Dear Planet Waves Reader:
We’re about to experience a spring season like no other. It has an ordinary beginning, more or less. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, spring begins when the Sun’s rays square the equator, just past noon in the Eastern U.S. zone on Saturday, March 20. We’re currently in that brief phase where night and day are equal around the world. In the midst of this, the Sun enters the sign Aries and the new astronomical year begins. There are a few extra planets in Aries — at the moment, Venus and Mercury, and of course, ultra-longtime tenant Eris.
Aries is a cardinal sign, which means if all goes well enough, it arrives with strength, determination and initiative. Think of all the energy rising out of the ground: seeds bursting into bloom, trees creating tens of thousands of new leaves to harvest the newly-available rays of the Sun, animals birthing and even people taking a moment to feel alive.
Part of our spring cleaning/revival is that Mars stationed direct on March 10. Mars is the ruler of Aries and the energy of the sky is now focused here. Despite a brief Mercury retrograde coming in a few weeks, and the fact that we will need to use some of that Mars direct energy cleaning up the mess made by Mars retrograde events, we are on solid ground. The thing to watch for is oppositions: you will have to do your part to sidestep needless contention and controversy. Keep your encounters real; choose well.
I say this recognizing how challenging life is for how many people right now, even the ones with homes and jobs and health insurance. The relentless 2012 quality of “everything, all at once” is still influencing our lives, and will be for a while — particularly as the energy picks up over the next two months and everyone of every psychic shape and vibration responds their own special way to the conditioning forces that surround us.
The Second Equinox
In addition to the usual fire-surge of spring, this particular season contains a planetary event that takes this energy to a cosmic scale. On June 8 there is a second equinox, where two of the largest and also most influential planets align exactly in the first degree of Aries — the Aries Point. Think of that degree as a kind of amplifier that makes an astrological event impossible to miss, resonating through the inner and outer worlds as if they were one thing, which of course they are.
The planets involved are Jupiter (wisdom, expansion, culture, pleasure, exotic) and Uranus (spontaneous, disruptive, revolution, ingenious, forward-thinking). They meet up every 14 years, in a different sign (the last time was Aquarius, in February 1997). This is a conjunction that is often around for mysterious confluences of great breakthroughs in human progress: psychoanalysis, quantum theory and the Moon landing; and in much earlier eras, some of the greatest work by Kepler and Galileo — all of which happens at the time of other great discoveries, as documented by Rick Tarnas in his book Cosmos and Psyche.
And each comes with a distinct social environment, which feels like existence lighting up (and that light can throw a few shadows, too). Though any moment of astrology is unique in the world, it’s possible to make some comparisons to past events. If you’re old enough to remember 1969, you’ve felt something like this. The Jupiter-Uranus conjunction happened that year, in very early Libra — precisely opposite of where it happens in the spring of 2010.
It was the year that opposition to the American war in Vietnam reached its peak. While 600,000 people marched on Washington to protest the war, another 100,000 demonstrated simultaneously in San Francisco. I’ve mentioned the Moon landing, which was in July — the first time that humans touched the surface of another planet. By some miracle, this was followed a few weeks later by the Woodstock Festival in August, which was like life on Earth turning into life on another planet. One aspect of the technology of the mid-to-late Sixties (and in particular Woodstock) was the wide-scale availability of LSD, a drug that leads people to be mellow, introspective and loving toward one another.
The year was not all jubilance. Nixon became president that January. Manson murders happened that summer. The Beatles broke up and went their separate ways. Yet every event had a quality of being personally significant, affecting many people. These were not abstract news items; they were palpable experiences that we cared about, and that came crashing into our living rooms. They have all left many visual impressions in our minds. It was a mythic time in history, larger than life, yet also in the flow of life.
There are odd little technology details from 1969. The Boeing 747 and Concorde made their first flights. A lot of nasty information came out about Vietnam, including the fact of an illegal war in Laos (Cambodia was the next year). A grief-stricken Sen. Ted Kennedy drove his car off of Dyke Bridge, killing a former campaign worker. All of this happened in a few short seasons; most of it focused on the summer.
What Time It Is
To understand a confluence of events that significant, it helps to look to astrology. There’s unlikely to be an explanation in conventional history or sociology, or not one that’s spiritually satisfying. Astrology is a matter of what time it is, and both the planets and world events help us see that. By 1969 it was time for people to get together; it was time for awareness of global issues to amount to something.
In Libra style, there were three massive peace gatherings — the two antiwar protests and the historic pro-peace protest we think of as Woodstock. I have always considered Woodstock one of the most moving, poignant statements by the public against Vietnam; it’s always seemed like the best protest ever. I thought I would ask Michael Lang, the creator of the festival, if he agreed.
“The war was definitely at the center,” Lang said in a March 11 email. “Everyone’s thinking was focused on stop the war.”
What’s different about the astrology of ’10 as compared to ’69 is that the setup is a mirror image. For example, we are now in two Vietnam-like wars (they serve no actual purpose, they are expensive and we’re caught in tactical, political and ethical quagmires) but hardly anyone says a word. These wars, destroying the lives of many and causing incalculable grief, are nowhere near the center of public consciousness. They barely make the news. We are not paying attention, and when we look back and try to figure out how this happened, let the record reflect that on the day of the there was barely a conversation on the 7th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.
Where a conjunction occurs tells you something about how it’s going to feel, and how many people it will affect. In 1969, the conjunction took place in Libra, a sign that’s mellow on the exterior but with a lot of mojo coming out from deep inside. The themes of Libra include art, balance, beauty and relationship.
In 2010, the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction takes place in the more impetuous sign Aries, a fire sign and the first sign of the zodiac. Aries tends to be self-centered and lacks the balance of Libra. It comes with a raw, unrefined and fiery quality. The two conjunctions have one thing in common, which is that they appear in the very early degrees of what are called cardinal signs — the signs that start the seasons.
That puts them in aspect to something called the Aries Point. When you think of the Aries Point, the summer of 1969 is a great example of the energy. Even though two enormous planets were opposite the Aries Point that summer, it worked just fine to stir up the full effect of that degree: what I describe as the personal is political.
The conjunction of 2010, which takes place in early June, will have a different flavor, a different-feeling tone. Aries not only lacks any sense of balance; it’s the opposite of balance: Aries is a surge of energy. By definition it is self-centered rather than other-centered. The energy is emotional (fiery, Aries) rather than mental (airy, Libra).
By 1969, the peak of Sixties astrology had already passed — the extremely rare Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1965-1966. Currently we are approaching the next peak of that cycle, which is the essence of 2012 — the Uranus-Pluto square. The energy of this square is now building; it hasn’t happened yet, but we are starting to feel the vibes. We have quite a few surprises in store, and they begin right about now.
In some ways this spring looks like an anti-Sixties moment rather than any kind of replay of the Sixties. The outspoken activists of our day are conservatives. There is kind of a contra-hippie movement known as the Teabaggers. Their name pertains to anti-tax protests (the original Boston Tea Party of yore), but (in perfect anti-Sixties spirit) also refers to a sexual act that few of them seem to have heard of.
Though they claim to be in favor of individual rights most of them are against a woman’s rights, and sex education, and the rights of gay people. So it’s an “individual rights for us, not for you” movement. Most Teabaggers are against government spending but in favor of war. But if you don’t cut the military budget, that leaves the relatively small portion of the budget spent on actual social programs to cut.
There is lots of subtle, festering anger, yet little in the way of expression and no corresponding spirit of celebration. In fact, though it’s taken me about 15 years to figure it out, there seems to be a perpetual retreat among many who have something to offer or share, unless they are convinced that it’s going to be absolutely nonthreatening to their neighbors or the authorities. It seems dangerous or foolish to care too much. Somebody might notice you.
There’s lots of talk about coming out and doing something together, then it seems like a big deal to have a drum circle. Clearly, many people are insecure, but many are riveted to their computers and iPods and that is the way they see the world: as an experience they observe remotely rather than participate in.
Injustice after injustice happens, and not only is there not a pushback, you barely hear a peep. In the late Sixties and early Seventies, women were gaining rights and recognition. Today that process is running in reverse. In Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert on March 8 signed a law that makes it a crime for a woman or a girl to have a miscarriage. The law reads: “A woman is not guilty of criminal homicide of her own unborn child if the death of her unborn child…is not caused by an intentional or knowing act of the woman.” Sorting out that convoluted language, if a pregnant woman falls down the stairs and loses her child, she can be put on trial for criminal homicide. The way the law is written sounds like she’s guilty until whatever happened is determined to have happened unintentionally.
