Dear Friend and Reader:
We’re about 48 hours out from the big Full Moon conjunct Uranus-Eris. To recap, Uranus-Eris is the conjunction that’s the sign of our times, associated with electronic media revolutions. First a reminder: I’ll be hosting a community-wide, live edition of Planet Waves FM Friday at 9 pm as the wave is cresting.
The last time the Uranus-Eris conjunction happened was in 1927-1928, just at the dawn of the mass media age. Now it’s back, as the effects of the digital age are being seen for what they are: chaos in culture, confusion of self-concept, and a totally distorted relationship to body.
And overnight Saturday to Sunday, the Full Moon aligns to within a fraction of a degree of this rare conjunction.
The Sun and Moon personalize the effects of the distant, difficult-to-perceive conjunction, making it real to anyone who can see, hear or feel. We are witnessing the full-on effects of the digital age.
The digital realm has, among other things, induced a society-wide out-of-body experience. The internet is a synthetic astral plane. We were promised an “ascension” back in 2012 at the Mayan calendar turnover, and those predicting it were right. We ascended out of our bodies and into the datasphere. Human lives are now inseparable from the internet, or at least that’s how we live.
Robotics are taking over; the cyborgs being trained to be human and the humans trained to think like machines are racing to meet in the middle. The real question is not, “When will robots be indistinguishable from humans?” The question is, “When will humans be indistinguishable from robots?” In some ways it seems like we’re very close.
So far, my theory of what’s happening in the 2016 election has been based on media analysis. My core concept is that digital technology has so gutted the human sense of self that total chaos has taken over. Today, I have another theory, one that I learned from Wilhelm Reich. The two approaches are compatible because they both involve our relationship to our body — and how that relationship can be exploited.
Sexual Assault and the Trump Campaign
Now that sexual assault has become the dominant theme of the Trump campaign, it’s a good time to introduce another explanation of what’s happening. In the past week since last Friday’s Sun-Pluto square, we’ve learned that Donald Trump really does shove his tongue into the mouths of unwilling recipients, reached under the skirt of his fellow passenger in First Class, and walked in on the Miss Universe contestants’ dressing room.
His first wife accused him of raping her, and there’s a federal lawsuit in New York City by a woman who is alleging that as a child she was repeatedly raped while being held prisoner by Trump and an associate.
Many women are now coming forward with horror stories, some of them prompted by Trump’s outright denial of such conduct during last Sunday’s debate.
If even a few of these allegations are true, it’s a serious issue. Most sane people know they have a high probability of being so. This is based on Trump’s own affirmation: he said he did it; the accusations have been coming out for a long time. This is no “October surprise.” We have been dealing with his insults at women through the whole campaign. These include his memorable attacks on Megyn Kelly of Fox News in reprisal specifically for calling him out for his hatred of women.
One thing I observe is that Trump’s position is merely an expression of the consistent position of the Republican Party in its treatment of women: opposing the right to family planning, birth control and abortion. That’s an almost-sly attack on the personhood of women. Trump makes it overt, even suggesting that women need to be punished for having an abortion.
His running mate, Mike Pence, signed a law this year requiring women who miscarry or terminate a pregnancy to bury or cremate the fetus, forcing them to do so at their own expense.
The truly impressive thing is that as of today, about 43% of the voting American public is likely to vote for Trump. Indeed, it’s not just impressive — it’s all that matters. The attack on women has become the centerpiece of his campaign. It seems like a scandal, but it’s far more than that; it’s the heart of the matter. And you might ask: who would respond to this?
There’s a lot of history here. A doctor named Wilhelm Reich was the first to explain the connection between sexual repression and the rise of fascism, a form of government that Trump aspires to.
He perceives himself as a dictator, and his followers are responding to him like a social monarch who can do no wrong.
That “no wrong” includes contemplating nuclear war, threatening genocide, advocating brutality in his rallies, and torture both psychological and physical. It’s worth asking how this happens; it’s happened many times before.
We have to look to Dr. Reich for a real clue. Before we go there, please keep one thing in mind: sexuality is suppressed by crushing women. The oppression of sex is the oppression of women; men come along for the ride as both perps and victims. Women are trained to be both as well.
Suppression of Natural Sexuality
In Reich’s observation, the police state draws its power from sexual repression. Sexual repression actually begins in the family, during early childhood. Society is full of repressive methods and ideas, from religion to marketing to advocacy of rape and abuse. But the real damage happens when children are young. Here is a direct quote, though I’ve done some editing to split up a very long sentence and even longer paragraph.
