Vashon Island, Friday, June 1, 2007

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Rainy Day Rickshaw Ride in Bandra, Mumbai. Photo by Priya Kale.
Rainy Day Rickshaw Ride in Bandra, Mumbai. Photo by Priya Kale.

Taking a Moment

By Judith Gayle

WE CONTINUE to race along on the astrological superhighway with potent transits that may have us feeling as if everything outside the window of our speeding vehicle is a blur. One thing blends into the next without time to adequately assess what we just saw. Welcome to the Aughts. (The first decade of any century seems to confound the English language; we don't know how to reference these first years -- me, I just like the sound of "aught.") And here we are beginning June of Aught Seven, dancing under the influence of a Blue Moon in Sagittarius.

The Saturn-Neptune opposition continues to define us, and a Uranus-Jupiter square will be poking its head in to bring us shocks and shifts, invite us to awaken. Everything seems to be happening in fits and starts, enjoined and then disconnected, begun and then embattled or betrayed. Part of our problems with the Aughts is that they're frustrating to the point of sheer exhaustion.

I was interested in how many retrogrades we'll be, hopefully, enjoying in the next weeks. Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto and Chiron are doing that mysterious "backwards" motion -- next month, Mercury and Uranus will join them. It would seem we're getting a little R&R...a little breather. Maybe the car will slow down just a little so we'll get a glimpse of what's outside the window -- or maybe we'll be looking inward and won't care what's out there.

Chiron retrograde seems especially potent to me. Our internal wounds are too often ignored as we "soldier on" with our lives. What we refuse to feel or benignly express shuts down our ability to function on an even keel. Life will always have its sorrows, but it provides us joys as well -- those who have burdened themselves with unresolved wounding are destined to keep the joys at arm's length and deny themselves balance. Chiron will provide us a moment to see if we're ready to release the old wounds that weigh us down and define us.

In fact, everything seems configured to allow us "a moment." Do you remember the wildly popular television series Ally McBeal from the late '90s? It was about the quirky adventures of a group of eccentric lawyers, the oddest of whom was a character named John Cage. John, played by Peter MacNicol, would "take a moment" -- close his eyes, pinch the bridge of his nose, fall into a long silence -- at the strangest times, in court, in conversation, leaving everyone around him bewildered and uncomfortable. As the least socially adept character, John's ability to go within himself whenever he needed focus proved, I thought, his strength. He took his "moment" no matter how those around him responded.

Cindy Sheehan, the political face of the antiwar movement, has "taken a moment," leaving those who admire and follow her to momentarily flutter in the breeze like a wind sock. Cindy has been vilified by the Right and used by the Left, and she's had enough of politics, or so she says. Early last weekend she announced that she was done with the Democratic Party, due to their retreat from holding Bush accountable for drawdown with their budget bill. On Memorial Day she "retired" from her leadership of Camp Casey, the compound in Crawford, Texas that she erected with the insurance money she received upon the death of her son in Iraq. Cindy hit that wall -- the one most of us have bumped up against in these last few years of change and reconfiguration.

It had to happen. It's happening for all of us. The old way of doing things, the straightforward resistance of the Old Paradigm, doesn't work anymore. We are being called toward a new way to deal with things, a new process, and we haven't quite determined what that is yet. Albert Einstein's contention that expecting a different outcome from doing the same things over and over is insane behavior has begun to take root in our experience. If we hit that wall of unchanged outcome enough times, we stop battering our heads against it. We take our moment. We learn.

We need new ideas to replace the old. The father of nonviolent resistance, Mahatma Gandhi, understood the metaphysical truth of replacing one idea with another. In a world of polarities, what we fight against is still a fight -- what we go to war with will bring war upon us. It's the "equal and positive reaction" theory. We are met with what we give out. I'm sure you've heard the old truism, "What you resist, persists." If you examine that in your own life, a light bulb will form above your head.

Gandhi superimposed another idea over the agenda the British had actualized in India. He saw a nation of brothers taking back their own country by simply refusing to cooperate. It was not a bloodless experiment, but it was a powerful one. Slowly the British decided that maintaining their rule in such an intractable nation was more trouble than it was worth. A brilliant idea that captures the imagination of the people will always sweep away an old, flawed one. That's what we're being called to do in this new century -- and I think that's why we're all hitting the wall. The grand ideas lay just beyond it.

In my own life, most everyone I know is hitting their wall, facing their fears, playing a resistance game. We're instructing ourselves and it's painful. I've found a few guidelines that are proving helpful, as we attempt to move forward. I'll offer them here; try them and see if they are useful to you.

1. Don't plan more than a few days in advance. You can have a general idea of what's next, but you will only frustrate yourself if you carve things in stone. The energies are disruptive now, perhaps designed so by a universe that will no longer allow us to sleep through our lives. With so much unknown, stick with short-term goals that serve the larger picture of those you consider long-term.

2. Don't try to push ahead as you've always done; move laterally. When we meet a boulder in the road, we don't try to carve our way through it -- we go around. Be creative as you consider your options. Try new things. Take some chances. We can't discover new processes unless we try them on for size. See if what's in your peripheral vision holds some options for you.

3. Follow your intuition. That's not like having a hunch about the numbers to play on the Lotto; it's more observing your body's response to incoming information and picking up on the nuances in your morphic field. You are constantly being instructed with subtle intelligence -- use it. You will know how to respond to whatever challenges you if you'll "take a moment" to listen to the information that's coming in. If you realize that something feels wrong to you, do not hesitate to pull yourself away from it. Learn to define the signals being sent by your instincts and begin to trust them, even if they tell you to do things that defy logic. Intuition is a dependable compass in this new energy.

Cindy Sheehan, by the way, is not leaving the movement. She quickly announced that she is redefining her participation. Said Cindy, "...we're going to see how we can come at this problem from a different angle."

Good. There is much to do yet, much to be. She has earned her right as a Gold Star Mother to continue to lead in new, creative ways. Here is a lesson I hope she's learned, or will soon. Mother Teresa was once asked to join an antiwar protest and she refused. "But if you hold a pro-peace rally," said this firecracker of a nun, "let me know."

A great idea will catch the imagination of the world and sweep the old away. A great idea, carefully nurtured and visualized, will change your circumstance as well. "Resistance is futile," intoned Star Trek: The Next Generation's hive-mentality nemesis, the Borg. Indeed. But a great idea? Divine!

That's a good thing to remember if you're standing in front of your wall, wiping your bloody nose. It's a new day, with a new set of variables to learn. There are new answers to old questions waiting to be discovered. There are great ideas swimming around in the collective, just waiting to surface. Perhaps we'll find them...if we all "take a moment."

CREDITS: Managing Editor: Priya Kale. Webmaster: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Proofreader and Fact checker: Sara Churchville. Horoscope Editor: Jessica Keet.

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