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Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 24: The Map)

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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.

The following is a chapter from my book ‘Parables For The New Conversation.’ One chapter will be published every Sunday for 36 weeks here on Collective Evolution. (I would recommend you start with Chapter 1 if you haven’t already read it.) I hope my words are a source of enjoyment and inspiration for you, the reader. If perchance you would like to purchase a signed paperback copy of the book, you can do so on my production company website Pandora’s Box Office.

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From the back cover: “Imagine a conversation that centers around possibility—the possibility that we can be more accepting of our own judgments, that we can find unity through our diversity, that we can shed the light of our love on the things we fear most. Imagine a conversation where our greatest polarities are coming together, a meeting place of East and West, of spirituality and materialism, of religion and science, where the stage is being set for a collective leap in consciousness more magnificent than any we have known in our history.

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Now imagine that this conversation honors your uniqueness and frees you to speak from your heart, helping you to navigate your way more deliberately along your distinct path. Imagine that this conversation puts you squarely into the seat of creator—of your fortunes, your relationships, your life—thereby putting the fulfillment of your deepest personal desires well within your grasp.

‘Parables for the New Conversation’ is a spellbinding odyssey through metaphor and prose, personal sagas and historic events, where together author and reader explore the proposal that at its most profound level, life is about learning to consciously manifest the experiences we desire–and thus having fun. The conversation touches on many diverse themes but always circles back to who we are and how our purposes are intertwined, for it is only when we see that our personal desires are perfectly aligned with the destiny of humanity as a whole that we will give ourselves full permission to enjoy the most exquisite experiences life has to offer.”

24. The Map

One day the arborist and the scientist were rappelling down the steep southern face of the mountain in the middle of the island of Allandon. They came upon the mouth of a cave and stopped on a ledge that protruded from it.

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“I have always wanted to explore this cave,” said the arborist, still catching her breath. “I’m curious about the mysteries that it holds.”

“So why haven’t you?”

“Well, it’s so dark and so vast,” said the arborist looking inside. “I suppose I’m worried about getting lost.”

“Well this must be your lucky day,” said the scientist. “It just so happens that I have extensively explored this very cave.”

“You have?” she asked with excitement.

“Yes, and I have even made a complete map of all its nooks and passageways.”

“Really! You are my hero!” exclaimed the arborist. “If you don’t mind, I’m going to go in to look around.”

The scientist started searching through his backpack for the map, but on finding it he looked over and saw that the arborist had already unhooked her lines and ventured deep into the cave.

“Wait!” shouted the scientist into the cave. “Don’t you need the map?”

“Certainly not,” the arborist hollered back, “you’ve already given me what I need!”

We are all on a path of growth. We are never compelled to walk this path, but if we want to experience the rapture of living authentically, we need to be open to where it leads. In a way this puts us between a rock and a hard place. If we resist growth, we suffer from the weight of unexpressed passion and unfulfilled desire. When we embrace growth, we face the growing pains that come with it. There is no way to avoid them. And if there were, life wouldn’t make sense. The context for striving towards anything would be gone, and moving forward would actually feel like sitting in the same place, stagnant, until the end of time. Buddhism puts this right up front in the first of its sacred truths: Life is suffering. When we recognize this truth as more of a cause for celebration than commiseration, we go a long way towards understanding the Buddhist ethos.

In order to grow, we must expand beyond the borders of what we know. We have all had some experience of the deep satisfaction that results from moving into new realms and expanding our field of play. The world is infinitely more captivating when we penetrate into the unknown than if we simply remain in the known. Yet to some extent we continue to be afraid of the unknown. We are literally scared of the dark. And so we are afraid to truly live, because it is in the darkness that our light really shines. At every moment of the day, wherever we are, something novel, amusing, unusual or fantastic might occur to us, if we were open to it. If we could find the courage to remove the self-imposed blinders and be truly present to the world as it is, not just as we know it to be, that’s when life becomes fun—an adventure worthy of story books.

