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Appalachian Spring

By Malvin Artley
February 2005

Hello Everyone!

There is nothing quite like early morning in the Appalachians. All the great mountain ranges have their special aura and angelic Presences, but I grew up close to the Appalachians, and my experiences there have shaped who I am. I particularly remember them from the spring and the autumn - transformative seasons in a deciduous mountain range. In the time before the Sun rises the dew has settled out of the mountain mist and the birds begin to stir and proclaim the day as the first rays of sunlight grace the skyline. The low clouds roll though and one feels enveloped in the moving fog, safe form the night's restless turnings and in that period just before the onslaught of day. There is a unique mood of reflection and of stirring then as the cool, misty wetness caresses the face, and one is given over to assimilating the previous night's reveries in the land of dreams and extended senses. Then the thoughts slowly turn to the day to come. As I was out driving between jobs today the strains of Aaron Copeland's "Appalachian Spring" began wafting through my mind, and I was transported back to more carefree times - simpler times. I spent many mornings as a child and as a young man in those ancient mountains. They hold special memories for me, not the least of which are all the times I spent there with my first true love, lost in the flush and intoxication that often only the first love gives. Experiencing the rhododendrons in bloom with your loved one by your side is a treasured gift, but that is only one of countless blessings that love - and the Appalachians - can bring. Life moves onwards, though. For today, however, I indulged in reminiscences from those soul-stirring days - days full of dreams and hopes for the future.

Although this letter is late, the theme of Pisces will still carry on throughout the year, for Pisces is the sign that most embodies the words "World Savior". This is the last of the more human full moon festivals in the yearly cycle, and it marks a finishing up of the year's business prior to the inauguration of the high spiritual point of the year, which is marked by the Aries, Taurus and Gemini full moons. Those three festivals are more universal in their impact, affecting the entirety of the globe, whereas the other nine have a peculiar relationship to human psychological unfolding. Pisces is an enigma to many people, and modern astrology ascribes Neptune as its ruler, which planet is often seen as nebulous, confusing, ethereal, and so forth. It is of interest, though, that in esoteric astrology Neptune rules only one sign - Cancer - and only then from the vantage point of the esoteric and Hierarchical rulerships. We are going to explore a bit more about Neptune in relation to Pisces in this letter, however, because it has a very close, though unrecognized, relationship with the planet that is the esoteric ruler of Pisces - Pluto.

I have been given to mulling over Pluto and Neptune in the past weeks because of a class of asteroids that are found in a band of planetary bodies in the outer reaches of the solar system known as the Kuiper Belt. As it turns out, a closer study of these particular asteroids reveals some surprising facts about our two friends in the outer reaches of our solar system. It also begins to peel away some of the veil of mystery which hides the true potency and power of Neptune. Although Neptune is said to rule over all things nebulous and misunderstood, the fact of the matter is that we really have little understanding of its true nature ourselves. We can be forgiven, then, for associating vagueness, confusion and miasmas with Neptune and for projecting our own misconceptions upon it, even though Neptune is actually responsible for the very highest insight, clarity and vision once all is said and done. As I was saying, there is a particular class of asteroids in that part of the solar system that are all connected with Neptune gravitationally. The occultist knows all too well that gravitation between celestial bodies says a lot about centers of spiritual Being, and that the center of gravity in any heavenly system also indicates the center of its Being. Gravity defines the mundane parameters for the heavenly body representing the Lord of a celestial realm. As we will see, then, Neptune is the Regent of all those particular asteroids under consideration here, and that also includes Pluto, which is thought to be simply a large asteroid anyway in some quarters of scientific thought.

Asteroids are a study all to themselves in astrological and astronomical lore. There are over 50 classes of asteroids in our solar system. The majority are in between Mars and Jupiter, though there are a large number in the Kuiper Belt as well. The asteroids connected with Neptune are of three main types. They are known as trojans, twotinos and plutinos ("small Pluto-like object"). This latter group is the one with which I have found the greatest fascination, but they all have their tales to tell. The thing that connects these bodies with Neptune is a phenomenon called "orbital resonance". Without going into technicalities, orbital resonance means that the planetary body involved has been trapped within the orbit of a larger body - usually a planet - and it has an orbit that coincides with the orbit of the "host" planet by a set ratio. In the case of plutinos, the main ratio is 3:2, meaning that for every 3 orbits of Neptune, Pluto or any plutino asteroid makes 2 orbits. In the case of twotinos the ratio is 2:1, and for trojans the ratio is 1:1. There are bodies that respond to various other resonances as well, but they are few and do not constitute well-defined groups as of yet. But, for all of these groups the fact remains - they are all trapped within the orbit and cycle of Neptune and are thus ruled by its gravitational pull.

