131: READ THE SMALL PRINT!
WED 13 JUL 19:37 - This month's moon howl checking its contracts....
Midsummer's solstice has been and gone but for most of us in the northern hemisphere, the summer hols have yet to kick fully into gear. Schools are about to finish for the academic year and the potential for long lazy days and nights, punctuated by the minor irritation of our children, still lies just ahead.
This week's Capricorn Full Moon gives us plenty to contemplate whilst dozing on our sun loungers by the pool, on the beach or simply in our sweltering back yards. As we try to keep our cool over the next couple of weeks, there is likely to be a simmering heatwave of tension between our family and professional lives; our intimate domesticity and public persona, and this moon invites us to develop a healthy balance between the two.
For cosmological reference, each full moon provides a dynamic axis across the heavens between the exactly opposed positions of Sun and Moon. The resulting energetic tension between our closest moon and star in two opposing astrological houses (with Earth somewhere inbetween) is said to be of major influence during each full moon period.
This week, while the Moon sits in Capricorn (careers), her beautiful full face is illumined by the Sun lounging directly opposite in Cancer (home and family). However, the burning tensions might be felt most acutley between the hardworking, ambitious nature of Capricorn and the often dependent, clingy, security loving Cancer. That lazy dependency in the stifling coming days might well lead to another Cancer trait: resentment, should any of our home loving securities be taken away.
Which leads me to the current fiasco in British Politics surrounding the deceitful incompetence, lack of integrity and blithe disregard for law displayed by the current crop of UK Government ministers. Boris Johnson's perpetual fibbing has finally seen him hoisted by his own petard. He has resigned as British prime minister but seems intent on holding on to his post, along with all his ministerial privileges, until after his summer hols.
Hopefully, the now ex-prime minister will have his remaining toys taken away (including the infamous £3,675 Nureyev drinks trolley) before he can successfully smash or throw them out of his 10 Downing Street pram. His biographer Tom Bower suggested, "He is going to have a very tough time of reckoning in the coming days and weeks. Psychologically, the threat of homelessness, not having all the flunkies, not having power, not having Chequers (the British prime minister's enormous freebie stately home in Buckinghamshire) and not having authority is going to hit him very badly." Personally, I'm finding sympathy hard to come by.
But we don't need to have huge, generationally bestowed privilege nor be a self styled 'man of the people' whilst clinging to the elite, to share last week's abiding lunar theme in Westminster. Under this Capricorn Full Moon we may have to accept (hopefully with more humility than exercised by Johnson) that many of the things we thought we could take for granted in life are going to be forcibly taken away from us if we don't have the good sense to give them up first.
And this isn't a scenario peculiar to Britain and it's increasingly disunited kingdom. Internationally, the political and economic systems we have been banking on (quite literally), continue to willfully lay the planet to waste whilst lying egregiously, just like their poisonous spawn Boris, about doing so. Those systems, like the ideology upon which they were built, are in free fall; no longer fit for purpose and, even with drastic intervention and governance, it may already be too late to arrest the humanitarian disaster currently unfolding under free market influence.
While our latter day Nero Boris and his cast of entitled blithering idiots preside clueless over the capitalist sacking of their Rome, the 'security' of British democracy and its capacity to deal with the tragic, crucial issues of our day, has been critically undermined. Like Trump before him, Boris has had to be dragged from the executive privilege of power kicking and screaming like a spoilt child, but not before both indulged brats were able to cause grievous damage to the foundations (however flawed) of their respective, supposedly fair, just and free societies. (National Centre for Social Research - 'Fairness and Justice in Britain' 2020 Report)
At a time on our planet where fair and just societies appear to be a footnote in some distantly told fairy tale, we are at an unprecedented junction in human and planetary history: we either continue on our current path, hellbent on central bank sanctioned planetary destruction or we chart a revised course toward a sustainable future in the hope that the damage we have already wreaked can be limited.
Post pandemic divisions between the haves and have nots are widening; the heavily policed borders separating wealthy nations from those most acutely affected by war, famine and climate disaster, reinforced. On behalf of their populations, the richest Governments aim to retain what law enforced economics has them believe is rightfully theirs, even if historically accrued by colonial pillage, theft, racism, genocide, sexual violence and slavery. The fear of successful legal claims made by poorer nations for national compensation is rife amongst governments of the G7.
And is there not a dilute reflection of that protectionist model in our own personal lives? Do we not strenuously defend our own material gains, inherited or earned by whatever means, for the benefit of our own families over those who might truly be in need? As the climate crisis starts to encroach on our own privileged lives (France, Spain and Italy in drought; searing 'heat dome' temperatures across the US and extensive flooding in Australia) will we have already dismissed the lives lost in the poorest nations as the sad collateral damage of our war on the planet and each other - a series of unfortunate events over which we had no control?
This Capricorn Full Moon provides a timely window in which to examine the allegorical small print in our life contracts: social and personal; professional and familial; international and local, to which previously we paid scant attention. What are the consequences of our behaviour today, however historically rubber stamped or culturally entrenched? How conditional are our contracts to serve, honour and respect our planet and fellow inhabitants? What can we do, what changes can we make in our conscious life choices to prevent further suffering?
