Because genetics and fate seem to share a wry sense of humor, I often find myself at uncomfortable family gatherings where I’m one of only a few liberals in a crowd of very outspoken conservatives. It’s ironic, given these are exactly the sorts of situations I’ve spent my life avoiding. I’ve got strong convictions, but I was also raised to be polite and to avoid confrontation.
I love my family; I want to enjoy the little time we get to spend together, not fritter it away on ugly debates about immigration or health care. So I spend the day making chit-chat, biting my tongue and retreating to the patio whenever I felt my blood pressure starting to rise. At the end of the day, everyone is still on speaking terms–and I am exhausted.
After so many years, we all know the rules—what we can talk about and what we can’t. As long as we stay on neutral ground, we can maintain warm relations. Sometimes, we’re even able to wiggle our toes in deeper waters, carefully broaching the subject of our differences, and even laughing about the hard-headedness that we share in common.
But generally, it tends to be a fairly Gemini kind of relationship that results from this kind of compromise. Light and shallow, full of reminiscences and shared old jokes. Not that I particularly mind; I was born with the Moon in Gemini, and truth be told, I prefer to keep things on this kind of level most of the time. Light. Entertaining. Witty. Always moving. Loving, for sure, but not too intimate.
But at this Full Moon in Sagittarius, the sign of deep convictions noisily expressed, I find myself wondering about all the parts of myself that have to be sacrificed in order to keep my Gemini Moon feeling safe, over in the shallow end of the pool. Born with Sagittarius rising and a full ninth house, I am as much a Sagittarius at heart as I am a Leo Sun or a Gemini Moon. What I believe about this world and the next is as big a part of my life as my family’s beliefs are a part of theirs. And yet, I tend to think of myself not as someone who is committed to a strong spiritual center, but rather as someone who is constantly darting and weaving to avoid being ensnared by another’s strong opinions.
This kind of guarded, careful relationship used to be the kind I had with almost everyone. There was a time too many of the relationships in my life were dependent on “making nice” and keeping things on a surface level. But if we’re too Gemini-flexible, too facile at darting and weaving our way through interactions with people who see the world differently than we do, reluctant to stand for any one thing, then we risk forgetting who we really are. If we don’t tell the truth about how we see the world, how can we find empathetic people to share our journey?
At this Sagittarius Full Moon, Saturn is retrograde in Sagittarius as well, poised in the earliest degree of the sign and ready to back up into Scorpio for a few months. In the middle of this bright and glittering Gemini season of light comedy, fleeting romance, and trashy novels indolently read on a crowded beach, we’re reminded of the need to stand in our Sagittarian convictions and proudly embody them, without shame, guilt, or violence. “Enjoy your novels and your summer movies, your vacation to Cancun and your HBO programs,” the Moon in Sagittarius instructs our Gemini selves, “But don’t forget the Saturn things, the important and enduring ones.”
This Full Moon in Sagittarius is like the proud immigrant grandmother from the old country, who reluctantly sends the next generation out into the Gemini new world with the admonishment, “Don’t forget where you came from.” We need that dignified, self-assured matriarch to remind us from time to time of what is still and unchanging at the core of who we are. To draw us away from the safety and security of the shallow end of the pool, to guide us into the deeper, still waters of understanding and belief, and to help us out when we get in over our heads.