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This month, July brings a very, very special Moon.
No, it’s not a Blue Moon. It’s not a Super Moon. It is a lunar eclipse. Which gives it extra emotional emphasis. But that’s not all.
This is the Full Moon in Aquarius.
So what’s so special about this? Well, let’s talk about it. Yeah….Oh boy. Here we go.
The Full Moon is a powerful phase of the Moon. This is the Moon’s most famous phase, the one most associated with power and magic. The Full Moon is the fullest, most glorious climax of the Waxing Moon, or the half of the Moon’s cycle that causes the Moon to grow from darkness to pregnant, majestic brightness. This is the time for working with our most powerful and darkest energies, often referred to as Shadow Work. To me, this is the BIG trifecta of Atonement, Forgiveness and Gratitude. The Full Moon appears in a different sign every month, and on July 28th, the Full Moon moves into the sign of Aquarius.
Now, Aquarius is, to me, the sign of humanity. More than any other sign in the zodiac, it is all about the universality, the ideas, the progression (and the sometimes lack thereof) of the human race. Aquarians, the people born under this sign, are often considered some of the friendliest people you will ever know. But that’s a superficial view. On a much deeper level, Aquarians tend to be the thought leaders of society. Astrologically, they tend to the ones that are so bothered by society’s current ills (or perceived ills) that they actually devise solutions to such problems. Aquarians naturally come up with ideas and thoughts and ideals that the rest of society adopts and fashions into policies and laws and culture.
Now, we can easily see the light side of Aquarian thought: laws of liberty, inventions of genius, greater acceptance of others, scientific breakthroughs and humanitarian policies. However, there is also a dark side to Aquarian thought.
When we look back over the history of society – Western society in particular as that is likely the type of world you belong to – it can be a painful, painful journey indeed. The annals of social history are drenched in blood. They are filled with horrific descriptions, photos and paintings of people who have been abused, raped, mutilated, mentally scarred, murdered and destroyed by the twisted ideals of thought leaders of the day. Many of the worst evils have been given a stamp of approval by governments and religious institutions. And my god, are we paying for the collective social acceptance of these ideals.
So. This Full Moon can bring some heavy and much-needed Shadow Work to the fore. For on this Full Moon, we’re going to talk about the subjects of Atonement, Forgiveness and Gratitude on the very mental and social landscape of civilization and the progressive journey of Mankind. Yeah, this could get REAL deep, but there’s no turning back now!
When we look at the social and civil history of the world, and we encounter things like war, genocide, slavery, concentration camps, forced removal, government-sanctioned injustice…we have to face the fact that these things existed and became woven into the fabric of our story because someone envisioned these things and thought that they were good ideas to fix perceived problems. Furthermore, others either agreed OR allowed these things to happen. In this regard, active agreement and passive acceptance are not the same thing, YET they can have the exact same result.
Now, many of us – millions…billions of us – live with a secret. This secret is often held deeply within us, to only surface when we feel safe – among friends, among family and among likeminded individuals. For others, it’s more of an open secret. This secret is living with the pain and trauma of being a member of a society that you’ve felt has harmed you, wronged you, or violated your or your family or community in the past. Perhaps you feel it still does in the present.
Though I feel the pain will likely be most intense when you feel it has been done to you or your family, it certainly can be felt indirectly, especially if you are very compassionate, very sensitive or highly empathic to the feelings and suffering of others. For example, you may never had had a family member who was interred in the Japanese camps of World War II, but nonetheless are haunted and angry that such a thing could occur in a nation that claimed to be against such injustices.
One of the many reasons that we fail to heal from past betrayals and trauma is because we never really were given the chance to heal. Very few instances of massive social injustice have been ended appropriately, with an apology, proper “post-abuse” therapy or any sort of dialogue. What most commonly occurs is that the horrific policy/institution/event is SLOWLY – and after much resistance – dismantled or stopped and then sort of swept under the rug. It sort of is the social equivalent of an abused child that after being branded with a hot iron and thrown down the stairs for the 71st time, is suddenly just allowed to walk about without being attacked, but at the same time is not spoken to, apologized to or communicated with in any way. That child may not be thrown down the stairs anymore, but you better believe that child is going to have A LOT of deep, deep issues of anger, resentment, fear, self-worth, violence and terror moving forward. Couple this with the fact that the abuser may occasionally grumble something under his breath about how he wishes he could still legally throw the child down the stairs again, and you’ve got a mess.
