Monday, November 29, 2010

Embarrassment in High Places

There have been several important and interesting stories in the news recently but the most interesting came on the very last weekend of November in exact correspondance with the Last Quarter Moon at 6 plus degrees of Virgo and Sagittarius. This was the most recent Wikileaks scandal – the simultaneous publishing to several news services of 250,000 State Department documents and cables to foreign embassy personnel. This event has been termed a major diplomatic crisis and condemned by the U.S. government. Some of the cables were signed by Hillary Clinton personally.

In order to assess the meaning of this event, and to get a clue as to how significant this leak of information is in terms of this country’s evolving history, in advance of seeing how it plays out over time, we can check the transits to the U.S. chart for their general import.

This was a very significant set of transits. First of all, Saturn at 14 degrees and 22 minutes of Libra is within half a degree from U.S. Saturn, or in other words, the United States is experiencing its Saturn return – which happens only once in every thirty years – just as this event transpires. Saturn, located in the U.S 10th House, represents the executive branch, which is the part of government most embarrassed by the incident. Three exact hits in all will eventually take place, on December 3rd of this year and in March and at the end of August, 2011, nine months from now. We might therefore very well expect to see some of this event’s repercussions surface by next spring and summer. Secondly, when the Last Quarter Moon took place a little after 3 PM on the East Coast, the Sun was exactly trine this country’s North Node, located at 6 Leo 35. This also speaks to the significance of this event for the future, especially since the natal U.S. North Node is located in the 8th House of transformation, or death and rebirth. The Sun’s position also formed a sesquiquadrate to both U.S. Chiron and to U.S. Mercury, which are square to each other in the U.S. chart. There is national shame involved (Chiron) and also of course the media (Mercury). The Sun also opposed U.S. Uranus, which speaks to the sudden (unexpected until a few days ago) nature of the leak of the documents, which had the State Department scrambling for damage control. Transiting Mars and transiting Jupiter also strongly aspected the U.S. Mercury degree, and Mars opposed U.S. Mars as well, representing the military. U.S. Neptune was strongly aspected by these planets also, by square and by opposition, so that the fog of illusion and disinformation that we have frequently commented upon comes into the picture now as well. Pluto and the transiting North Node are also exactly opposed to U.S. Venus / Jupiter, located in the U.S. chart’s 7th House – representing relations with foreign governments – and these relations are sure to be very much impacted by the revelations contained in these documents. Finally, transiting Neptune and Chiron in exact conjunction are conjunct the U.S. Moon, representing the public, within one degree.

The Neptune emphasis is very pronounced, and symbolizes the equivocal nature of the event. Is this a case of “truth will out” for a positive spin or is it actually a mistaken zeal for truth that will make things more difficult for those attempting to keep the world running smoothly? Only time will tell. Right now these are all parts of the picture, various illusions that the leakers represent, and perhaps none of them is the real “truth” of the matter.

It is very interesting also to examine the parallel to the Pentagon Papers scandal from the sixties. Astrologers have been saying for years now that the teens will markedly resemble the turbulent sixties, and here is one more example. Once again, an interminable war is being fought on foreign soil for dubious diplomatic purpose, in this case in two different countries. Again these are seen as a morass that the United States cannot extricate itself from without losing face in the court of world opinion. Once again there are many who are opposed to this war, although the level of public protest certainly has not reached that of the marches of the sixties. And once again there are leaked documents which might gain in significance as the war continues on. The stated intention of the Wikileaks project was to present evidence of torture and other violations of international law and of civil liberties that were promulgated by both the Republican administration of George W. Bush and by that of his successor, President Obama. In regard to the latter assertion, an interesting story was published by Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now, on November 9th, just after the Scorpio New Moon of early November, which also strongly aspected the U.S. chart. It ran as follows:

U.S. Defends Right to Assassinate U.S. Citizens

The Obama administration argued Monday that the White House should have unreviewable authority to target and assassinate American citizens anywhere in the world if they pose a threat to the United States. The argument was made in federal court in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights. The groups are representing Nasser al-Awlaki, who brought a lawsuit in connection with the government’s decision to authorize the targeted killing of his son, Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born Muslim cleric now living in Yemen. Jameel Jaffer of the ACLU said, "If the Constitution means anything, it surely means that the president does not have unreviewable authority to summarily execute any American whom he concludes is an enemy of the state."

We live in perilous times, not only for the threatened individual, but for the threatened democracy that we cherish. All we can do at the moment is to keep our heads up and our eyes open and pitch in where we can. We also serve the eventual and inevitable evolution of our society by staying as alert as possible to the deeper meaning of events as they unfold.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Fog of Neptune

Transits to the U.S. Chart – November 2010

This month, in the weeks following the election, Neptune stations direct on U.S. Moon, bringing up the notion of the ways in which the U.S. public (represented by the Moon in the national chart) might be either living in a dream world of their own making, or perhaps just outright deceived.

