The Bush administration was hostile to any science that stood in the way of their neo-con agenda, and global warming was high on that list. Obama has just picked a science team that understands the threat of climate change very broadly; to our environment and sustainability, to our energy needs, to human health. This is a very positive change and during the first year of Obama’s term, the Jupiter/Neptune alignment could be very supportive.
I say could be supportive as the alignment suggests potentially great advancements in our knowledge, and not just our knowledge, but a deeper understanding of how natural systems work. Natural systems (neptune) are elegant solutions (aquarius) to the problems of existence. But they are killer complex and most are both elusive and beyond our current understanding. Together, these two planets could bring about fundamental advances in both our understanding and our ability to address the problems.
But, as we have seen since neptune entered aquarius way back in 1998, we have also experienced a kind of narcolepsy socially, unwilling or unable to recognize the changes that were taking place in our natural world. We’ve been living in a dream, literally, that we are in control of the natural world, that our artificial/technological/scientific systems have domesticated and subsumed natural systems to serve our needs. We’ve been a ripe audience for the propaganda of “it’s not really happening”.
The pitfall of the coming alignment is over-optimism; this of course will initially affect the entire Obama presidency. The change that has come to the US is the most dramatic and encouraging in decades. but there is true work to be done, and Pluto in Capricorn looms over all 2009’s transits.
The support of science is more fundamental to redressing the policies of the last 8 years than most people think, and I am very encouraged by Obama’s picks. Look for truly impressive discoveries in september when uranus aspects them (in mutual reception to neptune) at 24 degrees of pisces.
“So the problem here is something which looked to be a very solid edifice and indeed a critical pillar to market competition and free markets did break down and I think that shocked me. I still do not fully understand why it happened and obviously to the extent that I figure out where it happened and why, I will change my views. As the facts change, I will change.”
Alan Greenspan, Oct 2008,congressional testimony
"We are, without question, the strongest and most effective industrial union in the world," We have taken on the most powerful corporations in the world, and, despite their power and their great wealth, we have always prevailed."
Walter Reuther, UAW president, 1970
as humans, we try to make sense of the world around us, both on the mundane, day-to-day level, and, for most of us, on a cosmic ‘why’ level as well. Science, religion, ethics and morality, laws and governance are all means for investigating and promoting a sense of order and meaning in our lives. In current parlance, we create “models of our world”; holistic pictures of how things work, what the rules are, the customary behaviors of the actors or forces within the model that we can expect to see.
our models can be self-reinforcing; the more they seem to prove themselves true, the more likely we are to follow them, to invoke their rules if people’s actions don’t follow, or raise expectations about who the winners or losers will be within the model. we begin to believe that our models equal reality and become attached to our expectations. we are comforted by the predictability of things, and when hard times come, we assume we understand the whys and wherefores, and can fix it.
the 'free market' and auto workers' union models worked in their times as responses to those times. but the thousands of intervening days brought incremental social, economic, political, demographic and natural changes that did not fit into the “model”. the models did not change and now they have collapsed. this is Pluto in Cap; the changes that are coming will be fundamental.
but our universe is not static. change is a constant. models need to remain flexible and open to new input, new conditions or risk diverging from reality. when the gap between our view of reality and true reality gets large enough, we have crisis. we have to change.
it is time to look around and see what’s really happening and make the necessary adjustments and re-alignments. many are having this happen to them through external forces of foreclosure and job loss; they are caught up in the immense realignment of the ‘American’ model. once a beacon of light in the world, the fundamentals of freedom, opportunity and ingenuity have been perverted into recklessness, self promotion and greed. it is time to realign those fundamentals within the reality of limited resources, inequality, and the need for tolerance and sustainability. The US made a huge stride in that direction with the election of Obama and I am hopeful that we can make the needed changes. but there are still dark and difficult days ahead. It is our individual choices that will swing the balance and you should take this opportunity to give your own model of the world a reality check.
