Compassion is in the news. But it’s hardly in the headlines. You have to hunt for it; it’s an aside, a footnote, something mentioned in the last paragraph. For example, last month when the story broke about thousands of Irish children being beaten, raped, and routinely humiliated in Catholic reform schools, we learned many heart-breaking details of their abuse. We also briefly heard about the impact of kindness—how profoundly small acts of encouragement, sympathy or understanding had affected some of the victims. Meanwhile in the US, the conversation about torture continues. Amidst calls to release more memos, or those horrific photos, in between the debate about what one should do with a captive terrorist holding knowledge of a ticking bomb, and the sham outrage about what Nancy Pelosi knew and when she knew it, there is usually a sentence or two acknowledging torture simply doesn’t work. What actually makes a prisoner divulge his secrets is compassion: being treated with sympathy and respect. Chiron rules our pain. Neptune rules compassion. Jupiter, now conjunct both in humanitarian Aquarius, has the power to make whatever it touches grow bigger. Why hasn’t our conversation about compassion grown bigger? Sadly, the power of kindness remains just a nice spiritual thought, instead of what it needs to be: the outcry of a new national conscience.