Punxsutawney Phill

Nothing against Aquarians, but February is not a cakewalk as months go. We have spent our money, and bills are due. Pipes are frozen, and you can’t smell spring. We have gained weight, and resolutions haven’t paid off yet. Taxes, like heating bills, loom large. Given that the above are true, what do we most need? Hope & Silliness, not necessarily in that order. Groundhog’s Day goes a long way to satisfying hopes with lashings of silliness.

Groundhog Day history is a strange combination of European and Native Indian ritual and story.
In February 4, 1841 a Pennsylvania-German storekeeper referred to a celebration of Candlemas, which has origin in the pagan celebration of Imbolc. It is timed for the mid-point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Candles were lit and carried home to dark houses. Superstition was that if the weather was fair, the second half of Winter would be stormy and cold.

The other half of the Groundhog equation emerged from the Delaware Indians, who considered groundhogs honorable ancestors. According to their original creation beliefs, their forebears began life as animals in “Mother Earth” and emerged centuries later to hunt and live as men. The Woodchuck comes from the Indian legend of “Wojak, the groundhog” who was considered to be the Indian’s ancestral grandfather. Punxsutawney comes from the Indian name for a location, “ponksad-uteney” which means “the town of the sandflies.”

So far so good. None of this is particularly interesting or makes any connection to today’s legend. They simply increase the nonsense around Groundhog Day, casting wierd shadows on it’s history. What I love is that from these disparate, sacred beginnings, it took Americans only a few short years to turn them into the bizarre ritual of Punxsutawney Phil looking for his shadow.

Asanas: If the requirement is to be hopeful, and silly, then the poses are: Bakasana/Crane into Sirsanana/headstand, and back up again. Many of you never thought you’d ever stand on your heads, the other half never thought to be able to ‘pull your bodies up into a ball over your arms. You’ve done both. There’s hope. Now you are to put them together, and think of how silly it looks to be squeezing yourself into these positions, much less worrying about whether you can do it or not. The Groundhog roots for you.

Astrology and Yoga of Transformation



  • Expand intuition.  Inner voices are more easily heard in silence.
  • Ruminate well and wisely.  What we think matters most.
  • Words can wound.  Grow awareness and take greater responsibility when communicating.  Twitter be damned!
  • Move on beyond old lumps and bumps.

This week is dominated by Wednesday’s New Moon in Gemini.  This is not the purely mental Gemini, rather one encompassing emotional intelligence.  I have been touching on this theme off and on all spring, and this New Moon is an Astrological birth marker for that profound connection between heart and mind.  Mercury, ruler of Sun and Moon in Gemini, and facile god of thinking, communicating, and inquiry, is in Cancer, sign of the emotional Moon. This offers opportunity to listen with empathy, and speak from open-hearted-spaces.  The downside is we are extra spongy and sensitive, making it all too easy to take things personally….a Cancerian downfall.

Mercury faces off with old man Saturn, whose demanding demeanor promotes taking more responsibility, and doing the hard work.  His authoritarian ways will not allow the easy way out:  Walk your talk.  Listen to your sorrow.  Heal old wounds caused by careless words. Be thorough and patient.  Alongside his tough pull, Venus pushes at the critical 29 degrees of Cancer.  Channel emotional heart-knowledge, especially from the reservoir of understanding past experience.  Listen with care to the feeling, or energy, of words.  Energy always offers greater meaning than the words themselves.  This quiet intuitive ‘ahaaa’ takes us further, faster.

Cancer is the signature of family, home, mom.  Gemini is the signature of siblings as well as communication.  Saturn is the signature for Pater Familias.  Much of the energetic entwining at this New Moon is about healing old family issues.  It offers an opportunity to take responsibility for our role in riffs.  It’s dark birth takes us inward to shift past points of view, inviting new movement out of stuck childhood emotion, and judgment, toward greater perception.

Assisting the shift is a Mercury ‘Out of Bounds.’  This is an Astrological term describing a planet whenever it travels beyond its normal range of declination.  It speaks of an energy that is not confined, and therefor available to move beyond conventional boundaries, and old ways of thinking.  Mercury also sextiles Uranus, the higher octave of the mind, creating yet another opportunistic energetic to think outside the box.  Use this New Moon’s potential to mine the past in preparation of a future that expands your EI/Emotional Intelligence. EI is the signature of greater business success, never mind-LIFE. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by!


THIS WEEK’S BIRTHDAYS:   Dear Gemini of Geminis, plan to enlarge and synthesize your emotional and mental storehouses of knowledge.  You will find yourself looking back to have a better picture of how you can move forward.  If you can still your overactive mind into a still well of deep waters, your intuition will grow and respond more actively.  Holding these polarities will fortify your gifts, and offer you not only greater inner ability for self care, but wisdom to lead the world.  Have at it!  We need you now!!

Astrological Consultations:   It’s always a good time to look at one’s life from an objective, non-judgmental ‘soul point of view.’ This is especially helpful when dust flies and the future looks unfamiliar.  If you are asking, “What is my genius, and how do I wish to use it?  How can I move deeply into my healing? When do I make moves for success?”  Then let us swim in your life together, in wonderful discovery.  Email  samcatcam@gmail.com

YOUR PRACTICE THIS WEEK:  Normally, New Moons are a time for quiet, introspective practices of a Yin and Restorative nature.  This serves us all.  But energetic strong push-pulls urge us beyond gentle comfort zones. Tune into your body and its needs.  Begin habits that nurture and create a strong inner home base.  Think about, then move to your mat with five poses you love, feeling quiet release while you build muscle.  GOING UPSIDE DOWN WITH A FRIEND IS A PERFECT GEMINI EXPRESSION OF THIS NEW MOON! Changes point of view.  Creates back to back support. No talking necessary.  Listen to breath and sudden giggles, this honors all manner of sensory needs!


Wed. June 14,5:15pm –All levels, & 7 pm- level II/III,  Laughing Dog, Wellesley, MA

Friday, June 16, 9am-1:30 pm- Advanced Techniques,The studio at One Edson, Natick. This seminar explores the anatomy and alignment of arm balances, with bandhas and breath.  Sutras, with their philosophical, ethical connotations are synthesized into the physical.   It is an opportunity to break boundaries, to teach and share knowledge. RSVP-samcatcam@gmail.com

Sat. June 17, 8:30, level II-III, and 10:00 am- all levels. RSVP Email  samcatcam@gmail.com