This article is written in two parts. Part I is being written for the Astrological website and its newsletter, while Part II will be part of the new Sher School of Wisdom website and newsletter.
I will continue to maintain an active Astrology newsletter, including articles from members of our staff. Also, I will begin to write articles for our new newsletter being sent from the Wisdom School website. In addition, I will be adding new courses, seminars and other activities that will be sponsored by our new School. Thus, you will be receiving articles from the two newsletters. We will give you directions for opting out of our Wisdom School newsletter should you decide to do so.
I hope you will wait until you see more of what will be coming before you make your decision because while some of the articles will be written solely for the Astrological newsletter and others solely for the Wisdom School website, many articles, such as this one, will be connected with topics and issues relevant to both Schools.
Perhaps, in the future, the two Schools will merge into one, but for now, they will remain separate. Historically, the study of astrology was regarded as a sub-set of broader categories within a Wisdom School, but for me, they always have been one and same. Yet, astrology is definitely a field of study in its own right and can stand on its own. I intend to show how connected the two fields are as well as how they can be combined in an organic or natural way. I will see how things develop.
Now, let’s get to our article.
Every planetary body has a function and a purpose and simultaneously, each has its limitations and challenges. Part of our growth is to learn what these are and how to work with them in a more conscious way. In addition, though, there is great value in regarding each function in a holistic way. Just as each part of our body serves to make our body a single entity, so does this same thing happen when we understand how each planetary body interacts with all of the others and forms a single Whole, or an awakened Individual. Thus, whenever I speak about one planetary body, such as the Moon in today’s article, in the back of my mind, I always remain aware of how that function is connected to all the rest and what place it plays in a much bigger picture. This is how we can begin to see what our real purpose for being here is and how we can achieve that purpose.
In this article, I want to start by looking at the usual definitions of the Moon, and to then look at its limitations and what we need to do with the Moon in our chart so that we can grow and even evolve. Specifically, what happens if the Moon dominates our life, if its effects override the other planets and become superior to them? Can it block our growth completely?
Here are some of the main principles that the Moon represents:
- Using the terms of the Tao Te Ching, the Moon is the yin force, the feminine, the receiver of the Solar or yang force.
- Instincts – both the survival instincts (fight or flight) and how our bodies grow and develop.
- Safety, comfort, home, shelter and the way we need to be nurtured and supported.
- Habitual patterns, both conscious and unconscious, including the automatic reactions we have to events in our life.
Where would we be without the Moon? Astronomers know that life on Earth would not have developed without our Moon. In fact, not only is the Moon necessary, but its size and distance from the Earth are all just in the right proportion for life to exist for us. It is that important. However, by life, I am referring to physical life. This includes the Darwinian view of evolution and the survival of any species. Physical life is amazingly fertile and abundant. It has adapted to many events that have happened on this planet.
However, from the viewpoint of both astrology and most of the spiritual systems, physical life is not all there is. In fact, the mere existence of physical life tells us nothing of the purpose of it from a broader perspective. So, are we mere physical machines? Is our purpose only to be born, procreate and die? Or, is our purpose to grow and evolve in such a way as to realize that our nature is actually multi-dimensional? Ask yourself these questions and see what you come up with.
In no way am I minimizing the importance of physical existence. In fact, most metaphysical systems regard this reality as necessary for us. They regard it as a School of learning that enables us to grow and evolve. For this to happen, at some point the Soul must begin to suspect that there is more to Life than the physical world. The Moon is concerned with physical survival and all the feelings, emotions, moods and reactions that can occur in our sojourn here.
The practice of astrology in the past necessarily concerned itself with the mundane matters of everyday life, with the exception of some more magical and often secret societies. As the lifespan began to increase and the field of psychology developed, a new kind of astrology began to emerge. Specifically, in the last 60 years or so, with the development of transpersonal, integral and depth psychology, astrology began to integrate spiritual concerns into its philosophy. What that concern is depends on the terminology people use. Some refer to it as movement towards ‘Selfhood,’ the awakened state, ‘Soul development,’ beingness, individuation, and, of course, enlightenment.
What does this mean for us as we look at the functioning of the Moon? My perspective is that the Moon acts as a base or foundation from which we can blast off and fly towards higher states of consciousness and awareness. We must have our base, but if we stay there, we remain stuck on the launching pad and unable to leave the ground. More specifically, those who want to grow in consciousness must push against the inertia of the Moon, and their habits and programming. We may find this to be difficult as it requires a great deal of conscious effort. It also comes with the excitement of a new journey when we realize the joys that accompany this shift are worth the effort. It is the beginning of what some call ‘the Warrior’s Path.’ There is discomfort associated with moving beyond the ‘nest’ of our ‘psychic structures’ into the new and unknown territories that call us forward. Perhaps, such an adventure is not for the faint of heart. Here is when we must get real. The Moon is where we whine and complain when we are not comfortable, when we feel we have strayed too far past the familiar territory. This is why we must be braced for the challenge of dealing with our fears.
In its highest sense, the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, represent the processes I have just been describing. Their intention is to transform the Moon and take it out of its safety zone and propel it into the heights. But we must let go of something. Some call it ego, but I prefer to call it what it is. It is the comfort of habit and the fear of change. The Moon can rise above this and may enjoy it once the process begins, but it’s not easy. Is it not natural to fear leaving the very habit patterns that have helped us feel safe and secure for so long? To me, letting go of ‘ego’ is the letting go of fear and its very constraining sets of limitation. If we are to fly, we must not only grow wings. We must mutate so that we are no longer merely land animals. That’s a complete shift in our identity, in ‘who’ we are.
The problem is not with the Moon per se. It has given us birth and nourished us while we grew. Now, are we willing to ask the question – “Is this all there is?” If you do, it means that you have felt the touch of the outer planets and are ready to explore the wonders of a territory beyond the limits of your safe and small world.
Part II of this article will discuss the ability of ‘intention,’ which can be developed as we move beyond the automaticities of the Moon.