Personal Branding – aka – how to positively distinguish yourself from the crowd

You already have a personal brand, whether or not you know it.

If you’ve not built it yourself, then others will have created it for you:

  • She’s friendly,
  • He’s not.
  • We can count on him to finish the job,
  • She makes a mess of everything she starts.

Your personal brand shows the world that which makes you unique, that which makes you stand out from the crowd. It not only defines who you are but also that which you value.

Personal branding has long been used by the likes of Oprah, Lady Gaga, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg.

Naturally, with time, both you and your brand will evolve. But you have to start someplace and the best place to start is with the essential qualities of your natal, or Sun sign. Even someone with the same sign as you will express those qualities differently. This is because each person’s Sun is positioned differently within his or her chart.

Mood boards, a collage containing a variety of images, text, and/or other objects to express feelings, values, and ideas, are often used by professional designers to help  their business clients to develop their brand identity. You might use one to develop your own personal brand.

Look for images that convey what is important to convey the essence of you. For example, are you playful or serious, simple or sophisticated, feisty or calm?  What do you want most in life? What motivates you to get up each morning and start a new day? When narrowing down your choices, stay focused on your message.. Each time you decide to include something,  make sure it communicates an essential aspect of what it means for you to be the best that you, personally, can be.

Astrologically, this equates to your Sun, or Star sign – where you shine!

 

moodboard communication
My Sun is in Libra and it’s all about relating and communication

Your astrological sun is your essential focus, shining like a lighthouse beacon to  keep you clear of the rocks and safe on your path.

 

  • With my Sun in Libra, my focus is on relating and at least to me, that implies a two-way street requiring listening as well as talking. I’ve conveyed my take on this in the mood board above.
  • If your Sun were in Aries, your focus would on breaking new ground whilst if in Taurus, it would be on establishing stability.
  • Gemini’s focus is to facilitate communication whilst Cancer gathers folks together in an intimate group.
  • The focus of Leo is to deliver good cheer to self and others whilst the focus of Virgo is to sift through that which has been harvested so as to extract all that which is of benefit.
  • Scorpio is meant to shine light on that which is other hidden so that it can be dealt with in a timely manner whilst Sagittarius shines light on that which is, as yet, a mere potentiality.
  • Capricorn shines his light on organisational systems so we understand how they work whilst the focus of Aquarius, a fragment of Capricorn’s light, is on showing up the cracks and crevices that require fixing.
  • Finally, Pisces is meant to refocus the light through a different lens so that dissolves boundaries.

Hopefully, that’s enough to get you started and have fun!

In the new year, I plan to offer coaching workshops or webinars on using astrology for personal branding so if you might be interested, please sign up for my blogs and newsletters and watch this space.

The Winter Solstice – what’s your take?

The Winter Solstice is a dark time.

In the northern hemisphere, it is the longest night of the year.

Yet it is also a joyous time, a time of celebration for we know in our hearts that the light will return, yet again.

solstice1

I believe that no one has captured the essence of the Winter Solstice more poignantly than has the 16thcentury metaphysical poet, John Donne, in his work, A Nocturnal Upon St Lucy’s Day.

In this poem, Donne helps his speaker come to grips with a difficult situation.

‘Tis the year’s midnight’ – the winter solstice – when the ‘sun is spent’ and the world’s ‘whole sap is sunk’. Someone important to the speaker, likely a lover or former lover (suggested by the speaker’s address to ‘other lovers’), has died.

It is indeed a dark time.

Yet the cycle of death is now complete – ‘this time to the Goat is run’ – (i.e. at the winter solstice, the sun enters Capricorn, ‘The Goat’, in order to die and be reborn). Because ‘spring’ is connected through rhyme with ‘thing’ (‘I am every dead thing’), there is hope of regeneration not only for the sun but for the speaker as well. In turn, this will ‘fetch new lust’ (the goat being associated with the genitals and the union of male and female powers).

The desolate speaker takes solace from the next (‘summer’) solstice – ‘let me prepare towards her’ (emphasis added) for after ‘midnight’ comes the new day.

With this, Donne has effectively reset the clock and puts a difficult situation into new perspective.

At the Winter Solstice, we can also choose to do the same. This is a time not only of rest and reflection but also of making choices. Will we carry our troubles into the new solar year or, like the speaker in Donne’s poem, set aside that which no longer serves us in preparation for that which is yet to come?

