Body Love

By Amanda Moreno

That might have been my favorite Mercury retrograde period ever. Not that I tend to track them too closely. Aside from a basic knowledge that watery Mercury retrogrades mess with me more than others, I tend to stick with an awareness that they’re happening so I can make decisions and evaluations accordingly, and reflect as the need arises.

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

During this retrograde period, which spanned my 6th house of health and service, I have been startlingly productive. One of the things I have done was to recommit to weekly, if not daily, time spent learning astrology — be it via podcast, in-person lectures and workshops, reading, researching or teaching.

In the past three weeks I have done plenty of all of these. This means I have approximately 17,000 different interesting things to discuss here. So maybe someday soon I’ll get to that item on my checklist that says “Create a stockpile of articles for Planet Waves.”

In order to clear my head today before sitting down to write, I decided to take a walk around my favorite park. As I was walking, I felt a tightness in my chest, and a memory stirred. I remembered being 14 or 15 in Physical Education (PE) class at school. We were being told/forced to run “stadiums,” which meant we had to run up and down the steps in the aisles of the stadium, run around the track, and then do it again.

I was never a fit kid. I was always overweight. Running up and down huge steps in the Arizona sun was pretty much a fate worse than death for me. Or at least it felt like death. I remember feeling like I couldn’t breathe, like I was swallowing blood, like I couldn’t make my legs lift any more. There were always time limits on these things, and I never met those ‘goals.’

This memory linked to others. It wasn’t the only time I had the taste of blood in my mouth alongside an inability to breathe. There were relay races and ‘track and field days’, where we ‘got’ to do sprints and timed mile races and long jumps. I know that I hated it all, but when I think back on these memories I’m startled at how quiet I was. How much I held it all in — whatever I was feeling, which I’m sure was a blend of humiliation, dread and pain.

A few weeks ago a similar memory stirred: PE class again, but this time it was in second grade during the gymnastics part of our curriculum. We were supposed to do cartwheels down the gymnastic mats. I’d never done one before and on my first try I fell.

The girls in back of me laughed and pointed. My mom later learned what had happened and called to talk to my teacher about it. I remember that teacher, who taught me throughout elementary school and into middle school, perhaps making a blanket statement to the class about how we shouldn’t laugh at people. But now that I think back on it, I also remember that despite her ‘niceness’, that teacher always had an air of ‘this poor girl’ when she interacted with me. I began coming up with reasons to ask my mom to write me a note excusing me from the class. Later on, I forged my mom’s signature on notes I wrote myself.

As this part of me came up, I was flooded with compassion and love alongside a hearty dose of tenderness directed towards that part of me who was so quiet and shy, and whose body was not capable of running a mile in seven minutes — or in twelve, for that matter. I was always incredibly healthy. I was never fit, and no one ever spoke to the ways in which physical education might be different based on my own interests and health needs.

The written readings for all 12 signs of Vision Quest are available, and Eric is working on the audio astrology and rune readings! Order all 12 signs here, or individual signs here.

The written readings for all 12 signs of Vision Quest are available for instant access, and Eric is working on the audio astrology and rune readings! Order all 12 signs here, or select individual signs here.

Sometimes I’m in awe of the ways I held it all in from a young age, stoically acting like none of it bothered me. I found myself in present day envisioning a big hug to my younger self, assuring her those days are over and that she doesn’t have to go through it again.

I was also flooded with relief that even though the notion of getting physical activity was so strongly tainted by these early interactions, in my adult life I’ve developed what I would consider to be a healthy relationship with physical activity — on my terms. More importantly, perhaps, my body image is pretty damned positive. I love the exercise that I choose — long walks in the woods, urban hiking, dance parties in my underwear in the morning, walking on the treadmill in my basement when it’s too rainy, sex…

My own research and many of the 2016 readings I’ve read or listened to this year seem to point to an overarching and recurring theme of physical health and the way we take care of and love this physical vessel we’re in. Our social conditioning in terms of health and wellness is so many different layers of fucked, as is many people’s ability to obtain healthy food — let alone find time for movement or exercise. With all three (actually, four!) Mercury retrogrades this year taking place at least primarily in the earth signs, perhaps we’d be ahead of the game to re-evaluate our relationships with our bodies and our health — our physical education, if you will.

It’s not that it’s rare to have three Mercury retrogrades in earth signs. This is something that happens fairly regularly. In the context of the Saturn-Neptune square, however, with its focus on bringing the dream into physical manifestation, it seems like a helpful and timely little nudge from the universe to give our physical vessels some extra love and attention, doesn’t it?

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About Amanda Moreno

Amanda is an astrologer, soul worker and paradigm buster based in Seattle. Her adventures in these forms of ‘practical woo’ are geared towards helping people to heal themselves and the world. She can be found in the virtual world at

5 thoughts on “Body Love

  1. Robert Moore

    Hi Amanda –
    I’m sorry your beautiful walk was almost ruined by those horrid memories I can all too easily relate to. Kidding, of course, about the walk being ruined. Clearly you brought it around to some deep gratitude for where things are at today.

    But as I’m sure it was for so many of us, those terrorizing feelings of being pushed beyond one’s physical capacity really only served as the piling on of more “stuff” to work through in adulthood.
    To your point about being a healthy kid, I most certainly was as well. I spent all summer long working on the farm. It was hard work but at a pace and level I could manage. (Then after getting pumped up all summer, unathletic me would be the first to be picked for teams in gym only to frustrate and disappoint everyone as the school year got underway.)

    Anyway, I am very much in the same mindset as you today as my personal fitness routine is now a source of fulfillment which that tormented, wheezing kid cough up blood would have never thought possible.

    Thank you for reminding me/us how far we’ve come in so many ways.
    =] Rob

    1. Amanda Moreno Post author

      I remember building forts out in the desert, riding my bike with friends… and swimming. I LOVED swimming. Still do. I always hated hiking, probably because my mom started getting into it right around the start of my teenage years when I hated anything she wanted or asked me to do, but being outdoors and doing stuff was definitely part of my life growing up. It was that performance/competition-oriented stuff that was so miserable.
      Thanks for the comment 🙂

  2. DivaCarla Sanders

    Gosh, can I relate to the horror of being an unathletic, uncoordinated kid in PE class. I hated PE, everything from team choosing to calisthenics, and dancing. I learned to make a fool of my self on purpose, a comedy routine, to head off ridicule. Does anybody know if it has changed at all? Do kids have choices that make them feel good about being in a body, and feel happy and/or successful at moving it? I do know yoga was rejected at a local school because it was a non-christian religious practice. Sigh.

    Merc retrogrades in Earth being about the body and health. Good call.

  3. Lizzy

    Such a great piece, Amanda, thank you. And love the comments too. Took me back. PE class was among the worst school hours of my life, during unhappy schooldays (till about the age of 14) – I was often bullied, and was hopeless at team sports. I’m left-handed, and managed to get out of playing hockey by hiding the one left-handed hockey stick. I remember being very envious of my two brothers – who were skilful footballers, and found companionship and joy playing football with their teammates. Indeed, the one sport I enjoyed for a brief period was football, which my older brother taught me to play when I was just 7 years old. And like all of you – it wasn’t till much later in life that I discovered the wonder of my body, and physical exercise.

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