Rx: Your Weekly Horoscope By Stargazer Bles @stargazer.bles

Please read this first:
Welcome, my friends! It’s good to know your Sun Sign, and that’s very basic, right? Of course you know if you’re a Scorpio or Leo or whatnot. But we are actually going beyond simple Sun Sign astrology and delving into our Moon Sign and Rising Sign/Ascendant as well. So what’s your Astro Triad?
I have my Sun in Aries, Moon in Pisces, Leo Rising. What about you? The reason I ask is that if you know your Sun-Moon-Rising and then read the horoscope below, you may actually get twice or thrice the guidance each week, depending on your Astro Triad. So for instance, therefore, I will read the forecast for Aries, Leo, and Pisces. Of course, nothing’s stopping you from also reading the forecast for your respective loved ones.
You can get your natal chart for free at http://www.astro.com and look up your Astro Triad from there. If you need help figuring it out, I’m here and I’m just a quick FB message away. With all that being said, let’s proceed to the crux of the matter.
For the week of August 7-13, 2017
Astro-event: On August 7th, we will experience the Full Moon in Aquarius and Lunar Eclipse along the Leo-Aquarius axis. Full Moons are a time of culmination of what was intended around 2 weeks ago. Those who own crystals and stones may want to consider charging their rocks under the light of that beautiful Full Moon. Symbolically, a Lunar Eclipse is about endings and new beginnings. One thing’s for sure: when you wake up the following morning after such an eclipse, you won’t be the same person anymore, mostly within your inner world and POV. You’ve heard it said in the metaphysical circles: let go of what no longer serves you. And that’s true. So travel light along the road of life and be prepared for the challenges ahead. Sabi nga nila: Change is coming.
ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19) If you feel stressed by having to be involved with various organizations and groups, then nip your commitments in the bud. Let go of those associations that no longer serve you. Find new allies who are more responsive to your current situation. Weekly mantra: I am worthy of collegial support and encouragement.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20) Career changes may be on your horizon. Build a base of stability and guard your reputation in the community. That’s easy if you apply the golden rule. Weekly mantra: I reap what I have sown.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) You are encouraged to broaden your philosophical horizons at this time. Is it time to hit the books, travel via transportation or simply the mind? Whatever it is, keep on adding to your experiential wisdom. Weekly mantra: My powerful imagination is unlimited.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) This is a time of huge transformations for you. Touching deeply upon your emotions and shared resources, you are asked to reflect upon which way to go now and then to act decisively. Weekly mantra: I keep my emotions in check as I chart my future.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22) This lunar eclipse urges you to let go of romantic relationships and/or business partnerships that no longer serve you. Prepare yourself for a new cycle of shades of light and dark. Weekly mantra: I am comfortable dwelling in the gray areas of life for the time being.
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept 22) Your body may be reacting to all your current stresses, and so it’s acting up to your detriment. What’s bothering you? Entice your analytic mind to make sense of it, and then use that same mind to overcome your troubles. Weekly mantra: The power of my positive mindset restores my health and wellbeing.
LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 22) Romance may hit a snag or two, yet your creative endeavors may actually herald a revival. While you’re occupied with creating and expressing your artistry, your heart expands and soon you can say that you’re ready again. Weekly mantra: I open my heart to joyous experiences that light up my life.
SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21) Like the Tower card in the Tarot, there will be some shaking of the foundations in your life at this time. Yet you are no stranger to death and rebirth scenarios anyway, so it’s safe to say that after the rubble has cleared, you will still be standing – bruised and battered, maybe, but all the better for it. Weekly mantra: I transform like a Phoenix for my highest good.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21) Strengthen your bonds with your siblings and make sure to reach out them, ask them if they need some help and support. Short travels and e-communication fly frantically back and forth. Keep your composure. Weekly mantra: I value my family ties.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19) Finances may be topsy-turvy, prompting you to embark on setting a realistic budget that you can implement. You also find that your values are under review. You just feel that some changes are in order. Weekly mantra: I align my value system and actions to live with integrity.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18) The Full Moon is in your sign. The Lunar Eclipse (where the Earth’s shadow obscures the Moon) affects the way you regard yourself and your outer persona. Perhaps you need more confidence, experience, and connections. Well, if your brilliant personality has done its work, then expect positive changes soon. Weekly mantra: I live my life with selfless integrity.
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20) In the realm of the unknown and spiritual, you are supreme. It’s both your strength and your undoing. Therefore, this eclipse shakes up your inner Divine, and when you emerge, you would have found out that you’re stronger and able to carry out your life purpose. Weekly mantra: I transcend the nebulous to arise into the Definite.
Maraming salamat, Mabuhay, Namaste, and Blessed be!
Stargazer Bles
Rx: My readings are good medicine.
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Blessings and Light Reflections

Blessings and Light Reflections

March 5, 2017

My Ongoing Love Affair with Crystals and Stones

 

This week’s random picks are from the CRYSTAL WISDOM CARDS created by my friend and mentor, Ms. Valencia Chan of Angel Light Books & Gifts in Berkeley, CA. The theme suggested by our crystal picks this week is: “Growth and Transformation lead to Joy.”

