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Solar Eclipse In Leo: Time To Shine In New Ways

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We are having a Total Solar Eclipse in Leo on Monday, August 21st in the Western world, and in the early hours of August 22nd in the East. This eclipse has been dubbed ‘The Great American Eclipse’ as its pathway of totality will be cutting across the US from coast to coast. The peak of this eclipse and the exact moment of the New Moon will be at 6:30pm Universal Time, although the start and peak times of when the eclipse is visible depends on your location.

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This eclipse will be visible throughout North America, Central America, and in the Northern part of South America, as well as part of Western Europe and the west coast of Africa. However, it would be visible only as a partial eclipse unless you are on the pathway of totality which travels through parts of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and most of South Carolina.

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If you are located on the path of totality, you may be able to see Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, and Venus (in that order) in the dark sky as the Sun is completely covered. This will be a great sight to see if the conditions are right. Also, it’s very important to keep in mind that no matter where you are viewing the eclipse, make sure to be wearing certified viewing glasses when looking at the Sun as your eyes can damage without them.

Solar Eclipses are like a supercharged New Moon which occur every 6 months. They happen back to back with a Lunar Eclipse which is a supercharged Full Moon. Eclipse periods coincide with endings and beginnings and in some cases can feel like starting a whole new chapter depending on how they are influencing your natal astrology chart.

They can be a bit of a ‘wild card’ sometimes.  The energies are strongest within a month of occurring which is when related events or circumstances may transpire. However, the effects of eclipses can still manifest over the following 6 months and gradually leading up to it.

In the lead up to this, we had a Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius. Its energies signify changes around our friendships, associates, colleagues, groups, teams, or some sort of collective. It could even have to do with how we express ourselves in these dynamics, and also potentially lead to new growth in relationships and partnerships.

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We started Mercury retrograde in Virgo on August 12th/13th which will last until Septeber 5th/6th when it will be in late Leo. Mercury Retrograde is a time of adjustments, insights, revisitation, and reorientation. The fact that this one is coinciding with eclipse season really emphasizes significant changes occurring between late July and late September, especially in the 2-3 weeks following this Solar Eclipse.

I also previously wrote an article covering this eclipse from a geopolitical perspective, and more specifically what is going on in the US and with Donald Trump, which you can read here.

Total Solar Eclipse Near North Node Is A Strong Significator Of New Beginnings

Solar Eclipses always occur when there is a New Moon near one of the two Lunar Nodes, which in this case it is the North Node. The Nodes are where the pathway of the Moon’s orbit crosses the ecliptic which is the pathway of the Sun from our (geocentric) perspective. The closer a New Moon is to a Node, the more totality/coverage the Moon will have in blocking the Sun making it more astrologically significant as far as changes are concerned. The other Lunar Node, known as the South Node, is always on the opposite side and sign as its counterpart.

The Nodes are an important thing to look at when considering eclipses. The North Node (in Leo) is about the future and where our evolutionary potential is at this time. The South Node (in Aquarius) is about the past and what potentially could be holding us back if expressed in a way that is inhibiting what the North Node is calling for. They entered the Leo-Aquarius axis on May 9th and will stay there until November 6th, 2018 extending those themes until then.

The last Lunar Eclipse (mentioned above) we had a few weeks prior triggered and initiated the Aquarian South Node side of this process. However, considering that this one in Leo is a North Node Solar Eclipse in totality, and the previous one was a partial Lunar Eclipse, the new beginnings surrounding the Leo energy are much stronger than potential endings signified by the Aquarian side of the polarity. It is probable that some of the developments and changes indicated by the previous eclipse could be directly connected with some of the new beginnings indicated by this Solar Eclipse.

Solar Eclipse In Leo Aligned With Regulus and Trine Uranus

Leo is ruled by the Sun and it is the sign of the creator, the performer, the leader, and the superstar. It is about love and heart centred self-expression, whether that is in our creative efforts, joyful activities, or in relationships. Leo is passionate, inspired, and inspiring, which is what earns Leo natives the spotlight they may crave. Leo is also associated with children and has childlike and playful qualities. Expressed negatively, Leo energy can be demanding of attention, egotistical, arrogant, and get too caught up in drama.

The energy of this sign can be expressed in different ways and areas of your life depending on how it is interacting with your natal astrology chart and the types of things that you do. For example; the Leo ‘performer’ theme may be expressed in the arts or in sports, or perhaps you are taking on a leadership role in your workplace, maybe children coming into your life somehow, or maybe you are doing something new regarding a hobby. These are just some examples of how this can play out, but many more potentials of its expression can exist related to the above mentioned themes.

