Dear Friend and Reader:
There is no looking to astrology to explain two mass shootings in 24 hours, or the 36 of them in the United States so far this year. Or the 100 or so really nasty ones since 1966 (which seem to be concentrating in our era). There’s also no denying that our nation needs to change — and that nobody seems to know how to do it, or how to agree on what the problem is, or might be. [You may listen to my special audio comment on El Paso here.]
It’s not mass shootings. It’s not merely too many guns, or that the easiest thing to purchase besides one is a politician. It’s that we’re dealing with a blind spot, which affects everyone and everything.
It’s the same blind spot where Greenland and Antarctica are melting and where all the single-use plastic goes and where hundreds of contacts with the Russians equals no collusion. It’s the one where getting fewer votes means winning the election.
It’s the same zone where, “The body is everywhere assaulted by all of our new media, a state which has resulted in deep disorientation of intellect and destabilization of culture throughout the world. In the age of disembodied communication, the meaning and significance and experience of the body is utterly transformed and distorted.”
This would also mean that the meaning and significance of 40,000 of those bodies each year being shot and killed by bullets would also be utterly transformed and distorted. Remember that for nearly everyone, a mass shooting is an event on TV or coming over the news feed on their phone, along with notifications about the new Dragon Ball Legends update.
Speaking of the body, maybe that’s the same cosmic vortex where the best health care program in the world — something really terrific — is no health care program at all, where the bill for a sprained ankle is $10,000. In order to change this, the people who have health insurance will have to be the ones who speak up for those who do not. That would mean caring.
South Park was right when they proposed we’re at the point where the proper way to handle mass shootings is to not get so upset about them. Caring too much would be “anti-environment” — it would call attention the blind spot itself. Then everyone else will feel awkward, like they might fall in.
Today The Onion was back with its running joke that goes on their front page every time there’s another one of these things: ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.
Slave Patrols and Active Shooter Drills
Saturday, I sent a memo around to our editing team raising the question of whether these shootings are an undeclared war on the people. We think of them as a product of the environment rather than a conscious design, but I keep wondering whether there’s a budget, a schedule and a recruitment program.
Maybe it’s not just that the 2nd Amendment is still around, despite being a relic of 18th and 19th century slave patrols — that’s the “well ordered militia” it references: posses hunting for people who escaped from enslavement.
The government itself does not need the Constitution to grant it permission to arm its own military or police. Citizens on horseback looking for runaways in Virginia do, however; that was the deal cut at the time of ratification. The “strange wording” of the 2nd Amendment (as The New York Timesonce described it) is not so strange when you know that.
In response to my question about the undeclared war, Amy Elliott, our correspondent in Britain, wrote:
“From my outsider perspective, it appears to me barbaric that school children should need to participate in active shooter drills. The existence of the drills alone suggests to me that school shootings (and mass shootings) are now an accepted risk.
“The payoff for political leaders consists of how human beings respond to stress, which in America is exacerbated by the lack of public healthcare, absence of environmental safety, and horrendous job insecurity. It’s as if America has, through successive governments, engineered a situation in which people are constantly one step away from disaster.
“That provokes in most people a stress response, in the sense of focusing intensely on one’s own survival and the survival of loved ones, and living day-to-day, trying to avoid the nasty pitfalls surrounding them. There is no safety, unless in being exceptionally rich. All one can really do is hope for an improvement.”
That’s the problem. You’re probably not exceptionally rich enough to afford a security detail, and hope is useless.
In Context: Saturn, Pluto and the U.S. Pluto Return
One thing we can say vis-a-vis the astrology is that everything happening now, in these days, exists in the context of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction. A mass shooting today is not what one was five years ago, or two. The Greenland ice sheet poured 194 billion tons of water into the North Atlantic in July alone; that does not mean the same thing as it might have last year or the year before.
We are much closer to the singularity point than we were: that of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction. And this already rare aspect has an even more unusual backdrop: the first-ever Pluto return of the United States, as it happens just once every 248 years. With every passing day, the density, gravity and impact of events increases. So too does the impact of zoning out, not paying attention or sleepwalking. And while we’re at it, we could speculate that the power and influence of the people — the millions — one of the original delineations of Pluto — will have a greater impact.
Billy Name, Andy Warhol’s personal photographer and a devoted astrology student, said after the 9/11 incident that only Pluto (in aspect to Saturn) “could drop the World Trade Center like marionettes.”
