Dear Friend and Reader:
A few years ago during some incident of racial hell popping, I wrote to my American Studies professor at SUNY Buffalo, Dr. Robert Knox Dentan, and asked him what he thought was going on. He wrote back and said that this is all easier to understand if you accept that the South won the Civil War.
That stunned me for a few weeks, but Prof. Dentan in all my experience of him knew what he was talking about, so I thought about it for a while.
Of course, the way we tell the story historically, the North won, the Union was preserved, the Confederacy surrendered, and slavery was abolished. When you look at the country as it is today, where squads of police have the power to execute unarmed people and then seize the evidence of what they have done, it’s a little easier to grasp that the South won.
When you remember that one in three black men will serve prison time, it’s a bit clearer. When you remember that while in prison, a person is effectively a slave used for free labor, it’s obvious.
It’s just a lot less obvious if you’re not a target of the policy.
This morning on Democracy Now!, Norm Stamper, the former Seattle police chief and a published historian of law enforcement, said that policing in the United States has its early origins in slave patrols. It has never grown out of that mentality. [See episode here.]
On a similar note, a friend recently sent me a document from the Roger Williams University School of Law called “The Hidden History of the Second Amendment,” which explains how the Second Amendment, the Bill of Rights article which guarantees the right to keep and bear arms, was a compromise with the South that made sure members of those slave patrols could carry guns.
The racial issue has been smoldering in the United States through its entire history. Today we are witnessing the burning embers of Jim Crow — culturally sanctioned, post-Civil War racism — bursting into flames.
Let’s not forget that “separate but equal” was going on within the lifetimes of many people reading this article: that is, separate bathrooms, water fountains and restaurant areas for ‘coloreds’ and ‘whites’.
By the way — Prof. Dentan would begin his introductory American Studies class by explaining that nobody is black or white; those are lies. We are all some shade of brown or pink. That we call one another black and white just adds to the confusion and polarity. It’s a blatant deception.
This whole crisis we are witnessing has its roots in slavery. There has never been a time when African Americans had parity with European Americans in the cultural or economic life of our nation.
“Prior to the Civil War southern slavery was America’s most profound and vexatious social problem,” wrote Kenneth M. Stampp in The Peculiar Institution, a 1956 book on the history of slavery. “More than any other problem, slavery nagged at the public conscience; offering no easy solution.”
There still is no easy solution. What was once the “pathos of the South,” as Stampp described it, is now the pathos of the whole nation. The depth of the problem is revealing itself, and most Americans think it’s getting worse.
It’s so concerning that I’ve read that even the NRA has called for an inquiry into the recent shooting deaths of Alton Sterling, 37, in Baton Rouge, and of Philando Castile, 32, in Saint Paul.
It’s even understandable why someone could be so outraged he would take aim at the police, as Micah Johnson did last Thursday night, killing five officers and wounding seven. You and I don’t approve of that; few people do. Yet nobody is at a loss for why it happened.
Even so, the past is usually concealed from view. In contemporary times, we live next to a memory hole that makes even events of last month seem like a hazy recollection.
Unless we consciously live with the effects of the past in the present, it may as well have never happened. We are now living with those effects, right in this moment. What is usually an invisible background, especially to the most modestly affluent Caucasian people, is now too obvious to ignore; too grievous not to grieve.
Mars is Still Center Stage
This is reflected in the astrology that we’ve been watching for months and which is now brightly lit. Today, Mars, the planet of individuality, desire and aggression, in direct motion in Scorpio made its exact 150-degree aspect (called a quincunx) to Uranus in Aries. This aspect has been in place for a while; it’s now separating and Mars is moving on.
This puts two extremely energetic planets into a high-friction posture. It also describes the individual (Mars) in contrast to the group (Uranus). Remember — Eris is also in the picture, adding a lot of mojo (see chart at right).
The quincunx is an interesting aspect, incidentally, one discarded by traditional astrology. It’s often described as an aspect of adjustment, requiring give and take. More accurately, it functions as we expect an opposition would, which is to make the positions of seemingly opposing parties apparent.
The 180-degree opposition aspect can be mired in projection. With an opposition you might confuse your issues with those of someone else. For this reason and others, an opposition can seem to disappear. Or it’s just how you think things are and always were.
The quincunx pulls focus. It describes the tension between two seemingly (but not really) opposing forces in a way that can be addressed tangibly. (By the way, I’ve been explaining this on video, and you can see one such discussion here.)
I’ve been describing the Uranus-Eris conjunction of 2016 and 2017 as an electronically induced identity chaos. In summary, electronic media — which took hold right at the last Uranus-Eris conjunction about 90 years go — tend to turn people inside out, blowing apart the notion of an inner life. Their other effect is to tribalize people, that is, individual identity is given up for mass identity.
