Music on the Brain?


Have you visited my music consciousness blog yet? If you’re on a metaphysical path then stop by Whole Music Experience where I combine music reviews, interviews with musical healers and well-known musicians, as well as, practices to help you raise your music awareness. I even teach you how to raise your consciousness by keeping a music diary.


Cleanliness Leads to Divinity


Does your home look like a tornado ran through it?

Perhaps, it’s my puritan upbringing coming through since I was raised as a Lutheran when I say that cleanliness and orderliness helps us reach our spiritual goals. And it’s more than that, if we are serious about manifesting our desires, we must clear the way for our manifestations to enter our lives.

Besides staying grounded, have you ever wondered why cloistered communities or even ashram communities spend time doing mundane chores that keeps their space clean and orderly? Work does keep us humble and grounded, but keeping our lives in order allows our manifestations space to enter.

For instance, I’m relatively a neat and clean person, but my wallet is a mess. I stuff old receipts into it and I stuff dollar bills in it which isn’t exactly treating money respectfully. Don’t even ask me the state of my check register. And so it’s no wonder why money doesn’t flow easily to me. Complaining isn’t going to solve that problem, but cleaning out my wallet and coming up with a budget does. The cleanliness provides space and the budget provides order for prosperity.


I’ve been watching videos and reading blogs and books on the tiny house movement which started in the US and is now worldwide as people downsize their lives. And in doing so, the volunteer simplicity advocates talk about how all the clutter in our lives keeps us stuck in debt or we lose our freedom to travel. We find that we have to work longer hours or endure longer commutes to have all this stuff and then our lives are also spiritually bankrupt because who has time to do spiritual activities with all that commuting and working in the mundane world?

And we must ask ourselves, why must we have so much stuff that we’re buried in it. The common joke in the videos is that people are living in homes the size of someone’s walk-in closet. Well, that must be a huge closet full of clothing that is hardly ever worn because we only have one body and there are only so many days in a week or even a year to wear those clothes. And this is more of a North American than a European problem. Think of the French woman who learned how to make do with a limited wardrobe through the art of accessorizing–the silk scarf goes a long ways. And speaking of Europeans, they tend to have smaller homes, smaller appliances, and they used to have smaller cars at one time.

Of course, downsizing is a process. We give up our belongings little by little through recycling, re-use, gifting, and pairing down. We all have our weaknesses too. Since I reviewed recordings for 25+ years, I have plenty of compact disks, and also lots of books, and not so many shoes, but I love my shoes. Some people have recreational equipment (some of which they never use, but had intended to at one point).

Hire a de-cluttering queen to help you through the process or a master organizer. You could also hire me as a coach and together we can define your true values and this in itself helps with the cleaning and clearing process. Sometimes it’s just beliefs and patterns we must clear and at other times, the entire desk or room or house.

There’s a woman who stands out in the tiny house videos I have watched. She’s a middle age woman with congestive heart failure who doesn’t know how much time she has left on earth. She sold her 1,500 square foot house and now lives in a 84 square micro home in a friend’s backyard (or did when the videos were made two years ago). She mentioned that since she didn’t know how much time she had left, she reevaluated her life and what truly mattered to her–not all her stuff.

Most of my belongings languish in a storage unit across town from where I type this post–taking up less than half of a 5 x 9 storage unit. Granted I don’t have a bed because I had to get rid of it after living in the last apartment. And even with this little bit of stuff (which comes from my entire life by the way), I still could recycle and donate some of those belongings while repairing clothing and the soles of one pair of shoes.

So the point of my blog post is that it’s easier to reach our spiritual goals when we de-clutter our space and get organized. Cleanliness it seems does lead to godliness or at least to a clear channel to the Divine. Could this be why so many people are living the simpler life now? True freedom comes when we create balance between the mundane and the spiritual.

I’m an astrologer and life coach. See tabs above and sign up for a reading or coaching session.

Mundane Metaphysics (everyday magic)

DSCN9603So often when people discover metaphysics they latch on to the idea of finding their soulmate or some other dreamy cause. Or they think metaphysics provides an avenue for continually being in bliss which is just another way of using spirituality as an addiction or escapism.

