Archive for June, 2007

The Fifth Power Tool of Manifestation: Detachment

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

This article is part of a series of articles on Power Tools of Manifestation, which begins here.

Detachment—a power tool of manifestation.  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.

Remaining attached to the thing and how it manifests will only slow the process down.  Perhaps so much so that it slows to a crawl and the cynical part of your mind can congratulate itself that manifestation does not work, as you secretly thought, and you can go back to the same old hard reality you were used to.  How very comfortable.

It is a human tendency to worry at the future like a dog worrying at a bone.  When you find yourself doing this, just stop.  Take your attention off the fussing, the worrying, the negative possibilities.  If breaking this habit is hard for you, try this experiment:  make a deal with the part of your brain that worries.  Agree to worry concentratedly for a few minutes a day.  Do that, then after your allotted few minutes, stop.  Don’t tolerate worry between your ears during “worry off-hours.”  Nip it in the bud.  Ignore it and eventually it will go away.

Worrying about whether a thing you want will come to pass and exactly how it will come to pass and whether or not it can come to pass . . . all of this is irrelevant and only slows the process down.  It is useless to hold off on pouring hope and passion into a thing simply because you cannot imagine how it will happen.  The universal mechanism behind manifestation has every resource in existence at its disposal in bringing forth the thing that you want.  You don’t.  Why not leave this in the hands of the universe, instead of your own puny mind?  Instead, make the bold leap and love the thing you want passionately, no matter how absurd and impossible it is.  Then let go, detach and let the universe do the rest.

In a previous article I told you about the necessity of passion for the thing you are manifesting.  Today I’m telling you about the necessity of detachment.  How to reconcile the two?  That’s where the art is.  Manifestation is essentially an emotional maturation process.  The more you learn to powerfully wield your emotions, the more powerfully you can create.  This means learning to have emotions, detect your emotions, correctly interpret your emotions, channel your emotions, sort out and eliminate negative emotions and intensify positive emotions.  It’s a tall order.

Once you stop caring how the thing looks or what path it takes to get to you, it will come to you faster, and from unexpected quarters.  Those quarters will be unexpected because you had no expectation about them.  And what a blessing that will be, to discover that miracles do happen.


The Fourth Power Tool of Manifestation: Passion

Monday, June 18th, 2007

This article is part of a series of articles on Power Tools of Manifestation, which begins here.

Feelings are the Engine of Manifestation
Manifestation requires passion, plain and simple. When there’s something you are trying to bring into your life, you need to feel great in your body while imagining this thing. Feelings are the engine that brings the thing into existence, and the more powerfully you can have feelings and the more powerfully you can rouse positive feelings, the more powerfully you can manifest the life you really want.

You need to be able to feel great in your body. This means getting to know your body and all its feelings, good and bad. Many people are so shut down that only the strong sensations register (hatred, fear, romantic infatuation). And for many people negative feelings are stronger than positive ones. It helps if you can become sensitized, so that small feelings (like delight, admiration, and the shiver of intuition that tells you when to avoid something or someone) catch your notice too. Most people live in reaction to their feelings like a boat tossed on ocean waves. To manifest consistently, you’ll have to learn to be in control of your feelings, to let them flow when you want to and transform them into something better when they are ruling you. If feelings are the engine, most people’s engines require a tune-up and better care.

Creating Negatively and Creating Positively
Fear and hatred are feelings and create as readily as love and joy. You can create with love or fear, but whatever you create will be permeated with the same feeling you saturated the visualization with. If you want to be happy, saturate your manifestations with happiness; if you are content being fearful, saturate your manifestations with fear. If you are comfortable with anger, you’ll easily saturate your manifestations with anger and create more situations to be angry about. Fueling your engine with negative feelings creates a downward spiral in which negative feelings create negative realities, which in turn create more negative feelings. Fueling your engine with positive feeling creates positive realities, which create more positive feelings. Fear creates fearful situations which create more fear. Joy begets joy. Manifesting is a spiral which will go forcefully in whichever feeling direction you fuel it with—and you can change direction whenever you like, simply by changing the feelings you are focusing on.