 

Photo from L-R: Green Aventurine, Serpentine, and Citrine. They have a nice rhyming ring to them, don’t they?

 

1. Green Aventurine is all about growth, green being the color of nature and the natural progression of the universe. Green is also the color for healing, such that green aventurine is also used to promote peace and calm, prevent certain nervous and cardiac ailments, and encourage compassion. This stone is also said to aid in the increase of wealth and prosperity. If green aventurine could talk, it would tell you, “Do not rest on your laurels, but cultivate your gifts by investing in yourself and sharpening your skills.”

Green Aventurine Affirmation: I am always learning, growing, and improving myself, thus increasing my value to society.

 

2. Serpentine’s key word is transformation. Also known as New Jade, this stone is used at the 4th chakra (heart) to aid in meditation, enhance psychic powers, and direct energy to heal and cleanse the physical body. Much like the snake that sheds its skin upon outgrowing it, serpentine asks, “What needs to be released in your life so that something new can come in?”

Serpentine Affirmation: It is safe to let go. I know that nothing is ever taken away unless something better is coming.

 

3. Citrine possesses the golden color of the sun that brings joy, cheerfulness, and upliftment. Citrine increases creativity and intuition, increases self-esteem and confidence, and balances the emotions. It reminds you to lighten up, be more lighthearted, and have a sense of humor. Citrine asserts: Do not wait for the ‘right’ circumstances in order to be happy. Rather, choose joy right where you are.”

Citrine Affirmation: I always see the good in any situation and choose to be joyful regardless of the circumstance.

 

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Additional notes from “The Healing Properties of Crystals & Stones” by Ashley Leavy

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“NCGR San Francisco: My family by affinity” in this week’s issue of the Manila Mail (Oct. 14-20, 2015; page A5)

Pilipinasblitz Forever
A column by Bles Carmona
For the week of Oct. 14-20, 2015

NCGR San Francisco: My family by affinity

NCGR stands for the National Council for Geocosmic Research, Inc., a non-profit organization promoting astrological education and research founded in 1971 at Wareham, Massachusetts. The name may say “National,” but aside from Chapters located in 26 states, NCGR also has Chapters in four other countries: Japan, Mexico, Thailand, and Turkey. So far there are over 2500 NCGR members both in the USA and abroad. There are also the so-called Special Interest Groups (SIGs) of which there are currently three: Asteroids, Declination, and Uranian/Cosmobiology. In California, NCGR has four chapters: Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, and San Francisco. Ever since December 2012, when I ran for and was voted Recording Secretary of the NCGR San Francisco chapter, I have been a part of its Board of Directors. At this point let me say that of course I have a family by consanguinity, but with my NCGR-SF folksies, definitely it’s my family by affinity.

What moves me to say that? Well, first of all, we are all volunteers, yet I have never seen a more hardworking Board every time we have a speaker coming over. We rent a room at Fort Mason and we have to get the room ready before the guests arrive for the lecture. We need to set up the audio equipment, the refreshments, the chairs and tables, the secondhand books the sales from which fund our scholarship program. We’ve had proven crowd drawers like astrologers Lynn Bell, Christopher Renstrom, and Frank Clifford, for instance. However, no matter who’s speaking, I am personally star-struck all the time since I have read about most of these famous astrologers when I was still a budding astrologer in my teens in the Philippines. Even so, those astrologers don’t need any more publicity. Instead, I am here to give some unsung astrological heroes their due. Who are these people that I’m talking about? NCGR-SF Board members Steve Pincus (President), Joseph (Joe) Kaminski (Vice-President), Aude Guerin (Executive Secretary), Cathy Coleman, PhD (Treasurer & Education Director), Carol Baum (Membership Secretary), and Mary Gow (Media & Graphics Director).

