Two years ago, on January 22, 2011, I formally registered the domain name “exopermaculture” and started this blog. Over these two years, my interest in doing this work ramped up gradually, doubling the number of posts from the first year to the second. At this writing, I’ve put up nearly 3000 posts, about 80% of them reposts from elsewhere, usually with my commentary, and the rest my own. Starting with a few readers per day, page views have climbed, without any kind of advertising or cross-linking or other ways that bloggers get the word out, to about 1000 a day, from all over the English-speaking world.
Since this new year dawned, I’ve noticed that the engine of my obsessive drive to work on this blog three to five hours each day (including research) is starting to wane. I don’t know if this change is temporary or not. But it does reflect that this two year period of time happens to have been a Mars cycle. Mars was at 4°44 Aquarius on January 22, 2011, and came to that same exact degree 4°44 Aquarius, as the new year turned, January 1, 2013.
I’ve often noticed Mars cycles in my own life, and I imagine that if you pay attention, you’ll notice them, too. Earlier in my life, cycles of relationship and/or of residency were often punctuated in terms of Mars. A complete Mars cycle, or its 90° angles as it goes round: first quarter (six months), half-cycle (one year), second quarter (18 months). Each one a nodal point where a choice is made: continue or split? intensify? adjust? get perspective? each of these questions typical for one of these turning points. And of course, the conjunction, when the planet returns to where it was once again after another cycle, is the most significant turning point, because it starts the whole process all over again (hopefully, with more awareness), or changes it completely.
All of the planetary cycles that our 3D lives on Earth are subject to can be defined in this manner, two quarter cycles, and one half cycle, then back to where they started. Each one a 90° turn. For the 12-year Jupiter cycle, it’s three years, six years, nine years, back to where it started. For the 29.5 Saturn cycle, it’s the “seven-year-itch”. Get the picture?
And of course, each of the planetary cycles is in dynamic interplay with all the others. Sometimes intensifying each other, other times canceling each other out, or harmonizing, conflicting, etc. Each of us, ideally, sits at the still point of a continuously turning world, a symphony of dancing frequencies, where beginnings, middles and ending points of cycles of various lengths are continuously being experienced and worked with more and more awareness, greater and greater mastery — or not.
The longer the cycle, the more significant the impact of any of its turning points. For Pluto, for example, with a cycle so long (248 years) that we can never experience its full space/time signature, we are lucky to make one quarter cycle (usually in our mid-40s), or possibly, one half-cycle. And since we can’t complete a cycle of Pluto in one life-time, we can never experience it fully, never really understand it. Pluto — and Neptune, 165 years, and usually Uranus, 84 years — are like gods, operating both inside and outside us. They offers us choices, the meaning and the import of which we cannot ever fully understand. Here’s where faith comes in. Trust in the universe. Here’s where we must play The Fool, if we are to continue to grow.
In terms of my own natal astrology, transit Pluto has been conjuncting my natal Mercury during these two years of obsessive work on this blog. Pluto has pulled me into continuous communication, seeking to wrest truth, and share it, from both the underworld and the heavens. From both above and below. To bridge them. To heal the split.
And now that is done. As of January 2013, Pluto no longer sits directly on my Mercury. The obsession dissipates. I move on.
Though I don’t consciously plan my life using astrology (though, as here, I do use astrology to reflect on my experience afterwards, to help “make sense” of it), the usual synchronicity is in effect; for a big change is in the offing.
One week one week from today I am to take off for Thailand, India, and Nepal with my dear friend Claudia, to travel with a Buddhist group on tour and retreat. I will be gone nearly two months. I’ve already decided not to take computer or ipad. I’m debating about the iphone, but leaning in the direction of not taking it as well.
With no computer along, this blog will remain where it is, with 3000 posts on it, in case you wish to browse through the archives, but nothing new until I return.
And who knows who I will be then? As I told my husband Jeff, when I married him back in 1991 (we were together for 12 years, until he died of a heart attack in 2003 at the age of 55: one Jupiter cycle), “if I’m bored, I’m outta here.” In other words, let’s continuously recreate this marriage and our connection. Let us constantly revivify our common life. He heard me. And though it was his nature to resist change, change he did, when required.
It is my nature to mutate, transform, continuously pursue new avenues that challenge and excite me. Long ago, back in my 20s, when I was in a role-bound marriage and desperate, I changed my state one day with a vow to turn towards whatever I’m afraid of, to welcome fear as my teacher, for it alerts me to what must be next.
So what am I afraid of now? The nearly two-week vipassana retreat in Thailand scheduled for the end of our tour to India and Nepal.
Me? Meditate formally, sitting down? For hours? We’ll see.
At first I thought I wouldn’t “be up to it,” that I would just go off on my own until Claudia was done with the retreat. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is what I’m called to do.
Obviously, this exopermaculture blog has required the full use of the mind and heart, working in concert. Now I’m being asked to let go of the mind. Seriously. Not just moment by moment, which I practice now, and have for decades, but while sitting with others, “doing nothing.” The “with others” part also makes me nervous. I am so very used to “doing my own thing” while meditating. After all, I woke up reading a book about Gurdjieff, his practice of “self-remembering” back in the early ’60s. There was no one around but me! I got quite used to being a “solitary practitioner,” and have been such, every since, except for the rare weekend workshop with one teacher or other.
So I sit here today, having trouble with the idea of taking the iphone with me. Having trouble going without it for two months. Both. The first feels like a drag. Who wants to be tethered to an old addiction during a time of breaking habits? But the second feels, frankly, terrifying. Geez? Going without a phone? Going without a way of communicating to those left behind?? Going without the internet????
Okay. The second choice is the harder one. In fact, it’s terrifying. Obviously that means I must do it. Go without the phone. As per my original instruction to myself. Do what I’m most afraid of.
So if you notice that I’m beginning to wind down here, you’re right, I am. At least temporarily. And who knows? Who knows how this body/mind/soul will have transformed on return from such a journey?
Oh, and by the way, Claudia noticed yesterday that when she and I take off from Seattle, on February 3rd, for Thailand, transit Mars will be exactly conjuncting her 3° Pisces Mars and square my 2° Mars/Uranus opposition in Sagittarius/Gemini.
Some astrologers advise not to travel on Mars days. I, on the other hand, recommend it. The point is, go with the energy, rather than fight it, or try to wait it out. Go with it, ride the wave — consciously, and with a loving heart. And when we do, well then —
“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well” — Julian of Norwich