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Mercury Retrograde In Taurus: A Shift In Our Values And Self-Worth

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The planet Mercury is in its retrograde phase from April 28th until May 22nd, 2016. This is an astronomical/astrological phenomenon that occurs roughly every four months for over a three week period.

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From our perspective on Earth, it looks as if Mercury is going backwards because of the relationship between both Earth’s and Mercury’s orbit around the Sun. Accordingly, astrologers observe retrograde planets differently compared to when they appear to be forward moving. Retrogrades are recognized as a time when we are reworking how we orientate ourselves with the themes and energies of that specific planet in a specific sign.

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Mercury started its pre-retrograde phase on April 14th; therefore certain things that have been put in place or occurred between then and the 28th will still be going through a ‘sorting out’ process throughout the following three weeks.

Mercury Retrograde: Changes, Errors, Chaos, Insights, Revisitation, and Transformation

Mercury rules over all types of communication, whether it is writing, speaking, reading, social media interactions, communication technology, or any other method of transmitting information. It also rules commuting and driving, as well as moving parts, such as those found in cars. During Mercury retrograde periods, there are more noticeable errors, disruptions, breakdowns, and complications with all of these things, and this is what Mercury Retrograde has become famous for.

It is a great time for revisiting, redoing, and reconnecting with people, projects, and circumstances from the past. It is generally not a good time for starting anything new, though this is not the case in every instance, as there are other factors and variables that need to be considered.

There is also a much deeper and more meaningful purpose to each Mercury retrograde. It is an opportunity to reflect and gain insight.

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Traditionally, Mercury is the planet of alchemy, and during its retrograde periods, circumstances that are trying to get our attention to help us make necessary changes and transformations in our own ‘alchemical process’ will occur.

It is up to to us to pay attention to these signs from the Universe. If we do not pay attention and/or act accordingly, then there is even more potential for unpleasant events and complications to unfold throughout Mercury’s retrograde, and even in the beginning of the post-retrograde period.

This Retrograde Is Occurring In Taurus

This is the 2nd of a series of Mercury Retrograding in Earth signs that will last until September 2017; the first was in Capricorn this past January (read more about it here). The Earth element is associated with practicality, resourcefulness, dependability, foundation, and material/financial resources.

Taurus is about our personal values, income, and self worth, as well as our value to others in our lives, such as an employer. This sign is also associated with food/substances, possessions, patience, creativity, pleasure, sensuality, and comfort. Throughout this Mercury retrograde we are making the necessary changes and adjustments, as well as receiving insight and gaining awareness, into many of these aforementioned areas.

Mars Is Also Retrograde

Mars went retrograde on April 17th and this will last until June 29th. This represents a period of making changes in how we assert ourselves overall. (You can read more about it here.) The combination of both of these planets going retrograde really emphasizes the themes of revisitation and adjustment.

It is common for many to experience more frustration during times like this; however, if that is the case, it is because we are not reflecting enough. If something isn’t working for you, then you need to really think about it. What needs to be changed?

Interestingly, five days after Mercury starts moving ‘forward’ again, Mars will re-enter Scorpio, which is the opposite sign of Taurus. The reorientation we have experienced regarding the themes of our personal worth, values, and money/resources will undergo some more adjustment and/or challenges in how assert ourselves in anything related to shared worth, values, and money/resources over the coming months.  

The Journey Of Mercury Retrograde – Significant Dates

For each interpretation below, I have put 2-3 dates. The early dates pertain more to those in the Western part of the world, like the Americas, Western Europe, and Africa, and the later dates to those in Eastern parts of the world, such as Eastern Europe, Asia, and Oceania.

April 28th/29th: Mercury Begins Retrograde While Sextile Chiron

Mercury begins its journey backwards as it is very close to making a sextile aspect with Chiron. This indicates that the upcoming retrograde period can help us find our gifts and/or work towards fulfilling our purpose and/or any needed healing. Mercury must make the journey backwards before it actually makes the exact aspect with Chiron, which indicates a need for us to go back and make the necessary adjustments in the Taurus realm.

May 8th-10th:  Mercury Trine North Node in Virgo, Then Conjunct Sun

This can be a period of revelations and can also be a chaotic time as well, depending on how you are working with it and how your subconscious has positioned you. Certain things that occur during this period can bring a new awareness or confirm an existing potential awareness. Whatever occurs can be significant towards what you are working towards, perhaps related to your life purpose.  In some cases it can be a shift in values, while in other cases it could be related to skills and/or duties that you have in place and/or need to develop. This can be about expanding/enhancing your own personal self-worth, value, and income.

