The website, classes and programs the School creates focus primarily on astrology, metaphysics and spiritual transformation for the individual and therefore place much less of an emphasis on the larger political and societal trends taking place in our larger world. In our newsletter articles though we add the larger dimension as it has the potential of showing how we, as unique persons, have the opportunity to respond more consciously than the society at-large is able to do in most cases. We seek to look at the trends found in the public arena of politics as they represent a type of mirror as to where the public is and how it relates to how they are responding to the ever-present conflicts both within themselves and in their engagement with their outer world. It can help us have a broader understanding of what the society at large is confronting, how it tries to make sense of it and what we, as individuals, can do that might be better.
For the past few decades there has been a growing tension between conservative and liberals or traditionalists and progressives in this country. In the world we see a war of ideas between a reliance on old belief systems and the more democratic orientation of modernity. The nature of this School is such that most readers are already focusing on spiritual growth and most are unlikely to be deeply caught up in the political debates of this election season. Yet, I regard looking at the nature of our national political discussion as potentially helpful for us as a possible indicator of our own internal struggles. Why? Because true spiritual growth inevitably leads to a paradigm shift in our consciousness which is a process that include conscious and unconscious resistance to what are fundamentally new ideas. It seems that our personal progress is closely connected to how well we are able to engage in the struggle between our old paradigm and the new ones we feel attracted to but which can be difficult to apply in our everyday life.
For years I and the writers for this blog have examined the effects of what we have referred to as the Uranus/Pluto 1st – quarter square. The cycle started with the conjunction which occurred around 1965-68. Now, 45 years later, we are experiencing the nature of the 1st– quarter square. This part of the cycle is often described by astrologers as being a ‘crisis of action.’ This view stems from the idea that a conjunction brings forth a new ‘seed’ that will hopefully grow and come to fruition as the cycle grows. So, what were some of the ‘seed’ ideas of the conjunction? The ‘60’s represented an explosion of issues relating to social justice, civil rights, poverty, gender and sexuality bias, income inequality, sensitivity to the environment, openness to drugs that opened the mind to consciousness growth as well to the growth of many new spiritual ideas. It was a very fertile period and for many people, the birth of a new renaissance. To others, of course, it represented a time of horror and fear. I grew up in the 60’s and know how many people were quietly reacting with fear to changes they could not understand or fathom. As the years went by, there was a combination of growth of many of the new trends with some concrete changes, but there was also the beginning of the growing resistance to those changes in the fabric of our society. Now, we are facing the real ‘crisis of action’ as we must decide how we will move forward. Will we continue to grow our awareness and institute the kind of changes within ourselves and in the outer world that were born in the 60’s or will we return to the ways of being that existed prior to the conjunction?
This is why the emphasis of this cycle has been and must be on the resistance, even the blowback against fundamental notions of the nature and purpose of Life itself. The essential nature of this square is one of conflict, sometimes in the extreme. It is often felt as a ‘life and death’ matter as we see in the nature of our political discourse. Politicians speaks about change, even radical change, and each one seems to make great effort at showing the public how they alone can make the biggest changes of all. They loudly exclaim that we are in a dire crisis and that something must be done. Someone is to blame and ‘we all know who it is.’ We look for people to blame whether it be Muslims, blacks, Mexicans and Hispanics, gays, atheists and even scientists, and so on. Few in the press praise politicians for their emphasis on rational, methodical or profound thought. In fact, the press seeks to increase profits and covers the circus with great enthusiasm. Where is the perspective?
Does this Feel Familiar?
There are many who seek to explore and take advantage of the growth that is taking place in human consciousness with its awareness and sensitivity to planetary issues and progressive movements, and even to the potential merging of spirituality and science (where there are some researchers who are uniting physics and metaphysics, spirituality and consciousness). Those of us in this camp wonder why there is such a backlash pushing us backwards. We wish we did not need to pay attention to the effort to move us backwards to a past fight we long ago thought we had won. I am referring of course to the growing attacks on science, on the principle of separation between church and state, denial of climate change, hatred for non-whites, etc. Are we not regressing at a time when we really need to be doing all we can to grow and evolve as human beings and to learn to live in harmony with our planet?
My sense is that this does feel all too familiar and would like to present some quotes from many cycles ago to remind us all that we are in an old, familiar place that forces us as a species to wage a battle once again so that we can find a way to push back on those forces that would lead us to lower awareness and consciousness and per haps even destruction of human life as we have known it.
Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642)
He was convicted of heresy for showing that the planets revolved around the Sun and said “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason and intellect has intended for us to forego their use.”
Sir Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626)
Known as the founder of the scientific method, Bacon showed that gathering and analyzing data was essential to scientific progress said, “It is true that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism: but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds to religion.”
Maria Mitchell (1818 – 1889)
America’s first female astronomer and born into a Quaker family responded to a minister preaching about the dangers of science wrote “Scientific investigations pushed on and on, will reveal new ways in which God works, and bring us deeper revelations of the wholly unknown.”
Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
One of the most famous physicists of modern times simply said this, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the Mysterious.”
I could go on and on writing about the battle humanity has waged and is still having to wage between rigid, outworn belief systems and the openness required to grow and embrace our highest instincts. But I am also wondering if the personal lesson we might draw from this is that each of us is faced with an everyday challenge of having to choose between reliance on our own personal outworn patterns vs. making a conscious effort to push against them so that we might engage more fully in our own evolutionary process. Perhaps it is how we deal with our own resistances that will determine how successful we will be in growing beyond our own limits.
My next article will go further into the ideas I’ve presented here and ways in which we might deal with the inertia we each face in our attempts to grow and evolve.