Join Us On Our Magic Sky Journey
By Mary Swanson
A Creative Exploration into the Art & Magic of Archetypes through Mythology, Psychology, Astrology, Visualization, Neurobiology and the Natural Flow of Energy.
Magic is a word we use to name all the ways we shape and play with life. Magic is what we call it when we use Intention and Imagination to inspire shifts of perception.
In astrology, the planets are personifications of our inner patterns. Each planet is alive and active in the psyche, in myths, stories, dreams and the deep imagination. And each planet has particular ways it wants to teach us magic! SkyMagic that is.
When we create and collaborate with these astrological myths, dance with the characters in the sky and honor the richly nuanced patterns of the soul, our inner and outer life magically and irrefutably changes…
Join Laura, Jena & me for Sky Magic: A Creative Exploration into the Art & Magic of the Astrology.
Connect with your imagination and intuition.
Play with the mythic figures of your inner world and cultivate a deeper relationship to the archetypes that form the deepest patterns of human experience.
Increase your astrological education. Because truly, if you know the planets you know all the musical notes of astrology.
Learn through playful art prompts, meditations, mythic journeys and community learning.
Make more magic through ritual, art, and creative intention!
Jump in and Join us! $75/mo. Cancel at any time.
(3/24) Mars, our most Sacred Selfishness, our deepest most true Desires.
(4/21) Venus, our capacity for thorough enjoyment and satisfaction.
(5/26) Mercury, our need for stimulation, new information and cross-pollination…
In this yearlong course we:
Greet, honor, feed, and enliven the core archetypes of the soul
Evoke each planet and place them on our altar for a month
Connect to the genius of our inner worlds through active visualization
Clear out the cultural and personal beliefs that limit. Explore and expand your experience through playful art prompts
Understand how these mythic patterns express (and want to express) uniquely through you. Identify where the magic lives in your life and in your astrology chart.
Week One: Introduction and Meditation to Meet the Archetype with Mary Swanson
Week Two: Art Journaling on the themes with Jenafer Joy
Week Three: Go Deeper Exploration and Meditation with Laura Tabet
Week Four: Summary and Buffet of options.
Curious? See a sample week four email: here.
Hope you’ll join us! Click here to register…
By Mary Swanson
In Astrology, opposition is not so much conflict as it is Complimentary, each side has something the other needs. Both sides need to understand each other and come into balance. We invoke Venus at this point of a cycle because Venus, (love, grace, beauty, balance, harmony, all the arts… ) Venus is the collective human experience, the Archetype, that shows us how to OPEN and RECEIVE.
Venus Aphrodite is the Alchemical Goddess. This archetype holds our collective understanding of how to deal with opposition, contraction, fear. This archetypes CHANGES FEAR INTO CREATIVITY. She accepts the energy of the Other, of Mars(Desire) because she authentically finds it beautiful and pleasing.
Venus SHOWS US HOW TO MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE.
Venus Aphrodite, aka Isis, Astarte, Sekhmet, Oshun, Freya and thousands of names I haven’t heard yet. What a diminishment to call her the love goddess even though it IS the experience of love in all it’s forms. But it is anything but a kind of I-dream-of-jeannie-martha-stewart…
Venus isn’t passive in the least. She fully faces the strength of Desire. Desire is her sure point, her guiding light. She is the part of us that is curious, engaged, excited and interested. She doesn’t ask anyone’s permission or wait for approval. She doesn’t concern herself with any one else’s measurement of worth. She knows what she finds interesting. Venus is purely subjective, no one tells her who or what she falls in love with.
When beginning to contract, the ancients tell us, be AUTHENTIC about what you love.
We all want permission to give ourselves with complete abandon to the person or experience that interests us. We all want to light up and feel completely engaged with life. Venus is our guide.
She is the part of us that finds itself BY being met. When you feel the freedom to choose what you find beautiful and interesting, you have invoked Venus, your right to love who and what you love. All else is unimportant. This archetype is strong and powerful and it’s selfish. When Venus is present we are having a sensual, sexual, sensory experience. It’s as if we’re in a spell where the other is the only thing that matters. She is the golden sparkle of new love, the grand passion and the all-consuming interest. She is unconcerned with past or future. She is not bound by any law or idealization. She claims the right to give herself with complete abandon to what she is interested in.
