Posts Tagged ‘human development’

Is Astrology for Real?

Letters from the Heretic, Spirituality | Posted by Kim
Mar 11 2016

How to Forecast a Better Future with Astrology

I was born in summer, in a seaside sailing town where the people navigated their lives according to the tides and winds as much as by the calendar and clock. The sun was in Virgo, the moon was in a new phase and it was a Friday.

When technology develops so scientists can take a holograph of the gravitational waves between planets and stars, it will look like this flower. ~from Flower Essences by Gurudas, referring to Shooting Star flower.

What else was influencing the environment on my birthday? What gathering of clouds, bird migration patterns,  planets spinning and moons orbiting would have steered the conversations and moods, the pulling and pushing, the lifting and setting–of power poles, root balls, lathes, saw blades, light switches, of pen to paper and voting machine levers (I was born on Women’s Suffrage Day)–on the day of my birth?  How many other thought vibrations and holographic forms coursed through the planet and into the heavens during, not only my birth, but from that single moment of my conception?

Some people say it’s a phony science at best. But astrological forecasting is neither superstition nor fortunetelling. In fact, astrology is as much science as it is art.

In current times, retro and vintage, #ThrowbackThursdays and yesteryear, remembrance and recollection seem to be the new modern. One thing that’s never gone out of style throughout the ages however is astrology. People have been looking to the stars, or steering the collective thinking away from them, for some semblance of structure and order in a chaotic universe since ancient times.

I spoke with budding astrologer and Philadelphia based artist Sam Whalen about how astrology can help you know yourself better, improve your relationships and your life.

HH: How did you first come to learn about astrology?

SW: I first became acquainted with astrology through a silly CosmoGirl book I had gotten at an elementary book fair. This was the first time I became aware of the zodiac and the 12 archetypes and I would look at the Aquarius section and be really upset that my power color was electric blue and not pink. I didn’t really begin delving deep into understanding the mathematics and the nuances to the zodiac until I was around 21 and someone prompted me to get my natal chart done. That was really pivotal. From that point, I began charting everyone around me and found some hard to ignore patterns. I’ve been examining those patterns (plus new ones) ever since then. I’ve always been really interested in archetypes and astrology is deeply rooted in understanding how all archetypes work together to create a harmonious whole.

HH: What are your favorite astrology books or astrologers?

SW: A lot of my astrological research starts by mining the internet. Typically I start with cafeastrology.com to get a base understanding of what I am trying to understand/connect to. Then I go through other sources and compare interpretations. Currently, my favorite astrology is Chani Nicholas. Her interpretations and predictions are always spot on. I highly recommend signing up for her newsletter. A good friend of mine lent me Sextrology by Cox Starsky, Quinn Cox and Stella Starsky. While it’s more focused on sex and relationships, that’s typically one of the biggest issues people turn to astrology for help with. It also presents way more information about each sign than just what pertains to that subject. 

HH: What do you find are some of the most common misconceptions about astrology?

SW: I’ve been watching a lot of videos about the science behind astrology – about quantum mechanics and how particles interact with each other. I think so many people don’t find validity in it because our culture tries so hard to remove itself from nature. We think we are separate or above rhythms and we aren’t!

HH: So, when we talk about “astrological forecasts” we really are referring to something akin to a cosmological weather forecast.

SW: Weather plays a large role in our development, health, and general well being. And what controls weather, where does all weather play out? The sky!

I also think many people view astrology as deterministic rather than as heuristic. Astrology can provide a really important outlet for self reflection and that (at the end of the day) is the most important aspect of it. You are faced with a handful of characteristics about yourself and you either say, “Yes, that reflects me,” or “No, I am not like that.” Ultimately you are illuminating parts of your character that you might otherwise overlook. 

HH: It’s a common perception that astrology is a sham practice based on superstition and the occult. But astrology is neither superstition nor fortune telling. It’s as much science as it is art.

SW: Astrology charting and interpreting is actually quite mathematical. The stars don’t predict or control behavior, no. But they do serve as a visual map that reflects the cycles and rhythms of the seasons that most certainly do impact the soul and psyche of the society dwelling beneath those dark starry skies.

HH: Zodiacal constellations are not predictive so much as they are indicative. Would you agree? Where did people get the idea that the stars ‘rule’ or can predict the outcome of one’s life? If you look up the definition of astrology you get: the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world. But ‘having an influence’ is a misrepresentation.

