Dear Friend and Subscriber:
We’ve just been through one of those weeks that’s going to look really interesting in a historical chronology 10 years from now. The overall effect is a series of events that call attention to all of the most meaningful global issues we are facing at our current moment of transition. Astrologically, it was stuffed with opposition energy, and an emphasis on water. In the background is the exact Saturn-Uranus opposition, the rare aspect that’s now highlighting the tension between progressive and conservative, movement and structure, the future and the past. This aspect involves Virgo and Pisces, calling attention to the tense relationship between manmade structures and the oceans. It was also the first full week of Chiron in Pisces, which has the same attention-focusing effect.
Mercury was (and still is) retrograde in Taurus. An unusual Scorpio Full Moon peaked Wednesday morning, bringing a crest of energy. (The Moon opposed an exact Sun-Mercury conjunction, and was directly aligned with three planets and points representing the god of the sea [Poseidon], the Greek version of Noah [Deucalion] and a primal sea monster [Ceto] for good measure). In short, the week reflected the astrology perfectly.
On a Scorpio theme (the resources of others) banking fat cats who helped engineer the global recession took a perp walk before the U.S. Senate, revealing to the American public what they’re really made of: not much. Republicans gave up and finally allowed debate to proceed on banking reform designed to protect the economy.
We learned that a BP (‘Beyond Petroleum’) oil well has been pouring 5,000 barrels of crude a day into the Gulf of Mexico from three different leaks, after a platform exploded and sank. The incident, which killed 11 workers, occurred the day that Chiron entered Pisces, calling attention to aquatic environments. On Wednesday, the Coast Guard intentionally set the spill on fire. That worked to reduce the amount of oil headed for land. Strong winds and choppy waters prevented another controlled burn on Thursday. The massive oil slick, which could eclipse what was caused by the Exxon Valdez, was expected to make landfall on the Louisiana coastline Friday, with devastating effects. it could take weeks to cap the well. This is a wakeup call to the realities of off-shore drilling advocated by both Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. [Meanwhile, an oil refinery fire in Memphis was threatening to spill into the Mississippi River on Thursday.]
A debt crisis spread across Europe this week as credit downgrades of Greece, Portugal and Spain caused the euro’s value to tumble (Mercury retrograde in Taurus — a bit of shrinking value there). Greece’s debt was demoted to junk bond status, a first for a euro-zone member. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday said it would chip in an extra 75 billion euros over the next three years, temporarily easing the slide of the European currency and helping stock markets on the continent to rebound a bit.
A new Arizona law making it questionably legal to be Mexican got lots of national attention, and the federal government considered bringing legal action to stop the legislation. This had one helpful effect: it pushed immigration reform to the top of the national agenda (along with banking reform and election finance issues raised by the Citizens’ United case).
An Arizona police officer filed a federal lawsuit against the state Thursday, asking that local police be exempt from enforcing what is usually the job of the feds. CNN reported that the officer, Martin H. Escobar, said there are no “race-neutral criteria or basis to suspect or identify who is lawfully in the United States,” including a person’s proximity to the Mexican border, linguistic characteristics and capabilities, skin color, clothing worn or the type of vehicle driven. In other words, he knows that if he tries to enforce the law, he is violating a person’s constitutional rights and thus the oath he swore on becoming an officer.
NASA lost a Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle somewhere on the planet — that is, an experimental unmanned rocket-launched glider/bomber that was flown at 20 times the speed of sound (13,000 mph). What is this thing for? Its job is to bomb anywhere on the planet in a matter of minutes. The device, launched on its maiden voyage Tuesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, lost contact with ground control after about 10 minutes and wasn’t recovered. And to think, ETs promised Obama they wouldn’t pluck our toys from space again.
Then there was Boobquake. Tens of thousands of women conducted an experiment Monday to see if exposing a little cleavage could cause an earthquake, based on the theory of an Iranian imam. The event became so popular that its Facebook page now has close to 100,000 fans.
Gold Man Sacks Government Coffers
Let’s look a little more closely at the banking issue, in case you haven’t been poring over The Wall Street Journal. Executives from lose-your-investment bank Goldman Sachs testified before the Senate on Tuesday, making no admission that their gambling away billions of dollars of investors’ money, then taking huge federal bailouts, was in any way wrong or harmful.
