By the very title of my column — Fe 911 — it’s been my assignment here to provide an antidote to the shock doctrine we’re continually bombarded with culturally, politically and socially. Some days, these shocks come faster than usual. These last two months in particular we have seen more than what we’re used to, and perhaps even more than what we should bear.
I have been keeping vigil on the blogs like a watch in a ship’s crow’s nest. The ongoing investigation into the handling of the Trayvon Martin shooting in Sanford, Florida stays high on my radar. The promotion of even more stringent laws in state legislatures curtailing women’s reproductive freedom keeps me transfixed. I am looking for the trends in the Supreme Court arguments as they rule on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare. These three current and seemingly disparate events are and continue to be the loci of the present-day Uranus-Pluto square in America: the struggle to provide equal justice under the law regardless of race; the struggle for a woman’s self-determination over her own body; the struggle to define the role of government in the life of the individual. These are historical flash points spanning three centuries of our country’s history, spilling over into the fourth.
Trayvon Martin and the current crop of ultrasound laws are the reverberation of the abolitionist and women’s suffrage movements from 160 years ago when Uranus was conjunct Pluto in Aries, returning again with the civil rights movement of the 1960s when Uranus was conjunct Pluto in Virgo. Our current drama surrounding the Affordable Care Act is the third in a series of aspects that began with Roosevelt’s New Deal while Uranus in Aries squared Pluto in Cancer in 1930-34, then proceeded with Medicare, approved by Congress during the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in Virgo in the mid-1960s.
If it seems that we are trying to resolve problems that should have been fixed long ago, I keep remembering that our country’s social and economic structure required racism and gender oppression to successfully control and commodify our natural resources. This seems to be hard-wired into our national psyche. We are now at the point where national health care — a standard by which the advanced development of a country is rated — is a political battleground. That battleground is another form of oppression.
When Uranus aspects Pluto, challenges to this mindset not only happen, eventual change and the necessary revolution to create that change comes more easily. As painful as it is, Uranus and Pluto seem to act like a necessary lathe to further refine and civilize this country. Let us hope for all our sakes that that lathe makes it somewhere into the recesses of Justices Kennedy’s, Scalia’s and Alito’s minds these next few months.
Today, as Venus enters Gemini, and with Mercury stationing direct, the one word that I hold like a talisman against all the forces attempting to push our country and consciousness backwards is courage. It’s easy to be afraid, angry and reactionary. But time is ready for clear-headed forward motion.
We were an empire with too many dangerous toys and dark interests wrestling for the empire’s control. We need to ask ourselves, “What are we now?” to self-scrutinize and re-evaluate our role in the world before wrecking havoc unchecked on the rest of the planet. A fallback to days gone by — even just to the 1950s as some of our more conservative friends demand — is not just anachronistic. As we’ve said before and will repeat: it is dangerously impractical socially, geo-politically and environmentally to continue.
For today’s piece, I found Bkoehler’s comment in this morning’s daily astrology thread particularly inspirational. She says:
In 1960 the Moon’s South Node was in Pisces and now in 2012 Neptune and Chiron are in Pisces, and recently, Sun, Venus, Mercury and a host of newly discovered astral bodies too. It signifies the end of an era and the preparation or clearing for a new era. It is very important that the world, through the experiences of American citizens, fully grasp, absorb and accept the changes begun in 1960 that define the on-going evolution of humankind. What you sense happening in your own lives is partly due to those global and societal imperatives to grow in consciousness, and a recognition that you are part of the solution, and therefore part of the whole. It is a wonderful opportunity to be part of History in a really, really good way.
We need to keep reminding ourselves that the big picture — the power of us — has dawned. Thanks to the Internet, regime change is sparking in the Middle East, we’re holding a spotlight on the criminal wrongdoings of the US financial industry, we’re exposing and ridiculing politicians seeking to strip our human rights away and we’re working to find justice for one young man caught in the wrong place at the wrong time by the wrong people. We have the tools that can help us overcome forces looking to destroy us and our world.
The late great poet Sekou Sundiata once said that “our ancestors dreamed us into being.” When he wrote that, he was talking about the people who, in the mid-19th century, risked their lives for freedom from a horrifically inhumane economic institution. Since then, the struggle has been one that has proceeded forwards, not back. In this day and age, with the ability to connect instantly across the globe and a world needing us to take a critical look at ourselves, our institutions and our foundering sense of compassion, what else are we capable of?
Instead of wondering when the next attack on our freedom as individuals is going to come from, what do we dream of? In spite and because of our Sibley chart — a bag of mixed blessings — the most compelling moments in the timeline of our history are when we take the initiative to follow through on the impetus to change. We need to act in the full knowledge of our history, changing and transcending our history’s self-serving trajectory. Like our ancestors before us, if we are to become our history, it’s time to write a new chapter, one that will make future generations proud to look back.