Still, a life of fun is not without a certain amount of anxiety. If we reflect back on our greatest moments, we would remember that anxiety has always been present. What monumental achievement was not preceded by butterflies in the stomach? What euphoria did not rise out of doubt and uncertainty? And in the grand scheme of things, what gives being alive the potential for such unmitigated joy but the fear of death? We have anxiety precisely because as humans we have self-consciousness, which gives us the power to act, to choose. The anxiety fuels our sense of responsibility to make choices that help us continue to grow and evolve. If we ignore it or avoid it, not only do we miss out on all the fun, we are actually choosing to be other than who we really are, to walk a path that is not our own. This leads to depression and despair, which unlike anxiety actually makes it more difficult for us to act. Anxiety calls us to make our move. It ignites the transition from reflection to action. As philosopher Peter Koestenbaum notes,

In any endeavor, how do you feel when you go from one stage to the next? The answer: You feel anxious. Anxiety that is denied makes us ill; anxiety that is fully confronted and fully lived through converts itself into joy, security, strength, centeredness, and character. The practical formula: Go where the pain is.

Many of us have become so used to avoiding our own darkness that we actually conspire with each other to live life on the surface, and pretend together that our darkness doesn’t exist. When we are struck by those impulses of anxiety that lead us into our darkness, we may try to soothe one another until they go away. But somewhere inside us we may suspect that these impulses are the calling of a vital life. If we wait until the stillness of our deathbed to confirm our suspicion like Ivan Ilych, we are likely to look upon the missed opportunities of our life with similar deep regret.

The good news is, the opportunity to truly live is always here now, whenever we are ready to explore darkness rather than avoid it. When we reframe our life as a journey of personal evolution rather than simply a struggle for survival and comfort, all the difficulties we are beset with are much more meaningful, and can in fact be celebrated.

In the introduction to the Star Trek T.V. series, the climactic line before the starship races towards us is “…to boldly go where no one has gone before…”. This idea excites us, even if many of us would not join the crew of a real Starship Enterprise if one were launching off tomorrow. But we wouldn’t really even need to. Each one of us is going where no woman or man has ever gone before, because of our unique nature and perspective. We each bring a different pair of eyes on the visible, a different mind to every action, and so the experience itself is always unique, and adds an important entry into the ledger of our collective consciousness.

In the end, it is our struggles in the darkness that will be the foundation of what we have to offer the world. When we are able to move through our darkest places, that is when our experience can inspire others. Is it any surprise that people who speak powerfully to alcoholics in an AA meeting were alcoholics themselves? Is it strange that cancer survivors are the ones that have the ear of others battling the disease? Why is Nelson Mandela the voice of peace and forgiveness, but for his ability to transcend resentment and the desire for revenge, and forgive the captors who had imprisoned him for countless years?

When we are faced with darkness in our lives, troubles, difficulties, scary but necessary choices, it can be helpful to draw inspiration from stories of others’ heroism. After all, we really are all in this together, and becoming inspired may be the best way to honor the great models of bravery and heroism. As Joseph Campbell notes in The Hero with a Thousand Faces:

We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us—the labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; and where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.

Heroism is not the absence of fear and anxiety. It is the willingness to get on with our journey and act in the face of fear. Stories of heroic redemption and glory help us believe that we too can be brave. They help us believe that when we honor our yearning to leave a relationship we are not doomed to be lonely for the rest of our lives. They help us believe that if we act on the desire to speak up to our boss we will survive the repercussions. They help us believe that it is worthwhile to reach for the stars, and risk everything for our greatest dreams. And when we choose to be inspired by these stories and act on our inner impulses, we are taken on a journey that may eventually go on to inspire others in ways we could never imagine.

I am reminded of a story I heard a few years ago that continues to evoke awe and amazement inside me. Bethany Hamilton was an aspiring young surfer who was competing by age 11. In 2003, at age 13, while surfing off Kauai’s North Shore, she was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark, which tore off her entire left arm at the shoulder. She lost 70% of her blood trying to make it back to shore and needed several surgeries to survive.

In a circumstance where most people would feel justified in turning to a life of fear, shame, and self-pity, Bethany chose to do what I consider the quintessential heroic act: She decided to get over herself. In other words, she put aside her Ego Self and chose to live from her Dao Self. And she seemed to do so almost immediately. What astounded me was to hear her talk about losing her arm with such aplomb, while maintaining a cheerfulness and equanimity rarely seen in anyone, let alone someone of her age and circumstances.

Bethany even said that she was glad this happened to her, because it enabled her to share with others the profound experience of feeling part of something bigger than herself. Her identification with the part of herself connected to the divine—which I call the Dao Self—made it possible for her to deal with this tragedy with such grace and apparent effortlessness. When I first saw her, a slender left arm conspicuously absent from her side, I could not help but be immediately struck by the utter conviction she had of her own wholeness. It inspires us to believe that, in the face of our limiting beliefs of ourselves, we too can be and feel whole.