The asteroid that most captured my attention and prompted my study is one that was just discovered and named. It has been named "Orcus", and it is a plutino. Its astronomical nomenclature is 90482 Orcus, and it is currently found in the late degrees of Leo. All plutinos have orbits of roughly the period of Pluto (app. 248 years), and they are found on the inner portion of the Kuiper belt. It has been estimated that there are over 28,000 plutinos, but only a few of them have actually been named and described as to their astrological influence. They are all named after gods of the underworld after some type of mythology and in the tradition of Pluto. There are three others I know of that have been named, and they are Ixion, Huya and Rhadamanthus. Orcus is said to mete out retribution over broken oaths. Incidentally, the Orcs in The Lord of the Rings trilogy take their name from Orcus, and in the story line they were formed in the Underworld. Ixion is said to unleash punishment for broken promises and for spurning the gifts God has given (I stray from the mythology a bit here to keep things simple and brief.). Huya is named after a rain god from the traditions of a South American aboriginal tribe. And, Rhadamanthus was one of three judges of the dead in Hades - the revealer of crimes thought to be impenetrably hidden - and he had a special rulership over Asian cultures. The latter was also known as a very fair and impartial, but also very stern, judge. I have not gone into the astrology of these to any depth. My fascination with them lies in their relation to Neptune and the role Neptune has in the scheme of things as a result.

Pluto and all of these plutinos cross Neptune's orbital path due to the eccentricity of their orbits and their inclination, but there is never any danger of them colliding with Neptune because of those factors, plus the fact that, due to the gravitational nodes (I won't go into that here.), they all cross Neptune's orbit at 90 degrees from Neptune, either advancing or retarded. Hence, they are always square to Neptune when their orbital paths cross. This latter fact is of interest to astrologers, because it somewhat defines the relationship between Pluto, the plutinos and Neptune. These crossings (squares) occur roughly every 248 years. Keeping the aspect orb to one degree, the last time this happened was between 19 Dec 1815 and 4 Sep 1820. It happens several times during those 5-6 year periods. The interesting part of it is that no real history-changing events took place at the time of the last one. The war of 1812 ended, Napoleon was exiled to the Island of St. Helena and Mt. Tambora in Indonesia exploded. These sorts of things happen all the time throughout history, though, and there is nothing there that could really be called a pattern that would fit the aspect. However, if one looks at the people who were born then and when we examine the legacy they left to the world, a pattern does appear. Of those, we have the following people of note:

Elizabeth Caddy-Stanton (women's rights reformer), Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto - a noble ideal, but practically impossible to make work in the world at large at the moment), Frederick Douglas (The Great Emancipator), John Ruskin (naturalist and critic), Queen Victoria (pride of British Empire) , Allan Pinkerton (of detective agency fame), The Bab (whose followers eventually founded the Baha'i faith), William Tecumseh Sherman (founder of modern warfare - scorched earth policy), Susan B. Anthony (suffrage, temperance and equal rights activist) , Florence Nightingale (founder of modern nursing), Horace Wells (dentist and pioneer of anesthesia), William Thomas Green Morton (same), Crawford Williamson Long (surgeon, anesthesia), Ignaz Sommelweis (pioneer in germ theory and post-natal health), Edwin Drake (inventor of the modern oil well), Otto von Bismarck (statesman, emperor of Germany, founder of social security), Sir Humphrey Davy (miner's caps and mine safety), Amelia Jenks Bloomers (activist - women have her to thank for "bloomers" and comfortable underwear-freedom "underneath"), and Harriet Tubman ("underground railroad" - freedom from slavery).

