Shape Shifting/Part III

What prepares us for our dying?  What practices help final steps courageously leap toward the most formidable of unknowns?  Need you be Thelma & Louise?  Is religion a balm?  Will belief stave off fear?  Can love do the trick?  All are helpful, except when religion forever damns us, or the beliefs are nihilistic.  And love?  What happens to love when the dying is long and arduous, taking every measure of Grace from slow years of pain?  Sometimes love prevails, often not.  So what, then?  What supports the journey from this moment’s rich, fullness –to what?  Even if it turns out to be a magnificent what, still, from this side it’s a wide and wooly chasm.

From an Astrological POV, Jupiter and Saturn are the threshold planets beyond the personal.  They are the social energies of teachings, beliefs, and large organizational deployment.  Death is often associated with them for very different reasons.  Jupiter, the planet of expansiveness, beliefs, and long distance journeys opens to the great adventure in dying.  The counter point to Jupiter’s jolly largesse is Saturn’s loneliness, timing, structure, and responsibility which often accompany the death of someone loved. Both Jupiter and Saturn can be Astrological signatures of Master Teachers as well as dying.

This third ‘Breath,’ exploring the make up of great teachers, those shape-shifters who transform lives, could provide one of the best answers in preparing for death.  Great teachers supply Saturn’s structure and system, a sense of pacing and stamina.  They require students grow responsible to their own highest good, their inherent abilities.  But teachers  become masters because they are truly Jupiter’s children.  Their delight is in sharing knowledge, being curious, exploring new realms, expanding horizons. Their long distance journeys are often of the mind, from a good book, the internet, and ideas ruminated with friends and students.  They mine different view points. They move lives toward potential, past fear.  They can take us to unknown edges where we are more willing jump off.

Great teachers teach us how to live, how to fulfill the life we were born to inhabit.  In doing so, they are a powerful recourse in teaching us how we can leave life. It’s wonderful to have faith, but if you don’t, it’s wonderful to have wisdom. If not wisdom, curiosity is a great goad…what lies beyond the next hill?

Pose With Seasonal Energies

Asana: Dolphin & Dolphin Kick up to Pincha Mayurasana- From Down Dog, bend the elbows, pressing them inward until they line up under the shoulders, spread fingers wide, releasing energy. Keep back long, lifting tail bone, pressing heels down, breathe into the back, shoulder blades lengthen toward tail bone, head is between upper arms, not touching floor.  Feel the joy of diving into secret depths, far beyond the sun’s light, into the depth of your beautiful heart.  A great way to practice being courageous is to kick up into Pincha Mayurasana/Peacock from Dolphin.  Do it first with one leg in the air. Lifting from the belly, kick bottom leg toward extended one.  Later, with more courage, practice against the wall, kicking both legs up to remain in Pincha.

Health Notes: This pose strengthens the arms, and back, stretches hamstrings and Achilles. Improves digestion, calms brain and helps with depression, and insomnia.  It helps relieve symptoms of menopause, and menstrual pains, especially when head is supported.  Relieves headaches and backaches, is good for sciatica, and asthma, and improves high blood pressure. When we become Dolphin-like, joyous in making days more playful, we meet the guy with the scythe with a hearty chuckle.

Astrological Notes: We entered Cancer territory with a bang this year.  Her sensitive, emotional notes have struggled to emerge from  three eclipses, and many hard planetary contradictions that want to move our world into mayhem and chaos…read transformation and social responsibility.  Think back to the late 60’s, those of you around then, and you will see a repetition of energies urging us to deal with our fears, our shadow-selves, and power; who has it, who doesn’t, who want it.  Wahoo!

Ayurvedic Notes:  Summer, finally for those of us in New England.  Long time coming with extra rain, and a long cool spring.  With the heat, is time to time pay attention to Pitta Dosha.  Do all you can to slow down, and cool down.  Eat light, give up meat, except your yearly dog on the Fourth of July. Wake with the sunset to chant, or mebbe yodel, do an early Practice of stretches to open and remind the body it is Cancer focus to nurture.



This excerpt from your daily breath on dying is extroardinarily well written and so pertinent to my age group. My hope is that love is an undying force as long as it is kept vibrant and passed along. This is a pretty fragile line to hang on to when the time comes. Your thoughts are appreciated , as is our love for each other. Mama


If I write well-it’s the cool DNA you’ve bestowed. And the dying…it’s for any and all ages for we never know what’s going to rip us from our life. A hard thing, of such strange un-reality, to prepare for. No?



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