There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today”
A friend of mine went on a rant on Facebook the other day. She’s a lovely woman whose posts are usually filled with warm tales of family, nature, and reflections on her Pagan spiritual life. She doesn’t often get angry, but now she was angry. Angry with the violence and hatred that was happening all around us, angry at the inability of our society to respond appropriately to the environmental crisis we are in the midst of, angry at the way people were treating each other. She detailed, in bullet points, about half a dozen of the things she had read about or seen that had brought her to this state, ending each point with “WHAT THE FUCK” in big capital letters.
I get it, and I bet you do, too. She summed up the anger and bewilderment so many of us are feeling, the frustration as ideals of warmth, caring, and the Golden Rule are honored mostly in the breach these days, ignored as too many of us revel in — or run for our lives from — orgies of hatred, violence, and environmental destruction, while too many of the rest of us turn our backs and try to ignore what’s going on.
“What the fuck?” indeed. We can look to the planets — particularly to Mars, the planet that rules anger — for some answers.
All planets have both beneficial and problematic expressions, and Mars, when it’s being a problem, expresses through conflict, fires, violence, riots, and explosions. It’s been very active in the Fire sign of Sagittarius — now it has moved into Capricorn, a sign where it is powerful, and will soon join its co-ruler of Scorpio, Pluto. In the New Moon chart, it is square to Jupiter, which inflates the expression of a planet that is already a formidable presence. This means we are going to be dealing with an empowered Mars for a few weeks, so let’s look at how we can work with it in a way that improves the world.
In addition to Mars, other planets are weighing in rather heavily — Saturn with existential angst, Neptune with inchoate fears of dissolution and loss of self. We are seeing a lot of people being burned by judgments or being judgmental or both as we try to discern how to create a world in which peace and justice prevail. At the same time, we are being flooded with images from our unconscious as we try to stabilize our growing awareness of spiritual realities.
Those spiritual realities are becoming much more present in our everyday lives. We have taken the materialist perspective as far as it will go, and we are coming face-to-face with the deeply toxic results of ignoring the origins of our physical world in the realm of spirit and consciousness.
So what do we do to counter these profoundly fearful, increasingly violent events and perspectives? We can use techniques of mind and spirit that evoke deeply-rooted change over time. There may be other things we can do that are more immediate and immediately effective: protesting, voting, running for office, volunteering to help those who need it, and these activities are an important and effective part of our spiritual lives as well. But the techniques of meditation, deep magic, prayer, visioning and focused attention are what catalyze permanent change.
To start, we can feel, acknowledge and express our anger, but then let it flow through us like a cleansing prairie or forest fire that clears the way for new growth, not a like a toxic underground fire fueled by a pile of discarded tires. Remember the injustice that triggered the anger — let it be a lit candle in your inner temple that reminds you of what you need to do and why. Because the engulfing fire of anger doesn’t make the changes. Anger only lets us know what must be changed, and clears the detritus of complacency from our minds and hearts, leaving us with work to do that requires empathy, connection and caring.
We humans have learned how to feed ourselves, stay warm, create interesting, fulfilling lives — simple survival should not be an issue for most of us in a just society — and yet we continue to fight, to pollute, to violate, kill, and humiliate each other. Why? WTF? The answers to that question are complex, but the answer to “What do we do about it?” must always start with “change ourselves”.
Each one of us is like a string vibrating on a guitar — set one string to vibrating and the others will resonate with it. We influence others as we are influenced by them, and we need to take responsibility for the energy we put into the world, and how we work with the external influences we encounter. This Libra New Moon helps us increase our sensitivity to the needs of others and appreciate and nurture the relationships in our lives. We’ll have plenty of opportunities to work on harmonizing with others. But if we allow ourselves to use anger as a bludgeon or an excuse for bad behavior, our relationships will suffer.
Anger is not the only fire Mars represents — passion and desire also fall under Mars’ purview. Yes, it rules sexual desire, but also the passions that drive us to move, to take action, to express our unique selves. It’s the proverbial “fire in the belly” that motivates us. Reconnecting with our deepest desires is a good place to start when we don’t know what to do with the anger that has been kindled inside us. Our desires will tell us how we can best direct our energy and determination to change the things we see in the world that we simply cannot tolerate.
What kind of world do you want to help create? What is your passion? What do you desire most in your heart of hearts? We all have different roles to play in the unfolding drama of a civilization coming face-to-face with its limits, a drama which will feature a number of people falling into extremities of fear and lashing out in anger.
And make no mistake — what’s going on is the dawning recognition of the unstable and unsustainable state of our world. The world that comes out on the other side of these changes in our society, in our civilization, in how we relate to each other — that will be the world we create, by our actions or our avoidance. Mars gives us the energy to build our relationships, our communities, or to destroy them. Each individual’s choices matter.
Venus rules this New Moon chart and reminds us that love has its own strength, and may well be the most powerful force in the world. But it does not force itself where it’s not wanted. It must be experienced and chosen. We have the free will to explore life without love. The question is, is this what we want? In the next few weeks, as Venus travels through Scorpio, we are encouraged to dig deep into our hearts and determine where we have gone off-course in our relationships — and the first relationship we must assess is our relationship to ourselves.
Be willing to look closely at how you treat yourself — and how you talk to yourself in your own mind. Stop beating yourself up, and perhaps you’ll find it’s easier to be honest and loving with yourself and others if you are not constantly cowering in front of your inner critic.
Look, too, at what has shut your heart down over the years, and figure out what needs to be done to reverse that process. As our society approaches the tremendous shifts involved in dealing with climate change, pollution and resource depletion, we will need all the courage and impetus Mars offers and all of Venus’ relationship skills to keep our hearts open to each other as we midwife a new way of living on this Earth.
It’s the work of a lifetime, and we’ll cycle through all the emotions humans are capable of as we do it. Right now, the level of anger is high and growing. Anger gets us moving, but only love — as the song goes — can conquer hate.