Initial Conditions

Posted by Len Wallick


Len Wallick deconstructs the concept of “chaos” in relation to Saturn in Sagittarius. Thinking of chaos as rhyme rather than exact repetition is key both to your understanding of the universe, and to your empowered participation in it. In so doing, you’ll be able to see the initial conditions for a better way, and for a better you.

The word “chaos” has a lot of baggage. That baggage has a history. That history, in turn, is probably recurring constantly, but only in an approximate way. The probable expression of recurrence as rhyme rather than exact repetition is key both to your understanding of the universe, and to your empowered participation in it.


Many ancient creation myths posit chaos as the terrifying initial condition of the cosmos. Then, some divine being or other brings a nice, safe, comforting form of order — but at a cost.

The price of positing chaos as the initial state of all things is the surrender of your power. Specifically, it means giving your power away to those who claim to represent divinity and the authority to maintain order.

Observing recurrence either artistically (through astrology or music, among other modalities) or scientifically (such as through mathematics), suggests another point of view: that chaos is only a form of re-ordering. The study and practice of re-ordering, in turn, implies that the universe has a more dynamic potential than the status quo allowed for by creation myths that effectively concentrate the power of many in the hands of a delegated few.

Playing music, practicing astrology, or accounting for chaos mathematically implies that the world is in fact constantly beginning anew in some way that is also familiar. Great musicians, for example, never play the same musical phrase the same way twice. Each recurrence of the phrase then represents the initial conditions for new possibilities.

In a similar way, you are empowered to recognize how familiarity in any given moment of your life constitutes the initial conditions of what could be an entirely new and different way of living — which you can participate in creating, or not.

To do so, however, you must reclaim your power from those who represent themselves as mediating between you and creation. That is not so easy.

The established order promises safety and comfort in return for giving up your power. There is a lot of appeal in that offer if you perceive the alternative as being powerless in a terrifying world. Additionally, those in whose hands power becomes concentrated have a long history of being rather terrifying themselves in response to any challenge.

Think about how vulnerable you feel when accepting responsibility for what you are and what you do, even in small things. It’s a risk. Yet, in taking that risk there is sometimes the prospect that others will see themselves in you, creating the initial conditions for community, beginning with the example you set. If there is anything to astrology, now is one of those times.

Every once in a while the conditions above indicate a familiar song recurring anew below. In the present case, that potential is for creating form anew here below. Even so, astrology cannot answer the questions that will determine what the outcome will look like. That’s where you come in.

One question is whether you will give away your power and allow any re-creation to be formed by others, or whether you will participate in the forming. Another question (assuming your participation) is whether you will act to empower all others in an authentic and genuine new order, or whether you will act to empower just some others in an ostensibly new but actually repetitive recurrence of the old order and its ways.

Without getting all technical on you, the initial conditions currently implied by the astrology are not represented by just one planet. It’s a bigger picture, open to interpretation. However, Saturn, the most familiar planet most often associated with form and definition, is probably the best focus at this time as regards to themes of chaos and order.

More precisely, the best focus is taking into account Saturn’s recent record of about nine months oscillating back and forth in a five-degree corridor of the zodiac between Scorpio and Sagittarius. It may have seemed like a chaotic time for you, but that time is over. Saturn is now embedded in Sagittarius for the next two-plus years.

When a planet changes signs, it is essentially like an orchestra musician changing instruments. A new role in the greater whole is implied, not just for the planet, but for you. Combine that new role with aspects Saturn is now (and will soon be) receiving in Sagittarius from other planets in other signs, and some form of new arrangement would seem to be available for your part in the bigger picture.

When you consider that Saturn takes nearly 30 years to complete its orbit around the Sun (and to complete a circuit of the zodiac’s 12 signs), those new arrangements could very well be historic.

That’s how the interpretation being offered here is that this time in history, and your place in it, will represent a choice embedded in your every decision and action for the two-plus years Saturn will be moving in Sagittarius. The established order, so as to maintain is hegemony, has not taught you how to recognize or to make this choice. You will have to begin learning on your own, but only at first. Other individuals who are not acting to enforce the established order (in other words, most people) will teach you by how they respond to you.

