Playing Our Part for the Planet
The final month of 2014 is dominated by the penultimate exact Uranus/Pluto square mid month (14th/15th December). With it we enter the grand finale of this potent alignment which has been with us since 2012 and finally begins to fade come April next year. No one has been left untouched by the quickening power of this time. Many peoples’ lives now bear little resemblance to how they looked before these two planetary heavy-weights began their alchemical dance. Nothing and no one has been protected from the destructively creative grace conjured by the cosmos these past few years. The challenge for so many has been to let go and trust, to embrace the changes brought about no matter how devastating they may have felt at the time. To look into the darkness, of self, of other, of life and to recognise that within it lays the deepest wisdom, the most enduring truths. This past year has been about acknowledging and owning the personal and collective shadow in order to recognise that it is not some dreadful realm to be feared, rejected and denied but simply another part of ourselves to be embraced, accepted and, in doing so, brought into the wholeness of all that we are. This year has demanded the deepest authenticity we could muster and then some! It has been both brutal and beautiful in equal measure, destructive and creative at one and the same time. To quote Joni Eareckson-Tada when referring to the wheelchair that symbolises her quadriplegia from the age of seventeen, this year has been ‘a bruise of a blessing, a terrible grace’. And this coming month which brings it to a close, reminds us that whilst the journey is nowhere near over, some of the more challenging times are now behind us.
Of course, as with so many things, attitude is the final arbiter of where we find ourselves at this point. The more open we have managed to be to the shocks and surprises, upheavals and realignments of the past two and half years the more we can begin to sense the gradual easing of pressure and lightening of energy as the year comes to a close. If, however, we have continued to resist and battle against the cosmic reordering of our lives we may find ourselves exhausted and depleted, wondering where on earth we go from here. It is, however, little wonder that we opt for resistance when the very fabric of our lives is falling apart all around us. It seems the logical thing to do. We must fight for what matters, not surrender to forces which seem intent on our demise. But as logical as it may seem to be, and as negative as it all may look, we still have time to embrace change not fight it, take our part in it not wrestle ceaselessly to make it stop. If we can do so we can still conduct powerful forces of transformation into our lives and directly experience the fact that what felt like death is in fact the nascent beginnings of a new life more vibrant and connected than anything we had before.
This month begins with an opportunity to look after each other and recognise the vulnerability of our shared humanity. We all have our own personal battles to fight, our fears and anxieties, shame and grief. No one is immune to these fundamental challenges of the human realm even though for some it can be all too easy to assume one’s own lot is harder than someone else’s. Throughout the first week of December we are encouraged to set such views aside and do what we can to help others manage their troubles, forgetting about our own for a while. The more people who can commit to doing this the more care and compassion will be available for us all. Whilst it can be relatively easy to tend the emotional wounds of another when they are distressed and seeking support, it can be much harder when those wounds are expressed as anger, aggression or defensiveness. As December gets underway it’s worth remembering that we may encounter just such behaviour. Recognising it as an expression of pain or fear, lack of self-worth or crippling doubt, can help us respond in ways that de-escalate rather than worsen a tricky situation. The human psyche is incredibly complex and we are rarely quite what we appear to be! Bearing this in mind now will help us maintain an open heart and mind in the face of someone who may otherwise cause us to close them and move along fast.
Mars shifts from Capricorn to Aquarius on 4th December GMT, revitalising our jaded minds and encouraging us to think new thoughts rather than rehashing the same old tired ones that have previously scored their paths through our grey matter. The ability to think differently is a huge bonus now, especially with the Full Moon in Gemini on 6th December highlighting old mental habits which need to be released. It’s tempting to consider habits in terms of behaviour, but most behaviours arise from some kind of thought process and it is there we need to implement change before we can truly release behaviours which hold us back. This Full Moon, which forms a T Square to Chiron, the planet of both woundedness and healing, urges us to honestly appraise how we contribute to our own suffering by allowing our mind to run away with us down old and familiar paths which fail to serve us in the long run. It could be anything from dwelling on the past to anxious anticipation of the future to negative self-talk. Whatever our unhelpful mental habits, this is a great time to see them for what they are and resolve to let them fade away without our constantly rekindling their fire. It takes discipline and commitment to do this, but when we can we will be so glad we stuck at it and made the effort. The freedom to choose our mind-state lives the other side of this effort and if we can develop just such new habits as we prepare for 2015, we won’t be disappointed by the outcome!
