transparent nimitta until a state of full absorption is reached.
  • The text says that unless one sees the counterpart sign, the meditative attentiveness or concentration is superficial.  (Again, I did not have any of this information until a few days ago and therefore did not know of the instruction to concentrate on the transparent nimitta.)
  • (In the eastern philosophy, the word used to describe these stages of meditation is called “jhana”.  I did not know that word until this past month actually.  And there is the discussion on audios that I’ve heard about maintaining states of absorption for 2 and 3 hours at a time without interruption.  This I was able to do when living alone in the mountains many times.  Since I’ve moved from the seclusion of the mountains–for approximately the past 6 years—that is rarely the case.)
  • The text says that once a person’s meditation practice is very clear they will, one day, see small particles, called “kalapas”.  When one see’s kalapas, they have reached the last stage of samatha(serenity/calm/tranquility) and the beginning stage of vipassana (insight/seeing things as they really are).   At this stage, one understands reality as small particles.

I must pause here to explain that this next part totally blew me out of my seat, so-to-speak!  I wrote about this on my website eons ago and this occurred, also, in the late 1990’s just before I moved (from Florida) to the mountains of North Carolina.  Here it is nearly 20 years later and it is only now that I understand what all of these experiences were about!  The book in which this information is contained was published in 2008, ten years ago.  Yet, it has taken me nearly all of the past ten years to adjust to the huge transitions in my life and to release a significant karmic relationship connection.  It hasn’t been until recently that my personal journey has directed me back to seek deeper levels of meditation, reaching for Samadhi again.  Anyway, this light, so white and so bright and it occurred when I was meditating on a star in the sky at twilight one evening.  I felt myself moving toward it and then the white brilliant light sort of frightened me.  It was everywhere I looked and lasted a good chunk of time and it faded finally as I looked at a large pine tree.   I’ve never seen it again all these many years.

  • The text says that there is a visual-like nimitta which is ‘the best one’.  (Again, the word nimitta means sign/mark/appearance.)  It is not seen with the physical eye.  It is purely a mental phenomenon.  It appears as if it is like a headlight in front of you, incredibly brilliant, so much so that you don’t think you can stare at it any longer.  (At the time I thought perhaps I drew the star right down in front of me – I’d been staring at a star during meditation at the time.)  This is not a visual thing at all and even though it is like looking at the sun, it is quite safe, because it is a pure metal image—according to the text.

If one tries to have any such experiences as described, the effort actually blocks the meditator’s tranquil absorption.  Actually, I recall trying to stare at a star again at various times in the past and could not reproduce that event –or any other unusual experiences of my past for that matter.
I wanted to put this out today so that it may be helpful to others.  Maybe I will save someone 20 years of wondering and never really knowing what those signs are really about!

The text that I’ve been referring to is called “The Experience of Samadhi” by Richard Shankman  and the specific information at nimitta were from interviews with Pa Auk Sayadaw, the abbot of a Forest Monastery in Burma and Ajahn Brahmavamso, who studied with Venerable Ajahn Chah and is the abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery and Spiritual Director of the Buddhist Society in Australia.
I am so personally grateful to them for the information shared in the text which has helped me considerably and renewed my meditative effort.

May it be that this information reaches the right person for the right reasons and be of the highest service.


CLICK HERE for complete list of all past newsletters 
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Pallas Athena in Astrology – A Personal Exploration

Pallas Athene – The Warrior Queen

The Goddess Pallas?  Where is she in your birth chart? Where is she transiting currently for you?  I’ve written about CERES and one post about the group of Pallas/Athena, Juno, and Vesta.  Now that I’ve taken a deeper look at CERES in a singular post, the goal is to do the same with Pallas and then Juno as well, as time permits anyway.

Disclaimer:  Probably, it should be mentioned that I suffered a significant blow to my head in a freak event involving wind.  And while it may be wishful thinking that I’m no worse for the wear, this post writing is being used as a distraction from a headache.  Bottom line:  I hope this will make sense to the reader, despite some type of concussion being part of it all.

Pallas Glyph representing a spear

Now.  That said.  One thing here is that Pallas rules Aquarius—or so the greater astrological minds tell us.  My own natal Pallas is located in the sign Aquarius— making my Pallas, that particular part of my psyche, strong for that reason.  She is known to be the protectress and thus the glyph is shaped like a spear. She is said to represent the polarities of courage and its opposite, fear.

In addition to ruling Aquarius (air), she rules Leo (fire)—so she brings together creativity (Leo/fire) and mental qualities (Libra and Aquarius/Air).

She is thought to be the Goddess of Wisdom and Justice in addition to the previously mentioned Protectress.

Rounding out the generalities about Pallas, she is often pictured with an owl and spear as well as shield.

The myth involving Jupiter is that she was born from his head which infuses her with the male/warrior vibe along with the wisdom that she is known for.

Our style of perception and intelligence level can be described in our horoscope by the state of Pallas in our chart; well, at least so sayeth the elder astrological soothsayers.

Inspired vision, intuition, curiosity, genius and exceptional perception and the capacities for same are also to be determined by the state of one’s Pallas in their chart.

Challenges to perception can be determined by so-called stressful aspects to Pallas.  Yet, visualization ability and the capacity to perceive in wholes (seeing whole patterns) and to coordinate informational systems is indicated by aspects to Pallas.

PERSONAL EXPLORATION OF PALLAS

Here comes a personal piece:  My Jupiter (4th house in Scorpio) is square to my Pallas which brings in the right brain/intuition qualities of Jupiter with Pallas and that is what (I believe) helps me in my study of astrology and with my intuitive ability.  Correlating and blending many bits of information to determine the larger picture is especially helpful in seeing the patterns in an astrological chart and in any psychic work.  Pallas/Jupiter aspects are known for blending and correlating information. Therefore, I appreciate my Pallas/Jupiter square especially because of that and also that aspect and the energy in our psyche known as Pallas is understood to govern healing techniques (including self-healing), visualization, meditation, mind control, hypnosis and the like.

