Tag Archives: listening skills

The Venus and Mercury Retro Rag

THE VENUS AND MERCURY RETROGRADE RAG
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The Venus Retrograde Rag: How to Love and Let Live

Venus is the goddess of love-rosy, soft, beckoning-right?

Relationships: They’re all about the birds, bees and perfumed flowers-in Disney flicks.

When Venus is direct, she’s the Cosmic Prom Queen at her best. However, she’s been retracing hasty steps back through impulsive Aries since 3/4.

People (yes, you and me included) seem overly sensitive or just plain cranky. Irritation is as thick as spring pollen. Venus is naturally polite, but without her glow n she can tend towards laziness or indecision.

(Hint: give that friend who hasn’t firmed up plans yet a break-or go without him.)

Here’s your Venus retro mantra: Reengage. Reflect. Renegotiate.

Slow down. Prevent heart-to-heart combat with the balm of patience. Breathe.

The Relationship Road straightens out on 4/15, when Venus goes direct…and there are fewer emotional speedbumps.


Mercury Retrograde Can Be a Step Backwards-in the Right Direction

During Mercury retrograde, rethink, realign, revise and revitalize. Check everything twice. You’ll catch mistakes that you might have otherwise overlooked.

Resist the desire to buy that new home audio system during Mercury retro-it’s likely to give you subsequent problems if you do. Postpone signing contracts. Wait to launch your new website until it goes direct on 5/3 at 9:33 AM PDT. You’ll sidestep potential nasty glitches or delays.

The next Mercury retro is scheduled for 4/9-5/3 in two different signs.

From 4/9-4/21, Mercury saunters backwards through Taurus. Simplify, relax and review.

From 4/21-5/3, it bolts back into Aries. Sharp words or fast moves can blow a misunderstanding into grandstanding. Hang loose, think twice, reconsider what you’re going to do or say.

Mercury retrograde teaches the value of reassessing and revamping.

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ASTROBITES: Coming Soon!

Want to know the climate of the day in just a sentence or two?

You’ll soon have a chance to sign up for Astrobites, which you’ll receive Monday-Friday. They’re short, succinct, sometimes sassy and always useful.

Jupiter in Gemni: Lucky Synchronicities

Recently my luck started turning. I woke up feeling more alive than I had in a long time. The emotional barometric pressure had shifted. Clouds of confusion and despair (Neptune in Pisces) were finally lifting. There was undoubtedly a silver lining, but I wasn’t clear yet what it was. Most importantly, a tenuous faith (Jupiter in Gemini) had been restored.

That was the weekend that my partner, Kathy, and I had plans to leave for a business/pleasure retreat in Northern California’s wine country at Mountain Home Ranch Mountain Home Ranch Kathy, who  had been expecting a sizable check, wanted to fund this entirely, but it hadn’t yet arrived. The evening before our trip, we were sitting in the garden at dusk, discussing whether or not to go.

The First Sign: Suddenly, two hummingbirds, swooping and diving like circus acrobats, began to perform for us within arm’s length. We couldn’t help but laugh and forget our concerns for a few minutes. In indigenous Indian lore, hummingbird is the bringer of joy Hummingbird We were being shown a sign. There was no doubt that we were meant to go.

The Second Sign: The following morning, as we were preparing to leave, my cell chirped, reminding me to  check the on-line activity in my checking account. I was certain that I had enough to cover the basics, but that was it. However, when I logged in, three pending payments I’d forgotten about had been deposited. I did have a little extra to take on our trip, after all. It felt like a Christmas bonus.

The Third Sign: Upon arriving at Mountain Home, the owners, John and Suzanne (whom I’ve known for  years), seemed surprised to see us. Suzanne said, “I have you booked for a month from now.” John added, “And there’s not a single room or cabin available.” It was disheartening to think of turning around and heading back home. However, Suzanne shrugged her shoulders, grinned and said,  “Well, we’ll just have to put you in our corporate family house. Right now it’s empty. We never rent it out; it’s for our use only.”

The Fourth and Final Sign: After three wonderful days and nights, we were ready to check out and asked for the bill. “There isn’t one,” Suzanne explained, eyes twinkling. “We never charge for the family house anyway.”  Kathy and I were honored, touched to tears and, once again, amazed by our good luck. We came back with money to spare, feeling abundant and rejuvenated.

