A Paradigm-Changing Time
Dharmagaians come from many fields of learning and endeavor: science, philosophy, art, literature, psychology, spirituality, activism, and – yes, astrology. Astrology, one of my own symbolic systems of learning, offers some of the most fertile insights into our time in human history because it is the study of time – or, perhaps I should say, timing. There are several excellent astrologers writing about the process of paradigm change in relation to socio-political and ecological events in the world as they relate to archetypal astrological influences in the sky. (Paradigm change is a major theme among Dharmagaians and on Dharmagaians.org, where it is also called The Great Turning.)
I will not mention astrology in all my posts on this blog, but this particular summer brings some of the most potent astrological influences in my lifetime, and it happens that some of the astrologers writing about this time are Dharmagaians. The Dharmagaian astrologers whose writings I appreciate and enjoy the most are Richard Tarnas, Eric Francis, and Jessica Murray, who all provide critical commentary on Western culture along with astrological interpretations.
Richard Tarnas is one of the people from whom I learned the most about paradigm change. He wrote The Passion of the Western Mind, a 500-page book on paradigm changes in Western history, which I used as the primary text in a course on the history of Western thought at Naropa University in 1999. His next 500-page book was Cosmos and Psyche, a rigorous study of the archetypal astrological influences reflected in historical events and paradigm changes. He spent 30 years writing Cosmos and Psyche, including the ten years he spent writing The Passion of the Western Mind. They have both been described as “magisterial” works of scholarship. Because they are masterful, they are convincing.
Eric Francis, whom I quoted in Discoveries of the Week ending 7/31/10, is also an admirer of Richard Tarnas and a former environmental journalist. He frequently comments on ecological issues and events from a depth-psychology perspective. I wrote at length about depth psychology from a Dharmagaian perspective in Psycho-Spiritual Evolution, where I also quote Tarnas.
Jessica Murray is another Dharmagaian astrologer influenced by Tarnas (and Jung) whose cultural commentaries I enjoy. In At Her Service, dated July 19, 2010, Murray says,
Big truths are afoot — truths that we have collectively failed to process, or even admit to — about the kind of world we’ve created for ourselves. It’s a world where humans have given up their power to nonhuman profit-generating entities: corporations. It’s a world where addiction to soon-to-be-extinct dinosaur ooze is almost universal. It’s a world where newborns have 180 man-made chemicals in their umbilical cords. It’s a world where life-and-death realities like these are still pushed to the margins of media discussion, ceding the stage to unending expostulations about money and politics…. It is an approach to collective life that is insufficient to the point of fatal.
Pluto’s square to Saturn in Libra is making clear that most of the political and economic ideologies now in use are anachronistic. This shouldn’t surprise us, given that they date from a pre-ecological mindset… Even the most sacrosanct ism of all — nationalism — will have to be reexamined if Earth is to survive….
The corner of the Cardinal Cross that involves Jupiter (ideology) and Uranus (acceleration) suggests that we don’t have time to spend a few decades tweaking our favorite old belief systems. For there to be a shift to new beliefs there must be a shift in collective thinking about what it means to hold beliefs in the first place….
The level of consciousness that has allowed humanity to tolerate ecocidal insults … has reached a dead end, and so have the ideologies that allow us to ignore them….
Those of us who were born into these years were meant to use the creative minds and the wise hearts Nature gave us… in Her service.
Financial shocks are probable under skies like these. Economies all over the world are in turmoil, and government infrastructures are creaking and crumbling like old houses in a storm. It is very important this month to keep our heads about us and watch the flow of events for big-picture trends. The bigger our perspective, the more we will be able to respond creatively to what is happening.
The Timing and Intentions of Dharmagaians.org
A major intention behind creating the Dharmagaians.org site is to provide the largest possible perspective on the significance of our time in order to help readers shake off anachronistic belief systems, for doing so enables people to respond creatively to what is actually happening in the world. By seeing opportunities and possibilities in the instabilities, we can turn danger into opportunity. The gift that is offered by this potent time, as described by astrologers, is that the evolution of consciousness is receiving energetic support from the cosmos. This opportunity won’t last forever, and the stakes have never been higher for our species or the planet. If we realize the urgency of the need to grab the opportunities to ‘change our paradigm’ and do things differently, we stand a better chance of surviving the next few decades – physically, psychologically and spiritually.
It is a strange and ironic synchronicity that I am finally ready to “unveil” – that is, “launch” or announce – Dharmagaians.org to my networks right on the New Moon of August 10, 2010, the astrology for which is a particularly potent announcement of the Grand Cardinal Cross. I did not plan the timing of this. Creating and getting this website ready to launch has taken almost three years, much longer than I anticipated, and it has unfolded in a direction that I also didn’t anticipate. And it isn’t even “finished.” I have yet to complete two more essays and their two links pages.
