|A galaxy overlayed over a human skull; artist unknown.|
December 6, 2014
7:27 AM Pacific
4:27 AM Eastern
The mind is an incredible thing. Its complexity is what truly separates humans from the other beasts. We often associate the mind with the brain, but that is not an entirely accurate perception. Indeed, the brain has much do with our thinking processes, but the mind is much more ubiquitous throughout the body. When I think of the mind (as if that isn’t a paradox), I imagine something that permeates my entire body, something that exists throughout the entire nervous system.
The mind extends throughout the body as a whole. It’s in our brains, yes, but it’s also in our fingertips and our toes. So, what is this thing called mind? How do we come to understand it from an astrological point of view? Well, we could start with the tropical sign of Gemini which holds space for this month’s Full Moon. Gemini is an air sign, as well as Libra and Aquarius. We could associate all three air signs with “mental” processes. Air signs are mental creatures; they are objective points for the observation of reality.
The mind is a tool that allows consciousness to separate from its experiences to form ideas and understandings. It is the interpretive lens through which the observer (beyond the ego) perceives the universe. I don’t imagine that a dog or a cat thinks much about the meaning of life—the names of things, the deeper underlying mechanisms behind the façade of perceptual observations, or the symbolic meaning of disparate events. These are purely human activities. Perhaps, as mythology paints it, the mind is a gift from the “Gods” (it’s equally a curse for those ill-equipped to handle it). If the mind is some fairly recent evolutionary development, we are perhaps in the midst of a long struggle to master a symbiotic relationship.
According to the Greek version of a very old story going back to Mesopotamia, Prometheus brought “fire” to humanity against the wishes of the other gods. This fire gave humans something “god-like” that profoundly changed human behavior. For this act, Prometheus was punished, chained to a rock island and beleaguered by a tumultuous sea, to forever suffer the agony of having his liver pecked out by an eagle. As an immortal, Prometheus couldn’t die. That’s a pretty rough deal. Fortunately for him, Chiron saved the day. He gave up his own immortality to free Prometheus from his imposed bondage.
So, what was this “fire” that Prometheus brought to humans? Similar to the biblical story of Adam and Eve and the tree of knowledge, this fire gave humanity a shift of perception; it allowed them to see things quite differently. It allowed them to glimpse what the God’s could see, and that was understandably quite threatening, for it elevated humanity to a level not possible before. We could say that this “fire” is both a symbolic reference as well as a literal one (a conversation a bit beyond the scope of this article).
This Full Moon in Gemini highlights the nervous system, the mind in general and communication in all its varied forms. You’re thoughts, perceptions and ideas about life have an incredible impact on the body. And Gemini, a mutable air sign, indicates the plasticity inherent to the mind itself: the ability to change your mind with the attainment of new information or insight. Imagine the power of a single experience to change your entire life--how a single book, conversation or interaction can alter your outlook and transform your perception. That is an amazing thing and it demonstrates the flexibility inherent to human perception.
Chiron in Pisces squares this Full Moon axis—indicating the potential for sudden, spontaneous awakenings and a shifting of thought, perception and outlook. When Chiron is worked with consciously, it opens a hidden, creative potential that we often deny, inviting us to activate our gifts and talents, or else we succumb to a soul-deadening meaninglessness--swallowed by the void deep inside, devoured by the wound of separation. Sometimes that manifests as a very real disease process in the body. Chiron’s square is a challenging call to action that invites us to do something about the way we think and perceive reality, and how we integrate and acknowledge the bigger picture.
The New Age circus is chock full of ideas about mind over matter. The “create-your-own-reality” bandwagon has quite a bit of momentum these days. Do you really create your own reality? Well, kind of. I mean, to some extent. Personally (and I’m not attempting to topple anyone’s paradigms here), I think the idea as some validity, but it’s also a bit delusional when taken to some extremes. I don’t make the Sun rise each morning. It does so whether I choose to believe it does or not. I don’t think gravity into existence either. There are laws in this reality that I have nothing to do with, but my attitude, how I feel about the way things are, that I can control, and that does impact my reality and the experiences I attract into it.
Chiron helps us to change our toxic attitudes, and when contacting planets in Gemini or Sagittarius, it seeks to shift our thinking, beliefs, or ideas about how things are or should be. As the Full Moon illuminates this Gemini landscape, we are given the opportunity to see that mental clutter more clearly and to do something to change it. That won’t come about without some effort on our part, and it may feel a bit challenging at first, but persistence will lead to a renewed perspective, however drastic or subtle.
The asteroid Ceres also joins in on the conversation. Ceres stirs up issues surrounding nurturance and nourishment—often pointing to some very practical issues involving food. We often underestimate the importance of food and its impact on our physical, mental and emotional health. A nourished body leads to a clear and happy mind. Our cultural conditioning convinces many of us that we’re victims of disease and that we can’t do anything about it without the help of pharmaceuticals or surgery. Sometimes, those things are necessary, but a lot of the time, they’re quite counter-productive to the healing process.
True healing takes time; though sometimes, dramatic changes and shifts come about quite spontaneously when we choose to change how we see it. When things seems bleak, lost or hopeless, no matter how dire the situation, there’s always a way out and there’s always something guiding us toward a resolution and integration of our experience. The pivotal moment lies in one single choice: the choice to change your mind, to never give up on the pursuit of wholeness. That determination to thrive can make all the difference in the world. It’s all just a matter of how you choose to look at it.
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