New Moon in Capricorn: January 11, 2013

lunar cycles

This New Moon cycle begins in Capricorn, always a powerful period of time to review and set intentions to do with the themes of Capricorn: leadership, ambition, tenacity, teaching, and more. This particular New Moon, however, is packed with a strong stellium (3 or more planets in conjunction) in Capricorn on this date: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Pluto all together to bring full expression, depth of emotion, communication about, trust and love, and transformation – to our intentions for this Lunar Cycle.

As well as the heady stellium in Capricorn, Saturn (Capricorn’s planetary ruler), is at 10d of Scorpio. There is a harmonious aspect between Saturn and Pluto on this day, the planet of Karmic Lessons and the planet of Transformation/Transmutation teaching us what we need to know now in harmony. This is a tremendous opportunity for setting some intentions to evolve spiritually, psychically, or simply to become a ‘better’ human – whatever it looks like to you – evolution is the theme here – so set an intention to allow for it. Welcome the experience of “onward and upward”, in whatever form it may come.

As Capricorn is so heavily influenced by Saturn, noting the placement if your natal Saturn will give a snapshot into the theme of this Lunar Cycle in your life. Saturn was in Virgo, in my 6th House, when I was born, so I’m creating some of my intentions with a focus around commitment in service to others, time enjoyed refining goals, continuing to learn about and embrace a healthier me. There’s a great reference to Saturn in the Signs and Houses here, if you have your natal chart and want to better understand this Outer Planet’s influence in your life and this moment.

Additionally, there is a square, an aspect that creates tension, between Mars in Aquarius and Saturn in Scorpio. Mars is co-ruler to Scorpio and Aries, while Saturn is co-ruler to Capricorn and Aquarius. There will likely be a restrictive feeling in the days building up to and just passing this New Moon to our desired actions for building a better world. Try not to be dissuaded, the effects should be minimal and fleeting.

And for those of you intent on building a better self, a more utopian community, an idealistic world – hold fast! There is another harmonious and supportive aspect between Mars in Aquarius and Uranus in Aries. Mars also co-rules Aries, and Uranus is the co-ruler along with Saturn, or Aquarius. Uranian energy is all about radical transformation, movement, and unexpected change. Martian energy is our will in action; and here in Aquarius, our will is to see innovation, create space for utopian ideals, and build radically new communities. I’ve got Mars in Aquarius, so I’m personally quite fond of this planetary placement.


So, there you have it, a short-and-sweet, hopefully not too densely packed with so many astrological terms to send your head into a dizzying spin you’ve lost the point, blog post about setting Intentions for this New Moon!

  • Set intentions allowing for your goals, ambitions, dreams of building a better world, self, community to come to the foreground.
  • Your intentions can always be written to be mindful of anticipated stress, delays, and setbacks – trust it is all part of the process of moving forward.
  • There is no other time like the time right now! Pluto won’t be in Capricorn for another 200 years. This New Moon is totally and completely unique. They all are.
  • If you haven’t set your New Year Intentions or “Resolutions” yet – you may have just been waiting for this day. Scrap the resolve – and build up with intent.
  • Enjoy this process!!

There are some fantastic resources/articles from astrologers all over the web. I really enjoyed this post on the New Moon by Teri Parsley Starnes for her mindfulness, depth, and ability to keep things simple and approachable. I’ll set an intention to achieve this level of astrological writing in this year.

The Power of Intentions in the New Year

Many years at this time, I’ve set out to make a list of resolutions. Resolutions never did work for me, due to the underlying belief there was something wrong with who I’d been and what I’d experienced to that point. Life needs no remedies, we experience what we need to. This year I will begin with a list of intentions. Intentions have the energy of creation within them as well as trust in a divine plan.

In 2012, at the New Moon, I began the process of setting my intentions for the Lunar Cycle. It amazed me how much I was able to manifest when clearly defining a desired outcome without attempting to prescribe the vehicle in which it occurred. We are powerful co-creators of our lives. Positive energy, gratitude, and receptivity will always bring us what we need. Negative energy, feelings of lack, and blockages will bring us that which we least desire.

