Originally published August 8, 2019 | Link to original
Dear Friend and Reader:
We can count everything happening now as the Pluto return of the United States. Though it technically starts in 2022 and extends a few years, we are presently in the vortex of this once per 248 years event. Current circumstances are, due to the rarity of this aspect, much more meaningful and influential than they may seem, especially in an era where everything is considered irrelevant.
There are three main elements to the U.S. Pluto return. One is the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of Jan. 12, 2020. I described this cycle in a few paragraphs in the most recent Monday Morning edition (third section).
In order to understand what is happening now — assuming you want to — this is essential reading. I have a couple of other pieces on the Pluto return that I will add in the P.S., below my signature.
The first element is the alignment on Jan. 12: Saturn and Pluto are joined by Mercury, the Sun and Ceres, all within about two degrees. That is how 2020 starts off. The second element is that this whole pattern forms a square to Eris in Aries.
Eris is not always as simple as discord (her Roman name was Discordia, patron saint of sci-fi author Robert Anton Wilson). In my 2007 monograph about Eris, I talked about the problem of personality fragmentation due to over-involvement with the internet. I’ll come back to that in a moment.
The Pluto-Eris Square
The third element, related to the second, is that Pluto-Eris square lasts for years, and is directly involved in the United States Pluto return: Eris will be square the U.S. Pluto, and Pluto will be conjunct its natal position. The position of the U.S. Pluto is that at the outset of the American revolution. So by current transits, the revolution that began in 1776 is being activated like it never has before — not even close.
The current discord of Eris involves living in a world where there is an epidemic of disembodiment. We are haunting the planet like ghosts in the machine, rather than fully inhabiting our bodies, our lives, our relationships, our work, or even our buildings. You can read more on this in my invisible environments article; I won’t go on about it here for too long, except to say that it’s a problem, and one that we can solve if we want.
Disembodied people tend toward violence. They also tend to be horny and don’t know how to connect with others, or trust them enough to do so. Disembodiment is the essence of the isolation we are feeling here in the digital age. The sexual desperation of our times smells like shorted-out electrical wiring getting hotter and about to burst into flames. Sexual desperation is so pervasive as to be environmental: it disappears. Like any environmental toxin, it is ubiquitous.
Guns and mass shootings are in the discussion again. This keeps happening, and it tends to go nowhere. We all thought that Sandy Hook Elementary School was going to be the shooting to end all shootings. That did not work out.
I grew up among gun lovers and NRA members, so a lot of what I’m hearing these days, I’ve heard over and over again and have had decades to analyze. Also, I’ve been tracking the mass shooting issue in Planet Waves for about 12 years. You don’t need a Ph.D. in psychology to understand that the greater the seeming threat, the more people think they need weapons, which increases their sense of threat, and therefore, the potential for violence.
Lesson 135: This Insane Belief
Students of A Course in Miracles will recognize the same principle applies to all defenses, as summed up in Lesson 135: If I defend myself, I am attacked. That is the fundamental logic of the ego: the very basis of its existence, and the place to start the unraveling. This is probably the “hardest” lesson of the 365, though the concept is simple enough to demonstrate to yourself. It just takes a little self-awareness.
Here is a paragraph, split in two for readability:
“You operate from the belief you must protect yourself from what is happening because it must contain what threatens you. A sense of threat is an acknowledgment of an inherent weakness; a belief that there is danger which has power to call on you to make appropriate defense.
“The world is based on this insane belief. And all its structures, all its thoughts and doubts, its penalties and heavy armaments, its legal definitions and its codes, its ethics and its leaders and its gods, all serve but to preserve its sense of threat. For no one walks the world in armature but must have terror striking at his heart.”
This is a picture of the endless loop in which we now live, guns or no guns. There is no political solution to this troubled evolution. It’s going to be a spiritual one.
It would seem that the first step toward the new American Revolution is going to be deciding to trust, and setting down our defenses. An essential step in this process is that you be trustworthy. That means keeping people’s confidences, showing up when you say you’re going to show up, and keeping your agenda transparent.
It’s About Trust
Various spiritual and other groovy traditions talk about love, and rarely talk about trusting and being trustworthy. The entire concept of love is so rooted in trust that without it, the notion of love is meaningless. But here is the challenge: once you open yourself up and trust, and show up, you will be disappointed: sometimes, occasionally or usually.
This is where the real work happens: of working out relationships, and cultivating trust. There is an art to this, which is a little like taking care of house plants, getting to know a cat, or learning a musical instrument.
Keep your expectations to a minimum. Give people some room to be themselves, and practice not being offended by trivial stuff. Notice who comes to you, and who notices you, and reward people for being friendly and generous (rather than punishing them, which is the world’s usual thing). Usually, you don’t know what you have until you offer it. Try making yourself available rather than avoiding people.
Have real conversations, and perhaps suspend categorizing things like friend, lover, date, not a date, interested for this, but not for that. See where the experience of a person takes you. If someone is mean, talk about it, and if that doesn’t work, then distance yourself.
One last thought. There will be no trust (particularly between men and women) until the sexual environment relaxes a little, or a lot. That specifically means until you relax. For that to happen, you will need to know yourself (as an active, daily, ongoing process). You will need to attend to your own injuries and wounds, so that they don’t become armor that keeps people away from you. This is a game of its own, and it has to stop, if we want any peace at all.
Part of what happens is we tend to project our negative experiences and expectations onto others, which is alienating. You cannot get to know someone this way. If you distrust someone merely for being attracted to you (or thinking that they are), you have the work to do, so do it.
There’s the real revolution: the mantra, “It’s not about them, it’s about me. It’s not about her, it’s about me. It’s not about him, it’s about me.” By that I mean your fears, your insecurities, your needs, your concerns, your untrusting thoughts, your jealousy, your fear, whatever. The people you can discuss this with will be potential friends and partners in healing as we wade into the future, or as it crashes over us like a wave.
With love and trust,