Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Pluto exactly conjoined the Sibly MC in 1971-2, the time of the Watergate break-in. As Pluto finally moved more than 3 degrees away in 1974, Nixon was forced to resign over the issue.
One of the things about Pluto is that he is hidden. So even when we have a personal Pluto transit, we often do not know much of what is going on: our job is to stay connected to the process, rise to whatever challenges it throws our way, and trust in the eventual outcome.
And that same hidden quality can apply to the external events associated with a Pluto transit. Very few people knew about the Watergate break-in at the time (which was itself symptomatic of a whole range of abuses by the Nixon government). Pluto’s actions did not emerge from the Underworld in which they had been born, with Nixon in tow, until some time later.
I have no reason to suppose that the upcoming Square of Pluto to the US MC will be any better. Pluto has been within 3 degrees of squaring the US MC this year, so the transit has started. And it tells us, as if we needed telling, that we should not trust what the current US administration is getting up to. They are in a desperate situation politically, and Pluto is saying that there may be no limits to the dirty deeds they will get up to in order to hang on to power. They are happening already and will probably intensify, but we will not know the full picture for at least a few years.
It is interesting that the exact squares to the MC do not begin until Dec 2008, which will theoretically be the last days of the current administration. Does this mean (as I asked yesterday) some sort of coup by Bush-Cheney, or further repressive measures in a coup that has already happened? Or does it mean the start of some powerful healing process for the US after the awfulness of the Bush years? One way or the other, it’s something pretty powerful going on – a something that may not be fully apparent at the time, for better or for worse.
Monday, July 30, 2007
But what happens when reality runs so counter to the worldview of an unusually rigid character like Bush? He cannot adapt, and he knows it’s coming, and soon. With his Prog Mars conjoining natal Jupiter ever more tightly, he KNOWS he is right about Iraq and the direction he is taking the US, and this to him might justify some sort of coup in order to maintain his policies.Lynn quotes the following:
“And yet Bush does not come across like a man lamenting his plight. In public and in private, according to intimates, he exhibits an inexorable upbeat energy that defies the political storms. Even when he convenes philosophical discussions with scholars, he avoids second-guessing his actions. He still acts as if he were master of the universe, even if the rest of Washington no longer sees him that way.
"You don't get any feeling of somebody crouching down in the bunker," said Irwin M. Stelzer, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who was part of one group of scholars who met with Bush. "This is either extraordinary self-confidence or out of touch with reality. I can't tell you which."
So has he got something up his sleeve, which we don’t know about?
Lynn also says the following:
“It was in early May that Bush quietly signed a Presidential Directive permitting the President to have complete authority over all three branches of government in the event of a national emergency, basically giving him dictatorial powers.”
Commenting on one of my recent blogs, Kenna J said:
“From the USA here...
Astrologer Anne Ortelee has said that NONE of the currently declared presidential candidates have the right aspects in their charts to become the next president. (Maybe it was their charts of the declaration moments, I don't remember exactly) Well, this didn't surprise me at all. What motivation would Cheney's regime have for stepping down? It seems very optimistic to me that people think there is going to BE a next election. The recent subtle, gradual shift of power to the Executive Branch-- through various bills signed without notice and riders added to bills after they were ratified by Congress, as well as blatant disregard for the law without reprimand from those whose job it is to impeach-- has mimicked the gradual rise of Hitler. Hitler didn't take power; he was handed it. We have the same situation on our hands. I really can't think of any reason why this current administration would loosen its hold on the catbird seat.
I mean, did all that power get gradually usurped so that they could just hand it over to the next Democrat who gets elected? I doubt it!
I think the events of this autumn are likely to be even darker than you're predicting. Just as Pluto in Sagittarius showed us the dark, damaging side of the US Justice System-- beginning with the truth about racist cops coming out in the OJ Simpson trial-- I think Pluto in Capricorn is going to show us the dark, damaging side of the US powers-that-be. Benito Mussolini said something like, "Fascism should be called corporatism, because it is the merging of state and corporate interests." We're there already, no doubt. Now, it's just a matter of Pluto digging it out for all to see.”
So what do you think? Do many Americans fear this might happen? And might the re-appearance of Venus in late August (see yesterday’s blog) herald the rise of Cheney the Dictator? Cheney would certainly know how to create the legal basis for it.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
She goes on to say that, “The next heliacal rising - the first observable rising of the planet in the morning twilight after it's symbolic retreat- of Venus above the eastern horizon will occur this year on August 24, 2007 at 05:44 EDT for New York and August 26, 2007 at 05:25 London local time for London. It will be interesting to watch news headlines around this time.”
This chart has Venus at 20 Leo. George Bush’s natal Venus is at 21 Leo. There is a significant report on the progress of the Iraq War due in September. It is likely to lead to a major loss of credibility for GWB. With Dick Cheney's Prog Moon reaching 20 degrees of kingly Leo in September, close to his Prog MC (re-located to Washington), he is the one to watch out for.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
The basic reason he is so powerful seems to be that he is a master of the weft and weave of government, and revels in the detail of policy-making in a way that Bush, notoriously, does not. The way the article puts their relationship is this:
“In all of this it would be crude to suggest, as some have, that Cheney called the shots while Bush merely saluted and shuffled behind. In the final analysis the buck stops with Dubya. But to say that Bush made all the big decisions, having duly taken the advice of his VP, would also be to miss the nuance of their relationship. In many cases the advice that Cheney gave his President was so narrowly cast that there could only be one serious outcome.”
Cheney is very private and secretive, which is why it’s hard to know what’s going on with him. On Google Earth, you can home in on the White House in a lot of detail. But you can’t home in on Cheney’s official residence: all you will see is a blurry fuzz.
He’s quite up front about all this: “Am I the evil genius that nobody ever sees come out of his hole? It’s a nice way to operate, actually.”
Dick Cheney: 30 Jan 1941 19.30 Lincoln Nebraska
George Bush: 6 July 1946 7.26 New Haven Connecticut
Astrologically, his chart has resonances with that of Gordon Brown, the current UK Prime Minister, who was also a long-term 2nd in command who wielded unprecedented power. Gordon Brown has Moon conjunct Pluto in Leo, Cheney has Sun in Aquarius opposite Pluto in Leo (opposite signs have a lot of similarities). And they are both very Piscean/Neptunian: Cheney has Moon in Pisces opposite Neptune; and Brown has Sun, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Node in 12th House Pisces.
Both are known for their power machinations and for being very private people. The privacy may be Piscean: underneath it all they are probably both extremely sensitive people, easily hurt, and their response has been to keep the world at bay by trying to control it. The Composite Chart between these two men has 2 grand trines in Air, so they may well turn out to be kindred spirits.
And this brings me on to Cheney’s ‘Ascent’. (Thanks to Nancy for the epithet ‘Darth’). A number of people I’ve encountered have felt for some years that something may happen to Bush in the final period of his Presidency. Lynn alluded to it the other day, when she was talking about Uranus in Bush’s chart over the next year, and she said: “All of this would seem to add up to a major revolutionary event that will occur for him this year, and I am betting on this to happen in the autumn when a number of challenging Mars and Jupiter events will exacerbate the restless and revolutionary fervor of the Uranian energies.”
It does seem to me to be increasingly probable that time will be called on the Iraq War sooner rather than later. (This is Nancy Pelosi’s job: finding the right time to strike.) It also seems to me that Bush will have no way of dealing with this either politically or personally.
If we look at Bush’s Progressed Chart, relocated to Washington, we see that his Progressed Moon entered the 4th House, the place of least visibility, in Spring last year, as the political pressure began to make concessions over Iraq. It will remain in the 4th House for the rest of his Presidency.
