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The Importance Of Making Compassionate Corporations

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Pradeep B. Deshpande is Professor Emeritus and a former chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Louisville, a visiting professor of Management at Gatton College of Business & Economics at University of Kentucky and founder, president and CEO of Louisville-based Six Stigma and Advanced Controls, Inc. (SAC).

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He has done some important research that has compassion, love, cooperation and understanding as the core for world transformation. He recently reached out to Collective Evolution and we agreed to share his work with the world, so check it out: Internal Excellence Boosts Business Performance.

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At the conclusion of his first interview with the New York Times (21 February 2014), Satya Nadella, the newly appointed CEO of Microsoft remarked, “One of the things I am fascinated about generally is the rise and fall of everything, from civilizations, to families, to companies. We all know the mortality of companies is less than human beings. There are few examples of even 100-year old companies. For us to be a 100- year-old company where people find meaning at work, that is the quest”.

The scientific framework for individual, organizational, national, and world transformation this author has developed in recent years is the path forward to realize Mr. Nadella’s vision. Rise and decline of civilizations follow certain natural laws the author articulated over two decades ago. However, there is nothing in these laws to suggest that with deliberate intent, emerging nations such as India cannot rise faster, or nations currently in decline such as Greece cannot change direction, or for that matter, developed nations such as the United States cannot keep decline at bay longer. Furthermore, these laws apply to populations at large placing no limit whatsoever on an individual aspiring to rise to the highest level possible for a human being regardless of where on the rise and decline curve his or her civilization happens to be. These ideas extend to companies as well.

Excellence comprises of two components: Excellence of the external and excellence of the internal (the definitions are at the end of the article). It is essential for companies aspiring for long term excellence to embrace both. One without the other is insufficient. The US-developed six sigma framework is the wherewithal for the excellence of the external while ancient Indian wisdom is the home of the excellence of the internal. So powerful is the phenomenon of rise and decline that the very culture who has understood it for millennia, is unable escape its effects.

Until recently, the author had maintained six sigma was the only way for individuals, organizations, and nations to emerge as their best. This assertion is only partly correct. Strong evidence has become available which suggests that in the absence of internal excellence, six sigma performs (for that matter, any other quality initiative be it TQM, Kaizen, Lean, CMM Level 5, Balanced Score Card, etc.) will fall far short of expectations. Put it another way, in the presence of internal excellence, six sigma programs will lead to exemplary performance. By extension, the absence of both components of excellence is an invitation of disaster.

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In the following paragraphs three examples are presented to substantiate the claim of a strong link of internal excellence to exemplary performance: (1) Mumbai’s Dabbawallahs, (2) The 2013 Kumbh Mela, and (3) Gamarra Businesses of Lima, Peru.

1. Mumbai’s Dabbawallahs. They are an internationally-renowned group of 5,000 lunchbox delivery boys reportedly with an average eighth grade education who deliver some 150,000 lunch boxes a day in Mumbai, India. Each day, the lunch boxes containing home-cooked meals are picked up from the residences of customers who commute into Mumbai and delivered to their offices throughout the city. The lunch boxes are picked up from customers’ homes long after they have gone to work. After lunch, the process is reversed. Lunch box delivery time is 12:30 PM and the empty boxes are picked up at 1:30 PM for the return journey and delivered before the customers return. The Dabbawallahs know that customer satisfaction issues arise if a customer receives someone else’s lunch box or if it does not arrive on time.

These Dabbawallah    reportedly make one mistake every two months or so. That’s an error rate of one in 8 million deliveries. So impressed was Britain’s Prince Charles that he paid them a personal visit to witness their operations. The price for this exemplary service, $3 per month. In the 1998 article, Forbes expressed their feelings this way: Superb service and charity too. Can anyone ask for more? The Dabbawallahs themselves believe, Work is worship. The author has been taking up this case study in his six sigma training programs for over a decade challenging students that such a great performance is possible when six sigma practices are followed. There is no doubt the performance is outstanding and that the process is six sigma compliant but the claim now is that such performance is impossible without a sufficiently high S component.

