Dreams speak to us in many ways. Sometimes dreams bring to our awareness meaning and messages via symbols and archetypes. Other times, the dreams we have can be an actual journey of consciousness and spirit. At times, dreams are layers and mixtures of many things. Paying attention to and responding to our dreams is beneficial and deeply nourishing, and quite evident over time. Dreams mostly seek to help us to process, heal, and grow. They are a key to greater fulfillment.
I have been deeply invested in paying attention to, recording, and responding to my own dreams for the last 30+ years. I have found that the other part of our lives, spent in dream states, is just as meaningful and important as the wakeful state. Not only that, the one constant within both states is that the journey of our consciousness is present in both — something that anchors us beyond death and our current bodies, and on into new and different life and/or lives. Deepening our present moment consciousness via dream work (and meditation) is a priceless practice that supports and enhances the mundane, yet also goes far beyond it.
I am going to provide you with a concrete example of a dream from the past that I have worked with, which was profound and pivotal for my evolving spiritual and emotional development, at that time, through and beyond wounds and personality weaknesses. The following dream is from work I did back in the Spring of 2011:
Title: She Is Monumental
I am in a house we have just purchased. We are happy with it. Until someone who used to live here comes to the door. She comes in with a key she kept, and wants something. I am exasperated, and a bit angry at the intrusion. She leaves quickly though. I am near the door. I see an impossibly tall woman who is led around the house by an angel-type-being. I feel fear when I see this impossibly tall woman. With great effort, I look up at her face — way, way up. She has no mouth. I feel fear, which fades into compassion instead. I reach out my hand to her in friendship as she passes.
CS Sherin, Dream Journal Entry, “She Is Monumental”, May 2011
After so many decades of keeping dream journals, I have learned what most of my personal dream symbols represent. This is one of many important reasons for committing to a dream journal. Dreams really are cheated and mistreated when we use dream dictionaries, accept the general definition, and leave it at that. Tracking dreams and our own personal messages via journals reveals context, meaning, and timing that no dream dictionary can ever reveal. Just like a dictionary definition for a cat or dog could never come close to defining and expressing the who, what, why, where, and how of your specific animal companion. Dreams have life of their own, and some of it is indefinable.
PLEASE NOTE: While you may have an interpretation in mind when you hear someone else’s dream, the only person who can reveal the true meaning of a dream is the person who had the dream. Any meaning or interpretation that comes to your mind while listening to someone else’s dream can most accurately and respectfully be expressed as: what the dream would mean if it were your dream. This delineation and practice is essential.
I will translate this dream. Translation is the best word for it, as my dream is in the language of my unconscious mind and my consciousness/soul. It is personal and specific. As I provide a translation for my dream, keep in mind that my translation and definitions for things in the dream are not in any way static. This is my official translation for this very specific dream. This specific dream is, indeed, a symbolic dream, yet, not all dreams are. For other dreams, these symbols may carry completely different meanings, or may not be symbols at all!
For me, in this particular dream, a new house is a new way of being. The new way of being is good. The previous owner intruding briefly represents some unwelcome old habits coming back into my new way of being. But, they only intrude briefly and are gone, let go. The woman who is being guided through the house by an angel-type-being is tall — taller than tall. She is graceful and silent. Her presence is like a walking monument. She is monumental. My fear turns to compassion as I see her missing mouth as a disability. This monumental “she” is the divine self linked to soul or authentic being. It took me “great effort” to become conscious of the alarming symbol of the missing mouth. The missing mouth is symbolic of my ego’s distorted belief of separation from divine love that took shape in the personality by age three. The missing mouth is ongoing silence, separation, even disability related to relationship and listening to/hearing the authentic self — who has never been separated from the sacred.
CS Sherin, May 2011, dream entry translation for “She Is Monumental”
As a child and young adult I was so busy tracking everyone else’s feelings, needs, and expectations that I had no idea what my own were most of the time. The pain of the separation-illusion from my own being surfaced in other dreams in my youth — via dreams of being blind, which had morphed in recent years into being mute. These dreams were telling me that my distorted ego beliefs and fears had created some serious fall-out for my inner being.