Steve is the owner of Sun Recording Service. He began studying Astrology in 1976 and has maintained an astrological consultation service since 1979. His personal approach to astrology combines contemporary methods with Uranian techniques. He became a certified Astro-Cartographer in 1985 and received his Professional Astrological Certification from the International Society for Astrological Research (ISAR) at the ISAR 2000 Conference. Steve is producer of the Star Dial System, a 90-degree dial designed by Arlene Kramer. Steve is a member of NCGR, ISAR, the Association for Astrological Networking (AFAN) and the San Francisco Astrological Society (SFAS). He is the current President of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of NCGR and also maintains the chapter’s website: ncgrsanfrancisco.org

Steve received simultaneous Bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. He also received a Master’s degree in Mathematics from Pratt. Steve has worked in the aerospace industry as a software engineer from 1968-2012. Born in the Bronx, he moved to California in 1979 and currently resides in Sunnyvale. He has lectured on Uranian Astrology, Cosmobiology, and Astronomy for Astrologers for local astrology organizations and astrological conferences, including the United Astrology Conference (UAC), American Federation of Astrologers (AFA), AFAN, NCGR, ISAR, and the SouthWest Astrology Conference (SWAC). Steve’s love for astrology and drive to preserve the information presented at lectures, workshops and conferences began in the late 1970’s. His recording equipment has evolved over the years from a single Marantz Cassette Recorder to a multi-channel mobile digital studio which clearly records both speaker content and audience interactions.
Joseph F. Kaminski, our chapter’s Veep, is a San Francisco-based astrologer (NCGR Level 3 Certified). Since 1998 he’s been owner of Explorative Communications, a business that focuses on astrological analysis, Reiki healing, writing/editing, and voice production services. Joseph’s studied astrology since the late 1960s when he began intuiting various personality characteristics, sensing key planetary emphasis in some individuals, and observing cycles and patterns affecting him and others. He’s been developing, writing and living by his own philosophy since his teen years. Joseph has been serving as NCGR San Francisco Chapter Vice President for the past 4 years. He’s also a Reiki practitioner, writer, dream journalist and Commissioned Spiritualist Healer. Joe says, “Personal hobbies include the outdoors, camping, backpacking, mountain climbing, scuba diving, geography, travel, gemology, crystals, mysticism, writing, art, and philosophy. Backpacking and mountain climbing bring me close to the magnificence and solitude of nature. Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helen’s and Mt. Shasta include my most memorable mountain climbs. I became a Dive Master during August 1999 and enjoy assisting new divers with becoming more comfortable with the beautiful and colorful marine environment, a dramatic water theater in all directions.”

Now here are the answers to my questions by our scholarly Ms. Cathy Coleman, PhD, our chapter’s Treasurer and Education Director: Q. How did you get started as an astrologer? A. “My younger brother first introduced me to astrology at age 16 or 17. He was a person ahead of his time—knew a little about everything. I gave him a surprise “Scorpio” themed birthday party for his 16th birthday. Then at age 24 in 1976 I moved to Houston, Texas and saw a beginner’s astrology course offered by Jeanne Long, later a famed financial astrologer. I took her beginning course and then an interpretation course. I was hooked by her into a lifelong study of astrology. She was a very organized Capricorn, and made it very easy to learn a lot in each class.” Q. What is your educational/experiential background? A. “I have a doctorate in East-West Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies –and also an M.A. in Family Studies from Washington State U and a B.S. in Home Economics Education from Iowa State (very diverse academic background). I have studied astrology widely. I was one of the first two graduates of the Online School of Astrology; I am a Jim Lewis certified Astro*Carto*Grapher. I was in the first class of the Online School of Vedic Astrology. I have been a practicing astrologer seeing clients since 1983, and have taught classes and lectured on astrology. Of course being president of Kepler College was a big experience in the field in many ways.” Q. What is your current day job? What are your current activities and interests (aside from astrology)? A. “I have recently directed a retreat center, and worked in development and education at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Currently I am searching for new work, amplifying my practice of astrology, and working on building a mediation and coaching practice.”

With Steve, Joe, and Cathy alone, I can already conclude that NCGR San Francisco is in very good hands. But let’s also add Carol, Aude, and Mary into the mix. Carol, our Membership Director, is very much into photography and vocational guidance via astrology for high school students. Aude, our ExecSec who has taken French as a Second Language at the Sorbonne in Paris, is into itinerary planning for French corporate types who happen to be visiting the SF Bay Area. Mary, our Media and Graphics Director, is an award-winning artist who has been exhibiting her paintings for the past 25 years.

All of these, dear readers, are the reasons I want to claim them all as my family by affinity. They’re all brilliant in their own fashion, but when we all come together we work together with humility for the good of the organization. By the end of this year, Steve is stepping down as President after 30 years in the position. However, he will still be supporting us afterwards through his continued recording of NCGR-SF lectures and workshops. Since Steve will not be running for the position anymore, here’s hoping that one or more of you out there, who must be dues-paying members of NCGR, will step up to the plate and nominate yourselves for President. Chapter members will be voting soon.

