Monday, November 9, 2020

The Cusp of Change


Saturday was bright and mild, and we were at the library, one of my favorite places in the world, when we got the news that Biden had passed the 270-electoral-votes threshold. That afternoon, as we visited old friends that we hadn't seen in a while, the champagne came out. We were still being cautious – masks on, social distancing – but it felt good to be with the only lesbian couple we know who’s been together longer than we have.


On Saturday night, we couldn’t turn off the news – after being too depressed to turn it on during the last four years.  Over and over, we watched clips of Joe thanking the Black community, and Kamala telling us that she might be the first, but she wouldn’t be the last, interspersed with footage of people in every city, celebrating in the streets.


My wife remarked that the reporters were trying hard not to look as happy as they felt.  That must’ve been pretty hard, after four years of being insulted and constantly accused of lying. It’s not easy to do a good job when you’re routinely accused of doing a bad one.  


So I’m really feeling the shift. It was just a week before the election, in the middle of a spate of dank, rainy days, that my stepmother died. But now it is possible to say, “She would have been happy about this.” The memory of her broad smile is a balm.  


All this hard year, we’ve been dealing with this tight grouping of restrictive, serious outer planets in Capricorn. We’ve all scaled down and done without, and many of us have lost someone. To me, this election is a sign that we are moving into Aquarius territory. Aquarius is a sign of change, even a sign of revolution.


In 2020, Saturn moved into Aquarius for a few months – April through June - igniting and amplifying racial justice issues. Although the conservative reaction to this was repressive and violent, there were a lot of people paying attention. White people started reading and thinking more, and Black people gained more access to the media, and found more ways to tell their stories. To me, this seems like a preview of the coming years, when Jupiter, Saturn and finally Pluto break up their little conservative cabal and move into Aquarius.


But I can admit now I was anxious about Election Day. Mercury was stationary – that is, its position was fixed in the sky, due to an optical illusion caused by our perspective here on earth. It was in the middle of a two-week square to Saturn, the most conservative, stern and recalcitrant of those Capricorn planets. Mercury was in Libra, the sign of justice, and it was fighting for its ideals, trying to draw away from the gravitational pull of so much fear, resistance, tradition, and denial.


At the same time, because Saturn is all about structure, this Mercury/Saturn square may have added a certain amount of organization and discipline to the vote-counting procedures. Everyone seemed very focused, ignoring the Trump hordes that kept flipping between “count the vote” and “stop the count”.   In Nevada, a ranting Trump supporter interrupted the registrar’s press conference, but still had no particular effect other than to be mocked on social media.


So we won the presidency, but winning the Senate is unlikely – although it would be quite wonderful if it happened. But, as it stands, the Senate will be able to block a great deal of much-needed legislation. And, of course, as I write this, Trump refuses to concede, and is contesting the election, although none of his claims have any legal weight. It’s clear that the whole point of this is to rally his base and keep them excited, perhaps indefinitely.


Still, things progress. It’s only now, on November 9, that Mercury is pulling away from that square to Saturn, and things begin to move ahead. Plans are taking shape, and organization will become easier and more effective. There’s less drag, fewer delays. Mercury enters Scorpio tomorrow, giving more focus and determination, but less transparency.


Scorpio is a sign of the underground, of depth charges and shadow selves. And so, during the rest of November, conspiracy theories will grow like weeds in the back corners of vacant lots, far away from the sun. They’ll tangle people up, and make it hard for them to move freely from one thought to the next. But many of them will burn away when Mercury moves into fiery Sagittarius at the beginning of December.  


Much of our stagnation in recent months has been due to Mars, which has been retrograde since September.  It will go direct this coming weekend, on November 13, and that will also help us move forward. However, for the rest of the year, it will still be in the conflict-prone sign Aries, so I expect plenty of skirmishes of all kinds.


But there is good trouble, as John Lewis said, and any open, honest discussion of goals and ideas is positive. In December, when Jupiter and Saturn move into Aquarius, there will be a lot more of that happening. This is a sign of logic, objectivity and perspective. December also sees the last of the outer planet conjunctions, and I believe this will be the last peak of Covid-19.


Even with Jupiter and Saturn moving into Aquarius next month, there will still be a staunch old guard that will fight against any possibility of real change for the next couple of years. Pluto won’t move into Aquarius until the spring of 2023. That’s when the political picture will realign itself – probably in the elections of 2022 - and so by 2023, there may be enough progressive influences to start really solving bedrock problems. And perhaps by then Covid-19 will be truly gone, and we can walk out into the sunshine, gather together in celebration, and embrace each other.


Step by step, we are moving towards a more rational time. In 2021, we won’t see peace, or domestic tranquility. We won’t see an end to the underbelly of political thought, the Nazis and Confederates who keep crawling out of the cracks and fissures. This month, in November, it may seem like they’re more of them than there ever were. But we are moving, slowly and definitely, towards a time when science will regain all its ragged prestige.   


I’m absolutely in favor.  Let the scientists emerge, and I don’t even mind if some of them want to disprove astrology. This is our best chance against a deteriorating habitat, the best chance to end suffering, to stop the constant waste of human resources. May our young ones choose thinking over just believing.  Give them the freedom to learn, and to experiment. And with technology, common sense, cooperation and hope, they can create a future that we can all live in.