Embracing the Mysterious Familiar
The Quarter Moon occurs at 11:04 a.m. GMT in the 3rd degree of Libra. This Moon tests our commitment to a new way of relating. Coupled with Mars’s entry into Cancer and Chiron’s retrograde station her message carries particular weight. With the Moon in Libra and the Sun in Cancer it is a good time to reflect on how we view those people so very familiar to us that we barely notice their presence even as we interact with them every day. Whilst we may love some, if not all, of them deeply, the pace of modern life and the frenetic nature of its demands can leave us exhausted before we’ve begun and the seemingly inconsequential moments available to spend with a loved one over a quick cup of tea or to discuss the day ahead can be easily lost. Daily routine can take over as we rush, head down, through our day. This Moon invites us to stop, breath and take a minute to reconnect with those familiar people from whom we can become increasingly estranged in the absence of an effort to connect.
It may not be immediate family, but someone in our wider circle: a friend, acquaintance or colleague. Do we see them as someone with deep, rich experience and a history so complex, hundreds of pages wouldn’t do it justice? Do we see their wisdom, their sense of humour, their love of animals, plants, sport? Do we know if they’re happy or sad, busy or bored? Can we see behind what we think about them, the familiarity of assumptions, to perceive the unique individual below whose life spans places and experiences we will never know?
Confronted with life’s complexities we often simplify the people we encounter, seeing only one dimension of the many they are. They do the same to us. We forever reduce each other to stereotypes, opinions, assumptions, without testing the accuracy of our perceptions which, of course, would take time we don’t have. But this Moon is not about making the effort to know, rather simply being aware that we don’t! Largely, other people are a mystery. No matter how certain we feel about them, there will always be more we don’t know and no amount of guess work replaces the truth. Simply remembering this – honouring the mystery of the other – guards against the supremacy of false certainty which can foster misunderstanding and division.
We all simplify others. It helps us get through the day without having to take yet more data into account! And that’s fine. We don’t need to know the life-story of our postman or the medical history of our neighbour. But it can help to remember that we don’t know, that we are all subject to countless influences, experiences, challenges and blessings which shape who we are each and every day. No one is so simple they can match our summing up, and we all seek escape from the false perceptions of others. No person likes to be misunderstood and one of the biggest misunderstandings is the assumption that we know who someone is, especially when we struggle to even fully know ourselves!
This Moon reminds us that every single person is infinitely more complex than we can ever know, no matter how familiar they are. Each individual comes with the weight of history – their own, their family’s, culture’s, race’s and religion’s. We are all shaped by forces we ourselves can barely comprehend. She invites us to approach the world with a heart open to the mystery of each other, not to fill in the knowledge gap with our own ideas treated as truth. We may think this person is x, y and z but if we actually don’t know then we don’t know. End of. Just as they don’t know us either. Not completely. Not down to our bones and into our depths.
If we see others through eyes that know they don’t know and a heart open to that mystery, what may come of it? Space that accommodates mystery is alive with creative promise and allows the birth of new potential. Quantum physics reveals that the observer shapes the observed. In releasing the need to define the other we no longer shape them but instead create the space for them to simply be. This Moon blesses that space as we relinquish our guesses and projections, opinions and assumptions, instead meeting each other face to face, familiar but mysterious beings, one and all.