The 'Real' Secret - Fate, Destiny, and the Law of Attraction
Mercury Retrograde in Cancer
(June 15th-July 9th)
First published at Myss.com.
As many of you know I am currently in the final stages of finishing up my book titled Transforming Fate into Destiny - A New Dialogue with Your Soul. I found it quite synchronistic that as I was finishing up a chapter in which I address Fate, Destiny, and the law of attraction; this phenomenon called 'The Secret' (for those of you who don't know what this is - it's a book/DVD on the law of attraction) created quite a media buzz. And thank God for the timing as it allowed me to take deep look at something stirring within the collective that is in dire need of balance.
Thus when it came time to do another article for Myss.com, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to speak to what I feel to be a very myopic understanding of what the law of attraction is; how it can be used; its obvious limits; and how it relates to our Fate and Destiny. Are you ready for the real secret? Here we go!
Fate, Destiny, and the Law of Attraction
First of all, let's define some terms for this article. I mean what the heck is Fate? I don't know about you, but I hear people mixing up the terms Fate and Destiny all the time as if they are the same thing-which to me they are not.
I did an article for Myss.com years ago titled 'Fate vs. Free Will' in which I explored Fate. For the purposes of this article, I will define Fate as: that which has been predetermined and written into our life's contract before we were born, which is facilitated into our life, manifesting on many levels and in many different forms, but primarily serves as the vessel and structure through which our Destiny is fulfilled and contained.
In other words, Fate is a blueprint of sorts, a Divine design of certain limits that the soul agrees to before birth. Within the first few years of working as an intuitive and astrologer, the idea of our soul making an agreement with Fate became very real to me. In fact, I began to sense that before we are born, we meet with certain Earth Guardians who interface with our Spiritual Guides (I call them your Team) and our soul in order to devise a plan for our creative journey on this planet. During this process, amongst other things, a body, family, culture, and archetypes are selected. This means that the agreement made with Fate and these Earth Guardians is both mortal and psychic.
Mortal Fate deals with our soul's agreement with the many limitations we each must negotiate as human beings: genetics, ethnicity, race, gender, appearance, and our final Fate-death. Many of these things we can't change, but must simply work within as part of our mortal experience. The terms of our Mortal Fate are pretty morbid, I know, but none of us on Earth are getting out of here alive!
Psychic Fate deals with the archetypal patterns we've agreed to create with and negotiate on this planet. For we are not only fated to our bodies, we are also fated to an archetypal architecture housed within our psyche. It's in understanding this Fate that my favorite intuitive tool-astrology-becomes an incredibly useful guide. For when I intuitively pick up data on clients and read their soul, I yoke that information to the astrological birth chart; which is a symbolic map of what patterns your soul fused with when you incarnated into this dimension of time and space.
You see, when you agreed to journey onto this planet, you also agreed to have your soul's personal archetypal structure be shaped by the archetypal processes already managing creation on this planet; this is what astrology so brilliantly elucidates through its symbolism. The planets are not just balls of gas and ice; rather they are living archetypal symbols. And they mirror back to us, through the synchronicity of their movements, the cyclical, collective, and archetypal creation of reality.
As these collective archetypal energies manifest through us, they individuate and seek expression through the unique way we decide to work with them-but we can't work with them until we know what they are and what's already in our own soul!
Therefore, working with your Psychic Fate means identifying your archetypal patterns and understanding their relationship to time, cycles, and the maturation process of the psyche. This is at the heart of what I do for clients via a reading; and what Caroline's work with Sacred Contracts is all about. This kind of work is important to understand because what is going on at the psychic level of reality patterns energy into form.
Thus there is a dance between our Mortal Fate and Psychic Fate-both of which speak to the intentions of our soul to create with the Earth's soul. And understanding the core inscription which was written on our soul and the world's soul is the first key to our Destiny.
That said, what's Destiny, and what does the law of attraction have to do with all of this?
The word Destiny is derived from the Latin verb destino from which we derive our English words: destination, design, destine, determine, intend, and even the word 'choose'. Destiny is learning to work with our life challenges, our Fate, so that we can be who and what we truly are because there is simply nothing else we can be, and then, yoking this "being" into service to the collective/others around us.
