The Imaginal Realm: New Moon in Aquarius

We are in a period of breakdown. Things we thought we could count on are failing around us. History tells again and again of the rise and fall of civilizations. There is always a cyclical pattern to existence from each individual life extending beyond the human and natural world to the cosmos. Order – chaos- reorder. Life-death- rebirth. Summer – Fall – Winter – Spring. It is law.

Many of the things we use to soothe and distract ourselves from the angst of just being here are no longer possible. Like all periods of destruction and breakdown, there are stages. We are still in the midst of the storm witnessing the fallout and aftershocks. All crisis and evacuation plans recommend a sheltered period. You take only what is most essential with you and leave the rest behind. 1

If there was ever a time for optimism, it is now. The word comes from the Latin Optimum, which means ‘best thing’. We’ve traveled a long journey this year, longer perhaps than years before. This doesn’t make sense in the linear world, but we know that we don’t just live in linear reality. There is more. This three-dimensional world of time and weight is our ground zero, but it is not all there is. Aquarius’ 11th House takes us beyond our personal world, through the greater world, and into the imaginal.

The realm between the material plane and the higher angelic world is outside yet within us.  It is always there, but it must be sought for only the non-essential imposes itself. The essential never does. This is the place where all good is possible, but we must choose to enter.

The Moon is new in Aquarius today at 2:08 pm ET. Aquarius is ruled by the planet Uranus and is the second to last house in the Zodiac. Uranus is the planet of disruption in the shadow, awakening in the light. They’re one and the same. The only difference is perception. Uranus governs freedom, moving beyond all that is into all that is possible. It’s where breakdowns become breakthroughs, and we draw into a power greater than ourselves for sustenance and inspiration. 

The Latin name for Aquarius means “water-carrier” or “cup-carrier,” and it is one of the oldest recognized constellations.  It has no exceptionally bright stars. It is found in the region called “the sea” because there are many constellations with water names here. Now, we are approaching the primordial waters where all separation dissolves, but we are not there yet. Aquarius is the myth of Ganymede, a beautiful boy who was abducted by the gods because of his beauty and taken to Mount Olympus to replace Hebe as Zeus’ cupbearer. Ganymede was the first mortal to become immortal. He pours the waters above that support life below, sharing divine messages and spirit. Thus duality becomes the bridge and channel.

This is the realm of eternal spirit and abundance from which we are all able to draw. If only we knew that it is not just there; it is seeking us too. Here divine inspiration is as close to us as our breath itself. We know we are there through “inter-personal energy exchanges and shifts, communal consciousness, experiences of deja vu and synchronicity, dreamwork, nature therapy, the efficacy of presence and prayer, the experiences of the mystic, among many other ways of knowing, to the realm of the incredible.” 2

The Imaginal Realm is not reached through the mind and its need for answers. It is found through living our doubts and questions with faith and love. Its door is the heart. Cynthia Bourgeault writes this of the Imaginal Realm in her book “The Eye of the Heart”:

“And when all the intellectual attractions have been stripped away, and it is allowed to speak in its own native tongue, what it speaks of, with surprising simplicity and directness, is beauty, hope and a mysteriously deeper order of coherence and aliveness flowing through this earthly terrain connecting it to the infinite wellsprings of cosmic creativity and abundance … It calls us to a renewed sense of dignity, accountability, belongingness, cosmic intimacy, and love …

The imaginal is a meeting ground, a kind of cosmic intertidal zone—and as in all intertidal zones, nourishment and metamorphosis furnish the principal order of business here. In this realm, the fruits of our human striving—both conscious and unconscious—are offered up to the whole. From this realm, in turn, we receive blessing, inspiration, guidance, and vivifying force, which are ours to share and bestow here below. Like a Sufi dervish, we receive and bestow, receive and bestow, as we turn and are turned within the greater cosmic dance.”

The zodiac journey takes us from Aires’ initial spark as a separate ego/self and through all the stages of development. We are nearly complete in the 11th House. We’ve just climbed the mountain to our highest potential, and now we descend to give ourselves to the world around us. This is the Bodhisattva house, where what we do for one, we do for the whole.

What is your gift and offering? Which world do you want to represent? There is always a choice. 

The Hell realms exist below and within us as well. They are accessed through anger, malice, greed, fear. They always impose themselves and seduce and ensnare us too. Righteous anger is addictive and contagious. One need only look to our mass media to see examples of the hell world on both sides of the platform. It is not a position of right and wrong. It is a position of reaching out with hope, possibility, and inclusion. 

The Imaginal Realm expands us and opens our hearts. It feels good here. It does not mean there is no sorrow or pain; in fact, it’s much the opposite. Here, grief and pain break your heart open, and compassion and generosity flow. 

You’ve probably visited many times, and while our visits are brief they change us forever. I invite you here now, while the cupbearer is pouring the waters of blessing upon us.

Don’t go with your mind; go through your heart.

“We’re in a free-fall into the future. We don’t know where we’re going. Things are changing so fast, and always when you’re going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It’s a very interesting shift of perspective and that’s all it is… joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes.”

Joseph Campbell


1. The Purifiers: Exorcist, Destroyer, Liberator. Stacey Couch

2. Tapping into the Imaginal Realm for the Good of the Wider We. Laura Weber. Prairewoods October 2020

3. The Eye of the Heart: A Spiritual Journey into the Imaginal Realm. Cynthia Bourgeault

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