“Some people see things as they are and say ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were and say ‘Why not?’”
~ George Bernard Shaw
In the Tarot, The Star is the card of hope, healing, wholeness, and inspiration. In this card from the Gaian Tarot, the stars reflecting in the water show us how far we can dream, show us what’s possible in the vast expanse of the universe if we will only look. Cupped in our hands, dreams become light and manifest in the world. But we must actively seek them first. We must go to the sacred spring, connect with a larger reality, with possibility, with joy, with recognition of and gratitude for the extraordinary adventure that is life. Then we can tuck the light of our visions into our hearts, and carry them back to a world much in need. This is the essential message of this month’s Gemini New Moon.
The times we live in are stressful and demand our full attention. We walk on the knife edge of climate change, resource limits, and communication overload. But we also have remarkable, ongoing breakthroughs in science and technology, as well as the ability to put our heads together over global distances to create solutions (not to mention art and community). More than ever before, we are able to work together to dream what could be, discover new realities, help steer the changes inherent in these times in the direction of our dreams.
Whether we slice our feet up on the knife’s edge or learn to fly will depend on how we use our minds and emotions — our mental awareness, attitude, and focus, our willingness to expand our emotional depth and expression. Magicians of all stripes will recognize these skills as the basis of any magical discipline, but no matter where you fall on the continuum of “strict materialism” to “magic happens”, it is undeniable that our minds — our thoughts and emotions — directly affect our bodies and drive our actions in the world.
Gemini and its ruler Mercury are all about the mind, information, and communication (including travel). The key to working with this month’s sky lies in disciplining our minds, expanding our awareness, exchanging information, and talking about what’s possible — the best outcomes we can imagine. Fortunately, Mercury, Neptune, and Pluto are playing well together in this chart, offering us the ability to dream big and bring those dream realities down to Earth.
Deciding between likely paths and considering consequences means we need to at least acknowledge the more problematic possibilities of whatever we are planning, and how we are likely to be affected by events in the world. But let’s not get stuck there. It’s easy to get discouraged when we have to deal with institutionalized greed, misogyny, racism, and all the other manifestations of a fear-based, materialist culture, but resistance only gets us so far. At some point, we have to offer better options. It’s hard to create something new and better when your whole focus is on resisting something else.
We need to imagine, to dream, to keep our eyes on the prize of a just and caring society. If we focus intently on what we deplore, we will lose sight of what we love, even drive it away from us. Our thoughts affect the reality we experience on a number of different levels, from the strictly material to the intensely magical. The world needs more of our dreams and visions, not more thoughts of worry and despair.
Working with our thoughts this way does not involve mindlessly repeating affirmations while ruthlessly repressing the unintegrated fears of our Shadow as we clutch our crystals. It involves mental discipline, emotional courage, and deep work to release past programming (in this life and others) that has left so many of us swimming in a toxic emotional stew of shame and fear. Our culture is unhealthy, and our culture affects us deeply.
But we also affect our culture, and we can make a difference. People who have trained their minds, explored their emotions, integrated the power inherent in the Shadow, have a much stronger psychic effect on the zeitgeist. Their circle of influence is wider, though a desire for influence is not what drives them. It is the work of a lifetime to heal ourselves, share the healing, and manifest at least some of our dreams. But it starts, always, with learning to harness our thoughts and emotions in service to our personal, soul-level vision.
Here’s an exercise you can explore while we are working under all this Geminian energy. Decide on several times during the day when you are likely to be able to take a break for a minute or two. Then set alarms for those times. As soon as you hear the alarm, note what you are thinking about, and begin tracing your thoughts back — what came before that thought? And before that? Do you remember what set you off on this train of thinking?
This practice, if you do it regularly, helps you discipline and become more aware of your mental processes, while giving you insight into ingrained habits of thinking, and illuminating concerns that bubble up from your subconscious and unconscious. This work is particularly effective if you take the time to journal about what you discover, and spend some time at your altar confronting what needs to be confronted, and transforming what needs to be transformed.
Keep your ideal outcomes center stage in your mind this month, even if — especially if — you find yourself having to slog around in some of our cultural mud.
Here’s a quote from the Buddhist scripture The Dhammapada you can keep in mind through the month ahead:
“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.”
And on the national stage:
The New Moon chart cast for Washington DC indicates the issues at hand for the country as a whole this month, but also offers insights for individuals. Keep in mind that individuals can work with whatever energies are in play to discover creative answers to challenges and manifest positive outcomes. (If you want to find out what’s going on in your life and how you can remediate any astrological challenges you are under, contact me, and we’ll set up a consultation.)
(Astrologers: The national New Moon chart is cast for May 25, 2017, 3:44 pm, Washington, DC. Ascendant is 10 Libra)
Jupiter on the Ascendant (which rules the people of the country) in Libra tells us right off that social justice is going to be a major theme this month. There’s going to be conflict, and a lot of calling people to account. (Venus, Libra’s ruler, in detriment in Aries in the 7th, tightly squaring Pluto, conjuncting Uranus, in a separating opposition to Jupiter, tightly semi-square the New Moon).
If you are an activist, this is your month, if you can be diplomatic and empathetic. There is an aspect that points to violence in this chart that we need to watch out for. Mars is fanning the flames of Saturn in Sagittarius (a tight, approaching opposition aspect), and this is a extraordinarily difficult combination to direct into a positive manifestation. Diplomacy and empathy are the keys to doing that.
The violence might be environmental (such as earthquakes, tornados, possibly drought or fires in some areas), since Saturn rules the 4th, and Pluto is in that house. But this also indicates a strong tribal, “patriotic” (what goes by that label often isn’t), focus on the “good ol’ days” (which usually weren’t). The way to counter this narrative is to frame yours in terms of nurturance and real family values (in other words, people who live in close, loving, committed relationships with each other that may or may not involve blood ties). Don’t let violent, vengeful attitudes take the lead.
This information shouldn’t frighten you, just keep you alert to possibilities if you find yourself in a situation that seems like it might be edging towards violence, or if you live on an earthquake fault or in Tornado Alley. Take precautions, pay attention to your intuition, don’t ignore warning signs.
(The square of Venus to Pluto — indicating women, art, diplomacy, and big money, among other things — further emphasizes the importance of the 8th house in this chart. The New Moon itself falls in the 8th, Venus rules the 8th in this chart, Pluto is the natural ruler of the 8th, and Mercury, ruler of the New Moon is in the 8th as well.)
The chart’s 8th house emphasis suggests a focus on taxes, debt, and financial relationships with foreign countries. (Hmmm…no I’m not going to speculate on where that might go). The 8th is also the house of death, and death will be very much in the public eye, in a number of different ways. The death of at least one prominent person is generally foreshadowed by an 8th house eclipse (the symbolism suggests a woman prominent due to her wealth, or in the banking, luxury goods, or communications industries, possibly the military), and an event may spark a public conversation about the unhealthy and avoidant ways we approach death in this country. (At least, one can hope.) OTOH, we could just find ourselves mired in a morbid national mindset. If that’s how it plays out, don’t fall into the trap! Revisit what I wrote above.
Venus conjunct Uranus and trine Saturn in the 7th heralds sudden upheavals in foreign relations and warlike posturing. Relationships in general will be full of fireworks. The path to peace will involve setting clear boundaries.
Our minds are tools of both magic and mayhem, and they can make magic out of mayhem. Keep your mind well-sharpened this month, and make some magic happen.