2. The 2013 Kumbh Mela. Kumbh Mela, believed to be the largest religious gathering of humans on earth is held at in the city of Allahabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India every twelve years on the banks of the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati. Most recently the Mela was celebrated during the first quarter of 2013. The Financial Times carried an interesting article on March 1, 2013 written by Victor Mallet titled, “Pop-up Mega City is a Lesson in Logistics for India.”

Said the Financial Times, To somebody who does projects, the tent city is like a mega-refugee camp that comes up overnight and gets sustained and managed for two months with people filtering in and out at a rate of millions a day. It’s managed by the Uttar Pradesh State government. If somehow we could translate that capacity to day-to-day business, you could transform UP. It’s really a powerful thought.” Uttar Pradesh is often seen as the epitome of all that is wrong with India. With a population of over 200 million – larger than Brazil’s – the state is notoriously corrupt and inefficient. Take sanitation. In the decade to 2011, the UP government reported steadily rising construction of latrines in rural areas with the help of $600 million in public funds. But the 2011 census showed that almost no toilets had actually been built. Most of the money was stolen, leaving tens of thousands of children to die each year as a result of diarrhea spread by what one aid worker called “appalling” sanitation. There are few such problems at the Kumbh Mela, however.

Mr. Onno Ruhl, Head of the World Bank in India, who visited the Kumbh Mela was so moved by the operations that he decided to bathe in the Ganges himself. He called it an incredible logistical operation.

Said Mr. Ruhl in the Financial Times article, “The city on the sandbanks, soon to be dismantled before the river floods, “has water, sanitation, power, and solid-waste management, everything, actually, that many Indian cities lack”

Harvard researchers described it as “a pop-up mega city”. The bureaucrats and workers from Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous and one of the poorest states took less than three months to build a tent city for 2 million residents complete with hard roads, toilets, running water, electricity, food shops, garbage collection, and well-manned police stations. This year’s event attracted millions of pilgrims from across India who came to wash away their sins in the Ganges at its confluence with the Yamuna. Over its two months to mid-March, the Mela attracted 80 -100 million visitors, with up to 30 million attempting to bathe in the river on February 10 alone, officials say. Precise numbers are hard to come by but the devotees and foreign visitors are generally full of praise for the organizers of what is arguably the largest gathering of humans on earth. Apart from a February 10 stampede at the nearby Allahabad railway station in which 36 were killed, the Kumbh Mela itself has so far gone off smoothly. Fresh water comes out of the taps, toilets are disinfected, trained police carefully shepherd the crowds to the bathing areas, and the lights come on at night. Devesh Chaturvedi, Divisional commissioner of Allahabad is proud of the “huge task” that he and perhaps 100,000 workers completed in organizing the festival. He mentions 165 km of roads on the sand made of steel plates, 18 pontoon bridges, 560 km of water supply lines, 670 km of electricity lines, 22,500 street lights and 200,000 electricity connections, as well as 275 food shops for essential supplies such as flour, rice, milk and cooking gas. Mr. Chaturvedi agrees there is a contrast between the successful provision of these services and the way life continues in the rest of the state, and has two explanations. First, the authorities ensure that all those working on the project are accountable for their actions and the money they spend. Second, those involved are highly motivated. “They feel it’s a real service to all these pilgrims who have come here, the sadhus

[holy men] and the seers, so it’s a sort of mission which motivates them to work extra, despite difficult working conditions.”

In the concluding thoughts on the article, Victor writes, a question on the minds of both Indians and foreigners is: How? Why? Or rather: if the authorities can build infrastructure so efficiently for this short but very large festival and its instant city, why can they not do the same for permanent villages and towns? We trust the answer is clear to the readers of this article. This level of performance would have been impossible in the absence of a sufficiently high level of consciousness on the part of both the workers and devotees.

