On Parenting and the Taurus New Moon

When a child is born the birth chart reflects just a transit or passing moment for the rest of the world, but for the child it reflects the life experiences and a set of instructions that will theoretically lead to a joy-filled and nourishing life. If the child is ours, the transit of their birth is more than a moment. It represents ways we will continue to grow ourselves: A commitment not only to our child but to the instructions of their birth moment, which we continue to face in every interaction we have with them. If you have a Pisces child, you can’t escape lessons in going with the flow, imagination, empathy, surrender. Twelve-plus years ago, Langston and I had an Aquarius baby.

Aquarius is a fixed air sign. It’s the water-bearer, which confuses people into thinking it’s a water sign. But the water that Aquarius shares is of the air variety: Thoughts, ideas, knowledge, information. Aquarius is associated with movements and humanitarianism. Aquarians are often ahead of their time. Aquarius is co-ruled by the planets Saturn and Uranus. Saturn, long-thought to be the last planet of the solar system, and Uranus, the only other planet besides Venus to spin clockwise rather than counter-clockwise. Uranus takes it one step further and rotates on its side instead of upright. The Saturnian part of us is the way we must persist and work for a worthwhile legacy. The Uranian part of us is the way we have to spin absolutely in our own direction; as alienating as this can be, this will also often connect us to a kindred group. Discovered after the American and French Revolutions, Uranus is the planet of rebellions. It’s associated with shock and originality.

When two people form a relationship, astrologically they create a composite chart. Two individual charts meet in the middle to form something brand new. Lang’s and my composite sun and moon are in Aquarius, and so Lyndon was born to an Aquarian couple. It’s becoming more normal now, but on the day he was born our mixed marriage still turned some heads. As Langston looked through the nursery glass at our son, a nurse who knew my family pushed him out of the way. “I know the family”, she said, curtly. My brother Ted corrected her: “This is Amy’s husband. He’s the father.” She simply didn’t imagine anything but a white husband for the daughter of a white family she knew.

We didn’t baptize Lyndon when he was born because we didn’t want to limit him -- not only in his conception and relationship to a higher power but also in his acceptance of himself and others. Our Catholic Church still preached that the expression of gay sexuality was a sin. We didn’t know if our baby was gay, but we didn’t want sign onto those beliefs just in case. And so we held a Blessing Ceremony for Lyndon, we chose godparents for him, but we waited.

When Pope Francis became the head of the Church, Lang and I were touched by his humanity and compassion. We have a Pope Francis bobblehead in our attic, along with RBG and other people we admire. We started attending Mass more regularly. Every so often we’d ask Lyndon, “Would you like to be baptized?” “Maybe,” he’d say, always noncommittal. During Mass Lyndon would move his knees to the side so we could pass him to join the communion line. It didn’t seem to bother him too much not to be able to receive communion himself, even as he got older. He’d kneel to pray, or sing, and then he’d scooch over to make room for us when we returned.

Recently we started attending Episcopal liturgy as a family. Lang and I had become exhausted trying to fit ourselves into the Catholic Church. During the first Episcopal liturgy we attended I remember the moment when we prayed for “Gerilyn, our Bishop.” Gerilyn?? Lang and I looked at each other, excited.

In prayer I think symbolically, so that when I hear “Father”, I think “Parent.” When I hear “man” I think “human.” But there was something about hearing an actual woman’s name within the hierarchy of church that made my heart dance that day. I was raised by a mother who had earned a Master’s in Theology while raising five children. When my parents went to India as a young family to teach Marriage Encounter to Catholic couples there, it was because my Mom had heard and acted on a calling. Once we were in school ourselves, my Mom became a religious education teacher. When we’d come down the stairs to make our breakfast we’d find Mom on a living room chair, wrapped in a prayer blanket and passionately writing Bible reflections. My Dad is faithful, too. But my Mom actually wanted to be a married priest. One day a pastor asked my Dad whether he would like to be considered for the role of deacon. My Dad declined. It became a joke between my parents, how my Mom does all the work and my Dad gets all the glory, but it was still telling and hurtful. My Mom didn’t have the option to become a deacon.

Couples outside of the Catholic Church have asked my Mom to marry them. People recognize gifts where institutions may not. But my Mom’s broken heart not to be included as a full member of the Church she loved is a wound that shaped me -- a way for so many years I also internalized being less-than.

One day at our new Episcopal Church Father Tom invited people to meet him after liturgy if they were interested in renewing their faith or baptizing their children. Lyndon whispered to us, “I think I want to be baptized.” Father Tom was a little taken aback when Lyndon approached him after liturgy, directly asking to be baptized. Later when we asked Lyndon why he finally decided to be baptized and why he picked the Episcopal Church, Lyndon said ,”It’s because of women priests and LGBTQ rights.”

Lyndon has heard us discuss these things in our home. He knows these are our values. But he is the first of our family to take a public, religious stand in that direction.

And so I don’t know who brought the water to whom -- Lyndon to us or we to Lyndon. But in the beginning light of yesterday’s Taurus new moon, as Lyndon prepares for his baptism next month, I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned these twelve years as his Mom -- of planting roots and becoming free.



The moon as love

These past couple of days had some challenges. It’s not so simple to reconcile the moon’s Aquarius energy of social interaction and curiosity with the deeply-feeling, protective energy of the three Scorpio planets it’s squaring. Do we get out there or do we stay hidden?

