Time for a New Meme du Moment

Posted by Amanda Painter

Photo by Amanda Painter

As the Sun has come through the exact Saturn-Neptune square, we’re seeing a landscape marked by collective fear and delusion; on a mundane level you might have experienced a sense of getting clear but not liking what that clarity reveals, even though it helps you. Mercury conjunct the Great Attractor and square Chiron this week says to beware polarization, and to wake up from any perception of crisis around your intelligence.

From Friday’s shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, to the ISIS attacks two weeks in Paris, to France’s bombing of Syria, to rampant backlash against Syrian refugees, to divisive politicians, it seems our world is awash in fear and violence. We want so badly to see the big, humanitarian picture right now (and many people devoted to it still do); yet if we look out at the world via news reports, we meet a mirror full of chaos and pain that looks like it can never be healed. Don’t believe it.

"We are Mainers who welcome Syrian (and all) refugees here. Do you?" This sign appeared in my neighborhood the week before last, and has been filled with signatures. Photo by Amanda Painter.

“We are Mainers who welcome Syrian (and all) refugees here. Do you?” This sign appeared in my neighborhood the week before last, and has been filled with signatures. Photo by Amanda Painter.

I don’t mean to say that we’ll see the eradication of pain and violence in our lifetimes. What I mean is that what Eric described in an email as the “meme du moment” — i.e., “be afraid of getting blown up” — is an illusion.

One that has the Saturn-Neptune square behind it (now separating but still nearly exact). Every astrological aspect can have a positive expression; but part of what helps us to distinguish positive expression from an aspect’s shadow side is that, yes, sometimes that shadow comes through strongly.

So here we are, with the Sagittarius Sun having come through the Saturn-Neptune square earlier on Sunday. If you’ve had any contact with the media (including social media), you’re aware that the collective psychological climate right now is dominated by fear (Saturn in shadow form) and delusion (Neptune in its lower expression): fear of being bombed or shot; the delusion that shooting or bombing someone will solve the problem of your fear.

Yet there is much productive, creative work to be done, and being engaged in such endeavors is, I think, one antidote to the fear and delusion. It’s not necessarily an escape (though it can be); rather, I mean that any time you engage in creative, productive actions, I think you act to neutralize fear and delusion.

At the very least, you prune it down to a more manageable size. You can’t create and build — whether art, relationships, a house or an activist organization — without acknowledging the reality of your starting point, your raw materials and other resources. Then you add imagination — a vision of what can be — to work toward; imagination being the flip side of delusion, which simply sees what does not exist as though it does.

Another potential experience of the Sun entering Saturn-Neptune just as the square separates is a little more mundane, and might therefore feel more relatable. Eric described it as, “getting clear but not liking what that clarity reveals, even though it helps you.”

How often has that happened to you?

Hell, I think I experienced that this weekend as I engaged in a major sort-and-discard project with my clothes. I realized that my tendency to attach great emotional memory and significance to favorite pieces of clothing makes it incredibly difficult to discern whether or not they truly bring me joy now, or whether it’s time to discard them because they belong to a version of me that is long gone (and for whom I am grateful), but no longer belong in my wardrobe. I don’t like this enhanced clarity regarding how muddled my intuition and true desires can be (still, after years of work on this), but hopefully it will help me.

Like I said: super-mundane. I’d be curious to hear your own version of “getting clear but not liking what that clarity reveals, even though it helps you” that you might have experienced this weekend.

Speaking of mental processes, clarity and difficulties with those: Mercury is making some interesting aspects this week. Currently it is conjunct the Great Attractor, a mysterious deep-space point in mid-Sagittarius (which was exact on Sunday). One read of this is to beware of polarization — specifically, buying into the rampant polarization effect of the news and of politicians. The world is not black and white; it is many shades of messy and many shades of beautiful, and in many places the two overlap.

Mercury is also square Chiron (exact Tuesday at 11:01 am EST/ 16:01 UTC), and opposite Psyche and Chaos in Gemini (exact Wednesday and Thursday, respectively).

