The tsunamis of change just keep pounding the shores of daily life, and finding higher ground continues to require enormous effort, both individual and collective, effort that needs to occur simultaneously in several dimensions—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Very few are unaffected by the initial rush of these powerful waters. Most of us experience a deep impotence as we face the emergency tasks at hand. Yet where we are needed most is in the aftermath as the waves recede and the destruction becomes visible.
All of us have the power to change the world—all of us—because as we know, the world changes one heart at a time. There is no way to rationalize away violence and its consequences. The best use of our concern is to understand the causes of violence and do our best to eliminate the conditions that feed it. This is something each and every one of us can do, because we can all eliminate violence in our individual lives, the violence that lives in our emotional bodies and is expressed through our thoughts, words, and deeds.
To place our current situation in an astrological context, we need to review history. We are in a cycle that began in the mid-Sixties, when Uranus and Pluto formed a conjunction in Virgo that was exact in l965-1966, a time we recognize as a period of enormous upheaval in all areas of life, but particularly for the Civil Rights Movement and all the movements for social justice. (For those interested in correlating astrological cycles with historical ones, Uranus/Pluto signatures are always present at times of social unrest—you can read more about this in Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas.) Uranus represents revolution, and its presence catalyzes stagnant waters in need of change. Pluto represents change at the core—it signifies the process of transformation from one substance to another. And when Uranus and Pluto work together, they facilitate the necessary upheaval to engender a new paradigm. The consequences of this dynamic and difficult conjunction can be seen in the aftermath of the exact contact: During the late 60s and 70s, culture shifted around the world. We are still reeling from those changes.
In astrology, conjunctions between and among the outer planets, such as Uranus and Pluto, commence a cycle. (To place this in the reality of what we can see, think the cycles of the Moon.) From June 2012 to March 2015, there were seven exact squares between Uranus and Pluto, and those squares are the equivalent of a first quarter Moon in the cycle that began in the 60s. Squares signify friction. We are now in the aftermath of the fractious changes that occurred during this period of squares. The seven tsunamis of those three years are receding and the debris is what we are dealing with today as we struggle to cope with extremism becoming mainstream and the violence that engenders. While some are still reeling from the debris of the conjunctions of the 1960s, even more are reeling from the debris of the last couple of years.
One significant factor unique to our current situation is how rapidly information is shared on so many platforms. We witness these events in present time—they are no longer happening somewhere else. They are happening right before our eyes. We can witness the death of another human being, the blood of a fellow traveler as it spills out on our smart phone. It is horrifying. It is terrifying. It is unbearable.
Our fear and grief ought to be a call to action, not a call to reaction, but a call to marshal our forces for non-violent solutions. We know that the causes are far deeper than one issue—racism is real and has causes on both sides of the divide, causes that are fundamentally economic and educational. The cynical, amoral, capitalist political perspective that is only interested in preserving power is aimed at keeping poor people divided against each other on the basis of color. You can exploit everyone—white and black, young and old, male and female—if you can turn someone else into an enemy. When people are divided against each other they can be manipulated on the basis of fear. Those of us who recognize this must find positive ways to inspire the courage it will take to remedy this polarization.
Gandhi said that poverty is the worst kind of violence, something we should all think about as the gap between the rich and poor continues to widen into an abyss. According to Pat Buchanan in the documentary The Day the Sixties Died, the Republicans knew they had lost the culture war but they were clear that they had won the political battle of the 60s, 70s, and 80s, particularly as many Democrats, disturbed by change, attached themselves to the Republican Party to form the silent majority.
History repeats itself. But as the Maya knew, history repeats itself along a spiral, which allows for variation and, I hope, growth. We encounter the same situations but we don’t have to react habitually. We can reach for greater understanding, which we must do if we are to survive these waves and their aftermath.
I know many read this column as a kind of weather forecast, and so each week I try to provide a look at the astral currents. But we are in the midst of a gigantic storm and we need to remember that our individual lives are affected by that storm. We also need to remember that each of us affects the storm by our ideals and intentions as well as how skillfully we integrate our principles into action.
