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In today's episode, we're examining Pluto's momentous entry into Aquarius, occurring on January 20, 2024, a significant shift that marks the beginning of nearly two decades of Pluto's influence in this sign. We'll discuss preparing for and understanding the qualitative shifts of this major astrological season, emphasizing the blend of foresight and hindsight that enriches astrology as a spiritual practice.
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Hey everyone, this is Adam Elenbaas from Nightlight Astrology. Happy Friday, everybody. Today, we are going to start a series on Pluto's entrance back into Aquarius. It's the first of several videos that I've made that will explore the archetypal significations of Pluto and Aquarius.
One of the main things that Pluto does when it moves into any sign is it begins a transformative process in a new house with new topics, so it's always a big deal when Pluto changes signs. It's rare; it doesn't happen that often, and when it does, it starts this new transformational work in our lives.
So the question becomes, well, what kind of work is it? The transformational work of Pluto almost always involves looking at our shadows, looking at unconscious material. What kind of unconscious material or shadows are unique to the sign of Aquarius? That's a good question to be asking ourselves right now as we prepare for this major planetary ingress, arguably the biggest planetary ingress of 2024.
So anyway, we'll start that today. I have some more videos that I've made on this subject for next week as well. I hope that you'll enjoy it and that it kind of just gets us starting to be in a contemplative space, preparing our hearts and minds for Pluto back into Aquarius. Anyway, that's our goal for today.
Don't forget to like and subscribe, share your comments and reflections. If you want, you can find a transcript of any of my daily talks, including today's, on the website nightlightastrology.com. As you guys know, we're in the midst of trying to reach our goal of 1777 backers in our annual Kickstarter. This is our 10th annual Kickstarter campaign. We are well on our way now. But we still need a lot of help. We have 379 backers as of the time that I'm recording this, which means we still need 1398 Buy New Year's Eve; that's a lot, and we still have a long way to go. I am faithful that we can get there; I really think that we can pull it out. I hope that you will consider helping us reach our goal. If you haven't already, you can find the link to the Kickstarter pinned to the top of the comment section or in the description of this video.
When you head over there, pick 50% off any of my online programs, which goes up to 75. When you bundle three or four programs together, it's a really great deal on any of our online courses. You can learn more about them on the website nightlight astrology.com. Of course, we also have readings that we offer through Kickstarter a bunch of different lectures we offer; my new book is there. So be sure to check that out to help us reach our goal.
What I've been doing as a way of helping promote the Kickstarter is sharing things about my practice, my views, and my values as an astrologer in the hopes that it will resonate and also help you understand where I'm coming from and why I think that this channel is worth supporting not just myself, but our whole team and all the things that we do.
So anyway, today I wrote something; I have an astrological journal; I printed a page from it today, and a lot of the time, what I do with my astrological journal, and I've realized I've talked about it a bunch on the channel that I write about astrology, but that I don't really tell you guys exactly what I mean. It's kind of my private thing, right? So I'm like, I'm not gonna go so into it. But there it would be interesting, at least, to know what kinds of things I write about. So, I like to track transits. I used to track moon cycles, and a lot more of track transits a lot more recently, that it changes I write, what I anticipate and then what actually happened, and I compare and contrast and then write about it. But anyway, sometimes I also write; I don't know what to call them love songs to the planets, love songs to astrology, Psalms, poetry, prayer, praise, some hallelujah, I don't know.
At the core of the way I do astrology, there's a kind of romantic, devotional love for the Oracle for astrology itself. So anyway, I wrote this today. It's unedited; I haven't polished it or anything, and I hope you'll enjoy it. It will help you get to know me as an astrologer and the heart and soul of the channel.
What astrology shows me every day every day that the cosmos is an unsold place, and while the soul might be an utter mystery, it is the best and the most compelling mystery, wilder, more full of love, wonder, beauty, and truth than I could possibly imagine.
