Posted by: Donna Cunningham | January 6, 2009

Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself

©2009 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Note: this is the first in a series designed to help us free ourselves from the fears so pervasive in society now due to the economic situation. It will include healing tools and techniques. See the category “Freedom from Fear,” and subscribe if you’d like these pieces sent to your mailbox.  

I write this on January 5th, 2009:

1 day before the new congress is seated;

15 days before the new president is sworn in;

7 weeks after Pluto entered Capricorn for a 14-year stay.

And 9 days after a powerful New Moon with five planets in Capricorn that cannot be duplicated for at least 238 years–an entire Pluto cycle;

 What does any of this mean? Several months down the line, we’ll begin to have an inkling of what this turning point in history will hold, but right now, neither I nor any reputable astrologer can claim to know for certain.

            There are a number of zodiacal factors that can help us make sense of this unfolding chapter; the sign Capricorn and its ruler, Saturn, being the strongest among them. Some of the concerns and traits associated with this sign and planet are:  big corporations, government, people in authority, careers, long-range perspectives, pinnacles of success or falls from such heights, reality checks, accountability, setting limits, and–most relevant to our times–our fears and how we handle them.

 In terms of society, Pluto represents those with wealth, power, and influence–and what those groups do to maintain that status. It shows the tactics used to control, manipulate, and intimidate those less blessed into doing what is good for the powerful. The news media, advertising, and the entertainment industry are potent tools for manipulating public opinion, and they are being used to great effect.

With Pluto in Capricorn now, our fears are being used against us. For months, the fear level in our world has been steadily rising in the face of one bad piece of news after another.  It is crucial not to let those fears paralyze us or cloud our thinking because that would keep us from taking wise, cautious steps to re-establish ourselves on solid ground.

gallopinginflation-a2d3To put things in a clearer perspective, this phase of the economic cycle is a much needed correction to decades of illusory affluence and galloping inflation financed by debt spending as the outer planets, one by one, transited the over-expansive and over-optimistic sign Sagittarius. We bought into the delusion that we could have it all–and were convinced by advertising that we had to have it all or we were nothing. (Do you get that regardless of our current circumstances, we in western countries live better than probably 85% of the people on this planet?)

Many of us years ago stopped living within our means–beyond the realistic limits of our personal resources, our national resources, and our planet’s resources. We were seduced by easy credit into believing we could have it all and keep postponing indefinitely the day we had to pay the bills. That day is now. Pluto, the last of the quartet of outer planets to travel through Sagittarius, ended its 13-year reign in that sign on Thanksgiving, 2008, when it moved into Capricorn.  Over our third helping of turkey, we came fully out of media-induced denial and faced what has happened as a consequence of living beyond our collective means. And we became afraid.

The situation is sobering, yes, not to mention doggone inconvenient.  And yet learning to live within our means–and to be contented with what we have–is the path to sound fiscal, physical, psychological and spiritual health and balance. Debt reduction and living within our means rather than mortgaging our future is good for us, good for our local, national, and global communities, and good for the earth itself. 

So let’s not be ruled by fear. Fear sells.  And fear persuades. It makes us docile and easy to persuade into taking ill-considered actions that won’t serve us over the long run.  (Most of the trillions of dollars in”bailouts” so far have gone into the pockets of huge corporations and their employees, and nuttin’ much for us little guys.)tvhypnobtr-a2d

If you analyze carefully the messages we’re getting through the news, advertising, and various forms of entertainment, you’ll find that, day after day, they are whipping up our fear level–and keeping us watching–by sensationalizing the worst case scenarios about the challenges we’re facing.  One of my friends recently put CNN on parental control to keep her anxiety-ridden Cap Rising husband from watching the bad news hypnotically all day long.  

In a sense, we’re all being hypnotized by this drone of dismal news and might do better with less exposure.  Spiritual practices like prayer, meditation, and yoga will help us get centered so we can take wise action to resolve whatever difficulties face us.

In a series of upcoming pieces on this blog, I’ll be discussing in more detail some ways to combat fear and the thoughts and beliefs that limit us, so subscribe if you’d like to read them. (Some self-help hints can already be found in the “metaphysics” category. ) For now let me leave you with a thought from Franklin Delano’s 1934 inaugural address, written during the worst of the Great Depression, where he said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”  You can hear the whole inspiring address on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvonsjqE2a4 .

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