By Himat Kaur Khalsa
The Sun and The Moon – Identity and Internal Experience
When we humans try to look at the Sun, we can only look for a fraction of a second before we squint our eyes, blink and turn away. The radiance of the Sun is so strong that it remains burned in our vision for a minute (or two or three) before our eyes readjust to see clearly. We certainly are not able to identify any features of the Sun in that fraction of a second, nor in our blinded imprint of it.
By contrast, we can look at the Moon to see the light reflected from the Sun. Of course, the Moon waxes and wanes, reflecting varying amounts of the Sun’s light—from no light at the New Moon to the maximum possible light reflected at the Full Moon. But regardless of where we are in the Lunar Cycle, the Moon allows us to look long and to take in the rays of light from the Sun. We would not say that looking at the Moon, we see the Sun itself, but we do see its light, its rays. What has radiated out from the Sun can be witnessed.
Astrologically, this has interesting parallels. We think of the Sun as our core self, our core identity. And that self-identity is so close to us that we often cannot see it clearly. Truthfully, like the Sun, in every moment we radiate the core energy and vibration of our internal self-identity. In the process of going about our daily lives, we may not be aware of the full range of characteristics we express, nor what our self-identity actually is. But in the same way that the Moon reflects the light of the Sun, astrologically, the Moon helps reflect for us something of our self-identity. The Moon witnesses for us our current vibration, what we are radiating and beaming.
Jupiter in Cancer – June 25, 2013 through July 2014
As I wrote in my June blog, during the next year the planet Jupiter is moving through the sign of Cancer. The sign of Cancer is the Moon’s realm, a sign that brings inward sensitivity of all sorts. Cancer rides its own internal waves, digs its own depths (consciously or unconsciously), and becomes very familiar with the inner landscape of emotions, fantasies, imagination, and even intuition. This year, we are all called to explore and more deeply experience our relationship with the Moon, to understand how it functions within us, and to learn to dance more consciously and purposefully with it.
Where Gemini—the previous zodiac sign—perceives its external environment, taking in experience and stimulus and information, Cancer then turns inward and feels the internal response and experience. These are often unconscious, not purposeful; they seem to just “play through” us. If our experiences trigger a strong internal reaction, we may be aware of that emotional response, such as anger, sadness, loneliness, happiness, passion, comfort, etc...
But usually, we tend to identify with the emotional response. In other words, the Moon reflects something for us, and we ramp into that feeling/experience deeply. We even use identifying words: “I am angry.” “I am sad.” “I am depressed.” “I am passionate and alive and excited and giddy!”
Notice the distinction between the phrases “I am” and “I feel.” It is a much different thing to say “I am angry” than to say “I feel angry.” “I am” conveys that we are identified with the feeling, whereas “I feel” recognizes that this is a passing experience that is giving us valuable feedback.
Experiencing and Reframing Emotions
With Jupiter moving through the sign of Cancer this year, we are invited to delve into the world of emotions and expand ourselves in some way… to learn something more about our inner experience and what that tells us about ourselves. Some of us could respond by being very emotional in “negative” ways, solidifying negative self-identities. Spiritual masters have long described the purpose/benefit of spiritual practice as calming the external focus and the loud voices of the ego and mind, so that we can develop a relationship with the soul. In a similar way, this year we are all invited to develop a relationship with our internal sensitivities. The point is not to identify with our emotions and sensitivities and be defined by them, but to relearn what they are for… to learn to value them, dance intimately with them and be served by them.
Our internal reactions give us feedback on who we think we are in any moment. This is invaluable in our awakening to Truth Within. Just as the Moon reflects the light of the Sun, our emotions and internal experience reflect our self-identity in that moment. Using self-awareness, we learn to ask ourselves: “If I am feeling __________, who/what must I think I am in this moment?” For example:
If we feel defensive and angry, do we think we are vulnerable and can be attacked? Then we are not identified with the indestructible Truth of God Within. (There are times when we do need to act in defense, but doing so from an identity of weakness and vulnerability is very different than doing so from a calm, centered identity of Truth within. The approach is different. The results are different. The effect on the “attacker” is different.)
If we feel tired and worn and defeated, do we think we have limited resources or that we are weak? Then we are not identified with the peace and restfulness, with the endless resources and strength of God within us. (We do need to care for ourselves with rest and recovery. But both our stamina and our rest are very different when we are centered in God within.)
