The sky illustrates our current collective situation: A Sun/Venus conjunction in Leo trines Jupiter in Sagittarius, providing the potential for optimism, joy, and the true expression of a generous heart. But at the same time, we are still in the grip of the ongoing Saturn/Pluto conjunction, which despite its retrograde motion continues to inflame that which divides us from each other and from the planet we call home. While the positive Sun/Venus/Jupiter trine doesn’t oppose the Saturn/Pluto conjunction, the tension between the expansiveness of Jupiter and the contractive force of Saturn/Pluto intensifies over the coming weekend. As that stress combines with several other key interactions, you can expect the weekend and the days that follow to be a mess. You might want to consider laying low and just taking a break if you can.
Here’s a breakdown of that astral traffic jam: On Sunday, August 11, at 9:37AM, EDT, Jupiter goes direct, still maintaining its trine to the Sun and Venus. Expect exuberance to be high, but also anticipate feeling a bump in the ethers. That same morning, the Moon starts to transit the Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn; we are familiar with this monthly event, but just because we’ve grown accustomed to it, that doesn’t mean it won’t be disturbing, as more information is revealed about what’s been going on behind the scenes, from both a personal and a political perspective.
Later on that same day, Uranus Retrograde begins at 10:26 PM EDT. We always, always, always experience a disruption when Uranus makes a “course correction,” and this one is likely to be quite emotional given that as Uranus “turns around” it trines the Moon, which adds an emotional component to Uranus’ already erratic signature. We’re likely to feel the brunt of that emotional disruption on August 12 as the Moon conjuncts Pluto at 6:11 PM, EDT, and then starts to pull away. Anticipate feeling a bit scrambled or at odds with yourself and with significant (or insignificant) others.
I was talking to a fellow astrologer today about how to celebrate the enthusiastic, positive benefits of this week’s Sun/Venus/Jupiter trine in the midst of our current collective madness. How do I write about the good news when there is just so much bad news? As I write this, the reports of two mass shootings are streaming through my computer, streaming the heartbreak of this violence everywhere. And even if I can manage to find a glimmer of hope, will it be enough to lift the spirit and restore a sense of balance? I don’t think my dilemma is any different than the one facing most of us every day who care about our planet and about each other are facing every day in the era of Trump.
But because the stars are positive this week, the question is: How do we take heart in the midst of such adversity, with so little positive, tangible relief? In the healing world, the rule of thumb is to follow your feelings, which will eventually lead you to a greater understanding; awareness diminishes impulsive, habitual reactions and helps to transform them into thoughtful responses. The trouble with feelings is that they can often deceive us, especially when they are based on old survival patterns and defense mechanisms. Hence the advice to stay with them before taking action. But that’s hard to do right now because we are bombarded by outrageous, violent vigilantes—those using everything from verbal, physical, psychological, and spiritual weapons to actual ones. The appropriate response to outrageous acts of violence is outrage—but not through more violence.
Another friend, a Tibetan nun who is also a psychologist, reminded me that we are in the midst of a huge collective trauma, suffering from collective PTSD, which only exacerbates individual suffering. Her theory is that Trump and his Gang of Hungry Ghosts have figured out, instinctively or premeditatively, how to trigger old issues of abuse: he is like the abusive father who hurts a child in whatever way possible—through words or deeds, and in Trump’s case, through calling others to violence and enlisting their efforts. He is a racist, determined to pit us against each other, making it harder to unite against him and his minions; he is also a misogynist who only values women as objects in his narcissistic system; and he is an addict, but instead of being drunk on alcohol or drugs (as far as we know), he is drunk on power. He is familiar to us all in one or more of these guises, and his very presence triggers previous patterns of suffering.
Millions and millions of people have dealt with these patterns personally and have healed from the toxic effect of abuse and addiction, but few of us were ready to cope with this bloated, poisonous collective id made manifest. The reckless hatred Mr. Trump has let loose during the last several years has retriggered the despair of many of our fellow travelers who thought they were healed and freed from patterns of abuse and addiction. Since Mr. Trump began his rise to power, and through his term in office, they have struggled and continue to struggle to regain their healing ground.
But each and every time another shooting takes place, we are all triggered—we are all reminded of just how much more work is necessary before we can right our collective ship. And right it we must. In the last many decades, we have expanded our understanding of what it is to be human and gained great healing ground through that awareness. We can’t give into despair. We must pool our collective determination to evolve rather than devolve.