I've been hearing more grumbling than usual among astrologers about the tenor of these times. A continuing stream of negative news seems to correspond with their worst fears about the difficult transits of this year.
First there's the relentlessly disruptive Uranus-Pluto square that's a powerful symbolic representation of the breakdown of social order. Add Saturn's presence in scary Scorpio to darken and deepen shadows of doubt and fear. Plus we recently had a conjunction of Mars and Saturn, which sent a strong signal of disaster to many of the astrologically aware. It's understandable, even for those of us living in middle-class comfort, to read the tea leaves of current events as another step in the disintegration of our world. So what can we do about it?
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You play a part
I've been struggling to find a helpful place in the face of the latest round of conflict in the Middle East. My higher beliefs are that all is as it's supposed to be, and that even pain and suffering are part of a larger and more benevolent plan. Yet when confronted with contemporary demons like radical fundamentalists, land-grabbing national leaders, environment-destroying CEOs, corrupt cops and politicians, bullies, abusers, greedheads and ignorant, insensitive individuals, I've been stuck between my desires to forgive and to fight. Clearly, there are destructive forces that I'm naturally inclined to oppose. Ideally, all of humanity is one and it's not my job to apply judgment and separate myself from anyone.
I felt trapped between the extremes of engagement and disengagement. To oppose or embrace, that was my question. But then, at 8:43 p.m. on Wednesday, August 27, an idea arose and I found a place to be that neither ran from harsh realities nor ignored them. The thought was about Neptune in Pisces and realizing (once again) that the peace I'm seeking is within myself. That if I can come to terms with my own contradictions, neither surrendering to the lesser angels of separation nor giving in to the impotence of detachment, I could contribute to healing instead of blocking progress with blame.
The power is within you
The power to change the world lies within ourselves. There's no position of loving understanding I can apply to murderers, rapists, and pillagers of nature until I find peace within myself. Neptune is the planet of forgiveness, and its presence in Pisces is a source of limitless compassion. The embrace of all of ourselves, including our darker sides, is where we can have the greatest impact. Each of us is minuscule in the vastness of the Universe, yet we each hold a unique position in it. The Self is the primary workplace, the environment in which our wisdom, love, and good wishes take root and grow.
The next time anger arises against a violent terrorist or greedy capitalist, turn your heart toward yourself and seek peace within. This is not the act of a pacifist refusing to engage the harsh realities of the world, it is a loving act of courage to face the demons of your own contradictions. The war you think you must fight with others is won in the battle to love yourself. This is the source of strength that can then be turned outwardly without the blindness of rage and the illusion of separation. It is the ground from which we grow, the source where we heal, become whole, and are able to offer the best of ourselves to one another.