The Revolutionary Potential of Kindness

Cultivating a heart of kindness can change a person and the world they inhabit

July 20, 2018

Small gestures like a smile or kind word can mean everything—especially at that moment when we really need them.

Author Donna Cameron has always been inspired by kind people, and how special they make her feel. So in 2015, she decided to give back by devoting an entire year toward expressing kindness. It was an experiment she tried in the past, but one that died quickly once life got busy or people treated her rudely.

But Cameron was determined. To keep her resolve, she decided to blog about her experience and asked a few friends to follow it.

“I thought, ‘if I say I’m going to blog about it for a year and then quit in March, that’s going to be a pretty visible failure,’” she said.

Three and a half years later, Cameron says that kindness has become her default setting. She shares her insights in a book to be released this fall—“A Year of Living Kindly: Choices That Will Change Your Life and the World Around You.”

Before her experiment, Cameron believed she was already a generally kind person. But as she made a more conscious effort, she realized how often she fell short. Instead of being kind, she was merely being nice.

“To me, kindness can really be summed up in two words: extend yourself,” she said. “I don’t think niceness requires that we extend ourselves. It just requires that we be civil.”

Nice is being polite at a superficial level. It means something, but not much. We can be nice, yet still be impatient and judgmental. Our words may sound kind, but our attitude is distant. We remain in our own little bubble.

Kindness is more engaged. It requires that we lower our guard, give people the benefit of the doubt, and try to make a real connection.

Kindness means giving something of ourselves. From big gifts, like volunteering and philanthropy, to small ones, like allowing a fellow driver to merge onto the expressway, the qualifying factor is thoughtfulness.

Kindness doesn’t just make other people feel good, it also has a positive impact on our own mood and health. According to kindness expert David R. Hamilton PhD.,research finds that practicing kindness makes us happier, is good for our heart, slows aging, and improves relationships.

Kindness has also been shown to reduce chronic pain, increase happiness and longevity, and reduce depression. It has even been shown to alleviate social anxiety. Those who shift their focus from worrying about what others think, to concentrate on how to make someone else feel at ease, can turn an awkward social interaction into something fulfilling.

Kindness is like a medicine with only positive side effects. Research shows that health care practitioners with a kind and empathic disposition have a measurably beneficial impact on their patients’ well-being and recovery.

Yet, despite all the benefits of kindness, fear often holds us back. Dropping our defenses to extend a touch of humanity leaves us vulnerable to rejection, ridicule, and what others may perceive as weakness. But Cameron believes kindness is actually a strength.

“I really see it as something of a superpower,” she said. “Just because we’re kind doesn’t mean we’re pushovers and it doesn’t mean we’re stupid. We can be just as strong as an unkind person, but we can do it in a kind way.”

Culture of Kindness

Another positive aspect of kindness is that it’s contagious. If a kind act is bestowed on us, or if we see one expressed to another, research shows that we’re encouraged to copy this type of behavior.

Unfortunately, rudeness is found to be contagious too. We’re products of our environment, and as the standard of public discourse rises or falls around us, we’re likely to mimic what we see.

There’s no study to prove a widespread drop in kindness, but some environmental indicators definitely seem to demonstrate one. Particularly in the media, which portray endless examples of conflict, divisiveness, insults, and revenge. The overall picture suggests a heartless world where no one can get along.

However, our media lens may be distorting how we really treat each other. Wendi Gilbert is determined to shift the focus. She is the founder of Kindness Evolution, a collective of 70 organizations dedicated to acts of kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. Gilbert says, just knowing that there are people out there devoted to doing good can change our perspective.

“The social media reach of those 70 organizations is 24 million,” she said. “You start to get a sense that there is a lot happening out there and a lot is possible if we all come together.”

Gilbert’s website contains a database on the science of kindness and other evidence exploring the power of selfless gestures. She believes cultivating such awareness can help us feel inspired rather than cynical.

“In psychology, neuroscience and even economics, research reveals that as a species our default mode is not one of self-centeredness,” Gilbert said. “We are wired to connect, and when we do our physiology improves for the better.”

