Astrology

Venus, Taurus and the Heart Chakra

We are now well entered into the month of the Heart chakra with the sun entering the sign of Taurus in the zodiac. I have chosen to hold off on writing this month's blog as the Heart centre is in my opinion the chakra that is often bi-passed or can take the most effort to work with. For me, this has taken time to feel right to write.

Love on earth as we know is a cocktail of bliss at one end and tremendous pain at the other. Compare the first throws of a relationship with the tragic and sudden death of a loved one. Two extremes. Grief is processed at the Heart centre and can be held there for prolonged periods if not allowed to be set free with the changing of the seasons. Flow is natural and therefore important for all the chakras and we all process our emotions in different ways according to our individual makeup. The Heart chakra is the filter essentially for the lower chakra earthly experiences and the gateway to the upper chakras of higher consciousness.

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What I find fascinating about the Heart chakra is the rulership of Venus and its respective signs Taurus (the current monthly focus) and Libra. In the system of medical astrology Venus rules the throat area via the sign Taurus and the reproductive organs amongst other Sacral chakra body parts via Libra. The Heart chakra is very much linked the the Throat and Sacral chakras - the former is the adjacent chakra that we move our emotions up and through via expression and also listening / connecting with others. The Sacral on the other hand is another seat of emotion along with sensuality, creativity, pleasure (joy) and hormones control our experience with our reproductive system, be it our monthly cycle, pregnancy or transitioning into the menopause. The Heart chakra is essential for loving procreation (Sacral) and outward connection with the world (Throat) - it is in essence the central seat of consciousness on Earth sitting in the middle of the 7 chakras and being "Heart centred" is a phrase commonly used these days.

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Venus represents love, arts, all things luxurious and of earthly material value, beauty and the feminine. There is a grace about the current Venusian planetary energy, as she is an evening rising star rather than morning. This means that Venus is now in the guise of Aphrodite (sensual, romantic, gentle) rather than the morning version of Pallas Athena (power woman, defender, fighter) or in the underworld (when she is invisible). I watched her appearance at the last New Moon on April 16th and she was so bright and distinctive it took my breath away. I prayed to her and the moon for support during this period. As a result so far, I have come to great and deep personal realisations and in doing so my Heart chakra has been opened to myself in a way it simply wasn't before. Another layer has been peeled. Self-acceptance, value and love is of course the key to a fulfilling and joyful life on earth and is therefore ironically the hardest task we all face. How we get there varies, but I would urge you to ask the question at this time to Venus and the answer may well be given. It is certainly a time for gentle tlc and forgiveness and her support is very much there.  

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In combination with the current Venusian energy, the sun is in Taurus the sign of the bull, so whatever healing and/or endeavours we set our hearts upon at this time can succeed with passion and determination. As a fixed Earth sign not only does Taurus hold any of the above with strength and solidity, it also encourages us to slow down the pace and steady things after sudden bursting forth of nature at the Martian energy of Aries. Now we can grounds ourselves again before moving forwards (newly retrograde Saturn is also supporting this). This slowing down to me feels natural when working with the Heart as it takes time to enter into its depths and process emotions. In all likelihood during the Air sign of Gemini we will receive more ideas to run with, so think of this as the preparation ground. I like to think of it as clearing the debris, the overgrown weeds perhaps as green resonates with this chakra.

If you imagine the Heart as a garden with layers of flora and fauna that needs a Spring clean this may help you to tap into what or who needs forgiving and releasing for you at this time in order to allow new life to grow without hindrance this season. Already the nettles are in full force like the cleavers and dandelions and so on from the growth spurt during the Aries period. I was asking myself yesterday why don't all our gardens make use of these amazing weeds, but then I thought, it's actually rather lovely to have a green lawn and well kept borders and to keep the wild for the wild then we can enjoy both. Maybe just a patch dedicated to wildness! This is me though, how I perceive, some of you may prefer weeds to take over. I think its somehow symbolic though of our inner gardens and how we tend to them. If nettles were to completely take over the garden then the Martian energy would override the Venusian somewhat and we might become a bit to defensive / prickly and closed hearted for instance.

