Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Disclaimer

I don't personally think justice is too much to ask from the Pluto in Virgo generation. This just seems to be the line we're being fed...the convenient excuse of the day.

As I said in the post, I think the idea that justice is a fantasy that doesn't exist in the "grown-up world of practical realities" is a total cop-out. Achieving justice and fairness is a process that we work toward. We keep that goal in mind as we go about dealing with practical realities if we're truly committed to it.

When I'm writing about Pluto generations, I'm speaking of the generation as a group/collective. I know there are always committed individuals doing the right thing...even when the mainstream isn't.

I'm throwing down the gauntlet to the generation as a whole, the same way I throw it down within my own Pluto gen. At the same time, I fully understand that many members of each generation have already taken up the challenge and committed to it...possibly from birth. But others have different motivations.

And yes, I realize how annoyingly earnest this disclaimer is. That's just how this bitch rolls...

The Released

I saw a Frontline program last night called "The Released" that was a perfect example of the systemic change Pluto in Virgos will be responsible for bringing about. And it really can't wait.

The program was about how mentally ill/psychically disturbed people bounce from jail to homeless shelters, jail to homeless shelters in a frustrating, neverending cycle.

The big mental institutions in the U.S. and Canada have been closed, which most people see as a good thing. But true to form, the leaders of the day didn't put any sort of supports in place to make up for those institutions. They've left these people to "integrate into the community" on their own while most of them need at least some level of day-to-day support to stay on their medications and live stably.

So in lieu of a supported, meaningful transition into communities, prisons are acting as housing for the psychically disturbed. As one woman put it, they receive better care while they're in jail than they do on the outside.

The cycle these men suffer through is just so horrifically frustrating. The system is broken, and they keep going through it and reaping the damages.

Most of the men were released from jail with two weeks worth of medication and instructions to follow up with their primary care physician (easier said than done). Many were dropped off at homeless shelters and that was that. Crammed in with tens of other people, many mentally ill/psychically disturbed themselves. Forced out of bed at 6 a.m. every morning and left to wander the streets.

And the insufferable Christian sermons they had to sit through for the privilege of a bed to sleep in and some institutional food to eat!

It was only a matter of time before they stopped taking their medications and were back to full-on psychosis, committing criminal acts. And back in jail.

Like many people, they're living in a system where they're set up to fail. To repeat the same dead-end cycles.

Even the "good" places for the mentally ill/psychically disturbed had three men, with varying degrees of psychosis, to a room.

To never have any privacy and to be around other people battling these problems all the time, especially when you're psychically sensitive yourself, is a recipe for long-term failure, I think. It's only a matter of time before the stresses of living like that create a break.

The funny thing about one gentleman, Lynn, was that he was repeatedly arrested for breaking into people's houses on the search for Osama bin Laden. He was really tapped into the collective unconscious fears there! I used to work at a halfway house/homeless shelter, and I always felt that's what schizophrenia was...an excessive connection to the collective unconscious, especially the dark, fearful parts of it, and an inability to shut it off. Overwhelmed by the denial of the collective...

When Lynn was asked to tell the interviewer what he was looking for in the most recent house he broke into, he said: "bin Laden, Sadaam, the Anti-Christ, the devil, terrorists...I hope I haven't forgotten anything."

Made me think, well, he's pretty much got it there! This insane Bush-led drive to "get the foreign bad guys" has overwhelmed the collective subconscious. There is fear everywhere, and these psychically disturbed dudes are just bombarded with it. It becomes their daily reality instead of remaining underlying, unaddressed fears as it does in most of the collective.

Pisces (psychic/spiritual realms) carries what is undealt with in the preceding signs, and it remains in the subconscious until faced. These people are taking on a huge Piscean load for the collective and then don't have the necessary corresponding Virgoan practical support systems to deal with that load. Not fair!

In a weird way, the drive to get those "terrorists" IS a big part of why Lynn's life is the way it is. The use of U.S. resources overseas and the focus on foreign oil and power has led to a decay of social support systems at home. There is so much energy being poured into Bush and company's foreign wars that people are left to languish domestically, especially those most vulnerable who lack political pull and personal resources themselves.

And there is this entire industry of charity going on providing institutionalized care for these people - something the closure of the big psychiatric hospitals was supposed to get away from. What was supposed to be a temporary solution (homeless shelters) has become the only solution, in a lot of cases. Really, mentally ill/psychically disturbed people don't need charity. They need real lives. And they need to stop being forced into the same structures as "normal" people and set up to fail.

I can't think of much worse than living your entire life with people treating you like you're a charity case. Multi-layers of authority figures telling you every move to make. Yes, they need some support in their lives, some structure. But the level of personal choice or freedom these people have in their daily lives is close to nil, and I really don't think the human spirit is designed to put up with that for too long. The Uranian factor. It seems the only two options are at opposite extremes - the absolute chaos of homelessness or the absolute enforced institutional structure with its stifling rules, schedules, lack of personal choice. Neither extreme can be lived for too long.

As some famous saint once said, "Charity is no substitute for justice withheld."

And we can see the connection here between the systemic clean-up of the Pluto in Virgos and the social justice/right human relations of the Pluto in Libras. As with everything, it's interrelated. Justice is not possible without first creating properly and healthfully functioning systems that provide the support and assistance necessary for human beings to live their lives.

So this is why I'm on Pluto in Virgo's collective ass a bit here. Because we really need to get going on this. Every second wasted on a lame-ass Pluto in Leo throwback ego game or power play is a second someone is living in misery. The choice between continuing with the ego detritus or digging in and making concrete improvements seems clear to me, so when it isn't as clear to other people (or our supposed leaders)...very frustrating.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

WWA on Five Star Friday

"Saturn in Virgo Calls Bullshit on The Secret/Law of Attraction Phenomenon" was nominated for Five Star Friday, a site featuring best of the blog posts...

http://www.fivestarfriday.com/2009/04/saturn-in-virgo-calls-bullshit-on.html

Yes, I've written about this a lot in the past, and it continues to be necessary due to what I see as the misuse and misapplication of this ideology. I wrote a detailed article a couple years ago about why The Secret phenomenon doesn't jive with my use of astrology.

For that article, click here: http://willowsweb.blogspot.com/2008/10/secret-vs-evolutionary-astrology-orwhy.html

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mars in Aries Square Pluto in Capricorn

Ouch.

This aspect is exact at 10:14 a.m. MT tomorrow, but we're already feeling its effects.