The yarn harlot's blog is a wonderful canadian take on knitting by a truly compulsive knitter/author Stephanie Pearl-McPhee who also mixes in her own perspective on many, many other topics. on the 2nd, she posted a rave about a brand of knitting needles she had discovered and suggested as a perfect "knitter's gift". superbly-made knitting needles are the quintessential capricornian gift; useful yes, but also a joy to touch, work with and gaze upon. check it out!
capricorn is ruled by saturn, the lord of constraint, limits, accountability, strength and authority. pluto has now entered this sign and will remain here until 2024 or so. as Michael Lutin (his website here) said in a recent talk, pluto will bring to the surface all the issues surrounding a sign when it first ingresses into that sign. for capricorn, this is about curtailing the unfettered growth and optimism of the pluto in sag years in order to strengthen how we structure human life in harmony with the natural world and its laws.
the current contraction is painful, disruptive, destructive, and eventually, transforming. however, we have gone so far into the sag exaggeration of everything, that this has been and will be particularly painful for many.
the evolutionary purpose, however, is to make us regain a sense of proportion and value: in institutions, towards people and for things; to help us regain the knowledge of what we need and how to sustain the critical resources that help us all survive. we will have to go backward however, before we can go forward. this is a time to strip down, cut back, and retrench in order to find out what is truly necessary, and therefore valuable. it is a time to discard what is unsustainable and therefore insupportable. you are very lucky if you are going into this holiday season with plenty. you will be blessed if you can share some of your plenty with others.
you have probably read a lot about Pluto moving into Capricorn later this year, and maybe have even read some of the blogs about how its recent station direct in the last degrees of Sagittarius has triggered the current turmoil. but why??? what is pluto’s role in the freaking stock market, for heaven’s sake??
Pluto represents hidden wealth -- all those underground resources and natural riches (although most astrologers have Neptune as the ruler of oil – go figure). Pluto also rules those incredibly powerful processes of transformation that can create wonderful results, but would you really want to go through them? (think diamonds!). as many have already said, “hang on” because the ride is just beginning.
Pluto in Capricorn is going to transform our social institutions. period. by that, I include markets, governments, energy, education, health care, justice, families. Seriously. because Capricorn IS serious. time to grow up, time to throw out the crap, the frivolous, whatever no longer works. Time to get serious. and because it is Pluto, in Capricorn, whose opposing sign is Cancer, it is going to make us feel very, very unstable for a while… everything will feel like it is at risk, everything will seem to be changing, blowing up in our faces, violently ending. witness the current financial crises. Sucks, no?
so where’s the good news? it is happening to make us MORE SECURE, STRONGER, to restore our moral authority and institutional validity. so much has broken, gone sour, deteriorated, been exhausted, over the last few decades. time to shake things up, break things up, raze the city so we can build the new city. yet, at the same time that Pluto is exploding the crap and bulldozing the rubble, the new, radical, green, or faith-based programs/actions/groups/ideas that are percolating throughout everyone’s communities will be getting stronger and stronger. necessary changes for the better that have been decades in the coming will actually arrive… seriously. (some you’ll like, some you’ll hate… just like now).
saturn turns retrograde Dec. 31. to me, this indicates that the president is going to have a very difficult first few months dealing with the sick institutions and policies left by the previous administration. however, by May Saturn has gone direct, Jupiter and Neptune are conjunct in Aquarius, and some of the new humanistic, inclusionary ideas and policies will be articulated and manifested. (see above).
in March 09, Venus goes retrograde in aries, and by April will square Pluto in the early degrees of Cap. could this be a time of deep reflection on how fair and just our fiscal policies are? why do private companies get to keep their profits, but if they fail hugely enough, the public has to bail them out?? where is the balance between growth and sustainability?
getting from now to then will require taking care of yourself, your health, your relationships. it means being conscious of your resource use; everything from your money to your carbon footprint. moderation and diligence are the watchwords for your everyday life. and if a crisis does occur, the questions you may have to ask yourself are “can I do without this? do I still need this in my life? how could I do this differently?” Pluto can suck, but he really, really sucks if you resist. so I am envisioning the future optimistically, and although I can’t exactly welcome Pluto’s transits, as a scorpio with her sun square Pluto, I’m getting better at dealing with them.
there was a collapse of an ice pillar that held fixed ropes high up on the mountainside to aid the climbers across an ice field. an avalanche swept most of the climbers away. this type of highly technical climbing fits exactly with the mars in virgo signature, while the collapse of the ice is equally well described by uranus in pisces -- a sudden, natural event with radical consequences.
this opposition is about bringing together the precision and careful analysis of the mars in virgo energies for the purpose of creating new things in nature. but it is a very powerful energy and can easily go awry or get out of control. watch the news over the next few days for additional manifestations of this erratic aspect.
