That Was Not Cute

Dear Friend and Reader:

Wednesday night, the Tea Baggers and Dominionist Christian factions of Congress surrendered the U.S. government back to the larger political system. When the Senate passed its bill reopening the government, and when Obama made his announcement that the struggle was over (for now), the Moon was in the last degree of Pisces, that is, the last degree of the zodiac.

Cartoon by Jen Sorensen.

Some would say that’s a void of course Moon (making no new aspects in the current sign, therefore representing a foul ball). Yet the Moon will always have some influence in Pisces, and I grant an exception to the void Moon for the truly beautiful and strange last degrees of that sign.

When the House took action a bit later, the Moon was more appropriately in Aries, headed for a conjunction to Uranus and a square to Pluto — the members of that legislative body have obviously not had their fill. As far as they’re concerned, the Anti-Sixties are just getting cooking. Activism is fun. Revolution is in the air.

At least from what I can see on the surface, Pres. Obama handled this crisis masterfully. He refused to negotiate with terrorists, and he knew to back off from making any public comments the past four or five days to let the political pressure on the perpetrators intensify. The rest of the Democrats held their ranks. It was gratifying to see them show some spine and even a little muscle. Admittedly they were playing a defensive game — this was not about getting something done. That is still missing, in a moment when there’s plenty that needs doing.

Astrology played a role, or at least illustrated how the conflict resolved. We saw the mental orientation of Mars, newly in Virgo, have its influence. In Leo, Mars is passionate and wants to be visible — and it can also be blustery, aggressive and full of bravado. (If you have natal Mars in Leo, the unique aspects in your chart will help describe why you might be soft-spoken and introspective and express it in more constructive ways.)

In Virgo, Mars wants precision, focus and attention to detail. The inclination is to fix things rather than to damage them.

We saw the deadlock-breaking quality of the Full Moon do its thing, augmented by an eclipse. Though the shutdown of the government and pushing the country to the brink of defaulting on its debts shook up everyone paying attention, and rattled global leaders from Japan to China to the IMF, things could have been a lot worse had this persisted just another 48 hours. It’s better to have this kind of mess resolved before an eclipse rather than after one.

By Tom Toles, copyright © 2013 The Washington Post.

I tend to take this kind of stuff personally. I’ve been feeling edgy the whole two weeks this has persisted. I know the potential consequences and I know the astrology. But more than that, I understand the psychology and the agendas moving beneath the surface.

Just when I thought the whole thing could not get any more appalling, I turned on the television Thursday morning to see some Republican senator gasbag on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program trying to justify the shutdown based on how they allegedly want to protect the American people from the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Others were getting TV airtime saying we have to get the debt and deficit under control — knowing full well that the sequestration cuts are doing precisely that, and in an extreme form. And knowing full well that has nothing to do with it.

If you translate this into a domestic violence situation, it’s like someone telling the cops they beat up their spouse to prevent them from going to community college.

There are Republicans from the fringy side of the tent who are claiming victory after this whole instigated crisis, and who are no doubt coming home to their district as heroes who shut down the works of the mean, nasty federal government that pays their airfare and for their posh taxpayer-supported cars and health insurance.

Other members of the Party of No have promised that the fight is not over; they will be back in January, when these same vulnerabilities can be exploited again. Based on Wednesday night’s actions, the continuing resolution funding the government lasts until Jan. 15 and the country’s borrowing power lasts until mid-February. That is not long, but the astrology will be a little less perilous — at least temporarily. (There is a serious crunch point for the U.S. government in April, which has often been a distressing month in American history.)

Many of these emotionally and intellectually vapid people are promising more of this insanity, despite approval of the Republicans dipping below 24% and approval of the so-called Tea Party down to 21% — in politics, that’s when you know you’re in the toilet. That is true martyrdom, and martyrs make me nervous.

Copyright © 2013 The International Herald Tribune / NY Times Co.

While this whole thing has our attention, I want to add a few thoughts that I have not seen offered anywhere else in the media.

The people who did this to us are people we’ve been dealing with for a while. The unholy marriage of religion and politics that really got cooking in the early 1980s, when Reagan was first president and Karl Rove was Boy Wonder making his way to the top of the game, is a dangerous thing.

This is part of the same political movement, with many of the same people, who want to turn women’s bodies into a political battlefield, and who want to control who has sex with whom, and when, and under what circumstances. They are the same people who want to ban abortion, birth control and sex education — all three.

This is the same movement that believes government should be by the corporations, of the corporations and for the corporations. They are the same people who believe that taxes are for the little people. There’s a lot of corporate money behind this movement, and thanks to the Citizens’ United decision, there is no limit to what can be spent to brainwash the population.

Meanwhile, it’s as if global warming is not happening, fracking doesn’t harm the earth or groundwater and toxic sludge is good for you. Nobody needs proper medical access; just go to the emergency room and you’ll be fine. Our society has problems, and right when we need leadership we are getting nonstop antics. The behavior we are seeing from our elected leaders is decidedly alcoholic.

