In her recent book, Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, Martha Beck shares the story of Imaculee Ilibagiza, a Tutsi woman who narrowly escaped slaughter in Rwanda’s horrific genocide.
“Along with six other women, Ilibagiza took refuge in the home of a Hutu preacher, who hid them all in a spare bathroom about the size of an enclosed phone booth—for three months. Every day she heard her neighbors hunting for her, describing how they’d slaughtered her loved ones. In her book Left to Tell, Ilibagiza describes how she coped: by becoming such a thoroughgoing mystic that she lived entirely in Oneness, free from all fear and suffused with love.”
Oneness, says Beck, is a skill we need to survive and thrive in our crazy new world. It means operating from a deeper consciousness in which we feel connected to other people, animals, and all of nature. Beck’s book is an entertaining, inspiring manual for developing Oneness, along with other skills such as Wordlessness and Imagination. She learned how to do this at an African preserve called Londolozi, mentored by those who are deeply connected to the subtle powers of nature.
Sometimes it takes an experience of confinement to hone our natural abilities. Beck continues Ilibagiza’s story: “After she finally escaped the bathroom, Ilibagiza found herself, with a few old women and children, facing a mob of machete-wielding Hutus who threatened to kill the whole group. But her Oneness skills were so rock-solid she just looked at the killers, without fear or anger, feeling—and apparently broadcasting—nothing but calm compassion. For whatever reason, the bloodthirsty killers never attacked.”
I thought of Saturn when I read this tale. The ringed planet—bringer of boundaries and restrictions—can also trigger illumination. Saturn transits often throw seemingly insurmountable obstacles in our path, forcing us to grow. Saturn can feel depressing. Or you can choose to experience it as a protective embrace, providing the time, discipline and focus to accomplish something meaningful.
Which brings us to the January 11 Capricorn New Moon (11:44 a.m. Pacific time). At that time, five of the ten planets will be in Saturn’s sign, creating a container for growth. Now we’re able to initiate our real New Year’s resolutions. All that earthy, focused Capricorn energy can be put to good use by working diligently on a project, or by taking a hard look at whatever is no longer viable in your life and committing to change. Think long-range in determining what you want to accomplish, as Saturn and Capricorn favor small steps rather than large leaps. Don’t hesitate to commit to something that seems difficult (I’m talking to myself here!) Be willing to say a big, fat “NO” to anything that plainly isn’t working. Yet consider how a situation in which you feel trapped may be incubating a new aspect of you.
As our emerging new world goes through its birthing pains, some of us may feel like we’re stuck “between a rock and a hard place” – Saturn’s domain. We’ll be in a crucible of transformation as Saturn travels through do-or-die Scorpio over the next two years. Yet Saturn and Capricorn give us discipline, which means “being a disciple unto oneself.” It’s time to honor the Divine within, believe in your talents and have the courage to put them out to the world.
The Capricorn New Moon can help you grow your business and promote yourself. For inspiration, check out this ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. And, here’s my latest Animoto mini-video showing how one couple got more focused and committed to their creative work by transforming and activating their Fame gua.
© 2013 Simone Butler
Painting by Claudia Fernety. See more of Claudia’s work at her website.