What I find really interesting is that Darth Cheney’s Progressed Moon (relocated to Washington) is moving up to conjoin his Prog MC in Dec 2007. Cheney’s Prog Moon is entering the place of maximum visibility just as Bush’s is becoming invisible, and just as his Vice-Presidency is entering its final year. Cheney’s re-located Solar Return up to Jan 2008 has Pluto opposite the MC, and next year’s has Uranus opposite the MC. Upcoming events and the astrology together suggest the possibility that Cheney may take over as President during Bush’s final year.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
At least animals don’t pretend they’re not materialistic. I was saying in yesterday's blog how in certain circles it’s seen as perfectly normal for women to chase after blokes because they are rich, and to marry them mainly for that reason. They are seen as having made a good catch. This is the general approving opinion, but you’re not allowed to say it. You’re supposed also to think that the couple got married purely because they are in love. People have these contradictory attitudes in their heads, and they’re not aware they are contradictory, because they lead unexamined lives. When I turned 40, my father said to me, “You know, there’s still time to go out and make £100 million!” I said, “And what then?” This threw him for a moment, because having £100 million is such a self-evident virtue, then he said, a bit blusteringly, “Well, the world of women will open up to you!” This is a man whose present wife once announced in his presence (quoting someone else) that the only job a wife can’t delegate is the bedroom.
I’m not going to pretend I don’t like money, but it isn’t a source of meaning for me. With Scorpio-Taurus Nodes, however, it has been a long struggle to get a balanced view of the material realm, and not to feel defensive about not being materialistic. The challenge of Scorpio is to move away from the false sources of power – money, status etc – and to find real power within, that can’t be taken away. It seems to me that money is a big deal for most people, even if they’re not materialistic. I don’t mean a big deal from the point of view of getting hold of enough, but all the psychological issues around it. We are in the 8th House here.
And we are living in an age in which there are a lot of extremely rich people, what the New York Times called ‘America’s New Gilded Age’, a reference to the period before World War I, when “powerful enterprises, dominated by men who grew immensely rich, ushered in the industrialisation of the United States.” With Pluto (riches) coming to the end of its time in Sagittarius (expansion, excess), it is perhaps not surprising that we are in such an age again.
I haven’t got anything per se against people dedicating their lives to becoming rich. If that’s what turns them on, then who am I to try and stop them? Obviously the way they go about it has to be contained, because such people can be extremely ruthless. What also needs containing is the parading of these people as superior, as possessing more virtue than ordinary people, when often they’ve just got a big hole of inadequacy in them that they’re desperately trying to fill.
Many CEOs now get vast salaries, and as one chief executive said: “Obscene salaries send the wrong message through a company. The message is that all brilliance emanates from the top; that the worker on the floor of the store or the factory is insignificant.”
Such CEOs argue that though their incomes are very large, it only reflects a small share of the corporate value created on their watch. In reply, Paul Volcker, a former Federal Reserve Board Chairman, says “I don’t see a relationship between the extremes of income now and the performance of the economy…The market did not go up because businessmen got so much smarter.” He added that the 1950s and 1960s “were very good economic times and no one was making what they are now.”
It doesn’t necessarily seem wrong to me that someone who has trained for a highly skilled job and who works long hours should earn more, but what is happening now is out of all proportion, it really is Pluto in Sagittarius at its worst, bloated and arrogant and out of touch with reality. Pluto in Capricorn would classically correct this, Capricorn has a sense that there should be a proportional relationship between what you do and what you earn. So there may be a corrective coming. On the other hand, Capricorn is also big business, so it might get worse. It might become the established way of doing things.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
First of all, many thanks to Melody and Lynn for posting their blogs here while I was away. I've enjoyed reading them. I was camping for a few days at an organic farm on Bodmin Moor. The weather was crap, as it has been in England all summer. It's something to do with El Nino. But I did manage to read Tom Wolfe's novel "I am Charlotte Simmons", about a very bright country hick from the mountains of North Carolina, who goes to a posh university and who begins to flunk her grades, because she finds another way of being seen as 'special': dating one of the basketball stars. It starts off with her being terribly disapproving of sex and alcohol, and you think she might be starting on some sort of deeper journey of liberation, but no, it turns out that underneath it all this moralising country hick is just as shallow as all the people she once disapproved of.
Which brings me on to the subject of Prince William and Kate Middleton. These two split up 3 months ago and now they are back together again. As I argued in an earlier blog, I think Miss Middleton is on the make - like Charlotte and her basketball star - but I don't think she's aware of it for a moment, and nor is Prince William, bless him; and the media, for once, seem to think it would be going a step too far to say that Miss Middleton's motives are anything less than pure. I don't hold this against Miss Middleton, because there are thousands like her, and in certain backgrounds (like my own), being on the make is seen as perfectly normal, even desirable behaviour.
One look at Prince William's transits, however, tells me there there is no way this relationship is going to last, not at his age.
Prince William: 21 June 1982 21:03 London UK
Prince William is currently going through the biggest period of change of his life so far. Pluto is currently conjoining his ASC at 27 Sag, and over the next few years will oppose his Sun and Moon in early Cancer. He is becoming a very different person, the Prince William of his adult years who we have yet to encounter. Not many relationships begun at a young age can withstand this sort of change: it is time to move on. More than this, William's Sun and Moon are in the 7th House of Relationships, so the Pluto transit will be particularly transforming this area of his life; and his Venus is at 25 Taurus, which Neptune will be squaring over the next couple of years - again transforming his love-life.
What is noticeable about William's chart is the degree to which relationships are going to define his life: Sun and Moon in the 7th, and a strongly aspected Venus, being closely conjunct Chiron and in a yod with Pluto and Neptune/ASC. Also, with Sun and Moon opposite Neptune, as well as Neptune Rising, it may be hard for him to find a full sense of himself outside of a strong relationship. This may be to some extent a weakness, but it may also be just how he is built. This may be why he is currently back with Kate: it is helping give him back his sense of who he is.
There is a LOT going on for William in the area of relationships, and it is going to be fascinating watching it unfold over the coming years. It is not quite so common for men to be defined by their relationships, but it looks like William will be. As was his mother, Princess Diana, who had Venus one degree off William's at 24 Taurus. And, interestingly, as was his great-great uncle, Edward VIII (Duke of Windsor), who in 1936 abdicated the throne for an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson: he had Venus at 23 Taurus (unaspected, so it was hard to integrate into the rest of his life), and Sun at 2.20 Cancer, bang on Prince William's Sun-Moon midpoint.
Duke of Windsor: 23/6/1894 21.55 London UK
In terms of major aspects to planets, Prince William's Venus merely makes a wide, out-of-sign opposition to Uranus, so again it is not unlike the Duke of Windsor's unaspected Venus. And they both have star quality. The Duke of Windsor as a young man made royalty sexy, and so does William (Prince Charles may be guilty of many things, but not this particular sin!)
With Sun and Moon in conservative, family oriented Cancer, Prince William feels at home in the circumscribed life of the Royal Family (an institution which the playwright David Hare once described as "a very expensive way of being cruel to a small group of people.")
And what might this yod to Venus mean? With outer planets at the base of the yod, I think that one meaning is that Prince William's love life is fated to be circumscribed by the demands of the collective. The conjunction of Venus to Chiron suggests that he will experience this as wounding, and for him there will be resonances of his mother's marriage (Diana's Venus being conjunct William's), and the unbridgeable gap between his parents. What Diana did not understand was that her marriage took place in order to meet a collective need, as royal marriages have always done, and it is therefore naive to expect personal fulfillment, but by the same token perfectly acceptable to have lovers.
