Went to the well but the water was dry
Dipped my bucket in the clear blue sky
Looked in the bottom and what did I see?
The whole damned world looking back at me
— “Liberty,” by the Grateful Dead (Hunter/Garcia)
Dear Fellow Traveler:
We are approaching the summer solstice, one of the most concentrated astrological moments of the year. This plays into an existing setup of planets gathering in the places where the changes of seasons are focused. As referenced many times on these pages, this is called the Aries Point: the imaginary cross in the sky that goes from Aries to Libra and Cancer to Capricorn. The Aries Point goes by several other names, including the cardinal cross of the heavens, though whatever you call it, the concept translates to events with strong influence on personal and global affairs.
If you’re wondering why the world seems to be spinning off its axis, and why your life might feel like a trip through your own personal Twilight Zone Theme Park, check the astrology: it’s the Aries Point — the one that reminds us that the personal is political and that every individual is connected to a larger public life. If you know your chart, even just a little, look for planets and angles early in the cardinal signs and see what you discover.
Mighty players in the cosmic drama have been collecting along this axis: the ones that change the world no matter what they do. Pluto, the first to arrive, is still in early Capricorn. Saturn is about to re-enter Libra to stay for two years. Jupiter and Uranus are conjunct in Aries, having their first exact meeting in the first degree of that sign (degree symbol: a woman, risen from the sea). This is an alignment of historic dimensions: I would rate it in the top five most potent setups of the past 50 years, up there with the mid-60s alignment, the grand cross of August 1999, and the Saturn-Pluto opposition of August 2001.
We can take these separately [see caption at right], noting that we are in the midst of several key alignments: for example, Saturn opposite Uranus and Saturn square Pluto. And of course, we are now well into the effects of the gem of 2012, Uranus square Pluto — the infamous spark plug of revolution.
While these charts make excellent things to study in retrospect, astrology is mostly about embracing our present moment. It is an easily available map to our experience, now. Most writers are describing the alignment as the ‘cardinal T-square’ because it involves three of the cardinal signs. It is also the 2012 alignment, which focuses on the square of Uranus in Aries and Pluto with the Moon in Capricorn. The Sun is about to complete the cross by ingressing the sign Cancer on Monday, June 21. This is followed by a spectacular lunar eclipse in Capricorn, exactly conjunct Pluto, on Saturday, June 26. Mercury is in the picture, close to the Sun, so whatever this alignment represents has a voice.
It’s worth mentioning the influence of eclipses, which I describe in my weekly podcast. Eclipses are fulcrum events that concentrate both personal growth and the historical process. They define eras of time, but it’s a little like getting propelled through a funnel and coming out in another dimension. Part of why they’re so powerful is that they align several dimensions of space and time: in other words, they are multidimensional in a way that goes beyond what you ordinarily see in astrology.
If you’re an astrology student and you’re wondering what the lunar nodes are about, when you see the node, think eclipse. The lunar nodes (where eclipses always happen) are the energetic gateways to the past and the future that enable eclipses to be what they are. The nodes are separate from the Moon; they are points in space that have an 18-year orbit. Think of them as a meeting point. When the Sun and Moon are both near a node, that’s when we have an eclipse — or more accurately, a pair of eclipses, one at the Full Moon and another at the New Moon. Generally, eclipses arrive with a surge forward, with a release of the past and an unusual encounter with the future. Events can seem fated or karmic. They feel magnified, and (like the Aries Point) eclipses merge individual and collective consciousness.
Therefore, you could say we’re heading into an interesting week — not that we’re vaguely short of interesting at the moment. When the Sun and Moon get involved with a slow-moving setup, it tends to precipitate the energy contained in that alignment and ground it in tangible ways. Imagine that the tension of the current alignment of slow-movers (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Pluto) has been building for years, focused on the Aries Point. Now the Sun, Moon and lunar nodes arrive, and we have an eclipse — two of them, actually, with the second being a total eclipse of the Sun on July 11. That looks and feels like a cascade. If I had to offer any astrologically-based advice, it would be to focus on what’s truly important, and I mean that in the long run. Now is the time to concentrate positive attention on your most meaningful goals and plans.
A grand cross baptized by eclipses says that we are standing at a vast crossroads, where choices actually matter. The thing to know is, you are making decisions that affect things you aren’t aware of yet. Therefore, the way to use an eclipse as a navigation tool is to focus on the goals and desires that reflect your deepest values.
