"O who knows what slumbers in the background of the times?"
--Johann von Schiller, Don Carlos
"Fire in the lake: the image of Revolution." This line from the 49th hexagram of the I Ching, "Revolution" aptly captures the essence of Sunday's fiery Leo Full Moon. All around the world, a jittery and uncertain mood prevails, along with strident calls for change. In this country, frightened citizens are stocking up on duct tape and food supplies; in Washington, D.C., where I write, military helicopters rumble loudly in the skies, while spiritual groups are mobilizing marches for peace. The tense jumble of fear, hope, anger, despair, and idealism roiling the atmosphere is reflected in the tight bundle of astrological aspects that, together, weave an historic pattern in the skies above:

  • Electric Uranus at 28 Aquarius conjuncts the Sun at 27 Aquarius and opposes the Moon at 27 Leo, creating a heightened atmosphere of radical revolution.
  • A potent and nearly stationary Saturn at 22 Gemini is within three degrees of opposing power-hungry Pluto at 19 Sagittarius. This is the haunting - and final - echo of the Saturn-Pluto opposition behind the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001.
  • A pushy Mars exactly conjunct Pluto at 19 Sagittarius (and moving toward opposition with Saturn on Feb. 20th) further exacerbates the Saturn-Pluto opposition. Although this aspect turns up the heat in a situation of mounting anxiety, it could break the stalemate that has dominated the world mood for the past year and a half.
  • Bold and expansive Jupiter at 11 Leo reaches the second of three oppositions to starry-eyed Neptune at 11 Aquarius, reaffirming the message that it is a time for visionaries to make their mark on the collective and plant the seeds of their heavenly dreams in the soil of Earth.
  • Finally, loving Venus at 14 Capricorn conjunct wounded healer Chiron at 15 Capricorn brings in a current of energy grounded in the feminine, opening hearts to the suffering of the oppressed and helpless victims who are caught in the current political trauma.

  • Given the volatile mix of the times, some may wonder how they are supposed to be. How, for instance, can individuals continue to uphold spiritual values and work for peace in the face of such overpowering darkness? The hexagram for "Revolution" in the I Ching offers insight to those who are continuing, despite circumstances, to work toward a new world: "What he does must correspond with a higher truth and must not spring from arbitrary or petty motives; then it brings great good fortune. If a revolution is not founded on such inner truth, the results are bad, and it has no success. For in the end men will support only those undertakings which they feel instinctively to be just."

    These wise words from the I CHing tell us that what matters most right now is to marry our inner work on the spiritual planes with awakened action in the world. They tell us to go inside the shelter of our hearts, and take refuge in the timeless message of all the peace workers, prophets, and mystics of the past. They tell us to ground ourselves in what is real and lasting. For though we may feel unsettled by the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, the threat of terrorist attacks, or impending war, it is still possible to make a difference. We cannot afford to lose faith that the work we do today - whether as insignificant as an email or as inconsequential as a telephone call - may one day bring about the change on Planet Earth that so many seek to make possible.

    So this Full Moon, take up the mantle of the visionary revolutionary and align your soul with who you really are and what you really stand for. See the world as you would like it to be - then determine a course of action. Treasure the beautiful dreams and ideals you envisioned at the last New Moon and take one small, practical action toward making them a reality.

    As we cross the threshold of these astrologically pivotal days, it may also help to keep in mind the old Chinese saying, "May you live in unsettling times." Contemplating this saying for its deeper meaning, it indicates that when the old has begun to break apart, an opening is created that allows the future to enter. Bearing these words in mind, go outside and lift your face toward the luminous globe in the sky - the same Full Moon that catches the glance of all people around the world. Then take a few moments, bravely open your heart, and let in the revolutionary new direction that is trying to make its way into our lives.

    (Watch for the Pisces New Moon March 2, 2003.)

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