Though this feeling is far from simply an American subject (every nation in the world struggles with heartbreaking and horrific history of oppression, genocide, war and injustice), the most recent US presidential election has presented an easily visible portrait of what happens when a nation that claims to be progressive and built on freedom still struggles with past pain, trauma and the living, Technicolor ghosts of erroneous and terrifyingly destructive ideals. Another recent catastrophic news event shows the betrayal of those who are supposed to spread hope, salvation and protection as conspirators hiding rampant pedaphilia and sexual predation within the Catholic church.
Being human is an incredibly complex, challenging and full experience to have. You are a being of incredible creative power. Now, trying to create your own reality and come into your own power among other humans?? Yes, trying to create among other powerful creators can present incredible, Everest-high and Everest-tough challenges. The very social world we see around us is a complex, interwoven, multi-layered fabric composed of remnants, traces, ghosts and pieces of other human minds, thought processes and desires. Some of these creations have worked together, and others have worked against each other. Some of these creations include laws and policies and hideous events that have come from the minds and thinking of people who have wanted to create a hellish existence for anyone not like them.
Living among other humans can be wonderful. I mean, come on! Have you ever been to a party? A parade? A festival? A concert? A city teeming with life and colors and food and music and laughter? How about obtaining a goal with a team of passionate people? Or connecting with people across language barriers in another country? Anyone who has friends, family, lovers, neighbors, teammates or even kind strangers in their life can attest that living with other humans is incredible.
But the greatest challenge and danger of being in a society is allowing the will and minds of other humans to insinuate into your own mind and override your own creative process. Because of the co-creating, social nature of humans, this can happen very, very easily. If you allow the thoughts and ideals of others to infect your own creative process, that can cause problems. The mind of no one man is more powerful than yours. When someone envisions and attempts to bring about a society that is dystopian to you, what they are essentially doing is trying to sabotage your creative process and force you to adhere to theirs, despite the fact that your power of creation is just as powerful as theirs.
So why is it so difficult to stand up against social movement that could be moving you in a terrible direction? For example, sure, it is easy to say to a man in a concentration camp, “Don’t let these people make you a prisoner.” But it is a totally different thing for him to just create freedom for himself? Why is that?
Terrible injustices that were allowed to become legal or cultural did so because the collective conscious of the prevailing society allowed them to. The collective conscious refers to the combined mental creation and acceptance of a group of people – be it a village, a tribe, a city, a nation or a group of nations. This is the mental creation of one or a few that has been accepted and strengthened by many who desire to share in that reality. When many come together to create something, it has so much more power than when created by one man. As in prayer, when many gather in agreement, greater power forms. In other words, it took a few thought leaders to come up with an idea and then push it in society. None of their ideas, be it genocide, slavery, forced removal or marriage restrictions could be put into place without the conscious approval of many members of society. And even when it became clear that these abominations of cruelty and injustice were evil, they often still existed for many years. Why? Again, because the collective conscious allowed it to.
The most important thing to remember is no matter what another human or humans have done to your body, no matter how much physical power they may appear to have over you, they are NOT more powerful than you. In fact, I believe that is what drives ALL injustice: the TRUTH that no matter how badly someone may want to overcome another, the deep Truth that on a spiritual level all humans know, even the ones doing great harm: you can’t truly overcome another human. You can destroy a person, but there’s always something untouchable about a person that always gets away, no matter how hard you try.
So how can we begin to really heal from these complicated webs of pain and trauma that are buried within us?
Let’s go through our trifecta and talk about it.
