Saturn, planet of limitations, time, and health, has been in retrograde since December of 2008. Today, it goes direct, meaning that it appears to move forward again. This energy in Virgo sits on the cusp between the 11th and 12th Houses (hopes/fears and dreams/secrets). Health is a focal point again, especially with regard to that which has been brewing during the retrograde period. That which lies dormant while life continues. We can keep an eye out for symptoms of time in our lives.
I awoke early this morning to head into Manhattan for the annual AIDS Walk New York in Central Park. It's something that I try to do every year and though I didn't raise nearly enough this year, I was there, proud amongst the other walkers, with a friend by my side (it was her first AIDS Walk). When the cold, moist breeze blew in my window this morning, I groaned at the thought of leaving my warm bed to journey under a heavy sky. Still, though waking early is never my cup of tea (as anyone who's ever had to awaken me with the dawn will tell you), I always enjoy attending this fabulous event. Choosing my outfit with care, I donned my Laramie Project t-shirt, tucking my pride rings beneath, and drew on a hoodie against the elements.
We attended the opening festivities, hearing from Carson Kressly (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy), Michael Urie ("Mark St. James" from Ugly Betty), Brooke Smith ("Dr. Erica Hahn" from Grey's Anatomy), and Hillary Duff (oh come on; I'm sure you've heard of her even if you don't want to admit it!). There were many wonderful people who organized the event and seeing so many people sitting up there on that stage was inspiring. Then, to the live performance of "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel, we were off.
Last year, with an enormous group, it took almost four hours or so to complete the 10K/6.2mi walk. This year, with one friend by my side, we completed the walk in 2.25 hours (we would have completed it faster, but as my friend likes to put it, we were "bottlenecked"). Not that speed is the goal. Completion is the goal. I barely noticed the time, the weather, or the fact that my knees and back had stopped talking to me because I was enjoying the company. People around us were laughing and striding along with volunteers affiliated with the Gay Men's Health Crisis cheering us on the whole way. Actual cheerleaders were dancing on the sidelines, drag queens with fantastic wigs, folks with strollers and babies, dogs of every kind; everyone was united together against the syndrome that has been a modern-day plague. The enthusiasm was infectious. I'm looking forward to next year - it's the 25th annual walk.
Saturn's release from retrograde to direct was anthopomorphized in the mass of caring people who walked in support of a cure. There are many ways to show support and many worthy causes to get involved in. I suggest everyone find one. It's good for your health.
History of the AIDS Walk (thanks, Wikipedia):
The first AIDS Walk was AIDS Walk Los Angeles, which took place in 1985, and was produced by MZA Events on behalf of AIDS Project Los Angeles. It took place on the lot of Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Shortly afterwards, MZA Events started producing an AIDS Walks for local AIDS organizations all over the country, including AIDS Walk New York for Gay Men's Health Crisis in New York City, and AIDS Walk San Francisco for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. The model that MZA Events created was has since been replicated widely by local AIDS organizations, and today most major cities in America have AIDS Walk events.
For those who are seeking out AIDS Walk in their own area, please visit the AIDS Walk site.