How Do We Keep the Feeling of Newness?
The other day while preparing to write this column, my fouryear- old son said he wanted to help me work. I said I was sure he'd have much more fun if he went out to play. "But Mummy," he said, "work is play." I was just about to retort that it might be for him when I stopped and realized the wisdom in his words. For children, work and play are as entwined as a pair of young lovers, and I began to wonder when and why they begin to separate. For a few lucky adults, their play becomes their work: actors, artists, photographers, and musicians are good examples while people who work with children and animals no doubt have a lot of fun throughout their days as well. Then there are those of us who started out loving what we do but, over time, complacency or boredom began to creep in and we lost the excitement. Of course, this is a natural tendency and can be seen in other areas of life: the once mesmerizing lover who begins to irritate, the once-wonderful home that over time begins to pale in comparison to the idyllic country cottage, the exciting new friend who over time fades into the background. How do we keep the feeling of newness without sabotaging what we already have? This is the question that kept emerging as I studied the charts for July.
Mercury's Effects This Month
Mercury is retrograde through most of the month, aligning with various tense T-squares with Uranus, Mars, and Pluto, which seems to be asking us to create change and revolution without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Mercury retrograde asks us to revisit, rethink, readjust, and revaluate any situation that might seem tired, staid, or old with a view to breathing new life into it. Of course there are times when we really do have to move on and leave something behind. But it's important to be able to tell the difference between something that isn't right for us versus the impulse to destroy something because deep down we're hungry for something that only we can provide for ourselves. We often see this in people who have reached the midlife crisis (late thirties to early forties) who will often make sudden shocking changes without realizing that the meaning they crave can only be found within. These people could be described as having hungry souls, having drifted far from what feels like home.
As Mercury backtracks through Cancer, it is important that we take the time to figure out what home means to us — not just in the literal sense of our own four walls, but also in the spiritual and metaphorical sense of activities that nurture our souls, people with whom we feel "right," work that feels like play, and places that inspire us. When do you feel like you're truly home? For some, it's being in nature; for others, it's being engaged in a creative process. It could be time alone in meditation or being by the sea. It could be when you're lost in a sport or physical activity or when you're reading Rumi's poems. It could be having a child in your arms or traveling the globe. For some people, home is music, baking, or a hippy festival. It is important to know what your "soul nourishers" are so that when times get tricky you'll know how to keep yourself sane and not run off like a headless chicken in pursuit of some temporary fix. And July does contain some tricky moments. It also contains some beautiful ones, provided we know how to recognize them.