So when I think of Atonement, I think about the reversal of erroneous direction. Just like how the Full Moon marks a change in direction from Waxing to Waning Moon, we should mark this point as a change in direction AWAY from the corrosive anger and resentment that is harming us and TOWARDS power, strength and healing.
How can we do this?
Let’s start from the most powerful point and trickle downwards, like a waterfall cascading from the peak of a mountain. In other words, let’s start inside (Spirit and Mind) and move our way OUT (community and world).
Let me put it another way. If people have tried to steal your joy, have joy and flaunt it. If people have tried to force you into poverty, refuse it and be successful. If people have tried to train you to resent and be jealous of them, release your resentment and show them compassion. I am not saying that this is easy to do. It may be the damn hardest thing you will ever do, and it may take your entire life to learn how to do, depending on the amount of pain you have. You may take one step forward and three steps back at first. BUT it is SO worth the effort. Get help if you need to. Read books on how to heal pain and trauma. Most importantly, read books on how to CHANGE your situation if it is not the reality that you want. Blaming someone for your hardship is relinquishing power to other creators. It’s time to take your creative power BACK. It is the only way…and it is your divine right.
2. Be an Active Thought Leader. As mentioned earlier, it takes a group of people to shift and declare the state of society’s collective conscious. You have the ability to influence other people, just the same as others. The brighter your light shines – again the more joy you have and share with the world, the more love and joy and compassion you spread, and yes, the more victorious and successful you appear to be, the more influence you are going to have on those around you. Design a desired collective reality for everyone that includes a joyous , free community, and intend that to be the world that you live in. A world of freedom, of choice, of acceptance, NOT fear. The more you can spread the idea of freedom and acceptance and social progression, directly or indirectly through example, the more likely you are to contribute to a collective conscious that brings about this reality.
3.Ask Yourself: What Am I Passively Allowing that Does Not Align with My Values? As stated earlier, so much evil was allowed to be carried out because of an allowance, an acceptance of the collective conscious that allowed it to occur. Think about all the historic, systematic wrongs and their horrific, lengthy aftermath. What would have happened if these things were not carried out? Or if they had been recognized for their evil and stopped immediately after they were implemented? How would your life be different? How would society be different? So ask yourself, “What am I allowing to occur in my society, my world, that I am ashamed of? What am I allowing that doesn’t sit with my conscious? What am I allowing that could have years and years of trauma and repercussion?” Once you identify these things, ask yourself how you feel about them. This could be something that can help you to connect and understand those that came before you. For example, you may be allowing something to occur by monetarily supporting a company or product that you know is connected to social injustice. You don’t agree with that social injustice – in fact, it disgusts you – but you are supporting that company because you really like their product and it makes your life more convenient. Many people in the past were a lot like you. They may have found certain past social injustices horrific, but didn’t do anything about it because it was uncomfortable.
Also, ask yourself what how you can encourage dialogue about changing these injustices. Again, these things will need a tidal wave of a group of people to change, so please don’t expect that you alone can turn them around. You probably can’t do it alone, but you can add your weight to the tipping scale. Sign petitions. Speak to your leaders. Let your voice be heard. HOWEVER, I caution you to take a balance between engaging with your community and getting sucked down the rabbit hole of anger and vitriol and blind rage and hysterics, which is very easy to do. You are always going to struggle with other humans – other creators – who envision and want to create and force on others their own world that raises them as gods over other human beings. Please do your part to throw your weight onto the opposite scale of compassion and freedom, BUT always disengage every day and go back to Atonement Tip #1: Be Joyful, Victorious and Compassionate.
Another vital and absolutely necessary aspect of mental and spiritual health when dealing with the human race is Forgiveness. This is one of the absolute hardest things to do. But you have to, for your spiritual, mental and emotional health. Just like your body must eliminate toxins, you must eliminate the hatred, the resentment and the anger that gets stored within you on a regular basis. This is a powerful, courageous act that transcends your humanity. It is not a weak thing to forgive. It is a weak thing to harbor grudges, to plot, to seek revenge. I believe that a lot of social injustice actually stems from stored resentment. In the backgrounds of those most devoted to erecting institutions of hurt and murder, lies a wrong – real or perceived – that has been festering for years. And the result? A social group has become the stand-in for the individual or individuals that have done that person wrong.
