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Kingston, NY, Friday, Oct. 5, 2007

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Moon Madness and Christmas Lights
By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

Moon Madness and Christmas Lights
Playground of Lights. Photo by Sharon Bellenger.
OCTOBER IS one of my favorite months, probably because fall is my favorite season, full to brimming with the holidays that please me and orchestrated by the crunch of leaves beneath my heels and the tang of wood smoke in the air.

The sunlight shifts into its newest version, diffused and softer, gilding all it touches and dancing lightly across the landscape. The view from my kitchen window, dense and lush, begins to morph and become more transparent -- the lake just beyond the trees and shrubs will become visible when the last leaves fall.

Here in the Pea Patch, the dreaded humidity disappears and working in the yard is no longer an ordeal -- it's replaced by the hazard of falling acorns that hit tin roofs with a sudden explosion, chased after by hyperactive squirrels and sounding like gunfire; a reminder that hunting season looms.

Astrologically, this October is stuffed with heavyweight transits, and our saving grace may be the Grand Trine in Water, formed with the North Node in Pisces, Mercury in Scorpio and Mars in Cancer. An emotional filter seems the logical choice for the Pluto/Galactic Center conjunct later in the month, taking place on the Full Moon. The coming Mercury retro in Scorpio will exactly conjunct the Moon, as well. Luna is our subconscious, our shadow-self -- emotion is her forte. Moon madness makes us nervous, of course, with seemingly uncontrollable impulse seizing us and feelings bubbling up to intrude like an unwelcome belch at a dinner party, but with Mars' entry into Cancer due to stay there until May of next year...discounting a short retro into Gemini in Jan./'s time to grow emotionally and make friends with our feelings. To some of us, that may feel like learning a foreign language.

Another transit at play the first two weeks of this month is the Uranus/Jupiter square, Oct. 5-14. To some that may bring a stroke of fortune, to others a hammering of disaster, but I can guarantee it will be dramatic and overblown. Uranus prompts the restless vibration of freedom needs and Jupiter decrees expansion. That sounds dangerous considering the global situations we face, yet it also sounds appropriate as we seek a new way of perceiving ourselves and the world. Jupiter will ask us to face the moral and spiritual questions of this era, as Uranus demands liberation and the end of rigidity. Religion will likely fill the news -- we've seen that in Burma with the dead bodies of Buddhist monks reminding us that freedom isn't free and that standing on the moral high ground is not easy. In this nation, the decline of the Evangelical power base is making news, and not unwelcome to those of us who passionately embrace the separation of church and state. Perhaps we're growing up, at last. Perhaps we're ready to let go of that "old-time religion" and find our way into a new and loving understanding. Time will tell, but the seeds we plant now will surely bloom; we would do well to intend only the highest vision for planet Terra.

I was surprised when one of my favorite astrologers, known for his aplomb with the big picture, sent out his newsletter indicating that the world situation was too much for him to deal with this month, that he would write instead about chart readings. He said he felt like "Yossarian in Catch-22." Trying to make sense of the senseless without your head exploding is, indeed, no small task, and I understand his reluctance to take another big bite of the wormy apple of world politics. Perhaps his inclination offers us a rationale we can duplicate -- perhaps baby steps and small bites will serve us, at this point. Paring down our focus to the essentials will give us a point of entry into a period when great personal progress can be made, and spiritual insight accelerated.

The Cancer Mars is setting our agenda for the next months, so we can take our clues there. If all great learning comes at the point of conflict, then scratchy, pushy Mars in the sign of mother, home and family will certainly offer us plenty of practice in getting to our emotional dregs. Cancer is an intuitive sign, self-protective and tribal; aggressive Mars will likely not be welcome at that table. Most of us manage our family situations as best we can, confident in them and using them as a base from which to face the outer world. This energy will change that smooth water to rough, and require us to pay more attention to the home fires. Cancer Water and Mars Fire will make steam -- get out your shower cap and prepare yourself for an emotional drenching, a housecleaning of the heart.

We pick our friends, but not our family -- that's the old saw, illustrating the seeming angst and fragility of familial dynamics while mindful of the unbreakable bonds of blood link. Psychic prophet Edger Cayce said that family was the most Karma we'd ever face; the logic of that is inescapable. We are attracted to those with whom we have both commonality and lessons to learn and family is the distillation of both. If each facet of our soul is like the simple shift of a kaleidoscope, then we are only a shift or two away from the souls that surround us in a nuclear family. I've always been interested in James Redfield's concept of our incarnational "obligation" -- to take the highest version of what our two parents came to accomplish and integrate it into our own purpose. That is not an easy challenge for those of us who have flawed relationships with our parents, and in some cases, don't even know them. Add that the last years have designed a fracture in thought process between those who wish to evolve into a new paradigm and those who don't...examples of which are often found within our own family structures...making our blood ties an essential and potent crunch-point in our growth and enlightenment.

