Greetings <<First Name>>!
Fate versus Destiny. I am frequently asked to describe the difference between the two, especially when I am speaking the language of archetypes. Fate is your lesser self, your ego. When you betray yourself and let fear or panic make decisions for you, you are acting from your ego. Destiny is knowing your authentic self and living symbolically - living responsibly and consciously. When a crisis occurs, we tend to look for logic (an ego reason) first. A greater aim in life is to see experiences symbolically.
The month of February is the one month of the year that we see the heart in abundance. We do not interpret the symbolism because it is obvious. But is it? Have you ever stopped to think about the connection between heart and love and what it means?
The heart is our life source. It is comprised of cardiac muscle in the center of our body, and it is what allows us to feel emotion. Because it is a muscle, we are advised to exercise and strengthen the heart in order to keep it healthy. In our culture we are not taught what to do with the animation in our bodies when we feel it from an experience we are having, especially if it is in the center of the body. The urge to numb ourselves from feeling the animation, whether it be pain or joy, is overwhelming, the numbing keeps the heart from connecting to the brain. That is not excercising the heart; that is strengthening the ego. When we do this, we are cutting off the transformation from Fate to Destiny. Our hearts thrive in Destiny; our egos thrive in Fate.
Our heart is our life source: our connection to all that was, all that is, and it is our truth. It is what keeps us alive – our truth. Feeling our emotions and connecting the dots in our experiences allow us to embrace what we go through with a bit more ease. Our heart invites us to stand in Grace as we embrace each experience and move from mindset (ego) to our hearts, where everything has value. This strengthens the heart. This is our Destiny – to not only know love, but also to experience it from our true, authentic selves. This symbolism is our heart.
So as you pass the many hearts you see this month, let them be a reminder to be true to your Destiny – to your Truth – to Your self. EXERCISE that muscle.
“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” - William Shakespeare
Happy BE-YOUR-OWN Valentine’s Day!!
With love and in gratitude,
THE LOVER ARCHETYPE
Symbolic Living Through the Lens of an Archetype
This archetype appears not only in those who are romantically inclined, but also in anyone who exhibits great passion and devotion. One can be a Lover of art, music, gardening, Persian carpets, nature, or needlepoint. The key is having a sense of unbridled and exaggerated affection and appreciation of someone or something that influences the organization of your life and environment. Although the Lover is present in everyone's life to some degree, as a personal archetype it needs to play a significant role in the overall design of your life and your self-esteem, which is its strongest link to your psyche. The Lover is connected to issues of self-esteem because this archetype is so strongly represented by one's physical appearance. Even if you have the Lover archetype prominently in your psyche, you may repress this pattern out of a lack of self-esteem, especially regarding your physical attractiveness.
The shadow Lover manifests as an exaggerated, obsessive passion that has a destructive effect on one's physical or mental health and self-esteem.
Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck
Charles Denner in The Man Who Loved Women (Truffaut version)
Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca
Jose Ferrer in Cyrano de Bergerac.
Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare.
Troilus and Cressida by Chaucer.
Stealing Heaven by Marion Meade (Abélard and Heloïse).
The Princess and the Frog
Beauty and the Beast
Pyramus and Thisbe (star-crossed Babylonian lovers described by Ovid, who commit double suicide)
Endymion (in Greek myth, a shepherd boy and mortal lover of the moon goddess Selene)
Hasu-ko (a Japanese girl who died of love for her betrothed, whom she had never seen)
Freya (Norse goddess of love and fertility and a symbol of sensuality, a lover of music, spring, flowers, and elves)
Guinevere and Lancelot (although Guinevere was married to King Arthur and Lancelot was one of his favorite knights, they pursued an affair that led to the eventual undoing of the Round Table).
Myss, Caroline. Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential
New York: Three Rivers Press, 2002, 2003: 396-97. Print.
A LOVER TESTIMONIAL
The Lover Archetype
by Keith Henderson
The Lover archetype appears to those with great passion, whether it be romantic or another great passion of the spirit.
