11 April 2017 Full Moon, End of Venus Retrograde, the Beginning of Saturn Retrograde, the Beginning of Mercury Retrograde, and Understanding Portal Days

11 April 2017 Full Moon, End of Venus Retrograde, the Beginning of Saturn Retrograde, the Beginning of Mercury Retrograde, and Understanding Portal Days

Article and Photography by Rachel Leah Gerson

The Bottom Line 

With Mercury, Saturn and Venus in retrograde at the same time, what we are doing is looking at our patterns, facing our lessons, facing our selves, questioning what we really want out of life, discarding things that are not serving us, and having to put forth more effort into communicating with each other. The full moon in Libra falling on the 11th will illuminate all of this and help to bring it to a pinnacle where you can really vacillate with freedom between your choices before collaborating with your higher self, your inner knowing, and any astral friends (or guides or whatever you might have helping you on the other side of the veil) to make any important judgments or decisions you might need to make in order to move forward in the most direct and pleasing way on your path.

Judgment is an important facet of the human experience. We are always taught not to judge, but it is innate in our beings- it is how we understand who we are, where we stand, and who we want to be. It is how we learn discernment as to who or what we want in our lives. Judgment is how we keep ourselves in check.

This month’s full moon falls in Libra, the sign of the scales. Of weighing things out. Of discernment. Of balance.

For many of us, there are a lot of things to weigh out, right now.

 

Venus Retrograde

So much potency has been in place in our sky, as of late. Venus went retrograde on 4 March, giving us the space to turn our lives inside out to really look at what it is that we truly want. What is it that sparks our passion? How are we feeling in relation to others? How do we jive (or not) with sexuality? Are we letting our creativity flow the way that we need it to? Is your current partner (if you have one) meeting your passions and encouraging you to come from the heart in pursuing those? Are you doing that for yourself?

I find that when Venus goes retrograde, it tends to flip my world upside down, a little bit… or right side up, depending on how you look at it. It’s like lifting up a rock and remembering all of this stuff is under it that you forgot was there, or maybe seed started to grow that you never even realised you planted.

It is a time of change, a time of reintroducing the love into your life in places that have not been fulfilled, and a time of weighing out what it is that you really, truly, want in your life. Venus retrograde is Universe’s way of putting you back into flow with yourself, with serendipity, and with Universe itself, and it is also a way of helping you to rid your life of what is no longer serving you.

Interestingly to our aspects, Venus went retrograde just before the March full moon in Virgo, and will end just after this full moon in Libra as it goes direct on the 15th.

So it began with a grounding sensation in virgin territory– in newness; an awakening- understanding the power within ourselves as energetic beings. It then flew through the spring equinox where many of us were awakened by the changing equilibrium of the sun and excited to explore growth in a way that was transformational, watching the flowers bloom beneath our feet as we moved forward.

It continued its beautiful work through the new moon in Aries, where our drive was really instilled and our feverous notions realised (I will touch more on this below), and then it was nudged to really put into motion things that would help to tie up loose ends when Saturn went retrograde on 6 April (also talked about below). To make matters more intense, Mercury has gone retrograde today, 9 April, and is causing people to spend a little bit more time and effort on communicating. Perhaps, for some people in romantic relationships or friendships that are hanging by a thread, that extra energy needed for clear communication might just be what takes a toll on the relationship and brings it to a closing.

And with that, Venus’s retrograde is now finishing up its last act- wrapping up our comprehension of what we want to keep in our lives, what we don’t, and what we might want more of- as we come to this day of the full moon on the 11th– a portal day (also to be touched on, later), where the consciousness of where we are at as individuals in relation to the rest of the world will be recognised and understood in a way that brings new clarity towards who we are, what brings us joy, and what is holding us back.

 

This Moon

I don’t know about you, but I have really been feeling such a surge of energy and such a build surrounding this moon, even when it was new in the sign of Aries. That Aries spark lit my fire, and I have witnessed this taking place over the last few weeks in the lives of others, as well. So our passions have been lit, and our drives put into gear. And I feel that this drive has never been put into park since the gas pedal was pushed- that is the energy propelling this full moon.

All of this exertion that hasn’t even felt taxing in most ways- it has been energising, actually!- is going to continue to push full force until the night of this full moon where it will just completely open and expand! Universe has really been working to open us up and push us forward these last few weeks.

Everything has just been building and building! This is such an interesting parallel to this past fall… I feel that this same energy was taking place around the end of October and into November, but in a much darker and heavier way. This time, I feel that we are truly emerging with the first blossoms, and happy not only to see the light, but to run with it and see where it goes. Who knows- maybe we all just look like cats after laser pointers right now… or, we could also be like moss, following the light to give ourselves, and others, direction.

