The Full Moon was conjunct Neptune, opposite the Sun and Mars, trine to Pluto (with Mercury conjunct Venus not far from the Sun), and square to Jupiter. This Full Moon asks us to find mystical truth in the world, rather than in the attempt to transcend it. That means amid all the details, all the chaos, all the drudgery of daily life (Virgo). But it also means in the sadness, the frustration, the difficulty, the pain, the injustice (Pluto). Pisces is The All. Not some mysterious All outside of life. But all of life in every detail (Virgo-Pisces).
One of Virgo’s great gifts is for discernment. Noticing fine details, distinguishing one from the other, defining this versus that. But Pisces, as Virgo’s polarity, knows in its bone marrow that all is one. And both are true. It’s true that there is difference and variety and that’s important. And it’s true that all of that is all interconnected in one big whole--the Universe (or Multiverse I suppose)--all of existence itself. Virgo strives for perfection. Pisces surrenders to what is--and even dares to say it’s all already perfect as it is.
But how can that be? How can all of this be perfect? How can you possibly say there is perfection, when there is so much outrageous oppression and injustice? (This is the classical objection to religion, right? How could there possibly be a God, given all the suffering in the world?)
The astrology sometimes really challenges me. And this is one of those times. I keep thinking about the symbolism of Mars in Virgo opposite Neptune in Pisces, and the image that keeps coming to mind is the warrior on his knees, humbled by so much suffering, praying to God, surrendering to divine will. This image makes me so uncomfortable! It’s both too Christian (though interestingly, the Pisces-Virgo axis is associated with Christianity), and too reliant on symbols of war. And yet I feel like my resistance is reflected by the square to Jupiter in Sagittarius--the beliefs I hold that are challenged by this Pisces-Virgo message; the beliefs I hold that are thwarting my evolution.
We could avoid the symbolism of the warrior in our desire to abolish war. And yet it’s an archetype that is very alive inside of us; some of us more than others. I’m an Aries, with a prominent Mars, and I feel that warrior part of myself very strongly. I don’t believe in war. I entirely belief there is a possible future for humans in which there is no war. Yet there is a part of me that’s a fighter for sure. That has such a strong will. That can be forceful and even violent--mostly toward myself. And I’ve seen glimpses of the deeper truer power that arises when that part surrenders to the higher will--to my higher self as aligned with God, for the good of all.
We could avoid the symbolism of Christianity and the axial religions in our desire to transcend them. And yet, for many of us, that is our history. And the only way to change, to evolve, is to grapple with the history and the thought forms and the patterns that we’ve inherited, and to see the way they continue to shape us even when on the surface we may have disidentified from them (Pluto). We may open our eyes and realize that the ground beneath us is littered with dead bodies, but cutting off our feet won’t get us very far.
Similarly, I tend to avoid the word “God”. It is so damn loaded and means so many different things to so many different people that it hardly means anything at all anymore. And yet the problem with not using it is that we cut ourselves off from all the deep and resonant meanings that it does hold. But call it what you will! I know it’s not a word for everyone. Pisces knows better than anyone that words aren’t what they refer to. And that God in particular is not a thing that can be named. It’s a tricky, slippery word, that inevitably leads us astray. God can’t be pointed to. It’s the source of all that can be pointed to. God can’t be named. It’s the source of all that can be named.
Hence the famous silence of so many mystics.
But you can’t write a blog in silence (though I was tempted to send you a blank page, believe me). So here we are.
Using this language, these words, is not to say we ought to accept what we’ve inherited as is--not at all. But we can’t let go of or transform or change that which we don’t even see we are holding (Pluto). And not only are most of us holding many ideas that have filtered through the religions, but we are also holding the reactions to those ideas. And reaction is not an alternative. It pits us in a battle of either/or, left/right, thesis/antithesis and those polarities stabilize each other, holding each other in place.
I really value the mystical traditions. I suspect they represent deep truth that was then taken up by deeply flawed and power-hungry humans who contorted those ideas in order to control and oppress others (in exact contradiction to the original teachings of love and freedom). Of course we want to do away with what was used to control us. But there has been a trend of throwing out those mystical babies with the religious bath water (apologies for that image). Humans tend to think there are only two options. Yes or no, good or bad, right or left. But there are literally infinite options if we can only get out of this dualistic way of thinking. So maybe there is a way of approaching “God” and mystical truth without the violence of religion.
When I bring in the square to Jupiter in Sagittarius, it’s like God saying to the warrior, you can go forward only if you grapple with your deeply cherished beliefs, those ideas that you are so certain of, that you have come to identify with. That is what’s holding you to this old way. That is what is keeping you locked in a never ending battle. There is no spiritual growth without big change.
If we really take seriously a spiritual journey, then we have to be willing to change. Otherwise, we won’t change. Right? Like, we want change in our lives, but we aren’t willing to change. It’s funny, right? We think the change will be given to us, like we’ll get a new job or the political landscape will change or we’ll build a house or people will stop being evil and then everything will be alright. But that’s all external and doesn’t represent change at all. Change means changing from the inside. And that is so hard.
And so one particular belief I’m grappling with now is: does everything happen for a reason? Is there some divine plan for us? Is there an order of things beyond what our will can comprehend? This idea is central to all mystical traditions. And I think if we take our spiritual lives seriously, I don’t see a way to avoid it. And yet, the difficulty with it is that is seems to imply that there is a reason for injustice and suffering. Are we supposed to think that people deserve to be oppressed? That is clearly wrong.