The Lover archetype was shown to me in a journey through grief, as my heart was devastated, and then shown through love in various forms of how to be open once more. I believe that it is the Lover archetype that kept my heart open after a devastating loss in my own life: a loss that made me feel like I could not take my next breath much less laugh, smile, or have any joy at all in my life. But before long the Lover in me was able to love small things again: the beauty in a flower or a song. I have always had an appreciation for the outdoors. Now I take the time to truly look at a scene and take it in - in an even greater depth than ever before.
The Lover archetype was able to open my heart to more things, and the grief in my heart has healed. A passion for wind on water in the form of kiteboarding was born, where I see the beauty of nature and where my spirit can soar on a wave and a gust of wind. I have made several trips to South Padre Island, Texas. It is a place where kiteboarding conditions are ideal, and the winds are steady. On one recent trip, I was fortunate enough to have a true ocean-riding experience so rich that my body filled with a calm, loving feeling for the whole tapestry of the ocean. Waves splashed with the aerial glitter of sun on spray. The waves would lift me up, and the wind in the kite would pull me down the wave and then back up in a joyful dance of wind, water, and waves. This experience shared with friends was almost too much to feel all at once. It was like viewing the event in third-person perspective: Holy crap was that us? Did we just do that? The smiles on our faces lasted for days. Even now, recalling this day brings a huge smile to my face.
These trips have included great friends and my children. Kite adventures and simple quiet times have proven great therapy for my heart as well as for my children. On the water, with a kite pulling me to the sky and the rush of the water moving past my soul, I can feel whole and at peace with a love that, in that space, covers just about everything my mind can imagine.
The highs and lows of the Lover in me have expanded the window of how I experience all emotion with greater passion.
As my Lover’s journey continues, I am shown that my heart can be open to the possibility of loving and being loved once more. And for that, I am truly grateful to have the Lover archetype as part of my life-long journey.
IN MY EXPERIENCE
Using our "All Things Alchemical" Tools
An Interview with "All Things Alchemical" Contributor Yola Dunne
Tell us some fun facts about yourself ...
I write poems.
I do this thing with my fingers that makes it seem like they are made of rubber. It is kind of creepy, and kids love it. I learned to do this trick from a magic book I read as a child, and it is still providing good fun today.
I planted over 500,000 trees.
I love beach holidays, Cuban cigars, and kickboxing.
In seven words or less, tell us about yourself …
I am passionate, devoted, and kind.
What or whom first inspired you to do this work?
My healing work was first inspired by nature. I spent a lot of time learning about the ways of life as a child, and this love and passion grew as I noticed the world around me was made of not only physical matter but energy as well. This knowing sparked a life-long journey in the study of life, death, and healing. Writing poetry came to me much later in life, seemingly out of the blue. I treasure this art form as a grace.
What prompted you to begin your great mystical journey? Was there any one event that occurred?
What is the most significant shift thus far you have experienced by aligning with your truth?
Learning to see symbolically.
What brings you joy?
I find joy in many places: hummingbirds, being in my lover’s embrace, living my life simply and slowly, good music, meeting a friend unexpectedly, the beauty of nature, seeing people transform when given kindness and respect, my neighbor’s cat who visits regularly, and so much more...
Is there anything about Healing with Grace that you would like to share that most people, if they didn’t know this, would be missing out on a valuable tool to use in their life?
There are unlimited ways to heal. Have faith in your innate ability to heal, because human beings are naturally designed to seek balance and harmony. Let go of your expectations of what healing may be, because healing often comes in unexpected ways. Our rational minds are not equipped to understand the mystery of healing; so, leave that part to Grace. Trust yourself, your journey, your process. Healing is never done; it is a flower that blooms constantly. Even death can be the greatest healing; so, do not judge the way healing may come.
Smile. Life is Good.
Poetry Blog: www.poetry.yolaunlimited.com
by Yola Dunne
The Lover In Tarot
You captured my heart with the upmost humility
opening a door that leads to sacred love.
A part of me is afraid
I tremble like a shivering deer
in winter’s cold expanse.
