Monthly Archives: February 2015

Current Transits for Feb 26 – Mar 25, 2015

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Category: Current Transits

By Barry Kerr

Sun moved into Pisces on Feb 18th

In our journey toward an ever-expanding sense of self, Pisces brings us to knowing a oneness with all that is, that we are part and parcel of God. However, because our ego has been unaware of any direct experience of our divine connection, we have struggled through various substitutes, from religious martyrdom to drug addiction.

Pisces’ spiritual intention is to give us conscious access to our divine wholeness in infinite, eternal and unconditional love. We learn to be nonjudgmental and compassionate. We free our minds with meditation and self-reflection. We let go of any need to “fix” the world, and surrender our anxiety to a “higher power” and a divine plan. Our ego learns to relax totally, sometimes seeming non-existent. We feel at peace, not by denying worldly reality, but by incorporating divine reality.

Uranus/Pluto Square

On March 16, Uranus and Pluto square up (90 degrees) for the final of seven squares over two years. This is a very unusual and major event for all humanity, relating to social and economic unrest as the forces for individual rights and freedom (Uranus in Aries) have been battling with the forces of powerful corporations, governments and religions (Pluto in Capricorn). As individuals, our challenge is and will be to stand up for our selves in the face of overwhelming powers, and trust in a greater truth, larger vision, and loving universe to support transformative and positive change.


Saturn’s continuing square with Neptune invites us to broaden our understanding of “reality” while keeping it grounded and in balance with our compassionate, intuitive knowing of and longing for a better world.

New Moon on March 20

The New Moon on March 20 sitting right on the cusp of Pisces/Aries, with Mercury conjoining Neptune in Pisces, invites our intentions to bring a new, divine awareness to our actions across the planet.

Jupiter Retrograding

Jupiter trines Uranus during March, promising plenty of opportunities for intuitive action toward change as active and willful Mars joins with Uranus. Because Jupiter is retrograding (backwards) into April, this isn’t the time for outward actions in the material world, which is what Jupiter usually invites. Rather, this is a time to go inward and apply higher understanding to our own moral behaviors. Thus, on the world stage and in our personal lives, we need to beware of overreacting to perceived danger with reckless actions.

Good Pisces activities in March

To align your energy with Pisces, spend some extra time alone. Meditate. Make or listen to music that opens your heart to feeling your divine connection. Pray. Invoke gratitude as often as you can remember. Forgive yourself and others as much as possible. As you greet others, those familiar and strangers, engage their eyes deeply and acknowledge them as fellow souls before addressing them as personalities. As you hear of world events, hold a prayer of forgiveness and peace for all parties. Contrary to any resistance from your logical mind, affirm a vision for the more beautiful world you know, in your heart, is possible. Know you are love, we are love, and all is perfect.

Good Pisces questions to ask yourself in March.

To heal and evolve your Pisces self, give attention to your spiritual awareness. Do you blame outside yourself? Do you feel alienated from God? Do you get confused around other people’s feelings? Can you feel compassion without needing to rescue? Do you trust the flow of life? Can you feel your divine connection to others, beyond just a concept? Do you meditate and spend time alone in self-reflection? Do you trust that this seemingly unfair and cruel world is actually perfect for all souls in it? Does that last question tend to annoy you?


Barry Kerr, a certified soul-based astrologer, has 33 years of experience with an international clientele, including many medical professionals and alternative healers. He and Kristine Gay, a licensed psychotherapist, are owners/practitioners at Inner Essence Center in Madison. Both have extensive training in soul-guided healing of mind, body, heart and spiritual systems. Barry offers astrology readings and coaching by phone, Skype or in person in Madison, WI. Inquiries are welcome – free 15 minute consultation to explore if this is for you.  Visit for more information.

Aroma Basics

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Category: Aromatherapy

By Christina Wilke-Burbach PhD, RMT

Plants and botanicals have been used for thousands of years for health, healing, and wellness of mind, body and spirit. Over 40% of Americans continue to use some form of alternative medicine with natural substances (herbs, essential oils, supplements) at the top of the list. The use of aromatherapy has risen dramatically in recent years with many turning to essential oils to support a natural lifestyle free of toxins and pharmaceuticals.

But just because something is natural does not make it 100% safe.

The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) in conjunction with the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy have started to collect data on essential oil adverse reactions. Their first report was published in April 2014. They found that 88% of adverse reactions from essential oils were due to using oils undiluted directly on the skin or from taking the oils internally. 50% of the individuals who had an adverse reaction had to seek out medical attention.

As an AromaHerbalist, Holistic Health Psychologist, and Aromatherapy Certification instructor, I have found that an overwhelming number of individuals are using essential oils with little to no training on safety and best practices. In addition, untrained salespeople with good intentions continue to disseminate unsafe information to the public. As a Business Member of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), I am committed to the highest level of safety and ethics and always strive to Do No Harm. I’d like to share some aromatherapy basics so you can safely harness the healing power of nature.

Essential oils are extremely concentrated. When you consider that distillation concentrates the chemistry of hundreds of pounds of plant material into an ounce or two of essential oil, the importance of safe dilution of the oil becomes readily apparent. Essential oils are not inherently dangerous, but there is a need to understand the full scope of essential oils including their safety. We need to band together and decrease unsafe aromatherapy practices before the government and FDA start regulating these products and take away our health freedom to choose alternative medicine techniques!

Using Essential Oils Directly on the Skin: All essential oils should be diluted before applying topically. Undiluted oils are drying to the skin, quickly evaporate, and are not effectively absorbed into the skin. Using oils undiluted can lead to allergic reactions, sensitization (an immune system reaction), and contact dermatitis. In addition, some oils can be quite caustic to the skin. If an oil gives you a burning sensation, this does not mean the oil is “working.” It means that you are starting the sensitization process and continued use of that undiluted oil could lead to a rash, itchiness, up to anaphylactic shock. The recommended dilution rate of essential oils for healthy adults is 2.5% to 5%. This is equivalent to 15-30 drops total in one ounce of a carrier oil. One ounce is roughly the size of a shot glass. (We live in Wisconsin, so I’m sure most people are familiar with the size of a shot glass). Carrier oils include coconut oil, grapeseed, jojoba, sunflower, sesame, and almond oil. For topical application on children 1-12 years old, lavender, chamomile, rose, neroli, orange, and tea tree are safe with a recommended dilution of 2-4 drops total per 1 fluid ounce carrier oil. On infants under one year of age, lavender, chamomile, and rose are generally safe for topical use. For topical application on infants, dilute first, 1-2 drops per 1 fluid ounce. Never use peppermint and eucalyptus with infants! These oils can cause respiratory distress.

Internal Use: Robert Tisserand, an international essential oil safety expert, as well as The Alliance of International Aromatherapists, National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, Aromatherapy Trade Council, and International Federation of Aromatherapists state that only medical professionals who are qualified to diagnose illness and are qualified to prescribe medications should be recommending internal use. Essential oils are powerful medicines. There is a lot to consider when using oils internally such as medication interactions, contraindications, pharmacology, and toxic oils. Individuals using oils internally should be under the care of a Certified Aromatherapist or a medical professional with training in essential oils.

Inhalation: Inhaling essential oils is the safest and most effective way to use essential oils, especially in a diffuser. Inhaled essential oils exert their effect the quickest and have little side effects and interactions.

Other Safety Tips: Some essential oils should be avoided when pregnant, especially 1st trimester. Avoid aniseed, basil, birch, camphor, hyssop, mugwort, parsley seed and leaf, pennyroyal, sage, tansy, tarragon, thuja, wintergreen, and wormwood. Essential oils that appear to be safe include cardamon, German and Roman chamomile, frankincense, geranium, ginger, neroli, patchouli, petitgrain, rosewood, rose, and sandalwood.

Some oils (bergamot, all citrus oils, ginger, and angelica) can cause photosensitivity or photo-toxicity when exposed to sunlight/ultraviolet rays and can accelerate sunburn. Avoid exposure to sunlight/UV light for 24 hours after topical use of these oils.

Not all essential oils are suitable for use in aromatherapy. Wormwood, pennyroyal, onion, camphor, horseradish, wintergreen, rue, bitter almond and sassafras are some of the essential oils that should only be used by qualified aromatherapy practitioners, if ever at all. These oils have either been found to be carcinogenic, toxic, or highly interactive with medications.

Essential oils are damaged by heat, oxygen, and sunlight. Keep in amber or UV containers out of sunlight in a cool location. Refrigeration is highly recommended. Close your caps tightly.

Essential oils should never take the place of regular medical care.