In science, Venus would be described as non-coercive bonding energy
like electrostatic attraction, or molecular binding or gravity.
Non-coercive bonding is found in the bonding of subatomic particles into atoms, atoms into molecules, molecules into molecular complex cells, into organisms. It’s how life comes into being.
Unions formed by love (non-coercive bonding) are the most stable because they allow people to express what they are, better than they could if the union were absent. This is a very important principle when you are tempted to contract… we are more ourselves because of our interaction with the other. Saying yes to what you love allows a more authentic expression of yourself.
If you are disconnected from Venus, there’s no harmony, no peace–it’s possible to be so disconnected you’re not aware of wanting anything at all.. An unacknowledged, unintegrated Venus feels like emptiness and apathy. It is the loss of spontaneity and pleasure and simple self-confidence. Denying Venus has us merely surviving, as opposed to deeply enjoying Life.
By Mary Swanson
We’re bring these explorations to you in this online course. Every month we investigate the archetype of the sign the Sun in entering. We begin at the Fall Equinox with the archetypal energy of Venus (See my “Grace Under Pressure” Blog on this site). You can step into the class at any time, all our communications are archived, so you can visit anything you might have missed.
Please click on the link below to learn more about this class!
Learn More at
Raise Your Vibration
By Mary Swanson
The remaining live sessions are on August 19th and 26th, 2014 from 3:30-4:30 EST or 12:30–1:30 PST. You will receive two emails reminders before the calls (24 hours before and 2 hours before) with call in number and unique pin from Maestro Conference. The pin allows us to see a list of who is on the call. If you don’t receive a pin by the morning of the call please contact the technology-inclined Jena. A downloadable mp3 recording of each call will be provided to this email address same within 48 hours of the call.
Invitation To Studio Show And Party
By Mary Swanson
Friday Night May 24, 2013 8:00 pm
Astrology Seminar April 20th, 2013
By Mary Swanson
“Giacomond” by Quint Bucholz
We are all being asked to reinvent ourselves, to dare to believe that we are capable of waking up to our own potential
We are in the middle of a huge change in human consciousness. The Great Awakening symbolized by the squaring of Pluto and Uranus is here. This transit doesn’t end until 2015. In the language of Astrology, all the old unconscious things we’ve been in denial about (Pluto) are erupting in our faces as our own creative genius (Uranus) is trying to wake us up. The tensions we’re watching on the global scale are also at work in our own personal lives.
Mary Swanson is inviting 9 Students to her home for a day of fun exploration, deep understanding and sharing. She’ll be teaching you some basic astrological principles, speaking specifically about your chart and bringing the ancient wisdom and guidance of Astrology to help you understand what is trying to transform in your life.
You don’t have to know anything about Astrology to attend this seminar! We’ll be looking at how the archetypes of Power and Genius interact in your life, sharing stories, doing some meditation and learning lots about how to work with our own inner conflicts and gifts.
Where: 4810 Fulton St. San Francisco, CA 94121
When: 10 am to 6pm on Saturday, April 20, 2013
Pre-registration & Birth information Required
For more information and registration please contact Mary @ 415-682-4818 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please bring your own lunch. We’ll take a break around 1:00. I’ll have tea and snacks.