The warmth you offer
calls me to you.
I am your lover,
and you, beloved
trigger my heart to expand
beyond the limitations of mind.
I still shiver in your presence,
so long have I longed for your love
to gently warm my soul.
In you I discover
the secrets of me.
Only divine love
can now ease my trembling.
And so I fall to my knees
no words I can find to express
the divinity I have found in you,
in our embrace
in our gentle surrender
to each other.
For it is in this surrender
that all life is made conscious of itself.
In this eternal beauty
true foundations are made,
vessels are built
to carry hope
in our hearts, and to the world.
We are ordinary people
living an extraordinary life.
In the stamina of the soul
comes the birth of a light so bright,
it dissolves all fear
in the soft embrace of a humble heart.
Oh sacred lover,
WISDOM FROM TAROT
Love, union, relationships, values alignment, choices
Disharmony, imbalance, misalignment of values
The sign associated with the Lovers is Gemini. The two figures in the Lovers card are blessed and protected by the angel in the clouds above them. Angels, in general, represent the refinement of earthly desires. This angel, in particular, is Raphael, the angel of Air. One of the associations of Air is communication, necessary for a healthy relationship. The purple cloak on the angel represents royalty, a symbol of how important communication is. The sun shines brightly over the couple, bringing warmth and security. The earth at their feet is green and fertile and suggests life and happiness. The five apples on the tree behind the woman represent the five senses, indicating how important sensual romance is to the woman. The snake in the fruit-laden tree behind the woman suggests the story of Adam and Eve, the fall of humanity from grace, and the temptations of the world. The snake is also a symbol of the senses. The flames behind the man represent the flames of passion, indicating the primary concern of the man. There are twelve flames, representing the twelve zodiac signs, the symbol of time and eternity. The man looks to the woman, who looks to the angel, indicating the path of the conscious to the subconscious to the super-conscious, or from physical desire to emotional needs to spiritual concerns. The mountain is a phallic symbol, while the water is a feminine symbol, indicating balance between the two.
Biddy Tarot http://www.biddytarot.com/tarot-card-meanings/major-arcana/lovers/ February 2013 Web.
WISDOM FROM ANIMALS
by Anne Barton
I thought I’d share a quick example of how I’ve used animal wisdom in my life. Last spring I was approaching a bench in a small park that is on my regular walking route. I sat down and out of the corner of my eye saw something small scurry across the path from one bush to another. It looked like a hamster to me – in size and shape – although I knew that’s not what it was. But it wasn’t a mouse or rat. I thought about what it could be – a gopher, a vole? And I told myself I’d look up both of those animals when I got home to see what message I might find. And then I promptly forgot. The next day, the exact same thing happened! I had not seen this critter before the previous day and have not seen one since. Seeing it for the second time was enough to make me remember to check my books right when I got home. I looked up Gopher; the message had to do with buying organic food and being conscious of the sustainability of the land and how what we eat and how we treat the land affects our world and us. Furthermore, it encouraged organic gardening. This was something I’d been thinking about trying for some time, but I’d just never taken the first step. So now I did. I bought some herbs, did some reading, and grew and used them in cooking all summer. It was so much fun and so rewarding!
This process involves having clear intentions AND paying attention to the nudges from Spirit, The Universe, God (insert your term). That higher energy will lead you to a feeling of joy, but you need to take actions that bring you joy.
Once again, this month I trusted in the Universe to tell me which animal’s wisdom to share. I knew we were celebrating The Lover as an archetype, and there are many animals that could provide wisdom relating to love and relationships. The card I randomly chose from my deck (although I don’t believe there is anything random about his process!) was Moose. For just a second, I questioned this choice, and then I refreshed my memory about what this animal stands for. I think you’ll find that it is very relevant to this month’s topic!
