Of Chiron, Eris and Monday’s Eclipse

AI rendering of total solar eclipse. On our planet anyway, it’s not possible for a solar eclipse to be visible so close to the horizon.

Dear Friend and Reader:

Monday afternoon, the Moon will pass directly under the Sun, casting a shadow on the Earth. There are many kinds of solar eclipses; total solar eclipses are somewhat rare. Monday is distinctive because the shadow will be cast across the United States. For about four minutes, day will turn to night.

This is a total solar eclipse crossing a significant landmass in the continental U.S. for only the second time in history — and the path is through a much more populated region than the 2017 total solar eclipse in Leo (then called the Great American Eclipse). Many major cities are in the path of totality. The path will be much wider and the eclipse will last much longer.

This will be primal and maybe life-changing for those who see it: a direct experience of planetary life that cannot be dismissed as a psychological operation, a staged false-flag or computer-generated graphic. Something that nobody can control will happen.

For our era of history, that’s unusual. And people are flocking to it. Erie County, New York (home of Buffalo, population about 280,000) is expecting a million visitors and has made emergency plans. (Contrary to rumors, a state of emergency was not declared in advance. But officials there, and I’m sure elsewhere, are setting up emergency operations.)

The path of totality, calculated by computer.

Do These Events Really Have an Influence?

Can such an event have spiritual implications? Ask any practicing astrologer and they will have many examples; it will be easy to find the more influential ones that have influenced your chart. Eclipses stand out as before-and-after moments. They represent a concentration and acceleration of experience. Developments can seem predestined or karmic; at times, they are chaotic.

In the past I’ve described them as feeling like the Venturi Effect (the article contains a diagram and explanation). Or you can think of them as shooting the rapids along a river, a spot where the flow of water speeds up. Once you go through, you cannot go back.

None of this is about belief. It’s about what astrologers have learned from many centuries of observation — tempered by the relatively gentle humanistic or psychological approach to the work.

You can use all of these properties to your advantage. But at a minimum, I propose that eclipses and the times surrounding them deserve to be treated with tremendous respect.

AI rendering of Trump and Biden as if homeless.

Two High Potency Planets are Involved in the 4/8 Eclipse

I’ve mentioned a number of times that the recently-discovered planets Chiron and Eris are prominent in the April 8 solar eclipse chart. I think they deserve more discussion, given the momentous nature of the eclipse, how boldly they stand out, and the way they speak to the themes of our lives right now.

All of these events are in Aries — the sign of self, self-actualization, initiative and motivation. And also the sign of what I describe as digital disembodiment; many times I’ve said the crime scene of the digital age is located in Aries, the sign of “I am.”

Neither Chiron nor Eris are asteroids. Generally, asteroids have a solar orbit of about four years, and there are a bunch near Jupiter (usually called the Trojan class) with approximately 12-year orbits.

Chiron (discovered in 1977, with a 51-year orbit) is in the centaur class of planets, defined as such because they cross the orbits of other bodies. Eris (discovered in 2005, with a 556-year orbit) is either a Kuiper Belt object (KBO) or a scattered disk object (SDO), depending on who you ask. Named for the goddess of chaos, her discovery and naming disrupted the known order of the solar system.

Objects that move that slowly are much more influential than asteroids (such as Photographica), which supply thematic content to a chart (it really is about photographs), but don’t describe sweeping generational themes like the slow-movers. And for Monday’s eclipse, these two slow-movers leap out of the chart.

AI modified image from video.

An Era-Defining Moment

The eclipse itself is exactly conjunct Chiron, and retrograde Mercury is exactly conjunct Eris (by exactly, I mean within arc minutes for Mercury and no arc minutes for the Moon and Sun aligning with Chiron.

What is this about? Chiron is the most important astrological symbol of healing. It’s the very sigil of the holistic principle: that the whole contains the parts and the parts contain the whole. In Aries, it also represents self-development, growth and potentially, personal crisis. Eris describes the crisis of the digital age, both the disembodied state and mental fragmentation, and potentially the quest for wholeness.