Chinese soldiers providing earthquake relief
while most of us are watching the US presidential election, which, btw, will take place on the day the saturn/uranus opposition is exact, other events help us to understand the significance of this aspect.
as I wrote yesterday, I am “working” the Mythology and Archetypal Astrology track at UAC. actually, there was a bit more work involved today as all of the presentations were hugely popular and a lot of chairs had to be added, moved around, etc. to accommodate everyone. by the end of the day, I was a limp rag from trying to process all this amazing information/insight. what follows is my choice for, not the
today it was a panel discussion on mythology and astrology that stretched across individual areas of study/research/interest of the presenters to general discussions of the subjectivity of archetypes, the boundaries between fate and free will, and the intersection of myth and individual lives. Ken Johnson reminded us that astrologers are artists and magicians as well as technicians, and encourages us to not over-interpret our archetypes, but to feel them. Melanie Reinhart currently is working with myths as descriptions of human biological processes, literally, and thus suggests that sources of healing can be found within them. Darby Costello is fascinated with how being “captured” by your own personal myth, or by having an archetype thrust on you (which happens to political leaders or other prominent public figures) can greatly limit the life choices available; thus free will becomes limited by “fate”. Brian Clark advises us as counselors that many myths have multiple outcomes or endings, giving astrologers some options when it comes to giving advice. If there is a choice between giving your client a bleak, hopeless ending and one that, while troublesome, can be accepted, tell them about the latter.
myths are alive. they change over time, they morph genders and hierarchy; what was old becomes new, what was once dominant is subsumed. (Ceres was once considered a planet, then demoted for 100 years; Pluto was also once considered a planet. They are both now dwarves !)
at then end, the panelists honored Joseph Campbell who brought consciousness of myths and archetypes to the public in the 20th Century. If you are not familiar with this man and his writing, he’s a very good place to start you own study of myth and archetype.
UAC does not formally open until tonight but already there are about 2200 attendees and the buzz is constant. literally every big, new or rising star from all branches of astrology are in attendance. the 15 tracks cover medieval, evolutionary, vedic, financial, esoteric and uranian/cosmobiology astrology, to name a few. there is a track on community issues, and one on astrology basics. the best news is that I got my dream track – mythology and archetypal astrology. it’s heaven!
today we had the preconference workshops; 5 half-day sessions given by the cream-of-the-crop astrologers on topics both timely and timeless. More on this below.
I spent my first day as a “room monitor” trying not to be too terribly officious while asking for proof of payment for the workshop, counting heads and distributing handouts. my ”monitor buddy” (there are two room monitors for every workshop and talk) was responsible for doing the digital taping. the good news is that I didn’t have to deal with the high-tech digital recording aspect of the job – not my forte, to say the least. the better news is that everything I wished I could attend but conflicts with my monitor duties can be purchased (at very reasonable prices) in CD or MP3 format practically within minutes after its presentation!
I "worked" Nick Campion’s presentation on national charts. it was fantastic and fascinating. he spoke about “the theory and use of the national horoscope, looking at some practical examples including the
Rule # 2: Thought is more important than technique.
Rule # 3: Astrology doesn’t work, astrologers do!
He couldn’t remember Rule #1 (or if there was one ;-) he’s a great speaker.
