I am learning to appreciate Scorpio.
It’s taking a while.
As a fire sign, I generally want to avoid water signs because they threaten to destroy me so fully.
And…rightly so. Water signs are feminine. They embrace the emotions and the unknown and the void and destruction…particularly Scorpio, ruler of the Underworld. Throw in a few eclipses by the moon, ruler of Cancer, and we have a recipe for massive undoing-ness.
And yet! When meditating on the theme for this cycle, I clearly saw this card:
Go Forward FEARLESSLY!
Are you kidding me???
All kinds of fears and anxieties have been coming up for me in the past few weeks leading up to this eclipse…particularly around relationships…go figure. You can’t have the moon eclipse Mercury, Venus, and the Sun on the cusp of Libra and Scorpio and not have issues come up around relationships.
And, it seems as though the heart of the issue is responsibility. The following is a list of questions and concerns that either I or a client or a friend of mine has expressed recently:
~ If I take that dreamy opportunity will I still be able to take care of my bills?
~ If I let go of this job to put energy into my thriving business will I be making the responsible choice?
~ If I let someone else support me through this challenge will I lose my independence and autonomy?
~ If I choose to keep this child how will it affect my job?
~ If I let go of being responsible for my partner how do I handle the fallout when he/she messes us up?
~ If I leave this job without having another one lined up where will I live?
~ How do I leave this toxic situation without endangering myself and/or my children?
~ If I force my child to visit his/her irresponsible mother/father am I being a good parent?
~ If I choose to create boundaries and a life that support my happiness will I lose connection with the people I love most?
And yet, when I expressed my concern to a wise woman this week, her reply was this:
The word responsibility does NOT mean, ‘Do what someone else thinks you should do in this situation.’
As I contemplated this perspective, I noticed the humor in this situation. In such classic Scorpio style, there’s at least one deeper layer…now we’re dealing with control and safety issues. We’ve been taught to believe that there is a very narrow definition of responsibility…security. Everything we do, if it’s responsible, will ensure security. If it doesn’t ensure security, it’s not responsible. Because one never knows what is going to happen in the future, the responsible thing to do is to prepare for the unknown ensuring security…no matter what.
In other words…control everything at all times so I always get my way and nothing can surprise me unless I want it to.
If that weren’t enough, our cultural definition of responsibility also has created the opportunity to judge…both self and others. If someone else isn’t ensuring security in his/her life then he/she is clearly irresponsible and his/her behavior indicates a moral character flaw. And now, I, as the clearly superior one due to my highly developed and regularly practiced responsible-ness, am not so sure I want this person in my life…either as a friend or a boss or an employee or a co-worker or a parent or a child. If I do, then I might be supporting their irresponsible-ness and that might affect my responsible-ness, and I can’t let that happen. So, it then becomes my responsibility to correct them in order to preserve my security…in the unknown future.
Tricky and sticky stuff.
So then, if these societal and cultural definitions are not the actual meaning and practice of the word “responsibility,” what is?
The ability to respond.
And yet…lots more.
For responding requires space…space between the moment of occurrence and your reaction or response to it. And these two are not the same…reaction and response. Reaction is an egoistic emotional effect of a circumstance. Response is a thought-filled and heart-centered action in the face of a circumstance. Security and control in the context of a response is only relevant to the self…the inner life…the inner creation of safety and self-control. It has absolutely nothing to do with the outer world, because let’s face it…we can’t control the world. Lots of people have tried. No one has yet succeeded. And it’s pretty clear that no matter what we do, we can never ensure outer security in the unknown future no matter how responsible we are…and this is true regardless of definition.
All we can do, and the best we can do, is develop this practice of creating space…space that allows for evaluation, choice, and then response to a situation or circumstance. Morality is not involved, for how do you judge space? Space is space. It’s a breath. It allows. It allows for wisdom and compassion to float to the top. It allows for otherness and diversity and awareness. It makes room for choices and options and creativity and solutions. It simply is. And the more there is, the more it expands for other is-ness.
In this space, this is-ness, this moment in time between circumstance and action, we can still access inner safety and self-control…regardless of the outer world.
Which means we can always respond.
Which also means, we can go forward.
And so it is.