Sunday, June 30, 2013

Don't Think... Feel!

This should be obvious:  there are times when thinking is not appropriate.  In the heat of combat, in the heat of passion, in the performance of athletics, and the passion of musical performance there is no room for the chatter of the mind and no time for reason.  We all have moments when to lose oneself is the only option:  in a shout of exultation or a cry of grief, mind and individuality vanish.  The thoughts of most of the herd of humankind most of the time are repetitive, banal, content-less, and do not confer advantage.  The discipline of meditation, of deliberately stopping the mind, can enrich our lives and yield countless benefits. 

This being the Age of Pisces, however, the exhortation to suspend rationality and give into emotion is everywhere.  Emotion, rather than logic, dominates our politics and social mass-movements.  Modern culture now values passion and animal attraction far over long-term viability in marriage:  perhaps this figures into the modern rate of divorce.  Children, told to follow their dreams and expect the money to follow, graduate from austere halls of learning with degrees in obscure disciplines... straight into the swelling ranks of the unemployed.  Politics is an endless cycle of misplaced faith and inevitable disillusionment.  The joyous wave of "Hope and Change" of 2008 becomes the uneasy cynicism of 2013. It isn't just the modern day:  recall the Children's Crusades, the French Revolution of freedom which quickly became a tyrannical horror, or the Maoist Great Leap Forward which quickly became the Great Chinese Famine.  The entire Age is riddled with tales of great acts of Neptunian faith followed by equally great Neptunian disillusionment. 

Results aside, the message of "don't think... feel!" echoes unabated through our culture.  From Neptune's kitchen in Hollywood, virtually every creation that flickers on our television and movie screens subtly repeats the message.  Soap operas and romances glorify emotion over logic.  Impossibly beautiful men and impossibly beautiful women surrender to each other in rapture on-screen, and the masses then expect impossible beauty and rapture for themselves.  How many find it?  The lives of the actors themselves is a soap opera of passion and disillusionment, repeated without end. 

In the even-more Neptunian corner of the entertainment world that is science fiction, the message is often even more prevalent and pervasive.  In shows like "Star Trek" and "Fringe", among many others, heroes value emotion over logic.  The villains, the "Borg" of Star Trek and the "Observers" of Fringe, are reputed to be malevolent, unfeeling creatures of pure rationality and logic, whose logic drives them to eliminate diversity and forcefully conquer the universe.  Never mind that diversity is nature's most proven survival mechanism.  Never mind that as students of history and as libertarians, we know that all empires fall: the more oppressive the empire, the faster the fall.  Never mind that the drive to destroy and conquer is itself a surrender of logic to passion.  Only in the mind of Neptune can the purest embodiment of logic be the opposite of logic itself. 

This is the Age of Pisces.  These currents will continue, and continue to reap their inevitable results both visible and invisible.  This is the cycle that we who live in this age must experience.  Some of us, however, may be able to employ some of the cold, practical logic of Pallas and escape the worst of the flood. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wendy Davis and Margaret Sanger



Here is a chart for Wendy Davis, the Texas state politician who filibustered and stopped a rather severe abortion bill in her state this week.  I don't know much about her, but the chart is instructive.  On the libertarian side, she has Pallas ruled by Sun which is conjunct and parallel Mercury -- this is quite strong.  Possibly chewing away at that strong ethical base is the South Node trine to that Sun and Mercury.  As with basically all liberals we have a Neptune-Venus connection:  Neptune is quindecile (165 degrees) Venus and widely square her ruler Mars.

Without a time of birth, we have to do some guessing about the Moon, arbiter of culture, which would tell us if Davis is a full-on liberal or some kind of social conservative.  We can be pretty sure she's not the latter by reading the news.  If the Moon is in Aquarius, then she is Neptunized by rulers Uranus (quintile Neptune) and Saturn (widely square Neptune).  If the Moon is in Pisces, she is very probably sesquiquadrate Neptune, which also happens to be widely quincunx co-ruler Jupiter.  Either way, Neptune (liberalism) wins over the Moon despite the North Node in Cancer.  I would guess that the Moon is in Pisces, to put her in opposition with Pluto.  Research I plan to post later shows Pluto-Moon connections very common in feminist charts.

With Davis' relatively strong Pallas, her activism on abortion is likely based on an honest belief that abortion is a human-rights issue.  This is not the case with our next case. 



