While I am out of town, I am offering this beautiful essay from astrologer Rhea Wolf. Consider it a belated Happy International Woman’s Day gift, as well as my regular Goddess Sunday feature. I am sure this is not the only time this year that, instead of highlighting a conventional, historic Goddess, I’ll be holding up the magic mirror so that you (yes, and you boys, too!) can see the Goddess within you.
Blessed be! ~ Beth
Everything You Do is Sacred:
Spring Equinox 2012 Forecast
by Rhea Wolf
You may have heard that back in 2009 the Dalai Lama was speaking at an International Peace Conference when he declared that “The world will be saved by the western woman.” This phrase comes up again and again in articles, promotions for women’s events, etc.
Each time I see this quote, I react with an inner Right on! – I mean the Dalai Lama is an incredibly smart, intuitive guy – but I also wonder what led him to make such a prediction.
One thought I have is that as a Buddhist he understands so clearly the prison of duality. Maybe he also sees that in the Western world, it is women who have moved between the worlds of privilege and oppression. Perhaps he knows that it is the people who have experienced both and have an understanding of it that can find the way to help us break out of it.
“They listen to me but they don’t hear. They don’t have to hear. This is what it means to be among the colonizers, you do not have to listen to what the colonized have to say, especially if their ideas come from experience and not from books. They ask you if there is a book they can read that will explain what you are talking about. When it comes to thinking about the intersection of race and gender I stand alone.”
(bell hooks, Wounds of Passion)
For the past month, we have seen some truly disgusting displays of this dualistic worldview in the form of hatred and prejudice lobbed at women here in the United States. There are too many examples to name them all here.
What makes women’s issues especially volatile and susceptible to public scrutiny? Women and women’s issues are an easy target for those clinging tight to the old paradigm of duality, because they are inherently complex, mysterious, ambiguous issues, full of change and nuance.
The whole Spring is full of astrological indicators that this time is a ripening and a calling forth of women’s power – this complex, mysterious Feminine power. Remember that we all have access to the power of the Feminine.
With the three inner planets (Mercury, Venus and Mars) all experiencing a retrograde cycle and all linked by rulership, we are now in a deep crucible of changing how we see the world.
Astrologer Susan Carter writes:
“Think of all the emotional pain and mental dysfunction on the planet at this time. The real crisis is coming through the mind, affecting the emotions, and it is personal. Don’t forget our thoughts now affect our world on increasing levels and in a faster amount of time. Physically, this translates into high force winds and unusual, harsh weather patterns. Group thought affects weather…We are all wrestling with our personal demons so that we can walk forward into the new world, and it is our choice, no one is forcing us to do this.”
We are in-between. We are not yet able to fully realize the magnitude of change that’s in store for us. And the old, dying paradigm is thrashing and gripping tighter than ever before as it stares into the void of its own demise.
We can’t go on believing that we are these separate, disconnected individuals. Duality is a done game. Time’s up on that lie which took each thing and separated in into different camps: man/woman, black/white, good/evil, left/right, true/false, alive/dead, etc.
Some examples of the breakdown of duality are the recognition of more fluid definitions of gender and the well-documented effect of observer bias on scientific experiments. Even good and evil can’t be defined so easily, as our suffering makes us stronger/wiser and our most righteous intentions have unintended negative consequences.
How do we heal dualism, using it occasionally as a handy tool for categorization, while still understanding it as a destructive worldview?
There is no longer comfort in duality, and I think it was comforting to us for a few centuries. But as the dualistic worldview loses its ability to accurately describe our world, the fundamentalists are having a nervous breakdown.
They are not alone. We are all breaking down in many ways, and we all have a part of us that despises ambiguity, complexity and change, which is the hallmark of fundamentalism. That’s why we gravitate toward certainty, clear rules to follow, dogma and decrees. Because the lack of certainty brings up fear.
Do you see what I’m saying? This part lives in each one of us and the people who are now saying such hateful, ignorant things in public are alerting us to the dying that has to happen to this way of thinking.
Looking at the Spring Equinox chart, I see that grounded, humble action is called for to heal the sickness and oppression not only in regard to women’s issues, but also with institutions of faith and religion. Small, practical actions that center on self-care, body-mind health, and contact with the self-renewing cycles of nature are vital right now.
I’ve written before about how we are in a period of new growth that was seeded in the 1960’s, and that this period included dramatic shifts in the specific areas we see emerging now.
It was the birth of the 2nd Wave of Feminism as well as what would become the “moral majority” or “values voters” movement. There are problems, diseases, afflictions with both movements that need to be addressed. And I think it has to do with our attachment to dualism, to being right, to wanting a way to clearly delineate.
You can find all about me / coming close and letting go
of who you might think I am
before you come inside and let me be real
and you become real to me.
~ from “Skin Again” by bell hooks
Beneath the drama of the broader world, people want healing. It’s time to cleanse our emotional and spiritual visions. The spirit of Venus is rising to help us do exactly that.
Later this spring, Venus begins a new 8-year cycle and passes across the surface of the Sun, an event that occurs only once every century. Astrologer Richard Giles writes that these cycles “are fecund moments for new ideas and world change. Previous cycles show that global communications and a shift in consciousness regarding the scope and nature of the world are all part of these transits.”
We’ll be exploring more of the Venus cycle in the coming months. For now, I want to remind you that this is a time to be focusing on your inner world. Again, Susan Carter writes, “If we try to fight the outer world before we calm our inner world, our efforts will result in constant struggle.”
If the Western Woman is indeed the one who “saves the world” it will not be the world we live in today. It will be a radically transformed place born out of lifting the veil on duality. This world will rise when we begin to understand that we are all real, able to be with complex, mysterious, ambiguous ideas without resorting to either/or, us/them constructs.
What area in your own life feels confusing, ambiguous, and complex? Write about how you experience this, what you feel about it, and what each part of the situation wants to tell you. How might these different parts be drawn together? Look at this issue from the viewpoint of another life form (animal, plant, fungi).