Listening Love

Listen What The Man Said

For me this article goes beyond astrology and regards conscious loving listening.

 

April Elliott Kent’s Big Sky Astrology

Gemini Full Moon: The Gift of Listening

When my friend’s son was small, he talked incessantly. Born with Venus in loquacious Gemini, he jabbered constantly about stories he’d read or what he’d seen on television that morning. His mother is a patient woman, but eventually the sheer quantity of words wore her down. One day, she recalls, driving along with her child chattering away in the passenger seat, she suddenly couldn’t take any more. “Could you please just stop talking for one minute?” she begged her small son. “And immediately,” she told me, “his little eyes filled up with tears. I couldn’t have felt more awful!”

Few feelings are as wounding as not being listened to, especially by those we love. In his book The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck characterizes true, attentive listening as one of the greatest gifts of love we can offer another person – and one of the most difficult. There are times when it’s easier, of course — in the first flush of passion, when your loved one’s every utterance is like honey, or when your toddler is first learning to talk. But to really listen even when you’re not in the mood, when you’re heard the same story a dozen times, when you’re worried about something else, when there’s nothing in it for you personally – that’s hard work.

It’s most difficult to listen when people talk about things you don’t want to hear, things that challenge your worldview. Each year at Thanksgiving, with the Sun in Sagittarius – the sign of beliefs – many family tables are minefields, as we tap dance around topics that we know will invite controversy. The December 3, 2017 Full Moon falls in Gemini, the sign of enthusiastic chatter as well as attentive listening. It falls a couple of weeks too late to lend conversational sparkle to your Thanksgiving celebration, but in plenty of time to deconstruct it. How much loving attention were you able to muster for the bombastic uncle, the long-winded grandmother, the cousin’s  political tangent? Were you too busy trying to be heard to really listen to anybody else?

When we give up pretending that we know everything, we free ourselves to learn from what other people have to say. And if we turn off the cell phone and stop texting for two minutes, we might notice that the woman sitting next to us in the doctor’s waiting room looks scared to death and might be grateful for someone to talk to. Listening – that simple gift of attention and love, like holding open a door for someone leaving a store as you’re entering – makes the world feel a little kinder, a little more civilized.

In public, watching everyone around me texting away and ignoring everyone else, and I wonder how in the world they ever met the people they’re texting with. Cell phones have become like little force fields we carry to neutralize exposure to strangers. They allow us to tune out the raucous conversation of the young men loitering on the corner, but also to ignore the old woman asking for directions to the bus. We are in worlds of our own, jealously calibrating the flow of conversation that has the power to lubricate the gears of a trying world.

The world and its people can indeed be trying, and perhaps we can be forgiven for taking refuge behind the white noise of iPods and banal cell phone conversations. Too easily, though, inattention becomes a habit that persists even at home among those we love, and that’s a problem. Love, as Peck notes, is not just a feeling, but a verb. It’s something we do, a bit of spiritual theater we enact through actions large and small. And listening, even when we don’t feel like it, is a small but powerful act of love. That’s what my friend recognized that day in the car, when her unwillingness to listen made her son cry. She took the lesson to heart, and made up her mind from that day on to give her bright boy the gift of her listening.

The Sun’s annual passage through Sagittarius blesses us with insight into our most cherished convictions. When we tap into our Sagittarius power, we may feel the urge to proselytize about our beliefs; caught up in our own thoughts, we are likely to forget that others see the world quite differently. The Full Moon in Gemini reminds us, simply, that listening – bearing witness to another’s reality – is a sacred thing and a loving act. Listening connects us to one another – and it enriches not only those who are listened to, but also those who listen to them.

©2002, 2017 April Elliott Kent

April Elliott Kent’s Big Sky Astrology

 

Thanks Queen Suzi

 

Art by:

Sanjay Tandekar

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Reconnected

Despacito

Hip hip hooray, sister saves the day. Twenty days without a phone, it was weird. We are all so used to the security that we feel connected by the device. I think I took it in stride. Fortunately for me my sister had just moved up a generation on her phone from our ancient iPhone 4’s to a 5, so she gave me her old phone, thank the stars, just in time. I have a research paper to write among other things, and not being able to work at home is tough. Student teaching is all set, so yeah.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, and those across the pond and beyond, I will be giving thanks for your friendships as well. ❤

New papers up at academia.asu.edu

Unplugged

Things happen for a reason, and it is so cool when you can see the wonder in these (in my case) Mercurial mishaps, like breaking my phone. They had to order the part and when they got it, they broke it, so repeat the process. I have been without a phone or the internet for eight days now. In those eight days amazing things have happened. I mean it’s not like I never get on the internet, because I can go places that have it. I have been unplugged by the universe; I have accomplished major amounts of schoolwork, written a revisionist Cinderella, and done a lot of reading. It has forced me to shift my focus. I have to plan ahead, what information or downloads do I need to work offline. I don’t know but it has been different.

