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The Theatre of Compassion

By June 17, 2021January 21st, 2022No Comments

Are you feeling alternately tired and/or frustrated at the winds of change blowing through your life? One moment, you’re enthused by possibility; the next, you simply can’t be bothered, or current restrictions mean you can’t act? Are you discovering a deeper rhythm flowing through you, one that engenders trust in a process that seems interminable?  Or are you feeling resistant or stuck, not knowing where to turn next for a positive direction? Perhaps you’re experiencing all these possibilities at different moments? Without doubt we live in extraordinary and challenging times. And extraordinary times require us to bring awakening new consciousness to old ways of being. In this process, the astrological frequencies and themes give us clues about where to focus and the deeper meaning behind our challenges.

The energies at present are dancing somewhat wildly between two astrological modes of being: fixed and mutable. This is true for most of the year, as we are called to respond to collective change that impacts us personally. Fixed energy is, as implied by the word, a way of being that is stable, geared towards maintaining and potentially sustaining. In its shadow, fixed energy wants life, personal comfort zones, security and status, even ideals to stay the same. There is no better word to describe the negative expression of this state of being than ‘lockdown’. Yet fixed energy doesn’t necessarily mean an extreme. In its healthy ways of operating, fixed energy is about taking care of what’s important, affirming, nourishing and protecting what’s of value.

Gemini air energyThe mutable mode is in many ways the opposite of fixed; it’s unpredictable, fluctuating, inconsistent and open-ended. One minute nothing’s happening; the next it’s all change. Mutable is a way of being that is indefinable and yet responsive to what comes along. Clearly that way of being can express as a reaction to change, as inconsistency and lack of commitment, or as a natural response to how life looks right now. Mutable energies can breed anxiety, confusion and indecision as nothing in life feels certain anymore. Yet at their best they are flexible, spontaneous and guided by the priority of the moment.

With this current combination of energies, we are discovering how to move from standstill to swiftness in an instant, just like a sprinter. Yet unlike the sprinter there’s no end in sight; we don’t know what our movement will necessitate, other than in the moment. There’s no finishing line. We are called to be more and more present in ‘not knowing’, in trusting a deeper sense of self and the process of change itself. After all, change is the only real certainty. Knowing that can also be a comfort.

Pisces is a mutable sign with a strong focus right now, along with another mutable sign Gemini. Gemini is the sign that represents the mind, learning, communication and travel. It’s a sign that moves fast, as its energy is mutable air. When Gemini energy is strong, we can feel blown this way and that, like we’re in a strong wind, with the mind, our thought processes and plans being the source of changeability. Nothing is certain when (like now) a strong Gemini season is on us; plans change at a moment’s notice; what we think is a certainty suddenly falls away; we change our mind at the drop of a hat, or we simply don’t know what to do. Yet like spring, Gemini is only strong for a season, albeit an extended one this year. These fluctuating energies, strong since early May, will move on from mid-July.

The mutable water sign of Pisces is an energetic flavour for a much longer period in our lives. It’s a bit like ‘how long is a piece of string’, with different Piscean planetary configurations taking us to January 2026. This extended period presents a subtle change in our way of being that has been with us since April 2011. It’s represented by gas giant Neptune in its own sign Pisces, therefore it’s a super-strong and yet sensitive frequency. Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac. It’s where everything dissolves; where all forms fall back into the consciousness they came from. Overall, we could view this strong Piscean signature as symbolising a process of change over which we have no control, where we must simply surrender and trust. Yet that surrender is not without agency. For it’s in how we respond to what’s taking place that the crux of the process lies.

Pisces is the sign where we become a victim of change or a willing participant in a process that constantly takes us beyond our boundaries.  It’s a soulful sign where our responses can come from a space in us, a place in us, finer consciousness in us, that is aligned with our soul’s calling, and collectively with evolution. Big picture! Pisces is where we can feel powerless in the face of enormous change, yet it’s also where we can be filled with the knowing of a deep well that sustains us beyond the constant movement of life’s circumstances. Many words and concepts are used to describe that ‘deep well’. Some would call it spirit; others might name it consciousness. In my experience of it, it’s nameless, yet it’s not separate from who/what I am at my core.

