The in-between: “Open your eyes, look at your shadow, and listen to your soul”
Updated: Jun 24
Surprisingly fittingly, this quote brings together key energies of the current times: eyesight is connected to Mars/Aries, shadows with Pluto/Scorpio, and the soul with Neptune/Pisces.
The quote is by poet, writer, cultural theorist & activist Gloria Anzaldúa, from 2002, reflecting on the horrors of 9/11 and the US response to it. Much around the disasters and oppression of humanity’s systems and institutions has since come to light, whether that be political, military-industrial, educational, medical/health related or otherwise. But the old powers that be seem to be hanging on persistently, and perhaps trusting in the average person being too run-down and exhausted, in their own hamster wheel of trying to make ends meet, to have the energy to care even if news of questionable behavior does reach their ears.
Pluto, the planet of symbolic death, rebirth, and transformation, is digging away at the last minutes of Capricorn, our collective structures and institutions.
To me, society looks kinda like the dirty, icy, melting piles of snow on the sides of the street at this time of year. Ugly remnants of the old very visible in plain sight, sharp edges protruding, yet inevitably disintegrating under the increasing power of the light. Pluto, the planet of symbolic death, rebirth, and transformation, is digging away at the last minutes of Capricorn, our collective structures and institutions. However, it is about to transition into Aquarius, to transform our collective visions for the future: any plan not based in equity, fairness and the common good will for sure be unearthed and dismantled. Pluto will transition back and forth between Capricorn and Aquarius, our institutions and visions, until the end of 2024, after which it’ll stay in the latter until the 2040s. Not to say that the road will be smooth nor linear, but we definitely get to make the choice of whether to support the old or new with how we focus our own energies daily.
From an individual perspective, whatever transiting Pluto touches in our birth charts, is bound to become a subject of transformation. Here our own attitude towards transformation becomes crucial. Ideally the deep wells of Pluto’s power can help us shed restricting skins, something that no longer serves, and rebirth our identities. Resisting the transformation can make the process painful, however, so listening to Pluto’s whispers proactively is an easier course of action. As my teacher Kirsi Halla-Seppälä says, Pluto is always the medicine you need. Even if it tastes bitter at the time, you will see its benefit in the long run.
Jupiter is conjunct Chiron in Aries - signalling an optimistic expansion (Jupiter) in our potential to heal our individual and collective wounds (Chiron).
Plutonic shifts are often chaotic. Fitting is Gloria Anzaldúa’s concept of the transitional nepantla space, the space between the old and the new, where we are forced to sit with unruly emotions and fear of the unknown. We are forced to take ourselves apart into pieces, to self-redefine and to heal and integrate all of our pieces in a new way. Astrologically fitting currently also as Jupiter is conjunct Chiron in Aries upon the time of writing - signalling an optimistic expansion (Jupiter) in our potential to heal our individual and collective wounds (Chiron).
A lot of us may feel the push and pull of the in-between but be torn around what to do. I still wonder about my own role, my bigger-picture-mission in all of this, for sure. On the one hand, a cornerstone of my worldview is that the only way an individual can create change in the world externally, is to go inwards and heal the self - to ‘be the change I want to see in the world’. On the other hand, I can’t see this meaning that I should sit at home quietly and avoid being an active participant in building the bridges towards the for-real collective, holistically healthy, free and joyous future for humanity that I want to see. Quoting Anzaldúa from already back in 2002, “I yearn to pass on to the next generation the spiritual activism I’ve inherited from my cultures. If I object to my government’s act of war I cannot remain silent. To do so is to be complicitous. But sadly we are all accomplices.” I, personally, want to rid the numbness and inaction in myself and to take more vocal and visible action.
To be honest, I’ve been afraid to speak up and take action for what I believe in, in large part due to the societal developments of recent years, and have been self-censoring my views. Pluto has been quincunxing all of my personal planets as well as my Chiron in the past years, which have contained tons of inward-bound transformational work on my own wounds, whether from this life or past ones. My Chiron wound in Gemini still occasionally peaks up to tell me that I will never know enough to earn the right to take part in the conversation. The work continues, but hopefully, enough has been done to now utilize the growing spark of Aries energy to work towards a better balance between my people-pleasing-and-harmony-upholding Venusian energies and my assertive, initiatory, pioneering Marsian ones - also my South and North Nodes respectively, representing the soul’s growth path.
Nevertheless, something that for me is inspirational is the concept of the nepantlera: a person who works in mediating humanity's transitions and transformations towards the creation of a new world. This is something I aspire to be. One of my strange strengths is my ability to connect the dots between seemingly unrelated issues or themes, which I’ve found a joyous expression for in astrology. In any case, it feels like a weaving of webs between worlds. Which is fitting, too: for most of my life I’ve felt like a misfit and in-between: in-between countries and cultures, in-between multiple groups of friends, in-between jobs and places of study and professional identities.
Saturn entering Pisces may give support towards creating stronger connections between our practical everyday realities as well as the spiritual, soulful levels of human life.
Most of us probably operate within different worlds and realities in our everyday lives. I have a Master’s in International Business and used to identify very strongly with economical value and effectiveness being the primary driving force of life and humanity - a very Capricornian landscape. I did always have an interest in doing things ethically, though, and studied ethical finance, economic geography and development studies also. For me doing things logically always tied in with doing things right, in a sustainable way that serves the whole. It seems only natural that something that serves the whole also ends up serving the individual and being the most sustainable way to go. For years I’ve been increasingly curious about the human psyche and collective unconscious, and also more generally, spirituality - Piscean themes which have opened up new worlds and deeper wells of well-being. Unsurprisingly, Capricornian and Piscean energies are very interwoven in my birth chart, so I’m actually quite psyched about Saturn entering Pisces. I hope to see this give collective support towards creating stronger connections between our practical everyday realities as well as the spiritual, soulful levels of human life.
Astrologers have a lot to contribute towards the role of the artist that Anzaldúa describes - attempting to see the patterns, individual and collective, and supporting the dreaming of a new self into being.
“My job as an artist is to bear witness to what haunts us, to step back and attempt to see the pattern in these events (personal and societal), and how we can repair el daño (the damage) by using the imagination and its visions. I believe in the transformative power and medicine of art. As I see it, this country’s real battle is with its shadow.” - Gloria Anzaldúa
Inspired by Anzaldúa’s 2002 words above, increasingly fitting today, I would say that astrologers have a lot to contribute towards the role of the artist that Anzaldúa describes - attempting to see the patterns, individual and collective, and supporting the dreaming of a new self into being. From deep personal experience, astrology is definitely a great tool in our current transformational in-between times and spaces, for taking ourselves apart and observing what serves, what no longer doesn’t. And the constant remaking of our identities, stepping into what for each of us is our soul’s unique divine creatorship, is definitely art.
Anzaldúa, Gloria. 2009. “Let Us Be the Healing of the Wound: The Coyolxauhqui Imperative—la sombra y el sueño,” in The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.