As a first requirement, you will need to examine yourself. Specifically, you will want to look at any way in which you, whether consciously or unwittingly, act as an agent for the power structure. For example, think about any time you might say “shame on you” or otherwise judge others based on criteria that have been handed down to you from those in authority.

Once you consciously and intentionally free yourself from being an unpaid deputy of established hierarchy, you will finally be able to make choices that set a pattern of example — a pattern you have thought through and elected to pursue on your own.  

You will know you are facing such potentially lonely choices when you feel vulnerable. You will know you made the right choice when you risk discomfort, and in so doing receive support from other individuals (rather than from established authority) for your example. By the same token, pay attention when others on the same path of reformation as you question your choices.

Those others who are comforted by an example that harmonizes with theirs will constitute the seeds of new community, and will also be your teachers. Now would be a good time to begin recognizing who those allies might be. Doing so may not be easy, but an effort to start could result in a new and better life for more than just you, even long after your natural life has run its course.

So that’s the interpretation being offered here. Where some may see chaos while Saturn moves through Sagittarius, you are being provided with an alternative: to see instead the initial conditions for a better way, and for a better you.

Offered In Service

Len is available for astrology readings. You can contact him at lenwallick [at] gmail [dot] com.

Posted in Columnist on | 21 comments
Len Wallick

About Len Wallick

Besides endeavoring to be of service to all of you here at Planet Waves, Len strives to live in Seattle while working as a professional astrologer. To contact him for an astrology reading you can send an e-mail to: His telephone number is 206-356-5467. In addition to his profession, Len contributes to the Seattle community without monetary compensation by serving as a Reiki practitioner and teacher through classes and outreach offered by the Seattle Reiki Mastery Series modality.

21 thoughts on “Initial Conditions

  1. LizzyLizzy

    Thank you for this magnificent, inspiring piece, dear Len. It resonates so deeply with what I’m living through right now – and is so helpful. And these words are so beautiful and true: “Once you consciously and intentionally free yourself from being an unpaid deputy of established hierarchy, you will finally be able to make choices that set a pattern of example — a pattern you have thought through and elected to pursue on your own. ” I also feel that this is a time when a lot of compassion and gentleness for oneself and others is needed – to lay down the harsh sword of judgement of oneself and others.

    1. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

      Lizzy: i agree that part of the set of aspects which (at least conceivably) have Saturn as the focus includes the implication that (as you put it) “includes the implication that a lot of compassion and gentleness for oneself and others is needed.” That would specifically include the “pre-dawn sky” stellium in Virgo with Jupiter, Mars and Venus square Saturn in Sagittarius. Thank you for bringing that theme up. i can fit only so much technical astrology in the text of one column. Finally, thank you for letting me know that my service resonated for you – that’s very gratifying.

  2. Barbara Koehler

    I’d never thought of it that way Len, that there were 2 ways to look at chaos. You just deal with it, that’s how I saw it. Like deciding to buy or not buy a house that’s in need of everything (chaos). You decide if you can get the plumbing, electricity, dry walling etc. done yourself and that you can afford it, or you get help doing it, or you pass on buying the house. In terms of the mega chaos you are speaking of, I suppose I’ve assumed others with leadership tendencies would be at the helm of re-creating order.

    But, perhaps a more logical approach would be to start with your own neighborhood, like say after a tornado, like we did in the 70’s. Do you really think most folks would not want to enforce the established order? Or are you referring to the breakdown of mores that relegated one to a certain level due to one’s skin color or gender? Well, yes, in that case most people by then would resist that sort of thing. If that is the case, I parted from the established order some decades ago, but I do pay my bills on time and take out the trash regularly and vote every chance I get. I’ve maintained that kind of established order and I’d like it if everybody else did too.

    But if I had to live in a cave with a bunch of other folks, with no electricity or much water, I like to think I would take part in forming some kind or order, based on equality and ability. Not sure how I would react to someone who claimed to be divine, but I’ve seen the divine in individuals and would be open to their suggestions.

    There have been films in recent times that are advertised as picturing the world without the present civilized structures, however, I’ve not seen any of them. Geoff remarked on Judith’s column that he had declined to go see a highly recommended movie that advocated gratuitous violence, and that’s the way I see these end-of-the-world flicks. Rather, you start with basic needs and hope that basic humanity and basic values would allow for filling those needs.