I also have yet another essay that is germinating in the ‘greenhouse,’ which will be posted in Dharmagaians.org, but I may also serialize it in this blog. However, it will take considerable research, for it is on the myth of Atlantis, the history of Western civilization’s patriarchal Predator Culture, and the re-emergence of the feminine principle in our time. Richard Tarnas, Jessica Murray, and many others have already written on aspects of this theme. For a hint, see Murray’s Coming Back Home to the Cosmos: Humanity’s Re-embrace of the Feminine.
But I am interested in digging a little deeper into the psychological and historical origins of the West’s predator culture, the concept of which I introduced in the two long essays Psycho-Spiritual Evolution Beyond the Predator Archetype and The Animistic Soul Re-Emerges. These essays and their subject matter are for those who are at least potentially psycho-spiritually literate and also capable of sustained attention, which I realize is not everybody.
So, in a sense, Dharmagaians.org is still a work in progress, definitely not finished. But feeling the urgency of this time, I want to make what is already on the site available to those who may be in need of it to explain the weirdness and uncertainty of our time and to prepare for more of it; for helping people to prepare for what’s coming is another major part of the site’s intention. In Murray’s The Cardinal Cross Years: 2010-12, she describes the significance of the current configuration of planets in this way:
Much has been written about the upcoming cardinal configurations, and this article will confine itself to just one piece of it: the square between Pluto and Uranus. The most enduring and most potent of the assembled forces, this aspect forms the backdrop of the planetary dramas of the first half of the decade to come. The relationship between Pluto and Uranus will function as a main plot does in a well-told story, anchoring the meaning of the subplots that surround it.
Uranus represents the unstoppable force of ideas whose time has come. Pluto represents the raw power and inevitability of breakdown and renewal. Together they force consciousness changes in the collective that are – relatively speaking — explosively sudden. Already we can see the accelerated speed that will characterize this next phase of human evolution. When we consider the normal snail-like pace of changes in entrenched collective consciousness, it is nothing short of astounding that a massive shift in popular awareness about global warming has happened in no more than a couple of years’ time….
The meaning of outer-planet aspects derives from their roles in unfolding macrocycles. Thus the best way to begin to understand the upcoming Pluto-Uranus square is to consider the last time these two planets conjoined, forty-odd years ago. It was then that these two were in their New Moon phase and the seeds for the current transit were planted.
In the mid-1960s, Uranus and Pluto occupied the same location in the zodiac for a few mind-blowing years; a period that those who lived through them will never forget. This was the transit that made the sixties The Sixties: Uranus, governor of revolution, and Pluto, governor of social decay, conjoined in the sky while opposing Saturn: status quo thinking — and KABOOM: the counter-culture was born. Taboo-busting cultural ideas raced around the globe like an uncontained wildfire, changing the mores of the generations extant and the ones not yet born.…
From 2010-2015 Uranus and Pluto will take the next big step in their relationship, analogous to the First Quarter Moon. The heady revelations of the hippies and yippies will be ready for post-millennial application. The winsome flower-child vision will have developed into a set of responses – or reactions, depending on the level of consciousness involved – to the crises the globe is facing at present.
This Grand Cardinal Cross has particular significance for me not only because my website is ready to launch today after three years of intensive, grueling work, but also because this astrological configuration is bearing down on a major aspect in my natal chart that is significant in relation to this website. (FYI for astrologers, I have Saturn at 3 degrees Cancer in the 9th house, square Neptune at 1 degree Libra in the 12th house. That aspect, which is directly aspected by the Grand Cross today, could be interpreted symbolically as the “author” of the entire Dharmagaians concept and site.) It’s a little bit unnerving for me to realize all this, because this cosmic Grand Cross implies a dimension of crucifixion on the collective as well as on the personal level – the sacrifice of comfortable but outdated beliefs, habits, behaviors and ways of life.
By the way, if you are wondering why I am posting pictures of crop circles here, notice the mysterious symbolism of them and the dates they were reported in relation to the astrological commentaries above. To me, they speak of the weirdness and inexplicability that we can expect in this time of change, but also the beauty, if we are willing to see it. Crop circles are invitations to paradigm change. They appeal to the meaning-making animistic soul, which we all possess and can discover beneath the anachronistic prejudices of our culture. They invite the contemplation of mystery – that which lies beyond the boundaries of human comprehension and control. We could say that the mysteries of the cosmos are the ultimate source of the symbolic systems – such as astrology, the Tarot and the I Ching (Book of Changes) – that have been devised by animistic souls throughout the cultures of the world. And I think we are going to have many more opportunities to contemplate – and appreciate – the mysteries of the cosmos in the years and decades ahead.
Afterthought: See Murray’s acerbic blog commentary on the astrology of the WikiLeaks story, Law of Cure.