I used to co-teach a monthly new moon astrology class, one where we’d give a handout months’ worth of transits coming down the pike. Always, students bemoaned the transits. Mercury is retrograde, again? What good is that? Yet hope springs eternal — even in the heart of the most jaded starwatcher. When Jupiter met Venus, or the New Moon was particularly positive, the air glimmered with potential.

So it goes with life. We parse it out into good and bad experiences. We anticipate our future in the language of either/or. It’s easy for any of us to slip into duality, believing one experience is good and the other bad. We prefer bodily pleasure over suffering, ease over effort, wealth over poverty…and yet when you pause to think about it, so do children. We are here to spiritually grow and mature. There are no shortcuts for that. Apparently.

Pisces is the sign of the Fishes. The Fishes move in two directions at once, forward and back, asking that we transcend our dualistic ways of thinking and instead remember the sea from which we are all born. You can’t do the former without the latter, actually. It is impossible to know you are an eternal soul in a temporary body, and at the same time still believe that your deadline at work, your success or failure at being who you are is such a big deal.  Once you spend some time knowing you are more than this body and life, the solidity of your good/bad perceptions and stories about your body and life aren’t so solid. Try it and see.

Pisces is the sign of enlightenment. If we could learn to continually transcend our circumstances and raise our consciousness to higher levels, we would be. Pisces is also the sign of self-undoing, rules all forms escapism –from drinking to martyrdom to being addicted to sugar or negative thinking.  We all have plenty of reasons to want to escape our suffering. Pain is hard. Pain is the visitor no one wants to visit. Yet what is surprising about the experience of suffering, for me at least, is that in being totally present to it (even if it changes your life entirely), it changes into something manageable. If you meet your visitor with presence, they’re not good/bad anymore. When you mindfully refrain from the sugar or negative thinking binge true sanity is shockingly nearby.

I doubt enlightenment is possible for me in this lifetime, but I am a big believer in moments of enlightenment, the kind we experience spontaneously while looking at a sunset, the birds, or the starry night sky. In those moments, connecting with the Universe within, we just know what we are truly capable of.  Pisces is The Knower in each of us. The Knower knows that we are magnificent and powerful, even when our circumstances don’t reflect this. The Knower just knows life is a classroom, the test was rigged from the beginning, and finds the gentle humor to laugh at the absurdity of the monstrous task we’ve created for our selves.

At this Pisces New Moon take a moment to get off the clock, step outside the duality of your mind and into nature, the soul of creativity, your stillness, and make contact with the unlimited timeless being that is You. Know you are powerful and magical. Know you are doing something so incredibly amazing and difficult that even the angels are in awe of you: You are here on Earth.