On 8th December Jupiter begins a four month retrograde journey through Leo which, together with Saturn’s entry into Sagittarius (the sign ruled by Jupiter) on 23rd December, marks the beginning of a formative time, especially for those with planets in Sagittarius. The natural exuberance that comes on the Sagittarian vibration may be tempered here by a need to develop depth of perception alongside breadth of experience and a willingness to delay satisfaction in favour of more enduring rewards once certain qualities have been developed. Jupiter retrograde in Leo brings us face to face with our ego and what we do with it. It poses questions about how we interact with others, our willingness to question ourselves, our motives, our behaviour and whether we use our personality to forward our own interests or promote a better quality of life for everyone, ourselves included. Saturn in the sign of the archer demands that we now live the truth that we have sweated to unearth during the past two years while it traversed Scorpio. Whatever we discovered during this time, about ourselves, other people, how life really works as opposed to how we think it should, our task in the next three years is to live that truth on a daily basis. To allow it to take root in our consciousness and stand by it no matter what, come hell or high water. And yes, if those truths begin to shape-shift into something new, to shape-shift with them, in constant pursuit of guileless authenticity.
The Uranus/Pluto square, exact on 15th December GMT raises the issue of spiritual illusion and the guises in which it may continue to trip us up even now. Evolution takes time, be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. We may want it done and dusted but the cosmos has other ideas. Whilst some individual shifts happen in the blink of an eye, rendering the past something to which we can never return, for those shifts to be fully grounded, lived through and out the other side takes time, commitment and a willingness to see all sides of what they reveal. We do not know the true nature of change by its moment of occurrence but by the consequences of it taking root in our lives. Whilst a new road discovered may look beautiful we cannot know this for sure until we have walked its length and seen for ourselves. Nor can we claim to know it better than others. Judging it on the first few yards tells us nothing about what lies around the first corner. If we have been too quick to embrace transformation and proclaim ourselves renewed without having lived the change into its fullness before doing so, this alignment reminds us that the universe is not here for our benefit to deliver whatever we happen to desire when we demand it. Instead we are part of a collective organism, forever moving into wholeness, evolving in each moment. As such we do not arrive at ‘transformed’, we pass through it, over and over again as we are more deeply refined and revealed by life. This alignment keeps us humble and warns us to keep a check on our ego. We’re not in a race to the finish and no one, except all of us, needs to win.
When the Sun shifts into Capricorn on 21st December (GMT), followed closely by the Capricorn New Moon on 22nd, Uranus completes five months retrograde in Aries. It’s time to get down to business and walk our talk! In days gone by the outer planets such as Uranus and Pluto were deemed purely generational and unavailable to us as individuals, but all that is changing now. Uranus can be as personal as we make it right now, which means that we can become the power of innovative change, up-ending all that we have assumed in favour of the liberation of something altogether fresh and new. We can make 2015 a year like no other and this turnabout of Uranus encourages us to do so. If we’ve been saying we need to implement change in our lives now is the time to commit and begin to follow through. Uranus is on our side. The inner process of discovery is over for now. It’s time for the outer world to catch up and it is we who need to make that happen, not waiting for a miracle to deliver us where we want to be, but resolving to be that miracle for ourselves and each other, unleashing change and transformation on the world like never before, the more radical the better! As mentioned previously, Saturn enters Sagittarius on 23rd, heralding the very beginning of a ‘stand by your truth no matter what’ cycle to complete the cosmic message to get off our backsides and start doing what we’ve been saying we would!!
26th December sees the North Node, Uranus, Chiron and Pluto join forces in an alignment which continues until the middle of January. As such they form the bridge from the old year into the new across which we can choose what we carry and what we discard over the side into the abyss of ‘no longer needed on the journey’. But a warning is in order here. We run the risk of making unnecessary hard work out of life at this point. There may be a tendency to ratchet up the stress simply to motivate ourselves to make a stand, declare enough is enough and decide to live differently in 2015. Fair enough, if that’s what’s needed to make us change tack so be it. But we could decide not to make such a personal drama out of things and realise that this planet and all of her inhabitants are in a process of deep and powerful renewal right now. There is much to be let go – old habits and ways of living that are wounding Mother Earth and those who live upon her; tired beliefs which pit us against each other and nature itself; lifestyles which place personal satisfaction above collective well-being. There is plentiful evidence of the need for deep change everywhere: socially, politically, environmentally and spiritually. We don’t need to rely on a personal drama to wake us up. This collective journey should be enough to garner our commitment to be the transformation required and live more peacefully, making fewer demands upon the earth and her inhabitants.
As this month comes to a close and 2014 with it, we have an opportunity to look back upon a year which has seen phenomenal shifts for so many and times of extreme stress and challenge as a result. But it has also shown us who we need to be to thrive in this evolving world, and how to align our desires with those of the collective in order for a win/win situation to prevail. As Uranus & Pluto have reminded us this month, there is no destination, only an on-going process of change. The question is one of the direction and depth of that change and whether it orients us towards awakening or a deeper slumber as the planet continues in the pains of birthing a new age. This past year has offered us plentiful opportunity to align with our authentic rather than false self and to discover who we are beyond the trappings of ego and identification. In the coming year we can apply what this process has taught us to the task of daily living and pull out all the stops to move our collective evolution of consciousness in the direction of wholeness and deep, refreshing renewal.