Thursday, June 19, 2008


One of my favorite sites, Virtual Tea House (which I've joined but still am unable to log in nonetheless), is having an essay contest on "Where is home?", and I've decided to pitch in:

Home, of course, is where we belong. Home is something that gives us that indelible feeling of comfort and ease.
Is it a place?
Not necessarily. A place, no matter how beautiful or familiar, can still leave us feeling lonely, if it is empty, or make us uncomfortable, if populated with disagreeble people.
So home is, probably, people that we feel we belong with. These are the people with whom we can disrobe our soul and not feel naked. These are the people who know us through and through and still love us, and we repay them with the same.
Or, maybe, home is that special soul in our lives, whose presence engulfs us with comfort and warmth. If we are lucky to know such person, we would feel at home whenever and wherever we can hold his or her hand, be quiet together or laugh together at whatever silly comes to mind.
I left my country long time ago. Then, 11 years later, a month after the honeymoon with my first husband, I went back for a visit. It took 3 days for me to re-orient myself. I actually went right past the house I grew up in. It was my uncle who stopped me, and took me up to the communal flat on the fifth floor, which used to be my home. An old lady opened the door. "Oh, my! Ella!", she exclaimed, embracing me. It took a while for me to surmise that she was the mother of two kids who were my childhood playmates. She has not seen me since I was 10 y.o., and managed to recognize me 20 years later!
As she was chatting, filling me in on what happened since I moved away, I was finally slipping into the Familiar we call "Home". From that moment on, I was to enjoy my Motherland for the next month. I was so happy there, my new husband got afraid that I might not come back! And it's true, if I was not happily married then, I might have chosen to stay.
But, at the end, it was he, who was my home then. So I flew back into my husband's arms.
I never went back to Russia since. My family and friends all moved away. So coming back would be staring at houses filled with my memories but inhabited by complete strangers. So it is no longer my home.
Now I live in a beautiful apartment in New York. But as much as I like it, I can easily envision some other place I could live in.
In fact, just recently, I went back to the yoga retreat in the Bahamas, which I have not visited for more than 5 years, took a dip in the ocean, and exhaled as if I finally went home... It felt so good, so familiar, as if that water was where I truly belonged! Or was it That Beach? Or was it the Yoga Retreat behind me?
I do enjoy that place immensely, coming back every now and then when my batteries need recharging. But living there all the time?
I don't think so. They don't allow coffee there.
I know, I cannot envision anyplace I would be living at without my son. He is my home now.
But, one day, he will move away... Would I become homeless then?
Of course, not!
I carry my Home, wherever I am, like a snail! Or, rather, He carries me in His arms as I move through my days. I feel His Presence always. I talk to Him whenever I want.
And, when I quiet my thoughts, I hear His Silence, and we both smile of joy. He talks to me all the time too. He talks through other people, signs, feelings, dreams, "coincidences", and, sometimes, even whispers words in my ear. He touches me with sunshine or rain, plays with my hair on windy days, and always leaves me little presents wherever I look: my orchid's blooms, a passerby's smile, a rainbow in the sky... When I am down, he makes me laugh, whether by sending a clown into the train car I am riding in, or by giving something silly to me to read, or by sending a friend my way. When I am scared, he always finds a way to remind me that every fear is "a monster under the bed".
He is my True Home, because he knows me better than anyone, and still loves me more than anyone; because, as people and places change in my life, He is always here, the Nearest and the Dearest.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sun Signs Saga, Last Chapter

Back to Sun Signs!
This is an interesting sign, since the Sun is in the fall here. Aquarius is located on the opposite side of the Zodiac from the Sun's home sign, Leo. Its energies are too weak to influence self-identity of people born under Aquarius stars.
So Uranus, the lord of Aquarius takes over, infusing the natives with its energies of "Rebel without the cause".
While the natives don't quite know what they are and what they want (Aquarius is a very detached energy, made of air (mental, detached) and Uranian energies (mental, detached, electric and shock oriented), the natives certainly don't want your advice! They are quite contrary creatures, who crave the unexpected. So life supplies them with plenty of shocks (Uranus) to keep the roller-caster they call life going.
PISCES:This sign is also difficult for self-identity, because it is made of water (receptive, sensitive, responsive) and Neptunian energies.
Neptune fleshes out our archetypal idea of Oneness, which in real life translates as the need to escape reality. It is the planet of psychics and drug-addicts, as well as that of magicians, seamen and musicians. If we cannot escape the square reality through drugs or paranormal activities, Neptune gives us "pink glasses" to live in a self-created delusion. This is the energy that colors Pisces.
Mutable mode gives Pisces 2 poles, so Pisces Sun signs do bounce back to reality from time to time.
Nonetheless, they live in completely different universe from the other sun signs.
Their self-identity is made of other people's needs and expectations. By psychicly feeling other people's desires, Pisces substitute those for their own.
When they bounce back to reality and realize the switch, they get resentful and weepy, feeling victimized and blaming their loved ones for abusing their sweet compassionate selves.
It takes the whole lot of self-awareness for Pisces to stop victimization routine.
However, once they do so, their actual closeness to Oneness can take them to such spiritual heights that other Sun signs can only dream about.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I am interrupting my Sun Signs Saga because I've witnessed the weirdest thing today and I want to tell the world about it:
I was riding downtown A train during the morning rush hour today. So was one homeless black dude, who peacefully slept on the bench by the door. On 125th St., a young black lady came into the car. She was tastefully dolled up, looking like a white collar professional.
There were scarcely any seats left, so she came over to the bench of the homeless guy, and began to yell at him to take off his feet off the bench.
A white girl next to me gasped in amazement, and I giggled.
As if that was not crazy enough, that black lady, getting no response from the homeless guy, spit in his face.
Now everyone gasped.
Then she sat down on a bench on the other side of the door.
The homeless guy sat up:"You spit on my face, bitch!"
"If I was a bitch", she said,"I would really spit on you".
Then they had a staring contest all the way to the 59th St. stop.
That was not easy for neither of them, since the benches were on the same side of the car, with the door in between. They had to throw their bodies way forward leaning on one side. Let me tell you, this would be a difficult position even for yogi. They did it for at least 10 minutes!
At 59th st., as people began to leave, another well-dressed black lady came over to the crazy gal and said something to her before exiting.
An announcement came that our train is being held at the station.
Then that lady came back with a conductor. The homeless guy got up and left.
"He left the train!", said conductor into his walkie-talkie, and we were on our merry way to work...
No one said a word, and I kept on wondering - is it just me, or the wrong person was thrown off the train?...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sun Signs Part III

