Think carefully, because this is not a rhetorical question. There are many benefits to both. Let’s take the real estate analogy further, shall we?
Life As A Renter
If you rent your house, you are paying rent in exchange for space provided by the owner, your landlord. Your landlord and your rental contract limit what you can do in and with the house. You live there at his sufferance. You have rights under the law, but when those rights are challenged, you have to fight for them. You often feel helpless and in the control of your landlord and if s/he is someone you don’t get along with, this can be intolerable.
I don’t know if you realize it, but as a renter you also have privileges. In some ways, the situation could be viewed very differently. In some ways, the landlord is actually your servant. Whether you know it or not, in paying rent you are also paying for the privilege of being buffered from a large set of responsibilities that you don’t have to think about, or even be aware of, because your landlord just handles them.
It’s your landlord’s job to pay the mortgage and to pay it on time. Your landlord had to come up with the downpayment to be able to get the building in the first place—you didn’t, but you get to live there anyway. Then there are property taxes and all the utility bills on the building. The building will need maintenance and repairs; you don’t have to pay for those repairs, keep track of them, decide whether you can do them yourself, learn how to do them or search for contractors to do them for you. The landlord shields you from having to respond to disasters and unexpected occurrences, like a storm sending a tree through your window. Hopefully the landlord also maintains the general orderliness of the building’s common areas and the yard, so you don’t have to. All these are things you’ve come to expect from a landlord in exchange for your rent and if your landlord’s any good at all, you probably don’t think about them anymore, and you probably don’t view them as privileges. In addition to these concrete duties that the landlord is doing for you, he or she is also absorbing a lot of worry and paying in psychological cost as well as financial.
Frequently a renter doesn’t get contact with the actual landlord, but deals with a management company instead. Often this will leave a renter frustrated because the company (whatever they may say) cares little about the renter’s experience of living in the building and is there to protect the landlord from the renter’s wrath. So repairs happen slowly or not at all and there’s no human face on the landlord for the renter to connect with.
The Renter Attitude
What do most people do with the privileges associated with renting? They squander them. They complain and whine about conditions and focus on their rights. They do not bother to educate themselves about the things their landlord is insulating them from—if they did, they would be getting into position to become owners themselves. But their energy is going into maintaining and strengthening their position as renters who deserve to be taken care of. The relationship bears some similarity to a parent-child relationship. A child, even an adult child has no comprehension of what even the worst parent is shielding them from until they become a parent themselves.
Now, I am not saying that as a renter you should not stand up for your rights, or that all landlords are blameless. I am also not saying that landlords should be allowed free rein for all the many forms of neglect they are capable of. I am saying that if you find yourself focusing unduly on complaints and your rights, perhaps you are ready to graduate from renting and to buy your own place. If you have that much energy for complaining, writing letters, and so forth, perhaps your energy would be better used in doing the paperwork and jumping-through-hoops necessary to buy a home. You’d be amazed how easy it is for a first-time home-buyer to buy their own home. If your credit is anything better than crappy (and sometimes even if it’s not) banks will throw money at you as soon as they get a hint of your interest. I am also saying that until you bite the bullet and buy your own place, you will have no idea of what you are being protected from and no more ability to appreciate it than a child does when their parent goes to a hell of a lot of trouble to preserve the innocent belief in Santa Claus.
Life As An Owner
If you own, you own a whole set of troubles along with your property. For many people, the good feeling of ownership, and the knowledge that your home is yours to do WHATever you want to with, is ample compensation for those troubles. There is a tremendous sense of freedom in knowing that you can have a direct and immediate effect on your environment and that you can dictate what happens in and to your home. A major plumbing break that renders your sink unusable and floods your kitchen with dishwasher water is experienced completely differently by an owner than it is by a renter. The renter experiences a sense of helplessness and frustration that is simply not present for the owner, who is free to make his own decisions about how to handle the situation, while the renter has to wait around for someone else to deal with it and to funnel the message through several people before something finally gets done. The renter has to live with a flooded kitchen in the meanwhile, and perhaps damage to property of his own. When the situation finally does get handled, it’s probably not at a time of the renter’s choosing and may be at a great inconvenience.
The things I’ve said above might not perfectly describe your situation, (in fact, I’m quite sure they don’t) but please don’t have that as a reason to miss my point. My point is: your rental situation makes it hard for you to understand what it takes to be an owner and that you and only you have control over what you do about that. You’re not a victim. Choosing to remain one will only keep you renting. Similarly, if you own, as long as you are complaining and not using the privilege of action you possess, you are just as much a victim as if you were only renting.
So What’s Your Preferred Deal?
So let’s get back to your life. Would you rather rent or own your life? Have you ever thought about whether you rent or own your life in the first place? Do you really possess your life or do you just occupy it?
Do you expect that things you don’t want to look at will just be handled by some magical agency or do you take them on and handle them yourself? Do you want the added responsibility of being aware of all your resources? Do you really want to know and take responsibility for what’s in every dark corner of yourself, knowing you and only you are the one to clean it up? Or are you content to leave the dark corners dark and not look too closely at them?
In a home, as well as in a human psyche, there are often things we inherit and would prefer to be without. The house was built before you got there and unless you have crawled underneath it and put a microscopic camera inside every wall, it will be full of surprises. Perhaps the last owner made a cheap repair. Perhaps the remodel is nothing more than a pretty face. How about that hairline crack in the foundation? When will pipes need to be replaced? And what about the roof? These are all, ultimately, mysteries until you start living with the house.
Similarly, your psyche contains mysterious relics from your childhood, left there by experiences had before you were a conscious adult. You inherited your psyche and much of its contents, but when did you start to own it? Are you whining like a renter? Who is there to send a letter of complaint to?
You have much more choice about your life than you’re exercising. Your parents may have set up the décor, but you can always choose to repaint. Paint is a good start perhaps, but it also only a superficial change. At some point you’re going to have to crawl under the house (read: your psyche) and take a look at what’s really go on. Either that or tolerate a periodic unexpected bursting of pipes and backing up of toilet. Or perhaps you cannot run the dishwasher and clothes washer at the same time because the plumbing can’t handle it. You see where I’m going with this?
An unconsidered life is not worth living.
Whose Life Is It Anyway?