Margaret Sanger, creator of Planned Parenthood, has Pallas sextile Mercury on the libertarian end.  Demolishing any libertarian sentiments is Pluto which is novile Pallas and square her ruler the Moon.  Left or right, she is likely to be authoritarian-statist.  Neptune in Taurus widely trine Mercury, the Second House ruler, suggests she might be an economic leftist.  The "action" here, of which there is much, is with the Moon.  The South Node is in Cancer, which by itself might suggest a cultural liberal.  The Moon herself, however, is quincunx the North Node.  Her ruler the Sun is trine the North Node.  These factors account for a strong desire to preserve race and culture.  Combined with the solid authoritarian Pallas signature, it suggests the possibility of racism... 

...and boy, do we have racism.  As the historically savvy know, Sanger was, unlike Davis above, not all that concerned with human rights.  Abortion, for her, was about ridding America of "human weeds" (her words): non-whites.  Sanger is, as are many, er, luminaries of the original Progressive movement, the beneficiary of a giant long-term whitewashing campaign.  Today's Progressives are somewhat concerned with human rights regardless of race, and nominally anti-war.  The original Progressive movement was fundamentally white-supremacist in the extreme, proudly anti-Catholic, and openly militaristic.  They were today's "neoconservative" movement taken to a ridiculous extreme.  Many institutions started by the early Progressives such as the minimum wage, abortion availability, women's suffrage, and the public school system were originally designed to allow the white Anglo-Protestant establishment to hamper the influence, power, and very existence of various minority groups.  Margaret Sanger is very much a case in point. 

Sanger has, as does Davis, Moon-Pluto involvement.  Pluto is square Sanger's Moon and trine her ruler the Sun.  This is part of a possible chart signature for feminism, to be expounded in a future post.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Progressives Victorious

Neptune in a happy place

Progressive/Leftists are ecstatic this week.  They are ignoring their Dear Leader's escalation of the violence in Syria and Edward Snowden's revelations of Obama's deception regarding his violations of American privacy.  They are celebrating:
  • Senate passage of the "Gang of Eight" immigration bill
  • Obama's announcement of environmental controls without Congressional approval 
  • The Supreme Court striking down prohibitions on gay marriage
  • Pentagon policy changes to fully integrate women into the military
  • Wendy Davis' victory in Texas over anti-abortion lawmakers 
  • California's new restrictions on the purchase of ammunition
  • Paula Deen's firing over racist comments made in the past
  • Gold/silver/bitcoin prices floundering
Conservatives are crying into their Bibles and shaking their flag-draped fists.

Libertarians are sighing at the madness, celebrating Edward Snowden's continuing victories over the most powerful espionage apparatus in the history of the world, pointing out that the gay marriage decision is good but that the State should have no say in our social institutions, arguing with each other over abortion, and quietly stockpiling bullion, bitcoins, food, and ammunition. 

I failed to see all of this coming.  I didn't look for the Neptune/Saturn/Jupiter grand trine at month's end which would give Neptune, the lord of the Left, the power to impose his will in truly spectacular fashion.  I didn't spot the Mercury contraparallel to Pluto -- which would severely weaken Pallas in Gemini (even with the support of the North Node quincunx) and allow the beast of the State more victories than defeats in the waning days of the month. 

Live and learn.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Jupiter and Evil

Astrologers have long stereotyped Jupiter as representative of positivity and virtue with no exceptions.  I've tended to view this idea with vague suspicion, but have now amassed a large body of evidence to support my unease.  Jupiter is a great malefic when in a discordant aspect with Pallas.  When in such an aspect, he interferes with the ethical, non-aggressive nature of Pallas and opens the door to tyrannical and violent behavior.  There is no shortage of examples.  Here are four notable ones. 



Adolf Hitler has Pallas opposite Jupiter, quindecile South Node, ruled by Moon (which is quincunx Pluto and conjunct/parallel South Node), and sextile Sun.




Benito Mussolini has Pallas square Jupiter and novile Pluto.



Nicolae Ceausescu has Pallas opposite and ruled by Jupiter (which is parallel Pluto) and semisquare Mercury.



Antonio Salazar has Pallas opposite Jupiter, sextile Sun, and widely conjunct the North Node.


The effect of hard aspects from Jupiter on Pallas is similar to the effect from Pluto.  The Jupiter aspects seem to be less homicidal than the Pluto aspects but harder to counteract by other factors. Pallas-Jupiter aspects, discordant or otherwise, may correlate with talent in publicity and teaching. 