3. Gamarra Businesses of Lima Peru. Gamarra businesses span 34 blocks around Hipólito Unanue and Agustín Gamarra streets in La Victoria region of Lima, Peru. Gamarra has 25,000 businesses that employ 100,000 workers, generating $1.2 billion in revenue annually. These businesses import textiles from several countries at competitive prices. Depending on the size, individual entrepreneurs are set up to handle a certain volume of business. However, agreements with other entrepreneurs allow them to handle orders of any size up to the total capacity of all entrepreneurs in Gamarra. This arrangement assures B-to-B customers of not only high quality and low cost but also a quick turnaround.

Depending on season, anywhere between 150,000 and 600,000 visit Gamarra every day. Seventy percent of visitors reportedly purchase something or the other. Gamarra entrepreneurs are renowned and widely respected among both business customers and end-use consumers. Their textile products are known for high quality and low cost.

The author visited Gamarra in 2008 with his former doctoral student, Dr. Roberto Z. Tantalean to study their operations from a lean six sigma perspective. Like their counterparts in Mumbai, they are not a highly educated workforce either. That theirs is a lean six sigma operation is absolutely clear; nothing goes to waste and there is very high level of customer satisfaction. A clue to their higher S component is their motto, Compete but cooperate!

So, how does a company aspiring to replicate such exemplary performance proceed? There are two approaches: A conscious approach wherein one watches over their S, R, T components to be sure that S stays up and nudges higher and R, T stay low and nudge lower. The second approach is a process whose side-effect is a rise in the S component. Meditation is one such process. Investigators have shown that meditation leads to more compassion and evidence is emerging that profits at compassionate companies are far higher than those at other companies. In his papers on a scientific framework for world transformation, the author explains these concepts in detail. In his author’s view this is the way to sustain excellence in the long term that Mr. Nadella was referring to, there is no other way.

Definitions and Note.

  •   Rising level of Internal Excellence equates to higher S, R, T Level of Consciousness
  •   S: Truthfulness, honesty, steadfastness, equanimity; study
  •   R: Attachment, bravery, ego, ambition, greed, desire to live;
  •   T: Lying, cheating, causing injury in words or deeds, sleep.
  •   Minimum S, R, T required for life.
  •   S component strongly correlates with positive emotions (Unconditioned love, kindness, empathy, compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, etc.)
  •   Excessive R, T components strongly correlate with negative emotions (Anger, hostility, hatred, irritation, sorrow, fear).
  •   External Excellence refers to the wherewithal of doing all that we do from wake up time to bedtime including all that we do at work in the best possible manner.

Further Reading

  1. [1]  Deshpande, P. B., Internal Excellence Boosts Business Performance, 2014.
  2. [2]  Deshpande, P. B., Aroskar, S. A., Bhavsar, S. N., and Kulkarni, B. D., Mind Over Matter: Investigation of Materialization of Intentions, Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research, 5, 2, February 2014.
  3. [3]  Deshpande, P. B., Can the excellence of the Internal be Measured, Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research, 4, 11, November 2013.
  4. [4]  Deshpande, P. B., Scientific Framework for Individual, Organizational, National, and Global Transformation, 17th Annual Conference on Science, Information, and Consciousness, St. Petersburg, Russia, July 6 8, 2013.
  5. [5]  Deshpande, P. B., Compassion, Performance, and Programs of Excellence, Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research, 4, 4, April 2013.
  6. [6]  Deshpande, P. B., Science of Compassion, Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research, 3, 9, October

     

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How To Have Your Own Personal Zen Master Around Anytime You Descend Into Stress

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

When you look at a true spiritual master, guru or yogi, one of the most remarkable things you might notice is that they don’t seem to experience stress. You might conclude that they arrive at this state through meditation, fasting, prayer, or other such disciplines. This is only partly true. Those spiritual practices can certainly contribute to stress reduction, but their ultimate effect is to support the maintenance of ONE KEY THOUGHT that spiritual masters hold in their minds (and bodies) with unfailing certainty.

Granted, this key thought is not easy to grasp, hold as truth, and then deeply embody within yourself. Throughout history spiritual masters have done their darndest to articulate it for those hoping for inner peace and harmony. The limitations of language, of all human languages, is woefully revealed in these attempts. But if you are ready, open, and genuinely seeking–an ‘aspirant’ as they say in yoga–then it becomes possible for a certain expression or turn of phrase to begin to activate your deeper inner knowledge of the state some call samadhi, enlightenment, Christ consciousness, or what I like to simply term presence. Are you ready?

