Beware the Wraithing Process


March 31, 2018 at 5:36am PDT / 12:36pm UT

Moon and Sun opposed at 10°44' Libra/Aries

picAt every Full Moon, the Sun and Moon are poles apart, facing each other squarely from opposite signs of the zodiac wheel. Magnetic complements, opposing signs are dualities that naturally intrigue and attract each other — one bearing gifts the other needs. Life is experienced in duality too: light/dark, happy/sad, male/female, you/me. The zodiac reflects this in its six polar pairs, each concerned with a specfic area of life. One pair is featured at each month's Full Moon, and tomorrow's perfect circle of light, illumination point in the lunar month, is brought to you by Aries and Libra.

Aries and Libra are all about relationship. Working in tandem, the two signs represent the struggle we all experience for balance, that elusive fulcrum point of blissful communion — somewhere between complete autonomy and "alien takeover" by our partner. Aries, ruled by Mars, is a fiery yang sign and is heavily invested in self-assertion, true independence, and the quest for personal freedom. While the Venus-ruled, intellectual air sign Libra is "other-oriented" — focused primarily on developing healthy partnerships, Lady Libra sees cooperation, fairness and harmony as paramount.

The Aries/Libra axis, highlighted at this Full Moon, describes the inherent tension that exists in all relationships, but within ourselves as well. How do we maintain personal freedom and autonomy, while preserving important intimacy in our lives? How do we balance our own needs and opinions without stepping all over or negating others? We all need the emotional support, approval and appreciation found in healthy partnerships, but if we choose to live the Libra extreme, that is solely through our key alliances, we can end up bitter and resentful, having sacrificed too much of what we need, of WHO WE ARE. On the other side of the equation — Aries unchecked — we can become far too independent and self-centered, unable to work WITH others, to compromise. Too fearful to surrender the self enough so that trust and true partnership can bloom.

Moon Rising in the Redwoods, Mendocino County, California

So, that is the general thrust of a Libra Full Moon, which swings around once a year. Looking at the chart for this particular lunation, we see other compelling influences which also describe the special insights streaming in at this high tide in the lunar cycle. First and foremost, at the time of the Full Moon, Mercury will be sliding into the Sun. Perfecting its retrograde conjunction to our central star the very next day, April Fool's Day and Easter Sunday, the Sun and Mercury will meet at 11°56' Aries. Secondly, and from another direction and another cardinal sign, Mars and Saturn are swiftly sliding towards their own conjunction, both to square the Full Moon opposition AND Mercury. Their conjunction will perfect on April 2nd at 8°57' Capricorn. This weekend's Libra Full Moon then illuminates not only Mercury's current retrograde cycle in Aries, what that means, as well as what Mars and Saturn conjunct in Capricorn represents.

"Every manmade disaster begins when one man thinks for another. However benevolent they begin, the ultimate outcome is tyranny."

— John Kramer, Blythe


"Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth."

— Albert Einstein


"Listen, nitwit, what good will it do you to know whether I am "sincere" or "insincere" [or mean or nice]? What does this have to do with whether or not my thoughts are right? I can utter a soaring truth "insincerely" and say the stupidest thing "sincerely". Learn to judge the thought independently of who says it or how."

— Witold Gombrowicz, Diary


"The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine."

— Ralph Waldo Emerson


"The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. A second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. A first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking."

— A.A. Milne


"Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers."

— Mignon McLaughlin

Mars-Saturn Square Full Moon and Mercury Retrograde in Aries

This is a particularly strong Mars-Saturn conjunction, for Mars just being in Capricorn, Saturn's sign, is itself a "Mars-Saturn" motif. Coupled with an actual conjunction with Saturn, this makes for one of those high-potency, "double-whammy" alignments. With the square to the Full Moon, what Mars-Saturn represents is a big part of this month's overall purpose, revealing issues that are "up for us" — especially important to focus on, resolve and correct. Let's look at what Mars and Saturn indicate when locked in "embrace" while squaring a Full Moon and Mercury retrograde in Aries.

