Updated: Mar 21, 2019
Today marks the Spring Equinox--when night and day are brought to equal balance--as well as the first day of Spring, heralding new life and possibility. The Sun also just moved from watery Pisces, sign of spirituality, into fiery Aries, sign of Self, and to synergize these themes as if by magic, tonight we have a full moon in Libra, the sign of balance. The message in the stars today is clear: to begin anew, we must find a way to balance individual interests with those of the collective.
As spiritual and human beings, we are all connected to each other. Everything we do has a ripple effect on the people, animals, and environment around us; no thought, word or deed stands alone. This Piscean principle of interconnectedness is a sacred one. Pisces knows that we achieve spiritual enlightenment when we exercise compassion and learn to work together. However, focusing only on the collective and neglecting the individual has its pitfalls. When the pendulum swings too far to the left in favor of the collective, the result can be groupthink, barriers to innovation, slow economic growth, and even fascism. In conversations about spirituality, religion, and eastern philosophy, the ego is often denigrated as something evil, harmful, or needing to be “overcome”. The goal is to silence the ego for the sake of peace and unity with the divine. In these types of conversations, martyrdom is often idealized. We all love a good savior story, but while it may be noble to lay down one’s life for the sake of a cause or to save those in mortal danger, in our day-to-day lives it leads to over-giving, poor boundaries, and a lack of assertiveness, which in turn induces burnout, being taken advantage of or even abused.
To counteract this extreme swing of the pendulum, we must recognize that the ego is not inherently bad. Everything in this universe serves a purpose; nothing is wasted. Now enter Aries, the warrior. Aries teaches us that ego is the channel for individuality and self-expression. Through Aries, we can recognize that each individual possesses an original personality and a unique set of gifts, desires and dreams. This is why free will is so important--each individual has the right to pursue happiness and fulfillment and be free from tyranny. The ego also helps with self-preservation--if an intruder breaks into your home, you have the right to defend yourself because your life is valuable. It is also our ego that speaks up when we are being mistreated, abused, or denied our civil rights. However, like all things, the ego needs to be kept in check. If the pendulum swings too far to the right in favor of the self, the result is arrogance, selfishness, narcissism, despotism and tyranny.
So how do we reconcile the interests of the collective with that of the individual? This is where Libra comes in. We must bring the pendulum back to center and walk the middle path. Represented by the scales of justice, Libra seeks to harmonize the rights of the individual with the best interests of the collective. To do this, we must recognize that no individual is better or less than another; in this way, we keep narcissism in check and we stop glorifying the martyr. All beings are created equal, and thus share equal value. Furthermore, no individual is better than the collective, and neither is the collective more important than the individuals it encompasses.
Imagine the society we want to build as if it were a Greek temple: the structure is only as strong as the pillars that support it. To build a strong society, we have to celebrate and support the individual, for they are the legs upon which we stand. By the same token, the individual must recognize that his/her identity, talents, and unique contributions to society help bolster the structure as a whole. If the individual and the collective enter into a struggle for power, the whole building inevitably collapses. We can use this same example when building healthy relationships, families, workplaces and communities.
This isn’t rocket science. The truth is simple: we are strongest when we stand together.