For me, it's coinciding with some quite unpleasant physical processing (as Pluto aspects generally do). My joints feel like an elderly woman's right now. I have a tonne 'o Scorpio in my birth chart, so this is pretty much a constant state for me, but this aspect currently going down certainly takes it up a notch.

Our bodies and physical energy/drive (Mars) in tense aspect to the slow and sometimes painful Plutonic gutting and transformation our structures are going through. What we want personally coming into check by what is desired on an evolutionary level for the planet and humanity as a whole. Powerful processing going on as we're informed on a cellular level about what needs to happen next...

We haven't gotten much of a break from Pluto's all-encompassing, relentless crawl since mid-March when it started stationing retrograde. The atmosphere has been permeated with its heavy vibe, demanding all we've got. It sometimes feels as if it's demanding more than we've got, actually.

We had retrograde Venus in Aries squaring Pluto in Capricorn April 3, just as Pluto went retrograde itself. (This square colours the entire Pluto retrograde - getting clear on personal and relationship priorities, making ourselves and what we truly desire count (and putting it first) within all the structural transformation and change...)

Venus and Pluto have basically been in that square formation (within 4 degrees of being exact) since then.

Venus was stuck on 29 degrees Pisces for two weeks, just having re-entered Aries early yesterday morning.

I was having a little happy dance about that, but then I realized we had Mars square Pluto and then the second Venus square Pluto aspects to look forward to.

Venus in Aries will square Pluto again Saturday, May 2, this time with Venus moving direct.

So things we first unearthed around April 3 will be coming up again. Again, related to exerting our will and our identities successfully within the backdrop of Plutonic restructuring. Setting off in new directions more suited to who we are now based on what we truly value while working within the evolutionary imperatives laid out by Pluto in Capricorn. New set-ups. New ways of doing things. New structures.

At this point, we have the full benefit of Venus' wisdom, imparted to us during the retrograde. If we stayed true to ourselves during that first square and listened carefully to Venus as it tried to wrap up dynamics of relationships past while informing us about ourselves and how we interact in relation to others now...this square should bring some positive movement.

If we avoided or denied what that Venus - Pluto square was trying to show us then, we could have some nastier experiences as Pluto gets a little louder and more ruthless in bringing certain things to our awareness. We have to sever the dynamics Pluto asks us to sever for our future survival. We have to purge the old emotion we're holding or risk bringing more of the same crap into our lives.

It's a matter of survival right now...physically (Mars) and on a soul-level (Pluto), so we have to make the commitment to doing whatever it takes. We have to put ourselves first here. It's important. I can't stress enough how important this is, actually. Put yourself first and fight for yourself. Stand up for yourself. Make yourself count in every situation. Say "no more" to those dynamics you can no longer tolerate in your life...and mean it. Sever ties and move on.

For me, the time before an aspect becomes exact is usually an antsy, pressure-building time. That's how it feels right now. Sort of like, will this ever end??

It will, but for those of us who are sensitive to Pluto vibes, this next week might not be ever-so-comfortable. Even for those who aren't, I think this next week could be on the angsty side.

The Moon enters Cancer on Tuesday at 4:38 p.m. Mountain Time. At 7:07 p.m. it squares Venus in Aries, and at 9:52 p.m. it opposes Pluto. Bing, bang, boom.

The Moon creates a cardinal T-Square here (Venus in Aries, Moon in Cancer, Pluto in Capricorn) and kicks up some detritus from the past that we need to deal with in order to move forward into fresh Arien territory. With Pluto involved, it's probably archetypal stuff. We're purging for the collective as we deal with things personally.

So as things proceed this week, just be aware of the Plutonic undercurrents...

We have to go as deeply as Pluto asks us to this week, to look at everything and leave no stone unturned, or it will start demanding rather than asking...and then taking it out of our hands completely and forcing the issue.

This all sounds a little heavy, but if we do our best to honour the hardcore motherfucker within, we should be able to navigate our way through these energies successfully.

Aries is, in part, about the battle to be ourselves and to chart our own courses, so we can expect a bit of a fight as Venus and Mars transit the sign together throughout May. But we're really and truly blazing new territory, and it's pretty exciting. I can't even express how much I need the renewal of a new, better-suited direction in life. More than anything. I think we all do. I don't know what specific direction it's going to take, but we need to follow our impulses here and take the direction that feels fresh and energized.

That long-awaited spring renewal of physical energy should start now...held off while Mars and Venus were in Pisces and we dealt with our "last days of winter" themes. Well, they're in Aries now, and we can walk out of old dynamics related to painful self-sacrifice. No more being the sacrificial lamb. This is really possible now, so let's use this energy wisely and move on from enervating past dynamics. Things have changed. Finally, the energy is there to help us move into new territory. I could cry with relief.

We all want to get going now, and after the initial tempering squares to Pluto, we should make progress...

One other thing of note at the moment is that we are in the shadow of Mercury's upcoming retrograde. Yeah, another retrograde!!

Mercury will dip into Gemini on Thursday, April 30 and then go retrograde at 1 degree Gemini on May 6. It will retrograde back to 22 Taurus (where it was April 22) and then go direct May 30. So we'll be going back over the intellectual territory we've covered since April 22.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Saturn in Virgo and Seeing Through Neptunian Spiritual Glamour


Photo: Willow

So here we are. Tail end of the tail-end Piscean Era. As the winds of Aquarian change blow stronger, the crystallized Piscean Age spiritual set-ups are starting to decay. As with everything, these spiritual set-ups have to change to maintain relevancy and effectiveness. But a lot of people are clinging, clinging to the old forms right now. And oddly enough, as the old spirtuality set-ups become less effective, people seem to want more and more from those set-ups.

I guess people are freaked out by the change and the shifting structures of Pluto in Capricorn, and they're looking for answers.

Fair enough. Things certainly are on the odd side right now and other perspectives can help a lot in making us feel less crazed.

But for the sake of looking in the right places for perspective, there are some cautionary points I'd like to share so people don't get caught up in the collective frenzy and fear being stirred by the changes we're dealing with. It's when you get swept up in that that you can end up getting burned instead of getting the insight and perspective you were looking for. What I'm hoping to arm people with with this post is the ability to cut through Neptunian spiritual glamour to get at what is truly personally valuable and useful - and hopefully with the most effective expenditure of money possible.

So yeah. The industry of spirituality is in full force. Angel readings, past life readings, soul purpose readings, cleanses, books, workshops, sessions, crystals blessed by Tibetan monks.

There are a lot of people selling their personal spiritual perspectives and products in these shifting times. And again, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with this. We live in a society where money is necessary (for the most part) and people sell their skills, whatever those skills may be.