Other important transits are happening in this end-of-year period, and they serve to remind us that the wheel’s still in spin, and that although the hour is growing late, no die is finally cast. It is up to us to make the most of this moment, just as it is up to us to make the most out of every moment. In the first week of December, Uranus stations direct as well, making a strong aspect to U.S. Pluto as it does so. The New Moon of November 5th, just after the election, aspects both Uranus and Pluto, just as Pluto conjuncts the North Node and while the Uranus-Pluto square, hibernating during the winter months, is getting ready to make an enormous come-back in the spring and later, on into 2012. At the same time as the Uranus station on December 5th, the U.S. Chart is experiencing its Saturn Return, an occurrence that takes place approximately every thirty years. The last time this happened, there was a preliminary hit in November 1980, followed by the actual completion nearly a year later in October 1981. It is useful to recall the election cycle of 1980 that put Ronald Reagan into the White House in 1981 and ended the somewhat idealistic presidency of Jimmy Carter. Are there any similarities that we can find to our own times?

In other postings I have written extensively about all the Neptune influences on the U.S. chart these days, and what they might imply for the natal U.S. Neptune-Mars square, and for issues of deception in high places and with respect to the military. Specifically, transiting Neptune on U.S. Moon: Neptune has been hovering around U.S. Moon for many months, since roughly the beginning of 2010, continuing into 2011; transiting Uranus opposed to U.S. Neptune, which was active for 2008 and 2009, but has steadily faded in 2010 to be replaced however by Jupiter – active now and until mid-December; and there was also the Saturn transit in conjunction with U.S. Neptune in the summer of 2009. All these taken together represent a great deal of Neptunian confusion throughout the land.

It does indeed seem like there has been a fog of unreason in the national psyche for these last few years. First we had the very hopeful time of the election of President Obama, with the implied liberal fantasy of equality and energy policy reversals from the excesses of the Bush years. But, not so. Some feeble efforts at passing a health care bill with teeth in it. Lip service to ending one of the two costly wars that have gripped the nation since 9-11, but the results there seem more than a little muted, with permanent bases in Iraq still manned by U.S soldiers under slightly different orders of engagement and a civilian mercenary presence that is still very real and perhaps even stronger than before the summer of 2010 when things were supposed to be winding down. Then there is climate change – perhaps the most important priority of all, given the state of the planet, but the least successful of all, with little if any progress from the first years of the new century. Why? Because corporate interests do not run in the same direction, and money talks very loudly in 21st century America. But it is not so much the influence peddling that is the problem, but the lack of recognition on the part of the population. Again, the fog, the unawareness.

In all of this there is really no-one to blame but ourselves. It is tempting to blame the Obama White House, which after all is said and done has in many ways resembled the Bush White House, especially in regard to foreign and energy policy. The regulatory agency tasked with overseeing off-shore oil drilling – and what a great job they are doing – in the early part of the year referred to what they called the “third Bush term.” But all politicians are basically weather vanes, and the wind in present-day America just isn’t blowing hard enough to change the existing status quo.

This brings us back to the question: do these times that we are living through right now resemble the era of the 1980s, when it was said that “greed is good” and when conservative ideas of non-government triumphed to the joy of the very wealthy, and could this be the case even though we have a Democratic president in the White House? It does seem that the nation is even more off-course than when Reagan took over, wresting it from the liberal, albeit short-lived, policies of his predecessor and ripping the solar panels off the White House roof. Obama plans to put them up again, in a largely symbolic gesture, but will he succeed in making alternative energy a true priority? Of course, this is the real issue. It does seem that the corporate hijacking of the American government will continue, with the help of unconscious Tea Party advocates of “less government,” unless and until the public throws off their blinders and makes the courageous act of looking the ugly facts of the matter squarely in the face. With the powerful transits coming up over the next few years – which I have discussed in previous postings and will describe more fully in later ones – I think that there is a real chance for change, but it will take all of us, and it will take everything we’ve got.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Coming soon...

Henry's blog will be returning in October...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Why the exposing of deception?

Last month we indicated that the period from the 4th to the 11th, leading up to the Solar Eclipse that took place on the U.S. Sun / Mercury midpoint, and the days immediately following the Full Moon of Sunday, July 25th, might be an important time for media revelations that serve to shake us up and expose the hypocrisy and deception of our American age. Why the exposing of deception? As the Cardinal T-square makes difficult aspects to the U.S. Midheaven, representing the powers that be, transiting Neptune (deception) remains on U.S Moon, representing the public, and was closely aspected by Saturn as well during this period. It is interesting to peruse the headlines before and immediately after last month’s key lunations. Many of these headlines occurred on July 7th, a day when both transiting Mercury and Moon strongly aspected U.S. Mercury, representing the media.

