Did you ever read the children’s book The Phantom Tollbooth? It’s a story about the importance of being willing to engage our life journey, and to learn from it. It begins with a young man named Milo, who is bored.He receives a package one day, with a map, and note that reads, “For Milo, who has plenty of time.” The package instructs him to have a destination in mind, but he disregards that, and as he plays in his room a whole world opens up and he’s taken to his first stop, called Expectations, where he is sidetracked by the Whether Man’s incessant banter, and daydreams his way into the Doldroms, a colorless, boring place. But as he engages his journey, he meets companions, is inspired to undertake a quest and just when he decides life and the world is thoroughly interesting and beautiful and he was all wrong about the “boring” part, he’s dropped by the phantom tollbooth back into his own bedroom with a new note that reads: “For Milo, who now knows the way.”
Our natal chart is like Milo’s map, an object of wonder with its hints and suggestions “head this way… no, go that way” and even glimmers of arriving at a true north. Yet even if we have a map we all bungle through life to some degree, don’t we? That’s because we are here to have experiences, make new connections and learn. None of us are given a guidebook, a scripted “how-to” for seamless navigation of life’s ups and downs. Life is an object lesson in improvisation, in thinking on our feet, connecting the dots and reading feedback. We’re ALL doing stand-up here.
Especially, now. Doesn’t it feel like we’ve entered a new world, one where a high degree of uncertainty and volatility is the new normal? Gemini is the mentally agile part of us that responds to our busy, changing environment with curiosity. Gemini says, It’s a fascinating, changeable world, and one worth discussing. It’s an information-rich sign, with a lot of ideas– all worth considering –but too many can spin our brains into cotton and lead us into confusion. Sagittarius can be the evangelical know-it-all who expresses that there’s only one right way and morally condemns others for their views -or- the wise counterpart to Gemini, helping us to step back, sort through information, look at the big picture through a philosophical framework, use higher reasoning to get to higher ground. This lunation asks us to cut through the noise and find our own inner mountain top, though we can get easily sidetracked in the heat of the moment.
I’ve been witnessing a lot of heated debates about right versus wrong, lately, people condemning others for their opinion while placing theirs above others. Mars in Sagittarius retrograde joins this Full Moon. Self-righteousness is in the air. There is a right way and there is a wrong one, and you better know the difference…. That’s ego’s perspective. Ego separates. Yet none of us can claim to know what the world, or others, truly need. That’s Spirit’s perspective. It’s helpful to distinguish.
Fiery Mars invites us to engage life with our energy and choices, but retrograde, that may mean its time to pull back, disengage, recalibrate our compass. Maybe a behavior is no longer working. For instance, entertaining too many opinions, gossip, mental worry can fragment and divide the attention we need to be in the driver’s seat of our life. Ah, the Whether Man. The more people take a fiery moral stance, the more it seems to cause division and drag everyone down. You’ve now entered the land of Expectations –bound to disappoint. Remember: we’re all doing improv, here.
I’ve been on my own Mars journey, getting new information by connecting meditatively to my higher self – an unexpected side effect of starting to do energy work to learn how to manage being an Empath (Mars in Sagittarius has been retrograding around my Neptune). It feels like I’m driving the same car, the same body, but I’m getting a new GPS download, a new way of driving my vehicle. It’s been unexpected, but it wasn’t unintentional. I engaged the uncomfortable things that were happening in my life and I became willing to grow and learn from them. That’s always been my personal philosophy, and it’s served me well in terms of growth and life satisfaction.
What’s your guiding philosophy? Is your compass, your GPS, working – or could it use an upgrade? We are each intrepid explorers on a quest for personal truth in a world full of uncertainty and differences, and while we have more in common than not, we are also so different. It’s easy to generalize truth with a capital T, but that’s not working anymore. The old GPS says there’s one right way for everyone. The new GPS says there’s a right way for you, and only you can know exactly what that looks like for you.
If you have more questions than answers, that’s in the air, too. We’ve got time to puzzle this one out; this is the first of two Sagittarius Full Moons. But with Mars’ placement, this is a clear call for deliberate action/choices, from higher wisdom ground. After all, life will always generously carry you along its stream, but only you decide, with your willingness to engage, read feedback, and learn from your experiences, whether you end up any wiser for the ride.