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Article ID: 14041
Age Group: Adult
Posted: July 4th. 2010
Living in Tower Time
by Diotima Mantineia
I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about the astrology this summer, which is complex, powerful, and, yes, a bit scary. The situation in the Gulf is one manifestation of the current and upcoming planetary alignments. What’s coming carries the signatures of many planets – the deep transformation of Pluto, the lightning-like changes of Uranus, the boundaries and restrictions of Saturn, the expansiveness of Jupiter. Mars steps in to make his point, and other planets weave in and out of the pattern.
But no matter how the astrology manifests – which has been discussed in depth elsewhere – what we must consider is – how do we live our daily lives through these times? The upcoming astrology promises to initiate profound, sometimes shattering change. These are planetary alignments that demand healing. With our Pagan beliefs and spiritual foundations, how do we help with the healing that is needed, the change that is coming? How do we use our magick to shift the energies to create a sustainable, free society within a healed Web of Life?
My friend Byron Ballard calls this “Tower Time” after the Tower card in the Tarot. Her posts on this topic and our conversations got me thinking about how I would advise a client who had the Tower appear in their reading – because this card applies to us all, now.
The Tower always speaks of sudden change, of the breaking down of old structures, of a demand for a new way of life. Remember, I would say to a client, the challenge is to let go of the structures that are restricting you. If you know change is coming, you can prepare. This preparation for profound change must involve change within yourself first, so you can manage the outer changes with grace and creativity. It takes focus and discipline – utilizing the tools of magick – to bring personal insights so we can make wise choices, to develop awareness so we can respond accurately, to activate intuition so we can bond with others and discern our best path when the Tower is crumbling.
An Elemental Challenge
Let’s take this challenge of the Tower through the Elements. Any work with the Elements must involve attempting to balance the elemental energies under the guidance of Spirit. Malidoma Somé has written eloquently of the belief held by the elders of his tribe (the Dagara of Burkina Faso) that Western society suffers from an imbalance of too much fire. He writes:
“Fire culture promotes consumerism and cultivates scarcity in order to increase restlessness, then uses the restless, burning psyche as energy to increase production and consumption. Meanwhile, the culture on fire is fascinated by violence. As a matter of fact, violence proves to be highly marketable and stimulates the fiery nature of the culture as a whole. Consequently, a fire culture is a war culture. It sees solutions in terms of fire and conflicts as a fire that can be resolved with more fire. Such a culture will require a lot of water to heal”
We all have our personal Elemental imbalances – perhaps we spend too much time in our heads, or give in to temper and heedless rushing around. Or we drown in our emotions, or use them to manipulate. An imbalance of Earth can lead to stagnation or rampant greed. Being able to identify our own elemental imbalances is crucial to our growth, and it is helpful to remember that our personal growth is also affected by the overall imbalance of our culture. We must face our personal and cultural Shadow.
The Elements in Balance
Having noted the imbalance of Fire as a background in our society, and acknowledged that we each have personal imbalances, let’s take a look at how we can work with the Elements to help us stay on course as we navigate the upcoming storms.
Beginning with the Element of Air, exactly how do you think the world works? What are the ideas and beliefs on which you base your life? You can find this out only by becoming aware of your own thoughts, by journaling, by thinking and discussing ideas with others. Consider that your thoughts are like a string on a guitar, which, when plucked, will cause all the other strings on the guitar to vibrate in response, even if they are untouched. What vibrations are your thoughts sending out, and what other “strings” in your life are they affecting? If you work magick, you have trained your mind to one degree or another. Never forget that your mind is a magical tool – resume or ramp up your training to keep it clean and sharpened during these times. A clear understanding of what you believe and why is fundamental to making wise choices and decisions.
In the Realm of Fire, we find courage to continue, the desires that drive us, awareness and intuition that bring us to Spirit, and to joy. Build your strength of will in this time. Call on your soul and any spirits or deities you work with to inspire you with courage and a passionate appreciation of “your one wild and precious life”. Find the spark of Life within you, and nurture that Fire as a fire of inspiration to carry you forward. In Tower Time, make things happen -- do what you can do, what you must do, and call on Spirit to guide your right action. In some traditions, Fire is the gateway to the realm of the Ancestors. Work with the Ancestors, for this deep connection is powerful and life-changing.
Water brings compassion, connection, community. Our emotions are powerful, and in this culture, powerfully repressed! Let the old, fearful structures in which you have imprisoned your true emotions crumble to the ground. Let yourself feel deeply, even if it is painful, for tears wash away the rubble of what is broken and bring you to a place of authentic emotion, which is the only possible way to heal, to feel joy and to experience love. Connect with others, create community, give and receive healing. We cannot do this work alone.
Earth – the keywords here are grounding, gratitude, grace. For those of us navigating consciously through these times, grounding should be as automatic as brushing your teeth – twice a day, at least! Find what you are grateful for; and give your gratitude as an offering to the Earth that supports and feeds us. Gratitude is an emotion that helps lead us to an experience of grace -- an ability to move through life with spontaneous ease and connection to Spirit. Grace is most reliably attained through the Earth discipline of daily spiritual practice. Take some time every day to connect with the here-and-now, with Spirit, with yourself. Find a short prayer or affirmation you can repeat during times of stress.
As an example (feel free to adopt/adapt it) , this is the beginning of an affirmation/prayer/meditation I use at the start of my daily yoga practice, as well as during the day to help center me. I sit and focus my mind on only what I am aware of that is fully in the present place and moment. While holding that awareness, I state:
I am here, in this time, and this place.
The earth is below me, the stars above me
Air, Fire, Water and Earth surround me.
I am rooted in the Earth
I reach through the Stars
I come to my Center.
Then add any affirmations of your own that remind you of what’s important to you, who you want to be, and of your life goals.
The people who will do well in this transformative time are those who are grounded and grateful, empowered, aware, flexible and compassionate. These are also the people who will assist with the healing that is needed more and more with every passing day. Will you be one of those people? Are you a healer, or will you sit and do nothing as the Tower crumbles? It is your choice to become aware -- to think, to focus, to act, and to feel – or to allow yourself to live in denial of the changes that are happening around you, enmeshed by the mind-numbing electronic tentacles of popular culture.
The symbolism inherent in the Gulf oil leak is profound -- a great body of nurturing, life giving water polluted by the oil we insist on burning to fuel our societal fire. The social and environmental cost of this disaster has only begun to be counted, and is probably not even quantifiable. We must wake up and come together in community to make the changes needed for us to live in a sane and healthy manner on this Earth, revering and nurturing the Web of Life of which we are a part.
Tower Time calls us all to the work of a lifetime, the work of transformation and healing. Will you take on this challenge?
Copyright: Gaian Tarot images courtesy of Joanna Powell Colbert at www.gaiantarot.com
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