Monday Mantras: Clarity & Senses

[one_sixth][/one_sixth][one_third][/one_third][one_third]This week’s Monday Mantras for April 17th – 23rd, come to us from Astrologist, Allie Couch. Designed to help us shift from the ending Aries Season to Wednesday evening’s approaching Taurus Season.

This is a week of shifting energies as we move from our first astrological season of Aries; the season that woke us out of our winter slumber and into initiations for the yang half of the year; to the season of Taurus where we’ll be taking a slower pace to find pleasure and hone in on our senses. These mantras should wake us up to the value and beauty of life and ourselves. The shifting energies this week can bring feelings of urgency to tie things up, celebrate or release a cycle, and take some awkward steps into a new energy and season. It’s not a great week for initiating, but rather, for reflecting,and being open to new possibility as you observe and sense your way into Taurus Season. [/one_third][one_sixth_last][/one_sixth_last]

[two_third padding=”2% 0 0 0″]Aries: I am clear and self-possessed as I move into a fresh cycle of sensual living.

Taurus: I am clear and spiritually activated as I move into a fresh cycle of claiming my worth.

Gemini: I am clear and socially plugged-in as I move into a fresh cycle of spiritual enhancement.

Cancer: I am clear about my authority and aspirations as I move into a fresh cycle of valuable networking.

Leo: I am clear about bold aims as I move into a fresh cycle of giving form to my aspirations.

Virgo: I am clear and personally empowered as I move into a fresh cycle of grand financial aims. [/two_third][one_third_last][/one_third_last]

[one_third][/one_third][two_third_last padding=”5% 0 0 0″]Libra: I am clear in my harmonizing with others as I move into a fresh cycle of transforming my values.

Scorpio: I am clear and assertive in my productivity as I move into a fresh cycle of forming valuable relationships.

Sagittarius: I am clear about my creative initiative as I move into a fresh cycle of slow & valuable living.

Capricorn: I am clear about my self-care needs as I move into a fresh cycle of forming creative projects.

Aquarius:
My mind is sharp and clear as I move into a fresh cycle of nurturing & caring for my senses.

Pisces:
I am clear about my bold self-worth as I move into a fresh cycle of valuable connecting and communicating. [/two_third_last]

Courage In Maitri

[one_third][/one_third][two_third_last padding=”5% 0 0 0″]In all of her eloquence, Ann Whittaker brings us some inspiring words and thoughts around developing a kind and friendly relationship with ourselves as we approach the end of Aries Season; a season all about recognizing ourselves.

Developing loving kindness + friendship with ourselves

MAITRI: unconditional friendliness, loving kindness, love

What if the bravest, most meaningful, most powerful thing we could do was to befriend ourselves? To show ourselves a deep and honest love? What if we began to cultivate a curiosity about every aspect of ourselves? What if we took time to get to know our whole selves–to know who we are when we’re sad, when we’re content, when we’re angry, when we crash and burn, when we forget to call a friend, when we welcome a stranger into our midst, when we take time to listen to a broken heart? What does it take to really show ourselves unconditional loving kindness? What does it mean to befriend ourselves?

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[two_third padding=”8% 0 0 0″]Stay. We must stay with ourselves––our whole self. Pema Chödrön says that

Maitri strengthens us. One of the qualities of maitri is steadfastness, and that’s developed through meditation. So through boredom, through aches, through indigestion, through all kinds of disturbing memories, to edgy energy, to peaceful meditation, to sleepiness, it’s steadfastness. You sit with yourself, you move closer to yourself, no matter what’s going on. You don’t try to get rid of anything—you can still be sad or frustrated or angry. You recognize your humanity and the wide gamut of emotions you might be feeling.

