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On Donald Trump & The Need For A New Definition Of “Successful Man”

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I have a confession to make: When Donald Trump won the U.S. election, part of me was happy.

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Crazy, right?

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Before you start judging me, let me explain: I did not vote for him, or support his campaign. And like most, I was concerned about his controversial morals and political inexperience.

But I also believed his election was the perfect Harajuku moment — “a moment in time when you have a revelation that change must happen now, and fast.”

More specifically, I felt like Trump’s presence in the spotlight would wake us up to the fact that our world is run by men who embody an outdated model of “Masculine Success.”

By many modern standards Trump is a successful man. He has achieved impressive feats and made tons of money, but his approach to life is rooted in self-serving beliefs.

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Is that what success should really look like?  

I believe this issue is at the root of many societal problems (for example, corruption, social inequality, and abusive relationships), and that by addressing it head-on we can solve challenges that have plagued society for centuries.

Together, we need to redefine what it means to be “a successful man.” Then, we must work diligently to practice this new ethos and build, in the words of Buckminster Fuller, “a world that works for everyone.”

In this article, I’m going to take you on a journey into the concept of Masculine Success, how it’s affecting you, and how upgrading your own definition will yield you greater happiness, wealth, and impact on society.

Donald Trump and the Old Paradigm of Success

Donald Trump is a living, breathing paradox.

On one hand, the man is brilliant: He’s a billionaire, has been an executive to over 500 companies, and became the first ever U.S. president with no political or military experience.

You can say what you want about the guy, but this remains pretty damn impressive.

On the other hand, he’s a deeply flawed individual: He exhibits clear misogynistic and racist tendencies, has a long history of deceptive tactics, and is a master manipulator of the highest caliber.

In this paradox, we can see a blueprint for the old definition of a “Successful Man”:

  1. He’s great at making money and providing for his family — even if it employs the “I Win, You Lose” methodology that sacrifices the greater good for personal gain.
  2. He’s tough, hard working, and highly skilled in certain areas — however lacking compassion, kindness, and care for others.
  3. He’s a powerful man and influential leader — who’s willing to cut corners and sacrifice integrity in order to achieve his goals.

As you can see, he’s got some great qualities, some that you and I could benefit from mastering. But simultaneously, his “success formula” is painfully unbalanced and produces severe collateral damage.

Is Trump a Product of His Generation?

Before we start vilifying Trump (and men like him), let’s look at the bigger picture:

What shaped his approach to success?

What cultural forces forged his belief system?

What conditioning generated his character?

I believe there are 3 dominant forces that made Donald Trump the man he is today, and influenced an entire generation of Baby bBomer males (born between 1946 and 1964):

  • Scarcity and the Tribe Mentality
  • Stoicism and the Emotionally Closed Man
  • Capitalism and the Rise of Greed

Scarcity and the Tribe Mentality

You and I live in the most prosperous time in history. Our basic needs are met, we face few (if any) threats, and technology allows us an unprecedented level of comfort (cars, grocery stores, central heating, fridges, computers, cellphones, etc). With these favourable life conditions, it’s easy to forget that for the vast majority of history, things were different. Homo sapiens have been around for ~200,000 years and high standards of living only appeared in the last 100 years. This means that 99.95% of human history was rooted in struggle for survival.

For thousands of years, our ancestors lived in a state of scarcity: They never knew if there would be enough food, water, or heat. Survival was a day-to-day affair that naturally created a scarcity mentality: “I need to get mine before you get yours.”

To increase chances of survival, humans banded into tribes and the tribal mentality was born: “You’re either with us or against us.”

Recently, these states of consciousness were further amplified by the advent of World Wars I and II. When Donald Trump was born, in 1946, the world had just suffered through six horrific years of mind-bending loss, trauma, and fear.

As a result, the expectation for a man of his era was to become a great provider and ensure his family/tribe survived, whatever it took. Caring for the greater good was the responsibility of social servants, not businessmen.

