Seasonal Transformations


At every seasonal turn of the calendar wheel, the world reveals the next installment of its unstoppable transformation.

This is generally the theme of life during the historic Uranus-Pluto square (within orb-of-influence since 2009, and first becoming exact this coming June): Revolutionize, or suffer.

When the Sun enters each cardinal sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) at the start of a new season, the aspects it makes to Uranus and Pluto present us with our latest instance of the obvious need to move forward… without falling back into too much debilitating nostalgia, often falsely based on wistfully innocent rewritings of the past we yearn for, which wasn't, in fact, all that.

The seasonal turns, always heightened moments of initiation into changing weather patterns, are especially dramatic these days. Think back, for instance, to how you've spent your personal energies since the last equinox (Dec 21-22 2011): The holiday season and new-year's celebration gave way, within just a few weeks, to the Mars retrograde that has dominated this period (described at length here, here and here). Now, think back a bit further, to the specific qualities of the prior season, from the last solstice (Sep 23 2011) through to late-December's equinox. You'll probably notice these two seasons, the current one we're about to wrap up and the one directly before it, varied markedly in what you experienced from them—differences in energy-level, attitude and/or emotional tone; different types of duties to handle and/or situations to respond to; a different quality to important relationships.

The main common thread? Based on our individual willingness to evolve: either (1) a continuing pressure to advance into unfamiliar territory, using uncomfortably unfamiliar methods, or (2) a continuing deterioration in status-quo circumstances, to the point where it almost feels like life is over. That's because life, as we have known it, IS over. The delivery of this message is unyielding, at times even merciless.

But life itself, the mystical force that animates all these strange bundles of cells, actually thrives under these circumstances. It demands periodic 'deaths' (of one sort or another) to give itself room to grow.

Are you committed to weathering these in-between bumps, to persevering long enough to witness the next gorgeous blossoming of splendid mutant growth? Better even than 'persevering', are you helping to plant the seeds of this strange something-special the world has never seen before? Sowing seeds is hard work, no question, but promises visible bounty.

On Tue Mar 20, the Sun will enter Aries, for another of these seasonal turns… another equinox, at which we witness a precious fleeting moment of balance between light and dark, two opposing forces, an essential contrast for appreciating the universal experience of life. One is meaningless without the other. In the North, we welcome spring's increase in light; in the South, autumn's decline into darkness. Always remembering this poignant coincidence, a product of our planet's unifying properties, is both geographically considerate (for, yes, this is a wide world with many diverse cultures other than our own) and sensitive to the universe's flow of interdependence. Something's always being born while something else is dying. That is why 'good' and 'bad' fall short as judgments.

At the equinox, the Moon will be in Pisces, conjunct Neptune… a clue that this particular season of transformation may provide occurrences and occasions which soften our hearts in compassion, reminding us to dance in the light wherever we find it, and to tread bravely through the dark with our eyes wide open. It behooves us—the royal, interconnected Us—neither to ignore the dark, with its transcendent potential to purge us of our pasts through cathartic confrontation with full reality, nor to ever take our light for granted.

We mustn't pretend away the pain that certain of our actions may create for others, according to erroneous propagandist hyping of pure individual freedom and every man pulling his own self up by his own bootstraps and 'no hand-outs' (a particularly acute sickness here in the United States). Nobody makes it anywhere on their own.

Nature isn't always kind, of course. Sometimes, we animals choose to take actions with painful consequences for others… hopefully, as thoughtful humans, after having at least done an adequate cost/benefit analysis so we're consciously aware of what we're doing. (Ignorance and denial are perhaps worse culprits, as they divorce us from spiritual reality.) But to every action, there is always an equal and opposite reaction, according to the laws of Newtonian physics and karma. Neptune in Pisces inspires us to live everyday with unflinching susceptibility to this truth.

As I write and reflect, much cyber-ado is being made about a recent NY Times op-ed piece by a resigning vice-president of investment bank Goldman Sachs, in which he criticized the bank's 'toxic and destructive' environment where its own profits are often earned at the expense of its own clients' interests. On the day of the essay's publication, Goldman Sachs lost over $2 billion in market value. Not surprisingly, the author Greg Smith is being personally criticized, while industry experts are asserting the bad press won't have any lasting negative fallout for Goldman. Yet, as I've been reading it, nobody seems to be loudly denying the essay's moral indictment… as much as merely affirming that it essentially states the obvious, astute clients ought to understand this, and Smith himself is neither important nor innocent enough to warrant much regard by 'industry experts'.

What is most powerful about this news story (besides its perfect modeling of Pluto-in-Capricorn themes) is not the information about Goldman's corporate culture, which is indeed nothing too astoundingly revelatory, but Smith's willingness to publicly speak his truth in stark phrases like 'decline in moral fiber'. It is not the facts themselves, which can always be reorganized to support one perspective or another, but his taking an ethical stand in response to them that's making waves.

The retrograde Mars in Virgo reaches its precise square to the lunar nodes, currently situated on the Gemini/Sagittarius axis, on the day of the equinox. (Any planet squaring the nodes is said to be 'at the bends'.) Virgo is often equated with the factual details, and Mars's current marathon through this sign in an invitation for us to keep on futzing with 'em until they're as clean as possible. However, what we do with our information—our motivating purpose—is just as important, as symbolized by the nodes. We can diplomatically arrange and rearrange them to tell any certain story we want, in order to maintain good social relations (Gemini), or we can boldly aim them in a very specific moral direction, as a potentially polarizing statement of ideals, like Smith has done (Sagittarius). With the moon's north node presently in Sagittarius, the latter purpose is where our stronger evolutionary potential resides.

In a few days' time, our next transformational season will begin, with heightened astrological potency continuing as the Sun completes its conjunction to Uranus (Mar 24) and its square to Pluto (Mar 29), just as Venus did in early February and Mercury dabbles with during his current retrograde but doesn't fully complete until mid/late-April. By now, we've all hopefully come to terms with having our expectations blown, and our on-the-spot creative courage on high-alert. This is simply the generational mark of the 2010s. Revolutionize, or suffer.