Relationships From the Inside Out

Dear Friend and Reader:

With the Moon waxing toward full [see Planet Waves coverage of tonight’s Full Moon] the Occupy Wall Street protests spread to many cities and states around the country. All weekend, an Occupy Sesame Street spoof was running loose on the Internet, a clue that the movement has gone mainstream, as protests turned up in many cities across the country. It was fun listening to Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe (the network’s token Republican program) rant about how people were even demonstrating in Alaska, with the implied message: pay attention because this is meaningful. Brzezinski is the reporter who, live on the air, once shredded the script for a story about Paris Hilton being freed from jail, refusing to broadcast the piece, so it makes sense that she might notice.

One theme of this Full Moon is relationships. The Sun and Moon strike a pose across the Aries-Libra axis, stirring up all kinds of tension between the sign of ‘I am’ (Aries) and the sign of ‘we are’ (Libra). There’s usually some exciting tension between these concepts, though the presence of many minor planets aligned with the Full Moon emphasizes the point. There the feeling of restlessness, even fierce independence (Moon, Uranus, Bienor, Eris in Aries), is contrasted with the need for a tight, well-maintained container for fertility (Sun, Saturn, Haumea in Libra).

I mentioned in the recent monthly horoscope and elsewhere that this is about challenging the idea that we can find ourselves in a relationship. At the heart of the aspect is Saturn (structure, form) opposite Eris (personality chaos, identity crisis). Just about everyone has tried to use a relationship, or all their relationships, to feel more like a whole person and even to resolve their inner turmoil, and just about everyone has failed. Of course, after many attempts, we start to figure out who we are, and eventually (with grace and good fortune) we start to find ourselves and choose partners who reflect our emerging state of evolution.

If we cast this in political terms, it’s like trying to learn your personal politics by joining a movement or organization. That’s usually more of a submission of your individuality than it is about finding it. But one interesting thing about the Occupy Wall Street protests is the diversity of viewpoints that are showing up there. It’s not a movement known by its charismatic leaders, or any leaders, really. And it doesn’t have a set of prepared demands. This is being chided in the mainstream media as the lack of a message, but maybe it’s just the lack of a public relations agency.

What the mainstream media is not psychologically equipped to handle is describing the process of people finding their voice and their values. There’s no room for compassion in the script, no concept of exploration, no idea of growth or evolution. Something either is or is not a known quantity that matches their preconceived story; if that match does not exist, it’s subject to suspicion and ridicule.

Boston's Tent City, as seen last week. Authorities in Boston kicked the protesters out Monday. Photo by Kelly Cowan.

Boston's Tent City, as seen last week. Authorities in Boston kicked the protesters out Monday. Photo by Kelly Cowan.

Embracing the uncertain and the unknown in ourselves and one another is what this Full Moon is about. There are few perfect matches between people. Part of what we need to do is make space for the imperfections of relationships.

I’ve made a number of comparisons between our current era and the 1960s. Astrologically, the comparison works because the Sixties were under the influence of Uranus conjunct Pluto, and now those two planets are in aspect again. The Sixties were a confrontational time in both politics and relationships. We’re in such an era once again, but the sensation is more of an internal confrontation or perhaps a necessary meeting. We’re starting to figure out how much we have to integrate within ourselves in order to be grounded enough to make any progress together.

Sunday night I was having dinner with soon-to-be Planet Waves contributor James Wanless, the creator of the Voyager Tarot and the Sustain Yourself deck. James was a doctoral student at Columbia University during the late 1960s protests. “It was a war,” he said. Perhaps the energy of direct confrontation is necessary at certain points in both political and interpersonal relationships. It was certainly an issue between men and women in the Sixties, with sex roles changing, women having newfound sexual freedom thanks to the birth control pill and the women’s ‘liberation’ movement. The problem, it seems, is that there was not a corresponding idea of responsibility to go along with the newfound ‘freedom’.

Despite many kinds of confrontations, how much progress did we really make in how we do our relationships? How much did people look at themselves and observe the ways that they could grow and, as a result, facilitate the quality of their contact with others? Was the Baby Boomer generation better and more fulfilled in its relationships than any other generation? Whatever the answer to these questions, we’re now at the next checkpoint — the one where we have to check in with ourselves. There’s a lot of unfinished business from the Sixties that’s coming up for review now.

Today’s Full Moon may be highlighting some of the contrast and conflict in our attempts to make contact with one another. We expect more of ‘them’ than we do of ourselves. The Uranus-Pluto square is calling on us to awaken internally. The theme of this aspect is to make the changes inwardly and then express them outwardly by your actions and your choices. You could say that this is about focusing on our inner relationship first, and our outer relationships second.

This will be a central theme of the 2012 annual edition.

Eric Francis