Thou Shalt Judge: Reclaiming Intuition and Instinct


The moon is the planet of instinct, the basis of intuition, and the full moon in Virgo, the sign of discernment, reminds us to use our instinct to navigate the world safely in order to be productive and do what needs to be done. And sometimes that means turning away from certain things, like approval-seeking, and for calling bullshit for the sake of clarity, regardless of what others want.

Donald Trump, a chimpanzee with money and U.S. presidential hopeful, was aghast and beside himself in a way that only a malignant narcissist can, when Pope Francis, the spiritual leader of 1/6 of the world’s population, called his xenophobic behavior and words unchristian.

The horror! Who is the Pope to judge another Christian? After all, doesn’t the bible say thou shalt not judge?

Matthew 7:1 is the most misquoted and misapplied verse of the New Testament, and what is particularly pernicious about this is that the misquotation and misapplication has been co-opted by various New Age thoughts and movements, who have somehow confused spiritual maturity and wisdom with the complete lack of discernment, with utter disregard for the very feminine powers of intuition and strong instinct. Even if Buddha or Jesus might not duck from a person about to punch him, he would not simply ignore the situation. Both healers would more than likely try to address the root of the problem. After all, one cannot heal a wound that one refuses to see, and no surgeon can perform his craft with his eyes closed.

Matthew 7:1 actually means that one should not judge the ultimate, eternal worth and destination of the soul of another person: you cannot dismiss someone else as hell-bound or without redemption because all humanity falls short of perfection. Those who mercilessly judge the souls of others will be judged without mercy at their own death. No, it doesn’t mean that if you have a poor opinion about someone else, other people will have a poor opinion of you. That just makes entirely no sense given Christianity as a whole, since the entire philosophy is rooted in placing the opinion of the god over the opinions of humans whose thoughts have no bearing or sway on the god. Also, Christians are expected to draw ire from other people, if the rest of the bible is to be believed, and to be judged harshly. If this is taken as true, other people will have poor opinions of the Christians without respect to what the Christians think of them, so what does this matter? Finally, at the end of this chapter of Matthew, the people were amazed at how Jesus taught. Why would they be amazed over something that is a no-brainer? After all, the Old Testament is filled with warnings not to gossip or be uncharitable to fellow Jews, and Jesus was at the time only addressing other Jews. That would be like someone actually standing up in front of a crowd of people and telling them, literally, not to be jerks.

Furthermore, the rest of the chapter actually tells you to judge people. In fact, this entire chapter is a guide to judging people, for developing the virtue of discernment:

Matthew 7:15-20: “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” And who are dogs, and who is swine?

Matthew 7:21-23:“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matthew 24-27:“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

This entire chapter from which apparently, one line taken out of context is remembered, is about making sure that you are honest with yourself and others. Don’t take the place of god and pretend that you have power over the fate of another’s, for this is not your job. However, how do you know who is a dog and who is swine, if you mistakenly believe that you cannot see dogs or swine?

Besides the fact that everyone can pretty much already guess that Trump has suddenly become a lot of things since trying to get the Republican nomination — like a Christian, like a person actually interested in the little people, like someone interested in abortion rights, etc. — it is not only entirely biblically permissible, but mitzvah, to call Trump out. The Pope at least was polite enough to not say what everyone else actually thinks.

Discernment of spirits is considered a gift from the Holy Spirit. It is what we might otherwise call psychic ability or deep intuition. If the Holy Spirit can gift this to Christians, then why would Christians be told not to use it?

This is a problem for the rest of us, because Christianity is a major cultural force, and for the rest of us who are not Christian, we still live in a world in which we are told that to be nice people we must disavow our gift of discernment.

And Virgo is all about discernment. She is ruled by Mercury, but it may be more appropriate that she is ruled by the asteroid Ceres, who is now at 3 Pisces. On the full moon, the Sun and Moon will be on 3 Pisces/Virgo, respectively. Ceres, also known as Demeter, was the goddess of the harvest, the Earth Mother, the one who nurtures the soul by nurturing the body. And she also knows that the body isn’t nourished with weeds, but grain, and growing grain takes time and dedication and multitasking. Growing weeds really just requires a willingness to neglect.

I think every woman has a story in which she gave someone the benefit of the doubt even though she knew she shouldn’t, simply because she was afraid of what others would think of her. She was worried that she would seem like a bitch. While I know that this happens to men and women alike, women bear the brunt of giving up ownership of their bodies and their time to make the world not deal with the fleeting discomfort of someone not doing what you want them to do. Some women have been raped and/or killed. Others have thankfully, not had it that bad. But nevertheless, we expect women to give up their intuition and favor the cold, masculine energy of reason, which is not always a good idea.