Goldman executives proudly testified that the company’s primary role is to help the public and support the American economy. MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan summed up that position most eloquently, saying that it was like a Las Vegas casino claiming that its primary function is to serve affordable buffet dinners to the elderly.
Democrats kept trying to open debate on a banking reform package to prevent such abuses in the future. After three days of votes to block debate — with the hearings getting tons of attention on TV, stoking up public outrage — Senate Republicans finally caved and allowed debate to proceed. Remember, to get anything done in the Senate currently takes 60 votes. That a ‘super majority’ is needed to conduct business basically means the minority rules, if all it wants to do is obstruct.
We learned last Friday in a lawsuit filed by the SEC (which allegedly oversees Wall Street) that Goldman Sachs conspired to design a hedge fund that would decline in value, so that its clients could bet against it and cash in (called short selling). This is what they got caught doing; obviously the place was run like Enron, on a far grander scale.
Thus we got one of many clues about how the recession happened: it was created, just like we’ve heard over and over again that the stock market crash of 1929 was manipulated so that some would lose big and others would gain big. Suddenly that doesn’t seem so ridiculous. The brokerage firm then collected billions in federal bailouts. It’s finally starting to seem ridiculous that an investment bank would be given federal assistance.
Nobody that I’ve heard lately has mentioned that Henry Paulson, Bush’s treasury secretary and someone instrumental in the bailout of Wall Street, was once CEO of Goldman. The firm was also Obama’s biggest campaign contributor (giving nearly $1 million to his presidential campaign, and donating to his earlier Senate run as well), and his administration is loaded with former execs of the company. Goldman just hired former White House council Greg Craig to defend itself against the SEC lawsuit.
And Introducing Jennifer McCreight
In the midst of these gradually spreading tragedies, my favorite story of the week was Boobquake. With little planning or even forethought, Purdue University senior Jennifer McCreight thought she would test the theory of Iranian holy man Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi that immodest women cause earthquakes. McCreight is majoring in evolutionary biology and genetics. Sedighi is majoring in theological tectonic geology, with a minor in misogyny.
“Many women who dress inappropriately…cause youths to go astray, taint their chastity and incite extramarital sex in society,” the imam said in an April 16 sermon, “which increases earthquakes.”
Iran has a lot of those, which are often devastating. Tehran itself has a latticework of fault lines running through it, and geologists have long been predicting a big one, even going so far as suggesting that the government move the capital to another city. So you can’t blame the holy men for wanting to take action before it’s too late. McCreight went into action herself, having no clue that her joke would turn into a worldwide media event. Every blog and online news source did the story. She even ended up with a full segment on the Colbert Report.
All of this activity drew more than 800,000 new visitors to her blog, and she said her name was the 72nd most popular search in Google this week, which she thought was hilarious.
Despite her scientific leanings, McCreight was kind enough to provide her birth data to Planet Waves and invite us to do her chart (as long as we don’t post her data, so I won’t).
And as you might imagine, she’s got it all going on — a Sun-Pluto conjunction in Scorpio, in the 8th house (she jokingly described herself as a sex-obsessed Scorpio, though her precise Sun-Pluto conjunction in the 8th house turns up the heat by a few orders of magnitude). This powerful alignment is conjunct the asteroid Astraea, the goddess of justice. So this is passion driven by a sense of balance and integrity.
Boobquake was planned for Monday, when the Full Moon happened to be fast approaching, carrying lots of momentum — with the Moon itself reaching full phase exactly conjunct her natal Sun/Pluto conjunction. So she was in the cosmic spotlight as well as the regular one. The Full Moon so personally aspected against her chart provided a sense of emotional presence, which is why this event, while funny, was taken seriously.
She has a prominent Aries Point placement (the lunar nodes are exactly there, waiting impatiently for the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction), which connects her with public consciousness in a significant way. I’ve written here many times that the Aries Point works as an intersection between individuals and society. It gives large events a personal feeling and personal events a sense of being meaningful on a greater scale. Notice how this works with something so influential (and also connected to the public) as the lunar nodes.
