Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Return of the Sixties

This political blog is back after a more than six-month hiatus - for which I apologize. Other priorities have intervened at an alarming rate and also I was waiting to see how the recent “Occupy Wall Street” movement, so redolent of the sixties, would pan out. The final results are not yet in of course, but the movement seems to definitely have legs, a fact that is encouraging in this time when so much in our society needs to be rearranged. I will have more to say on the topic of this important social movement later on in this article. Meanwhile another important protest is gathering momentum and giving the current administration fits as it tries to decide on its actual environmental policy, namely the dissent over the Keystone Pipeline, a project that will bridge Canada and the U.S. and create jobs but only at the cost of enormous environmental destruction in mining the tar sands of northern Alberta province.

This protest is unique in that it involves some very big and even moneyed names that have been staunch democratic boosters for many years. They are so incensed about the proposed pipeline and the threat of the Obama administration’s approval – which they see as caving in to Big Oil, Big Money, and a Republican agenda – that rather than attend a recent $5,000 per head Obama campaign fund raiser in San Francisco, they picketed outside it. At issue is the attack on the environment from Big Oil, which has been unremitting, including paying for so-called scientific studies that declared invalid the concept of global warming, a fact that is otherwise universally accepted by the scientific community. The Republicans are on board with this debunking as well, of course, whatever allows the oil companies to make more money. For an interesting take on what our economy really needs – see the book by Amory Lovins, Reinventing Fire. In it he explains that by putting our money into retooling, oil and gasoline can be eliminate by 2050 and this achieved while saving gobs of money. His website is: http://www.rmi.org/ReinventingFire.

Keystone Pipeline Protest
The Keystone Pipeline protestors plan to bring 5,000 people to Washington on Sunday, November 6th to remind the Obama administration that people are definitely concerned regarding his environmental stand, or its lack. In the words of one environmentalist this will be an important test of character for the President. A look at the transits to the U.S. chart for that date is instructive. See chart. It is of note that transiting Mars opposes transiting Neptune that day, while Neptune is in conjunction with U.S. Moon representing the public, and also nearly exactly sesquiquadrate to U.S. Sun. Pluto opposes U.S. Jupiter, the chart ruler. An exact conjunction of Mercury and Venus aspects U.S. Jupiter also.

This protest will be a litmus test of where the administration is prepared to compromise its ideals and also of the will of the people in opposition, and is therefore one iconic flashpoint. The occupy Wall Street protests are another. These began in September and are showing no sign of going away any time soon. We had the Arab Spring of protests against living conditions across the Middle East, and we now have the American Autumn. Of course this is predicted by the Uranus-Pluto square, the first dynamic alignment since the sixties, when they were in conjunction, and when they characterized the revolutionary struggle of those times. Hence, astrologers have been saying for years now that there would be “people in the streets.” I myself have said it, probably in this very blog that you are reading. Last month’s issue of The Mountain Astrologer, in preparation over the summer, mentioned the Wisconsin protests from last March and the Arab Spring and asked the relevant question: Where were the massive American protests? By the time the magazine was out they had their answer.

Occupy Wall Street
Of course the relevant transits here refer back to the square between Uranus and Pluto, within 2 degrees of exact in mid-September when the OWS protest movement began, and in this regard it is interesting to note that Uranus was opposed at that time to both the U.S. Midheaven, and to transiting Venus, making a T-square with U.S. Venus, which is the Midheaven ruler. The United States had also recently completed its Saturn return, and Saturn is located in the 10th house. The position of transiting Pluto is interesting in that it opposes U.S. Jupiter, which is the chart ruler. Transiting Jupiter was contra-parallel to U.S. Moon, representing the public, while the Moon that day was in a forming square to U.S. Moon and Neptune is conjunct U.S. Moon, representing idealism.

A look at the current transits (for November 6th, see above) shows that Mars opposes transiting Neptune and U.S. Moon, as we mentioned earlier, while Pluto now even more closely opposes U.S. Jupiter. On November 6th, the date set for the Keystone Pipeline protest, the Moon aspects transiting Neptune as it conjuncts U.S. Moon and makes a dynamic aspect to U.S. Sun, a fitting symbol for idealism in action.

We cannot leave the subject of American protest movements in general without referring back to the most massive protest since the sixties against an American war, which was world-wide. I am referring to February 15th 2003, when over one million anti-war protestors took to the streets in advance of the invasion of Iraq. So many, across the Western world and beyond, were motivated to oppose this senseless war, a war that has of course proven to be extremely costly, both in money and in terms of lives lost. One would think that Uranus and Pluto were involved at that time, even before their square became close enough to count.

Massive Anti-War Protest
A look at the transiting chart is quite interesting. Transiting Uranus was indeed involved, at 28 degrees of Aquarius at the time, and conjunct U.S. Moon (again representing the public) while being also sesquiquadrate to U.S. Sun, the same position that Neptune now occupies. Meanwhile Pluto, about to station, emphasized the military by opposing U.S. Mars, while transiting Mars in the first house of the U.S. chart was exactly conjunct transiting Pluto. Pluto crossed into the U.S. First House of identity shortly after September 11, 2001, the 9-11 attacks. The Iraq War was, of course, a response to 9-11. Transiting Neptune is in this picture as well, making a sextile aspect to the U.S. Ascendant, while Jupiter, triggered by the Moon that day, opposed Neptune.

