by Isaac George
April 30th, 2018
“I can't believe you people. I come for you, and you want to stay, I let you stay and you want to go!” – Death, from “Meet Joe Black”
Death…and Taxes. Sometimes paying taxes feels like a dying…like some precious life blood was being taken from you by force, or at least without your enthusiastic cooperation.
The 21 grams. The anomaly of how much lighter a human corpse is after the us that is “us” has vacated, and gone…where?
Ever wonder why it is that most people don’t have a single memory of where they were before their birth? Stranger still, how many can remember their last death, their last life prior to that death, or what came after. Can you remember, or know anyone who can? And, if you did, how can you tell if what it is you’re remembering is true, accurate, infallible?
I read a book a long time ago entitled “What Dream May Come” by Richard Matheson. Yes, it was made into to film later, starring Robin Williams, but that came 20 years after I read it. In the Introduction, Matheson wrote this: “To the Reader…
Truth or Consequences
October 25th, 2015
by Isaac George
There is another Super Duper Full Moon happening! I thought I could ignore the temptation to actually write about it. However, this momentary event isn’t the only bat banging around my belfry. There are many celestial alignments afoot, and as we move closer to All Hallows Eve (Halloween) we are coming into those influences one might call “the Astral” or Emotional Plane.
Our Sun has entered the realm of Scorpio, the home of raw and intense everything. Life, Death, Power and Passion, and all that comes with it - sexuality, obsession, compulsion, suspicion and great detective work to find secrets, and a penchant for secrets. The Full Moon will be in the polarity of Taurus, which is Fixed Earth and ruled by Venus (I just love chocolate chip cookies and woolly socks!). You get the idea don’t you? The focus on the surface is on security, cosy hearths, and a warm and well-stocked kitchen, and you have all the ingredients for domestic bliss. Or do you?
For you budding astrologers out there, the chart is posted below. Essential data is Sun is 3 degrees and 44 minutes of Scorpio and the Moon is at 3 degrees and 44 minutes of Taurus. The Moon will be inconjunct to Saturn at 3 degrees 35 minutes of Sagittarius, and the Sun will be semi-sextile to Saturn as well. The underlying theme from Saturn is “all that glitters may not be gold.” Truth or consequences indeed!
At first blush we may still be too hypnotized by the other significant energies that are upon us. The Venus-Jupiter communion at 15 Taurus may still have us lulled into a sense of altruism and congeniality. The easy trine to Pluto bespeaks a truce is in effect, but there are things that need attention.
The North and South Nodes (True Node method) are still virtually stationary at the Super Galactic Center degrees of 0 Aries and 0 Libra. Stuck there like a camera in the midst of a time lapse photo shoot, we are experiencing the drawing inwards of a huge dose of information that is laced in Light…directly from Headquarters in the center of our galaxy. This is the grist powering our mills…and it is filtered directly into our Soul Heart/Mind complex from the inside of us. From directly within our core identity it is pushing its way outwards, to our surfaces, like magma coming up through the Earth’s crust. As this occurs it is pushing ahead of it all of the karmic inertia from other lifetimes and genetic ancestral memories. Not pleasant for the most part, but a necessary clean-up is in progress in our cellular structures, emotional bodies, and etheric templates. The Full Moon in Taurus will be like a lightning rod, grounding these energies. It will be important to remind yourself that nothing is being done TO us, but is happening THROUGH us. If you’ve been twisting in the wind lately, don’t blame it on astrology, or the solar activity. Blame won’t work now…but compassion for self will, as well as compassion for the bystanders in your neighborhood…they’re mega challenged too (though they may deny it).
As we move closer to October 31st, there may be a few things pop up, or pop out, of those nearest to us. Or, they may pop out of us. This is a ripe time for folks to deliberately or inadvertently “spill the beans” about how they REALLY feel about this, that or so-and-so. There also could be a high degree of existential free-floating anxiety about money, resources, job, career, the economy in general or, if you live in the UK, uncomfortable thoughts of revenge against Chancellor Osborne. It may be essential to remove breakable items from the vicinity. There is very little diplomacy under Scorpio – it wants to say what it wants to say, to speak the power for Truth, or Truth to Power. However things turn out, we are sick and tired of bullying in any form, and as anyone will tell you, the best way to deal with a bully is to stand up to him/her. Perhaps this tyrant resides within you, telling you you’re not good enough, worthy enough or capable enough. Well, enough is enough, and with this energy around, you’ll feel a bit more than ready to slay a dragon or two. The secret is to voice your truth without attacking the antagonist. This takes consciousness. We were all bullied as children, in one sense or another, so we all have that brainwashing to contend with. The perps who did it were themselves also victims of it, so don’t spend any time in the blame game here either. This is our chance to stand for something, and it’s okay to be a wee bit selfish about it.
