In a week, the madness of the election process in the United States of America will be over— but even as I type those words, I know that isn’t true. The madness of the 2020 election is still very much a part of our day-to-day life and there is no reason to think that the upcoming elections are going to change the mindset behind the crazy conspiracies. Mr. Trump, who managed during his few (I want to say short, but they seemed interminable) years as leader of the free world to make hate and cruelty the guiding principle for a sector of Americans, is still doing his utmost to make sure that meanness rather than kindness is a guiding principle. His purposeful promotion of animosity has blatantly inspired bullies and allowed hatred to inflame violence everywhere. While this is not just an American problem, Mr. Trump made it de rigueur for just about every Republican politician to be callous, making meanness and cruelty an acceptable political policy.
Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, kindness has also been gaining traction and I can’t help but feel that the growth of these two dispositions is interrelated. I thought the rise of hatred could be attributed to the principle that love brings up anything unlike itself (an idea I believe was popularized by Sondra Ray in her Loving Relationships Training, though I’ve seen online sources attribute it to Marianne Williamson; Course in Miracles followers, forgive me if the reference to LRT is inaccurate). It doesn’t really matter who said it first; time has proven the observation true and continues to do so. As the practice of compassion has grown more expansive over the last decade, so has its opposite—a cynical refusal to help others. We’re in the midst of a massive individual and collective healing process, yet unfortunately we are in the phase that resembles hell more than heaven and we are trying to figure out what to do about it. Making fun of anyone, 82 years old, 20 years old, or younger, who has been viciously attacked, is not an indication of political savvy; it’s an indication of a cold-hearted soullessness, a condition that spiritual warriors everywhere must resist.
Those who agree with the refusal to be heartless are more plentiful than we might think. Kindness is often quiet and as if to underscore this point, this morning before I started writing, I received this quote from Michael Leunig in an email from the Daily Good:
I cannot help but think that a rich and confident spiritual life is a form of genius.
I agree—a confident spiritual life is its own motivation, especially in times like these, when every choice we make is an affirmation of what we believe, even if others don’t share the same sentiment. We are the heroes of our own personal mythology—yes, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for—and we can remain true to our principles. We can be heroes every day if we choose to walk our talk and turn those principles into action. Here’s my mantra that I sing or hum almost daily to remind me of my commitment to making my personal hero’s journey.
This week, we are in the thrall of the lunar eclipse that occurs on November 8, and all week long many of us are certain to feel its emotional undertow pulling us inexorably toward the depth of our feelings. Be aware that eclipses often obscure conscious concerns and focus instead on what is unconscious, that which is lurking in the shadows but nevertheless exerting tremendous influence. The depth of feeling triggered by this eclipse may be uncomfortable, so don’t be surprised if you or someone close to you isn’t interested in plumbing those emotional depths—it might be too much given all that is at stake with this election and how deeply we are affected by the intensity of our personal and collective healing process.
With the lunar eclipse happening on Election Day in the USA, many of our fellow travelers are at risk for getting caught in the nets of political opinion. Take a deep breath—we know this won’t be an easy passage and much of what might be revealed (and has already been revealed) is quite shocking. I don’t think it’s possible to be any more disturbed than we already are, but it would be wise to anticipate more startling information about anything and everything.
The source of that startling information is attributable to Uranus, which is conjunct the Moon during the eclipse. Uranus, as we know from experience, is the planet of surprising plot twists. (I’m tempted to write “startling plot twits,” but I’ll avoid making snarky comments for now.) Whatever the results of this election, one thing is certain: we will be dealing with the current state of polarization for quite some time and we must find a healing paradigm that includes all of us. (I don’t know if it is possible to heal hatred, but putting that uncertainty aside, I am going to continue to try.)
The other big astro-news this week is Mars Retrograde, which began on October 30 and continues until January 12, 2023—it’s a long haul but the length of this retrograde is standard. Mars is retrograde in Gemini, the Sign of communication and information. Expect old emails about all sorts of things to arrive in your in box—I received an email from 2020 a day after the retrograde began. If you find yourself with any similar oddities, just be sure to check that the information is real before you fall prey to any tricks or scams.
Also anticipate that previous conversations that ended without satisfying results will be back. The key to handling this Mars Retrograde is patience—lots and lots and lots of patience. Mars is one of the planets that drives the mechanics of daily life and it doesn’t much enjoy going “backward” instead of “forward.” (Imagine running a marathon backward.) It would be wise to strategize about how to handle the retrograde frustration—a plan to do whatever it is you do to maintain an even keel. It won’t be easy, but it will be necessary if you want to be able to concentrate on staying calm even if others are melting down around you. Be especially kind with children and pets—they feel the intensity even if they can’t articulate it in a language intelligible to their guardians.
