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Scientists Show How Gratitude Literally Alters The Human Heart & Molecular Structure Of The Brain

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Scientists have discovered that feelings of gratitude can actually change your brain. Feeling gratitude can also be a great tool for overcoming depression and anxiety. Furthermore, scientists have discovered that the heart sends signals to the brain.

  • Reflect On:

    Every time we struggle with depression, why are we constantly encouraged to take prescription medication when mindfulness techniques actually show more promise?

Gratitude is a funny thing. In some parts of the world, somebody who gets a clean drink of water, some food, or a worn out pair of shoes can be extremely grateful. Meanwhile, somebody else who has all the necessities they need to live can be found complaining about something. What we have today is what we once wanted before, but there is a lingering belief out there that obtaining material possessions is the key to happiness. Sure, this may be true, but that happiness is temporary. The truth is that happiness is an inside job.

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It’s a matter of perspective, and in a world where we are constantly made to feel like we are lacking and always ‘wanting’ more, it can be difficult to achieve or experience actual happiness. Many of us are always looking toward external factors to experience joy and happiness, when really it’s all related to internal work. This is something science is just starting to grasp as well, as shown by research coming out of UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center. According to them:

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Having an attitude of gratitude changes the molecular structure of the brain, keeps gray matter functioning, and makes us healthier and happier. When you feel happiness, the central nervous system is affected. You are more peaceful, less reactive and less resistant. Now that’s a really cool way of taking care of your well-being.

There are many studies showing that people who count their blessings tend to be far happier and experience less depression.  For one study,  researchers recruited people with mental health difficulties, including people suffering from anxiety and depression. The study involved nearly 300 adults who were randomly divided into three groups. This study came from the University of California, Berkeley.

All groups received counselling services, but the first group was also instructed to write one letter of gratitude to another person every week for three weeks, whereas the second group was asked to write about their deepest thoughts and feelings about negative experiences. The third group did not do any writing activity.

What did they find? Compared to the participants who wrote about negative experiences or only received counselling, those who wrote gratitude letters reported significantly better mental health for up to 12 weeks after the writing exercise ended.

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This suggests that gratitude writing can be beneficial not just for healthy, well-adjusted individuals, but also for those who struggle with mental health concerns. In fact, it seems, practicing gratitude on top of receiving psychological counseling carries greater benefits than counseling alone, even when that gratitude practice is brief. (source)

Previously, a study on gratitude conducted by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis and his colleague Mike McCullough at the University of Miami randomly assigned participants to be given one of three tasks. Each week, participants kept a short journal. One group described five things they were grateful for that had occurred in the past week, another group recorded daily troubles from the previous week that displeased them, and the neutral group was asked to list five events or circumstances that affected them, but they were not told whether to focus on the positive or the negative. Ten weeks later, participants in the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole and were a full 25 percent happier than the troubled group. They reported fewer health complaints and exercised an average of 1.5 hours more. (source)

Researchers from Berkeley identified how gratitude might actually work on our minds and bodies. They provided four insights from their research suggesting what causes the psychological benefits of gratitude.

  • Gratitude unshackles us from toxic emotions
  • Gratitude helps even if you don’t share it
  • Gratitude’s benefits take time & practice. You might not feel it right away.
  • Gratitude has lasting effects on the brain

The brain part is very interesting. The researchers at Berkeley used an fMRI scanner to measure brain activity while people from each group did a “pay it forward” task.  During the task, the participants were given money by a “nice person.” This person’s only request was that they pass on the money to someone if they felt grateful.

They did this because they wanted to distinguish between actions motivated by gratitude and actions driven by other motivations like obligation, guilt, or what other people think. This is important because you can’t fake gratitude, you actually have to feel it. If you don’t feel grateful or practice trying to feel grateful by taking the necessary steps like keeping a gratitude journal, you may not experience as much joy and happiness.

In a world where emotions aren’t really taught in school and the importance is put on striving for high grades, it’s not abnormal to have difficulty feeling grateful. This is especially understandable if you’ve been brought up in the western world, which is full of consumerism and competition, a world where we’re constantly made to feel we are lacking so we need to strive for more.