The consequences are always with us, no matter what the situation or how old it might be. Consequences could also be called “outcomes”, as they are the experience that reflects our attitudes, beliefs and unconscious habits. Nothing more, and nothing less, is needed to describe the effects of choice. How we choose to be responsible, or to be able to respond, sets the groundwork for a new type of outcome. Here’s the tricky part, where you don’t have “control”. In any of what I’m describing above, the resonance or vibrational factor for aligning any experience you consciously choose to replace one that has been unconscious is, for the most part, an act of surrender. Yep, you got to let it go so it can come back to you in the manner that is most appropriate. That’s also the easy part, because as a microcosm of the macrocosm, there is very little chance that what you want or need the most, what is most important for you, could happen if you were trying to micromanage it from your ego.
One of the great parts about Scorpio energy is passion, with a capital “P”. I recall seeing the key phrase for Scorpio being “I Desire”. That about sums it up…I want what I want…and I want it now!
So for the balance of time that the Sun is in Scorpio, getting juicy about whatever floats your boat is full on, or should be. However, there’s a minor fly in the soup. Although Saturn just left Scorpio in September, as I write this we are experiencing the echo of when Saturn entered Scorpio three years ago. In fact, on October 25th, 2012 the Sun and Saturn met up at 2 degrees of Scorpio, only two degrees away from Tuesday’s Full Moon. Coincidence? Never! Only the appearance of coincidence as Carl Jung would say. There is a good chance that any prior wounding involving sexuality could be "up" just now, which is an opportunity to heal violations of trust and stolen innocence.
So, our passion needs to be guided by a higher notion in all of our dealings. I Desire balanced with I Love. That’s Taurus’ ruler, Venus, speaking ladies and gentlemen. True love with passion can heal. Passion without love is deadly, Love without Passion is bland. Stop settling for bland and safe, and stop being sucked into passion without consideration for your heart... and more importantly, your Soul.
Well anyway, that’s my take on it right now.. We are called to feel everything deeply…that’s the Pluto side of Scorpio. Use this time wisely.
Be gentle in your courage, be considerate in your truth-telling, and be compassionate with the consequences. We are here to hold another up when they cannot do it themselves. The next one needing that support may be you. May Love lead us. All is well.
"Don't Look Back" - Part Two
by Isaac George
March 14th, 2015
This month has a load of astrological markers that are quite significant on their own, but it is the synthesis that is most intriguing. If you are not savvy with astrology terminology or the use of archetypes, the technical side can be a bit daunting and distracting. I’ll try to minimize the astro-babble and focus on the feel and meaning of these times, and more importantly, how best to respond to them. For those of you who do follow astrology, and know a bit about your own charts, the areas of highest sensitivity for this month are planets, asteroids or chart angles between the 8th to 17th degrees of Aries, Libra, Cancer and Capricorn, and Leo.
This is the second installment in a three-part series. If you missed the first segment, click here to read it.
Week of March 15th to the 21st – “Mission…Possible!”
“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.” Kurt Vonnegut
We begin the week fully in the energy of the 7th and final square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn. This will occur this Tuesday, March 16th, at 2:22am GMT (UT). There are also some significant triggers preceding this point, such as Saturn turning retrograde at 4 degrees of Sagittarius yesterday (March 14th) and the Moon meeting up with Pluto in Capricorn today at 9:19am GMT (UT). This coming Friday there is a partial Solar Eclipse at 29 degrees of Pisces at 9:35am GMT (UT), followed by the Spring Equinox when the Sun ingresses into Aries at 10:46pm GMT (UT). All charts are provided at the end of this article. For more detailed information about the Solar Eclipse, just click here.
Now that that’s handled, I’ll flesh out my feeling/knowing about what’s happening…
We are all on a ‘mission’. Our souls have a big agenda, or we wouldn’t be here at this time on this world. One of the things about this notion is that it is essential to see that everyone else is on a mission too, so you have loads of company, and no one is better or lesser equipped than another; just uniquely equipped, as it were. I’ve titled this blog “Mission…Possible!” because in spite of there being so much change and flux and intensity, this is not a negative situation we find ourselves in. Sure, letting go of the familiar, even that which has been a fixture of love, attention, security or familiarity in our lives looks “negative”, or is viewed as a loss, as this is a judgment from our ego. Face it, egos dislike change….intensely. But the new landscape will be quite different from our old familiar territory.
Our egos (our little kid) have been under a lot of pressure during the Uranus-Pluto cycle, which really began in the summer of 2012. We must deal with all the hurts, disappointments and injustices it suffered over the decades since we arrived here. All this got really triggered after the 6th Square, around Dec.15th, 2014.
Secondly, it does not like feeling abandoned or ignored. It has NEEDS, and we better listen to it or else we’re going to find ourselves dragging a squirming tantrum into the future with us. None of us will be able to afford that bill as this year progresses. In order to fully manifest and realize our purpose for being here, we will have to integrate our unconscious bits quite dramatically, and also very lovingly and compassionately.
Part of this work centers around redefining our view about our natures. We are human, and we do possess a spark of divinity, a quality of self-awareness and imagination. However, we are also human animals, and do share a connection to the Gaia, the planetary consciousness, and all of the other biological forms here. Our planet is also known as the Magna Mater – the “Great Mother.” Actually, that’s an old Gnostic term for Nature in general, no matter where it arises in the Cosmos. They also called her “Sophia”, the Wisdom Goddess, and wisdom is a weapon we’ll need after the major shifting we currently find ourselves embroiled in.
We are all interconnected in a profound way, as if we were one organism, with each person constellated in such a way as to provide a particular service or gift to all other parts of ‘us’ that are in need of such support. This is the basis for real communing, or community. It is touted as the primary quality of the coming Age of Aquarius.
One aspect of the Solar Eclipse this Friday is that the Sun and Moon meet at 29 degrees of Pisces, the ultimate end of a Zodiacal cycle that began around 200 B.C.E. In other words, the imminent end of the Great Age of Pisces may be upon us. Look at the glyph for Pisces…two Fish swimming in opposite directions. This represents the rise of self-reflection, the expansion of the ego, and the sense of separateness from Nature and each other that has marked this Age. Perspectives were “either/or”, and hardly ever, “both/and”. It gave rise to Darwinian Theory, competition, scarcity and poverty consciousness, etc. One might argue that this began when agriculture was invented, and we stopped living in small foraging tribes. However, during the last 2,200 years we really excelled in creating a power over, victim-perpetrator game that has brought us to the edge of ecocide, and species extinction. Our psyches are exhausted and trying to catch up with the evolutionary pressures brought to bear. We are extolled to “evolve or perish” now, and it is imperative that we do so to avert disaster.
Years ago I read a book entitled “The Coming of the Feminine Christ”, by Dr.Niamh Clune. The standout quote from this work was “only the Awakened Heart can avert the apocalypse.” I strongly feel that is a truth worth reflecting upon as we encounter the planetary agents of change in our midst. Our hearts must awaken, our souls must be given reign over the egoist concerns of survival and personality. This is the test of Uranus in Aries, which is the Sacred Warrior of the Aquarian principle facing up to Pluto in Capricorn, the defender of the Established Order of the previous Age. Each archetype has a light and shadow aspect. On the dark side Uranus is change at all costs and Pluto is ruthless about power. The enlightened side of Uranus is community, and the expansion of “Yintegrity”, or doing what you want when you want to. The shiny side of Pluto (is there one?) is deep and profound shamanic transformation, leading to lasting change, whether you personally like it or not.
New opportunities are before us. We are called upon to own our mastery, our mission. I am coming to view the term “mastery” in a new way, more like a kind of Jedi Knight. Instead of some impossible ideal of divine-human perfectionism, this mastery is about full authenticity and vulnerability. Sometimes we can flow with the Force, and achieve amazing things. Sometimes, the Force does not cooperate, and we need to just grow still, nurture ourselves and listen. At other times we can wield the power within us at will, and at other times, it’s Will with have its way with us. Wisdom comes from listening to the ebb and flow and responding, rather than pushing and shoving.