Kindness may be our true nature, but some of the tension we feel in the world today is hard to deny. However, a kind attitude may be a big part of the solution. According to Dr. Roselyn Smith, a psychologist, and hypnotherapist in Miami, Florida, if people were as focused on compassion and respect as they were on broadcasting their opinion and pointing out the flaws of their enemies, we would probably be able to work out a lot of our differences.

“So many disputes, personal and global, are caused by people reacting to their own interpretations of another’s intentions, rather than calmly and openly trying to understand where the other is really coming from and what their true intentions are,” Smith said.

Elevated Perspective

Sometimes kindness is easy. It flows out of us spontaneously in an expression of joy. But often it’s a challenge. Particularly, when someone is rude or disrespectful to us, it’s always tempting to fire back with a matching level of venom.

Cameron’s tip for cultivating kindness in tough situations: learn to pause. Take a breath, think about what you want to happen, and choose a response that can best accomplish it.

“That changes everything,” Cameron said. “But succumbing to the same behaviors that we’re trying to stop or change, I really think just strengthens them.”

Kindness means viewing a situation from a high minded perspective. If our gesture gets through, it can make others elevate their perspective too.

According to New York City-based therapist and interfaith minister Rev. Sheri Heller, when we transcend our own defenses and see the hurt and fear that inhibits the kindness in others, we leave a mark, even if it’s not obvious at the moment. She recalls that, even during her darkest days, the compassion people gave her eventually filtered through.

“Unbeknownst to me at the time, those simple gestures gave me hope and sustained me,” Heller said.

Later, Heller discovered that helping others gave her even more strength to overcome her own demons. “As long as I could extend kindness and love, I knew I was not so broken that I couldn’t heal,” she said. “It connected me to my humanity.”

Kindness Boundaries

Striving to be as kind as possible in every situation is a noble goal, but we can run the risk of giving too much. It should feel good to be kind. So when it leaves us feeling drained rather than sustained, something is out of balance.

For example, people who exploit your good nature with no intention of giving back, or those who just want to argue with no desire for a rational discussion are like black holes for kindness. They are unable or unwilling to appreciate selfless gestures.

We can try extending kindness to these individuals in the hopes of breaking through, but at some point, we have to move on. Both Cameron and Heller say that, in order to find the right balance, we need to practice self-kindness.

“Unless we can be kind to ourselves, it’s going to be really hard to be kind to others and really do it on a sustained basis,” Cameron said.

Heller says that if we don’t exercise self-respect, we’re not extending ourselves from a place of integrity and honesty. “Our primary responsibility is to our self. And from that place we can give with genuine intention,” she said.

Kindness implies that we respect other people’s boundaries too. Even if you offer a hug or a backrub with the best of intentions, your gesture may make the target of your kindness even more uncomfortable.

“If your generosity is unsolicited, you need to consider where that intention is coming from. It may not be kindness. It may be a gesture that’s self-serving, or an intent to inflate one’s ego by seeming altruistic,” Heller said.

Cameron says a huge part of kindness is just paying attention. Consider the world around you, your place within it, and how you can make things just a little bit better.

“Don’t try to be Mother Theresa or the Dalai Lama and say, ‘from this point on, I’m going to be the kindest person, and I’m never going to get impatient,”’ Cameron said.

“Start small. Do what feels comfortable, and keep adding to it. Pretty soon, it becomes the default setting.”

TRANSLATION ADVENTURE – 7/29/18

Translators: Alex Gambeau, Hanz Bolen, Heather Williams

SENSE TESTIMONY: Life is out of order

5th Step Conclusions:

  1. Self-less connection with Perfect Order of Life is here now ALL I AM.
  2. The Nature of Truth is the Source of Conscious-Being is weaving the Creation of One Infinite Source of Order.
  3. Truth is all one universal integrity , self evident, touching, dancing value always complete sound abundant healthy and beautiful.

