Define and Empower Winter Solstice Forecast 2011 This month, instead of literally writing out an astrological forecast, I will be scat singing the forecast: Be-de-de-boo-bah Da-be-bop–swee-swee-sweeeee-doo. Or, as my partner suggested, maybe I'll "Rob Brezsny" my report and write an inspirational, oracular pep talk divined from the pepper I spilled at breakfast and the song blasting out a car window as it drives by. (I love you Rob.) Or perhaps a poem is in order.
The point is that I don't know what the point is. All bets are off. We need fresh eyes, fresh ears, fresh minds. For me, the lens of astrology is my go-to. But to be in alignment with the energy of this Full Moon-Lunar Eclipse in Gemini, I need another go-to. We all need this: a way out of the perpetual thoughts, the usual modes of learning, and habitual methods of relating to each other and our world. This month, I have randomly chosen Audre Lorde – a woman who never shied away from saying the truth no matter how much it might hurt – to be my patron saint of seeing with new eyes. As Audre Lorde said in a speech given in 1984, "…the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house." (Read the whole thing here. It's amazing.) This statement speaks to the energies that are most awake right now. We have to find a new way. In its original context, Lorde was speaking to white, academic feminists who were reluctant to venture outside their comfort zones and address issues that affect women of color, poor women, and lesbians. Twenty-seven years later, Lorde's words still challenge us to come out from behind excuses and step into community with others who have very different experiences than ourselves – and further, to not let these differences divide us. She says, "In our world, divide and conquer must become define and empower." We can no longer be afraid of our differences and distracted by the fear of the unknown. My advice for the next lunar phase? Examine the spells that have been cast on you. What's a spell? It's a story you have decided is true. It's a story that you let dictate your life. It's a story that you may strongly believe in, one you're tired of or one you don't even recognize just yet. But it is the "master's house." We are going to be dismantling those toxic spells come 2012, and we're going to need some new tools. (New tools will be arriving soon, stay tuned.) In my family, there's a "no politics, no religion" rule/spell that exists supposedly to keep us from falling apart. If we venture into this risky territory, we are reminded of our differences. This is seen as dangerous, because (the spell goes) our differences might make us not love each other. But are we really such small people as that? I know that my brother is a Christian and I still love him. I would like to know more about the kind of Christianity he practices in his life. No relatives outside of my immediate family know that I am a witch. If they did, they would possibly be terrified, disgusted, or decide that they can't be around me anymore. I don't know what they would do. And the reason for that is our little rule, supposedly in place to keep us together. But I don't feel together. I feel isolated, and I don't have strong relationships with most of my relatives. Playing it safe does not make us more connected. By acknowledging our differences and the places that scare us, we create the potential for greater connection. People criticized the Occupy Movements right and left for "not having a clear message." (which was total propaganda, by the way, because talking to anyone involved would get you a few salient points about income inequality, housing issues, and corporate control of politics.) But the sound biting pundits would say that it was trying to be too inclusive, too broad in its scope. What do these people want anyway? To me, even without talking to actual participants, the message seemed quite clear: This. Can't. Go. On. We cannot keep travelling down the same road. It is killing us and taking the whole world with it. This is the crossroads. Now the challenge is to live up to that catchy slogan: "We are the 99%." It's a pretty ambitious attempt to include, well, just about everyone. Even the ones society tries really hard to keep at the edges. Even the one we (as activists, agents of change or otherwise) want to keep at the edges. Dangerous territory. But it can't stop with a slogan. We have to mean it. (And since we're on the subject, I'd like it to nudge up a percentage point as well.) There's no simple description for the 99% and there's no map for this territory of making bridges across strong divides. More Audre Lorde: "We must recognize and nurture the creative parts of each other without always understanding what will be created." The astrology of now says we are at the beginning of a very dangerous, very beautiful journey. Whoever you are, whatever you believe, whomever you love, whatever you do in this life, take some time over the winter months to decide which energy you want to align yourself with in the coming year. Do you want to choose fear or faith? Do you want to live in fear of the unknown, which blocks your potential? Or do you want to cultivate faith in the possibility that something beautiful can still be created? (Cynicism is so passé. Give it up, honey.) This is an important and practical decision, and not an abstract one. We need to decide now. Choosing by the Winter Solstice is a good idea. Then notice when you get afraid. Can you breathe through it and make a decision to have faith instead? (That is, if you chose faith. If you chose fear, then just carry on with feeling afraid.) For extra credit, make a risky move and reach out to someone very different from you. Can you recognize and nurture the creativity of an adversary or critic? It makes my heart beat just thinking about it. So I know I must be onto something. Here's an experiment to try in the coming month that I first suggested on my FB page: Our brain is a remarkable organ. The neuroplasticity of the brain means that we can actually change ourselves by thinking new thoughts or having new experiences. To help create some new neural pathways, try catching yourself in those habitual thought patterns and breaking them up. Here's how.
Take one of your most persistent, draining storylines. Maybe yours is "I am not enough" or "I'll never find true love." Next, imagine it as a mythical beast, an animal, or an object of some sort. Now talk to it. I mean it. Ask it what it wants. You may be surprised by its answer. Talk to it, work with it, take it out on a date, teach it new words. Do this for the next 21 days and see what changes in your life. If that doesn't work, try scat singing, or free association a la Brezsny, or writing a poem. Try anything. Except what you've already been doing.♥ Check out the links below for more information about how to magically tune into the eclipses for personal and planetary healing. More to come with the Gemini Full Moon-Lunar Eclipse on December 10th.
Rhea Wolf is a professional workshop facilitator, astrologer and writer. Rhea brings an extensive background increative writing, performing arts, the Work that Reconnects, and earth-based spirituality to her work. It is her passion to help people awaken their inherent creativity and deepen their connections to the larger world. Rhea's work has appeared in Alternatives Magazine, New Connexion, hipMama and Tarot.com. For Rhea's complete workshop schedule and more information about her work, visit www.turningwheelastrology.com.