Today's Pisces moon and entering the flow

This morning I woke up in a panic: How should I use my day off? I have so many projects going at once -- astrology projects, gardening projects, and general family projects that are ever looming. The last photo album I made for Lyndon went up to age two. The symbolism of the sky is so centered around creativity and expression that it can be both exciting and overwhelming. Am I doing enough?

I was thinking about the fixed nature of this week’s Aquarius full moon, and the idea that our lives and ideas have lasting impact. They just do. We’re all important. But every now and then we see ourselves as separate from the mix. We wonder where we fit in. When that happens, what’s our natural instinct: Is it to assert ourselves, seek company, recede?

I noticed this week that Lyndon hasn’t turned the pages on his Page-a-Day calendars since June 25th, his last day of school before summer vacation. He doesn’t know what day it is. He just goes with the flow. And under today’s Pisces moon that’s inspiring to me. I started a new job two weeks ago. Maybe today I can give myself a break.

Flooded by input from superstars and influencers, it can be hard to look beyond images to see the deeper ways we’re all the same. The mutable water symbolism of Pisces reminds us of both change and source. Has the flow of our lives taken us away from or brought us closer to whatever happens to be our own personal source - - God, creativity, family, love...?

It might help today to take a break from structure and routine in some way, even if your nature is more hard-driving and productive. The work and the ideas will be there when you get back, and they may gain new inspiration.

Sometimes we need to lose ourselves to find ourselves. But a lasting spark remains. To quote one of my favorite Pisces, Mister Rogers: “You can never go down the drain.”

 
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Mercury conjunct Mars and my fight at the gym

Mercury and Mars came together yesterday for the second time since June. I had a fight with a guy in the gym. 

I finally had reached my annoyance threshold with this guy making loud noises while he punches and runs on the treadmill. When I asked him to stop making loud noises, he jumped off his machine, ran at me, and screamed in my face, “This is not a mother__ church! This is a GYM!” We all have different expectations of gyms, perhaps. His might be one that lets him get out all of his aggression however he wants to. Mine is a safe space for me to get fit; I deliberately chose a gym with a tagline of “No lunkheads.” Our ideas were in conflict with each other and sparked a confrontation. The management decided that his behavior crossed the line and asked him to leave. Fellow gymgoers thanked me and co-signed the incident report. I was nervous and shaky all night. 

I imagine most of us don’t find confrontations fun. Confrontations basically suck. We avoid them, unless maybe we’re in our cars or online. But what happens to unexpressed anger? What happens to stifled passion? 

Mercury and Mars will meet again in the earth sign Virgo on September 3rd, on the same degree as the sun. One interpretation is the combining of our voice and action in practical, useful ways that express the essence of who we are. That’s some assignment. The closest we’ve come recently was July 2000, when the Mercury/Mars conjunction was just a degree away from the sun. In Cancer, that correlated with building a safe, healthy, and loving emotional core, home, and family. What have been the fruits of your learning and efforts in those areas for the past 19 years? How have you come to embody and express home, healing, kindness, and family? When have you had to protect or defend the vulnerable? 

Mercury in retrograde now returning to the sign of Cancer gives us a chance to reflect on those principles and readjust if we need to.  If we’re exhausted from some effort or fight, what nourishment can we reach toward? How can we mentally recuperate? This Mercury retrograde (July 7-July 31 EDT) can be challenging because we’re compelled to move ahead in sustained action while our processing and communication functions seem slower. But how could it help our actions to process information at a more deliberate pace and weigh our words more carefully? 

We can probably all benefit from reexamining our usual approach to confrontation. I might have been brave at the gym, but I also might have put myself in unnecessary danger -- a Mars pattern of mine that stresses the heck out of everyone around me. How can I have smarter confrontations? I was annoyed by that guy, but I was probably also triggered by years of unexpressed resentment over aggressive male behavior that built up over time: From manspreading to catcalling, I’d had enough.

If you’ve had a recent conflict -- inner or outer -- have you started to process the lesson?

This Mercury retrograde and the period leading up to September 3rd I’ll be mulling this over: In the joining of the sun, Mars, and Mercury, do all three planets usually have equal say or does one tend to dominate? How can they learn to cooperate? 

