|The Full Moon in Pisces falls on the first evening of Sukkot. My father was a builder of Sukkahs. His yartzeit (the anniversary of death) was on the second day of Rosh Hashana (the new year), a little more than ten days ago.
I remember, as children, how we decorated the Sukkah with those streamers made of colored paper and hanging plastic fruit. As with everything in traditional Jewish life, there are many specifications and rules regarding how to build a Sukkah and how to decorate it, and no doubt my father followed many of those rules, being a traditionalist himself (a mega-Taurus with a Virgo Moon).
What is a Sukkah anyway and what does this have to do with you and the Full Moon in Pisces? Hold on. I’ve got homework for you. But first:
Think of the Sukkah as, simply, a temporary home for the duration of a week-long holiday. Have you ever had a temporary home? Lived in your car? Stayed with a friend between rental apartments? I think of the day of the Full Moon as a temporary home — upon which to throw our intentions, wishes, desires. We want the most from our home. We want everything from our home. The moon, in astrology, is associated with our feelings and mother and family, but also this home, homecoming, homesickness, homelessness, security, safety.
On Sukkot, we’re not shooting for permanence, obviously, but the Sukkah has to be sturdy enough so that one may sit and eat in it reasonably comfortably and even sleep in it (as the pious do, and more specifications and rules ensue, but I’ll spare you).
I started to realize this festival has us dancing along the edge of some potentially really scary feelings — feelings about how our safety and security, our home, is not as permanent as we like to think it is. Flash floods broke through New York and New Jersey a couple weeks ago. People died in their homes. The waters rose so fast.
Maybe on Sukkot we can safely play with this notion. What if. What if this was all we had? What if this was home? Would we make it? Would we survive? Would we decorate with plastic fruit?
Over a decade ago, in a Chassidus (Jewish mysticism) class, I learned that the Sukkah envelops us, surrounds us, warms us, hugs, as the Divine (your higher power, holy spirit) does. Isn’t this all we have? That which is not flesh but spirit? Our houses may fail us (mine have over and over) but the Eternal One never does (so goes the teaching anyway).
In astrology, Neptune (the planet associated with Pisces) rules the mystical spiritual side of life as well as those who seek or experience merging with the Divine. They are the poets and psychics among us. They see what we cannot see. This isn’t to say that all individual Pisces are like this, but I’d argue that people with Neptune emphasized in their birth chart have this tendency. Neptune dissolves, my astrology teacher used to say, all those years ago in my first astrology class.
It’s still summer as I write to you, but not for long. The Sun enters Libra on September 22nd, which is the beginning of fall (in my hemisphere).
Say goodbye to summer with this Full Moon in Pisces. What (or who) do you want to say goodbye to? What boundary do you want to dissolve? With whom shall you merge? If Pisces and Neptune help us dissolve and disappear without a trace, what might you turn to dust or dew and then move on?
At the end of Sukkot, we dissemble the Sukkah. We let it go — until the next year. And then we do it all over again.
Make a list.
What do you want to be free of?
Name three things.
I want to be free of….
I want to be free of…
I want to be free of….
I chatted this morning once again with Santa Fe psychotherapist Dr. Melanie Harth. I’ll share the link to her podcast when it’s available. Check out her website here.
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