So often we hit a wall. Collide with an immovable force that profoundly alters the trajectory of our life: the accident, the lawyer’s letter, the termination of our employment, the conversation with our doctor that leaves us hemorrhaging hope. Physicist Stephen Hawking who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in his twenties once told the New York Times, “my expectations were reduced to zero when I was twenty-one. Everything since then has been a bonus.”
Mercury races ahead of the Sun into Libra on September 22nd. On crossing the threshold, both planets square Saturn, honing our ability for practical, disciplined thinking about serious concerns. Saturn/Mercury transits can marry our minds to pessimism, steal the fleeting moments of joy that inhabit the silent spaces of our lives. As Mercury travels through Libra, we have an opportunity to cultivate a deeper awareness of our mental chatter and the worrisome thoughts that may stir our feelings. We have an opportunity to look for the bonuses.
The Moon is Full at 2 degrees Aries on September 24th. She’s conjunct Chiron, square Saturn, opposing Mercury and of course, the Libran Sun. The essence of Aries is our individual will. The signature of this lunation is the opportunity, the right moment to step over the threshold, release a thought, a habitual response, a behaviour, so that the river of our life may flow easily once more. Saturn is associated with time, (Chronos) and Chiron transits correspond with major turning points, opportunities to awaken, to re-balance, to align with our deepest, truest nature. Chiron will move back into Pisces on September 25th, and will remain there until February 18th. Chiron is also associated with an experience of deep woundedness, in our life situation, our physical body, in the way we perceive the world. This Full Moon may correspond with a new insight that accelerates our growth, fortifies our resilience.
Keep Calm and Carry On was the British Government’s attempt to console the public who faced invasion at the onset of WW II. As the epicenters of civilization shudder across the globe, as America and Britain face their “Darkest Hour”, it will be the small gestures of love and kindness, the careful harnessing of our untamed thoughts, that keep us calm, help us carry on amidst the gathering storm of collective angst.
“Be glad. Be good. Be brave,” wrote Eleanor Emily Hodgman Porter in her best-selling novel, Pollyanna. The year was 1913. This simple statement resonated in the matrix of the Collective Consciousness as the dark war clouds blotted the sun over the Balkans and thousands of young men were soon to drown in their own life-blood in the rat-infested trenches of World War I. One hundred and five years later, we continue to enlist in our private battles for survival—financially, emotionally, or spiritually. When everything around us seems to be falling apart, this steadfast statement bids us first and foremost, to be grateful. To conduct our lives with integrity and valour. The fortitude and unwavering optimism of eleven-year-old Pollyanna offered the comfort of hot-buttered toast and a cup of sweet tea at a point of impact in western civilization when there was no going back. When to be glad, good, and brave, was one constant beacon amidst cataclysmic change.
Our evolutionary challenge this month is inner serenity and a selective, deliberate focus on those things that are right in the world and in our relationships. Lévy-Bruhl and, later, Jung, wrote of the Participation Mystique. That mystical participation that can manifest in situations and material things in our lives. That sense of wonder and magic that is inherent in small children and has been codified as The Law of Attraction. We are required to “always look on the bright side of life” as we bravely embrace the contradictions, the baffling complexity, and buckle up for those roller coaster rides that leave us whip-lashed, aching and bruised. Melody Beattie believes, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.”
Happiness, and her twin sister, Joy, dance in Gratitude, in the “little things that are the hinges of the universe” according to newspaper columnist and novelist, Fanny Fern. Gratitude is a spoonful of sugar to crankiness. Gratitude is like a garden. It requires careful tending if we want it to flourish. It may require gentle coaxing back into bloom after a storm or the cruel crush of frost. It certainly takes a good sprinkling of imagination and a stir of magic to feel it sometimes, and yet like the fairies that sit on our garden wall and fly about our heads as we water the rose bushes, it is always there if we look. If we believe.
Gratitude, like Love, is a choice. It’s an inside job. If we feel like Cinderella, no pumpkin carriage, no diamond tiara, glass slipper, or handsome Prince will make us authentically, radiantly happy. If we play the Glad Game, and cheat because we don’t truly believe, we can’t evoke the magic. We cannot fake it ’til we make it. We cannot buy, Botox, or bargain our way to Gratitude and contentment. We cannot pretend to be Little Miss Sunshine if we feel like The Snow Queen.
Gratitude must become habitual for the magic to work.
So, observe those wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings. Give thanks that the silver white winters will melt into springs … And hold steady in these challenging times. Encourage ourselves and each other to keep moving, keep focused, as new life emerges from the dead leaves of change.
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