We’re never stuck in one expression. If you find yourself frustrated while Mercury is in retrograde, consider it a challenge you’re up for.

But maybe be a little more thoughtful and careful than I was at the gym. Come September, you’ve got an important job to do.


A poem for the Moon in Leo

Yesterday a reader of my posts reached out to me to ask me how I’m doing. I haven’t written in a while. The truth is with my 1st House Aries moon I’m a person of passionate phases, and some (like my Whitney Houston phase) last and some (like my Madonna phase) don’t. I can’t rush or fake them. They confuse even me. I was wondering if writing might be another of my phases.

The past month I’ve looked at the daily aspects but haven’t known what to say about them. I couldn’t find my voice. I was hoping that when Neptune stationed direct last week I would be clearer. I wanted to be helpful and productive again.

I sat down yesterday to write something about the moon in Leo, but this came out instead. The current Mercury retrograde began at the same degree as my natal Neptune, and I’m still in a Neptune-y fog. Neptune can represent dreams, images, poetry, water, inspiration, loss, confusion, longing, and oneness with God and all that is.

I don’t know if this is a poem or a reflection. The moon is still in Leo, combining feeling and mystery with the risk of showing and sharing who we really are. Today I am nebulous and in-between, but still wanting to connect and wish you peace.

----
Sometimes I don’t water the plants in my office,
even when I know they’re thirsty.
Instead we behold each other,
desolate and parched.

One day could become five or seven.
I might water this plant but not those.
I never know how much company I’ll need in my yellowed, drooping state
or for how long.

The tips of their leaves turn brown
until finally I’m moved to save them
with water and not just what’s left of my tea.
The next day they’re greener, grateful.

Maybe I’m not a lily of the field
but a potted plant
on a dusty sill:
Long- waiting and wilted,
Then, suddenly, saved.

On making it work for us: The Leo moon opposite Mars in Aquarius

Ever since I was little, I remember hearing my mother change the words to prayers and rituals so they would be more meaningful, inclusive and inspiring. "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" and "for us men and for our salvation" became "Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier" and "for US and for our salvation." She thought of worship as celebration. She felt called to participate fully, and she wasn't going to reduce her expression of a welcoming, loving God to gender or exclude herself from God's love.

She was always making tweaks, and she uttered them loudly. Of course, this was a little odd. It made her seem like she didn't know the real words. It meant sometimes she was out of step with the group. 

Today during Mass for the Feast of St. Francis, we remembered the saint who loved all living creatures and wrote poems to the sun and the moon.

And I found myself channeling my Mom, as I contemplated the following words:
"Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."

I've struggled with this response for a while. I've wondered, is it the capital "I" that's the problem? Is it ego, selfishness or separateness that makes us unworthy? For a few years now I've tried to see beyond myself and become a little "i." But the words still always felt clumsy – absent of the love, acceptance and peace of Jesus Christ. Yes, we're human. Yes, we're flawed. But unworthy? Aren't we created in God's image?

I thought about the messages of spiritual teachers old and new, male and female. They call us to engagement, action, and attention, and help us see how we can stretch. For many of us, that means learning to stand in the light.

And so I tweaked the words. I said, "Lord, I AM worthy that you should enter under my roof, so only say the word and my soul shall be healed." 

Today the moon is in the sign of Leo, reminding us of our inborn dignity and worth, at odds with what can make us feel disconnected, challenging what can make us feel ashamed. 

I hope at some point you can feel the presence of someone who's taught you you're deserving of love. I hope you see that you're part of a beautiful whole. And I hope you can express yourself honestly, even when you're noticeably out of step.


Saturn stations direct: When it's hard to get to work

Mercury entered Virgo last night and this morning I found myself just a little bit more distracted – by the Tostitos I ate last night, the moth flying around my head, Lang’s conversation upstairs with Google Home, punctuated by beeps. “Google, set the alarm for 6 a.m.” Beep. “OK.” Beep. “Thank you.” Beep. “I’m here to help.”

It’s a little hard to quiet my critical mind. “Why DID you eat all those Tostitos?” “There go my wool sweaters.” “Why does he have to have such long conversations with a gadget?”

