Years ago, a prominent spiritual leader shared an intriguing incident that impacted her life. In the May 2020 issue of Science of Mind, Rev. David Ault recalled her story of attending her first high-profile political fundraiser. She said she suspected she’d been invited because she’d been strongly critical of certain elected officials. Anxious to make a good impression, she spent a lot of time and money styling herself for the occasion. As she roamed the lavish rooms of the host’s mansion, awed by all the luminaries in attendance, her knees suddenly grew weak. The most beautiful man she had ever seen, immaculately dressed in a tuxedo, was beaming at her from across the room. She’d look away only to look back and see his intensified smile.
Breathing deeply, she walked toward him. He immediately greeted her by name, then gently said, “Those you condemn and label as warmongers are no different than you. When you speak against them without first seeking to understand and love them, you, too, become a warmonger.”
Deeply shaken, the woman stumbled toward a restroom. She fell to her knees and sobbed. When she finally rejoined the gathering, the beautiful man was gone. No one recalled seeing anyone matching his description. But the man she came to call the “Tuxedoed Jesus” had accomplished his goal: He had compassionately but effectively shined a light on her shadow.
In this day of rude social media and political posturing, peoples’ shadows are hanging out all over. A century ago, Carl Jung observed that we often attack others to distract us from examining ourselves. Our shadow creates a smokescreen behind which we feel safe judging people, condemning them for opinions and actions of which we ourselves may be guilty.
Welcome to the Libra New Moon (Oct. 16, 12:30 p.m. PDT). Happening in the sign of peace, justice, balance and relatedness, it’s an invitation to examine and improve those parts of life. But the Sun and Moon will closely oppose retrograde Mars in Aries, which can easily pit people against each other. Warmongers will be out in force. Along with Mars, the Sun and Moon create a tense cardinal T-square with Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn. Old wrongs demand to be righted, and some of us will be facing off against the powers that be in the coming weeks. Fighting for justice can be a noble pursuit; just think carefully before taking impulsive, anger-fueled actions.
Communicator Mercury has just gone retrograde (Oct. 13 – Nov. 3) in the shadowy sign of Scorpio – where it opposes unpredictable Uranus three times (Oct. 7, Oct. 19 and Nov. 17). Much is simmering beneath the surface, itching to erupt. Old grievances are bubbling up for healing. Thoughtless words can wound deeply. Tech glitches will drive us crazy. But Mercury’s aim is to help us to ditch old grudges, think outside the box, and recall what is most important to us.
Venus, which disposits the New Moon (as the ruler of Libra), is in earthy Virgo until Oct. 27. Refined Venus doesn’t love getting her hands dirty. Yet when in Virgo, she has a pure, indomitable spirit. She admires humility and disparages self-righteousness. This New Moon also conjuncts the benefic fixed star Spica at 23 Libra (in the constellation of Virgo.) As the queen of the grain harvest, Spica helps fulfill our material needs. So light a candle to Spica and ask for nourishment and other blessings for yourself and the world. (It’s said, however, that if you try to reap what you haven’t sown, or refuse to share your bounty, you will fail to receive Spica’s blessings.)
Be generous at this New Moon. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Prepare a special meal as a peace offering for a family member. Or, send a card to reconnect with an estranged friend. Help someone in dire straits, or to volunteer to bring in the vote. If feeling frazzled, take care of your own needs first. And as difficult as it may be in these divisive times, try to remember what the Tuxedoed Jesus said: Before speaking out against those you disagree with, do your best to understand and love them first.