I could well have called this post “Sick of being online”. As the saying goes, beware of getting what you ask for!
For several years, I have been shifting my work online and increasingly meeting clients and students via Zoom (aargh, Zoom!) for individual sessions of yoga therapy, astrology, āyurvedic counseling or hypnotherapy. The strategy was to make myself as mobile as possible, in order to allow me to work from wherever I was in the world at the time. With an international family, plus friends and teachers spread around the world, this suited me (and my 9th house Pisces stellium) perfectly. Last year, as my nest emptied, I downsized significantly in order to support this nomadic life, moving into a cute-but-tiny flat in a quiet neighbourhood.
Now, I find myself with a partially-reconstituted nest, having welcomed back my son who is exiled from university in England for the foreseeable future, both of us grateful to have a dog that needs walking several times a day so we can get out of our tiny bolt hole!
“Hold on, hold on, hold on” they said,
“You’re a dandelion in the breeze,
Look what the winds of change have done
To all these autumn leaves.”
“Hold on, hold on, hold on,
This big wide world is not for you,
Hold on for long enough
For the last gust to dance on through.”
So I held on, held on, held on,
They said that’s how you know you’re strong,
But not until I wilted
Did I notice something wrong.
I thought holding on was bravery,
But when winds of change do blow,
Sometimes it’s even braver still
To let go, let go, let go.
~ Erin Hanson (2015)
Our current astrology is equally disruptive, with a lot of energy concentrated in places that are about restriction, instability, power dynamics and power struggles, and the people/masses/society versus governments or corporations.
Notice that jobs in which we are helping and supporting each other, feeding and nurturing individuals and society, are all maintained and even thriving now. Things that involve genuinely taking care – not varnishing fingernails but truly important things – will not be lost. Those things that fed into our
narcissism, greed, and frivolity dropped away almost instantaneously. Soul nourishing activities, like fine arts and spiritual practices, are developing fast, and people are developing skills like gardening and cooking that they never found the time for before.
Those who become frightened by the virus and believe the fear-mongering that surrounds it lose the capacity for rational, individual thought. Not coincidentally, our freedoms are being taken away (just as they were in the the 1930s, a decade we are currently mirroring, as fascist tendencies spread around the world) even in countries that we continue naïvely to label as democratic.
What is currently being exposed is the inadequacy of public services, whether they be hospitals, prisons, or social programmes for the vulnerable members of society, all of which are being over-extended while trying to cope with this situation. We have all allowed this to happen through many decades of complacency, and now many people feel cornered and frightened into obeying irrational rules because it feels like there is no other choice, and it’s all supposedly for the greater good. But the costs of our actions today are set to have unpredictable and disruptive consequences on the future of society itself.
We must think carefully about what we want society to look like – what is a tolerable level of control over daily life? Do you want to return to “normal”? What is it about normal that you want to go back to? Or is it reassurance and security you want? This is what Saturn in Aquarius is now highlighting since March 22nd, and will be a major theme over the next two and a half years.
The SARS-Covid-19 outbreak began when Chiron was at 0 degrees of Aries – the very beginning of the Zodiac and one of the most powerful symbols of new starts, innovation, and change. The message of healing is impossible to miss – Chiron teaches through a cycle of self-sabotage, wounding, vulnerability, recovery, and healing,
Since November 2018, the North Node of the moon has been in the sign of Cancer. The North Node indicates trends and areas of focus both individually and collectively. The South Node is always in the exact opposite place in the chart, in this case in the sign of Capricorn, which represents the masses, structures, governments and large organisations of all types – it can be about self-mastery or abuse of power, depending how it plays out.
The past 18 months has been a period in which balancing the care and nurturing of ourselves, our health, and our planet have increasingly been in opposition to the concerns and considerations of big business and government. Issues of the people, meaning workers and average folks, opposed to the powers of the moneyed elites have been growing evermore acute and are now being challenged as rarely before in these times of extreme illness and pandemic. Now here we are stuck at home, unavoidably confronted by our feelings, which is not an easy place to be but nonetheless a very typical manifestation and the legacy of this focus on the sign of Cancer.
On May 5th the lunar nodes shifted into the Gemini-Sagittarius axis. They will slowly transit through those signs from now until January 18, 2022.
This is where the nodes were in the period following the world-changing events of 9/11 – between 13 October 2001 and 13 April 2003. It’s noteworthy that our current Saturn-Pluto cycle figured prominently in those terrible events, as Saturn was then opposing Pluto at the midway point in that cycle which their current conjunction is slowly closing out throughout 2020, from which the next cycle emerges starting in 2021.
19 years ago saw an acceleration of the privatization of education, especially higher education, and the influence of money on universities. This time around our circumstances seem to be imposing a whole new way of sharing information, not just allowing education to be brought to the public online but perhaps changing the face of education for a long time to come. It also affects how we receive, disseminate, and trust or distrust the news of current events, just as we grappled with in 2001.
Unenlightened Gemini is a glibly social and gossipy sign, which not only doesn’t worry about details like the Truth, but also signifies rumours and conspiracy theories. It’s very likely that, just as with the period between 2001 and 2003, we will be experiencing an increased general interest in such ideas. Notably, both Donald Trump and Boris Johnson have their Sun in Gemini (Boris also has Mercury, Venus and his natal North Node there – watch this space!). They can talk their way out of any situation, without caring whether what they say is believable so much as whether it entertains and captures the imagination. (Click here to see where the shifting Nodes are affecting you)
Sagittarius represents the higher Truth and what we believe, including dogmatic thinking. This truth is likely to bump up against the increased propaganda and rumour mills of the current news media and other more alternative channels of information; there will be a change in the way people pay attention to authorities that will be much more noticeable as of 2021 once Saturn leaves Capricorn and enters Aquarius.
