Evolution Calls for Chaos


There's no way around it: If you set out to take a giant leap of growth, you're unlikely to avoid at least one giant mess at some point in the process.

Let's get that out in the open… and hopefully eliminate any fantasies we might be harboring about what our path to increased satisfaction or success looks like.

It's a bumpy road, folks. And also exciting, certainly for those folks who thrive on the magical energy of creating something out of nothing or very little… if not for the rest of us, more prone to freaking out once plans prove pointless and we enter uncharted lands for which maps don't yet exist.

Even for the most prepared and careful-minded, at a certain critical juncture in the creative process we must simply hold our breath and act on faith. It's not just a faith that 'everything will work out' (because, let's face it, sometimes things don't), but faith in our own on-the-spot responsiveness… that no matter the unforeseen glitches or surprise side-effects we neglected to anticipate, we can count on our combination of experimental ingenuity, life-experience, and flat-out audacity to serve us at any critical moment. The messes will happen still, as long as we continue being interested in living a life that keeps us on our toes.

Many people go to great lengths to avoid such outbreaks of chaos, by working to establish safe predictable patterns for themselves—relationships, jobs, living situations and family dynamics that remain nearly the same for years at a time. When minor issues or discontentments crop up, these folks typically prefer not to make a big stink about 'em, finding ways to circumvent the problem or passively acclimate themselves to one more slight decrease in satisfaction. Anything to prevent the big blowout or major collapse, they reason. Rather than spend their vitality on exploring their desires and taking the relevant risks, they strive to minimize any upset at all… though 'upset' is exactly what's called for sometimes.

Working to avoid the upset of chaos at all costs is ultimately a losing proposition in this existence we share, where the only known constant is change. Every living individual is due for periodic shakeups and breakdowns. This is perhaps the keenest wisdom astrology has to offer us: There is a time for every purpose under heaven, the happy and the sad and all that's in between, and each shall pass when it's run its course. No matter how we may prepare ourselves, we cannot escape the eventual endings.

Those averse to the messiness of constant change will fight it every step of the way, though their 'enemy' will always prevail. Acting to 'withstand change altogether' often leads to everyone and everything around the person continuing to evolve, with the stubborn one left to dig his heels in deeper… a resistance that crystallizes into cold resentment as the world keeps on spinning, leaving him behind as some quaint grayed remnant from days gone by.

Or maybe the 'change' smacks the person straight-on anyway, shaking her so deeply to the core, she may greatly struggle to recover—having hidden her head in the sand for so long, operating under the denial of 'security' and never considering what she'd do in such an event, the shock or despair is that much more crippling.

Astrology can be so useful to us, since it essentially serves as a giant multi-handed clock, warning us in advance when moments of heightened change or chaos are headed toward us… and describing, in a language of archetypal symbols, what sort of change to expect. According to astrological principles, the evolutionary pressure of transiting planets' energies rubbing against our natal placements will impact us, in one manner or another, regardless of whether we welcome evolution or futilely try to hold it back.

Those of us who apply astrology to help us greet the planets' calls, gaining fuller understanding of when and how we should push ourselves to evolve, have a better shot at consciously channeling the energies to our desired ends. While we never gain reliable control over our evolutionary process—because there's no way around the inevitable bits of chaos, whenever we attempt something new—we at least have a decent idea of what's going on and can gently guide ourselves through it.

The transits still hit those who don't follow the planets, too… though without an archetypal reference-point for what's going on, moments of great friction or chaos can feel incredibly disconcerting. In fact, it's during those instances when we're most unaware of the evolutionary currents operating in our lives that the planets seem to 'do something to us' rather than, say, merely mirroring the trends and actions we ourselves are willingly effecting. Should we resist the inevitability of periodic chaos, we're only removing our co-creative agency in the matter—and unquestionably making life harder for ourselves.

And so the wiser among us often court the chaos (in more manageable doses, one would assume), voluntarily introducing untested methods, innovative detours or other breaths of fresh air… before the crunch, the crash or the disaster befalls us, forcing us to contend with a more totalizing (and thus more overwhelming) bedlam. We rip out the kitchen before the leaky appliances cause worse damage like a collapsing floor or rotting support beams. We redesign our website before our competitive edge is lost to more tech-savvy peers. We seek couples' counseling before the unresolved emotions have built up to a point of no return. We speak our needs before so much time has passed that we've lost our hope of ever being heard, let alone satisfied.

Rarely do we look forward to dirtying our hands with such inconvenient (or, in some cases, excruciatingly uncomfortable) breaks in the routine. But we do it anyway, wagering a few awkward or painful moments on a future that could bring us much more personal happiness than the present. We know that, the longer we wait, the harder it becomes… and the more disoriented we'll feel once the chaos finally knocks us on our asses.

I offer these timely thoughts as I glance out at the astrological horizon, toward a chaos-heavy several years ahead… kept 'interesting' (or, if you prefer, turbulent) by a Uranus-Pluto square just beginning to show us its revolutionary verve. To thrive, we'll be perpetually called to compensate for the deficiencies of decaying institutions by coming up with novel ways to get things done—with little time to sit around hypothesizing and theorizing. But if that's what it takes to keep our individual and collective existences vital and rich, I say: Bring it on.