Re-writing your narrative this Mars retrograde

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It’s important to be deliberate and specific in what we want – often our stories have been shaped unconsciously. As a child you may have been told that you were lazy, selfish, useless, dumb, not creative, weak, pathetic… I know I was. It has taken me a long time to go over all these implanted limiting thoughts and re-examine them, discarding them when I realised that they were both untrue and harmful.

With Mars retrograde in Aquarius from now until September 2018, this is a great time to re-invent your story and re-write your narrative.  Words are spells, and the stories we tell ourselves about our lives are powerful in shaping our experience. Limiting beliefs often stand in the way of us accomplishing what we want and need to accomplish in our lives. In this post I will share with you my ritual for re-writing my narrative this Mars retrograde.

My Mars retrograde re-writing ritual:

  • First, write a re-cap of your story over the past few years focusing on what you have achieved, and how far you’ve come.
  • Second, because we have to be aware of what we want to transform, write down the limiting patterns and beliefs you are aware of in every area of your life – I did this focusing on the themes of each astrological house.
  • Thirdly, meditate on each area/house, and intuit what kinds of affirmations/messages you want to replace these limiting thoughts with.
  • The fourth step: be specific – for each of these areas make a list of very specific things you want to think, feel, see, and experience.

I have not quite gotten to step four yet but I will share my limiting patterns and affirmations below in case they are useful.

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Image from The Tiny Totem

1st house – feeling like I’m not good enough/not doing enough/not a good shining person

Affirmations: I am good enough – as I am – I am enough – I do enough – I shine and radiate warmth – I am good and whole – we are all good enough if only we can recognise it – I do well to be myself – I am proud of myself – I am a wonderful person – we are all wonderful beings – I am here to learn and share – I accept myself through and through. I love and approve of myself, 0 I am doing my best – we are all doing our best – I am whole and centred and full of light.

2nd house – not having enough, scarcity, fear of loss, financially disempowered, undervalued

I have enough – I am blessed with abundance – I am grateful to have everything i need and more – I have so much that I can share – I am generous and kind and giving with healthy boundaries – I am valued by others – I have strong values – I am secure in myself and my path. I have a fabulous income and I spend it on things that I value – I own just enough (not too much, not too little) – I have everything I need.

3rd house – lacking in confidence RE communication and esp in job interviews, fears about not being a good enough writer, frustrations with communication, meaningless communication, anxiety and unhelpful social media habits, wasting energy, dishonesty

I communicate confidently and with ease – I am intuitively guided to say what is best suited for the situation – I can be honest and open and safe by listening to my intuition on what is a good thing to say at the time – I listen to intuition – I come accross as competent and confident – I am a wonderful writer – people enjoy and appreciate and value my writing – I get lots ofgood and useful feedback – I communicate calmly and clearly – My communications are meaningful and I listen well – I am good at calming myself and centering myself in my body – I have healthy and productive communication habits – I use my time effectively – I integrate information and knowlegde to effectively share understanding with a wide range of people who are receptive to me.

4th house – Feeling frustrated/grumpy at home, and playing into power struggles with the child

I have a wonderful home-life – I am safe and comfortable and at-ease in my home – my home routines are good for my health and wellbeing – I spend enough time alone and looking after my needs – I nurture and noursish myself well – my home is beautiful and practical – I keep only the things I need, want, use and love, the things that enhance my life and bring me joy – my home is a solid foundation – My early life and family patterns have given me wonderful learning experiences and I process and let go of the emotion that no longer serves me. I live in healthy balance with my home and family, past and present. I take responsibility for my role and for my ability to help. I feel supported, connected, nurtured, and loved.

5th house – feeling insecure and anxious about creative exposure, fear of death through vulnerability/character assassination

I celebrate my creativity – I celebrate my creative work – I stand by my creative work – I feel good about my creative practice – I feel proud of my novels and other creative writing – I am comitted to my creative practice and to sharing it with the world in good ways – I have valuable things to say and my creativity helps me to share understanding with a wide audience – I am strong enough to stand in my vulnerability – I enjoy receiving useful feedback and let go of anything that is superflous to my needs – I understand that people project all kinds of things into what they read and I only take on-board what is useful for me – I am proud of my creative character and I am resilient. My creative practice is a balanced part of my life – I have a strong need for creative expression and I feel fulfilled in my creative practice – I share bravely!

