The Gathering

The Gathering

IF THE MOON IS AT HOME in Cancer, and we count eight signs from there, we wind up in Aquarius. Speaking in lunar terms, the house of power, secrets, surrender and transformation (the 8th) falls in the sign most open to groups, individuality, consensus, and the notion of equality (Aquarius).

The 8th house natal Moon (placed in any sign) is the one that can handle a crisis. Though they have to get over their addiction TO crisis, they make fabulous EMS chopper nurses, investigative news reporters, therapists, midwives and SWAT team captains. Life, after all, is one big emergency — everything is always emerging and, in true 8th house style, everything is changing all the time.

The Moon in Aquarius, which carries this theme inherently, can handle living in the state of nonstop change that is so unsettling to so many other people.

Such is the state of individuality. When one is different, there is constant tension with the world that must be resolved from moment to moment, and that means changing all the time, and relaxing into change. Aquarius is a fixed sign, and that fixity is the storm of progress.

I have my pet names for the signs; some are for mature audiences. But the sign of the Water Bearer I lovingly call Aqueerius. Put the Moon there, and what emerges is need (since the Moon underscores necessity) to be different. Different, but not separate; not alien in the punky kind of way, feeling sorry for itself, but part of humanity in a conscious way — though entirely oneself.

We have all vaguely considered this possibility, some more than vaguely, and many on the Earth gave up long ago, as early as kindergarten or fetushood. As someone once said at a spiritual workshop, “I tried being myself, but discovered I wasn’t any good at it.”

The Aquarius Moon is most likely where you’re going to discover some leadership on this issue. That’s because those with the queer Moon need to be themselves just a little more than everyone else does. And they need to be part of the world more than most of us. And they are not going to compromise on either.

The idea that people who are different can actually be together is an embodiment of the Aquarian ideal, or the scientific fact, of diversity. Those born with the Aquarius Moon tend to embrace diversity not just because it’s cool, or because they disdain hypocrisy, but also because in truth the human family has no choice. How do you start? Here’s a bit of true Aquarian genius: BE FRIENDLY!

True, you would never know people really do yearn to be individuals, judging from the extent to which many will deny their own existence just to seem like everyone else, act like everyone else, and be acceptable to everyone else. Or the extent to which prejudice (even vicious prejudice by educated people) is presumed as a fact of life, or for many, is the bottom line of the personality. Or humanity’s longtime struggle with “ethnic cleansing” that seems to go back to the cave days.

But if there’s one person at the party not gathered around the guy swallowing the goldfish (or the lynch mob), you can guess well enough that he or she has an Aquarius Moon; and if there are two, it’s a safe guess that the other one has Aquarius something else big and strong.

If something is stupid, it’s stupid; if it’s smart, it’s smart. They usually know the difference. You may not agree, and they may not care, and you may be offended that they don’t care, and they may not seem to care about that. And life goes on. They will still be your friend. Even if they think you’re a little dorky or don’t think things through carefully. After all, they are the ultimate dork, and their motto is “arbitrary but fair.”

The matter of Aquarius representing both groups and individuality is one that is worth investigating. It’s one of those things that astrology explains better than most other forms of psychology.

In one of her oh so simple but ever so ponderous little teachings, Alice Bailey notes that you cannot have a group if it’s not a group of individuals. If individuals are not involved, you’ll have a mob, a mass or a religion. Many try to run their families this way. Run a country this way and you can easily wind up with a big war. War is based on not thinking. How many people support wars because so many other people do so, or because it’s so acceptable on television? Then, when it’s more acceptable, it’s okay to think some other way. Oh, now the war is bad, let’s be against the war.

This is not the Aquarius Moon’s game. The Aquarius Moon would rather get in your face and tell you what they REALLY think ten years before it’s popular. It is true, they need to be a little detached in order to do this; and you may never get to feel the warm, gushy side of them (or maybe you will). Everyone has their faults. But Aquarius Moon children have a different kind of sensitivity, one that leaps to the collective level quite easily. They can say the word We, and it is meaningful.

Sen. Robert C. Byrd is a good example of a guy with an Aquarius Moon. He’s the one senator whose speeches make sense, the one person in high office who has not wavered a millimeter in his opposition to the war in Iraq, and who has put his convictions out over and over again. He is from West Virginia, where you would think he would get booted out of existence for being some kind of commie pinko liberal. But he was born back in 1917, and he’s had a lot of practice being himself. Sen. Byrd has an especially fierce Aquarius Moon, in a close conjunction to Uranus (the revolutionary and inventor) on the cusp of the 11th/12th houses. That’s a heck of a Moon. And the guy has even had his Uranus return!