Trying to do 'power over', with all the inherent abuses, is not going to work anymore. Everyone is becoming too sensitive to the amount of fraud rampant on the planet right now, and any attempts to use power to gain an advantage over another will boomerang. Let’s just say that karma may be instantaneous, and leave it at that.
Yes, practicality will be required. Getting your hands dirty and working hard will definitely be required. That’s Saturn for you. The next cycle we enter is Saturn-Neptune, and it will require discernment, hard work, and also a respect for process of bringing ideas and ideals into form. Not everything you want, or think you want, will be necessarily good for you or for others. This is the Neptune part…releasing your dreams and desires to your Soul for a more balanced manifestation to materialize. As previously stated, we still have to contend with the Old Order, the 1% who refuse to give up their greed and ‘power over’ game. Be careful it doesn't infect your heart’s true desires.
There will be a bit less pushing and shoving with Saturn going into retrograde. That doesn’t mean you will be idle and contemplating your navel till August 2nd. What it means is that this is a time of review. Your course may be cluttered with pictures of reality that no longer serve you, or others. The past may be incompatible with your present and your vision (mission, desire) for the future. This is like “remedial lessons” time for some folks…another chance to tidy up loose ends before really moving into your Soul’s direction.
Uranus-Pluto will ask you to move from horizontal reference to vertical reference. Connect within, and connect to Galactic Core (7th Chakra) and Sophia-Gaia-Earth (1st Chakra). You are an embodiment of Life...not a struggling human (that’s the old Piscean mentality of divide and conquer, sacrifice and abandonment). It will also empower you in such a way as to finally leave old contracts and commitments that no longer serve you.
The Solar Eclipse is also about realizing your innate power and gifts. This is a time to really shed some skins around the old “no power” or “abuse of power” syndrome most of us have had imprinted in us. As Saturn moves deeper into Sagittarius next year, it will begin to expose more of the false power matrix, especially in politics and religion, and then the true effects of embracing our innate power will have the potential for hammering out real social change. It begins with one person at a time, and then multiplies exponentially. The Eclipse is sort of a death-knell for organized politics and religion anyway. Saturn will expose much, and the remaining energy of the Uranus-Pluto square and this Eclipse will continue the crumbling of static and outworn structures, from the personal level to the global stage.
One note of caution – eclipses are tricky, and since there’s a Lunar Eclipse at 14 degrees of Aries-Libra on April 4th it could distort some of the things you thought you were previously clear about. In other words, no final decisions about some things will be available until after the Saturn retrograde is completely resolved – around mid-November. I’ll address this in more depth in the final installment of this series this coming Saturday, March 21st.
Check out the flower essence and article suggestions below, they may help.
Keep putting one foot in front of another. We’re all together in this journey. Ask for help…it’ll be there, from within and without.
For information about the Isaac’s Services, please click here.
Special Offer: 20% off any Transit Reading for the rest of the month. Click here.
Contact: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call:
Ireland: 00353 (0)870 978204. United Kingdom: 0044(0)7875 123406
Resources and Practicum:
Flower Essence Strategies, as recommended by Ariel Elohim
Scleranthus – for uncertainty/ indecision/ vacillation, fluctuating moods.
Walnut: assists in adjustment to transitions or changes, e.g. everything that is going on fast and furious right now.
Olive: fatigue--drained of energy.
White Chestnut: for persistent unwanted thoughts. Pre-occupation with some worry and/or mental arguments.
Bach Flower Essences or any other reputable source will do.
Ariel Elohim offers practical spiritual guidance and counseling services. She resides in the eastern United States. She may be contacted at email@example.com. Her motto is “Live Heaven! If it doesn't look like fun, it's probably not.”
Lynda Hill’s Sabian Symbols podcast about the March 20th Eclipse: http://sabiansymbols.com/
“If you cannot directly face your sexuality, you will never discover your true spirituality.” - From the Taoist text “The Bamboo Immortal” c.1748.*
The river of Life has, and is, creating a torrent of change in my own personal universe. Since publishing Part 2 of “Finding Love – The Purpose of Attraction” on July 14th, I had originally titled the third part of this series as “Sexual Healing, Eros and Heart Therapy”. But now I’m having a laugh…for Life does intrude when you’re making other plans. Obviously the times have changed since mid-July, and so has the title. I too have changed, and so have my personal circumstances. Nonetheless, the way is clearer within and without to bring this particular series of articles to a close.