6th house – feeling resentful/frustrated/disempowered about work, feeling like I ‘have’ to go there, rather than like I want to be there – feeling tired/low energy/afraid of exhaustion

I’m full of energy – the work that I do gives me energy – the work I do is meaninful and empowering – I am putting my skills and talents to good use – I’m contributing in a meaningful way – I work with great people – I enjoy my time at work – I love my work – I am healthy – I exercise well and eat nourishing food in balance with my body’s needs – I’m so grateful for my work – my work brings me joy – I’m satisfied with my income – I earn more than enough – I feel content and excited with my job – I do a great job with my work – I am grateful that I can be genuine at work, and be myself – I feel understood and appreciated and valued in my work – my work is in wonderful balance with my home life and my creative life!

7th house – judgement and negative projections about other people, including in close relationship and when we first meet. Feeling limited in ability for relationship with women, feeling inhibited.

I observe my own patterns and release myself from perspectives that do not serve me well – when I meet people I see the good in people and good is reflected back to me in my interactions with others – I am self-aware and notice my own patterns reflected in other people – my relationships are harmonious – I am happy and satisfied with my relationships – I am good at relationships – I feel free and empowered in my relationshipsI am present in a way that brings out the best in people – I enjoy my interactions with other people – I feel happy and excited and safe in relating to other people.

8th house – feeling disempowered, pattern of powerlessness and being made powerless by other people in positions of power, disempowerment with money

I am empowered – I stand in my own power – I am strong and brave and courageous – I explore my own mind deeply – I am in a process of continuous transformation and unfolding – I grow, heal, let go of what I no longer need, rest, and come back into blossom – I am in-tune with my own cycles – I am empowered in my body – I am empowered in my finances – I am empowered in my interactions with people – I am empowered in my sense of self – I am powerful.

9th house – fear of not being taken seriously because of spiritual ideas, getting stuck on ideas, not feeling like I live up to my ideals, inhibition when it comes to exploring, travel, adventure and new experiences – fear of the unknown and of risk, fear of publishing failure

I am wise and intuitive – I am brave and courageous – I explore the fronteir of my own mind – I step out of my comfort zone to grow – I am always learning and exploring – I am an excellent researcher – I have excellent perspective – my publishing is successful – I am exactly where I need to be right now – I have faith in life – I trust in my path and my journey
10th house – ambition and its attachment to my self-worth RE work status/title, fear of not achieving enough at work and in the world, fear of inneffectiveness, power struggles at work, feeling superior, fears of failing to achieve my publishing dreams, fears of public ridicule, feeling held-back by gatekeepers, feeling underappreciated and undervalued at work, confusion about career path

I am happy and satisfied with where I am in my career – I am excited about my career path – I am working towards achieving my dreams in an effective and practical way – Every day I take another step forward towards greater independence, greater success, and greater effectiveness in my career – I am valued and well-regarded in all my work areas – I meet the public in a way that is good for me – I clear my own path and make my own way in the world and I am also well-supported – I am good enough and I am doing enough – I am on my best path.

11th house – feeling socially isolated and disconnected, feeling like I don’t belong, outsider, hating parties and being socially awkward, hating small-talk, feeling superior to the masses to protect myself from failure/shame/humiliation/embarassment – fear of failure/shame/humuliation/embarassment.

I am worthy of love and belonging – I am connected to many groups of people – I am great at having interesting conversations with the people I meet – I am innovative and in-tune with new developments – I value other people – I feel comfortable in my own skin and can easily relate to other people – I am comfortable with myself – I find it easy to connect with people – my creative work connects with a wide audience that resonates with me.

12th house – patterns of avoidance and hypochondria, being sick in order to escape, opting out of things that make me uncomfortable, too much screen-time as a drug, too much junk food as a drug, the urge to surrender myself to another person in wild infafuation, feeling weak and hopeless, fear of inprisonment, fear of the shadow, fear of powerlessness, fear of the void.

