For the Full Moon in Aries: Why I Run

This weekend we have a Full Moon, peaking Sunday at 4:08 pm CST, when the Moon in Aries is directly across from the Sun in Libra at 20 degrees each. 

The assignment is this: in a season when we're holding the essence of Libra in our consciousness - holding balance, beauty, and fairness with others - we can tune into the part of us that is self-sufficient, assertive, and independent. This is the dynamic of sign polarity.

What of you is Aries?
It is the part of you that is... 

The Warrior 
The Salsa Dancer 
The Pioneer
The Swashbuckling Hero
The Dynamic Leader

Aries is the the spark of first fire at the start of things. This is why we associate it with the initiation of the spring season in the northern hemisphere. The bravery, the audacity, the gaul!, of those first shoots of spring that burst through the earth and reach to the sun despite all of the odds against them. Such hope in this act! I love it!

Aries is the part of us that raises the hand and says, "I'll go. I'll do it. I'll lead. Follow me." 

We need the Aries inside of us. As Brene Brown says, "Every time we are brave with our lives, we make the people around us a little braver and our organizations bolder and stronger.” And how can we be brave with our lives, Brene? She declares: “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”

Can you feel into this? Do you know this part of you? How do you know you're in your Aries? We ALL have Aries in our charts, just as we all have Aries in us. It's about stirring the energy awake and embodying it in a non-violent and thoughtful way. 

Aries is important to me because I'm an Aries Rising. This means it's the energy that I lead with when I start new things, meet new situations, and approach something I'm starting. Because our Rising Sign is our "out front" vibe, so to speak, we want to be channeling it in an inspiring way. (If you've had a reading with me, you know how I talk about it.)

According to my language then, I'm here (like all Aries Rising folks) to inspire you to be BRAVE. To do brave things. To say brave things. Is this how you see me? Do I strike you as a "go getter?" Am I living bravely? 

I hope I'm embodying Aries with grace. If not, I will appear combative, competitive, impulsive, domineering, feisty, bossy, abrasive... And it's always possible to express both the light and shadow of a sign at once!

If you've worked with me, you know I talk about how the shadow parts of us can be integrated when we ask them what they wanted to be.

Me: "Hey B, when you made all of those unilateral decisions, and got mad when you couldn't ram your will through the situation, what were you wanting to be, girl? What was the sincere intention that wasn't getting to be expressed? 

Also me: "I wanted to feel like a leader. I wanted to know I have agency in my life. I wanted to connect with my courage and my capacity to make things happen."


Me: "Well, then let's do this."

IMG_0031.JPG
IMG_8065.jpg

This Full Moon, I'm doing the most Aries thing possible and running my third marathon. Above, that's Dallas (my first - where I'm from and live today) and Bemidji, MN (my second - a small town I adore in a state with my maternal family). The former shows the end of a race, the latter depicts the beginning.

I head to Chicago this time. Chicago is where I went to college (Northwestern). It’s a city that always felt like a friend to me.

Tapping into my Aries Rising has changed my life. A few years ago, I literally never exercised, and I had lost the sense that I had any agency. Agency is a guiding key word in my life now. This is an important way that Astrology has helped shape my self-concept in powerful ways that changed the course of my path.

I think it had felt hard for me to really dig into my Aries, because as an empath who struggled with boundaries for so long (Pisces Sun / Libra North Node), I was aware that a lot of people don’t like women to be Aries. I know that the response can be: “who does she think she is?” I FEEL it from people. But I can no longer let that keep my Aries small. Nor should anyone, frankly.

Channeling your Rising Sign is the key to bringing momentum to your life. It is the point of embodiment in the chart. It is both the hull (direction) and the rudder (force) of your ship (purpose). I'm very passionate about discussing one's Rising Sign because knowing it can be a real game changer for people. It was for me.

If you've never had an astrological reading, and you'd like to learn about the relationship between your purpose (Sun) and your momentum (Rising Sign), the offering you'd want to pick on my website is Astral Awakening.

In the remainder of this email, I speak more about my personal journey with running and all it's taught me about myself. If you took my class Soft Strength or my webinar Something's Got to Change, then you know that I talk a lot about the importance of rebuilding strength if there have been years of self-betrayal or self-abandonment or stagnation.

Running was central for me because it became actual, undeniable proofof my strength in a period when I really needed it be indisputable.

IMG_0074.jpg
IMG_6614.jpg

These are the notes I created for myself after my first marathon. As I ran, I had let my mind wander and through all of the teachings of the process of preparation, and I corralled them here. I'm sharing because they have been very popular when I've posted them before. Click here to read my IG post about it.

IMG_9755.JPG

On Instagram, I also posted a piece on "Why I Run."

