This past Thursday I hosted a live, call-in edition of Planet Waves FM. Our topic was listening to men speak up about their perception of gender roles and the impact of rape culture feminist theory. Listen or download the playback above.
And Now for Your Weekly Diary
Mercury stations direct this week, at about 10:57 am EDT on Friday, Oct. 9 (14:57 UTC). For the next five days or so we will move through what some astrologers describe the Mercury storm (a term popularized by Jim Shawvan, but he said he doesn’t remember where he first read about it, and this is apparently lost to history, at least for now).
The storm phase has a technical definition (Mercury moving fewer than so many degrees per day), but the practical or folk definition works — it’s about four days on either side of the station, increasing in intensity as the station occurs. So we’ll be moving through the Mercury storm for a little over a week.
The implication is that the retrograde effects will be more noticeable, though I would say that the use and theme of the retrograde comes into focus and is more accessible.
Remember, there are two primary ways to work with astrology: to see it either as something that happens to us, or as something we work with as a resource, tool or environmental factor.
This particular Mercury station direct has two extraordinary properties. One is that it happens in the first degree of Libra, opposite the Aries Point. That provides an amplifying effect, and an intersection between personal and interpersonal material.
Second is that the lunar North Node is exactly aligned with the first degree of Libra. The nodes of the Moon, in part given their association with eclipses, can have a very similar feeling to the Aries Point. That means functioning as a kind of amplification of personal reality and a resonance between public issues and seemingly private ones.
There is no private life that is not in some way influenced by a larger public life. The private choices we make reverberate into our communities and into global consciousness. Those issues are the very ones we’ve been addressing (collectively) the past weeks — gender issues (including gender rage), issues of sexuality and its meaning, and yet another mass shooting.
Personally I think the relationship between mass shootings and gender rage is that they are equal and opposite issues. Both involve relationships, forms of inappropriate touching, fear extending into paranoia, blame, alienation and anger. They are collective; they are personal in that we take them personally, and feel them personally. I am aware that many people were deeply upset about the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.
The gun issue is evidence of just how dense consciousness can be. Everyone gets that there’s a problem with the proliferation of guns and additionally with their being available to people with serious mental issues. Again and again we ask what we’re going to do about this, while we respond tacitly; while we acquiesce to their proliferation. The real issue is lost — it’s my understanding that the gun manufacturers’ lobby, masquerading as a populist group (the NRA, allegedly a bunch of hunters and target shooters), outspends the gun control lobby by a factor of six.
It should not surprise anyone that violence shows up as an issue in interpersonal relationships. While rape cultists scream about the worst manifestations of this issue (or what they perceive as such), and only about the abuses perpetuated by men, the problem we are facing involves many forms of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, humiliation and shaming of children (considered normal and lawful), and depriving children of vital information about their bodies and emotions.
Many, many people, widely representative of the whole population, are culpable. Said another way, we are all in this together.
Survivors of violent events engage in relationships, start families, raise children and otherwise participate in society; they will somehow convey their experiences if left unresolved, and will convey their wisdom as they gain it. All of this is happening in the midst of an increasingly violent culture with few visible places of sanctuary or healing.
Meanwhile, contemporary discussions are horrendously skewed. We neglect to even look underneath the issues at any potential causes. We don’t look at the connections between, for example, domestic abuse, interpersonal attack, gun violence, warfare and a culture ruled by money and aggression. We could seek those causes and those connections; we can also go on having our facile discussions — making the issues appear neat and comprehensive only by ignoring their true complexities (and our own).
Of course, these are inconvenient truths. They can be embarrassing to talk about. They take time and some experience to deal with. You cannot buy a consciousness purifier on Amazon; we’re used to getting an air purifier with a click or two.
As Mercury slows to a station in the first degree of Libra, conjunct the North Node, we have an opportunity to embrace our own role in the problem and the solution. To do that it’s necessary to admit how serious the problems are; how entrenched; the depth to which we’ve internalized these issues.
We live in an age where to a large degree, superficial “spiritual solutions” and mood-altering drugs have replaced therapy. As a result, the world seems ready to explode into a therapy room, one where we bring all the unfinished business of the past.