Permission Granted

harold's planet

While not every degree of transiting Venus through house Gemini will offer the safest or best vibe, it’s a fact that little trumps it for the social beings that we humans are. Venus is all about relational balance and an appreciation of that balance: always on the lookout for quality exchange, a nice fit, the right tone, the experience of conversation, the role play…

And speaking of role play, here we have youthful, inquisitive, quick-thinking and quick-tongued Gemini first up to host the summertime story – do expect the tempo to double in a week’s time. Ah, those Twins: a bit on the hyper side, Gemini is aware that there are so many of us to meet, each with our unique story and style. Put these two archetypes together – Venus funnelling through Mercury’s social context domain – and you have the perfect recipe for summer entertainment: PLAY 🙂

Decompress with Play

We can expect that those that are usually the life of the party will be less irritating to those who prefer a quieter atmosphere and those who seem life-less will be easier to cajole into some fun. People will appreciate others more or at the very least will be better able to attempt empathy and move on with diplomatic speed. And every one needs appreciation and empathy. Find it in yourself for others in these days. Its free and particularly accessible all around you; just tap in. Start practicing now and as Νeptune squares, you’ll finesse that energy, too, simply by default. Start practicing the mantra, ‘We are all One’, when you find yourself hanging around waiting somewhere…

Yes, that is the rosey side of the narrative but it’s as much truth as another perspective is. I could choose to focus on how badly warped my poor Venus channel is in some of my relationships OR I can create space for being with those that will enrich the transit and count on that rubbing off….sort of like gaining points or extra tools in my kit as I then move through my life’s mythic plot line with the less easy personalities. Think that sounds crazy? 😀

Well, Dr. Stuart Brown, founder and president of the National Institute for Play, would agree with me, I think. He says, ‘Its pretty important to get play right or you won’t get your myth right…I began to link the importance of a believed mythology…a way of describing a deep belief…A loss of that is a loss of something very very significant to being human…I started musing about how if your play is not healthy and not intricate, your myth won’t be. You will be enacting your mythic life in a way that’s probably got some pathologies. So its pretty important to get play right because play is more basic and more necessary to our developement than myth.

“If you think about what play produces…like empathy and trust…if you watch (a kid) dealing with fantasy and the internalisation of his narratives… what play does for kids is to internalise these narratives that are their own private story-telling to make the world make sense, which is a fragmentary myth. Its a belief system that the kid operates under…(Without healthy freedom to play) their internal narratives are not going to be very balanced and they are not going to have a means of being able to make sense of their world.”

He goes on to say that it continues to be important through all of life. And if you have lost your playfulness, you can begin to get it back anytime. You can do this alone and/or in a group. I know many who feel they never had time to play as a child. You can reclaim that loss. It is not complicated: do things that you remember you have enjoyed or that you imagine you would enjoy.

About five or so years ago, I got on a bicycle for the first time in more than 35 years. It was such a high! I couldn’t stop grinning; I struggled to adjust my breathing to the wind gushing in my face (yes, I am still a speed demon on a bike); it was scarey and exhilirating – and I didnt crash – Wahoo! I gain a lot from that kind of play, probably huge amounts I am not even conscious of.

Those less mobile can experience play through reading, theatre, movies.* Its about exercising your imagination. Maybe you are one of many who spend a huge amount of time commuting. Pop in some audio-stories by your favourite authors, dust off some music cds and karioke out – then go get yourself a new album and learn that one, too. As Elsa say, ”It’s not that we don’t have darker things looming. We most definitely do. But fun is as important as anything else in your life, isn’t it?”

The concept may be countercultural these days but so what? You already know that you have to set your own trends, create your own narrative. You can see other successful people that have done exactly that. Give Self Permission: It really should be as important as anything else in your life.

*Speaking of experiencing play through reading, check out the fantasy fiction at The Story of the Four wordpress site. This is rich content crafted into fantastic places and times – you can travel from your magic lounger in the shade.