Psst: it's for her. You can read it HERE.

Wishing everyone a beautiful Full Moon weekend. Watch your words. The astrology is a little feisty on this Hunter's Moon. Pause before reacting to let the hot feelings pass. Apologize if you say something you wish you hadn't. These too are the teachings of Aries.

XO,
Britten

Note: The contents of this blog post come from a newsletter email to subscribers. If you’d like to receive more free words like this, you can subscribe here.

Why I love the term Holding Space

IMG_9551.PNG

I first came across the term "holding space" when I lived on Maui. Everybody was talking about "holding space" for this and that, and thanking others for how well they were "holding space." One day at a parent meeting at my daughter's school, I just raised my hand and asked: "What exactly do you guys mean when you use that phrase?" Ha! It's funny to look back to not knowing these incredibly useful words. Since then, I have come to see them as the center of my personal and professional practices.

Let me explain my understanding then...

When you "hold," rather than mold, manipulate, or master, then you are mindfully giving support and a flexible boundary to something without jumping in and making anything happen.


You can hold space for pretty much anything. When you hold space for a group/ meeting/ class/ project, you are responsible for taking care of it, nurturing its qualities, cultivating boundaries for its deadlines and standards, for seeing the thing through.

It comes down to consciously noticing the quality of energy you're bringing to something, in order to make sure you're safe-guarding while also giving enough spaciousness there to allow whatever needs / wants to unfold to come forward, without trying to control any outcomes.

In what follows, I want to think about holding space for people in everyday life. When you hold space for a person, you are present, available, and committed to listening, reflecting, and not running away from whatever that person is sharing and experiencing. You are present with someone's experience without trying to change it.

Lisa Olivera says that one who holds space - the "space holder" - "creates an atmosphere that invites vulnerability and transparency." It has to do with cultivating a safe space for compassion.

That looks like listening without:
- judgment
- completing someone's sentences or presuming you know what they mean
- jumping to give advice
- suggesting what someone "should" do / be / feel
- proffering a Kleenex*
- countering with your own similar experience

THIS IS HARD, especially if you've been conditioned by family and culture that you must fix, say, or do something. We are not a culture that applauds sharing our problems or discussing our bad days. We avoid people going through hard times because we worry we won't know how to act or what to say.

* Moving to give someone a Kleenex is a programmed (ie. learned) way of responding to someone's tears. It feels like compassion, right? What I've learned is to rethink this move as actually a demonstration of awareness that someone is bleeding their mascara because of their emotional release and... it's really about stopping the messiness. Handing a Kleenex reminds the person to be aware that they're being looked at in their state, and breaks the natural flow of their feelings. It says: please stop crying.

crying giphy.gif

Practicing holding space teaches us that we don't have to do or say anything actually. We just have to show up and be present.

We don't learn how to hold space elegantly in one attempt. We learn by getting better every day.

You can practice holding space any time you are in conversation with someone and the other person shares a vulnerable feeling or experience. Just be totally present.

When holding space, it's good practice not to presume someone wants your feedback or advice unless they directly solicit it.

Instead of bad-mouthing another person for the situation or wanting to jump in and fix things --> Ask them how the experience makes them feel, and just listen without judging anyone. "I'm so sorry that happened."

If they don't know what to do, instead of offering advice --> Encourage the person through compassionate questions how to figure out what to do on their own, because that actually helps them to recover any lost self-esteem and self-trust. "Please let me know how I can support you."

Instead of jumping in to share your similar story --> Simply say that you are genuinely happy / moved / sad that they are going through what they're going through. "I'm really feeling this for you."


Because the same goes for when someone is sharing their special moment or achievement, or their child's achievement. It is not a request to hear about your similar experience.

If this feels like an *ouch,* I get it! The invitation then is just to be with yourself, noticing and bringing consciousness and curiosity to learned behaviors. We're all learning.

All of the above is incredibly helpful with parenting as well. Kids (and adults children!) do a lot of venting to their parents, and most of the time they just... want... to... vent.

"What happened?" is my standard question (from a former therapist) to a frustrated, steam-blowing child after school. We can hold space for the Big Mood by gently steering the hot feelings towards a cooler explanation of events. Then we can move towards the key questions: How did that make you feel? What would you like to do? What can I do to help? (Answer to the latter is usually nothing.)

And the same goes for all of us when we're wanting to someone to hold space for our felt experience... Do you have someone in your life - a parent, partner, family member, friend, boss - who likes to "tell you” what they think you should do in the name of being "helpful?"

let me giphy.gif

The more I learn about space holding, the more I ask myself the questions:

Are the people who hold space for your vulnerabilities doing their own work? (This includes all healers & therapists.) Are you sure you want to share your intimacies with someone who hasn't studied their heart and isn't actively working to heal their own triggers?