This Solar Eclipse is aligned with Regulus, which is the brightest star that is closest to the Sun’s pathway (ecliptic). It is the ‘heart of Lion’ of the Leo constellation, which emphasizes some of the themes mentioned above. Traditionally it has been referred to as the ‘star of kings’ as part of which highlights the superstar potentials of Leo energy and could also suggest a theme of being the king/queen of our world. A negative expression of Regulus can be seeking revenge and going to war.

Uranus is in a very tight harmonious trine with this Regulus aligned Solar Eclipse. Uranus can bring excitement, innovation, revolution, authenticity, freedom, and the sparks of intuition and inspiration that could lead to revolutionary developments in our lives. It likes to challenge the status quo, take a more progressive approach, and could also be rebellious. Uranus also strongly emphasizes the new beginnings of this Solar Eclipse.

This eclipse is also separating from a quincunx aspect with Chiron which will be finishing a square with Saturn in the Fall. Although this eclipse can make us more bold and potentially have a liberating effect, there may be challenges and required adjustments when trying to incorporate the Leo energy while addressing our blocks, wounds, or emotional patterns. This theme could also come up from mid October until mid November at times in which we could go beyond some of these challenges if we apply discipline.

Mars conjunct the North Node in Harmonious Aspects with Jupiter and Saturn Going Direct

Mars is also in Leo not too far from where this eclipse is occurring, however it is much closer to the North Node making it a key planet to look at in consideration of the future. Mars is the planet of assertiveness, action, and desires. In Leo it likes to do things in a ‘grand’ way and with passion. This is about applying your drive and being active towards all of the Leo themes mentioned above in consideration of the future and your evolution.

Saturn and Jupiter, which both have opposing qualities, are making a harmonious sextile with each other and with Mars involved as well. This energy is strong during the first 2 weeks following this eclipse, especially after the 25th when Saturn finishes its retrograde.

Saturn is about commitment, structure, discipline, work, responsibilities, caution, and being realistic. Jupiter is about expansion, the big picture, growth, freedom, learning/teaching, morals, beliefs, travel, or anything to do with broadening your horizons. These two planets in a sextile with each other shows that these two energies are working in a compatible way and helps to provide balance between them.

For example, perhaps there is a theme of committing to, solidifying, or building towards something that can be expansive for you. It could also mean being able to more easily exercise caution while applying yourself in growing towards your goals. For some, it may be about moving forward with a realistic perspective or perhaps better defined beliefs, morals, or ideology.

This can also be good for commitments around relationships and partnerships considering Jupiter is in Libra. However, considering all of the Uranus energy at this time, partnerships and relationships will work best when there is something Uranian about it which could be exciting, electric, innovative, involve technology, or provide some sense of freedom.

Things To Consider and Setting Intentions

The last time an eclipse happened at this location of the zodiac was in August of 1998. In 1999 we also had an eclipse belonging to the same ‘Saros Series’ as this one. Depending on your age, it can be good to look at what has happened in your life during those years, especially in the second half of 1998. Some of the same themes that occurred then will manifest now, but in a different way as the overall astrology now is not the same as it was then.

Many of the themes related to this eclipse will be strongly activated during the first week or so of September. This is when Mercury ends its retrograde (September 5th) and stations forward at the same spot where this eclipse is occurring, all while in a trine with Uranus. At that time there can be new developments, and potentially surprises, that will help us in how we can proceed forward in our new beginnings.

What is your heart telling you to create at this time? What steps can you take to help you in fulfilling your passions? What possibilities out there currently excite you and perhaps make you feel more free? What is getting in the way of you expressing your heart more? In what area of your life do you need to be the King, Queen, or Superstar? How can you express yourself in ways that are more innovative, authentic and reflective of who you truly are?

These are some examples of what to reflect on during this eclipse and even more so in the coming weeks. If you wish to do your New Moon intentions for this eclipse, it is best to make them within the following 24 hours, as close to the New Moon/Eclipse as possible. You can click here to see what that is for your time zone. If you wish to know the times and specifics around viewing the eclipse in your region, you can find that here.

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Looking for more insight and a better understanding on how this eclipse season is affecting you? 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. You can also FOLLOW ME on Instagram for more astrology related content.