MOOSE/self-esteem, self-reliance, approaching love slowly
Share your joy
Know what to say, when to say it, and to whom
Encourage others; give recognition to those who help you
Feel good about your accomplishments
Monitor and appreciate your success and honor that of others
Use your power of intuition to make clear decisions
Moose is in her element on land and in water, physically designed with strong legs to propel her through powerful river currents to search out nourishment underwater. Zoologists believe Moose and Whale are descended from the same prehistoric source. These great beasts share an earth-mother intuition and the power of illumination. It is this intuitive power that will guide you to look within and find clarity about your path. This may happen through meditation, revealing the guidance you need to make crucial decisions.
With mother energy, nurturing others is naturally part of Moose’s gifts. However, it is equally important to nurture yourself. Use all of your senses to discern the choices that will best serve your path. Moose relies more heavily on smell and hearing over vision.
Moose energy is also about self-reliance. She doesn’t seek safety in the herd but defends herself and her calf with strong, effective kicks from sharp hooves. Our lesson is that through the experience of overcoming adversity we build self-reliance and develop character.
Moose expresses self-esteem in a number of ways. In his strong bellow, he expresses his feelings to a potential mate. His willingness to wait until that chosen female becomes receptive demonstrates patience and also reminds us that letting love develop in its own time builds trust and deep meaning. Moose’s bellow is also telling us that joy should be shouted with pride and that joy is “catching.” Moose is wise beyond his years and uses his gifts to encourage others to learn and grow.
In addition, confidence and wisdom are expressed when joy is experienced. There is no greater joy than in a job well done. This expressed joy is not a seeking of approval, but rather it is an enjoyment of sharing the spontaneous explosion of delight that comes from the deepest part of one’s being. The wisdom of recognizing accomplishment and taking the time to acknowledge it is a unique and powerful gift, which comes from a strong sense of self-esteem.
Works Cited & Resources
Green, Susie. Animal Wisdom: Harness the Power of Animals to Liberate Your Spirit.
London: Cico Books Ltd., 2005. Print.
Sams, Jamie, and David Carson. Medicine Cards. New York: St. Martin’s
Press, 1988, 1999. Print.
WISDOM FROM ASTROLOGY
Mars and Mercury in the Sign of Aquarius
By Vidya Dasi
In this new year we are still experiencing the benefic aspect of exalted Saturn in Libra.
For the next year and one half we can learn so much from this position, which only occurs every 27 years. Since Rahu and Saturn are conjunct for the next year, Saturn will particularly give us wisdom to deal with our obstacles in life and will help us to recognize the places in our lives where we are illusioned. Exalted Saturn gives us the determination, ability to work hard, and the introspective abilities to heal and cure these illusions in our lives, our difficulties with authority figures, and our inabilities to deal with obstacles in a straightforward and positive way.
Besides the Saturn/Rahu conjunction, we are also experiencing the temporary conjunction of Mars and Mercury in the sign of Aquarius, which will influence us until the beginning of March. This conjunction of the fiery passionate Mars with the airy intellectual Mercury brings intelligence and sensitivity to Mars while Mercury suffers from the association. All of us will probably find that we are much more communicative than usual and we will have to guard against angry outbursts and controversies.
Your impulsivity will increase this month and you must endeavor to finish some of the many projects you start. It is a good time for independent thought and we will probably all feel braver than usual, but we could simultaneously lack self-confidence.
Because the nervous system, which is ruled by Mercury, will be feeling constant pressure from the fiery aspect of Mars, meditation will help keep us calm as will exercise, yoga, and eating carefully.
You will be fascinated by intellectual, communicative lovers. Finding the good in others should be practiced this month. Our problem-solving abilities will be heightened but we need to take the time to think things through thoroughly. As these two planets are in the sign of Aquarius, we will have the opportunities to find solutions to old issues or issues of old age. We will feel passionate about our work and there may be some new ideas on how to make money or refinance projects, which are already underway. We will endeavor with gusto and must guard against obsessive thinking. Well thought out investments could prove successful. Our popularity could increase but we must be careful of our intense attraction for the opposite sex.
