GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 29 June-5 July 2020! Thanks for Reading My Blog!

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Blessed be my little witch. To those who came before and those who will come after, know that the Goddess is with you always. Thank you all my dear readers…be blessed. ~GrannyMoon

Remember dear humans, fresh air, sunshine, and communing with nature is the best medicine. It is good for our immune system. It also lifts the spirits and it breaks up the monotony of “social distancing!” 

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The NEW MOON always rises at sunrise
And the FIRST QUARTER at noon.
The FULL MOON always rises at sunset
And the LAST QUARTER at midnight.
~The New Orleans Mistic

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Dark Moon – Time to Rest
New Moon – Time to Begin New Projects; Birth; Attraction
Waxing Moon – Time to Grow; Increase
Full Moon – Time to be Fulfilled; Abundance
Waning Moon – Time to Banish; Decrease
Last Sliver of Moon – Time to Die; Letting Go
Dark Moon – Time to Rest Again
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Light A Candle Today!In many different traditions lighting a candle is a sacred action. It expresses more than words can express. It has to do with gratefulness. From time immemorial, people have lit candles in sacred places. You may want to begin or end your day by the sacred ritual of lighting a candle on this gratefulness. Or you may want to light a birthday candle for a friend. One single guideline is all you need: Slow down and do it with full attention.

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Dates of this calendar were devised by Robert Graves, 1895 – 1985

Goddess Month of Rosea begins 6/13 – 7/10
Celtic Tree Calendar Month of Duir (Oak) June 10 to July 7

Coming This Week!
July 4: The 4th of July
July 5: Full Moon in Capricorn – Blessing Moon, also called Thunder Moon, Hay Moon, and Wort Moon. or Buck Moon at 12:44 A.M. Eastern Time

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The Moon Phase: Waxing Moon

Time: From New Moon To Full (Approx. 14 Days)

Goddess Aspect: Maiden

Associated Goddesses: Artemis, Branwen, Eriu, Nymph, Epona

Magickal Attributes: Invoking Beginnings, New Projects, Ideas, Inspiration, Energy, Vitality, Freedom. Workings On This Day Are For “Constructive” Magick (Love, Wealth, Success, Courage, Friendship, Luck Or Health.)

Perform magic on waxing moons to attract a new quality or behavior, to increase the light within, to attain personal and spiritual growth and greater awareness. The quarter moon suggests a period of overcoming obstacles and continuing on the path to growth.

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Coventry Creations
CoventryCreations.com

June 29 – July 5, 2020.

Yay, it’s the last week of Mercury retrograde in Cancer. We can go back to using logic, being understood, and not ruled by our emotions. This could be a really big week for us with the help of Pluto and Jupiter. They form a conjunction that happens every 13 years which brings good luck along with moral and ethic course corrections.

Personally, you could land that job, close that deal, or be rewarded for an excellent performance. We certainly wish you all the best. The week ends with a bang with Saturday, our nation’s birthday, and an eclipsed Full Moon in Capricorn. We could be in for a surprise ending where our government is concerned. This is not the time to schedule important events or sign life-changing documents. Put it off for a week if you can. Those of you celebrating your birthday on July 3-5th are beginning a very important year. Happy Birthday!

Coventry candles that will make this week extra special are, Wicked Witch Mojo Everything and Then Some, Hoo Doo Crown of Glory, Chakra Magic Success, Blessing Kit Dreams Come True

Our theme for this month is “work the plan”. Perfect for a Capricorn Full moon experiencing a lunar eclipse. One thing you can count on right now is an extra push to act on whatever you are hesitating over. Get your parachute on and enjoy the ride this July 4th weekend, as shocking as it may seem in the moment.

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BIDDY TAROT CARD OF THE WEEK
Biddy Tarot <brigit@biddytarot.com>

Card of the Week: Justice

Are you acting in alignment?

Justice is all about justice, fairness, truth, and the law. You are being called to account for your actions and will be judged accordingly. If you have acted in alignment with your Higher Self and for the greater good of others, you have nothing to worry about.

If you haven’t, be ready to take responsibility for your actions and stand accountable for the ensuing consequences.

This card also appears when you need to make an important decision. Be aware of the impact that your decisions will have on the well-being of yourself and others.

Choose consciously by connecting with your inner guidance system and asking for the answer that is most in alignment with the highest good of all involved.

Be ready to stand by your decisions as you will be held to account for the choices you’ve made.

Ask the Tarot: Do I stand by my decisions 100%?

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Llewellyn’s Spell A Day
Balance Spell
June 28, 2020 By Tess Whitehurst

Today, conditions are perfect to work magic for holistic balance in all life areas. First, pull the Temperance card from a tarot deck of your choice. Place it on your altar. Also light a stick of cedar incense, or diffuse essential oil of cedar. Breathe deeply and relax. Gaze at the image on the card, and come into resonance with its harmonizing vibration. Place your attention on your breath: notice how the in-breath and out-breath perfectly balance themselves when you allow air to naturally flow in and out of your lungs.

Close your eyes. Visualize, imagine, and feel that you are the figure on your Temperance card. Ask yourself: What needs to come into greater balance in my life? What simple steps can I take today to initiate these positive changes? Once you receive the clear guidance you seek, open your eyes and write down the messages you received.
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Cats: Our Magickal Allies
June 27, 2020 By Raven Digitalis

It’s a fact of life that most Witches love animals—especially cats! Here’s a little spell for our feline companions.

It’s common knowledge that animal overpopulation is a widespread global problem. This is why we choose to get our pets spayed and neutered. Many cats and dogs (as well as other animals) are in great need of loving homes.

Research the ancient Egyptian goddess Bast (Bastet), and ensure that you have a representation of her, even if it’s just a printed or hand-drawn image on a sheet of paper. Call to Bast in a manner that you see fit. Burn some natural incense and offer some catnip at her feet. Thank her for her protective and nurturing qualities, and spend some time in meditation.

Take eight small pieces of paper (many cats have eight nipples) and draw a small picture of Bast on each—it doesn’t have to be perfect. Dedicate the pages in her honor, sprinkle some of the offered catnip on each one, then fold each paper a couple times to secure the catnip within it. Take these blessed charms to your local animal shelters. When visiting the cats, secretly leave them throughout the shelter, with a prayer (that you simply whisper or think) for the beloved felines to find loving homes.
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Lavender Rest Spell
June 26, 2020 By Devin Hunter

It’s okay to take time for self-care, and with the moon in Virgo today, we are all being asked to make sure we are getting enough rest. This isn’t always easy to do, so sometimes we need to make the most of what sleep or relaxation we can muster. Cast this spell on yourself to help take full advantage of your downtime. You will need a cotton ball and some lavender essential oil (or some chamomile essential oil, if you are allergic to lavender).

Five to ten minutes prior to sleep or relaxation, dab three drops of the essential oil onto the cotton ball, then apply directly to the bottoms of your feet. As you do this, say:

Rest is mine, decreed divine,
my body is a sacred shrine.
Rest is mine, decreed divine,
my mind and body now align.
Rest is mine, decreed divine,
a place for my soul to shine!

Take a few deep breaths, then begin your “me time.”
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Magical Seasoning Blend
June 25, 2020 By Michael Furie

One of the staples in my kitchen is a blend of herbs usually called “Italian seasoning.” It’s a great addition not only to Italian dishes but also to soups, sauces, and stews of all kinds, but it can also have magical benefits. I prefer to make and empower my own mixture.

You can mix the ingredients listed below in a bowl and then empower the combined herbs. Each of the herbs is attuned to love, protection, and healing magic, so they can be charged with the general intention “to be an aid to all that is correct and beneficial to whoever consumes them” as you envision the mixture glowing with white light.

