I was cruising to class the other morning listening to the radio and tuned into a song I really enjoyed. I hadn’t remembered hearing it before, but when I turned the dial, it was as though a piece of the transcendent had dialed me in. Love. It. Sang. It was a overwhelmingly sweeping relief. I had been in an edged out zone, a tenuous tightrope of a mood somewhere in between absolutely calm and no man’s land. I realize that lately my emotional state is influenced by the energy circulating. These are tense times, and part in parcel to this tension is holding room for paradox: I look around me and see a beautiful life filled with people I love, I enjoy the activities I enjoy, while breathing the collective air of uncertainty and fear. There are questions, and right now they have an Aries Moon flavor, invoking our vital warriorship: how will my livelihood be affected? How can I remain relevant? Where do I fit in here? And how can I be a force for good amid war, chaos, uncertainty? Many of us are inhabiting this paradox of living between two worlds and wondering just what to make of it.

Paradigms are a changin’. Just last week I was trouncing around Europe, watching the game from afar, and this week I’m begging and borrowing a library card from my stepdaughters because I can’t afford to pay the $70 worth of fines (long story). Just as my library fines didn’t just “appear” out of the blue, we all know how bad it is, and we’ve known this for awhile. And for some it’s really hitting home. We’re all at different levels of selfhood, of finding our place in the unfolding story. Amid it all – we’ve got plenty to be grateful for. We still have the power to help one another out however we can. We have the power of love. We are alive. We can take pleasure in the activities that bring joy, and happiness because those calm us down and keep us on the side of sanity. If we’re unwitting theatergoers told to take our seat in the collective theater, we do have the choice to not throw popcorn at the guy in front of us when things start getting hairy and instead send a prayer upward: how can I be apart of the solution? If the promise of crisis is finding new responses for self to world events, at this Full Moon in Aries the equal or greater risk is becoming a stressball.

I humbly admit I have no real answers. No one needs to tell anyone the mythical Pandora’s box has been officially opened. As Eris, the dwarf planet known as “Discordia,” is lit up like a Christmas tree during this Aries Full Moon – it’s kind of in our face. Eris is literally “the mother of evils,” being the mythical mother of the horrid contents of Pandora’s Box and all. These are her children, who every God and Goddess on Mt. Olympus likewise, hated: Ponos (‘Toil/Labor’), Lethe (‘Forgetfulness’), Limos (‘Famine’),tearful Algea (Pains/Sorrows), Hysminai (‘Fightings/Combats’) also, Makhai (‘Battles’), Phonoi (‘Murders/Slaughterings’), Androctasiai (‘Manslaughters’), Neikea (‘Quarrels’), Pseudea (‘Lies/Falsehoods’), Amphillogiai (‘Disputes’), Dysnomia (‘Lawlessness’) and Ate (‘Ruin/Folly’), and Horkos (‘Oath’) who most troubles men upon earth when anyone wilfully swears a false oath. Now, we’re all wondering – what to do with all her evil children? We could throw blame around about who exactly opened Pandora’s box but that only creates more in-fighting and fear and really discounts our creative capacities. So is there any good news, you ask? Yes. There’s Harmonia. Harmonia is Eris’ shadow sister, and Harmonia was an aspect of humanitarian love, an impersonal agape love for all beings. And so as I’ve been contemplating what the highest potential of this Eris lunation is, exactly, I do believe discovering more about our own humanity is Where. It’s. At. We may have to get creative about how to do this. At the moment I have one idea. I will count my blessings.

After all, today is my 2nd wedding anniversary!! Hurray! Something to celebrate!!! My relationship has been a source of joy and happiness for 3 years now (plus 1 year prior to marriage). My husband is in Bangladesh right now with his youngest daughter. Where there has been 3 power outages in the span of several days, there is a meeting of science being held in an Eris kind of place that sees total devastation in the form of flooding on an annual basis, where right now leading world class thinkers are convened to solve the ills of humanity. In this case, it’s a disease, Osteoporosis, and the where to begin is followed by a laundry list of undeliverable circumstances that plagues the heart to hear. I do miss hearing from my sweetie and have a hunch he’s thinking of me too, so I fire up the computer. What he writes follows, and emboldens my heart. I’m filled with immense joy in knowing such goodness in a human being (and being married to him!) that I want to share it with you.

We are all dressed very nicely since we are going to dinner afterwards. The car stops in the middle of about 10 rickshaws and 5 cars. We are all at a dead stop behind an knot of traffic. Someone had made a crazy turn that caused a log jam. The road is clear ahead but no one can move. I feel like we are puzzle pieces we are interlocked so tight. There are three of us in the very back seat of the van. I am on one side, a woman doctor on the other, and Sarah in the middle. Sarah and I are listening to the doctor telling us about her trip to the US a few years ago. Out of no where a man comes up to our side window. He looks mournful and full of despair. I think Sarah and I are the only ones that give him heed. He raises his arms to the glass and starts gesturing and begging for a handout. He is tapping on the glass, tap tap tap, as he speaks to us in Bengali through the glass. His tapping is made the more poignant since he has no hands. He is tapping with what is left of his forearms. He doesn’t go away, and Sarah and I are in a frozen moment that never ends. Everyone else in the car is either from Bangladesh or other countries that have steeled them more than Sarah and I – Pakistan, China, Myanmar. To look at the doctor speaking, we have to look at both she and the beggar outside. The shame I felt being in that car, going shopping, dressed in a no-iron shirt and pants that I just bought for the trip that probably cost over a year’s wages to the average laborer, was again more than I could do. I tried to stay with the moment and just experience it, the dichotomy but I couldn’t. I know I would start openly crying and had to turn away bring even more shame. You see, there really isn’t the option of opening a window and passing out a few bills. There are too many surrounding you. The need is too extreme. So I sit, taking deep breaths, looking at my shoes, and listen to stories of Disneyland.

Talk about sitting in the middle. In reading my husband’s humane response, my throat wells up with tears, which in turn touches my own humanity. Is this how we touch each other, and change consciousness, one person at a time? It sounds like a nightmare, what my husband bares witness to in Bangladesh, and yet his response – profoundly, courageously holding the paradox of what is, the absurdity of the human condition, makes me hopeful. In being moved by this mixture of pain and beauty, I have become more human.

Reflecting on this personal suffering, larger than me, with all the potential to lose my moorings – is also to keep them. Tuning into the collective suffering has been as easily as turning on the radio, and figuring out how this particular stage of the journey effects each of us on an individual level just might be the question of the moment. We’ve all been watching the same show for awhile and now many of us are thick in the living of it. Knowing that one is vulnerable to forces beyond our control hardly prevents those same collective forces from cloaking their worries in sticky tar-like fears of a more personal nature. Quarreling with the fears, worries, evils that slip in like thick, black smoke in the middle of the night often doesn’t work. Perhaps the willingness to feel them fully is a more appropriately courageous act. Still. It’s not exactly what I’d call comfortable. As an Aries Moon person, holding the emotional discordia of the times and endeavoring toward emotional harmonia, is more a matter of survival than anything else. Yet Sun in Libra reminds us that equanimity, holding paradox between extremes, is wise. I’m guessing here, that being utterly unafraid to feel one’s own humanity isn’t a separate activity from honoring the humanity of the person next to us. And I guess… depending on who you are and the life circumstance in which you find your self, looking into *Pandora’s Box* could either be an emotionally foolhardy – or courageous.

At the moment, I’m leaning toward courageous.