What I'm saying is, to gain the information and perspective that will be most meaningful to you personally (while getting the most bang for any bucks you shell out), the ability to cut through layers of Neptunian glamour and spiritual ego is a valuable tool.

Now, it's lots of fun to go into a darkened room, candles lit, indigo-coloured tablecloth draped over a table to meet a person playing up the gypsy-hippie-"spiritually-in-the-know" vibe for all its worth. Long, flowing hair, maybe dreads, wearing loose cotton clothing and magical beads. Maybe some tattoos and piercings. Playing up the "spirit love" eyes. You know, the whole "smiling with your eyes" full of glossy unconditional love and bliss thing. Pouring open the heart chakra to show how spiritually evolved they are.

Yes, it's lots of fun. But it's also something to be aware of as potentially part of the hook - hitting someone with the "I'm so spiritual" Neptunian energy and glazing their eyes over with glamourous sights and sounds, words and vibes. Dropping their supposed spiritual credentials. My father was so-and-so. My great-great aunt was the spiritual adviser of so-and-so. I studied under so-and-so. I was so-and-so's muse. I wrote a book on this with a foreword by Deepak Chopra. I've been on Oprah.

Yes, this is (possibly) impressive on some level. But all this doesn't necessarily mean much to you personally. It doesn't necessarily mean they have the goods.

You have your own story, your own equally important lineage. And this is something to keep in mind so as to not become overly influenced by the spirity, spirity Neptunian vibes. To keep some grounding and balance.

This advice can be a bit of a bummer and not in the "super fun spiritual romp" category, so if you're looking for that, disregard everything I have previously written. But if you are looking to deepen your understanding of yourself and the times you're living in in a practical way, realize that what goes up must come down. Keeping your feet on the ground is very helpful.

I think it helps to ask yourself: Would the information I'm receiving be so mind-blowing if it were being told to me by a plain-looking, balding, middle-aged dude in a sport coat who reminded me of my uncle? (Nothing against plain-looking, balding, middle-aged dudes in sport coats, either - more a commentary on how beauty and spiritual vibrations are sometimes misused.)

Is it about you getting the information and perspective you need for use in your own life or is it more about creating an atmosphere permeated by the supposed spiritual vibrations and impressiveness of the person giving the reading/lecture/workshop/whatever?

We have to make sure we're getting past the realm of parlour tricks and glossy language, I think, to the real meat and bones. Substance over image.

Again, except if you're looking for parlour tricks. There's nothing wrong with parlour tricks or resulting Neptunian thrills, except when they're being sold as something with more long-term usefulness.

The power of personality, especially when infused with Neptunian "spirituality," is very seductive. Combine that with "alternative" good looks, confidence and the particular spiritual understanding the person has developed and you can see how this may be overly influential.

Piscean/Neptunian energy can have an intoxicating quality, and people can become addicted to it. They can also become addicted to the person dispensing it. Tail-end Piscean Age Pisces/Neptune, with 2,000+ years behind it, can be especially potent in this regard.

There are a lot of people setting themselves up as spiritual superstars who desire the rewards and perks that go along with that superstardom. The lecturers, the gurus, the authors of the bestsellers, the T.V. personalities.

And there are a lot of people selling stale, old, spoonfed spiritual hierarchy as Aquarian evolution.

That stuff has most definitely passed its best before date.

There's a fine line between appreciating someone's perspective and skills and setting up that master-student spiritual hierarchy thing where the balance of power can be manipulated, consciously or unconsciously.

Hold your own power always. Don't give it away or allow it to be siphoned off.

There is a promoted Neptunian idea these days that you have to be "open" to everything that comes your way and that that is the meaning of diversity.

Not to me.

To me, real diversity means being exactly who you are while allowing other people to be exactly who they are. As part of being who you are, I think it's absolutely imperative to use your own discernment and your own judgement about what is right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable, meaningful and unmeaningful to you. This is the Virgo balance in the Virgo-Pisces polarity.

This means if something confuses you, irritates you or feels wrong, you honour those feelings, take a step back and figure out what is going on.

This might mean out-and-out rejection of things (or people) you don't find personally meaningful or appropriate.

Saturn in Virgo requires that we take responsibility in this way - defining these things for ourselves, realizing and honouring our personal preferences, tailoring things specifically to ourselves.

As long as people are doing this, there is little chance of tail-end Piscean Age energy being misused for power and profit.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Saturn in Virgo Calls Bullshit on The Secret/Law of Attraction Phenomenon

(Here's one last purge of old Piscean energy as Venus, Mars and the Moon sit on the final degree of the zodiac. By the time you've had your first cup of coffee tomorrow morning, the Moon and Mars will be in Aries. By the wee hours Friday morning, Venus will be in Aries, too...)

As one of my forays into the world of the New Age movement, I worked at a New Age wellness centre in Calgary a few years ago (for a split second) that preached "wholistic health" (yes, they spelled it with a "w"). At that time, most of the people there were over the moon for The Secret and fervently promoted the crap out of it, day in, day out. They had regular screenings of the low budget video and had a 20-year-old "Belief Repatterning Practitioner" at the ready to cleanse you of your "negative beliefs." (For about $80 per session or so - should only need three to six sessions!)

When I wouldn't submit to a "belief repatterning session," the owner of the business whipped out the New Age passo aggro in record time, telling me she was sorry I wasn't "open to new modalities" but she hoped that one day I would be. She also snuck a snide little dig in there about my unfortunate "inability to manifest."

God. What a fucking hack.

That dissenting view was the beginning of the end for Willow at "Love and Light Central."

The thing I couldn't get behind then - one of many things - was the absolute lack of any sociological context involved in the promotion and application of these ideas. The large majority of people who bought and/or provided services in that place were middle to upper-middle class, urban, white people (or identified with that group).

So to have them saying, "Oh, people in bad situations are choosing it for themselves. They're keeping themselves there due to their negative thinking, etc. My life is great! I've manifested everything I ever wanted because I know how to apply the law of attraction 'positively.'" That just didn't fly with me. And still doesn't.

These people seemed to have absolutely zero understanding of their own societal context (privileged urban white folks - even the hippie lookin' motherfuckers) or of the influence of systemic roots related to human conditions. There was no understanding of any kind of interconnection between/among conditions, either. IE. that an owner might be rich because his labourers are poor. He is rich because of a power structure that allows him to reap the benefits of the labour and effort of other people, not because he "manifested his abundance" magically.

