The weather’s been stifling here for the past few days, with hot, humid winds blowing up from the south and air so thick you can practically slice it. Early this morning I heard distant thunder and smiled, remembering the thrilling thunderstorms that punctuated the long, stagnant Midwestern summer afternoons of my youth. This nostalgia was immediately followed, however, by the sinking realization that in drought-parched California and Oregon, where brush is stacked up along the canyons like kindling, lightning strikes can be less than desirable.
Lightning can be a troublemaker, all right. It can start fires, target your house with an electric current that sizzles your electric appliances – and of course, it can kill you. Lightning is not always desirable – but it’s always exciting! No wonder astrologers associate lightning with Aquarius, the sign of this Full Moon, and its ruling planet, Uranus. Aquarius is an astrological change agent that works quite a lot like lightning; a fixed sign, it remains static for long stretches of time, as dependable and unchanging as a placid summer sky. But even while it’s standing still, Aquarius gathers energy like a cell phone plugged into its charger. When it accumulates too much, it needs to get rid of some – and it’s anyone’s guess where it will land.
While the Full Moon flickers incandescently in Aquarius (July 23, 7:36 pm Pacific), the Sun is in Leo – the sign that rules the heart, both medically and metaphorically, pumping life-giving blood, love, and creative zeal into the body of humanity. It’s the sign of the artist, the writer, the performer, whose ability to give voice to a creative vision requires a sturdy platform of routine, solitude, and healthy self-regard. But physically, the heart can’t continue to pump blood without the circulatory system – ruled by Aquarius – that disperses the blood throughout the body and returns it to the heart. And metaphorically, our reserves of creative inspiration and love are soon exhausted without an “audience” to circulate our creations and return love and inspiration to us.
Where do you find your inspiration? On the face of it, it seems like a question only for artists. What could possibly be creative, we wonder, about getting the kids ready for school or finishing a boring monthly report for work? But is creativity confined to weekend watercolor workshops and writing seminars? Do we have to be Frida Kahlo to be considered an artist?
We’re not all Sun sign Leos, of course, just as we don’t all consider ourselves artists; but we’ve all got the Sun somewhere in our charts, and we’ve all got Leo and its creative urges tucked away in a house of the horoscope. Somewhere inside you is a divine flame of creativity that flares up when you’re excited about a project – whether you’re building a family website, selecting a new color scheme for the dining room, or crafting a custom bookshelf in your workshop. Sometimes the creativity rises slowly, like an errant spark from a dormant, smoldering campfire; other times it’s a lightning bolt of inspiration that awakens the creative flame. And sometimes – usually when your life has become too predictable and insular – it’s impossible to muster any inspiration at all.
Aquarius represents the element of the fresh and unexpected that, like lightning, keeps life exciting – circulating your creative ideas and returning the life-giving blood of inspiration straight to your heart. It can be intimidating to share your creations with an unpredictable, often faceless “audience”; what if you’re rejected? But the Leo/Aquarius ideal is a balance between the personal vision of the individual and the shared vision of the collective; like the heart and the circulatory system, each is essential to the vitality of the other.
At this Full Moon in Aquarius, a lightning bolt of inspiration is headed your way. Just as an artist occasionally receives unfavorable reviews, not all of the feedback you receive for your efforts will be positive. Perhaps your creative landscape has been deprived of nourishment and has turned a bit brittle. But even negative feedback, however uncomfortable, can be useful – it lets you know that either you haven’t been true to your vision, or you’re hanging out with the wrong crowd. Adjust accordingly – and keep your creative heart pumping.