Like I said, this moon falls in Libra on an 11 day, which also has the energy of a 2 (1+1=2). Balance and duality are really key, here, with this moon. And the energy of Libra’s air will help to connect you to your higher self, as well, to be able to make important decisions.

 

Saturn Retrograde

Saturn went retrograde last week on 6 April– yet another thing positioned in our atmosphere to help us to reflect and understand what is and is not working for us in our lives at this point in time. Saturn retrograde is another flipper-upside-down state of life. If you are going through your return (i.e. if you are around the age of 27-30, 54-60, or 81-90) then you will have a nice little break from all of the internal work you have been doing surrounding yourself and facing your lessons.

But if you are any age other than those mentioned, you will probably be put into situations that will test you to see if you have really learned past lessons or not. This will likely be the case until 25 August when it goes direct, again. This means that you will be forced to make decisions and to use your discernment, once again, to form judgments on where you are, what you are doing, and how you want to go about whatever situations you may find yourself in. Are you repeating unhealthy patterns? Are you finding yourself in the midst of another toxic relationship? Are you having to renegotiate boundaries with the people around you?

Hopefully the full moon will help, a little bit, with giving you balance through the beginning of this process. It will leave you with the lesson and the energy of weighing out your options so that you will know how to do that a little bit more easily through the course of this Saturn retrograde action.

 

Mercury Retrograde

 If you’re not familiar with Mercury retrograde, there is an article written that you can find, here, to learn more about it. Mercury goes retrograde, today, 9 April, making it extra important to pay attention to how we communicate, and, really, to just be mindful, in general- it is easy to have misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and technological malfunctions.

But if you really pay attention and put forth the effort to be extra communicative with the people in your life, it can actually be a very gratifying and beautiful span of time. Just remembering to be grateful (which is an essential practise whether Mercury is retrograde, or not) can really raise the ceiling and make it so that technological and communication break downs do not happen as often, or even, maybe, at all!

 

Portal Day, 11

Lastly, this full moon falls on a “portal” day of 11. 11’s are gateways to the astral world, to higher self, and to inner knowing. They open up the psychic world to make it more accessible to interact with, should you choose to (or even should you not, sometimes!). The full moon is generally a time of this, as well, as it sheds light on the veil between worlds and opens up our third eyes. To have the two in combination makes for some very extreme psychic energy, and the retrograde cycles add to that portal opening, as well, as it adds to us looking at things in many different lights and shades of colour.

This moon is really a potent one, and an important one. I am sending so much love to you to be able to push through this and get everything that you need out of it. Just remember that in any circumstance, you always have the choice to emerge a better person.

Love, as always,

Doorway to Self

xx D2S ❤

 

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Know Exactly Which Sign the New and Full Moon is in Every Month of Every Year!

Know Exactly Which Sign the New and Full Moon is in Every Month of Every Year!

Article written by Rachel Leah Gerson, Photography from Pablo by Buffer

As we are celebrating the first New Moon of the astrological calendar year today (27 March) in Aries, Doorway to Self has decided to give you a gift to help yourself sync up to the sun and the moon a little bit more organically. How is it that astrologers and astrology geeks (such as myself) know exactly what sign the moon is in when it is new or full? It’s a simple trick, really, if you can memorise the order of the 12 astrological signs- or at least know what sign the sun is in!

When we say that the moon (or any planet or the sun) is in a “sign”, it is because it is literally occupying the same space in the night sky as that sign. So, for instance, if you were born in the sun sign of Sagittarius, it means that the sun was literally in the sign of Sagittarius in the sky when you were born.

That said, let’s look at how new and full moons work, astronomically. When the moon is “New”, it is because it is travelling directly behind the sun in the sky, and cannot reflect the sun at all, therefore causing it to appear dark. Conversely, when the moon is “Full”, it is because it is directly opposite the sun in the sky, allowing the light from the sun to reflect across and bounce off of the moon’s surface to give the full shape gorgeous glow.

So, now, think about it.

If the moon is new it means that it is right next to the sun in the sky. And if it is right next to the sun then it means that it is in the same sign in the sky. So if the sun is in Sagittarius and we are in a New Moon phase, then the moon will be new in Sagittarius. If the sun is in Aries and we are in a New Moon phase, then the moon will also be in the sign of Aries. Easy, right?