I'll leave it there for this month. The Heart is a sacred and very personal space, enjoy exploring its unspoken depths in preparation for the Throat chakra with the help of the gentle energy of Venus this May. You may also like to make use of crystals such as the soothing Rose Quartz to help you during this time and Rose essential oils. My "Love" Chakra Aroma Roller has been especially created to work with the Heart chakra and is made in small batches under the planetary hour of Venus. 

Mars, Aries and the Solar Plexus Chakra

Having now entered into the Tropical sign of Aries with the Spring Equinox on 21 March, the focus shifts to our Manipura or Solar Plexus (3rd) chakra located just above the navel area. This is the natural New Year where we can finally grow a little further above the surface of the earth, but it is still a vulnerable time (especially this year astrologically as you will see below). Aries is a cardinal sign - all cardinal signs mark the big seasonal changes during the year and this one is represented by the element of Fire which ignites new life and the solar force beginning to strengthen in the natural year. Mars is the ruling planet of this sign and chakra and also rules Scorpio associated with the fixed Water element. Fire and Water go hand in hand in the early stages of creation (remember that the previous Sacral chakra is also associated with these two elements). I see the Sacral chakra at Pisces time as the more gentle, feminine creative and intuitive force (mutable Water) in which ideas are nurtured in the womb before being realised out into the world at the masculine driven Solar Plexus during Aries (cardinal Fire). 

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The Solar Plexus is all about willpower and in the case of Aries we can see this very clearly in the   representation of the Ram's head (headstrong), Aries does actually rule the head in medical astrology and sticking one's head above the parapet and coming out of hibernation are resonate with Spring. So essentially this is finally when we can begin to take practical worldly action towards manifesting our dreams and goals conceived during Aquarius and Pisces, by making use of the action based driven qualities of Mars to support us. I would say this with a caveat this Spring however, as Mars is actually currently in conjunction with Saturn in Tropical Capricorn (ruled by Saturn) and this can cause some delays as Saturn constricts and slows everything right down. He is also approaching his retrograde period (April 17) so is even more potent in energy as he comes to a standstill. We also have a retrograde Jupiter and invisible and retrograde Mercury to contend with at this time, so please don't be surprised if things don't take start to take solid shape just yet. Delays are all part of God's plan it seems at this time and we are being tested to find that extra Fire within to nourish and flourish this year! There will likely be a revisiting of the earlier part of the year as Saturn retraces his steps, so it is literally a question of going over old ground and revising or redefining plans etc at the Root chakra level. Patience is key but with extra hard work Saturn always rewards so don't give up! As an aside, I sense that the repeated and sudden cold snaps in the UK are also to do with Saturn exerting his power over Mars (remember that he rules Cold / Dry Earth element).

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On a physical level the Solar Plexus is associated with digestion and so here the Fire element really comes into play. If natally your Mars or Aries is strong and emphasised then you might find you have a strong Fire constitution and tendency towards heartburn, indigestion, anger, frustration, stress and inflammation in general, but especially at this time of the year. Again as with the Sacral chakra, balancing this out with some Water element qualities, adding alkaline nutrition and avoiding/limiting stimulants from your diet can help to cool and aid with natural flow and of course vice versa if you have a Fire deficiency. As with all constitutional work, best to find out your type to get a better understanding of the nutrition, herbs and exercises that you can work with to best suit you as an individual. Please note, as I mentioned before in my previous blog on Pisces, there are many systems of working with the elements such as medical astrology, TCM and Ayurveda and different bodily rulerships are looked at - here I am simply focussing on the chakra / zodiac perspective! Ideally we need a good balance of all the elements, but it is good to work with the seasons as the prevalent elements at those given times become triggered and more active in our consciousness and natural environment. 

