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By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

SURE-FOOTED. THAT'S how one pundit described Obama's campaign this last week, comparing it to the erratic, shifting soap opera that the McCain/Palin run has become. That word resonated a little a-ha moment in my astrologer's heart; gave me a cosmic assurance that we're right where we need to be.

Last week I gave a nod to retreating Pluto in Sagittarius; the Centaur gave us the best and worst of it, hooves ripping up the ground while the aspiring aim of his arrow never wavered from the transcendence shining high above him. Now we are poised on Pluto in Capricorn; enter the patient, deliberate and, yes, sure-footed Goat. Talk about grounding, and not a moment too soon.

One of the benefits of studying astrology is that it gives us a sense of the holographic nature of the universe. We go in circles, repeating patterns, discovering the sameness of everything and charting our shifting response. Another word for this, I presume, would be experience. It is our experience that shapes us and, hopefully, builds our character and informs our decisions.

Chiron has finally gone direct; we have reviewed the holograms of our past, personally and politically, since May. When Chiron joined Neptune on the North Node, representing the future, it activated the opposition to the South Node; the collective representation of what holds us back. It has been a dreadful review, awakening beasts we'd hoped were long dead, and raising the specter of violence, racism and even assassination. As Chiron moves ahead, are we ready, now, to release the past and step into something new?

Who gets your vote this year will reveal the result of this cathartic period; what has your mirror shown you? Are you still fighting old wars against oppression -- or are you yielding to the possibilities? Are you still resisting the perpetually wrong-headed -- or turning your thoughts to solutions? Can you see that the time has come to superimpose a productive agenda over a failed one? Do you feel the little cosmic click that tells us it's time to do everything differently?

Looking to find that one magical talking-point that would stop Obama's sweep, John McCain and his sidekick Sarah Palin have settled on socialism; an anachronistic buzzword suitable to strike sparks of distress and disdain in our elder's brains, and create fear in younger ones. The Democratic candidate wants to redistribute the wealth, they tell their followers; take it from your very pocket, my friend, and give it to some unworthy who hasn't worked for it and neither deserves it nor appreciates it. The Republican candidates will stop this dreadful liberalism in its tracks!

Republicans are the messengers of authority; they sell their politics by selling themselves, not their policies. You won't find this kind of psychology on the Left. Democrats are messengers of the collective and their policies define their aspirations for everyone. Even when Bush was in his heyday, with Republicans taking everything they wanted (and without the slightest nod to progressive concerns), their justification for every Neoconservative whim was defended as their attempt to bring the nation back to its "moderate Right" majority. For a time, we all believed this must be so; then we saw that the Emperor had no clothes.

Newsflash! America is not a moderate Right nation; it has been the progressive model for the world since it signed its Declaration and it continues to lean Left. Our civil liberties used to set us apart from nations everywhere. Our Constitutional guarantees were the envy of the globe. The can-do attitude of the American spirit has dazzled the world. It is the nation of big ideas and self-determinism.

Yet when Social Security was instituted, the hue and cry was, "Socialism!" Decades later, when Medicare was established, the screams from the Right were, "Socialism!" Everything the Left considers an entitlement, the Right considers a redistribution of wealth, assault upon their right to super-achieve and a plot by free-thinking, hippie-type, tree-hugging radicals. (I presume they mean me.)

Every Democratic administration has been scrutinized by the Republicans for any sign of socialism, which they read as giveaway. The Democrats see the same issue as ... wait for it ... governance. Perhaps this explains why Republicans so often leave a hefty national debt and a war to clean up after, while Democrats refine social systems, repair infrastructure and expand freedoms; or try to, anyway, given the financial obligations they invariably inherit.

It is the growing, adaptable forms of government that prove stable over the long run and reality can only be ignored until it bites us in the behind. Conservative pundit George Will came down on reality's side last weekend, when he told Sunday television viewers that 95% of government IS redistribution; how else do we mend roads, sustain fire and police stations, fund schools and attend our civic responsibilities? Is that not providing for the commonwealth?

