Sunday, 29 March 2009

H.H. Penor Rinpoche & the Sun Venus conjunction

Two extraordinary events took place the 27th March 2009: One in India where His Eminence, the Nyingma Kalachakra Master, Penor Rinpoche, passed into paranivrana and his final meditation in this body; the second was astronomical with the Sun’s conjunction of Venus. When such occassions converge, a third experience results: the raising of bodhicitta and the opening of the heart-mind. For when a highly realised meditation master who knows the truth of the Kalachakra statement “as it is outside, so it is within the body” passes at such a rare moment, he shows the way of the heart is towards a blissful clear light state of enlightenment.

In astrology, Venus is the planet of love and beauty, treasure and values (the word Rinpoche means Jewel), while the Sun is consciousness central, Spirit, psychologically named individual identity or ego. And this is no ordinary conjunction either. It is an inferior conjunction, meaning Venus is this side of the Sun; and her most radiant light unable to be viewed from Earth. Venus shines her brightest during these rare conjunctions, suggesting that when the Light of Love aligns with Spirit and Earth energy calms to become easy-going, pleasurable and optimistic. No wonder H.H. Penor Rinpoche is a popular and much loved teacher if he was so in tune with this celestial configuration.

Astronomically speaking, the Queen of the Heavens takes eight years to create her cosmic sky dance in the shape of a five-pointed star; and she moves in the manner you would draw the pentagram; so these conjunctions happen every 19 months. Interestingly, Venus rules Taurus, the sign under which the Buddha, Gothama Siddhartha was born.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Fiery Thunderbolt

This fiery new moon in Aries inspires courage and stimulates confidence in new ideas, new ventures and new relationships. New ways of looking at an established relationship, be it a business association or love affair, can also revitalise passion and enthusiasm - in both parties, to go full steam ahead by the end of April.

Amorous Venus is also still retrograde in Aries, conjoining the Sun, Moon and Mercury: action is called for, while personal strength is mastered and more easily projected when motivated by love and positive intention. Coming from the heart generates unconditional compassion, which also means being good to one’s self, as well as others. Having the strength, patience and discipline to refrain from intentionally or absentmindedly harming, either oneself or others, comes to the saintly few. Most of us have to work at practicing this most honourable ethic: because our ego and identity can all too easily become caught-up in difficult situations, as in a battle of wills, that emotions such anger, jealousy or competitive pride arise; such corrupting influences make it nigh on impossible to correctly assess situations. Allowing the mind access to the innate and much-needed gentle awareness could now encourage reconciliation between previously warring factions.

With four Aries planets in hard aspect to controlling Pluto, now is the time to rise to the challenge and persevere with enthusiasm, and stop dragging old and outworn habits into any new enterprise or association. The brave hero of the hour will reduce to ashes any negative influences that no longer serve his or her highest good, to take one step further towards a profound and phoenix-like personal transformation.

Many thanks to Lokabandhu for inviting me to Buddhafield to witness this wonderful vajra thunderbolt - May the light of the fire septre illuminate our path with spiritual clarity!

Mind science

Mind science fascinates me, as training the chattering monkey mind is something I am constantly working on. Admittedly the mind and the brain are not the same. The brain is the intellect while the mind constantly interacts with feelings and the environment and, from astrology's 'interconnectivity' point of view, also with the heavens. So when scientists recently went looking for God in the brain, was it any surprise that all kinds of cerebral activity get sparked? Even though scientists only studied the brains of monotheistic religions, i.e. Christian, Muslim, Jewish, to me this only confirms that the intellect conceives the Divine to be everywhere, all around the ordinary world.

Here is one of the recent reports:

'Scientists searching for brain's 'God spot' find belief circuits' 'God' is found everywhere in the brain, 4966118/Scientists-searchi

Since reading these articles I have been wondering why then, fellow astrologers (and dharma practitioners too), do we see Jupiter, Neptune, 9th, 12th, Sagittarius, Pisces as being our only heavenly links to faith, religion, and the Divine, God, the Void, call it what you will. The cosmic kind of consciousness that fires up all parts of the brain, which means it must surely be found in all areas of the horoscope as well?