We all are looking for love and a sense of belonging and security, and so seldom do we find it. Or when we think we’ve found it, something always seems to be missing or it all goes awry. We are now being exhorted almost daily to love ourselves instead of looking outside for fulfilment or happiness in our relationships. “If only I were more spiritually-minded, and more self-sufficient, or loved myself more, I would be happier…”, or so the spiel goes.
The very innate human desire and longing for meaningful connection with not only other humans, but also with non-human life and the wider Universe is at the core of our souls and awareness. We are inherently capable of behaving in a kindly and loving way, so why is happiness and the experience of love that we know we should experience seem so elusive?
To deeply surrender to Love that occurs in a seemingly serendipitous way requires a certain degree of ego death and a temporary relinquishing of our usually strong sense of self-identification, and that can cause big problems. Fear enters the picture. Projection replaces perception, and whoever has the most ‘self’ to lose will tend to retreat hastily back into the safety of the familiar. A dear friend and professional therapist describes this place as the abode of “comfortable uncomfortableness”. Then, when the coast is clear, these souls will come out of their shell and gradually wonder what it was that may have happened, followed by a sense of grieving or relief. Usually, the searching for ‘it’ starts all over at some point in the future.
Now this is an oversimplification of the nature of Love, and I don’t mean to imply that all encounters with Love that have a capital “L” are predicated on meeting one’s soul mate or twin soul. However, this notion cannot be dismissed entirely and nor should it be held up as the only way that any human being can come in contact with Love or Eros as part of The Mystery.
Indeed, many have touched the face of Love, or shall I say been touched by it, during some of the most ordinary moments one could imagine. Moments in Nature or just staring at the stars in the night sky can evoke a sense of awe that is a prerequisite for entering into the sublime state that the Mystery of Love offers. We all long for that which will take us out of our small selves, and expand us into something greater than our sense of “I”, and we do sometimes desire it to be a shared experience with another human being. This is where real poetry comes from. And the “Other” in song, prose and poetry is just another “you” after all. Though some may view the human fascination and need for deep bonding as co-dependent, I prefer to recognize in it the core of interdependence that underscores and validates the very web of Life.
“The Sin of Original Guilt”
I coined the above term for a chapter in my book “What Really Matters: A Guide for Spiritual Awakening” in 2007. It means something different to me now, as I’ve been shedding many belief systems over the past year. A good example of this turn of phrase is covered in Wilhelm Reich’s book “The Function of the Orgasm”, which wasn’t just about the potential for human beings to realize and accept their sexuality and capacity for pleasure. It was a vivid and impassioned condemnation of salvation-based religions and the patriarchal notions that gave birth to it. He equates the deliberate suppression of our sensuality as the main cause for the rise and existence of fascist tendencies and movements. To believe, even in the slightest, that we were ‘born into sin’ is to make a grave error that ends only in paroxysms of shame and guilt. We feel like victims of circumstance, which is not a very healthy state of affairs. Even worse, we then find that we are now separate from our own natures and Nature itself.
As a species, we seem to have inherited a manipulative program, a deception that colours how we perceive ourselves and our relationship to love, to each other, and to the Life Force itself. Think about it; if you have to be ‘commanded’ to love, as we are told in Christianity, then why? When you love someone or something, you are just responding to what love is and does. You don’t need commandments, or threats of punishment, in order to make you a good and loving person. So, the trick of shame and guilt that has been handed down to us for over seventy generations has done immense damage, to our psyches, to other humans and life forms, and it is now this distortion threatens the very biosphere itself. So, how do we heal ourselves…how do we end the suffering, depression, violence and confusion?
“Return to the Garden”
“Religion protects man, so long as its foundations are not revealed.” - Rene Girard, “Violence and the Sacred”
A major part of our growth will be to learn what it means to love ourselves. That cannot happen if we still are invested in the false story of humanity, about its so-called “Fall” and it’s Redemption through some non-human extra-terrestrial means. We must reforge our connection to the planetary sentience of Gaia, through Nature, and refute the doctrine of the victim-perpetrator bond that is at the core of redeemer-based religions. Our sexual and spiritual healing must come from more than immersion in Tantric practices, techniques and philosophies, as these are still human inventions that arose out of a culture steeped in patriarchy-based spirituality, and which carries the seed of the belief that we must transcend the flesh in order to realize our inherent divinity. The body is the Soul, expressed.
