Professional soccer, hard knocks thru an astrological lens

This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore.  Reproduction without permission is prohibited.

This post is about professional soccer and the possible reflected angst on the field, shown in the astrological heavens.  I watched this game on February 6th, meaning these words are all applicable to that time period.

I played soccer for 18 years and then, when injuries continued to set me back, I stopped playing and coached for several more.  Therefore, I am drawn to watch quality soccer and in particular, the English Premier League.  My favorite teams are Liverpool and Everton (due to certain English and American players whom I tend to favor).  Recently, both of these teams played each other, and in watching the highlights, I was shocked at how rough the game was – much more so than a “normal” heated rivalry game.  The referee ejected two players outright and yellow-carded (warned) several others, which is rare indeed.  [When a player is ejected, that leaves 10 or less on the field meaning the players quickly become exhausted.]

Don’t get me wrong.  When you have devoted umpteen years (thousands of hours) to something, you begin to understand and relish the subtleties of that subject.  Even in the case of sports.  Some people who know me as more of a philosopher / spiritual practitioner may wonder about this aspect – but I am just being honest about me (the question I have heard more than once is – how does intellectual debate and over-paid athletics fit together in the same context?).  Well, my answer is such: When I watch a quality soccer match (like the upcoming World Cup will hopefully bring us), I see art in motion – the ball gracefully and eloquently dances around the field, often times only being touched once by each player, and yet it goes exactly where they intended it to.  Once you know the intricacies of the game, the strategy and the nuance start to open up, and you watch as these elite athletes do the impossible with the ball.  I believe there is a reason that soccer is the world’s sport – to get to be that good at something without using one’s hands, arms or shoulders truly requires consistent, diligent effort – and not to mention substantial reorganization of the brain’s synapses (we are “programmed” from birth to have faster development, easier dexterity and fine coordination in the hands, fingers and arms compared to the legs and feet).

Well guess what?  The above game reminded me that the astrological players (planets) are going through a shoving match of their own, but at present they are being more intense than usual.  The harsh tackles of the game made more sense in my mind, after observing “the stars” and their aspects.  Sure, some people would agree that these are overpaid, hot-headed athletes, and for them to let the heat of the moment get to them might make sense.  However, restraint and self-control are actually the norm.  So what is going on that might lead players to “attack” each other so harshly?

I want to state for the record that the planets do not actually “do” anything or directly cause any events to occur (obviously), rather they are a reflection of our ego states.  You could say that the planets represent and reflect parts of our collective and individual psyche.  So when the planets line up in heated aspects, that means internal psychological parts of us may be doing the same – internal conflicts being made transparent through the solar system.  For instance, there are constantly parts of our internal structures expanding, contracting, seeking pleasure, seeking stability, craving independence, etc – I believe the astrological planets represent these different flavors.

I would have to say that Saturn, Pluto and Uranus are involved, then throw in Mars being retrograde and the transiting Sun / Venus being conjunct transiting Neptune, and you have yourself a recipe for multiple impassioned, deluded, machismo-filled players.  I will run through these quickly, as I have touched on some of these aspects in previous posts (see the Spiritual Astrology category).

In the extremely fast pace of professional sports and in particular sports like soccer where there can easily be contact and tackles, grace and instantaneous reaction times and instincts are necessary to protect the body.  Split second decision making is the norm and the ability to cause harm to other players is always present, even inadvertently – it is the athlete’s restraint and instincts that normally protect them and each other.  And astrologically speaking, I believe that certain planets represent different parts of the body / mind system, in addition to their psychological ramifications.  And I wonder if response times would change if different parts of the psyche heat up as it were.  I certainly believe that decision making is affected, as was evident on the field that day.

So, I would say that the over-arching culprits were Saturn and Pluto.  These transiting giants have been making a Square aspect for several weeks now, which is finally starting to resolve.  Then Saturn will move into orb with Uranus, making an Opposition aspect as it completes its retrograde cycle.  Due to their orbit times, Saturn and Uranus will not be making a hard aspect for another 10 plus years.  Saturn is the cold, distant, stern, disciplinarian planet – the perfectionist and the efficient task-master (these are the traits in us that it reflects).  While Pluto is a dark, calculating, secret, stewing planet of transformation – imagine a hidden, subterranean pressure-cooker.  Both of these planets, in contemporary evolutionary astrology are indicators of the ripening of challenging Karma.  So, when they collide, it is generally a good idea to practice restraint, patience and self control – not to mention having your spiritual practice in order ahead of time (we never know what our karma has in store for us, but if we practice sincerely, I believe we might be able to lighten the burden as it were, if appropriate).

I am not intending to make a fatalistic prediction here – it is only when the Square aspect these giants are making falls directly on planets in our Natal Charts that the causes and conditions arise for challenging karma to manifest.  That is why life continues to go on for the rest of us.  To put this in understandable language,  Saturn is in early Libra at present, squaring transiting Pluto which is in early Capricorn.  They are both in Cardinal signs, which means there is a 90 degree, or Square aspect formed between them.  On an individual basis, if we have numerous planets, or if one of our significant personal planets is in the early degrees of Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn), then we should take some precautions during this time.  What I mean by major personal planets are the Sun, Moon or Mars (and / or the ruler of the chart, Sun or Moon).

Also, if you have a major planet in the late degrees of Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and especially Pisces), then Uranus (at present) and Saturn (coming in late March / April) will be making hard aspects to those.  Luckily these hard aspects fall in the more flexible Mutable signs, but I still might recommend some extra time for relaxing as these are two of the more potent transiting planets (Saturn, Uranus and Pluto are known for manifesting challenging karma – in terms of physical manifestations.  Neptune is also a karmic indicator, but it exclusively affects the mental / psycho-spiritual / creative realms).