In his 2006 book Cosmos and Psyche, Richard Tarnas characterizes the Saturn-Pluto cycle as one of crisis and contraction. It tends to bring out the dark sides of both Saturn and Pluto. This cycle was active at the outset of World War I (the conjunction, in 1914), and the outset of World War II (the square in 1940 presaging United States involvement). The conjunction of 1947 describes the Cold War.
There was an opposition at the peak of the 1960s, which is partly why that era had the feeling of a crackdown as much as an uprising. The conjunction was back in 1982 with the Reagan Revolution and the birth of neo-conservatism, and then the next opposition came within a month of the Sept. 11 incident.
Tarnas writes that Saturn-Pluto aspects come with a “widespread sense that one’s life was determined and constrained by large impersonal forces of many kinds — historical, political, military, social, economic, judicial, biological, elemental, instinctual — too powerful and dominant to be affected by the individual self. This sense of vulnerability was in turn regularly matched by a drive for power, control and domination.”
Further, “Experiences of deep humiliation caused by violence, violation and defeat were thus often accompanied by a compensatory need to prove one’s steely strength, invulnerability and capacity to retaliate with lethal potency.”
And somewhat more reassuringly, he adds: “Saturn-Pluto alignment periods are also characterized by displays of personal and collective determination, unbending will, courage and sacrifice, by intensely focused, silent, strenuous effort in the face of danger and death; by a deepening capacity for moral discernment born from experience and suffering; and by the transformation and forging of enduring structures, whether material, political or psychological.”
I do like the bit about deepening capacity for moral discernment. Let’s get that one going. A little will take us a long way. We are approaching the vortex, the point of maximum density. Remember, we are living right next to a black hole, which is bending everything around it — and we’re approaching the moment of singularity.
Said another way, there is no going back; there is only going through.
Daily Birthday Readings from Planet Waves
Sunday, August 4, 2019 (The Day of the Guiding Light)
You may be feeling as if you want to break out of your current daily life and do something completely unfamiliar. This is likely to be based in deep-seated, intimate sensations connected with your development and healing on a fundamental level. Said another way, this is about something you need to grow toward, and behind it is an abundant well of energy waiting to be channeled. That’s where you come in: you set the direction, then steer into new and exciting territory with the wind at your back.
Monday, August 5, 2019 (The Day of Resolute Composure)
New ideas seem to be flowing into your mind like fresh, cool breezes. You are likely to be more in contact than usual with your intuition, and better able to understand concepts from a multitude of vantage points. Take every opportunity to feed your inspiration actively, however. Make a point of going places you’ve never visited — especially if you’ve always wanted to. Soak in experiences that nourish your love of life and of beauty. There is always more to see and do.
Tuesday, August 6, 2019 (The Day of Unique Happenings)
You’re preparing for a gear shift, prior to making some substantive changes. This process could be triggered by certain external events, though at root this has to do with you wanting to leave some aspect of former times behind you. If you’re unsure how to begin, consider where the past may be leaking into your current life. Do you consciously think or say one thing, and then end up doing something different under pressure? That could be a sign of an underlying idea you may need to let go.
Wednesday, August 7, 2019 (The Day of the Double Agent)
Your birthday this year is highlighted by an interesting and somewhat intense first-quarter Moon. There’s a lot of energy about, though you’ll need to harness it and propel yourself forward, even if there’s a nice tailwind. One thing to be cautious of is making conclusive decisions too soon. Another is dispensing with ideas or resources you might perceive to be useless or wasteful, but could have hidden potential. One person’s weeds are another person’s sources of medicine.
Thursday, August 8, 2019 (The Day of the Roleplayers)
At essence, you possess an innate understanding that originality and self-expression mean having the courage to seek out the unfamiliar and the uncomfortable. Many people, especially now, are too frightened even to contemplate this. Yet bravery is not the absence of fear; it’s being afraid and still doing what you intended to do. Exploration is a crucial component of being awake and conscious; it can also feed your soul in unique ways. Stoke your sense of wonder this year.
Friday, August 9, 2019 (The Day of Psychological Leverage)
Cherish your individuality. If you’re living in a way that’s faithful to yourself, people will notice; they may react strongly. Yet whether they’re charmed, provoked or fascinated makes no difference in reality. What matters is that you continue on your life path regardless. Keep truth as close to you as possible, like a priceless item you could never sell or give away. When committed to this way of doing things, you can find yourself growing, creating and healing almost as a matter of course.