SW: I am still learning about all the various applications of astrology in one’s life but my understanding is that horoscopes, which are general ‘predictions,’ are where we get this misconception that the stars rule us. The idea behind a horoscope is that since the celestial bodies are on pretty determined paths in relation to the earth, they have the same interactions and aspects at (typically) the same times of the day, week, month, years, etc. So if you know the planets and constellations orbits, then you can predict what the astrological atmosphere will be at a certain time based on reports of what has happened in the past and characteristics associated with the planets and stars. I like to use the word “atmosphere” instead. Because, just because there is the potential for major activity doesn’t mean there always will be. It makes a person more aware of their ultimate free will to cultivate the character and life they wish to live within the boundaries of the astrological environment they are both born into and operating within.

HH: The zodiacal constellations, along with the Earth’s astronomical and cosmological phenomena, is like an illustrated map of creation’s timeline. Just as the seasons change and the earth’s axis tilts and planets orbit around each other…so does human behavior often follow a predictable or reliable story line. 

SW: I agree. I also want to add that there are only so many baseline characteristics that exist in the world. For me, as an artist, it is easy to relate this idea to color mixing. Just like there is basic blue – there is basic (this is a negative example but stay with me here) evil. Then there is teal, powder blue, periwinkle just as there is malicious, sadistic, hateful, corrupt…

Tying this back into misconceptions about astrology; people think that they are just their sun signs and don’t realize that they are a combination of 24 signs and it’s rare, if not impossible, to only have a total concentration of one. This is how we can have 12 base archetypes yet a multitude of unique personalities.

HH: Some, like Carl Sagan on his views about astrology, also argue that the heavenly map changes and is therefore unreliable. But so do our world maps. As countries change names, nations divide or merge, so does the information in our world atlas. Our maps reflect our history.

SW: My interest lies more in the personal (natal chats and how that shapes the way we navigate the world). Therefore I am not particularly well versed in how astrological phenomenons effect communities as a whole – this is next on my list of things to explore further. Aspects play a big role in how the energetic potential of a sign/planet manifest in individual charts. 

Beginning in March, Sam will be doing natal and synastry (relationships) zodiac charts for a small fee. Each chart comes with an illustration totem that is specific to the chart! More information can be be found at http://samwhalen.com/mystic. Maple-Seed-knocked out

 

 

Picture Yourself in the Ancestral Portrait with Flower Essences

Energy Medicine, Herbal Remedies, Mental Health, Spirituality | Posted by Kim
Jan 11 2014

Interview of Ziporah Hildebrandt by Kim Steffgen, December 2013. Answers Copyright 2013 Ziporah Hildebrandt, used with permission.

Your ancestors’ photos may have been in black and white but their lives have colored your world. When ancestral lines are blurry flower essences can sharpen the lines in your family portrait.

I spoke with flower essences practitioner and ancestral energy worker Ziporah Hildebrandt about using flower essences to facilitate the ancestral lineage clearing process.

Keewaydinoquay Peschel, Ethnobotanist and Herbalist.  1919 - 1999

Keewaydinoquay Peschel, Ethnobotanist and Herbalist.
1919 – 1999

HH: Tell me about your experience with family patterns and ancestral pattern clearing.

Ziporah: The way I work is usually directly in connection with, and in dialog with, the ancestors. I also prescribe flower essences to clients. The essences  create more ease with the process of accessing the ancestors, connecting and communicating with them, and transforming a stuck situation into flow and new possibilities. Quite marvelous things will come up in a session working with ancestors. Clients generally report a feeling of lightness and relief of a burden afterward. During a session, specific personal histories often come to light, that can at first shock or dismay a client, and quickly shift the energy to healing, forgiveness, even joy. I enjoy this work—working with someone’s ancestors is just as satisfying as working with a living person: their energy is vivid, their stories poignant, their gratitude palpable. When someone comes to me with a knotty personal situation I can usually tell quickly if there is an ancestral influence. Not everyone is open to these ideas, and there are other ways to work than with an ancestor session. The Healing Roots flower essence combination I created is very helpful for any issues involving ancestral healing.

HH: How do you define Ancestral Pattern Healing?

