On September 2, I wrote that it felt as if we had moved to Mars—a reference to just how aggressively the Martian air was (and still is) dominating our daily lives. Now I am sure we’ve living on the red planet because the skies over the West Coast and the pictures coming out of California, Oregon, and Washington are otherworldly; the red skies resemble a Martian science-fiction movie. But of course, we’re still on Earth, doing our best to survive the madness that has become our world. As fires destroy the homes and lives of so many fellow travelers, those of us not caught in the storm can still bear witness to the consequences of climate change. Couple that devastation with the equally pernicious devastation of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the devastating economic pandemic in its wake, with worsening consequences of hunger and homelessness, and it’s hard to hold out hope that we will make it through the insanity that has replaced the regular, reliant routines of our lives. It also is increasingly difficult to explain to our children, who will inherit a burned-out shell of a planet that was once the jewel of our solar system, how we managed to destroy something so beautiful.
Sorry to be Debbie Downer, but there’s simply no way to write about the astral patterns of the coming week without setting the stage and acknowledging just how many of our fellow travelers are suffering, from people to pets to the millions of creatures who have lost their habitat. It’s too much to bear, but bear it we must, especially those of us who aren’t directly affected by the physical suffering but will still feel the tidal waves of grief as they crash upon the shores of our lives. No matter how far away we may be from the fires’ flames and smoke, or how safely we have stayed during the last eight months, or how generously we share what we have, climate change affects everyone and everything, everywhere.
I am at a loss to read the skies this week—there is no normal, which makes it folly or denial to go on interpreting celestial activity as if the activities of daily life are continuing in some recognizable way. I am proposing a different interpretation, one that is rooted the question, “what are you going to do about it?” Mars in Aries is about action—physical action that confronts situations with the courage of a warrior. In our case—mine and those readers who are aligned with similar principles—we are spiritual warriors and thus carry the mantle of transformational vision and the will to put it in motion. Each of us must find what we can do individually to help our fellow travelers, from supporting food banks to Habitat for Humanity—there is no shortage of ways to help in our communities.
But this week, I am proposing a larger vision. Let’s start a movement that harnesses the pioneering fire of Mars in Aries to try something new and create a new paradigm for sustainable, compassionate life on Earth.
According to CNBC, as of this spring there are 630 billionaires living in the United States, and while not all of them have the same number of billions, once you’re in the billions it doesn’t much matter. These billionaires should each adopt a state. It will take billions to replace lost homes and damaged infrastructure; to provide food, temporary housing, schools for children (even in the time of coronavirus), and trauma treatment for all the displaced, as well as providing for all the other necessities of life—the needs of our fellow travelers are right there in front of us no matter what media sources we are linked to.
Billionaires adopting states must—I know that’s a strong word—make sure that their plans to rebuild include green innovation and conservation that address and correct the mistakes of the past. These billionaires must also address education: each billionaire could adopt a state school system, providing much-needed resources, especially for populations most at risk. The same billionaire or another could adopt the healthcare systems. Of course, each billionaire will have her or his agenda, but in light of the current conditions of our planet, those agendas won’t really matter if we continue to be overwhelmed with fire, disease, and poverty. You can’t take your billions with you when you die—not one penny can squeeze through the portal from this dimension to another—so you might as well spend all that loot helping people now and making the world a better place; perhaps even seeding the restoration of a healthy environment for future generations.
Mars in Aries is always happiest blazing a new trail, and while I realize my plan is completely idealistic and altruistic (I have Aries Rising), I am willing to hold the space that there are at least fifty among those 630 billionaires who want to make a substantial difference in the world, with an immediate effect. Rather than siphoning the help through foundations which would take precious time we don’t have, it would be wiser for these philanthropists to help states directly, and as those mountains of money help millions of people, take a pledge not to run for office—just stick to philanthropy. Rebuilding communities ravished by fire, supporting green innovation, insuring that every child has a place to live and enough food to eat, making sure that every student has a computer and Wi-Fi, and ending homelessness should be the agenda for progressive billionaires. Money, as well we know, guarantees agency. The motto for this movement should be “Just do it.” Yes, I know this is Nike’s brand, but really, right now, as Oregon is in flames, we need Nike’s generosity as well.
All that’s needed to create this new paradigm is a change of heart—no red tape, just a vision of what the world could be if those who had the resources to help also had the will to put that vision into motion. We need visionaries, not politicians. We need active, practical compassion, not gridlocked policies that prohibit progress. We need our wealthy fellow travelers to invest in the planet. We need leaders with heart.