Saturday, August 10, 2019 (The Day of the Velvet Voice)
You’re ready to commence a new phase of your personal journey, which is likely to center on bringing a part of yourself more decidedly into the light. Certain arrangements you’ve made are on the verge of being set in motion. Meanwhile, now is a great time for one last systems check; make sure everything is where it needs to be, and wearing its best outfit. This will help soothe any stage fright you may have. Keep your courage high. You’ve worked hard to get here, and you know what you’re doing.
Sunday, August 11, 2019 (The Day of Validation)
Life may be something of a wild ride at present, though you seem generally grounded and able to weather the various plot twists. Part of mastering this is basically accepting that chaos and novelty are a part of existence. Once you recognize this, the process becomes more of an adventure. You have everything you need within you, and just now you seem to possess a knack for fashioning lasting and valuable gifts from a continually fluctuating world. This is an impressive capability indeed.
— By Amy Elliott
Monday Morning Horoscope #188 for August 5, 2019 | By Eric Francis Coppolino
Aries (March 20-April 19) — Jupiter in Sagittarius, your 9th house, has a visionary feeling. This has been going on most of the year. The potential problem is that Jupiter has also been making a right angle to Neptune, in Pisces. From that equation, you could doubt your best ideas, or be unable to distinguish them from the ones you really care about and want to invest in. Jupiter square Neptune has a “what a beautiful bubble” feeling to it. Yet Jupiter is about to station direct, and complete the process of the square. That will be a test of truth for what you desire, feel, aspire to, or want to create. For you, any test of truth is a good thing, as you need to purge your life of what does not measure up. At the moment, evidence will come from seeing what happens when you perform a real-time experiment: try something you want to do, size up the results, and try again. Keep at it for a while and you will learn something.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You are rarely the spontaneous action type, though at the moment, you’re sitting on hot coals. Yet is there really anything you need to change? It would seem more relevant to consider what has changed; in particular, you seem to have reached a new depth of commitment in a partnership. That could work both ways: the commitment to hold this level of depth, or concerns with doing so. It will be helpful if you do not consider this a “fixed” situation, but rather a work in progress (as is most of life). Here is a potential tension point, as described by astrology: what is the thing that you must hold space for, or somehow abide? And how do you feel about that? Even if you like that thing, be aware of the role you play: of making something possible. It might seem like you don’t benefit, though in the greatest sense (and many others), you do.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Work out your financial kinks one at a time. Don’t just leave them around to fester. Look directly at whatever issues you discover, take them apart, and solve the problem on the spot. And if you cannot do that, you can surely do an assessment and then engage a work plan, complete with a timeline. I can give you one potentially helpful clue: much of what you’re dealing with involves your priorities. You could work out nearly any financial question by sizing up what is important to you, and in what order you handle your commitments. There are times when you have to put food and shelter on top of your list, and there are times when you have to put therapy as item #1. There are times when you have to fix the roof, and times when you have to get out of town. Take this process methodically. Your ideas about life and money are being rapidly shuffled at the moment.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — If you have come through recent bouts with Mars, eclipses and Mercury retrograde relatively unscathed, it was not thanks to luck. It was due to your ability to skillfully manage your affairs. If you’ve suffered damages or losses, this is the time to do a careful review and figure out what happened. The astrology of the past three months (May, June and July) was a kind of dry run for what will be developing over the next six months, well into early 2020. So, if some matters went less than perfectly, or if any weak spots in your life system were revealed, address them now. What is vital, in the first instance, is that you have people in your life who are reliable, and who are motivated entirely by love, or love and some other reward. Yet your top priority is being able to depend on yourself for your stability, your resources and your most basic needs. You would be wise, however, to keep practicing being open to the care and support of others.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — If certain creative plans or ambitions have been slow to develop, don’t be discouraged; gently persist. Part of the problem may be the degree to which you’ve depended on partners for energy, inspiration or encouragement. That is the likely energy drain. You might try a policy of maintaining containment on your ideas till they are well into development. You might also avoid those who in any way try to dissuade you from what you want to do, and from the talents you’re devoted to developing. Whether we’re talking about partners, friends, or some other form of associate, surround yourself only with those who support and encourage your excursions into art, love and life. Once you set that as a standard, you may discover that not so many people are there; jealousy and envy are real problems on this planet, though they don’t have to be your problems. Do not invite them in, or reward them, in any shape or form. Do what is right for you.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Be alert to any paranoid thoughts about others wanting what you have, or having agendas that conflict with yours. You don’t know what people really think until they either tell you, or actually do something you can observe. What you think they think is not enough. In fact, it’s likely to be a distortion of reality, and a picture of what you have in your mind, and nothing else. The same is true, in any situation, for what you think people think of you. But here is the thing to practice working with — in the end, what people in general think of you matters so little as to be irrelevant. Whether their opinion is horrid or wonderful or some combination, it’s unlikely to be grounded in fact, and it’s subject to change at any time. However, your opinion of yourself matters a lot, and if there is anything for which you need to make amends, now would be an excellent time. For you, self-respect is everything. And you know it must be grounded in reality.