How to Work With a Planet As It Changes Signs

Learning and Community

M

iracles, changes 

When a planet changes signs it is *always* an opportunity to create and participate in deep magic. The planets of our solar system each hold world making/ world destroying energy and it is not coincidental that they were named for some of the greatest Gods in our classical lineage.

It is easy to lose sight of this in the day to day grind of things and also in the irreverent trivializing that many of these Gods have experienced throughout time. Nevertheless, that GIANT energy is still there.

In old school Astrology as in old school magic (coming mainly out of a European with some Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Asian influences), the planets, like all Holy Helpers were to be controlled and mastered and made do one’s bidding.

Which hopefully by now we can all agree is beyond ludicrous.

In other, older systems the understanding is different. It is one of relationship, RIGHT relationship, and alignment. And every celestial event is an opportunity to LEARN something about not only ourselves but the greater world and to TRANSFORM an aspect of our lives and also how we show up in the world. (Because THAT is also the best and most direct route to transforming the world itself, yes?)

Now the inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Sun, and Moon – which are considered planets in most star stories world over) are fast-moving and change signs very quickly.

The understanding here is that in many ways we too change quickly and these planets are excellent to become friends with and get to know when we are in need of SWIFT intervention/aid/transformation.

The outer planets do not move so fast. Jupiter stays in a single sign for about a year. Saturn stays in a sign for over 2 years. The outer planets are understood as cosmic forces that do their work SLOWLY and THOROUGHLY. They prefer long-term commitments and relationships where we show up consistently. And as we know, showing upstarts with PAYING ATTENTION.

So…I am telling you now that Saturn is going to change signs this month.

On March 21st it moves from Capricorn – where it has been hanging out for over 2 years, to Aquarius. This first move is akin to dipping our toes into the pool. Saturn will retrograde out of Aquarius in the Summer and then return for good to this sign in the Winter of 2020.

I am telling you because I would very much like you to think about Saturn and think about Aquarius BEFORE you read a bunch of things that tell you what to think.

This is because, as always the best medicine and magic comes from WITHIN and you will have associations and ideas for this event and its meaning for you personally that NO ONE else will.

My recommendation is to take your journal and jot down your associations in a first thought/right thought kind of way. I often do this with my students and clients, I’ll tell them: “I say Saturn, you say:” And then write whatever comes to mind. Even if what comes to mind is: I don’t freaking know anything about Saturn! That too is fine and can be worked with.

You can then use these notes as a jumping off point for writing a petition or voicing specific magical desires BUT, and more importantly, these notes start to outline what a relationship with these Holy Helpers can be and look like. They give you a starting place.

But before that, we will talk more about the Holy Helpers that are Saturn and Aquarius.

xo,
Bri   changes changes changes 

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Making the most of your online course…without living online!

Learning and Community

D

ear Miracles,

So you are interested in an online course but don’t want to spend your days on the computer or online…is it possible to have your cake and eat it too? In this case, YES!

And I created this little guide for all of you out there who are intimidated but also attracted to online learning experiences. Read on and find that your big worries and fears are really not insurmountable at all as long as you keep these questions in mind:

 

How do you learn best?

There are many different ways to learn. Some people are most comfortable reading their information off of a page. If that describes you, then prior to enrolling in a course of study (whether its online or offline) make sure that it is primarily delivered in written format.

Others are audio-verbal and they learn best by listening to information and then having opportunities to give either verbal or written feed back.

Still, others are kinetic based learners, this means that they do not do well when someone “tells” them how something works, they need to be “shown” and then they need to have the opportunity to do it themselves. If you are a kinetic learner then a video format (for online courses) or better yet, in person workshops and gatherings are the way to go.

Get to know and honor your learning style.

What are the tech-specs?

Most of the time the technical specifications for an online course are not very elaborate or fancy. You don’t need the most cutting edge computer or smart phone to be able to participate. But if you have questions and/or you are not sure if your equipment will work with a program’s delivery method, then just ask! Oftentimes if there is an issue, the course instructor will help you figure out a workaround so that you can still participate.

Can the lessons be taken off-line? 

Even though there is more pressure than ever today to stay on-line, the internet is merely a tool. We can still use it that way.

Many courses have substantial written components. I prefer reading print text off-line, so when I take an e-course I always print out the material. I don’t even have an e-reader, and printing out any written materials is an easy way to unplug quickly and bring the lessons into the space of my physical life.

In our day and age of digital audio, there are also many courses that are delivered primarily through audio mp3 files. In fact, one of my courses, Spinning Gold, is structured with both written and audio components.

For programs which are primarily audio, an easy way to get off the computer is to download the mp3 files into your phone or iPod and listen to them while you are on the go or at home over stereo speakers. My favorite time to listen to podcasts and audio files? When I’m cleaning!

Extra, Extra?

Online courses typically have some components that are not electronic, such as group phone calls, “printables” (well-designed pdfs that are meant to be printed out and written on) and in some cases one on one time with the main instructor. Any good course description should include a section on what the various components of the course are so keep an eye out for add-ons that do not involve you logging in.

Is the forum optional?

Most classes which are delivered either partially or entirely online include some kind of forum, whether that is a private facebook group or a custom forum hosted on an individual’s website.

I have taught classes using both methods, and I have taken classes using both methods too.  Almost always participation in the forum is not required.  It is simply another way to flesh out your learning experience.

An online forum can be like a student coffee shop. Some folks love to hang out in coffee shops and other people don’t.  But it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing kind of thing. You may not be the sort to hang out in a coffee shop, but you know you can still get something out of it.  You can, for example, pick up a latte and a muffin and then get on with your day.

