WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON? AND WHO IS ISIS REALLY?
by Heather Ensworth
We are witnessing the world erupting all around us with violent episodes occurring almost daily now. Terrorists lash out in anger and hatred, and we see the backlash of fear and reactivity in response. Some of us think about building walls to keep others out or excluding those of different beliefs or ethnicities from being a part of our communities. We want to feel safe, and many of us strive to do that through boxing ourselves in and keeping others out. Others of us hold the hope for healing and transformation for ourselves and our planet to experience a rebirth into a new way of being.
Many of the terrorist episodes of the last few years are fueled by ISIS — the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. This group declared its existence on June 29, 2014, calling for a worldwide caliphate/statehood to unite all Muslims and to destroy the West. Calls were put out to the faithful to use whatever means necessary to conquer and control the world. In 2014, Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani, a spokesman for the Islamic State, told his followers that if you don’t have weapons to strike out at westerners, then “smash his head with a rock or slaughter him with a knife or run him over with your car.” This ISIS is an organization of radical hatred and polarization and destruction.
Yet to lash out in anger or to respond with calls for “extreme vetting” of immigrants and a complete ban on those from “terrorist nations” as we hear from Donald Trump, a candidate for president in the United States, is to meet hatred with fear and reactivity and to increase the level of polarization and violence in our world.
From an astrological perspective, we are seeing now and across these past several years the transformational energy of Pluto and Uranus at work. Pluto has been squaring Uranus in the sky, and this is the most intense and transformational planetary combination. The deeper meaning of this configuration is to call us individually and collectively into a death/rebirth, into a profound transformation that will lead us into new paradigms that are more just, equitable and honoring of our diversity and unity as a global community. As we watch the intensity of the events unfold this month, this powerful Pluto/Uranus configuration is in an intense connection with both the Sun and Moon. At the time of the declaration of ISIS in June 2014, the Sun was opposite Pluto and squaring Uranus. When these transformational energies of Uranus and Pluto are targeting the Sun and/or Moon, then these energies of transformation, of death/rebirth, are particularly potent and active.
Pluto is the energy of death/rebirth and in the sign of Capricorn it is calling for the destruction of systems and structures that are out of balance, corrupt or abusing power. Uranus is the energy of lightning and in the sign of Aries is shattering what no longer serves us to open us to new paradigms. These planets are messengers guiding us all into a higher level of consciousness and an understanding that we can no longer live in the deadly paradigms of power over, corruption, greed and destruction. While western culture has brought much of value to the world, we also have to acknowledge the shadow side of our ways of being. The power-over paradigms of the “West” and how we have dominated and exploited much of the world and brought our planet close to irreversible destruction do in fact need to die. Yet those who try to transform these systems and structures that are inequitable and unjust with violence and death are perpetuating the very patterns of destruction and abuse that we seek to end.
If we in the West, in turn, dig in our heels and put walls around our country and hide in gated communities and are determined to not let go of our shadow side — our greed, power over dynamics and sense of superiority — then we are setting ourselves up for further violence and global eruptions. We are not terrorists, yet we are terrible and terrifying in the impact we are having on the world and on those who are less fortunate than we are and on the life forms of this planet.
What is the way out of this quagmire? We need to listen to the messages of the stars and planets. Pluto and Uranus are the guides and transformers leading us into the Aquarian Age. The hallmarks of this new Age are justice, fairness, openness to diversity, collaboration, cooperation and learning the meaning of being a global community.
Ironically, ISIS is the name for the dominant terrorist group in the world right now. Going further back in history, we remember the goddess ISIS who was honored for thousands of years in the Middle East and in Egypt, Greece, Rome and Old Europe from about 3000 BCE to 595 CE.. She was an outgrowth of the ancient Great Goddess, the Mother of all that is who holds the power of life and death, who loves us, heals us and holds us. Over time, the deity ISIS was assimilated into Christianity, and merged with Mary, the mother of Christ. Her archetypal energy is still alive and with us today.
As depicted in ancient Egypt, ISIS was the supreme deity in that region for thousands of years and was known as a leader who ruled with compassion and love. When her husband was murdered, she sought out his body and revived him. When he was torn asunder by his attackers, she lovingly put his body back together, making him whole. She traveled to other nations, treating those who were different in their ethnicity and beliefs with compassion and respect. Her way of being was one of love and of unity. ISIS was powerful and her power was based on the energy of wholeness, healing and love — not on revenge or rage or reactivity.
How do we follow this ISIS? It means holding an energy of love and truth and unity no matter what the circumstances. It does not mean being powerless or becoming helpless victims of violence. It means standing in our strength and understanding the deeper powers of transformation at work in this time and acting in ways that foster unity and healing and compassion. It means doing the hard work to heal and be whole within ourselves so that we can help the world heal and become whole again. This takes enormous courage and strength and commitment. It means becoming more and more open-hearted rather than hard-hearted. It means daring to believe that we are in a time of transformation and rebirth as a planet and as a global community rather than struggling to be the “last ones” standing as the world goes down in flames. It means tenaciously holding to a higher level of consciousness and awareness that this cycle of violence and destruction is the aberration not the way things are meant to be. It means knowing that if we hold the higher vibration of love and unity, we are helping the consciousness of the planet to shift and heal.
It is a powerful synchronicity and very symbolic that ISIS is dominant in the news on a daily basis. Which ISIS do we follow? Do we choose a path of hate or of love? Do we respond to violence with fear or with acts of healing and compassion? Are we mired in the endless cycle of anger, reactivity, destruction, death and despair or do we step out of that old paradigm and into a new way of being?
Like the figures in Plato’s allegory of the cave, we can sit in the darkness, chained to the walls, watching the dance of shadows from the fire behind us believing that this is reality and that there is nothing more to life than struggling to survive and fighting over the crumbs beside us. Or, we can open to the energy of the divine consciousness at work in this time and follow the path of the ancient Isis. And we can allow the energies of Pluto and Uranus to shatter the chains, to open our eyes and hearts, to set us free and to guide us out of the cave into the sunlight and into the energy of light and truth and love.