science picks and Jupiter/Neptune

Jupiter enters aquarius the first week of 2009 and will conjunct Neptune, also in aquarius, three times in 2009. as the ruler of “the higher mind” jupiter is the planet of philosophy, religion, learning and exchanges with other cultures. aquarius is the sign of the intellect; science, technology, the creative process in social groups (think the Manhattan Project, or more recently, mapping of the Human Genome). This will be a very interesting year as these two planets come together three times; in May, when both are direct, in June, with both retrograde, and finally in December, when both have turned direct again.

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.


models of the world

“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.


more pluto in cap

yesterday I wrote about the current contraction that is taking place in the global economy and the evolutionary reason for this. a really good example of re-learning the value of things appeared in one of my favorite blogs yesterday (dec 2).

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!


can you spell . . .

C-O-N-T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N ??

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.