Sure, it may seem unreasonable that the weird guy from work wants to hurt you, and it may seem unreasonable that he always seems to be in the parking garage with you as if he timed it, and yes, it may seem reasonable that he happens to always be staying late at work as well. Yes, this is very reasonable, and reason has its place. I study law. We keep order of the physical world through reason. But it is not the end-all and be-all, and it misses a lot of things.

But it is the very nature in which something seems reasonable that the shadow cloaks itself. Ted Bundy never chased women down, screaming and brandishing a chainsaw. He came to them wearing a cast and a smile, relying on their need to not be a bitch to lure them to his car. Bitch is actually a seriously unfortunate misnomer for the greatest thing a woman can ever be, which is a self-realized goddess fully embracing her own power and utilizing it.

The moon doesn’t speak through language. It is primal. It speaks through tone and body language. This is how we know what a person is really saying. This is how an animal knows how you feel without having to say the words. This is how a baby knows that you love it before it knows the phrase in the language it will learn later on.

And we judge people all the time. We do this to survive. If someone kicked down my door, brandishing a gun, I would make the judgment that this person wants to kill me and isn’t here to deliver a pizza. If someone is loud and belligerent and appears to be intoxicated, I will avoid them, especially if I am alone. I don’t owe it to anyone to keep up conversation with a person like that.

Most of us aren’t friends with every single person we meet. We make judgments as to whether or not the people around us are our people. We usually don’t have sex with every person we meet, either. We judge that at least one person is more appropriate for sex than the others around us. How do we do this? It isn’t by checking off boxes on a list for things to look for. This is where our instinct comes in. Relationships and interaction with other humans is based in our need to keep ourselves alive and thriving. It is to find those who will cooperate with us and help us meet our needs and to stay away from those who will take from us and hurt us.

And yet, Virgo is a sign of reason, to some extent. It doesn’t get mired in fantasy or the bottomless pool of human emotions. It is restrained. It makes plans. It decides what is good and what is not, and it discards what is not good for the sake of keeping the good pure. It is not interested in the self-esteem of the good, though it would never be rude or impolite. It simply doesn’t entertain fools. What kind of moon then, is a Virgo full moon, but the instinct to discern?

This moon teaches us to discern everything. It also teaches us not to cling to that which is not good, which taints the pure or obscures it. It teaches us to value clarity and purity and perfection for its own sake. It teaches us that we must judge in order to survive.

I think that this is a good full moon to usher in serious discernment over who will get the major party nominations in the coming months. I hope that this moon helps us understanding that the previous Leo full moon’s grand-standing is not enough, and that we must see beyond the show and look for substance.

And since substance is not always on the surface, we need to look for it. It is a time to reclaim instinct, to study the language of the body and of nature. I have actually met people who are so disconnected from the earth and physical reality that they thought that I was lying when I said that I could smell rain coming. I didn’t know how it worked. I just knew that something that smelled like rain was in the air before it rained, so I would dress appropriately that day. This is instinct. However, there is a scientific reason for this, that tiny raindrops are like aerosol sprays of dirt and the other debris they hold.

I knew a woman so willingly disconnected from discernment that she thought everyone was a great person (except those who weren’t). I remember hearing all about how great one of her friends was. He was a drug dealer who peddled in pharmaceuticals stolen from sick individuals, but I had no right to judge him on that. Also, he was often armed with an unregistered gun, and he would sometimes discharge it when angry, but he shouldn’t be judged for that, because that would just be stereotyping him as a gangster (he was white, if you’re wondering). He had previously been in jail for assault, and he still had anger management problems. But no, he was really a great guy, she insisted — funny and smart, and caring and generous — and no one can hold his past (or his present) against him. So when he was inevitably kicked out of his own house for violence, she had him move in with her. She lived with her father and conveniently left out all the unsavory details so as to get her father to agree. What a surprise it was for her father when he found out the hard way and promptly had the drug dealer removed. But why was daddy so mean? After all, this drug dealing friend was such a nice guy and daddy was such a jerk for putting the friend on the street. All he needs is kindness and love, right?

Well, what this woman also conveniently left out of the story was that he was her drug dealer, and got a discount for giving him a place to stay, and she would get free drugs for having sex with him, in her father’s home. Drugs that rightfully belonged to someone else, someone who perhaps actually was in chronic pain and actually needed them to function.

For those of us who follow the path of the True Will, we absolutely must judge. Let us take this month to reflect on what is good for us, both inside and out, and separate the wheat from the chaff. We will know it because we will feel it in our guts. Go ahead and judge this feeling; it will not take offense.

The full moon will be on my north node. I wonder what this will bring.



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