Venus, with the Moon

Venus and the Crescent Moon

Venus and the Crescent Moon

She struck me, dead in my heart, last night, as I walked out of a sweet-but-awkward Tinder date that had abruptly ended.

I had spent too much money, and had two drinks.  I was hoping to coax his heart open by sharing some of my poetic words.  Instead he announced, “I’m sorry, but I’m really tired.”

“So, you want to go home?”

“Yeah.  It was nice to meet you.”

Awkward quick hug.  He said, “I hope you’re ok to drive.”

“Well. . . Not quite yet. . .but I’ll stay here, or just take a walk for a while.”

I walked out of the bar, onto the street, and she captured me right away.  The Moon. . . And what was that bright star above her?  Ah yes. . . Venus.  There She was.

I walk the streets for a half hour, my eyes glued to Her.  I feel into the ache that ever growing inside of me (Cancer Moon).  I felt into the desire to be fully met, to share my wonder with the eyes of another (Venus in Leo).

There was no Other. . . Although she appeared briefly.  (I received a message from my sweet and fiery Leo roommate. 😊)

I am the Moon.  I am Wanting.

I am Venus.  I know myself.  I will not settle for less than I am worth.

I am rising.  I am regaining memories, recapturing pieces of my Soul.

Many of them I lent to him (Mars–to be explored more later).  I ache for him still.  I will see him soon.

Oh, how sweet is this journey, of Self remembering.  How difficult, and sweet.

I will make Ease my home.  Until I know it in my bones.  Until I know fully, once again, that I am truly safe (Moon) and incorruptibly whole (Venus).

Lilith’s Song (story, lyrics and video link)

This post is about “Lilith’s Song”–one of the most dramatic and turbulent songs that I have ever written.  It came to me, magically, one day, mirroring the turbulence that others around me were experiencing (and that I had felt, so many times), and bringing the promise of reconciliation and restoration.
You can hear me play the song here, and you can read more about the story and lyrics of the song below.
The Story:
I hadn’t written a song in years.
I was lamenting about this fact with a bandmate of mine (who wrote pretty regularly), and he encouraged me to get back into it.
It’s not that I hadn’t been doing any writing–I’d been doing quite a bit, in fact–but most of it came in the form of poetry, or deeply cathartic psycho-spiritual musings, or channeled writing.
I was ready to plug that inspiration back into my music, to begin songwriting again.

It was not long after that (maybe a week later?) that I lingered after-hours at the music studio (where I teach lessons twice a week).  A music motif had appeared in my head–with a dramatic descending bassline and punctuating arpeggios in treble–and I proceeded to pick it out on the piano.  “What is this song about?” I wondered.  It wasn’t wistful. . . It wasn’t a breakup song. . . It definitely wasn’t a traditionally romantic song.

There was anger there.  It was the anger of not being seen, of needing to reveal.  Needing to reconcile a swirling range of emotions.  Needing to be held and accepted in the face of ugliness and chaos.

The words started coming:
“I thought I heard you say you’re sorry.
I thought I heard you say that it wouldn’t happen again.
Maybe you meant to say you’re lonely.
You carry on that way, and hope that I’ll understand.
Well, maybe I understand,
But don’t let it happen again. . .”

The lyrics continued to wind there way out, snake-like and tortured, yet eventually (magically) finding resolution:
“I thought I heard you say you’re sorry.
You never meant to say the words that caused me harm.
Well, maybe I can say I trust you.
So make a space to lay beside me on this ground.
And here we’ll lay until our peace is found.
Here we’ll lay together on the ground.
And we won’t stand until our peace is found.”

And thus was born “Lilith’s Song”.  I marveled at how the words and the music had just poured out of me (so unlike my previously labored songwriting efforts, years before).  I wondered what the inspiration was.  Though I understood this feminine rage, paired with a need to reconcile, it wasn’t my on story or emotions that had driven me.  It felt more unicersal, somehow, like a story that wanted to be told.

That night, I got two calls–both from people who were dear to me, who had gotten caught in a bind.  My Mom had been allowing a homeless gentleman (and friend of hers) to sleep in her van–and her neighbor had just called the cops.  And my close friend Greg had just gotten in an argument with his in-laws.  I advised both of them through their sticky situations as best I could.  After hanging up the phone (for the 2nd time), it suddenly hit me–I had been feeling their emotions.  I had been writing their song.  This song was bigger than me.

In the months that followed, I would frequently play “Lilith’s Song” and feel a powerful cathartic cleansing of emotion, leaving me in a profoundly peaceful place (also gently rocking, with a kundalini sway).  Several times after playing the song, a channeled writing came through, which I immediately transcribed.

