Archive for March, 2010

Astrology and The Making of America

by on Saturday, March 27th, 2010

I write this article to hopefully help a large cross section of individuals understand the true nature of Astrology, how it was used to assist in the making of the America we know today, and how we can use it now to see patterns and cycles. Those of us who love Astrology and know how valuable it can be, struggle to explain the value we have found in it and the stability it represents. This is an attempt to bridge the credibility gap.

The science of Astrology is not new. It is thousands of years old. And yes, I refer to it as a science in that it is largely made up of Astronomy, math and thousands of years of empirical data. This has nothing to do with psychic phenomenon and anything woo woo. There are Astrologers who claim to be psychic and some of them may be, but I make no such claim. Psychic ability is not necessary to practice Astrology, only an understanding of the symbology, mathematics and the concepts behind it.

Gimmicks and fads and those who sensationalize for publicity, disappear quickly, those people and things that have basis in truth, stand the test of time. Astrology has certainly passed the scrutiny of time. Those meaningless horoscopes next to the crossword puzzle in most newspapers, are just that, meaningless. Those who try to practice Astrology using only the Sun Sign are like an engineer trying to do rocket science using only addition. Sun Sign Astrology is excessively broad and may only marginally represent what might be pertinent to a reader. It has successfully given Astrology a less than helpful reputation.

Benjamin Franklin

Throughout my formal astrological schooling (8.5 yrs) and my counseling career, I have seen how helpful and pertinent the information a Natal profile can provide. As a result, I have sought out information that might help sceptics see its viability. A counseling session by a qualified astrologer is quite often life changing, as I have seen over and over again in my practice. Knowing and consulting a good astrologer can be an invaluable tool.

For eons of time, astrologers have been used to assist in critically important decisions. Science has proven that not only is our planet affected by the phases of the Sun and the Moon, the inhabitants are as well. So why is it so unrealistic to expect that all the planets could affect us? If God did indeed create the Heavens and the Earth, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the Earth would also be affected by the energetic pull within our solar system? Science is adding new data daily concerning this possibility. What we can demonstrate is synchronicity, repetitive and observable correspondences between cycles of celestial bodies and human affairs or events on earth. Most astrologers are technicians, not scientists. They observe that a technique works and they learn to use it. Electricians don’t know why electricity works either, but they do know how to use it.

Benjamin Franklin, Astrology and Masonry

Over the years, many politicians and world leaders have relied on Astrology to help guide them. But, because at certain periods of time throughout history, Astrology has been viewed unfavorably, many have kept it a secret from their public.

Americans might be surprised to find that many researchers think our founding fathers had strong beliefs in Astrology. Books such as Turning the Solomon Key: George Washington, the Bright Morning Star, and the Secrets of Masonic Astrology by Robert Lomas, link early American leaders who were Freemasons, such as George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, to Astrology.

Benjamin Franklin was considered the most respected and famous person in Colonial America. He was a member of the Continental Congress that declared independence from Great Britain and a member of the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence. But few Americans realize that Franklin was the founder of the Masonic Lodge in the colonies and he used the Masonic organization to build support for the American Revolution. It has also been reported that George Washington was a Mason and 35 of his generals were also members of the Masons. Franklin and most other Colonial Masons believed in God and Astrology. But, Ben Franklin was Colonial America’s greatest astrologer. Masonic symbology is also replete with astrological symbols and it is believed that this secret society has strong astrological underpinnings at its core.

One of the few ‘civilian’ books to mention Franklin and Astrology on the same page is an old one, Franklin, The Apostle of Modern Times, by Bernard Fay (Little Brown, 1929) He writes: “Astrology was very much in vogue…It occupied an important place in business, agriculture and private life….Everybody turned to the astrologers, and the publishers of almanacs had an immense public. These little books were the faithful mirrors of the preoccupations of the times.” Benjamin Franklin published an astrological ephemeris in his Poor Richard’s Almanac.

Signing the Declaration of Independence

Our countries Astrological and Masonic roots are fascinating and not something you read in school books. But when you dig, there is much to be found. With Franklin, at least fifty out of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence, including John Hancock and Thomas Jefferson, were Freemasons. Franklin and Jefferson had both been initiated into a French Masonic lodge, and Washington was initiated into the Masonic Lodge of Fredericksburg, VA. At the time of America’s founding, the Masonic lodges were very different from the social clubs they’ve become today. They had a strong metaphysical orientation, which developed common values and purposes among members, as well as deep bonds of loyalty. The traditional secrecy preserved in Masonic lodges allowed members to communicate and organize the American Revolution with little fear of exposure. Several significant non-American contributors to the revolution were also Masons, such as the Marquis de Lafayette of France.

