The vigilant present

We’re getting ready to call back the Sun at the solstice, which is also the New Moon, right there, at 0°07′ Capricorn. I like the image that the luminaries are in consort, in union, on this auspicious day.

How’s everyone doing?

Last night’s (10:14 p.m. PST) exact square is the sixth in a series of seven passages of the outer-planet aspect that has been keeping us from falling back to sleep.

World events are striking as waves of upheaval and discharge move across the human story. The symbolism of Uranus square Pluto can be seen as pressure on all systems. The current square is the only one in the series to have the Moon on the Aries Point at the time of the partile aspect. The Moon is at 0° Libra, on the ‘World Axis,’ which throws open the door for events to impact the world at large.

If we consider the outer planets in their role as carriers of subtle energy, the current force for shocking upheaval moves through all spheres — subjective and structural, explicit and implicit, well reasoned and deeply unconscious.

How do we respond to pressure?

I heard a local chiropractor/healer give a talk a few days ago on stress. He has a busy practice and lots of patients. He observed that most people have one or two ways of handling stress, like focusing on diet or a particular exercise or a certain friend with whom to talk.

He recommends (I paraphrase) that we go big and go diverse in response to stress; sticking with the familiar will bring some relief, but far better, he said, to have lots of means and methods to stay connected with ourselves and maintain some version of balance. Change it up — take a different route on your walk, go out and be social when you feel like staying in, call someone who is having a harder time than you. This is an interesting idea (from a healer) that, to me, spoke to the energy of Uranus square Pluto. Uranus is in the degree of its station direct on the solstice, so that particularly unnerving planet is very strong at this moment in time.

Like most of us, I find that being in nature is stabilizing. It has been very windy and wet, though not enough to touch the drought conditions here in southern Oregon. I go to a nearby lake for solitary pilgrimages up and down the hills. Someone asked me recently how I could bear to still go out there, it being so barren with hardly any water. He is a climate change activist, and, to him, the nearly empty lake has been a source of anguish and a depressing visual picture of our possible future.

I have had a change of perspective. It is barren and bleak, and, still, I find it beautiful; this is a place where I can be in the sun and wind and air. (Even on the shortest days, the Sun is the source of life; having an even fleeting glimpse of the preciousness of this life is a balm for the soul.)

This simple experience of refining my view, changing perspective, and being with — in this case, the barren and bleak landscape — seemed like a good practice for loosening the sometimes excruciating grip of Uranus square Pluto.

Very early one morning last week, after a long night of howling wind, the power was out. After a moment’s panic at how ill prepared I am for such things — (Where are the candles? How will I stay warm? What will I do without my tea?) — I settled into my chair by the window with my cat and stayed quiet and still in the dark until the Sun came up. It was a beautiful morning after all.

Please have a blessed and inspiring Solstice, and joyous celebrations in whatever faith you hold. We’ll return with a new blog on December 29.

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