love

Love, Connection and Emotional Integrity | New Moon in Cancer | Vedic Astrology Forecast for August 2nd, 2016

New Moon In CancerHaving explored new perspectives and tried to understand others points of views through the recent Gemini New Moon Lunar Cycle, we now bring that experience into the Sidereal Sign of Cancer.

The Sun entered Cancer after midnight on July 16th. And the New Moon in Cancer will occur on August 2nd around 4:44pm EDT. This starts a new cycle where we bring what we learned from Gemini into the Inner Emotional Heart and search for what inspires love and peace.

Cancer is ruled by the Moon which represents out Inner heart and our capacity for Love. Through the Moon, we learn to Connect to others through the heart. Cancer is also a water sign, which represents our emotional nature. It has a pure nature, motivated to do good things. Through the energy of Cancer, we learn about the nature of emotions. We learn how to be vulnerable in order to open to love and connect to other people.

The journey of the Heart towards love for most is challenging, because being vulnerable means allowing our inner and private nature to be seen. And the fear of vulnerability can cause us to try to control the world around us to keep ourselves feeling safe. Also, in attempts to experience connection and love, in the early stages we may cling to others with the feeling of needing others or an unspoken plea of “please love me!”.

Through the journey into the heart, we learn that clinging doesn’t work. We must learn to open, trust, and surrender. We must learn to allow others to be as they are, and learn also to love our own Self as the secret to experiencing deeper love from others. Through the experience of Cancer we eventually learn that deep and authentic love requires that we learn how to safely open our hearts and allow our true self to be revealed in safe ways. The deepest part of us longs to be fully accepted and seen without judgment, criticism or expectation. We long for unconditional love. But before we can feel safe letting ourselves be seen, we must be willing to see and love our own self unconditionally as well.

Through this cycle of the Cancer New Moon, themes around love, acceptance, vulnerability and connection to others will be activated. And with its placement in Ashlesha nakshatra, it will contain the exploration of how our hidden subconscious nature conditions us to use our emotional heart in connection with others. Ashlesha adds the question “How do I use my connections and emotional nature?” Do I unconsciously or consciously use others for my own personal ends, through manipulation or cunning? Or do I connect out of genuine love, openness and higher intuitive nature?

This New Moon especially invites us to explore our own personal use and the collective use of emotional energy, trust and connection. It invites us to ask ourselves honestly what our motivations are as we engage with others. It encourages us to be brutally honest honest with ourselves so we are emotionally clear and act with integrity. And if we realize we have been manipulating other people, how can we shift that towards accepting them as they are with love and kindness, rather than attempting to control them? How can we invite connection rather than use them to meet our own needs?

These same questions will become more prominent in the collective experience as well. As the political process unfolds and the global economic and government structures change, who is being honest about their motives? And how do we find the balance between bringing truth to light, while avoiding the emotional manipulation of others to see things our way? How can we find deeper compassion for those who have different opinions that our own? How can we learn to connect and love unconditionally, even when another’s values may differ from ours? And how can we retain peace of mind while navigating the political process?

The Moon and sign of Cancer are ultimately trying to evolve us towards discovering a Love and inner stillness that brings us peace. There are no doubts that there are issues with the political system. Emotionally charged propaganda is sometimes used to convince us of “what is right”, even when the deeper motivation for it is not stated out right. But, when the divisive ploys cause the 2 sides to debate and argue amongst themselves, it becomes a distraction from the deeper question of “how can we all work together to find the best solution?”.

“I am right and you are wrong” doesn’t lead to solutions. How can we connection, be authentic, communicate and hear eachother in a way that everyone feels honored, validated and respected even when there is still disagreement? And then discover a path to compromise and meet the underlying needs of both sides?

Mercury entered Leo on July 26th and Venus followed on July 31st. They join Rahu and Jupiter there, which brings our speech and communication (Mercury), our capacity for happiness (Venus), our higher principles (Jupiter) and our unconscious drive to experience (Rahu) all together in the sign of inspiration, leadership and creative expression. This can support a feeling of hope and inspiration, but still has some confusion (Rahu) infused in it, revealing that we are all collectively struggling to figure out a shared sense of purpose and higher principles to operate from. Venus in Leo feels happy, but can also take on a selfish drive like a Queen that demands her happiness is served by her subjects. “Please me now, my subjects!”

