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I Had A Stroke When I Was 30 Years Old & It Changed My Life

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Apparently surviving a stroke that took half my eyesight and almost killed me would turn out to be one of the greatest blessings of my life. Before I get into how all that transpired, I need to give a little background on how it got to that point.

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Growing up, my parents took the same approach to life that most people growing up in the United States could relate to. Their plan for my three younger siblings and me was simple: Go to school and get good grades so you can go to a good college. Then get a good job and make a lot of money so you can have nice things and then you’ll be happy. This was the mantra that I, like many other kids in the U.S., grew up with; the American Dream. I followed the guidelines and my years of hard work finally paid off when I landed a job working for a Fortune 500 company in Rockefeller Center, Manhattan.

-->Listened to our latest podcast episode yet? Joe speaks with journalist Derrick Broze about the need for journalistic standards, Qanon, and agorism. Click here to listen!

Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be a professional businessman. I wanted to wear nice suits, work in an office with breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline, dine in fancy restaurants, and date women outside of my Long Island gene pool. Each of these I had achieved more and more year after year as I slowly clawed my way up the corporate ladder. One job change, a couple moves from Long Island to Queens then the Upper West side of Manhattan, a few raises and promotions after almost a decade in the corporate finance realm, and I finally got to the point where I felt like I had “made it.”

However, when I got to that point I still wasn’t completely satisfied. In fact, I only wanted more. Then I saw an opportunity to move further up in the ranks when my director informed me that she would be leaving the company. This was the opportunity I was waiting for! I asked for and received more responsibility along with a sizeable increase to my salary. This eventually transpired into a “be careful what you wish for” situation. In the coming months I felt the responsibilities and workload piling up with no relief in sight. So began the silent war within myself that would lead to the event that shattered all that I had built for myself my entire life.

I worked longer and harder than I ever had in order to prove myself. In doing so, my life became completely imbalanced with the scale always weighted toward work. Over the next six months my stress and anxiety levels were higher than ever trying to keep up with my new workload, as the company had not yet found a suitable replacement to fill the empty role in the finance department. My mind began to turn against me and I felt as if I were stuck in the trenches of my work-related stress even when I left the office. Luckily at this point I was about to go on vacation with my girlfriend at the time to visit her parents, who had retired to a small village in Mexico. It was my first time visiting the country and I was delighted by the relaxed and care-free attitude of the locals and blown away by the beautiful beaches and nature that I immersed myself in. This was the vacation I needed! But all good things must come to an end, so on New Year’s Day 2014, we were dropped off at the airport to head back to New York City, or so we thought.

At the airline service counter, I was handed my boarding pass to return home. In that exact moment, I felt a sharp pain on my left temple like I had never experienced before in my life. I shut my eyes, grabbed my head, and let out a grunt. When I opened them, half my vision was gone and everything was blurry. Something was very wrong. I let my girlfriend know what was happening and that I was pretty sure I was having a stroke. I told her to get an ambulance immediately. I lay down where I was, drank some water, and began vomiting as my body convulsed on the floor of the airport. As the paramedics arrived, I began to feel a tingling sensation run throughout the right side of my body and I was starting to lose control of basic motor functions and consciousness. It was in this moment that for the first time in my life I thought to myself, “I might die.” I’ve been afraid before, but nothing could compare to the feeling I had on the floor of the airport on New Year’s Day 2014. The paramedics hooked me up to an IV and took me to the nearest hospital, which was luckily just down the road from the airport.

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I was fortunate to survive with only having partial vision loss and no nerve damage. It was only when returning to New York would I realize the cause of my brain injury. The doctors at Cornell discovered a hole (PFO) inside my heart, which caused the blood clot in my brain. Not too longer after diagnosis, I was on the operating table in Columbia Hospital to remedy the situation. I never thought I’d be having heart surgery in my early thirties. My, how life is full of surprises!

Readjusting to city life after a stroke and heart surgery was by no means easy. At first, it was really bad. I had trouble physically getting around the crowded streets of New York City with only half my eyesight. My personality had changed drastically, as I had become more solemn. My relationships with my girlfriend, family, friends, and co-workers had all shifted to some awkward place that I was unfamiliar with, each in their own way. Invoking intimacy was not what it used to be, as my sex drive was stuck in first gear. I was nowhere near as fun and positive as I used to be when hanging out with friends and family. I had difficulty focusing so my performance at work suffered a great deal as well. My weekly therapy sessions proved to help temporarily, but my mind would constantly return to dark places. After a year of living this new life as a man I was no longer familiar with and didn’t even want to be around, the thoughts of leaving the planet began to cross my mind for the first time ever. That really scared me, so I did something I promised myself I would never do: go on medication.