Okay, so maybe some of you see where this is going, next. When the moon is full, it means it is directly across from the sun in the sky. And, if it is directly across from the sun and there is an equal number of astrologically significant signs (12), then that means that the moon will be in the sign exactly opposite that of the sun. So if the sun is in Sagittarius, the moon with be in Gemini. If the sun is in Gemini, the moon will be in Sagittarius. If the sun is in Aries, the moon will be in Libra, and vice versa. So the full moon and the new moon are in exactly the same signs at exactly the same time of the astrological year, every single year!

Quiz: It’s 27 March and there is a new moon. What sign is the new moon in? First look at where the sun is. If it’s 27 March it means that we are about a week into the sun’s transit of Aries. And if the sun is in Aries and the moon is new, that means the moon is in…? If you’re thinking Aries, you are correct! So let’s make it more difficult.

Another Quiz: It’s 27 March of a different year and there is a full moon. What sign is the full moon in? First look at where the sun is. If it’s 27 March it means that we are about a week into the sun’s transit of Aries. And if the sun is in Aries and the moon is full, that means the moon is in…? (The answer’s above if you don’t have the opposites memorised.) …Okay, so, if you thought the moon would be full in Libra, you are correct!

Annnndddddd we couldn’t let you celebrate the New Moon with this information and not give you a handy little chart to hang by your bed or in your meditation space or altar space or notebook or whatever it is you believe in or have or use. You can find that below!

Good luck and much love (as always),

xx D2S ❤

 

Here’s a little quick reference guide:

 

New and Full Moon Astrological Sign Chart

Sun                                                                             New Moon              Full Moon

Aries (21 March- 19 April)                                    Aries                       Libra

Taurus (20 April- 20 May)                                    Taurus                    Scorpio

Gemini (21 May- 20 June)                                    Gemini                    Sagittarius

Cancer (21 June- 22 July)                                      Cancer                    Capricorn

Leo (23 July- 22 August)                                        Leo                          Aquarius

Virgo (23 August- September 22)                      Virgo                       Pisces

Libra (23 September- 22 October)                     Libra                       Aries

Scorpio (23 October- 21 November)                  Scorpio                  Taurus

Sagittarius (22 November- 21 December)      Sagittarius            Gemini

Capricorn (22 December- 19 January)             Capricorn              Cancer

Aquarius (20 January- 18 February)                 Aquarius                 Leo

Pisces (19 February- 20 March)                        Pisces                      Virgo

Spring Equinox 2017, 20 March

Spring Equinox 2017, 20 March

Sometimes it just takes a little bit of sun and water to bring out the most brilliant blossoms from the prickliest of places. Spring is almost here (in the northern hemisphere, anyways), and the sun is out and the rains have come and will come. I am very much itching to crack my shell and poke through the goo and sharp edges to emerge into growth and sunshine. The Spring Equinox is a time of new growth and celebration; of emerging from darkness into light; of warmer effing weather (seriously, though).

Most of us have seriously felt that darkness this year, deep in our cores, starting in September or October or so, just at the pique of eclipse season and the Autumnal Equinox.

So now we emerge at the end of nature’s palindrome- It went Light, Equinox, Eclipses, Darkness, and now we’re going Darkness, Eclipses, Equinox, Light. Pretty cool, eh? Gotta love the patterns of Universe.

We have gone through the depths, this year, into our darkest, most inconspicuous shadows, shattered the glass on the reflections of the versions of ourselves that we no longer wished to embody, ended relationships, friendships, and dramas that were no longer serving us, lost loved ones, created new boundaries for ourselves and others, and learned how to face adversity by conquering our greatest fears.

And it was painful. And a little (or a lot) sticky at times. And then we collapsed into ourselves for a bit trying to process it all.

But the sun has come back into our lives in not only a more forgiving way, but in a more encouraging way. So now it’s time to take our latest versions of ourselves and bring that to the surface, both in vulnerability and in strength. We can move forward knowing that we are responsible for ourselves, and that only we- as individuals- have the “say so” in who we are, what we do, and how we process life.

            Not only are cactus flowers blooming, but holidays involving eggs are celebrated all over the world at this time of year- Noruz (the Persian new year), Passover (Jewish remembrance of leaving slavery for freedom), Easter (resurrection of Jesus), Ostara (Western European Pagan celebration of the Equinox), and more. There are many reasons for this, but one very pertinent to this particular article is the idea of rebirth. Eggs are round, signifying a cycle. Time is not linear, and we are never born only once in any given lifetime.

We rebirth ourselves every year. Every month. Every day.

Any time we choose to, we can take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and start over again on the next inhale. As such, we can also choose to crawl away into a new shell, again, for however long we need to take our time and space, and we can crack it open to breathe in fresh light and new air whenever we deem it appropriate or necessary.

