I’m not an earthy person. I’m watery. But today, I’ve definitely spent too much time in the water; I’ve been driving around doing errands in the rain all morning. I’ve been hypnotized by the patter of the drops, the sweep of the wipers, the creeping traffic going from one fuzzy light to the next. Hurricane Joaquin is apparently lashing this whole side of the country with its soggy low-pressure systems.
And today I had to give up my sandals, and switch to shoes that actually covered my feet. Just a week ago, I was in shorts, and now I’m wearing two sweatshirts and three pairs of socks. I feel sad as I close all the windows, trapping the air until it’s time for the warmth to return.
I’m not earthy, but I have to be realistic, to face facts. And that’s what this month’s main aspect, Jupiter’s trine to Pluto, is all about. With Jupiter moving through Virgo, sign of the carpenter, herbalist, greengrocer, and bee-keeper, there’s an emphasis on dealing with what’s really happening. The weather is changing. Quit your whining and handle it, I tell myself.
Pluto has been in Capricorn for the last seven years, and its focus has been on dismantling, exposing, and rebuilding fundamental structures. Often, this has been violent, met with powerful resistance. With Jupiter trining Pluto, this work gets a little easier this month, and this is good for practical activists. That is, it’s good for people who prefer real-life results to ideological victories.
And when it comes to earth politics, it seems that we have reached a new level of consciousness. New energy technologies are being developed and put into use all over the world. They’re getting cheaper, they’re becoming easier to use, and the momentum is building. With the scientists, the Pope, and the Democrats all sticking pins in it, the air is hissing out of the climate-change-denial balloon.
But is it just about technology? New technology is like a rope reaching down to someone who’s hanging off a cliff. First, you have to get the person back on solid ground. But then you have to address the person’s tendency to fall over the edge every once in a while. What’s going on here?
The problem is that we earthlings are still holding onto some basic belief systems which denigrate and disrespect the earth. Look at these words: earth, fertility, nature, woman, childbirth, passivity, receptivity, instinct, innocence, emotion, support. And then look at these: sky, intellect, man, activity, reason, aggression, dominance, war, leadership, confidence, experience.
Of course, there are plenty of passive men, earthy men, intellectual women, and aggressive women. But the male/female opposition, as it’s experienced today on much of this planet, is the wallpaper of all our lives. We’re so familiar with it that we don’t see it. And until we can unlink these concepts, we will continue despoiling the earth.
It seems clear to me that men need to become more like women. I know that it terrifies them, because of the woman/victim connection which they themselves have propagated. But until we women are seen – and see ourselves – as whole, the earth will also be seen as nothing but a backdrop for war and conquest. We must respect the earth as our brother, our sister, all at once - active, reasonable, aggressive, fecund, nurturing, creative, knowledgeable. The earth is all these things.
Jupiter in Virgo deals with the little things we can do, in the process of this healing work. And every small shift in consciousness and in behavior helps. Every time somebody refuses their customary label, and instead honors their more authentic self, it moves us towards a healthier way of living. And there are lots of small actions that promote this, from a man washing the dishes, to a woman speaking her mind in a crowd.
It’s not an entirely earthy month. There is water as well, in Neptune in Pisces. Virgo and Pisces are opposite signs on the zodiacal wheel, and the concrete practical approach of Virgo is opposed by the mysticism and emotional sensitivity of Pisces. Neptune has been in Pisces now for about three years, and religious enthusiasm has become an ever-stronger force in our world.
Neptune in Pisces represents the human ability to be hypnotized by our stories about ourselves. These stories are often amazing, beautiful, and profound. There is poetry in heartbreak, and many religious myths are powerful expressions of our most basic sorrows. But there is always a contrast between these elaborate tales, and the simple reality of a leaf, or a piece of wood, or a human hand.
And right now, in this moment in history, there is an ongoing struggle. The religious right is telling stories that are about the destruction of the earth, and meanwhile, is ignoring the very real physical changes that will leave us with less water, less land, and fewer resources. Meanwhile, they see themselves as the victims of a war waged by scientists and atheists.
Religious expression is just going to get stronger while Neptune is in Pisces, and it will be here for the next ten years. But the world is becoming a smaller place, as people move around more, and as they become change agents in different cultures. And so we are all brushing against each other’s sacred stories, threatening the spells that we’re under.
When you’re hypnotized by a story, there is only one story, and anyone who suggests differently is breaking you out of your trance. It’s like being in a movie, and somebody jostles you, and you’re annoyed. Neptune in Pisces is the film, and this month’s Virgo planets – Jupiter, Mars, and later Venus - are the various jostling hands.
“Hey, don’t you think it’s getting awfully hot in this movie-house!”
“Be quiet! Look at the screen! He’s just about to save us all!”
But there is a change happening this month too. With Pluto trining Jupiter, reality will lend a hand. Maybe it won’t be necessary for the whole movie-house to come crashing down in flames. Maybe we can turn away from our fantasies, acknowledge the fear and need and terror that gave birth to them, and really look at each other. And maybe then we can acknowledge that we really do live or die together, on this planet.