May 12th-14th: Mercury Trine Pluto in Capricorn, Conjunct Venus

Like all astrological transits, this one can manifest in different ways. Some people may receive some sort of assistance, which could be from a person and/or organization and/or it could also be money or something else of value. Others may receive praise for the value they bring or have in some area of their life. Some people may feel a new sense of power. In fewer cases, there may be a realization or shift in a relationship and/or sexually.

May 21st-23rd: Full Moon In Sagittarius conjunct Mars, Mercury Goes Direct While Trine Jupiter in Virgo

The Full Moon at this period will be aligned with Mars retrograde, which could indicate that it will trigger the need to change or let go of a method of assertion that we may have. Mercury will be close to an exact trine with Jupiter in Virgo when it finishes retrograde, which indicates that any revelations, circumstances, and changes we have experienced will assist us in our goals around our work, duties, routine, health, and/or lifestyle.

ce-astrology-ad-feb-2016-250x250From May 22nd/23rd until June 7th we will be progressing forward from the realizations and new developments that have been unfolding since April 28th. Whatever has occurred in the period of May 12th-14th will take its next major step on May 30th-31st.

Receive future articles by Carmen Di Luccio by clicking here to join his mailing list. Carmen also offers personalized astrology readings/consultations based on your exact birth date, time, and location. Click here for more information. 

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Consciousness

How To Stay Present & Calm Throughout The Day

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A simple process to bring you back to presence and freedom throughout the day.

  • Reflect On:

    Can we expect our world to change if we don't change our inner states of everyday being?w

Do you notice yourself feeling tense shoulders? A cleansed jaw? Perhaps you’re holding your breath in some ways and you don’t even know it? Maybe you feel a clenched tummy from time to time and have tricky digestion. You might notice yourself rushing through life, tasks, wanting to get to the next thing. You may not be paying full attention to your life and everything feels like autopilot.

If this is the case, you’re not alone.

This is a very calm state of being for most people in highly developed countries who are living the ‘average everyday life.’ You wake up, go to your job, work all day, come home and then either veg out or spend time with family and go to sleep. This is the ‘modern life’ that we have accepted as ‘ a good life’ and yet almost every aspect of it presents a challenge to our health and well being. But, at this time, money is required to live our lives, and so we must play within this system in some way or another as we actively change it.

The good news is, you have ultimate freedom within yourself to perceive your reality as you wish to perceive it. When we are unconscious, or allowing our programmed states of being to run our lives, we typically move through life on autopilot, moving from one habit to another.  However, when we begin to gain presence, and pull ourselves out of all these unconscious habits, we begin to gain some freedom back. This builds over time.

Before we get to the exercise, I want to add that for those that pay a lot of attention to the news and media side of our work here at CE, using these practices to gain more presence and self-awareness in your life will play deeply into the CE Protocol which is designed to help us gain more clarity on what’s happening in the world, and be an active part of changing it. Skipping the personal transformation end of our journeys only holds us in our current state of being and understanding.

A Simple Process

One powerful thing you can do to begin seeing the subtleties in life, noticing the magic and incredible beauty around you and within you at all times is going back to the breath. Combine that with a few processes in releasing tension and getting into your heart, and you’ll truly begin waking up to who you truly are on a daily basis. The best part is, this muscle grows with time, the more you practice, the more present you become, and the more your monkey mind goes into the passenger seat instead of the driver seat.

Approx time needed: 5 mins

1. There are two ways to initiate the exercise, either you do it when you notice yourself tense or not present, or you set an alarm that goes off about 6 times per day. If you choose the first method, you want to know that your awareness already catches yourself about 6 times a day so you can make sure you are doing this enough.

2. When the alarm goes off, or when you notice yourself, stop what you are doing and take a couple of deep breaths. In through the nose and out through the mouth. Do this slowly and controlled. Nothing too fast and nothing too out of control.

3. After about 2 to 5 breaths, allow yourself to breathe normally, making sure it is still through the nose. Begin to say within yourself. ‘I am releasing all tension in my head, my neck, my shoulders, my jaw, my stomach, my fists, and my legs.” This is like a mini mantra if you will, but don’t take it too seriously in that it has to be said any particular way. You’re simply noticing and instructing the body to relax.

4. After you have gone through the releasing, and you notice your body is more relaxed and your breathing has brought you back to the moment. Sense yourself in your chair or where you stand. Feel the air around you, notice any breezes on your skin or any scents that you smell. Notice all the various sounds around you, not focusing on anyone or feeling any as a distraction, but noticing them and allowing them to be. This is presence, while in this state. Noticing.

If you happen to have any rampant thoughts or feelings of stress arise during this at any point, simply notice it and say within yourself “OK stress or OK task I have to complete, I see you, I will take care of you momentarily” and allow it to pass.

