When I was younger, I knew women who would only date artists or musicians – even when their creative gifts came bundled with drug use, financial irresponsibility, or infidelity. During my years singing in a band, a lot of these women would hang around after the show, waiting to meet the guitarist or the drummer, and this baffled me. Having worked with so many musicians since I was a teenager, they held no romantic mystery for me. But I also felt that many women who were obsessed with artists were really missing out on something special: the thrill, validation, and power that come from being a creator and performer. I couldn’t imagine that romantic involvement with musicians, writers, or athletes would be nearly as satisfying. Better to feed your own creative Leo lionness, I thought – to become the musician, the writer, the athlete.
But my dirty little secret was that I’d become a musician not just for the satisfaction of self-expression, but because I was a social misfit without a lot of options. Unlike the girls who hung around backstage at the clubs where my band played, who traveled in tight, homogeneously attractive groups, I didn’t fit societal ideals about femininity. And to be honest, I envied – still envy – women who “fit in.” Even now I often feel out of place at a bridal shower or girl’s night out.
There are those who do groups well—let’s call them “Aquarian”—and those who never feel right traveling in packs. Those of us with untapped Aquarius energy wander through life feeling as though we missed school on the day social networking skills were taught. Humans are social animals, and we’re hard-wired to crave the very Aquarian experience of belonging. But if fitting in means surrendering the ideas, gifts, and self-expression that are uniquely ours, our Leo selves insist that it’s too dear a price to pay.
As it turned out, not fitting in has proved to be one of my greatest blessings. I remember thinking early on that if I couldn’t fit in, I’d damn well make the best of standing out. So I gave myself over completely to music and later to writing, and in the end, a wonderful thing happened: By standing out, I somehow managed to find my place–to find love, acceptance, and friendship on my own terms.
Every now and then, the odd Uranus transit or progressed planet in Aquarius gives me a taste of what it’s like to simply, effortlessly, belong – to take enjoyment and energy from social connections. But when the transit passes and I return to the social wilderness, I don’t mind. There are creative treasures to be found there. I find myself there.
With the Sun, Venus, and the Moon’s South Node all in Aquarius at this Full Moon, collective identity and common purpose are energized and rewarded, to the extent that your Leo self may be feeling a tad undernourished. And since this Full Moon brings a Lunar Eclipse in Leo, painful memories of creative, romantic, and social hurts may be stirring. Rather than pushing these unhappy memories hastily to one side, perhaps there’s something to be learned from them.
Eclipses kick up ancient anthills and beg us to retrace our steps, to unravel the thread that connects similar moments in our lives. Look back, for instance, to 1981, 1990/91, 1998/99, 2000, 2008/2009. Where were you, what were you were doing, and what was important to you? You may remember creative breakthroughs, and how those breakthroughs were received by others; situations or relationships that brought you a gratifying sense of belonging, or painful moments when it felt you would never, ever fit in. Let the memories of both kinds of experiences be instructive during this eclipse season.
Here’s a story of learning from one of the years in this eclipse cycle. My first book was published in 2008, and it was an overwhelming, not entirely positive experience. Seeing it listed on Amazon was the stuff of naked-in-public nightmares. And the book’s reception, especially from my peers, was not entirely positive. That was hard. But here’s what I learned: Whenever I’ve done my very best work, the work that truly reflects who I am, it doesn’t remotely matter to me what anyone else thinks of it. That’s the truth. I treasure kind feedback, of course, but the other sort doesn’t even register. Because in a very real sense, making your own kind of music (as the old song goes) is its own reward.
When eclipses fall in Aquarius and Leo, we’re asked to remember what kind of fuel powers the engine of our hearts, and to seek our place in the hearts of others. If you’re feeling tired and stale, schedule some time alone for creative play. If you’ve been feeling as though you don’t belong anywhere, maybe it’s because you’re trying to fit yourself into shapes that don’t suit you. This Leo Lunar Eclipse moment is an opportunity to step back for a moment and get reacquainted with your passions—to make your own kind of music—and to trust that they will unite you with the people to whom you truly belong.
© 2009/2018 April Elliott Kent. All rights reserved.