I was thinking of calling this post, “Build It and They Will Come.” Why, you do ask?  If you are a blog friend, or reader you may recall our first sighting of the African Love Birds? Well a wild population has managed to flourish in the Phoenix area. I have seen one in my back yard, and my boyfriend saw a flock land in the yard, but I did not. Yesterday as I was chilling in my backyard garden and they came. The African Love Birds came and put on a magical show for me. They were eating seed from my glass flower feeders in the trees, they sat on branches in pairs and looked at me, they got on my bird swing, and they did every cute thing imaginable. As they would fly around playing it was an explosion of color like a Monet painting. Oh my god, I was just in heaven. I take that as a very good sign.

I have my student teaching position confirmed for Spring, that is good. I am already asking for letters of recommendation et cetera. The Grimm Brothers essay is up, also an A+.

I should be plugged in and back online later today, or tomorrow.

Parrot as Totem:

You are a natural diplomat and have the ability to mediate opposing forces into compromise and understanding. You have an innate understanding of color, it’s symbolism and it’s healing powers. You naturally are able to use color for healing purposes not one with your self but with others as well. You know exactly when to speak and when to stay silent and you rarely participate in gossip.

Painting: Helen Norton

Scorpion Killer

“Strange days indeed. Lord have mercy mama!”

On November 1, Día de Muertos, I spent the day with the Brothers Grimm. I have discovered there is a profession that I did not realize existed, because if I had realized this career path was available I might be Dr. Simms, Fairy Tale scholar. Lol When I read those words in the text we are using for my Children’s literature class I thought, “Fairy Tale scholar?” Yes please. However, well I am no Spring chicken. Nonetheless, Fairy tale scholar is a cool title and profession in my book. As I was reviewing the collection of fairy tales to write my literary theory critique I observed that feminist must certainly have a field day in that genre, the maidens, and princesses, are dense at best. The other is the stepmother/temptress archetypes which are horrible. There were a number of passive fathers who did whatever the temptress, usually the stepmother, wished to do. There were very few honorable archetypes represented in the collection which consisted of; Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, Rumplestiltskin, The Frog King, and, Hansel and Gretel.

So, why the title you ask? This occurred what is now yesterday, I worked on my essay for most the day, then as I was getting ready for bed, about 11 P. M. I see a strange shape crawling into my room. I do not recognize it as our abundant cricket population, as I look closer I see it’s curved tail. It was the first live scorpion that I have ever encountered in my life. As it was crawling into my bedroom I panicked and grabbed the closest thing to me, The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, and smashed it! Freaky, on 11/1 at around 11, I see and kill a scorpion, while we are in Scorpio astrologically, with The Brothers Grimm, and only two days after my birthday, I kept the scorpion, which I really hated to kill, in a jar.


Shadows

Paint it Black

So I hear that Jupiter is in my sign, Scorpio. Fun stuff. Coming upon the completion of six decades as me, on Monday. Wow. Here is an article on “Jupiter in Scorpio” from Cafe Astrology. You know my decision to drop the yucky poo English class and take this “Children’s Literature” class was just a splendid idea. I love this class. I want to be my professor, who gets to study fairy tales for a living. I mean, how cool is that? Anyways I got my first A+ on an literary critique essay at ASU, thanks professor! It was my Reader Response essay on The Little Prince, by Antoine De Saint-Exupery.

Next up, as I mentioned was the psychoanalytic critique of Alice, which, well . . . we shall see. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is a hard narrative to narrow into a focus when so much is going on. I strayed away from the psycho sexual analysis which is most evident, as I had “been there, done that” with Lil Red Cap, which is one of ten on the list of reading this week. It should be fun.

It is a perfect time astrologically and spiritually for us all to examine our shadows. We all have them and many of them are connected to our inner child. Lets look at them as they arise, release judgement, give them a hug, and heal them. Use prayer or play, or whatever works for you. Practice forgiveness for yourself and others.

 

Much love everyone.

Ask Alice

White Rabbit

The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.

Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next.

Lewis Carroll

Hello everyone. I hope that everyone is well and prospering. Just four and a half weeks left of classes, then semester end, January Student Teaching. Things are happening so quickly. So guess what I was reading last weekend? Come on you will never guess. Okay, yes, I was reading Alice and Wonderland, or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the original title. Oh and she (the professor) wants us to use a Psychoanalytical lens, never done that before (joking of course), however there is so very much to analyze I had to find one thing to focus on, and one that has not been done to death. I still have a bit more writing to do to unpack just this one aspect. I do not think that I had actually ever read it. Crazy stuff. I liked reading that Alice Liddell was incessant that Carroll write the story down, as he would just tell it to her and her sister. So we really do have her to thank for it. Alice Liddell needed money towards the end of her life, and had to sell the manuscript that Carroll had gifted her.

So, my darling sister send me this today, our horoscope for October 24, 2017

Your perceptions are accurate and your reasoning is shrewd. Nevertheless, you may tumble down a rabbit hole of doubt if you mix up facts and fantasies today. There’s nothing wrong with meandering along a stream of consciousness if you know when to step back onto dry land. Fortunately, your daydreams widen your vistas of possible futures. Exploring many alternative realities increases your chances for success as long as you can keep your eyes on your destination.

Tarot.com Rick Levine Astrologer

I will share a link when she gives me one. Lots of love everyone. Face your shadow, bring it to the light and forgive anything and everything. Dream of paradise.

“Feed Your Head”