Communing with the Spirits

Honoring the Ancestors and Clearing Ancestral Trauma in Michigan

The Huron River from Delhi Bridge by Deb Nystrom

The Huron River from Delhi Bridge. Photo by Deb Nystrom on flickr.

By the time I met Diana down by the river, I was feeling a bit frazzled. Since arriving in Michigan on the day of the Cancer New Moon, I’d mostly wanted to sleep.

Mars and Mercury were both “out of bounds” in Cancer¹ that week. I was feeling exceptionally inarticulate. Diana had been dealing with some intense family stuff. While we had managed to put together a rudimentary outline for the ancestors workshop and ritual in Ann Arbor that evening, we both felt like we needed some extra help from the spirits.

We had agreed to meet at a park by the Huron River to ground ourselves and set our intentions for the workshop. I followed the Google Maps directions Diana had texted me to Island Park and parked at the first picnic shelter, as instructed. I crossed a footbridge to the island and found Diana waiting with drum in hand. Continue reading

Out of Time

Naked Songwriter #15

Horses, Synesthesia, Trance and the Eternal Present Moment

lilly

Photo by DK

I had an extraordinary experience with a horse – the day after it happened.

Which led to an exploration of the relationship between time and authority – and why we can’t hope to write a different story while we’re stuck in a krono-logical timeframe.

Also:

  • Mercury out of bounds in Cancer
  • Mars out of bounds in Cancer
  • The Cancer New Moon
  • Synesthesia and songwriting

This Too Shall Pass

Can Astrology Save Lives?

The news that Chris Cornell had killed himself (in my hometown of Detroit) on May 18, 2017 came as a shock.¹ The news saddened me but – maybe because I’ve talked to so many people who have been going through bouts of deep despair – it didn’t feel totally surprising.

If Chris Cornell had known a little bit about his natal chart and about astrology in general, would he still be alive today? Continue reading

How to Read Your Horoscope for Fun and Profit

Learn astrology by Reading Your Horoscope

New online interactive class starts June 14

In this class I’m going to share trade secrets utilized by all horoscope columnists that – once you know them – will empower you to:

your chart, blossoming

Inner Sun – photo collage by DK.

  • Realistically assess which days, weeks and months are going to be easier or more challenging for you.
  • Avoid falling prey to self-fulfilling prophecies of doom or disaster.
  • Know which signs and planets you need to focus on when reading your horoscope.
  • Use free apps and websites – or inexpensive astrological calendars and day planners – to calibrate where the events mentioned in your horoscope are actually happening for you.
  • Use your weekly horoscope to teach yourself astrology!

Continue reading

Astrology Q&A: Sagittarius Full Moon

Observing the Quality of Moments in Time

In my recent post on kronos vs kairos time, I mentioned that one way of defining astrology is as a system that enables us to tune in to the quality or flavor of a given moment in time. In fact, we might say this is the supreme value of astrology: it gives us a language for making meaning out of what is happening to us. (Or what is happening within us.)

As I was meditating on this, I drifted off into a parallel universe not too far from this one. In this universe, all university students take at least one year of basic astrology courses to satisfy the core emotional intelligence requirements all students must pass in order to graduate.

I was trying to explain this concept to Abi. She’s one of my brightest students, but she has grown increasingly frustrated with her progress. She confronted me after class with a question that bedevils many a bright beginner-to-intermediate astrology student. Here’s how our conversation went:

Sagittarius Full Moon chart June 9, 2017

Sagittarius Full Moon. June 9, 2017, 9:09 am, New York, NY.

ABI: I feel like I know a lot about astrology. I know what the planets mean, I’m familiar with the signs, I know my basic aspects, etc. So I’ve got all these pieces, but when it comes to making a coherent, meaningful interpretation…(sigh)…I just can’t seem to put it all together. (Her voice trails off; she has a faraway look in her eyes.) Continue reading

Epigenetics & Ancestors Workshops Live in Michigan

Join DK and Dr. Diana Quinn ND in person for a revolutionary experience in self-care and planetary healing

epigenetics ancestors dk brainard diana quinn nd

I’m excited to announce two new workshops I’ll be facilitating with Dr. Diana Quinn. The Ann Arbor workshop will be more specifically focused on opening communication with helpful ancestors, while the Ferndale workshop will include the ancestors and epigenetics pieces.  The power behind this work is great and Dr. Quinn and I are so pleased to be able to share this in person. Continue reading

The Power of Micro-Stories

Small Changes Add Up

magnolia blossom

Magnolia – image by DK.

I was brooding the other day about my addictive nature and how much time I waste daily in self-sabotaging habits to avoid completing things and thus have to face the possibility of failure.

Or is it the responsibility that accompanies success that I’m so afraid of facing?

The macro story here on a personal level is that I must always try very hard, frequently exhausting myself in the process. But I must always fall just shy of real success in the end.

Because, were I to succeed, the people I love would turn on me. I would be punished and/or exiled and would end up isolated, unloved, shamed and alone. So goes the narrative in my unconscious.

Living in a Van…Down by the River!

For those of you old enough to remember the old Saturday Night Live sketches with Chris Farley, the unconscious narrative that stars up in my subconscious whenever I consider threatening the status quo by doing what I really want bears an eerie resemblance to Matt Foley’s story.

Why on earth would my success, joy and happiness possibly cause anyone else to feel bad? I mean, that’s insane, right? Well, if you grew up in a dysfunctional family system (and most of us did), you began learning and internalizing a certifiably insane story about life – and your place in it – right from the beginning. In ‘my’ big story, here are a couple of reasons why I must never succeed:

  • It would “show up” my mom and my brother, both of whom played the role of the crazy-making ‘blocked artist’ for much of my life. My success would force them to examine their own shameful self-betrayals. This would make them uncomfortable and I would be punished.
  • If I had more resources I might just opt for freedom on all levels, including in my primary relationship. This would embitter my partner, who would then turn my children against me. I would be punished and/or exiled and would end up isolated, unloved, shamed and alone.

Better to honor my childhood contract with my family system to be the nice but weak-willed peacekeeper whose energy is always available to support the others, than risk the possible horrors accompanying success.

Changing the Micro-Story

It’s hard to change your narrative if you don’t even know what stories you’re telling yourself. In this case, I didn’t immediately realize I was telling myself a story about how I was too much of a loser to ever make any progress. What I did notice was that I was feeling particularly bad that morning.

Whenever we’re in the grip of a repressed or denied subconscious belief or archetype, we automatically fall into a light trance state. The mind, unable to choose between our conscious intention and the subconscious instructions to the contrary, starts to dissociate from the body and from the present moment.

This is a big reason why bringing awareness into the body in the present moment – something I do in almost every coaching session with clients – is so powerfully healing. The feelings in this trance included (K) generalized fatigue, a tightness in the stomach, and a heaviness across the shoulders and in the upper chest.¹

The inner dialog (A) accompanying the feelings – which I was unaware of until I had acknowledged the feelings – ran along the lines of:

“I waste so much time every day. No wonder you can’t finish anything. I’m never going to make it. I should just give up and accept that I’m cursed to mediocrity…”

Seize the Inspiration When It Hits

I have been asking Archangel Gabriel for help a lot this year when I find myself stuck in a mental rut. I don’t recall if I had specifically done that in the moments preceding this experience, but it’s likely. Suddenly I received a flash of inspiration: the idea came into my mind that ‘Yes, it’s true I don’t seem to be making any progress today. But I’m doing my best and that means I am making progress (albeit invisible on the outside). So I know² I will be making visible progress soon.’

Suspending disbelief, I followed this train of thought. The next idea to come along sounded (A) something like this:

“I feel it building up. I feel the resolve trying to build. Even though it’s not apparent on the outside I’m going to keep nurturing it. And once it gets strong enough, nothing will be able to stand against it! Yeah!

Whether this was the absolute truth or not (which stories are?) this thought filled me with a small surge of power. The heaviness in my chest now felt like a smooth even fire spreading outwards through the rest of my body (K).

I felt more energized and hopeful than I had a moment before. My body felt like it wanted to move. (K)

So I moved. I went down to my office, fired up the computer and started working on one of those unfinished projects. In fact, not only was the rest of that day enjoyable and productive; I’ve accomplished more – and enjoyed doing it more – in the days since then than I probably did in the entire month leading up to this experience.


Notes:

1- Being aware of the submodalities — visual (V), auditory (A), kinesthetic (K) — that predominate in our various stories  (both subconscious and conscious) can really help you take back your inner authority. While there are a lot of great, proven techniques for harnessing the power of submodalities, it’s really powerful when you can simply allow yourself to become aware of which system the brain leads with when showing you a good story versus feeding you a bad story.

2 – Thanks Corin Grillo for turning me on to the power of specific angels to help us with specific life areas.

kronos vs kairos time

The Nature of Time, Post-2012

kairos time

A moment in the life of my driveway, after the rain. Photo by DK.

As I’ve mentioned on a couple occasions, we are experiencing time differently in the post-2012 era. A key catalyst behind my choice to stop writing and recording monthly horoscopes was the realization that most people would continue to read them as prophetic or oracular.

In an interview in The Mountain Astrologer, Laurence Hillman (astrologer, son of James) noted that the ancient Greeks had two different words for time: kronos (Saturnian time or what we might now call ‘clock time’) and kairos, which is the experience of the quality of the moment. Astrology, Hillman said, is a way of tuning into the quality of the moment that allows us to discern which archetypes want our attention now.

As our experience of time becomes more kairotic and less kronological, we are beginning to realize that everything can change at any moment, to the extent we are able to truly believe that to be the case. When we read a horoscope to find out what is going to happen in the future, we’re operating (perhaps unconsciously) from a kronos mindset. If we then give our internal agreement to any limitations (another good Saturn word) expressed in the horoscope, we are essentially limiting what can happen. Continue reading

Authority Issues

Mars Opposition Saturn: Challenging Authority

Monday’s exact opposition of Mars in Gemini and Saturn in Sagittarius is activating our authority issues. How this transit can energize you to rewrite your life story…

Mars is the action planet. He heats up whatever he touches, inflaming passions, escalating aggression and anger, urging us to move. Saturn is the authority, the judge, the guardian of the status quo. He is cold, impassive, objective, heavy.

It’s probably worth noting that the word authority contains – and comes from the same Latin root as – the word author. The Latin auctor includes the meanings: “promoter, producer, father, progenitor; builder, founder; trustworthy writer, authority; historian; performer, doer; responsible person, teacher,” literally “one who causes to grow”. (Online Etymology Dictionary) Continue reading

The Hidden Meaning of ‘Speak Truth to Power’

women collective story

Choose your own adventure by chiaralily on flickr.

Power vs. Force and the Roots of Anger

I don’t know why the statement “We need to speak truth to power” popped into my head last week. But it wouldn’t stop rattling around in the old noggin so I asked myself, “What does it mean to speak truth to power?”

I did a little research and apparently the phrase first appeared in a book published by the Quakers (Society of Friends) in 1955, although it is also attributed to Civil Rights leader Bayard Rustin.

I have a lot of respect for the Quakers. My great-grandmother was a Quaker in Indiana. I dig their whole non-hierarchical, non-violent thing. And I have a ton of respect for those who risked their lives during the Civil Rights movement to try to win equal status for African-Americans in our society.

This slogan may have been perfect for the collective consciousness in 1955. But its hidden meaning is actually profoundly disempowering in our time.¹ Continue reading