In a recent conversation, someone pointed out how Fox News influences people in certain parts of the United States. Does Fox News influence them, I asked, or is Fox News simply reporting their perspective?
“Coming out of the closet” is/was a term describing those who stopped hiding their love of the same gender and told family and loved ones about their preference. In recent years in some parts of the United States it’s been safer to do this. Gender identity has also come out of the closet as has long-term practices of sexual misconduct.
The door is open!
Like Pandora’s Box, the door is open for all kinds of previously-hidden activity and beliefs, not just those we like or those that represent justice. When the 45th president was elected in 2016 there was some surprise among certain segments of the population regarding his openly-stated beliefs and devoted followers. But as Dave Chappelle explained on Saturday Night Live, it was only surprising to some. For others, that closet door was never closed.
“Diversity” is the word that embraces the openness of groups who are no longer hiding in the closet. Diversity includes those we don’t like who have also taken advantage of the open door. We all love diversity – some of it, but not necessarily all of it. If we did, the United States wouldn’t have clearly-defined neighborhoods based on ethnicity and income.
The challenge of the United States is unique – we are a diverse country where our belief in freedom encourages us all to come out of the closet. The challenge is how to establish some common causes where we tackle problems larger than ourselves, larger than our immediate environment. If the current political culture prevails where contentious division is encouraged, then we will no longer function as a nation. The challenge is common cause within diversity.
Me / You
The astrological symbolism of this challenge is in the polarity of Aries / Libra or the 1st / 7th house axis. I exist and so do you whether I like it or not. It’s a polarity – not the duality promoted by the political strategists.
What’s the difference?
Polarity is energy that manifests on a spectrum. Duality is not on a spectrum and are two sides disagreeing. Polarity is spiritual – it shows us that what we don’t like in others exists within ourselves. We see our reflections outside of ourselves.
In psychology it’s called projection. If I understand what my friends are saying about quantum energy, it’s described as the observed being affected by the observer. In spirituality, it’s explained that we are all one.
Sports is a common arena for the self-other polarity. In sports, as in any competitions, the other can help us improve our own performance. Competition in everything, however, makes us lose a sense of self because we then only respond to what others are doing rather than our internal self. We can both improve ourselves and lose ourselves in competition.
Aries / Libra
Aries is the first sign of the zodiac representing the self. Aries by nature is assertive, positive and externally focused toward goals. Your Aries friends are probably busy with all of their goals, one after the other.
Libra is the seventh sign of the zodiac representing the other. Libra by nature reflects off of friends, family and especially lovers to develop a sense of self. Your Libra friends who date may morph into the personalities of the love and friend interests – today a poet, tomorrow an astronaut.
There is still value, to me, in traditional astrology with its medieval overtones. We don’t use the term “enemy” much anymore but we have them. While there are ten thousand emojis to express one’s feelings on social media, there’s still no “don’t like” button.
There are people who don’t like us although many don’t like to think about that. I side with Ayn Rand on this one – we have the right to like and dislike. It’s when we attempt to create legislation of our likes and dislikes that the environment can become oppressive and dangerous.
The 7th house (ruled by Libra) represents “open” enemies. The 12th house is considered the place of hidden enemies. The 12th house is also the area of “undoing” where often our “hidden” enemy is not another but aspects of ourselves.
Would you prefer an enemy that shows up at your door and confronts you or one that pipes odorless, colorless natural gas into your house?
Our open enemies make us more aware of the self, they make us understand we aren’t treated well and need to stand up for ourselves. Open enemies can be confronted.
Hidden enemies – like subtle and unidentifiable ways in which some can’t move into a neighborhood – are more difficult to overcome because they first must be identified, brought out into the open, lured from the den. Others may not believe that you have this enemy which makes it infinitely more difficult to overcome; that’s what gives it the label “institutionalized.”
The Open Closet
In 2016, the cracked closet door opened wider to allow some groups to express openly what might have been kept to the dinner table. We all exist.
And the open closet may reveal that others are not as much like us as we think, even those that claim to share similar views. In 2016 a colleague commented that there had to be those around her who voted for the 45th president but we’d never know who. And that brings us back to the self – what do we truly believe? How much do we believe that is truly our own? How many of our beliefs did we develop by default?