    Well, now I’m all creeped out Len! Here’s hoping that Saturn in Sagittarius will have less apocalyptic challenges than what I’ve been imagining. Time to put the laundry in the dryer.

    1. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

      Barbara (be): i agree that beginning with (as you put it) “our own neighborhood” is the way to go. As regards to your question, i would say the established order is now represented by perpetual war and inequality more than anything else. Bucking the established order does not mean abdication of responsibility. Challenging the established order does not require living in a cave. Rather, it means calling the privileged and empowered few out on their irresponsible ways in which they profit at the expense of the Earth, and peace on Earth. To challenge the established order is not to bring on an apocalypse, it is to stop war and the wanton disregard for the vast majority of human beings who are not part of the elite less-than-one-percent who hold most of the economic, political and martial power. So you see, we are in agreement. And in that agreement are the initial conditions for a new song everybody can sing if we can get over being (as your put it) “creeped out” by the challenge of reforming rather than repeating. With Saturn now seated in the Sagittarius section of the orchestra, the changes to imagine are the same changes John Lennon was referring to in his song “Imagine.” What’s so bad about that?

      1. Geoff Marsh


        Imagine there’s no heaven
        It’s easy if you try
        No hell below us
        Above us only sky
        Imagine all the people
        Living for today…

        Imagine there’s no countries
        It isn’t hard to do
        Nothing to kill or die for
        And no religion too
        Imagine all the people
        Living life in peace…

        You may say I’m a dreamer
        But I’m not the only one
        I hope someday you’ll join us
        And the world will be as one

        Imagine no possessions
        I wonder if you can
        No need for greed or hunger
        A brotherhood of man
        Imagine all the people
        Sharing all the world…

        You may say I’m a dreamer
        But I’m not the only one
        I hope someday you’ll join us
        And the world will live as one

        1. Pisces SunPisces Sun

          Thank you for posting John Lennon’s song, always a good mantra: “Imagine all the people sharing all the world” We are one body, one world, one cosmos and until we can live with this knowing we will experience chaos in all its forms, over and over again but I know you know this as does your owl friend perched on your window!

      2. Barbara Koehler

        Thanks Len, I re-read your offering as well as your comment and better understand “established order” as you intended it. No repetition of the status quo, thank you, better to re-order something fresh and new.

        Trans. Neptune (in Pisces in my 12th house) is aspecting my Saturn, Uranus and Sun and it is possible for me to misconstrue things occasionally !

  3. Ambar Garcia

    So good! I’ve been getting Judgement and Magician lately in my tarot readings….this seems to resonate , “.. you must reclaim your power from those who represent themselves as mediating between you and creation. That is not so easy.”

  4. DeborahDeborah

    Ah yes, repeating patterns of history, the chorus of a tune, fractals of time, chaos within structure…I’m sure there’s a song in there somewhere! Thanks, Len, for the timely inspiration to recreate and adapt to a better way for our planetary revolution/evolution .

  5. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

    Deborah: Thank you for bringing in the term (as you put it) “fractals of time” – a big part of the mathematics i was referring to with the added dimension (thanks to your poetic phrasing) of time and its relationship to timing (ie: recognizing and acting on initial conditions in a creative and self-empowered way). For are we not each (individually) and all (together) part of the unique quality of this time as represented by the astrology?

  6. chief niwot's sonchief niwot's son

    “Many ancient creation myths posit chaos as the terrifying initial condition of the cosmos.”

    Many of those myths are based on the cellular memory of early biological states, and have a basis in a deep experiential truth. Later power trips overlaid their psycho-emotional toxicity on earlier mythic structures, and turned the organizing forces of biology into the god of their making.

    Len, I appreciate your recognition of chaos as a transition time between one organized state and another. Of course, the only successful search for that which brings order is the one that turns inward.

    Always good to read the words you share here, even if I neglect to say so on occasion.

