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This week the sun moves from Capricorn to Aquarius. The practical and tangible and slow moving and pragmatic to the lightning speed unconventional connective forces between ideas. The slowness of manifesting to the quickness and electricity of Aquarius. How can awareness of the planets moving through the signs help you to orient, to flow downstream instead of fighting upstream. It’s kind of like a more subtle seasonal shift, developing an attunement to these changes can help us make sense of our experiences and take cues from nature for how to regard our own nature!

The self-esteem practice I offer this week is in this spirit of gathering information and utilizing ideas (Aquarius) to help ourselves and it comes from the Buddhists. 

Metta (loving-kindness) Meditation is a way to cultivate self-esteem and friendliness toward oneself and others. It involves you sitting in a way that’s as comfortable as possible. Then you think of someone for whom love comes very easily. It can be a person you know or don’t know, who has been influential, a pet, anyone. And you say phrases to them in your mind, wishing them well. The classic phrases are something like, May you be safe. May you be healthy. May you be free. But you can use any phrases that feel the most loving for you. The suggestion is to pick a few phrases that resonate and then just relax into using them for a while, so that you don’t have to decide every meditation. The idea is to be present each time you are saying the phrases, so it’s not just a mindless repetition, you’re connecting to the sentiment each time you say it. The meditation has most potency when it’s done consistently over time. Anyway you start with someone who you love easily and then move to yourself. Then to a stranger or acquaintance, who you don’t have a personal relationship with. Then to a ‘difficult’ person, someone who you have a challenging relationship with. And finally you send these Metta phrases to all beings. It’s important to know you can adapt this to your own needs - maybe you just practice it for yourself for a while, or just for a person for whom love comes easily. The Dalai Lama talks about how he wants to regard himself as just another person, no more, no less. This is one way to PRACTICE THIS FACT, THAT EVERYONE IS WORTHY OF BEING HERE, because we are here! Some phrases I’ve been using lately, which I say to you now - 

May you give it all back to the mystery
May you hear what needs to be heard
May you know you are nature
May you be tender, tender

Often in these horoscopes I’m thinking about the tendencies of the signs and offering prompts and questions that will introduce a new perspective, something that might not be default to that sign’s way of thinking. But this week I’m offering horoscopes that are specifically designed to embrace a tendency that each sign is known for. This is part of the exploration on self-esteem - how can we fully embrace the needs of each sign as a destiny of expression, an aspect of nature, like a tree being a tree?

ARIES (March 21-April 19)

Question - What is the joy you get in starting new things?
Meditation - Newness.
Assignment - Take note of the pleasure you get in starting new things, and take note of where and how this happens in your life. How can you allow this need to flourish as an expression of your divinity? 


TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

Question - What is the joy you get in physical sensory experience?
Meditation - Sensory experience.
Assignment - Take note of the pleasure you get in the physical, in the sensory experiences like eating, sex, the aesthetics of your surroundings. What is this pleasure? When does it occur in your life? How can you cultivate this, celebrate it, give it life? 


GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

Question - What is the joy you get in connecting with people and ideas?
Meditation - Connections.
Assignment - Take note of the joy you experience in connecting ideas, connecting people, seeing things from all sides. How can this be allowed to live fully in your life, so that you are living in harmony with this need instead of trying to be different? How can the two sides of things  (as depicted in the symbol for Gemini, the twins) exist at once in your life?


CANCER (June 21-July 22)

Question - What is the joy you get in feeling the past, connecting to history, ancestry?
Meditation - Ancestry.
Assignment - Take note of the joy of remembering, the power of your own remembering. How can you celebrate your ability to remember, to emotionally hold familial and collective history? 


LEO (July 23-August 22)

Question - What is the joy you feel in creative expression?
Meditation - Creation as expression of self.
Assignment - Take note of the joy in expressing an aspect of self through creativity. There’s a deep need to create for Leo, what way does this get expressed in your life? What way does it contribute to you being uniquely you? If there isn’t this expression, how can it be cultivated, given life?


VIRGO (August 23-September 22) 

Question - What is the pleasure in being of service to others?
Meditation - Service.
Assignment - Take note of what is pleasurable in being of service. What is fulfilling about this? How can you attend to this need of being helpful and of service in your life? How can you celebrate it? 


LIBRA (September 23-October 22)

Question - What is the joy you get in harmonizing with others and your environment?
Meditation - Harmony. Balance.
Assignment - Take note of what joy you find in harmonizing. Let this bloom, and exist, celebrate this need for harmony and balance. 


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21)

Question - What joy do you find in intensity, in transformation?
Meditation - Transformation.
Assignment - Take note of when and how you thrive in intensity. This can be so helpful to cultivate an appreciation of this need so that it can be nourished, instead of denied. When our needs are denied we get them met in unconscious ways. Let’s meet them consciously, with joy! Scorpio has a need to contact the most real aspects of life, the intensity of existence. It has a need to transform! Cultivate this need, support it in your life.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)

Question - What joy do you find in adventure or philosophical exploration?
Meditation - The search for meaning.
Assignment - Take note of the joy you experience in meaning making. And in adventure, in spontaneity. Sagittarius needs to be inspired to thrive, so where does the inspiration come from? How do you let it live fully?


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19)

Question - What joy do you find in work?
Meditation - Work as divine act.
Assignment - Take note in the pleasure of purpose, of work. This is a deep need for Capricorn. When does this arise for you? How can you create conditions in which it gets to bloom fully?


AQUARIUS (January 20 to February 18)

Question - What joy do you find in unconventional connections?
Meditation - Unconventional connections!
Assignment - What joy do you find in doing things your own way, in rebelling? What joy do you find in connecting ideas and people that might not be connected otherwise? How can you recognize this as a need to be cultivated and promoted?


PISCES (February 19 to March 20)

Question - What joy is present when you are feeling connected to something bigger than yourself?
Meditation - Vast emotional connection.
Assignment - Pisces needs to be emotionally connected to life to feel vibrant. Take note of the conditions that allow for this in your life and make moves to support this feeling! It is a key part of your vitality!