Chiron is now opposing the Sun, preparing us for the Full Moon on 8th/9th September. This alliance reminds us we can be too exacting in our stance on life, demanding standards of ourselves and other people which are neither justified nor reasonable in light of the pressures many are under these days. Idealism in itself is not a bad thing. It can keep us focused on a positive future and motivated to manifest it if we use it well. But when it becomes perfectionism and criticism we have veered off track and need a course-correct. The current relationship between Chiron and the Sun offers an opportunity for that, albeit by highlighting the pain inherent in demanding of ourselves and other people what cannot be delivered.
This astrological alignment reminds us that the tendency to judge, condemn and demand is strongly engrained in the human psyche. We do it all the time, evaluating everything throughout our day, from the cup of tea we bought on the way to work, to the after-shave of that chap on the train, the integrity of our boss, how good a cook we are and whether we’re ‘spiritual enough’! This comparative tendency of the mind is non-stop and it’s a real challenge to just be with conditions without passing judgement or evaluating them in some way. Whilst wise discernment is a powerful tool to develop on the spiritual path, believing every single judgement we make is less so! Not least because the harshest judgements are often those we make about ourselves and are therefore the hardest to step back from and be objective about.
It is these judgements we may encounter with full force at this time. Watch out for them! They’re slippery fish which can sneak in there and take a hold when we’re not even looking. One minute we’re doing okay, the next we begin to feel down, stressed or irritable. We don’t know why, which makes it worse. Things get on top of us which makes it worse again. What started out as a reasonable day ends as a miserable one and we flop into bed feeling wretched as a result. What actually happened was that something threw us early on and we didn’t even spot it. Perhaps we told ourselves we could have done better on such and such, or we didn’t handle a problem with our children so well. Maybe we didn’t get the attention for something that we felt we deserved or we just got out of bed the wrong side, didn’t sleep well or awoke from a disturbing dream to start our day. In any event, once our guard is down and our emotional resilience drops these thoughts wheedle their way in and begin to take over. They have a life of their own if we let them, telling us we’re not up to scratch. We could do so much better. It’s like having a critical school teacher in your head all the time, marking a report card on your every breath! And it drains us. We either waste energy trying to fight it or we waste energy giving in to it. Either way it controls our consciousness and emotional state, and therefore our quality of life and effectiveness in the world.
For the coming few days Chiron and the Sun assure us that we don’t need to put ourselves on report in this way! We can find a balance if we choose to. Yes we need to evaluate how we’re doing from time to time, set goals, develop new skills, apply new insights to our lives to help things along, but we don’t have to be perfect. That’s not what we’re here for, and when we stumble and fall we certainly don’t have to beat ourselves up for doing so. We don’t scream at a toddler when they fall over, and yet that’s no different developmentally to our attempts now to embrace the burgeoning new age and the consciousness that comes with it. We are spiritual toddlers doing what we can and we must also be our own patient parents, picking ourselves up when we topple over, nursing grazed knees and providing a safe and encouraging space to keep on trying regardless.
When planets oppose each other we can experience extremes, one of which at this time is harsh self-judgement. The other is our actual, visceral woundedness which both underlies the judgements we make and is reinforced by them. Neither extreme is pleasant but we now have a third option: we can notice the judgements, bring kind and compassionate awareness to our wounds and understand their inter-connectedness. We can spot when and why the judgements start, how well we listen to them and whose voice they remind us of. And we can cradle ourselves as we would a new born, knowing that we are little more than this in the world we now inhabit and there is still so much to learn and know.
So throughout these coming days we are called to compassion and exhorted to love – ourselves, each other, our tumbling down and rising up again. For in doing so we signal to the universe that we are open to healing, to not perpetuating the pain but attending to it with care and concern, allowing it to arise, be seen and be healed, without the added fuel of self-condemnation and perfectionism gone mad!