Dear Friend and Reader:
THE ELECTION of 2008 comes down to a head-to-head confrontation between the progressives and the conservatives. Elections have a way of polarizing people, but this one is going to be special, and it may be a portent of things to come.
A reader’s letter to the Houston Chronicle this week summed up one side of the discussion, regarding Bristol Palin’s pregnancy. “The media is sick, sick, sick,” the reader wrote. “Sarah Palin’s daughter is not running for any office. Whether she is pregnant or not has nothing to do with U.S. security, our energy problems, economics or health problems and it is not anyone’s business. The media needs to get over it. Let the reporter cast the first stone whose family is without sin.”
Of course, the issue is not the press; it’s not the pregnancy; it is about public and private responsibility. It’s not about throwing stones, it’s about spotting a potential liar who may have a lot of power on her hands soon. Everyone knows it. Yet somehow the net effect of the discussion seems to be a portrayal of Gov. Palin and by extension the McCain ticket as victims of the media; and as such, they have something important in common with us. Being victims gives them the common touch, just like being dumb gave George Bush the common touch.
Since nobody wants to have their own family’s laundry aired out in The New York Times, we can all on some level relate to Sarah Palin and her problems. Yet if we fall for that, we are in effect banned from public discourse over the hypocrisy of a family with a teen pregnancy wherein the mother is a public official committed to perpetuating abstinence-only sex “education.” We can’t question whether our perception of her as a mother makes her unfit for office because there is no parent walking around today who does not possess at least some guilt about having damaged their kids. And we cannot dare to think what it would mean to have an anti-choice woman as president, even though I feel that this is the plan that’s currently in motion.[For more on Sarah Palin’s natal chart, please see this link.]
The victim ploy is not just about personal matters. Wednesday night, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer said that Citizen McCain had refused to go on Larry King Live basically in reprisal for a CNN reporter’s interview of a McCain staffer earlier in the day. He played the video, consisting of an exchange between CNN’s Campbell Brown and McCain spokesperson Tucker Bounds, in which the reporter was asking for an example of when Gov. Palin, as commander-in-chief of the Alaska National Guard, had deployed her military. Simple enough question, right?
The McCain guy didn’t have an answer. He hadn’t been briefed, and there he was on international live television. Instead of saying he would look into it, he did the human thing and took it as a personal attack and as a direct accusation of Palin’s incompetence, and he started swinging. He looked furious, all the more so because Campbell Brown, knowing she had him, revealed her amusement by smiling.
The exchange went back and forth for an exasperating five minutes, and the result was no new information; rather, the result was that McCain — the guy you can torture as a POW, the great warrior who will feed the terrorists a knuckle sandwich and so on — refused to go on the air with Larry King, the one person who would have given him an entirely fair hearing. Which is not, of course, what McCain wanted.
The truth turned out to be that Gov. Palin had deployed the National Guard to fight brush fires. Maybe Tucker Bounds knew the answer and recognized how stupid it would sound. The follow-up would have been, “So how does that qualify her to supervise the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?”
If you have half a brain, you see the issue for what it is, and McCain’s avoidance for what it is. The problem with being progressive is that it’s difficult, even exasperating. You subject yourself to attack reminiscent of Night of the Living Dead. Plenty of people say they want the truth. Usually they say so not recognizing the necessary confrontation that it takes to establish the truth, the duration of that confrontation or the personal cost involved. If we want the truth, we need to be ready to pay for it, and to hear it and to deal with it.
Pluralists vs. the Fundamentalists
Now I have a clue what I was looking at in the chart for the opening of the Democratic National Convention: Pluto on the ascendant exactly opposite the Moon on the descendant, all at 28+ degrees. I described this two weeks ago as indicating a deeply divided, traumatized public. It didn’t occur to me that the Gemini Moon, in addition to representing the public itself, also represented a woman over whom the public would become divided.
I say the Moon signified a traumatized public because it was in the same degree as it was for Sept. 11 and for the Asian tsunami (please see Obama, Aquarius and the Galactic Leapfor those details).