Stoicism and the Emotionally Closed Man

To succeed in those times of scarcity and tribal mentality, men had to master a few important personality traits: toughness, resilience, and inner strength. Those were essential in order to provide for their family day in and day out, no matter what challenges came up.

One of the best ways to do so was to master stoicism, also known as “the endurance of pain or hardship without a display of feelings and without complaint.” While an effective survival strategy, this approach came with a hefty cost: it made men insensitive, disconnected from their hearts, and lacking compassion for others.

When we look at the traditional model of Masculine Success, we see men that are tough, hard working and capable of high achievements. But they’re also largely devoid of compassion and genuine kindness.

Capitalism and the Rise of Greed

The third societal force we’ll look at is capitalism, and how it’s brought about an unprecedented wave of greed in the world.

First off, let me say there are a lot of of good things about capitalism. I am constantly in awe of the fact that I can use a piece of plastic (my debit card) to acquire just about any product or service imaginable, instantly. Wow!

But capitalism also encourages excess: both from a consumer and a producer standpoint. There are no inherent mechanisms to prevent people from abusing the system (ie. making more profit at the expense of the greater good), and consuming too much (ie. overeating and overspending).

Juxtapose that with the fact that scarcity was until recently a major part of humanity for thousands of years, and you have the perfect recipe for greed. With greed comes a tendency to bend moral guidelines, and to sacrifice integrity in the name of profit.

This has been done by businessmen from generations, and Donald Trump is just another example of that.

An Outdated Success Model

As you can see, 200,000 years of human history have conspired to create a very clear, and deeply ingrained model of success:

  • Men evolved into hard-working, skilled providers who are willing to do whatever it takes to succeed.
  • Difficult life conditions made them tough and resilient but emotionally closed off.
  • Capitalism allowed for an unprecedented rise in prosperity that was paralleled by deception and greed from successful businessmen worldwide.

All of these traits, despite their flaws, have served humanity over time — they got us (for better and worse) to where we are today. But they simply won’t get us to where we need to go. Rather, they will destroy us. Unless we create a new model of masculine success, starting today.

The New Standard of Masculine Success

Now that we’ve set the stage, let me ask you an important question:

How can we take our individual lives and society at large to the next level?

I believe we need build on the strengths developed by our predecessors while developing the qualities they were lacking.

We need to become:

  • Great at making money and providing for our family… in a way that benefits all of mankind. (“I Win, You Win.”)
  • Tough, hard working, and highly skilled… while being deeply compassionate, kind and caring to others.
  • Powerful men and influential leaders… who are shining examples of strong morals and impeccable integrity.

That, right there, is what I believe a “Successful Man” needs to be from now on. It’s a high standard, a challenging one to achieve, and one that is essential to the survival of humanity.

Sounds dramatic? Think again.

Without it, we will continue to fight one another, destroy our planet, and let egos run the world. Who knows where that will lead us?

One thing is for sure: We are at a turning point in history, and it’s time for you and I to step up. It’s time to become the kind of men the world needs. It’s time to become Kings.

Upgrading Your “Success Operating System”

So, how do we actually do it?

Over the last few years, I’ve been experimenting extensively with this. I’ve worked very hard to reprogram my mind, open my heart, and upgrade my “success operating system.”

Along the way, I’ve found a few key mental models that are critical to become a “successful man 2.0.”

  1. Upgrading From Scarcity to Sufficiency
  2. Upgrading From Tribalism to Inclusiveness
  3. Upgrading From Stoicism to Emotional Fluency
  4. Upgrading From Capitalism to Conscious Capitalism

Let’s dissect each one, decipher how you can make the transition, and upgrade your entire life.

Principle #1: Upgrading From Scarcity to Sufficiency

The scarcity mentality is based on the belief that there aren’t enough resources for everyone: “If you get more, I get less.” This makes us competitors, and I must beat you to survive.

