How often have you heard even well-seasoned spiritual seekers declare with resignation, "Oh, I'm that way because I'm an Aries/Leo/Scorpio. . .", as though they were destined to be the way they are without any hope of change? While it is true that our astrological signs will be our constant companions throughout our lifetime, we are not puppets to the qualities of those signs.
Astrology gives us an "owner's manual" for our psyches. It is like a map of life that alerts us to detours, shortcuts and scenic overlooks. Our birth chart does not lock us in or condemn us with "bad" traits. By the same token, a "good" chart does not mean we coast through life. Astrology reveals our tendencies and potentials. We can grow and overcome difficult aspects of our personalities that are spelled out in our chart. In fact, those traits are there because our soul is longing to overcome them. Our birth chart also illuminates positive traits, but we must be fully aware of them and put them into action. It would be like having a wide screen TV and never plugging it in!
The study of astrology gives us a clear picture as to what parts of the personality need to be shifted and adapted in order to be best prepared for the opportunities ahead. We are in control of our destinies when we take charge of how we approach and meet with the circumstances life is offering us. Also, there is no magical time that will fix our lives. We need to work with the energies at hand in order to improve ourselves.
By combining understanding of astrology with meditation, we can release inner blocks and increase our potential, no matter what our sign or circumstance. Each corner of the zodiac has its constructive traits and its challenging features. We can use the strength of our signs to pole-vault over the limitations inherent within each one.
In an enlightened view of astrology, we are not bound by the limitations of our signs, yet we experience them. It is important to find ways to transcend them in order to harness higher possibilities. Although the sun sign is very powerful, if you know your moon and rising sign, those suggestions will be helpful, too.
Meditation is a powerful step in accessing new levels of awareness. It is a way of surrendering to the wisdom of the soul while also taking effective actions. It enables the soul to function more fully and clearly to accomplish its chosen mission on the planet!
Aries (March 21 – April 19) — You are a bold pioneer who takes the lead and seizes opportunities when they are presented before you. At the same time, you are prone to rush through life and overlook many blessings in your world. Your spiritual exercise is to sit in a quiet place with one raisin. You are going to eat this one raisin slowly and carefully. First, look at it. Contemplate how it once was a grape, with a different color, texture, shape and taste. Ponder the transformation process the little fruit has undergone. Observe all the patterns and wrinkles. Now you can put it in your mouth. Feel the wrinkles on your tongue. Try to taste it without biting it. Finally, begin to chew the raisin slowly and thoughtfully.
As an Aries you need to learn to savor the moment. Let life reveal itself to you, rather than bounding along recklessly. Transforming your impulsiveness into prudence will combine with your courage to make you a more effective, respected leader.
Taurus (April 20 – May 20) — You are loyal, but you are also held back by the past. It is possible for you to be open to fresh possibilities while retaining the integrity of your values. Begin with this active meditation. Go through closets, drawers, curio shelves and throw out items that no longer represent who you are. If you are going to give these things away, do it within a week or toss them. Do this spiritual exercise once every 3-6 months. Taureans tend to hang onto objects that represent the past. This habit can inhibit internal growth. Once the out-dated material objects have been released, it will be easier to cleanse your inner self.
Sit quietly and make a list of thoughts about your worth and personal value. Topics could include money, career, body image, jealousy and inferiority issues, or limiting ideas of another person. Examine the lists carefully. Bring these ideas into meditation. How long have you been thinking these things? Who first instilled the thoughts — what were the circumstances? Are these thoughts helpful or harmful? In the comfort of inner silence, you can release the old. At the some time you can plant the seeds of new thoughts that will build upon your past efforts and bring you to greater levels of future accomplishments.
Gemini (May 21 – June 20) — You know quite well how your mind is both a blessing and a curse. However, your mind is your servant, you are not its slave! Attempt quiet meditation in a regulated way — same place, same time of day and length of duration. Still your mind by using a simple mantra. Pick one word or a short phrase — or even just observe your breath. Your mind will go crazy, but be patient and gently return to the mantra. Don't philosophize about why your mind races. Think of training a puppy to go on a newspaper. You are housebreaking a puppy! Put the puppy on the paper, the puppy jumps off the paper, put the puppy back on the paper, and over and over. Believe it or not, this IS the practice of meditation. You're doing it! Be patient and loving with your mind, as you would be with a little puppy. Don't get discouraged — it WILL get easier!
In conversations, resist your tendency to interrupt, interject or "chime in". Listen intently and maintain eye contact. Keep your mind focused on what the person or people are saying. Apply your new-found patience and set your hasty conclusions aside. Let the speaker's story unfold to you without rushing the process in your mind.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22) — The sign of Cancer represents the Divine Mother. Study goddesses and choose one you resonate with. Visualize yourself in her arms. Drink in the safety and peace you feel. Be aware of the nurturing presence that constantly enfolds you. When you feel comfortable, see your mother in her arms, and then your father. They are her dear children too. Feel the forgiving power of love flow into you as you hold this image in your mind.