Eric wrote in an email to me as we discussed the astrology, “Mercury square Chiron to me is a crisis of one’s own intelligence…thinking oneself stupid, defective, dysfunctional. It’s also provocation to wake up from that.”

It’s the whole Mercury-Great Attractor-Chiron-Psyche-Chaos configuration that prompted to write in the first paragraph, “We want so badly to see the big, humanitarian picture right now … yet if we look out at the world via news reports, we meet a mirror full of chaos and pain that looks like it might never be healed. Don’t believe it.”

Don’t believe it, and don’t give up on the ability to heal, whether yours or someone else’s. It’s time to wake up. How’s that for today’s meme?

20 thoughts on “Time for a New Meme du Moment

  1. LizzyLizzy

    Wow! Thank you for this amazing piece ,dear Amanda (and Eric). The waking up actually happened when I literally woke up this morning. Have been feeling very down and sorry for myself lately – a particular situation at work, compounded by all that’s going on, and things are rocky again with my folks back home. I have to say that I like what the clarity reveals – as it has released me . I always go back to the same thing, that I think I’ve got over – that of being a victim. Once I catch myself in this mode (very hard to do when in the thick of it), I’m able to ‘grow up’ and start to get my power back. And it occurred to e that behind much of the sick state of the world is the need to grow up and become adults. And bless you, dear Amanda and Eric, for pricking the bubble on all this fear.

  2. dbdesigns

    As I seem to have optimism and a total resistance to victim-hood and negativity built into my genetic and astrological makeup, I have long known that we are the creators of our world – that we can choose to crap all over it, or make it beautiful, once again. That each choice for love, for creating something positive or beautiful, for fighting the good fight, by not giving up or giving in, to our own personal tragedies, reverberates out into the universe.

    I don’t follow the news, I won’t get caught up in the mass emotion, usually negative, that follows. Fear only spirals us downwards. Anger can be useful, when it used for positive change, or harmful, when we allow ourselves to fester in it, or let it lead us down a path of retribution, harming ourselves, harming others.

    The world’s pain doesn’t need fear, nor anger, it needs healing, and healing does indeed come from love, which is where creativity sprouts forth from, indeed as Amanda says, “any time you engage in creative, productive actions, I think you act to neutralize fear and delusion.”

  3. Pisces SunPisces Sun

    Thank you Amanda for the writing and Eric for sharing your mentoring and Lizzy for your comments. I, too, believe that the world has been at an immature state and it is time for its next growth spurt toward becoming a more mature caring adult.
    I have written here before of Dr. Andrew Weil, a Harvard-trained (and later professor) medical doctor who in his 1990s book, “Spontaneous Healing,” urged many breaks from the news, noting that the media was not good for the human mind or spirit. Dr. Oliver Sachs, the world-renowned neurologist also spoke of breaking away from the media and detaching from other world-events and negative energy sources and leaving those matters to the youth of the world. Which is curious in a way. He died in his 80s, his own medical care was trusted to the hands of those so much younger than he. He focused on living and noted that he was still deeply concerned with the matters of the world but detached from them since they now “belong to the future.” Instead, he deepened relationships and friendships, seeing and doing– and introspection: “to bind the thoughts and feelings of a lifetime together.” It gives me something to ponder although I am decades away from where he was when he died, but what if I were to die tomorrow, how was my living for today? Which brings me to the notion of gratitude and focus on that which is important.
    Deepening relationships and opening our hearts, as the neighborhood sign shows above (thank you for posting the picture Amanda). Regardless of our age, living occurs through our relationships and you can’t have a relationship with the media, so I recommend detachment from it. But you can have a relationship that is still meaningful with the world’s events and you can also affect your community and in a subtle way, world events as you illustrate in the above picture. One thing is for sure, this neighbors’ intentions are of a higher octave and purely altruistic, as are the petitioners. This is the maturity that we long for in the world. This is the Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela spirit in our midst. Recall Mother Teresa said: “We can do no great things; only small things with great love.”
    As we reflect on ourselves and others, come from a place of gratefulness and you will be in the present moment. It always helps put things in perspective for me.
    Transiting Neptune (7+ Pisces) has lingered so long conjunction my natal Mercury and natal South Node both Conjunction (6+ Pisces) and opposing my natal Pluto (and of course north node) 7+ Virgo and 6+ Virgo, respectively, that perhaps I have become used to shifts and shakeups of perspectives for a while now. But for me, I continue to come at Life with a Happy Heart. Maybe because I lived through a lot of fear thrusted on the US already- 9/11 attacks, DC sniper, anthrax scare, all in a short time frame. I know what its like to live in a constant state of fear, not only for yourself, but also for your children. It unravels the body and and leads to no good. So my caution to all: Don’t go there! Quiet yourself.
    Namaste’

