Planet Waves

Glimmers of Light
By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

Glimmers of Light
Where the light is. Photo by Sharon Bellenger.
THE EXTREME nature of our many personal and political challenges was reflected in the New Moon eclipse on Sep. 11 complete with a Grand Cross in mutable signs -- a triple whammy; this was the companion to our Full Moon lunar eclipse on Aug. 28, popping us into a petri dish of dramatic possibilities.

Add to this week's bombshell the emotional anniversary of the Towers falling and the long-anticipated Petraeus Report that, as expected, "stays the course" and hopes to pour enough soothing rhetoric on our tattered sensibilities to put us back to sleep for another six months. Toss in news of a declining dollar that hasn't been this devalued in 15 years and a flattened housing bubble that's put even the McMansions in jeopardy, mix it with talk of a coming recession and you've got quite a potent little angst-producing cocktail -- a Stinger comes to mind. Oh, and let's not forget our covert provocations with Iran, and the overt establishment of a base four miles from the Iraq/Iran border and moving in British troops. Hey, barkeep -- make that a double!

With explosive Uranus opposing the Virgo eclipse, and squared by aggressive Mars, war and conflict is much on our plate -- the fourth leg of our cross is an expansive Jupiter, inflating the issues like a Jolly Jump at a kid's birthday party. Uranus is the pin that can reduce all that hot air to a crumpled puddle of vinyl, of course -- just as General Dave prepared to give his report on the Hill, for instance, news came that two of the seven daring soldiers who wrote a recent and controversial New York Times editorial questioning "the mission" had been killed; a third had received a head wound as the article was being written. And as Petraeus spoke (not sworn in, by the way) to the Senate about Bush's "largely successful" surge, insurgents rocked US headquarters in Baghdad with mortar fire, killing one and wounding 11. Reality check, eh? If you're just learning about this as you read this article, you can thank the Holy Trinity of the Bush administration -- unitary Executive, secretive Pentagon and complacent media.

We've come to our turning point, now. We've all had enough; we can't see a future ahead that offers us easy passage and we're looking to end this forward thrust into continued mayhem. The Virgo Saturn certainly offers us a way backward into a working relationship with reality, although Virgo tends to nitpick, to seize a project in its teeth and shake it until it's dead; with the overwhelming amount of broken promises, systems and social contracts that we see around us, pick for this intensity of attention is problematic. Throwing things into reverse will make us look in the rearview mirror, and that comes with this warning: Objects in mirror are closer than they appear. For a nation that's spent years refusing to look at how bad things were getting, turning its gaze to all that's crumbling around it is daunting, to say the least. And hitting on all pistons, the cosmic engine driving this energy is working not only globally and nationally, but personally, giving us hard realities about our own lives and habits.

When a New Moon coincides with a solar eclipse, we're crunching cycles; we're completing energy and seeding anew at the same time. Something must be surrendered if we are to move ahead into new possibilities. Virgo is a bit of an extremist, itself -- it has a strong drive toward perfectionism that can get in the way, if we aren't mindful. We walk a tightrope between idealism and pragmatism now. The Eclipse itself was part of a sequence begun with a long-forgotten energy thrust occurring in 1917, during World War I; our problems in this nation and around the world aren't new, no matter how immediate they may seem. They are the very definition of the challenge to new paradigm thought that is seeking healing and integration, from issues of poverty and worker rights to the military-industrial complex. If we impose too rigid a sense of perfectionism on the solutions we select, personal and political, we are doomed to fail, lost in unworkable detail; maybe that's the very thing we must give up in order to push forward. It's messy out here in the real world -- maybe we need to get the big stuff right, pick our battles and avoid getting hoist with our own petard of quibble.

Cruising around the blogosphere, I found lyrics to a song by Leonard Cohen called Anthem; you may want to listen to it at the link below. It's the kind of song that lifts you up while simultaneously smacking you around.
The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring ...

You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
                                                       -- Leonard Cohen, Anthem
"Cracks in everything" certainly reflects what I see around me, at the moment; I can't think of a single person, place or thing that hasn't been bruised and battered, changed and challenged, in these last years as we face the collapse of what we've always known, readying for what we will birth in the coming years. And, truly, the fleeting glimmers of light we catch in our peripheral vision are all that leads us forward. As we effort toward the maturity to understand the paradox of life only love will keep us safe, how only forgiveness will bring us peace...we are standing in the ruin of what was, yearning for what can be. We're on the journey we all came here to take -- the cosmos must be very confident of the souls that ride the Big Blue Marble today, to have presented us this challenge and this promise of evolutionary leap. Remember that, when the Virgo "heart-clutch" comes to call -- when that critical, no-nonsense eye points itself at you for a thorough analysis and housecleaning; no matter what your faults or failings, you're here at the Turning of Ages, and that cannot be random. You came to add your piece of it, and your piece is critical to our collective becoming.

The good news is that we are no longer in the holding pattern that kept us from moving ahead; that's the bad news, as well ... it's time to move on what we intuit is important, to act on what we think is critical, and that's a bit intimidating. Time to "show up" using what our mind tells us in concert with what our heart demands. Ready, set, GO! What? You haven't prioritized your list yet?

In this critical moment when there seem so few road signs along the path, let me point us back to our Higher Angels and, here in America, to a remarkable document called the United States Constitution that defines who we are. It's another of those things that has taken a beating during these Bush years; many say it has been "shredded" by the administration, its Amendments ignored by government and its intent corrupted -- but it is whole if we will insist it is...and we must. This founding document has been the check and balance in harder times than these: in a Civil War that divided the nation into warring factions that counted nearly a million casualties, in a Great Depression that brought commerce to its knees and a standard of living so stringent that it put a psychological imprint on two generations. The Constitution has been the touchstone in our ability to keep our heads in time of trouble, keep our vision when it has faded -- without its guiding principles we are no longer America, but something less.

In an absurd bit of irony, you should know that our president has declared the third week in September as Constitution Week.
Planet Waves is planning a series of articles around this event and I encourage you to take time to read them. I'm sure you've had the disorienting experience of trying to make things work and hitting a wall with a resounding thud; this seems to be part of the density pattern we're enduring as we're called upon to find new ways to get things done, new paths around seemingly immovable hindrances. Reclaiming our country and her future has become such a project. As we decide who we wish to be personally, creatively and as citizens, what we wish to value, we must remind ourselves that there is nothing more important to our freedom than the restoration of the protections guaranteed by rule of law, and the principles of justice and reason that will lead us into the new century.

There is much old behavior and understanding we will be required to surrender in this great birthing of consciousness, but the concept of liberty as defined by our Constitution will never be outdated. The past has produced us as the people we are; we must take the best of it with us into the future. The Liberty Bell, an American icon displayed in Philadelphia, was rung often during the Revolutionary War, and in 1776 to summon citizens to a first reading of the Declaration of Independence. It was rendered unusable in 1846 and put on permanent display. This icon of liberty was cracked from the very beginning, history tells us -- looking back, all these years later, I'm thinking it wasn't a was to let the light in.

CREDITS: Associate Editor: Priya Kale. Webmaster: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Proofreader and Fact Checker: Sara Churchville. Horoscope Editor: Jessica Keet. Business Manager: Chelsea Bottinelli.
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