I face the difficult parts of myself with loving kindness and acceptance, I face up to my fears – I face challenges with bravery and courage – I am strong in myself – I surrender only to my path and the present moment – I let go of the past – I am well – I am healthy – I am present – I fear hopeful – I have faith in life – I am powerful – I find power in silence, stillness, aloneness and in the void – I follow my intuitive wisdom to create harmony and balance in my life – I am good enough.

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Shifting wind

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And just like that

The wind has changed

Blowing away the old dead ashes of yesterday
Sands shift
Beneath our feet
The Plutonic grit of yesterday’s irritation
Dissolving
Cloudy sky
Brooding miracles

Busy people
Rushing past
Missing the point in their hurry
Missing the patterns on the water
Missing the whisper inside of wisdom

Stop
Look
Listen

Feel out
What lies beneath
Our fear
Trepidation
Of the depths
Of potential

Wide open sky

Contentment and fear

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The water looks particularly beautiful today
Late afternoon light
Smooth
Shimmer
Cool
Breathe
I can be present
Still this wakeful, restless mind ever searching out progress
To sit
Humbled by the sea
Awe
Magnifiscence.
I am happy
I am joyful
I have everything I need and want
I’m on the path I need to walk
I’m contributing
I’m listening to deep intuition
I am content

Looking into the undulating water surface
I see a girl falling
Diving in
I’m my minds eye
Think about the terror of my own deepest desires

Tyrrany of dreams

Vulnerability
I know
I must dive into the fear
No one is going to rescue me
I have to learn to swim

Shadow work: Saturn, Neptune, and pulling back the blanket

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Ghostly – by Stephanie Wild

When you have been stumbling in the dark for a long time, in terror of what you don’t quite know, it can be a startling surprise to have the blanket pulled from over your head – to realise that it was there this whole time, keeping you bling to your own patterns.

This is what it can feel like when you come to a ‘big reveal’ in shadow work.

Under the blanket, in the dark, it’s safe and warm. We hide under the blanket, as children because it keeps us safe from monsters. In this way, the darkness of our shadow – of our ignorance and innocence – is a safety zone. If we can’t see what is terrifying us, we can pretend it doesn’t exist. Ironically, that very safety zone and the lack of ability to see is what keeps us paralysed in fear as well, in fact – pull back the blanket or turn on the light and the monsters vanish into thin air.

Do you ever wonder what patterns might have you in blind-folds?

Maybe it is a complex you have been struggling under for some time, a personality patterning, a strong natal aspect that kept you feeling powerless – a prisoner in your own life. Maybe it was too easy to project your powerlessness out onto those putting you in this situation, victimising you, making you feel terrible  – and maybe you have good reason to fear, hate or resent people who do and say horrible things! There is no need for a false dichotomy. Both can be true at the same time: we can be in a pattern of being victimised – our own pattern – and also be actually victimised at the same time (as is often the case). Strangely, the people making us feel like powerless victims often feel similarly powerless and victimised… our realities may be so incompatible that one person must surely be crazy. Either way, we are all usually stumbling in the dark, bumping into each other and getting mad, upset, hurt, scared or otherwise unhappy about it.

Neptune can blind-fold us. Engulfing us like a spell. Never letting us know that we do not know what we do not know. Neptune governs hidden things. Neptune is a great, delusional, drizzly spell and in the 7th house, especially opposite the Ascendant, there is a tendency for captivating and immersive projection. Saturn is just now conjuncting my Neptune in the 7th, opposite my Ascendant. Saturn brings cold, hard clarity and smashes the pretty baubles of Neptune’s delusions, revealing what lies beneath the blanket: my subconscious patterns.

For a long time I have felt I was in a kind of hostage situation – My natal Mars in Scorpio squares my Leo Sun. “Did you grow up with a bad relationship with your father?” an astrologer once asked me, in relation to this aspect. Well, yes. I grew up feeling continuously under threat because my Step Father was the kind of parent who threatened violence in order to gain power – all the time. I was always negotiating my freedom, pleading with my mother for intervention. Desperate and fearful.

Childhood patterning runs deep.

To this day, I feel like I’m held hostage by people in my life I cannot escape. I have been struggling with this intense terror and powerlessness acutely in bursts over the past few years – always projecting outward onto a bizarre and surreal external situation, this pattern that was mine.