This placement of Venus can bring a selfish edge in relationships and the process of compromise needed for 2 people or 2 groups to find a way to create a win-win situation when conflict arises.

The good news is that, out of the confusion we eventually come to clarity. Life is a process of evolving and growth.   It becomes easier when we consciously participate and embrace change.

I also remind you that Mars and Saturn in Scorpio are continuing to invite us collectively to heal and transform our insecurities and are bringing hidden uses of power into the collective awareness so it can be addressed and rebalanced.

So, during this Cancer New Moon window, especially, I encourage you to feel deeply into these questions. How are you using your emotional energy? What are your experiences of giving and receiving love, and do they serve to take you to deeper peace? What emotionally vulnerable spaces have you been hiding and protecting, and how can you nurture them into safety? How can you use Love to heal your inner conflicts? How can you use love to heal the polarity, confusion and divisiveness that is happening in our country and in our world right now?

What are you noticing happening within yourself and in the world around you in relationship to this Cancer New Moon energy?

The above is a general Vedic Astrology Forecast. It discusses the shifts that are happening at the level of the Collective experience, as well as how you can use that Collective energy for your own growth and evolution.

For a detailed reading of how the Planetary cycles will impact you personally, you should schedule a private Vedic Astrology Reading.

Click here for more information on Vedic Astrology Services.

Click here to book a Vedic Astrology reading now.

Reflecting on Love, Relationships and Communicating from your Heart – Capricorn Full Moon July 31st, 2015

FullMoonOverWaterThere have been many shifts in the planetary positions since July 13th where the New Moon began in the last degrees of Sidereal Gemini.

As I shared in the New Moon Report, it began a new cycle of exploring Conscious Communication and evolving from being entertained towards finding peace and love. Coming at the tail end of Gemini serves to evolve our communication through the natural path of the Zodiac. The seeds of communication were planted in Gemini and then the Sun and Moon both moved into Sidereal Cancer. So the prior explorations and curiosities from the time of the Sun and Moon in Gemini shift into Cancer where more emotion and feeling are connected to those experiences.

Cancer is where we feel our vulnerability and explore our relationship to nurturing others. It can also invite an opening to intuition. And it is where we learn the lessons of connecting to others through the Heart. And through this exploration, we come to find peace within out own emotional nature.

All of this energy is also being played out in our cycles of communication, begun by the New Moon. And so for the past almost 2 weeks, the Sun and Mercury, which were together for the start of the cycle in Gemini, have transitioned into Cancer. Here our the Sun as Power, confidence and sense of individuality has been placed into the open emotional space of Cancer. Along with Mercury, as our capacity for speech and communication.

While the invitation here is to learn to express our Soul’s Power and communicate from a place of emotional openness and authentic vulnerability, that doesn’t always feel so easy or safe for most of us. The results of the past 2 weeks may be that some may have instead felt emotionally vulnerable and protective. If we haven’t been able to stay firmly planted in the Soul’s power, then instead of communicating from the Heart, we may have been more inclined to be emotionally reactive or emotionally clingy. No matter how you have handled it, you may have been aware of feeling a little more sensitive or emotionally aware these past couple of weeks.

The question, of course, is how did you handle this vibrational environment? Have you kicked and cried and thrown tantrums? Have you felt a strong need to connect to others to feel more safe and secure? Have you mustered up the confidence to speak honestly about how you are feeling and what your needs are?

During these last couple of weeks, Mercury also moved past Mars. Mars was in Gemini at the start of the New Moon, bringing some potential conflicts and arguments. But the movement past Mars shows that many conflicts are now given the opportunity to be let go. Have some communication challenges, or conflicts of power begun to soften for you? Perhaps getting to a softer, more compassionate perspective on the situation.

And on July 25th, Venus went retrograde. This retrograde motion shows that the collective Karmic energy is being given a chance to reflect over the nature of our relationships and our happiness. Venus is the natural indicator for relationships. It is where we find pleasure and happiness through our outer experiences of life. A major Venus lesson is learning how to compromise with others in relationship. It evolves from seeking selfish pleasure at the expense of others towards an understanding that compromise brings a greater sense of satisfaction and happiness. After all, if both people are happy with their shared situation, then more happiness can come from it for both people. Out of this lesson around compromise, Venus ultimately evolves into a more selfless expression of Devotion towards the Sacred in life and in those we are in relationship with.