I went on antidepressants and was also given Xanax that I was instructed to take only when my anxiety levels become unbearable. After just a few days, I levelled out. My depression was gone and my anxiety was non-existent. There was just one little problem: I didn’t really feel anything. Everything was just “fine.” If something good happened, my emotional response was “That’s fine.” Something bad happened? Also fine. At first I was so glad to have rid myself of crippling depression and anxiety that I was satisfied with living as a flesh-covered robot. That lasted only a couple of months. After a while I saw that I was rapidly dismantling into a highly functioning soulless drone. Was this better than living as the strung-out anxiety-ridden person I was before? Were there no other options for me to choose for continuing on with my life?

Related CE Article: Study Finds That Big Pharma Completely Lied About Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors For Depression

After picking up my prescription pills for the third month in a row, I hit the gym and when I got home later that evening, I realized they had slipped out of a hole in the bottom of my gym bag. I took this as a sign and decided to try going off of my meds cold-turkey. I fought through the withdrawals following the first few days then started to feel really human again. At this point in time, it was a little over a year after I survived the stroke and it became abundantly clear that I had a choice between pushing on with the usual day to day or maintaining my sanity. I chose my sanity. It was early 2015 when I officially decided I would quit my job to travel and figure things out somewhere else in the world. I immediately began downsizing my life. Most of my possessions were sold, donated, given away, or put in storage. With each item that left my possession, I felt physically and emotionally lighter, as if I were dropping off weights I had been carrying on my shoulders for years. That’s when I began the journey that would change my life forever.

In the summer of 2015 I bought an RV and my girlfriend, dog, and I decided to leave the corporate world behind and start anew in Mexico. After three months, a ten thousand mile road trip, and just over a month living together in the foreign country, it became apparent to us that our relationship of over three years was not going to work any longer. After it sunk in that everything we were planning for the future fell apart, I was completely lost. At least when I was in New York I had the comfort and stability of my job, family, friends, home country, and a language I was fluent in. Now I fell into yet another dark place, but not for long! I was determined to make the best of my situation, so I grabbed a backpack and began solo travelling for the first time in my life!

In the first month, I was just winging it and hopping on buses to the next stop on the backpacker trail of mid-western Mexico. This was a great experience where I met tons of friendly locals, expats, and travellers from all over the world. For the next phase of my travels, I decided to do a bit more planning. I was still hurting from my break-up and needed some physical, mental, and spiritual healing. So the next phase of my trip included an Ayahuasca ceremony in the Pueblo Mágico of Tepoztlán. My experience with Ayahuasca was very introspective and I kept receiving the same message over and over again: “You are on the right path.”

Next was a ten-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat in Coatepec, Veracruz, another Pueblo Mágico. This was one of the most difficult yet profoundly enlightening experiences I’ve ever gone through. Ten days of being silent and meditating for eleven hours a day really helped silence my mind and take control of my thoughts and actions.

The last stop in my second walkabout was a month-long work exchange stay at a holistic healing retreat center called The Sanctuary in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. Here it took just a few days at for me to realize that the Ayahuasca was right. I was on the right path! I learned new meditation techniques, was doing yoga every day, got a crash course on preparing meals for a high-raw vegan lifestyle, and shared the community house with extraordinary people from all walks of life. We worked, chanted, communed in nighttime ceremonies, shared our most intimate thoughts and feelings, and even cried together. This was exactly what I needed! Not too long after arriving, I ended up joining the team as general manager and The Sanctuary became my home for the next six months. During that time, I helped guide dozens of people through that chapter of their life’s journey, an experience I’ll never forget! It was here where I learned that truly spiritual people are those who have been through hell and have the overwhelming desire to help others out of their own versions of it.

