Hopefully everyone had a safe and fulfilling Christmas . . . and now we can begin looking towards the start of one of the most anticipated years in history.
My own expectations for the New Year are couched in what might best be called cautious optimism. I am sure the world will not come to an end, but much will change and with each change comes the death of the old and birth of the new. If we are perceptive, we can already see the handwriting on the wall, but the rule for Uranus — about which I will have much more to say over the next few days — is that one cannot predict. Therefore, if one tries to do so, there is a risk of winding up with mud on one's face. I plan to take a few risks so please cut me a lot of slack when that audacity is unfurled.
Meanwhile, by way of preparation, I would like to focus on something I try to impart to my students. When we are under a strong Uranus influence, as now, there is a temptation throw caution to the winds and to rebel against everything that seems to be standing in the way of something vaguely perceived as more ideal. While this acting out tends to destroy the past, the bridges are usually burned so the behavior is one-way and there is no going back.
This might be a good time to remind people that Uranus is direct and will not retrograde back into Pisces. In short, it is in Aries now for the duration. For those who love historical research, we can compare 2012 with 1928 as well as 1844. I have scratched out some notes and will post them in a few days.
On a personal level, please keep in mind that actions undertaken "while under the influence" of Uranus become open knowledge, no secrets. If you normally sequester skeletons in a closet, you can be almost certain that someone is going to find the key and the bones can never be put back where they were. I rather like this symbolism because it is in keeping with the season and the rebirth of the sun. Now, more is coming to light and this, of course, brings more under scrutiny.
As you know, I have been watching the nuclear situation carefully. On the official level, Japan has been redefining safety so that problems can be swept under the bridge but there is a groundswell of discontent over the hazards and the international community is starting to come down heavily on Japan for its refusal to face the truth. I will give three thumbnail sketches that illustrate my point.
(1) It is now evident that within hours, one day at the most, of the earthquake and tsunami, both TEPCO and the government were aware of the gravity of the situation with the Fukushima reactors.
(2) Food that is highly radioactive is simply being mixed with food that passes the tests so it is not being cleared out of the system. It is being consumed in Japan and most likely exported. The Asian Foods Department at my local supermarket assures customers that all imports from Japan are thoroughly tested. Yes, sure.
(3) Radioactive waste is being incinerated and therefore aerosolized and spread over wider and wider areas. The ash is being used to make concrete that is declared safe for construction. Yes, safe like radon or cell phones?
This is sufficient for a starter but the actual list is much longer and the death rate, especially among children, has risen tremendously, not just in Japan but also in western parts of North America.
While Japan plays ostrich, Germany is going the opposite direction and risking political capital with the EU as a result of its unilateral decision to phase out nuclear energy.
On a personal level, the same sorts of dynamics apply. One can ignore the truth and risk that it will surface regardless of attempts to exile it; or one can get on board with the Truth and find out where the new beginnings are and what it takes to manifest under revised rules.
The warning I give those who are uncomfortable with change is that acting out for the sake of liberating restless energy rarely serves to fulfill the mandates for change. Therefore, we have to differentiate between vague efforts to feel free —which often look like adolescent rebellion against rules and restraints — and mature responses to the pressing inflow of energy. To make this as clear as possible, let's say that there is a spectrum with acting out, rebelliousness, and eccentricity on the one end and originality, creativity, and reformation on the other. Ultimately, revolution means to come into harmony with the divine order, the revolution of the planets and seasons and eras that are brought about by these cosmic motions.
To make this point very clear, I decided to use music. This might be tough for some people and very interesting for others. Music is a place for experimentation as well as projection of our issues into some form of creative expression. Obviously, similar possibilities exist with other art forms. I just happen to be more audio than visual, but we have many senses at various levels of efficiency. At the risk of stepping on some toes, I will first propose that all new art forms, whether audio or visual, seem provocative. Just like new ideas in science and medicine, there is usually resistance. Anyway, my sense is that jazz is the most Uranian form of music, but personally I have no interest in it because it seems personal rather than relevant. For me, it sounds like fun for the performers: it liberates energy and allows the energy to do what it pleases but it cannot be organized so it cannot be tamed in a way that sustains its manifestation. Oh, I can already feel the reactions but I will stick to this for now and jump to another kind of musical eccentricity.
I know I am taking huge risks, but there are two rather well-known conductors that I always felt were just a tiny bit "off" so I will start with the lesser "eccentric" and show him in his full maturity as a conductor:
For those who do not recognize him, this is Georges Prêtre, clearly quite up in years now. For me, he is well within the realm of creative use of novel interpretation . . . as are the Lipizzaner stallions . . . that might induce two or three more readers to take a look.
The second conductor had a much wider reputation for eccentricity, but there is a lot I truly loved about the late Romanian conductor Sergiu Celibidache. If this does not change what you expect to hear when hearing something familiar, I don't know what to say:
If you have never heard of Celibidache, it is understandable. He did not release any recordings in his lifetime but many performances as well as rehearsals were both filmed and recorded; when you watch him in rehearsal, you have a new appreciation for breaking out of the box.
Obviously, I am getting ready for New Year's but I wanted to set the stage for listening since "tuning in" begins with listening.
For those who are musically trained, there would be countless examples of Uranus in compositions. I did not choose any compositions that I regard as Uranian, but clearly Stravinsky would probably top the list, but perhaps not for the right reasons. The third movement of the Sibelius Violin Concerto is in my estimation a far better example because there is resolution which is important if one wants to create something lasting. Those who want to feel the tension can try to listen to the whole concerto, but my main purpose today is not to increase the tension but rather the appreciation for what happens when you dance to a different version of reality as you know it.