Hello to readers in Fortaleza!
For far too many weeks far too many of our fellow travelers have been bombarded by extremes. Fire and rain as well as earthquakes and hurricanes, not just in the United States, but all around the planet—continent to continent—disasters of every kind have exacerbated the suffering of sentient beings. Fires in northern California, earthquakes in Mexico and Italy, floods in Peru, hurricanes—Nate, Harvey, Irma, Maria, and as I write this Ophelia is headed for Ireland and the United Kingdom—are presenting unprecedented challenges for recovery. And the list above doesn’t even include the floods in Mumbai and other parts of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Southeast Asia, as well as Typhoon Hato in Macau and southern China. Floods in New Zealand, mudslides in Sierra Leone, and earlier in the summer, the fires in southern France and Portugal, which are currently reoccurring in Portugal and Spain. It’s as if the Earth is convulsing in response to our human condition.
The difficulty is that in a world that no longer makes sense—and in reality, hasn’t made sense for a while—the aggregation of our bad habits is putting us continuously at risk. But not just physically. We are also at risk spiritually, mentally and emotionally as we hold onto the day-to-day, trying to not get swept away by the enormous waves of grief that are relentlessly pounding the shores of daily life. Unfortunately, this grief is a necessary part of our ongoing global catharsis. It’s painful, but it’s teaching us that we must live differently.
I realize that reading a list of natural disasters is both stultifying and redundant—you’d have to be living off-planet to be oblivious to the current extreme conditions. It’s no longer possible to isolate or tune out from what’s going on. The Internet is now our global fascia, and that makes all politics truly local and all suffering local, too. Social media changed our relationship to everything. It’s one thing to read about a hurricane and the damage done. It’s another thing to hear about it from someone on the ground, unscripted and live-streaming from the actual site.
The immediacy created by our undeniable interconnectedness has both unfortunate and fortunate effects. Unfortunate because it exacerbates frustration about not being able to help in a practical way across long distances. Fortunate because it’s fueling creative responses to dire situations from individuals committed to making a difference. Despite the callousness of many of our current world leaders and the seeming rise of segments of our global population who deride caring for others, a network of compassion is growing. It may be growing slower than many of us would like, but there’s no denying that people are waking up. For example, while many have felt powerless in the face of Mr. Trump’s blatant misogyny, the anger roused by his entitlement and the acceptance of his entitlement has fueled a new feminist fire—and the intensity of that fire can be seen in the searing reactions to Harvey Weinstein’s ritual misogyny. From an astrological perspective, the exposure and revelation of Mr. Weinstein’s serial sexual abuse of power can be attributed to Jupiter’s move into Scorpio on October 10. Jupiter symbolizes excesses. Scorpio represents sex and power. No more need be said.
Our current catharsis on planet Earth can be understood through the cycles of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, all of which have been signaling the need as well as the potential for personal and planetary transformation since the end of World War II—not long after the discovery of Pluto, the creation of the atomic bomb and the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Pluto has probably played the most dynamic role—it represents change at the core—and as it has combined with Saturn, inflexible regimes of power have come into being. For example, in 1947/1948 there was a Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Leo, and during those year, the CIA was established as was the NSA, India and Pakistan gained independence, and the State of Israel was formed. Another Saturn/Pluto conjunction in 1982, during Reagan’s reign, when Reaganomics took effect and unemployment was at 16.3 percent. The events of September 11, 2001 correlate to a Saturn/Pluto opposition that occurred at the midpoint of the 1982 cycle. We are still dealing with the consequences of that opposition. We are headed for another Saturn/Pluto conjunction in January 2020, which will certainly be a reaction to all that’s taking place now.
Pluto has also interacted with Uranus and those cycles are about revolution. Uranus symbolizes the rebel with or without a cause, and under the combined influence of Uranus/Pluto cycles, issues of social justice tend to dominate the zeitgeist. Certainly the last several years of Uranus/Pluto squares (2012-2015) gave us a pretty clear picture of what needs to shift, and its aftermath also revealed the depth and breadth of forces opposed to change, condensed and intensified in the blatant narcissism, racism and greed of Mr. Trump and his cadre of hungry ghosts.
The good news is that Mr. Trump is so over-the-top that even those who would rather stay asleep are alarmed and quickly waking up to the urgency of this evolutionary moment. The need to stop the systematic destruction of the environmental progress that’s been made in the last several decades has never been more important. And the attempts to nullify the leaps in social consciousness that moved us out of prejudice and into compassion also need our protection and vigilance. The very awfulness of the Trump policies serve as a constant reminder that we can no longer tolerate the ignorance of the past—to do so is to travel the path of self-extinction.
On Thursday, October 19, there is a New Moon, in Libra, that forms an exact opposition to Uranus, in Aries. A New Moon always signals the beginning of a new emotional cycle and it’s almost always a good time to plant seeds of intention or initiate new projects. This New Moon cycle is about a fierce devotion to relationship and how that commitment challenges an equally fierce urge for independence. Anticipate declarations of every sort, yours or others’. It would be safe to assume that some of those bursts of personal expression are motivated more by the need to blow off steam than to actually effectuate a permanent change.
As the week unfolds, do your best to stay present and emotionally sober—it’s not going to be easy to handle the flux of feelings as so many fellow travelers attempt to cope with loss—and not just physical loss. Many are struggling to hold onto hope for the future, despite the grim present. Try to stay centered and grounded in the knowing that we are in a dynamic process, and then do your best to share that perspective with others.