Prince William does not have the chart of a rebel, although with his weak Venus-Uranus opposition, he may wriggle a bit against the sort of marriage expected of him. With Aquarius Rising, and Mars in Aries square to his Sun, the Duke of Windsor had a lot more rebellion in him. But being so family oriented, and marriage oriented (7th House Sun and Moon), the traditional type of royal marriage may be very painful for William.
With Neptune Rising in Sag, Jupiter on the Midheaven, and his mother's Venus, we will all come to love William. He will be able to live comfortably within the tradition he has grown up in - not necessarily a sin! - and will be very focussed on his wife and family. But with Venus conjunct Chiron, there may be a secret heartache of not being free to marry who he wanted, maybe due to pressure, or maybe - Kate - because he got married too young. At the same time, being so Cancerian, he will really try to make his family work.
Monday, July 23, 2007
A T-square forms a planet makes a 90 degree angle to two planets that are in opposition (180 degrees) from each other. The conflict inherent in the 90 degree angle, or square, typically generates pressure for a result. The opposition, or 180 degree angle, creates a tension between the two planets that can lead to an impasse or, more productively, to balance. There is stress and tension in a T-square that is resolved through crisis, and ultimately the conflict of the squares helps to push the opposition over the edge into a resolution and balance.
When Mars is the apex planet of the T-square, the planet that is forming the squares to the planets in opposition, there is that much more energy produced. Mars is the planet of war - it rules our physical energy and that which drives us. Mars is in Taurus now, where it is persistent and powerful, but it can also be stubborn and stuck. As Mars squares Neptune over the next few days we may find ourselves stuck (Mars/Taurus) in our illusions (Neptune) as well as finding our self-confidence (Mars) eroded and confused (Neptune). Just a few days later Mars will square Saturn where it will fight (Mars) the restrictions that Saturn places on us. The stew created by these warring influences can be difficult - we are irritated at the boundaries we find via Saturn, but Neptune has blurred our drive for success and we may find it challenging to try to find our way. Still, the Martian influence is a catalyst for change and can help motivate us to take any actions we find required after the dilemmas posed by the Saturn/Neptune opposition.
Mars moves quickly and this is not a long-lasting cycle. It will be most difficult for those of us with planets in the late degrees of the fixed signs: Leo, Aquarius, Taurus and Scorpio. Still, it's a good time to practice the fine art of letting go and finding the point of balance within.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Venus will begin her retrograde journey on July 27, moving back into Leo August 9 – October 8 before returning to Virgo. We have seen her as the bright evening star for some time, but by the end of July she will no longer be in the Western night sky. I will definitely be missing her, but by the end of August Venus will be seen as the morning star, visible just before sunrise.
From our earthly perspective, Venus is retrograde less than any other planet, so this is a rare phenomenon. She is also at the 2 degrees Virgo point from July 21 – August 2, a whopping 12 days.
She never stations at an exact minute, but her slowing down since July 17 contributed to last week’s gravity. The Sabian symbol for 2 degrees Virgo is “A large white cross dominates the landscape.” The wisdom and compassion, which only the experience of suffering and isolation can bring. Rudhyar talks about the lesson of detachment that this brings through the “crucifixion” of the ego on the Path that leads to Initiation.
Venus at 2 degrees Virgo is a powerful time of transition and healing. Where does this point land in your chart?
The Sabian symbol for 3 degrees of Virgo is “Two Guardian Angels.” Invisible help and protection in times of crisis. Rudhyar writes that through the crucifixion of the ego, we may develop a sense of deep companionship with consciousnesses, which may be really different than one’s own mind but will help to bring strength within.
Venus is in her fall in Virgo because if one is feeling insecure or unsure it is easy to be critical of one’s own and the world’s shortcomings, contaminations and imperfections. Analyzing one’s feelings is a reaction to trying to understand the imperfections with one’s mind. There is an inherent idealization of the harmony that comes through things working well and smoothly, good manners, social order, and Venus in Virgo contributes through service and so purifies the essence of love.
Because I have a Virgo Moon, a friend of mine who gave me my first real astrology reading told me the story of how Native Americans would weave a beautiful white blanket but intentionally leave a yellow bead towards the middle as a reminder that nothing is perfect. The journey that Venus in Virgo puts us on is the same. In learning to understand humankind’s imperfections, there is a softening and acceptance of each person’s unfolding path and its inherent cosmic perfection, including our own and our ability to accept that less pure with the pure. And so the highest energies of Venus in Virgo include gentleness, kindness, service, caring, altruism, and a love for ourselves and for all humanity, as we are all one in the end.
This theme parallels Virgo retrograde, those rare periods of introspection where we are inwardly adjusting and focused on our relationship with others and ourselves. Resources and values are an extension of this in the sense that we value what we think we need in terms of others and resources (such as money) to survive and feel secure.
There are many questions that may come up during the next week. Perhaps we need to rebel against societal expectations so that we can feel good about staying true to our own values. Perhaps we are being challenged to examine how we are being critical of our failures, or adjust our thinking towards looking at the changes that would bring harmony and self-love back into our lives. Perhaps we need to look at areas where there is guilt looming heavily in the background and adjust our perspective so that we can let the guilt go. Guilt is a very toxic emotion and sometimes is warranted to herd one back to a higher path, but often is acquired through impersonal expectations and conditionings of others and society. To buy into the guilt is to be controlled. Perhaps this is a time to see how one’s judgments and self-acceptance or lack of are affecting the areas of one’s life that are being influenced by this transit.
This is a time to learn and grow. I would suggest that whatever your last year has brought, this point on your chart is the place of healing, self-love, and a purer more perfect sense of yourself.
The new age bookstore that I frequented in North Carolina where I live was very limited on the subject, but a book called Drawing Down the Moon had a resource guide that provided newsletters and other publications with source material for my new quest. Just a few years later (Uranus/Neptune conjunction in 1992-94), internet chatrooms on America Online and elsewhere began to provide an infinite amount of knowledge on all kinds of magic, witchraft, and paganism.
Pluto entered Sagittarius in 1995, transforming (Pluto) the realm of publishing and information (Sagittarius), a process which included taking underground realms of power and magic (Pluto) and spreading them to the masses via the media (Sagittarius). Today, any teenager can buy a pentagram, a cauldron and a scrying mirror. The popularity of the Harry Potter book and film series began under the passage of Pluto through Sagittarius which began in 1995 and concludes this year.
The first Harry Potter book was published on June 26, 1997 with Pluto traveling retrograde through the early degrees of Sagittarius (3 degrees, to be exact). The outer planets are also called transpersonal planets because they download a new awareness into the mass consciousness that is the harbinger that transforms the realm over which the new sign rules. Pluto, being the planet of death, endings, rebirth and the occult, is the natural ruler of Magick. Pluto experiences involve the use of fundamental energies of creation and destruction in order to provide transformative experiences, and harnessing these energies is the role of all magickal practices.
Aside from the obvious connotations of magic, Plutonian themes of death, darkness, rejection, despair, abandonment and power prevail in the Harry Potter books. JK Rowling says, "My books are largely about death. They open with the death of Harry's parents. There is Voldemort's obsession with conquering death and his quest for immortality at any price, the goal of anyone with magic. I so understand why Voldemort wants to conquer death. We're all frightened of it." True, but this is not a subject typically found in children's books.
