Saturday, 27 December 2008

New Moon in Capricorn

New Moons signify new beginnings, a fresh start.  

The New Moon in Capricorn on 27th December 2008 marks another new beginning. Capricorn, a cardinal earth sign, symbolises a respect for tradition and a responsible way of managing our resources, both personally and collectively.  

Challenges are met face-to-face, instead of running away from them. Tapping into our hidden reserves courageously to unleash our personal power could conquer possible obstacles ahead (with Mars and Pluto also in Capricorn).

It is an optimum time to release anything in your life which no longer serves you, be it a relationship, old beliefs or a situation.  The house which the New Moon falls in your personal birthchart could further highlight these issues.

'Tis the season to be jolly...and grateful

It is the time of year again to have an annual review. What have you achieved this year?  What would you have done differently?  What are your targets for the year ahead?

Often, we put so much focus on things we want - i.e. New Year resolutions, that we neglect all the things that we already have.  Perhaps before making your list of New Year resolutions, we should count the blessings in our lives.

I'm grateful for my good health, family and friends, a roof over my head, food to eat, freedom of speech, a feeling of peace, joy, and spiritual fulfillment.

What are you grateful for?

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Understanding your chart - Planets

Strictly speaking, the Sun and the Moon are considered to be luminaries, not planets. In astrology, Earth is not included in the birthchart since it is geocentric, though astrologer, Cynthia L. C. Wood argues for the validity of inserting earth into our birthcharts (Earth and Taurus: Geocentric Astrology's Missing Link, The Mountain Astrologer; Issue 142 - Dec/Jan 2009).

The planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are included in a typical birthchart. Some astrologers also insert Chiron - a minor planet located between Mars and Jupiter, into birthcharts. Pluto, although no longer deemed to be a planet scientifically, still offers valuable insight astrologically. It was discovered and included in the solar system for a reason.

Here are the basic meanings for each planet/luminary:

Sun: Will power, destiny, male authority figures, what's centrally important to you


Moon: Feelings and emotions, habits, the past, mother, female figures, nurturance, sensitivity


Mercury: Communication, thinking style, dexterity, mental images, ideas


Venus: Love, charm, arts, luxury, values, possessions, relationships


Mars: Assertion, wars, weapons, courage, bravery, determination


Jupiter:  Expansion, religion, philosophy, foreign travels


Saturn:  Tradition, structure, old father time, restriction, limitation, boundary


Uranus:  Revolution, changes, groundbreaking ideas, eccentricity


Neptune:  Creativity, dreams, imagination, illusion, vagueness, lack of boundary


Pluto:  Transformation, psyche, elimination, exposure, hidden factors

Friday, 19 December 2008

The Secret


'Not another book on positive thinking!' was my initial thought when my sister recommended me the book called 'The Secret'.  Unlike all the other ones I've read though, Rhonda Byrne, the author, presents the same idea in a much more matter of fact and straightforward way.

In a nutshell, everything in the universe can be broken down to the level of energy.  Here's an extract from the book:

'Remember that your thoughts are the primary cause of everything.  So when you think a sustained thought it is immediately sent out into the Universe.  That thought magnetically attaches itself to the like frequency, and then within seconds sends the reading of that frequency back to you through your feelings.  Put another way, your feelings are communication back to you from the Universe, telling you what frequency you are currently on.  Your feelings are your frequency feedback mechanism!'

Monday, 15 December 2008

Transforming hurt into love

I had been wondering how transiting Neptune and Chiron in 7th house will manifest themselves in my life when a recent event provided a possible answer to this placement.

As a follower of positive affirmations, I believe that it is important to send out positive vibes in order to attract positive experiences into my life. However, I recently discovered that someone I had trusted greatly had been two-faced and spoke behind my back. When I first found out, I thought 'I have attracted this. I must correct my thoughts to attract more positive experiences'. To be honest, I was deeply hurt when I first heard it. But then, I surprised myself when my next thought was 'I send positive energy to this person.' This is when I realised that I can finally put the teachings of Louise Hay, Doreen Virtue, Gill Edward, Fiona Harrold, Susan Jeffers etc into practice. Yes, this 'friend' of mine had betrayed me, but I was able to transform this hurt into a valuable life lesson (transiting Chiron in 7th trine natal Pluto in 3rd; transiting Pluto in 5th square natal Mercury in 8th). Spiritually, we are all one, which means that this 'friend' is technically me (and everyone else!). So sending her negative energy in response to her betrayal would do no-one any favours. Instead, I need to transform this hurt into unconditional love. I can tell you it's bloody hard, but I refused to toy with the idea of attracting more of these negative people into my life.

Deep down, I believe in justice. I wish you well. (But thank God I don't have to work with you anymore!)

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Demotivators

With Pluto in Capricorn, we see many transformational changes occurring around us, one of them being the bankrupcies of businesses. When even banks are slashing their workforce, it sure is a sign of trouble times ahead. Personally, during times of despair and unhappiness, reading inspirational quotes such as 'What doesn't kill me makes me stronger' and 'If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes' usually brings me a sense of faith and tranquility.


While businesses are failing in our midst, one establishment managed to thrive - Despair, Inc. It is an online company which specialises in demotivational products. As an advocate of positive affirmations, I was skeptical as to the moral basis of such a service. However, I discovered the Capricornian humour behind all the demotivational messages. Such as:




Some of my personal favourites:


'Not All Pain is Gain'


'If We Don't Take Care of the Customer, Maybe They'll Stop Bugging Us'


'The best leaders inspire by example. When that's not an option, brute intimidation works pretty well, too'


'If you're attractive enough on the outside, people will forgive you for being irritating to the core'


'The Secret of Success is knowing who to Blame for Your Failures'


'It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black'


'Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99% perspiration, which is why engineers sometimes smell really bad'


'Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can borrow mine'


'Some people dream of success, while other people live to crush those dreams'


As humorous as some of these skewed quotes are, there are a few I still do not believe it:


'Dreams are like rainbows. Only idiots chase them' - I'd rather chase them thank you very much, at least I have a goal to aim towards and positive affirmations work wonders!


'You aren't being paid to believe in the power of your dreams' - true, but if you're lucky/shrewd enough, you will be able to manage this easily - let's release this to the angels to take care of the finer details!


You can read more of these wacky quotes on http://despair.com/

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Keep up the positive energy

In a previous post, I highly recommended Susan Jeffers' bestseller 'Feel the fear and do it anyway!' Recently, a friend of mine revived my interest in Jeffers' work and had directed me to Jeffers' website. I was pleased to find that a free downloadable booklet 'Affirmations are Powerful', was up for grabs when you sign up for her newsletter.

Jeffers shares 10 of her affirmations with her readers:

1) One step at a time is enough for me
2) Whatever happens, I'll handle it
3) I reach out and invite others into my life
4) I focus on my many blessings
5) I let go and I trust
6) I know what I count and I act as if I do
7) The quality of my life depends only on me
8) I radiate love wherever I go
9) I am drawing to me all good things
10) I am powerful and I love it!

