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Aquarius Full Moon: Other Tribes

other-tribesWho are “your people”? You recognize one another the moment you meet. They get your jokes. Your conversations have a cadence that is comfortable, familiar. Generally you share the same values and probably the same politics. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve known each other a few minutes or many years, you get each other.

And then there are the Uncomfortable Others to whom you’re yoked by accidents of birth (relatives, countrymen), blips on your biographical timeline (high school, past employment), or shared interests. You may share an alma mater, a birthplace, a great-grandfather, or an interest in a particular hobby, but that’s no guarantee that you are members of one another’s tribes.

Aquarius is the sign of “friends,” but not of those who are dearest to your heart. Rather, Aquarian friendships are born of shared interests – what we might call friendships of convenience. They are the co-workers who share your office lunchroom, the volunteers at your neighborhood polling place, and the members of your local astrology group. Occasionally, you will find among them members of your tribe, your people; these become your closest friends. The rest exist mostly in your Facebook newsfeed, email inbox, and high school reunions.

It’s lonely to feel like an alien among people with whom you’re expected to feel a connection. I feel this way with many of my blood relatives and most of the people who shared my formative years. Their world view is antithetical to mine; our hearts run on different fuel. We come from the same place, but these are not My People; we will never belong to the same tribe.

But that’s not to say we can’t forge unlikely alliances. Sometimes, prolonged exposure to someone from another tribe can lead us to find common ground. A co-worker from an unfamiliar religious tradition, a neighbor with differing religious views, a relative from a by-gone and less tolerant era, can surprisingly often become trusted and valued in a way we might have assumed was impossible. It doesn’t  always happen, and certainly not overnight; but it does happen sometimes, albeit gradually, over months or years of circling each other, a little warily, and sizing up one another’s character – then slowly taking small steps toward trust, and ultimately affection. Without the “shared interest” of the workplace, the neighborhood, the family, these valued connections might never have existed.

How Can We Co-Exist with Other Tribes – and Why Should We Bother?

It’s easy to love Our People, whose opinions and world view mirror our own. But they are few, and the population of the world comprises many. At a time when society is so fractured, and when isolating ourselves from the alien is so easy to do, how can we find a way to co-exist with others? And why should we bother?

The “why bother” question is easily answered. Aquarius is a sign of the collective, of those works of art, commerce, and political will that are beyond the reach of the individual. To tackle them requires more brain and brawn than individuals and our tribes possess. To achieve large aims, we need to unite with other tribes, in large numbers.

But the question of “how” is becoming more and more difficult to answer. In America, it used to seem that there was agreement among most people about many things. Now, we have not only found a way to disagree about practically everything, but to disagree in a tone that precludes any rapport, any sense of fraternity. I think it’s simply because the more we’re able to isolate ourselves from the Other, the less human and more alien they seem.

There are plenty of people in my life with whom I whole-heartedly disagree on a variety of topics. They remain in my life because they have also demonstrated kindness and support, have defended me or my loved ones, or simply state their case in a polite, well-reasoned way. They seldom persuade me to their point of view, but they do remind me that those who see the world differently than I do are not so alien after all. They’re colleagues, neighbors, friends from a distant era of my life – with values I respect and characteristics that I enjoy.

At the Leo New Moon, we celebrated self-hood and the ability to generate love and creative action in the world. At this Full Moon in Aquarius, the challenge is to join with others to create collective creativity, to pursue aims that extend beyond our tribes, our society, and the current moment in history. It’s a challenge that requires each of us, in our own way, to cultivate tolerance for those who may not be “our people,” may in fact be Uncomfortable Others— but who are still, after all, people.