It's the absurdity of our times that the argument for American boots on the ground in Iraq has been sold on the need to provide stability, while the instability of governance here in the States has brought us to a near standstill; in Iraq, we're still waiting for that illusive political determination that would prompt liberty on its way -- as are we, here in our own nation.

Those on the Right consider Obama an amalgam of everything they fear: they've been helped along by a dishonest, radical Palin and a complacent, ambitious McCain. There's been an uptick in the knee-jerk reactions that fear produces; violence, slander, anger, desperation. We're in the thick of it now, and I don't foresee those problems evaporating once we have a president-elect in place. We have opened the box of our darkest inclinations; we must empty it completely if we are to scatter its ashes.

And now we're only days away from a new choice; there are some out there who think such an exercise will not change very much. They easily distance from the inspiration and hope Mr. Obama offers us; they see him as just another politician in the pocket of the establishment. They see only a hair's difference between Obama and McCain, and consider both candidates as willing stewards of PNAC, or the Bildenberg Group, the Carlyles -- perhaps even the Illuminati. These are the mega-monied, uber-powerful, behind-the-curtain groups that are whispered to make the big moves on the global chessboard and create opportunities for more personal wealth and less public liberty.

Barack Obama has come from far behind and bested mainstream politicians that had the backing of the powerful; his is a grassroots movement. He may or may not be in the pocket of these big shakers; certainly he must know many of them, or he couldn't have gotten this far with his baggage of race and political inexperience.

That list includes the names of powerful political brokers across the globe, many of which you would recognize. I doubt seriously if he is "one of them," given his short tenure in Washington but he may look compliant and controllable, mild mannered as he is; I think they might be surprised. I think we'll find some steel in that long, straight spine of his.

Democracy is an evolving process; it is established and tended event-by-event, decision-by-decision. Government has swung so far to the Right in these last thirty years that coming back toward center is, in itself, a dramatic event; we must take back this political landscape bit-by-bit, law-by-law, and bring it to balance. The President of the United States is the person who sets the direction for such a project. Obama is a progressive; perhaps he's more of a centrist than you or me -- or maybe he's just a realist. But clearly there is no one else on the horizon that has drawn to himself both the power to launch us into change or the understanding of its urgency.
This is one of those moments. I realize you're cynical and fed up with politics. I understand that you're disappointed and even angry with your leaders. You have every right to be. But despite all of this, I ask of you what's been asked of the American people in times of trial and turmoil throughout our history. I ask you to believe -- to believe in yourselves, in each other, and in the future we can build together.

--Barack Obama in Reno, Nevada
I know it's difficult not to be cynical. We've seen so much, been lied to so often; discovered how we've been played by those who want to control us. In yet another echo phase, we've roused the ghost of mistrust that was first sucked from the warped soul of Richard Nixon and that first wave of spiritual yearning in the 60s, of pushback from the Liberal community; we have not trusted government for generations. But cynicism is self-defeating. I was struck by a quote from Milton Mayer's book, They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45:
"...most Germans came to believe everything, absolutely everything; but the rest, those who saw through the nonsense, came to believe nothing, absolutely nothing. These last, the best, are the cynics now, young and old."
Skepticism is healthy, we would be better off if we'd had more of it in the last years -- cynicism is not. It tosses out the baby with the bath water, and like it or not, here in 3D there's always a baby being bathed: a law being considered, a scandal in the making, an international event turning our heads. These acts, one after another, change the landscape of all our lives; we ignore them at our peril. Our democratic process depends on our involvement and awareness, and our aspiration for a better choice and brighter day.

Cynics, to paraphrase from Stephen King's The Stand, "propose nothing in the sight of God." They move us neither forward nor backward, and life itself is an expression of movement. Cynicism is understandable, but not admirable. Like it or not, faith is required in this incarnate dance we do on planet Earth, and where we put our faith defines us. A Course in Miracles tells us to teach only love, for that is what we are. What are we teaching others with our lives and opinions?

A number of spiritual leaders have backed Obama, including Marianne Williamson and Deepak Chopra. They resonate to his message because his words have moved them, his demeanor has impressed them and they've felt his resonance with the paradigm shift. Unlike the cynics, they've believed in something. They've anticipated this new thing. They're anxious to move ahead with this great experiment; their faith is in the process, not the person, even though they have embraced him.

