August 2014: World Without End
With all that's going on in the world—and in the skies—many people may find themselves turning to faith and spirituality to see them through. But as important as having faith or a personal spiritual practice can be, astrologer Eric Francis also points out the importance of taking action in the world. For this month's horoscopes, see August 2014 Horoscopes.
As Jupiter and the Sun entered Leo in late July (their conjunction was exact on Thursday, July 24), one event after the next has offered vivid and painful confirmation of a world in crisis. On the personal level, field reports are coming in with a diversity of responses to the current astrology, though I'm hearing stories in the "everything all at once" genre.
Mars just ingressed Scorpio last Friday, leaving Libra for the first time since it arrived in early December, the energy will ramp up even more, followed by yet another boost from the Leo New Moon conjunct Jupiter. Then over the next week, Mars moves into a square with Jupiter, representing another burst of energy.
The grand cross continues to be active, with Mars still at the edge of Libra, the South Node conjunct Eris, and both Mercury and Venus passing through the Uranus-Pluto square. That is a lot of astrology at once, and it represents what we are seeing and feeling.
With all the major events occurring throughout the world right now—from expanding military offensives and a string of air disasters to political turmoil and increasing environmental crises—what astrology could be behind all of this?
Before I go there, I have a question, in a few parts. Now that the extended sensory system we know as the media can bring us this information instantaneously, sending our eyes and ears to every disaster zone in the world, what are we supposed to do with this information?
I don't think it's of neutral value or lacking in purpose. But what is the purpose, and what is the appropriate response? We live in a time when the struggles of people and their communities are undeniable. We actually see and learn the details of how people are affected by global climate change, war, and other disasters.
Possessing that knowledge invokes a matter of conscience. This is not merely a question of how we're supposed to respond emotionally or even spiritually; or how we're supposed to "process" all this information. I believe there must be something more.
I will propose one response, which is that when there is chaos and turmoil, that's the cue to get one's house in order. By house, I mean the politics of one's community and all matters of leadership. As everything is unfolding, there is an astonishing social and political complacency that has taken hold on our society. Part of that complacency is a state of feeling overwhelmed—and, even if most Americans are busy, we still have pretty good lives.
If there is a spiritual piece to this, here is what I propose. Those who draw strength from being seekers on the path have access to additional strength so that they may actually respond in a meaningful way. It's one thing to pray and send light. It's another thing to be grounded in your faith and therefore have the clarity and strength to take action.
Uranus square Pluto—the astrology that marks our era—is most definitely a call to action, especially in cardinal signs Aries and Capricorn. Yet it's as if only the most reactionary elements of society are hearing, or responding to, the call of the current Uranus-Pluto aspect. Uranus square Pluto is the first and most significant astrological factor to look to, because it's the most potent, longest-term, and most pervasive aspect of our era. We are now heading for the sixth of seven exact squares between June 2012 and March 2015.
Since the Capricorn Full Moon two weeks ago, we have been getting the last burst of energy in the cardinal grand cross that has surrounded the Uranus-Pluto square all year. This includes Mercury and Venus currently passing through the territory. Mercury just made an opposition to Pluto, and Venus is about to—pushing ideas, images, and the feeling of death right in our faces.
But Pluto is also about the need—indeed, the unstoppable impulse—for transformation and change, and Mercury and Venus are making that deeply personal. Pluto is widely accepted as the planet of evolution, so we might ask whether that evolution involves any actual adaptation, change, or progress. We might ask whether it's a passive process, or an active one.
A Course in Miracles, which you might think of as part of the modern spiritual canon, states that spiritual practice is not necessary if someone wants to do the highest level work. It's made clear that habits, even the best ones, can become conceptual prisons that prevent actual progress. Further, healing is not distinguished as a special activity, but rather as something that can and indeed must be practiced at any moment or anywhere.
Spirituality is based on love, ethics, and willingness to involve oneself in life. It is natural, not a matter of debate, or of philosophy, or of intellect. A degree of mental training is involved for those who want to serve in a fully conscious way, and some specialized forms of healing require training or certification—but everyone knows that most of what practitioners know they learn from doing the work, not from school. The actual elements that qualify one as a healer are listening to the voice of God, all the time, and being willing to help, all the time.
God's voice speaks to me all through the day.
I am here only to be truly helpful.
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