While I’m at it, I might as well accumulate as much as possible so I can be “safer.” My excessive hoarding might cause you and your family to struggle… but that’s not my problem. We’re competitors, remember?

Conversely, the sufficiency mentality is predicated on the fact that there are enough resources for everybody — as long as everyone uses only their fair share.

Did you know that since 1970, there’s been enough food on the planet to feed the entire human population? And yet, billions of people are starving, while more than two-thirds (68.8%) of American adults are overweight or obese. This is one of the saddest facts about humanity, and one that we need to address now. Practicing sufficiency is a great way to start.

To do so, you need to install two beliefs into your consciousness:

  • I am resourceful and can acquire resources whenever I need. I trust myself and I know I will be OK.
  • I only need a certain amount of resources to live comfortably—anything in excess doesn’t serve me or the world.

I know, this is radically different than what most of us have been taught our entire life. But don’t let your conditioning close you off to this alternative way of thinking. Just because some rappers and pop culture in general tell us we need to be balling and “rolling billies deep” doesn’t mean it’s true.

A 2010 study from Princeton shows that after $75,000/year, there is no correlation between money and happiness.

Remember: we live in the most prosperous time in history. Money is everywhere. Acquiring it is not rocket science, and we don’t need to be multi-millionaires to be safe or happy.

Exercise: Figure out how much money you need to live a beautiful life, and make that your target. If you simply aim for “more,” you’ll be stuck on the hamster wheel that will compromise your happiness and lead you to accumulate more than your fair share, thus unbalancing the global system.

Principle #2: Upgrading from Tribalism to Inclusiveness

One of the things Donald Trump did masterfully during his electoral campaign was to create an “Us Versus Them” mentality. He played on our evolutionary fears, and reinforced the idea that “these people are out to get us!” (so let’s build a wall!)

The problem is, tribalism keeps us in a state of fear, puts us at odds with each other, and promotes conflict at the individual and global level.

It’s a very low level of consciousness, one that was appropriate 10,000 years ago but is now outdated. As we’ve seen with Principle #1, the world is different now than it was before: There is enough for everyone. We don’t need to aggressively compete against each other anymore.

Instead, our best strategy for a happy and productive life is the opposite: collaboration.

And as such, one of the most helpful beliefs you can install in your consciousness is:

Everyone is on my team. We’re all in this together.

This belief is incredibly powerful. Just writing it, I feel my nervous system relax and my mind open to bigger possibilities.

Now you might be thinking, “Well that’s a nice philosophy but that’s not how it works in reality.”

Let me tell you this: I’ve been actively employing this philosophy every day for the last two years, and it does work. Here’s why: As we know from quantum physics and the Double-Slit experiment, the expectation of the observer directly affects the behaviour of the observed. In simpler terms, this means that if you go through life expecting people to be selfish, mean, and dangerous, you’re drastically increasing the chances you will experience that. Conversely, if you expect people to be kind, generous, and friendly, you’re much more likely to bring out the best in them, and consistently have positive experiences with others.

But don’t take my word for it; try it and see for yourself.

Exercise: next time you leave home, set the intention to interact with the world as if “everyone is on my team.” Smile to people. Say hi to them. Assume friendship. Then, notice what happens…

Principle #3: Upgrading From Stoicism to Emotional Fluency

To be a powerful man and an influential leader, we need a tremendous amount of inner strength. Stoicism is one way to get there.

But there’s a big downside to this approach: By disassociating with our emotions, we reduce our existence to a cognitive experience that lacks depth, beauty, and aliveness.

I don’t know about you, but that’s not a deal I’m willing to make. Especially when there’s a better way: emotional fluency.

While stoicism produces strength through the suppression of emotions, emotional fluency strengthens us through the ability to use them as positive fuel.

Emotions can only impair us if we’re incapable of dealing with them in a mature way; if we let them control us and throw us off. With emotional fluency, we are able to feel our emotions, harness their energy, and intentionally use them for good.