The ancients who worked with metaphysics did so for practical purposes. For instance, in Babylonia, the astrologer performed the role of adviser to the aristocrats. He warned of floods, plagues, and ascension of kings as well as the fall of kings and empires. During the renaissance astrology and other metaphysical practices were combined with the arts and science thus giving the term renaissance man. Even medical doctors practiced astrology as the planets and transits corresponded to parts of the body and overall health.

But somewhere along the line in the 20th century, astrology and even card reading transformed from a useful mundane practice to entertainment. It didn’t help with astrology books such as Love Signs or Sun Signs by Linda Goodman (I did enjoy reading those books), then people looked at astrology for finding their perfect match based on his or her Sun Sign. Then at some point, the new age train hooked up with connecting with soulmates instead of following the suggestions in a song, “Love the One Your With,” now it was go search for your soulmate in a narcissistic fashion.

It’s no wonder metaphysics has received a bad rap and people make that woo-woo gesture when I tell them I practice astrology and give professional readings. Angel card readers have it even more challenging, especially if they include faeries in their readings. Come on, some people say, this isn’t the Land of Oz, but the real world.

So let’s take a look at how metaphysics can be used in the real world such as in getting employment, paying the bills, getting a promotion, buying or selling a home. What about using astrology for a career you already have? It’s all possible under mundane astrology. But even card readings can be used in a practical way, depending on the type of reader you visit.

I practice two types of astrology: Transformation Astrology which has to do with the path to spiritual or soul mastership and Practical Astrology which deals with down to earth topics such as what type of career that’s best for a client and best means to pay bills (not that astrologers don’t fall behind on bills).

Mundane metaphysics keeps us grounded in physical reality because even though we see ourselves as spirits we are having a physical experience. I even heard a Abraham Hicks video today where Abraham told a woman in the hot seat that she’s living in a physical world so meditating all the time and working on raising her frequency was actually working against her. And I’m hearing this message a lot coming from different sources.

If you do find yourself floating in Never Never Land, go do the dishes and clean house. Go for a brisk walk while noticing your feet touching the ground, sit at the base of a large tree, or try balancing your checkbook. Do something mundane.

Neptune might be a good place to visit but we don’t want to stay there. So let’s take care of the practical details of our lives using metaphysical tools. And this can be as simple as asking a deck of cards about your next step in finding a job, securing a new home, or relocating to a new town. And once the cards give you that information it’s up to you to act. Some people will want to meditate on what comes up but then they are missing an opportunity and relying too heavily on metaphysics. The key is to take inspired action.

I will write more on this topic in the future, but right now I must do the practical thing and get off my computer because there’s a storm outside my window.

If you would like mundane metaphysical coaching, please contact me at wholemusicexp at

Photo by Patricia Herlevi, All Rights Reserved




Returning Salmon & The Arts of Death, Rebirth, & Transformation

fishers of men, photo by Patricia Herlevi
fishers of men, photo by Patricia Herlevi

Many of us have grown up with the tale of the salmon–who returns to spawn and die in the place of their birth. And there are many angles to take from the heroic determination of the salmon on its final quest, the eagle who waits patiently at the top of a waterfall to feast on the salmon or the fisherman who casts his line hoping for a fish large enough to feed his family for the week…

However, the real story of the salmon is about accepting fate of a species. It revolves around death and the rebirth process or how death transforms us and carries us onward to the next stage of our evolution.

Many years ago when I was still living in Seattle, I kept seeing the Skagit River flowing in my mind’s eye. Granted, the Skagit River is not near Seattle, but flows down from the Cascade Mountains into the Skagit Valley and part of the Lower Mainland in British Columbia, depending on which fork in the river one follows. And around the same time, I was experiencing nightmares of a massacre of Duwamish Indians that took place around Chief Seattle’s time. This led me to consult with a Lakota elder who told me that it was time for me to leave Seattle (he said I wasn’t safe staying there), and did I have any place in mind I could relocate.