In exactly the same way, even if you don’t like to hang out on electronic forums, you can still make limited use of it in a way that works for you. Ask a question, or see what others are asking; get some information and a perspective on an issue, and move on. You won’t be missing out on anything if you do, because the information submitted by the group does not disappear. It will be there when you return, if you want or need it.  There’s no hurry. You can take your time. It is that simple.

Can you set the pace?

One of the oft-cited benefits of web-based learning is that it allows the learner to set the pace. In today’s world of many online courses that is not always the case, so it’s a good idea to get clear about the delivery schedule in your course.

How many lessons?

How long in between lessons?

Do you get the repeat the course again and again for free or not?

What happens if you fall behind?

Knowing how to answer these questions before you enroll in a program will prevent a lot of stress down the road.

Are there quiet periods for reflection?

To me, this is one of the most important questions to answer. Learning requires periods of active engagement on the part of the learner and then it requires periods of reflection, integration, and implementation.

Lessons need a chance to come out of the book, audio file, or classroom, and into each individual’s life – they need to be practiced.

And guess what? Periods of quiet and reflection most definitely take us off the web.

For instance, I have structured both of my year long courses to include a month of active learning and then an implementation month during which time I continue to make myself available for correspondence, but learners have the space to talk about, reflect, integrate, and implement the information they have received, and especially to nurture emerging insights from within their own understandings, experiences and practices.  The implementation months are crucial incubation periods for your own soul growth and spiritual practice.

In our busy lives we are trained more and more to expect everything to keep moving, but if we never take the time to be still, to think about the information we have received, asking whether or not it sounds correct, asking too how it might play a greater role in our lives, and how we might implement it, then we are not really engaged in learning at all. Instead we are merely checking off boxes and going through the motions. So give yourself the gift of time and space for thoughtful reflection. This is what gives depth and breadth to any and all learning you will do. If such times are not automatically built into a course then make sure that the course design allows you to create them for yourself.

Online learning is brilliant in that it allows for flexibility and learning “on-the-go” in a revolutionary way, but like everything else, it works best when it works for you and not the other way around.

 

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Seeming, Being, and the Courage to go Deeper

Lunar Letter

Albino Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Albino Western Diamondback Rattlesnake by Mark Laita.

In many of the old teachings and ancient philosophies from the Greeks to the Hebrews, from the Vedic Indians to the Zen Buddhists, a basic point of the agreement concerns the difference between seeming versus being, that is, between what appears to be the case and what actually IS the case.

One illustration of this problem is found in both ancient Hindu texts and in the work of Plato. A person is standing a few yards away from a stick, looking at it casually. All of a sudden the “stick” begins to undulate and they realize that it is not a stick at all but actually a live snake! The truth turned out to be something far more vital and alive than they had hitherto believed. Coming from a land inhabited by snakes like rattlers and water moccasins and other lovelies, this basic story from world traditions has stuck with me. It can be a matter of life or death to know when it’s a stick on the grass or a snake.

This classic illustration serves to impart a basic understanding of the human problem, that many of us go through life with an idea or prejudice about how things are, or how we are, or how other people are; ideas about what is helpful and what is not helpful, about what is healing, what possesses meaning and what is whole-making. And often, all too often these ideas sound good on the outside but when the rubber hits the road and the going gets tough they float away like leaves on a river.

It is all too easy to blame sources outside of us for these ideas – like family, religion, workplace culture, society. Probably, for this reason, it is just as tempting to look to systems and methodologies to make it easier. But when it comes down to it, seeing something not for what it actually is but instead for what we would like it to be is a tendency we, each of us, carries in our hearts and minds; it begins in the home of our souls.

So often we wish, hope, pray, and say that something is really what we know in our hearts it is not — that a relationship is really firm, when it is really built on quicksand; that a decision is right, when to know it is not really so great; that “everything is fine” when we are not getting enough sleep or proper nourishment. In a million ways we tell ourselves and allow others to support this all too easy deception, and try to convince ourselves that seeming is being: as long as everything seems holy, sacred, wise, good, whole, sensible, blessed, then it really is. One of the many reasons why I love the sacred arts and the community of sacred artists that have gathered around me is because we are a group rarely content with the appearance of something; we dare to go past the seeming and straight into the very heart of being, of the essence.

So then we ask: how do we discern between what seems wise and what actually IS wise? How do we tell the difference between what seems sacred and what IS sacred? How do we differentiate between the appearance of wholeness and the actual day-to-day experience of it?

In the old stories when the hero needed to see something clearly, needed to strip away illusion and get to the bottom of something she would often ask three questions:

Who are you?

Where do you come from?

What is your name?

These questions are not mere literary devices to make the story move forward. They are the exact same questions that sacred artists have been taught to ask of their dreams, their intuitive flashes, and their liminal experiences. They are questions that allow each experience we encounter, be it a feather fallen on the ground at our feet, a mysterious figure that showed up in our dreams, or an idea that is presented as the latest and greatest, to reveal itself as what it actually IS, not what we, or someone else, would like it to be, but what it actually is here and now.

Who are you? Let the experience, the idea, the object speak for itself — not what you want or need it to be, not what someone or some book tells you it is — learn from it directly.

Where do you come from? What is the source of this idea, this experience, this teaching? What is the lineage? What ground has it sprung out of and what are the motivations behind it?

What is your name? Older than old wisdom teaches us that to know the true name of a thing is to know the essence, to know the very being.

The process is not easy, not cut and dry, not reducible to a 7 step program or a diagnostic test. It requires descent into shadowy realms and a willingness to lift up rocks and see what is living underneath them, an act of courage to look beyond appearances and see what is actually there. It requires practice. That is where the miracles happen. That is where the magic begins.

(Listen to this lunar letter by clicking here).

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.