War of the Companies: Don’t be misled by one or two companies that claim their oils are the only “pure” therapeutic grade oils. There are dozens of reputable essential oil companies with high quality oils. I support many companies and think everyone is drawn to the best companies for them, so please, let’s stop all the fighting.

Aromatherapy Certification: If you are interested in learning more about essential oils, safety, history, techniques, pharmacology, chemistry and in becoming a Certified Aromatherapist, CLICK HERE.

Want Our Free DIY Aromatherapy Spa Recipes?

About Dr. Christina Wilke-Burbach PhD: Christina is a leading aromatherapy professional and teacher in the Midwest. She has been professionally using aromatherapy for over 16 years. Christina is frequently interviewed for magazines and radio shows regarding aromatherapy. She is a holistic health psychologist, AromaHerbalist, wellness consultant, Reiki Master Teacher, ordained minister, intuitive, light worker, and an Awakening Your Light Body Graduate. Her business is Mind, Soul, and Self LLC based out of WI. She has her PhD in Health Psychology, a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, 2 bachelor degrees in Psychology and Cultural Anthropology, and a minor in Sociology. She has presented at academic conferences and has taught hundreds of classes, workshops, and group sessions throughout the Midwest. She is a published author and award winning researcher and healthcare provider. She combines science with intuition.

Feeling more confident about using your essential oils safely?

Click Here to check out our “Aromatherapy To Go” Kit.

Expressive & Creative Arts – Connecting with Your Inner Wisdom

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Category: Miscellaneous

by Heidi Fassnacht

While I was living at a hermitage in Colorado, I picked a book out of the community’s library for something to read. It turned out to be Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss. I was just beginning on my journey into the metaphysical and wasn’t familiar with Myss, or apparently with myself. I remember reading a paragraph where she discussed intuition. She said something along the lines of “Intuition is that funny feeling you get when….” “Funny feeling? That’s intuition?” I thought, dismayed, “I’ve been ignoring that my whole life!”

Sad to say, it is not that uncommon for people to be disconnected from the signals their inner wisdom sends them through physical sensations, feelings, and emotions. How many times have you thought you were doing just fine, yet your shoulders were so tense they were up under your ears?

Science is rediscovering the connection between the mind and the body, and the powerful effect that thoughts and emotions can have on physical health. Negative thoughts and uncomfortable emotions, through their effect on our biology, lead to depressed immune function. Similarly, positive thoughts and pleasurable emotions lead to increased immune function. Over time, the stress caused by negative thoughts and emotions can contribute to disease.

While we may have heard the science, if we aren’t aware of the messages coming from inside us, or if we misunderstand them, we may not even know we are in a negative pattern. For many reasons, we choose, consciously or unconsciously, to ignore, suppress, justify, or deny our negative emotions. When we turn towards our uncomfortable emotions rather than away from them, we create an opening, an opportunity to receive the messages being conveyed to us through our feelings, and to release the stress that comes from our thoughts or actions being out of alignment with our body’s inherent wisdom.

Expressive art provides us with tools to access and give form to what is going on inside of us, (how we truly feel vs. how we think we feel), reconnecting us with our inner landscape. Through the process of giving form to what is inside us, we gain new perspective, and can move to transform our perceptions. This change empowers us to consciously choose our emotional response to the circumstance of our lives, and to bring our thoughts and actions back into alignment with our inner wisdom.

Expressive art engages us in the process of creative expression using visual art, movement, sound, writing, theater, or some combination of these. Activities focus on moving us from our logical and analytical mind, to our intuitive, creative centers. Like any other path, expressive art is a practice. With time, patience, and a sense of adventure, we can connect with ourselves on a very deep level, and transform our lives.

This article was based on the information presented in Art & Healing, by Barbara Ganim, Three Rivers Press, NY, 1999.

Originally trained as a geologist and hydrologist, Heidi was deeply called in 2008 to pursue her own personal transformation. She immersed herself in the world of the metaphysical and the healing arts. She explored many paths including various shamanic traditions, breathwork, dance, yoga, energy healing, qi gong, and more. Reconnecting in 2009 with her love of creative expression, Heidi recently completed a professional development training in the expressive and creative arts for self-discovery, healing, and personal transformation. She will lead two series of classes on Expressive and Creative Arts in the next few months. If you would like to find out more, we suggest you attend one of the free introductory talks she will give on February 21, February 28 or March 14.

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