Personally, again, my 7th House Pallas is trine Venus (in Libra/3rd) and Pallas is trine Uranus (Retro in Gemini/11th).  Also, Pallas is opposing Saturn (in Leo) in my natal chart.

The elder astrologers tell us that in the mythology of Pallas, she operated as a “woman in a man’s word”, being accepted as a colleague or equal in the world of men.  My own natal Pallas Saturn opposition, I believe, touches on that theme based on my life experiences.

Pallas in Aquarius (such as mine) represents futuristic perceptions and also carries an indication of the revolutionary quality to the psyche.  In this 7th house of (the other/s), it indicates that the soul/psyche of the individual (myself in this example) possesses strong meditating and counseling abilities – or so it says in the books that astrologers have written about Pallas.  This fits, of course, with me in that this is the work that I do and meditation is a strong focus in my life.  I could add that the Saturn opposition to Pallas from the 12th house brings the spiritual (12th house ruled by Neptune) quality into the work that I do—Saturn rules work/career/cosmic job in one’s birth chart. Again, I think of the aspect of opposition as a blending energy rather than the more negative qualities associated with that aspect.

My own Pallas trine Venus aspect seems an important one as Venus is culminating at the 29° degree of Libra in my natal chart,  signaling the culmination of that Venus energy in some way.  The Energy is fully developed in other words—or so the wiser astrologers tell us anyway.  Venus here is in the 3rd house so here we would have to include the 3rd house communication piece in the interpretation.  And as Venus easily works with (trine) Pallas, here we have again harmonious (Venus) communication of a counseling (7th house) nature.  It all fits with the work that I do and I am finding this exploration very validating of my life.

I mentioned earlier about Pallas square Jupiter in my chart.  Jupiter symbolizes the search for truth and meaning.  The square here brings up in my own life the red flag of being ethical and remaining in integrity  (truthful) with my work.  I am highly aware that it is, in some cases, too easy to take advantage of people when doing readings and my inner Pallas/Jupiter energy signals me very strongly to remain ethical in my work.

Pallas is trine to Uranus in my chart, which was also mentioned earlier—another harmonious aspect (trine).  So here we are talking about levels of mind when we talk about Uranus.  My Uranus is especially strong as it is located in my 11th house—the house that it rules, making it significant there.  Uranus is retrograde which makes this part of my psyche finely tuned inwardly.  Telepathic and intuitive abilities are a significant part of this Pallas-Uranus aspect.  As a Uranus trine Pallas aspect with the understanding that Uranus has a strong connection with astrology (per the teachers of the subject), my ability to counsel (7th house Pallas) others and befriend all types of people, creatively assist others using higher channels of intuition as well as astrological counseling . . .  well, this aspect is another that seems to be right on and fit my life experiences perfectly.

I really love astrology for its ability to validate not only my life but the life of my clients.  It’s true that some of the aspects can play out in various ways but when doing astrology, one must always anchor into the natal north and south nodes and their aspects while doing an interpretation.

In my natal chart, Pallas squares the natal nodes at a 4° orb, indicating that this energy has played out in my past lifetimes (South Node) or at least has been pre-wired in my psyche and is meant to be playing out in this current lifetime (North Node).  These nodes are in my 4th  (SN) and 10th (NN) houses, indicating that Pallas is destined to play a role in my cosmic job or career or at the very least in the public eye in some way as the NN / 10th house in Taurus indicates.

PALLAS  IN TRANSIT

Currently, at the time of this writing February 4, 2016,  Pallas is transiting my 9th house with Pallas in Taurus (interestingly enough Pallas conjuncts my natal Goddess Ceres).  My own take on that combination as far as interp or meaning is as follows:  teaching (9th house archetype) about Pallas and the other asteroid goddesses is indicated.  This transit is a pretty clear indication that Pallas wants me to learn and teach about her as part of my North Node Taurus evolutionary goal for this time period (while Pallas is transiting my 9th house merging with her Goddess sister, Ceres who is/was there at that degree at the time of birth).  The Asteroid Goddesses seem very alive in my soul/psyche at this time in my life.

In conclusion, here are just some other general tidbits and key phrases about the Archetype of Pallas:

  • Goddess of Wisdom
  • Goddess of War and Victory
  • Invincible in Battle
  • Is credited for using her wisdom to teach the populace how to settle disputes peacefully
  • Is often depicted as being clad in armor
  • Is often shown in artistry as accompanied by an owl
  • Patroness of the Arts
  • Goddess of health and healing
  • Possessed the gift of prophecy

I hope the reader will not find this post off-setting or confusing to read as, again,  it was written on a physically challenging day following a head concussion. 

It is my wish that the reader will find something validating and useful here.  In adddition, here is that recently written post about Ceres that I mentioned at the start of this blog:  CLICK HERE .

Personal Tarot Traits – I was the Knight of Swords!

Personal Tarot Traits – Relating Personal Daily Experiences to a Daily Tarot Card

Knight_of_SwordsI was the Knight of Swords.  This card is about obeying one’s own Spirit!  I was the Knight of Swords yesterday… well, at least there was me personifying this archetype.  I spoke my truth.  I was brave.  Someone (like me) with a lot of “people pleasing” and “confrontational avoiding” Libra in a birth chart finds that a challenge.

I took some action involving communicating something that represented my personal truth yesterday.  We could say that I defended my own truth which took a bit of courage in a way that is untypical of me.

(By the way, I’m not referring to anything having to do with yesterday’s King of Swords–I’m writing about an entirely different life experience.)

Sometimes when we do this kind of thing — speak our mind  honestly or make a decision that is in alignment with our inner wisdom — especially if we’re not accustomed to doing so — we may feel a pang of concern about it afterward.  Did I create karma or set into motion something that may come back to bite me?

