We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That’s what connects us—that we’re all broken, all beautifully imperfect. ~ Emilio Estevez
With just five weeks until the cosmic wild cards of two potent eclipses, the strapline of 2016 is already flashing in neon planetary lights: this is the Year of the Other. Like it or not, every one of us is coming face to face with alien concepts, polarizing cultural differences and mass population shifts. We are crossing the inflection point where the world is being forcibly unified in the face of fragmentation and destruction, yet being made existentially anxious about what this means. For most of us, such confrontations with the hard reality of the unknown unknown are uncomfortable, frightening, revealing—like living on the edge of chaos.
Meeting the other is happening at three levels simultaneously, knocking what we thought was solid ground from under our feet:
- In your Self, your shadow, in the gap between what you say you believe and what you do;
- In the ways you categorize others as different through projection and rejection;
- Having your view of your Self and your place in the cosmos expanded way beyond the familiar by quantum astronomy/astrology.
The Astrology of the Other
There are six bodies or points at 23+ degrees: the Moon’s Nodes, Jupiter, Haumea, Ixion, Eris and Sedna. This means they are all connected, all working together as archetypes of turning points, wisdom, and new life, unfreezing old trauma through contact with deep space. This is indicative of the amazing, life-changing year we have in store.
Saturn/Neptune—The Dam Breaks
Re-tuning the planetary frequency from “known to unknown”, Saturn in Sagittarius, the sign of the Other,
- Squares Neptune and Chiron in otherworldly Pisces,
- Trines Uranus/Eris in Aries, and
- Squares Jupiter and the Node of Fate in Virgo.
This is a direct encounter with the tuning forks of the Galactic Center and the Great Attractor, centaurs Pholus, Chiron and Borasisi and Plutonic planet Eris. This radically new and transpersonal planetary energy will be wild, edgy, unsettling and explosive.
During eclipses across the Virgo/Pisces axis, March 9 and September 1, Neptune will engulf, erode and drown out Saturn, creating confusion and chaos in its wake and washing away terra firma. The tides of refugees will confront our cherished beliefs about freedom, democracy and compassion at the same time as extremes of climate change—Neptune/Saturn—threaten our personal safety and survival.
The Uranus-Eris Conjunction in Aries
Potentially the most transformative aspect of 2016-17, the conjunction between Uranus the Awakener and Eris the newly discovered dwarf planet, is unprecedented for 99% of people alive today and its effects will be as unpredictable as Uranus on steroids. Eris symbolises people and circumstances that are so different that we resist considering them “one of us” and instead see them as the Discomforting Other. As a Stranger, an Alien.
These messengers of transformation bring growth by disrupting old patterns of thinking, beliefs and expectations, shattering the unexamined and comforting codes of “this is how we do things around here”.
Through being challenged over and over by our reaction to radically new concepts and being compelled by circumstances beyond our control to integrate these concepts into a re-designed inner map of the world, we evolve into a much more expansive field of unity consciousness. But before that happens, there will be anxiety, fears, phobias, and even guilt arising as the unconscious leaks through the barriers of ego-defense mechanisms at a personal, national and global level. Witness the exponential growth of viscerally polarised US Presidential debates, the binary confrontative democratic systems, the racists, the trolls and the extreme nationalists.
The Chandra Symbol for Uranus/Eris ARIES 23 says it better than I can:
A bottle labeled “drink me.”
The force of events sweeps away who you thought you were and plunges you into a deeper place beyond the known. The sheer immediacy, the sudden clarity shifts mountains of intent into a different octave altogether. Being taken by storm is the most direct path from here to there. And when cosmic worlds are urgently coming through, the only intelligent thing is to step aside and make a huge amount of room for unexpected guests, at events you could never have arranged in your wildest dreams.
And another bit of wisdom for these times:
We are like children building a sand castle. We embellish it with beautiful shells, bits of driftwood, and pieces of coloured glass. The castle is ours, off limits to others. We’re willing to attack if others threaten to hurt it. Yet despite all our attachment, we know that the tide will inevitably come in and sweep the sand castle away. The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea. ~ Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
Jupiter Conjunct the North Node of Fate in Virgo
The unusual thing about this year is that Jupiter will conjunct the North Node of Fate three times—on January 23 and 28, and June 20. Jupiter and the North Node are in orb now and will continue to work in tandem until the end of July. The last time that Jupiter encountered the North Node three times in any sign was in 1842, suggesting that this is a highly unusual and momentous year.
A long encounter between the Hierophant and the Node of Fate opens the door to the future. The three exact contacts of Jupiter and the North Node suggests that this six-month period represents a sea change in the material world as a knee-jerk response to the need to go beyond national interest and act globally as crises of refugees, resources and climate change escalate.
Jupiter is beginning a new cycle with the North Node, your Soul Star growing in evolutionary consciousness, whichever aspect of your life 23-15 degrees of Virgo symbolise in your birth chart. Jupiter’s bridge with the South Node Earth Star in Pisces reminds you of how far you have come since 2008. Now the task is how to distill useful wisdom from Jupiter’s contacts with deep space objects.
The Chandra Symbol for Jupiter/North Node at 23 Virgo tells us:
Giant cacti blooming in the desert.
Knowing beyond knowing what is real and what counts. Containing so much knowledge and wisdom that you bear the record of all that is worthwhile in human evolution. Fascinating and extraordinary insights, realisations, and observations—an independent way of seeing. Integrity and conviction, sterling and impressing—a perfect grasp of essentials. Dedication to holding faithful to the earth and her ways. Tremendous mentality demanding self-command to harness and make effective and helpful. Willing to do the work. Tending towards the most boundless extremes on the inside. A destiny far removed from the mainstream. Alive to karmic resonances.
How to Survive and Thrive on the Edge of Chaos
- Find your own edge between your comfort zone and feeling overwhelmed
- Deliberately set up opportunities for new patterns of growth by living between structure and surprise
- Seek out opportunities for creative disturbance
- Develop the skill of visiting the edge of chaos frequently, recognizing and harvesting the flickers of emerging order
- Step out of your usual view of reality to get a 360° perspective.
- Realize that your self-perception is relative
- See trends as cycles
- Futurize—envisage possible futures
- Develop sensory acuity and trust intuitive insights and leaps in logic
- Expand your curiosity to gain wisdom and knowledge beyond your own experience
- Understand how your limiting beliefs structure your reality and change them
- Ask: How am I playing too safe, too small? What am I willing to say a big NO to?
- Where am I now on the spectrum, from being an effect of life, from believing that life happens to me, to being the primary cause in my life? And where would I rather be?
We are in a new world. You are no longer dependent on the gatekeepers. The gates in so many places that banned and banished and exiled and closed us out, have been blown off their hinges. The gates are just hanging there all black wires sprung and looking pathetic. Now, there is just you. Everything is dependent on you, your WORK, your daily work. Think of what this time of your life means, here in the 21st century. Wake up! You have NEVER been more free, more capable, with more tools available than once belonged only to the ruling king. ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes, unpublished work