When the Sky Leaves a Footprint: The astrological art of walking

sky leaves a footprintACCORDING TO ASTROLOGY, the divine is “waking down” to itself through our bodies. Pure awareness is forever nudging our egos into a swan dive off the ledge of our sovereign Aries head into our timeless trance of toes. Why? So personal will (Aries) can be humbled and cleansed by skin-to-skin contact with the Piscean ground of Being, then cycle back upwards into an ethereally upgraded, ego-cleansed head. This recycling, head-to-toe flow of energy is elegantly depicted by the body’s Toroidal energy field.

toroidalAs you can see by this diagram, evolving consciousness has measurable electromagnetic shape and directionality of movement. This gives fresh meaning to the Biblical idea that God created man in his own image. Might not the “image” or template we inherited from the Divine be the toroidal shape of the magnetic field that surrounds not just every human body but every cell, apple, planet and solar system? Could you imagine an energetic autograph more eternally refreshing and cleansing of self?

Walking: The awakened synthesis of poles

There is nothing more pedestrian than walking, right? Wrong. Notice how walking simultaneously engages and activates the two poles of the body: the Aries head and the Pisces feet, the self-conscious asserter of personal will and the Administrator of out-of-time pedaling down below. By completing the torroidal circuit between our two poles, walking symbolically, as well as literally, narrows the gap between volition and guidance, somebodyness and nobodyness. Did you really think the Body Electric would allow us to amputate a psychic limb (ego) without tatooing our snazzy evidence of separation with some somatic scripture to help us re-member? 

 Walking also fires the synapse between the two poles of the astrological calendar year that (in the northern hemisphere) Pisces and Aries correspond to: the dreamy, end-of-winter netherworld of March and the gutsy, reincarnating fire of April. Symbolically, the entire astrological year ripples through us every time our timeless trance of toes kicks a karmic foot forward to incarnate another foot fall. In this sense, every step is a kind of unobserved spring equinox, subliminally encouraging us to celebrate the passage from Pisces winter to Aries spring — the seamless soup of the One Being stepping, over and over, into gutsy individuation so that the soul might more perfectly open its head to the One who is pedaling its life forward. 

To eavesdrop on this conversation between gutsy Aries assertion and out-of-time Pisces flow, we need only become conscious of what’s actually happening when we walk. Our synapse-firing Aries brain imagines that it is sending “marching orders” down through our nervous system to the churning factory of footsteps down below. Alas, this is self-centered Aries delusion. The truth: our Aries organ sends mere spacial approximations to the feet. From there, our radar-like, energy-sensitive Piscean feet take over, instantaneously adjusting and fine-tuning each foot fall via a combination of intuitive guidance and otherworldly grace. The result: thousands of safe, accurately-placed footfalls every single day of our lives. 
Where, then, is the “command center” that permits us to walk: in our masculine, order-barking head or in our feminine brain-with-toes? Clearly, the act of walking is a dance between will and surrender, volition and allowing. All day, every day, somebody-ness and nobody-ness are lost in a rhythmic, meditative waltz. The question is, do we have the lucidity and presence needed to notice, and humbly apprentice ourselves to, this theatrical reenactment of how to inhabit consciousness? Are we humble enough to let the body teach us? That’s called “walking mediation.”

Walking Meditation: Not a race in reverse

Many people think of walking meditation as a kind of second class practice — a supplemental spiritual exercise designed to punctuate the more serious and fruitful practice of sitting. The truth is, to the many souls (and charts!) for whom restlessness is most reliably calmed by conscious movement, walking longs to become their primary practice. Rather than struggling to achieve inner stillness through holding a static outer posture, these astro-zapped nervous systems would fair better by saying “yes” to their wanderlust, then dialing it down, gradually, into nowhere-to-go, stillness-in-motion.

Remember, this is not a race in reverse! Japanense Zen walking meditation is slow. Chinese Ch’an is faster. The Korean Son tradition, faster still. Some cultures even meditate in a trot. There are numerous kinds of birth charts and transits that suggest a faster pace might allow awareness to broaden, be less self-absorbed and more connected to the wider world. So please let go of your pictures of what walking meditation looks like and show some respect for your astrological temperament by innocently asking: 

What posture and gait makes me feel most like a psyche of cosmic dimensions (Pisces) savoring the play of separate-somebody status (Aries)?

As we learn to let this question tacitly inform more and more of our everyday movements and decisions, the broken circuit between head and heel, ego and vastness, is restored, charging us with an “in-the-world-but-not-of-it-ness” that allows us to be both street smart and innocently connected to our timeless, unborn nature. 

According to Master Sheng Yen, there are three successive stages of walking meditation:

1. Self-conscious direction of bodily movement
2. Un-self-conscious flow in a state of non-doing
3. Inside and outside merge, the whole universe moving as one.

Intrigued? Ready to give it a try? Here’s an Astrodharmic version of the traditional Buddhist walking meditation to get you started.  click here>

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