It will be a long slog through this Mars Retrograde and you’ll want to be ready for any obstacles that might come your way, especially communication and travel snafus. Gemini is the Sign of communication and Mars, despite its retro-phase, is going to have most of us talking even if we’re not in the mood to share. If you want to keep a secret during this phase, keep it to yourself. Very few of us will be able to hold back and you could find yourself blurting information just for the sake of having something to say.
It’s an understatement to say that the weeks ahead won’t be easy; between the eclipse effect, the election disruption, and Mars Retrograde, you could convince yourself to take cover from the madness by ossifying into a set position and refusing to budge. But you don’t have to defend a viewpoint simply because you’re exhausted by all the controversy that seems to permeate the air. I’m not suggesting you surrender your opinions or your candidates; I simply think it might be wise to figure out how to handle the upsets that are sure to morph from molehills into mountains. My primary concern is that as a result of the building unrest and the current climate of cruelty, violence will escalate. Those of us who prefer a different approach—a peaceful one—need to hold that desire for nonviolence foremost in our consciousness and be active spiritual warriors, confident that it is possible to transform even the most debilitating of situations. Be proud to be kind.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
Financial concerns continue to be an issue, but those concerns don’t have to overwhelm all other activities. Take your time figuring out what you need and what you want, and if there is a disparity between the two, apply your common sense to finding a solution. I know this is hard work but once you deal with it, you’ll breathe easier.
Taurus April 20-May 20
Try not to be caught off guard by significant others, personal or professional, who insist on acting like lone wolves and take a situation into their own hands without consulting you. Just breathe deeply, express your concern, and do your best to have compassion for their frustration.
Gemini May 21-June 21
It appears to be a question that can be solved by external forces and you’re waiting for that help to arrive. But in reality, it’s an internal assist that’s needed—you need to shift your perspective, which will switch your attitude, and that will create the open mindset you need to move through the intensity skillfully.
Cancer June 22-July 22
Be prepared for inspired moments, but also anticipate a new view to be folded into those creative moments. Some of what you experience might be unsettling—it’s not the norm and you’re used to being traditional. Don’t worry, you don’t have to abandon your principles; all that’s necessary is staying open to something new.
Leo July 23-August 22
Hunkering down at home is the easiest way to manage any anxiety you might be experiencing about the state of the world at large and/or the state of your world. Try to create a peaceful, stress-free sanctuary. Turn off the news if that helps and don’t go online—keep it simple and you’ll keep calm and steady.
Virgo August 23-September 22
You have a lot to say and you are saying it to anyone who will listen. Have at it, but be sure you are careful not to share secrets or say things that might boomerang and have a negative effect you can’t readily see. I’m not suggesting you keep quiet or hold back; I’m simply advising you to be aware of who’s listening—and why.
Libra September 23-October 22
The emphasis is still on finances and money matters. But the spotlight is also on values, specifically your values versus the values of others. Try not to be swayed or dismayed if those you care about adamantly support values that are antithetical to your own. Yes, I know that tolerance won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
While interactions with significant others may feel oppositional, if you’re able to put disappointment aside and go beneath surface appearances you might find that you don’t disagree on the principles as much as you assumed at first glance. Make an effort to go deeper with the intention of finding what unites rather than divides.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
There is a lot of chatter in your head about who’s right or wrong and what can be done about it. You probably can’t shut that dialogue down completely, but you can make an effort to compartmentalize it rather than act on the chatter. Breathe deeply—and even if that advice sounds silly or ineffectual, it will eventually calm the chatter.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
If I were you (and writing this, I am trying to see things from your point of view), I would take a step back and instead of engaging in opinion battles, witness the intensity and the toll it takes to constantly be angry and argumentative. Sidestep severe arguments by proposing peaceful resolution.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
All eyes, celestial and terrestrial, are on your career as you continue to ponder what the best choices might be. It may be helpful to know that you don’t have to make an immediate decision. This is about being clear about what you want, and it doesn’t have to be an arduous process—it’s all about finding your way with greater insight.
Pisces February 19-March 20
You could frame your current situation as part of a spiritual crisis that’s insisting that you align thought, word, and deed with your highest principles. It’s not that you are out of faith, but you are questioning what matters. Welcome this process—it will help you to build spiritual confidence.