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.
Lilith is the part of us that refuses to submit, that would rather be exiled than deal with oppression. Naturally, Lilith's territory shows us where our unexpressed anger resides. It's where the wildness inherent in our human animalness still exists regardless how it's been nine-to-fived out of us. I share about Lilith now because the faces of all my clients, especially my cisgendered women and trans clients, literally light up when I mention her name. We recognize ourselves in the dark goddesses, the alienated and marginalized, feared and too often despised. Looking at Lilith helps us to bring the unconscious acting out when gaslighted into doubting our own inner knowing into conscious strategies to counter and transform this madness. I'm an advocate for inviting Lilith back to the garden, breaking taboos and making the magic of the untamed parts of us celebrated expressions of our inner wildernesses.
In that spirit and the spirit of International Women's Day, I'm excited (and so nervous) to break the abortion taboo. It's one thing to advocate for choice and another thing to publicly acknowledge the importance of one's personal choice. When I was just 19, I got pregnant. It was absolutely not time for me to give birth, let alone become a parent. I was lucky to have the explicit support of just about everyone in my life and it was still incredibly hard. The small town I lived in didn't have a doctor who would perform the procedure. I thought of all the women in areas more rural than me and shudder to this day. The price tag was nontrivial for a working student and got cheaper the further I was willing to travel. Even with all the support in the world, it was tough, but I knew from the beginning what was right for me. Yes, it was hard, but I can promise you that it's not as hard as having a 12 year old right now would be.
I recalled some deep wisdom knowing that exists in all our bones, helped along in me by growing up with herbal remedies and gardens, that there were certain plants that could be used to induce miscarriage. I did a ton of research, went to the health food store and started dosing at the highest levels I could while still being safe. It worked. Ever since then I've wondered why there isn't more conversation about the kinds of abortions that are less easily regulated into oblivion. With the recent attacks on health care, I wanted to share my story with the hopes that that information is never driven away again and like Lilith can start to occupy a more central place in our cultural narrative. It's time for abortion to become a non-issue, a right that simply cannot be taken away.
To learn more about Lilith, join me at Lynn Bell's talk on Astrological Lilith at The Center for Sex & Culture on Wednesday, March 20th at 7:30pm. I doubt she'll be discussing herbal abortions, but we can have tea beforehand if you want to hear more.
What does it mean to let go of expectations and allow what is to simply (or complicatedly) be? More importantly, how the hell does one get to that sweet place of acceptance? I have a feeling that this Mercury retrograde will bring those questions to the fore of our psyches. All there is to do is feel your way through it. It won't hurt to back up your computer, but in ocean of feeling Pisces, Mercury's retrograde will be more about how we feel when we are running late, not meeting that deadline, encountering that technical difficulty.
I caught myself being really mean to myself for not leaving the house soon enough to make it to my drawing class on time. I was frantic until I remembered that in terms of the vastness of all that is was or will be, being on time to a class doesn't actually matter. I was able to shift my perspective enough, only after feeling really bad, just breathed thru it, talked myself down and relaxed. I got to class and we were attending an art opening so no one even noticed my tardiness. The process of letting the feeling come and then go made me better ready to do my creative work. Not so coincidentally, the class was focused on perspective. It's amazing how much can shift when you shift yours. I found myself letting go perfection and going with good enough. I hope to bring that insight into the next few weeks which will surely be filled with a bounty of imperfection and even more good enough if I can just open my eyes to it.
I was struck after such a potent, simple lesson, to encounter this brilliant endeavor to use art as ritual. In the heroic effort to let go of disappointment and transform it into contentment, artist Jodi Sharp, takes the words (mercury) exchanged in one of those challenging relationships and literally tries them on. She then wears them into the bathtub (a Pisces place to be sure) and lets the story that I suspect has been so draining, drain away. It creates a beautiful mess as any relationship that lasts long enough will. Do you want to focus on the beauty or the mess? When words get jumbled and misconstrued, when feelings get hurt, when our hearts race around all that we don't have any control over, it's time to look at the sky, seek the vastness and breathe yourself back into the moment. As Jodi's blog name suggests, it's all in process. Be gentle and kind to yourself thru the process.
I recommend checking out Jodi's full process and description here too. Pisces loves art, music, poetry, any kind of creativity that gets you in the zone, transcendant and in the present. Mercury the messenger loves doing that which helps you communicate ideas and experiences. Perhaps reading her eloquent words will inspire your very own artful medicine spell for this precious moment.
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