By Mary Summerbell
2012. What a year it has been. As if the recall and re-election of our controversial Wisconsin governor were not drama enough, a hometown, man was Republican running mate for the presidential race. Badgers, and donkeys and elephants, oh my! In a nerve-wracking national election we chose President Obama for a second term. Washington made history as the first state to legalize gay marriage and marijuana.
As the United States voted four more years for Obama, the United Kingdom celebrated sixty years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign in a gala, multinational Diamond Jubilee. Relief for post party depression came with the latest expectation of a new royal heir.
Human rights are ever in the news, with spotlights on racial issues, women’s issues, workers rights and disability rights. The U.S. Senate recently voted against a United Nations proposal to ban discrimination against the disabled worldwide, discussion bringing important attention to this topic. Children’s rights are also news. After years of revelations of pedophile clergy, current high profile cases of celebrity pedophiles again alert us to the vulnerability of the young, reminding us that we need to protect our children from predators.
Deadly weather grabbed headlines world-wide, with droughts in much of the United States and southern Europe even before the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in the Caribbean, the United States and Canada, with New Jersey taking the brunt of the blow of the largest Atlantic hurricane on record.
Discovery of the Higgs-boson, or God particle, was the biggest scientific breakthrough of the year. This elementary particle explains why matter has mass. Also, scientists diving ocean depths never before explored off the coast of California found “life in the coldest, darkest sea,” teeming with clues to the origins of life on Earth. And just this month scientists searched new information from rover Curiosity to confirm the possibility of life on Mars.
Of course we had scandals, crime, war and violence. But recently, in New York City, we also had a remarkable violence-free day and a half. From Sunday night, November 25th, through Tuesday morning, November 27th, there were no reported slayings, stabbings or shootings. Thirty six hours of peace. Woo – hoo! I’ll take that as a sign of things to come.
Astrologically speaking, we are in a rare time and place. Regardless of what ancients thought would be as they made their calendars centuries ago, ending soon, there are significant events in the heavens now. There are celestial alignments taking place in our galaxy that happen only every 26,000 years.
As the earth turned and the universe shifted this year, my personal world turned, my personal universe shifted also. Due to irrevocable choices and irrevocable changes, beyond my control, my family dynamic has been reconfigured in ways I never anticipated. Weddings, a death, a birth, and painful estrangements created heartrending situations. I felt devastated, elated, sad, happy, humbled, proud, weak, strong, angry, compassionate, excited, calm, afraid, hopeful, disbelieving, and accepting – sometimes in one breath. I expanded my experience of humanity in unexpected ways, stretching beyond previous limits. Honestly, it’s been a hell of a year for me, one of the most difficult and challenging of my life. And also very rewarding.
What saved me in the stressful times, what kept me steady, and keeps me going now, is living the spiritual principles I believe. I’ve learned that best and worst are often inseparable. We find what we look for, what we expect to find. What we focus on grows. And what we focus on can be an ongoing, conscious choice. In intense moments I know I can look for – and find – something uplifting on which to focus. For example, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, two men, political opponents, President Barrack Obama and governor Chris Christy, worked willingly and respectfully together, to help all in need. As leaders they affected millions of people. In my little life, that’s how I want to be.
Wherever we go, whatever we do, if we look for the Apocalypse, we will find it. If we look for the Rapture, we will find it. Often they are one. Life is not about the glass being half empty, or half full. It’s about appreciating that there is a glass, with anything at all in it for us. It’s about tasting what’s in that glass, and finding something of it to enjoy, getting some benefit from it.
In spiritual consciousness, as we approach the New Year and New Age, let’s focus for a moment on what’s in the metaphysical glass….
According to Ageless Wisdom Tradition the Piscean Age was the Age of Idealism, and the Aquarian Age is the Age of Creativity. If we intend to align ourselves with the energy of our time, in order to optimize our spiritual awareness and growth, we need to ponder a bit on the differences between these ages as we shift from one to the other.
One dictionary definition of idealism is “the ability or tendency to see things as they should be rather than as they are.” This comes from the root word “ideal” meaning “existing only in the mind; imaginary; also, lacking practicality, of or relating to perfection.” Ideal comes from “idea” – “a plan for action, a central meaning, purpose or concept.”
Obviously idealism is more about lofty goals and noble ambitions than practical application of principles. It’s about right and wrong, shoulds and shalt nots, judgments and unrealistic expectations. Idealism is the quest for the Holy Grail, not the grasping of it. It’s about chivalry, and worship from afar, not the everyday cap-off-the-toothpaste reality of human coexistence. It’s hearts and flowers, sentimentality and romance, keeping people safely distant, to avoid seeing their faults and flaws. It is standards of perfection set so high that even the most beautiful among us become airbrushed icons of celebrity fantasy. The brightest and the best can be false gods we worship as, by comparison, we see ourselves as mundane, ordinary, perpetually less than. This has been going on for ages. Have we had enough yet? Are we ready for something new?
To create is “to bring into being, to cause to exist, to produce.” Creation is “the act of creating; a product of invention or imagination; the world and all things in it.” Creativity is a constant attitude of constructive curiosity. It is characterized by uniqueness, originality, and authenticity. It’s about left and right, natural rhythms, cycles, patterns. It’s balancing process and product. It’s about being true to self, whoever and whatever we are, as we go. Creativity is the exquisite expression of individuality and community. It’s all-inclusive.
To express means “to make known, to show.” It is an utterance – a word, gesture, symbol, sign that has significance or meaning, or just feels good for the person expressing it. It may or may not mean anything to anyone else. If it does, great. Communication. But basic expression represents only something heartfelt coming from within, unlike idealism which is measured against something outside ourselves.
Age of Aquarius. Age of Creativity, of Creative Expression. Here, now, in a theater inside you. And me. Let this be a time of appreciating effort – our own and others’ – regardless of outcome. Of patiently supporting each other in our best effort each moment. We need not let go of our Piscean ideals completely, or all at once. This is a time of transition, not a single, magical moment. We need the imagination, the planning of the Piscean energy in order take action, to create, to express ourselves in the Aquarian Age. We can combine aspects of both ages for optimum progress. Goals are still necessary, deadlines a reality, life’s demands ongoing. But every step we acknowledge as a small success we get a bite of that carrot, to keep up our energy as we go.
At a folk dance I went to recently, the caller said, “Remember – if there’s music, and you’re moving, that’s dancing.” This is the spirit of the Aquarian Age. It doesn’t matter if we miss a step, or many. Just keep moving to the music, together, enjoying the moment, happy in the imperfect process. If we can do this, what a year it will be. 2013.