Collapsed bridge on the Skagit River, Washington. Photo courtesy Washington Department of Transportation.
It seems it’s human nature to believe the latest disaster is the worst ever and that more catastrophes than ever before are befalling the planet. I’m not sure this is true, but it’s safe to say that we’re living in unprecedented times.
Skeptics would say we simply have more reporting than ever before, that being connected to the Internet 24/7 results in a barrage of disaster stories from around the world. Still, given the headlines, one might reasonably conclude we’re in the middle of the Apocalypse, even though that was supposed to have come and gone in 2012.
I’ve written a lot about breakdowns, both collective and individual, and in an attempt to present the positive with the negative, I’ve also broached the subject of rebuilding. Otherwise, all this talk of breaking down gets depressing, especially when plans for rebuilding keep falling through or changing without warning.
However, the truth is that we can’t start rebuilding until the breakdown is complete. That, I believe, is the message of Pluto in Capricorn in mutual reception with Saturn in Scorpio. Saturn, remember, is the planet of structure and careful, step-by-step progress. But Pluto is about breaking down and transforming. You might think of it as trying to rebuild a house on a worm-eaten foundation. The only way to ensure the integrity of the structure is to pull out everything and rebuild from the bottom up. In societal terms, we’ve got a patch job on top of a patch job on top of another patch job. It’s no wonder that the whole thing is crumbling.
Saturn and Pluto remain in mutual reception until December 2014. During that time, Uranus continues to form a square with Pluto. The last exact alignment will occur in March 2015, but we’ll continue to feel this far-reaching aspect for another two or three years after that. Uranian energy is volatile, explosive, and unpredictable. When you combine these energies, you get … well, exactly what we’ve got.
In addition to the deadly tornadoes, fires, and floods, recent protests around the world have turned violent, with the police backlash that is the hallmark of the square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn. Uranus rules Aquarius, the sign of equality, and many of the protests have their roots in inequality and injustice. In fact, this isn’t the first time we’ve had a society based on such vast disparity. I’m constantly reminded of medieval Europe, when the nobility taxed the peasants and took food off their plates to support wars in the Holy Land – the Middle East. It really does make you wonder if the energies of the universe are in an endless spin cycle, manifesting the same patterns over and over again.
There are some significant differences this time around, though, which is why I say we’re in unprecedented times. At the end of the Crusades, world population was about 6 percent of what it is today. News traveled by messengers on foot and horseback, if it traveled at all. With our instant connections, news now reaches large portions of the world’s 7 billion people instantaneously. Our polluted environment also is unprecedented. Although cities in the Middle Ages were crowded, filthy, and disease-ridden, there was always somewhere else to go where the air and water were clean. We’re running out of somewhere elses and are now talking about terraforming Mars.
How could anyone not be anxious, tense, and depressed? As far as I’m concerned, stress is an appropriate, healthy response to what’s happening in our societies. You have my permission to be anxious and stressed out.
I know that I’m not the only one experiencing a physical or mental breakdown, and I have to believe that this is all part of the cosmic pattern. The collective is made up of individuals, and so unfortunately, we have to break down along with the social structures. As I’ve mentioned in the past, this process is not unknown. Alchemists, shamans, and healers have known for millennia about this mysterious subconscious phenomenon. In some cases, it can be induced through ritual and artificial means, but that’s the exception rather than the rule. Normally, this process takes place over time, and there’s no way to force it, speed it up, or otherwise control it. It’s Plutonic, and that means you have to give in and let it have its way. Trying to hold on just prolongs unnecessary suffering. There are times when we need to hang in there, but other times when it would be better to just give up.
We have an excellent opportunity to look back at the lessons of human history when Neptune turns retrograde this week. As I write, he’s stationed at 5 degrees Pisces, preparing to shift motion on Friday. Among other things, Neptune rules dreams and the deep psyche. This is also where past-life memories live. Destructive patterns often keep repeating themselves until we become aware of them and take active measures to change. Yet, sometimes the underlying source is so deeply ingrained that only a Plutonic transformation can crack it. Either way, I’m optimistic that we can make deep changes in the coming two months, given the positions of the outer planets. Neptune turns retrograde in a trine with Saturn by exact degree, which I think will help us identify and work with the old, outdated patterns that keep us stuck.
On Monday, Mercury trines both Neptune and Saturn. Mercury is in Cancer, which is a water sign and more intuitive. We like to think that our thoughts are rational and objective, but they more often than not are driven by feelings and fundamental needs. The mind can rationalize anything, but truth lies in the heart and soul. One of the ways we can be more authentic and true to ourselves is by allowing our true feelings to surface. Mastering your emotions emphatically does not mean stuffing them down, but allowing them to surface in a safe place so you can be aware of your motivations and adjust your actions accordingly.
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The rest of the week’s major aspects are reflected in the chart for Saturday’s New Moon in Gemini, so let’s have a look. The first thing you see is the big blue triangle. That’s a grand trine, with Venus, Neptune, and Saturn. The bigger grand trine will happen in mid-July, when Jupiter will occupy the position of Venus. But this week’s grand trine with Venus will be quite lovely, too. Even though there’s a lot more breaking down to come, and even though it may not be time yet to rebuild, we can start laying the groundwork. What do you really want? Are your thoughts, actions, and behavior consistent with what you most want? If not, what can you do to align them more closely? I make it sound easy, but it’s not. This is the work of a lifetime and probably more than one. The problem is that many of us think we know what we want, but when we get it, we discover it doesn’t make us as happy as we thought we’d be or that we really wanted something else.
The Uranus-Pluto square is still very active, and it becomes a cardinal T-square with Mercury in a close square with Uranus and opposition to Pluto. Venus is a few degrees shy of Mercury, but will form the same T-square next week. Throughout the week, try to be mindful of what you want out of your closest relationships. If you don’t feel supported, why not? If you could have an ideal family, team, or tribe, what would it look like and why? Would getting it require a few adjustments, or do you need an overhaul?
Collectively, I think we’ll see more jarring headlines – not that anything could shock us anymore, but the extent to which we’ve been deceived and lied to could be a revelation to many. I think we’ll see more protests, too, especially over women’s issues.
Mars squares Neptune in this chart as well, with the exact aspect occurring on Friday. In mundane astrology, Mars rules war, terrorism, and fires. However, with a trine from peacemaker Venus to Neptune, I think it’s possible that we’ll be able to avoid some of the most negative manifestations of this worrisome square. In any case, there’s so much going on in this chart that it will be difficult to associate events with a particular aspect. I’m not one to argue this point, because there’s simply no way to prove it.
The Sun and Moon in Gemini are otherwise unaspected, and even though Mars and Jupiter are in Gemini, the overall feel of this New Moon could be more like Cancer than Gemini. What we read, what we hear, and what we think is less important now than what we feel and our sense of belonging. Ethnicity, patriotism, and family values trump facts and figures. We’re all out of our comfort zone in a big way these days, and as much as I recommend accepting that reality, I can’t argue against taking comfort where you can find it.
Wishing you all much love and courage,