I’m just wondering why the only place I’ve heard about this is from my news-scouring editorial assistant. This issue is not registering in public awareness. In another era, women would have been in the streets protesting. Now it’s high fashion to say, “That’s too bad, but what can I do about it?” — that is, if you’ve even heard about it.
Many people who identify as liberal have set up so many strict rules for themselves that it would be comical to describe them as liberated. Many seem terrified to so much as talk about sex. Spirituality imposes as many dictates as the pope, as does the mandate of having the perfect image. These conceptual structures, which to me feel like keeping oneself in a cage, are going to come under a lot of stress when this conjunction happens. It absolutely bursts with human potential — with the ‘I Am’ energy of Aries.
Reaching for Human Potential
Human potential and self-awareness are something we could do with a lot more of right now. I keep hearing people ask when everyone is going to wake up; this aspect looks a lot like an awakening. I would be more optimistic if I heard people ask about when they are going to wake up.
I have a few concerns about this conjunction. Aries is a militant sign, and we live in an era when militants get most of the attention. It’s ruled by Mars, the ancient god of war. In the Sixties activists would put flowers into guns. Here in the anti-Sixties, “activists” carry guns. The modern equivalent of the back to the land movement is: start a militia.
This conjunction has a lot of Mars to it, and we’ve just come through a long, challenging Mars retrograde that covered the entire winter through March 10. This came with plenty of frustrated will and desire, still working itself out. However, over the next two months as we approach the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, the energy shifts in the direction of expression, of self-awareness and of some new kind of liberation, particularly for our era.
Here is the issue I’m having, if it’s not clear yet. It seems like the people who feel the most comfortable speaking up and claiming their space are the ones who would hold others down. My concern is that this conjunction is going to embolden them more than it’s going to speak to the people who wish they could stand up, express themselves and be free for its own sake. I understand that it can feel dangerous to do this, but I’m wondering how far into the basement, the closet or the corner we’re willing to be pushed before we push back or just take our space.
True, push doesn’t need to come to shove. It’s possible to simply be free, but I think that the fear of a confrontation, and the fear of being seen as different, is precisely what keeps many, many people locked in their house, typing on the Internet under a fake handle that can’t be traced back to them.
Here’s the silver lining. Clearly, we need more group consciousness in our culture; we’ve done just about everything we can do alone, from going bowling to imaginary sex to a DVD exercise program. Anything significant that we need to do as a society will take the combined efforts of many. Most of the really fun things we want to do, we do with others.
Yet groups are groups of individuals. A collection of people who are not individuals is a mass and not a group. A mass has completely different dynamics, such as the sum total of everyone who drinks Diet Pepsi, or the mentality of a mob.
A conjunction this strong in the first degree of Aries has individuality written all over it. The thing about this kind of individuality is that it calls on us to really be who we are, to say what we believe and express the energy and potential we contain. That, in turn, is an invitation to grow and change in obvious, expressive ways — in ways we might be seen and noticed. As of today, that is supposedly as scary as it gets.
Let’s see about tomorrow.
Yours & truly,
By Judith Gayle | Political Waves
Early in this century, we discovered that our military had become dependent on the services of private contractors. We were surprised to learn that deals were being struck not only for goods and services, supplies and reconstruction, but also for protection and security. Enter Blackwater USA, a paramilitary organization that provided mercenaries — literally hired guns — to defend the new Iraqi Embassy, oversee their many subsidiaries, and provide services to the CIA. Controversy regarding Blackwater’s activities grew steadily until a shooting incident in 2007 left 14 civilians dead.
During the Bush years, the Coalition Provisional Authority compiled a list of 60 different firms providing security services. Blackwater was the second largest contractor in support of troops in Iraq. After changing their name to Blackwater Worldwide in 2007, they began offering their services internationally. The Department of Homeland Security used Blackwater in the relief effort during Hurricane Katrina at a cost of $240,000 a day; their heavily-armed presence drew sharp criticism during that anxious period. The Blackwater brand became an embarrassment. To sidestep the resulting bad press, the company changed its name to Xe Services in 2009, and its originator and president, Erik Prince, stepped down. The name change has not stuck with a wary public, however, and the press continues to call the company Blackwater. As Shakespeare’s Juliet murmured, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Or stink as badly, considering our topic. Yet this foul organization continues to thrive despite the Iraqi government denying it further permits to operate in that nation.