Each affirmation comes with an explanation, discussing on the deeper meaning of each idea. I feel it is time I give myself a booster shot of positive affirmations!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

World Peace Crystal Grids


Since 1997, the International Center for Reiki Training has placed a set of 4 peace cards in Jerusalem, the North and South poles and at the International Center for Reiki Training. These cards act as transmitters/receivers of healing energy, promoting world peace.

To find out more about these cards and to receive your own copy, please visit http://www.reiki.org/Download/FreeDownloads.html

N.B. The 2nd picture is the World Peace Pendant, not a peace card.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Understanding Your Chart - Houses

'How on earth do you make sense of that circle with lines and strange symbols scrawled all over it?' is the usual response I get when giving astrological readings.

A birthchart is basically the map of the heavens at the time of your birth. Imagine the moment you 'greet the world', if you were to look directly up to the sky, and were able to see all the planets out there, then you would see the locations of the planets in relation to one another - the way it is depicted on your birthchart.

A birthchart is like a pizza divided into 12 slices. Each slice, or house, represents a particular area of life. Here are some typical keywords associated with each house:

First house: Personality, outlook on life, first impression given to others

Second house: Physical body, material possessions, self-esteem and values

Third house: Communication and thinking style, primary education, siblings, local area

Fourth house: Family, roots, heritage, one of your parents, home life

Fifth house: Creativity, self-expression, hobbies, addictions, love affairs

Sixth house: Daily routine, workplace, pets, physical health

Seventh house: Marriage partner, business partners, enemies, legal battles

Eighth house: Inheritance, taboo issues, sexual relationship, shared resources

Ninth house: Higher learning, foreign travels, philosophy, religion

Tenth house: Public status, career, one of the parents

Eleventh house: Friends, love received, organisations, collective consciousness

Twelfth house: Hidden talents, psyche, behind-the-scenes, institutions, universal source

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Elements of Signs

'Is his Sun sign compatible with mine?' is a common question I often hear people ask me during astrological consultations. Looking at the elements of each planet is a good starting point.

The twelve zodiac signs are grouped into four elements: fire, earth, air and water:

Fire signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Earth signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Air signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

As a rule of thumb, fire & air signs get on well with one another, as do earth & water signs. Afterall, air keeps the fire burning and earth is nourished by water. However, merely analysising the Sun signs is too simplistic. The whole chart needs to be taken into consideration. Besides the Sun sign, the Moon sign is also important. In addition, the Ascendant will further influence the elemental balance of the chart. These three significant factors tend to have heavier weighting when it comes to elemental analysis.
Here are the basic traits of each element:

Fire: With many planets in fire signs, you may be a dynamic character, infused with energy and enthusiasm for life. You tend to take the initiative, as leadership comes naturally to you. You are likely to be the life and soul at parties and gatherings. You could be prone to sudden outbursts, but they disappear as quickly as they appear.

Earth: With many planets in earth signs, you tend to be down-to-earth and practical. You may also be a methodical and an organised individual. You have a tendency to be stubborn and may find it hard to change from your day-to-day routine.

Air: With many planets in air signs, it is likely that you enjoy a good chat and the company of others. You tend to think analytically and logically, i.e. think with your head rather than your heart. Being mentally stimulated may be important to you, as boredom is something you cannot cope with. You may find it hard to stay still - both physically and mentally. You have a tendency to frequently change your mind.

Water: With many planets in water signs, you tend to be a sensitive and an emotional individual, whom tend to listen to your intuition and follow your heart on many matters. You may get influenced by others easily. You are caring and enjoy nurturing those around you. You have a knack for detecting the feelings of others.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Upheavals

With transiting Uranus hovering over my natal Sun, I knew that major changes were to occur in my life. However, changing jobs for the second time this year is not exactly what I had in mind!

As mentioned by life coach Gill Edward, and further echoed by many other spiritual writers, our external world is a reflection of our inner state. Perhaps my recent cleansing is finally having an impact on my external environment?

Recalling my thoughts and emotions for the past few months, I have noticed that I had been acting very much out of character. Similar to Lucinder Ledgerwood - a candidate on last season's 'The Apprentice' in the UK. She was fired by Sir Alan Sugar for being 'too zany'. The competitive nature of the show was probably too harsh for Lucinda's spiritual self. I too feel my current environment is vibrating at a dangerously low energy level to suit my sensitive nature. The Uranus-Saturn opposition has been 'conversing' in my chart in the last few months - shall I move or stay put? In the end, Uranus won. My Saturn side is still getting over the shock of my brave decision during this economic decline! Fortuntately, positive affirmations are keeping me optimistic and spiritually content.
I was on the underground last month when I noticed a butterfly perched on the air con vent. It should be fluttering in the open air - where it truly belongs. Instead, it somehow got stuck inside a man-made environment, i.e. a train. We could call it an adventure. On the other hand, we could also interpret it as 'Fish out of water'. It's not being true to itself and should seek a location suited to its biological state. I too feel I have been drowning in the sea of confusion and being suffocated by Scorpionic and 8th house themes. With Uranus transiting my 8th house, where my natal Sun, Mercury, Mars and North Node reside, I have been wondering how I would experience this transit? Back in August during the astrology Summer School event, I remember one other participant commented that with such a significant 8th house influence, it would be a good idea to experience that through client work, i.e. I could deal with these issues through others. Otherwise, I would meet them head-on in my own life.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Is there truly enough money for everyone?

Louise L. Hay, founder of Hay House Publishing and an advocate of positive affirmations, often mentions in her work that 'money' is an energy exchange. It is not dependent on a person or event. John Randolph Price also reinforces this notion in his 'The Abundance Book'. By changing the consciousness of the law of abundance, we can increase this flow of energy into our lives. Louse Hay also believes that business doesn't have to be cut-throat. There is enough abundance from the universal source to support everyone.

It would be absolutely unthinkable to send customers to a competitor's door - but what happens if you simply cannot provide service for these customers?

When I was working part-time at a chain-store in England, we would openly send customers to our competitors if we could not provide our customers with the relevant products. As a customer, I have been recommended to shop elsewhere when the shop did not have what I was looking for. This truly shows the ethics of putting the customers first - they have our own interests at heart.

Somewhere down the line, I inadvertently attracted the complete opposite workplace - turning customers away - if we could not take their money, then no one else will. Or at least, we would not take an active part in sending them to others.

As a follower of positive affirmations, I believe that our universal creator is the ultimate provider of abundance. I stand by my beliefs that there truly is enough for everyone. Even in our current economic decline. There are still people looking to spend their hard-earned cash - less so than before, but would you not agree that some of our modern spending habits have been too extravagant? Perhaps with Pluto re-entering Capricorn later on this month, we need to think about our resources more prudently. Oil and house prices have been soaring to ridiculously high levels in recent years. People are spending money they do not have. It is a great shame that everyone globally has to suffer the consequences of these reckless behaviours.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Congratulations Obama!

