I love running into words that I’ve never known before, notably ones that stand for concepts that I am familiar with, which I regularly reflect upon, and which hold significance for me.
I had this experience again yesterday, as I was reading a new book on sleep and dreams (The Twenty-Four Hour Mind by Rosalind D. Cartwright). Right there at the outset, right there on page 1.
There she noted how psychology is a study of three things: “cognition, conation, and affection.”
The first and third I knew, while the second was new to me. And new in a sort of shocking way, as I have read a lot, for many years, about psychology.
Conation. What is conation, I wondered?
Instead of just going ahead with my reading, with my curiosity piqued, I took myself on a detour, looking up this seemingly fundamental word that was obscure to me (and, as I soon realized, not just obscure to me, as it’s actually included in the book The 1,000 Most Obscure Words in the English Language).
It turns out that the fundamental psychological concept of conation is defined as “the part of mental life having to do with striving, including desire and volition.”
When I realized that I laughed, in awe, at how meta and synchronistic finding this word was. After all, I had just been thinking about how we are entering a week that features the last of the Mars/Uranus Squares, a four-month period of unanticipated inspirations, sometimes precipitated by detours, showing us more about what motivates us, what we desire, and how we activate our will.
And there I was having a Mars/Uranus experience….an unanticipated discovery (Uranus) of a word, that set about a detour (Uranus), a word that itself signifies our inclinations to take action (Mars). And now I (and you) have at our disposal a new word to help us frame what we’ve learned over the past four-plus months, reflective of the Mars/Uranus Square.
As we move through this week, the week of the last of the three Mars/Uranus Squares (the other two exact alignments were May 16 and August 1), we may find ourselves with a newly evolved understanding of our conation. To help you through this process, here are some Stellar Reflection Questions to consider:
* What have you learned over the past four-plus months about your desire nature?
* Have you better understood what motivates and drives you?
* Have you gained another level of connection to your will, and more clarity about what triggers you into action? And has this awareness shifted your perspective on how to more consciously do so?
* What role did the ‘out-of-the-blue’ play in your growing awareness, and do you find that you have a new relationship with surprises and a new way to respond when you’re surprised?
* Speaking of, would you say that you’ve become more adaptable and flexible, and seeing how ‘staying bouncy’ can be a first-line defense against stress let alone a powerful strategy to directing your volition?
Additionally, you may find that things that you’ve been considering pursuing in the past several months, which you strived to achieve, are coming to fruit now. Look back to May to see if an idea had planted itself in your mind, one that you may have gotten an alternative perspective on during mid-summer, reflecting upon whether it has now re-emerged and is more ready to be fueled into existence, propelled out into the world. (I’ve had numerous experiences of this in the past few days, including the launch of my new Astrology + Dreams online class).
In addition to the Mars/Uranus Square, this week also features a Sun/Mercury Conjunction, and with that we could find that our minds are lit up by a swathe of ideas and thoughts. And while all the information that’s threading in and out of our attention may be stimulating, it’s important to watch that it doesn’t harvest overwhelm or cause us to feel too scattered. So, do what you can to have a mindful relationship with taking in and giving out information. Do it in as metered a style as you can, making sure that inflow and outflow are interspersed with moments of digesting and reflecting upon the ideas and thoughts that are coursing through you. Weaving relaxation practices—such as exercise, meditation, Rescue Remedy’ing, spritzing with lavender essential oils, et al.--may help your mind, and body, to stay bright and luminous (rather than anxious and edgy).
A seasonal shift occurs on Saturday with the Equinox as the Sun enters Libra. And with that we sashay into a month where relationships, finding balance, striving for justice, defining beauty, and discovering social opportunities take center stage. Taking what we learned in Virgo season—including the appreciation for the discrete as well as being discreet—and applying it to the way in which we navigate partnerships and pleasure may allow us to move through this month with even more ease, grace, and joy.
Have a wonderful week!
* Mars/Uranus Square
* Sun/Mercury Conjunction
* Mercury enters Libra
* Sun enters Libra
* Mercury/Saturn Square
* Mercury/Mars Trine
Dates noted reflect Eastern Daylight Time