Feeling fear? Use it to work harder and sharpen your senses.

Feeling sadness? Use it to soften your heart and connect more deeply with others.

Feeling anger? Use it as a signal that something is off and that changes are needed.

By doing so, you will become a much more effective individual and you develop much more compassion towards others.

Additionally, when you allow yourself to feel the unpleasant emotions, you’ll feel the pleasant ones more strongly: joy, love, bliss, and compassion will be amplified.

Exercise: Next time you feel a strong emotion arise, pause. Resist the urge to suppress it or to numb yourself. Stay present with it, and get curious: Why is it there? What’s it telling you? And most importantly, how can you use it for positive action?

Principle #4: Upgrading from Capitalism to Conscious Capitalism

As I stated earlier, capitalism has a lot of positive aspects to it. A free-market economy provides us with an incomparable access to goods and services, and rewards hard work, initiative. and value-creation.

But let’s be honest, just like the old definition of “a successful man” had upsides but was severely incomplete, so is the capitalist system.

Thankfully, we don’t need to completely overhaul the system. I’m not suggesting we switch to communism or any radical system. Rather, we need to upgrade the current system. Enter Conscious Capitalism.


Here’s an overview of this approach:
While making money is essential for the vitality and sustainability of a business, it is not the only or even the most important reason a business exists. Conscious businesses focus on their purpose beyond profit. By focusing on its deeper purpose, a conscious business inspires, engages, and energizes its stakeholders.

In other words, we need to approach our career and business within a larger context: Making money is critical, and doing it in a way that benefits everyone involved is equally important.

To make this more concrete, here are two contrasting examples:

  1. Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. In this venture, the sole aim is to maximize profit. To do so, they get customers to spend as much money as possible at the casino (even if it’s detrimental people’s health, well-being, and sanity). Meanwhile, they pay employees and suppliers as little as possible to keep expenses down. None of the profits are redistributed in the community.
  2. Toms Shoes. In this venture, profit is only one of many aims. Every time you buy a pair of shoes, Toms donates a pair of shoes to a child in need. Their model is elegant and effective: Create a great product, sell it at a fair price, redistribute some of the profits to those who need it most, and make sure that everyone who’s involved in the process (employees, customers, suppliers) are generously rewarded for their effort.

According to traditional capitalism, Toms Shoes is throwing money away. But using a greater lens, they’re doing better business.

Moving forward, I invite you to expand your own lens: Don’t settle for work that pays you well but doesn’t serve a greater purpose. Think of all the people who are connected with your business. And create an ecosystem that uplifts every single person.

Exercise: Challenge yourself to think broader. How can you create more value for society through your work? How can you aim not to maximize profit but rather maximize utility for all?

The Higher Road is the Better Road

I started this article with a confession, and I’ll end it with another one: Walking this path is not easy.

Every day there are countless temptations to take the path of least resistance, to conform, and to revert back to the old model.

Practicing sufficiency requires superb discipline and commitment.

Practicing inclusiveness requires incredible acceptance and open-mindedness.

Practicing emotional fluency requires immense humility and tolerance for discomfort.

Practicing conscious capitalism requires exceptional generosity and selflessness.

It’s not easy. But it’s so immensely worth it. For yourself, those you love, and the world we live in. If you’ve read this far, I know there’s a calling in your soul to step up. So let’s do it, together.


Day after day, week after week, let us strive for higher ideals with a strong conviction that it’s worth it, and that our love, courage, and strength will inspire millions to follow suit. This, my friend, is how we change the world. One person at a time. Starting with ourselves.

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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.

 

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Consciousness

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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Consciousness

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.

Follow me on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, and YOUTUBE for more astrology-related content.

astrology, astrology readings, carmen di luccio

Gain astrological insight into what is going on in your life and have a better understanding of your individual potentials. Get a personalized astrology reading with Carmen (author of this article) specific to you based on your exact birth date, time, and location. Click here for more information or to order

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading
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