Retrograde Mania: Lessons from the Past

If you began experiencing a lot of challenges this year around April, it may have something to do with the three planets – Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn – that went into retrograde last month. These planets so happen to rule the more abstract aspects of our personal lives and since retrogrades have everything to do with graduating further beyond hindering patterns and issues of the past, we may be facing the resurfacing of pain from old wounds we thought had already healed.

You’ve likely got more layers of healing to go!

Jupiter (retrograde April 10 – August 11, 2019), being the planet that rules the acquiring of knowledge and luck, is checking us on things that hinder our ability to attract the things we want. If you’re finding yourself frustrated due to lack, now is a good time to look in yourself to figure out why.

Pluto (retrograde April 24 – October 3, 2019) is the planet that rules the process rebirth. Use any tough ordeals to see where you are being encouraged to mature and let go of certain thoughts or behaviors in order to propel yourself into a more enlightened sense of being.

Ringed Saturn (retrograde April 29 – September 18, 2019) reminds us of where we are limited, and wants us to learn the proper discipline necessary for us to endure the tests of time. This requires hard work and critical introspection in the areas in our lives that could use some considerable tightening up.

Watch my tarot reading for the retrogrades below:

Retrograde Mania Tarot Reading by Brittney Shawnee’

Forgiveness is an Act of Self Love

I think it’s safe to say that we that there is a “self-love” trend happening in which people are seeking wholeness for themselves by themselves. There is most certainly a positive connotation behind this as many of us are looking to making a change from the martyr mentality and hopeless devotion that we might have found ourselves programmed for in the past. I can relate. For decades, I slipped into false romances in which I was giving way more than what I was receiving and calling it love. Suppressing my true feelings and thoughts became the default as I quietly imploded into a depressed messed. Likely conditioned by my father’s unexplained absence and the dealings of my mother’s trauma, pouring my all into the efforts to be enough for others became a part of my identity. Needless to say, that didn’t last but there were noticeable moments in which that elevation started to turn southeast.

I, like so many of us now, began to awaken and see a better way to live. I, thankfully, had the help of pretty amazing friends, family, and my now husband; not to mention the endless motivational social media quotes and hashtags. However, as I became aware of things on a deeper level, I found myself judging people that did not. In criticizing their ignorance and immaturity, I was inadvertently displaying my own. My ego got in the way of me living the liberated life I really wanted. I separated myself and those who understand true love and compassion know separation is a major contradiction to that. We cannot fully love ourselves if we fail to love others for we are all the same and have been in the same shoes at some point in some way. When we forget this, we take steps backwards. The only way to continue to grow is to heal by way of forgiveness.

Truth be told, the hardest time I’ve had and still have are with my family. It’s difficult to forget where they fell short when I needed them the most and how much it hurt. In the short-term, it’s easier to be self-righteous in my resentment but the best thing I can do is realize where they are and love them there. Yes, even when they are not apologetic. Taking the steps to forgive are some of the hardest but probably the most loving thing you can do for yourself. Forgiveness bumps the ego out of the way. Long-term, forgiveness creates a space for us to learn the hard lessons in the sorrow of it all while developing compassion for others and therefore ourselves. This means that we can develop discernment and know when and how to act in a way that is best for us without carrying deadly hatred and fear in our being.

We cannot not properly conduct self love with hearts full hatred as it will inevitably backfire and manifest in everything we produce. Instead, we can acknowledge our pain and accept our perpetrators for where they are, even if we need to leave them there.

Namaste.

Fathers’ Day Tarot Reading 2018

This entry is a couple of days behind the actual day we celebrate fathers in Western society but this reading is essentially timeless. It is and will remain relevant until we ascend beyond our limited ideas about men and fatherhood that have been shaped by painful experiences. We all make mistakes and many of us have had poor relationships with our fathers if any at all. As all reading are, this one is about healing and love.

Two-Card Spread: Chariot Reversed and Moon

The state of the father in our society is currently a uneasy one. Those who are struggling with the idea of patriarchy in their family and personal life are also lacking a sense of control and direction. Due to this spiritual disconnect, instead of a victory – which an upright Chariot would represent- there is aggression and/or stagnation where there could be joy and progression.

The Moon refers to the subconscious, the psychological imprints of our past that affect our present. Maybe a poor experience with the patriarchs in the family or slacking as a standup patriarch due to psychological barriers. Until those thoughts and feelings are unveiled and handled on a deep and spiritual level, the condition of the family will not heal properly. There will only be continued aggression and shallow connection.

Namaste and blessed be.

Meditation for Broken Daughters

There is something special about the relationship between a mother and daughter. When all is well, there is a unique friendship that can be had; a closeness unmatched. The dark days are more bearable and our burdens not so heavy.