Though Destiny demands the actualization of our potential and the fullest expression of our essence, Destiny is never completed because it is the transitive verb of life, whereas Fate acts as the noun. In other words, Destiny is the doing, Fate is the being and both dance together in our lives, forming the sentences, paragraphs, and stories of our experience as human beings.
You may have heard it said before that Fate is the hand of cards that life deals you, and Destiny is how you play that hand out through your intentions and choices. This means that you have the opportunity to transform your Fate into something more life affirming; thus leaving this world a better place by your having lived on the planet. Destiny is your capacity to live out the threads of your Fate in a unique way that only you can do, while leaving a positive vibrational impact on the world's energy and soul.
In simpler terms, Destiny is that which we create within the boundaries of the Fate we are given. I sense that our soul really makes two agreements before birth: one with Fate, and the other with Destiny. But our Destiny issues forth from the Fate that was written on our soul before we incarnated, and matures into this world through the journey of our lives as we become who were born to be, learning how to manage the powers of creation at our disposal-one of which is the law of attraction. What exactly is this law, and how can we use it to fulfill our Destiny?
The Law of Attraction
I have been involved in the study of metaphysics for nearly sixteen years, and remember when I discovered the law of attraction right at the very beginning of my studies. I remember feeling like "Yippie, the key to everything I want!" Boy was I headed for a crash and burn…not unlike many of those out there who are currently buying into the law of attraction as if it were the only law in the universe.
Nonetheless, the law of attraction is indeed real. It is a universal law of creation that posits like energy attracts like energy in this universe. And as we all, in essence, are energetic beings pulsating at certain frequencies; the law of attraction causes your personal vibratory frequency (which is a by-product of what you do, focus on, believe, and think about) to attract to you people, situations, events, and opportunities that are a match.
In their book based on channeling the teachings of Abraham, The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent (Hay House, 2006), Esther and Jerry Hicks write this about the law of attraction:
In the same way that the law of gravity consistently responds to all of the physical matter of your planet, the Law of Attraction consistently responds to all vibrations. Every projection of thought, whether you are focused into the past, present, or future, is vibration and has attraction power. Each thought offers a signal, similar to a radio signal, that the Law of Attraction recognizes and matches. This powerful, consistent Law of Attraction (that which is like unto itself is drawn) offers consistent results in response to the vibrations that you offer.
So the law of attraction is about consciously aligning ourselves vibrationally to thoughts and intentions that carry frequencies which hold the most affirming creative potential in any circumstance. To use the law of attraction we must learn to manage our thoughts, engage our imagination, and master our perception of reality. Essentially we learn via the law of attraction that what we focus on is empowered and animated, attracting to us a quality of energy and informing how we experience events.
The power of the law of attraction can't be denied. How many times have you woken up in a bad mood that you couldn't shake off? The next thing you know, your day just keeps getting worse as you draw to yourself one accident and frustrating scenario after another! Heck, this just happened to me the other day as I had a car accident, which led to a bad mood…I then watched as I attracted more accidents and frustration the whole day long!
That said, how many times have you woken up with a smile on your face; only to be greeted by the smiles of others and positive happenstance at each turn of the day's corners? I am still waiting for that to take hold of my day! lol!
So alright, we can all relate to this law, but just how powerful is this law, and what are its limitations? After watching 'The Secret' DVD you'd wonder if there even were any limits at all. Yet to say that it has no limits of operation absolutely negates our own experiences here on this Earth.
For example: what do you tell the parents of a one year old that has leukemia? That their child or they as parents attracted the disease because of the law of attraction? Or if they just focus on positive thoughts without counter-intending with negative ones that their child is guaranteed to heal?
What about those who died in the massive tsunami in Indonesia a couple years ago? What do we say to them about the law of attraction? Come on now folks, things happen in life because of other laws; and sometimes because of a law like Fate.
