City of Stars meets Ziggy Stardust

Happy New Year!, 2020 mixed papers and digital collage – see collages here

I heard from dear friends who follow the planets’ constellations that we are now in a very special period: the Great Conjunction of two massive planets, namely Saturn and Jupiter, will happen on this 21st of December. This meeting of the two biggest planets in our Solar System is considered a cosmic event, but these conjunctions are not all equal — the last one in May 2000 happened too close to the sun for us to observe. The coming Great Conjunction, on the contrary, will be as close as it gets: the planets will be only 0.1 degree apart, unseen since 1623, and the closest observable since 1226. Quite an event!

Apart from seeing my grandmother spending hours drawing huge maps of the planets on the kitchen table, and giving all of us a personal detailed astrological theme, I have never been deep into stars. Not more than finding them very beautiful, at least when I can see them – Tel Aviv’s skies are a bit stingy on this matter. Thanks to my grandmother, I learned that I am all fire: Aries, Leo (rising sign or ascendant), Dragon in the Chinese Zodiac. No wonder I often feel I am consuming myself and in need for air. Lately, though, I surprise myself asking the star sign of every person I meet, sign of my growing curiosity in astrology, and by extension in our Solar system. For sure, this interest grew stronger this last year when things got stuck and halted. Could it be the planets? Well, yes.

Following a friend’s reference, I read the translation of astrologist Karni Zor’s Hebrew text about our current state (*). Karni explains that Saturn, Pluto and Jupiter have been close to each other for more than a year, creating the uneasy atmosphere that reigned in 2020. Saturn representing rules, regulations, government and traditions, and Pluto symbolizing regeneration, transformation and rebirth, only get near each other every 36-38 years, resulting in big structural and historical changes each time. So, this is the beginning of an understanding of our current year and what to expect from the year ahead. Indeed, Karni explains that the three planets will break free from one another this coming March, shedding some weight and liberating us from this tight situation. She adds that while waiting for spring, we can decide what world we would want for ourselves, and plant the seeds in this direction.

The third planet, Jupiter, represents blessings, spiritual insights, and new ways of seeing things. I think something is in the air, and lately, I try to be attuned to these spiritual insights wherever I can spot one. I like seeing my partner asking a question and opening the I Ching book (ancient Chinese divination text also called the Book of Changes), tossing some coins, drawing hexagrams and impatiently reading its answers about the future. Of course, the answers are far from being straightforward, but they point at cues and lead one towards possible interpretations. I am realising that the most important is to ask and invite things to arise, as opposed to keeping them deep and hidden in the layers of our unconsciousness. I guess Art has always had this role for me where images, emotions, thoughts and signs appear in the shape of drawings, forms, texts, or music.

But one doesn’t cancel the other: last week, for the first time in my life, I picked three Tao cards. What I got was quite enlightening for the new year to come: Acceptance, Gratefulness and Merging (for lack of a better translation of מיזוג).

It’s December, let’s get festive because,… the moons they change!

Love, Ethel

* read Karni Zor’s text here (Hebrew)
* Karni’ Zor’s website here (English) and here (Hebrew)

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