I recently traveled through Geneva, Switzerland. The value of travel is obvious – being taken out of the routine everyday and plopped into the unfamiliar it has that way of shifting perspectives. So while painting my bedroom this morning from grungy smoke damaged brown (the result of burning too many candles) to a charming bright mint green, returning to the land of gruyere and honey in mind, I had the deep thought that what travel does for the mind, a fresh coat of paint does for a room – it invigorates tired, dulled senses. While painting, I found myself fantasizing (yet again) about making a retreat area, and how I would probably enjoy retreating to this particularly wonderful green. With each stroke, I began to look at the old room in a new way: I wondered if I’d ever really acknowledged the inherent worth of that room. It is a good room with lots of potential. Yet it’s seemed to small and dark to behold a proper meditation area. Oddly, I’d been sleeping in this room for three years, and looking at it today with this fresh coat of paint, it was as though I’d never really seen it before. 

The mind is like that. We hold a perspective, and we don’t think much about why we perceive the way we do. We just do.  We have our perception and like the dull brown paint, it gets old. Yet that same perception colors everything. We know it’s all in our mind – and it is. We form a belief, or assumption about life (or a bed room) and carry it around with us almost unthinkingly (except we do think it). For example, my assumption was: there’s not enough space in my house for a refuge. Underneath that, another assumption: this space is uninspiring. Underneath that: my husband will never let me re-do this room because he doesn’t like change. And I didn’t question any of them (okay, I questioned the last one until I finally wormed my way into a paint job). Until I did. 

I experienced an interesting shift while in Switzerland. I connected (through that marvel miracle of technology Facebook) with an acquaintance from high school. We were acquaintances, not friends, though I did however remember very cool house parties he hosted, which my wine coolers and I faithfully attended. I was on the fringe of the in-crowd (which basically made me the out-crowd), and as my parent’s socio-economic status was strikingly different from his, and since our hometown was all about status, I carried the shame about that which any sixteen year old would. It was a false division, but it was real to me. I wondered, when we saw each other in Geneva, if those old feelings would come up. I was no longer a have-not in a world of haves, because I no longer thought of myself that way, but had my paradigm shifted so completely? I also wondered who he actually, was.

I knew internally, that I had changed, but it’s always a ‘trip’ to see these things play out in the external world. We struck common ground, sharing similar perspectives on our youth and our experiences. As we talked, I recognized generosity and humanity in him – qualities that, even if we had a conversation then, I never knew. It struck me: Had we known each other then, I wouldn’t have seen him anyhow. How could I have? After all, my Third House mind could only perceive through the eyes of my then Ninth House matrix of conditioning & beliefs. Now we got on just fine and I’m pleased to report that a paradigm which once lived and breathed through me, possesses me no longer.

Sagittarius is the sign associated with both perspective and possibility, which are totally intertwined when you really think about it. But most of us don’t. We each have a model of the world – a paradigm of reality about what’s possible, because we each have a Ninth house in our birth chart. Rarely do we think about what is or isn’t possible – we assume, based on a variety of factors including: my values, family beliefs, spirituality, and my personal favorite, my history (which must be true because it happened right?), among others. The Ninth House contains the repository of what we believe reality is, and this is, of course, highly subjective. It’s almost like we’re always trapped in our own minds wondering how to break free. So how, oh how do we shake up our way of seeing the world?

Welcome, Sagittarius Full Moon. The shock of the new and different, beckons and calls. Travel is a fine way of expressing this energy, so is a fresh coat of paint, or a new book that challenges our way of thinking, or exploring a new way of being or a culture. Or you can cut to the chase and just question your thinking – why you think the way you do. The beauty of Sagittarius is, the shock of new information, or new scenery, or a new teacher opens your mind just enough to step out of it’s tired old rut. It’s the mental equivalent of fresh coat of paint. This paint job’s not superficial though, cause paint can change the way you look at everything else. That means the same old thing, the same old tired thing you can’t get around (read: Saturn) can become enjoyable, exciting, and daresay full of wonder, again. 

Sagittarius is also the sign of teachers, especially spiritual ones. I’ve been thinking about my teachers a lot lately & wondering about my own inner guru and what I know to be true. So while painting, I tuned into an interview with Byron Katie on Oprah’s Spirit channel. I’ve appreciated Katie’s perspective for years, today made more potent on the heels of surrealistic Neptune energy permeating last week, followed by a hefty dose of realism – the Saturn square to this Sag Full Moon. Katie has a way of looking at the world that is so radically different from most people, it is shocking. She holds the view that we only suffer when we argue with reality. She also developed this revelatory method called inquiry which only rocks our beliefs and assumptions about life, love and other people – to their core. Katie’s inquiry appeals to my Gemini-ruled Ninth House with Saturn firmly placed in it, for many reasons – the main one being I don’t like to suffer. Over and over, I’ve discovered that when I believe I’m suffering, my point of view is in question, and worth questioning. Inquiry with Katie is learning how to meet your life with clarity. One question leads to the next until the whole house of cards falls. For example, about my own suffering, who said I shouldn’t suffer? Doesn’t everyone? Why should I be exempt from suffering? And so on.

It’s amazing what a change of perspective can do, and for a Ninth House Sun sign person like me, a paradigm shift is often the only thing that brings possibility. This is helpful to remember on some days, because on some days it appears that the differences and impossibilities we see are irreconcilable (can you hear Saturn’s influence?). The Full Moon in Sagittarius is an invitation to expand beyond that – to have at least one (or several) experience of limitlessness and possibility. How do we do that with Saturn, the planet of limits, nearby? One choice could be to greet reality with friendly acceptance. Reality is truthful, in an unflinching, doesn’t back down sort of way.  It always shows us where we’ve been stuck in misunderstanding by believing our story. In this way, as Katie says, reality is kind. We wake up to the story and start to take responsibility for every thought in our life because the alternative -not to- is just too painful.

The Full Moon missive is to shake up your world. Buy a ticket around the world, or if you can’t afford that, study with a new teacher, or spruce up an old room that’s bugging you. Sagittarius wants to expand your world. You can do this to grow, or just to make things exciting and lively in your head and life again. Either is a worthy motive for Sag. Whatever you do, let the Full Moon make you bigger. It may be uncomfortable to stretch. But going big is totally and one-hundred percent Sag appropriate.

*melting heart picture taken during Gemini Sarah Shepherd’s 13 year old b-day slumber party which sweetly reminded me of fallen expectations, hopes and the beauty in seeing this clearly.