Choose Your Struggles
God is Change
And in the end,
Kindness eases Change.
Love quiets fear.
And a sweet and powerful
And engages each of us
In the greatest,
The most intense
Of our chosen struggles.
-Octavia Butler, Parable of the Talents
Photo Credit: Nathan Taylor
I've got a penchant for apocalyptic mythos (Octavia Butler's Parables series is a favorite I've recently re-visited). I am especially fond of those that assure me that though transformation can be quite painful there is tremendous hope for shaping our breakdowns into breakthroughs. At the same time, I'm with Saul Williams in "calling all tarot readers and sparrow feeders to cancel the apocalypse." This dark moon in Aries (March 30th) I find myself steeped in both the fear of change and craving the promise of newness, of hope, of possibility born from destruction. Aries needs something to protect so all that fiery, fierceness has somewhere productive to go. This lunation allies with trickster Uranus and Juno, protector of the underdog invoking our unique inner hero's journeys to be allied with the greatest good of all. Use the unexpected to that advantage. Now is the time to ask yourself where you want lightning to strike in your life?
April moves us into eclipse season (4/15 & 4/29) and a grand cross in the cardinal signs (exact on 4/23). I adore when the gregorian calendar and the astrological match up and a tax day lunar eclipse is no exception. Practicing war tax resistance has made me conscious of war nearly every day. It's a small way to resist, to ensure that the nearly half of my tax dollars that go to war do not go there easily. It feels right, good and terrifying. I remind myself all the time that it's nothing compared to the terrors of war or the acts of resistance by folks like Chelsea Manning, and it's something that I can do. The feelings we have about our struggles get highlighted especially in relationship to others. The solar eclipse that follows brings shifts in our bodies and beings toward greater wholeness in the cognitive dissonance.
The grand cross brings us to this moment's crossroad. Dynamic tensions invite shifts that have probably been brewing for a while. It's our work to find integration and wholeness in the shifting possibilities. Uranus in Aries asks us to find deeper liberation of the self and courage in creating change. Jupiter in Cancer asks us to give and receive deep nourishment to our families of origin and those with whom we have chosen kinship. Mars (retrograde) in Libra asks us to return to familiar territory in relating so we can take action differently the next time around (and the next, and then next...). Pluto in Capricorn is asking us to let go of the illusion of control so that real power can come through in service to deep, lasting transformations that serve us through difficult times as well as through bliss. What is your sweet and powerful Positive obsession to guide you through this month?
As Julie Simmons says of this dark new moon time "Step inside the cardinal cross. Bring your friends. There is actually no other place to be. Imagine yourself at the center where the four directions meet. You are the keeper of the directions of your life and today or tomorrow you must make your intentions clear. You want change, you need to feed and nourish your people, you must be a leader but not a dominator and you must have extreme courage to face the fear that there is simply not enough. Whether this is true or not, is not for you to know. What is known is that there is great fear which will require great courage."
Love & Money in the Solstice Season
I've found myself telling all my clients to handle their holydaze shopping by asking themselves these questions:
1. Have I been considering buying this for a long time? Does this reflect my values in some meaningful way?
2. Is it beautiful and useful? Will I (or they, if it's a gift) actually use it?
3. Is it a great deal?
4. Is it returnable?
If your purchase/gift/action meets at least three of these criteria, give yourself a Venusian green light.
Venus' retrograde in Capricorn from 12/21-1/31 doesn't just call us to question what we spend our resources on. It also brings our relationships center stage. This includes our relationship to ourselves. A client recently commented that she might apply these questions to her relationship decisions over the next forty days and forty nights which I reckon is probably wise. Whatever you do, this holiday season and as we move into the new year, be supremely (self) loving without all the fuss. You probably will not find peace in a "beauty" product (and may make things worse if you make drastic change unless it meets the above criteria). You might, however, find peace in a simple, sweet, self massage. Check out these holiday thrival tips to expand your repertoire of simple ways to be love in action.
2014's New Years Day aligns with the dark new moon in Capricorn, an excellent time to be prayerful and reflective, make vision board collages and write your wishes down. A new moon and a new year feels auspicious despite the fact that I have my reservations about starting a new year in the middle of winter. Making re-solutions in the sense of recommitting to loving your self and your communities is wise and beautiful. Remember though, we make vows so that we are reminded of what's important to us when we forget. It's not about being perfect, it's about continuing to try.
Photo credit: Nathan Taylor
We're in Libra season folks and with the new moon (Oct. 4th) it's time to focus on what you're wanting to get out of yet another fucking growth opportunity. The themes this month are relating, releasing and figuring out how to do what feels genuinely good even in the midst of the hard. The sun and moon are caught up in the Uranus/Pluto square encouraging us to put the effort in against all odds (as Caroline Casey says, those are the odds that the divine likes).