When I drew this card yesterday,  I had no idea what it could mean for the day ahead. My own habit when I see a knight of any suit is to think “change” in some way. Perhaps “change” was true to some extent yesterday as well since, one thing leading to the next, I ended up changing my office arrangement again!  Which in this small apartment is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  LOL   As I was moving things around the apartment I thought of the Knight of Swords and of my usual tendency to think “change” with this card.   And of course “action” is another keyword that comes to my mind.  So those things fit with my office rearranging.

Yet, the other archetype here has to do with words, verbal stuff, communication — we’re talking about swords after all associated with air and Gemini energy.

The day before we had the King of Swords giving his speech at the local YMCA, but the Knight speaks more in personal terms, expressing personal opinions and ideals and … simply speaking his own mind in a more personal or one-on-one manner.

Yet, the Knight of Swords has to be careful not to be self-serving in his communication and aggressiveness has no place when speaking one’s truth either.

Upon self-examination I don’t think aggressiveness applies and the self-serving part is still up in the air (pardon the pun),  but I call following my intuition, even though it was rather impulsive, something that is fair for all concerned.

How do I know it was my intuition guiding me to speak my truth?  Well, first of all there was a feeling and secondly, there was that familiar thing that happens when I sort of watch that energy that comes in and takes over.  Overpowering confidence and calmness cover the whole scene as well.  That’s how it is when a higher part of me takes over.  It’s happened before, and I recognize it.  The reader may have to take my word for that one.

Moving bravely in pursuit of one’s ideals and honest truth despite any cost and allowing the higher mind and intuition to work without fear or apprehension are descriptions of the Knight of Sword’s energy.  That’s how it acts in the psyche and the world.

Allowing one’s self to be “daring”–that’s a good way to express it.  And that’s what I did yesterday.  Daring myself to speak my truth in way that wasn’t forceful, just matter of fact.

This Knight of Swords doesn’t control his horse but allows himself to lunge forward ‘with’ the horse.

When one obeys one’s own Spirit (my personal experience correlates this fact), the gift that comes is one of avoiding ugly and unnecessarily unpleasant situations.

In astrological terms (if you are an astrology buff) we could think of the Knight of Swords as the aspect called the “opposition”.

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ADDENDUM – WHY AND WHEREFORE’S OF THESE TYPES OF POSTS 

In the morning when I first awaken, I let guidance come in and do a waking dream for the day ahead.  On one of these occasions recently I received a directive in the form of an idea laced with intensity.   “Draw a card at the beginning of the day and reflect on its meaning and then revisit it at day’s end correlating the day’s experiences with the card.”  That’s the treasure at the end of the rainbow so-to-speak.  Doing so gives insight into the world of divination for the purpose of adding layers or additional traits to the tarot card meaning.  This deeper understanding to the cards can be applied for use when doing future readings.  It’s like letting Life Itself teach us the cards.  

Guilt, Withdrawal, The Hermit, The Leopard and the 12th House with Moon and Pluto

The HermitIts probably a good day to stay home and write.  The Moon is transiting my 12th house and sitting atop of my natal Pluto with Mars nearby.  Could get intense in the outer world today–best to keep that intensity within the 4-walls here.  Or so says the intuition.  The 12th house is about seclusion and withdrawal — or at least that’s one of the archetypes.  Or that’s one astrologically accepted classic model of the House 12 pattern anyway–withdrawal.

I think that its good for the soul:  withdrawal, going within, terminating connections with the outer world.

Sometimes we withdraw from life or from certain situations for self-protection but what do we really want to protect ourselves from?  The same thing that motivates all of us–we either seek pleasure or avoid pain.

Let’s face it. We don’t have to be martyrs in life.  I don’t think it’s wrong to disengage from persons, places or things that are unpleasant if we have a choice.  Sometimes we don’t but with the blessing of the universe, sometimes we do.  Why not exercise the choice and not feel guilty about it?

That’s how my 12th house Moon conjunct Pluto feels about it today.  I think that choice is a gift, why not use it and do so so without guilt?

I don’t know about you but sometimes my feelings of guilt, when present, seem to come from worries about what other people will think about me–people that I care about or who are important to me.  Sometimes we see ourselves through other people’s eyes and that triggers those old patterns of guilt that we’ve probably carried over a number of lifetimes.

Guilt serves no purpose and is un-necessary self-criticism.  Its like allowing those voices of the old Catholic nuns or critical parents or other authority figures to take over our psyche.

It serves one thing that is purposeful however; it let’s us know that we are still working on resolving something within our own relationship to our self.    We always think these things are about us versus them.  We think it’s about our connection to the ‘other person’ or ‘the job’, etc.  When really its about our own relationship to our own self.

In other words, in my own case, honoring my own tendencies and feelings without concern of being misunderstood or judged as being uncaring or cruel.  So in that way we can see that the concern really is self-judgment.

Give self permission to embrace one’s own natural tendencies which are there for a reason and there as much for other people’s benefit as well as our own.  And honor that.

One thing we learn when we withdraw is how to experience our feelings fully and to release them in full too because we are giving ourselves the space by withdrawing in order to do so.

To carry guilt is to sabotage ourselves.  Withdrawal gives us the space to know ourselves, and to understand our feelings and to release them.

One way to resolve any guilt is to rebuild faith in one’s self and withdrawal creates the space for faith and self-trust to become strengthened.

I always relate the TAROT card of THE HERMIT to 12th house withdrawal energy.  I think of an “old soul” (if you will) and someone more comfortable alone than with others and not because of a lack of social skills or anything of the sort.  Just someone who values alone time higher than surface or shallow time with others.