The Harry Potter series has taken these Plutonian themes and truly brought them into the mainstream through a variety of media Sagittarius) including books, film, board games, computer games, audio boooks and even, in a fiesta of Sagittarian entertainment, a theme park. It's only fitting that the last Harry Potter book, in which the death of our hero may occur, enters the mainstream consciousness just as Pluto leaves Sagittarius for Capricorn. Children who have grown up reading Harry Potter are now entering their adult life (Capricorn) - the first generation to have grown up with an understanding of magic.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Hello! I'm Lynn Hayes, and guest blogging for Dharma while he has a little vacation. Today I'm taking an in-depth look at the emotional nature of George W Bush.
President Bush recently showed his compassionate nature when he commuted the prison sentence of his loyal soldier Scooter Libby because he felt the sentence was "excessive." He demonstrated a great deal of sympathy for the man who merely lied to protect him and decried the suffering of his wife and children. Still, I was reminded that this was the same man who, while governor, was the overseer over more executions than any other governors in recent US history. Bush explained in his autobiography that it was not his job to "replace the verdict of a jury unless there are new facts or evidence of which a jury was unaware, or evidence that the trial was somehow unfair" and therefore it was not up to him to pardon those that were sentenced to death. This is the same man that observed the wreckage of New Orleans from 5,000 feet and seems to care little for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed in his war of liberation.
The President was born under the sign of Cancer, and as such he has a tremendous compassion and desire to nurture those that he loves. Cancer is a tribal sign - loyalty to one's own is paramount. Extremely sensitive to attack from outside, Cancer will fearlessly protect members of the tribe from that outside influence. You can read more about President Bush's chart in this earlier article and this update, but it is significant that a stellium of four planets in Libra (Neptune, Chiron, Moon and Jupiter) all square this Cancer Sun, creating challenge in his ability to accomplish that tribal protection.
The square from Jupiter (King of the Gods) to the Sun describes the arrogance and overconfidence that Bush projects as well as the religious fervor and righteousness that describes most of his political process. His Moon/Jupiter conjunction in Libra shows that he truly seeks harmonious interactions with others, but the square to the Cancer Sun makes that extremely difficult as the conscious application of the Cancer influence is primarily concerned with protection of the tribe.
This Moon/Sun square often is illustrative of an individual whose actions (Sun) are cut off from their emotions (Moon). This is made even more difficult by the conjunction of Chiron to the Moon which creates a continually vulnerable emotional state that requires regular attention in order to heal. We know that GWB was deeply affected by the early death of his sister and it is likely that this wound has never healed. When we ignore the pain of our inner wounds they drive us in ways that are not always productive. From a recent Washington Post article:
And in this same article Alastair Horne, a British historian who met with Bush recently, was surprised at Bush's tranquility: ""He was very friendly, very relaxed," Horne said. "My God, he looked well. He looked like he came off a cruise in the Caribbean. He looked like he hadn't a care in the world. It was amazing."
And yet Bush does not come across like a man lamenting his plight. In public and in private, according to intimates, he exhibits an inexorable upbeat energy that defies the political storms. Even when he convenes philosophical discussions with scholars, he avoids second-guessing his actions. He still acts as if he were master of the universe, even if the rest of Washington no longer sees him that way.
"You don't get any feeling of somebody crouching down in the bunker," said Irwin M. Stelzer, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who was part of one group of scholars who met with Bush. "This is either extraordinary self-confidence or out of touch with reality. I can't tell you which."
Cancer can be a difficult sign for men in general because the sensitivity of that sign is not supported in society these days, so we see a man whose inner nature is extremely sensitive and sympathetic, but whose world view (Sun square Jupiter) is dogmatic and ideological, where there are no shades of gray and if you're not with us you're against us.
GWB's progressed Moon just entered Capricorn at the end of April. For the past two and a half years the buoyant optimism of the Sagittarian progressed Moon has carried him blithely through the most difficult of circumstances. The Capricorn progressed Moon bestows a far more serious approach to life, and it was in early May that Bush quietly signed a Presidential Directive permitting the President to have complete authority over all three branches of government in the event of a national emergency, basically giving him dictatorial powers. In Capricorn we seek to have control over our environment and build something lasting; the ends justify the means as they do for all of the cardinal signs. Over the next two years as the progressed Moon passes through Capricorn, Bush will struggle for recognition as a leader and will work hard to stifle anything that stands in his way.
At the same time, transiting Uranus is in the closing square of its cycle to his natal Uranus, an event that occurs for all of us around age 62 and signifies a breaking free of restrictions that are holding us back during what we fear is our last hope for a liberated life. This phase of the cycle follows the opposition at age 41 and is often the harbinger of broken marriages and new careers or retirement. Uranus is exactly conjunct Bush's North Node, so transiting Uranus will square that point in Bush's chart as well. In one more powerful Uranian signature, Bush's progressed Midheaven is exactly square to the Uranus/North Node conjunction in his chart. All of this would seem to add up to a major revolutionary event that will occur for him this year, and I am betting on this to happen in the autumn when a number of challenging Mars and Jupiter events will exacerbate the restless and revolutionary fervor of the Uranian energies.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Since 1993 we have been in a rare period in which all three outer planet pairs – Uranus-Neptune, Uranus-Pluto and Neptune-Pluto – have been in the waxing phase of their cycles with each other, and will remain so until the year 2047, when Uranus will oppose Pluto and begin the waning phase of its cycle.
The outer planet cycles govern the longer-term patterns and developments of humanity. The waxing phase of a cycle is a creative, constructive phase, which reaches its culmination at the Opposition; after that comes the waning phase, when the fruits of the waxing phase may be lived out, but which also results in the decay of the old pattern and the planting of the seed of the next cycle.
The last time that all 3 outer planet pairs were waxing was during the years 1479-1538 AD, when the Renaissance was spreading through Europe; and the time before that was during the years 965-1029 AD, the period when most of Europe finally came under Christian influence. These were both periods of cultural re-birth, shaping the character of the western world for centuries afterwards. (1)
The earlier period gave rise to the Middle Ages, when the orthodox Christian Church reigned unchallenged as the presiding cultural and spiritual force in Europe. And the period of the Renaissance saw a re-birth of classical learning and knowledge, and an artistic and scientific flourishing, all of which led to a breakdown of the cultural hegemony of the Catholic Church and the birth of the modern world.
So the outer planet pairs are telling us that we too are living in a rare time of cultural re-birth, and that what is happening now will fundamentally shape the character of our culture for centuries to come, presumably until the next time all 3 outer planet pairs are waxing, from 2508-2553 AD. Because it is a time of cultural re-birth, it is also a time of a death of the old culture, just as paganism pretty much died out when Christianity gained ascendancy, and just as the Catholic Church as a unifying cultural force began to die at the time of the Renaissance.
It is hard, if not impossible, for us to know very clearly what it is that is being born and what it is that is dying, because we are living through it, we ARE it. But astrology does at least give us the insight that such a tectonic shift is occurring.
The nature of the cultural change that we are passing through is a whole subject in itself, but it is worth suggesting for now that much of it may be based in the gradual death of an Age in which the solar principle has reigned supreme at the expense of the lunar principle, in which man has been elevated above woman, rationality above feeling, spirituality above nature. This split has clearly characterised – even vitiated - our western culture for many centuries, and yet at the same time it has clearly begun to break down. What will replace it has only just begun to be born.
Like any major cultural change, it has been a long time in the making, and the current astrological configuration needs to be seen as the intensification or fruition of a pre-existing trend. The Renaissance, for example, began not in 1455 but in 13th Century Italy. In the same way, Freud’s work, which displaced man as a rational animal and gave power to an irrational ‘unconscious’, began to be published at the end of the 19th Century, 100 years before the present cultural re-birth.