This song was to become one of many channeled, or emotionally cleansing, songs.   When my husband asked me to split up with him, merely four months later, music became my healer.  More songs poured out of me, teaching me reconciliation and release.  I would hear songs in the bookstore, or the drugstore, and know that they had something to teach me.  So, I would download them, listen to them, move to them, cry to them, let them work their magic.

I have no doubt about the healing of words.  But music goes even deeper.  It strikes straight to the core.  Thank you, Lilith, for teaching me to bare my heart, and to find peace in the midst of pain.  I am grateful.

The Lyrics:
I thought I heard you say you’re sorry.
I thought I heard you say that it wouldn’t happen again.
Maybe you meant to say you’re lonely.
You carry on that way and hope that I understand.
Well maybe I understand–but don’t let it happen again.

I thought I heard you say, “I’m a man of integrity,

so listen to me when I say that I would never do you harm.”

But what you meant to say is that you don’t see me.

And what my feelings say is this is the last alarm.

‘Cause I won’t let you do me harm.

Won’t let you hold me hostage in your arms.

But maybe there’s a place beyond right or wrong,
and someday, we could find it.
And maybe, there’s a space where noone can be harmed,
and I pray to God I’ll find it.
I’ll find it. . . . I’ll find it.

I thought I heard you say you love me.

I threw my heart away, and hoped for a good return.

Maybe you meant to say you hate me!

I feel the bitter rays that shoot from your eyes when you speak.

So, maybe, I will not speak.

I’ll go somewhere else to find relief.

But I would lay down on this earth,

if you would come down from the sky.

I’ll show you what this heart is worth.

I’ve found the strength where I can cry!

And I have found the hidden place,

the place where all the secrets lie.

It’s right here we must make a space,

in the heart of you and I. . . .

Well, did I hear you say, you’re sorry?
You never meant to say the words that caused me harm.

Well, maybe I can say, I trust you.

So, make a space to lay beside me on this ground.

And here we’ll lay, until our peace is found.

And here we’ll lay, together on the ground.

And we won’t stand, until our peace is found.

