We Are Them: Election Day and Other Polarizations


No matter what happens this week (and I'm, of course, speaking principally about the US elections), a large segment of the population will be very unhappy.

Even if we find ourselves on the 'winning side', I believe we should be sensitive to this fact—if, that is, we actually want a victory that propels us beyond this infinitely stymieing polarization.

Remember how you've felt in instances when the shoe was on the other foot… when those whose beliefs seemed scarily threatening to your way of life took control of the wheel, laughing vengefully at your fright as you scrambled for safe cover. Returning the favor with smug satisfaction ('look who's got the power now, baby!') does nothing but reinforce the pattern of locking out the genuine deep concerns of those who disagree with us.

I have already written about the odd synchronicity of Saturn and Uranus's opposition reaching its first exact peak on Election Day (Tue Nov 4). But this is the merely the first peak among five, spanning a period of influence that extends through the middle of 2011.

In other words, we are still at the beginning of this massive cultural readjustment—and this week's election results will hardly 'resolve' anything. On the contrary, they'll be merely kicking off the impending spectacle… one that's bound to happen regardless of who's elected.

We see further astrological evidence that our collective desires for a quick and fair resolution to the past zillion months of campaigning, to our economic woes and military limbo, aren't likely to be fulfilled any time soon. Venus's current position in Sagittarius would otherwise tempt us toward embracing the notion that 'we are finally getting somewhere'… leaving the seemingly needless mounds of specifying detail and consideration by the wayside, in order to jump ahead to what really matters: hopping on board with whatever results are collectively selected, and getting to the business of rebuilding the country's self-image.

Yet, alas, this Venus in Sagittarius—enthusiastic, passionate about pursuing its philosophic ideals, impatient with the fine print and red tape—is blocked on both sides by dual squares to Saturn and Uranus, essentially preventing her from securing the easy path to justice she craves.

On the one hand, the Venus-Saturn square inhibits the Sagittarian knack for 'getting straight to the point' (whatever that is) by heightening the need for precise considerations of the rules, limits, technicalities and other facts. After all, believing in the importance of something does not free us from the practical realities governing it. On the other hand, meanwhile, the Venus-Uranus square can further incite the contrariness that Sagittarius may experience when it feels events are moving nowhere fast, inspiring some folks to act out without thinking beyond a moment's desire for some action (anything!) that'll bust the perceived standstill. You can imagine, however, the inherent problems with obeying the Uranian urge to upset at all costs… especially so, when pitting it against the Saturnian call to obey the protocol of boundaries.

Venus's present position as T-square apex to these two opposing planetary heavyweights, then, also serves to make the Saturn-Uranus opposition instantly personal to us all. Striking the right balance (as I previously described it) between tightening up (Saturn) and breaking out (Uranus) in different areas in each of our lives is hardly as simple an exercise as Venus in Sagittarius might hope. No matter how swiftly and slickly we might wish to iron out the proverbial wrinkles in this or that arena, we are met with a delicate mix of items to hold firm on and items to let go of… while understanding which is which, without favoring one category too excessively over the other, is a task that takes both time and concentration.

When we are unhappy with an outcome that impacts us, do we silently swallow our opposition, too stoically (or submissively?) accepting the imposition of an authority that doesn't compassionately speak to our needs, without much public complaint? That is too much Saturn in Virgo.

Or do we blatantly lose our cool, knocking over benches and breaking windows, refusing to heed the rational rules of a civil compact, instead favoring righteously revolutionary (if not outright reckless) activities that destabilize both the baby and the bathwater? That's Uranus in Pisces to the extreme.

Neither approach is terribly productive right now—without the counterbalance of the other, that is.

Whatever the context of this planetary drama for each of us as individuals, first and foremost, we mustn't expect same-day solutions to circumstances that have been growing to this 'crisis' point over the course of many years. Our most effective moves will build upon each other one step at a time, combining innovative leaps with the pragmatic discipline necessary not to overload the system with too much change all at once.

Dare we overreact in either direction, we risk a laundry list of potential problems. Will the anger of those who feel they're 'losing' something fundamental to their well-being reach a critical mass, resulting in unrest that destroys more than was bargained for? Will the fear of such unrest lead to a harsh clamping-down of freedoms, substituting chaos for a Big-Brotherish institution of further restrictions? On both the macro- and micro-levels, these are both real possibilities, as Saturn and Uranus wrestle with where exactly to strike the balance.

Along our way, each of us will meet countless other individuals facing the same fundamental life questions (don't we all live within the same cosmos?)… though many will approach them from positions in sharp contrast to ours. What inspires our hope may trigger their terror. What represents our liberation may constitute the radical destruction of their near-and-dear values. And what we may do to try and build these fresh freedoms into our reigning social structures, they might seek to undermine or sabotage in righteous refusal to bow down.

Can't you see? We are both us and them… in different guises, based on the situation. No matter what side of history we find ourselves on, the other players deserve our basic human respect—regardless of whether we feel they've given us the same. Compassion's got to start somewhere.