Does anyone remember the Harmonic Convergence? Back in 1987? It was an unusual astrological pile-up that according to organizer, José Arguelles, was supposed to send a “vibrational signal” to our species to change in the direction of unity and peace. Just a flash-in-the-pan, fringe spiritual event with no lasting consequences, right? There isn’t much peace on earth to show for it.
The event, in and of itself, had some historical significance in that it was massive, and only the second time such a large, global event had been organized to direct consciousness toward the goal of unity (the first being the World Peace Meditation sponsored just months earlier by the Global Family, which became an important organizer for the Harmonic Convergence). Many famous people participated, including John Denver, Shirley MacLaine and Timothy Leary. Even Johnny Carson of the Tonight Show got his audience to chant OM for the event. Probably millions were touched in some way and nothing of this magnitude had ever happened before. Remember, this was before we were all connected by social media and the internet. It was a much bigger deal to organize something like that. But still… ushering in peace on earth? Come on!
As this event was based on an astrological happening, I decided to explore this question for myself by looking at it astrologically. In particular, I looked at the movement of the planet Saturn because, astrologically, Saturn is said to create time frames, stress points and structure. It takes roughly 29 years to transit 360 degrees, full circle, around the zodiac, and if you look at the moment in time when something begins, be it a human life, an organization, or the birth of a new impulse toward unity, approximately every seven years—the time it takes Saturn to move 90 degrees from where it was at the starting point—there will a testing or eventful marker of some sort. What’s strong will become stronger; what’s weak will be stressed, often to the point of breakdown.
So I dug out my ephemeris and tracked the progress of Saturn by precise 90-degree intervals. First I found this date: September 11, 2001 (at the 180° mark), the day the Towers fell in New York City—definitely a world-shaking event. I also found a late September date in 2008 (the 270° mark)—the time when Lehman Bros collapsed, starting a serious nosedive of the global economy. The loud and dire nature of these events certainly speaks to Saturn’s capacity to create stress and breakdown, but do they have anything to do with unity consciousness? And what about the first 90° mark in 1995? Nothing as world-changing as the beginning of the war on terror or global economic disaster seemed to happen that year.
Or maybe it did, though there were reputable journalists of the era saying it would never amount to much. The years between 1987 and 1995 pretty closely bracketed the incubation phase of a world-changing phenomenon. 1987 marked the first year that the Internet had significantly more users than the tiny, elite group it had prior to this time, and 1995 is when the Internet was privatized and really took off in a huge way. So 1987-95 is the period of time when the Internet as we know it was developed and launched for mass consumption.
Since then, the Internet has played a huge role in evolving global consciousness. It has created infrastructures for new models of egalitarian power and given access to global interconnectedness to nearly everyone. This quietly growing infrastructure has so quickly become a daily necessity that it’s easy to lose perspective of its magnitude. As old infrastructures based on greed, fear and hierarchical power escalate to extremes with dire consequences that could destroy us, this amazing new infrastructure has been growing into a web of life that just might save us.
1995, 2001, 2008…. This brings us to… now. Saturn has now come precisely (to the exact degree) full circle around the zodiac from where it was on 8/17/87. Symbolically, a Saturn return is said to be a coming-of-age time when what’s weak falls apart, what’s strong solidifies, and there’s an opportunity to see the consequences of our choices coming fully to fruition. How does that translate to in the “growing up” of a vibrational impulse? Where have our choices since then led us?
Well, we’re seeing that waging war against terrorism has created more terrorists than ever before. So, the war on terror—maybe not a good choice. And, did you know that only 55% of the electorate voted in the 2012 election? And less than 40% in the 2014 midterms? Consequently, big-money interests have been able to pour enough money into elections, especially in mid-term years, to easily swing them toward their preferred candidates. Heck, they only need to sway as few as 18% of low information, single-issue voters with anti-abortion/gay rights/gun laws/immigration platforms. Then—oh no!—one day we wake up to find the children of an entire Midwestern city have been irreparably poisoned due to cost cutting. So… political apathy, maybe not a good choice either.
I could keep going with all of our not-so-good choices coming back to bite us, but we’re also seeing that the Internet has profoundly shaped a whole generation who now takes for granted a high level of connectivity and easy access to decentralized, nonhierarchical, global communities. For the first time, a generation of tech-savvy young people is growing up to have more in common with their peers in other parts of the world than they do with older generations of their own culture.
The people born in the time frame since 1987 are showing an enormous proclivity for embracing principles of sharing, collaboration and egalitarianism, and are much less concerned about such differences as race, culture or gender orientation. Unlike the 1980s when “young urban professionals” aspired to heights of conspicuous consumption, today’s youth aspire toward collaborative consumption, sharing economy, and sustainability—much of which is Internet-enabled.
Might they be the most obvious manifestation of this unity impulse that’s come to change the direction of our species? Interestingly, it’s this millennial generation that is embracing the grumpy granddad of the presidential race. If this leaves you baffled, just take a look at this: http://together.vote/. It’s a real Harmonic Convergence moment.
So this most recent transit of Saturn made its touchdown in January of 2016 (coinciding with a dramatic stock market crash) and the effects of the transit will be felt all year due to the slow and retrograding motion of the planet. Then in mid-February, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the most senior and most conservative member of the Court, suddenly and unexpectedly died. Now, for the first time in decades the sharply polarized court is no longer a 5-4 conservative majority and Scalia’s replacement will have unprecedented power to reshape the law of our land in enormously consequential ways—a huge game-changer for years to come.
The Saturn return ends with one more exact pass over the precise degree in late October/early November of 2016. I wonder what will be happening then? Oh, yeah, the presidential election. Hang on to your hats. Something tells me that this year and this election are going to be a wild ride.
This is a pivotal moment. If we don’t wake up and learn to stand together now, the next seven to 29 years are likely to be a lot rougher than the last. But on the other hand, if we get it, if we truly get it, without everyone over 29 having to die off first; if we realize how easy it is to simply show up together—even if it’s just to stay informed and vote every couple of years—maybe even aging baby boomers like me who remember the heady promise of the Harmonic Convergence, will live to see promise fulfilled.