Moonrise Over Lake Michigan II (detail) oil painting by Anne Nordhaus-Bike

Living in Harmony Newsletter Archives

Vol. 1, No. 1: Scorpio 2011

Sun Into Scorpio: Take the Journey Within

Follow the Sun astrology book just published

Follow the Sun: A Simple Way to Use Astrology for Living in Harmony, a full-color art and astrology book, has been published. Written by award-winning astrology author Anne M. Nordhaus-Bike, the book offers a timeless, annual guide to using astrology for living in harmony with yourself, others, and nature.

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Astrology cards and posters now available

The 12 original watercolors created for the Follow the Sun astrology book now are available as posters and cards. The cover image of Follow the Sun and Anne's Moonrise Over Lake Michigan II oil painting are available as well.

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Living in Harmony ISSN 2168-4553

November Harvest painting now available

November Harvest oil painting by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
Choose from cards in two sizes, posters in several sizes

A few years ago, in November, two squashes and a pomegranate we bought while grocery shopping inspired me to paint this still life. The rich but somber background colors, earth tones in the butternut squash and basket, and bright yellow squash convey the middle autumn’s intense beauty . . .

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November Sky Through Trees photo now available

November Sky Through Trees photo by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
Choose from cards in two sizes, posters in several sizes

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Scorpio watercolor by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
Welcome to Scorpio time, the time of year that’s best for looking at life’s dark side as we carry on our quest for Truth. The Sun left Libra and entered Scorpio on Sunday, October 23, at 1:30 p.m. Chicago time (CDT), 6:30 p.m. Greenwich time (GMT). This shift is bringing all of us new opportunities to connect with the deepest parts of ourselves. As we do, we will reap rewards by realizing profound truths and making new choices that reflect that new spiritual information we receive.

About Scorpio

When the Sun travels through Scorpio each year, it invites us to explore what typically remains hidden—even from ourselves. As the great detective of the zodiac, Scorpio gives us the urge and endurance to dig for truth, and if we surrender to its challenge to take the great journey within, we can hasten the process of inner transformation that Scorpio represents.

Scorpio brings a relentless, probing energy and generally raises intense emotions. While the Sun moves through this sign, it helps to remain aware of your feelings and take plenty of time to process them. Feelings are the clues your inner detective needs to deduce your personal truth so you can make constructive choices.

For example, Scorpio is associated with life's great mysteries of birth, death, sexuality, and regeneration; among the choices we typically need to make during Scorpio time is what to keep in our lives and what to release. You can take advantage of this energy by giving away or throwing out old belongings you no longer need because their original purpose has "died." On the inner plane, you can examine old grudges, negative beliefs, and toxic emotions and resolve to let them go. In this way, you will transform and evolve yourself: like the phoenix rising from its own ashes, you will rise to new heights as you let outworn aspects of yourself fall away so new and better facets of your personality may be revealed.

Why this year is different

Although the Sun's travels through Scorpio typically bring a good measure of intensity, this year the stakes are higher:

  1. Scorpio's ruler, Pluto, is in Capricorn, the sign of discipline, maturity, high ambitions, big companies, and hierarchical structures such as corporations and government. This placement is forcing us to transform or release any routines and structures that no longer serve us. Although this energy is affecting much on the material plane, its greatest effect can be felt on the inner plane, as Pluto pushes us to evolve spiritually.

  2. Uranus, ruler of Aquarius and often called "the great awakener," is in Aries, the sign of the self, identity, new beginnings, and breaking new paths. This placement asks us to awaken to our personal identity and peculiar genius.

To add more intensity and urgency, Pluto and Uranus are in a square aspect (when two planets form a 90 degree angle to each other), which brings challenges and obstacles that must be overcome. So our drive to independence and revolution and genius (Uranus) is at odds with our desire for passion, evolution, and transformation (Pluto). In addition, Capricorn and Aries are in cardinal signs, which are the take charge, take action signs of the zodiac. So these energies are powerful and stirring up great energy as they demand that we take action.

