On the Spring Equinox

Anyone who doubts the existence of energy should do a simple experiment at the exact time of the spring equinox.

A powerful moment when day and night are equal, when yin and yang energy are in complete balance.  eggs-standing-on-end

Stand an egg on its end — virtually IMPOSSIBLE at any other time other than a half hour before or after the equinox, whether spring or fall.

Enjoy this beautiful moment of harmony and balance and welcome the upward moving chi that will manifest in the strength of wood energy, lesser Yang that is waking up and breaking through the crust of the earth plane. crocuses

©Photographs by Sharon Smith
All rights reserved


Old Flames- Venus Retrograde in Aries

Bonfire V

On March 6, the planet Venus went retrograde in fiery Aries. It resumes direct motion in dreamy Pisces on April 17. The effects of this period can last until May 21 when Venus finally passes the point at which she retrograded.  While most of us have now at least heard of the planet Mercury going retrograde and have some familiarity with its effects, Venus is a celestial body of another sort. It goes retrograde once every 18 months. And when it does, the planet of love and pleasure, of financial opportunity and indulgence, of beauty and appearances,  and of relationships and the cooperation it requires to maintain them, retreats into her private lair in order to  revisit and re-evaluate.  Retrograde means that from our earthcentric viewpoint, the apparent motion of the planet is backward.  Actually we are moving faster and it just appears that the retrograde planet is in reverse.  Like being in the subway and watching the train on another track seem to move backwards as you pass by.

If you are a native of either of the Venus-ruled signs, Taurus or Libra, you are especially affected. The rest of us don’t get off easy either because we all have those signs ruling some house in our horoscope — not to mention the direct effect of transiting Venus herself moving backwards in our lives.  So for the next 6 weeks or so, you can expect all things Venusian  to have the quality of a re-run. This  6-week period in your love and social life is not particularly good for moving ahead in a new personal direction, using eggplant henna on your hair, or commencing a new romance. In fact, you might find that any love interest that shows up is either an old flame or somehow seems like a recurrent familar dream.  Even if it’s not the same person, there is something so deja vu about it.

So as much fun as it might be to re-visit your feelings about a particular person or jump headstrong (very Aries) into a new love affair, be forewarned that when Venus changes direction on 4/19, it will suddenly seeem like you’ve been wearing a pair of glasses with the wrong prescription.  What could you have possibly been thinking? Alas, it’s true. The prince you wanted so much to give a second chance to really was a frog.

©Photograph by Sharon Smith
All rights reserved

Hexagram- #55-“Abundance”

Our I Ching group has been meeting for several years.  Often we come up with a “group” question to pose to the Sage.  Tonight we hemmed and hawed about how to stay positive in a world where most of us are swimming in the negative soup served up the media.  We decided that we all knew the answer to this dilemma and  that it wasn’t quite the right question for the Sage. So the question we finally came up with was, “What is the best way to live with changes?”  We received hexagram #55-“Abundance”-Thunder over Fire with no moving lines.


Thunder (Chen or Zhen) i-ching-thunderis an aspect of the Wood element- the introduction of a new principle springtime energy, upward moving chi.  Its function is to shake things up and find the motivation (the yang line at the bottom) that makes things happen.

Fire is radiant and illuminating.  It creates clarity and is the spirit of warmth.  Mythologically, it is manifested in a shape-i-ching-fire1changing bird with brilliant plumage that comes to rest on things. Its action is to cling to whatever it touches.   It is the single yin line in the middle that holds two strong lines together

Wood produces Fire and Fire exhausts Wood (Thunder).  The I Ching seems to be saying that on an elemental level, change can be either exhausting (fire exhausts wood) or nourishing (wood produces fire).

In the various different texts we use as source material (Wilhelm of course, Deng Ming Dao, Stephen Karcher, Al Huang, Carol Anthony, and Brian Walker among others), the Sage then goes on to talk about independent watchfulness, moving with clarity and grace, and action that creates the expert timing that is derived from the clear understanding of cycles.  In effect, the best way to live with change is to let brightness and awareness stir everything up so that creativity flourishes.

Carol Anthony reminds us that if one receives this hexagram, it is important to delete the negative images that block abundance.  These come in the form of poison arrows and spells that are projected by media, our childhood experiences and even the time before birth. All of these can block our abilities to respond creatively to what life brings to us.

She leaves us with this reminder, “BE NOT SAD.  BE LIKE THE SUN AT MID-DAY!”