Behind the tapestry, the stained glass, the idols, the Bibles, the prayer shawls, the clergy, the monks and the nuns, behind the psalms and the swaying, the pujas and the communions, behind the texts and the prayer wheels, the cushions and the teachers, there lies a truth that we all seek: we are all connected. No matter how separate we may feel, how broken the world may appear or how hopeless we may feel at times, the truth is we belong to each other and every living thing around us. We know in our bones that there is more to life than meets the eye, and this knowledge drives many of us to seek a spiritual experience.
Of course the mere mention of a “spiritual experience” has become the tagline, lure and gateway drug for many a new age phenomenon, not all bad but not all fully cooked either. The market for this kind of trip is as flooded as any other pop culture endeavor and it can only point to one thing: at our core, we all yearn for connection. Many of us are lost; we don’t know that we too are worthy of redemption, healing and transformation. We are desperate for proof that we could be conduits for good on the planet and that our lives may mean something after all. Though our current laws may not demonstrate it, many of us in the Western world have realized that material wealth holds little value if we are spiritually bankrupt.
Most faiths teach that living a spiritual life is about simplicity, being a good person and caring for those who have less than we do—not just financially but in all ways. Many faiths ask us to use our spiritual experiences to fuel our actions so that we may come to understand the nature of Creation, to give. Constant obsession with self is toxic, focusing on our pain and suffering is isolating, and dwelling in the past drastically limits the possibility for pleasure in this moment. Every action we take can be a blessing if we give of ourselves freely, every spiritual experience multiplies when we share it, otherwise its brilliance dwindles, its capacity to be transformative diminishes, and we have missed the point. The spiritual experience translated into an action becomes divinity at work in the world.
The new moon in Sagittarius occurs on Monday, December 2nd, at 4:22 p.m. New moons offer zero perspective because it’s the conjunction of the sun and moon (our conscious and unconscious selves), the merging of the two great lights in our sky. It’s the beginning of a new cycle, but we begin in darkness, we begin without conscious awareness. A new moon is like sitting in a dark room: there can be a great deal of peace if we know how to meditate; there can be a beautiful, deep moment of silence if we know how to drop in; or there can be a tremendous terror and hopelessness if we have forgotten that the light will return and mistake the transient for the eternal.
As the light of the new moon grows over the week, so will our awareness of what is transpiring. This new moon in Sagittarius allows us to take a pause and reflect on our spiritual path as this mutable fire sign aims to bring us out into the world of religion, laws, ethics, travel, culture and The Journey. Sagittarius is adventurous and studious, wild and religious. This sign embodies the stuffy professor with a noggin full of knowledge trapped in an academic ivory tower and the truth-seeking vagabond roaming the earth in search of the next great philosophy. Sagittarius is eternally optimistic, over-indulgent at times, and always larger than life. It walks this earth with the knowledge that we are all made of stardust and because of that, life is amazing.
Right before the total conjunction of the sun and moon, the moon will trine Uranus and Square both Neptune and Chiron. (The square to Chiron is much tighter and therefore more powerful.) A trine to Uranus allows us to break from some oppressive system with ease; the square to Chiron brings about a healing crisis that is essential for our growth. Pope Francis seems to be a rallying cry from the most unexpected of places asking us all to wake up to what we have collectively fallen asleep to—the illusion that even most of us could prosper under the oppressive and tyrannical regime of the current corporate climate. Most things he says warm my heart, and while I don’t agree with everything he stands for, he has taken a public stand that is, arguably, far more radical than any other pope in history. And he makes it look soeasy. He makes being a person of faith look admirable. He is actively outlining the foundations for living a spiritual life: giving to one another, standing up for those who cannot get up and giving a voice to the voiceless. For if we don’t do at least that with our privilege, what good will we be to any god?
Happy new moon!
“As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems” –Pope Francis