Archives for category: VIRGO

The Black Madonna is a Mother who is aware of the hardships that happen to us, in and out of the dark of unknowing, unconsciousness, ignorance and innocence.

-Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes


My daughter sent me a warning the other day. Her email’s subject said, “Mercury In Retrograde – Take Precautions.”

Trying to be a ‘cool’ mom, I glibly responded with, “I’m up there with Mercury, holding her hand, demonstrating retrograde behaviour at its finest.” I had always thought retrograde just meant regressive, but after a quick check with Merrian Webster I discovered to my ‘New Age’ delight that retrograde could also mean, moving contrary to a previous direction. Smugly, I thought to myself, “I’m not going backwards after all, I’m going in a new direction!” I immediately felt better about myself. In a typically self-satisfied, ‘I’ve got my karmic act together’, kind of ego – inflatedness, I decided I didn’t need to read the advice on successful navigation when Mercury is in retrograde, and began to answer emails. The wiser Universe immediately proved to me yet again, that my smugness will have me on my knees begging for a second chance to be a more humble person.


Last fall, having joyfully participated in Deepak Chopra’s free 21 Day Meditation Challenge, I was sent his latest offer. Although similar in format, this time Deepak is teaming up with Oprah. Seeing the image of Oprah ‘hugging’ Deepak, I sent the photo below, along with a message to my daughter…(or so I thought it was sent to my daughter)…saying “Is Oprah Strangling Deepak?”  

She Who Laughs last, laughs Alone

But pesky Mercury had me click REPLY not FORWARD, so my message went right back to DEEPAK at the Chopra Institute. I only know this because of the reply I received from the Chopra Institute:

Your request (#48094) has been received and will be reviewed and replied to by our Help Desk staff within 24 business hours of receipt.

Needless to say, I never got a response from the Help Desk, as they probably realized I was beyond any help they could give me! I am writing about this for 2 reasons.

1) Don’t ignore warnings, especially those sent by your more intuitive children, who know your faults and foibles better than anyone.

 2) To share my experience of projection, a Jungian concept that defies comprehensible explanation, and continues to baffle me. But here goes.

In reality, I know nothing of the relationship between Oprah and Deepak. Therefore, my comment about Oprah having Deepak in a half nelson says everything about me…not Oprah. In a projection, I take an unacknowledged, unpleasant quality of my own and instead of owning up to it, I ‘see’ it in another person. In this particular projection, I don’t want to acknowledge my tyrannical tendencies with men, when I don’t get the love I want. I would rather believe and have others believe that I am always a loving woman, just unlucky in love. There is no grace or growth in the endless gossip and tittle-tattle of daily life. I apologize to you Oprah, for projecting my character flaw onto you.


The other day, I was simultaneously searching the net for the most efficacious compost system and the best facial skin rejuvenation technology.

I found experts on both, with whom I discussed my purchase options…and then I had to laugh! With one, the Jura garden composter, I am acknowledging the end of the life cycle…with the other I am fruitlessly clinging to a youth long gone. The juxtaposition of two such wildly opposing attitudes hoisted me onto the cross of indecision. On one side, if I purchase a composter for my new garden, I can contribute to the cycle of organic food feeding my body, creating a ‘natural beauty’. On the other side, if I have my face zapped with radio and light beams, I could create a new and improved me…or could I have both? Unable to decide, I went for a walk on the beach.


Yesterday’s tide was extremely low which meant I could look for treasures in places usually under water…and there it is…the metaphor for uncovering the gems of the unconscious. Given the right conditions, new life manifests. This process needs the synchronistic collision of The Universe and an individual’s intention. The Universe provided the low tide, and I got my ‘imprisoned’ self out for a walk. Typically, I find 1 or 2 pieces of this coveted glass, but yesterday I found at least 50…turquoise, cobalt blue, green and yellow. Uncovering the gems hidden within our unconscious can be equally rewarding. Hidden in the dark swirl of fear, I can stand frozen…the pain of remaining in the place of suffering lays opposite to moving into an unknown world. Immobility over mundane real world dilemmas such as illustrated above(composter vs facial rejuvenation) happens similarly within our inner, psychic world. In both, we can hang frozen, hoisted on the cross of indecision, until we die, or surrender to the creation of a new and better life. The beautiful, broken beach glass that I had found in the past, was thus transformed by my dear friend, Colleen Belyea(This Little Bauble). Below are 2 examples of her creations.

Aspirations for Week 35 of 52

Revisiting Black Madonna of Czestochwa

In 1993, my 86 year old Aunty Mary visited me in Vienna. My middle name is Mary –  a tribute to het being surrogate mother to my mother. My maternal grandmother died in childbirth, leaving 7 children motherless. Aunty Mary and I planned a trip to Poland, our country of origin, so that we could visit Black Madonna of Czestochowa. Incomprehensibly, I was fascinated by her. Up until a couple of days ago, I have not thought much about Black Madonnas…also incomprehensible. But in reading Untie the Strong Woman by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, the journey into Poland came flooding back. Historians believe the Black Madonna of Czestochowa, may have been the table top used by the Holy Family. She may have been painted by Luke, the Apostle. Incredulously, this Black Madonna has several battle scars on her face, that have defied countless attempts at restoration! She is considered to be a warrior Madonna and a healer of the crippled, the harmed. Maybe it is she, who has been watching over me, helping me heal my crippled, arthritic body and broken heart.

