For so many of us, there’s a sense of an imagined future time when fulfillment will be possible, in contrast to now, when it’s not. Perhaps it’s a relationship you want, or a relationship you already have which will, if only you or the other person change in certain ways, be good, or more fulfilling. Or if your job changes. Or if you start eating different foods. Or organizing things better. Or get more sleep. If your commute changed. If the people you worked with changed. If you could get through this busy week, or month, to the future non-busy week or month. The imaginary time when finally, the obstacles to your fulfillment are not in the way. (There are collective concerns that can feel much bigger than these, which I will address a bit next week.)
I’m not suggesting that we don’t try to change our circumstances. I’m proposing that the often invisible assumption we make — circumstances finally arranged = finally happiness — leads us perpetually to disappointment and suffering. Because when the mind is telling this story, it’s imagining the future as fixed after the point of arrangement it’s seeking. So the projection is based on the limitations of perspective inherent in the present. Nothing is wrong with those limitations in our vision, they just exist, a principle of light and dark. But as long as we are alive, the circumstances of our lives will be changing.
What would it look like to try to arrange our circumstances while also not getting confused that this will lead to permanent happiness? What would it look like if we paused to take note of the happiness that might be available right this minute, to not skip over this moment’s potential.
Let the New Moon in Pisces on the 17th encourage you to practice the nonresistance of water. Water finds a way through, or a way around, any obstacle. For this reason the power of water has no limit! Let this watery influence transform your relationship to any obstacles that arise. Notice when you are “just getting through” something. Are you just getting through this meal, this hour of work, this grocery shopping, this email, this text, this walk from your car to your house, this bathroom break? Is your mind elsewhere? (IMPORTANT: It’s not bad if your mind is elsewhere, that’s what minds do. But knowing that your mind is elsewhere can help you reconnect with your body, which contributes so much to feelings of wellbeing.) How might “justing getting through it” be a subtle, yet exhausting form of resistance? What would it be like to not be getting through it? What would it feel like in your body? How might it feel different?
ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Question - What did you spend time doing as a child?
Meditation - The wisdom of your childhood self.
Assignment - Do you spend time doing anything you used to do as a child? If not, why? If so, what about these things keep compelling you to do them? What adult considerations contain or maybe even dampen Aries and how does this have to do with your vitality? Fires need tending to keep us warm. And we need the Fire people to keep us warm, now more than ever! Use memories and feelings from your childhood to reignite / remember the inherent wisdom held there.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Question - What season are you in, in the span of your whole life?
Meditation - You are a body, existing in seasons.
Assignment - Spend time observing the change of season, wherever you are, this week. Plants in various stages of reproduction, animals, the weather, what is happening to the air. Locate your own physical body in this change, and contemplate the metaphor of Spring as well. There’s great comfort in the rhythm of light and day, remembering you, Taurus, in particular, are an earth body, on the earth.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Question - How often are you connecting to the earth’s expression of impermanence?
Meditation - arc of arising and dropping away.
Assignment - Put earth items, items directly from the earth, into your everyday view, if they are not already. Let yourself collect them by spending time on the earth, and then arrange them as you listen to them, as they tell you to. Let them remind you of the earth from which you arise, and to which you will return. Impermanence can be comforting, in that remembering its truth can motivate us to align our lives with our values, right now!
CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Question - When do you consider your childhood self?
Meditation - The selves contained in your present self.
Assignment - Put a childhood picture of yourself in view where you see it everyday this week. Let your connection to the past, and to your past self, keep you close to your own heart, your own vulnerability.
LEO (July 23-August 22)
Question - When do you notice you’re trying to become something?
Meditation - The opposite of becoming is?
Assignment - Consider the relief of not having to become anything at all. Take note of when you are trying to become, or become in retrospect. This can be anything from, I’m trying to become a dancer, or a knitter, or a successful person, or a generous person, etc., to, I just became someone who isn’t generous, or isn’t successful, or isn’t a dancer. We become someone that we evaluate as good or bad when we narrate our lives through this lens, but it’s possible to attend to our lives without trying to become! What if we just noticed, generosity is present. Or, generosity isn’t present. Bringing in some fixed story about one’s identity connected to what is present can bring a lot of suffering. And less suffering is the aim of these words, for you, divine human who exists on this planet, with or without thoughts of identity.
VIRGO (August 23-September 22)
Question - Would you ask a child to work as hard as you are working? Would you ask an animal? What about a tree?
Meditation - Investigating the word ‘deserving’.
Assignment - Virgo works hard and finds a lot of fulfillment in serving and earning. The assignment this week is to be with the relationship between deserving and serving and earning. Considering children and other species in this investigation is helpful, because then we can notice the differences in how we relate to who is supposed to earn — or who deserves — what. As always, investigate these concepts with as much kindness as possible.
LIBRA (September 23-October 22)
Question - Hey! What do you notice happening in your body, RIGHT NOW?
Meditation - Bringing awareness to the body, over and over.
Assignment - This week, just the body. Nothing to change, nothing to rearrange, nothing to effort toward. Imagine this, try it on, just for a week, see what happens when your only assignment is noticing what is happening in the body. Even while you are completing all of your responsibilities and chores, return again and again, to the question, what is happening in the body.
SCORPIO (October 23-November 21)
Question - When is the fear of being duped present?
Meditation - Embracing naivety.
Assignment - Scorpio can tend to spend a lot of time trying to avoid being duped, or misled. This efforting can be exhausting, and actually manifest, or unconsciously seek the behavior it is trying so hard to avoid an encounter with! Cultivate the naivety, or sense of possibility for everyone to surprise you for the better, which often flows from Pisces, your fellow water sign. Look into what it means to be duped, or be misled. Look into what it feels like to be trying to protect, in the body. Remember that the ability you have to see deeply into people doesn’t go away when you try on a new approach. It will always be there, but there’s benefit in noticing when you’re on guard.
SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)
Question - In what ways do you adapt?
Meditation - Your inherent adaptability.
Assignment - Celebrate your adaptability. Sagittarius is a mutable sign, which means it can transition to a new way of seeing when needed! Try this on, remember this quality, cultivate it as needed. Sagittarius needs a philosophy of life. But it can let new philosophies of life come in when needed. Go with this. This week, connect to this ability, as a way to remember it is happening!
CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19)
Question - What space do goals take up in your psyche?
Meditation - Space in your psyche.
Assignment - Take note of when goals appear this week, and what emotional reactions might come with them. What feelings in the body arise when goals are present? How are goals related to feelings? How does this relate to space in your mind?
AQUARIUS (January 20 to February 18)
Question - How often do you consider earth life?
Meditation - EARTH.
Assignment - Consider food, how it nourishes. Consider breathing, how it sustains life. Consider light and day, the order of these phenomena that exist in collaboration with all beings who adapt to live subject to these laws. Consider sleep. Consider water, drinking it, what it does for your cells. Consider earth life, how it offers you connection with the mystery of existence.
PISCES (February 19 to March 20)
Question - What appears as obstacles to you? What impedes the flow of water where it needs to go?
Meditation - Flowing.
Assignment - What forces seem counter to your attending to wellbeing? Or like they are in the way of you being able to listen to your quiet Pisces wisdom? What if you tried to take the approach of water, your element, to attend to these obstacles? Let this week with the New Moon of Pisces and this month of your Solar Return (birthday) be a time to reconnect with this ability to flow around everything. Water finds a way to go where it needs to go. It finds the path of least resistance. When you notice an obstacle arising, ask yourself for Pisces wisdom about how to flow around it this week.