On this note, I owe you a clarification. I’ve been describing the effect of electronic media as something that induces group consciousness. Previously I’ve differentiated between mass consciousness and group consciousness. It’s a relevant distinction; mass consciousness, what we get from mass media, is more like the crowd at a football game. A group is a group of individuals who maintain their identity while in the group; that is the thing we need. Yet to get there, people must already be individuated — that is, self-actualized — and this is a process that seems to be running rapidly in reverse in our times.
The truly insane polarization that we are seeing is an effect of mass consciousness and mass media. The internet, having blown everyone’s private life inside out, corrupts the inner sanctuary of a person. It’s a mockery of the more honest and spiritually grounded idea that minds are joined, and in the words of A Course in Miracles that “there are no private thoughts.”
This is similar to the mockery of the internet substituting for subtle forms of communication, such as empathy, intuition or what used to be called telepathy. The internet is merely a substitute for these natural human capacities, though rather than being warm and reassuring, it’s often cold and frightening. No robot can replace the mind, and that’s what much of the internet is trying to do — or what we’re trying to do with the ‘net.
When outer planet events are joined by inner planet events, a special condition is created. Outer planet events, such as Uranus-Eris, last a long time; often five or 10 years. When an inner planet joins the mix, a rare, special condition is created (or revealed), and that is what’s happening now.
Mars, an inner planet, is in Scorpio, where it has some extreme potency. For one thing, Mars is the classical ruling planet of Scorpio. Mars was traditionally considered a malefic planet (meaning, it usually had negative effects), though I read something interesting this week from Project Hindsight.
According to some of the earliest-known astrological texts, when a malefic (such as Mars) is strongly placed and well dignified (as it is in Scorpio, moving in direct motion), it can be an unusual force for positive developments. It can be a sign of authentic strength (remember, symbols stand for something else).
Mars in Scorpio is symbolic of claiming back individuality from Uranus-Eris in Aries. It’s about discerning one’s identity from the tribe, and taking possession of it. There are several ways to do this. As described by Scorpio, there is a process of transformation involved. The death aspect of Scorpio seems to be the most pronounced. This is manifesting as claiming identity through violence and confrontation.
We might find some common ground in the fact that everyone is born and everyone dies. That admission would level things out a bit. Yet it is the denial of this basic fact of existence that seems to be provoking violence and hatred.
Then there is the sex dimension of Scorpio (in classical astrology, Scorpio rules the genitals). Consciously exploring sex is a profound way to cultivate identity without resorting to death and violence.
Place the emphasis on the word ‘consciously’ though. The current conflation of sex and rape is rooted in a deep confusion about this realm of reality.
Sex with a partner is the conscious choice of two people to shape one another’s reality. Sex with oneself can be a truly introspective inner confrontation that gets results as well. Self-sex is a potent force for individuation, which is why it’s so frequently forbidden.
This is not a popular topic of conversation, and its message is as easily lost as the reality that we are all created through sex; and therefore, sex is the root of all creativity. When sex is used as a commodity or as a tool to gain power, we run into problems with it. When it’s used creatively and lovingly, it’s a much more regenerative experience.
Never forget that we live in a time when murder is considered normal and natural, and sex is still sold as a moral abomination, or treated as taboo. This reminds me of the newly-adopted platform of one of our major political parties, wherein burning coal is clean, and ‘dirty’ pictures are a public health epidemic.
But let’s face it. Would you be more comfortable describing in detail how someone died, or what you did the last time you made love?
Full Moon Moonshine Horoscope for July 14, 2016, #1108 | By Len Wallick
Aries (March 20-April 19) — Act on your highest aspirations and you will most likely be on the right track. If you can do so without resorting to impulsive action and without procrastinating, all the better. In order to have the tides of life in your favor at this time you will first need to be clear about what you want. Once you have that clarity, the rest will be a matter of intent, focus and continuous effort. If you have already been in continuous and consciously defined action for the last two years or so, you should now be near successful culmination. If such a pinnacle does not seem to be at hand, worry not. You still have time to get there. Eschew fantasy. Be fantastic. — By Len Wallick.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Practicing moderation does not mean that you have to inhibit yourself. There is nothing you can do that can’t be done. Indications are you can now do or be what you’ve never done or been before so long as it’s realistic. For example, there is no reason to believe you cannot go anywhere in the world from where you are now. At the same time, it would not be realistic to get there by flapping your arms. Get the idea? You are now primed to break with precedent and go beyond limits dictated by previous experience. If you are in doubt about what is in fact possible, find out by having a go at any aspirations you hold before you even think about giving up. Push against stagnation and act boldly to expand your horizons. At the same time, however, keep one foot in touch with the ground to facilitate coming back to Earth safely as you grow. — By Len Wallick.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Time flies, and in today’s light-speed world it’s easy to miss a trick or two; plus, sometimes we all need to slow down a little. For that reason, look to get ahead of schedule as much as possible over the next four weeks. Think of yourself as now having the chance to build some momentum that will make it a lot easier to get over the next hill, and the number of steps forward will continue to exceed any steps you might have to take back. In addition, you might want to consider the advantages of not flying solo. Many hands make shorter and lighter work. Either look to become part of a team or recruit one. Even a team of two will work better than one. — By Len Wallick.