 

10-Year-Old Yelling At Mom To Watch Cannonball While She’s Trying To Scope Out Younger Men At Pool

July 27, 2018 (TheOnion.com)

COSTA MESA, CA—Excitedly waving his arms from the diving board of his local pool Friday, 10-year-old Bryan Eastman reportedly yelled for his mother Emily, 36, to watch him perform a cannonball while she was attempting to feast her eyes upon a visual banquet of athletic young men nearby. “Mom, Mom, look at me! This is gonna be awesome!” screamed the fourth-grader, interrupting his mother as she peered over her sunglasses at a series of bronzed and chiseled male sunbathers, as well as several taut, V-tapered lap swimmers, one of whom had just emerged from the water and begun doing toe touches directly in her line of sight. “Up here, Mom! Watch me make a big splash!” At press time, sources confirmed Emily Eastman had rushed to her son’s side after he had slipped, hit his head, and found himself in need of first aid from the ruggedly handsome lifeguard currently on duty.

“Identity and Disease” by Suzanne Deakins, H.W., M.

Join us today at 3pm Pacific and 6 pm Eastern time for an hour of discovery on ACIM Gather on Paltalk, Go to https://acimgather.us/ to learn more about Paltalk and joining us on the  radio.

How we identify our being, self, is directly connect to our relationship to all aspects of our life. In the unconscious mind disease/illness is connected archetypically with the concept of evil, sin, and confusion.

The Archetype of Adam, Eve, and the Garden of Eden resides in our unconscious mind. This archetype is a kind of symbol that is present in all cultures. It deals with creation (creation myths) and being expelled from Eden (a symbol of birth and other transformative moments in life). At the transformative moments our consciousness becomes moldable, and pliable. In this moment we become separated from our creator source becoming confused, delusional, and chaotic. At the point of separation there is a conflict of being and knowledge.

There is the innocence of residing (being) with the creator source in the Garden and confusion and sinfulness (knowledge of two ideas good and evil) because of the transgression (awakening to the idea of a binary, duplicitous thinking) and misperception. Good, must not be mixed with evil the lesson Adam feels he must grasp. This is the moment of disease and illness. The harmony of just being is lost in our identity and we are cast into a wilderness (at birth) where we must learn about good and evil. We must, like Adam, name or classify our being into categories of good and bad. The strict lines of knowledge and the laws that govern physical life.

The sickness we see in the world is this moment of separation. The sickness of separated children from parents, the sickness of not caring for each other, of poverty, hunger, and lack of spiritual connection. I understood that it is a matter of consciousness. But understanding that does not cure or heal the sickness. This moment of separation of our being from spirit causes confusion because our reality is neither/nor.

We assume that the things of nature that were ultimately classed and categorized as neither/nor (suggesting nothingness) or both/and(suggesting a compromise of distinctive or opposites) the chaos is the breaking down of the properties of creation or, if you will, the things of nature. The law (axiomatic law) of disease infers the need for and the maintaining of structure. Structure refers to harmony and order. This is set in our mind that we must remain either male or female and our beingness must be understood as separate from the creator in order to maintain harmony.

The conflict in our being is the confusion or in epistemology terms sin or evil. The law of dis-ease infers the need for and the maintaining  of structure. In this case, structure symbolically refers to balance and/or harmony. The collective consciousness of humanity give consensus to certain ideas that eventually becomes laws or facts in our thinking. The consensus of disease is that we have brought it upon ourselves by wrongful (sinful) thought, we have mixed the ideas and no longer have pure thoughts.

This idea is called somato-psychic (as opposed to psychosomatic) in that the universe and body become together a soma of mind or vital essence (spirit and power).           The axiomatic idea is that to loose sight of the collective consciousness and the spiritual body of humanity is bring about bad medicine. In most Native American and Asian cultures the law of order is an integrative and connective compliments of opposing ideas among the properties and bodies of being. This means unless we understand consciousness is our prime sphere of existence we are going to feel separated from our being and creator source consequently experience illness and aloneness.

At this point it becomes easy to see how as a planet we have become full of sickness in our behavior, because we don’t understand our connectedness as consciousness. Unless we return to our true identity as individuals this state of existence will continue.

We must form an enchanted culture where we understand that a somato-psychic cosmos may be considered as a body—mind-spirit; hence, to treat the body is to treat the mind and spirit and vice versa. Where we see in consciousness there is no separation of body-mind-spirit.