This retrograde Venus period gives you the opportunity to reflect and introspect on your own relationships, your happiness and the degree to which you are able to compromise and share happiness with another instead of demanding that your own happiness be fulfilled without considering how that will affect others. Because Venus is sharing the sign of Leo with Jupiter, we have the opportunity to link our higher principles, wisdoms and teachings to this inner reflection and truly come out the other side as a better partner and friend. But. the inspired and regal energy of Leo can also cause Venus to be a “little Queen” or “little King” around pleasure, and be inclined to “issue royal orders” for how her “subjects should please her”.

As Venus is retrograde, we are given the opportunity to reflect on how this demanding “serve my pleasure” energy may be showing up in your life and in your relationships, and to evolve towards greater compromise and to more balanced relationships which are based upon mutual respect and a shared higher vision of Principles and even Spiritual Values.

And through all of these changes, the Moon has continued her movement through the Zodiac, and will move into Capricorn on July 30th and reach the height of Full Moon on July 31st.

The Full Moon is an integration and balance point for the New Moon Cycles. With all of the above energies still at play, the Moon moving into Capricorn is an opportunity for us to strengthen our own sense of emotional boundaries in communication and in relationship to others.

In Cancer we learn to feel our Inner Heart and open to emotions and Love, but that fullness and openness can create vulnerability all by itself. While Tantra encourages us all to develop an open heart that is capable of accepting self and others, the reality is that everything in the Universal experience must find balance. Being that open doesn’t always feel safe. And for some, that feeling of vulnerability is likely to cause them to simply shut down and not want to feel deeply at all.

What the Cosmic wisdom of the Zodiac reveals is how to balance through opposite signs. The reality is that it is NOT always appropriate to be vulnerable and open. The old saying of “wearing your heart on your sleeve” can certainly lead to being taken advantage of and being hurt. At the same time, there ARE times when it IS appropriate and rewarding to have our hearts more open. And Cancer’s lesson of finding safety in opening the heart comes through the lesson of Capricorn.

In Capricorn, we learn how to set boundaries and to create a more practical structure to our emotions and interactions. Of course, if we only used the Capricorn energy, then we would simply build a wall around the Heart and never feel again. But this Full Moon invites is to learn to balance.

As the Sun and Mercury sit in Cancer, inviting more vulnerability and feeling to our Soul and Communication, the Moon is taken into Capricorn at the height of its Fullness. Here the feeling sense is stabilized and the lesson of creating emotional boundaries is experienced. In the proper balance, we can learn to easily and safely flow between healthy levels of feeling and emotional vulnerability and also being able to set boundaries to keep the heart appropriately protected when needed.

The Moon here also invites us to make peace with a greater level of solitude, where we can still experience peace in isolation rather than feeling the clingy need to always be connected to someone else. It also supports stabilizing our emotions and learning how to create a practical path through life. You should also be aware that the influence of Saturn as both Capricorn’s Ruler and its aspect on the Moon from Scorpio may also bring some nervousness or fears to the surface. So do be mindful that the boundaries you are creating are not from some fearful place, but instead seek to use your deeper wisdom and intuition to set boundaries as a way of evolving the Moon’s capacity to connect to others and strengthen your connection to deeper Peace and Love.

As the integration point for the New Moon which started in Gemini, you are given the chance to explore communicating healthy boundaries and needs while also exploring how you can be appropriately vulnerable and emotionally connected to others. All of this happening, while Retrograde Venus is creating introspection on your experience of relationships, compromise and the pursuit of pleasure and happiness.

I encourage you to use this time to pay attention to your need for self reflection, as well as finding that balance of seeking solitude when needed. As you strengthen your own self awareness, you can develop the capacity to remain peaceful, loving and balanced in your relationships and interactions with others. You can learn to feel more fully the love and emotional connections with those around you, while also setting healthy boundaries to ensure that only those that share the same vision of mutual respect are allowed into your inner heart. And from that place, evolve your capacity to communicate your needs, hopes and desires.