It’s yours. Even though you inherited it, even though you walked in and the décor wasn’t yours from the start. Even though it’s not your choice of architectural style. Even though, once you discover the termite damage, you realize you paid far too much for this house, you have GOT to own your life. That’s the only way you can make a change. You certainly can’t sell it.
What To Do About It?
Assume the mortgage. I mean this. Start making the payments on your life. And the coin you are paying in? Attention. Pay attention to your life. And this is a case where the old saw “take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves” really applies: pay attention to your life in minute detail, noticing the small things, and the large things will work themselves out.
Remember that there’s more than just mortgage. There may be a second mortgage, property taxes and a thousand small fees. Start paying them willingly. Stop fighting it because this is your house. It sure as hell ain’t nobody else’s.
Paying attention is the best possible start you could make to change your life. If there is some aspect of your life that really needs a change (that unfinished attic? the roof leak into that spare room?), all you need to do to begin powerful change is simply to begin paying attention. Hosts of information will come to you that you never saw before. This is because people quickly become accustomed to aspects of their environment that don’t change and after awhile, fail to notice them at all. Perhaps it is the predator in us, which notices movement and ignores stillness. The longer you’ve dwelt in your life, the less you will likely notice about it, at least without help.
Get A Fresh Look At Your Life
Ask your friends and people new to you. Ask people who are not yet accustomed to you, who have not yet acclimated to all the stains and leaks and curling bits of paint in your personality. They are not the ones who “love you unconditionally” but they are the ones who will still be able to see things that your older friends and family members have been ignoring for years. Ask them to be gentle with you, but to tell you the truth about what they see. What you hear from them will amaze you. If you listen with an open, curious mind, your response will amaze them and it will amaze your family even more. Imagine your wife’s surprise, upon entering conversation with you, to find that old annoying conversational habit . . . simply gone. Gone because someone reminded you that it existed and you were open to hearing about it and making a change. Now that’s a miracle.
I apologize. I lied at the beginning of this entry when I said, “This isn’t a rhetorical question.” Obviously I am in favor of you owning your life. Renting has its benefits, but it means being a lot less conscious, having a lot less control and ultimately it means living quite small. Is that what you really want?
I didn’t think so.
How do you know when you’ve reached clarity? The key to clarity is certainty. You are certain.
Certainty is a sense, a knowing, and as such, it is often tagged to the physical senses. How do you know you are certain? You see it, hear it or feel it, or sometimes a combination of two of these, or even all three.
You can experience certainty via having your mental picture of the thing come into focus. You may be trying to get to clarity about what you are creating and you may be struggling with the mental picture. Then suddenly—voila! The picture you have formed of it in your mind comes into sharp, clear focus and you know that you are certain: this is, in fact, what you want. You know because you’ve seen it.
Similarly, you may hear certainty. You may be developing what you want by telling yourself a story about it. You may hear the finale of the story and get clarity that yes, this is indeed, what you want. Or, you may hear a sort of ring or other sound in your head that lets you know when you’ve got it right.
And similarly also, you may feel certainty in your body. It can be internal, like butterflies in the stomach, or external, like the hair standing up on the back of your neck. It may be a wonderful, warm feeling in the pit of your gut or it may be a feeling of being solidly rooted to the ground when you think about this thing you are creating. For some it is a sensation of something clicking into place, the feeling of a perfect fit.
Some people experience certainty in two of these sense modes at once, or will use one mode to confirm another. For some it is a matter of making a mental picture that then comes into focus and is confirmed by the sound of a bell in their head. For others it may be a mental picture followed by a kinesthetic “click.” And some people will wait for all three modes of internal sensory experience to agree before they feel certain of a thing.
I highly recommend becoming aware of how you use these internal sense modes to arrive at a sense of certainty, because it can speed the process tremendously. (Neuro-linguistic programming is the best tool I know of for studying yourself this way and here is a link to the site of a group in Marin County, California who are doing wonderful things with it.)
Coming up soon, a look at the second Power Tool of Manifestation.
This is part of a series about manifestation, which begins here.
Clarity means knowing what you want. It is another word for focus. When you are clear on what you want, it stands out sharply in your mind. It’s distinct.
Clarity also means knowing what you don’t want. It means being willing to take your attention off of what you don’t want, because if you focus unduly on what you don’t want, you’ll create that instead of what you do want. Don’t let yourself get sucked into the fear that you’ll get what you don’t want, which will certainly create that condition, because fear is a feeling and thus it is an engine of creation. Fear creates as readily as love. The unfortunate side-effect of creating from fear is that the end result of what you create from fear, when it finally comes to you, will be saturated with the very fear you created it with. You cannot create an end experience filled with beauty and love by using the driving power of fear; it is simply a mechanical impossibility. With manifestation it is an incontrovertible rule that the medium and message are one.
You will sometimes have to wrench your attention away from what you don’t want. The human mind tends to gravitate towards what we don’t want and have, rather than what we do want and don’t have. It can sometimes be very hard to stop thinking about how annoying it is that things are still this way when you really want them that way. The very annoyance is the glue that keeps your attention attached to the negative and perpetuates it.
This is why complaining drains your power. When you complain, you are focusing on the negative and thus creating it. What you get is more of the same: negative stuff only worth complaining about. Break the cycle of complaint and focus on what you actually do want and you’re on your way to creating it. Then all you need is practice and patience.
Your knowledge of what you want doesn’t have to be perfect, but your clarity about what you do know does. It’s fine to start with what you know you don’t want, and work outward from there, as long as you don’t get stuck before arriving at what you do want.
If you quite simply don’t know what you want, try just deciding on something to want. Decide arbitrarily if you have to. It’s just to get you over the hump, to get you started. Start small. Focus on something small long enough to receive it and see how you like it. Then refine your request and ask again. The universe is an infinite ocean for your fishing pleasure; there is no limit to the number of times you can fish something out of it, decide not to keep the fish and toss it back. You don’t ever need to feel guilty or to feel that you are wasting time (yours or the universe’s) by tossing back the fish. You can continue the process until you have caught exactly the right fish. In fact, the more you practice, the better.
Allow yourself to come to clarity by a process of conversing with the universe. “I think I want chocolate ice cream. I’m focusing on chocolate ice cream with great clarity.” The universe hands you a pint of Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk. Hmm, you say, “I really want it in a waffle cone.” Then you focus on NYSFC in a waffle cone. The universe hands you a waffle cone with some miscellaneous chocolate ice cream in it and you realize you forgot to continue focusing on the NYSFC. But maybe this other flavor is pretty good . . . And on it goes. It is a refinement process that only ends when you say it does.
