Tuesday, 7 March 2017

When a Flower Speaks

People often ask me why I’m so fascinated with astrology and it’s always difficult to explain how vast the subject is and how different astrologers have different approaches to the topic. But I like how astrology can demonstrate the inner connections of events on earth. Recently I’ve had a couple of very strange experiences that I’m still trying to work out. But here goes:

On the 10th of February 2015, 1:00 am in Rishikesh India, I was spending my first night in an ashram. Earlier in the evening, I had participated in my first ever meditation session and I was looking forward to the morning session. It was also my first evening of my North Node dasha (although I didn’t know it then). As I was sleeping, I became aware that I was levitating. I also realised I was no longer sleeping: it was as if the rules of physics had been suspended. There were other beings in the room who seemed neither malevolent or benevolent: they just seemed to be observers. I was afraid to rouse myself to full consciousness because it all seemed so real  - were I to crash to the marble floor from the height I perceived myself to be floating, there would be serious damage to my physical body. It was then I understood I was no longer in my physical body. I didn’t feel I had died (where was the white light everyone talks about?) but I knew I was having an out-of-body experience. Why me I wondered? I still have no idea. But it did convince me that there are different planes of existence where other beings live: somehow my plane and their plane intersected. I felt I was being observed and that my reaction to the observation was important. I had been ‘opened up’ to something.

I must have dozed back into unconsciousness because the next thing I knew was that the horn calling us to meditation was being blown. It was 5am and I was acutely aware that something within me had been altered but I didn’t have the ability to understand what it was. It seemed to me like I was missing several pieces to a jigsaw puzzle.

To construct the chart of the moment, I’ve used the time of 1am (I couldn’t check my watch in the middle of an out of body experience!). The last time I had checked my watch before going to sleep, it was around 11pm. I had enough awareness during my experience to perceive there was no sunlight and I had been a little irritated to be partially roused out of a sound sleep. I do not think I was roused during a REM cycle as I had no recollection of dreaming. Following the experience, I returned to a deep sleep and did not wake again until I heard the call to meditation. Using the time of 1am is a bit of a guess and it was the first (and only) time I used but it ties in beautifully with my second mystic moment which I’ll get to in a minute.

Mystic Moments

An account of some famous “Mystic Moments” was posted by Gary Philipson on Skyscript. To compare my experience to the experience of others, let’s have a look:

1)      At twilight on 15th January, 1964, Muz Murray sat on the shore of Cyprus and
‘within him, in a moment, a crack opened in the egg of cosmic understanding. His whole being became illumined with a sudden revelatory awareness sensed through every cell in his body which changed the course of his life, and ultimately, the lives of many who have come into contact with him. Those few moments of ‘cosmic consciousness’ led him to intensify his studies into the why and wherefore of man’s relationship to the All.

This led him to found the hippie journal ‘Gandalf’s Garden’ a few years later, and these quotes come from Issue One in May 1968.

2)      On 8 April, 1998, Hazel Courtney while walking into Harrods started having a divine encounter that changed her life:

‘As I walked into the turnstile at the entrance to the bread stall, it stuck, and during those few seconds of feeling trapped I felt as though a volcano of energy was erupting inside me, my chest and head felt as though they were going to explode. Within seconds, I could hear voices in my head, which I knew had not emanated from my brain. Within 15 minutes I was rushed to my doctor, who believed I might have suffered a heart attack. As he applied the heart monitors, I began to “feel” my doctor’s thoughts in my head. Believe me that was an awesome moment for both of us. Several hundred more were to follow.

As my experience accelerated, the physical effects became almost intolerable and on the Easter Sunday with a medical doctor present I underwent a near-death – an out of the body experience during which I truly understood that human consciousness survives physical death.
Within days I was forced to leave my Sunday Times column [she worked as an alternative health columnist] due to the sheer amount of phenomena happening around me. My energy field became so powerful that light bulbs and computers would crash. By concentrating on our TV I could change channels using the power of the mind…’
(Kindred Spirit Vol 81, July/Aug 2006)

She has since written two books on the subject.

3)      While journeying from Amsterdam to Delft, Emanuel Swedenborg had his first experience of enlightenment that was to change his life: ‘He had experienced emotional turmoil over the Easter weekend, but during his journey on Monday, he enjoyed a wonderful feeling of bliss. That night, he suddenly was seized with such trembling that he fell from his bed onto the floor’ and he then ‘felt that he had been divinely commissioned to do a special work.’ (A Scientist Explores Spirit, a biography of Emanuel Swedenborg Dole &Kirven, 1997, p.39, Chapter, ‘The Turning-Point’ The date was then 7 April, 1744

4)      ‘In the early morning of 11 May, 1895, came the crowning experience of my life’ (Burke, Cosmic Consciousness, p.292), The Irishman Paul Tyler was living around New York in a Shaker community. His diary records how, that morning, his religious belief was confirmed:

‘dissolving in happy tears, I sprang from my bed about five o’clock …All this time the atmosphere of the room was vibrant with an intense white light. The presence which had been revealed in the first waking moments seemed now diffused and continuing throughout the universe.’