It is easy to be pessimistic about humanity’s future in the coming decades. We do, after all, face a number of major problems, any one of which could lead to a collapse of our present civilisation: there is the coming energy crisis, when the supply of oil will no longer able to meet demand; there is the spectre of uncontrolled nuclear proliferation, which has started to become a reality over the last decade; and there is the environmental crisis, just one aspect of which – global warming – could eventually make the earth a lot less habitable.
All of these problems are becoming immediate, and with the Uranus-Pluto square that is coming up in just a few years time, it is hard not to see some kind of a reckoning, a necessity to really face these problems. I think we are on the verge of a very testing period. The Uranus-Pluto Square will hit major points in the charts of all the major western powers.
So there may well be wars, famines, environmental disasters etc. But also, something deeply new is coming into being, a seed that is only planted once every 500 years. It seems to be in the nature of human civilisations that we do sometimes pass through very difficult times, and since WWII we have had a remarkable run of peace and prosperity, at least in the West. But there is also renewal.
So we need to see the coming Uranus-Pluto Square against this essentially creative cultural backdrop. It doesn’t mean that we won’t have wars, plagues and natural disasters. But it does suggest that it is not the end of civilisation as we know it: rather, it is a period in which, at all sorts of levels, something new is trying to be born.
The last Uranus-Pluto square was also Cardinal, and it was in the late 1920s/early 1930s. It resulted in WWII. As a t-square with Saturn it lasted longer, and was tighter, than the coming Uranus-Pluto-Saturn t-square, which I therefore expect to be less cataclysmic. Also, the last t-Square took place against the backdrop of a dying civilisation, it was one of the death throes of the last 500 year period. So I think we can be more optimistic about this one, even though there are similarities to the 1920s/30s t-Square.
I think that the essential meaning of the coming Uranus-Pluto Square is an intensification at all levels of the wider process of renewal – social, political, artistic, religious, technological, environmental and so on. Uranus, the planet of evolution and revolution, of sudden change, of originality, inventiveness and genius is being re-empowered and transformed by Pluto. It is a very testing and challenging transit, but because of that it contains the power to re-energise and move things on in all sorts of creative and unexpected ways.
If we think in terms of centuries – a human rather than an astrological category – then the Uranus-Pluto Square is the first real test of this new century. The Saturn-Pluto opposition of 2001/2 was obviously very important, but it was not 2 outer planets aspecting each other. So even 9/11, traumatic as it was for the USA, will start to fade in significance as Uranus begins to square Pluto. It will be seen, perhaps, as just one incident in a relatively short-lived struggle with the Arab world, based ultimately on control of the oil supply.
(1) For the sake of accuracy, there have been 3 major periods since 965 AD (including our own), of between 52 and 78 years, when all 3 outer planet pairs have been waxing. There have also been 2 minor periods: 5 years between 1137-1142AD, and 10 years between 1891-1901AD. These 2 periods could be seen as prefiguring what came later, e.g. the re-discovery of Aristotle’s works in A.D. 1150, foreshadowing the Renaissance re-discovery of classical texts.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Looking at it now, the cycle of Saturn transits to GWB’s Mars is a textbook case.
Saturn is the natural ruler of the MC, so the cycle of his transits to the actual ruler of the MC are bound to be interesting, reflecting the development of our career-path. You can’t really do this with any of the other Angles, because their natural rulers – Mars/ASC, Moon/IC and Venus/DESC – are fast-moving planets, so their transits tend to be triggers rather than transformative.
I looked at this cycle with my own chart and it worked very well. I did it with my Virgo rising chart, where Mercury rules the Gemini MC. Trouble is, I also have another chart with Libra Rising and Capricorn MC, and the Saturn transits also worked well, but they would, because it is the Saturn cycle itself.
A couple of months ago I asked my blog readers to comment if they thought I had Virgo or Libra Rising, and I had loads of people saying I’m Virgo, and just one who said I’m Libra Rising. Which was fairly convincing. Then I asked my astrobabble group in Glastonbury, and to a person they were convinced I am Libra Rising. But they only know me as a person, rather than the real me who is to be found in print! So the jury is still out, though I’m favouring Virgo.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Again Brown has done something I agree with, and his capacity for political manoeuvring has served the British well. It is all in preparation for a visit by himself to the US in a couple of weeks. And it begins to bring to an end the national humiliation of the Blair-Bush years, in which the UK was subservient to the US administration, and a very bad one at that. So thank you Mr Brown!
Mr Bush’s position has been crumbling not just because of the White House report, but because more Republican Congressmen are coming out against the war. The Democrats on their own have the numbers to block funding for the war, but then they would be seen as the ones who lost the war. The more Republicans they can get on board, the more politically possible it becomes for them to start to bring the war to an end.
Mr Bush’s Mars is under pressure from Saturn. Like his natal Saturn and Neptune, it is unaspected. His Mercury conjunct Pluto is also unaspected. It is not always clear what to make of unaspected planets, but in principle it means that the planet concerned tends to operate independently of the rest of the chart, that aspects of the personality operate autonomously. Or that they don’t get a look-in. In Bush’s case, because neither the Sun nor Moon are involved, we are not talking about a fundamentally split personality, just sides of him - voices in his head? – that go their own way. When an unaspected planet does go its own way, it can be quite powerful, because it is not reined in by the other planets.
We could argue that Bush’s unaspected Saturn made it hard for him to give shape to his life in his earlier years: Saturn didn’t get a look-in. It is in the 12th House, the House of ‘self-undoing’, and having had a good run with his Saturn, he is now faced with political disaster. And it is all his own doing – George Bush is not an unlucky man at all, as his natal Jupiter shows. He has had a lot of luck, but he has misused it.
We could also argue that his unaspected Neptune makes him susceptible to delusion. He may, for example, think he hears the voice of God speaking through him, and the unaspected nature of Neptune means the rest of his personality is not able to get involved and question it. It could also describe the inability to control his drinking of his earlier years.
Mercury-Pluto unaspected (on the ASC) means he can be taken over by, and give voice to the unconscious of the nation, to its darkest fears, to it’s most unpleasant attributes. Hitler, with his unaspected Neptune-Pluto, also did this. Bush’s Pluto is also ‘out of bounds’, which makes it even more powerful.
And then there is Mars. How the hell do you manage to invade a country and hardly have a clue what you are going to do afterwards? This is autonomous Mars: it is the ‘Top-Gun’ moment that matters. It’s like those stickers that say ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.’ It’s easy to buy a dog, or conquer a much weaker country. The real work comes afterwards, and this is something that children – and less-than-grown-up adults – do not take into account.
If you look at GWB’s life, the transits to Mars have played a very important role. You could argue that with natal Sun square to Chiron and natal Moon conjunct Chiron, the centre of his personality is so damaged that his unaspected planets, as autonomous sub-personalities, have played an unusually large role. Hence the importance of the transits to Mars.
His natal Mars is at 9.18 Virgo. Neptune squared his Mars in 1974, in the middle of his alcoholic period, and sextiled it in 1987, as he was emerging from his alcoholic period.
Pluto squared his Mars in 1999, as he was successfully running for Presidency.
Uranus opposed his Mars in 2005/6 when, having won his second term as President, it all suddenly began to unravel for him due to the Iraq War.
Then there are the transits from Saturn, of which we are about to see a conjunction. Bush first stood for Congress (unsuccessfully) in 1978, as Saturn conjoined his Mars. In 1986, under the square, his failure as a businessman became apparent as he sold his shares in Spectrum for a loss. In 1994, under the opposition, he won the election for Governor of Texas. In 2001, under the square, we had 9/11 and Bush finding his political purpose as President.
