"What a time to be alive," begins Jessica Murray in her powerful and extremely relevant book, At the Crossroads: An Astrologer Looks at These Turbulent Times (MotherSky Press). Indeed it is! This past year has gotten more buzz than PSY's "Gangnam Style" and created its very own brand thanks to the end of the Mayan calendar and doomsday scenario. And while the world was fixated on December 21, 2012 (the date the Mayan calendar ended) astrologers were focused on something else: the historic aspect of Uranus and Pluto. In June, 2012 they made their first major aspect since the mid-60s. In September, they connected a second time. These two game changers will rendezvous five more times between 2013 and 2015, reshaping the world and our lives in the process. And you thought life would go back to normal when the world didn't end?
Ms. Murray is a highly respected astrologer and a superb writer with a passionate interest in politics and history. Her real gift is using her cosmic perspective to make sense of complex global issues and she does so brilliantly. In her previous book, Soul Sick Nation (which I reviewed on the Huffington Post in 2009) Murray took on the World Trade Center bombings, the war in Iraq and the Bush administration. At the Crossroads is comprised of a series of in-depth essays, articles, and blogs she wrote beginning in 2009 through June 2012.
In these essays she explores every major political, financial, and environmental crisis of the last few years (global warming, the oil spill in the Gulf, the economic crash, WikiLeaks, the Occupy movement, the Tea Party, Facebook, Robert Murdoch and Osama bin Laden, etc. etc.) as well as the corresponding planetary cycles. Even if you are not familiar with astrology, this book will provide you with a deeper understanding of the social, political and economic issues that challenge us today and the intricate ways they impact our lives.
Many of the essays focus on Uranus and Pluto; these planets joined forces in the '60s and the world hasn't been the same since. Now these two powerful energies are currently locked into a tense relationship and serve as a backdrop for many world events. Pluto's entry into Capricorn (the sign that rules business, banking, and corporations) in 2008 coincided with the meltdown on Wall Street. Uranus, a planet associated with earthquakes and extreme weather, moved into explosive Aries on April 11, 2011, the same day as the earthquake in Japan. The planets don't cause these events; they mirror what is going on in the world and in our lives. Ms. Murray's approach is to discover the potential in each situation so that we are "empowered and not devoured" by them.
She doesn't claim to have the answers but like an astrological Maureen Dowd, Ms. Murray uses her keen intellect and political savvy to examine the hard truths of our current crises and expose the story behind the story. She offers neither doom and gloom scenarios nor easy answers and magical thinking. Like a wise shaman she uses her visionary perspective and the language of symbols to show us the deeper meaning and humanity in these turbulent times. From this place of compassion we can find a path towards healing and hope. At the Crossroads will stretch you, challenge you, shake you up and hopefully wake you up. Ultimately it will inspire you to see the world and yourself in a new way.