Next, think of anyone you feel desperately needs your help and see that person in her arms. Focus on knowing the person's needs are already satisfied by the Divine Caretaker. You are supporting their wholeness, not creating it. Any assistance you give is a mirror of the blessings they already contained in their soul. Remember this truth for yourself, when you are tempted to react out of a fear of lack and neediness.
Leo (July 23 – Aug 22) — Meditate until you radiate! Sit quietly and focus on what makes you joyous, excited and alive! Visualize yourself doing those activities and achieving those goals. Carry that feeling thought your day and begin tangible steps to accomplish your heart's desire. It may also help you to sunbathe as you meditate. In the winter, use a full spectrum light bulb to keep in a positive frame of mind.
Leos have a great desire to robustly participate in life. If your light isn't shining, see what part of your life is dragging you down. A happy, fulfilled Leo is a blessing to the world. Access your ability to draw others out of their fear and anxieties so they can enjoy life. An unhappy Leo is often domineering and bitter, so it isn't selfish for you to "follow your bliss".
Virgo (Aug 23 – Sept 22) — Meditate and quiet your mind. This will be a difficult task, since your mind is so active. It would help you a lot to listen to a tape of nature sounds — or to even be out in nature listening to birds, crickets or the wind through the trees. Be gentle with yourself when the inevitable thoughts come in. Don't criticize yourself. Instead, see the thoughts as clouds drifting by, or as ocean waves approaching and receding.
After your quiet time, spend the entire day without saying one critical thought about a person, situation, or yourself — even in humor. Find the overlooked perfection in your life. Practice seeing the beauty and precision of how things are in the moment — not how they would be if they were different.
Libra (Sept 23 – Oct 22) — When you are trying to make a decision, look at the facts objectively. Don't base choices on feelings and drama. One fool-proof technique is to make a pros and cons list. One piece of paper is divided into pros and cons if you take the action — use another sheet for the pros and cons of not taking the action. Next, read each list in the mirror as if it were six months after you made the choice. Pretend you're talking to a trusted friend. You'll see the answer in your own eyes.
When you want to change your mind as you invariably will, re-read the lists and ask yourself if the facts have changed — if they haven't, then why would you change or doubt your original decision? This exercise will help you develop the courage to look at things without denial, excuses or sugar-coating.
Scorpio (Oct 23 – Nov 21) — It is crucial to learn to release deep resentments through some kind of forgiveness meditation. It is not weak to forgive! Please understand that long-held fury depletes you physically, emotionally and spiritually. Pridefully retaining negative memories does nothing to empower you. By freeing yourself from resentment, you also energetically free the one who wronged you so they can behave more positively toward you in the future.
A healthy forgiveness process includes meditation on all aspects of the relationship or situation — the good things, the unfulfilled desires, the things that enraged or disappointed you. By extracting the roots of your hatred, jealousy and negativity, you will be changed and strengthened in ways that surprise both you and others.
Sagittarius (Nov 22 – Dec 21) — Do some research about the mystical meanings of animals, perhaps in a book about Native American spirituality. Pick an animal with whose myth and symbolism you resonate. Consider this your totem or power animal. Sit in meditation with an actual photo of the animal, or an image of the animal in your mind. Let the animal speak to you about the blessings it has for you. Try to stick with one species so your subconscious can reveal the depth of the energy of that creature.
If you like outdoor activities, go mountain climbing, hiking, skiing or horseback riding and use this meditation while in a quiet, secure and scenic nature area.
Capricorn (Dec 22 – Jan 19) — Center your daily meditations on praising yourself. No matter what flaws you think you have or grievous acts you feel you have performed, think of the goodness, courage and helpfulness that is buried somewhere within your (usually needless) guilt. You know you mentally harass yourself most of the day about your shortcomings. You've got to begin to rid yourself of severe self-criticism. It is vital to carve out at least five minutes each day — every day — to dwell on your wonderfulness!
Aquarius (Jan 20 – Feb 18) — Make a list of your vulnerable points. Write down things that embarrass you about yourself — bad habits, addictions and parts of yourself you dislike. Meditate on each of these items. Visualize them as cracks in a wall, or windows in a fortress. See light coming in through these broken points. Ponder the thought that these holes are your ticket out of isolation. They are your connection with the outside world of Love. Let yourself cry as you release self-judgment. Self-love and acceptance will wash over you as these previously shameful traits become your priceless treasures. Even though you're a "people person", as an Aquarian you need to work on intimacy. Take this meditation to heart!
Pisces (Feb 19 – March 20) — Examine your mind for victim consciousness. Are you taking responsibility for your emotional reactions? Make a list of problems that overwhelm or frighten you. Rather than crying out, "Why me?", meditate upon each issue with the thought, "How can I change myself in order to dig up the roots of this situation?" Remember that you have the ability to master your reactions to these circumstances — and when you are in control of your reactions, the circumstances themselves will change. As a Pisces, you focus too much on feeling, and not doing. So asking, "What is the solution?" is a breakthrough! Continue to feel, deeply and honestly — then ask your inner guidance how to re-direct that emotion into a constructive action. Remember, you are infinitely more powerful that you think!