Thinking about Yom Kippur

The Jewish Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, began last night and goes through the whole day until this evening, when the observant will break the fast that marks this holiest of days in that tradition.

I am not Jewish, and I am not writing here about the religious aspects of this holiday.  Rather, this morning I woke up thinking about the meaning of Yom Kippur and atonement and forgiveness.

Not knowing a whole lot about the Day of Atonement, I decided to do a little internet research to see what symbolism is associated with it.  The number 5 seemed to be important to Yom Kippur (if I can trust the information I found online):

  • There are 5 prayer services on this day.
  • In the section of the Torah that addresses Yom Kippur, the word soul appears 5 times.
  • “Soul” is known by 5 different names (soul, wind, spirit, living one, unique one) in the Torah.

In numerology, the number five is a restless sort of number.  It represents selfishness and a lack of discipline as well as change and constant motion.

Hmmmm. . . . Does restlessness lead to self-examination?  Or do the undisciplined use constant motion as a way to AVOID reflection?  I’m curious about this connection of Five Energy and the Day of Atonement.  I know for  me, I do often use movement as a sort of meditation.  If I am stuck on a personal issue, I will go for a walk or run; it will usually clear my head and lead to resolution.

Do you have any reflective practices?  Do you reflect at all?  What traditions do you follow for atonement or adjustment of your behavior?  I would love to hear your thoughts!


Saturn on the Move

Poor Saturn.  He gets such a bad rap from some astrologers.  I can understand where this reputation comes from.  After all, some of the words associated with Saturn are “limiting” and “restrictive.”  No one likes a party pooper, right?

My astrology teacher had a much more balanced view of Saturn, though.  She imagined one’s spiritual path as a train route and called Saturn the karmic conductor.  Saturn keeps the train and us on track and helps us reach our destination.  (For more on this, read her book:  “Discovering your Soul Mission” by Linda Brady.)

Saturn has an orbital cycle of 29 1/2 years, and so, astrologically speaking, we do not even become adults until Saturn returns to the same sign of our natal chart (called a Saturn return).  In other words, Saturn spends 2ish years in each sign, and after we’ve experienced Saturn in all twelve signs, we should have reached some maturity.

On October 5th, Saturn will leave the sign of Libra and head into Scorpio.  Saturn in Libra asks us to take responsibility in relationships.  We need to understand our actions and their consequences in relationship.  However, it also reminds us to learn boundaries in relationships, i.e. this is where I end and you begin.

Reflect on your past couple of years.  Have the lessons of responsibility and boundaries come up in your relationships?  How have you responded?

When Saturn moves into Scorpio, then, we will be asked to turn anger into passion and chaos into intensity.  Scorpio is all about emotions and transformation.  All too often, we forget that emotions are meant to be messengers, and instead we BECOME our emotions.  But with the solid and concrete qualities of Saturn on our side, we can take those emotions and transform them into something useful.

Enjoy the ride!


Transformational Scorpio

Fairy Tale Friday Fun


Who couldn’t use a little fantasy in his/her life?  For today’s creative writing prompt, write the first paragraph of a fairy tale.  Here are the rules:  Begin your paragraph with “Once upon a time,” mention at least one character (human or otherwise), and describe your setting.

Happy fantastical writing!


Be an Angel for Someone

Today’s guest author is intuitive psychic medium and life coach Rick Wood.  This article originally appeared on his own website ( and is reprinted here with permission.


Think back to a time that you had help, unexpected help, that came at the right time.  Did it feel like divine intervention?  Did someone help you when you most needed it?

For a lot of us, the word ‘angel’ denotes an other worldly being wrapped in white and adorned with beautiful wings.  As many of you do, I also believe in angels that we don’t physically see who help & guide us.

I also believe Angels come in all kinds of packages. As a lot of you know, recently our beloved dog, Angel, left her adorable cuddly body and is also an angel again.  She was such an example to me of how we as humans can learn from our furry friends to listen more and love without conditions.  I am so grateful for the years she spent with us and losing her made me really think about how we can be angels for one another in so many ways.

It doesn’t have to be a monumental task or something that we have to spend tons of time or resources on.  It can be something as simple as a smile or a hello, a compliment or kind statement.  Everyday you have the ability to be someone’s angel.

A lot of you reading this probably already practice this on a daily or weekly basis.  So, I have a new way that I am practicing being an Angel and I invite you to join me.

We all have dreams, whether it is to start a business, travel somewhere, or try something for the first time.  Usually the biggest obstacle that people think about is how they are going to afford to do it.  They may even dismiss their dream altogether because they don’t believe it is possible.

Why not be an angel for someone and give them a jump on getting started planning, saving, and fufulling their dream. It doesn’t have to be huge, whatever you can afford – $20, $30 or if you are struggling even $10.  Whatever it is, give it to a stranger with a note to get started with their dream.

You never know whose life you may change!

How to find the person you might ask?  Be open to receiving guidance leading you to the person you should help. But don’t get too caught up in it, just do it!

When you are in line at a coffee shop, look at the business cards hanging on the board.  When you see someone online who says they ‘wish’ they could do something, or happen to visit a business where they seem to be struggling.  Wherever it strikes you.

Pick one and send them $20 with a note that says, “You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but I wanted to send you this to help you fufull your dreams.  Whatever that may be.  Feel free to pay-it-forward!  All my best. Or something along those lines.

Remember no return address – you are an angel.

I think every single one of us is an angel, a lot of us just don’t know it.

