Ring of Fire

Whether or not you find any validity in astrology as a meaningful system, what I always am inspired by is the symbolism and the opportunity to draw from the positions of the planets new themes to meditate upon, while also learning how the motions of the solar system have a real effect on the motions of the earth which mean everything to the flourishing of life on our planet. Although I do believe every person has what we would call a free will, as earthlings we are also subject to many influences that can obscure or alter free choice, like natural events and the shifting constellation of humanity- collective consciousness. As I looked for information about our solar eclipse today, I found an article about it from a page I follow on social media, Astro Butterfly. I won’t discuss the details since you can read for yourself in the article, linked in the quote below. Instead, I wanted to share some of the themes that might be nice to meditate on during this new moon’s energetic influence, which is boosted quite a bit during the time of this ring of fire solar eclipse. Enjoy reinventing yourself should you choose to take up the task!

“The solar eclipse is a fated new beginning, something that happens TO us, and can present itself in the form of an opportunity, or a demand to adjust to a new situation.”
Astro Butterfly

This week's solar eclipse is, "a total solar eclipse with a twist.", according to AB- it's an annular eclipse, which means that with the moon farther away from the earth than usual, it doesn't fully cover the sun, so there is a "halo effect", or the appearance of a "ring of fire", which she sees as symbolic of the light not being overcome by the darkness, so it is a "fated new beginning". The union of light and dark produce a divine emergence; something new and the halo, with its symbolism suggests a holy message. The reading I did for this week's Yijing project hit right within this theme. (Jump to the section here, if you'd like). Now is a good time to consider new possibilities from things you may have discarded or not understood well before now, a theme in astrology, of Mercury retrograde, which is also happening. Look deeper to find traces of meanings you’ve overlooked. According to some astrologers, an eclipse represents the type of unions between light and dark (Sun and Moon) which points to recreating, reinventing yourself by allowing personal evolution to unfold- phoenix out of the ashes of the past. If you'd like to get in touch with some of these possibilities, here are some ideas to meditate on from her analysis of the planets and their arrangements:

Neptune is square to Mercury. Intuition, dreams (Neptune) and Reality of the senses/ facts (Mercury). Focus on what matters to us in the context of the world we live in.

Mercury retrograde is seen psychologically as revisiting the past not let go of or having to undergo a lesson not learned. Focus on listening to subtleties in meaning or aspects of your situation that you may have been there, done that before, but missed the last time around.

Think of your Imagination as a tool to create new possibilities and to dissolve what is no longer needed.

Another brilliant astrologer and one of my personal favorites is Rob Brezsny, whom I've followed for years- he's quirky, funny, and profound all at the same time. He doesn't delve into the solar eclipse, but, his theme for the week (starting today) asks, "Where do you find soul nourishment?" (Free Will Astrology)

If you have some experience with inner work (neigong, meditation), here are a few exercises from the shaman, Alberto Villodo, on evolving your skill at seeing and connecting with your inner light:

Prep work:

Second Attention practice


Second Awareness exercise


You could always do some Qigong- I can help you. I am currently looking for venues to begin holding in person classes and will keep you posted as I firm up those plans, however, we are still having Zoom meetings twice a week; you are so welcome to join us. Currently, we are working on summer seasonal themes and the Daoist 5 Qigong forms.

See more here (Book online) or become a Member (Plans and Pricing).

Johnny Cash is singing in this link. Click to enjoy the show. Of course I went there, I'm from Nashville and unless you live in a small part of the world, you will probably not be able to witness the "Ring of Fire" solar eclipse on the 10th, but you can sing along while it's happening, if you'd like. You are welcome.


