In the Celestial Spotlight:
A Season of Eclipses: Solar Eclipse, July 1, 2011

Each of us experiences the ebb and flow of universal energy on a personal level. As we encounter and take on the challenges of life, we want to feel certain of the outcome of our efforts. However, life teaches us that this seldom is possible. It has only been a month since the Solar Eclipse in Gemini, and only a couple of weeks since the Lunar Return, and now we are struggling with so very many feelings. How can we be sure that what we are thinking now will help us to move forward in our lives. Usually, with Eclipses, we have weeks, even several months to sort through the energy and identify what works for us and what does not.

Just about 2-3 weeks before an Eclipse, we feel the energy of that Eclipse. But what has happened with our intuition in the past month? Can we be sure that the feelings we are having now are bringing us messages that will help us to move forward in our lives? We may think that some of the dreams or the thoughts that come to us during this time are dreadful, and scary. But we need to look at the symbolism of these and see what is behind the curtain. Some of the feelings are wonderful or tempting or revealing, Even these need to be explored, to understand the hidden messages.

Now we may feel very protective of the plans, goals or ideas we have just begun to imagine for ourselves. We are likely to feel an ebb and flow of certainty, uncertainty, certainty as we set out to create our adjusted realities. The Gemini Eclipse has allowed us to imagine a new story for ourselves. This Eclipse in the Sun Sign of Cancer brings us the energy to protect the new growth we envision for our lives, ourselves. However, we may be asking ourselves the questions: "Is this the right time to move in a new direction? Or, would it be better to wait just a little longer?" We are confused by the over-abundance of feelings we are experiencing, and may feel uncertain about what to do next. There is little guidance in the information-rich world around us.

Every time we turn on the television and catch the news, every time we open a newpaper or check the web, we can read about war, threats of violence, population movements; we read about the swings in the Stock Market, challenges of trade between countries, fluctuations in the monetary flow between nations, financial challenges faced by our states, cities and communities; corporations and regular folks. We read of the lack of opportunity in the housing market, or the workforce. We read of people who are struggling, and wonder if we should just hold onto what we have. We begin to limit ourselves and the possibilities of our vision to manifest! All of these messages that enter our consciousness one way or another bring an awareness of lessons we have learned pertaining to personal loss/gain, sadness/celebration, closeness/separation, mistrust/reliance,  and the weakness/resilience of the human spirit.

It's a good time to remember that "energy" is all around us. Sometimes what we sense may or may not be about us or about our individual lives and choices. Right now, we are feeling the energy of what is going on in many places all around the world. We are feeling the energy of Mother Earth, of the forces of Nature. We are feeling the movement of the heavens. So we need to bring the feelings into words, find a way to explore possibilities, talk about what we are thinking/feeling/dreaming, and seek to understand the symbols that are trying to bring us wisdom. It is a great time to ponder something, pull some Tarot cards and examine the messages that come up. Or to speak of dreams, of plans, of hopes, of wishes.

Instead of needing certainty at this time, we need to be open to possibilities! Each of us has the ability to manifest a wonderful life, a wonderful series of opportunities, a joy-filled reality. Each time we take an action, our outcome gives us greater insight into our talents and personal gifts as it strengthens our intuition. Over time, we learn there is no point in taking ourselves, our challenges, or the experiences we encounter too seriously! We learn that no matter what our current circumstances are - good or bad - change will happen!

Acknowledging this process and affirming the positive in each change will bring you equanimity and joy.

My choice of a Tarot card to represent this Eclipse (9 degrees of Cancer) is "The 9 of Swords".  In this card, it is night, and the figure in the card is unable to sleep. His/her thoughts are filled with uncertainty and fear; he/she is worried and uncertain about the possible choices of the future, even more concerned about the potential  outcome of any action. Unable to face the daunting prospect of resolving any one issue, and overwhelmed by the unending mind-chatter that is keeping him/her awake, the person in the card can only cover their face in frustration, despair.

Yet, this individual is sitting in a most comfortable and beautifully appointed bed. The quilt covering his/her lap and legs represents abundance and physical comfort. The platform under the mattress has richly carved wood-worked drawers. Likely this is a person with a rich, prosperous, and comfortable lifestyle, who has fine possessions to place in the drawers. In the darkness of the mental place, he/she is experiencing a personal "dark night of the soul". (Originally a title of a work by a 16th Century Spanish priest, poet and mystic, the darkness referred to is a metaphor of the feeling identified in spiritual traditions throughout the world to describe a phase in a person's spiritual life, marked by a sense of loneliness and desolation.)

