cri·sis (krī′sis)

    1. the turning point of a disease for better or worse, esp. a sudden recovery
    2. an intensely painful attack of a disease; paroxysm
  1. a turning point in the course of anything; decisive or crucial time, stage, or event
  2. a time of great danger or trouble, often one which threatens to result in unpleasant consequences an economic crisis

Etymology: L <krisis < krinein, to separate, discern <(s)krei-, to sift, separate <(s)ker-, to cut > shear, L cernere, to separate, Ger rein, pure

as we approach tomorrow’s conjunction of pluto and jupiter, it is worth considering the above word crisis. (the definitions are from two online dictionaries). most people are used to thinking of crises as definition #3 – times of great danger or trouble, often confusing a crisis with disasters and unexpected misfortunes. but for astrology, I prefer definition #2 – a crucial stage or event, a turning point, in a natural process. this can be a fulfillment of an organic process, when something becomes fully itself, or when something reaches some “point of no return”. we experience a process as going along a certain, expected path, and then suddenly, it seems, something “changes” and voila, we are confronted with a crisis. the current sub-prime mortgage situation is a perfect example. for most of us, we didn’t have an inkling. but those who were paying attention, who were familiar with the economics of the situation, knew that this situation could not last, that there was a “point of no return” coming soon.

what often makes a crisis so unfortunate is that the moment of the turning point can initiate a whole new set of problems, as the course of events is changed by the crisis. the culmination, conjunction or event, of the crisis then affects the subsequent energies and events (e.g. the credit crunch that has resulted from all those foreclosures).

on an individual level, crisis can be a time when one’s resistance to a natural process of change reaches a point that can no longer be sustained; one is finally, suddenly, forced to acknowledge, change or re-direct their energies. this is the purpose of crisis in evolutionary astrology terms, to make you move forward, be more conscious, to improve your interactions with the universe. a health crisis leads to improved self-care; a relationship crisis leads to counseling, better communication, redistribution of household chores; a financial crisis leads to better budgeting, more savings, etc.

unfortunately, crisis can bring uncontrollable turning points; the heart attack that kills you, the divorce, the bankruptcy. If you resist the necessary changes in your life, if you fail to act responsibly or make the improvements you know are needed in your life; if you blame “the other guy” for all your problems, crisis, when it comes, may have unpleasant consequences, indeed.

with pluto and jupiter conjunct in sag tomorrow, the crisis is about power and beliefs and all the combinations of the two: the power of your beliefs; the power struggles around your truth; your need to be freely who you are; how you need to be right, and whether you allow others to be right; tolerance. Or, it can be about opening yourself to the power of intuition, to own your psychic energy, to find the truth, even if it’s deeply buried. this aspect is the culmination, the peak of the pluto in sag transit - my hopes are for the end of religious wars and greater tolerance for all belief systems. (see astrotabletalk.blogspot.com for Dharmaruci's comments on this.)

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