I use these herbs in my recipe:
* 1 tablespoon each of basil and oregano
* 2 teaspoons each of rosemary (ground) and thyme
* A pinch of garlic powder

This can be bottled and used whenever a dash of flavorful magic is needed.
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Mint Purification Spell
June 24, 2020 By James Kambos

This spell uses mint (spearmint or peppermint), which should be at its peak about now in the garden, to clear away negative energy hanging around your home. If you don’t have mint growing, you can usually find it in the produce section of your supermarket. You’ll need three stems of mint to use as a “sprinkler” and a dish of salt water.

Stir the salt water three times clockwise using the mint stems. Stir until the salt is dissolved. Then take the dish of salt water and the mint to each exterior door of your home and, using the mint, sprinkle the salt water at each entrance and say:

All negativity, leave this space.
May peace return to this place.

When done, discard the mint and pour the salt water outside away from your home. Use this spell after an argument or after a curmudgeon has left your home.
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Maple Leaf Kitchen Spell
By Kate Freuler

Maple trees and their leaves are associated with prosperity and abundance, probably due to the fact that they produce edible maple syrup, which was once used as currency in trade. Here is an easy-to-make charm to attract abundance to your kitchen.

Gather these materials:
* Olive oil (or essential oil of your choice; cinnamon and clove are both associated with prosperity)
* The biggest, greenest maple leaf you can find

Dip your finger in the oil and draw a circle on the leaf, saying:

By sacred circle and bountiful maple,
Abundance and joy will enter here.

Hide the maple leaf somewhere in your kitchen—the center of food, plenty, and wealth—where it will be undisturbed for several months. Later in the year, retrieve the leaf. It will be dried and crumbly. You can grind it and add it to prosperity incense or herb mixtures.
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Creating Change Spell
June 22, 2020 By Thuri Calafia

For this spell, you’ll need a piece of paper and a pen. Divide the paper vertically into two columns.

In the left column, write down the thing you wish to change (for example, “I wish to become more physically fit.”). In the right column, write down the steps you need to take to make this change (focusing on your favorite forms of exercise, or taking a yoga class).

Finally, take a small blade or wooden pick and inscribe a candle of the color most appropriate to your goal with an affirmation of the change (such as “I am fit!” or “I am filled with energy and vibrance!”).

Light the candle for a few minutes each evening while focusing on the new you, until the full moon. Restate your affirmations whenever you feel tempted to give your energy to fighting the old instead of building the new.

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Heartwings Love Notes 937
My Great-Aunt Alice, a Memoire of Long Ago

Heartwings says, “Aunts and Uncles can play a special part in children’s Lives.”

My great Aunt Alice was a “maiden” aunt. Never having marred, she lived with her mother, and then by herself in the grand home built by her late father. It was set amid the lawns and gardens of an estate on the outskirts of a small seaside town. We lived in a smaller house that had been built for the full-time gardener. A lifelong sportswoman, she had a collection of trophies from horseback riding, as well as her tennis matches. A vigorous woman I remember her saying she always parked her car at a distance from the store she was going to, so she’d get more exercise. I also found her intriguing because she wore socks over her nylons, and never wore trousers.

Aunt Alice also had a beach cottage we went to sometimes on weekends in the summer. It had once been her Girl Scout camp. She had had a troup once and they still kept in touch. She also for many years had dogs, always small and yappy: Scotties and Sealyhams, and later, Dachshunds. I can also remember as a very young child being held up to pat the nose of a horse she had in a pasture. There was a stable with a horse stall, though I have no memory of ever seeing a horse in it.

Over the fireplace in the hall of her home there were hunting trophies: Fox tails from when she rode to the hunt. There were lots of books, both in her library with the window seat and the plush green velvet sofa and elsewhere. I loved that window seat. Aunt Alice was good enough to pay for two years of wonderful riding lessons for me. She also put me up when my parents went away on business and I had to stay and go to school. That was fun. I enjoyed her company, and she was always kind to me. As I think about her now, I realize that she was a great example of an independent woman. Her sister, my grandmother was also, though she had been married and was now a widow. Aunt Alice worked for various charities and was generous to them.

Aunt Alice was quieter than my grandmother. She also unlike my grandmother, who gave out checks for Christmas presents, went to the store and bought things. Her choices were notoriously bad. Of course, we never told her that. After I grew up and got married, when I could I’d bring my children to visit her. She enjoyed their antics. By then she was rather absent of mind. Alzheimer’s caused her to fall asleep at odd moments, and make it difficult for her to remember much. The children made her smile and that was reason enough to visit. I will always be grateful for her generosity to me, and for the wonderful example her life provided me.

Do you have a special aunt or uncle you remember fondly? I would love to hear about him or her. Your mails make my day, and I always so enjoy reading them. Please write to me at Tashahal@gmail.com, and do visit my Web Site for more Love Notes and other things to see and read at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com

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Saying Yes to the Universe
By Madisyn Taylor

Saying Yes to the universe opens the gate to receiving what your soul really wants.

The hardest thing about saying yes to the universe is that it means accepting everything life puts in front of us. Most of us have a habit of going through our days saying no to the things we don’t like and yes to the things we do, and yet, everything we encounter is our life. We may be afraid that if we say yes to the things we don’t like, we will be stuck with them forever, but really, it is only through acknowledging the existence of what’s not working for us that we can begin the process of change. So saying yes doesn’t mean indiscriminately accepting things that don’t work for us. It means conversing with the universe, and starting the conversation with a very powerful word–yes.

When we say yes to the universe, we enter into a state of trust that whatever our situation is, we can work with it. We express confidence in ourselves, and the universe, and we also express a willingness to learn from whatever comes our way, rather than running and hiding when we don’t like what we see. The question we might ask ourselves is what it will take for us to get to the point of saying yes. For some of us, it takes coming up against something we can’t ignore, escape, or deny, and so we are left no choice but to say yes. For others, it just seems a natural progression of events that leads us to making the decision to say yes to life.

The first step to saying yes is realizing that in the end it is so much easier than the alternative. Once we understand this, we can begin examining the moments when we resist what is happening, and experiment with occasionally saying yes instead. It might be scary at first, and even painful at times, but if we continue to say yes to every moment through the process, we will discover the joy of being in a positive conversation with a force much bigger than ourselves.

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10 Medicinal Herbs That Might Live in Your Backyard

Nick Polizzi, Creator of the upcoming documentary REMEDY: Ancient Medicines for Modern Illness, reveals his own personal passion for medicinal herbs that just might pop up in your own backyard!

Last summer, I was helping my mom garden some of the beds in the back of her house when we stumbled upon something that looked too amazing to be true. A gorgeous Reishi mushroomwas growing on the stump of a hemlock tree underneath the fence between her and her neighbor’s yard!

You know, Reishi, the “king of herbs” in Chinese medicine? Scientifically known as Ganoderma and believed by ancient Taoists to be a core ingredient in the elixir of everlasting life? Yup, right there in my mom’s quaint little yard about 60 miles outside of New York City.

I had heard there were some great mushroomharvests to be had in the woods north of her home, but finding one in her shrubs was definitely unexpected.

The simple lesson here is that we don’t need to go far to find the medicine. We fall into the habit of thinking that the transformation or wild prescription for us exists in an exotic location “elsewhere,” but oftentimes they can be found right under our noses if we just open our eyes and take a look.
“Give nature half a chance and she has a miracle in store for everyone.”
– Rosita Arvigo

Below, I’ve shared 9 common low-growing medicinal herbs and 1 mushroom that you may want to search for in your own backyard or surrounding neighborhoods – plus, we’ve also noted which regions they can be found in. This is a good reason to keep your backyard chemical-free — and of course make sure you wash everything thoroughly before preparation and consumption.