She has Saturn in Sagittarius on the very top of her chart in the 10th house — conjunct the Great Attractor. If she thought her Google rank this week was funny, imagine if she turns out to be the subtle vector that topples the Iranian government — by getting everyone to laugh at it. Of interest, the asteroid Hekate (the wisdom of women) is right there on top of her chart, conjunct the Great Attractor (the biggest object known in the universe, located in mid-Sagittarius). McCreight is a force to be reckoned with. In order to emerge as some kind of profound force for change later in life, she needs only to be prepared and aware, and take a small step when she gets the guidance to do so — much like what happened this week.
Meanwhile, the current Saturn-Uranus opposition, exact for the 4th time on Tuesday, stretched across 28+ Virgo/Pisces — exactly square McCreight’s natal Chiron (at 28+ Gemini). So this got her natal Chiron going, and that’s the planet that likes to do things differently, experiment — and in Gemini, explore the nature of ideas, paradoxes and dichotomies.
Chiron makes one more spectacular appearance: transiting Chiron in Pisces about to go over her early Pisces ascendant. The asteroid Aphrodite (the Greek version of Venus) is exactly in her ascendant by birth — meaning that she’s coming into her own and figuring out who she is in that stand-out way that is so distinctly unique to Chiron. Here we have Chiron activating the Goddess power of Aphrodite, which she identifies with closely.
Her concept for an experiment / commentary / protest was an elegant example of using the background tension (Saturn-Uranus) in combination with personal factors (natal Chiron and a Chiron transit) as a social force for revolution. The revolution is indeed being born now, and it will be brought to fruition through odd, unexpected events like this. Odd but not random: Jen McCreight is an example of being the change you want to see in the world; of waking up and realizing it’s possible to do something both fun and useful.
Other forms of change may seem to be more difficult, though they’re based on the same basic idea, which is the intentional use of knowledge, focusing it into choice: that is, a decision or creative act. Every one of the news events that has emerged since Chiron entered Pisces can be seen as a matter of personal choice that can gather into collective awareness and action. You just need to slow down long enough to notice it’s possible, and at first focus on what you’re doing more than the results you want to get.
Yours & truly,
By Judith Gayle| Political Waves
“My great grandfather didn’t travel 4,000 miles across the ocean to see this country overrun by immigrants. He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland.”
— faux-Republican satirist, Stephen Colbert
If you’ve never witnessed a lightning storm over Arizona, you’ve missed an extraordinary sight, thrilling and dangerous all at once. The state itself is a place of fragile détente between the desert and those who inhabit it. As the tribal home of the fierce Apache, the proud Navajo and the prophetic Hopi, it is a modern marvel that Americanos can thrive there. At the Northern gateway to the Sonoran Desert, it’s also the birthplace to generations of Mexican-Americans with loyalties split between nation and heritage. This is a place of vast scrub and cactus-covered vistas, a historical mingling of cultures, as well as a particularly virulent form of white nationalism dressed in cowboy boots with a gun strapped on its hip.
I lived in Tucson for several years. Having moved from the San Diego area, where immigration problems are legion, I was surprised at how integrated and peaceable the amalgam of Arizona citizens seemed. The most obvious strain among races was not between white and Hispanic, but instead was directed at the small African-American population, which kept its head low. Arizona voters finally approved a form of the Martin Luther King holiday in 1992, but only after a much publicized battle and a crippling tourist boycott. I found Arizona to be one of those “Yes, but …” places. Yes, extraordinary in its subtle beauty and energy, but difficult to abide on a daily basis. Yes, a place peaceful enough to the untrained eye, but constantly alert at its interior. Yes, homogeneous in its workplaces and neighborhoods, but tightly controlled by an ‘old white guy’ ruling class that remained invisible and inflexible.
The storm broke over Arizona last week with passage of a bill that declared undocumented aliens to be criminals, requiring police to check the papers of anyone considered suspect. The law targets nearly half of Arizona’s population, which is only 58 percent caucasian. You know there’s psychic weather brewing when the neo-Nazi website, Stormfront, announces “more good news out of Arizona!” (Prior good news included the pending Birther Bill and vigilante-like militias guarding the border.) Arizona’s carry law requires no license to carry a gun, and many citizens are armed. Encouraged by the new legislation, one militia organizer now recruits “combat veterans, with kill records, to camp out and patrol the border.”