Bethany’s confidence that she would be surfing again was unwavering. Her attitude and love for her sport could not help but give rise to heroic action in the world. She returned to the water less than a month after the incident, and unbelievably, only eight months after losing her arm, she placed fifth in the U. S. National Surfing Championships.

Traditionally we have looked at heroic acts as the victory of good over evil, like the slaying of the dragon that leads to a life lived happily ever after. But actually life holds a more subtle challenge than that. If our heroic struggle in life were captured as a holographic video game, it would be more than our ‘good’ guy trying to kill the ‘bad’ guy. The ‘bad’ guy would be a part of us. We could never kill him, but we had to find a way of dealing with him to reach paradise. We would want to push forward, but the ‘bad’ guy would always try to hold us back. And he could attach himself to all our skill and even our thinking, until we had trouble discerning who we really were. This is our challenge.

In our world of duality, of yin and yang, darkness comes from light and vice-versa. Even the most heroic actions in the world displace both light and darkness, and yield results that are both good and evil, positive and negative. It is only when we change our state of being, when good embraces evil, when the Dao Self loves the Ego Self, does our act move into the realm of the truly heroic and does our consciousness rise up to the next level. If we look at all things dark as simply crying out for light, then there is no longer a need to annihilate the darkness. Besides, there is no way to annihilate the darkness. It shows up again and again, in different forms, until finally light is shed on it. That is when it disappears.

The heroic act brings inner transformation and moves us ever closer to a clear perception of the outside world as only a game, a context for an internal change. For every heroic deed moves us up the evolutionary steps of consciousness, where we drop some of our arrogant, self-centered illusions, and realize ever more profoundly that the joke is on us.

The same can be said for the path of humanity as a whole. The elevation of the Ego Self to prominence in Western Civilization need not be condemned as a horrible mistake or a wrong turn. Maybe we are not on this planet, as the Eastern mindset might suggest, only to move as quickly as possible to a unity with the Dao. Physicists tell us that the physical universe is in the process of expanding, while biologists note that the nature of living things is to become more complex and diverse. Perhaps in the larger plan our current mission is to continue to sophisticate our uniqueness rather than simply contracting back into the source.

From where I stand, it does not seem for now that we are ready to shed our individuality just yet. Indeed, in the new conversation, we are just coming into a greater appreciation of it. Despite the devastation and alienation that Ego-Self domination has brought to the world, perhaps it was a necessary step in the evolution of consciousness. In fact, it has even been said in some circles that we are on the leading edge of consciousness in the universe, expanding into new territory, where the growing complexity of our individual minds is helping us find a way to move towards greater diversity and greater unity at the same time.

The more complex our mind gets, the more conscious we become as individuals, and the more exquisite the experience of life becomes. We as individuals become clearer, more refined channels for the light of the Dao. The darkness of the Ego Self becomes more translucent and, at the same time, goes further into the background as the context for the experience of life rather than the experience itself. From this powerful place our senses come alive, and our appreciation grows for everything around us, the sights, the sounds, the shapes and textures, the tastes and fragrances of life. Such, I believe, is what the next level of consciousness promises to bring.

Move on to Chapter 25…

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Consciousness

New Study Finds Humans Can Access a Higher Level of Consciousness

Gautam Peddada

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Photo By Zelenov Iurii

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new study sheds light on the existence of a higher level of consciousness in humans that is accessible.

  • Reflect On:

    Does consciousness originate in the brain or somewhere else? What does this say about who 'we' are as humans?

Before you begin...

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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.

New research has discovered verifiable evidence of a higher level of consciousness. Researchers used brain imaging equipment to analyze the small magnetic fields created in the brain and discovered that, across three psychedelic substances, one measure of conscious level — neural signal diversity — was consistently greater.

Neuroscientists discovered a prolonged increase in neural signal diversity — a measure of the complexity of brain activity — in persons under the influence of psychedelic substances as compared to when they were awake.

The variety of brain impulses gives a mathematical indicator of awareness degree. People who are awake, for example, have more diversified brain activity than those who are asleep, according to this measure.