            So what do you say- are you ready to crack open your shell and burst into the light of the new spring sun? Are you ready to watch the fruits of your heavy labour- emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically- from this last year bloom through the flowers emerging from desert cacti?

I, for one, am excited to burst forth with you.

Wishing you a happy Equinox, an easy crack at this exciting new cycle, and a gorgeous season full of bloom to come.

Much love,

xx D2S ❤

Winter Solstice 2016: It is okay to feel.

Winter Solstice 2016: It is okay to feel.

Article and Photography by Rachel Leah Gerson

At 05:44 EST tomorrow, the winter solstice will be upon us to bring about both the shortest day and longest night of the year. It is at this time in the calendar year that many people feel some sort of longing, or an innate sadness. I’ve found that it has been exponentially so in this year we’ve been calling “2016”- the year that has given us the gift of hardship so that we might face our shadows, and step into the light of our newest selves. This year has been tough for a lot of us- myself included- although as a good friend and client of mine put it, maybe it’s not necessarily “tough”, but “different”. This year has just been a different year, a year we hadn’t expected, a year that many of us were not prepared for, and so, yes, indeed, if you were looking at 2016 through the same lens as you had 2015 or 2014, then perhaps it was a difficult year. But it has also been a year that has brought much growth. Sometimes it takes the “different” times (or the difficult times- however you choose to look at it) to wake us up, to make us moult, and to force us out of our sheds and into our new skins. Whether it’s the feeling of not wanting to let go, or fear of the unknown, or the feelings of confusion and uncomfortability in navigating your newest body, sometimes a sadness or anxiety or depression can set on, and that’s okay.

It is OKAY to feel SAD. It is OKAY to feel DEPRESSED. It is OKAY to feel ANXIOUS or SCARED or BEWILDERED or CONFUSED or ANGRY or FRUSTRATED or any of the other emotions that we try to force ourselves to push down just because someone told us it was not okay to feel them. Because of all of the years that society has made us feel like it is not okay to feel them. Because we have been told to, “get over it” or “move on” or “grow up” or “just be happy”. We have been told that these emotions only hold negative content; negative connotation; negative outcome. That there is no place for them in our lives other than to poison us and promote our self-destruction.

But that is simply not true.

We have these emotions for a reason.

These emotions are here to help us to transform.

They are here to help guide us to our next selves; our next steps; our next possibilities and realities and greatnesses.

They are how we process things.

They are how we grow.

These emotions can sometimes onset when we are intentionally trying to change. When we wake up that morning and realise, “Wow… I really don’t like this aspect of myself”, and we do the work to try and change that aspect; to maybe even be rid of it in its entirety. This is necessary for growth; for self-love; for self-care; for self-compassion- and that’s wonderful and amazing and encouraged. It also means that we are still losing a part of ourselves, whether or not it’s for the good.

And so we can feel a sadness or a confusion or an anger or whatever else, because we are dealing with a death of a part of ourselves.

We are dealing with loss.

With Grief.

Anytime there is a loss or a change- be it, perhaps, a positive change- there is still some rearranging to do inside ourselves. And with that rearranging can come so many emotions.

I feel like the whole world is changing right now- both together as a unit and also as many individuals- and it is happening so rapidly. And because we are all feeling these emotions of change and then grief or confusion or anger, or etc. at the same time, it is making it even more difficult for some of us to separate “what is MY emotion” versus, “what is John Smith’s or Jane Doe’s emotion”.

All of our threads are so inter-connected, like there’s just one big web we’ve spun suddenly, and we’re all walking on each other’s threads and feeling and feeling and feeling, and people who were never Empaths before- or could never recognise that they were- are Empaths now because the feeling is just too strong and breaks through the barriers, no matter who you are.

People who are Empaths have a particularly “different” time with this process, as they are feeling the emotions from their own change, as well as the emotions from other people’s processes. It is possible to protect against this by grounding yourself (see video for more information), meditating, asking the Universe or Source or whatever you believe in- or your own Intuition or Higher Self- if this is really your emotion or if it’s someone else’s, and, lastly, really being familiar with what YOU feel like, i.e., what is your own personal energy?

(SIDE: For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “Empath”, it is a psychic quality that allows for one person to be able to feel another person’s emotions and/or physicality. For example, John Smith is an empathy. He is in a terrible mood until he is standing in line next to Jane Doe when he suddenly starts feeling really cheery. When Jane gets up to the front of the line and begins joking around with the cashier and being really happy, he realises that the cheerfulness is hers. Another example would be that Jane Doe is an Empath, and her shoulder starts randomly hurting when she is standing next to John Smith. She later finds out that John fell off a ladder onto his shoulder and badly bruised it earlier this morning. Any emotion- whether on the spectrum of happiness or sadness- can be felt by an Empath, as can physical pain or health.)