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      “Regardless of our age, living occurs through our relationships and you can’t have a relationship with the media, so I recommend detachment from it.”

      Pisces Sun — in many ways I agree with you, but I do have a question about where you place Planet Waves in the grand scheme of things? In many ways, PW is part of the media (or perhaps more accurately, IS media — along with all the other things that are). Granted, we are an alternative form, not mainstream/corporate/faceless/huge. I think there’s more of a sense that the people behind what you see and read and listen to here are, in fact, real people who you can have some level of actual relationship with. Yet, we also report on world events regularly.

      It’s an interesting space that PW occupies. So I’m curious how you categorize it!
      :)

      1. Pisces SunPisces Sun

        Amanda, thanks for asking. The media that I am referencing is media in its current form, akin to but not entirely traditional. That is, where media tells you their version of the facts and that’s it. Even those that think they are interacting with the general public, like talk radio for example, do so disdainfully, for once a caller disagrees, the media host argues, put the person down, and then has the last say. At least at PW, opinions can and do change by its authors based upon the opinions written by its readers and others. Rarely is that seen in other places.
        But thank you for correcting my general statement, I should have been more specific by what I meant.
        Regarding PW, I hadn’t really thought about where I place it. I openly admit that I do not agree with all that is written on PW, although I do not always express it but sometimes I do. I will address items where I know facts to be different, it is really the opinions that I usually leave unaddressed, and I think that’s okay. I give enough about my opinion on things here as it is. But I will not rely upon any one source for information of any sort, nor should anyone else and I certainly do not think PW authors and readers do. So I guess I take what resonates with me and leave the rest! :-) Likely the same with others with what I write, and again, that’s okay and the beauty of free thought.

  4. Phyllis Capanna

    Amanda, Thank you for this piece. I often wonder if my assumption that the news reflects only the lowest aspects of the human experience is true, or if it’s my Sagittarian optimism clouding my judgment. But how else do I reconcile my everyday experience with people in the flesh, where kindness, compassion and caring come through naturally, with what I see in the media, where bizarre, dangerous and violent tendencies rule? I choose to believe that the news itself is part of the problem, that by its very nature focuses on and amplifies those thrilling lower vibes. As for a new meme, my current one, which I am taking from the most recent edition of Sandra Ingerman’s Transmutation News (http://www.sandraingerman.com/transmutationnews.html): “I can only say this is a time of awakening for all of us. And we cannot wake up to a new dream until we fully let go of our old dreams and old stories. I know in my life my own stories were who I was. I have lived a rich, varied, and wild life, and I feel like I have lived multiple lifetimes in this one life. And now it is time for me to put all my old stories to rest and create a new story out of who I am now and in the present. As we enter the solstice and the end of another year this might be a time for you to reflect on old stories that you need to let go of. What new identity do you want to nurture and manifest in 2016?”
    “What’s my new story for who I am and for the world?” That’s my meme for now.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      ” I choose to believe that the news itself is part of the problem, that by its very nature focuses on and amplifies those thrilling lower vibes.”