I must suggest that we embrace the law of attraction in a more mature way by integrating what's often missing in our understanding of this law, which is something very crucial regarding our soul's agreement with Fate: The law of attraction can only be effective, both in positive and negative ways, within certain limitations of our soul's agreements with Fate and Destiny. Therefore it has limits of operation within our life's purpose, and can only transform Fate into Destiny when it is connected to the intentions of our soul and the Divine.
In other words, the law of attraction is a creative power of the soul and simply can't be used to acquire what the ego wants if the soul is not on board, for better or for worse. And positively speaking, the law of attraction can only magnetize the greatest potential that your life was designed to hold per your life's purpose. It can only bring to you that which can be contained within the fated limits put in place to support your Destiny.
Having said that, I hope you can begin to grasp the enormous importance of discerning the Divinely designed circumference within which the law of attraction can magnetize your potential.
For example, I have met many people in workshops who have approached me and asked, "Robert, I'm using the law of attraction, and still I can't seem to get what I (ego) want, what am I doing wrong, am I 'counter-intending' against what I am trying to manifest?"
I have often given them a quick intuitive once over and had to tell them that they are pursuing the manifestation of something that was not intended for them this lifetime. Rather, their ego, often driven by a cultural spell to want something, is chasing something the soul is not on board with - and if the soul is not on board, the law of attraction can't blow wind into their sails and move the boat of their life forward toward the next shore.
In addition I have also been asked, "If I can't stop focusing on my desire to see harm visits someone that I am angry at, will that attract to them or myself disaster?"
To which I have often said, "You're not quite that powerful that you can change the course of someone's life negatively simply because you are mad at them, and if your soul's contract demands otherwise."
Can we send others funky negative vibes, or constructive positive vibes, and does that have an affect on them? Absolutely! But there are certain limits that protect us when it comes to how we can use the law of attraction to achieve both what seem to be positive and negative ends. And please be clear that I am not speaking here to Divine interventions resulting from the power of prayer…that's a whole other alchemy completely. Moreover, I am addressing how we use our own personal power to affect each other through the law of attraction.
Yet still, I find it poignant that most people only think of using the law of attraction for material gain or ego based agendas-which makes sense as that is the primary focus of much that has been put out there in the media and books regarding this law. Let's face it, you don't hear of many folks using the law of attraction to simply be closer to God, but why?
Law of Attraction and Western Capitalism
To get a grasp of how we can truly use this wonderful universal law of creation, we must take a much needed cultural assessment of how we are interpreting it through our Western mindset. Though many spiritual teachers and motivational speakers today stress the importance of using the law of attraction through positive thinking, visualization, and affirmations to manifest abundance; unfortunately, I have noticed that quite often one is taught to focus on using this powerful law via a capitalist drive for attracting more stuff. This is not surprising as we are in a capitalist culture after all, and are bound to first interpret life through that filter.
Thus, many people begin visualizing financial abundance, new cars, homes, or perhaps soul mates, and healing of illnesses (often exclusively defined as the result of negatively mismanaging their thoughts.) To be sure, what we focus on is expanded via that focus and the thoughts we empower, and the healing of certain illnesses can be aided (and often healed) by positivism.
But what about the illness that comes as a necessity to the soul's awakening? What about the creative depression that must be experienced as an initiation into the unlived life inside of us? What about the financial straits that must be endured in order to squeeze choice out of our lives, not allowing us to choose out of the ego's pride-ensuring that the soul's journey is kept on course?
Can the law of attraction take away these necessary situations intended to grow our soul into our life? Does visualizing and acting 'as if' these situations of necessity are as our ego would like them to be always objectively change them? Does simply deciding to see them differently make them go away? No. They are sometimes there for a very important reason per our Fate that is integral to our Destiny and must be accepted as such.
In other words, there is a difference between the denial of reality-such as having one hundred dollars in your bank account, though you keep visualizing a million and acting 'as if' it's there, while nothing changes-and the reorientation towards events and experiences in our lives as affirming and meaningful, such that we can empower ourselves to co-create reality through our inner response to them.
Thus, though you may want a million dollars, maybe you're simply not meant to have a million dollars this lifetime, but you can still see your life as abundant regardless of your outer wealth. So how then should we use this law? It's in choosing to see every situation as being infused with meaning, guidance, and grace that the law of attraction is really meant to be applied.