So we’re all in this explosive web of change- combusting change. And as more and more people are waking up to themselves, more and more chain reactions are being stirred up. People are feeling “feelings” on a whole new level. It has been intense, to say the least. We have all been made to grow and change at a rapid rate. I feel, personally, almost as if I’ve been put into some sort of weird intensive course about myself and my relation to others. It is not something that I am unused to doing- growing, changing, facing my shadows- but it all feels so much larger, this time.

This torrent of change has brought on so much overwhelm and anger and confusion for many of us, but that has only led to the activation of our next and newest versions of ourselves.

So it is OKAY to feel SAD. It is OKAY to feel DEPRESSED. It is OKAY to feel ANXIOUS or SCARED or BEWILDERED or CONFUSED or ANGRY or FRUSTRATED or any of the other emotions that we try to force ourselves to push down because they are what help us to realise what is to come.

They are how we cope.

They are how we eventually push through- unless we get stuck in them.

And if we get stuck in them, that is when it can become self-destructive. I want to lay the line down- the important line:

Yes, it is okay to feel these emotions! You shouldn’t have to shut them out. You shouldn’t feel the need to feel happy all of the time, or even just as fast as you can, because these emotions are important to go through. They really help to mould us, and to mould that new progression of our inner paths, and the new and exciting experiences that are to come out of that change and that moulding.

So the line is that, yes, we should feel those things- those “negative” emotions- and we should grow to love them because, after all, we would not know happiness without sadness, or, at least, maybe we would not appreciate it as much. But at the same time, it is IMPORTANT not to DWELL in them.

There is a difference between FEELING sad, or FEELING angry, and DWELLING in those things. If you FEEL it, you go through the steps:

You know you’re going to come out of it. You know that, “yes I am going to feel this now”, but that you will emerge on the other side and you will take care of yourself during the process of feeling these stickier emotions. Going through these emotions, it’s not hard. It’s just different. It’s not tough- it’s necessary.

As soon as we label these experiences with words like “hard” or “tough”, we’re setting ourselves up to make it that way, and we’re pushing ourselves into more of a hole of overwhelm. And in that hole- well, holes can be “dwellings”. When you dwell in your emotions- when you dwell in self-pity- that’s when it gets harmful.

So how do you know which one you’re doing? Are you acknowledging and coaching your own emotions, or are you dwelling in self-pity? If you’re constantly finding reminders or reasons as to why you should be feeling these “different” emotions and you’re looking for those reasons, then you’re dwelling. You’re not letting yourself escape from the emotions. You’re forcing yourself to feel them, even if you’re being is done feeling them and they have already played their principal role.

However, if something comes up out of the blue and tends to remind you of what you were feeling by chance- perhaps it’s even as close together every couple of minutes, or as far as every couple of years- then you aren’t forcing yourself to feel it and you are still working through whatever growth process that emotion has in store for you. If it’s naturally coming up and you’re simply allowing these emotions to come through you, then you’re not dwelling in it. You’re merely “emotion coaching” yourself- allowing yourself to feel these emotions as they come up with provided self-compassion- you are not dwelling in self-pity or in the emotion itself.

So why is this the theme of a Winter Solstice article? It is also the darkest time of the year, and with all of these compounding hurricanes of emotions, we also have nature’s darkest hours amidst us. Bare branches swaying in the 5 o’clock sunset to cradle us in their arms in the dusk.

Our personal shadows have coincided nicely with those of the Earth, thus making it that much more intense, but also giving us that much more room to knead into the process. Something I read, lately, in an article written by Allie Theiss, is that “Gentle exposure to sunlight stimulates the flow of your own energy. Some lower vibrations cannot exist with exposure to bright light.” The light of the sun is cleansing for us, and can help us to release emotions in a different way as it energises our bodies. We are lacking in that gift as the days have grown shorter and shorter, and the sun appears and disappears in such a short time span, if even at all with a thanks to cloudy skies. But after tomorrow, things are looking up.

The days will once again grow longer- slowly but surely- and little by little we will have that much more sunshine to let the old emotions- and other people’s emotions- filter through us in a much more fluid way.

Until then, let’s revel in our darknesses. Let’s revel in our mysteries and our emotions and our growths and our confusions. Let’s revel in the candle we hold to ourselves to light the way.