Certain things stand out from the above list: 1) All of these people stood for freedom in some way, 2) most of them sought to relieve human suffering, 3) most of them were unifiers and/or pioneers after some fashion, 4) most of them brought light into dark places and brought forward social reform for the under classes or for the sick or oppressed, 5) some of them worked directly with the "underworld", either literally or figuratively, and brought things either to light or to the surface, 6) They were all reformers and all of them eventually brought the release of human suffering in some way and ended the old social order in some way. There is more that could be said, but this will suffice for now. A few of these will seem a bit of a stretch given the criteria I have just outlined, but a little reflection should show the truth of the matter. Also, we may not like what they stood for, and the truth is that none of them were saints, but they all advanced the human condition in some way or at least gave us vision for the future. It is also of interest that Kepler was born during an earlier period of this square (pioneer of modern astronomy) and that Anton Mesmer (hypnotism) passed on in the 1815-1820 period. This square says a lot about the ending of illusions and awakening people to realities. One of these periods also marked the commencement of Halloween (All Hallows Eve) and All-Saint's Day as holidays, as an aside.

So, what does all this say about the relationship between Neptune and Pluto? We know that Pluto governs "the burning ground" and thus the destruction or ending of those situations that prove an impediment to human progress. Pluto is also said to work primarily in the realm of kama-manas (desire-mind), and from that point alone we can see a connection with Neptune because Neptune rules over the entirety of the astral plane (desire world). Pluto brings clarity to the desire nature and to the lower mind through the destruction of thought-forms (which are the cause of habitual thought and emotions), whether individual or national. Pluto thus brings clarity to the lower nature. Its primary sphere of influence, if you want to call it that, is the solar plexus area. Now, it is of more than passing interest to note in this regard that the solar plexus is the animal brain and instinctive nature. It also rules the nervous system as well as digestion.

The solar plexus is a great psychic eye and it presides over lunar (astral) psychism. All animals have this eye open and functioning. For this reason it is said that lunar psychism is no indication of spiritual attainment. Governing the instinctive nature as it does, the solar plexus also rules over the subconscious - the personal "underworld" - and it is the center which is the clearing house for the other lower centers. All aspects of the persona are influenced by or are ruled over by the solar plexus at some point. The solar plexus is also most active during the hours of sleep, at which time a person is released onto the astral plane temporarily. There is a lot of argument about what planets rule the centers (chakras). I have always taken the view that all planets can work through all the centers in some manner and it is entirely a matter of perspective, but each planet has a special "resonance" with one or more centers. Various sources have given their respective rulers of the solar plexus to be the Sun, the Moon, Jupiter, Pluto, Mars and Neptune. Take your pick, but Pluto and Neptune are both strongly active there in some manner.

In its role as a psychic eye, the solar plexus puts one in touch with the lower kingdoms in nature, as well as developing clairsentiency - the ability to feel all things clearly, which is the basis of psychometry as a psychic ability. It is the seat of the astral elemental essence, it governs the fear reflexes, it is the recording station for the persona, it sees all in the lower worlds and it governs the integration of the lower self (persona) to a large degree. It has a resonance with the ajna (brow) center, which rules the integration of the persona at a later stage of evolution. When the two function together one is opened to the highest of the extended senses and the higher worlds are then an open book. A clear solar plexus gives one freedom in earth and through space, and it is the most receptive of the centers. When the persona is fully dedicated to the life of the Soul and the psychic debris has finally been cleared out of the astral body, then and only then does the solar plexus give one freedom in and power over the lower worlds. Until then, one is still at least somewhat ruled buy the lower desires and thus glamours can be a problem to the striving one. One still "sees through the glass, but darkly". Pluto's true role here is to cleanse the lower nature and prepare it for the receipt of higher guidance - intuition or pure reason. For those who think the solar plexus works only with baser desires, we should take into account that there is a solar plexus center at every level of our being and that desire, whether base or of the Highest, is the raison d' Ítre of human rebirth.

Pluto rules Pisces esoterically. What is it about Pisces that earmarks it as the sign of the World Savior, though? In short, all the great saviors of the human race have overturned the existing order in some way. They have identified illusions and glamours and they have shown people the way to resolve and dispel them. They have shown the way to clarify human thought and emotion because they have done so in their own natures. They are the exemplification of the adage "Physician, heal thyself." Pluto has done its work on them and they stand freed from the lower worlds. They have given humanity vision for the future and have shown the way toward extended senses and greater alignment with one's essential being. They light their torch in the higher Realms and they bring the Light down into the darkness - into the realms of the murky underworld that is the field of experience for the human persona. Neptune thus works through them unimpeded. Their way seems hard at first, and painful, but when their teaching is realized, one's eyes are opened and there is no going back to the old ways. The whole of one's being is then lifted up, and the lower vibration that was can no longer find hold in the life of the one thus saved. Salvation, if we really examine it, is the release from the hold of the lives that make up the lower self and their alignment with a higher order. In the scheme of things, we begin first with the release of the things (thoughts and emotions) that keep us from the higher Life, and then our entire being is flooded with Light. Pluto is instrumental in this process, and it is for this reason that Pluto is called the great Healer of the zodiac - the guardian of hidden (buried) treasures. And, what of Neptune?