This article in the New Zealand herald mentions other studies, a Buddhist one and another, which Dawkins fans might enjoy:

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Slaying the Ego at the Spring Equinox 2009

The radiant light of the Sun energises the northern hemisphere as from midday Friday the 20th, with the Spring Equinox, a time of equal day and equal night. The Sun represents one’s identity and is exalted in the sign Aries, a symbol of courage, daring and enterprise. The Sun is also in hard aspect to Pluto, ruthless planet of transformation and renewal. So the challenge of being a true warrior, in the spiritual sense, is sparked wherever you are.

For Plutonic regeneration to take place we must defeat negative forces, and let go of unhelpful habits such as holding onto a wrong view; by doing so we discover previously hidden strengths. With Manjushri’s double-edged sword of truth and logic at the ready, be prepared to slay the ego at the same time appraising self-worth. Admittedly, this is a serious test for anyone. Yet now is the time to raise self-esteem by cutting through the veil of illusion with a fierce kind of grace and separate ourselves from anger, fear, resentment, addictions or anything else holding us back. To stop measuring oneself against others will also bring certain relief. And, besides, there is great bliss to be found in allowing the important aspects of life to flourish, such as personal relationships and creative activities that replenish the soul.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Cham Dance

Masked dance always strikes an unexplainable chord within me. Dance takes us to those unfathomable depths that enable one to communicate with the Divine. The Tibetan Masked Cham dance is particularly wonderful; I also like it because it is in 3 parts – like the action of a retrograde planet, such as Venus who is our current Queen of the cosmic retrograde Dance. Venus had been pressing ahead into the radiant night sky, full of stately splendour, eagerly seeking love with lust and ardour; then on March 7th, she stopped at 18◦ of go-getting Aries before internalising a retrospective phase to deal with certain *issues* and, like the Cham Dancer, confront her demons. In our present Venus-in-Aries scenario, the issue we can effectively address is self-love, and the barriers we create to total self-acceptance.

I don’t mean ‘self-love’ in an egotistical ‘Hey, everyone look how great I am!’ kind of way, but valuing the innate kindness and love that comes from the heart is essential for a positive self-image and self-acceptance. Funnily enough, we westerners can have such big of issues about self-worth; thinking ‘oh, my nose is too big’ or ‘I’m not rich enough’, or, ‘I’m not fabulous enough to have a lover, job or friend that is good for me’; the mind then allows such thoughts to get us down and damage our self-esteem, and we end up believing all the lies and misconceptions our ego tells us. His Holiness, Dalai Lama is always amazed how westerners can devalue ourselves, when the precious human rebirth is such a treasure. Everyone has their own gift to bring humanity, for some it is healing, music, dance or sport, for others its meditating, parenting, caring, working with animals, swimming, singing, driving or making or selling things, even the way of the warrior can be spiritual, (especially now, with Mars in Pisces).

The second part of the dance is on Aoril 12th, when Venus will retrograde back into the anaretic 29th, very last degree of Pisces; in her sign of exaltation she emanates an unconditional cosmic kind of love, when the teachings on love and compassion, for oneself and others becomes so pertinent. Taking time for totally forgiving past mistakes (seeing them as something to learn from) and learning to love our demons can be so liberating. The strange things is that when accept and love our negative points they change to become positive –demons can then be transformed into becoming happy because they are loved, and so they stop pestering us! The 3rd part comes on th 18th April when Venus goes forward again. Stevie Wonder says “If you can’t love yourself, then who can you love?” With his words I encourage you to let the Goddess of the Dance open your heart to an endless sea of love and discover in that endless ocean heartfelt compassion and knowledge that the universe always supports you.

Jangchub Lingpa's Cham Dance video:

Friday, 13 March 2009


Over the years I’ve given 2012 a great deal of thought, and have come to the conclusion that the universal invitation to raise consciousness is already happening. A number of astrological factors indicate this. Even so, I bare in mind that Namkai Norbu Rinpoche, one of the greatest living Dzogchen masters teaches ‘astrology is only one of the 12 lores or sciences concerned with Spirit or Mind’; there are many ways to ‘realisation’.

