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Feel It All: Burn It Down

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New, change, unfamiliar. These are things the season of Aries brings up. Katie Chirgotis of Eothen, our Muse of feeling and nature, shares some incandescent insights and images for this time of beginnings.

There are vibrant, essential places on our planet that require fire for vitality. The flats of the prairie, undulating grasslands of the savanna, and stands of chaparral and coniferous forests cannot thrive, or make room for renewal, without the heat and rapture of fire to sweep through. But what is initially left behind the flames’ retreat is most often a desolate reality. Fire catalyzes change that is so swift that often there is little comfort found in a blackened, smoldering moonscape – a strangeness that sparks fear, loneliness and grief.

Change. Harder for some, welcomed by others, inevitable to all. Coming into the start of our Zodiacal calendar, which truly feels like the New Year (truly – who can set intentions to hit the gym, or go on a juice cleanse, when we’re swaddled in sweaters and presented with anemic Romaine leaves in January?!), Aries fire is the match struck to New Beginnings. We can all feel the shift, and respond to it in turn by our actions and communication. Inboxes and text threads ping non-stop. Plans are made and projects launch. Heartbeats quicken, and hands turn over warming soil.

Realizations arrive with nuclear impact. Sledge-hammer decisions are made to chart a new course. Relationships come to an end, and we may be left in a barren moonscape where comfort was once found.

Both/and is the pyre of Aries, and its flames burn through old patterns and holdings to make room for something new. Further enlightened, stronger, present, in-tune. But different – and that’s where we trip up. To arrive at a place so strange and initially barren with grace is certainly not a concept I’m familiar with, and it’s one with which I feel many of us struggle. We may brace our heels and deny, or fight for whatever hold we have to keep things the same. But to struggle and resist change is to suffer. The pain, the burn! We associate with the sudden arrival to a place with which we are unfamiliar, and perhaps alone and afraid, is made greater when we do not allow ourselves to be swept along with the rush of spark and cinder.

To make room for more richness and vitality in our lives, both within ourselves and with one and another, must happen. Whether it’s something of our own choosing may not be our experience, but there is comfort in knowing that experience is a shared one, a necessary part of being here on this planet. And how lucky to be able to open our palms to the heat of change, warming us to something more.

Aries fire is both beautiful and terrible. Let us be thankful for both, and for the opportunity to begin again.

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