On the flip side, a damaged mother-daughter relationship can cause for a rocky foundation, not just between mother and child but within the daughter herself. Daughters learn from their mothers (or female caretakers) first what it means to be a woman –  how to nurture, how to take care of Self, and walk securely in her feminine being. However, our mothers cannot give us what they do not have.

When a daughter feels failed by her mother on any level, it is very easy for her to point a finger and say, “She should have taught me …” or “Why can’t she just …?”. It is difficult to take in that our mothers could be as lost as we are or worse. As children, it can be almost impossible to understand and harder, still, to let go once we become women. Instead, we learn to adapt using defense mechanisms and other survival tactics before we even realize that is what we are doing.

These methods serve us for a time but eventually its effectiveness will dwindle and in some cases, even become harmful. It starts to become apparent with the difficulty in our friendships, work, and romantic connections. It will also affect how we see and treat ourselves. There comes a very obvious time when we must try something new in order to really thrive and not just deal to survive.

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In the words of  Haruki Murakami, “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” The hurt of being failed by a parent is natural and should not be considered a weakness; it also does not have to define us. The shift must happen in the mind! No matter the situation, we can change how it affects and whether it affects us at all. Meditation is a great way to initiate and maintain that shift. Here are a few lines one can meditate on to shift her view about her mother-daughter bond:

Clingy/Controlling Mother: “I accept and appreciate my mother’s love wholeheartedly but will draw necessary boundaries where I see fit without compromise. May we both find peace.”

Hostile/Judgmental Mother: “My mother could not give me what she did not have nor demonstrate what she is not. Therefore, I thank her for being an example of what not to do so that I may be better for my Self and my house. May we both find peace.”

Absent/Unreliable Mother: “I welcome any and all positive energy to fill the space that my mother left open and cherish what [time, gifts, life, etc.] she has given me.” May we both find peace.”

Each saying ends with “May we both find peace,” to encourage the release of anger and bitterness. We sometimes claim to have let things go but will recall memories with harsh words and negative feelings. In this case, we cannot be liberated from the baggage and it will continue to show up in our lives and disrupt our growth. Whenever those negative thoughts and feelings resurface, recall one of these lines or make up your own. You cannot change who your mother is but you can change how you receive her. That change can make all the difference.

Namaste.

Healing the Mother-Child Bond

If you are one of the lucky people who already have a fantastic relationship with their mother then count your lucky stars. Everyone is not so lucky. In spite of the studied, strong resiliency of the mother-child bond, there are plenty that are based in utter dysfunction. And, seeing as how Mothers’ Day shares a month with Mental Health Awareness, it’s a grand opportunity to talk about the significance of mother-child bonding.

Unhealthy relationships with mothers not only wreak havoc on the mother-child bond but can be a detriment to a child’s psychological development.Β This can manifest in all sorts of problematic social behaviors, even in adulthood. A 2010 study conducted by Live Science concluded that “American families were more than twice as likely as those living anywhere else to have so-called disharmonious relationships, or those defined by strong negative feelings, such as disagreement and tension, without any strong positive feelings, including feelings of closeness and amicability [only 51% reporting otherwise].” In addition, the U.S. is also notorious for the high percentage of single-parent households, with the majority composed of single mothers. This bears the question: what’s going on in our country that only half of our entire population gets along with their parents, particularly their mothers? I wish I had a clear-cut answer to it all. Instead, I have learned lessons from an experience that falls into the less favorable statistics.

My mother and I get along for the most part now but, truth be told, we lack a strong sense of closeness. She was the type of mother that made sure I had a good work ethic and took education seriously. I also recall her being the “cool mom” in many memories. Her generosity and down-to-earth nature was popular among my friends and her involvement in my schooling made her a favorite among my teachers. I’ve always appreciated her for making me driven and organized but other aspects of our relationship took hits that rippled through my adulthood.

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Often times our personalities clashed. I felt she took some things too seriously and failed to really hear and understand me. It made me feel less than which manifested in my behavior as anxiety and self-doubt – a common result. Things really fell a part when I decided to move away from home to live with my now husband and pursue a career that was a bit different from what I thought I wanted before. Not only was my mother clear that she did not support my decisions –Β  be it outright or passive aggressively – she told me my life choices were a betrayal to her and all she had “trained” me to be. We have since gotten to a better place but it has been difficult to reach theΒ level of deep connection that I desire.

Although I do not have all the answers for all the whys in these circumstances, I can offer a remedy: forgiveness. This is a pretty tall glass of water for some, but whether you or your mother just don’t understand each other some days or have the regular falling out, it takes both parties finding it their heart to let go of the past and the set expectations. Sometimes we just have to meet each other wherever we are and, in much more unfortunate cases, leave them there. If your mother is still a part of your life, Mothers’ Day may be an opportunity to reevaluate things and reach a deeper level of closeness each year or at least remind you to be grateful of the good things she did have to offer, even it were few and far between.