“This war is not necessary,” he has proposed, by way of a warning. “We are truly sleepwalking through history.”

He did not leave us wondering why. “It is money, money, money! Not ideas, not principles, but money that reigns supreme in American politics.”

Obvious, right? But do we really get it? Let’s see, when was the last time we heard the words “Halliburton” or “Carlyle Group” mentioned anywhere? Money, money, money. Oil, oil, oil. Guns, guns, guns.

“Is it any wonder,” he once asked, “why the approval ratings of the Congress go up every time we go into recess?” (He sounds like Mark Twain’s reincarnation.)

People with an Aquarius Moon can get away with saying something like that because it’s funny, it’s true and because they know it’s a kind of idiot test. They are not afraid to be smarter than you, and fortunately they’re also not afraid to have you be just as smart as them. Can they handle those more intelligent? Sure — they’ll get out their notebook and write down what you say — or they’ll argue.

Scanning through my Aquarius Moon files, fun names come up. Marc Chagall is one; he even lived in High Falls, New York one of my favorite places on Earth. Chevy [“I’m Chevy Chase and You’re Not”] Chase is another (he understood his Moon sign well). And the ultimate populist dissident, Fidel Castro.

Señor Fidel; someone not afraid to stand out a little.

Fidel, who has so far survived nine-and-a-half God almighty U.S. presidents and their CIAs and NSAs and Men in Black, all of whom he has irritated, to put it extremely politely; who outlived the entire Soviet Union and all its bumbling ideologies; for whom the gun jammed or the assassin snoozed through his alarm clock every time they tried to take him out; who, no matter what you may think about him, you have to admit: he is Fidel and you are not. Call him a dictator, and he is slipping a little lately, but he is no less beloved.

It is true, there is a dictatorial side to Aquarius, and everyone needs to watch out for it. But generally, it’s benevolent enough. And remember: most people love a dictator, even red blooded Americans (they just call their dictators something else).

So along comes Aquarius Moon and arbitrarily decrees, “It’s okay to be yourself.”

Anyway, even if they are bossy, Aquarius types will eventually see your point of view, if you persist, if you make a vague shred of sense, and most of all if you don’t use emotional arguments. Make logical arguments, and present facts, or else you’re likely to decide that they’re an insensitive bastard.

They are very sensitive — to reason.

They may not agree with you, and yet they may still support you, far better than those who allegedly actually agree with you. And they do change; remember, it’s all they really do. What they are looking for in order to be convinced is to be informed of something more intelligent than they already think. Something they missed. Something that makes more sense. This is called having psychological boundaries. But the door opens in both directions, and this Moon makes a fine teacher. In part, that’s because a real discussion can happen in their classroom.

Just like somebody with a Taurus Moon is not going to let you starve in their house, and the Gemini Moon will have you laughing hysterically till you cannot stay awake any more, the Aqueerius Moon wants to share its wealth: ideas and the freedom to have them; and the fact that humanity is an expression of individuality. Real individuals prompt, goad, instigate and support others into finding their own individuality. But this may be something other than altruistic. Anyone with a strong Aquarius chart signature typically can’t stand how boring the world is, so the more rebels, artist and freaks there are, the better it is for them — and for everyone else. This is the attitude of a pioneer. And they are all over the Aquarius Moon files.

Let’s consider Sally Ride, the first woman astronaut. Or Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player. There is Angela Davis, Princess Diana, Mohammed Ali and Clarence Darrow. Margaret Mead, the great anthropologist, embodied this Moon in many ways, but particularly when she said, basically: don’t think a small few people can’t change the world for the better. They’re the only ones who ever do.

One thing I’m noticing scanning this file is that it’s actually possible to find quite a few women of achievement. I don’t think the astrology databases are inherently sexist. I think they include who they can find; and it’s a fact that because women are less often recognized for their achievements, are held down by society, and in a strange way that nobody really wants to talk about, tend to hold themselves down, statistically, you’ll find fewer women than men who have made history.

Among those who pointed out the problem was Aquarius Moonboy John Lennon, who said: “Woman is the nigger of the world.” Simple. Do we get it? Or would we rather not?

But Aquarius Moon women do pretty well.

Linda Ronstadt, her cool beauty and her gift for being both seen and heard — and for transforming herself seamlessly, endlessly — offers the feeling of this Moon quite nicely. Who could not relate to this absolutely beautiful woman demanding to know, “When will I be loved?” Gillian Anderson, who played gutsy X-files fed Dana Scully, is a fine example of this Moon as well. Scully never worried if nobody liked her far-out theory; she was always right — and the Aquarius Moon always needs a decent theory (just a little more than it needs to be right).

