Libra seeks collaboration and cooperation. And with Libra’s ruler, Venus, sextile to Jupiter on the day of the New Moon, this is an especially beautiful month to make connections. But a sextile is an aspect that we have to act on. It’s not going to hand us gifts, we have to go out and make the magic happen. Venus and Jupiter together, speak to abundance, love, and connection. To allying our worldview with our values, and our resources with our beliefs. Libra also wants justice and values dialogue and the law and civil disobedience as means to achieve it. (The Climate Strikes and Trump’s impeachment inquiry and Trudeau’s being called out for blackface are all right on cue.)
And it’s clearly not all love and sparkles. The Libra New Moon was opposite Chiron, the wounded healer, in Aries, triggering our pains; and Venus and Mercury are square Pluto in Capricorn, making these days intense, and stirring up our shadows and compulsions, though also offering the possibility of transformation.
The climate strikes and the growing consensus around the climate crisis are resonant with these themes. In Libra, we come together. We connect, collaborate, cooperate. And when we stand together, we feel the full force of our power and the thrill of our collective energy. When we see how many other people care about what we care about, we are buoyed, and we feel that perhaps we do stand a chance.
The shadow side of Libra is that--without integrating the courage of Aries which can stand conflict--it risks staying on the surface. It craves harmony to such an extent that sometimes it rushes to resolution in order to keep the peace, without doing enough to address the underlying tensions. It can ignore the more difficult issues in favour of surface successes and photo-ops. In our personal lives, it’s important to address tensions so that our relationships will have integrity and depth. In the collective, it’s important that we address the full range and depth and complexity of the climate crisis and don’t just settle for lip service and policy tweaks.
Libra can help us navigate the complicated territory of both/and; in considering this AND that; in holding multiple perspectives and ideas, and mediating between them, without falling prey to the extremist and polarizing trap of either/or. For instance, both political AND individual action are required to bring about change. Venus and Mercury square to Pluto, Saturn, and the South node in Cap mean we have work to do in order to integrate our personal responsibility. If we are only putting the responsibility on the government, we are missing this significant initiatory test of this Capricorn transit (which goes through the winter of 2020). And if those of us who care don’t take responsibility for our own role in the collective, the danger is that that Capricorn stuff will manifest as tyranny. And vice versa, we won’t get anywhere without systemic change.
Another both/and: on the one hand, I am so deeply grateful, and moved, and exhilarated by the swell of support for climate justice. I am inspired by the courage and simple truth-speaking of youth. And feel relieved that finally after all these years, the climate crisis is being taken seriously. On the other hand, I want not to forget the indigenous and other activists who have been fighting for climate justice in often dangerous circumstances for decades (or centuries, you could argue), but whose voices have been largely ignored, and whose lives have been at risk. So, let’s celebrate our coming together, and let’s also honour those Earth protectors who broke this trail, and who many times have much more to lose if their voices aren’t heard, or because their voices are heard.
Surely the support for the youth climate strike is in large measure due to the rising consensus that we are indeed in crisis. But my fear is that the current activism can more easily be co-opted by neoliberal capitalist ideology than previous activism; that those in power may claim to align with climate activists while continuing to be motivated by power and corporate interest (like Justine Trudeau doublespeaking his policies as green (hilarious)).
If climate justice doesn’t go hand in hand with social justice, then we will be more deeply entrenching the alarming truth of climate apartheid. While the position of the far right obviously pushes for that future, a neoliberal approach that seeks to address the climate crisis through policy tweaks and greenwashing will itself foster climate apartheid through a different ideology. That’s why so many are talking about a Green New Deal (and see The Leap for a Canadian rendition), which gives me hope!
But I have this feeling that even a Green New Deal may not go far enough or deep enough in order for us to bring about the radical transformation we require. We definitely need to address the climate crisis on a governmental level. We need policy and law and infrastructure that supports a sustainable way of life. Without that, no amount of lifestyle changes and moralizing will save us.
But, how did we get here? Isn’t it only a culture that has lost connection to heart and spirit that could end up where we have? Isn’t it only a culture that sees each person as ultimately separate and fully responsible for their own fate rather than seeing the interconnectedness and embeddedness of all that could end up here? Isn’t it only a culture that sees the universe as lifeless, and life as a freak accident that could end up here? If we continue to see the Earth as merely a repository of resources--even if we learn to care better for them--will we really win?
To read Part II, become a patron.