Dear Friend and Reader:
Today all eight remaining members of the Supreme Court disqualified themselves from ruling on whether the phone records of the ‘DC Madam’ should be released to the public. Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who ran an escort service that catered to the Washington elite, amassed thousands of clients, 812 of whom are listed in a phone register obtained from Verizon that is currently under seal by a lower federal court.
Palfrey died after being convicted of various crimes in 2008, and since then her attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, has been under a gag order not to release her client list.
However, Sibley has argued that not releasing the list will deprive voters of information they might need in making a selection for their presidential candidate of choice in this November’s election.
Sibley filed a motion with a lower federal court to reverse the gag order, but the court refused to accept his application. So he petitioned the Supreme Court to compel the lower court to accept his motion. Then suddenly, all eight remaining members of the court recused themselves from the case due to a potential conflict of interest.
SCOTUSBlog, which covers the court exclusively, speculated that either the justices were on the list, or that they had friends who were. [One source said that recently deceased Associate Justice Antonin Scalia had a preference for young women in bunny suits prancing around his hotel suite — though never undressing or engaging in any sexual contact.]
As of Thursday afternoon, USNews.com reported that Sibley said he had the list on a 72-hour countdown clock, placed on four servers, that would release the information to the Internet automatically in the event of his disappearance. He insinuated that he might be working with WikiLeaks.
How much of that story is true?
Everything except the part about the Supreme Court justices recusing themselves. And possibly Scalia’s fetish for women in bunny costumes.
Apart from that, it’s all real — the DC Madam (who had more than 5,000 clients in her registry), her lawyer (who really is threatening to release a subset of that list), and his assertion that the list could influence the election.
Just imagine if that list were published. How many honest-to-God, family-values Christians would turn up?
The DC Madam’s list is just one example of the chaos bomb that society is perched on top of every day.
There are many such examples of something that could happen in one moment that could change everything. We used to worry about the world being rigged for nuclear war. Now there are many kinds of detonations possible, many of which result in implosions rather than explosions. Notice how frequently the fear of ‘collapse’ surfaces in our minds, and in our culture.
Last week, I compared the long-in-development, forthcoming Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries to the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1965-66. That was the astrological spark at the center of this thing we now call the Sixties.
I wondered out loud whether astrologers at the time were aware of this event developing — however, I didn’t get it right. Based on the available information, I grossly underestimated how much astrologers knew in that era. Here’s how I found that out.
Shortly after press time last week, Richard Tarnas, author of Cosmos and Psyche, sent me a link to an article from 1965 written by Dane Rudhyar, wherein he explains the conjunction that was about to change the world — or, by some metrics, already was, since by the time he was writing, JFK had been assassinated and the Beatles had already shown up in New York City.
Both of these events were points of origination of the Sixties era, and are described by the Uranus-Pluto conjunction that was then in the works.
I mentioned Rudhyar, who was perhaps the most influential astrologer of the 20th century, helping to bring the work out of Medieval times and into a useful, contemporary context. He is best known for his book An Astrological Mandala, his last work, which is a re-interpretation of the Sabian symbols.
Writing about the first of three meetings of those planets that would take place later the same year and into 1966, he said in an article, “This should hardly be news to any person interested in astrology as the magazines have spoken for a long time of this aspect made more disquieting by an opposition to Saturn.”
So — now we have a direct reference to a discussion that was developing at the time.
“We therefore are confronted with an extensive and prolonged situation, and it would be rather foolish to expect that this first Uranus-Pluto conjunction on October 9th, 1965 will end a process. It is more likely to begin one.”
He refers to the Uranus-Neptune conjunction of 1821 and the immediately ensuing Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1850-51, which “paved the way, as it were, for what has slowly been unfolding until now.”
Then Rudhyar wrote, adding his own emphasis in the bold text: “These two cycles were preludes; they marked critical states, the periods of transition between the old and the new. Now the real thing is about to happen, and obviously many people will not like it. The institutionalized minds of political leaders, university regents and boards of trustees or directors will fight against the change, just as classes and groups owning privileges and special positions have always fought against inevitable social, political and cultural changes. But the new always wins in the end, tragic as may be the victory.”
Yes indeed. He may as well have been browsing ahead into the next eight years of New York Timesarchives.
Uranus Conjunct Eris, 2016-2017
We are now faced with a similar conjunction: Uranus is about to begin a new cycle with Eris. This event is in high-energy Aries.
