My stomach turns. My heart starts racing. I remember twice before, listening to the breathless reports of missiles flying in the Middle East. I want to turn off the TV. I want to go into denial. As an energy sensitive–I do not like conflict. And like many a child whose parents fought routinely and bitterly–it’s triggering. But welcome to our times.
From the first days of 2020 to the very last, the sky news is weighty. The first of its dramatic planetary aspects is the Saturn/Pluto conjunction, exact on January 12, 2020, just days after the Cancer Lunar Eclipse. This is a strong, slow-moving cultural influence; its been in effect for at least two years, and will be with us until the end of 2020. Worlds die and are reborn with this aspect. Occurring every 32-38 years, it breaks down and restructures global foundations, a process that never goes easily.
- The 1914 S/P conjunction saw the outbreak of World War I and in the end, dissolved a few empires and redrew the map of Europe.
- The 1947 S/P conjunction followed the end of World War II. Germany and Japan lost influence, India was partitioned, and NATO, credited with bringing 60 years of peace, was born. Democracies enjoyed a postwar boom in population and prosperity.
- The 1982 S/P conjunction redrew the economic landscape. It began with a global recession that paved the way for the deregulation “trickle up” economics of Reagan and Thatcher; their exuberant capitalism favored corporate greed over middle class protections, resulting in the redistribution of the world’s wealth to the upper 1 %.
Which brings us to where we are today–with NATO under threat and the wealth gap, some say, the highest in recorded history. Each new Saturn/Pluto conjunction tests the world structures that were birthed at the previous conjunctions. Which way things will go is still up for grabs. We are watching history in the making.
You don’t need an astrologer to tell you how fiercely today’s winds are blowing. You can see this and feel it. Around the world, these are decisive times. In human populations, difficult, destructive emotions are flying. If you’re an energy sensitive, how do you cope? How do you keep your eyes open and vote for the future you desire?
It’s important to remember that astrology archetypes are essentially neutral. They represent energy that’s available–yet it’s our free will that tips this energy into auspicious or destructive directions. In other words, what we do or don’t do matters. Personally and collectively.
We can consciously use the energies of Saturn and Pluto to make dramatic, positive changes. We can use the strength and power of these archetypes to tackle serious world problems–climate change, income inequality, wars, the world’s growing population of refugees. And more personally–we can use their grit and determination to restructure our own lives on better terms. The conjunction occurs in Capricorn, the sign of responsibility and authority. To make the changes we desire, each of us must remain awake, open-eyed, and resolve to act from our integrity and authority this year.
The alternative is leaving the world-making to others. This serves to lock down the Old Guard’s authority, meaning the rich and powerful will remain rich and powerful, and the consequences of climate change will keep getting worse. In the structures of our own life, this passive approach inevitably leads to fear, breakdowns, sorrow, depression, powerlessness, and/or an exhausting rage. What’s more, even if we’re focused on positive outcomes, difficult emotions will be swirling in the collective field. How do we survive them?
Saturn/Pluto Emotional Survival Strategies
- For everyone, but especially energy sensitives, my number one tip is “Don’t skip your self care!”
Steven Covey’s number one habit for highly effective people is “Be proactive.” Self care is being proactive. On a daily basis, your body needs you to calm your nervous system and silence your mind. A mind at peace is better able to hear the advice of your heart. Minds can believe anything; they can follow delusions and loop in unproductive circles. Yet hearts always choose the soul-supported path.
Calming the nervous system unwinds the daily damage of modern life. It takes your anxious inner Henny Penny off the ledge. Simple techniques that will do this are an easy Google search away. Breath techniques are a nice place to start. I’m a fan of Yoga Nidra, a delicious and effective practice that works the physical, emotional, mental, and energy bodies at once. I favor my blissful Yoga Nidra tapes; in just 22 minutes, while lying on my back, daily I reset my body, heart, mind, and spirit to a happier state.
The calmer your nervous system, the less likely you’ll be to tip into negative emotional spirals. But it happens. If so,
- Ask, “Is it mine?”
Another benefit of daily self care is that you notice more quickly when you go out of balance. If you woke up fine yet at the end of the day you’re in a funk, something likely happened that triggered one of your buttons. In this case, when you ask, “Is it mine?” the answer of course is yes, and now you can set about the business of tending to your feelings.
It’s helpful to understand that all emotions have value. They’re gifts–signs from your innate lunar intelligence. All emotions are sourced in the loving wisdom of your inner Great Mother. The more you learn about the messaging in emotions, the faster you can move through the challenging ones. In getting your attention, the emotion will have done its primary job–arresting your unconscious flow, so that you can consciously tend to your inner child, the container for your most primal feelings. Ignoring or trying to outrun emotion unsettles the nervous system. It keeps you running a perpetual, low-grade psychic fever.