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Resist the urge to slip into the role of either parent or child with other adults, and your life will be a lot easier. Be helpful, even charitable; but take full responsibility only for that which is yours to take care of. Welcome support, but be confident enough not to require approval. Be open to participation and sharing, but have your own places to go, and your own things to do at least half the time. Of course, you can’t realistically control or change anybody else but you. By the same token you should not indulge or expect others to change or control you. Finally, endeavor to love and be loved without feeling the need to prove yourself right, or anybody else wrong. — By Len Wallick.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Giving and receiving are not two different things. They are in fact two facets of the same thing. If you have been exclusively on one side or the other for a long time, now would be a good time to allow for some balance. Because of your leonine heart, it’s probable that you have been far more in the role of the giver for as far back as memory can reliably serve. If that’s the case for you, it’s likely that some reciprocal gifts from the grateful will soon be coming your way. Simply be gracious in accepting those tributes and tidings, and the experience will be more than gratifying — it will be genuinely and authentically life-changing. — By Len Wallick.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Common sayings are common for a reason — including the one about “all work and no play.” Even though you are probably facing some serious responsibilities right now, please consider how far a little regularly scheduled recreation can go to re-create the edge you need when it comes to meeting your obligations. You know you can trust yourself not to be frivolous. Even more to the point, however, you know yourself well enough not to try and live on food, water, sleep and work alone. Finally, you know that you’re unlikely to overdo most of the activities that truly excite, inspire and stimulate you. So, give yourself some regular breaks, and in the process, you will find yourself. — By Len Wallick.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. That’s especially the case regarding where you reside. If your home environment and cohabitants (if any) are providing what you need from them, consider how any itch to make changes may very well have to do with something else, somewhere else. Therefore, don’t be rash. Find the source of your rash first instead. If the origin of any discomfort in your life does indeed prove to be outside of your home, you can avoid potentially making things worse by not taking it home with you. Rather, protect your private sanctuary by taking any negotiations for relief to where it will do the most good. That way, what’s already good will be more likely to stay that way. — By Len Wallick.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — It’s very likely that you currently have a firm grasp and clear understanding of everything that is familiar to you. That’s good, but it would not be so good to think you are an authority regarding lives or circumstances other than your own. Therefore endeavor to be open. Strive to have an open mind defined by a continuous acknowledgement that you can always stand to learn something more. Maintain an open heart, which can sustain feelings of compassion for those you cannot bring yourself to empathize with. Finally, do yourself the vital service of keeping the doors and windows of your perception open to welcome in anything and everything you don’t already know. — By Len Wallick.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Time for some imagination. Specifically, experiment with imagining yourself without a favorite possession. First, picture what, if any, adjustments you would have to make to survive without it. Next, envision what it would take to be happy without it. Then, fantasize a scenario wherein you would actually be grateful to be free of it. Go through the same mental process one step at a time regarding each material object you identify with most deeply, and then finally in combination. The idea is not to impoverish yourself. Rather, the idea behind this mental exercise is to ultimately define yourself as somebody who’s more than what you own. — By Len Wallick.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — One difference between pure sport and actual capitalism is the attitude towards competition. For a capitalist, competition is a nuisance to be acquired, undermined or just avoided. In sports, however, a worthy competitor has value as a means by which to measure improvement and achievement. In an astrological sense, the best way for you to approach this coming week is as a sportsperson. Every challenge you may face should be welcomed, and something to be grateful for. That’s because you are at a point in your life when you will almost certainly prevail over what, in the past, has either intimidated or defeated you. Congratulations, you’ve come a long way. Life is now yours to win. — By Len Wallick.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Michelangelo did not so much see himself as a great artist creating his famous sculptures. Rather, he perceived himself more humbly, as a craftsman who removed the stone from around a specific figure that already resided within a given block of marble. In a very real way, you would do well to emulate Michelangelo at this time in your life. First, you must acknowledge that a masterpiece already exists within you. Then you will need to envision its form precisely. Finally, you must do the work. In all probability the labor will be significant and take some time. The likely result of your efforts, however, will be an enduring symbol of just how beautiful your humanity really is. — By Len Wallick.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — In a gift economy there is no buying and selling. With the exception of freedom from money, however, neither is anything free. A gift economy demands that each participant bring their best and give it away, trusting all others participating to do the same. The ideal result is prosperity in common. The objective is to realize the true nature of equality and an actual experience of authentic freedom. To participate in such a seemingly Utopian scenario, you must first have enough faith in other people to believe that it is a practical possibility. Then, you must find a way to have an equal amount of faith in yourself. Now is the time to begin with you. — By Len Wallick.