Yesterday we talked about the Mercury/Sun conjunction as an intimation of “sacred anxiety.” Today let’s talk about the word “security.” Each fixed sign of the zodiac seems to value security, or stability, over all else. The form of security may vary from one sign to the next, but each fixed sign shares this common interest. For Scorpio the security has something to do with the physical, emotional, environmental, and instinctual levels of security. Do I feel an abiding sense of calm, trust, peace, depth, and safety in the environment, in my emotions and thoughts, in what’s being said or done around me, in the vision of the future I see in front of me, or the past I sense connected to the good or bad of this present moment?
As far back as the writings of Plato, philosophers have written about the idea of two distinct realms, working simultaneously. The realm of phenomenal becoming..where things are constantly in flux but never fully or permanently fixed into the divine form they can only loosely represent. And then the realm of the permanent, the unchanging, or the divine. We each sense very deeply, and not just intellectually, the presence of divine forms in life. The “should’s” and “ought’s” that each new experience reaches for but always falls slightly short of attaining. When we take a yoga class or we embark on any spiritual mission, perhaps the most perennial teaching has to do with the forgiveness, acceptance, or inner serenity required to bridge that gap between the ideal and the real, or the “should/ought” and the “the way things are.”
My favorite word for the practice of bridging this gap, whether it is real or only in our mind, is the word “sanctification.” To sanctify essentially means “to make holy.” And it seems to me that most of what we talk about when we talk about letting go of things, accepting things as they are, and relinquishing our attempts to control each little detail, has to do with sanctification. We see an ideal and invisible shape or form…and when something doesn’t perfectly conform, reflect, or fit to it we feel as though something has missed the mark (the same phrase underlying the word ‘sin’). Whether that missing the mark is seen in small and daily events, or our idea of ourselves, or humanity or the cosmos itself, it seems that religious people are fundamentally trying to figure out how to deal with the loss, disappointment, or irritation of that gap…which appears to grow wider the more we focus upon it.
The ideas of conversion, salvation, redemption…to my mind each are similar to the word “sanctification.” Each has at its roots the desire to “make holy” the world as it is, to forgive the world’s inability to conform to some sense of mathematical perfection, or to embrace life on its own terms. When we live from this place of sanctification, or holiness, or we have a “conversion” of some kind, it seems to be reflected in an ongoing practice of making peace with the way things “are” in the light of the way things might, could, or should be.
However, when I read the writings of saints and holy people, or even great masters of any craft or discipline or study, I also see the refusal to let go of the attempt to adhere, conform, or imitate something like a divine image. It’s perhaps not enough, in other words, to say, “screw it, it’s all good, I’m going to stop trying.” Rather, we only tell ourselves that when the attempt to live in harmony with the divine image becomes hell bent, inflexible, ungraceful, sadistic, oppressive or exhausting, at which point the bridge back to the soul must be built once more.
A good question for today…when you look around the world, do you see a world that’s stopped striving for the divine image? Do you see a world that’s making too many excuses for itself, and using forgiveness or grace cheaply, as though life is simply “what we ourselves make of it, and anything is just fine, it’s all good?” Or do you see a world that is struggling exactly because it’s trying too hard to fit itself into a divine image rather than accepting itself the way that it is?
Are these perceptions two sides of the same coin?
With Mercury and the Sun together in Scorpio, there is profound insight available to us right now regarding where exactly we fall short. Where exactly we’ve given up or made excuses for ourselves, and where exactly we’ve been attempting to control or guard ourselves against the environmental realities we don’t want to admit or come to terms with.
On the other hand, there is also an invitation to sanctify and forgive. To return to the loving embrace of life exactly as it is and to find a deeper level of security, comfort, and knowing than maybe we’ve had access to for quite some time now.
When we return and sanctify, it’s often nice to give something back in offering to the divine. A token or source of personal pride or power, a belonging or possession, or a simple gesture of our loving gratitude…for the simple reminder that this return is always open and free. There was no charge and so there is no debt. And somehow giving something freely mirrors this. And from this same place of giving and receiving freely, we can once again aspire to the divine image but now with the love, patience, peace, and kindness that reflects the only kind of attainment that is ever available to anyone, at any time.
Prayer: Create in me a clean heart, and renew a steadfast spirit within me