Some weeks later Tyler wrote: ‘There is a consciousness of a steady glow which is light and warmth in all my being. It is certain that ever since that morning I have had a larger and surer hold on life and have been able to work with a clearer and more attractive brain and body.’

5)      Blaise Pascal experienced a mystic illumination, on Nov 23 1654, 10.30 pm to midnight. He kept an amulet with this written permanently within it, which was discovered after his death as tucked into the fabric of his coat. On it was written:

Dieud’Abraham. Dieud’Isaac Dieu de Jacob
Non des philosophes et des savans
Certitude joye certitude, sentiment, veue joye paix
Dieu de Jesus Christ

Which roughly translated into English means:

God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob
Not the philosophers and not a fool who thinks he is wise
Certainty of joy, a feeling, seeing joy and peace
God of Jesus Christ
Other mystical comments of a joyful nature were inscribed, eg ‘My God do not leave me. This is eternal life.’ (Bucke, p225-7)

6)      Rajneesh Chandra Mohan Jain was born on 11th December 1931, in Madhya Pradesh, India. He had a special experience on March 21, 1953 and described it as follows. He awoke from sleep around midnight: ‘The sleep was broken by something else. I felt a great presence around me in the room… I felt a throbbing life all around me, a great vibration - almost like a hurricane, a great storm of light.’ He arose, and walked outside: ‘I reached to the garden where I used to go every day. The garden was closed, closed for the night. It was too late, it was almost one o'clock in the night. The gardeners were fast asleep. I had to enter the garden like a thief, I had to climb the gate. But something was pulling me towards the garden. The moment I entered the garden everything became luminous, it was all over the place - the benediction, the blessedness. I could see the trees for the first time - their green, their life, their very sap running, There was no time, there was no passage of time; it was the virgin reality – uncorrupted… . When I went back home it was four o'clock in the morning.

7)      While orbiting the Earth, Astronaut Edgar Mitchell was watching how ‘the earth, moon, the sun, and the planets all went through the window every two minutes’ which he found to be a ‘powerful, powerful experience:’

What I experienced was a grand epiphany accompanied by an exhilaration. From that moment on, my life would take a radically different course … I actually felt what has been described as an ecstasy of unity .. I perceived the universe as in some way conscious.’ And ‘the restraints and boundaries of flesh and bone fell away.’

This lead him to found the Noetic Sciences institute. (Edgar Mitchell, The Way of the Explorer, An Apollo astronaut’s journey through the Material and Mystical Worlds, NY 1996, p.59.’
This happened two days after leaving the Moon and a day before landing back on Earth so we may place it at 8 February, 1971 (they left the Moon 6 Feb 19hrs UT, and landed in the Pacific Ocean 9 Feb 21 hrs UT)

Dated Mystic Moments:
1654 Nov 23 Blaise Pascal
1744 April 7 Emanuel Swedenborg
1895 May 11 Paul Tyler
1953 March 21 Rajneesh
1964 January 15 Muz Murray
1971 April 7 Edgar Mitchell
1998 April 8 Hazel Courtney (1)

In reading the accounts of other mystic experiences, I have to say I think mine pales in comparison on the grounds of the impact it has had on me. I can understand that something has changed because I was allowed to glimpse something not everyone has had the opportunity to experience. And yet, I don’t understand what I am supposed to do with this knowledge. I don’t feel compelled to alter the world and after my experience, I simply returned to England, resumed my job as a teacher and lived a fairly normal life (if one can call living a double life as a teacher and astrologer normal).

But yet there are astrological similarities in the charts of these experiences and that is this: the number of quintiles and septiles.

The chart of my outer body experience shows 3 quintiles and 4 septiles, using a tight orb of two degrees (applying or separating). This is a lot--60% more than one would expect. I’m using ±12/n for orb, where “n” is here 5 and 7 for the quintiles and septiles. Using that, one has an expectation of 2.2 and 2.4 of these aspects in any chart.

But there’s more to this story.

A flower spoke

We think of Flower-Power as fifty years ago, the Summer of Love, 1967 but this happened only a few weeks ago.

On the morning of 21 January 2017, I was walking from my hotel room to get some breakfast. From a distance, I noticed a bright pink flower and I was immediately drawn towards it. I had been attending a conference (The Kepler Conference) and was due to speak later that day. I was feeling decidedly and uncharacteristically anxious and nervous. I had given a lecture the day before which I felt went well but I had the nagging feeling my research lagged behind the rest of the researchers. I was wrestling with the question of whether or not I enjoyed lecturing or even if I had what took to be a good lecturer. It was a real crisis of confidence and I knew I had to change something about myself. I felt like the dunce of the classroom (although I knew I wasn't!) and I had an important message to get out there. All my work of the past 15 years was being distilled into a 45 minute lecture. It all came down to how I delivered that message. Used to teaching children, I felt my style was all wrong and I didn’t know how to change it. I felt I was a goofball. How does one even change their style? I would say I was in agony with these questions and I was overcome by negative self-talk.

