Cross of Ashes — Dust to Dust

Throughout history humanity has created rituals and celebrations that reflect the different seasons. The rituals mirror, indicate and signify the different aspects of light and dark, the seasons, the elements fire, earth, air & water, allowing humanity to maintain a rhythm with nature, past, present & future, with the heavens & with each other.

Lent (“lenctene”– when days lengthen), just before Spring, is one of those ritual times. Lent (outward sign and external name) – beginning this Wednesday – is 40 days and 40 nights of purification, preparing us for Spring and Easter, the Resurrection Festivals.

Lent always begins after Mardi Gras (Tuesday), on a Wednesday, Ash Wednesday. There is a ritual with ashes in the Catholic churches – reminding us that we are spiritual beings clothed (temporarily) in form and matter. The Ash Wednesday ritual – the priest places a cross of ashes (made from burned palms) on the forehead (Anja center, 3rd eye, place of spiritual direction) of parishioners while saying the words –

“From dust thou art (you were made) and unto dust thou shalt return.”

These words remind us that the physical body, made of elemental (the elements of) matter, returns to the Earth at death. However, within our body (within each cell) the Spirit of God dwells – the spark of Life, the Light of Life, the Pisces Light, that saves the world. During Lent, preparing for the new life of Spring, we cleanse, purify our bodies, we change habits, preparing to make ourselves new (again).

Our actions during Lent imitate Mars and Mercury retrograde activities. We grow in quiet reflection, contemplation, study and knowledge, enabling us to participate in the upcoming Three Spring festivals (Aries, Taurus, Gemini) which set the template for the rest of the year.

ARIES: As you recognize the vital and initiating work you are to bring forth, you will also need to learn how to participate in groups with intelligence and heart-felt alignment. You are to construct part of the new world, culture and civilization. Is this in your awareness? Are you conscious of what this implies and the needs of humanity? You’re called to awaken again for the times are coming when those who plan and lead boldly, take risks and assess the future, working with both heart and mind, will be summoned. Prepare.

TAURUS: The architecture of your participation in life is changing. Previously you dreamed big dreams, pondered upon many realities, not concerned if anything took shape. Now you’re behind the scenes, teaching and facilitating groups, preparing the components of the new world era. Taurus has an enlightened mind with the ability to see humanity’s present/future needs. You are aware in the breakdown phase seeds of the new must be sowed. You’re synthesizing all realities so others can understand.

GEMINI: Many forces are at work in your life. As a Gemini you always attempt to resolve polarities – higher with lower, Soul with personality. This is a vital and difficult task accomplished by the proper cultivation of the mind principle (which calms the emotions) and the right course of study that allows no illusions, confusions, untruths, unkindness, distortions or maya. Venus calls you to share the Path with others and Aquarius wants you to develop all seven levels of your mind. Will you?

CANCER: Always we feel some form of conflict. Know that this conflict (and chaos) is useful. It gives us the ability to observe tensions and to express needs, fears and anxieties. So often there is a great battle going on between the Soul and personality. The Soul calls us to Right Action and Right Service. The personality seeks to sleep. Many don’t know the difference between the two. There is a reorientation occurring within, new information released into your mind. Especially during Mercury retrograde.

LEO: You’ve entered a time where relationships are vitally important yet at times you feel not connected to anything or anyone. You’re in a place of balancing and choosing, an interlude state. Your inner reality concerning relationships and how you function in them is being modified so that you can display Right Relationships while still expressing your unique creativity. Hold opposing forces in balance. A greater awareness emerges. Your love then flows once more. Love is your gift. From the heart of the Sun.

VIRGO: New revelations stream into your mind concerning how to structure daily life. Revelations occur during Mercury retrogrades. Changes in our daily life prepares us to function within the new dimensions and structures in the world slowly coming into our awareness. Receive all impressions with devotion and detail. Be aware if weariness occurs. You then must rest which changes your perspectives.

LIBRA: Although, under the veil of Libra’s charm, you are a strong and powerful force, a greater level of Love/Wisdom must begin expressing itself through you. It begins with acceptance and gratitude for everyone and everything (past and present, here and there, then and now. Begin with intention and say over and over, “Love expresses itself through me always and then Wisdom follows.” Then your life and relationships proceed with protective loving healing care.

SCORPIO: You will begin to have solitary times thinking things great and small. Create an environment that nurtures in all ways – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of yourself. Be in touch with the kingdoms – Soul, human, animal, plant and mineral. Make altars to them. Love combined with your great intelligence will form a foundation for a new life emerging. It begins where you live. Later you’ll be asked to teach these very things to others who are lost.

SAGITTARIUS: You should have a very good year. Especially if you blend two realities – your personality and Soul. This produces harmony for a time. Then the Soul leaves and Will enters, the Will of God. You will be asked to harmonize your little will with the greater Will. It will not be easy. Will is a fire. As your career rises and you make a big splash, in all of this never be thoughtless. Or you’ll lose much. Remember as you go about work that “wisdom is knowledge gained through experience and implemented by love.”Thoughts to ponder in this Mercury retrograde time.

CAPRICORN: Whatever it is you hope for, radiate it with Love from your heart and ajna (forehead) diamond light center. Both are where love streams forth. Then new life will take root, expressed as harmony, beauty and peace (a process). Your love for those around you eases disharmony and conflict, even when it abruptly arises. You do remember that Harmony comes after conflict and chaos, yes? Behind conflict and chaos, harmony waits patiently.

AQUARIUS: This year you have great energy and potential, needed as new sources of income are sought and as you seek to control impatience. Be aware of communication or you could be thought of as being harsh and thoughtless toward others. We know you’re not. Remember to be courteous and kind, show sympathy. A new self-identity continues to emerge. Be sure it includes goodness, generosity and love. We experience what we give.

PISCES: You have begun the arduous task of understanding your feelings, thoughts, aspirations, actions and vulnerabilities. Much of your life has been treading the pathway of service and sacrifice, which you know well. A new beneficent cycle has begun, expanding your courage and strength of character. This may not be acceptable to some. Maintain privacy, walk away from disharmony, don’t believe criticism. The stars are protecting you.

~Risa – writer, teacher, counselor, mentor, astrologer, esotericist

Founder & Director…

The Esoteric & Astrological Studies & Research Institute

—-a contemporary Wisdom School for the Ageless Wisdom teachings.

The foundations of the Teachings are the study & application of Astrology

& the Seven Rays.


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