Earth School

Six months ago, during the the Pisces-Libra eclipses, something shifted in my consciousness and my sensitivity gates opened up with great, brutal force. As the song for Empaths goes, “Anything you can feel, I can feel stronger. Anything you can hear, I can hear more”. Empathy is “feeling and understanding emotions that aren’t yours,” and while I can do that, too, my bigger challenge has been environmental, collective. I began feeling I was living on an exposed cliff on a windy day where the weather of collective angst, fear and anxiety blew directly into…Me.

I’ve always been “empathic” but now I’m a full-fledged Empath. When fear, anxiety, hostility, aggression touches me, I feel it all. Like the Virgo story of the sensitive Princess and the Pea, I feel the pea, no matter how many or how soft the mattresses. Frankly, it’s been terrifying, at times, fielding so much harsh energy, all at once (Pluto has been squaring my Moon and ASC-DSC axis).

Is it surprising I feel this way? In the US, people are in fear about what’s happening politically, socially. When there’s a direct stimulus, like a violent person or a bounced rent check, fear is a natural normal response that mobilizes us to take action, but when fear and survival is “in the air”, when people are ungrounded, uncertain and spinning out into anxiety so much, life can become a downright nightmare for the Empath. Navigating this has been my pressing spiritual issue.

I’ve had to get tools, mentors and acquire new skills. I’ve learned there are no mental shields, no magical techniques, no special crystal to keep negativity out of my energy body. But when I understand that this is temporary, that feelings are no deeper than superficial dirt on my skin, I can wash them off. I’ve gotten very serious about remaining conscious and clear, but, paradoxically, the less life or death serious I am (it has felt that way), the better I fare (natal Pluto is in my twelfth house). I’ve learned: I don’t have to get pulled into the drama of believing any reality can hurt me more than a schoolyard scrape. I can still be at the circus, and enjoy the cute monkeys, when I don’t give the scary-looking clowns authority.

This Virgo New Moon Eclipse makes contact with the final pass of the Saturn-Neptune square. Over the course of this square, we’ve met with chaos, uncertainty, fear, self-doubt and disarray in our own ways. We’ve each met the scary circus clowns, only to discover they are an illusion. We’ve watched old lives and foundations crumble, old dreams get pulled out to sea. We’ve been challenged, if not found it impossible, to do what Virgo does best– identify what’s broken and fix it. Maybe we feel so disillusioned, we feel done. Astraea, Virgo’s Goddess, the last immortal who came to Earth, took a look at humanity’s corruption, wickedness and high-tailed it out of here. Even Goddesses want to flee from time to time!

Under the influences of the mutable signs (Gem, Virgo, Sag, Pisces)  we have been in the classroom of learning and adaptation– we’ve needed to think fast on our feet, to change with the changing tides, let go of what isn’t working and adapt to new circumstances… because that guarantees our survival. The Saturn-Neptune square began in November 2015 and ends September 10, 2016. Think about where this is transiting your chart. What have the mutables been teaching you?

During Virgo season, like Astraea, we tend to turn a critical eye on all the ways our personal and collective world is broken, all the things that need fixing, improving. Unlike her, we are human, and we have a role to play. We are in Earth School for a reason. No matter how difficult, we are meant to be here right now. Believing anything other than that keeps us in fearful retreat and hiding.

Saturn in Sagittarius’ square points to the necessity taking a look at our beliefs to see if they help or hinder us. I’ve needed to look at my beliefs about the feelings that hit me with the force of a 2×4. I can feel a heavy grief on my heart, lurch of fear in my stomach, the flutter of anxiety… but that does that mean the feelings are mine? Are they real? Convincing as they are, no and no. Other people’s feelings cannot hurt me. Feelings are temporary, and cannot hurt me.

Here’s the ultimate freedom: We each get to choose what reality we believe in. Do the truths on which we base our most important beliefs contain anything other than beauty, kindness and compassion? Do material values ever trump spiritual ones, despite what we see? Is life, and the people and players in it, bad just because it doesn’t feel good right now? Is it real just because I feel it?

Life doesn’t feel good all the time. Some of the time it feels pretty bad. That’s by design. Life is an experience- it may feel good or bad- but it is just an experience. As we navigate this shifting paradigm we need all hands on deck. That means keeping our feet on the ground, our hands on the wheel, and not checking out- through apathy, retreating in overwhelm/fear, or self-righteousness and anger.

It’s Virgo season. Earth School is in session. What small, practical step will help you move from uncertainty and chaos, into surety and a sense of competence? We may need mentors, meditation, to clean up our diet, website, or organize our junk drawer (because, in a moment of overwhelm, taking a single decisive action can make a world of difference in our mental state). Under Virgo, it’s good to look at your daily habits. With Neptune’s opposition, we may need to see where we’ve been in chaos, or “checking out” with escapist tendencies- from social networking to substances, food or fantasizing about a problem-free shangri-la.

Notice what this New Moon Eclipse stimulates in your chart. This area of your life has now entered accelerated growth.  The solar eclipse can act like a deep cleaning vacuum, clearing out debris and misunderstanding…so the universe can deliver brand new “experiences” designed especially for your learning, and your learning only. Eclipses can bring wake-up calls, which if answered, could catapult you light years forward. Six months from now you could be in an entirely new space.

Ultimately, this New Moon can catapult you into a new relationship to your consciousness. The smallest shifts in perception, belief and habit can make a dramatic difference. My biggest leap involved all three. Feeling other people’s pain and fear isn’t scary when I believe (Sag) and know (Pisces) it cannot hurt me–which has helped my new habit, of being super-conscious of energy, keep me centered, no matter what. Your journey isn’t the same as mine, but if I can learn to see through fear (Saturn) and illusion (Neptune), so can you. You’ve got this!