special one-on-one astrological readings for those who can’t attend
contact Mary to schedule a reading
Uranus And Pluto
By Mary Swanson
When the disparity between what you think and say about something and the physical, energetic reality of something reaches a certain point of tension, there will be a break. Something will erupt and provide an uncomfortable surprise for the ones who never question their own assumptions. We can think of this as misfortune, betrayal, the last straw, deliverance or the urge for authenticity in all beings. How we interpret events is a big part of how we create our own suffering. In the language of Astrology, Uranus is the harbinger of such shocking moments of release. A tension that had been building gives way and out comes the truth. It’s usually experienced as a destructive shock but needn’t be. Uranus is always asking us to break free of anything that constrains our growth, specifically the expression of our own individual genius. It is the Revolutionary planet. When Uranus shows up, the outgrown forms have to fall away. On June 26th Uranus had it’s first square to Pluto and we all had some sort of experience around that time of being “blindsided.” Something that we didn’t want to admit was true came blasting out of the unconscious into very visible and physical form. Because planets seem to stop and go backwards sometimes (retrograde motion) this Pluto/Uranus square will be going on through the spring of 2015. That’s a long time to be dealing with the stripping away of pretense. The last time we were dealing with similar energies was 1967-1968. We are in a time of great change. That doesn’t mean bad, scary or untenable. Change is necessary. No growth can happen without change. We can all be shocked and saddened by something that other people would have seen from a mile away. Denial is an amazingly powerful psychological and emotional protection. Why one develops this sort of protection is unique to each person’s complex history. We all do it. We all run along on automatic pilot, protecting our vulnerable areas with conviction and surety that we are doing the right and practical things. Recently, I found out that I’d rented a house that wasn’t really mine. The landlord’s daughter and boyfriend live in a room underneath the house, in the garage. Oh, I knew they were there when I moved in but was told they’d just moved up from Southern California and would be moving soon, when they found jobs. It wasn’t really a problem for six months. They’d both found jobs and I assumed they’d be moving soon. Then the landlord’s daughter began complaining about our making too much noise upstairs–telling us not to use water or move around after 10pm. When I received a certified letter telling me I was a “noise nuisance” and threatening eviction, I had to look into the legalities. Whenever legal threats come into my life, I know Pluto is involved. Pluto is about Power and is always asking us to stop pretending and get real. Pluto and Uranus together create a perfect storm of threats to our fundamental assumptions. We are all going through this right now. Each of us is having to deal with tensions in the area of our lives where we’re not being honest. Looking at this from the outside, anyone might say I should fight for my rights. But I needed to go into meditation and ask why this eruption was happening in my life? What was I protecting myself from seeing? On the one hand, I should never have rented this house under those circumstances. True. Lesson learned. But what was really going on? What am I protecting that’s being shown to me in the form of this secretive, repressed, controlling, angry & fearful energy? When I think of it that way… I can see that a part of me feels trapped in a box in the basement. As lovely as it was to land back in San Francisco after being gone for seven years and be in my favorite part of town where I can take long walks on the cliffs above “Land’s End”, where I can hear the ocean as I sleep and watch the pair of red-tailed hawks who live out here… as lovely as that has all been, I have been quiet, holding back, gathering strength and living a kind of old life that everyone expects me to live. That angry woman in the basement will be recognized. When I stop blaming the woman downstairs for being controlling, fearful, angry… I can recognize the part of me that is fearful, angry and being controlled. And when I ask that part of me what she really wants… she wants a studio to paint in, to see clients in, to have events in. That part of me is tired of pretending I don’t need what I really, really want. Uranus asks us to tear down the walls and let the captives free. Squaring Pluto takes it all to the deepest level of what is hidden behind our walls of denial. Stop blaming anyone for upsetting you, for shocking and deplorable behavior and let this Uranus/Pluto square rip away the veils of denial from your life… and expose your shocking genius. Because we all have a genius, waiting to be let out of the basement. Uranus square Pluto June 26 2012 Uranus square Pluto September 19 2012 Uranus square Pluto May 21 2013 Uranus square Pluto November 1 2013 Uranus square Pluto April 21 2014 Uranus square Pluto December 15 2014 Uranus square Pluto March 17 2015.
Grace Under Pressure: No Blame
By Mary Swanson
Coming back to San Francisco after being gone for seven years, I’m very conscious of who I was then (before I moved). Ghosts of former times show up as I drive around town, or reconnect with people I haven’t seen in a while. Looking back in time always gives me an interesting perspective… It’s so much easier to look back and see that what I believed was going on isn’t necessarily what was happening.
The strongest experience I’m having is how I’ve been held by people. “Held” in the sense of “loved.” As I remember events I was involved in, deep conversations I’ve had with others, I can see how I used to hold myself at a distance. I’m reminded of something central to the soul healing work I’ve been studying for most of my life: so much of what we blame others for is just our own refusal to allow what we desire.