In a conversation a month ago, some of my acqaintances remarked that America wasn't ready for a black president. These acquaintances also commented that I wasn't good enough to achieve certain projects. Deep down, I said to myself 'If Obama does become the first black president, it would proof these people wrong and also the fact that I can achieve my dreams too.'


So, on the day of the election, I was diligently tracking the votes minute by minute.


To begin with, McCain was leading, but after that, Obama raced right ahead, remaining in the lead until the very end.


Obama's success has proved that miracles do happen. This historical event shows that anything is possible if you dare to dream it. The universe is there to support us. What is it that you honestly desire from life?

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Feng Shui your Life

I'm a big fan of positive affirmations. I believe that a balanced internal state is required in order to attract positive experiences into your life. This process can be enhanced by simultaneously 'cleanse' your external environment - i.e. by using feng shui techniques.

Recently, I was recommended a fantastic blog with highly insightful tips on feng shui:


Find out your Kua number and start making positive changes in your life today!

Monday, 20 October 2008

I'm a teacher and proud of it!

November 4th marks the opposition between Saturn and Uranus. Coincidentally, it's also the day of the US presidential election. Saturn appears to represent McCain - the mature and experienced candidate with traditional ideas versus Uranus/Obama - the candidate who is young, full of energy and enthusiasm and ready to present his innovative ideas to the world.

Personally, this opposition falls in my 2nd-8th axis, with Saturn transiting my 2nd house, also conjunct my natal Saturn (1st return) back in August and Uranus transiting my 8th house conjunct my natal Sun for the first time back in April 2006. This opposition could signify the struggle between keeping things as they are versus making changes. I have certainly been going through the motions of whether to stay put or to move around career-wise. In the end, Uranus won and I uprooted myself to another country, hence a new home but it's also my childhood home (natal Uranus in 4th). However, it's not until today I realise that this configuration also signifies a sense of self (2nd house). During a conversation with an auntie of mine on careers, she mentioned that as I'm approaching 30, I should really just stick to my current choice of profession - teaching instead of making changes (which I had been contemplating - the Uranus side of me). If that idea was presented to me 5 months ago, it wouldn't have been well received. But, today, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride of being associated with that label. I am a teacher. That is who I am and what I am good at being. I accept it with open arms. I no longer feel it isn't good enough. I have finally understood my lesson on self-worth (Saturn in 2nd; nodal axis also in 2nd/8th houses).

Monday, 13 October 2008

Manifestations

Last week, I visited Summer McStravick's website and signed up for her e-newsletter. From her e-newsletter, I downloaded her free recording of a 5-minute meditation. This past week, I have tried to listen to it daily. By the third day, I began to notice events that were mentioned in the recording becoming true! Of course, just listening to it would not gurantee the manifestation of your wishes. I simply took Summer's advice and affirmed in the present tense - without 'wanting' the events to happen. Instead, they are already happening. I used to find this concept very hard to grasp but lately, it suddenly made complete sense to me.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Flowdreaming

I am a big fan of Doreen Virtue - the founder of Angeltherapy. I listen to her radio show on Hayhouse.com religiously. The other day, while searching for her latest show, I accidentally clicked on the wrong button and ended up listening to Summer McStravick's show on Flowdreaming. I was about to close the window when I realised that Summer was discussing the reasons why sometimes manifestations did not seem to work.

Besides the fact that we may send out our wishes to the universe and then change our minds about them afterwards, another major reason for this apparent failure is because of the way we phrase our affirmations.

On the radio show, Summer used an example of someone wanting to manifest a soulmate level relationship. This person may affirm that 'I am in a harmonious relationship with my soulmate' and that 'We both understand one another on a deep and meaningful level'. So far so good. Positive affirmations work on the basis that one assumes the wish desired is already occurring. However, this person may continue to affirm 'I yearn to be in such a blissful relationship' or 'I wish to be with my soulmate ASAP'. Here, the message is being phrased in the future, i.e. the person is affirming the state of 'yearning' for a meaningful relationship instead of 'being' in a one. A big difference here.

For more information on Summer McStravick's work on Flowdreaming, visit her website http://www.flowdreaming.com/

Monday, 29 September 2008

Go For It!

We all have our own hopes and dreams. Unfortunately, we often get educated to treat them as such - merely dreams. However impractical, would it not be a better attitude to at least try it or modify it rather than just discard it from our system?

The other day, my sister sent me a highly inspirational article called 'How to make a living doing what you love '. At first, I thought, 'Not another one!' But after reading it, I felt like it was a reminder for me to stay strong, because lately, my confidence to chase my dreams began to waiver again.

I hope the article will be equally inspiring for you.

http://www.kerismith.com/howto.htm

Monday, 22 September 2008

Update

When I first set up this blog, I vowed to update it weekly. I was doing very well until a month ago, when I left England for Hong Kong and have since been struggling with getting internet access at home.

I still haven't got internet at home. I wonder if I'm blocking it somehow. Perhaps I should put Louise Hay's positive affirmation work into practice and affirm that 'I have access to internet at home. It is running very smoothly. All is well.'

This past month has been rather strange. Last month, in late August, I left Oxford, got home, finished my packing and hopped onto a plane all within 24 hours - I hardly had time to fully digest my week of Summer School before I found myself in Hong Kong!

Summer School was amazing - I can't wait to return there next year! I was expecting people to share astrological information such as 'What's your Sun/Moon/Mercury sign?' etc but when I was asked 'At what degree is that?' I thought, 'Wow! Now we're getting technical!' I then surprised myself by telling others the degrees without needing my birthchart! In the past five years of my formal study with the Faculty, I have, inadvertently, memorised most of the degrees of my planets in my birthchart!

During my first hour of mingling, I found myself in a group with two other astrologers. As we shared our astro-info, we learned that we all belonged to the water element - I'm Pisces, Lyndal's Cancer and Anna's Scorpio: The Water Trinity! How uncanny that we unintentionally gravitated towards each other:) I think my favourite part was when the three of us were late for the Gala Dinner and ended up on the big table with the Faculty staff. During the celebration meal (it was the Faculty's 60th birthday), one student called out 'Let's thank all the people sitting at the top table who made this event possible!' Lyndal, Anna and I looked at each other and thought 'We didn't do anything!' Afterwards, some students asked us how on earth we managed to get ourselves onto the top table and we replied 'Just be late!'

