Adjusting to our Humanity
At a waning Quarter Moon we encounter the final stage of adjustment before retreating into the stillness of the dark Moon when the seeds of the next lunar cycle are nurtured. Although often overlooked, Quarter Moons are crucial to the universal process of conception, growth, fulfilment, adjustment, death and rebirth to which all of life is subject in some way or other. At the time of this Quarter Moon the asteroid Vesta joins forces with the Sun to assist our search for truth and authenticity. She speaks of clarity and focus, commitment to responsibility and the formation of character through the acceptance of duty as a spiritual practice, rather than something which distracts us from the divine. The message of this Moon supports that of the current Saturn/Mars square which reminds us that spiritual maturity is born of frustration rather than inspiration. The ability to recognise the potential for growth even in the most apparently sterile of circumstances signals a formative shift from the pursuit of personal satisfaction to that of spiritual expansion.
This Moon reminds us that we need to experience both independence and freedom alongside dependence and responsibility if we seek a rounded experience of human life. If we forever pursue only one extreme or the other – freedom from ties to do as we please or increasing responsibility to tie us down and save us from the risks of self-determination – we never truly come to know our many facets. Only when faced with paradoxical demands and situations do we experience the creative tension at the heart of humanity. It is this tension which motivates us to transcend the complexities of life even as we embody them more fully and experience their many voices in ever more powerful ways.
We could be forgiven for thinking that spirituality equates with the more rarefied aspects of human experience. We are a soul, we are told, not simply a body. We are encouraged to aspire to calm and peace, love and acceptance. We must be sensitive to other realms and connected in ways beyond the five basic senses. And of course, many people are, but none of this is compulsory for the spiritual seeker and any tendency to believe it to be so will lead us astray into a world of expectations, value judgements and the preciousness of ‘I’m more spiritually sensitive than you’. In this way spirituality becomes competitive and ego-driven. We either pass or fail according to the standards we have decided mark out the ‘spiritual person’ from the rest of us. In fact astrology teaches that the spiritual path is one of wholeness in all that we do, of embodying the myriad paradoxical energies which flow through us every day in such a way that we can allow them authentic expression and guaranteed safe-passage through us and out into the world. This Quarter Moon reminds us of exactly that: believing we are or should be special is a trick of the ‘spiritual’ light, born of a subtle underlying rejection of what it means to be fully human, warts and all. To aspire to a state in which we are not who we are but instead something else, shaped according to standards and beliefs rather than insight and direct experience, leads us into the realm of spiritual materialism and competitive spiritual growth! There is no place for any of this in 2015. Authenticity, honesty and truth must take their place over beliefs, ideas and ego-driven models of the world around us.
As we head towards the approaching New Moon we have the opportunity to look at our lives through eyes which recognise the deeper truths inherent in the mundane: that whilst we cannot control everything we can come to know it so deeply we no longer need to; that whilst we are simply human, being so fully means we are everything else along with it; that we are here to channel cosmic forces into the material realm not to encounter them in another dimension when we manage to escape this physical one. Embracing these truths now and using them to focus our intention at the coming New Moon will assist us in releasing standards we have no need to live up to and judgements which simply hold us back from knowing ourselves as we truly are.
There is nothing special about being spiritual for without spirit, the very life force which animates us in every moment, we would all be long gone anyway. Spirit is what we are, as is physical form. This Moon wants us to be both in equal measure and in being so to recognise that there is no hierarchy of being but simply a path to fullness which we are all walking at our own pace in our own way. It takes us not out of this world but deeply into it in all its messy and challenging glory. It breaks us open, reveals our flaws and failings, blessings and gifts, and then weaves them all back together into the unique expression that each of us can offer to the world: seven billion humans walking the path of awakening in the only way we know how.