February 22nd, 2013

Mercury Retrograde in Pisces: Some Thoughts (and Feelings)

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” — Albert Einstein

So a bunch of my clients have asked me about Mercury turning retrograde this week (like, in a few minutes). Most were concerned about ‘spacing out’ or losing emotional control because Pisces is considered amorphic and undisciplined. I don’t understand these associations. Einstein was a Pisces, and he overturned our entire view of the universe. If that way of delineating reality is supposed to be unfocused or undisciplined, well — Jesus — bring it on. We need more of it. Especially now when all the fallout of the Pluto in Capricorn transit keeps breaking free and cluttering the cultural landscape.

Pisces is associated with Jupiter. Neptune has nothing to do with the sign. The outer planets are not aligned with the signs the way the inner planets are. The outer planets hang out in some other neighborhood, though we are able to detect them in our solar system. Dane Rudhyar called them ambassadors from some other galaxy, and I’ve always liked that notion. Why? Because the outer planets’ light does not reach us in the same way that light from our Sun and Moon — and the sunlight that is reflected back to us all the way out to Saturn — returns back to us. Ultimately astrology is all about light and its reception and how that infiltrates and impregnates and makes the world appear ‘here’ — right before our eyes.

Jupiter is similar in some ways to Mercury, if Mercury weren’t so active assimilating data. Which is to say Jupiter works from a level of mind that is associated with wisdom, which is a kind of synthesized understanding of data. What Mercury gathers up and names Jupiter embues with vitality and juice, cooking it up to share with others. Which is what Pisces loves to do: share insights and wisdom — especially if those insights will change up the world around her. As the last sign of the zodiac Pisces is the wisest, the most artistic and the most abstract. Pisces seals the seeming split between the emotional or feeling realm and that of the mind. And shows us that feelings and thoughts are always intertwined and inter-related.

So anyway, Mercury will touch off all of the Pisces transits underway via its retrograde; this is like a mega-vitamin for the mind. All of the brainstorms you’ve had during the last couple of weeks will now get a chance to have the missing ingredients added to the mix to bring everything to consciousness — or not. Allow for messes and mistakes, or as musician Brian Eno once said: “Honor thy error as a hidden intention…” Have fun. Get some smart wisdom.

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Filed Under: Astrology
February 12th, 2013

William Segal: Opening to the Force of Attention

“Attention is the quintessential medium to reveal man’s dormant energies to himself. Whenever one witnesses the state of the body, the interplay of thought and feeling, there is an intimation, however slight, of another current of energy. Through the simple act of attending, one initiates a new alignment of forces.

Maintenance of a conscious attention is not easy. The movement, the obligations of day-to-day existence constantly distract. With no base of operations, no home in one’s organism, the attention serves random thoughts, feelings, and appetites which conflict and tyrannize each other.

Sensation of parts or the whole of the body can anchor the attention; provide it with a kind of habitat. The structure, becoming more sensitive, helps to unify attention, so it is less liable to veer into mental channels that consume its power. In turn, perceptions and sensations are quickened, insights are multiplied.

Opening to the force of attention evokes a sense of wholeness and equilibrium. One can glimpse a possibility of a state of awareness immeasurably superior to that of the reactive mechanism, an awareness which transcends one’s automatic subject/object mode of response. Freely flowing, the concentrative, transforming effect of conscious attention brings the disparate tempos of the centers to a relatively balanced relationship. Thought, feeling, and sensing are equilibrated under this vibrant, harmonizing influence.

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Filed Under: Meditation