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.
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 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.
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.