Lately we seem to be living in a parallel universe. Fact or fiction? Wisdom or delusion? When reality is as distorted as a fun-house mirror and people are at each other’s throats, it’s hard to say for sure. As the specter of death and financial ruin continue to loom, do we stay locked down or demand our freedom? Do we grasp for whatever makes us feel secure, no matter how outdated or downright dangerous, or do we tune in to a higher truth?
Poet Wallace Stevens famously noted that the truth may depend on a walk around a lake – to clear the mind so as to perceive a higher meaning. Fellow poet and nature-lover Ruth Stone took a similar approach. Stone, who won the National Book Award at 87, often wrote about mundane things like milk bottling, her grandmother’s hair, hanging laundry, and her longing for her deceased husband. But her creative process could be seen as supernatural.
Stone once shared with writer Elizabeth Gilbert that she would be out working in the fields on her rural Virginia farm, when she’d feel and hear a poem coming at her from over the landscape. She said it was like a thunderous train of air barreling down at her. And when she felt it coming, shaking the earth under her feet, she had to “run like hell” to the house as the poem chased her. She had to get to a piece of paper fast enough so that when it thundered through her, she could anchor it to the page. At times she wouldn’t be fast enough, and the poem would barrel through her and “continue on across the landscape looking for another poet.” At other times, Stone would grab a pencil just as the poem passed through her, reach out with her other hand to catch it by its tail, and pull it backward into her body as she transcribed it. In those instances, the poem would come up on the page perfect and intact – but backwards, from the last word to the first.
Some may think this a tall tale, but I’m inclined to believe it’s true. Stone was a Gemini (June 8, 1915), and like many born under that whip-smart air sign, she understood the power of the word. And, her Sun was closely trine inventive Uranus – which inclined her toward taking flight to higher realms, and heightened her ability to bring that rarefied wisdom down to earth.
At the upcoming Gemini New Moon (May 22, 10:38 a.m. PDT), we’re all invited to engage with higher wisdom. Yet we’re also cautioned to avoid making false or dangerous missteps. The trick is to distinguish between the two, in a time when many feel trapped and things are crumbling around us. This uncertain energy, which has been brewing since the February-March retrograde of Mercury in Pisces, intensified at the May 3 square between Venus in Gemini and Neptune in Pisces. Now retrograde, Venus reactivates that fuzzy square with Neptune on May 20. And, their final square is on July 27, after Venus is out of retrograde. So the next few months are colored by this wild and woolly energy, which directs us within to find true meaning.
At the New Moon, Venus joins Mercury in Gemini as both square Neptune. But this inspiring and creative combo can also be a trigger for fear. As they join, the Sun and Moon square feisty Mars in nebulous Pisces, which could raise hackles and compel us to fight for the truth as we see it. But the New Moon also trines Saturn in Aquarius, a reminder that taking the long view and being patient are wise alternatives to going off half-cocked.
Brilliant, creative ideas – perhaps rooted in the past – will be swirling about. Stay grounded so you can become a lightning rod for them. Take a walk around a lake, or at least pull some weeds in the garden. If you feel a meltdown coming on, go outside and howl at 8 p.m. (see my last essay). Just think twice before telling people off, or posting your “truth” on Facebook. It’s probably better to pour your thoughts into your journal. You might even end up with a brilliant poem! Just remember that even in this time of uncertainty, you have the power to attract what you need. You can influence things in subtle ways not limited by physical laws. And most important of all, you can enjoy taking flight with your own inner self.