Don’t get stuck in whether or not what you want is possible. All that time spent arguing about whether and how it could happen could be much better spent actually visualizing, learning from the universe’s response to the visualization and refining the visualization.
To use the tool of clarity is to be willing to be clear even when you are in process. To focus your mind clearly on what you are creating and to be willing to receive what the universe throws at you, to respond to that, clear your mind and start again.
I’ll say a bit more about clarity tomorrow.
Not all of these are required for every manifestation to come into being, but if you do get all of these right, what you wish will come to pass. You will likely be astonished how quickly. Here they are:
1. Clarity. Know what you want. Your knowledge of what you want doesn’t have to be perfect, but your clarity about what you do know does. It’s fine to start with what you know you don’t want, and work outward from there, as long as you don’t get stuck before arriving at what you do want.
2. Desire. Napoleon Hill calls this “burning desire” and he’s right when he says it’s absolutely essential. The thing you desire must feel thoroughly good to you, on every level. If you have ambivalence, your desire will be thwarted. You need to desire it enough right from the start to be certain you will overcome all obstacles, before you even know what they are. Your desire must be strong enough to burn away anything that tries to stop you.
3. Imagination. To be precise, you must be able to create detailed, realistic, internal sensory experience of the thing or state you want. This comes with practice and it helps if you use as many sensory modes (sight, sound, touch, etc.) as possible. What you are imagining must feel real and possible, and it’s best to place yourself inside your vision.
4. Passion. You need to feel great in your body while imagining this thing. Feelings are the engine that brings the thing into existence, so clamping down on hope to avoid disappointment will only hamstring you. You’ve got to let yourself feel it.
5. Detachment. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? You have to pour your passion into this thing and then let go of attachment to the outcome. Funny thing is, it works. Stop caring how the thing looks or what path it takes to get to you, and it will come to you faster, and from unexpected quarters.
6. Persistence. Figure out how you want to manifest this thing. What is your process? Exactly how will you focus your attention? Then do that every day, several times a day. Do it into the ground. Become unstoppable.
7. Will. That is to say, you are actively, not passively, involved in what you are creating. You are committed to action. You follow up on the synchronicities and leads that are generated by your creating. Every action you take toward it strengthens it and provides more avenues for opportunities that can help you.
8. Certainty. You must know what certainty feels like in your body and in your heart. Certainty is the feeling or knowing that you get when you’ve gotten each of the other steps right. Be certain about your clarity, your passion, your will, your persistence and so on. This is the linchpin that holds the other tools together.
9. Inclusion. You build right into your manifestation practice the belief and expectation that what you create is and shall be perfect for everyone. People other than you benefit from what you create. Your wish is also a gift for others, in ways you cannot now anticipate (and don’t need to). No matter how selfish what you want may seem, if you build this in, your creation will gather steam from the goodwill of others who also stand to benefit from it.
I don’t think all of these tools need to be used each time you set out to create something with the power of your imagination; some of them may be more pertinent to the specific content of what you are creating, while others may be irrelevant. But if you practice all of them they become tools in your toolkit and you can draw on them whenever you need to. Then you’ll be unstoppable, because manifesting absolutely anything, no matter how big or “impossible” is simply a matter of “lather, rinse, repeat.” Apply these tools again, again, again, again and again until you have arrived at your destination.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be going into each of these principles in detail. In the meantime, have at it and change your world!
The ability to create a place to park your car is a wonderful, basic manifestation skill that is well-worth developing. I’ll tell you how I did it.
Some years ago, I discovered that I had spirit guides. Or rather, that pretty much everyone has spirit guides and that I was no exception. Most people have at least one being watching over them, perhaps an ancestor or a spirit that owes them karma from previous interactions. These spirits are usually out to be helpful, in my experience. My particular batch, at it turned out, have never been in a body on this planet, some of them never in a body at all, and so they are not very familiar with some of the mundane details of life in a body. I wanted them to be able to create parking places for me and so I set out to train them in this. I wanted them also to help me to speed on the freeway without getting tickets and to help keep my car safe and in good repair. So most of my early uses of them were in the automotive department.
One in particular emerged, whom I came to name “Gorky.” Don’t know why—that’s just what he wanted to be called. Gorky appeared as a sort of imaginary creature who looked like a gargoyle, kind of dark gray and winged and ugly as sin, but with a playful and sweet disposition. I have come to see Gorky as the marshal of the team and I address my requests to him, without bothering to name or distinguish the others.
You should understand that “seeing” a creature like Gorky doesn’t happen with the physical eye. It is more like a strong imagining. I could tell you exactly where Gorky is and what he is doing right now—it is the first thing that comes into my mind when I turn my attention to him. The very first, uncensored thing is usually the strongest intuitive hit, and should be taken as such. After you’ve had more than a few seconds to think about it, your left (logical) brain has already taken over and it’s too late for your intuitive (right) brain to speak. And as for whether the existence of creatures like Gorky is the truth, it doesn’t really matter. My “seeing” him and our “conversations” are likely just figments of my imagination; however the imagination is the doorway to the hindbrain’s power over the physical world. Perhaps internal images, sensations and the like are nothing but the language I use to communicate with my own hindbrain. I don’t really care what the “truth” is, because frankly, seeing Gorky works, and seems historically to have provided me with some abilities not commonly accepted as normal. And if you’ve discovered an access like that, why linger on the threshold arguing when you can instead enter a whole new, fascinating world?
Right now, Gorky is sitting on the edge of my desk flapping his wings and laughing at the idea that I am describing him to you. He thinks it’s crazy of me to try. His English is not so good. He sounds rather like a seal barking.
So after “meeting” Gorky many years ago, I set out to learn how to create parking and to teach this important skill to Gorky so that I wouldn’t always have to do it for myself.