Neptune gives the highest and most sublime insight when it is allowed to fully function in the human system. It is the Light of Intuition. But it is also much more than that, for the intuition is but a reflection of Light that comes to us from beyond the 7 worlds (planes) that we can know on this Earth. Neptune rules Cancer esoterically and Cancer rules the great Creative Hierarchy that stands as the gateway between our Earth existence and the worlds and Lives beyond our solar system. Cancer is the fount of divine Desire and the birthing ground for all that we see around us. When we are told that humanity took Souls under the influence of Cancer and that we then began our long cycle of reincarnation, it is often not realized that the call for this came from levels outside of the planes we can know. It was the result of a far greater and higher Desire - the desire by the Lord of our world to fully manifest and undergo the great Initiation that He is set to take in this, His life. Neptune, through Cancer, is the gateway for the great cosmic Pathways that await all of us at the end of our terms here on Earth. It rules the eventual gateway of escape from this world; hence Neptune has always been associated with escapism, which is a corruption of this higher meaning. It rules over a type of desire incomprehensible to us, but it is desire nonetheless.

It is said that Neptune is the God of the Waters. Most people take this to mean the human astral realms. Actually, the "Waters" referred to here is the very life-force of all that we see and know and it emanates from cosmic levels. Those waters are the cause of generation, both human and planetary, and it is the force of Desire that overlays the entirety of the cosmic physical plane. Neptune is really beyond the persona and the conception of the lower mind. It is said that when Neptune is strongly placed in a person's chart, buddhi (intuition or pure reason) is strongly enhanced because the buddhic vehicle is undergoing coordination during that particular life. This buddhic vehicle, as it is called, is what makes us uniquely human, because it is the essence of the Soul and the seat of the love-nature in humanity. So, we are plainly told that Neptune governs the coordination of that part of us - the essential part of us - the part that marks us as expressions of God's love on Earth. We became that quality when we became human, we manifest it outwardly more and more with each passing year, and it will persist with us as long as we have to keep being reborn here. Neptune is with us always, and it brings us to the fullest understanding of what it is to be human and to express love. But, we have digressed a bit from the connection with Pluto.

In orthodox astrology we are taught that it is Neptune that governs Pisces. In esoteric astrology we are taught that Neptune focuses the influence of Pisces as it concerns humanity, and as a whole, but does not rule it. In that one sentence lies the key to the connection between Neptune, Pisces and Pluto. But, what is the difference between ruling a sign and focusing the influence of a sign? It is desire that shapes the human realms, not will. How often have we heard the phrase "You have to give up something to get what you want.", or something like it? Neptune, representing the higher desires in humanity (the urge toward a spiritual life), points to that which is desired, and Pluto represents what we must give up to attain the goal. In astronomical terms, Pluto has been captured by the gravitational pull of Neptune and is controlled within Neptune's orbit, being in resonance with it. If we said the same thing in terms of orthodox astrology, it would seem a ludicrous statement because the actions of the two planets seem so totally different. Neptune is seen in the main as a soft influence-confusing, dissolving, deluding and ethereal. On the other hand, Pluto is seen as hard, cathartic, disruptive and unstoppable. Both planets work with aspects of the nether regions, though. They are both very powerful in their own ways, but it is water that governs life on this planet and, in that connection, Neptune is the greater of the two.

The fact remains that Neptune controls and directs Pluto, especially when one aspires to a spiritual life and comes under spiritual disciplines. To ignore the astronomical tidbit about orbital resonance is to close one's mind off to some amazing possibilities for the future of astrology - and to deny the true power, potency and action of Neptune. Yes, Neptune does indeed focus the influence of Pisces, and it does so through Pluto. In fact, Neptune really has rulership in some manner over all the water signs. It rules Cancer esoterically and it focuses and controls the lower aspects of Scorpio and esoteric Pisces through Pluto. It also controls a lot of other planetary bodies through its orbital resonance. Its influence has been hidden very well for a very long time. I don't expect anyone to accept what I have just said, but there is certainly a lot to ponder upon there.

