It’s fitting that Earth Day celebrations happen during Taurus, the first of the three earth signs in the zodiac, because this sign symbolizes our relationship to the Earth, our way of living and our physical experiences. Energetically, “Taurus season” represents stability and security, material goods and resources, pleasure and comfort, patience and productivity. These issues will be foremost on our mind during this time. Slow and steady is the preferred vibe of Taurus, and the worldwide downshift to low speed can give us a chance to take a deep breath, process our feelings of loss and struggle, regroup and figure out our next steps. Since Uranus (planet of change and revolution) is also in Taurus for the next several years, expect to change and revamp our fundamental needs in unprecedented ways.
This year is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and the theme is “climate action”. While staying in to help flatten the curve of the novel coronavirus, an unexpected benefit happened to the climate from our collective (in)action: air and noise pollution have plummeted and greenhouse gas emissions have lessened. Satellite data from NASA shows a large decline in nitrogen dioxide across the globe, a gas mainly emitted by cars, trucks, power plants and some industrial plants. China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment released data showing that between January and March of 2020 there was an 84.5% increase in days with good air quality in 337 cities. It may be surprising to learn that air pollution has been estimated to reduce global life expectancy by around 3 years and rivals tobacco smoking on the number of deaths and loss in life expectancy. It has also been estimated the number of lives that are saved from the reduced air pollution during the stay-at-home-orders may be comparable to the deaths caused by COVID-19.
The tiny coronavirus creating the huge current pandemic is actually a symptom of a larger environmental problem. Scientists have pointed out that human activity resulting in deforestation, encroachment on animal habitats, and biodiversity loss have set the conditions for these viruses. The global wildlife trade is also expanding the transmission of animal-borne illnesses such as COVID-19, which is thought to have originated at a live animal and fish market in China. These types of markets exist in countries all over the world, and scientists have referred to them as “breeding grounds for disease”, where humans and animals are exposed to bacteria and viruses that they would not have encountered naturally in the wild, and that spread rapidly once a single person is infected. Experts agree that this highly profitable industry must be curbed to prevent future zoonotic disease outbreaks. China announced a permanent ban on wildlife trade and consumption in response to the current public health crisis, but the practice extends into many other parts of the world.
Living on earth with its changing seasons is the one thing everyone across the globe has in common. Past US president Jimmy Carter explained, “Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.” In an interview for Resurgence & Ecologist magazine, former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev said “I believe in the cosmos. All of us are linked to the cosmos. Look at the sun. If there is no sun, then we cannot exist. So nature is my god. To me, nature is sacred. Trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals.” Carter and Gorbachev both received Nobel Peace Prizes for their work in establishing peaceful international relations.
The slowdown caused by this crisis is giving us an opportunity to reflect upon our relationship to the environment and its impact upon our personal and societal health. Many people have been telecommuting / working from home, which not only has transportation savings and environmental benefits, but it has been found to increase productivity, improve morale and work quality, increase flexibility, maximize people’s time, and reduce office requirements. Perhaps this is a chance to change the way we do business in the future for the benefit of all, Mother Earth included.
As we mentioned in our January blog blog post “2020 Cosmic Alchemy”, the astrological alignments this year were expected to bring a large global transformation that would involve multiple governmental structures and affect the world economy. In past history, the alignments of Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto coincided with World War I and II, the American Revolution, the “Panic of 1819” financial crisis, and the economic recession of the 1980’s. The first major transit of 2020 was the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto on January 12, which coincided with the first reported fatality from the COVID-19 virus in Wuhan, China. While astrologers were aware that the stars announced a massive upending global shift, it was likely a surprise that it would come from a “too small to see” organism of the microcosm.
Taurus is the astrological sign that rules money. The government lockdowns intended to curb the spread of the virus has simultaneously caused a major economic recession. A lot of tension is building between groups of people who think we should protect the vulnerable patients and the health care system, and those that think we should save the economy that feeds the general working population. There doesn’t appear to be a definitive answer to the problem, because either path will likely lead to losses of livelihood. Compromises to consider: allow as many people to work from home as possible, let those that want/need to go back to work do so, and let those that want to quarantine at home do so without risk of losing their jobs. A middle ground approach would help slow down the spread of the virus while also preserving some of the economy, as well as alleviate the polarity between people that think one side is “right” and the other is “wrong”.
A positive note from the pandemic has been an increase in self-care. The best methods for countering the disease – eating healthy, drinking lots of water, getting good sleep, exercising, and washing hands regularly are all things that generate good health and lead to a healthy society. Hopefully these good practices will continue as routines long after the crisis is gone. This is also an excellent time to consider starting a home garden or expanding your current one. Fresh locally grown food is the best medicine for both people and the environment.
The New Moon in Taurus occurs tonight @ 10:26 pm EST. The next couple days will be a perfect time to plant the physical seeds you would like to see grow in the garden, and also the seeds of change you’d like to see develop in your daily life. It’s a good time to reflect on routines and consider alternative ways that can lead to more happiness, better health, and a sustainable environment. A good read during these home-bound days that may offer a fresh perspective is Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey’s “Slowing Down to the Speed of Life: How to Create a more Peaceful, Simpler Life from the Inside Out.”
Enjoy your Earth Day and thank you for reading our blog post! Stay safe and healthy ~ Amy & Chris