Full Moon In Gemini: Waiting to exhale
Full Moon in Gemini
Wednesday, Dec 7, 2022
11:07 PM EST/8:07 PM PST
I have been obsessed with an exploration of listening since I was studying with Martin De Maat at Chicago’s Second City in the 1980’s. The study of improv was a revelation to me, particularly where it came to listening because whether I wanted to admit it or not it was through this study that I became profoundly aware how much I struggled with it.
Second City was an interesting place, full of the mythology of the many, many talented people who had gotten their start there. At the time the some of biggest names were John Belushi and Bill Murray. Today we could point to Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Jane Lynch or Steve Carrell as examples though there are many more. When you are young and hungry the myth that Saturday Night Live’s Loren Michaels might walk thorough, see you and bam your life might be changed plays with your psyche a bit. At least it did with mine.
At times I when I was onstage in the middle of a scene my interior dialogue would become very loud telling me everything I was doing wasn’t good enough. It would utter with distain that that I was causing the scene to fail, that it wasn’t funny enough. My interior voice would actually become so very loud that I would have trouble actually hearing, listening to, what my scene partner was saying. Ironically, because I was no longer present, rather I essentially had disassociated and was now sitting in the audience critiquing, the scene had one direction to go and that was badly, or at least not as well as it could have. You see, to make any scene work, aka really fly, you had to let go of any preconceived ideas and just be there, in the moment with your partner. In fact, if you just focused on being with your partner, deeply listening on a visceral level to your partner and seeing, honoring and supporting their magic, miracles beyond your wildest imagination happened. That the minute you tried to control the scene, the scene died. (You essentially just committed second degree murder.)
This Full Moon in Gemini might be viewed as a master class in listening or perhaps better said a master class in what happens when we react rather than be present and listen either to ourselves or another.
It is a tricky Full Moon. Especially for those of us with planets from 14-22 degrees of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces). All Full Moons carry the tension of opposites (Full Moons take place when the Sun is opposite the Moon) and tend to heighten emotions. This particular one has Retrograde Mars in Gemini, the archetypal God of War, tightly linked within in the mix. Literally. Ten minutes after the Full Moon is exact the Sun moves into direct opposition with Mars during the apex of his retrogradation. And this is sprinkled on top with Neptune widely squaring (creating a focal point) potentially throwing some foggy confusion into the mix.
In other words this full Moon potentially will be full of big intense feelings and people reacting to those feelings. Sagittarius is a sign connected to our cherished beliefs and convictions…opposite the God of War? You do the math.
Mars likes to speed things up. It is possible that you may find yourself pulled in two different directions and feel like you need to make an immediate decision. But that’s an illusion (Neptune). Slow down. Take a breath. Or perhaps you may find yourself holding your breath. This is when we need to breathe in deep and focus on the exhale. The letting go. The release.
Existential philosopher Paul Tillich said “The first duty of love is to listen.” From my perspective the best use of this energy is to slow down and do just that, listen.
A story I have shared a few times before bears repeating as I think it captures the spirit of what I am trying to convey. About 20 years ago I was standing at the back of a seminar I was assisting in and one of the leaders shared the story of how he proposed to his wife. He promised to never “know” her but to discover her anew in each moment. This is such a profound concept. To discover (Gemini) requires awareness and curiosity. It requires being present. Frankly it is one of my spiritual practices, though I often fail daily in that endeavor. But that’s the gift of a practice, in the next moment I can pick it up again.
Actively bearing witness, to ourselves or another, is a sacred act. It is awe inspiring in its power. Tich Nhat Hanh said “Deep listening is the kind of listening that can help relieve the suffering of another person. You can call it compassionate listening. You listen with only one purpose: to help him or her to empty his heart.”
On a journaling level, this is the essence of the famed morning pages of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, even though at their core the morning pages aren’t traditional journaling. Originally called brain dump (changed to brained drain for the published book), pages consist of three pages of stream of consciousness writing. From the perspective of the morning pages, spelling doesn’t count, content doesn’t count. What does count is showing up at the page and simply listening to yourself no matter where you are that day. The days that are a laundry list, or venting are on equal par with those that you find yourself full of inspiration. Even though we tend to prefer the days full of inspiration, through the pages we are learning how to witness ourselves, to let ourselves be in the moment. Which is what many of my students struggle with, letting themselves be, essentially trusting the pace of their own unfolding.
So during Wednesday’s full moon (Thursday if you are in Europe or Australia) I urge you to practice listening. To others but also to yourself as an act of love.
P.S. My friend sound healer Allison Bagg is holding a sound bath over zoom during this Full Moon, a perfect opportunity to listen and surrender. Click here for the registration link.