This autumn Saturn will come within half a degree of his Mars, and finally cross it in August 2008. It will complete the cycle that began with failure in 1978 and 1986, took him to triumph in 1994 and 2001, and looks like ending in failure again over the next year as his Iraq policy unravels. And it is Saturn: it is all his own doing, he has earned every bit of what is currently happening to him politically. All the previous hard Saturn transits to his Mars have been turning points in his life, so there is no reason to suppose that this one will not also be.
And because it is Saturn, it suggests he will be ACCOUNTABLE. His big hope has been to play for time over Iraq, let the next President deal with it, and then blame him for losing the War. I’ve been hoping for a long time that he wouldn’t get away with it, and now it’s looking to me like he won’t. Not only does Bush have Saturn conjoining his Mars for the next year, but Neptune will continue to oppose his Venus, dissolving his popularity (Venus) even further, and Uranus will be squaring his Node at 19 Gemini: Pluto opposed this point as the Iraq War began, so it probably means unexpected and unwelcome developments for Bush around Iraq.
On top of this, Pluto will from this autumn begin squaring the Iraq War Sun at 29 Pisces, suggesting to me that the US will effectively (though maybe not overtly) admit defeat over Iraq. I could probably find other astrological indicators as well, but I think the point is made. It looks to me that from this autumn we are going to see the US going into reverse over Iraq, and accountability – and unprecedented political meltdown – for George Bush.
I think the chart for the US government (rather than the country as a whole) is more accurately reflected by the chart for 2nd July 1776 (rather than 4th July), when the crucial vote for Independence was taken, and an independent government became active. If we take the cautiously presented time of 4pm, this gives an MC – the Presidency – at 9.54 Virgo, very close to Bush’s Mars. Saturn will also be conjoining this point over the next year, suggesting that the accountability of the Presidency itself, and the limits of its power, will also be up for discussion.
Friday, July 13, 2007
What has also been found, however, is that we are a lot less conscious than we think we are. Specifically, our decisions are based far more on immediate environmental factors and unconscious cues, and far less on rational thinking, than we would like to believe. For example, after a year’s study, a group of students were asked to fill in a form about their lecturers’ performance, giving marks for clarity etc, and giving reasons for their marks as well. Another group of students were shown 30-second video clips of the same lecturers, with the sound turned off, and asked to assess the lecturers in the same way. Both groups gave almost the same marks to the lecturers.
What this shows is that though it can appear that we are reasoning through our decisions, we may in fact just be responding automatically to cues in our environment. There were a number of related studies I read about, all giving similar outcomes, and leading to the result that we are far more robotic, and less rational, than we would like to think we are.
That, however, is not my take. There seems to be an assumption that rational = advanced and instinctual = primitive and robotic. So though we probably are a lot less conscious than we would like to think, the answer is not simply to try to become more rational: the answer is also to become more aware of our intuitive responses and to take them seriously. Our intuition will then become stronger and sharper, and we become more aware of why we are doing what we are doing. That is the route out of the roboticness that these scientists seem to have correctly diagnosed.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
There is a whiff around the super-casinos, however: firstly of the Manse, of Brown not wanting to see people enjoying themselves; secondly, and more seriously, of authoritarianism. Having proclaimed a return to collective cabinet decision-making, he dropped the super-casinos without consulting his cabinet. It was a Brown dictat. This is the real shadow around Brown that hasn’t surfaced yet in his few weeks as PM. Some might argue that he’s got the job he wanted at last, and maybe he’ll relax now and not be so power-crazed. But I think that the way he ran the Exchequer will be the way he runs the government. Why should he change at his age?
So I’m enjoying seeing him make some good policy decisions in his early period as PM, but I am waiting for the shadow of fear and authoritarianism to return; Brown’s “sheer Stalinist ruthlessness,” as one civil servant at the Treasury, both impressed and horrified, put it.
Back to David Cameron. He has that Mercury in Scorpio square to Moon-Jupiter in Leo that I’ve been waiting to see since he became leader of the Tories. Like Brown he has Moon in Leo. We have a PM and a leader of the opposition, both of whom feel that being king is their rightful and natural place. Brown’s Moon is conjunct Pluto, so it is obsessive, as we all know. Cameron’s Leo Moon is conjunct Jupiter, so it is something he hardly has to try for, he just KNOWS it is coming his way, he was BORN to it. Brown’s conjunction to Pluto, and Cameron’s square to Scorpio Mercury both indicate an ability to conceal this hubris, while at the same time empowering it; other MPs feel it is only proper to bow to them, without perhaps quite knowing why they feel it.
On TV today Cameron was making light of his background (Eton and Oxford, married to a baronet’s daughter), even disclaiming it. At the same time his shadow cabinet is stuffed with Old Etonians. This is Mercury in Scorpio square to Moon-Jupiter in Leo: concealing (Mercury in Scorpio) his allegiance to privilege (Moon-Jupiter in Leo). I say there is nothing wrong in having had a privileged upbringing. There is lots that is great about it, you have had opportunities that others have not had, let us be happy for you. Just do not be proud. But the English are perverse and resentful. The upper class are the new lower class, a privileged upbringing is something you feel embarrassed about. And if you are a politician you downplay it, pretend you have risen above it, and then fill your cabinet with schoolmates, members of the same tribe.
My current take on David Cameron is that at heart he is a toff, he feels the privileged classes are superior and should be rewarded for their superiority. But he has the gift of the gab, he has charm (Sun and Venus in 1st House Libra), and I think he does also have some convictions: I think the environment is one of them. I think it’s time he let us know his convictions, because we’ve seen all the charm and feel-good stuff before, and it’s starting to wear thin.
The people may end up loving him, not because he is one of them, but because he is not. The English resent and love their toffs. England (1801) is a Sun in Capricorn nation, we are deeply hierarchical. But that Sun is (just about) square to Uranus rising in Libra, so we also feel ourselves to be equals. Tony Blair went to public school and then Oxford, but he could also appear to be one of the people. That was why he was so popular. When it came to the people, he knew how to have his cake and eat it.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Norman Mailer cheered me up the other day when he said that Tony Blair is very bright, but that’s not the same thing as having wisdom.
And Tory leader David Cameron pissed me off today when, having commissioned some probably accurate research to show that kids from married parents did better than those bastards whose parents weren’t married, he proposed giving tax breaks to married couples. WRONG ANSWER, David. What about some statistics on kids whose parents stayed married ‘for the sake of the children’ (or ‘for the sake of the tax-break’)? How do they turn out? And who needs the tax break more, the single-parents or the married couples? It’s just the Tories rewarding the privileged all over again.
There is no doubting the brightness of the Blairs and Camerons of this world. But they are also STUPID. At least with George Bush you can’t get confused that way. Blair’s strategy to improve education is to pour money in then pile the pressure on students and teachers. Subtle, eh? Education comes from the Latin, and means ‘to lead out’ i.e. you are cultivating the student’s own inner knowing and curiosity, the trunk of the tree on which knowledge can then be hung. It does not mean “to shovel in loads of knowledge and then stupefy with tests.”
The novelist Will Self commented that the Blair household probably had no books in it. He was wrong. The Blairs have copy of the Bible and, to show how broad-minded they are, a copy of the Koran.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
A while ago you mentioned that, if I had a contribution to your astro blog, I was welcome. Well, I found myself writing something to a fellow geopolitics buff and astrologer in New York State, Curtis Lang, in response to an article by him which started like this:
"Many of our friends, family, clients, customers and neighbors – primarily Americans -- have spoken to us recently about what they describe as a general feeling of malaise, pessimism, and futility they have been experiencing for the last year or two.