In the United States and many Western cultures we treat the mind as being over the body and spirit. Putting the original idea of sin (dualistic thinking) into play in consciousness.

All in all, the Universe is perceived in terms of a mind­with-a-body. The psychosomatic viewpoint is indicative of the puritanized, disenchanted consciousness and consensus.

Thus leading us to dualistic thinking. Mind, body, and spirit must become as one in our consciousness for us to be healed and return to our True Identity of Consciousness aware of itself as Consciousness.

Copyright © 2016-2018 by Suzanne Deakins

Sexual Fluidity

http://www.onespiritpress.com

onespiritpress@gmail.com

Suzanne Deakins, Ph.D., H.W.M.

suzannedeak@gmail.com
503-954-0012

Rachel Kushner’s Immersive Fiction

The novelist has entered the worlds of seventies New York and pre-revolutionary Cuba. For her new book, “The Mars Room,” she explored life inside a California women’s prison.

Several years ago, the novelist Rachel Kushner followed an inmate at New Folsom Prison, in Sacramento, into his cell. A former Los Angeles police officer, he was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for working as a contract killer. Kushner, seeking to learn about the prison system, had come with a criminology professor and his students, but, as the group continued down the hall, she stayed behind, and the prisoner told her about his crimes—the ones he was in for and those which had never been found out. His complexion was ghoulishly youthful, undamaged by the sun: dirty cops don’t dare go on the yard. On the cell walls Kushner glimpsed pictures of Harley-Davidsons, relics of a former life. In the five minutes she was alone with him, she told me, “I just felt his person, like he went into my skin. You get a whiff of somebody’s essence, whether you wanted it or not, and that’s enough to write a whole character.”

The whiff she got was of a cleaning solution called Cell Block 64, mingled with cop cologne. From this, she wrote the character Doc, in a single entranced session of literary ventriloquism: “Doc had money on his books and used actual cologne and not Old Fucking Spice, either. Good cologne by an Italian name-brand designer he can never remember. But then he remembers: Cesare Paciotti. It always takes him a minute to retrieve that name.” Doc appears, a major-minor character, in Kushner’s third novel, “The Mars Room,” which comes out in May.

Kushner, who is forty-nine and lives in Los Angeles, thinks of herself as a “girl citizen,” asking questions, at large in the world. She uses the novel as a place to be flamboyant and funny, and to tell propulsive stories, but mainly as a capacious arena for thinking. In her work, Kushner draws on decades of American social life and European intellectual history, while remaining open to slinky aberrations—poemlike passages, monologues, lists, a slip into unadulterated fact. “The Mars Room,” for instance, contains excerpts from the Unabomber’s diaries. This takes swagger. Don DeLillo, a friend, is a tutelary figure. Like him, she is good at conjuring mayhem: a riot, a blackout, a bomb going off at the country club. Her reading taste runs to Marguerite Duras and Clarice Lispector—women who are brainy, sexy, complex, unmanageable. “These are proxies for her,” Kushner’s husband, Jason Smith, the chair of the M.F.A. program at ArtCenter College of Design, says. “That’s what Rachel’s into—Spinoza with lipstick.”

Butter keeps her slender, along with five-mile runs in Elysian Park, near her house. She says she used to consider it a great injustice that she was not born more beautiful, had to work angles. She is being greedy. “Her whole hookup is badass,” Theresa Martinez, a friend of hers who was paroled from prison in 2009, told me. “But you can’t nickname a person Badass.” (She calls her Stormy: a force blowing in.) Kushner has owned several motorcycles; she skis like a racer, attacking the fall line, and rides around town, wearing Rouge Coco lipstick, in a black-cherry 1964 Ford Galaxie. She wonders, Can one feel cathexis for a muscle car? For longer trips, she takes a beat-up 2000 Honda Accord, with a copy of Steinbeck’s journals and Duras’s “The Lover” tossed on the back seat.

