Aquarius - Me and My Tribe

by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #81, February 3, 2004
Aquarius/Leo Full Moon

The Full Moon in Leo is just after midnight February 5, 2004 (00:46am PST February 6). The Leo Moon/Aquarius Sun opposition at the Full Moon is an opportune time to explore further the topic Set Yourself Free. Last time we discussed the importance of neutrally acknowledging the givens in our lives. Our soul has chosen a set of circumstances and personal qualities this lifetime. We can't change them. The first prerequisite for a happy life is to accept who we are. This makes it possible to more fully explore the possibilities where we are at choice and to embrace our gifts and challenges.

Our soul has chosen to learn certain lessons and to have certain human experiences. The energies and dynamics of our unique configuration will be played out either as fate or as destiny. I define fate as what happens to us if we lead a passive life, and let our decisions be determined by external authorities. Unconscious drifter/victim would be the unempowered archetype for someone who has an attitude of resignation and an unevolved will.

Fate or Destiny

We are all dealt a hand of cards. The extent to which we let others and circumstances determine how we play our cards, determines where we live on the scale of fate and destiny. We unconsciously let our fate happen. We consciously create our destiny. The development of destiny is a creative act.(1) Our personal destiny evolves through our responses to the givens in our lives. Our response-ability, or ability to respond, is our destiny ace card.

The ability to respond takes awareness and work. We have to identify and deal with our weaknesses, in order to build a strong inner core. We have to befriend our fears to build a foundation of courage. We have to identify our likes and dislikes to know how to make choices. We have to know what motivates us, what makes us happy, and what gives us satisfaction, to recognize what we will and won't do.

One of the major themes of the human journey is to evolve from the fate to the destiny mode of living our lives. To do so, we must individuate and define our identity, independent of tribal categories and pressures.

Individuation and Self-Actualization

Studying our personal horoscope is an extremely useful tool, for getting acquainted with our givens and the resources available to deal with them. Knowing the signs and house placements of the planets, gives us a road map of what energies are being played out in what arenas of life. Each one of us is unique, so only we can know how we really desire to utilize our gifts. The good news is that we can and do know, if we take the time to separate ourselves from herd mentality, and listen to our hearts. Aquarius and its ruler Uranus facilitate the separation process, referred to as individuation and self-actualization.

Individuation requires establishing a sense of self. Self-actualization requires letting go of the limits of our personality based ego, and identifying with the bigger I. Leo and the Sun represent the development of a personal presence. Uranus represents the forces that wake us up to our illusions of certainty. Just when we think we get a handle on who we are and are just a little too cocky, outside Uranian shocks blow our cover and our cool.

The Leo/Aquarius dynamic at the Full Moon is a play between certainty and uncertainty. Leo encourages us to be solid within ourselves, take a stand for ourselves and be creatively ME. Aquarius spells uncertainty. The dance is about reality. What is real? Who is real? Uranus is about the evolution of the consciousness of Self. Who we are and life itself are a mystery. Uranian shocks open our mind, expand our awareness. In the process our mind becomes less attached to being sure and right. When we are relieved of the mental anguish created by the illusionary need for certainty, we are freed to enjoy a sense of wonder for who we are, for existential life, and for the unfoldment of our own unique creation.

Our soul hungers to experience this sense of wonder about life, the Universe and ourselves. The freedom we crave, is to be able to have these experiences unrestricted by our own ego, externally imposed mindsets, and acquired dogma. Our soul, aided by life experiences, prods us to become more and more sovereign, and to establish our individual consciousness independent of our tribe, so that we can experience life from the dimension of wonderment, beyond human explanations, and categorizations.

Outside Shocks, Freedom and Oppression

Life is filled with outside shocks that are beyond the creation of the ego. Well-timed evolutionary triggers awaken us to deeper transpersonal mysteries. The transpersonal planets that symbolize different aspects of the awakening process are Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Transpersonal means that our ego can't deal with these events and awakenings alone. Forces beyond our ego create these shocks that are needed for our evolution and healing. Transpersonal also indicates that our soul hungers for these deeper experiences. Studying the transits of the planets in our birth chart, the house and sign, helps us identify where and how to address our transpersonal needs.

The mission of Uranus is to expand our consciousness. Uranus is about the evolution of consciousness of Self.