Their rather bold presence alerts us to the idea that we are poised at some kind of era-defining moment, or what Daniel Giamario describes as a “timeline split.” By that, he means that the event is so strong that it represents yet another moment of bifurcation in society, where part goes one way and part goes the other. [See video here.]

This keeps happening. Under the influence of digital conditions, society seems to be evermore divided, with people living in individual and group bubbles. Yet this event also has the power to open up those containers and present us with an opportunity to find some common ground, if anyone is interested.

Understanding a major astrological event like this calls for an honest evaluation of the moment we are in. The only way through the eclipse is right in the present moment. And in the present moment, one of the most important issues involves this thing called “artificial intelligence.”

AI image of Freddy Mercury performing at the 2023 pride festival in San Francisco.

The Media and Nearly Everyone Else Gets This Wrong

If you read any of the numerous mainstream articles that describe the potential problems of AI, you see concerns over issues with plagiarism, manipulation of content, and the presence of what are called “deep fakes” — entirely fabricated presentations.

The most famous of these, though a little old, is This is Not Morgan Freeman. There is also a scam where your phone rings, you answer, and it’s a relative’s voice; they say they are in trouble and need help, and tell you where to send money. This can be done convincingly (to most) with a very small sample of the person’s voice.

Fake or modified videos abound throughout the internet, the product of what’s called Generative AI. You can make any photo look like anything.

Then there is hand-wringing over contrived schoolwork, bullshit legal motions, fake journalism, imaginary news photos and videos, and in every other publishing or scholarly genre.

People worry that AI tools will be used to replace workers or that bad management decisions will be made using AI.

All of these things miss the point; they are secondary effects. If you ever see the idea I am expressing here in some other article, please send it to me.

And it’s this: the AI problem is not about anything out there in the world. It’s about how living in an AI environment shapes consciousness.

The problem is that in a world of deep fakes and faking, we begin to believe that everything might be fake, and further, that we are being conditioned to think that we ourselves are fake, that the world we live in is a simulation, and ultimately that nothing is real.

AI scene of Alan Turing, inventor of the computer and the algorithm, receiving honors at a parade in London. His work is said to have cracked the Nazi code during WWII.

Sounds like Buddhism, But it’s Not

Because so few people pay any attention to consciousness itself, nearly nobody thinks about these issues. The idea of self-concept as defined by the technology environment is really a specialty item, and you will only hear about it if you read Marshall McLuhan.

The technology environment is not the output or the content; it’s the “hardware” environment, and living our lives within software, that envelops us and follows us everywhere.

The way that the technology environment shapes consciousness is the most important spiritual issue of our time, because (in the words of A Course in Miracles), “Every decision you make stems from what you think you are.” So in a make-believe world, we will be inclined to make decisions as if we are pretend people.

Many spiritual paths talk about how the world we live in is an illusion, which is a difficult concept to grasp when existence seems so real. But do we treat it that way? Or do we treat our lives as disposable?

Numerous people who have experimented with drugs like LSD, mushrooms and ayahuasca have made the observation that life has an illusory quality. As John Lennon wrote in Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, “Nothing is real.”

OK, so then what?

However, none of these paths or philosophies considers the influence of electricity, or of light-speed communication, or of infinite memory capacity, on consciousness. None consider the effect of splitting your presence into multiple locations (any form of electrical communication does that). None considers how holding one’s brain in one’s hand influences a person.

Who considers the impact of single-sense communication like radio, and of the deeply involving and personality-transforming influence of media, like cinema or television?

The clutching of pearls associated with the digital environment is all about stuff “out there” and not what is happening “in here” — within a person. And given how pervasive digital technology is, and how fast it hit society, that is a very significant consideration.

AI image of Tom Cruise working in a supermarket.

A Study in Existence

If we were to admit we were shaped at all by these things, it would be a short step to admitting we are shaped entirely. This is not merely a subtopic of “media studies.” We are so enveloped by media that it’s really a branch of holistic studies or existence itself.