As its name implies, Eris describes the fundamental chaos of our era. The planet is named for the Greek goddess of chaos, whom the Romans adapted and called Discordia. Yet this is more than mere cultural upheaval; it works on the level of the psyche in subtle ways.
One way, for example, is the influence of the smart phone on a person’s sense of identity. Eris in Aries is associated with a kind of identity dysphoria, and from a media analysis standpoint, it’s clear that this has something to do with the technology we use and define ourselves through.
I had not checked till a moment ago, but at the moment the iPhone was announced, at the Macworld convention on Jan. 9, 2007 (reasonably, the beginning of the ‘smart phone revolution’), both the Sun and Mercury in Capricorn were in a close square to Eris in Aries.
For its part, Eris had only been discovered two years earlier and named six months earlier — so its emergence coincides with what I consider the most important technological (or perhaps marketing) advance of our lifetimes so far — seen strictly from the standpoint of how it affects who we think we are.
This is not exactly obvious; and it’s worth considering the ways that Uranus, so closely intertwined with technology, is going to push this off the charts a few more times.
Regarding minor planets, I suggest using extreme caution when imbibing the work of astrologers who strive to oversimplify the delineation of a new discovery (beware of keywords), who overcomplicate it, or who declare it inherently negative.
Many on the Interwebs are trying to delineate Eris when it’s their first time at the minor planet rodeo. Please do not use the speculation of inexperienced astrologers, no matter how famous, to make decisions about yourself.
I have found it much more informative to ask my readers what they think an unusual aspect like this is about. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been doing exactly that, and have received some of the most astute observations I’ve ever read about Eris, or about any minor planet for that matter.
Today I would like to share some of them with you, as I think they will turn on the lights and illuminate what an amazing aspect this really is. We are considering two factors initially, Uranus and Eris, in a conjunction — and then a third, a slow-mover called Haumea, discovered in 2004, that is currently opposite both of them in Libra.
Let’s start with the conjunction, then bring in Haumea.
Try To Find Me With Your Internet Thingie
Shannon writes, describing her form of identity chaos: “I’ve been homeless and couch surfing since Oct. 1. Because I’ve been moving around so much, I haven’t updated my address on my license, or with anyone who would look for me (creditors). I also changed my cell phone number and so no creditors can call, or ever find me. For all they know, I’m dead. It’s true identity chaos. Terrible for my credit but it doesn’t much matter at this point. Can’t bleed a stone!
“My friend called Toyota the other day and I heard her give them her old home address. I laughed so hard when I realized that other people are doing this as well, so that their car cannot be repossessed if payments are missed. Not ethical, of course. But it is what it is. I find it unnerving when everyone can find me. I do feel a sense of freedom in living a mysterious life. I was most happiest when I wasn’t on Facebook for a year.”
My comment: I think it would be instructive for us to inventory the many ways that the whole concept of ‘identity’ has merged entirely with the Internet. Think of all the ways you have to constantly prove who you are, such as when setting up your Apple ID. Consider how many GPS devices are tracking your location and how many times a day you’re photographed. Then consider all the ways you can make up stories or create versions of yourself — whether in personal ads, LinkedIn or on social media.
Eris as Inner Teacher, Neither Attracted nor Repulsed
Andrea Argenta writes: “Today I read: ‘Plant seeds of intention, peace and hope for what you wish to see in our world’. That reminded me that the time to ‘hope’ for something to happen has been buried on December 21, 2012 when the Old Age ended.
“However, the majority of people are still looking or waiting or hoping for somebody or something external to solve our problems. And although I’m very conscious about it, I sometimes forget and also blame external circumstances! Nevertheless, it seems that astronomically and astrologically we are in a New Age and I’m an optimist believer that we are in the transitional process, so we are still learning…
“I’ve been wondering for some time if the many ways in which Uranus and Eris are been defined may (also) have been tinted by the patriarchal discourse or understanding that traverse most of us? So I’m playing around by turning the view inwardly. Here are some thoughts:
“Instead of Uranus ‘the planet of the (external) technological revolution’, I’m thinking of Uranus as a kind of inner technology that allows Self knowing, to undo the current structures of personality, to get rid of the excess of ego, to stop looking outside for answers, to stop blaming everything/anybody outside ourselves.