I will touch on the precautions that I mention later, for now, I want to continue with the above recipe that I mentioned: Mars is also retrograde, plus transiting Venus and the Sun were conjunct transiting Neptune.  Whenever Mars goes retrograde, it is recommended to be a little less active physically and become more active with planning / reflection / introspection.  Actually I would add that more time is needed to stretch and warm up – we can still be as active but we must prepare our body more as Mars rules the musculature and connective tissue in the body.  Basically, if you have the capacity and the resources, when Mars goes retrograde (about once / 2.5 years) it is recommended to go into meditative retreat or at least to increase the time spent reflecting.  Mars rules the musculature, the blood (iron), athletes (it is the god of war), the head, plus the fine line between healthy competition and heated, aggressive conflict.  In general, when Mars goes retrograde, you can notice more injuries happening in professional sports – especially the sports where there is heavy contact (American football, soccer, hockey, rugby, etc).  More stretching and warm-up time is needed during its retrograde cycle.

Finally, the Sun and Venus were transiting and in conjunction with transiting Neptune, enhancing and amplifying the delusional and imaginative side of the mind for a week or so.  If we have a major planet in the late stages of the Fixed signs – Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius, then this combination could reflect our head being in the clouds for whatever reason.  I also believe that this combination might slow the reaction times in the body – Venus and Neptune are all about the subtleties of life – slowing down and enjoying the nuances of art, food, beauty, nature, etc.  The classical Taurus (ruled by Venus) and the typical Piscean are not quick to react or exceptionally dexterous, rather they are more clumsy and into the refined side of life.  So back to my theory: having the Big Three Karmic Giants active, plus Mars retrograde, in addition to Neptune’s influence, I think we saw numerous athletes lose their heads and their tempers and unfortunately it led to an ugly game.  Luckily no one was seriously injured.

In general, a good prescription for the above “ailments” is more rest and down time, and more importantly, know yourself.  If we know the red flags which make us reactive and hot under the collar, this is a great first line of defense.  We should probably stay away from situations where we might make costly errors in judgment during these times (like go to an upscale bar as opposed to the rowdy, competitive sports bar until the transits pass).  If we play sports, take the requisite time to stretch and if you feel your temper starting to flare, quickly demand a substitute.  Take some deep breaths – give the hot energy a healthy outlet.  I know a little about this, because in my personal soccer career, during Mars retrograde and transiting Pluto Conjunct my Sun Ruler (Neptune) and Square my Natal Sun, I sustained three injuries within several weeks of each other and quit playing as a result.  Luckily, through coaching, I can stay passionate and enthusiastic, yet stay safely on the sidelines.

Thanks for reading!  Have a great week.


Wanderers and Magicians

This material is copyrighted by Kirby Moore.  Reproduction without permission is prohibited.  To support my business and blogging efforts, please visit my website. More recently, I have begun teaching Astrology classes on Trauma-Informed Astrology, see for more! Thank you for visiting!

As readers may have noticed, I have been working excessively at the local ski resort for the past few weeks, and as a result, I needed a breather.  Thankfully I received one this past weekend, as the Tibetan Meditation Center in Frederick Maryland had to postpone their Losar celebrations for a week, as they were dealing with 3 to 4 feet of snow.  Saturday was a Manjushri teaching and blessing ceremony (an empowerment) and then on Sunday we had a Lama Chopa practice, a Tsok feast and then outside for a Losar smoke offering.

Amidst enormous piles of snow, I spent the weekend with Khenpo and friends at the TMC.  They were hit by two blizzards in the course of five days, leaving them with more than three feet of snow to deal with.  Khenpo and Michael (the manager) had just shoveled the roof, and I chipped in with shoveling the deck.  Even after a couple weeks of melting, there was much work to be done.

“A true hero is one who conquers their internal afflicted emotions, not one who conquers outer enemies.”  ~paraphrase of Shantideva’s quote from the Bodhicaryavatara

Khenpo Tsultrim Tenzin led the ceremonies, as he was the only lama on the mountain (for the weekend).  Saturday, we had about 15 people show up for the Manjushri blessing and teachings.  This was precious, as I had not received teachings on Manjushri from a Kagyu lama.  Khenpo led us through the blessing ceremony, in a thorough fashion, with plenty of inspiring explanation.  Then in the afternoon he taught on the actual practice of Manjushri; I had been fending off a cold, so I needed a nap.  I turned up the speakers in the main house however, so I dreamed off and on about receiving Dharma teachings.  I am hoping we can still receive the teachings at some level when we sleep near the shrine room…  Is that a stretch?

Saturday night, Khenpo was kind enough to let me watch the Olympics in his room, as he both watched and sent emails.  I enjoyed and am grateful for a deeper connection with him as we discussed several topics, both superficial and more in depth.

Then on Sunday, despite a very limited parking arrangement (there was a path wide enough for two cars to park in, about ten deep), we had about 75 people show up.  It was kind of comical – every five minutes or so, someone would check in asking – “who is the owner of a brown / black <blank>?  We need you to move your vehicle as you are blocking the way in / out.” This happened at least five times.

Lama Chopa, according to my limited understanding, is a practice where we make offerings to the entire Drikung Kagyu lineage, especially to Lord Jigten Sumgon, the founder of the lineage and to the lineage holders up thru the present.  Then we ask for and receive their blessings, and if we are offering a Tsok feast, we get to partake of the blessed food during the ceremony.  There were about 15 college students there, some from Georgetown University and others from Gettysburg College – some of them had many questions and were reluctant to participate, however, Ngedun – the resident Frederick Md. Drikung Kagyu Western monk – was able to pacify most of their worries.  I’m glad he offered to distribute some Tsok food and give limited teachings as he was doing so.

Then we went outside for the smoke offering.  This is known as a Sang offering in Tibetan.  Someone had done a lot (!) of work shoveling snow from around the kiln, enough for us to have about 30 people join the smoke offering ceremony circle.  The only two monastics were Khenpo and Ngedun, so I stood between them as they needed someone to hold the text.  Khenpo played the cymbals and Ngedun played the huge drum.  Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of this actual ceremony, as I was busily flipping pages and inhaling the blessings of the smoke…  ugh.  However I am very glad I did so.  Actually there was a woman present with multiple cameras from the Washington Post – she said they were changing their “On Faith” section and she was doing a project on Buddhism.  So I might have my picture in the Post (small chance).

People continued to arrive throughout the day, and a couple of families arrived in the afternoon after all the ceremonies were complete.  I was in charge of driving Khenpo back to Charlottesville as he was joining us for a mid-week teaching and then he is heading down to Va. Beach to bless their new shrine room and give teachings.