WHENEVER SATURN IS AN ACTIVE FORCE, as it is now, aspecting Sun, Moon, Mercury and Mars, we are likely to face important tests, difficulties and challenges. Saturn always reveals where deep wounds and pain can harbor, where lessons yet unlearned lurk and ghosts of the past return. Saturn also restricts and inhibits, and when Mars conjoins with the Lord of Karma, we often experience difficulties in the expression of Mars assertion: problems with the healthy expression of the personal will, adequate self-defense, and the ability to Mercury Retrograde in Aries prods us to examine how far we have veered from this important ability to THINK FOR OURSELVES, to not get swept up in majority opinion, to have the courage to stand for our convictions when that is necessary.fulfill one's own interests and passions, to defend what is right from what is wrong.

All of this forms the "stuff of" important challenge and opportunities for growth over the next several days as the conjunction approaches exact while a Full Moon and Mercury increase the potency. A wall or two may materialize in some area of your life: an obligation could stop you, an adversary — or your own fears that can keep you from thinking straight, or even just plain thinking for yourself adequately. Mercury Retrograde in Aries prods us to examine how far we have veered from this important ability to THINK FOR OURSELVES, to not get swept up blindly (or lazily) in majority opinion, to muster the courage to stand for ourselves, stand for our convictions when that is necessary.

Aspects between Mars and Saturn have long been associated with a kind of paralysis of the individual will and a difficulty fully asserting the self. Particularly so with this one squaring the Sun and Mercury in independent Aries from status quo Capricorn. Tension with authority figures could arise, issues and struggles that may reflect old childhood battles in which your ability to assert yourself, exercise your will, express a dissenting opinion, was thwarted in some way.

This Full Moon may bring all of this to a head in some way. When fears arise, push through them, detach and think it through, and stand your ground when you need to, don't give in when you shouldn't! So much that is wrong is committed in the name of "saving" the peace, "diffusing" a situation, avoiding that boat rocking. When we do this, succumb to fears, we lie to ourselves and others, and wrap ourselves in a shroud of philosophical self-justifications, to avoid the risk once more. Even blaming, criticizing and slappling the wrists of others who do dare, who have the courage to stand alone and speak out. Watch out for this in yourself and others right now.

pic Mars-Saturn is associated with the scapegoat, being blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others. The central life lesson and higher purpose it seems with Mars-Saturn, especially one that squares a New Mercury in Aries, is the quest to connect with and be guided by YOUR OWN INNER AUTHORITY, to think for your own bloody self, and to heal and release the need to either dominate or control others — or allow them to dominate and control YOU.

Operating at its best Mars-Saturn inspires prudent action, cautious daring, and strong self-discipline: a mature ability to control and direct the will so that the achievement of truly great things over the long term is possible. Saturn is the manifesting agent in astrology, and when coupled with and empowered by Mars, provides powerful motivation for us to accomplish something practical and realistic. In many ways, this Full Moon square Mars-Saturn foreshadows what is to come this summer when Mars will enter into its own retrograde cycle beginning in Aquarius and ending in Saturn-ruled Capricorn, a cycle that will coincide with eclipse season.

Mars-Saturn will climb mountains if that's what it takes to attain goals and ambitions. We just need to take a moment and reflect at base camp to be sure that the mountain we are climbing is OUR CHOICE and that we are not merely functioning as a Sherpa for someone else's dreams. Or worse than that, an unwitting tool for wrong doing, evil even.

Tolkien's view of evil was a moral vacuum, a lack of independent life. The people of Tolkien's generation had a problem identifying evil. They had no trouble recognizing it, they had to live through it. The interesting thing is it seemed to be carried out by entirely normal people.

The nature of evil in the 20th century is curiously impersonal. It's as if nobody particularly wants to do it, and you get the major atrocities of the 20th century being carried out by bureaucrats. Well the people who do that are wraiths. They've gone through the wraithing process. They don't know what's good and evil anymore. It's become a job or a routine. And what that says is it could be you, and in fact, under the right circumstances, or the wrong circumstances, it will be you.

— Patrick Curry, Tolkien scholar



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The Patrick Curry statement on Tolkien's view of evil, a major theme in the Lord of the Rings, I transcribed from an interview included in the extras on the LOTR "Fellowship of the Ring" DVD.

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