A myth re-told in a new way for healing effects, is what came to mind as possible medicine for me, relating to this dream. Our culture enforces the belief of valuing the external over the internal (and the visible over the unseen) with glaring manic force, in advertising, news, via experts, and in storytelling. When the movie Shrek came out, I deeply appreciated the radical re-telling of old fairy tale stories that had before accentuated external and unrealistic importance. Shrek transformed that distortion in our culture, thankfully. The ugly, disgusting ogres possess inner beauty, truth, and authenticity, and are hero and heroine. The old external-value archetypes of the past are seen with human flaws and distortions laid bare. The deeper inner being is valued.
C. J. Jung believed that seeing archetypes revealed in a story (like Shrek), even if we are not consciously aware of the deeper meaning, helps bring healing to the personal and collective unconscious. Knowing that, Shrek was a deeply needed re-telling for the personal and the collective. Part of my dream work response to this dream, back in 2011, was to re-watch Shrek.
In this dream, I know that as I overcame fear and reached out in compassion to connect with the monumental self — I initiated a vital change of pattern, which released personality/ego-based distortion about relationship to my inner core/being. This was an important dream, a turning point for healing and consciousness.
My dream also reminded me that a lot of the younger ages of my life were spent neglecting my own needs and voice. The dream told me that there is much yet to learn and connect to that is real and monumental, really. This is what I wrote about back in 2011, in conclusion:
That bright, silent, tall being of my dream may seek to be a voice for the voiceless, my poetry, and my compass. I know she has much to say and show. I know she has a mouth and a voice. My awareness and compassion for myself is the doorway to deepening that relationship, and it has already begun. It has already come to the point that even this personality and ego of mine have learned enough to yearn, and yearn again, for her voice, leadership, and presence. This is a reward for walking through all the pain so far and doing the work. The ego wishes to serve the soul…and joy, abundance, and love begin to overflow.
CS Sherin, May 2011, reflection on dream entry, “She Is Monumental” (above)
I wrote the narrative below, Give Up, at the end of September in 2014. It is about a dark night I went through that I will never forget. It wasn’t the first hard time I have faced, but it was a pivotal one, different from other times.
It was August 11th, 2014. I experienced a deep depression that washed over me quite suddenly. I was to find out the next day, that it was the same day that Robin Williams died. He was someone who had been a bright light for me in a rough childhood — him and The Muppets. Finding out the next day about his death, I realized I had probably felt a “disturbance in the force,” so to speak, that had affected me. Robin was such a great presence on Earth, dear to many, and missed. I am sure his death was a real energetic part of what I felt that night. But there were personal dynamics at work too.
Before that night, I had already gone through some devastating loss. My oldest sister had died four months earlier, after a long battle with a cancer that had turned quite brutal. A few months before that, our elderly dog had also gotten a brutal cancer, and had to be euthanized suddenly. Simultaneously, I had come to a point in my self-employment where I knew I had to make a change. I had been doing holistic spiritual care for over a decade, and didn’t quite know where I was headed, if I were to stop and change.
The story you are about to read is about facing inevitable change, loss, past traumas revisited, and grief. It is also about the life-giving transformations we are able to experience while in relationship with other beings, for instance, a cat. Reciprocal positive relationship with animals, and other beings, can be profound and important in so many ways, if we are open to it. I recommend being open to it.
Perhaps one of the reasons that humanity finds itself facing so many crises and ongoing-history-repeating-itself serious problems is because, we are not in active, consistent, real relationships with the countless other living beings we share this planet with — not in a way that is ongoing, respectful and more selfless than self-serving.
The trees, plants, aquatic life of all kinds, rocks/crystals, land animals, creatures of the air, and below ground all have knowing of various kinds in their being. An openness to cultivating conscious, caring relationships with any of those — choosing to be present for it — could be the transformative change we need at this time. It is important to note that any committed relationship within or between other species needs to contain: consistent presence, kindness, honesty, consideration, and mutual respect.
The following story is evidence of the deep, long-resonating, lasting rewards that come from: a balance of giving and receiving, helping and receiving help, listening and sharing, asking and telling – true friendship. I have Boris, the valiant cat, to thank for the real presence and wisdom won during that dark, hard night on August 11, 2014:
There is an escalating pressure mounting around and within me tonight. It presses upon me like an ominous darkness of massive storm clouds, which contain a sharp cold front set against the air — stagnant, oppressive heat, humidity and no wind. A violent storm is looming.
Am I wearing rose-colored glasses, not facing reality? Not usually. I do love being practical and realistic, as much as positive and dreamy. Am I the eternal optimist made of ideals? Yes, that is true. There is a tireless, sleepless affinity in me for honesty and ethics…awake in my heart and mind like an atomic clock.
