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For a month now, my eyes have been attracted to all different shades of green in nature, furnishings and homes. Since my return to California perhaps my eyes have been attached to the view of dryness, of the constant reminder of drought, and then the experience of devastating fires, and are now pointing me to signs of rebirth and renewal. One sees it everywhere after the rains, plants and flowers are blooming in full force. I sense a shifting, a change in the air, but know not how or where the shifting will come. The astrology of both the West and the East gives us some clues.

The Chinese Astrology of 2019 is already holding true in this Year of the ‘Earth Mountain Monastic Boar.’ The elements of the year contain weak Yin Earth, with much stronger Yang Wood, which can overpower, drain the soil of sustenance and can even block water channels. This strong Wood is fed by equally strong Water which when mixed with Earth creates mud. Mundanely, we are seeing a lot of that with our recent rains and floods in California. As Wood is also over-abundant in the Pillars of the year it can create too much growth and this can indicate the feeding of Fire to come. We are coming to the end of the Chinese astrological wheel with the Year of the Boar/Pig and a new epic will begin in 2020 so it is a very powerful transition time.

From the Western Astrology perspective, we are also in an end time of huge shifts and currents of change as 2019 will end the decade. We are in the throws of this time of great transformation that has only just begun as the old cycles complete and brand new long term ones begin continuing into 2020. Hold onto your hats!

From this view, it is a year of contradictory trends with opportunities to find balance through very different approaches in separate areas of our lives. We find more of the same elements, starting with lots of Capricorn Earth energy with Saturn, Kronos, Father TIme at home in its own sign accompanied by Pluto, the Great Alchemical Destroyer and the South Node, symbolic of the past and burdens carried until we finally learn the lessons of this life – seems right at home in Cappie. Jupiter will enter there at the end of the year – so we have a very full Earth house!  Think structure, hard work, boundaries and that high mountain to climb to obtain success.

For the Water element, we have Neptune in its own sign of Pisces (2012-2025). In a positive sense, it symbolizes our ability to elevate to a higher level of spiritual consciousness. Neptune is accompanied by Chiron, the Soul Healer. Then the North Node is in Cancer, symbol of the never-ending upward spiral of our future, a new cycle reaching for the highest area of expression in the Water house of Mother Nature, emotions & nourishment. Perhaps we’ll see some amazing new developments in the healing of our planetary waters and new forms of sustainable farming.

The Fire element arrived with Jupiter in Sagittarius representing a new focus on an inspirational search for meaningful growth in our own personal philosophy, in an expanding, bold, active and adventurous manner. With these diverse, different elements and planets, we’ll need to observe and then experience, as things open & close, as life expands and contracts between idealism and realism, structure and free-form fluidity, tolerance and intolerance, the spiritual and material, as 2019 breathes us into a new phase of existence. You can see that the Eastern Astrology corresponds and is quite in alignment to our Western view. No wonder I’m feeling in “pulled, not know mode!”

Back to gorgeous green and its symbolism of growth, vitality, renewal, healing, prosperity, and birth. Doesn’t that sound like SPRING to you?! In Feng Shui and Traditional Chinese Medicine, green is the colour of Wood and its season is Spring. It represents a time of growth, movement, development & planning. Hmmm, now you know why we all do our Liver and Gallbladder cleansing with bitter greens during this time of year as it relates to those organs.. Wood is strong, yet flexible and bends with the Wind when in balance. If someone is youthful, upright, flexible yet strong, and persevering, fearless and adventurous you’ll know you’ve encountered a Wood person. Wood is nourished by Water and feeds the Fire in the cycle of elements. In the BaGua, Wood is located in the Family gua, seat of Zhen – Thunder – Shock. Thunders’ role is to arouse & awaken. Think how our families assist us, often through strong means, in the development of our innate abilities, giving us the strength to break through life’s’ obstacles.

The Białowieża Forest: Poland & Belarus – Europe’s last old-growth forest

The Spring Equinox is our reboot, our beginning of the wheel for the year. This year there is lots of turbulence on the outer realm, yet we can balance this with inner stillness, meditation, cultivating our Heartspace. I can think of nothing more soothing than the practice of Shinrin-yoku forest bathing. Shinrin means “forest” in Japanese and yoku translates as “bath.” This practice studied by the Japanese government since the 1980s has been proven to lower heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormone production while boosting the immune system and overall feelings of well-being. Forest bathing is just basically being in the trees, being in the silence of GREEN WOOD chi without any aim or having any technology turned on for at least 30 minutes, but two hours is recommended and a weekend would be sublime. The key to unlocking the power of the forest is in using all of the five senses and one is advised to breathe – relax – wonder – wander – touch – listen – heal. Basically, it is being mindful in the forest and the trees. There is nothing more glorious than being in a cathedral, a stand of a huge, ancient forest.

