Astrology as a shamanic path
Astrology as a model of reality allows us insight into the evolutionary nature of the Soul and into the journey of consciousness that we must travel if we are to fulfill our life's purpose.   But where does this evolutionary journey take us and why are we even interested?  Ultimately, we live through cycles of duality.  Day turns to night, summer turns to winter, seasons change and everything has its place in the cycle of life.  Sometimes we are joyful, sometimes we suffer, but always we keep moving in the flow of time conditioned by the circumstances of our environments and of our karmic inheritance.

For whatever the reason, many find themselves awakening onto the path of the Spiritual Warrior.  Whether outer crisis or inner calling, something shifts inside of us turning our attention to our spiritual development.  From a shamanic point of view, a most powerful teacher that we will encounter in this life is that which we term 'Death'.   No matter how fulfilling our lives are, death awaits us.  No matter how much we have or how beautiful we might be, death awaits us.  'Death as the Advisor' helps to put things into their proper perspective.  Many times people have reported having a near brush with death only to see their lives pass before their eyes from a perspective of heightened awareness.   Everything is understood and makes sense like never before.  Death can help us to see our lives clearly, therefore we can begin to let go of those things that don't serve our higher good.  We can begin to live consciously so that we might die consciously, and therefore, not be bound to the wheel of reincarnation repeating cycles of unresolved desire and attachment.

Astrologically, when we are considering the concept of Death we are referring to the planet PLUTO,  who in mythology is the Lord of the Underworld.  Pluto's powerful influence can give birth to our deepest soul potentials and purpose, but it can also push us through some painful ego-death experiences as we struggle with the power of the underworld that moves in our lives as the Shadow of the unconscious.  We may consciously aspire to the light but find ourselves struggling with the dark, whether outside of us as experienced as someone or something that is threatening our security; or inside of us when we struggle with dark or violent emotions, misplaced desire.or psychic intimidation.  Pluto is Power, the power of Transformation, Death and Rebirth.  The power of Light and Dark, of Love and Hate, of having Power or feeling Powerless...

When that which you are attached to and heavily invested in is taken from you, and you are not able to handle the loss, then Death is experienced as the Dark Night of the Soul...  when there is nothing to hold onto and all seems lost.  The Ego clings to that which brings it security, to that which it obsessively desires. When one's security interest and / or the object of desire is threatened and the fear of what that may entail acts as a catalyst for primal response, then this can bring out the worst in human nature.  Astrologically, this is expressed as the Scorpion's sting which is symbolic of Pluto's rulership of the sign Scorpio.  It is the Scorpio themes within everyone's birth charts that shows where the most intense struggle between the Light and Dark takes place within our psyches.  Where the death of the scorpion metamorphoses into the awakening of the Phoenix by transmuting the poisonous venom of negative emotional states.  This is where the Eagle takes flight and from its lofty perspective looks with keen insight into the nature of things.

The Master Jesus touched on this when he said 'What is it that you should gain the world but lose your soul'.  So he taught 'Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all else will come unto you'.  And to 'Be in the world but not of it'.   This is similar to what the Lord Buddha taught.  'Don't be attached to the things of the phenomenal world because they are transitory, they don't last, its just the illusion of appearances which causes one to cling to that which isn't real.  Our five senses which give us the perception that what we perceive is real, He considered as the five poisons.  To be attached to illusionary reality is to be in a state of ignorance and therefore, invite suffering.  That this misdirected desire perpetuates a chain of karmic consequences that further enmeshes one in the complications of mundane reality.   To not be attached to that which is our security, to that which we invest ourselves into, is to be well established onto the spiritual path and to the attainment of the Crown of Five Jewels.  For our earth plane experience is only the school ground that we may learn soul lessons before we make our transition back into the Heaven realms at the end of our lives.  The key is to remember this when the going gets tough.  And to remember ourselves at such times takes a substantial amount of personal power and energetic balance.

So Death as the Advisor teaches us to let go of our ignorant desire and shift our focus onto the path of the spiritual warrior... onto a path that may bring our spiritual and material worlds into balance.   Quite often shamanic / indigenous rites of passage brings one into a radical state of surrender and release (Neptune) from ego condition reality.  Shamanic death can liberate us from the attachments that bind us to the karmic limitations of our mundane selves.  But this can be a very cathartic experience, not something to be undertaken lightly.  It has to be an integrated part of one's life.  And it can be experienced through ceremonies such as the Sweat Lodge, through Vision Questing / crying for a vision, Dream journeys, Fasting and through different forms of Spiritual Dance, etc...   The Christian mystic speaks of  'Dying daily in Christ' or the Plains Indian when fighting for the survival of the tribe had a saying 'Its a good day to die'.  Here we see the power of Death to shift people into an inspired state of consciousness.  Another example is the Tibetan Buddhist with their Phowa ceremony.  This ceremony is a practice for transferring one's consciousness at death into that of the Amitaba Buddha which will allow for one to enter into a heaven realm and insure an auspicious rebirth.  These examples are all part of a process of understanding and hightened awareness that the wisdom teacher / shaman, CHIRON ultimately acts as the facilitator for. Because Pluto's influence shows the evolutionary intent of our soul, it gives us a chance for personal regeneration and empowerment.  It's best when we consciously choose this path versus being forced into it by karmic necessity.