Water and Life

Element Water

Water is the archetype descriptive for specific manifestations of energy;  it is characterized by qualities that differentiate it from other energy forces. There is an innate tendency in humans to anthropomorphise energy and as is always the case, we can look to reality in our physical world for an understanding of how it is universally grasped and clarified by the mind. Physical water can be hot, warm, tepid, cool, icy. It can steam upwards, migrate downwards through other substances and it can freeze solid.  It can respond to its environment, whatever that may be, with some state of being that works for co-existence – while never giving up its central purposefulness: water molecules move as a unit or group within a cycle.

The key word there is ‘move’ but as the states of water demonstrate, speed is not essential. Determination is. The layered density of polar ice and the thrusting of earth before it seen in our times as great canyons, miles deep and long, are proof this most powerful and regenerative force on earth. It is patient.When water is subjected to external forces, such as heat from plate tectonics or the collision of diverse winds, however, one can witness that movement accelerate exponentially.

Add to all of this the fact that it always moves to the lowest gravitational point and appears to rest there. Sure, some of the molecules are evaporating, some are seeping through the ground, there is the tug of the moon and the accommodation of forms moving through it. But essentially, I think humans think of water most often in terms of its resting form – I am tempted to say, its ultimate form; almost everyone finds the seaside or lakeside a restful and peaceful experience.  HP6055

The Resting Form

We know that playful falls and fountains, burbling creeks and torrential rivers are ‘working’ to get to that place and we enjoy and/or respect this force. I think there is some intrinsic and subconscious shift in our thoughts when we think about water at this stage. Once that moving water arrives at the resting point, that which moves, which appears more clearly to be life-full, becomes those beings within and beside the water. That would include Us. We know that water is essential to life. We live in places, well, most of us do, where water moves with controlled dynamism, where we can safely witness its unrelenting energy directed to large resting places. We know we need to remain in proximity and we intuit that we have a parallel experience. At different points in our individual and collective lives, we will take on the same characteristics as water in response to our reality. We will ‘work’ in varying states of force to fulfill an inner drive to arrive.

Hence, every civilization with any artistic development has necessarily recorded the characteristics of element water in relation to survival and prosperity. We have also witnessed consistent matching characteristics in individuals and groups and categorized them accordingly. Poems, lyrics and sayings are full of water connotations. You’re as cold as ice. Still waters run deep. Laughter like a waterfall.  A kiss as gentle as morning dew. Love like a tidal wave. Gripped by an icey fear.  And the common theme here is emotion. After all, water is basic to feeling Safe, able to survive, to grow and that’s really it in a nutshell: I need to feel Safe – to try new things, tap potential, screw up, dream big, hope and even, at times, to restrict.

Navigating the currents

There’s currently a good bit of traffic on the highway/spectrum of archetype Water and some of us may be feeling underwhelmed or overflowing. In other words, we may have our metaphoric plate tectonics, clashing temps or perhaps we are our community’s very own Niagara Falls.

Thoughts, communications, and plans are fuelled by primal and intuitive Feelings and we can, again, mimic an archetype – this time, Earth – to give ourselves structure and boundaries to process them. As always, it is good to remember that they are neither positive nor negative in and of themselves – how they are acted upon for the individual is down to one’s unique journey. But there is something you can do to check your direction and thus your progress: examine your motivations.

In a quiet moment, select one of your current ‘projects’ or ‘works’, some plan you are acting upon. Break it down into segments, either on paper, out loud or within: articulate it clearly to yourself (give it a title, so to speak); think about the outcome you want. And then, as though presenting your case to a judge, explain clearly and with as much detail as you think necessary to sway the judge WHY the plan is ‘good’, why the desired outcome is ‘right’. Hopefully, your inner judge will pipe up with some comments:

  1. Who are the others necessary to the fulfillment of this plan? Are they in agreement with you on the key factors, even if perhaps they will take away a different kind of plus? Have you been honest with each of them to the degree that you should be? Have you kept some details back from them? Sometimes, that’s just fine. Is that the case now?
  2. Who will be affected by it? Are you within your rightful bounds? If others will have to make adjustments, is their response going to require sacrifice and if so, is that a case of high time or could you reasonably be expected to make some alterations?
  3. Are you skipping any steps along the way in the implementation of this plan? Will that really be ok? Often life just has to be fudged along here and there. Is the skipped step genuinely one of those times?
  4. Have you considered the Unforeseeable? Should a person or a condition be removed suddenly from your environment, will you be capable of filling that void? How much flexibility and fluidity have you factored in? (for more on this, see here and here.)