I would like to point out here that parking in the San Francisco Bay Area is a total bitch. This is a crowded, urban area of the country, filled with locals, immigrants and travelers, and it’s a mix of just about every kind of domestic and international driving style you can imagine. Somehow people still manage to only hit each other a minimum of the time. Parking presents problems because frequently garages are arranged such that curb area is chopped up into smaller-than-carsize pieces, rendering much of a residential block unparkable. Metered spots have gotten harder and harder to find on a regular basis in the 18 years I’ve lived here, and more expensive too (as are the accompanying tickets should your meter run out before you return). It is common to be 10 or 15 minutes late after arriving in an area on time, simply because you were unable to find parking. I’ve known people to cancel appointments and leave an area in disgust after an unfruitful search. Parking predators are a common sight, slowly trawling the streets and lurking after a pedestrian who seems likely to be going to their vehicle. It is also common to see a driver pull a u-turn in the middle of the street in order to catch a spot on the other side because he knows damn well that if he goes around the block like a good boy, the spot will not be there when he gets back. I have even had a spot taken from under my very nose by an aggressive SUV driver as I staged my car to enter the spot. He slipped into it behind me, entering frontward before I could back into the spot. Who enters a parking place frontward? I never expected it. He then refused to budge and grinned proudly at me from behind his driver’s door glass. I thought long and hard about ramming him with my less-expensive car. Don’t worry—I got him back. I came back later with a dozen eggs.
So this gives you an idea of the parking conditions in the Bay Area. If they are anything like the conditions in your area, then I hope you make good use of the methods I’m about to explain.
My first parking method was also the most complex. It went something like this: begin by imagining the area where you are going to park. I literally could not use this method if I couldn’t visualize the block I’d be parking on. So, visualize the area in detail. Find the place where you’d like parking, say “right in front of Restaurant B, where we have a reservation.” Imagine that, as you are approaching, someone is just about to go to their car. I would imagine this quite vividly. “Someone is about to go to their car,” I’d tell myself. “Someone really needs to leave the area now, and they are going to their car. They are getting in their car and it’s timed perfectly with my arrival. In fact, it’s as if there’s a connection, a link between the back of their car and the front of mine, so that the parking place they leave is just for me. It’s perfect for the person leaving and it’s perfect for me.”
The element of “it’s perfect for everybody” is crucial in a good visualization; it’s so important that I’ll write about it in another post soon.
I can’t tell you how many times doing this visualization, and injecting a strong dose of positive feeling into it, resulted in me arriving on the scene just in time to catch a parking place opening up. I liked the method and it worked, so I taught it to Gorky. He used it, to my benefit, and he seemed to enjoy doing so.
I want to mention here that my guides did then and do now seem to take a great interest in things of the physical world. For them it’s all theory, because they’ve never had bodies. They enjoy the mechanics of it and they don’t seem to be as frustrated by the slowness of the effects of intention as I am, which is nice. They help me be patient.
After some training, I began turning the parking over to Gorky. All I had to do was ask him to create parking for me and show him a mental picture of the layout of the block I was targeting. This did not, however, deal with the situation of first-time parking in an area new to me, an area I had no mental picture of. Also, the method was cumbersome and worked best when it was begun a good ten minutes ahead of time. It didn’t work well for last-minute parking needs. I ultimately needed a simpler method.
I got around the problem of being unfamiliar with the target area by asking Gorky to search the minds of people who knew the block in question. That worked too. After some time of refining and even complexifying the method I had created (so I could account for its flaws), I finally stripped it way down.
Here’s what I do today: I am approaching an area where I want parking. I start to generate a really good feeling in my body. I draw from any good sensations I can call up in order to make myself feel good. I then imagine myself arriving, evoking the feeling of arrival, the sensation of knowing that I have arrived. I mix the feeling of arrival and the really-good-feeling together. I associate them. I amp it up a little. If I don’t know the area, I don’t bother making mental pictures, because I know they will just get in the way. So instead I hear myself exclaiming “wow—what a perfect parking space! And it was so easy!” I drive relaxedly, sometimes even slowing down, especially if I had begun to panic a little and speed up at the thought of possibly not being able to park. I force my mind entirely off thoughts of failure and allow only thoughts of success.
Holding positive feelings in your body and positive thoughts in your mind is crucial. You will find that if you are not successful quickly, your brain will start complaining. “It always goes this way,” you’ll say, or “I’m never going to find a spot.” And if that’s what you think, the universe will make it so, even if only because you talk yourself into quitting before you have time to succeed. You must eject all negativity from your mind while creating. Be ruthless.
If I do know the area, I design my search pattern in my mind, for example, “I will turn left onto Allston and start looking for parking in the first block. If I have to go around the block, I will turn right onto Milvia and come back around the school.” It is very rare that I have to go through my search pattern more than twice and in fact quite rare that I have to go through it more than once. If I do have to go around the block, usually a spot has become free by the time I return, even if there was no sign of that happening on the first pass.
Finding parking spaces, even in the difficult Bay Area, has become easy. It’s also become a small, everyday way to practice manifestation and to validate the powers of the mind over the physical universe, when that mind is radiating good feeling and love. It works best when I’m either in a good mood or willing to get myself into one. Every time I create parking, I am forced to put myself in a good-feeling place (if I wasn’t before) and I am reminded that the world is a good place and that what I do with my mind impacts it powerfully.
My thoughts matter. Yours do too. Go out and think some good ones today.
“I ought to go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and kicks off the solar year with a burst of energy in spring. The first day of Aries is the day of the equinox, when days and nights are of equal length. There is a sense of rebirth after the cold, dark winter. The lands have gone fallow and are waking up again from their sleep. The animals (including human animals) wake up too. From here the light increases, and there is a feeling of warmth and expansion, as the days grow longer into summer. Living things respond with mating and energy is high. Baby mammals are born, stretch their legs and bravely begin to explore the world.
Have you noticed how your energy rises in springtime? Have you noticed that no matter how depressed you feel in winter, spring wakes you up and gets your blood moving? Do you suddenly feel a little crazy, prone to falling in love and other rash behavior? Do you notice that your body just wants to move? That’s you responding to the natural cycle of the year, to the force of Aries, which will not be ignored, and which runs in your veins like fire.
This sign is the very essence of beginnings and fills you with drive and force. Now is the time to begin things. Those things will be tested soon enough by life, but for now, the initial burst is needed and life is calling it out of you. Aries contains the force necessary to overcome inertia, to begin something from nothing. What have you been wanting to do, start or create? Aries is ready for the risk, excited by it, thrilled by it. Aries makes you feel fully alive. This energy comes only once a year and will only be here for a month—grasp it now and move! Take the leap. Risk and courage are the stuff Aries is made of. They are available in spring, in abundance.
Imagine the qualities of early spring captured in a human personality. That is what it is to be an Aries type. Ask yourself: what would that be like? What traits would it show? What would it look like to other people? What would it feel like to the Aries individual to be that?