This is from a book called The Mass Psychology of Fascism. “Suppression of the natural sexuality in the child, particularly of its genital sexuality, makes the child apprehensive, shy, obedient, afraid of authority, good and adjusted in the authoritarian sense; it paralyzes the rebellious forces because any rebellion is laden with anxiety.
“It produces, by inhibiting sexual curiosity and sexual thinking in the child, a general inhibition of thinking and of critical faculties. In brief, the goal of sexual suppression is that of producing an individual who is adjusted to the authoritarian order and who will submit to it in spite of all misery and degradation. At first the child has to submit to the structure of the authoritarian miniature state, the family; this makes it capable of later subordination to the general authoritarian system. The formation of the authoritarian structure takes place through the anchoring of sexual inhibition and anxiety.”
The last few words contain the formula: “The formation of the authoritarian structure takes place through the anchoring of sexual inhibition and anxiety.” In other words, grafting sexual inhibition TO anxiety and making them one emotion.
To sum up, when people are sexually crushed, many problems arise, including what he calls the mystical longing. Suppressed orgasm and withheld sexual gratification induce a frantic state, which include “armoring of the character, [which] is the basis of isolation, indigence, craving for authority, fear of responsibility, mystical longing, sexual misery, and neurotically impotent rebelliousness.”
The Mystical Longing and the Charismatic Leader
In a book called The Function of the Orgasm, his most famous work, Reich explains that the “mystical longing” is answered in the form of the charismatic leader.
Donald Trump may grate on many people, and disgust many others. But there’s no denying that in a crude and American way, he has a certain charisma. He’s akin to a religious huckster: a total hypocrite who makes no sense, and who draws his power on the anger and frustration of his followers.
Make no mistake: in order to forgive his vicious treatment of women, his fans must be sexually frustrated.
Nobody who snuggles and cuddles with their lover, and who draws strength and pleasure from the feminine side of life, is going to like him, or have any use for him. People who have use for him are those who are in sexual pain.
But we’re not allowed to talk about sexual pain in our culture — that is, the pain of longing. We can, however, talk about the pain of attack, and that’s what the discussion is focused on.
I have no doubt that the mechanics of the internet have so scrambled people as to make this whole situation worse. Yet the human core reality involves sexually-based emotional agony, whatever its source and whatever is facilitating it. In that state, people are susceptible to all kinds of manipulation. Feeling dead inside, they have nothing to lose, and feel like they might gain something.
It’s rare that the cycle of sexual repression to politics is expressed overtly — though that’s what we’re seeing. We are witnessing the charismatic leader who openly hates women drawing his power from profoundly sexually frustrated people.
Where to Go From Here
This is the discussion we need to have. In this environment, it would seem that relaxing and being loving is the last thing that it’s safe to do, but that’s really the only answer. The actual antidote to this chaos is love and pleasure.
That our environment does not support this is by design. We need to design a new environment. It’s true that we’re in a predicament, and that requires taking some risks. One of those risks involves questioning whether sexual repression in any form is a good thing. Many would say that we need more repression, though I don’t think that’s going to get a positive result.
Another involves seeing the way that crushing and demeaning women is not just about women but about all people. While we may not be able to change this in our entire culture, we can change it for ourselves as individuals.
This requires conscious choices and actions. The personal is indeed political, and claiming, honoring and loving your sexuality is indeed a revolutionary act. When the feedback from your environment says shut down, be afraid, be cold and do not trust, relaxing and being open is a kind of rebellion. If you think of it that way, it may be easier for you to take part.
It’s going to be an interesting few days as the wave of the Aries Full Moon crests and breaks over society. Remember, you have the option to fester on the problem, or to focus on healing.