Here are but a few of my 2013 Intentions:
* Learn lessons in life through joy and abundance
* Maintain integrity to myself and others
* Welcome and accept all people, relationships, opportunities that are aligned with my commitment to making a beautiful life with my child.
* Simply, trust, even more.
* Pursue my dreams with an inner harmony of optimism, fearlessness, and detachment.

I would absolutely love to hear from you what your Intentions are for this New Year. And, feel free to share here in this growing community your New Moon Intentions as well. I’ll be posting gentle reminders to aim for the stars about a week earlier with astrological notes for each New Moon in 2013.

Bonne Annee!
Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu!
Feliz Ano Nuevo!

Forgive and Forge Love

We all want to be forgiven by others, and yet, as aforementioned, the act of forgiving ourselves is often quite tricky. Forgiveness has been convoluted over the eons, to the point that we have come to believe forgiveness is an external force.

Rushing in with a parade of apologies to quench the fire of ensuing negative emotions, rarely leads to a positive outcome. More often than not the results are: petty arguments, passive-aggressive behavior, increasingly grandiose displays of just how “sorry” you are…And when I say “sorry”, I mean sorry – as in, “Your sorry ass is trying way too hard. Give it some time, honey,” not, “Gosh, you’re really, sincerely sorry. When are they going to hurry the hell up and forgive you?” If I sound like a hard-ass on this issue, please understand I’m a sweetheart, but I specialize in tough love when we work against ourselves. And, I have spent a lot of time being really sorry, so I’m coming from a place of knowing (all-too-well).

Here’s a classic example, of what could have been a complete derail in my life, had I not recently learned about the internalness of Forgiveness:

The Scene: Dayjob

The Culprits: My Ego/My Boss

The event that transpired was a typical work scenario: I made a little slip-up, a human mistake; which, within a matter of minutes, in an environment where everyone takes everything far too seriously, had snow-balled into my boss telling me in no uncertain terms that I was indeed not

courtesy of Calligraphuck

There’s nothing wrong, of course, with knowing one’s limitations, admitting to one’s mistakes, and learning from them. I had groveled before my boss, but he was afraid of potential fall-out from my err; and his fear was causing him to cross the line from letting me know how very much he didn’t appreciate it – to really letting me have it. I apologized profusely, and intentionally, and let him know this mistake would certainly not be made again…before running to the bathroom to cry.

It’s hard to hear one isn’t Awesomesauce…and worse, it’s really difficult, when you’re emo like me, to get a verbal lashing. After the last tear fell to the floor, I gave myself a good pat on the back for actually crying (that’s not really my style – in the past, I would have held those in like venom), dried my eyes, and set out to make sense of the events. Here is what I concluded:

  1. I was now pissed off. Screw that guy – I’d just pack my crap in a box and let him deal without all of the good I bring. It’s totally unacceptable to treat me that way. But wait, it occurred to me (rapidly, thank god!), I’ve been here before – karmically speaking – I’ve had this boss, this experience again and again and again – in this lifetime. I’m the only common denominator, so there MUST be some lesson I need to learn. I put the filing box of crap away, returned to my Buddha-state of mind, and got back to reflecting on the situation…
  2. In order to continue working with him, honesty was necessary. I had to make sure he understood I was hurt, I needed to let him know I understood his upset, and that his delivery method is unacceptable. And an apology would be super-nice. In fact, I’d be really receptive. This didn’t go over well. In fact, I was floored when he expressed that he would never apologize, and that he was essentially disgusted at my attempt to get in the last word. Upon leaving his office, I cycled back to the top (see “Screw that guy…”) of the process. But in the short walk back to my office, I realized in looking for an apology from him – I was actually looking for his Forgiveness. (Insert light bulbs, cherubs with harps, and sunbeams bursting through clouds – here). What? Did I just…say…I did. Yup.
  3. So now I am really getting how this Forgiveness thing works. Yes, an apology would be awesome, if he had it in his heart – but he didn’t, and that’s his issue – not mine. My issue is that I hadn’t gone to the trouble yet in all of my self-pity, angst over the clusterfuck, and the self-righteousness about my boss being an a-hole…to forgive myself for being human. So, I repeated a simple mantra of Forgiveness that I learned from Denise Duffield-Thomas (she’s fantastic for those of you who don’t know her yet):

Hand over heart, I say:

“I forgive you, I’m sorry, and I love you”

That’s it. Forgiveness done.

