When I was in my teens, my mother had this affirmation taped to the wall in our bathroom. It read: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I’m not sure who it was that first coined this phrase, but it was a quote that had been popular among those in the Narcotics Anonymous fellowship, to which my mother belonged. I used to read these words to myself day after day, wondering if insanity was indeed like the hamster wheel this statement, up on our wall, had made it out to be. Having watched my mom hit the tortuous loop between addiction and wanting freedom from that addiction, I figured that in many ways this was true. While I’ve since grown up to understand addiction as extending beyond the narrow and ableist connotations of the term insanity, I do think there is something to be said about wanting change yet engaging compulsive or habitual behavior that changes…nothing.
Enter the Full Moon in Capricorn (July 19).
By nature, Capricorn loves habit. In habit, there is logic and there is order, there is security and the familiar, there is a sense of practice that makes perfect, there is structure and there is method. Through Capricorn, we learn how persistence, planning, and application creates the kind of foundation that empires and legacies are built on. Wherever Capricorn shows up in our lives, we are called to follow the due process that brings achievement and success. But what happens when we’ve outgrown the process? What happens when we’ve hit the point of no one size fits all portion of the program and we realize that we can’t get to where we want by following in the footsteps of someone else? Or better still, what happens when we have the kind of goals and ambitions to change our lives as we know them but continue on with the beliefs and habits that keep things the same? We have to be willing to try something new.
This Moon in Capricorn is being opposed by the Sun in Cancer (which makes it a Full Moon) and both will sit in a harsh angle to Uranus in Aries. Uranus, being the planet of breakthrough, instability, and radical change (transiting a headstrong and impulsive sign like Aries), means that there’s going to be an unsettling kind of energy that’s coming in with this moon. While Cancer is Capricorn’s astrological opposite, the two of these signs still share a need for security and stability. For Capricorn it’s material stability, for Cancer it’s emotional security. Though, like Capricorn, Cancer can instinctively fall back on habit and comfort when its security is threatened as a means to keep things as they are—stable. And this is where the real work comes in, kiddos. How are we supposed to remain stable when the world around us is crumbling to bits? The answer is that in some ways we must crumble along with it. We must be willing to release the dead, decayed, and outworn structures in our lives so that we can build new ones that can better support the “I” and the “We” that we are becoming. As astrologer Howard Sasportas writes in his book The Twelve Houses:
“The desire to become something greater than we are must be accompanied by the capacity to envision new and different possibilities. More than any other species, the large human brain and evolved cerebral cortex endows human beings to imagine a wide range of alternatives, choices, and outcomes…In this context, it is helpful to remember that the more clearly we can imagine a possibility, the closer we bring it to actualization. Encouraging positive visions of the future aids the process of moving in a more positive direction.”
In other words, we can’t continue to do the same thing over and over, expecting different results.
Luckily, that’s where Mars in Scorpio comes in, offering a bit of a release valve or a way out of the madness we may find ourselves in. Through the fearlessness, dedication, and laser focus of Mars in Scorpio, we are encouraged to strike out on a new path towards what we want. Are you ready? Life is changing as we know it. We must be able to change with it.