We might ask what the public is divided over. We keep hearing about the “base” of both political camps. It shakes out as the progressives (Pluralists, Gemini Moon, 7th house) and the conservatives (Fundamentalists, opposite Pluto rising in Sagittarius). The country seems to be in a tug-of-war over whether to go backward or forward; to bring back the 1950s or to move ahead into the 21st century; indeed, to bring back theocracy or to remember the Enlightenment.
The Pluralists care about separating church from state, constitutional protection and health care, while the Fundamentalists see values, morality and religion as the bedrock for societal structure and what therefore must be the model for leadership. For the Fundies, it’s the same mind that rings alarm bells when the word “Muslim” comes up. The Muslims are not part of the God-fearing tribe, and if you don’t seem capable of bombing them, you’re not fit for leadership: Pluto in Sagittarius, now in its last hurrah.
We have two species of animal seeing one another, smelling one another, perhaps trying to connect to each other, but neither has the right language, nor the inclination to want to begin. So everybody human is squashed up in the midst of this, frustrated and ignored, while the two giants wrestle in a kind of single combat. We can’t talk to our neighbors; they’re too damned weird. Either they’re freaky liberals who eat tofu and drum on the Full Moon, or they eat steak every day and go to church four times a week. So let’s let the candidates slug it out with their rhetoric, while we watch the show and hope the oil doesn’t run out anytime soon.
Apropos of the Fundamentalist/conservative position, Sarah Palin made her speech Wednesday night under an exact Sun-Saturn conjunction. This is too rich for words. Saturn is the planet of structure, authority and the past. The Sun represents vitality, leadership and the king or president. The aspect, which occurs once a year, coincided with her speech by about half an hour — perfect precision. This gives us an idea of what kind of president she would make, since (due to numerous factors, biological and astrological) if she winds up vice president, there is a very good chance that before long she’ll end up being president.
In a perfectly strange synchronicity, when we look at Palin’s natal chart, we find that Neptune is currently transiting Palin’s natal Sun to within one arc minute of her accepting the nomination, moving retrograde. To me this offers confirmation that nothing about her is true. Nothing at all, like the claims of a guy selling PCBs for Monsanto in 1975, claiming absolute safety a year before they were banned, and 40 years after the company figured out they were toxic. She has become the fraud she seeks to commit.
We can’t miss the juxtaposition of simultaneous Sun-Saturn and Sun-Neptune. What you see is not what you get. What we are seeing is her Sun-Neptune in Aquarius setup; she is supposedly one of us, someone who looks like we want to look with those big cute glasses. What we get is Sun-Saturn, matronly authority vying to have her finger on the button. (She is also born with a Sun-Saturn-Mars conjunction).
So far, we have important aspects showing up involving all of the traditional outer planets — Moon-Pluto in the DNC chart, Sun-Saturn in the RNC chart, and Sun-Neptune in Sarah Palin’s chart.
The Uranus Factor
The split between the Fundamentalists and the Pluralists shows up in the election chart with a rare, potent opposition of Saturn and Uranus. Saturn as we know is in Virgo, and Uranus is in Pisces. The opposition represents the head-to-head confrontation between the Pluralists and the Fundamentalists. Saturn represents the past and the establishment; Uranus (who could also be called Prometheus) is forward thinking, inventive and progressive.
Both are slow-moving planets. When Saturn opposes an outer planet, the world changes. For example, Saturn opposite Pluto in 2001 came within weeks of the Sept. 11 incident. Saturn opposite Neptune in 2005 brought us hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Next is Saturn opposite Uranus, which occurs every 35 years, and it happens this time around once, precisely the day of the presidential election. These aspects sometimes occur three times within nine months (due to the retrograde of Saturn). However, for this cycle, Saturn opposite Uranus happens just once.
Here is the chart, with some notes built in. I covered it late last year, in an article called My America. It has several salient features that remind us of the election of 2000, but it also has this highly unusual opposition of Saturn and Uranus. This suggests we have an actual conversation going on; an actual meeting of two different points of view.
