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Archive for the ‘Rituals’ Category

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from versaday.com

 

I have much to share with you all, yet I am not sure where to begin. So, I will start with the ending. This is going to be my last astrological post….well, in this format anyway. I have been writing astrology articles for 20 years now; and my intuition is guiding me to change my writing style and topics, so that it will appeal to larger audiences. I, so appreciate my astrology followers, but I have found they are a select few.  I have started working on a whole new blog where I will share much more personal information on how I practice “conscious living” on a daily basis.

As much as I love astrology, lately I’ve had trouble committing to writing my new and full moon posts, so I knew something needed to change. Many of my friends say they enjoy my astrological musing, but I feel like I’ve been more writing these posts for myself — to help me remember my connection to the larger world. I’ve been through a big change this past year, with my move half way across the country. I am starting to get comfortable here in the Kansas City area, but I am seeing that there are a few more changes, I need to make in order to lay a solid foundation, so to speak.

live-fully

ticoandtino.com

I always find my life experiences, very much, follow the natural cycles of our planet and the skies above. Ahhh, so as I acknowledge my connection to the larger world, I can let go of my focus on learning about it all; and begin to really live my life. Yes, at 54 years of age, I still feel like I have been holding back on fully embracing my life; so the buck stops here, now! That’s where I am at and that’s enough on my personal learnings…to be continued in my new blog. Let’s get back to the energies and cycles of today that helped cultivate all the changes I’ve been making.

Here’s the lowdown on today’s 3 cosmic events. First, the Super New Moon takes place at 5:36 am edt at 29 degrees of Pisces followed with its total solar eclipse at 5:45 am edt. The eclipse will be seen fully only in the North Pole region of our planet, and partially in most of Europe and some parts of Africa. Then 13 hours later, when the Sun moves into Aries, the Spring Equinox takes place in the Northern Hemisphere and the Fall Equinox, in the Southern Hemisphere.

The overall message, of these three same day astrological events is its a time of major endings and new beginnings. A theme that I have been talking about for the whole last year. However, now we are hitting a big climax. I don’t think on a personal level, there will be a lot of shake-ups today. If you are consciously aware, you most likely have learned much from the many challenging energies in our midst over of the last year! I am referring mostly to the conflicting energies of innovative quick moving Uranus that seeks freedom and change for a more unifying world with those of powerful Pluto that has been busy breaking down outworn systems and structures. Together, the 7 passes of Uranus Pluto Square over the last 3 years (this link gives an in-depth look at the dynamics and timing of this planetary aspects) has pushed many of us to our limits and in turn gotten us to look at the deeper meaning of our experiences and take big leaps of faith even though we were shaking in our boots. Sound familiar?

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popart.com

New Moons are a time to set intentions for the next Moon cycle. However, this is our second new moon in Pisces and it falls at the last degree of this dreamy artistic sign that is also the last sign in the astrological year. Much more going on here, but just for this morning, know you may feel a bit sensitive. Don’t fight your feelings. Acknowledge them and listen to your gut reactions. Don’t take others reactions personally. Give yourself space to use your imagination. It is not a time to escape into your dream world, but to expand your consciousness to see what visions want to take root. If you need some help in connecting to the more inspirational higher realms, I invite you to listen to music by Rosalind,”Return Again” or for tapping into your intuition, here’s a magical water gazing ritual to try.

For questions to seek answers to during your reflection time, you may want to review what you have learned since 2012 which is when the battling Uranus/Pluto energies began; or you may want to look back to  the beginning of March 1997 to  see what breakthroughs you were having back then. Pondering this latter date is to support you in connecting you with today’s eclipse. Solar eclipses are about  supporting us to make some deeper changes by seeing something that has been hidden, in the shadows. If you are not familiar with shadow work, I highly recommend reading and using the exercises in Debbie Ford’s “The Darkside of the Light Chasers” . There is usually something that needs to be let go of.  This process can take from 3-6 months after an eclipse.  May not sound all that fun, but ultimately the awarenesses of what has been blocking the way forward opens one to  know the true self.

