A few years ago, just before a Sagittarius New Moon, our indoor cat Spike escaped the secure confines of our home and went walkabout. I soothed my anxiety by imagining him on a kind of exciting Spirit Quest, possibly involving medicinal-grade catnip.
When he returned 36 hours later, Spike seemed calm and fairly mellow, if ravenously hungry; but he paid the price for his adventure with a big bite on his butt and two rounds of antibiotics.
Sagittarius is a freedom-loving, papa-was-a-rolling-stone kind of sign anyway, and this New Moon chart features a triumvirate of the Sun, Moon, and Jupiter in this sign, square a tight conjunction of Mars and Neptune in Pisces. You may feel a strong urge to roam. In fact, you may feel that you have no choice but to run away from home—or your job, or your marriage. You need to open up your life in some way, or reinvent yourself, and you simply can’t manage it without a change of scenery. You feel you’ll go crazy if you don’t break free.
So you say the words that can’t be taken back, turn the key, lob the grenade, and some deep, savage, renegade impulse at the core of you screams “Yes!” at the top of its lungs. You’ve launched yourself out onto a path to freedom, and it’s scary, yes, but it’s also glorious. You have the feeling that you belong to yourself alone and answer to no one. You’ve burned your bridges, and taken a leap of faith toward a more authentic life.
It could be the best decision you’ve ever made. But with Mars and Neptune involved, it’s also quite possible that you, like Spike, will return from your adventure with a big old bite on your butt.
That’s what haunts us when we contemplate dramatic change: the fear of making an awful, possibly irrevocable mistake. You wonder: Are you going on a Spirit Quest, or are you simply, wastefully throwing away a perfectly good job/relationship/happiness with both hands?
Interestingly, I don’t think we firebomb our lives, as a rule, because things are overwhelmingly, objectively awful. When that is the case, we usually don’t have the energy or confidence to make such a dramatic move. Rather, most people I’ve watched blow up their lives do so simply because they’re dissatisfied, for reasons they don’t quite understand. They feel unappreciated, unwanted, as though they’re not living the right life for them. They feel trapped, and invisible, and beholden to someone—maybe even a perfectly nice someone—in a way they can’t abide. After all, Spike has doting caretakers and a loving home; he didn’t escape because he was being mistreated, but because he sensed something more exciting just beyond the screen door.
We step out onto the precipice at this New Moon. Where you feel trapped, you will find yourself yearning to wriggle free. But you don’t have to firebomb your entire life and start over. For most of us, it will be enough to approach the ticking time bombs in our lives cautiously and disarm them with quiet disclosures to the right people and a step, however tentative, in another direction. Ask: Where can you be more truthful, to yourself and to others? What are the secrets and fears that are preventing you from living authentically?
The one thing you can’t do is ignore the untamed animal within you that demands adventure and freedom. If you tie it up too tightly, it will simply bide its time until one day, a door will be left open or a loose screen can be pried away just enough so that you are able to escape. If that time has come, and you are on the verge of throwing away something very important, just be absolutely certain that there is no other choice. Some words can’t be taken back. Some actions are irrevocable. There are things out there that can bite you—and some cats don’t make it back home.