In regard to the protest movement that we are currently experiencing, understanding the Astrology is quite valuable, because it gives us an idea of the eventual scale of what is going on all across the country. We are at the very beginning of a series of exact squares between Uranus and Pluto that will take place through 2015, and through January 2020 when we consider the trailing 10 degree separation favored by noted Astrologer Richard Tarnas. Knowing this as we do, we can recognize that we are on the edge of even more massive protest and an escalation also of the conditions for protest. The “Turbulent Teens” are only just beginning!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Egypt and Wisconsin

For years astrologers have been saying it: the sixties are coming back. With this oncoming Uranus-Pluto square approaching like a freight train in this penultimate year before 2012 and the first of seven exact hits in June of that year, astrologers have been saying that people would be out in the streets again, just as they were 40 or more years ago, protesting an inhuman set of economic conditions and an unwinnable war. And it’s happening.

For an example of what I’m talking about, evidence that the times indeed are a’changin’ check out Michael Moore’s appearance the weekend of March 5th in Madison Wisconsin. There, protests had reached mammoth proportions over on actions on the part of a Republican governor and state legislators that threatened the removal of collective bargaining rights from public sector employees due to one of many budget crises at the state level all across the country. Moore’s speech, entitled “America is not Broke,” electrified the crowd as he compared the ongoing protests to the successful people’s movement in Egypt that toppled long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Republic of Egypt
In this blog entry I would like to emphasize the connection between such different types of events as the Wikileaks release of U.S. foreign policy State Department cables, the demonstrations in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, and the subsequent demonstrations across the Middle East and in Wisconsin. This might seem like a stretch but the charts tell the story. First we will need the chart for the modern Republic of Egypt. As found in The Book of World Horoscopes, an excellent reference work by British astrologer Nick Campion, the most appropriate chart is for the establishment of the Nasser regime on the evening of June 18, 1953. See Egypt chart. Mubarak took over the dictatorship when Nasser was subsequently assassinated.

Egypt's transits for 1/25/2011
When the demonstrations began in Egypt, on January 25th 2011, Saturn was stationing retrograde and therefore greatly emphasized, at 17 ¼ degrees of Libra, almost directly on US Saturn. The question comes up of where this stationing Saturn and the rest of the outer planets hit Egypt’s chart. The answer is that Saturn was within three degrees of a conjunction with that nation’s Saturn, indicating pressure on the government. See Egypt's transits for 1/25/2011. The US Saturn degree is 14 plus Libra, while Egypt’s Saturn lies at 20 plus, so that the midpoint of US and Egypt Saturn is at 17 degrees and about 40 minutes – with stationing Saturn only ½ of a degree away as the protests began there, ultimately affecting both governments. The other significant transits to this chart for the Republic of Egypt are to the Sun degree, as might be expected, since the leadership of the nation and the character of its people are affected. The Sun degree is 27 Gemini, and the transiting degree of Uranus (= sudden change) is 27 Pisces, exactly square. Meanwhile, transiting Neptune, representing in this case aspiration/idealism as well as perhaps media, and also Chiron, representing pain, embarrassment and suffering, was at 27 degrees of Aquarius, trining Egypt’s Sun degree. Of course it was the pain and suffering of the people, together with their aspirations for a better way of life, that lead to the massive and determined protests. These transits are significant and serve to confirm this chart as accurate.

Egypt's transits for 11/28/2010
Now it is interesting to see that in the transits for November 28, 2010, the date of the most recent Wikileaks announcements, which revealed in part the propping up of Egypt’s dictatorship by the US government, transiting Mercury was at 27 degrees of Sagittarius, directly opposite Egypt’s Sun, indicating that a message was received. There are many other connections between the transits for this date and Egypt’s chart, too many to go into in detail, including transiting Venus exactly on the 7th house cusp of foreign partners. See Egypt's transits for 11/28/2010.

It makes sense. The publication of the information regarding US foreign policy support for Mubarak was cited as one of the inspirations for the uprising.

USA's transits for 2/15/2011
Now I’d like to turn to events in Wisconsin, where another protest rages on, as of this writing, in spite of a ruling by the state legislature that that seems to deny the protestors their desire, namely that public workers unions not be disbanded and prevented from the right to collective bargaining. The attempt by the Republican governor and legislature to rescind those rights is particularly ironic, considering that Madison, Wisconsin, was the place where collective bargaining rights for public workers was first established, back in 1931. This protest began on February 15th and the transits to the US chart for this date are particularly apt. See USA's transits for 2/15/2011.

The Sun and Neptune were conjunct U.S. Moon, symbolizing the public. Neptune in this case could be seen to represent the idealism implicit in the protests. The Sun that day was in aspect with U.S. Neptune, the U.S. Ascendant, and U.S. Saturn as well – Saturn representing the government. This last aspect is a sesquiquadrate, or minor square (a stressful aspect). Also transiting Venus, the 10th house ruler in the U.S. chart, and ruler of U.S. Saturn, was transiting in almost exact opposition to U.S. Sun that day. The United States is still in the middle of its Saturn Return, a time of great change, with transiting Saturn only 2 degrees away, in forming conjunction to U.S. Saturn. In an indication of the fact that this was an important media event, and that these protests do indeed send a message, U.S. Mercury was also involved, representing the media in this country. The Moon conjuncted U.S. Mercury that day, while transiting Mars (militancy) was exactly quincunx. Transiting Chiron, newly in compassionate Pisces, made a bi-quintile aspect to U.S. Mercury; at the same time the transiting Moon was square U.S. Chiron. It was the painful and embarrassing place (Chiron) that Wisconsin public workers found themselves in that was the source of the outrage that fueled the protests.

How does this relate back to the situation in Egypt? The protest erupted in Madison just days after Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign, on February 11th. Moore referenced that successful public protest in his Madison speech. The world might indeed be quite a bit smaller than we once thought.