I was born in the Pisceian era, and I’m a Capricorn. That means I bought into the hierarchical, follow the rules stuff still rampant in the 1950s. BUT, I was a teenager in the 1960s, and I have four planets in Libra. That means I learned to question authority and to look for all sides of an issue. This is not an easy combination. While I am good at making the right decision when I trust my intuition, I tend to second guess myself a lot.
For instance, consider how words immediately label a situation. One child, two possible labels: Hyperactive or energetic? The first sounds like something you might medicate, the second sounds like healthy energy that might need channeling. Which word you use may have a major effect on a child’s life. Stubborn or determined? Stubborn makes the person sound unreasonable and difficult; determined is the sort of person who achieves goals and makes something of their life. Yet both words are two sides of the same attitude.
One of the values of the Pisceian era is individualism. You see this reflected in school in the straight rows, with the admonition that everyone do their own work. The emerging Aquarian era is more about circles and working together to solve problems. The first calls up words like self-reliance and self-control. The second calls up words like cooperative and selfless. All of these may be “good” words, referring to appreciated values. So which way of doing things is “better”?
This is where cultural norms come in, as well as individual values. One person’s positive value is probably someone else’s negative. Example: I’ve mentioned before I play World of Warcraft (WoW), an online game with violent and non-violent activities. A couple weeks ago one of my characters was completing a quest to kill a large boar that was ruining crops. Computer targets like that typically die or disappear for a few minutes (or for hours, depending on the level of the quest), and then respawn. Sometimes if players discover they are after the same target, they will create a group, so they can work together to achieve the quest. But if I arrive at a target and find another player already engaged, I may help the player (if it looks like they are about to be killed), but I then wait my turn to do the quest after the target has respawned. I respect that the other player got there before me, and the effort they have already put into killing the target. When my character encountered the large boar mentioned above, I did things to prepare for the battle, and then attacked it. Halfway through the battle, suddenly I got an invite from someone I didn’t know to create a group. From my point of view it was an intrusion, someone wanting to take advantage of the fact I was about to kill the boar. So I declined the group, and finished the battle I was in. The other person was very unhappy I had not grouped with them . . . now he would have to wait for the boar to respawn. I happen to know that target only takes about ten minutes to reappear; I mentioned that. But he implied I should have been willing to help other people. In fact, over the next several minutes he whined about it (though my character had moved on to other things; the whine was via individual communication they call “whispering”).
I’ve thought about this situation a number of times. The problem is, either grouping or not grouping with this other player would have been appropriate — it all depends on cultural norms and personal values. I can see both sides, and acknowledge their validity. It would be so much easier for me if I didn’t see both sides. Years ago a friend said I have the valuable ability to be a bridge for others from the Pisceian era into the Aquarian. Because I see both sides, it should be easier for me to help find common ground. However, bridges get walked on, so it’s not always fun.