Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Feb.03, 2014, 6:08 PM EST
Feb.03, 2014, 11:08 PM GMT
Feb.04, 2014, 10:08 AM AEDT
What does it mean to believe in yourself?
That's the astrological question posed by the Full Moon in Leo.
Maybe it means putting yourself as the top priority. But couldn't that make you self-absorbed or selfish? And yet, if you don't do that, wouldn't you eventually become drained?
Perhaps it means thinking the best about yourself. But what if you have faults and attitudes that make you a not-very-nice nice person? And yet, if you don't do that, how can you believe in something you don't think highly of?
We're all flawed in some way, so it might mean trusting that you'll fulfil your potential. But what if you fall short of what you see as your potential? Does that make you a failure? And who defines what your potential is? Or when it could be declared fulfilled? And then what??
Believing in yourself is not a very straightforward thing, and this Full Moon is here to amplify this truth and project it onto the sky so that you'll be able to see why and how it works.
If there's anything more important than my ego around,
I want it caught and shot now.
~ Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Full Moon in Leo is conjunct Jupiter, which seems like it should tell you all you need to know. Big Leo! Big hair. Big smile. Big creativity. Big self-expression. Big drama. Big presence. Big visibility (or maybe just the desire for it). And also maybe Big ego, Big spotlight or Big insufferable Pollyanna-sunshine-out-your-backside optimism.
Leo and its ruler, the Sun, symbolize our sense of self and who we are. The Moon is our need for belonging and connection at the most vulnerable level of our human psyche. And Jupiter is our experience of spirituality, meaning and wisdom. So combining the Moon and Jupiter in Leo could possibly bring us to an encounter with the Higher Self and an opportunity to explore our relationship with that and how we experience it.
Jupiter is about what we believe; what we take on faith or assume to be true. It's also how we find meaning in our lives. It's the quest for a sense of purpose that connects with a context greater than ourselves. Ideally we seek something grand (not grandiose) and righteous (not self-righteous) and just (not justified).
For some of us, this is a path that connects with God or some kind of Higher Power(s). But everyone has Jupiter somewhere in their chart, including atheists, so what do they do with it? They may simply look to fulfil their potential and see their life within the laws of nature. They may want to leave the world better than they found it, guided by a moral vision of a better world.
Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson
Right now Jupiter is retrograde (Dec.08.2014 to Apr.08.2015), meaning it looks like it's going backwards in the sky. Some believe a retrograde planet doesn't function well or perhaps in a negative way, but it all depends on what you expect of it. If you think it will behave in its direct business-as-usual way then no, it probably won't.
It DOES operate differently though, which doesn't have to be bad but it does take some adjustment to work effectively with its changed energy. Retrograde energy tends to be introspective, contained and can be difficult to direct or expression outwardly. Rather than being weaker, it can be experienced as even stronger than when it's direct!
It's kind of like what happens with Mercury, so watch what happens to your thoughts and perceptions next time Mercury is retrogr—oh wait! Mercury IS retrograde! How could I forget the ^!% little brat?
Okay: so what do you notice about your thoughts, ideas, communication and your attempts to express these? Do you find that your "self-talk" is a bit louder or more intense or sharp-edged than usual? When something frustrates you, does the shouting in your brain become louder and hotter, to the point where you wonder if the person sitting next to you can hear it? Is it easier to sit back and just be with your private thoughts than to try and express them or do something with or about them? Or perhaps you have lots of ah-ha! moments and you can't wait to delve deeply into exploring what it all means with a trusted friend?
It's all part of the retro rumba.
So: Jupiter being retrograde while conjunct the Full Moon brings extra meaning and depth. It suggests that the best way to look for a heartfelt connection to the Higher Self (that greater context, whatever that is for you) is to look within. We're so used to looking outward – to places of worship, or people who inspire us, or actions that move us along our path, or cultural media that want to persuade us to align ourselves in a certain direction. It can be easy to lose sight of ourselves as resources for a higher or deeper truth, or to doubt that our internal resource could have value.
Have patience with everything that remains
unsolved in your heart. ...Live in the question.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
The question then becomes: How do we access that inner resource? And can we really trust it?
What we're talking about is intuition, faith and feelings, none of which are always a reliable source of accurate information. They have their moments, to be sure, but they are also easily contaminated by our personal hopes, fears, needs, moods and desires, as well as external pressures, crises, events and encounters. Trying to calculate the myriad different factors affecting our perceptions, thoughts and feelings could give even the biggest computer a nervous breakdown!
Knowledge and truth are Jupiter's terrain, and he asks: How do you know?
It's an awkward question because the truth is: we don't.