Astrology shows me every day that reality is painful and that pain draws me deeper into the mystery of heart and soul if I let it, and even if I don't, it persists. The pain persists until I throw myself into it or out of it until I need it some way somehow, and it breaks me wider and wider open and draws me deeper into this soulful mystery.
That I win each day when I say yes, I see you. I don't have to like you. I don't have to like me. I don't have to agree. I don't have to understand. But my God, I can't help but seeing you.
Holy Divine Presence, divine wisdom, eyeing me from the depths of the stars, the depths of space, calling me back into this soulful mystery. That I lose each day, insofar as something always comes up to interrupt, disrupt, disturb my plans, visions, goals, control and that this losing, brings me back to my knees where my arms can reach back up to the heavens, and I can sing out a loss from the heart and there it is, again, this unsold place that can't tell the difference between winning and losing a day on Earth. This heart keeps saying yes, yes, yes, yes. It's not a yes for the faint of heart and I am so regularly faint of heart.
Astrology shows me every day that kindness is behind every motion of every planet down to every last blade of grass. But to see this kind of kindness, I can't be afraid of death. I can't be in denial of pain. I can't shutter at darkness. It is hard to do these things. But when I do, kindness pours out of me like a faucet.
That we live in a magical universe that is dying to enter our hearts and our minds if we empty ourselves, if I empty myself of pride, self-righteousness, defensiveness, and I get back to listening. When I listen, the heavens talk.
That the planets are my teachers, they are my friends. They are my lovers. They are my family. They are my community. They are my enemies. They are my fears and worries, but they are also my laughter, my strength, my courage, my determination, and my love and devotion to all they encompass.
The archetypes give voice to my soul, and my soul gifts form and shape and relationship to the archetypes to the gods. Astrology shows me this every day.
I'm not scared of the gods, though I deeply respect them. I'm not jealous of the gods. Though I marvel at their power. I am not less than the gods, though I consider them teachers. I am a host for the gods in my heart and soul and by their presence. My life is made sacred.
Astrology shows me every day. That faith isn't a form of knowing or believing. It is cosmic hospitality friendliness to experience itself, and if I'm not there today, then I pray to be back a steward of holy things, planet's hearts and souls drawing me deeper into a profound mystery.
Just that's just a page out of my journal. This is where my heart is, that this is what I love about astrology. If you like this channel, because you get something of the same.
I don't know if the same spirit bubbles up in you about astrology, and this is a place, a cosmic church where you feel like you're part of something bigger and your love for astrology is somehow a part of a greater chorus of voices and souls. You know, singing about the subject you love, then you're in good company, and I hope that you will consider supporting me and my team in the work that we do. In the integrity, we try to bring to what we do in the disciplines and practices we carry to make it possible to do what we do.
I hope you'll consider pitching in and supporting us, and if you can't support us financially, prayers are awesome. A kind comment is an awesome prayer that will meet our goal of building the donation-based clinic; all these things help. So, we take all currencies of support, right?
Anyway, thank you, and if you want remember, you can find the link to the Kickstarter pinned to the top of the comment section or in the description of the video. All right, well, on that note, I hope you will enjoy this exploration of Pluto's re-entrance into the sign of Aquarius.
Alright, let's go ahead and get into it. We're going to first take a look at Pluto's entrance into Aquarius on the real time clock. Here it is, entering the sign of Aquarius on January 20, 2024. So, when we consider this transit, there are a few things to remember when it comes to the timeline for the year.
So Pluto ingresses into Aquarius January 20, it is then spending time in the sign of Aquarius from January 20 to September 1, at which point it will be back into Capricorn from September 1 to November 19, and then it will be back in the sign of Aquarius from November 19 through the end of the year, and then it's there to stay. It does not leave until 2043.
So, almost 20 years worth of Pluto and Aquarius now, we are not going through a lot of what we have to say about any planetary transit that lasts that long is going to happen as the transit unfolds and we have more lived experience to reflect on. The point of astrology is partially to prepare ourselves for the qualitative nature of the archetypal season that we're entering. But it is also to actively reflect upon the unfolding of the seasons that we're in, and so there's always an element of hindsight as much as there is foresight with astrology as a spiritual practice.
