Monthly Archives: May 2016

Current Transits for June 2016

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Category: Current Transits

By Barry Kerr

The Sun moved into Gemini on May 20: Fleet-footed Mercury rules the sign of Gemini. After establishing our right to exist with Mars/Aries and connecting to our body and resources with Venus/Taurus, it’s now time to begin exploring our environment. Mercury represents our rational, logical thinking mind, which takes in information through our five physical senses, processes that information, and communicates the results.

Our thoughts are primarily driven by our values and needs (Venus) and determine our actions (Mars). These three functions (Mercury, Venus and Mars) are the primary components of our animal existence. (The Moon in Cancer will add the layer of emotions, birthing our humanity.)

Our brain (Mercury) typically runs the show. Through logic and reason, we’re able to organize perceptions into memories, associations, symbols, lessons, and possibilities. Through symbols, we are able to communicate our thoughts to others, thus combining our brain with theirs into a web of mental synergy that increases our capacity for collective survival. As we extend our mental awareness outward, experiencing our relationships to things and people, our mind creates a reality, a story of life, which becomes the evolving phenomenon we call our “self”, the very limited perspective defining our ego.  

The sign your Sun is in will be the filter that determines the central qualities of your ego self. However, the sign your Mercury is in will determine the way your mind assists you toward that expression. For example, a person with Sun in Libra will ultimately be driven toward relationships more than most people, and if that person’s Mercury is in Virgo, her mind will be most curious about practical feedback and analysis within relationships. However with Mercury in Scorpio, that person will be most curious about the emotional undercurrents within relationships.

One of the most important processes that form our ego is that of comparisons with other(s). Contrasts and similarities define our sense of self, and because this world of time and space consists of dualities and polarities, we find ourselves exploring various ends of those spectrums, curious to discover and learn about them. This is why Gemini people can be so curious, fickle and easily distracted, yet delightfully interested in all points of view. There is an innocent and neutral mental exploration in process.

When our inner Mercury is wounded or dysfunctional, we can feel a sluggish awareness, intellectual inferiority, or communication problems, sometimes leading to overcompensating in these areas. As a healing issue, it’s about becoming more aware of the principles of duality.  

Mercury plays a necessary and important role in our ability to navigate the physical world. Because it is the major engine of our ego’s construction and existence, it is also the primary inhibitor in our intended journey toward transcending our ego’s limited perspective and reclaiming our intuitive awareness, seeing our selves as divine beings, whole and immortal, and only temporarily subjected to the illusions of limitedness in this world.

In each lifetime, as our Mercury explores the plethora of dynamics within the polarities of time and space, our soul is able to absorb these experiences, add them to our accumulated soul knowledge, and apply the gained wisdom to new incarnations. Thus, we become masters, and it is in Gemini that our commitment to learn is renewed.  

Current Transits: The New Moon is on June 4. Venus joins the Sun and Moon in Gemini, giving an emphasis to your values and relationships. How aware are you of the relationship between the two? Ask questions. With this moon opposing Saturn in Sagittarius and squaring Neptune in Pisces, it’s an auspicious time to bring cognitive awareness to the influence of your beliefs and spiritual aspirations on your relationships. The ongoing dance between Saturn and Neptune is challenging the practical effectiveness of our ideals.

At the same time, Mercury trines with Jupiter and Pluto, bringing mental clarity to the relationship between optimism/opportunities versus the dark tendencies of establishment powers.

Full Moon June 2016The Full Moon is on June 20. Venus will slip into Cancer, inviting the emotional rewards of your New Moon intentions. Neptune will have gone retrograde (backward) on June 13, in square with retrograde Saturn, amplifying the already established tension between idealism and practicality. The potential with this Full Moon is to stay sensitive to the emotional quality of your relationships even as you engage with political and spiritual conflict.

Special Note: Barry will be doing astrology mini-readings at the North Earth Psychic Fair in Spring Green on Saturday, June 18, from 10am to 4pm. $35 for 25 minute reading. Albany Street Courtyard in Spring Green. Sponsored by 43/90 North Earth Gifts.  Schedule reading at 608-588-3313  or, day of event only.

