Friday, August 10, 2007

Reflections on a bridge collapsing


During this Balsamic phase of the Moon—the final waning days of this lunar cycle—I find it important to reflect on what has happened this month in my world.

I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota on the Mississippi River, less than five miles from the site of the interstate highway bridge collapse that occurred on August 1. I did not know anyone who was on the bridge, and still, it has affected everyone I know who lives here. Just like the concrete dust that filled the air as the bridge fell into the river, an unsettled energy rose up over the city. This was not something that was supposed to happen. At first, I noticed sadness and fear. I think there was an immediate desire to grieve inspite of not being directly involved or knowing anyone who was. Then I noticed a pervasive anxiety, not really related to fear of bridges. I felt more vulnerable. I am a pagan. At the a community ritual celebrating Lughnasad, right after the bridge collapse, the participants who gathered felt a need to release and ground the unsettled energy and we sent out our prayers for those who were suffering from this event. Connection to my community and opportunity to say these prayers in a sacred space helped me to feel more settled within myself.

All of this gave me a new awareness of what it must be like to live in a war zone, where things that are not supposed to happen, happen all the time. Where death and disruption cause huge tears in the fabric of energy. From this experience, turn to the questions: What am I learning? What does it mean?

I turn to the stories in the stars. Here are some contributing factors, clues to meaning.

Many astrologers in the blogosphere have commented on the chart for the bridge collapse. It is quite dramatic with Pluto exactly conjunct the Ascendant and the apex of a YOD (Finger of God) formation with Mars and Mercury. Mars was also exactly square to Saturn, a transit that I noted in my new moon entry for July 14th. And the Moon was conjunct Uranus. I don’t believe these transits caused this collapse, I do believe that they significantly influenced the reaction that many of us had to this tragedy. This event is something important. Something to pay careful attention to. There is a message.

Pluto is commanding our attention. There is something deep and vital to pay attention to. Soon, Pluto will station direct during the next lunar month, and begin moving through the last remaining degrees of Sagittarius. I have noticed other news stories about America’s crumbling infrastructure lately. It is good to recognize the fears that come up around this and the choices we make based on those fears. If the fears that arise under a Pluto transit are not dealt with consciously, then we will have to live with the consequences of our unconscious fear-based choices. This theme will become even more important as Pluto truly does enter Capricorn in 2008. Mars and Mercury are part of this YOD, increasing the tension and the stakes for getting this right. Mercury may represent the pace of life we are creating. Mars brings the tipping point. Something collapses.

In the week before the collapse, Mars in Taurus squared Neptune and then Saturn, activating the opposition between Saturn and Neptune. Part of the general anxiety I feel from this configuration is not knowing what to believe, how bad it really is, and whether we will really be able to do anything positive to prevent this or something worse from happening again. In other words, Pluto’s fears tinged with Saturn/Neptune’s despair. I believe in our power to effect positive change in the world. I believe that we are capable of true wisdom, compassion and love. And the tone of these times, with these transits, is challenging my beliefs in these things. This is a rite of passage. I hope these dark times lead to new strengths and new authentic wisdom.

Last night, I noticed a final piece that seems significant. My husband and I were driving home from downtown. I had not actually seen the ruins of the bridge until then. The glaring spotlights were helping the divers who worked into the evening as they finally were able to retrieve some of the victims’ bodies from the river. There is another energy that comes from that site. Deep admiration and gratitude for those who were there doing that recovery work. As we drove past, I looked up into the sky, high overhead was Jupiter stationed exactly over Antares, the red star of the constellation, Scorpio. On August 6th, Jupiter stationed direct next to this star. This is one of the four royal stars of Persia. Fixed star lore (from Bernadette Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars) says that Antares is “Linked with obsession; intense and probing.” …“To the Persians, this star was the god of the dead.”…“The natural desire of this star [is] to generate success by going through a cleansing life-and-death experience. “ In the bridge collapse chart, Jupiter was trine the Sun exactly and was closely squared the Moon’s nodes.

Is there a cleansing to be had from this life-and-death experience? I tread lightly. Whatever experience I have had during this time is minor compared to those who were on the bridge or those who had loved ones on the bridge, or the many who responded to the emergency. I offer my prayers up that true healing will come. That cleansing and wisdom will come. That we will be more connected to each other in the ways that matter. That we will treat each other more gently in a world were the ordinary can shift into the tragic in just a flash.

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