Discover more from soft animal time
the shapes of ideas, taking time, and being understood (or not)
notes from mercury retrograde and a full moon
2023 edit: this post was written when "soft animal time" was still "planetary fieldnotes” an astrology blog
the full moon in aries was today, i think a few degrees away from my natal moon- it's a lunar return folded over on itself twice more.
my coworkers use the phrase “time-knife” (referencing the good place) in moments where they come face-to-face with Time… finding the fractals of reality collapsing on themselves wondering, what day is it and where the hell am i and oh wait that hasn't happened yet. it perfectly captures the absurdity of meeting yourself over and over in memories and plans, but also in tasks you saved future-self from trudging through, and the glass of water you place bedside after a night of drinking. witnessing astrology can feel like microdosing the time-knife.
full moons are supposed to feel hectic, but today i felt like a steady motor. perhaps its the aries moon in me, perhaps its the cleaning and nourishing in honor of the moon, perhaps it's the waxing and shaving of my limb hairs in honor of mars.
in a way totally unexpected, my astrological practice completely changed throughout this lunar cycle. the past six months have given me so much space and calm in the way that i look at the sky. i now live with astrology through ritual and habit, like the sunshine and the wind and water i splash my face with in the morning. i outgrew frenetic sense-seeking (but not the book hoarding), and began to turn my studies back toward my body. i began to integrate tarot into my questioning. i began journaling more. where i usually sought neat explanations and interpretations, i now bail to let things seep and simmer and float in and out of my consciousness. that's a bit what made starting this blog difficult. i have constantly been abandoning my thoughts. contrails in my brain, fading into the sky. astrology to me, right now, in my practice, is applied retroactively and only echoes how things feel in my body. it clarifies but never prescribes.
aside from the usual life bumps and jumps, i have so much space. i have so much more space in my brain than i did in april. i have more space in my heart. i have more mental clarity. i have more emotional ease. the ground i run on feels softer, like grass instead of pavement.
i am subscribed to alice sparkly kat's astro-kats tier, and every month we receive zines for lunations that ace creates. for today's zine, they offered three questions to reflect on this full moon and recommended doing a card pull for each or simply journaling on the topics (i did both).
while running the risk of being misunderstood or saying not enough. while permitting myself to write without overexplaining myself. i've delved into this moment today in this headspace: i will never get to say everything i want all at once. my mind wanders and folds in on itself and tesselates and it's my favorite thing about me and it always has been.
when i pressure myself into believing that i must be the expert, that i must be credentialed to speak, that my ideas must be encased neatly to present, that i must craft and craft and craft in order to publish… i stifle myself. i am learning how to participate in the layering of ideas, of synthesizing, of sometimes being neither a student nor teacher but rather a neighbor. i don't need to educate or provide value. the voice i use to speak with myself whispers and begs me to put stuff out, to participate, unfinished, in quick sketches, to say this is where i am now and i will not be here tomorrow but here is the shape of the thing.
when mercury stationed retrograde in libra, i had an impression that mercury was asking me to re-imagine my relationship with being misunderstood. i treat my self like i treat my writing- as if they are the same thing. everything mentioned before is the anxiety that trembles under relationships, now that health precautions and post-grad life have rendered moments of socializing fewer and further between. mercury's rx felt like swimming through clam chowder and all of my interactions went full tower of babel, but i couldn't help but concede to what the trickster asked of me. why do you regret first impressions? why do you guilt yourself into work? why do you view privacy as dishonesty and patience as withholding? why do you see yourself through others? what parts of you must be understood? what parts of you must be accepted?
i was also in the whirlwind of starting a new job, contracting covid, healing, traveling, and wanting to present myself well. but throughout everything, i could feel mercury unclenching my jaw and asking me to listen, to take my time in sharing myself, to be curious about others, to take nothing personally. there is plenty of time.
libra is represented by a balance. as in the tool, not the concept. the balance-seeker. not stillness nor equanimity. it shudders and shakes and adjusts and moves and recalibrates when new items are on its scales. relationships are this way. meeting others and yourself over and over is this way. this is what i forget.
when mercury stationed direct, i cried for hours. i was overwhelmed in the most neutral, grateful, heart-full, and exhausted way. i think the whole week that mercury was slowing down, i experienced, in slow motion, the nuance, patience, and care that one can wield when moving through spaces. i admired the steadiness i witnessed in elders. i could feel my old tendencies- the grasping to prove and explain myself- vibrating beneath the surface.
i cried at the opportunity and space to practice– consciously practice– how i can show up in my life thoughtfully and authentically. i cried while turning over in my palms the questions that hermes first asked of me in venus’ salon. i felt relieved and scared, and everything else.
alice sparkly kat approximately asked in their zine: what defines quote from a paraphrase, and when does paraphrase become a thought. it was asked differently, but i am paraphrasing here.
thoughts are the shapes of ideas, drawn from memory. thoughts are the re-lived memories of ideas. paraphrases are ideas that are drawn from reference, with the creative filter and spirit of the paraphraser. quotes are ideas, caught in a moment of time they were uttered by the quotee.
i think of 김정기 kim jung gi, an incredible late artist, who illustrated breathtaking unthinkable works with no underpainting nor sketch. all shapes, drawn practically top to bottom, exactly as they move in his mind. i also think of “high-poly” computer graphics, when a 3d model has a high number of polygons, which allows for a higher level of detail in visualizing models. when the shapes add up, a larger, more intricate image is created. in my life, in my writing, in my work, in my art, in my relationships- all i can do is continue to add shapes. i cannot pain myself with the entire image all at once. i cannot say everything going through my head. i cannot present the entirety of my being all at once in the first 10 minutes of our relationship. and i cannot withhold. but i am not in a rush. i can be myself, shape by shape, moment to moment, allowing space to be misunderstood.
i'm so excited to begin writing again. this is the first time i've written and not spiraled deeper into explaining myself, before severing myself from the attempt completely. this is how i used to write: i would write in pieces, i would piece them together or not. i would write in streams of consciousness and streams of confidence. i wish to keep dancing around my brain and share them in ritual, but not in ceremony.
i imagine i will or will not write very regularly, especially with eclipse season coming at the end of this month and travels on the horizon. but thank you for being with me for this time :) i'll see you soon.