Leopard walking towardThe Hermit card relates to the 12th house in another way –or so I think.  I liken this energy to someone who has created their own religion or their own rules to live by following the inner guidance or personal conscience.  Here is someone with personal dogma and may be seen as eccentric because this is quite different than the consensus rules of society and is seeking spiritual happiness in ways that the consensus cannot understand or does not follow.

Sometimes I feel a lot like THE HERMIT and its animal counterpart THE LEOPARD. Today that feels more intense than usual — it’s one of those times.

But then again, the Moon is setting off my 12th house now highly activating Pluto so I accept that as normal for today.  Once a month my inner Hermit and Leopard get kicked up to higher levels as the Moon passes through this area of my psyche.

Thus, I stay home and even write about it!  😉 wink!

Feel Alone, Different, Like an Outcast? How Much Do You Unveil About Yourself to Others?

lonelyThat settles it!  Someone emailed me this morning asking me a question that I’ve been considering since last night.  Essentially, to bottom-line it, the individual is dealing with certain life challenges which (it sounds like) cause feelings of being alone and disconnected from the rest of the world.  I was just reflecting upon this very thing myself last night with my own physical setback here, realizing how lonely it can be (if you let it) when you’re ill or sick.  It feels very isolating–especially in my own case in that I could be contagious and purposefully avoid others and don’t blame people who would avoid me.  ‘Shoe being on the other foot’, I’ve done the same thing.  Someone coughs or sneezes or grabs for a tissue out in public, usually I’m the first one to go the other way.

But then again, this individual asks about deceit or pretending to be ‘normal’ like the others in the world (whatever normal means anyway) because the illness isn’t as obvious as a sneeze or cough.  The person finds it easier to tell those white lies or fib a little about things link vocation/career and in all relationships with others feels ‘abnormal’ in the world whilst otherwise there are no outward signs to the contrary.  Basically, the person asks me how I feel about this or if it were me how I’d handle it all.  But before we go further….

Fair warning:  I may ramble or meander being still under the influence of previous days worth of Benedryl and other such antihistamine and decongestant type drugs that my body ingested.  Then after being ‘too far gone’ and letting this “head-cold turn spring allergy” get out of hand and grow into a monster with various heads, the busy doctor’s office finally fit me in and AZithromycin (aka Z-pac antibiotics) are now fighting the battle with me.  So that’s why–I’m woozy and (until now) too ‘out of it’ to respond to email or sit at a computer in order to even focus long enough to blog or type anything meaningful.  But if you hang in through this maybe we can come out the other side with something worth the writing for me and the reading for you.

Again, for clarity’s sake, the individual with the question does not have a physically contagious malady and in fact it is not anything obvious to the casual observer (according to their description), which honestly I imagine to be more difficult than otherwise.  Why?

Because all expectations from society or ‘others’ in the world is that there exist in each life those common societal conditions considered to be ‘normal’.  But either way, maybe with my own little condition here (temporary one hopes), there’s a little something within me that can qualify me to give an answer or insight, albeit a small one.  After all, this is only a week for me whereas for this other individual, likely it’s been a lifelong issue.

But then again… well, wait.  Let’s consider it.  I think most of us spend our days here trying our best to feel normal and fit in and for the most part we can deceive ourselves into thinking we are.  Others seem to accept our explanations of ourselves as we covey those lines that mean, “I’m just like you.”  In fact, most of us probably do this more subconsciously than we realize.

I’ve long been aware of how I go ‘to the level of’ the person that I’m communicating with in order to establish a common thread in which to relate.  Take, for example, people who have a Virgo-Victim type of work ethic in the world.  You know the type.  All they talk about is how many long hours they put in and how early they rise in the morning and how crazy their boss is and basically… well, you get the idea.  You surely are not going to establish a common ground to relate to them by describing your life as one in which your values are totally different.   For example, maybe you’ve learned a few things and one is to work smart and not long or perhaps you’ve inherited a lot of money that changed your previous work ethic  Who knows why but let’s say that your life situation is totally different and doesn’t require those long hours.  Or maybe you simply aren’t wired to work 14 hour days at Walmart — and I just made that up; not knowing how many hours Walmart employees work in a day.  But you get the idea.

So are you being deceitful if your way of life is simply different (for various and sundery reasons) and…. well, here’s an example.  Let’s say I used to have a job once upon a time like that one perhaps and so can honestly relate and say, “Whew honey!  I hear ya’ sister.  Been there done that!”  So am in being deceitful?  Or maybe I did some work for my own business in which I worked day and night without much rest (like when I created my first website).  I was a self-employed task master!  (sometimes being your own boss you can be more of a slave-driver than any outside employer).  Either way, I can still relate and don’t have to feel dis-connected.

Well, okay.  Maybe those are silly examples.

I think it’s more a matter of ‘taking it on’ in a way.  In other words, helping the other person feel better about who they are by sort of pretending to meet their standards of how they see normal.  It’s like playing their game with them so that they feel okay about who they are and what they’re doing.

Sort of like agreeing with a crazy person–why would you try to convince them that their not if they are?  Now it’s true that they would think that it is ‘we’ who are the crazy ones when in fact it is ‘we’ who realize it is them!

Now who is crazy and who isn’t–pretty silly thing to speculate, right?

I don’t know if it’s best to pretend you are similar to others to help them feel okay if it makes you feel ‘not okay’.  But then again.  Whose to say whose crazy and who isn’t and whose okay and whose not?

The thing is that everybody is really alone with their own stuff and is pretending to be part of the conditioned society.  Ever hear that story about the emperor who has no clothes?

Being different — you being the only one willing to admit the emperor guy is naked –can be a lonely place to stand BUT ONLY IF YOU LET IT.  And that’s a key.