Happy holidays and much love,

xx RLG ❤

Balance, Shadows, and Letting Go

Balance, Shadows, and Letting Go

Article and Photography by Rachel Leah Gerson

Today I want to talk about the three-fold theme of this year: balance, facing your shadows, and tossing out what you don’t need. It’s been on my mind a lot all year, but more specifically this last week, and the themes seem to be touching everyone I talk to, whether I knew them previously or not. Those three things tie together in beautiful and profound ways, each theme forcing you to dive into the next and then back again. And each cycle of each theme that you experience forces you to go into the next one deeper, and then the next one deeper, yet again.

Let’s talk about balance: light and dark. We need both to survive- metaphorically, spiritually, and literally in the physical world. There is no way that we would be able to know one without the other, and if you look at it in nature, a flame is seen better at night, and the cast of sunlight creates shadows. Half the year is darker days and half the year light, half our time day and half our time night, and the list goes on.

We’ve had so many things illuminated this year. Physically speaking we’ve had three supermoons in a row, more days of sunshine than not (at least everywhere I’ve been to in the last 11 months), a few meteor showers, and warmer weather than usual in many places around the globe. Metaphorically speaking, we’ve seen a lot of societal and political issues come to light in the last year (which I have touched on in my article “How Our Country and Our World Came to THIS, and How We Can Rise Up” that you can access here), as well as a lot of facing the rawness in ourselves, in our relationships, and in those closest to us in our personal lives. For instance, many of us have come to find that the habits we hold that were once annoying have become even more so, or we’ve come face-to-face with the death of a loved one (or several), or the forces that have driven toxic relationships to persist, including those within our relationships with ourselves.

These illuminations have been shocking to us- perhaps even jarring- and we would not have been able to ground that shock without the presence of darkness to be able to work through it. The light has illuminated the darkest parts of our lives, ourselves, our relationships, our societies, and our world, this year, so where is there a better place to go to confront your fear and anger and shock than its own home? Nature has given us no choice this year in choosing to fight our darknesses. We can try all we want, we can grab our guns and pitchforks, but it won’t budge. And perhaps this is a lesson for many people- one that I will touch on in probably several articles and videos over time- no one gets anywhere by fighting fear. Ever. It only perpetuates a vicious cycle where you will be forced to stare that fear in the eye time and again. The best way to cope with fear is by putting in the work to understand it.

About 5 years ago I had a bad run-in with deer. It’s a rather long story, but the short version of it is that I had accidentally scared a buck and he started hissing at me, and had I not left the place I was in at the time I did, he probably would have charged me. I was petrified of deer after that, but instead of running away from them and fighting being around them, I devoted a few hours a day to following them around and studying them. Where were these deer coming from within themselves? How did they eat, act, move, migrate, react when they sensed me? After months of this, I came to love the deer, and to understand that within kindness and grace and vulnerability comes strength. If we work to understand our fear and the perspective of whatever it is that we fear, it will teach us lessons. And through gratitude in receiving those lessons, we can learn to love it.

So Universe has forced us, this year, to do that. To come with peace towards fear instead of with anger or skittishness or more fear. Literally speaking, we’ve had several eclipses- both solar and lunar- throughout the year. We had a Black Moon. We have had many planets go retrograde, slowing down so that we could see their dark underbellies. Metaphorically speaking, we have been given this gift of the darkness to be able to slip into ourselves and retreat and dig deep and sort through our emotions about what’s been illuminated. To meditate on it. To “sleep” on it. To really sit with it and be with it and massage that process. To learn to love it. Every harmful thing, every hurtful thing, every scary thing has a purpose in helping us and nudging us to learn, to grow, and to evolve.

Darkness breathes way to light, and it’s impossible to grow if we don’t have that breath. We suffocate ourselves when we stay stagnant. We suffocate ourselves when we do not give ourselves the space and time to face the darkness- to face our fears and our shadows- because in doing that we are failing to give ourselves the room or the permission to grow. So we can take these moments where Universe presents us with a chance to walk down the hall to meet our shadows as gifts. Perhaps they are difficult gifts to unwrap, or maybe you unwrap them quickly and easily and then don’t know exactly what to do with them; where to put them; how to handle them. So you need to sit with them awhile; hold them; marvel at them; get to know them; grow with them. And in the end, no matter where you decide to place them, you will leave having learned something; having gained something; having grown and slithered out of your old shed and into the sunshine.

So your fears have been illuminated and you’ve taken the time to step into their place in their homes in the darkness to meet them and get to know and understand them, and possibly even have love or compassion toward them. And when you’re done with all of that and you emerge back out of the tunnel and into the light, again, you are met with a small plastic trashcan, and you feel the great urge to discard a bunch of your baggage that you took with you on that whole long journey through light and dark and possibly light and dark again and then light and dark again- the point is, you’ve had it for long freaking time and you don’t need it anymore and it’s not serving you and it’s time. for it. to go.