Standing at the gateway to the next cycle of life and light, you are in position not only to cut away the dead wood of winter but also to sow the seeds for the next spring.

  • What will you take away from this poem?
  • What action will you take as the result?

 

___________

A Nocturnal Upon St Lucy’s Day

‘Tis the year’s midnight, and it is the day’s,
Lucy’s, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks;
The sun is spent, and now his flasks
Send forth light squibs, no constant rays;
The world’s whole sap is sunk;
The general balm th’ hydroptic earth hath drunk,
Whither, as to the bed’s feet, life is shrunk,
Dead and interr’d; yet all these seem to laugh,
Compar’d with me, who am their epitaph.

Study me then, you who shall lovers be
At the next world, that is, at the next spring;
For I am every dead thing,
In whom Love wrought new alchemy.
For his art did express
A quintessence even from nothingness,
From dull privations, and lean emptiness;
He ruin’d me, and I am re-begot
Of absence, darkness, death: things which are not.

All others, from all things, draw all that’s good,
Life, soul, form, spirit, whence they being have;
I, by Love’s limbec, am the grave
Of all that’s nothing. Oft a flood
Have we two wept, and so
Drown’d the whole world, us two; oft did we grow
To be two chaoses, when we did show
Care to aught else; and often absences
Withdrew our souls, and made us carcasses.

But I am by her death (which word wrongs her)
Of the first nothing the elixir grown;
Were I a man, that I were one
I needs must know; I should prefer,
If I were any beast,
Some ends, some means; yea plants, yea stones detest,
And love; all, all some properties invest;
If I an ordinary nothing were,
As shadow, a light and body must be here.

But I am none; nor will my sun renew.
You lovers, for whose sake the lesser sun
At this time to the Goat is run
To fetch new lust, and give it you,
Enjoy your summer all;
Since she enjoys her long night’s festival,
Let me prepare towards her, and let me call
This hour her vigil, and her eve, since this
Both the year’s, and the day’s deep midnight is.

 

Whether or you wanted this matters not

  • What changed?

  • What caused it?

  • What will you take from this moving forward?

new moonThe full moon is usually the time of harvest, of manifest, tangible gains.

With this Full Moon in Cancer on 22 December (17:50 GMT), you can expect this and more because with those  gains, also comes some dramatic changes.

That which once stood as a bulwark in your life is slipping away to be replaced with something new and different.

Whether such change is in keeping with your plans, matters not. Whether it is in keeping with the wishes of others is irrelevant. The reality is that with the passing of time, you’ve out-grown something and this is most likely to show up in regards to your loyalties, be they personal or professional.

Now’s the time to honour the past whilst at the same time turning to face the future. With this Full Moon it is especially important that you make some outward sign, some obvious signal to both self and others of your commitment to what comes next.

Don’t be tempted to sit quietly by the side lines and hope that no one notices because this time, they will do.

Be proactive.

How do you manage change?

Live and learn

  • What does this teach you?

  • Is this an opportunity to learn more about yourself?

  • If you were giving yourself advice right now, what would it be?

cap

What if you had 5 magic minutes to speak with the person whom you most admire and respect? Maybe he or she is your real-life hero or heroine or maybe he or she is from a prior generation, someone whom you would have loved to have met? As you line up your questions, what will you be thinking? As you listen to the answers , what will you make of them? What did this person do to makes you so respect and admire them and, more importantly how did they do it?

  • What if you talked to everyone this way?
  • What could you learn from others’ unique experiences?
  • What if your own unique experiences could help someone to learn something?
  • What if in helping them to learn, you learned something more?

Now that the Sun has entered Capricorn (21 December 2018 at 22:24 GMT), you’re in a position answer such questions and make the best of the answers. Capricorn is about making order out of chaos, overcoming challenges, and learning from mistakes – your own and those of others.  Capricorn is also about the possibilities that might arise from increased patience, dedication, and discipline. Capricorn is about development through overcoming the obstacles in your path.

Why care?

Because, according to Capricorn, when you stop improving yourself, you’ve stopped living.

 

 

Which one is wrong?