The Water Trinity

I felt really down when I left Oxford. 24 hours later, I was on a plane for Hong Kong. I've been praying for this opportunity for over a year, but as the noise of the plane engines got louder, I felt a tug at my heart. When the plane finally took off and I could feel the plane no longer in physical contact with the British soil, I felt a huge pain in my heart. Suddenly, I had a vision of Lyra from Philip Pullman's 'Amber Spyglass' (which is also set in Oxford!), who is about to journey into the underworld without her daemon. For those of you who have read the books, you will be aware that your daemon never leaves you. I remember when I was reading that scene, I could really 'feel' Lyra's heartache as she chooses to leave her daemon behind. If I remember correctly, she could feel the emotional cord between herself and her daemon snap - and that was the feeling I had as the plane took off - I felt the pull of the cord between myself and England, which was a total surprise, because I didn't even know this bond existed! Maybe the bond was the people I've left behind. In the end, it took me over two weeks to get over this 'snapping of the cord'. I actually felt wounded without sounding too dramatic! One of my cousins here reckoned it's because I didn't give myself enough time to adjust, afterall, I began my new job a day after my arrival!

Saturday, 23 August 2008

First Saturn Return

I had a fantastic week at Oxford, immersing myself in astrology and being surrounded by astrology enthusiasts. I would love to write more on this but I need to prepare for my next adventure - Hong Kong!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Staying in the eye of a hurricane

It's so easy to say to people 'Think positive!'

I think one of my life lessons is to control my emotions, particularly anger. This week has been filled with various incidents which, yet again, annoyed me to the core. The only difference this week, compared to the previous one, is that I was able to remember to use positive affirmations, though I do find it a challenge not to be affected by the people around me and the situations I find myself in. Doreen Virtue describes this as 'staying in the eye of a hurricane'. Let's see if I could put this into practice......

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Solar eclipse in Leo

I have noticed that many people around me have had some sort of important event which occurred around the time of the solar eclipse (1st August). Astrologically, solar eclipses symbolise a new beginning depending on where it falls in your birth chart. This eclipse could act as a reminder that a change is long overdue.

Admittedly, nothing signficant happened to me during that time, however, in the past week, I have felt the 'aftermath' of it instead - if such a phenomenon exists! A combination of external events and internal hormones (!) have push my temper beyond control - I had to calm myself down many a-times. I then attempted to extract the reasons behind these 'lessons'. Afterall, I do believe that external events tend to mirror our internal state. To re-balance myself, I consulted Louise Hay's 'I can do it' booklet. It was when I was reading through it that I realised how much I have forgotten about positive thinking. I have been so focused on my day-to-day chores that I allowed negative energy to accumulate in my mind.

Here are some of my favourites I have picked out to cleanse my mind, body and spirit:

I realise that stress is only fear. I now release all fears.

When I feel tense, I remember to relax all of the muscles and organs of my body.

I am even-tempered and emotionally well balanced.

I am safe when I express my feelings. I can be serene in any situation.

I slowly breathe in and out, and I find myself relaxing more and more with each breath.


I create a stress-free world for myself.


I let go of all fear and doubt, and life becomes simple and easy for me.

I close my eyes, think positive thoughts and breathe goodness in and out.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Miracles of Water

In a previous post, I have mentioned a Japanese researcher who found that by exposing samples of water to words with positive or negative connotations, the water crystals collected under the microscope would reflect the nature of these words.



As I was sharing these pictures with my teeange cousin yesterday, I noticed that for 'Angel' and 'Devil', the water crystals collected both have a big black hole in the middle. He shrewdly pointed out that the devil is supposedly a fallen angel, perhaps the black hole depicts this link?

Images taken from Masaru Emoto's 'The Miracle of Water'.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Farewells

With transiting Uranus passing through my 8th house of endings (with natal Uranus in the 4th house oppose natal Moon in the 10th house), I have bid farewell to my job, colleagues and a few days ago, my car. Being a nervous driver, I'm not particularly keen on driving and thought nothing much of selling my car in preparation for my next move. However, the moment I stuck the 'For Sale' poster on the car window, I felt my heart ached - that was when I realised how much I was attached to it! As usual, I prayed for angelic help and within hours of advertisement, I found my car a good home.

Having invoked Kali a few months back - the Hindu goddess of endings and beginnings, I'm feeling the full effect of her power. I will soon be saying more goodbyes - to my current place of residence and my family and friends. Angels, help me get over the sadness of leaving and assist me in focusing on the new adventure ahead!

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Endings and Beginnings

With the full moon in Capricorn falling in my 6th house of workplace and daily routine, coupled with Jupiter transiting in the same sector, I come to the decision to close the door to primary teaching and return to teaching English as a foreign language. With the involvement of the Moon (plus my natal moon in the 10th house of career), it was a highly emotional event for me as a chapter of my life ends and a new one begins. I am looking forward to new challenges ahead in a country I have never worked in before. The concepts of meeting new people and adopting a new lifestyle both worries and excites me. I know that I am following my heart in this venture as my progressed Sun in Aries travels in the 9th house of foreign travels and higher learning. I truly believe that the angels have guided me to this opportunity and I wholeheartedly continue to ask the question 'How can I serve?'

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Careful What You Wish For

S Club 7's 'Reach for the stars' was playing in the background as I was strolling down the soft drinks aisle at my local supermarket. The song took me right back to my days in Japan. I remember the song was still in the charts at the time and I had a secret wish to use that song to choreograph a dance with the English Club members to perform during their School Festival. Unfortunately, the tradition was for them to make posters on foreign matters and create an exhibition in the school lobby.

I wished then that I could be given an opportunity to choregraph a dance. I've never done that before but thought it would be a fun challenge. Three years past and still the wish wasn't granted. Perhaps it's not a meant to be.....

Last year, I was told that I was to enter my class of 28 children in a local Dance Festival. At the time, I had forgotten all about my wish to choreograph a dance. In fact, I was stressing out - I'm not a dancer! I can't do this! Luckily, after some initial advice from a colleague, I was able to have enough confidence to take the project to a successful completion.

This year, I was again given another opportunity to choregraph several dances, but unlike last time, I volunteered for the job. I finally recognised that it was the opportunity I had been praying for 7 years ago. I didn't notice it last year because it wasn't in the form I had asked for, even though the outcome was highly positive. Sometimes, when we pray, we have our own picture of how we want that wish to come true. I find it helpful to just pray for happiness now and let the universe take care of the finer details. It is tempting to tell the universe exactly how you want something to happen, however, that may not necessarily be for the highest good for all concerned.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Cosmic guidance

Looking at my chart, my natal Mars is being opposed by my transiting Saturn and progressing Ascendant. Lately, I have been experiencing a fair amount of frustration and anger arising from being challenged by external agencies. However, Mars in my chart also symbolises my passion to stand up for my own beliefs and to motivate myself to a goal which holds personal meaning. In recent weeks, I have found that my sense of self-worth had been under the spotlight and that I have felt the stifling and restrictive nature of societal structures on my spiritual well-being.

Fortunately, I can detect hope and harmony in my chart. The harsh and intense lessons I was forced to endure turned out to be a positive experience. For example, in last week's post, I mentioned that my workplace was expecting inspectors. I am glad to say that the outcome was far better than intially anticipated. On a more personal level, I have also gained my astrology certificate after a whole year of ploughing through papers and an exam.