  1. BP Oil Spill of 2010. This is of course the news story that is on everyone’s mind, almost as big in its own way as 911. The country has been shaken to its very foundations, especially by the manifest lack of competence and intentional misinformation, as well as the absence of governmental oversight or control of Big Oil in general and BP in particular. Last month the revelations continued. Leading up to the Sunday eclipse date, on July 8th Democracy Now! reported:

    BP meanwhile says it’s now aiming to seal off the well by the end of the month, weeks before the company’s public deadline. The new July 27th target coincides with BP’s date to report second-quarter earnings and speak to investors.

    The coincidence of dates is too good to be accidental. Of course the issue is PR versus actual benefit to the environment; a similar concern to what was raised when BP took out millions of dollars worth of ads in the wake of the disaster. BP has also been accused of being more concerned with image over substance in initially under-reporting the actual estimated flow from the ruptured well. Interestingly, on July 12th, the day after the Solar Eclipse, a former contractor of BP was quoted on New Orleans radio station WDSU (according to Democracy Now) as follows: “the bottom line is just about money. There are some very cutthroat individuals. They’re not worried about cleaning up that spill as it is... I will never have loyalty to this company. I will always have loyalty to my country. And my country comes first. What this company is doing to this country right now is just wrong."

  2. In other news – on July 7, Democracy Now reported that a US Army whistle-blower named Bradley Manning was charged with releasing a video of indiscriminant killings of civilians in Iraq and over 50 State Department memos to the Wikileaks site. This story had a follow-up at the time of the subsequent Full Moon on July 25th when over 90,000 memos from Iraq were leaked to the same Australian Internet site. For the full story see Democracy Now! and Democracy Now!

  3. In a follow-up to the McChrystal firing, the U.S. Military announced new guidelines for magazine or other interviews. This item also appeared in the week between July 4th and 11th, namely on July 7th. Under the new rules, top-level Pentagon and military officials must first receive clearance before agreeing to any interviews or public engagement. Democracy Now!

  4. Also on the same day, President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and asserted that Israel has “shown restraint” in recent months, this while the issue of West Bank settlements is still brewing and after the well-publicized attack on a flotilla coming to the aid of Gaza that killed 9. The statement seems calculated to allay suspicions of any rift between the two countries. Israel also attacked Gaza for 22 days at the very beginning of 2009, just before President Obama took office, although he has always failed to comment on this act.

  5. Finally, on July 9th a story surfaced that a tape existed of a conversation between Kissinger and Nixon discussing a CIA assassination in Chile on the eve of the overthrow of Salvador Allende. The only newsworthy part of the disclosure was that the U.S. had previously claimed no CIA involvement. For the full story see Democracy Now!

The above referenced news items all show a powerful undercurrent of information counter to the official Government story, that is becoming available over this summer timeframe, and of course in particular during the key lunations that trigger these strong outer planet alignments. Next month the same argument applies to both the New Moon of August 9th and also to the Full Moon period surrounding August 24th.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

At the beginning of last month we indicated that there might be more issues that would arise in the mid-June time period, with the continuing pressure on the U.S. Midheaven, or MC (Medium Coeli) and also on Venus, the MC ruler. In fact we stated that the ongoing severity of these transits “indicates a rough ride for the U.S government, possibly in connection with military operations, as the events of this climactic year continue to unfold.” Of course the big news last month in that area was the surprising and sudden resignation of General McChrystal, both United States and NATO commander for the coalition forces in Afghanistan, after a raucous Rolling Stone article aired his comments of insubordination and lack of regard for his commander-in-chief. It is instructive to take a look at the transits to the U.S. chart for that day, June 23rd.

What was unique in that day’s transits as opposed to rest of the the month’s were of course the fast-moving positions of Sun and Moon, and with the rest of the personal planets The Sun was at 2 degrees of Cancer, therefore exactly square to the U.S. Midheaven, and also conjoining U.S. Venus. This, in and of itself, is of course not a major transit, but it is a triggering factor in coordination with the Cardinal T-square that hits this same set of sensitive points. Uranus and Jupiter are currently and were then opposed and Pluto square to the U.S. MC at 2 degrees of Libra, while Saturn draws neigh. The Uranus-Jupiter conjunction was in fact still quite close, with Jupiter only a few minutes of a degree away from its opposition to U.S MC. The Moon, in the last degree of Scorpio, made a sesquiquadrate aspect that morning to U.S. Sun, during the fateful meeting between McChrystal and president Obama. The Moon also squared transiting Neptune within a degree, which even now remains in close conjunction with U.S. Moon, representing the public. Even transiting Mercury, Venus and Mars got into the act. Transiting Venus was sextile U.S. Uranus, an indication of the suddenness of this event, while also making an exact septile to U.S. Midheaven. Mars exactly squared U.S. Uranus. Mercury, representing the media, trined U.S. Moon within a degree. With the Afghanistan war in question anyway, and the purported timetable for withdrawal only a year off, the firing of its leader became a media circus.

