Write Your Astrological Love Story!

Earlier this week, Venus turned direct.  In astronomy and astrology, we say that a planet  is retrograde when its movement appears backwards to us from our vantage point here on Earth; going direct, then, means that it looks as if that planet is moving forward in its orbit again.  Symbolically, a retrograde period is a time to reflect, review, and reassess.  When the planet goes direct again, it is time to put our revised plans into action.

Venus is in the sign of Gemini now. Venus, of course, represents love and relationships; Gemini represents communication, learning, multi-tasking, and other intellectual pursuits.  So, if we wanted to interpret Venus and her recent retrograde/direct movements in Gemini, we would say that we have just left a period of reflection on our relationships and are now entering a time to make adjustments.  Have we communicated clearly and honestly in our relationships?  Have we used our words for good in our relationships, or have we used them to manipulate?  Are we trying to take on too much and keeping too busy?

For today’s Friday Fun stuff, then, try writing a story or memoir of no more than 25 words using the words love, reflect (or reflection), and talk.

Happy Writing!

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You Payin’ Attention?

The header picture for this blog is a holly.  That holly is, in many ways, the reason for this blog.

One of the most important qualities for a Wisdom Warrior, I believe, is awareness.  As we each walk along our particular path in life, are we paying attention to the lessons and opportunities that come our way?  Whether you amble, sprint, or boogie down your life path, you can still notice the signposts that appear before you.

Of course, noticing is only part of the equation in “paying attention.”  After you notice, do you then ponder?  Do you take the time and effort to study your messages?  Do you research the signs and wonder how they apply to you?

Take my holly, for example.  This particular holly is on one of my favorite trails in Valley Forge Park.  Each time I walk or run past my holly, he catches my eye.  When I took this picture, it was early spring, so he stood out against the bare trees and brownness around him.

As a symbol, the holly signals that it is time to become the spiritual warrior, that it is time to be clear about our purposes.  Native Americans and Druids, among others, believed the holly to be a sacred gift.  While it’s actually a bush, the holly is considered to have all the spiritual power of a tree, and it was often used to make wands, staffs, and prayer sticks.

So when my holly “appeared” to me, I read up on his symbolism and knew it was time for me to be clear about my endeavors and my intentions.  While a challenging one for me, I accepted holly’s message and embarked on a new learning curve.

How about you?  Any signs come your way lately?  Are YOU paying attention?  Share here!

Sports: My Greatest Teacher

This past weekend, I traveled to a competition with the women’s dragon boat team that I coach.  For this particular race, I got to participate not only as a coach but also as an athlete.  For various reasons, I have not been able to paddle much myself over the past few years, so this event represented more than one challenge for me.

In a previous post, I wrote about my belief that our Higher Selves choose lessons for us to learn in each particular lifetime.  I believe that my Higher Self nudged me towards sports and fitness as the best “university” for me to learn my particular lessons.  I’ve played sports and competed since I was twelve years old, and for better or worse, I’ve become the person I am because of it.

For example, this weekend I was practically bombarded with life lessons.  In a forty-eight hour period, I had an opportunity to learn about

  • being both a leader of a group and a part of that group,
  • pulling on my “big girl panties” when it was race time even if I wasn’t feeling particularly fierce at that moment,
  • graciously accepting the support and love of my teammates instead of thinking that it’s weak to do so, and
  • finding the best in each person in the group and fostering that quality.

There were so many more little moments of learning and understanding.  This weekend was a symbol for all the lessons I’ve had in a lifetime of sports.

What about you?  What’s your “university” for life lessons?  Share your “alma mater” here!

Who Were You?

There is a saying that if we do not learn our history, we are doomed to repeat it.  As someone who believes that the whole meaning of life is to learn, I like this saying.  Just as politicians and world leaders should know the history of their countries, so we too should know our own past.  All of those lessons, successes, failures, small victories, and great sorrows add up to make us who we are.

What if we added an extra layer, though?  What if we considered past lives?  Many cultures and religions believe in reincarnation, and for today’s post, I ask you to entertain the idea too if you already do not.

I believe that we each go through many lifetimes, gathering experiences and memories and skills, so that we can grow.  I also believe that those experiences and skills carry over into each successive lifetime.  Think of it this way: each life is like a lab class where we put different theories to the test.  Hopefully, if you’ve done your homework well, you don’t have to keep doing the same lab exercises over and over in each lifetime.