This is a moon that begs us to renegotiate the terms and conditions of our personal engagement with our planet and each other, employing every thought, word and deed to bring benefit to All, not just a privileged few. The ever generous natural world has given unconditionally to humankind. It has birthed and nurtured our evolution. Our health is inextricably linked to nature's well being yet humanity takes more than it needs with negligible intent to give anything regenerative back.
Earth's soil is poisoned and depleted of nutrients; her forests are burning and shrinking; her oceans are over fished, polluted, coral and sea life dwindling and dying; her rivers full of sewage and hormones; her air thick with toxic micro plastics, now prevalent in human placenta. If there are micro plastics in the blood and organs of the newborn folks, it's a safe bet to assume they're in all of ours - a health time-bomb of uncertain fallout currently primed to explode.
New terms and conditions need to be applied to the critical demands of these emerging circumstances. A new contract needs to be written in which we become the arbiters of our own binding small print with the planet. A new banner headline clause might read: USE LESS THEN GIVE UP SOMETHING ELSE! under which could run the fine detail of necessary commitments to eat less meat while supporting local organic farming/horticulture; to buy less new stuff; to insulate our homes; to tend an allotment or garden for organic home grown food without using peat based compost and chemical fertilisers; to avoid purchasing plastics and man made fibres; to fly less frequently or not at all; to minimise the use of cars in favour of walking and public transport; to drive slower to save fuel; to constantly find ways to reduce, reuse and recycle; to use toxin free cleaning products, shampoos, soaps and cosmetics; to refill rather than replace; to use natural flea treatments on our pets rather than nerve agent insecticides; to avoid ALL use of insecticides; to engage with and create local community initiatives to address the climate crisis on our doorsteps....and the rest. But, without selflessly motivated, well informed Governance supporting personal behavioural shifts as simple as these with wider societal restrictions and policy, the consumerist juggernaut of unsustainable economic growth will thunder on towards oblivion.
The choice under this Capricorn Full Moon is stark. Unless we develop a sustainable balance between our conditional desire to get stuff for the minimum effort or expense and our diminishing human capacity to serve each other and our planet unconditionally, we're heading for some even darker days ahead.
That small print is writ large across the planet... everywhere. To ignore the evidence; the already significant suffering, is to stain ourselves with the same manipulative, disceptive brush wielded by Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. Inveterate liars both, they have reneged on nearly every contract that didn't suit their self-serving, delusional narrative. Should we stand accused of the same?
Under this Capricorn Full moon, let's commit to an immediate integrity of thought, word and action that can help provide a secure, sustainable future for generations to come.
NB: Apparently Boris' wife has a two bedoom flat in Camberwell, so at least the Johnson family won't be homeless while the planet burns.
watercolour 18 X 14cm 2022
A few people have asked me to include a practical, step by step guide to mindfulness/meditation. I maintain that the process is very simple. The stumbling block for most folks is not how to do it but how to maintain the discipline to really attain full benefit. Regular practice, even for 5 minutes morning and evening will bring almost instant results. Further progress naturally comes with further discipline - a few extra minutes each day as feels comfortable.
Recommended as you first rise in the morning or just before you retire to bed in the evening...or both.
Switch off the devices - no distractions.
If necessary, let others in your household know that you do not wish to be disturbed for a short while.
Create a quiet, relaxed space with a chair in which you can sit comfortably with a straight back (option to light a candle/incense should you wish. Wrap yourself in a blanket if it feels right).
Sit with a straight back and concentrate solely on your breathing until your thoughts start to slow down.
Don't beat yourself up if your uncontrolled thoughts keep distracting you - just acknowledge those thoughts, observe their origins and swiftly return your concentration to the breath....quite literally the physical sensations of breathing in and out and only this.
When the mind finally calms (5 -10 mins), i.e. when the gaps between thoughts get noticeably longer, a spaciousness may be experienced.
Where are you in relation to that space?
Listen carefully for any words, messages or feelings that may (or may not) arise in the space.
Relax and dwell in the spaciousness as long as feels comfortable, returning concentration to the breath when thought intermittently arises.
To finish, gratefully acknowledge that spaciousness as your own: a safe, happy, healthy and, above all, peaceful space to which you can return at any time simply by focusing on your breath.
Return to the awareness of your body, surroundings and your day to day activities, hopefully imbued with peace.
You have begun to enjoy and picture "a love of already satisfied desire." (Albert Einstein)
It's better than telly.
DO give this practice a regular spot in your daily digital diary.
DO make a quick note of anything unusual you experienced during the meditation (always have a notebook nearby).
DON'T fret if you miss a few days. Just return to the practice as soon as possible and reaffirm your commitment to the positive change it brings.
JUST SO YOU KNOW....
Versions of these writings are sometimes available on the website www.markweighton.com. Your comments and kind support are always welcome. Don't hesitate to get in touch should you feel the urge. Collaborations and commissions always considered...apart from portraits of pets and children.