Let’s evaluate them based on their placements. Uranus in Pisces represents that the end of something has come, and that a new beginning has to happen. Pisces is the last sign and an important place to look for resolution and endings. Pisces wants to resolve the matter before going forward. In this chart Uranus is also retrograde. So we have progressives who seem hesitant to move forward. They may recognize the challenges involved, and the personal cost.
Pisces is ruled by two planets, Jupiter and Neptune. So if we want to know how strong Uranus is, or what it’s thinking behind the scenes, we can look to them for some advice. Jupiter is in Capricorn, suggesting that the progressive position is actually a kind of traditional progressivism. It is not by any definition radical. Jupiter in Capricorn is about common sense, grounded and domestic in nature.
Neptune is in Aquarius. Aquarius is the true sign of the populist movement. This includes conservative movements, but it is the sign of “the people.” The problem with Neptune in Aquarius is its drugged out, sleepy, media-hazed quality. The good thing about it is that Chiron is about to make a conjunction to Neptune, only this happens after the election, in May of 2009. This is a moment of awakening and it’s on a big scale. However, it may be too late for this election.
As for Saturn in Virgo, its ruler is Mercury, which is in Libra. Not only is it in Libra, it is within a tiny fraction of a degree of its position the day of the stolen election of 2000. So if you’re wondering what Saturn is thinking, remember what happened the day that Al Gore got more votes and George Bush won the election.
One thing is for sure. Uranus always represents a surprise, and it can stage its revolt in unexpected ways — particularly coming from Pisces.
Yours & truly,
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, September 5, 2008, #730 – By ERIC FRANCIS
Aries (March 20-April 19)
Wellbeing is a commitment, not an accident. You seem to have reached a point of saturation with a way of life that has been too heavily weighted in the direction of external responsibilities or service to others. Service is a virtue, and you seem to be in some kind of long-term special training program. Yet at a certain point, which seems to be about now, the principle of balance has to take over the conversation of life. Yet it may not do so on its own. You have several options facing you, each of which offers a different path than the life you are currently living. While they lead different places and are not equal in value, the main thing is that you understand that you have options, and they are actually available.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Are you obsessed with the notion of competition? It would seem that you are, consciously or not. You may be thriving on this energy, and it will certainly drive you; the question is to what end. It may feel satisfying to win, or to anticipate winning, but I would propose that your life is about something entirely opposite that: in particular, about appreciating beauty. Whomever you think you might compete with is really a companion, and you seem close to a breakthrough on human contact if you are willing to experience others as partners in embracing existence rather than needing to have a little more of it than they do.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
You are poised for some interesting turns of fortune as these weeks of your life unfold; if you don’t take them so seriously, and if you remember that none of them is permanent, you will have a lot of fun. I suggest you bear in mind the difference between taking a risk and making a gamble. The concepts are related, but distinct. Risk is necessary anytime we have a chance to make progress. A gamble is strictly optional and at least half the time is based on greed. Risk is the element to embrace; this is not a particularly good time for gambling. I am suggesting that you use your luck to accomplish what you really need and really want rather than investing it in something that, with a moment of thought, would be obviously frivolous.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You seem to be sinking under the weight of your own ideas. There don’t seem to be that many people around you who are committed to the lightness of existence; in your world, this is a serious time and there seem to be real things at stake. What you can do is pay attention to what feels good. You can pay attention to what nourishes you. And you can pay attention to the way that your insecurity leads you to make certain assumptions that have no correspondence with the facts of your world. During the next four to six weeks, you will have a series of unusual opportunities to understand, from the inside out, why you believe what you do, and to make decisions that can help you believe something else. Remember, these decisions are emotional rather than intellectual. More like water, less like paper.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