Since some of these herbs have potent effects, be sure to look up any potential contraindications with regard to pregnancy, allergies, ailments, or other medications you may be taking.

You’ll want to do additional research on those edibles you do find in your own backyard, to see if they align with your personal needs. And if you find something promising that’s not on this list, take it to your local nursery for help in identification. With a little research, you can discover whether or not that plant has properties worth using, or if it’s one to avoid.

Broadleaf Plantain (Plantago major): Unlike the large plantain trees that grow delectable fruits, the broadleaf plantain is a ground cover. Packed with Vitamin K, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals, the broadleaf plantain has a cleansing and detoxifying effect on the body. This medicinal plant has been used in treating colds, diarrhea, burns, open sores, wounds, mouth ulcers, boils, acne, throat pain, sunburn, fever, respiratory infections; improving liver and kidney function; relieving gastrointestinal inflammation; and drawing out poisons and toxins from bites and stings–even snake bites! It’s often used as an anti-inflammatory and an analgesic, and you can make it into a tea, poultice, or salve. Where it grows – North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Burdock (Arctium lappa): Burdock Root is an antioxidant powerhouse and has been used in Chinese Medicine for thousands of years.. Some of its traditional uses include removing toxins from the blood, inhibiting certain types of cancers, treating skin issues, and acting as an aphrodisiac. It’s also a natural diuretic, so be sure to hydrate properly. Consume in moderation. Consider trying in a tea, fresh root form, or dried root powder. Where it grows – North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Chickweed (Stellaria media): Chickweed is known as a natural skin rejuvenator, with both cooling and drying effects on wounds, sores, minor burns, acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin inflammations. It has also been used for constipation and relieving irritated eyes. Chickweed is a rich source of Vitamin C and potassium, and also provides nutritious trace vitamins and minerals. It fell out of style as a popular salad green, so you may want to try it that way first, or perhaps make chickweed vinegar by infusing it with apple cider vinegar. For topical use, create a salve from the plant’s essential oils. Where it grows – North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale): Perhaps the most prolific and recognizable, the dandelionis greatly undervalued. This beneficial plant is often found in some of the finest herbal teas, and is used for its healing benefits to treat high blood pressure, calcium deficiency, cancer, diabetes, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, urinary tract infections, and eczema and psoriasis; detoxify the liver; aid digestion; and reduce inflammation. Use in salad greens, or dry the leaves and roots to make a tea. Where it grows – North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Lamb’s Quarters (Chenopodium album): This “prince of wild greens” is a common garden weed packed with enough protein to rival spinach, along with Vitamins A and C, calcium, phosphorous, iron, and a multitude of minerals.. Our ancestors prized this plant’s medicine for its purification properties to “improve the blood,” and also to treat rheumatism and arthritis, toothaches and tooth decay, constipation, insect stings, eczema, and gout. Keep seed consumption to a minimum, but freely consume the leaves, shoots, and flowers. Eat fresh leaves and flowers mixed in with your other salad greens; steam or stir fry along with your favorite vegetables; or cook and puree with some of your favorite soups. You can also grind seeds into flour. Where it grows – North America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia.

Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum): If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where the reishi grows, you may already be aware of its long-touted healing properties. Mainly used in prevention of disease, the reishi offers protection against inflammation, various infections, skin disorders, diabetes, heart and liver disease, sleep disorders, digestive problems, cancer, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and viruses, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. It also helps to restore hormonal imbalance, and regulates various cellular functions. Because of its slightly bitter flavor, it’s traditionally dried and then prepared for a tea, or pulverized into a powder and mixed into your favorite protein shake. Where it grows – Eastern North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica): Be careful–this herb can sometimes “sting” and leave a rash when bare skin comes into contact with the acid-filled needles. Once boiled, however, the nettles leave you with leaves that, when ingested, provide nutritious elements and anti-inflammatory properties. Nettle leaves have been used in treating allergy symptoms, lowering blood pressure, improving immune system response, reducing pain, acting as a diuretic, treating skin conditions, thickening hair while also reducing dandruff, and causing a sedative effect. The plant’s root has been used to address prostate concerns in men. Handle and harvest while wearing gloves, and then boil or cook to remove the sting from the nettles. The easiest and perhaps most common way to use nettles are in a tea, where you can flavor with other herbs or spices to taste. But once cooked, you can also use nettle leaves like most other greens and use in salads, or season and bake them (like kale chips), or grind to make a pesto. For the roots, toss them in a stir fry or dry like the leaves for use in a tea. Where it grows – Western North America, Europe, Northern Africa and Asia.

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea): Purslane is an excellent source of fiber; Vitamins A, B, and C; iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, and powerful antioxidants. Our ancestors have used it for hundreds of years to prevent and cure disease. It’s been used to treat high cholesterol, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders, skin conditions, and cancer. It’s believed to improve vision, strengthen bones, increase circulation, and aid in weight loss. Try it mixed with salad greens. Where it grows – North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense L.): Menopause symptoms. Maintaining bone strength. Improving cardiovascular health. Lowering risk for various types of cancers. Reducing skin inflammation. Fighting respiratory infections. Detoxifying the liver. Boosting the immune system. Managing cholesterol. Balancing hormones. These are just some of the many disorders and “symptoms of aging” that red clover has been used to treat. Dry the herb to make a tea, or make a salve for a topical medicine. Where it grows – North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): This pretty little flowering herb is wonderful for healing skin conditions; stopping bleeding (external); encouraging bleeding in cases of amenorrhea; alleviating anxiety; acting as a mild sedative; reducing inflammation; and treating mastitis, high blood pressure, asthma, and muscle spasms. Use fresh leaves in salads, soups, or sautéed dishes, or use dried leaves as a cooking herb. Where it grows – North America, Europe and Asia.Many of these herbs are sold in supplement form, but you can bypass the middle-man and go directly to the source by taking a look around and experimenting on your own. Perhaps LA-based guerilla gardener Ron Finley says it best:
“Growing your own food is like printing your own money.”

Posted by: KathyJ <katz7books@yahoo.com>

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Reiki, Third Eye and Higher Guidance
by Haripriya Suraj, Reiki Master

As we progress on the Reiki path, we encounter many changes within ourselves. We also witness several aspects of our lives undergoing a positive shift. Reiki helps us open up to the truth of our divinity and innate potential. One significant development that is experienced by many on the path is that their ability to receive and listen to higher guidance, is awakened. This Higher Guidance is nothing but divine wisdom. It comes from Spirit/God/Source or whatever name we may choose to give it. And since we are all connected to Spirit, an aspect of Spirit is present in each of us. Therefore, it is perfectly possible for us to receive guidance directly from Spirit. All we need to do is clear the blocks that may be coming in the way of tuning into higher guidance.

Higher Guidance includes the following-
Communication with Spirit Guides/Reiki Guides/Angels/Masters and all other Beings who exist on a higher vibrational plane. These Higher Energies are happy to guide and support us on our journey. They can be a source of immense strength to us as we break through the veil of illusion and rise up as the stronger and wiser beings that we are deep within.

1. We receive guidance from within our own selves. We know things without knowing how exactly we know them.
2. While in the past we may have relied on others to guide and support us, we now have the capacity to guide and support ourselves.
3. We become capable of finding our own answers. The veil of confusion which existed previously is lifted and we gain a clearer picture of our life and our connection with all of existence.
4. We are aware of the steps we need to take in the interest of our higher good.
5. We can easily distinguish between the restless voice of the Egoic Self and the compassionate voice of the Higher Self.
6. We create our life based on the guidance that stems from our Higher Self.