These are just a few primers to help you get to the crucial, the most important question of all:

What is your motivation, the base desire at the root of successful realization of your plan?

Construct a Trustworthy Portal

We spend so little time in contemplation of our Self from different angles. We feel such a familiarity with the interiors of our minds and rarely study the corners and cubbies therein. In fact, there are probably rooms – dare we say wings? – of your mental dwelling that haven’t seen you for decades. After all, it feels just like ‘been there, done that’, doesn’t it?  But just as you can’t step into the same river twice, your advancing Self can periodically gaze on the ‘familiar’ You and see things more clearly. So with kindness and no fear, take yourself through these questions and any others that pop up along the way. Pour out all the detail and then go back and pare it all down.

Flow like a torrent. And then review: take each paragraph or rambling segment and distill it into one sentence that encapsulates the essential points. What you have at this point is a trustworthy portal towards emotional clarity. How you proceed is down to you.

Water Symbology

I was presuming that I could make life easy and paste some symbology here for you to enjoy but, alas, I am unschooled in how to translate them here, if that is even possible. Still, this is such good stuff that I have pasted what I can for you to follow up on if you wish.

Humankind shares this symbol as the most common ideogram for water in general and for streaming or flowing water in particular. In the earliest Chinese ideography river or stream is represented thus.

One finds this water symbol on discos from Crete from around 2000 B.C., and in a variation as an old symbol for potential power in Tibet. It also appears among rock carvings in Utah.  A basic element in Western ideography, the clockwise spiral (starting from the middle) is strongly associated with water, power, independent movement, and migrations of tribes.

In the earliest Chinese ideography this symbol was used with the probable meaning return or homecoming. The Hopi Indians seem to have given it the same meaning. In the system of hobo signs in Britain this symbol means this is a good house for work, i.e. a place that is worth returning to when one needs food and money.

This sign is found painted on the walls of houses in Tibet and appears to mean home, the place one returns to.

And so, of course…

In astrology, element Water is channeled through the spectrum of Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, respectively My Home or Inner Sanctum; the Great Relational Deep and (often) Hidden; and the All One Ocean. For the next few months, expect your personal wheel to be pinging away as various happenings in your experience will bring these concepts and your interpretation of them up for consideration or review. These are obviously issues that are near and dear to the human heart, whether you classify yourself as a social butterfly, bigwig boss, wall flower or hermit… Or as a wannabe of any of these.

As the sun enters the Cancerian spectrum, lets practice what we see Water doing…lets be fluid in our thinking and feeling. Now is not the time for seeping or freezing solid. No matter where you are on your journey, it’s time for a big Self-hug and patient forward movement.

Note: When sending your question, we can save time if you include your date, place and time of birth.

A Focused Decision

"Winter Holidays: A Celebration for Every...

“Winter Holidays: A Celebration for Everyone” Exhibit (Photo credit: Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library)

The weeks are flying by – I’m not sure where the first ten days or so of December went…


*I listened to a fantastic interview with Brene Brown on vulnerability. What I think of when defining this word is nothing like the perspective she gives. Hope and fear are two facets/functions we should all take a genuine look at. Will we?

*Another interview I managed to catch just a bit of was about predictions by financial

Kwanzaa symbols

Kwanzaa symbols (Photo credit:

experts way off the main stream. They said the following: the E.U. would collapse, the U.S. dollar would become junk, Japan would finally implode, and a revolution was imminent in Spain – all in process now and in full reality by 2014. Another point they mentioned was that main stream media was not reporting that the 1% has been and continues to steadily move its currency into gold and other precious metals.

