Welcome, to this week's flowering, Full Moon in Pisces. The mutable water sign is represented by two fish: one swimming up towards the expanse of the universe and the other, into the depths of the ocean. This symbolism evokes an inner tension, a longing we cannot fulfill for something.... we know not what. In The Matrix, Morpheus captures this restless quality of Pisces when he describes Neo's feeling that his reality is off beam. He cannot pinpoint exactly what is wrong, but "it is there, like a splinter in [his] mind," vexing him endlessly.
With Neptune in Pisces (disillusionment, forces beyond ourselves) conjunct this Full Moon, we may be asked to sit with an uncomfortable inner splinter or two. Unlike Neo, we have no Morpheus with his "red pill" to release us into truth. What's more, a full three-ring circus of socially-endorsed escapes and distractions beckons to us, promising that we'll feel more satiated and less alone. If only.
Opposite this Full Moon, the Sun and Jupiter in Virgo (work, service), call to mind the widespread dissatisfaction with deadening jobs and a quickening desire to do more with ourselves, our talents and our lives. We can recognize, at the same time, what a tremendous privilege it is to entertain a vocation with purpose and passion while the majority labors under conditions that crush mind, body and soul. In fact, in those moments when our hearts break wide open in compassionate acknowledgement of suffering, you can be sure that Pisces is present.
The Trans-Personal Realm
The wetiko-driven death march of our unsound institutional powers - which expect the social commons to endlessly absorb the precipitous costs of its global folly - is reflected in Pluto's passage through Capricorn (decay and destruction of large structures and institutions). Many of those who observe and write about this phenomenon take the collective expression of self-destructive inhumanity and point it back to our individual psyches, suggesting that we examine where greed, power-lusting and fear-based control mechanisms exist in ourselves. The idea being, that our smaller, individual darkness feeds the larger, rampant shadow of humanity as a whole.
While I do not entirely disagree with this "as-above-so-below, as-within-so-without" prescription for more individual shadow work, it all sounds pretty palliative to me. This is the realm of the trans-personal planets (Pluto, Neptune), with influences both diffuse and incorporeal. For a society that craves certainty and control as we do, this tends to make us anxious. Our wonted reaction to trans-personal forces is to try and distill them down to a manageable, personal project. We are deeply relieved by the feeling that we are "doing something" about any of it. We react and brace ourselves in preference to standing naked as nature, constantly anguished but bonded to existence by unconditional love. Not a love that appeases and makes us feel better, but a soul-making, world-rocking, cut-to-the-core love, like the "fierce embrace" of life in David Whyte's "Self Portrait".
On this Full Moon, can we approach the trans-personal from beyond an "if-then" construct, and keep the dizzying, heart-rending paradox of our terrible, wonderful world in play? Can we expose our vulnerable bellies to heat of fierce intimacy with life itself, not fully knowing what that sacred relationship might ultimately require of us? To this end, I want to mention the fiery, courage-gifting trine happening between Uranus in Aries (individuality, personal genius) and Mars/Venus in Leo (creative desire and action) during this Pisces Full Moon. Spiritual concepts and noble ideals are essentially meaningless if not expressed through the uniqueness of a human being, tied to their irreproducible set of experiences. You - whatever you truly are - have traveled through space and time to be here now. Each person is like a precious, one-of-a-kind chemical with the potential to mix and react with the chaos of the current world scene and thereby produce unfathomable results! It is my personal belief that engaging with an open heart*, allowing ourselves to be "triggered," sets this reaction in motion.
You, the Sunbeam
Our earth is about seventy-percent ocean with depths averaging over ten-thousand of feet. The rays of the Sun cannot penetrate the surface of water below several hundred feet. This means that the vast majority of our planet is in a state of total darkness. As an analogy to the themes I have been exploring in this post, we are like the individual rays of sunlight. Though we maybe cannot (or even should not) hope to address the entire ocean of darkness, we still cannot but shine our light.
The sunlit surface of the ocean, known as the euphotic zone, accounts for two-thirds of the photosynthetic activity on earth. Organic life critically depends on this relatively tiny sweet spot where water meets light! Forget about "saving the world" and know that, in your small way, the sunbeam of you sustains this perfect, inexplicable balance of everything that is. Venture as deep as you can. Know that the meeting place between light and great depth is life-enhancing and exquisitely fertile. Allow the mystery and FEEL! And have a phenomenal Full Moon in Pisces!
*Countless teachers and healers are working today to bring forth their heart-centered approach to life. One of my particular favorites is Matt Kahn and his Love Revolution work. I recommend exploring the unprecedented teachings that are readily available to us today. It is fantastic hear and be touched by a great message. At the same time, one of the best ways to honor of the extent of labor required to bring forth these messages is to take the advice of another brilliant and prolific teacher I love, Christina Pratt, who continuously calls us to be moved into action.
Last week, a new Moon Cycle began, meaning this Saturday is the First Quarter Square (waxed from new to half-full; see photo). On that day, the Moon will pass in front of Saturn, their bodies creating the focal point of a T-Square, like the tip top of a triangle. Our Sun in late Leo and Jupiter in early Virgo sit across the round table of the zodiac from Neptune in Pisces, and it is as if the line between them forms the base of a pyramid with a Moon/Saturn in Scorpio capstone.
Moon/Saturn Scorpio at the Top of the T-Square
The Moon in astrology relates to memory and is like a giant, metaphorical womb. The Moon as a creative matrix (a creatrix!) is a realm of undifferentiated matter, like the stem cells in the regenerative uterine lining, containing infinite microcosms of possibility. Saturn relates to form and governs our bones. DNA from bones can remain intact for a long, long time, even hundreds of thousands of years under the right conditions. These silent, mineral remains may offer us genetic clues about human origins, but they can never share the story of the individual life which hung upon them. Both the Moon and Saturn deal with ripening, be it human maturation (Saturn) or an ovarian follicle producing an egg each month (Moon). These two come into proximity in Scorpio, a deep water sign that deals with transformation through cycles of death and regeneration. The Moon and Saturn share a special relationship with their respective 28-day and 28-year cycles. We are offered a deep look (Scorpio) at the dynamic relationship between the long (Saturn) and short (Moon) cycles of time. Looking at the themes of this First Quarter Square chart, the concept of "continuity" comes to mind.
We all live inside of a certain continuity, waking up each morning as the same "me," most likely in familiar surroundings and probably with some personal routines to perform or schedule to follow. Our bodies are constantly renewing themselves (a current theory suggests cell turnover takes about 10 years) and we experience many cycles of growth and transformation in our views and perspective over a lifetime - or so it is hoped.
Shifting our focus to the Sun in Leo and Jupiter in Virgo area of this T-Square, continuity becomes re-contextualized as the common human desire and drive for self-perpetuation, be it through passing our genes to actual children or pouring yourself into a "child" of the mind, hands and heart through various creative media (or both!). Jupiter, having journeyed through Leo, has recently entered Virgo where the jovial planet's abundant and expansive nature is productively tamed under the patient, careful vigil of this mutable earth sign. Ultimate continuity in the Jupiter-in-Leo sense might look like erecting some transcendental monument. Virgo reminds us that through small and humble, life-sustaining actions every day, we can seed the continuity and health of humanity into the future. And across the way, from the perspective of pure transcendence, Neptune in Pisces reveals nothing but an enigmatic smile.
As an aside, I was watching a documentary show about an ancient civilization recently and for the first time I really noticed the use of "them" and "they" (rather than "us" and "we"). I understand that to reference a specific group of ancient humans it is natural to talk about what "they" did. At the same time, this "othering" language lacks a certain sense of continuity, belonging with and connection to our predecessors and our common humanity.
So what is your relationship to continuity in the face of certain mortality? What ancient legacies live in your bones? Which memories form the peaks and valleys of your life's geography? How do you nurture a healthy continuity in your own life? Perhaps through ritual, creative work, friendship and familial love, transcendental meditation or communing with trees or ancestor spirits, to name a few practices. Common astrological knowledge has it that First Quarter Squares are triggering and that the Moon feels uncomfortable in Scorpio. I offer these words in the hopes that attuning to the through-running current of a larger cycle (of our being, of our humanity, of our Earth) might balance any self-inconsistencies, restricted flows or extreme reactions that a First Quarter Square in Scorpio might unsurface.
Have a happy weekend everyone, and stay tuned for this month's Full Moon in Pisces!
