There’s nothing un-spiritual about passion, anger, indignation. Not in a world where social hierarchies and structural violence determine the privilege of few and the oppression of many. Not in a world where said hierarchies often enable physical and psychological abuse towards those who are not in a position of power. Not while we are still dismantling prejudice, ignorance, exploitation and greed.
The history of humanity is a testament to the ceaseless mutation and adaptation of cultural, religious and spiritual practices (just think about the predominant usage of astrology throughout the past centuries as a fatalistic, deterministic tool). Once upon a time, anger was depicted as an uncomfortable, poisonous emotion we were meant to transcend, if not sweep under the rug (Robert Augustus Masters called this “spiritual bypassing”). Right now, however, the present social climate is in dire need of fierce, motivated, compassioned, perhaps even “angrily” enlightened (if that’s a thing) spiritual warriors who can protect and uplift the disenfranchised while taking a stand against moral bankruptcy.
This task requires a wise, fair, socially conscious understanding of the many types of constructive anger. Anger towards injustice, anger as a mean to reclaim our own freedom and that of the individuals that have been silenced, anger as a tool for self-determination, as a motivating force that allows us to set boundaries between us and our abusers. Anger as a tool for self-knowledge, for there is much we can learn from our own responses to things.
Anger does not necessarily equate to violence, outright aggression, or cruelty. Actually, anger doesn’t necessarily equate to a specific type of action, because anger is, first and foremost, a feeling. It doesn’t need to be taken out on someone else in dangerous, destructive ways. Anger is an inner reaction, triggered by the instinctual awareness that someone has crossed a crucial boundary, or disregarded a primal need of ours, or threatened our very safety. If properly harnessed, anger can turn to passion, to impetus, to drive. And that passion, that impetus, that drive, can liberate, inspire, move mountains.
This is largely the underlying theme of the first Mercury retrograde phase for the year 2018, occuring entirely in the fiery, passionate sign of Aries, starting on March 22, at 16°54, and ending on April 15, at 4°47 (the shadow period began on March 8, and will end on May 3rd). This discourse is also especially relevant in the light of Mars‘ upcoming Retrograde phase in the signs of Capricorn and Aquarius, but I’ll write about it at a later stage.
For now, suffice to say that the contemplative interlude brought on us by every Mercury Rx cycle will bring our stored, unprocessed anger, our unconscious turmoil, our repressed combativeness to light; they will seep into our words, bubble up in our minds, and take space in our bodies, until we are ready to feel our way through them. Until our residual feelings of disempowerment, of self-doubt, will turn into confidence, determination, and inner, unshakeable courage. Until we ourselves become unfuckwittable.
While, as usual, acting on our feelings and ideas is best left for the weeks that follow the end of the shadow period, the shadow and retrograde phase are great for sitting with our feelings, and closely listening to the messages of our heart. There is a tremendous creative potential, hidden in each one of us, that needs to be channelled and released through brave, powerful acts of emancipation. There is a fire that demands to be set free. There is a voice that no longer tolerates to be silenced. Our homework, while the messenger of the Gods is backpedaling through the heated, febrile realm of Mars, is to redirect our thoughts, examine our ideas, and review our speech patterns so that they become bold catalyst for our triumph over apathy and misery.
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