Don’t React, Reflect!
Energy builds in the sign of Aquarius as January progresses, offering a much needed mental spring-clean. Simultaneously an alliance between Uranus and the South Node reminds us it is sometimes the most familiar things which need discarding, whether our de-cluttering is internal or external. It’s no good focusing only on those things which stand out like a sore thumb, that we simply never found the right place for. This month we must look around with fresh eyes at those aspects of our lives we know best – be they physical possessions, thoughts, feelings or attachments – to establish which have outlived their usefulness and are sitting there purely because we’ve gotten used to their presence and would feel uncomfortable about the space left behind were we to get rid.
The fact is we need that space, no matter how uncomfortable it may at first feel. Uranus on the South Node reminds us we each have our own inherent uniqueness with which to fuel our life but it becomes increasingly difficult to allow it to shine if we remain surrounded by the trappings of an existence now passed and an identity that was simply a staging post and never intended as a final destination. The coming month offers the opportunity to sort through some of the detritus with which we’ve surrounded ourselves and decide what needs to stay and what needs to go.
There are two important questions to consider as we do so. For every possession, every thought, habit or feeling, we must ask: Does it limit or liberate? Does it raise or reduce our energy? This is all that matters now and learning how to make decisions based upon these two questions alone will greatly enhance our ability to recreate ourselves and our lives as this year progresses. Some things are easier to let go than others. The euphoria of a good clear out which refreshes the space around us may be short lived if we continue to cling to the better camouflaged features in our lives: those which blend in so well we barely notice them and the space they occupy. Most likely they are thoughts and feelings which have been around so long and become such an intrinsic part of our nature they are simply scenery much like the sky: always there so we tend to walk on without looking up and noticing it. ‘That’s just the way I am’ we tell ourselves if life brings them to our attention. ‘Nothing’s going to change that bit of me. Like it or lump it’. Or it may be something we identify with so strongly that the notion of releasing it feels akin to cutting off a hand, and why on earth would we want to do that?! Until, that is, we reflect upon those questions: Does it limit or liberate? Does it raise or reduce our energy? Frank answers may reveal exactly how far these treasured thoughts, feelings and possessions have served to keep us chained.
When traversing the domain of Aquarius our thoughts must take us so far outside the box that it becomes a mere dot on the horizon. Simultaneously the nature of our mind is reflected back to us in every aspect of our lives, somewhat like a prism refracting and reflecting light in all its frequencies at once. What we think becomes our world: the people in it, the possessions we choose, the place we live, the job we do, the person we are. All are shaped by our mind and our relationship with it. When energy builds in this Air sign we have an opportunity to renew and refresh our mental world which, in turn, refreshes everything around and within us. Given an on-going T Square formed by Pluto, Uranus and the North Node throughout this month, the impact of questioning ourselves and our lives in this way will be felt profoundly as we begin to recognise just how deeply we have believed the mind’s lies: playing small to manage anxiety and fear or clinging fast to fading truths which no longer hold water, purely because the prospect of living with the limbo of their absence feels too nihilistic to be bearable. But bear it we can, and we must, if we are to create the space in which the new can germinate its seeds as the year progresses.
The Full Moon in Cancer on 4th/5th January supports this quest, offering an opportunity to discover the powerfully creative energies which can be unleashed by just such self-enquiry. It illuminates our tendency to identify with certain aspects of the self and conveniently over look those misaligned with our desired self-image. Simultaneously it invites us to expand that self-image in ways that may previously have felt beyond our reach. It demands some risks whilst rewarding them with a heightened understanding of what constitutes the self and the power we have over its shape and character. The subsequent New Moon in Aquarius on 20th January offers the opportunity to capitalise on this understanding, enabling the insights we have gained in the intervening days to be concretised into manifest change and new beginnings. We can begin to experience, rather than simply believe, the fact that redefining who we are can become the very bedrock of change in our lives, and that we must be prepared to relinquish not only that which we know to be holding us back but also that to which we cling for security in the face of unknowable and unpredictable change. If we want things to be different from here on in, if we want 2015 to be a year in which we manifest the fruits of our commitment to growth and expansion, we must be willing to give up even those things we were so sure would be part of our future, a core aspect of our essential self.
This call to place everything on the altar and see what happens is one of the most profound challenges of this evolutionary time for it takes us outside of our ‘spiritual comfort zone’ in which we expand only as much and as far as safety and security will allow. It highlights our tendency to compare ourselves to others rather than to our own potential. To find those with whom we wish to align and those with whom we don’t and then mould ourselves accordingly, failing to take into account our own unique path and the need to be who we are, not emulate the path of another. The truths so central to someone else’s life may be beyond redundant in our own and we need to discover now if that’s true. Indeed, our own truths, so precious up to now, may also prove to be little more than empty concepts and meaningless words in the face of the burgeoning possibilities awaiting us the other side of letting go.
Throughout this month it is internal stressors rather than external challenges in need of attention. No matter the trigger, external or not, attending to how we react and respond is essential now if we want to move forward in a positive and meaningful direction. Much has fallen away from us in recent years, including old beliefs and outmoded ways of living. What we have left now is a mixture of new possibilities and old habits so deeply ingrained they feel as much a part of ourselves as our own heartbeat. For the former to flourish we need to take the latter in hand. We do this by honing our focus on how we interpret the events of our lives, the behaviour of those around us and the complexities presented each day merely by being human. Understanding others and the external world is useful in its place, but nothing can beat the precious gifts of self-knowledge and intimacy with our own psyche, self-possession and sovereignty in all that we do. These are the qualities to contemplate this month as we navigate our way into the realm of Aquarius, refreshing our minds with the waters of universal knowledge. No matter how insightful we may be about others, it is knowledge about ourselves which draws the highest price right now. Forget finger pointing, idealisation, criticism or blame. None of these avoidance tactics have a role to play this month. They simply distract us from what matters by focusing our attention ‘out there’ instead of ‘in here’!
Mercury stations retrograde in Aquarius on 21st January, supporting our quest for wisdom and insight. If we have struggled to look within rather than reacting without, this about turn will help us shift our focus inwards, to reflection before reaction. We can best use this retrograde passage of Mercury to review the beliefs which shape our experience of the world and explore how life would look if we could let them go. Whilst following through on such reflections may prove to be more complex than merely thinking a different thought, playing around with what we could believe about the world may be just the motivation we need to recognise the far from insignificant potential that new thoughts have to change the world. Especially if they come energised by our commitment to perceive in a new way and resist the seductive urge to slip back into old mental ruts which feel so familiar whilst robbing us of future potential.
Come the final few days of January we encounter the first flavours of the next major alignment to get a grip at the end of this year: a Saturn/Neptune square. Whatever we hold to be true and however sacred we perceive that truth to be, we must be prepared to let it go if necessary. For ultimately all belief is simply mind-matter which distracts us from direct experience of life itself in all its paradoxical and confusing glory. This month’s emphasis on knowing the mind and how it functions serves to forge a foundation of wise reflection we can build upon in the coming months. The ability to detach from the activity of the mind and observe it rather than be consumed by it will stand us in good stead this year. January 2015 provides plenty of opportunity to experience for ourselves the fruits of doing so.