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Potent forces align for change

January 12, 2020.
We can think of this particular juncture of astrological time as ‘cosmic acupuncture’.
We’re experiencing particular ‘nodal point’ activations in a systemic treatment that has been taking place for the last year and will continue to be intensely at work at least into December 2020.

This year initiates sweeping foundational change.

Expect a working over of systems and structures of all kinds reinforced by a heavy Capricorn theme as Saturn, Jupiter and Pluto confer together in this sign.

These are potent times. What is being set in motion now will have nothing short of the same revolutionary impact of Martin Luther 500 years ago, when Pluto and Saturn were last conjunct in Capricorn. His disputation on “the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” targeted corruption at the core of the Catholic Church and ultimately initiated the Reformation. The breakdown of the stranglehold that the Papacy had over the production and control of information allowed the first scientists* to test the frontiers of human knowledge. This lead to the Enlightenment, democracy, and ultimately to the world we inhabit today.

It sounds like a nice story, this story of Progress.

But the dream of democracy is daily revealed as a farce, and we don’t have to look far to see that scientists are as corrupted with ‘indulgences’ and back-scratching as the medieval church. Despite Enlightenment (and also because of it) everywhere around us there still exists inequity and injustice. There’s cause to wonder if human consciousness has evolved at all in the last five centuries or is simply playing out the same tired old games of power.

Institutions that are supposed to protect our health and the environment are corrupted by officials fresh from executive positions in agri-chemical corporations. Education, all the way to university level, shapes our minds to play a role in the social machinery. Technologies promise us unlimited freedoms at the same time they threaten our health and wellbeing. All of these spring from the endeavours and inventiveness of what we’ve come to believe as progress for the human race.

We see enough evidence all around us that this system we cling to is rotten at the core. It seems we haven’t moved that far since the Pope sold ‘indulgences’ to spare the wealthy the pains of hellfire and damnation.


At this juncture of time, we’re facing tests of power at the level of our personal lives, and at the level of the collective. Everything we have given authority over us is up for review.

What do we do when everything we think should be working is actually contributing to the problem?

How do we respond when we must face uncomfortable truths that we can’t control?

How do we make choices that tip the balance and direct our human energies in more creative directions?


“The times are urgent. Let us slow down”
says my favourite philosopher Bayo Akomalafe.

And though I doubt he follows astrology, a recent post of his speaks simply to the demands of Saturn and Pluto, which require of us nothing short of a reformation of power – everything we understand about it and how we use it.

He points out that speaking truth to power is not a strategy for change because it still plays within the rules of power as domination and control:

“It may not be ‘enough’ to break through the glass ceiling if the building itself is left intact; it may not be enough to gain a seat at the table if the protocols of access mark bodies with the violence of entry.”

 

What is power really? And how do we manage it?

At its most basic level power is the ability to make something happen.

We’re living in a world which encourages and rewards power that dominates and controls, but there are other kinds of power that work with things rather than against them.

And the most simple truths of power can be unearthed by noticing where do you get activated? And what message is here for you?

In a year that is all about questioning the nature of power, there’s a message about power in whatever is ‘in your face’ right now , whether it’s confronting and explosive, or something subtle that has been around ‘forever’.

We see it outside in firestorms and mudslides and political machinations. It’s also in the smallest of things – everywhere you feel blocked, doubtful, frustrated, insignificant.

Whatever the substance, the essence will be about power – where you’ve used it well and misused it, where you’ve ‘given your power away’ and where you’ve abused your own power over others.

The more we want to see ourselves as the victim in any specific situation the more we need to view our own abuses of power in the much larger context of our lives.
No matter how righteous, power that is found through a declaration of fault or blame plays by the same rules as power that wins through dominance and control. This is a hard truth that many will not want to face. But in the year ahead it is the most potent realisation we can have.

If we’re to change this current paradigm we first need to understand how to use our own power. And gain the sovereignty of responsibility that Capricorn offers.

Sometimes we abuse our power simply through damming up and ignoring our own instincts.

These are many faces to the kind of power that thrives on control. And yet, this year Pluto and Saturn will have us face what we cannot control so we can learn a new form of power.

Saturn works with you to find your path in the world. To manifest your authority.
To follow your destiny – and that doesn’t mean that it’s already paved with stone – it’s more like finding the way in the bush by using instinctual navigation skills.

How in touch are you with your intuitive knowledge?

How well have you used your experience to shape a wisdom worthy of finding the way?

Pluto’s work is alchemical –  dissolving the old into raw energy for the new.
In Capricorn its work is to uproot the old foundational structures we’ve built to serve us, but which no longer serve the future for either humans or the planet.

Pluto wants to disintegrate anything we’ve outgrown and use it for compost to fuel the next steps in our evolution. It has been moving through Capricorn since the end of 2008, working slowly but surely on shifting the foundations of our current established order.

Together these energies are asking us to see the ways that traditional authority and ‘getting things done’ have become dysfunctional – and to bring these back into proper functioning again.

How can we be more responsible? True responsibility is not following a set of rules prescribed by social expectations – or consensus opinion.

To act from the place of our own authority requires us first to recognise that our authority is founded in the deep connection of our body to spirit.

We need to become more bodyful so we can tap into the elemental energies that help us navigate this journey to find our truth.

This is not a truth of the mind, it’s visceral, sensual, foundational.

Beneath words and emotional states, what is making you feel uneasy, off centre, even just plain sick? Wherever there is a sense of dis-ease this is a signal of the need for foundational changes.

This is not a truth I get to tell you because it’s your truth. Astrology can help you to look in the right direction, but ultimately truth is something you find for yourself.

The key question for the year ahead:  is what you’re creating true to what you believe?

We’re being called to determine what really matters to us, and to keep checking that we’re on path to creating it. Now is the time for enormous effort – but it needs to be aligned and aimed in the direction that creates well-being for all, in the most foundational and broadest sense.

What is set in motion by these crucial times will not be resolved in a weekend or probably even a lifetime.

Life has been preparing you for this. And all your experiences have been making you fertile ground for new forms to grow.

Saturn supports integrity – are you in right relationship with yourself and your community?

Are you supported and surrounded by solid, dependable extensions of your core truth?

During the year Jupiter will also be meeting with Saturn & Pluto offering opportunities to reinforce the same system of power – or to write it entirely anew.

Some astrologers have done the maths and point out that the last time this powerful trio came together in such a potent arrangement in Capricorn was about 4000 years ago.

We can only speculate on what revolutionary shifts in codes of law and ethics were made foundational at that time and have continued to shape human progress these last millennia!

While all this current conflagration uproots our Capricornian ideals and desires for structure and security, the North Node destiny point is transiting the sign of Cancer. And Cancer’s message is simple and clear – everything is connected. We are in kinship with all things, and true well-being cannot be found until we come to terms with our responsibility in this connectivity.

It is deeply significant of our times that it takes natural disasters, like our current bushfires – or the 2005 tsunami – for humans to understand how little we really are in control of the world. And that it takes such a recognition to bring out the sense of care for our fellow humans and other beings.

In the letting go of our delusions of power as control what remains is power that builds in community and cooperation.

 

*The word ‘science’ comes from the root meaning body of knowledge. In that sense there have long been scientists and much of what transpired in European Renaissance was kicked off by the work of Muslim scholars, who resurrected the ancient Greek knowledge, which they learnt studying with the Egyptians… However science in the particular way we understand it today comes from the philosophy of the Enlightenment.

The Solstice Gateway

[this post relates to the astrological phenomena of Uranus square Pluto that was active from 2013 to 2015. What happened then is still relevant now].

There’s a revolution underway.
Can you feel it – the pressure of forces beyond our control?

If it’s something you sense, it’s likely that the Uranus/Pluto square has laid siege to some of your personal planets…

Those with birthdays in early April, July, October and January know what I mean.

And for any of you with planets in the mid degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), Uranus and Pluto have been playing rough on your turf too.

Pluto moves with tectonic slowness.
It unearths the deep psycho-social forces that underwrite human lives.
Its urge is to break down, to split apart the old and the outworn (ideas, behaviours, realities). Things past their use-by-date.

Not destruction merely for the sake of it, but as a necessary natural force, using this energy of entropy to generate new life. Just as soils are made fecund, and seeds are sprouted by the action of earthworms in shit and decay.

Pluto could take 20 years to move us through this elemental regeneration.

Until Uranus steps into the mix, says ‘ready or not’, lights the fuse.

Pressure builds to critical, forces beyond our control push us forward, outward, in any direction.

Even though we want this revolution, because we know it’s the fast track to that re-formation we’re craving, still we respond with fear and resistance.

It’s been going on for a while in fact. Since June 2012, the revolutionary forces have been stirring up the safety and security of position ‘normal’ (if there ever was such a thing).

Seven times they’re squaring off, over a span of years. Not that it’s been a non-stop ride since 2012 – there’ve been months of respite when we get to relax and take in the view.

Even to touch, for long moments, those potentials that we feel coming into form.

 

This week we’ve entered the 6th pass of Uranus square Pluto.

We approach the seventh and final gate in March 2015.

Seven is a curious and unruly number, a prime number (in other words, indivisible).

Not comforting like 6 or 8 which make perfect structures, complete unto themselves.

Apparently, when we’re asked to ‘pick a number between 1 and 10’, the majority of us choose the number 7.

The number has always seemed a little mystical to me. I once made a rather complicated contraption called the Gyromancer with seven rings, one inside the other, all about the revelatory qualities of the number 7.

