I’m working in my office on a weekday afternoon when I hear the front doorbell ring. I open the door and find a large, beautifully wrapped box on the front porch. The tag attached reads, “Allow me.”
I’m excited to find out what’s inside, but I quickly realize the box won’t fit through the front door. I’ll have to carry it around to the back of the house and bring it through the French doors. Luckily, the box is light and easy to carry.
When I finally get it inside and set it down, I’m reluctant to unwrap it. It’s swaddled in shimmery pink paper with gold polka dots and a big, gold bow on top, and it seems too precious to open. I carefully remove the wrapping. Inside is a beautiful card with a yellow bird on the front; enclosed is a check for two million dollars. The inscription in the card reads, “One for you, one to share.” Both the card and check are signed, “Abundance.”
In his book, Sidewalk Oracles: Playing with Signs, Symbols, and Synchronicity in Everyday Life, author Robert Moss offers a number of creative exercises for inviting meaningful coincidence and symbolic illumination into your life. The scenario described above comes from my notes after exploring one of the games, called “The Unexpected Guest.” Here’s how to play:
Visualize yourself inside your home when the bell rings or there is a knock at the door, and then see who or what has arrived; this is the Unexpected Guest. It might be a feeling, or a person, or a concept. Just name it, and examine your response to this unexpected guest. Moss assures the reader that you are not required to allow just anyone or anything inside your home – if it’s an unwelcome or even threatening guest, you can choose to leave them on the porch, or perhaps in a waiting room – but you have to deal with it in some way.
This particular exercise is just made for the Aquarius New Moon. Aquarius doesn’t love unexpected guests – like fellow fixed signs Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio, she’s not a fan of surprises – but certainly loves being an “unexpected guest,” an agent for change and awakening. After I did the exercise, the word “unexpected” led me to wonder whether I could find a connection between this exercise and the location of Aquarius in my birth chart – and when I found it, I laughed out loud. Jupiter is in Aquarius in the second house of my chart – in a difficult conjunction with Saturn in Capricorn. What could be more a more appropriate unexpected guest than Abundance (Jupiter) – especially when I’m constantly struggling with it (Saturn)?
As in dreams and meditations like this one, the waking world speaks to us in unexpected ways, in symbols and vague impressions. It takes some practice, and a little patience, to learn to read its signs and signals. Sometimes it’s not until we begin to describe a dream, or write a description of an “unexpected guest,” that the message becomes clear.
Astrologers love this kind of stuff. Symbols are our bread and butter. But even if you have only a casual interest in astrology, you likely have other experience interpreting non-verbal messages. Pets are particularly adept at getting their point across. To alert us of an empty supper dish, our cat Spike pushes the rim of the plate with his paw and then lets it drop on the tile floor with a loud clatter. To let us know it’s play time, he might stand next to the china cupboard and stare meaningfully at the drawer that holds extra toys. If we can learn to understand what animals are telling us (though I still think that we could clear a lot of things up if our cats could just speak to us for about ten minutes each year), we can learn to read messages from the Universe as well.
Mercury, the sign of messages and communication, is considered exalted, or especially strong, in Aquarius. Mercury symbolizes the stories we tell to ourselves and to others; in Aquarius, the sign of broadcasting, it’s the ability to share messages and global events with millions of people simultaneously. If it seems far too mystical to imagine the world is throwing symbols and synchronicity in your path with intent and purpose, consider how magical and revolutionary radio, telegraph, and telephone were in their time. Imagine, transmitting messages through space! We are in and of the world, and it is communicating with us all the time. We just have to learn to tune in to its frequency.
The final step in the Unexpected Guest exercise is to ask if there is anything you need to do in light of the new information you’ve received. My answer was pretty clear: when abundance arrives, allow it into your life. Make the opening of your life larger in order to receive all that wants to come to you. Don’t be afraid of spoiling it. And be sure to share it with others.
Aquarius, along with Capricorn and Pisces, symbolizes the need to unite with others in a larger mission, anything that is too big or complex or lonely to tackle on one’s own. To be agents of change, we need to connect with friends, colleagues, and like-minded strangers. We have many ways to do that in the digital age. But we have just as many ways to insulate ourselves from the uninvited, whether it’s blocking Facebook friends or hanging terse signs on our front doors. To unite in a larger mission requires that we seek ways of confronting and dancing with the things that we find difficult.
So in the empty, hopeful darkness of the Aquarius New Moon, take a few quiet moments by yourself to invite an unexpected guest into your imagination. What is its shape, its message? How do you react? And what can you take from this encounter that will make your life – and your world – a little bit better?
© 2017 April Elliott Kent