When Kushner started visiting prisons, in 2014, she had written two well-regarded novels, one about Cuba in the fifties and the other about New York in the seventies. Studying incarceration was a way to address the contemporary, and to understand an obscure realm that outsiders rarely enter. “I wanted to have a life that would include people that the State of California has rendered invisible to others,” Kushner told me, the first time we met, at the Taix, a venerable French restaurant where she eats several times a week. (She doesn’t cook.) “The theatrical component of due process is over,” she said. “Where do they go?” Most of “The Mars Room” takes place inside a prison loosely based on the Central California Women’s Facility—also called Chowchilla, after a nearby almond-growing and -processing town. Chowchilla, which Kushner has visited dozens of times, is the largest women’s prison in the world.

Several weeks after our first meeting, Kushner drove the Honda to Chowchilla. It was raining heavily; new wiper blades slapped against the glass. Kushner, in sunglasses, peered ahead, a scarf tied at her neck. As the rain subsided, she started looking for the halo of orange light that marked the presence of the prison in dim fields. “For me, things sometimes circle around imagery,” she said. “It’s not necessarily visual, could be more poetic, but in this case it was visual.” The light was just a puff, an emanation you might fail to register, unless you knew that some three thousand women were locked up there.

“That’s it!” she cried, pointing at the sodium glow. A friend inside had told her that one night there was a power outage, and as she was being hustled from her work-exchange job to her cell block, for the lockdown procedure that accompanies any anomaly—brawling, fog, or suicide—she glimpsed the Milky Way. It was breathtaking. Stars: she had not seen them since she got caught, and, as she was serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole, she might not again.

Romy Hall, the central voice of “The Mars Room,” is a former dancer at a strip club on Market Street in San Francisco. She is serving two life sentences, plus an additional six years, for attacking and killing a regular who began shadowing her on his Harley, turning up at her local market and, when she moved to Los Angeles to get away from him, on her front porch. The night she encountered him there, her young son, Jackson, was asleep in her arms; the extra six years on her sentence were for endangering a minor.

For years, Kushner wrote around Romy, unable to connect. “I came up against hardpan, where you can’t dig down,” she told me. “I would never go to prison for life, because I have these resources to protect me.” Then, as she began to write passages about her own adolescence and give them to Romy, a fusion started to occur. Kushner went on, “Romy’s from my neighborhood. Her friends are my friends. And a lot of her experiences I’m intimately familiar with.” The voice she found—pragmatic, syncopated, pained—is tempered by what her friend Bret Easton Ellis described to me as “thrilling neutrality.” “The ghost of my childhood lives in the back of buses,” Romy says, in “The Mars Room.” “It says, What’s up, juts its chin.”

Kushner’s parents—Pinky, a Southern redhead with a ski-jump nose, and Peter, the son of New York Communists—were scientists, integration activists, Beats. Pinky said she wanted her daughter to be a poet and her son to be a painter. (Kushner’s brother, dismayingly, chose medicine.) When Rachel was little, and her parents were graduate students at the University of Oregon, they lived on and off in a school bus heated by a wood-burning stove, and survived on six hundred dollars a month, augmented by food stamps. In the winter, the bus was sometimes parked at ski mountains: one year in Bend, Oregon, and another in British Columbia. The family hiked up and skied above the lift line, the sandwiches in their pockets fogging the cellophane.

Beatnik poverty, in Kushner’s telling, was a kind of gift, helping her develop taste and politics and irony, and leaving her with an open admiration for her parents that you rarely find in adult artists. She read Steinbeck and Nelson Algren and listened to the wacky stories told by her parents’ Prankster-adjacent friends. “I thought, Literature—you really have to know hobo livin’,” she says. “It was reproduced in the social environment I was in.” Interpreting the world, she understood, meant remaining alert to moments when someone does something poetic. “The more in the world you are, the higher your chances are of witnessing that,” she says. “It wasn’t so much about studying literature—it was about being.”

When Kushner’s parents got postdoctoral jobs at the University of California, San Francisco, they moved the family there, to a neighborhood called the Sunset. Kushner, ten and still in bell-bottoms, was released into a harsh, delinquent youth culture. On the first day of sixth grade in her new school, a girl she had just met asked, “Do you want to come downtown with me? I haven’t seen my sister for a while.” Rachel went. The sister was working as a prostitute on Market Street.