Finally, let’s not forget about the Equinox. Thirteen hours after the New Moon Eclipse, the Sun bursts into impulsive Aries, the first sign of the zodiac at 6:45 pm edt. In the U.S., we greet the beginning of Spring. We also have customs and religious holiday during this time of year that speak to preparations for reawakening such as Lent, Easter, Passover and Ostara, the pagan rites of springtime. However, as you get ready to till your soil (prepare your body, mind) and plant your new seeds (intentions), I invite you to contemplate how you can commit to both these two closely tied energies of today — Pisces that encompasses ALL and yearns for completion; and Aries, the self centered initiator that loves a good fight.  Henry Seltzer of Astrograph Astrology shares so well why our society needs to look at these two energies together differently:”Why do we need both a mystical and a hard-nosed and practical, reality-based approach to geimages-3t us through? The logical mental powers that have achieved the glory and the headaches of our materialistic culture will not suffice to allow us to move beyond it. As once, the Great Chain of Being supported our souls, so too do we now need new models of Spirit to support our understanding of our place in history and our path of intentionality to move past our current difficulties on both a personal and a societal level.”

For seeing and understanding these two energies working together, I always find watching the movie, “The Peaceful Warrior” based on the book by Dan Millman so enlightening.

I end with grateful heart and give thanks from the center of my heart for all of you who have been reading my astrology posts. I send you many blessings for a new astrological year and Spring!   – Rev. Annika

 

“Spring is in the Air” by Rev. Annika

 

 

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new-moon-blessings

The 2nd New Moon in the same sign in a 30 day period is called a Black Moon. Those who believe in the power of magic say this Aquarian New Moon (at the last degree of its sign) is extra potent for bringing things into fruition. It is also a Super Moon with the moon’s path being at its closest point to the Earth. As I suggest every month, during the dark new moon, take time to set your intentions for the next 30 days. Yet, know the next few weeks are also a time of inward contemplation as the Sun entered into the sensitive feeling sign of Pisces, just minutes after the new moon, inspiring us to finish moving through Winter and preparing us for big new Spring plans.

Yes, we are in the midst of hol(i)days that are calling us to get ready for Spring. On Wednesday, Christians began Lent which simply is a preparatory time for Easter. Four years ago, I wrote a blog post about how I create my own rituals for Spring renewal based on my Christian roots and my connection to nature. Today is also Chinese New Year which is a honoring of  new beginnings with the start of Spring in China. Those who celebrate this Chinese custom have spent the last several weeks cleaning their homes, paying debts and making amends to start the Spring season anew! One of the Chinese customs for this holiday is to honor the animal that is a symbol for the new year following Chinese astrology. 2015 is the year of the “Wood Sheep”. It is a year to connect more with the feminine side of life and open up to creativity, beauty and love. A great time to seek solutions to last year’s problems by opening up to new sources of inspiration.

Are you ready to shift to a new way of being? To really start manifesting your dreams? The New Moon is an opening to our future by supporting our connection to something larger than ourselves. To honor Chinese New Year and inspire you during your meditations for the next 2 weeks, I leave you with music from Asian Dreamland:  

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2246534713_a4bfe39480The Full Snow Moon in Leo takes place on February 3, 2015 at 6:09 pm EST, the day after Ground Hog’s Day which marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox. This cross quarter day which is really about honoring our earth’s natural cycles is more known to pagans and followers of ancient Gaellic traditions as Imbolc, while Christians also celebrate this point of the year with Candlemas. Whatever your background, most folks who live here, in the Northern Hemisphere, know February 2nd as the day to find out if the groundhog will see his shadow and give us a prediction about the coming of Spring.

Yes, we are at a turning point now…halfway through winter, halfway through the first full cycle of the moon in 2015 (with the first new moon in Aquarius on 1/20) and halfway through this current Mercury retrograde period. Retrograde periods are usually times of introspection and this is a wonderful time to reflect on where you have been and where you want to go.

