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It’s Not Hubris to Play With Crayons 

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Dear Chronogram Reader:

You’re familiar with the idea of hubris, yes? It’s that amplified blend of blind, stubborn ego and overreaching that spelled the tragic downfall of many a character in the myths and dramas of Greek antiquity.

In our society, lack of self-esteem seems to be a much more common and debilitating condition. Yet when it comes to living creatively and trusting that our gifts are worth trying out, expanding upon and even—gasp!—sharing with others, so many people live as though Zeus himself might strike them down with a lightning bolt should they dare.

You may or may not see yourself in that. At the very least, you likely know someone who shows creative promise but shies away at any suggestion of "doing something" with it.

The astrology of these current weeks has focused on variations of the theme of creativity. This has included acknowledging and understanding "the inner critic," and putting that voice in its place; and expanding into career and creative opportunities that present themselves, yet also seeing where some restraint (possibly financial) is warranted.

Between now and through the weekend, the story shifts some—though we’re still in the same basic ballpark. On Friday at 3:15 pm EDT, Mercury leaves Leo and ingress Virgo. Then on Saturday at 7:32 pm EDT, Mars leaves Cancer and enters Leo.

When Mercury and Mars enter their new signs, they aspect some interesting minor planets that play on the predominant themes. I’m going to describe the two configurations without piling on the planet names and angles.

One way to read the Mercury configuration is that if you try anything that is not "practical" or "rational" (Mercury in Virgo), you’ll get a taste of your own medicine, and will fall from grace. But that’s a very defeatist, narrow view, and my reading is that the presence of a hypothetical point called Transpluto in the first degree of Virgo serves as a caution against getting stuck in this perspective.

Alternatively: What if what you were taught was "hubris" as a child, regarding what you’re capable of creatively, is untrue? What if that idea came from a long line of people who were not encouraged to try, to experiment, to play, to make, and who therefore turned their bitterness in on themselves—and onto successive generations?

In that context, consider this: you’re not being an egotistical show-off if you decide to go for it. Rather, you’re reclaiming the right you were born with to live as a creative, engaged being.

The thing is, it takes a leap of faith on your part to test out those wings. It does not need to be a big leap; in fact, a modest skip could be the most effective. It may still feel incredibly daring. And it’s that sense of daring, of actually pushing past the inner voice telling you, “that’s too far! You’re not good enough!” that could prove to be medicinal.

By medicinal, I mean healing, not bitter—though it’s true that our first forays beyond where we were told we could go may come with some traces of bitter regret that we listened, and did not try sooner. That’s okay, and nothing to fear. Notice those emotions, acknowledge them, maybe give yourself permission to grieve a little; then give yourself permission to let any bitterness go.

You have new things to try. Mars in Leo will be on the scene the next day to give you heart and the extra energy you need to marshal yourself and try again.

Mars, too, is aspecting a couple of noteworthy minor points. My take on one of them is that it reaffirms that healing often requires a push beyond our "home" or comfort zone.

At the same time, you might not quite grab the metaphorical fruit you desire and that seems so close. So go easy on the expectations and simply enjoy some creative playing. Just in trying, you’ll be crossing a threshold of some kind—perhaps a threshold into a new sense of confidence.

Yours & truly,
Amanda Painter

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