So take a good inner look at yourself now.  What are your strengths, weaknesses, tendencies?  If you look at those as a whole, who might you have been in a past life?  For those wanting to comment, come up with a brief sketch of  a single past lifetime and share it here.

Me?  Well, I know that in this lifetime, I love Japanese art, have studied several forms of martial arts, and very much value things like honor, strength, and  balance.  So I am going to guess that there was at least one samurai lifetime in my past.  I can definitely see myself in 16th-century Japan, serving a shogun with pride and working hard to uphold the samurai code of honor.

Now, how about you????

Jupiter in Gemini

On Tuesday, June 12th, Jupiter moved into the sign of Gemini. Jupiter stays in any one sign for about a year, so this move will have some significance for us.  Here’s the symbolism for both Jupiter and Gemini, and what it might mean for you.

Jupiter represents expansion.  To me, Jupiter is a teacher who lets you learn by giving you just enough rope to hang yourself.  I always keep this image in mind because it helps keep me in check whenever I’m tempted to say “Oh, I can handle it!”

Gemini is considered an Air Sign, or an intellectual energy.  It represents cleverness, curiosity, learning, multi-tasking, and versatility.  When it’s not careful, it can be restless, scatterbrained, scheming, and lacking in follow-through.

So what do we make of this Jupiter in Gemini energy that’ll be around for a whole year?  I would say that the Universe is giving us an opportunity to learn how to think and grow intellectually, and to learn how to use our words and mental energies for good.  Thinking of finally writing that Great American Novel or taking an online class?  Go for it!  Thinking of taking on your twentieth task at work or promising something you may or may not be able to do?  Maybe time to think again.

Either way, enjoy the ride and remember to breathe!

Discuss!

I believe that  we can learn by being challenged and pushed.  Since this blog is about the pursuit of wisdom, I would like to challenge you to question your beliefs and explore your thoughts.  In these “Discuss!” posts I will write a sentence for discussion.  Feel free to defend, argue against, or simply wonder about the statement.

Live and let live.

Mind-Body

What do slumped shoulders signify to you?  A furrowed brow?  Most of us are pretty adept at reading and understanding body language.  For example, if you see someone standing stiffly, arms akimbo, foot tapping, you probably know this isn’t a good time to ask your boss for a raise.

Clearly, our bodies reflect our mental states.  But did you ever think that the mind and body are really more like ONE entity than two?  Think about it this way:  if you are stressed and tired, sitting with your own shoulders slumped and brow furrowed, you will likely feel worse.  The slumped shoulders will create muscle tension in your back too.  But if sit up straight, take a deep breath, and let your shoulders relax, you will probably feel a little better.

The study of the relationship between mind and body is an old one.  Practitioners have gathered observations about the shape of the body, the curve of the spine, even the lines on the forehead.  Ken Dychtwald, author of “Bodymind,” explains the connection, saying, “I have discovered that (the) body and (the) mind are reflections of each other and that the emotions and experiences which have formed my personality have affected the formation and structuring of my muscles and tissue.”

Here’s one example of how our emotions and experiences are reflected in our physiology.  Consider the top half of the body compared to the bottom.  The top half of the body has to do with communicating, thinking, and expressing.  The bottom half relates to our foundation, stability, and groundedness.  If you were to compare the two halves of one person, what would the proportionality say?

Picture the cartoon character Yosemite Sam:  giant head, barrel chest, teeny legs.  Now, Yosemite Sam was always yelling and shooting off either his mouth or his six-shooter.  He’s a perfect example of how the top half (expressing) is out of proportion to the bottom (stability).  I don’t think anyone would ever accuse Sam of being stable.

If you are interested in learning more about what your feet or your forehead says about you, check out Dychtwald’s book.  I also highly recommend “Reading the Body” by Wataru Ohashi.  Now sit up straight!

Start a Story!

Here’s a little something fun to get your creativity vibes going!  I’ve noticed that ANY exercise that gets me using my imagination will carry over into other parts of my life.  For instance, sometimes when I have writer’s block, I will get out my yarn and needles and crochet for a bit.  It pretty much always does the trick.  And now I have a really really really long scarf. . . .

OK, so your mission today is to come up with the first sentence of a story based on the picture below.  Your sentence must be no more than 25 words.  Happy Friday, and happy writing!