It’s a crunchy week, filled with clunks and awkward elbow jabs, and maybe even too many rough edges to navigate with a smile. Strong determination is required to stay on whatever track you’re on and to maintain an unwavering commitment to kindness as the best way of navigating the difficulties, mundane or exceptional.
Pluto Retrograde began yesterday, April 27, a retrograde phase that lasts until October 6—yes, it is a very long haul. Pluto is reviewing slightly more than a year of activity, turning around at a degree it occupied in March 2020. Although Pluto does not have a relationship with technology—Uranus and Mercury have that domain of snafus to themselves—we’re still likely to feel its “backward” glance. Some of our fellow travelers felt it as early as last week, while others might feel its drag as this week unfolds. As you navigate Pluto’s retrospective, keep in mind that we are in full-blown Pluto Return mode and that its return is emblematic of our fomenting political culture, which I love referring to as the American Revolution 2.0.
The main crunch comes from Saturn—it squares the Sun, Uranus, Venus, and Mercury. (Oy; so much conflict and so little time.) This entire bundle brings out the critic in almost everyone. Saturn is quick to point out flaws and to promote self-conscious inhibition as it simultaneously suppresses spontaneity. Don’t be surprised if you’re judging yourself or others too harshly. Once you realize you’re being hyper-judgmental, try to tone it down; no one does well under fault-finding scrutiny.
The best antidote to constant criticism would be to rely on compassion—it is always the best way to diffuse tension and polarization. We all have different voices and somewhere along the way we’ve stopped appreciating the value of our differences. I’m not suggesting that compassion changes opinions; I’m thinking that learning to be compassionate toward people we would otherwise dismiss has the potential to restore our respect for each other, even if we don’t agree. Of course I realize that it is almost impossible to have compassion for those who hate and who act on that hatred to harm others. But what we have learned from Gandhi and others practicing nonviolence as a way of life is that even attempting to have compassion for our enemy strengthens the heart.
Here’s an interesting essay on learning to hear each other: www.dailygood.org/story/2728/they-sang-with-a-thousand-tongues-bayo-akomolafe/
There are no sun bursts this week.
On an entirely different note, I have an important announcement:
I am taking the month of May off from writing the Aquarium Age. I made it through Trump and his Gang of Hungry Ghosts and most, but not all, of the pandemic, and now I need a rest to restore, replenish, reconsider, and recalibrate what I want to say and how I want to say it. (Yes, I am having my own personal retrograde.)