I told him about the Skagit River and my intuition which told me to return to my birthplace, Mount Vernon, Washington, located in the Skagit Valley. Well, after I made the decision, I kept seeing salmon symbolism and pictures of salmon everywhere. The river still flowed through my third eye. And one day on a bus heading to Mount Vernon (where I was looking for my next apartment), I met a man who worked at a hospice. Then the only apartment I could rent at the time was across the street from a funeral home. It turned out that death was all around me and this left me trembling. Was I about to die a physical death?

My health wasn’t bad at the time so I worried about accidents and laid awake at night worrying about the next big flood in Skagit (which fortunately didn’t happen while I lived there). And I did experience some near misses with death. But it wasn’t until 2008-2009 that I realized I was facing a spiritual death or a metaphorical one that led to transformation. It came in the form of Pluto transiting into Capricorn and touching my North Node (fate) and then my Ascendant (identity) and then Uranus moving into Aries and shaking my life up, even landing me in a violent situation involving a mentally ill landlady and an irate neighbor (got out of that alive). I relocated to Bellingham where the transformation process continued to this day.

But let’s get back to the salmon because I’ve been visiting a salmon run in recent days. Droves of locals head to Whatcom Creek to fish or to cheer the fish on as they make their way upstream against some pretty strong currents and even a waterfall. Then the creek calms down as it winds its way to Whatcom Falls where the fish meet new challenges and then the ones that make it, swim to Lake Whatcom and then on to the Nooksack River where they spawn. That is if the eagles don’t dine on them first. What a journey!

The salmon story contains multiple threads that involves the eco-system and every being that encounters the salmon on the journey. To some, the salmon story doesn’t travel past a culinary experience (human, bear, and eagle), and for some it’s a spiritual experience (Native American legends and rituals), and for others it’s a hero’s journey, like the teens who stood along side a waterfall and cheered each fish as it leaped over the currents–in victory and showing where determination and effort lead.


But this brings me to the teachings of Abraham-Hicks where Abraham teaches us to place our boats in the stream heading downstream instead of struggling upstream. Obviously, the salmon don’t practice this teaching! The fish struggle with currents that push against them and even tear off their fins. These fish are completely ragged by the time they lay their eggs in their homeland then take their last breath. They, it would seem, are in a hurry to die and I guess they don’t have the same view of death as we do. It’s not an ending, but a doorway into the next realm. But first, they make their last sacrifice of a series of sacrifices to ensure that their species will continue despite pollution to their habitat and all the other human-made perils they face. The legend continues and that’s enough to cause tears to mist my eyes.


Salmon and trout make their way upstream to spawn during the fall months and especially during this time of the Scorpio Sun, when the days shrink and night’s expand. At a time when we face our inner darkness and the noon sun spreads deep shadows across the land, we face the inevitable of death, rebirth, and transformation. It is only when we accept the transformation and surrender to it that we reclaim our power. The Sign Scorpio teaches us as it initiates us into Persephone’s world as she transformed from an innocent maiden into the Priestess of Death. When the sun transits in Scorpio, we must master our own death, whether that’s a physical or a spiritual one. It’s no wonder that Scorpio’s colors are white, black, and blood red. Light, dark, and lifeblood.

Scorpio also rules regeneration, lineages, and procreation. It rules passion and without passion we can’t survive, at least not for very long. Passion equals life breath and ask a Scorpio sun person or even a Scorpio moon person about their passions. This is where they place their focus and sometimes obsession. We know that the symbols for Scorpio are the Scorpion, Eagle, Dove, and the Phoenix, but I would like to add one more symbol, the salmon–a determined fish who against all odds dies heroically knowing that he or she is part an eternal story.

Whole Music Exp–Keeping a Music Diary

Wikipedia, Orpheus
Wikipedia, Orpheus

I’m posting an article I previously wrote for one of my other blogs, Whole Music Experience. Since 2005 when I came up with the idea for a music diary I have been preaching to the choir, metaphorically speaking. I believe that this is a healthy practice for all people, not just musicians or sound healers.