  7. Pisces SunPisces Sun

    Wow Len, thanks so much for your article! As I was reading it I was pondering the writings of Dr. Deepak Chopra, someone I greatly admire. As I read your piece, I was considering the fact that the world and society is a living organism, as are each of us. Dr. Chopra writes on many topics all of which have a spiritual basis. He has an interesting background, son of a western-trained medical doctor who attended Catholic school in India but would return home to a practicing Hindu family. Yet, his family was also privileged, his father was a prominent cardiologist to Lord Mountbatten. I share this because Dr. Chopra had a good western and eastern religious/spiritual and scientific perspective and commingles his loves: spirituality and medicine. He later traveled to the west, taught at Harvard, Tufts and other places and was Chief of Staff at a few prominent US hospitals before opening the Chopra Center in San Diego. Dr. Chopra mostly studies emotions/thoughts/perceptions and their affect on the body. He has written about the body’s remarkable ability to release cellular memory/trauma and regenerate new cells. In fact, he explains that whether we consciously are aware and believe to live healthy or not, the body renews itself entirely in a years time.

    When I read your piece I was thinking about chaos, cellular regeneration, releasing cellular memory and trauma and seeking wholeness and health. Dr. Chopra explains on a cellular level, when a cell loses connection with the rest of our body, it begins to act randomly causing havoc and destruction. I see this as another way of describing chaos. Again, he says that we have a remarkable capacity for regeneration and healing, provided that we learn to quiet ourselves, find our source, and change our perspective. This will allow for healing, it will allow for regeneration of the cells and wholeness.

    I submit the same is true for society. At this point I am considering the chaos throughout society, how so many find themselves (and each of us at times) removed from the whole—the Umpqua shooter, for example. But there are others too, including many of our elected officials who remove themselves from the body polis, the corporate magnates who remove themselves from the customers, consumers, who remove themselves from the earth. This too drives chaos.

    Now, consider possible answers and responses to the chaos. For example, consider South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a body that sought to quiet the chaos and restore justice (releasing cellular memory/trauma allowing for cellular regeneration) or neighborhood community group that not only speak up for rights but equally important, do something for their fellow human being—action helps move the cells in a new direction too. It charges new neurons/syntaxes and creates new memories and if they come from a place of Love, it will be healing. A very recent and beautiful example is the response in South Carolina to the AME Methodist church shooting. It was one of peace, forgiveness and healing. The congregation and city pulled from a place of love. Considering the source of your food and the choices you make also builds new syntaxes. Choosing local, acting global. All of this can counter chaos and bring your soul quiet and peace and your body (cells) more harmony and the world too.

    A final thought, I was looking at the Sabian symbols for the first few degrees of Sagittarius: Retired Army Veterans gather to reawaken old memories; white capped waves display the power of wind over sea (first and second degrees) which I am certain influenced your writing. The memories, the spirit (wind) over the emotions/perceptions (sea) are ready for a new perspective and although the sea is in rhythm, and at times chaotic and still, a drop that reaches its shore and touches your toe today is never the same drop an instant latter and yet that same drop can touch any other person or creature in the sea since all of us are one with the sea, in one form or another. Saturn in Sagittarius is a very promising aspect offering us a time of changed perspective and healing.

  8. Geoff Marsh

    Glad you mentioned the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Pisces Sun. It has been one of if not the most effective means of defusing social tensions in the world in my lifetime and is a valid model for conflict resolution in almost any situation.

    You may perhaps know that today is the 84th birthday of its Head, Desmond Tutu. In honour of this inspiring man, here are a few of his most famous quotes:

    – Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

    – We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low.

    – My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.

    – Without forgiveness, there’s no future.

    – A person is a person because he recognizes others as persons.

    Wishing you a very happy birthday, Desmond.

  9. Pisces SunPisces Sun

    Thanks for this information Geoff, yes, Happy Birthday Desmond Tutu, remarkable synchronicity, remarkable man, and thank you for posting the quotes. So true that we can only be human together.

  10. Elizabeth

    Wanted to add my Wow to the reverberations. I was pulled to re-read this today while i witnessed initial conditions being re-ordered into something familiar yet completly new. Not because I consciously remembered, but i was looking for support. Amazing post in your ability to convey such hope of opportunity when the loneliness & vulnerability are indeed difficult to feel. And, the responses are equally powerful. What a gift you all are.

  11. Amanda MorenoAmanda Moreno

    I’ve been reading Rudhyar’s ‘Pulse of Life,’ and therefore pondering the relationship between chaos and structure even more than nomal. It’s a brilliant book. So too is this piece, Len. Thank you for once again making such complex thoughts so very poetic and yet accessible.

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