On the road, Khenpo asked me how school was coming along.  Was I finished yet?  Uhhh…  Well I had to answer him and we got into an inspiring conversation.  I told him that “I still did not know what I want to do when I grow up.”  Considering I am turning 31 next month, this is a bit of a sensitive topic for me.  I guess I have shame arising as a result of being in school off and on for 12 years – and still not having graduated.  He asked further into what was holding me back and I told him.  Then he mentioned something quite valuable – he said, that for me to be this close to finishing school (I just need one more semester of classes), despite my not knowing what I want to do, is like someone planning an extravagant vacation, booking the tickets and going to the beautiful new country.  But then, once they arrive, they go to their hotel and just stay in the hotel the whole time.  They do not see the beautiful sights around them and then they just head back home – so what was the point of their vacation?  They wasted all that time and money for what?  Yes, I get it – I just have to finish school and allow life to unfold as I do so.

May all sentient beings cultivate a connection with compassionate wisdom beings.

Buddhist view of the Astrological 12th house – Part II

This material is copyrighted by Kirby Moore.  Reproduction without permission is prohibited.  To support my business and blogging efforts, please visit my website. More recently, I have begun teaching Astrology classes on Trauma-Informed Astrology, see for more! Thank you for visiting!

I would recommend reading Part I first, as this post is an extension of the former post – “Buddhist view of the astrological 12th house.”  Also, I added a section at the end explaining how all this 12th house shadow material can be worked through, giving us more creativity, intuition and joy – it is not all trouble with the 12th! 🙂

When we break out of the conditioned habitual tendencies of thinking of ourselves first; when we start to serve others sincerely – just for the sake of benefiting them (not out of fame, gain or praise or any other distortions), then we start to purify our negative karma and therefore purify our bad habits.  It is possible – but it takes time.  We should not start out on the spiritual path thinking we will become completely and perfectly happy in one year, or even five years, because that is absolutely unrealistic.  Think about it – we have spent millions and millions of lives – countless years perpetuating many challenging habits – to try to break a deeply ingrained chain like that, in a short period of time, is almost impossible.  Therefore have patience, be kind to yourself along the way – take some breaks to integrate, make mistakes make repair but keep practicing, keep analyzing, keep being gentle to your self and others.

Then we start to unravel the 12th house.  We don’t have to be Buddhist – when we have been sincerely practicing Bodhicitta for many years, or even for many lifetimes, then we can start to move toward unsurpassed, perfect, complete, precious enlightenment – to gain an understanding of the ultimate nature of reality.  But until that time, we are caught in these cycles of dissatisfaction.  One of my heart teachers, Julie Henderson, the creator of Zapchen Somatics constantly reminds me, when I use the word, “addiction,” that this word is not kind – it has a rather negative connotation.  Rather, I have habits which perpetuate my suffering and dissatisfaction – I have taken refuge in behavior that will not lead to enlightenment – therefore I should call these habits an “insufficient refuge” or “temporary compensations.”  I whole-heartedly agree but I have to catch myself – I have a habit of being hard on myself and reverting back to calling them “addictions.”

[Revised 2021: I mention the above advice from Julie Henderson with some distance from it. I say that because I have now worked with numerous people in the recovery population – whether over-eaters, narcotics, alcohol, etc. And for them, there is a problem, there is a sickness, and they need to be honest about it to begin to repair it. Therefore, if it benefits you to call it an addiction, then by all means please do that! Once we can put some distance between my self and my thoughts, my witnessing consciousness and my compulsions, this witness part of me and my emotions, etc, then we can more easily say these are habits are merely insufficient sources of refuge and temporary compensations. But in the meantime, we need medicine for our sickness. So we should get that in any appropriate way we are able to!]

[Update Nov. 2017: the more I learn about the autonomic nervous system, the more addictive behavior makes sense. For instance, when a situation is too overwhelming, we slip out of possible social nervous system down into sympathetic areas – and we revert to fight flight or freeze (wary freeze is different from below). Then if that situation remains too overwhelming and does not change for the better, we can slip even further down the nervous system tree into parasympathetic freeze or shock. When this occurs, we often compensate by dissociating, disembodying or checking out / numbness. And here is the important part: the body starts to produce endorphins as a last defense against dying. Endorphins make the mind feel some bliss. It is as if, “well I’m about to be eaten by a lion, might as well bliss out ahead of time!” But today, in this modern world, this evolutionary defense is a detriment. Because for those of us who have felt that parasympathetic shock and accompanying endorphins, we unconsciously yearn to get back to that state. If we move toward health a little, but then have some of our overwhelm history get triggered or activated, then we will be tempted to do some behavior (or substance) which gets us back to dissociative numbness with the accompanying endorphins. This might explain a little about addictive behavior.]

It is these habits or conditioned patterns which work against us, and show up through the 12th house.  When we are reactive and self-oriented, the 12th house might show some afflictions (challenging aspects to planets within it).  But our frequency and our understanding determines how these afflictions manifest – I have seen clients with Saturn and Pluto in their 12th house be completely happy and content through serving others.  Sure they did not have a lot of spare time for themselves, their lifestyles may not be for everyone, but they themselves were very content.  Who can honestly say that about most areas of their life?  “Yeah, overall I’m quite happy.”  Overall are you content?  Maybe some of us.  I’m not sure about my answer.

I have also seen people with loaded 12th houses be very self-oriented, in afflicted ways.  Petty theft, lying, personality disorders, the ability (and possibly the enjoyment) of pushing other people’s buttons, etc have all been reflected in 12th house issues – say the Moon in the 12th squaring Neptune (they might use those psychic, intuitive abilities in a distorted, manipulative manner like a psychopath might).  Or as in the case of one of my high school friends – he had his Sagittarian Sun, Venus and Mercury in the 12th, with a challenging aspect to them, and he was extremely oriented toward self gain – it was almost as if he saw the world as an enormous personal challenge and he had to outwit and conquer it.  Ugh!  [From my personal experience of having worked with people who have birth trauma to work through, this could have been the case here.]  Just relax, work to improve your lifestyle and ethical behavior, accept your karma and start leading a virtuous lifestyle – things will change eventually.  Cause and effect is a universal law.  If we put the conditions in place for positive outcomes, they will come.

