All full Moons bring light to the dark, illuminating what has been in the shadows of two opposing areas of our life. Gemini seeks to gather and share information. Sagittarius aims to discover truth and meaning. We have more data than ever before, but not necessarily more knowledge; we possess more time-saving devices, but seemingly less time. Each day 100 billion e-mails, 20 billion texts, and 500 million tweets fly through cyberspace. We are exposed to more news in one edition of The New York Times than someone living in the 17th century encountered in their lifetime. According to Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO, “Between the dawn of civilization through 2003, about five exabytes of information was created. Now that much information is created every two days.”
Our bodies are not designed to process so much information. We may multitask, but in reality our brain is rapidly switching from one thing to another; this burns more glucose, which makes us feel more exhausted and disoriented. Multitasking also increases cortisol and adrenaline levels, and triggers a dopamine-addiction feedback loop. Constant stimulation co-opts the same brain systems involved in addiction, activating our more unconscious, reactive limbic system rather than our self-aware prefrontal cortex. Research shows that when we are multitasking, we actually take much longer to accomplish things, make more mistakes, and increase our stress – one study found cognitive losses from multitasking greater than those from pot smoking.
So, how do we step off of the information treadmill? Neptune at 10 degrees Pisces forms a t-square with this Full Moon, indicating another way of perceiving and knowing. Intuition is nonlinear and non-temporal; it connects us with an intelligence far beyond the bounds of logic or analysis. To access it, we have to slow down and tune inward, or else we miss the signals coming from our sixth sense. Neptune squares Mercury, Mars, and Saturn, as well as the Sun and Moon, challenging us to switch to a very different operating system that is primarily guided by the acuity and intelligence of our heart, not just our head.
The busier we are, the more we need quiet, meditative soul time; even a few minutes before we head out the door can make a huge difference in how the rest of our day goes. Meditation strengthens our ability to be more centered and less reactive; we make fewer errors and see alternatives more readily. We become more peaceful and more productive. Meditation helps us to stay in the present, which is the only place where we have control and can make changes. We become more self-reliant and less easily influenced by others. On a physical level, meditation has been shown to reduce cortisol, increase serotonin, and strengthen the immune system. Give yourself (and everyone around you) the ongoing gift of connecting with your higher self daily. Lawrence LeShan’s book How to Meditate is an excellent resource on the different kinds of meditation and their effects. Download Leslie Temple Thurston’s beautiful 15-minute Conscious Awareness Mediation at http://www.corelight.org/resources/free-downloads/.
This Full Moon informs us: “In an age of acceleration, nothing can be more exhilarating than going slow. And in an age of distraction, nothing is so luxurious as paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is so urgent as sitting still.” (Pico Iyer)