January 14th, 2014

Jessica Murray: “Respond to These Times”


My recent interview with astrologer Jessica Murray generated a good amount of reverberations within my site’s comment section, on Facebook and via personal emails; most of which were steeped in low-grade agitation. Each alluding to the question: “Now what?”

Apparently the title I chose for the piece (“A Way Through”) wasn’t the most perspicacious, in the sense that readers took it literally, whereas I was using the term as a way to frame an open-ended inquiry, not present a list of ‘how to’ steps or specific solutions.

When I informed Jessica as to the questions the interview set in motion, she was kind enough to forward a response to share with you. Which you can now read and comment on below:


“I imagine that all astrologers who write about transits for a general audience of unseen readers come up against this conundrum: Although we know our readers would like us to be more specific – to pinpoint acts and events that would make sense to them in their own world — without seeing our specific natal charts, we can’t do it.
Unless we’re addressing a particular client’s chart, all we can do is make informed generalizations; to try to say something that’s relevant to everyone living under the same sky… an exciting and demanding sky, right now, full of tumultuous transits.”

“Another thing we can do, to try to convey the transits’ meaning is to refer to mass events. We can talk about the effects of current transits on the group reality. We use what’s happening in the news, to give the reader a sense of how the collective mind (whose consciousness is clumsier than that of the individual mind) is responding to the times. Using world events as illustration, we translate as best we can the abstract symbols of planetary movements into English words and psychological concepts: describing in word pictures the challenges upon all of us together. To do this we deploy timeworn astrological definitions, such as Uranus: the planet of abrupt change and revolution; Pluto: the planet of elimination that leads to rebirth; etc.”

“For some of our readers, those whose natal charts line up quite exactly with the cardinal cross, these descriptions of group reality will resonate on two levels. There will be an intersection between the reader’s own unique growth arc and that of the collective growth arc. But without doing an individual chart interpretation, we can’t know how the current sky corresponds to the particular reader’s chart.”

“We also sometimes offer up examples of limited specificity; saying, for example, that readers with a lot of planets in air signs will have a more conceptual response to a transit than somebody with a lot of water, for whom, by contrast, pure imagery is more real. We might say that somebody whose chart features a loaded upper hemisphere will probably express her creativity professionally, whereas a person with most of her planets clumped around the I.C. will channel her soul work in more private ways. Of a Jupiter-Uranus transit, we might say: “Readers whose charts contain cardinal planets within the middle degrees will be motivated through the Spring to abruptly expand…” But even so, we don’t know which planets that reader has in those signs, nor what house they are in, nor what aspects they make.”

“So astrologers have to confine themselves to what we do know is true, for everyone, under transits as risky and dramatic as the ones overhead these days. And for me, that truth is this: That we are being asked to respond. This fractious era is about learning to respond, as creatively as we can— not to just react. Astrologers can say with surety that everyone in our audience was born into these world-altering times for a specific set of karmic reasons, and that we incarnated in order to respond to these times. This is the one thing we can all do, and that is everything.”

“As the great teachers have always told us, the only security is in the moment. To me this means “living through the center of your chart:” that is, using our own particular gifts and skills and points of karma — not just the ones our culture conditioned into us, nor the ones our parents bequeathed to us, nor the values and assumptions our country instills into us — but the understandings we gleaned from these and other sources and then made our own. And to deploy these awarenesses with as much self-knowledge as we can muster.”

“Because every chart is unique, every type of creative responsiveness is unique. In order to find that authentic response, we each have to search for it. We are asked, by the troubles of our world, to look inside ourselves for it. That’s the way to avoid feeling powerless. Even in the face of terrible global events, we are never powerless when we truly respond.”

“So this is the punch line to the question of “What do I do?”: Go into the center of your chart and discover your own authentic response to what’s happening. Even when the events provoking your response concern everybody, the form of your response depends on your chart alone. For example, when your government does something violent or corrupt, some may march in protest, some may support politicians, some may read and write, dance, speak, weep or pray. The unique response will occur to you when and if you are plugged into your center.”

“I believe that this what these globe-rocking changes are for: to force people into the center of their charts. For this to make sense, I think one has to already believe that each of us quite deliberately chose (as souls) this particular era to be born into. That we scripted the whole scenario. Transits like the Uranus- Pluto square happening right now are therefore not arbitrary in our life plan. They are no surprise to the Oversoul of which our consciousness is a part. We can’t be all shocked and appalled at these transits; they constitute part of the stage business we ourselves choreographed into this lifetime.”

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