Here’s an example. There’s someone in your life that you just hate. It’s someone you are forced to interact with periodically, and you dread it. Your dislike of this person is so strong it’s palpable. When you think of them, your body becomes saturated with bad feelings. You are continually anticipating the next unpleasant encounter, even as you hope to avoid it. And then, when you actually do meet up with this person (which happens far more often than you’d like), of course it goes badly and you walk away with your dislike strengthened and validated. And feeling a little bit good because you were right about that person. Again.

So how much of that experience did you create? And how much of it will you create again next time? If we assume that the whole world is a dream inside your own head, then we can say that you created the whole experience from start to finish. This is an annoying but useful point of view, because it gives you responsibility for everything you experience, and with responsibility come power and control. This point of view implies that there’s something you can do about this kind of situation, some way it can be prevented in the future. Which is true, because there is.

Turn It Around in Two Days
Creating from negative feelings like anger and hate is a habit most of us have. It’s hard to break this habit, but it can be done, and it requires becoming aware of your feelings and your self-talk. Try this: spend a day being as aware as you can of everything you feel and everything you tell yourself about how you feel. On the first day just observe. Resist the temptation to act on what you are learning about yourself. Just watch what goes on inside your own head that first day.

Separate your thoughts and feelings. Notice which of the things you are experiencing are thoughts and which are feelings. Thoughts happen in words or concepts. Feelings are usually wordless and often are accompanied by physical sensations. If you hear yourself talking to yourself in your head, turn up the volume and start really listening to what you are saying. For example: “Oh there’s that awful woman again, I just hate her.” Notice the feelings you are having, the words you are saying to yourself about it all, and also notice the person herself. She is not your thoughts or your feelings about her. She is her own self, with her own life, her own thoughts and feelings, her own perspectives and perceptions. Separate these things.

On the second day, you are ready to start making changes. Observe yourself again, but this time, start to question your process. “I hate moon pies.” Why do you hate moon pies? Notice the feeling of hate. Where does it dwell in your body? Is it in your gut? Your throat? Your chest? If instead of moon pies you’d like to be offered soft pretzels, ask yourself what you love about soft pretzels. Take your focus off the dreaded moon pies and bring it to the beloved soft pretzels instead. Imagine yourself enjoying the pretzel and the good feelings of that. Do you love the saltiness, the softness, the warmth? Focus on what you love and then notice the lovely feeling that fills you. Then focus on that feeling itself. Strengthen it. Expand it. Blow it up. Ah, how I do love soft pretzels! Then hold it for at least 30 seconds and up to 5 minutes. You may be amazed at how fast soft pretzels will appear. Not only that, but at some point, probably much later, you may realize in retrospect that moon pies have not come around for quite some time. In delight, you can go on forgetting about the anguish of moon pies and focusing on the joy of soft pretzels.

Naturally, you cannot change a lifelong habit in just two days. However, two days is long enough to see the habit for what it is, and to begin breaking it. In two days you can get enough reward for changing that habit to motivate you to continue breaking it. Eventually the old negative-focus habit will be broken, replaced by a positive-focus habit and your ability to manifest will accelerate. It will become much, much easier to create larger, more challenging things faster. Most people need time and practice to grow into this.

