Dancing with the New Moon in Aries

The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in. —Harold Goddard

Where do you come from? Who did you choose for your parents? What kind of landscape nurtured your body and heart, your mind and spirit? Who gave you a kind word when you most needed it? What were your passions as a child? What were the hardest things about growing up?

There is a magical way of looking at the story of our lives as if everything that happened were a decision we made from a place of higher consciousness. This may seem cruel for those of us with battered and blue histories, but it can also feel empowering at times to look upon these events with a bit of detachment coupled with a belief in the fantastic idea that life is unfolding exactly as it should. To see our life stories as sacred maps charting the course we have taken and will take.

Astrology offers a similar kind of storytelling. And one major theme for the next few months has a lot to do with recognizing that we are so much more than our successes or failures, than the wins and losses of our lives, that the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts. Rather than a collection of events and experiences, we can embody stories that we love and believe in.

The New Moon in Aries is a potent portal for deciding the story that will guide you throughout the rest of the year. Aries is an initiating sign, and the New Moon signals the beginning of a cycle. The combination is powerful, amplified right now by a close conjunction with the planet Uranus, the god of change and awakening.

Rather than the more subdued energy that often accompanies our monthly New Moons, this week may feel wild and tempestuous, even dangerous. So, let your fierce out in productive ways – perhaps a mosh pit, full body painting, or pillow fighting? Look for modes of expression that let your intensity flow so that it won’t be tempted to gush out in unbridled rage.

Spend some time noticing the type of activities that stir your pot. What makes you brim with passion and desire? How can you channel this energy into heart-centered, body-loving, soul-satisfying endeavors?

And also, sometimes we just need to freak out and break some shit down. Like this. Raw. Power.

Neptune’s Shenanigans

Neptune has kidnapped all kinds of common sense these days. The on-going transit between Neptune, Saturn and Jupiter has been making us all a bit confused. Nowhere is this more evident than in the platitudes, clichés, and ugliness bordering on fascism that we are witnessing in the primary elections in the USA. Perhaps you are swinging up and down on the emotional scale, or feeling as though the “real you” has been replaced with a clone. Check in to see if your own attitudes are being challenged or shaped by fears or visions.

“Each of us has an inner dream that we can unfold if we will just have the courage to admit what it is. And the faith to trust our own admission.”

~ Julia Cameron

This current time passage challenges us to get real about living out our dreams. Perhaps you need time away from your “real life” in order to see those dreams more clearly. Or maybe it’s time to commit to the vision more fully. “Take the dream and make it real” as the pagan chant goes. Get out your bullshit cutting swords and chop away anything that is inessential. Make sure this is a dream worth dreaming. Rather than being Neptune’s kidnapping victim, find ways to lose yourself in beauty, ecstasy, and compassion. Ground yourself in spiritually and creatively fulfilling activities.

Mars Retrograde: Trigger Warning

“Every time you don’t follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness.” 

~ Shakti Gawain

Remember last summer? Ah, good times. There was some serious shit going down in everybody’s lives. Hard stuff. Sick stuff. Heart-breaking stuff. Emotionally intense stuff. We were getting our final lessons in the school of Love During Wartime, the school of How to Protect Ourselves and Still Be Free, the school of Making Friends with Those Internal Monsters. And we survived! Well, we did, didn’t we?

Now comes the really, really, really final lesson. (As if anything is actually final! Ha!) Mars goes retrograde on April 17 and will shuffle back into Scorpio through the next three months, hitting the same places that were getting triggered and inflamed last summer. My advice is to look back over your journals and memories if you need a reminder of what was going on in your life back then. Reflect on those issues that made you feel the most tender.

Then let it out. Exorcise those feelings, those demons. Without expression, we can fall prey to denial, repression, and stagnation. Release, purge, purify. Be brave and move on like Mary J. Blige sings.

 “Truly, it is in the darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us.”

~ Meister Eckhart

Mars ignites, enflames, expresses, prods, pokes, and pushes us. Sometimes its intensity hurts and sometimes it is liberating. The journey of Mars back into Scorpio may be an impetus to act on behalf of the deepest parts of ourselves. Scorpio represents that which is hidden yet powerful.

Tell me, what part of you is hidden yet powerful? Profound, yet scary? Essential, yet mysterious? Sacred, yet dangerous? Last summer may have brought you down, but as Janelle Monáe sings in the last video, “You can take my wings but I'm still goin' fly.” Mars in Scorpio could empower the darkness to rise up, like a phoenix from the ashes, claiming new life from an old death. Let the old stories go and the power will flow into new streams of love and creation.

“Whenever I have to choose between two evils, I always like to try the one I haven’t tried before.”

~ Mae West

May you be free.