The Third Eye chakra is associated with the ability to receive higher guidance. Reiki gently clears, heals and strengthens the Third Eye chakra. As the third eye opens up, our ability to receive higher guidance is also strengthened. And all of this happens very naturally and effortlessly. None of these shifts can be hurried or forced. They can only unfold as the blocks we carry melt and transform into light. Reiki is an aspect of this light. All we need to do is bask in this light every day. When we look back after several months or years, we will see the beauty and ease with which Reiki helped us heal and transform our lives. We will witness an unfolding of several spiritual capacities that lay latent in us. Just like the caterpillar that becomes the butterfly, we will transform into a version of ourselves we never imagined possible. Reiki is a great blessing to us and to our planet. Let us be grateful for it!

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12 Caffeine-Ffree Alternatives To Your Morning Cuppa
By Paula Beaton

Most of us need a cuppa to get going in the morning, whether that’s a weak, milky tea or a strong, black coffee. We know caffeine isn’t great for us in excess, but the boost of a hot drink is too much to resist at 6am when you wake up bleary-eyed and feeling less-than-ready for the day ahead! The good news is that there are some great naturally caffeine-free alternatives out there which you can swap for your regular drinks. So why not try switching out at least one cup of tea or coffee a day – or be brave and make it your morning one – for one of these beverages? Let us know your favourites!

#1. Rooibos tea
Rooibos or ‘red bush’ tea is grown in South Africa and has a naturally sweet, woody flavour, making it a great alternative to tea or coffee. Bush tea is generally prepared in the same way as regular black tea, with hot water added and then milk and sugar added to taste. You could also enjoy your morning Rooibos with a slice of lemon and a little honey for sweetness. Rooibos can be found in most supermarkets nowadays – so why not pick some up on your weekly shop? It’s completely caffeine-free and has low tannin levels. In the past, it was used to boost the immune system and also to relieve stomach cramps (1).

#2. Chicory ‘coffee’
Chicory root is often used as a substitute for coffee. The root is roasted to give a deep, dark flavour that’s as close to coffee as you’re going to get without having the real thing! Chicory has a long list of health benefits and is also totally caffeine-free. In the past, it was used as a cleansing herb to detoxify the body and can help to support digestion, relieve constipation and reduce inflammation – it’s also packed with antioxidants (2). To prepare, steep 1 tbsp of roasted root for around 7 to 10 minutes in a mug of boiling water. You can sweeten to taste with a little honey or some date puree. Many supermarkets carry chicory blends in their health food aisles.

#3. Chamomile tea
We love chamomile tea – it has been used for centuries as a natural sleep aid and many people still use it today as a natural way to drift off to sleep. But chamomile tea can be drunk at any time of day to help calm and relax you – and it contains no caffeine. Chamomile can ease mild symptoms of depression and feelings of anxiety and can be used to relieve stress whilst boosting your immune system – fewer sick days! The two types of chamomile generally used to make tea are German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile. You’ll find teabags available in most supermarkets and some health food stores may stock the loose flowers for steeping.

#4. Mint tea
Mint tea – either spearmint (our favourite) or peppermint (more widely available) is a refreshing, caffeine-free beverage that’s a great choice if you suffer from any kind of digestive issues. A mint infusion can be enjoyed hot or cold, depending on the weather, and it’s ideal to drink at any time of day, particularly at bedtime, when it can help to relieve stress, allowing you to get a good night’s sleep. Peppermint can help settle stomach cramps, pains or diarrhoea whilst promoting healthy digestion and reducing heartburn. The tea also contains potassium, calcium and vitamin B, which can boost your immune system and protect against colds and flu (3). Mint tea bags are widely available and we always have a stash in the Expertrain office!

#5. White coffee
This Lebanese drink doesn’t really bare any resemblance to ‘coffee’ at all, but it’s traditionally served after meals in Lebanese restaurants, and can be enjoyed at any time of day. All you need is some orange blossom water and some boiling water. Stir just a splash of the orange blossom water into hot water and add a little sugar or honey to taste if you like. Known as ‘white coffee’, this may be an acquired taste, but it’s light, refreshing and delicious.

#6. Honey, Lemon and Ginger
On chilly winter mornings where you don’t want to get out of bed, a honey, lemon and ginger concoction is perfect to wake you up – and the honey and lemon are also great for sore throats. It can help you regain a lost voice, whilst the ginger settles your stomach. Just add the juice of half a lemon, 1 tsp honey and a 1 inch piece of chopped, peeled root ginger to some hot water – you can either make this in a pan then strain or add the ingredients to an infuser for an easy way to make it in a mug.

#7. Decaf tea and coffee
Decaf is of course the easy option if you’re craving your morning cuppa and nothing else will do! You might remember a while back we did a piece on decaf and whether it was really a healthy choice. If you can, look for decaf tea and coffee which has gone through a natural carbon dioxide decaffeination process rather than using methylene chloride. Twinings teas all use a natural method of decaffeination, so their teabags and loose teas are a great place to start.

#8. Herbal coffee
Herbal coffee is available online, in some health food stores and in healthy cafes across the UK. It’s usually made from roasted, ground herbs such as sassafras and dandelion – the herbs used can vary. It’s this combination of roasted herbs which is said to create a flavour similar to coffee, making this a great alternative to try if you just can’t give up your coffee habit!
#9. Siberian Ginseng

Naturally caffeine-free, Siberian Ginseng is a root which contains antioxidant properties. Traditionally, it is sliced and steeped in hot water, similar to ginger, but you’ll find many specialist stores (and Chinese supermarkets) stock ginseng teabags and loose tea. Ginseng has a naturally coppery taste, so we recommend adding a little lemon, honey or even some cinnamon for a delicious start to your day. It’s said to be a great energy booster too (4)!

#10. Roasted grain beverages
Roasting grains can give them a rich, dark flavour so that they can then be used to make a beverage not dissimilar to coffee. Koreans traditionally use grains such as corn, barley and black beans to make tea – it might sound a bit odd, but why not? Barley tea has a bitter flavour that’s not unlike coffee, corn tea has a sweet flavour and black bean tea is made from roasted soya beans and has an earthy flavour – it can help to aid digestion (5). The ingredients can be steeped in hot water for a couple of minutes and then strained, or you can visit specialist Asian foodstores to pickup teabags to try.

#11. Liquorice tea
Did you know that liquorice tea could help to support your adrenal glands, which often become overburdened when we’re stressed? Naturally caffeine-free, a liquorice infusion can increase your energy levels, great if you’re feeling tired all the time. Blended with other herbs to form your own tea blend or steeped in hot water for a few minutes, liquorice root is really good for you! Pukka do lovely liquorice and cinnamon teabags but you’ll find most major supermarkets stock liquorice tea.

#12. Reishi Mushroom tea
Mushrooms? In tea? Hmmm, that’s what we thought too. But in China they swear by this invigorating, revitalising tea that’s made by steeping 1/3 oz of chopped or powdered Reishi mushrooms in 3 cups of water, bringing to the boil and simmering for 30 minutes. If that doesn’t sound too time consuming, give it a try – it’s used in traditional Chinese medicine to detoxify the body and help you to feel more alive, which can’t be a bad thing!

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Going through a Phase
By Madisyn Taylor

The gift of going through a phase is that it will pass and you will come out the other side.