So you know that brand new Escalade you're patting yourself on the back for "manifesting?" Well, think about all the people who actually made that Escalade happen. There were the workers in the factories shaping the raw materials. Then the people in the auto plants who built the thing. These people do manual labour day in and day out (and many have been laid off at this point). There are the truck drivers who loaded 'er up and drove the thing to the car dealership, hopping themselves up on speed so they can meet their mileage quota. There are the guys out working on rigs being hurt and killed to drill oil to run the thing, drinking themselves silly to get through another -20 day of work in the winter. There are soldiers fighting and dying (and killing, of course) for access to Middle Eastern oil to run that big bitch. And there are women who are expected to somehow emotionally deal with the results of all this and prop their husbands/boyfriends up for another day or week or year of this stuff while raising kids and holding down jobs of their own. Then there is the damage to Mama Earth that running these big luxury vehicles causes.

Point being, there's a lot going on with this whole "manifestation" process that people don't see, regardless of what it is they're "manifesting." And the disconnect from it fuels all the thinking that it just magically appears one day. Sorry, but you success stories are being propped up at every turn by people who are getting the fuzzier end of the lollipop. Pluto in Capricorn disposited by Saturn in Virgo knows this stuff.

Following this application of The Secret's ideology, it doesn't matter if you're a poor black kid born into drug-and-violence infested projects or if you're a female born into Taliban-ruled Afghanistan or if you're a rural farmer treated like a labour slave your entire life who had to leave school at 13 to work or whatever the circumstances an individual struggles with. If your life is difficult or depressing, it's the workings of your negative thoughts and you are somehow choosing this life for yourself because you alone are "creating your reality" and you alone are responsible for changing things. If you were more positive and knew how to "manifest," you would be one of the success stories, instead of the failure that you are.

There's little to no concept that the deck might be stacked against. Or that it might not be solely about figuring out how to "successfully" work the same old structures, capitalizing on a bad situation for your own personal gain. Or that it might be of collective responsibility to improve conditions for all people. That THAT is the real meaning of holistic health, not just eating overpriced organic food, recycling and having a colonic flush once a month. If you refuse to look at social justice issues, if you refuse to look at the social systems/structures that aid in determining who is a winner and who is a loser (and the collective beliefs holding those systems/structures in place), you're missing the point. Because those are things that need to be improved to actually create a real, meaningful holistic health.

As long as the New Age movement is happy to make its coin treating the symptoms of a sick culture, it's just capitalizing on a bad situation.

And it's just a group of navel-gazing privileged people patting themselves on the backs for being so damned successful and enlightened.

It was actually funny because that New Age business owner was a perfect example of the lack of understanding of the owner-worker sociological context. She was a person who brought new people into the fold, milked them for their talent, energy and ideas and then, once they became an ego threat to her, turfed them from the organization. All the while glorying about what a visionary success she and her business were.

Again, using and abusing other people to manifest your Grand Success is a total load. But as long as the Emperess has no clothes and no one will speak up about it, it continues.

Well, you know what? The Emperess has no clothes. She's naked as a fucking jaybird.

I decided recently, after a 1.5 year hiatus, to start posting again on an astrology message board.

Within two days of being back, I had received e-mails from three different people promoting The Secret and the so-called law of attraction to me. Of course, they don't come right out and say this. They tell me they are offering to "check my perceptions" or some such drivel.

So I was thinking, wtf? Three years later, The Secret still has this much sway?

Within a day, I see ads plastered all over the website for Beyond the Secret. Oh, yay! The Secret has a sequel. Well, blessed day.

From what I can surmise, the original created so many people blaming themselves for their "inabilities to manifest" and so much depression over their "inability to create the exact reality they desired" (not to mention being blamed by those shiny, happy people who DO know how to create their every desire, mostly through social privilege) that they are now shlepping a sequel with the premise: Oh, um, yeah. About that instant manifestation thing. Well, it helps if you have a plan to get your every desire! And let us show you that plan for another $29.95 or whatever the video/book is going for or after sitting through yet another seminar.

So now the shame spiral created by the original has an antidote. Uhhh, yeah. And if that doesn't work, never fear!

**The Secret - $29.95
**Beyond the Secret - $29.95
**One Last Secret - $29.95
**Seriously, This is the Last Secret - $29.95
**Oops! We Forgot About This Secret... - $29.95
**OK. Really. This is the Final Secret - $29.95
**Wow. This is Getting Embarassing, But This Is REALLY the Last Secret - $29.95

Have your credit card ready, folks, and we'll show you how to manifest a huge bill...almost instantly!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Astrology: No Specific Belief System Required!

So this is a follow-up post to Astrology is Not New Age. Because I realize there is more to those points...

I think a clarification is this: the use and practise of astrology does not require any specific belief system.

Astrologers most certainly practise astrology from their own personal perspectives. This is something people should keep in mind. There is no such thing as purely objective astrological analysis. But there is no particular belief system required to use/practise astrology.

What I come into contact with quite often is the merging of astrology with New Age beliefs, and what I'd like to see is an acknowlegement of this.

A lot of people take issue with the term "New Age" and argue that these are actually ancient metaphysical ideas, not New Age. As I've said before, there is little "new" in New Age. People are using old concepts but putting their own New Agey spin on them for use and application in today's society.

My problem comes when people do not look at (and acknowledge) the roots of their own belief systems and promote their personal beliefs as universal truth.

I ran into some examples of this on that same astrology message board, and, again, the fact that people are arguing these points shows a need for clarification, I think.

There was a poster who came from a New Age/metaphysical perspective who was arguing that the "Seven Rays" was a universal concept. Again...metaphysical/New Age system, perhaps. Universal concept? I don't think so. Universal concepts go beyond any particular belief system. Hence the term "universal."

Another poster argued that the idea of "ascended masters" who guide us Earthlings to enlightenment had nothing to do with New Age but was basically a commonly held truth.

Poster: "So Jesus from Nazareth was invented by New Age?"

Willow: "The idea of Jesus as one of a group of "ascended masters" guiding us Earthlings to enlightenment is, sure."

Poster: "You believe Jesus from Nazareth was operating all by himself? What about his disciples? What about his mom?"

Willow: "I don't believe in Jesus of Nazareth. Or his disciples. Or his Mom. This is the point I'm making...no belief system at all is required to use and practise astrology. Rather, no specific belief system is required to use and practise astrology."

Poster: "What the F* are we doing here anyway on this planet, if there's no such thing as striving for enlightenment? And if there IS such a striving, then why would it be so unheard of that there would be a group of people who already have mastered this plane? And who are also willing to guide us? Just imagine us without all this guidance..."

Willow: "Those are your particular beliefs...not commonly held universal truths."

Poster: "So you just live and breath without striving for anything?"