Participants were asked to rate how grateful they felt toward the person giving them the money and how much they wanted to pay it forward to a charitable cause as well as how guilty they thought they would feel if they didn’t help.  They were also given questionnaires to measure how grateful they felt in general.

We found that across the participants, when people felt more grateful, their brain activity was distinct from brain activity related to guilt and the desire to help a cause. More specifically, we found that when people who are generally more grateful gave more money to a cause, they showed greater neural sensitivity in the medial prefrontal cortex, a brain area associated with learning and decision making. This suggests that people who are more grateful are also more attentive to how they express gratitude.

Most interestingly, when we compared those who wrote the gratitude letters with those who didn’t, the gratitude letter writers showed greater activation in the medial prefrontal cortex when they experienced gratitude in the fMRI scanner. This is striking as this effect was found three months after the letter writing began. This indicates that simply expressing gratitude may have lasting effects on the brain. While not conclusive, this finding suggests that practicing gratitude may help train the brain to be more sensitive to the experience of gratitude down the line, and this could contribute to improved mental health over time.

It’s also interesting to note that a recent study just discovered a brain network that “gives rise to feelings of gratitude. The study could spur future investigations into how these ‘building blocks’ transform social information into complex emotions.” (source)

What About The Heart?

The work and research above is great, but where do we actually experience these feelings? They are clearly not a product of our brain, they are products of our consciousness, and when we feel them the brain responds.  Researchers are now discovering that the heart also responds and that it might actually be the heart that’s responsible for sending these signals to the brain.

A group of prestigious and internationally recognized leaders in physics, biophysics, astrophysics, education, mathematics, engineering, cardiology, biofeedback, and psychology (among other disciplines) have been doing some brilliant work over at the Institute of HeartMath.

Their work, among many others, has proven that when a person is feeling really positive emotions like gratitude, love, or appreciation, the heart beats out a different message, which determines what kind of signals are sent to the brain.

Not only that, but because the heart beats out the largest electromagnetic field produced in the body, the Institute has been able to gather a significant amount of data.

According to Rolin McCratey, Ph.D, and Director of Research at Heartmath,

“Emotional information is actually coded and modulated into these fields. By learning to shift our emotions, we are changing the information coded into the magnetic fields that are radiated by the heart, and that can impact those around us. We are fundamentally and deeply connected with each other and the planet itself.” (source)

Another great point made below by the Institute:

“One important way the heart can speak to and influence the brain is when the heart is coherent – experiencing stable, sine-wavelike pattern in its rhythms. When the heart is coherent, the body, including the brain, begins to experience all sorts of benefits, among them are greater mental clarity and ability, including better decision making.” (source)

In fact, the heart actually sends more signals to the brain than the brain sends in return. What’s even more amusing is the fact that these heart signals (from heart to brain) actually have a significant effect on brain function.

Research findings have shown that as we practice heart coherence and radiate love and compassion, our heart generates a coherent electromagnetic wave into the local field environment that facilitates social coherence, whether in the home, workplace, classroom or sitting around a table. As more individuals radiate heart coherence, it builds an energetic field that makes it easier for others to connect with their heart. So, theoretically it is possible that enough people building individual and social coherence could actually contribute to an unfolding global coherence. –  McCratey

So far, the researchers have discovered that the heart communicates with the brain and body in four ways: neurological communication (nervous system), biophysical communication (pulse wave), biochemical communication (hormones), and energetic communication (electromagnetic fields).

“HeartMath research has demonstrated that different patterns of heart activity (which accompany different emotional states) have distinct effects on cognitive and emotional function. During stress and negative emotions, when the heart rhythm pattern is erratic and disordered, the corresponding pattern of neural signals traveling from the heart to the brain inhibits higher cognitive function. This limits our ability to think clearly, remember, learn, reason, and make effective decisions. In contrast, the more ordered and stable pattern of the heart’s input to the brain during positive emotional states has the opposite effect. It facilitates cognitive function and reinforces positive feelings and emotional stability.” (source)

Gratitude and Positive Feelings Can Change The World

It gets deeper:

Every individual’s energy affects the collective field environment. The means each person’s emotions and intentions generate an energy that affects the field. A first step in diffusing societal stress in the global field is for each of us to take personal responsibility for our own energies. We can do this by increasing our personal coherence and raising our vibratory rate, which helps us become more conscious of the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes that we are feeding the field each day. We have a choice in every moment to take to heart the significance of intentionally managing our energies. This is the free will or local freedom that can create global cohesion. – Dr. Deborah Rozman, the President of Quantum Intech (source)

Overall, this type of work suggests that human consciousness in general can change the world.