      Phyllis, I agree. And I think even when a person or organization is aware of that tendency — as PW is — It can be hard to keep the right balance between addressing what people are seeing and feeling and thinking about and struggling to process, and not amplifying those lower vibrations.

      It also just occurred to me that it might not be entirely a one-party effect; that is, we as readers have some control over how much of that lower energy we allow in, or how willing we are to step back and see it for what it is, then choose to detach from it, rather than incorporating it deeply into our own emotional/energetic center. Sadly, that is not always easy to do, even when one is aware of the possibility; sensitivities vary. And maybe it can only be done to a certain degree, before completely ignoring the “lower” sources and their message is necessary?

      Just pondering some thoughts here….thank you for sparking them!

      1. Phyllis Capanna

        Amanda, I don’t know if this will mean anything to you, but what I do with those lower energies is 1) look for the higher octave energy they may be expressing and 2) assume everything that happens is part of an intelligent whole. So, just like physical symptoms I might have that are upsetting or uncomfortable, these lower vibes have something to show me/tell me about something I am probably not aware of. I think PW does this by explicating the astrology involved, by asking questions about the accepted story of what happened, and by going out of its way to stand for certain values.

        As for the super-mundane: Sorting and tossing–and the attendant attachment, meaning and awareness inherent in the process– is as much a part of my spiritual path as anything. We are physical begins, after all.

        With appreciation ~ Phyllis

        1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

          “So, just like physical symptoms I might have that are upsetting or uncomfortable, these lower vibes have something to show me/tell me about something I am probably not aware of.”

          Great analogy, Phyllis — thank you. And I agree 100% with your thoughts about sorting/tossing and all that comes with it as being part of our spiritual process. It always amazes me how these seemingly simple tasks that change our physical environments can so profoundly shift our energy, outlook, and inner-look.

  5. mimi

    Dear Amanda, truly a terrific piece, both moving and inspiring. and thanks, too, for not slighting “the mundane” — you could have been describing the current drama in my closet! and elsewhere.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Haha — Mimi, I am so happy to know that the “mundane” part of this piece spoke to you (along with the rest of it)! The deeper spiritual questions are important, but…sometimes astrology shows itself to us in very basic, tangible comprehensible and even humorous ways.

  6. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

    Lizzy and dbdsigns: thank you both so much for contributing your thoughts and resonance to the conversation. Lizzy — I am glad to hear that you are practicing standing back up out of “victim mode” when you find yourself in it. That is not an easy task; keep it up!

    “Anger can be useful, when it used for positive change, or harmful, when we allow ourselves to fester in it, or let it lead us down a path of retribution, harming ourselves, harming others. The world’s pain doesn’t need fear, nor anger, it needs healing, and healing does indeed come from love, which is where creativity sprouts forth from.”

    Indeed, dbdesigns. Indeed.

  7. beleclaire

    Amanda : thanks, I can totally relate to the super mundane. The sorting out of clothes that you describe is familiar. I conducted a similar process with my vinyl this weekend ..why do I hold onto them all when I have other media with which to hear music that I love. I made lists and decided I will sell’em to a younger generation who will love them all over again.
    You know this all feels much more Jupiter in Virgo, North Node in Virgo to me..going through the daily discernment in order to find new ways of moving through life.
    I recognised the Saturn/Neptune square in, (I think ),an aversion to drinking any alcohol this weekend. Not that I indulge much more than one glass of wine at a time, but this weekend it felt like a complete no no.

    Lizzy: I feel for you and the revisiting of victim hood. Its a path I know well. I have spent the last 11 years ( can hardly believe it! ) clearing out many past victim lives. I have a lot of air and fire so this came as somewhat of a surprise.
    I don’t think it is enough for others to say get out of it, do productive stuff, etc..the main goal of true healing is to heal the deeply embedded pain of the emotional body, and that is,in my experience, profoundly painful .and also it is a slow haul.
    It is resonant ( to me) of the Pisces South Node which has transited a sensitive fixed star point recently. We are collectively going to be facing a lot of old pain from long gone times, and its all emerging into consciousness to be healed.
    So I send my love and warmest support in the journey through the pain…there will be an end to it, but don’t resist it popping up again…and again.

