When embroiled in the midst of a crisis, the longer view can sometimes help. Reflecting on how we got here, where we want to get to and how we can do so gives both context and meaning to our current trials. It transforms us from the victim of fate to the creator of our reality, and to some extent or other we all created where we find ourselves today. It’s been difficult not to. Modern life has become increasingly unbalanced over time. Estranged from our inherent wisdom we’ve handed responsibility for our health to the ‘experts’; for our security to self-interested politicians; for our meaning to the cult of celebrity and the narrative of hatred and fear peddled by mainstream media. We’ve allowed ourselves, to some degree or other, to be numbed to the consequences of our choices by the drip-fed mindless distraction of social media. And no, we haven’t all done all these things. But everyone’s done something. Just as many have also acted to counter this descent into ever deepening unconsciousness. But as consciousness is raised, so too are the stakes for those who fear exposure of what lies in the shadows. The equal and opposite reaction continues unabated.
At one level, where we find ourselves now shouldn’t surprise anyone. In a world where our immune systems are under attack from suppressive rather than curative health regimes to air pollution to toxins in the food chain and all around us in our throw-away culture, of course disease would eventually have its way! Why wouldn’t it? But on another level there are questions to be asked about why this one and why now? On a planet where over four million people die every year as a result of exposure to outdoor pollution, why weren’t those lives important enough for us to stop what we were doing before? Why haven’t governments the world over mobilised to eradicate that pollution, as they have to stop the spread of Covid-19? Why did humankind largely numb-out to the consequences of its modern lifestyle and carry on as normal until now? What’s so special about this moment in time? What’s changed?
Confronting our fear
The Saturn / Pluto conjunction in January 2020 pulled back the veil to reveal the consequences of humanity’s arrogance. The assumption that we could simply continue forever raping and exploiting this planet with impunity has been thrown into stark relief by the narrative of a virus that threatens the continuation of life as we know it. Many see this as Mother Nature’s revenge. Others believe it to be manmade. Still others see an act of obfuscation to test just how far humanity’s behaviour can be shaped by a narrative of fear. We may never know definitively how we got to where we are now, but all these perspectives contribute important angles to the debate about where we go from here. Whilst a virus is the core narrative, the many attendant issues are just as much a part of the picture being painted in the months to come.
The scientific rationalism of the modern age has fostered a monumental fear of death such that aging has become our nemesis and youth idealised beyond all reason. We must stamp out disease and battle it into submission rather than listen to its message and change accordingly. When disease and death are perceived as the enemy we wage a constant war upon them in our own bodies and minds. Our very life becomes a battleground, against an enemy that will always win eventually. A time such as this forces us to consider our attitude towards death. Is it a demonic presence forever waiting in the wings to snatch away all that we love with a sweep of its mighty hand? Or is it the wisest teacher worthy of respect, who frames a life and gives it meaning? Pluto’s conjunction with Jupiter throughout the rest of this year provides us an opportunity to reflect deeply on our mortality. Not because we’re all doomed, but because if we don’t we may well be not so far down the line! If the mass sublimation of our death-fear continues to manifest as an on-going subjugation of nature to prove our immortal superiority, our morbid dread of death will ironically hasten our collective demise.
The beginning of the end or a fresh start?
Which brings me back to that longer-term overview I mentioned. Where are we going from here? Is this the beginning of the end or an opportunity to forge a fresh start? Have we arrived so rapidly in our new reality that shaping how it develops is beyond our capabilities? What can we do when confined to our homes?! Must we simply hunker down and hope for the best, trying to resist the growing despair that’s settling upon many as the reality of our brave new world begins to sink in? Or do we use this time to wake up? To plan a path forward that looks nothing like the one that led us here in the first place…
It’s fair to say the next few months will test us. Lockdown and other manifestations of virus-related anxiety will be with us for some time to come. An ease in June/July 2020 as Jupiter and Pluto conjunct for the second time whilst retrograde may well coincide with a lessening of the panic, followed by an increase once more from the end of September / beginning of October as they both turn direct. When they conjunct for the last time inmid-November their final say on the matter may not be particularly edifying. However, Saturn’s one-time conjunction with Jupiter in the first degree of Aquarius on 21stDecember presages yet another layer of this global conundrum. Aquarius is the sign of humanity and sister/brotherhood. Saturn – Lord of Karma – and Jupiter – the Great Benefic – joining hands here may well deliver some hope and greater context for what’s been going on. But not without affording us all the weighty responsibility of shifting our own sense of self, reality and perspective to accommodate newly revealed truths around this time.
Onward into 2021
A square between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus throughout 2021 will test our mettle in this regard. Do we resolve to do things differently on a global scale? Or do we resist the necessary changes and allow frustration over losing the past to rob us of a positive future? Do we embrace innovative ways to live in the wake of this crisis or turn to the ‘tried and tested’ methods that got us into this mess in the first place? This is the key challenge next year. Life (and business) cannot continue as before. And to the extent that it does, we will face far greater threats to our health and liberty before too long.
When Uranus and Saturn form a square we must act. There’s no avoiding it. This is us taking stock of our life after the hurricane has passed. The terrain may be changed beyond recognition and many of the landmarks we knew so well, gone forever. But this square provides the impetus and inspiration to begin afresh and move forward in a productive way. If we choose to.