To walk this path one must be a 'Spiritual Warrior'.  The spiritual warriors' battle is with the lower self, with negative conditioning and ignorant desire whether that emanates from within ourselves or from an outer source.  When we are challenged by situations that can disrupt our physcial and spiritual well-being, the greater the danger the greater the response needed to effectively meet it.  We are jolted out of our complacency into a state of alertness and action.  Like the soldier in battle, we fight for a higher principle and align our Intent with the Spirit.  Shamanically, this is referred to as 'a Worthy Opponent' and is the catalyst that motivates a warrior's Intent.   Unfortunately, a worthy opponent seems to be a necessary requirement at critical times in our lives to trigger the alchemical dance of Light and Dark within our psyches.  It is important that one stay Impeccable in the struggle so as not to allow evil influences expression through oneself.  Transforming anger and frustration into right action and conscious Intent is an important aspect of the warrior-self.  The way of the spiritual warrior is the enlightened expression for the planet Mars.  This expression can include many practices (ceremonial dance, yoga, chi gung, etc) and energetic movements that help facilitate this process.  Through the MARS function we are in a state of self-discovery as we initiate a variety of activity so as to manifest our dreams and to meet life's challenges and opportunities for conscious awakening  

To succeed in our endeavors we need to have a 'path of Heart', a path that connects us to the power of Love.  Only through love can we conquer the Shadow Self.  Only through love can we find the true meaning of life.  This path of Heart is an expression of VENUS and it brings us to the place of self-healing and compassion.  The way of the Heart brings us into a purity of Intent, trust and faith in the Higher Power.  To truly know this one must first come into the power of the WEST, the place of Introspection and Right Relations.  This is the place of recapitulation, where we begin the process of requalifying our energies and bringing ourselves into balance with Life.  Like the GREAT BEAR, who is the animal totem of the West, we take in the bounty of the fall harvest so that we might enter the hibernation cave (meditation) full of the sustenance that will take us through the trials and austerity of the winter / North.  Life experience is a great teacher, especially our relationships with others.  Relationship is a major part of our learning experience and is most often the catalyst that triggers the shadow of the unconscious.  It is through the introspection and self-reflection of the West that we begin to truly understand ourselves and discover that which is of primary importance in our lives and significant relationships.  Jesus once said 'Do unto others as you would have done unto you' and 'Judge not lest you judge yourself.   It brings to mind the Mayan saying 'En lach'ech, ala k'in, a oh lila' - I am another yourself, we are one as the light of the sun.  Another expression of this in Lakota is 'Aho mitaque oyasin' - to all my relations... which speaks of our inter-connectedness with everything.  So it is through Venus that we learn the true meaning of love and relationship.  Venusian consciousness embraces the philosophy of non-resistance and inter-relatedness.  Yet life is full of struggles and challenges which is the shadow side of relationship.  We must meet these challenges in a karma free way if we are to have spiritual integrity... otherwise we just perpetuate the problem of people projecting their shadows onto each other.

We grow and establish ourselves on the path of the spiritual warrior because we redefine ourselves and our goals.  Through the practice of 'Impeccability' and taking responsibility for our actions, we align our purpose with the Power of the NORTH, with the wisdom teachings of the Great Ones who have shown us the way.  As such we begin to recognize that which is sacred in everything, therefore not taking anything for granted but coming to a place of honor and respect for all of Life.  It is through the teachings of the sacred WHITE BUFFALO,  animal totem of the North that we learn to give of ourselves to help sustain others.  We attain spiritual maturity by developing patience, and through dedication and hard work contribute to the well being of our communities and our planet, the Earth Mother.  Thus we begin to master our lives by meeting the challenges that test us for our commitment.

It is the planet SATURN that is the great tester, and his time which commences with the winter solstice whose cold and purifying influences strip away all that is unessential  Quite often it is when Saturn is transiting key positions in the birth chart that indicates the time of many of our biggest challenges, dissappointments and setbacks.  We have to have the right attitude and behavior to constructively face Saturn's demanding influence.  Saturn teaches us about the power of 'Impeccability' and the power of Positive Thought / Intent.   Because negative attitudes, judgments and behavior dissipate our energies and hinder our efforts whether they come from ourselves or from others.  For the power of the North requires us to do the best that we can do and no more.  To release any guilt, negative judgement, fear of failure or any other detrimental attitude that undermines the Truth of our Being and allows us to just Be and Do as is required of us at any moment. To be willing to joyfully do that which we must do, and to be willing to let go of that which doesn't serve our growth, this is the requirement for self-mastery.  As we master our circumstances, we create the space for success and acheivement and therefore, establish a place to express our sense of authority and recognition.  As we master our lessons we are then able to leave behind those circumstances that no longer serve us and therefore, move into a more fulfilling personal and social reality.

Like the rising SUN in the EAST as expressed through Mars, we can awaken and come forth with inspiration and purpose. The motivation that shines through us to creatively manifest our vision is an emanation of that greater power we refer to as the Great Spirit.  Like the EAGLE who is a symbolic representation for the rising sun (Christ Consciousness) and the animal totem of the East, we can take flight to the place of lofty perception and penetrating insight.  But its not always easy to maintain ones' inspiration and vision.  So often we lack the energy to 'stay awake' and find ourselves back in old patterns of habitual behavior, (negative expression of the Moon) stagnation. and ego conditioning.   So it is that the path  the Spiritual Warrior emphasizes the 'Breaking of Routines (Uranus) to allow one to access more creative energy and activate the dynamics of self discovery and Individuation.  By freeing our energy from stagnant patterns of use we can begin to spontaneously awaken our inspiration and  begin to accumulate and cultivate the reservoir of our energetic potential.  This creative energy quickens the mind / body conduit to open us to transcendental experiences and direct perceptions.  Through these realizations one can holistically integrate the teachings and intuitions that are intended to transcend the limitations of dualistic mentality (Mercury).  The stopping of the internal dialogue with all of its mental repetitions and self-validations is referred to as 'Stopping the World' and is an important part of this practice.  If one is unable to meditate because the conditioned mind won't stop chattering, then the power of the East will be veiled and obscured by thought forms contained within the limitations of the rational mind.  To perceive things as they truly are without all the clutter of the rational mind is to be illuminated by the rising sun of consciousness.  It is the POWER OF SILENCE that opens ones' mind to the direct perception of wisdom consciousness (Sun - Jupiter - Uranus) by revealing insight and clarity unfettered by an inflated sense of self-importance and delusion.

The conditioned ego-self and its sense of 'self-importance' is one of the biggest challenges for the spiritual warrior.  The ego sits centered in the rational mind.  It defends its arguments and sense of self-worth to validate its' point of view.  Everything revolves around its' priorities and so it wastes much valuable energy clinging to that which sustains it.  Repetitive internal dialogue and argument defending why we are right and the other person wrong or why we are good and they are bad are a part of this proccess.  The need to be vailidated  is an understandable desire but can be one of the biggest traps of the conditioned ego.  So often one can be in circumstances that put one in a questionable light.  Whether our own actions have dishonored our public image or we are falsely accused by distorted versions of the truth and the negative projections of those who mean one no good doesn't matter as much as how we respond to the challenge.  The opportunity presented is that of the Worthy Opponent.and this opponent quite often manifests as the negative processes of one's own mind.

Another expression of self-importance can come with our sense of accomplishment.  So often people struggle to get to the top, to achieve their goals and get recognition for their talents.  The more we accomplish, the more we become vulnerable to the false pride of  inflated self-importance.  The more we can compare ourselves to others and think that we are superior,  and the more we find ourselves competing with others for a higher place on the social pecking order, the greater the lessons that our soul's may push us through until we realize that all things are relative.  Whether the ego's orientation is materialistic or spiritual, it can still be tainted by the shadow of ego self- importance.

The ego can then become rigid and dictatorial when expressed as the Petty Tyrant. On the other hand, we can have the defeated ego; the Victim, the one who won't even try because they are conditioned with failure, and therefore won't respond positively to the challenge of a Worthy Opponent.  Feeling sorry for themselves and lacking Faith in the Higher Power that guides one's soul, they disempower themselves with fear and  self-defeating behavioral patterns.  Here the ego lacks a positive self-image (Sun - Moon) and becomes entrenched in negative conditioning - guilt, shame, inadequecy, etc.  In these two conditions the power of love is out of balance (Venus).  Both conditions lack true LOVE.  The victim lacks self-love.   And inflated ego self-importance overcompensates with too much self-centered and selfish love.  Obviously, something went wrong somewhere.  