I know, I know, it's been a month since a new post has arrived. with apologies, I am a new grandma, remember! but, starting next week, I'll be at UAC in Denver and will be posting daily about the conference, talks, astrologers and ambiance so please bear with me!
with saturn's ingress into virgo, and then turning retrograde in december, and pluto moving into capricorn for the first time in 240+ years, the second pass of the trine feels substantially different in character. both planets are now in earth signs, ruling physical and practical matters. saturn rules structures, boundaries, social forms and norms. in virgo, saturn requires moderation, maturity, careful planning and strong dedication to doing things in the 'right' way, according to natural laws. this is a big change from leo's need to be center stage and to express its individuality.
pluto's temporary move into capricorn gives us a glimpse of the next 16 (yes 16!) years. there has been a lot written about what this time may be like; much of the predictions have been dire. the past 15 years or so of pluto in sag has also been dire at times, with religious fanaticism and resultant wars; ecological disasters and extreme events (think the Christmas Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the melting of the arctic glaciers).
many many hundreds of thousands of people were affected by these events. many many hundreds of thousands of people will be affected by the events during pluto's transit of capricorn. these have terrible personal and individual consequences, and sometimes even 'change the world' as the result; new global relationships, or policies, or knowledge arises from the ashes of calamity. that is the role of pluto - to take us down on the deep psychological journey of death and separation and return us with new eyes, new understanding, furthering our soul's journey towards perfection.
saturn and pluto together present us, in the words of Richard Tarnas in his amazing book, Cosmos and Psyche, with a cycle of crisis and contraction (see page 209 for a very succinct description of this time period). so much astrological discussion is about potential consequences of placements and contacts; however, the value of astrology lies in understanding the purpose of the energies reflected in the planets. and during this particular time, while pluto and saturn are retrograde, we are offered an important opportunity. yes, there is plenty of anxiety circulating today, and it is easy to become paralyzed by that, or the myriad details of our complex modern life. and yes, some of the changes your need to take, or the medicine you may need to swallow could be harsh. but as they form an ongoing trine, pluto and saturn provide both impetus and insight into what may be amiss in your life. it's an opportunity to prepare for the coming contraction and crisis. how is your work situation? your health? how you are squandering or devoting your energies and resources? are you still living that completely unhealthy lifestyle? eating junk? smoking? working too hard? (not working hard enough?). it is time to clean up past mistakes, own up to your misdemeanors, get clear with the authorities. by beginning now, saturn can help you own up to your responsibilities and act like an adult.
pluto in capricorn will take society and its institutions through that underworld journey, to transform how we live together on this planet. there is much room for optimism and anticipation as there is much that should be changed for the better for everyone. but change is also very difficult, so take whatever assistance you can. now is a good time to begin the process.
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.
(i had never heard of a "blogger's meme" before, so had to look it up, in wikipedia, of course)
so, a "unit" of "cultural information" to send on. ok.
the book I'm currently reading is by a Scotsman, Rory Stewart, who walked across Afghanistan shortly after the fall of the Taliban called The Places in Between. he had previously walked across Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal... on foot, 20 - 25 miles a day. when he heard the Taliban had fallen and left the country, he decided to walk from Herat to Kabul. in this passage, he is walking with a local man and meets a mullah who begins to question him about religion:
"What religion is he?"
"He's a Jahdui - a Jew", said Dr. Habibullah. "No, no, I'm an Esawi - a Christian."
Dr. Habibulla turned around, looked at me, and then said to his friend, "I can't work this out - is there a difference?"
The chart for North Korea, formally known as the DPRK is based on a
The first thing you notice is the mars on the south node, in scorpio. this is a signature of tremendous suspicion, violence, power struggles and militance. and it squares venus in leo, suggesting that the country takes all these threats very personally and with high drama. but the history of
On feb 26, the NY Philharmonic visited:
It was the first time an American cultural organization had appeared here, and the largest contingent of
The concert brought a “whole new dimension from what we expected,” Mr. Maazel told reporters afterward. “We just went out and did our thing, and we began to feel this warmth coming back.”