Norma Jean Baker was born with the Aquarius Moon. She was someone everyone could relate to, and talk about a cool beauty. Few women have succeeded in becoming collective property of the human race like Marilyn did, or in becoming a victim of her own success. Was she ever really happy? Well, everyone else was. That’s a trap that Aquarius Moon people need to watch out for.

Among the people I know from personal experience was an excellent, outspoken activist government official in New Paltz named Kate Martin-Green. To me, she represented the true modern Quaker: peace activist, advocate of social causes, and a genuine member of the community. She died too young, but she made her mark. Also from New Paltz is Jerilyn Brownstein, a therapist I wrote about in my old “Born in the Sixties” series (see “Best of Planet Waves” on the archives page). She is doing something basic and brilliant: teaching young mothers how to deal with their personal problems rather than dump them onto their kids.

It turns out that both of my male therapists, Joe Trusso and Dave Cole, both have Aquarius Moons as well. It’s fair to say that both men have devoted their lives to helping people become who they really are inside. Though neither is famous for his work, contributing directly to humanity has been a valuable legacy to give the world. My dad has this Moon as well. That’s an interesting story, too long for here — but it’s a good one. He is the perfect embodiment of Aquarian contradictions.

Ordinary and outstanding people born with this Moon can have strange things going on with their mothers. Lennon’s mother abandoned him and his Aunt Mimi was killed when he was young. Robert Byrd’s mother died when he was an infant. These events obviously prompted developments in their personalities. My father’s mother Vera was one of the strangest, most loving and interesting people I’ve ever known — but she definitely lived in her own world. Their mothers don’t always die young, but they are always different, eccentric, a little removed from the action or live away from the main streets of life. This Moon may be accustomed in some way to being independent, and so it can handle those mothers who can’t always handle the job.

It may be that the unusual mothering this Moon signifies allows a distinctly unique person to develop. It may be that the approval so often given by mother is precisely what the Aquarius Moon needs less of, or needs to be further from, in order to develop more independently. If your child has an Aquarius Moon, you could just scan over the ways that your individual life, and your commitment to individuality, is affecting your child. It would be really good if you could give them just a little more of yourself than you think they need, or just a little more than you think you can. They will feel it. They will remember. But most of all, make sure you don’t sacrifice who you are. That would be devastating to your child.

In any event, when you see this Moon in someone’s chart, make sure you get the short version of mother’s biography, and see if you can trace the influences.

For a balanced picture, we need to look at a couple of the more pathological examples of he Aquarius Moon. The one who gets his face on the poster at McDonalds is Charles Manson. He had plenty of theories; he started a cult; mass murder was a group activity; he dug chicks; and he probably didn’t kill anyone — he had other people do it for him. Manson was influenced by someone else with an Aquarius Moon — John Lennon, who wrote the song Helter Skelter.

Without going into the gory details, you will see many of the Aquarius Moon themes turned upside their ass in the Manson story: groups, racial issues, and the use of a theory to get people going:

There was something a bit odd about his mother that seems to have had an influence on Charlie: “When he was thirteen, his mother (an alcoholic and a prostitute) attempted to put him in a foster home. When she was unable to find one for him, he ended up at Gibault School for Boys, a reform school in Terre Haute, Indiana. Within a year he ran away and back to his mother, who still wanted nothing to do with him. He began living on the streets, supporting himself by theft.”

There was also David Berkowitz, who committed the Son of Sam mass murders between the summers of 1976 and 1977 in New York City. He targeted couples and young women sitting in cars, effectively ending the tradition of teen couples “watching submarine races” in parking lots at night.

Wikipedia reports, “In March 2002, Berkowitz wrote a letter to New York’s Governor George Pataki asking that his parole hearing be cancelled, stating ‘I can give you no good reason why I should even be considered’.” Way to tell it like it is, Dave. He was also an adoption survivor and struggled “with the concept that his mother did not want him.” This is not Blame Mommy Hour — I’m just demonstrating that (without prior research by the way) a serious struggle with mother shows up at the top of two articles about world-renowned Aquarius Moon serial killers.

Here is the Wikipedia entry on Berkowitz, interesting as always from Wiki (which itself must have an Aquarius Moon — I’ll check that one):

It’s noteworthy that under the growing light of this lunar cycle (from Leo New Moon to Aquarius Full Moon), exact Friday morning in the Midwest, we are witnessing the first real stand against the Iraq war arise out of the Texas desert like the mirage that it is not. There is a gathering, led by a military mom, and joined by many other moms, happening right where it belongs: at the doorstep of the president’s vacation house.