The Boston Tea Party was the work of the Masons of the St. Andrews Lodge while taking a “recess.” Paul Revere began his famous ride after he left an adjourned meeting of a Masonic lodge. Through the lodges of the Freemasons, the ideas of such Age of Enlightenment thinkers as John Locke, David Hume, Francois Marie Arouet (Voltaire), and Jean Jacques Rousseau became widely disseminated in the new colonies. The structure of the U.S. Constitution was based on Masonic ideals, and the federalism created by the Constitution is identical to the federalism of the Grand Lodge system of Masonic government created in 1723, as well as to that of the Iroquois Confederacy.

It is interesting to note here that all of these freedom changing struggles coincided with the approximate 20 year transit of Pluto through the sign of Capricorn. Currently, we are experiencing the same type of polarization which took place during the American Revolution. Pluto is, once again, transiting through the sign of Capricorn. Due to Pluto’s slow rotation around the Sun, this only occurs about every 250 years. History shows the issues are fundamentally the same; the stability of government, how resources and money are used, and political polarization with intense fear and mob mentality.

Astrological Images in Washington, D.C.

There are several astrological images located in government buildings around Washington, D.C. For example, the Ariel Rios Federal Building, part of the Federal Triangle government complex, has a ceiling mural that contains images of the four seasons and the twelve signs of the zodiac. David Ovason’s book, The Secret Architecture of Our Nation’s Capital points out that the National Academy of Sciences has a statue of Einstein gazing at a horoscope. Also, emblazoned on the south entrance hall door of the Academy are twelve zodiac glyphs. All in all, Ovason found 23 zodiac symbols in government buildings around Washington, D.C.   Ovason also goes on to show that the Federal Triangle itself (The Washington Monument, White House, and Capital Building) is aligned with the three main stars of the constellation of Virgo.

Just as ancient sites such as Stonehenge are aligned to the positions of the Sun and Moon, the same is true of the Washington Monument. For example, a line of sight for the winter solstice can be established from the top of the monument to the southeast, down Virginia Avenue.

George Washington Cornerstone Ceremony

The cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol Building was laid in a Masonic ceremony, with George Washington presiding as Grand Master. Masonic architects also laid out the city of Washington, D.C., in a metaphysical design to make the best use of the earth energies — called “ley lines,” or for creating healing and harmony. The original design of Pierre-Charles L’Enfant was later modified by Washington and Jefferson to produce the specifically octagonal patterns incorporating the particular cross used by the Masonic Templars.

The most intriguing hint about the secret, metaphysical dimensions of the founding of America is not actually hidden at all — in fact it can be seen in millions of places today — on every dollar bill, which displays the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States.

Here is the All-Seeing-Eye of God or Spirit, placed above a pyramid — a symbol representing spiritual vision that is found in many secret societies, including the Rosicrucians and the Freemasons.  The All-Seeing-Eye seems to be placed as a capstone at the top of the pyramid. If you stand at the base of the pyramid, there are many different viewpoints, depending on which of the four sides you are looking out from. But at the top, all the viewpoints unite, because there we see with the Eye of Spirit. What an important message for us today! The various religious and political groups stand at the base of each side of the pyramid, fighting for their limited view, what they need is to climb higher to see the more inclusive, higher vision from the top — the radiant Eye of Spirit.

Dollar Bill - All-Seeing-Eye

For more insightful information on this topic, the following book is helpful. The Deeper, Secret Roots of America’s Founding, © 1994 Corinne McLaughlin and Gordon Davidson.

Astrology has long been on the mind of the world’s great leaders. In the 1980s, Americans found that Astrology was helping plan the movements of their president. Many Christians and the conservative right-wing supported Ronald Reagan’s campaign for president and were dismayed when it was reported that First Lady Nancy Reagan often consulted astrologer Joan Quigley for advice. Nancy had known Joan Quigley since the 1970s, but Nancy sought her advice for the president’s personal safety after the assassination attempt on his life in 1981. In the book, For the Record by former White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan, he states that Nancy Reagan used astrologers to help plan the president’s schedule of activities. Joan Quigley wrote in her own book that she was heavily involved in activities involving the President’s international relations.

President Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy

What then for The Future

It is common consensus that the founding fathers were the best and brightest on the earth at the time. They were successful at creating, through their deep beliefs and tireless desire for freedom, what has been widely considered the greatest country on earth. Why then, are so many fearful of the spiritual philosophies that drove most of them?

These metaphysical traditions studied by our Founders enlightened their efforts to create a new government, and were the deeper, secret source of their wisdom and inspiration. Today this ageless wisdom is no longer secret and is readily available. Could knowledge of the metaphysical sciences help enlighten our efforts today to create a better world? Could it help us learn to actually embody “E Pluribus Unum”—“Out of Many, One” by creating a true unity in diversity? And most importantly, can we allow the All Seeing Eye of Spirit to guide our national life as our Founders did?

Christianity and Astrology

Astrology is not a religion, although it can and has been used as a tool of religion – as is evidenced in many examples of zodiacal symbols in ancient religious art. Zodiac symbology can be found in temples, in association with the 12 tribes of Israel, for example. And the association of the apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke and John with the Man, the Lion, the Bull (or Ox) and the Eagle, respectively, relates directly back to the zodiac symbols that were, in Biblical times, thought to be the cardinal points. Numerous astrologers are Christians, Jews, Hindus-of many and varied religious backgrounds. (It is difficult to find an atheist-astrologer, because respect for the amazing order of the universe that astrology demonstrates is impossible to reconcile with belief in a universe based on mere chance.)

A few biblical passages – if taken out-of-context of the chapters they are in can seem to be anti-Astrology. If placed in context, the meaning is quite different. No passage condemns Astrology, in itself. Some passages warn against the fatalistic misuse of Astrology. Astrology permeated the culture in biblical times, and many subtle astrological symbols are used in scripture in quite favorable references. Modern Bibles correctly translate the “Magi” who followed the star to the birthplace of Jesus as “astrologers.” Even the very first chapter of Genesis says that the lights in the sky are to serve as “signs,” with the implication that those signs will be “read” and used!

A primary objection of some religious fundamentalists is perhaps that one might rely on Astrology to influence one’s future, rather than on God. This brings up the age-old question of fate and free will – with all the “predictions” (mostly wrong) that appear in the tabloids – it’s no wonder that Astrology gets associated with fatalism. Whether or not one believes that all or part of the future is predestined is a matter of faith, which has nothing to do with Astrology. Yet astrological cycles have been observed to coincide with similar repeated trends, and therefore do provide us with a tool for looking ahead. This is not really so different from the type of prognosis made through various other types of future analysis, from stock market or cultural trends to the weather.

The vast majority of modern astrologers operate on the belief that the future is not fated and we do have choices. Think of it . . .why would we bother to look at a chart (or engage in counseling) unless we thought that the process of doing so could give us the ability to influence the future. Based on the current patterns and cycles in a chart, plus some knowledge of current situations and attitudes, it is often possible for an astrologer to illustrate what core issues a client is being called upon to deal with, learn about or clear out of their life. That does not mean the outcome is “fated” – that one cannot choose to change it. A competent astrologer will offer suggestions for improved outcomes or, “If you continue on the present course, this could be the trend”. No matter to what religion a client may belong, one can still use a religious practice to assist in improving the outcome of astrological transits.  There are always infinite choices and spiritual ways to respond but it’s nice to know what players are on the field and what game is being played.

Psychiatrist Carl G. Jung

Carl G. Jung, one of the worlds greatest Psychiatrists felt strongly about the use of astrology in psychoanalysis. He is quoted as saying, “…Astrology represents the summation of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity.” Carl G. Jung is widely recognized as a genius in the field of psychology who made great strides towards understanding the complex human psyche. His most well-known work formed the basis of Psychological Type, later turned into the popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator psychometric instrument. And an increasing number of psychology professionals are finding that a Natal Chart reveals information that can help cut through months of preliminary conversation right to the main issues of concern for the client. He is further quoted as saying, “As we all know, science began with the stars, and mankind discovered in them the dominants of the unconscious, the “Gods”, as well as the curious psychological qualities of the Zodiac: a complete projected theory of human character.”

In summation, the Science of Astrology has, at its core, research, verification and input of hundreds of thousands of practitioners over thousands of years and is easily verifiable with just a little open minded investigation. Most sceptics who embark on a study of Astrology, do not remain skeptical for long.