To embody spring is to embody birth and newness. The Aries individual will always have a streak of the ingénue about them, no matter how old they get. Aries is hope; Aries is open to trying; Aries does not give up or acknowledge defeat. There is no sign more capable of starting over than Aries. This sign symbolizes birth, not from the mother’s point of view, but from the infant’s. Birth is an awe-inspiring adventure and it’s one of those life-passages that, if humans knew what they were really getting into, would make us run screaming from the room (as we do from death). Aries, fortunately, is innocent of all knowledge of what it is getting into and therefore tosses itself headlong into the unknown. Aries represents our very capacity to do that. This ability is inherent in all of us, because we all contain at least a smidgen of Aries, no matter how small. Any human being can reach for such courage, even if they have only a bit of Aries in their chart.
To be the first sign of the year conveys a certain preoccupation with. . . being first. If you are driving along the freeway and you have red Aries blood pumping through your veins, you cannot tolerate having anyone in front of you. Despite the fact that it’s not a race, that there’s no shared goal, and that you are not in competition with the other drivers around you, still you must be first. You feel compelled to pass others, to exceed the speed limit and to be driving faster than anyone near you. Of course, when you get stopped by a police officer, you are affronted because you were just expressing your true nature.
Being newborn, Aries is guileless. If you are Aries and you have learned guile, rest assured it’s not the Aries part that learned it. If you’re a strong Aries type, you’d rather speak the truth at all times, simply because it’s easier. You don’t want to have to pretend, gloss over or white-lie. You prefer to be yourself all the time and let the chips fall where they may. This is generally harder for Aries women than men, because there is so much social conditioning for women to be nice. Aries doesn’t want to bother with nice—there’s too much to do that’s truly interesting to bother with niceness. Niceness only slows you down.
The spring is a time of intense sexual heat. Hormones are on the rise. Aries is sexual; there is no doubt about it. The mating instinct is captured in this sign. Aries women often become impatient and pounce on potential partners without waiting for them to initiate. Aries men radiate testosterone and are prone to boastfulness, leaving you in no doubt of their bedroom prowess. Lions are not the only creatures that roar!
It takes tremendous force to be born, to propel oneself into the world. The “birth” quality of spring is a form of fierceness. Aries is very active, driven, directed and forceful. Aries is like fire-in-motion: a rocket, a bullet, a speeding train. Aries is pure momentum, however it works in short bursts and is not strong on continuity. Thus Aries is full of bluster but does not always follow through (that’s what Taurus, coming close behind Aries, is for). This sign is consummately about courage, faith and action. When Anais Nin wrote: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom,” she was talking about spring and renewal. She was talking about Aries.
What is there in you that requires courage? What would you start today, if you believed in yourself? What would you do if you could not be stopped? Draw on your Aries courage and take the first step now.
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I was raised almost entirely without religion. My mother was raised Irish Catholic and by the time I was growing up she was a practicing Buddhist. My father was raised German Lutheran but ultimately ended up somewhere around the atheistic end of the religious continuum, but with a healthy dose of reverence for nature. Neither parent gave much conventional religious training. The lack of it gave me a perspective on life that was often very unlike the people around me.
When I was still a fairly small child, I noticed that one of the differences between my family and my friends’ families was that they went to church and we didn’t. This seemed like a very important difference at the time and I visited my friends’ churches with great interest. This was rural Pennsylvania, so yes, they were churches. Not many synagogues and definitely no mosques or temples. I saw that there were many religions in the world and many varieties within each religion, and that each of them believed that they had the capital-T truth. This was odd because their “truths” often contradicted each other—sometimes severely.
Followers of each religion believed in an afterlife, and were certain of who would welcome them when they died. Good Christians expected to go to a place they called “heaven,” to be greeted by St. Peter, led through the Pearly Gates and taken to Jesus, or Mary or perhaps God himself. Others believed in Allah, Buddha, or more abstract things like nirvana, and so forth. I was fascinated by the depth of their belief in these stories.
I never quite believed any one of the stories myself. I did believe in some sort of continuation after death—the difference between a living body and a dead one is quite profound and I figured that there had to be something in the body that left at death. I just didn’t know what that something was or what it could expect. How was it all handled after people died? Did people all go to different heavens? Or the same heaven? Was there someone there to debrief them when they arrived, to tell them, “No, I’m sorry, everything they taught you was wrong. There’s no Christ here, and this isn’t the heaven they told you about in Sunday school”? Somehow I didn’t think so. In fact, I thought that would be terribly cruel. For me, the sheer variety of religious beliefs and the very intensity with which they were embraced by people who were all quite certain that their beliefs were the only correct ones, while all others were flat-out wrong, and the very willingness of generations upon generations to die and kill for something as insubstantial as a belief—all this put together was sufficient proof to me that in fact, none of them could possibly be right. Only a reality large enough to hold all the other realities could possibly be the “real” one. And that it must in fact be so large that a human brain could not even think about it fully, or hold the concept in her mind. It had to be, strictly speaking, unknowable. So I gave up on knowing, but continued speculating, realizing all the while that whatever understanding I apprehended would be, at best, a substitute for the actual thing, and should be viewed as such. At the very least I had grasped that true religion must necessarily be incomprehensible or it would not be large enough to be true.
I decided, in my own childish way, that somewhere up in the sky (which is where I vaguely located things metaphysical) there was a Great Cosmic Machine, a sort of generator that generated all the heavens for all the people who believed in them. I decided that, when a person died, his spirit would fly into a manufactured world that matched his expectations. Everything he expected would be there. Sometimes I thought this afterworld would be manufactured by his own imagination, like a dream you never wake from. There the person would remain as long as he wished to—perhaps until he grew bored of playing a harp and wearing white.
After the boredom set in, a person would figure out that the heaven they were in was not all there was, and would go looking for something more. At that point they could be taken to the One Who Ran The Machine. I had very vague ideas of this person, but I was certain that this One was a being of very great compassion and patience to go to the trouble of creating all these illusory heavens for people to go to, so that they could be let down easy. As if dying itself is enough of a shock, so why compound it with a grand disillusionment of everything you’ve ever believed?
Because I didn’t believe in any heaven in the first place, I figured that when I died, the dream would try to form around me, and it would fail. Rather than getting caught in any of the false afterworlds, I would bypass them all, and go straight to the One Behind It All.