Got to toss in another one-liner and that’s the saying about feeling lonely in a crowd.  I’d pose to the individual who emailed the question about feeling deceitful by pretending to be like the others who can brag or discuss their life because it’s more accepted by consensus society to consider that everybody feels that way at a core level but most people spend the majority of their life trying to ‘fit in’ and be like what the consensus standards dictate.  Why do they do it?  Not all, of course, but some are afraid to be different or not-accepted.

In the end, we are born alone and we die alone but now we’re here we are with others; yet each of us is unique and different while at the very exact same time, we’re all the same!  A Zen riddle or a Paradox.

But most people don’t think about these things–too busy trying to fit in and make their mark or to achieve something to prove they are/were here.  Not all, of course, we have others consumed with helping others in some way and doing it going to a selfless level and so they probably never consider these kinds of things.  Good on them!

We’re all like that at times too of course.  Maybe the thing to consider is that we’re not like all people at all times–we have some similarities to others, always.  To find those and to relate to them is not being deceitful unless you believe it is.

Generally, ‘its a pickle’ as the saying goes.  And how a person views a thing or an attitude or a life situation is a personal decision.  I’ve felt like the outcast in my family and in any career or job I’ve held throughout my entire life and my work with intuition and astrology is fringe as compared to society at large.

I’ve not felt that separation from others so acutely until recently with regard to my health.  I’ve been sick before with flu or respiratory symptoms–bronchitis or the flu but never before did I feel as alone or cut-off as this time.  It was a different experience and one which has given me moments to pause, thinking toward the end-of-life scenario possibilities that we all face eventually.

What have those moments of pause revealed?  One thing that comes to the fore is how precious life is and what a gift it is and the realization of how much of my life I’ve spent resisting the many gifts Life as offered me by worrying about things like the gosh darn bills that come in the mail every month and the monthly rent that’s due!

I’m nearing 68 years old which by today’s standards is still young but when I was a child that was really, really, really old!  Anyway, life is more precious to me all the time and a few side trips into isolation from illness enabled me to have a preview of what my end days may be like.  And I see how it is a choice.

Isolation (whether forced or imposed) and whether it comes from being the oddball in society in any way — be that way due to illness of any type of different-ness  — is a gift really.  Those feelings  arising from that situation come to us as a catalyst to go within and reflect, resulting in the ability to make a choice as to whether or not we permit them to create a guilty state of being or a lonely state of being.  Its a choice.

To the person making the inquiry, I’d add this  To consider the fact that we (he/she and I) are aware enough to consider these matters is also a rare gift.  And we can use the awareness to create (or ‘be’) an example in the world which is either positive or negative but either way which creates by its very nature “teaching moments” as the saying goes.

No, I don’t mean that we have to ‘spill it’ to people who don’t care or who are strangers.  With those folks it’s probably best to play the game (pretend to be who they can most easily accept) in to help them (not ourselves) feel comfortable with interactions.

But to those who we do open up to and do reveal or expose ourselves, we do so and hope to create some awareness in those others or perhaps plant a seed in some way.

Is this making sense?  I mean look at a physician, a doctor..  Is it appropriate for him to go around examining people when he’s at a picnic or at the gym doing his workout?  The doctor doesn’t reveal himself when it’s not appropriate either.  Would it not be the same with anyone else?

I am feeling a bit weary now being that the antibiotic and I are still ‘fighting the good fight’ as the saying goes.  And the body is telling me to rest a bit now.

I don’t know if there may be a line here or a word or two here in what I’ve written today that is helpful to the email inquirer or to the casual reader of this blog.  I can only hope.

Oh, and one thing that has come from my own recent challenge is that it has create a desire within me to ‘visit the sick’ in some way as a volunteer in the community.  Now that I’ve had the personal experiences of how that feels–that loneliness of being sick–which I do not choose to entertain it (choice), it has inspired me to help others who may be feeling this alone feeling which I choose not to forget.

Anyway, I no longer volunteer at the soup kitchen (I lost my place with that when I moved) — this may be a way that I can do a little something on a volunteer basis again and I intend to look into it.

Perhaps, as a suggestion, the one who feels deceitful about their life could find (like me) something to do as a volunteer to help balance out those feelings.

Well, the person did write and asked me how I would handle it or what I would say about his/her “unveiling their true self to others”, using his/her words.

I will end this with the hope that there’s something within this post that you can use for your next step or as at least a partial answer to your question.

Another thought as I conclude, is that in some areas of my life, such as in places within my own control where i can keep a certain illusion of anonymity or where I feel there may be a greater acceptance, I tend to reveal quite a lot. Such as in my classes or in this blog, my website or weekly newsletter.  There’s a time and place for everything. One has to ‘read’ the situation, become sensitive, and follow ones intuition about what to say to who and when about one’s identity.  I always say the stomach or the ‘gut’ feelings can lead us to knowing when to speak and when to be quiet about ourselves.

I don’t tell every tom-dick-harry or man-on-the-street that I dig Divination, do Tarot, love Mysticism,  Buddhism and Hinduism (a few of my interests) and that I do astrology or that I teach about intuition or ‘read’ energy for others.  It’s still fairly well Fringe for the most part–I get that.  Not everyone is going to understand I’m not in cahoots with “the devil” like one of my own sister’s believes!  Also, one does have to maintain a certain sense of humor.

I’ve nearly worn myself out now…  I think what helps is to try to remember that we’re all alone with who we are and our divine self, the one within and that nobody is ever  going to ever fully understand us anyway–for me there’s a certain freedom in remembering that.

Time to lay the recovering body down a while for now….

Bottom line:  All is Well and Exactly as it Should Be!  

Meaning of the New Moon in Aquarius January 20, 2015 and the Aquarian in Your Life and The Chariot with Queen of Cups

New Moon times.  Could these be times in which the door to the psyche is open for us to enter and redirect our play just a little bit–at least emotionally?  And is it a time for us to create and debate and elevate as well as fixate about our emotional nature?  New Moon times could be  the most important part of our creative nature since it sets the tone for how we interpret the world.  Each month the dye is cast so-to-speak by our response to life at the New Moon time.  If we could mark the time and be aware of it, we could control the nature of the dye we cast for the upcoming 28’ish to 30-day lunar cycle.