Spiritually, the last couple of weeks have confirmed that positive affirmations do work - but so do negative self-fulfilling prophecies. Therefore, it is very important to monitor your thoughts and avoid negative thinking.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Uranus retrograde

At last, Mercury is in direct motion again this week. However, it is now Uranus' turn to go retrograde (backwards). My first shattering event, since this movement, is that school inspectors will be paying my school a visit next week. Those of you in the teaching profession would empathise with me. Roll on Thursday afternoon......

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Acknowledge your Mr G

Over dinner last night, a friend of mine urged me to check out an Australian comedy called 'Summer Heights High'. She said that there is a character called Mr G who reminds her of a mutual acquaintance of ours. So I spent this morning indulging myself in clips of Mr G on You Tube. My friend was right about the resemblance! As I was doubling over with laughter, I realised that every time when I go to a new place of work, study or residence, there is always a 'Mr G' character in my vicinity - not just as a background influence, but as a prominent fixture in my life - to the point of annoyance in some cases.

Through my astrological studies, I have learnt that oppositions in birth charts signify parts of our personality which we disown and so would end up projecting onto another person around us. Therefore, these 'Mr G's around me are technically reflecting my own Mr G tendency!

I have always considered myself to be quiet, shy and humble and have been told so many times. However, through discussions with trusted friends lately, I come to discover a different aspect of myself. They have recounted incidents where I was displaying assertive behaviours (which I have no recollection of at all! Hence reinforcing the fact that I am refusing to owe that part of me, and so would often end up attracting people with that trait as a way of mirroring it back to me). Perhaps I need to acknowlegde my assertive, bold and even egotistical sides and see if these Mr Gs would then cease to irritate me...

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Law of Attraction

'Ask And It Is Given' is one of Esther and Jerry Hicks' bestsellers on attracting abundance. With so many new age books promoting positive thinking, it is hard to make a choice from the minefield out there. I have mentioned Louise Hay many times previously. Her basic teachings on self-acceptance have resonated very well with me since the first time I picked up her 'You Can Heal Your Life'. I particularly find her affirmations very uplifting to read.

Recently, I came across Esther and Jerry Hicks - a husband and wife team, disseminating their thoughts on increasing abundance. Their teachings differ from Louise Hay in that Esther channels messages from Abraham - a collective of non-physical entities imparting wisdom through her while Jerry scribes.

I also recommend John Randolph Price's 'The Abundance Book' which includes a 40-day prosperity plan. I like the way he emphasises the fact that money is not evil, it is only perceived to be so because of erroneous human thinking. Money is merely an exchange of energy. For the longest time, I've been struggling with the fact that people who are not working as hard as me are earning a lot more. I was brought up with the belief that hard work equates abundance. It is refreshing to read John Randolph Price's idea that it is our consciousness on abundance that is bringing prosperity to us, and not just sheer hard work. It is important to congratulate on those people who are richer than you - they are attracting abundance through their own consciousness, so don't be resentful. I feel the current Mercury retrograde is finally helping me to absorb this significant teaching into my psyche.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

What are you grateful for today?

Positive thinking is easier said than done. I've learnt that during moments of negativity, it helps to focus on all the things that I do have - i.e. don't focus on your lack. Be grateful that you have a roof over your head, you have enough to eat, you live in a relatively safe country (think about people in war-zones) and you have your friends and family. What are you grateful for today?

Image taken from Doreen Virtue's Magical Unicorns Oracle Card Deck.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Changes

Being pushed beyond one's comfort zone can be both an exhilarating yet stressful experience. Having stability in life is one thing, but when it becomes stagnate, changes are quite welcoming. Besides calling upon archangels and ascended masters such as Jesus for assistance, recently, I've been pulling the 'Kali' card from Doreen Virtue's Goddess Guidance oracle card deck.

Kali is the Hindu goddess of endings, change and transformation. In essence, she supplies the courage and determination to those who are ready to weed out any old patterns which have passed their sell-by date and to replace the void with fresh seeds for new beginnings.

Astrologically, Uranus (the planet of change and awakening) is transiting my 8th house of endings and transformation so this aptly coincides with Kali's message.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Keep the Faith

With the recent natural disasters occuring in Southeast Asia - i.e. earthquake in China and cyclone in Burma, it is easy to lose faith in God. Instead of dwelling on 'Why is it happening?', let's think about what we can do to help.

Materially, we could help by making a donation (e.g. http://www.redcross.org.uk/). Metaphysically, we could pray. It is important to hold positive thoughts and to keep the faith.

Image taken from Louise Hay's 'Meditations to heal your life'

Sunday, 11 May 2008

What is your gift?

Wa-Na-Nee-Che, a native American Indian I met lecturing at The Mystic Arts Exhibition today, gave me some food for thought.

I was expecting a feathered headdress adorned man promoting the idea of power animals to us, but instead, the first message he shared was simply 'find out what your gift is as quickly as you can.'

I personally prefer to use astrology as a tool to discover our inner blueprint. However, it is ultimately up to each individual to work through the challenges life decides to throw his/her way. I was pleased to hear the same concept being preached by Wa-Na-Nee-Che - 'I will give you tools to work with, however, I'm not your crutch'. Too often, people in distress rely on miracle cures from New Age practitioners. It is important to realise that no-one understands yourself better than you do. These 'guides' can offer you their tools but you must take the proactive approach to help yourself. I like to think that the themes and patterns derived from a birth chart can help empower the individual to gain a better self-understanding, but the healing process will only begin when the person in question is sitting in the driver's seat, taking full responsibility of his/her actions. Feeling sorry for yourself and leaning on another person won't be productive in the long run.

Wa-Na-Nee-Che also pointed out that many 'zombies' are created by modern society, that is, people who are too fearful to break out of the mould and truly discover who they really are spiritually and to use their God-given gift to enhance the world.

Image taken from Doreen Virtue's 'Magical Unicorns Oracle Card Deck'

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Let Your Inner Self Shine

I'm the worse at being self-deprecating. I never realised the negative impact it could have on one's health until my skin rash almost two years ago. Striving for perfection was my justification. Afterall, what's wrong with pushing yourself to achieve your highest potential? Having read Louise Hay's 'You Can Heal Your Life' though, I came to the conclusion that my intention was positive, but my method certainly had room for improvement. Louise discovered that most ailments can be traced back to self-worth issues - i.e. not liking yourself, not being comfortable in your own skin.

In Gill Edwards' 'Living Magically', she gave a rather poignant example which stayed with me ever since - If a friend made a mistake or failed to achieve a task, what would you say to him/her? Personally, I would say 'Hard luck! At least you've tried your very best. Learn from the experience and move on.' So why is it that when it's YOU who have made a mistake, you beat yourself up thinking over and over about it and calling yourself all sorts of names?! Just because it's YOU doesn't mean that you can abuse yourself in that way. You are allowed to be kind to yourself. Admittedly, I do occasionally lapse into my self-critical mode. However, I'm trying my hardest to be gentle with myself and to say 'Well done' or 'You've tried your best' instead of 'That's not good enough', or 'How stupid!'

