But you know, you go on, right? Because what other choice have you got―Jodi Picoult
As the Sun moves into the sign of Libra at this turning of the seasons our “surge capacity”—as psychologist Ann Masten calls our human ability to stay the course during short term stressful situations—stretches to breaking point.
In the metaphorical language of astrology, the Libran part of our own birth chart will be illuminated for the next month as we practice and perfect the art of relating to others in an uncertain world, as we continually adjust, realign, re-establish our balance on the beam of life. Libra and Aries mark the Equinoxes. Aries is the beginning; Pisces the end. Libra is midway, a crossroads where the old converges with the new, where the winds of change blow across our lives, exposing the roots.
On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, news of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg ricocheted around an increasingly fragmented world. This diminutive octogenarian, who championed the rights of minorities in the most powerful court of America, has left us. She is mourned by all who loved and admired her indomitable spirit. Her intuitive Pisces Sun trines Pluto in Cancer, signifying her resilience and her power to bring about profound change in the system. Her Moon is most likely in uncompromising Scorpio (there is no record of her birth time). Her response to the then chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Joe Biden, who suggested that judges should lead society in some circumstances, carries enormous weight this week—judges must be mindful of what their place is in this system and must always remember that we live in a democracy that can be destroyed if judges take it upon themselves to rule as Platonic guardians.
This is the month of changing seasons and changing guardians. As we summons our last reserves of energy, the weary Sun begins to flag. The unthinkable has become normal as our civilization slides towards its end. Some of us embrace the soft comfort of denial. Some of us are outraged. We push back, we take to the streets. We trust no-one. At this time of balance and weighing up, it is intelligent reasoning that is needed. Don’t be distracted by emotions like anger, envy, resentment. These just zap energy and waste time… real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time,” said the Notorious RBG.
In the Tarot, Libra is Justice XI reflecting the advancement of culture, away from the “primitive” instinctual life. Perhaps it is this advancement of culture, our move away from our “primitive” and instinctual life that is the soul sickness of our age. Perhaps we were collectively ailing long before COVID-19 floated through the air, leaving us lost, adrift, in a strange new world. Perhaps it is this pandemic of our own narcissism that is mirrored in the media, in the behaviour of those we elect as our leaders, our addiction to the steady IV-drip of social media that is the pandemic that rages through the brittle scaffolding of this dying civilization.
The astrology indicates a period of turn-arounds, fuelled by Mars Retrograde—September 9th to Friday, November 13th —symbolising enmity, an increasing hard-right deep distrust of authority, online extremism that stretches the fissures in our societies, and opens the way for Redeemer/Savours to step in with a simple solution to mass unemployment and unwanted migrants. Saturn in Capricorn (authority figures, rules and restrictions) turns direct on September 29th, and Pluto (plutocracy, trauma, trans-formation) switches direction on October 4th, as does seductive Neptune (viruses, addictions, con-men, Redeemer/Saviours, the mirage that draws us into the belly of the whale) on November 28th.
As the Sun moves through Libra many of us may be washing our hands, keeping our distance, hoping for the best as we try to keep our balance in a world that feels gaslit and murky right now. For so many of us, balance is something we may wistfully talk about when the rhythm of our days begins to gyrate, scattering the weight of worry like a mantle over our minds, and a world weariness that infuses the marrow of our bones.
The Sun, the symbol of our creative self-expression, is said to be in its fall, or debilitated in Libra. A perpetual state of balance is impossible to achieve, as we continually re-create ourselves amidst the complexities of our relationships and the events that are unfolding in the world right now. Balance is as capricious as the patterns of neuronal firing in our brains, as fleeting as our emotionally charged perceptions of the world around us.
The Equinox today signals movement and change that comes with the reassuring beginnings and endings of the seasons. Mercury, the winged messenger of the gods, moves into Scorpio on September 27th and will turn Retrograde on October 14th, slipping back into Libra on October 28th, turning direct once more on November 3rd, and diving back into Scorpionic waters on November 10th; signifying the need for resilience and flexibility as lockdown measures are revised, as we cultivate a deeper awareness of our mental chatter that disturbs our peace, stirs our feelings.
Lévy-Bruhl and, later, Jung, wrote of the Participation Mystique. That mystical participation that can manifest in situations and material things in our lives. As the epicentres of civilization shudder across the globe, as America and Britain face their “Darkest Hour”, it will be the small gestures of love and kindness, the careful harnessing of our untamed thoughts, the brave reimagining of how this world could be, that keep us calm, help us to take one step at a time. Use these last precious stores of energy. There’s no going back. The Scales of Balance are poised. As we hold the tension of two opposing forces, a third way will emerge, transfiguring, regenerating. This is the beginning, the middle, and the end. We start from here.
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What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from—T.S. Elliot
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult