'Less than Friendly' Times Hit Home


I will speak from personal experience here: It's becoming increasingly hard to stay calm in a cultural climate of mass panic.

Not only is it impossible to avoid the constant droning of grim economic news on TV screens and magazine covers and websites, the micro-level consequences are hitting home in so many individual households.

I, for one, lost a job this week—I was let go from my horoscope-writing gig at an Australian publication due to (as my former employers put it) 'the less than friendly economic climate'. Ain't it, though.

Still, I must move on, not pausing too long to feel sorry for myself ('but hey, I lost my job!'), lest I get caught looking backwards and turn to a pillar of salt, frozen for perpetuity in the melancholy of one last parting glance. This moment in history is not suited for dwelling in inertia. The waves of change will swallow the motionless alive.

The truth has already been repeatedly proclaimed (and you'll hear plenty more of it in the coming months): We will be okay in the long run. Better than okay, in fact. And this is not just the fluff of positive thinking.

Immediate crises—lost jobs, ruinous relationships, the end of the line in this or that zone of life—force us to deal. They kick our innovative creativity into high gear. They remove the familiar safety mechanisms, and, in their absence, we must invent new ways to take care of ourselves. We only sink into real trouble if, when confronted with the need to deal, we merely bury our heads in the sand and continue running up charge cards at the local Mega-Lo-Mart, filling our cupboards with paper products in a futile attempt to compensate for dwindling security.

In this particular transition, that approach simply will not work. This whole damn problem, after all, is a result of the misappropriation of resources… that is, spending wealth we do not have on that which we cannot afford.

The other truth, equally as important to air: We shouldn't count on smooth sailing anytime soon. Kicking off the turbulent next several years ahead of us, the Saturn-Uranus opposition has just barely begun to assert its sphere of influence in the past month or so. And that aspect feeds right into a Uranus-Pluto square—another super-potent, generation-defining dynamic that compels us toward dramatic, disruptive, revolutionary upheavals, which is within a 5-degree orb of exactitude from next summer through 2018. (Yes, a full decade.) Both these aspects connect into an unforgettable T-square between Saturn, Uranus and Pluto, in tightest alignment during the summer of 2010… when Jupiter also joins the fun, through a conjunction with Uranus.

In other words, the next two or three years will prove monumental in leading us to the next steps of our collective evolution… with the following five years or so spent struggling to adjust, accept, integrate and, eventually, thrive in a radically reinvented cultural climate. There are no exaggerations in my words.

The Powers That Be (politicians, experts, the media, the rich) also know this to be true… or at least the brave-hearted ones who aren't blinded by their wishes to preserve the status quo and the handsome profits it bestows upon them. Needless to say, they are in no hurry to convey this reality to us, their loyal subjects. How often do you get the feeling that the 'official reports' are being candy-coated for our supposed interests, lest we average citizens catch a whiff of the immediate terrifying truth beneath the positively-spun-beyond-recognition campaign promises and press releases?

Conventional wisdom prevents them from speaking everything they see—that this recession (or will it actually develop into a full-blown 'depression'?) is a long time coming, deeper and more damaging than most of us know, and calls for a fundamental reorganizing of the American (read: global?) psyche. Naturally, though, they imply just enough of it to generate the public fear required for enforcing their authority… but without sufficient straight-talk to actually inspire us with sincere leadership.

Thus, it can easily become damaging to one's psychic well-being to follow the volatility of that hour's latest news break, as if the contrasting split-screen voices of coiffed handfed talking heads will lull us into faith that, somehow, this spectator-sport political polarization will ensure us a fair-and-balanced governing.

Those who are the most scared, however, are the ones who fear they are nobodies without their external trappings—the name-brands and clique-memberships, titles and stock options, the right schools and neighborhoods, the easy-upgrade gold-level frequent-flyer status, and other bags of so-called freebie goodies that, as we are learning, are never actually free. But when we are stripped of such familiar safety nets, we're left with little more than the purest kernel of who we are. On this leveled playing field, elite-class membership cards are worth nothing.

Those of us who know ourselves well, and are comfortable with accepting both our god-given gifts and innate limitations, will be able to hang on to this core of faith: All we can ever do, in the best and worst of times, is to be our authentic selves. The remaining mania consists merely of frantic moves to sustain the illusion of control.

We are pure souls, passing through one strange incarnation in a particular moment in history… and this is, without a doubt, a fascinating time in which to live. There is energy, there is movement, there is creativity, there is excitement—and, yes, there is also a lot of anxiety.