As for me, I voted for Obama a few weeks ago by absentee ballot; democracy is an interactive process that requires each of us to open to logic and experience as well as our heart as we make our choice. I am not naive about the system or the politician, but I am heartened and hopeful about the man himself. Extraordinary events will shape both our times and our leaders; I believe Obama is prepared to represent all of us and turn our attention back to the possibilities of a new century.

I hope you will vote in this coming election; I can't remember one so important to the future of the planet. I hope you will resonate to the highest possibilities, rather than the lowest. Perhaps Ron Paul or Cynthia McKinney or Ralph Nader or Bob Barr will get your vote because you can no longer tolerate the systemic politics of the mainstream candidates. Perhaps you won't vote at all; that is your choice in a free society.

Yet, in these extraordinary times, there is another perspective that should be factored into your choice. Good cannot be forced upon us; and if we believe that evil is everywhere we look, the potential for good will go begging. What we resist persists -- that is the metaphysical maxim.

What we fight against takes our power and locks us in never-ending combat; we would be better off giving it our indifference, and working to establish alternatives that would catch fire in the human imagination. Powerful new ideas force flawed ones into the shadows, and lift us above what works mischief in our lives. Good awaits us if we are willing to step forward and call it into being.

My litmus test for accepting good has to do with how effortlessly it happens; when something feels right, it seems to rush forward as quickly as I can grab it. Barack Obama was a nobody in 2004; he galvanized us with a speech that touched our hearts. Now, in 2008, he has swept up the country in his hopeful message and made us feel that we are once again part of this democratic process. Improbably, Obama has rushed toward us with a message of inclusion -- will we grasp his hand?

We are in the cross-quarter period of Samhain, the Greater Sabbat of the pagan tradition -- between Halloween and November 7th, we are immersed in a kind of death/rebirth process. We've reviewed the past, we've honored it and now we set a new intention for what is to come. Astrologically, the Saturn/Uranus opposition has the past and present at cross point; one signal represents structure and the other brings us sudden change and restless idealism. We are poised on a stunning mix of energies, shifting and fluid with possibilities.

We have everything in place to tap into the creative force of the Universe as we move our democratic process forward. Are our higher angels whispering to us now? Are we listening to the din outside of us, seizing upon the old rules from the old paradigm, or do we hear the small voice within asking us to step into the future? I think that will depend on how much we've opened our hearts in the last eight years.

Chaos did not come to America, or the world, randomly. It came from within humankind's conflicted psyche and wounded self-esteem; it came as our full-length mirror. After long years of experience, of seeing what we don’t want, our selection in this election will give us a clearer portrait of our post-Bush self -- what we believe in, what we hope for, what we embrace.

There is no wrong choice on November 4th, of course; it will simply be our own self-definition that we're expressing. I'm sure you know that we're all making this up as we go along? We each play our part in what comes next.

Still, if you cannot vote with joy, I'd suggest that you do not do it at all. But if you can bring your hope, your aspiration and your vision to this moment, then celebrate it not as a duty but a privilege; not as a fight against the darkness but an embrace of the light. This election is not about taxes or health care or the war on terrorism; this election is about shift. Where do we want to go next?

I'll leave you with a passage from Ken Carey's Return of the Bird Tribes, published almost twenty years ago. This is where I put my faith: in the step-by-step process that lifts us into love. I put my faith in us; fully aware, actualized and whole. And so, from everything I've seen and felt in the last two years, does the Democratic presidential nominee, who asks us to help him change the world.
Something is touching down upon this earth, something from the stars. Something is landing upon the still waters of hearts that trust in God, speaking to the hearts of people who love.

Each splashing wave of time brings another moment, another doorway, another opening, inviting the awakening children of the earth to feel the flutter of spirit in their consciousness, to feel the brush of angel wings, to allow the waters of their hearts to be still and to live each moment with greater love, honesty, caring and compassion than ever before. So it is that the balance of the Sacred Hoop is restored. Moment by moment, you become more incarnate.
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