A LOOK AT THE U.S. BIRTH CHART AND ITS MESSAGE FOR 2018

This July 4, Colin Bedell and Bess Matassa take a look at at the U.S. birth chart, as well as the message of the country’s 2018 solar return and its forecast in the tarot …

Photo: Mike Enerio

Human beings aren’t the only subjects gifted with astrological birth charts. The moment the ink dried on the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia on July 4th, 1776, the astrology of The United States of America was sealed … 

:: THE U.S. BIRTHCHART ::
Rising: Sagittarius // Sun: Cancer // Moon: Aquarius // Mercury: Cancer // Venus: Cancer // Mars: Gemini

At her best, the U.S. embodies the highest expressions of Cancer energy: deep love and protection for the home, and reverence for the family. With a lucky, Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius Rising, American spirit can be kind, contagiously optimistic, and generously available.

Pair these with an independent Aquarius moon, and you’ve got streaks of intellectual liberation and equality-seeking. After all, it’s important to remember that in 1776, a government for the people and by the people was nothing short of a radical political experiment that repudiated the aristocratic and monarchic political paradigms! Her Mars in Gemini helps enshrine this self-government experiment in words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident …”

Of course, the highest expressions of these energies don’t always manifest. From the defensive, hypersensitive Cancerian nature, to her “admit no wrong, thou-must-not-disagree with me” Aquarius gone dogmatic Moon, it’s on us to recognize these blinds spots and work to elevate her potential.

Looking at the current political climate, it’s clear this shadow work is far from done. But the U.S. has always been a nation of dualities. When the Founding Fathers wrote, “All men are created equal” in the Constitution, they themselves were slave owners.

But this country has been working to actualize her enlightened principles since the very beginning. As she completes another turn around the Sun, may we remember and commit to follow in the example of those who fought for abolition, who fought for suffrage, who fought for civil rights, who fought for peace.

With Sagittarius Rising and an Aquarius Moon, idealism and humanitarianism pumps through the veins of the U.S. The work is to recognize that seeking higher ground necessitates moving forward with utmost integrity, humility, and grace.

U.S. Tarot Birth Cards: Temperance & The Hierophant
The divinatory blend of energies that makes up the U.S. foundation in the tarot conjures images of road-tripping, public libraries, and the wide-open capacity to truly free our minds and let the rest follow. These two cards show the country’s cosmic mission is to tow the line between ideological leadership and overblown zealotry, and to learn exactly when to turn hardened beliefs loose to let them mix and mingle with a higher law.

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:: THE 2018 SOLAR RETURN CHART ::  
Rising: Cancer // Sun: Cancer // Moon: Aries // Mercury & Venus: Leo // Mars: Aquarius 

It’s a glowing cosmic BBQ for the U.S. this year, with the country’s Solar Return Chart emphasizing sparky Aries and glittering Leo energies. The message? To come at the unknown with a generously unguarded heart, and to check any unconscious impulses to use muscle to get the solutions we want at the door.
These fire signs demand creative integration of the masculine principle, and with Mars currently retrograde in electrically innovative Aquarius, the medicine is to radically renovate our concept of the “yang” in all its flavors. When can a push become the first move towards a hug? What would shift if every action came from a place of giving rather than merely doing for doing’s sake?
As Cancer hits the collective Ascendent, we’re also being challenged to dissolve borders like never before, and invite in nurturing of the self and others in service of creating the sanctuary spaces we’ve long imagined.
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U.S. Tarot Cards for 2018: The Fool & The Emperor 
This year’s U.S. tarot forecast poses questions about proportionality, and how the country takes up space in the world at large. The Emperor wants us to remember that acting as majestic protectors is most glorious when there’s nothing to prove and no trace of self-righteousness. And The Fool enters the collective consciousness to spark 180s and diving board leaps into new ways of being. The country is called to recapture an innocent sensation of free-wheeling exploration, where curiously releasing the need to know it all can reignite our sense of adventure about what the world at large can teach us.

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Colin is a literal Gemini Twin Astrologer from Long Island, New York, a passionate student of A Course in Miracles, and a graduate of Parsons School of Design. Discover more about his work at QueerCosmos and follow him on Instagram. 