The two Gospels containing infancy narratives, Luke and Matthew, give inconsistent accounts of the genealogy of Jesus as well as the time and place of his birth and attendant visitors (shepherds in Luke and the Magi in Matthew) and  where these accounts conflict, then at least one of them cannot literally be true.

nativity

Yet, do we do ourselves a disservice when we get caught up in such literality? Is there a way that both could be true and true in a way that enhances our understanding rather than detracting from it?

The reality is that neither of these stories is ‘true’ (in the sense of verifiable) and interestingly, it does not matter. Not only do different people remember the same event differently but they also give meaning to that event in accordance with their unique set of values and beliefs.

The question now remains, what will you choose to do with such conflict?

  • You might use it to suit your own purposes such as, for example, to ‘prove’ that the infancy narrative is a lie, or
  • Either alone or with others, you might strive to standardise, cleanse, or normalise the conflict so as to contain it until it hardens into a meta-narrative, or
  • You might choose think out of the box and experiment.

For example, you could interpret the known facts pertaining to the life of Jesus as a patchwork of events in the lives of those who came before him: born to a carpenter and a virgin, like Krishna: born on 25th December, like Mithras; heralded by a star in the East, like Horus;  walking on water and feeding the five thousand from a small basket, like Buddha;  performing miracles, like Pythagoras;  raising from the dead, like Elisha;  executed on a tree, like Adonis;  and ascending to Heaven like Hercules, Enoch and Elijah.

  • What other angles can you think of?

Looking at the Nativity through similarly expanded eyes, in Mary, you might sense of the presence of Isis; in Joseph, the patriarch with a crooked staff, Osiris, the luminous babe in the manger, Krishna; the ox (Taurus) and the ass (Aries), the two ages leading the new Age of Pisces, the Magi’s guiding star, the spirit of Zarathustra, and the angel announcing the birth, the spirit of the Buddha.

  • What’s the opportunity here?

What if one of the Magi were Pythagoras reincarnated? What if the Magi had been initiated by the prophet Daniel? What if instead of one Jesus, there were two as depicted by the Leonardo Cartoon in the National Gallery in London and on the north portal at Chartres?

  • What might you take away from this and how might you use it?

What if…well, you get the idea.

Happy holidays and may your open mind take you as far as you’d like it to carry you!

 

The theatre of opportunity

  • What might you gain if you go for it?

  • What might you lose if you don’t?

  • What more do you need to decide?

me and ju in sg

From 12 December (23:44 GMT) until Mercury is back in Sagittarius having dipped  into Scorpio for awhile. However, unlike back in October when Mercury first entered Sagittarius, he’s now fast applying for a conjunction with Jupiter.

The by-word during this period is propaganda.

This is a heady mix of promise, talent and possibility. It also includes a high dose of fantasy and theatre. If ever there was a time for propaganda to catch and spread like wildfire, it’s when Mercury and Jupiter come together. Jupiter expands all it touches and Mercury’s ambivalence regarding ‘truth’ is well-documented.

When Mercury first entered Sagittarius (8th November), the advice was that honesty is the best policy and all that glitters is not gold. This remains valid but now there’s an added twist.

Watch out!

There’s good chance that someone is deliberately trying to misrepresent an opportunity and the temptation to grab it will be hard to resist not the least because the anticipated rewards appear so great.

This is not to suggest that genuine opportunities can’t come along during this time. It is, however, to suggest that rather than just reading the small print yourself to ensure that what you’ve been told will be what you’ll get, you may want to hire a good lawyer to do it for you.

When will your ship come in?

  • What’s the dream?

  • What does your intuition tell you?

  • Where will you go from here?

new moonSo I’m told, during the two weeks following a New Moon, everything grows more quickly including your hair.

This makes the New Moon a perfect opportunity to commence new endeavours and with this New Moon in Sagittarius on 7 December at 7:22 AM GMT, it’s important to recognise opportunities for what they are.

You know that not every opportunity that you choose to pursue will pan out to your liking no matter how much you try to make it otherwise. On the other hand, if you’re always too busy waiting for the moment that your ‘ship will come in’, you’ll miss many opportunities that life offers up in the meantime.

I mean, what if that particular ship for which you’ve been so patiently waiting has, unbeknownst to you, already sunk somewhere mid-sea?