The outside shocks with a Uranian flavor are synchronized to jolt us whenever and wherever we are suffering from illusions of excessive certainly.(2) Uranian shocks wake us up to what is oppressing us. Uranus transits, and the period when the Sun is in Aquarius (January 20 - February 17th), often trigger rebelliousness and criticalness. The fundamental theme is oppression and freedom. Our freedom depends upon how we respond to real and perceived oppression. We are bound by what we resist, so resistance and aggression will aggravate our perceived oppression.

We have to know what is oppressing us to do something about it. We have to identify the source of the oppression. To do so, we need to acknowledge that what we perceive as externally imposed is also internally accepted, or it would have no power over us. We have to be able to identify the oppression of religious and cultural dogmas, and admit how we have allowed ourselves to be conditioned by external authorities. We have to learn to distinguish between what we blindly accept as true and what is our own personal truth. Freedom requires the ability to make our own choices. Real choice necessitates being able to follow our heart, independent of external pressures.

We mature and individuate as we define and develop our responses on our own terms, and as we gain personal accountability for our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and actions.(3) Our progress is determined by the degree of our resistance, ignorance, immaturity, and level of denial. The more open we are, the more we are able to listen to and be guided by our intuitive knowing. The more we trust ourselves, the more autonomous we become.

Contribution, Not Control

A primary Aquarian theme is individuation, the process of identifying our distinct and unique self. To individuate, we have to separate ourselves from our family's, cultural, peer, and society's view and messages of who we should be. Untangling ourselves from group definitions, of who we should be and what we should do with our lives, is complicated at best. There is little cultural and institutional support for this challenging process.

The goal is not mindless rebellion and destructive revolution. Aquarius is ultimately very supportive of the whole. In fact, Aquarius embodies the concept of community, and acknowledges our basic need for community. But its approach is radically different from the traditional tribal mentality. Aquarius sees the whole built on the solid foundation of individual contribution, not on the control of individuals through rules, laws and judgmental moral codes. Aquarius redefines how we relate to the whole. Our uniqueness, not our subservience, is what is valuable. Aquarian energy encourages the evolution of individual consciousness, not to isolate us from our tribe, but to build a community that supports us, in offering our creative gifts to the whole. Thus one of the basic themes of the transition from the Piscean to the Aquarian Age is the building of institutions that authentically support, not manipulate and control, individuals.

Tribal Instincts

Tribal instinct that inclines us to conform to consensus and collective reality, and to do our best to fit in, is very powerfully anchored in our collective psyche. Lest we be too hard on ourselves about the difficulties we encounter in being authentic and listening to ourselves, it is important to put this theme into historical perspective. The idea of individuals separating themselves from the collective mind, and tribal structures, is a very recent phenomenon in human history. The ideas that each individual has rights, and that social restrictions can adversely affect men and women, are very new concepts, which interestingly coincide with the discovery of Uranus in the late 18th century.

It was only about 220 years ago that humanity came up with the French Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence, Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Women, Rousseau's notion of the noble savage and the corrupting influence of society and cities on human nature, and the idea that power could be shared and flow up from the individual at the bottom - all date from that time.(4)

Two hundred years is a drop in the bucket in the scheme of human evolution. No wonder our instincts, hormones and reptile brain all still compute tribe. Carl Jung remarked that if we were to scratch the surface of modern human mind, we would find a collective unconscious, where the medieval mindset is alive and active. Your inner caveman or woman is still very, very nervous about doing anything that might get you kicked out of your tribe.(5)

Calls to Freedom

When the Sun is in Aquarius and during Uranus transits our impulses are activated to individuate, to become more independent and to question the restrictive dictates of our tribe. We must do battle with the tribal instinct in order to evolve, both individually and collectively. We know that to grow we must follow our own hearts, and go against external advise to the contrary.

We are often challenged by our tribe mates, who are not happy with our behavior, and disagree with our decisions. They openly or covertly pressure us to conform, rather than evolve. These growth periods breed inner conflict. Instinctively we fear exile, censorship and punishment, for daring to have our own voice. The possibility of rejection makes us anxious. At the same time, our souls' need to be their own boss uncovers feelings of rebellion. In our hearts we know we will feel better when we allow more of true nature to be expressed, and emerge and develop our individual approach to life and living.

Those with an Aquarius Sun, Moon, Ascendant, or multiple planets in Aquarius or the 11th house, are innately rebellious and independent, and have a visceral aversion to tribal dictates. Aquarians are less conflicted about the individuation process. They are wired differently. They know that they have a responsibility to themselves to express their uniqueness, and that this is a requirement for their optimum sanity and soul growth. In addition, they are on a mission. They know that the more they express their individuality, the more they help other individuals to progress, and the human species to evolve.