The purpose of today's talk and a number of talks that we're going to do is to help us think about the sign of Aquarius and what Pluto might do upon entrance into the sign, working through it over the course of 20 years, what are the big picture archetypal processes that we might encounter and certainly, there are some that are only going to make sense to me or any astrologer and all of you as we go along. So I just wanted to make sure we said that.
We're going to look at a couple of essays by the archetypal psychologist James Hillman, whose son, Lawrence Hillman, is an astrologer; he was a student of Carl Jung and is known for pioneering the archetypal psychology movement, which we also have archetypal astrology coming out of, and so he shares a lot in common with Jung but also goes in some different directions, and I highly recommend those of you who are interested in modern astrology and psychology, to read up on the history of depth psychology and to read some of the works by people like Jung and Hillman and many others, right.
But today, we're going to look at a very brief essay that he wrote, something two pages long, called Is the Future in American Addiction. Now, I've sort of broaden that in the title of today's talk to just ask the question, is the future in addiction? Because I think this question is probably something that could be applicable to people all around the world, right? It's not just an American question. So, but at this time, you know, his audience and his angle was a little bit more about the American psyche. But I think, again, at this point in time, the way that so many things have globalized. This is probably a question that's appropriate for a lot of citizens of planet Earth at this point in time.
We're also going to be looking at an essay by Hillman in a few parts, another one that will begin maybe next week, and that one is called, where is it? It's called Cosmology for Soul, and the subtitle is From Universe to Cosmos. That's a longer essay; we're gonna break it, I think, into three parts.
I really want to take a number of different looks at Pluto into Aquarius, and in addition to looking at horoscopes, and where it might fall on your birth chart, and so forth, I want us to start thinking about the archetypal nature of the sign of Aquarius and what Pluto might, how Pluto might express itself, within the framework of that. The nature of Aquarius. So anyway, that's our goal. That's our goal for today.
Now, I'm going to read this. This comes from a collection of essays that Hillman wrote, but then they were collected after his death, and they're called philosophical intimations. It's just interesting because he really didn't like to talk about philosophy a lot. He was a psychotherapist and psychologist, and he liked to talk about psychology and for him, philosophy was sometimes too abstract. So I think you'll appreciate it if you were to get this collection of essays and you like to read, you know, thought-provoking ideas, even if you don't agree with all of them.
I think you'll find that he's a very engaging writer. I read things, by the way, on this channel not to indict alternate you to the perspective of the author. But to introduce you to ideas that may be useful, some of which you may agree with, some of which you may not. To me, the consideration of ideas is a part of how we grow. It's not, I think, sometimes we, an idea is proposed or, you know, someone's ideas are asserted, and you instantly think I either have to fight this person or completely join their side. You can let ideas work on you, and you can take time with them, and that's actually going to be part of what we talked about today as well.
But anyway, I'm going to read this essay, and then I'm going to connect it to Pluto and Aquarius afterward with several takeaways that I had from rereading this in my preparation for this series that we're going to be doing. Okay, so here we go, Is the future an American Addiction?
Ideas are in short supply in the United States, to say nothing of big ones. We seem able to encourage ideas of only to poor sorts, great big fuzzy ones like growth, self, national security, freedom, commitment, and community.
Ideas that have neither arms nor legs and just roll around the various highways clouding vision and blocking straightforward daylight.
Or we have the other sort of ideas what we call practical. How to Avoid taxation with a leveraged buyout, concoct a pharmaceutical to avoid a motion, and vent a canny little gimmick for fixing a faulty space station or increase the speed of a transmission. So, my first idea is that the greatest scarcity in the entire national enterprise today are ideas radical, effective, imaginative, and grand ideas. They have fallen into unconsciousness, moral ideas like justice, honor, dignity, courage, tragedy, veracity.
Cosmological ideas like proof of God's existence, the nature of the good and the good of nature, the life of reason and the reason of life, the meaning of public of city of citizen, the relation between arts and values, or why and for what do we human beings exist?
