Tag Archives: Feminism

Full Moon in Scorpio

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Full Moon at 27 Scorpio 2:11pm Pacific, Saturday May 18th. (Moon in it’s fall)
Mercury at 21 Taurus (no mercurial Magick until May 21st)
Mars at 2 Cancer (in it’s fall; no Mars Magick)
Venus at 1 Taurus (rulership; VERY strong)
Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto retrograde

It’s as intense as it sounds. Avoid social complications this weekend, and if they are unavoidable, keep calm and try not to create more of a crisis. That being said it’s also possible to deeply connect with a lover or companion. This is a weekend to go within and explore your own triggers, face your fears, swim through your own depths and rebirth yourself. Scorpio is a psychological sign, and the Full Moon will illuminate the depths of your psyche.

Mercury in Taurus wants to slow down and think in a practical way – but the energy of Mercury wants to flit about like a hummingbird. It’s a strange placement but not too terrible. Organize your possessions and negotiate at home and work. Gemini’s and Virgo’s might appreciate the focus on their material lives for another week.

Venus in Taurus is extremely well placed. Excellent month for creativity, money, relationships, sensuality, food and beauty. Taurus or Libra Sun (or Rising) people will feel centered now, and can make strides towards creating a thriving life. You guys are in your element. Bring more nature, romance, art and music into your life. Women will feel empowered, and the legislation to control a women’s body will probably fail miserably because of this placement.

Mars in Cancer means the planet is in it’s “fall” – it’s energy and expression is severely limited. Actions (especially attacks) will lack teeth and will fizzle out. It’s challenging to make headway when Mars is in Cancer, so focus on nurturing yourself and your home instead. With the North Node in Cancer right now, vulnerability and nurturing is highlighted. Express yourself respectfully. The actions of men are diminished with Mars in Cancer, and they need to seek out nurturing. Call your Moms ❤

The psychological depth of this Full Moon in Scorpio tomorrow, is further enhanced by Saturn and Pluto retrograding and conjunct through Capricorn. We are in the midst of deep, cathartic changes within ourselves, and outwardly in our society. This change will be in motion for the next couple of years, and will send us in a more mature and sustainable direction. We all need to take the focus off of others, or our outward experiences, and commit to doing our inner work. And with the North Node in Cancer, this inner work needs to happen in a loving and nurturing way.

Pluto brings up power struggles, catharsis, research, healing and our toxic energy. With Pluto’s power we can heal our toxic wounds and regenerate ourselves like the Phoenix.

Saturn wants us to grow up and face our problems like adults. It rules responsibility, discipline, commitment, stability, karma, and hard work. Face your fears and do the work you’ve been putting off. If you do this, Saturn will support you and give you the strength you need to move forward in your life.

 

 

 

Women of Age and Wisdom

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“Women get more beautiful as they grow older. Not less.
Female youth is only prized in modern culture because it doesn’t represent as much of a threat spiritually to anyone who is frightened of divine feminine power.
As women grow and mature, they call in stronger forces of sacred feminine wisdom. They vibrate with the creative power of their stories.
They are more of a force to be reckoned with.
They see more, know more, feel more. They put up with a lot less bullshit.
When women are trained into thinking there is something fundamentally wrong with getting older, and are coerced into spending money, energy and power investing in ‘slowing the signs of ageing’, an enormous vault of divine love is lost.
Just think what would happen if all the women in the world started loving themselves even more with every year that passed.
Perhaps a total revolution would occur.~”
~Yogesh Kumar

5 Powerful Lessons Arya Stark Teaches about surviving trauma

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Arya Stark from the series “Game of Thrones” has fascinated me from the beginning. Now that we are at the end, I’m going to miss this character and the show itself. There is a rich, diverse, cast of characters in GoT, but I’ve loved watching Arya’s growth from the horrifying trauma she survived as a young girl, to the incredible woman she has become. This article addresses that very issue, and I found it to be full of insights for everyone. There are definitely spoilers here, so watch Season 8 first!