This will apply as much in our private world as our public one. If you’re spending your lockdown dreaming of when things ‘get back to normal’, you may well be disappointed. A new normal is taking root and we must prepare to run with it when the time’s right. We’ll eventually return to a world unburdened of our pollution, released from the unrelenting impact of humanity for a considerable period of time. That world is already starting to flourish. We are part of it and can choose to flourish too or pollute it once more with our resentment and frustration over things lost. There will be grief of course, and for some people much of it. But grief allowed to flow doesn’t pollute. Only when it’s denied or blocked does it become stagnant resentment or entropic despair.
In essence, we are currently suspended in a state of global shock. When faced with a crisis, old trauma reawakens, building layer upon layer of emotion and pain. As such, we’re not simply processing the present, but all its ripples into our personal and collective past. All those unresolved times when the rug was ripped from beneath us and we were faced with situations we struggled to bear. This shock will need to dissipate through the collective energy field in the coming months. The more we can generate a calm and loving space to receive it the better, for we all have wounds to nurse and care to give in equal measure. This is how we gain the clarity to perceive what’s really going on and discern with wisdom and unflinching presence what truly needs to be done about it.
Waking up to our new reality
The North Node’s arrival in Gemini on 5th May 2020 reminds us to lighten up and allow in some fresh air. The sensitive emotionality of the North Node in Cancer since November 2018 gives way to thinking, not feeling, connecting with others not protecting our own. This nodal shift exhorts us to wake up to our new reality and live it, not avoid, detach from or fear it. It encourages us to look outside as much as within; to join together in a spirit of collaboration. New ideas will form that could not have been conceived before. As the impact of prolonged restriction begins to bite, this nodal shift gives us a positive boost and lifts us out of frustration and fear into fresh perspectives and an inquisitive attitude toward the potential of this strange new world.
Mars enters its own sign of Aries on 28th June, remaining there until the beginning of January 2021. This is a long time for Mars to remain in a sign, extended by virtue of its retrograde passage between 9th September and 14th November. Here Mars is a true warrior. But, focused intensely on its own needs, it struggles to consider those of others if it even bothers to try. Mars is our core life force which gets us out of bed each morning, puts food on our table, enforces our boundaries and protects our personal interests. Its journey through Aries may reveal a dark underbelly of selfishness if supply chains begin to struggle and anxiety about personal stability increases in the wake of loss of income and liberty. Anger and frustration may spill over. The most vulnerable will need a louder, more insistent voice. No one must be left behind nor deemed more important than another. Which is why the lighter touch of the Gemini North Node is important, with its focus on community well-being balancing the more self-centred drives of this time.
In a conjunction of Mars and Eris between August and December 2020 we face a significant challenge to stay the course in a balanced way. Refuse to allow a narrative of fear or frustration to demonise others. Use this energy to speak up for people and protect their rights alongside your own. Take a stand in the interests of community cohesion not individual protection. Beware narratives that divide at this time. Never forget we’re all in this together. Mars and Eris can be our most noble selves rising up to fight the good fight or our most base selves rising up to grab what we can from those who can’t fight back. Greed may be exposed and selfishness rife. But both are a choice that we don’t have to make. Mars, God of War, and his sister Eris, Goddess of Discord, are capable of much mischief, but when aligned with the greater good they become a formidable force of courageous protection and fearless naming of truths denied.
Sovereignty and control
Fear has been a great leveller in this process. From royalty to the street homeless, we are told, all are at risk and none immune. Motivated by it, previously unimaginable curtailments of civil liberties have been imposed and accepted, largely without question. As Jupiter conjuncts Saturn in December 2020 that may begin to change, for Jupiter affords us a bigger perspective, a broader view and instils within us a lust for the future. If the future looks too constrained at this point people may begin getting very itchy feet! And if authorities seek to over-extend virus-related powers into 2021 under the gaze of the aforementioned Saturn/Uranus square, they may be surprised at the strength of feeling amongst the people. In its shadow face, Saturn in Aquarius seeks to control (Saturn) the masses (Aquarius). It fears individuality and self-determination, moving to curtail it. Uranus, on the other hand, insists upon freedom at any cost and in Taurus is unrelenting in that demand!
As such, the issue of control – Who has it? How do they use it? How do we behave when we lose it? Who do we give it up to and why?– is as fundamental to this time as any other. It’s easy to lose connection with your sovereign self when confined to barracks and fearful of what lurks ‘out there’. But our innate sovereignty isn’t diminished by circumstances, whatever they may be. And the core task of living doesn’t change. We are here to awaken. Pure and simple. To reclaim the Self and offer it up in service of Life. We can do that wherever we are, whoever we are and whatever’s happening around us.
Nothing and no one can steal our wisdom or curtail our growing awareness. If increasing numbers dedicate this unprecedented time to knowing the true Self more deeply, just think how different our future can be! How bold and bright and beautiful. Like an embodied evolutionary leap we could emerge anew, understanding profoundly how we arrived here and how to ensure we never return again, before embarking upon our next adventure. Together.