Make no mistake, private contracting is big business, critical to the U.S. military industrial complex. According to recent reports, we utilize about 250,000 armed or unarmed contractors in the Iraq and Afghanistan war theatres, approximately 50% of our total force. With the American footprint fading from Iraq, our attention has turned toward Afghanistan, and so has Blackwater’s. Obama has declared a major goal to be the training of the Afghani national police. This project was in the hands of DynCorp for the last several years, with little progress noted. The Department of Defense has now solicited bids on a new contract for this task.
There are two parts of the proposal up for bid: police training and logistics. Following tightened rules, the DoD is limited to the five qualified contenders: Lockheed, Raytheon, Northrop, Arinc (owned by the Carlyle Group), and Blackwater. Of the five, three withdrew immediately, and Lockheed bid only on the logistics portion of the proposal. Blackwater bid on both police training and logistics, and is likely to be awarded the billion-dollar contract, barring newly raised concerns.
The public, the Democratic Congress and even the Pentagon are reluctant to support the Blackwater award. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Chairman Carl Levin appealed to Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week for the Pentagon to block the award, and Gates appears sympathetic. Levin had familiarized himself with the situation through a SASC hearing on Xe Services’ subsidiary Paravant, which had subcontracted its services to Raytheon. Incidents with drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, weapons theft, assault and even murder have marked Paravant’s activity in Afghanistan.
Senator Claire McCaskill complained that the cover names used by these subcontractors seem covert. She struck at the heart of the matter when she said, “You know, we’ve got two kinds of organizations that are performing the same functions. One responds to money, and the other responds to duty.” Sadly, due to the snarled legalities that govern these awards, the only way to deny security contracts is for the Attorney General to ‘debar’ defense contractors for unsatisfactory performance. This happens rarely, and constitutes a glaring failure of the national security system. Although the Pentagon seems aware of the controversy, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell put its position bluntly: “Like it or not, Blackwater has technical expertise that very few companies do have. And they have a willingness to work in places that very few companies are willing to work. So they provide a much-needed service and the ability to do it well.”
Unmentioned at the hearing are other disturbing reports not specifically attributed to Blackwater but having the same smell about them. On the day after Christmas, 2009, in what’s being called the Kunar Massacre, nine school children, ages 11 to 18, were discovered executed with their hands bound. This occurred under the auspices of a NATO-sanctioned rout of Taliban territory, with reports originally condemning the group as bomb makers. The children’s deaths were eventually attributed to “non-military Americans” who were attached to the NATO operation. In another incident, the Pentagon is investigating the February death of a soldier in Helmand Province at the hands of seven U.S.- hired Afghani private security guards, reportedly high on opium. In neither case are we getting full disclosure. Perhaps that’s because these are deaths caused by contractors rather than by the military, although the Pentagon is historically reluctant to admit either.
This week we learned that a Defense Department official hired a covert network of private contractors, under cover of reporting on Afghanistan’s social and tribal landscape, to track and locate suspected militants for assassination missions. This is particularly sensitive activity in Pakistan where an American military footprint is forbidden. Intelligence-gathering is perilous business, and the DoD official sidestepped legalities and diverted money to support his private rings of spies. He and his program, including liaisons with retired Special Ops officers and a C.I.A. operative whose ties go all the way back to Iran-Contra, are now being investigated by the Defense Department. So far, no one seems to know who authorized the covert — and illegal — spying activities or where the money for them has gone. This kind of paramilitary madness is inevitable without stringent oversight. There are not enough Army Contracting Officers Representatives to keep track of all these independent — often rogue — contractors.
With levels of subcontracting that go largely unexamined, Blackwater will be making multi-millions with or without a contract to train Afghani police. They will make their money and we will pay it because, as the Pentagon asserts, who else is so singularly prepared to do the dirty work? Yet this is work that even the military is unprepared to do and carries the continued risk of international incident. Some of us wonder why we pay huge chunks of the budget to mercenaries gone rogue, especially as the polls make clear that the American people consider a military presence in Afghanistan good money thrown after bad. We’re awakening to the enormity of our largest ‘big government’ program financed by trillions of borrowed dollars.
Representative Jan Schakowsky and Senator Bernie Sanders, two of the most progressive legislators in the Democratic leadership, have now introduced a bill that would phase out private security contractors in war zones. The “Stop Outsourcing Security Act” would require the military to use its own personnel to train troops and police, guard convoys, repair weapons, run military prisons, conduct military intelligence activity, and provide diplomatic security. Further, and quite sensibly, contracts over $5 million would be subject to Congressional oversight.
