There has been an energy of (amplified) intensity moving across our planet over the past 48 hours (and it will continue to). This is the Mars-Pluto inconjunct: An invitation to act, to be able and willing to engage with the depths of our own psyche.
This is a highly triggering alignment for a variety of reasons. Mars relates to our assertiveness, our agency and ability to act in the world, our masculine / yang archetype. It strongly influences our health and life-force. Pluto is essentially related to the Shadow, hidden insecurities, hidden riches, violence, weaponry, war, death, regeneration, alchemy, rebirth.
The inconjunct is an astrological bridge that brings the energies of Mars/Pluto, Leo/Capricorn together in ways that are uncomfortable or disquieting to say the least. And in extreme cases – be it the deployment of 10,000 additional troops and 5 dead bodies at the India-Pakistan border, two mass shootings in the USA (Ohio & Texas) – this alignment can lead to outbreaks of violence at the personal and political level. Together, they spell out the words ´toxic masculinity´- bearing in mind that this is a pattern of behavior and beliefs that anyone can hold (irrespective of gender).
There´s of course other contexts we can talk about: intensifying protests in Hong Kong, fires in Siberia and the Arctic, ecological activism (and attacks on indigenous peoples) in South America, and so on, and so on, and so on.
Whilst I´m not saying all this is caused by this one alignment, it can be certainly something that fans the flames of war, or at the very least greater posturing that can lead to violence, harm, injury, and so on. It is advisable to be mindful of your body and what you do with it at this time.
Now some of you will be experiencing the positive aspects of this alignment – and that´s great. There´s scope for creatively transforming these shadow aspects and our relationships with them. But if you are blessed in being able to act, with energy and integrity, perhaps do so in a way that can help the collective, rather than hinder it.
The spiritual journey has many prescriptions for what a person can do, as part of their karma-drama-ride through the wheel of incarnation. Some may say that it´s just enough to take care of yourself, or of your family … others say honor your community, your nation … others say heal the world … others align with more celestial experiences. Some of these paths will ask you to turn a blind eye to the world as it is not your responsibility to fix, that acceptance is the true path.
An an intellectual level, I can see the merit of this path – but at an emphatic level, I cannot (personally) condone a path that, in fact, does nothing to mitigate some of the violence, harm, ecological degradation that the planet is seeing. Not to mention the bodies of the young (and old) that pile up in acts of senseless violence.
There are of course scholars and practitioners who understand the path of radical acceptance as a precursor to engagement with the world. Sadly the term (as with many) is used to perpetuate not doing anything at all.
It´s easy to preach acceptance when the problem isn´t in your backyard, when it´s not your children, when it´s not people ´who count´.
And sadly, it will be. These alignments aren´t in isolation – and they will continue – especially in the transformative portal that is 2020.
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A poem by Warsan Shire comes to mind (´What they did Yesterday Afternoon´):
i’ve been praying,
and these are what my prayers look like;
i come from two countries
one is thirsty
the other is on fire
both need water.
later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
where does it hurt?
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So … truly, what does one do?
There´s no one good answer to this.
The only thing that I can think of as a general starting point that can help people find their own answers is to stay open.
Keep your heart open. Be willing to feel that collective grief.
Not to carry it on your shoulders, not to be weighed down and broken by it all …
But as a means of recognition. Witnessing. Holding space.
As the precursor to alchemy and transformation.
Nothing truly changes if we are unwilling to recognize it.
So often we´re overwhelmed by our own emotions and processing and trauma that it just feels like too much to even consider what´s going on everywhere else.
And yet this is exactly what we´re being asked to do.
To be willing to act as true witness.
And to engage where you can, for witnessing the problem does not resurrect the dead or rejuvenate the forests.
Part of the collective inertia that exists comes from the idea that we are powerless to make such changes. Some elements of spiritual rhetoric will have you believe that typing ´thoughts and prayers´ are enough. Whilst there is real magic in this world, it still takes an action to make that intention manifest – be it ritual, a Reiki symbol, time, and focused intent.
Some elements of political rhetoric will have you believe that the problem is just too big for any one person to do anything at all. And that too is a fiction. One ripple set in motion at the right time makes waves. Another ripple carries it forward, and the next, and so on. It´s not the individual alone that makes change, it´s the chain-reaction they are able to participate in (or not).
And if change were never possible, many of us would not even have those basic civil rights and liberties (which others are seeking to erode and push back, yet again). The fact that changes have happened in the world is proof that you too can make a difference.
Sometimes we fear all the shadow that comes up with doing good work in the world and engaging with its negativity. We tell ourselves that our energy will be ´tainted´ if we engage.
Bullshit. Why come here then?
Look at the great mystics of the past: they were not adherents of the system of their times
It was turn the other cheek, not turn a blind eye to another person´s suffering.
I see what´s happening with the Mauna Kea protests as a powerful symbol of engagement, conscious protest and potential for ways that inspired people can come together and resist wrongdoing.
They´ve even built a school to help teach children their traditions, as part of their protest. Famous actors like Dwayne Johnson and Jason Momoa (both excellent models for healthy masculinity, btw. ) have also stepped up to show their support. Now that´s a great example of how actors (Leo) and creative people can join the process of contest and protest (Capricorn).
Let´s take a page from that and think about ways we can engage collectively and do what we can for a world in transformation.
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Post & Text © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2019. All rights reserved