THE URANUS EFFECT: SHAKING UP SOCIAL POLICY
PaiAs of May 2018, Uranus has been shaking up the notoriously stable, stubborn sign of Taurus. Taurus rules our Earthly needs: food, money, soil, shelter, housing, etc. On a global level, Taurus governs the social policies relating to distribution of resources on the planet. The systems for organizing our basic social services are Taurean. Taurus wants stability and stasis. Uranus wants chaos and catalytic movement. This combination is the astrological equivalent of an Earthquake for long established social structures.
Also in 2018, the Department of Interior issued their refusal to confirm the status of the Mashpee Wampanoag Reservation. This followed the Federal Government's refusal to defend the Tribe’s Reservation status in court. In other words, as the Tribe directly states “The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s citizens are currently suffering a massive loss of resources and services due to the uncertainty of the trust status of the Reservation”
The Mashpee Wampanoag ancestors were the people who met the Puritans upon arrival. The legacy of injustice and loss they have experienced since European settler contact is staggering and relentless.
The ins and outs of the current administration’s decision are dizzying and infuriating. It goes without saying that this did not come out of nowhere. Native folks in this country have been experiencing monstrous oppression for hundreds of years, and history has a way of recycling itself. Astrology provides a potent path for tracking historical cycles, especially the outer planets with a longer orbit. Uranus, the planet of change and transformation, makes its thunderous transit every 84 years. I started down the rabbit hole of tracking some of the most recent cycles and the patterns are eerily fascinating.
Allocation of resources and how the government punches down
The last Uranus transit began in 1934 during a globally shaky time. The entire world economy was suffering from the Great Depression. Sparked by the stock market crash in 1929, the economic structure of the time began to rapidly break down. By 1934, the widespread social consequences became inescapable to all people, not just the working classes. As the elites of society began to feel the destabilizing effects of the Depression, we see social panic surrounding global resource distribution take a more visible effect. Sound familiar?
In 1934, The Roosevelt Administration introduced the Wheeler-Howard Act of 1934, also known as the Indian Reorganization Act, as part of the “New Deal”. Though this act was passed with some positive effects, the ‘independence’ the Roosevelt administration ‘granted’ the tribal governments was still very much under the paternalistic thumb of colonialism. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker explain more in chapter 11 of their groundbreaking book ‘All the Real Indians Died Off’: And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans (link to specific chapter).
This act also created very strict and problematic definitions for who qualifies as an “Indian”:
Sec. 19. The term "Indian" as used in this Act shall include all persons of Indian descent who are members of any recognized Indian tribe now under Federal jurisdiction, and all person who are descendants of such members who were, on June 1, 1934, residing within the present boundaries of any reservation, and shall further include all other persons of one-half or more Indian blood. For the purposes of this Act, Eskimos and other aboriginal peoples of Alaska shall be considered Indians. The term "tribe" wherever used in this Act shall be construed to refer to any Indian tribe, organized band, pueblo, or the Indians residing on one reservation. The words "adult Indians" wherever used in this Act shall be construed to refer to Indians who have attained the age of twenty-one years.
These dubious definitions based on enforced place and blood quantum are part of the basis of the current administration’s attempts to dissolve Native American Reservations in the United States. Again, Taurus is all about fixed structures and definitions. Uranus, on the other hand, wants to break chains, innovate and radically transform limiting structures. As these celestial forces wrestle again, we are reminded of deep seated structural oppression in need of uprooting. Uranus demands change. As Witches who use the planets as our compass, I believe we should too.
As the universe encourages us to radically rethink resource allocation, my mind turns to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. In 2018, Americans spent one billion dollars on turkeys alone. While Uranus travels through the materialistic sign of Taurus, we are asked to revolutionize our conceptions of money. The reallocation of this monumental sum would have nothing short of a Uranian impact.
Uranus asks: How can we be Agents of Change?
A Uranus in Taurus transit is a powerful time for using money as an agent for transformation. For those observing Thanksgiving this year, particularly those of us who are of settler colonial descent, what can we spare to support the people who brought us Thanksgiving? The descendants of the Wampanoag people from the famed first Thanksgiving are fighting for their right to have sovereignty over their ancestral lands. They are struggling for access to basic resources such as food, housing, and medicine while descendants of Puritans in Massachusetts feast on traditional Wampanoag foods. These are the ingrained paradoxes Uranus wants us to change.
I write this post on the native land of the Massachusett people (once known as Naumkeag), now colonized as Salem. I am deeply grateful to live and work in this place. As Witches know, gratitude is a very magically powerful emotion, one that can transform and enrich lives. This Thanksgiving, I hope those of us who celebrate the holiday can deepen and expand our gratitude for the privilege of living on Native land. In the spirit of giving thanks, my hope is for people to feel inspired to give their time and money towards acts of radical gratitude. No amount is too small, every call to legislators makes a difference. Your money and time are magical and can create positive change!
Want to make a donation and learn more? Follow the hashtag #standwithmashpee on social media to keep up with the struggle. Visit https://mashpeewampanoagtribe-nsn.gov/standwithmashpee for information on important legislation to support, action steps to take, and links to donate.
Also be sure to check out the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness and feel free to print this and put it on your dining room table...
Kate Laurel has been studying plant medicine, crystal and energy healing over 6 years. She runs Laurel Tree Healing Arts and supports her clients through Reiki, tarot, and distance healing. She uses her holistic and magical training to tap into the mind and body’s intuitive knowledge. Kate also leads the Herb Witch tour with NowAge Travel. You can book a magical herbal consult, Reiki session or tarot reading with her here.
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