This Full Moon, as in every Full Moon, I want you to purge. I want you to pick a quiet time, light a candle or lantern, and really let. Your. Heart Out. Just write down everyone that’s wronged you. What they did. How they did it. How it made you feel. This is the time to really let your dark side out. It has to come out so that you can release and move on. No one else will see this. Let the dark out, and then let the light in.
Now, of course this can be a list of individuals. But this is the Full Moon in Aquarius, so I want you to also feel into your relationships with humanity in general. Do you feel hurt? Who has hurt you? Your nation? Another ethnic group? Your own ethnic group? Your government? The world? The opposite gender? The same gender? Society? Religion? Consider your relationship with other humans in general and with groups and social institutions that humans have created. Give voice to what was done to you, to your community, to your family, to your ancestors and to others. It was NOT right. But it must be released. It is tethering you to your oppressor and must be cut.
Once you’ve emptied yourself of your rage, your despair, your pain, it is now time to Release. You will say aloud that you Forgive all that have wronged you, and that you Release all ties of hatred and anger and sadness that tie you to those that have wronged you.
I have a wonderfully cathartic Fire & Water Full Moon Forgiveness Ritual here that can be used exactly as it appears or be adapted to your own purposes. You can make it shorter, longer, entirely digital - whatever you choose.
Ok! We made it through the Darkest of the Dark! Now, it’s time to dance again! This is where we celebrate and dance in the light and illumination of the Full Moon! Despite all the pain, despite all the trauma and wrongdoing, the human story is also a story of upward mobility, of light and transendance and of victory. This is the reason we have children, and of all the possibilities and promise we see in their faces every day. Humanity certainly has a dark side, but it’s light eclipses all. The spirit is alive and well in Mankind, and will not be denied. The same trip through the history books that filled us with despair will also fill us with hope, pride and an uncanny sense of amazement. Our ingenuity, our compassion, our intellectual curiosity, our imagination and our conscious – that voice that just won’t be silenced, that tells us what’s right and keeps producing amazing acts of selflessness and sacrifice that flies in the face of nature…these things are ALSO very human and have created some AMAZING and world-changing ideals and thoughts. We have had some amazing, chill-inducing times of evolution and transendance in our short history.
For this section, I want you to make a list of 5-10 things that you LOVE about humanity and being human, be that your country, your community, your mind or being a part of the world in the 21st century. Really search deep.
Let’s hear it for all the laws and policies that protect you, let’s hear it for the ever-increasing amount of humans around the world that want to make a stand for a more peaceful and safe world. The world of philanthropy and humanitarian causes is growing. The universal discussion for how to improve our world is becoming louder. This is not just wishful thinking. This is fact. The human race is evolving, and as the world gets smaller and the speed of information increases, yes, some fights may break out, but people also get to know each other better and understand each other on a deeper level. We are moving closer together. It’s inevitable.
You live in a wonder-filled and fortunate time, and you best believe that you benefit from some expanisive and world-changing ideas brought about by some Aquarian visionaries! It could be the very computer that you are reading or watching this on. Thank the thought leaders that envisioned a computer in every home! It could be that you are always no more than 2 steps from an endless supply of clean, running water…thank the thought leaders that envisioned clean running water piped into every home!
What about music? Do you know how incredible it is that you can listen to music whenever and wherever you want? There was a time when only Kings had that ability.
In short, because of the advancement of Mankind, even if you don’t think you have anything, you probably still live like a god compared to generations that came before you. Recognize the TRUTH of that, and be grateful.
In a journal or word processor, just make a list of 5-10 aspects of humanity or society that you are grateful for, and really spend a moment being grateful for it. It is NOT all doom and gloom. Humankind has tremendous gifts to offer, and I believe it will only get better from here as we learn to truly discover and embrace our spiritual selves and really continue to grow up.
Be Joyful, and Never Stop Living and Loving!!