I have been all about making collages these days. Picking through old magazines and gathering a variety of striking images, playing with arrangement, trusting my intuition as guide. Because magazine content and advertisements are already attempting to access, ping and influence our subconscious, collages hit us at a deep level. Working with this medium defies my ability to first select a topic and then create from or about it. Rather, a stream of seemingly random choices contribute to a meaning that seems to choose itself. Once complete, a collage complicates the desire for a defined subject or a clear means to interpret what appears. It remains staunchly a mystery and thereby can hint at the unknowable.
The cycles of experience within collage-making mirror my life. Some days nothing seems to stick out or inspire. You can be working from the exact same materials from one session to the next and the magic just is or isn't there. There are times I feel a direct and full connection to life. I can tap into my well of intuitive power and sense a unique balance of elements that is highly conductive of love/art/spirit. At other times, everything is just... basically... shit. Through it all is a flowing current. We are not always consciously riding it but it carries us nonetheless.
A collage in the process of becoming takes very little conscious input. I sift through images and tune into that under-running current. Things begin to suggest themselves and it is as if forms just want to become. When I slip into analysis or evaluation I can feel a mounting frustration. That's when patience and trust come in handy. You can give your mind a task - just look for more images - when you can sense it trying to control and determine things. Skimming through pages is so meditative you easily glide back into the flow. I have found in collage a very healing spiritual practice.
Our fixed-earth friend Taurus is all about experience. This tendency can express as attachment to a specific experience but transmutes into being very sensuously alive and present. It is an energy that builds slowly, which is why I am called to speak to collage or any practice that steadily flows until contact with the mystery emerges and flowers. Tragedy, acute fear, close-calls, hallucinogens... all of these can thrust us into a sharp contrast with habitual reality and alter our consciousness, perhaps in valuable ways. But Taurus is about dedication and cultivation of change. This Full Moon in particular is about appreciation, especially for talents, delights, resources or states that you've been investing in and can now thoroughly enjoy. Thank yourself for all you've done to be able to find the right pace where you flow easily with life. Bask in your awesomeness. Have a lovely Full Moon!
The upcoming Full Moon in Aries will be a Super Moon in the Northern Hemisphere, which means the Moon appears at its largest from Earth. The concurrent Lunar Eclipse will be best visible to us Arizonans at 7:47 p.m. (here's a nifty site to find maximum viewing times in your city). Every Full Moon opposes the Sun, thereby activating a pair of signs; for this lunation, the Aries/Libra channel is turned up. I can best describe the dance between these two poles as balancing the impulse, authority and uniqueness of our selves with the yearning to gel socially and environmentally and to belong. In Aries, we find the smoldering desire for self-actualization via understanding the instrument of our own being. In solitude, according to writer and social critic Thomas Mann, we can birth our original selves. And the Ram does enjoy its alone time. Yet if we carry a "blazing hearth in [our] soul" without sharing our warmth, the intense burn of our bottled up offerings can feel unbearable.
Countless creatives laud solitude as an essential key to knowing ourselves and earthing our genius. Personal projects flourish within a sacred space we create and where we give ourselves exactly what we need: quiet, inspiration, pampering, ritual or perhaps play. Willful Aries fully supports healthy boundaries and dedicated, vigorous pursuits (and fun play!). In solitude we are transformed. I feel fairly safe to say every path to spirit/realization includes some form of intentional seclusion. The root of alone is the Old English all ane, literally "all one." As we shift, expand and change, we will almost inevitably encounter resistance and misunderstanding in the outside world. To aspire to truth, integrity, and authenticity (all Aries values) requires the courage to be alone sometimes... or often. And not just physically. Even if we don't meet with outright rejection as we bring forth our uniqueness, we still struggle with these inexplicable realizations and the out-there but juicy and irreplaceable wisdom housed within each of us.
We experience all kinds of rejection in life which adds layers upon the social mask we wear. We cover and tame our truths, our enthusiastic hearts and our big dreams because it is too painful to bear their being dismissed or ridiculed. We buffer and dull the edge of our engagement with this world. The locus of connection where self meets other and world is Libra territory and the consequences of our surface-level engagement abound. Every "awesome!" "great!" or "amazing!" reflects how we are ultimately stuck, in fear, in the shallow end of the connection pool. This maybe sounds extreme; I myself respond superficially to life all.. the.. time and I don't feel like I'm in a constant state of fear paralysis. But think about it: the efficient, automated, soul-scant exchange dominates in our convenience-driven culture. To go deeper, we have to pry open and release ourselves from the mighty jaws of social conditioning and that takes tenacity and strength -not to mention vulnerability!
Our burning need to share is not satisfied by these fly-by interactions. We also see so much over-sharing because our landscape of connection is so very arid and stark. Aries is a sign of will. Without getting too esoteric, we can distinguish the motivations of our personality (typically in response or service to our self-image) and the subtle impulses of our seed of potential - the self to actualize - in this lifetime. Neither set of drives is "non-spiritual" or bad in any way. But moving from the promptings of our bliss or purpose carries a resiliency and positions us within a perspective that is sustaining regardless of external circumstances. And the best part is, because unfolding is a process and the full extent of it remains fixedly beyond us, we don't have to worry about any of the particulars! We just get to be ourselve
The Conscious Universe
I learned a little perspective-shifting technique that feels right to share (the origin of this practice escapes my memory so... sorry and thank you!) Imagine one hand is resting on your heart. Do not actually place your hand but use your imagination to feel it. Once you connect with that sensation, gently gaze at something in your environment. Simultaneously feel your heart awareness and perceive that what you are looking at is looking back at you. Though it is inanimate, sense its return gaze. The connection to your heart facilitates your recognition and reception of its consciousness. After some time with this practice - and I find it does take practice - you become increasingly aware that all of the universe is alive. Sitting in this recognition, external validation no longer really makes sense and it is near impossible to feel alone. Because the urge to share is fulfilled by the understanding that, down to the subatomic level, we share everything with everything; we can feel the interpenetrating flow of creative energy within all life.
Always there is more to say and better ways to say it... In closing, for now, I honor your/our solo/shared journey. Many blessings for this Super Moon/Full Moon in Aries!
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.
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!