The agenda goes a lot deeper than denial and petty games, however. What we witnessed the past 16 days looked on the surface like a shutdown of the government over an issue, but I think it was something more sinister: a coup attempt. It was an attempt to destabilize the government and the economy, create chaos and take power.

Frightening cover of the current edition of The New Yorker.

We have seen a number of these in the past 50 years, starting with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Since the late 1990s they have become more frequent — the fraudulent impeachment of Bill Clinton; the stolen election of 2000; the absurdly false-flag Sept. 11 scenario and the rise of the national security state; the disgusting wars that have infected the Middle East like a festering case of impetigo; the crash of the economy in 2008; and, skipping over a few details, this somewhat successful attempt to seize the government and, more significantly, its finances.

The United States is made of tough stuff. From my perspective, most of us who live here are political centrists, who want to be left alone. There’s a good bit of live and let live to the American way of life. I think that even to many conservatives, the kind of behavior we’ve just seen has a disgusting reek to it.

Our Constitution is flawed but strong enough to have withstood many assaults. But there is only so hard and so long you can rip at something, or beat on it, or abuse it, before its integrity starts to give way. There is only so hard you can beat on people and abuse their trust and lie to them before they get fatigued and lose their desire to fight and to participate. If the economy fails and many people have little to eat, they may or may not respond politically — it’s usually easier to cave in to whatever political forces promise to rescue them.

The attack we have just experienced is part of a much larger, longer-term political agenda than it seems to be on the surface. It is more successful than it seems on the surface. It is funded not just by money but also by mania, psychosis and I believe a kind of magic: the mustering up of dark forces, including superstition, fear, conflict and deception.

The sexual agenda perpetuated by this crew is not just a side dish but rather is a well-documented form of divide and conquer, infiltrating the most private spaces of relationship, dividing people against one another, dividing them against their bodies, tapping into the painful sexual abuse so many have suffered, harvesting human emotion and delivering it right back to the population as something dangerous and toxic but in an unrecognizable form.

It’s time we get wise to the agenda. Then it will be a lot more obvious what to do — in terms of personal work and collective action.