“Uranus is inner technology that makes us aware of cause-effect and therefore to accept and to take responsibilities for our actions/behaviours/sayings/etc.; inner technology through which to learn to be fully present in each present moment; to listen to ourselves and to listen to others; inner technology to develop psychic perception, clairvoyance, clairaudience, to regain the state of consciousness humans had before the fall in consciousness; inner technology that sustained synchronicity, inner technology based on faith, faith that there is no separation between us and the Great Spirit.
“Instead of Eris ‘the Warrior Princess’, ‘the Goddess of Discord’, I’m thinking of her as the goddess that reminds us that we are not the personality, a kind of inner teacher who holds the neutral position that is not attracted or repulsed; the neutral witness who watches the ebb and flow of the mind, who watches as the personality builds her/his life, who alerts on the inner status quo, who reminds us of detachment keeping herself outside the current personality structure.”
No comment necessary.
Uranus-Eris: Breakdown – Breakthrough – Breakfree
Zanya writes: “I have been working on a piece about Haumea opposing Eris which is coming up on April 1. Fitting since it is April Fool’s Day and Eris can be such a trickster.
“There is a rebirth at hand and Haumea is the midwife. But what is going to be reborn? We are! If you view Eris as the process we have learned (out of necessity) to go through the Uranus/Pluto squares in which she has been a participant.
“The Process is Breakdown – Breakthrough – Breakfree. Whatever Eris does is purposeful in the end. She doesn’t just catalyze change, she is the experience of the change itself. The Breakdown is the emotional pain and turmoil we initially go through when we encounter our old patterns.
“We must embrace this Breakdown — not expressing it by diving into the drama, repressing it with denial or avoidance, or projecting it. We must contain it and go through the transmutation experience.
“Uranus triggers the reaction and Pluto insists that the only way out is through. The Breakthrough part is when we get on the other side of the emotional reactions and recognize the pattern for the mirror it is. We see how we were programmed with it and how it plays itself out.
“The Breakfree part may not come until much later when we have encountered multiple layers of the pattern and sub-patterns and finally truly come to acceptance that it is our own creation and forgive others and ourselves for creating it, realizing that it is for our own growth. It is purposeful!
“The opposition of Haumea and Eris can be a powerful Breakfree point!
“After all this Pisces energy, many are feeling lost, confused, and unhinged and asking questions like: Who am I now that I have recognized, cleared, and healed huge chunks of karma? Where do I belong? What am I supposed to do now? We await the Rebirth of Ourselves as our Authentic Self, apart from much of our old dysfunctional behavior. What was hidden under all that shadow material must now be recognized, acknowledged, integrated, and accepted as who we truly are. Sounds easy but it is not!
“I remember you saying that one of your astrological associates had said something like when Pluto transits are over, you miss them. I really agree, but there is something more to it. We miss them because, even though they are painful, they have become familiar. We know what they are and how to deal with them.
“What comes next now? We face the unknown again. That unknown is not outside of us, but it is within us. Can we accept that these changes are real? If they are, then we must admit that we are a very different person than we were when this catharsis began several years ago.
“I think that this opposition between Eris and Haumea is the direction we need to leave the Pluto/Uranus square behind. It is a long-term, ongoing aspect [2014-2019], and it has been a long, long time since it occurred. It precedes or actually overlaps the Uranus/Eris conjunction. It compels us to, once again, ask the age-old questions of: Who am I and why am I here? We are making these inquiries from a totally new perspective now.
“We live in amazing and fascinating times!”
Indeed we do. And getting more amazing and fascinating by the hour.