You push yourself pretty hard, but your ideas about right and wrong don’t have a lot of room for variance. A recent experience, confrontation or encounter has guided you to at least recognize the rather small size of the container you try to fit yourself inside of, and maybe encouraged you to take a step outside of it. If you are still feeling cramped, at least face what appears to be the opening, take a step and see what happens. There are no actual locks or gates that are holding you in, and though it may seem annoying that you have to make every step yourself, you’ll be surprised how much ground you cover if you put one foot in front of the other and walk toward the light. There is no push or pull involved — only steps taken in freedom, one choice at a time.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You seem to be so absorbed in one particular focus of your life, you’re missing many other opportunities to explore. If you made a list of the five experiences or activities that are most important to you, you would see that you are neglecting at least two and maybe up to four of them. That is to say, anywhere from 40% to 80% of who you are is seeking expression or your willing choice to explore. Have you considered that your focus on a very narrow range of subjects is a kind of avoidance policy? The challenge here is that you seem to be avoiding that which feels good and works the best for you. The thing about creativity is that we either pursue it with an open heart, or it turns around and seeks revenge in the form of chaos. If you saw this as the choice you have, the answer would be obvious.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
Many inner facts of your psyche are seeking expression at once. This doesn’t necessarily help you when you are feeling like you can’t really express any of them. For starters, let’s agree that this is not really true — you have many pathways of expression open, a fact which may differ from your prevailing state of emotions many days. You will never escape from your inner traps in theory; such would be a theoretical escape. Your only real chance is to seek the experience of expression and follow it as long and as far as you can. The key is experience rather than theory. You may be confused about this; you may not even see it. Experience would get you to move your body, change your mind and end up with a tangible result to hold, look at or give to another person, even if that result comes in the form of a tale you somehow lived to tell.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
Your inner life seems much more interesting than your outer life. Your mind is like an oasis in a vast, paved-over parking lot. You may be wondering when the world is going to rise to the occasion of life and dance with your sweet imagination. The thing to remember is how many scared people there are in the world. They may drive you nuts with frustration and impatience, but if you make a short list of the things you’re scared of, you will both empathize with them and also have a topic for conversation when you meet one of them. Then, gradually, shift the topic to more creative endeavors. People around you really do want to go where you’re capable of going. It’s just that it’s unfamiliar territory, and of course, leading to an unknowable destination. That is the fun — and the less time you spend waiting for others to join you, the more likely they will show up.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
You want to be a trusting person, but you seem to be having misgivings about someone you’re close to. From the look of your solar chart, this seems like a close friend who might become a love interest. Anyway, it would help a lot if you could understand what they want. It looks, however, like they’re still figuring out what that is, and it looks like they plan to change their mind a few times. It is true, your life is somewhat more stable and more organized. But you would be wise to count the cost of putting as much energy as you do into containing your creative passions rather than letting them flow a little more chaotically. Someone close to you seems intent on reserving the right to change their mind, and this is making you nervous. It could just as well remind you that you’re free too.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Opportunity is only worth so much if you don’t act on it. Potential draws most of its value from being developed, rather than from anything inherent about it. While you don’t seem ready to take a very large step, the way is open to take a small, significant step in the direction of what is real and what is true for you. You may not feel ready; you may feel like the more you try to get ready, the less prepared you are. Therefore, I suggest you work with the concept of willingness. That may seem even more daunting, because all the choices implied suggest that whatever occurs won’t happen automatically. But it is precisely the power of will that you need to exercise and develop consciously, at least at this stage of your life.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
If you recently made any agreements that you’re inclined to regret, I suggest you give the situation(s) some time and see what works out. There is plenty that you don’t know, and plenty of information forthcoming. While not every last bit of it would go in the “pleasant surprise” category, you can be truly thankful for some things. One is that you are figuring out what your limits are. Once you know that, you can focus your plans to exceed them. This is the basic order of operations: reach a boundary, and then in some way stretch past it. In this respect, limits are your best friends, because they provide targets or goals that you can aim for in a direct process of setting yourself free. Freedom will come, one noteworthy step at a time.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You may be in one of those moments when the world and the people in it are dishing out nothing but delays and hesitation. This is partly your perception — but it’s also significantly true. (If something is true, we can hope that you would perceive it.) The thing to remember is that those who set limits don’t always want to do so; it’s as frustrating for them as it is for you. You don’t need to push any situation as you need to allow it to drift in the right direction. I wouldn’t say that if it didn’t clearly look like things are indeed headed a positive way. The one factor you’re going to need to get used to for the foreseeable future is flux. If you give people around you room to not know, they may not need to keep their doubts so visible that it’s all you can see.