Saturday, October 6, 2012

The "M" Word

Psychologists and medical doctors recommend it.  Life coaches recommend it.  With stress on the rise, meditation helps us to calm and center ourselves. Yet, for many of us, sitting in silence brings up the scene from "Eat, Pray, Love" in which the Liz Gilbert character sits in a room at an ashram trying desperately to quiet her mind.  Instead of finding stillness, her mind races to thoughts about how she will decorate her meditation room when she relocates to Chicago.

From the little I know about the author Liz Gilbert, I know that she has a strong Mercury signature in her natal chart. I know this because, one Liz is an author, and to write you need a Mercury signature in your chart, and she has portrayed herself as restless with her previous marriage situation, world travel, and her constant seeking for the intangible.  Could she even have a big, fat yod in her chart?

This essay is not about Liz Gilbert, but about meditation.  Yes, we know that we would benefit from meditation if only we could find the time or if only our minds would shut up for even 10 minutes.  How can we have any peace when Mercury chatters with Uranus or whoever?  So let's look at some ways we can trick the planets, even the trickster Mercury so we can get some peace.

Fortunately, I have a strong Neptune in my chart, but it's not placed in the fourth, sixth, or twelfth house, which would be ideal.  And then natal Mercury aspects all but two planet in my chart (and those two planets fall in Mercury's sign Gemini), disturbing the peace in most cases.  I'm not alone in finding meditation a real challenge.  Think of people with Uranus in the fourth house or Aquarius on the cusps of the fourth house.  They probably find it difficult to meditate at home.  A prominent Mercury causes the mind to grow restless.  Mars finds meditation competitive, "oh, yeah, well, I meditated five minutes longer than there."  Saturn brings the whip, "I command that you meditate for at least ten minutes or I'll lay on the guilt."

Sit down meditation does not work for everyone.  But there are alternatives such as walking meditation, music meditation, using sound healing tools for relaxation, guided meditations which you can get on CD, and we can all do deep breathing and stretches.  For people with a strong Mars, Jupiter or Saturn in the chart, try Tai Chi or Chi Gong, dance, or the more physical types of yoga.  This will at least help to focus on the mind, and also release tension from the body through movement.  Then it might be possible to follow up with a sit down meditation.

For anyone with a strong Pluto signature or energies, try kundulini yoga which also follows up with meditation.  Try a gong meditation (sound healing) after the yoga workout.  Guided meditation that helps re-script past lives will also prove helpful.  For Uranus, seek some kind of meditation practice that is unconventional in some way, but also releases some of the electrical energy stuck in your body.

Venus needs to feel comfortable, surrounded by beautiful objects, such as a mandala or ethereal paintings.  Meditating outdoors also works for Venusian types, and a walk in the woods could replace sit down meditation.  Neptune types probably have the easiest time meditating because this planet brings total bliss and the feeling of ascension.  It's even possible to grow addicted to meditation with a strong Neptune and the problem is getting grounded back in the mundane world.

Solar types (Leo or people with a heavily aspected Sun), could do light and breath meditations where they visualize the sun in their solar plexus and or heart center.  The breath work reminds them of their inner and outer power; connection to the earth.  Lunar types enjoy candle meditation with soft music playing in the background, maybe the sound of wind chimes or the ocean in the background.  These people would do well to meditate at night before going to sleep.

Meditation of one type or another is possible for all of us.  However, we can look at the planets in our charts that hinder and that help the process.  While sit down meditation with the legs crossed is usually what people think of when they're told to meditate, this represents only one meditative path.  Explore books and CDs on meditation, and do what works for you.  The point of meditation is to lower stress, calm the mind, and prevent disease.  People who meditate are also easier to get along with and they're less likely to experience scattered thinking or panic during a crisis.  Now, who would you want on your team?




  2. A great idea Patricia associate meditation with astrology
    I just found the map of Elizabeth Gilbert

  3. Thank you/merci. I'll need to look up Liz Gilbert's chart. I know she has a Cancer Sun because she mentioned this in her book, "Eat, Pray, Love". I'm guessing she has planets in Sagittarius or a cluster of planets in the ninth house since this woman is about travel, foriegn cultures, language, and spiritual idealism. She's also one heck of a writer.