We have another lunar eclipse coming up this weekend — late Friday or early Saturday, depending on your time zone. You can see the chart cast for Washington, DC, here. The eclipse falls in the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius, and gives us an opportunity to develop our skills at riding the roller-coaster of the Pluto-Uranus square.
An arrow is the symbol for the sign of Sagittarius, and it always makes me think of the pointer of a compass; appropriately enough, because determining which direction to take is something Sagittarius does well. Acquiring, organizing and classifying the information that life presents us with is Gemini’s passion; Sagittarius takes that information and gives it meaning in a larger, social context, so that we can plan for the future — decide which direction we want to go in, and set standards of conduct for getting there. The upcoming lunar eclipse highlights these two opposing signs of Gemini and Sagittarius, making this an excellent time to review the direction you have set for yourself, your expectations for your own behavior and that of others — in other words, to recalibrate your moral compass.
Does that word “moral” make you cringe a bit? It does me. It always makes me think of the “The Moral Majority” of the 70s and 80s, and of sanctimonious attitudes that involve taking — or, more often, telling others to take — the “moral high ground”. Laws and religions that purport to codify “moral behavior” are often used repressively to demonize natural and healthy human behaviors, and to control people through fear. So who needs it? Should we just ditch the whole concept of morality, and depend on instinctive self-interest to direct our actions?
Well, here’s the thing. Even if we wanted to, we can’t. The need to determine and distinguish “right” from “wrong” behavior is built into the human race, and the struggle to modify our behavior to conform to our ideas and our ideals is mythic and inescapable. We structure the world and adapt our behavior according to a personal philosophy of life that is based in childhood experiences, but is continually forming and re-forming. Unfortunately, we tend to burden ourselves with a whole lot of “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”, “dos” and “do nots” without looking at them closely, especially when we are young. We internalize these directives until our behavior instinctively reflects them, and then we layer other, often conflicting, beliefs, concepts, laws and regulations on top of the ones that were wrapped around us as we were growing up. Inevitably, many of these ideas clash with each other, and unless we look closely at what is driving our behaviors and reactions, our lives -- both inner and outer -- begin to reflect the chaos of a compass that can’t find North because it is surrounded by magnets.