Sagittarius Full Moon and the Anaretic Degree

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I've included a different kind of guided meditation this week. This one is a dharma talk given on June 13th, the day after the Orlando massacre. The talk is on the subject of Ahimsa, the yogic practice of nonviolence and compassion. It focuses on the impossibility of nonviolence in a violent world and emphasizes practice and mindfulness of healing and forgiving our own personal violence as we seek to become more tolerant of others. Listen here

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The second full moon in Sagittarius this year occurs on Monday, June 20th at 4:04AM Pacific Time. Like all full moons, the aspect is an exact opposition between the sun and moon inhabiting two ends of a spectrum (Gemini and Sagittarius in this case.) Our last full moon fell in the first degrees of the signs and this month’s moon will fall in the last degrees. The upcoming full moon emphasizes and continues with many of the themes I wrote about in the articles for the preceding mutable cross and new moon on June 4th, and the previous full moon on May 21st. 

Sun in Gemini at 29° conjunct Venus at 3° Cancer, opposite the moon in Sagittarius at 29° The 29th degree is called the anaretic degree. It is the last degree of a sign (there are 30 degrees in each sign of the zodiac.) It is considered by some to be a degree of misfortune. Whether or not that is something you choose to believe, it is an ending. The ending of Sagittarius (the sign which is currently illuminated by the moon) is the ending of a spiritual cycle, and the ending of some kind of belief. We feel that we can no longer hold to certain systems that we once took for granted, and philosophies that felt rich now leave much to be desired. We might feel that we’ve come to the metaphorical ‘end of the road’, and there’s a need to stop seeking and start staking some claims.

The sun at the last degree of Gemini conjunct Venus in the first degrees of Cancer shows us a self awareness that has had enough words and is ready for some heart. There is a struggle for authentic expression after the dizzying torrent of explosive thinking has sputtered out. The opposition between the sun and the moon at these points feels like a struggle to maintain control between what is thought/mental construct and what is felt internally, but might be still mysterious. Emotional reactivity is possible, but also possible is a dip into familiar reactive patterns and then a kind of self-reflexivity and realignment into new ways of behaving.

Notice this weekend what sets you into familiar judgment patterns. Notice yourself speaking the same old story again. Notice the gestures you make with your hands and challenge yourself to make new ones. Consider pausing before you speak, and speaking from the truth of your heart (even if it’s kind of messy) rather than what you think you know. Remember that it can be incredibly challenging to give up our fond notions and ideals. It is excruciating to admit our own biases and allow for the possibility that we didn’t see all sides. Even those of us who willingly walk towards the fire of self-growth still have to contend with the bitterness of eating our own words and facing our own shadows.

There are no words that will make slaughter make sense. There are no regulations, rules, or restrictions that can soothe hearts that have been broken. And when tragedy occurs in the places that feel like home, it can be an extremely tall order to remember that the perpetrators of tragedy have experienced their own violations and unexplainable, unforgivable devastations. The misfortune possible at the last hour of Sagittarius (sacred ideas, higher thought, religion, foreign people, foreign lands, and foreign tongues) is the same mistake that all fundamentalism is seeded with – thinking that we know what someone else stands for, thinking that we are right and they are wrong, thinking that somehow we have the power of God on our side. We must be careful that our beliefs (Sagittarius) do not form hardened structures (Capricorn.) In any faith there must be room for forgiveness. In compassion there must be willingness to listen, and willingness to sit in the discomfort of not having an answer.

The ruler of this full moon is Jupiter, exactly conjunct the north node at 15° Virgo. The great benefic (Jupiter) together with the point of ‘destiny’ in the exact middle of the sign of service. It is important to remember the richness that we come from. This is a call NOW at this time on Earth to collectively remember that there is no separation. We humans are animals, we are part of the Earth, we are the beneficiaries of her generosity as much as we can contribute and take care of this abundance. We are blessed, and have been blessed this whole time. Let’s stop trying to think it through and let’s remember what we already know. We are in this together. There can’t be anyone on top without someone on the bottom. Be generous with what you have and trust that it will be returned to you. You might not know how or when but it will. Let your heart be uplifted in service to the home that we all share and our collective health here together.

(Note: The need for action, policy, and advocacy is great and continues to gain urgency. In no way do I mean to say that all there is to do right now is feel. That said, we live in a culture that devalues the shared humanity of feeling, while emphasizing the reactive nature of feeling. The actions created from reactivity are rarely actions that live up to the basic goodness we all desire. To pause in the moment between reaction and action is not only incredibly challenging, but it is incredibly mature. When individuals practice this and become adept at it, we form a body politic that resists reactivity and supports mindfulness. I know how tired it feels to say 'it starts within' but it is also still true. Let us embody what we affirm for the future.)

May this full moon reveal the softness underneath our scars. May we willingly turn to face the ones who have hurt us the most and may we forgive them. May we remember our wholeness.

I’ll post full moon horoscopes for each sign on Monday. Until then here is a collective affirmation and practice.

*Practice* Soften your belly and breathe into it. Notice how it feels to breathe, and how it feels to relax. Any time you feel yourself getting tight do this. Any time you find yourself having reactive and quick thoughts do this. If you feel rushed do this. If you feel sad do this. If you feel angry do this. If you feel happy do this. That’s it. Feel. Your. Breath.

*Collective Affirmation* I know that I can never, and will never, know why… I recognize that the need to know is both a beautiful quality and one that leads to extreme destruction. I trust that what I need to know will be revealed to me when I need to know it. Until then I surrender the need to have an answer and I accept that my human vision is extremely shortsighted. I am however, made of the stuff that has existed since the beginning, and will continue to exist until the end. And so I know that I already know all there is to know.