Which means the best way to access this fantastic law is quite simply through 'an attitude of gratitude'. In this way the law of attraction is always effective in activating the highest potential of our lives, and will bring to us the greatest abundance our lives are designed to hold-yet this abundance means nothing if it's not transformed into service which gives back to humanity. That said, I can't say I've heard to much talk, if any at all, of service within the material out there about this law. But that's not the only thing that's not talked about!
Our Cultural Fate Phobia
Let's face it folks, we in the West do not like limits. The way the law of attraction has primarily been embraced by the masses in our culture is a clear symptom of our Fate phobia. We say here in America that we can become anything we want to be, right? Well, not exactly…we can become what our Fate and Destiny will allow, but not anything we want to be, no matter where we live.
For example: Can I just decide that I'm going to use the law of attraction to be the next American Idol? I'm an ok singer, but believe me, that's not within my Destiny and ain't gonna happen! Or better yet, can I use it to live forever or change my race?
But don't take my word for it, look at your own experience…extrapolate something from this for yourself that's less obvious - where do you falsely believe you can use this law to change what your soul is growing toward?
I actually find it ironic that the law of attraction is actually one of the most powerful tools we can use in transforming our Fate into Destiny; yet we can't even begin to use it to that end as we are so fate phobic that we can't even look our Fate in the eyes and greet it!
Nevertheless, because using the law of attraction means that we become responsible for the ways we choose to see our Fate; it can be used to energize the gifts (the Destiny) inherent within our Fate. This is indeed done through what we choose to focus on-making each challenge an opportunity to bring forth the best of who we are and can be.
And though we may want a limitless life regarding our desire for earthly things-whether that be financial wealth, a new house, a new car, to be married, or a healthy body-in my experience its best to first ask the soul/God what's possible within our life's design.
I mean, who among us hasn't wanted to erect a manifestation board and paste on it our wish list? But we must really be clear on what part of us is doing the wishing, our ego or soul? Surely you have heard of the saying, "Want to know how to make God laugh? Tell God your plans!"
Please don't get me wrong. I'm all for going after the best life you can on all levels-including earthly abundance (Bring it on! You know what I'm sayin'?) But, when we try to be or have something other that what our inner design dictates, then we fate ourselves to the exact opposite-an unfilled life, a life of suffering; an idea that I greatly explore in my upcoming book.
In closing; after all these years and hundreds of readings, I have realized that what I primarily do as an intuitive and astrologer is function as an interpreter of Fate and Destiny. In addition, I feel my greatest service to clients is to offer helpful guidance on how they can best participate with the contract they have with Fate. Once the contract is understood and worked with consciously, Fate can become Destiny; and once that alchemy is in place, Fate and Destiny join forces in sustaining the motion of your life-cutting down all obstacles on your path like noble warriors so that you can fulfill your purpose.
The law of attraction is meant to help that process along, not negate it. It simply can't change that which was written into your soul before you came here that must be lived out as part of your purpose. And if you could see your life with your soul's eyes, you wouldn't really want it any other way.
Whether your Fate shows up as conditions and events that happen to you that are out of your control for better of for worse (it could be Fate to win the lottery too ya know!), or unconscious archetypal allies that sabotage you because you have yet to befriend them; if it was ordained as your Fate and chosen by your soul as necessary experiences of spiritual awakening, then it must be.
I think the 'real' secret is that the law of attraction can be quite seductive to the ego, yet is rendered impotent without a connection to the soul's plan and a higher source. An ego lacking in humility is rendered vulnerable to this seduction because it often experiences the choices of the soul as a defeat, and must continually wrestle with the dualism of Earth.
Initially it can be quite painful for the ego to absorb that the soul likes to awaken the personality to its presence through the contrast that polarities like pain and pleasure offer. Therefore to fully appreciate the intentions of our soul and its contract with Fate, we must be willing to relinquish our allegiance to the dualistic ideas of the ego such as, fair/unfair, pain/pleasure, right/wrong, and good/evil. Furthermore, we must approach the law of attraction as a powerful ally, but not as the only law in the universe, so that we can unleash our Destiny.