Many people think propaganda only occurs in Communist authoritarian regimes, but it exists whatever power wants to sustain itself. It is more important than ever that we learn to separate the facts from the stories in order to reduce the level of fear in ourselves and in our communities. Whereas discomfort is a great impetus for change, it is also a sign that there might be something misguided happening. We must slow down as much as possible to examine what we are being told, and especially what we believe. This is no time for lazy thinking, or letting others do your thinking for you. It is important to discern true journalism from those who simply announce the officially-designated “news”. One minor clue is that if your news is read by someone who looks like a Barbie doll, it’s worth looking deeper elsewhere for the back story.
From what I understand of the astrology, which is supported by sheer common sense, international travel restrictions and border controls are likely to continue until at least early 2022 in one form or another (after the next nodal shift I anticipate another change in emphasis). This might look like having to get a Visa where previously none was required, or needing a special travel document to prove one’s state of health, or a mandatory vaccine, or at the very least having to pay the true cost of long-distance travel. What would that look like? What is good health? Is it simply about testing for the presence of antibodies for a virus that few agencies seem to be able to agree upon, and which appears to be mutating? The annoying travel restrictions that emerged after 9/11 – unnecessary security checks like not being able to bring liquids onto aircraft – are still being unquestioningly enforced today, nearly two decades later, albeit differently in different regions. At what point can current restrictions be pulled back, and will they ever be?
The South node in Sagittarius will be once again re-ordering international relations and alliances as well as international travel. The notion of jetting off for a weekend getaway has become not just impossible but now looks downright selfish and irresponsible from a social and environmental perspective (which are anyway interrelated). The North Node (Rahu) in Gemini will have a staying close to home and shopping locally, organising neighbourhood and community events like gardening exchanging and learning and borrowing items amongst ourselves as well as perhaps also childhood education.
As I mentioned in my blog of May 2018, Uranus, the planet of upheaval and disruption, moving into Taurus, signifying food and financial security, nature and the earth itself, has caused a significant disruption that brings us back to an era similar to that of the 1930s when it was last in the sign of Taurus. Our current, challenging planetary alignments (especially the Saturn-Pluto-Jupiter conjunction) add to ongoing tensions and the significant shift in society by adding the same ingredients of great historic upheavals, for example following 9/11 as well as immediately before the First and Second World Wars.
The need for new, practical skills will be emphasised over the next year and a half, as well as new ways of travelling, new adaptations to technology and the use of technology, and education and how education can find a new context.
This is of special interest to yoga teachers who are currently trying to find a new way of sharing their yoga classes online. From a purely practical point of view (and especially given what the astrology is showing about the next 18 months to 2 years), I want to highlight how, although I think it is wonderful to continue transmitting from teacher to student, online teaching is unsustainable in its current form. The superficial, image-focused fitness activity that yoga has become over the past two decades is already widely and freely available online; there are countless years’ worth of free āsana classes online, many of which are professionally done and have a significant following of hundreds of thousands and even many millions.
It is naïve to imagine genuinely making a living in this way in the long run, and new avenues of income should be explored, because even when those rare few studios which have endured beyond the current financial hardship will reopen, it’s reasonable to assume that a percentage of students will be too wary to return to group classes. For those who are teaching yoga as a side-line or vocation and have other sources of revenue this is not much of a problem, but for those who have decided to make teaching yoga a mainstay it is going to be a significant challenge.
This situation both reflects and accelerates the much-needed evolution of the yoga world as we know it today. Over the past 20-30 years, yoga “teaching” has for the most part lacked the depth that is possible and even necessary to fulfil its original purpose. If you are an online teacher, it’s time to find/emphasize this depth as well as a much-needed individualization to both your practice and teaching methodology. If you’re simply jumping through the moves of a practice like ashtanga vinyasa, Bikram, yin or other formulaic approaches to yoga, you will soon find that you have little to offer online in exchange for a viable income compared to the freely offered teaching available since 2007 on YouTube and other platforms.
All of us must learn how to regulate our moods and stress levels on our own. This enormous pause is an opportunity to realise how much of our behaviour is motivated by distraction from unpleasant emotions. You can consciously turn your attention away from negativity or stress by doing something supportive, nurturing, and healing for yourself, your loved ones, and those in need.
Today, Thursday May 7th from 19:30 to 21:00 (-ish), I will be offering a full moon meditation at this Buddha Purnima, which traditionally celebrates the awakening, birth and life of the Buddha all in one go. We will have an opportunity to sit together and enjoy some quiet meditation as well as reflection on the qualities of this moon and the astrology of the moment.
This significant period of time requires a very new vision for each of our lives. Inner strength and understanding of our true nature are the pillars that will keep us stable while everything around us is changing and shifting over the next few years. This period of social disruption in many forms and for myriad reasons will last a number of years – I reckon especially until 2026 but extending through the next decade – and we must learn to adapt to these ongoing changes by finding something more solid and stable within.
Much love and light,
Do join me for the full moon meditation this evening from 19:30 until 9 pm – click here for details.
We will look at these significant times of change that we are in the midst of and compare them to historical periods in which there is a distinct before and after everything seemed to have changed in the space of 3 or 4 years. We must find new ways of adapting to our experience without relying on old ideas, and we can explore this together this evening.