Spring Equinox 20th March 2019 22:00
“Give them the fields and the woods and the
possibility of the world salvaged from the lords of profit.”
The profit motive – a supreme cultural and moral wound, and while it rules the roost one wonders what possibilities for the world can be wrested from its dark lords. 2019 is a big year for waking up to our wounds, as the Centaur, Chiron, emerged above the celestial horizon in February, entering Aries and the first degree of the zodiac: re-entering collective consciousness after a long journey in the darkness beneath the horizon. It will travel through Aries for eight years. Chiron is a key figure at the cardinal gateways (solstices and equinoxes) this year. It is weaving itself into our awareness, bringing its theme of wounding and healing, of wisdom and compassion into our consciousness of ourselves and the world. The Sun entering the first degree of Aries – the dawn moment of the year – crests the horizon, in conjunction with the Wounded Healer, Chiron, on 20th March. The renewal of spring is marked by our need to bear witness to the incurable wound. This is the time of hope and youthful vigour, of lambs and bunnies and the planting of seeds! And yet, we are called to feel the pain and powerlessness that sits heavily in our spirits. Chiron is seeding this awareness, insisting that we cannot ignore the ways in which we are personally, collectively, socially, culturally, ecologically wounded. As Rumi – soberly – has it,
Don’t turn away your head. Keep looking at the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you. And don't believe for a moment that you're healing yourself.
The first international Youth Strike 4 Climate, protesting political inertia in the face of climate change, occurred four days before Chiron entered Aries, and was a brilliant expression of the archetype of Chiron in Aries. Young citizens flexing political muscle on the streets of our towns and cities because politicians, teachers, parents and elders – i.e. we – are failing to meet the crucial challenge of our age. And no, it really is not Brexit. Our political leaders and their commentators seem lost in a whirling eddy of asininity and mendacity, as they jockey for power and privilege in a system that is breaking apart before our eyes (revealed by the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn that is now in force). Meanwhile a new cycle of possibility, a new world, is trying to be born from the detritus of the old. Aries gives planets a sword and shield on entry – and the will to fight. We may feel powerless and despairing, and yet the warrior energy of Aries mitigates against inertia. There is a will to become effective and authentic, to do what only you can do, active and awake.
As Aries is the sign of youthful energy, Chiron is bringing our attention to the wounded experience of youth in our world right now. Knife crime is in the news; the sexual abuse of children by priests and politicians is also in the press again, as the Establishment takes a cursory peep at its unsavoury side. The Catholics have just held a conference on the matter, and put the Devil in the firing line, like that’s going to help; the public inquiry in the UK has turned its attention to the abuse of children organised from within Westminster, mother of parliaments, indeed: “Put your vileness up to a mirror and weep.” We also begin to glimpse the cost of our love affair with technology for our youth, with alarmingly increased levels of self-harm, suicide, eating disorders, amongst a panoply of other mental health disorders, which seem positively encouraged by the virtual world. Why would anyone have FOMO about this smorgasbord of pathos and despair? And yet many young people declare that life is not worth living without online. This belief is propagated by the tech giants – and it is propaganda, algorithmically designed to be addictive and disappointing, mesmerising and nauseating: to get its teeth into the emotional body and from there to dominate behaviours. What has got its teeth into yours?
There is a real world we need to live in. Physical reality is the only place to be. Any other direction leads to loss of vitality, disease and death. And yet an offer is being made whereby we can appear to retreat from or bypass the austere and essentially unequal, often impoverished physical reality many people live in, as virtual experience extends its reach – and its market – into every area of our lives. Our imaginations, our attention and our privacy are now the raw materials of consumerised surveillance capitalism for companies that pay nothing for these materials.
Here’s a question: If a solar farm harvests solar energy and a wind farm harvests wind energy, what should we call an operation that harvests human energy?
The seductions of technology are persuasive when so many experience poverty at other levels of their lives: poverty of education, imagination and opportunity, time poverty, cash poverty, housing poverty, energy poverty, food poverty. We are being rendered contingent to, and utterly dependent on, systems that are designed to syphon cash out of our bank accounts and to leave us so overwhelmed by the t’s & c’s and the need to keep switching providers and creating new passwords, that we want to submit to whatever it takes just to get the groceries in on time. Our energy is snared and snagged in technological and bureaucratic forms when meanwhile there is a world outside the window with mud, blood, fire and starlight calling us to come out and to wonder at the sheer aliveness of life! And that world requires human presence: it is a crucial part of the economy of energy transformation between Above and Below, Cosmos and Gaia, Star and Stone.
©Rachel Burch Photography, used with kind permission
The principle of life on this planet is physical manifestation. Yet the culture is currently engaged in an attempt to shear human presence from the body, peel it away from the physical realm. When we invest time and energy in realms divorced from the physical we are separating ourselves from the source of our vitality, which is found in the body and in physical life. The physical level of our existence has to be nourished – with food, energy, imagination, mind and heart; it requires clean water and air, healthy food, creativity, beauty, meaning and purpose: love. On all the levels: love.
Marko Pogačnik has written about the contradiction between planetary life and the experience of human consciousness in Turned Upside Down:
The completely divided polarities of our modern consciousness are fighting doggedly against each other to obtain control of a world that is not there anymore. … Postmodern humans remain encapsulated in projections of space/time which evolution has already dismissed from its purview. … It makes no sense at all to be overly frightened of those forces that continue to promote the old world model, or to get involved in fighting them. Or, to put it a different way, these opposing forces can only maintain their presence here because the majority of humans believe in their existence and either revere or fight against the symbols of power.
Other than the awakening to Chiron in Aries, what cargo does the Equinox moment bring, that will be unpacked over the weeks until the Summer Solstice? A drastic situation of thoroughgoing change and intense emotion is indicated – perhaps the ruling elite flexing authoritarian muscle (Grand Trine in Earth between Moon, Mars and Saturn/Pluto; Moon opposes Equinox Sun/Chiron). There is a mood of pugnacious hostility and it will be the people (Moon) who take the hits of the histrionics in public life. At a more personal level this dearth of charm can be used to take an objective look at our own hurts, to focus our attention on the cracks within ourselves and to bring light into those places.
We may well see the sacrifice of Theresa May, brought down by Tory grandees trying to save the Party, as the taint of her woundedness spreads to the whole administration (indeed, to the very idea of parliamentary process, which is creaking under the strain of Saturn and Pluto’s meeting in Capricorn, sign of governance). The astrology certainly suggests an ugly attack on a woman and yah-boo sucks to the idea of a peaceful resolution in the Brexit fiasco (Venus square Mars – Mars empowered by a trine from Saturn/Pluto). The period between the Equinox and the Brexit date are marked by retrograde Mercury stationing in conjunction with Neptune: obfuscations, delusion, sacrifice, fraud and job losses. The real confusion of the moment presents a great opportunity to the unscrupulous for some stealth politicking – something to which we should be alert. What is happening in the wings of the main-stage breakdown of parliamentary process? The roll-out of 5G is quietly being prepared; the D. K. Foundation’s Suzanne Rough has commented that humanity has never before known “death by air”. This is worth thinking about.
Less than four hours after the Equinox the Moon will be Full on the degree of the Autumn Equinox – Sun and Moon poised at either end of the celestial horizon, the Moon reflecting the light of a Sun infused with the depth awareness of Chiron. While we are undoubtedly in a difficult process, it does serve to wake us up and it begs the questions: How do we really want to use our energy and the limited opportunities of our lives? And moreover, how can we serve?
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