It was then that I was close enough to that pink flower to touch it. And it spoke:

“You know, it hurts to blossom.” And I knew there were all sorts of profundity in this moment that was going to take some time to unravel. We admire the beauty of the blossom but we don’t ever think of the painful emergence of such beauty. However, at that moment, all I could think of was that I heard this flower speak as if it had a human voice. I checked my watch: 7:30am.

I asked my friend Scott Silverman to take a photo of the flower because my phone wasn’t charged (I didn’t have the right adaptor) so the moment could be verified but his phone wasn’t charged either. He took the photo later in the morning.

Now this chart also has a higher than expected number of quintiles and septiles: a total of six or about 50% more than expected in a normal chart.

But there’s still more to this story:

The Moon of the mystic flower chart is conjunct the MC—and it is bang on my own natal South Node and Neptune—and both of the points are on the ascendant of the out of body experience! And looking a little closer at the charts, there is a quintile between the Sun and Moon and the flower itself is fivefold or pentagram in shape: creative and powerful blossoming indeed.

These two mystical experiences were framing a stage of my life where changes were happening so quickly that I just didn’t have time to process them. I was kind of swept away with the tide and was reacting rather than taking control.

The next conference I lectured at was in Portugal and I did something completely different to the way I normally did things at conferences: I carefully watched other speakers to get a sense of their style, I sat down and read my lecture (which I swore I’d never do but the translation process meant it had to be done). I felt I stepped out of my normal self to be more objective and to be in a better frame of mind to learn. I stopped being a goofball (or at least I stopped thinking myself as one). I got my confidence back. I felt there was something mystical happening in this process too and that the flower had been an integral part of that process.

My lecture in Portugal (“Herschel, Uranus and Mary Shelley’s Vision of Horror) was re-worked from an article I had written about 12 years ago. As I updated it, I realised I wasn’t the same astrologer I was back then: I had improved and had developed a way of working that I simply didn’t have all those years ago. Miraculously I had blossomed—and it was sudden and admittedly a sometimes painful experience to put myself out there, to be open to rejection, to get up on stage to speak to lots of adults and reveal my own personal research, to be exposed to the critics and to make mistakes. As I delivered the lecture for the Portuguese audience, I joked that the eclipse of 26th February 2017 was conjunct the Venus of both of the discovery charts for Uranus and Pluto (the two key charts of the lecture) but I hadn’t realised it was also conjunct the nodal axis of the mystical flower chart or the Neptune of the out-of-body experience. Only astrology could have shown how these events link up.

I have no idea what it all means. But something has changed, something has been revealed and I needed that flower to tell me that without pain it is impossible to blossom.

And without astrology, I would not even be able to begin to understand the message.

About the Astrologer

Alex Trenoweth was voted Best International Astrologer, 2015 for her dynamic presentation on her innovative and original research into Astrology and Education. Her book, "Growing Pains" is an exciting development in astrology as it combines classroom teaching experience, sound investigation and the potential to have a positive impact on struggling adolescents, parents, teachers and those who have been labelled "at risk". She writes the weekly and monthly horoscopes and other articles for the Cosmic Intelligence Agency, one of the largest astrological social media groups on the web and was also a speaker for the AstroSummit, a guest lecturer for the London School of Astrology and has spoken at several UK local astrology groups. Upcoming international events include Breaking Down the Borders, the Kepler Conference, Congresso Internacional de Astrologia (Portugal), Kepler College, the Mercury Internet School of Psychological Astrology, NORWAC and the San Francisco Astrology Society Alex is also Vice Principal and Secretary General of International Affairs for the Krishnamurti Institute of Astrology and will will be taking up her residential post in India 2017. For queries, consultations or syndications, please contact Alex via www.alextrenoweth.com or leave a message in the comment section.
"Growing Pains" can be purchased in paperback or kindle format on Amazon or can be signed and posted directly to you by Alex.

About the New Book

There are two wolves fighting inside of me, the old story goes, one wolf is good and the other is evil. “But Grandfather,” asked the child, “Which one wins?” The Grandfather answered, “The wolf I feed.”

We might like to think that being good is a natural instinct. In fact, doing the right thing takes a conscious decision. Every day, we are met with temptation to get ahead at the expense of someone else, to get away with something we know is wrong or to cut corners if we think no one is watching.

Following on from her powerful book on astrology and Education, “Growing Pains”, Alex Trenoweth explores the benefits of using “the bad guy” of the solar system: Saturn. Often avoided and seldom understood, if we understand our own Saturn then we can help others to understand theirs. Using case studies of  highly successful people contrasted with convicted serial killers, Trenoweth deftly demonstrates the dire consequences of feeding the wrong wolf.

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