A mystic passed through town and villagers asked his advice about a snake. This snake had been terrorizing town folk with venomous bites, and they wondered whether the mystic would talk with him and see whether something could be done. He met with the snake, explaining that the biting thing was dreadful, and if he would stop, everyone would leave him alone and everyone would be better for it. The snake agreed to the plan. Months passed. The next time the mystic came through town, he stopped by to pay his old friend a visit. To his surprise, the snake was half-dead, covered with scabs and wounds. The defeated snake said he’d stopped biting, but once the townspeople figured out that he was no longer a threat, people began taunting him, throwing rocks and kicking him. The snake wondered why this happened, when, ‘I did what you said.’ The mystic replied, ‘Yes, I did tell you to not bite, but I never told you not to hiss.’
My teacher told me this parable years ago, and I’ve pulled on it when I’ve felt defenseless & needed courage. Aries will boldly proclaim, What’s there to be afraid of? (as Aries lobs a hand grenade into their neighbors’ backyard) but lately, What isn’t there to be afraid of? Abuses of power, violence and being defenseless to stop them… these are very real threats for many, and as the upheaval of Uranus in Aries occupies a greater part of our every day world, we grow even more vulnerable to jumping on the bandwagon of anger. We all say, We’re fed up and we’re not going to take it anymore! It’s humanizing to remember is that for many, underlying the fact that we’re reaching our limits and drawing lines in the sand, the deeper vulnerability is that we’re simply afraid and hurting, which is undoubtedly exacerbated by all the times that we have been hurt before. Fear is the other, dark, face of courage. Maybe we were/are truly powerless in a situation and and like snake, we got hurt.
It’s Aries Full Moon. Grrrr! We may need to bare teeth, to hiss, defend our self, to protect our self-territory, to be gritty and honest about our anger and outrage- all appropriate for an Aries Moon lunation. With Aries, there’s always a risk of becoming hyped up on rage and reactive. How many of today’s trespasses are real, versus a memory or a retelling of the situations and people who threw the first stone, those who first cast us out? The situations in Libya, Syria, and Egypt (again), the age-old conflicts that live in the bones of the people and the walls of the mosques, and throwing rocks won’t help. The same goes for our personal situations, which require the cutting clarity, maturity and wisdom of the wise Sage speaking to the snake. Saturn counsels Aries, Be strategic. This will take time.
At this challenging full moon, we are up against stubborn barriers that seem to refuse to move. We may feel our Aries warrior stirred up. We feel called to do something, to act — or react. The behavior can look similar but it’s a subtle distinction; one feels empowering and positive, while the other feels sticky, stuck & like inflicting pain on others for our hurt. With so many problems to address, it takes courage and maturity to not turn into the very intolerant thing, person or regime we are rallying against. Saturn’s conjunction to the Sun cautions maturity, and, well, caution. Maybe we should just wait. All of us have Saturn transiting some area of our chart, and although it feels demanding because this is the prime area of personal growth requiring all of our patience, maturity, self-restraint and cool clarity. We don’t have to bite; if our person or property is threatened, we can hiss. As stress levels soar, hissing could actually be the yoga we need. After all…sometimes a hiss is just a hiss.
photo credit: Shakti by Alice Popkorn