The world seems to be lurching from one crisis to another. Everywhere you look, something almost incomprehensible is happening. Ukraine, Russia and the US. The UK – let’s not go there! Iran. Energy prices through the roof, causing stress and hunger. War, famine, rebellion and repression. And in the meantime, leaders and politicians are carrying on in the same way as usual. What ever happened to ‘if it’s not working, try something different’?
All this made me think of the definition of crisis. In English it actually means a turning point, for example where an illness reaches its peak and the outcome is then clear. It is a decisive point for better or worse and requires serious attention. These days it usually has a negative connotation as it does in Dutch.
Crisis requires serious attention
Has anything changed? The events behind this newspaper headline from 1979 helped bring down the then Labour government of the UK. It was the period known as the ‘Winter of discontent’. The then Prime Minister, James Callaghan, didn’t actually say Çrisis? What crisis?”. They were originally coined by Supertramp – the title of their 4th album which was released in 1975. However, the words appeared to sum up what Callaghan actually said: “I don’t think other people in the world would share the view that there is mounting chaos.” This was in the middle of strikes and continuing unrest, similar to what is happening now in the UK. And with the present amount of chaos in government there, with new people in important posts as blame gets shifted, this is only likely to get worse. The focus, also worldwide, is on those in power staying there, as opposed to giving serious attention to what needs fixing.
Astrologically speaking it has been a critical few years. January 2020 saw the beginning of a new Saturn-Pluto cycle in Capricorn. A cycle heavily influenced by Ceres which I have written on often. This is clearly associated with COVID. We have also had a very long aspect between Saturn and Uranus. In Capricorn 2021, I wrote about this too, mainly using computers and the Coronavirus as examples. The dates of the exact squares between these two planets all occurred in 2021. However, this month, they came within a whisker of alignment too. This was the last time, before they move on to start a new cycle in 2032. So this was a last ditch attempt from these planets to wake us up (Uranus) and take responsibility (Saturn) for changing (Uranus) laws and governing systems (Saturn). And everything else that needs fixing, like the environment and our treatment of all creatures – including ourselves.
Message not received
Sadly, we didn’t get the cosmic message. Interestingly, we are at a similar place in the Saturn-Uranus cycle as we were during the winter of discontent in the UK. 2021 was the equivalent of 1977. A little while after that, all hell broke loose there. I think that is about to happen again. In 1979, Uranus was exactly opposite his position now. So clearly Uranus is making himself felt in his own cycle – even without Saturn adding to the misery.
Uranus – all change please!
Uranus calls for changes. He was in Scorpio in 1979, asking for changes in the use of power. Today he is in Taurus, asking for fundamental changes in all forms of security. Money, housing, food – whatever makes us feel safe. The questions raised are: Are we being told the truth about these issues? Is it fair? Can we be independent? Also in terms of bodily integrity. Can the farmers survive? Can the banks survive? Can we have control of our own finances? Can we afford basic food and shelter? As I have said before in my post, ‘Lightning strikes the bull‘, Uranus in Taurus shakes up all these issues.
Saturn in the mix
One of the ways the Saturn-Uranus aspect could have worked was that we all took responsibility to make the world a better, fairer, more honest and authentic place. Innovation could bring concrete advancements for the good of everyone. And of course innovation has taken place. But the negative version of this aspect is the more familiar one. Authoritarian governments, such as in China and Iran. All the COVID restrictions nearly everywhere, and unstable governments. Rebellion against all this has been strong, but it has been dealt with by quashing uprisings and censoring any social media which is ‘agin the government’. The lack of compassion dealing with any demonstrations and the implementation of Corona rules has been frankly mind-blowing.
Libra time – a chance!
So, as I write, we are in the Libra time of the year. One of the main characteristics of Libra is a focus on ‘the other’. That’s why it is often called the sign of love and relationship. It’s an air sign that represents discussion and feedback. It requires deep listening of others to work well. It’s associated with fairness and partnership. Doing things with agreements. Mediation and togetherness. It’s the opposite of Aries, a self-focussed sign. This pair forms the me / you axis, or in a group, the us / them one. Clearly we have too much ‘it’s all about me’ at the moment, especially in our leaders, but also in many of our own forms of communication. There is no dialogue. Only division.
Amsterdam autumnal colours
Equilibrium and balance
Libra time is the time of the equinox. For me here in the north, it’s the autumnal one. It represents the time of year when day and night are equal, or that’s what the word actually means. It is not strictly true, but symbolically it is about balance. So Libra is a time when balance could be a focus. We are not doing too well on that in most areas.
Libra also made me think of the term ‘othering’ which is rampant in our societies. Perhaps this is the negative side of Libra. By putting others in the ‘not the same as us’ group, be it for social, sexual, religious, political, racial or any other reason, it is easy to treat others as being of less value than ourselves. Othering has always played a role in our lives and in politics but it seems to be blatantly obvious now and reaching fever pitch. We have such polarised societies. The phenomenon is seen as the opposite of belonging, and it is allowing us to lack any form of compassion for groups we have ‘othered’. There is a lot of interesting information on the web about it and I have included a very comprehensive link below. This short video by Prof. John A. Powell, who set up the Belonging and Othering Institute, explains a bit about how othering is creating a polarised world.
How can we help the world?
Well – apart from saying a definite ‘NO’ to what we don’t agree to, we can try being curious about others. I am pleased to see some newspapers including conversations between people of very different backgrounds and viewpoints. And there have been some moving videos showing common connections among diverse groups of people. The two below are well worth watching. Maybe you could try being more open and curious with people with whom you think you have no connection. You might be surprised!
The article I mentioned above with good information on othering. What is othering.
The Othering & Belonging Institute has some interesting articles too.
This is an excellent article on Rebuilding communication with family and friends. It is really helpful for all the divisions caused by COVID. It discusses ‘troublesome knowledge’.
The two very moving videos
The DNA journey
Don’t put people in boxes
And in case you want to know…
Quote of the month
“It doesn’t take a declaration, or an invasion, to start a war, all it takes is an ‘us’ and a ‘them.’ ” from Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer, historian and author.