On my bed this day and evening, a powerful depression intrudes, and disrupts my true nature. I cannot continue. I want to give up, for real.
It is painful, blind, anguish.
It feels like that sucker punch in my solar plexus, from the mean boy in 4th grade. I was taken by surprise, robbed of breath and air, with that sudden punch of pain, that dropped me to my knees — sucking tears out of me without permission. He had walked away without a word.
This swell of sadness tonight is too dark, and overwhelms me beyond reason.
Boris, the cat, is by me now. He is the one who always comes running to see how he can help when it sounds, from somewhere in our house, like someone could be hurt, in trouble, or sick. If he were human, he would be a First Responder, a nurse, counselor, and/or healer. I tell him quietly and despondently that I am giving up. At first I am not sure if I mean my life. The darkness was so overwhelming. I ask myself, and feel deeply: No, not my life. My purpose and work — like a spiritual death, it seems. Boris tells me a surprising thing — with his wise eyes and being, Boris says, “Good. Give up.”
Startled into a sudden alert surprised awareness, that breaks the dark spell, I ask, “What?! Why? Don’t you care? You always care. Why don’t you care, Boris?” He answered with nonchalance, “Give up. I gave up once. After I gave up, good people found me, helped me, and then you found me. And now look at me.” He is beaming strength and love, smiling, eyes happy.
Astonished and awakened, I remembered what he meant. I thought of Boris’s story. Boris had been abandoned by a previous family, along a freeway, that had a tall fence separating it from the countryside. When he was found, the shelter workers told us, he was dirty. The kind of dirty, they said, that only happens when a cat gives up. A cat giving up is a starkly tragic thing. Cats take pride in their self-care and stealthy ability to survive. He had been brought low by the trauma of being abandoned and then trapped near a highway, with bad weather/storms, and no food. He suffered PTSD for a while after we adopted him. He needed antidepressants for a few months, to remember what normal feels like, the vet said. And he did, he got better after those 3-4 months of medication. (Actually, his example back then with needing medication for a while, helped me to address my own needs during a health crisis, not long after his.) It took us a few years after adopting Boris, to fully earn his trust and full affection. In his elder years now, after 11 years with us so far, he is well and happy, fully loved and loving. We know he is no younger than 17 and could be as old as 19.
I paused, and took this moment in.
Maybe the thought to give up wasn’t as bad as it felt at first. It is simply hard to let go of work that I have given all my heart and effort to, along with sitting with the layers of grief. I am loyal. I am a hard worker. Yet, I need to let go of some big things, and adjust to a changing reality and changing needs. Boris is right. I looked over at him in awe. The four-legged, hairy, mahogany-red with white, tall, thin, elder fellow is right. I didn’t expect that from you just now, Boris. Thank you!
King Boris, or Chewy Bill, as we sometimes call him, gave me a jolt of understanding that allowed me to release the fear and illusion of failure. Boris helped me to boldly take up courage, and be okay with letting go — even if it feels like dropping off a ledge on a tall building with no net or cushion below. Boris has an intimate, expert knowledge of major endings that are like deaths, and how rebirth is on the other side of it, waiting for us — something much better, and really right. A really wise cat, that Boris. What a gorgeous guide! I scratched his cheeks and massaged his head and chest in thanks. He smiled his open-mouthed smile with twinkling eyes, that reminds my husband of Don Knotts. That makes me chuckle. What I see is a cat who blazes and shimmers, a noble being, who commands his new life with joy — a new life, that found him. He knows — he gained all of it after he had given up.
Back to 2019. What I didn’t know yet, when I wrote that story, was that we would yet have to face the death of our elder cats, first Abigail, and then Boris in the following year. Living with, and processing all that grief, led me to shift and channel it, and the love, into practical, tangible work for healthy sustainable living (toxin-free) via Recipe For A Green Life, which took up nearly three years of my life, from start to finish. It was a big leap, and a big risk. It certainly didn’t pay well. Yet, it is and has been important, honors what and how I love, and speaks of our collective, interrelated, priceless connection to all life in totality.
Boris was such a strong presence in our lives — a magnanimous, extraordinary spirit, even for a cat. He always knew that humans are too often so slow to catch on to what animals know, and try to communicate. He was always persistent, and maddeningly so. I actually gained so much respect for his persistence — it can be an endearing, admirable quality. He never gave up on trying to communicate with us; helping us to understand what he needed or wanted, in quite obvious, when his subtle gestures were missed by us.