*I have had several conversations with people via Elemental Living that are concerned about the world ending on December 21st. I have made it clear to them – and offer this to any of you that, too, may be concerned. Let’s stay logical here: if an asteroid were hurtling towards Earth with an arrival date of the 21st, our technology would have known about it sometime ago. No asteroid. No aliens, no nothing of this sort either, in my humble opinion. What is ending – in slow motion and not, poof, on the 21st – is a mentality that things can keep running on the System as we know it. (by the way, that’s a paraphrasing of the Mayan point of view, not just me talking. So if you will, in the first place, give credence to an ancient calendar, it’s wise to also get the facts about what the calendar makers meant. ) The thing is, the System is global and it’s too much for our individual or small-group minds to grasp or launch into when we consider what should replace it. And obviously, the powers that be are not going to take kindly to any change whatsoever. This date is just another guise of Fear and it makes me angry to learn that the most frightened section of society that is buying into ‘the end of the world’ is 12 – 25yr olds.

*And then the little children in Newtown, CT were mowed down by a deranged young man. I thought, too, of the parents in Palestine, Israel, Syria and the DRC.

*And I just today watched a film, Hardwired, and in the opening scenes, a news broadcaster is stating just about exactly what the financial experts, mentioned above, said. A movie loaded with archetype energy motifs. It felt like a weird and eerie co-incidence.

This is Holiday time – the point being that whatever your belief system, as our Sun’s warmth and light decreases greatly, we feel compelled to pick up the slack. WeEnglish: A lit candle in the dark Español: Una...

string lights and cheery, brightly coloured decorations inside our homes and around our garden to help us and passersby to keep the faith, to not give up, to focus on our co-creation work as partners, family members, friends, neighbors, communities. Spring comes as surely as winter…

It seems kinda empty, doesn’t it…I mean, I wouldn’t want to be the one saying something like that to a mom or dad in Newtown.

Yes, of course, we must continue. We must use our amazing ability to compartmentalise events and the reflexive emotions they generate. But, wow, to what extent before it begins to feel ridiculous. How robotic or machine-like will we have to become as we subconsciously wait for our unemployed youth to react?

As you can see, I have had a rollercoaster two weeks of successfully and not so successfully compartmentalising. Many, many of us have. The meaning of the season seems to be in direct contradiction to the reality so many people are living in. Again, I will remind myself and you that these things have always happened, perhaps in different manifestations over the centuries, but we didn’t have satellite news channels telling us about it. Again, I will remind myself and you that just because there are a few looney tunes or downright evil people, it does not mean that everyone is like that. Not everyone is a Wall Street player; not everyone has a machine gun.

Yes, it is good to string the lights and create a cheery environment. But it’s crucial to share that cheer with the people in your orbit – whether you have family close by or not, consider inviting co-workers, fellow students, interns or the one who makes your morning coffee at the cafe, bags your groceries at the store. Maybe you could select by those that return a smile.  I really don’t care if I sound corny. That’s one of the perks of blogging: my five minutes on the soapbox.

My point is that we must all start to interact in real time with one another and develop an awareness of the people in our micro-world. Rather than ‘One World Government’, lets focus on our little slice of ‘One World Community’. We have to build relationships with the people that live metres away, not only those via screen thousands of miles away. Bartering, give and take, trust-commerce, parties and funerals have got to re-root for each one of us…with a focus on common denominators and not exclusively by religion or ethnicity, language accent or physical shape. I realize that for most of us, just imagining that will seem weird. It’s no longer quite so natural feeling, I totally agree.

Yet otherwise, we miss the whole point. We let Fear win and a bit more of our humanity dies.*

I am going to focus much more on enjoying each person I am engaging with over the holidays. A kind of ‘serious enjoyment’, if that makes sense. I am also going to be on the lookout for moments to have kind interactions with total strangers that don’t necessarily look anything like me. Who knows where that could lead…At any rate, I am going to consciously appreciate the interactions I have.

I wish you serious enjoyment of those in your micro world, too. Until the light increases in our skies again, may there be more than enough light within us.

candles in the night

candles in the night (Photo credit: Odjuret)

*Its not about feeling like it, by the way. Fact: Thoughts dictate emotions. Intellectually see the wisdom and firmly decide. The feelings are certain to follow. If you need some prompters, just let me know.