How good does it feel to put that unneeded baggage you’ve been hanging onto, that’s been weighing on your shoulders, that you’ve already met and dealt with and faced in all its glory (possibly multiple times) into that trashcan? Perhaps the small one isn’t big enough and the urgency to go looking for a large bin- maybe even an industrial-sized, metal construction bin- is hitting you like the need for a bathroom when you’ve a full bladder. The point is that the year has been making us face our journeys and all that we’ve been through, and it’s been making us dive so deep into our stories that we feel not only compelled to be done with them, but a complete satisfaction in being done with them. It’s that time when you’re saying, “I don’t need this anymore, let’s move on”, and you truly mean it, and you feel the bricks crumble off your shoulders and disintegrate, and you sigh and it feels so good.

I’ve moved around a lot throughout my life, and the amount of physical crap I’ve accumulated boggles my mind. I just moved into a new place this last weekend, and all of the boxes that are still sitting in my living room are confusing to me. I’ve opened some up and gone, “Really? Why have I been dragging around all of these stories that I will never publish from high school peer-review writing workshops?” or, “Do I really need every single ticket and programme from every concert, reading, graduation, etc., that I’ve ever been to?” or, “Do I really need this shirt from my 6th grade school play?” (Yes, that is seriously one of my things I’ve been hogging around all these years. No, I’m not a packrat. I was just a sentimental child.)

After decades of this accumulation and of taking it from house to house to apartment to house to apartment, I’m finally sick of it, and I’m finally going through and throwing away or giving away what I seriously do not need. And I’ve been doing the same with my mental clutter, my relationship clutter (in all of my close relationships), and the clutter within myself (because I’m human, too, y’know). And though it’s a lot of work and it’s really intense (I cannot stress that enough!), every time that I have emerged from on the other side of the darkness, I turn around to that cave, and I say, “Thank you for being there. Thank you for holding me on this journey. Thank you for showing me where my darkness dwells; for helping me meet it; for helping me understand it; and for helping me to understand and love myself more than I did, yesterday, because of it”.

Sending all the luck and love in the world to you as you emerge from your darkness a stronger, better, more stunning version of yourself.

 

Love always,

xx RLG ❤

How Our Country and Our World Came to THIS, and How We Can Rise Up

How Our Country and Our World Came to THIS, and How We Can Rise Up

By Rachel Leah Gerson

Photography by: Brooke Rosenblum Photography http://www.brookerosenblum.com

Now is our time.Our time to shine.

Our time to shine.

Our time to step up and share who we are- as individuals, as psychics, as healers, as lovers- with the world.

 

Our country and our world have flipped to the shadow side. Perhaps that is why Brexit happened. Perhaps that is why Isis is happening. Perhaps that is why Trump was voted into office. The world is turning and churning, the scales of darkness and light flipping back and forth and on top of themselves and rolling around like maggots in a treehouse.

 

Many people are scared right now, and that is okay. I, myself, was very fearful yesterday and the day before, and even a little bit today. But now, I am excited- let me tell you why.

 

I am excited because all of this ugly underbelly of our society has been drudged up: the racism, the misogyny, the homophobia, the anti-Muslim agenda, and so much more. Am I excited because these things are happening? No. Absolutely not. I am excited because you can’t weed a garden until the weeds sprout up. You cannot take out what is not seen. All of this racism and sexism and everything else was already here- it was just hidden in the shadows; hidden under the surface, bubbling and simmering away. These events have only been the spotlight and the “permission’’ for these feelings and thoughts and ideals to come out from under the surface and be illuminated.

 

When all of these events started happening (Isis, Brexit, Trump, etc.), I was first shocked. But looking back on the astrology and numerology of this year, it all begins to make perfect sense to me.

 

Astrologically, we have been forced, all year, to look at the deepest, darkest parts of ourselves. Not only have we had a several Mercury Retrogrades this year (the change of route on the planet that manages our communication and technology skills), but we have had several eclipses- both lunar (emotions) and solar (personality)- within a span of a few months. Two of these eclipses fell on equinoxes, which represent the balance between light and dark. We also had a Black Moon in September on one side of the world and in October on the other side, which presented two darknesses through which we had to navigate in one month.