Pawing At My Heart
For a time before he died, he kept pawing at my upper chest, like he wanted to climb inside my heart. He did it so often. In my distracted, clueless, human way, I thought it was cute, yet strange that he kept doing it. Then, I found out that he was terminally ill. After a while of processing the two things, I finally understood what he was saying to me. He was saying,
“Keep me in your heart.
Don’t forget me.
I love you.
I will always be there.”
When I finally realized what he was saying, it loosed my tears, along with the enormous love grown through a positive, loving relationship with another being over so many years. It still loosens my tears of love, years later.
I picked him up, hugged and assured him that I finally understood. I told him that I would, always. He never did it again, so I know that he knew the message was received. I am so thankful that I was able to drop my human distractions for long enough to truly hear him before he had to leave us.
We are convinced Boris was a mighty spirit that took on cat form for a time, someone we were lucky to know and love. I could tell many stories about Boris’s ways. Like the Easter morning that he jauntily brought in a baby rabbit for me to cook for the holiday. Or, the nap we took beside each other, and the dream that we had — where he taught me to make healing balls of light (it was hard — he was really good at it). Or, how he always came to everyone’s rescue, never once afraid. And, how he wanted a dog so badly, and how he fell in love with her, when we did finally adopt a dog. And, how he had a soul mate, little Abigail (ginger cat) — and how they had an actual impromptu wedding ceremony in our back yard one Spring.
Yet, for today, what I will say is this: The time, love, and presence of Boris, that strong bright being, lives on and is in my heart always. That alone, gives me courage and the warm action of love for this life — no matter what.C
Yet, we are present and in relationship with all that is. This is amazing, and good to orient ourselves in this way — beyond the mundane, while also remaining rooted in facts of reality — as we know them so far!
This is what we call perspective on the grand scale…thanks to astronomy.
Perspective is personal and subjective. And, it can change suddenly, with a new experience, new thought, and by getting distance from things we have become too mired in.
As an artist, I find that when I work on a piece, sometimes I become too close to it, and lose perspective — much like a teenager focusing too much on one feature — losing all perspective on actual proportion and objectivity. Often, I need to walk away from a piece of art I am working on, stand at a distance, look at it upside down, and even put it away for a while in order to see it with fresh eyes, and as it really is. When I do that, then I can appreciate it, and know what it needs…or that it is done.
Differing perspectives can grant us new glimpses of reality that we hadn’t considered. This can actually shift our mindset and cycle of thoughts and habits for good. Perspective can give us space to breathe, imagine, and create anew.
If you did the breathing and smiling exercise at the beginning, and then read the astronomy “you are here” facts, did that change your mood and perspective in any way?
Our minds can too often fixate and replay old thoughts and stories without taking in enough of what is happening — what is real now — along with the scale of our experience in relation to time and space. Breaking out of these kinds of mental ruts and confines can mean opening ourselves to new thoughts and points of view, literally, figuratively, and through movement, like travel. All of which, have the potential to renew, refresh, strengthen, and make us wiser.
Perspective can release undue pressures, and refocus our attention on facts of core, maybe overlooked, importance. Astrology has the potential to provide all of those benefits that come with new perspective.
Mysticism and Symbolism
While astronomy is able to give us that amazing perspective on the grand scale, as demonstrated at the beginning of this article, astrology accomplishes this as well — just in quite different ways.
In-depth astrology is able to touch on the deeper dimensions of life and being, without losing touch with concrete reality. That is pretty impressive.
The deeper meaning found in astrology asserts that we matter, and have a right — a place (birthright) in the scheme of things in this galaxy — whether we have power, wealth, recognition, privilege, or anything else or not. This is fertile ground for symbolic and archetypal self-exploration (the microcosm reflecting a macrocosm) and mysticism.
CS Sherin, WildClover.org
Symbolism and mythology are (and have always been) a basic foundation in all schools, cultures, eras, and approaches to astrology, worldwide. It has also always been a way to frame existence with archetypal energies and patterns.
The 12 Astrological Zodiac Signs
The twelve zodiac signs, used in western astrology charts, are largely rooted in names and stories that come from Greek, Roman, and even Babylonian and Egyptian mythology and symbols.
