‘There is no coming to consciousness without pain.’ Carl Jung
Like a primitive aquatic life form struggling madly in dark archaic slime as it clambers to reach the light of day, the psyche of humanity in early 2017 grapples with a slippery political murk concocted of disingenuous dissimulation and dopplegangered deception. Retrograde Mercury is in full swing, casting its bewildering spell of mystical incantations dressed up in drag as demagogic bombast, decoy strategies, outright mendacity, and calculated falsity. Nothing is as it seems; aye, that’s a simple statement nearly impossible of meaningful application.
If pain and angst mark the birthing of authentic human consciousness, then planet Earth may well stand on the verge of an episode of cosmic awakening, for in the past week, the planetary anxiety meter has spiked right off the scale. Coinciding with the volatile Sun-Uranus conjunction in sometimes bellicose Aries on April 14, the words and actions of American president Donald Trump mirrored the worst side of the then-dominant astrological archetypes a bit too precisely. Mars is the god of war and Uranus the bringer of shock and the unexpected. Reflecting these two archetypes all too graphically, images of missiles heaving into the sky with exploding tails of fire and threats of unwinnable thermonuclear exchanges terrorized the whole planet into an acute state of vigilance, if not into downright panic. Talk about psychic pain! It was all over the globe, in mind, emotions, and body. If tension precedes breakthrough, by golly, we are there.
What now? Astrology would be made yet another liar on the littered field of prestidigitation if I were to say that the bad stuff is all behind us. It isn’t. Here’s why: this week, the effects of retrograde Mercury are vastly multiplied by the Sun-Mercury conjunction coming on Wednesday, April 19 and Thursday, April 20. At the very same time, planetoid Pluto turns retrograde in the zodiac. These two influences landing right on top of one another promise to amplify the stream of bizarre covert intrigue with which our minds have been befuddled for too much time already. In plain talk, this means that the usual suspects will be at it even more intensively, throwing blame and accusation here and there for what they dream to be cleverly conceived cover, as their own perfidies dribble out anyway by ingenious and inexplicable means. Tamperings with communication systems are all too likely. Disruptions of communication flows and other irregularities may pollute the moment with suspicions of treachery and with treachery itself. Watch the dates April 19 and 20 for these themes.
On the interpersonal level, these same influences can generate our own teapot tempests. What to do? Following upon the words of Carl Jung above, I say let the process run. Although the effects of these two retrograde energies arriving late in this coming week surely promise to complicate the international situation and to intensify any pre-existing interpersonal tensions, on a psychological and spiritual level within the individual person, they can work to our distinct advantage. The retrograde influence represents a powerful turning toward deeper sources of being, the very wellsprings of our sense of meaning and purpose. These are the centers of gravity toward which we will be drawn this week, like iron filings pulled inexorably toward a magnet.
The signs of the zodiac involved in this week’s key activations are Taurus, where the Sun and Mercury will conjoin at 0 degrees, and Capricorn, where Pluto will turn retrograde at 19 degrees. Taurus and Capricorn are both earth signs, thus dealing with the basics of life, such as financial security and the provision of life’s necessities. Thus, these concerns will be strongly in our minds, perhaps causing us (as retrogrades do) to re-evaluate our approaches and improvise toward improvement. As earth signs, Taurus and Capricorn also bespeak our relationship with the soil, with the mineral kingdom, with the surface of the Earth and what lies beneath. This same theme is mirrored by the Pluto archetype, which is also strong this week by virtue of the retrograde station it will make on Thursday, April 20.
Pluto itself carries with it the message of the classical deities for which it is named, Greek Hades and Roman Pluto, both gods of an underworld conceived as interior to the Earth. In classical mythology, the underworld functions as a region of psychic and spiritual purification undergone between incarnations, the nature of the experience there determined by the nature of consciousness and behavior in the prior life. Thus, because Pluto energies are strong this week, we are by astrological influences invited to step right into the metaphorical underworld, that facet of consciousness Jung might call the unconscious. Like gold in the dark cave guarded by the daunting dragon, something worthy lies hidden in this place. Yes, in this deep interior space is hidden the repository of our past life memories, the knowledge of our soul’s life path, and the buried treasure of deep spiritual perception.
This can’t be all bad. In fact, the undertow into the land of spiritual conscience is so strong that it just might reach up and grab the key actors in our current planetary drama. Hm. That would change things around, would it not? Could it be the voice of conscience come to call on important world figures? If so, perhaps the ghost of Carl Jung will rise, like the shade of a prophet from Hades, to admonish certain well-known figures. If so, I feel he’ll reiterate this stern reminder: the pain of facing truth is the gate to greater being.