It’s time to settle into Spring 2018. There is a saying that we all reap what we sow. If every life is a metaphorical garden, some of us have been planting our seeds and tending the ground dutifully and with hope. Some of us have not. Sometimes even the best-kept garden does not prosper due to weather or blight. Sometimes the most vacant and neglected lot is fecund and lush. Then what’s the point? Every person brings their unique perspective to their “lot” in life. Everyone has to deal with uncontrollable circumstances and fate. It is the unique and individual perspective that we each bring to this gardening task that really matters. That’s why I love astrology. It’s just another way to look at the circumstances that everyone is being given and how each individual chooses to navigate through those circumstances. The transits this May bring gifts for some of those that have tended their gardens, and unforeseen surprises and challenges for others. It’s flowers and showers and magical powers…stay tuned for the show!
April 20- May 20
“Electricity is really just organized lightning.” - George Carlin
Happy Birthday, Taurus! We love our bullish Taurus friends, especially in Spring. They love baby humans, baby animals, baby plants, baby anything really. They are typically known for two modes: on or off. There is no in between with a Taurus. They are about physical action or inaction and less about mental quickness, mercurial reasoning, sporadic change or surprises. This month brings a very rare electricity to Taurus with a flash bomb strike of lightning on May 14-15. Fast change, invention, brilliance, unbearable brightness, inspiration, metamorphosis, and verbal fireworks could ensue…shocking everyone …most especially the Taurus at the center of this event. Be open to change and the ability to channel parts of you that you didn’t know were there. May 9-11 Your life is a box of chocolates.
May 21- June 20
“Ready, set, go!”
You’ve felt some heaviness lately. You feel the burden of responsibility more acutely and a tight schedule seems to never let up. There is an old saying that the more you have to do the more you get done. This is the perfect mantra for you this month, especially after May 17th when the action planet Mars moves into Aquarius to trine your Sun. Take advantage of the extra energy boost and focus it towards something productive. May 16-17 Go fly a kite.
June 21- July 22
“Getting into your rhythm”
I’m not going to candy coat how hard the last couple of months have been for you, especially April. May will not be easy but it will be very productive. You will feel like you have stopped running uphill. The pace becomes more manageable and you have a plan to stick to. After May 20th you will be attractive to others and sought out for your aesthetic opinions. After May 14…people finally hear what you have been telling them for months! May 27-28 Become a passenger on the Love Boat.
July 23- August 22
“A lion at the zoo”
Ever wonder what those lions at the zoo are thinking about all day? I like to think that they have been rescued from a worse fate and that their monotonous and yet safe life is better than the alternative that they came from. Many of our Leo friends will be feeling a little like animals in the cage of their duties to family and job this month. Headstrong Leos do not like to lose any autonomy. This is a temporary situation but very real. The remedy? Your creative inventive ideas are flowing and after May 17 you will have the motivation to put them into action. May 12-13 Crush your opponent.
August 23- September 22
“Building your empire”
I love Virgos but sometimes they can be a little smug. They believe that they know how everything is supposed to be. The irritating thing is that most of them actually do. This is such a career building time for Virgos. They just know how things should be and what to do, and everyone notices. You may feel a little frazzled around May 17th and watch that temper May 15-16. May 18- 19 Make special time for your children.
September 23- October 22
“Keep your eye on the horizon”
Libras like Cancers have had it rough for a couple of months, especially in April. Unlike our crab friends, Libras find the month of May keeps the demands at work at a high level. Authority figures just won't cut you a break and feel more oppressive than usual. Your saving grace this month is doing anything to break you out of your routine. Travel is always good medicine for a Libra. Remind yourself that the world is a big place full of new opportunities. May 29-30 Plan a trip out of the country.
October 23- November 21
King and Queen of the realm
You have the power and the vision. You also have the ambition. After May 17th it will be time to delegate. You simply can’t do everything yourself. Stop being a control freak…let some things go and watch them multiply. May 14th ushers Mercury into Taurus which reminds you to be careful of your tone. It’s not what you say it’s how you say it. May 9-10 Date night.
November 22- December 21
I haven’t known many Sagittarians who would rather practice than be on the field in battle. They will put the time in if they know that it will help them win or be more competitive. This month is all about preparation and delaying gratification. It’s not time to play in the game yet. Your glory days are coming. Be patient. And just trust me…buy your lottery tickets before May 16th. May 20-21 Lead the charge.
December 22- January 19
“Tell it to the judge”
It’s a strange predicament that you find yourself in…you are the judge, jury and magistrate taking in all of the fines. It’s not an easy place to be and can cause all kinds of jealousy and resentment in your colleagues. After May 20th your family commitments will be calling you. Take time away from all of your responsibilities towards the end of the month and spend time with loved ones. May 14-15 Check your investments.
January 20- February 18
“Running on a treadmill”
You have so much on your side right now but you are frustrated that you don’t see the results that you are working towards. You are communicating well, full of ideas, attracting followers and brimming over with energy to go after your dreams. Do yourself a favor and avoid judging the outcomes. Revisit your plan and tweak it if necessary. This season is about enjoying the journey and not worrying so much about the destination. May 25-26 Get a makeover and change your look.
January 20- March 20
This is a difficult time for so many. The difference between you and them is that you have a choice. Do you want to do it the hard way or the most efficient way? The key words for you are accountability and discipline. If you are self-reflective and responsible you will slowly but surely get to where you desire to be. If you try to take shortcuts or indulge yourself in folly, all hell breaks loose. Up to you. May May 27-28 Flashes of insight are yours.
March 21- April 19
“Fire in the hole!”
You still have many of the same transits of last month except there are a few big shifts. After Mayou will have an amazing energy to start new projects concerning inventions, new companies, software, technology, and/or anything on the cutting edge of the current culture. You will still have a big workload and feel the tiredness of sustained pressure, especially if you are born between March 21- 29. My big warning is regarding the grenade that may be dropped into your foxhole May 11-16. Do not sit and study or try to fight a potentially volatile situation that could arise suddenly. Have your exit plan ready and leave. It is not your nature to run from the action but this month it is imperative. May 20-21 Honor the queen in your life.
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."