Planet Waves

The Shadow Knows
By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

WAY BACK when I was a tot, radio took its last gasps as our primary source of entertainment, giving way to the advent of television -- a small box capable of light and shadow, complete with rabbit ears and chairs drawn close, in the living rooms of America.  My mother would turn the radio on beside my bed to lull me to sleep, a kind of required psychic overload for many an exhausted, mutable child. I vaguely remember the signature laugh and growl of the superhero, The Shadow, as I drifted into dreams -- a man who was able to move invisibly among villains and criminals to reap vengeance and serve justice. The Shadow came to us as a "serial," a kind of early, fantasy-driven soap opera. An entertaining movie of the same name was released in 1994, heavy with lively special effects and nostalgia for the 30s, reintroducing The Shadow to those who had forgotten him.

The Shadow saw everything -- slipping unnoticed into the midst of his opponents, nothing could remain hidden. The man who was able to morph into Superhero at will had a troubling and mysterious past, great sins and cruelties attributed to him; his quest to right wrongs was driven by his guilt and search for redemption. No sun-kissed, muscular boy-wonder like Superman, this -- the the alter-ego of Lamont Cranston--was darkly dressed, masked and menacing. Among his powers was the ability "to cloud men's minds." The Shadow was really a kind of Super Anti-hero, an "everyman" struggling with his lower impulses, working out the darkness within his soul.

Saturn and Neptune have danced in opposition for a couple of years now, taking us for a ride into delusion and distortion that could have used a Lamont Cranston protecting a drowsy public. Alas, Lamont was a product of that same Neptunian muse that feeds all entertainment -- and takes us on journeys outside of the sharp-edged realities we wish to escape. In a few weeks, Saturn will be moving into Virgo and bidding farewell to Neptune, and the fog will continue to lift on the state of our lives, our nation, our planet...but the shadows will remain.

The man who created much of the smoke and mirrors for the Bush administration, "Bush's Brain," Karl Rove, has turned in his resignation -- many of the political cartoons show a little Mini Me carrying a briefcase, opening the top of George's skull to gain exit. Karl has been credited with the Republican wins in the last years, but blamed for the chicanery that resulted in voting violations and the unsubstantiated rumor-mongering that often tipped the balance of votes. Heralded as a political genius, Karl used every dirty trick in the book to get his wins -- but he made a few missteps in the fall of '06, losing both the House and Senate for the Republicans. He seemed...they all seemed...amazed that such a thing had happened. Neptune works both ways, I suppose -- the smoke and mirrors we produce blind us, as well as those we would blind.

Rove's astrology was interesting at that point -- in November of '06, Pluto conjuncted Karl's Chiron at 25 Sagittarius, hovering on the edge of the Galactic Center. Transformation was possible, the healing of old wounds, service to the whole -- imagine the power for change and renewal of such a transit within proximity of the GC. It does not appear that Karl used the energy for such an endeavor; he has continued to serve the administration with the signature arrogance of an insider and has been protected by the White House from testifying to Congress about his complicity in "outing" Valerie Plame, an active CIA agent. The political pundits suggest that Bush's decision to allow Scooter Libby to be the fall guy for this illegal activity, rather than his "brain," has made Rove an enemy of Dick Cheney, Libby's boss. Rove would have been the logical choice to throw to the courts, directing attention away from the Vice President's office where the smear campaign began and giving him needed cover for his other dark dealings. Of course, such a move would have directed attention to the President.

Obstruction, innuendo, trickery, "swift boating" -- all's fair in love and politics, evidently.  Certainly the backroom deal and twisted skulduggery has become accepted as the "new" face of politics. The kind of zeitgeist Neptune's influence has brought us (in this country, especially) is still shocking to me, even after years of micro-managing news and politics. It's hard for me to believe we're such rubes, so easily suckered, so willing -- indeed, seemingly eager -- to believe lies that are glaringly obvious and illogical. But even those who "believe" with all their hearts must have experienced that moment's hesitation, that uncomfortable awareness somewhere within them that nothing is as it appears. We know that, deep within us, because WE are not as we appear.

In the late '80s, I read a book called I Came as a Brother: A Remembrance of Illusions -- it was channeled material, very gentle and wise -- and it was followed by several others in the same vein. One chapter impressed me most. It discussed the "shadow side" of our human psyche, encouraged us to get in touch with this repressed energy and take a good look at it, explaining that it was a part of us that was very much a bastard child, the part of us we refused to "own." The concept was fresh enough at that time to grab my attention, and those of us interested in analysis, spiritual growth, and Eastern thought quickly began to work with the concepts...that small handful of us, certainly not a mainstream movement of any sort. Too bad it didn't catch on. Our shadow-side has been ignored even more blatantly in the last years, with Pluto cruising through Sagittarius and expecting us all to choose between "right" and "wrong" -- between "good" and "bad." The brother in the book title, an entity identified as Bartholomew, urged us to meet and greet our shadow-self; one passage suggested that if we did not know where to begin, we should ask a trusted friend to identify it FOR us. It's that obvious. It walks along with us, because it IS us. Your friends can find it for you, if you can't; they could probably identify it for you without twitching a whisker.

It's easier, of course, to notice someone else's shadow -- I see George Bush's shadow-self every time he opens his mouth. All that he says he is has been defined by that "other" part of him, and he apparently does not see the hypocrisy, or he'd stop babbling his disconnected rhetoric about "evil empires" while we torture, spy and sell arms to suspect nations ourselves. And if logic is the element missing in our Neptunian fog, then we can use logic to note that if the shadow-sides of George Bush and those who follow him have us by the short hairs, then there are other shadows we should be aware of, as well. Our own, for instance. What we cannot fathom or accept in ourselves, we project out onto others. Islamofascists frighten George Bush to distraction -- and his preoccupation with them frightens us into despair. Our common denominator is fear. What aren't we seeing? What have we chosen not to look at? What portion of ourselves do we have to acknowledge before we can move on from this tragic landscape?

The Universe is ever and always about balance. Our current imbalance should inform us that we've tipped too far, that there's something missing from the conversation -- someone, perhaps, that represents the parts of ourselves we have dismissed as illegitimate. Hatred, anger, fear, racism, bias, elitism -- these are the flaws that reside within the collective -- and, dearhearts, the collective is US. What we refuse to see in ourselves will play out around us until we are ready to choose to look, and I'm pretty tired of all this. Aren't you? 

Newton's Law tells us that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction; the spiritual community tells us that no matter how "dark" things appear, an equal amount of "Light" is produced to bring it back into balance. The Judeo/Christian propaganda about the dark side of ourselves is that it must be beaten back, silenced, repressed -- but look what that's gotten us. We cannot be afraid of what we do not know about ourselves and expect to become authentic. Unless we can activate our human wholeness by accepting what we disapprove about ourselves, we will remain Third Dimensional creatures, unable to get the full picture -- unable to love ourselves free from the frights in the night that drive us.

So here's my proposition. Maybe you could invite your shadow-side in for a chat? I'll do it if you will! I'm thinking there's a wealth of information we haven't wrapped ourselves around because we've been afraid to look -- I'm thinking there's progress to be made by offering our willingness to engage the part of ourselves we've silenced. I think there's a lot to gain if we suspend judgment and get brave enough to do that. The Shadow knows. Invite him/her 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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