The mutable signs are the four signs of the zodiac that fall during the last thirty days of each season. They are “transitional” signs or signs between worlds, and as a result they carry significant symbolic meaning for most spiritual people. Along the Gemini/Sagittarius axis, the last sign of spring and last sign of fall, we have the ever-questioning, ever curious Gemini on the one hand and the truth seeking, religiously motivated Sagittarius on the other. Along the Virgo/Pisces axis, the last sign of summer and last sign of winter, we have the useful Virgoan disciple and apprentice on the one hand and the other worldly artist, mystic and dreamer on the other. Though these are just very brief summaries, each one symbolizes the life of the mind and the spirit, the life of the soul and the intellect. These are the parts of us that seek to “know” something, and though each mutable sign has a different approach to knowledge, the general concern is part of what we might call “the examined life,” recalling Socrates who said “the unexamined life is not worth living.”
While most people reading an astrology horoscope would agree with Socrates, the unfortunate reality is that most of us privilege certain ways of “knowing” or certain approaches to knowledge over others. It’s only natural that we would do so, but this doesn’t mean that we have to exclude, degrade, or demean ways of knowing that are different from our own. If we step back and consider that each way of “knowing,” each theory of knowledge, is already and always eternal, then we might come to see our preferences more like aesthetic choices, rather than moral ones. The way we choose to “know,” the version of wisdom or knowledge we live with, creates an entire world, and the idea of today’s 1st quarter moon is that our theory of knowledge might be coming up for review right now.
Let’s look at each of today’s t-squaring planets in particular.
The Sun and Neptune together in Pisces symbolizes the life of the imagination. It’s the kind of life that needs the vastness of the ocean or the quiet of the mountains or the deep space of the dream world. It needs altered states and ecstatic reveries. It feels subtly and interconnectivity between things. It yearns and burns and turns for the cosmic womb, “I want to go home.” For some of us this need might be creating some difficult realizations about our everyday life: dissatisfaction, overwhelm, weakness, apathy, depression, laziness, and longing might be strong qualities of our experience right now. These Piscean images might be calling for us to reorganize our lives in a way that honors our need for the cosmic ocean.
By square, the Gemini Moon is highlighting a completely different world. The Gemini moon is a thinker, writer, communicator, and beginner. Gemini is curious and ever questioning, ever uncertain, ever ambiguously clever. Gemini craves conversation, bustle, and stimulation with the stuff of this world, this neighborhood, the market place and the friendships and the gossip of the city. Gemini is a bit more like the journalist or beat writer…the wily zen agnosticism, never committed never not committed, always in dialogue with the street.
By another square, Saturn in Sagittarius is highlighting the deepening, focusing, and seriousness of our commitment to finding truth. It’s the long night in the golden library, the study of the red texts and sacred scriptures, and the offering at the inner sanctuary. It’s the quest to discover our own priestly power or religious fervor, the desire to be more committed to our path…and what IS our path? Why is it so hard to stay committed to the development of our minds? Saturn in Sagittarius asks us to commit to academic or higher minded study, invites us to wear the graduate robes or monk’s hood.
Each piece of today’s t-square is reflecting the fact that we’re at a crossroads of some kind. What form of knowledge, which way of seeing life, reality, and relationships is trying to establish itself? More imagination, more open-ended dialogue, or more focused higher learning? More dreamy other worldliness, more intellectual sharpening, or more commitment to a dogma or doctrine that we feel compelled by?
It’s always popular to say, “I choose the perfect blend of all of them,” but we have to recognize that this idea ironically tends to favor one archetype over another from the get-go (for example Saturn in Sagittarius is probably not fond of this!). We can’t always have it all or be it all, and we don’t always need a magical “sacred marriage” to work out competing ideas in our lives. Sometimes we really just need to recognize which world is calling to us and accept that it will exclude others. Otherwise what can easily end up happening is that our commitment to higher learning becomes more imaginal than committed (wishy-washy), or our commitment to imagination becomes more dogmatic than imaginal (too saturnine), or our commitment to intellectual sharpening and curious ambiguity becomes itself an ironic dogma or a space case (too Saturnine or Piscean). Learning how to discriminate between styles of knowledge is important because the world we live in tends to follow the style of perceiving/knowing we choose.
All of this being said, of course none of us are so simple that we don’t contain multitudes, and none of us are so simple that we can’t recognize each of these qualities within us. So one more way of looking at these three mutable signs in today’s sky might be to consider the way that several different ways of thinking/perceiving/knowing are asking for attention in different areas of your life, simultaneously. Can we live with the contradictions? Living with an awareness of our contradictions usually means that we learn to hold lightly the various ways of knowing we embody from one scene of our life to the next. Holding lightly means that we don’t entirely loose touch with the demands and realities of the other gods whose temples we also visit regularly…
Prayer: help us to see through as we see with the many doors of perception
Image by courtesy of anyjazz65, at creative commons image licensing