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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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Consciousness

Studies Show That Writing In A Journal Can Benefit Your Emotional & Physical Well-Being

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If you have read any of my previous articles, you may already know that I am a huge advocate of keeping a journal, or diary or notebook – whichever term you like best to describe the act of writing out your thoughts on paper, or if you prefer, typing them out on a screen.

Personally, journaling is something that has helped me get through some really tough times in my life and is also a great tool for just allowing some new perspective and a space to vent without judgment or advice. But for all of those skeptics out there who don’t understand how something like this could actually help, well, there’s science to prove it.

Scientific Evidence To Prove How Journaling Helps

Psychologists from the University of California were able to investigate the effect of journaling by inviting 20 volunteers to visit the lab for a brain scan before asking them to write for 20 minutes a day for four consecutive days. Half of the participants wrote about a fairly recent emotional experience, while the other half of the participants wrote about something neutral.

Those who chose to write about an emotional experience showed more activity in the part of the brain called the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. In turn, this relaxed neural activity that is linked to strong emotional feelings.

According to Lieberman, men seemed to benefit from writing about their feelings more so than women, and writing by hand seemed to have a bigger effect than typing on a keyboard. That’s an interesting note: could men benefit from journaling more because in general they tend to keep their feelings to themselves? A journal can certainly act as a safe space for emotionally deprived men to vent.

“Men tend to show greater benefits and that is a bit counterintuitive. But the reason might be that women more freely put their feelings into words, so this is less of a novel experience for them. For men it’s more of a novelty,” Lieberman said.

Aside from drastic improvements to your mood and emotional well-being, writing out your thoughts and feelings regularly can actually benefit your physical health as well. Journaling can increase your chance of fighting specific diseases like asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, AIDS and cancer. Amazingly, it can even help physical wounds heal faster.

A study conducted in 2013 found that 76% of adults who spent 20 minutes a day journaling for three days in a row before a scheduled medical biopsy were fully healed 11 days later. On the other hand, 58% of the control group had not yet recovered. The study concluded that just one hour of writing about a distressing event helped the participants to better understand the events and reduce stress levels.

Lead researcher on expressive writing at the University of Texas and author of Writing To Heal, James W. Pennebaker, has found that by translating our experiences into our own language by writing it out, we are able to make the experience more comprehendible.

Pennebaker says: “Emotional upheavals touch every part of our lives. You don’t just lose a job, you don’t just get divorced. These things affect all aspects of who we are — our financial situation, our relationships with others, our views of ourselves…writing helps us focus and organize the experience.”

The Most Efficient Way To Cope With A Big Life Change Is To Journal

Journaling will help you to get over a break-up or cope with other up and down relationships in your life. While it may seem to be overanalyzing, studies have shown that venting about a past relationship actually helps to speed up emotional recovery and can help build a stronger sense of self-identity following a break-up. I don’t know about you, but this is something that I wish I would have done after break-ups that leave you feeling lost and like you don’t know who you are anymore.

By venting I don’t mean to your friends. While this certainly can help, the act of writing, with a pen or pencil, will provide you with the most health benefits.

“Writing accesses the left hemisphere of the brain, which is analytical and rational,” Maud Purcell, a psychotherapist and journaling expert, told Fast Company. “While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to do what it does best, i.e. create, intuit, and feel. In this way, writing removes mental blocks and allows us to use more of our brainpower to better understand ourselves and the world around us.”

Journaling Can Provide Long-Term Benefits

Journaling helps you to cope with the experience at hand but it can also help to prepare you to face similar experiences in the future.

“Journal therapy is all about using personal material as a way of documenting an experience, and learning more about yourself in the process,” Kathleen Adams, a psychotherapist and author of Journal to the Self, told the Huffington Post. “It lets us say what’s on our minds and helps us get — and stay — healthy through listening to our inner desires and needs.”

The process of journaling allows you to get to know yourself through your feelings and experiences. It’s just plain and simply writing out your feelings. This is different than just thinking because it is more streamline; you aren’t going back and forth or writing the same thing down over and over again.

You can start right now, or the next time you’re feeling particularly stressed about something. It’s so simple you might as well give it a shot! What do you have to lose? It just might help you more than you might have imagined! Plus, wouldn’t it be fun to look back at the big events that happened in your life in 20 years or longer and see how you were able to deal with the situations? It could even provide you with some insight on how to handle situations you are faced with in the future.