For me personally, at present, Mars is retrograde and transiting my 12th house.  This is in addition to Uranus transiting my Natal Sun which is in Pisces which is associated with the 12th house.  Recently, I have been very tempted – I want to fall back on old habits which I know in my heart will lead to perpetuating the conditions for further suffering, but the pleasure and the comfort of these patterns is so tempting – I desperately want to revert to my old behavior.  But luckily my practice is such that I am now able to say, “this is my mind moving through space.  This too shall pass.”  I observe my process and I am able to breathe through most of these retrograde thoughts.  And, most importantly, I have surrounded myself with wise spiritual friends who gently point out what I am experiencing, what they notice and remind me of the vows I have taken.  And I have a long way to go.

The 12th house shows us our flaws and defects.  When major planets transit the 12th house, we can be tempted and we will probably fall back on sources of insufficient refuge and temporary compensations (substance abuse, deception and/or indulging in eating lots of comfort foods are easy examples).  We might revert back to some behavior which we thought we gave up years ago.  We might “retrograde” along our path for a few weeks or months.  Especially if we tend to self-isolate.  Without spiritual friends and a loving, supportive community, people who tell us the truth – with wisdom and true compassion – no matter how it might make us feel – we can easily step off our path.

In conclusion, I would not recommend having fear toward the 12th house.  Rather, slowly build up wise habits and constantly aspire to develop good qualities.  Realize that it is okay to take some steps backwards – but build in resources (teachers, spiritual friends, tools for quality self care, daily meditation practice which leads towards a heart filled with Bodhicitta, etc) which will prevent you from backtracking for too long.  Be kind to yourself – we are human and we make mistakes – how else do we learn?  And we can still love ourselves.  Bring failure and success onto the path.  Be aware of a desire to constantly “get it right.”  This is unrealistic and an impossible goal to achieve.  Through diligent practice and analysis, we can gain an understanding of the world around us, as well as an understanding of our inner machinations.  Work to leave the world a better place than how you found it, practice patience and acceptance – of yourself and others.  Then, I feel, we are on a path toward lasting happiness and on our way out of 12th house challenges.

As Garchen Rinpoche says, and I paraphrase, “benefiting self leads to suffering, benefiting others leads to happiness.  With compassion toward others, we can melt the ice of self-grasping from our hearts.”

Update Nov 2017: Wow – I really give the 12th house a bad name don’t I? There are some great boons to having planets in the 12th as well. Especially if we work through some of the unconscious material that it is indicating. For instance, people with planets in the 12th can be extremely accurate judges of character. Their gut feeling about someone is usually right on. Sometimes, if we have Neptune in the 12th, or Moon making a major aspect to Neptune from the 12th, we might be able to see auras or we might have precognitive dreams – seeing bits and pieces about the future. A lot of psychic energy is stored in the 12th house. When we liberate the shadow material – honor our history, resolve old misunderstandings and trauma, bring our little wounded parts along with us on our healing journey, then that psychic energy which was going toward our shadow stuff becomes liberated and we have more psychic capacity, more creativity and more joy as a result! Wow!

Thanks for reading!

Kirby Moore

konchog chakchen

A Buddhist view of the Astrological 12th House

This material is copyrighted by Kirby Moore.  Reproduction without permission is prohibited.  To support my business and blogging efforts, please visit my website. More recently, I have begun teaching Astrology classes on Trauma-Informed Astrology, see for more! Thank you for visiting!

November 2017 Update: Some (maybe most) of my thoughts on this topic have shifted as I work with Pre- and Perinatal Psychology (PPN) and birth process work. Seeing how working with preverbal material is so unconscious until we have an extremely safe, slow, gentle, compassionate, appropriate, held container, I would definitely equate 12th house energy with the birth process – literally and figuratively. I am going to write a new blog post about it shortly. Nov 2017. I wrote this present post 8 years ago, before I met my PPN teachers. You should read my new upcoming post to clarify how we can liberate our shadow energy which initially shows up in the 12th house. We are not stuck, the 12th house is not always a guaranteed fatalistic doom and gloom zone. It is interesting seeing my progression through learning and healing wisdom.

According to traditional astrologers, there is a feeling of gloom and doom about the 12th house, no matter how you package it.  However, I would argue that this is only partially accurate, and with a dedicated spiritual practice, this dim forecast may be quite transcend-able.  It truly depends on a person’s frequency and how willing / flexible they are to work with their shadow material. In ancient, Hellenistic astrology, the 12th house was known as the “Evil Daemon” and planets tenanting it received significant debilitation.  Only the cold, dry, stern, efficient disciplinarian of Saturn “enjoyed” being in that house.  This shows that there has been a stigma associated with the 12th house for thousands of years.

The 12th house is associated with Neptune and Pisces, and as such, it has had such billing as the house of imprisonment – being imprisoned by our addictive or escapist tendencies, imprisoned by our worries and fears (usually irrational), working against ourselves, being stuck in confusing, deluded patterns, etc.  It can be a house of deceptive energy, deceiving ourselves as well as others.  However, it has some positive traits, or “ways out” of its confining boundaries.  Planets in the 12th house can add heightened sensitivity to the native – physical, emotional, psychic, etc: it can certainly add increased intuition and dream guidance.  And it generally rings true that service is a good remedy to challenging configurations within the 12th – service to the community, or working within institutions such as hospitals, prisons, schools, mental institutions, etc.  The 12th house also tends to increase our powers of imagination and creativity.  And ultimately, the 12th house is where we discover the true source of power – humble conduct and wise universal understanding and compassion for all beings.

[Revision 5/1/21 – As I revise and review all these older posts, I am thinking about my good friend who took his life back in 2015. And the reason is, not just because an unexpected suicide can be complex grief requiring years to heal, that he had three planets in his 12th house. I would need to go back and look at the aspects those planets are making, and really get into the subtleties and nuance of the chart. For instance, I remember him having the Sun and Saturn there, and one other planet. Was something squaring that Sun or Saturn? How close to the Ascendant was Saturn?