Willow: "I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion...Because I don't hold your beliefs, I don't strive for anything? Seems like a bit of a leap."

(Disclaimer: I was talking there about the beliefs that have been built up around Jesus/the idea of Jesus being one of the New Age's ascended masters, not about the man's existence or non-existence.)

I run into this quite often - cases in which people don't recognize their own belief system and promote it as commonly or universally held. As in, everyone believes this! It's just the truth!

This was a big part of Pluto in Sagittarius - getting to the root of and examining belief systems. Purging what was past its prime and no longer personally true or meaningful. As a transition point between Pluto in Sagittarius and Pluto in Capricorn (retrograde Pluto in Capricorn is heading back to 0 degrees), we now look at how structures (also hierarchies) are set up related to those belief systems and apply the Plutonic process to them.

Under the context of this being the end of the Piscean Era, I believe we have to look at spiritual hierarchy and structures, as well.

The idea of spiritual hierarchy (an example of which is the idea of ascended masters guiding their followers to enlightenment) is something that I think is/was prominent in the Piscean Age, in general. The past 2,000 odd years...

So this is not something strictly related to the current New Age movement as it has come about in the last 200 years or so, but it is a foundational tenet of the New Age movement.

As far as there not being a system of belief within the current New Age movement (another common argument):

As I've said, I can generally tell if someone is coming from a New Age belief system within a minute or two of speaking with them. There are commonalities.

Again...this is my own personal experience as an astrologer who is not New Age coming into contact with those who hold these ideas/beliefs, to whatever degree. I have been clear that I have problems with the New Age movment and what I see as its effect on individuals' spirituality. I'm not looking for agreement/disagreement from anyone...just putting out my own perspective on my own blog. There. That should be enough of a disclaimer, no?

One message board poster who argued from a New Age/spiritually hierarchical perspective (but didn't recognize it as such) gave me some fodder for this. He was basically arguing all around my main points, trying to wear me down.

"I'm offering you a chance to reevaluate your notions of Astrology, and in doing so I am challenging my notions of what denotes patience and what denotes foolishness...," he posted.

Perfect starting point. Condescending as all hell, too.

1) This is one of those common things within current establishment New Age - to want to "help people open up to the truth." IE. Their truth.

Along the same lines: helping people to "check their perceptions" or "repattern their beliefs" or "reevaluate their notions" or "get to the next level." The root idea being that whoever holds a differing perspective is just sadly misguided and needs the "more enlightened" New Ager's patience and enlightened words of wisdom to realize the errors of their ways. There is a hovering, indirect, wearing-you-down sort of energy as they attempt to increase your enlightenment level by osmosis, I suppose.

2) They are taught that they are in "spiritual service" to people of lower enlightenment/consciousness levels and the proselytizing and inappropriate wearing people down is justified in this way.

3) Subtle yet insidious promotion of whatever their particular program of thinking may be - a book, video, seminar, guru, ideology, location/country. Common example - The Secret, positive thinking pushing, love and light/bliss, "transcendence" - of ego, duality, darkness, whatever, "manifesting abundance," "creating your own reality," purification, cleansing, etc.

4) Passive aggressiveness and subtle verbal abuse when you make it clear that you have differing opinions/aren't interested. It's very common to be called negative, closed, not on their level, not open to the truth...or sometimes it's something more subtle like a passo aggro tone. (Passive aggressiveness is huge in the New Age.)

5) Preoccupation with everyone thinking as they do, getting along, love and light, "oneness," being "open." Rejection of anything that doesn't fit this model (including all critique) as being of a "lower dimension," "lower consciousness level," or "density." "You're just not there yet."

6) Belief that all they need to do is continue to promote their way of thinking and eventually the person will come around to their understanding of things. "Oneness consciousness." There is a belief that "increased consciousness" is inevitable from being exposed to these New Age ideas/beliefs.

7) Belief in spiritual levels/levels of enlightenment, culminating in becoming an ascended master and transcending the Earth plane. This is where all the "getting to the next level/dimension" stuff comes from.

8) A big old helping of spiritual materialism - practise of spirituality involves the purchase of books, videos, lectures, sessions, retreats, workshops, trips to Sedona, crystals, blessed items. Often there is a sort of hierarchical grappling and competition related to who knows it all, who knows the "new thing." A tendency to faddishness.

9) Spiritual ego - a belief that people will or should treat them in a special sort of way due to their impressive higher spiritual level.

10) Anger and rationalizing when people exert their boundaries.

11) A focus on transcending the problems on Earth by reaching a consciousness level "beyond" them.

12) Belief that people experiencing problems and difficult situations are bringing it on themselves with a negative and lower consciousness level. This is mostly due to the proliferation of The Secret and its ideology, as far as I can tell.

So yeah, I can't help but think, if there is no common thread, no common belief system running through much of the New Age movement, how am I able to predict with uncanny accuracy how these interactions are going to go down? Most of them really do follow a formula.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Venus is Direct! On 29 Pisces...

Whew. Let's thank our lucky stars. That retrograde is over.

Now one last broom sweep of all the old cobwebs. Open the window for some fresh air and let the ghosts of relationships past swoosh right on out. Say goodbye to the etheric impressions that have been retrograde visiting. Shake the mat out at the front door and request that only new, satisfying dynamics be allowed to cross our doorsteps. Only those people who are befitting of who we are today. Those related to tired, old karmic patterns are no longer welcome!

And let's listen closely as Venus informs our hearts of who we are now and what we vitally need from our relationships from here on. What new ground we need to break in order to live our heart's desire lives...with people who fulfill our heart's desires. So we can inject new life into areas of Neptunian decay...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Notes on Saturn in Virgo During Pluto in Capricorn: the Power of the Workers to Bring About Plutonic Change

An added layer to the Pluto in Capricorn themes of the day is Saturn in Virgo. Saturn is the planet that rules Capricorn, so the sign where Saturn is will be strongly influential throughout Pluto's transit of Capricorn. Saturn changes signs every 2.5 years (approx.), but it has been in Virgo the entire time Pluto has been in Capricorn thus far. We really have to get the details right at the beginning because Pluto doesn't mess around.

Virgo represents, in simplest terms, work. And workers. It represents systems functioning together holistically and the understanding that even the tiniest aspects of those systems are important. Virgo doesn't cut corners. It knows the folly in doing that. Every detail must be attended to in order for the whole to function properly. Every kink must be worked out for things to run smoothly and masterfully.

During Pluto in Capricorn/Saturn in Virgo we have become aware of a lack of integrity in the systems...