The western zodiac signs are symbols based on the zodiac constellations, yet they aren’t the same thing. The zodiac was documented by ancient astronomers, many of whom were also astrologers at the time. Astronomy has since moved well beyond the twelve signs used in astrology.
Please note: astrological signs aren’t astronomy’s constellations. Astronomy charted constellations are numerous, vast, and literal. The astrological zodiac signs are symbolic, limited to twelve (sometimes a hidden 13th), and are related to our point of view from Earth. Astrology’s signs aren’t real in the astronomical sense — they are symbols. The 12 zodiac we work with are found along the Sun’s passageway across the Earth throughout a year’s time, which is called the ecliptic. Astrology is personal, in that it relates directly to our little neighborhood in this solar system, from our point of view (with the exception of Heliocentric calculations, which is from a solar point of view). The narrower focus of astrology, in this case, doesn’t at all limit the depth, potential helpfulness, and relevance of this esoteric tool.
The Astrological Birth Chart
The birth (natal) chart is the foundation for most every kind of personal report in astrology — from current transits, geographical relocation, relationships, events, and birthdays. The astrological birth chart is an imprint of us, our total life here, from the vantage point of our geographical placement (latitude and longitude) and time of birth entry on this planet, and again, in relationship to some of the main heavenly bodies in our little solar system neighborhood.
The birth chart contains personal potentials in the many areas of our lives — from the deep to shallow, personal to public, daily and routine, to the mystical and esoteric. It covers self, relationships, home, work, and so much more. The planets, stars, and other heavenly bodies used in astrology are utilized as symbols in ways that have the ability to enrich and awaken our point of view. In this way, this tool has the great potential to help us to gain new perspective about ourselves in detail, and our greatest potentials related to possible life trajectories.
In addition to the 12 zodiac signs, mythology and archetypes, western astrology uses:
Symbols: elements (earth, air, fire, water), modes of dealing with change and collaboration (fixed, mutable, cardinal), and yin or yang energy
Aspects, orbs, and degrees: which are dynamics of energy and calculations, based on degrees of relationship between heavenly bodies and our time and place of birth
Ancient to modern methods/calculations based on the heavenly body’s relation to when and where an individual (or other event) is born on Earth, down to minutes, latitude and longitude
The Birth Chart Itself Is A Symbol Of Wholeness:
The chart is a mandala (circle) that is divided into 12 sections, called houses, which represent different areas of life, from the personal and private to the public and transpersonal
The calculation of the astrological birth chart is the basis for all other calculations and reports made in astrology
The birth chart is relevant for the individual’s lifetime, and covers nearly every important area of life with some surprising detail
The birth chart encompasses a lifetime, therefore time is represented (past, present, potential future), yet it is also timeless — filled with spectrums of layered potentials, strengths, and challenges
A Timeless, Timely Enigmatic Tool
Astrology is an incredible timely, yet timeless tool, which can illuminate many things, including: influences, patterns, cycles, inheritances, and dynamics in our now, in our past, and even our potential future. The main heavenly bodies (planets, asteroids, mystical points) in our solar system — in western astrology — represent qualities of: personality, lessons, patterns, cycles of energy, phases, and time, as well as dynamics and tendencies related to mythology and universal archetypes. Truly and mysteriously, the planets and other heavenly bodies lessons and qualities amazingly mirror our particular and specific inner and outer realities in perplexing, yet accurate ways. The tool is complex and layered, and compelling.
In looking at only one or two aspects of a birth chart, like the Sun sign, Rising (ascendant) sign or Moon you may gain some important understanding (with enough and the right information), yet the big picture is missed, and key facts may be misinterpreted. This can be due to other areas of the chart that are more dominant or strong. This can significantly change an interpretation and understanding.
For example, I had a client that was an earth Sun sign, but never felt it was accurate or applied to her. It wasn’t obvious in the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant, but she was actually predominantly a water person, with all of her other planets in water signs. When I explained her natal chart to her in a consultation, she found relief and happiness in hearing, finally, aspects of her own experience mirrored accurately for her in the astrological interpretation.
Experiencing the in-depth interpretation of a birth chart is a fascinating, mystifying perspective, and so interesting to experience and share. Every client I have had for consultations has been so surprised at how fast time flies when exploring one’s own chart.
Key Things To Remember About Astrology
No belief required. It is just like how we have no need to: believe in a paint brush, a wrench, or in clay in order to use and benefit from any of it. It is just like how we don’t need to believe in meditation in order to practice it, and benefit from it.