Lovingly,

Weekly horoscope for Friday, Oct. 18, 2013 #971 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Friday’s eclipse in your birth sign reveals that you’re trying to shake off an old emotional influence of some kind, knowing that it’s not serving you. You can let it go, and you seem determined to do just that with every cell in your body. The challenge, though, is the sensation of instability that comes with not being boxed in by this feeling or expectation. This is one of the ways that negative attachments and emotional habits can keep you or anyone trapped — by that little thing they seem to offer. I suggest that you address that directly, and do what you can to stabilize on a new level of understanding. You have that available, as your ruling planet Mars has changed signs to Virgo. This will allow you to ground in your work, in a firm sense of purpose and in a framework of ideas far more stable and useful than the dramas that were keeping you busy.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You are being called to address certain details of your erotic or romantic life in a new way, with greater focus and determination. But do you have all the information you need to be working with? Various factors suggest that many details will be emerging over the next few days. You don’t need to go digging, though you do need to pay attention for subtle changes in the story, shifts in where the people involved are coming from, and secrets that have yet to be revealed, including what you may be withholding from others. You are in a situation where honesty is the best policy for all concerned, though you only have control over yourself. You have influence over others, though, and one way you can exert that influence  is not to settle for partial information. This is a moment of reckoning, when it’s time to get to the roots of the situation. Remember, there is no such thing as a half-truth.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Have you noticed the direct connection between your emotional well-being and your physical stamina? There are emotional factors that may be putting a drain on your overall health; they look like stuck patterns that are hangovers from unresolved transactions with others. Said another way, be on the lookout for situations where promises may have been made but not kept, or where information that should have been forthcoming was withheld. You can address all of that in fairly short order, if you focus on it now. With Mars crossing the sensitive home and security angle of your solar chart, changes in your living situation are in motion, and if that is true, you want to be working with full information from anyone concerned. If you find yourself getting irritable or angry, or feeling worn down, stop and ask a few questions. Knowledge is power, and there’s no substitute for it.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Be conscious how you use your power, which includes your visibility. With an eclipse of the Moon in your 10th house, you may be feeling invisible or like you lack influence — though if so, you’ve got the equation backwards. You have extra influence now, though I suggest you use it in subtle ways. While you may have to do some overt taking charge, your solar chart suggests that in many situations, the best course of action will be to work from behind the scenes. The factor to work with is trust rather than authority; that’s because in truth there is no more authentic authority than trust. Focus your efforts on those whose intelligence you respect and can depend on. They are most likely to be the people with whom you will feel like you’re on level turf. You’re in a position of authority and responsibility, though I suggest you work from the ground up rather than from the top down.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — The way is open for a dialog in some of the most sensitive situations in your life. Yet the operative word is sensitive. The other operative word is open. The situation calls for little else; if you can maintain that, others are likely to take the initiative and say what they need to say to you. Even if others don’t say anything, if you listen and are receptive you will learn enough, and your awareness will have a positive influence on the situation. Meanwhile you seem to be involved in a delicate balancing act of your own — your emotional body is telling you one thing and your political or strategic sense is telling you another thing. There is a point of contact, and you’re approaching it gradually. I can give you a clue how it looks or feels. You seem to be facing an inner dilemma, which involves two conflicting points of view. As you do your best to work it out, a third viewpoint will emerge that helps you transcend the conflict that turns out not to have been one.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — The arrival of Mars in your sign has helped take some pressure off of you, and has demonstrated that your worst fears were both unrealistic and untrue. What matters is what’s both true and connected to reality, and by that I mean what you can verify in documented fact. This will be critical over the next few days as Mars makes an opposition to Neptune, which may lead you to question things for which you have solid evidence and observations that are based on careful analysis. Remember — just because you may have a momentary doubt does not mean that you’re wrong, no matter how potent your insecurity may be. The best course of action is to keep an open mind for additional information and insight, while keeping your eye on the known data and what it points to. The Grand Canyon was not formed 6,000 years ago, no matter what some people think they believe.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Friday’s lunar eclipse in your opposite sign Aries is a reminder that you can only be yourself; you cannot be anyone but yourself. If that is true, it’s also true of the people in your life, including those with whom you are the most intimate. One of the most common modes of ‘preserving’ relationships and ‘making them work’ is that our culture trains us to be someone other than who we are. At the same time there’s relatively little information about how to be oneself, and few situations where it’s appropriate. That all said, it’s ultimately inevitable — and people put in the same room, the same home, the same company or any other form of the same time and place, will eventually figure that out. Being who you are and acknowledging others for who they are is the foundation of a relationship, even if it seems to threaten it at first.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — The more self-accepting you are, the more others will be accepting of you. The only reason this might be seen as a trite or clichéd bit of advice is if someone has not tried it, or if they struggle to get there. Self-acceptance provides a form of inoculation against anyone’s judgment of you. It also provides a pass for all kinds of inappropriate or hurtful behavior. The way your chart is set up, the theme comes along with an imperative for integrity, which is under focus now. The message is: embrace yourself and patrol your own borders. Monitor your own conduct. Love yourself, share yourself when you feel it’s appropriate and make amends when you’ve acted in a way that is out of integrity. That’s not a pre-condition of self-love — but forgiveness is. In the end, you will get there; you may as well go there sooner; and eventually you figure out that it’s the place to start.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You have an extended opportunity to accomplish some great things, though to get there you must focus on the details. If you’re in a leadership role or even in a parental role, you may have to focus on the details of others. In either case you will need to go out of your way to do so gently. The sensation is persistence and setting an example rather than any form of aggressive leadership. You have available to you a depth of emotional access that gives you what I can describe as a heart connection. The same factor also puts you in contact with your sense of injury. It’s a fine line to walk, but for you it’s necessary; you are gradually approaching a crossroads where you will make a firm commitment to the mutual healing of yourself and the people in your life, or perpetuating something from the past that you know really needs to end.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Many efforts have been made to reconcile religion with science. It’s a noble effort, though I think that the only possible point of contact is the honest pursuit of truth, which is not guaranteed by either mode of inquiry. Frequently we see where both have become the same form of dictatorship. What will help you most now is to ask honest questions. Ask them of yourself, ask them of others and ask them of existence. Consider the responses you get to be like food, which must be chewed in order to be digestible. When you get a response, from whatever source, the best thing you can offer back, and offer to yourself, is thoughtful consideration. Make the choice not to be intimidated by the search for truth, or for understanding. Learn not to be intimidated by thinking you were wrong; bypass that entirely in place of what is real.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Even the principle of accountability can be taken too far — such as when you’re expected to take responsibility for the actions of others. This is an important boundary though one demarcated by a fine line, perhaps a bit too fine. In my reading of Friday’s lunar eclipse chart, your accountability centers around knowing what you are and are not responsible for. Perhaps the most challenging thing is being responsible for your own feelings, especially when you’re in the context of a relationship to someone else. One thing I would remind you of is that you’ve covered this territory before, and quite possibly mastered it more than once. You don’t need to go back to a prior level of knowledge or experience, though to do that you must use what you know. So I suggest you spend some time considering what you’ve learned about yourself, in recent years and over the course of your lifetime. Your situation will feel a lot simpler.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You need fear no one. Whatever rattles or chills your bones — be it aggression, deception, delusion or chaos inflicted by others — you are larger than it, and it’s no match for you. For this to work, though, you need to remain open, and you need to remain connected to yourself. It’s your true essence that will protect you, not your defenses. Your values are what protect you from being swallowed by the madness of the world, and guide you away from conforming to what others say you should believe or how you should act. It’s your openness to others and your willingness to relate on mutually acceptable terms that gives you your standing among them, rather than any illusion of ‘going it alone’. You can therefore afford to look at everyone and everything with a twinkle in your eye, remembering that your presence in the world is based on strength, openness and love.

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