Transcript of Radio Show "One for all and all for one" (April 26, 2020)
The Tests, Lessons and Opportunities offered by Saturn in the Signs is something I always discuss with my clients, as it is a major indicator for their life’s work. Much the same, the movement of Saturn through the Signs of the Zodiac, which takes about 29 years, provides us with guidance year by year for one and for all of what is the challenge in that time.
For the last couple of years, Saturn was moving through its own sign of Capricorn, and the test and opportunity the world encountered was simply this. How responsible have we been in meeting our need to care for one another? We have moved from a way of life of simple hunters and gathers to a complex social order, with a vast hierarchy of social structures, ranging from the family unit, to our communities and regions, and on up to national and international institutions that we formed to meet one another’s needs. The test of Saturn was how well do we fulfill our various roles in the hierarchies of meeting needs; did we act with wisdom and fulfill our responsibilities to one another. The principal focus of Saturn concerned the forms of our roles and relationships, but now we need to consider the content of our way of life too.
This year, Saturn has begun its two plus year journey through the Sign of Aquarius. What is our test and opportunity now? What I hope you will see is that this test and opportunity of Saturn in Aquarius speaks directly to the essential character of any society and culture, but for us especially with regards to the foundational core of the United States of America. It is by looking to our origins, looking to our “roots”, that we can see what we built our nation upon. We can see how we have been guided and centered upon that which we hold in common, and that this reminder can point the way to what this period of time holds for us, and why I believe it holds out the promise of a re-birth of the dream that is America.
Declaration of Independence
In the Declaration of Independence, the radical nature of what was being established by the founding of our enterprise, that we were establishing a new kind of human order, of creating a new form of human society, was beautifully expressed when Jefferson wrote, “…And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
They (and we) were forming a new compact of men (at that time), who in agreement among themselves, decided to unite based upon their common needs and interests, and to mutually support one another, in order to meet one another’s needs in a freely chosen or self-directed manner.
It was, and is, an extraordinary statement for the founding of a nation. Until this moment, all national systems had been founded upon a people’s history as to their location by geographic space, language, ethnicity and cultural heritage. Those groupings were the “English”, the “French”, the “Italian”, and for most of the political constructs over the centuries in those lands and throughout the world, this political order was based on rather fixed hierarchies of the privileged in terms of title and landholdings. Power was in some “thing” that was inherited or seized by force, but certainly did not come from “the people” as a whole.
Origins of Self-Government
So, where did this belief in a freely determined, self-created society come from? The major portion of the early settlers of North America were principally from Europe, from England, Holland, France. Many had left of their own accord in order to be “free” of religious persecution during the 1600’s and 1700’s, as Europe faced wars and repressions by forces for and against Catholic versus Protestant beliefs and practices.
These dissidents had already, for more than a century, experienced through necessity the establishment of self-formed communities of faith, and many of them had for years engaged in lengthy debates about the nature of humanity, about the sources of moral authority, and the balance between personal freedom and social responsibilities.
A new kind of humanity, a new age of humanity, was emerging out of the Protestant revolution of the 1500’s and 1600’s, which then led in the 1700’s to another shift that became known as the “Enlightenment”. English, French and Dutch settlers had been deeply influenced by the rising belief in individual moral authority, severed from the old hierarchical order descending from King or Lord to commoner, and for some, this led them to question all authority based upon something external to humanity itself.
Alexis De Tocqueville
One of the most illuminating works on the foundational nature of the American system was a study by Alexis De Tocqueville in his work, “Democracy in America”, which was published in two volumes in 1835 and 1840. Historians and social scientists to this very day marvel over his observations and insights regarding “our great experiment”, what was called by our founders a “New Order for the Centuries”. (And, if you have not read De Tocqueville’s observations , you can read it online at https://www.gutenberg.org/files/815/815-h/815-h.htm).
One of the defining features he cited in his work was this: that what was essential to a self-governing, democratic system was the integral balance of individual freedom and social responsibility. He saw and understood that you can only have the true experience of the one when it is shaped and guided by the other (and vice versa). In other words, that individual freedom and social responsibility are necessary to one another, they are part of a greater whole that creates a truly free society.
He observed that Americans formed their society organically, from the local level on up through a range of voluntary organizations of mutual help and support, both secular and sectarian, in realms civil and religious. Rather than a top-down ordering of Regal or Authoritarian control imposed by fiat or Divine Right, the people of America assembled for self-governance because they had to. They were “on their own”, making their New World on a distant shore.
In order to do provide for themselves, they agreed to preserve their self-determination by giving up some “freedom” for the good of the whole, and trusting in that larger whole, which was their collective will, to equally ensure their individual freedoms. This was and is revolutionary, a people governing themselves voluntarily.
Tocqueville noted, "…when citizens are all almost equal, it becomes difficult for them to defend their independence against the aggressions of power. As none of them is strong enough to fight alone with advantage, the only guarantee of liberty is for everyone to combine forces.” The citizens of America agreed to form their various levels of civil society for their mutual benefit, to meet one another’s needs and to protect their freedoms.
He noted, and this is essential for understanding the nature of the crisis we face now at the end of this age, that the most critical element of our self-governance would require this balance of Individual Freedom and Social Responsibility, and that it could only work if there was a more or less equitable distribution of the value and wealth within the society.
As de Tocqueville noted, as have many others, the strength of America was to be found in its vibrant social mobility, where unlike the static structures of nobility, privilege and class in Europe, our social mobility would prevent a permanent hierarchy of power and wealth from becoming established. Tocqueville observed that if that equitable order were to be undone, that would be the beginning of the end of true democracy here (or I would argue anywhere).
But look at America now, where a very few have managed to obtain and control the vast majority of the wealth of the nation. And, most importantly for the destruction of real social mobility, they can pass on that wealth to whom they choose. Today, we find, for example, that instead of the top income earners making 5 times what the lowest income workers make, say $100,000 for the top and $20,000 for the bottom, we now have a grossly unequal distribution of income where the top earners make at least if not more than 400 times the bottom, $8,000,000 versus $20,000. And the very top percentiles acquire and secure much of their wealth and power through investments yielding interest and dividends. And by holding that much wealth, the top one percent can influence the economic and political order and shape the laws and regulations in order to reinforce, retain and make even more inequitable the distribution of wealth and power over time.
In fact, the wealth and income inequality in America today rivals that of the late 1920’s. Of all the members in the G-7 nations, America’s economic and social order is the most unequal. Since the great recession of 2008-09, only the richest members of our country have become better off than before, and the vast majority are poorer, and many are struggling to survive.
For the past 40 years, the growth of incomes for the middle and lower economic sectors in the US has fallen far behind that of the upper brackets, and that dream of a middle-class life for many Americans has become broken. For many, they look at their lives and their future, and they know that their lives will be less fortunate than their parents for the very first time in American history. Then they look at their own children and they are filled with sorrow; there is no bright future there, only a life filled with despair. They ask: what has gone wrong; what have they done wrong? The answer is nothing; it is not their fault.
The truth is America is not a truly functioning Democracy, it has become a Plutocracy, with the overt and covert rule of the extremely rich over the many. This is what is tearing at our social fabric, dividing regions and groups from one another; those regions and groups, that should be combining to right this wrong, are instead being further ripped apart by false narratives and distractions. Our agreement to sacrifice our individual liberty for the common good has been broken. But it is not by some accident of fate or caused by some natural phenomena. It is caused by the very few holding the power to make and shape a system that reinforces their wealth and power.
Saturn in Aquarius
To bring this back to the Astrological world, Saturn moving through Aquarius precisely encapsulates this question as it has done each time it moves through this sign. It shines a light on the question of our Community Spirit, of our Social Consciousness and Conscience, and the degree to which we are holding together by balancing our Individual Freedom and our Social Responsibilities to one another.
The answer has always been the same; each time Saturn has been in Aquarius we have been reminded that we have not been holding together and supporting one another fairly. Today, we have become divided even more than before because the foundations of our democracy have been shattered by the extremes of wealth and want. This is what Saturn in Aquarius is calling for, a return to a truly supportive community which will foster greater opportunity for each and every individual to realize their fuller potential, and which will equally benefit that very community, for it will benefit one and all. We must reaffirm the principle of equal opportunity, to create a social order that is fair and just, and which will be based upon a more equitable sharing in the wealth that we, every one of us, create.
Look at the previous years of Saturn in Aquarius, and you will see this pattern of social and economic reform for over 100 years: 1991-1994 (Clinton), 1962-1964 (JFK), 1932-1935 (FDR), and 1903-1906 (Teddy Roosevelt). In each of these periods, some more and some less, the economic order was re-ordered, power was re-distributed as laws were enacted, policies and mechanisms forged that restored (for a time) a more just and equal society.
But the challenge we face now, with not only Saturn moving through Aquarius, but experiencing for the first time, the return of Pluto to its position in the chart of the United States, means that this reckoning, this realignment or reform will be much more consequential than any we have ever faced. And that is very good because this country, and our compact with one another needs to be reborn.
Path to Restoration
We only need to remember how this great experiment in Democracy and Self-Government began. We have to restore the balance between the Individual and Community Responsibility. Just like our founders, we are beginning to forge a new compact, a new agreement between one another. Like FDR’s New Deal, we will restore our ways and means of meeting one another’s needs by reforming our social order.
Much of this is already happening. People always ask, “where is the New World coming from?” And the answer is, “we are making it now”. At the local, regional and state levels, actions and policies and programs are being created as we help one another through this crisis. We are taking actions, changing our priorities, and being reminded once again about what is truly most important. We had been sacrificing the quality of our life for the mere quantity of our things.
We can see and feel how unequal our world had become. In what kind of world do people who get to “play” for a living are rewarded with luxuries like private planes and multiple homes, while, for example, the healthcare workers on the front lines, like countless EMT’s saving lives day after day now, and they cannot afford to live without a having a second job, and they cannot even afford their very own health insurance, all while they risk their lives every day to save others? What is wrong with us? How did this happen?
This is what a crisis reveals; and this is the power wielded by our greatest fear, the fear of death. That ultimate truth, that we are mortal, and the fear we have for ourselves and loved ones, this shatters our complacency. It is Spirit moving through and around us, it is our manifest Love for one another moving through us now, and that will support and guide us to a rebirth for ourselves, our communities, our country and our world.
The Real Crisis
Yes, we are facing an extreme test of our broken social order; but the very good news is that we made this order and so we can fix it too. But what we must also understand is the largest community on Earth is LIFE itself; and it is formed into a similar order of communities and systems, of intricate and mutually interdependent hierarchies of seemingly countless life-forms. And we know that life depends upon life. And from the microscopic orders to the largest of lifeforms, life has become devastated, life is leaving the planet, and we only need to look in the mirror to see why.
As I have saying for many weeks now with my clients, this pandemic is merely the very tiny tip of an immense iceberg that is crashing into our dear lifeboat in Space, our home planet, our planet Earth. And the ever-growing crisis, of which Covid-19 is but a symptom, is Climate Change. Our work is not merely within our human family. Our greatest responsibility, most certainly, is for us to dedicate ourselves to do everything we can to preserve all life on this planet. For our lives depend upon all those other life-forms.
You are here at the ending of age; and it is terrible, and it is wonderful. You are here at this historic moment, when human civilization and life on planet earth as we have come to know it is threatened. What will you do?
The world is changing; and we are the change makers. We must choose wisely, by first helping one another in this time of fear and loss. But we must understand the solution is not a vaccine for this virus, but a spiritual and social transformation of how we care for another and for our beautiful world too.
When I spoke and wrote years ago about this time being an “end of an Age”, and that the world we knew was going to be ending starting in 2008, my clients asked me
“what does that mean?” I said, “I do not know; all I know is that we will be moving into a New World”.
As we move through it now, it will become clearer to us what things have to change to preserve life and to preserve this planet. We all realize how important this moment is, and in the days and weeks and months and years ahead, we need to be that change that creates a New World.
Here is the radio show link: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/astrologerbillattride/2020/04/26/saturn-in-aquarius-all-for-one-and-one-for-all