Destination: Gemini

Dear Planet Waves Subscriber:

We have reached that moment of the Sun’s ingress through Gemini. This astrological cycle, which began last night or this morning (depending on your time zone) presents us with some of the most adventurous astrology of our generation. Yes — designed to shake us up and therefore potentially frightening to some, yet no less amazing in its potential.

I will describe these events in detail in the lead to Tuesday’s edition — the June monthly horoscope. I am sure you recall the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction on the Aries Point, about which I have some new interpretations.

The aspect to be aware of today is that the Sun in early Gemini means that it’s now making a square to Chiron. This tells us: note the sense of injury that we may feel to our creative/expressive side and use this as a means to provoke self-awareness and healing. Sun-Chiron in a 90-degree type aspect is about how our expressive side, and the natural drive to seek glory in the world, relates to that of dad. The aspect works in parallel as a personal event and as a reference to our past environment; and it’s a cue to check in with either dad, or our feelings about dad, at this moment.

For those investigating what may have happened to dad, a worthy question, there is a book by feminist author Susan Faludi, called Stiffed. It’s a sensitive, humane study of what happened to men in our lifetimes and how this influenced us.

The Sun making a square to Chiron in Pisces invites us to tap the creative side that he may have never accessed, and to explore the ‘other side of our our nature’ that is inherent, often avoided and inevitable to discover when we reach beyond our familiar patterns of self.

I say more about this in this week’s audio, which is a bit of an astrological motivational rant. I will see you Tuesday with an adventurous monthly issue, and for today, leave you in the capable hands of my beloved colleagues Judith Gayle and Len Wallick.

Love & lovingly,

Soul-Searching America
 | Political Waves

I hope you’re enjoying this little window of relief that early spring [Northern Hemisphere] has provided. The season is developing, bringing another wave of awareness. We’ve been around long enough to know it won’t be bestowed with a flick of the fairy godmother’s wand. It will come with voices raised at cross point, tempers flaring and revelations that will make us cringe. If we look ahead to Uranus and Jupiter moving into Aries, a Full Moon eclipse conjunct Pluto in Capricorn and a Cardinal grand cross, we can prepare ourselves for an in-depth look at our imbalance, resistance and magnificent potential. And that’s just a bit of the awakening ahead.

Native American Soul Searching.

Count it good; until we can clearly witness and accept all that’s misconfigured, we cannot attempt to remediate or restore it. Functionality and rationality are still only peeking out from behind our wobbling structures of society and self. In order to take advantage of this powerful planetary push, we must make a realistic assessment of ourselves. So let’s ‘profile’ America and trust we’ve gained enough maturity in the last 40 years that I won’t be invited to “love it or leave it,” as I was long ago.

For perhaps the first time, the majority of our nation — young AND old — is staring into the face of our own pathology: our embrace of ‘manifest destiny,’ with its inherent right to conquest, expansion and annexation for our own purpose. Some call it imperialism; I think of it as self-interest bordering on narcissism. It’s evident in our foreign affairs, our business practice and even our concept of religion. It’s the American creed. We asserted an inalienable right to grow and flourish endlessly, one generation after another. Our demand for ‘more and better’ spread like an opportunistic virus, and so long as it was met with goods and services, we didn’t question where they came from or how they were acquired. For decades we took pride in our bastions of robust capitalism — government in tandem with oil, coal, big Pharma, the military-industrial complex, the Federal Reserve and Wall Street, to name a few. In short, the ‘establishment.’

We had big money, big plans and big ego. We expected our superpower status to last forever, and the ramifications of strategic alliances across the globe — with Israel, China, Saudi Arabia and a collection of brutal dictatorships — remained unexamined. These were woven so neatly into our collective consciousness as ‘good things’ that we didn’t even notice them. Then, with the help of the Neocons, individual pieces of the system became so top-heavy that they threatened to topple us, crushing the poor under their weight and decimating the middle-class upon which balanced prosperity depends. The folks at the top stopped caring if the little people at the bottom got their share. This has resulted in what can only be called a moral crisis, and none too soon.

Because the meaning of morality has been sucked into the socioreligious vortex, let’s call it an ethical crisis. This nation is soul-sick, so alienated from its basic principles that it’s consuming itself, as Chris Hedges writes in a recent TruthDig article, “Cultures that do not recognize that human life and the natural world have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic value beyond monetary value, cannibalize themselves until they die. They ruthlessly exploit the natural world and the members of their society in the name of progress until exhaustion or collapse, blind to the fury of their own self-destruction.”