The Cardinal Cross of the Heavens
Planets are moving from mutable cross (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) to the cardinal cross (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn). For example, Uranus has been a longterm tenant of Pisces, and is now taking up residence in Aries. Pluto was in Sagittarius for more than a decade and is now in Capricorn. Saturn has been in Virgo for more than two years and is now moving into Libra.
In the mundane sense, the energy of the mutable cross is a season dissolving and yielding to the next; and the energy of the cardinal cross is a surge of power, like shoots pressing upwards in the spring (this is described eloquently in The Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley). This ‘change of seasons’ is happening over a period of about five years (approximately 2007 to 2011), accompanied by other vital developments: for example, Chiron and Neptune ingressing Pisces.
The crosses have what you might call spiritual implications. This morning I got the intuition to check in with Esoteric Astrology by Alice A. Bailey (1880-1949; text published in 1951). While I’m here, I will offer some background. This book, part of a larger series called A Treatise on the Seven Rays, has little appeal to traditionally grounded astrologers. To them, many of its assertions seem ignorant, speculative and even ridiculous (typical characterizations of literature emerging from various mystery schools). Why this isn’t the pot calling the kettle black is because traditional astrology is part of mainstream Western intellectual thought. It’s not really mystical. Mainstream astrology is indeed mainstream, to the point of being the astrology of empire.
I’ve studied Esoteric Astrology and considered its ideas for about 15 years. Though many astrologers would be reluctant to acknowledge this (probably because it is so difficult to comprehend, and relatively few have actually got through the book) it’s clearly one of the most influential works of 20th century astrology. Bailey grounds the practice of astrology in a deeper philosophy, rooting it in a veiled mystical tradition. She presents ideas that can only be verified or discounted through a combination of intuition, experience and additional study. Among the astrologers you read, you may notice that one broad category ‘gets it’ and one ‘doesn’t get it’, with the ‘it’ being the fundamentally spiritual nature of astrology: that it’s a raft to a further shore, and the memory of what’s on the other side informs the work. The ‘doesn’t get it’ camp is what you encounter when the astrology feels like Tinker Toys or an Erector Set. Note that if you dive into Bailey’s writing by contrast it will make the Planet Waves websites seem as organized as an engineering library.
What we tune into via Esoteric Astrology is the sense of a vast latticework of the psychic levels; the very, very, very long history of human incarnation and of the solar system itself; and the idea that planetary energies and alignments have influence on many planes of existence. We learn that certain alignments bring together the influences of the different levels of reality — and that’s what’s happening now. In short, the people of the planet are going through a group initiation, which is another way of saying a shift of consciousness by a wide population.
This shift of energy — from a long stretch of time under the influence of the mutable cross, to the new setup focused on the cardinal cross — is about as significant as it gets. Traditional astrology tells us the mutable cross is nervous, unstable, slow to respond and mired in a mental quality. The cardinal cross is assertive, action-oriented and seeks to create a new order. In a rare moment of connection, this is also reflected in what Esoteric Astrology has to say about the crosses, though it goes a bit deeper.
Bailey (channeling The Tibetan) describes the mutable cross as the cross of “repeated incarnations,” the “cross of many changes” and the location of numerous experiments that “lead to successive and continuous expansions of consciousness.” The mutable cross is all about encountering the endless challenges of incarnation. It’s the cross of the “Son of God,” that is, the version of the Christ that actually incarnated on Earth. Here we find that round-and-round quality of reincarnation; the sense of being stuck here, and stuck in patterns. More to the point, the mutable cross describes the long (long, long, long) experience of integrating spirit with matter. Bailey informs us that this is the second iteration of the solar system: we are in system two, as she calls it (literally, the second version of the solar system), because it takes that long for physical matter to be quickened to the point where it can fully meld and blend with soul energy; where it will support life.
The energy of the mutable cross is a gradual awakening to the presence of spirit within matter. For example, we are not just our bodies and our bodies are not merely physical. Mutability involves cultivating consciousness of the mind as a distinct entity, then noticing that it veils something more permanent: the soul. It takes a long time to notice this; humanity spends a lot of time on the mutable cross.
The cardinal cross is the cross of action: “the expression of will or power as it expresses itself in the great creative process.”