After years of feeling affects of different types of music listened to in different settings, I came up with the concept of tracking responses to music via a journal. The benefits of keeping a music journal include, developing music consciousness (how music affects your mind, body, and spirit), exploring musical genres you wouldn’t otherwise, and a journey into sound healing.

This exercise is more challenging for people with a short attention span or who live busier lifestyle. But the physical act of keeping a journal divided into columns with the headings Type of Music, Artist, time of day, emotional effects, and physical effects does the job.  You don’t need to run out and buy a fancy leather bound journal, a cheap spiral notebook will do the job just as well.  So how do you get started?

First you purchase the journal and create the columns.  You can even keep an online journal using Access or Excel, if you spend more time in the typing mode.  Then you need to carve out at least two music listening sessions each day where you listen to a specific time of music, and track your physical and emotional responses.  Note the time of day makes a difference and so does the mood that you’re in when you start the journal process.

For instance, I had a conversation with a music store owner who mentioned that he felt exhausted one day when he returned home.  His wife was listening to Cuban music at the time which irritated the nerves of the store owner.  It’s not that he didn’t appreciate Cuban music, but it’s hardly the music you want to hear at the end of a long day when you just want to take a nap.  I know I’ve been there myself, the wrong music at the wrong time.  But that same music would prove useful during times when you need an extra boost of energy.  You need to listen to your body when choosing music.  Obviously this man is aware of how music affects him and has made conscious choices.  He doesn’t need to keep a music journal.

People involved with music or sound healing are often conscious of how music affects them.  These lovely folks still take my workshops and I learn just as much from them as they do from me.  You can also keep a music journal (a small one in your bag or purse) to take notes for how ambient sounds and music you hear throughout your day affect you.

An example of this, one day I felt exhausted and I needed to drag myself to Best Buy.  Once I arrived at the store, I felt overwhelmed with rock music playing over the store system, television sets and stereos blaring throughout the store, etc…I thought I was going to experience a meltdown.  And you would think that going to an Aveda beauty school would provide a relaxing experience with sounds of nature and soothing music drifting through the background.  Not!  I once went to he Aveda school in Seattle where I was greeted by abrasive rock music which I sat through for the entire process of getting my hair cut.  Not only that I was situated near a wall that shook because of the washers and dryers on the other side.  You bet I took notes for how this sound experience affected me physically and emotionally.

I’ll give you one last example of how the journal works.  You go to a bank and a piece by Ravel plays quietly in the background creating a relaxing atmosphere.  You wait in line, but you don’t mind so much because the environment feels relaxing.  You take note of your emotional and physical responses to the music, and any changes it brought to your mood.  Later, you go to the library or a music shop and you check out a CD of Ravel.  You add this to your collection.

Once you have kept the music journal for several months, you will have an idea of the music that enhances your well being and music that you need to toss out.  We are all different so what works for one person won’t for another.  Keeping a journal helps you to find what works for you as a unique individual.  I urge you to try keeping a music journal and then get back to me in a few months.  Let me know how it went.

Raising Music Consciousness for the Masses


Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if we engaged in more purposeful music? Sure, the pop industry has its place, but it doesn’t seem to revolve around music consciousness or even healing with music. That’s not to say that some pop songs haven’t lent themselves to healing for some folks, only that the musicians were hardly thinking I’m going to write a pop song that heals others.

I was once a folk-rock musician and while I was heavily into the social messaging of my songs, I wasn’t aware of how the rhythms, melodies, and text affected other people by either raising or lowering their frequency. I had yet to learn about quantum physics and although I did study metaphysics, none of that had to do with sound.

I have encountered sound healers (some famous now) who started out as rock musicians. And I just thought that for younger folks, rock music provided the start of a journey into music consciousness, but let’s not forget about all the obstacles the ego placed in the way, like gnarled branches blocking a hiker’s path–not to mention the boulders of arrogance and greed as musicians desperately sought validation from the outside world in the form of fans and  record contract.