However, this is the first study to show that brain-signal diversity is more than baseline, that is, greater than in someone who is merely ‘awake and aware.’ Previous research has focused on decreased states of awareness, such as sleep, anesthesia, or the so-called vegetative state. More research utilizing complex and diverse models is required, according to the researchers, who are cautiously hopeful.

Professor Anil Seth, Co-Director of the University of Sussex’s Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, stated:

“This discovery demonstrates that the brain on psychedelics functions quite differently than usual.”

“As evaluated by ‘global signal diversity,’ the electrical activity of the brain during the psychedelic experience is less predictable and less ‘integrated’ than during regular conscious wakefulness.”

“Since this measure has already shown its value as a measure of ‘conscious level’, we can say that the psychedelic state appears as a higher ‘level’ of consciousness than normal — but only with respect to this specific mathematical measure.”

For the study, Michael Schartner, Adam Barrett, and Professor Seth of the Sackler Centre reanalyzed data that had previously been collected by Imperial College London and the University of Cardiff in which healthy volunteers were given one of three drugs known to induce a psychedelic state: psilocybin, ketamine, and LSD.

Using brain imaging equipment, scientists examined the small magnetic fields created in the brain and discovered that, across all three medicines, this measure of conscious level — neural signal diversity — was consistently greater.

The researchers emphasize that this does not imply that the psychedelic state is a “better” or “more desirable” state of consciousness; rather, it demonstrates that the psychedelic brain state is distinct and can be related to other global changes in conscious level (e.g., sleep, anesthesia) by using a simple mathematical measure of signal diversity.

“That identical improvement in signal diversity was discovered for all three medications, despite their rather distinct pharmacology, are both quite remarkable and also encouraging that the results are robust and reproducible,” said Dr. Muthukumaraswamy, who was involved in all three original research.

The findings might help feed ongoing conversations concerning the strictly supervised medical usage of such medications, such as in the treatment of severe depression.

“Rigorous research into psychedelics is garnering greater interest, not least because of the therapeutic potential that these substances may have when taken wisely and under medical supervision,” said Dr. Robin Cahart-Harris of Imperial College London.

“The current study’s findings assist us to comprehend what happens in people’s brains when they experience psychedelic consciousness expansion. People frequently report having “insight” when using these substances, and when this occurs in a therapeutic setting, it can predict beneficial outcomes. The current discoveries may help us understand how this is possible.”

In addition to informing potential medical applications, the study contributes to developing scientific knowledge of how conscious level (how conscious one is) and conscious content (what one is conscious of) are connected.

According to Professor Seth:

“We discovered links between the intensity of subjects’ psychedelic experiences and variations in signal diversity. This shows that our metric is closely related not just to global brain alterations caused by medicines, but also to features of brain dynamics that underpin specific kinds of conscious experience.”

The study team is currently concentrating their efforts on determining how particular alterations in information flow in the brain underpin certain components of the psychedelic experience, such as hallucinations.

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!

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Consciousness

Does Consciousness Create Our Material Reality?

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CE Staff Writer 7 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new study authored by Robert Lanza suggests observers" are responsible for determining physical reality, and that conscious observers themselves generate and create the structures of time and space.

  • Reflect On:

    We observers, people like you and I, are responsible for how consciousness forms into physical matter, what does this say about the power of our individual and collective beliefs?

Before you begin...

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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.

Where does the “physical” world come from? Matter at its smallest observable form, atoms, pop in and out of existence all the time. The idea that physical matter is birthed from a non physical realm, such as the “quantum vacuum” or the “void”, or something else we are unaware of is not novel.  Nikola Tesla himself believed that “all perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, or tenuity beyond conception, filling all space, the akasha, or luminiferous ether, which is acted upon by the life-giving Prana or creative force, calling into existence, in never-ending cycles all things and phenomena.” (Man’s Greatest Achievement, 1907)

A paper published by Parahamsa Tewari in the journal Physics Essays explains,

“A century from now, it will be well known that: the vacuum of space which fills the universe is itself the real substratum of the universe; vacuum in a circulating state becomes matter; the electron is the fundamental particle of matter and is a vortex of vacuum with a vacuum-less void at the center and it is dynamically stable; the speed of light relative to vacuum is the maximum speed that nature has provided and is an inherent property of the vacuum; vacuum is a subtle fluid unknown in material media; vacuum is mass-less, continuous, non viscous, and incompressible and is responsible for all the properties of matter; and that vacuum has always existed and will exist forever….Then scientists, engineers and philosophers will bend their heads in shame knowing that modern science ignored the vacuum in our chase to discover reality for more than a century.”