As the tsunamis and their aftermath continue—and these storms will continue for a while—do your best to hold fast to the notion that you can affect positive change simply by turning your respect for life into compassionate action, even when that means stepping into the shoes of the ‘other’—a refugee, a child, a black man or woman, or any person of any color, or a cop, or your enemy. We are all in this together and violence against each other simply won’t work. Love will. And while most of us know that, we need to turn that knowing into action.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
Venus is in your Solar House of creativity, encouraging you to move into positive action by honoring your creative impulses. Identify what self-expressive outlets bring you joy, and then be sure to include time in your already busy schedule to follow that pursuit. Happiness will transform some of the stresses and strains of the week.
Taurus April 20-May 20
Venus is in your Solar House of the home, encouraging you to beautify your surroundings. Even if you live in a palace, use this cycle of Venus to make your already comfortable home more luxurious. And if you’re not in a palace, don’t dismiss this transit. Honor Venus with something that expresses your sense of beauty—a rock you find on a walk, a flower from the garden, or having your friends over for tea.
Gemini May 21-June 21
Venus is in your Solar House of communication, urging you to be more than a little social. Follow these convivial urges by gathering with family and friends. As you gather around the table, conversations among your guests will cover a wide range of topics. Be prepared to moderate from a non-judgmental point of view, especially when it comes to political rhetoric. Set an example of what it means to respect differences.
Cancer June 22-July 22
Venus is in your Solar House of personal finance, and while this is a fundamentally positive transit, you might want to be careful about overindulging. Venus could encourage retail therapy as an antidote to stress, tempting you to spend more than you have. Venus could also inspire you to take a good look at your spending habits with an eye toward seeing how you could improve your savings.
Leo July 23-August 22
Venus is in your Sign in your Solar House of personality, which means even if you want to hide away, you can’t avoid the spotlight. So step into that bright light and allow yourself to embody the goddess of love and beauty. Just keep in mind, Venus is also the goddess of what matters most—she’s the symbol for true value—and her presence amplifies your need to be true to your highest principles.
Virgo August 23-September 22
Venus is in your Solar House of dreams and visions, encouraging you to delve deeply into your unconscious through a wide variety of techniques. So if you’ve ever wanted to study lucid dreaming, this would be a good time. Or if you’ve been meaning to spend more time meditating or perfecting your visualization practice, this Venus cycle is opportune for those endeavors.
Libra September 23-October 22
Venus, your Ruling Planet, is in your Solar House of community, where her presence is certain to stir a desire for deeper connection as well as participation in your neighborhood. It makes no difference whether this desire is expressed physically where you actually live or in cyberspace with groups of like-minded people who share common interests. What’s important is that you share your gifts with the world through Venus’ grace and beauty.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
Venus is in your Solar House of recognition, and while this sector of the chart is mostly related to profession, it also signifies what we most want to recognize as our best achievements. So don’t hesitate to take an inventory of what you do best and what you want to celebrate. Venus is a benign yet extraordinarily powerful presence and this phase could help you identify a piece of the puzzle you’ve been looking for.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
Venus is transiting your Solar House of belief systems, and her presence is certain to help you sort through what’s true for you and what isn’t. This transit is a great gift, especially in this time of turmoil when many of the tried and true systems you’ve held onto are being challenged by the collapse of collective structures. Listen to your intuition and hold fast to what you know to be true, and let superfluous ideas fade away.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
Venus is in your Solar House of transformation, stirring you to explore new ways of facilitating positive change in your life—and sometimes in others’. Pay attention to this process, for while Venus may excite or incite drama (again, yours or others’), her influence is certain to be felt through a variety of experiences and insights that will inspire a new perspective on how you can adhere to your principles.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
Venus is transiting your Solar House of relationship, a quite comfortable position for the goddess of love and beauty. Be prepared for all sorts of encounters—personal as well as professional, but be especially prepared for amorous connections, new or old. Also anticipate falling in love with yourself, not in a narcissistic way (although that’s possible), but through a deep appreciation for your gifts and talents.
Pisces February 19-March 20
Venus is in your Solar House of work, service and health, and while these categories may sound disconnected, they aren’t. This cycle of Venus is about paying attention to the details in all those areas of your life, a process that requires being and staying present. Use this phase to identify what’s important to you and then prioritize your time around those values.