After seeing The Wizard of Oz, I think I drew a parallel between those illusory heavens and the great pomp and display of the Wizard. The Wizard appears to be large, all-knowing and all-wise, but all those amazing pyrotechnics were actually being run by the little man behind the curtain, himself rather mortal and drab. “Pay no attention to the Man Behind the Curtain!” bawled the phony, pompous Wizard. I wanted to head straight for the curtain. I knew that was where I could find out what was really going on.
Over the years since then, I have found astrology and engaged in years of study, observation and experience using my birth chart and applying the information it contained to my life. I have found in astrology the very mechanism I was seeking—the Great Machine I had fondly imagined, knowing it was also not the absolute truth, but gleaning more from the metaphor than I could from anything that pretended to absolute truth. Unlike religions, astrology asks not for your faith. To those who will learn how to look, it withholds no facts. And we are free to make use of those facts as we will, employing our imaginations and our human artistry to discover what the symbols say about how to live. Astrology does not require worship in order to work—it is consummately a science and an art, but it is not a religion. This is only part of why I love it so.
Astrology shows us the workings of the universe, its very mechanism. With astrology, we are able to see unfolding before us the cycles and rhythms of nature, the organic patterns. We are able to see in those patterns a parallel to our own lives, on many levels: on the physical, the emotional, the mental, the spiritual, the eternal. By watching the heavens and watching our lives, we are able to draw correspondences, and because we see parallels between the patterns of our lives and the cycles of the heavens, we are able to see ourselves within the larger design, we are able to predict the future and also to alter it. We can see trends, likelihoods, possibilities, and change our paths accordingly.
The Machine I imagined is not God, or nature, or even the Mind of God. It is something more than, and inclusive of these things. It plays out all patterns over time. To have the ability to read these patterns through astrology is the greatest gift I can imagine—and one laden with responsibility.
While I was growing up, one of the hardest things to watch my friends endure was the way their religions couldn’t explain tragedy. Why do terrible things happen to good people? Why do murderers exist? How can there be so much suffering in a world watched over by a theoretically benevolent deity? And if God isn’t benevolent, why is he so angry and selfish? When human beings are angry and selfish, it’s because something went wrong somewhere. But if God is all-powerful, how can he allow something to go wrong? It seems that either God is powerless, but good or he is all-powerful and mean. And why conceive of God as a person anyway? These simple questions demand answering and come out of the mouths of babes the world over. No adult can explain these things to a child, so they prevaricate and make up stories to inculcate a simplified moral system. But nothing that can’t be explained in language simple enough for a child to understand can possibly be true and children know this. It’s why religions require force.
Everyone who has ever prayed knows the frustration of lacking a two-way conversation with God. Everyone who believes in a God will desire, at some point, to speak to him and to get a clear response. Even those folks who believe that God speaks to them do not hear him as often as they would like to. This lack of a clear response drives humans crazy. Humans invent reasons why God can’t talk back and none of them are good reasons. Anthropomorphizing a deity only makes this worse. I understand that most adults view the concept of God as a place-marker for a bigger, more unknowable concept, however even adults fall prey to the trap of mistaking the metaphor for the meaning. An anthropomorphic god is a child’s view of reality, but without a child’s clarity. I guess I’d just rather do without, even if it means continually being reminded that I don’t really understand the universe and facing uncertainty every day.
But a lack of belief in an anthropomorphic god has not stopped me from searching for that quality I was looking for: “the two-way radio to God.” (you see how easy it is to resort to the place-marker again?) In studying astrology over many years, I have come to understand that the movements of the planets and signs and the way they correlate to human events constitute the very conversation I was looking for. These things are God talking back. Where the Bible says, “God sees every sparrow fall,” I would say “God is every sparrow falling, as well as the air the sparrow falls through and the earth it lands upon.” Except that I would somehow get the word God out of the sentence too. It is ineffable and boggles the mind very quickly, so I generally don’t bother.
It is a great power, this being able to read the language of the stars. Through astrology, we draw nearer to an understanding of the workings of the universe. The natural cycles of the universe are the cycles of our lives. The cycles, us living them and the events that play out are all God-in-motion. The buds of spring are a message from God, a message of hope and renewal. The autumn leaves are a message of impending death and loss, tinged with beautiful sorrow. The moon speaks to us of how we can light our own darkness and how changeable we are. When we observe the similarities among people born when Venus was rising in the east, we understand that such people are messengers of love, relatedness and sexuality, while people similarly marked by Mars rising are messengers of strength, drive and forcefulness. All these messages, taken together, are God. Sometimes you are the recipient of the message, sometimes you are the messenger, sometimes the message itself. When the whole thing clicks together in your mind you realize you are inextricably connected to everything. It’s a wonderful cure for modern existential loneliness (and a permanent one).
Astrology allows us to read these messages, to break them down into pieces a puny human brain can understand. An understanding of the cycles of nature leads to an examination of the corresponding cycles of our own lives and thus leads us to an understanding of our most inner, divine selves. Through astrology, we are in conversation with God. And when “he” speaks, we can “listen” and we can actually “hear” him.
Ever read a description of your “sign” and just felt like it had little or nothing to do with you? Ever felt categorized by astrology, forced into a grouping that had no relevance for your life? Ever felt frustrated by others who discover your sign and then nod sagely and say “of course” as if now they suddenly have the key to you? It’s all very annoying. Believe it or not, it’s annoying to astrologers too. Believe it or not, the problem is not with astrology, it’s with how people use astrology. Your sun sign is only one small part of who you are, and while astrologers view the sun as important and central, it’s not everything. Not in the least.
What Does My “Sign” Mean Anyway?
When someone asks you your “sign,” they are asking about your sun sign, or the sign of the zodiac the sun was in when you were born. The sun moves through all 12 signs every year in a regular pattern we experience as the seasons. The sun is always just entering Aries on the first day of spring—in fact, that’s an integral part of the very definition of the first day of spring. On the first day of spring, the sun is directly overhead at the equator, making the days and nights of equal length (equator, equinox, equal—coincidence? I think not!). The sign of Aries is the season of early spring, where the sun is when it’s just beginning to warm up the northern hemisphere for the summer. All the other signs are similarly linked to seasonal zones.
Why Sun Sign Astrology?