With Neptune so clearly in the picture of these transits, since it currently conjoins U.S. Moon, the element of deception becomes a possible issue. Was there anything about this event that was not strictly out in the open? There has of course been speculation that McChrystal’s political suicide in the Rolling Stone Magazine article was, rather than a collection of chance remarks, more precisely an exit strategy from an unwinnable war. His letter of resignation in his hand, he traveled stateside for his meeting with the president already packed and ready to leave the Afghanistan theater; he has now announced his retirement. In the midst of all this public drama, what is also called into question is an increasingly unpopular strategy for winning hearts and minds in Afghanistan while defeating an elusive and entrenched enemy, even as civilian causalities continue to mount. This particular conflict in fact evokes many comparisons to the Vietnam War era, when a similar contrast of goals was very much in the news. It seems that the political solution that President Obama has called for, and constantly emphasizes, must be somehow reconciled with the brute force represented by military action. So the entire motivation for this war of perhaps invasion is very cloudy.

Neptune emerges from his current close collision with U.S. Moon and enters Pisces, his own sign, in the spring of 2011, and this might well indicate that this would be a time for new developments in this area of the public perception of the Afghan war. This is also when the current timetable for withdrawal of U.S. forces is just about to begin.

In this next month of the summer of 2010, the Cardinal T-square gets even more intense, especially within the July 4th – July 11th period and also with the Full Moon of July 25th. Further events that shake up the established leadership and power of America vis-à-vis the world are quite likely to result.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

When May’s configurations showed pressure last month on the U.S. Mars-Neptune square it seemed logical to imagine that there might be issues of deception and the military that would come to light again during May’s mid-month New Moon, which took place on May 13th.  A sampling of the news stories from that very day is revealing.

First – in Afghanistan:

Obama Addresses Rise of Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan

President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met at the White House Wednesday. Karzai is on his first trip to Washington since President Obama expanded the war in Afghanistan by ordering the deployment of 30,000 more troops. During a press conference, President Obama addressed the rising number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

President Obama: “When there is a civilian casualty, that is not just a political problem for me. I am ultimately accountable, just as General McChrystal is accountable, for somebody who is not on the battlefield who got killed. And that is something that I have to carry with me and that anybody who’s involved in a military operation has to carry with them. And so we do not take that lightly. We have an interest in reducing civilian casualties not because it’s a problem for President Karzai; we have an interest in reducing civilian casualties because I don’t want civilians killed.”

President Obama did not detail how he or General. McChrystal are held accountable when US forces kill Afghan civilians. The number of civilians killed by US forces have spiked in recent years. In February, US and Afghan gunmen killed two pregnant mothers, a teenage girl and two local officials in a botched nighttime raid. US forces then tried to cover up the killings by claiming that the three women had been discovered bound and gagged, apparently killed execution style. Earlier this week, the New York Times revealed that the number of Afghan civilians shot by US and NATO convoys at military checkpoints has recently jumped. At least twenty-eight Afghans have been killed and forty-three wounded in convoy and checkpoint shootings this year.

The above story is from Democracy Now. See the full story

Then in Iraq:

Withdrawal of US Combat Troops from Iraq Delayed

The Guardian newspaper reports the White House is likely to delay the withdrawal of the first large phase of combat troops from Iraq for at least a month after escalating bloodshed and political instability in the country. The US commander, General Ray Odierno, had originally expected to give the order within sixty days of the general election held in Iraq on March 7. In a message to Congress yesterday, President Obama said the situation in Iraq continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.

For link, see above.

Finally, remembering that among other things, Neptune rules oil, we must also consider the biggest environmental disaster ever associated with the oil industry, the Gulf Oil Spill of 2010. Of course this spill began earlier, with the explosion  in April, and it is instructive to examine the transits for this date. But on the May 13th New Moon, the following story did also surface:

Report: Owner of Oil Rig Seeks to Limit Liability to $27M

The Dow Jones Newswire is reporting that Transocean, the owner and operator of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that exploded and sank last month, is seeking to limit its liability to just under $27 million. The world’s biggest offshore driller is filing the request in the US District Court in Houston under a century-and-a-half-old law originally aimed at helping US ship owners compete with foreign-flagged vessels. Transocean’s rig was being leased by BP at the time of the April 20th explosion that killed eleven workers and caused the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, evidence emerged Wednesday that the oil well failed a pressure test hours before the drilling rig exploded. Pressure tests are conducted to ensure the integrity of cement poured into the well to keep out natural gas. Congressman Henry Waxman discussed the test findings at a congressional hearing Wednesday.