In terms of so-called ‘modern’ or contemporary spirituality, there have been some recent but minute shifts away from transcendental philosophies that regard Nature, the physical body and material world as impediments to self-realization and holistic living. The New Age, with its obsession on ascension and merging into some elevated super-human state of mastery, misses the mark entirely. The Anthropos, the genomic core of human identity, is already divine, already connected to the divine spark that is both Goddess and Earth-based. It is already in harmony with the benign and generous Originator that dreams and emerges through all that exists.
Upon closer examination, non-dualism is another strategy…a lofty view that holds material reality as inferior and illusory. It is the mirror image of another aberrant belief...split-source duality, the belief that evil and good can come from the same Source.
It is interesting to note that the original meaning of ‘Maya’ is not illusion. It is the appearance of illusion. Bump your head and you will feel it! And the more you try for stillness, the more you will encounter the Life Force…in constant and passion-filled motion. Underneath the quietest landscape the telluric currents of Life are swirling. We can become still to observe it, but we cannot and should not endeavour to distance ourselves from it. This is one of our core errors, the religion of self-reflection, which has been useful, but which we now need a bit less of if we are going to discover our true natures. The world needs less mindfulness and more soulfulness.
“The Future of Love”
What I can recommend to you, the Reader, is to start where you are and look objectively at all of your belief systems, sacred cows and cherished pets. Are they really your core structures? Do they feel liberating or stifling? Can you change them, and if so, what would you change to? Ask yourself, really honestly, what your role might be in the repatriation of your humanity to its original intent. How would that look, feel, sound, feel or taste like? Where are you avoiding being embodied? Where do you retreat to when you feel ‘less than’ or shameful, and do you feel weak or inferior when you cannot deal with uncomfortable emotions or challenging people and situations? For your own sake, don’t feel like you have to be supermen or superwomen, and think you ought to be over this or that. Seek out help and counsel if necessary, as we are not designed to operate as closed systems of consciousness.
Love a lot…whatever that might be. Nurture and be nurtured. Fall in love, get and give cuddles, cook and enjoy food, dancing, sunrises, walks on the beach in bare feet, your sensuality…just connect with whomever or whatever and be fully present, fully engaged. To fall in love again and again is not an error. Only not learning and growing from your mistakes leads to error. The future of Love depends on our expression of it, both towards ourselves and outwardly towards others. In actuality, there is no ‘falling’ in love. What falls is our resistance to Love.
Love is always there for the finding, because it always seeks Itself. Soulmates are proof of that. The Garden of Eden is a state of happiness. Happiness is possible to a heart that is open and believes. Gaia is awakening and wanting the best outcome possible for Her children, for all of us. Yes, it will feel like work...hard work, at times. And yes, you will notice more happiness as you shed the skins and the veils fall from your eyes, and the emotional scars heal. Then the Garden will be seen…in all of its glory and sweetness, within and without.
I leave you with the lyrics of from this old song, and recommend you have a good dance along with it when you have a chance.
“We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon, and we got to get ourselves back to the garden.” – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (Woodstock)
Finding Love - Part 1
Finding Love - Part 2: "The Purpose of Attraction"
Isaac offers spiritual counseling sessions worldwide via Skype and is available in person in Cork City and West Cork, Ireland.
To make an appointment contact Isaac via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call in Ireland: 00353 (0)870 978204. In the United Kingdom call: 0044 (0)7875 123406.
The Touch of Grace
By Isaac George
October 26th, 2013
Autumn is arriving in the Northern Hemisphere. Wet leaves are falling here in Ireland, and the smell of decaying vegetation and the wan light that filters through the clouds all confirm it. Halloween is just around the corner, also known as Hallowmas, and if you live in certain Latin countries, it is time for the three day celebration of the ‘Day of the Dead’. Time to dig the woolly jumpers and Wellington boots out of the trunks or closets, and make sure our heating systems and chimney flues are ready. After all, to quote a now popular meme, “…winter is coming.”
Another response to the cool and damper conditions is the sense of needing to feel cosy and warm, so if we are in a relationship, the desire for closeness is accentuated. Besides the obvious thermal advantages, it is the feeling of connection and protection that we crave. When we’re drawn closer to others of our own kind, whether it is one person or an extended family, everything can feel brighter and better. Even the growing number of people who prefer the single life and do not have a live-in companion will also feel this, and I am sure that they will seek to engage in more social activities, and take advantage of any opportunity to snuggle up with someone. Cuddle parties are becoming more popular. Not surprising…and no matter which hemisphere on Mother Earth you reside in, there’s more than just a change of the seasons behind it.
