The Grand Old Cross

The Grand Old Cross

IT HAS BEEN ANOTHER outrageous week in the Holy Roman Empire, and it’s not quite over yet.

As of Friday morning, with Mercury, the Moon and Ceres in Sagittarius rising over Paris, a grand fixed cross continued to shape consciousness and experience. The grand fixed cross is an exercise in transcendance — the dance of transcending fear. Or transcendense, the transcending of density.

We’re about to get a lot of Mars activity, indeed, the crescendo of the Mars retrograde in Taurus is now occurring. The Sun in mid-Scorpio is approaching an opposition to retrograde Mars, as happens each time Mars is retrograde once every two years. Every cycle tells stories. Checking the ephemeris, the last two Sun-Mars oppositions were right around Aug. 28, 2003 (with Mars retrograde in Pisces, during the incredibly hot summer) and June 13, 2001 (Mars retrograde in Sagittarius, therefore involving Chiron and Pluto).

The current Sun-Mars alignment occurs overnight Sunday to Monday, featuring an obscenely close T-square between Mars in Taurus, the Sun in Scorpio and Neptune in Aquarius. (Saturn in Leo is still in the picture, which I’ll get to in a moment.) Sun and Mars align at exactly 15 degrees of their signs, squared by Neptune at 14 degrees of Aquarius and 51 arc minutes. Thus, the aspect between the Sun and two slow-moving planets is exact to nine minutes of arc, about one sixth of a degree.

When I see an aspect like this, I start to say things like, “Gee whiz. Well, at least it’s a precise alignment.” The building energy, with all three planets applying to one another, is the essence of the weekend’s inner and outer news. But the thing about Neptune aspects is that once they form, you discover you’ve been under their influence for a long time.

The T of the T-square is Neptune in Aquarius (I originally typed Squarius, that’s a good one). This is the cosmic pot that’s getting stirred; the brewing mead that is set to pop the cork of its jug.

Neptune in Aquarius is the astrological symbol for “the masses are asses,” or, “the masses are stoned off their asses on train carloads of high tech pharmaceuticals and over-immersion in media.” Or “religion is reality.” The whole transit lasts 5,118 days, which commenced around the time of the collective hallucination known as the Bill Clinton Impeachment on Jan. 29, 1998, and which ends Feb. 4, 2012 (the year should ring a bell). The exact midpoint was Feb. 2, 2005. By the end of this transit, digital implants will be commercially available and Antero Alli’s demented science-fiction notion of cyberspace and human dreamtime merging in digital technology will have come true. (Just remember to get a memory upgrade, unless you’re contemplating a career as an archetype.)

Neptune in Aquarius has many manifestations. Let’s see, there is the Cult of the Apocalypse in its zillion forms, featuring many ordinary people calmly awaiting The End; there is my dad (who does not believe in The End) taking Xanax to stay calm during the ordeal of having new windows installed into his home, with the added complication of new blinds; there are all the people who seem to exist only in Cyberia, who have indeed taken up full-time careers as archetypes (of themselves) in chat rooms and personals boards, unable to handle the prospect of an in-person meeting at Rosie’s Diner, or preferring the intensity of psychic bonding undistracted by physical existence; and more than anything, there is the media machine pumping out so much fear you can hear the engines straining and the whole system verging on explosion, implosion or some combination thereof.

Whenever the truth is told, the system wiggles. Some days ago I witnessed a precious moment on CNN that was lost to the ethers of broadcast video. (The ideal Planet Waves studio would be recording and archiving the news channels 24 hours a day, so please keep subscribing.) But here is what I saw.

Sharp-witted extreme babe newscaster interviewing respectable expert former CIA intelligence analyst on topic of Scooter Libby indictment. He says: The government used cooked intelligence to justify the war in Iraq; that’s what this is about. She says: So the government misinterpreted intelligence (obviously diverting his point). He says: No, it was cooked. This is an industry term meaning that the intelligence was twisted or made up wholesale in order to justify the pre-existing policy of the Iraq war. She is dismayed, uncomfortable, obviously irritated, but sort of stays cool.

I watched this stunning transaction bug-eyed, hoping a lot of people were tuned in. The pre-planned, scripted, carry water for a viewpoint interview failed for a change. Yet television is so ephemeral. It makes its points by repetition. Something like that can get on the air once, and you can be sure the source is retired to Public Access Community cable. Unless something is repeated every 20 minutes for a year, it doesn’t come across.

Mars square Neptune fired up by the Sun should be interesting. I wish I could find the name of the astrologer who described Mars-Neptune aspects as Kamikaze, referring to the highly distinguished Japanese pilots, almost modern-day Samurai, who would plunge their airplanes into American ships during the World War.