Food for Soul
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Could your Wood be out of balance? If you are feeling out of whack, off-kilter and can’t get to trees or a forest, try adding green to your clothing choices, add some greenery, green colours (also blue & purple) and rectangular design details to your environment, or a Forest desksaver on your laptop, all will help absorb and redirect chi. Water elements placed in the proper area on your property and in your home will augment your Wood if it is depleted. A Green kitchen while soothing also feeds the Fire of the stove, nourishing family Health & Wealth. Doing one good thing a day for another will help you heal and focus elsewhere. Inhaling some wonderful Wood aromatherapy like cypress essential oil in a vaporizer can also be used as a Wood/Water element. Please make sure you use natural sourced essential oils and not synthetics or you will be defeating the purpose. Listening to Forest Meditations or Heart Chakra Meditationhttps://www.youtube.com will bring tranquility, and adding healthy greens to your nourishment choices will feed your chi – any and all of the above will be immensely helpful. You will thank me and yourself if you do.

In alchemy, nigredo, or blackness, means putrefaction or decomposition. Many alchemists believed that as a first step in the pathway to the philosopher’s stone, all alchemical ingredients had to be cleansed and cooked extensively to a uniform black matter. ~ Wikipedia

As we entered the Scorpionic waters of the season and continue our descent into the darkness of winter, transformation is upon us especially with Venus, Goddess of Love & Relationship being retrograde here. No superficiality allowed, we are delving deep into past connections, ancestral, sexual and relational, releasing and dissolving old outworn imbalances and patterns of intimacy and dysfunction that no longer work. Within the blackness of alchemy, think of rich, deep dark soil which has been turned, digested and when composted and cooked eventually nourishes  new life, new growth, once we return to the light.

In archetypal terms many of us know the tale, as Venus’s retrograde of 40 days symbolizes young Persephone, Goddess of Spring, in her descent, being tested, having suffered and been stripped naked. Reflect on other tests of 40 days and nights and you’ll get an idea, tales of Inanna, the Buddha and biblical ones for example. She is also in tension with Mars, the God of war and conflict. He represents for me two connections here, her father, Zeus, giving her away to her brother, Hades, God of the Underworld, in marriage without consulting either her or her mother and thus the disaster begins or perhaps it was her choice? Eventually, she passes all tests with marvelous assistance (you will have to look up the rest of the story), and becomes Goddess & Queen of the Underworld with a price after having partaken of the deep, red pomegranate, another symbol of this Scorpio time frame. Her price was having to descend for half of the year into the domain of her husband/brother Hades, our Winter season, and then she emerges in her strength as an actualized, empowered woman, reuniting with her mother, Ceres, Goddess of Agriculture in the Spring.

Here all things of a Venusian nature are touched; secrets come to the surface – ancestral, sexual, intimate, aesthetic and financial as well as personal values – things we didn’t want to deal with come out of the blue but really from the deep nigredo black (don’t even talk about the news, just notice the correlations).

In astrology, this fourth quarter of the year is full of movement with two major slow planets changing signs, Uranus, the “Awakener,” catalyst and wildcard, with Jupiter, King of the Gods, God of Light, expansion, sky and weather – think “thunderbolt,” in Scorpio makes the gates to the underworld easier to access helping our Persephone traverse the dark, along with Mars, the loosely tethered adolescent male, like a “rebel without a cause”, and finally the North Node moving into Cancer. With very little effort, things can change on a dime, flip from down to being up, full to being empty and vice versa.

This reminds me of one of our adjustments with the Hexagrams but more on that another time. It is a six Metal Month of the Dog which is about authority, obstinacy, persistence, and conflicts, a Dog Month in a Dog Year! Dogs don’t let go, just think of our President who is a Dog, power that will not release its privilege, that has passed its due date, male-domination that doesn’t realize its fragility, or that it is time to abdicate. This all ties in with the Western astrology above. Don’t you love how all these separate paths from different worlds flow together?

Everything is cyclical, seasonal, for instance look back 8 years to 2010 or even 16 years to 2002, you may find a similar transformative issue that has come to the forefront regarding relationships, sexuality or finance, or a culmination of that earlier cycle as Venus is in the same area of the sky now in the murky waters of Scorpio preparing the compost for the new beginnings of Spring 2019.

I recommend a good space-clearing with sage or tobacco and before that clearing some or a lot of clutter out of your purview. Dream-journaling is highly beneficial as you can access the subconscious with greater awareness in this space of the diaphanous veils between the worlds.

 

Sometimes you just have to let your own ideas slide when you come upon something or someone so fabulous that it stops you in your tracks. The work of this multi-talented & multidisciplinary UK artist is one of those. Luke Jerram’s works go into my category of “J’ADORE’ – and this particular work ties so beautifully into the GATE OF THE MOON. It is called the Museum of the Moon, but this piece is really a MOON TEMPLE in and of itself, as shown below here in this video placed in the Great Hall with its special blue lighting, just watch as you enter into the womb of the installation. All these images speak for themselves.

The fact that Bristol, UK was the inspiration with its enormous high and low tides – 13 feet difference at times – brings the feminine directly into play. It ties into the Moon and her myths, her cycles, how they affect the earth and each one of us, tying into our emotions, our bodies, and especially the women, as we are directly affected by her within our own Moon cycles.

