On Friday, a lunar eclipse in Cancer marks a point of change, of culmination, of upheaval. This eclipse might bring unexpected news and hidden truths to light. It could open the door for the changes that you haven’t felt ready for but that you’ve desperately needed. Real change is rarely easy, but you can’t ignore or refuse it; you can only keep living.
When this much is happening all around you — when the world is so full of arguments, and your head so full of noise — it can be hard to keep track of it all, hard to keep your wits about you. Remind yourself, when you start to doubt, that it is still possible to keep a clear head. This doesn’t mean you have to remain cool and serene. Sometimes clear-headedness is fiery, fast-moving, and unafraid. You know what your values are, and you can let them keep guiding you, even through these strange, chaotic days.
When other people underestimate you, you might find yourself lowering your expectations of yourself to match theirs. It’s easier than fighting to make them see you in all your power. This week, though, don’t expect little of yourself just because other people seem to. Don’t want less for yourself just because others act like that’s all you deserve. This week, it’s possible to surprise other people, and to surprise yourself in the process.
It can be so easy to feel like you’re completely alone, even among people who love you; easy to feel like you’re untethered from the natural world, even as the spinning Earth shapes your days and nights. This week, though, is for combating your feelings of alienation and distance from the rest of the world. Pay attention, and you’ll start noticing small moments of connection with the Earth and the people on it. You’ll start noticing all the ways you aren’t alone, the ways you’re connected to magic that’s ancient and wild and bigger than you are.
It’s so difficult to feel like you’re ever doing enough to heal the aching world, difficult not to take on everyone’s pain as though it’s your own. This week, remind yourself that you aren’t responsible for treating every wound, or witnessing every violent act, or fixing the damage all on your own. This doesn’t mean you should ignore the world around you, only that it’s okay to turn to your neighbors and friends, to the people down the street. It’s okay to use your love actively, concretely, right here where you live.
It’s possible, of course, for powers bigger than you to influence the material facts of your life. That’s true for everyone, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to hide. This week, your task is to fight for your thoughts and desires to remain free. You don’t have to let the powerful tell you what to want or how to feel. You can think rebelliously and you can desire wildly, with abandon. So many of your choices are limited by forces outside your control, but the space inside your head belongs to you.
This week, your task is not to let fear take root in your heart, not to let it make you — or the people you care about — turn defensive and cruel. It’s easy to start catastrophizing, easy to see threats everywhere you turn, easy to forget about the softness that still exists. This week, think realistically about what you really do have to lose, and what you don’t. Think, too, about the world you have to gain. When you see the stakes clearly, you can make choices not out of fear but out of courage and clarity.
It can feel a little strange to still care about beauty while the world is burning. It can feel a little unseemly still to turn toward harmony and light, while cruelty rages all around you. But beauty does, in the end, still belong to you. You don’t have to turn from art and from love; you don’t have to harden your heart against everything good and sweet. Your job isn’t to turn cruel and unfeeling to match the world around you. Rather, it’s to do your best to create a world still worth living in.
This week, don’t convince yourself that it’s irresponsible to believe in yourself, in other people, in the future. Don’t convince yourself that it’s naïve to fight for something better. The truth is that it’s possible to defy everyone’s expectations. It’s possible to surprise everybody who thought they could treat you like you didn’t matter at all. This isn’t about waiting for a miracle or hoping to get rescued — this is about using your sharp mind and watchful heart to see the world in all its sheer badness, and still choose to do something about it.
Sometimes, you don’t give yourself enough credit for your courage — you tell yourself that you’re not doing anything special at all, just living your life the only way you know how. But the courage you possess is remarkable, wise and unruly, and it’s worth learning how to appreciate it for what it is. If you can see your bravery clearly — if you can understand its power and its value — then it’s that much harder for anyone to steal it from you. It’s that much harder for them to convince you it’s worthless, or that it never existed at all.
It’s possible that you’ve traveled as far as you can with the map you’ve been using. It’s possible that from here on out, you’ll need a different set of strategies, a different set of tools. This can feel frightening at first, like the marker of a sad ending, but like all endings, it’s a beginning as well. There’s new terrain stretching out in front of you; there are new possibilities calling your name. If you’re willing to keep changing, if you’re willing to learn new ways of living, you can grow stronger than you ever were before.
Even if you can’t see the path out of this darkness right now, it’s still worth living as though that path exists. Even if, right now, you can’t envision a magic strong enough to make the world less awful than this, it’s still worth living as though you can. You don’t need to carry a clear picture of utopia in your mind at all times, and you don’t need to know, step by step, how you’ll build it. Imagination might fail you sometimes, but doing the work never will.
It’s entirely reasonable, sometimes, to relate to the world with fear, with uncertainty, with pain. The present is strange and ruthless, and the future clouded and unclear. There’s nothing wrong with fear, exactly, if you can manage not to let it dictate the terms of your life, or make you forget your own humanity. You’re still alive right now, and your heart is still beating. You still know how to feel, and there are people all around you who need you, people all around you worth loving with all you have.