One study, for example, was done during the Israel-Lebanon war in the 1980s. Two Harvard University professors organized groups of experienced meditators in Jerusalem, Yugoslavia and the United Sates and asked them to focus their attention on the area of conflict at various intervals over a 27-month period. Over the course of the study, the levels of violence in Lebanon decreased between 40 and 80 percent each time a meditating group was in place. The average number of people killed during the war each day dropped from 12 to three, and war-related injuries fell by 70 percent. (source)

Another great example is a study that was conducted in 1993 in Washington, D.C., which showed a 25 percent drop in crime rates when 2,500 meditators meditated during a specific period of time with that intention.

This type of information is heavily correlated with quantum physics, as many experiments in that area as well as parapsychology (telepathy, remote viewing, distant healing) indicate similar findings. (source)

This holds true as far back as 1999. Statistics professor Jessica Utts at UC Irvine published a paper showing that parapsychological experiments have produced much stronger results than those showing a daily dose of aspirin helps prevent heart attacks. Utts also showed that these results are much stronger than the research behind various drugs like antiplatelets.

This type of work has statistically significant implications, yet is heavily ignored and labelled as pseudoscience simply because it conflicts with long-held beliefs we have trouble letting go of … But times are changing.

“For many years I have worked with researchers doing very careful work [in parapsychology], including a year that I spent full-time working on a classified project for the United States government, to see if we could use these abilities for intelligence gathering during the Cold War… At the end of that project I wrote a report for Congress, stating what I still think is true. The data in support of precognition and possibly other related phenomena are quite strong statistically, and would be widely accepted if it pertained to something more mundane. Yet, most scientists reject the possible reality of these abilities without ever looking at data! And on the other extreme, there are true believers who base their beliefs solely on anecdotes and personal experience. I have asked debunkers if there is any amount of data that would convince them, and they generally have responded by saying, “probably not.” I ask them what original research they have read, and they mostly admit that they haven’t read any. Now there is a definition of pseudo-science-basing conclusions on belief rather than data!” – Utts, Chair of the Statistics Department, UC Irvine (Dean Radin, Real Magic)

The Takeaway

Emotions and other factors associated with consciousness have the power to transform our inner world in ways we don’t fully understand yet. These findings show how consciousness can actually transform the physical/material world, and that’s huge. This validates the idea that if we can change our inner world through gratitude, empathy, compassion, and meditation, we can make our outer world more peaceful.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Consciousness

COVID From A Spiritual Perspective

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In a riveting discussion Wayne Morris interviews CE founder Joe Martino on the Breathing Deep podcast. They explore making sense of our current world through a spiritual perspective. In the episode, you’ll  explore what Collective Evolution is about, its history and objectives of investigating current events and the world via personal transformation and expanding consciousness. They discuss the power of curiosity, belief vs. knowing, what is truth, and how the failures of modern science dogma are contributing to public confusion. We talk about the pitfalls of navigating “conspiracies”, confirmation bias, the polarization of the public discussion around Covid and how we can individually and collectively determine truth in a media landscape of deceit. What is the role of spirituality in this process of sense-making? Click here to listen to or download the episode

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Intuition Is A “Superpower” Representing One of The Highest Forms of Intelligence

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A number of experiments have shown that human intuition is quite real and in some cases can be measurable.

  • Reflect On:

    How often do you use your intuition when it comes to decision making in your life? How often do you trust your gut instinct and follow your heart?

