I tell my students this because half of the time when we set intentions we are not aware of the prejudices, biases, unconsciousness, and shadows that are part of our "intentions" or "goals." It's of course not wrong to have goals and "intentions," but we also have to be open to receiving feedback as we go. The best intentions, in other words, are cooperatively shaped between ourselves and our environments, spirit, nature, others, etc. The reason I'm highlighting this tendency toward "unconsciousness in our goals or actions" is because this month's new moon opens at the same time that Jupiter in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn and both planets t-square Uranus in Aries. We are currently facing a period of major tension between several different "gods" (or aspects of our psyche) at once. The probability for unconsciousness revealing itself through our actions this month is very high!
Jupiter in Cancer represents (for example) an expanded sense of our home, our roots, our past, our private and intimate familial or childlike self, our mother, our race and our ethnicity. Opposing that energy is Pluto in Capricorn: the dark, raw power that lives beneath the surface of the "establishment," authority figures, society, structures, and traditions. At the same time, Uranus in Aries t-squares: rebelliousness, innovation, emancipation, action orientation, the warrior and liberator. At the time of our upcoming new moon in Leo, the new moon will also make a tight trine to the planet Uranus. This cycle will most likely include radical moments of self realization, growth, and sudden breakthroughs. But the breakthroughs (and this is what leads us back to the idea of intentions) will include our shadows from the past, our racial/family/gender and ethnic karma, as well as the subject of our "role in society" or our relationship to tradition and authority and the "establishment" in general. While the presence of Jupiter in Cancer "grants success" to many of the things we will take forward this month, it's also important that we really take a hard look at any of the potential shadow sides of the motivations and "intentions" we have this new moon cycle (especially including the subjects I've just listed).
When I entered the lap swimming pool there was a large and very happy family of 9 African Americans (and I mean truly African America--Ethiopian I gathered), swimming and laughing and having fun. I was initially irritated because they were taking up one of the two lap lanes, and that's what the pool is designated for..lap swimming and working out. However, knowing our current astrology, I picked up on the deeper energies at play right away (race/family/water/authority/society/rules/rebellion/etc).
On the other lane there were swimmers crunched together and sharing the pool, all white, some men and women and even elderly, also waiting in line for the lane. It was incredible...a line of angry looking white folks were all thinking the same thing but biting their lips, "you shouldn't have an entire family in a lap lane for fun..this is for exercise." At the same time the desire to remain peaceful and non confrontational was palpable...a sense of both guilt and humility and respect filled the irritated "white" side of the pool. I sat down and tried to avoid the situation by doing some meditation. I mused at how tense yet fragile and beautiful the situation was as I repeated a mantra quietly in my head. Then it happened...the lifeguard finally entered the room, a young black man, and told the family the children had to leave because it's 16 and up, and that unless they were lap swimming they had to leave. There was a tangible feeling of relief. The white people were looking at each other like "thank god someone did something, and thank god he was black." You could literally hear and see and feel the thoughts. The family's patriarch got into a heated argument with the life guard and said they weren't leaving. The lifeguard looked like he was in a really difficult position. He could see and feel the awkwardness and "age oldness" of the issue. I know this lifeguard because I see him every day. He looked at me and I shrugged with a smile..."what can any of us do in such moments but try our best to be fair and loving?"
The family wouldn't leave. The angry white people on the other side were getting even more angry now because, you see, "justice" wasn't being served and the "rules" weren't being followed....I suddenly felt like I was in some kind of weird "separate but equal" pool scene from "not too long ago." I tried to stay neutral and patient...the family didn't want to leave, in one sense, because they were being stubborn and not respecting the rules, and yes, that's annoying, but on the other hand it was a clear statement given the fact that the room was quite clearly full of a certain hidden prejudice. Finally an elderly WASP, white woman, came into the pool and starting throwing a major tantrum, which escalated things in a not great way. The family left, as a group, with lots of trailing harsh words exchanged with the old woman. The life guard was trying to pacify things, and everyone else pretended not to notice. The irony was that even though the pool was cleared and everyone should have been happy, the old woman hogged an entire lane to herself and forced the rest of us to crowd into the other. What a symbol!
Finally....and this was my favorite part, one of the young girls from the family, who it was clear could barely swim, came back from the locker room, by herself, with her head held high, and she read the rules on the board...and she looked at the life guard who said "yep, you can take this lane." So she got into the lane with the old woman, who was forced to share, and she started doing her best to swim laps. I nearly cried while I was stretching out...I was so humbled and inspired by the entire experience.
I use this story to highlight this month's astrology because I think it exemplifies how easy it can be to get so ahead of ourselves with our spiritual intentions that we forget to stop and listen...we forget to explore our shadow and to meet it with kindness, patience, and peace in our hearts. Right now there is so much "big" energy in the air that we may take some very aggressive steps forward. It's not a bad time for this and its almost inevitable that some sizeable changes are coming this month. At the same time, the energies of the planets are set up to deliver some swift teachings around our shadows if we're not being self-reflective and flexible as we move forward. The message of this new moon is that we shouldn't be so fixated on our actions and goals right now that we can't receive feedback from the universe in any given moment.
My prayer for the month: let me trust that it's true...listening and allowing my intentions to be guided as I go, rather than fixed from the start, will take me where I want to go.