Mercury Retrograde: The Week From the Future

Dear Friend and Reader:

As Mercury stationed retrograde in Aquarius Tuesday, we had yet another week from science fiction. The 2012-era theme of ‘everything, all at once’ seems to be persisting into the new phase of astrological history, as events this first week of the year have demonstrated.

Donald Trump is a deja-vu on George Wallace, the racist Alabama governor who ran in 1968 on a campaign of hatred and segregation. That didn’t work out well.

Yet there were also odd echoes of the past — race baiting, the Cold War and playing cowboys and Indians.

My personal take on this retrograde, beginning in Aquarius and ending Jan. 25 in Capricorn, is that it’s referring to the power of the group mind. We need to learn to solve problems together rather than laying them at the feet of heroes.

Many issues — spiritual, psychological and economic (i.e., ego trips and greed) — tend to interfere with groups functioning. Plus, it’s always easier to delegate to the nearest daddy figure. Especially for a society with some serious daddy issues. Yet if we want to survive our current phase of societal adolescence, we need to get over that little hump and learn to work together.

I covered this theme (and others) in Monday’s edition, where you can also find my weekly horoscope. I’ll be covering the beginning of the week (publishing the weekly horoscope on Mondays) and Len Wallick will be taking up the end of the week (with horoscopes in each Thursday night issue).

As for the news — let’s see, where to begin? How about: North Korea claimed to have detonated a hydrogen bomb on Wednesday.

A tearful Pres. Obama used executive orders to increase enforcement of existing gun regulations. Gun nuts were all over TV claiming (among other things) that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to fight against the government — not to fight for the government, as the “well-ordered militia” clause of the amendment seems to clearly imply.

There was an excellent debate about gun rights on Democracy Now! this week, which you can listen to here. Note, we publish this program daily to our main website, as part of our new affiliation with the Pacifica Radio Network. It’s an action-packed, commercial-free news hour that I just love.

As American stock markets continued to be sluggish, stocks of gun manufacturers climbed to new highs, and media reports said that gun sales in recent weeks set all-time records.

Graphic shows how gun makers’ stock shares have done, compared to Apple and the rest of the stock market. Very well, indeed. Data by Reuters, graphic by The New York Times.

The U.S. presidential race has become a work of surrealist political art. Thursday night, Donald Trump is planning a campaign rally in Burlington, Vermont, in a theater that holds fewer than 1,500 people. News reports say that he’s distributed 20,000 tickets to the event. With protests and counter-protests planned for outside the venue, this promises to be interesting.

The whole notion of Trump campaigning in Vermont, the home state of Bernie Sanders, Phish and Ben & Jerry’s, has many observers giggling.

The Trump campaign is an event in American politics rivaled only by the George Wallace campaign of 1968 (also a Year of the Monkey in Chinese astrology). Just about everything that happens has happened before. Wallace, the infamous Alabama segregationist, makes Trump seem like a nice guy. The Donald is the friendly kind of asshole, tempered by political correctness and the instantly responsive nature of the Internet, even if he thinks he’s not.

Trump, meanwhile, accused his main rival for the Republican nomination, Sen. Ted Cruz, the snake-oil salesman from Texas, of not being a natural-born citizen; thus, of being ineligible for the presidency. Cruz is Cuban, born in Canada to American parents. Funny that Cruz is all about building that wall that would keep those foreign weirdos out, just like Trump wants to do. But this week, Trump demanded credit for the concept of the wall. The Chinese chimed in, saying it was really their idea.

Pres. Obama wipes away tears as he announces his executive order attempting to close the ridiculous gun show loophole. Some oppose the effort, others say it’s pointless. Photo: USA Today.

Keeping things interesting, Sen. John McCain, who ran against Obama in the 2008 presidential race, said of Cruz’s potential ineligibility, “I think it’s worth looking into.” That counts for a shot across the bow.

The irony is that McCain, often said to be born in the Panama Canal Zone, was really born in a hospital in Colon, Panama — outside the U.S.-leased canal zone (which was not even a proper U.S. territory, more like a rental property). The Senate addressed this at the time with a resolution declaring McCain a natural-born citizen. They actually did that.