This Leo Full Moon has a very expansive heart opening signature connected to it, while at the same time challenging us to think in unique creative ways as we come across obstacles and limited ideas. Check-in with yourself to see if your perceptions about who you are and what you are doing with your life are changing. As I talk to the people around me about their lives, I am hearing that many are starting off in new directions, almost as if they have no choice.

Other planetary energies definitely emphasize, this is a key time to listen to your inner yearnings to see what stirs your heart. Also, while you are taking time to listen, review how you are doing with taking care of yourself and those you are in relationship to. Last year from my perspective many folks, myself included went through some “dark night of the soul” experiences that are now being integrated into our lives. 2014 was a more inner year of change. For myself, I was more focused on my own inner transformation and this year, I am so wanting to share my learnings and gifts with others. Yes, 2015 will be more a year of connection and manifestation!

However, the key for all of us, is to dance with the more intuitive side of life right now, to allow new ways of being take root that will last for many years to come. So be patient with yourself. Over the next week find a way to honor your recent learnings especially over the the last 6 weeks and believe that all that you want to accomplish for this new year is getting ready to sprout in the coming new season. If you are not sure how to use your intuition for this exercise, think of ways to connect more with your right side of the brain such as through art, music and nature. At the end of this post, I have included a video for to inspire and support your Full Snow Moon reflection time.

The groundhog who was seeking reprieve from the dark cold winter came out today and danced in the mid-winter’s sun. Yet, upon seeing his shadow he went back into his inner dwellings to continue preparing for the coming Spring season. Be like the groundhog and take time to celebrate where you are in your life — honor what brings you happiness right now and know that there maybe more work to do to integrate what you have learned from past challenges — yet by following and listening to the natural rhythms of life, you will be drawn to what best serves you and those you love. With that have a blessed Valentine’s Day in less than 2 weeks!

Here is a celebration of winter at her finest during last week’s Blizzard of 2015 in Gloucester, MA!

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blog_goodyear_350The first Full Moon of this new year takes place late tonight at 11:54 pm EST. Even though the moon should be shining brightly if skies are clear, its energies should offer us deep sleep and insightful dreams. However, with holiday vacations coming to an end for many, Monday morning may not be the easiest to get back to work and school schedules. The watery emotional Cancer Full Moon urges us to nurture ourselves, get in touch with feelings and take care of family. So if you can, give yourself the space to ease back into normal routines most of Monday. Know that by taking time to listen to inner stirrings right now will help to resolve past challenges and courage to move forward with a greater sense of purpose.

Look for clues in your dreams tonight, in addition to paying attention to any sudden intuitions on Monday. Know that some of the realizations that you get in touch with now may shake you up a bit — especially if you are now clearly seeing that you need to shift in a new direction in order to move through old beliefs and patterns of behaviors.

This full moon falls so close to the feast day of Epiphany which manstushi_epiphanyy Christians honor to mark the outward appearance of Jesus’s divine nature on January 6. Some Christians say this is reflected in the discovery of the magi by the 3 Kings or wiremen. While more orthodox Christians say this is about Jesus being baptized.

No matter, I would like to offer a more symbolic meaning to this joyous holy day and the current astrological energies. The word “epiphany” also means a sudden flash of understanding or insight. And a baptism is usually associated with water. So I invite you over the next day or so to immerse yourself in water (take a bath or if you are really up for an adventure take a new year’s “polar bear plunge” and afterwards meditate on ways you need to be more empowered in your life: where do you need to let go of fear? what needs to shift for you to be living a more passionate purposeful life? Know the “aha” moments are within you. If a water ritual does not appeal to your senses right now, Cancer energies can also be nurtured through memories, mothering and the comforts of home. So spending time reminiscing about your favorite childhood times or cooking some of your favorite family meals can also open you up to deeper feelings, which will lead you to higher wisdom to integrate all your experiences from 2014. Welcome to 2015!

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wintersun

The longest night of the year is happening right now along  with the dark of the new Capricorn moon; yet it is a turning point — one filled with exciting potential! As with all new moons, it is a time to set new intentions.  Tonight however, reflect not only what you want for the next month, but the whole coming year! For the New Moon takes place at 8:36 pm EST about two and half hours after the Winter Solstice.

