CW Discussion of Fasting and Disordered Eating
Lent means a lot of different things to different people. For me, lent is an ancestral way of marking the last third of winter. Jesus’ solar symbolism along with imperial churches co-opting seasonal festivals to create church calendars makes it easy to map this onto seasonal observances. Really, it’s re-mapping, re-connecting, re-claiming.
In lent, one of the hardest parts of the year, my ancestors turned to spiritual growth the best way they knew how. Fasting, additional prayer, and trying to build better habits are all traditional ways of marking the season. The sun has started to come back but the early spring can be just as harsh as deep winter. So now is a time to pull on deep spiritual wells to rest and prepare. Now is the time to revive the seeds of hope for April planting. Why not? It’s a heavy Pisces season!
Sadly, when you live under the heel of the papacy, the techniques of spiritual development can often become tools of self-harm. To be clear, I think fasting is a good technique when applied properly. In an environment where you are constantly told you are not enough, you will never be enough, and you don’t deserve any of the gifts Creator grants you, it is difficult to have healthy fasting. Modern lent observances are also rife with modern diet culture, especially amongst women. If you don’t know about diet culture, here’s an article.
In the past few years, I have marked lent in a few different ways. One year I did give up caffeine and alcohol. I did this not because those are rich or sinful foods, but because I have a chronic stomach condition and so cleansing those things from my system periodically lessens symptoms. One year I decided to finally listen to the audiobook version of a religious text I had been putting off. One year I simply tried to take up a daily meditation.
This year, I want to challenge you to observe lent. Set an intention for the transition between winter and spring. To make that easier, let’s look at the stars and see what they will be doing. I want to pose some ideas of how lent can become a seasonal practice that honors nature and our place in nature.
First, let’s look at the big picture. A lot of reputable astrologers have already pointed out that the big theme this year will be a cranky Uranus in Taurus squaring Saturn living their best life in Aquarius. This square will come and go a few times throughout the year, and the first perfect square will be the first day of lent. So lent this year is deeply tied into the work of the whole of 2021. What is that? It’s change. The one thing these two planets can agree on is that this circus is over. This has to go. However, Uranus wants us to get there by focusing on the body and looking inward whereas Saturn is having a big “galaxy brain” idea moment. Political unrest and the rise of digital currencies are on the table for 2021, as is increased online government surveillance and major changes to global power structures.
Exactly no one is surprised. We have all been watching capitalism run out of new markets to industrialize, and the old school Lasseiz-faire capitalists are fighting with the Neoliberal capitalists for who gets to decide the new era. The people who got rich off of manufacturing are fighting the people who got rich off of the debt economy. So while the aristocracy fights it out, we’re here in limbo as far as social organizing to deal with actual problems. We can neither rely on the government/corporations nor are we permitted to take care of ourselves overly much.
So how can lent this year prepare us to face the Uranus + Saturn square? Rather than dread the coming tide, let’s get our metaphorical boats ready to sail it. I see two good vibes we can chill with. So let’s look at the moving stars next.
The Sun goes from their exile in Aquarius to their exaltation in Aries during almost every lent. Imagine leaving the DMV after 6 hours with your new driver’s license and driving straight to your best vacation spot. That’s lent from a solar perspective. This year the Sun isn’t going alone. Mercury, Venus, and the Moon are all stuck in that same DMV. Now, while the Moon is a very zippy babe and is going to sail their way across nearly the whole chart before lent is over, Venus and Mercury stay pretty close to the Sun. So party town this year is going to be extra party, hold the town. Venus keeps better pace with our source of heat because Mercury is still a little hungover from retrograde. Still, for the Sun’s travel in Pisces we can expect the trio to be working in harmony, especially once Mercury goes direct.
For me, the vibe is seeds. This will be my first year planting a huge garden, and Pisces season is seed germination time. My house is about to explode in tiny pots, reclaimed egg containers, and ziplock bags with damp paper towels taped to eastern windows. This garden is my way of creating safety for myself that requires my community rather than companies or the government. I will need help weeding and watering and figuring out why some of my plants are sad. Fortunately, I have a lot of support. May Saturn look favorably upon my seedling spreadsheet and garden diagram. May Uranus bless my tilling of the soil, turning the dirt a direction that is new.
So take your metaphorical seeds. Ask your community for help. Make a plan to do something new, and put your weight into it. Try to divest from large companies and the government as much as you can, because the Emperor is going to spend this year being very naked. Plant something beautiful to look at, too. The Sun isn’t the only planet making a comeback. Venus is also on their way home to Taurus. If you are going to pick a launch date, pick a day after Mercury goes direct on February 21st.
The last thing I want to point out is that all of this is going to roll over Neptune at home in Pisces. Now, a lot of astrologers have not been paying Neptune much mind in the last two years because we had bigger fish to fry. (Lent joke. You’re welcome.) I, however, see this as the hidden gem of the charts we’ve been looking at for the last few years. Neptune is an outer planet, more concerned with generations and big picture than our individual lives. We have seen a huge uptick in people looking for experiences of union with the divine, in mysticism. It’s okay to be part of that wave. That’s just the season, and it’s a good one. Now is the time not just to form a personal practice, but to reach out and find spiritual community. Build those connections. Learn what you really feel about the concept of the sacred.
Footnote: massage your feet. Medical Astrology says that occurrences in Pisces affect our feet, and I believe our feet are our best connection to the divine. This lent is the lent to splurge on shoes that support your arches, to buy that home pedi kit, or to take the economical epsom salt foot bath. Wash the feet of your beloveds in your germ pod. As soon as the ground thaws, put your feet on the dirt. If you don’t have feet, pamper the nearest existing body part.
Overall, this Lent is going to be the end of an Aquarius think tank moment, the time to take the ideas you ran into during January and February and move into the work. Whether your seeds are growing a garden, a mutual aid group, or security culture, go forth and try something new.