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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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.



Venus's Day (Friday)

Sometimes while I’m driving Lyndon to school we’ll talk about one astrological concept that can get us through the day. When I was looking at the chart of the day this morning, what popped in my mind is Venus.

Friday is ruled by Venus, whose gifts are love, beauty, art, and peace. Today’s Libra moon is also ruled by Venus. So there’s a double message of peace and connection with others. Where the message gets nuanced is in the current sign of Venus, Sagittarius. Sagittarius is an independence-loving sign, seeking and striving for adventure and inspiration. And restlessness isn’t always a great remedy for peace. So how do we reconcile these energies?

That’s for all of us to explore personally, but just knowing that both coexist might help us through today. Maybe we can seek interactions with interesting people; maybe learning, reading, or exploring in some other way can bring us peace. And maybe taking time to remember our best adventures or start planning our next one can help us see where we have freedom and options and get reacquainted with inspiration again.

Partial solar eclipse in Capricorn

 
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When I was younger I used to love to be in plays. I loved the excitement of waiting in the wings before the show started. I loved listening to the buzz of the arriving audience. One of the crew members would give us updates. “I saw your Mom and Dad!” “It’s packed!” “We had to add extra chairs.” So much of the overall production was out of our hands. Would the props work? The lighting and sound? Would my partner remember the dance sequence? Even after months of practice I was never sure I was ready. Would my voice crack? Would I forget a line? Would I fall? When the curtains opened it was always an act of bravery and trust for us to perform, because we really didn’t know how we would do or how the audience would receive us. We just tried our best.

I like the symbolism of curtains closing and opening for an eclipse, especially tied in with the new moon symbolism of beginning in darkness. If the sun in astrology represents us, today’s partial solar eclipse blocks our ability to see ourselves fully. So what might we be missing about our own potential right now? What part of us is trying to get our attention, that might be different from the self we’re used to? It’s terrifying to have most of our ego stripped away. But what does that make space for? What was always waiting in darkness or is ready to be seen now?

Saturn and Pluto are conjunct this solar eclipse in Capricorn, bringing up issues of age, excellence, achievement, and solitude, but also control. How much control feels safe for us? How do we over- or under- control? What have we steadily planned for, worked for, built? What’s important to us? And when the unexpected happens, when our hearts are broken in disappointment, what steadies us? What really matters and keeps us going?

I’m carrying the excitement of a beginning with me this new moon/solar eclipse but also the seriousness of Capricorn/Pluto/Saturn, because in some area of our lives the stakes are high. We might be overwhelmed or defeated or terrified. But all of our effort and all of our experience counts in ways we might not understand yet. And when we show up something powerful and unseen swells with love and pride, and marvels. And I hope we do, too.

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

Mercury square Saturn: Remember to listen and look

In November of last year a seed was planted. Mercury and Saturn joined at the same degree of Sagittarius. They joined together once more the next month, and finally the next – this time in Capricorn. Since then our mental processing and voice have had to pass through a series of stages toward wisdom, transformation and staying power, but not without grief, setbacks, and a lot of hard work.

How have your thinking and voice matured or left a mark since last November? What external events reflected a need to do so?

Wherever Saturn is going through your birth chart can seem like things are moving too slowly and you have to face too much alone. Today’s square from Mercury in Libra reminds us we have help. It reminds us there’s something we haven’t considered. It reminds us not to get too weighed down.

If we’ve been avoiding the work or letting someone else do it, it’s the reverse: Today is a reality check. Either way, it’s for our own benefit.

I’ve been plodding along but not always remembering the message of risk, reaching, freedom, and truth. That was the original promise. The Capricorn message of careful planning, uphill climbing, and a very long wait – winter – has probably been closer to my mindset. It’s been hard for me to stay hopeful. Today I needed to lighten up, look around, and breathe. The moon and Neptune coming together today help us return to our dream or start a new one.

Saturn in Capricorn is serious business, but growing up can inspire and teach us, too. Remember this process actually started as an arrow and a flame.

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.