As mentioned before, most natives with these aspects will not fulfill their destructive potential and can peacefully coexist with others. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Can of Worms

I see the study of the interpretation of Pallas (beyond the vague touchy-feely tidbits that exist today) as a truly "disruptive technology" for the astrological world.  It is not without some measure of relief that I note that virtually no experts on the practical interpretation of Pallas exist.  And while I feel compelled to write on the topic, I hesitate to promote my work, even to friends.

Understanding Pallas makes an astrological mapping of political ideology possible.  It provides a vital clue to understanding the astrology of criminal behavior.  It provides clues which enrich our understanding of the human personality and may helpfully increase the the toolkit of the vocational astrologer.  It may even provide an invaluable asset to the art of astrological forecasting

The ability to potentially read a person's ethical makeup through their astrological chart brings up ethical questions.  For instance, patterns that I've observed which appear in the charts of mass murderers also appear in the charts of countless others who will in all likelihood never commit a violent crime (I marginally fall into this category myself).  What should an astrologer do when encountering a client with such a pattern?

To the conspiracy-minded, potentially sinister applications abound.  Could government, military, and criminal organizations use this knowledge to weed out potential whistle-blowers or persons with too strong a conscience?  Could sites like Facebook (notorious for censoring "politically incorrect" content) use it to determine which users to "watch", or to target political ads to?  Could parents-to-be decide to determine the political and ethical bent of their children by choosing the moment to induce birth?  Could a totalitarian regime pre-emptively arrest or assassinate dissenters... before they dissent?

The philosophical implications are intriguing:  Pallas appears to be an astrological indicator for the potential for "good" and "evil".  If this is the case, then "evil" may not be a lack of empathy, but a deficit of rationality -- Pallas is by nature emotionally detached and logically strict.  Pallas is in many ways the "coldest" planet, the embodiment of detachment and logic; yet it is she and not the more outwardly appealing planetary energies who allows us to live in harmony and cooperation rather than war and strife.  Can this Athenian rationality be trained?  How much of the "evil" in the world today can we attribute to the mass-production line of modern education, which stifles the development of independent thinking and reasoning in children in favor of rote memorization and State-approved inculcation? 

The mind reels. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Superman and Batman, Left and Right

Christopher Nolan, conservative?

Superman and Batman began their lives nearly a century ago as faintly ridiculous entertainment for young boys.  They have since become integral characters in the lore of modern civilization.  Where they were once crude line-drawings on pulp having silly two-dimensional adventures, they now live rich, complex lives in giant universes conceived by the likes of Grant Morrison and Christopher Nolan.  Neither superhero shows any sign of falling into obscurity.  They have become, it seems, the modern equivalent of the character/myths of ancient times.  They represent archetypes which resonate deeply in our psychology.  I propose that they represent two sides of modern social and political culture, the Neptunian and the anti-Neptunian, the "liberal" and the conservative, the Left and the Right.

Superman is undoubtedly Neptunian (with a healthy dash of optimistic Jupiter).  Hailing from a faraway world unreachable both due to its distance and because it has been destroyed, he is the ultimate undocumented immigrant or "illegal alien".  He maintains a secret identity as a mere human, a put-upon, harried member of the proletariat -- his true superhuman self is out of sight in his mundane life.  He is fantastically, ludicrously powerful: far beyond the capabilities of mortal man, even with the aid of technology.  He is also morally and psychologically perfect:  he is nearly or totally without negative emotion or trace of corruption.  This is even more evident in the comics and the original Donner films than in the most recent two films, in which he must work to attain the self-assuredness usually associated with him.  Superman is how the Left/Neptunian personality subconsciously (and sometimes consciously) views the State:  omnipotent, entirely benevolent, and essentially a God.

Batman is slightly harder to parse, but nevertheless becomes clear when one understands the energies underlying the anti-Neptunian dynamic.  He is primarily Lunar:  a nocturnal personality, driven by an intense emotional drive triggered by a family tragedy, defending the city that is his home.  He is intensely private, and his high-tech secret hideout is the prototype of the modern "man-cave".  He also represents the other pole of the anti-Neptunian/conservative axis:  Venus.  He is openly and magnificently wealthy and not the least bit troubled by it.  Being an anti-Neptunian modern archetype, he is all-too-human.  He not only possesses but is driven by negative emotions.  He makes mistakes both in tactics and in judgment, and, being human, must take time to heal from his battle wounds.  Unlike a Superman, a Batman is almost possible in the "real world" outside of comic books and film.  If Batman, like Superman, represents an idealized State-protector of humanity, he is a somewhat less fantastical one. 

