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You say you want a Revolution? Alright!

You say you want a revolution?
Well, you know, We’d all love to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know, We’d all love to change the world

But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out
Don’t you know it’s gonna be
All right, all right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know, We’d all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know, We’re all doing what we can

But if you want money for people with minds that hate
Well all I can tell you is brother you have to wait
Don’t you know it’s gonna be
All right, all right, all right

You say you’ll change the constitution
Well, you know, We’d all love to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know, You’d better free your mind instead

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don’t you know it’s gonna be
All right, all right, all right…

~ The Beatles, August 1968

These are undoubtedly revolutionary times, dontchya think?! Lately, I’ve read a number of articles comparing our sensational time in history with the tumultuous year 1968, and as much as it can be unnerving to experience this much upheaval on a personal or social level, from the astrological point of view it makes perfect sense.

John Lennon wrote the lyrics to Revolution while the Beatles were at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh in early 1968. It was meant to express his disgust with the Vietnam war and the violent protests surrounding it, but the Transcendental Meditation they were practicing with their guru inspired the lines “You know, it’s gonna be alright” because he knew, ultimately and on a higher plane, it would be.

Minor planet Chiron’s orbit is located in the space between conservative Saturn and unpredictable Uranus. Historically, when Chiron shifts into Aries – as it will on April 17th – there are major social and political upheavals. When Chiron shifts from the suffering and martyrdom of Pisces into the individual drive for validation of Aries, we assert our role and image in society, especially along the lines of race, gender, sexuality and social hierarchy. Barriers come down and new identities are asserted.

In 1918, Chiron left Pisces for Aries at the end of March. That year saw, among other major events, the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and voting rights for Polish, German and British women (as well as more British men) for the first time (following on from Canada and the USSR the year before). The Great War (WWI) was coming to a painful end, and returning soldiers (physically and psychologically damaged by war) were having to find themselves a new role in society. These were just some of the responses to longstanding and painful social changes already in the works.

Charlie Chaplin’s silent film “A Dog’s Life” about the friendship and struggles of an unemployed misfit, a stray dog and a disillusioned young woman, was released in April 1918, just as Chiron moved into Aries. Nelson Mandela was born on 18 July 1918, and powerfully upheld the Chiron in Aries symbolism of self-assertion and spiritual warriorship. This was also the year of the Kheda Satyagraha led by Mahatma Gandhi, who organised a successful peaceful protest movement to support peasants in the Kheda district in Gujarat who were unable to pay the high taxes imposed by the British Raj because of a massive famine (for which Imperial British policy was partly to blame) and a plague epidemic.

Spiritual warriors emerged as a powerful theme once more when Chiron moved into Aries again in 1968, made more intense by the conjunction of Pluto and Uranus which fed the revolutionary energy of 1965-1968. Conservative forces pushed back powerfully against the changes demanded by a growing wave of free-thinking, almost utopian, social interest groups around the world. From peaceniks to gay rights activists, feminists and black power advocates, people were finding their voices and social changes were underway.

Things don’t generally go smoothly in this energy – Aries carries the combative energy of Mars, after all. Uprisings were quashed in Poland in March 1968, partly a response to the Six-Day War in Israel of the year before and leading to an anti-semitic backlash that forced 13,000 Polish Jews to leave Poland and be stripped of their citizenship.  Student riots and related strikes overwhelmed the streets of Paris in May 1968 (to this day, the ‘soixante-huitards’ are the French equivalent of the hippies that emerged out of San Francisco counter-culture at the end of Chiron in Pisces). In Czechoslovakia, there was an optimistic Spring uprising offering more freedoms and citizen’s rights, but whose ‘human face’ of socialism was squashed by Soviet tanks rolling down the streets of Prague one late August morning. In Irak, the government was overthrown by a bloodless, ideological coup d’état, North Korean commandos tried to assassinate the South Korean President, and Quebecois separatists rioted in Montreal, feeding the frustrations of Canada’s French-speaking minority.