Astrology is a spiritual tool that can provide pivotal and helpful insights, which come from interpretations of symbols in relationship to each other, which are based on astronomy, mythology, and earth-based symbols, patterns, and cycles. Astrology has an ancient history and is diverse, and has had, and still has, universal use and value.
As I said, there is no need to believe in astrology in order for it to be useful. Likewise, a responsible astrologer will discourage you from allowing transits, retrogrades, and other astrological knowing to: control or dictate your life, create unnecessary fear or drama, or interfere with your freedom to choose and act in your own timing.
At the same time, knowing gained by transits, cycles and patterns in the present, and from birth charts, can help us to make more informed and autonomous decisions for our lives and spiritual development, and can affirm things that we feel and know deeply, but rarely get to discuss or acknowledge.
Astronomy VS Astrology?
How About A Holistic Vision Of Both/And:
Instead of lumping astronomy and astrology together, and instead of comparing them as loosely related practices, I find that it is much more reasonable, true, and fulfilling to abandon the either/or approach in favor of a more holistic both/and approach.
They are different disciplines, yes, and each has a different way of seeing and interpreting life and being. As they ought to. A shaman or priest/ess is not the same as a scientist. Yet, a person can be both a spiritual leader/practitioner and scientific. BOTH of these aren’t mutually exclusive within an individual or in life, AND they are necessarily different and separate practices and states of mind.
Astronomy is a scientific discipline that gathers and develops information, research, evidence, discoveries, theories, and facts about our physical existence on Earth, in this solar system, galaxy, and universe. All of the information and exploration, as well as the images, and growing knowledge about the true nature of our universe is the result of a legacy from ancient astronomers. Ancient astronomers evolved into what modern astronomers and scientists now provide. It is captivating and inspiring to learn about and explore. Astronomy certainly has the power to lift us up into breathtaking and mind-boggling new perspectives. We need that!
Despite the adversarial and dismissive tone taken by some (not all) scientists and astronomers about astrology — astrology does remain, and stands strong as being useful and relevant. Some may call astrology a pseudoscience or placebo, in order to distance themselves, while asserting a specialized authority (that is overstepping its bounds, actually). However, none of the belittling going on changes the fact that: astronomy does enrich the ancient and vast traditions of astrology, yes, AND can never replace it!
As someone who has overcome great odds with the help of creative and spiritual tools and techniques, I understand the importance of spiritual practices — meaning, ritual, and the rich sacred value of symbolism, intuition, and imagination. There is also great value found in ethical science, logic, and critical thinking.
I refuse to abandon either one. We don’t have to.
A holistic approach and vision means that science and spirituality don’t have to agree, speak the same, or see the same…AND neither one can, or needs to, replace the other. They are individual and part of a whole, which is much bigger than either one.
Finding meaning in life matters. Most of us need some sort of deeper meaning and context in order to enrich our lives, and experience fulfillment — we often don’t limit that deeper meaning and context to one discipline, genre, or perspective. At certain times and ongoing in life, I, and many others have found astrology to be useful and helpful in that way.
Our intelligence (emotional and intellectual), and our spirit (energy and consciousness) thrive when we are able to place meaning, and a deeper sense of purpose into the fabric of our lives — while also addressing, in real ways, what is broken, what needs to be faced, and what needs to be encouraged — in order to begin or continue healing. Astrology has the potential to do this, and this is how I use and share astrology.
Our ability to work with symbols, mystical aspects of life, and apply deeper meaning within scientific claims and discoveries is a part of our unique perspective and being as humans.
CS Sherin, WildClover.org
Free Will, Fate, And Improvisation
As human beings, we have free will, choice, action, instinct, common sense, intuition and presence. This is despite qualities and energies that seem to be or are, in some sense, fated or fixed. We are not bound by fate entirely, in life or in astrology — even though there are some fixed dynamics in life and personalities.
For the most part, l i f e is an improvisational dance…unpredictable and changeable.
Maybe what is really needed, is to discipline our thoughts and emotions; practice awareness, and exercise our sacred imagination for collective and personal benefit and enrichment. If this is true, it is good news, as long as we are willing to face and take responsibility for our shortcomings, continue learning, growing, and respond and act on the information we are given in the best ways possible — unique to each of us. That means looking at our blind-spots, wounds, and shadow qualities as much as our gifts, talents, and amazing potential. This is how I use and approach astrology, and it serves my clients and me well.
