Dear fellow Earth-beings (and others who may find this of interest),
Venus is intercepting the Sun as I post this article. (June 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm PST) In fact, I’m watching a live feed from Hawai’i. This rare astronomical occurrence comes in pairs with the first transit experienced on June 8, 2004. This won’t happen again until 2117.
The symbolic meaning of this Sun-Venus conjunction in astrology is summarized by imagining a gentle path of love where the heart leads (Venus), eclipsing the dominant, willful, ego-driven presence of the rational mind (Sun). This is a powerful omen for us all and something to integrate into our personal, cultural and global evolution.
This relationship dynamic with its shift to a more sensitive and kind approach reflects my feelings about our changing times on the planet, especially in light of social, political, and environmental issues.
We are in times of profound transformation and change, a process that resonates with my being and area of expertise. In this article I explore the nature of global change, symbolized by the conversation about “Climate Change,” and the opportunities to meet this challenge in a meaningful way applying the wisdom of this Venusian shift in energy.
Last weekend in Portland, Oregon I attended two sessions of a Climate Change open forum. As expressed by the organizers of this event, the intent was to create an environment and opportunity for an open sharing of perspectives and experience by any and all participants in the hope of developing bridges between apparently contrasting views and values.
The event began with a session on “Earth’s Climate” posing this question, “What information would help you make a decision on whether or not humans are changing Earth’s climate?” This session included a panel of climate scientists, among them Nobel prize laureates, providing facts gathered over their many years of scientific research and analysis of Earth’s climate over thousands of years with special emphasis on current dramatic trends.
As I sat in stillness, receiving the input of scientific data, for which I know this group of professionals have dedicated their lives to collect for the benefit of us all, I could also hear my inner voice express, “Yes, I already know these facts and understand the distress the Earth is experiencing.” I have to admit that I did not find the factual presentation useful, nor was I inspired to connect with the material or the presenters in a meaningful way around what they were saying.
My heart and mind struggled with their talking heads approach to interfacing with their listeners and began to challenged myself to find a way to create bridges of understanding that also include my ideas for effective ways to connect with others more compassionately on an essential topic that touches us all. I know I’m not alone in this desire and realize there are many approaches to addressing this concern. This is my opportunity to share with you my growing knowledge, life experience and hard-earned wisdom on potential ways for us all to stand together in the face of global challenges and transformation.
US vs. THEM
This is a theme that appears on several levels as we explore the polemics of many issue. In this forum, a few examples of how this contrast surfaced follows:
– Scientists / the general public
– Facts / fiction
– Scientific papers / journalistic reportage
– Transparency / secret agenda
– Informed action / fear or apathy
– Intellectual / emotional
CONNECTING WITH OTHERNESS
Dualistic and political perspectives allow contrast and diversity, an important stage when reviewing an issue and preparing for change. Unfortunately, in my opinion, there are not enough models to take diverging perspectives to the next step, reconciliation. In most cases, what could be a sharing is actually a subtly violent tug-a-war with the intent to debate and persuade others to one’s point of view. When violence, control, and misuse of power is present, the opportunity for connecting is severely challenged.
Marshall Rosenberg promotes Nonviolent Communication and shares his vision…
“What I want in my life is compassion, a flow between myself and others based on a mutual giving from the heart.”
His advice is to focus on what we want to do rather than what went wrong. In other words, rather than having to prove we are right with facts and data, we might be able to connect more compassionately if we focus on what each of us values in order to support a more wonderful life and attempt to fulfill those needs so we can move forward together. To connect with compassion begins with self awareness, knowing one’s own feelings and needs, then communicating with vulnerability while sharing with others. Judgment and fear is dissolved over time, opening the way for more harmonious relationships.
Process Work (Process-oriented Psychology), along with its extension, the Deep Democracy Institute, one of the sponsors of the Climate Change open forum, have been exploring this next step of connection with otherness by developing dynamic theories, effective techniques, and a global team of facilitation artists. With philosophical foundations in Taoism, quantum physics, and Jungian psychology, they value wholeness, unity, and inclusion of all parts and perspectives. In essence, there is an assumption and attitude of connection already present when engaging with others that supports the possibility of changing together.
The philosophy, or spiritual value in the background that supports ones ability to connect automatically with another is the idea of oneness, or unity consciousness. You are an aspect of me, as I am an aspect of you. Together we create a greater consciousness and knowing about the diversity of life. To resist you is to marginalize an aspect of myself, of life, and deepens the dualistic chasm that eventually tears us apart. Seeing other as one’s mirror, or holographic reflection of the Divine, can become a way of life, a path of peace.
When talking about the Earth, she then becomes a mirror of myself as I feel the atmospheric changes within my own body. The question posed by the panel of scientists at the forum then shifts from one about Earth changes and decisions about responsibility to “How is my climate…and do I need to change?”
Another model and tool for change and unity is Tarot, whose teachings and wisdom lives through me each day. If you search for the keyword “unity” you will find other articles and posts on my website exploring this topic.
Through the visual archetypes and metaphors of the Tarot cards, we can reflect back to our personal stories, the aspect of the holographic mirror of life we are traveling at any given time. Within it’s template of 78 cards is the story of our life’s journey from unity, through duality and diversity, back to a higher awareness of unity and coming home. The “Sacred Journey of the Soul” advances through the major arcana of the Tarot, telling the archetypal story of the Hero, as reflected in the teachings of Joseph Campbell.
SONGS AND STORIES FOR THE JOURNEY HOME
Every picture tells a story in Tarot, and story is our favorite way to relate as humans. It reminds us of our humanness as we follow the journey of others, relating to the twists and turns of the adventure of life. We compassionately tag along as the heroin faces her dragons, saves the community, and finally returns home again after changing the world forever.
It is obvious that we relish the story. Be it a novel, movie, or just gossip, people relate through the experience of other people, our family of human-beings. We are touched by their feelings, resonate with the common themes, and can be inspired by the accomplishment of others. It is natural to care about our family, community or tribe.
Christina Baldwin in her writings and workshops explores the power of storytelling. Whether in the form of individual journal writing or in group circles and ceremonies, this can be a spiritual pathwork opportunity.
REQUEST FOR WORLD HARMONY
After much thought and reaching within my own heart and mind to offer something that might be supportive to the scientists of the world who are passionately attempting to touch us with their story about global change I offer this article of information and these final suggestions…
– When sharing your wisdom, please come from your heart more than your mind. Remember we are a global family.
– Delivering your message as a story will activate our imagination and invite us to join you.
– Focusing more on what we can do than what we did wrong will inspire us to be our best and give us hope for a more life-affirming experience.
– “Be the change you would like to see.” How can I or we be the the change in climate? How can we effect the atmosphere around us? How can we make life more wonderful for all?
Appreciation is extended to the dedicated scientists and social activist who shared their research, knowledge, and time to enhance our understanding of life on Earth:
Professor Catherine Gautier (UC-Santa Barbara)
Professor Jeff Kiehl (National Center for Atmospheric Research-Boulder)
Drs. Ellen and Max Schupbach and the Deep Democracy Institute
Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.