Dear Friend and Reader:
Mars returned to direct motion Thursday, after being retrograde since Oct. 30, 2022, and in Gemini since Aug. 20, 2022. I began my coverage six months ago with the article Rumors, where I talked about the tipping point at which our society finds itself, managing our total immersion in digital technology.
And I was concerned about the problem of self-deception, leading to all other forms of deception. This is going on in a world dominated by the digital environment, and all that it’s done to our idea of who we are.
It was bad enough when everything on the ‘net was spam or a scam, knowing that there are crisis actors on CNN.
We have learned, during the course of this Mars retrograde, that the FBI was paying Twitter to control visibility and ban people. We learned that nonexistent “LGBT doctors” pushed masking and lockdowns. We now know that 17% of teenage boys reported cardiac symptoms after their second Pfizer shot. An antitrust lawsuit was filed in federal court Wednesday alleging that Reuters, Associated Press, the Washington Post and the BBC engaged in a cartel to suppress certain people and points of view.
In my view, most of the same people who brought the lawsuit are engaged in a conspiracy to conceal other information from the public.
Where Nothing is Real
Now we are in the world of “deep fakes” — from the synthesized, AI-version of Morgan Freeman to wholly synthetic realms of consciousness and high-coast “real estate” in the Metaverse. There is an AI device in the works that will help you write your term paper, or I guess anything else.
Ultimately, the message that everything is pretend reifies the message that we ourselves are unreal, which is another way of saying that we don’t exist, or are at best irrelevant. The rise of the robot is bringing on a world where humans are being convinced we are unnecessary.
This is all eating away at our integrity, such as it may have even been there to begin with. The truth does not seem to be the answer to any of this. No matter how much reality you may have available in the form of external truth or validation, it will be meaningless if you don’t trust yourself and count yourself as real.
The assaults on our relationships to ourselves — meaning our ability to use discernment and trust ourselves — continue and persist, if only through the constant involvement with an environment where we don’t really exist in any meaningful sense. Yet all of this is a great opportunity for awakening, if you can stand it.
Mars in Gemini; Mercury Square Neptune, One, Two, Three
Mars in Gemini — the scene of the retrograde — is slippery enough. It provokes the seeming divide that Gemini represents. This typically shows up as inner conflict that we project outward. Marshall McLuhan once wrote that all war is between the hemispheres of the brain.
Today we are confronted by many “split realities,” and worse, the notion that there is no truth, or that the truth cannot be known, or that it doesn’t matter even if we know. One might think: what’s the point of getting to the bottom of anything, or figuring out your own personal truth? It may not be real and nobody else will care. But what you know and what you care about matters.
One type of aggression is lying. This serves several purposes, including getting attention with outrageous statements, being included in the fraternity of people who tell or believe the same lie, and the most important thing that deception does: creating the sense that one controls reality.
The unfolding Mars retrograde involves three squares between Mars and Neptune in Pisces (Oct. 12, 2022, Nov. 19, 2022 and March 14, 2023). This kind of aspect can seem to bend reality, especially when it’s slow and powerful (as with a retrograde inner planet). Neptune, as we usually experience it, is a fantasy and delusion emitter. It’s this dream we are living through that nobody really understands or can make sense of.
Under full digital conditions, the physical ground is rendered nearly irrelevant, and there is nowhere to orient unless we do the eminently important work of consciously guiding our bodies through space and time.
Neptune has a dissolving quality, and Mars wants to assert itself. Put the two together, especially in a square, and there can be a toxic reaction. The nature of a square is an internal sensation or experience that is so potent, we project it outward as an event in the world.
The lack of self-awareness and self-presence being described by all of these conditions can make people aggressive. One type of aggression is lying. This serves several purposes, including getting attention with outrageous statements, being included in the fraternity of people who tell or believe the same lie, and the most important thing that deception does: creating the sense that one controls reality.
Mars square Neptune presents the opportunity to be honest with oneself. This is a good place to start, since all deception begins with self-deception. It’s a great place to learn how to trust, since all trust begins with learning how to trust yourself.
