When is life going to calm down? What’s behind all these crazy awful losses? Why has one person’s death hit us so hard?
These are real questions I’ve been asked this week. The atmosphere is dark and complex; I don’t argue the point. We do have reason to keep going, to enjoy being alive and to share that joy — if we can just keep sight of that.
We have crossed, astrologically, into a new way of being. We’re all a little disoriented. Much that previously defined existence — structures, institutions, borders, definitions, allegiances — has been beaten and pounded out of recognizable contours. That scares a lot of people. Remember that.
Change, instability and turmoil are constant factors, running like a background program. They’re with us for the foreseeable future, as the cosmic change agents Uranus and Pluto continue to crack open aspects of our beings and our world. They’ve already set fundamental restructuring in motion, with five exact hits behind them since 2012. Two more tectonic shifts are coming, next December and March, but at this point we have a good sense of the game board, and of what and where the areas of instability and reworking are. Now we’re in a mode of adapting, adjusting, assimilating and incorporating. Many of us, anyway. Some people are still in the mode of acting, insisting, screaming and bullying as if the world is as it was (or often, as it never really was). Remember that, too.
Add to this a growing recognition that life will never be as it was. We certainly will not be. This year especially has pushed us into greater personal awareness, honesty, nurturing and acceptance. We’ve refocused and streamlined personal shortlists, of values, goals, friends, causes and what we want in our lives in general. Radical change agent Uranus has been in cahoots with one new moon after another, blasting us out of situations, beliefs and factors that are Not Us and into individuation and self-actualization. The full moons have fostered cutting back, away and out whatever no longer fits. The Aquarius full moon on August 10 in particular dropped like a machete. It forced drastic action, solutions and endings, with lasting ramifications, on issues involving trust, debt, joint endeavors, appropriateness of investment, terrors and mortality.
Swirling under all of this is a current between Saturn, lord of structure, order, rules and responsibility, in Pluto’s home of Scorpio, and Chiron, embodiment of our abiding wounds, in the all-encompassing waters of Pisces. This is stirring the issue in your life that just won’t go away, with two extremes in potential. One is making peace with it, forgiving yourself and allowing yourself to be human; going by divine guidance, finding firmer footing, committing to yourself and your right to be here. The other is overwhelm, oppression, feeling crushed, felling utterly isolated or completely enmeshed in others, escaping by any means possible, or staring or falling or diving or being sucked into an abyss of pain, darkness, addiction or delusion.
If teach of us were on a private journey here, the impact would be different. Trouble is, we’re all doing this in the same pond. We’re swimming in each other’s experiences and pain and agonies, not to mention being exposed to the deaths and losses and atrocities and emotional reactions that fill social media.
Robin Williams’ death hit many of us hard because of all these influences. He has loomed large in our collective psyche for some 40 years. His departure was an echo of the Celebrity Death Epidemic of the summer of 2010, when a succession of people left who’d had a defining influence over the second half of the 20th Century. This was another door slam on that century and, for many people, their youth.
He also provided a loss that people could identify with. Tales of war horrors and police brutality are hard to wrap our brains (and hearts) around. Robin Williams put a face, and a much beloved one, on death, and gave a point of focus for emotions that been swelling without expression.
He has drawn awareness to wounds in our psyches, too, as well as the enormous challenges of coping with what’s going on in the world. Much talk has flown around about depression and addiction being widespread problems, to which no social or economic level are immune. He also carried the energy of major astrological imperatives. His birth chart was worked over, and hard, by the cardinal cross of this last April, and the Saturn/Chiron flow flooded both his Cancer sun and Pisces moon. (That moon enabled him to connect to so many people artistically and personally, and to make so much of his audience feel a connection to him in return.) If one of the most super-charged, force-of-nature creative spirits of our lifetime couldn’t go on in this world, what does this say for our world? And bode for the rest of us?
Safeguard your spark. Boundaries, clearing and periodically separating are critical. (If you don’t have ways to pull that off, pick some up in my free, hour-long talk Navigating the Shift.) Be ruthlessly self-protective. Pay attention to when mood shifts; start tracking when you are sponging up other people’s emotions, reaction and dramas. Put on blinders if you have to. Stop following and obsessing over news that upsets you. Delete social media posts. Limit time on social media, too, especially when a story or a topic fills your feed with emotional contagion. Recognize that fear is rampant, and part of the force behind so much hateful, destructive talk and behavior. Have compassion for the people engaging in both — but step away from them.
Fuel your spark. Make a point to do things you enjoy, no matter how little. Find reasons to celebrate, again, no matter how little. Dress up; be flamboyant; sparkle; shine; treat yourself well. Two planets in Leo encourage this: beneficent, optimistic, aggrandizing Jupiter and Venus, goddess of all we hold dear. She colors social interactions, and when in Leo she goes for having fun, showing off, drawing attention, and indulging in grand gestures. The two are meeting in a super-conjunction on August 18, by the way. Indulge in your God-given right to be you at your most dramatic and flamboyant, and share the wealth. Which leads to:
Share your spark. Don’t isolate; reach out. Socialize. Smile at strangers. Be friendly to sales clerks. Have fun with other people. Throw parties, or treat every gathering as a party. Toast your friends’ successes and good news. Be generous with your time, your energy, your optimism and yourself. By mere example, you may rekindle someone else’s desire to keep going. Think of one candle lighting another and then another. The combined flame is brighter and bigger and casts wider light and warmth.
And the sharing and spreading of life force is the only effective way, really, to counterbalance all the negativity and despair. If you get into a screaming match with an unhappy person, if you try to debate someone who is spewing vitriol, if you do direct battle with negativity or, let’s be honest, evil, you will come away tainted. Your spark will sputter. You may stare into the abyss, for reasons that may not be your own. Better to burn on, shine on, and encourage other people to stoke their own reason and determination to live.
“Reach Out in the Darkness,” by Friend & Lover
“Cabaret,” from Cabaret
“Glitter and Be Gay,” from Candide
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© Kathy Biehl 2014. All Rights Reserved. You may forward this article as long as the copyright notice is intact. No part may be used or reprinted without my prior written permission. Karma, ya know.
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