Exploring Lyndon's and my progressed moon

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I’ve been feeling guilty that I haven’t been writing as much. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to. I’ve just been more reserved. I’m wondering how much this instinct to become more private is connected with my progressed moon having recently entered Scorpio. The progressed moon symbolizes our evolving emotional needs and states, and its 2¼-year length is helpful to explore in terms of significant emotional phases throughout our lives.

When my moon progressed into airy Libra I started writing and communicating more in general. I wrote and shared more about relationships – strategies for connecting and finding common ground. I felt compelled to check in. My counseling practice picked up. Even through a divisive presidential election I tried to show respect to people with differing opinions – a huge stretch for a Sagittarius. I was learning to be more considerate.

My moon progressed to Scorpio this summer while I was on a Holocaust Remembrance Trip in Europe with my family. I haven’t written much about the trip because there’s so much to unpack psychologically, and at the same time I’m aware that what I saw and felt over two weeks pales in comparison to what millions of people lived through. In the Jewish Museum of Prague I photographed these children’s drawings from the 1940s. Their teacher, Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, held secret therapeutic art classes in the Terezín ghetto, determined to connect the children to beauty and inspiration even as their lives got more restricted and terrifying. Eventually Dicker-Brandeis was sent to and killed at Auschwitz. I still think about her, trying to understand the evil that she was up against, wondering how I also can be an instrument of love and hope even in darkness. And it’s not always clear to me. It’s just a question. Sometimes the darkness is so potent.

I’ve become more aware of these kinds of difficult truths – how life can be unfair or cruel. And I think it’s giving me more empathy. Fellow water signs Cancer and Pisces are more often touted for their compassion and ability to love. But I’m starting to believe that Scorpio doesn’t get enough credit. With its penetrating ability to plumb the murky and intense, I wonder if the fixed water energy of Scorpio is partly about finding the strength to continue to love and empathize even when it would be tempting to shut out or shut down. Developing the right protections to carry a sensitive soul, like Cancer, renewing in dreamy darkness, like Pisces, but with the reliability of fellow fixed signs Taurus and Leo: You can depend on me. I’m not going away.

Somehow progressed moon signs or phases kick in when we need them to, when we are ready or when life is ready for us to express a new quality. Right before my moon progressed to watery Scorpio, Lyndon’s moon progressed to fiery Aries. Lyndon’s rising to the challenges of his new middle school: changing classes for the first time, meeting new friends, taking responsibility for his homework and grades. I see a decisiveness that wasn’t there when his progressed moon was in Pisces. Then he was more likely to be swayed by what other people said or just to try to blend in and not make waves. Now he’s speaking up with a budding confidence. I have to check myself when he’s a little harsh with me: Do I point it out to him or let him practice this new voice until he gets the right balance? Aries and Scorpio make an uncomfortable aspect to each other – a quincunx – and the two of us try our best to adjust to each other these days. We both can be a little too spiky. In some ways Lyndon is over-confident: He fervently debates that he’s old enough to take two subways and walk a mile by himself to get home from school every day. I counter that parents have a sense in their guts about what’s safe for their children. He doesn’t buy it. But I need to honor my strong intuition, too. He’s 11. It was only last year that he was the spacey kid who got a pencil stuck in his forehead. (For the full story, see my Parenting with Astrology webinar.) So I send him for smaller trips alone and see how he does. I defer when he tells me he’s too old this year to take a Christmas card photo. That’s a hard one for me. But I have to make sure I don’t come off as too authoritarian while he’s learning an Aries sense of his own power.

If I didn’t practice astrology, I could still find a language for what Lyndon is experiencing through developmental stages. And thank God there are so many ways for us to figure out meaning and next steps. But the progressed moon is a simple tool that helps me on a daily basis to understand emotional landscape and phases and cut myself and my family more slack.

I have two more years in Scorpio territory, and I don’t know what that will mean for me as a mother or wife, artist or astrologer, woman or simply a human. The progressed moon in Scorpio merges two symbols of mystery. And so I’m very much exploring right now. The clients who have come for readings lately seem to want to sit in deep space together. I love that. Yet I also feel socially awkward navigating this depth in other settings. What’s appropriate to share and with whom? I’m not always sure. Part of Scorpio is discerning between privacy that feels good or right and privacy that just reinforces a sense of shame.

Both Aries and Scorpio can be powerful, passionate and extreme. They’re both ruled by Mars – the red planet and God of war. And so for the next two years Lyndon and I might not always be so comfortable to be around. We might have to push back in situations we last year would have tolerated. We might have to tell harsh or awkward truths, to each other and to the outside world. In some ways that’s exciting, and I’m happy to be aligned with my child in this way. I have an Aries moon natally and I’m curious to see those energies reflected in Lyndon for the next two years. What will I admire? What will I see that I don’t like? What might I be able to help him understand? How will seeing Aries in Lyndon help me embrace untapped courage and leadership, too?

In two days transiting Mars will enter Aries; it’ll stay in Aries until Valentine’s Day. For Lyndon and me, this will ramp up the intensity and focus of our progressed moons. For all of us in some area, the symbols represent willpower and desire, boundaries and bravery. Pay attention to any unrest or passion, aggression, excitement, or fear you notice, either around you or within you. The next two months will be rife with opportunities to act and react – to challenge our natural patterns and try ways that feel more aligned with who we are right now.