Henry Waxman: "The anomalies in the pressure testing present a significant question that should be thoroughly investigated. Just hours before the explosion, tests on the well returned results that signaled a possible well failure and the influx of gas up the wall. Yet it appears that the companies did not suspend well operations, and now eleven workers are dead and the Gulf Coast region faces catastrophic environmental damages. We need to know if that’s the case and why it was the case."
For a really good description of the factors that caused the disaster – see the 60 minutes story.

Finally here are the relevant transits for the spill and ongoing leak – which took place at 11 PM on Tuesday, April 20th. Ironically the scope of the disaster only began to be discovered two days later - on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Here are the details of the U.S. transits. U.S. Neptune was indeed strongly constellated, with transiting Jupiter opposed and also exactly contra-parallel. Meanwhile the Moon was exactly sextile U.S. Neptune at the time of the accident, and semi-sextile Mars. The Moon in Cancer was also conjunct U.S. Mercury representing the media, while transiting Venus was sextile. The Sun, newly entered into Venus-ruled Taurus as befits Earth Day two days later, aspected the U.S. Sun, Venus and Midheaven. Neptune on U.S. Moon continued to indicate that confusion and deception were in the air. The U.S. public has been continuously misinformed by the BP oil company, regarding both the scope of the spill and its causes. Interestingly, the Moon also closely aspected U.S. Moon, representing the public, exact within 30 minutes of the time of the accident. The transiting Moon was also square U.S. Chiron, an indication of the painful nature of this incident, which continues to spew oil into the gulf waters at the time of this writing, with no end in sight. An important part of the United States fishing industry is located in the gulf. The transits to U.S. Mercury emphasize that the accident sends an important message. In this case one message is about the effects of greed, since the evidence is beginning to mount that safety regulations were ignored in an effort to make the well begin to produce faster in view of delays that had been experienced. BP was supposedly losing many millions a day over the delay in bringing in the well.

In the current month, the New Moon conjuncts U.S. Mars, once more bringing the military into the picture as well as further issues of deception. The transits that are most critical at the time of the New Moon are transiting Saturn in trine to U.S Pluto, Uranus and Jupiter in opposition to U.S. Midheaven as Pluto squares it, and Pluto’s opposition to U.S. Jupiter and Venus, the Midheaven ruler. Neptune continues to conjunct U.S. Moon, representing the public. Altogether these transits indicate a rough ride for the U.S government, possibly in connection with military operations, as the events of this climactic year continue to unfold.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Last month’s New Moon was in conjunction with U.S Chiron and square U.S. Mercury while aspecting U.S Neptune. At the same time the transiting positions of Neptune and Chiron remained in conjunction with U.S. Moon, representing the public. This indicates that deception regarding the true motives of U.S diplomacy could manifest, and that uncovering the truth of this deception could be a painful revelation for the public at large. In this regard it is interesting to note that on the very day of the New Moon, President Obama made his announcement regarding the Israeli peace process – detailed as follows in Democracy Now.

Obama: US Can’t Impose Mideast Peace

After the nuclear summit came to a close, Obama delivered a statement on the status of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Obama said he is frustrated by the slow pace of negotiations, but appeared to pin equal blame on both sides for the impasse.

President Obama: “I know that even if we are applying all of our political capital to that issue, the Israeli people, through their government, and the Palestinian people, through the Palestinian Authority, as well as other Arab states, may say to themselves, we are not prepared to resolve this—these issues, no matter how much pressure the United States brings to bear. And the truth is, in some of these conflicts, the United States can’t impose solutions unless the participants in these conflicts are willing to break out of old patterns of antagonism.”

Obama made no mention of Israel’s refusal to halt settlement construction in occupied East Jerusalem. The Obama administration has said it opposes the settlements, but has refused to propose cutting any of the billions of dollars in annual US aid to Israel.

The full story.

It is interesting also to remember that in the weeks preceding his inauguration, Mr. Obama stood idly by and made no comment during the vicious attack on Gaza that killed at least 1200 civilians. It seems that in spite of claims of neutrality, the United States government has been solidly on the side of Israel, making only token protest of the continued settlements within occupied Palestine. For a trenchant analysis see this article by activist writer Noam Chomsky, published in Truthout.

In his article, Chomsky mentions specifically that the U.S. media seems complicit in exonerating the American government of any bias on the part of Israel. It is interesting that U.S. Mercury, representing the media, was involved in these recent mid-April transits.

For the current month of May, there are similar aspects brought about by the Taurus New Moon, taking place on May 13th, so that we might expect further developments in this story, or others like it. There are after all many examples of deception on the part of the U.S government, and involving the media.

