Confession time: I’ve always had a fear of not being liked. Caving in to social pressure, via the desire to please another person rather than bare the uncomfortable pain of disappointing them, is probably my biggest and most persistently troubling life lesson to date. For me, this is no small problem, no minor flaw that I can brush under the carpet. I’ve sustained psychological and physical damage to my body from “people-pleasing.”

I have a list of self-abuses. Like the time I jumped off a waterfall in Hawaii with fear beating wildly in my heart, my intuition screaming “Nooooo!”, and a man next to me saying “go on and jump already.” So I jumped and wound up with whiplash, an injury that led to my chronic Fibromyalgia. Or there’s the time I visited a psychic who wanted to do an astrology for psychic reading trade with me, and ten minutes into her dire pronouncements I was so traumatized I wanted to get up and walk out with every cell of my being. Yet I stayed on, enduring the awfulness, even feigning polite niceness, until the moment I could bolt. My “politeness” not only cost me months of damage control for the power her words had on me, but in subsequent exchanges where I still (a Libra Rising, through and through) tried to be excruciatingly diplomatic about our session she went not a little crazy, attacking my business and person. There have been so many others…the time I wanted to walk out during the first five minutes of massage session but didn’t want to be rude, so suffered bruised muscles for weeks. Or the time I had a “healing session “during which my hands became paralyzed for five whole minutes, I started crying… yet didn’t leave because the practitioner was a friend of my husband. For that fiasco, my back sustained several mysterious blistering burns the size of silver dollars (the practitioner justified this as a sign of releasing excess kundalini).

Cataloging these failures of nerve is not my favorite hobby. I want to tell you that I am not afraid of standing up for myself, even if it will make others uncomfortable. I want to tell you that I’m a warrior at heart, and that when crossed I am a formidable opponent. I want to tell you that, in relationship, asking for and acting on what I need comes easy. I also want to say that expressing, and fielding anger from others, is no problem. But I cannot. While I am sure I have successfully stood up for myself many times and avoided disaster, I can count on one hand the numbers of times I’ve truly felt I risked losing another’s approval or love in favor of selfishly honoring my Self. At those times, it didn’t even feel good – I was shaky and felt my heart being torn in two. I didn’t feel the empowerment I imagined I was supposed to feel. Instead, with all the courage and fear it took to stand up for myself, I felt anxious, sick and just awful. Not exactly positive reinforcement my inner warrior needs. Not exactly the strong female power archetype I cheer on in my lady friends, from the sidelines.

I know I’m not alone. While boys are being taught to be little warriors, to compete and play war, for girls, there are no winners in childhood games of “tea party” or “house”. Cooperation, consideration, compromise are drilled into us and it is so ingrained that many strong adult woman still identify “not being liked” as their biggest fear. I get it. My Moon is in Aries, conjunct Chiron, with Aries Mars in a nasty t-square to Pluto and my Sun. I remember trying to stand up for myself as a child and being discouraged: from expressing my needs, desires and wants or anger at being trespassed. For a Libra Rising already inclined toward peace, love and harmony, this was lethal.

At this Full Moon, the Sun is in acquiescing, people-pleasing, polite Libra while the Moon is in hot, fiery, self-oriented Aries. Can you to find the courage to claim your personhood, your rights, even in the face of opposition? Are you ready to claim a “self-ish” need -and- face your fear of disappointing others? The comfort and security-seeking Moon is skittish in Aries, but that hair-shirt discomfort eggs it on toward claiming what’s right for “Me,” which ultimately creates a more honest relationship with both our self and other people. Pluto in Capricorn is also square Venus in Libra at this Full Moon, while Uranus conjoins the Moon. We are facing core issues that keep us in destructive relational patterns, and that takes audacity. As one brazen Aries Moon client said to me recently, “It’s time to start calling bull*** on people who aren’t being honest with me, or their self.”

My warrior-in-training-wheels admires her chutzpah. Personally, I find having an Aries Moon stressful, but also exciting. I am constantly prodded from within into taking risks, into facing the discomfort I field, yet experience has told me this Moon must have its mettle tested to be happy. The secret to experiencing this Moon as less conflict-ridden and more energising and exciting is to harness it’s edgy energy to face a demon, to courageously attempt to conquer a fear -of not being liked, of disappointing another – one more time. What personal victory are you ready to experience at this Full Moon? Me? Oh, thank you so much for asking. I’d like to finally feel good, empowered and strong when standing up for myself. I’d like to stop caring what other people think. I’d like to deeply know that what I think, how much I like myself, is the only thing that matters. Who knows, it could finally happen. Eclipses can turn us around, upside down, illuminate our awareness around a pattern and suddenly move us ten steps forward in our evolution. Eclipses are known for their magic.

photo credit: April @ BigSkyAstrology.com