If Aquarius rules the first house in your Vedic chart, the Mars/Mercury conjunction will make you particularly talkative and feeling passionate about self-realization practices. There should be new possibilities that present themselves in your career, but you must be especially attentive to over reacting and over-zealousness. You may be inclined to spend more time and money on bodily self-improvements
If Aquarius rules the second house in your Vedic chart, the Mars/Mercury conjunction will increase your anxiety about finances and you must be careful not to borrow more than you should. There will be, however, greater opportunities or ideas on how to make more money. You may devise new plans for using your voice and finding ways to speak your truth. You must guard against sudden outbursts and sudden spending especially on clothes and objects of beauty. New ideas for earning money may appear but must be carefully considered before initiating them.
If Aquarius rules the third house in your Vedic chart, the Mars/Mercury conjunction will make you courageous and enthusiastic in your communications. You may be flooded with desires and ideas for attaining those desires. You will be very busy and may take many short trips. It would be good to utilize some of your extra energy in artistic expressions. Making donations to your favorite charity would increase the likelihood of success in attaining your own desires. Be cautious in your communications and think through your ideas before presenting them.
If Aquarius rules the fourth house in your Vedic chart, the Mars/Mercury conjunction will make you very enthusiastic to improve your living situation. You may feel discontent with where you live and be filled with ideas on how to improve it or change it. Do not make any rash decisions but wait until the conjunction passes at the beginning of March when you will be more thoughtful. There may be some feelings of general discontent, which can be utilized to establish some productive processes of meditation and/or self-realization to make you happier over time.
If Aquarius rules the fifth house in your Vedic chart, the Mars/Mercury conjunction will make you attracted to athletics. You will have many ideas on how to invest your time and money but should wait until the conjunction passes at the beginning of March to become more realistic and thoughtful about these ideas. Profound ideas may present themselves. Your passion for children or your children will be intensified. You will be especially spontaneous. You must be especially careful of your health, as your nervous system will be taxed more than usual. Great opportunities for romantic interludes may present themselves.
If Aquarius rules the sixth house in your Vedic chart, the Mars/Mercury conjunction might make you especially controversial. Instead you can utilize your greater intelligence to understand that every experience and person with whom you come in contact has some significance for you. You will feel passionate about food and distributing it. You must expect more worry and/or overwork. Meditative and physical practices will help immensely as will concentrating on doing selfless service for others.
If Aquarius rules the seventh house in your Vedic chart, the Mars/Mercury conjunction may make your business partnerships and marital partnerships suffer. It can also increase your attraction for them and bring new ideas on how to improve these relationships. You must use your intelligence to filter your communications with partners particularly. Wait until this conjunction passes at the beginning of March before you make any definitive changes.
If Aquarius rules the eighth house in your Vedic chart, the Mars/Mercury conjunction may present some financial difficulties and you must be careful not to be reckless and overspend. You also must be more cautious when you travel and drive more carefully. You may find yourself more distracted and stressed than usual. Ideas for healing yourself and others will be prevalent and you may be able to apply some of these ideas for yourself as well as for others.
If Aquarius rules the ninth house in your Vedic chart, the Mars/Mercury conjunction makes you feel forceful about your beliefs. You must be careful not to be cruel or too forceful. You may have difficulty concentrating. There may be some possibility for publishing and/or inquiring deeply into philosophical issues. You may receive some acknowledgement and you may make a long trip. You will not be able to discriminate and must not travel in a passionate way.
If Aquarius rules the 10th house in your Vedic chart, this Mars/Mercury conjunction will make you mentally exhausted. You must be careful not to make any rash decisions about your career. New ideas will predominate but you should wait until after the beginning of March to initiate these. You must guard against impulsivity especially in your career and not be too forceful. You may experience some insult in your work but also may expect the possibility of some increase in possibilities as well. You will be very goal oriented.
If Aquarius rules the 11th house in your Vedic chart, this Mars/Mercury conjunction will make you very courageous and you may experience fulfillment of your desires and wishes. It is possible that you will have some disappointments and contentions with friends. Try not to be impatient with them. The possibility of linking with influential people is there and you must apply your intelligence to cultivating those relationships. Be cautious as you may be filled with wild dreams and schemes. Wait until the beginning of March to put these into practice.