Besides the Sun and Moon in Capricorn, the planet Venus, Mercury and the dwarf planet Pluto are all so in this structure loving earth sign. The challenge is not to get too bogged down in the material world.  Yes, do focus on your goals and map out a long term plan. If you are feeling stuck look to the power of love to transform what is not working in your life. I know that may sound  “airy fairy” to some, but Venus, the planet that represent love and is also known by many scholars as the Christmas star is in a very powerful position in the sky right now. So go into the stillness of this darkest night of the year, call on the power of the love and listen to what your heart has to say.

If you don’t believe your heart can speak to you, I urge you to look into HeartMath research later. For now I invite you to use the power of your imagination. First, reflect on what you desire for the coming year and imagine that from your heart, a beautiful golden light is growing within you. As you breath in and out, see this energy expanding throughout your body. Let it move through you gently hugging every part of you.  Feel the warmth of this glowing light in every cell of your body. I like to imagine all my cells doing a kind of happy dance! Once your feel filled up with love begin  to extend it beyond yourself — send it out to your family, friends, your community and the world. Know your love is being of service. It is healing and helping people, places and situations to be their best. When you feel complete with sending your heart energies outward, once again focus on your heart and breath your heart energies close to you, knowing your love is always available to you — to guide you to the highest outcomes. To me, this is what we are here to remember….even in the darkest of times, there is a shining light to be found in everyone and every situation! So I invite you to take time to connect with your own inner light (love) tonight. To help you reflect on this special winter’s night light, I bid you Winter Solstice blessings with this poem:

Winter’s Sun

by Azmat Naushad Asif

There is something about the winter’s sun,
That aspires hope after struggle
The wait for tomorrow after
long cold shivering nights;
is the optimism attached
to the winter’s sun.

There is something about the winter’s sun.
The Florescence of the beaming rays
the calmness of the flowing sunshine:
convinces me about the warmth,
of the winter’s sun

There is something about the winter’s sun.
The tender hugging of the sunbeams
on the exposed numb body:
confirms about the comfort provided
by the winter’s sun

There is something about the winter’s sun.
Those for whom is the winter’s suffering
the warmth of the sun is also for them.
Relieving them that, a part of the
sunshine belongs to them
Of the winter’s sun.

 

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Breakthrough Circle

As we move past the half way point of Autumn while the Sun journeys through the sign of Scorpio, the nights are getting longer and we are being pulled inward to find our way through the darkness. This Beaver Full Moon is so named, because it was during this time of year that our Native ancestors hunted for this industrious creature that was comfortable on land and in water. Tonight’s Taurus Full Moon opposes the Sun in Scorpio which asks us to find some sense of balance between earth and water. There has been a lot of emotional intensity in our midst, but it is time to find a way to channel this energy towards breaking down old patterns and taking solid next steps into building something new.

Earthy loving Taurus invites us to slow down and connect to our more instinctual side. Great time to take some time in nature or explore your physical being by getting a massage. As you connect deeper with yourself, reflect on what you value in life? What do you need to feel secure? Notice if any new desires are coming to light. Also watch for what you might want to control. Strong powerful emotions may be rising to the surface — the question is how will you handle them?

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Sekhmet

Anger and fear need to be acknowledged. Ask nature to help you move through your more uncomfortable emotions to release them. When I get angry, I call on the Warrior Goddess of Egypt, “Sekhmet”. I tell her I am angry and ask her to transform the energy. It is amazing how I feel my energy change when I use this ritual. One minute I am feeling heavy and blocked and then the next I am feeling free and energized. It is okay to keep your process simple such as going for a walk and taking slow purposeful steps. I tight be helpful also tovisualize the emotions that you no longer wish to be holding onto moving out through your feet and being carried away into the earth to be released and transformed.

With Mercury moving past its original retrograde point from October 4th this weekend, you may find there are issues that you were dealing with back then that come up to be dealt with. Also back at the end of April, we had the Taurus New Moon Solar Eclipse which was a time when new seeds got planted. So this Taurus Full Moon is reactivating these energies and inviting you to continue building something new that you were thinking about 6 months ago!

