Joseph Hakim Anderson

Aries full moon: the lessons of anger

At just about midnight on Saturday Pacific time there's a full moon in the sign of Aries. What does this bounding, rambunctious aggressive emotional quality have to teach us at this time?

Donna Cunningham's affirmations from Moon Signs for the Aries moon are:

I release any anger that is toxic to me.
I direct my anger into constructive action
I assert myself in a balanced, comfortable way.
Energy is available for all I want to achieve.
I allow my leadership potential to unfold.

I wrote a month ago regarding the Pisces full moon that I was learning to distinguish between experiencing emotion and expressing emotion. Continuing into the Aries space there is an opportunity to apply this concept to the most difficult of emotions, anger.

Anger has much to teach us about the difference between experiencing and expressing emotions. Because anger is much more about expression than experience: it's a reaction and not a reflection. I have learned that when anger rises, if I can focus my attention on what I am actually experiencing, that is quickly revealed as something entirely different - sharp pain, overwhelming disappointment, profound fear. In fact, an angry outburst minimizes the underlying experience- it's a form of the short-circuiting I talked about in my recent post about the price of magic. You get angry. You release energy.  You have distanced yourself from the underlying (much more painful) cause. On a superficial level you might feel better. But it's just a form of substance abuse, and in this case the substance is yourself. And like any other addiction, anger alienates you from those you love and most need - and anger alienates you from yourself.

But there is another path, by which anger is the starting point on a journey toward magnificent fulfillment and self-realization. Taken individually, the affirmations above are wise and good medicine; as a group they beautifully describe this profound process.

  • I release any anger that is toxic to me. First I need to recognize the potency of anger so I can avoid being entrapped by it: experience before expression.
  • I direct my anger into constructive action. With that clarity of mind, I have the capacity to remember what is really important to me, what I am seeking to build in the world, and identify how I can act in a positive way, fueled by the pure energy that lies behind all anger.
  • I assert myself in a balanced, comfortable way. From that grows an ability to operate with grace, patience, and balance - the image of tai chi comes to mind - as I begin to learn that, while a fierce intensity has its value as a motivational starting point, genuine transformation requires steady consistent, relaxed effort over time.
  • Energy is available for all I want to achieve. Freed of its toxicity, given its proper object, and brought into balance, the smoldering emotion can become pure flame…
  • I allow my leadership potential to unfold. …and from that flame comes light that shines as far and wide as my destiny allows. What more could I ask for?

In this election season when anger is everywhere manifest, and we are all getting a chance to reflect on the uses and abuses of anger expressed by supposed leaders in very vivid ways, I find these affirmations consoling and hopeful. They provide a vision of and a pathway to true leadership. May we all walk this path with integrity!