Arrows into the Future

New Moon in Leo - August 2, Full Moon in Aquarius - August 18


Long afterward, Oedipus, old and blinded, walked the
roads.       He smelled a familiar smell.       It was
the Sphinx.       Oedipus said, “I want to ask one question.
Why didn’t I recognize my mother?”        “You gave the
wrong answer,” said the Sphinx.      “But that was what
made everything possible,” said Oedipus.     “No,” she said.
“When I asked, What walks on four legs in the morning,
two at noon, and three in the evening, you answered,
Man.      You didn’t say anything about woman.”
“When you say Man,” said Oedipus, “you include women
too. Everyone knows that.”       She said, “That’s what
you think.”

~ Muriel Rukeyser, Originally published in Breaking Open (1973)

In this time of great change and even greater uncertainty, the poem above reminds me of the importance to keep asking questions, to be less content with the answers we think we have, to search the landscapes and the people around us for what we are failing to see.

For too long, this country has built its infrastructure on the backs of women and people of color without adequate compensation, representation, and consideration. It’s time to stop thinking we know the solution to these problems – as if this enormous healing could be completed with a few simple remedies. It’s time to recognize the complexity of the situation and the limitation of our own understanding. There is more to learn here.

We begin by standing in solidarity with those who have been abused, neglected, and unseen. We begin the slow, patient process of listening and working together for change and healing, in our own personal lives and in the communities we inhabit.

The planet Mars has been stirring up a lot of old grudges, past hurts, and uncomfortable emotions since last March. On August 2nd, Mars re-renters Sagittarius and moves toward completing the retrograde cycle it began last March. This day also happens to host the New Moon in Leo and the holy seasonal holiday of Lammas, the Celtic festival of the first harvest.

The confluence of these energies signals that it’s time to move forward. Anything that you’ve been neglecting, ignoring, or refusing to accept must now be fully confronted, integrated, and welcomed into your life. To do this requires us to find the resilience to meet significant challenges. Mars – planet of aggression, power, and desire – will be approaching Saturn – planet of fear, limitation, and authority – heading to a conjunction on August 24. All of this occurs in Sagittarius, the sign which searches for meaning, the sign of the seeker.

Shiny-side Sagittarius is always looking at the big picture. It listens to the voice of the Higher Self, trusting intuitive thinking and the wisdom of the ages. It can be magnanimous, buoyant, and faithful to its ideals. The Shadow-side gets restless, constantly searching for a better answer while ignoring the truth right in front of them. It gets mired in dogma, standing on its soapbox, preaching rather than opening to multiple points of view. Shadow Sagittarius closes its mind rather than taking the risk of having its own belief systems be challenged.

As we move through this month and into September, the opportunity is to reflect on past accomplishments in order to begin anew from a place of generosity and gratitude. Gratitude is a profound way of shifting perspective, and it is a wonderful tool we find in the sign of Sag. In order to find the higher truth we seek, it is sometimes necessary to retreat from the world of ideas and find strength in the natural systems of our living, breathing planet. Going for hikes, sitting by water, lying under a tree, witnessing the sunset – these are simple ways to tap into the order of nature, the symbiosis of Gaia. And it is a good remedy for shadow Sagittarius.

As you sit on your own mountaintop, remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Go back over the events of the past six months, past year, or the entirety of your life. Remind yourself of what challenges you have personally met, as well as the positive changes you’ve witnessed in the world around you. Beginning from a place of gratitude and love, we are better able to see the way forward.

The New Moon in Leo simply asks us, “What can I do? How do I to play a special part in this time? Can I find the playfulness in my expression? Who can I share my skills and resources with?”

Whatever the future holds, we can commit to being present and curious, aware and compassionate. We can let our passion connect us to others rather than divide us in bickering. We can let our intensity bring us into power. We can remember that our deep love for this planet, our respect for life, and our commitment to human justice binds us to a responsibility to remain open rather than close down in the face of conflict. Too often, we think that conflict is an opportunity to point out where others are wrong, but what if we saw conflict as an opportunity to learn? Imagine that. All of us listening to one another. Open to information. Receptive to the moment.