Finally, at month’s end, when transiting Uranus enters Aries, there to square transiting Pluto, we might expect events that are even more dramatic, some of them involving revelations of deception, since transiting Neptune and Chiron are still very much involved. Uranus in Aries begins to oppose the U.S. Midheaven, and Pluto begins to square it. The summer of 2010 sees the full flowering of these aspects. In June, Jupiter joins Uranus, bringing unexpected events and epiphanies, and in July, Saturn re-enters Libra, completing the picture.

In September, Pluto stations in almost exact square to U.S. Midheaven, representing the government, with Saturn nearby, while transiting Chiron exactly conjuncts U.S. Moon, representing the public. These are therefore the dates to watch as we enter the third phase of major transition in this country.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Polarity and the End of Polarity

Last month we mentioned that the mid-month time period would be insightful and might have military implications. That was because as Neptune continued to conjunct U.S. Moon, the New Moon conjunct transiting Uranus was semi-sextile U.S. Moon and opposed to U.S. Neptune. Neptune can also represent deception. Mars in the U.S. chart represents the military, and Neptune is square to Mars in the U.S. chart. Deception with regard to what the military does in this country is of course widely recognized. In view of these mid-month transits it was very interesting to note that there was indeed an issue relating to deception in the military that came up at precisely this time.

This story broke on March 15th.

Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants
The Pentagon has launched a criminal investigation of a Defense Department official who set up a network of private contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan to help track and kill suspected militants. The New York Times reports the official, Michael Furlong, has been accused of running an off-the-books spy operation with the help of private contractors who gathered intelligence on the whereabouts of suspected militants and the location of insurgent camps. It is generally considered illegal for the military to hire contractors to act as covert spies. Two of the contractors hired by the military were the writer Robert Young Pelton and Eason Jordan, the former chief news executive for CNN. Pelton said he and Jordan were hired by the military to run a public website to help the government gain a better understanding of the region but that their reporting was then used to kill people.
The above quote is from Democracy Now, but here is a link to the story in the New York Times.

Of course the most interesting set of events this past month has been the passage of the long-awaited Health Care Bill by the House of Representatives, without a single Republican vote. The invective and posturing surrounding this effort were massive, with some representatives insulted by racial slurs as they showed up to vote for the bill on this recent historic Sunday, March 21st. This was just the time that the Sun reached the second degree of Aries, opposing Saturn and triggering the Saturn – Uranus opposition. This opposition, getting closer by the day now, was exact at the time of the last election, and is moving into another exact alignment by the end of April. This is another entirely appropriate set of astrological symbolism, since Saturn opposed to Uranus represents polarity of a massive kind, the motivation to hold back versus the urge to go forward.

Since Uranus is continuing to oppose Saturn even more closely at the end of this next month and also over the summer, we might expect that these types of controversy will become even more heated as the weeks go by, both in the collective and in our personal lives. It is essential in these times of conflicting ideas that we each and all of us attempt to take the high road, honoring the other one’s opinion no matter how diverse. Only by finding a third point of view that rises above seeming conflict will we be able to find some modicum of peace in these troubled times.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Inevitable Civilian Casualties?

Last month we noted that the mid-month time period was once more significant, since we would see the New Moon in conjunction with Neptune and Chiron making strong aspects to the U.S. Moon and Midheaven. Prognostication is tricky with Neptune, being such a slippery planet, but we did in fact witness some interesting mid-February activity, with the first civilian deaths from the U.S. military stepped-up anti-Taliban offensive in Helmand Province.

The following headline and story appeared on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now:

12 Die as U.S. Bombs Wrong House as Part of New Afghan Offensive

Thousands of US and NATO forces have launched one of the largest military offensives of the eight-year war in an attempt to remove the Taliban from the city of Marjah in Helmand province. US officials have described the operation as a success so far, but on Sunday twelve Afghans died when two rockets fired by NATO slammed into the wrong house. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called for an investigation into the deaths. Ten of those killed were from the same family. The US said the dead included nine civilians and three insurgents. Prior to the errant bombing, Admiral Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said a goal of the operation was to have no civilian casualties.

Of course there have been many more civilian deaths reported in the weeks following this report from February 15th – as many as three times the original number – but this was the first. The transit of Neptune and Chiron continued, and transiting Mars made a close aspect also to U.S. Midheaven in the weeks following the New Moon.