He also had what many of his friends would say is undiagnosed schizophrenia. He was channelling his guides, he was extremely intuitive and I loved our philosophical conversations which were enhanced by his psychic abilities. But toward the end, apparently his “guides” started telling him that it would be better to end his life here, and that he would be reborn in a higher state. And from a Buddhist perspective, this is an affliction and certainly not healthy.

Therefore, I am now thinking (in 2021), that the 12th house is very delicate terrain. Yes, there may be ways to working with this activation, these deep currents of escapism and imprisonment. But sometimes being on medication might be the best thing for us. So working with people we trust, doctors we trust, getting second opinions, etc might be a good way of supplementing our 12th house journey.]

I would argue however, that without being born with incredible positive karma, and without having some form of diligent service or if we do not maintain some form of daily  / weekly spiritual practice, the 12th house’s deep, dark secrets and reserves of confusing energy can certainly be a cause for concern.  Personally, I see the 12th house as being that which is most hidden – you could say it is the Akashic Records – the “Divine book” that stores all of our thoughts, words and deeds throughout all of our lives.  It is the deep wells of karmic unconscious energy, waiting for the causes and conditions to come about to manifest.

In Buddhism, one of the predominant theories is that we take a human incarnation in a world that is fraught with confusion and ignorance.  This confusion leads us to become attached to pleasure and averse to painful or challenging experiences (and people).  That is how we develop close friends and loved ones as well as hatred toward enemies.  As we go through life with this underlying confusion, we are never fully satisfied – in fact we generally want what we don’t have and once we acquire the object of our desire, we become dissatisfied with it.  So ignorance is the root cause of this suffering or dissatisfaction, and the attachment and aversion that arise from ignorance also create suffering and further dissatisfaction.

Our mind becomes separated from the knowledge and realization that we are completely interdependent with the rest of the world – if someone else suffers, we also suffer (whether immediately or down the road).  If someone (close to us) is happy, then we generally benefit (again – it might be an immediate gratification or a trickle down effect).  It is this fundamental confusion – that we are completely independent, separate entities that gives rise to conduct which maintains these cycles of dissatisfaction and suffering.  For instance, we continually grasp at the concept of an independent self, and we cycle through the patterns of defending this “self,” over and over again.  If we fully understand that we are intertwined with everyone else on the planet and we orient toward true compassion for others, then we can be content with the way things are.  We can think on a larger scale – aspiring and acting for others’ benefit will actually increase our well-being – whether in a “I’ll-scratch-your-back-if-you-scratch-mine” sort of manner or due to the positive karma and merit created by doing virtuous deeds.  When we aspire to and act for the benefit of others, out of loving-kindness, wisdom and compassion, without a personal agenda, this is known as Bodhicitta – the mind that desires complete enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.

However, most of this world has confusion, along with the resulting grasping and frustration of not having what we want.  It is this underlying confusion that is built into the 12th house in the astrology chart.  If we keep in mind that the Natal Chart is merely a template of our ego-structure, and if we start to transcend the ego using a qualified spiritual path (a path that leads to a more open, lovingly-kind heart), then we start to transcend the challenges which an afflicted 12th house might represent.  But, due to the fact that most of us, myself included, are not there yet, we suffer from constant dissatisfaction and confusion.  We are never completely happy and content – any temporary happiness or pleasure we encounter is always conditionally based.

It is this confusion and grasping for situations which we think will bring us happiness – pleasure, fame, gain and praise – that cause us to be stuck in this cycle – for eons and eons.  When we our frequency is very dense (when we have not cultivated Bodhicitta) and we are bouncing from situation to situation, reacting and posturing for our own benefit, that is when the 12th house jumps up and nips us in the bud.  The 12th house speaks of every frequency along these lines – do we work for the benefit of others and serve our community, or do we constantly blame others for the “problems” we encounter?  Do we understand that any happiness or suffering we encounter is actually our karma manifesting – whether positive or negative?  Are we completely honest with ourselves?  Do we know about some of our hidden inner agendas?  Have we done some work to make our blind spots more conscious? Do we practice generosity and patience simply to benefit others – sincerely, unstained by personal gain?

I will continue this thread in the next post, and give more concrete examples from my clients and personal experiences.

Body Talk

This material is copyrighted by Kirby Moore.  Reproduction without permission is prohibited.  To support my business and blogging efforts, please visit my website. More recently, I have begun teaching Astrology classes on Trauma-Informed Astrology, see for more! Thank you for visiting!

Dr. Veltheim is the founder and creator of BodyTalk, I am merely a humble practitioner of five of his potent techniques.  Visit here for more information: <;

I am writing this post due to the growing number of fascinating and cathartic experiences my clients describe while receiving this potent, supplemental modality.  I say supplemental because I have merely gone through the first level of this extensive and comprehensive body of work, therefore in my practice, it has to be supplemental.  Although there are a few clients who might be content to receive BodyTalk techniques for an entire session.

What is BodyTalk?  see the above link for their description of the modality.

How does a practitioner apply BodyTalk to a session?  Personally, I tend to intuit when one or more of the BodyTalk techniques will come in handy.  In general, I find that when someone is very sensitive to energy work, they are more receptive and feel the resulting shifts from BodyTalk.  Other people might be less sensitive and they are more receptive to mechanical forms of Cranio Sacral therapy for instance, as opposed to really getting a lot out of these techniques.

In BodyTalk Access, the workshop I was trained in, there are 5 techniques taught: Cortices, Switching, Hydration, Body Chemistry and Reciprocals.  These are some of the foundational BodyTalk techniques and they come up fairly often, even when the practitioner has the full BodyTalk training (and many many additional tools from the BodyTalk repertoire).  Cortices works to balance the hemispheres and individual, specific cortices of the brain.  This is a beneficial technique for calming someone after a traumatic event, or for calming the body if there has been an injury (I used it when I sprained my ankle with very positive results).  Switching helps to calm the kidneys and the adrenal glands – if we are Mercurial types, this is a great technique to sooth the system and relax immediate worries.  Hydration helps the body receive and integrate water.  I also suspect there are deeper psycho-spiritual ramifications to this technique (like the deep moisture of authentic compassion and loving-kindness).  Body Chemistry is a potent technique which helps to aid the body in identifying and removing toxins, allergens and anything poisonous to the body – I have had some detoxifying experiences using it with clients – see below.  Finally, last but certainly not least, Reciprocals are an incredibly potent technique which basically puts the body’s connective tissue back into alignment.  Reciprocals takes the longest out of all five techniques as it is very comprehensive – connecting the limbs to the torso, the head to the shoulders and torso and urging the pelvis, spine and base of the skull to come into alignment.  There are many benefits to this practice, some of which I mention below.