If all emotions have value, what good is anger, for example? Anger strengthens us. It awakens our inner warrior. It’s also a sign that our boundaries have been breached. Perhaps someone crashed into them, but more likely, somewhere along the line we lost the healthy separation between ourselves and the outer world. Rather than attach and enmesh ourselves more fiercely, we need to retreat. Find ourselves again. Drop into our heart and wait for its advice.
Sorrow’s job is to cleanse inappropriate attachments. Feeling sad is Nature’s way of helping us to let go. Depression protects the system in periods of stress and overwhelm. During trying times, it is the psychic brakes we need to slow down and re-embody ourselves into our new reality. All emotions are gifts from the Great Mother to facilitate our healing and well-being. A strong feeling should inspire our curiosity. We should investigate its message. Finding our way out is as important as knowing how we fall in.
If you’re feeling bad, but you can’t identify a trigger, it’s quite possible you picked up somebody else’s feelings. Emotions, like colds, are easy to catch without a strong psycho-energetic immune system. Learning the difference between your own feelings and the “caught” feelings of others is again, an important step in developing healthy boundaries.
But ultimately–the source doesn’t matter. We don’t “catch” feelings that are utterly foreign to us. If a negative emotion made its way in, we have another opportunity to take its healing journey–which could be as fast as three minutes of breath work. An open, empathetic heart is a strength not a weakness. Spiritual masters can weep for the suffering of others without depleting themselves. Of course they learned how to do this. They practiced this–and so can we.
- Recognize, you don’t have to believe your feelings.
Mind and emotion travel together. In fact, the mind loves to attach its reasons to our feelings. “It’s because of what happened to me as a child.” “My sister is always belittling me.” “Why doesn’t anyone like me?” Such conclusions will sound familiar. That’s because they’re thoughts we’ve had before. And if they had the power to heal us, they would have done so by now. The mind mostly reinforces our judgments and bad feelings. Minds are highly skilled at casting negative spells. Yet these are easily dissolved with a simple realization: You don’t always have to believe what (you think) you feel. Keep your mental and emotional bodies from merging. If you’re caught in old, undigested emotions. allowing them space to breathe lets them dissipate.
It’s a simple idea. Yet without a meditation practice, it’s a challenging skill to learn. Meditation teaches you how to witness your mind–to get a little space between “you” and your thoughts. When you use your mind to observe your feelings, rather than reinforce them, you can eventually replace them with better feelings.
But the first power move is the noticing. Notice the sensations of your feelings. Mark the sensory details of your sorrow, for example — how it sits like cold oatmeal in your heart—or churns the stomach—contracts the eyes–or otherwise sinks your spirit. These are its energetic coordinates. Now you know where the energy is running. Just watch it for awhile, the way you’d like a loving friend to watch you, if you were in distress. Watching our feelings this way allows them to move–which is what they want to do. It’s often said that “e-motions” are just “energy in motion.”
- Change the Channel
Emotional mastery involves two primary skills: responding to emotions and creating them. Whatever happier feelings we’d like to host, we can create. This is a similar capacity to the one that actors develop–the ability to conjure emotion without cause. Although this takes a little work, requiring some focus and practice, in the long run, it’s actually much easier than struggling with our bad moods.
To instill positive feelings, memory is helpful. Recall a time when you felt how you’d like to feel now. Perhaps you want to cultivate the feelings of confidence, competence, and mastery. These feelings were particularly strong for me when I was a corporate manager earning a six figure income. Even now, decades later, this memory can tilt a negative mood skyward for me.
You can prepare your list of positive memories ahead of time. You don’t need a lot. It’s quality, not quantity. Your positive memories will gently reproduce the same feelings in your present. Then all you need to do is turn up the volume. Note the sensations and amplify them. This is yet another way to follow Covey’s advice to “Be proactive.” Don’t wait for bad moods. Cultivate happiness daily. I do this by including powerful affirmations in my Yoga Nidra practice. This works even better than taping them to the bathroom mirror!
Always with emotional practice, breathe. Emotions get stuck in bodies that anxiously hold their breath. And then thought gets captured and your day is ruined. But it’s actually quite simple to turn things around. You already have everything you need to succeed. And the formula is simple.
- Notice the emotional signal.
- Inquire into it.
- Locate the coordinates of its sensation.
- Replace this with more uplifting sensations.
Now, all you need is practice. The year ahead is sure to give you plenty of opportunities to develop your internal mastery. Here’s to success–for you, for humanity, and the Earth!
Is the Saturn/Pluto conjunction playing an important role in your chart this year? Order your Skylog report to map your personal sky for 2020.
Support your emotional mastery with the nurture of my monthly Moon workshop. It’s designed to keep you focused, connected, and joyful in the months ahead. Enroll here.