How You Can Get Luckier, Too: Jupiter, the planetary Santa, wants you to prosper. He provides bigger-than-life opportunities that are there for the taking-but you must have faith. In collaboration with Gemini the Messenger through June 25, 2013, their cosmic directive is this: follow coincidences, synchronicities, clues and cues, just like I did in the story I shared with you. Soon you’ll find yourself enjoying  inexplicable yet fortunate circumstances. People will ask, “How did you get so lucky?” Keep your mind open. You are in a state of magical intervention.

It’s been a long, stormy haul, but I’m getting clearer about that silver lining. Why don’t you start looking for yours, too? And beyond that, of course, is the rainbow.

With love,

Joyce

Love, Listen, Connect: Practical Tips

Whether you’re in like or in love, words, intentions and gestures get misinterpreted. You’re certain that you’re being clear and the other person looks at you as if you’re speaking Na’ Vi. At that point, there’s disconnection.

We all want to connect. That’s a Venus need. We all want to be understood. That’s a Mercury need. Try out these time-tested tips on how to stay connected and clear. Use ’em–they work!

Breathe! Inhale deeply and slowly through your nose. Exhale mindfully and slowly through your mouth. This is especially helpful if you’re feeling agitated, or you’re tempted to simply give a frustrated blart.

Be mindful: notice how you are in the moment—for example, “I notice that I’m going fast right now.  I’m agitated with my friend/partner because I can’t reach or feel him/her.  I think I’ll stop for a minute and give him/her a hug.”

Appreciate: If your pal or honey is bugging you, start thinking about something you appreciate about him/her.  Then notice how your energy  shifts.

Listen from Your Heart: Don’t interrupt the other person, stay present.

a) One person at a time takes a turn speaking while the other one listens.

b) Each person speaks without being interrupted.

c) Speak from your own truth—don’t generalize about or assume anything about what’s true for the other person.

d) Speak from your own perspective (this is a Mercury function).

e) Own your feelings (the Moon).  When you have an opinion about what the other person has said or done, begin your sentence with, “I feel (this way) when you do/say (this thing).”

It is irrelevant whether or not you agree or disagree with what someone is saying. What matters is that you listen carefully and accept what is being said as his or her reality.

Curiosity – If you sense that something is going on with your mate but they’re not saying anything about it, gently ask them if something’s going on for them.  And come from a place of curiosity, not being right or wrong.  If they’re feeling sensitive or insecure, they’ll respond to this loving approach much more readily. (A Mercury function)

I’ve tried this within my own relationships and it really works. It takes some discipline (Saturn) and faith (Jupiter). So if you’re having problems getting on the same page, give it a shot.

Signs, Omens & Synchroniticites: The Breadcrumbs on the Path

Recently I did a reading for Glen, whose catastrophe of a relationship had just detonated. It had been tempestuous from the start, punctuated by Jenna’s coldness, extreme mood swings and unsubstantiated accusations. Her exaggerated jealousy had alienated Glen from his friends. Even his grown children saw little of him.

Her demands on Glen were relentless: she wanted more time, money, energy and love. Marriage came up with abrasive regularity. Worn down, Glen finally agreed and bought her a DeBeers engagement ring. it wasn’t good enough for Jenna and she exchanged it for a more expensive one. She went on a $10,000 shopping spree at Barney’s and he paid the bill.  Glen missed a doctor’s appointment because his fiancee had taken his new BMW 750i Sedan out for a spin.

Glen was in an active Mercury time. When we’re engaged with  Mercury, omens, signs and synchronicities flood our lives. Why? Because Mercury is the Messenger. Mercury directs information flow, sometimes in weird ways, giving us clues and hints, answers to the questions that we seek.

And Glen’s life was overflowing with them. Jenna complained that he hadn’t replied to her emails–but he had mysteriously never received them. While waiting in a Starbucks line, he noticed a man reading “Why Is It Always About You?” a self-help book about narcissism. Days before before they split up, Glen dreamt that he was trapped in an iceberg surrounded by wilting roses with thorns the size of crocodile teeth. He woke up in a cold sweat. If he had paid attention to these Mercury prompts, he might have saved himself a world of trouble.

After the break up, he heard from a friend he hadn’t spoken to in years. She invited him to  dinner with she and her husband that weekend—another Mercury clue . Glen accepted. Venus, the planet of relationships, was also giving him the high sign to accept this sorely needed support.

Next time you’re uncertain of what step to take next, turn to Mercury. Look for clues. They’re swarming about you constantly, and not just during a Mercury time. Stop, listen, look and learn. It doesn’t take detective work. Just be curious and alert. Have an open mind. As you surf the seas of information, pay attention. Then it’s a pretty safe bet that you won’t get swept away.

Want to know what signs to look for so that you can point yourself in the right direction? Check in with your Mercury and the rest of the cosmos with me in an Evolutionary Astrology reading.