Nimr al-Nimr, a famous Saudi Shi’ite cleric, was executed by the Saudi Arabian government on Saturday, Jan. 2, apparently against the urging of the U.S. government. Forty-six other prisoners were executed at the same time, all on charges of alleged terrorism. This is said to have been the biggest Saudi mass execution in decades. Usually this is done by public beheading. Note, the Saudis are our friends. I mean the U.S. government’s friends.

Saudi Arabia has a Sunni Muslim majority and a Shi’ite Muslim minority; Iran has a Shi’ite government. This has led to increased tensions between the Saudis and the Iranians, in a region where plenty is going wrong already. Notably, the Obama administration has entered a record $50 billion in new arms sales agreements with the Saudis, so they have plenty of weapons to fight the Iranians with.

Meanwhile the Saudi government has recently implemented austerity measures, due to revenue shortfalls associated with the rapidly falling price of crude oil — now down to about $40 a barrel.

Ammon Bundy, one of the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, speaks during an interview at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, near Burns, Ore. Law enforcement had yet to take any action Tuesday against a group numbering close to two dozen, led by Bundy and his brother, who are upset over federal land policy. Photo by Rick Bowmer.

Chinese stock markets continued to slide, so badly that the government has so far shut down trading twice this year, using “circuit breakers” put in place after last year’s crashes on the Chinese markets.

Closer to home, the Texas state trooper who pulled a woman from her car for smoking, then arrested her, has been charged with perjury. The woman, Sandra Bland, was later found dead in her jail cell, which state officials claim was suicide. Bland did not have a history of mental health issues, and her friends and family say that that she had no reason to kill herself.

The same grand jury that did not prosecute prison officials for Bland’s death chose to indict the arresting officer, Brian Encinia, for lying about why he removed her from her car. The state has initiated procedures to fire the officer. While we try to straighten this out as a society, remember: never argue with a cop on the side of the road. You never know who wouldn’t pass a basic psych evaluation.

Speaking of, a makeshift militia has seized a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon. This may be the first-ever takeover of a bird sanctuary. The leader of the group, Ammon Bundy, is the son of the guy who the feds came after last year for failing to pay his grazing fees for his cattle munching on federal prairie grass.

The armed group of ranchers say their purpose is to help local residents regain their rights from the federal government, lately a decidedly right-wing rallying cry.

Kim Jong Un, beloved leader of North Korea.

“We do have a plan,” protest leader Ammon Bundy assured reporters at the refuge, according to Reuters. “We see a time coming very soon when the community will begin … to take that over, so they can claim their own rights, so that they can stand strong enough to defend them. And then we will go home.”

The local sheriff yesterday was seen on network and cable television at a local meeting, politely pleading with the protesters to do just that. The federal government has not blockaded the seized buildings and is apparently not interfering with supplies being brought in. On Wednesday the group tweeted out a request for energy drinks, according to news reports.

Here’s to hoping Obama handles this better than Clinton handled the 1993 incident at Waco.

And, finally, let’s take a look at the chart for North Korea claiming to have detonated a hydrogen bomb. But first, let’s remember what an H-bomb is — think of it as a second-generation nuclear device, potentially thousands of times more powerful and much smaller than one of the old-style bombs that the United States used on Japan in 1945.

In other words, they do a lot of damage and can be loaded onto the top of a missile. With North Korea in the hands of Kim Jong Un, the world’s youngest head of state and the one who allegedly fed his uncle to hungry dogs, that would not be good.

North Korea has indeed been testing the old-fashioned kind of atomic bombs for a few years. Then Wednesday morning, a seismic blast was detected, and North Korea claimed that it was from a hydrogen bomb. That would be scary. Fortunately, it’s probably not true.

There is a lot we could say about this chart. For example, the Sun is conjunct Pluto, namesake of plutonium, an element that was specifically developed for the H bomb. Mercury is stationary retrograde, which is usually a message from the universe to bring in extra fact-checkers.

Here is the chart for the North Korean event, which they claim is a hydrogen bomb. Mercury is stationary retrograde in Aquarius; the Moon is void of course; and Neptune is rising (that’s the blue trident on the left). None of these are indications of truth; it’s likely that North Korea is lying. The intriguing thing about this chart is that the Sun is conjunct Pluto, to a small fraction of a degree. They deeply and profoundly wish they had an H-bomb. It seems like everyone wants a bigger gun.

But the most obvious chart feature is that Neptune is rising. When Neptune is rising in an event chart, you’re in territory where the whole topic is a lie, or where it’s unlikely or impossible to know the truth. Neptune in Pisces rising says that something is fishy.

