A story for the Festival of Lights and the balsamic Scorpio moon

"I have no answers, but I have a lot of questions, and those questions have helped me live better than any answers I might find."
- Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, interviewed in this episode of "On Being" with Krista Tippett.

Dr. Remen's lifelong struggle with Crohn's disease has shaped her work as a doctor. She says it's important to remember that even when you don't have the ability to cure, you can always heal. Her grandfather, an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi whom she lovingly refers to as a "flaming mystic", told her this story as a gift for her 4th birthday:

"This is the story of the birthday of the world. In the beginning, there was only the holy darkness, the Ein Sof. The source of life. And then, in the course of history, at a moment in time, this world, the world of a thousand, thousand things emerged from the heart of the holy darkness as a great ray of light. And then... there was an accident. And the vessels containing the light of the world, the wholeness of the world -- broke. And the light of the world, the wholeness of the world, was scattered into a thousand, thousand fragments of light. And they fell into all events and all people, where they remain deeply hidden until this very day. According to my grandfather, the whole human race is a response to this accident. We are here because we are born with the capacity to find the hidden light in all events and all people, to lift it up and make it visible once again. And thereby to restore the innate wholeness of the world. It's a very important story for our time, that we heal the word one heart at a time. This task is called tikkun olam in Hebrew: the restoration the world."

"...This is of course a collective task. It involves all people who have ever been born, all people presently living, all people yet to be born: We are all healers of the world. And that story opens a sense of possibility. It's not about healing the world by making a huge difference. It's about healing the world that touches you. That's around you. And that's where our power is.... I think we all feel that we're not enough to make a difference, that we have to be more somehow, either wealthier or more educated, or somehow or other different from the people we are. And according to this story, we're exactly what's needed And to just wonder about that a little. What if we were exactly what's needed? What then? How would I live if I'm exactly what's needed to heal the world?" (It's worth hearing her tell the story herself, at about 4.44.)

And finally, wisdom for today's balsamic Scorpio moon, combining themes of letting go, loss, going deeply into dark spaces, and powerfully, lovingly transforming: "The fact is that life is full of losses and disappointments. And the art of living is to make of them something that can nourish others. And it's taken me a long time to find the recipe that's mine... but I had a sense of what might be possible and that I needed to look to find the way for myself."

https://www.wnyc.org/story/rachel-naomi-remen--the-difference-between-fixing-and-healing

Going forward too during Venus retrograde

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Venus has been retrograde in Scorpio since October 5th. Venus retrogrades in a sign every eight years. Venus retrograde periods are opportunities to achieve greater ease within and a greater connection to others by turning our attention inwardly and by revisiting the past. Venus symbolizes our ability to recognize and reflect beauty, peace, and love; Scorpio allows us to penetrate the truth and unlock a power that’s been dormant or repressed.

What energies have your relationships recently been reflecting back to you? Which themes from the past have resurfaced? How have your interactions revealed unconscious patterns or shown you your own transformation over time?

The Capricorn moon joined the same degree as Pluto this morning, connecting our emotional state to this Venus retrograde period. It can feel heavy and deep. And yet today’s first quarter moon symbolically also compels us forward.

If you’d like, at some point today reflect on how you’ve been changing and why. Maybe the dates from the past 8 Venus in Scorpio retrograde cycles will help you; maybe something else you come across will. Love and relationships are so complex; we awkwardly but so sincerely attempt this dance of truly being seen. Give yourself some credit and some time.

Venus in Scorpio, intentionally

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As Venus transits through Scorpio we see beneath masks or distortions in our relationships. Between the Libran “I can make you happy if I just...” to the Sagittarian “This’ll work out great if I just believe” lies penetrating Scorpio. If we’ve been bending over backwards too much for other people, Venus in Scorpio will give us an edge. Enough. The Scorpion’s tail isn’t cruel. It’s a matter of self-protection so we don’t overinvest ourselves in relationships that don’t meet the Venus test: Do we really feel connected? Does this person look out for my well-being, too?

