Hello to readers in California!
Here’s the big astro news of the week: Venus Direct begins Friday, November 16, at 5:51 AM EST. Yay! But don’t get too excited. On that very same day, at 8:33 PM EST, Mercury Retrograde begins. Take heart—it’s the last one of this year. Best be prepared for the next couple of days to unfold with an uneven rhythm, stops and starts that feel at first like two steps forward and three steps back, but quickly shift to two steps forward and one giant banana step to the left…oops, make that a sidestep to the right, at least where America is rapidly becoming a Banana Republic.
From a non-political perspective, this last Mercury Retrograde of 2018 is an opportunity to reflect on the entire year, which has been one retrograde phase after another—anyone remember that Mars Retrograde from the end of June until the end of August? (Oy!) Mercury goes retrograde in Sagittarius, the Sign where we search for truth, and as it begins its final backward glance of the year, it forms a square to a Moon/Neptune conjunction, in Pisces. A Mercury/Neptune square fosters deception of every denomination, and that poses a big problem for those of us still hoping to hear truth spoken in the White House. Trumpworld is built on lies and this square has the power to reinforce that foundation. Think carefully about what you’re being told and what you choose to tell others.
Mercury Retrograde ends on December 6 at 4:22 PM EST, and by the time it completes this final journey, it’s back in Scorpio, where it has the power to reveal secrets, especially political secrets. Remember…Scorpio, ruled by Pluto, is the keeper of what lies beneath. For those new to Mercury Retrograde, this time is best spent reviewing, reflecting, and reconsidering recent events and choices. And as experienced retrograders already know, this is not the best time to initiate any new projects.
From a personal perspective, it would be wise to stick to the truth—no lying to self or others—which means that getting clear on what truth means to you would be the best way to spend the next several weeks. From a political perspective—who knows? Certainly those recounts are going to be challenging.
But that’s not all. Mr. Trump obfuscates the truth of almost every situation, perhaps believing that if he repeats a lie enough, it will become truth—a tactic advertisers learned a long time ago. What’s particularly disturbing and obvious from last week’s elections, is that he is targets his base knowing full well that he is appealing to their ignorance and the hatred that ignorance engenders. It’s unbelievably cynical and politically effective.
Very few seem to remember that in 2008 when President Obama won, nearly sixty million people voted for John McCain and—really—Sarah Palin. So many of us took pride in the election of the first black American president, that it was easy to sweep aside awareness of the many millions who didn’t vote for him. But as many of us know, President Obama’s win brought racism more fully to the surface of our American skin. The large block of red that appears on so many maps as the vast expanse of the American heartland, is populated for the most part by those who did not vote for one of the smartest people to ever run for president because he was black. Now, more than ever, those same people are empowered by Mr. Trump’s bigotry and they are not going to go away quietly. Their hatred is so ossified, so deep, that they would rather see America dismantled than see it rise to its promise of liberty and justice for all. As D. L. Hughley put it: “Obama is who we aspire to be. Trump is who we are.”
Here’s the good news: Those of us who care about our fellow humans can no longer deny what we are up against—and it ain’t Russia. While the Republican’s have brainwashed their base and carefully cultivated their fear and ignorance into virulent hatred and violence, those of us who continue to care must continue to work toward a greater good. We must continue to counter ignorance at the ground level—on school boards, in the classrooms, and through a multitude of local efforts to help the next generations respect our essential unity and to value the principles that support democracy.
A friend in Scotland recently asked, “I know what Republicans stand for, but what is it that defines Democrats?” A great question. I replied that Democrats embrace diversity—women; people of color; children; all those who are disenfranchised through poverty, lack of jobs and education, homelessness, exploitation; and countless disparate groups that band together to take care of their communities and environment.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote: “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart—and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained.”
Each of us has the power to hold the line of good in our hearts, and when we do, we can help those filled with hate to find that small bridgehead still inside them. When we care about our fellow travelers, the world breathes easier.