In general there are some easy things one can do to support the Solar Plexus including exposure to sunshine (Vit D) and warmth - essential in early Spring when we are coming out of the Winter darkness. The more physical yang/Sun based Western yoga is also very much a Solar Plexus / masculine orientated practice (as opposed to Yin or Moon Yoga). Although it is Mars that rules the Solar Plexus, as its name gives away, the Sun is also of importance - both share heat as properties and Fire. Moderate according to your constitution, but this practice would help someone with underactive Fire especially, not those who are heavily yang in constitution - then you are best suited to Yin or Moon practice to bring out the feminine flow. If you find you have surges of energy at this time as is natural during Spring then try to channel these into exercise, creative pursuits, gardening and helping others so that the energy flows (Water element) up and out of the body and doesn't remain stuck - this is the time for more external activity (increased daylight hours) and being proactive (Martian qualities).

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In terms of the Tarot, Temperance and the Strength cards relate to Mars - the former being the feminine qualities (notice the Water in the image - keeping the Ego in check) and the latter the masculine (Courage to face fears and challenges). So again one can exercise Temperance with an excessive Mars / Aries / Fire bringing in more of the feminine Scorpio / Water side of things and vice versa. The two go hand in hand and are essential for maintaining health and building dreams throughout the natural year. In Cardology (reading the Playing Cards) the suit of Hearts comes into play at Spring Equinox and represents Water and the Fruits in nature - it is preceded by the Spades, which represent Fire and the Life Force in nature - so again we can see obvious synergies and interchanges with these two elements moving from Winter to Spring and encouraging new sparks (Fire) and shoots / fruit buds (Water) of life.

Keep an eye out during Aries for more on the Solar Plexus including herbs, recipes, crystal info and aromatherapy! Do also check out my Spring sale with 30% off selected items in honour of the 3rd chakra!

Crystals for Sacral Chakra Support

Here are a few suggestions of crystals to work with for Sacral chakra support. These are usually best placed on the lower abdomen or lower spinal area during healing or meditation. You should ideally take the time to tune into the stones yourself before purchasing as each will vibrate differently even if they are the same kind! Once purchased cleansing by using incense smoke, running water (if non porous) or burying in brown rice then charging under the full moon, over your heart chakra by sending in light from this area, or in direct sunlight; followed by verbal dedication to the course are recommended before use.

Crystals for this area are generally orange in colour, sometimes with white or grey bands. This I feel echoes the planet Jupiter who governs this chakra. The stones listed below are not under his rulership but they work well to balance this area which should ideally be warm and moist in constitution as Jupiter rules the elements water and fire (see my previous blog on Pisces Season and the Sacral Chakra). This way menstrual health in particular can be maintained and supported as these are optimal conditions for the womb.

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Orange Calcite -  This stone balances emotions along with the masculine and feminine energies. It grounds excessive enthusiasm and inspires joy and happiness whilst supporting the kidneys and lower digestive function. A useful stone for IBS sufferers. It lies under the planetary rulership of the Sun and relates to the Fire element so does well to warm the area, useful if you are prone to low Fire and or excessive Water or Earth in particular.

Carnelian - A friendly and healing stone and my all time favourite for the Sacral chakra. Carnelian is ruled by the Sun, brings the element of Fire and is a good balancing stone and energiser. It can boost creativity, sexuality and self-esteem along with reinforcing connection to the inner self. Again like calcite it can bring equilibrium between the masculine and feminine aspects of your being. It supports the gallbladder, kidneys and pancreas and can aid with tissue regeneration. I work with carnelian in my healing sessions and when blending my Chakra Teas and also include it in both Chakra Body Scrubs and in the Creativity Chakra Aroma Roller

Crocoite - Ruled by Mars, this stone brings the Fire element (stronger than the Sun ruled stones) and stimulates sexual energy and passion. It provides stamina in life-changing situations and promotes new creative ideas. Crocoite can bring about self confidence, particularly in relationships and is known to support people through divorce. 