How would all this show in a chart, though? For people focused upon a high ethic for life and who are governed by a strong sense of brotherhood and goodwill, Neptune and Pluto are of more than passing importance. All transits and progressions either by those planets or by other planets over their places in the natal chart indicate times of great spiritual opportunity. I know quite a few Aquarians, for instance, (since Neptune is in Aquarius at the moment) who have been complaining of confusion, scattered thinking and all things normally associated with Neptune because of Neptune's transit over their natal Sun. To all of them I would ask: Is what you are experiencing confusion or a call to set the reasoning mind aside? Is it unclarity of thought or is it simply a dynamic or current of thought with which you are unfamiliar? Are you simply scattered or are you being opened to greater possibilities? Do you really feel a loss of direction and a sense of waywardness, or do you feel that there are new possibilities and/or things you have been missing? And, after the transit has passed, what is your state of mind now compared with the time before the transit? Do you sense things more deeply than before? Are your hunches about things and people stronger? Most importantly, do you feel renewed? I have always found that Neptune brings the highest insight when one is attuned to the possibilities. It may bring a bit of initial dishevelment, but the psyche is always much clearer after the fact, and the intuition is usually stronger as well.

The Magi Society has an interesting take on Neptune. They say it grants longevity, durability and staying power. They have the hard empirical data that shows this to be true. There are esoteric reasons for this effect as well, though. The fact of the matter is that so long as a person has desire for a thing they will persist at attaining it. Once the desire (passion) for it goes things tend to fall to pieces and the objective is lost. In terms of motivating people, the best way to get people to do things is to make them want it. One can spout all the specious reasons and mental arguments about a thing until blue in the face, but unless the listener wants what is being described, all those words may as well fall on deaf ears. That is just simple human nature. The other thing the Magi point out is that Neptune seems to act like a sort of fountain of youth. When we remember that Neptune represents the fount of the life force itself that calls us all into being, then their statement is not so far-fetched. When we couple with this as well that Pluto, being the healer, is directed by Neptune that adds further weight to their argument, because under the influence of Neptune/Pluto a person is potentially constantly renewed. There is a lot more that could be said about this, too, but that is another letter. Lastly, Pluto is called a "power planet", and it is an expression of the 1st Ray, which gives the power to persist and endure, as well as the capacity to destroy. It is love that must direct the will in our solar system. In fact, we could say that the Will of God is Love, at least for humanity.

One final point I will make about this fascinating relationship between these two planets that seem so diametrically opposed at time relates to the higher octave of Pluto, which is Mars in the esoteric literature. Basically, it would seem to me that both Pluto and Mars have to eventually "answer" to Neptune. Mars and Neptune both express the 6th Ray. Esoterically, Mars is eventually transmuted into Neptune. There is more truth in that statement than seems immediately apparent. Mars "is objective and full of blood (passion)" whereas Neptune "is subjective and full of life". Mars governs desire in the lower self, whereas Neptune transmits divine Desire (Love) and draws the heated desire and passions of the lower nature "upwards" into communion with the Soul. Both planets rule over the birth and development of humanity, Mars from the standpoint of the struggling and achieving persona and Neptune from the perspective of the Soul itself - our very essence and that principle that guides us from "beyond the veil". There is a lot to chew over here, but I will have to leave it at that and get on with a discussion of this Pisces festival.

The Pisces full moon of 2005 occurred on the 24th of February at 3:55 PM AEDT. The keynote for this Festival of the World Savior comes from the solar degree, which reads thus:

"A parade of army officers in full dress." 6 Pisces

Given the present tensions in the world and the prevailing view of foreign policy, especially in the US, one could perhaps be forgiven for jumping to conclusions about the meaning behind this symbol. The main theme of this symbol is not the army officers and militarism, but is rather the parade and the rituals that surround that. These are people in full dress. The event is not staged for battle, but rather for show. I have little doubt that there will be many such displays this year, especially being a Rooster Year, but the main point of such a ritual as a military parade goes more to the core of human existence than it does toward external symbols. We have all struggled and trained through many lifetimes. We have achieved, and we have risen through the ranks. We have been hardened and tested through the fires of life's battles, yet we retain our humanity, our dignity and our bearing. The Soul has shone through us as a result, and that commands respect from those who have yet to attain. The parade represents a service, a ritual and a celebration of our achievements. We have earned the right to wear our "colors", and we must demonstrate our abilities to the fullest. This is a year for putting our abilities and gifts on display, but this symbol is also an indicator that we would do so much better in formation and in united effort than alone. This is a symbol representing group effort if there ever was one and we will need to be united in the months and years to come if there is to be peace and stability in the world.