Why Pray? Does it Work?

by on Monday, March 22nd, 2010

For all those who are searching for a personal one-on-one connection to the Divine whether you are in an organized religion or have migrated away from organized religion, this article may be helpful.  I have many friends and clients on both sides of the aisle. Some of you may have thrown out all of your formal teachings and traditions in an attempt to open the space for new resonant information. I actually went through this process as I broke away from the religion of my youth in the late 80’s. It was a huge and painful house cleaning. I “threw the baby out with the bath water!” Everything mental, emotional and spiritual that was tied to that religion was purged, and prayer was one of them. Now, after 20 years experimenting on my spiritual journey, I more thoughtfully consider what is meaningful to me and feels like truth.

Dr. Larry Dossey

Today, there are volumes of research available on the viability of prayer. Larry Dossey, M.D.,the worlds leading authority on prayer, for the past 20 years has made it his priority to carefully study this topic and disseminate his findings. How comforting to know there is a body of scientific proof –if you are one that needs it– that prayer works. Dr. Dossey has written 9 books and numerous articles about his work, with Healing Words, The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine, receiving global acclaim.

An education steeped in traditional Western medicine does not prepare physicians for patients who are blessed with “miracle cures,” remissions that clinical medicine can not explain. The focus of Dr. Dossey’s work is scientific legitimacy, what does the data show that can help explain the basis for these miracles. As a result, his colleagues in medical schools and hospitals all over the country trust him, honor his message, and continually invite him to share his insights with them. He has lectured all over the world, including major medical schools and hospitals in the United States –Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, the Universities of Pennsylvania, California, Washington, Texas, Florida, Minnesota, and the Mayo Clinic.

Before his book Healing Words was published in 1993, only three U.S. medical schools had courses devoted to exploring the role of religious practice and prayer in health; currently, nearly 80 medical schools have instituted such courses, many of which utilize Dr. Dossey’s cogent works as textbooks. His website at http://www.dosseydossey.com/larry/default.htm is filled with insightful information.

He was not always a believer, and actually the opposite was true until he was sent a copy of a well conducted double blind study on prayer from Korea on women with fertility problems. None of the women knew they were being prayed for. Half the women received prayer the other half did not. The prayers were sent from Canada, Australia and the US. None from Korea. The group that was prayed for had twice the success rate over the group that did not receive prayer. This was the first study he reviewed and it led to his in-depth investigation into numerous studies. His findings have been amazingly significant and the impact of his work has changed how countless people and professionals view the importance of prayer.

The implications are mind bending. None of the prayers were local and none from family or friends and the person being prayed for didn’t need to be aware they were being prayed for, for the prayer to work; no tangible direct connections. Yet, the connections were made and often the results from various studies were astounding on heart attack and cancer victims and even advanced AIDS patients. The scientists claim the reasons prayer works are mysterious. There is much hypothesis, but no one knows for certain how it all works, only that it does.

So what makes for a successful prayer? It has been well documented that mindlessly reciting a memorized prayer is not effective. An important fact coming out of the studies was that it didn’t make any difference how many people were praying. In other words, 10 people praying for the individual wasn’t 10 times more potent. The quantity is not as vital as the quality in these cases. Just one sincere prayer, from the heart, lovingly felt and offered, was really all it took. It is the belief, emotion and love behind the prayer that makes the difference. It is the feeling and emotion that connects you to the Divine, not the actual words.

Dr. Dossey, as he prays for his own patients, always asks for “The best outcome to be done in this instance”, or the “Thy will be done” approach. As humans, our overall vantage point is myopic at best. The infinite God’s eye view or the Divine perspective sees the most appropriate answers for personal growth, fulfillment and happiness. Dr. Dossey has found this prayer formula to be remarkably successful with his patients.

So, what about the pleading and gimme prayers often based on grasping and fear? This is how I prayed in my youth. The focus was on a big “Santa” figure in the sky and if I was found worthy to receive, I would get what I wanted. An acquaintance of mine for years prayed for a red Alfa Romeo sports car. At every gathering, she would talk of her obsession with this car. Year after year she actually prayed for the car. To my knowledge it never materialized. The Divine doesn’t seem to care about the type of car one drives or how you get around as it is not necessary for spiritual growth. The health of mind, body and soul gets the attention.

