It takes profound fear for a culture to think up nightmare solutions to nightmare problems. Just how scared are we? If the recent hubub about airport body scans and invasive pat downs are any indication, we are in fact VERY scared. Astrologically this recent drama shows up in the skies via the moon's South Node in Cancer, currently opposite Pluto, which is in tight conjunction to the moon's North Node. This transit will stay in aspect through December 2010.
This current astrological configuration points to the idea that our fears about security, home and nation (Cancer) are no longer serving us (S. Node). And it suggests that we can't get out of this one by sticking our heads in the sand even further. We are in fact, in this moment, facing some of our deepest Plutonian nightmares, some of which include bombs on airplanes hidden next to (or in) private parts. But the antidote to the fear isn't through increased security. Since the S. Node is representing security, homeland and family here, and the S. Node is the place we are coming from, the place we are vulnerable to mistakes, and in some schools of thought, our "undoing" - an attachment to security right now is going to get us into trouble.
As I update this entry on Thanksgiving Day, with the moon in Cancer (and conjoined with the S. Node), our hearts sensitive and attuned to home and family, we have to stay attuned to the spiritual high ground, which in this case, is symbolized by the N. Node. Today seems to be a peak moment energetically in this transit, as our emotions could get the better of us. The way forward (N. Node in Capricorn) points to increased maturity. We need to face the fact that our homeland IS vulnerable and insecure, and then work towards the healing of that fear with a sober and adult approach.
Because Pluto is right now sitting in the place of our evolutionary direction, we're being called on in this moment to direct the deep xray eyes of Pluto internally, to be willing to face the darkest possibilities within ourselves. If we don't we might project the energy of Pluto externally. If we face the inner work, we can then move forward into a new future with planning, precision, and patience. It is time to sober up from the inside out, individually, one by one. But what happens if we don't? Perhaps more hysteria, more fear, and more invasion of privacy.
The TSA is representing the dark side of Pluto in this drama. Many astrologers have observed that if we don't own and take responsibility of the planetary energies at play in our lives, those energies take control of us in the form of external events. Because sometimes we need to see the thing in front of us to be inspired to take concrete action. The TSA's new body scan policy is one example of what we project externally if we aren't doing our job with our deep conscious work. Another way of thinking about it though, is that we are just now ready to face this darkness that is welling up in the collective unconscious. And we need a concrete manifestation of our fear in order to respond.
The TSA tells us that their "pat-down policy...is informed by the latest intelligence." And that the procedures "may challenge our social norms."* Pluto has no time for pretense, nor social norms or comfortable solutions. So the TSA is pointing to one sobering "adult" way forward, but the motivation is misplaced, because it stems from those deep south node fears.
If we look closely we see that what the TSA is doing in the name of protection and safety is in itself a nightmare. With no clear scientific evidence that the scanners are indeed SAFE for people, we are entering into a situation globally in which our own FEAR about safety is leading us to adopt measures that are in fact UNSAFE to individual human lives. The official statement is that the scanners pose "very low health risks," although many sources, including the one that was the official tester for the scanning devices, claims that we don't actually KNOW. Which means, there ARE in fact health risks to some people at some level. Low risk isn't the same as no risk. How many people would need to die from cancer due to radiation exposure in order to justify the safety of one plane ride home to Minnesota?
Pluto asks us to penetrate the dark places in our psyche and confront hard questions. When that experience goes well, it looks like depth psychology, shamanic journeying, or profound Evolutionary Astrology. When it goes poorly, the process is overwhelming, controlling, and at its worst, wounding and nightmarish. Submitting to a virtual strip search could feel downright humiliating, especially to already wounded folks, such as those who've experienced sexual trauma. I saw a post recently by a mother who said that if a TSA agent touched her child we'd see her on the evening news. But Plutonian energy at its worst is insensitive to the pain of such emotional complication. The conversation itself makes us squirm. And that's when we know we're on the right track.
One thing is certain. In the process of coming up with a grown up solution to our homeland security fears, and facing our dark places, we can neither abandon our humanity nor be ruled by our fear. So what's the way forward? The astrology of the day points us in the direction of deep exploration, deep truth telling, and sobering reality. We must accept to undertake this journey in the current moment. We are all part of the collective, and so it's up to each of us to take responsibility for our own part in the drama. My spiritual idealism tells me that if we can each do this individually, the totality of that energy will, at some hundredth monkey point, add up to a collective response that negates the need for the externalization of this harsh reality in which a nightmarish experience is being proposed as the solution to avoiding a nightmare potential. Meanwhile, I won't be getting on a plane unless I truly have to...
*Source from the news:
CNN: TSA chief faces lawmakers on pat-downs, body scans
Not Suffering Indignities at Airports