The Sun is conjoined tightly with Uranus and loosely with Venus and in this little stellium we can see that there will be a few surprises this year in our service work, as well as some things that will cause us to reconsider our directions at times. We are called upon to be highly individual, yet united in effort; independent, yet tolerant and accepting of others; inventive, yet connected with our fellow inventors; pioneers, yet always remembering our roots and where our hearts lay. It is a year that will present certain necessary challenges, represented by the sesquisquare with Saturn, but these will be easily overcome. The parade must march on.

We still find Jupiter in the trine with Neptune. Given what we have just perused about Neptune, this will perhaps show that whatever we undertake under the auspices of this festival stands a good chance of working all the way through and with a high enthusiasm and idealism. This is further indicated by the aspects Mars makes to the Moon (trine) and Mercury (sextile). It is also square to Jupiter - all these aspects indicating that energy will be abundant, adaptability to circumstances is very well enhanced and that we will be readily able to communicate what we need and that our approach will be vigorous. It is not a time to shrink from display, so let the show begin!

As I have marched along in the parade of life it has been difficult for me to find my place at times. There have been times I have been asked to stand outside of the crowd and display my uniqueness and my "training". Those have been anxious times. Other times I have kept to my part fairly well and things have flowed smoothly. But, in all, it has been increasingly the case through the years that I am called upon more and more to display the essence of who I am, and often without my even knowing it. Those times have been confusing, because I often have had no concept of what was expected of me. The things I have learned on my own I knew how to do quite well and I can perform those tasks to good effect through each day. But, the times when I am called upon to be "more" than I have been leave me with precious little upon which to base my actions. I have to give myself over to the experience and see where it leads me, all the while still taking with me everything that I know and can do already. The rituals done each day are familiar, potent and expected. The ones yet to learn are the ones where we learn most about ourselves, though, and they are often presaged with confusion, anxiety and not a little consternation as we once again have to un-learn what we have learned.

All-too-often we overcomplicate our lives, and we do so unnecessarily. In our rushing around we are forgetful of the Soul's grace and the beauty of the simplest things in life. We think ourselves to be so productive in our busy-ness. Very often, we are productive. Yet, in the clarity of an uncluttered and still mind lies the potency and the guarantee that the work of the higher Self goes forward unfettered or, at least, greatly aided.

It's a gift to be simple.

In these words from that old Amish hymn lies the cure for many of modern society's mental aberrations and emotional straits. Life does have a way of making our own lives very simple for us, though, for in times of crisis and upheaval our circumstances become very simplified and focused, little as we may realize it at the time. Our minds are then forced to focus upon singular issues, and all other things fall away unless they are connected with the issue at hand. And, funnily enough, those times seem to come around when we are busiest with mundane affairs and oblivious to the Soul's timing. God does seem to enjoy playing tricks on us that way.

On my last trip back to the home of my birth I made a pilgrimage to the old familiar and much-loved mountains. Things are different now, yet much is still the same. I saw some old friends there and - yes - I saw my first love again. Old times have long-since passed, but love never passes. And, though circumstances change, the Soul changes not. The entire trip back for me was a true Neptune/Pluto time and I have been called upon many times since my return to show more and more of myself, to let my Soul shine through and to be uncomfortable at times, all the while knowing why full well and being glad for the chance to take another step forward on my path. I have gotten quite use to the tangents of life over the years, and they always bring clarity, insight and hidden wonders. But, most importantly, they open me more each time to the wonder that is Love itself.

When we find ourselves in those times of life between night and day, when the fogs roll through and the mists of our own misunderstanding caress our faces, let us look for the Sun, yet remember where we have been. Let nature speak to us and enfold us in its ritual, sustenance and process. The coolness of the morning air is but the refreshment of the Soul as it offers us another drink from the cup of experience to come. And as we move forward into each new day of experience, let us realize that we do have much upon which we can draw and much to commend us. We are never given more than we can handle and the fact that we are being presented with an opportunity to stand apart from the crowd - no matter how uncomfortable - is a testament to the fact that we are indeed capable. Otherwise, we would never be given the chance. Show your colors proudly this year and know that we all walk together. And be happy in your confusion. Life is all really quite simple in the potency of a moment.

Much love to you all,