We live in intense times: intensely unpredictable, intensely beautiful, intensely unsettling, intensely transformational. Both the best and the worst are rising to the surface, revealed in their fullness for all to behold. These are times of opportunity, when we can change the course of so much and challenge, like never before, the status quo of inequalities and power differentials, oppression, exploitation and deception. Things are not as they seem, nor are they as we’ve been led to believe. Truths are surfacing, along with feelings previously discounted, fears denied for too long and realities we dared not name.
Both brutal and nurturing in equal measure, current planetary activity speaks of great conflict and great healing, but the former may precede the latter with immense force. Truth rises like a bubble, breaking through what may be a hardened surface of complacency or denial, shattering as it goes. This fragmented surface may be our career that falls apart to reveal its empty heart just when we thought we should be at the top of our game. It may be a relationship that dissolves into dust when we need it to sustain us the most. It may be our health as it falters and fails, a wider breakdown in social order or an unavoidable sense of deepening unease that something in our world is very wrong and in need of healing before it’s too late. The current conjunction between Eris and Uranus leaves no one untouched for we all, at some level or other, must be broken open to receive the truth and stop living our personal lie.
It is tempting to take sides at moments like this. To play ‘good and righteous’ to another’s ‘bad’. Current world events foster this tendency as acts of unspeakable violence occur on our doorstep, echoing events that have occurred for many years, but at a safe enough distance that we could happily ignore them and carry on our merry and unconscious way. But violence and hatred, fear and terror, despair and frustration don’t go away by ignoring them. Quite the opposite. Denial feeds them, as does refusal to acknowledge the seeds of truth in their darkened heart. The Eris/Uranus conjunction speaks of revenge and retaliation, just as the goddess Eris’s reaction to rejection triggered the Trojan War. She has no compunction about feeding the elephant in the room until it is so huge we cannot possibly ignore it any longer! She knows no fear and many who have felt disenfranchised and despairing for too long may now be releasing their fear too, ready to rise up and fight for their cause whatever it may be, even to a bloody and bitter end.
If we are living and breathing today we are part of this, no matter how much we may see it as ‘those over there’ causing the problem. The multifarious aspects of our world are so intertwined it isn’t possible to stand apart and claim no share in its fabric. Neptune now retrograde in its own sign of Pisces reminds us we each arise from and return to the same source. We wrap our body and mind, heart and soul, around our presence and call it ‘me’. We feel ourselves as individuals, which indeed we are at a relative level. But in the absolute we are simply parts of a whole, each uniquely fashioned to play its’ specific part. Reflection on this inter-connectedness is vital now, to counter the movement toward polarisation which leads only to ever greater conflict in the end.
Saturn continues to square Neptune until the second half of September when this alliance begins to fade. It supports the questioning of long-held truths and much-loved certainties in the face of today’s mighty challenges. Be it political upheaval, conflict and war, climate change or personal trials, life is banging upon our consciousness to wake up and rise up. Never has there been such a potent time for breakdown to become breakthrough or tragedy to become triumph. But these processes take time and demand that we honour each step to birth the deepest transformation shaped by the highest truths. We may have to get our hands dirty in the messiness of the human realm with all our wild emotions and crazy longings. We may have to remove mask after mask until eventually we don’t even recognise ourselves, let alone anyone else knowing who the heck we are!
These times call for authenticity that may offend in its honesty and passion, challenging the religious, political, social and spiritual status quos. We answer to no one when it comes to truth, for truth is its own arbiter, leaving nothing else stood in its wake. We lie to ourselves and each other when to speak and act freely may threaten too deeply the surface accord which gets us through the day. But it is time for the most fulsome honesty we can muster, first and foremost with ourselves. Look within and say aloud what you see. Listen to yourself and the words you use. The timbre of your voice, its passion or fear. Feel your reluctance or thrill as perhaps you say these things aloud for the first time. This is your truth, say it, hear it and live it. Then see how long it lasts in the light of a more conscious day….
The Uranus/Pluto square of 2012 – 2015 prepared us for these times. Our shells were broken then and we emerged into a new kind of reality, one which would no longer tolerate the tyranny of ‘normal’ against the upwelling of deeper truths. Many feared they wouldn’t survive its’ onslaught and yet here we are, changed beyond recognition instead of broken beyond repair. And just as we journeyed through and out the other side then, we can do the same now. No matter how much we may fear the darkness, it is needed to frame the light. No matter how much we quake in the face of truths too hard to accept, they serve to reveal the path ahead. We can do this. But we can’t do it alone. We must do it with joined hands, open hearts and expansive minds prepared to entertain new possibilities, not calcify against anything that threatens our personal status quo.
As Goethe famously observed ‘Boldness has genius, magic and power in it’. And now, more than ever, it is time to be bold! Mars in Sagittarius between 2nd August and 27th September supports courageous acts and fearless hearts which remain open no matter what. This open-heartedness, which mitigates against defensive posturing, projection of our shadow upon the ‘enemy’ and loss of faith, can be our foundation if we choose, enabling clarity of effort and a sense of direction that may have been lacking more recently. That said, the flip side of Mars in Sagittarius is crusading for a cause without thought or respect for those on a different path and we must guard against such seeds in our own hearts. No matter how right we feel, no matter how true our perspective seems, to insist others share it in itself reveals the lie that perpetuates so much conflict in this world: that life is black and white, concrete and solid with obvious truths and one reality. Pluto’s on-going journey through Capricorn affirms how far from the truth such perceptions are and reminds us that nothing is sacred when it comes to upending the status quo.
On 19th August the next eclipse season begins. It ends on 23rd September, the day before Uranus and Eris conjoin for the second time. Together these cosmic events herald a further intensification of the current cycle of revolution and rebellion. In the weeks leading up to this next rise in tempo we have the opportunity to make a deep and abiding commitment to join hands and hearts, stay the course and offer our very lives up to the mystery that is the current evolution of consciousness, a journey replete with great truth, boundless blessings and unimaginable gifts of grace. If they come wrapped in struggle, so be it. If enrobed in spontaneous shifts which take our life off in a new and positive direction, hallelujah!! And if they come like a thief in the night, stealing from us what we hold most dear to seed a future we cannot yet imagine, may we stand strong beside each other as we learn to live our life anew.
Intense times indeed, which may be the understatement of the year! And yet powerful beyond measure and more precious than gold. Characterised by division and conflict alongside heart-centred rebellion and spiritual revolution, they teach how to live in new and innovative ways that honour truth, foster peace and begin to heal the deep divides that have festered on this planet for way too long….