Truth is a very fluid thing and can change dramatically depending on who's looking at it, what assumptions they're making, how much they're personally invested in a particular answer, and how they expect the world around them to react to what they see as the truth.
Some people can be pretty comfortable with ambiguity. For others it makes 'em nuts. Some people need a certain degree of certainty and order to feel that all's right with the world. For others, flexibility and relativity that evolve and grow help them feel safer in a world of uncertainty.
Everything you've learned in school as "obvious" becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe. For example, there are no solids in the universe. There's not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines.
~ Buckminster Fuller
Which approach is right? That's a much bigger philosophical debate that has already been raging for millennia. Perhaps the better question is which one works best, but even there, much depends on how you're wired (your chart usually reflects this). Both have their share of truth and effectiveness, but we usually run into problems when we try to ally ourselves with one and dismiss the other.
The pro-relativity people tend to be good with subtlety and relativity, but can run into problems trying to make clear, concise decisions or conclusions. The pro-certainty people can be great at being decisive and capturing the basic essence of something, but not so good with subtlety or paradox.
In the natal chart, one signature that can show whether you're at ease or ill at ease with ambiguity are the quincunx (150°) and semi-sextile (30°) aspects (also called inconjuncts – ya I know the name sounds ridiculous, but there it is). If you've got lots of them, you're usually no stranger to the experience of swimming through shades of grey (or drowning in them until you learn to swim). If you have virtually none of them, you tend to gravitate instinctively to the shore of black or white, where life feels more solid and orderly.
Both quincunxes and semi-sextiles typically join planets that are in signs that have nothing to do with each other. They don't share a modality (Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable), they don't share a common element (Fire, Earth, Air, Water), nor do they share a polarity or have compatible elements (Fire and Air, Earth and Water). The semi-sextile can be a bit more hospitable since they are next door to each other in the zodiac, but although they seem like neighbours they still don't have much else in common.
They're in each other's blind spot. So essentially, when your two inconjunct planets reach out to each other, you can't get there from here but somehow you have to try anyway. Hence, the need to think differently, become more aware of what's outside the box and come up with innovative ideas.
The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.
~ Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
In the chart of the Full Moon in Leo, there are more quincunx and semi-sextile aspects than any 12 people I know. In fact, they're all doing a freeform synchronized swimming gig, creating a massive Yod Kite aspect pattern that dominates the chart.
A Yod aspect configuration consists of an apex planet that is in quincunx aspect (150°) to two other planets that are in sextile aspect (60°) to each other. When the apex planet is also opposite a fourth planet, especially when that planet is in semi-sextile aspect (30°) to the other two, it forms a Yod Kite (a.k.a. Boomerang).
As you can imagine, a Yod figure tends to involve a lot of irritation, confusion, frustration and a lot of yes-but's and second guessing. This especially affects the apex planet, as it tries to stay balanced on the pointy end of an ever moving needle. The best way to deal with it is to get comfortable with the ambiguities and subtleties of shades of grey. In Yod land, grey is the new black. And as you can also imagine, this is going to be much easier for some people than others.
Add to this Mercury retrograde and it could be difficult to know what to think about much of anything! Creativity and open mindedness really can help, along with a very playful sense of humour. The trick is to learn how to work with this turbulent flow of energy. Yes, it can be done, but it could take some experimentation, trial and error, and wandering off the usual path to explore outside your comfort zone.
People aren't either wicked or noble. They're like chef's salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.
~ Lemony Snicket, The Grim Grotto
In this particular configuration we have a double apex consisting of the Moon and Jupiter. They are in quincunx aspect to Pluto on one side and a Chiron-Mars conjunction on the other. The Sun-Moon/Jupiter opposition forms the spine of the Kite.
What does it all mean? For one thing, it could cast some doubt or uncertainty on that quest for inner connection to All That Is. Remember those questions about whether you can really trust your perceptions to show you the truth, or whether you're actually a good person who deserves applause, or whether your intuition is being coloured by what you want to see? They could start to bring an existential itchiness to your peripheral awareness, posing questions of doubt, skepticism, insecurity or second guessing yourself.
On the positive side, this is a chance to wander off your usual beaten path to discover information, insights and inspiration that you wouldn't normally encounter. For example, take a creative approach to a problem instead of simply trying to find a solution that works. This could involve playing around with different ideas by following your playful curiosity. If you're dealing with a serious issue, being playful might feel like too big a leap, so aim for innovation, originality and cleverness in finding a solution. Look to possibilities and ideas that you would normally dismiss to see if there might be a gem of inspiration hidden there.