What she terms the great creative process includes the incarnational experience of humanity, and a lot more than that. One aligned with the cardinal cross “no longer identifies with the form or even the soul, but with the will of divinity and with the eternal plan and purpose. It becomes his plan and purpose.” Bailey describes this as the cross of the Cosmic Christ, which to me suggests that it’s like magnetic north: an orienting pull in the direction of true ethics and purpose, available amidst the chaos of the psyche and of the world. This fits well with the Aries Point theme, because Aries Point events tend to be the easiest to orient our lives around. This includes planets and angles located in the cardinal signs: they are the places where we feel compelled to take action.
The Birthplace of Ideas
Aries, in particular, is “the birthplace of ideas, and a true idea is in reality a spiritual impulse taking form.” Note that we have two spectacularly creative planets conjunct in Aries: Jupiter and Uranus, which are making available many brilliant ideas that we can think of as spiritual impulses taking form. That’s why you’d be wise to trust your ideas at this point in your existence, and to trust that ideas exist that can solve whatever you want to solve; and create whatever you want to create.
“Aries initiates the cycle of manifestation,” she says. So you can think of the transition of Uranus from Pisces to Aries as just that: a form of grounding of a long-tested idea into tangible physical form and decisive action. In the system of Esoteric Astrology, Uranus is one of the rulers of the sign Aries (the other is Mercury, and the two are closely related).
Cancer, and all of this eclipse activity, is a reminder of the initial purpose of incarnation, be that in the universal sense or your individual intention for incarnation. The two are related and that relationship becomes obvious with activity on the cardinal cross in general and in Cancer, specifically. There are few more potent signs of rebirth than a total solar eclipse in Cancer. The coming eclipse is conjunct Juno, which says that as we are reborn and transformed, so too are our relationships, our ideas of relationships and what we think of as our role as a partner. We have some work to do on the issue of jealousy, and Juno involved in this eclipse suggests that we make a note that it’s not healthy, and that there is a sane, loving alternative.
Pluto in Capricorn is about attaining a definite goal as opposed to thinking about, and experimenting with, that goal. We are seeing many things get dismantled, torn apart and revealed for what they are: for example, the entire criminal enterprise of capitalism, veiled as political or economic theory.
Saturn in Libra is about building. There is a close association to sex and money with Libra, though on a more critical level it is about the law: as she puts it, “law, legislation, legality and justice.” And so Saturn in Libra is about actively building our integrity on the matter of laws, which are agreements. As Saturn moves through the last degrees of Virgo, we are seeing the results of laws that don’t work, that don’t protect people and that have an ulterior agenda. As Saturn in Libra does its work, we will witness the power of conscious agreements, of purpose and clarity in relationships. As a society, we are due to encounter the need to use our laws as tools for building a stable, sustainable world that supports and protects humanity from its less conscientious members.
One of my readers said that her take on Uranus in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn is mandatory integrity. Yes, it’s easy to cheat, to deceive and to evade one’s purpose, but it’s going to become increasingly challenging: an occasion to which we all must rise, sooner or later. This includes addressing the unjust laws to which so many are subjected.
As we witness the tearing down of so much that is familiar and taken for granted, the alignment on the cardinal cross is compelling us to take action, to speak only the truth and to live as if we are alive. This is a group initiation. We are in this together. Remember that as you sail your timeship through the extraordinary weeks ahead, and beyond. Borrowing a bit from A Course in Miracles, “You cannot be fully committed part of the time.
Yours & truly,
Facing Our Demons — Or Not
| Political Waves
Standing back from our political situation, I think of the Laurel and Hardy schtick where Ollie turns to Stan and says, “Here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into.” Blubbering, Stanley wheezes out little peeps of distress, squinches up his face and scratches his head.
We’re Ollie. We’re Stan. And this fine mess is the result of decades of policies and decisions by Reagan, Bush the Elder, Clinton and Bush the Younger. Obama is the newest engineer on our runaway train, but he doesn’t seem to have any magic tricks to offer us. Most presidents don’t have to deal with both domestic and foreign firestorms at the same time, and you can tell that Obama would rather be flying at jet speed, not careening along on rickety, old paradigm tracks toward the cliff looming ahead. Doubtless there are some mornings when Obama peeps, squinches and scratches, too; perhaps most mornings.
