Turning Point

I have itchy feet from running.  Running all the time.  Thirty years of running.  Away from myself mainly.  Truths are hard to face though sometimes, especially when you don't like what you find.

On my thirtieth birthday, I stood in a room full of people.  Stood on the edge looking in.  It seemed as though I'd made it through the storm.  Well, many storms to be fair and there I was, still alive and no longer just hanging on.

Somewhere in the haze of the previous seven months, I'd built a ship for myself.  True, it was a raggedy old thing, but it was mine and it was solid.  I'd grown so tired of losing grip on rafts built by other people.  Rafts that would crumble away and leave me stranded, drowning in my own pitiful despair.

Thirty years, thirty god damn years. I'd broken my heart a thousand times over that vast expanse and each wound had always reminded me of another.  Like running through a hall of mirrors, I would lurch from one embrace to another, only to find myself, over and over and over again.  But I vowed no more.  I knew I couldn't continue like that, I couldn't start this decade, this new chapter, chasing after the same.  It was time, it was finally time, to let go of my illusions.  To learn to let go.

Cutting ties like vines that wrapped around my lungs, suffocating me.  Releasing myself from the grip I had so painfully been ensnared in for years, purely through my own hapless wondering.  I had become molten lava, I had become caustic, I had become afraid.  Endlessly melting under pressure.  Combusting in insecurity.  I'd gotten lost, because I could not face myself and my fear of losing grip had trapped me.  But no more, I said, as I hacked away.  No more.

For a long time I was shattered glass.  Jagged, fragile, useless.  Yet it seems my time of transformation has come.  Because it had to.  Because it needed to.  Because finally, I am no longer afraid.  Of course I can't deny that the pain of my past still cuts like a knife at times and those memories still haunt my dreams upon occasion, but once again I am filled with fire, burning brightly, burning to ashes, burning alone.

Now I have set sail for new adventures, embracing the oncoming waves attempting to envelope me along the way.  At night, the flickers of light from my burning flames help guide me through every dark and murky stretch, until the sun makes its return come morning, to reprise its role.  But be under no illusion, I'm no longer adrift, in search of home.  No, now I am a fearless wanderer, purposely pursuing an endless course of exploration, purely for the beauty of the great unknown.

This is my turning point.  This is thirty.

Venus Retrograde: A time for reevaluation

On March 4th, Venus, the planet most associated with love and beauty, shuffled backwards into a six-week retrograde, gliding first through the sign of Aries, followed by a jaunt into Pisces, where it will eventually turn direct on April 15th.

This retrograde, unlike that of Mercury, occurs solely once every eighteen months and as Venus is the ruling planet of both Libra and Taurus, this isn't forced contemplation in just one area of our lives, but two; that of love and money.

As with all retrogrades, this is a period of intense reflection. A time to reevaluate what is and is not working in certain aspects of our lives, most especially in regards to the love we have for others and in turn for ourselves.  We might be finding ourselves asking what exactly it is that we value in this lifetime.  What is it that truly brings us joy, happiness and a sense of fulfilment.

With the first few weeks of this retrograde spent in fiery Aries, anything that wasn't quite in balance was suddenly up for inspection, whether that was work or relationship related.  Ultimately, Venus wants harmony and in order to obtain it, certain things needed to be dealt with.  Therefore any previous leanings we may have had towards burying our head in the sand and hoping our problems went away were probably eradicated during this time frame.  Whether we liked it or not, for the good of all, our cracks were now fully on display.

Being the first sign of the zodiac, Aries literally represents beginnings and forward motion. It demands action and it's not about to wait around for everyone to get their shit together before it proceeds forward. It's a now or never, do or die kinda sign. It's not about to compromise. This astrological hot head wants all or nothing.

And just as we thought all hell was breaking loose on the emotional front, Venus did a side step into watery Pisces, a mutable sign that ushers in both endings and thus in turn beginnings.  With this energy in charge, it was probably always on the cards that old habits, old wounds and potentially old flames were going to crop up, in order to be redealt with.

This shuffle back and forth between signs is comparable to the tide flowing in and out.  Venus wants to pull back, collect what it can from the sea's murky depths and then drag its findings out onto the shoreline.  It's attempting to cleanse its waters of any pollutants that might have collected negligently over time.  It's arduous work granted and the emotional fallout can be intense, but oh is it necessary.

By the time Venus moves back round to close out its retrograde, we'll be only too painfully aware of what we need to cut loose, whether that's a person, a relationship, a job or even just an outdated idea we have of ourselves and the way we do things.  It will be time to finally let go of anything we've come to realise no longer serves us.  This shift in energy, if we choose to use it wisely, will help us lay to rest old wounds, old patterns and anything we need to move on from, in order to start anew.

Regardless of the conclusions we come to during this time, the only way we can truly move forward is fearlessly.  Love of self, love of others, love of life and of our craft; It takes a courageous heart to love anything at all because it requires us to be able and willing to accept the inevitability of loss. Yet, to hold ourselves back from loving in order to avoid the pitfalls that come attached is to cease to live altogether.  When you accept that there is no joy without pain, there is no light without dark, you live in a state of appreciation and non-resistance.  You live fully and what is the point to life, if not to be lived.

May this retrograde period bring you the clarity you need and the strength to know what to do with it.

Acknowledging your shadow side

Every moon cycle brings with it a powerful shift in emotions and consciousness and this month's Full Moon in Gemini is certainly no different.  Gemini itself is ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication and this Super Moon is forcing upon us the urge to purge.  It's asking that our words match our actions.  That our intentions be intentional.  It's no longer an option to stay silent when our truths demand to be heard.  However, the biggest lesson is to recognise what is truth and what is illusion.

The moon itself often symbolises that which is hidden.  Like an optical illusion, it appears to beam down brightly upon us night after night, in great illumination.  However in truth, it is merely being highlighted by the sun's glare.  And it is this very arrangement between the two planets that causes our view to be consistently one-sided.  For even when the moon appears to be fully lit, there is always one side immersed in darkness.

It is precisely this duality of light and dark that this Full Moon is asking us to acknowledge and accept within ourselves.  Just as Gemini itself is often depicted as twins, we too all have multiple sides.  Yet how, if at all, are we choosing to incorporate these variable aspects into our understanding of the whole.  We are, after all, multifaceted beings, capable of a range of emotions, yet it seems as though we are consistently confronted with emotional roadblocks that see us repress that which is deemed unpleasant or unnecessary to feel or express.

Only in the darkness can you see the stars.
— Martin Luther King Jr.

This constant, often unconscious, habitual self-editing is, simply put, a denial of self.  Of our whole self.  We have been preconditioned to believe that to be strong, we must never show weakness; To succeed we must never know failure; To be loved, we must never reveal our unlovable qualities.  Yet in reality, it is precisely the things we perpetually avoid, whether consciously or not, that we must finally acknowledge and confront, so that we may be able to incorporate them into the whole.  For when we are aware of our weaknesses, we know our strengths.  When we have experienced failure, we have the drive to succeed.  And when we have shown our most unlovable sides, we can open ourselves up to the truest expression of love, that which is unconditional.