We're coming up on the annual New Moon in Leo. The fixed fire sign of the lion is ruled by the Sun. The Sun accounts for 99% of the mass in our solar system. Yes. Accounting for the combined mass of Earth and all the other planets, many of which are gas giants, it all makes up just 1%. And because atoms are 99% space, when it comes to Earth's human inhabitants, if you took out all of that space, out of all 7 billion of us or so combined, our matter would roughly fit inside of an orange.
Wow. Our middle-aged sun is also estimated to be 4.5 billion years old with another 5 billion years left. Our individual life span would not even register on that pie graph. All of the drama and perceived significance of our daily lives plays out inside of this grand mystery, on a relative scale so infinitesimal that is laughable, awesome, and freaky.
On this lunation we have the Sun conjunct Venus and the Moon and Mars all in Leo. All of these bodies are in the realm of the personal (as opposed to the outer, slower and more massive trans-personal planets) in the sign of individuation. I bring up the unfathomable scale of all that is and these cosmic perspectives because, with all these personality- and individual drama-centered themes going on, it can be healing to connect with the paradox of significance/insignificance, and feel a deep sense of wonder and curiosity about the very, very strange nature of existence, to touch upon the absurd.
But let's be honest. If you've been following local and world events right now, you probably do not need to consider the mind-boggling circumference of the Sun in order to feel some sense of comparative triviality. Pluto's (destruction, transformation, rebirth) passage through Capricorn (law, authority, institutions) and Neptune in it's own sign of Pisces (dissolution, confusion) are reflected in the current global state of affairs, our rapid arrival upon a steep ecological precipice and countless examples of societal dissolution and disillusionment.
They say the Milky Way consists of between 200 and 400 billion stars and at least 100 billion planets. There are an estimated 100 billion galaxies (and it is possibly, probably infinite). Our star will inevitably die and take this planet out with it. We are just the surface-dwellers of a planet that has experienced five known mass extinctions. Each of us lives within a closed-loop cycle of birth and death.
So what are we all doing here, riding this seemingly endless spiral path on spaceship Earth? This current moon cycle began in the waters of Cancer (sensitivity, intuition). The vessel of the moon, having achieved full flowering and illumination in Aquarius (idealism, humanitarian vision), incrementally poured out all her light over two weeks time and now she will take an empty pause in Leo (self-awareness, heart-centered expression).
This Leo/Aquarius spectrum very much relates to how we as a part (Leo) relate to the whole (Aquarius). I am not suggesting we need to "figure out" the meaning of our lives as they relate the larger picture. I hope the considerations I have drawn out in this post actually help us surrender the impulse to make sense of everything. Rather, this cycle's inaugural Cancerian energies ask us to take a dive beyond the rational mind into deeper sensing and feeling. Cancer has ties to the subconscious and irrational, and a knowing that cannot be explained. In the quiet of your mind, using your extraordinary powers of perception, zoom in or out - it doesn't matter which - as far as you possibly can. Feel the 37 trillion cells of your body, each with its own nuclear spark, it's specialized consciousness. How many whirring atoms is that? Sense the earth as a minute speck among 100 octillian - innumerable! - stars in the universe. Slip into that profound sense of being in love with life, your life and humanity, such as it all is. Because really, who knows what this is all about?
This new moon in Leo also kicks off the next cycle, which expresses through the energies of the Virgo/Pisces axis, very much associated with healing and sacred enchantment. Marinate in what inspires you and if motivations arise, do not worry about how you will go about expressing, accomplishing or completing them. Plant seeds and give them time to germinate, perhaps making smaller, symbolic gestures if it feels right. As the sun moves into practical, crafty Virgo, you will likely find yourself more resourced for real taking steps, or simply getting in touch with your processes and rituals. Another opportunity to love the uniqueness that is you (Leo)!
And the mystery of life just continues to unfold. I'll leave you with sweet words from the inspiring, exceptional Fiona Apple who reminds us that our only purpose here is to make our unique splash, become one distinct wave and "sink back into the ocean."
Happy new moon, everyone!
My little, well-loved slice of cyber space is like a playground, a pillow for my head to dream upon, a public confessional for the sweetest secrets of my humanity. Thank you for visiting, whoever you are!