In order to free Congress for big legislation like health care and energy reform, Obama chose to ‘move on’ from Bushy criminal investigations, thus taking on ownership of the fine mess we’re in. The obvious result of GW’s hubristic tenure — hyperextending militarism and the free market right to the edge on warring, spending, borrowing and deregulating — is that we’re now over the edge on every front. Government has always kept the worst projections and assessments from the public in order to keep the economy calm and the people compliant. The good news is that, coming off several decades of denial-binge, the public now recognizes that facts trump political rhetoric. The bad news is that the political system is so hamstrung by partisanship that it can’t move more than baby steps at a time, impeded by those who think “the good old days” of American dominance and expansion are still an option.
In this country, “where seldom is heard a discouraging word,” we lie to each other and to ourselves to preserve that sunny Reaganesque illusion. Believing lies is our national version of Prozac. Not wanting to know is a sedation overdose that has now landed us all in the emergency room. Because we still don’t want to face the truth, we continue to slap band-aids on national wounds to our treasury, liberties and ethics that gush like BP’s failed pipes. Each day that passes makes a dire situation more critical.
Let’s take Afghanistan. Our longest war, longer than World War II, Vietnam or Korea, with nothing to show for it. A TRILLION bucks spent. Imagine what that money might have done at home. In this obscene amount of disappeared American treasure, Osama bin-Laden has accomplished what he set out to do on 9/11. Americans no longer support a military presence in Afghanistan, but politicians are too heavily invested in solidifying our footprint to retreat. Obama’s decision to escalate reflects more the need for militarism to prop up our economy than any need to destroy Taliban and al-Qaeda. Whatever this war was designed to do, the mission had already failed under Bush’s indifference. Now it looks like a familiar cartoon, and if Osama’s the Cwazy Wabbit you know who that makes us? Y-y-y-yep.
Most citizens do not have a stake in this struggle except as it impacts the national coffers. My young cousin serves in Afghanistan and each Sunday I hold my breath as I read the names of the week’s dead. The list gets longer with each viewing. The consensus is that a solution there is not military but political, yet even more than most Mideastern countries, governance in Afghanistan is a matter of institutionalized graft and corruption. It is also the world’s most prolific narco-state and so fractured into tribal entities that President Karzai himself is not safe to roam his own country without pockets full of cash to bribe war lords and tribal elders.
Self-sustained security in Afghanistan is the American priority, yet all attempts to train a national police force have failed. Police training has become a cottage industry; trainees collect their monthly pay and almost all graduate. More than 90% of them are illiterate and 15% test positive for drugs. Reports are rife with accusations of corruption, extortion, assault and rape by police, not to mention their passing of weapons and ammunition to the Taliban. Ultimately, we cannot force these people to be something they aren’t and obviously have no desire to become.
As the war loses favor with Americans, we hear pleas not to abandon women to violently repressive fundamentalist rule, but the U.S. has done little to assure civil rights, and there are more female suicides now than before we began this mess eight years ago. Worse, the Taliban are no longer the simplistic fundamentalists they once were; they are now as corrupt and brutal in pursuit of cash and weapons as the Islamic insurgents. Fleeing an area as it is secured by American forces, the Taliban quickly repopulates after soldiers move on. We have no hope of succeeding unless we permanently occupy. Speaking of the failing Kandahar operation, General McChrystal said in exasperation, “When you go to protect people, the people have to want you to protect them.”
Why do we stay? As we analyze the political reasons for such an endeavor, we seldom mention the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline that is expected to be operational by 2014. The Pentagon recently sweetened the pot by releasing a geological estimate of the region. It turns out Afghanistan is sitting on the richest collection of minerals since Midas. I’ll let Jon Stewart do the heavy lifting on this topic, and do note the animated gleam in the eye of the pundits that speak of it, reverently. Obama insists we’ll draw down next year, but … well … perhaps we’ll stay a little while longer!
The Gulf disaster is another place where we’re not facing reality. Obama tried to soothe us this week, holding BP financially responsible and taking charge of coastal restoration, but intuitively we know that whatever gets done won’t be enough. While I have sincere compassion for those who earn their living on the Gulf, they have the option of moving and recreating their lives; dying wildlife does not. I’m less concerned about where the money goes than about what the oil will do to the entirety of the 11th largest body of water in the world. No one can assure us of that outcome.