Astrology is a good part of my evolution as an individual, and that’s why I feel so thankful that I can work on a voluntary basis along with my fellow Board members at the National Council for Geocosmic Research-San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. We all share that same passion for a subject that has fascinated each of us and made mystics out of us, of varying levels of reluctance. I personally believe that the time to be curious and inquiring about metaphysics has come, and as long as NCGR-SF is alive-awake-alert-enthusiastic, then we shall continue bringing you astrological speakers from here or abroad to speak to your respective souls about the topic that occupies a spectrum from an iota to overflowing, but never completely nil, in your hearts: astrology.

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Your Horoscope for the week of March 4-10, 2015 (page B6 of the MANILA MAIL)

YOUR HOROSCOPE BY BLES CARMONA
(blessingsandlight725@gmail.com)

For the week of March 4-10, 2015

ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19) Wrest back whatever control you’ve given to others. Claim your own power, make decisions for yourself, and take action. Weekly mantra: I am in charge.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20) You need to take better care of yourself. All those excesses will just add up, so do yourself a favor and do things in moderation. Weekly mantra: I am careful.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Don’t let your temper get the best of you. You can be the better person in an argument. But why argue in the first place? Weekly mantra: I am peace-loving.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) You’ll have responsibilities to shoulder. You know that when those are done for the day, it’s time to play. Hey, you deserve it. Weekly mantra: I am hardworking.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22) You have to carve out time for your own interests. To do so, you may have to limit interactions with some people. Explain tactfully. Weekly mantra: I am diplomatic.
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept 22) You are a weaver of stories, and you know that sometimes it’s all about the punchline. Harness your skills and wow your audience. Weekly mantra: I am bold.
LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 22) Is your schedule overbooked? Well, you need to feel needed, and busy is better than bored. You can always rearrange and cut back. Weekly mantra: I am organized.
SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21) Temptations abound regarding your money. Don’t fall for empty promises and then spend indiscriminately. Weekly mantra: I am in control.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21) You acknowledge that some young people are wiser than their years. This makes you want to interact with them all the more. Weekly mantra: I am youthful.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19) Your affection for your home is known to your friends. So when you invite them over, they feel very privileged indeed. Weekly mantra: I am home-loving.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18) This is not the time to give up. You are close to achieving your goal with the help of your team and resources. Weekly mantra: I am full of hope.
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20) If you’ve put out love, compassion, and generosity out there, then this is the period when you’ll get all of those back. Keep the good karma circulating! Weekly mantra: I am a love agent.

“TRUTH OR FICTION: WHICH IS WHICH?” in this week’s issue of the MANILA MAIL (Sept. 3-9, 2014)

Pilipinasblitz Forever
A column by Bles Carmona
For the week of Sept. 3-9, 2014

TRUTH OR FICTION: WHICH IS WHICH?

In this issue, let’s have some fun! How about these couple of my creative outputs for a mind game? Which one is the true story and which one is fictional? Will you be able to tell which is which?

Story A

I reconnected with my first love on my last night in Manila.

Last December 2012, I attended our silver year reunion at the Manila Science High School. During the plane ride from San Francisco to Manila, I kept myself psyched by playing British 1980s new wave on my Pandora: Depeche Mode Radio, Aztec Camera Radio, New Order Radio, you get the drift. Those hits were the theme songs of my generation. I was determined to enjoy my first vacation after migrating to the U.S. in late 2004. I was determined to dance to “I Melt with You” or “Dancing with Myself” or “Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)” when the dance floor opens up during our reunion after all the routine welcome speeches and awards.

Many say that I was one of the most popular figures on campus. Thanks to Facebook, batch mates I didn’t even know have been expressing how they admired me. In the school year 1986-87, I was the editor-in-chief of The Nucleus, our school’s English-language newspaper, which was declared the over-all champion among the public high school papers in the country in the National Secondary Schools Press Conference held in Olongapo City, Zambales.

According to my “admirers,” my crowning accomplishment as the president of the Senior Assembly was to hold an afternoon dance party outside of the school premises. This was precisely against the express wishes of the school’s administration. The Christmas dance party “Rebellion Defined” was a huge success among Batch 1987!

Coming back home now to Manila for the reunion, I wonder if I’d see him: the one who promised me a lot but broke my heart in high school. I heard from other batch mates that he is now a consultant surgeon at the Philippine General Hospital. ‘Wow, he’s truly a big shot now,” was what I thought. I wonder: “Is he already married? With children?”

Well, I would find out.