The invitation of this Eclipse is to discover the metaphor for your life: the story you have been telling yourself about the past and the present. (To help you find the thread of present, look back 18-1/2 years, 9 years, and 4-1/2 years in time, and ponder what was happening in your life at that time. If you can think back to something that occurred when you were about 9 years old, that will also provide additional tips to pursue in your discovery process. Then correlate your historical collection of life experiences into your current experience to discover how best to utilize the energy of this Season of Eclipses.)

Only through identifying the messages and stories you tell yourself about yourself (they tend to prevail in your hidden, internal conversations), will you be able to clear out any blocks to pursuing the life you would like to enjoy, and explore the possibilities of your future. Once you identify the stories you live by, you can begin to explore the metaphors you use in your stories. Then you can begin to shift your words, ultimately 'changing' your beliefs about yourself and your life.

For example, if you are looking for someone to love, and your story is: "I am not pretty enough; my hair never looks right, I am overweight, and nothing in my closet fits right. I need to go on a diet, and I should join the gym, but I look so bad and I don't like to get sweaty. And, who would look at me when there are so many other pretty, younger women around? I have always been shy and never speak up for myself. Even my mother used to say that I was tongue-tied and always said the wrong thing to people when I opened my mouth. I always make a fool of myself when I am around men. My ex-husband complained about my nagging, told me I was no fun, and didn't like to take me anywhere..."

When we live with a story like this, we perceive our lives through the prism of our belief about ourselves. This is the inner dialogue of a very lovely client of mine (5'8", about a size 10-12, with a lovely head of hair, and beautiful, expressive eyes). She dresses conservatively, but well. She has a great education and is always very outgoing and friendly. She is conversant on many topics, appears confident, has several good friends, enjoys traveling to foreign places, participates in community activities, and supports several worth-while causes. From the outside, she appears to have a lot to offer a potential partner. When I ask her if she has met anyone lately, she always says, "Yes, but...", and there is some "logical" reason why a potential relationship would never work out.

Her metaphor for life is that she is "not right!" And she, like many of us, may never have stopped to think, "What is right? What does 'right' mean? What is the opposite of right? Wrong?" With this belief about herself directing every interaction she has with others, she blocks herself from a lot of opportunities! How could she begin to shift away from this limiting thought pattern?    

Sometimes it is necessary to actually write down the words that run through our minds, the words we use to describe who we are, how we believe we are viewed by our loved ones, our neighbors, our friends, the people we connect with in the world through our careers and our daily lives. Since this is a very personal exercise, you may want to get out your journal, and write in it over a period of several days during this Season of Eclipses as you examine what you believe about yourself and your life, and what you think others believe about you. Find your underlying metaphors. See if you can identify the beliefs that are blocking your progress, stopping you from making the changes in your life that will improve and enrich your reality.

With this Eclipse in the sign of Cancer, expect changes to present themselves internally first - as ideas, feelings, thoughts. You may become aware that you have had intuitions (off and on for the past 3-4 months or longer) about various issues that come to mind as you welcome an internal dialog. Now it is important to take the insights (or intuition) you have seriously. Then begin to take action! Just take the first step, and you will be guided towards positive outcome. Sit and wait? Well, you can expect the Universe to step in and "help" you take action. 

Chances are that you have allowed your SELF to disappear in the course of helping, supporting, nurturing, working for, and encouraging others. Time to spend a day at the Spa, have a massage, listen to music while you read a good novel. Take a walk in the park, or take a drive or short trip somewhere you want to go. Do something you want to do! By putting yourself first, you will come to a conclusion about which area of your life really must receive your attention. Now that you know, take some steps to initiate a change in that area. Really focus on making necessary changes. As you change this aspect of your life, you will find that satisfaction and fulfillment spread into other areas of life as well.

As you make the necessary emotional shifts, many alternatives will become apparent. Ask others for their support, their ideas, their input on your plans. Thank them for their input and incorporate only the parts that make sense to you. Actually, it doesn't matter which alternative you pursue, the important thing is to pursue an alternative to whatever is your NOW. When you include yourself in your life, you will find that in a very short time, your life becomes one you enjoy waking up to each morning!