Yijing reading for the week of June 6th through June 12th, 2021:

55- Feng: Abundance. Changing line 2, to: 34- Da Zhuang: Great Strength

One way to read the Book of Changes is to consider that each hexagram theme follows another, like a progression or evolution of the idea and steps before it. The hexagram before Abundance, called “The Marrying Maiden”, carries the theme of a woman courting for marriage, in other words, someone looking for a place to belong. When that is accomplished, “Those who can find a home surely will reap abundance.” The original drawing or ideograph representing Feng is a picture of beans cooking on a pot, plenty to reap and eat a sure sign of “flourishing and abundance.” The trigrams are situation with Thunder above and Fire below; here action follows thought and command. Everything is moving forward and on time. But there is a warning throughout the various lines that this energy cannot go into excess. So, this time of good fortune can have a somber aspect. Following the course of nature, abundance is an extreme form of excess and like the waxing and waning moon, or the sun at high noon, it immediately begins to turn to its opposite. The advice it seems would be to treasure the time and use the riches, whatever form they take, well and with careful planning to weather the time of decline.

“Abundance. Prosperous and smooth. The king reaches this point. Be like the sun at noon.”

“Commentary on the Symbol: Thunder and lightening come together. An image of Abundance. In correspondence with this, the superior person decides lawsuits with clarity and carries out punishment with exactness.” (all quotes, Huang, pp. 433-4)

Following the history laid out by Huang, King Wen had reached a point of blessings and abundance and had begun to gather great, brilliant minds around him, so he had a lot to feel good about, but he also knew that the cruel Shang dynasty had left the trauma of extreme neglect of the people in its wake; even in defeat, the curtain of that cruelty would have to be dealt with. King Wen represented a ray of light in a shadow world, but hope cannot always last long enough to make a real impact.

Huang: “The Duke of Zhou describes how the abundance of the Shang dynasty was masked by it tyranny as the sun’s light is blocked by a screen and curtains. Because King Wen was magnanimous and humble, brilliant persons were willing to gather around him. Thus, he enjoyed good fortune. The tyrant of Shang, on the other hand, confined his abundance to his own palace; he cared not for his people. Peering through his gate, he saw nothing of people’s suffering and hardship. Misfortune was in store for the tyrant.” (p 437)

Changing line 2: “Abundant his screen. The sun is at noon; polestar can be seen. Going forward brings a suspicious illness. There is sincerity and truthfulness to inspire good fortune. There is sincerity and truthfulness to inspire. Truthfulness and sincerity sprout from his will.” (p 435)

A pause here- what could this mysterious illness be about? Huang explains in part with a comparison to a solar eclipse. There's our solar eclipse today and during the period covered in this reading- Ooo! Ahhh! His other analogy is that this line speaks of a situation where:

“One’s intelligence is obscured by another’s ignorance. Following him, the latter will be suspected and envied. Since the second line is a broken line, there is an opening in the middle, symbolizing an open heart and humility. When the line alternates to a solid line, it symbolizes truthfulness. Thus, the Yao Text recommends truthfulness and sincerity.” (p. 437)

The line in this reading is changing from broken to solid, giving us the hexagram “Great Strength”, an idea that follows a theme of its previous hexagram, named “Retreat”. This illustrates the idea of holding back to maintain safety or gather strength, even when it seems like it is moving in the wrong direction to meet a goal.

“Decision: Great Strength. Favorable to be steadfast and upright.

Commentary on the Symbol: Thunder above Heaven. An image of Great Strength. In correspondence with this, the superior person does not act contrary to courtesy. “(p 288) Huang says of this hexagram that it is one of the tidal gua, meaning it can represent a time period as well as an idea. It stands for the second month of the Chinese lunar calendar, which would have been mid-March to mid-April this year. Perhaps this was the starting point of these energies, or maybe what is started now will culminate by next March/April.

[Line 2 for Great Strength: Being steadfast and upright: good fortune. Good fortune of the second nine. It is at the central place.]

If he can restrain himself and persist in doing right, there will be good fortune.” (291)

I hope your week unfolding is nurtured by the very best vision, inspiration, and potential this celestial energy has to offer. May none of us be the ignorant ones who obscure their own intelligence or that of another by needlessly covering up our light or blotting out others' through ego. My hope at this time is for plenty to go around and for the wisdom to use this abundance not only for our own benefit, but also for the benefit of all others connected through family, community, world, destiny, and fate. Have fun, play well, work hard, and most of all be kind and act from the center with love.



I Ching Reference material:

Huang, Alfred, trans., "The Complete I Ching". Inner Traditions, One Park Street, Rochester, Vermont 05767. 2010. www.InnerTraditions.com

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