We are constantly being faced with challenges. This is what life is all about, but our reactions to those challenges is what defines who we are. Are we strong and capable or are we weak and playing a victim? The choice is ours!

Much Love

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Consciousness

Loneliness: A Health Problem That Could Be Deadlier Than Obesity, Study Says

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Loneliness can reliably be linked to a significant increase in the risk of early mortality, according to a study at Brigham Young University. Head author, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, notes that “substantial evidence now indicates that individuals lacking social connections (both objective and subjective social isolation) are at risk for premature mortality.”

Holt-Lunstad believes the risks associated with loneliness are already greater than such established dangers as obesity:

Several decades ago scientists who observed widespread dietary and behavior changes raised warnings about obesity and related health problems. The present obesity epidemic had been predicted. Obesity now receives constant coverage in the media and in public health policy. The current status of research on the risks of loneliness and social isolation is similar to that of research on obesity 3 decades ago… Current evidence indicates that heightened risk for mortality from a lack of social relationships is greater than that from obesity.

Furthermore, she warns that “researchers have predicted that loneliness will reach epidemic proportions by 2030 unless action is taken.”

Why Are We So Isolated From Each Other?

From the long view, it can be said that Western civilization as a whole has fostered a gradual disintegration of our physical and social ties. With an emphasis on individual goals and an almost fanatical regard for personal achievement, the traditional institutions of family and community and their capacity to provide their members with a sense of belonging and shared purpose have become significantly fragmented.

The family unit has gone from large generations-linked mutual support systems to small and immediate units, sometimes involving single parents whose necessities make it very difficult to create a stable home environment for their children. Add to that the fact that more and more people are not even building families, and our society has more people living alone than at any other time in history. This includes the elderly, who are less likely to find a ‘fit’ living within their children’s families than ever before.

The decline of the ‘community’ is perhaps as significant as the disintegration of the family unit. In Western-style communities, people work as a collection of individual units interacting by specific functions rather than as an interrelated whole with a significant shared identity. Naturally, attempts are made today to join or build ‘communities’ all the time, but like the Meetup model, they are founded on the gathering of select people with similar interests and purposes, rather than a shared embrace of all people within a certain geographical area.

The Rise of Social Media

I believe the rise in prominence of social media has in part been fuelled by the sense of alienation we have long felt within our modern society. I don’t believe social media is the root cause of our loneliness, as some speculate, but rather a symptom of this much longer-standing social problem. Connecting via chats and web pages is just something that we have gotten into the habit of reaching for since it is so immediately accessible. But like any quick fix, it does not end up fulfilling our deeper needs, either individually or as a society.

If we see that our society has been slowly disintegrating over hundreds of years, then it becomes incumbent upon us as a society (if we can still even identify ourselves with our ‘society’) to take measures to remedy this situation. What those measures might be, though, given how things seem to be trending, is a matter of great conjecture.

On Being Alone  

One approach is to first acknowledge that Western society’s emphasis on the individual is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I believe that the development of personal integrity, creativity, and autonomy is a critical step in the evolution of human consciousness. Learning how to be alone with oneself is a part of that process. In his work entitled Pensées, French philosopher Blaise Pascal observed that “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

As evidenced by Eastern gurus and mystics, one can be perfectly content in isolation. This can be greatly facilitated by the practice of meditation and other such methods that give us a direct perception of our energetic connectedness not only with other people, but with all things. In this higher state, the damaging emotional impact of loneliness and social isolation are not experienced.

Our Next Step

Still, the life of the yogi remains for the few. The rest of us, it seems, have come to this planet to interact, share, and love. And we have not incarnated into this dense physical world to get better at virtual relationships. At this stage, we have perhaps gotten a bit too accustomed to social isolation for our own good.

Holt-Lunstad notes that “although living alone can offer conveniences and advantages for an individual, this meta-analysis indicates that physical health is not among them.” She also cites another study that “has demonstrated higher survival rates for those who are more socially connected.” And then there is the seminal 75-Year Harvard University study, where “it was universally clear that without loving and supportive relationships, men in the study were not happy.” The message is becoming clear: we need to come together.

We are perhaps at a larger turning point in our development than most of us realize. It seems that we have reached the extreme edge of the exploration of individualism, and we are readying to move into greater balance with a collective identity. This is not a return to traditional ways, but rather a synthesis of our growth as individuals with the shared experience we are now hungering for. This synthesis signifies the next stage of our evolution.

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