We need ideas we can cogitate a long time rather than quick fixes. If we have a short-term economy, it is because we have short-term ideas, good for only a quarter, not even a full year. We need tough, dense ideas that can be chewed rather than swallowed whole. Thereby forming ill-digested ideologies.
Idea from the Greek Aedos is both something seen as an independent phenomenon, a form, a shape, something envisioned, studied, contemplated as an object, and it is something that allows you to see and make seeing possible. We see ideas as when we say Do you see what I'm saying? Meaning, did you get my idea, and we see by means of ideas.
The classical world made statues of some ideas like truth, time, justice, charity, and victory so that we could see them as objective figures, not merely as concepts made up by the human mind. Without ideas, it becomes quite difficult to notice anything. We become mentally blind, if not stupid.
For instance, until you have the idea of a stellar constellation, the Big Dipper say the display of stars twinkling away in the night sky is just a jumble, no shape, no pattern. The idea lets you draw the lines between the dots.
When microscopic viewing and staining occurs in the lab, it is well known that you cannot see and identify the particulars you are searching for. Until the idea of what exactly you are looking for becomes what you are looking at. Teachers in the lab teach what to see so that you learn how to see what comes before how. These little examples from the night sky in the glass slide point to an idea as a form, a shape a configuration.
If an idea is truly something that pops into our mind or hangs around in a culture like a meme, a waiting rediscovery when the time is ripe, or a person is clear enough to catch it and speak it, then indeed, an idea is truly like a figure or form a sort of invisible nonhuman person.
That's why the ancient Greeks following Socrates considered ideas to be forms, some of which were archetypal forms, or our chi root ideas, big ideas, eternal ideas that governed the way things are in the world.
The upshot of this little excursion on ideas is important for us today is the idea that the governing forms of our mind were expressed also by archetypal principles in the shape of gods and goddesses and other personifications of myth.
Thus, philosophy of knowledge, how we know anything, mythology, the study of the ways of the gods and goddesses, and psychology of living human existence were once completely intertwined. I want to maintain that tangle alive and well, and my life's work has been instilled is to add more complexity and pump fresh blood into the vital interplay between myth, thought, and actual life. God's ideas and human psychology.
The particular idea for today is one called future. It doesn't come on stage all by itself; it is part of a gang. Other members of Futures gang are called development, progress, acceleration, new technology, prophecy, and two very rosy and seductive forms, one called hope and the other escape.
Here, I have divided future from its usual tedious and grammatical companions, past and present. In fact, I've removed future from its parents' time and alteration or change. This family is so abstract and conceptual, without the meat and fat of soul. For soul, pastime has another name, memory, and present, simply daily life and futures soul name is fantasy.
The separation of the idea of future from the idea of time takes a lot of doing; we have to do it again and again, for time, in our times, has caught us all; it feels the most real, the most commanding of all gods and it will be a struggle today, trying to examine the idea of a future freed of the oppressive importance of time.
So that's actually sort of the preamble to what was probably a day of lectures on the subject from an archetypal perspective, time, the past, present, and future, and so forth. But he does a couple of things there that I think are really interesting.
Again, whether you agree with him or not. It's interesting to place ourselves into the stream of someone's thoughts, see, by means of them, and then ask ourselves, do I see things in a similar way? Or do I see things differently? Do I see things by means of different ideas? Ideas are the means by which we see. Do you see what I'm saying? That was a great little portion of that essay.
Aquarius is a fixed Air sign. It has to do with the ruling ideas of our day that shape history that shape collectives, not just one collective, but all different kinds of collectives that also shape the personal sense of identity or participation in various collectives and not just in one area of life. But many. When Pluto enters Aquarius, one of the things that can happen is a complete, total, deep, profound transformation of those ideas, by means of which we see that we are not conscious of that come up for conscious review, that may need to be purged or transformed or healed, or released, or ideas by means of which we may transform our ourselves, our careers, our relationships, our participation in the world, our sense of the cosmos we live in.
I think one of the simplest and most profound things we can think about with Pluto moving into Aquarius is the idea that our collective ideas are going to change dramatically, and it's fantastic to even imagine what that might mean. I think one of the obvious examples that we have in terms of something we're all going to be thinking about and the way in which we think about this topic will be the means by which we'd start to live or shape or shift the collective narrative is something like artificial intelligence, questions about alien life, questions about the stars in the universe that we live in. Maybe an openness to something along the lines of archetypes. It could be good for astrology, perhaps.
I think that there are three things to prepare ourselves for as Pluto enters Aquarius, and one of the things that we tend to get captured by when it comes to big ideas is a kind of urgency that we implement big ideas for the sake of the society's salvation, or for the sake of some kind of collective leap forward.
It's not that I personally have any problem with the idea of personal or collective evolution or progress or, development or advancement, or even salvation. But what does it look like when we're captured by those ideas unconsciously as opposed to working with them consciously and recognizing that they are archetypes?
That's what Hillman is writing about when he says that we tend to have trouble separating ideas from urgent, salvation-based propaganda about the future. Do this now, or the whole civilization will die, right? Do this now, and everything will get better.
One of the shadows of Aquarius for as much as it can take us in grand, amazing new directions because of new ideas and new paradigms, the shadow is also that it can become the sign of Aquarius, a Saturn-ruled sign can become dissociated from embodied, earthly experience. It can have a low tolerance for subtlety nuanced diversity, it can have a low tolerance for there being a multiplicity of ideas rather than just one that will save everything. So the shadow of Aquarius is, in a way, New Age, messianic salvation-based future utopian thinking.
Two things can be true at once, right? There are many great examples of things that have truly taken us forward as a species at different points politically, socially, and culturally; there have been truly powerful revolutions of thought and new ideas that bring us out of darkness and toward the light. It's an archetype, and it happens, and it's beautiful when it does, and there will be a lot of that with Pluto and Aquarius; no doubt, we're going to probably see some powerful ideas that have a chance to make the world a better place. But we also have to remember the great shadow Pluto brings up the shadow of any sign that it touches.
It can advance us, regenerate us, rebirth us, transfigure, and transform us in powerful ways according to all of the best qualities of the sign it inhabits, and it can also have us visiting the dark, the demonic, the shadow, the unconscious, the truly terrible aspects of the sign because there's an interplay of light and dark in reality, the way the Taoists wrote about it, Indian sages, Buddhists, you know, Christian mystics, all traditions have talked about the interplay of light and dark.
Aquarius is one of those signs where I find that there's a subsection of people who can only think good thoughts about it, about the sign of Aquarius, not that you should be thinking really along good or bad lines about archetypes at all because that way of judging or looking at signs tends to limit our ability to interact with the archetype in ways that are truly personal and meaningful. That it's the judgment that keeps us from the full spec. From that an archetype offers still, some archetypes are more difficult than others. That's why we have a language of dignities.
With Pluto and Aquarius, there is a subset. There's like a subsection of people who who think this sign is about the awakening, it's about the, the leap in consciousness, it's about the new age, right like that.
So, one of the things that I love about this essay, Hillman is talking about our fixation on progress, and I think that's worth looking at. It's not worth discarding, or, you know, throwing out the value that we have on better ideas, making the world a better place. But it is also important to look at the shadows and the dogma because, well, I think a lot about the I-Ching.
The I-Ching has many examples in the hexagrams, where it says the right idea at the wrong time won't work, or the right thing to say with the wrong tone of voice won't work, or the right idea with intolerance, impatience, et cetera, won't work. Being aware of the shadow of progress-oriented thinking does not mean you toss out the notion of progress. It means that you temper your relationship with the archetype so that you don't get grabbed unconsciously by its shadows, and we are particularly prone to the shadows of progress as a country by the way that has some very strong Aquarian signatures in it in the United States anyway.
Anyway, here are the three things to prepare ourselves for as Pluto enters Aquarius, and we may have to grapple with the shadows of progress with the shadows of big ideas that we get excited about.
One is that ideas not chewed slowly and digested, are less likely to be fertile. It's like fully chewed and digested, taking time with big ideas, letting them shift and move and configure themselves; they stand a chance to find the right time, the right moment, the right way, the right modifications, the right softening or the right structure, the right boundaries, by means of which to adequately take shape in the world, the embodied world. It's funny how so many big ideas become the source, so many big ideas that people think are really truly good ideas. Because they haven't been digested, they become the source of warfare or self-righteousness.
They become the means by which we justify violence because look at how perfect this idea is. Yes, but have any of us taken the time to let that idea come through and be digested, be assimilated, be integrated, be woven into the fabric of a very diverse tapestry, the biomatrix of life.
So one potential shadow we will be visiting with Pluto and Aquarius over the next couple of decades will be great ideas that have not been chewed slowly and digested properly, and this is what Hillman says when he suggests that we need ideas, they are so important, and that's like the most wonderful part about Pluto into Aquarius, it's like our ideas are going to change so profoundly.
But, it's the urgency. It's the literalism that we project onto the idea this will save us; we better do it now, right away like that. Sometimes, there are times where you know speed and urgency is a real thing. Some ideas may come quickly and have to be enacted very quickly, for example, to counteract environmental catastrophes. So it's not like there's some rule that says urgency or the urgent implementation of ideas is not allowed.
However, if you think about some of our most impatient and restless ideas and how they've gotten implemented in the name of good but have ended up creating more problems because we didn't chew them slowly and digest them and let them come into the world, come into the body come into conversation. Before immediately thinking, What do I do with this to advance the story toward salvation, which tends to betray a point of view that is actually very condemning toward the Earth and the way that things are imperfect as they are? It's the hatred toward the way things are towards The Earth itself, toward even humanity itself in its current, imperfect state, that is sometimes the hubris and anger of Aquarius.
Number two is that ideas have not been the problem; we'll run into three things to prepare ourselves. That we will run into big ideas that we have not yet separated from time, which is an extension of what we just said. Separating an idea from time means that we think about an idea, like a piece of art in a museum, and just stand and appreciate, to think, to contemplate, to meditate to let it enter you to develop a relationship with the idea, as it is a form one among many ideas, not treating it like another better idea couldn't possibly come along.
It's an idea considered is one that we separate from time, at least from the urgent literal catastrophe catastrophizing sense of time; it's hard to separate ourselves from that when we see a world that's hurting, it's like, it's really hard to say, well, there is urgency all around, isn't there? Well, certainly. That doesn't mean that we, it doesn't mean that big ideas about what to do don't still require some consideration.
Separating an idea from time, according to Hillman in that essay, means returning ideas to the realm of fantasy, which is not to say that they're untrue; it returns them, in other words, to the realm of art and beauty, contemplation of ideas as a collective, philosophically shared, endeavor, let's consider this together, rather than let's fight each other over what to do with it, and how quickly we ought to do it or, you know.
It's like we've lost something of a relationship that needs to be formed with an idea because we think as soon as an idea presents itself that it can't be subject to change, or that an idea can't speak and elaborate itself more fully if we take some time with it, rather than subjecting the idea to a time limit, or an urgency of time, or a bottom line in the next quarter, or the next year of sales, or something like that and then finally, all of this requires that we shift our relationship to time itself.
I know that sounds like a big I don't know that it probably sounds like a really sort of pretentious idea, you know. But ancients had in this is not just in the Greek tradition; this is in many different traditions. There were different ways the ancients had of thinking about time, and I would submit to all of you and I this is something I'm considering anyway. That Pluto into Aquarius, when we see the consequence of rushing around with big ideas and not thinking carefully about the right time in the right way. To work with big ideas, that we will have to start considering that there is an embodied qualitative, instinctual, intuitive, magical hermetic way of relating to time, in addition to there being this sort of linear quantifying space of time.
