The Power of a Promise

This week the skies change and 2023 beckons us forward.  As I have said before we began the year with both Mars and Mercury retrograde, Mars went direct last week, Mercury stations direct on Wednesday at 6:11a.m. in Sedona (MST).  The first New Moon of 2023 takes place this Saturday, January 21, at 1:33 a.m. and the last planet moving retrograde, Uranus,  stations direct on Monday, January, 23. From that point in time for a little over two glorious months, really until April 7, everything in the sky is direct, moving forward. The time is the ripe to invest your energy, get into the flow and turn your focus toward your hopes for 2023.

Rather than resolutions or goals for the year,  I  propose that you create a covenant with yourself; a promise.  

As you know, or if you are new to this blog will discover quickly, I love etymology.  It always feels as though I am discovering the hidden meanings behind words, their power, and then using that energy to unlock a new doorway in my life.  We create our world through the stories we tell ourselves, and others, about our selves.  The meanings we give our experiences chart our course and help us right ourselves when things have gone awry.   

I copied this directly from  Promise - directly from Latin promissum "a promise," noun use of neuter past participle of promittere "send forth; let go; foretell; assure beforehand, promise," from pro "before" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before") + mittere "to release, let go; send, throw (see mission). Sense of "that which affords a basis for hope or expectation of future excellence or distinction" is by 1530s.

I find this so powerful. To let go?  To foretell?  How about the connection to mission? 

There is power in a promise.  And we’ve all experienced the sense of let down at best and betrayal at worst when someone who is near and dear to us breaks a promise.  Heartbreak is rooted here.  

And though we often don’t think about it, it’s even worse we when break our promises to ourselves.  When we treat our dreams and desires as something not important enough, sacred enough, to show up for and to show up consistently. 

There are four major asteroid Goddesses used in astrology: Vesta, Ceres, Pallas and Juno.  Though there are many, many more asteroids, these were the first four asteroids discovered. They represent the journey between Mars and Jupiter, between our action and our greater wisdom.   From an astrological perspective, whether we simply act, or whether we act with mindful purpose, depends a great deal on our relationship with our four major asteroids.

When these representatives of the feminine are working well in the chart we learn that the universe is receptive.  It is responsive to our need for growth, and performs a productive dance with us if we are prepared to leave old patterns and honor the truth of our inner lives.  As Pema Chodren said,  “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” 

These four archetypes of feminine wisdom are about honoring life itself.

These goddesses are teaching us that action without intention is meaningless.  They want us to open our eyes and our hearts, they want us to be aware of the greater patterns in life and find our place within them.  They want us to be receptive and act from that newly found wisdom.  They want us to embrace life.  They want us to be respectful of it. They want us to experience the profound divinity within our ordinary material existence.

In my last blog I spoke of Vesta and honoring the sacred flame within as we move into 2023.  

Promises fall under the domain of Juno. They are very personal to her.  This Goddess is all about keeping our commitments. She is the Goddess of marriage - June is named after her and, ironically, she was in a marriage with Jupiter who was consistent in breaking his oath of fidelity to her.  He was a total crazy maker again and again and again…  

It enraged her, it broke her heart. So commitments, promises are very important to her. We honor her archetypal energy by keeping our word.  Where she lies by house placement first and then sign will tell you where you/your soul made an agreement  to work on keeping your promises, primarily to yourself.  As Polonius said in Shakespeare’s Hamlet “To thine own self be true.” 

Making a promise to yourself and keeping it strengthens and pollinates your relationship with yourself.  And it is this inner relationship that really determines how you experience all other relationships because it shapes your experience of reality.  Making and keeping our promises to ourselves is how we ensure a happy inner marriage. A happy home, so to speak.  It is how we create grace within.  A sense of benediction as we move through life.  

Keeping a promise is a form of spiritual practice. And when we keep our promises to ourselves we experience ourselves as trustworthy. From here something magical occurs; we move through the world feeling held and supported. This too begins within. 

Here is one example of how this might work: I ran into a new friend, Jenai Lane, at the grocery store on Saturday who shared with me her word for the year was nourishment.  If I consider this in the context of promise any ‘resolution’ she might have would beautifully fit into this container.   And if she does just one tiny thing each day to nourish herself, and I know her well enough to know she will profoundly follow through, she will be standing on a different threshold at the beginning of 2024.  

My own promise this year is to listen to and honor my heart, even when what it desires make me feel hesitant.  Perhaps especially when those desires make me feel hesitant.  Like many of you, I have spent far too much time in my life second guessing myself.  As I gaze within it is clear that the practice of apprenticing myself to this promise over time opens up pathways and experiences I have  both dreamed of and shied away from. From my perspective it is a practice of vulnerability and being more deeply open and receptive.  To me, this is a promise, a covenant, worth making. 

Ideally, the Mars retrograde from October 30 through January 12 gave you an opportunity to contemplate what is worth directing your time and energy toward in 2023 vs what is at best simply a distraction. And if you haven’t done that I urge you to do so now. That way you can make use of Mars’ energy in a conscious manner.  Mars needs a quest.  Seriously needs or he tends to become bored or unhappy and stir up trouble. He is an archetype of action whose job in the chart is to act on behalf of those in his care.  He desires to act on your behalf. 

Then take all of your discoveries and the promise you are making to yourself and infuse it with intention during Saturday’s New Moon in Aquarius, the first New Moon of 2023.  

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