From my birthchart, I identified the elements which explain my self-deprecating ways and my fears in believing in myself. I have Saturn in Virgo in 2nd house oppose Sun and Mars in Pisces. With oppositions, one of the lessons is to be aware and to balance the two opposing sides. This astrological discovery had led me to trust myself and be more confident in my decision-making. I'm less likely to allow outside influences to hinder my plans.

I believe that the ultimate key to happiness is self-acceptance. You are who you are. Change only because YOU want to.

From Doreen Virtue's 'Magical Messages from the Fairies Oracle Card Deck'

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Emotional Eating

Many of my friends are chocoholics. Give them a box of chocolates and they won't be able to control themselves. For me though, I've always had a craving for savoury snacks - crisps in particular.

Food cravings can be triggered by vitamin or mineral deficiencies. However, Doreen Virtue's research has found a link between food cravings and one's emotional state:

  • Craving plain chocolate bars may mean a desire for stimulation or feeling deprived of love
  • Crunchy chocolate bars, including ones with nuts could indicate a feeling of frustration, anxiety or anger due to tension or a lack of love
  • Chocolate cake may mean a feeling of emptiness and insecurity, possibly from a lack of love
  • Crunchy, high-fat foods, e.g. fried chicken, chips, fries may indicate a feeling of emptiness due to frustration and anger
  • Spicy foods topped with dairy products, e.g. pizza with extra cheese, Mexicon food with cheese and sour cream may mean feeling depressed because life seems dull

    For a more comprehensive list, do take a look at 'Losing Your Pounds of Pain' or 'Constant Craving: What Your Food Cravings Mean and How to Overcome Them'.

  • The other day, I couldn't resist my coke craving (as in Coca Cola!) and gulped a 500ml bottle in one go (this is rare for me). According to the list: You feel overwhelmed by work or chores and want to have more energy! This is certainly the case with me....

    Sunday, 13 April 2008

    Angelic Protection

    On my 22nd birthday, Athena - my predecessor on the JET programme, introduced me to Doreen Virtue's Angel cards. I had fun posing many questions to the oracle cards and listened to Athena telling me about 'sending positive energy out to the universe'. It all seemed too abstract at the time. I didn't think too much of it until two years later, a series of unhappy events led me to question about the meaning of life. Why do some people get all the luck and success, leaving others with trauma and suffering? I then recalled Athena's Angel cards and decided to check-out Doreen's website.

    I found Doreen's spiritual teaching very soothing to the soul. In particular, I liked the sound of learning through peace instead of pain, a concept very alien to me as I used to be an advocate of 'No Pain, No Gain!'. I wanted to find out more so I got hold of a few of her books. One of them being 'The Lightworkers' Way'. I devoured them in the space of a weekend - I simply could not put them down! The spiritual concepts she discussed in her books seemed too far-fetched and way too unrealistic for me. If you think positively, good things will be attracted to you - life can't be that simple - or can it? Since I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, I thought I might as well give the angels a chance. Afterall, if it didn't work out, I could always go back to my old ways of thinking.

    Five years on, I'm still invoking angelic guidance in different areas of my life. I have learned to be calmer, to think more positively and be more comfortable in my own skin. I trust my intuition more and find it easier to let go of patterns and bahaviours which no longer serve me. I've had my ups and downs, and there were times when I thought the angels have left me! But I know that your angels are always with you. We are all here to learn various life lessons. There will be times when we feel out-of-balanced by life's challenges. When I encounter disagreeable people, I try to identify what it is that I find annoying in that person, because that person is merely mirroring a part of me that I need to work on. This may sound impossible but the answer is to send positive energy to that person (instead of thinking evil thoughts!)

    Thank you Athena for bringing the angels to me:)

    Sunday, 6 April 2008

    The Land of Dreams

    I receive many messages from my dreams. I see it as my subconscious trying to communicate with me. The key is to understand the symbols being presented. I like to pose questions before I go to bed and see what messages I get.

    When I have dreams of teeth/hair falling out, I know my stress level is on the rise. Dreams of looking for toilets are when I need to eliminate thoughts/ideas/emotions which no longer serve me.

    I often dream of waiting on a platform for a train. The train can represent a journey/project/opportunity. Sometimes the train doesn't turn up (which means the project I have in mind isn't really for me); sometimes the train is late (the opportunity will come but later than wished); sometimes I board the train and find that it's full (not my time to go after whatever adventure I had in mind); and sometimes I find a seat (perfect timing at last!). I also have dreams of rushing from one platform to another, fearing I might miss my train (anxious about what to do next and if it's too late to do it).

    I once had a dream of a house (buildings represent you and rooms inside different aspects of yourself). I was looking at the cellar full of seeds which began to geminate and grow, so quickly that each plant pushed through the floorboards and into the living room on the ground floor. The message is quite obvious, ideas residing in the depths of my subsconscious are frantically wanting to burst into the open!

    The Power of Positive Affirmations

    In the Summer of 2006, I was plagued by a skin rash which stayed with me for 8 months. During this time, I went to see my GP, who gave me some ineffective tablets after the blood tests returned all clear. I also went to see a Chinese herbalist and was on bitter medicine for 8 months. Unfortunately, my condition progressively worsened. Not only did I have a nasty rash on my thighs, it eventually crawled all the way down to my toes and up my body and arms. The strange thing was that this mostly happened in the evenings. Besides my rash, I also suffered from painful swollen joints in my fingers, elbows, knees and ankles. I was in such agony that at one point, I was having trouble with getting dressed! Since the blood test came back fine, I knew that whatever symptoms I was getting were no cause for concern.

    But why was it happening to me?

    I then remembered coming across a book called 'You Can Heal Your Life' by Louise Hay a few years back in a bookshop. I recalled seeing a dictionary inside the book explaining the reasons for manifesting certain physical symptoms and illnesses. So I got hold of a copy and found that my skin condition may have been related to 'small, hidden fears; anxiety; old buried guck; feeling threatened'. Louise Hay then suggested instilling new thought patterns, e.g. 'I bring peace to every corner of my life, I lovingly protect myself with thoughts of joy and peace. The past is forgiven and forgotten. I am free in this moment.' Targeting the problem in isolation didn't produce the result I desired, so I read the whole book instead. I was so glad I did because I learned from Louise Hay's research that self-acceptance is the ultimate key to a happy and fulfilling life. How can you expect others and the universe to deliver goodness to you when you feel you don't deserve anything good in your life?

    I now check my dictionary when my body is unwell to see what my body is trying to tell me. I believe any illness is a sign that something is not in order.

    Some of my favourite affirmations from Louise Hay:

    The past is over, so it has no power now. The thoughts of THIS moment create my future. (Perfect when I do something stupid and couldn't get it out of my system. This helps to remind myself that what's done is done - move on!)

    Everyone in my life has something to teach me. We have a purpose in being together. (Ever feel like strangling that annoying relative/work colleague/family member/friend? I like to think that they are mirroring a part of me that I need to become aware of. It's all a learning experience. Again, be forgiving, extract the lesson and move on!).

    Today, no person, place or thing can irritate or annoy me. I choose to be at peace. (This may be hard to initially comprehend but when someone irritates you, YOU allow that person to do that to you.)

    I am a magnet for money. Prosperity of every kind is drawn to me. (People tend to think that there isn't enough money to go around and that we have to compete for money. Babies are being born every second, would you think 'Oh no! More people using up the oxygen!' We don't think that because we know there's enough air to sustain everyone. Guess what, it's the same with money, there truly is enough for everyone, but we unintentionally block its flow to us because we may think we don't deserve it or that we feel guilty about being too materialistic - money is just an energy exchange (admittedly, it took me a long time to accept this!)). I release all resistance to money, and I now allow it to flow joyously into my life.

    I let go of all negativity that rests in my body and mind.

    I am willing to learn, the more I learn, the more I grow.

    No matter how old I am, I can always learn more, and I do so with confidence.

    I accept others as they are, and they in turn, accept me.

    Tuesday, 1 April 2008

    A Closer Look At Our Chakras


    We have many chakras, or energy centres, within us. Changes in our diet, lifestyle and emotions can bring about an imbalance, which, overtime, may manifest into physical or mental symptoms.

    Here are the 7 major chakras:

    Red: Root chakra is located at the base of the spine. This is related to basic survival needs such as personal safety and finances.

    Orange: Sacral chakra is located between the navel and the base of the spine. This is related to emotions and sensuality.

    Yellow: Solar Plexus is located between the bottom of the ribcage and the navel. This is related to personal energy and power.

    Green: Heart chakra is located in the centre of the chest. This is related to love and relationships.

    Light Blue: Throat chakra is located at the base of the throat. This is concerned with communication, creativity and speaking the truth.

    Dark Blue: Brow chakra, or Third eye is located in the centre of the forehead. This is concerned with intuition, insight and imagination.

    Purple: Crown chakra is located just above the top of the head. This is concerned with connecting with the Divine energy.

    And of course, we are enveloped by our aura.

    I find that when I'm feeling low for no obvious reasons, or if I'm getting a skin rash, headaches or a stiff neck, I know immediately that my body is trying to tell me something is wrong, either it be a negative thought or emotion, or that my diet needs to be changed. I truly believe that your body never lies. Look after it, give it adequate rest and exercise, feed it healthy foods and think positive thoughts:)

    Thursday, 27 March 2008

    Sacred Landmarks, Special People

    We are constantly under the influence of energy fields.

    Have you ever felt positive and uplifted after being in the presence of certain people or being in a certain place?

    Everyone radiates their own pattern of energy field (see my aura photo in a previous post). When your energy pattern resonates on the same wavelength as someone else's, being in each other's presence makes you both feel good. Energy fields of soulmates are known to merge into one harmoniously. I can easily name quite a few of my friends who could alter my moods for the better - and I bet they didn't even know they are doing it! Unfortunately, the same holds true for negative energy, there are certain people and places that would made me feel depleted of life. Doreen Virtue, the pioneer in Angeltherapy (http://www.angeltherapy.com/), recommends shielding your energy field from these negative effects. Just like those happy people, these depressed individuals probably had no idea what they are doing to your moods, they are also known as 'Emotional Vampires'.

    Happy times with my spiritual sister - Suni :)

    There are so-called energy vortexes around the world. Sedona, Arizona in the US is one, Glastonbury in the UK too. During my time in Japan, my friend Miwa took me to one of these energy vortexes in Nagano prefecture. On my hike down to the energy spot, I met a local carrying several empty plastic containers, she was on her way to collecting her daily ration of the 'energised' water at the bottom of the slope.

    Feeling the mystical energy and collecting my own sample of energised water

    My friend Miwa also told me that Mount Fuji is another mystical place. I felt fortunate enough to be able to live near it for 3 years. Miwa once told me that her intuitive powers would increase when she's near me and especially when she was visiting me in Yamanashi. Sounds like energy fields at play here:)

    Capturing the spiritual energy emitting from Mt. Fuji

    The Benefits of an Astrological Consultation

    Some people are afraid of seeing an astrologer for fear of hearing bad news.

    Modern astrology incorporates many psychological factors. Essentially, there isn't a 'bad' chart. It's all to do with understanding the different levels of energy dancing within a birthchart. Each zodiac sign has both positive and negative expressions, so through an astrological consultation, strengths can be further enhanced, and weaknesses can be worked on. By becoming aware of your innate energy pattern, your inner potentials can be utilised more effectively.

    What I have personally found important (as an astrologer and also a client in the past) is that a consultation is a two-way process. Merely allowing the astrologer to impress you with his/her 'predictions' isn't productive at all. The key is to interact with the astrologer. It has been found that issues which could take up to 6 months to uncover under psychotherapy would only take a quarter of an hour within an astrological consultation (Noel Tyl's 'The Creative Astrologer'). Of course, if the client isn't willing to disclose, this wouldn't be possible. However, childhood wounds can be unleashed via a birthchart, an astrologer's job is to gently question the client about it. I feel that if the client is proactive in seeking the help of an astrologer, s/he is ready. To be on the safe side though, I would normally ask if there were any burning questions. This helps me to distinguish between clients who are merely curious (in which case I wouldn't openly explore possible past hurts) and clients who are suffering a reoccurring problem, e.g. a string of failed relationships, problems at work etc.

    Yesterday, I met up with a dear friend of mine who was ready for an in-depth analysis. Here's her feedback:

    Monday, 24 March 2008

    Crystal Healing

    I love crystals.

    Every time I go to a crystal shop, I would take the pleasure of looking at every single item there, for every piece is unique - just like snowflakes. Being a perfectionist though, I used to demand purchasing flawless crystals only - no cracks, no chippings. However, one day, I noticed a 'rainbow' embedded in a piece of quartz crystal. Rainbows are created by the cracks splitting the light. Without these cracks, i.e. imperfections, we wouldn't be able to see the beautiful array of colours. So these so-called imperfections can produce asthetically pleasing results. This revelation has taught me to be more tolerant of 'imperfections' when purchasing crystals.

    It's just like people, no one is perfect - surface imperfections can have internal beauty. Don't you think?

    Sunday, 23 March 2008

    Energy Centres

    Ever since my Reiki level 1 initiation in 2003, I have always been taking an active interest in the state of my chakras (or energy centres) and my aura. That's why last autumn, I grabbed the chance to have my aura photo taken at a Mind, Body and Spirit Exhibition in London.