The recent Batman movie trilogy illustrates the anti-Neptunian (politically/psychologically conservative) nature of the character very well.  In the first film, "Batman Begins", Batman battles a secret (Neptunian) society and a plot to poison (Neptune) his city.  In the second film, "The Dark Knight", Batman battles an insane (Neptunian) clown who wages wanton destruction not for personal gain (as a non-Neptunian villain would) but for its own sake.  In the third and most obvious film, "The Dark Knight Rises", Batman faces off with a villain who is essentially a pastiche of real-life (Neptunian) left-wing authoritarians through history. The film's anti-leftist subtext went largely unnoticed by the general public but elicited cries of rage from hardcore Socialist types who saw their heroes in the masked villain.

Christopher Nolan, the director of the Batman films, has a typically "paleo-conservative" or perhaps libertarian astrological chart.  He has Pallas conjunct and parallel North Node, co-ruled by Jupiter which is sextile Mercury and parallel North Node, co-ruled by Neptune which is contraparallel Sun -- many strong libertarian factors.  On the authoritarian end, Neptune, co-ruler of Pallas, is sextile Pluto.  We might suspect a fully-fledged libertarian here.  Finally, depending on his time of birth, he very likely has Moon trine North Node and with no involvement from Neptune or the South Node.  Psychologically, we might expect a cultural conservative, like the Batman character he has so vividly portrayed in film. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Islam


This is an astrological chart for Islam.  Yes, the religion.  Left-wing astro-activist Caroline Casey provided it during a talk at the United Astrology Conference 2012, available here.  I make no attempt to evaluate the validity of Islam as a religion here:  to do so would be beyond the scope of this blog and my capabilities as an astrologer.

My own exposure to Islam is limited.  There was that odd but extremely talented Egyptian kid in a kung-fu class I took years ago -- he boasted of getting major dental work without Novocaine and could duplicate Darth Maul's fight choreography from Star Wars, acrobatics and all.  There's my neighbor, who's a quiet if imposing Nation of Islam guy:  he did our apartment building a service a while back by chasing a burglar away with a baseball bat.  There's Jack Fertig, who was an invaluable asset to the San Francisco astrology and gay-rights scenes, ridiculous Marxist politics and all.  And there's these guys, who have been my favorite regular source of curry for over a decade. All things considered, my verdict has to be that Islam and person-hood are not mutually exclusive. 

Western media often portrays Islam as especially barbaric and violent, but in all fairness, these are traits arguably shared by Judaism and Christianity. The picture of modern Islam is further clouded by violent Western intervention into the Islamic world.  Few recall the CIA overthrow of democratically-elected Iranian President Mossadegh in 1953 and the subsequent replacement of Iran's then-secular government with US-approved fundamentalists.  Partisans of both the American Left and Right conveniently forget that the administrations of Carter and Reagan both funneled US taxpayer money into propping up the Mujahedin, the organization that would later become Al-Qaeda.   These same partisans Left and Right also ignore the support of Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and their recent activities by the Bush and Obama administrations.  If modern Islam is particularly violent, one might make the case that Christians and Jews are deliberately funding the violence.

Onto the chart:  on the libertarian side, there's Pallas opposite the Sun and widely opposite Mercury; both Sun and Mercury are trine Pallas' ruler Jupiter.  Pallas is also sesquiquadrate with the North Node.  On the authoritarian side, Pluto is trine Pallas and semisquare Pallas' ruler Jupiter.  This is fairly middle-of-the-road on the spectrum of libertarianism-to-authoritarianism, perhaps trending to the libertarian over time.  Take away the Western tax dollars funding the extremists, and Islam might become a relatively benign neighbor. 

The action, politically speaking, is where the chart sits on the Left-to-Right spectrum.  Neptune is conjunct the Moon and Mars (ruler of the Moon's domain, the Fourth House).  Culturally, this is a far-left chart.  This Neptune-infused Moon also rules Venus (money), and the South Node is in the Second House.  Using my methods, which seem to work very well on people, Islam comes out very solidly into the "Partisan Left" category.  Probably far Left.