What are some of the experiences clients have described?  Someone who is very sensitive to energy-work usually has significant shifts from BodyTalk techniques.  One client in particular responds with rapid calming and settling to reciprocals, cortices and body chemistry.  It is almost as if she is, by far, an energetic being having a human experience, and this work provides a direct link to her energetic body.

Another client wanted to receive all five tools in a session, which I was happy to provide.  She was interested in the potential healing shifts, along with being introduced to the work.  However, she called me the next morning and said, “Kirby!  What did you do yesterday??!!”  I was surprised by this direct question, and asked her what she was talking about, so she asked about the session.  I told her I had only done what we were trained to do in the Access workshop.  She then said, “I am excited because this morning was the first time in twenty years that I woke up without pain!”  Wow!  That is exciting – I had not realized it, but she said her jaw really bothered her but that morning and for another three weeks, it was pain free.  She went on to take at least three levels of BodyTalk and she is still studying it.  That was two years ago…   :^)

Finally, when I was doing the actual BodyTalk Access workshop, my partner and I, who is a friend, were doing Body Chemistry with each other.  He is also a sensitive fellow, someone who can see the aura and observe shifts in his client’s energetic body.  As I did Body Chemistry with him, I started to notice that he was perspiring more than usual.  Soon thereafter, a pungent odor arose, which I had smelled before, and one that I associate with someone detoxifying.  I asked him about both of these things, and he made a curious excuse about needing to eat lunch.  Personally I am certain that he was detoxing and that Body Chemistry was a major reason for his doing so.  Talk about a direct experience!  His perspiration and detoxing occurred within 5 minutes of doing BodyChemistry.

Revised 4/27/21 – About this last (Body Chemistry) experience, my friend mentioned later that he had a vice and that was eating fast food. Like he would stop at Burger King once or twice a week at least. And I believe that was why he started to detox so fast. Although Body Chemistry seemed to bring it out! Wow that was fast – less than 5 minutes.

Thanks for reading!

Charlottesville Ratnashri Sangha (Drikung Kagyu)

This is a post that is dedicated to sharing information about the Charlottesville Ratnashri Sangha, which is a small group of sincere Tibetan Buddhist practitioners which gathers weekly.  The C’ville Ratnashri Sangha is a not-for-profit group that hosts teachers and desires to contribute to the sustenance of the Buddha-Dharma in the West.  The group comes together every other Sunday evening for a discussion group, which is open to the public.  At present the C’ville Sangha has been discussing one of Dilgo Khyentse’s books.  If you would like to get on their email list or to learn more, leave a comment here and I am happy to connect you.

Ratnashri is the Sanskrit name of a Bodhisattva, a highly realized human being who works for the benefit of others.  The founder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage, Jigten Sumgon, was said to be an emanation of Ratnashri.  Khenchen Rinpoche, Konchog Gyaltsen, is the founder of the Tibetan Meditation Center in Frederick Maryland, a Drikung center.  He suggested we use this name.

You can find a link to their website on the right side of this blog ——–>

The C’ville group sponsors teachers to come to C’ville, several times a year to teach on various subjects related to Tibetan Buddhism.  Here are some of the teachers that have been sponsored and some of what they have taught.  Khenchen Rinpoche, Konchog Gyaltsen, Drupon Thinley Ningpo, Khenpo Tsultrim Tenzin, Khenpo Chophel, and Dr. Hun Lye have come to town in the past to lead weekend teachings – ranging from meditation practice (Shamatha), to the Jewel Ornament of Liberation (a book that contains a summary of the complete path to Buddhahood) as well as to bestow empowerments and blessings of various Buddhist deities and protectors, including Green Tara, Vajrayogini, Achi Chokyi Drolma and Mahakala.

Om Mani Padme Hung Hrih

Living Metaphors

braving mountain – hopping in iron horse and driving up, slowly, carefully, ascending great heights

passing signs of bear warnings, driving up into and across sleet / ice line, diving into fast paced environment

much courage and bravery are required, or ignorance of where one is treading

drifting off, wading through a field of others’ suffering, alert mind fading

gazing out window, sleet and ice at least an inch thick

remembering Garchen Rinpoche’s advice – “to allow the ice around our hearts to melt”

Recently I have started working at the local ski resort in a restaurant.  There are some pros and cons to doing this, but it feels good to be mixing it up again – meeting many people, practicing humility, interacting with various types and most importantly, making some much needed $$ (I used to be in the food and beverage industry prior to 2006).  However, in spite of taking a “regular person’s job” as a waiter, I am not able to escape the subtleties of life.  That is, when metaphors come alive, and little things – like plumbing problems, freezing rain, thick fog, flooding, etc – keep coming up to grab my attention.

Down in the valley and in the city, there has been no inclement weather (yet, in the past week), but on the mountain, I have had to chisel my way into my car twice, and then I broke an ice scraper last night trying to free my windshield of a thick layer of frozen rain and sleet…  This has happened two nights in a row.  And it is just my second night of working!  Oh, that is not to mention the soupy, mesmerizing fog I drive through to get down off the mountain.

You could say I took a job in a place that is known for its rough weather.  And that would be quite true.  You might also suggest that it is just melodramatic timing.  And that seems to be the case as well.  But I also wonder about the “melt the ice around your heart” statement and how there has been so much freezing rain up there.  So far, on the job, I am doing an excellent job of keeping a low profile, maintaining inner neutral and saying something appropriate (truly compassionate) when someone who does not even know me starts talking about their suffering – nope sorry, I do not need to hear about it – at least not yet.  Maintaining boundaries is a good practice, especially for an empathic Neptunian / Piscean type like myself.

