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. 

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