Their brown shirt hero is Joe Arpaio, Sheriff of Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix. Arpaio bills himself as “the toughest sheriff in America.” He boasts of zero tolerance for illegals and abusive treatment of prisoners, housing them in tent-cities during scorching desert summers and bitter winters, making them wear pink underwear, and feeding them outdated surplus food. His name is synonymous with ‘green bologna’ and ‘chain gangs.’ Arpaio is plagued by lawsuits for wrongful death and other violations from employees, inmates, their families and civil rights activists. For a while, his take-no-prisoners approach to criminal justice appealed to Arizona citizens who prefer the gunslinger meme. The shine is off Arpaio now, his boasts of saving taxpayers money proven false. He has been accused of wiretapping, extortion and inappropriate use of manpower as lawsuits pile up. Arpaio received a vote of ‘no confidence’ from the majority of police associations in Arizona, but he remains a hero to the anti-immigration faction.
Arizona’s new law, called the formation of a police state by the religious right as well as by civil rights champions on the Left, represents a rupture of America’s ballooning immigration problem. California’s Cardinal Roger Mahony, clarifying his church’s policy, called the new law “Nazism.” Former Governor Janet Napolitano, now Secretary of Homeland Security, vetoed this kind of legislation three times during her tenure. When her replacement, Republican Jan Brewer, stepped into the slot in 2008, the machinery of intolerance began to turn. The immigration issue had been on the back burner for a long while, and Obama had hoped to deal with it next year, after finance and environmental reforms were accomplished. Now that it has bubbled over, there’s no avoiding the issue, and it has the potential to divide the nation further.
The president has called Arizona’s new law unfair and misguided, possibly illegal, and has instructed the Justice Department to see if it violates civil rights laws. Other legal challenges to its constitutionality are expected. Daily Kos reports that “the Arizona law simply mirrors the language of the U.S. Supreme Court, which long ago in 1975 found racial profiling to be a legal basis for stopping and searching motorists,” while Republicans Karl Rove and Linsey Gram express doubts that the law is constitutional. The ACLU contends that SB-1070 — a.k.a. the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhood Act — allows the state to regulate immigration, a power which the Constitution assigns to the federal government. Police in Arizona are not happy with their new duties, and may initiate lawsuits as well.
When the law was announced, protestors hit the streets in Arizona and across the nation. Communities have vowed to boycott Arizona products and tourism. Activists smeared refried beans in the shape of swastikas on the state Capitol’s windows. The Mexican government issued an advisory alert to would-be tourists that they may be “bothered and questioned” indiscriminately. Where I used to live, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik declared that he has no intention of enforcing the new law, calling it abominable, morally wrong and a national embarrassment. Said Dupnik, “We’re damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. If we go out and look for illegal immigrants, they accuse us of racial profiling and we can get sued. And if some citizen doesn’t think we’re enforcing the state law, they can sue us too.” He did not mention the billions of dollars it will cost to try to deport detainees, or the repercussions to labor, or the strain on capacity of the dwindling police force, caught in cutbacks.
This storm has been slowly brewing for decades while Americans disagreed on appropriate immigration laws. To be fair, the clouds could have gathered over any of the Red states, who have traditionally been reluctant to integrate although always eager to welcome cheap labor. We can’t have it both ways, but we’ve been unwilling to address the underlying issues. Arizona defends itself by accusing Obama of failure to resolve the border emergency, despite his spending billions to increase border patrols and continue building the controversial border wall. Amazing numbers of immigrants brave the hazards that are often a death march through the parched Sonoran Desert. Arizona estimates it has some 460,000 undocumented aliens, the most border crossings of any state.
The timing of the new law could not be worse. We are pitted against one another once again, our loyalties stretched and, forced to choose sides again on humanitarian challenges. Greg Palast — who calls the new law Jose Crow — has written an enlightening article on Arizona’s current Governor, her effort to disenfranchise Hispanic voters in the last election, and how this situation may serve the GOP. A Talking Points Memo article speculates on the boost Dem incumbents might expect.