Stress-Free Perception

In a true state of presence it is impossible to feel stress. Impossible. That is because stress is predicated on our seeing the world as dualistic. In a state of presence we embody a perception of singularity. The apperception of the world as whole, as unified, is truth unmasked.

From a perception of unity there is no past or future, there is only now. Note that human experience is only ever experienced through the now, past experiences were only ever experienced in the now, and the same will hold for our future experiences. Having the experience of presence helps us get a glimpse that time itself is a fabrication, a ‘program’ that helps our intentionally limited minds have a particularly lush and interesting kind of experience in the physical world.

How We Create Stress

But let’s get back to our everyday time-bound consciousness. For those of you who earnestly seek to dissolve your stress, and are open and willing to let go of anything your mind is clinging to in order to achieve it, I will try to explain the one key thought.

The experience of stress is the experience of the tension or dissonance between two things: how your world IS in any moment, and how you think it SHOULD BE. You create stress by carrying in your mind an image of how something in the NOW—yourself and others, the presence or absence of things, the weather—is NOT OK as it is. That puts you into a self-created adversarial relationship with the only point of contact you have with life.

Fortunately, your emotions alert you to this crazy confabulation, by making you aware of internal discomfort you label as STRESS. This STRESS is nothing more than an urgent signal from your higher intelligence to return to presence. But in a state of stress how can you possibly return to presence?

The One Key Thought Into Presence

You need to get into the habit of using your awareness of your own stress as a trigger to align yourself with this one key thought: everything is perfect as it is. It’s like having your own personal Zen master around any time you descend into stress asking you the well-worn koan, ‘What, in this moment, is lacking?’

It works. Trust me.

But it only works to the extent that you are willing to let go of the past (and future), along with all your judgments, grievances, ‘shoulds’, hopes, and fears that arise out of a dualistic perception. If you are truly willing and able to deeply hold this one key thought as ULTIMATE truth, above ALL other beliefs and opinions, you will start to feel it working.

Spiritual Context

If you have doubts about this one key thought representing ultimate truth, allow me to provide the spiritual context I work with in which the statement makes perfect sense.

A common thread at the heart of all great spiritual traditions is that we are all immortal souls who are currently having a ‘human’ experience. The circumstances of this life experience were chosen by us to facilitate our soul’s evolution. So any time you feel stress, you can see it as the universe prodding you to take an evolutionary step. That evolutionary step is to see the perfection in everything, if only for a moment at first. If you’re game, these brief moments of clarity add up quickly to a more permanent step up.

An Example

Let’s say for example you’re stuck in traffic, and realize you are going to be late for a meeting. Maybe it’s even your ‘fault’, because you left late or didn’t check your GPS. If you’re feeling stressed about it, realize it’s because things are not how your mind thinks they should be. Your mind thinks you ‘should’ be at the meeting on time–to get some important information, perhaps, or because your reputation as a reliable person is at stake, and you will be judged by others at the meeting in a way that may impact your future success.

Now, you can continue to be stressed in that moment (and subsequently for the entire drive to the office), or you can take ALL that very reasonable blather of ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’, roll it up in a ball, and drop it into your faux-ashtray. You will be able to do this if you reach for presence, if you remind yourself that there is only the present moment, and in the present moment you can choose to experience stress, or choose to experience peace. If you choose to be fully present you accept the present moment exactly as it is, realize there is nothing you can DO in that moment to remedy the so-called problem, and take the evolutionary step of seeing everything as perfect in this so-called ‘stressful’ moment. There is no problem now–and you will deal with the ‘problem’ when the ‘problem’ arises. You are simply in a car driving. You will then start to feel relief, and gain confidence that if you maintain presence through your arrival to the office, your late entry into the meeting, and your conversations afterwards, the ‘problem’ will never arise and you will literally breeze through the whole experience. You will be ‘ok’ with whatever happens.

