A contagion of loneliness is sweeping across our planet, unbearable isolation that begets the neuroses of modern times—anxiety, depression, even dementia.
The competitive, self-aggrandising cult of the rugged Individual has become the dominant narrative of Western culture. Yet we are hard-wired for connection, for relationship. Brain imaging studies show that rejection and exclusion trigger the same part of the brain as physical pain. For many, our faith in systems of government and religion is lower than it has ever been. We may feel disorientated, hungover as we witness the boundless frenzy of self-aggrandisement and blindness to the very real ecological crisis that has already altered our world indelibly. The life we have designed for ourselves is still modelled on competition and division. Survival of the fittest, the winner takes it all. What psychologists call “relativity awareness” insinuates itself into the innocence of social exchange, “where do you live? Where are your children at school? What do you do?”
Yet evidence from neuroscience, biology, quantum physics and psychology suggests that community, not competition, is a basic human drive. Psychologist, Sue Johnson writes, “Being the ‘best you can be’ is really only possible when you are deeply connected to another. Splendid isolation is for planets, not people.”
George Monbiot, in his new book, “Out of the Wreckage”, points out that humans are unique, spectacularly unusual, when it comes our sensitivity to the needs of others. We have an innate altruism, an inborn sense of community. Neuroscience, evolutionary biology and psychology conclude that we have evolved to care, to cooperate with one another. “By the age of fourteen months, children begin to help each other, attempting to hand over objects another child cannot reach. By the time they are two, they start sharing some of the things they value. By the age of three, they start to protest against other people’s violation of moral norms… we are also, among mammals, with the possible exception of the naked mole rat, the supreme co-operators,” Monbiot writes. Even today, in a globalised, unimaginative world that offers a bland diet of uniformity, there are societies that conceive of the universe as a whole, that we are in relationship with all of life, and that everything, everyone is interconnected. Writes Lynne McTaggart in The Bond, Connecting Through the Space Between Us: “they have bought into another narrative, another world view of who we are, and why we’re here, than that espoused by our culture, and most particularly by our current science.”
The Sun’s passage through Aquarius begins on January 20th, illuminating our very human need for connection, for community, for co-operation. For another narrative. Our choice is to stay connected, to place our faith, our energy, in the inherent kindness and nobility of the human tribe.
Aquarius is represented by the water bearer, pouring life-giving water to moisten new ideals. For the next month, the Sun and Uranus are in mixed reception, which means that the archetypal energies of these two planets are working together in collaboration. The Sun symbolises our creative essence, our hero’s or heroine’s quest, and when this energy teams up with the energy of the planet Uranus, we feel the urge to change, to free ourselves from those things that no longer serve the evolution of the group and the individual.
On Monday, January 21st, the face of the Moon is shadowed by the earth. This Full Moon and total lunar eclipse completes the cycle that began at the New Moon on January 6th when the Moon was at 15° Capricorn. This Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse at 1° Leo, nudges so close to her sister Earth that her luminosity will seem more dazzling, her energy more powerful. Astrologer Richard Nolle is credited with the term, Supermoon which so beautifully describes this month’s lunar energy. Eclipses are times of recalibration, symbolic power points that hold the potential to generate new developments in listless situations. The effects are felt most strongly on the day, but often within two weeks of the eclipse, so observe events as they unfold in our own lives and on the world stage between now and up to the New Moon on February 4th at 16° Aquarius.
Leo is associated with creative self-expression, with wholehearted passion and with autonomy. And the Moon is Queen in Leo, confidently wearing her crown as she opposes the Sun in Aquarius. Depending on where the eclipse falls in your own birth chart, this will be a culmination point in a developing situation, an illumination, or a time to get down on our knees and surrender your pride.
Aquarius reminds us of the vital nourishment offered by friendship and community. There’s another harmonic in play—Venus at 14° Sagittarius is square to Neptune in Pisces; Mars at 14° Aries is square to Saturn in Capricorn, emphasising the Neptune/Jupiter square—contradictory energies, reflected by intense ego-conflicts, bitter confrontations, disappointments and breakdowns as the veil of illusion slips away, if we choose to behave according to the old paradigm. If we still believe that the winner takes it all.
“For hundreds of years we have acted against nature by ignoring our essential connectedness and defining ourselves as separate from the world. We’ve reached a point where we can no longer live according to this false view of who we naturally are. What’s ending is the story we’ve been told up until now about who we are and how we’re supposed to live—and in this ending lies the only path to a better future”—Lynne McTaggart.
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