Despite the possibility—no, make that probability—for strong emotions this week, the planets continue to offer the potential for inspiration and insight. They also align in an unusual configuration that provides the capacity for profound empathy, as it simultaneously opens wide the door for harsh criticism. This is what I find most interesting about astrology: All the symbols in this system play out along a spectrum from negative to positive, a spectrum that not only reflects the duality of life on Earth, but also a system that presents the wide range of free will choices, all the while defying the ossification of a one-view-and-one-view-only perspective.
Of course there are astrological fundamentalists, but at its core, astrology is not about literalism; it’s about contextualizing life experience as part of some much greater narrative, a narrative that is simultaneously familiar and mysterious; familiar because it describes the day-to-day; mysterious because it attempts to express the ineffable.
The core of this week’s mystery is a complex alignment between and among Mars, Saturn, and Neptune. Mars just entered Pisces and is in the process of forming a conjunction with Neptune. When Mars and Neptune share the same space, boundaries tend to blur and the urge to merge increases. Mars symbolizes individuation, Neptune represents dissolution, and their combined influence increases empathy because it enhances the capacity to step into someone else’s shoes. But—and this is a big exception—at the same time, this conjunction also represents the capacity to get lost in the process, and the result is a struggle to maintain personal identity—a struggle that can make some decisions dicey with co-dependence at one end of the spectrum and hyper-independence at the other.
Saturn is all about boundaries, and that’s a problem for both Mars and Neptune when they are on their own, but when Saturn squares a Mars/Neptune conjunction, the merging problems are exacerbated by Saturn’s relentless determination to delineate structure. Saturn isn’t interested in merging; Saturn wants clear lines so it can function within regulated systems. Saturn wants order and Mars/Neptune interactions are messy. A Mars/Saturn square often manifests as a harsh, strident approach that is more critical than helpful. When Saturn squares Neptune, it insists on clarity, and that insistence is often a buzz-kill for the dreamy fantasy world of Neptune. As Saturn squares the Mars/Neptune conjunction, many of us are likely to feel confused and/or despondent about the ongoing process of trying to figure out just how far is too far to walk in another’s shoes.
The question of distance and duration is not an easy question, especially in the midst of the tightening final Uranus/Pluto square, an interaction that puts social justice at the forefront of our collective interactions. Social justice is love at the collective level—it is the recognition of our interconnectedness and interdependence. Just how far each of us is willing to extend to help our fellow humans and our planet is the question of the day. It is a question each of us must answer within before we can respond to external circumstances.
It is possible to view the enormous, historical demonstration in Paris against the violence and atrocity of terrorism as a ground swell of compassion and concern. Again, along that spectrum of choices we have to make in this realm of duality, as a collective we must not only take a stand against terrorism. We must also be willing to face the roots of this disease and do whatever is necessary to find a remedy.
Gandhi, as well as the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., understood that violence against violence only creates more violence. That line of thinking can also extend to the notion that internal violence—harsh self-judgment and mean-spirited self-criticism—only creates an internal hostile environment that can then be projected outside onto others. As each of us learns to quiet the turmoil within, we learn to quiet the external tumult.
While many of us feel powerless in the face of our global situation, we are never without the power to experience a change of heart. This is where true revolution occurs, not with despair, but with hope—the hope that lies with the millions who gathered in unity to protest the senseless killing of their fellow travelers. To be sure, one of the most important lessons of our time is that no matter how hard we would wish it otherwise, we are no longer local. Again, one more way of viewing the spectrum of choices: We can suffer through the labor pains of this process wishing it were otherwise, or we can continue to make all the adjustments that are necessary to create a unified field of diversity.
There are no Sun Bursts this week. They will return next week.
Don’t forget that Mercury Retrograde begins on January 21. Make sure you back up your hard drives and anything else electronic by January 17.
Ralfee Finn specializes in Transformational Astrology. For readings, call 1-212-222-3232, write P.O. Box 343, New York, NY 10025, visit AquariumAge.com, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2015 by Ralfee Finn