We may speak of going back to normal after a desiccating brush with cancer. We may speak of going back to normal after the devastation of a divorce. We may resume a life that is irrevocably altered by violence or death: “a new normal”.
In a world where our collective madness is “normal”, we may have to speak of a “new normal” when everything around us dissolves. When we’re left incredulous. When we wonder, “what is going on?”
On Sunday, the sun moved into the sign of Aries amidst a flutter of spring blossoms in the north. A spiral of burnished leaves in the south. Nothing is immutable in this dynamically changing world. All around us there is change and movement even though we may feel stuck or trapped in a situation right now.
“Life is simple,” writes Bryon Katie. “Everything happens at the exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it. It’s just easier if you do.”
Acceptance, like patience, are not qualities we value in our quick-fix-fast-food culture. Yet accepting what is has a different quality to resignation or passive acquiescence. As we accept things as they are, we learn that true change comes from within. It’s about a shift in perception. A new focus and suddenly, things look different. Problems, obstacles, steadfast blocks dissolve when we accept what is and stop the repetitive ranting about those things that scrape at the layers of our lives and only leave us feeling dis-empowered, discontented, helpless, hopeless. “It is the paradox of spiritual growth that through such bleak winter journeys we eventually come through a hidden door into a bright field of springtime that we could never have discovered otherwise. This is the heart of the mystical,” wrote John O’Donohue.
Neptune, Venus and Chiron are swimming through the shimmering waters of Pisces now. World-weary Pisces is about emptying out…dissolving, undoing, letting go. Pisces is the last water sign, and if you can imagine the fluidity of water, the immense expanse and depths of our oceans, you will begin to glimpse the un-boundedness and subtly of Pisces. Alice Bailey suggested that Pluto, planet of the ultimate trans-formation is the esoteric ruler of Pisces.
Neptune is associated with our search for the ineffable, for redemption, for some kind of rescue from the banal ordinariness or stale torpor of our lives. Neptune is associated with illusion, delusion, glamour, psychic ability, sacrificial love, deception, dreams, intuition, imagination, mysticism, transcendence, scandal, addiction, sensationalism, paranoia, mass media, fashion fads,deceit and indulgence…and a vice industry that’s worth $456.8 billion and growing. Neptune is an outer planet in our solar system and will traverse this Pisces section of the zodiac until 2026. Outer planets are impersonal. Their transits around the zodiac signify that something “bigger than us” is occurring that is part of our collective evolution. Most astrologers agree that Neptune can be one of the most insidiously destructive planets if we attach sugary sweetness to spirituality and think that Neptune is “spiritual” or “good”. We are at the waning square of a Saturn/Neptune cycle now that may have brought the initiation of illness or the onset of despair. What this separating energy suggests is that we need a mindful approach to humanely produced food and substances we put into our bodies and a humble sense of discernment of what we assimilate through the media.
Jupiter is in the opposite sign now – Virgo – so this is a counterbalance to the Piscean energy which can be very wafty and ungrounded. Jupiter is the co-ruler of Neptune and Sagittarius and so there is a celestial resonance with all this Pisces energy. A counter-point. A point of integration and grounding for us all globally and collectively, as politicians smile their crocodile smiles and the monochromatic ideals and stark fundamentalism of the 1930s echo ominously through the 24-hour news loop. Be wary of inflated expectations or delusional idealism.
Jupiter in earthy Virgo squares Saturn and also opposes Neptune, a celestial anchor that reminds us to be discerning. Our own Victim-Redeemer Consciousness may draw us into the undertow of the dead waters of despair. It takes focus and spiritual muscle to stay positive. To seek out those little things that give our lives texture and substance. It takes strength and resilience to create a “new normal”amidst the rubble of a bomb blast or the ravages of illness or loss.
So as the Great Wheel of the Year turns, Hope unfurls her bright wings to settle upon new green shoots or a shimmering spiral of golden leaves. Nothing is static, immutable or intractable. Let this seasonal shift mark a threshold crossing to a “new normal” whatever that may be for you.
Photograph: Hanging out washing by Tyrone Turner