Making Connections

A few years ago, my sweetheart and I were sitting by an ambitious little river in Northern Thailand watching oxen grazing on the opposite bank. Hesitantly, a thirsty calf strayed to the lip of the river. In the same moment, with a series of wildly joyous yips, a golden retriever threw itself into the currents.

Hastily, the calf retreated, legs buckling like soft green bamboo. Its firm but encouraging mother nuzzled it back to the river. It slid first one hoof, then the other, into the water and began to drink. The patient mother stood by her calf’s side until it had finished. Meanwhile, the retriever seemed to watch with quiet pride. We were strangely and powerfully moved by this sweet and simple scenario. Such is the unspoken mood of the town we couldn’t leave. It is the kind of place that you could drive right through if you weren’t paying attention.

This is a town that refuses to put on makeup. It whispers and bellows and laughs and chatters. It’s an amblin’ town, not efforting to make anything happen. Because of that, things do. It hasn’t outgrown its sense of community. Connections still happen, and they don’t have anything to do with business networking.

One morning a 6-week-old puppy, Vodka (so named because his person owns a bar), was hit by a truck. Everyone within earshot stopped to see if they could help. Two locals who practice Reiki (Ray-KEE) a form of energy work used for healing, scooped the squealing puppy into their arms and started giving him this channeled energy of universal love. After a couple of hours, Vodka began to squirm so they put him down. He danced off on four fat legs, whirligigging his tail in gratitude.

Certainly, the energy work helped. However, what was most striking was the obvious fact that Vodka was securely wrapped in a blanket of love and care by everyone involved. He knew it, they knew it, and a small but significant miracle occurred as a result. When we left town several days later, he was still being tended to by the community—and was frisking around the streets.

When was the last time that you slowed down long enough to ask someone “How are you, really?” and mean it? Connecting can be cool– really, really cool. It just takes a little courage and initiative. Like the young calf, if you’re thirsty for true connection, be willing to get your feet wet. And If you happen to fall in, a helping hand will pull you back to shore.

Conscious Listening is Active Loving

I admit it, I jump to conclusions. I overlook details. Sometimes I move too quickly. This is the shadow side of my Sagittarian nature, constantly restless, exploratory, on the road to the next adventure. Admittedly, this can have some gypsy magic to it…and it can also drive people nuts.

Listening is a skill associated with the planet Mercury. Paying attention to the details is yet another Mercury function. When we listen, we show that we care, that we have interest in and respect for what others are saying. This demonstrates that we’re truly paying attention.

Most of us have probably had an ultimately frustrating experience like this: You’re sharing a story with a friend that’s important to you. They appear to be paying attention and listening. But when you finish, they look at you blankly. It seems as if they’ve listened, but have actually spaced out instead. Their vacant gaze says it all, or their haste to change the subject. If you’re checking out someone as serious love material, would that response be a turn-on? Not!

Conscious listening requires concentration and discipline. There are a million distractions from sun-up to sun-down. At one point I realized that I couldn’t multi-task anymore. The phone conversations that I used to be able to have while checking email, paying bills or even watering the plants are no longer possible. I wasn’t being fully present. This wasn’t just Sagittarian scatteredness, but the old, bad belief that the person on the other end of the phone wouldn’t notice. When I’d hang up, I wouldn’t be satisfied. The connection hadn’t really been made.

Don’t forget, we’re part animal. Animals know instinctively how to be present. That instinctive part of us tells us if we’re being listened to or not. So even if you find yourself on the receiving end of a conversation with someone who is about as interesting as dirt to you, make their day–for a minute or two, genuinely listen. Ask questions. Take in their answers. There was probably a time in your life when someone felt exactly the same way about you…and perhaps their kindness, their ability to listen, made all of the difference.

The more that we’re heard, the more that we feel connected…to ourselves and others. I know a wonderful man who usually considers himself invisible and unimportant. A group of friends gathered together to celebrate his 60th birthday with a surprise party. He arrived at his apartment that night, arms full of groceries for one, when the lights went on and everyone yelled, “Surprise!”

Here’s the topper: for gifts, each friend had decided to share a memory of why this man was so special to them. Mercury is the storyteller and, as the birthday celebrant listened, he both wept and laughed. He felt seen and acknowledged. Since that birthday, he’s come out of his shell. A woman too shy to approach him before the party was one of the friends who shared. Now they’re together.

So make a difference. Listen. Listen with love. You just might learn something yourself.

Posted By Joyce Van Horn on Wed Oct 7 19:09:21