After The Sanctuary, I was presented with the ultimate traveller moneymaking opportunity: trimming marijuana in Northern California, so I took it. I spent the next two months hunched over a table as a pot hairdresser. Once again, it was the people I was surrounded by that made the experience a memorable one. Nothing helps the time fly like sharing stories, listening to our favourite music, and laughing together around the fireplace at night when our fingers needed to rest.

With California in my rearview, I made a stop in New York to visit friends and family before heading to Puerto Rico. This was the home of a girl I fell in love with during my time in Mexico. The connection we forged during our short time together was different than any other in my entire life. It was based on a love and respect for who the other person was at their core as opposed to who we wanted them to be. Though the relationship would not continue after my visit, she without a doubt raised the bar in my ongoing search for a partner in life.

Once again I was leaving a piece of my heart behind and continued on with my travel journey! I flew into Cancún and worked my way slowly back to the beach city that helped heal my heart better than any other: Puerto Escondido. This trip was more about the journey than the destination for sure. In the Yucatan peninsula I witnessed and scaled massive ancient Mayan pyramids. While in Tulum I participated in a beautiful and emotional peyote ceremony where I took an even deeper look into the inner workings of my mind. In Palenque, I became one with nature after consuming the local magical mushrooms and bathing in the jungle’s mystical waterfalls near the ruins. As usual, sharing these experiences with travel mates amplified my experience. At this point I was a certified travel junky and never wanted it to end! Good thing I was going to nest in a beach paradise and backpacking hotspot.

Back in Puerto Escondido, I stayed in a Vivo Escondido Hostel for a month until I found a
long-term rental. You guessed it… more awesome people!

I ended up at a gorgeous newly-constructed two-story house where I would spend the next six months pursuing passions that I had been neglecting for years. I learned to surf, explored the local natural beauty, focused on healthy living, caught up on my travel blog, wrote a few articles, DJed at multiple venues, and made sure to enjoy every day as best I could. Mexico gave me the opportunity to let me live my life the way I wanted to for a while without any judgment, and for that I am forever grateful.

Just a few months ago, I took a two and a half week visa-run/vacation to Guatemala to visit my friend Luke Maguire Armstrong in San Marcos. He and I met while I was managing the Sanctuary in Puerto Escondido the year before and ever since becoming friends, I grew ever more curious of his work with a school for impoverished children in Antigua, Guatemala. I spent my first two weeks immersing myself in the raw beauty of the active volcano communities surrounding Lake Atitlán where he lived. Here I would partake in yoga, cacao ceremonies, ecstatic dance at the Yoga Forestand even Bhakti singing at The Fungi Academy. All activities of course were shared with new and exciting traveller friends of various nationalities. For the finale of my stay, I even booked myself a DJ gig at Bar Sublime, a quick ten-minute boat ride across the lake to San Pedro.

After bidding farewell to my new friends I met on the lake, Luke and I headed to Antigua to visit the Integral Heart Foundation’s school. Though I had been helping remotely with fundraising efforts for months before visiting, actually meeting the children I was helping made it much more personal for me. It was incredibly heartwarming to actually see the children in person, knowing the adverse environment they had come from not too long ago. None of them were going to school and many were forced to rummage through garbage dumps for pennies a day due to difficult circumstances. No wonder these were the happiest school kids I had ever met in my life!

A couple days later, I said goodbye to Luke and the kids to return to Puerto Escondido. However, when I got back a shift happened within me and I slipped into another depression. I began to question what I really wanted and needed in my life. I missed my friends and family back home and my funds were starting to run low. After a month of self-reflection, I decided it was time to return to New York.

So now I have come full circle… kind of. Over the course of a little more than two years I have had more adventures and experienced more of what this incredible world has to offer than most people do their entire lives. It’s comical for me to look back at all that happened, remember living in my own personal hell for so long, and to see how far I’ve come since those times of intense despair. It was like a mental quicksand; the more I struggled, the deeper I would sink into it. Of all the lessons I’ve learned, my greatest one is probably this: My mind can be my worst enemy or greatest ally. In the end, I am the one who gets to choose which one it will be. I had to journey into the unknown and experience life firsthand to personally integrate this lesson myself. My experiences and the hundreds of connections I made along the way were what really saved my life. Without them, I don’t even want to begin to think about where I would be right now. I still have no vision on my right peripheral, but I can once again see a beautiful future for myself, something I had lost immediately following the stroke.

In over two years of travelling I have had many revelations, but none more important than
this: At the very core of my being, I am a traveller. It is one of the few things in life that makes me feel truly alive. By travelling, I saw for myself that so much of what I thought I knew about foreign cultures was wrong until I experienced them firsthand.

Meeting people from all corners of the Earth gave me a new perspective on life. I realized
that although we may have been born thousands of miles away, were raised in completely
different cultures, and in many instances didn’t speak the same native tongue, none of us were that different from each other. In fact, many of us were on our own personal quests searching for a deeper meaning in life.

Living and working in New York City for a decade had put me in contact with people from
all over the world. This, however, was completely different from my experiences travelling, as most Manhattanites had found their way and were usually more focused on their careers than soul-searching. In my personal experiences with the people I’ve encountered, those who travel are seekers, searching for something that was missing in their lives back home. For me, I was missing a greater purpose, something that my fundraising efforts with the Integral Heart Family in Guatemala fulfills.

The best part of my story called life thus far is that it is nowhere close to being complete. I still have many more chapters to write, thousands of new characters to meet, and countless adventures to experience. In over two years of travel, the greatest gifts I have received were the connections I have made with my soul tribe from all corners of the Earth. I left New York to heal myself and find a higher purpose and I feel that I have accomplished these goals. In my experience living over thirty-four years on this planet, I have found no greater healer than creating deep and meaningful connections with other souls. This lesson I promised myself to follow through with and spread to as many other people as possible. What better place to continue this journey than New York!

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

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!

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Mermaids: Ancient Mythology or Actual Reality?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Mermaids have been written about by several cultures across multiple time periods, from Babylon till now. There have even been claims of recent sightings. With all of the lore that exists, it's not hard to imagine these beings could be real.

  • Reflect On:

    How many examples exist where ancient knowledge has turned into ancient fact? How much do we really know about our true suppressed history? Could there be a whole world we don't know about our there?

Photo credit: Ramakien Murals depicting the hero Hanuman meeting the mermaid Suvannamaccha, Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok, Thailand, 1831.

Ancient lore is fascinating to say the least, especially if you dive into mythology. What’s always attractive about mythology is that there are good reasons to believe that a lot of it isn’t actually mythological, but real in some cases.

We see this in many examples, Plato’s (among others before and after him) description of Atlantis could be one, especially when you tie in all of the evidence that’s emerged of its existence. Another example could be people with ‘superhuman’ abilities, like clairvoyance, telepathy, and psychokinesis that we find in a lot of Buddhist and other ancient Eastern texts.

Today, there are many documents and examples of people who demonstrate these types of  abilities. Another great example is Nikola Tesla, who derived his ideas of “free energy” and electrical generators from ancient Vedic concepts.  Let’s not forget about modern day quantum physics and neuroscience and their close correlation with ancient eastern philosophy and buddhism.

There are many topics to choose from, and it seems that we always place ideas and concepts that don’t fit within the frame of  accepted reality into the  ‘mythological’ category. This is obviously quite understandable, but remember that those who actually spoke about these creatures and studied the lore are certain some of these so-called mythological concepts were completely real. Why is that so?

Perhaps they were? I don’t think we should completely rule out the possibility. Mermaids are a great example, and one of many.

Mermaids

We see images everywhere today, Starbucks even uses the two-tailed mermaid as their logo. According to Greek mythology, mermaids, also known as sirens, were predatory in nature, masters in the art of seduction. They would seduce men at sea with songs and promises of sex, only to kill those who succumbed to their lure. But stories of their benevolence and malevolence differ.

One study in the Journal of Academic Study of Religion explains,

The mermaid blurs the boundary between woman and fish, femininity and carnality, land and sea, human and other. She is also held to be an astral entity in various metaphysical circles, in the mermaiding industry she is often marketed as an ambassador for marine preservation, and in the general pervasiveness of this character, competing with inhuman beings such as vampires, werewolves, and angels in the heavily mediated realm of contemporary culture, the mermaid represents an additional opportunity to invest in an other-than-human identity.

