- Amanda Painter
Have you thought much about the fact that you are just as free to care as you are free not to care? One reading of Friday's Sagittarius Full Moon suggests this theme, which might emerge through your interaction with someone particular in your life.
The question of being free to care or not care applies to everything: from personal relationships and interactions, to political or social justice issues, to the latest consumer and celebrity trends. Whether you think of "caring" as giving your mental attention to something or as actively taking care of something (or someone), you always have that choice to care or not.
Look around—at the state of the world, at the media's focus, at your social circles (both online and in your bricks-and-mortar community), at your own choices and habits—and it's clear that not everything we care about is necessarily healthy. It's also clear that we often don't actively take care of the people, places and things (including ourselves) that might best support and nurture us in return.
Crowd mentality sets in, aided and abetted by media consumption, and off we go giving considerable energy and lip service to what everyone else seems to care about. Or we get so caught up in what we want and are not getting, that we forget to give—to actively care for friends and loved ones, for our communities, for the planet itself.
All if this is a choice. And having a choice implies seeing the options you have; seeing both sides of the story, or the pros and the cons. Which brings me to the Full Moon.
Tomorrow at 9:09 am EDT the Moon in Sagittarius will oppose the Sun in Gemini. The Sun will be conjunct the asteroid Ceres, which brings in the themes of caring, nurturing and nourishing. In the mental, Mercury-ruled sign of Gemini, this seems to emphasize the idea of caring: what you think of the concept, and how you make your choices around it.
A Sagittarius Moon brings out a need for personal freedom—emotional, social, physical and so on. It would be easy to equate "freedom" with "not caring": the idea that you can be as carefree as you want and not worry about consequences. But that's not quite accurate. Especially because Sagittarius is also marked by a strong humanitarian streak, which is the essence of caring: "acting as if to hold the world together," or dharma.
So what do you see when you look at your ideas of freedom? Can you integrate them with your thoughts on what it means to care and nourish?
Full Moons emphasize interpersonal relationships—especially those marked by some kind of conflict, confrontation or meeting of opposites. Notice where in your life you see the need to negotiate between your ideas about caring and your feelings about freedom—or between yourself in one of those positions and someone who's embodying the opposite one.
The good news is that assistance comes in the form of Venus in Taurus and Mars in Cancer, which are making a sextile to each other (exact at 11:41 am EDT Friday). This is a picture of assertive caring and full, embodied receptivity working hand in hand; feelings and actions in harmony together.
It's also an image of being able to give and receive equally -- in your friendships, and within yourself. And thanks to that harmony, you might notice it feels easier to be yourself in your friendships.
Between Venus-Mars, the Sun in Gemini and the Sagittarius Moon, there's significant energy needing a social outlet. Tonight into tomorrow night is definitely a time to get out into the world, interact with people and situations you genuinely care about and enjoy, and make the world a little more beautiful by sharing that energy.
Yes, it's true that Mars in Cancer can be an emotionally reactive element. Yet, consider these words from noted astrologer Isabel Hickey: "An individual cannot use the Moon force—nurturing, sustaining, and caring—and be combative, aggressive, and antagonistic at the same time."
Her statement implies a choice: you either choose to act in caring ways, or you choose (even by refusing to make a conscious choice) to the opposite. To paraphrase a well-known Cherokee parable—with a nod to Ceres—which wolf will you feed?
The key, according to the light of the Full Moon, would seem to be in seeing the freedom you have to make that choice—along with your freedom to care or not care about those things that truly feed you, and through which you feed others. It might only take a little adjustment.