The Lesson List

Coaching is one of those things that makes you pull your hair out with a smile on your face.  All season, you push, motivate, hound, and shake your head.  Every now and then, you have that glorious moment when your athlete “gets it” or scores or overcomes.  And sometimes, it all comes together for the whole team, and they dig down deep and find what they are made of ON RACE DAY!

This past weekend, however, it all came together for me.

On Saturday, I coached two teams at a local dragon boat festival.  A dragon boat is a long canoe for 20 paddlers, a steersperson, and a drummer.  It originated in China thousands of years ago, and most of the races are sprint distances.  Here’s what it looks like in action:

Dragon Boat Race

Now, I need to make a confession here.  To look at me, you might see a 5′ 2″ person who looks young for her age–in other words, I look like a little girl.  But in reality, I have a surprising amount of rage contained in that small body.  I HATE when people don’t use turn signals or when they throw cigarette butts out of the car window.  I FUME when people don’t say please or thank you.  You don’t even want to know what I wish upon animal abusers, terrorists, and selfish people.

So on race day, when a situation arose that I considered unfair and unsportsmanlike, well, I reacted rather strongly.  By the last race of the day, I was dropping more F-Bombs than Joe Pesci in “Goodfellas.”

The thing is, though, as a friend pointed out to me later, I actually managed to direct that righteous anger in the right direction.  In my pre-race motivational talk to one of my teams, I talked (okay, ranted) about racing with integrity, with heart, with purpose.  I wanted to fire them up to race as good sportsmen and sportswomen.

I don’t mean to justify my bad language or my anger.  It really did feel like a good lesson learned for me–I took a “character flaw” and tried to re-purpose it for good.

So all weekend I have been thinking about Learning Lessons and how that really is the main point of life, in my book.  It occurred to me that, instead of a typical Bucket List, where people usually just list fun adventures or vacations, maybe a Lesson List is what would motivate me.  (Hmm, okay, so that came out sounding a bit uptight and puritanical….. perhaps I should put “learn to have fun” on my list.)

Anyway, for me I think a Lesson List is the way to go.  It fits with my beliefs and my personality.  Here, then, are the beginnings of my Lesson List:

  1. Learn to have fun.  🙂
  2. Learn to play the drums.  I regret giving up music lessons in junior high, and I think music is so very important.
  3. Continue to learn how to use my “gift” of anger in better ways.
  4. Learn to be more compassionate.
  5. Learn patience.


How about you?  Would a Lesson List work for you?  What would be on it?



You Talkin’ to Me?

On September 17th, the planet Mercury moves into Libra for a couple of weeks.  If you recall your mythology, Mercury was the messenger of the gods; he is usually represented with winged feet.  In astrology, then, he represents communication.  How do we communicate with others?  With ourselves?  How do we perceive, reason, and make sense of the world?

Mercury is one of the faster moving planets in the sky, and so it doesn’t stay in any one sign for very long–generally two or three weeks each.  So that means in a one-year period, we here on Earth will experience twelve different communication styles.  (If you are thinking that my math doesn’t add up, you will need to figure in the Mercury Retrograde periods.  When Mercury is retrograde, it can stay in one sign for up to ten weeks.)

So, this messenger planet goes through twelve  different styles of communication each year. Plus we each have our own natal Mercury sign (where Mercury was at the moment of our birth).   Hmmmm. . . .  Perhaps this explains why we humans have such a difficult time getting along!

One simple way to help us all communicate better is to think of the four Element categories of the signs.  This way, we only need to remember four main styles of communication, rather than twelve individual ones.  Here are the Element categories and their signs:

FIRE–Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

EARTH–Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

AIR–Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

WATER–Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Fire signs emphasize action, intensity, and identity  Earth signs focus on stability, practicality, and sensory input.  Air signs are intellectual, logical, and social.  Water signs operate in emotions, spirituality, and transformation.

As someone with prominently placed Mercury in her chart, I am fascinated by communication and am always thinking of ways to make it better.  When I listen to or read others, I try to determine their bias–does the speaker have a Fire, Earth, Air, or Water Mercury sign?  That way, I can be more objective in my listening and stand a better chance of understanding and being understood.  Next time you interact with others–whether it’s a big presentation at work or just chatting with your buds–think about the different astrological “languages” and how they shape your communication.

Of Mulligans and Mayans

In reading the news, seeing my friends’ posts on Facebook, and in looking at my own life, it seems to me that we’ve all got quite a bit on our plates right now.  Not that anyone else at any other time in history couldn’t say that as well . . . but right now it certainly feels like all of us are experiencing a couple of extra turns of the rack.

Now, the Mayan calendar, which has been in the news a lot this year, predicted an “end” in December.  Of course, the “end” doesn’t mean the end of the world; it just means the end of a cycle.  So, to me, it only makes sense that things would be heating up now, as we head into the transition.  I mean, haven’t you noticed how things always seem to get worse before they get better?

It’s human nature, I suppose, to want a steady, smooth, linear path to perfection.  None of us really likes mistakes or failure, do we?  And many of us carry around those mistakes as Regret for years and years.

But adopting the concept of the circle, with Renewal built right in, is very freeing in many ways.  Think of the Japanese expression “Ichi nichi, issho.”  This means “one day, one lifetime.”  Each day is a microcosm of one’s whole life.  In essence, each day is a fresh start.  So if we can learn to let go of Regret and look at every morning as a chance to “take a mulligan,” think how much happier, lighter, and wiser we’d be.

Circle of Life.  The tarot Wheel of Fortune.  The Mayan calendar.  You gotta love a philosophy which includes do-overs.


Wheel of Fortune tarot card