Discernment

One of the most important skills to establish in life, and especially when walking the spiritual path, is discernment, the ability to see clearly beneath the surface of things into the essence and underlying structures. Without that, one is prone to self-aggrandizing and being fooled by appearances.

Discernment, in astrology, is strongly connected with Virgo, the yin aspect of mind. This includes the ability to analyze one's experiences and views, using a finely-honed bullshit knife to cut through deception and delusion to the core.

Seeing clearly in many ways negates blame and negative judgment, for one recognizes the shortcomings and inabilities of oneself and others, and the need for further growth and transformation. For example, it is useless for me to blame my family of origin because they were unable to meet me; their opinions and judgments of me were based upon their fears, projections, and unfulfilled needs, and not who I was, and am. I have often struggled with this, but a deeper understanding of the issue was very freeing.

Discernment also involves taking responsibility for one's actions, making amends and repairs when possible, and altering behavior patterns. But it is also important to recognize relationships that do not further one's path, saying goodbye with compassion and forgiveness, and walking on.

Finally, given the hype, tripe, and emperor's new clothes syndrome of what all-too-often passes for so-called reality, it is necessary to speak one's truth, with kindness and compassion, and without attachment to outcome. Learning when and how to wield the sword of love and truth is vital for expansion of consciousness.

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