If we feel invisible and unappreciated, do we think we have little value? Do we think that others’ words and actions can change our value even a tiny bit? Then we are not identified with Truth and God within, which means we have Unalterable Value, just because We Are. (There are times when we live and serve humbly and invisibly, and times when we must step forward and stand out. Both our visibility and invisibility are different experiences and bring different results when we are centered in the identity of Truth within.)
The point with this year’s Cancerian exploration is not to dissociate from our feelings and ourselves in pursuit of a higher self-identity. It is quite the opposite. The point is to begin to master ourselves more fully by developing a more conscious awareness of our emotions…to develop a good and intimate relationship with our internal experience, which will help us assess our self-identity in the moment, like a pilot monitors the instrumentation gauges on the dashboard of an airplane. We are invited to regularly and more objectively observe our internal state and to inquire: “(This) is happening within me, so what does this experience tell me about my self-identity in this moment?”
We are invited both to experience our emotions and internal life more regularly, and also to reframe what our emotions are for. We are invited to learn more deeply that just as the Moon reflects the Sun, our emotions reflect our self-identity in any moment. And that is incredibly useful information that can help us steer our ship through daily life. In this way, our spiritual practice is extended beyond meditation and into every moment of our days. As we become more self-sensitive to our identity in the moment, we develop the ability to discern whether we are aligned with Truth within us, or whether we need to surrender some thoughts and emotions to the Guru/Holy Spirit/Higher Self/Truth within us, Who will see things clearly and help us let go and realign ourselves.
There are passages in A Course in Miracles that describe and address this ongoing, unconscious experience of identifying with something less than Truth as our Identity (Sat Nam), of identifying with something less than the extension of God’s creativity in us, as us (Har Naam). I find these passages beautifully poignant for consciously and purposefully realigning to “Right Mind" in life between daily spiritual practice (Sadhana). I share them in hope that they are inspiring for you, too…
“Into eternity, where all is One, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God [that’s us!] remembered not [forgot] to laugh. In his forgetting did the thought become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects. Together, we can laugh them both away, and understand that time cannot intrude upon eternity.” 1
“There is a deep responsibility you owe yourself, and one you must learn to remember all the time. The lesson may seem hard at first, but you will learn to love it when you realize it is true and is but a tribute to your power. You who have sought and found littleness, remember this: Every decision you make stems from what you think you are, and represents the value that you put upon yourself. Believe that the little can content you, and by limiting yourself you will not be satisfied.
“Would you be hostage to the ego or host to God? Let this question be asked you by the Holy Spirit2 every time you make a decision. For every decision you make does answer this, and invites sorrow or joy accordingly. When God gave Himself to you in your creation, he established you as host to Him forever. He has not left you, and you have not left Him. All your attempts to deny His magnitude, and make His Son (us) hostage to the ego, cannot make little whom God has joined with Him.
“The Holy Spirit can hold your magnitude, clean of all littleness, clearly and in perfect safety in your mind, untouched by every little gift the world of littleness would offer you. But for this, you cannot side against Him in what He wills for you. Decide for God through Him.” 3
My hope and prayer for all of us over the next year, is that we become more intimately familiar with our internal experience, and develop the ability to detach and observe what that internal experience tells us about who we think we are. And that we then simultaneously develop the skill and habit of bringing every lesser thought and emotion and experience to the Light of God within, so it can be released and replaced with Truth.
The Astrological Key Points: Heightened Periods of Experience in July
In June, the planets Mercury, Venus, the Moon and the Sun, all came to the third triangle point (in Cancer), forming a grand water trine with Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces. (See my June article for more on those.) In July, the Moon, Jupiter and Mars all take turns lining up at that same point in Cancer to form that grand water trine. If we work with ourselves consciously, self-awareness (Cancer) can personalize and more clearly reflect what we need to see, which Saturn is unearthing from the deep psyche and in our relationships (Scorpio); then Neptune can help us dissolve any false-identities, pains, traumas and illusions we can surrender.
July 7th – This is a powerful day when a lot is happening with the planets.
