Moon phase: New Moon - emergence
The Sun is in 26 Gemini: A Gypsy emerging from the forest wherein her tribe is encamped (Sabian symbol for 27 Gemini).
The Moon is in its 9th mansion, which extends from 12 Cancer 51 to 25 Cancer 42. This is the second mansion within the second seven-fold cycle of the 28 mansions.
In Ibn 'Arabi's listing, the 9th mansion signifies The Sphere without Stars, The Zodiacal Towers, whose letter is ج and whose Divine Name is The Independent, The Rich, .الْغَنِىُّ
In the traditional Arabic system, the 9th mansion is known as At-Tarf, The Eyes. Its keywords are Divine wrath, severity, disempowerment, infirmity, frustration and misfortune. Its image is that of a man with his hands covering his eyes. The angel of this mansion is Barbiel.
In the morning, the Moon will enter my 11th house.
So, Ramadan is here. I have been considering the information that has come from various sources--on FB as well as via email from the Qadiri-Rifai Order--regarding tips for fasting, suggestions for zikr, etc. Mainly, I'm looking to simplify my approach to life, which includes continuing to work on my research and personal projects. I don't want to feel time pressure to fit in lots of supplementary activities, either at home or outside of the home, at this time.
It occurred to me today that it has taken me 12-13 years to rebuild the kinds of connections I was trying to achieve when I moved here, i.e., to find a way to maintain a connection to a tariqat and to find a mosque to go to now and then. I had mixed success when I arrived here, and then was diverted to my exploration of the Amma organization and the social opportunities that it offered.
I think that a difference between where I was then--and, previously, in Atlanta as well--is that I am putting much less of a premium on having gay travelling companions along the path. If that's what I really wanted to do, I suppose I could do things like the LGBTQ Muslims Retreat, which has been taking place over Memorial Day weekend for several years now. At a certain level, I feel that I am too old for that sort of thing. I have been in situations before where people gather, they feel that they are bonding, there is excitement and release of feelings, and maybe a few crushes to go around as well, and then the people pretty much return to their routines in the familiar environments when the activity is over.
I have been thinking about this a bit in terms of a search for a surrogate family. A number of LGBTQ people, having faced rejection from their families and local communities, naturally search for alternatives. In one's teens and 20s, that makes some sense. There may be other attempts to start over, or to "supplement" one's life, in one's 30s and 40s. But by the time one reaches one's 50s, it feels to me, at least, that it is time to assess the partial successess and failures of the past while gradually relinquishing the impulse to try to "fix" the damage of the past by seeking safety and security and "total" bonding experiences in the future.
It may be that there is a part of me that stands apart, that leads therapists and friends to indulge in attempts to "fix" things and make litanies of suggestions about how things might, or should, or could be "better." But, what if this is as good as it gets, and then we deteriorate from this point forward? We can't expect to keep regenerating indefinitely. There are some things that I can only pursue when I, first of all, give up the impulse to chase after things being a little bit "better" (more comfortable, more intimate, more "spontaneous," more sexy, more whatever). Why is it so wrong to simply pursue what I can pursue, in my present circumstances, with the means presently at my disposal, here and now? Aren't we supposed to be oriented toward "here and now" anyway? So what if it looks plain? So what if it looks solitary? So what if it looks separate and incomplete? If not for things being simple, at least temporarily, how can anything become anything at all, except for a jumble of illusions and a series of compulsive attempts to satisfy poorly understood desires?