This explains quite a few things:
  • The tendency of Islamic countries toward poverty, extreme inequality of wealth, and socialism (I repeat myself -- all three are generally synonymous to those who understand economics).  
  • The descent of the Islamic world from the pinnacle of civilization many centuries ago, to the relative economic ghetto it is now.  Yes, Western intervention probably plays a significant role: the Neptunian victim dynamic is at work here in addition to Neptune's ability to make money vanish.  
  • The refugee/outsider/dependent status (Neptune) of Muslims in Western nations. Contrast to whites, Asians, and Jews, who tend to easily climb the socioeconomic ladder when they live abroad. 
  • The empathy the far Left in the West have for the religion: they are fellow Neptunians.
  • The hatred the Right in the West have for the religion (the Right essentially being a loose anti-Neptune alliance).   
  • The praying-five-times-a-day thing:  bringing the normally secluded Neptunian worship function out into the open, integrated with "worldly" life.   This and other facets of the culture suggest a prevalent Neptunian erasure of individuality.  
  • Relative lack of strong racial/cultural bonds outside of religion (Moon-Neptune).  Muslims living in Islamic "nations" (many artificially created by the West) or others tend not to psychologically invest in their ruling states.  Christians, in contrast, have usually allowed national/racial "identity" to override their faith--they have happily marched to war for their countries to kill foreign Christians. 
  • The concealment of women (Moon-Neptune, get it?).  Here in the West, women aren't hidden but get the hyper-idealistic side of Moon-Neptune, in which they have to perform most of their traditional "feminine" functions and all the functions of men in the workforce and live up to unrealistic Hollywood standards of beauty, to boot.  Arguably, this is another form of concealment.  
  • Yes, the fact that Mars and Uranus are also conjunct the Moon on the chart may explain a few things about Islam and women that don't quite correspond with the rest of the Neptunian Leftist world, including "sexual jihad".  This also explains the Islamic tradition of cutting off (Mars/Uranus/Neptune) body parts (Moon) of criminals. 
  • The amazing art and architecture.   The connection between Venus/Neptune and artistry is well-known. That the depiction of holy personages is forbidden is yet another Neptune symptom. 
  • American rappers.   Islam claims a disproportionate number of the better wordmongers.
  • Sufism.  I don't think Judaism or Christianity have any offshoots quite so deliriously rapturous. 
Assuming the validity of this astrological chart, Islam is by far the longest-lived Leftist/Neptunian culture alive today.  For good and ill, it may suggest the possible future of the West's newer Leftist/Neptunian movements. Is this is where "progress" leads? 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Selflessness and Sacrifice

Consider Edward Snowden: young, intelligent, in a very lucrative career and a plush lifestyle, with his whole life ahead of him.  When he revealed the NSA's domestic spying program to the world earlier this month, he gave up everything:  his future, his money, his personal relationships.  He traded a life more abundant than most humans can ever hope to live, for the disdain of millions of idiot State-worshipers and for a place on Barack Obama's enemies list: for a life as a fugitive likely to end in a permanent spot in an Obama torture prison or in death by an Obama predator drone.  He did this, not for any measurable personal gain, but in service to all Americans against the American Reich.  As astrologers, we wonder what on his natal chart prompts such self-sacrificing altruism.

Our typical response is to turn to Neptune.  Snowden's natal Sun-Neptune opposition fits the standard stereotype of the Neptunian self-sacrifice. Neptune is certainly associated with the countless celebrities of our time who have died young:  Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and the 27 Club of rock stars meeting their earthly end before the solidification that comes with the first Saturn return.  Most of these deaths, however, mysterious and Neptunian though they be, do not fit the definition of "sacrifice".  These persons died in a characteristically Neptunian fashion: for no discernible reason. 

For sacrifice, as opposed to senseless loss, it is instructive to consider persons who died or gave up something for a cause.  My brief list for this consideration:  Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, John F Kennedy, Bradley Manning, Mary Pinchot Meyer, John Lennon, Hans Scholl, and Sophie Scholl.  These individuals arguably stood for something, and paid a dear price for it.  Their charts are all on my site.  Some of them are Neptunian personalities, and some are not.  What they have in common is that each is in some way a libertarian (a champion of freedom and peace), and every single one has the strong Pallas astrological signature that comes with libertarianism.

This is Ayn Rand's central failing, for all of the insight she brought into the sociopolitical conversation:  pure rationality (Pallas) is inherently non-egoic.   A highly rational, Palladian personality will, as we often see in history, surrender self-interest if it logically serves a greater good.  Rationality often coincides with self-interest, but it also often coincides with the opposite of self-interest.  The Palladian personality cares more for rightness than for self or its negation. 

Neptune is loss for no reason.  Sacrifice -- loss for a purpose -- belongs in the domain of Pallas. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Edward Snowden

That isn't the North Node conjunct the Sun.  Those are Edward's gigantic b@lls.