Suffering and duality, as the Buddha taught, are part of the agreement that Fate often brings to our soul's incarnate journey in this world, and until we include them in our understanding of consciousness, we are not complete. Rather, we are chained to the suffering that polarizing into opposites produces.
I must admit, it's quite tempting to adopt the law of attraction as yet another ego defense against our necessary, purposeful limits and mortal suffering; but to do so is not only ineffective, but does a great disservice to our own humanity.
Mercury Retrograde in Cancer
(June 15th-July 9th)
I realize that for some of you, astrology may be a new tool. If you'd like a more in depth understanding of my philosophy regarding astrology, then please visit my website. For now, let me first summarize briefly what a Mercury retrograde cycle is: When looking in the sky at the planet Mercury we usually perceive it as moving in a forward motion through the heavens, this is called "Mercury direct"….then every 4 months or so, it appears to go backwards in the sky due to our earthly orbit operating in tandem with Mercury's orbit around the Sun.
This apparent backward motion - and I say "apparent" because it's not really going backwards - lasts for about 22 days. When Mercury is direct we are engaging with life in a very forward way and not overanalyzing actions. Making decisions seems to be in greater harmony with the forward movement we want to take on our path in Life. Yet we are also more driven by the personality and ego during such times, and tend to not allow for too much reflection and introspection generally speaking. All the while we are forging forward; the Universe is giving us guidance via intuitive data that we tend to miss because of our busy minds trying to run the show due to our wants and needs.
In an effort to keep the Tao of our lives in balance, we are given a three week opportunity to reflect and re-evaluate our choices and direction in various areas of our life symbolized by the astrological sign Mercury is retrograding in, allowing for a more informed wisdom to emerge while we slow up a bit and redirect our life - this is the Mercury retrograde period. When we resist - via our ego - this introspective time, then Mercury as a messenger, shows up in the "Trickster" form that everyone is all too familiar with. This is the phenomena that you always hear about; electronics breaking down, accidents, miscommunication, thwarted plans, etc. These are all agencies through which the Universe operates so that you'll slow down and pay attention to the message the Gods have for you!
And here we are again, the Gods are delivering a message both collectively and personally to us that we have needed to hear as a reminder of just what our purpose is, and Mercury, the herald of the Gods, is ready to deliver, but are we ready to listen?? The "set up" phase of this Mercury retrograde began on June 1st. This is because on June 1st, Mercury entered into the degrees of Cancer that it will eventually retrograde over again while it backtracks for 3 weeks. This Mercury retrograde technically began, however, on Friday, June 15th at 7:40pm EDT. Have you been feeling it or what? Mercury will stay retrograde until July 9th at 7:15pm EDT, when it stations direct bringing with it a new Cancerian soulfulness to our thinking, communicating, and perceptual processes.
This year, the three Mercury retrogrades all occur in water signs which means that we are called to re-evaluate the quality of emotional connections we have in our lives with each retrograde. This demands that we use these times to understand better our own personal psychology and past. We must be willing to receive the emotional data that leads us to new breakthroughs regarding our inherited psychological traits, needs, and unresolved psychic complexes in our unconscious. In Jungian terms, this year's Mercury retrograde in the water signs is about activating the "feeling function" of our consciousness so we may come to understand our emotional life on all levels - from the personal to the collective. This demands an investigation into our personal values and our subjective responses to the world around us. Now onto this retrograde in Cancer….
A year ago, Mercury went retrograde in Cancer as well, which is why I am calling this one a second act (Part II). It's my sense that this year is a continuation and deepening of the themes that came up for all of us last June/July. Take some time and reflect on what was going on with you around this time last year. Cancer is a very subjective energy, and deals greatly with our personal unconscious and sense of origins, i.e. family. So you might want to look to family issues and your past first for clues regarding what your soul is trying to work out, but that is just the surface of this watery sign. As we go deeper we discover many archetypes swimming in Cancerian waters that must also be given consideration.
