Saturday, July 3, 2010

Interdependence Day

© 2010 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

Just as Christmas, Chanukah and the winter holidays often slip into commercialization: the deeper meaning of the American 4th of July can easily get lost in picnics, fireworks, favorite foods, and good times with friends and family. US Independence Day marks our country’s separation from England to form our own independent nation.

This made me think about the meaning of independence and why Americans—and people from other independent nations—value it so highly. The initial reasons are obvious. No one wants to be under the control or thumb of a repressive government. I also want to talk about how we’re sometimes mistaken about what freedom means.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was Choice." ~ Tom Robbins, Author

Freedom of Choice

I can’t count the number of times I have cited the Tom Robbins quote, above, probably because it incites my independent spirit. Many times, we think of independence as freedom from something. The USA’s freedom from England. In a divorce, our freedom from a constraining relationship. At core, to me, what freedom really means is being free to choose.

I think of the many new freedom milestones I have enjoyed as an American, many of them new in my lifetime, such as freedom of procreative choice and the freedom to have any kind of relationship I want among the full diversity of people I encounter.

Once an attorney told me that the law is the most basic level of what’s right and wrong, but there are many other levels of ethics. Those freedoms written into law are basic rights of citizens, said no more eloquently than in the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.

The truest and highest levels of freedom, however, come through freedom of thought. In my nitpicking about prepositions, in this discussion, the highest levels of freedom are freedom “of”—ideas, beliefs, speech, and the choices that come from them.

“It’s a Free Country”

Freedom of ideas and speech are perhaps the most precious freedoms of all. Few Americans could tell you the content of any other amendments to the Constitution, but nearly everyone knows that the 1st Amendment addresses freedom of speech. More specifically, it prohibits making laws against the free expression of:

• Religion and exercise of religion
• Speech
• Press and news
• Peaceful assembly
• Petitions to government to redress grievances

No wonder we remember that “1!”

Any American—or citizen of any other free country—needs to think periodically about this freedom we may take for granted. This is a time to be grateful for them. We all know of countries where these freedoms do not exist, and this is the perfect time to pray for them or to send healing energy toward change. While freedom of religion implies freedom of beliefs, the real freedom I want to celebrate this day is freedom to think for yourself, the freedom to form your own ideas, and the freedom to “let freedom reign” by creating “free” atmospheres in your relationships.

Free Thinkers

If you count yourself in this crowd, we really tend to challenge the power-that-be and the status-quo! Those two hyphenate groups are often threatened by people who think for themselves and are outspoken in their views. Here’s where astrology helps me understand the continuum we live on between freedom and repression. The planet Saturn rules institutions, government, and the way it’s always been. Uranus represents rebellion, revolution, moving forward, genius and flash insights. Saturn tends to represent the past, while Uranus is the future.

In the US, we are future- and freedom- oriented. Where do you sit on this pole personally? Between the ways we’ve always done it and how things could be in an ideal future? One you help invent?

This is a meditation I invite you to begin in this post and on Independence Day.

Freedom of Thought

We’re sometimes our own worst “repressive government” in our minds. It’s tough, that pole between what is and what could be, between status-quo and change. Often, to get to what will be better for us, we have to give up in part or whole something that brings us comfort. It could be a job, home or marriage, a geographic location, a religion you’ve outgrown. The possibilities are endless.
Periodically, we need to do an important analysis, and I propose that Independence Day is, thematically, the perfect time:

• What no longer serves my growth?
• What no longer is true to my beliefs?
• Where do I have grievances that need to be addressed?
• What am I willing to give up to go from stagnation to the next era of my life?

Right now with the Big Change Transits in the sky, many of us are being challenged to make this assessment of personal freedom. The hardest part is facing this question: What or whom can I no longer live with? At least in its current form?

It’s reaching that cusp or turning point that can make or break a situation gone stagnant, infuse it with growth, or help you face the steps you have to take to reform it, whether the relationship is job, marriage, friendship, volunteer work—anything else that needs a tune-up to remain healthy and growing. The others involved will do or the situation will die and you’ll have a resurrection in these areas of life—new form.

I have been faced with a number of these decision points of late, and even if the potential of loss in some of them is scary, the potential for flying to new heights is more exhilarating than my fears. Relationships often rise to the occasion when these turning points are reached. Many times, they will never rise out of a rut without a booster shoot of “or else.” Good is sure to come out of it when we’re willing to trust Spirit, accept whatever consequences come with our truth, and begin moving on slowly but surely toward the new. This reminds me of the song, Me ‘n’ Bobby McGee:

"Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose." ~ Janis Joplin

When the current situation is more painful and unacceptable than the possibilities for the future, we’re living in Nothin’ Left to Lose.


We’ve all encountered—or been at times—independent to a fault. Here’s where many of us can use some reconsideration of what independence really means. It simply means to choose, not necessarily to choose to do everything by ourselves or in a way that doesn’t consider others. The best relationships, organizations, and human connections of all kinds come from creating an atmosphere where everyone can be himself or herself (independent) yet have the freedom to interact in pairs or as part of a group—among our best selves—to make life better. When that atmosphere exists, we each operate in our own brilliance—our Best Us. Imagine a world powered on that kind of interconnection and cooperation!

In astrology, Uranus—that freedom energy—rules the sign of Aquarius, often devoted to the good of the group. I hope I’ve offered a good case for why independent types at their highest expression are destined to become interdependent. Imagine a world where you’re in all your relationships only because you want to be.

We have the freedom to choose to support the uniqueness of everyone we know—and to welcome working together to meet our needs. People with a strong Uranus or planets in Aquarius are also utopian. That perfect world can’t exist until people are uniquely themselves, contributing their one-of-a-kind gifts. As we better ourselves and seek actualization, we make the world a better place—closer to Shangri-La. The pursuit of happiness is in each of our hands and all of our hands.

Happy Interdependence Day!


Photo Credit: Man Embracing Woman, American Flag in Background © Photograph... |


Eileen Williams said...

What an amazing array of interdependent thoughts on independence you've come up with. You are, my friend, the word monger extraordinaire. Even though it's now the 5th, happy Independence Day to you, too!

Eileen Williams said...

What an amazing array of interdependent thoughts on independence you've come up with. You are, my friend, the word monger extraordinaire. Even though it's now the 5th, happy Independence Day to you, too!

libramoon said...

Joyce Mason said...

Thanks, Libra Moon, for sharing your wonderful poem on the topic of interdependence! What a lovely Vulcan mind meld ...