As I reflect on the past year, it's almost hard to imagine that the coming year could be packed any more full of significant events. The forces of revolution and rebellion were fully ignited, from the Arab Spring, to London, to Greece, to the Occupy Wall Street movement. We saw the death of three major figures: Bin Laden, Gaddafi, and Kim Jong Il. And the natural world erupted with tectonic and weather disasters, from the Fukushima quake and tsunami to a record-breaking tornado season in our country. Weather patterns around the globe became even more erratic, with extreme drought to record snowfalls and hurricanes. As if that weren't enough, economic structures continued to crumble world-wide.
So, we now enter into the much-anticipated 2012. What is ahead for us, as individuals and as a species? Of course, this is the big question that most people are asking me as an astrologer.
There are several planetary events this year, as is the case with almost any year. There is nothing, in my opinion, that points to 2012 as astrologically special. Rather, there is one long, ongoing aspect which kicks off its exact aspect this year (June 24, 2012): the square of Uranus and Pluto. This transit rightly began in 2010 but came very close to exact in July and August of 2011.These two planets will continue to square each other through 2015.
The Uranus-Pluto square has been much written about and talked about amongst astrologers. The last time we saw a hard aspect between Uranus and Pluto was in the mid 60's, when the joining of those two planets reverberated throughout the course of that decade. The seeds that were planted then, however, have not reached maturation yet. In this first connection of those two planets, we reach a crisis point – the first major testing of those things begun in the 60's. This notion makes sense to me as I consider the re-emergence of such issues as women's rights. Many American women in my generation take for granted that women here have already been "liberated" by the women's movement that began in the 60's. However, in much of the rest of world, women are in no way equal to men. In many countries, women are still held as second-class citizens, and enjoy very few basic rights. As I recently watched the atrocities being visited on the women in Egypt as they participated in the protests against their government, it became very apparent to me that we -- women of the world -- are at a crossroads in this battle. However, many women worldwide are at a point where they will no longer accept this treatment, not only in Egypt and Tunisia but in Africa (as exemplified by the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize this year to Leymah Gbowee of Liberia), and other countries across the Middle East. Women are fighting en masse against the abuses of their governments. I expect that this battle for women's rights all over the world will continue to accelerate in 2012.
In the 60's, when the civil rights movement was born, race and gender-equality were the central issues. But today, the scope of our awareness of oppressed groups has widened. With the Occupy Wall Street Movement, for example, we have become more blatantly aware of economic oppression and inequity in this country. And over the past couple years, increasing awareness of animal cruelty has caused many to question our relationship to these fellow living beings. A story that brought my attention more fully to this was the viral video of the rescue of several lab beagles – beagles that were undergoing cruel testing in a lab for their entire lives, and had never seen the light of day. I was horrified, not only by the story, but by my own ignorance. I hadn't even known there was such a thing as "lab beagles." The good news is that we're becoming more aware of the fact that many animals are much more intelligent and emotionally complex than we have realized, and we are being invited to fundamentally reconsider our treatment of them. On these and many other issues, there is much work yet to be done.
So, how will this transit affect each of us on the individual level? My sense is that many of us will find ourselves at a crossroads this year and through to 2015. It's a kind of "rubber meets the road" time. Life will present us with situations that bring up those big, uncomfortable, Uranus-Pluto questions: How are you going to change the world? What do you want to leave behind when you die? Who or what will you stand behind? And who or what will you no longer support? The answers to these questions can take us into scary (Plutonian) places, where our deepest fears reside. "What will I have to give up?" "How can I possibly make a difference?" But to not answer them is to die a slow death along with the world that is beginning, undeniably, to die around us. I don't mean that the world is literally going to end in 2012, but that the world that we have lived in can no longer sustain itself. Our reality is changing, but our actions will determine whether it be for the better or for the worse.
I personally have felt overwhelmed when I consider these questions for myself. I am overcome by all the suffering that exists. I have asked my own guidance: "Where do I start?" The answer that came to me was: "Pick something. And just start. There is more than enough suffering to go around."
We live the answers to these big questions within the seemingly mundane actions we take every day. My wish for you in 2012 is that you may live your answers with awareness and commitment, and shine your light fully into a world that very much needs you.