Hello to readers in Matsuyama!
The planets ratchet up the intensity this week—there’s a full Moon today, with the Moon conjunct Uranus and both opposing the Sun, which is conjunct Venus. Anticipate a flood of emotional pronouncements, most of which can be seen as declarations of independence. I quit, I can’t, and I won’t punctuate conversations of every denomination, and while most, if not all, of these emphatic assertions are sincerely aimed at clearing the air and establishing a clean slate, they are nothing compared to what’s coming. So take a deep breath and as you exhale contemplate how you can ride these intense waves skillfully to shore. There are no guarantees of a safe harbor other than the safety of your intention to be part of what heals.
The emotional intensity of this week bleeds over into the next two weeks, reaching a crescendo on November 6, mid-term election day in the United States, and also the day Uranus retrogrades back into Aries. It’s the final flick of the dragon’s tail, and it is certain to reignite the fires of individual freedom and fuel revolutions everywhere—remember those Uranus/Pluto squares that began with the Arab Spring? This time we’re in for a few surprises with a Uranian signature that’s more experienced and significantly seasoned by the seven years it spent in Aires.
On November 6 at 1:58 PM EST, as Uranus moves into Aries, it will oppose the midpoint between the Moon, at 3° Scorpio, and Venus, at 27° Libra. Midpoints represent a combination of influences, and this influence is decidedly feminine. Venus symbolizes the feminine, expressed through love, beauty, and what matters most. The Moon represents the maternal principal; it is the emotional body, the feeling body, and it is also the longing to belong. Uranus signifies the principal of freedom and independence. 27° Libra is a position on the zodiac that keeps repeating itself: it was the third and final degree of the Jupiter/Uranus oppositions of 2017 and it squares the United States’ Pluto, which is at 27° Capricorn. I’ve been watching this degree carefully because transiting planets keep activating it, and my hunch is that every activation ups the ante on the American Revolution 2.0, a revolution that many recognize as being led by women.
In the ancient Greek myth, Aphrodite (Roman Venus) was the goddess born of the sea—the great waters of the feeling deep. Uranus was the sky god and when he mated with Gaia (Terra), they created all the creatures of the earth. As the myth goes, Uranus didn’t like some of his children, and Gaia, realizing he would harm them, enlisted Cronus (Saturn, one of their children) to help her to kill his father. When Gaia and Cronus castrated Uranus and threw his penis into the sea, Aphrodite was born. So potent is the creativity of the sky that Uranus continues to create even after his death. Aphrodite embodied many of her father’s qualities, especially his infinite creativity.
Astrology makes a distinction between its two feminine principles, the Moon and Venus, which is why the opposition of Uranus to both of these symbols is so significant. Of course, with Uranus there’s always a surprise, so I’m sure that at the start of election day, the pundits and pollsters, and predictors—astrologers included—won’t really have any idea of the outcome. Because at midday, when Uranus activates the combined influence of the feminine—maternal, creative, free-spirited, and independent—we are sure to see powerful shifts. Those shifts could turn it into a day that women rule. Mothers and daughters, aunts and cousins, grandmothers and every other category of women outraged by the subjugation of the feminine and the misogyny that permeates our current culture are all called to action through this Uranian impulse to break free from whatever enslaves. We all know it’s up to women to change the world. Whether there is enough combined outrage to reach critical mass and shift the balance of power remains to be seen. And just for the record: Madeleine Albright was right—there is a special place in hell for women who don’t support women.
It’s also up to men to change the world. It’s important for all of us, but especially for women expressing their pent-up rage, to remember that there are far more men who are nonviolent than there are misogynists and abusers. As women rise up, they need to be inclusive. That’s what the feminine principal of the mother does—she includes. Not without discernment, but with the wisdom. Because if the world is really going to change, if we are really going to free ourselves, we must acknowledge our common humanity. We are human before we are male or female, black or white, young or old, or any of the other many polarities that have been historically used to exploit our differences and pit us against each other.
I watched an interview with Tina Turner on the BBC this weekend, part of the publicity tour for her new memoir. Unlike the superficial American interviews I’m used to, this was an in-depth interview about her life experiences, some of which we already knew, and some of which she’s just talking about for the first time. What was most intriguing to me about the interview was her candor and acceptance of the awful things as well as the wonderful things that have shaped her as a human being, and from a Buddhist perspective how one might skillfully respond to the conditions in their lifetime.
I watched not as a Buddhist and not even as a music lover, but through the lens of the #MeToo movement. It was a revelation. Turner talked about what we already know—that Ike was a bastard and leaving him set her free, and that Buddhism gave her a way to contextualize her experience, and to “see death as part of life.” She talked about what it was like to sing “River Deep, Mountain High” live in the recording studio with Phil Spector. (For those of you who remember Phil Spector, yes, he was just another version of Ike.) But when she described what it was like to sing in that studio, with a full orchestra and find her full voice—that was revelatory, because finding her voice set her free—not as a woman, but as a musician, a step toward independence.
Turner describes herself as a prisoner and Ike as the guard. Who could’ve imagined during all those years of watching her be astonishing that she was a victim, brutally controlled by a cruel victimizer? But she set herself free—and the rest is history. When asked in the BBC interview what she would like to be in her next life, she replied that she wanted to come back and share the knowledge she had gained from this life to help people learn how to live better lives. Her inspiring story of complete transformation is worth keeping in mind, especially at this moment when the world is spinning from the despair and rage that women everywhere are feeling about their second-class status. It wasn’t being a superstar that set her free, it was the ability to say “no” to her oppressor and break free from the pattern of the victim/victimizer dance. She found her voice as a woman—as a human being—and it set her free.
This is something we all need to do as human beings, regardless of race, gender, religion, or age. We need to say “no” to violence of every kind, even the violence we do to ourselves through negative thoughts and harsh self-judgment. Keep Tina Turner in mind as you search for your voice in the coming weeks—she is a worthy inspiration for all who want to break free from what enslaves and keeps us in shackles of one kind or another. She is a worthy inspiration that change is always possible. Always.