Who’s Dancing, Who’s Watching and Who Cares

Posted by Amanda Painter

Photo by Amanda Painter.

Friday’s Leo New Moon arrives with at least a couple layers of messaging. One is that If you give yourself over to love and artistic expression, you have a responsibility to stay true to whatever moves your soul to ‘dance’ — and to treat those parts of yourself with compassion and generosity. There’s also a caution to watch for the shadow side of self-focus.

In the Monday Astrology Diary, I wrote that, sometimes, you need to dance as though nobody is watching. Other times, it’s nice to know that everyone really is watching, and that in some way they’re dancing with you. And sometimes all that matters is that, when you close your eyes and move, no matter who is or is not watching and no matter how they may or may not judge you, you let your heart guide you toward love.

"You've been flocked!" Part of a church youth group fundraiser at Casco Days this year. Photo by Amanda Painter.

“You’ve been flocked!” Part of a church youth group fundraiser at Casco Days this year. Photo by Amanda Painter.

This was the first message that came through as I looked at the chart for Friday’s Leo New Moon.

Exact at 10:53 am EDT (14:53 UTC), this is the Moon and Sun conjunct in Leo to begin a new four-week (approximately) lunar cycle.

Right in line with the Sun and Moon is retrograde Venus, about a day away from its exact conjunction with the Sun. This marks the halfway point in Venus’ retrograde.

Both planetary retrogrades and New Moons can have the sense of looking inward. Retrograde planets often also imply a review of the past in some way.

So if you’ve had any exes make contact with you in the last week or so — especially if it’s been more than one, or if you can trace a common thread or theme — this definitely counts as a manifestation of retrograde Venus (reviewing love relationships) conjunct the Sun (conscious awareness). You’ve likely noticed other themes, including getting back in touch with your inner child’s sense of playful creativity.

It’s the quality of looking inward rather than outward that suggested to me the whole ‘dance as if nobody is watching’ idea, in concert with some of the minor planets in aspect to the Leo New Moon. Closely flanking the Sun and Moon, we have the asteroid Eros (god of love), retrograde Venus (goddess of love), and the asteroid Terpsichore (the Muse of dancing) — all in Leo.

Opposite that cluster, in Aquarius, is the asteroid Damocles. The parable of the Sword of Damocles recounts a courtier who, upon taking the seat of the king for a day, became aware of a sword continually hanging by a hair above the throne. It symbolized how fortune and power come with great responsibility.

Damocles in Aquarius brings the question of what kinds of power, fortune and responsibility you meet in social groups, and especially when using technology (think social media). If you give yourself over to love and artistic expression, as Venus, Eros and Terpsichore suggest, you have a responsibility to stay true to your artistic muse — whatever moves your soul to ‘dance’ — and to treat those parts of yourself with compassion and generosity.

When you do so, it doesn’t matter who is watching or not; your actions then are not about impressing anyone, or being accepted into a group, or influencing or manipulating anyone. If someone else does happen to receive joy from witnessing, or is inspired to ‘dance’ too, all the better — but that’s not why you do it.

It can feel like your very life depends on pleasing everyone else with what you create and how you love. But it does not. You are not responsible for the opinions of others.

However, inward self-focus is only part of the story. And while that’s necessary if you’re trying to be creative, compassion and awareness also need to be extended to those around you. It’s also up to you to notice the messages others’ actions, as well as your own in context.

Simultaneous with the New Moon, there’s a flowing circuit (or triangle) of fire energy called a grand trine connecting the Leo New Moon cluster with planets in Aries and Sagittarius. On the one hand, that’s a lot of ‘spirit’ energy that you can access by taking tangible steps toward creative or ‘spiritual’ endeavors.

The configuration also describes a lot of ‘self-interest’ that could express in shadow form, thanks to certain minor planets in the mix. The thing to watch out for is if your sense of disregarding the judgments of others edges toward a disregard for ethics, morals, potentially negative (and cascading) consequences from your actions, or a hidden agenda.

Anybody is capable of anything; that’s just as true of compassion, affection, generosity and artistic expression as it is of lying, cheating and selfish thoughtlessness. It’s up to you to choose your actions carefully, to read the actions of others and to listen to your intuition. You also get to choose your dance tunes.

9 thoughts on “Who’s Dancing, Who’s Watching and Who Cares

  1. Barbara

    Thanks Amanda…………….lots of interesting themes showing up…..”miming” if you will………….sooner or later the “whispers” occur………….self contentment is overflowing………..The flamingos bring a smile…………Thank you……………

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Babara — I’m very curious to hear more about how you mean “miming”! And yes, lots of interesting themes, for sure.

      Glad the flamingos made you smile! That was my reaction, too. Plus, the light at that moment right after the downpour was just lovely.

  2. LizzyLizzy

    Such a lovely piece (and pic!), Amanda. I can feel that beautiful loving energy that is present – and that so much striving and torment comes from seeking satisfaction, peace and ell being outside of oneself – when it’s actually all within us – the miracle of life and being in the world, with all its joys and sorrows. yesterday evening I gave my weekly (English)lesson to my Somali refugee friends. I know it’s a cliché, but I learn as much from them as they do from me. They have suffered so much unspeakable horror and destruction, growing up in war torn Somalia, and then fleeing across desert and sea, risking their lives, in search of a better life. And yet they’re so full of joy, vitality and kindness – it never ceases to inspire me.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Indeed, Lizzy — all of those things really are within us, and so much more solidly so once we get the hang of “being” in ourselves. And of course, we all have moments when we’d dearly love the approval and praise of others. I think that’s just part of being human among other humans.

      And I do not think it’s cliche for you to learn so much from your Somali students (or to say that you do). I think it’s wonderful, and as it should be.

  3. Mary

    I awoke this morning with sore and achy muscles, so instead of a grueling run in the heat I opted to do some yoga.
    The morning light was coming in thru my office window and I caught sight of my shadow projected on the wall. I was taken aback by the beautiful form of my shadow.
    It was a profound moment, a loving acknowledgement of self. Long over due, I might add.
    My inner critic wants to tell me all this self love is indulgent and narcissistic, but I’m turning up the music and dancing with it anyways.
    Beautiful piece Amanda, I value your guidance.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      ” I was taken aback by the beautiful form of my shadow. It was a profound moment, a loving acknowledgement of self.”

      Isn’t it always? And I love that it was your *shadow* that brought you to this beautiful and profound appreciation of self. I think it does often work that way, though it can seem to us a backward way to get to self-love. But if we don’t love the shadow, and its lessons, we’re missing half of our “self,” aren’t we?

      Thank you for sharing this lovely image, Mary. I’m grateful to know my contributions here at PW are helpful reminders to people.

      1. Geoff Marsh

        Cheers, Amy. Glad it rings a rhythm!

        I meant to say thanks, too, for mentioning the Gayatri prayer. I try to remember to recite it every morning just before I get up.

        Ralph Blum’s The Book of Runes replaced my use of the I Ching for instant meditation readings some while back. It just seemed more relevant to me, possibly because I’m genetically more Viking than anything else.

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