This report is interesting in the light of the Neptune transit, with the New Moon, to both the Midheaven and Ascendant of the U.S. chart as well as to the U.S. Moon at 27 Aquarius, only a degree away. There is certainly a confused attitude on the part of the public in this country and even within the administration. Is the war in Afghanistan producing inevitable civilian casualties because the U.S is defending its interests and waging a just and necessary war or is there another way to look at this foreign policy objective, begun under President Bush after 9-11 and continued by the Obama administration, as one that has become a quagmire with initial motives other than those officially stated in the beginning? Or even worse is there actual deception that is still ongoing? These questions are murky, as befits a Neptune transit. The U.S. public is definitely beginning to question the war in general.

With Chiron also involved we could even suspect that the American public is more concerned about the morality of this war than might be evident on the surface of public opinion, especially as revealed on the TV screen. If dozens of civilians in this country were killed by a series of bomb attacks directed at a criminal element but targeting “the wrong house” it is safe to assume that there would be a far greater outcry.

In the coming month the New Moon of course conjuncts Uranus and Mercury as Uranus sextiles U.S Pluto and opposes U.S. Neptune, while transiting Neptune conjuncts U.S. Moon exactly. It is also interesting to note that U.S. Uranus makes an inconjunct to U.S. Eris which can be linked to war-like activity just as Mars is. In Greek mythology, Eris was the mythological sister of Ares (Mars).

This combination of transits suggests unexpected events along the same lines as in the previous month, presumably involving the Afghan war but possibly relating to an equivalent issue elsewhere in the world. There will continue to be confusion on the part of the U.S. public and a growing empathy with the citizens of other lands that are directly impacted by military decisions made in Washington.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Chart of Haiti

Last month we noted for January that the mid-month time of the Solar Eclipse and New Moon would be a dicey period, since Saturn was still conjunct the U.S. Midheaven while Pluto squared it. Some kind of test for this country was indicated. Indeed this was the time period of the devastating Haiti Earthquake that left 170,000 dead and more than one million homeless in its wake. Of course the quake was more of an impact on Haiti than on the Western world that was called to rise up in response, and the transits to the chart of Haiti were quite severe also, when examined for the date and time of the original quake, 1/12/2010 at 16:53 EST (for an analysis see below). But the test to the responsive abilities of America was also of great interest given the transits to the U.S. chart for the eclipse date, two days after the quake itself and just when the international response was getting underway. The response of the Western powers has to get poor marks overall, although many people were helped and lives saved by the actions of the international community, lead by the United States. There were many mistakes made while getting food and medical relief to the hundreds of thousands of wounded and refugee population, mostly because it was the U.S. military that was handed this mission. Instead of aid delivery, military presence and security were prioritized.

On Friday, January 15, the U. S. military took over the airport and supervised the eventual deployment of 15,000 troops, mostly to keep order. Meanwhile, of seven hospital planes that attempted to land over the following weekend, only one was allowed to land in Port-au-Prince, the rest being told to land many miles away in the Dominican Republic. As a result, much-needed medicine had a much further route to travel to reach the people who so desperately need it.

Medical Group Faults US Militarization of Haitian Relief

The US, meanwhile, is being accused of prioritizing the delivery of troops and military equipment over direly needed aid. Doctors Without Borders legal director Francoise Saulnier says a plane carrying over twelve tons of aid was turned back from landing three times this week.

Francoise Saulnier: "Now everything has been mixed together, and the urgent and vital attention to the people have been delayed, while military logistic—which is useful, but not on day three, not on day four, but maybe on day eight—this military logistic has really jammed the airport and led to this mismanagement, real mismanagement of vital issues." See Democracy Now!

In responding to the massive earthquake the United States population gave generously. The ten-dollar donations by cell phone to the American Red Cross for Haitian aid rapidly overwhelmed the servers that were set up to handle them. It is interesting in this regard to check the transits for the U.S. chart – with transiting Pluto opposed to the Jupiter-Venus conjunction in the U.S. 7th house, referring to generosity toward other nations. Also transiting Neptune and Chiron were found directly on U.S. Moon, symbolizing the American people. This is consistent with a spiritual impulse of sacrifice and a compassion recognition of others' pain.

This Neptune transit to U.S. Moon is emphasized next month also, most especially once again at the time of the mid-month New Moon, which conjuncts Neptune. Also at that time, transiting Neptune makes a bi-quintile aspect to the U.S. Midheaven, as Pluto and Saturn continue to impact that sensitive point. The Midheaven of the U.S. chart refers to the leadership of the country, most particularly to the Obama administration. So we might see compassion evidenced by the administration at this time, or perhaps only confusion and deception, since Neptune is such a slippery planetary archetype. Time will tell.