Human beings are highly social creatures, and even though the sense of being an individual has been part of the development of the human experience for thousands of years, in our pre-conscious state that existed long before the invention of agriculture, economies, city states, countries and nations, we were pretty much living symbiotically with the natural surroundings and within the context of a clan or tribal community. Our sense of ‘self’ was inexorably connected to the sense of ‘us’, and we shared a mutual concern for food, shelter, health, companionship and safety in uncertain conditions. Since the advent of our brief sojourn into an industrial-technological society, the rise of individualism has given way to an artificial tribal identity via the global communications network. Corporate identities carry more weight in our consciousness than thinking that we are related to flesh and blood counterparts. This artificial sense of ‘us’ is replicated continually in social media, sports and entertainment archetypes (reality television shows, major sports teams, serialized dramas, etc.), and is constantly spun by politicians to reinforce and intellectual and emotional dominance nationally, regionally and even globally (i.e. ‘…a coalition of civilized nations’)
However we view our virtual interconnectedness, we still are denied one thing through our electronic mediums. The innate human need to give and receive touch remains an elusive factor in cyberspace, and in fact, it will never be simulated there successfully. Even if it is technologically feasible to create the simulation of kinetic contact, there is no circuit or programming that can replicate the consciousness that is behind the touch. This power of tactile communication is something our species is now yearning for, and indeed, if we are to survive as a species, we must satisfy in some way. We’ve been starving for it, while wondering through the digital desert landscape.
The growing popularity of tantric workshops, massage and somatic therapies, and the relative newcomer on the scene – the cuddle party, is evidence of how many are seeking to re-establish the neural connections that respond to touch. I first experienced non-demanding touch while attending a weekend workshop called ‘Naka Ima’, which translated from Japanese means “inside the now.” All of the support staff cuddled with the attendees almost all weekend. It was incredibly supportive when we were going through our rough bits.
There are many kinds of touch, and many kinds of physical manipulation, that can offer us a sense of connection or even provide healing from mental, emotional or physical traumas. Some may feel that touch cannot do what it’s being advertised to do, that is, replace traditional therapies or reinforce the standard societal bonding systems. Touch is discouraged in the clinical environment to avoid the possibility of transference of affections from a client to the therapist. Incidental touch, touch that is not part of a typical routine in the course of a therapeutic massage is routinely discouraged, for much the same reasons, though I feel it is more a part of the social taboos we’ve erected to respect boundaries. After I moved to Scotland, I discovered the ‘towel dance’ in which the massage practitioner was constantly readjusting and repositioning the towels covering parts of the body not being massaged. Not wanting to see too much flesh, and be tempted by it, was probably the rationale. This kind of massage was, as you can imagine, not as enjoyable as what I was used to in the more laid-back environs of Eugene, Oregon.
Out of our five physical senses, the sense of touch possesses some unique characteristics. The many reported and purported cases of spontaneous healing conferred from human being to another usually happened through the medium of touch. Religious and spiritual ceremonies and initiations almost always involve touch at some point in the process. This includes Reiki initiations, baptisms, the gifting of Shaktipat, and other forms of activating an aspirant’s inner spiritual awakening. Touch combined with an understanding of energy and sensitivity, and administered with love, can literally erase many traumas, especially those traumas that remain from sexual abuse.
In the realm of sacred (conscious) sexuality, of which Tantra is but a part, the power of touch to open and heal a human being from the main conditioned responses that have been learned through shame, guilt and judgment. Some of the forms that have come forward for dealing with these deeply held patterns are designed to heal people of ‘genital armoring’, which prevents someone from freely expressing and enjoying their natural sexuality. Most of these forms focus on finding the resistance or pain, and working with that to help the individual release the blockages. However, my own personal experience has shown me that nurturing touch, touch that goes slowly, gently and lovingly, not only removes the physical and emotional blockages, but also dissolves the charge on the original wound. The power of touch is discovered in how much heart and presence you can express through it. The ability to heal is inherently in the individual seeking healing…the touch of grace signals the person seeking wholeness to allow themselves to let go…to trust in Life once again.