After I forgave myself, I was entirely refreshed. And, for the first time, was able to see my boss as a human too. Honestly, I don’t appreciate the manner in which he spoke to me – and I do know he heard me when I set that boundary. However, rather than think about what an awful person he is for his behavior, I suddenly had so much compassion for him: what it must be like to be always jumping to the worst-case scenario, to be threatened by a fellow human exposed and vulnerable, asking for an apology. It occurred to me I haven’t a clue what his life has been like. And, for shits-and-giggles, I repeated the Forgiveness Mantra, only this time – I sent that forgiveness, apology, and love out into the Universe to reach him.

Hand over heart:

“I forgive you, I’m sorry, and I love you”

That’s it. Forgiveness done.

This was an act done in silence, done because I felt compelled by compassion (not actually for shits-and-giggles). Expecting absolutely nothing in return. By all accounts, in over five years the man hadn’t apologized to anyone. Within a half hour of sending out that forgiving energy, I received a call. He called, and while he didn’t say “I’m sorry”, the man extended the proverbial olive branch by acknowledging how, perhaps, if he had done things a bit differently, the clusterfuck could have been averted. Then he told me to go home early and have a great weekend.

The Apology/Forgiveness Exchange, when evolved, and fully-functional – is all about love. Love for yourself, love for another. And compassion for our very human nature, as well as that graceful acceptance that clusterfucks happen.

Mother Theresa knew what she was talking about.

The Anatomy of an Apology

It’s definitely not a competition, so let’s not take the spirit of this quote the wrong way. Apologizing isn’t about being “first” at anything – if that’s your intention or motivation, be sure to follow-up with me next post on forgiveness. And, if it is, you’re human – it’s a certitude that there are times, particularly when dealing with someone who’s just completely burned you – that ‘killing them with kindness’ is all too tempting. But let’s face it, ‘killing them with kindness’ is a dolled-up way of reciprocating the dickheadedness. So, that we’re all in honest agreement – and on the same page about that bullshit – I’ll get on with the Anatomy of an Apology.

Apologizing is, for the most part, in our culture, a hollow act. Sorry if that’s offensive (see what I mean? I’m not sorry at all…); but it’s completely true. Children are raised to apologize for developmentally appropriate behavior before they are developmentally even able to empathize. A true apology, in its sincerest form, comes from the ability to empathize with the one we’ve slighted, offended, or outright been a douchetard to – and say we’re sorry. Of course, my bright readers, friends, and clients – you know this. But wait, there’s MORE!

An evolved apology looks something like the above. It isn’t about who is right/wrong – or weighing in on the douchetard heavyweight scale. You know you’ve reached a level of maturation and generosity of spirit when you’re above that – because you truly do value your relationship more than your own ego. This is the point at which you are a collaborator, a problem-solver, and focused on a greater good than being the ‘winner’. And, I know, dear readers, friends, and lovely clients – that you already have been here too. You’re so fucking awesome!

When I read the second sentence of this image above, this is where there’s something missing, in my experience. I combed the inspirational boards on Pinterest, weheartit, etc. (frankly, my search for a visual representation of the kind of forgiveness I want to share with you was exhaustive) to no avail. Here’s the reframe:

“It just means you value your relationship with your self, more than your ego” ~ Tara Michelucci

That’s my spin on it folks. You are SO much more than the mind-chatter going on inside, you are more than the sum of your experiences, you are more than your ego. I’m sure many of you have lovely egos – you probably work at keeping it healthy and have a loving relationship with it. And that there is my point. A dysfunctional ego (which we all have, it’s a matter of reigning it in, and working with it), is the root of our problems. So when you apologize, let your motivation be empathy, creative solutions and cooperation, and always, always – strengthening the relationship between your Self and your ego.

Furthermore, when you do apologize, with all of those beautiful motivations and juicy rewards – understand that your apology is independent of forgiveness from anyone other than your Self. And, since you are already apologizing – you have express forgiveness from your Self. Not everyone is going to forgive you when you apologize. That doesn’t make your apology less worthy, nor does it make them less worthy of receiving the apology.