First, the Moon herself slips into the Cancer point to form the grand water trine with Saturn and Neptune. She made this same aspect when she traveled through the sign of Cancer in June, and she will form the aspect again in August when she moves through Cancer (the Moon moves through all twelve signs of the zodiac every 27 ½ days). If we don’t dance with this well, it could be a time when we project and deny our issues, further anchor our erroneous self-identities, and seek to numb ourselves and escape.
Then the Moon moves into an opposition to Pluto in Capricorn, followed by a square to Uranus in Aries. In other words, Luna (the Moon) will trigger both players in the ongoing Uranus-Pluto squares of 2012-2015. Again, Cancerian self-awareness can bring sensitivity to the unconscious ways we have been conditioned to limitations anchored within us (Pluto in Capricorn), from which we need to break free (Uranus in Aries). This may be a time when we feel little tolerance for oppression, hierarchy, inequality, and power plays. While reality may dictate we do not break away from established structures in our lives, it does call for us to transform any internal, limited identities that hold those energetic, vibrational patterns within us. The way to ensure a transformed relationship with life is to release anchored patterns of false identity within ourselves. It’s time to “whistle while we work” on clearing our patterns!
On the same day, after five months of retrograde (apparent backward) motion, the planet Saturn pauses to resume direct motion in its position in Scorpio. There is a shift from internal and subtle processing to meeting our growth opportunities in the external, outer experiences of our lives. As I described in my June article, Saturn in Scorpio digs out unconscious emotions and patterns that we don’t like to acknowledge in ourselves, and coolly requires that we do the work needed to make changes in our deep psyches and our relationships. We will likely find ourselves “facing the music” of our inner “stuff” in the biographies of our external lives during Saturn’s period of direct motion (the next retrograde period begins in March of 2014).
This is a day to meditate, meditate, meditate, leveraging the energies to make good progress, and stay as conscious as possible!
For a full week in mid-July (the third week), Jupiter in Cancer will move into that same position in a close grand water trine with Saturn and Neptune.
In the midst of our watery year of internal self-experience with Jupiter in Cancer, this grand trine with Saturn and Neptune is a particularly poignant time to work on a deeper understanding and mastery of all I have spoken of in this article.
July 20th – On June 26th, the day after Jupiter entered Cancer for a year, Mercury turned retrograde in the sign of Cancer, kicking off the internal and subtle experience of self-sensitivity and self-awareness. On July 20th, Mercury pauses to resume direct (forward) motion. That same day, the planet Mars reaches the Cancer point of the grand water trine with Saturn and Neptune. This may bring internal sensitivity and self-awareness of our relationship to assertiveness, anger, and our level of ability to stand up for what we need and to be who we want/need to be. Yogis, it is a good time to do the ego eradicator Kriya and meditations to resolve inner anger.
May you have a beautiful month, diving into a wonderful year of developing self-sensitivity that transforms your self-identity!
What You Can Do
- To assess what is happening within you (self-identifications) with thoughts and self-identities running on auto-pilot: Meditation for Self-Reflection from The Aquarian Teacher Level One Yoga Manual
- To actively work on transforming the limited self-identities within you, and cultivate “the relationship between the finite sense of the self and the infinite sense of the self”: Meditation Into Being: “I Am, I Am” from The Aquarian Teacher Level One Yoga Manual
- To “balance the flashing negative and protective fervor of the Negative Mind,” do the Meditation for the Negative Mind, from Volume 1 of Seeds of Change for the Aquarian Age: Transformation.
1 Foundation for Inner Peace, A Course in Miracles. (T-27.VIII.The “Hero” of the Dream) Glen Ellen, CA. 1975. Print.
2 Holy Spirit – the light of God within that can help us experience our True Identity, that can help us objectively assess whether our thoughts, emotions and actions are aligned with Truth within. Similar to the concept of Guru (one who helps us bring us from darkness to light).
3 Foundation for Inner Peace, A Course in Miracles. (T-15.III.Littleness versus Magnitude) Glen Ellen, CA. 1975. Print.
Himat Kaur has a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Religion, and is an evolutionary astrologer and Certified Professional Coach. She offers private astrological consultations as well as life coaching, and can be reached at (813) 444-6285
[(813) 4-HimatK]. Visit Himat’s website and blog at EvolveWithAstrology.com.
You can email her at: [email protected]. You can also follow Himat Kaur on Facebook at: Facebook.com/EvolveWithAstrology, and on Twitter: @HimatK.