I am only just beginning to realise – as the shadow blanket slips away, revealing harsh, bright light, that the ‘other’ has no power over me, other than that old fear. I do not need to live in terror. Not anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

The progressed moon through the houses and shifts in life focus

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Moon-Girl by Stephanie Wild

I once had a friend named Roy. Roy was a business man with a keen interest in Astrology. He taught me about lunar progressions and what they mean in terms of life stages.

Roy was living in Amsterdam many years ago, and for the life of him he couldn’t make any business deals work. He had all the right contacts, he was networking in all the right places, meeting all the right people, but nothing went to plan. At this point Roy already had a good understanding of astrological natal charts and transits, but nothing here quite added up. He was living in his own personal dark ages – there must be some reason – he thought… It wasn’t for while that he learned about lunar progressions.

Little did he know it, but Roy’s progressed moon was in the 12th house. As soon as his progressed moon crossed over into the first house the business connections started happening, as if by magic. He went to meet a friend, who it turned out had left the country and Roy was able to pick up the business his friend had left behind and make a good amount of money very quickly.

Years later, Roy was living in Amsterdam with his partner, a vivacious woman Jules. Roy and Jules would go out to parties often, however she found that no one would really talk to her. She made no friends. She was lonely and isolated. Having experienced his own 12th house moon progression, Roy recognised the signs and sure enough – Jules’ progressed moon had also moved into the 12th house. He reflected that as soon as it crossed over again into the first house the phone wouldn’t stop ringing with friends calling for Jules, she made friends easily and was able to resume being a social butterfly again.

Roy told me other stories of the progressed moon in the 12th house. A friend of his was a jewellery maker in Amsterdam but could not sell any of his jewellery, no matter how hard he tried. Every week he would get a little bit of dole money and buy some silver and make a few rings. He managed to amass a large stock of rings over the few years of his progressed moon going through the 12th house. As soon as it crossed over into the first house he met a guy who owned a shop in the red light district who was keen to stock his jewellery in the front window. It all sold out in a month or two, and the 12th house transit paid off.

The progressed moon charts the emphasis of our lives – where your heart is – as Roy said. It takes around 2.5 years to go through a house, although sometimes it is shorter or longer, depending on the angles of the houses. As it goes through the house it carries the emphasis of the house meaning. You can find your progressed chart for free at astro.com, in the extended chart selection, just enter your birth details and select ‘progressed chart’ instead of ‘natal’.

In the first house, it is all about you – emerging into the world, new beginnings, new adventures. Self esteem, self love. It takes on the qualities of action, of Aries. This is a time to act, to be assertive, to be confident. Lessons of the first house may involve challenges to identity – identity crisis, losing a sense of self and finding oneself again.

In the second house the progressed moon focuses on security and material stability – on the physical and on comfort. This is time to hold your ground – or to find your ground. This is time to delight in simple pleasures and to ponder values. Lessons of the second house may involve losses or substantial gains to property. This is also a good time to focus on looking after your body by nourishing  yourself well.

In the third house it is all about communication. This is a time to write, to connect, to think and share, to go on short journeys and address issues with siblings. If you have been thinking about starting a blog or a journal or writing letters – this is the time. You may encounter challenges of communication or problems with siblings during this time you may feel childish or patronised.

In the fourth house the emphasis is on home – on roots – on ancestry – on the family. This is probably not a good time to travel or move overseas (unless you are moving home or to an ancestral home). During this time you may encounter problems with ‘home’ – you may be forced to move. This is all part of the learning of the fourth house. remember the deepest roots are not ones that can be taken from you. This is an important time for self care, you are more likely to feel sensitive and to try to protect yourself. Learn how to nurture yourself well. Revel in the comfort blanket.

In the fifth house there is a strong focus on what we can create. Do you have a hobby? Do you lack one? Do you want to make more meaningful creations? Do you want to have children? These are some of the questions of the fifth house. This is the natural home of Leo. The lessons here are about play, performance, creativity. This is also a good time to start a blog, take up painting, photography, or join a theater group… that kind of thing. The challenges you will face may arise around questioning your purpose in life and your self-worth, in setting out to do the kind of creating you feel compelled to do – or in struggling to find a worthwhile kind of creation that you feel confident in doing. Friendship is very important to this time, and you may encounter difficulties with close friends which teach you more about yourself.