The Fear-of-Disappointment Trap
When you haven’t had much practice, deliberately holding positive feelings can be downright uncomfortable. For many, hope is an uncomfortable feeling-state to be in, because it implies the possibility of disappointment. It is all too easy to grab onto that possibility of disappointment and make mental pictures of all the ways what you are hoping to create can go wrong. But once you head down that tunnel you are creating the very thing you are hoping not to create, and fueling it with disappointment and fear. This is a process that happens almost instantaneously for many people, especially those who are habitually cynical. Some folks will seek out and rehearse again and again all the things that might go wrong out of a mistaken notion of preventing negative outcomes by “thinking them through.” They have no idea that they are actually creating the negative outcomes they’d like to prevent and no idea that they are actually being ruled by their own fear and behaving like an emotional robot that can only run one program (a fearful one). They believe they are being logical. Then when what they want fails to appear, it’s only what they knew would happen. Then they get the side-benefit of being right and having accurately predicted what would happen. But getting to be right is a poor consolation prize compared to getting what you want. Such people tend to develop a chronically cynical or complaining tone of voice.

I’m not talking about ignoring possible consequences or deliberately cultivating a false naivete. Believe me, I’m in favor of exploring and preparing for all possible contingencies, including negative ones, but after a certain point it’s important to stop pouring negativity into what you are creating by obsessively going over and over negative possibilities in your head. And when it’s become a habit, you no longer have control over it.

If you are willing to be wrong and to be surprised by what the future can hold for you, if you are willing to feel hope and focus on that hope despite the magnetic pull of disappointment, you can break this habit. Clamping down on hope to avoid disappointment will only hamstring you. You’ve got to let yourself feel the hope, despite how uncomfortable it might sometimes be.

Create From Love and Passion
The best way to create powerfully is to passionately love the thing you are creating. If you do not love the thing itself, find something about it or something about having it that you do love. For example, I do not love parking spaces with a passion, but I do love the rush of validation I get when I find one, especially in difficult circumstances. So instead of focusing on the parking place itself, I focus on the moment of pulling into the parking place I’ve found, right in front of my destination, and the rush of joy that happens when I realize I did it. Again.

If you are having difficulty believing that what you want to create is possible long enough to have positive feelings about it, you must be able to rouse a good feeling which approximates the feeling of having what you are creating. Any good feeling, no matter how small, can help you, as long as you focus on it. Look for an aspect of what you are creating that you have absolutely no conflict about. Focus in on that and fill your body and being with that good sensation. Imagine the thing in as many sensory modes as possible (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) and place yourself inside the picture. Imagine it all from inside it: be there, in the future, with things as you want them. Go back to the good feelings. Notice all aspects of the good feelings. Roll them around on your tongue, so to speak. “Wow,” you may notice, “this feels good about it, and that feels good too, and so does that. . .” Dwell on the good feelings. Remember: they are the engine which makes the manifestation go. Hold them very purely as long as you can, for at least 20 seconds and up to five minutes. Do that every day. Then watch the thing begin to coalesce in your life, right before your eyes.


The June Forecast is now up

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

Check it out–look in the bar on the right side of this page.



I’m Baaaaack

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

Hi everybody, and thanks for coming here. I have not posted recently due to surgery (I’m fine and there’s nothing to worry about). I’ve recovered nicely and now I’m back. I’ll have the June forecast page up in the next few days.  In the meanwhile, check out my post today about the four elements and the orchestra.



The Four Elements and the Sections of an Orchestra

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

One simple and interesting way to understand the astrological four elements is to see their parallels in an orchestra. As the twelve zodiacal signs are divided into four elements, the orchestra is divided into four sections. Each of these sections is distinct in the kinds of sounds produced and the way they are produced, evoking distinct responses in the listener. In a similar way, the elements evoke distinct realms of experience: emotional, physical, intellectual, vital/spirited. The four elements act as a team and to live a full life, it’s important to be able to draw on all of them as needed: to think when that is called for, to feel when that is called for, and so on. The sections of an orchestra also act as a team: a truly rich and emotionally full symphony will draw on each of the sections in turn or in combination, weaving a rich tapestry of sound that is satisfying to hear. A truly rich life will draw on the four elements in turn, weaving a rich tapestry of experience that is satisfying to live.

