This year is already promising to be fast moving, intense, and full of surprises! Whether the energy currents coming in at this time nourish us and support us to manifest and embody our goals and greater vision, or not, depends on us maintaining our center, being fully rooted in our truth, and having the courage to follow our hearts calling despite apparent difficulties or setbacks. While this is always the case, this year will demand it more so than usual. The good news is.... we have all the help and tools we need to do this, and to use these energies to create miracles! The year (and decade) is starting out with very intense Capricorn energies, as not only the Sun, but Saturn, Pluto, Mercury and Jupiter are all in Capricorn this month! Capricorn, and it's ruling planet Saturn, are all about structure, boundaries and limitations. UGG, right? These earth element energies are often ones that many of us feel as negative and difficult, as they can be demanding, hard edged and often uncompromising. Saturnian energies are usually associated with authority figures, parents (especially the father) and rules and regulations we would rather not have to deal with. Those of us who are free spirits, energy sensitive and/or focused on higher spiritual realities can tend to have difficulty with Saturnian energies, as they seem to be the opposite of what we really want, which is freedom to be fully ourselves, to embrace and embody our higher unlimited and multidimensional nature. And these energies are magnified right now by being in Capricorn and conjunct with Pluto, making them even more intense! But there is a good side! I was born with Saturn conjunct (very close in the astrological chart) to my sun, and for many years I rebelled against what I felt to be the confining, restricting and harsh ways those energies were showing up in my life. But I finally learned the secret to dealing with Saturn's energies when I realized that structure, boundaries and limitations are there not to restrict us, ultimately, but to support us, if we learn how to make use of them consciously. Too much Saturnian energy can be confining, rigidifying, even deadening. But too little makes us scattered, ungrounded and ultimately ineffective. Any artist knows the importance of first mastering the form, which can mean countless hours of practicing the nuts and bolts of technique, before getting to the stage of being able to create your own unique artistic expression. Learning the art of healing works the same way. In the modern western tradition, Saturn has been more strongly associated with the masculine, but in ancient times, and in the Kabbalistic tradition, Saturn was and is associated with the feminine, with nature and the womb which forms and gives birth to all creation. So how can we make use of this deeper understanding of Saturn's energies, and what these energies are calling forth in us now and in the coming year? The key is finding a balance between structure and spontaneity, between form and formlessness. Nature actually shows us how to find this balance beautifully, as she is the perfect embodiment of this principal. Man made laws, structures and institutions are useful, but sadly tend to become form bound and rigidified, often unresponsive to evolution and change. But natural law and nature herself embodies form and structure and yet is always changing its outward manifestation to meet the needs of the moment. The conjunction of Saturn with Pluto this month (January) is not only making the energies more intense, but also acting to break down old structures that are no longer serving, so that new structures, more attuned to natural and Universal law, can take their place. Pluto is all about deep transformation, death and rebirth. We can see this dance between Saturn and Pluto playing out in the world right now in many ways, from the fires in Australia to the Impeachment proceedings to the changes going on within the British Royal Family. If you picture going through a major home remodeling while still living in your home you will get a good idea of this Saturn/Pluto dynamic. Extremely challenging, but ultimately worth it once we are on the other side! How are these planetary archetypes playing out in your life right now? What old structures have you been living with that are out-moded and only holding you back? How can we all let go of these old forms and make room for new forms and structures that can better serve our higher purpose moving forward? These old structures might be obvious, like a house, a job or a relationship. Or they might be something much more subtle, like a belief system, or a way we have seen our own limitations and potential. But while it is easy to say "just let go of whatever old structures are no longer serving you," it is NOT always easy to do, especially when we don't know what new forms and structures might be taking their place. It takes courage, trust and faith in ourselves and in the goodness of the greater design we are a part of. Many of the KUM VITA sacred syllables can assist us with this process, but I would like to offer two sets of syllables that I feel can be most useful at this time to support us in this time of structural re-alignment and deep transformation. As always, the syllables reveal deeper insight into the truth of what they represent. ZEN BA LAR translates as courage, but literally means following the way or path of the hearts will. If we feel we are lacking courage to move forward, perhaps it is because we are not tuning in to the true knowing and desire of our heart. When we do so, hesitation disappears, we "take heart" and find we can move forward with the confidence that we are on the right path, trusting the universe will truly support us in our direction and purpose. Meditation with a focus on the heart field and silent repetition of ZEN BA LAR can assist us to align with the will and knowing of our hearts, and take action from that place of knowing. KRI PHAR AM LA literally translates as the living expression of the Divine Design. Meditation with these syllables or using them as your silent mantra or affirmation will assist you to let go of the structures that are not in resonance with your Divine Design, and to attract or create that which will serve and support your higher purpose.