If you happen to know  the house that the New Moon is in (for you), you can derive more insight from the vibes but even if you don’t know that information, it’s still beneficial to open to setting a new tone for your emotional responses to life.    (If you should happen to know what house 0° Aquarius falls in your natal chart, this will give you an idea for the areas of your life that will be activated and in what life categories the potential for renewal will be natural and beneficial to cast your emotional die for the next 30-day cycle.   But even if you do not know which house your 0° Aquarius is located, you can still benefit from simply knowing the sign itself.

So we have a New Moon in Aquarius!  This sign rules the 11th house of hopes, dreams and also carries a humanitarian and “friends” as general meaning archetypes.  Innovative thinking is part of the Aquarius vibe as well as freedom seeking qualities being a part of this energy.  In evolutionary soul astrology, it also links with “the wound” of the past lives.

So in any of those ways we can cast the dye for this next month–changing our emotional responses to life in those areas.

(Again, if you know the house of your natal chart that holds 0° Aquarius, you can factor in that information as well.)

I just had a brilliant idea!  (Now that’s the stuff that Aquarius is made of actually–brilliant ideas.)  Anyway, why not draw a few tarot cards to add insight to the Aquarius New Moon meaning here?  Why not?  It’s my blog and I can do what I want!–that last sentence (too) is very ‘Aquarian’ in nature.  🙂

Let me first reiterate that a New Moon relates to heightened sensitivity to a particular energy for the purpose of casting new dye for the purpose of renewing the potential of that part of your psyche.  Using emotion to rededicate yourself in some way–that’s another way to say it.  We can toss in “desire nature” as well here in that what we desire usually has a rather significant emotional derivative so using that energy to create something new in our lives.

Let me draw two cards now to help us to know more about this month’s New Moon in Aquarius, asking how we can best use this time for our highest benefit and therefore highest benefit of all.  I’m going to use the Hanson-Roberts tarot deck for this one; here we go.  (By the way, I love the images on this deck and the cards are small and fit nicely in my hands during the shuffle.  This is a deck that I used to program meanings from the divinitory method using my own memories.)

I drew THE CHARIOT and QUEEN OF CUPS. 

Chariot with Queen of Cups

Well, first impression:  male image/female image so a hint at balance confirmed by the yin and yang on the Chariot.  All those stars on the Chariot card really do remind me of the sign of Aquarius and now the Cup the Queen holds, definitely relates to emotions (cups equal emotion in the tarot system).

The Chariot also speaks of using one’s will, directing one’s energy and being determined; it is also about practice and practice making perfect.  Practicing what?  The Queen holds that answer–understanding your emotional reactions.  Satisfaction comes from practicing using one’s will to understand emotional responses and to keep on that path and exerting control in some way to achieve a goal.

Sometimes we let our emotions spin out of control.  Yet, these cards speak of the suggestion that this New Moon cycle the directive is about making it a goal to control emotions so that they do not spin out, causing us to break down, go off our intended path and by failing to maintain our balance and by neglecting to keep the positive/negative pull of our nature (yin/yang) under control.

I think of the Queen of Cups always as it relates to intuition and also empathy/compassion — those energies, too, need to be balanced so that emotions don’t spin out.

The Queen sits by an ocean and this hints, to me, that water can help in our endeavors this month and if there is a goal that you believe you’d like to reach regarding water in any way, this New Moon in Aquarius would support that.   Many people feel very “at peace” near water or even in water.  Aquarius, after all, is the “water bearer” (despite it being an ‘air’ sign.  The Chariot does relate to the Sign of Cancer and Cancer is ruled by the Moon and Moon energy always relates to water.

The New Moon
The Sun and Moon are joined together to create something new during the New Moon time

So on all levels I do get that a message for this New Moon time relates to emotion and the goal of harnessing those in some way that relates to Aquarius energy — friends, hopes, dreams, humanitarian causes, group energy or perhaps it relates to a person with the Sun sign Aquarius with the understanding that the Sun and Moon are neck-in-neck right along side one another at the same degree when there’s a New Moon.

Give it another go here–what I mean is to consider reading this post over again with what your intuition tells you Aquarius means to you!  Cast the dye consciously.

Final thought:  is there a way that you can balance emotions for a new cause, a new reason in this new lunar phase?

Psychic Predictions for 2015 — Happy New Year

This is a duplication of today’s newsletter.  If you are subscribed to both the blog and newsletter, you will unavoidably get this same information twice; my apologies.

Psychic Predictions for 2015
by Joy Star

Psychic Predictions 2015 CollageThe first day of the New Year here is sunny and cold, no—freezing, to be exact; at 32° F. and there are feelings of optimism covering the earth, permeating the mind and hearts of those open to these plentiful vibes.

The numerology for the 2015 year totals to an 8 and this is a vibration associated with material and business success and increases in prosperity.

There have been upswings in the economy during 8 years; 1934, 1943, 1952, 1961 and 1970 were all 8 years.  (Include with that list 1997 and 2006).   However, there can be minor instability at the start of 8 years because reorganization takes place at the start of 8 years. Large scale plans are set into motion in 8 years and material progress occurs.  [Source:  Kathleeen Roquemore, It’s all in your Numbers]

Moved! Yay

Back to a personal note now, I’ve just (in this past week since Christmas) moved into a cute and cozy little apartment that has the appearance of being its own little house—a one level end unit. It is a quiet little rental community here—individual buildings spread apart on the side of a hill surrounded by wide open grassy areas bordered wooded areas and trees kindly left by the 1970 builders. Trees remain in and around the campus giving the place the feel of a campground. I’ve yet to hear either of my neighbors—both elderly females in a one bedroom unit like me. In comparison to the living conditions experienced since moving from the mountains, this is heaven and appreciated fully as “heavenly is-ness” by me.

2015

I am asking, through my connection with Divine Mind today, for a few predictions for the New Year. (Family came to visit last evening, New Year’s Eve, and we went to dinner. I’d been so tired and quite relaxed after a series of days of moving and organizing things in the new apartment that my meditation was very short and sweet and I fell into deep and restful sleep just after midnight. Therefore, no list of predictions as in the past years, but for a few minor ones which are quite personal.

However, now I will ask for several general predictors for 2015 using my tarot cards which I planned to unpack today anyway. So let me get those out and give a good shuffle and draw two.
Predictions for 2015

Ten of Swords and Queen of Cups – an interesting combo here and one insight is that this will be the year of “the woman” or the “yin vibes” (intuition, gentleness, compassion, empathy) will receive it’s “due”, if you will, becoming more recognized, appreciated and valued.

The bleeding stops (if you will) this year as well. Wounds of the past—whether financial, emotional, or material—begin to heal. With any deep wound, the first thing we need to do is to “stop the bleeding” and that’s the theme for 2015 as well. Excessive dependencies (bleeding) will stop and self-acceptance and courage evolve.

Self-appreciation and giving one’s self credit helps to cauterize wounds of the past resulting in greater emotional control and a finer insight into the motivations and thinking of others. Again the feeling of increased intuition and optimism comes through these cards—the worst is over so let the healing commence (in whichever way it occurs)– financially, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

Even if the reorganizing and healing results in what appears to be (10 of Swords) painful or difficult in some way, the ability to hold the intuitive end emphatic view (Queen of Cups) involving the “stopping of the bleeding” in some way will overcome that appearance.

And a calm, peaceful, deeper-knowing sense of things rules overall (Queen of Cups). That saying “it is not circumstances, it is the view that one takes of those circumstances” will be the key to success in 2015.

There is a true “death of the old cycle” that really feels very clear; thus the optimism. It is as if the Ten of Swords represents 2014 and the Queen of Cups, 2015.

The days of too much worrying and over-thinking and painful analysis are over (generally speaking) and it becomes much easier now as we move into 2015 to embrace trust and faith.

It is through acceptance, trust and faith that the “light at the end of the tunnel” is seen and that describes the transition point and energy shift between the calendar change from 2014 to 2015 or from a 7 year to an 8 year.

On more mundane levels, issues of breathing or doing breath work help to ease the transition and there may be more interest in doing breath work or engaging in breathing exercises for health and meditative purposes.

In 2014 we may have dealt with situations that were painful or difficult and while that is true of any year, this past year involved misplaced confidence or trusting the wrong people—overestimating or underestimating. There may have been more obstacles than in other years and issues of the back or bones/joints may have been more prominent. But that’s in the past now. (Ten of Swords)

In 2015 VENUS tranquility rules our lives—this is my prediction

Venus is rising in the sky now and the Queen of Cups is traditionally connected to this planet.

The Queen of Cups is the yin energy relating to a strong spiritual base. Love vibrations are associated with this predictive energy as well and it feels right to mention that feelings of love for humanity and life itself will rise within us in 2015.

Attainment of spiritual power and higher consciousness is on tap for us in 2015.

Business – Career

In business matters, simple devotion to the career involving persistence (don’t give up the ship!) will result in success this year.

Summer of 2015 – Oceans, Water

I also feel that in the summertime of 2015 there will be great concern with water, the waters—perhaps oceans. Keep an eye on the oceans in June and July for something significant.

Additionally, people may want to visit their local area beaches or travel to the shores of their country for vacation or recreation more so than in other years.

I feel the healing energy of water will be paramount in some way in the summer months—especially late summer.

Outer Space

News of space or some finding or discovery about the planets or solar system occurs this year which changes people’s view of their life and the cosmos.

Some type of space travel by the business sector occurs as well. Also something about Mars makes the news this year.

Spending

People seem more willing to take risks or make bigger purchases—again, the level of optimism helps the economy generally.

Technology

April brings some type of big news that affects us all on a global level and it has a feeling of technology that comes with it.

So these are a few psychic predictions for 2015.

One last thing

This is a year in which you will know who you are—not just believe but truly know. Last year prepared you for this.

Dedication: May all living beings, without exception, have their needs met abundantly and experience the liberation that contented happiness provides.

Happy New Year to One and All with Love and Happiness,
Joy

Boundaries and Blackbirds: Our greatest challenge is to break away from the herd

What do boundaries and blackbirds have in common?
What do Boundaries and Blackbirds have in common?

Carl Jung said that as humans our greatest challenge is to break away from the herd

Boundaries.  Those lines we draw around ourselves to maintain balance and to protect our psyche from invasion.  Yes, or maybe ‘intrusion’ is a gentler word.

The push of energy that comes from the behavior and the demands of others requires a boundary.  That boundary keeps us from being used or manipulated by others and within that boundary we can express our true nature.  Personal boundaries allow us to be in the driver’s seat of our own lives.

Without healthy boundaries we sometimes give up a part of our self to be available or accommodating in a way that enables others and causes a loss of self-respect.

We can  become so entangled with another person and their needs (co-dependent behavior) that we lose your own identity. This undermines our integrity and leads to a loss of self-respect — and the respect of others around you.

Respecting boundaries. I asked my self today if I honor other people’s boundaries.  Do I push myself on others?  When I get a hint that a person does not wish to socialize with me, do I continue to insist that they do so?  And  do I solicit others in passive-aggressive ways to elicit sympathy from others using them to assist me to push boundaries even further?