The Elements: A Quick Tour
Fire is forceful, direct, energetic and enthusiastic. People with a lot of fire in their charts tend to radiate a certain optimism and charisma which helps them barrel through life at warp-speed. Aries in particular has a rocket-like quality. Leo is more relaxed and chilled out—but Leo is highly charismatic and has great force of personality. Sagittarius people’s energy is not as focused, but they are easygoing and brimming with geniality.

(Remember please, as I release these gross generalities into your ear, that a person is not just her sun sign. A person can have the sun in a Water sign, but also have so much Fire elsewhere in her chart that she comes off as strongly fiery and hardly watery at all. If someone you know fits one of these elemental profiles, they probably have that element strongly present in their chart. So don’t be concerned if their sun sign does not match that element.)

Earth is, as its name suggests, just as earthy as Fire is fiery. Earth is practical, serious, grounded, sometimes cynical. Taurus people love the comforts of life and are very physical people. Virgo is pragmatic, analytical and organized, sometimes to the point of being considered anal-retentive. Capricorn is ambitious, a lover of structure and a builder. All the Earth signs value tangible proofs of things and are not interested in pie-in-the-sky promises.

The Air signs love ideas as things in themselves. They enjoy abstract thought and are never so happy as when unraveling a complex problem or solving a puzzle. They are communicative and social. Gemini loves communicating with others and sharing ideas. Libra is focused on one-on-one relationship and social interaction in general, and values beauty and symmetry of thought. Aquarius loves the pure crystalline idea and is a mad networker. All the air signs would rather talk, intellectualize and discuss theories than take action.

So far it should be pretty clear that Fire represents human spirit, Earth represents our physical being, while Air represents the mind. Water then, is keeper of our emotions.

Water signs are all about feelings, intuition, instinct. Often a Water sign feels, knows or intuits something that cannot be proven or perhaps even expressed in language. Water does not walk through life—it swims, floats, wafts. To the realm of Water is left all the inexpressible, unexplainable, not-provable knowing. Water is the element of pure mystery. Cancer is connected with the mystery of gestation and birth—Cancer is nurturing, loving, retentive. Scorpio is the mystery of sex and transformation, teaching us by example how death, experienced repeatedly, can be transcended. And Pisces is the deep, wide ocean in us that is the mystery of the oneness of all, a mystery both religious and spiritual.

And Now, the Orchestra
This article is intended as an overview of the orchestra and the elements, so if your favorite instrument is not mentioned, that’s because this description is not exhaustive.

Air is the Winds
It seems pretty obvious that wind instruments would correlate to the element of Air. A wind instrument produces sound by using the human mouth to move air across a reed or an edge. Wind instruments are all about the sounds created when air moves along a tube, and is stopped and controlled. The simplest wind instruments used by indigenous peoples around the world have literally been made from river reeds. The distinct tone of each unique instrument arises from the fact that, even though it has been carefully shaped, standardized and manufactured, most of its parts were once living, not metal, being made from wood, cane, rubber, cork, etc. The mostly-metal flute is an exception, but even the flute has a unique voice and some previously-alive parts and is subject to changes in its environment. Musical instruments are delicate and require care.

The orchestra’s wind section includes clarinets, oboes, bassoons, saxophones flutes and piccolos. Winds are often called the “woodwinds” even though not all wind instruments are made of wood.

Water is the Strings
The string section includes the violins, violas, cellos, double basses and the harp. Stringed instruments have a tremendous range of emotional expression from sadness to joy, giving the listener the feeling that the sound is tugging on their heartstrings. Historically, strings were literally made of the guts of animals so, in a way, this is the guts talking. When a stringed instrument is played, the vibration of the string resonates through a sound box. The string is typically bowed or plucked, although some are also tapped or hammered (like the dulcimer). Stringed instruments have the double benefit of being (for many people) not only the most emotionally affecting instruments but also highly portable. In their portability, strings are like winds except that strings leave the mouth free and thus can be accompanied by a human voice, adding another dimension of pathos via lyrics. Guitars of course fit into this category and are a prime example.

