Lost, and Found


Somewhere between January 1st and now, I got lost.

It's probably been a simple case of the horrible cold, followed in too-close proximity by a repeat performance of the even more horrible cold…

… and a mere month-and-a-half into the new year, I've spent two full weeks sick as a dog, absent of all motivation, and confused by which heaping stack of unfinished business I should attack first.

This wasn't how it was supposed to go. As an avid astrology-watcher, I'd been eagerly anticipating the six-week transit of Mars through my sign (Aquarius), my once-every-two-years injection of physical energy and initiative that typically grants me the passing power to outrun locomotives and leap tall buildings in a single bound. Not this time, alas. Just as I felt my engines revving into high gear, down fell the sickness. Twice.

I guess my wishful thinking had me forgetting the fact that Mars is also traditionally considered a harbinger of obstacles, frustrations and physical problems. Mars's excess of coursing energetic currents can not only invigorate us, but sometimes overwhelm us with its high-octane rhythms. For those of us less equipped to handle such a strong Mars influence (and let's just say, I've got 'Mars issues'), there's a fine line separating 'riding high' from 'melting down'.

Mars has been traveling within five degrees of conjunction to the Sun for about a month now, emphasizing the warrior-god's take-no-prisoners action orientation more than usual. When the Sun and Mars are conjoined, a fight-or-flight instinct takes precedence over softer, sweeter manners of trying to get what we want. We have a hard time accepting 'no' when we hear it. We push beyond usual limits, even if it means we'll transcend what's considered polite or appropriate.

As the sign of this recent conjunction has been Aquarius (where Mercury's also been traveling), this pushiness may disguise itself under the auspices of an 'evolved' intellectualism, or could appear less self-serving due to its 'what best serves us all' rhetoric. But regardless of the trappings, it still is what it is—a moment in which assertiveness has reigned triumphant, with those unwilling to take charge at something of a disadvantage.

For me, perhaps the pressure I laid on myself to produce superhuman results at this busy time of year led to the bodily revolt. When that Sun-Mars energy gets turned in ourselves, through a refusal to concede that the real world isn't operating according to the perfectly efficient vision in our heads, we essentially become the grounds for the battle. Even as I type, I feel the germs continuing to punch at me from inside… and hell, I'm supposedly on the mend already. Experiencing the disorientation of having been divorced from my workload priority list due to illness, I struggle to pull myself out of the dark place. And here my body has merely asked me to take some time away from the whirring to heal. Can I find the necessary compassion to wander aimlessly for a smidgeon longer, faithful that time has not been 'wasted' on this surrender to my humanity?

For all the 'hurry up and go' that, at least in my case, led to the 'hurry up and stop', the astrological weather now headed our way seems ideal for such surrender and self-forgiveness. This week, the Sun, Mars and Mercury, which have been traveling together through Aquarius, all enjoy conjunctions with Neptune… an aspect that 'impairs' their ability to be as sharply intent on hitting certain targets, while simultaneously easing up on ego-driven expectations that things should go a specific way by a specific time. Neptune, the great unifier, ought to help us (and me?) accept the possibility that feeling 'lost' is sometimes the only way we find our divine footing. Lacking the tokens of tangible clarity or success, all we're able to do is exist in our modest capabilities. And maybe it's the sentiments of mutual caring, understanding and grace expressed to us by others that really mark us as 'successful', not whether we've finished pricing the inventory, redesigning the website or filing our taxes? That's what I'm hoping.

Shortly thereafter, by early next week, this trio of planets will have entered Pisces, a zodiac zone where sympathy and imagination are more valuable currency than winning solutions or perfect scores. From this place, we must cut ourselves a wide berth of compassion for our insecurities, lest we squander the Piscean transits on feeling sorry for ourselves, digging deeper into the hole. For this multi-Aquarian, the very concentration of planets I eagerly courted into my sign, I will now fondly bid farewell to for now… praying that getting myself off the astrological hot-seat will ease me back into physical wellness.

Chronic significance-maker that I am, I sit here, between coughs, and ponder what I may've gained from this discouraging year so far… and I cannot turn away from the conclusion that I really give myself a hard time when I'm not performing to the (unreasonable?) standards I set for myself. Anybody who regularly reads the articles I write on this site will recognize this thematic strand. From here, I now begin to make tiny moves to 'find' myself again, knowing I will likely feel lost for a little while more.

Or maybe I was never 'lost' at all—and I'm just realizing this unproductive existential blob that took over my body is as much 'me' as the astrological entrepreneurial powerhouse I prefer to identify with. Under the coming Piscean vibe, I aim to merge these unnecessarily separated beings into one.