Friday, September 26, 2014

Ember Days and the Fall Equinox

The Fall Equinox was earlier this week -- Tuesday, to be exact. I guess that means we can now officially say summer is over. Although summer is easily my least favorite season of the entire year, I've been doing my best not to say I hate it anymore. I'm working on being more appreciative of everything God made and put in motion. That includes times of year I've never been so keen on. I have to admit that summer does have a beauty all its own and I did enjoy my summer this year. Don't get me wrong though. I'm still really glad it's fall now. 

I don't know that I ever mentioned it here, but at the end of last year, I wound up deciding that a liturgical calendar would be really helpful, so I bought one and it hangs on the wall next to our bed. I was really interested in continuing to incorporate the liturgical seasons and feast days into our celebrations throughout the year and it has been really helpful, especially since its clued me into the existence of events I never would have known about otherwise. Over the past nine months or so, I've really fallen into the calendar's rhythm. We've been paying attention to not only the seasons, but also recommended days for fasting, abstinence (from meat), and prayer. For instance, Fridays are now days when we eat only fish or vegetarian options.

Right now, Seth and I are celebrating our first set of Ember Days. Ember Days are four separate sets of days sprinkled equidistantly throughout the year. Traditionally, they are days set aside for focus on prayer and fasting. Abstinence is also suggested for those that celebrate and we are doing all of the above. Today is September's Ember Friday and I have a delicious salmon dinner planned for us. 

I have to say that I kind of love that Ember Days appear to occur on or near the equinoxes and solstices, the natural separation points between the seasons that I've consistently acknowledged in my own way for years. Because of this placement, they feel very whole to me -- enriching ways to take something that was already important to me and bring God back into it where He belongs. Prayer and private meditation have become enjoyable and much anticipated parts of all celebrations for me at this point. I'm thrilled that I now have yet another way to acknowledge the turning of the Wheel of the Year with prayer.

It's always felt right and natural to me that we as humans tune into and acknowledge the energies and movements of the earth and the stars. It's why generalized paganism had such a strong draw for me and made so much sense for such a long time. It's also why I take astrology so much more seriously than so many modern people do. I really do believe God put all that there for our use and benefit. God made the heavens and the earth, so therefore anything those systems can tell you is also of God. 

It's no secret that many Christians don't feel these concepts go together... but someone like me wonders how they can possibly not see that go together perfectly. My spiritual instincts have always been super strong and it's hard to describe the "rightness" I'm feeling about my spiritual life right now. Suffice it to say that it's been incredibly enriching and something of a relief as well -- like recovering something precious that you lost a long time ago.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What Are the Ideal Matches for Each Zodiac Sign?

People that happen to be aware of the fact that I'm into astrology always get around to asking me sooner or later about relationships. However, as is the case with a lot of inquiries about astrology, I find that most people don't really want to hear the truth of any given situation. 

They usually want me to tell them that a difficult relationship they're in or a connection with someone unavailable is somehow written in the stars and guaranteed to turn out the way they want it to. They don't actually want to hear the astrological explanations for why things are the way they are, let alone hear actual confirmation that their match is difficult for a lot of very good reasons.

Even so, I'd like to believe that there are people out there like me. People that really do see astrology as more of a tool to help them make sense of the world, as well as of people and situations. That said, I figured a brief overview of my theory as to which signs make the best matches was in order at long last.

Opposites Do Attract... In a Sense

Some people -- usually single people -- just want to know what the best natural match would be for them and astrologers differ as far as what they think in that regard. Some of those astrologers think that couples are best when the two parties involved are exactly the same and they recommend seeking out others born under signs that are the same element as yours. Others seem to think relationships are more interesting when both people are totally different. 

I'm in the middle myself. I tend to agree with those that say your best astrological match is going to be the sign opposite yours on the zodiac wheel. On the one hand, opposite signs are... well... opposites. However, they are opposites in the most complimentary way. When two people with opposite signs get together, they really do have the potential to complete one another in a sense. 

Each sign will have qualities that the other lacks. This allows the two partners to make up for one another, help one another, and encourage each other to grow into more complete individuals over time. Complimenting one another in this way also brings with it a natural understanding between the two parties despite their differences. The result is a relationship that is more likely to come easily and naturally to both people, as well as be fulfilling over time. Of course, relationships aren't all about things being easy or natural all the time, but no one can argue with the fact that when they are, life's less of a struggle.

The complimentary pairs of the zodiac are as follows:
  • Aries - Libra (fire-air/cardinal)
  • Taurus - Scorpio (earth-water/fixed)
  • Gemini - Sagittarius (air-fire/mutable)
  • Cancer - Capricorn (water-earth/cardinal)
  • Leo - Aquarius (fire-air/fixed)
  • Virgo - Pisces (earth-water/mutable)
As you can see, each of these pairings involves different but complimentary element pairings (either earth with water or fire with air). However the energies involved are the same (each pairing sees both parties exhibiting cardinal, mutable, or fixed energies). They are opposites in some way, but incredibly similar in others. This results in balance, which in my opinion is the building block of any really great relationship.

And What About Other Pairings

While I am of the mind that the above are the most ideal pairings possible, many people also have excellent luck with other signs from the complimentary element group. For instance, Gemini can also pair really well with Leo or Aries if they don't have a Sagittarius on the hook. You can also stick to your same element (or even date someone of the same sign you are) if you're seriously looking to be with someone that is more like you than different, although there is such a thing as being too much alike. I really do believe that relationships need contrast in order to reach their absolute full potential. Not conflict, but contrast.

At the end of the day, there really isn't any such thing as an astrological pairing that is doomed to fail or anything. Especially considering that people are so much more than just their sun signs. The tendencies and quirks exhibited by anyone born under any sign will vary according to what else is present in their chart, as well as many other personal factors. As we all know, there are people out there that are so selfish and emotionally unavailable that just about any relationship there in would be doomed to fail. Success or failure is about a lot of things.

Also, I'm hardly saying that if your partner whom you love dearly isn't your ideal match that you aren't meant to be together or that you should just give up if you have problems down the road. What I am saying is that some pairings are going to require a lot more effort and compromise than others. If you're single and looking for the most beneficial, most natural matches for you, then consider dating someone born under the sign that compliments yours best.