And now as Pluto gains speed moving retrograde, we go back over the things that have come to collective awareness.

I've written about successfully navigating Saturn in Virgo in the past.

And I will add a few more notes here from previous posts:

"Don’t participate in things that are not acceptable to you. Don’t put your personal energy into things that lack integrity to you. Make your service to the planet a sacred thing and answer to a higher power than the business/money hierarchy. Answer to yourself.

Saturn in Virgo combined with Pluto in Capricorn shows us that it’s the small changes that will create the necessary structural adjustments. It’s each individual worker choosing “right action” in their day-to-day lives and service that will bring unjust hierarchies toppling down…and business will have to do better from that point on...

Really, the only way capitalism can work sustainably is if everyone receives their fair cut of the pie (while working within natural laws - yes, the environment does matter). Right now, the energy is moving from the ground floor to the top…where it becomes concentrated. Top-heavy and consistently eroding those who make up the foundation (workers). So eventually, a stiff (Aquarian) breeze will bring the whole thing toppling down. Well, let me tell you…Pluto is more than a stiff breeze, so all hierarchical structures that are operating out of integrity had best take heed."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pluto in Capricorn Refresher

Pluto is now retrograde at 3 degrees Capricorn and is heading right back to 0 degrees. I thought I would repost some analysis from the November Astro Perspective. There is so much going on these days that it's sometimes difficult to keep in mind all the layers. But these are some of the Pluto in Capricorn themes we'll be going back over from now until September when Pluto turns direct at 0 degrees:

"Pluto heads into Capricorn November 26, 2008 for its 16-year stay in the sign of business, prestige, public image, money and achievement. Pluto exists in whatever sign/area of life is most in need of purging and transformation. It’s an area that, without this transformation, will lead to the death of the species. (No joke.) So here we see how “to the brink” we’ve pushed it with things like consumer capitalism, corporate control, the rule of money over all else, business/finance and governments becoming one and the same, working for the “market” and for other financial bigwigs instead of for the people, achievement at all cost, excess masculine ravaging feminine...

"I think during Pluto in Capricorn we’ll start to collectively see how sick the mainstream societal concept of success is. And the misery the environment, animals and other people have to take on to allow for certain individuals to portray that image of success. Many people at the top of the current capitalist hierarchical echelon have gotten there on the backs of others and to the detriment of the environment. Maybe we’ll start to see the abuse, control and oppression of other people and resources that went into those rich, shining superstars on the society pages of the local paper...

"And as Pluto re-enters Capricorn, (remember, it was already in the sign between the end of January and end of June 2008), we are already in a different situation as far as “the economy,” business, government, money, etc. goes. We’ve had the first unearthing where we started at the roots of the structures in our material world and began to make them visible. Capricorn rules the 10th house of the birth chart and the most visible, public point, the Midheaven. So we see how all this will continue to be confronted in a visible, public way throughout the transit as part of the massive transformation. We’ll look to the roots sustaining the structures to see where they’re coming from, what they’re made out of. Anything that lacks integrity will crumble and be transformed into something better and stronger. Anything being propped up with Band-Aid solutions involving dishonesty, coercion, fear, oppression, suppression, abuse will have its fatal flaws come out into the open in a very public way. (As stated, we’re seeing this with the U.S. banking industry and various corporations lately.)

And there’s really soooo much fear and coercion around the business/work world these days, isn’t there? I often think…if people weren’t so freaking scared all the time, things would be so much better. None of this garbage would even be going on. If people weren’t willing to allow the suppression of their creative drives, their personal morals, their emotions, their humanity, in general, because of fear of losing their jobs, losing their livelihoods, losing their status, losing their image…the world would be a much different place.

Well, Pluto should be forcing us to confront those fears and hopefully this will purge them in a big way within the work structures.

The entire mainstream view of “success,” what makes for a “successful” person or a “successful” business, will be deconstructed, and we’ll be forced to ask the question: Is this really something to be admired and emulated?

Our hierarchies. “The way things are.” The way we set our world up so that only those who can function in the typical workplace and the typical work structure are considered “successful.” The push for homogeneity…making personal diversity into something embarrassing or pathological. Our businesses, our governments, our work/home set-ups, all institutions (prison system, court system, police, health system, education system, money system, etc.) Our concept of time. Watching the clock at work. Having to “look busy” when you’re not. Ideas of external authority looking over our shoulders.

And, because Cancer is the polarity point of Capricorn, it will have to do with honouring emotion, the feminine and inner guidance in our structures. Honouring Mama Earth and taking her needs into consideration before we make all our Grand Achievements. Also a transformation of the family unit and the way things are set up there.

All these things will have their structural problems brought into the open for core-level change/transformation. All structures that will no longer sustain humanity in its evolution will have to be gutted and transformed into something more suitable.

There is no more “way things are.” Thank God. Because the way things were was driving humanity on this planet to destruction.

We need a new set up. We need a new form of leadership - a natural hierarchy in which true leaders with real personal integrity, expertise and a vision for all rise to positions of power. Not just people who know how to work the old structures to their benefit - with money and connections (family or otherwise) too often determining who our “leader” is..."

Venus Retrograde on the 29th Degree of Pisces : April 11 - 24

Venus is now stationing (slowing) on the 29th degree of Pisces (see previous posts for more info) and will turn direct April 17, re-entering Aries April 24.

I think a helpful thing about astrology is that it gives us an understanding of dynamics and their timing so we can work with whatever is going on rather than against it. This is especially important during retrogrades.

Right now feels, to me, like floating on a raft in the middle of the ocean after a shipwreck. It's calm and sort of relaxing...although also somewhat unsettling due to what just happened and the uncertainty of what happens next.

This particular storm began as Venus went retrograde in Aries (March 5) and Pluto in Capricorn stationed retrograde. The intensity of the storm grew, the waves got choppier and more violent, and the shipwreck happened when retro Venus in Aries squared stationing Pluto in Capricorn (April 3).

Venus is now back in a water sign (Pisces) after feisty fire (Aries), and we're surrendering to where we find ourselves...prostrate on that raft, floating on the waves, possibly still a little choppy in places, recovering from what we've been through and waiting to see what happens next. At the same time, we're too exhausted and fed up to really direct ourselves any which way in particular at the moment.

We're dissolving all that has come before...releasing those relationships and relationship dynamics that no longer suit who we are or who we are in the process of becoming. The last energetic tendrils are pulling away as we float on.

Moving on from the influence of relationships past and their effect on our self-worth is a big theme right now with this Venus retrograde.