I think it is difficult to stay with ourselves–especially when we are feeling intense emotions–especially when so many planets are in retrograde and everything is undefineably off. Parts of ourselves might show up that we’re not fond of, and, yet, if we stay with these pieces, if we befriend the bits that make us human, we will find strength where we thought there was weakness; we will move closer to ourselves and accept our complex humanity. If we allow ourselves to experience the full spectrum of emotion, and allow ourselves to travel along the spectrum of sadness, anger, joy, and gratitude, we will open ourselves up to loving kindness. [/two_third][one_third_last][/one_third_last]

[one_sixth][/one_sixth][two_third]When we accept our own humanity it’s easier to accept others’ humanity–we are curious about them as well as ourselves. Instead of practicing self-criticism and self-doubt, we can begin to nurture self-curiosity––become intensely interested in observing yourself and simply let your emotions and thoughts run their course. Nothing is permanent. Thankfully. We do not have to cling to or identify with any emotion we’re feeling. When we’re feeling sadness, that does not mean we are a sad person––it simply means we are human. If we can love ourselves even when we are angry, jealous, or sad then we can love others when they too experience the ebb of happiness.[/two_third][one_sixth_last][/one_sixth_last]

[one_third][/one_third][two_third_last padding=”7% 0 0 0″]So how can we show ourselves loving kindness? Pema Chödrön explains:

For example, you might say that taking a bubble bath or getting a workout at the gym is maitri. But on the other hand, maybe it isn’t, because maybe it’s some kind of avoidance; maybe you are working out to punish yourself. On the other hand, maybe going to the gym is just what you need to relax enough to go on with your life with some kind of lightheartedness. Or it might be one of your 65 daily tactics to avoid reality. You’re the only one who knows.

I think it’s difficult to admit that you are on a journey to love yourself unconditionally. So take courage. Practice maitri for yourself so that you will have the strength to share maitri with others. Be real and honest with yourself––you are a human being running the full gamut of experiences and emotions. No one is exempt, no matter how hard you try to mask it. Own it and take care.

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Desire & Aversion: An Aries Season Meditation

[one_third][/one_third][two_third_last]We asked John Kesler, founder of Integral Polarity Practice Institute (IPPI), to share a polarity meditation with us that fit the themes of Aries Season. With purpose and clarity, his take on the polarity of Desire & Aversion is one that can be of great use for us as we define new passions with the rebirth of spring and our first astrological season of Aries.

 

At this time of the year we can feel connected to the earth and the rebirth of life. Out of this earthy, physical sensibility, our instincts for passion and creation arise with purpose and power.

Although the source of this energy arises from our primal life force, it nevertheless courses through the full spectrum of our beings including our highest spiritual quests, ultimately seeking clarity and simplicity on the other side of chaos and complexity.

One basic polarity which we share with all living things is foundational to such Aries related dynamics: desire and aversion. Together they comprise the energy of seeking. In its most primal manifestation one moves towards food and safety and away from dangers of all sorts. We use these polar dynamics hundreds of times a day, naturally and without much thought. Yet it is this very polar dynamic, when brought forward and empowered, generates such important Aries qualities.[/two_third_last]

[two_third]A pathology results when one is caught up in either pole. When we are stuck in desire, we suffer addiction. When aversion takes over we are experiencing conditions such as anorexia or any number of phobias. In addition to having desire/aversion well integrated with one another, the key is to be centered and present, so that there is an inner stillness and clarity regarding what is important at any given moment.

From this still center we can access a concrete sense of Deep Satisfaction, a more subtle sense of Deep Contentment and an even more spiritual sense of Transcendent Abundance and possibility. Also a deep Gratitude emanates from this Abundance as well as a spirit of Generosity. All of this results from tapping into this power at the core of our beings.

On the other hand if we are always seeking and striving from a place of deficit rather than Abundance, we are driven, endlessly dissatisfied, leading to exhaustion and confusion rather than empowerment, clarity and flow.

