Germ

Of course, a 65-year Cycle doesn’t snap over like a light switch.  Some components of an energy shift can do that – we can think of many examples from recent history of sudden energy transformations, where everything is suddenly different.  Haiti certainly felt one of these week before last.  Pluto’s usually involved when everything changes, and the current shift is a Neptune initiation.  Neptune seen through material eyes is a fog of confusion.  Seen through spiritual eyes, Neptune represents perfect clarity.

We can’t recall who taught us this, but Confusion is actually a huge Blessing, when we receive it so.  The combination of habitual emotional resistance and intellectual justification creates a birdcage that protects our identity from predation by bullies.  These natural and automatic mechanisms we all employ are tremendously useful and powerful – without them we’d burn ourself on the stove every time we tried to make tea.  But they also limit us.  We want both/and, as usual, maybe in the form of multiple identities which we can swap in and out quickly, with an overriding governor to lend stability.

Confusion is what happens when information from beyond our birdcage leaks in and we’re confronted by a Reality that our current identity has disallowed.  Worth saying again…

Confusion means we’re about to grow, if we allow it.

Of course our first reaction to confusion is defensiveness, which often manifests as anger.  Defensive is good, it’s how we keep ourself safe.  But we need both/and – both the willingness to defend, and the willingness to grow.  With practice, we can defend with humor and without anger, while we also add a new room to our birdcage and allow ourself to grow into more comprehensive, and correspondingly more useful and powerful, identities.

A major Neptune energy shift usually happens in a fog.  This particular Chiron-Neptune has come upon us in a number of stairsteps.  We’ll list a few of them.  If you have a journal, reviewing these should put you well ahead in discovering the mystery of what New Direction your own life will take in a few weeks.  Just don’t try to be precise – use Eugene Gendlin‘s universal suffix, …or something like that.

May 2008.  Chiron is still three degrees shy of Neptune, but they’re both stationary retrograde (standing still and turning backward, ie, very strong) on the same day, May 24-25.  Good preview.

May 2009.  Again they both turn stationary retrograde on the same day (May 28-29), but now they’re both in the fresh-violets-in-an-ancient-pottery-bowl degree of their ultimate union, and only one fourth of one degree apart when they pirouette.  In addition, Jupiter crosses them both between May 23 and May 27.  To an astrologer, this is jaw-dropping.

When two planets do a triple-crossing, the retrograde stations between the crossings are almost as powerful as the crossing events themselves.  So the energy is already multiplied exponentially, before we consider the influence of Jupiter.  Yet there’s not a lot happening on the calendar – these are hundred monkeys shifts that we won’t see clearly till they start appearing spontaneously on other islands.  For instance, it was in May 2008 that Obama overtook Clinton, and that was a very fuzzy process.

In May 2009, Obama got three laws through Congress, the Fraud Enforcement Act, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, and the Credit Card Accountability Act, all well-meaning but questionable in terms of real outcomes.  If these are but fogbound stepping-stones to Real Change, then perhaps Hope lingers for the Empire.

July 2009.  Jupiter, after reconsidering and turning around in mid-June, again crosses Chiron and Neptune, with all three planets going backwards.

The Inner Life would have exploded here.  The calendar gives us Michael Jackson’s funeral, an appropriate metaphor.  If you aren’t a geographer, you might not recognize the symbolism in this one, but the Uyghur Revolt occurs here.  Look up Urumchi in your atlas or Google Earth.  In a geographic sense, you can’t get much more internal than this, and you can’t get much richer in ancient pottery.  Marco Polo slept here.

October-November 2009.  Chiron goes direct on Halloween, Neptune does the same on November 4.

December 2009.  Jupiter crosses Chiron on December 7, and crosses Neptune on the Solstice.  The Solstice of course is the “real” beginning of the New Year.

January 2010.  Chiron moves within one degree of Neptune (January 17); one degree is a common measure of the time-span of a current astrological event’s influence.

Haiti was several days earlier, while Saturn (Focus!) was standing still, and Massachusetts a few days later, after Mercury went direct (Lemme clueya!).  Haiti, with its Ben-Hur-style slow-motion Media Circus, implies that major disruption in our lifestyles may be underway behind the fog, which is actually not a big surprise – we’ll talk more about that soon.  We don’t mean we should expect more Katrina-class catastrophes, but yes, we should be prepared for disruptions to what we’ve come to expect – many of them have already occurred.

Of course, Saturn retrograde again crosses Pluto January 31.  The Betty has pointed out that this is a rerun of astrological event that brought us the Ft Hood dysfunction – see Saturn-Pluto and January 2010 below.  As we implied then, if we consider man’s inhumanity to man (not to mention women) as just another – and probably the most likely – potential “natural” disaster awaiting us, we can see Saturn-Pluto as adversity rather than oppression, and depoliticize it.  While Saturn says Focus!, Saturn-Pluto shouts Or Else!! It’s relatively easy to see Mother Earth looking at Afghanistan and huffing, Killin’, you want Killin’?  I’ll showya Killin’! and giving us Haiti as the metaphor.

It’s the old bumpersticker, What if they had to give a bakesale every time they wanted a new battleship, and our schools could have all the books they wanted. The Universe is a mirror, we only need to open our eyes to it.  Imagine replacing the military, world over, with a Disaster Corps that put as much energy into compassion and rapid response to need, as we currently invest in violence and aggression.  Yeah, yeah, I know, They started it! How old were you when you last said that and meant it?  Couldn’t we have a bit more maturity in our international affairs?  If we also replaced the Press Corps with the Disaster Corps, we might even get there in time to be useful.

February 2010 is very busy.  Chiron and Neptune are already within orb, that is, close enough to be taken very seriously.

Venus crosses the same spot on February 7 (10pm PST); we should begin to know how we’ve changed by then.

The Moon crosses on the 13th (9pm PST) – remember the Moon is often the manifestor, so whatever specific current events materialize out of the fog, may arrive then.

Then on St. Valentine’s Day (4pm PST), the Sun is right there sniffing the Violets!  Now that’s amazing (as in, the odds are about 100 to 1), that Chiron and Neptune would mate right behind the Sun! Talk about occult!

Then the actual, long-awaited Chiron-Neptune event itself – they’re within the same minute of arc (ie, one sixtieth of one degree) for about twelve hours starting around 3pm PST on February 16.  Fittingly, that’s Mardi Gras stretching into Ash Wednesday.  If that isn’t an allegory of our own darma drama, I don’t know what is!

The fog (eg, will Obama really create Real Change?) may not clear until later in February, as Mercury doesn’t smell the Violets until the 27th (6am PST).

Then there is a delay in getting things rolling until March 10th (9am PST), when Mars goes direct.  Mars (action, assertiveness) has been moving backwards (ie, thinking it over – gosh, am I being a bully?) since the Solstice.

Remember the Solstice, when Jupiter crossed Neptune?  That could easily be the major landing in the whole Chiron-Neptune stairwell.  And we haven’t even mentioned the Eclipses.

Now, the energy of a Cycle is strong at the initiation and, to the sensitive, decipherable.  But then it goes underground.  The classic example is the 1960s, when peace and love abounded and flowers bloomed in your hair.  But then, what happened, where did it all go? The 1970s saw the Gas Crisis and the hardships that wrought, then there were the All-Hail-Business Ronnie Reagan 1980s, the Tech-is-God 1990s, and the Mission Accomplished 2000s.  Lord, how we have strayed!

But the energy doesn’t stay underground.  It resurfaces, and becomes permanent, when the Cycle reaches the Fourth Harmonic.  Well, it’ll be many years before Chiron-Neptune reaches the Fourth Harmonic.  Not to fear; every astrological event is a learning opportunity.  Sure, the energy goes away, it’s no longer front and center in the World at Large.  But having experienced it, we can always invoke it.  It is ours to keep, all we need to do is recall the amalgam of Hope and cynicism that we’ve been living with for the last few years, and then choose to visualize the outcome that we want.  Keep that in mind if you encounter any pesky Limiting Beliefs during the next half-century.

But, did we mention the 1960s?  The 1960s were characterized by a Uranus-Pluto initiation.  Uranus represents the individual Soul, and since Pluto energy is malleable but not resistible, a shorthand for Uranus-Pluto is I gotta be me.  Well, yes, don’t forget Vietnam.  Some folks do seem to gotta be bullies.  And if you read Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, you’ll see the sameold sameold going on behind the facade of peace and love and freedom.  But the 1960s did bring the military-industrial-Congressional complex out into the open, and forced the end of the War.

We bring this up because the Mardi Gras-Ash Wednesday symbolism not only kernelizes the Miracle-despair dichotomy of Chiron-Neptune, it also hints loudly at Uranus-Pluto.  The central Mardi Gras theme is letting it all hang out, this is the playful Real Me, and the central Ash Wednesday theme is I repent my wretchedness that I may be free of hubris, this is the serious Real Me.  Or, Please God, believe my pretense that this Sunday-go-to-Meeting version of my identities is the Real One! What a great both/and.

Well, while the Chiron-Neptune initiation is a Very Big Deal in its own right, it also introduces the 2010-2019 Decade.  Now, even before it happens, what’s the most famous year in that Decade?  2012, eh?  And what happens in 2012?  The Uranus-Pluto Cycle comes to the Fourth Harmonic, which is to say, the 1960s become permanent.

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