Everyone responds differently to these calls to freedom. Those who are very sensitive and afraid may allow themselves to be more malleable (and codependent.) Those who are innately more dutiful and responsible may feel comfortable and secure playing by the tribal rules. The restless amongst us may over-respond and not even know why. Each one of us must figure out for ourselves how to set ourselves free on a firm foundation of personal sovereignty. The ultimate test is our ability to relax and enjoy ourselves and our lives.

Dealing with Our Inner Voices

It is important to recognize, accept, AND EXPERIENCE the anxiety that is caused by a tension between our souls' need to individuate and tribal messages that discourage us to do so. Our internal inquiry requires monitoring our inner voices and personal responses. There are (at least) two voices: our soul voice and the voice of our tribe. The latter we have incorporated in our psyche as duty, obligations, fear, shame, guilt and blame. We have to learn to distinguish between the two.

The collective conscious can control and command our immediate attention. However, when you slow down and are lovingly with yourself, what else is trying to get your attention? Examine what feels authentic and what feels false, by monitoring feelings of tension, resistance and relaxation, and letting go in your body.

In your meditative self-inquiry, ask yourself the following questions. Do you feel that pressure to conform is coming from yourself or others? What are you afraid of? If you are afraid of displeasing others (many of us are), ask yourself whether you prefer to displease others or yourself. How does doing what is right for YOU feel?

The Process of Evolution

Evolution is inevitable. When a certain issue is up for examination, it will not disappear, even if we go into denial and try to ignore it. The energy demanding attention will not go away. It has to manifest and be expressed. In the case of Uranian and Aquarian energy, we can respond consciously by claiming more of our true identity (and enjoying ourselves as we bloom). Otherwise that rebellious, independent, evolutionary fuel will get displaced in some symbolic rebellion or a wake-up call(6) (accident, job loss, relationship breakup), where we are not in charge of the process. Unexpected, sudden events are usually soul set-ups, that respond to needs that we are unconsciously or passively resisting. Better to be actively engaged than just let things happen to us.

We are all magnets for the raw material that we need in order to grow.(7) Tyrants appear to tell us what to do and to question our choices. These external mirrors are often reflections of our own duality, and disappear when we achieve inner clarity. We grow by questioning external authority, coming up with our own heart-felt decisions, and holding our own ground. One patient step at a time, we train ourselves to think for ourselves.

Change takes time. We can't declare our independence, establish our inner authority and mutate on command, but we can choose to participate and enjoy our own personal evolutionary process.

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Kundalini Yoga - Listen to Your Heartbeat

Self-examination of the issues raised in this issue is an important part of our individuation process, yet mental discussion is insufficient. A permanent internal shift requires listening to another voice - OUR HEART!

There is a simple meditation that instructs us simply to listen to our heart beat.(8)

Sit is a comfortable position with a straight spine. With the four fingers of the right hand, feel the pulse on the inside of the left wrist. Place the fingers in a straight line, lightly, so that you can feel the pulse in each fingertip. Focus the lightly closed eyes at the brow point (between the eyebrows.) On each beat of the heart mentally hear the sound SAT NAM.

Simply be present, and listen to and feel the pulse of your heartbeat. Hearing SAT NAM comes naturally after you have established your attention on the pulse. Sometimes people can't connect with their pulse in this way. Find a place where you can connect with your pulse without straining.

To cultivate awareness of your heartbeat, turn your attention to your heart at other times of the day. During the practice of any Kundalini Yoga set, take time between every exercise to listen to your heartbeat. Feeling your heart is especially easy after more aerobic exercises, during emotional reactions and shocking events. Listen from your neutral mind.(9) Simply be present and attentive. Know that your heart has something special to communicate to you. When you are authentically available and truly listening, it will speak to you in its own special way.

References and Footnotes

"Outside Shocks, the Timing of Outer Planet Transits", Antero Alli, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #113, Feb/March 2004 pp. 43-48.

"Uranus Transits", Jodie Forrest, pp. 49-55+ The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #113, Feb/March 2004.

1. Alli, p. 43.
2. Alli, p. 44.
3. Alli, p. 43.
4. Forrest, p.51-2.
5. Forrest, p.52.
6. Forrest, p.54.
7. Forrest, p.54.
8. Meditation for Concentration in Action in Relax and Renew 2nd Edition, Guru Rattana, Ph.D. p. 141.
9. There is a series of meditations for cultivating the neutral mind in Transitions to a Heart-Centered World


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