Supremely sensible, but not likely to be supported by a Congress tied to defense contractors and lobbying money. In order to scale down our operations to what we can actually accomplish — not services we can buy — we would have to limit the imperialism that has characterized our foreign policy for decades. But perhaps the economy, scrutinized now for every unnecessary purchase or deficit-increasing project, holds the key. The military budget for 2011 is $159,300,000,000. The administration has requested another $33,000,000,000 supplemental this year to fund the troop buildup in Afghanistan; a vote on this request is still pending.
As we look in the mirror of our current crisis, we see ourselves reflected back by corporations and big business. As the world looks at the face of America abroad, they see opportunism, mercenaries and corporate machinery. Every attempt to stop the footprint of rogue capitalism meets with a shrug from those who benefit. To continue to fund hired guns who operate largely unsupervised under the protection of the American flag perpetuates our insane, self-defeating hubris.
As McCaskill indicated, contractors and mercenaries are all about money, so these are financial decisions. With a spending freeze in place for domestic issues but none for military spending, this would be a good time to contact your lawmaker about the appropriate use of your tax dollars. They listen now when you talk money. And while you’re at it, you might demand an end to that dreadful smell floating over the Pentagon, the stench of an organization that hides behind the name Xe. For too long we’ve paid little heed to who was on the American payroll. At the least, when we look back on this period, we can say that we stood against thugs that operate in our name.
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, March 19, 2010, #808 – BY ERIC FRANCIS
Aah, the mysteries that spring from women. But I would ask: is it the girl, or the grown adult? Is it a mix of both? And what is their relationship? I suggest that you discern the difference between them. They may show up in the same place, with different needs and agendas. The girl needs protection. She has a fragile quality to her psyche and is touching her nascent sense of identity for what may feel like the first time. The woman has held down an enormous amount of energy and feels like she’s going to explode, melt down or go mad from lack of attention. Here is what’s going on a few layers down: the source of inner chaos is the sense that her gifts are not being received by the world, or that she lacks the courage to offer them.
You may be figuring out that there is a difference between who you think you are, and who you really are. To some extent this is true for everyone, but your sense of yourself seems to be rather fired up these days. You seem to be concerned about how you’re perceived, and you are doing your best to hold your attention on a concept of yourself that you want to emphasize and then broadcast that into the world. Here is what I am inclined to ask: are you angry about something? Does that something involve whether you feel safe? I suggest you address the safety issue first, which may involve some actual question about how you feel in your environment. Stick to practical issues rather than trying to compensate with the force of your personality. If you have something to say to someone, say it directly — not in fantasy.
“Friend” is the most trampled word in English, and Facebook is not helping matters. For you this word needs to be connected to an actual idea of what constitutes an authentic friend. Checking the history of this word, it is connected to the idea to love. So someone you love is one version of who you might consider a friend. If you can say the words to them, that is a good indication; if you can say what you love, that’s even better. Researching deeper, the word friend is indirectly related to fiend or enemy. It’s vital that you know the difference. Perhaps someone who causes a disruption in your life is a friend, but it’s not likely. It may be that someone centered on themselves is a friend, but that is even less likely. Someone who speaks the truth to you, sincerely and clearly: that is a friend.
You have all the luck you need to succeed; you have the talent; now you need focus and efficiency. If you’re going to begin anything this week, limit that to two items, preferably related to one another. You are in the mood to get things going, yet you need to be careful and discerning about your motives, and the speed with which you attempt to accomplish anything. Be mindful of people around you who stir up conflict or strive to get attention. One way you can cut back on this phenomenon is by being clear with yourself about who you are, and why you do what you do. This will set a boundary; your clarity will, at least, help you see when others are not clear, or when their agenda does not match yours. What you do with that information is another issue, but the fact that you will indeed need to have it is clear.
Your ideas about life are moving faster than your life, but that’s about the speed of things: fortunately ideas take time to manifest, because not all of them will serve you. Mars is moving slowly — and I would add, with extra potency — through your birth sign now. That is a clue to strive for progress one day at a time, but even that might be a bit too fast some days, because it would seem that your intention is to do deep work and lay a solid foundation. I suggest you set an agenda for the week, and contrast that with your agenda for some longer stretch of time, such as a year. Make sure the items on your weekly agenda match some items on your longer one. Then, yes, take existence one day at a time — and remember what happened yesterday.