They are also depicted in ancient Vedic lore, the story of Suvannamaccha, for example, comes from the Asian versions of ancient Hindu mythology. They are not always depicted as luring, tricky beasts, some stories speak of them as protectors, falling in love, and more. They also tell of a history of capture, which isn’t surprising, reflecting a dark tendency of the human race in our current state of consciousness. It would be no surprise why these beings may not take to kindly to the race of men, and perhaps still don’t. After all, look what we’ve done to the oceans and continue to do. Look what we are doing to life on this planet…

Etheric Domain

According to one of the foremost authorities on the subject, Manly P. Hall (from his book, The Secret Teachings of All Ages), the Undines, as they were also known, were water elementals, that function “in the invisible, spiritual essence called humid (or liquid) ether.

This is particularly interesting because that’s another thing that’s been spoken of in ancient “mythology” for so long, but now physics is showing it to be true. Here’s a great quote that illustrates that:

“And they allowed Apollonius to ask questions; and he asked them of what they thought the cosmos was composed; but they replied; “Of elements.” “Are there then four?” he asked. “Not four,” said Larchas,  “but five.” “And how can there be a fifth,” said Apollonius, “alongside of water and air and earth and fire?” “There is the ether,” replied the other, “which we must regard as the stuff of which gods are made; for just as all mortal creatures inhale the wire, so do immortal and divine natures inhale the ether.” “Am I,” said Appollonius, “to regard the universe as a living creature?” “Yes,” said the other. – The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Philostratus, 220AD (source)

According to Nikola Tesla,

“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.”– Nikola Tesla, Man’s Greatest Achievement, 1907

Other-Dimensional Visitation

This is why, in my opinion, it’s not hard at all believing that forms of life, invisible to our senses, also dwell in the ether and in realms we cannot perceive with our senses. Other beings would be nature spirits like fairies or gnomes who, according to the lore, can also appear in our ‘dimensional’ reality as well, on our frequency, if they choose to do so.

According to Hall, from The Secret Teachings of All Ages,

The Undines are able to control, to a great degree, the course and function of this fluid in Nature. Beauty seems to be the keynote of the water spirits. Wherever we find them pictured in art or sculpture, they abound in symmetry and grace. Controlling the water element–which has always been a feminine symbol–it is natural that the water spirits should most often be symbolized as female.

Hall writes about how there are many different groups of Undines; some live in waterfalls, others in fast-moving rivers or remote marshes, some in mountain lakes as well as in the ocean.

In describing them, the ancients agreed on certain salient features. In general, nearly all the Undines closely resemble human beings in appearance and size, though the ones inhabiting small streams and fountains were of correspondingly of lesser proportions. It was believed that these water spirits were occasionally capable of assuming the appearance of normal human beings and actually associating with men and women.

 He goes on to describe stories of these water spirits and their adoption by families. As far as the males, Hall does not dismiss their existence but writes that practically nothing is known about them. We do know of one, however, called Neptune. We also know of another.

The Babylonians worshipped a fish-tailed god named Oannes. John Ashton, author of Curious Creatures in Zoologyproposes that this is the first depiction of a merman. Also in ancient lore, the goddess Atargatis, chief goddess of northern Syria, was depicted as a fish-bodied human, supposedly constituting the first known representation of a mermaid.

He describes a group of Undines interestingly, and different from other mythology we see. Perhaps these ‘elementals’ differ from other creatures that are closer to our own frequency? Hall goes on to explain,

Their temperament is said to be vital, and to them has been given as their throne the western corner of creation. They are rather emotional beings, friendly to human life and fond of serving mankind. They are sometimes pictured riding on dolphins or other great fish and seem to have a special love of flowers and plants, which they serve almost as devotedly and intelligently as the gnomes. Ancient poets have said that the songs of the Undines were heard in the West Wind and that their lives were consecrated to the beautifying of the material earth.

It’s also noteworthy to mention that multiple apparent sightings have been recorded and spoken about in modern history as well, according to numerous eyewitnesses a few years ago, from a seaside shore town in Israel. They said it looked like a cross between a little girl and a dolphin, and only comes out at sunset. “People are telling us they are sure they have seen the mermaid and they are all independent of each other,” said Natti Zilberman, a local council spokesman, as she spoke to ABC News. It sparked so much controversy that the Mayor offered a million dollar reward for a photograph.

Perhaps there are many concepts of our reality that remain unknown to us? Always interesting to explore 🙂 There are many truths waiting to be discovered that would completely change our perception of not only our planet but also the nature of reality itself.

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
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