I've often snickered at the oxymoron, "domestic bliss." Don't get me wrong -- I adore my family, but they do not represent my easiest relationships. And I can think of no family that doesn't have a set of unresolved tensions, old grievances and power struggles that lay just below the surface. This Cancer/Mars energy may leave us feeling moody, oversensitive and more than a little defensive, which will not be helpful as we enter a period of domestic review.

Old, unexpressed emotions stop our growth and keep us in a loop, so don't be surprised if you find yourself acting like an eight-year-old with your parent -- go back in memory to eight and try to find that spot when some emotion was grabbed, held and tucked into your subconscious. If you're wrangling with a mate or a child, look to see if you're feeling resonance with a parent; parents are "first cause" in most of our relationships.

I call this the Christmas Light Syndrome. Any given situation in which we are emotionally blocked has a history, so think of each new iteration of old energy as a "bulb" -- these are the repeating patterns and challenges that we never seem to resolve. The bulb you're looking at may not be working, be lit...or the last one or the one before that...stretching back into the annals of your past. If you're honest with yourself and sincere about coming to grips with the problem, you need to go back and find that first bulb that burned out, the one that set the tone for the whole of your future interactions, and change it so that the rest of the string will light. If that sounds like an impossible task, let me assure you it isn't as hard as you think -- we need not find the specific event that burned out the bulb...but we do need to remember that turning point, that energetic wound, and allow for forgiveness, understanding and compassion.

As we approach such a challenge, let's remember a few common sense rules about family interaction. First, each person in a family is an individual, due respect and autonomy. Cancer will tip us toward tribal connections, but our "tribes" are shifting along with the paradigm. Some of our family members will not "come along" but that does not mean we love them less. They are entitled to their choices and their path, and our continued affection.

Next, in order to be true to ourselves and heal our emotional past, blame has no part in the conversation. However we chose to interpret an emotional tangle or situation was subjective to ourselves -- we are the center of our own universe. Making that someone else's fault is a waste of time and energy, and can only put the other person into a defense posture that will yield no breakthroughs. We are seeking to pour soothing oil on old wounds, and that can't happen if we break them open and decide to relive them. As we discover grudges we're harboring, and resentments we're using to punish others, it's wise to begin to deal with them ourselves before we make that a confrontation; shot-gunning our energy out in pain and anger will only amp up the problem and offer no resolution.

As well, issues of co-dependency must be reviewed; sometimes we use old family agreements to mask our unwillingness to take responsibility for change. Outgrown energies that no longer serve our present must be released, compassionately and without rancor. The most intimate people in our lives, the ones who have known us the longest, should receive not only the civility we would offer strangers, but our own mature understanding and acceptance.

Between two people there are always two stories, two perceptions of the past. Assuming that our family member knows exactly what we feel is a kind of arrogance, especially if we haven't been forthcoming with our emotions over the years, so be careful with your words. And conversely, old resentments can bubble up and feel like an attack from a loved one -- it is best to remember that we do not know their version of the "story" that prompted any given outburst, but we know the need that designed it, the energy signal that is prompting this catharsis on the home front. We're seeking freedom from old patterns, healing for old wounds. This is a crucial moment in our growth. How can we usher in a new paradigm of peace if we are at war within our own families, our own homes...our own souls?

Course in Miracles
offers an affirmation I've found useful over the years: "Love holds no grievances." The ability to give and receive love lies within ourselves. If I am not seeking the resolution to grievances I've held within myself, then I am surely pushing them out on another and failing in my desire to be loving. "I love you, but..." is not the statement I wish to make -- or what I want my dear ones to feel. We are setting out to find our way through the most karmic of our patterns and baggage. The Lords of Karma gave us these situations as a gift -- a small bite, a baby step -- in which to learn of ourselves and polish our souls. If we do the heavy lifting so close to our hearts, everything else will fall into place.

With all we have on our plates today, dealing with family issues may seem an unwanted task and challenge, but I can assure you that it is exactly the right place to be, the perfect spot in which to change the signature of our own vibration. The old must go, the new must come in and the people who sit across from us at the dinner table are exactly the people who can offer us that growth in consciousness. In the lunar light of our emotions, in the busted bulbs of our past experience, we will find release to be the truly loving people we wish to be. And my constant reminder to myself is the one I will offer you, as we begin this journey together as the human family -- go gently, be willing and do no harm.

CREDITS: Associate Editor: Priya Kale. Webmaster: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Proofreader and Fact Checker: Sara Churchville. Horoscope Editor: Jessica Keet. Associate Photo Editor: Sharon Bellenger. Business Manager: Chelsea Bottinelli.
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