Here are the main five:

1. Her heightened instincts and ability to sense danger with alarming precision

As a child, Arya is trained by Syrio Forel (Miltos Yerolemou) to be as “swift as a deer, quiet as a shadow, calm as still water.” She also learns that fear cuts deeper than swords. These are all lessons that will inevitably help her to defeat the Night King. Arya’s training with Syrio lays the crucial foundation for her sword-fighting abilities, but it is actually the dangerous incidents she is forced to confront head-on in everyday life that challenge and hone her ability to identify and navigate danger skillfully. It is in her life experiences after her initial training that give her the platform to utilize these lessons. From living on the streets of King’s Landing to fighting a trained assassin from Braavos while temporarily blind, Arya learns to defend herself against a variety of perpetrators even when she is just a child on the cusp of womanhood.
Many of us are familiar with the term “hypervigilance,” a state of hyper-attunement we can develop to our surroundings due to trauma. Arya develops it in spades as she learns to evade danger in every corner. Often, hypervigilance is seen as a negative symptom of trauma, but actually, there are times our heightened attentiveness can be useful for our discernment of someone else’s true motives and character. According to researcher Willem Frankenhuis, people who have been abused in childhood can develop what Dr. Michael Ungar calls “an uncanny ability to detect threats in their environment, an enhanced capacity to learn new things, and even improved memories when it comes to paying attention to parts of their environment that are the most relevant.”

As therapist Athena Phillips writes in a 2012 article for GoodTherapy:
“Survivors of trauma regularly inform me of what they experience as something akin to having superpowers. The capacity to feel things other people can’t, to identify either the goodness or inherent evil in someone just by looking at them, or to ‘predict’ interpersonal outcomes are some of the new-found abilities people have described. People who have experienced trauma often indicate that they are able to pick up on covert human behaviors, and there is a great deal of trust in their capacity to intuit. Oftentimes, these powers really do exist; survivors have developed a discriminating aptitude for picking up on environmental cues that may have significance to them.”

2. Her fragmented sense of identity and search for her true identity and wholeness.

Trauma creates fragments: It shatters the connection among memories, thoughts, emotions, and the self. Complex trauma survivors often find themselves confronting disparate inner parts that developed as a result of the traumas they endured; according to trauma experts, they must find ways to identify and integrate these parts in healthy ways in order to reach their true core calm and compassionate self. Much like any complex trauma survivor, Arya tries to escape the terrors of her childhood by taking on other identities and dissociating from her past except for her justified rage at those who murdered her family members. Arya’s need for vengeance ultimately creates a “protector self” that keeps her focused on a list of people she must kill rather than her true self and her grief.
Arya’s search for her own identity is also astutely represented by her brutal experiences at Braavos where she learns to become “no one” in her training to become a Faceless Man and assassin. There, she is beaten, terrorized, and challenged to fight back. Ironically, it is her journey to becoming no one that eventually leads her to own the fact that she is indeed someone. As she tells Jaqen H’ghar bravely and with conviction, “A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I am going home.” It is only when she integrates her darkness within her true self, recognizes her true power and strength from the traumas she has emerged from, that she decides she is going home. She goes home not just to her family but to herself.

3. Her post-traumatic growth and psychological self-mastery

As therapist Andrea Schneider notes shrewdly in her Game of Thrones blog series, characters who have endured trauma on this show can exhibit promising signs of post-traumatic growth, the positive psychological changes we benefit from after enduring adversity. While regaining a pre-trauma identity is next to impossible for characters like Arya, her post-traumatic growth is tremendous.
Not only does Arya learn to incorporate the life lessons of her trauma into her sword fighting and archery skills, she learns psychological mastery. She learns the art of resourcefulness even when she has nothing. She learns how to stealthily collect information (like when she does when acting as cupbearer to Tywin Lannister) to further her journey. She learns a great deal about patience, self-control, confidence, observing rather than reacting, and how to put herself in the mindset of her attackers and predators around her so she can anticipate what they will do—and can preemptively strike. As a result of her traumas, she gains wisdom and skill sets beyond her years, which many adults in the show are still struggling to obtain.
Arya has no explicit desire to be a leader or queen, but her ability to lead due to her experiences make her more fit for the throne than many others who seek it for personal power. It is her desire for justice, rather than power, that makes her unstoppable. Complex trauma survivors experience many of these same psychological benefits as they process, heal, and grow from their traumas. They can learn to navigate life with an increased sense of gratitude, fortitude, and develop a habit for making the best of their circumstances to create success and joy at an even more intense level than someone who has never been traumatized. As they heal, they have an incentive, drive, and determination that can far surpass that of the average person, as well as a greater sense of meaning.
It is only when Arya Stark integrates her darkness within her true self and recognizes her true power that she decides she is going home.