Barry Kerr, a soul-based, evolutionary astrologer, has 35 years of experience with an international clientele. 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, energy healing and transformational 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 or email Barry at

Aromatherapy Recipe: Fragonia

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Category: Aromatherapy Recipes

By Christina Wilke-Burbach PhD, RMT

The intuitive essential oil for the month of May is Fragonia (Agonis fragrans). It is a shrub grown and distilled through only one producer in Western Australia.  Fragonia is a unique oil on many levels. First, it symbolizes balance as its chemical makeup is a 1:1:1 ratio of oxides, monoterpines, and monoterpenols. Its chemical makeup makes it useful as a respiratory oil, antimicrobial, sedative, anti-inflammatory. Secondly, due to its unique chemical proportions, the producer has trademarked this chemotype of Agonis fragrans, making it perhaps the only trademarked essential oil. Thirdly, it has a beautifully unique aroma….medicinal, citrusy, spicy, sweet, and woody all in one. Finally, Fragonia is one of the most powerful emotional healing and personal growth oils I have ever encountered. It dives deep into your psyche to help release old hurts and heal emotional wounds.  As a Holistic Psychologist, the primary way I use this oil is for emotional release. I have also used it in hypnosis and past life regressions. Fragonia would greatly assist therapists, counselors, and psychologists in psychoanalyses and deep processing techniques.  Inhalation via an aroma inhaler, directly out of the bottle, on a cotton pad or cotton ball, or diffuser will provide more powerful results than topical application. Fragonia is a powerful oil for your toolbox if you are a Reiki practitioner or energyworker. Diffuse this oil during your energy healing sessions to help clients release emotional blockages.

My Fragonia forecast for May 2016: This time of the year is typically associated with “spring cleaning.” We deep clean our home and clean out our gardens to remove the dead of winter and allow new growth to come forth.  Fragonia asks you to contemplate spring cleaning your emotions and detoxing your soul. Are you holding on to patterns, emotions, and beliefs that no longer serve you a higher purpose?  Are your emotions holding you back like a ball and chain? Are you ready to move forward into your highest potential? Remember, the only barriers to personal growth are the ones we ourselves have created.

Blend for Emotional Release

  • 3 drops Fragonia
  • 3 drops Grapefruit
  • 3 drops Marjoram
  • 3 drops Cedarwood
  • 3 drops Roman Chamomile

This blend is meant for either creating an Aroma Inhaler or for in your diffuser. For an inhaler: blend the oils together in a shot glass or little bowl. Soak the cotton wick in the blend and then place into the inhaler. For diffuser: place oils directly into diffuser following the manufacturer’s directions for your type of diffuser.

Spend some time contemplating emotional traumas and wounds that you are ready to release to be transformed.  Clearly identify these negative emotions and patterns.  Think of the root or origin of these patterns. When did they start? How long have you had them? How have they impacted your life? What lessons have you learned? As you inhale the emotional release aromatherapy blend, state the following affirmation: “I release what no longer serves me a purpose. I am ready to move forward and step into my light.” Repeat several times. This is a good technique to do right before bed so your psyche can filter and process as you sleep. Also, as mentioned above, consider combing this blend with energywork modalities such as Reiki or Healing Touch.

Note: Mimosa does not carry Fragonia, because unfortunately our essential oil supplier does not carry it. But you can buy it online from Nature’s Gift or Still Point Aromatics.

Want Our Free DIY Aromatherapy Spa Recipes?

Aroma Readings are a divination technique using essential oils developed by Dr. Christina Wilke-Burbach, a Holistic Health Psychologist, Certified Aromatherapist, Herbalist, and Reiki Master Teacher.  She offers individual Aroma Readings and spreads as well as teaches Aroma Readings in her level 2 ‘Holistic Healing with Aromatherapy’ certification series. Interested in learning more about herbs, aromatherapy and essential oils? Christina offers face to face and online aromatherapy and herbs classes and certifications. Visit Mind, Soul, and Self LLC for more info:

Book Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

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Category: Book Reviews
Written by Mimosa
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Book Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo

Reviewed by Cathy Douglas

Half of a book is philosophy and technique, half a truly odd little autobiography. Marie Kondo spent her childhood tidying. It truly fascinated her. She would do things like go into her older brother’s room and throw away a bunch of his stuff. Yikes! Somehow she survived to adulthood.

I was pleasantly surprised to find there was no big attempt to Americanize the US version of the book, and that the tidying methods embody a Shinto worldview: the whole world is animated with spirits, and one should treat those spirits with respect. For example, a purse “wants” to serve us, and so is disappointed if it sits year after year at the bottom of a drawer. Or if we use this purse, it will become tired by the end of the day; we should thank it, unpack it and allow it to rest.

