We’re living in a world where chunks of polar ice fall into the sea. Where forests burn and bomber planes fall from the sky. We’re living in a world where the admonishment is to “consume” and destroy and Big Brother watches every move that we make. We’re living in a world where leaders choose to ignore the wisdom of the yogis, the shamans, the spiritual teachers: All of Life is interconnected. When we burn down the rain forests in the Amazon and Indonesia, when we kill the last rhino and the last whale, we violate our own souls. The acts of insanity in our cities and in the Middle East, affect us all. We are experiencing a Dark Night of the Soul. Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism comments grimly, “the world we are creating is an ADD-ridden flat land.”
John O’Donohue’s poetics resonate as the December 22nd solstice marks another round in the wheel of the year: “we have fallen out of rhythm with the secret signature and light of our own nature.” For those of us who long to retreat from the annual surfeit of spending and gathering of “stuff” we don’t want or really need, we may deeply feel we have fallen out of rhythm with the secret signature and light of our own nature. The relentless cheer of Christmas lights, the repetitive loop of carols highlight the bleak grey landscape of loneliness or lack. The excess and the merry making may be excruciating for those who are estranged from their families, unemployed, or enduring the silent suffering of terminal illness. As the world turns to face into another year and dark clouds cover the sun, we search for redemption. We want a silver lining.
For all of us on this beautiful blue planet, the year 2015 was dominated by Saturn and Neptune reflecting above what is down below in a tense 90 degree square aspect. This square is a cosmic dance between these very different archetypal energies and will affect us personally (if you have a mutable planet in your birth chart between 5-12 degrees ) as well as collectively. Saturn is now in fiery Sagittarius until 2018 and will offer challenges as well as growth gifts if we are willing to take the road less traveled. Saturn encounters elusive Neptune between November 2015 and September 2016 as she shape-shifts through watery Pisces (till 2026). Neptune squaring Saturn is a tension of opposites that descends like a fine mist. It’s subtle. The effect of this transit may not be evident for some months after the final mutable square.
This may herald a time of personal awakening, a deepening of faith, a new focus and direction. It may also herald a time of disillusion, deception, addiction, great suffering and disappointment as everything we believed to be solid in our lives seems to dissolve, nothing seems clear or sure. Saturn’s realm is structure, worldly progress and material things. Neptune’s realm is murky, intangible, corrosive and often collides with human values. As Neptune washes over Saturn’s boundary walls, firm foundations crumble and dissolve and we may be washed away in a tsunami of confusion. Money, health, relationships are frustratingly illusive. Our goals, our plans, our positive affirmations, all shape shift into a shimmering mirage in the dim distance.
Saturn in Sagittarius requires the truth. This is a time of inner re-calibration. Of vigorous self examination and honesty. A time of intelligent consideration of what is disseminated as news in the media. A time of trusting that despite acts of terrorism, political and corporate greed, and the pessimistic outlook for global warming after the COP21 in Paris this year, we can individually make a difference.
Barbara Brown Taylor author of Learning to Walk in the Dark and Leaving Church writes, “faith is a huge naïve trust in those things we cannot control, we cannot see.”
Faith, for some, is an irrational knowing that there will be enough money to pay the bills, that the apparently incurable dis-ease is merely a symptom of the soul’s malaise and can be cared for tenderly. Faith resides in the heart. It is the handmaiden of the soul. Faith is our silver lining.
We may have to vigorously tame our thoughts, make a commitment to ourselves to release hoary old habits and rusty old grudges that keep us trapped like the Tin Man in armour that crushes our hearts. We may need to examine our lives scrupulously and ask if we are adding more aggression and self-centredness into the world. We may pray for the courage to put our soul in charge of our life. “We may not be comfortable but we will be awake and aware and fully alive,” says Prema Chodron, author of Taking the Leap and When Things Fall Apart.
Faith is not taking the easy road or staying safe. Faith is choosing again and again to trust that the world is a safe place, that Life is for me. “Trusting that whatever happens will teach me something. That most people do not mean me harm. That I can make a difference in a few peoples’ lives by being present, by listening. That I can do some good both in community and on my own. That seems enough to live on for now,” Barbara Brown Taylor suggests.
“And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future,” said activist Howard Zinn. “The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory.”
Perhaps, it is in silence, in the dark of the moon that we can be fully awake and in tune with the inter-connectedness of all living things. In the pause, in the gap, in the space between the ceaseless chatter, we can be open and touch the energy of the moment. Perhaps it is through the dark clouds that we can glimpse the silver lining.
First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining
Ingrid Hoffman offers astrology consultations on Skype and in person please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org