Mainstream science has been catching on to the fact that non-physical aspects of the human being are not only real, but they can be grown and developed into powerful tools for personal development and use. Non physical phenomena, like intuition, remote viewing, telepathy, and precognition (to name a few) for example, have been studied at the highest levels of government for decades. Various nations have poured millions if not billions of dollars into these programs for with demonstrated repeated success, but despite this fact these findings remain heavily unacknowledged, ridiculed, “classified” and in many cases chucked in the “pseudoscience” bucket.

It’s understandable, new information and discoveries have always been heavily opposed and “scoffed” at by intellectual authorities, especially if these discoveries don’t fit within the accepted framework of knowledge. There’s a general tendency to dismiss ideas that go against the grain and conflict what we’ve previously convinced ourselves is truth.

So, what exactly is intuition? A good way to describe it is a gut feeling, a sense, or a feeling about something. It’s arriving to some sort of truth about something, an event or experience without using any type of analytic reasoning. Intuition has been measured, which is why the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) admitted to developing methods to develop and measure this phenomenon for their soldiers.

We have to understand what gives rise to this so-called ‘sixth sense,’ says Peter Squire, a program officer in ONR’s Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism department. Today’s Navy scientists place less emphasis on trying to understand the phenomena theoretically and more on using technology to examine the mysterious process, which Navy scientists assure the public is not based on superstition. “If the researchers understand the process, there may be ways to accelerate it — and possibly spread the powers of intuition throughout military units,” says Dr. Squire. The Pentagon’s focus is to maximize the power of the sixth sense for operational use. 

As mentioned before, many interesting abilities that go beyond the conscious mind and utilize what some would call metaphysical aspects have long been used by governments and intelligence agencies. Perhaps one day the human race will use these abilities for progress and to better the human experience. It’s like technology, do we use it for the good of humanity or do we use it to build more powerful and destructive bombs and weaponry? This is why we here at Collective Evolution always emphasize that humanity needs a shift in consciousness. Our discoveries and developments don’t really matter, it’s more so the consciousness behind those discoveries that do. This is why we believe that the greatest and most potent form of change comes from within.

Dr. Judith Orloff, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA told Forbes that, “In my my private practice, I work with women executives who come to me to develop their intuition. They see it as a ‘superpower’ to use in all decisions at work as well as a guide for how to be good leaders and organizers” According to Dr. Orloff, scientists believe intuition operates through the entire right side of our brain, the brain’s hippocampus and through our gut (digestive system has neurons as well).

Alexandra Mysoor, the writer of the Forbes article goes on to explain:

When the neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in your gut fire up, you may be feeling either “butterflies” or queasy sensations. Pay attention to those. It’s no accident we use the term intuition and gut feeling interchangeably because science has now shown us that our gut has a brain of its own, a second brain so to speak. In fact, our gut has an entire network of neurotransmitters called the enteric nervous system.

The body is truly an amazing puzzle, and we probably haven’t moved beyond the tip of the iceberg when it comes to discovering what we are actually capable of.  For example, a study (meta analysis) 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 precognition. 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 an event that has yet to occur. What occurs in the human body before these events are physiological changes that are measured in the cardiopulmonary, the skin, and the nervous system.

Pretty cool, isn’t it? Another article written for Forbes written by Bruce Kasanoff by explains,

Intuition, argues Gerd Gigerenzer, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, is less about suddenly “knowing” the right answer and more about instinctively understanding what information is unimportant and can thus be discarded.

Gigerenzer, author of the book Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, says that he is both intuitive and rational. “In my scientific work, I have hunches. I can’t explain always why I think a certain path is the right way, but I need to trust it and go ahead. I also have the ability to check these hunches and find out what they are about. That’s the science part. Now, in private life, I rely on instinct. For instance, when I first met my wife, I didn’t do computations. Nor did she.”

A paper published in 2008 by Dean Radin, Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) explains,

Intuition is widely regarded as a key source of inspiration in medical diagnosis, technological innovation,business decisions, artistic achievement, and scientific discovery. Based upon an analysis of the lives of numerous scientific icons, Root-Bernstein concluded that “Virtually without exception, the greatest mathematicians and scientists assert that the development of this pictorial, visual, kinesthetic, or generally sensual algorithm (associated with intuition) is the basis for scientific thinking. But what is intuition? Given its central role in advancing science and civilization, one might expect that this topic has been a keen subject of inquiry, especially within academic psychology, for many decades. Surprisingly, until recently it has been studiously ignored. This may be because the quasi-magical, non-rational nature of intuition presents an embarrassing challenge to science, which prides itself on the power of rational knowing. Intuitive knowledge does not appear to function like the methodical interferences associated with rational thought.It arises “in a flash,” or “out of the blue,” sometimes with correct answers to thorny scientific and technical problems, elegant solutions to complex mathematical theorems, and complete scores for intricate musical compositions.

The Institute of HeartMath alongside Radin conducted an interesting experiment a few years ago. They explain,

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 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).”

This study showed that the heart, alongside the brain, has some sort of intuitive intelligence.

The Takeaway: 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 from this information it can help us better ourselves and others.

We live our lives constantly thinking and analyzing, we grow up in school memorizing and we are not really taught anything about our feelings, emotions and intuition. Imagine the difference it would make in our individual and collective lives if we grew up learning how to trust our intuition, how to follow it and what it is? It begs the question, how many of us truly follow our heart? We seem to be thrust into a system that encourages us to find the best job and really think about our future. There’s nothing wrong with that but we have to ask ourselves, what impact does it have on us mentally if we do not follow our heart, our intuition? Are we seeing a big rise in drug use, depression and other mental issues because society forces us to in a direction we really don’t desire to go? Are we unhappy because we are not engaging in things that our heart desires to engage in? Are we not doing enough of what we love? Something to think about. Never ignore the voice of your gut, your heart, your intuition. It’s always telling us something and it’s time we ‘listen.’ This applies to all experiences, from deciphering information and truth to determining what path it is you want to take in life.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading

Consciousness

New Moon In Capricorn: Power Struggles, Intensity & Renewal

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We are having a New Moon in Capricorn on January 13th throughout most of the world and on the night of the 12th in Central to Western North America. This is initiating a 29.5 day lunar cycle and new wave of energy for the coming month; however, the astrological configurations mentioned in this article will be more prominent over the following two weeks. This cycle will include a Full Moon in Leo on January 28th/29th.

Capricorn season began on the December 21st solstice, just over three weeks prior to this lunation, and will end on January 19th/20th when Aquarius season begins. However, this New Moon will carry some of the Capricorn energies into the earlier part of Aquarius season.

This is a good period of working with and co-creating with the energies of this sign. Capricorn is associated with structure, ambitions, achieving goals, mastery, business, career, social status, responsibilities, duty, authority, governance, and hard work. It is cautious, worldly, conservative, and pragmatic. As an Earth sign, it has the qualities of practicality, reliability, solidity and being grounded. This element is very much orientated around the physical and material world. Negatively, Capricorn energy can be too serious, cynical, cold, controlling, and unrelenting.

New Moon Conjunct Pluto

This New Moon is aligned with Pluto which is also in Capricorn. This energy can be strong willed, focused, calculated, strategic, secretive, transformational, probing, deep, regenerating, sexual, cleansing, purging, and evolutionary. It can also be destructive, heavy, controlling, intense, subversive, obsessive, compulsive, jealous, power seeking, authoritarian, abusive, violent, manipulative, and dark.

Pluto rules investments, taboos, transmutation, hidden matters, repressed feelings, shadows, psychoanalysis, and the underworld. It is associated with power struggles, conspiracies, viruses, death, fears as well as fearlessness. This Plutonian energy will be strongly felt during the New Moon and in the two days following it, but it will still affect the entire Lunar Cycle.

Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008 and will be there until 2024. Collectively, this is a period of major changes affecting government, financial structures, and business in a big way. This has been more obvious in recent years as Saturn, the Lunar South Node, and Jupiter have all joined Pluto in the same sign. This will continue to be a big theme over the remaining years of Pluto in Capricorn and beyond. We also recently had a Great Conjunction in Aquarius on December 21st which also reflects changes affecting society in a big way over a long period.

