In planetary astrology, each planet is ascribed attributes, or energy patterns, that together make up the templates of our day to day experience. Woa, what? While this may turn many off, bear with me. The key here is template… the probabilities, the behind the scenes forces that pull at our subconscious.
In fact, I don’t care if you’re into astrology or not. I’m not waving a metaphysical banner or striving for woo-woo recruits. What’s more important, and what I’d like to illustrate, is how some ideas from this study can apply universally to our politically vexed and stretched discourse.
There’s two concepts to grasp: Saturn and Jupiter.
Saturn restricts. It seeks the security of the systems at hand. This security is not only a momentary assurance, but a basis for growth. It takes time, effort, and focus to build something from this foundation. With focus and playing devil’s advocate, comes understanding. One of the effects of Saturn though, is fear of what’s outside the boundary of security. The security is comforting but the restriction can be painful.
Jupiter expands. It plunges into the broad, abstract vision, seeking freedom at whatever the cost. It aims big, is jolly, and creates form out of moving, stormy gasses. With boundless optimism, comes love. The downside of Jupiter is being a bit lost in the clouds, un-grounded, thinking we can have everything or entertain every thought, and missing out on harnessing and making the most of one’s efforts.
Of course we’re all a mixture of each with ways we connect the themes into a lived experience. Astrologers work with energy archetypes, or for all practical purposes, metaphors.
Saturn and Jupiter, whether you view it purely as a metaphor or as an energetic archetype, are spinning around in our everyday experience. Interactions at work, sub-themes in movies, social media frenzies and comment-arguments, or just Thanksgiving arguments with family. The thing is, they’re not going away. No matter who’s president at the time, or which policy prevails in the legislature, each mindset and thought pattern is here to stay. The challenge of holding the two peacefully is the challenge of our time — to either verbally beat ourselves into a pulp of bitterness and alienation, or rise above our differences and join forces. How do we do this, you ask? Critical thinking is a bountiful toolbox that knows not red or blue, conservative or liberal. Each political camp is guilty of the following:
So after catching a few of my own logical fallacies, I did what’s meaningful to me, lighting candles and playing soft music while meditating. I stripped conservatism of every trigger, issue, and person (but dang, it’s hard). Under each layer, I fine-tuned the mentality of conservatism like a radio dial. Not the labels and the positions, but the feelings and sensations attributed to Saturn.
I embraced it, and it made me a better person. Instead of being angry at everything different from me –bumper stickers, facebook posts, the TV at the gym, they’re EVERYWHERE– I was less stressed and more at ease navigating life with the ability to let go and embrace the other.
Once we can emotionally hold the viewpoint from the other side of our default bias, we can reverse the process and bring it out into the world. Interacting with opposite viewpoints becomes much easier and possibly even pleasant (while it’s easy to say and sound good, it still takes work). Instead of a different position triggering dissonance, rage, and a fury of reasons why their wrong, one can see where their coming from, what their really striving for, and how it fits into the big picture of the universe… or, fits into the slightly awkward family gathering. When you really put this counter-intuitive idea to practice, you realize that their true goal is not to be ‘king of the hill’ and shout I’m RIGHT to the world (disclaimer– some may just want to do this from either political camp, they’re just jerks so we’re still wary). What they’re after, and what they’re referencing, for whatever reason you want to assign, is what they need and where they need to be at that time. We all change, mold, and grow. It’s tragic when our attempt to establish truth gets projected onto others negatively, preventing us from walking our own natural path back and forth between Saturn and Jupiter.
I’m a raging, progressive liberal by default. Call it what you will. My astrological chart, my lived experiences, the people I connect with, or my 11th grade literature teacher who played Rage Against the Machine for a class discussion.
But after just a few sessions of mediation with a focus on Saturn, I soon found myself buying a new pair of shoes. Shoes that are probably sweatshop-made, petroleum-based, and deforestation-contributing -sigh- I know.
But like a goat, they gave me a sense of stability and placement, plus they looked good.
After a few more meditations, what else will happen?