We are all almost always in the process of learning something new, developing an underused ability or talent, or toning down an overused one. Some of us are involved in learning how to speak up for ourselves, while others are learning how to be more considerate. In the process of becoming, we are always developing and fine-tuning one or the other of our many qualities, and it is a natural part of this process that things tend to get out of balance. This may be upsetting to us, or the people around us, but we can trust that it’s a normal part of the work of self-development.

For example, we may go through a phase of needing to learn how to say no, as part of learning to set boundaries and take care of ourselves. During this time, we might say no to just about everything, as a way of practicing and exploring this ability. Like a child who learns a new word, we want to try out this new avenue of expression and empowerment as much as we can because it is new and exciting for us and we want to explore it fully. In this way, we are mastering a new skill, and eventually, as we integrate it into our overall identity, it will resume its position as one part of our balanced life.

In this process, we are overcompensating for a quality that was suppressed in our life, and the swinging of the pendulum from under-use to overuse serves to bring that quality into balance. Understanding what’s happening is a useful tool that helps us to be patient with the process. In the end, the pendulum settles comfortably in the center, restoring balance inside and out.

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Gilberto By the Sea
by Stephen Halpert

Gilberto was planning his long weekend getaway. Colorful brochures showing beach front accommodations along the coast of Southern Maine were splayed across his desk. He was looking forward to time off with nothing more to do than meet pretty women and have fun.
The flyers from Old Barnacle Beach intrigued him with their photos of scantily clad swimmers. Wow, Gilberto thought. Can’t go wrong with babes like that…so he called and made a reservation for the weekend at the Baronial Inn at Old Barnacle Beach.
The Inn was a landmark, dating back to Colonial days. During the Gilded Age it had become a famous watering hole for the rich and famous. With happy anticipation Gilberto drove up the gravel drive late Friday afternoon to start his mini vacation. He went in and registered, then gave his suitcase to the uniformed bellboy to take to his room. After checking out the accommodations on the inn’s internet site, he had chosen a moderately priced room on the second floor with its own bath.
Gilberto smiled and looked around as he unlocked the door and they entered his room. It was nicely furnished with a pretty bedspread and fringe on the lampshades. Absentmindedly, he pressed a dollar bill into the bellhop’s outstretched hand, receiving a disgruntled “Thanks,” as the man turned and left.
He quickly unpacked and stowed his few things in the bureau drawers and the closet. He debated putting on a swimsuit, however he was anxious to get out and walk along the boardwalk to explore all that Old Barnacle Beach had to offer. The ocean could be kept for the morning.
He strolled past various expensive shops designed primarily for tourists. Interspersed between them was the penny arcade, a small miniature golf course, and a myriad of places to eat. There were posters everywhere adverting the new blockbuster film: Zombie Boyfriend.
Reading more carefully he saw that the movie was in production right there in Old Barnacle Beach. It featured a pretty blond lady named Desiree Dolor. Gilberto was impressed by her somewhat scantily clad form and her curvaceous figure. She oozed a promise that Zombie Boyfriend would be unforgettable in many, many ways.
That evening as he sat in the Inn’s 5-star restaurant he caught a glimpse of her as she and her party entered a private dining room. “That’s Miss Dolor,” his waiter whispered as he set down Gilberto’s lobster bisque. Gilberto felt his heart beat faster. She was delicious! If only… he thought. Then reality dawned and he shook his head. No way could he ever even meet her. He sighed and looked around the dining room, hoping to spot someone to talk to. Most of the diners were either in couples or in groups and the only single ones all had grey or even white hair.
After a slice of the Inn’s specialty French apple pie, Gilberto headed for his room. Though it was early, the salt air made him drowsy. After a quick shower, he slid between the crisp sheets, falling asleep almost immediately.
He woke early, feeling refreshed and put on his swimsuit. The sand was soft beneath his feet and he gazed around him a the nearly empty beach.
“Help! Help!” He whirled around at the sound. The lovely actress from the posters was thrashing round in the water. He spotted a boat near her-perhaps she had fallen from it or worse been pushed!
“I’m coming to save you!” He shouted, dropping his towel and sprinting into the waves. Fortunately, having swum on a team in high school he was a strong swimmer. He churned through the ocean toward the actress, still thrashing and yelling.
“Gilberto Santiago at your service,” he gasped. He picked her up and with one hand held her above the waves. “I will keep you safe.” He smiled blissfully; his wish had come true. “I will carry you to shore,” he said, holding her still in a firm grip and kicking strongly toward the beach.
Suddenly he became aware that she was far from grateful–that she was in fact berating him.
“Put me down you big oaf, you idiot. We’re trying to get this shot in before the beach fills up.”
“But you, you called for help.”
“This is a movie! Are you genuinely stupid or just pretending to be?”
Gilberto treaded water and scratched his head. Perhaps if he changed the subject, he thought. “You’re very pretty,” he began.
“You there…” the man in the boat called out. Bring Miss Dolor over. I want to speak with you.” Puzzled and confused, Gilberto swam toward the boat. The actress finally stopped kicking him and instead gave him some of the dirtiest looks he’d ever received.
Someone offered him a hand pulling him up into the boat. “That was a miraculous rescue, but unnecessary,” an older male voice said. “I’m the director of this movie.”
“I thought she was drowning,” Gilberto said.
“Realism,” the director said. “We can splice all that into the scenario. You’ll have to sign a release.”
“For what?” Gilberto said.
“To appear in Zombie Boyfriend,” someone said. “You’ll have to join the Acters Guild. Gilberto shook his head. Actor’s Guild? I’m not an actor.”
Desiree looked up from her mirror where she had been checking out her makeup. “Keep that dimwit away from me. I don’t want him touching me. ”
“You were crying out for help and I helped you,” Gilberto said. “You could of drowned.”
“Not likely,” she glared. “You ruined the shoot.”
In his mind, Gilberto said goodbye to his dream of getting closer to Desiree and instead, decided to go for a swim.
“It’s ok the director said. “He thought he was saving your life, heard you cry out for help; I filmed the whole thing.”
Gilberto sighed and turned away. “Wait,” the director said, “Hey, don’t you want a job in the film?”
“Never mind,” Gilberto said. He turned. “I’ve already got a job. Have a nice day.” He swam back to the beach and climbed out of the water.”
“Time for breakfast,” he said to himself as he headed up to change into his clothes. Maybe, he thought, today I’ll meet one of those pretty ladies like the ones in the brochure.

If you enjoyed Gilberto’s adventure, let Stephen know! Write him at sthalpert@aol,com.

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Weekly Horoscope: Sunday, June 28, 2020
by Georgia Nicols
https://www.georgianicols.com

In astrology, Mars represents energy – all kinds of energy including sexual and militant aggression. Mars is the ruling planet of Aries; and Mars is in Aries only once every two years for about six weeks. But lo! What news from yonder modem breaks? This week Mars enters Aries to stay for six months. Repeat – six months! The last time Mars was in Aries so long was in 1988, and before that in 1941. This means for the rest of this year, Mars will super energize one part of our chart (except for 10 weeks from September to mid-Nov., when Mars is retrograde, and will create self-doubt, chaos and confusion.) Oh wow. Note: No animal was harmed in the writing of this column.