The part of me that remembers the America of my childhood cringes at that, like the little fan who questioned his baseball hero’s throwing a game, pleading, “Say it ain’t so, Joe.” But we have become the predatory creature Hedges described, and we know it now, even the Baggers know, who have nothing but extremism to throw at it. What comes next will depend on how conscious we have become in recent years.

We’ve certainly had enough wake-up calls to shake us back to reality. The recent primary elections reflect our disapproval of establishment politics and our desire for mythic heroes who will bring us back to balance, but where is the wisdom in throwing new fish into water tainted by floating greenbacks? It’s the system itself that produces the outcome. The question of who we are, as a people, must be dealt with if things are to change. My existential fear is that, in the unlikely event of the economy suddenly taking a stunning uptick, our growing awareness of the soul-deadening, mindlessly consuming behemoth we’ve created will fade away. Are we adult enough now to notice that we can’t remain on this short-sighted, self-serving trajectory forever?

U.S. Military Bases in foreign countries are mainly located in Western Europe: 26 of them are in Germany, 8 in Great Britain, and 8 in Italy. There are nine military installations in Japan (Wikepedia).

We’re still lost in dreams of national superiority. We have a notion that we are a supremely generous nation, and it’s true that we send a king’s ransom overseas, but it isn’t so much a gift as a quid pro quo. The strings attached help secure our leadership position in the world. How else might we keep a stranglehold on our strategic positions? Although the figures are difficult to pin down, we have some 800-1000 military bases in close to 200 countries, manned by perhaps a quarter million soldiers, dependents and support teams. The Pentagon is one of the largest landholders on the planet.

Consider those statistics the answer to the absurd question of “Why?” sounded on 9/11. The nationalism we threw at that incident, dressed in patriotic rhetoric, was further evidence of our uninformed, laissez-faire exceptionalism. Simplistic notions of terrorists “jealous of our freedom” masked our ignorance of their outrage at our presence on their soil. Millions across the planet find limited benevolence in our international footprint, and experience should cause us to consider the phrase “in American interests” chilling when spoken by a national leader.

Can you imagine any American citizen approving a strategic Saudi or Russian military base in Kansas or Nevada without running for their guns? No worries. We don’t have to live by the Golden Rule when we’re at the top of the food chain, so we don’t. Because we don’t, we are desperate to remain at the top of that chain. The hypocrisy of America’s double standard led to a propagandized War on Terror that can only be won by more militarism and justifies continually expanding our assets and influence. We’re not a peace-loving people — we don’t even pretend to be — but if we’re teachable, circumstances can show us how to be.

Perhaps before this is over we’ll begin to behave as participants in our own future instead of victims of our past programming. There’s a counter-culture movement picking up speed that is peaceful, green, responsible and ethical. Spiritual principles are making their way into communities that are trying a new experiment in sustainable living and planetary stewardship. The Gulf oil spill has sensitized millions to our global emergency and brought attention to the mercenary activity of big corporations. Obama nailed it when he insisted that he wanted a Supreme Court Justice with ’empathy.’ We must either see ourselves as part of the human family, able to discern the consequences of our actions upon others, or remain all that we’ve become in violation of our basic principles.

Returning to basics isn’t the dreadful thing we imagine, despite what we’ve told ourselves for more than half a century. Americans possess strength and resilience and an envied sense of determination. Life doesn’t have to smack of austerity and deprivation, isolation and nativism; it can be remarkably creative and satisfying, especially if we see our efforts contributing to the common good. It seems likely that the summer will give us all the clues required to finalize the need for substantive change. “Love it or leave it” can fall back to “Love it and live it” if we consciously create the future together.

Shake-Up Day
 | Planet Waves Daily

Had a difficult time getting a straight answer lately? Are things harder than they should be? Are they selling you up but never closing? Are you waiting for that one piece to fall into place? Is it down to the best you can do? Welcome to Anarectica. Where we deal with what comes up while we wait for things to come through.

The last few days have seen the Sun, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune queuing up in the last degrees of their respective signs. With just those six one could recently find every angular aspect commonly discussed in this space. The conjunction, the semi-sextile, the sextile, the square, the trine, the quincunx and the opposition. All within two degrees. All at the same time. Sounds pretty. In practice, the word cluster has come to mind.

Beginning this morning, that’s all gonna change. By this time tomorrow it will have changed a lot more. Blazing the trail, as it has since before the vernal equinox is the planet Venus. By the time you read this, the lesser benefic will have made good its ingress into the Cardinal sign of Cancer. In doing so it sets off that by now familiar phenomenon for Planet Waves readers, the personal and political as one.