You Could Always Begin Again

A Contemplation on Meditation (in the Shambhala Tradition) and How it Can Help You to Open Up to Your Life
The mind can be our greatest ally or our worst enemy.
The habitual mind is always telling us how things are.  And, it is always dividing our experience into opposing categories.  For instance: good vs. bad; easy vs. hard; happy vs. sad; for us or against us.  It tells us what we need–or what we need to get rid of–in order to be happy.  It compares our ideal experience to our current experience (often unfavorably).  It wishes to re-create ideal circumstances and thinks it knows how to do that.
But fighting reality in this way is what causes suffering.   We can feel that tension between what IS, and what we want to be, in the resistance of our body.  We can also feel that tension in the gripping of our thoughts, and in the reactions of our emotions.
There is another way to relate to our mind, and to our life–and meditation teaches that.  Instead of FIGHTING reality–and always trying to sculpt it, or wrestle it, or seduce into what we want, or even avoid it entirely–we can learn to dance with it.
So, what does that mean, and how does that look?
It looks like curiousity, inquisitiveness.  It looks like trusting that, even if we don’t have a step by step manual through life, we will be okay.  It looks like showing up and asking questions–getting to know ourselves, and the people around us.  Getting a feel for the environment.
Not assuming that we already know what is important, or how things should play out, or what others want.
It looks like living with an open heart, with accepting ourselves, including all of our flaws.  It looks like taking a deeeeeep breath and exhaling years worth of tension.  And it looks like stepping up and engaging, even though we don’t know how things will go.  We just know that it is time.
This is our life.  We are here to live it, one day at a time.  We are not here to be perfect.  So, let’s  ditch the perfection plan.
Now–about meditation.  How can it support us in showing up for our lives, one day at a time?
In meditation, we are practicing coming home to our lives–which means coming home, first and foremost, to ourselves.  How can we show up for our lives if we don’t know how to show up for ourselves?
So, when we sit down to meditate, we are declaring that we are worthy of our own time.  We are worthy of being here, right now.  And we accept ourselves as we are, warts and all.  We accept our bad breath, our crazy mind, our wild emotions, our tense body, our unrealistic expectations.  We accept all of it.
And then we drop the agenda.  We just ARE, with ourselves.  There is a profound relaxation in just being, without agenda.  The knots in our mind and body, and in our emotional field, begin to loosen.
We have nothing to prove.  No one is judging how well we do.  There is no one to compare ourselves to.  We are simply being there, for and with ourselves.  That’s all.
Most of the time, we don’t believe that.  We are conditioned to believe that we must do better, that we aren’t prepared enough or good enough.  We are wound too tight, and our minds run away.  Or–We are conditioned to not show up for ourselves.  We believe that, in spacing out, in being fuzzy, we are being kind to ourselves.  And so we just drift.
And that’s okay.  Most of the practice of meditation is noticing how difficulty it seems to be, to just be HERE.  We can acknowledge that, and slow down, or perk up, and relax.  We are learning how to be with ourselves.  Because, we forgot.
The side benefit of coming home to ourselves, is that we are also coming home to the world.
We are committed to showing up authentically, in the moment, and to seeing how we can serve.
So, what does this look like?
In meditation practice, we keep our eyes open.  We don’t retract or block out the world.  We let it be right there, with us.  We practice breathing, with our eyes open, and we feel our bodies as we breathe.  In this way, we learn that we can be stable in the present moment, even with the environment being right there, touching us.
We also keep our hearts open.  And this is why we sit with our hands flat on our thighs, because it promotes a royal posture of confidence, while keeping the chest (and heart) vulnerable and open.
We are not trying to block out the world. We are not trying to be different than we are.  And we are not trying to force our will on others.  We accept that our emotions are ours, our judgments are ours, and our minds have their own unique preoccupations.
We are training ourselves to remain solid, and upright, and relaxed, and open.  We are training ourselves to be present, for ourselves AND for the world.
Moving beyond meditation–
So, in our everyday lives, we have a choice:
We can do what we’ve always done, or we can try something new.
Familiarity feels safe.  Predictability can be boring OR comforting.  When we encounter familiar situations or people in our lives, we have the option to be curious.  We can inquire into their experience.  We can notice how we react.  We can look for clues as to how to proceed.  We can see how boredom, or our assumptions that something is known, causes us to shut down.  We can touch that dullness within us, and we can choose to open back up.
When we encounter a new situation, or a situation that is in flux, we can learn to relax.  We can pause, and catch our breathe, and touch the panic (or excitement) inside of ourselves.  We can then allow an authentic, in the moment response to arise.  What is this new situation asking of you?  And how might you dance with it?
Learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable is a practice.  
It requires slowing down.
Learning to be present to a lazy mind is a practice.
We are deciding that our lives are worth our attention.
Some additional supports (for your back pocket):
Beauty is a wonderful support for openness.  It helps you to appreciate the richness of the world and of your life.  How might you create or experience beauty?
Fascination is another wonderful skill to cultivate.  Isn’t the world endlessly interesting?  What might you learn today?
Most important is love and appreciation.  Any way that you can come into closer contact with yourself, your loved ones and your world is helpful.  You are worthy of love and attention.

Follow up questions:
How do you experience a fresh start?  In your life?  In meditation?
What has been starting up for you?  What are you releasing?

Summer music camp (an astrologer’s perspective)

I wound up my summer by teaching a

A montage of details from the kids' charts!

A montage of details from the kids’ charts!

morning music camp this week–vocal & some keyboards–to 11 children, ages 7 to 10.  They performed three choreographed songs, with solos throughout, for their parents: “Uptown Funk”, “The Fox” and “Revolting Children” from the musical “Matilda” (which they especially enjoyed!).  I could tell that the parents were super impressed by their performance, and I was proud of them too!

After the camp ended, I reflected privately on my experience with the kids.  (I will miss them!)  They were a vibrant group and, though we had our ups and downs, they banded together to create an amazing performance.

Each child had their own voice, their own style, their own need to be heard, in their own way.  Some of the kids primarily wanted to connect to the other kids.  Some of them appealed often to me, for connection or assistance.

I am fascinated by the interplay between group and personal dynamics, and I often study astrology charts for this reason.  (I also make a point to “collect” the kids’ birthdates on the first day of class. 😉)

I thought about the qualities that stood out to me about each child, and then noticed how that manifested in their astrology charts.  For example:

* Three of the kids were very skilled at making appeals to me and the other kids, in order to generate and promote their ideas.  All three have Jupiter dignified in Sagittarius.

* One girl, Ryan, was an intuitive dancer, but had fluctuating moods and levels of engagement.  She has a Libra stellium of Venus (dignified)/Mars/Sun and the Moon in Cancer.

*Christopher, the youngest, was constantly singing and moving, but didn’t always want to move with our group agenda.  He has Venus/Mars in Scorpio, Moon oppose Mercury, and Sun oppose Eris.

*Alyssa, an Aquarius, was very collaborative and social, but also was very helpful to me.  And, she didn’t mind directing the other kids.  She has Mercury oppose Saturn (also reflected in some rhythm issues), Mars in Capricorn and Venus conjunct my ascendant.