During this New Moon, it’s worth keeping this old proverb in mind:

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

How will you evaluate your opportunities?

Reclaim what’s yours

  • If you could wipe the slate clean, what would you do differently?

  • What will happen if you do?

  • What will happen if you don’t?

ME stationsYou may recall that a few weeks ago, on 29 October, Mercury entered Sagittarius where during his 8-week stay in that sign, the advice was that honesty is the best policy.

But on 17 November, Mercury turned retrograde – in essence he appears to be back-pedalling through the sky. During the three weeks he is retrograde, the advice was that you would do well to reconsider your plans.

Now, on 6th December Mercury will turn direct again and carry on through Sagittarius but before he does, he slips back into Scorpio one last time. Whenever any planet (moving backwards or forwards) changes zodiac signs, you can expect a few readjustments. This time, as is sometimes the case, when Mercury changes signs he ‘stations’ – which means that it appears that for a few days Mercury stands still in the sky. This puts the sign and degree of his station into intense focus.

The advice is that during the period of this Mercury station (4-9 December 2018), you are in the unique position of being able to reclaim something that ‘belongs’ to you regardless how or why you initially lost it. During this period, take back your power and feel perfectly at home in doing so. The only warning here is that you must always remember that power and leadership should be embraced with honest humility and gratitude.

This is not a time for ego-plays.

There’s a fine line between playing the boss and being the boss (and accepting the responsibilities that go with that). What does the line look like for you?

The Christmas Star – fact or fiction?

For centuries, scientists and theologians have struggled to explain the origins of the Christmas Star, the mysteriously spectacular sky event that led the Magi, or Wise Men, to their new-born leader, Jesus Christ.

star

There are many theories, including that this ‘star’ wasn’t a star at all but instead a bright comet appearing in the constellation of Capricorn, a supernova, or even a rare (796.4 years between occurrences) conjunction of the three superior planets – Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Some have even suggested it was simply a Jupiter/Saturn conjunction which even in 7 BC, was a predictable and well-watched for event within both Mesopotamian and Hellenistic traditions.

There is hard ‘evidence’ to support any and all of these theories ranging from archaeological interpretations of an Antioch coin minted during the period to the Chinese sighting of a comet in 5 BC. There is plenty of soft ‘evidence’ too including Balaam’s Old Testament prophecy that ‘a star will come forth out of Jacob and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel’ – (Numbers 24.17).

The point here is not that one theory is better than another any more than it is that the Christmas Star was merely a political construct (another supportable theory).

Instead, the point is that we all need to be ever vigilant as to the assumptions we choose to make about actual experiences as well as to the way in which we construct ‘evidence’ to support our assumptions. A wise man once told me that if, as one would peel a onion, any belief or assumption were stripped away layer by layer,  it would reveal itself to have no core.

Like Iben, are you willing to challenge your beliefs and assumptions?

If so, I look forward to working with you!

 

 

Trust no one

  • Really?

  • Are you sure that’s true?

  • What’s your body telling you?

VE in SC

On 9 September 2018, Venus left Libra and entered Scorpio. The predictions were that romance would be more satisfying albeit, stormier. But then in mid-October, Venus dipped back into Libra again and from then until now, relationships should have been back on a more even keel.

Now, from 2 December 2018 until early 2019, we’re facing that steamy stuff again but contrary to what the astrology columns in magazines and newspapers would have you believe, we’ll all deal with it differently.

For most, passionate experiences and encounters may well be unforgettable but perhaps, not quite for same reasons.

Venus in Scorpio is where love and magic wed and when the magic is good, it can be healing for everyone. But when the magic is bad, passionate encounters could become nasty if not downright sadistic.

This is because in Scorpio, Venus doesn’t do anything in half-measures; she approaches everything that she wants – sex and money and gender politics – very seriously. At all costs, she intends to win her game.

One Scorpio friend told me that she’d die for her passions and I believe her. However, having a good dose of Gemini in my own natal, or birth chart, if I were to come up against an all-consuming passion such as my Scorpion friend fancies, I’d run in the opposite direction. The truth is that we all address our passions in different ways and with Venus in Scorpio, this could get messy because it’s inevitable that we’ll all not agree.

In order to come through this period in one piece, when it comes to passions, trust no one, not even yourself. Question everything, rationally.

How will you deal with your passions?