The archetypes that constellate around this sign, or cluster around it which will activate in our lives would be: The Mother, The Rescuer, The Child, The Caretaker, The Enabler, The Nurturer, Betty Crocker (ok, I made that one up!), and the archetype of Family and Home itself. My sense is that what is up for review and introspection this retrograde are the ways in which we need to feel emotionally connected to others in terms of tribe and family.
You may want to spend this retrograde period asking yourself what you need to feel deeply loved and supported emotionally in your relationships to others, and how do you communicate those needs? I sense many of us will be addressing the 'family psyche' that we are connected to, which will perhaps be activated by latent emotional issues surfacing. So, that old grudge you never resolved with your sibling, mother, father, may come up……..or perhaps the 'pink elephant' that sat on your table at dinner growing up, that no one talked about is finally addressed on some new level.
The Child Archetype will be activated too because fundamental family issues always reference our childhoods and the parenting we received. Yet, it's the emotions that matter during this retrograde, and perhaps more importantly, how you were mothered growing up, and how that fractals into the rest of your life will be a main issue this retrograde. Yes folks, get ready to deal with your fundamental mother complex!
Cancer also represents our memories and past, so the past may catch up with all of us in some way if it's still creating our present in ways no longer tenable to the Soul's intention. For those of you who are more sensitive emotionally in ways that are not life affirming for you now because you surrender your power to others via your hyper-sensitivity, get ready to grow a shell this retrograde - which means time for some boundaries! If you've been emotionally shut down, then this retrograde will bring events to get the waters flowing again……. And help you realize the value of emotional life. We all need water to survive, no?
We may also need to address, in ways that we are ready, the fact that we can sabotage intimacy with others in our lives because of our fears of abandonment. This means looking at where we can be passive aggressive in our communications and efforts to love and be loved. This retrograde may bring out our hidden wounds which keep us from drinking the water that is right in front of us, yet our wounds keep us from seeing it.
In other words, each of us will need to become more fluent in the language of feelings as they relate to the Deeper Self during this retrograde such that we understand the hidden reactive and subjective aspects of our minds. Our own needs to be nourished must be acknowledged, in spite of our issues of abandonment - otherwise we effectively will abandon ourselves as we push out the love in our lives.
More mundanely, you may simply want to redecorate your home to bring in more nurturing energies to your life, as the home resonates with Cancer as a symbol of security. Or perhaps this will be a good time to consider relocating to a new place so that you feel more emotionally fused and connected to a sense of family/tribe in your life.
In addition, the feminine and receptive aspects of our psyche will need to merge with a new outlook and perspective on life to bring us up to date with our purpose, growth, and authentic needs. No matter what area you are needing greater balance in, this retrograde will address the imbalance as it relates to the integration of your own archetypal feminine energy, regardless of your actual gender - that's a head's up for the men out there!
The first two weeks of a Mercury retrograde cycle are usually the most difficult because something is trying to birth from the unconscious on both a personal and collective level. This demands often that Mercury show up in his "Trickster" form - tricking us into taking a good look at ourselves! The more you fight, the worse you make it, so let go…..breathe, and ask our dear Hermes what message he has for you from the Universe and your Soul. By June 28th, we reach the midpoint of the cycle as Mercury conjuncts (joins) the Sun in Cancer in the sky, delivering the main message and theme for you regarding this retrograde cycle. Don't rush about thinking it's over yet though!
Your psyche will still be too caught between two perspectives to make clear judgments, and more time needs to be allotted for a fully informed solution regarding your needs for inner emotional security and connectedness with others. Save the big choices of your life until sometime after July 9th, when Mercury goes direct again. Then you might have just enough insight to make some wise, informed, and new choices which build a deeper emotional network for your life. I'll be crying, processing, feeling, remembering, and reaching for deeper levels of loving right along with all of you.
I wish you all the best! Introspection and slowing down can go along way these next few weeks. Remember that abandoning a part of yourself is a choice, so don't abandon the part of you that needs to be loved and nourished as part of a family. I hope that I was able to give you a more balanced view regarding the law of attraction, and point you toward how to best apply it for yourself.
Until next time…..