The whole idea that we project out into the world our unconscious beliefs and when they come back to us we experience that as suffering, is difficult to understand. We are all so used to blaming others for our suffering. But when we blame others, we place ourselves in the powerless role of Victim. It feels so satisfying though. HE hurt me, SHE betrayed me, THEY aren’t kind or understanding, IT’S THEIR FAULT I FEEL BAD! It’s so easy to blame and feels so right that the idea of healing by letting go of blame can feel like we’re not “standing up for ourselves.”
What I’ve come to understand is that Blame stops everything and freezes it in an iceburg of misunderstanding. It prevents us from realizing what’s really happening–we use others to convince ourselves we can’t have what we want.
The hardest thing, in all of existence, is to let ourselves have what we want. We are all masters at finding reasons why we should blame others. We are all masters at creating interference to what we want.
Deep down, for all of us sharing this experience of incarnation on the Pleasure Planet called Earth, we all want to be loved. The question to ask ourselves is not “Why doesn’t anyone love me?” it’s “How can I allow myself to receive the love that’s trying to come to me?”
Looking back, I see so many missed opportunities to feel that love. To literally feel the energy of love come into my heart chakra. It’s a humbling experience and also an encouraging one. My job isn’t to judge the shortcomings of others. My job is to allow myself to feel their love.
Here’s some wisdom from the Tao Te Ching:
The highest good is like water.
Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive.
It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.
In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling, be just.
In business, be competent.
In action, watch the timing.
No fight: No blame.
Re-post: Originally written for Build Altars May 2012
Image: Rachel Bone
Grace Under Pressure: Good News & Baud News
By Mary Swanson
I’ve just returned to San Francisco after Seven Years in Vermont. Which sounds like a movie or book. It was definitely an adventure into the wilds, into my past, into a deep internal transformation that I’m not really sure how to bring back into the world.
It feels like I’ve come through a worm-hole, from one universe into another and I’m feeling the kind of space-sickness one would feel if you actually did break down all your molecules and transport them through time and space and then reassembled yourself. It’s taking a while to get my bearings.
I’m definitely home. That feels solid. But I’m not the same person I was when I left and neither are any of my friends and family here in the Bay Area. With certain people there’s no dissonance at all. With most though, there’s an odd experience of being at different “baud” rates.
"In telecommunications and electronics, baud (/’bc:d/, unit symbol “Bd”) is synonymous to symbols per second or pulses per second. It is the unit of symbol rate, also known as baud rate or modulation rate; the number of distinct symbol changes (signaling events) made to the transmission medium per second in a digitally modulated signal or a line code. The baud rate is related to but should not be confused with gross bit rate expressed in bit/s."
I know Vermont operates at a much slower pace than the Bay Area and I am definitely thinking, moving and speaking at a much slower rate. But something else is going on too. While I was gone, I seem to have let go of some kind of fear propulsion, some kind of something that has been pushing me through most of my life. It’s not that I’ve lost ambition or desire, it’s more of a sense that I don’t need to push anything.
During the past Seven Years I feel I’ve had co-dependency, the need to do something to win approval, knocked out of me. There’s nothing quite like moving to a new place and watching yourself try to make new friends to bring up your relationship patterns. Denial fell away and I got to see my own fears & manipulations. Not pretty but the end result of acknowledging my inner fears has been, of course, a transformation. The fear in me seems to have quieted down.
Most people who know me would not identify me as a fearful person. I’m more noted for leaping off metaphoric cliffs. But looking at my own fears and all things I told myself to avoid admitting them, has changed me. It remains to be seen what effect that change will have but for right now all I can say is I’m not sure who I am or what I’ll be doing next. I just know I don’t feel pushed and I don’t feel like pushing anything. It’s strange to be feeling the absence of a fear I didn’t even know I had.
People in Vermont say the great thing about the place is that it never changes and the horrible thing about the place is it won’t change. Something about that stubborn, flinty refusal to be anything but exactly what it is has left its imprint. Am I now like rock? Like water? Like trees? Or am I finally knowing a kind of rightness in myself? Time will tell and for the first time in my life, I feel comfortable with that.
It’s just really strange.
Re-post: Originally written for Build Altars April 2012
Grace Under Pressure: Stories