The place to find this is in the childhood, the direction of the SOUTH and the expression of the Moon and Mercury.   Here is where we are nurtured and accepted for who we are.  So often for many people this isn't the case.  A difficult or unfulfilling childhood can setup or perpetuate karmic patterns that will be met up with later in life.  So it is that the ego can be established on an unsteady foundation.  The South is the place of the Trickster teacher (Mercury) often referred to as the COYOTE.  Sometimes we can talk ourselves out of what we know to be true or we can meet someone who's words are less than sincere that can influence our decisions in an undesireable way.  This trickster teacher shows us the folly of our conditioned responses and limited understanding, and reminds us to truly listen to our hearts wisdom and not just to our desires.  There are so many things that we can desire and think that we really need only to find out later that it was all folly.  Or we become too serious and rigid or expect things to be a certain way, so theTrickster Teacher reminds us to laugh at ourselves and go with the flow while listening to our inner knowingness as there can be an element of unpredictability or unreliability in our mundane affairs.  (Mercury retrograde in transit)  With the power of the South we have to remember to nurture ourselves (Moon) so that we might find healing to renew our innocence and trust in life. We have to laugh and enjoy life, keep it simple and allow for everything to be an expression of Love and Beauty, to be simply what it is.  And in our growth, self-understanding and healing we come to the place of healing for our families and loved ones.  And so we travel this circle of life whose teachings are the Medicine Wheel, spiraling through the different levels of understanding until eventually our evolution takes us to the place of wholeness.

To walk the spiritual path means we are consciously beckoning the power of the Spirit into our lives.  It is all around us and manifest as the teaching of the sacred circle.  It is the POWER of INTENT that brings everything into manifestation.  So we learn to work with this power, the power of ABOVE.   We learn to bring our wills into alignment with the WILL of GOD, which emanates from the Great Mystery - from Hunab K'u, the ONE who gives measure and motion.  We learn to be 'selfless' (Neptune) so as to be a conduit for this energy.  I like to joke sometimes by saying 'Its hard to be selfless when you're still trying to be someone'.   To be selfless in a constructive way means that you are no longer under the folly of self-importance.  And that confusion / delusion of purpose and identity which can adversely affect many who have lost their clarity becomes negligible as one discovers a purpose or path of heart for which to be of service.   As we establish our role of service and work towards the greater good, we begin to anchor the power of ABOVE with that which is BELOW, with that which is the mystery of the Great Mother, our Earth.  And so her sacred places begin to teach us and reveal to us that which we are, that we may know our oneness with all that is.  And so we exist in the Center of Six Directions of Sacred Space (the Four Cardinal Directions and Above and Below),  and we move through the Four seasons of the year and the Four times of day, and we move through the cycles or seasons of our lives.  Hopefully, we will have met the challenge of living consciously by stepping beyond the boundies of our conditioned identities. And hopefully we can continue to learn and grow beyond any limitations or fears that may confront us on our journeys. 

Since 1987, we have entered into a time period referred to as the Harmonic Convergence  and  the 26 year cycle of Flowering which comes to its peak in 2012.  This is a period of potential global spiritual awakening and renaissance.  It is a time of finding balance in the male and female / yin and yang aspects of reality and consciousness.  We have lived in a right handed world and a frame of reference referred to as His-story; it is time to remember the feminine side.  To actualize our potential as spiritual warriors we have to integrate this balance; to that which has been referred to as the Right Side - the Tonal and the Left Side - the Nagual of our energy bodies / consciousness.  Our right side is our daytime /yang side, the Sun influence, the side of becoming, of action, of 'Doing'.  Like the 'Hunter', in silence and translucency, we Stalk our conditioned selves in order to transform ourselves, in order to awaken and empower our True-selves (Uranus).  We learn to cultivate our energy because energy is consciousness.  Without energy we can't awaken our Dream selves.  We can't awaken the portion of our awareness that is Unconscious.  Mastering our energy is an important part of awakening our consciousness.  So often the demands of the everyday world drain our energy  and our obligations challenge us to simplify our lives that we might have the energy to remember who we are.  Calling forth the energy rooted in the primal chakra, we draw that energy up our spines and into the center of our brains, awakening the Plumed Serpent and the flight of the Eagle within our psyches.  Awakening and integrating with the Left hand side of our energetic selves.

The Left Side  of our energy body is of the Moon / yin and the night time.  It is the time of dreams and the place of meditation journeys (Neptune); of heightened awareness and 'Not Doing'.  As potential Dreamers / Seers we are open to possibilities of perception not limited by the rational mind.  As Dreamers and Stalkers we can  shape shift our realities to create something more meaningful.  We can begin to shape shift ourselves out of rigid patterns that have conditioned and limited us.  And reassemble ourselves free from the karmic conditioning of our past history.  And we can begin to shift the collective dream that is causing disharmony in our world. This integration of the Left and Rights sides of awareness is referred to in Toltec shamanism as The Mastery of Consciousness.  So it is that we are on a Path of Heart, partaking in the union of opposites; transcending the lessons of duality.  Love is the vehicle for this dance of integration.  Forgiveness is an essential part, and faith the glue that holds it all together, especially when times are tough.  This path has been walked by many from many different traditions and historical times.  May your path be one of beauty...     Zhata Zak - Zhata Amak...  
May there be peace within your presence...      

                                                                                                     Rahelio                                                                                                         index