A wise friend recently explained that she sometimes calls Libra energy "Liebra" because there's a tendency to sweep things under the rug, to sacrifice all conflict on the altar of harmony. As she said, shit still stinks even when it's swept under the rug. The good news is that Pluto and Uranus seems to be discouraging that expression. Whatever peace we're able to find will be because of our willingness to sit with the discomfort that often comes from growth and change. Is it a surprise that the US government has now shutdown over the right to affordable care? Not really. Am I hopeful that the good sense, decorum and kindness of Libra will woo the moment, indeed! The women, infants and children need it as do the places of great beauty, our national parks (amongst so many other ways we try, imperfectly, to protect our land, air, water and health).
I wonder if we're all not feeling shutdown in some way or another, perhaps where this new moon is happening in your birth chart. Know that when we sacrifice ourselves and shutdown, the most creative parts of us suffer. We lose our sense of possibility and feel stuck. The question for me has been, where do I need to feel my feelings and where do I need to reach out for connection to spirit, to friends, to trusted advisors for help dealing with whatever I'm trying to avoid. We all need to infuse a commitment to affordable self and community care into our daily lives as one small way to ride the rising tides forward. These themes will only build as we enter eclipse season and mercury retrograde later this month.
One of my most oft leaned on affordable care tools is comedy. Thank goodness for the truth telling court jesters Colbert, Stewart and their amazing teams in these trying times. I even dreamt about Louis CK this week. Louis CK is one of those brilliant people born in the late 1960s when Pluto and Uranus were presenting a more united revolutionary front. These blessed individuals get to bring that energy into this moment of more tense transformation. His sun is right next to Pluto/Uranus so his career as a creative person, after much Virgoan hard work and integration, has really taken off in this unique astro-ecology (I see a similar opening for a lot of clients born in the late '60s). His Saturn in Aries and Moon is Capricorn have been activated by Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn too. His career is what it is today because he's willing to break taboos about parenting, marriage/divorce, and society in ways that can give a sense of relief and liberation, of not being alone, of not having to sweep it under the rug anymore. He does this best by invoking the wiser, more connected parts of ourselves. We know that empathy, feeling our feelings and being uncompromising in our commitment to live whole lives even in a consumer society run amuck is more powerful than that deep sense of empty, loneliness that comes with being human.
Photo credit: Nathan Taylor (my title: running from the sad)
Loving Our Messes
As this new moon approached, I couldn't help noticing a lot of angsty overwhelm escalating all around. Chalk it up to the Virgo season's attention to all that needs doing. The hard working, back to school energy fills the air and one can't help but wonder how it will all get done. On top of that, Virgo energy tends to want to do everything as perfectly as we possibly can (my inner critic is definitely a Virgo). Even as I write, I find myself stopping to re-read every sentence to make sure it's crafted clearly and concisely to communicate exactly what would be the greatest service to all. Forging ahead, imperfectly...
Every astrological wisdom I've encountered today says that it's time to clean house. While I love a tidy abode, I recently sat on my therapist's couch and shared how liberating it was to have a messy house AND feel at peace about it. With my Mars in the 4th in Virgo, I can get a little iron fisted and controlling about order in my home to the point where my sweetheart confessed that for the first few months that we lived together, he cleaned out of sheer terror. A year later, I'm publicly declaring that my house is mess and my well being isn't compromised by it (and no one is cleaning out of sheer terror). Perhaps it's the Chironic wounded healer in Pisces opposing this new moon, but I'm refusing to let my inner well being be determined by external circumstance and I can't advise you to either. I trust that it will all get done at just the right time and if it doesn't get done, it didn't need to get done. You are not your clean house!
If we give Virgo the space it needs to prioritize and put first things first, we may be surprised at what matters most. Perhaps it's attending to our health by relaxing with a book or a bath? If mopping those floors is what really wants to happen next then, by all means, but if your mental health is contingent on those floors being mopped (especially if you've be socialized as a woman), you might actually just need a break from all the endless doing, giving, striving.
For some (read me), it might be time to do the hard thing that we're avoiding with all the boring busy? Instead of cleaning house, I shared about the Spiritual Justice Series and learned how to put fancy buttons on my site so folks can register more easily. I also danced the tango, learned more about how to sing, ran errands for the Queer Astrology project, went to the farmer's market and listened a vet talk about how glad he was to be out of the army. It felt good to be in service, honoring my back to school routine AND not make myself miserable by judging what I didn't get to today.
All that's enough, but the secret I'm learning little by little is that it's also enough to watch TV, eat ice cream, drink cocktails, order in, sleep in, be "bad," read an entire book in a day, not return phone calls right away, set aside a day a week where nothing is scheduled, be late, laugh awkwardly at inappropriate times, not leave the house all day long and do an awful job of doing my best. Some emotional messes are harder to sit with, but getting to the place where I can say "that happened" and move on is where it's at. What if we all learned to accept exactly where our homes, lives, loves are at right now and smile in the crazy, laugh at the overwhelm? For me, that's the healing mojo of this moon. What is it for you?
I have to admit that I did feel a little panicked about what I should/could/would do in some small way to resist more militaristic madness and then I found this in my inbox. Perhaps you'll find taking action will help your heart find peace in the mess.
Creative commons photo credit.
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