Off to See the Wizard

Dear Fellow Traveler:

War was launched at 9:45 ET Wednesday night on the Iraqi people, and a second military campaign was commenced half an hour later, on the people of the world. There are two wars in this equation. One is a war being waged with cruise missiles, and the other with television.

The flames rose over Baghdad exactly five years ago today. Courtesy of Time.

I don’t have cable. I watched Bush’s speech on a sputtering stream that, in between frequent stalls to reload the buffer, was for some reason running at 28.8 Baud. The four-inch image and the audio were serious low-resolution, fuzzy and echoey, minus the vividness and glamour that can make TV so shocking and convincing. Every time the presentation stopped, I could stop and think about what I was seeing. The blur and the distorted audio, strangely, worked like an enhancing filter. Looking at the tiny screen I felt like I was staring down the wrong end of binoculars but seeing everything much more clearly. It was real; it was not.

I heard someone who resembled the self-acclaimed president speaking in his most measured voice ever, with his tongue smoothed and polished, his words like silver, and his eyes looking like two little holes. He spoke gently of his compassion and his desire for peace and healing, then would freeze mid-frame as I would mediate on the still image. He spoke, in even tones and carefully paced language, of the many friends who were supporting our great nation in our time of need, in this necessary struggle against a common enemy. He promised, in his kindly and fatherly way, democracy and freedom for the people of Iraq. He reminded us how a terrible villain was a threat to peace. All as sirens wailed and his cruise missiles and cluster bombs pounded hellfire upon a civilian population, people just like your kids and your neighbors and yourself.

If we play the entire history of the Bush administration in fast-forward, we see a sequence of events starting with the outright theft of an election. Bush lost the popular vote and cheated in Florida. A moment later arrived the Sept. 11 attacks, followed by mysterious and unsolved anthrax incidents directed at certain key federal legislators, the Supreme Court and specific members of the media. After shutting down newsrooms, congressional offices, the court building and making everyone freak out about their mail, there was a war against Afghanistan launched on the pretense of fighting terrorism. But the important terrorist got loose while the way was opened for the long-planned Unocal oil pipeline with which the Taliban (the old Afghani government) was not cooperating. These developments came with the imposition of the Patriot Act and the Terror Alert system. Under this system, Red Alert is functionally martial law. (Recent news reports say that it’s like a snow storm — you stay home from work. Under Red Alert, anyone outside their house can be presumed to be the enemy.)

Next, we either learned and quickly forgot, or never heard, that the federal government was repeatedly warned about the possibility of just such an attack as happened on Sept. 11, by governments considered both friends and enemies. We forgot or never heard, as well, that Florida’s Governor Jeb Bush, the president’s brother, had issued an ominous executive order relating to terrorist attacks, merging the police and National Guard into one entity in the event of an emergency, on the Friday before Tuesday, Sept. 11.

Through this time, the fear of terrorism — manufactured pumped out in a steady stream by the Department of Homeland Security and the television news conglomerate — became the excuse to do anything and everything, to declare anyone an enemy, and to spy on any person or organization. We were told that wire taps, secret arrests and military tribunals were going to make us safer.

Near the anniversary of Sept. 11, the administration ramped up its push to go to war with Iraq, and over the next six months, lost most of its allies, ignored the United Nations, and pretended that UN weapons inspections were not working. It was revealed that various documents being used to convince the world of Iraq’s danger were falsified. We learned that the US and UK sold Iraq most of its weapons. Valentine’s Day weekend, worldwide protests erupted. They, too, were ignored by leaders of the US and UK in the single-minded push for war. The terror alert was raised to Orange, then lowered to Yellow only so that it could be raised back to Orange again.

Speaking at John Carroll University in suburban Cleveland this week, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia informed the public that civil rights would be scaled back as part of the war effort. “The Constitution just sets minimums,” he said. “Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires.” He did not say what rights he was talking about. He did not mention that under executive order, numerous plans are in place to suspend the constitution entirely in a state of emergency.

Many people believe this is all for their own good. It’s likely they would be saying the same thing as they were herded into football stadiums put to use as detention centers.

Who is the enemy? Would it take Jefferson or Franklin to see that we are moving toward tyranny, and are at best out in the parking lot? It takes a man named Noam Chomsky to see that we’ve already arrived. The single most important way that autocratic efforts are affected in a democratic society is by media hypnosis, which is so pervasive most people would argue that they are quite well informed by their TV sets. He explains that what guns and violence are to military dictatorship, propaganda is to a democratic dictatorship. Chomsky is the famed linguistics professor from MIT who has devoted his life to exposing what he describes as “the culture of terrorism” — that would be the United States. I highly recommend a video documentary on his life, available for rent at many video stores, called Manufacturing Consent. I’ve been a media activist for years — and still it was a shocking eye-opener.

The Astrology

People opposed to this war and those who support peace and freedom may take some consolation in the fact that it was launched under extremely shaky astrology, and that when the other shoe falls, it’s going to come down with a stomp. The United States government has spoken. I think we will be surprised at the response we hear. While the war itself began under miserable astrology for such a venture, Friday’s stunning conjunction of Mercury and the Sun in the first degree of Aries promises that a message will be heard round the world, loud and clear and with never-before-seen energy.

Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles light up the sky over Baghdad as Part of Shock and Awe. Courtesy of Scoop Independent News.

We know the risks of this war: mainly, killing, hurting and shattering the lives of a lot of people, an unpredictable deterioration of world conditions and a serious economic downturn. But regime change begins at home, and there are political risks for the administration as well. These appear in several charts, but a good example is the chart for Bush’s televised announcement that the war had begun, on March 19, at 10:15 p.m. ET, Washington DC. Given that this is a propaganda war on the people of the world, I consider this the official opening salvo. (MSNBC reported that Bush ‘launched the order’ at 6:30 p.m. ET; NBC reported that the bombing began at 9:45 p.m. ET.)

In the 10:15 p.m. chart, the Moon in Libra is very close to being void-of-course. Void-of-course means the Moon won’t be making any new aspects until it reaches the next sign. It is an uncertain time — the Moon is ‘out of play’ and in a kind of null zone. The Moon is still separating from its trine to Saturn at 10:15 p.m. The fact that the Moon is making its last aspect, and at that, a separating trine to Saturn, does not bode well for anyone being able to control this situation. It starts off in control, then control disappears like it was never there. (One of the root charts in this situation is the Sept. 11 chart, during which the Moon was void, and that situation is now very much out of hand.)

The Bush War II chart has Scorpio rising and Taurus setting. Thus Mars represents the United States and Venus represents Iraq. The two planets make no aspect. In a real war, one would expect to see the two planets interacting in some way, or moving toward a meeting rather than away from one. But the lack of a meeting suggests that this is not about Iraq — or what we think of as Iraq, its leader and government — at all. If we take Pluto rather than Mars as the ruler of Scorpio, we see that the most recent aspect between the two planets was a sextile — a very harmonious and integrated meeting. But it’s separating; it has already happened. Much like the Sept. 11, 2001 chart, in which the planets representing the terrorists and the government are in perfect harmony, Venus and Pluto have recently been in perfect cooperation.

Also in the Bush War II chart, the Moon rules the 9th house, that of foreign governments besides the open ‘enemy’. The Moon, in general, can represent the public as well. With the Moon about to go void, we might wonder about what the peace movement is made of, but we shall soon see. We also have an interesting picture of France, Germany and Russia, which, like the world population represented by the Moon, have little to lose.

With war “news” now being used as a excuse to eclipse any other actual word of world events (I guarantee you it’s been extremely annoying to the mainstream press to have to write all these stories on protests, France, Germany and the UN) anyone depending on major media will be cut off from reality, and treated to a nonstop feast of bombs busting in air. But there is the Internet. The Mercury-Sun conjunction on Friday says that real news will be moving fast and furious.

I would project that some kind of retaliation — not necessarily military or violent — comes unexpectedly from a foreign government, perhaps in the form of going public with information damaging to the administration. In a propaganda war, what you have to fight with is propaganda. This could be something like unreported 9-11 secrets held by foreign governments (perhaps, for example, credible information could resurface that the White House was warned in advance of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and let them happen).

Here is the main element in the Bush War II chart — the kicker. The Sun is very much void of course, which is a much larger issue (and at that, in the last degree of the zodiac). If I were the White House astrologer, I would have selected Friday afternoon for the launching of the war, unless I wanted to sabotage the plan, in which case I would have chosen the day they picked. To do the war well, we would want to wait until the Sun is in Aries (the sign of the god of war) and the Moon is a lot less shaky — and in Scorpio, another Mars-ruled sign. Instead, they started a war with the Sun in Pisces and the Moon in Libra, both signs involving Venus.

Meanwhile, Sun void in my experience opens the door to strange possibilities and connotes a less-than-positive, and unpredictable, outcome for the actor. The 10th house, the president’s house, is involved — Leo is on the 10th, so the Sun represents Bush. This is just not good news for Bush. He has done something truly unusual here, which is unleash a massive pre-emptive war, on false pretenses, for private gain, allegedly singling out one person, upon an entire society, against the direct will of many governments and worldwide popular uprising. This is extremely unusual. His own chart tells us that the other shoe will indeed fall; this will unravel. The question is how many people he will kill first.

The Sun is at equinox now. In the northern hemisphere, light is about to take over where darkness long ruled. There is a sense of balance moving into consciousness and awakening to life. But this war was launched in the last moments of winter.

Both the Sun and Moon so close to the edge presents a picture: Bush (the Sun in the 5th) as childish, deceptive and rogue, and other governments (Moon in the 9th house) at the end of their restraint (separating trine to Saturn, someone they used to cooperate with). Astrologers may note that the Sun is also in an exact square to the Mars-Pluto midpoint, and that Mars is on the Sun/Moon midpoint. You could say they are shooting themselves in the foot. It may not be obvious quite yet. With powerful tyrants, the best thing you can hope for is that they will take care of their own undoing. Few other things could get me to subscribe to cable television.

And hey — the really good news is that once I finish the horoscope, I can head over to Seattle for a peace rally. ++

Eric Francis

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