This isn’t how prayer works. I’m certain anyone reading this has stories to tell of unanswered pleadings and how happy and grateful you were with hindsight that those gimme prayers went unfulfilled! Often we wish for that trouble-free, straight line upward to the happy state we have envisioned. But the straight line isn’t necessarily the best path for learning wisdom. Our visionless desires could well cause great unnecessary suffering we cannot foresee or take one in a wrong direction. There seems to be an important need for overcoming obstacles and adversity for meaningful growth but we don’t want to create it unduly. So, we express gratitude that we were protected from our ignorance, and that we were given the opportunity to learn and grow.

There appears to be a difference in the pattern of prayer if praying for something on a large scale with a group. This is where the quantity of people praying is more potent. In studies conducted by The International Peace Project of the Middle East, which appear in the 1988 journal of Conflict Resolution, groups of people came together and prayed for peace in crime infested areas, and a significant and measurable decline in the crime rate in the area occurred. Not only did the crime rate sharply decline, so did traffic accidents and hospital emergency room visits. In the atmosphere of peaceful energy, it seems all that could happen was peace. When the praying was discontinued, over time the crime and accident rates increased back to normal levels. So we see that connecting with the group mind in prayer is effective. Many more pertinent studies have been done in this area. An informative book on the topic is Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer, by Gregg Braden.

My personal experience with prayer has yielded many truths. The most important being, that the power of belief in the outcome, as though it already exists, sets the actual miracle in motion. The Bible states in St. Matthew 17:20, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” The faith is your belief and the mountain is the miracle. So the pattern for prayer that really works are the prayers that focus on the feelings of love and gratitude for what you believe has already occurred; for receiving the fruits of the miracle you set in motion through your faith. The words you use are not important. (Yes, you often need to believe it and see it in your mind as real before you actually see it in this physical dimension).

At a time of seeking early on in my spiritual journey, I desired to have a lovely basket of pine cones to place on my fireplace. I visualized them in the beautiful basket I had waiting for them to occupy. I actually love pine cones and so there was much emotion associated with this desire for me. When I removed myself from my religion, I also left behind much of my stuff! I had pared down to bare minimum and moved to a different state. And with all the inner change going on, what I truly loved and identified with were things of nature. Pine cones brought me joy. When my children asked me what I wanted for Christmas that year, all I could think of was that basket of pine cones! I had hoped a trip to the mountains to find some to bring home was in the cards, but the opportune time never came. I let the desire pass and stopped thinking about it.

On Christmas morning as I was driving to my daughter’s home, I rounded a corner on a street I had driven down many times before. Sitting on a stone wall beneath a huge scruffy pine tree were a couple of young boys. As I slowed into the turn, one of the boys threw a large pinecone at my car. I slammed on the brakes which startled them, but I yelled out my window, “Are there any more pine cones?” They replied that there were and that I could have all I wanted. (I think they were very happy that they weren’t in trouble.) I excitedly gathered as many as I could get into my trunk, filled with overwhelming joy and emotion that somehow, something in the universe knew of my desire and had answered my prayer through those young boys! How simple and yet remarkable to me. This was more than just a Christmas gift, it was a beautifully orchestrated lesson for me on the true nature of prayer. It was my first experience with an answered prayer. And to my good fortune there have been many since. I still have several of those pine cones to this day as a reminder of my connection to the Divine and what beauty can be created by loving emotion and desire.

I have also received great Divine guidance when asking for assistance when I couldn’t see the next step, expressing gratitude for the help in advance, believing I would receive it. I personally believe there are many who watch over us; be they angels, guides, or deceased family members, whomever they are, they are there and available to us. We live in a multi-dimensional world with much we can not see unless these helpers choose to make themselves known. In desperate times during my life my guides have made themselves known to me and the answers I needed have come in truly beautiful and surprising ways.

We all need answers and direction and having perfect faith that you will receive what you need is a true blessing. A peaceful prayer of thanks for the guidance is much more satisfying than a fear based pleading for help.

Do prayers work? Yes, most of the time. Do they all work? No. Will they always work in the way we expect? No. Remember, the power that answers prayers is intelligent, far-seeing and has an agenda; our spiritual growth. We trust in this Divine power to protect us from those desires that are not ultimately beneficial for us or for those we pray for.

Therefore, the true power of prayer is found in the feelings and beliefs the prayer stirs within us. Our prayers open the doors and brighten the path of that which we desire and inspire visions of that yet unseen. With these proven prayer patterns available to us we can not only help ourselves and others, we can truly help shape and share in the outcome of our chaotic world. As we see in the case of Dr. Dossey, one person can truly make a powerful difference.