In the midst of many changes, I am feeling some angst.  I believe this inner drive has to do with practicing more, and as I attempt to honor my heart teacher’s recommendations, it is my intention to melt the ice around my heart.  It’s like some spiritual astrology books say, “eggs cannot hatch in the refrigerator!”  We need to introduce some lasting warmth and kindness into our lives, analyze our reactions and our mental habits and let go of that which no longer serves us – gently and at an appropriate pace.sand mandala of Chenrezig, Buddha of Vast Compassion

My personal, provocative statement for this year is: may all sentient beings pierce through the veils of ignorance which prevent a limitless flow of compassion.  To me, having to come down the mountain through veils of thick fog is reminiscent of living this provocative statement.  I’m not saying the metaphors are that direct and instant for me, maybe when on retreat, but it is fascinating nonetheless.

Finally, between September 2009 and New Years 2010, I have been in buildings / apartments where three separate plumbing problems have occurred.  There was flooding involved in two of those cases and once it was rather drastic.  At the time, I was involved in a relationship where I was living out an old addictive pattern (among other things).  You might say I was flooding my body with the “fight-or-flight” adrenaline, as I was feeling shock and severe contraction.  I’m not sure why, but sometimes, I believe that if our system is in the midst of enormous changes (say transiting Uranus is crossing our Natal Sun), then it is good to rest way down and avoid many of the more normal human behaviors – when appropriate of course.  Long story short, the flooding / plumbing metaphor had to be drilled into me on several occasions as I just did not seem to listen or contemplate its meaning at first.

Practicing kindness to self is very beneficial, as well as other tools for self care.  Allowing the inner heat of authentic meditation to gradually melt the icy edges of the heart is also beneficial (not that I know anything about this).  Knowing yourself and your patterns is helpful to making wise decisions.  And so is being aware of the living messages – however nature gets them to you, open your mind and your heart to the possibility, and you may be amazed at what follows.

New Year provocative statement

Hello Blogging World,  Thank you for reading!  And of course this material, where appropriate, is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore.  Please ask permission before reproducing any of it.

At the Mani Drupchen, I had plenty of time to think about my New Year’s resolutions and my provocative statement to hold in my heart throughout this coming year.  I am not sure what day it was, but I came up with a sentence that I feel is quite potent.  I was pondering the states of compassion and kindness which seemed to arise while in retreat.  I wanted to be able to sustain that level of potency even when I left retreat, but judging from previous experience, I was not sure I could handle this tall order.

Therefore, my provocative statement for this new year is along the lines of:  May (I and) all sentient beings pierce the veils of ignorance which obscure the flow of limitless compassion (ASAP).

There you go!  For me, that is at least a year long process, heh…  Actually it is probably a 5,000 lifetime goal but I am slowly working on it.

Questions answered about Metta Reiki

This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore.  Reproduction without permission is prohibited.

Hello Readers,

In this post, it is my intention to clarify what Metta Reiki is.  I hope you all do not mind a few plugs scattered here and there, but considering I am self-employed, in addition to maintaining an informative blog, this is what I do “at work.”  There have been many hits on the Metta Reiki page of my blog, in fact, if I were to speculate, I would say at least a quarter of the blog’s traffic views this page.

It is my intention to cover these topics: 1) as a student of Reiki, I would like to know more about Metta Reiki; 2) what benefits might I receive from exploring Metta Reiki?; 3) I have my own healing facilitation practice, how can I incorporate Metta Reiki into my practice?; 4) What can I expect in a class / workshop?; 5) How might Metta Reiki benefit me or my practice?

For a brief overview, please see the page “Metta Reiki.”Achi Chokyi Drolma, Lama House, Frederick, Md

I have been fortunate with my many teachers – Tibetan Lamas (some well known, others who are / were secret yogis), process-oriented bodywork instructors, traditional Reiki Masters, practitioners of Indigenous rituals, a Sufi Master  and multiple, astrologers / authors.  It is my intention that what I offer please my teachers.  Out of all of them, ones who taught me how to slow down appropriately and mindfully, and practice kindness to self are perhaps the most profound, and that is what I attempt to emulate in offering Metta Reiki.

My passion is in introducing people to inner resources of loving-kindness, compassion and potency (within us all).  Hugh Milne has a quote in “The Heart of Listening,” that goes, “we can never go too deep, but we can go too fast.”  Through practicing Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy and traditional Reiki, along with attending many highly-respected Tibetan Lamas and other realized teachers, plus maintaining a Buddhist meditation practice, I have experience with Metta practices, (energetic) field dynamics, tools for self care and a practice of compassion and skillful means.

Metta Reiki is a fusion of Tibetan Buddhist practices, simple exercises for well-being (primarily from Zapchen Somatics), Compassionate Communication and traditional Usui Reiki.  One of my primary intentions is to go slow enough to allow for graceful integration and to develop a comprehensive understanding of what is possible when we rest down into our heart and listen to what it has to share.  Tools for appropriate self care – energetic balancing, physical relaxing, mental calming, etc – are considered vital and are taught accordingly.  These tools come from a number of modalities, including Craniosacral Therapy, Tibetan Buddhism, BodyTalk, traditional Reiki, Zapchen Somatics and Spiritual Processing.  I try to share the most potent tools that I use in my personal practice.

The benefits one receives from exploring Metta Reiki are plenty and diverse.  First, you slow down enough to practice kindness to yourself – to truly check in and ask, “What are my needs?  Are they being met?  Are they appropriate?  How can I shift my lifestyle to accommodate my authentic needs?”  Second, students are introduced to techniques which they can use both with themselves and with others for rapid relaxation and subsequent healing.  In Craniosacral Therapy, there are states known as still-points where we can rest so deeply that our body is in a state of relaxation beyond that of sleep.  The still point is where we do the most reorganization and re-patterning.  Over time and with practice, there are techniques that can get a diligent practitioner to these states without needing help from anyone else.  (Keep in mind I would never recommend against receiving bodywork from a qualified practitioner, but receiving, for example, hundreds of sessions can be pricey.)  Finally, Metta Reiki is a great way to start one’s inner journey toward self-discovery and practicing kindness to self.  It is non-sectarian, despite there being some meditations from Buddhism, and I do not promote any religion over another.