Cindy Sheehan (who has a heavy duty Capricorn Moon, by the way, so she understands official power quite well) is certainly not afraid to be herself, and under the influence of the waxing Aquarius Moon, she has reached out to the world regarding the death of her son Casey in Iraq last year. She has given the antiwar movement a face and a voice. The world has reached back, and there is now a permanent protest encampment in Crawford Texas, called Camp Casey. As Full Moons tend to do, this one broke a deadlock between Sheehan and Bush. From Political Waves this morning, by Jude:

“CNN is announcing that Cindy will be leaving Camp Casey for a while as her mother in S. California has suffered a stroke; she says she’ll be back if and when she can. I can’t get the various Cindy-blogs to open — high traffic, I guess.

“Anyhow — the camp will carry on. There are other mothers there … and a lot of support. Ten days ago it appeared that if Cindy stayed, she was going to be arrested … she did, she wasn’t — but the damage is as catastrophic to the administration as if they’d done the deed.”

Happy Birthday Leo

[The Sun changes signs to Virgo in about four days, on Aug. 23. So this will be the last Leo birthday report, and the first Virgo one will be next week. For those new to birthday reports, I suggest reading the whole series for your sign and working with the information that works best for you. The ones immediately before and after your birthday will likely be the most apropos. Birthday reports going back three years are archived on the subscriber homepage.]
A MAGNIFICENT FULL MOON around your birthday echoes the words of Moses: The truth shall set you free. The truth is that you are different than the people around you, and in the end, that is nobody’s business but your own. You know you are making progress in your life; and you know why.

One of the main reasons is because you’ve been able to put a dividing line between the past and the present. You have discovered that your prior tendencies to dwell on the past have done little but deny you awareness of NOW, and access to the future. It’s not like the past no longer exists, or no longer bears relevance; but you can now distinguish it from what you are doing today, who you are today, and what you need today.

And you’ve likely seen that there are some who will gladly cooperate with this process, and some who will not. And if they do not, then so be it.

However, where a particular professional matter is concerned, you need to be aware that this may be difficult to distinguish. I strongly suggest you maintain your independence as much as possible where your career is concerned, and not allow the comments, opinions or beliefs of others (or of the world) to interfere with your progress — particularly their beliefs about what others say is possible, or not possible.

In personal relationships, you may need to negotiate and enforce a boundary here. There is so much emphasis on your professional life, and on making your way in the world as an independent person, that you cannot risk your personal relationships being anything but supportive. At the same time, you may have a tendency to risk that very support, when it is there. So part of the boundary needs to be balance, and the recognition that it’s only possible to build upwards with a strong foundation below.

With the forthcoming Mars retrograde involving a series of square aspects to Neptune, you will need to put honesty high on the list of priorities. Honesty, which is a relative term, must be defined in advance, and that definition needs to be kept stuck to the refrigerator door where everyone can see it. And it needs to be adjusted as necessary.

Remembering the things that undermine honesty is also worthwhile; two come to mind: substances (such as alcohol and drugs), and commitments that are unrealistic and cannot really be kept. With Neptune making its long-term transit in your house of relationships, now under so much influence from Mars, there is a test of truth indicated. Take it slow, take it lightly, and collect documentation of what you believe, what you need, and what you can really come through with. Monitor the same in your partners without resorting to being a scorekeeper. Be realistic about what is likely, what is possible, and what’s improbable.

There is a solution that will work for everyone.

You are entering some potentially volatile country where your relationships are concerned, and you need to be the moderator of that volatility. You will earn the respect of others by having foresight, by handling problems in a reasonable and mature tone, and by taking a creative solution whenever possible that continues to guide everyone to the better places that your own life has been going recently. Long ago you gave up certain kinds of struggles that you can now present others with the possibility to give up.

But to do so, you must keep your own real interests at heart, and be ever vigilant about what really serves the greatest good for all concerned. Something does — you just need to remain open to it.