This has been going on since Pluto moved into Capricorn. It extends back over the last two years with Uranus approaching Aries and Saturn wishy-washing between Virgo and Libra. It will continue in the coming weeks as Jupiter joins Uranus in the first degree of Aries while Pluto and Saturn tag up at second and third.

So the baseball equivalent is “bases loaded” and a slugger at the plate. And wait until you see who comes to the plate. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Today it’s Venus at the plate and that’s a big shift. She is newly in the sign Cancer, aspecting many planets.

Normally the Venus transit in Gemini is light and more than a little sweet. Time for a chat or even a heart-to-heart. The context this time around, however, has been more like jive talkin’ over the ulterior motives. Duplicity concealing hidden agendas. One could reasonably conclude that it has left us cynical and even jaded but also deprived. There is a hunger for the genuine and the authentic. There may even be a fear that those qualities are nowhere to be found.

Venus in the sign of Cancer brings those needs and vulnerabilities to the surface. Will they be met and assuaged or will they be exploited? Likely somewhere in between. Time will tell. The edge is sharp. We start with the question of where each of us will choose to put our energy, what our focus will be. Stay aware of that and the Venus transit in Cancer will not only be navigable but will also yield some personal knowledge that will soon come in handy for your public life.

Of course the second big transit is the Sun into Gemini. This took place last night or early this morning, depending on where you live. This is a second chance for the sign of the twins. Another chance to shine a light between the lines and see the truth. Another opportunity to accentuate the positive in our discourse. Another way to look at things that will allow us to move on. And move on we must.

We feel the pain of being torn from our attachments; the sorrow and despair of knowing that it’s as tough as many of us have ever known; the fear of not knowing just how bad it is, or will get. We can’t dwell there, not for long. If we are to survive, we must be aware of our state of mind. We must know what thoughts to cultivate if we are to sustain. We must have a vision of where we want to be if the not-so-veiled opportunities of our time are to be availed of.

That’s where the Sun’s transit of Gemini can help us serve each other. This is not a time for a voice in the wilderness. This is not the place to waste our breath on deaf ears. This a conversation of the twins, in the light of day. Soul mates sharing and caring for each other. Open minds to complement the open hearts represented by Venus next door.

And just as Sol changes signs, so will have the Moon, not an hour before, into Virgo. There to reach a square aspect that denotes the first quarter, halfway between the New and Full phases. Three luminary milestones in a few hours’ time. Two transits and an aspect. That does not happen every day. Indeed it is auspicious. In order for our intellect to remain supple, our bodies must remain healthy. Take rest generously. Take food judiciously. Breathe consciously. Appreciate the precious gift of drinkable water.

Should that last sentence stir your right to anger, know that it is not only a righteous but timely response. For this morning, Mars, fresh out of seven months confinement in its retrograde cycle, makes the meaningful double aspect with which we will conclude. At the same time Mars trines Eris it will be squaring Sedna.

Planet Waves readers have already received a lot of information about Eris. Indeed, this is her time. The outcast woman of the ancient world come home to rule as the harbinger of our individual and collective identities in the post-modern world. She would do well, however to make room on the throne for her paleolithic sister from the sea, Sedna.

In her treatise on the Taurus New Moon last week, the Finnish astrologer Kirsti Melto made the Sedna conjunction her focus. Of all the things we know of that orbit the Sun, Sedna is the furthest out with the longest orbital period. It makes Eris seem like the girl next door, it’s so far away.

As distant as the astronomical object is in space, so is the ancient myth in time. The Inuit people have dwelt in the arctic regions for thousands upon thousands of years. Adapting both culturally and physically, they knew the wisdom of existing as part of their environment rather than seeking dominion over it. The unlikely but abundant source of their survival was the cold and icy sea. Sedna was the daughter tragically sacrificed to that sea for the sake of her father’s survival. There she became goddess supreme. From there she demanded to be acknowledged and heard. The Inuit people know this and honored her for the sake of their own survival.

Just as Sedna called the Inuit from the cold, dark depths of the Arctic Sea, so she now calls us from the cold distance of the Oort cloud, the borderline between our solar system and the rest of our galaxy. In an averse semi-sextile to Eris and a square to Mars are expressed the anger and alienation that our own planet must certainly be feeling towards its most precocious children – us.

Is it really necessary for us to assume the role of being the infection of this world? Is it really possible for this planet to respond to us as if we were? Sedna knows. The mythical fate of the child sacrificed so that the parent might survive is part of that ancient knowledge. But so is the abundance that, paradoxically, the cold and dangerous realm of Sedna can yield. We are in no position to argue. It’s time to listen. Either that or face the biggest shake-up of them all, a new order of which we will not be a part.

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