Hello to readers in Dublin!
We’re still in the effect of the Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn that was exact on January 12, 2020, a rare planetary event that spans a great arc of time, which makes it influence momentous. It’s a great Wheel Turning celestial cycle that destroys whatever has run its course and no longer serves while simultaneously inspiring new ways of addressing the same issues. Time travels in a spiral, constantly touching on the same cardinal points but never actually retouching those points in the same place along the continuum, which is why history repeats but never exactly replicates itself. The repetition of this Saturn/Pluto cycle has sparked conversations all around the world concerning government and its role, the rule of law, and many other societal structures that hold day-to-day “reality” in place. Because these structures are being challenged everywhere and because we have yet to figure out how to meet those challenges with a consensus on what needs to be learned from history, daily life often seems as if we are suspended in some sort of odd limbo—not here, not there, not anywhere.
Pluto began its journey through Capricorn in 2008, its first sojourn there since 1762. Capricorn is the Sign of systems and structures, which includes corporations, governments, and banks—all of which have shuddered from Pluto’s presence over the past twelve years. Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, which is concluding its most recent transit through its Home Sign this year, a transit that began in 2017 and repeats approximately every 29 years. The last cycle of Saturn through Capricorn was in November 1988 and the next will begin in January 2047. Saturn and Pluto will not be conjunct again in Capricorn until 2754.
Here in the powerful aftermath of this rare planetary pattern, we are witnessing the devastating effect of our structures crumbling. While some of these structures needed attention because they failed to address the modern vicissitudes of life on planet Earth, their absolute destruction is rattling daily life in ways most of us never dreamed possible. Yes, dystopian futurists saw this coming, but the rest of us had no clue it would get this real, even if we enjoyed the end-of-the-world movies those writers spawned. The biggest problem of all is the uncertainty our current structural dissolution has put in motion.
Our situation, personal and collective, is asking us to learn to live comfortably with uncertainty and that is a hard task. A friend of mine defines mental health as the ability to live life despite its constantly shifting tides. Most of us can’t do that at all (which I guess from his perspective makes us all a little crazy) and very few can do it skillfully. In the current climate of uncertainty, we are free floating, no longer tethered to the old paradigms and unfortunately, because we have yet to create new ones capable of supporting positive transformation, we are, as Bob Dylan once wrote, “like a rolling stone, with no direction known.” It’s just one of the consequences of the Saturn/Pluto conjunction. We need a known direction.
This week, Mercury Retrograde provides the perfect environment for contemplating what that new, future direction might be. Yes, I do know that retrogrades are about reflecting, reviewing, and reconsidering what is already in motion, but that is what makes this a perfect moment to contemplate where we are going. We need to contemplate what’s gone wrong so we can figure out how to make it right—the causal level reveals the cure. You can only create what you can envision and part of the problem is that many of us are only focused on what’s collapsing and the devastation of that turmoil. Imagine the combined effect of all the attorneys who previously found their true north in the rule of law shuddering from the realization that their guiding light has gone out—at least for now. Their collective shudder is just the most recent contributor to a pervasive experience of dislocation. Our collective dislocation is a disturbance that is physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Mercury Retrograde provides us the cosmic opportunity to truly take in the magnitude of these disturbances so we can get clear about what needs to be created.
Unfortunately, Mercury Retrograde can also be a frustrating slog of missed calls, missing emails, and misunderstandings; and traffic and traveling are one snafu after another—nothing wants to move the way it “should” or the way you want it to. Interestingly, a Mars/Uranus trine supports movement of all kinds as well as the strength to move mountains. So while Mercury Retrograde may be stalling the action, Mars, in Capricorn, and Uranus, in Taurus, are scratching the itch to move. When these two titans of energy work together, their combined effect is the urge for freedom and the determination and courage to remain steadfast in pursuit of liberty. We need that right now, especially if we want to maintain mental health. So if frustration gets you down, use this Mars/Uranus trine to motivate exercise. It makes no difference what kind you choose—what matters is that you move. And if you can’t physically do it, use your imagination—the second greatest muscle of all.
The first and greatest muscle is the heart, so all week long as you wrestle with the weight of the ongoing existential limbo, let your heart lead the way. It may be difficult to stay steady in a practice of compassion, but it is worth the effort—always. Remember, your fellow travelers are as stressed as you—maybe even more, and a lighter touch motivated by kindness works wonders to lighten the load, allowing everyone to breathe a little easier.