T he desire for self-expression is pretty high up on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. You have to have an awful lot going right in your life before it occurs to you to want more fun. That said, even a life that offers a roof over your head, food to eat, and safety from imminent peril can be flat, gray, and filled with despair, if there is nothing to feed your creative spirit and no sense that your life has meaning.
This Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse is in Leo, which is called the sign of creativity; but that doesn’t tell the full story. It evokes visions of a child’s playroom, filled with bright plastic toys, or a crafts room with construction paper and Elmer’s glue. But Leo’s desire for creativity transcends the tools we use to summon it. Leo symbolizes pursuits that open the heart and make you feel completely alive, to the extent that you don’t even question whether you’re doing it well, just whether you’re doing it exactly as you like. That can be a challenge for adults, who have responsibilities and full schedules, and who lack a child’s luxurious surfeit of empty hours for seemingly idle pursuits.
But throwing yourself into a creative passion is worth the investment of time, because the benefits spill over into every part of your life, making everything—your job, your relationships—more distinctive and satisfying.
We all have something inside us that wants to be engaged and needs to be shared and noticed. It says, “This is what it’s like to be me. This is how I see the world.” That’s Leo’s destination, and practically any road can take us there. You may enjoy quilting, or cooking, or designing video games; you may be called to play softball, mandolin, or Lady Macbeth. You might even write essays and publish them on the internet. You’ll know the right tools for you when you find you can’t stop fiddling with them long enough to make yourself get a decent night’s sleep… when they keep you awake like a big, golden, Leo Full Moon.
Remember how wonderful it felt, as a kid, to play? After school, on weekends, over long, languid summers, the kids I grew up with spent countless hours goofing off. We rode bikes, invented games with friends, formed garage bands, read books, swam at the community pool. Eventually you’d get bored, but if you were even modestly resourceful and imaginative there was always something new to try. I always felt that boredom was my creativity’s best friend.
In my memory, at least, my childhood self felt that way on a daily basis. As an adult, I can go days, maybe a week or more, without experiencing that feeling as I live my perfectly lovely life by rote. It’s far too easy to cook the same meals, take walks that cover the same territory, and watch too much Netflix as a substitute for creating stories of my own.
I think a lot of the reason people spend hours watching TV, playing video games, or reading social media feeds instead of pursuing their passions is that they feel exhausted, and these activities require nothing from them. The thought of committing more time to creative engagement can feel like one more box that needs to be checked off at the end of a long, tiring day.
This Full Moon, in the first degree of the sign, brings the last in a series of eclipses in Leo that began back in early 2017. Eclipses reflect points of change and crisis, and push us into situations that effect that change – in Leo, the crisis is around how to feel more engaged with your life. How to love, create, and inhabit it fiercely and fully. As this cycle of Leo/Aquarius eclipses comes to an end, I think we’re finally ready to change our lives to make room for more heart. I’m hearing this loud and clear from clients, and I’m feeling it myself. But the question is always, “How will I make time for it?”
Well, we always make time for what we really love. But we have to create a situation that lets creative passion find us. So try this: For one week, commit yourself to one half hour of boredom each day. Put yourself in a room with the tools of your creativity and nothing else. You don’t have to create anything—but no scrolling through social media or making telephone calls. Who knows; like a kid with too much time on her hand during summer vacation, you might decide to relieve your boredom by picking up a pen, a paintbrush, or a guitar.
We’re all busy people. But we’re so much more than that. And while it can seem daunting to carve out enough space in your life to really give yourself over to a creative pastime, in the end the tools matter very little anyway. The key is to master the tools just enough that they cease to be relevant–except as the conduit for expressing your unique, individual spirit.
© 2016-2024 April Elliott Kent