So it took for me just about 2 months to get back to Sun Signs Saga...
I've been so busy lately, that I wonder if I can actually manage astrological workshops at all..
But, for all of you who really want to know, here it goes:
SCORPIO: My son's sun sign is Scorpio, so it is my favorite sign. Although I am yet to see typical Scorpionic traits: quiet, subtle manipulation with the sole desire to be in control of a situation or a person, coolness under pressure, and, of course, secretiveness.
My son so far is neither, or, dare I say, he is opposite of his Scorpionic nature.
But he is young. I'm sure, he'd grow into it. After all, I've seen plenty of Scorpios, and they are easy to pick in a crowd: they all appear very self-possessed, never giving a clue of what they are up to.
My son is easy to read. He is kind, generous (so un-Scorpio), enthusiastic little fellow with not a grain of self-possession. In fact, I often see other kids easily manipulating him (which worries me).
The only Scorpionic trait my son displays so far is jealousy.
But I have no doubt that astrology would prove me right once again, and he will become a full-fledged Scorpio with time. After all, this energy influences his self-identity (that what sun signs are all about).
This energy is water (sensitive, responsive, receptive), with fixed mode (not going anywhere), under the rulership of Pluto.
Before Pluto was discovered, ancient astrologers thought that Mars is the ruler. But they were quick to add that Scorpio Mars is different from Aries Mars, because the energy of Scorpio Mars is negative in nature. Now we know that this "negative Scorpio Mars" is actually a totally different planet.
But wait, was not Pluto demoted from planetary status lately?
Not as far as astrology is concerned!
Anyone who lived through Plutonian transit and survived it, would never speak lightly of it. This tiny planet pulls the mightiest punch of them all! Its energy is compulsive and obssessive, and it is inward oriented, causing us to obsessively dig our own dirt again and again. Pluto fleshes out our archetypal idea of Divine Omnipotence, so it creates greatest challenges in our lives in order for us to find the power within to overcome them.
For Scorpios, it is especially true. These sensitive people hold everything that affects them inside. This energy field is akin to a swamp. All that gets in, cannot escape (fixed, receptive energy). Plutonian energy causes the natives dig deeper and deeper with obsessive determination, re-opening every wound (water people are so easily wounded because of their sensitivity), until they find the power within to transform that very wound into a healing potion.
That's why another totem of Scorpio is Phoenix - the bird that rises from the ashes.
There is certainly an obsession with pain, tinting the sign with S&M tendencies, even if on psychological level only. But that is because all Scorpios are born knowing the secret that greatest pearls are products of oysters' greatest pain.
SAGITTARIUS is a completely different energy. It is a fusion of fire (impact-oriented, high-vibration energy) and Jupiterian expansive and highly intuitive nature. Jupiter fleshes our archetype of Divine Omniscience. Intuition, by the way,is nothing but instant knowledge. Since all fire energy is intuitive, and so is Jupiter, Sagittarius is doubly intuitive sign. So all natives are born hungry for new experiences and with uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time.
Expansive Jupiter causes them search for new horizons (and greener pastures), which means taking risks and breaking cocoons of familiar boundaries - so all Sags out there like to test their luck quite often.
But Jupiter's is the benevolent energy, so they test their luck, not yours. These kind, generous people (they don't believe in lack, so they can afford to be generous) believe in "live and let live". They invented democracy.
Just don't try to hold them in. They tend to be claustrophobic. They cannot stand any restraints, including seat-belts, and like to keep their windows open and doors unlocked.
But don't worry, they always come back. Sagittarius' mode is mutable (2 poles), so once they are done exploring other galaxies (one pole), they like to go home (the other pole).
CAPRICORN is polar opposite of Sagittarius. Even the symbol of Saturn, the planet that rules Capricorn, looks like the symbol of Jupiter, dropped upside down. Because Saturn is all about boundaries. Its energy is contracting, creating boundaries everywhere it goes. It influences Capricorn's base energy, which is earth - the lowest vibrations possible. Together, they create energy field which is very "down to earth", with "down" being the key word here.
Our first and foremost boundary is fear. When we are afraid we cannot do something, we limit our possibilities. When we are afraid of the chaos of life, we limit it by creating rules life must follow, further limiting its possibilities.
Capricorn's mode is cardinal (outgoing), so Capricorn natives like to impose their rules and fears on others, so we all be down to earth just like them.
They worship structure. Since authority is the concept requiring structure, they like authority, especially when they are it (is it because enforcing rules is better than following them?:-)).
Don't blame them. Many of them are used to it, being the eldest siblings. That's how they get to be the Responsible Ones. Others are born to parents who are older than those of their peers or to parents in authority positions, so they naturally imitate their elders.
I say, thank God they are there - someone has to be responsible for the rest of us...