The Moon is in Gemini today, squaring Jupiter in Virgo and approaching a trine to Mars in Libra. Tomorrow the Moon will be full in the sign of Cancer and will engage the Pluto/Uranus square plus the Saturn/Neptune square.
For a few days now I’ve written about the likelihood of seeing events related to family, family history, or family secrets this Christmas. The Full Moon on Christmas in the sign of Cancer will engage Pluto by opposition, and this brings to mind the revealing or erupting of events from the familial unconscious. With Saturn/Neptune involved there is much at stake regarding what we would like something to be versus the way something is (illusion vs reality is a Saturn/Neptune hallmark), or not being able to see or understand clearly the truth about someone or something around us. With Pluto/Uranus there are also events that may completely change the circumstances of our family dynamics. Someone getting married, someone having a baby, someone dying, someone losing a job, someone moving away, someone getting a divorce, or some otherwise hidden piece of information about our families coming out. Whatever the case might be, the fact that these celestial events land on Christmas this year shouldn’t be missed.
Though I’m not exactly a devout Christian any longer, lately I’ve been revisiting my roots through focused meditations on the Gospel stories. For whatever reason it recently hit me that I’ve always glossed over the part of the story where a paranoid King was trying to have Jesus killed as a baby. The elements of assassination, danger, and seeking refuge from hostility are such primary ingredients of the birth of Jesus, and yet for whatever reason when I think of the birth of Jesus I generally think about the more uplifting images…shepherds under the stars, astrologers traveling from the east, and the humble manger filled with animals.
One of the reasons I’ve found these darker elements more appealing this year, maybe really seen them clearly for the first time, is because I’ve just witnessed birth and have a newborn baby nearby. And though the experience was beautiful, to be honest it was also primal, bloody, terrifying, and yes…dangerous. My wife had to be induced because the baby’s heart rate was decelerating, and even though that isn’t the most uncommon thing in the world, in the same week we had our baby several of our friends had to have emergency interventions and one of our friends delivered more than twelve weeks early and they are now engaged in a long journey at the hospital as their daughter gains health and strength, little by little.
Similarly, I can’t help but notice that even once life begins there is a basic helplessness, an extreme overwhelm, deep fatigue and doubt, rivers of tears, and primal fears as everyone adjusts to the newness and as safety is established and reestablished over and over again. So these themes…the refugee, the flight in the night, the uncertainty and doubt, the struggle for life…these aren’t anything new, and to my mind they are just as beautiful and natural to the Christmas birth story as the images of shepherds, stars, magi and mangers.
To interpret the paranoid King Herod psychologically…new life often brings the death of old forms of power…and our egos are terrified of these changes and will attempt to thwart them by creating unnecessary conflicts.
Circling back round now to the astrology of Christmas tomorrow…this full Moon brings to mind the elements of danger and fear, doubt and uncertainty, and even the jealous and paranoid rage of King Herod. The simplest teaching this year might come down to the simplest reminder…the beauty of life is that it is always happening amidst these natural human challenges. Christmas isn’t about a guarantee that everything goes well, that everything turns out the way you want it to, or that nothing interferes with your plans. It’s not about convenience, and it’s not just about perfect safety and bliss. In fact, the story begins in the dark of night, under threats from an enemy, and against the odds, without any comfort to be found from the world (there was no room at the inn).
So, remember this should any drama surface. Remember that Christmas, regardless of what faith you claim, is about the miracle of life and the faith we choose to stick with amidst the most uncomfortable realities of this earthly existence. This is where the real meaning of the word “charity” has its roots. The origin of the word means “affection for mankind.” A reminder that each of us came into the world under guiding stars, every one of us started helpless, a refugee, and yet we were taken care of amidst the danger.
Prayer: Help us to remember how we each came into this world, and help us to keep the spirit of charity during any difficulties that may arise this Christmas holiday