Mars is currently transiting my Third House (of neighbors, communications, transportation, mind), and as Mars transits goes, it’s textbook aggravating. Proclaiming my need for relief, I tell my husband I’m going shopping but my stress-relieving trip soon proves more stressful. The mall is crowded with people wearing sour looks. I feel shamed, by the body language and tsk-tsk of both customers and salespeople, for bringing my friendly puppy to supposedly “pet-friendly” stores; while driving back home, a driver lays on her horn because I allow a family, huddled together on a small median, to cross the street on a green light; I receive an accusatory glare as I drive through a kid-populated area of my neighborhood, a glare that tells me she thinks I’m driving too fast, though I’m well under the speed limit. Meanwhile, I’m still thinking about an earlier correspondence I had with a spiritual teacher whose communications were truthful, but hurtful. Only moments later, bristling with accumulated irritation, I notice I am behind a car with the bumper sticker “Metta” (lovingkindness) when I viciously think: Ha! This person is probably the worst offender of all, holy on the meditation cushion, they’ll be the first to leer at you when you accidentally bump into them and spill their seven-dollar designer gluten-free coffee! That’s how the cycle perpetuates: Blood-thirst begets blood-thirst.
When I’m experiencing mental anguish, when frustration and anger threaten to send the rest of my life spiraling, I slow down. I get still. I listen to the gentle tumble of the clothes in the dryer, the soft breath of my sleeping puppy laying next to me, the steady pecking of the chicken outside my office window, the silkiness of my pajama bottoms against my skin, the warmth of spicy tea going down my throat. Sometimes I bake chocolate chip cookies just to feel the sweet taste on my tongue, or I take a walk. From the trees turning colors outside my window to the stillness of silence surrounding, I ground myself in the gentle steadiness and comforts of this Earthly life. These are the things that transport me from ground zero back to solid ground.
Scorpio season churns our emotions with our truths, our bottom lines, and the intensity of our own emotional experience can overwhelm our body senses. Taurus, as a counterbalance, is the archetype of safety, calm, pleasure and beauty. A Venus-ruled Earth sign, Taurus best restores our sense of calm and ease through the natural world. Taurus reminds me, always, of my Taurus friend who when deep in the throes of a Pluto-Moon transit, teeming with icy hot emotions and despair, went for a run in the forest, planted herself next to a tree, and surrendered. While the tree supported her and the Earth absorbed her emotions, she experienced a surge of emotional purification. By connecting with Earth and her body, by going into her senses, she came to her senses. Mother Nature, in her bastion of stillness, calm and support, returned her to solid ground.
In periods of emotional intensity, irritation -and confrontation- it’s easy to lose connection with our basic sanity. Talking to my other astrologer friends: people appear to be particularly prickly this Scorpio season, especially on social media. When affronted, we want to react, defend our self, even if in the past the results of doing so proved unsatisfactory. So we (or at least I) simmer on a slow burn, plotting revenge. I think there’s something primal in each of us, maybe reminiscent of our caveman DNA, that secretly wants blood. Yet that response always hijacks our intelligence. Science says we all have a reptile (triune) brain that is triggered by “reptile issues” such as territoriality, and when the reptile brain is in control, we don’t have access to our frontal cortex (which explains why we why, after a stressful argument, we smack our forehead wondering why we were unable to say the thoughts we can clearly articulate now, during said fight). To remain in control of our faculties, we need to be the Buddha (also recently circulating on Facebook), whose advice on letting go of our attachments instructs: Buddha, you’ve got to let that *hit go.
We can do this by recovering our safe zone, a place to come to our senses. Taurus Full Moon invites us to sit in a forest, by a stream, next to a tree or on a cushion and discover our solid ground again. What do we stand on? What do we stand for? Can we allow our true values to support us when the wind, and our hot emotions, blows? It’s a time of year for honesty about this, because, let’s face it, our truthfulness sometimes conceals deeper, hidden motivations; our actions and words do not always reflect humane values of kindness, tolerance, forgiveness, compassion. When our emotions churn, can we be as unshakable in the firm, kind confidence of our truth as a Great Oak? In keeping with the spirit of Taurus, we don’t have to do much. We can be lazy about it. Simply noticing the pleasures of this Earth and this body allow us to feel supported. In the clothes softly tumbling in the dryer, in the hum of a teakettle, we can build repose, confidence, sanity, trust and safety. How easy is that.
Image by Claudia Fernety. See more of Claudia’s work at her website.