Common Fears About Presence

FEAR: If I go into presence I will lose my mind.

Maybe-but only in a good way. Lol. Seriously, presence is not losing one’s mind, it is aligning one’s mind properly, with the timeless ‘true mind’ playing the role of master and the time-bound ‘false mind’ (ego) playing the role of servant, allowing the true mind to interface as it pleases with the time-governed physical world.

FEAR: If I go into presence I will stop trying to make my life better.

Perhaps. After all, what is better than presence, where everything is perfect? But there is more to it. You may be surprised to hear that a state of presence does not thwart action, it only thwarts reaction, fear-based, ego-sponsored drives to alleviate doubt, fear, insecurity, stress. In a state of presence the true mind decides on action, the best action for the situation, which is then carried out in perfect flow with the environment.

FEAR: It’s too hard to do and I’ll ultimately fail.

Failure is impossible. Patience, though, is required. The evolution of consciousness might seem like waves rising and falling on the shore, but the high water marks accumulate and eventually produce a stable higher state of awareness. Remembering and forgetting presence is natural, but with persistence it is remembered more often, maintained for a longer period of time, and eventually becomes part of your normal, base perception. With this as your base perception, then, it is truly possible for you to experience a life free of stress.

 

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New Moon In Virgo: Breakthroughs & Innovation

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

We are having a New Moon in Virgo on September 6th in the Americas and on September 7th elsewhere. This is initiating a 29.5 day lunar cycle and new wave of energy for the coming month; however, the astrological configurations mentioned throughout this article will be more prominent over the following two weeks. This Lunar Cycle peaks with a Full Moon in Pisces on September 20th/21st.

We have been in Virgo season since August 22nd/23rd,  however, this New Moon will activate its energies even more so. Virgo is associated with productivity, duties, health, cleanliness, and purity. It is organized, adaptable, conscientious, skillful, orderly, punctual, diligent, efficient, discerning, precise, and practical. It is also associated with pets.

Being an Earth sign that is ruled by Mercury, Virgo is analytical and detail oriented when it comes to handling aspects of the physical world. It is about problem solving, adjusting to changing conditions, and coming up with solutions. There is an emphasis around service and helping others. Negatively, this energy can be cynical, fussy, high strung, and perfectionistic. It can also be too mentally oriented and overly critical.

New Moon In A Tight Trine With Uranus

This New Moon is in a nearly exact trine with Uranus in Taurus.This is very strong in the sixteen hours leading up to the lunation and in the nine to ten hours afterwards, however, it will still have an influence over the following two weeks.

This can be good for changing things up and taking new approaches to things. We may experience positive surprises/shifts, make discoveries, receive beneficial insights, or be creatively inspired. This energy can be exciting, stimulating, liberating, innovative, inventive, revolutionary, and is supportive of originality.

Developments or approaches that involve technology, science, metaphysics, or astrology can also play out. Considering that this is a New Moon in Virgo, this is good for doing any sort of work or efforts that can have a freeing effect such as getting things done that have been weighing us down or obstructing us in some way. This can also be good for re-arranging, organizing, renovating, or getting rid of things to clear space and energy.

Mars Trine Pluto & Quincunx Jupiter, Venus Aligned With Spica & Trine Jupiter

At the time of this New Moon and in the day leading up to it, Mars in Virgo is in a trine with Pluto in Capricorn which are also in wide orb aspects with this lunation. This is great for asserting ourselves in a powerful, determined, and focused way. Our actions now can be empowering, purging, penetrating, or help to facilitate positive changes. This can also be a time of heightened sexual desire.

Also during this same period, Venus is aligned with the star Spica while in a trine with Jupiter in Aquarius. This can be a fortunate, expansive, optimistic, and/or meaningful time when it comes to friends, our social life, art, aesthetics, or matters of love. In some cases this can also play out as financial or material benefits.

Indulging, having fun, affection, and overall happiness is easier to be had under this influence. This can also play out as learning or sharing perspectives in a friendly and sociable way. This energy can also be good for efforts involving graphic design or marketing/media of nice things.