Moonshine Horoscope for Aries Full Moon, #1121 | By Len Wallick
Aries (March 20-April 19) — It’s high time to take it a bit easier on yourself. Likely you have been diligent enough at ‘doing’ in the conventional sense of making things happen. Rather than working harder, think about how to work smarter. This does not necessarily mean you need to organize or be more efficient. Nor is there any certainty you are procrastinating overmuch. Instead of pushing yourself to do more, try another tack: look to address any relationships where inertia has taken over. You might be surprised by how far reviving or refreshing stale connections with others will go towards helping you to give yourself some much-needed slack.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — There seem to be one or more things you’re not seeing clearly right now. If you shift your perspective just a little bit, the situation won’t last long. Perhaps the best way to adjust your point of view is to listen. When it comes to getting the scoop from another angle, relying on your eyes leaves a lot of room for you to make up a story about what you see. Your ears give you the actual story in the words of another. It will take patience. After all, there is no such thing as ‘speed listening’. If you can simply hear others out, however, the time spent should deliver the clarity you may not even know you are missing.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — There are different types of contests. Some are private, others public. Sometimes the stakes are high; other times the outcome is more of a learning experience. To help your own cause regarding any bones of contention you are faced with right now, give some thought to the interests of others. You need to understand both the motivations and objectives of those you are contending with. In addition, it would be helpful if you were cognizant of how those only looking on are invested. If there is a way you can participate so that everybody involved feels like a winner, your prestige and influence will be unavoidably enhanced.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You are not an omnipotent being. Even so, you do appear to be in a position of great potential. To manifest everything you are capable of right now, consider releasing attachment to having power. Focus on gaining awareness instead. Begin by slowing down and stepping back from the fray occasionally to be aware of yourself. Breathe deliberately. Feel your pulse. Get clear about what your needs are, as distinguished from what you want. Once you are fully present with yourself again, resume involvement with others. Repeat the process just described whenever you feel either tense or confronted. Odds are you will be most pleased by what results.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Always being a good sport does not necessarily mean giving away your power. Being a good sport in all ways need not result in your being victimized. There are ways to be consistently fair to others, and still come out on top. It starts with being yourself at all times. If you present the same face to everybody, not only will you be true to yourself — you will be perceived as worthy of trust. Those whose trust you have earned will in turn offer a fair account of you. The testimony of others impressed by your integrity will then precede you to open doors before you even reach them, making you the winner a poor sport could never be.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You may have noticed that retreating from that which confronts you does not always help you breathe any easier in the long run. That’s because you cannot retreat from yourself. Wherever you go, there you are, along with at least some of your problems. For the near future at least, think about alternatives to withdrawing whenever you feel uncomfortable. So long as safety is not an issue, look to collaborate and share instead. Building bridges goes faster when the effort is made on both sides at once. For those who show they are willing to meet you in the middle, respond in kind and give cooperation a chance to lighten any load you bear alone.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — If you are not already aware of somehow being something more than you used to be, try entertaining the notion now. Perhaps you have been freed of responsibilities that limited your options. Maybe it just took a while to find yourself. It could even be that hitching your wagon to something bigger than your own interests has functioned to enhance your potential. No matter what led you to this juncture into expansion, it’s most important that you not be afraid of living differently from before. Draw upon the courage that is surely within, pick just one thing you never thought you could do, and get started towards making your life as big as your heart has always been.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — If you are feeling a bit vulnerable right now, don’t despair. Take it as a sign that you are awake and aware. After all, human beings are not made of steel, and that’s a good thing. You don’t have to be hard to be well. You just need to pay attention to what challenges you, and respond appropriately. Most often that response will begin with taking good care of yourself. Be conscious of what choices will make you stronger, and which will not. Beyond that, working with others in a common effort will go a long way towards assuring your comfort. Do the right thing by those with whom you have cast your lot and trust them to do the same.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Life is not always easy. You know that. Even so, working your backside off does not have to be miserable, either. If your chosen field of endeavor is not currently a source of satisfaction, it might be time to consider what else you could be doing. This is not to say your work needs to be all fun all the time, but neither is it necessary for you to live a life of continuous drudgery. It could very well be that you simply need to schedule a long vacation and recharge your batteries. What’s most likely, however, is that you need to get clear about what inspires you, and make plans to be more joyfully earning your way in the world by this time next year.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Have you noticed anything new about yourself lately? If you’re not sure, perhaps enlist others to offer their observations. Something momentous is afoot in your life. In fact, it would be realistic to say you are currently at a crucial stage in a long process of evolving into a person of uncommon substance. To get an idea of what you should be alert for, think back to about this time two years ago. Try to remember what issues you were dealing with then, and how you handled them. Of course, that was then and this is now. Nonetheless, the latter part of 2014 likely contained both lessons and rewards for your efforts. Now you have a chance to show both yourself and those who care about you just how far you have come since then.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — The world needs more people like you, whether you’re feeling recognized in that way or not. It’s not likely that you are being taken for granted by those who know you best. It is instead more probable that you are currently underrating yourself. To get a more balanced perspective of your place among those closest to you, look for a chance to spend quality time in some form of service among those who don’t know you from Adam or Eve. Doing so would function to accomplish more than to broadening your horizons and expanding your relationships — it would also give you some perspective regarding just how valuable you really are.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You have the ability at this moment to expand your sphere of influence exponentially, and to take a big step forward in your personal journey. Do not underestimate the authority others may invest in you, or the potency of your example. Therefore, be gentle during every encounter. Offer encouragement generously, and validate those who have earned it. Above all, act as responsibly as if you are truly in the public eye. Nobody is perfect — and you may be well aware of your imperfections — but you also know you have a vision for your growth. How you handle yourself in the coming weeks could actually illuminate the way for people you may never meet.