The Astrology Blog 3 June 2019
Two Ways of Looking at Things, Experiencing Time and the 80/20 Rule
“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare …
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.“
– the opening lines of “Leisure” written 1911 by W.H. Davies – Welsh poet and writer, born 3 July 1871
Any reader educated in an English school will almost certainly recognize the above lines from their literature lessons. I can still recall the confusion in my child’s mind as the (hopeless) teacher never explained to us that “care” in this context meant “cares and woes” and not concern or the desire to protect. Happily not even she was able to kill my love of the written word.
These lines went through my head last week as, like many of us, I found myself running around in small circles with a hundred things to do, and asking myself for the umpteenth time, why am I always so ridiculously busy? Last week I wrote “approach your issues as if Mercury the mind planet were retrograde” (textbook short definition being problems with communication and transport) as Mercury squared Neptune and opposed Jupiter, and this certainly proved to be the case for many, including me. My computer got a virus, I lost two days going in and out of town getting it fixed, slipped on a wet pavement (not rain, the Greeks love hosing down, Neptune as god of the sea rules water from any source!) and sprained my wrist (Mercury rules hands), I was feeding a friend’s cats and then got his return flight info wrong and they missed a meal, and I also forgot to leave his key so that when he got home he couldn’t get in! Fortunately he lives around the corner and was able to come and get it, and he in turn then finally got into his house, switched on his own computer only to find the room then filling with smoke from a major wiring problem. In the morning he put the computer in the car only to discover that, in his absence, the battery had managed to drain itself. He was going nowhere.
Cutting through all the frustrations, the thing that made a deep impact on me was remembering the poem above and realizing that those lines were written over a hundred years ago. This “having no time” thing is, therefore, not new. Mmmm. It’s part of the human condition then.
I had a flashback to when I first moved to Greece (24 years ago, the year of my 3rd Jupiter Return) and that first year was one of the happiest of my life. I remember feeling intensely connected with nature. Having lived in London for the previous ten years I reveled in the clean air, having the beach on my doorstep, and being in total and untiring awe of the wondrous night sky. I never lacked time “to stand and stare”. I was physically, mentally and spiritually happy.
In terms of “transport and communication” I had no car, not even a bicycle for that first year, I walked everywhere, I had no landline or mobile phone and no computer … nobody could get hold of me. All my spare cash went on the “phone on a meter” at the local supermarket to call my sister, as she didn’t join me in Greece until many years later. I never bought a newspaper, I had no idea what was going in the world and I never felt guilty about it. In fact, I didn’t even think about it. I knew I would hear soon enough if something significant were to happen, which indeed proved to be the case. I heard about the death of Princess Diana when my Swedish neighbor came and knocked on my door.
I’m not advocating mass unawareness, but I am posing a huge question mark over the extent to which we imagine we should “stay informed”. Doesn’t it verge on an addiction? Those two days without my computer were a lesson to me. I found myself heading into the study on autopilot only to stop at the doorway, ah, oh yes, I have no computer … and it was screamingly obvious that here was my biggest time bandit. Hands up anyone who doesn’t spend needless hours on their technology? So instead of reading lots of anxiety making and depressing news, I walked my dogs, I gardened, I went to the beach and I sat and talked with a friend in need without feeling that tug at the back of my mind to get back to my desk. So I didn’t “lose” two days. I just spent the time differently. And better.
So, this is all leading up to the fact that this week kicks off with the New Moon in Gemini, one of Mercury’s signs –
Monday 3 June
- New Moon 12 Gemini 11.03 BST
The sign of the Twins is associated with all themes of duality and multiplicity, including multitasking and choices. This is a picture perfect environment for looking at our time management, for enjoying list ticking productivity but also for recognizing our limits. If, like me, you frequently experience moments of overwhelm the time is right to take control.
Loved this post on Facebook (time bandit extraordinaire!) from one of my students Nicola, on the subject of “mind”fulness – and it fits the themes of “two” and new perspective to perfection –
- Make a list of the things that make you happy
- Make a list of the things you do every day
- Compare the two lists
- Adjust accordingly
I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by wise women. The post above linked into something Elisabeth Brooke had reminded me of when she was here in Greece a couple of weeks ago, to remember the difference between –
- Newtonian time (how time drags when you’re doing something you hate)
- Einsteinian time (how time flies when you are doing something you love)
The term “think outside of the box” is bandied about a lot but Elisabeth is one of the few people I know who actually does it.