4. Her darkness has to be integrated in order to fully own her light.

Arya is a curious character in that she is not encouraged to forgive those who have wronged her or took the lives of her loved ones. That is what makes her one of the most phenomenal female characters on television: her darkness is not minimized or sugarcoated. It is recognized, along with her authentic outrage, in all of its unflinching glory. And skilled trauma therapists agree: forced, premature forgiveness can actually hinder a survivor’s journey because it invalidates how we really feel and does not give us the time or space to actually process our traumas.

Trauma therapist Anastasia Pollock puts it this way:
“The people I work with in the therapy room are resilient and courageous. They are able to work through their traumas, but many get caught up on one point: They believe they are supposed to forgive the perpetrator but can’t seem to get there. This is what I tell them: You don’t have to forgive in order to move on. Emotions are important and automatic. When we can acknowledge and appreciate even the darkest, most negative-feeling emotions, they often soften and release. As soon as I say, ‘You don’t have to forgive,’ the person usually breathes a sigh of relief.”

Unlike a woman who turns the other cheek and goes immediately into love and light without any kind of transformation beforehand, Arya turns to her sword, Needle, to deliver a much-needed message to perpetrators like Walder Frey (David Bradley). The North remembers, and so does she. She avenges her loved ones one by one, and when she does, we can’t help but cheer from the sidelines.
Although in real life this form of vigilante justice is unrealistic, not recommended and quite gory (none of us should be baking our enemies into pies—we’d have a more productive time processing our traumas in therapy), we learn an important lesson about trauma: it cannot be spiritually bypassed. Our so-called “dark” emotions must be acknowledged in order to fully own our true light. The outrage and rage we feel must be seen, heard, experienced, confronted and (while perhaps not shown on this show) healthily expressed in order to be healed. Whether Arya’s quest for revenge is misplaced is up for debate, but one thing is for sure: this young woman is not your typical depiction of a trauma survivor who forgives and forgets her way into healing. Yet her intense emotions are an all too real part of this journey.

5. Her resilience and strength would not be the same without her experiences.

While none of us would ever volunteer for the traumas we experienced, we can’t help but admit that we would not be who we are without them. We can still validate and honor the injustice of our traumas while acknowledging the internal resources and coping skills they granted us. Trauma can give us the strength and resilience of a sumo wrestler, and Arya is no exception. As whole families are killed, legacies wiped out, and kingdoms come under siege, Arya remains—one of the few survivors of her family. A weary traveler and warrior, she is forced to confront what no child should have to endure. But she does endure, and she is better for it.
At the end, it is this little girl who grows up to be the warrior woman—who ultimately conquers the darkness. No one expected her or saw her coming. Everyone underestimated her. And therein lies her greatest power. It was the traumas of her past that gave her the ability to defeat the Night King, to avenge her loved ones, and to protect her community. Complex trauma survivors, too, are capable of this same kind of resilience—and the ability to give back what they never received.
Arya is every little girl who grew up in terror and trauma. Who survives impossible situations through her resilience, grit, talent, and determination. Whose identity is previously in fragments, only to become whole as she comes into the woman she was always meant to be. And yes, she is truly ruthless when it comes to her enemies. Yet it is perhaps her ability to own her demons that make her even more powerful when she’s avenging her loved ones, enacting some sweet justice and saving the world. We can all learn life lessons about trauma from this brilliant, multifaceted and truly one of a kind character. She is all of us who have survived—and thrived.
This article originally appeared on Psych Central as “5 Powerful Lessons Arya Stark from Game of Thrones Teaches Us About Complex Trauma Survivors” 🔥

by Shahida Arabi: a bestselling author of three books on emotional abuse and trauma.