Interesting for me. last April is when I made the decision to move to Kansas City and since I took action to make this change over the summer,  my world has been full of unknowns. I would have to say just in the last week, I felt more empowered to honor what I value and speak my truth which included asking for help in places I was struggling. By acknowledging my challenges and being sharing my true feelings, I am seeing a more positive flow in my everyday life! Wishing you all the courage to breakthrough your old patterns to find a new level of inner security and connection.

 

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Spring-Graphics-19

 The Spring Equinox took place a few hours ago at 12:57 pm edt in the Northern Hemisphere. Spring began when the Sun entered  Aries, the beginning sign of the Zodiac. Aries is quite fiery in nature and inspires action, impulsivity and courage to make changes. So just as many gardeners and farmers are getting ready to start their new season of crops, the next couple of days  is the perfect time to plant new seeds of what you desire. For background info on the Spring Equinox and some simple rituals to plant yours seeds visit http://www.dailyhoroscope.com/horoscope-headlines/history-of-spring-equinox.

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from art charts.com

 Today, there are equal parts of daytime and night time which happens twice a year, at the Fall Equinox and the Spring Equinox signifying a time to find balance in our lives. I usually associate the Fall Equinox more with balance because the Sun enters Libra the sign associated with harmony, equality and justice.   However this year, as I review today’s Spring Equinox chart. there is a very strong message about making changes that bring us more into balance in our giving and receiving. With Mars the planet that rules Aries retrograde in Libra, this is a time to re-evaluate how we move forward with new opportunities. Also, the Sun makes no connections to any other planets today symbolizing something is out of balance with our relationship to Mother Earth.

I personally, have been receiving this message so strongly this past week.  I have been continually stopped dead in my tracks by mother nature’s creatures. First, it was two deer, a mother and fawn, slowly prancing out in the middle of the street. Then two days later, an opossum sitting among the recycling in my backyard which I tend to for my whole building — refused to budge for over 3 hours. A day after that, it was a Canadian goose waddling 10013331_719417034747884_2035893459_never so slowly in front of me on a busy street during evening rush hour. And last but not least, this morning when I was running late to work, due to a power outage in my neighborhood, twenty wild turkey paraded across the street stopping traffic for a few minutes. I know my new direction for Spring and  have been actively working on my plans. However, as an intuitive shaman, I have a very strong connection to nature and am clearly being told to slow down and pay attention to the more natural rhythms of our earth. I am getting that I can actually accomplish much more, if I let my intuitive feminine side guide me more! I tend to get impatient at times and attempt to make things happen. Can anyone relate?

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Rev. Annika’s First Day of Spring Sightings

I have been saying this since the beginning of the year, this is definitely a year of expansion, yet make sure you continually take time to release old patterns that no longer serve you and those you are in relationship with.  We have a series of Eclipses happening in April so changes continue to be in our midst. If in the last month some of the watery Pisces energy have had some of you swimming in confusion, all is not lost. Take time in the next few days to connect with the magic of the Equinox. Go out and appreciate nature to allow the visions and insights to come through that are still available to support you in letting go of where you feel limited and finding solutions to having what you desire. This morning after all the delays, I went out to embrace the signs of Spring. It inspired me to write this post. It has been tough here in the Northeast, since the weather continues to be unseasonably cold. With that I leave you with a fitting prayer to be present with what is:

“God, thank you for Spring and for the hope of warmer, longer, brighter days. Thank you for the coming of growth and life and birth. Thank you that things are coming awake in the world. This is what our calendar says, and we do see some signs that it is real. But we also still struggle with the residual layover of winter. It’s still cold out there! Now we ask that you would bring into reality all that belongs in this season. Your word says that we will have provision, and hope, and joy, and health, and loving relationships here and now in this life. Now we ask that what belongs in this season would become actual in our practical lives. Yes, it is already spring; but it is not yet spring as well. Let everything in our lives as they are supposed to be. We hope in you and in your promises. We hope in your gift of Spring.”                                                   – Mark and Jill Herringshaw

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