Like I said, we have all been conditioned with some fundamentally dysfunctional, illogical, and flat-out erroneous concepts of the apology/forgiveness exchange. That’s my breakdown of the Anatomy of an Apology – in it’s most intentional, healthiest form. Next topic, Forgiveness.

In the meantime: What are your ideas about apologizing? How does it work/not work for you? I would love to know your experiences with apologizing – both successes and “failures”.



The Law of Gratitude

My take on the “Law of Gratitude” anyhow, which, in all ironic honesty – I didn’t know is a Cosmic Law until I typed the title about two minutes ago and felt a bit grandiose…Today, I am grateful for Google and Wikipedia.

If you’ll remember from last week’s post, I mentioned how my path to enlightenment, happiness, and fulfillment began with the creation of a Gratitude List. For most of my life, I had been a glass is half-empty kind of gal; and as you well know, that just isn’t any fun. Sardonic wit and dry humor aside, it really isn’t any fun. And prior to creating the Gratitude List (insert unicorns, rainbows, and angelic singing here), I was knee-deep in the antithesis of Satori: the dreaded mid-life crisis (although, being 33 I’m hopeful I’m just melodramatic). But I digress…

A series of mundane and unfortunate events had led me to the point of wondering if I was up to the task of a ‘normal’ life any more – and how exactly I would extricate myself from The Doldrums. Having become for the first time increasingly uncomfortable with myself in my life; and afraid of what my escape hatch might look like – I began to step out of my comfort zone and accept any and all offers for help and support. This was an important agreement I made with myself, as I realized my Comfort Zone wasn’t getting or keeping me comfy or cozy – rather, my Comfort Zone was making me want to curl up in a fetal position.

Check in with yourself RIGHT now:

How supportive is your Comfort Zone in life? Are you loving yourself, your life, and feeling abundance?

let me know @AscendantTara, or drop a comment. I am very interested in YOU.

Shortly after taking those first steps from that shelter, and keeping that commitment to myself to accept help and support in all its forms, I began to feel bolstered, stronger. The shift was in its beginning stages, without being so prominent for me to notice. In allowing others to support me, I actually felt strengthened. And, dare I say, bold. It’s no easy thing to take those first steps…

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” ~ Anais Nin

And so, it was, for the first time in a while, with a truly happy voice, that I answered the phone when I saw a dear friend calling. We hadn’t spoken in far too long…but my ebullience was quickly muffled by the sound of his voice choking back tears as he told me the purpose of his call. It isn’t often, in our twenties and thirties, that a friend comes to pass; and so, natural as death is birth, it is always shocking and brutally painful. What struck me was how sudden our friend’s passing was, how unexpected, how unprepared everyone was for it. After we hung up, I couldn’t shake the thought that my number could be called at any time as well. Should that day come, I would be prepared.

This is where the Gratitude List was born – simply from realizing I didn’t want to die and leave anyone I had ever loved, liked, or learned from to not know that I appreciated them, how much they meant to me, and what they had done to change my life. I started out with the most obvious people to be grateful for: my family, my closest friends, and it wasn’t long before the List grew to include people I thought I had forgotten or had not forgiven.

The List had a life of its own and it had a huge heart. After only about thirty minutes of prolific typing, I had a ten page document beaming back at me. As I read through this List, the realization of how many people had been in my life and loved me, supported me, taught me – was so vast. And there were and still are so many others – I can add to it daily (if I had the devotion).  My heart began to expand with gratitude of a magnitude I can’t do justice with words. Another epiphany (please tell me you’re still reading – because this is why making this list is surprisingly profound) was that these very different people shared a common thread: integrity, genius creativity, generosity of spirit, kindness. Lucky me! Indeed, I am blessed, but I also know about the Law of Attraction. Like attracts Like. That which I value inside so many amazing people was that which is inside me. I can tell you now, this is when my self-esteem shot through the roof. I went from feeling life a life-flunkie, to recognizing I am supported, blessed, and awesome!

That’s a pretty ginormous revelation, a whole lotta heart expansion, and the beginning of enlightenment – all from making a List, and checking it twice. I want to know your Gratitude List stories. Please, please, pretty please, share your story here, email me, or comment on the Facebook page. And, if you haven’t made a List yet – your day will come. Maybe this post will inspire you. Here’s hoping.

With Love and Gratitude,