Ziporah: I like to keep things out of the box, as I find that definitions can limit what shows up in a session, and for a client after a session or while they’re taking the essences. Even calling this an ancestral pattern locks energy—a pattern is something that repeats. My experience is that energies with an ancestral source do run through generations, and they can repeat, and when they do they often resemble the original source in some way. So to this extent there is a pattern, and it usually isn’t an exact replication. If someone was, in a former incarnation, their own ancestor, or involved in the original situation in a former life, there can be eerie synchronicities between the situations in the time periods, even to dates or numbers, names and place similarities. This can be a pattern for that soul, rather than an inherited pattern.

Another type of energy are things like diseases, fires, floods, wars and other situations that are impersonal in their occurrence, that had very personal impacts on ancestors. This type of energy tends to show up differently in each successive generation. For instance,  someone whose great ­grandparent’s mother died of a particular disease while the great­ grandparent was a small child may have grief and loss showing up along with body conditions, and it may not be anything like the same disease physically. I see healing around these energies as a process of thawing a frozen energy that has blocked the flow of life force, of love, of prosperity, of confidence, of receiving the blessings of life and connection with others and the universe.

HH: How can flower essences help?

Ziporah: Flower essences begin to thaw the frozen areas in the ancestral tree. They can clear energetic structures that have kept the frozen area in place. Some flower essences, such as Forget­Me­Not, help us connect directly with ancestors, which allows us to have a transformative dialog with them. Flower essences like Primulas and Crested Iris reorganize and restructure the ancestral energies so that healing is retroactive to the ancestors as well as to other descendents of them. All flower essences will bring in divine light and love to the whole family tree, including opening the living person to forgiveness, to letting go, and receiving change. There is an expansion of the heart and awareness, allowing new possibilities that were never imagined before.

HH: In your experience, what are the essences most specific to ancestral patterns?

Ziporah: There are many flower essences that can heal inherited energy resonances. Any essences that work with the DNA, such as White Primula and Rose Geranium, or with clearing in general, such as Tomato essences, or healing in general, such as Self Heal and Comfrey, will assist with ancestral healing. More specifically, Parsnip, Hemlock, Crested Iris and Boab work very directly with ancestral energies. I’ve described in more detail the flower essences I use in my Healing Roots combination on my web site, http://ancestorsblessing.com/healing­roots/

Any essences that work specifically with family members or the mother and father archetypes, such as Baby Blue Eyes and Sunflower for father, or Lady’s Mantle and Mariposa Lily for mother, can also be applicable to working with ancestors, depending on the situation and issues. Crested Iris works with both mother and father archetypes and is a powerful deep healing essence. If there is an overall pattern of problem with the mother, then using mother­ archetype essences will be helpful, including Madonna Lily, Milk Thistle, Mariposa Lily. You can add an ancestor ­specific essence such as Parsnip or Hemlock or Crested Iris to the combination to “direct” the devas to the family tree.

Not all flower essences will have a strong connection to the devas, it depends on how they are made. Many essence makers do consciously connect with the flower’s deva, and then the essence will carry the intelligence of the deva, which is beyond space and time.

You can do the same thing when working with past lives: formulate for the issue, then add Giant Burmese Honeysuckle to the combination to direct the healing to the past lives. There are also essences that facilitate communication and receiving awareness of ancestors, notably Forget­Me­Not. Any essences that boost intuition and spirit journeys can assist with this.

HH: Do you have your own ‘plant ally?’

Ziporah: I have been guided at different times by particular plant devas. One of them was quite entertaining to work with, taking the form of any flower I was inquiring about and acting out in some way what the flower essence would do. I thought at first that I was suddenly communicating directly with every plant more quickly and easily than ever had before. I laughed out loud when I realized what was going on.

Actually, every flower I make an essence from becomes my ally. While talking with someone, or doing energy healing in a session, a flower may pop into my awareness, and I know something about that plant is a contribution to what is going on. When this happens, I invite the deva of that plant into the session or the conversation, or send it remotely to the person.

HH: Tell me about your flower essence process. How do you determine what’s best for the individual?

Ziporah: This has changed over time, and still changes. I often use a client’s horoscope or Human Design chart to attune to the energy map of their current incarnation. I use kinesiology, or muscle testing as a quick, easy and accurate (for me) method of choosing essences from the thousand or so I work with. With a complex case involving multiple combinations for one person, I may select a number of essences, and then group them as I perceive their resonance. Then I look at the essences in the groups and notice a theme, which further clarifies my knowing about what is going on.

Essences that would like to be included may pop into my awareness when I’m not thinking about the formula, along with the knowing that they would like to contribute their energies to that person. Every practitioner will find their own ways of doing this that work for them.

