"These conversations are always so tense, so painful. People are defensive. We want to believe we are good. To face the racisms and prejudices we carry forces us to recognize the ways in which we are imperfect. We have to be willing to accept our imperfections and we have to be willing to accept the imperfections of others. Is that possible on the scale required for change?" ~ Only Words by Roxanne Gay (full article here)
I spent much of July in various stages of sickness. When bodies get sick, we have to slow down in order to flow more energy toward healing. Hopefully, our immune systems ramp up in order to restore balance, while other systems – respiratory, digestive, circulatory – alter their normal functions to help the immune system with the ultimate goal, which is not dying. This very real and very common occurrence can serve as a metaphor for our current astrological weather.
On Friday August 14 we have the New Moon in Leo, the sign of encouragement. Encouragement: to inspire with courage, hope, or confidence. Basically, this New Moon roars “YOU CAN DO IT!” This gateway invites you to remember what your heart truly wants and encourages you to take risks, playfully dancing toward the realization of those dreams. Where in life could you use a dose of creativity? When was the last time you felt overtaken by passion and joy? What are some of the things you’ve done in life of which you are most proud? That’s a good place to start in order to rekindle your heart’s flame.
For some of us, this is easy. We get an idea and run with it, come hell or high water. For others, there are too many circumstances to overcome in order to even remember one’s dreams at all. This is why the Black Lives Matter movement is so incredibly vital. This is why we need activists in kayaks and hanging from bridges to stop Big Oil from continuing to desecrate our planet. Among many other stories that try to derail the power of the human spirit, the spells of racism and consumerism keep many humans imprisoned by circumstances that are way too small for their dreams. These issues block our creativity and shut us out of our own hearts.
Many white progressives have expressed dismay about the recent disruptions of Bernie Sanders’ rallies. “Why are they attacking someone who’s on their side?” they ask. But that’s missing the point. As Matthias Lehman wrote on his blog, “By protesting [Bernie Sanders’] speeches and criticizing his often race-blind platform, they aren’t critiquing his dream. They’re asking to be included in it.”
Agitators and activists are our societal and ecological immune systems. When our society’s body is sick, we must slow down. When our Earth Body is sick, we have to slow down. We need to seriously consider how to shut down an inherently racist police system and heal. We need to figure out how to shut down the disease of overconsumption and heal. I think of what Marissa Johnson and others in the #BLM Movement are doing as encouragement. They are demanding that white America find the courage to face the racism of this country. And I think we can do it!
In my opinion, the entrance of Jupiter into Virgo earlier this week lends support to our efforts. Jupiter, the planet of expansion, will be in Virgo for a year. Though Jupiter is traditionally seen as weak when in Virgo, I see it as an opportunity to expand inward, to reflect deeply on the sources that inspire us and the true meaning of service. Virgo is the sign of consolidation, humility, and clarity. This transit affects all of us, but those with planets in Virgo can be our teachers as we learn to cut through the bullshit, get grounded in our actions, and see what skills are necessary to heal our world right now. At its best, Virgo doesn’t wait to “get it right;” Virgo jumps into the trenches and offers whatever assistance it can. Our textbook for this transit could be Ram Dass’ classic tome on compassion, How Can I Help?
Virgo represents the Harvest Goddess, related to the Eleusinian Mysteries of Demeter and Persephone, but the constellation is also sometimes linked with Astraea, the Goddess of Justice. In Greek mythology, Astraea embodies justice, innocence, and purity. She was the last of the immortals to live with humans and was able to see the potential of humanity, the sanctity of each individual’s life. According to legend, Astraea will one day come back to Earth, bringing with her the return of the utopian Golden Age of which she was the ambassador.
This story reminds us that we all have the responsibility to see beyond our noses in order to comprehend that true justice includes everyone. Everyone. Everyone.
What's madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day's on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.
That place among the rocks--is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.
~ from In a Dark Time by Theodore Roethke
The Full Moon in Pisces on August 29 invites us to recognize how many tools we have available for our playful, serious healing work. According to Astrologer Moses Siregar, the polarity of Virgo-Pisces signifies the path of Enlightened Service. Full Moons are oppositions between the Sun and Moon, expanding our awareness of how apparent opposites are connected to one another. Here are some ways of considering the Virgo-Pisces polarity:
Order – Chaos
All Alone – All One
Action – Insight
Sovereignty – Collectivity
Of the Earth – Of Spirit
Selflessness – Self-transcendence
The Devil’s in the Details – God is Everywhere
Eclipse season is right around the corner, a time that generates dramatic twists and surprising reversals. Making it a priority to remember the joy of your heart will fortify you for the change ahead in September. May your strengths be freely shared with others. May your beauty shine out for all to see. When you feel madness creeping in, look for the circumstances that are trying to bend your soul in ways that threaten its integrity. Perhaps your soul is ready to bend, or perhaps your soul is on fire, ready to transform the world. If the edge is what we have, let’s encourage one another.
The whole time I was sick, my youngest daughter kept asking me, "You feel better today, Mama?" If I said no, she would respond, "Well, just rest more. That's what you need to do. You're doing great." If I said yes, she would get very enthusiastic and say, "See, isn't that great? Your body is healing!" This is how we can talk to one another, how we can celebrate our successes, how we can try to understand the sometimes painful, confusing process of healing. Let the healing in, even if it feels uncomfortable at first. Even if it challenges you. Even if it slows you down for a bit.