I’m easily hurt and embarrassed. And I’m also part-extrovert. So I don’t really know how to do this dance.

The Libra sun symbolizes a balancing act, and Venus retrograde hints that maybe in the past it hasn’t always gone so smoothly. But the moon always symbolizes the great healer: Unconditional love that doesn’t leave us. The moon is tidally locked to the earth, always showing us the same face, brighter or darker, more or less visible, but always there.

I hope you feel connected to that love today.

A loving push, if we're up to it

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Mars will spend one more month in Aquarius, and won’t return to the sign until March 2020. If your world's been rocked by unpredictable events or the actions of others lately, that could be welcome news. But today’s moon/Mars conjunction also symbolizes a chance to make peace with Aquarian energy and if we're ready, to get ourselves going again.

We might've had fits of “What’s the point?” while Mars has been in Aquarius. We've probably had bouts where we just needed to mentally check out. Today the energy of the moon can help us soften and heal the angry, scared, or dejected parts of us so we can reawaken our own special groove.

Mars represents our desire nature. So what is it you want?

At some point today, name a result or inner feeling that you really want.

What we don’t want has probably been clearer lately. But today marks an opportunity to reflect on and change any energy that’s been stuck in simple rebellion or detachment into creative, inspired, original action toward something that excites us.

If you're in the midst of an acute crisis, I hope you'll find some rest and peace today. But if you're in a position to come forward, today could be the Holy Spirit's loving nudge.

 

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.

A message from your past or your heart

The sun is in Virgo and the moon is in Aquarius all day today and tomorrow. Sometimes that combo happens once a year; this year it will happen twice: 8/23-26 and 9/19-22 EDT.

The planets that rule Aquarius, Saturn and Uranus, are both retrograde now. During next month’s Virgo sun/Aquarius moon cycle, when both Mars and Saturn are direct, we can aim and accomplish more. But this cycle critically comes first, turning some of our energy back and within, reminding us what we’re made of. 

The Aquarius moon can feel electric. We might be a little more chatty and wired. Ideas come to us, or they come to someone else, and they can challenge our sense of order and routine. Yesterday I had two long phone conversations with friends – something I never do anymore. Now I just text or make plans. But there was something nostalgic about sitting in one place for a while, talking to friends I couldn’t see. It reminded me of the times I could claim the phone as the youngest child in our busy home -- settling into the most secluded spot I could find that the telephone cord could reach. I have a quiet house now, with three people instead of seven. I don’t have to share my phone, and I can take it wherever I want. But this morning I miss the sounds of Ted playing the piano and Dave bouncing a ball. One day I’ll miss the sight of 11-year old Lyndon, wearing earbuds, rifling through cupboards for a snack.

Aquarian energy can be hard to just sit with, but if you can, try, and notice what you appreciate, too.

Some disruptions fill our hearts. Some experiences or loved ones become us -- a little more messy and complicated, but a lot more blessed and whole.

 

Awakening, Virgo style

At 10:18 the Capricorn moon joins Mars and it could be a good chance for us to reexamine our anger, drive, willpower, assertion. If something comes up, the Virgo sun can help us discriminate instead of just explode. If yesterday we might have just gotten pissed, today we can be constructive. What’s really going on and what’s the best thing for me to do about it?

It could be time for us to make some noise or some changes today. But as the moon moves into Aquarius at 12:55 p.m. EDT, let your sensitivity instead of your reactivity guide you. The Virgo sun can symbolize being more critical of ourselves and others. The Aquarius moon can symbolize becoming more aware of shocks and inequalities. We weren’t born to keep our mouths shut, but we also can’t be effective if we come off as erratic or crazed. So some steadiness can help us today – some quiet time and space. And then if we need to raise hell for ourselves or someone else, we’ll know exactly why and we can begin to know just how.

Some questions under today's lunar eclipse

"A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon and the sun are on exact opposite sides of Earth. Although the moon is in Earth's shadow, some sunlight reaches the moon. The sunlight passes through Earth's atmosphere, which causes Earth’s atmosphere to filter out most of the blue light. This makes the moon appear red to people on Earth." https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/features/nasa-knows/what-is-an-eclipse-58

Today the earth will shade the full Aquarian moon for several hours, and these are some of the questions I've been pondering:

Thinking of eclipses in terms of entrances or exits, what is it I might want in my life that I've never had, or what might I be ready to end ?

We all filter the light we receive from others. How does my particular filter work? Does it protect me enough from what might overpower me? Does it protect me too much from the light and positive input of others? How comfortable am I with attention -- both giving and receiving?

Has earth energy -- patience, stability, practicality, rootedness ever bolstered me against the extremes of fire and air -- impatience and worry ? In what's truly important to me, do I have both roots and flowers? Has any attachment to earth qualities kept me back from really owning and expressing my passion and individuality, or stopped me from taking a risk? What are my usual responses to conflict or crisis?

Every full moon is a chance to become aware of the projections in our lives -- to see and heal our relationship to Other, to pull back some of the projection and see ourselves in everything. This lunar eclipse amplifies the opportunity. Who really impresses me? Who really stands out to me as a genius or a star? I'm closer to them than I think. That also goes for the other side: The people who rub me the wrong way or offend me. We're made of the same stuff, too. How can releasing some of those projections bring me closer to love, power, and right action? Where do I need defenses, and where do I just need boundaries? And when and with whom can I just be comfy and fluid, creative, and whole?

Happy Full Moon and Eclipse. Happy ruminations and happy revelations.