It has been perhaps a hundred years since the ruling classes in America have been so bold, so arrogant, and so dominant in every aspect of political, economic and cultural life.
A climate of fear and helplessness pervades the country. This unpleasant climate was triggered by 9/11 and has been tirelessly promoted by a self-serving political elite and a corporate media controlled by a handful of global corporations dedicated to the expansion of their wealth and privilege at any cost."
So I hereby submit the following as a testimony about the deeper effects of the Saturn-Neptune opposition - and perhaps some other things too, such as the back end of Pluto in Sag (proliferation of beliefs).
I think the malaise you talk about is dead serious. I believe it's also not entirely due to the machinations and propaganda of power-structures, obvious and hidden, but it goes deeper - since it is affecting people who are not directly influenced by media machines and the normal pressures most people are influenced and controlled by. It is affecting some of the most conscious and clear people too, like a psychic cobweb settling on planet Earth. Nothing is clear and simple any more - it wasn't before, but a new level of obscuration and befuddlement has come about since around the millennium, though it began perhaps around the Uranus-Neptune conjunction of 1993.
The positive aspect of this is that, before something is 'found', it has to be 'lost' - so perhaps we can see this as the prelude to a new set of developments in which the scenery and situation will become clearer, and illusions will be removed from our eyes. But it's still dead serious. Today I was reading a very critical piece in Le Monde Diplomatique about the negative impact of the current mania about biofuels, and the way so many people believe biofuels are a solution, when in fact it is bringing about enormous problems, and is veiled as a further centralisation of power in the hands of corporations and a replication of the existing over-consumptive system. This is just one issue of very many.
I have no easy solutions. But I am aware that we must not just look 'out there' at the identified 'bad guys'. I'm aware, for example, that the arrival of Internet, in which you and I have both played our part, adds to the befuddlement simply through the proliferation of noise - a rapidly-propagating profusion of ideas and viewpoints which actually complicate things while trying to clarify them. I have been part of this.
But there has indeed been a triumph of the propaganda - and of ordinary people's simplistic ways of reaching conclusions and forming opinions. Thus, in my own work with Hamas, a new political force in the world which has immense potential for cleaning up the world's politics and changing things, while many developments are good when seen from an informed and balanced viewpoint, actually things have got worse, and Hamas' accepted status as a terror organisation has strengthened - to some extent despite facts and reality. The crop circle movement is decimated and neutralised. Glastonbury is slowly being taken over by capital-rich incomers from London, who bring their own agendas and weaken the alternative pole of insight that has been built up here for decades. I suddenly find myself disagreeing with my old friends in Greenpeace over certain crucial issues. Everything is getting fouled up.
Much of this is to do with the general public's tendency to reach for simple, neat answers - but this is partially a response to the proliferation of ideas and viewpoints on the market today. People are too busy to think - or, more, to *feel* and use their instinctual commonsense. This includes us. Even the ideas around 2012 have been corrupted by people who think it's about disaster. Even the Green movement is now advocating a mindset about global warming which might not be true. And people rush off to rock concerts, dish out money and then feel as if they've done some good - when in fact, little changes. I even find that goodwill meditators are thinking up crazy themes to organise meditations for, while overlooking enormous chunks of reality because it doesn't fit neatly into their 'forces of light/darkness' mindset, or the idea that this global linkup will make the big difference. But haven't we already learned that, as soon as you think "I'm having a good meditation", the power of meditation is lost? How naive of us to believe that meditation can solve all things - yet such a proposition is both true and untrue simultaneously.
Saturn opposition Neptune - dis-illusionment, and bigtime! Or perhaps we're talking about the uncontrolled proliferation of beliefs and worldviews symbolised in Pluto coming to the end of Sagittarius, or the worldview-churning effect of Uranus in Pisces.
It would be easy to lapse into apathy at this stage. I certainly have gone quieter in my geopolitical judgements and pronouncements - partially because of the silent or "who knows?" response of many people to fresh ideas. I find myself doing battle with old friends who accuse me of 'collaboration' because I don't rail against Big Brother in the way they do (outwardly projecting the problem onto others, as if to make oneself 'right'). I find myself being accused of being a spammer, anti-semitic, or supporting a male-chauvinist mindset because I'm working with Muslims and Jews. I find myself suspected of corruption because I try to raise funds to support my work.
No easy solutions. We've got to live through this one. It's not isolated to USA - though USA has an amplified version of it. It's not limited to the neat notion that the capitalists or the 'syndicate' are bringing this about (though there's still truth in that). It's something deeper, a consequence of what we have all subscribed to and done, and omitted to do, over many, many years. It goes back to 6,000BC or further. I don't think we're helpless in it, but I do believe it goes a level deeper than we might be looking. And it might also be an historic-scale period of delusion we're in - hopefully the prelude to a breakthrough, but even the idea of a 'new age' or breakthrough can be part of the big illusion.
I think a large part of the problem is that we believe in and look for a Big Answer, which will resolve all things. There is a concept called The Truth - a bit like 'God'. But really, there is truth and untruth within all things, and things can both be true and untrue in the same equation. This doesn't mean we must sit on our hands and just feel confused and resigned. It means we need to reach a deeper level of discernment and understanding - and we must quit trying to establish The Big Answer. John Lennon once sang "God is a concept by which we measure our pain" and, similarly, Truth is a concept by which we measure our confusion and feel inadequate about how we actually are.
Depressing stuff for old campaigners. But we must not give up, and we must give up giving up, and not give up not giving up. Giving up smoking has led so many people to transfer to eating and other consumptive behaviour. Perfectly good people with good lifestyles are falling over with cancer - and I heard of a smoker who finally stopped smoking at the age of 101. This reveals that there's a level deeper which leads us back to a deeper level of transformation by which our voracious needs become quietened, not by giving up, but by coming to a new baseline and standpoint.
I have no neat solution. But I do have a feeling we must go a level deeper. And perhaps world circumstances are building up which are leading us toward this. We need to stop struggling for the big answer and the big strategy and look again at the landscape we're located in. Look real hard, and not just jump up saying "I've got it!".
In Britain, we voted for Tony Blair because he looked as if he had some answers and good motivation - and the reality is, he did and he didn't (and the same applies to folks like Al Gore, who's riding high at present). People now think Tony Blair was wrong - but he was and he wasn't, and that's a biased, reactive, narrow judgement. He did what he did, and he was the best that we could manifest at the time, but he proved to be fallible and as subject to the Faustian contract as much as anyone. So it's back to square one. We must give thanks to George Bush, because he is at least visibly an asshole (that's a narrow judgement too) - but we mustn't fall foul of the erroneous idea that someone else will come along with a magic wand to make it all right again. It's all much deeper, wider and bigger than that, and we must look at the Faustian formula itself. How are we ourselves part of this problem?
Monday, July 09, 2007
I christened him The Invisible Man a few weeks ago, because that was the first thing that happened to him when he began his campaign to be PM: he was filmed talking, but hidden behind an autocue. No half-aware politician would let that happen, but he did, and it fits with his Sun (and Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Node) being in the 12th House and in Pisces. But now I have another epithet, and this time it’s for his Moon-Pluto conjunction in Leo: it’s his Macbeth aspect!
Gordon Brown: 20 Feb 1951 8.40am Giffnock Scotland
Dick Cheney was also mentioned as the real mover behind George W Bush, so in his case his Sun opposite Pluto becomes his Lady Macbeth aspect! And with Moon in Pisces opposite Neptune, he is also The Invisible Woman. Mind you, like Cheney I also have Sun in Aquarius opposite Pluto and Virgo ASC, which is why I always maintain you have to have a sense of the actual person to do an accurate reading for them. Or be psychic.