The reunion night in our high school campus was my last night in Manila. I spent Days 1 through 12 reconnecting with my classmates and other friends from the various phases of my life. I was all partied out and determined to simply drink my margarita in one corner and watch all the frenetic, joyful dancing my batch mates are doing to 80s music.

Oh, those songs do bring back memories!

I felt a somewhat familiar tap on my shoulder when the DJ put on Blue Zoo’s slow tune, “Love Moves in Strange Ways.” I remember that during a group date way back in high school and I was dancing by myself to a Madonna song, he also tapped my shoulder that way and quietly asked for a dance. Déjà vu. Oh God, I thought, it’s happening all over again.

No words, just eyes, just touch.

After the song ended, we walked back to where I was sitting. “How are you, Dr. Lazaro?” I asked. “Please, Bles, I’m still good ol’ Alex.” “OK, Alex, it’s been a while, 25 years. What’s up with you?” “My life is boring. Let’s talk about your life in the States,” he countered. “Well, my life is boring, too,” I replied.

An impasse.

We sat there nursing our drinks. The tinkle of ice, the moisture on the glass. He cleared his throat. “Bles, you know it has always been you, right?” “Nuh-uh,” I replied while shaking my head. “You went to med school, plus 5 more years of residency and all that. Your family can afford it. I took the shortest way out of college because I have to send my siblings to school.” “Is there someone in the picture now?” he asked. “Alex, I simply have no time to spare for those things.” With suddenly vehement eyes, he asked, “Would you spare the time for me now?” I was speechless. I didn’t know what to say.

Then he said, “Please!”

That’s it. I refuse to mar the moment with doubts. Be in the moment, be in the moment, I was exhorting myself. When he reached out for my hand, I had no qualms.
I gently ensconced my hand in his.
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Story B

I won $20,000 in an international poetry contest held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I remember how I created that poem months earlier. Maybe the poem was already fully formed within my mind and I just needed to write it out on paper, and my 10-minute break was all it took. Cross out something here, replace this word with that… all of that came later, but the initial genesis took only 1/6 to ¼ of an hour. I created a villanelle.

Now my youngest sister and her boyfriend drove me from Hayward, CA where we all live, to the contest venue, Riviera Hotel. The poetry convention was four days long and they could not stay, so it was my father who was on pickup detail. Since it was July and the weather was stratospherically hot, my Dad simply wore a simple polo shirt and above-knee length shorts for the final program. All he knew was that he was supposed to bring me back home after the convention-slash-competition.

My Dad and I sat beside each other in the audience of 3,000 participants during the culminating program of the day: the final hour when they announce the winners of the international poetry contest. I remember praying hard, “God, let me at least be in the top ten.”

And so I was.

The 10 of us, in no particular order, were asked one at a time to read our poem to the audience. Before I read my villanelle, I told the crowd, “I come from Hayward, CA but am originally from the Philippines.” The Filipino-Americans in the crowd roared: “That’s our girl, a Filipina!” I got back to my seat next to my Dad. Whew! That was Round 1.

Dr. Len Roberts, the International Library of Poetry President, jolted us with: “And here are the Top 3!” Then he pointed out the criteria for judging the entries. I couldn’t really comprehend what’s happening but my father nudged me. “Your name is being called again!” So I read my poem again, but not before I declared, “Dad, I thank you today for your presence and support!”

Finally, I heard my name again, “Blesilda Carmona.” It was the last name called. I jumped up as I shouted in disbelief, “I won first place!”

I took by storm roughly 2,999 other participants from all over the world with my “Villanelle of a Retired Overseas Filipino Worker.” “Dad, join me onstage! Please. Please.” Cameras clicked and flashbulbs went off. Dad replied quite self-consciously, “But I’m wearing shorts! I’m just supposed to take you back home.” “That’s for later, Dad. Please be here with me on stage. Let’s enjoy this moment of triumph!”

And so we did.

In the 8-hour trip from Las Vegas back to Hayward, my father and I had one of the profoundest conversations we ever had, talking about the poetry of James Taylor, Jim Croce, Simon and Garfunkel, and the Beatles. My father has always been artistic: he can sing and play the guitar beautifully. He also composes poems which he turns into songs. I am truly my father’s daughter,” I affirmed to myself. I don’t pretend to fully understand my Dad, but during that long drive, I got a precious glimpse into his soul.

This, I believe, is more valuable than my $20,000 first place win.
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Would you like to share your thoughts on Stories A and B? Which do you think is truth and which is fiction? Please weigh in by emailing me: pilipinasblitz@gmail.com. I may publish portions of the more interesting comments I will get. Abyssinia next week!