The long square to Saturn adds emphasis, in this case. As I describe in the current Planet Waves FM, there is a lot in this aspect about belief and religiosity. Plenty of that is political.

“They really, really want their ‘friends’ to think they have the H-bomb. Do they though?” asked Ursula Fugger, a Canadian classical astrologer who has taught me a lot about mundane astrology.

On a similar theme, Donalda McCutcheon noted that Sun-Pluto was in the house of hopes and dreams (the 11th), implying, along with Neptune rising, that this was wishful thinking on North Korea’s part.

Nuclear experts seem to agree. The blast was not nearly big enough for an H-bomb; it was half the size of the explosion at Hiroshima, which was not a particularly large blast, as these things come. In fact it was really, really little compared to what a hydrogen bomb can do, even when it does not function properly.

And there you have it. Here in 2016, we are happy when an isolated, too-young psychotic dictator probably only has a garden variety nuke or two.

There are no small blessings, only real ones.


Planet Waves Weekly Horoscope — Jan. 7, 2016, #1082 | By Len Wallick 

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Could be you are seeing everything clearly and not encountering any obstacles. If that is the case for you, cultivate gratitude for your good fortune. Additionally, endeavor to show compassion without judgment toward others who are having a more difficult time. Should your life feel more like walking through an unfamiliar room in the dark, use that metaphor to develop solutions. What, for example, would be the equivalent of bringing and using a flashlight to better find your way? If you have such a tool available, what would possess you to neglect using it? In the event that you do not have access to illumination, exercise caution. Walking sideways, for instance, can prevent stubbed toes and bruised shins. There are alternatives to cursing the darkness, provided you are not overly attached to either cursing or darkness. — by Len Wallick

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Think of all your endeavors as a journey, and life will probably feel easier than if you were to become fixated on a goal or destination. Envision yourself as a child going through the proverbial stages of growing up, and you will be less likely to perceive crisis in your life. If you choose to see the world as a place of higher education rather than achievement, you might very well keep yourself from being brought low by discouragement. You have an advantage accorded to few right now, in that there is a simple way to determine whether you are doing the right thing. If you feel more energy coming in than going out, let that be your sign to override what other people might say about your course in life at this time. Believe what you are feeling, and don’t let anybody tell you that you are lazy for taking a natural path. — by Len Wallick

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Make ‘returning’ your theme and you will be in greater harmony with the world. What specific form returning takes will depend on who you are and what you perceive your circumstances to be. In general, however, what you are best off reverting to should probably look like a place or time in company with others rather than in isolation. If you have had a setback that has set you apart, for example, now is the time to begin referring to yourself as the ‘Comeback Kid’ regardless of your age, and whether or not you see any opportunity for reunions. You will also want to contemplate taking proactive steps to catch up or seek closure with classmates, business partners, chums or even lovers from days gone by. Don’t worry about whether your return will be welcomed. So long as you offer what you seek (and honor others’ need for space, when expressed), arms will open. — by Len Wallick

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — It is now more important than ever for you to be present in the moment. Start small. Count the steps on every flight of stairs you climb. Make note of every eye’s color. Listen for birds. Identify trees. Pay attention to the weather. At the end of every day, count the ways it was different from the day before. After a while, you will notice patterns and trends that are not constant, but changing. With the passage of a little more time, you will get a sense of what direction changes are taking. It may seem ridiculously simple, but keeping constant tabs on your present will liberate you from what is holding you back and what is inhibiting your forward motion as well. Eventually, you will reach a point where a very special moment shared with a very special somebody finds you doing and saying just the right thing at just the right time. — by Len Wallick