Any folks who think therapy and self-care are indulgent, or not otherwise worth their time and money, are likely not very trustworthy space holders for your fears, insecurities, joys, and evolutions. This is naturally obvious to a lot of people, but it's been a hard won lesson for me, because I've always been naturally trusting.

At the end of the day, the most important space holding that you can do is for yourself. Each trigger - one by one - every single day - is an opportunity to hold space for yourself.

Whoa. I'm triggered. What's happening? How does this make me feel? Where does it hurt? What support do I need? How can I hold space for these feelings and vulnerabilities with more loving compassion? 

One by one. Every single day. 

***

One of my favorite IG resources of tips on space holding and self-parenting is Dr. Nicole LePera. Lindsay Mack recently hosted a podcast where she discussed the value of holding space for one's own heart-tending before reacting to the person that hurt us. Such a great episode.

If you'd like me to hold space for you right now with whatever you're in, this is what I do! This is why I work on my OWN triggers, one by one, every single day.

Oracle of the Wheel for the New Moon in Gemini

This cycle brings us all into a period of self-study. In particular, we are asking ourselves about the nature of our creative and generative processes. We must ask ourselves this:

Collage by @mr.babies

Collage by @mr.babies

How do I PAUSE before acting, responding, pressing send, taking, thrusting my desires onto people and places?

Do I pause? Would I do well to pause a little longer?

The fact is this: To react is to lose our power. We must develop a repertoire of responses that begin with a pause, however brief, in order to connect with our wise intelligence. Our intuition.

So this cycle we do well to practice tuning into our intuition in that space of pause. We can ask:

What do I need to know about _____ before responding?

The answer will come as a feeling and a knowing, not as a million running ways things can go wrong. The answer will help you retrieve your power without causing harm to others.

When we invite in our intuition, which is our higher knowing, even our divine knowing, we balance and neutralize the brain’s tendency towards automatic freak out.

For the Oracle of the Wheel, I offer myself as a channel for wisdom to come through for the greater good of the collective, at the highest degrees of love and compassion. I recommend combining the info for your Sun, Moon, & Rising Signs as a mantra to re-read every morning through the entire lunar cycle.

As always, take what you’d like and leave the rest.

ORACLE OF THE WHEEL

ARIES

Gently keep returning to the present moment whenever the past tries to call you back into a shame or guilt spiral. It is time to move on.

TAURUS

It’s okay to feel proud and grateful for the golden eggs you’re growing. Let yourself glow with the blossoms you’ve tended into bloom. You’ve earned it.

GEMINI

Doors are starting to open in the mind that may have seemed closed quite recently. It’s safe to seek the light of fresh perspective.

CANCER

Balance your generous care-taking with radical self-care. Be masterful at tending to your body’s needs. Protect your energy.

LEO

Be careful not to push or rush or grasp this cycle. Be with the flow. Pay attention to your feelings. Give space to your heart.

VIRGO

The healing you give to yourself has significance to your past and future ancestors. How will you honor this work this cycle?

LIBRA

Notice your patterns of giving and receiving this cycle. Soften into balancing the flow of reciprocity in all aspects of your life.

SCORPIO

This is a time to make space for private, quiet stillness, for going within. Seek your own truth there. Feel free to decline plans.

SAGITTARIUS

The journey within the self may at first feel like darkness, but it’s worth it. Summon your courage. It is the pathway to your own re-wilding.

CAPRICORN

This cycle asks you to get clear on why you belief or preach the things you do. Be sure these come from your own life experience.

AQUARIUS

Find the sweet Zen in your work. Seek pleasure in the routine hum of the day. It is there you find peace and contentment.

PISCES

Don’t block your pleasure. Don’t resist your joy. Soften into the abundant garden of summer blossoms. Let the birds speak to you.

Don't Let Go: Poltergeist + the Full Moon in Scorpio

In the video below, I share my thoughts on what the astrology will bring us between the Full Moon in Scorpio May 18 and the New Moon in Gemini on June 3.

Still from  Poltergeist . “Don’t let go!”

Still from Poltergeist. “Don’t let go!”

I posit that this Full Moon will be a house clearing akin to that in the great 80s film Poltergeist! I loved that movie as a kid! Have you seen it lately? It’s amazing. The story is by Steven Spielberg.  

If you like the video, I hope you will SHARE it with others please so they can enjoy it, too.

Be gentle with yourself as you process anything dark or deep from the past. Let your loved ones and space holders keep you close as you integrate.

In the video, I also discuss the free live webinar I’m hosting on Thursday, May 23, at 7 pm CST. The title is Working With the Moon in Astrology. Click HERE to register now! 