© 2011, 2014 April Elliott Kent

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13 comments to " Aquarius Full Moon: Other Tribes "

  • Stephany Browne

    Very much enjoyed your article. I received insight into the Aquarian collective – good word – vs. tribe mentality that I hadn’t considered before. Thanks. 🙂

  • Many happy solar returns April! And many thanks for another great article 🙂

  • Are there any vacancies at the United Nations?
    You would be my first choice April.
    Such eloquence, wisdom and compassionate acumen into human nature could really be useful in solving some global issues arising from fear of differences, fear of the unknown. Your realistic solution of collective creativity thru cultivating tolerance of ‘people’ is possible if enough of us believe in it. I believe in it, in us, in you. Thank you for being the spark…

  • Jan

    Hi April,
    Wonderful essay as usual. Did you write this just for me? Nah…. Didn’t think so and that’s good because it’s comforting to know I’m not the only one! You totally nailed it! And….I am a Sun Aquarian 20*, so this full moon has me a bit spooked. I have never felt any relation to my birth relations. Not ever, and the feeling all my life was that something was seriously wrong with me! Only just this year, do I truly understand that my family has never respected or appreciated the wonderful gifts that I bare. They can’t because our values are so different and yes, I am an Aquarian, so I Am Different and this makes the comfort level degenerate to the basement floor. We come from different planets, perhaps literally. It is soooo lonely, but I have finally learned to love myself, wish them all well and walk away! Yup, that’s what I did this year in the month of April around the 22nd. Pluto and Uranus have poured gasoline on my Cardinal Grand Cross and I feel like a vegetable, but I’m an Organic Vegetable and I am sprouting brand new healthy growth! Please keep on writing, April. You are so gifted and reach tons of people. You know how to nail it! Thank you so very much….

    • tina

      Jan-I was happy to read your post. It was so nicely put. I am an Aquarian-also never had a great relationship with my family – what is left a sister and brother-much older is estranged. I never felt much bond with them -ever- so it was always challenging and I decided to walk away as far what I could tell they had no interest in me. It can be lonely and there are others that are always quick to judge-but it is what it is. I hope like you I get to the next level of happiness and self-love. It’s coming!

  • Pamela

    Good article. I’m a dbl Aquarius. For many years I would only associate with those who I have a “connection” with. Now I have opened myself to check out those who I don'[t seem to have a connection with. I have found some wonderful people who I have the most interesting and informative conversations with. That we love humanity but dislike people is a very telling description of us Aquarians.

  • I know exactly what you mean – years of living in a small community, being secretary of a P&C and a writers group and organising and running events has taught me that it isn’t important whether I like someone or not – it’s important that we have a common goal in mind and that we can work together to achieve it. Save the ones we like for our tribe- a haven. And all that without a drop if Aquarius in my chart 🙂 maybe it’s easier for non-aqua people: my partner who has an aqUarian moon shakes his head and says he doesn’t know how I work with this or that person 🙂

  • Tam

    This is truly one of the best things I have read in a long time. I had to read it more than once and was moved to tears.

  • Helena

    Thank you April! Finally i can really understand my natal leo saturn in the 11th and mars in aquarius in the 5th (not opposed by degree). Although i can relate in a rather original impersonal manner, and like (need) that, i shy away from any relationship that is not meaningful or with “my people”. My friends tend to be like family through time (moon in capricorn in the 4th?) or not friends at all. No interest for just acquaintances. Should start to leave room for that though… Thanks, that was really an insight.

  • Nancy

    Always love your essays. I’ve always felt most comfortable with people I had no background with, strangers you could call them. But, a blood line and the place I grew up in was never my place or tribe. Took many years to sink in…
    I finally found my place, but what was weird is that it was the very last place on earth I ever imagined feeling comfortable. Funny how we can change in such dramatic ways, but really it’s just growing into acceptance of who we really were right from the start.

  • Kat21

    I loved your article. Please keep up the good work.

  • julie pittman

    I just read five other Full Moon in Aquarius articles and not one of them hit the mark for me…was left wondering why I wasn’t feeling any of that other stuff…then I read yours and Shazam !…thanks April…very insightful !

  • Patti

    Bravo! Well written! You nailed it! Thanks for providing quality reading material for this full moon!

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