Sounds like a little bit like the animal–the bull, doesn’t it.  But you know how some people keep on antagonizing the other, right?   I have a visual.   Someone who is like a bull and charges upon others.   Wave that red flag in my face one more time and I may, do like the bull, and charge!  🙂

Do people have a fundamental right to set limits and expectations in their life without incurring the judgment of others?  I think they do.  You know that saying,  “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.“–??

Can people consider the wishes of others yet still make choices regarding personal boundaries?

People are the way they are.  Can we accept that without judging them, trying to manipulate or change them?

I operate from my own truth.  You do too.  And when we respect other people’s truths,  we expect our own truths to be respected in return.

Manipulative people do not understand boundaries.  They force themselves into the space of other people’s lives.

Where’s the compassion?  Fear is the root of it all, you know?  The boundary pushing person has a fear of not being loved, not being good enough, deserving enough.  Okay, that’s understood.  So then what? Do we let the person keep pushing or what?

Compassion for the boundary pusher and for the one with the boundaries ( both ) is what’s needed here.  There is the defensiveness from the one with the boundaries who says, “See what I see, hear what I hear, feel what I feel and then maybe you will understand.”  And the other one, in the meanwhile,  of course still pushes– the habit of fear being the driving motivation.

“You couldn’t handle half of what I’ve dealt with and don’t understand that there’s a reason that I do what I do”, says the one who has been willing to accept responsibility for their own life and who has developed the self-respect which created the boundary.  Victim talk?

Personal boundaries are more than OK–and it doesn’t mean that you are selfish or unkind if you push back when someone pushes yours.  Boundaries mean that you have a clear picture of who you are and how you want to live.

In a family dynamic it is always more difficult or better said–complex.  Sometimes we have to endure a person for the sake of keeping the relatives happy, right?  Or do we?  Do we enable dysfunctional behaviors in family members? Or don’t we?

The “herd mystique” and it’s allure

There is a quote from Carl Jung about this being one of the human’s greatest challenges.  Fitting in with the group, the herd, the clan–“You are family so you HAVE TO be around me!”  Where is that written?  Genetic connection or NOT;  do we vote with our presence indicating that dysfunctional behavior is acceptable?

On another note, is it our responsibility to straighten other people out in ways that we believe they should ‘act’ according to our own standards of behavior?  Whoa! Now  that’s one huge judgment if we believe that.  Where’s THAT truth?  Speak it.  Does that sound right if you say it aloud?  Best not to push your truth onto others or become a evangelist — that’s a karma creator if there ever was one.

By placing a boundary and living within it, you are living your own truth and being compassionate to yourself and to the other as well.  You are also teaching people in your life what self-respect looks like through example.

We have to trust what we know and what we have learned from the work that we have done in our own life via self-analysis, theology, philosophy and spirituality. 

This is especially true if we speak about times when our boundaries are pushed and disrespected, especially in a family situation.  Those are the most charged with the opportunity for growth and for teaching through example.

People who push boundaries are giving you the opportunity to develop or to teach self-respect.  Pushing back is a delicate art.  Knowing how to push back against pushy people takes stamina and skill. (Personally, some days I feel too old for it quite honestly.)

Anyway, push-back involves maintaining your own autonomy and self-esteem when you are being invaded.  You know that you need to step back and protect yourself, while minimizing any hostility or confrontation.  Not easy.  People are going to be offended.  Sometimes I think pushy people know that and it makes them push all the more–or they enjoy the drama.

People who push boundaries are acting out of fear and desperately trying to fulfill their own needs.  Social self-reliance is not really their forte’, their strong suit yet; they’re working on it.  We’re all a work in progress.

Self-care means recognizing the importance of your feelings and honoring them and when you set boundaries, this is what you are doing.  It’s important.

But we’re “All One”–right?

We’re all one and connected and while this is true, and while we can be compassionate and understanding as we see the ‘bigger picture’ with self and others, we still have to be able to function here and in order to do so we must stay emotionally healthy while maintaining boundaries… all the while doing the relationship dance.  Being human isn’t easy.

Being human isn’t easy and being the best human you can be… well, it’s tricky sometimes.

I think the best thing we can do is get out of the judgment with the whole business with boundaries and relationships and being social.  I think Jung was right about the “herd mystique”– our greatest challenge being to break away from the herd.

To fully “individuate” is to be able to stop trying to “fit in” and  to be comfortable living in your own truth.  Separating one’s self from those to whom one does not feel an authentic connection takes courage.  The wrath of the clan falls upon you sometimes; that comes along with the territory of being your own person.

There is perceived safety in numbers which is an illusion just as much as any other erroneous belief we hold about living in this dimension.  Some people, and maybe I’m one, feel more authentic outside of the herd.  Strong boundaries are needed and when threatened, need re-enforcing.  Should that be a surprise?

What about karma?

Karma.  It’s our intention that creates it.  I think that needs to be said as well.  To have a boundary does not carry ill intent.

No man is an island onto himself, it is said.  We are one; yet, it is ego that separates us or gives a unique history of experiences and thus identity.

Judgment also separates us– i.e. “…you are different” or “… you should behave toward me in one way or another”.  It all gets us to work on our human growth and evolution both individually and collectively.

blackbirdBut in the meanwhile, as we do all of that, I like the blackbird way of interacting with their fellow birds. If a bird lands on a nearby branch and is not the mate of that blackbird they do a little nod (a bow) and fly away. Blackbirds are pretty solitary.  They are known to establish their territory, fiercely defending it (boundaries) by driving off any of their kind that get close to their vicinity.  Boundaries and blackbirds seem to go together.

What’s the bottom line? The ending conclusion? The final thought?  The summary? The point? The meaning?  I don’t know.   I just do hope something here helps someone out in cyber-world as I worked through some thoughts about boundaries today.

Here’s an article about emotional manipulation that I came across shortly after writing the blog above.  Some may find this helpful:

http://themindunleashed.org/2014/09/8-ways-spot-emotional-manipulation-free.html