    Dbd: good luck with that total resistance of yours.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      beleclaire — Thank you for tying in Jupiter and North Node in Virgo. That definitely rings a bell for me, and it makes sense that while Jupiter and N Node are spurring one level of tangible, hands-on, concrete idea-into-action in such a Virgoan way, there’s Saturn and Neptune with the whole “clarity and not liking what you see even though it helps you” layer of our similar endeavors. (At least, for me; I’m not sure how much of that phrase applies to you). Just one more beautiful illustration of how everything around the zodiac wheel is working together, all at once. It’s just our personal experience that highlights one thing or another astrologically.

    2. dbdesigns

      LOL, not sure if you meant that sarcastically?

      Maybe it’s an age thing – I’m 56 and have been through my fair share, and am all the wiser for it – or maybe it’s an Aries and Leo thing – I simply do not allow myself to feel like a victim. When life, circumstances, people knock me down, I will only stay down a very short while. My inner warrior, inner power, self respect, whatever you wish to call it, rears its head, roars and gets me back on track.

      I dealt with my parental pain in my very early 20’s, I had to, as I was a mother of 2 by then, but also, I’m a boomer, so self introspection and coming to terms with stuff is sort of built in. I don’t avoid, hide, bury things, i deal with them. Life’s too short.

  8. LizzyLizzy

    Beleclaire, thank you for your lovely words, sweetheart! “the main goal of true healing is to heal the deeply embedded pain of the emotional body, and that is,in my experience, profoundly painful .and also it is a slow haul.” Yes – I agree with you. But our suffering is caused by our total identification with our separate selves, that will always get battered and ‘offended’ by life. I’ve often written about the amazing non-dualist teacher Rupert Spira here, can’t recommend him enough (lots of videos on youtube). It seems to be that there are no short cuts to ‘ waking up’, that it’s a journey of self-discovery and awareness, eventually (hopefully!) leading to another realization, which Eckhart Tolle also writes about brilliantly, Good luck to you too, dear Beleclaire!

  9. beleclaire

    Amanda: yes I agree it is a beautiful dance of planetary interconnection pulling and pushing at us in myriad ways:) The Saturn/Neptune layer didn’t resonate as I read, and I thought why? I think its because Neptune has only just moved on from opposing natal Mars for ?a year , while Saturn moved out of Scorpio and stopped squaring my Venus, and then Mars…so the combination has already impacted on me personally. It was illuminating and I did get clarity( I think and hope!) appreciating what emerged then.

    Lizzy: Thanks for your thanks! Both those spiritual teachers offer great wisdom in the being and becoming process I agree and thanks for mentioning them.
    * But our suffering is caused by our identification with our separate selves*
    Yes I agree and my point is that these separate selves from previous incarnations cast fearful undertones to our current life if we have died violently through persecution, poverty,rape…it is important to become conscious of what relates to ‘then’ and may have no part or need to be present in the ‘now’.
    It’s only recently that we in the West have had the privilege of living comparatively comfortable and SAFE lives.

    Pam: If you are interested in the Nodes, I would recommend a very thorough book called ‘Astrology for the Soul’ by Jan Spiller. She looks at what we bring in, via the South Node, from previous incarnations for healing, and the work we need to develop our soul growth via the North Node
    The link you posted has, I am guessing, used this book for source material

  10. beleclaire

    Dbdesigns: Sorry I did not see your post – for some reason it will not placed chronologically.

    No, I had no intention of being sarcastic, but direct – yes.as I reacted to your words ‘total resistance’.
    Coming from a therapy background I heard that as a conscious need to suppress the unconscious.
    That’s a bit like saying …’I will NEVER..’ and then further down the line, you are doing or being that ‘never’ and that’s not always an easy transition.

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