mercury, venus and neptune are currently in aquarius, the ‘collective creativity’ sign, and the sun and uranus are in pisces, the ‘we’re all in this together’ sign. pluto has moved into capricorn, opposing DPRK’s natal uranus in cancer exactly. this will continue for quite a while… I like to think it signifies DPRK’s need to join the global family and transform its rigidity into a more mature form of strength. uranus has just transited into a tight orb of opposition to DPRK’s virgo sun, highlighting the need for a more enlightened and tolerant management. For me, however, the most interesting aspect is the nodes on DPRK’s natal saturn at 28° leo . the aquarius/leo nodal axis is about integrating mind and heart through recognition of one’s own as well as others' creativity. my creativity is not the only contribution to the cosmos; yours is needed as well for evolution of our souls. standing apart and merely criticizing others is a self limiting use of energy. life requires participation, exchange, learning from others’ achievements, and the desire to leave something behind once we’re gone. this concert seems to have been one of those exceptional moments when, through heart-felt emotion, progress was made.
i freaking love astrology, mostly because it works! here is a guy who was born in the US but raised in africa, became a mountaineer, a nurse, and found his life's work after a failed attempt to summit K2 left him in a tiny remote village in Pakistan, being taken care of by people who were to become his second family.
evolutionary astrology starts by looking at the nodes of the moon and pluto to attempt to understand one's soul's purpose. with his nodes in taurus/scorpio, greg is concerned with life and death issues; the basic needs of life - shelter, safety and resources (taurus) and an acute awareness that the lack of those basic necessities can lead to struggles, conflict, reliance on others, even death (scorpio). uranus, the planet of modernization and community creativity, is in the sign of leo which rules children and other creative activities. uranus is square his nodes, signifying that the way for greg to integrate the opposing energies of the nodes lies in "improving the lives of children" (among other possible meanings). this is exactly what he has devoted his life to do.
venus is also in a close opposition to uranus, in aquarius (ruled by uranus). venus rules our relationships and our money, and in aquarius, it can mean that one is very attracted to the finer things in life. in greg's chart, however, this signifies his love of the global community and his desire to improve that community through his own unique creative gifts. it is interesting that the original donor to his activities was a self-made millionaire who made his fortune in technology (ruled by uranus) and greg's work is supported by hundreds of donations from the global community.
with his sun in capricorn, he is stubborn, pragmatic and has earned great respect in the global community. his pisces moon speaks to his ability to have compassion for others and his feeling of being a global citizen (as well as indicating his ability to accept any and all food/environments/hardships during his work).
finally, his pluto in virgo, which indicates the soul's purpose, signifies his need to find "the right work". it is squaring his mars in sagittarius, which urges him to seek meaning in his life, be adventurous, and be interested in other cultures and ways of life. squares require action; as a result, greg is a man who has found his path in life and is following his bliss. it has been dangerous, and not without sacrifice, but it has been a huge success.
if you are interested in learning more about greg, his work, or his book, here is the link.
astrology is such a rich symbolic language; cancer rules nutrition and food, and the moon signifies the mother (among many other tangible and intangible meanings). neptune can signify the public, impersonal things in life, or the public arena. it can also indicate difficulty achieving something, or a lack of something due to its dissolving and dissipating nature.
for this little boy, it meant that his feeding had to be supplemented by donor breast milk while his mother recovered from a c-section. his nurture/nutrition (cancer) could not be satisfied by his own mother (moon inconjunct neptune) so he had to go to donor milk, provided by anonymous mothers, all mixed together and kept in a modern 'milk bank' (neptune in aquarius).
this is one of several indications that this little aquarian will benefit from modern technology; he was due to arrive when the sun was still in capricorn, but was breech, and required a c-section to be delivered, allowing him to enter only after the sun had moved into aquarius. this suggests to me that souls do know what they want!
my daughter is about to have her first child, but the path to birth has been fraught with frustration and anxiety as the baby boy is breech and refuses to flip over properly, even with some rather appalling external manipulation done in the hospital, and headstands by the mother-to-be. sigh.
instead, she has scheduled a caesarian on the day the sun moves into aquarius --an aquarian caesarian. rather fitting for the techno-crazy, a-biologic water bearer sign dontcha think? what has also caught my eye, however, is she will have her ceres return (in taurus) a few days before the scheduled surgery, while the sun remains in capricorn. lots of earth.
soooooo.... we are hoping that he will slide into place and come the natural way, as the celestial body that rules motherhood becomes prominent in her chart.