The Moon and Jupiter in Leo seek a comforting feeling of confidence and well-being. Focusing on your positive qualities can strengthen your belief that no matter what happens, you can get through it. However, Pluto and Mars-Chiron will likely challenge this. Pluto in Capricorn may question if your belief and confidence are based on anything real and substantial, or if they're just a lot of self-congratulatory fluff. Mars and Chiron in Pisces might also question whether your self-image is a truly healing one or if it's a mirage that could disintegrate at the first strong wind of distress.
When it comes to ego pleasure and well-being, the real question to ask yourself is: Are you filled with confidence and elation because you're connected to something greater than yourself, or because your self-image is greater than yourself?
These challenges are questions to be considered, but not necessarily taken at face value. There's something to learn from these misgivings. It doesn't make them true, but it might be unwise to dismiss them out of hand. There's a piece of truth hiding in the camouflage. There could be a whole pocket of awareness hiding in your blind spot, and you might be ready now to face it and understand it from a greater strength of self that you have developed. Or you might not be ready yet, but now you'll know there's something important to explore at some point. Either way, the important thing to remember is that, although whatever is in that hidden place might not be comfortable or pleasant, it will contain a piece of your personal power that you can reclaim.
We have to endure the discordance between imagination and fact.
It is better to say, "I am suffering," than to say, "This landscape is ugly."
~ Simone Weil
The Sun in Aquarius is the final piece in this dynamic. It tugs on the heartstrings of the Moon and Jupiter, keeping their attention focused. Adding to the Sun's importance is that it is the ruler and dispositor of those Leo planets, so it is especially hard for them to ignore the Sun's directions.
Being in Aquarius, in the sign opposite its rulership (Detriment), the Sun is not exactly in his comfort zone. The Sun's brilliance wants to shine from the heart outward, sprinkling sun drops over everything around him. The problem is that Aquarius is about the masses, not so much the individual. Yes, Aquarius is associated with individuality, but that's more because that quality is developed in the context of the greater community around us.
Aquarius is concerned with the greater good of all, assuming that what is good for the many is also good for the one. The Sun's individual focus can feel a bit lost in the shuffle. To survive, you either learn to strengthen your individuality and uniqueness, or you always feel like you're on the outside looking in. And often it's a mixture of both.
So the Sun in the current Full Moon chart is bound to understand the dilemma that the Moon and Jupiter struggle with. All of them being in Fixed signs (Leo and Aquarius), they share the struggle of trying to stay true to oneself while having to wrestle with ambiguity.
With the Sun in semi-sextile aspect to Pluto and Mars-Chiron, it suggests that it's better to look for small victories rather than major triumphs. When you feel the irritation and frustration of doubts, uncertainty or roadblocks, it might be tempting to dive head first into the fray, determined to untangle the knots in one firm swooping gesture. However, doing this might get you even more tangled up in yes-buts and what-ifs.
Instead, let the Sun in Aquarius share his knowledge that uncertainty or questioning don't have to obliterate your sense of self. Hold onto what you know to be true. If your self-esteem is feeling damaged or depleted, start small and don't compare it to other people, past memories, future expectations or what's going on around you. It doesn't mean you have to ignore these (and this wouldn't be wise anyway), but neither should you let them define who you are.
Uranus is trine (120°) to Moon-Jupiter and sextile (60°) the Sun. His gift is to encourage you to think outside your usual comfort zone and assure you that there is much insight to be found there as you look back at your usual way of thinking.
In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark
on the things you have long taken for granted.
~ Bertrand Russell
It would be good to find ways to get used to the Yod energy. The Moon gives us a preview of a longer term Yod made from slow-moving planets. Jupiter at the apex keeps the Yod buzzing by straddling the Pluto-Chiron sextile. This stays in orb from about Feb.11 to Mar.08, when Jupiter and Chiron break the quincunx. Jupiter stations direct on Apr.08 and comes back for a final quincunx aspect to Jupiter on May.20. So the energies of this Yod are likely to play out during that whole time.
So, when your integrity, value or purpose is challenged by internal doubts and fears or by external criticism and judgment, you still get to decide who and what you are. It's not about feeling you deserve respect and appreciation because you're fault free, it's about doing your best to keep growing and learning and finding ways to put that into action.
It's good to listen to and consider the feedback of others or the doubts in your own head, but these don't define who you are. We're all a work in progress; none of us is perfect. We all have stuff we still need to work on, and doing this work a little at a time is the best we can do. Yes, it's important to avoid extreme reactions that damage ourselves or others, but it's also good to listen to what those feelings and urges are telling us about the woundedness that is camouflaged inside our blind spot.
Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
― Albert Einstein, The Quotable Einstein
Going back to our original question: what does it mean to believe in yourself? It seems that under this Full Moon in Leo, it means to be open to the inconsistencies while not losing faith in the certainty of wholeness. It means questioning what you take for granted while appreciating what you usually dismiss. It means knowing you are a work in progress while always striving to improve, evolve and grow.
So welcome the struggle if you can. And if you can't then at least give it some benefit of the doubt that there's something unexpected to be learned from it. Then go search for what that is. You will likely find it in your thoughts, reactions, feelings, urges and desires, especially those occurring in response to external situations and events.
The yes-buts don't have to be (and shouldn't be) the last word in your mental arguments. Turn it into a dialog: give and take, back and forth. Debate it or just sit with it and meditate on it, but remember that it's your own consciousness that has the last word.
That's the whole point of a boomerang. If you cast your questions out into obscurity, they're bound to return with a gift or two.
I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.
~ Gilda Radner
It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and decisions now. It's a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your ambitions. Or, you may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals, by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the past several months. This will probably require a bit of effort on your part to make it happen, but the opportunity is there if you choose to take it. This transit can bring mental stability and the ability to apply your mental focus in a practical and grounded way. It may be easier to see things realistically and objectively. Creative energy can become productive and rewarding, if you use it methodically or logically.
Your confidence and ambitions may become amplified, possibly to the point of becoming a problem under this transit. It may be difficult to judge how much is too much versus just enough, and it could just be easier want more and more..."just in case." You may feel the urge to travel or do something that could expand your horizons (literally or figuratively). However, satisfaction may seem just out of reach under this transit, so there is a risk of pushing too hard and lacking perspective or good judgment. You could find that tolerance, compassion and understanding are hard to find, either in you toward others or in others toward you (or both). You are seeing things through a mental magnifying lens, which may be distorting your perceptions or reactions. On the other hand, this can be a good time to take an honest look at how closely you are living by your integrity and values. Feedback might come from others who could be seeing something more clearly than you can see it in yourself. Or, you might find that a minor irritation about someone or something outside of yourself suddenly becomes a major problem. This is probably because you're seeing it more clearly (although not necessarily more accurately). The lesson of this transit is that everything gets amplified together – the positive and the negative, and at a certain point the difference between them may become meaningless. Reaching a balanced understanding of all that lies within that expanded view is the key to gaining wisdom from the experience.
Close one-on-one relationships with people (close friends, lovers, partners of all kinds) could possibly benefit by being taken to a deeper level now, through creatively combining balanced harmony with deep connection. Just be careful that intimacy and bonding don't go over the top into obsession or domination. There is a brief opportunity now to become more authentic in how you relate to those close to you and how you establish a balance of power with them. The trick is to do this without trying to suppress, control or overpower the other person's interests. Financially, it is a time when you may have an opportunity to profit in your dealings with banks, insurance companies, taxes, and other institutions that deal with collective money.
Unresolved problems and old wounds in relationships and finances may be in the foreground now, with potential for a new beginning and healing. However, in order to heal something, it is first necessary to become more aware of what is out of balance, which can make a situation seem to get worse before it gets better. You have the ability to wound those close to you, as well as to bring healing, as you explore what is and isn't working in your relationships. It is also a time when your approach to finances and resources may require that you face some hard realities that may not be easily or quickly resolved, but dealing with any problems will give you the chance to achieve a new balance. This is especially true when it comes to the ways that you see your physical resources as a reflection of your self-worth, and the relationships in your life as a reflection of your lovability. These issues may become aggravated under this transit, but ultimately this is meant to increase your awareness of these issues so that you can start to heal them in new ways.
Mercury finally turns direct! Yippeeee!!!! ;-) But we're not out of the woods just yet. For up to a week before and after today, you may experience mental intensity, confusion, and miscommunications or simply changes in your outlook. After being Retrograde for the last 3 to 3˝ weeks, Mercury is now taking a slow turn to resume Direct motion.
This period has challenged you to rethink and rehash things that required some fine-tuning or revision. The Direct station can be a time when clearer decisions start to emerge from the issues and struggles you've encountered during the retrograde period. Or, it might turn your perspective around so that you're seeing your situation fresh again.
Over the next couple of weeks, while Mercury is still in the Shadow, your brain may feel a bit like it's gradually waking up after a deep sleep. During this time, you can gradually put into practice the learning and knowledge you've gained from your retrograde "dreams" and moonlight visions. It will take time to get fully back into sync with the Mercury direct energy. So, take it slow, one step at a time, and untangle yourself one strand at a time.
Here are the key dates of this Mercury cycle (for North American Eastern Time):
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© 2015 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Cancer: Leo the Solar Lion © Carol McCloud, Galactic Alchemy; used with permission. Photo of pageant via MorgueFile.com.