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The biggest event on a fall Friday night in many American communities is the local high school football game. However, when school began in late August of this year, attention was not focused so much on the players taking the field as on the prayers taking place in the grandstands. Spurred on by zealous prayer organizers, some high school students and their parents, particularly those in the southern Bible Belt, began voicing their opposition to the Supreme Court’s ban on school sponsored, student led, pre-game prayers by standing and praying aloud in the grandstands.

The prayers were organized after the U.S. Supreme Court said in a June 2000 opinion that even when attendance was voluntary and even when the decision to pray was made by students instead of school district officials, “the delivery of pre-game prayer has the improper effect of coercing those present to participate in an act of religious worship” and violated the Constitution’s ban on state-promoted religion.

Certainly, the passive-aggressive coercion of a captive audience at a high school football game is not the Inquisition, and prayer is not the medieval rack, but the implication, to those with different faiths and beliefs, is the same. It would take a great deal of courage to remain seated while everyone else stands to pray. To do this, especially in a Bible Belt small town, is to risk being seen as some sort of non-believing infidel and opening yourself to ridicule and persecution by your friends and neighbors.

Others in Our Midst

On August 29, 2000, as Jupiter in Gemini moved opposite Pluto in Sagittarius, 1000 religious leaders from around the world gathered in New York City at the United Nation’s Millennium World Peace Summit to foster acceptance of the de facto plurality of faiths, beliefs and cultures in the world community. It is the nature of an opposition to objectify extremes, and certainly this gathering was in stark contrast to the Vatican’s recent reaffirmation of the Roman Catholic Church as the one true path to salvation and the Protestant Christians’ display of their own rightness in high school stadiums across America.

This polarization reminds us that the “if you are not like me, you are the feared other” mentality is alive and well in the minds of individuals. (Gemini is the sign of the twins, and recognizes that which is like itself.) And that intolerance of “others in our midst” still prevails, giving birth to extremists who will coerce and wage small wars against the “others” in the name of the “one true” religion, race, culture or political ideology.

Sign of the Times: Pluto in Sagittarius

Pluto represents evolution. As Pluto gradually makes its way through each sign of the zodiac, society is pressured to transform everything that particular sign represents. However, even in the midst of social change, the instinct for individual self-preservation is strong. The resulting tension creates extremes, and it is the extremist that exemplifies where change is needed.

In early 1995, as Pluto moved into Sagittarius, everything this sign symbolizes came under pressure to evolve. Sagittarius is the truth-seeker and visionary of the zodiac. It is about faith, beliefs and life as a quest for wisdom and understanding. But Sagittarius is about big truths. It views life through a wide-angle lens, while Pluto’s view is telescopic. When the two combine, Sagittarius reveals the greater truth and Pluto brings into sharp focus the ugly little truths buried within.

Mighty Jupiter Loses Home-Field Advantage

The “let’s talk” sign of Gemini is opposite Sagittarius. Gemini perceives facts and details often lost to the Sagittarius visionary. When expansive Jupiter, associated with religion and ruler of Sagittarius is in Gemini, religious talk abounds. But with ruthless Pluto now officiating the game on Jupiter’s home field (Sagittarius), even the mighty, self-confident Jupiter can feel its beliefs threatened by the “others,” puff up at its confinement in Gemini and become the pontificating missionary who lives next door, or those in a community who defiantly stand and pray aloud at the local high school football game.

Jupiter in Gemini will oppose Pluto in Sagittarius three times. The first opposition was exact September 4, 2000, the second on October 13 (during Jupiter’s retrograde cycle) and the final in May of 2001. During this time frame, we are likely to see other events manifest the reality of plurality and extremism.

The Reality of Plurality and the Necessary Role of Gemini

Conversation and exchange of information (Gemini) are necessary if the multiculturalism proclaimed by the world’s visionaries (Sagittarius) is to become the new paradigm. But, it is a fact that in a democratic society plurality just as easily opens doors to intolerant ideologies and extremism as to the acceptance of diversity and the need for freedom of choice in one’s way of life. It is also a fact that there can be no meeting of the minds nor rational dialogue where rightness of beliefs is concerned. However, pluralism without rational dialogue is but the precarious coexistence of incommensurable worlds. How then are we to find a common language and begin overcoming our fear of “the others” who also inhabit this post-modern world, in which diverse ideologies constantly overlap and encroach on each other’s territory?

A Farsighted Warning

The great and wise soul who was Jesus admonished his followers not to parade their religion in front of others (Matthew 6:1, The Oxford Study Bible). This sage admonition remains relevant today. Perhaps if it is heeded by all the world’s people, we could begin to address our common humanity, move toward a meeting of the minds, open rational dialogues and take common actions that would have a positive and profound effect on all individuals, regardless of personal ideology.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pat Lantz is a practicing astrologer currently researching the use of astrology as a developmental tool with infants and toddlers. Contact Pat to participate in this study or for information about developmental astrology.

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For more information about Pat Lantz, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Pat Lantz:

  • Ashley Judd: The Best Is Yet to Come   5/28/2001
  • Rosie O'Donnell: The Aries "Queen of Nice"   4/26/2001
  • The Terrible Twos   4/13/2001
  • Haley Joel Osment: Fate, Luck and Opportunity   2/4/2001
  • Winona Ryder: Audrey Hepburn of the 90s   1/11/2001
  • Lara Flynn Boyle and Jack Nicholson   12/15/2000
  • The Infant, the Moon, Mom and Emotions   11/28/2000
  • The Televangelist and the Transvestite   10/6/2000
  • Robert Downey Jr.’s Appointment With Destiny   9/23/2000
  • Richard Cheney: A Saturn-Ruled Aquarian   8/24/2000
  • Bruce and Demi: Love Dies Hard   8/11/2000
  • Alan Greenspan’s Opus   8/9/2000
  • Kathleen Kennedy Townsend: Echoes of Camelot   8/3/2000
  • The Supremes: Where Did Their Love Go?   6/16/2000
  • Travolta’s Alien Nature   4/28/2000
  • Jefferson and Clinton: Saints or Sinners?   4/6/2000
  • Charles Schulz Bids Adieu   2/13/2000

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