Aries (March 21-April 19)
Not since 1988 have you been so fired up and for so long! With your ruler Mars in your sign for the rest of the year (excluding the 10 weeks of its retrograde period) you will have boundless energy! Mars is always connected with work and physical output. Therefore, the rest of this year will be a time of great activity for you! You will feel that you have a chance to show the world what you can do. You will be more of a fighter for your rights than usual as well as the rights of others. However, be careful about coming on too strong and overwhelming everyone. (You know who you are.) Be nice.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
There’s no way to sugarcoat this. Actually, there is. What am I thinking? I am talking to the gourmets of the zodiac! Let’s take these words, roll them in orange juice and dip them in sugar. Maybe add some sprinkles? The fact is that for the rest of the year, Mars will be hiding in your chart, and Mars is an aggressive, forthright, in-your-face planet that doesn’t like to hide. This is why you will be robbed of the credit you deserve for something you do. Mars might make you your own worst enemy by making you doing little self-defeating acts. (“I can’t believe I said that?”) The way to handle this is to take more time to be alone – more “me” time. Hey, you’ll love doing research.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
You will be obsessed with goal setting for the rest of this year because Mars will urge you to define goals and pursue them! “Get up! Get dressed! Go, go, go!” Actually, you can easily achieve your goals this year by cooperating with others. Admittedly, you might be bossy. (“Moi?” “Yes, you.”) It’s a delicate balance. Your best option is to coordinate your needs with the needs of others. Find common goals. Obviously because of the high energy of Mars, physical activity with friends such as athletics will be rewarding. Look around you. Who wants to achieve something that you want as well? Easy peasy!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
For the rest of this year, your ambition will be aroused as never before. In fact, if you are under 50 years old, you will never have felt this ambitious in your adult life before. For the rest of the year, you will work extremely hard! Naturally, you want to be your own boss. Unfortunately, this high energy to achieve will put you at odds with employers, bosses and parents. They feel threatened! Conflict with coworkers could also arise. One obvious solution is to align your interest with the interests of someone else. Then, you will be on the same page and working for the same goal. Because you might be at odds with others, choose your fights. Be careful. Remember the tortoise and the hare? He who lasts, wins.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
For the rest of this year, you will do more creative intellectual work than usual. You might explore new beliefs and methodologies; and if you embrace them, you will want to share them with others. Caution: Be careful about trying to coerce others into believing as you do. Your best bet is to throw your energy into expanding your mind! Look for experiences that open up new dimensions in your life. Travel will be gratifying. New studies and new courses will also appeal. You might also use your energy to achieve results in publishing, the media or something to do with medicine and the law. It’s an exciting, stimulating six months ahead!

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
For the rest of this year, you might experience disputes about inheritances, shared property, insurance issues or anything jointly held — your partner’s wealth, for example. You might be in conflict with someone, which in turn forces you to re-examine and change your own position. You might also realize that your values are different than someone else’s values? Mars will also help you to see the transforming quality of an intense, physical, intimate relationship. (The stuff of movies!) In some way, you are encountering the death of an old order to make room for the birth of a new one.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Oy vey! Fiery Mars is opposite your sign for the rest of year. Sheesh! This affects your closest friendships and partnerships, including marriage. It encourages conflicts with those who are closest to you. The problem is you don’t want to give in or to compromise. Oh yes, Mars is all about ego, ego, ego! Face it. Do you want to be right or in a relationship? Your choice. On the upside, this is your chance to lay your cards on the table and be honest about what why you might be unhappy. But go easy. 100% honesty in any relationship is crazy. Be respectful of the other person’s feelings. Be wise and think about what your long-term objective is, which is the success of your relationship.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
For the rest of this year, you’ll be gung-ho to get lots done! What will encourage you is you will be proud of your accomplishments! One tiny caveat will present itself: Although you want to work for yourself and get credit for what you do – because of the placement of Mars, you may have to work on behalf of someone else. They might even want to take credit for your accomplishments! (Whaaat?) It will be tough to be a team player for the rest of this year. Ideally, try to maneuver yourself into a position where you don’t have to work with others or for anyone else. Guard against accidents as well as infections and fevers. Protect your health.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Lucky you! (“The Force is strong in this one.”) The rest of this year will actually flow more easily for you. Furthermore, you will even surprise yourself by seeing that you are ready to demand to be who you are and do exactly what you want! You will feel playful! You will make more effort to seek out amusements and pleasure. You will be excited by the arts, and especially a chance to express your own creativity. In romance, you will be physically passionate! (Notably so.) Basically, you will use your energy to have a wonderful time! Admittedly, conflict with kids might arise. Be patient. Your challenge will be to stay with one task because your self-discipline is all over the map. But you will have fun!

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
For the next six months, your home life will be active and perhaps chaotic. This could be due to renovations, residential moves or visiting guests. (This is a tough time to live with parents.) Furthermore, you will insist on having your surroundings exactly the way you want them to be. If someone crosses you, you’ll react! You might get bogged down in petty, bickering – fighting about something you don’t even understand or care about. Basically, these are power struggles with people at home or relatives. Consider this: The upside is that the rest of this year will gift you with opportunities to practice patience – one of the greatest virtues. And on a daily basis!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
You will be a force to contend with for the rest of this year because all your communications with others will be direct and proactive. (Gulp.) You will say what you mean – and mean what you say! This is because you will identify strongly with your ideas and opinions. If someone disagrees with you, you will take it as a personal affront, and then you will try to convince others to agree with you. (Not good.) Naturally, this communication style will help those in sales, marketing, teaching, acting and writing. Meanwhile, the tempo of your everyday life will accelerate for the rest of the year and your energy will be high! “More whiskey and fresh horses for my men!”

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
For the rest of this year, you might find yourself defending your values to others. Really? You will be more fixated on money and possessions than usual. This could be because suddenly, for some reason, you feel that you are your bank account, your car, your furniture or your property. You identify with what you own. (Of course, you’re not your bank account or your property – but you are your car.) This will make you want to buy things. Be aware that this temptation exists because the odds are that you will spend too much money on things you don’t really need. Be wise. Guard against wasteful spending.

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Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday, 28 June 2020

If you`re born within cusp period (16 to 26 of any month); you`re advised to read horoscopes of both signs covered by that period. You`re in the border; you may have influences from houses within those signs.

Outlines are longer versions; consists of every possible detail of everyday and based on three parts of each sign: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Decan; that is, any of three divisions of 10° within a sign of the zodiac. Even if you know or don`t know your Decan; I recommend, please read all three Decan.

Aries
Personal theme: I am!!
Fire & cardinal sign: March 21 — April 19

Your horoscope for this week:

On Sunday the 28th your ruler Mars moves into Aries, triggering a cycle of exciting growth. This lasts until early 2021. Your biggest challenge? It`s resisting the temptation to say yes to every amazing offer right away, thus limiting your options as the coming months unfold. Out of character as taking it slowly may be, what and who you encounter will be well worth waiting for.

No matter how helpful other people are trying to be, it will be better and easier to handle important business on your own. You aren`t being overly cautious with a new partner by keeping some of your thoughts to yourself. There is no need to be in a rush to reveal everything. Job and financial arrangements will be hard to negotiate. You can avoid getting into arguments by steering clear of controversial topics and in official or business settings, think before you speak.

Mars has arrived in your sign and for extended stay. It won`t leave until early 2021. Normally Mars makes passage through any sign in roughly 6 -8 weeks. In 2020, thanks to retrograde motion, Mars takes longer to move through Aries. This will surely affect every area of your life. Mars is all about energy and moving forward. Aries can also be seen as the Tarzans the Zodiac. So yes, you could push forward through a jungle fantastically well until roughly mid-September (the retrograde station) and then need to retrace your steps before moving forward again. This week it`s likely imperative that you take stock of where you are and what provisions you have for the journey. Mercury is after all retrograde at the base of your solar chart. You don`t want to run out of essential supplies before you`ve even really got started. So yes, going back over the past and, importantly dealing with outstanding property matters, could be time-consuming but effort worth spending.

Taurus
Personal theme: I have!!
Earth & fixed sign: April 20 — May 20

Your horoscope for this week:

A series of puzzling events have forced you to question several arrangements, some longstanding. Obviously, this is annoying; but insights about the practical or financial side of these justify the patience required. Better yet, this gives you time to acquaint yourself with activities or, possibly, individuals from a world very different from yours. This isn`t just increasingly intriguing; you`ll actually be relieved the pace is so slow.

If there have been mistakes and misunderstandings and you owe someone an apology, do it now. Don`t put it off any longer as making up silly excuses will prolong a tense situation. Take responsibility for your actions and move on from there. A strong relationship will get through this. A weak one could soon be over. Be cautious around DIY tools and machinery. Wear safety equipment. You are accepting the need to take up regular exercise and if you don`t already do so, eat nutritious meals.

Your ruling planet, Venus, is moving forward and apparently picking up speed as it moves through neighbouring Gemini: an area of your solar chart associated with both finances and values of all kinds. It may be that you`re thinking about adding a second string to your bow. Developing another revenue stream could feel so appealing. To do that might require that you go back and retrieve both old relationships, previous contacts and old documents. With Mercury retrograde, this might be the optimum time for doing so. Whilst a part of you might be cross that you didn`t undertake this exercise earlier, it may only be now that you`re really in the mood for reaching out and making new bonds. See this as part of the six-month journey. Mars has now changed signs. It could be early 2021 before you realise the benefits of steps taken now.

Gemini
Personal theme: I think!!
Air sign: May 21 — June 20

Your horoscope for this week:

The confusion triggered by your ruler Mercury`s retrograde cycle, which continues until 12 July, may be unavoidable. However, what you learn when disentangling even minor errors will be as inspiring as it is informative. Still, with so much in transition, you`re better off regarding plans as a trial run. While some won`t work, others could turn out to be far better than you`d dare hope.

Arguments and argumentative folk are getting you down. There is no way you will be able to change people`s opinions. If you`re growing bored with your current duties, give yourself permission to strike in a new direction. It is time to move on to better things. From Wednesday activities with your family and friends will give you most satisfaction. You will be making some new online contacts and if you`re single and careful, this might mark the start of a long and happy romance.

Venus is moving forward in your sign and to some people you should appear super attractive. That is likely to apply as much as at the business as at the personal level. This could suit you well: Mercury is retrograde in neighbouring cancer and it may be that there is work you could do to tie up or review that would bring a boost to funds. Obviously much depends on your personal chart but, with Mars having changed signs on Sunday, it may be that there are new contacts to develop over the next six months. What`s likely important, is to make best use of an existing network and to assure others of your willingness to accept a trial period with a view to making things more permanent at the end of the year. Geminis have a natural thirst for knowledge. That too should be to the fore this week. Yet it may first be necessary to build on existing expertise and show just how you`ve risen to challenges in the past.

Cancer
Personal theme: I feel!!
Water & cardinal sign: June 21 — July 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Unsettling as recent events have been, each has ushered in some form of breakthrough, especially last Sunday`s Cancer eclipsed New Moon. While, obviously, you`d like to turn ideas or offers into plans, keep things flexible. Not only are circumstances continuing to shift, so are your own priorities. If you must make plans, ensure it`s understood they`re tentative. What you learn over the coming days could change everything.

It will be to your advantage to work behind the scenes as this will mean you can develop skills without anyone looking over your shoulder. Keeping to yourself will be no hardship during the daylight hours but in the evenings, don`t be surprised to find yourself missing social activities and enjoying fun-filled times with friends. That`s only natural. Things will change for the better, but paradoxically your lockdown mindset might not. Are you single? The week ahead could bring a new admirer.

Mars has arrived at the very apex of your solar chart – and for an extended stay. This is unusual. Mars generally moves through a sign within the space of a couple of months. To spend half a year in your career zone suggests you`ll put extra effort into developing your long-term aims and objectives. These have most likely altered substantially – and not simply because 2020 is, globally, a year with a difference. Mercury meanwhile is retrograde in your sign. View this as a time for reflection. On top of this, Venus is now in direct motion. It may be that there are partnerships you should consider. Taking your time to do this would be wise; and yes, you might not reach a conclusion until the Sun leaves your sign on July 22. Impatient as you may be one level, taking your time would be wise. The needs and demands of those born under Aries, Libra or Capricorn (Cardinal signs like your own, could bring distraction. Maintaining focus will likely be one of this week`s challenges.

Leo
Personal theme: I will!!
Fire & fixed sign: July 23 — August 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Although you`re unlikely to be thrilled about increasingly random changes and, worse, that few decisions are up to you, be patient. While, obviously, that`s out of character, as the coming days unfold, you begin to recognise their promise. For now, focus on learning what you can. Things will come together, but the picture won`t be clear until the Leo New Moon on 19 August.

You aren`t sure who to trust especially when it comes to cold callers and online contacts. People are giving you conflicting advice. It`s important that when you act, you do so on credible and accurate information. Big changes are already happening and these are causing you to be more resourceful. In some areas it is a time for new beginnings. Even so, it is not a good time to make a loan or to take on new commitments. It is unlikely you will be offered an advantageous deal.

Venus is now moving forward and there should be signs of progress and greater social interaction. This might be most apparent within the working scene. Expect others to reach out to you – particularly since Mars has now entered another of the Fire signs. Colleagues might look to you for enthusiasm and to help kickstart fresh projects. That said, this week Saturn returns to Capricorn. Old issues – likely related to property and property management – will almost certainly require extra attention. This could include repairs. There might also be the need to re-evaluate. Career wise too it may be necessary to look back before moving forward. That said, and with support from someone older, you could experience a surge of confidence in your ability to survive setbacks.

Virgo
Personal theme: I analyse!!
Earth sign: August 23 — September 22

Your horoscope for this week:

While dealing with your ruler Mercury`s retrograde cycle is nothing new, because you`re also juggling the dramatic changes triggered by the current powerful planetary activity, even seemingly simple facts are unreliable. Instead of battling this, go with the flow. Learn from whatever, or whoever, you encounter. Things won`t come together right away, but once they do, you`ll be pleased and amazed the way they`ve worked out.

In these strange and distorted days, you may not have expected to have to iron out a dispute over money. Use your gift of discretion to side track a clash over finances or domestic responsibilities. Very soon you will feel as if you are making progress. Are you single? Online workshops and group activities can put you in the path of an attractive person. Thanks to your personal magnetism they aren`t likely to get away. People seem drawn to you like moths to a flame.

On July 1, Saturn returns to another of the Earth signs and will stay there until the December solstice. This return to your `research and development` area suggests the probable rethink of an interest that began two years ago. With Venus now moving forward in another of the Mutable signs, it might suit you to reach out and see what new bonds can be formed. However, Mercury – your ruling planet, – is still retrograde. The art may be to link the past with the future. It`s noteworthy that Mars moves into Aries this Sunday and for an extended stay. There seems strong likelihood of financial matters warranting increased attention. All this could stress your delicate nervous system. It does appear however that you will be increasingly involved with legacies and loan management.

Libra
Personal theme: I balance!!
Air & cardinal sign: September 23 — October 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Usually you`re the one who`s working discreetly in the background, tidying up confusion and making others look good because of it; but with so much in flux, even you are unsure what`s best. For now, simply back off and leave events, and the fate of those who`re worryingly careless, to destiny. Unwise as this seems, what you learn will clarify issues with others and your priorities.

You`re working round the clock to keep on top of all your many commitments and responsibilities. When others see what you are doing you can rely on their cooperation. People are grateful for the help you have given them in the past and they will do all they can to help you fulfil your obligations. Home is the place you will choose to relax and wind down but a younger relative may have plans that are very different. Ask that they leave you out of them.