In the sixth house the emphasis is on work. Hard work. Analysis. You may feel like a slave to your work or to your home. You may feel your efforts are not acknowledged or rewarded enough. This is a chance to develop your skills at meticulous work, at finer details, at critical analysis. The work you do now will pay off and you have the opportunity to work your way into a life of more freedom. This is the sign of Virgo, analysis and hard work. Facing the hard stuff will have lasting results.

In the seventh house the focus is on relating – on partnership. This may be a time when relationships become central. Romantic relationships and other kind of partnerships (eg: business) take on a greater significance. Relationships are largely based on projection and expectations – and that is the primary learning here. Become as aware as possible about your expectations of the other, and about what these say about you. You may take on a stronger interest in balance, harmony, peacefulness, beauty and aesthetics during this time.

In the eighth house these two or so years will be spent understanding depth, power dynamics and other Scorpio themes. The eighth house is INTENSE. It is the deep, dark, the esoteric. Your progressed moon in the eighth house will likely compel you to seek to understand power or get subconsciously caught up in power games. If your relationship focus from the 7th house continues it will change substantially. You will seek more from life – more experience, more depth, more challenge. You may become overly cynical. Watch out for your own dark side. Lean on empathy. Power without empathy is hollow and unfulfilling.

In the ninth house the focus shifts to a much broader lens. You will become interested in wider philosophy and theory, in exploration and travel – either in the mind or in the outer world. You may develop new spiritual understandings or join a different school of thought. Your thirst for depth from the eighth house will develop into a quest for knowledge, research and understanding. You may seek to develop a platform to share ideas, you may yearn to spend more time in nature.

In the tenth house your journey towards greater philosophical ideas will shift from the theoretical into the practical. How can you influence the world? If you previously have shown little interest in career development this is the time in which you may feel compelled to find a vocation, or it may be time for a career shift towards one that is more fulfilling. You may feel powerless, you may need to confront childhood issues with an authoritarian figure (eg: father/mother/teacher). This time is the right time to keep casting your rod into the ocean, you will eventually catch a fish or at least learn a lot in the process. Be practical. Take the opportunities that arise and shape them into ones that fit your values, don’t just sit around waiting to be discovered. Learn to fail, and to process rejection and find strength in vulnerability. These are very important lessons. You are finding your place in the world. Look to your midheaven sign and any strong aspects for the nature of your lessons.

In the eleventh house you take your new place in the world in a different direction. This is a time for networking, meeting new acquaintances and socialising. This is also a time when you may feel more detached from personal turmoil and more interested in humanitarian pursuits. How do you want to improve the world? What issues do you care most about? You may feel compelled to get involved in activism, charity or volunteer work. You may be interested in learning to use new technology for greater communication and to have a further reach. You may connect more with people over the internet.

In the twelfth house you may gather, as the first part of this post is all about the twelfth house, that this time is a time when things in the outer world do not tend to go to plan. This is an inner-focused time, a time for deep self-work. Roy told me: the work you do at this time won’t seem like it’s doing much but the results will show later. He also said: Go somewhere where they bring you food. Wouldn’t that be nice? Lock yourself away in a convent if you have the opportunity, go on silent meditation retreats, spend a lot of time doing flow activities, yoga, journalling, walking in nature – if you have such luxury. The biggest thing to remember is not to have too many expectations of yourself or of your life at this point. Inner processing is important. It may feel like your creative projects, your career, your social life or your goals can’t seem to gain any traction. It may feel like everything is going backwards. This is the inner part of a big spiral, where things seem to become very circular. Do the work. This time, as it relates to Pisces, reflects the lessons of ALL THE OTHER SIGNS COMBINED. Work through them as they arise. Your Saturn work will help you now. Your hard work will pay off, especially if you learn to question yourself. If you cannot face shame and the shadow now you may be prone to megalomania when the Sun progresses back to the first house. This is a very good time for therapy.