So the important thing is to look, deeply, at what Venus is bringing up in and through our relationships so that we can take action on it when Venus re-enters Aries (April 24). That's when we can really put our new direction in motion and move out of the the influence of disappointing and unsustaining relationship patterns past once and for all.

Mars and Uranus come together on Wednesday, April 15 at 24 degrees Pisces, also conjunct Venus on the 29th degree.

We can expect some lightning-quick changes in our lives and our relationships based on where we're heading. A sort of "clearing the slate" feel to things. With Mars coming together with Uranus, I foresee tempers being triggered by any "same old shit" dynamics and the rapid-fire actions we take based on that anger having far-reaching effects. We've had enough.

The Sabian Symbol for the degree where Mars and Uranus come together could not be more fitting in describing the themes:

"The Purging of the Priesthood"

Periodically, there is a need to cleanse and purify motives, leading to a better representation of moral and spiritual values. Sometimes we need to reexamine moral and spiritual sincerity in a person, corporation, community or situation. Getting rid of people or ideals that hold one back can open up situations to more trust, sharing and enjoyment. You may have to dismiss someone, or a group of people, from their duties or from their ability to affect your life in some way. It is easy to lose sight of the ideal through the use of the rationalizing mind, the ego, security issues or emotive passion. However, if someone has not lived up to their responsibilities on some level, often it's best for the future, and one's peace of mind, to be free of them. It may lead to a breakthrough in the understanding of where they've gone "off the rails," as well. Sometimes there's a need to get clearly out of reach of people's "influence."

Pulling away from those last energetic tendrils of relationships past...

We're wrapping up the sometimes exhausting internal reflection that this process entails (the actual retrograde). Breaking through the last of our rose-coloured views of the people and relationships in our lives. Seeing where we deserve better but won't receive it within the current set-ups. Dissolving the influence of past impressions, past idealism. Asking for something better. Demanding it. And loving ourselves through the process...

This part of the process is crucial, of course, so that we don't carry the past forward once Venus turns direct.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Venus Retrograde Re-enters Pisces

Early this morning, retrograde Venus moved back into the 29th (final) degree of Pisces. This is the last degree of the zodiac and corresponds with the last day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. So this is a "last day of winter," wrapping up theme related to relationships (and relationship dynamics) past before we make our real push forward into new relationship territory.

I wrote about this Venus Retrograde when Venus first went retro in Aries March 5.

"And remember - Venus in Aries is most certainly about a fresh start for ourselves and those we're in relationship with, but the Venus retrograde is heading back to the last degree of the zodiac cycle, the degree where any unresolved crap (but also a great deal of spiritual wisdom) has accumulated - 29 degrees Pisces.

Pisces/12th House collects stuff from all the signs that came before. It's a bit of a last stop dumping ground, so anything about our relating/relations that was pushed into our subconscious to be dealt with "later"? Well...later will be Venus on that 29th degree. Mopping up the last messes before we can really push forward into something new in our way of relating with others. We'll be tested one last time here to make sure we REALLY got it, that we really have cleared out and bolstered ourselves around any old Piscean pitfalls.

Venus will station (appear to stop and then turn to move forward again) on this 29th degree, so we're challenged to show mastery with these final Piscean lessons from April 11 to 23.

We're getting it from Venus both coming and going!..."

I also wrote about tapping into our flashes of anger as the impetus to action and new direction within relationships. To use our anger as a guiding force as it shows us what needs to go in our relationship dynamics. Because...

"After coming out of Pisces April 23 (under the umbrella of wrapping up tail-end Piscean Age stuff), Venus in Aries really isn't going to take any crap from anyone. Feisty!

Relationships that can't handle who you really are will be left in the dust. With love!"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Astrology is Not New Age

This was the title of a post I made recently on an astrology message board, and wow...what an uproar it caused!

My points were that astrology pre-dates the New Age movement and is therefore not an offshoot of the New Age movement.

(Just for illustration - the roots of astrology go to 3000 BC or so. The roots of the New Age movement go to the 1800s AD.)

Because the New Age movement has taken certain old school things like astrology under its umbrella - along with things like crystals, herbs, massage, yoga - there is quite a lot of permeation of astrology with New Age beliefs by astrologers who hold those beliefs, in whatever form.

To the point that a lot of people are not aware that astrology and New Age ideas are not one thing.

On the message board, people argued that the two were inextricably linked. Or chose to argue all around the subject.

You're not objective! (Of course not. Never said I was. I made it clear I was not New Age and had problems with the New Age movement.)
You're a bigot! (Erm...I wouldn't turn this into a religious persecution thing.)
New Age is not a movement! It's indefinable and means different things to different people! (Honestly, that whole "everything is subjective" thing is a common New Age argument and kind of a cop-out.)
Define New Age then! List all the New Age beliefs! (Gack. Did the best I could on that one, but are you serious? You think I have the time or inclination to spoon feed you all that information?)
These are old ideas, not New Age! (I didn't say the ideas were anything new. I'm talking about the spin on these old ideas, the use and application of them today by the current New Age movement. For example, the "law of attraction" becoming so widely popular through sale of The Secret and now its sequel Beyond the Secret.
You're making generalizations! (Yes, well, I've had a massive number of interactions with people who hold New Age beliefs, and there are definite commonalities. Such strong commonalities that I can generally tell if someone is New Age within a minute of speaking with them. When you stop presenting these commonalities, I'll stop talking about these commonalities.)

And on...and on...

How can we create an astrology that does not include the law of attraction, one poster asked, somewhat rhetorically?

To which I replied, we don't need to create that. It already exists.

The same poster argued that the "cornerstones of astrology" are based in New Age so astrology cannot be separated from New Age.

Again, not true.

Where is this supposed non-New Age astrology that you speak of, she asked?

Right in front of you, I said. I'm not New Age and I practise astrology. Again...this is my basic point. That other forms of astrology exist.

To me, the fact that people are even arguing this shows a need for clarification.

It's fine to combine astrology with New Age ideas. But to not acknowlege your own context? To claim that this is the only form of astrology that exists? And then to dodge my actual points with a bunch of diversional arguments?

Finally, I realized...hey! It's not my responsibility to educate people or to go over the minutiae of my subjectivity so that they can find some fatal flaw. I wasn't asking anyone else to do that. I also wasn't trying to convert anyone to my way of thinking. I was just trying to put forth my perspective as a breath of fresh air for people who feel similarly. Agree or disagree...really makes no difference to me.

Honestly, I know this is a subject most people couldn't give a rat's ass about. And I really do wish I would stop having interactions with New Age proponents that show me the need for some critique and balance of perspective. But I have to call 'em as I see 'em. What's the point of a blog otherwise?