Resulting migration away from Arizona may compromise projections for both the recent Census and the new Health Reform bill. Inevitably, the racism tearing at the American fabric will turn meaner as the storm rages above Arizona — even as it rages in the hearts and minds of a nation that has yet to honor its pledge of justice for all. Arizona, once a part of Mexico and long considered ‘ground zero’ of the immigration fight, has, improbably, become the Great White Hope.
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, April 30, 2010, #814 – BY ERIC FRANCIS
Though I didn’t quite use the words, we left off last week with one version of ‘action is the fruit of knowledge’. If you’re feeling pent up, frustrated or like you want to burst into flames, consider that you know something you’re not acting on. One form that lack of action may be taking is the refusal to admit the knowledge in question. That in turn may relate to something you know is important to you, but which either circumstances or mental frustration prevent you from handling consciously. Now is the time, though I suggest you move incrementally. Recent events may have clued you in to what happens when you try to clear something all at once — but you will feel more resolved if you move past the illusion of being caught in your own inertia. And you can turn that around with one decision.
Aspects this week suggest you’re involved in heroic efforts to set yourself free, though do you feel free yet? Your emotions seem more willing to go there than your mind. This said, I suggest you study the nature of that particular instrument. Your mind is not you; it’s a tool that you can use to navigate through time, space and potential. Your mind often seems to ‘think its own thoughts’, contradict your feelings and send you odd messages; and it would be distressing if you confuse that entity with ‘yourself’. Part of how you can tell you’re doing this is because you are either obsessed with the past, or with ignoring the past. Either way it amounts to the same thing. You seem intent on denying the fact that you’re angry about something, and I propose this is no formula for freedom. But admitting it is a great place to start.
Are you being asked to commit to something that you don’t want, or are you giving yourself over willingly and knowingly? The aspect of you that wants to yield, submit or surrender has an alien quality, as if it’s not really you: and as if the only part that is really you is the one with the power to deny or contradict. To say yes still feels like compromise, no matter how much you may benefit, or regardless of the mutual benefit available in the situation. There are plenty of things worth doing for their own sake, but saying no (to yourself) is not one of them. Why would you do this? It looks like you’re hiding your motives from yourself. You may feel that if you admit one inner truth you will open yourself up to admitting much more that for whatever reason you have chosen to conceal. This leads to a question — is it possible to keep a secret from yourself?
The continuing momentum of this week’s Scorpio Full Moon is likely to have you feeling confident and thirsty for life. You know there are real possibilities, and you know that you have the option to sink your lips and teeth into some of life’s must nourishing fruit. One possible hitch is worrying what other people will think about you — other people as in your circle of friends, your acquaintances or your social set. If your solar chart is any indication, you seem to be grappling with the question of, “What if my deepest truths were known to everyone?” And I would ask you in earnest: What if your deepest truths were known to everyone? Play out that scenario as fiction. Choose one or two of those truths and imagine that they are sent to your whole address book. What would be some potential scenarios? How would you feel?
Success rarely happens as we plan it; there are always twists in the plot. Yet generally, it still helps to have a plan and work the plan, amending day by day as you proceed. You are making a series of discoveries that you may not have been suspecting; you’re learning about your own talents, and you seem to have developed a new passion for persisting in the face of both adversity and unusual circumstances. This is a confidence-building project, which is a good thing because that’s the active ingredient, the yeast that makes the bread rise. And for you, at the moment, the other key ingredient is partnership. There is something high-visibility suggested, with a lot of energy behind it, a strong evolutionary impulse and a quality of clear communication: and it’s immediate, not in the distant future.
What’s new on the horizon? I mean, what has recently appeared in your life that has no precedent, no sense of familiarity and an entirely new message? There is something, or someone, that is prompting you to wonder about life and yourself and relationships. You’ve had hints of this in the past; what you are experiencing now is different: more focused, a bit stranger and with greater potential to both heal you and, it would seem, to harm you. How you handle yourself will account for how those potentials shake out. I suggest you drop your expectations. Forget about distinctions such as ‘temporary’ and ‘permanent’. This situation exists to help you open up to pleasure, and to aspects of life that you tend to deny; and to help you heal something about your lack of willingness to be vulnerable. Your fears in this area are complex, and this relates to certain ways in which you doubt your own perception. Your doubt can hurt you more than anything.