Having said that, I am primarily a Western astrologer and a Buddhist practitioner who studies the movements of the heavens (#8 on Namkai Norbu Rinpoche’s list), but can see why some astrologers have hooked into 2012 as time of change, because Uranus in Aries is Square Pluto in Capricorn (tropically), denoting a transformational shift, collectively as well as individually. (There is also the beginnings of a Grand Cardinal Cross starting in 2010 through 2015, which have already begun to navigate.)

While much is being made about the fact that the rising Winter Solstice Sun conjuncts the Galactic centre at the 2012 Winter Solstice, few are acknowledging that the Winter Solstice Sun has been doing exactly that for some time now, since at least 1996. I recall being with HH the Dalai Lama, and 300,000 other Buddhists at a Kalachakra Initiation near Darjeeling, India, on the 1996 Winter Solstice Full Moon, thinking then about the 2012 Mayan prophesy - the end of one world and the beginning of another - noting how the prophesy was already in place: we are at the end of an era and, if we are to understand Samsara and cyclic existence, we are now seeing the beginning of something new.

That 2012 has grabbed people’s imagination is fascinating. Sure, it is glamorous to be thought of as a Blue Cosmic Storm rather than a crab, as in my case; but the whole 2012 Mayan Calendar phenomena also presents opportunities: On one hand we can exercise humanities’ collective longing for positive change and evolve our innate kindness and compassion, share the love, and bring an end to suffering. On the other, people can lay themselves open to an end-of-the-world doomsday scenario and get hooked into the fear, from which one can then be controlled.

But in the end, the change we are experiencing is to the natural world; and this current recessional economic climate can only benefit nature, and all her elements, of which we are but a part. Our environment is as precious as all sentient beings.

As far as western astrology is concerned a pertinent cosmic representation of what we are going through is the current association of the transpersonal outer planets, Uranus and Neptune; these two have been in direct relation for 22 years (with one more year to go (before Uranus goes into Aries)). Visionary Uranus is symbolic of groups, change, and awareness;
Neptune signifies psychic sensitivity and the Divine. This combination reflects an interest in astrology groups, as well as lightworking and consciousness raising transcendental networking. In its’ most positive sense, the dream team mutual reception of Uranus in Pisces and Neptune in Aquarius indicates a mass elevation of the human spirit. It also invites pure awareness. While Pluto in Capricorn suggests big business transforms to be responsible about earthly resources, caring like a perceptive and powerful mother-figure.

What I recommend during this period of intense change is that everyone takes time to de-stress and touch base with reality: meditation, yoga and music (amongst others) are all non-toxic ways we can relax into our natural state of inner-peace.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Dance of Venus ~ Step 1 ~ The Heroine

Value systems are called into question as Venus, symbolic of all we cherish, is now slowing down in the sign of the Aries firecracker. On the 6th March Venus halts to go retrograde for a biblical 40 days and 40 nights, when the heavenly Aries Love Goddess changes the steps of her cosmic dance, from being the excitable evening star to that of a bright and rosy morning glow. (Venus traces out a five-pointed star in the heavens with this retrograde pattern, with five Sun/Venus conjunctions over 8 years).

Affecting all of us during this time are concerns about property, relationships, and self-image; so following Yogi Bhajan’s very Venusian 3 Rules for Prosperity will be our challenge (which Carolyn recently posted): 1) Always be kind 2) Always speak kindly of others 3) Always speak kindly of yourself. (Tougher to follow than you think!)

Reassessing the sometimes-childish and selfish ego with kindness demands more than the brute force of a dynamic personality – humility, courage, and a cause to compassionately campaign will show how Venus rewards those who rise to the challenge and emanate the cosmic love vibration. That this Venus retrograde period means slamming on the breaks to a speedy thrill-seeking approach towards love or looks, money or art, seems fitting in the run up to Easter, a festival of resurrection - the perfect time to assess our impact upon something else we couldn’t live without: planet Earth. Just as important: If, having landed somewhere due to an impatient ego (duh!), to learn that LOVE CONQUERS ALL makes it possible to forgive others and ourselves and move on. And celebrate International Woman’s Day on the 8th of March knowing that to imbibe indestructible feminine strength and wiles honours the feminine within, as well as all the glorious Venusian women we know or have known, and love.