Conscious Experimentation

By Amanda Moreno

It seems like talk of releasing is coming at us from all angles these days. The astrology points to major opportunities for letting go, and it seems that so many people I come across are having the experience of feeling like they’re entering an entirely new way of being. I know that has been the case for me.

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

There are times when being aware of astrological transits and the opportunities for growth that they imply can result in feeling a lot of pressure, especially for those of us who are really trying to engage our internal processes. Hell, it’s a lot of pressure for those of us who aren’t.

Do we need to be consciously aware of what we’re letting go of? That might be ideal in that consciousness is perhaps what helps us to hone and refine the intention and vice versa. But right now it seems like the opportunities to let go, release and heal are hurtling our direction so quickly that it almost seems impossible to take conscious advantage of all of it.

I love astrology as a tool for expanding consciousness. Sometimes it just reflects a clusterfuck of paradox, though.

I keep seeing the theme of fate vs. free will popping up, especially in the astrological community. If it’s all fated, is it even possible to make the wrong decision? Isn’t failure part of the plan? Or perhaps it’s more along the lines of…fatedness in terms of spiritual and emotional trends, and free will to react to them.

I had to laugh when I read some astrologer’s commentary that those individuals who are ‘more spiritually evolved’ don’t face the same crisis and catastrophe faced by those individuals who aren’t. That kind of black-and-white thinking pretty much makes me insane — or at least it would if I spent much time on it. I don’t see evolution as acting in an inherently positive progression, for one thing. Things don’t always evolve for the better. Take, for example, a toxic environment in which species evolve into things that live underground. Is that a positive outcome? What about those we would deem “spiritually evolved,” such as the Dalai Lama. He’s certainly experienced his share of crisis.

Isn’t consciousness the critical key in evolving in a “positive” way? Addressing the issues that lead to the toxic environment with consciousness and awareness of the biological realities of evolution so that we don’t end up living underground? Or understanding that Saturn isn’t some big dude in some other realm who really wants to shove your face in your mistakes when you inevitably make them, but rather a force for constructive change and opportunity to take responsibility in order to experience reward.

Bringing consciousness to our lives can be tricky. Astrology is so helpful for consciously engaging our lives, but it sometimes amplifies experiences and reactions for good or bad. It can make things really complicated. I was reading Rudhyar’s Astrology and the Modern Psyche the other day. I have to quote:

We are dealing with the fact that the concentrated and eager study of one’s chart … is bound to force the potentialities of the individual life into more complete actualization; thus to identify the so-called ‘evil’ as well as the so-called ‘good’ in the individual personality. And, as human beings are usually more struck by and respond more crucially to the ‘bad’ than to the ‘good,’ if a person strives after self-knowledge by studying his birth chart with an intense belief in the validity of astrology, this study very often leads to an intensification of Karmic confrontations.

Ah, yes. Once again the attempt to bring consciousness proves potentially complicated. I’m so very into the idea that astrology is uniquely poised to help us transition into a more sustainable way of being because it creates a cosmological framework in which the individual can orient themselves within a tribe of other individuals. It’s so very Age of Aquarius in that way. But I sometimes think it should come with a disclaimer because, as helpful as it is, it can also be really complicated.

As modalities like astrology help us to expand our conscious awareness, they also help us to know or expand or reveal the faces of the gods and how they are reflected in our lives. In that sense, it’s incredible to ponder the philosophical (and practical) implications of the thousands of newly named objects in the past hundred years or so. They represent so many more opportunities for conscious engagement with parts of ourselves.

But it’s important also to keep things focused enough to be manageable. It’s okay not to ‘know’ everything. Which brings me back to the beginning, and the letting go. At this point, I’ve done so much releasing ritual this year that I’m more interested in resting and in celebrating and filling up all that space with as much joy and love as possible.

I looked at my chart earlier this week and saw some more transits, exact as of this writing today (Thursday) that could be paving the way for more healing and letting go. I think I just decided, however, that instead of crafting another ritual or meditation to facilitate the “letting go” of some things related to those parts of my chart, I am instead going to consciously use some free will and let go of doing more ritual for now.

In fact, I think I’m going to go home and watch something mindless. Because that’s what I want to do, having come through another season of intensity and finally returning to my more lighthearted and joyful persona. And because part of my path forward, as indicated by my chart, is taking the initiative to do what I want. Perhaps I will take a few moments to light a candle and reflect on what I’ve learned about these transits first, just to acknowledge them.

Conscious use of astrology? Free will? Fate? I know not. But I’m happy to get to experiment with it.