Halite - This stone relates to the Water element and is governed by the Moon. It is useful for cases of water retention in the body and can reduce swelling. Halite being mutable energetically like the moon, has a balancing effect on the emotions, helping to even out mood swings and hormone levels. Its general settling effect can also be useful for easing digestive discomforts. If you have an excess of Water (Phlegmatic or Kapha) then this stone can help to balance your constitution.

Copper - A metal traditionally associated with Venus and the Earth element, copper can also be used to support sacral health as in medical astrology Venus rules the ovaries and Libra (the sign it governs) rules the fallopian tubes, lumbar spinal region, kidneys and hormonal balancing. Copper revitalises as it conducts energy very effectively (think electrical wiring) so great for boosting chi and also eliminating toxins. It is warmer in nature than other metals and will amplify the effects of any stone it is placed with, especially those ruled by Venus such as diamonds and clear quartz.

Pisces Season and the Sacral Chakra

As we have now entered the Pisces season according to the Tropical zodiac it is time to shift our awareness to the second chakra known in Sanskrit as the Svadhisthana and in English as the Sacral chakra. This chakra is ruled by the great benefic planet Jupiter who naturally expands anything we focus upon, he is known as "Guru" in Vedic astrology - the almighty wise one, the teacher of universal knowledge and wisdom. This chakra is related to the Water element and it governs our creativity, deep intuition and joy, the true powers of the feminine can be found here. Without creation there would be nothing - that is how important attention to this chakra is. Physically it rules the womb and reproductive organs, lower spine and abdomen, lower digestive organs, kidneys and bladder area. This chakra is symbolised by a six petaled lotus flower, the number six is very harmonious and can bring bliss in terms of temporal human fulfilment - it is a lower chakra, therefore mostly about earthly matters rather than the divine intelligence found in the upper chakras.

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If we consider the season related to Pisces in the northern hemisphere it is still Winter but with signs of Spring beginning to show themselves. The odd new buds on the trees, the bulbs of low level plants shooting up from the ground and the sunshine beginning to feel warm again on our skin. Only the strongest flora and fauna and animals will survive the next month or so on into the Spring and Summer to then achieve a full cycle of the natural year. Putting this into a human context, this is very much the time to begin feeling ourselves again from within as seasonal element has now moved from Earth to the more fluid Water. We are no longer needing to hibernate or retreat quite so much as during the Capricorn/Aquarius season, we can now begin to emerge slowly, but carefully, so as not to undo our Root chakra work from these previous few months.

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Emotions are likely to surface at this time (Water), we are fragile and more vulnerable when we tap into our feminine nature. I would encourage going into these rather than simply brushing them off in "masculine" way, as deep and lasting healing can take place at this time. It may be that you find yourself more easily triggered by people or even foods that you ingest - if so take these as signs and opportunities for creative growth within, along with emotional and bodily detoxing. Channel any anger or hurt into creativity, practice meditation (in the dark best with Pisces) and have quite times in nature just to see what comes and then work with this. Try gentle swimming or other water based activities like walking by the sea, spending time in a jacuzzi / hot tub or surfing for instance. Ride the waves so to speak! This should help with balancing the Water element within you as an individual, whether it is weak or strong.

As the other zodiacal sign associated with the Sacral chakra is Sagittarius and ruled by the Fire element, I would also suggest continuing the slightly warmer spiced foods during this season and less of the raw if your constitution has excess Water or you have a weak Fire element that needs strengthening, as sometimes the former can literally put the latter out. As always do keep it in balance though, listen to your body and remember it is still important to connect with Water at this time and our more feminine emotional side. If you don't know your constitutional type then you can look into this via many methods including Western Herbalism, Ayurveda, Astrology and acupuncturist Rhiannon Griffiths has an excellent downloadable free e-book on her website where you can find out via the Chinese 5 Element System - check it out here.