Venus was also in a square with Pluto in the days leading up to the New Moon which may have also brought some intense feelings/interactions, jealousy, or power struggles. However, this can be mitigated by the Jupiter influence, and is finished by the time this New Moon begins.

During this same period, Mars is also in a quincunx with Jupiter in Aquarius and in aversion with the Venus trine Jupiter aspect. Our assertiveness, drive, and actions may be alienated from, or harder to integrate with, the fun, social, indulging, and affectionate expressions of the Venus-Jupiter configuration.

Mercury Entering Pre-Retrograde Shadow, Aligned With Vindemiatrix & Opposite Chiron

In the hours leading up to this New Moon, Mercury (the ruler of Virgo) will enter its pre-retrograde shadow period for the retrograde that begins on September 26th/27th in Libra. Over the following three weeks, and somewhat since Mercury entered Libra on August 30th, certain things that occur or begin will go through (or contribute to) a process of adjustment, assessment, insights, or shifts from September 27th until late October.

The themes of this upcoming retrograde will involve relationships, social dynamics, diplomacy, partnerships, aesthetics, art, cooperation, creativity, or pertaining to seeking balance, fairness, peace, and harmony. However, other manifestations of this process also depend on how it is configured to your natal chart.

During these weeks leading up to September 27th, Mercury will be gradually slowing down and the complications that Mercury retrograde is known for can become more apparent before it actually begins. I will be putting out more content on this, join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive it.

Mercury is aligned with the fixed star Vindemiatrix which is where it will return to when the retrograde ends and transitions forward. Vindemiatrix is a malefic star traditionally known as the ‘Widow Maker’ and is also associated with nervous irritability when combined with Mercury.

According to astrologer Dr. Eric Morse, this star ‘figures strongly and regularly in deaths which are in some way dramatic, newsworthy or are resented much more than the usual degree’. In my own observation I have also found that this star is associated with malicious injections and is prominent in the natal astrology chart of William Gates III.

I would imagine that during this upcoming retrograde and potentially in the pre-retrograde shadow period, these themes can play out more so on a collective level and we may see stories pertaining to these things throughout different media outlets, whether it be mainstream or alternative.

Mercury is also opposing Chiron at the time of this New Moon and over the following few days. It will return to this opposition when the retrograde ends and therefore this configuration will be part of its themes. Communications, interactions, or thoughts may trigger wounds, pain, blockages, or be reflective of negative patterns. As a result, misunderstandings may also occur.

Self-doubt and perceived inadequacies may be on our mind and can obstruct our perception. However, what happens at this time can ultimately be a catalyst for healing, but this would be more likely to occur near the end of the retrograde.

New Moon & Sun Opposite Neptune, Trine Pluto

The second aspect that the Sun and Moon (New Moon) make after the trine to Uranus is an opposition to Neptune in Pisces which will be more prominent on September 13th/14th, but will build up from the 8th onward. For this period, we may feel/experience a lack of direction or confidence in how we apply our will, ego, or self-expression. We may have to contend with impracticality, confusion, carelessness, escapism, delusion, deception, or flaky behavior.

The third aspect of this New Moon is a trine to Pluto which will be strong from September 15th-17th by the Sun. This will be more welcoming after the Neptunian influence (mentioned in the above paragraph) as this can help us to be much more productive. We can be more focused, resourceful, strategic, realistic, or calculated to help us achieve what we set out to do.

This energy is good for digging into anything or getting to the bottom of things. It can also be beneficial for any sort of clearing or making positive changes. In some cases this can play out as financial benefits or related developments.

Making Intentions & Things To Consider

What areas of your life or spaces can be refreshed, organized, renovated, purged, or cleared? What new approaches can you take when it comes to your health, lifestyle, work, or for when it comes to managing your life and productivity? In what different ways can you be of service to others? Do you need to be more attentive to details? What resources can you capitalize on to help you achieve your goals? What can you do to feel more free and liberated? Is there anything that you’d like to experiment with?