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Dancing with the Devil (and looking for light)

IMG_20160529_145252My tarot card for today, pulled from the Hermetic Tarot (upper right), is the Devil.  It’s also the first “card of the day” that I’ve pulled from this deck (since I just received it yesterday!).
I must admit–
I’ve never really resonated with the tarot archetype of the Devil.  At least, not in the way that it’s been traditionally interpreted.  Maybe that’s because I feel like the Devil has been trivialized, made into a caricature, turned into the catch-all reason that we misbehave, that we are enslaved.
And I get that.  We DO give our power over, sometimes (oftentimes).  We DO get caught up in the strong impulse, in behaving in ways that we may later regret.  That’s true.
But there’s another side of “the Devil”.  There’s the side that doesn’t get depicted in the tarot cards.  That’s Lucifer, the light-bringer.  That’s the wisdom-bringer that doesn’t buy into the status-quo, that doesn’t believe that the way to truth is through a straight and narrow path.
What if the goal were not to be a “good girl” or “good boy”?  What if the goal was not to be held in the high esteem of others?  What if the goal was to be truthful, and to learn, and to open your heart to the light?  And what if you never rejected the shadow, but neither did you sucuumb to it?  What if you felt that too, and embraced it into light being-ness?
That, to me, would be the value of tango-ing with the Devil, and gathering the light of Lucifer–simply, finding that unadulterated light within your own being.


Mistress of the Moon

IMG_20160417_232429Her head wasn’t quiet enough yet.
She needed to wait until the stars came out,
Until she could feed on moonlight and bask in the cool inspiration of Night.

“When will he come back?”
She wondered.
Her heart ached for his touch,
For the gentle caress of his fingers down her spine.
His voice whispering in her ear–
It didn’t even matter what he said.

But he wasn’t coming back.
He had made that clear.
The Night had whisked him away,
In the form of a Gothic siren with dark purple lipstick and killer hypnotic dance moves.

No matter.
He could have her.
It wasn’t serious anyway, and she was just as enchanted with the Moon as he was with his siren.
She had begun following the cycles,
And planting seeds for her new beginning.
Any day now.
She could feel the earth ripening with potential,
Pulling her into its dance of the seasons.

She dropped her cloak,
And let the light of the full moon envelop her–
Cascades of stars falling down her back,
Into a glowing pool of light at her feet.

This was her home, now.
Here with the stars, and the moon,
And the pool of ancestral wisdom.
No man was needed,
No other voice–

But the voice of the owls calling through the night,
But the voice of the River flowing through her veins.
Whatever happened from this point on,
Whoever came and went,
She knew this much:
She too had surrendered herself to the call of Night,
And from this point, the Mistress Moon would do with her whatever she desired.

Mars & the Poet’s Oracle

Mars stationed retrograde this morning, so as you can imagine, he was pretty amped up yesterday.  (Last day of freedom, before being thrown in the pound for 10+ weeks!)

Here’s a little Mars story for you:

My copy of the Poet’s Oracle arrived yesterday.  (I’d been anticipating its arrival since seeing that it had shipped, a few days prior.)

Unfortunately, it arrived just before I left to meet up with the first of my three students.  So, I grabbed the package on the way out the door, hoping I would find a moment to open it.

I hopped on the Beltway, and got off 6 exits up the road.  Stopped at the 1st of three lights, in the left-most turn lane .
Ah!  An opportunity.  Brief.  Just enough time to wrestle open the package.

And going again, holding the cards in my left hand as I drive.  Another light soon.

Why is this car to my right keeping pace with me?  I ignore him.

Light number 2.  The guy pulls up right beside me.  Okay, fine, then.  Window down.  (He’s attractive, actually.  Late 20s?  Not a cop?  I hope.)

He shouts:
“Were you drawing tarot cards as you were driving?” (Whoa!)

“No!” I respond.

“Well, that’s what it looked like you were doing.”

“That’s because I opened up a new deck at the last light.”

“Draw me a card!”

“Okay!” (drawing from the middle)
“It says, “Hold fast!  Keep on sticking to what you’re doing, despite the obstacles.  It’s related to Mars.”

Light changes to green.

“Whoo!  I’m a Martian!” he cries.

Windows up.  He speeds off, pulls ahead of me, makes it through that 3rd light before it turns red.

I sit and wait to turn left, and look deeper into the card.

Card from the Poet's Oracle

Card from the Poet’s Oracle

We are all different hearts, beating as One (inspired writing)

“There’s something peculiar about the way she walks,” he said.
“I don’t trust it.
She walks as though she’s hiding something.
She walks as though she deserves to be exposed.”