5. Once in presence, turn your attention to the area of your sternum, the heart centre. You may put your hand or fingers on this area, and simply focus your attention on this space. See your awareness moving into this space as if you yourself are moving from your mind to your heart. However that looks or feels to you is OK. It doesn’t have to be anything mystical. This is a common mistake of overcomplicating simple methods.

6. Finally, allow yourself to be in that space for as long as you like. 1 min, 10 mins, whatever works. Usually I say this exercise is meant to be done as a check-in for about 5 mins.

Repeat this each time your alarm goes off or when you notice yourself tense. Through this, you are gaining more awareness of self more regularly. You are also beginning to realize you have a lot more control over your state of being than once thought. This is a key step to emotional freedom. In this space, your mind does not run you, nor do your emotions.

Bonus: As an extended tip, once you gain a sense of what that short meditation felt like. Even if you notice yourself for a moment 20 or 30 minutes later being tense, just take one deep breath and recall the energy and feeling of your meditation.

The Takeaway

When will things like full disclosure happen, or big changes in our world? When people focus deeply enough on personal transformation that our consciousness becomes ready to hear what’s being hidden and becomes ready for a world that is grounded in a state of peace, love, and freedom as opposed to monkey mind behavior.

 

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Consciousness

Brené Brown Explains The Crucial Difference Between Sympathy & Empathy

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    There is a difference between sympathy and empathy — although many of us don't realize it, in an attempt to help we may unknowingly be making things worse for our loved ones.

  • Reflect On:

    When someone is hurting, we often try to "fix" the situation. What if we just sat with others who are struggling . and allow them to feel their feelings and offer them the space to do so?

For the most part we strive to be there for our friends and family members during difficult times. However we don’t always realize that in an effort to assist, often using positive reinforcement, or comparison techniques we might actually be making things worse. Sometimes, we are unintentionally showing up in all the wrong ways for our loved ones. It’s important to know the difference between sympathy and empathy and how these reactions could either create more pain from unmet needs for those who are struggling or allow the space for a deeper connection and understanding by offering the space to others to feel their feelings.

Brené Brown is an expert on the topics of vulnerability, shame, courage and empathy. She has written 5 New York Times Bestsellers and offers us all a deeper insight to the potential for much deeper authentic connection with others and to ourselves as well. The following video contains a cute little cartoon paired up with Brené’s words describing the difference between sympathy and empathy.

Sympathy Vs. Empathy


“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” ~ Brené Brown

It’s funny how we think we are being helpful, but as it turns out we are unknowingly brushing off the feelings of others. Offering sympathy instead of empathy is similar to when we tell people to “think positive,” as it bypasses actually allowing ourselves to feel our emotions. When our loved ones are having a hard time with something, we are quick to try and fix or change the situation instead of just allowing it to be.

It’s as if we are all just so afraid of letting the pain be there, that we try to brush it off as quickly as possible. Unfortunately as described in the video, this isn’t actually helping, but providing a temporary band-aid instead. In turn, the people who are in pain often don’t feel emotionally met and can feel even more upset, even though they know you have good intentions. To be fair, for the most part we haven’t been taught these emotional skills so many of us are lacking in that department.

The Importance Of Feeling Our Feelings

This is a good reminder to not only allow others the space to feel their feelings without trying to change them, but for yourself as well — to give yourself the time and space that you need to feel what’s happening inside of you.

If something comes up, and emotion is starting to build up inside of you, instead of grabbing your phone, eating something, or using a substance — try feeling it fully instead! It can be very helpful to label the emotion you’re feeling, i.e. I feel hurt right now.

Then feel it, feel it fully, cry if you need to, feel where it hurts in your body, do whatever you need to do to allow yourself to actually feel the emotion.It will help to process and release it, that way you won’t have to hold onto it, or store it in your body.

As a good friend once told me,

“See what there is to see, feel what there is to feel and you will heal. “

This might sound simple, and that’s because it is! It’s a lot easier to process and feel our emotions than to stuff them down and ignore them, which inevitably will cause more pain and suffering down the road.

Feeling our feelings, who would have thought? 😉

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Alternative News

Our Biology Responds To Events Before They Even Happen

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Multiple experiments have shown strong evidence for precognition in several different ways. One of them comes in the form of activity within the heart and the brain responding to events before they even happen.

  • Reflect On:

    Do we have extra human capacities we are unaware of? Perhaps we can learn them, develop them, and use them for good. Perhaps when the human race is ready, we will start learning more.

Is precognition real? There are many examples suggesting that yes, it is. The remote viewing program conducted by the CIA in conjunction with Stanford University was a good example of that.  After its declassification in 1995, or at least partial declassification, the Department of Defense and those involved revealed an exceptionally high success rate:

To summarize, over the years, the back-and-forth criticism of protocols, refinement of methods, and successful replication of this type of remote viewing in independent laboratories has yielded considerable scientific evidence for the reality of the (remote viewing) phenomenon. Adding to the strength of these results was the discovery that a growing number of individuals could be found to demonstrate high-quality remote viewing, often to their own surprise… The development of this capability at SRI has evolved to the point where visiting CIA personnel with no previous exposure to such concepts have performed well under controlled laboratory conditions. (source)

The kicker? Part of remote viewing involves peering into future events as well as events that happened in the past.

It’s not only within the Department of Defense that we find this stuff, but a lot of science is emerging on this subject as well.

For example, a study (meta analysis) published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience titled “Predicting the unpredictable: critical analysis and practical implications of predictive anticipatory activity” examined a number of experiments regarding this phenomenon that were conducted by several different laboratories. These experiments indicate that the human body can actually detect randomly delivered stimuli that occur 1-10 seconds in advance. In other words, the human body seems to know of an event and reacts to the event before it has occurred. What occurs in the human body before these events are physiological changes that are measured regarding the cardiopulmonary, the skin, and the nervous system.

A few years ago, the chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Dr. Dean Radin, visited the scientists over at HearthMath Institute and shared the results of one of his studies. Radin is also one of multiple scientists who authored the paper above. These studies, as mentioned above, tracked the autonomic nervous system, physiological changes, etc.

Scientists at HeartMath Institute (HMI) added more protocols, which included measuring participants’ brain waves (EEG), their hearts’ electrical activity (ECG), and their heart rate variability (HRV).

As HMI explains:

Twenty-six adults experienced in using HeartMath techniques and who could sustain a heart-coherent state completed two rounds of study protocols approximately two weeks apart. Half of the participants completed the protocols after they intentionally achieved a heart-coherent state for 10 minutes. The other half completed the same procedures without first achieving heart coherence. Then they reversed the process for the second round of monitoring, with the first group not becoming heart-coherent before completing the protocols and the second group becoming heart-coherent before. The point was to test whether heart coherence affected the results of the experiment.

Participants were told the study’s purpose was to test stress reactions and were unaware of its actual purpose. (This practice meets institutional-review-board standards.) Each participant sat at a computer and was instructed to click a mouse when ready to begin.

The screen stayed blank for six seconds. The participant’s physiological data was recorded by a special software program, and then, one by one, a series of 45 pictures was displayed on the screen. Each picture, displayed for 3 seconds, evoked either a strong emotional reaction or a calm state. After each picture, the screen went blank for 10 seconds. Participants repeated this process for all 45 pictures, 30 of which were known to evoke a calm response and 15 a strong emotional response.

The Results

The results of the experiment were fascinating to say the least. The participants’ brains and hearts responded to information about the emotional quality of the pictures before the computer flashed them (random selection). This means that the heart and brain were both responding to future events. The results indicated that the responses happened, on average, 4.8 seconds before the computer selected the pictures.

How mind-altering is that?

Even more profound, perhaps, was data showing the heart received information before the brain. “It is first registered from the heart,” Rollin McCraty Ph.D. explained, “then up to the brain (emotional and pre-frontal cortex), where we can logically relate what we are intuiting, then finally down to the gut (or where something stirs).”

Another significant study (meta-analysis) that was published in Journal of Parapsychology by Charles Honorton and Diane C. Ferrari in 1989 examined a number of studies that were published between 1935 and 1987. The studies involved individuals’ attempts to predict “the identity of target stimuli selected randomly over intervals ranging from several hundred million seconds to one year following the individuals responses.” These authors investigated over 300 studies conducted by over 60 authors, using approximately 2 million individual trials by more than 50,000 people. (source)

It concluded that their analysis of precognition experiments “confirms the existence of a small but highly significant precognition effect. The effect appears to be repeatable; significant outcomes are reported by 40 investigators using a variety of methodological paradigms and subject populations. The precognition effect is not merely an unexplained departure from a theoretical chance baseline, but rather is an effect that covaries with factors known to influence more familiar aspects of human performance.” (source)

The Takeaway

“There seems to be a deep concern that the whole field will be tarnished by studying a phenomenon that is tainted by its association with superstition, spiritualism and magic. Protecting against this possibility sometimes seems more important than encouraging scientific exploration or protecting academic freedom. But this may be changing.”
 Cassandra Vieten, PhD and President/CEO at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (source)

We are living in a day and age where new information and evidence are constantly emerging, challenging what we once thought was real or what we think we know about ourselves as human beings.  It’s best to keep an open mind. Perhaps there are aspects of ourselves and our consciousness that have yet to be discovered. Perhaps if we learn and grow from these studies, they can help us better ourselves and others.

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