With all this emphasis on evoking strong feelings in the listener, it should be obvious that the string section parallels the element of Water.

Earth is the Percussion
The percussion section of the orchestra includes drums of all kinds and other oddments which are struck, such as cymbals, chimes, tambourine, xylophone and the triangle. Striking the instrument causes vibrations, which are felt in the earth and in the body. The suddenness and distinctness of the sound of percussion creates definition, separating one area of sound from another. Percussion creates the sound-structure on which the entire symphony (or other musical piece) is built. Sometimes instruments not typically thought of as percussion instruments are used percussively to create this definition, as when a guitarist strikes the guitar like a drum while playing it. The percussion’s emphasis on structure puts it firmly in the realm of Earth.

Fire is the Brass
The brass section includes trumpets, trombones, tubas and French horns. These instruments are called brass even though some are made of wood, and the thing they all have in common is the use the human lips to send a vibration into an essentially tubular instrument, controlling the tone by use of the valves. Brass differs from woodwinds in that brass instruments have no reed, whereas (most) woodwinds do.

Brass is an appropriate word for a section that parallels Fire, because both the element and the sound are the very definition of brassy. Brass is used in symphonic music when a heroic sound is wanted; brass is the heart of a marching band. Horns have historically been used at the hunt to generate a sound that resonates loudly, enabling groups of hunters to find each other and to communicate. Horns have been used on the battlefield to sound a cry of victory to arouse courage in the hearts of the troops and to strike fear into the hearts of the enemy (imagine trying to intimidate the enemy using a violin!). Today brass is commonly used this way at school sporting events, to raise courage and team spirit.

The Piano Stands Alone
The piano, or pianoforte, is an odd fit into the organization of an orchestra, because it is essentially a harp turned on its side, so it is a stringed instrument, however it is played by percussion, as the strings are struck and not plucked or bowed. Though the piano is technically classified as a percussion instrument, conceptually it stands alone, having a sound quality unique to itself and a tremendous emotional range whether played alone or with other instruments or with a full orchestra. It has an equal capacity to command attention by itself or to fade gracefully into the background while accompanying other instruments or the human voice. It has come to be classified as a “keyboard” instrument, along with organ and harpsichord. Because it doesn’t have a clear categorical fit, I’m not classifying it with an element.

Some Differences Between Instruments and Elements
Brass instruments differ from winds in that sound comes out of a brass instrument in one direction, whereas sound comes out of a wind instrument in every direction. This is an apt parallel to the tendency of Fire to barrel forward with great force while Air meanders, sometimes without apparent aim. Air’s wind instruments have a light, cool and intellectual sound, differing from the pathos and intensity inherent in the watery strings. The strings, while they are capable of percussion, have much more emotional range than the percussion, linking them to Water instead of Earth.

Symphonic Synergy and Elemental Excellence
Notice how each section, like each element, contains great range of tonal expression. High notes and low are available, so that any section or any instrument on its own can play a rich, stirring piece that has depth and substance (although some instruments, like the tuba and piccolo, usually take supporting roles and don’t stand alone much). The elements are this way too, each providing tremendous breadth of experience inside its own realm. But the real beauty occurs when they are combined. The elements have “chemistry,” not unlike an orchestra’s chemistry. Much of the richness comes from the ineffable qualities that arise when two or more very different elements are combined.

All four elements are present in some form in every human birth chart, but some will be weaker and some stronger. Thus each person’s elemental “chemistry” is unique. Your chart does not need to feature all four elements in balance for you to learn to “play” all the instruments in your “orchestra.” With practice, even the most emotional (watery) person can balance himself with clear thinking (air) and even the most stolid and practical (earthy) person can learn to rouse enthusiasm (fire) when it’s needed. The person that goes to the effort to learn how to draw on all four elements—mind, body, spirit, emotions—and how to blend them in ways right for the moment, lives a very complex and worthwhile life, whether they know anything about astrology or not. The parts of such a person will make beautiful music together.