Long distance Hiker Emma (Grandma) Gatewood’s Soul Astrology Chart – Post #1

grandma gatewood natal 0 Aries rising
Time of birth is Unknown ~ Chart is cast natural houses; 0° ARIES Rising

Time of birth is unknown according to her granddaughter (per Bette Lou Higgins, author of a book about Grandma Gatewood and an upcoming PBS Special called Trail Magic).  Therefore, I have cast a chart with the natural houses, 0° ARIES Rising.  It shouldn’t be too difficult to rectify this chart sometime in the future which will be my next project as time permits.

Grandma Gatewood hiked the 2,000+ miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine for the first time at age 67. Then she did it twice more and after that the 2,000 mile Oregon Trail followed by many other hikes!

Her life was phenomenal and by all accounts Continue reading

The Nature of the Mind – The Nature of Reality – The Fascinating Study of Enlightenment and the Karma of Ego

nature of the mind

This is IT for me, you know?  Contemplating the nature of the mind and reality makes it all bearable.  No.  Not right.   Much more than bearable; it makes life a total celebratory event.

You see, we all think (or feel) that we have our own personal single mind that is so very real because it experiences and recognizes things.  Yet, how often (if ever) do we stop and examine those experiences that the mind thinks are so real?  Break them apart, open them up, see what’s there at the core–do people do that?

Trauma or crisis can help us contemplate this type of thing (or not)–happiness too; any intense experience.   Many times doing that drives us to addictive distraction instead of some level of enlightenment and joy.  But if we really examine the experiences that the mind is having and we do so carefully, and we really contemplate this experience that this mind has and we look for that mind that has this crisis or happy experience, we cannot find a single thing!  Not one single thing but a blend of many components that we call “consciousness’.    It’s NOT YOU!

Here’s what I mean–there is no solid mind or self at the core of the experience or no real experience-ER.  I know, it sounds crazy if you’ve never thought about it but give me a chance to explain.

Consciousness has many various components–parts!  You know like a car, a vehicle has many components, parts–engine, tires, frame, door and so forth.  Is not our mind and our consciousness the same?  Consciousness has awareness of visual objects (forms, shapes, colors) and then there is awareness of sound, touch (tactile consciousness), taste consciousness and all these are separate parts or functions of the mind.  It’s like the car analogy–separate parts, gas tank, gas pedal, speedometer, steering wheel and so forth.

Consider the experience of anything for a moment–it doesn’t have to be crisis or trauma.  Anything.  Happy experience let’s say.  If we consider that each type of consciousness recognizes a particular field of experience (sound awareness or consciousness recognizes sound and visual consciousness is aware of shapes and colors of forms)… if we consider this as part of any experience we see that each of the types of consciousnesses function in an independent way from the others.

So the mind is a blend of consciousnesses and not one single unit or not one single, unitary thing.  Rather it is a compound object just like the car, the vehicle.

There are said to be six consciousnesses and in some books I’ve read there are eight.  And one of those eight include the consciousness which clings to the notion of EGO or “I”.  And another consciousness that is part of what we think of as “me” is called ground consciousness — and I wrote about this a week or so ago.  

The ground consciousness  stores information from all other levels of consciousness and accumulated past lives.  You can see how this level of mind would easily support the idea of an individual identity called “me”.  It would seem so ‘real’ but it is a grouping of consciousness; a grouping of experiences.

To explain further, it is fairly easy to grasp that the visual consciousness perceives objects–that’s the potential of the visual consciousness.  If you look at a red cloth, you see red.  If you look at snow on a mountain, you see white.  We are able also, quite obviously, to see things in succession–first seeing one thing and then the next with one thing disappearing and the next thing appearing in consciousness.  So visual consciousness is multiple and successive and has the potential to see many things at once and so is not single or solitary or one thing.  Nor is it one single solitary unit of time.

strawberry fields foreverEven if we could isolate a single solitary unit of time, it would only occur within the framework of ongoing consciousness because awareness is never static–its fluid.  So every moment has to relate to a previous moment and a future moment—meaning, it is not any more singular than we ourselves are.  The future moment is the present being the past in relation to it.  Yeah, I know that last sentence is pretty deep; but the point is that time is not solid, solitary and static and neither is consciousness and neither are we!  