Aries New Moon Horoscopes

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New Moon in Aries TODAY at 1:50am. Aries is the first sign and rules the head. We are starting a brand new astrological year today; courage, creative inspiration, leadership and persistence are all highlighted in April. Let the spark of your soul expand and express itself.

Several planets are in a great position until April 19th! All of us can make real progress on important projects and plans. Take steady action on your dreams. Things will be getting tense at the end of April with Jupiter and Saturn going retrograde until August, so use today to spur you to action. Also, in June there will be a BIG, tense standoff between Mars in Cancer opposing Saturn and Pluto. NOW is the time.

The horoscopes below are written from the perspective of rising signs, but there are threads of meaning if you read for your Sun sign too. If you don’t know your rising sign, or ascendant, you can plug in your birth information here to find it.

Aries rising – New Moon in Aries today! Your ruler, Mars, is traveling through Gemini right now, making you strategic in your ambitions. Your dreams are achieved through communication with your social circle, so get out and network in your community. With Mars in Gemini, your brain is super-charged with passion and drive, so express it for all to see.

Taurus rising – You have an EXCELLENT Spring ahead of you! Your ruling planet, Venus, has moved into Pisces, which is her natural home. Venus expresses herself easily though Pisces (exalted), and this makes Taurus’s life flow smoothly. In fact, every sign is feeling this enhancement in matters of relationships, art, beauty, love and socializing.
Projects or jobs started now will make  good money down the road. Most important is for Taurus to live in reality and the truth.

Gemini rising – In a word, ACTION. With Mars in your sign it’s time for you to be self-propelled and decisive – which is challenging for a Gemini. It’s no longer enough to spin around in your head about things you want to do, you need to make a plan and stick to it. If you can do this, and stay in your truth, your life will positively expand. The universe is helping you do that for the next couple of months.

Cancer Rising – You are benefitted by the North Node (good luck and destiny) in Cancer for the next year or so. Fertility, creativity and vulnerability are all qualities that each sign can aspire to this year. The New Moon in Aries today is giving you a kick start towards fully expressing yourself without limits or judgement.

Leo Rising – The New Moon in Aries, Jupiter in Sagittarius, and your ruler the Sun (exalted in Aries) are all sending you some lovely, fresh energy to get your passions rolling out to the public. You are probably feeling some sparkly energy and excitement this month. Aries is asking you to get started on the dreams you’ve been sitting on all winter.

Virgo rising – Ugh. OK well things aren’t too bad, but you’re feeling a little untethered to the Earth. Your ruler, Mercury is still slogging through Pisces (detriment). Mercury doesn’t really dig being there, it’s too dreamy and unfocused. I advise to work on embracing your visions for the future, and network your future potential with other people. Mercury will be in Aries soon (in two weeks), and you will be ready to start taking real action.

Libra rising – The New Moon in Aries is supercharging your partnership sector – which includes lovers AND biz associates. It’s a difficult time to pin them down on anything because there’s so much energy in the air, but Mars in Gemini is a good mediator. Progress can be made by having a plan and talking it out.

Scorpio rising – Your svengali-type characteristics are currently super-charged with your ruler, Mars, abiding in Gemini. You are the great mastermind behind everything in your arena. That New Moon in Aries is motivating you to take action on things near and dear to your soul. It’s all about focusing that razor-sharp mind of yours towards daily goals.

Sagittarius rising – You value truth, honor and integrity, and Jupiter in it’s natural home in Sagittarius (exalted) is inspiring you with new philosophies about your identity. You’re feeling at home and centered with the new expansion of your world that started last December. The only issue right now is that things might come TOO easily. Remember to challenge yourself with things that you want but are not firmly in your grasp. Also, try not to gain too much weight. Jupiter in Sag increases everything, even your waistline.

Capricorn rising — You are currently expunging and purifying your past with Saturn, Pluto, and the North Node traveling together in Capricorn. At least Saturn (your ruler) is giving you tremendous stability and support! Saturn in Capricorn is in it’s rulership, and it’s energies of discipline, concentration, responsibility, ambition and focus are easily accessed. There might be some big challenges you’re facing; the only way forward is to evolve. The universe is asking you to release any unhealthy motivations around power and control, and to move towards vulnerability.

