If we’re trying to be civil, it helps to understand each other. “What do you mean?” What an enigmatic question! Are you saying that I am not making myself clear, or asking me to rephrase in terms you can get your head around? Depending on your tone, there might be a hint of rebuff, a suggestion that my meaning need not be understood unless it conforms in some way with yours. Furthermore, there might be some basis for a paranoid interpretation of the question, and the subliminal arising of questions about my value to you, yours to me, and mine to myself.
And so you ask the question, “What does it mean that there is a New Moon in the constellation of Pisces?” What do you mean, New Moon?
Now the arguments begin, between tropicalists, of Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and siderealists, and no matter how erudite and convincing the expert, the question really means, “What does the New Moon mean to me?” There are billions of ‘me’s, and not one asks what it means to the Moon.
It’s difficult to be a moon, a satellite of someone else, but each of us is just that, seeing others as only we can, yes, but struggling to inhabit the context they provide us, which seems like a global chaos of sanctimony and savagery, victimhood and self-importance. There is nothing for it but to judge each other in order to jostle for control of the path to justice. We seem to have defined civility in that way, that any identity has the right to impose its narrative on others, and difference is their problem. Rather than adapt to order, we deconstruct it, but still don’t hesitate to call the police. We ‘believe’ in order, because we are one organism, are we not? And this organism we call the universe, part of which is a night sky and the microscopic individual standing under it, is the embodiment of emotional life, ever projected in organic behaviours bubbling up from energetic structures emerging from the exhaust of stellar engine-rooms.
Imagine a future expedition wrapping a silicone membrane around the Moon which could sense and transmit across the strait his Threnody On The Impertinence of Earth. What a shot in the arm for robotics to find a sentient artificial intelligence! Games addicts could show themselves in public again. The sky is a screen; the earth is an avatar!
The Moon is no more bit-player than, dare we say it, the Sun Goddess. He is as awe-struck by the Milky Way and its configurations as we were when we were poets. Centre stage, waiting for his cue, with the galaxy due East and West on his horizon, he is not only a jester, but an author and director. So long as he entertains us when the play gets going, who would begrudge him our bit-parts and a theatrical foible or two? Anyone offended by where their Sign ends up is welcome to join the protesters outside.
Wherever his arbitrary concoction came from, his perspective at least gives us an opportunity to examine our emotions before we plaster them all over social media. May we all pay attention to the activity of our brainstem at lunar zenith as the Constellations drift behind us through the monthly cycle of the Moon’s bardo. An overview of our position is overdue. Emotional intelligence has gone out the window. Try the Moon’s chart as an alternative unifying principle to rampant priapism, aggressive nationalism or resentful greed. We are opposite the Moon, out there, just as we are out there when we have another in our crosshairs.