Be sure to notice these themes in yourself, as well as how those around you are reacting to these Collective Karmic trends.

What have your experiences been during this time?


The above is a general Vedic Astrology Forecast. It discusses the shifts that are happening at the level of the Collective experience, as well as how you can use that Collective energy for your own growth and evolution.

For a detailed reading of how the Planetary cycles will impact you personally, you should schedule a private Vedic Astrology Reading.

Click here for more information on Vedic Astrology Services.

Click here to book a Vedic Astrology reading now.

The Love That Arises in Silence – Tantric Practice

(Written October 20th, 2011)

Yesterday, for the first time in my life (that I am at least consciously aware of) I spent an entire day from waking to bedtime, without uttering a single word. This was part of a day of silence in the Ashram, so almost everyone participated. Although, most people began speaking again after dinner, I continued with the practice.

The practice of silence has been part of yogic traditions for probably as long as there has been yoga. I will admit, even in my daily life, I prefer as much silence around me as possible. I would rather sit in a silent room than watch TV on most occasions. I would rather not speak at all than to force a conversation of pleasantries. And I have even become pretty sensitive to the types of music I listen to on a regular basis. (Spending hours a day with massage and new age music played at low volumes will probably do that to most people.)

So, I welcomed the practice. I went to bed the previous evening, having already turned my “silence” practice on, and when I awoke, I was already in the mode. The first thing I noticed, was that it was very comfortable for me. During the morning meditation, having already turned my awareness away from speech, I became aware of the inner realm of thought very easily, and it was also easy on this particular morning to direct my awareness into the silence within as well.

I also noticed I become more sensitive to other sounds. The sounds of birds chirping, or any little bit of racket that may have been in the outside environment. I was present to new things. Within the meditation, there were times when something in my mind let go just enough, that it felt like the outer world merged into my mind, and the sounds of birds and the wind blowing were like thoughts arising within my own mind.

After morning asana practice, I spent some time outside connecting with nature. I discussed this in a previous post called “My Tantric Nature.” And then the flow of the day began. People going about walking from place to place, without speaking. And I began to notice something very odd. People, having adopted a practice of silence, seemed to enter their own private world. People were looking at the sidewalk instead of saying hello. It seemed that without words, most people didn’t know how to connect, or perhaps thought it was inappropriate to do so. No eye contact. No smiles. No winks of joy shared. Just blank faces, looking any where but an another person.

In Tantra, there is a practice called Eye Gazing, or Soul Gazing. It is sitting in silence, sending your awareness deep into the Soul Essence of another person, and allowing yourself to feel, to connect, to experience another Being without words, as they also connect into your deepest Self. This practice, at least in the beginning, is often met with discomfort. It is normal for people to laugh or giggle, or to close their eyes. It is normal for obvious discomfort to come across their face and body, and to see them squirming. I explain over an over to new groups of people, that these reactions are a part of our conditioning. It is rare in our culture for us to be so intimate with another. Even with the ones that we love such as friends, family and significant others.

Most of us say we want love, to feel it, to know it, to give it. But when given the chance to sit, and honor the Essence of the other people with love and reverence, something stirs within us that pulls us out of it, that causes us discomfort. The reality, is that for most of us, this fear of deeper connection is always there, just below the surface, but we don’t feel it because we distract ourselves with thoughts, with TV, with activity, and of course, with words. We don’t allow there to be enough silence, enough stillness to acknowledge it.

The same is true for many people with regards to their own thoughts and feelings. We find ways to distract ourselves, and never get still enough to feel or connect consciously to our own inner world. The moment silence is imminent, most people will jump up, turn on the TV, grab a book, begin to talk about anything that comes to mind: anything to not have to feel what is happening in our deeper experience.

As I watched the blank faces parading through the ashram, and the gazes away from each other, I couldn’t help but feel a bit of sadness. Sadness for not having an opportunity to connect, and sadness to see so many unable to make the connection without words. Without words, they seemed to have nothing to share. It never occurred to share their silent Essence. That same silence which pulses beneath Creation lives within our own Beings, ready to be tasted, touched and felt. That silence contains the Love we are seeking. It is not the words that convey love, but the Essence of a Pure Heart.