You’ve been on quite a ride in the relationship department the past few weeks, but I would ask: what in life does not involve relationships? Even when you’re walking around your apartment alone at 3:30 am, you are in relationship to everything you see. The thing about your connection to a vase, a television or a book is that you know you bring the energy. You make up the story. This is more challenging to see in dynamic, live-action situations. That’s partly because they involve two or more people bringing their energy. Yet the same value holds: you continue to evaluate everyone around you. The question is, on what basis are you making that assessment? Or maybe this is the question: in what ways do you feel your mental state is compromised by a relationship in which you have a vast investment of ‘self’?
It may surprise you who turns out to have what opinion this week, or what experience you learn that someone close to you has been through. Whether you identify with it is another question, but I suggest you do your best to empathize in any event. That seems to be the whole point. The problem with allowing yourself true empathy with something you may not relate to is that you will reveal things about yourself (to yourself, and to others) that you were not expecting and that you may feel uncomfortable with. However, if you stick with the process, you will learn something about yourself — quite potentially, something that’s been eluding you for years. One of the core issues involves how you see yourself in your relationships: is your self-image the one with gifts, or one who brings problems?
Mark Twain joked about not letting one’s schoolin’ get in the way of one’s learnin’. I would say: don’t let your work get in the way of your professional aspirations; don’t let your professional aspirations get in the way of your ability to get things done. After considerable frustration and confusion, you can now get the two going in the same basic direction; at least tuned to the same key. You may have to do this in manual mode. I suggest you see where your smaller efforts add up to drive forward your larger objectives. See where your larger objectives can call on you to scale back what amounts to busy work — but not your dharma. That is, some things that feel like busy work are actually actual, authentic committed duties. Just because you don’t like doing something doesn’t mean that it’s not truly vital.
There seems to be some family or tribal drama threatening your peace of mind. Since I know how delicate that peace of mind has been for you, I’m feeling a little protective: and that’s who you need to surround yourself with. Meanwhile, you’re facing a complex psychological situation that you would be wise to handle mentally rather than emotionally. I am not saying you need to run from the emotional dimension, but rather that at this phase, your emotions are an indicator of what you can work out through awareness, analysis and most of all, through an understanding of your family history. What you are going through may feel like it’s ‘in the present’ but I would say it’s more of the ‘the past is the present’ variety of personal material. Where to begin? If you can, talk to your mother.
Make sure you’re kind to the people who feed you; make sure that you choose to feed the people who are kind to you. Make sure you feed yourself. This is the moment of the equinox, when night and day are balanced around the world, symbolic of a state of equilibrium. Ceres in your sign is suggesting strongly that you consciously balance out all the exchanges in your life. Evaluate carefully and be mindful of your prejudice. What you think is a loss might not be a loss. What you think is a gain might not be a gain. The basis on which you need to evaluate is on what nourishes or depletes you. Be clear about this. We are all accustomed to situations where we give more than we receive; where generosity works against us. Make your decisions with no hard feelings; just gratitude that you can indeed get your life in order.
You’re starting to understand what changes you need to make. The feeling has been intuitive till recently, and you’ve had some radiant moments of clarity. That’s different than observations that you can refer back to, which reveal what you’re actually experiencing. Even in considering your healing process, you’ve been idealizing matters in a way that has not, until now, stood up to the evidence. I’m describing a few of the properties of Chiron, which is gradually separating from its conjunction to Neptune. You’re encountering a new kind of clarity, and a new depth of intuition. Honoring this, I suggest that you have no opinion that you cannot support with data; that you have no hunch you cannot support without actual observation, preferably something that you’ve written on paper or typed in an email.
I know, you still can’t see around that corner — the one that seems to be behind you but is really in front of you; the one that seems to have defined a decade of your life, but which is really right in front of you. The way to work with this uneasy tension is to choose where you want to be. Get out of automatic mode and make your decisions with full awareness of what you are choosing, and what your options are. You have, at the moment, an overwhelming amount of potential, and this may not be making your life any easier. So you need to focus, and you need a basis for what you choose to focus on. You have three choices, approximately. One is what you perceive as necessity. One is what you perceive as crisis. The last is what you want, and that may be the most difficult to see — but it’s clearly the most important to look at.