There is no single unit of identifiable reality in either the external world of appearances or in the subjective mind.  Even space does not have a fundamentally real, inherent existence. Space is not a compound, and does consist of various parts like the car or like our mind.  Space is not a thing–it seems to exist but it is the negation of a particular appears of anything else.  Even the space in a room only exists because of the walls–take away the walls and the space that you thought existed in the room is not there and only depended upon the walls around it to appear as if it existed.

So the whole point in this blog post brings me to the point of liberation–even if I can’t fully understand it all in a way to describe it in words; in an experiential way I’ve known this truth from meditation…   it’s all true.

For example, in a contemplative meditation last evening, I tried to find… well, I asked, “Where is Joy?  Where am I located?”  It took less than a nano-second to realize I’m not my body and once you get past that basic truth, look for the location and you will find it’s everywhere!  And now here!  and nowhere!

And this, my friend, helps me to chill-ax (chill out and relax) and to see the humor in it all…. appearances are empty forms!  And again, quoting the Beatles once more, in the Strawberry Fields song, “Nothing is real; and it’s nothing to get hung about.”  

DEDICATION:  May this post help another in a way that is in divine order when they come upon this post–for this is my true intent in writing it today!  

The Grand Cross April 2014 It’s a Season of Astrological Weather and Everyone’s Affected

astrological weatherPeople with natal (birth) planets in CARDINAL SIGNS (Aries/Libra, Cancer/Cap) that are close to 15° in their birth chart are going to be most affected personally by this months intensification of the Cardinal Cross.

I’m one of those lucky folks (rocking my 2nd house); it is the same with my oldest daughter.  In another daughter’s chart, it’s hitting her natal Pluto and NN combo and yet another daughter has the grand cross really affecting the area of her Ascendant; so all of  my daughters are being affected by this grand cross because their natal houses have planets in those signs at those approximate degrees, just like mine.

I have to cringe a bit when other people shrug, smile and say something like, “I don’t think astrology works for me–because in my life things are rolling along just fine and actually better than ever, thank you”.    They probably don’t have natal planets in in those degrees in those signs, but everyone is going to be affected in some way, if not so personally, on a community, city, state, national or global level. 

And if your personal life is not deeply affected, it may be affected by someone else’s life who “is” deeply affected personally by this grand cross energy–in which case, you are still impacted in some way. I’ve always admired the way astrologer Steve Forest drives the point home with words.  In his recent newsletter, he wrote:  “Push comes to shove. Breaking points are reached. Crisis reigns. Squares and oppositions are exactly like the sound your engine eventually makes when you’ve decided to ignore the little red oil light on your dashboard. And the reasons are exactly the same: at squares and oppositions, bad behavior catches up with us. The law of consequences reigns.”

I’m not sure its all ‘bad behavior’ like Steven says; but then, he’s more of a master of astrology and myself the apprentice.  I think karmic situations are triggered–certainly and cause us to “work on our stuff” because that crisis energy helps us to see ourselves more clearly.  The cardinal energy is pretty stubborn stuff in our psyches’ and sometimes a bit of a crisis helps to move things along where we may have held on or been resistant.  It can move things along in a very positive way.

Maybe it’s the optimist in me but I can see that’s exactly what is happening in my life–moving things along in a direction that I’d not have (without that crisis push) taken.  But the direction is positive–or that’s how it looks from this point in time anyway.

DESCRIBING THE FEEL OF THE ENERGY:  Cardinal energy goes outward and then withdraws taking two steps forward and one step back and I must say that’s how a lot of energy in my own life has felt–very cardinal!   The energy sort of reaches out for freedom and then steps back for security and containment. AND with cardinal energy there can be a lot of projecting onto others instead of being responsible for one’s own emotions.  Holding other people responsible for one’s own happiness is an example of projection.

Using Steven Forests’ example of the red oil light on the dashboard you ignore right before you “blow a rod” and destroy your engine…. let’s say that if you’re in bumper-to-bumper traffic and somebody else’s light comes on in their dashboard, their engine cuts out and doesn’t restart, you’re going to be affected anyway–maybe not directly, but indirectly.  AND, I might add, in a way that’s in divine order for you too!   The universe is magical that way–everybody gets what they need to evolve in one way or another.

Astrology can be vastly complicated or quite literal and simple.  There’s so much to be said about the dynamics of the Grand Cross and it has been — just Google the term.

I like the way Steve Forest puts it all.  Why re-invent the wheel (especially when I’m supposed to be packing right now–best get at it, chop! chop!)

Therefore, I refer you to Steve’s newsletter for more.