The world is evolving from imperfection towards perfection; it needs all love and sympathy; great tenderness and watchfulness is required from each one of us. -Hazrat Inayat Khan
Solar Eclipses often represent a pivotal moment in the human story. This is especially the case with today's New Moon Solar Eclipse in Libra. With the Sun and Moon closely conjunct the South Node in Libra, many of us may find ourselves dealing with issues around karma, fate, and destiny - especially in relationships. In addition, stationary-retrograde Mars in heavy-weight Taurus opposes Venus in passionate Scorpio (the ruler of this lunation), forming a yod, or "finger-of-fate" between Jupiter, Pluto, and Mars.
In astrology, images are used to convey the essence of a sign. Like a treasure chest, these images contain a wealth of accumulated wisdom and insight. For Libra, that image is the scale, the symbol of balance and moderation - and an important pointer in how to cope with the energies of this eclipse. The religious history of the scales yields rich insights. In ancient myths, the scales were pictured at the critical juncture between life and death, just as the soul was about to pass into the next realm. In Egypt, the soul was weighed against the weight of a feather. In the Persian tradition, the angel Rashu weighed souls at the Bridge of Fate, while in the Christian faith St. Michael, Archangel of the Day of Judgement, was pictured with a set of scales. And in Greece, the goddess Themis, the embodiment of law, was represented with scales.
The symbolic meaning of the scales teaches us that we cannot move on to a new stage of evolution until we have examined our intentions and come to terms with our past actions. Yet the meaning of the scales has psychological significance, as well. A psyche that tips too far in one direction or another is considered unhealthy, manic, one-sided, or "bipolar." And physically, good health revolves around a lifestyle that includes equal portions of work and pleasure, exercise and rest, and a balanced diet. An awakened conscience, mental equilibrium, homeostasis - these are healing qualities that regulate the human condition. Too much despair, for instance, and the soul is eclipsed by helplessness. Too much optimism, and we are at risk of denial. Either we cannot see the darkness for the light, or the light for the darkness. Radical extremism in either direction leads to demonization or divinization of "the other."
Thus like no other, this New Moon is a time to practice the art of spiritual, emotional, and physical equanimity. For your meditation, imagine that you are seated in the cosmic Temple of Balance. Contemplate the image of the scales, entering deeply into the living meaning of this symbol. Center yourself at the all-important fulcrum that holds the scales. In this place, carefully weigh and measure your feelings. Examine your actions, past and present. Be circumspect with your thoughts. Exercise prudence in the face of extremism, whether it arises from within or without. Hold strong to the clarity provided by your spiritual faith. Imagine that your body is a focal point of stillness and strength.
Peace, instruct the sages, stems from stability. Says the Dalai Lama, "...the practice of Dharma, real spiritual practice, is in some sense like a voltage stabilizer. The function of the stabilizer is to prevent irregular power surges and instead give you a stable and constant source of power."
Practicing peace this way, perhaps each of us can become a powerful center radiating peaceful equilibrium - a spiritual rock in the foundation of peace that, by our individual actions, we are helping to construct for future generations.