There is now no event you see described in the media that should be exempt from close examination as to its reality. This is very difficult. Who has time? Who cares enough? Who does not have an agenda?

Most of us want to believe that train wrecks and ships striking a bridge pier are actual accidents. Most want to believe that Hamas actually attacked Israel, and to question that is the equivalent of blasphemy.

The result, however, is an environment where everything is being superficially questioned, and then an answer made up on no real information. This is one reason I am so fascinated by the mentality of the Flat Earth ‘movement’.

People are so disoriented by digital technology they pretend the planet is a pancake, and that all of physics is a lie: outer space does not exist, Isaac Newton was a fraud, Einstein could not do math, nuclear bombs never existed, the periodic table of the elements is a sham, and so on and on endlessly — without any real understanding or commitment.

It is a short distance from there to, “I am a lie,” and “nothing matters.” And if that is the way you want to live, if that’s your idea of having a conscience, if that’s your idea of a happy and meaningful life, the way is open.

Kurt Cobain as a woman, according to AI

The Threshold We are At

I agree with Daniel Giamario that we are at the point of a timeline split, a kind of bifurcation. [See recent discussion here.]

These also occurred in early 2020 and in September 2001, and we are still living with the toxic and chaotic results. The fear level keeps going ever upward. The simple pleasures of life seem to be further out of reach, as we depart from our senses. The notion of freedom is being displaced by the constant presence of fear — wherein no freedom is possible.

Electrical communication disembodies us, but disembodied really means driven insane and out of our minds and feelings. If you are wondering why the world seems so crazy, look to the impact of digital conditions for your best clue.

While the collective level of these events is truly significant, I believe we must take the message individually. Mercury, the Moon and the Sun pointing to generational planets is telling us to take all of this personally. That is all we can really do, since no person can have much sway over collective events that are on the level of a gradually accelerating tidal wave. But if you’re awake, you can connect with other people who are alert and observing carefully.

AI image of USSR Harry Potter.

Your Life Must Be About You

The meaning of your life is your business. Your sense of your own relevance and your potential for involvement is a deeply private matter. Matters of the world are deeply important now.

But how you guide your own trajectory through existence is far more relevant to you, whether you are trying to survive, live happily, or take part in the affairs of the world. You must guide yourself or you’re of no use to anyone else. You cannot serve others or serve society unless you are in contact with your own needs, your own questions and your own inner truth.

Narcissism is not about taking personal responsibility for your own affairs. It’s about thinking everyone else has no value other than to be in your personal TV show.

Many forces are trying to drag you out of yourself. Vast swaths of sensory input have been swallowed by the overwhelming and deeply involving nature of digital technology. It’s never been more difficult to find your way — and never more important to do so.

When we are looking for the actual collective results of AI, we must consider the evidence that what we call the “covid pandemic” was the result of computer models seizing epidemiology, virology and diagnostic testing — and perception.

I read this week that the massacre of Gaza by Israel is being driven by AI target selection, which is resulting in the massive kills of civilians.

Presumably real image of World Central Kitchen murder scene.

People Seek Violence as the ‘Solution’

When people (and countries) are driven out of their bodies and out of their minds by their technology, they will be desperate to find out who they are, and will use violence as a means of self-actualization. This is why so much of the internet is so aggressive.

One approach to the problem — though it will barely be noticeable on anything but the most personal level — is to break the taboo on knowing who you are, and devoting your life to finding out.

Humans are still way too inclined to surrender our minds to the cults of personality, to fear and greed, and to supporting or even loving aggression. This helps [us, them or whoever] to avoid the deep and difficult work of self-discovery, healing and reconciliation.

The situation surely seems hopeless. Yet we must begin, or continue, in earnest — even at this late hour. Eventually we will need to find others who can assist us in some way, and a means of determining whether they are sincere. To do that, you must be sincere: honest with yourself, real with others, and willing to risk intimacy.

I’ll be with you Friday with a new edition of Planet Waves FM.

With love,

Eric signature

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