“I can’t give you a formula for success but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” Herbert Bayard Swope
“Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace.” Robert J. Sawyer
“Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.” Malcolm X
“An argument is always about what has been made more important than the relationship.” – Hugh Prather
“All disagreements are results of misunderstanding someone else’s level of consciousness” – Deepak Chopra
I don’t consider myself a person who avoids conflict. I do believe, though, that once the rules of civility are crossed, a bony finger points with blind recrimination toward another, name-calling commences, expletives are used, all hope for intelligence discourse exits the conversation. That level of relating is about as easy to take as listening to the heavy metal band at full volume, or crashing drums & cymbals. Once that happens, I will avoid like crazy. I will avoid the topic, the person, and likely the situation altogether. I will become the lotus-eater, the passive resistor or yes, the fence-sitter aspect of my Libra planets and rising. I will refuse to take sides with anyone who doesn’t approach me with respect & kindness. I will sit in my hot tub instead of listening to the news, and I will probably eat bon bons (or at least drink a nice glass of Pink House red wine) while doing it.
I’m entirely sure this is not the best response to resolving conflict, though I do imagine similar expressions of dissent have played out so many times throughout both our personal and political history(s). The tea-baggers are the current symbol of what Uranus’ entry into Aries might entail. Tea-baggers, who, God bless them, out of sheer brutalization to my sensitivities, make me want to put my hands over my ears. As temperatures rise even higher over the health care bill, and counter-culture renegades threaten to overthrow or at least severely undermine the government with all kinds of irrational, ultimately unintelligible warring tactics, I can’t help but dream on a pacifist’s life. I imagine that there have always been people who really just wanted to live the good, peaceful life. They would make a decent, kind life on the plain, away from the city, take care of their land, kindly raise their animals & kids. They were basic good folks who didn’t want any trouble. I’m one of those folk.
Then, as life would have it in our little bubble world… one day trouble finds you. It would arrive on your doorstep in the form of a renegade, outlaw, bandit or soldier (all Aries archetypes). They would draw some kind of line in the sand and force you to engage their unruly tactics against your will. Maybe they’d threaten you with force. Maybe they’d take away your livelihood or pillage your property. Then you’d have no choice but to fight back. This has happened so many times throughout history that it’s kind of nauseating to think about. When the winds of change blow in a certain direction, your direction, we just can’t avoid the flaming face of trouble, no matter how ignorant, rude, lawless, insolent, unjust or crazy-making they are. So we fight back. Often we end up using their tactics, too. The wheel of karma turns.
On May 27, Uranus makes it’s once every eighty-odd years sojourn into Aries. It’s a big event in the astrological world, and spring hastens this imminent movement. To me this spells change, and change is good. Who is happy with the state of the world right now? But there’s the basic problem of just getting along. Whereas in partnerships we choose to mate and interact with people with whom we have enough shared ground (and often love), so that we can eventually return to the peace we desire, in America, we are a mess of folks all thrown together, at varied levels of education and evolution which causes the unique problem of having to carry on an intelligent discourse without understanding where the other person comes from. Likewise, many of us have thought about peacefully exiting this relationship we’re having with our country. Like a person in our life we no longer want to interact with, well, because we all just don’t know how to listen to each other, sit down to a dinner table together, without starting up an argument. Internationally, there’s even less shared ground. But so much of that dissolves when we stand in their shoes. Case in point, my recent trip to Syria, a country with whom the U.S. has a strained relationship. They were models of civility! We were treated with such hospitality, respect, and polite dignity that it made me wonder if this country had a Libra Sun sign (incorporation records indicate Aries Sun, Jupiter in Libra opposing). We didn’t engage any hot topics, as a polished patina is the Libran way. Instead, I got to know their culture, their life, day to day, their food. Such good food! All the vibes I’d gotten from those we told we were visiting, from negative to uncertain, stimulated my curiosity and helped me realize there’s so much we don’t understand about our neighbors.
Libra is learning balance, and achieving balance is not the same as continual peace. Anything taken to an extreme erupts as it’s opposite. Pacifists become angry activists, battle-wearied warriors burn out and are led back to finding inner peace. It does seem that war has a fatal attraction for peace, and vice versa. While part of me wonders why one person’s, or one nation’s prerogative for peace, love and harmony is so often interrupted by sounds of banging drums, my Libra planets and rising sign can handle the ambiguity of two opposite principles existing side by side without canceling the other out. For human beings, it’s an evolutionary requirement to be the pacifist and the warrior. As I recently counseled a 7th house Mars client who is leaving a relationship with an angry and wounded partner, “The archetypes must be lived, expressed. If you’re not living your Mars warrior, if you’re not standing up for your self, someone will do it for you.”
Ultimately, we can’t avoid conflict. But we want to live as peacefully as possible. This Libra Full Moon reminds us to more deeply integrate the opposites within our self. Libra means will help this. A yoga class can certainly help us cultivate inner presence, and the calm to handle extremity, and yet the middle way of Libra is not using yoga, or anything, to check out. Libra is both peaceful and calm, active & engaged. Personally, if I were going to start a revolution, with Uranus in Libra rising, I’d make it a Libran one. Perhaps throw a little a social mixer? We can certainly look good while doing it. I like what Carolyn Casey says, “The Librans can be the social change forces who set huge, swirling social forces in motion while being charming and outrageous. The Libran revolution will be catered.” To that I reply : Oh, goody – and what dress will I wear? – while ordering Martinis all around. Why run away from the fun we could have, when a social revolution is a mere cocktail party away? Let’s not avoid the red-faced people. Instead, let’s disarm them with our intelligence & charm.