Are you standing up for yourself? Who has power over you? Who do you let have power over you? Saturn and Pluto this year are also revealing what we’re still holding onto that we can’t hold onto anymore.

Aquarius rising – Mars in Gemini is sending you some wonderful, fresh energy in your Creativity sector. Aim high and take action on bringing your Aquarius visions down to the earth plane. Your Spring is about socializing and networking your creativity ideas to your peers. If you’re able to do this you will experience positive movement.

Pisces Rising – Neptune (your ruler) in Pisces has you floating like a cloud while using your intuition to gain movement. Meanwhile, Jupiter squaring Pisces is keeping you grounded by offering up new philosophies about your identity. The Aries New Moon is keeping you focused on your spiritual beliefs – this is the way to illuminate the steps you must take to stay on your path.

 

Tarot artist, Pamela Coleman Smith

 

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“The Blue Cat” by Pamela Colman Smith, 1907, courtesy of Mary Greer

The Ryder-Waite-Smith deck was the deck I used to learn how to read tarot cards, and I think it remains as one of the clearest oracles available. The woman who initially painted the beautiful images on these cards, was Pamela Coleman Smith. She was a true free spirit, and highly talented artist. Here’s a fantastic new article about her life:

Pamela Colman “Pixie” Smith circa 1912
Iconic image from the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot that dates to 1909I never knew much about Pixie except that she was British and had died in obscurity; she never realized any financial security or status from illustrating one of the most popular items of printed ephemera in the world. This is largely due to the fact that the RWS Tarot was not widely distributed until circa 1970 when it was acquired by Stuart Kaplan of U.S. Games Systems, twenty years after Pixie’s death in 1951. In my news-feed last fall, I saw Tarot maven Mary Greer mention that she had collaborated on an in-depth biography of Pixie with Kaplan and some other writers. “Why not?” I thought. “Why not learn about one of the most influential artists in the Tarot tradition?”

Love it or hate it, the RWS Tarot defines what most people think of whenever the subject of Tarot cards comes up. Non-specialists may not be aware that the RWS had many historical predecessors and some noble competitors in its day. For the reason of its mass popularity alone, the RWS Tarot merits our interest and respect. When I was picking out an artist for The American Renaissance Tarot, I had Pixie’s straightforward illustrations strongly in mind. The modern trend in Tarot seems to be heavily embroidered fantasy-scapes, and yet Pixie’s bold outlines of figures in theatrical poses, set against two-dimensional backdrops, conveys the Tarot’s archetypes in a decidedly pure and direct manner. ”

Full article here

Number of Witches in U.S. may surpass 1.5 Million

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“Sword-back” By JH Williams III

That’s a LOT of witches! I’ve encountered a few different articles on this lately, and from my own research, it seems to be true. From an article in Quartz by Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz & Dan Kopf in October this year, “Although Trinity College hasn’t run a survey since 2008, the Pew Research Center picked up the baton in 2014. It found that 0.4% of Americans, or around 1 to 1.5 million people, identify as Wicca or Pagan—which suggests continued robust growth for the communities.”

I often hear, “are there enough healers, witches, magicians and artists on the planet to heal our society? Well it appears the numbers are climbing, and hopefully healing will spread along with it. 🙂

Source: The US witch population has seen an astronomical rise

“Though the data is sparse, what we do know is that the practice of witchcraft has seen major growth in recent decades. As the witch aesthetic has risen, so has the number of people who identify as witches.
The best source of data on the number of witches in the US comes from assessments of the Wicca population. Not all people who practice witchcraft consider themselves Wicca, but the religion makes up a significant subset, as Alden Wicker noted for Quartz in 2016.

Wicca is a largely Western religious movement that dates back to the mid-20th century in the US and UK. According to the site wicca.com, it’s a belief system informed by “pre-Christian traditions originating in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales,” that promotes “free thought and will of the individual, and encourages learning and an understanding of the earth and nature.

From 1990 to 2008, Trinity College in Connecticut ran three large, detailed religion surveys. Those have shown that Wicca grew tremendously over this period. From an estimated 8,000 Wiccans in 1990, they found there were about 340,000 practitioners in 2008. They also estimated there were around 340,000 Pagans in 2008.

Here’s another article I found with good information.