Astrologers are pretty good at predicting individual movements. Show me a natal chart and some transits, and I can give make a pretty good guess about where the impulse energy is taking a person. I understand that they still have plenty of freedom to withstand their own impulses and to shape a new direction. But I can see the direction of the current, the depth of the water, and the strength of the flow.
But mass events are another thing entirely. And I don't know of any astrologer who is good at predicting these.
It's not that we can't see that something big is going on. Clearly, the current planetary patterns are dramatic. And I can see it operating in lots of individual lives. People are leaving homes, leaving jobs, taking risks, challenging themselves in new ways. I see it all around me.
But my blind spot is that I can't see the scope. When I read about that accident at the Love Parade in Duisburg, Germany, I thought, "Well, of course." It absolutely makes sense that that would happen, given the forming Mercury/Neptune opposition. People in charge of traffic control were confused and communicated badly, and the result was a stampede through a narrow tunnel. The Jupiter/Pluto square was also virtually exact, with Pluto representing pressure and stress, and Jupiter representing excess.
Nineteen people died, and for those nineteen people and their families, this was an enormous tragedy. But what makes the difference between events in which nineteen people die, and other events that kill hundreds? The aspects are not necessarily any more dramatic or powerful.
Maybe it's just that astrologers see hundreds of individuals, and we get a feel for the patterns on that level. But we're all living in one single time-line, and, even when we study several centuries of history, we still don't have enough of an overview. We can look back on things that have already happened, read the symbolism, and understand that the event perfectly embodied the spirit of the times. But predicting what will happen next, that's another thing.
But we keep trying. We're fascinated by the unfolding picture.
The Mercury/Neptune opposition is exact today, and that may be why I'm caught in this "wondering" mode. Mercury is about the conscious workings of the mind, while Neptune takes us into a more amorphous and intuitive realm. Neptune is the planet of fascination, so it figures that I'm writing here on this blog. I want to understand. But in order to understand, first I have to enter that foggy place in which I become aware of all the things I don't know.
And I have to wander around here, in this dream landscape, for a while. My mind relaxes and allows me to travel outside this chair, this desk, this monitor, this cup of tea. I find myself in a large misty field. The grass is soft and wet under my feet. I hear voices, but they are just echoes, and the words are indistinguishable.
I walk a while, and then I come across a goal-post. Sitting under it is an old woman, shrouded in a shawl. As I walk up to her, she looks up and says, "Nobody can win this game." I nod, but I wonder then why the goal-post exists.
I turn and walk through the lowering fog towards the other end of the field. And as I come closer, I hear people calling, cheering, exhorting. And there are people playing, kicking a ball around. Sweat flies, muscles flex, legs kick. I move quickly, getting out of the way just as a mass of players charges towards me. But a strange thing happens as the players rush towards the goal-post where the old lady sits. They move more and more slowly, until they are hardly moving at all.
I see what she means. Nobody can win this game. I recognize the old lady as Saturn in Libra, the Crone, the wise woman. Perhaps she is expecting these eager players to give up their idea of winning, and come to a place of cooperation and compromise. But they are so excited. And they are on a playing field. There is a goal post. How can they become what they are not?
I look back at the players. There is an abundant supply of them, tussling and fighting over the ball, running towards the Crone, and then freezing when they get close to her. There's someone on the team who keeps trying new things, plays that have never been attempted before. This must be Uranus in Aries. Now robots are moving towards the Crone. But they still slow down, and stop before they reach the goal.
And now a figure goes over to the join the Crone. I peer through the mist, and see glimpses of a beautiful, androgynous person. At one moment, I think I am looking at Venus, and at the next, I think it's Mars. But it's Mars in Venus' sign, Libra. And she is glaring across at the wild boisterous play of the other team. I have a feeling she's going to forsake her usual gentleness and courtesy, and kick some serious ass.
And suddenly I am back in my chair, noticing that my tea has gotten cold. What did I see? What does it mean? What will happen when Mars in Libra comes over to join Saturn, and gets involved in the Aries/Libra opposition? Mars is a volatile planet, and this is already a volatile configuration. All that action on one side, all that stasis on the other.
This configuration is just taking shape. During the last days of July and the first days of August, there will a group of exact aspects involving all these players - wise and critical Saturn in Libra, just and inexorable Mars in Libra, excitable and excessive Jupiter in Aries, changeable and inventive Uranus in Aries. And squaring them all, powerful and stressful Pluto in Capricorn. I didn't see Pluto on that misty playing field, but I think she was there, skirting the shadows, conveying some intense but invisible pressure.
So what kind of mass event could occur? Something to do with war and competition. Something to do with justice. Something violent, and something that suddenly ends violence. The pressure to change, and absolute resistance to change. Will it be the earth that explodes, or some man-made object like a roof or a floor? Or will a group of people suddenly catch fire and do something they've never done before?
Will it be something that we hardly notice at the time - a law passed that slowly but definitely changes history, a court judgment that tips the balance of power, a statement that makes hundreds of people see more clearly? Is there someone in some cellar, at this exact moment, inventing something which will put us all into a completely different world?
This Mercury/Neptune oppositon is a fleeting influence. It will be over tomorrow. It's acting as a portal. But nothing it shows me is absolutely clear. I still don't know where the winds of change will take this world. I know that they're blowing. I know it will be different.
And maybe that's why I can't see what's coming. Maybe it's too different from what I'm used to. Maybe the future refuses to be contained in the words and concepts of the past. Maybe it just needs the freedom to become.