I’ve seen this “emotional suicide bomber” phenomenon appear in the charts of SOME people with difficult Mars-Neptune aspects, which tend to act up if/when use of substances goes out of control, when the entities get restless, or in abusive situations.

Those who work with Mars-Neptune well (in any configuration) keep at least a loose grip on their addictions and funnel their energy into art and artists of one kind or another. Those who do not tend to reach the most efficient and sustainable state of self-destruct, and there they tend to thrive.

What is the best way to express yourself in the age of the suicide bomber? Well, let’s see. Maybe they have something to teach us. Suicide bombing is “giving yourself to the cause entirely” when “you have nothing else to lose.” We must presume there is a reason for this, some sense of mission, and these energies are in the air today.

Perhaps using a similar sense of mission we can find it in ourselves to give ourselves entirely to the cause of our own lives, or of our communities. But we would have to determine first that we have nothing left to lose by being ourselves and doing what we came here to do. I recognize this is not easy when you are struggling to get through the day — but if so, you may want to inquire as to where your energy is going.

One place I can assure you a lot of energy is going is FEAR. At the moment, we are in a phase of philosophy wherein Any Fear Goes. The Scarier The Better. C’mon, Scare Me Baby. Jolt My Amagdala. I Want It So Bad Mama.

Just make it safe — on television!

Let’s use Avian Influenza as an example. This has been big news, with conjured images of hundreds of millions dead, economies collapsing, enforced quarantines, and gigabucks going to the pharmaceutical industry (to help us). A lot, a lot of birds are dying. The danger of this whole scenario may be entirely fictional, that is, existing in the imagination only. I don’t know. Apparently birds always have influenza and it’s rare that it becomes a threat to people. But the fear and its effects are not fictional — they are a huge distraction and drain.

Homeopathy is a branch of medicine that uses a hybrid of mental states combined with physical symptoms to effect healing. The remedy that was used in nearly all cases to cure the extremely deadly Spanish Flu of 1918-1919 was Gelsemium sempervirens. This is the remedy for anticipation anxiety — stage fright, fear of what others might be expecting of us, fear of anything that might occur in the future, however likely or unlikely. Another key phrase for Gelsemium is to “stew in one’s own juices” — an apt image of influenza. But mentally, one can soak in their own state of consciousness and not come out. Gelsemium can help awaken us from that state.

The lungs are involved, raising the themes of respiration, inspiration and the processing of grief; we do none of these particularly well in Western civ. And men, who generally run the world, are banned from grieving. Bad idea.

The remedy Influnzinum, made from the common flu (a good preventive remedy in the event of a flu outbreak of any kind, and assists in the recovery from the flu) has as one of its primary mental states anxiety. So there is a direct relationship between “fear” and “flu.” And with the world in a state of fear, the fear of the flu is manifesting in a big way. It would be great if we could distribute a dose of Influenzinum to everyone to help alleviate the fear on its many levels.

One last astrological note: Saturn (of “When the Levee Breaks” fame) in Leo is still in the action, because Mars retrogrades into Saturn on Nov. 18 and then again on Dec. 28. Hence, Mars will be applying in a square to Saturn till Nov. 18, and then again from Dec. 11 through Dec. 28. This is an aspect that involves setting some limits on the mischief of the world. It may have moments of frustration, but I think it’s going to represent crucial turning points that get us over various humps we keep bumping. It will have an entirely different feeling depending on whether Mars is retrograde or direct, but it’s all one process.

Mars-Saturn in the fixed signs is tangible. Mars-Neptune is largely conceptual. Perhaps we’ll get to see where the fantasy and the reality meet, and where they diverge. Often there is a big difference between the two.

Planet Waves by Eric Francis
November 4, 2005 – Weekly horoscope 583

Happy Birthday Scorpio!
Making precise observations and practicing a yoga of direct communication will prove to be your most reliable tools this year. Though from one point of view, many factors seem far from certain, you have to rely on your own mental and intuitive faculties, because in the end, that’s all you have. Even when you consider the advice of another person, in the end, you have to trust yourself. What you can put your faith in the most easily is the tangible record of an ongoing conversation; having put others on notice of your intentions; and ultimately, using what you know.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
You have the power to turn a potential confrontation into a moment of accord and agreement. The essential ingredient is feeling safe doing so, and recognizing you
have nothing to lose by trying. But from the perspective of psychology, your ability to make peace with another person is closely related to your ability to be at peace with yourself. Some may say the world is more dangerous now than ever. This is not really true. The world is always as safe as it is for the individual having the experience, and for you, at the moment most of the rules that others insist on living by are suspended.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
One of the more interesting traits of Taurus is a kind of orthodoxy. I’ve never read this one — I’ve just noticed it. Venus now making its way across Capricorn may offer you a few clues as to what you feel must exist for you as an absolute matter of right vs. wrong. Other factors emphasize this point — particularly this week’s exact alignment of the Sun and Mars involving your sign. But be forewarned that what seems to call for exact moral precision today might seem a matter of relative truth tomorrow. So you may not want to pound the bully pulpit — just knock on wood.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
You are about to discover how simple a particular decision really is. However, you may be feeling like you’re under pressure, while at the same time you’re not working with an entirely clear set of facts. Try writing this on your hand: “Move from the general to the specific.” If you do that, you will gradually figure out what is going on and regain some power in a situation that seems to be more at the mercy of another person than you would prefer. Also, bear in mind that your fears are likely to be the most aggressive factor in the situation. Talk to them and they’ll calm down.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
A partner or loved one is under some influence that you may not be fully aware of, and the main factor is unlikely to be something that you can see clearly. However, you would be wise, mature and truly cool not to let your fears run away with you, or to imagine that you are a negative influence of any kind. For everyone involved, there is an element of imagination at work, and this can exaggerate things. I strongly suggest you stand back and allow honoring the unknown to work as a healthy and creative force — and to allow this person to respond to their own situation in their own way.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
The truth does not change, but our perception of it can squirm all over the place. Still, it’s not always a good approach to quantify or define an absolute version of reality. Rather, we need to let things come out in their time, and in their own way. You will know when you reach the threshold where you have enough information to make a decision, or to speak up about a certain situation that does in fact deserve attention. But you may want to put a 24-hour delay on each step in the process, and let your own mind and soul settle down a bit before moving forward. This is not a time for exaggeration.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
By now, you’ve probably figured out how to completely ignore the notion of worldly security and go entirely on faith. I probably should have suggested this plan in a Virgo horoscope around 1995. However, events have conspired to make the point abundantly clear. With Mercury about to go retrograde in the emotional security angle of your chart, you’re about to take a three or four week tour of all the reasons you had not to be faithful, all the reasons you had to ignore them, and all the ways you finally came to the conclusion that you really are safe on this planet. Essentially, you’re safe because you don’t let anyone or anything intimidate you out of taking care of yourself.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
If you’re inclined to stay out of the way of a conflict that has nothing to do with you, I would say that’s a good move. The dogs and cats can work it out for themselves; you are human and prefer the comforts of home. Yet it would be a wasted opportunity to think that the morality play does not somehow reveal a picture of your psychological state, or one of the classic dramas that always seems to affect the human race. This is a father and son situation, it involves someone having the courage to grow up, and someone else having the courage to let them do so without admitting defeat.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
There is a matter of integrity at stake, and you should know that you’re not the only one doubting yourself. But there’s a tendency for everyone involved to maintain a bluff or act more confident than they really are. I suggest you take matters one step at a time. Certain developments over the next few weeks will reveal to you that this subject matter actually really has nothing to do with anyone else, and only to do with you. What the universe is calling for is a moment where you acknowledge what is right for you, and commit to acting on that decision, now and in the future.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
The situation is aligning such that you can come to a quick agreement — but don’t expect it to stick for long. Still, any level of commitment is better than none, and what you decide on over the next few days will provide a starting point. A lot of information is going to come percolating out, so a handshake will be worth more than something etched in stone. The important thing is that everyone understands the name of the game is to keep the money flowing. But you might also want to keep the information flowing. This is a good time to be unusually honest.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Events that began over the summer, particularly around July, are now beginning to have a real presence and a beneficial effect in your life. It’s always interesting what combination of ingredients works to make something into a reality, and in this case one of those happened to be time. I suggest you maintain this policy. You are now involved in something that’s going to take a full year to come to fruition. This may seem like a long time, but it’s going to be a very interesting year, and at the end of it you will be more than impressed by your progress.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
The planets are aligning such that you will have the perfect mix of confidence and ambition to do something rather unusual, particularly where your professional activities are concerned. But there are two other factors. It’s my understanding that few Aquarians embark on careers that take them down the mysterious, taboo roads they crave traveling. It’s too easy to get involved on the purely intellectual, technical or esoteric levels of reality — but you now possess the confidence to have a go at the truly unusual; the inappropriate; the squishy and fishy and unspeakable. Please speak up.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
It’s rare that you can see a clear reflection in a mirror, but we don’t usually think it’s possible to see our reflections anyplace else. But the best information right now may be what you’re inclined to doubt the most. Your intuition may be warning you that you’re really not experiencing a certain inspiration or idea in the way it’s intended, or as something safe to pursue. This is a situation where you’re going to need to trust something more powerful than your intuition. You know what you want. You know what is right. And for some strange reason, you know what is possible. Listen to that.

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