We have just passed the Equinox, day of equal light and dark, and have entered into our Autumn season here above the equator as well as just experiencing a gorgeous Full Moon the following day – very potent tidings. Why not start taking note of the Moon and her cycles and see how it affects your moods, and your body. Keep a journal, take note, or make art. Getting in touch with seasons, luminaries, planets, flowers, and things outside of our own little universe can make for powerful teaching and awakening. I know I was feeling funkier than usual, and I tapped inside with my meditations, and checked and looked at my chart and this Moon was definitely contacting my astrology and my psyche.

This installation is now traveling the globe – how fitting as the Moon, herself travels around us. It will be interesting to see how each site affects the participants. Check here  to see if it is coming to a city near you.

Next time you see the ocean and her tides think of how everyone, everywhere on this magnificent globe of ours is seeing another tide in another place and another way and yet we are all connected. Ending with another piece by Luke Jerram of our wonderful GAIA, MOTHER EARTH reminding us to take note of our seasonal changes here and what they bring and how we are one beautiful connected living being. How fitting that you see the Moon and the Earth together in their unified field. Remember to get in touch within and keep in touch and let me know how your perusing goes.

Image: Ocean Pavilion by Luke Jerram

Videos: Luke Jerram

I had the most superb experience the other day. I attended a FIRE workshop and launch party given by GHOST FLOWER, a new company by an amazing group of women along supported by some wonderful men who believe in this concept. They have pooled their talents and come up with active wear designed and based on and incorporating the Five Elements from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with emphasis on the meridians and their corresponding body points for each element. Their designs representing WOOD, FIRE, EARTH, METAL and WATER use fabric and colours that are sublime. Since I work with Colour and the Wu Xing, the Five Elements in my practice with FENG SHUI, I was intrigued.

To start with their active wear assists us in becoming more aware of the meridian energy lines on our bodies and they have raised the bar by creating an integral practice with workshops around these Five Elements. My daughter attended the WATER workshop first and came out feeling that the process took her very deep and that is exactly what WATER does. She recommended that I try the FIRE workshop. I am mainly FIRE in my elemental makeup and since we were being doused under a sky full of WATER at that moment (7 objects in Pisces), I needed a reboot and off I went. Well I sweated ‘my booty off’ and that began in the first twenty minutes as we sat in a large circle and investigated our meridian points before we even started moving our bodies! This concept incorporates techniques I adore – yoga, fascia/resistance work, acupressure, TCM and QiGong. Full of ancient wisdom and it’s fun!

What really got me thinking was that in their designs they are incorporating FENG SHUI with cloth and colour that interacts with the body. I love this idea because we could use their clothing as an adjustment. Each of these elements represents one aspect of the universal life energy – chi – that also connotes movement and change.

In the relationships of the Five Elements we have a Constructive, Creative, Generating Cycle: Wood fuels and feeds Fire, Fire becomes ash which creates Earth, Earth contains or bears Metal, Metal through the process of condensation collects Water, Water nourishes and feeds Wood, thus growth and the cycle recommences.


Now lets say, just like today, my FIRE element was depleted and I really felt overwhelmed by my emotions or the wet weather. I could choose something of a fiery colour that would help bring that FIRE right back up and GHOST FLOWER has a gorgeous ruby red jacket that I was eyeing. I could also choose green, a WOOD element colour, which would feed my FIRE element and their ensemble is stunning like bright dappled sunlight through an emerald forest.

Then there is the Overcoming, Controlling, Destructive Cycle of the Elements: Wood parts or pierces Earth (think of tree roots that hold the soil and help stop erosion), Earth dams and absorbs Water, Water extinguishes Fire, Fire melts and destroys Metal, and Metal chops or cuts Wood.

So what if my FIRE is up and I’m in an angry, prissy, intense mood today, like a Martian warrior ready to pounce – think hot under the collar and by the way Mars is active right now. Well, I could choose to wear their beautiful WATER element ensemble to bring down my fiery nature for the day because WATER puts out FIRE. Or I could use all that FIRE and wear a METAL ensemble to pull and use up any of that excess energy.

On another day, I might be overly emotive, sensitive, overwhelmed and fearful and that corresponds to the WATER element. I could then use the EARTH coloured ensemble to balance and absorb some of that inundating WATER. This concept works wonderfully with the rest of your wardrobe by the way. Try it at home. You can really get very creative and have lots of fun with all of this.

I do love that this company, GHOST FLOWER, is using ancient wisdom with new technology and oh, that amazing Italian fabric they use. They have created an interactive active wear that can help us be more present in our bodies. Those lovely lines on the clothing are not just a design detail but a gentle reminder of the meridian you want to work on. Little ghost flower symbols relate to certain acupressure points of the body and are strategically placed on the clothing showing you what point to press to support yourself throughout the day. This wonderful use of jewel-tone colours to heal and balance does not just make our bums look good but that is a definite plus ladies! Remember this is the time of WOMEN my friends, and it is beginning to show up in wonderful and powerful ways like this fantastic group of women bringing beauty, health and healing to the world. Do look out for a GHOST FLOWER workshop and their clothing coming your way – you won’t regret it!

 

 

 

Your home is a direct reflection of you. It is your blank palette from which to work and create your dreams and aspirations. Its vibratory energy is in a constant state of flux that can be affected by a multitude of external influences. Read more