Mars and the Hierarchy of Needs
With Mars, we are talking about the essence of what we mean when we say “I am” and “I want.” When there is a deep paucity of self-awareness, a limited sense of belonging and no notion that one’s individual existence matters, the result is often violent — whether covert or overt.
It seems like everyone wants a piece of the action, whatever action there is. Yet the message of the environment we live within, and that lives within us — is that nobody and nothing matters, especially you.
For humans, this is extreme torture. Does anyone remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? It’s a psychological nutrition chart. At the bottom are physical needs like food, water and a toilet, and safety needs like a safe place to sleep.
Families have been split, people have been divided and isolated from their friends, and people who contributed to society under extreme hardship or with persistent good faith, have been cast off and left behind. This is a nightmare scenario, and we are living through it.
The rest of human needs are about participation, acceptance, friendship, love, belonging, respect, status, freedom and at the very top, self-actualization: being the most you can be. What we have lived through the past three years amounts to the most colossal assault on self-esteem, bonding and trust that I’ve ever personally witnessed.
Families have been split, people have been divided and isolated from their friends, and people who contributed to society under extreme hardship or with persistent good faith, have been cast off and left behind. This is a nightmare scenario, and we are living through it. Things may be at a temporary lull, but astonishing damage has been done to our social patterns, and our individual and collective psyche.
There is a hungry-ghost quality of needing to be important that runs through nearly everything we see these days. I am amused by how many people consider themselves “influencers” (a word related to influenza). There is a kind of race to the bottom for who can establish the most convincing alternate “reality.” I’m seeing that many people throw the most money at the people who deceive them the most, because the deception upholds their preferred version of causes and effects.
One result of this attention-starved condition is living with brutal competition nearly all the time, whether for clicks, likes, shares, comments, conversions, income, being the brightest, shiniest, sexiest, or the most authentic artisan maker of something. And there is loads of competition for how traumatized one is. Oprah built a personal empire on this, and now it’s seeping its way into many facets of life.
My Hardest Lesson as a Reporter
The most spiritually challenging thing I have learned as someone who has reported primarily on mass poisoning incidents and scientific fraud is that many people demand to be lied to. This often comes in the form of asking for official reassurance, and accepting it unquestioned.
When I was covering contaminated dormitories at SUNY New Paltz, I was mortified to see how many parents — nearly all of them, in fact — left their children to live in those buildings, knowing the nature of the problem (PCBs and dioxins), without so much as questioning the narrative that they might be perfectly safe. They asked for reassurance, and they got it from state officials more intent on keeping the campus open than keeping anyone away from the toxins.
My lesson boiled down to this. Fraud comes in two parts: an intentional act of deception; and after that goes on for a little while, the intentional willingness to be deceived. For me, the conduct of corporate and government actors is much easier to understand than the responses of people who enable and support this conduct, to their own detriment.
We have seen this play out over and over again the past three years: tell me that this “mitigation measure” will make me safe. Promise me that person questioning you is crazy. Block all other viewpoints because I don’t want to know about them. Get rid of that person who is making noise. The lure here is that making your own choices and using your own discernment means that if you’re wrong, then it’s your problem. If someone else is wrong, it seems like their problem — but not if it shapes your life.
Taking Responsibility for Your Decisions
Agency means you are responsible for making your own decisions, and for the outcomes.
An article I published Monday received this comment from a reader named Janice Phillips: “We need to fill up our agency cups. They’ve been empty for far too long. It might be why we’re in this mess, in fact. No one wants to be responsible for anything nowadays. Not raising their kids, not their own behavior, and not their own ill health. I’m trying to be a cheerleader, a coach, and a resource for all I can. It’s a tough crowd out there.”
Let’s be easier about this. We don’t need to be so tough or to give people who care a hard time.
In one of his last poems, T. S. Eliot famously wrote, “Human kind cannot bear very much reality.” That is not mandatory; it’s entirely up to us. But to be open to reality, you have to do the work.
We might also remember the words of philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, author of The Second Sex: “I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth — and truth rewarded me.”