This non-physical “field” may also be dark energy, we don’t really know or understand it quite well, but we know it exists. A declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document touches on this,

“We do not understand why it exists or how it is created; we simply know it provides an ever-present force on spacetime, causing the universe to expand. Indeed, recent high-precision experimental observations indicate dark energy may be a cosmological vacuum energy.”

So, if our material world is birthed from this non material “stuff”, does consciousness play a factor? It’s interesting to contemplate, especially given the fact that consciousness is not a physical thing, nor is it the result of any known physical process or biology. You cannot pinpoint or find the source of consciousness within the brain. Even at the quantum level, factors associated with consciousness have been known to change the behavior of matter, like photons, suggesting that matter itself may be a conscious perceiving thing.

Does this mean that all “physical” things possess some type of consciousness? Photons don’t have a brain, do they? What about plants? There is a growing amount of evidence suggesting that plants act and behave in ways suggesting that they are a thinking things, capable of feelings, emotions, perceptions and thoughts.

If consciousness can have such an influence over matter, and is a non physical property that exists within all physical things, could it somehow be responsible for the creation of reality? This has been a common theme discussed within the realms of quantum physics for quite some time. In fact, the discussion of “ether”, this non physical, indescribable “stuff” has been the subject of contemplation for thousands of years. Plato wrote about the ether  in his work Phaedo, and explained how life exists within it. He believed what air is to us, the ether is to them. Is the ether alive? Is the universe itself, which could be primarily made up of this non-physical stuff, a conscious living entity?

You cannot explain consciousness in terms of the existing fundamentals like space, time, mass,  and charge. As a result, the logical thing to do is postulate whether consciousness itself is something fundamental to the existence of reality, to view consciousness itself as one of these fundamentals.

“Why do you insist the universe is not a conscious intelligence, when it gives birth to conscious intelligences?” Cicero, c. 44 BCE 

A New Paper

Another paper has emerged claiming that “observers” are responsible for determining physical reality, and that conscious observers themselves generate and create the structures of time and space.

What’s interesting to contemplate here is that, if this is true, it would include all “observers” within the universe itself, not just human observers. It reminds me of the double slit experiment, where tiny bits of matter are shot through a slit forming what’s called a wave pattern of probabilities and possibilities, but when an observer is introduced the wave function collapses.

One of the authors of the paper, Robert Lanza, told Big Think that observers can dramatically affect the “behavior of observable quantities” both at a microscopic and massive spatiotemporal scales. In fact, a “profound shift in our ordinary everyday worldview” is necessary. The world is not something that is formed outside of us, simply existing on its own. “Observers ultimately define the structure of physical reality itself.”

How does this work? Lanza contends that a network of observers is necessary and is “inherent to the structure of reality.” As he explains, observers — you, me, and anyone else — live in a quantum gravitational universe and come up with “a globally agreed-upon cognitive model” of reality by exchanging information about the properties of spacetime. “For, once you measure something,” Lanza writes, “the wave of probability to measure the same value of the already probed physical quantity becomes ‘localized’ or simply ‘collapses.'” That’s how reality comes to be consistently real to us all. Once you keep measuring a quantity over and over, knowing the result of the first measurement, you will see the outcome to be the same

The implications of this are and have always been quite large. The idea that consciousness itself is fundamental to reality suggests that it must have played an integral part in the creation of reality, that consciousness itself had to exist prior to the birth of physical material reality. One could go on and on contemplating things like: if consciousness is fundamental to the creation of physical matter, then what created consciousness itself? Where does consciousness itself originate from? Does existence itself even have a beginning? Can the future change the past, can the past change the future?

Who knows, but the most important point to takeaway here is that consciousness itself is fundamental to the creation of our physical experience. If we want to change the world, ultimately we have to change the way we think, feel and perceive. This is a key factor that is directly intertwined with the type human experience we create for ourselves.

This is why, perhaps, sometimes it seems that the greatest resource for powerful people, politicians and corporations is human consciousness itself.  If we ourselves determine what direction humanity heads simply by what we think and feel, just imagine what somebody could do if they could manipulate that aspect within us? The state of the world today, some might say, is chaotic, and that could be a direct result of the fact that the collective mind and heart is not in a state of coherence.