HH: How does one know the difference between ancestral pattern issues and past life issues?

Ziporah: Sometimes, as I described already, they are the same, where a person was their own ancestor in a former life. More commonly, there is resonance between past lives and the family history. We each choose the body and family we are born into, and we are making that choice from the energetic resonance of a place, a family, a time, as well as connections we may have to people.

As to how to know the difference, each person must learn to perceive their own knowing. Describing my own awareness of the difference would be like trying to put words to the difference between vanilla and chocolate ice cream. Energy is our first language, the language of nature and spirit. How we interface with that language is unique to each person, just as no two people will experience a symphony the same way, or even the same way at different times. As infinite beings, we have access to infinite knowing. If we ask, we’ll receive information.

HH: When selecting a mode for healing painful spiritual or emotional issues, how does one determine the best course? Intuition or something more?

Ziporah: This is part of the learning process of being a healer. We all have amazing healing capacities in our bodies and beings. When we don’t try to determine results we open ourselves to possibilities we may not have thought of. It’s key to learn to trust our knowing, trust our awareness, and trust that whatever happens is a contribution to ourselves as well as the client. Whenever we have an outcome in mind we limit and very often interfere with where the energy is moving.

If we have a pre­determined idea of what healing would look like, what the “best course” would produce, we may be preventing the healing and transformation required. Even defining a client’s situation as “painful” is
assuming a stance that suffering is wrong, should be fixed, and that the healer should be the one to figure out how to fix it. Every time we say “Such and such happened to me,” we erase ourselves as a participant in creating our reality.

There are many wonderful and effective techniques and methods available to healing practitioners today. If one simply follows the energy, you’ll be led to what will be effective. And if there is no apparent effect, one might ask if the client was truly choosing change?

Clients come to us for many reasons and not all of them involve being healed!

HH: Can one be addressed without the other? And how can flower essences help in both the discovery process and the clearing process?

Ziporah: Unlike people, flower essences have no propensity for analyzing or separating various types of healing or healing processes. All flower essences can heal on multiple levels and in myriad ways.

We are constantly addressing what we are aware of and can see, and ignoring everything else. Happily, flower essences have no such shortcomings; they will address whatever is there that a person is willing to allow.

HH: Another flower essence practitioner friend of mine remarked that, often, accessing the ancestor is difficult and the most readily available person is oneself, who carries the pattern anyway.  What do  you think
about that?
 
Ziporah: How difficult something is varies from person to person and time to time. I have found it both quick and easy to access my own and others’ ancestors, and less so at other times. It has always been possible and never what I’d call “difficult.”

Each person carries all of their ancestors within them. There is a chamber in the heart where they are all held, though some can be hidden at first. I’ll be creating an audio guided imagery journey based on what my angel guide showed me about accessing our ancestors. Like many things, accessing this area of our awareness is like a muscle that we can exercise and develop with practice and use.

There are many ways to access one’s ancestors. Gaze with open mind at old photos,hold items that once belonged to someone, go to places where they lived or worked. Ask for a dream. You can fill a glass of water before bed, adding a dreaming flower essence in it, such as Mugwort, or my Dream Healer combination. Just before you turn out the light, drink half of the water and ask for a dream about your ancestors, or whatever else you’d like to receive information about. Ask to remember the dream when you awaken.

When you awaken, drink the other half of the water, asking to remember. Some people remember a dream the first night, others it may take a few nights. Write the dream in your dream journal. The process of creating a dream journal and writing in it whenever you recall a dream tells your subconscious that you are open, willing to receive communication in this way, and honoring of that. When we ask to receive, we will receive.

How difficult it is and in what form it shows up depends mostly on ourselves. How do we expect it to appear? What communications are coming to us daily that we don’t recognize? Our cognitive minds are so busy, so full of conclusions, assumptions and points of view about how things are, how they will be, how they’re supposed to be, that it is difficult for anything to get through that doesn’t look just like we expect it to.

Using flower essences—any flower essences!—gently and gradually changes this. We can let go of things having to be a certain way, of insisting on being right, or wrong, or however we think we are and the universe is. Flower essences soften our finite boundaries so we can receive more of our true nature, which is infinite, light, joyous and free.

Ziporah Hildebrandt is the author of How to Make Your Own Flower Essences. She has extensive training in humanistic psychology, flower essence therapy and ancestral lineage clearing. Learn more at http://ancestorsblessing.com  Maple Seed_Yellow