 

To contrast the dark, we also have three full super moons in a row- a very rare ordeal (there are usually only one or two in a year, and they are rarely close together). The first was last month’s October full moon in Aries, which brought about the fire and the light to illuminate our shadows, and burn what no longer served us. On Monday evening, 14 November, we will not only have the largest super moon of the three, but also the closest moon to earth (making it the largest appearing) in almost 70 years! A super moon this close is not due to appear again for another 15 years, or so. This next one will be in Taurus, giving us the grounding energy we need for our high emotions- emotions that run even higher with the tides, and with the fullness of the moon. The closer the moon is to earth, the more we are effected! The December full supermoon will be in Gemini, just soon enough to end the year with a light flight that will bring us out of the heaviness of 2016 and into the new year.

In addition to all of this, the planets have been doing crazy stuff! In January we had Jupiter Retrograde, putting our finances and jobs out of whack. In March, Saturn went retrograde, putting societal responsibilities and social limitations out of whack. After that we had Mars (how we communicate in conflict), Pluto (generational sense of purpose), Neptune (spirituality and enlightenment), and Uranus (rebelliousness towards innovation and progress) all go into retrograde. Then all went direct but Neptune and Uranus.

 

In other words, all of the planets turned our rocks over to expose the dirt underneath them, and when they flipped back over- back on top of our dirt- we could no longer ignore what was underneath them. All of this effected us as individuals, and as a society! So that dark underbelly was exposed and brought out- the weeds turned from seeds to grown- and now we see it all in its full, monstrous spotlight.

 

It’s interesting that the only two planets that are still in retrograde are Neptune (until 19 November, just after our lovely grounding supermoon), and Uranus (until 29 December, just after our lovely, airy supermoon). I say this is interesting because our spirituality will continue to be looked at through magnifiers until probably a week or two after Neptune goes direct toward the end of the month. We will be forced to question who we are, why we’re here, what we truly believe in, our morals and values, and our own personal power as divine and enlightened human beings. Many people could come to have some large spiritual awakenings in the next few weeks, if they haven’t already in the last few months. This will especially be heightened with the coming of this month’s oh-so-close moon, but in a balanced and grounded way that we as individuals, and as a society are hurting for at this point in time (balance and grounding).

 

In addition, Uranus’s rebelliousness factor is flipped until the end of the year- juuuust before our year changes, numerologically, from a 9 to a 1 (which I will explain, momentarily). This could manifest in a few different ways 1) the rebelliousness that the White Male Supremacy America represents could stay in place until the end of the year before it simply dies down or there is a large awakening of some sort; 2) The rebelliousness within the people against the WMSA movement will continue to come out from under the rock in an even stronger fashion until it is no longer needed after the end of the year; 3) Both forms of rebelliousness could come out to play against each other until one of them concedes or is close to eradicated, or until they come to a mutual agreement and understanding of one another. 4) With Neptune going direct, there might potentially be enough spiritual awakening to start an even newer revolution! This full December moon might give even more way to this, as our grounding energy from the November full moon is met with the loftiness of the not-as-close (but still really freaking close) Gemini full moon.

 

In terms of the numerology, we are in a 9 year, this year. 2+0+1+6= 9. This means that we are at the end of a cycle before we start again at 1. 9 represents endings. Sorting through all of your baggage to figure out what you want to keep or what you want to give away, or even maybe what you want to keep in a different area of your life than it was, before. 9 is about shedding skin. It’s about emerging a newer and better version of yourself. It’s about watching your old self- your old thoughts, patterns, and dislikes- melt away with a gratitude for the lessons you might have learned from them, however harshly. That is also what we are doing in our world, and in our country right now. Many of us have been feeling this on both levels- as the collective and as the individual, and the energy has been really intense! Not to mention, this build-up with the election… The election takes place in November. November is an 11. 11’s are portals- Doorways. So we have stepped through that portal in our 9 year, and now we have to figure out what we want or need to shed, and what we are willing to put up with, because next year we will have the opportunity to start over fresh, and new, as 1’s (2+0+1+7=10. 1+0= 1). Yes, Trump takes office in 2017, BUT, before that happens, we have the right to decide what we will and won’t put up with at that time, and how we will meet the bigotry.

 

So now we have to decide.

Do we want to lead with fear, or do we want to lead with love?

Do we want to fight our shadows, or live through them and learn to send them love so that they- and we- can heal?

 

All of these crazy world events have paved the way.

They have paved the way for ill-will, death, violence, tumbling economies, tumbling cultures and countries and democracies.

But they have also paved the way for Chance. A chance to love. A chance to band together. A chance to face our shadows- to bring them into the light where they cannot hide, and to pierce their hearts with the strength of our own.

 

Now is our time to step in.

To step up.

To live life and conquer life as our truest selves.

To live in the light where everything can be seen, where we cannot hide, where fear cannot, does not, and will not drive us.

Now is our time to step into ourselves and love.