“I’m harboring a fugitive, a defector of a kind, and she lives in my soul and drinks of my wine, and I’d give my last breath to keep us alive.” – Fugitive by Indigo Girls
Every year at about this time I feel my skin start to crawl. Feeling housebound and earthbound, I want to do something wild, different, subversive. Initially, this leads to an impromptu song, dance or art session. Last night I was Alison Moyet singing Midnight at the top of my lungs to my reflection (and my dog). Being subversive means shaking up the establishment, yet with revolutionary Uranus located on my Libra Ascendant, the social order I continually need to upend is my own way of moving, thinking and being in the world. So I get crazy. I shake up my routines. I do something that makes my husband exclaim “Who are you?!” then lovingly, “…I never know what you’re going to do next.” I change the station, shock the system, to restore balance.
I’ve been talking with a number of clients lately who are experiencing the Uranus opposition. This happens around the ages 40-42 and is known as “mid-life crisis”. Classically, this is the time where the straight-laced guy buys a sportscar, or the homemaker goes back to school to get that degree she really wanted. Frankly, the definition of the mid-life crisis itself could stand a reinvention, because this is not what it looks like for many of us. To borrow from (Venus in Aquarius) Gloria Steinem’s book title, the revolution is from within. It can be the way we’re held hostage of our internal dialogue; we all have a SuperEgo keeping us in check- a governing body that tells us how we should act, behave or be –most often when we want to do something that might garner judgment from others. It is often the way we keep repeating the same old patterns of dysfunction in our life. Or the way we tell our self lies about who we are. Maybe it’s a bit easier to identify who our authentic self is, and is not, when a partner, government, job or boss oppresses us. At core, what we are all freedom-fighting for, especially at mid-life, is our own legitimacy. Our right to: be our self, to have our own loves, interests, desires, expression. The people, systems and institutions that stand in the way of our authentic self-interest show us where we need more love, individually, collectively.
I believe we’re each harboring a fugitive, “a defector of a kind”. It’s our authentic self, extradited to an island of one. Maybe we’re afraid of not fitting in, or belonging, being rejected or not being able to survive in a world that doesn’t support who we are. Maybe it’s always on the run, hiding what it perceives as different, because our survival once depended on it. Or maybe our authentic self gets set aside for providing for, supporting our family. But oh, oh, oh the delicious life-affirming freedom of breaking the expectations that shackle us, doing something unpredictable, surprising even our self. A disruptive mid-life reorientation isn’t necessary. It takes only a wild hair, an idea, and a free Sunday afternoon. Maybe a convertible, an open road, a spontaneous weekend getaway, alone, goes against all the “established rules” in your relationship. Or maybe attending a nude figure drawing class goes against the inner rulebook of propriety your parents and church implanted in you (note to self: if you shock your loved ones, you’re on the right track).
Our social world is trying to address oppression, big time, as groups who have been classically oppressed are crying freedom. I read recently that the greatest social injustice movement of our century is women’s equality. Also, note the rising “politically correct” movement where you practically can’t say anything without offending someone. Yet all this needs to be hashed out, if somewhat inelegantly, awkwardly, painfully. We’re in the soup of change. Change is good and it’s hard.
Mars in Scorpio squares this New Moon. Like doing psychic surgery whilst being the surgeon our self, “truth” arrives sharply at this New Moon and it may cut deep. I had an interaction with someone who said something about me that stung. Despite being patently untrue it cut to the bone because it mirrored a fear inside me that was a part of an ancient story about how different I am from everyone else. If someone feels inimical at this New Moon we may need to emotionally dissociate, fight the urge to retaliate, in order to allow the interaction to reveal what’s unhealed inside. Acknowledging that it’s (a) all just information coming in, and (b) it’s not personal (it rarely is), takes the sting out so we can receive this as a teaching moment, a catalyst for our healing and growth.
Aquarius New Moon is a time to love what is real, true and different in us, to liberate our self from shackles of judgment and shoulds — external and internal. Because let’s face it: we all have patterns of oppression that keep us in a prison so high, locked up so tight and far from our own freedom that, if we don’t admit that we are our own jailers, that we are indeed our selves, imprisoned -and-that we also hold the key to our release, we may need something more radical, say, a bolt of lightening to free us. How to know you’re oppressed? A case of the blahs and blues: that’s your soul, aching for freedom. Feeling this, I just did an Artist’s Way exercise called Your Secret Desire, in which I listed 10 secret desires, then long-hand wrote about one of them extensively. The effect was instantly liberating; the very next day I had an adventure. Venus, Patroness of Pleasure, flirts with Jupiter, God of Freedom, at this New Moon. Shouldn’t you?
These times are confusing. So much needs changing that it’s hard to know where to put our change-making energy, or how to affect anything, really. In an old interview, David Bowie (Aquarius Rising) said that the revolution of the 60’s made it easy to be subversive- there were clear villains and clear heroes- but nowadays, he said, those roles aren’t clear, which makes it harder to know what to do. I have one idea. We can dance. We can sing. We can heal. We can… one by one… break free.
I stood without clothes
I danced in the sand
I was aching with freedom
Kissing the damned
I said remember this
Is how it should be – Fugitive, Indigo Girls