Edwin Lusichi, head keeper at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, with a six-month-old orphaned baby elephant. Without their mothers, such calves have few survival skills and are vulnerable to despair.
Once upon a time, when an elephant walked through town with its keeper, the pachyderm’s trunk would tend to wreak havoc. Expressing the intelligent animal’s natural curiosity, the trunk would disrupt fruit carts and kiosks, leaving a mess in its wake. Wise keepers learned to offer a bamboo shaft for the fidgety trunk to grasp. The elephant would hold that piece of bamboo as if it was the most precious object in the world. It now had a purpose and a focus, and walked through the city in a dignified way.
Of course, not all keepers treat their elephants so gently; many are abused to this day. But even at compassionate rescue centers like the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya, keepers must learn how to deal with, and redirect, those curious trunks. An elephant trunk contains over 100,000 muscles and serves many purposes, such as picking things up, trumpeting, snorkeling, and sucking on keepers’ ears. Elephants can be trained to use their trunks in many ways, even as a paintbrush to create works of art.
The pachyderm’s trunk is much like our mind. Without a focus, the mind will wander off exploring, often finding itself in bad neighborhoods where it creates anxiety for us. Some people cultivate focus through meditation, chanting a mantra or repeating an affirmation. When life gets me down, I repeat my favorite affirmation, “There is a solution to this problem and I easily find it now.” It really helps me ground and focus. So does spending time with a kitty in my lap, which gets me out of my head and into my heart.
Whether it’s a favorite affirmation, an absorbing project or spending time with loved ones, you’ll need to marshal whatever brings you focus in the days leading up to the Gemini Full Moon (Dec. 7, 8:07 pm PST). The Moon will be exactly conjunct retrograde Mars at 16 degrees Gemini as it opposes the devil-may-care Sagittarius Sun – a combo that invites activity and speed. The vibe is impulsive and impatient as well as nostalgic, even regressive, due to martial Mars being backward. Many people will be rushing through life, talking and driving too fast. Verbal conflicts may arise. Especially for those of us with planets from 14 to 22 degrees of mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces), this lunation is apt to stimulate a torrent of ideas – some of which may be worth holding onto. So keep your journal close at hand.
The Sun and Moon’s square to Neptune may cast a fog around things, prompting the feeling that you’re pulled in opposite directions and must make an immediate choice – which may not be necessary. If a choice really does need to be made or a problem hashed out, consult with someone older and wiser, or brainstorm with a trusted group of friends. This is because the Moon also casts a trine to Saturn in Aquarius, an aspect which rewards taking your time and respecting tradition. Write things down and check them off to stay on track, especially in regard to holiday purchases, as impulse buys are likely.
Enjoy the festive activities this Full Moon is sure to bring, letting your heart fill with holiday cheer. Just remember to treat your active mind like an elephant’s wayward trunk – by giving it a focus to hold on to.