Monday, March 2, 2015

It's All About Me

Outside, people walk through the slush and the snow, but I am having visions of spring. I’m thinking about soft breezes, bare feet, and T-shirts.  I won’t have to spend hours chasing down my gloves, or putting on layer after layer just to go out and get the mail. 

Why did I ever let that beautiful warm earth go?  When it said goodbye, I should have grabbed it by the feet and held on like a crazy person!  But I look around, at the naked and icy trees, at the squirrels and birds who’ve survived or returned, and I realized I’m not the only one waiting out the winter.  And we could all get together, sign petitions, get an injunction from the Supreme Court, and it will still stay as long as it likes. 

Accepting the natural cycles of our world, and our human forms – that’s a tough lesson.   Humans can find lots of ingenious ways to react against the natural world, as well as ways to use everything it gives us.  But can we change it?   Even the moon, which seems so delicate as it flickers in the trees, is too much for us to move even an inch.   

This is a fiery month, and there’s going to be a lot of ego on display.  I’m experiencing that as I write this column.  My phone blips to tell me I’ve got a message, and I jump on it immediately and forget what I’m the middle of doing.  Because it’s about me.  Yay.  Somebody wants to talk to me!  I’m feeling all important, and then I have to go back to my work, which, today, is mainly writing this column.  Of course, now I’m writing about how I’m feeling important.     

So yeah, those lessons about our relative power in the universe, those are the ones we’ll keep returning to in March.  The month begins and ends with planets in all three of the fire signs.  Jupiter is in Leo, Saturn in Sagittarius, and there’s a changing array of planets in Aries throughout March.  Uranus and Mars stay there, while the sun and Venus spend part of the month in Aries. 

The fire signs are all about drama, excitement and heroism.  People are willing to stick their necks out, to shake things up, to take action.  Just looking at those with the sun in Aries, we see quite a few heroes.  Sometimes, moments of heroism are brief, and sometimes they’re the pattern of a lifetime. 

For example, we saw this at the Oscars last week, as Patricia Arquette gave an impassioned plea for women’s equality when she received her Best Actress award.  We find Aries sun leaders in many fields, past and present:  Nancy Pelosi in Congress, Dorothy Height in education, Gloria Steinem in journalism, Cesar Chavez in labor rights, Maya Angelou in cultural commentary and the arts.   Then there’s Aretha Franklin, who put her demand for respect out there in no uncertain terms in her signature song. 

And naturally, the hero and the villain are the same person, seen from different perspectives.  All those Aries sun people had enemies, because they dared to move into new ground.  I just picked up a derogatory post about Nancy Pelosi on my facebook feed a few days ago. 

And it’s also true that an Aries emphasis, or a lot of fiery signs, don’t guarantee that you’re going to be right, or make sense.  And in fact, in this fiery month, there can be plenty of wrong steps, since Uranus in Aries will be exactly squaring Pluto for the last time.  People can push against the limits because they’re angry, or because of hurt pride, or just because they’re bored on a Saturday night.  And this kind of impulsive action is most likely to go wrong, because it’s not grounded in deep thought or community support. 

Everyone has been horrified by the beheadings conducted by the Islamic state, but the head is ruled by Aries, and beheadings send a strong message about taking independent action.  Maximilien Robespierre, the main figure directing the guillotine during the Reign of Terror in France, had a fiery chart with the moon and Venus in Aries. 

This is not to say you’re going to be beheaded as soon as you express the fiery side of your nature, or as soon as you take a risk.  But when your ego is hurt, it can feel like a symbolic beheading.  You thought you were all that, and then you aren’t.  You can’t move the moon.   

So do think about what you’re doing.  Flash and fire are exciting, but long-range strategic planning requires some earthy influences.  For most of March, the only earthy influence is Pluto in Capricorn, and it represents the firm structure of established interests.  It doesn’t support the impetuous, rebellious urges of Aries, but rather suppresses and sometimes punishes them.  But then on March 17, Venus enters Taurus, and this has a grounding effect for all of us. 

More, it reminds us all of what we’re fighting for.  We’re fighting to live the delightful, sensual, satisfying lives we want, on this lush planet.  And about the same time, here in the Northern hemisphere, we’ll start to experience the abundance of the earth.  Suddenly, beautiful things will be bursting forth, everywhere we look.  Spring will return, like a lover we’ve craved and missed.

But we can’t always be patient, and wait for the natural cycle to come around, can we? Sometimes we have to walk out into that lonely spotlight, say who we are, and claim our birthright.  We may not be able to lay our hands on the moon, but we can etch a definite message into human consciousness.  Every human who hears us resonates to the bare bones of the message, the courage and dignity of a human proclaiming her truth. 

And yet it’s not really about who hears us.  It’s more about who we can become.  And this where the earth is on our side.  We can’t become a tree, or a bird, or a kangaroo.  We are locked into these bodies, and this physical world, into time and space.  But we are not static.  We grow, like the weeds and the flowers and the grasses.  We unfurl.  Self-aware, unique, we create new selves every moment.  For now, we burn.