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Essentially when we mirror nature life flows more smoothly than when we go against the grain. At this time it is very tempting to just push push push onwards in a very yang or masculine way... BUT I would urge you to only take steps forward on the days where this comes naturally. As in nature right now there will be increasingly more days as we get closer to Spring Equinox (21st March) and Solar Plexus season that are more "firey", however there will also be the colder, slower, damp days that will nip you in the bud if you don't respect them! So if you are having an "off" day, or being blocked somehow by external circumstances, just remember this is par for the course in life full stop, but also especially at this time of the year. In the long run you are better acknowledging these moments and gaining insight and wisdom as they arise.

Pisces wants us to dig deep into the darkness and see what jewels you can bring to the surface, be it past hurts finally ready to release back to spirit or new ideas to nurture gently and take forward. "Nurture" really is a key word here, as a mother would a child in her womb. As I mentioned in my post on The REAL New Year and How to Prepare starting a vision board is a really helpful exercise during the Winter months - this is especially true during Pisces season as its all about visioning, insights and our longer term dreams. Speaking of which make sure you pay attention to those literally too each night - they may become more vivid as the subconscious tries to get messages through to you, follow the journey through the season. Pisces is the most mystical and dark "behind the scenes" zodiac sign, the perfect combination for working with the womb governing Sacral chakra! Also a great time to have evening female gatherings that bring out the inner goddess in each other, especially as Venus is just rising again in the sky. Restorative, yin or shadow practice done after sunset may also bring more growth and healing than the more physical yang (Solar) based yoga practices.

This Pisces Season we will continue on the theme of the Sacral chakra including recipes from The Chakra Kitchen: Feed your Body to Nourish your Spirit, crystal recommendations and more to support your journey! 

Crystals for Root Chakra Support

As promised in my previous post Capricorn, Saturn and the Root Chakra here are some crystals that can be used to support the Root chakra. These are usually best placed at the base of the spine and/or between the thighs, knees and at the base of the feet during meditation or healing sessions, but feel free to experiment. You should ideally take the time to tune into the stones yourself before purchasing as each will vibrate differently even if they are the same kind! Once purchased cleansing by using incense smoke, running water (if non porous) or burying in brown rice then charging under the full moon, over your heart chakra by sending in light from this area, or in direct sunlight; followed by verbal dedication to the course are recommended before use.

In general the stones listed below for the Root chakra fall into two main categories 1) warming, stimulating and engaging or 2) cooling, distancing and protective. The former work well to counteract constriction, stagnation and the cooler and constricting aspects of the Saturnian influence in this chakra. For instance one who suffers from constipation or poor circulation to the extremities, general melancholy or a "stuck in the mud" attitude might do well to work with a warming red toned stone or hematite to lift the mood and get things going. The latter black stones work more to calm down an overactive, hyper or "angry" system/temperament and earth the excess energy. They also physically protect, acting as good shields often deflecting negative forces or earthing them. This is especially useful when ill or recovering from anything traumatic where the defences might be down. 

Hematite I feel sits somewhere between the two categories mentioned above, both in its colour and temperament. Even though it is stimulating it also seems to ground energy really well in a stabilising way and is also a good protector. Black Tourmaline follows somewhere between Hematite and Onyx in the spectrum of coolness.   

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Garnet - A warming stone that energises and can evoke fortitude and courage (inner strength). It is able to cleanse at a deep level by removing toxins. Garnet is a powerful stone that stimulates and helps to get ideas and projects off the ground so to speak! In other words long lasting foundations can be laid in all areas of life (including relationships) working with this stone as it helps get one into the right state of mind. Garnet is one of those humbling stones that can bring you more into your authenticity with confidence and help you to platform yourself out in the world, bringing both stable material, physical and emotional achievements in its wake. The SWILK Strength Chakra Aroma Roller contains this stone. Like Ruby below the Sun is the associated planet with this stone, but I would say it is the more stimulating of the two.