I hope for me that means challenging myself to shed some of the shell I’ve been fortifying myself under – or at least exchanging it for a larger one that leaves space for more company. And so if you’d like to explore your progressed moon or your child’s, please reach out to me. The moon is a symbol of life’s natural phases of growth and renewal. It rules parenting and childhood, our inner life and creativity and our ability to recover and heal. It reveals the most tender parts of us. It can be an act of love to ourselves just to sit in that space, alone or with another: to feel, to wonder, to marvel – at where we’ve been, who we are and who we’re still becoming.

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.

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.

Where has Mercury taken you?

Tonight/tomorrow at 12:24 EDT Mercury stations direct at 11°31’ Leo, the second of three Mercury retrogrades this year. I was searching for an image of Mercury, and Freddie Mercury kept turning up. For vocal, playful Mercury in regal, dramatic Leo I thought, Why not?

Donna Cunningham writes about Mercury, “Mercury stands between Venus and the Sun in our solar system, and Mercury (communication) is the bridge between our inner selves (Sun) and other people we want to share with (Venus). Mercury always stays close to the Sun in the zodiac—it is rarely more than 27° from the Sun in our charts and is most often in the same sign and house as the Sun. However, if our thoughts are too wrapped up in ourselves, we create a barrier instead of a bridge.”

Mercury the metal is fluid: It’s the only metal to remain liquid at room temperature.  Mercury the Roman god is the god of merchants, travelers and transporters of goods, and thieves and tricksters. He’s considered a boundary-keeper and bridge between upper and lower worlds, guiding souls between the two. Mercury is also associated with learning, information, siblings, and youth.

The periods during the year when Mercury goes retrograde, seeming to slow down and go backwards from our point of view, are times to be more fluid ourselves but also more deep. What do we need to retrieve that’s been lost in the day-to-day busy-ness? How have we been tricked or tricked ourselves and others? What is it we’re really meant to carry and communicate and to whom?

From March 22nd through April 15th Mercury traveled retrograde from 16°54’ to 4°46’ Aries, the first sign of the zodiac and the sign of cardinal fire. From July 26th until August 19th it traveled between 23°27’ and 11°31’ Leo, the fifth sign of the zodiac and the sign of fixed fire. From November 16th to December 6th it will travel between 13°29’ Sagittarius and 27°16’ Scorpio, moving between the 9th sign of mutable fire to the eighth of fixed water. (Dates are for EDT.)

It’s tempting to dread retrograde periods. They’re correlated with things just going wrong. We have to be more flexible than we want to while feeling more stuck than we’re used to. My birthday is happening during the last retrograde of the year, and my first reaction was, “Oh crap.” A year of Mercury retrograde in my solar return or birthday chart. Wonderful.

But what if we look at retrogrades unfolding over time? In this year alone the retrograde periods all start in fire, the element of action and creative inspiration. Of course the last thing fire signs want is to be slowed down, so retrograde periods feel frustrating. But the benefit of slowing down fire is to aim it more intentionally, to go forward more truthfully.

This retrograde period we’ve seen in the news cycle the symbolism of Leo and Mercury in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury findings about the Catholic Church. For over 70 years leaders of the Church covered up the sexual abuse of children, shifting powerful abusers to different locations and perpetuating crime and suffering. In the U.S. the special counsel probe is trying to uncover the extent of Russian influence on the 2016 election, following methods of communication and exchanges of money for clues. In both cases a slow-down and reset button is better than moving forward without reflection and bringing the truth to light. Both of these cases have gotten people enraged, fired up, but also incredibly sad, especially if the Catholic Church or the U.S. reflects a part of our identity. Where do we go from here?

For many of us, these stories are personal, and they may be propelling us to an action or change. But after we look at the world we’re a part of, what if we look even deeper into our own lives?

Where do the three retrograde periods fall in your chart? What creative spark has been born, strengthened, and now needs to expand before it can find more of a fixed course? How have redirections in your life this year moved you closer to really connecting with your true self and with others? Were there avenues you explored that turned out to be the wrong ones? Can you let them go as mirages or mistakes?

We’ve all been victims of Leo ego and power dynamics at the hands of others and this Mercury in Leo time can help us see and heal that. But if we’re human and honest we’ve probably been on both sides. It would be a missed opportunity if we just noticed the news or other people’s missteps during retrograde periods. Mercury in Leo can also reveal the times when we’ve been blowhards, abused our power, been attached to our own hurt feelings and pride. This retrograde period has made me really appreciate the people who’ve forgiven me, who saw I could do better, who didn’t let my worst behavior define me. And it helped me see who guided me through dark, dark places, keeping the shining the light for me until I could finally hold it myself.

Wishing you revelations of creativity, power, protection, play, performance, worth, truth, and love on this final day of retrograde.

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Cunningham, Donna. An Astrological Guide to Self-Awareness. Moon Maven Publications, 2005.

https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/pollutants/mercury-environment/about/chemical-properties.html

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Mercury-Roman-god

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_(mythology)

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/14/us/catholic-priests-pennsylvania-church-jury.html