14 thoughts on “Conscious Experimentation

  1. Kelly Grace Smith

    Great piece. However, there is no “reward” for taking responsibility; taking responsibility “is” the reward itself. Taking responsibility is acknowledging and accepting fully that though it sure does feel like you are at the “effect” of whatever is challenging you in your life…you know, truly, that you are the “cause.” And that provides…freedom.
    Kelly Grace Smith

  2. Cowboyiam

    ( I love astrology as a tool for expanding consciousness. Sometimes it just reflects a clusterfuck of paradox, though. )
    Well stated Amanda. I think the direction our heart is set on is where the universe is guiding us – but I’m not to sure we really are much help trying to second guess what the next few moves will be. I think conscious awareness is maybe the best we can do so noticing old outworn patterns being triggered and taking corrective measure’s to reset and begin anew, striving to be authentic, may be the whole work.

  3. Linda Knowles

    Thank you Amanda for expressing your frustration with the paradoxical nature of astrology – there is no clear path offered thru this mine field called life. I guess the best it can do is make us aware of certain energy fields created by movements of the planets so we are aware. I wish it could be far more succinct about many things though. Too many factors affect too much at once so never a clear path.
    Linda K.

  4. Jaimie

    “It’s okay not to ‘know’ everything. Which brings me back to the beginning, and the letting go. At this point, I’ve done so much releasing ritual this year that I’m more interested in resting and in celebrating and filling up all that space with as much joy and love as possible.”

    Here, here!

    What you wrote about Saturn reminded me of something I recently read in a book by Ursula K. Le Guin, “Lavinia.” The narrator, Lavinia, who figures into Vergil’s “Aeneid” almost not at all, although her marriage to Aeneas is a crucial part of the story, was discussing how the age of Saturn in the lands we now know as Italy was remembered by her people as a golden age of prosperity and peace and joyful celebration of life. I about fell over myself when I read that. I know Le Guin researched the book thoroughly, and I wonder where she picked up on that bit of knowledge. Fascinating. Makes me think of Saturn in a wholly different light.

    Reading your column jogged this association as well: I met with a new therapist this past week, and she was discussing the idea of “blue” experiences — joyful, peaceful, fulfilling — and “red” experiences — frustrating, stressful, antagonistic, painful — and suggesting that most of us have a bucket or cup mostly filled with red. She further suggested that dumping out the cup of all the red would likely lead to us filling it up with just more red contents, and to be mindful of where the blue was in my life so I could add that to my cup. Doing so would give me a cup full of purple, and I dig that idea so much I’m sharing it with you. I raise my purple glass to you!

    Here’s to filling your cup with as much love and joy as possible. We have a similar quest, it would seem.

    1. Amanda Moreno Post author

      I was at a potluck discussion group thing last night and we were discussing jungian ecopsychology. It was great brain food, and definitely stirred up some “but how can we….ever get out of this mess we’re in” type of conversation. And as potentially idealistic as it sounds, it really did remind me that it all just comes back to love. Totally worthy ideal to strive for. With a hearty dose of realism.

      1. Amanda Moreno Post author

        I’m also reminded of some of the new-agey more “woo” mythologies…having to do with star beings incarnating into form, and the joy and pleasure of experiencing matter in such density. In that sense, Saturn as the structures and boundaries of our beings, of the gift of the body, skin, and climax of the earth element (through its rulership of Capricorn) does seem to have a more festive quality to it. When the rules and structures of society are working – when Saturn is working in consort with divine law – it IS quite the beautiful thing. Or at least I imagine it could be… 🙂

      2. Jaimie

        Hey Amanda, thanks for making this connection and providing me with the link. If my memory serves as any kind of reliable guide here, I’m thinking that Saturnalia was a vestige of the previous golden age of Saturn referenced in the book. In the timeline of the book, Rome had not been founded yet; there was only a tiny village where Rome was to grow. And since Saturnalia was a festival associated with the Romans, the golden age mentioned predates Saturnalia’s celebration. I think.

      3. Jaimie

        Whoops! I should have specified Amanda P. in my previous comment.

        Amanda M., I love how you characterize the physical blessings of Saturn. Nicely put.

        This, yes, so much I love of this: “When the rules and structures of society are working – when Saturn is working in consort with divine law – it IS quite the beautiful thing. Or at least I imagine it could be…”

        I’m going to write your entire quote down.

        And love, yes, I agree, the simple answer to so much that has a incredibly wobbly way of becoming complicated. Put some boundaries around what that looks like, and we’re on our way to addressing the suffering of what is wounded.

  5. Jere

    Amanda, been burnin’ the candle last couple of days too.

    Did you watch the grass grow?! (I always hope for an episode of Star Trek Generations. Although Voyager is my favored story, they don’t run it much).

    I’ve got seedlings all over the place in my garden, and I’ve realized I’d rather thin than replant…

    Peace and Love man,


    1. Amanda Moreno Post author

      I probably need to thin rather than replant…interesting analogy there, friend. In the mean time, I’m taking hearty doses of flailing hippie dancing. Round three hits Wednesday night with Dark Star Orchestra… *giggle*

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