Another of my students who has just completed an online course with me is an expert therapist and somehow within every phone tutorial she would always find the moment to turn the focus onto me. This last tutorial was no exception and the little nugget I took away with me this time was to be reminded of the 80/20 rule. This is also known as the Pareto principle.
Do we spend 80% of our time and energy creating 20% of our results? The Pareto principle reveals this ratio in a wide ranging way, for example –
- In global terms the richest 20% of the world’s population control 80% of the world’s income
- It is an axiom of business management that 80% of sales come from 20% of clients
- The Dunedin Study found 80% of crimes are committed by 20% of criminals
- In 1988 video rental shops reported that 80% of revenue came from 20% of videotapes
- If you get 80% of your needs met from a relationship then you’ve struck gold. If you invest 80% of your time into a relationship that gives you a return of only 20% then …. The message is clear!
More about Mercury
Mercury is on his way out of Gemini, entering the next sign tomorrow and heading for his first aspect at the end of the week –
Tuesday 4 June
- Mercury ingress Cancer 21.06 BST
Friday 7 June
- Mercury 5 Cancer sextile Uranus 5 Taurus 15.17 BST
Consecutive signs often work like opposites. In this case, Gemini is the restless spirit and the chatterbox, archetype of the Magician or Trickster, but Mercury in Cancer is much quieter, more sensitive, or more cautious and introspective. The mode of expression, with the sideways movement of the Crab, is indirect. At best it’s self protective or protective of loved ones, at worst it’s chronically evasive.
Look out for these hallmarks in evolving situations and note that it’s a time for assessing what is best left unsaid. In the words of one of my Mercury in Cancer clients, “Sometimes it’s better just to know in your own heart that you are right, without having to prove it. I’ve learned the value of letting others think what they like.”
This combination can be very secretive but the first aspect to explosive Uranus has a “letting the cat out of the bag” feel about it. Be careful in whom you confide! Otherwise any Mercury – Uranus combination can indicate news of the unexpected, sudden, shocking, surprising or exciting kind. It’s great for spontaneity and also for brilliant ideas or light bulb moments. In this respect there are echoes of the Gemini New Moon and for some there’ll be a direct link between these two Mercurial events. Information, news or opportunities that arrive on the New Moon are likely to be processed very quickly.
So Mercury is leaving Gemini but the themes of this sign are still very much in the spotlight with the Sun travelling through Gemini until the Spring Equinox on 21 June, and Venus also arrives here at the weekend –
Sunday 9 June
- Venus ingress Gemini 02.38 BST
- Sun 18 Gemini square Neptune 18 Pisces 20.35 BST
Venus is primarily love, but she also rules all of life’s pleasures. If you need more fun and sweetness in your life now’s the time to put some energy into identifying what you enjoy, the type of people who interest you, and creating your own opportunities. Perception of choice is incredibly helpful, especially when life feels stuck or unsatisfying. It enables us to get rid of that feeling that life is happening “to us” and stops us from waiting for someone else to fix things. Remember that Gemini is the sign of Mutable Air – it has to move and circulate. If you’re single and searching then romantic opportunities are out there if you focus on doing the same. For some love choices will be a growing theme for the next month (Venus in Gemini until 3 July) and the top message is to identify what or who is good for your emotional health – and what or who isn’t.
The Sun squaring up to Neptune at the close of the weekend is tricky. Remember that we had Mercury square Neptune last week which was hugely troublesome – as described earlier. Tough aspects involving Neptune tend to cloud our vision or bring us up against matters that are confusing, upsetting or just plain tiring. Look out for themes of fact v fantasy and guard against getting worked up about anything that is out of your direct control. And if something simply isn’t adding up, then it isn’t adding up for a reason. Read between the lines but wait for this square to clear before jumping to conclusions.
Wishing you plenty of Einsteinian time!
With love from Greece