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Your astrology is full-on social mojo. This is just at the right time of year. True, summer usually is your best season, though your astrology is peaking at the moment. You might have the idea that you will meet The One. Be careful with that; you will do much better if you take an egalitarian approach when you meet people. Silently say to yourself, “I have no idea who this person is.” But if you’re into meeting men, you might say, “This man is not my father.” If you’re into meeting women, you might say, “This woman is not my mother.” Get the relationship onto level ground as fast as possible, meaning in the first five minutes. Remember not to be intimidated by anyone, no matter how attractive, charming or funny they are. Keep the relationship human to human, with full dignity and respect. There’s nobody here but us critters.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Aspects are supporting and encouraging of your professional aspirations. Make sure you know what you want, and that you have at least a modest plan for how to get there. However, you would be wise to take a service-based approach to the puzzle rather than an ambition-based one. Instead of thinking of yourself as a star, remember, you’re the one who is good at holding things together. Make sure that is your primary organization — and then indulge in a little sparkle. Yet it’s better if you give credit for great accomplishments to the people you lead or help organize. Even so, this is not all about appearances; you need to maintain your core strategy of paying attention and making decisions; of noticing what others fail to see, and listening when someone points something out to you. Your best approach is leadership not from the front, nor from the back, but rather from the center.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Much that has been stuck or stagnant could begin to move. Don’t push things; wait carefully for your moment, or the appropriate moment for each stage of your plan. Keep in mind two properties of the current astrology. One is a reverse in polarity: people may switch sides; you may choose to reverse your objective and go in the opposite direction; the environment may suddenly support another approach or plan. Second, small factors may play a far greater role than large ones. Therefore, do not discount the influence of any particular factor, and take note of what may seem insignificant. One gram of weight, one nudge, one tap, could shift the direction of your life. And that is to say, one thought. So do not rush or push forward. And do not passively wait. Rather, set your life in order, and spend enough time listening to your mind in the depth of silence (try to get there). We are looking at a process that will take about 10 days, and they are indeed 10 days when you can alter the trajectory of your life.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You will feel the energy give way first within you, then in your outer personality and in the world around you. Therefore, keep your attention focused as inwardly as possible, here in the digital hall of mirrors we are living in. If you are older, you may remember how this is done: give yourself some peace and quiet, isolated from activity, for a little while each day. Turn your attention within and hang out there for a while. Be at least somewhat consistent and you will feel the change I’m describing. If you’re younger, your concept of internal space may be rather different from those of older people, which means it may not exist in quite the same way. Your interior world has the feeling of a dream. All the stimuli and imagery and sensation are contained within you. Right now this seemingly hidden or invisible world is where all of the action is in your life. The externals do not matter, or matter very little. They are subject to the shifts and movements that you and you alone contain.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — The world is rumbling, though you may be catching a glimpse of how you are larger than your perceptions. Your inner existence is the place to focus in these strange and dangerous times. Though you have responsibilities in the world around you, you are being called to do what so few can accomplish at this time: maintain your quest for change, progress and healing without projecting it onto the world. You do something difficult, which is accept your involvement in all that you see, and understand that your perception is the ’cause’ of how you perceive anything. Here, the most meaningful change is possible — the one that originates with you. In truth, there is no other change possible, because this is the only one that counts, individually or collectively. To put this in simple language: don’t worry so much about the world as you do about how you perceive it. There is crucial work to be done, and it begins with you.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — This is the time of year when you benefit from taking extra care of yourself, which sets a pattern for a few seasons to come. But with Venus and Mars joining the Sun in Leo, your work angle, you seem determined to keep your focus and accomplish great things. Yet you can afford to slow down the pace, and take items off your progress agenda, and add a few to your self-care program. The time for a serious push will begin when Jupiter stations direct on Aug. 11, though for several reasons you run the risk of wasting energy. Practice efficiency and be selective about what commitments you take on. Take every effort to ensure that your priorities are in order. First things first will be a helpful guide, and at least get a start on longer range plans so that you’ve got a little something on the page when it comes time to write the story. You can count on the fact that you always get things done when you need to; maintain your positive state of mind first and foremost.