Bess is available for private readings and astro-themed events. Follow her on Instagram and connect with her at bessmatassa.com

HOW TO BALANCE YOUR HUSTLE AND FLOW

As we emerge from our wintry cocoon and head toward the Spring Equinox, how do we keep worldly ambitions aligned with our intuition? Greta Solomon shows us exactly how to support our soul goals by balancing hustle and flow …

Greta gets her hustle on

There’s never been a better time to be a self-driven woman with big dreams, and a big heart. In the past, we were taught to err on the side of caution when it came to career. When I left my full-time gig to go freelance in 2002, I was warned not to leave gaps in my resumé.

Now, taking a year out is seen as decidedly grown-up. It’s all about the side hustles, taking big leaps, and embracing the highs and lows of being your own boss.

But to truly succeed on your own path, is about more than simply “making it happen.” It also means being in the creative flow. Without mastering this, it’s easy to feel stifled and frustrated, as you try to muscle through inevitable blocks.

In the corporate world, we’re taught to operate in fight or flight mode. Success often means “putting out fires” and dealing with crises. Many of us have absorbed this mentality. That work is all about pushing, striving and achieving linear goals. That it requires stress and strain.

But to get your own business off the ground—and see it thrive—we need to exist in an Alpha brain state. The state of being alert yet relaxed, this is where you can access your intuition, and write, think and speak most freely.

Read on for my tips for dipping into your Alpha, and using your flow to fuel a successful business …

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1// Schedule flow time in your diary
Meaning blocks of time where you deliberately do activities that create flow—ESPECIALLY when you have deadlines and tons on your “to-do” list. You could have a head-clearing walk, do a workout, or chop some veggies to make a big salad. Cooking, driving, running and showering help you get out of your mind and into your body. Listening to music at 60 beats per minute can also get you in an Alpha state, priming you to do your best work. Find what works for you.

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2// Make important decisions when you’re in your flow
Five years ago, most of my writing skills training clients were sales teams in the corporate world. So, a coach advised me to call myself a “sales expert” and totally ignore the fact that I taught writing. This was VERY, VERY wrong advice, that led me away from my true path. At the time, I was juggling a new baby and a newly-published book. I was frazzled and couldn’t think straight. I recommend using your flow time to carefully consider your big career choices.

Greta in full flow

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3// Know your personality type, so you can do things YOUR way
Do you know your Myers-Briggs personality type (you can take a free version HERE)? Having this info means you’re less likely to second guess yourself when it comes to the BIG decisions. For example, I’m an “INFP” type, which means I’m introverted, sensitive and rely on intuition to make choices. I’m unconventional and enjoy working alone, but my empathic nature means I also connect very well with people. Knowing my type has helped me to feel confident about building a business based on writing, speaking and coaching.

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4// Plan and plan some more—because creativity also needs a container
But don’t just sit at a computer and make spreadsheets. Go on quarterly or yearly planning retreats, where you switch off from everything and map out your vision in both pictures and words. Creativity is truly your secret weapon when it comes to business success. After all, there are no new ideas, products or services—it’s all about your unique spin on things.

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5// Sometimes you just need to hustle hard
It’s fine to hustle when you need to—when the deadlines are stacked up, opportunities are popping, and there are bills to pay. But do it consciously and mindfully. Keep your time in the Beta energy zone to a minimum. Then schedule plenty of time to rest and recover afterwards—as well as some space to just go with the flow!

Ultimately, there is no short cut to building your own business. But knowing exactly where you’re putting your energy and why, will help to prevent burnout. It’s about learning to protect your sacred creative
time, so you can hustle with heart, and create a business that lasts.

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Greta Solomon is an author, creative writing coach, business writing trainer and former journalist for British newspapers and magazines. She is the author of “Just Write It! How to Develop Top-Class University Writing Skills” (McGraw-Hill, 2013) and the forthcoming book “Heart, Soul & Sass: Write Your Way to a Fully-Expressed Life” (pre-order it HERE from April 15th for fab bonuses). She lives in South West London with her husband and daughter, runs creative writing workshops for bloggers and the business world, and coaches people to bring their own books to life. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.