These are just some examples of what to consider or focus your intentions on at this time. However, it is good to reflect on anything else that is coming up for you. It is generally best to make any intentions within the first 24 hours following a New Moon. The exact moment it will occur is 12:52am Universal Time on September 7th and the night of September 6th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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Full Moon In Aquarius: Expansion & Originality

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

We are having a second consecutive Full Moon in Aquarius on August 22nd. It will appear the brightest on the night of the 21st in the Americas and on the night of the 22nd in the time zones East of the UK. This is the peak of the Lunar cycle that began with a New Moon in Leo on August 8th. The energies of a Full Moon are strongest in the days surrounding it yet its astrological configurations also play a part over the following two weeks. You may start to see its themes slowly build up after the New Moon prior.

This is a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Aquarius and the Sun in Leo. It can play out as either a conflict, an integration, or some sort of dynamic between the energies of both signs. The Moon reflects the expression of feeling and emotion while the Sun reflects the expression of ego and conscious self.

We may feel this opposition happening individually within us and/or we can also experience it play out around us; with some people (or circumstances) expressing the Aquarius side and others expressing the Leo side. In some cases, Full Moons can also reflect/trigger some sort of change or release.

This Full Moon happens with the Sun opposing the Moon right at the tail end of Leo and Aquarius, at the 29th degree, less than half a day before we begin Virgo season. The energies of a sign tend to be more heightened at these points. Also, with it being a 2nd consecutive Full Moon in the same sign, it is an ‘Astrological Blue Moon,’ which is something that occurs once every 3 years. This also amplifies the energies of this polarity of signs over an extended period.

Full Moon In Aquarius Opposite Sun In Leo

We have already been in Leo Season for about a month as the Sun will change signs shortly after this Full Moon. Leo is a passionate Fire sign. It is about our individual self-expression, what brings us joy, and inspiration.  It is associated with the heart, love, creativity, performing, fun, children, romance, hobbies, and leadership. Leo is about what makes us great as individuals and can be courageous and generous. Expressed negatively, Leo energy can also be egotistical, pompous, dramatic, and demanding of attention or respect.

Aquarius is an intellectual Air sign. It is associated with friends, groups, social networks, the team, and humanity. It views the unique and authentic qualities of an individual as an important and contributing factor to the collective. Aquarius is progressive, unconventional, innovative, technological, scientific, reforming, idealistic, and even revolutionary. Negatively, it can be aloof, overly objective, unrealistic, dispassionate, impersonal, and overly detached.

Full Moon Conjunct Jupiter & Going Into Pisces, Sun Conjunct Regulus & Going Into Virgo

This Full Moon is separating from a close conjunction with Jupiter. This brings an energy that is expansive, explorative, freedom seeking, and even idealistic when combined with the Aquarian energy. Themes around beliefs, perspectives, opinions, education, or media/marketing may come up. However, with it being a Full Moon (opposing the Sun), it can also be a time of conflicts around those things. Overextending and overestimating ourselves can also be prevalent.

The Sun is aligned with the royal star Regulus which is associated with power, authority, and influence. The opposition of this to the Aquarian Moon (with Jupiter) can play out as ideals of the ‘people/collective/groups vs. leaders/authority’ in some people’s experience of it.

The Moon will be entering Pisces forty minutes after the peak of the Full Moon while it is still full. At that time and in the days following, this can also bring an energy that is spiritual, empathic, compassionate, creative, mystical, imaginative, elusive, dreamy, or divinely inspired.

As mentioned earlier, the Sun will be entering Virgo less than a day after the Full Moon. Usually the shift from Leo to Virgo is one of the more obvious and noticeable transitions of signs as Leo is more fun and playful while Virgo is oriented around getting things done. In this case with it being so close to the Aquarian Full Moon, it will probably take three or more days to really notice the Virgo energy.

Mars Trine Uranus, Venus Trine Saturn

At the time of this Full Moon, Mars in Virgo is in a tight trine with Uranus in Taurus. This is a good energy for trying something new, experimental or asserting ourselves in a way that is unconventional, stimulating, innovative, technological, rebellious, progressive, original, exciting, or independent. This energy can also be inspiring to act on something and some people may feel a burst of energy.

