Today brings the third of five oppositions between Uranus and Saturn. What have we learned from the planets this week? That humans can really annoy each other. Of course we’re supposed to act like this isn’t true. But then sometimes–perhaps when the planets are aligned just so, or more likely, when certain neurochemicals flood our cell receptors–disgust shoots out (Uranus-style) and the the fuddy-duddy forces of decorum get to wring their hands (Saturn-style) at the decline of society. Joe Wilson calls the President a liar and is sanctioned. Serena Williams threatens a line judge and is punished. Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech to complain that Beyonce didn’t get it–and even Beyonce turns against him. Obama calls Kanye a jackass.
I like to think the planets want more from us, however, than embarrassment and forced apologies. The secret to all oppositions is that for that precise moment when two are opposed, they are looking in a mirror. The eruptions of the outraged Saturns are mirror images of the raw Uranian outbursts. When the two come round to realizing there is no difference between them, an opposition becomes a conjunction. Seeing the Uranus/Saturn opposition as a conjunction allows us to divine its truer purpose: to so utterly change our structures that we humans genuinely progress.
If we use Uranus/Saturn properly, we just might figure out how to pull ourselves back from the 2012 brink that the Mayan calendar implies is the end of our world. I did find inspiration for that this week too–in a story not as widely reported. Saturn (the Grim Reaper) took a Genuine Innovator (Uranus), someone who actually did change the world, although I never heard of him before.
Norman Borlaug died at 95. Many credit him with saving over a billion lives; by developing wheat with a higher yield, he single-handedly helped to avert a global famine. Borlaug often said that his real interest wasn’t wheat, it was improving people’s lives. Now that he’s passed from this world, it’s up to us to continue holding his humanitarian aspiration. When I’m asked to take my part in visioning a brighter future, I’ll take my cue from Borlaug, who in his Nobel prize acceptance speech outlined a simple formula for what a better world be: one where everyone has enough to eat, opportunities to learn, well-paying employment, comfortable housing, nice clothing, along with effective and compassionate medical care. It’s simple–but revolutionary. May we call on Uranus and Saturn to help us get there.