We discover this numinous energy in diverse ways: in nature; through lovemaking; in meditation or spiritual practice; through dance or sport, where it’s known as ‘in the zone’; in being lost in creativity. It’s where we forget or lose our self and our human concerns.  Pisces significators are inclusion and acceptance, letting go, trust, unconditional love and compassion. Its shadows are apathy, confusion, escapism and a victim stance. The lengthy process of Neptune passing through its own sign is potentially evolving us from the shadows of Pisces to its light.

This subtle undertow of Piscean energy over fifteen years is coming to a peak in our awareness now. Like the flow of ocean waves that rhythmically rise higher in one wave, we feel the energy of Pisces more keenly; its themes become more evident in our lives. These next few weeks, (until late July), bring a peak Pisces wave, as does the period from 30 December 2021 to December 2022. On 20 June Jupiter, planet of expansion and growth, stations retrograde at 2 Pisces after a brief interlude in this watery sign. Jupiter leaves Pisces on 28 July, to return for a longer period in this oceanic sign from December. See my blog ‘What’s the Feeling?’ for more on these incoming and growing energies of Jupiter in Pisces. On 25 June Neptune, ruler of Pisces, also stations retrograde at 23 degrees of his own sign, travelling backwards from our Earth perspective until 1 December. Retrograde planets (particularly as these change direction) bring us into a period of reviewing and integration. With the current Piscean theme this is about strengthening our letting-go muscle, expanding our trust in life’s processes of change and our responses to that, especially where the fixed energy stasis of this period (Aquarius and Taurus) is also strong.

When faced with the increasing tightness and rigidity of fixed belief systems, rules and regulations; the disconnection of ‘it’s all too much’ or the heartlessness of our cultural systems; high levels of anxiety about security, including money and the imposition of governmental and technological agendas in the name of ‘people’s safety’, it’s very natural we look for stability or security. We are encountering a complex process of change both personal and collective. Like shipwrecked passengers we might be clinging to the nearest piece of wreckage. Will it save us? Who knows? One thing is clear though, the current drama of our lives will inevitably change. And perhaps a clue to that change is in how we approach the current drama. Pisces ongoing strength gives us clues to the ‘how’.

It was wise man Shakespeare who said’ All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players’, who in his seven ages of a human being spoke of beginning life as an infant in powerlessness and ending it similarly. Pisces represents that journey from birth to death, from making an appearance as consciousness at birth in a human form, to disappearing as consciousness on death. Yet much more than that, it represents how we play the roles we take and create, the masks the soul wears, infant to elder, on the stage of life. In this theatre of human life, it’s the ‘how’ that matters more than the ‘what’ perhaps? And the strength of Pisces growing in us calls us towards soul-fullness, inclusion and unconditional love. It asks us to find compassion. Compassion doesn’t mean we don’t make a stand for what’s deeply real and true. It simply means we do it with an open heart, firstly for our self, yet also for those sharing our stage.

Compassion is an abstract quality for many human beings perhaps, yet we know when it’s present. It’s an open-hearted response to life. Compassion can be discovered in willingly facing what you cannot avoid.  It is surrender to what is known to be deeply true. It is the willingness to accept that life is painful but still to give. It is fed by the deep inner knowing that what we experience is choice-less. We’re seemingly powerless and yet our choice is to remain open, heart opened. In that is true power. Paradoxically when we participate fully in this dance of living with compassion, passion also arises – for we are feeling life deeply. We become like the dancer who brings reality to every human experience, who can drink from the cup of tragedy or joy in equal measure. 

Pisces reveals a spacious way of being where we appreciate tragedy and joy come from the same place, that tragedy is but one turn of the wheel from joy, and that with a simple turn of the wheel we are dancing to a different tune – for this is the nature of life.  Strangely enough this does not make us indifferent to life, to its potential for tragedy, or for renewal and joy. On the contrary, it is the very fragility of life that we know at the core. This knowing moves us to live fully. In embracing our innate powerlessness in the face of life’s constant change with compassion, paradoxically we become empowered. For we rest with ‘what is’, closing off our escape valves and keeping our hearts open to naturally finer frequencies of response.  The potential of this open-hearted response is for each of us human beings to act out our earthy drama in a theatre of compassion. How differently our world would look and feel and be, if we did. When we’ve truly had enough of trying to manage and control life, rather than be consciously co-creative; when we’ve let go of trying to get others to meet our wants and needs, the Pisces energy gently calls us home to our heart.