It is important then to learn to hold desire and aversion as two complementary freely flowing aspects of the same awareness and energy and to be centered in a sense of Satisfaction, Contentment and Abundance. This connects us to the limitless source of the life force, to our deepest wisdom, clarity, purpose, compassion, inspiration and creativity as we fully awaken to the energy of Aries.[/two_third][one_third_last][/one_third_last]

[full_width]An IPP Meditative Practice:
Accessing the Still Point of these polarities and the virtues that flow from them

o Get comfortable in a chair or seated floor position, somewhere without distraction.

o Breathing in a relaxed manner, settle into a state of relaxation, calm and tranquility.

o Allow the energy of purposeful activity of seeking – of desire/aversion – to slow down and become still.

o In this place of stillness bring forth a sense of Deep Satisfaction, Deep Contentment and Transcendent Abundance in this moment, a place of Stillness outside of place and time. Settle into this experience.

o Out of this Stillness and Abundance feel the opening to a deeper Purpose, to a source of Passion, Clarity, Inspiration and Creativity.

o From this experience, feel the qualities of Gratitude and Generosity emerge and accompany you during your day.[/full_width]

Feel It All: Burn It Down

[one_third][/one_third][two_third_last]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.[/two_third_last]

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[two_third]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. [/two_third][one_third_last][/one_third_last]

Hello spring, Hello Aries: Yoga for Awakening

[two_third][/two_third][one_third_last]CosmoMuse yogini, Brooke Musat, helps us on our journey to awaken to this new astrological year with yoga poses to ignite our bold inner warriors.

There is something about the onset of spring that makes anything seem possible. Whether it’s tackling a major chore you’ve been putting off, or taking the time to treat yourself to something you thought you didn’t deserve, spring—inspires a certain amount of assertiveness to get things done.

In Aries reign we are granted permission to be bold in realizing our deepest desires while finding the strength to put fears, insecurities, and timidities, to rest. From Aries we awaken a sleeping warrior, ready to fight for our soul’s self-interests and transform dreams into realities. [/one_third_last]

[full_width]Robert Frost said, “freedom lies in being bold,” and Aries’s reign is our gateway to finding freedom through a boldness that lives in each of us.

Try the poses inspired by Aries to call upon your sleeping warrior, bring clarity to your path, and ignite an internal fire of boldness. In One Legged Downward-Facing Dog you’ll be forced to find balance in a posture that may feel familiar but demands a heightened sense of awareness to achieve. In the Low Lunge variations boldness will come in the dual opening of hips and side body. Lastly, in the Warrior III variation, you may need to find boldness through trial and error. Traditional Warrior III, quite bold on its own, can be difficult to execute, and the Aries’s Warrior III variation brings about a new element of difficulty. Read on below for details on each posture’s benefits and instruction on how to effectively assume each pose. [/full_width]

[two_third padding=”9% 0 0 0″]One Legged Downward-Facing Dog :: (Eka Pāda Adho Mukha Śvānāsana)

In One Legged Downward-Facing Dog, try to keep the hip of the leg suspended in the air closed and toes of that leg pointing down toward the earth. Avoid the tendency to bring weight into one shoulder or the other, instead keep the shoulders square and focus on bringing equal weight into both hands.

Pose Benefits:

o Strengthens the shoulders and legs

o Tones the core

o Increases flexibility in the shoulders, hamstrings, and calves

o Opens the chest [/two_third][one_third_last padding=”0% 0 0 0″][/one_third_last]

[two_third padding=”8% 0 0 0″]Low Lunge :: (Anjaneyasana) with hands clasp above the head variation
In Low Lunge, make sure the knee of the bent leg is aligned directly above the toes. Work toward squaring the hips by drawing the front leg’s hip back into the socket and inviting the back leg’s hip forward. Be mindful about protecting the lower back by drawing the naval toward the spine.

Pose Benefits:

o Releases hip tension

o Stretches hamstrings

o Strengthens the quadriceps and knees

o Opens chest and upper back
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[two_third padding=”8% 0 0 0″]Low Lunge :: (Anjaneyasana) variation side body opening
In Low Lunge, make sure the knee of the bent leg is aligned directly above the toes. Work toward squaring the hips by drawing the front leg’s hip back into the socket and inviting the back leg’s hip forward. To open through the side body, plant the fingertips of the hand (same side of the front leg) firmly into the earth then reach up and over with the other arm and hand. Be mindful that the shoulder of the hand reaching over the head does not start to lift toward the ear.

Pose Benefits:

o Releases hip tension

o Stretches hamstrings

o Strengthens the quadriceps and knees

o Opens chest, upper back, and side body
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[two_third][/two_third][one_third_last]Warrior III variation :: (Virabhadrasana III)
In Warrior III variation, push the hand firmly into the thigh of the lifted leg to bring length to the spine. Be cautious not to twist the shoulders, but instead keep them squared toward the font of the mat. Just like in One Legged Downward-Facing Dog keep the hip of the leg suspended in the air closed and toes of that leg pointing down toward the earth.

Pose Benefits:

o Strengthens the ankles and legs

o Strengthens the shoulders and muscles of the back

o Tones the abdomen

o Improves balance and posture[/one_third_last]

Ask Ash: The Libra Full Moon & Finding Balance

[one_third padding=”0% 0 0 0″][/one_third][two_third_last padding=”0% 0 0 0″]Astrologist Ash Bonelli brings her intuitive connection to the stars as she guides us through our yearly Libra full moon’s balancing act between attending to our personal desires and the needs of others. At the end, Ash gives advice about this lunation to one lucky reader.

Dear Muses,

During the Libra full moon the sun and the moon are gazing deeply into one another’s eyes. They are relaying a story to each other that will show up in our lives in a variety of ways depending upon the cosmic makeup of our charts. If you have any planets or important points (Ex: MC, IC, Descendant, Ascendant) at or within a few degrees of 21 in Cardinal signs (Aries, Libra, Cancer, Capricorn) you are likely to feel this lunar event more deeply.

Let’s begin with the Sun’s role in this configuration. The sign that the Sun is currently in each month gives a feel for the energy found within the collective. Right now the Sun is residing with passionate pioneer, Aries. It makes sense that Aries, the Ram, would lead the charge of Spring to kick start the zodiacal year. We are in the midst of newness and charging ahead with the plans that will grow and evolve over the next year. There is a strong need for independence right now. [/two_third_last]

[full_width]Your autonomy in a particular area of your life is probably quite palpable, but as much as we need to be able to stand on our own two feet we also need others in this intense journey called life. This Sun/Moon opposition is all about being able to find,feed,and nurture ourselves without compromising our precious relationships. The urge to be free is even more amplified at this time due to the fact it’s sharing close quarters with Uranus, our planetary rebel. With Uranus adding some peer pressure to the sun you may feel more restless than usual this month.[/full_width]

[one_half]Across the heavens we find lady luna nestled in Libra’s harmonious embrace creating an emotional need to keep the peace with others. She vibes sweetness and serenity. The moon is a swift figure within the transiting bodies that affect us. She only stays in a sign for about 2 ½ days, so her emotional state is always changing. With that said she is in Libra every month for a couple of days—except this time in particular she is sitting right next to Jupiter, the planet of expansion. He is often associated with happily increasing good cheer and positivity yet the dark side to this is that he isn’t really concerned about what exactly he expands in our lives. He can amp up the joy just as quickly as any drama. We always forget to choose wisely with Jupiter. He goes big and isn’t concerned with the details so we need to be! Jupiter will be expanding upon any emotions you may have about pleasing those near and dear to you. This could throw a wrench in all of that Aries, my way or the highway attitude. You may find yourself juggling your needs versus your desire to make other people happy.

Another element of this lunar spectacle is that the sun and moon will both be squaring Pluto, Mr. Underworld himself. That means that whatever comes up at this time for you won’t go away unless you deal with it. Avoidance, denial, and resistance will only make you sink further into Pluto’s depths. To win with Pluto is to let go. Stop clinging on to the issue. The negativity will only disappear when you recognize its hold on you. No use fighting the tide when you can simply float, my friends.[/one_half][one_half_last][/one_half_last]

[full_width]Lastly, (like there isn’t enough already going on!) is the fact that Mercury (our communication planet) and Venus (our values & love planet) are both retrograde. This could add in discussions/episodes that you thought were over. People from your past could start cropping up. Some of these people may be a welcome surprise while others you wish would just stay in the shadows of the past. Either way be on watch for review sessions regarding your thought patterns, the way you engage, your values, self-esteem and how your heart deals with love & loss. [/full_width]

[one_half][/one_half][one_half_last padding=”6% 0 0 0″]All of these topics could show up in your friendships, partnerships, jobs, children, etc so be mindful of your inner state vs. outer state.

Think on these questions….

Is there an area of your life where you restrict yourself for fear of being judged by others?

Do you give yourself enough alone time?

Are you addicted to pleasing others? If so, what area of your life do you focus that energy and why?

Do your thoughts align with your words?

xx,
Ash[/one_half_last]

[full_width]THE READER QUESTION (Email Ashbonelli@gmail.com for a chance to get your question answered at next month’s Scorpio full moon).

Dear Ash,
How does this upcoming full moon play out in my chart?

Dear Maiysha,

As with everything in astrology there are layers, cycles and an evolving story at play. How this full moon in Libra will unfold for you is no exception. Full moons are a time of release and awareness. They have a tendency to illuminate important areas of our lives especially if the degrees of the full moon happen to be close to natal points or planets in our charts. In your case this is occurring near a few areas of interest. First off, you are coming up on your solar return, Happy Birthday! Since this full moon is happening so closely to your birthday I feel like its themes tie into your year ahead. Keep that idea in mind when thinking about the energy of the rest of 2017.

During a full moon the sun and moon are in an exact opposition so we want to look at the dialogue between those two first. The transiting Sun is in fiery Aries making a conjunction (close together) with your natal (birth) Chiron, Mercury and natal Sun. This represents the external/yang portion. With so much energy close to home for you I would expect this to be a more intense lunar experience. Since you were born with Chiron, the symbol of our personal achilles heel being right next to your Mercury, our communication planet you may naturally be sharp witted and quick to state your opinion but this could be a gift that gets you in trouble with others from time to time. Having this conjunction so close to your Sun suggests that this is a big part of your life path. The full moon may light up this dynamic in a surprising way thanks to Uranus also being in the mix. Uranus is our rebellious planet that likes to be foot loose and fancy free. His presence could throw you some curve balls. The issues/experiences that come up will likely be linked to your daily routines, how you go about your life, your health or how you feel you are giving back to the world. This may be a good time to keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself unless it’s a battle you know you will win. [/full_width]

[one_half][/one_half][one_half_last]Across the chart we see the more internal/yin side of the story. The moon is in diplomatic Libra being extra close with Jupiter, the planet of expansion. The moon in Libra is concerned about the other, whether that be romantic or platonic, she needs to know she is being harmonious. Jupiter who livens up everything he touches in size and attitude will be amplifying this need to please. This will be the emotional side for you. You are an Aries so you won’t be placating nonsense but when you care for someone you are willing to at least hear them out. This could be a theme that pulses strongly during this moon cycle as well as the year. Finding a balance between the head and the heart is this years mantra.

Also in this cosmic soup the sun and moon will be square to Pluto. The deal with Pluto is to let go of the things that seemingly control us. If there is a thought pattern, attitude, experience that is nagging you from within that you are happy to ignore then you’ve found your Pluto. This could be a time when that drum starts banging away again. [/one_half_last]

[full_width]Be mindful of your internal landscape and see what happens if you face the issue head on by giving into it instead of hoping it will dip back into the recesses of your mind.

During this full moon Mercury will be retrograde in your house of love and partnerships while Venus will be retrograde in your house of creativity, romance, and personal expression. This would point towards the idea that this push/pull dynamic of aligning what you say and what you think especially in intimate relationships will be up for review. When Mercury is retrograde we get to reflect on our verbal interactions, things we’ve written and the many ideas that come up again and again in our heads. During a Venus retrograde we reflect on our current relationship status, our exes, our values and our self esteem in response to those subjects. You may find yourself running into people that once meant so much but somehow got lost in the shuffle of life and time. You may re-evaluate what you find meaning in. This is an excellent full moon to let go of ideas, feelings or experiences that are limiting you from moving forward in all of your relationships. Just know some old ghosts may arise, surprises are not out of the questions and get ready for a year ahead that focuses on love, relationships, and potential business partnerships!

xx,
Ash

Find a list of Ash’s astrological services on her site, HERE.[/full_width]

Mapping the Earth, Bodies, & Stars | Aries Ecologies

[one_third][/one_third][two_third_last padding=”0% 0 0 0″]Writer and creative, Anne Marie Vivienne, joins us with a beautiful exploration through the woven ecological thread that the solar season of Aries and the spring time of year breathe life into.