Sometimes I have to share my perspective even though I know it will cause the shit to hit the fan...actually, it seems especially in those cases. hahaha

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pluto Retrograde in Capricorn

Pluto has just turned retrograde at 3 degrees Capricorn. It will move to 0 degrees Capricorn during the retrograde period, turning direct again the morning of September 11, 2009.

Hmm...Pluto's going direct on 9/11, you say?

Yep. It's all connected. Ground Zero at 0 degrees Capricorn.

Pluto in Capricorn brings to the surface the underlying power dynamics related to authority and hierarchy. Pluto is here now because these power dynamics have become illegitimate and stifling - criminal, actually. And they now have more to do with the power of money and hidden, coercive influence than with any real, inherent form of leadership or authority.

The feminine is invisible and stuffed down, not allowed as an equal partner in the current set-ups. Our structures are very unbalanced and soul-sick. And honestly, the feminine just isn't having it anymore.

There's a lot that needs to be razed if humanity is to continue on this planet.

Pluto will go direct over 0 - 3 Capricorn, not entering new territory until January 2010.

So we're going back over everything that has happened since Pluto first touched Capricorn January 2008, but especially what has happened since November 2008. You know, what everyone is calling the "world financial crisis" and all. The consumer capitalist house of cards coming crashing down. Becoming aware of the illegitimacy, lack of responsibility and greed of those pulling the strings at the top of the hierarchies. Multi-millionaire CEOs being funnelled huge bonuses of middle class working people's tax dollars.

It was always like this, people. It's just coming out in the open now. Pluto is forcing it to extremes so we all see what was always there.

For those of us who live Plutonic consciousness, we've always known. We could feel it, as we can always feel illegitimacy, dishonesty, lack of integrity. Our guts told us long before the details came out to back us up.

This is what a lot of people don't understand. How can you "just know" when you don't have proof? Our gut's intuitive knowing is proof. There's nothing else required.

For those of us who have never really had excess money, things aren't all that different now, but we're not the people getting the press. I've never had job security, so losing yet another job due to Pluto's restructuring madness is nothing new. Still nerve-wracking and unpleasant, but nothing new.

I do understand that it is a horrifying shock for some people - people who had basically been promised job security if they were to accept certain conditions. And I feel for those people. But I've always known the hierarchies were full of it. I never believed the shiny promises. I know much of the current business hierarchy doesn't really give a rat's ass about human lives. It'll take your last drop of energy to feed the machine and then toss you aside when you're no longer of use. The business world is a selfish lover. It finishes with you, rolls over and tosses cab fare at you - if you're lucky!

So, honestly, it's time. All our hierarchical institutions are on the block for massive transformation. It has to happen. The current form of consumer capitalism/imperialism is one of those hierarchical institutions, and it trickles down to the banks, government, business structures, armed forces, court systems, law enforcement, the money/class system, health care and educational institutions, the family unit, etc.

Has the Emperor EVER had any damn clothes? Not in my mind. But now we've really started to see the ugliness trying to hold us in place. It has started to bubble up in our consciousness. And now the Pluto retrograde. We recalibrate ourselves and our lives to the new frequency of this consciousness, post-what has happened, what has gotten right in our faces related to these Capricornian subjects.

All this, of course, is working to level the hierarchies and bring about eqalitarian Aquarian - where natural leadership will come about, but it won't have much to do with how much money you have in the bank or who your family thinks it is. The way we have things set up is not working for the benefit of the whole. Was it ever? So Pluto is helping us to find a better way by destroying whatever is built on dishonesty and illegitimacy and power games. First the razing, then the new growth.

I've written about Pluto in Capricorn a lot in the past year or so...

One of the keys of this Pluto retrograde is the square to retrograding Venus in Aries as Pluto stationed.

We carry that imperative into the whole process.

Here is the desire, the absolute imperative, for something new and fresh clashing with the old hierarchy and the transformation of that hierarchy. Our new personal goals have to work with the Plutonic process going on, within that context.

No fresh starts within the same old set-ups.

We don't just need a jaunty new direction here. We need something deeply, meaningfully new that is going to further the entire alchemical transformation that we're dealing with. Very much to do with rebalancing masculine and feminine, economics and soul, in a way that is healthier and more just.

The shootings in Binghamton, New York happened on Friday, under the energy of that Venus-Pluto square.

A jobless new immigrant with poor English skills who snapped under the strain. The clash of the desire for a new life with the difficulty/impossibility of making that a reality within the current set-ups. The American Dream face-to-face with the actual current reality for working class immigrants to the U.S. Facing a deck that is stacked against.

You know what? People are sick of being treated like crap.

And until we collectively stop painting these situations as "one crazy individual" and start understanding the systemic/insitutional roots of this stuff, these horrifying events will continue.

I come from farming stock, and I see the all-out assault on family farmers as the market shifts to a massive, corporate system. Many, many farmers are driven to the point of feelings of suicide/homocide as they are financially squeezed off their land and out of their homes. These aren't "crazy individuals." These are hard-working people who have been driven to extremes by market conditions skewed to the corporate.

And many, many people are being driven to their breaking points. So let's not do ourselves the disservice of explaining this away as isolated events. Or telling people they are bringing it on themselves with their "negative thoughts." (Seriously, "The Secret" fans - y'all are just ridiculous.)

This is not isolated. It's all connected. If the Piscean era has taught us nothing else, let's at the very least grasp this! And as we head into Aquarius, we all have a responsibility for bringing about something better and more dignified on this planet. There is collective responsibility for holding the consciousness of what needs to change and of how to get from here to there, step-by-step. Sure, it's not always pleasant to hold that consciousness. What's necessary isn't always pleasant. But it gets easier the more people there are working on it. Many hands make light work, as my Grandmother would say.

With Mars in Pisces influencing Venus in Aries as it squared Pluto, our goals and new directions have to take into consideration who we really are and what we really want on a spiritual level (not based in spiritual ego, either, I might add). These goals have to exist within the context of completing the Piscean Age and moving forward. Again, no more setting things up in a redundant way. The market has been saturated.

There's a trick to setting your own goals, informed from a soul level, rather than setting them within the current structures, within the confines of what those structures WANT you to want. Who they want you to be for their benefit.

You only get one life as you! One life with the particular talents, dreams, consciousness and physical form that you have! So what do you want to do with it?

The goals are bigger now and go beyond any of the currently existing structures. This is the tricky part, I think. Really plowing new ground and not even being able to see where we're going a lot of the time.

But the power of who we really are and what we really want - what we came here to do - leads us forward now.