The ancients hardly cared about those trappings when it came to working with organized sound. In fact, their musical training involved alchemy and shamanism often. They learned about the power of seed sounds (mainly vowels) and in some traditions, the initiates into various music tradition began their study of sound through silence. They weren’t permitted to speak and they developed superior listening skills.

Sadly, we hardly have that height of awareness when it comes to music these days. I’ve seen new age shops fill the room with crystals (which broadcast frequencies) then play disturbing music (hard rock or goth rock) in the background. And you would think the new age folks would get this bit of wisdom. I’ve also walked into new age shops who do get it and play high frequency music in shops that have crystals. I know which shop I’ll buy my gemstones.

There is no excuse for ignorance when it comes to the power of organized sound, also known as music. There are plenty of books on the topic anyone can easily check out from a library. PBS has aired specials on the topic and many musicians (mainly from world, classical and jazz) have come on board the music awareness train. And if books aren’t your thing, watch how urban wildlife and domestic animals respond to music in their environment–that should give you a clue.

This week, begin your journey into greater music awareness by starting a music diary. When you listen to a particular piece of music or song, write down your emotional, physical, and spiritual responses to the music.  Keep doing this and you’ll change your music diet quickly, unless of course, the music you currently listen to nourishes your mind, body, and spirit.

Astrology–Take Responsibility and Surrender To Saturn

equinox 13 010

Here’s a Whole Astrology article I pulled from the archives. I wrote it when Saturn was in Libra squaring my Sun/Mercury and Ascendant.

I have strong Saturn in my chart but I hope that you Jupitarians and Uranians also pay attention to Saturn’s lessons.

Whole Astrology–Reinterpreting a Natal Chart


People often say to me, “Oh, you’re an astrologer. I had my chart read once.” As if once is enough. The problem with reading a chart only one time is that the complexity of the configurations and aspects of a chart take years of understanding. And as we evolve those configurations, challenges, and blessings take on new meanings.

For instance, a chart before a Saturn Return and a chart after this major life event provide the client with lessons already learned. At that point, he or she leaves childhood behind and begins the journey to the second Saturn Return which occurs around age 60 since a Saturn Return happens every 28 to 30 years. A chart with a yod or singleton planets also changes flavors over time. Someone coming in with a yod at 28 or even 40 years of age will talk about their frustrations. They will explain that none of their projects reach fruition, or that others don’t understand them. But when the same person goes to an astrologer after age 45, they tell a different story of synthesis and having learned some hard lessons that brought them wisdom.

I found that three aspects in my own chart dogged me in my younger years, but now, at age 51 I feel like I’m finally ripening or becoming the woman I was meant to become as a self-actualization process occurred with my Singleton Venus (retrograde), Pluto transiting over my Capricorn Ascendant and me learning that people with Saturn conjunct Moon in a birth chart (mines in Pisces), age more slowly than the rest of the population. So any astrologer worth their salt would have noticed when I was going through my 1st Saturn Return that I was blooming slowly and my life would seem arduous at times.

This is why comparing ourselves to others is never a good idea. It’s not like we’re running a race against our neighbors anyway. And if you ever noticed, fruit ripens at different times on a tree, despite the amount of sunlight and rain the fruit receives. There is no wrong or right way to take the life journey. Some people bloom at an early age, even in their teens and early 20s then they burn out in their 40s (having done this and done that already). While others take a more scenic route like I did. While some people will ask me about my accomplishments (which come off like a quilt instead as a linear progression), they will wonder what the heck I did with my life. It’s the same for people with planets in the 12th House or parked in a Yod.

So let’s look at the Singleton Venus (which I’ve written about extensively on my Whole Astrology blog). I’m always finding new meanings and life experiences from this single unaspected planet (despite it’s square with Chiron and inconjunct to Neptune). First, I’ve never found myself terribly attractive, though I’ve not thought of myself as unattractive either. Yet, I have experienced people commenting on my looks favorably, I was followed by men in college and my younger years which I could never figure out since I thought of myself as too thin and too inexperienced (hardly sexy in the conventional sense). But having a Singleton Venus is similar to having Venus in the 12th House or planets in Taurus or Libra hidden in the 12th House. I didn’t have full access to my feminine side and thought of myself as a tomboy who got along better with boys than girls growing up.