Listening to deep intuition

The waves of chattering thought crash noisily at the edges of the mind. The constant chatter is surface level, never still, always seeking something more. To say that something is surface level does not mean it it not important – the surface of the water is no less important than the depth, just as the skin is no less important an organ in the body as the others. Everything has a place, and yet this constant mind chatter draws much attention, it crowds out the murmurs of deeper waters.

Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estés, the iconic Jungian analyst and story teller, talks of listening to intuition as a sacred process. Life is presented to us often as like a smorgasbord, a catalog of what other people have and what we are taught to want. We can spend so much time focussed outward – seeking to fill ourselves with everything that is on offer, spread out before us, rather than listening to our deep intuition: to what we really want and need.

It is a difficult journey, into one’s subconscious, because no one else can show you the way through the labyrinth. You must feel your way along the walls, inch by inch. Similarly, no one can tell you what you intuitively need or want, or even exactly how to listen. However, between the waves of breaking thought, between the breaths, when there is nothing else to fill the void, the layers of consciousness may shift and your attention may be drawn, deeper and deeper, through them: closer and closer to deep intuition.

When you hear the calls of the deep self, like whalesong, they will feel familiar. They will resonate. They will be deafeningly obvious and clearly true. Yes. This was the message all along. This is how to nourish self. This is how to care for the world. The inner and outer work. The lessons. The journey. The reasons. The purpose. Here ebb and flow the currents that pull us in the directions we may have never realised we were always destined for.

What do I really need right now?

Show me

Projections: love and the Mirror of Erised

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In the first book of Harry Potter (Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone) Harry stumbles across a mirror late one night when exploring the Hogwarts castle. He is instantly entranced and fixated. He seeks to return, night after night, to stare longingly into the mirror.

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I have been thinking a lot about crushes, fixated infatuation and the feeling of falling wildly in love as metaphorically like the Mirror of Erised in Harry Potter: it shows people their heart’s desire but is just an illusion. Harry sees his parents. Ron sees himself winning the house cup etc.

Many people have wasted away in front of the mirror, longing, trying to get what they want out of it… Voldemort sees himself using the philosopher’s stone to become immortal. At that point what Harry wants most is to find the stone and not use it. It appears in his pocket.

We see a beautiful illusion in another person. Maybe it is the child inside ourselves teaching out for reunion with a parental saviour. Maybe it is the happily ever after Prince rescue that feels so close to a death wish with heavenly afterlife.

On some level we want to surrender to oblivion and not to have to do so much. Life is exhausting. We are weary. Everything is hard. But maybe the equivalent of finding the philosopher’s stone our my pocket is discovering a hidden nugget of truth or deeper self awareness.

Relating to other people is often a process of navigating projections.

A similar reflection of relationships is represented in Osho’s Zen cards:

7 of Water: Projections

The man and woman in this card are facing each other, yet they are not able to see each other clearly. Each is projecting an image they have constructed in their minds, covering the real face of the person they are looking at.

All of us can get caught up in projecting movies of our own making onto the situations and people surrounding us. It happens when we are not fully aware of our own expectations, desires and judgments; instead of taking responsibility for them and owning them, we try to attribute them to others. A projection can be devilish or divine, disturbing or comforting, but it is a projection nonetheless–a cloud that prevents us from seeing reality as it is. The only way out is to recognize the game. When you find a judgment arising about another, turn it around: Does what you see in others really belong to you? Is your vision clear, or clouded by what you want to see?

In a cinema hall, you look at the screen, you never look at the back–the projector is at the back. The film is not there really on the screen; it is just a projection of shadow and light. The film exists just at the back, but you never look at that. And the projector is there. Your mind is at the back of the whole thing, and the mind is the projector. But you always look at the other, because the other is the screen.
When you are in love the person seems beautiful, no comparison. When you hate, the same person seems the ugliest, and you never become aware of how the same person can be the ugliest and the same person can be the most beautiful…. So the only way to reach to truth is to learn how to be immediate in your vision, how to drop the help of the mind. This agency of the mind is the problem, because mind can create only dreams….
Through your excitement the dream starts looking like reality. If you are too excited then you are intoxicated, then you are not in your senses. Then whatsoever you see is just your projection. And there are as many worlds as there are minds, because every mind lives in his own world.

Osho Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing, Chapter 7

Just as Osho says: look at the back, look at what’s really behind the projection.