Short Monthly Horoscope for April 2016, #1094 | By Eric Francis
Aries (March 20-April 19) — Believing in yourself and making an impression on the world: that’s what these weeks of your life are about. When you have confidence, you don’t need luck; you know how to take the right chances. When you have faith in yourself, people of influence notice you. You know you’re in the right place at the right time. Yet there’s one more vital way to express your sense of belonging: look toward the future. Right now that takes courage. Most people do not dare. Be the bold one and reach forward. You know that great things are possible. Now, prove it to yourself.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You have a rare moment when you can completely redefine yourself. More than a makeover; you can reach into the deepest levels of your being and, in a sense, rewrite the story of your life. In some ways you’ve been on this assignment for a while, though now comes the moment of full engagement with your new reality. The difference is between seeing something as outside yourself and experiencing it as coming from authentic inner experience. You cannot plan these things, but sometimes they happen. The undeniable message: have faith in your ability to actually be yourself, when it counts the most.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Sometimes you try to make a goal, and then aspire to it. Other times, you find yourself doing something truly interesting that you never planned on, but discover that you love. Whatever new mission finds you this month will call forth your very best qualities, including your confidence expressing yourself in group situations. If you trust nothing else in this life, have faith in your voice. By that I mean your physical voice and how beautiful it is, and also the fact that you have something to say. Now you get to put the two together in grand style.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You may be feeling the cosmic invitation to success that the butler so recently handed you: your cue to make your mark on the world. Originality is often overrated, and ascribed incorrectly; though it is certainly the theme of your current solar chart. The beauty is that you don’t have to do much to make it real — merely present yourself in the way that feels right to you, from moment to moment. There is also something about exchange. Where professional and vocational matters are concerned, always know what you’re offering, and what you’re being offered.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Skip back 10 years and ask yourself what, at that time, you thought you would be doing now. Does it resemble what you have going on today? Now, project that magnitude of change 10 years ahead and imagine the possibilities. Time seems to be moving so fast that you must keep your eyes right on the ground in front of you. I suggest you look up, and look out, and notice what you see. Then bring that vision into the present moment and create some aspect of it right now. You don’t need to delay, or spend your time waiting.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Recently, a compelling influence has entered your life, as if you’re being drawn ahead by a kind of magnetic beam. You know you’ll discover good and beautiful things about yourself, and about the world, if you follow this pull. This is not about abandoning the past, but about reinterpreting it. Nearly every last thing you’ve ever learned finds its way into being useful now. You have learned plenty. The main thing to remember is that nothing is irrelevant; everything you know has a valid use and a valid purpose. Yet you will discover that you learned it all for a reason.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Relationships are rarely predictable, much as we want them to be. In fact, they often seem to defy expectations. The wise learn to work with this unpredictability factor rather than fight it. With the world as erratic as it currently is, the thing we want is stability. I would propose that you’ll find that quality the most abundant in people who have the ability to change. That and one other thing: the ability to trust the flow of events as best you can, inspired by others who do. The point of agreement that you share with another person is solid, and it’s real.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Busy is not what you want to be — productive is. The difference between these two concepts is often overlooked. I would propose that, currently, the operative difference involves money — connecting ideas, time and effort to revenue. If you do this, you’ll teach yourself to be efficient. And when you’re done, the other kind of productivity is what feels good in a nourishing way — time spent with a loved one, or creating or imbibing art and music. Pretty much anything else would qualify as buzzing about. Keep a finger on the pulse of time. Feel the heartbeat of real vitality.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Most of the great artists in history have tapped into their emotional challenges to do their work. Most would tell you that without a dependable means of expression, they would have gone mad long ago. Your chart now reveals a setup where you can take the intense emotional processing you’re doing and convey it directly into beauty and healing. Writing will be helpful, preferably in a notebook rather than on a device. Express yourself as much as you can and you will feel healthy, stable and strong. While you’re at it, indulge beauty any way you can, whatever does it for you.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You may be overwhelmed with how much you’re feeling, which is a sure indication that you’re alive and well. True, popular culture (and medical science) often make it seem like feeling too much is unhealthy. Yet life is not an exercise in being cool and detached. If anything, yours is an experiment in being real, which starts with being true to yourself. Take the time to pause and focus your words honestly, and say what you’re experiencing as best you can. Strive to keep the flow going, rather than thinking you must reach always for certainty. Authentic mystery is a form of truth.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You currently face the challenge of organizing your financial life, which has two implications. First, you want absolute clarity on where you stand in terms of assets, debts and knowing your monthly expenses and income. Yet there is a larger message, which is to have a sense of what all your valuable resources are. You have many, in the form of everything from existing work product to allies to your capacity to solve problems with original ideas. All of these will add up to running your life as a successful economic enterprise. It all starts with knowing exactly where you stand.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — For the foreseeable future, we could sum up the theme of your life in one word: leadership. That’s not the typical thing you see associated with Pisces, but it is now, on many accounts. You may have to push people a little harder than you normally like to; I suggest you think of it as being direct. State what you need. Describe the way you want things to work. Express your vision for any task or project. Assert yourself. Most significantly, do not ask whether this approach is legitimate. Rise to the calling and don’t waste your time with questions you’ve long ago answered.