One night, at the Pyrenees, a Basque shepherd bar in the warehouse district of Bakersfield, where Kushner likes to stop on trips to Chowchilla, she drew me a map of the Sunset: forty-eight avenues, south of Golden Gate Park, leading down to Ocean Beach. Many lifelong San Franciscans, she said, have never even been there. “It was decidedly unchic,” she told me. “It’s very wet and foggy out there, all built on sand dunes, no street trees, a bleakness. The housing stock was generic. It was full of girls with big feathered hair who wanted to party and were going to get pregnant by eighteen. Their parents were Irish, from Ireland, and the dads were cops.”

As the novel opens, Romy is on her way to prison, on a bus with blacked-out windows. Thinking about the past she is relinquishing, full of omens she failed to recognize, she tells stories to an unspecified “you,” anyone who might be out there listening: “The Sunset was San Francisco, proudly, and yet an alternate one to what you might know: it was not about rainbow flags or Beat poetry or steep crooked streets but fog and Irish bars and liquor stores all the way to the Great Highway, where a sea of broken glass glittered along the endless parking strip of Ocean Beach. It was us girls in the back of someone’s primered Charger or Challenger riding those short, but long, forty-eight blocks to the beach, one boy shotgun with a stolen fire extinguisher, flocking people on street corners, randoms blasted white.”

Kushner was younger than her classmates—she had started school early and skipped seventh grade. Among her peers, she says, “intelligence was a form of ugliness,” so she did her best to hide it. She fell in with a group of hard-partying, unlooked-after kids, who went by the name White Punks on Dope, though they weren’t all white. As long as she had her act together in school, which she always did, her parents extended almost limitless freedom. Emily Goldman, a friend from that period, who is now a juvenile defender and sometimes represents Sunset kids, told me, “Coddling was against Rachel’s parents’ beliefs of child-raising. They had enough respect for their children to think that they would know how to prioritize and make good decisions, and they thought that their kids should take their lumps. But I don’t think they were fully aware. I know they weren’t seeing what we were seeing. Other parents did see it, and participated. There were houses where the parents would snort cocaine with us.”

Kushner was always a risk-taker, game for adventure. Goldman said, “She would go along on those dark nights, in those sketchy situations—fourteen-year-old girls standing on street corners or in the park to see what would happen.” What happened: fires, thefts, assaults, arrests, adults betraying young people in sinister ways. Kushner’s friend Cynthia Mitchell, who grew up nearby, said, “My sense is she had two lives, an interior life and then this life as—not a ringleader but an observer. She’d be friends with the worst girls but was not the one to instigate the really horrible stuff.”

Kushner recalled that, when she finished the book, her husband told her, “Maybe the bad Rachel is all out of your system.” When I asked him about the remark, he said, “That suggests she thinks there is a bad Rachel, which is interesting. But whatever the bad Rachel is she is probably generative. Writing Romy, she was not exactly purging but attempting to articulate her past symbolically.” He paused. “She has a stone in the shoe about childhood.”

Many of Kushner’s friends from that time didn’t finish high school. One, Jon Hirst, stabbed someone in a bar fight and went to San Bruno jail, from which he escaped, running in jailhouse slippers back to San Francisco to take refuge with his neighborhood friends. He was immediately caught, and ended up in San Quentin, then in Susanville, then dead. Kushner went to Berkeley, starting classes in the fall of 1985, when she was only sixteen.

Kushner lives with Smith and their son, Remy, in Angelino Heights, a neighborhood of splendidly restored Victorians and crumbling firetraps perched above downtown. Her house, built at the start of the last century and bought out of foreclosure during the recession, is a large Craftsman with a deep porch, filled with vintage chandeliers and pieces made by artist friends—Laura Owens, Billy Al Bengston—and by her cousin, an ironworker who fabricates for David Hammons. In the living room, there is a sculpture by the Paris collective Claire Fontaine, a brick of solid aluminum made of melted-down cans, stamped with the word “Redemptions.”

