Hello to readers in Red Lodge!
Pay no attention to that man in front of the curtain—he is only there to obscure what’s going on behind the scenes in the quiet stealth of a conservative agenda that is drunk on the idea of dismantling every intelligent advance ever made toward the preservation of not just human beings but of every species on this fragile planet. The salvation of our planet’s capacity to foster life for all sentient beings hangs in the balance. And no, I haven’t seen Al Gore’s new movie yet—I don’t have to, although I want to. All I have to do is watch the news and feel the air (which in most places is seasonally extreme), and I understand that we are at a tipping point that threatens extinction—our own. The planet is certain to survive this showdown with ignorance…but it’s uncertain whether we will.
The good news is that the outcome is not yet decided. And the reason it isn’t a done deal is because daily more and more people are waking up to the realization of just how egregious these policies are and just how much damage is being done. In my world, it seems all too obvious that Trump’s greedy cohort of hungry ghosts are pulling a fast one with each passing minute, but not everyone is sure their policies are ill-intentioned. And they may not be…they may simply be stupid and drunk on their power, so intoxicated that they’re willing to gamble the lives of their offspring for an extra buck. For these people, there is no long view. For their worrisome followers, there is just the desire to vent fear and frustration, fear of a world that is no longer intelligible and frustration with a world no longer works as it once did. In their despair, they lash out violently, causing suffering at every turn.
Fear and frustration are emotional responses that each of us must transform in order to mature, regardless of our political orientation, and for this week and the next several weeks, emotional responses are the dominant social gravity of daily life. This is because we’re still in the eclipse shadow, caught between the lunar eclipse of August 7 and the solar eclipse of August 21. (And yes, this liminal eclipse zone is a bitch). When the Moon obscures the light of the Sun, unconscious drives overshadow conscious concerns, the veils of psyche grow thin, what lies behind or beneath conscious action is laid bare, and primal urges dominate the terrain of daily life. And if that isn’t enough, eclipses distort time and thus circumstances related to an eclipse often occur six weeks before or after the actual event. Charlottesville is emblematic of these parted veils which make it possible to see the hatred, so blatantly encouraged by Mr. Trump, take center stage. Surges in hatred and violence create chaos.
Don’t underestimate the desire of those behind the Trump curtain to cause social chaos. This is part of the systematic dismantling of all the social justice gains made in the last many decades. Conservatives and neo-conservatives have been waiting a long time for someone like Mr. Trump to emerge, someone who appeals to the worst of us, so that the worst of us can seize the moment and once again feel powerful in a world that grows increasingly more self-conscious of its need for unity. More and more he reminds me of the cocaine- driven Reagan years, the 80’s, when everything had to be the best, “world class,” when looking marvelous was more important than being marvelous, and money as well as success became the Yuppie mantra—the one with the most toys won.
The advisors leading the current devolution know all too well that chaos creates a need for order and that a frightened society will often say ‘yes’ to measures that promise to provide the safety they are craving. As Trump supporters confront Trump resisters we are sure to see violence escalate and with that a simultaneous escalation in social anxiety. Unfortunately, that almost always leads to a totalitarian government and the very masses seeking the safety of order will suffer the consequences. Mr. Trump and his hungry ghosts are building toward something that resembles martial law—and no I am not exaggerating. When this same eclipse point was triggered in 1998 on the President Bill Clinton’s Sun, impeachment proceedings began. In Mr. Trump’s case, the current eclipse could trigger a coup d’état.
In the astrological practices of old, the king was seen as the embodiment of his nation. The current United States “king”, Mr. Trump, has made it clear that he would prefer to rule as a king, and interestingly, he is directly affected by this solar eclipse:
(1) His Mars is well within reach of the eclipse sensitive point. On August 19, the Sun, on its way to the eclipse, conjuncts his natal Mars—a signature of war, given that Mars is the God of War; and Uranus, in Aries, also a Sign of war, trines his Mars, an influence with the potential to incite impulsive and aggressive behavior.
(2) But that’s not all. Mr. Trump has a Mars Return on August 31, signaling a new cycle of militaristic intensity—he leans in that direction, anyway—and this has the potential to give him a fresh start.
(3) The solar eclipse actually occurs on his Ascendant, the most visible point in any chart and a point known for self-assertion, as well as the point of public persona. There’s simply no way to assess the direction that public opinion will turn, but if the last several days are any indication, it does look good for all those who are against his politics. What’s astounding to witness is just how many people still expect him to act presidential. For example, so many are condemning him for not taking a stand against the white supremacists in Charlottesville, when he has made it clear all along that he is their president.
And again, those who stand behind the Trump current of erratic behavior and retro-posturing are counting on those right-wing fanatics to come this regime’s defense when necessary. I admit that this may be the most negative reading of this eclipse effect but it is possible, especially given the chaos we’re already in.
How to transform this chaos is the question anyone with consciousness or a conscience needs to confront. What each of us is being asked to do during these remarkable times, punctuated by remarkable astronomical events, is figure out how we can actively participate in putting the emphasis on love, peace and understanding. As always, my response is kindness—but not namby-pamby kindness that’s afraid to take a stand for the best interests of all. We need kindness that is born of clarity and isn’t afraid to tell the truth, and a large portion of that clarity must be based on a broad enough vision of the future to include everyone, even people we don’t agree with. What’s required is an revolution of heart and mind, and when that revolution is guided by compassion, revolution becomes evolution. Nothing less will do.
For some relief and clear instructions about how to participate, here’s are a link with guidance for handling the intensity of the eclipse from a compassionate perspective. saraswatibhawan.org/solar-eclipse-a-buddhist-perspective/