This challenging, dramatic configuration between Pluto and Uranus will continue well into 2012 and become more intense in the coming months.

Take the journey within

During this year's Scorpio time, we can begin preparing for these upcoming changes and challenges so we are poised to make the most of the great opportunities coming our way. Each astrological sign is associated with a phrase, and for Scorpio that phrase is "I desire." This desire can manifest as sexual passion or a desire to control or dominate others. As its best, though, this urge becomes a desire to seek deep within to discover our true selves and understand life's greatest mysteries:

  1. The inner self sits like a great, vast mountain,

  2. shrouded in fog and surrounded by an iron

  3. fence with high gates. A moat filled with murky

  4. water, its banks dark and slippery, surrounds

  5. the mountain. The only way across is a narrow

  6. bridge leading directly to the forbidding iron

  7. gates. In moments of clarity, you may glimpse

  8. the foot of this mountain and guess at its

  9. purpose and power, but mostly its mysteries

  10. remain closed to you. Yet when your desire

  11. for outward things has exhausted itself, and

  12. you surrender to the inevitable, your soul's

  13. desire allows you to walk that bridge and

  14. storm the gates. Let the light of your desire

  15. guide your steps, and beware falling back

  16. into the moat of outward illusion. Once across

  17. the bridge, you will find that two keys are

  18. needed to unlock the gates: one is meditation,

  19. the other is prayer.

Now is the time to take the journey within. Set aside a special place at home where you can sit in silence to attune with your soul's deepest desires. Go there regularly and allow your inner self to shine forth during prayer and meditation. Over time, you will have opportunities to experience the beauty of the inward way. At the same time, you will come to see why Scorpio's ruler, the mythological Pluto who rules over the underworld, also is associated with vast riches…

Wishing you a life lived in harmony,

Anne signature

The Wheel of the Year

Just like our astrological birth charts, which show a wheel divided into 12 sections, each year
Free birth chart sample for Jane Addams
is a wheel or circle created by the Sun as it journeys through the 12 signs of the zodiac. During a lifetime, we have multiple opportunities to make this symbolic journey through the signs, deepening our experience of each sign with every passing year.

Sometimes, we may feel stuck on that wheel, repeating the same mistakes and facing the same challenges year after year. Yet if we can stay conscious of this yearly cycle, we have the opportunity to transform our inner experience from a wheel that seems to simply go 'round and 'round to an upward spiral that reflects real and lasting spiritual progress. Embarking on this symbolic spiral means paying attention to our experience of a given sign's energies during the month the Sun occupies that sign and then making constructive choices that take advantage of the sign's opportunities. With awareness, we can overcome errors more readily and tap creative solutions to life's challenges.

In addition to its tangible, practical help for everyday life, astrology provides a beautiful set of symbols that speak directly to our souls. In this way, it helps us take the great journey within, walking upon the spiritual path. Like the philosophers, mystics, and saints who have taken this universal human journey "onward and upward," we will travel the upward spiral until we reach the end of our striving and stand upon our  spiritual mountaintop.

May astrology ever inspire and beautify your journey on the great inward way.


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Living in Harmony

An ANB Communications Publication

Vol. 1, No. 1

Scorpio 2011

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Apex Award Anne Nordhaus-Bike

The Living in Harmony newsletter is an Apex Award-winning publication


The arts provide a powerful way to connect with our inner selves because—at their best—they communicate in the symbolic language of the soul.

Journey Within’s haunting arrangement consists of variations on a 17th century French melody called Picardy, which later was used in the hymn Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent. Let this music draw you in to enter the gate of your heart. Let the paintings help you make the Journey Within.

Music created and produced by Anne Nordhaus-Bike. Paintings by Anne Nordhaus-Bike: Sophie's Rose, oil on canvas; Heart, watercolor on paper.

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Journey Within With This Mystical Music Video