The holidays are upon us.
And while on the surface the holidays are positioned as a time of cheer, merriment and celebration, for many people this time is a bit more intense and complex than that. After all, there's a lot to contend with: family and friend dynamics, connection to faith and religion, money and finances, social opportunities (and sometimes pressures), et al.
This year may be no different. And if the astrological climate is any indicator, this holiday season it may be even more intense and complex.
There are two strong alignments that cast their hue on the coming year: the Jupiter/Pluto Square and the Jupiter/Uranus Opposition, and both of which are quite active right now.
The first of the three Jupiter/Pluto Square exact alignments occurs November 24, on American Thanksgiving; the other two are March 30 and August 4 of 2017.
The first of the three Jupiter/Uranus Oppositions exact alignments occurs December 26; the other two are March 2 and September 27 of 2017.
(Note that this doesn't mean that the energetic that they reflect is only active on these dates as it does span throughout the time period; yet around these dates may be when some of archetypal expressions they represent are seemingly more potent.)
How may this impact the holiday season?
The first thing that comes to mind is that there may be less (a lot less) room for small talk around the holiday table. With Jupiter/Pluto energy, there's an orientation to dig deep, go below the surface, and unearth and unmask what's often hidden. There's a focus on honesty and integrity, and there's less tolerance for BS.
And so as we stand here in this time, with many feeling riled up by recent events and yet holding differing viewpoints and perspectives on possibilities (the past U.S. election cycle and Standing Rock Protest being two examples), it feels inevitable that feelings and passions may not be able to be kept tamped down. It's Jupiter/Pluto after all.
And while holiday gatherings may feel a bit activated, and perhaps turbulent, maybe it's not necessarily a bad thing. It's often easy to share feelings of joy—yet feelings of fear or grief or anger or disquietude are harder to share and/or to communicate consciously. And yet they are valid. And so when they are shared, it can be a step on the path of authenticity and integrity, and contribute to a clearing of the air that may have been stifled for a while. It allows for the evolution of a holistic reality, where all facets are owned and embraced. Nothing is hidden, everything is available to be seen and heard, and understood.
Being truthful, stirring the pot, and talking about the un-talked-about things can be quite constructive. Yet that doesn’t make it easy. We need to deal with our shadow, individual and collective. And we may find that it stirs us to no end to hear the feelings and thoughts of a family member or friend whose viewpoints don’t align with us.
There's a lot of marginalization that has occurred and that we are collectively seeing. The marginalization, throughout history let alone our lives, has caused unmeasurable pain and suffering, individually and collectively.
Reflecting this, how can we dig deep down so that when we engage with others we do so without marginalizing them? How can we hold space for another's viewpoint that may be different than ours? How can we find a level of compassion, or maybe some sort of empathy, for another's suffering so that it allows us to also understand their perspective, even if we don't agree with them?
I've been thinking about how in this Jupiter/Uranus period, being elastic, flexible and adaptive can't but help serve us. After all, with Jupiter an expansive energy and Uranus signified partly by shocks, surprises and the out-of-the-blue, expecting the unexpected may be a great mantra for moving through challenges and mobilizing opportunities.
I've been using the word "bouncy" a lot to describe a way to move through this time. When we're bouncy, and keep our knees bent (nods for my friend Erin for this image), we can move and pivot much more freely.
The other day as I was talking to my friend Tiina about the "bouncy strategy" she relayed a tennis lesson to me. She noted how when you're playing tennis and awaiting someone's serve you do so with a little hop and then make sure you have a bouncy stance as this helps you to be prepared to move to the ball, the location of which is unknown for a while. It increase your chances of being able to get to the ball, position yourself well, and hit it back with more center and resilience.
I love this tennis image and think that it can serve us well (pun intended) during this period.
How does this relate to the holidays?
Being flexible and "bouncy" may help us to move through the possible unknown territory that we may chart as we engage with others (and our self) during this complex and intense time. Perhaps not anticipating that someone (or even we) will react this way or that way, but rather holding a sense of beginner's mind, may be really helpful. It keeps us flexible and adaptive to be able to respond consciously, not get thrown off course, and maintain center and strength.
It's a transformative time. A complex one, an intense one.
Perhaps if we are more open to dealing with the depths, making space for unearthing what's been hidden, standing potently in our feelings and convictions, and approaching situations with fresh eyes and beginner's mind, we may also be able to make more space to re-usher in more celebration, celebration of life and connection to all around us that we love and cherish.