Spring starts with a seed that has been planted deep inside the earth, in a dark womb of soil where the seed must have courage to break open. The seed cracks, opening to the nourishment around it: the rain that has fallen and that light that is dawning. Roots begin to reach out into the dark, down deep to establish a network of sustenance, while a sprout takes heart and reaches above. It can feel the light before it can see it.

One seed. One plant. Growing in, above, and through the earth.

And so we have courage to crack wide open when in the depths of a dark and unknown place. We’ve been growing roots for months now. We know what we want most. We know who and what we are. And now, now is the time to break through the ground and become visible–to photosynthesize and feed ourselves so that we may feed others when called upon later in the year. We find our place in a natural ecology where our self-care transforms into the oxygen for others to breathe. [/two_third_last]

[one_sixth padding=”0% 0 0 0″][/one_sixth][one_third padding=”0% 0 0 0″][/one_third][one_third padding=”4% 0 0 0″]We walk between the earth and the stars; we are bodies that dance between the tangible and intangible; we are hungry (tangible) and we feel courage (intangible). Somehow, magically, we are living our lives between the cosmos and nature herself.

Often we only think of spring as form coming from the earth–green plants breaking through the surface. But what if it works another way as well? What if spring is a time to give form to ideas that have been taking root in your mind, in the cosmos? What if all the dreaming you’ve been doing for the past few months are the imaginative roots you’ve been establishing, and now your dreams are breaking through the intangible world and sprouting into this tangible world of form and existence. [/one_third][one_sixth_last][/one_sixth_last]

[one_third][/one_third][one_third][/one_third][one_third_last padding=”19% 0 0 0″]What if the cosmos are the fertile soil of our dreams? What if we tend to our imagination just as we would the seeds we plant in the ground? What if we had seeds in both the ground and the cosmos that were growing toward each other to create the life we’ve always wanted? It’s exhilarating, isn’t it? This Aries season your seeds are clearly above ground and thriving.

So here’s to growing in all directions as we walk between the tangible and intangible, creating a cosmic ecology where the earth meets our bodies that meet the stars.
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Monday Mantras: Wishing on Stars

[one_half][/one_half][one_half_last padding=”6% 0 0 0″]Welcome to our new weekly, Monday Mantras! Based off of the solar season, any major cosmic events in the week ahead, and a touch of chakra love, we hope to help you start your Moody Monday’s with a bit more excitement. This week, Seasonal Astrologist Allie Couch gives us some power to put behind our Aries new moon wishes.

At this evening’s Aries new moon, we have potent energy to make new intentions and get really clear about what we want to be fearless in over the next twelve months, leading to great satisfaction around personal desires. Read your Aries new moon mantras below for both your sun sign & rising sign to help you tap into bold intentions over the course of this week. When the moon is new, it’s at it’s darkest, allowing for our stars to shine bright, begging for us to make wishes upon them. Happy wishing, muses.

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

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[full_width]MONDAY MANTRAS: WISHING ON STARS

Aries Mantra: I am a fearless pioneer, boldly clearing new life paths that lead to my deepest passions.

Taurus Mantra: I see and express love in the world as I connect to fresh spiritual clarity and inspiration.

Gemini Mantra: My passion and initiative revives systems and friendships through strong and conscious intuiting.

Cancer Mantra: A clear and sharp mind gives me logical creativity as I build fresh & independent successes.