Planet Waves by Eric Francis
Aug. 19, 2005 – Weekly Horoscope #572

Aries (March 20-April 19)
All that could stop this from being among the most passionate and beautiful moments of many years is if you refuse to dare. You’ve been hesitating, and you’ve seen the results; it’s now time to try something different. As I’ve probably mentioned before, people will go out of their way to please you if you will only make yourself available, state your desires and let in the love. Get your head out of the equation; what’s happening, and what is about to happen, have nothing to do with intellectual logic, nor with the emotional logic that has pervaded your life for so long. Be here now, because it’s better than anyplace else.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Your soul seems to be burning, and it’s a feeling that’s reminding you you’re alive. You may be burning with desire for another person, even to the point of wanting to become that person. This is one of the most intense spiritual trips in the in-body environment, which on our particular planet is characterized by polarity in its many forms. What you are looking for is the truth that within you, you are what you desire. You possess what you need. If you can find it within you, its expression on the outside as a partner or situation will be that much more excellent.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Now that it’s turned out that most of your problems, including problems with resources, were in your head, what are you going to do? Well, that’s not such a hard question. I suggest you do what you want. Not what you kind of want; or what you sort of want; but rather what you really want. It’s true that the price of such a choice is either total surrender to the experience, or figuring out how to keep doing it, which is an ongoing project. But either way, you’re up to the task. You’ve learned a few things in the past month that you’ll never forget.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You’re one of the most intelligent people around, and you have the emotional thrust to come through when the chips are down. Both aspects of your psyche are moving into peak performance mode. There must be a reason for this, a particular circumstance to which you now have the occasion to rise. Stay on point; focus both on opportunities and on the task at hand. One good decision will lead to another, and one success will build on another. What you must be careful not to do is entertain thoughts like, “This is too good to be true.” It is simply true, and you’re not here by accident.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Part of the reason you’re so good with money is that you’re able to balance the creative gifts of a Leo with the logical intelligence and reasoning process of a Virgo and the emotional sensitivity of a Libra. But the bottom line is you don’t have a guilt complex about resources, which is partly because you know there’s no limit to what can be created. The next month or so will provide you with a series of concrete opportunities to excel at this aspect of life, and in the process, to make some substantial improvements in your situation and those of the people around you.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Though your life has been unduly complicated lately, that is over, so I suggest you quickly get out of any frame of mind that involves fear, paranoia or feeling trapped in the past. You’ve also been through a phase of existence that has felt extremely isolated, which has only increased the pressure of your doubts. I suggest that over the next few days it will be possible to let go of all of that at once and reach out to people in an entirely new way. For once, try presuming people love you instead of doubt you and you will get some astonishing results.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
The balance you must now watch is that between living out an idea of your life, versus living out your actual life. Your actual life is much better, and you may need to push and guide and teach yourself to focus on that. I suggest you monitor one thing as the bellwether: track any feelings of loneliness that you may experience, particularly in those times and places when such is the least appropriate feeling you would expect. Ideas about who you are, or who you should be, are entirely products of the past, and at this point they are the only prison in which you could possibly find yourself. Thankfully, it has neither walls, nor bars, nor guards.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
The circumstances of one particular relationship may be leading you to identify with the experiences of a partner or loved one. The feeling is very likely mutual. There is not a Scorpio alive who does not crave deep and intimate contact and merging with someone close to them. You have, however, reached a time in your life when you can and indeed must experience this in a much wider way, not merely for one special person but rather for all of humanity — or at least your community. This is your role as a healer; this is your role in being healed.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
The actual fact that you live in a universe that is both fair and benevolent is becoming an obvious reality, but you’ve yet to see the most tangible rewards. I suggest you be patient for about two more weeks, set your house in order, and as the Runes so wisely advise, “Wait on the will of heaven.” The great spirit of Love and Abundance is smiling on you. Keep clear, and leave the doors and windows to your heart open. And perhaps keep a little meditation going about what you really want out of life the very most.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Certain professional circumstances that have seemed to be all promise and no results are about to give you a lot to laugh about. While you really should have known that a particular powerful female figure in your life would be the one who helped you bring things to fruition, you won’t be surprised. Just remember that the real rewards of coming events are not merely about moving upward; they are about moving outward, in space, in time and in your beliefs. Logic has had its rewards, but you will soon see that faith has even greater benefits.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
You can pretty much afford to take any risk you want right now. The two aspects of life where people tend to be the most reserved are erotic love and creative expression. There is almost always some reason not to do whatever or be with whoever, or the chance is simply too much. But I can think of no time in recent astrological history when the universe has been offering you the opportunity to dare, to dare big and to dare beautifully. Be guided by that sweet feeling that the reward can only be as great as the risk, and you may find that it’s a lot greater even than that.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Keep in a positive frame of mind. If you are having trouble, be willing to be helped, and get help. Take this week and push yourself to remain open to the best possibilities and to let go of your fears. Visit the therapist every day if you need to, or call up all the most successful, positive people in your life who love you and want to only see you succeed. Whatever it takes, be open to love, abundance and pleasure. Don’t worry about where it’s going to come from. Just take care of your own mind and your own emotions, keep a productive focus, and leave it at that — for now.

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