This is an astrological chart for Edward Snowden, the brave young man who revealed massive NSA spying operations on every single man, woman, and child in America.  The chart pattern is typical of individuals who begin government/military careers and later experience a crisis of conscience which motivates them to side with humanity against the machine (Adam Kokesh and Smedley Butler, both in my research, come to mind).  Such individuals nearly always have authoritarian Pallas-Pluto connections which then are weakened over time by configurations involving the lunar Nodes. 

On the authoritarian side (generally necessary for many government careers), Pluto is conjunct Saturn, ruler of Pallas.  On the libertarian side, Saturn is trine Sun and sesquiquadrate Mercury;  more importantly, declination shows a stunning Pallas/Sun/North-Node triple parallel.  The North Node, with regard to Pallas, is typically much stronger than Pluto over time.  This is man whose ethics may begin in a fog but eventually become brilliantly clear.  Statistically, there are probably large numbers of these "sleeper agents for liberty" currently in the employ of the State Leviathan, unaware that they will eventually be compelled by conscience to turn against their master. 

A more standard reading of the chart might point out the Uranus-Jupiter conjunction opposite Mercury (liberation of information to the public, etc.).  In my opinion, this is absolutely relevant to the outward expression of Snowden's heroism, but Pallas is the core of why he felt driven to it in the first place.  The South Node conjunction to Neptune is also significant:  the story broke during the recent Neptune retrograde station as well.  Neptune, to a large degree, rules the State.  That Snowden has Neptune on the South Node and the Sun on the North Node may indicate an impulse to turn away from that most impersonal, humanity-dissolving, and deceptive of institutions... into the light. 

If we all had the conviction and cojones of Mr. Snowden, the world would be a finer place.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Compassion: Overrated?

Reports of rioting by welfare-collecting Muslim populations in Sweden beg the question:  can generosity and compassion be a bad thing?   France has been facing the same problem for decades now.  Is the old adage true that "no good deed goes unpunished"?  When is "doing good" not good?  The ostensibly compassion-driven welfare-state concept has a long history of crashing its host-societies, beginning in ancient Rome.  Even in modern times, a welfare state can only run for a few decades before it either crashes its nation (Greece, Ethiopia, etc.) or is pruned back (China, Sweden, etc.).  Libertarian rantmeister extraordinaire Stefan Molyneux is fond of pointing out that after WW2 and before the Great Society programs of the 1960's, poverty in the US was declining at one percent per year.  After those programs took effect...  not so much.  Compassion drives a society into action, and the result is a worsening of the situation that called forth our compassion in the first place.  This is a typical Neptunian dynamic

In recent years, the "Powers that Be" used the reported abuse of women by the ruling parties in Afghanistan as a justification for continuing the American war there.  The Kony 2012 hoax nearly succeeded in its aim to play on American sympathy for children, to justify a US invasion of Uganda.  The false testimony about Iraqis throwing babies out of incubators did succeed in supporting a US invasion.  History is full of examples of compassion as a justification for war.  Of course, when these "compassionate" invasions do happen, they tend to kill more innocents than they save, a fact conveniently and systematically omitted by mainstream media. 

The figurehead of the Anthropogenic Global Warming movement, Al Gore, has been a consummate master of employing our compassion for his own enrichment and the detriment of humanity.  Pummeling us with images of stranded polar bears and villages destroyed by tsunamis, he succeeded in whipping up a Dionysian frenzy of compassion for his signature cause.  Said cause and its associated government programs has earned him billions of dollars in back-room deals with the likes of Enron's Ken Lay and Goldman Sachs, and has had a truly horrific human cost far exceeding what global warming itself might be capable of. 

Of course, no exploration of the perils of compassion is complete without mention of that most "compassionate" of political philosophies, Communism.  If that most bloody of histories doesn't give one pause, nothing will. 

Pallas, the astrological champion of non-violence and peace, is not particularly emotional.  If anything, she is the opposite, rejecting all action based on emotion unless it meets her logical criteria.  This said, it is often completely in the realm of logical self-interest to help one's fellow humans in many situations.  Doing so generates goodwill and trust which can be helpful later -- helping persons who are genuinely grateful can give us friends and allies we in turn may learn to be grateful for.  Not helping when it is sensible and affordable for us to do so can harm our ability to operate in society.  Of course, there is also the simple pleasure of helping another:  a joy when we discover it for ourselves but a source of resentment when the State forces its politicized and horribly inefficient version on us.  Contrary to the dynamic of Neptune, who is not satisfied until we have given away everything without question and dissolved into oblivion, Pallas tells us when it's time to stop or to not act at all. 