Seven is the number of process.
The steps towards a goal, where each stage is a challenge that reveals a little more of what needs to be known by the seeker.

Seven is the number of initiation.
Salome removes her 7 veils of illusion, Ishtar passes through 7 gates on her descent into hell to rescue her son-lover.

(A quick aside: this holy incest is not some archaic paedophilic fantasy but rather a symbol of the mysterious and mystical union of creator and creation).

Lately, as the 6th gate approached I’ve been feeling the pressure rising again. Off kilter, out of balance, in my pushing to complete everything before I could start a new year…

While I’m in the thick of pushing to get things done, pushing through difficult moments, it just feels like I am up against an immense and resisting force. Rather like being under siege.

Until I sit back and realise that I am the resistance.

Out there fighting on the frontiers (of my own mind). Recognising that I have fallen back into old patterns. Of using work to feel deserving.
Of trying to control everything by working on it.

It’s the classic response – we cling to the old ways and habits, even if we actually can’t stand them anymore. Because at least they’re ‘comfortable’, and safe. We know them, and when we know something we can feel like we’re in control. Even if it makes us feel slightly ‘mangled’. That’s the funny thing about addictive habits.

Then this week the harmonic balancer in my car’s engine broke. Haha – how’s that for a cosmic joke – a serving of Jungian co-incidence?

The 6th gate was exact on the 15th when a crazed gunman trapped 17 people in a chocolate cafe, dubbed #SydneySiege.
A harrowing event that lead to the sudden deaths of two people in addition to the self-styled revolutionary with the shotgun.

Then days later in Cairns, eight children are inexplicably murdered – perhaps by the very woman who cared for them, in a Medea-like slaying of all that is dear to her.

The gate remains open until the Solstice on Monday the 22nd (AEDT), when there is a conflagration of cosmic events.

Uranus goes direct (the revolution goes full steam ahead).

The moon starts its new year cycle, in rare coincidence with the solstice.

And the sun basks a moment in its longest day (on our side of the world) before turning around and heading north again on its next cycle.

Hanukkah completes, Christmas looms.

All of these events are only significant from our earthly human point of view, of course.

The sun does not go round the earth, the retrograde motion of planets is only apparent to the human eye. Even the cycle of the moon is a symbolic construction.

Yet they’re also perceptible. We experience them.

We’ll notice our days getting shorter and the angle of the sun will change (my good washing days when the sun fills the whole of the back-yard are on the wan). The moon will slowly light up the night sky to it’s fullest over the next few weeks.

And the real power of any act of transformation or revolution occurs on both the perceptible and symbolic level.

Media whipped up a frenzy of fear post the Sydney Siege. Yet, people responded with so many flowers that florists sold out, and the tweet phenomena #IllRideWithYou went round the world.

It appears that still the revolution will not be televised. Only the fear of change gets air-time.

Each day we make a choice about the meaning we give to what we perceive.
To the information coming in, to the emotions we wake up with, to the events which carry us through the day.

Yesterday, I just happened to be listening to a podcast by Walter Makichen, a podcast so ancient it was from 2008 but I hadn’t heard til now. More Jungian coincidence.

I was musing on his theory of 4 levels of spiritual practice.

The first level is when we find a way to make sense and meaning from collapse and chaos – religion, or yoga (real yoga not that stretching at the gym), or meditation, etc – whatever your flavour.

Then it can become a tool for clearing out the karmic dross of psychological wounding; for calming the mind and heart.

After this we discover that spirit is in the creative act, and we begin to understand the power we have to generate our own reality, to bring things into being.

The trouble is that we can get stuck there, and forget that the source of creativity is that energy which is so much greater than ourselves.
We think we can control everything, we get caught up in hubris ( I love that word – the arrogance that challenges the Gods, to which the only antidote is humility).

Walter describes the 4th level as transcendence, the moment when we step out of trying to control everything and we just let it be.

I have an issue with the concept of transcendence – I’m sure we can still be on and of this planet without getting caught up in that particular human need to identify with what gets created, and destroyed.

Instead I prefer to think of this level as what Tosha Silver describes as ‘offering’.

It’s the handing over. It’s surrender.

Not a very appreciated quality in our culture. Suggesting loss and failure.

And so we struggle to find a way to win the revolution, not realising that we’re buying into the very mindset that we are fighting to bring down.
And, ironically, the fate of most revolutions is to replace the ousted oppressor with another form of oppression.

This morning I realised that when I surrender, the revolution is truly underway because the struggle, the resistance is over.
Blockages fall away. The wheel turns.

So this solstice I’m ready to drop another veil, to burn what needs to be burnt, to open up to the future.

I’m asking myself: what revolutionary act, or thought, or feeling, do I want to make a reality, today?

And you, what is your solstice act of release? How are you answering the challenges of the 6th gatekeeper?