Beyond France

As I write this, the terrorist attacks in Paris are fresh and disturbing. Remembering that we are all one and that everything that occurs on our beloved planet is a reflection of collective mind, is more challenging than normal. In a flash of tragedy, the ego/mind wants to divide experiences between good and bad, right and wrong, them and us. Over there and not over here.

As astrologers we look to current planetary alignments to explain the nature of how this happened, and why events like this could continue to occur. Saturn in Sagittarius squares Neptune in Pisces… The harsh reality of extreme beliefs, religious or otherwise, brings about tragic loss. Mars on the nodes. Violence that is karmic in nature.

For past events, which seem to be almost daily now, different planetary configurations have described the type of loss and the place, as they do. This helps us wrap it up in a neat box, our tender psyches not wanting to accept the random.

Yet every day, everywhere in the world, there are massive traumas and losses. The nature of reality includes suffering. The planets describe in symbolic terms these challenging possibilities.

We have to stop for a moment to remember that planets don't cause events, they simply tell the story of cycles of time. They suggest choices. They invite us to reflect deeply and not simply add to the never ending analysis of life that keeps us from feeling, from awakening to our essence, and from taking wise action.

Each of these planetary energy formations also has an array of other potentials. Saturn asks us to mature our belief systems; Neptune invites unconditional love and a sense of oneness. We can breathe into this potential, invite the light of compassion, surrender and forgiveness to seep into the stuck places, the zones of disbelief.

Every day, everywhere in the world, there are also amazing miracles. The nature of reality includes joy and bliss. The planets describe these potentials also. Log onto YouTube and watch a million videos of people and animals making connections, life vibrant and filled with love. Read alternative news and see the many individuals and groups offering solutions to the deeper problems that birth violence.

Support solutions. We can change many of the painful events that happen in the world by working hard (Saturn) toward a long term goal of justice and healing. Saturn will be squaring both Neptune in Pisces and Jupiter in Virgo thoughout much of the first half of this upcoming year.  Some individuals have unique transformational roles in this task; others can send money or positive intent. We can send a collective powerful stream of healing to those who were struck by this event in Paris. We can take a moment to include the whole world. Hopelessness, the Jupiter shadow, does not serve in the task of reparation and healing.

Whatever our larger (or minimal) role in the world, our personal choice can be to change our hearts and our minds. We can open our hearts with compassion for all who suffer, not just those people in France on that day, but those around the world who are terrorized, who flee their countries. And not forgetting the suffering and homeless in our privileged midst.

As long as we carry a split within us, and allow the call of vengeance to penetrate, we are lost. We are fragmented.

It takes maturity and skill to know the reality of the pain in the world, which is also our own personal pain whether we admit it or not, and to stay centered in love.

But that is what is asked of us, in these days. And every day.