If Aquarius rules the 12th house in your Vedic chart, this Mars/Mercury conjunction will make you passionate about meditative practices. Do not spend too quickly. You will be attracted to others sexually. It is a good time to exert your passionate energy on serving others and doing charitable deeds. It is not a particularly good time to make long distance trips.
I am willing to map your Vedic Astrological chart for a nominal fee (to cover my costs) of $25. If you email me the following information, I will mail your chart to you:
I think this will really help you follow the information I provide each month. As you can see, I am getting more specific about the planets in YOUR chart.
birth date with year
Until we meet again……... Vidya
WISDOM FROM YOGA
In contrast to last month’s archetype, which focused on the commoditization of love, this month we get to reflect on love in its pure expression.
This is a favorite topic of the yogi, who could be said to regard himself as the cosmic lover – constantly yearning for and cultivating his own personal love affair with infinity.
While some yogis consider this relationship to the divine to be a purely internal experience, others – specifically certain types of tantric yogis – prefer to integrate it into their embodied, external life. Often, this takes the form of cultivating love and appreciation for our surroundings and the people around us, a sort of pantheistic global crush. In other cases, it involves transmuting a human relationship into a manifestation of cosmic love.
Don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of “traditional” yogis – complete with robes and slokas – who would tell you all human relationships are mere distractions from the only true love: that of an individual soul for its universal source. But they are mostly taking their cues from Shankaracharya, a solemn and austere intellectual who lived a couple thousand years ago and was ridiculed even then for his stuffy attitudes towards sex and relationships.
The tantric lineage of Dattatreya bears just as strong a claim to authenticity as that of Shankaracharya, but it contains a radically different approach to worldly love. Of course, there are plenty of tantric yogis whose views are indistinguishable from Shankaracharya’s. They believe that divine love can only be experienced by transcending the mundane world. But there are others (perhaps even a majority) who are convinced that it is attainable right here and now.
The key to manifesting divine love (with its indivisible nature) on this physical plane (with its essentially atomistic character) is to cultivate a state of consciousness in which duality and unity are experienced simultaneously. That’s a difficult concept for our analytic mind to grasp, but it is an experience that many tantric practitioners have reported.
It’s a similar concept to that of the yin yang – a dual polarity which merges to create an overall harmony. The unity exists in the balance created by the two poles, yet that balance could not exist were it not for the duality of the poles. For the tantric yogi, yin and yang are replaced by Shakti and Shiva, and the relationship is subtly different. Yet the essential concept of polar unity remains.
There’s a lesson for our relationships here. Love between two people requires that differences be preserved. For a relationship to remain intimate, and for that intimacy to aspire to divinity, the two partners must embody separate poles. We can call those poles masculine and feminine, as long as we don’t thereby make the false inference that you always have to have one man and one woman, or that the man must always occupy the masculine pole and the woman the feminine.
Nor do the masculine and feminine poles match our societally constructed gender roles. For the tantric yogi, the masculine pole represents pure consciousness, awareness, and appreciation, while the feminine pole represents free-flowing love, creativity, and playfulness. This has nothing to do with bread-winners and housewives.
There’s lots more to discuss here, but let’s leave it at this. The yogi’s life involves a fundamental desire never to drop into the “friend zone” with respect to all that animates existence. Whether this pulse of life is conceived of as a personified deity, a vivifying internal force, or a potent spirit present in all of creation, the yogi directs his deepest efforts towards making constant love to that force. If you want to know why yogis always look so smug and contented, there’s your answer.
This month's recipe ...
Chicken for Two
from Alexandra Topp
Optional: Italian breadcrumbs or Panko breadcrumbs to top each chicken breast
2 chicken breasts
6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
Set oven to 350 degrees.
Place each chicken breast into a small baking dish that has been sprayed with a cooking oil, to help avoid having the chicken stick to the dish.
In a bowl mix the yogurt, seasoning and cheese.
Place half of the mixture on each chicken breast.
Lastly, top with breadcrumbs if you wish.
Place dish in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.