Continue reading Rachel Kushner’s Immersive Fiction

Aquarius Full Moon, Lunar Eclipse, July 27, at 1:20 pm PDT at 5 degrees

Wendy Cicchetti (wendy@twixtearthandsky.com)

lunar eclipse is a precisely aligned, supercharged Full Moon. The Earth’s shadow falls between the Sun and Moon, and what is typically the brightest night of the month is veiled in darkness. As the light goes out, what’s hidden in the subconscious rises up — our shadows, secrets, feelings that seem too big or scary — demanding attention and expression. Changes that have been brewing behind the scenes are catalyzed into action, and we often see significant completions.

This total lunar eclipse in Aquarius is sandwiched between the South Node and retrograde Mars, bringing a strong focus to completing unfinished business and breaking free from the past. People from previous lifetimes, literally and figuratively, may reappear. With an emphasis on fixed signsand retrograde planets in this eclipse chart, we might feel like we’re going backwards, regressing into old patterns. But we can trust that there’s a deeper layer of healing ready to happen, as the eclipse opens a powerful portal for clearing stuck energy and emotions.

Aquarius is a fixed air sign; this eclipse supports awakening to and releasing beliefs that have crystallized over time and that block our forward progress. Our stories about alienation and not belonging are especially ripe for releasing. This eclipse can help us to feel, and clear, any underlying fears that society will reject us if we speak our truth, offer our unique gifts, and own our radical individuality. The Leo North Node affirms that our heart’s desires and passions will guide us to fulfillment. When we follow what lights us up and feels like fun, we activate our creative power.

The eclipsing of Mars (with the Moon) represents a significant turning point within its retrograde cycle (June 26 to August 27). Mars retrograde in Aquarius advises us to search within to uncover our true desires, rethink our contribution to the collective, and reclaim our individuality and freedom. As the Full Moon conjoins Mars on the South Node, we can get clear feedback about what no longer inspires or motivates us. Anger could also be triggered, especially anger that’s been repressed for a long time or is completely unconscious.

On a collective level, there’s a purging of old expressions of the masculine that are not in alignment with where humanity is heading. We may see (even more dramatic) reflections of the distorted, shadow masculine erupting on the world stage — war, violence, domination. And Mars is out of bounds from July 7 to September 24, which can correlate with extreme manifestations of masculine energy. What arises is ultimately in service to bringing awareness to core underlying patterns, thereby raising consciousness of what needs to shift. The higher potential of an out-of-bounds Mars is to access a version of the masculine beyond the rules and norms of social convention, a Mars that reflects the Aquarian Age ideals of equality and freedom for all.

Uranus, modern ruler of Aquarius, squares the Sun, the Moon, Mars, and the nodal axis, amplifying the revelatory and revolutionary power of this lunation. Unexpected events, erratic behavior, sudden changes, and radical breaks with the past are possible. We may feel like we’re spinning in a swirl of chaos, but this Uranian storm can shake us out of stagnant patterns. Uranus trinesSaturn — the traditional ruler of Aquarius — supporting us to integrate the radical changes triggered by this eclipse into tangible, lasting forms.

As we’re pulled into the darkness of the unknown, we’re called to trust the flow of change, to let go of our attachment to what we thought our future would be, and come into greater acceptance of what is. “Trust that whatever you are dealing with, whatever doorway to crisis you experience, it is leading you to a greater lesson in living where ideally the power of love is what you learn. Forgive, and broadcast your excitement to be alive.” (Barbara Marciniak)

Written by Emily Trinkaus for the Mountain Astrologer Magazine

Full Moon symbolizes the fulfillment of the seeds planted at a previous New Moon or some earlier cycle. Each Full Moon reminds us of the seeds that may be coming to maturity, to their fullness, to fruition, to the place where the fruits or gifts are received. It may seem that fulfillment of our goals takes a long time. Some intentions may manifest within the two week phase prior to the next New or Full Moon. Some however, depending on their complexity, may take a much longer time. Just remember that our thoughts and emotions set Universal Action in motion and much work takes place behind the scenes as everything is orchestrated for fulfillment. Keep visualizing your goals as though you have already attained them and they will eventually manifest. Do not concern yourself with current conditions or worry about controlling it. The universe takes care of those details. Just keep seeing what you want, and move in that direction with your actions, and give no energy to what you don’t want. Patience is required.

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