What an amazing moment to re-align with your commitment to yourself, which is the foundation of sanity and balance. I know this idea gets tossed around self-help literature, yet there are so many opposing forces and influences that it’s worth pausing on for a moment. The notion of a relationship to oneself is often considered weird, as if the only thing we can relate to is another person. We are conditioned to seek The Other, who supposedly possesses all these amazing qualities that we don’t have. Here is what I propose: what you are seeking in another, you have within yourself. The more you draw in your inner strength and gifts, the more you’re free to experience others as playmates and collaborators instead of someone who you hope would make you whole.
The important thing is what you want, not what someone else wants. Yes, what they want is important to them — if they have a clue what it is, and who knows, they may indeed. By most indications, someone in your life is acting committed and determined and certain. Your Scorpio intuition has its doubts. The more meaningful revelation would be you admitting what you want, to you. Your desire may be a shade of gray compared to what appears as black and white to someone else. If so, get out your pencils and sketch that particular shade. Or, you may feel clear that despite anyone’s reservations, you are going to take leadership in your own life. You want no part of the hesitancy that consumed your life earlier in the year and late last year. Therefore do not focus on the hesitancy of others. Remind yourself of your heart’s desire and be content to take action on what is right for you.
You may be the one making a situation seem more complex than it needs to be. True, it’s surfacing in a relationship, but is it the relationship in your mind, or the relationship in reality? I suggest you get that issue sorted out. The relationship in your mind seems to be mired in questions. The relationship in reality has a sense of clarity, directness and potentially frightening degree of commitment. This may make you nervous because you want to keep your options open. You feel a burst of freedom coming on and quite possibly the season of your dreams approaching rapidly. Okay then — keep your options open. You don’t need to impress people with that fact; know, quietly and with authentic certainty, that you are the one who chooses. And at this particular moment in history, one choice doesn’t preclude another.
You seem to be having a difficult time trusting someone. This is an old story: an old reason for not trusting. You may feel that some element of your fate hangs in the balance on their judgment, power or influence. Sometimes it seems like they have the power to push you ahead or hold you back. You are giving who or whatever this is way too much credit. Part of your freedom will come from the acknowledgement that you influence these things yourself. You have what you need, in particular an innovative quality that you rarely give yourself credit for. Don’t invest your energy in paranoia or any form of lack of faith. Try telling yourself that you have great ideas, and that every problem has a creative solution. The particular puzzle you’re working out is an easy riddle, if you seek to solve it yourself.
For the past couple of years, you’ve been trying to work out a relationship, or rather, a relationship situation. This has been calling on you to cultivate flexibility, and you may have been surprised how challenging this has been. Once again you’re going through another layer, or another dimension, of the work on this issue, and yet it seems to be persisting, threatening to drag on forever (though you secretly suspect this isn’t true). The thing to remember is that ‘it’ is not going to change; you are the agent of change, and the one who will take the step that moves you to the next place, space or stage of your journey. You’ve learned a lot the past few weeks; I cannot imagine how much. And you seem resolved to stick it out as long as you can. However, you seem determined to make at least two significant moves in the next few months, which are designed to shift the situation totally, open up a new reality, and embark on the future with a vivid new agenda.
Saturn in Virgo has taught you something about the power of structure. For quite a while — at least for the duration of Uranus in your sign, which started around 2004 — you’ve been driven by ideas, and you’ve even manifested some of them. Then Saturn ingressed your opposite sign and you had the chance to start building: relationships, concepts, business structures, or some combination of the three. The series of Saturn-Uranus oppositions through Virgo and Pisces may have felt like building a Moon-base: incredible challenges and occasional setbacks, though every small success counts for a lot. It’s time to look back at what you built, and what you learned building it. It’s time to integrate your knowledge, because you are, at this time, beginning to embody both the innovation aspect and the structure aspect in a whole new way: one beautiful gift of Chiron in Pisces.