You might say “we are all over the place.” We’re separated by our beliefs and unable to come together in understanding and harmony. This collective state of being in turn will create a physical experience that reflects that, which is exactly what we are seeing today and have seen throughout human history.

Below is a great little documentary from a colleague of mine, it’s based off an essay he wrote for his philosophy master’s degree. It dives a bit deeper into this discussion.

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

Consciousness

‘Ring Of Fire’ Solar Eclipse In Gemini: A Shift In Mindset

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Before you begin...

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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 Solar Eclipse in Gemini on June 10th which peaks at 10:42am Universal Time. It will be an annular eclipse which is when the Moon almost completely blocks out the Sun with the exception of its outer edges. It appears like this because the Moon is near its apogee, which is its furthest distance from the Earth. This type of eclipse is also referred to as a ‘Ring of Fire’ due to it appearing this way.

The full annular eclipse will only be visible from parts of Northern Ontario (Canada), parts of Northern Quebec (Canada), parts of Nunavut (Canada) as well as Northwestern Greenland and a portion of Eastern Russia. It will be seen as a partial eclipse throughout most of Canada (with the exception of Southwestern part), the Northern half of Alaska, most of Eastern USA, parts of North Central USA, Greenland, most of Russia, most of Europe, and parts of Asia closer to Russia. However, from some of these locations the Sun will be barely eclipsed and with a shorter window to see it.

A Solar Eclipse is a much more significant type of New Moon which influences a longer term period then a regular one. This is when it occurs near the Lunar Nodes, which is where the path of the Sun and Moon intersect from our perspective on Earth. This happens every six months, along with Full Moon Lunar Eclipses happening prior or following. In this specific case we had a Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius two weeks before this one. You can read more about that one here.

Both Solar and Lunar Eclipses reflect changes and shifts which affect the following six months and could also influence up to six weeks prior. You may or may not see the effects of it around the time it occurs, but you may feel it and then see it play out in the weeks or months afterwards.

Eclipses are always part of a series that occur in the same opposing signs for 1.5 to 2 years which is where the Lunar Nodes are for most of that period. The positions of the Eclipses and the Lunar Nodes reflect an evolutionary process in how we work with the energies of these signs and pertaining to the areas of our lives being affected (based on our astrological blueprint at the specific time of each of our birth). What results from a series of eclipses in the same signs over these approximately 1.5  to 2 year periods may have longer-term effects beyond the window in which they occur.

North Node Solar Eclipse In Gemini

The shifts reflected by this eclipse are connected to Gemini themes and areas of life, ultimately leading to a revision in how its energies are expressed. It is near the Lunar North Node which in many cases could also indicate changes that have an increasing effect on Gemini expressions.

This process is something that began a year ago and will play out until the end of the year. However, this energy will be the most prominent now, from late Spring to Early Summer. This is because it will be the only Solar Eclipse in Gemini (in this eclipse series) along with its ruler Mercury being retrograde here as well.

Gemini belongs to the Air element which is socially and intellectually oriented. As a Mercurial sign, it is associated with the mind, communication, information, words, writing, facts, curiosity, and commuting. Gemini energy is adaptable, dualistic, agile, versatile, rational, and quick witted yet can also be restless, scattered, duplicitous, overly talkative, and superficial.

Gemini correlates with our local/immediate environment, neighborhood, neighbors, siblings/cousins, communication devices/computers, childhood education, vehicles, and friends/acquaintances from earlier years. Gemini energy is also associated with LGBTQ+ matters as well the different expressions and orientations under that umbrella.

Solar Eclipse Conjunct Mercury Retrograde, Applying Square To Neptune

As mentioned above, Gemini’s ruler Mercury is also retrograde in its own sign of Gemini. What is very interesting is that the halfway point of this (three and a half week) retrograde process will occur hours after this eclipse. This is when Mercury is aligned with the Sun (and the Moon in this case), known as its ‘inferior conjunction’, and is a very significant period of the entire retrograde.

The ‘inferior conjunction’ is a time in which Mercury passes through the heart of the Sun  (from a geocentric perspective) and is symbolically seen as a ‘purification’. In our real world experience, it can be a time of ridding ourselves of certain thoughts, ideas, perceptions, old interests, expectations, or other things that are not serving us while the potential for new ones may be seeded. We may experience important insights that can contribute to this process. Although this technically occurs on June 10th/11th, these themes can also play out in the days surrounding this period.