“What do you think she’s hiding?” I asked.
“A secret identity of some kind?”

“Could be,” he replied.
“But I think it’s a plot.  She’s trying to undermine us.  She’s waiting for our weaknesses to become apparent, so she can pounce on them.”

“Could be,” I replied, and sat down on the bench, motioning for him to join me.
“But really, I suspect she’s just being herself.
And who she is is different than us.
We’re like different breeds of animal, intermingling.
We’re like a neon sunset, exploding from the Creator’s off-kilter box of colors.
We’re not meant to be the same.
And her being her, being different, really has nothing to do with us.”

“If you say so. . .”
He looked off across the lake, and was silent for a long time.
It looked like his brain had grabbed hold of something that he wasn’t at all prepared to let go of.  He was prepared only to devoured it, to rip it into shreds.

“You know,” he said, “when I think about it, you’re kind of funny that way too.”
He looked right at me now, and his face was soft on the outside, but steely underneath.
“You don’t really have any interest in making people comfortable, do you?”

“I guess not,” I admitted, turning away.
“But it’s not about that.  It’s not about making people feel uncomfortable.”

“Okay then.  What is it about?”

“It’s about opening their eyes.  And helping them to see things differently.”

“Mmm. . . Okay.  If you say so.”  He didn’t seem like he was totally accepting what I said as an answer. . . But, so be it.

“Look,” I said.  “It’s okay if you don’t like Jocelyn. . . That’s fine.  That’s not the point. . . The point is. . .”
Ugh.  This was frustrating.

“What?” He said.  “The point is, what?”

“The point is. . . She’s not you.  She walks to her own beat.  And that’s fine for her to have her own drummer.
Just like its fine for you to be all Mars in Cancer, and to care about the tribe, and to plunge yourself into taking care of all of us.
I appreciate that.  I think it’s a gift, and a service.  But you have to let us breathe sometimes too.  You have to let us be ourselves, and not take it personally.”

He nodded.  I could still feel the steeliness underneath, but he was melting, a bit.
“Fair enough.  I don’t want to be a dictator, or tell people how to be.  I’m just not sure who I can trust sometimes.”

He looked up, and we met eyes.  We both breathed deeply.  I felt the tingle, again.

“I know,” I said.  “I feel the same.  I can’t tell you to trust me.  But I feel your heart, even when I don’t know exactly where you’re coming from.”

“Yes,” he said, slowly. “And I feel yours.”

Writing inspired by this card, from the Poet's Oracle

Writing inspired by this card, from the Poet’s Oracle


Nine of Wands

Have you felt a bit defensive lately?
A tad bit “on edge”?

It’s understandable.
You have a lot on your plate, and you’ve been juggling priorities for everybody, not just for yourself.

So, maybe you’re even feeling a bit used–
As though everyone else is just looking out for their own agenda,
And they don’t hesitate to take your assistance for granted.

Stop right there.
Everyone else is not to blame.
Nor are you.

Here’s the thing:
Until you have your own priorities straight,
Until you stand up and protect your space,
Other people will assume that you are willing and available.
Because you do care, and because you have unclear boundaries, you are willing to accommodate the needs of others.
That’s the sign of a giving heart, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but–

You need time to recoup now.
You need space away from the agendas of others.
You need time to assess your own priorities,
To recover and remember who you are.

There is nothing wrong with that.
Take the time that you need.
Claim your sovereign right to invest in your values,
To protect your time and your heart from careless invasion.
You decide who enters your space, no one else.
You decide when to let your guard down and when to rest and retire.

Your needs are sacred.
Your emotions are a barometer of your needs.
Honor your needs, first and foremost, and then you can make yourself available to tend to the needs of others.

From the Ostara Tarot

From the Ostara Tarot

Nine of Cups (contentment)

You deserve to be happy.
Contentment is available to you now, and at all times.
Drink in the support of the Universe.
Let it hold you; let it fill your every pore.

There is no need to stress now.
There is no need to tense, or even to try.
Simply reach out and accept the love that surrounds you,
And know that there is nothing to fear.

Life can be uncomplicated, like this:
Simply giving and receiving, and opening to the joy that connection brings.
This simplicity, this unshakeable knowledge that the Universe has your back, is your birthright.

Know that your true nature is Love, and that is why you see Love all around you.
By blessing others, by opening your heart to the exchange of this most profound gift,
You invite the blessings of life to flow, abundantly.

Be blessed now, and rest in the true nature of your being,
Which is open, and kind, and generous, and trusting of love

From the Ostara Tarot

From the Ostara Tarot