In the 1960’s an astrologer named Linda Goodman popularized astrology greatly by focusing on sun signs. She’s the reason why asking someone’s sun sign at a party (and drawing compatibility conclusions from it) is such a 60’s cliché. The sun is a very easy part of one’s chart to be aware of—all you need to know is your birthday and you’re off and running. Also it’s accurate enough of the time to intrigue many people.
Linda Goodman did astrology a great service by making it accessible to everyone. This has probably led to a lot more people getting useful guidance from astrology than would ever have thought of it on their own. However, she also did astrology a great disservice by reducing it to such a simple factor. The sun simply is not all there is to any individual, and to categorize individuals by sun sign is to miss out on all the other rich details in human personality.
What Else is There?
A look around an actual birth chart quickly reveals that there’s much more to it than the sun. A chart is full of detail—overwhelmingly so (thus the need for sun sign simplicity). Not only is the sun in a sign, but everything else in our solar system is too. You have a Mercury sign, a moon sign, a Venus sign, even a Neptune sign. And to add layers of complexity, planets-in-signs may be important, but they are still only part of the picture. Check out this sample chart and you’ll see what I mean:
It’s hard to even know where to start, isn’t it? If you look at the bottom of the chart and a little to the left, you’ll find a small circle with a dot inside it. That’s the sun. As you can see, it’s just one factor among many.
Actually this single diagram is loaded with information, all coded in symbols. Astrology is a language, like Spanish or algebra or C++ or musical notation. Every symbol shown here means something and every combination of symbols adds layers of complex and individual meaning. And because the patterns of planetary placement in the sky change at least a little every 3 minutes, this makes a birth-moment, and thus the chart that locked in during it, and by extension the person who was born that moment, highly individual. No categorization at all.
This chart has a complexity of a factor of 11 x 12 x 12 at a minimum. Why? Because in the chart there are 11 “planets” (two of which are the sun and moon, not strictly planets at all), each of which has the possibility of appearing in any of 12 signs and any of 12 houses. And this is just the beginning of the complexity here. I won’t belabor the point because by now no doubt you are getting the picture. You are not your sun sign! Not remotely.
Sun signs were really only ever intended as a gateway. If you find your sun sign interesting, seek out more information (one great way is to get a natal chart reading). You will find that your astrology chart, if accurate, is surprisingly well-suited to describe you in great detail. And the chart does more than describe—the chart also advises. Read properly, your chart will show you your own best life, describing avenues of success and happiness and giving your existence meaning. All in much more detail than your sun sign alone could.
This is one of three related articles on the subject of why your Sun sign is not all that you are. For more insight, see the other two.
What Is A “Sign Type?” posted 4/9/09
You Are Not Just Your “Sign” posted 4/4/07
What Makes a Strong Sign Type? posted 8/28/07
(What follows is the second Pandora Astrology blogpost I ever made, published in April of 2007. In it I set up the blog as a conversation about how astrology can be used to become one’s finest self, a conversation “between I and Thou.”)
The Necessity of Imagining an Audience
Every writer needs an audience. That audience is of necessity a fabrication, at least at first. It is invented out of pure imagination. In “inventing” you, I am adding you to my waking dream.
I am setting a high bar for myself. I know you are intelligent, discriminating and thoughtful. I know you are practical and desire more active participation in your own life. I need a reader just like you. I become a better person just thinking about you and the vast worlds we have to talk about together.
Here and now I get the opportunity to determine what you are like, but I also know that if I am to hold your attention I must remember that you have a reality beyond my imagining. So I choose to see you as a real person of stature and solidity, a person who is my equal (a Thou to my I) and a person who is capable of surprising me in a way a fiction can never be capable of. I have put out the shoes. If they fit, step into them.
You are adding me as a character in your dream by reading this and volunteering yourself for the relationship with your attention. You will self-select in or out of being here according to your needs. I trust you to do that.
Now that you’re here, please—pull up a chair. Join me here, at the fire.
Fireside Chat: Can I Be Frank With You?
I speak to you as to someone who understands, someone who “gets it.” We share certain values. You are spiritual but grounded. You have one foot in this world, one in a very different world. You are a spirit and a body and very interested in both. You are smart, subtle, psychological, metaphysical, but also motivated and driven. You are going somewhere in life (as I am) and don’t have patience or time for beating around the bush. You appreciate practical approaches to metaphysical matters. You’ll reach for whatever will help you move forward but if I am too woo-woo or new-agey you will get bored. I know that you are choosy and that I need to stay interesting or I will lose you. I respect that. It is a sense of discrimination I share.
Here, in this conversation, which is just between you and me, the medium is the message. Sometimes I will speak sharply; sometimes with infinite gentleness. It is my job to remind both of us again and again that life is marching on and each moment is too important to waste.
I keep to the realm of the universal, the classic. I talk about small, subtle experiences and large, general ideas. Things that pertain to you when you see how they apply to your life. All of it is useful. You find more here than you can use at one time, so you come back later to absorb the parts you couldn’t take in before. You are learning astrology despite yourself. Perhaps you came because you know some astrology and you want to learn more and you stayed because I’ve shown you new ways of thinking about it. You will never be the same.
I have very little use for knee-jerk negativity and “helpful criticism.” For this reason, I am letting you know now that I won’t have interest in comments that are critical but suggest no helpful change. But I am deeply interested in comments that add value to this conversation. In my view, you are an excellent person with much to say and useful experience to draw on. If you dilute that respect by speaking drivel it will be a loss for both of us. Mother used to say, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” I would say, “if you can’t say anything useful, wait to speak until you can.” Please don’t waste my time. I promise not to waste yours.
Hello, Thou. Who Are You?
You are adventuresome, growing, not judgmental, leveling, able to hold what I say gently in your mind. Your mind is open and curious. You are willing to consider any idea that might help you in your life.
You are an experimental person. This is because you’ve come to realize that there are no test runs in life, so your life is one big laboratory and you like to try things in it. You’ve had enough life-experience to trust your own assessment of the workability of ideas. You’re willing to grow-as-you-go.
You are a self-aware person. You notice your impact on others and your impact on life. This too enables you to experiment. When your experiments drive others away from you, you notice and perhaps change course. But you’re brave enough not to change course even if others are uncomfortable, in the times when you are sure you’re on the right track.