Considering that this significant astronomical event is occurring in the hours following the eclipse, this can suggest that the Mercury retrograde effect of re-calibrating our minds and perception can also be a major part of a longer term astrological backdrop over this following six months that is under the influence of this eclipse. This is a rare occurrence to have both of these happening at the same time, and its even more rare and interesting that it is all happening in a sign that Mercury rules.

The Sun and Moon in this Solar Eclipse are also moving towards a square with Neptune in Pisces. This can add to the scattering and lack of focus reflective of Gemini and the Sagittarian energy of the previous Lunar eclipse in the same nodal polarity. This can also bring confusion, uncertainty, and deception.

Facts, details, and rational thinking can be in conflict with illusions, fantasy, escapism, and ideals. Issues around lack of boundaries may also be a theme over the coming months. This energy can be good for creative efforts that are mentally or communication oriented, or spiritual practices that involve air such as breathwork and meditation. Some of this can play out around June 13th/14th when the Sun makes an exact square with Neptune.

Saturn In Aquarius Square Uranus In Taurus

This month Saturn in Aquarius is currently in its 2nd exact square with Uranus in Taurus which I have mentioned in previous articles. This started in February when the first square occurred and is present all of this year and somewhat next year. This month, especially from June 8th-20th, will be one of the stronger periods of this energy especially when it peaks around June 14th/15th.

This reflects tension and challenges between Saturn and Uranus themes or expressions. Saturn is traditional, conservative, serious, rational, and cautious. It rules commitments, maturity, responsibilities, limitations, restrictions, the status quo, the established order,  and structures. It is about patience, practicality, discipline, and boundaries.

Uranus is freedom seeking, detached, revolutionary, radical, rebellious, progressive, reforming, idealistic, unconventional, inventive, innovative, futuristic, and scientific. It represents new technology, discoveries, surprises, disruptions, and separations.

This configuration can play out as ‘old versus new’, ‘restrictions versus freedom’, ‘the status quo versus revolution’, ‘commitments/responsibilities versus liberation’, ‘elder versus youth’, ‘progressiveness versus tradition’ and so forth. This can also be a time of integrating Saturn and Uranus such as applying new, technological, scientific, or metaphysical approaches to help us with our work.

In some cases we can express a certain mix of combined Saturn-Uranus themes and be at odds with a different mix of these energies. Depending on the variables, this can potentially lead to contradictions or hypocrisy.

Venus ‘Out Of Bounds’, Square Chiron & Sextile Uranus

Venus, the planet of love, relationships, friends, social life, values, money, beauty, art, and aesthetics, went ‘out of bounds’ on May 23/24th which will last until June 17th/18th. This when a planet moves outside of the boundaries in the sky which the Sun travels from our perspective on Earth. This is about exploring new territory as well as going outside of our usual limitations and conventional ways of doing things in regards to how we approach Venus areas of life. This can also reflect seeing things objectively and from a different perspective.

At the time of this eclipse, Venus in Cancer is moving towards a square with Chiron in Aries which will be exact on June 12th/13th. This can bring up wounds, blockages, negative patterns, or can reflect themes around healing, holistic perception, or perhaps solutions when it comes to love, friendships, pleasures, values, or monetary issues. In some cases these themes may be tied into family matters, security, or emotional needs being at odds with our individuality and personal needs.

Venus is also in a sextile with Uranus in Taurus which 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. This will be strongest on June 13th/14th but it’s possible that our experiences of both this Venus-Uranus configuration and the Venus-Chiron one mentioned above may be intertwined.

Things To Consider

Is there something that you need to shift when it comes to your mindset? Do any of your perceptions, thoughts, ideas, or approaches to communication need to be revised? What has been coming up for you that can be contributing to this process? Is there anything that you need to change or adjust when it comes to your relationship with neighbors, close friends, siblings, or extended family? Are your sources of information reliable, factual, and rational? Do you need to look at things more objectively?

These are just some examples of themes that could come up during this period and over the coming months; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out as well.  This isn’t a time to necessarily set intentions but instead to embrace the evolutionary process that eclipses facilitate. It will peak and reach its maximum eclipse at 10:42am Universal Time on June 10th while it will begin and finish approximately two and a half hours before and after. The exact moment of the New Moon will be 10:53am Universal Time. You can click here to see when the peak is in your time zone.

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