So in honour of my Aunty Mary and Black Madonna of Czestochowa, I will leave my face to bear the scars of my hard won battles. Just as the beach glass is broken, but still beautiful, so too am I.



“A thousand candles can be lit by a single candle and yet not diminish the first candle’s light.

Happiness is never diminished by being shared.”



Unbuttoning the Virgo this past week, has been exhilarating! On several occasions I abandoned my need for purposeful encounters and just had fun…I spent time with others accomplishing nothing, just being! I went out to dance with no expectation other than the sensation of dancing. Yes, it’s true…I left the couch this past Saturday night! I drove myself, in the dark, to a bar with a band, and danced with wild abandon…with women…no men were asking and I didn’t care! I just wanted to dance! I also went on a date with a good looking man and had a mindless time. This is Virgo Unbuttoned!

 I am bubbling with enthusiasm, like a child who comes rushing in from playing, panting, tripping over words, describing the wonderment of an innocuous event. I feel as excited as I did when I was 6 and discovered an ant carrying a cake crumb I had dropped, that was bigger than its own body.

Amazing Ant!

My first conscious experience of exuberance happened while doing a 10 day hike to Takakkaw Falls in the Canadian Rockies. It was unusual for me to do such an arduous hike, let alone carry most of my own things.(note in photo that the guys packs are ‘slightly’ bulkier than mine) But it was not unusual for me to be with 2 men, neither of whom I was involved with, but each wishing they could be that special guy! My Mother always reminded me that my favourite pastime as a child was playing house…problem being that I never stopped…I have felt like a doll being placed in various positions and situations…with no apparent will of my own.

But I had one moment on this hike that was different. Early one morning, in an unexpected act of independence, I walked to the edge of a waterfall, and showered under it. The exuberance I experienced from the extremely cold water and the opulence of my view, created a spiritual awakening. I was jolted into the present moment, no longer observing my life from a safe distance. Although unable to describe why this moment was so monumental, I knew I had experienced something new. 

Spiritual Awakening at Takakkaw Falls

Me, with David and Bob

2 decades later, when I began Jungian analysis, this experience was my reference point for what I wanted to achieve. I had clung to this intense and thrilling moment knowing that if it could happen once, it could happen twice. I begged my analyst to help me. I was exhausted from years of playing house, living with muted emotion…being remote, removed and repressed. I told her that my only palpable emotion came from a daily re-creation of the waterfall, where I would be jolted alive,  into exuberance, under a 3 minute blast of cold water in the shower. Self induced shock therapy! The title of my Week 4 of 52, post(July 30 2012) was Changing My Fun Factor. Interesting to note that the ‘intention’ to have fun took 4 months to become integrated.

Exuberance, that’s what I’m looking for in a cold shower!

During the past 2 weeks I have been doing Deepak Chopra’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge, Creating Abundance. I was particularly drawn to the message of day 9, Abundance and the Law of Giving, because it resembled my efforts to be altruistic in Week 3 of 52, Changing My Expectations of Love. Back in the summer, I realized that I was attached to the outcome of my generosity. I expected what I received to balance what I gave…specific to each person and situation. If I brought wine for dinner, I expected reciprocity. Constant monitoring took time, created resentment and in fact MISSED THE POINT of the Law of Giving. The natural world is sustained in a flow of abundance, a perpetual process of giving and receiving. An apple tree absorbs sunlight, nutrients and water and in response produces delicious fruit. The point that I missed was that neither the sun, nor the soil, nor the cloud that willingly gave up what they held in abundance, ate the apple they helped produce. They did not look at the tree and say, “Hey, I gave to you, what are you giving me?” There are no hoarders in the natural world. The sun, cloud and soil were not diminished by giving to the tree, and were restored by other natural processes in our abundant world.

Bountiful Universe, a continual flow of giving and receiving!

So I have been experimenting this past week. I want to be loved for the woman that I am, so I will offer love to each and every person I encounter for the person that they are…right then. I intentionally did not hoard my love. So back to my date with Mr Handsome. It was readily apparent to me that he and I had very differing views on everything from personal transformation to compassion to the sharing of one’s wealth. In the past I would have felt spiritually superior, which would have expressed itself in obsequious flattery, or subtle derision and denigration. To my surprise and delight I had 5 hours of simple fun. I shared my perspective without judgment of his, which allowed me to be a loving presence. I did not worry if I received love back, believing that in adding love to the Unified Field, I was creating an undulating flow in my environment, that would sooner or later grace me with love.



I have had the best week ever! Is this because I have tapped into the Unified Field of Abundance? From this vantage point, I believe that giving joy, does not deplete me of my joy, giving a gift does not deplete me of my material resources, giving love does not deplete me of love…in being free to give while remaining open to receive,  I join the undulating flow that is our Universe.