Perhaps if you also have Venus in one of those situations in your chart and you’re a woman then you can relate to what I’m saying. When I get a chance I would like to revisit Audrey Hepburn (a Taurus not comfortable with her body) and other gamine actresses (tomboys with short cropped hair) and see where Venus is in their charts.

When I combine my RX Singleton Venus with the Capricorn Ascendant and Saturn/Moon in Pisces (with a one degree orb), I adopted the belief that I’m ageless. I’ve had people remark that I resemble a 30 year old woman and yet, I’m in my 50s. I find this disconcerting when no one believes my age, but my mother, a Capricorn had the same problem over time. Capricorn and Saturn rule time and delay progress such as the progression of aging. Also having Venus in the youthful sign Gemini helps.

I haven’t had to worry about aging, though I do just like anyone. But I don’t use any special face creams or dress like a teenager. But I have struggled with feeling comfortable in my own skin (unlike those French gamine actresses). And my life has been one big head game with me spending more time in my thoughts than my body (Venus in Gemini). I spent most of my time trying to outwit others and using words as my defense. But how long can I hide behind well-placed words? Has this been your experience too?

Let’s return to the idea that every chart deserves multiple reads from multiple astrologers. But even beyond that, if you have an interest in astrology, then read as many books and websites on the topic as possible while looking for examples in your own chart. This is after all part of the self-discovery process. I dare you to find an astrologer and get a new reading on your chart today or at least read an article on an astrological topic new to you and use your chart as an example.

I’m a metaphysical coach and astrologer based in Bellingham, Washington. Learn more about my astrology at Whole Astrology. And get a personal reading.

A New Take on Pluto (Planet has a Heart)

new Pluto

When I first saw new Pluto photographs unveiled, my first thoughts revolved around taking astrology back to its astronomical roots while keeping the psychological and self exploration along with spiritual lessons. That is and has always been the essence of my astrology practice which I call Whole Astrology.

When I saw the recent stunning images of Pluto along with millions of viewers around the globe, I knew practicing “whole” astrology would become one of my life missions. Just like the bottom portion of the glowing planet (the color of scorpions and the ruling planet of the Zodiac Sign Scorpio) reveals a heart, experiencing the planets as gravitational forces that shape our lives leads me to my own heart or passion. Pluto after all represents passion in modern Western Astrology. And we experience too the adage of So Above is Below. Shakespeare too would agree that the planets and stars rotating in the heavens affect the daily course of humans and non-humans.

Since my childhood, I knew on some level that the inner workings of our psyches (I didn’t call it psyche back then), have more to do with shaping events on the planet then our outer trappings. This of course I experienced as emptiness and yearning for truth or wisdom to live by (also known as existential angst or depression). Just like Saint Francis of Assisi once shouted, “There has to be more than this toil and struggle!” I believed the

same sentiment, but I didn’t have the words or knowledge at the time to express that.

I knew this on a soul level and yet, just like everyone else in the mainstream, I mistook analyzing outer trappings such as trends and human behavior and my reactions to that as self-exploration. I confused the outer with the inner and later astrology helped me to sort that all out. After years of numerous types of therapies to alleviate depression, taking a deep dive into astrology, brought me back to my authentic self as written in the stars. Obviously this realization led to some profound experiences that transformed my life and Pluto had a lot to do with that, planet or not.

Even though us humans, domesticated animals, and urban wildlife have lost touch with our connection to nature and the natural cycles, as well as, our inner guidance (the part of us that hides like a shy child behind our wounded egos), I have a sense that gravitational forces of the luminaries and planets known and unknown lead us to evolve and destruct what no longer serves us.  And as we continue this cycle of death and rebirth, new planets such as Ceres (declared as a planet in 2006), and what should be called a planet Chiron (an asteroid discovered in the late 1970s), take us to a whole new level of developing self-love which encompasses compassion and understanding for all lives and beyond.