We are currently experiencing a global crisis such as many of us have never seen in our lifetimes. Today, as Jupiter and Pluto collide and shatter the paradigms on which our lives have been built, I offer this interview from 2011 with Michael Meade.
[I]t is rare that a culture would be so thoroughly troubled at the same time that nature is so deeply disturbed. A culture falls apart when its sense of youthful imagination disappears at the same time that the wisdom of the elders is forgotten. Young people are growing up in a world of tragedy. They may appear to be ignoring it, but they are actually feeling it strongly. You’re not supposed to be worrying about the end of the world as a teenager; you’re supposed to be bringing your dream to it. The world seems old and troubled now, and the young are no longer allowed to be as young as they should be.
On the other side of the road of life you have the elders, who are often just “olders.” They could become elders in the collective story if they could awaken from the fear that they are over the hill and going downhill. They don’t understand that elders awaken through a descent into the depths, where life renews itself. Going downhill involves a process of going deeper into oneself and realizing, Aha! My life has meaning if I see it from the angle of fate revealing a sense of inner meaning and destiny.
Many traditional cultures believe that the true elders stay young at heart because they remain close to the dreams they had when they were young. In modern culture people try to change their outer appearance to look younger, but the role of the elder is to go deep inside, to stay in touch with the eternal as well as the sage in one’s heart. Aging is a biological process that happens to everyone. Everybody gets older, but not everybody gets to be an elder. Becoming an elder involves a lifelong awakening to and reflection upon the story embedded in one’s soul. …
Spirit in mythology and traditional cosmology is connected to fire and air, and it rises. Soul is connected to water and earth, and it descends. When we rise with spirit, we get peak experiences and those overviews of life that include moments of freedom. Soul goes the opposite way. Water runs down. The earth has gravity and pulls us to it. The soul wants us to grow down and become deep like a river. When people talk about “connection,” they’re really talking about soul. The real connections are not surface connections. You can have many friends on Facebook, but your real friends are those who know and support your deep self and will remind you when you’re losing touch with your own soul.
What is often missing in modern mass culture is this depth of connection. When you see a culture dividing into simplistic polarities — which is all of our politics nowadays and most of our religion — what’s going on is a loss of soul. People who are in touch with their soul know what they’re supposed to be doing in the world and what their way of contributing to life is, in the same way that people know what music they love and what food they enjoy — not just life-sustaining food, but food that has flavor, that makes you feel nourished, even inspired. …
And that’s the point: to be in the dance of life. When the band starts, and you go out there and dance, I want you to do one thing, which is to understand who you are in the midst of the dance. No one else is dancing the same way that you are. So be in the big dance of life, but also be yourself in the big dance. …
We are in the dance of life together, which includes famines and natural disasters; which includes pointless wars and human cruelties. And we’re each dancing our own steps in the midst of all of that.
The current virus crisis will take many lives and completely alter our societies and most of what we have come to depend on. But there are nuggets of connection and creativity that are bursting forth, and perhaps there will be a great deal of healing of the world still to come.
Thank you for your continued inspiring posts during this difficult time. Astrology is one way of making sense of it all! I look forward to the arrival of your emails in my in-tray while I’m on lock down here in the UK.
Keep safe! Lots of love Theresa