So for Week 20 of 52, I will continue to to offer that which I want to receive.

Offering the love I want to receive


I want to start this week’s Blog, not talking about myself…for a change. I want to remember my parents and the scarifies they both made during the 5 long years of  WWII. In 1940, when they were 20, the war had begun. They decided to get married before Dad joined the Canadian Navy. He sailed on one of Canada’s oldest fighting Corvettes, the HMCS Sackville, now docked in Halifax, as a Naval Memorial. He sailed out of Halifax, protecting the convoys in The Battle of the Atlantic. I am so proud of him and my Mom who travelled across Canada to offer her love and support during these troubled times.

As an expression of my gratitude to you and all veterans, I will try to live by the words that I utter, taking action in support of my beliefs.

Dad, 5 years at sea, fighting for our freedom

Mom, loving her Sailor


Eroticism is one of the basic means of self-knowledge, as indispensable as poetry

-Anais Nin

The 1990 movie, ‘Henry and June’, was nearly my undoing. The movie depicts the love triangle between Henry Miller, his wife June and the writer, Anais Nin. Although this occurred a decade before I discovered  my husband’s infidelity, I intuited then, that he had Miller’s predilection for a bohemian lifestyle, including machinations with other women. To be honest we were both intrigued by the idea of lives lived outside the strictures of marriage in middle America, but my fear of being abandoned superseded any curiosity I may have had. I then created the most hideous and wicked fight and refused any further conversation on or near this subject… for 22 years.

Henry, is he in control?

The Universe has a way of making fun of us and our fears! Of the millions of movies that have been made, guess which one was put in front of me to discuss? Here is how this tale unfolded.

D walked into my life, while I was hunting for a new kitchen with my friend, Lori. He designs and builds… a carpenter…just like the man in the lives of my 2 Marys. D was one of the saving graces from last Saturday. He had come by my cottage that day, to discuss design options for the kitchen. We talked animatedly, and with ease, for at least an hour before he stood up abruptly and pulled out his tape measure. I thought he might be interested in me the woman, as much as me the customer, when he said, “I’ll take your measurements and then be on my way.” Women and men, in Freudian slips…my favourite source of humour.

Freud, hoisted by his own petard!

So, this past Friday, D returned to my cottage, after his day of work, ostensibly to discuss the design he had created. (Is my writing filled with double entendres today?) Friday evening, over wine and food, symbolically… life and understanding, I conversed with D. A few days before, he had asked to read my blog, which has been off limits to the men I may be interested in. After reflecting, I agreed to send him the link. His open-hearted sensibility established my trust. I warned him that he was and may continue to be a source of discussion on The Other Woman Blog, but he remained unfazed.

At the 2 hour point of the evening, D asked if I had seen the movie, Henry and June. My colour heightened, my blood pressure rose…my body shut down my ears, as I thought to myself. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Not again. The most interesting man I have met in ages and he’s no different…intrigued by other women, while he sits with me…as I sank into reverie, no longer listening, I planned a way to end the evening.

And then a word D said broke through my barrier…something about me and Anais Nin…I looked up, taken aback. He was saying something completely unexpected. He was noting the parallelism of my journey, recorded in this Blogmoir, to Anais Nin’s exploration of her femininity, depicted in the movie.(based on her diary) I was taken aback for several reasons. First of all, a man referencing an indie movie about relationships? Incredulous! Secondly, he did not talk about Henry, or the male perspective…but most importantly, he understood my journey and was actually interested in me and my foray to the wild side. Through this discussion with D, I was embarrassed to realize that back in 1990, I had entirely missed the point of the movie. The story was Anais’s, never Henry’s. She was a woman defining her life, making choices that interested her, outside the conventions and restrictions of traditional life. 

Anais, contemplating her position with her husband and Henry Miller

Aspirations for Week 19 OF 52


Comments and Advice to a Virgo, from any and all of the Astrological signs.

Virgo, you are a pain in the ass. Stop regulating your breathing and stop color-coordinating the  items in your shopping cart. Please let me hear you fart, just once. Obsessive-compulsive disorder? A nice euphemism for the word “Virgo”. Virgo, you use pointers, markers and elaborate charts to describe the metaphysical. You have a special toothbrush, just for tile grout. Virgo, surrender your brush collection, your brooms and sponges and your coveted squeegee collection, and lower the buttons on your blouse so I can see your neck. I appreciate that you love to do anyone’s laundry, but when you separate everything by colour and fabric and end up with 14 loads of 3 things apiece, it really makes me want to sic a naked Aquarius on you.

At Suzanne’s suggestion and the countless friends and family members who have given me similar ‘tips’, I am going to become The Unbuttoned Virgo!

Just to prove it, I am going to break a few rules today…(inner judgmental voice…bad bad virgo)… I’m posting on the WRONG day and I am UNDER the word count  and I’m going to Victoria without a to-do list.

So for Week 19 of 52, I will be THE UNBUTTONED VIRGO

The Unbuttoned Virgo

%d bloggers like this: