Sunday inspiration on duality from the Tao te Ching

In light of all of the madness in the world today I found this oddly comforting. The I Ching isn’t easily understood, by me at least, but I found the explanation in this translation helpful and hope you might find some peace here.

art by Nathalie Van

When in the world all appreciate beauty as beauty,
then ugliness is already there;
when all appreciate good as good;
then bad is already there.

Therefore being and non-being generate each other,
difficult and easy complete each other,
long and short define each other,
high and low lean towards each other,
before and after follow each other.

That is why the sage abides in the service of non doing and practices the teaching without words.
The myriad beings arise and she does not reject them,
they are born and she does not possess them.
She acts, but does not depend on results.
Work is accomplished, but she does not dwell on it.
Just because she does not dwell on it, her work is not lost.

Commentary: Opposites generate each other and turn into one another. As soon as we hold onto anything, its opposite simultaneously arises: the obsession with beauty is in itself ugly; the obsession with virtue is a cradle of perversion. Every statement contains the seed of its own negation. The sage does not identify with any absolute statement, since she knows that the opposite statement follows it as its shadow.

Tao Te Ching: A Guide to the Interpretation of the Foundational Book of Taoism by Shantena Augusto Sabbadini
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By |2022-06-26T07:56:33-04:00June 26th, 2022|Inspiration|7 Comments

Sunday inspiration: Stepping into the Present

art by Verena Wild

From an astrological viewpoint, we are patterned beings. The astrological chart reveals the patterns that we have brought into this life, and which we tend to repeat. For example, someone with Mars in Aries (action and initiation, warrior energy) opposed by Pluto (oppression and power) is likely to have early childhood experiences in which their power is taken away. This can take many forms – physical or emotional abuse, or simply being told repeatedly of their lack of worth. The pattern is in the natal chart, meaning this person was born with this predisposition before anything happened to them. This doesn’t mean that person is doomed to a lifetime of trauma and failure;  the pattern in the chart also serves as the key for releasing the bondage of that pattern and transforming that very pattern into the thing which will empower them for a better future.

I was thinking about this on my walk this morning, inspired by my client who told me “It feels as though I have unzipped myself and a new version of myself has walked through.”  This new vision, unencumbered by the traps and bondage of the past, requires relearning how to live and creating new patterns of thought and action to support a life that is not bound by old beliefs and fears. Voices of our mothers, past failures which haunt us, memories of sexual trauma – all of these things are very real, but they are not us. They have wrapped us in a prison of silk and brocade, a rich tapestry of memories and beliefs that were true at the time but which do not exist in this present moment.

This new version of […]

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By |2022-06-19T09:05:55-04:00June 19th, 2022|Inspiration|0 Comments

Sunday Inspiration to handle Mars this week

art by Mario Duguay

Mars is finishing up his round in Pisces, having just transited Neptune where Mars has great difficulty in finding the higher virtues of his aggressive tendencies. In compassionate and transcendent Pisces, Mars needs and desires can become sublimated and pop up at inconvenient times, especially when Neptune is involved. And of course Mercury is retrograde, having just moved back into Taurus where we can become stuck when we need to adjust under the retrograde call for revision. 

Mars enters Aries on Wednesday and will conjoin Jupiter where any repressed anger or frustration will find it easier to emerge, rather like a volcano if we’re not consciously aware of what we are feeling. 

Physical activity is an excellent way to burn off or harness excess Mars energy, but an ideal scenario this week is to use the intuition of Pisces and Neptune to inform our next steps which will become easier when Mars enters its own sign of Aries and the engines are fully fired.

This quote from Rumi fits quite perfectly into this week’s Mars scenario. ❤️

When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety;
If I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without pain.
From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me.

There is a great secret here for anyone who can grasp it.

~ Rumi

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By |2022-05-22T07:43:58-04:00May 22nd, 2022|Inspiration|0 Comments

Sunday inspiration: Surviving the Kali Yuga

art by Nate Sargeant

According to Hindu tradition, there is a cycle of four great ages, or Yugas, that mark the passage of time. Using a complex mathematic formula in which one celestial year is 360 earth years, the four Yugas begin with the Satya Yuga, the age of truth in which virtue reigns supreme, followed by Treta Yuga which is three-quarters virtue and one-quarter sin, and then Dvapara Yuga which is equal parts virtue and sin. The death of Lord Krishna in 3102 bce in most traditions marks the beginning of the Kali Yuga in which sin makes up three parts and virtue only one.

Like astrological Pluto, the goddess Kali represents destruction and death, but her destructive nature is aimed at destroying ignorance and other human evils. I don’t want to depress anyone, but in the tradition the Kali Yuga is said to last 432,000 human years so we will not see its end during our lifetime.  Hinduism is not my religion, but as I look around the signs of Kali Yuga are everywhere. Multiple mass shootings nearly every day. Horrific war crimes in Ukraine, but also in Africa and other parts of the world that are less newsworthy. Climate change resulting in desperate human conditions. Yet somehow we must find a way to not only survive this age of evil and fear, but hold fast to the light of spiritual wisdom and not let go. It is said that in the Kali Yuga humans are given the gift of moksha – release from the cycle of birth and death. I don’t know about that, but I do know that in the darkest hour, the smallest light will make a big difference.

This […]

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By |2022-05-15T08:42:15-04:00May 15th, 2022|Inspiration|10 Comments

Sunday poetry: Let This Darkness Be A Belltower

art by Lia Van Elffenbrinck

With Pluto, the Lord of Darkness, stationary right now having just turned retrograde, I hope this poem will bring light for anyone experiencing dark times right now.

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.

Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell.

As you ring, what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.

– Rainer Maria Rilke

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By |2022-05-01T07:27:05-04:00May 1st, 2022|Inspiration|3 Comments
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