Red Jasper - This stone grounds both spiritually and emotionally and is a tonic for the whole body thus working well with the immune system. It eases the path to change so very useful for people who are stuck in the mud and fixed in their ways and find it hard to move forward in new directions. When conducting spiritual/psychic work, Red Jasper can act as a safe anchor to Earth and also supports stamina by encouraging the slow release of energy. It is a very practical stone, helping one to reach solutions in a grounded way and a good stone to aid with physical repairs of the body. 

Ruby - Ruby is a gentler and more steadying stone associated with the Sun. It can bring vitality, charisma, and success to those who work with it. The polarity of warmth (Sun ruling the uppermost 6th or 7th chakra depending on the system being used) works particularly well in balancing out a stagnant and cold Root chakra. It is a fantastic stone for providing a sense of security and self-esteem and has the ability ground and steady a person helping them with everyday life. Ruby can help to attract wealth and also eases menstrual cycle issues. I generally work with Ruby in Chakra Sessions for the Root and it forms part of the SWILK set of luxury Chakra Crystals.

Hematite - A very good tonic for the blood and circulatory system, Hematite has an energising yet stabilising effect. It grounds and anchors electrical currents and energy so is very useful to have around when feeling spaced out. Hematite supports all aspects of the mind and body and can help to realise dreams and spiritual concepts on the earth plane. A stone that can help with increasing self-esteem and brings about a general sense of strength and security - very empowering. This stone is high in iron content, which is the metal associated with firey Mars the other so called hotter "malefic" planet or brother to Saturn. In this way they can be used similarly to the stones above ruled by the Sun to counteract elemental imbalances in the Root i.e. excess cold and constriction.  

Black Tourmaline - This stone protects the user from negative forces by deflection, it also grounds and provides a sense of security with its very strong affiliation to the element Earth. It is a powerful healer of mental disorders with the ability to stabilise the emotions. It brings realignment and structure to ones life, strengthening the will to meet change and new challenges. Black Tourmaline can help with elimination as it has a detoxifying effect and supports healthy weight loss. It is also a soothing stone for the skeletal and muscular systems. Black Tourmaline contains some iron, so it isn't as cooling in effect as Onyx, but not quite as energising as Hematite. 

Onyx - An excellent stone to use when trying to let go of the past and releasing karma from the Root chakra. It has a calming effect and can balance out hot tempers, irritability and excitability in people. It grounds and concentrates energy and encourages stillness and introspection. Onyx can have the effect of making one appear invisible to others and become more of a recluse (reflecting the more melancholic, detached and impersonal side of Saturn). So unless you are incredibly "Martian" (excess fire) in constitution and attitude and really need to tone things down and take a step back, then best to work with a second more stimulating stone such as Ruby so that you remain interactive with other people and not completely cool and aloof. 

If you would like to delve into your chakras further and receive more in-depth support and guidance then consider one-to-one Chakra Sessions with me, where I work with crystals alongside other healing methods to suit you. 

 

Capricorn, Saturn and the Root Chakra

As I mentioned in my previous post on The REAL New Year and How to Prepare - this is the time of year when it is important to rest, restore and gently build up our physical strength throughout Winter before Spring Equinox and the subsequent weeks. According to Sidereal astrology the sun is now in the zodiac sign of Capricorn (whose main constellation is known as the Sea-Goat or sometimes Crocodile in ancient mythologies) and this is ruled by Saturn who also governs the Root chakra (Muladhara). More daylight now enters our lives again as we gradually build up the strength to increase our daily activities and go out into the world proper again come Spring. In the Tropical zodiac the Sun entered the zodiac sign of Capricorn on the day of the Winter Solstice so at the time of writing this post both systems align.