Some people think this is crazy. But is it crazy to talk to cats? Cats have no idea what we’re talking about, or what’s the point of all the gaba gaba gaba that comes out of our mouths. But we talk to them anyway, as a way to show our love. It’s comforting on both sides.

Stretching this further: Say you’ve got a CD you bought ten years ago which you loved, and which quickly became your favorite. For a while it was the soundtrack of your life. Even now, a decade later, you have all the songs on your iPod and listen to one occasionally. But you don’t remember the last time you played to the physical CD, or even listened the album the whole way through. The CD sits on the shelf collecting dust, but you can’t bring yourself to get rid of something you loved that much. Kondo’s solution is to express your love and gratitude to the CD, then to let it go, because keeping such items is a symptom of our desire to live in the past. I think that makes a certain amount of sense.

I remember how much it hurt to throw away my last pair of Adidas Grete Waitz racing flats. I’ve got oddly shaped feet, and those were the only shoes that have ever fit them perfectly. Those shoes were also light and fast; I ran most of my best races in them, and a lot of speed workouts with my team (the mighty Impalas). But the company stopped making them, and pretty soon I was down to one pair that was too worn out to use for anything but gardening. Then they got too holey even for that. It felt so mean, so disrespectful, so unloving just to toss them in the trash. I wish I had thought to express my gratitude. And yes, I really think that would make a difference. If nothing else, it would make a better memory.

Getting back to emptying out your bag at the end of the day: My first reaction was, “Seriously? Maybe I’m going to clean up my house this way she outlines, but no way I’m emptying out my pack every day and put the same stuff back in the next day.” But a few days later, I’ve noticed how before I go out of the house, I have to check and double check to make sure I have keys, pens, hair ties, etc. etc. etc. And I don’t always need exactly the same items; some days I need the bike lock and lights, other days I need my bus ticket and Kindle. Maybe it actually would be easier and make me feel more secure to keep all my “backpack stuff” in one place, and load in only what I need before I leave the house. And hey, if it helps my hard-working backpack relax…

Anyway, we’ll see how well this works. My tidying binge starts tomorrow. The KonMari method will require a little Americanizing and other personalizing to work for me. For one thing, I don’t believe the word “basement” appears anywhere in the book. Maybe Japanese houses don’t have basements? My house’s unfinished basement is the place where things I’m not using go so I don’t have to look at them. Ugh — it’ll take some work. She doesn’t have anything to say about outdoor spaces like my shed, and surprisingly doesn’t go into much detail about kitchens. I also need to spend some time tidying digital devices, and my “home office” (which is really just a corner of the living room). While the book doesn’t spell out how to do these things, it shouldn’t be too hard to generalize the method to make it work across various spaces.

Illustration from Spark Joy. No adorable rabbits in this one, unfortunately.

Illustration from Spark Joy. No adorable rabbits in this one, unfortunately.

(Note: Recently Kondo has come out with a second book, Spark Joy, which goes into more detail about organizing the types of spaces mentioned above. It also has helpful illustrations of some of her organizing methods, demonstrated by cute cartoon bunnies! You just can’t go wrong with something like that, right?)

I’m also curious how to implement this method with items like my boot socks. They’re pretty well worn out, and handling them certainly gives me no “frisson of joy.” By KonMari standards that should put them in the “throw out” pile. But I live in Wisconsin, and it’s winter, and I need a pair of boot socks. It would be nice to buy a new pair, but there are a whole lot of things like that I need, and I don’t have a lot of money. Those threadbare socks will have to last through the season.

Still, after reading this book, I feel ready to take such issues more seriously. Another level of organization might be to make a list of little things I need, like boot socks, and write a budget that gives me a small allowance to buy them one at a time.

And maybe it wouldn’t hurt to listen to my boot socks’ story. Just because I live in America doesn’t mean my world’s not full of spirits. People who see things that way are likely to take better care of their environment, both in the home and outside it.

When Americans criticize ourselves, often the first thing we condemn is our materialism. So do we really need to show more love for consumer goods? Simplifying, getting rid of excess stuff — that’s all very well, but doesn’t it kind of negate this if we start fetishizing the stuff we have?

I don’t think so. Inanimate objects do come with strings attached — strings of human feeling that attach them to us and tug us in certain directions.

Just outside my window there’s a bike lying in my neighbor’s backyard. A kid’s bike that’s been there for months, and is now stuck in ice. Today there’s more snow falling, and now there’s only a bit of the front wheel sticking up. It makes me sad every time I look at it.