Obama also made a pitch for alternative energy, green industry, and was promptly accused of ‘playing politics’ with a national disaster. Huh? Are these people brain damaged? Even now, they demand a return to off-shore drilling. We’re like a nation of drunks, demanding one more year of ecocide in order to feed our addiction. Some of us still won’t admit we’ve got a problem and are still willing to wage war in order to sustain it. We need an intervention. Until we get one, we’ll remain in this fine mess.
With any drilling deeper than 1,000 feet, the danger of destabilizing hydrate gas, such as methane, is well known, with a history of disaster. According to a 2009 report to MMS, “From 1980 to 2006 there were 165 blowouts in U.S. waters, with over 500 worldwide, and hydrates were the main contributor.” Drilling this deeply is playing Russian roulette with the environment, but we simply won’t accept this truth. When it comes to energy, I get the feeling that if we fueled our cars with nuclear waste, each of us would simply wear a Hazmat suit and carry iodine tablets in the glove box.
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, June 18, 2010, #820 – BY ERIC FRANCIS
You face a test this week about whether you feel safe expressing yourself so fully, and living so boldly. This extra light has come with extra shadow, and I know it’s confusing. Many before us have wondered why facing our true potential also comes with facing some of our deepest fears. As the Sun makes its last moves in the sign Gemini, straddling this dualism may feel like stretching across a contradiction, which is true: you are the bridge. To be fully alive means to embrace every shade of potential, and there’s a reason this is true: the opposite would be to suppress part of the psychic spectrum, and this would not qualify for ‘fully’ anything. Follow your feelings carefully as the Sun makes its way into the sign Cancer on Monday, and notice the results when you relax your mind and let it all be.
This week’s solstice provides you with a missing ingredient. The absence of this whatever-it-is may have been quietly tormenting you with a sense of emotional emptiness, as the world around you has its impact on your life. You’re not really empty, though the Sun in Cancer will add previously lacking substance to your thoughts and emotions. This is likely to feel like filling your mental engine up with oil, which will help the various parts of yourself connect with one another a little more smoothly. What you’ve been feeling is intensity without direct access to the inner resonance that would take the edge off. Remember, as a Taurean you cannot process things on a merely intellectual level, tempting as that is. You experience your thoughts emotionally, and as the Sun makes its way into the sign Cancer, you’re about to get a lot of support.
You’re standing face-to-face with overwhelming forces, and it doesn’t help that you can’t quite describe the phenomenon. It’s halfway between gazing out at the cosmos and seeing absolutely nothing, and seeing overwhelming bright light. These are internal qualities. They have certain parallels in the physical universe of planets, stars and galaxies, though the human dimension is what we think of as a spiritual matter. As the seasons change this week, you’re likely to face this dark versus light situation with more confidence. The difference is that you’re tuning into feeling the presence of the observer and identifying with this, rather than with trying to reach for one side of the split between dark and light. Incidentally: the fact that you can see contrast and experience yourself many distinct ways is a profound gift — especially if you dare to think of it that way.
Over the next seven days, events in your life will begin to move more quickly than you’re expecting, and I suggest you move with them. If you’re seeking a sense of security or grounding, you’ll find it in hanging loose with everything from your emotions to your sense of place. Let the river flow, let the tides move and in the words of a surfer I met last summer, “Look where you want to be.” The combination of the solstice on Monday and a lunar eclipse conjunct Pluto on Friday suggest nothing short of total transformation. These events, focused on your sign, reveal something you’ve suspected all along: there is a missing piece, and you are it. You are part of a much larger pattern of events that is happening around you and that has been developing within you for many years; it’s just that your own role was not clear.
Venus in your sign has opened up the flow of potential, and you’re discovering that potential is real rather than just a theory. By real, I mean that the present value is obvious to you, rather than some notion of future value. This is value you possess and that you can share, and you’ve always had it: but recent events have opened up a new flow of ideas and more than anything else, confirmation that what you’ve felt for so long is real. What you have at the moment is a contact point between your highest vision for life and the tangible things you do every day. For most and I do mean 90% of all people, this feeling happens a few times in a lifetime, and the moments would stand out if we recognized them when they happen. I’m here to remind you exactly what you have available, and reassure you that now is the time to act on the obvious.