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In ancient Vedic mythology the Sun (father) does not usually get on with Saturn (his Son), but his entry into the Capricorn is an exception - a truce moment if you like where positive soul growth can be experienced. Saturn is the slowest moving and deepest acting amongst the seven personal planets and is also known constitutionally as the coldest (furthest from the Sun). Therefore it resonates well with the season of Winter in the northern hemisphere with its undertones of darkness, death, decay and endings. With the Sun entering this area of the zodiac and the days increasingly getting longer now until Summer Solstice, we have a sense that there is hope for sustainable life on Earth both for its natural fauna and inhabitants who are keen and able to complete another seasonal cycle. In this sense it can also symbolise eternal life or life after death - the rising power of the Sun again. If we can face the cold hard truth about ourselves at this time (which Saturn represents and can trigger) and shed any illusions, then it is my belief that rewarding and long term results can occur from working with this energy.

Whilst Saturn can represent loyalty and longevity it can also bring about the strength to say no when necessary if boundaries have been breached (something that many find hard to do). It seems no wonder for instance that both personal and working relationships end at this time of the year as a lot of self-recognition can take place and perhaps sometimes it is about reconciling with this away from others, so that we can grow as individual souls before reconnecting again externally. If we have been caught in an illusion that all is well when really it isn't, then Saturn is the teacher that can certainly wake us up with a thud - bring us back down to earth literally!

The Root chakra is all about physicality and predominantly the earth element, which also rules Capricorn. If we nurture our immune systems, keep our body temperatures stable and rest well during this time then we will have enough reserves built up for the Spring. Solid roots and foundations for the cycle ahead can be created. As the seat of the Kundalini, the Root chakra is an important area and should be well tended to. Running before we can walk can often cause problems later on such as falls and accidents and it is the natural order of things from birth to do one before the other as our root chakras are developing. Likewise, in yoga if you fully activate and raise the Kundalini before you are sufficiently prepared i.e. on loose foundations, often traumatic consequences can occur spiritually/psychologically and physically. So even though I encourage starting to work with your dreams and goals at this time (as I stated in my previous post), take your time, plant those seeds slowly and work with and not against the natural forces at this time of the year.

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Facing our truth and consciously making efforts to speak and act with sincerity are great ways to honour the energy of Capricorn, Saturn and the root chakra. We are working here with the sign and planet that naturally rule the 10th house of the zodiac - this is at the peak or top of the wheel and the place where our status and recognition in the world lies. It is the absolute pinnacle above the horizon where feminine meets masculine side by side in the constellations of Capricorn and Aquarius. Ask yourself questions such as "How is it that I want to be seen by others?" and "Is this who I genuinely am, or is this the mask that I like to wear?" - liberate yourself into authenticity.

I would also recommend introspection and meditation on the Root chakra at this time, as Saturn is all about discipline and patience (this is really the primary intended way to work with all the chakras, so good to get into the habit now as we begin our journey through this year). You can do this simply by visualising the four petalled lotus flower at the base of the spine and internalising the seed mantra "lam". If you wish you add the colour red and work with a gemstone such as onyx or garnet then use your intuition on which will work with you the best at that time (my next post will go into more detail on possible gemstones to use when working with this chakra). In my downloadable FREE Tops Tips I give other ways to work with the root chakra. I would also recommend eating more root vegetables (see The Chakra Kitchen for recipes) and working with aromatherapy oils such as those contained in my Strength Chakra Aroma Roller as they work on a deep sensory level (again particularly relevant for the root).

I wish you all the best in connecting with your Root chakra and building new foundations for the year ahead and look out for further posts as we move through the zodiac cycle.

Addendum: Please note that the zodiacal period of Aquarius is also traditionally ruled by Saturn and can be used to similar effect in supporting the Root chakra, although the element associated with this sign is air, thus it can also be a time to bring things into the heart chakra area (appropriate for St Valentine's Day). Inner tending and forgiveness are ideal to help your new roots grow strong. I recommend during tropical Aquarius to start to go outside more and breathe in the beginnings of new life in nature and adding the element of air to the seeds you are planting within for the year ahead. Importantly Imbolc/Candlemass occur at this time (the half-way point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox) - a celebration of light increasing and new life beginning to shoot forth, the Crone becoming the Maiden again.