July 2020 is tough going. It was always meant to be. It started with a challenging lunar eclipse on the 4th of July, the last of a long series of eclipses across the Cancer/Capricorn axis. It ends with a bang when Mercury (in emotionally focused Cancer) comes up against Mars (in militant Aries) by a nasty square aspect.
The themes here are both Lunar and Saturnine with a heavy dose of Martian-fuelled desire – (‘I want what I want and I want it now’). Mix in some bullies, tyrants, and similar social miscreants and we walk straight into arms of the ancient philosophy of Stoicism.
Stoicism is about getting in touch with our emotions and befriending their physiological root causes. If we are successful in this endeavour, we can redirect our emotions for good purpose. If we aren’t, we give ourselves over to unfortunate snap reactions. Think Michael Lofthouse, here – that British entrepreneur in Silicon Valley whose racially abusive rant at an Asian-American family in a restaurant recently went viral.
Stoicism is also about getting honest about how the world really works. Abandon wishful thinking. That eclipse back on 4th July was meant to deliver some stunning insight about something big, something which is not working in our lives. We have reached a turning point. Time for a serious change of direction.
I ask myself the all-important question here (which you might try asking yourself) – where I do feel ‘dried up’ – how have I given my all and not received enough in return? The answer is to be found where Mars is currently transiting in my natal or birth chart and that is the 10th house – my career and vocation. I’ll be honest. For the last two years, I’ve spent enormous time and energy trying to get this astrological coaching practice off the ground. Despite a few promising moments, it never did take off. This leads me to the next question – what now?
Stoicism is not all gloom and doom. That would be worse than wishful thinking. Instead, Stoicism is about finding a way to live a life that is worth living. Key to this is accepting that there are some things over which I have choices and others over which I have not.
I work through this by exercising basic logic – in other words, A+B = C – whether I like it or not. I also can work with meditation, mindfulness, and other similar practices of self-reflection. One such practice is engaging in writing an evening philosophical diary meant to prompt me to learn from my experience as well as to forgive myself for my mistakes. In this way, we can prepare for a better tomorrow without any carrying an heavy emotional baggage around.
Enjoying a better tomorrow requires us to muster enough courage to do the ‘right’ thing for everyone involved – not simply that which will make us (momentarily) happy.
For me, this means thinking long and hard about walking away from my attempts to build an astrology-coaching practice. There are, after all, some things over which I have a control and others over which I do not; the conclusion might well be that what I’m offering is not – and never will be – what others are wanting. This is not a condemnation of either me or them. It just is what is.
Having reached this point, I’m free to set my sights in another direction. Tomorrow, Mercury turns direct so it’s time to integrate the lessons I’ve learned during the last couple weeks and formulate them into a workable plan.
Stoics are fond of pithy phrases to help them navigate the difficult seas of life. One phrase which seems useful right now is ‘the obstacle is the way’. Brick walls happen; we all confront them from time to time. The Stoics remind me that charging at that brick wall, as if I were a bull responding to the waving red flag, may not be the best strategy. Instead, I could try climbing that wall or maybe going around it; others may not change their wants but I can change what I offer and so with open arms, I welcome tomorrow – when Mercury turns direct!