But it is actually the case that Gordon Brown became obsessed with becoming PM, and felt he had a right to it. Just as Macbeth became obsessed with becoming king, having had it prophesied by the 3 witches, so too was Gordon Brown promised by Blair that the job would one day be his, back in 1994 at the Granta restaurant. So though things are quiet at the moment, with Brown only having been in the job less than 2 weeks, the pattern as laid out by Shakespeare is very clear.
Of course any politician who is determined to become PM – or President – will fit the Macbeth pattern to some extent. But I think Brown fits it more clearly and strongly than most, and I think there will be a lot of trouble sooner or later. Ominously, not enough Labour MPs dared support anyone to stand against him in the election to be leader, so there was no contest, and before long I think we will start seeing the demotion of anyone who Brown feels is a threat to his power.
As one theatre director was commenting, leaders often start out with some ideals, but the position corrupts them, and you see it happening again and again. Mugabe was seen as a new start for post-colonial Africa, but now he’s as bad as they come. Brown has a feeling for a fairer society, and for helping Africa, but I think all that will eventually get lost in the paranoid and divided mess he will create around himself.
Like Macbeth, Brown lacks the killer instinct – it was Lady Macbeth who drove him onwards. Brown has had no Lady Macbeth, and his Mars in 12th House Pisces reflects his irresolution. He lacks direct aggression, a quality a leader needs, and which Blair, with Mars-Jupiter Rising in Gemini, had no shortage of.
We’ve recently had a load of flooding in the North of England, with thousands of houses affected, but Brown hasn’t learned the lessons of Katrina: the government was not seen to be involved for a long time afterwards, and people end up feeling the government doesn’t care. And they’re right. For a PM with all that 12th House Pisces, it is interesting there should be flooding so soon after he becomes PM. As is repeated often, it is not policies that determine the success of a government, it is the response to unexpected events, which Blair was so good at, and which The Invisible Man is not. Though he did OK with the failed terrorist attacks, which happened 2 days after he became PM.
Pisces is noted for being hopelessly disorganised. Brown is a control freak. This often seems to be the way of it with people who have strong Neptune/Pisces: it’s as if the creative chaos is too much for them, so they hold everything down and just let a little out at a time. It has a different flavour to the person who is strongly Saturnian/Capricornian and whose desire to achieve and control is a genuine, if limiting, expression of who they are. With Neptune/Pisces control you feel the person is (unconsciously) shutting something out, which is why they tend to be extreme. And Brown is extreme, extreme in his ambition, in his determination and in his attempts (usually successful) to control those around him. It’s like King Canute. Just wait until Neptune passes over his Sun in 4 years time.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
The chart has Sun and Venus in the 9th, and Mercury, Mars and Saturn in the 10th, good placements for getting something out there and successful. Saturn gives it staying power, while Sun and Venus in the 9th give it a foreign readership (about 15% are from the UK).
With all the personal planets below the horizon of my natal chart, I’ve never found it easy to have a sustained presence in the world, though what I have done has tended to have a power to it that makes it noticed and appreciated. The only thing I have done that has lasted has been astrology. Even then I didn’t start doing regular readings until 5 years ago. I viewed astrology as a weird interest of mine, that I was passionate about and fascinated by, but which I couldn’t fully take seriously. I got over that one, and doing astrology readings has proved enduring. As has writing about it, which only began 2 or 3 years ago, but I know it’ll last.
So with that sort of background, I wanted my blog to be noticed and for it to endure, and the blog chart to some extent reflects that wish. As for that unaspected Mercury Retrograde... I think MR has a lot of power to it if it’s not working against you. I’m not sure what that power is, but I know it’s there. And unaspected: I live with someone who has unaspected Mercury in Pisces, and though ordinary conversation can seem to drift all over the place, and there’s no such thing as a short answer, Mercury is at the same time free (unaspected) to wander in other realities (Pisces), where paradoxically it becomes grounded, inspired and to-the-point. So I think an unaspected Mercury can emphasise its Gemini/magpie quality, wandering around and picking up bright objects.
Tuesday’s blog Solar Return has Pluto conjoining the Sag ASC and opposite Mercury. So I’m not complaining. It’s a ‘More power to my elbow’ aspect.
One thing I like about blogging is that it has strengthened the creative flow in me, it is like a muscle I have kept exercising for the last year, and there is now a ready power to it. One slight disadvantage is that ideas do not have much time to brew in me before they are out there in the blogosphere. It’s my ‘table-talk’! Sometimes I remember a thought that has been with me for a year or two, and when I then blog about it there is always a stronger than usual response from the readers. On the other hand, I sometimes blog repeatedly about the same subject – like Gordon Brown! – and through that process my ideas on that subject can also gain depth.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Though I’ve never had a problem accepting the fact of Evolution, it’s always seemed to me that it has happened far faster than the mechanism of natural selection, random mutations and a bit of jumbling between the parents allowed for. Recently this was confirmed for me when I read about a type of lizard introduced as an experiment to a new environment, where within 6 months their legs lengthened to avoid predators, and then shortened after another 6 months so they could climb trees and avoid them even better.
What’s happening now through the science of evolutionary biology is that the genetic basis for this adaptability is just beginning to be understood. The general finding being made is that animals already have the genes for all sorts of different physical features, and it’s just a matter of them being switched on or off. So adaptation to a new environment can happen very quickly, and new species can therefore arise very quickly.
For example, we have 99% of our genes in common with chimpanzees (speak for yourself, I hear you saying!), but because different genes are switched on or off, we are very different to them. We still have the genes, for example, to be covered in body hair.
In an experiment on chicken embryos, it was found that if one particular gene (also found in other birds) was encouraged to express itself, the chick began developing a wider, taller beak; with another gene, a long, slender beak. So it’s like a lot of it is there already, you don’t need millions of years of random mutations to adapt successfully to an environment.
Where it got spookily interesting was in the case of an ancient fish known as the paddlefish. Investigations revealed genes already present which, if turned on, could lead to the development of fingers, hands and feet, crucial innovations used in emerging from the water to a life on land. Obviously this means that the transition to walking on land can happen more quickly than we might previously have thought. But the really interesting question, which the article didn’t raise, is why should these genes have been there in the first place if there had never been any need for anything remotely like fingers and feet? This is what I find mind-boggling. How does evolution run ahead of itself like this?
What I like about Evolution is that it tells us so much about the life-force, its vitality and creativity, it’s determination to survive and thrive, its sheer variety. And the sense that somewhere there is some sort of direction or purpose to the process, even though it is hard to define. But how the hell does it run ahead of itself like this? It reinforces the idea of some sort of purpose, some sort of blueprint out there in a wider reality that is drawing evolution onwards. And if this is happening on a physical level, why not also on a cultural level with humans?
Sunday, July 01, 2007
It's a photo I took last Friday of 2 of our Lipizzaner mares in our field, and that's Vajramala with the hat on. We only got these 2 a couple of months ago, and already the local witches are onto them, putting plaits into their manes when we're not there and generally making them jumpy. We managed to bounce a whole coven of them 18 months ago using certain Tibetan Buddhist practices designed for that sort of purpose, but we live in an area where there's always going to be that kind of thing going on. (NB You also get good witches in our area). Which is why it's time to move, and has been for some time. I'm hoping that the end of Saturn-Neptune may mean the end of the limbo we've been in for the past 2 years.