Living in the domain of Pallas is probably not as exciting as jumping on the latest Neptunian sociopolitical bandwagon and losing ourselves in the frenzy of group emotion, but affords the best chance for us all to live and thrive in peace.  This, in the end, is perhaps more compassionate than compassion itself. 


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bitcoin


Not too many astrologers are looking at Bitcoin, the leader of the upstart pack of "crypto-currencies" that threatens to throw the banking establishment into pandemonium.  The few that are seem to have settled on this chart, that of the "Genesis Block" which marks a sort of "first breath" for the currency.  The Bitcoin price seems to respond very strongly to transits against this chart (see this).  I haven't seen a strong case for using another chart.

Depending on how wide the orbs we use, this may be a "perfect" libertarian chart (like these).  Pallas is trine (and ruled by) Mercury which is conjunct North Node, and her declination is so extreme as to be quite literally "off the chart".  I haven't studied extreme declinations much but might venture to guess that the libertarian factor is even stronger than the Mercury-Node connections would already make it.  If we extend the orb of the quincunx aspect to four degrees (I haven't found sufficient reason to do this, despite evidence that Pallas responds to wide orbs and minor aspects), then we have a quincunx with Pluto.  Even then, the Mercury-Node connections (perhaps with help from the extreme declination) would probably overcome the Pluto aspect. Whether Bitcoin lives or dies, I don't expect it to become a tool for "The Man". 

In the realm of more traditional astrology, the chart has many more extremely striking features.  The Sun-Mars-Pluto triple conjunction in Capricorn is quite the stunner.  This chart is all business, and its business is revolution:  like the goddess Kali to whom Pluto is often compared, the potential is to bring death, complete transformation, and rebirth.  In the Sixth House, this trinity suggests a revolution in the systems and processes of everything it touches.  Perhaps this also suggests that Bitcoin itself may undergo a number of deaths and rebirths.  The Uranus-Saturn opposition echoes the overall sentiment, suggesting the breakup of existing structures and institution of new ones. 

The financial indicators for the chart are complex and varied.  On one end, Venus in Pisces conjunct her ruler Neptune points to an attitude that value, and its monetary representative, is essentially illusory.  It foreshadows the extreme price fluctuations to come, and also hints at the capacity dissolve the perception of what value is for all of us.  On the other end, Saturn lives in the Second House of money, solidifying a new structure of value.  The Second House itself is ruled by Mercury which is conjunct the North Node:  the long term mission here is to comprehend, build, and solidify value.  Venus, incidentally, is at her farthest point from the Sun in the synodic cycle and accordingly at her brightest in the visible sky.  

All charts contain a near-infinite amount of data to be teased out by an astrologer.  Part of the game of interpretation is figuring out what the most important points are, and focusing on those.  With that, I'd like to close this brief survey with a look at the Nodes.  The placement here is, like many other features of the chart, quite extreme.  For all its disruptive and emancipatory potential, the North Node in Aquarius on the Descendant tells us that Bitcoin does not work alone.  It is completely dependent on its partners:  its developers, its entrepreneurs, its investors, and its users.  It is we who will determine if Bitcoin will sink or swim.

Disclosure:  I am holding some Bitcoin. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Age of Pisces

We live in the Age of Pisces.  Astrologers say that during an 2166-year (give or take) astrological age, the energy of a single astrological sign infuses the time.  The sign, and the planetary energies behind it, become the backdrop for the age.  These energies become the metaphorical air we breathe, infusing our consciousness, coloring our worldview, and permeating our culture. They become so much a part of the fabric of the time in which we live that we take them for granted and can't even see them.  It is only in retrospect, in comparing recent history with ancient history that we can detect the energy shifts between ages.

I believe that some of the obvious manifestations of the Age of Pisces (the rise of Christianity, the drug culture, the reign of television, the 2000-year obsession with the ever-impending end of the world, etc.) are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the penetration of this energy into the life of humanity.  Neptune, the ruler of Pisces, does not openly inform and direct the zeitgeist:  he invisibly infuses it, subtly infiltrating every corner of our consciousness.  We act on his impulses, oblivious to the piper that plays the music we collectively dance to.