    The lady who analysed my aura basically reinforced what's been on my mind. She also recommended me a fantastic book called 'Feel the fear and do it anyway!' by Susan Jeffers. There are many self-help books on the market, but this one is to-the-point and left a lasting impression on my mind. For those of you who are unsure of your life purpose or are currently contemplating on a new venture, ask yourself this - if you were on your death bed now, what would you wish you had done or tried to achieve during your lifetime?

    Here's a list of the meanings of your aura colour(s):

    (This came with my aura photo)

    The Miracle of Water

    Yesterday, I finished reading a book called 'The Miracle of Water' by a renowned Japanese researcher Masaru Emoto. Emoto found that by exposing samples of water to positive and negative words, different water crystals can be obtained. Words such as 'happiness', 'affection' and 'peace' would produce beautifully formed water crystals. On the contrary, words such as 'dislike', 'ugly' and 'hate' would produce deformed-looking water crystals. Emoto found that 'Love and gratitude' produced the most beautiful crystals. Since 70% of the human body is water, Emoto postulated that our thinking would affect the quality of the water molecules in our body.

    Although his research method was criticised by the scientific community, the chairperson at the Spiritual Dimensions of Science and Consciousness Subcommittee of the United Nations was so inspired by Emoto's work that he invited Emoto to share his spiritual findings at a UN seminar in 2005.

    The power of positive thinking............

    Decide for yourself the validity of Emoto's work:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masaru_Emoto

    Saturday, 22 March 2008

    My Encounter with EFT

    Besides astrology, I'm open-minded to many other forms of New Age teachings. Last year, I discovered, serendipitously, a book on EFT - Emotional Freedom Technique. It's basically tapping a series of pressure points on your head and body in a particular sequence to release any blocked energy flow. It can be used to treat a myriad of physical and mental illnesses, from aches and pains to anxiety and depression, even stress, procrastination and addictions come under the list!

    I decided to put it to the test.

    Anger is something I sometimes have problems with managing. Under the instruction of the book, I recalled an incident when I was feeling angry and rated it on a scale of 10. I then began to tap - I have to admit, it's quite a long process but it did work - I didn't feel as angry after a few rounds of tapping, but the sequence was too inconvenient, involving some strange actions in addition to the tapping, e.g. humming to yourself and circling your eyeballs! It's not something that you can openly perform in public!

    Then, a few months later, I attended a local Reiki group which also has EFT shares. There, I met Sejual, a calm and gifted Energy Medicine Practitioner. The tapping sequence that she uses is slightly different from the one I had encountered in the book. I guess it's like the different branches of yoga, reiki, tai chi etc, it's essentially from the same source but human beings like to add their own touch to it.

    With this new tapping sequence, I decided to give EFT another chance. Since the age of 10, I had been allergic to prawns. It started with an itchy eyelid, then escalated to a full-blown facial rash, with red streaks on my body. The first time it happened was at school. I remember one girl came up to me before morning registration and asked, 'Maxine, have you changed your moisturiser?' No was the reply followed by a rush to the mirror. Staring back at me was someone who looked as if she had slept in a room full of bees and mosquitoes! On the way to the medical room, the headmistress caught sight of me and I saw her recoiled slightly at my grotesque appearance. I want to thank my best friend, who stayed with me the whole time and helped me wet paper towels and tissues to dab on my face. Miraculously, it disappeared an hour later. I went to see my GP to get an allergy test but he didn't even bother, he just said 'Stay away from prawns'. And I did - I never really liked prawns much but when I found out I couldn't eat them anymore, I began to crave for them! However, all I needed to do was recall the discomfort of my rash and I would be thoroughly put off!

    The skin rash from eating prawns is the overt symptom. I have to discover the cause behind it and then tap the points to release this energy block. I was fine before the age of 10 so something must have happened to make my subconscious think it's not safe to eat prawns. It took me a while to uncover an incident when my grandma was peeling prawns, she said prawns need to be gutted and showed me the intestine (yuk!). I thought it might have been this that I thought it's unsafe to eat prawns - because if it's not gutted, you're eating its excrement as well! Now, I'm sure you'd be relatively healthy if you do consume it but a part of me must have felt repulsed by it and sent a signal to my head - eating prawns is gross - hence my gross appearance! So, I began to tap on that incident. I can't remember how long I was doing that for before I had the courage to put it to the test - perhaps it was a few weeks. But one day, I took the plunge and had prawns. I waited.... one hour passed, and then another - nothing! Wow, I thought, I'm cured! Or am I? Being Miss Cautious, I tried eating prawns another day but still no rash came.

    I am pleased to say that I can now eat prawns without worries of looking scary! I have been deprived of it for the past 18 years, if it weren't for EFT, I'd still not have the pleasure of consuming them. I don't care what people say - that EFT is not scientific. Traditional medicine gave up on me but EFT didn't. So there!

    Astrology: My Passion

    Born to highly practical parents, I became interested in astrology when my teenage cousins, who were reading their horoscopes in a teeny magazine, asked for my birthday and worked out that I was a Pisces. Of course, the forecast made no sense to me because I was only about 7 at the time. Despite the irrelevance, the idea of using the stars to understand what is happening on Earth fascinated me. I used to consider astrology to be pure entertainment, but all that changed when I first laid eyes on a birthchart. I honestly cannot remember when that was, perhaps in my late teens. The birthchart, showing a map of the heavens at the time of my birth, looked magical to me. I couldn't wait to find out what each symbol and line meant!

    This discovery answered one basic question as to why most people think astrology doesn't work. The horoscopes you see in newspapers and magazines merely take the Sun Sign into account. Astrology is more than that, just like the complexity of your personality. You may act differently in front of different people and in various situations. A birthchart doesn't just look at your Sun Sign but also your Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn etc., each representing a different aspect of yourself, thus building up a more comprehensive profile of your personality.

    In his insightful book 'Astrology, Karma and Transformation: Inner Dimensions of the Birth Chart', Stephen Arroyo, a psychological astrologer, taught me that challenges in life (represented by 'stressful' angles in your chart) can be blessings in disguise, because they urge you to utilise untapped potential in your personal make-up. The so-called good/smooth aspects, representing natural talents and opportunities, could mean laziness and complacency if they are not put to good use. I have also learnt that astrology can show you the lessons you may encounter in your lifetime. These lessons will happen time and time again, but once you have mastered what it is that you have to learn, the 'problem' will no longer be a bother to you.

    Astrology is a valuable tool to unleashing your innate gifts and challenges. With the help of an astrologer, you are made aware of your strengths, which could then be put to good use (if not already!). Having an awareness of your weaknesses is the first step to self-improvement. Let's face it, no one is perfect! I have personally found that true happiness can only follow with self-acceptance - good or bad, you are who you are!

    Image courtesy of sattva / FreeDigitalPhotos.net