The Unites States was on fire with violent protests against the Vietnam war, racial segregation, the rising women’s liberation movement and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. followed by Robert Kennedy only weeks later. In honour of the longtime struggles of Black people in America, the Black Power Salute was displayed by US medal winners at the Mexico Olympic Games of 1968, causing an uproar as the Olympic Committee struggled to avoid politics mixing with sport, and resulting in them being ostracised by US sporting organisations back home. The Games had already become politicised, though, as they had been boycotted by 32 African nations protesting Apartheid South Africa’s participation. The list of disruptions continues, but it’s gone on long enough.

mai '68

Why am I recounting all of this? Much like in 1968, Pluto and Uranus are once again in a challenging aspect that has been stirring things up for us since 2011. Chiron entered Pisces in April 2010, then it shifted back into Pisces for the long haul in March 2011, marked by the Fukushima earthquake, the Arab Spring uprisings and Occupy Wallstreet. It was a time of optimism and hope that the energy was ripe for big changes mirroring the early and mid-sixties, and we carried idealistic notions – or illusions – that security, harmony, equality and wellbeing for all were just around the corner.

Chiron in Pisces is where we try to understand and heal our individual and collective wounds, and now in Aries, Chiron is about facing the reality of our situation and our frustration with it, pushing us to take a stand and asking (screaming) what are we going to do about it? There are no certainties, and many of life’s forces are out of our control. In this three dimensional world, good doesn’t conquer evil, but like John Lennon told us, on a higher level, it’s gonna be alright.

Anyone born from 1968 to 1977 (with some exceptions) will have Chiron in Aries. Especially when young, and depending on where it is in your chart, you might have felt the sense of who you are was challenged so you stayed in the shadows, or perhaps you felt belittled and put down rather than encouraged by the significant adults in your life. Even as an adult, you might continue to have a sense that something prevents you from reaching your full potential. This might mean you operate more from a fear of failing than an expectation of succeeding, so you prefer to work behind the scenes or on someone else’s behalf, rather than towards your own personal success. If this is done consciously (as in the mainstream acceptance of Life, Fitness and Executive Coaches that exploded with this generation), then you might have found your way through the challenge. But, if it is unconscious and there is a sense of frustration about it, it’s time to step up and take the lead role in your own show.

Chiron takes 50.45 years to orbit the Sun, staying much longer in some signs than others because of its erratic course. If you were born in late 1967, 1968, or early 1969, you will be experiencing your Chiron return already now or will be very soon. It’s a chance for personal redemption and reckoning at a point in life where we learn to let go of whatever dreams and goals we haven’t been able to live out. We might experience this as disappointment, or – hopefully – as a chance for a re-evaluation and liberation from the burden of an unlived or regretted past.

The Chiron return can be quite challenging and even a time of personal crisis, depending on other aspects of your life (and natal chart), but it’s also a time for a deeper personal and spiritual integration; who you are and what you are here for becomes clearer if the challenges are seen for their higher purpose and the potential wisdom they bring us.

Bringing even more interest to the mix, today’s New Moon in Aries is considered to be the first one of the astrological year, since Aries represents the beginning of the zodiac. It’s conjunct Uranus, for added excitement and unpredictability, and because the New Moon sets the tone for the next cycle (in this case, the astrological year ahead), we can expect more of that to come. There is no going back to the way things were, either individually or collectively.

While New Moons are always symbolic of a new cycle, a new start, now there is truly a major impetus for a new beginning and a fresh start in some area of your life (and by all means extrapolate this to our collective situation!). Where did you hope your life would take you, and where has that not happened? Devise a new plan and move on! Where are you being timid, and why? You have a right to thrive, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Wake up to your personal sovereignty – your birthright – which does not impinge on anyone else’s but can actually enhance it. Open yourself up to the push for much-needed change, even in the areas of your life that might make you scared just to think about it.

Next month, Uranus, another slow-moving planet, will also change signs and add to the unsettled and revolutionary energy of this year (more on that in a few weeks). It’s time to lead by example, be true to yourself, revel in your unique identity and, more than ever before, let your freak flag fly!

With much love and light,

Susan

Because my work revolves around spiritual awakening and healing, I use Chiron in my astrology readings because it shows us where we might have experienced childhood suffering or are sabotaging our success and wellbeing. Get in touch if you would like to know how this applies to you in your chart.