As I continued my day, I enjoyed the silence. I watched for moments when I might ordinarily speak, and then questioned whether speaking was necessary. In most cases I found the answer to be no. When a desire to speak would arise, I would watch as I reminded myself there was no talking today. And I witnessed the desire for whatever pass through, unspoken, and not responded to. And after the moment passed, I realized I was no worse off. I was still content, even joyful in my silence, and the thing I thought I wanted to communicate, or thought I wanted to ask made me no less joyful for not being shared. I was content to experience what was around me, without commenting, or feeling a need to inquire deeper into it with words. I was content without feeling the need to request something else to make it more or less “satisfying”.

What are these words we speak? And why do we speak them at all? How much of what is said is really useful to our deeper happiness, and how much is just habit and social convention and expectation?

The Tantric traditions describe three primary stages of speech. There is the gross speech of our everyday lives. This is the speech we use to share ideas from person to person, and vibrates at the most dense level. We then have a more subtle form of speech that we call thought. This is the speech that continues the dialogue in our own inner world. And beyond that is the most subtle form of speech, which exists as the arising impulse of vibration, that eventually becomes the thought, which then becomes the words spoken.

The normal world conditions us to focus on Gross speech. And over time, we come to identify with and give great importance to the Reality of this outer form of speech. Most of us also give, even without realizing it, great importance to our thoughts.

When one takes up the practice of silence, the outer speech is given up. This initially leaves us with our thoughts, and the opportunity to contemplate our relationship with gross speech. It gives us the opportunity to experience life without outer words, so that we might see how we have come to identify with them in a way that keeps us looking into the outer world. It gives us a chance to see how the words themselves are associated with our desires, attachments and aversions, and the way that words reinforce the same as “reality”.

When the inner thoughts become the primary world, and outer speech is stopped, then the next step is to get beyond even the thoughts themselves, and into the arising vibrations which are pre-thought. A realm of feelings, and intuitions, and knowledge that really has no “word” as we call it, just vibrations. And dissolving even those vibrations, we are taken into the realm of the practice of silence: inner silence itself. This Silence is the Holy Grail of meditation, but it is not just emptiness and nothingness, but is great peace, joy and love.

This is the basic general idea of meditation, and practicing silence gives you an opportunity to explore these levels of meditation in your daily living. To discover this peace and silence within the world around you is a goal of Tantra. We practice meditation so that we can transfer the depth of experience into our daily lives, not just to escape for a few minutes of peace.

Throughout the whole day, my voice only made one sound: the sound of laughter. After dinner, there were a few people speaking around me, and a story someone told made me laugh. So even Gross speech has its place. It caused me to laugh.

It is not that gross speech is “wrong” or bad. It is not that it should be given up entirely forever by everyone, but practicing silence should hopefully help us put it in perspective, so we don’t make it the “great reality”, and so that we see its limitations. So that we see the ways it can distract us, and become mindful so we don’t use words in this way. To become mindful of the ways words can harm, so we don’t use speech for negative purposes. So we learn to harness what, when and why we speak into conscious choices which enrich our lives, rather than just allowing mindless chatter to fill the silent space around us. So that we connect the words “I love you” with the deep love that arises within the Heart of our deepest Essence upon recognizing the Sacredness of the Being in front of us. And so we can learn to connect with others is this heart felt way even without words. So that silence gives us more presence to connect with others through smiles, honoring and love.

As I flowed through my day of silence, many moments of deeper love, gratitude and joy arose, as I touched into spaces of deeper silence within my own Being. This brought me to one other point of sadness: I will never be able to convey the experience of that Love and Joy with words.




Latest CDs from Jeff Craft

Beginning Meditations: Expanding Peace by Jeff Craft

Buy the CD:
Buy CD from Amazon.com

Buy the Download:
Buy from iTunes Store
Buy from AmazonMP3




Living with Awareness: Tantric Meditations for Expanded Conscious Living by Jeff Craft

Buy the CD:
Buy from Amazon.com

Buy the Download:
Buy from iTunes Store
Buy from AmazonMP3




Expanding Consciousness (A Tantric Meditation to Awaken the Bliss of the Self) by Jeff Craft

Buy the CD:
Buy from Amazon.com

Buy the Download:
Buy from iTunes Store
Buy from AmazonMP3




Follow Me