Deep Adaptation


February 19, 2019 at 7:53 am PST / 3:53 pm UT

Moon and Sun opposed at 00°42 Virgo/Pisces

picAt every full moon, our two luminaries gaze at each other across the wide expanse of the zodiac wheel, highlighting a different pair of complementary signs each month. This time around, a Pisces Sun will be reflected through a Mercury-ruled, feet-firmly-planted, eyes-wide-open, Virgo Full Moon.

A combination of earth and water, Virgo and Pisces form a polar pair that symbolize no less than the intersection of the mundane and the sublime, the real and ideal, the temporal and the eternal. These are the springs from which full moon insights are currently flowing. Are you struggling with any of the more adverse aspects of Virgo? too self critical or too critical of others? rigidly earthbound? working too much or too hard? Or perhaps overly practical and reliant on the mental-intellectual? too much in your head? Conversely are you struggling with the more harmful aspects of Pisces? escapism, impracticality, over-indulgence, and a lack of self-discipline? Pisces operating at a less-than-ideal level can manifest in an inability or unwillingness to share that wealth of creative vision and insight, the inner riches, the higher self, in a way that makes a difference, impacts and contributes to the collective down here on Virgo's terra firma.

This is a particularly good time to tap into higher inspiration. Ideas are springing every which way right now through dreams, intuitive hunches, premonitions, sneaking suspicions for lunation ruler Mercury, wings swapped for fins, Ideas are springing every which way right now through dreams, intuitive hunches, premonitions, sneaking suspicionsis swimming through Pisces' dream-swept sea of creativity, and drifting towards a powerful conjunction with Neptune. At this Sun-Moon opposition, the Moon's ruler, Mercury, is conjunct the Sun's ruler, Neptune, adding to the already strong Virgo Full Moon gravitational pull (this is also a SuperMoon to boot). This doubles the call for integration of the temporal and eternal, action that stems from the higher self. Intention manifesting in real and productive ways. Adding to this, we've also got Uranus, Mercury's higher octave twin, contributing to the insight flow as well, in those typical brainstorming, mad genius Uranian ways: sudden bursts of insight, lightning strikes on the mental landscape.

There is another critical pattern in the chart worth delving into: a tight and difficult quincunx aspect from the full moon to Chiron.

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"Most people are on the world, not in it — have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them — undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate."

— John Muir

Virgo Full Moon Quincunx Chiron

One of those tricky "quincunxes" links the Virgo Full Moon to Chiron, newly re-installed in Aries. "Quincunx" is a funny word that describes a difficult, thorny 150° aspect, connecting signs with nothing in common: incompatible elements, modalities AND polarities: The intensely wounded nature of humankind's relationship with their own mother planet is Moon-Chiron in one of its most self-destructive aspects.the two signs do not speak each other's language. Adjustments, compromise, and adaptation are called for with the quincunx; we are often asked to look at life from an entirely different perspective. An open mind (but not so open your brains fall out) is quincunx gold.

This quincunx "disconnect" can bring on a vague, unclear sense of how you feel about something or someone, which may likely carry a painful "stinger." With Moon quincunx Chiron, the wound IS the disconnect, the wound of separation: not seeing ourselves well enough in others, denying what is going on inside us, and in a larger sense, not really taking to heart, in our deepest depths, that we are a part of this web of life, torn and tattered, on which our survival depends.

"I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively, instead of skeptically and dictatorially."

— E.B. White

Moon-Chiron can also bring up situations where our ability to feel safe, secure and nurtured — essential conditions of life which the Moon represents — is undermined. The intensely wounded nature of humankind's relationship with their own mother planet is Moon-Chiron in one of its most self-destructive aspects, a wound that has led to our current predicament, unfolding much more rapidly than anyone, even scientists, imagined.

EVOLVE OR DIE is a cry we've heard in spiritual circles for a long time as a caution for the future. But the future has caught up with humankind. We ARE on the precipice now, indeed half falling off the edge. Will we change our ways and make the next several decades less disastrous, that is, somehow avoid our own extinction, or not? Do we heal this human propensity for stupidity, greed and selfishness? start to operate from a higher place, do what's right for all?

"Climate change is not just a pollution problem, but an indicator of how our human psyche and culture became divorced from our natural habitat."

"The emerging realisation that climate change is becoming a destructive tragedy, not just an urgent challenge, is profoundly disorientating for many people. How are we to feel? What are we to do? What might become the purpose of our lives and work in the face of imminent societal breakdown from climate chaos?"

— Jem Bendell

No matter what humankind's collective response to climate chaos will be, Mother Nature is in charge, not us. We are just the fools on a fast track to our own extinction; yet taking millions of other innocent species with us. It hasn't taken us long to wreck this beautiful Eden.

There are, however, constructive and healthy ways in which we can minimize the tragic effects of climate chaos. Jem Bendell, Professor of Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cumbria, is one of the clearest thinkers/communicators on our growing crisis I've come across. His paper on the topic, Deep Adaptation, brought up the whole gamut of Moon-Chiron emotion in me: despair, anger and fear. While very difficult to take in, it is better, I think, to know what's coming down the pike than be blindsided by it. Facing the reality of the situation we are in, is an earthy Virgo strength. Taking the next step, doing something about it, is Virgo at its finest.

"Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society — things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed.

— E.B. White


"Environmental scientists are now describing our current era as the sixth mass extinction event in the history of planet Earth, with this one caused by us. [...] That situation is why some experts have argued for more work on removing carbon from the atmosphere with machines. Unfortunately, the current technology needs to be scaled by a factor of two million within two years, all powered by renewables, alongside massive emission cuts, to reduce the amount of heating already locked into the system."


"Biological approaches to carbon capture appear far more promising. These include planting trees, restoring soils used in agriculture, and growing seagrass and kelp, amongst other approaches. They also offer wider beneficial environmental and social side effects. Studies on seagrass and seaweed indicate we could be taking millions of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere immediately and continually if we had a massive effort to restore seagrass meadows and to farm seaweed. The net sequestration effect is still being assessed but in certain environments will be significant.

Research into "management-intensive rotational grazing" practices (MIRG), also known as holistic grazing, show how a healthy grassland can store carbon. A 2014 study measured annual per-hectare increases in soil carbon at 8 tons per year on farms converted to these practices (Machmuller et al, 2015). The world uses about 3.5 billion hectares of land for pasture and fodder crops. Using the 8 tons figure above, converting a tenth of that land to MIRG practices would sequester a quarter of present emissions. In addition, no-till methods of horticulture can sequester as much as two tons of carbon per hectare per year, so could also make significant contributions. It is clear, therefore, that our assessment of carbon budgets must focus as much on these agricultural systems as we do on emissions reductions.

— Jem Bendell

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Dr Jem Bendell is a Professor of Sustainability Leadership and Founder of the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) at the University of Cumbria (UK). He focuses on leadership and communications for social change, as well as approaches that may help humanity face climate-induced disruption.