So Ancient Greeks had a way of talking about this called Kronos versus Kairos, and I'll read you something. The ancient Greeks had two words for time. Kairos was the second. The first was Kronos, which we still use in words like chronological and anachronism. It refers to clock time, time that can be measured in seconds, minutes, hours, or years, whereas Kronos is quantitative. Kairos is qualitative. It measures moments, not seconds. Further, it refers to the right moment, the opportune moment, the perfect moment, the world takes a breath, and in the pause before it exhales, fates can be changed. Difficult to describe that feeling if you've never experienced that, but if you have, I hope my description can give you a name to call it and a better understanding of it, as well as clues to seeking it out.
The Greeks like to personify just about everything you're probably familiar with the personification of Chronos. Just think of Old Father Time, a weary, bent-back old man with a long gray beard carrying a scythe and an hour and an hourglass. His resemblance to the Grim Reaper is not accidental.
Chronos, or Saturn to the Romans, is the stuff that kills you. It takes away everything you have, and then it eats you too. According to the Roman myth, Saturn named each of his sons the moment after they were born.
Kairos, on the other hand, was a young man life, and handsome statues of him could be found all across the Greek peninsula, but the most famous student now ruins. You can see a replica of it below on this website. His hair is long at the front and shaved at the back. It had the following epigram carved into it who in whence was the sculptor. Who are you time who subdues all things? Why do you stand on tiptoe I am ever running and why do you have a pair of wings on your feet? I fly with the wind, and why do you hold the razor in your right hand is assigned to men that I am sharper than any sharp edge, and why does your hair hanging over your face. For him who meets me to take me by the forelock and why in heaven's name is the back of your head bald, because none whom I have once raced by on my wing feet will now though he wishes it sore take hold of me from behind. Why did the artists fashion you for sake for your sake, stranger, and he set me up in the porch as a lesson.
Ancient Indians had a similarly divided notion of time, and like the Greeks, they distrusted Kronos. The Sanskrit equivalent of Chronos is Kala, from which the destructive Goddess Kali takes her name; the image of her dancing on corpses with a belt of skulls and severed hands is grisly enough to put one in mind of this sense of time, the Sanskrit word for qualitative time is Ritu to like Kairos. It has a spiritual sense to a time that is lifted out of the ordinary business of life. It also connotes the right time and is still used in Hinduism to refer to the correct moment for various ceremonies and rituals.
In Christian theology, Kairos has a sense of ripeness. For example, you might recognize this passage from the book of Ecclesiastes: to everything, there is a season and to and a time to every purpose under heaven, a time to be born in a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted a time to kill and a time to heal. In the first translations of the Bible, in Greek, each of the words of ease use of the word time is Kairos, not Cronos.
In 1985, a group of black South African theologians wrote a response to recent crackdowns by the apartheid government. It was called the Kairos document, and it began; the time has come, and the moment of truth has arrived. The document was pervaded with a strong sense of the time was ripe for change. The fate of South Africa balanced on a knife's edge, and small actions might have the power to change the path of history. But Kairos need not be as dramatic as that it can be a small moment in one's person in one person's life that is ripe and full and perfect.
If someone promises perfection, they're either selling something or deluding themselves, right. We conflate idealism with naivete and pessimism, which is being realistic, but to deny the existence of perfection is deny it deny the evidence of our own lives.
In the books book version of Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club, Tyler Durden spends hours dragging driftwood logs into position on a lonely beach. What Tyler had created was the shadow of a giant hand, only now the fingers were Nosferatu long, and the thumb was too short. But he said how, at exactly 430, the hand was perfect. The giant shadow hand was perfect for one minute, and for one perfect minute, Tyler had sat in the palm of a perfection he created himself; one minute was enough. Tyler said a person had to work hard for it. But a minute of perfection was worth the effort.
A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection, and the most you can expect from a moment is that it'd be perfect. It's hard to pin down an example. But we can all recognize when it happens. The perfect moment.
