I always find inspiration in a crowd of people. In the past week, I attended both a funeral and a college graduation. Both rooms were filled with emotions, one jubilant and hopeful, the other sad and reverent. Sitting amid a group of people, strangers even, makes the energy in the space palpable for me. Think of the feeling when a crowd cheers in unison at a sporting event, or the feeling when certain songs are played at such events. I have found you can cry at the funeral of a stranger if the right songs are played or if you tune into the grief of the people in the room. You can also feel hopeful at a graduation if you tune into the energy of the graduates, exhausted yet exhilarated, fresh from unloading years of effort and study.
Both events were filled with rituals, colors, music and symbols. These long-standing traditions have stood the test of time although I am sure with modifications. In church we had incense and candle flame; at graduation we had a mace and color-coded regalia.
Both events had singing, flags, flowers and people sharing their thoughts and perspectives. Both events had greetings and sharing - one in the form of communion and blessings, the other in the form of hand shaking, hugs and conferral of degrees.
Both signified endings and beginnings, and continuation of cycles. Which got me to think - are we ever really done? Is this life we are in right now just one cycle in a larger “life”?
A man spoke at the graduation as he was awarded an honorary doctorate. He reflected on the first degree he received, some 50 years earlier. He never imagined that one day he might be on stage receiving his doctoral degree and more importantly, that he might be at the tail end of a life filled with such immense blessings. He invited the fresh-eyed graduates to stay forever curious, and to remind them that we are all always a work in progress, even he at his age, acknowledging he had more to learn. We are all working on who we were meant to be.
At church, the priest talked about cycles in life, his language rich with symbolism. During the homily he spoke about the mountain and its symbolism as being the place where one goes to connect to the higher realms. As we grow, and learn through struggle, do we get better at this stuff? Do we really learn to rely more on love? Do we make it to the mountain top? Or, again, is that part of a bigger cycle?
And of course, since then man asked me to stay forever curious and I have a lot of Gemini energy in my birth chart, I had more questions. Both religion and higher learning land in the ninth house of the astrology wheel and are ruled by Sagittarius and home to Jupiter. I have to say, until this weekend, I am not sure I connected the dots on how they got lumped together.
The esoteric phrase for Sagittarius is “I see the goal, I reach the goal and then I see another.” Jupiter, by far the largest planet in the solar system, is all about growth and expansion. It is the only planet that gives off more light than it receives from the sun.
This explains the pursuit of higher learning for some, and certainly the nature of our whole lives, at least in theory. Again, are we ever really done? Is there always a higher mountain to climb or another goal to tackle?
Another man at the graduation, the keynote speaker, spoke of his lifelong passion for international studies including the strife that occurs in third world nations and the impact of global markets on these small developing nations. He also spoke of his father’s confusion when as a young man he travelled to Nigeria to study. And then, years later, after his dad read the book he wrote on his learnings, said. “It seems that the people in Nigeria want the same stuff as we do.” This, in sum, is to raise their families, see their children educated and to be happy.
Isn’t that what all of this is about? To be good people, raise good people, lead with love and find peace. To educate ourselves in whatever fashion life presents us, start the next challenge, and share what we have learned.
Are we all part of the same big puzzle, all in different stages of the cycle, learning to lead with love and help each other along the way? I like to think so. Much as even the smallest countries are impacted by the global environment, we as people are certainly all connected and feel the actions of each other. I personally find it fascinating that there are people who choose to study deeply on just one thing and share what they learn to help us all advance as a society. I also appreciate that there are people who help transition our souls back and forth across the veil, both as we are born and back again when we die. What inspires you is what you are meant to do. It is what you are meant to learn about and share.
My personal goal is to lead with love. I get immense joy connecting people with their loved ones, seeing the look on their faces when they get evidence that their loved ones see what is happening in their lives, even the little stuff from the other side. I also love helping people realize the cycles and the lessons in their lives are just that, cycles. Things with beginnings and endings, rife with struggle, growth and lessons with the hoped-for result being more love.
To quote a wise man, I encourage you to stay forever curious and remember that we are all a work in progress, striving to become the fully expressed version of ourselves and who we are meant to be.
(If you were in grade school in the 80's, hopefully these song lyrics brings you back to a simpler time...)
“Let’s live this day until it ends
Cause we may not pass this way again
So let’s go climb the mountain mister
Drink from a bubbling fountain sister
Come along stranger, come along friend
We may not pass this way again.”
-From Rod McKuen, “We May Not Pass this Way Again”