Uranus had also went stationary retrograde in the days leading to this, so this energy in general will be very strong. Throughout the week following this Full Moon (and even in the 1-2 weeks prior) there is an increased possibility of surprises, disruptions, separations, sudden changes,  accidents, or things breaking. Experiences that are unusual, enlightening, or stimulating can also occur and/or we may have interactions with other people that have those qualities.

Venus in Libra is in a trine with Saturn during the Full Moon and over the following day and a half. This can have a stabilizing or committing effect on relationships. It can be constructive, solidifying, or maturing when it comes to our social life, love, financial matters, business relations, possessions, or things that are aesthetic related. In some cases this can play out as important connections and developments with others who are much older or younger than us.

Mercury Opposite Neptune, Venus Opposite Chiron, Mercury Trine Pluto

Mercury in Virgo is moving towards an opposition with Neptune in Pisces since August 20th/21st which will peak on August 24th/25th. In general, Mercury in this sign (from August 11th/12th until August 29th/30th) helps our thinking and communication to be more organized, detailed, practical, technical, efficient, and productive.

However, with it being opposite Neptune during this four day window, we may have to contend with some misunderstandings, confusion, lack of clarity, miscommunications, lack of focus, deception, carelessness, or disheartening developments during this period.  In some cases, issues or complications around vehicles, commuting, phones, or computers may come up and could involve water, oil, inconsistencies, or play out in other ways as well.

Venus will be moving towards an opposition to Chiron from August 23rd/24th until August 26th/27th when it peaks. Wounds, blockages, insecurities, weaknesses, and imbalances can come up strongly in our relations, finances, values, self worth, or physical appearance. If this applies to you, it’s best to look at the situation from a whole-istic perspective to help move beyond the issue. If this doesn’t come up, it can still be a good time for any kind of healing or growth in the areas mentioned above.

Mercury is in a trine with Pluto on August 25th/26th. This is great for mental focus or getting to the bottom of things. Thoughts and/or communications can be deep, powerful, empowering,  insightful, revealing, or psychologically oriented. In some cases this aspect can have beneficial financial implications.

Sun Square Lunar Nodes, Mars Opposite Neptune

The Sun is in a square with the Lunar Nodes on August 28th-30th. This can trigger some of the themes of the previous Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse as we may experience developments connected to them. We may also feel like we are at a crossroads as considerations at this time may involve where we are coming from and where we are heading, or perhaps being stuck between things that can be holding us back and things that can facilitate growth. It can also involve incorporating beneficial aspects of the past and applying them in an evolved or forward moving way.

In the days following this Full Moon, Mars in Virgo will be moving towards its own opposition to Neptune (similarly to Mercury) which peaks from September 1st-4th. At best, this energy can be good for applying ourselves towards activities that are spiritual, creative, compassionate, selfless, or involve water.

However, this can be challenging overall as it may seem that our efforts are met with impracticality, confusion, carelessness, or flaky behavior as a result of others. Some people can also feel lazy, discouraged, or helpless. It’s best to go with the flow and do things that work best with this energy as mentioned in the above paragraph.

Things To Consider

In what ways can you expand? Is there anything that you want to learn? What are your ideals and do they truly align with your heart’s desires? What is coming up regarding your friends/social network? In what ways can you grow in your relations? Or What are the potentials for growth amongst your relations? How can you balance or collaborate your individual needs with the needs of the group? What does freedom mean for you and how can you achieve it? Is there anything that you need to shift, shake up, rebel against, or liberate yourself from? Is there anything new you want to try or experiment with?

These are just some examples of themes that could come up or ways to approach this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out as well.  If you wish to do any sort of intentional release, it is best to do so after it begins to wane following the peak or during the two weeks afterwards when it is waning before the next New Moon. The exact peak time for this Full Moon is at 12:02pm Universal Time on August 22nd. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

NOTE: I will be on holiday over the following weeks and may not be able to do my next New Moon article depending on how things go. Stay tuned for my upcoming articles or join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive future content that I put out.

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