If you maintain a healing facilitation practice, then you may want to explore Metta Reiki.  If you find yourself burnt out after seeing many clients in a week, or if there are some weeks when it is difficult to motivate yourself, then these workshops will provide you with tools for quality self care.  How can we shift our ways of relating to others to be more appropriate?  How can we develop equanimity to better handle any situation we come across?  Metta Reiki provides tools for discovering alignment and resting in equanimity.

In a typical Metta Reiki workshop, one can expect to be in good company.  It is my intention to have participants who are open to growth and transformation, who are willing to look at some potentially uncomfortable aspects of their lives with the purpose of re-patterning and moving forward from those old paradigms.  My ideal demographic is ages 17 to 77, of diverse backgrounds and cultures, who are willing to shift conditioned patterns which no longer serve and to move toward patterns of kindness, openness and wholesome enjoyment of life.  Over time, and after completing Level Three and Four, it is my intention for workshop participants to grow to understand the healing process, both in themselves and in others (their potential clients).

2nd Annual Mani Drupchen – completion

This material is copyrighted by Kirby Moore.  Reproduction without permission is prohibited.  To support my business and blogging efforts, please visit my website. More recently, I have begun teaching Astrology classes on Trauma-Informed Astrology, see for more! Thank you for visiting!

In this post: the last day of the Drupchen, my final thoughts on the inspiring and clarifying week and precious words from the prayers we were saying on a daily basis.

TMC sand mandala dissolution1/2/10 – As I mentioned in previous posts, we ended the Drupchen a day early due to a slight plumbing problem.  Therefore, the lamas packed a 3 hour empowerment, lunch, the mandala dissolution and naga puja into this bitterly cold day.  Khenpo Tsultrim was the Vajra Master for the empowerment, and it was a beautiful ceremony.  His English is improving, so he explained all the components and visualizations with patience and expertise.  He also continued to look to Hun and I for translation assistance, which I feel a little guilty about.  I have been studying the Tibetan language for two and a half years, and I am only starting to get into the Dharma literary Tibetan sections.  Alas.

The empowerment was three hours long because it is a full empowerment, despite being for the Four Armed Chenrezig.  All four empowerments were contained within it and we visualized ourselves, almost like a higher yoga tantra (not that I know much about this stuff).  There were pictures for every aspect of the empowerment and Khenpo explained what each picture symbolized – there was the clothing of Chenrezig, his retinue (consort, son, daughter, the Five Buddha Family Lords, etc) and more.  At least forty people showed up to receive the empowerment.

We then had a brief lunch and then the mandala dissolution happened very quickly.  Khenpo, with vajra in hand, ran his hand through the sand at each of the four “gates.”  Then the other ordained members helped to move the sand to the middle and then into a crystal bowl-like container.  I was the designated photographer, so I was clicking shots around and above everyone else (thank goodness I am so tall).  I got some good pictures.  The lamas came outside, into the freezing weather (it was 15 degrees on the mountain that day, not counting the wind chill) and then they were escorted to the river, about twenty minutes away.  Unfortunately I was coming down with something, a brief flu-like episode, so I did not feel up to standing out in the sub-arctic temperatures for the naga puja.  However I have heard that it went well – although, at those temps. I am hoping it went faster than last year (which was almost two hours in length).Tibetan lamas outside the TMC, following mani drupchen

As far as further thoughts on the Mani Drupchen, I am definitely planning to attend next year’s retreat (intensive).  As one of the assistants (managers), I felt like I was able to navigate through the chatter of the living room (at meal times) and stay focused on the practice and the retreat.  I was feeling the need to drop in deep – having pushed myself through another semester at UVa, so I did not join in much of the pleasant conversations going on during meals.  I had a little name tag which said, “Noble Silence Please.”  And that was good – I only felt the need to wear it a couple of days.  Next year I am sitting away from the sliding glass doors however – the cold draft coming off of them forced my kidneys to work overtime, producing strange dreams and visions, along with making me wonder why I was so cold all the time.

I felt my heart shift from a tight, self-orientation to an open, warm, expanded vastness.  I went from feelings of revulsion and being harsh to myself to attraction and being compassionate with myself – quite a polar shift.  I allowed some sunlight into the dark crevasses of my shadowy cellars and I made a deeper connection with emptiness and the Dharma in general.  I became more at ease with my vulnerabilities, slowed down my process of self- and other-judgment, and I established some inner stability.  And most importantly, I became a slightly better human being.

As one of my friends said, who has some experience on 90 day retreats, “when reality starts to bend, that’s when you know you are detaching yourself from the traditional ego structures.”  This was very reassuring because that definitely happened to me – although now that I am back in life, I am struggling to find a good balance of practice and living so as to maintain what I have discovered and not fall back into the egoic patterns of action / reaction.  look closely - the mandala is dissolving

Khenpo, when asked about a possible desire to marry a Westerner in order to gain easier citizenship, responded instantaneously with, “I am focusing on my future lives!  Why would I want to do that?  I am surviving for this life and focused on next life.”  It was a great answer.  (Not that there is any possibility of it coming true.)  He also mentioned something that I was glad to be reminded of.  He said the Buddha lives, breathes and thinks every action for the benefit of sentient beings – if a breathe did not benefit sentient beings, the Buddha would not have breathed it.

Finally, a series of lines from the Supplication Prayer to Chenrezig which we said several times per day during the retreat – I find it to be very beautiful: Please bless my confused body that does not understand the dual appearance of holder and held, and so grasps at a self, to obtain a stable generation stage that moves as the illusory vajra body and completely appears as the uncontaminated form kayas.  Please bless me to obtain realization of the completion stage so that all phenomena, bound by confused ignorance mind, permanently arise as the appearance of the Dharmakaya, luminous, self-appearing, self-liberating, the union of bliss and emptiness.

I take this to mean that everything in this world is like a dream.  Dreams are like dreams, within the larger dream.  View everything as illusory and practice the Dharma – allow non-attachment to arise as you familiarize yourself with emptiness and interdependence.

Have a lovely January!Chenrezig sand mandala dissolution