This also means doing the work we are meant to do seriously and earnestly. Still, it is important to not take ourselves or each other too seriously! Good humor is essential. Good humor helps us to endure challenges and hardships, maintaining sanity and balance. The best comedians illuminate what is wrong in a way that awakens and frees us, via real heart, mind, and belly laughter. The best comedians touch on truths that jolt us into really and joyfully seeing how weird we and life are, and the dysfunctions that we deal with in our culture. Good humor relieves some of the pressure points of pain, and gives us space to breathe and clarity to see, process, and address it anew. Any discipline, from the scientific to the mystical, can benefit from maintaining humor and letting go of a seriousness that not only judges, but dismisses what it doesn’t focus on as false, or empty.
An Ancient, Diverse Legacy
The history and use of astrology in conjunction with astronomy has been going on since ancient times. Astronomy and Astrology were one in ancient times — identical twins, in a way — who later parted ways (circa 1400–1700). Astrological tradition has continued in different ways throughout history and around the world: Egyptian, Hellenistic, Indian, Chinese, Greek, Roman, Indigenous, Renaissance Europe, and probably more. Each had, and has, their approach and system/rules for calculations, perspective, and symbolism. None are the one-dimensional, shallow, commercialized versions that grew from consumerism and commercialism. Some were based on superstitions and religious beliefs. And some are rooted in deep wisdom and ancient insights.
There are esoteric, evolutionary, humanist, classic, modern, ancient, and many Indigenous/First Nation/Native systems and schools of thought for astrology. There is the Heliocentric (Sun-centered, using Sidereal zodiac) or Geocentric (Earth-centered, using Tropical zodiac); differing ways to calculate houses, varying degrees for orbs, and much more that shapes and defines reports and interpretations . There are countless origins, approaches, technical details, and facets to astrology.
For example, one school of astrology is Jyotisha, also known as Hindu (Indian) astrology. In more recent history, the Western world calls it Vedic astrology. Hindu beliefs about karma influence Hindu astrology. Also, Hindu astrology uses the Sidereal zodiac. In contrast, Western astrology usually uses the Tropical zodiac and is influenced by western culture.
In ancient times, astronomy and astrology were most often united, rather than separate. Religion and mythology were integrated with the mathematical calculations and observations related to the night sky. The ancient figures were often holistic — the healer, herbalist, shaman was also the scientist, astronomer, botanist.
Hellenistic (525 BC) Egypt: conquered by Persians, Mesopotamian influence
(332 BC) Greek/Roman: Alexander the Great, Greek influence mixed with Babylonian (“Chaldean wisdom”), Horoscopic, and Egyptian
Ptolemy (140 AD)
Aztec (1300 AD)
*Western history has no firm dates for Indigenous star knowledge and teachings, yet there is an established legacy among Nations and tribes around the world, that belong in ancient BC, before or like — the estimated Sumerian, African, and Irish astronomy origin dates.
The countless approaches in astrology differ greatly, even within one school of thought or system of calculating.
Astrology has ancient roots globally, and it endures.
The global longevity, with room for different viewpoints, methods, new discoveries, adaptations, and approaches — is evidence of its ongoing usefulness as a tool for personal development. It is a tool with which we can seek to be more aware of being present and informed, and directly connected to and aware of some universal qualities, cycles, patterns, and potentials — to all that is.
In whatever way that each of us gains new and expansive perspective, it is a gift that aids in our enrichment, well-being, and development — and that ripples out to others.
The sky is the most expansive physical reality we experience in this life. Becoming curious and interested in the many ways we can nourish our lives in relationship to it, the better!
This is a reminder that my talk will take place tonight at the Three Rivers House in La Crosse. Details are below. I hope to see you there!
The Greener Life with CS Sherin
Feb 5th, 2019 7 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Ho-Chunk Nation, Three Rivers House (724 Main St. in La Crosse, WI) Hosted by: Coulee Region Sierra Club
Description: Explore a holistic approach to sustainable living with Chandra (CS) Sherin, author of “Recipe For A Green Life”. We will address some of the most pressing issues of our time that impact our environment, habitats, wildlife, resources, and collective health. We will learn about the importance of a holistic approach to sustainable living, and the positive impact we can have through our daily habits, choices, and do-it-yourself recipes. We will discover and discuss the most effective sustainable living choices we can make, at home and with our families. ~ Coulee Region Sierra Club