The central question is, ‘Have you come to terms with yourself?’ I can use astrology to propose what you might be doubting or processing, though you can speak more articulately than that. You know the differences with yourself that you’ve been trying to iron out. You also know the extent to which your self-critique lacks any real function, and sends you deeper into questions that have no answers. I suggest you count this kind of mental gyration as a luxury you can no longer afford. It affects your relationship with yourself, and it influences how you see others and thus who they are in your life. An aspect of what you are doing is teaching the parent in you to relate more coherently to the child in you, because this child is the source of most of the fear that you experience. And, truly, you’re too old to be governed by that fear.
Keep your focus and remember your goals. This is vital: be vigilant of your own objectives and those of anyone with whom you collaborate. The inner energetic quality of attention is the same, whether the beneficiary appears to be you or something of which you are part. Both will be equally rewarding and each side of the equation will help the other, because they are one cause, one purpose, and you are at the center of that purpose. There are many influences acting on you, and some of them are destabilizing. I suggest that you resist any temptation to be flaky. Indeed, as the new season develops the theme of your life will increasingly be about commitment and consistency. It is true that you are experimenting in some wild directions, and there are greater horizons to come, but none of that will work without solid grounding in the adult world.
You may be discovering you have issues with your friends that were somehow veiled until recently. A theme is developing where you’re the one who makes the sacrifices and puts out the effort, but are not rewarded for that attentiveness. I suggest you stop trying so hard, and make clear statements of your desires. I was going to say needs, but the word ‘need’ conjures a feeling of childhood resentment that is not befitting your visible, mature place in the world. Over many recent months you’ve been experimenting with different notions of leadership, and being placed in different positions of authority. That, in itself, is a form of service. Expressing honest leadership is doing the world a huge favor, though you may need to make some internal adjustments to feel the authentic value of that idea.
You’ve waited a long time for the world to actually be as weird as you’ve seen it all your life, and now you’re getting a reflection. Here is a suggestion that I would trust few others than a Sagittarian to understand: whenever you see a problem, think of it as an opportunity because you hold some piece of the solution. Whenever you see some surprising form of progress, look for the ways you not only might contribute in the future, but which you are contributing to it in the present. As the planets make a series of bold moves this week, take every occasion to feel your presence in the world, and to experiment with the thing you crave the very most: letting go. Take that how you wish: emotionally, erotically, empathically, or trusting the flow of events. That trust will validate itself.
It turns out that honoring leadership is a theme of many astrological signs these days; Aries, Gemini, Cancer, Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius all have significant movement in their 10th solar house. So while you have company on the leadership council, which by the way suggests strongly that a team approach to leadership is the way to go, nobody else but Capricorn has Saturn about to cross their 10th house cusp. This has a quality of ‘the buck stops here’, though the involvement of Libra puts a strong emphasis on cooperation, balance and an elegant approach to problem solving. But more than anything the implication is that you must be prepared to take responsibility for what you have created, and for what you intend to create. Nobody can have this transit without some big plans, so while you are getting yourself organized, think for the long run.
Now is the time to focus on health issues you want to resolve, no matter how long you’ve been dealing with them. Aquarius is one of the signs for whom emotional and physical health are fully integrated, so part of this is about discovering a more settled place on the level of your feelings. This involves your complex situation involving a longstanding relationship, which is once again seeking a new depth of resolution. Yet there is also the ‘purely’ medical level, which suggests strongly that routine care, from a dental cleaning to a visit with a nutritionist, can have significant longterm results. The same will be true with therapy. For example, if you have a therapist you’ve worked with in the past, doing one or two sessions could move you ahead quickly — particularly if you bring in material from your especially interesting recent dreams.
The ongoing Jupiter-Uranus conjunction has you under so much pressure to recognize your value, your contribution and like you belong on the planet that the project could easily backfire. I suggest you make a series of efficiency refinements. The first of these is to feel the logical result of these planetary signs and work backwards from there. For example: how would you feel if you were solidly confident of your place in the world, with part of that confidence being that others recognize your contribution? That’s the posture you need to take: a kind of quiet assurance that may not, by the way, feel so natural for nervous, the-world-on-her-shoulders psyche of a Fish. I am proposing that the show is not going to start without you; you’re the star of this particular production. Nobody can play your role, and reruns of Futurama aren’t cutting it anymore.