This Lunar Cycle can really trigger the collective impact of this energy especially considering the current landscape. To learn more about all of this, I recommend reading my Pluto in Capricorn article from 2017 here and my more recent Great Conjunction article here.

Mars Conjunct Uranus In Taurus Square Jupiter & Saturn in Aquarius

The action oriented Mars recently changed signs into Taurus on January 6th/7th and has since been approaching Uranus, the planet of surprises and rebellion, in the same sign. They are both applying squares to Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius which are still in close proximity with each other.

During this New Moon, from January 12th-14th, Mars is in a square with Saturn which is the first exact aspect made between these four planets. Our actions can be faced with obstacles, delays, resistance, or limitations. Conflicts around boundaries or restrictions can play out. Doing tasks may require extra patience and caution.

As this is finishing, Jupiter will be going into an exact square with Uranus from January 14th to the 19th. This energy can be freedom seeking, rebellious, scattered, idealistic, or even risk taking. It could be good for exploring, learning, education, or expansiveness around things that are new to us, unconventional, technological, scientific, progressive, or metaphysical.

Mars then makes its exact conjunction with Uranus from the 19th to the 21st while it is finishing its square Jupiter. It can really crank up the energies mentioned above and this energy can also be impulsive, erratic, experimental, disruptive, surprising, irritable, and quick tempered.

From the 21st until the 24th, Mars will then be in exact square with Jupiter. We may feel like doing things in a big way but it’s important to be cautious around what we do because we can more easily apply ourselves in a way that is overextending, overestimating, or overlooking of important things. Conflicts around beliefs, opinions, judgements, and principles can play out.

During the later part of this period, the Sun will be in a conjunction with Saturn from the 23rd to 24th. This can have a serious tone, and perhaps the need to be realistic, cautious, orderly, disciplined, committed, or responsible, may come up. Following this, the Sun will be making aspects to Jupiter, Uranus, and Mars in the last week of January and into the first few days of February which can trigger some of the energies mentioned earlier in this section.

The combination of all of these planets in close proximity to aspects with each other throughout January can be good for applying ourselves in new ways that are congruent with changes that are happening personally or collectively. However, it can also be a time of anger, impulsiveness, and rebelliousness towards obstacles, restrictions, opinions, beliefs, authority figures, as well as other recent or upcoming developments, circumstances, or changes.

Venus Square Chiron &  Trine Uranus, Mercury Entering pre-Retrograde Shadow

Venus in Capricorn is in a square with Chiron in Aries at the time of this New Moon and in the day leading up to it.  This can bring up wounds, blockages, negative patterns, or can reflect themes around healing, holistic perception, or perhaps solutions when it comes to love, our social life, friends, pleasures, values, or monetary issues.

Venus is also in a trine with Uranus in Taurus which is strongest in the day and half following this New Moon. It can bring a new, stimulating, unusual, exciting, inspiring, liberating, unexpected, or unique energy around our relations with others.  This can also reflect surprises, positive changes, or freeing type of developments around financial matters. In some cases it can be good for exploring new ways of making money that can be innovative, online, metaphysical, or technologically oriented.

On January 15th, Mercury in Aquarius will be entering the shadow period of its retrograde that will be beginning on January 30th/31st and last until February 20th/21st. It can increasingly start to feel like it’s retrograde during these weeks leading up to it as delays, technological/mechanical problems, mistakes, miscommunications, misunderstandings, or other complications can be more probable than in the previous six weeks.

Certain developments, interactions, connections, or issues that occur at this time can be connected to how this retrograde will affect us in February through its adjusting and perceptive changing qualities. There can be something we are not seeing clearly that needs to unfold throughout the upcoming retrograde and post-retrograde process. I will be writing a separate article on this, you can join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive it.

Making Intentions & Things To Consider

What changes do you need to make when it comes to your ambitions, career, structures, or business matters? What can you do to make your profession more congruent with a changing world? What are you fighting for and what can you do to be more calculated, effective, and persuasive? What kind of strategies can you employ to help you achieve your goals? Do you need to be more innovative when it comes to making money? What area of your life is calling for some sort of purging, cleansing, empowerment, and/or transformation?

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 5:00am Universal Time on January 13th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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