I very much appreciate the way Fe Bongolan talks about the planets in the context of current affairs. (For more on Neptune in Pisces, see this.) And I like her original “take” on events. Especially do I love the word “akrasia” to which she introduces me for the first time. This word (ah-krah-SEE-yah) helps capture and shape my perceptions in a new way. Bingo! Thanks! And thanks to Planet Waves.
February 17, 2012
by Fe Bongolan
Since Neptune moved into Pisces, the United States has been in a strange, hyperbolic interlude with it’s culture wars: the Komen Foundation sullied its own reputation by revealing its right-wing roots with a botched attempt to defund breast cancer screening at Planned Parenthood.
Rick Santorum and the Republican presidential nominees tried to top that, promising to ban contraception and family planning to appeal to their Christian Right base. Republicans in Congress doubled down trying to prevent women from getting any contraception at all — from health providers or health insurers.
Trying to absorb and condense the magnitude of bullshit from these temporal drifts backwards — the reliquary of the cognitive dissonance and religious fanaticism of the past decade — was too much even for my nerves. As the presidential primaries warm up with all this overheated stimulus, I’m suffering from a bout of outrage fatigue. We have been there and done that for over ten years.
This is how we got here in the first place — policies so bad and a nation so divided we’re stuck and not functional enough to deal with our national economic or global problems effectively. Yet, the revolutionary square of Uranus and Pluto has begun, the year and election of 2008 has happened. So has Tahrir Square, the Wisconsin revolt and the process to recall Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, the ending of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, and the Occupy Movement. Step backwards with a wedge issue like contraception? You have got to be kidding me.
The Greeks have a word for explaining the odd, self-defeating and misogynistic political and cultural episodes of these last two weeks since Neptune moved into its home sign. The word is akrasia (pronounced ah-krah-SEE-yah). It’s the condition where having lost your will, you act against your better judgment. You know what’s best to do, yet you do something else. It would be one thing if there were a solid, serious idea among any one of the Republicans presidential nominees to fix what needs fixing, but the turnstile they use to enter into the arena for serious discussion on how to solve our national, economic and environmental problems leads them right back to the curb. The single issue they’re using right now, like a shipwreck survivor clinging to the ruins of the boat, is the freedom of religion (to subjugate women). They are a party trapped by their own delusion and their rabidly religious base, with no new ideas.
No individual or society is immune to akrasia. We do it every day. We reach for that extra lump of sugar to sweeten our coffee when our blood glucose levels are too high for health. We vote for politicians who promote the same failed policies that caused a calamitous breakdown of the economy in the first place. Catholic bishops decry the criminal greed of Wall Street and the economic hardship they’ve caused for millions, yet the still refuse to allow women the ability to plan a family so that the family’s economic resources are not further strained. These are neither left turns nor right turns but wrong turns and outdated notions.
Oddly enough, in leaving its role as mass deluder in the sign of Aquarius, Neptune’s return to Pisces in partnership with Chiron has illuminated this month’s culture war rehash like sunlight on a coral reef. We’re seeing it for what it is, a ruse to divide us, and we’re not buying it. We’re no longer fighting a mass delusion of fear like we were ten years ago, but recognizing that fear was used and is now being recycled in an attempt to suck us back into losing our will. But with Uranus in Aries — ain’t gonna happen.
We all know by now who is trying to do all of this. When Grover Norquist — the guy who wanted to cut government down to a size small enough to drown in a bathtub — admonishes the base at the Conservative Political Action Conference to “just elect any idiot as President who will do what he’s told,” the curtain is not only pulled back on the Mighty Oz and his diabolical machinations, his underwear is found down at his ankles. Don’t ask me what I imagine him doing to the little dog.
I am liking this new world of Neptune, where with Chiron we’re raising the bar of our awareness. But like everything else, only focused energy can move through the traps and riptides of the wedge issues of the past still swirling about in this new open sea and this election year. Cognitive dissonance — the feeling that results from holding two conflicting beliefs, such as believing lies when you know and repress the truth — seems like decades ago, yet it was practiced as late as last year with the debt limit crisis that almost took down the world’s economy. We’re seeing hints and glimmers of awareness, like the overwhelming outpouring of support for Planned Parenthood after the Komen ‘attack’, and the polling that showed that over 90 percent of Catholic women already use or have used some form of birth control. In fact, nothing has so united women more than the very attacks being foisted on us.
So we have to keep moving ahead, forward, visualizing our path and keeping our energy targeted there. Good ideas — for a world in trouble and in the midst of change — could be recognized for what they are, and old tired ideas, beliefs already proven fallible, can finally be put to rest: trickle-down economics, an unregulated free market, denying a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body, the medieval view of women in general. We have lost so much already. We can not afford to lose our wills. Most of us by now have awakened and re-embraced our belief in ourselves and are already in the fight. We have nothing left to lose but the United States of Akrasia, which made most of us fearful and closed, losing our faith and trust of each other. Time is truly ripe and ready to form a new country of fully aware and inventive minds and hearts, open to knowledge, freedom, compassion and growth. That to me sounds like a more perfect union.