The pace may be picking up around us – our schedule, responsibilities – or at least calling for more structure after the summer. Saturn stations direct this morning after five months of retrograde motion. We could be feeling antsy to get something going that’s important to us. But we probably don’t live alone in a cave. So our own agenda can come right up against some outside circumstance or some other person. How do we adjust but still honor that inner boss?

The moon enters Leo this morning at 9:54 and a critical inner voice could combine with a fiery mood. Try to remember that you do have time and options, and we’re all somehow in the same boat. You could help someone who’s overly stressed. You could bring a creative solution to someone who’s stuck, even if that person is you.

Try not to only see the task you’re attempting. Mercury in Virgo can show us the annoyances but it can also show us the helpers. This morning I couldn’t immediately tell the difference. Now, after some effort, I can.

When you can see what you really need to do: Gemini moon square Virgo sun

The moon is in the mutable air sign of Gemini and the sun is in the mutable earth sign of Virgo. At 10:37 p.m. EDT they’ll square each other. A square is a tense aspect that can prod us to resolution.

A Gemini moon can represent a mood of distraction – jumping from one thing to another, the eternal child or student never maturing or taking the reins to teach. That’s not a knock on Geminis. That’s an energy we all have inside us, represented by today’s Gemini moon. If we’ve been avoiding a commitment that would actually be good for us, that’s the tension in today’s sky: Hey, focus. It doesn’t mean we won’t have other options. It just means it’s time to come forward in one specific way. In a sense we’re trading some freedom for some agency, picking what’s more important to us.

Virgo can represent that part of us that always finds something the matter. It can also be the part of us that takes on a subservient role. It feels good to solve a problem or help someone. But taken to an extreme, Virgo can become invisible, either because we don’t think we measure up or because we think someone else’s needs are more important than ours.

Gemini and Virgo can collude: Don’t come forward in this one way because someone else can do it better. Or keep doing this hard thing for someone who doesn’t appreciate it because that’s easier than speaking up. Make sure you really worry.

If we resemble those statements, the tension in the sky could nag us today. It’s time to let some of that go.

The blessing of the mutable signs is that they remind us that nothing is permanent. Time is fluid and so are we. If we’ve been stuck in a way of thinking or behaving, today can remind us that there’s more to explore. We all have resources. We have options and skills. We're surrounded by creative solutions.

Gemini and Virgo are both ruled by Mercury, the planet of noticing and sharing, by our words or by what we do.

Today our restlessness can reveal what needs adjustment. The quarter moon forces some resolution of last month’s Leo new moon. We had something to say and do then, that might not have been obvious to us yet. Today it can come to us in a whisper or a shout.

Goodbye for now to the Leo sun

"A man eats on a bench" : New York Historical Society, Getty images

"A man eats on a bench" : New York Historical Society, Getty images

The sun will change signs from Leo to Virgo tonight just after midnight EDT. The personal drive shifts from who am I to what can I do?

Hopefully we’ve gotten a healthy glimpse of our own worthiness. Hopefully we’ve followed the instinct or intentionally opted to create, play, take up some space, and love. One day this month while Lyndon was away, Lang and I went to the beach instead of the supermarket, and that was a middle-aged Leo victory for us. We chose fun. Another night we double-dated with my parents. My Mom stage-whispered inappropriate comments into my ear to make me laugh like she used to by dancing in public. Those Leo moments were perfect. I wanted to freeze them in time.

Others were harder, as I struggled to know who I was and what I wanted to say. I felt an inner drive for impact – am I making the most of my talents, my life or this summer? I could sense more power but I didn’t always know how to direct it. Is it enough to just sit here and notice how great Lang is – or my mail deliverer, or that celebrity, or the lady who talked to me on the F train last night – and how great I am, too?

I think it can be. I think some of Leo homework is to let that sink in: a compliment, joy – being impressed or satisfied: The lion, confident and at rest. But after a long day at the beach we can get a little tired of the sun.

So on this last Leo day, fill up your cup somehow. Relish a moment or another being. Take stock of what’s great about you.

Tomorrow, even if you've needed or loved this Leo time of being, start to see what you're ready to do.