Leo Mantra: Analytical skills and a strong memory push my boundaries as I experience fresh & passionate wisdom. [/full_width]

[one_half padding=”4% 0 0 0″]Virgo Mantra: I intuit and transform anything blocking my life force, attracting outside resources & empowerment.

Libra Mantra: I receive the love of others into my life, connecting me with fresh balance and simple elegance.

Scorpio Mantra: Assertion and action in my day-to-day life and processes, reignites my self-confidence & will-power.

Sagittarius Mantra: Bold emotions and passions fluidly move through me, generating exciting and fresh creativity.

Capricorn Mantra: Nurturing and caring grounds my life, giving me the courage to grow new physical strength.

Aquarius Mantra: Positive connections and information bring new found stability and energetic control.

Pisces Mantra: Alluring creativity molds and infuses my life with pleasure and value, generating new financial energy.[/one_half][one_half_last][/one_half_last]

Inner Musings: Fighting Fair

[one_half][/one_half][one_half_last]Let’s dive into this astrological new year by igniting our fires and facing our anger square on. CosmoMuse mental health expert, Lauren Eimers-Wangrud, shares some brilliant thoughts on how we can do this in a very constructive way.

“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.” – Maya Angelou, Poet, 1928 – 2014

It’s the beginning of the astrological new year, and with new beginnings comes refreshed energies to clean house–literally, emotionally, psychologically. One way to “clean house” emotionally is with anger. Many of us were taught that anger is a purely negative feeling, but anger can be a positive and curative force when uncoupled from violence and aggression. This Aries season, the season of fire, ignition, and clarity, we can address anger in our lives and learn how to convey our anger in constructive ways.[/one_half_last]

[full_width]Sitting on or stifling your anger isn’t the best idea for your emotional or physical health. Just as a wound can fester if not cleaned and properly cared for, so can anger that is left pent up. That anger can turn into a grudge or bitterness and creates an energy drain on your internal resources. Anger that is not expressed ultimately damages the person carrying it, not the source or cause of the anger. Understanding now that unreleased anger serves no one, let’s talk about how we can channel our anger and express it in a positive way.

“Fighting fair” isn’t about not letting your emotions be known or sugar-coating how you really feel. Bringing honesty, maturity, and empathy into an argument can make your expression of anger a starting point for better communication and even possibly a solution to the source of that anger. Much like a debate, there are ground rules that need to be followed for an argument to have a chance at a positive outcome.[/full_width]

[two_third]The first and most important rule is that aggression and violence have no place in “fighting fair.” That said, your next rules need to be agreed upon by both parties and are best discussed during a time where emotions aren’t running high, i.e. don’t try to discuss new mutual ground rules in the middle of a fight:

Try to remain calm and open to communication. When we are overwhelmed or “flooded” with emotion to the point where we aren’t hearing what the other person is saying, it is 100% okay to take a “time out” until you aren’t feeling flooded any longer.

Be specific about what it was that caused your anger. Using phrases like, “It makes me feel XYZ way when ABC happens,” helps the other party to understand what you are trying to convey while not getting defensive. Your feelings are valid and talking about them only helps in reaching a positive outcome, as opposed to accusations, which shuts down communication in no time.

Old issues aren’t allowed in the fight. Bringing up something that happened in the past isn’t going to help the situation at hand. If you are still carrying a wound from the past, pick another time to discuss that, so you can release that from yourself. Try not to let your anger build up over time, so the only arguments you have are of the “kitchen sink” variety.
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[one_half][/one_half][one_half_last]Try not to use words like “always” or “never.” Generalizations not only are inaccurate, they can make an issue seem bigger and that there is less room for change.

Stonewalling is not an option. The silent treatment won’t help in two-way communication or the reaching of any sort of resolution. If you are feeling flooded, let the other person know you need a breather, but are committed to resuming your conversation when you are better able to talk constructively.

Remember this isn’t a “win or lose” situation. Many an argument have resolutions built on respect and compromise.

Your spring cleaning can take many forms this year. With a little planning, honesty, and empathy, you can let that anger burn brightly and emerge unburdened with new emotional clarity.[/one_half_last]