Your roots are your source of strength this week, thanks to a trio of Capricorn influences landing in your realm of home life. First up is a Jupiter-Pluto merger on Monday, which will provide insight into any family patterns you need to examine. Researching your ancestry for additional insight is encouraged. What`s more, the Full Moon in Capricorn on Saturday can stir up intense feelings about your family, but the most important influence is Saturn turning retrograde on Wednesday (through mid-December), which may reactivate a feeling or situation you faced sometime during the past three years that hindered your ability to express your true self.

Scorpio & Ophiuchus
Personal theme: I desire!!
Water & fixed signs: October 23 — November 21

Your horoscope for this week:

Those who know you well are also aware that you dislike surprises, even if it`s a party for you. However, while the events triggered by the bountiful Jupiter`s encounter with your ruler Pluto may be unexpected, even at your grumpiest, you`ll be delighted; and you should be. The more questions you ask and learn, the clearer it will be these aren`t just exciting, they`re thrilling breakthroughs.

You are known for being able to speak your mind clearly and concisely. Once you recognise a problem, make a sincere effort to help anyone who is being negatively affected. Your honesty will resonate with people who are frustrated with an unfair situation. Negotiations may involve financial and property matters. Investing in property will cause your wealth to grow. The chance to sign a contract will fall into your lap as the week ends.

This week promises a very distinct change in cosmic vibration. It all starts this Sunday when Mars, one of your ruling planets, changes signs. This should bring an energy surge. That said, Mercury is still retrograde whilst Venus has now started to move forward. Conditions could feel a little confusing. Stabilisation though could come on Thursday when Saturn returns to Capricorn for a few months. Yes, this will likely give rise to raised issues about responsibility and scheduling and perhaps involvement in a clearing up operation. Being involved in this might suit you greatly and pave the way for you to move forward with one of your grand plans in August.

Sagittarius
Personal theme: I see!!
Fire sign: November 22 — December 21

Your horoscope for this week:

When you first decided to sidestep mentioning certain tricky situations, the actual matters weren`t that important and the individuals involved had their minds on other things. Now it`s very different and you`re urged to review what went on in the past, existing arrangements and future plans in detail. Yes, this is tedious. Still it will be much easier than what you`ll face if you ignore these matters.

You`re making plans that make you excited for the future. You may not have expected some people to question your decisions. The complaints of a loved one will hurt. You might feel like they don`t understand you. Have a heart to heart discussion. Once they`ve listened, they`ll probably be very happy to encourage you. Job prospects could be blunted, even turbulent but you`ll take this in your stride. Taking on an engrossing project will give you the stimulation you crave.

Mars has now arrived in the play or research and development sector of your solar chart. Meanwhile, Venus is now moving forward in your opposite sign whilst Mercury is retrograde. Put all this together and there seems a strong likelihood that someone, recognising your expertise, will push you and hopefully re-enthuse you to make better use of a latent talent. To do that might require going back over old archives but prove one of your major legacies. This needn`t be achieved overnight. Mars will be moving through this sector for the rest of the year. Pacing yourself would be wise. First it may be necessary to renew contacts. What`s particularly interesting is that in the lead into next Sunday`s Full Moon others may be quick to realise that your plans have considerable merit and warrant their involvement.

Capricorn
Personal theme: I use!!
Earth & cardinal sign: December 22 — January 19

Your horoscope for this week:

Ordinarily you`ve a talent for making it seem that you`re giving up ground to others when, in fact, you`re simply re-organising everything, in a way that suits you and those who`ve been worried about being in control. However, certain individuals or, perhaps, destiny has something else in mind, and it`s not negotiable. Go with the flow. You`ll soon understand how wise this is.

The end of the month will find you reflecting on the past and considering your future. You might suddenly realise how special someone is to you. It`s not always easy to show your feelings and sometimes you can forget to let people know that you do appreciate the little things they do for you. A balance between caution and ambition will help you make good progress in a project launched now. You have the practical skills needed to carry it out.

Mars has arrived at the very base of your solar chart. The presence of the `red planet` could result in you feeling hot under the collar about many things. Emotionally you may be more than a little stirred – but yes, also galvanised. This might have something to do with asset management and the realisation that recent months have cost so much. It might also be necessary to spend time with a close colleague who needs to go back over things – again and again. Whilst this would surely be irritating, it is perhaps also true that they really can`t move forward until this exercise is complete. With Venus now in forward motion and a Full Moon in your sign next weekend however, it`s entirely possible that they – and others – will want to follow your lead and that plans made will be reinvigorating for everyone.

Aquarius
Personal theme: I know!!
Air & fixed sign: January 20 — February 18

Your horoscope for this week:

As an Aquarius, you`ve a knack for spotting the strategy behind others` manoeuvres, even if you`re not involved, as seems to be the case now. However, you`re struggling with your own blind spot, which is the need to alter certain elements of your life you`ve hoped could remain unchanging. You can`t. However, what`s coming next will be far better. You need only say yes.

If there is a big decision to be made, be patient. You and a friend or colleague may not agree with each other`s point of view. A lengthy discussion could be inevitable. Some people struggle to put their feelings into words. Ties of affection can be strengthened if you recognise and acknowledge the signals someone is sending to you. Don`t feel drawn into a muddled confusion of misunderstood motives. You know what you believe and you know what is right for you and yours.

With Venus now in direct motion and Mars` change of sign together with Mercury retrograde, the cosmic weather altering. In the lead into next Sunday`s Full Moon you may find others show an impetus and energy that has been lacking in recent times. The potential to retrieve situations when it was thought all was lost is much increased. True, this will require going back over archived notes and perhaps yes, rehashing the past. Yet with the Lunar Node now moving through another of the Air signs, Gemini, and through the research and development area of your solar chart, you could now be drawn towards projects and situations where you excel. True, these may not lift off completely for some weeks yet. Contacts made though and the enthusiasm with which ideas are met, could make such a difference. All that said, it would be wise not to underestimate the effect on your nervous system and wise then to give careful thought to your diet to ensure that your physical body is well supported.

Pisces
Personal theme: I believe!!
Water sign: February 19 — March 20

Your horoscope for this week:

Ignoring others` complaints isn`t easy. Yet you really must, or risk allowing their dramas to distract you from potentially thrilling, and rewarding, ventures. The problem? It all seems too easy and, anyway, you also prefer a bit of drama. Save that for those times in the future when you can deal with theatrical twists and turns. These are exactly what you need, and at exactly the right time..

This is not a time to question the decisions of people in positions of power. Contradicting a boss in public could put your job in jeopardy. Even if you have evidence to support your claims, be subtle. Diplomacy is the only way to make your point in an effective way. A new neighbour doesn`t know all they pretend to. Passing on a rumour could get you into trouble. You don`t want to be branded as a gossip. This is a time to be guarded in all you say and do.

Venus is now in direct motion at the base of your solar chart. Under normal circumstances it might be suggested that you would now find even keel. However, Mercury is still retrograde and Mars has now changed signs. Navigating cosmic water this week – particularly as we are now in the pull towards next Sunday`s Full Moon could prove challenging. One of the main reasons may be the unexpected – even bizarre – behaviour of both colleagues and groups with which you were associated. There is likely is to be much to discuss and yes, gossip to be had. Not allowing this to deflect from your essential aims and objectives could prove tricky. It may also be that there are property issues to consider. You may not be able to do much about this yet, but agree that developments here will take priority between now and the end of 2021. In this, you could be supported by someone born under either Aries, Leo or Sagittarius.

Posted by: arif uk <pepper.buoy@yahoo.co.uk>

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