You have an idea where you are going, maybe sometimes only a general idea, but most importantly, you’ve got some kind of intuitive mechanism that lets you know when you are on-track, and when you are off. You pay attention to that. This gives you freedom to explore because you know that when you get off-track, you will eventually restore your course.
You are in the prime of your life but perhaps you don’t know it, because sometimes you’d rather be somewhere else. You have much more power than you’re using. You are at a nexus, a crossroads, a fork in the path. What you choose now will affect the whole future. New paths will open up, existing ones will close. There is no time but now for you to create the life you really want to live, to carve it out of the block before you. You are looking for what will help uncover the meaning of your life. What I’m writing will help you. At times it is exactly what you need. You are happy to have found me. I am grateful to have found you. We now have each other.
You look at your life differently because of what I have said. You are someone willing to do that. You are willing to change your whole life now, today, because of something that happened this moment. You are open to wild insight and willing to suspend disbelief long enough to entertain crazy ideas. You are willing to rearrange your brain. You are not stuck in ideas. You are also not stuck in a rigid “flexibility,” an ungrounded state that cannot find anchor or center and cleaves to nothing. You know your center when you’ve found it. For this reason, I can speak strongly to you. Thank you for that.
Thank you for listening; I see you are on the edge of your seat. That’s good because it’s your life we’re talking about here. Even when you are skeptical or the subject doesn’t grip you, you read to the end anyway, because you’ve learned to trust me. You know it will be just for you again very soon and you are watching eagerly for that moment.
What I Plan To Do With Your Attention
The conversation has already been going on. Somehow we entered in the middle of it. Our relationship? We are human beings. Sometimes we are up off the planet observing phenomena in ourselves, each other, other humans, the world; sometimes we are down in the thick of it, immersed in our lives, our points of view, our perspectives. Sometimes taking strong positions, sometimes not so much. We immerse ourselves, then pan out and look at the big picture. We are always deriving value from the comparison between the subjective and the objective.
I tell the truth and tell it often: on myself, on you, on others, on life. You respect me enough to hear it and to select what you need to hear from among the things I say. Sensibly, you discard the rest. You give me the infinite gift of changing your life because of what I’ve said here. I galvanize you; you allow yourself to be galvanized.
I respect you, I know your strength and I’m standing for it. I won’t tolerate you being a wimp. In speaking to you this way I am saying “I know you are already conscious, although sometimes you look asleep. Look at your life and take charge of it. It’s yours—no one else’s.”
Now I see others have joined us here at the fire. That’s ok—they can listen. This is still just between you and me, but if others benefit from it, that is very, very good.
Look at the fire. That fire is the urgency we feel: life is being lived now, here, whether we are paying attention or not! The dancing flame is never the same twice: in every moment comes another chance to change it all. In every moment comes another chance to leap in and shape this life according to our joy. To do that we need to give up resentment and discontent, accept how things are and then find the hope to move.
If you are still reading, then you belong here. You and I are connected, as we always were, as we always will be. This ever-existent connection has lain dormant in the back of our consciousness, waiting to be born in this moment, when you showed up and read to the end of the entry. And this, dear reader, is the beginning of our relationship.
This blog is my opportunity to tell you everything I can think of and everything I experience about living well and how astrology can be used to do that. Astrology is a very useful tool for self-understanding and understanding of others—the best I’ve ever found. Studying astrology has led me to unique understandings of the universe and our human place in it, an understanding which may startle or enlighten you at times. That’s a good thing, because we all need to wake up. I do, you do, the whole planet does. Waking up is something we can best do together, by sharing what we’ve figured out about how to live in a body, in the physical plane, on this blue and green marble called Earth. The very best way is by telling the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable.
Right now, there are tons of ways you have just plain fallen asleep. Your life is on automatic pilot. You don’t even want to pay attention anymore. It’s true for me too. My unconscious is a dark pit of seething snakes that I’d rather not look at. But I do it anyway, because it makes my life better. I’m always ferreting out buried parts of my own psyche and bringing them into the light where they squirm—and ultimately change.
To live consciously is a burden, but it yields tremendous rewards. Living consciously is less burdensome and more rewarding when you know what your purpose is in living. Your astrology chart is the best tool for revealing that. Better than the Enneagram, better than Myers-Briggs (although I do endorse those methods). Also the body of wisdom contained within astrology itself, without reference to an individual’s chart at all, is tremendously enlightening. The stars contain the secrets of the universe and reveal truths about our place in it and how to live in a joyful, empowered way. That may sound hokey to you (it certainly does to me) but it’s true and if you’re not ready to swallow that, you’re just going to have to watch what I do here over time and experience it for yourself. I’d never do something so foolish as to ask you to believe me in the absence of or in contradiction to your own experience. I know you are smart enough to take what works for you right now, block out all memory of what terrifies you and return later to read the stuff that falls in between. Your brain is your own to do what you like with and there is no substitute for your own personal experience.
What is There to Say Here?
I’ll be writing several types of articles here. Much of what I write will reference astrology in some way, but I’ll try to keep that to a minimum so as to be accessible to as many people as possible. Those who want to learn something about astrology can read articles in the sections “Astrology for Students” and “Advanced Astrology” and those who prefer to avoid learning astrology but want to be oriented in a brief and perhaps humorous way, can read what I’ll post in “Astrology for Non-Astrologers.” In addition I’m planning on throwing in articles from my “Astrologer’s Casebook” which will be specific examples from my practice. They will be examples of various things one might find in an astrological chart and illustrations from the lives of my clients who agree to share how those chart dynamics have played out. This will be done with permission only and names will be changed.
My favorite part however, doesn’t exactly focus on astrology. It’s the area where I write about personal growth, empowerment, manifestation, philosophy and pragmatic ways of changing your life. I don’t mind getting personal, so I’ll sometimes use examples from my own life or from the lives of people around me, if they agree. I’m happy doing that because as far as I’m concerned all human beings have many more commonalities than they have differences. After all, as the children’s book declares, “Everybody Poops,” right?
Who am I Anyway?
I am a female non-native Californian, age 42, who loves life and has been studying astrology since I was 16. I am a fiery Aries Sun who enjoys telling the uncomfortable truth. I am also a pragmatic Taurus Moon who thinks that the true value of things is in their usefulness, not in their appearance. And I am a visionary Pisces Rising who has developed much knowledge about metaphysics, psychic phenomena and manifestation. My Sagittarius Midheaven insists that I share it.
As for who YOU are, that will be covered in my next entry.