Of course, it can go the other way. Venus in Scorpio can be a wake-up call between Libran too-socially-overextended and Sagittarian too blunt and direct. If we haven’t been considerate enough in a relationship, Venus in Scoprio can make us aware of someone’s hurt feelings. It slows us down to see what’s been bubbling beneath the surface. It can help us strategize so we’re more careful next time. How about I not look at my phone the whole time we’re together or blurt out that thing you might want to keep private? If we’re really all in, maybe it’s time to change some of our behaviors.

As Venus transits through Scorpio, pay attention to vibes & feelings. Don’t just brush them off. Explore them in art, explore them with people you trust. But don’t bury them. Pluto in Capricorn just won’t have it. It’s time to get more real.

Water signs are associated with greater intuition & compassion. Fixed signs symbolize strength & staying power. Just remember to give some Venus in Scorpio love to yourself while you're at it, Beautiful. Enter the stillness & depth to see your own magic & become a better friend to you, too.

Moon opposite Pluto and the power of projection

Last night I had a dream I was about to play Monica Seles in a tournament match.

In the dream I didn’t have any special abilities. I knew it was ridiculous to go up against Monica Seles. I probably haven’t played tennis since fifth grade. Still I wanted to help her, because she needed this match for her standings. I knew she and I shared a birthday, so I thought, “I guess by playing I can help a fellow Sadge move ahead.” 

I didn’t have much time, so I prepared for the match by buying the right clothes. It might have been more useful to work on my serve or to stretch. I knew she would destroy me on the court. But I at least wanted to look the part. 

Accommodating, helping, sharing. Appearances, the question of an equal match. My dream was filled with Libran themes.

I woke up before I got to the stadium.

Today the moon enters the last quarter phase. Steven Forrest refers to "cathartic theater and the inner journey of the solitary artist" of this phase. In my dream I was about to face a powerful opponent who was sure to win. But she also has my birthday. On some level I was facing myself. 

Jumping in when it's not really appropriate or before I'm really ready to; over- or underestimating myself; deferring so someone else can win. I do these things sometimes, but do I still have to or want to? How often do habit or duty play a role in my decision-making? And what does it really matter what I look like??? 

Throughout this Virgo new moon cycle, the details and tasks that come up and the ways we're recruited to help or serve reveal to us the unfolding self that fits right now. It's a process of adjustment. It takes discernment. We get messages telling us how we’re doing, and we sift through them the best that we can. We weigh them with what we notice, and what feels safe and right for us, too. 

Who have been the major players in your life recently? What have been the major themes? Are there relationship or behavior patterns you've recognized? What have your dreams or intuition been telling you?

If a powerful image or interaction also gets your attention or elicits a strong emotional reaction, it might help to explore it from different angles or talk it through with someone you trust. It could have a helpful message that takes some time and attention to unpack.

Today's Cancer moon represents secure bonds and deep emotional safety needs. Show up for people how you can and when you're ready, but if you're someone who always thinks about other people, maybe give yourself some kindness, care, and love today, too.

Scorpio Moon and the storm

 Photo by Ansel Adams

Photo by Ansel Adams

Yesterday I didn’t know what to say about both Venus and the moon in Scorpio opposing Uranus in Taurus. I didn’t want to sound alarmist. There can always be a range of expressions. But many of us were confronted by heavy feelings in the face of something unpredictable or disturbing.

Scorpio brings up issues of control, fear, passion, paranoia. It intensifies feelings in general, even happy ones. But Scorpio energy opposing Uranus in Taurus can be especially intense, raw, shocking and real as we try to find our actual footing and an internal sense of control at the same time, triggered by a complicated relationship or circumstance.  

For me the symbolism played out extremely literally: I participated in a mandatory security training at my school so I’d know what to do if confronted by an active shooter. We huddled under desks while our coworker came at us with a Nerf gun to illustrate how ineffectual the old advice of simply hiding was. It left us like sitting ducks. We learned how to barricade a door and how to counter as a very last resort. The best option, if available – if you know there is enough distance between you and the shooter – is to get away.  

