Near the beginning of his career the great magician Harry Houdini traveled around Europe visiting small towns where he would challenge local jailers to bind him in a straightjacket and lock him in a cell. Again and again he delighted the crowds with quick escapes from seemingly impossible restraints, but in one small Irish village he ran into trouble in front of the avid group of reporters and townspeople. He easily broke free from his straightjacket, yet despite his repeated efforts to solve the puzzle of the lock he failed to open the cell door. He had to admit defeat and ask the jailer to release him. After everyone left Houdini asked the jailer, “what kind of new lock did you put on your cell?”
“Oh,” said the jailer, “it’s actually quite an ordinary lock. I figured you’d have no difficulty with opening it so I never bothered locking it at all.”
I heard this story years ago from Jack Kornfield and recalling it always makes me smile. We so often outwit ourselves by assuming the need to try so hard, to struggle, and to fight. We build up big and worthy opponents in our minds when in reality we might be better off softening our hearts. Sometimes, especially with difficult emotions like anger, resentment or hurt, the inner battle persists long after the original struggle has ended. The question is, can we sit with what we are feeling long enough, really suffer it enough to realize it is so very worth letting go of, worth giving up? The cage, you know, is unlocked.
Today marks a special new moon in Scorpio. Scorpio has a familiarity, even a comfort, with aspects of darkness and the unconscious. Under this sign, there is no fear of exposing reality as it is, shadow side included. You might find this new moon unearths buried frustrations within you. This isn’t necessarily as bad as it sounds: the idea here is to use the energy of the moon in Scorpio to feel what you need to feel in order to resolve underlying conflict in your life.
As you allow yourself to really feel any dark emotions arising, can you hold in your heart that this process is actually evolving you in a healthy direction? This makes it easier to work with and ultimately release our more difficult emotions- to get out of the cage so to speak. If you’re feeling stressed and tense as a result of the current conflict energy — guess what: it might not be you, or not just you, but a larger magnetic field at work here. Sometimes just knowing that helps me take a broader witness perspective and, if not quite enjoy the ride, at least not take it so personally.