Some exhibits:


The Nation-State

In contrast to living in the manageable tribes and city-states of the past, we now pledge our allegiance, our blood, the fruits of our labor, our individuality, and our very souls to the Nation.  When in previous ages, we may have gone to battle for personal riches or to defend our clans, we now "patriotically" kill and die at the whim of idealized overlords we will never meet, for no tangible reward but the Piscean thrill of sacrifice.  The Nation-State is always too large and complex for any single person to truly affect or even fully know.  It is a Neptunian mystery to which we bestow nearly half our material wealth and into which we dissolve our personalities, an act of faith few of us ever question. +


The Corporation

The Corporation is the dependent child of the Nation-State, who, in Neptunian fashion, has obscured his origins.   The seed of its rampant growth is that unlike the human individual which it mimics, it has been granted immunity by the State from the destructive results of its actions.  When the Corporation commits a crime, it, unlike us, needs not pay restitution.  We mere mortals must pay when we harm our fellow man, but thanks to the magic of the God-State, the Corporation is exempt from karma.  Without this immunity, which must never be spoken of, it would only be able to grow to the extent that it provides goods and services to mortals without harming them. 

Like its unacknowledged parent the Nation-State, the Corporation is also a God to whom we mortals bow and pledge ourselves, often unknowingly.  As a God, its actions are often invisible, its motives often unknowable and its effects ever-present but to their source untraceable. 


The Public School

Like many a Piscean manifestation, the Public School is quite the opposite of what it appears to be.   Birthed by the incestuous union between the Nation-State and the Corporation as a tool to dissolve individual human children into faceless, mindless, obedient cells in the two great Neptunian collectives, it has nevertheless successfully presented itself to the herd as both beneficial and necessary.  And so we send our young to be mass-molded in one-size-fits-all factories of drill and rote and propaganda.  We punish them into conformity or drug them into stupor when they balk at their mechanization.  We denigrate them when they move too slowly or too quickly for the collective.  Thus does the Public School create new worshipers of the Nation-State and servants of the Corporation. +


The Modern Military

A symbiotic offshoot of the Nation-State, the Military is a truly Neptunian institution, a microcosm of the purest form of Communism at the heart of even the most "capitalist" Nation-State.  The new supplicant-recruit enters as unique individual:  he emerges as an identical cog in the great collective, his will subsumed into the beast, his mind and body now merely extensions of the monster, his uniqueness dissolved into the great mysterious joy of serving and embodying his faceless God.


The Central Bank

It is invisible, yet ever-present and all-powerful, much like Neptune himself.  A proboscis of the State, it drains the lifeblood of a people and is never noticed until death is imminent.  It relies on its power of illusion:  to fool its victims into believing that its paper currency is a stable store of value when in fact it is a trapdoor funneling value unseen from the worker to the invisible elite. 


The Metropolis

Before, we may have lived in small tight-knit villages or towns, close to our farms, forests, and fisheries.  We now immerse ourselves in veritable oceans of humanity where we are paradoxically isolated from human intimacy and alienated from the land and labor that sustain our bodies.  So separated are we now from the land and the need to work with it for our food that millions of us now demand our sustenance from the teat of the State, not knowing or caring from where it comes.  We are as much our taxpayer identification numbers as we are our names.  We pattern our belief systems, social norms, and our realities not on the fellow humans we are connected to and the time-tested traditions of our people, but on flickering phantoms on the television set which come from nowhere and vanish back to nowhere. 


The Medical-Industrial Complex

We had healers once. They were nearby, in our towns and villages.  We would know them by name and visit them when we needed aid.  We would pay them what we could afford, and they would do their best to keep us well.  Now we see faceless doctors in white coats, roaming featureless hospital halls;  they spend as much time communing with their patron corporate spirits as they do with us.  We cannot speak with them directly, but must do so through entities far removed from us whose decisions we cannot understand or question.  We enjoy miraculous new cures and treatments that extend our lives, but ingest unseen poisons in our food and water which cause us to need those magical new cures to recapture our former vitality. 


The Endless Thirst 

We started by crossing the vast oceans that separate our lands, dreaming into being new contraptions to allow us to cross the water ever faster and with more goods from foreign lands.  We drilled into the earth for fuel to burn for our traveling machines, and then the State-Gods built our societal infrastructure with endless rivers of roads to burn as much fuel as possible.  We fight wars for fuel, wars that burn more fuel than all our other enterprises combined.  We also drilled into the earth for water, using this water to grow food in our deserts and build cities in former wastelands, requiring us to burn yet more fuel to supply them, bringing a deluge of new humans that the land otherwise would not sustain.  We know that the water is running out, and that the new tide of humanity it brought may recede with it.  And we drill, and we burn, and we war. 


The artistic, spiritual, and imaginative fruits of Neptune and the age of Pisces have been truly wondrous and priceless.  The sociopolitical/economic aspects of the age are arguably less so.

For more punishment, please see my diatribe on Neptune and the Left.  
Also this. And this