We live in a world where I feel compelled to teach my son this information to keep him safe. And yet a neighbor I just met has dutifully picked Lyndon up from school every day along with her own daughter because I’m not able to. There is unexpected goodness, too.  

This week some of us have been processing deep feelings around trauma we’ve lived through. Others are facing an actual storm.

Today while the Scorpio moon trines Neptune and then Mercury opposes it, strategy and planning mix with the unknown, the uncharted, the fog. And yet in exactly that space we can find inspiration and a good-enough way through.

Taking off the mask: Venus in Scorpio

  “All Things are One Thing” By Issac Abrams  and “Julie. Den Haag, Netherlands, February 29 1994” by Rineke Dijkstra, Tate Modern

“All Things are One Thing” By Issac Abrams and “Julie. Den Haag, Netherlands, February 29 1994” by Rineke Dijkstra, Tate Modern

While Venus was in Libra August 6 through September 9th we learned a little bit about compromise and getting along. Now that Venus is in Scorpio we could get a little more spiky. It’s like suddenly we realize  we’ve fallen asleep wearing a necklace or a necktie, and now we need to take it off. It’s not comfortable or appropriate.

A friend told me yesterday that I looked tired. I was, but also I haven’t been bothering to wear as much makeup, and I had forgotten to smile. Makeup and a smile are two Libra habits I usually bring to the table. But yesterday I didn’t, and honestly, at that moment I couldn’t. I was in a crappy mood, and I had a crappy face. That was the best I could do.

What behaviors or courtesies have you adopted to get along with others? Do any of them not sit well with you now?

While Venus is in Scorpio, we might surprise people who’ve gotten used to us being agreeable or nice. It’s time for a shake up, but try to be strategic and careful during the process. Try not to cut ties in a way you’ll later regret. Venus will re-enter Libra on Halloween, and for the following month we’ll have to revisit compromise in some way. But for now something about us might make people a little uncomfortable, as we discover penetrating truths or changes we need to make.  

If you notice this energy in your boss or coworker or in someone you love, try not to let it destabilize you. Try not to reject or judge it. It could lead to more intimacy and depth, even if it’s not so pretty.

We’re all just trying to get closer to who we really are.

About Bill Buckner: Mars enters Aquarius

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Mars enters the fixed air sign Aquarius at 8:55 p.m. EDT. Yesterday Venus entered the fixed water sign Scorpio.

Mars and Venus were in these signs in the fall of 1986, fall/winter of 1999, and the fall of 2001.

“So the winning run is at second base, with two out, three and two to Mookie Wilson. [A] little roller up along first... behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight, and the Mets win it!”

- Announcer Vin Scully, NBC, Game 6 of the 1986 World Series

We were Mets fans. 1986 was a very happy year in our house. But I’ve always felt bad for Bill Buckner.

He liked to wear a glove that was a little floppy. That night the jerky momentum of his body as he ran for and stopped to catch the ball caused his glove to close. Famously, Mookie Wilson’s hit went right through Buckner’s legs and earned the game-winning run.

Positively, Mars in Aquarius can be the action of a team working together or an individual doing things in an unexpected, outside-the-box or genius way. Negatively, Mars in Aquarius can be connected to rejection for exactly the same reasons: Why couldn’t you catch the damn ball?

Yesterday was a new moon in Virgo. This symbolizes a new beginning in careful attention and meaningful work, but also in humility and introspection.

Mars will be in Aquarius until November 10th. We’ll all have some unexpected victories and losses. As we’re more attuned and attention-driven for the next month, let’s also be mindful of each other’s feelings. Venus in Scorpio can symbolize powerful intuition and regeneration when it comes to Venus-ruled areas like love, money, and art, but it can also symbolize control issues, power plays, and scapegoating.

I hope we all find ourselves in Mookie’s position, shocked by great achievements. But if we find ourselves or someone else in Buckner’s, reflection and analysis can help us find a better reaction in a dark moment.

Thirty years later the 1986 Red Sox team was honored at Fenway. This is Buckner, getting a smile from hitting coach Walt Hriniak and a hug from former teammate Wade Boggs. Even when we’re crushed or disappointed, we’re capable of this response, too.