I'm not suggesting that we go; you know that we're going to run into Aquarius and find all of these perfect moments happening all the time. But I think we will be challenged to consider ideas and then consider the right idea at the right time. When the moment is ripe for a new idea. It's not being pushed by bottom lines and urgency and impatience and, you know, kind of fanatical messianic thinking that salvation or damnation is at stake.
There's something more creative and aesthetically pleasing about a right idea and a right time for a ripe idea, and I think we're going to have to look very carefully at that as one of the long-term philosophical problems that Pluto and Aquarius presents us with.
The right idea at the right time for our own lives is also a huge thing, right? There are great ideas that you have, and then you just know it's time is not yet here, but I trust that when it is, I'll know, and I'll act.
Do we have the patience for that with Pluto moving into Aquarius and potentially bringing up the shadows of our idealism, the shadows of it ideology, or the shadows of, you know, fanatical urgency. What can I stand to profit if I go forward with an idea as quickly as possible?
So anyway, lots of big ideas and one thing that I'll say in closing is just that. If you want to practice developing a relationship with Kairos, there's an oracle that I consult all the time called the I-Ching; I highly recommend learning about it and developing a relationship with it. There are tons of great resources online. There's a book by Alfred Wong, which is the I-Ching.
He was a political prisoner for years, I believe it was in China, and wrote it while in prison or sort of did. A lot of his time in prison was spent studying the I-Ching, and that book is fantastic. But the other thing that I would recommend is a simple exercise. You can do it at the end of the day, you could do it at the end of a week or month, you could do it at the end of a quarter or season, you could do it at the end of a year or a decade, you can take any unit of time and what I want you to do.
I'm going to do it right now. I'm going to make one up right on the spot because a friend, actually a friend of mine, brought this up as something that he does, and when we were discussing Cronos versus Kairos and so I started doing it, and I'll just show you. So what you do is you write something down. Okay, so I'm going to write down a description of my 2023 summer that captures the spirit of the time rather than an event factual based record of the time. Okay, so let's see. I'm just going to do it right now. Just write something here.
Okay, this is good. So, all right, here we go, and okay, so what I did was I just had to think about it for a second. So what I wrote was this, it was the summer of 2023, the summer of half-breathing, dead-twirling lovers reuniting, and grapes.
So why did I write that because I got altitude sickness while in Colorado, which was a major feature of the summer. I went to a number of Grateful Dead shows, Grateful Dead cover bands, and Bob Weir with my wife and twirled around with the deadheads.
My wife and I found our way back to some of our favorite activities, more dates, and more of the stuff that we used to do before our kids were born. It's sort of like our kids got to a stage where we were like, oh my god, we have time and space. Let's get back to some of the things we used to do.
For whatever reason, I hit a shitload of grapes. I really like, I love grapes. It was like my little fetish for the summer, the summer of half-breathing dead, twirling lovers reuniting, and grapes. Now, if you like, I swear to God, it might sound like a really silly thing to do. But if you take a day, and at the end of the day, in a journal, you just write down; today was the day of I don't know, whatever, come up and do what I just did, but do it with your day. Do it with a week; do it with a weird little pocket of time that you find.
Time is like a river. There's all these little currents, and the more that you can describe and relate to those interesting little eddies and currents. The more that you can start to see ideas that present themselves to you for your consideration, do what you will with them within those little eddies and pockets of time.
Time offers us so many different things, and if we have a poetic relationship with time, and times ideas appear like a harvest, and we don't have to think about them as bound up in a literal flow of time but an imaginative relation to time and when we do that we give ourselves just enough space, to work with ideas to let them work on us. To digest them to separate them from Kronos and give them back to Kairos, and that is what we're going to need if we're going to make it through two decades of Pluto and Aquarius, where the shadow will be the fanaticism of our ideas, even if they appear to be good ones.
So that's what I've got for you today. Part one, we're going to take a look at another essay in probably three parts that is mind-blowing, I think you guys will really like it. So stay tuned for that. In the meantime, hope you guys have a great weekend.
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