Cheers,

Britten

Oracle of the Wheel for New Moon in Taurus

Art by the amazing @mrbabies on IG.

Art by the amazing @mrbabies on IG.

👁THE ORACLE OF THE WHEEL👁

This is a new moon gift that I experimented with last cycle with Aries. It’s my version of a horoscope. 

I feel vulnerable sharing these with you because I love them so much and I know it’s “out there.” It’s a risk I have to take because these are not for me. They are for everyone.

Oracle: I'm using the term in the sense of wisdom that is from something beyond the self, perhaps we might call it the Divine.

Of the Wheel: Referring to the "wheel of the year" as well as the zodiacal wheel - the wisdom of Aries through Pisces.

I am clairaudient. I get the wisdom for the Oracle in a state of deep trance where I connect to each sign energy one at a time within my body. I ask for wisdom and then I write it down.

My goal is not to convince you that clairaudience is "real;" my purpose is to inspire you to entertain the possibility that the Oracle can be helpful. I encourage you to bring a spirit of playfulness to what you find there.

For me, I blend my Sun, Moon, and Rising signs into language that flows together. I find that they have been so true and right at helping me center my intentions. Feel free to change the wording to fit your needs! They belong to you!

If you only know your Sun sign, that's great too. And guess what? You could simply pick ANY of them to work with because the bottom line is YOU ARE ALL TWELVE SIGNS. They are facets of you that connect you to nature, which you are part of and not separate from.

THE ORACLE OF THE WHEEL

Aries

Trust that you know when to walk away and go within. Lay down. Rest. Recover your discernment. 

Taurus

Sometimes you need to empty out before you can fill yourself back up. Let your tears be rainbows and cherish them. 

Gemini

You are stronger than you may know. Dig into your highest values to find your resilience. 

Cancer

Seek the deepest longing of the family lineage and there you will find your true healing. 

Leo

You are the zest of life. You are fire. You are a hot rod. Step into the world as the dragon that you are.

Virgo

Sometimes the momentum of life's many projects take on a life of their own. Be in devotion to your patience. 

Libra

You only have two hands. Reverently care for what really matters and you will find more balance amidst the chaos. 

Scorpio

Beautiful and powerful insight awaits you when you are willing to rest through the discomfort of waiting. 

Sagittarius

People are listening, and words are spells. How will you use the power of audience? Be the wise seeker you are. 

Capricorn

A period of transition is ending. Follow the moonlight towards a better path. What are you wishing to find? What is the call of your heart? 

Aquarius

Seek equanimity and impartial judgment as you proceed. Now is the time for high integrity and honesty in your dealings. 

Pisces

You are carrying a heavy load, the extent of which you may not even be aware. Are these burdens yours or are you carrying too much for others? How can you make peace with sharing the work? 

Wishing you all of the best as you work this wisdom into your life. For more on the New Moon in Taurus, please keep scrolling.

New Moon in Taurus 2019

This blog post is an excerpt from my New Moon in Taurus newsletter.

Something I've been learning, in the last few years, is the intimate connection between the way we treat our body and the way we magnetize, build, and tend to our money, business, and assets.

Taurus Season is here to teach... It all starts with how we love our body: receiving touch and pleasure, breathing and exercise, kind and loving thoughts, nourishing foods, careful alcohol consumption, respecting our gut feelings and instincts, giving our vessel lots of water and rest.

This idea of having to work constantly, to vigilantly constrict our pleasure and self-care, to be the expert, to climb the ladder, to live in the analytical brain, to tightly control everything, even goop-ish "aspirational self" jargon... this is killing our raw and real relationship to our bodies and consequently to true happiness, true presence, true abundance. Not to mention our relationship to the earth.

Taurus Star Diagram, by me.

Taurus Star Diagram, by me.

The 8 points on the Taurus Star above work together like legs beneath a table:

- Maybe you magnetize money well, but you're denying yourself regular orgasm.
- Maybe you tend a beautiful garden in your yard, but you give your professional services away at low prices, exhausting yourself and depleting your resources.
- Maybe you let yourself enjoy the succulent flavors of fresh fruits and the luscious feel of fabrics on your skin, but you have no idea where these came from and the labor that brought these gifts of the earth to you.
- Maybe you know your values, but you are afraid to enforce them with your words for fear that people won't like you if you take a stand. (Taurus rules the neck and vocal chords.) 


We can always get better at this balance. That is what we remember during Taurus season. Here's what I want you to know: It's our cultural paradigm that preaches scarcity that has failed us. There is nothing wrong with you! 

In the video below, I unpack more about the Taurus principle, and discuss the energies we’ll be in for the coming two weeks between the New Moon May 4 and the Full Moon May 18. Enjoy!