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Odds are you have made your mind up about something or other after a long period of contemplation. Let that be a good thing. You owe it to yourself to have faith in your purposeful deliberations. You should also give yourself credit for having overcome impulse to find your truth. There is one other favor you should grant yourself, however. Whatever you have decided upon, do not make an irrevocable commitment until the last possible moment. Even as sure as you may be about where your heart is, give your mind a chance to change while it is still possible to do so with grace. This is not to say you should be fickle or put things off. By all means, move in the direction of your choice; but gradually, one step at a time. Make each step only after you are sure and unshakable in your resolve not to retrace it. — by Len Wallick.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — The most responsible, grounded and mature thing you can do right now might be to lighten up. Rather than settle for a few choice moments when you can blow off steam every once in a while, look to change your lifestyle. To do so you need not quit your job, give away your possessions or take leave of your senses. Rather, respect your senses and take care of them. The objective is to modulate what appear to be some rather significant oscillations in stimulus so that you don’t have to spend so much time recovering from emotional (and even physical) exhaustion in response. To begin with, keep a log of your time spent on all sorts of electronic media and make changes based on the results. Then, take a little more time each day to use your hands in ways that free your mind and heal your body. — by Len Wallick.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Enough with humility for the time being. If you have not conducted yourself to the satisfaction of others, you also know that very few are worthy of judging you. If you do not consider yourself at least the equal of anybody else, ask yourself what it would take to feel that way. If the answer is that you have to be something other than what you are, take that as a sign that you are selling yourself short. Nobody is perfect, and nobody should burden themselves with trying to be perfect. If you are going to take on any aspirations at this time, let them be of your own creation. Your sociable side may want to be ‘where it’s at’, but your soul will be more content if you focus on finding out where you are at and placing yourself there. Granted, being true to yourself may not be easy at first, but eventually it will be right. — by Len Wallick

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Knowledge is not intrinsically a bad thing. Neither is power. Both, however, can be dangerous if you are not grown up enough to handle them. If there is anybody who has earned their qualifications to rise from ignorance and step into power, it is you — just as you are in this very moment. About now, you should be able to look back at whatever trials and tribulations you have been through for the last three years or so and recognize that there was a purpose to what happened and what you did with it. Step back a bit and look at your life with admiration rather than remorse, and you will see a precious and hard-won container of your own creation. That container will hold the knowledge you have gained and manifest all the power you need, but only after you resolve to become it, as it becomes you. — by Len Wallick

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — In the long run, time will prove to be on your side. It simply may not seem that way right now. That’s the reason you need to find some faith to tide you over, like a wisely chosen snack can help you keep going between meals. Just as with a snack, you should not overdo the faith thing. Take only what you need. Remember that its purpose is to sustain you. Even though it would be best if you chose to have faith in yourself first and foremost, it does not really matter what form of faith works for you. So long as it is working for you and you are not a slave to it, any form of faith will probably do you a lot of good this year. What you learn from employing (rather than being employed by) faith will also stand you in good stead when your relationship with time turns around, and you are finally on top of it again. — by Len Wallick

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Pride in excess can indeed lead to a fall. In your case, such a danger is unlikely. Ask anybody who loves you, and you will almost certainly hear that their affections are informed and supported by the pride they have in you. Hence, your task is to become proficient with pride. To begin with, get and keep yourself constantly present to what you should rightfully be proud of. In all probability it is achievement, as well as persistence. Do not neglect, however, to be proud of how good you have been to other people. Time and time again you have been supportive above and beyond the call of friendship. Over and over you have gone beyond offering a helping hand to follow through. As result, many have manifested what was once only a dream for them. Of all that, you can and should be justly proud. — by Len Wallick

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Just because it’s a new year does not mean you should be doing something different. If anybody knows the value of sticking with what works, it is you. The idea, however, is not to get stuck once what works has run its course. Therefore, endeavor to keep going as you have while keeping an eye out for your chance to make things work even better. The most important thing for you to keep in working order at this time is your body. When in doubt, choose rest over strain. Listen to your body and heed its calls for sleep and nourishment. Err on the side of caution when it comes to staying well. If you have your health, nearly anything else is possible, and all sorts of possibilities are soon to open up — provided you can be both physically fit and mentally capable of releasing attachment to what no longer serves you. — by Len Wallick

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — If you can figure out a way build a castle in the sky (which you just might be able to do), more power to you. Most castles, however, need a foundation. That foundation, in turn, needs to be laid in a place where it will endure, so that the time and effort you put into construction will be worth your while. Fortunately, you temporally have the ability to read both nature and time with the ease of reading a newspaper. The only thing that could trip you up is doubt in your ability to do so. For that reason, you will want to work on becoming more comfortable with taking risks. This does not mean becoming more reckless, or even more courageous. Instead, you need to trust and continuously develop your ability to see how all the possible outcomes the future holds will eventually collapse into a single reality — one that you could see from the beginning. — by Len Wallick

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