A Look at the Transits to the Chart of Haiti

A glance at the chart of modern Haiti's founding, January 1, 1804, as given in Nick Campion's Book of World Horoscopes, p. 193 (see chart) is quite revealing regarding the power of Astrology to lend meaning to the events of our lives. You can see that the current Saturn – Pluto square is all over this chart, since a Saturn conjunction with Haiti's Saturn is underway. Saturn was stationing on Haiti's Saturn at the time of the occurrence. Further, the Moon at the time of the earthquake was at a similar degree to transiting Neptune and Chiron, transiting Sun and Venus, and transiting Uranus, all lined up with Haiti's Neptune and Haiti's Mercury/Venus midpoint. The Solar Eclipse a few days later exactly squared Haiti's Neptune.

These transits point up Neptune the transformer. It is not well-known, but Neptune too can be a transformer, just as Pluto is. Neptune changes you by dissolving the knottiness of the past so that you have the chance to breathe again. In this case, with Neptune involved, it may well be that just as attitudes toward Haiti on the part of the Western world will soften, inevitably, as the world reaches out to help this terribly damaged country to rebuild, so too will the attitudes of Haitians soften in response. And this is part of the transformation that must happen, in this pivotal decade, as we leave behind the mistakes of the past and move forward into a time when we treasure every aspect of our human family rather than one particular tribe (our own) and when as a culture we begin to respect and celebrate all the colors of the rainbow.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Disturbing Revelations

Last month we were talking about the possibility for surprising and possibly disturbing revelations, in the third week of December, from the 16th to the 24th, when Pluto in square aspect to the U.S. Midheaven would be highlighted. The First Quarter Moon of the 24th was mentioned as a particularly dicey time since the Sun exactly conjoined with transiting Pluto on that day.

Of course the two biggest stories of the month took place around this time, first the break-down of the Copenhagen talks and secondly the health care bill that finally passed the Senate on December 24th.

This was the text of a news story appearing on the 19th as the talks in were breaking down, a defeat in part to U.S. global leadership:

It's 2.30 am and dejection is palpable in the halls of Copenhagen's Bella Centre, home to the last two week's climate talks. Obama has left; there's another draft deal being passed around; Gordon Brown says he's happy; the G77 block of poor nations is crying bloody murder; delegates are leaving in droves, looking tired and depressed. The sense, generally, is that the last two years have been a waste of time.

Outside, meanwhile, hundreds have gathered carrying big yellow signs that scream "climate shame".

The draft text is the most vague we've seen so far, with all specific targets for cutting emissions stripped out, replaced by a list of the commitments that various nations have already made. Speaking to the US press before jetting back to Washington DC, Obama himself suggested it was "a case where instead of taking one step forward we may have taken two steps back". A week ago, given the number of world leaders involved, this degree of failure seemed impossible. Now, it seems inevitable.

See NewScientist.

This raises the question that will reverberate down the corridors of time about whether the government of any nation is really serious about climate change. The climactic configurations of the next few years point to conflicts and difficulties to be resolved, and this is surely one of them.

Then the Senate health care bill that came up also in this latter part of the month of December is also huge for America – the first major change in health care in many years and an attempt to fix an extremely dysfunctional system as is widely perceived. The final bill that passed in the early hours of Christmas Eve, the same day as the Quarter Moon, is also very much a mixed bag; some have praised it as at least a first step while others revile it and say that it does not go nearly far enough. The relevant transits, of Saturn in conjunction to the U.S. Midheaven while Pluto squares this same point, and touched off by the First Quarter Moon exactly square transiting Pluto, speak to the issue being transformative for the way that government in this country operates and is viewed. The Pluto transit to the U.S. Midheaven is all about the transformation of that government by trials that will test its efficacy, and on that regard it could be said that: (a) the system worked, a bill was produced and that (b) the system did not work very well for the common man, but more for the moneyed interests that are also at stake here, that is, the insurance industry's profits, which are considered sacrosanct.

Either way it is plain to see that things are changing rapidly today in America.

Over the next few months, the significant transits are the same ones that we have already seen, namely the Saturn – Pluto square that aligns with the U.S. Midheaven, effective for the next nine months at least, plus the Uranus in square to the U.S Midheaven, opposed by Saturn, which really comes into its own in late May 2010, and the Uranus – Pluto square, which is active over the coming several years, and which becomes exact for the first time in June of 2012. Taken in sum, these transits mean nothing less than the transformation of America, and of the American life style, a transformation that was began in 2001 with the Saturn – Pluto opposition that was active then across the U.S Ascendant. This touched off the transit of Pluto through the First House of the U.S. chart, and eventually in opposition to the U.S. Sun degree (beyond 2012).

In the near future, the Solar Eclipse of January 15th conjuncts U.S Pluto, while transiting Pluto still squares the U.S. Midheaven, so more that fireworks are obviously indicated, with the forces for progressive change still duking it out with the forces for conservative reactivity. The remaining debates on health care promise to be every bit as bloody as the first have been, and maybe even more so, as the State of the Union message looms in the same mid-month timeframe.