Today the Supreme Court overturned the 50-year-old Roe vs. Wade ruling that established abortion as a constitutional right in the United States. For many this represents an intolerable loss of basic freedom. For others it opens the door to state legislatures acting as despots ruling over more than half their constituencies under the thin guise of morality that is increasingly a blatant symbol of hypocrisy.
That those who have supported a woman’s right to choose and significantly society’s obligation to protect that right through allowing medical professionals to act are outraged is both understandable and necessary. The ruling represents a sudden and significant loss of freedom as dramatic as being stripped of a limb or a critical sensory organ, such as ears, eyes, or tongue.
Terrible and sudden losses mark the starting point of grief cycles that can last for a long period of time. Grief brings about the classic phases of denial, anger, bargaining and depression before the new reality is accepted. But some new realities resist acceptance well past the memory and lives of those who precipitated the loss event. Their advent is often characterized as intolerable. Like today’s ruling for many.
Grief is necessary. Pouring out the frustration, anger, and tears, looking for any means to regain that which has been lost, withdrawing into sadness and asserting anger are both normal and important options so that the pressure of pent up emotions, especially fear and sadness in combination with anger, finds release. Otherwise, that energy gets stuck in the body, the mind, the heart, choking off the very breath of life.
How long this phase of grief as a step in the lessons of loss lasts is different for every person. What is widely known is you don’t just get over it, no amount of external force can end it, and repressing it only causes it to burn hotter and more painfully at the places it lodges.
The SCOTUS ruling opens up a gaping wound that has been festering and spreading beneath the surface of American life for decades. It is a wound of race, gender, class, religion, educational opportunity, access to services, child care, wages, and inequities that continue to concentrate more power and wealth in the hands of fewer people. It is a gangrenous infection that is rotting liberties from the inside. It is killing the higher aspirations of a once united people toward a kinder, more balanced and serene life. Generations yet unborn will live in the wake of this action and may inherit a world where freedom is as scarce as bipartisan bills of substance in our various legislative bodies.
This is an astrology blog, not a political forum, and the SCOTUS ruling comes under the Lunar Sign of Bharani in the solar sign of Aries as the Waning Moon enters its darkest part of the monthly cycle. Motherhood, empathy, emotional intelligence, nurturing, self-sacrifice, and calm stability are always diminished on a global scale at this time of the lunar month.
When the Moon wanes in Bharani, the Nakshatra’s qualities and energies demand our focus.
Bharani’s symbol is one of feminine fertility in the form of a Yoni or Vulva. It’s Shakti (power) is to take things away but also the ability to cleanse and remove impurities. This power is activated by showing restraint, keeping emotions from overruling reason in order to move into the new world, a world created by rapid change, with a clear head.
Ruled by the planet Venus, Bharani values high standards, self-made rules, boundaries, the wisdom to not repeat errors, authenticity and consistency in thought, word, and action. By combining unconditional love with beauty that goes to the core of any object or idea, the Moon finds truth in Venus’s discernment.
Bharani marks endings and logically the new beginning that comes after. The sign welcomes taking action on matters you have put off, especially those that serve a common good. Acts involving fire, self-discipline, and serve the interests of women and children are favored under this Nakshatra. But all needs to be done from a place of control. Outrage and anger are best channeled into the grief process. Actions that involve gathering resources for the next phase, the establishment of new definitions of freedom and protection for them will do more good than riots and destructive demonstrations. The former May increase freedom in the future. The latter curb it further in the present.
The SCOTUS ruling doesn’t ban abortion. It leaves it to the states to decide. And therein is the lighted path toward finding a unified solution. Any determined group can much effect change at the local and state level far sooner than nationally. SCOTUS is involved in this issue because individual states enacted laws that many in those states opposed. Yet those same states re-elect the same oppressive legislators, governors, and representatives over and over. More importantly, large numbers of people most affected by the laws and rulings don’t vote.
The losses we endure require time to properly grieve. But eventually we must make a choice. On the one hand we can chain ourselves to the grief cycle and allow it to paralyze us for the rest of our lives as victims continually reliving the horror of loss long past the time it happened. Or we can grieve, cry, shout, and let our voices gain strength from expressing the pain into the world, and when we are cried out, we can see the reality of both the loss and of what remains. And we then see that the future is full of possibilities for transcendence and transformation and the creation of new definitions of freedom. On our terms. That are inclusive. That help others. That educate. That divide the labor of creation among all people. It may take a long time to get to forgiveness. But the claiming of the freedom that comes from accepting the reality of loss and finding healthy outlets for grief begins as soon as we decide to claim it.
Bharani is associated with the Vedic Rishi Vashishta. This immortal teacher is revered in mythology for, among other things, having been thrice killed and being subsequently recreated by Brahma, the supreme creator, each time in order to continue teaching the world the lessons of reconciliation. Like Vashishta, freedom is a condition constantly being killed and reborn, and thriving only when it transcends grief and reconciles in union with the society of its birth.