It will be risky, and it will take some measure of courage, but to reacquaint ourselves with the depth of our being – and everyone else’s beingness, we must become more attuned to touch as a vehicle of awakening and transformation. Body-centered therapies and practices usually encourage the individual to focus on what one does and experiences within our own body and space, or as something you only ‘get’ from another. To feel interactive touch, it is necessary to fully receive with the need to give, and to fully give without the need to receive. We are probably more habitually comfortable with giving than receiving, so I will recommend focusing on the receiving first, until you don’t feel resistance or the compulsion to ‘give something in return.’ It’s not easy!
If you are wondering how going for touch in a more proactive and intimate way will begin to have positive effects on your life, and possibly everyone else’s life, then all I can say to that is “what do we have to lose?” If you’re afraid you might lose your sense of individuality, well, that can’t really happen. Besides, how most Westerners have been conducting themselves for a few millennia hasn’t really contributed much to engendering more trust towards each other, so it may be time to add loving and graceful touch so that we may actually recreate the experience of egalitarian interdependence that our primordial ancestors enjoyed.
We aren’t really individuals, for we haven’t fully individuated yet. That is to say, we are not yet fully knowing who we are and expressing it without censorship or judgment. To be fully individual is to be one with all of Life…naturally. This is true enlightenment, for it doesn’t make value judgments about the body or the consciousness that creates and maintains it. It sees that they are completely the same thing. This is what we learn through the magic of touch, for it ends our false perception of separation and isolation, of being an ‘I’ in the midst of ‘they’.
The grace of touch can create bonding without bondage, unity without destroying the experience of the Self, and cooperation instead of competition. Sharing becomes innately more natural and sensible when we lose the idea that we might lose something of our integrity through when we feel drawn to wanting to touch someone who is in pain, or someone who longs to know that they are loved and not cast adrift and alone in the world. Touch heals. Touch helps us regain our humanity, which in turn opens us to the touch of something invisible in our hearts.
Sexuality is an inherent part of our spiritual homecoming, and I don’t mean nicey-nicey, hearts and flowers romance. Connecting with our earthiness, with the Earth herself, will transform our biology and bring it back in harmony with Nature and the Cosmos. In the last issue, in my essay “The Longest War on Earth”, I encouraged readers to get the book “Sex at Dawn” by Christopher Ryan Ph.D. and Cacilda Jethá, MD. The title is a play on words, but the content, and our understanding and embracing of it, may just be essential to our survival as a species. Sharing, egalitarianism, and non-possessive intimate relationships existed in the primordial utopia that came before the Earth cataclysms of 12,000 years ago, which propelled us out of foraging societies, and into the invention or agriculture, hoarding, scarcity, competition, patriarchy, war, disease and death. Such is progress.
The roots of this are much, much older, but suffice it to say that there was one thing that these cultures understood: the chances for surviving and thriving were enhanced because of mutual sharing and cooperation. This also included touch and sexuality. After finishing the book, I now recognize why I had such a difficult time acclimating back into human society in 2003 after spending three weeks of deep communion with the dolphins (and the wild environment ) of the Big Island of Hawaii. The abrasiveness of that contact after living ‘in the raw’ during that time was illuminating…and extremely difficult.
Humanity will not solve all of its problems and challenges just by going to a cuddle party. But for those brief moments that you and the person you are cuddling with experience, you will cease feeling alone, separate, isolated. As you focus on the pleasure of being embraced and embracing, just imagine yourself as this Earth. The Earth holds us all in her embrace in each moment we are drawing breath, and shares everything it offers without hesitation. If we are the children of a loving Earth and a Benevolent Source Consciousness, then we cannot lose anything by opening to touch, except our fear and loneliness.
As we travel through this era of an ever-changing and uncertain world, the encouragement to ‘love one another’ will take on a deeper significance. Perhaps the sheer desire for connection, companionship, and touch will transcend the realm of a need born out of fear, to a fulfilment born out of compassion and the sure knowing that we are all that we have. Then, the touch of grace may just inspire us to see the truth of our predicament, and open to channel something through that propels back into the Garden…back to innocence. It won’t happen without work, but sure as heck won’t happen without play and trust.
Enough with the sad stories…let’s create a new script. Go gracefully…and touch with love.
Spiritual Teacher/Mentor, Evolutionary Astrologer, Author and Musician.
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