Planets stand for different dimensions of experience. By paying attention to each of them, we can be fully present to the experience, and thus learn from it. Deepak Chopra suggests four main modes of experience in his Book of Secrets: being, thinking, feeling, and acting. It may go like this:
Let’s say you catch yourself thinking (Mercury): “I don’t want to be bothered today” – instead of fighting it or yielding to it, you can pay attention to other dimensions of experience. For instance, you may notice the feeling (Moon/Venus) in your body: “I feel tired.” Then you may be acting (Mars) this out: “I act as if I don’t want to be bothered – like I don’t care about anybody.” or “I do things for others but in a resentful way.”
When you pay attention to the dynamic going on in these three levels (thinking, feeling, acting), then you may realize (being): “I realize that I need to give myself enough rest.” or “I see that I am isolating myself from a potentially enjoyable encounter.”
According to Chopra, the experience of “being” can be phrased as “I realize” or “I see” or “I am” etc, which is Sun’s function as the experiencer of life (note that he doesn’t talk about planets in his book – I’m just relating his thoughts to astrological symbols.)
This is an extremely holistic insight and I resonate with it strongly. One takeaway is that you can introduce a new element into any one of these dimensions, and that is likely to affect other levels. Let’s see what can happen if, once you felt that your body was tired, you introduce a new thought:
- Feeling (Moon/Venus): I’m tired.
- Thinking (Mercury): I love myself and therefore I will take good care of myself.
- Acting (Mars): I act in a way that ensures that I get adequate rest and nourishment.
- Being (Sun): I realize I am capable of improving my well being. I am well taken care of.
- Feeling (after some consistency in the above new patterns): I feel rested and nourished.
And the new, better cycle begins. This learning occurred in the present moment, because you were aware of the thought that originated in your body’s fatigue.
Change can start from any level. For instance, I recently went skydiving, and as I looked at the experience, it can be described like this:
- Action (Mars): I skydived. I did something that took courage for me to do.
- Thinking (Mercury): I think I’m braver than I thought I was.
- Feeling (Moon/Venus): I feel stronger in my body.
- Being (Sun): I realize that I can act even when I’m afraid. I see that I can choose excitement over fear.
- Action (Mars): I act to do something new and exciting, even when it seems scary.
Awareness of these four levels of experience prevents us from being stuck in our head, or be a victim of our feelings. We can probably include other planetary functions to make this even more multidimensional, but for now this seems nice and simple to work with. I’m having a great time with this model, and I hope you’ll find it useful as well.