Twice: The Capricorn Full Moon
This morning in the Montreal Gazette, the lead story was that science scores among students in some provinces are plummeting. Canada has a different view on life than the United States; an article like this can make big headlines. However, since people shoot one another less often here, Canadian journalists do have to write about something.
Buried in the article was the fact that among French-speaking 13-year-olds in three provinces, fully one third could not score passing marks in the most basic level of science, “meaning they could not describe physical properties of objects, recognize that energy can appear in different forms or identify technologies important to society,” the story said.
Important technologies such as…um…an electrical outlet? A Gameboy? Uh, hmmm, er, a traffic light? An incinerator’s dioxin scrubber? The article was somewhat lacking in just what you would have to know about to pass the test and be fully functional in the technological world, on the lowest level. But fortunately there was a little sidebar, titled, “How Would You Do?”
Nervously, I read the sample question, from Level 3, the highest level of the test.
I’ll try it out on you. Good luck!
“Michelle knows light from the Moon reaches the Earth in about one second. She also knows light from Alpha Centauri, the star nearest our solar system, takes about five years to reach Earth. How long does it take light to travel from the Sun? A: one second; B: 8 minutes; C: 5 years; D: 10 years.”
Interesting. Michelle knows a lot more than I do. I thought Alpha Centauri was just one light year away, but I think I learned that in elementary school. And I never really wondered about the light travel distance to the Moon, though I must have read it somewhere, I think in The Right Stuff. But I got the question right, thankfully. Everyone knows it takes 10 years for sunshine to reach the Earth.
The article left me wondering about something else, which is media literacy. The issue with science is that we take it on the level of religion and magic. A scientist certifies something safe, so therefore it is. You go to the doctor; they perform no tests that prove an infection, but prescribe antibiotics. The difference between science and the opinion of a scientist is basically gone.
Then, if we have a problem, technology will offer a magic solution. The cafe I am sitting in is playing some positively horrid classical music (the Can-Can song, with 60 violins going, giving me terrifying flashbacks to an old Shop-Rite commercial for canned peas). I will now blast it away with my iPod, assuming it was not toasted by yesterday’s thunderstorm. Cool. It works. And I know how to push the play button.
We face the same basic issue with science as we do with media literacy. Many places now have hundreds of TV channels, Internet access that can take you to publications in Tasmania, Beijing and San Francisco from your home in the Oregon boonies, numerous used car booklets, and billboards that look real enough to eat. We’re overwhelmed with what some call information.
Who teaches people to sort through it all? Google University?
School reading programs are often based on the book as the most advanced technology. I suggest we teach fourth graders how to evaluate news articles and television programs for veracity and balance. Then test them out on Fox News.
Media literacy should also cover ads, I think. We should all be aware that the supposed ice cream depicted in advertisements is really mashed potatoes. Spuds don’t melt in three minutes under the heat of studio lighting. I recently saw a billboard for a McDonald’s ice cream shake that actually looked EXACTLY like mashed potatoes with bits of candy mixed in it; it obviously was.
I have a media theory to share with you, and I’m going to put it in quotes. “Every story is a cover story.” I don’t mean that every story belongs on the cover, though it’s interesting that the same phrase, cover story, is used for both the most important news, and also for the lies that a politician or corporation tells in the midst of a scandal or disaster. This commonality is what I am getting at.
It seems that everything we see as a major news item is a kind of distraction from something else more important. Consider that during the normal news cycle, we have a parade of issues and stories that blow by rather quickly. CNN.com boils the entire experience of humanity on any given day into 10 top stories that make it seem like a woman who lied about finding a finger in her chili is the most important thing that ever happened. What are we missing?
If you watch TV in the U.S.A., you get maybe three top stories, sports and entertainment.
Then an event like the Asian tsunami happens, and dominates the news for a month. Where do all the other stories normally in the normal news cycle disappear to? What is really happening in the world? What about those fast food carnivores? This was the big question I kept asking during the Monica Lewinsky-presidential impeachment situation of the late 1990s. Hmmm. It turned out that something really was brewing. And now we are all brewing in it.
I will mention one thing I saw on TV that was kind of shocking. I am one of these people who thinks that the weather report is totally stupid. I usually live in Europe, where they do these reports of the weather in every city in like 25 seconds, and I try to write scripts for global traffic reports that spoof these fabulous presentations. Anyway, one day I was watching the weather and the meteorologist, a young woman, broke into a discussion of climate change. It lasted about 30 seconds, and it was interesting.
Then, realizing what she was doing, she actually said, “Okay, enough about climate, let’s get back to the weather.” And I thought, AH. This is what we need: every news program needs a five-minute discussion of climate. That’s the important thing. And the weather is just a cover story.
So, as for the Moon, which bears a vague relevance to this discussion.
It is full in Capricorn not once but twice this year: on Wednesday, June 22, and again on Thursday, July 21. As my friends can tell you, I have a Capricorn Moon fetish — so I’m really excited. This double Full Moon in the same sign happens because the first of the two Cap Full Moons is exactly on the [summer] solstice [winter solstice in the southern hemisphere]. That means it happens on the first day of the Sun’s path through the sign Cancer. The Sun takes 30 days to go through a sign, whilst the Moon takes about 28 days to go around the Earth.
The first Cap Full Moon is in the first degree of Capricorn and the second one is in the next-to-last degree of Capricorn. We saw a similar sequence of events on the vernal equinox of 2004 — there was an Aries New Moon that day, then another about 28 days later. Quite a lot happened in those days of March and April 2004 — think back a moment.
The version of Wednesday’s Full Moon chart that I’m using, and have posted, is cast for the exact coordinates of the United States Capitol Building. I discovered today that data was stashed in my electronic atlas, and I’m using the Topocentric house system (my favorite) that’s designed to go with the precise geographic coordinates of a birth or an event. (The next entry down in the atlas for the District of Columbia is [no kidding] for something called the U.S. Lunatic Asylum, in Washington; it must be located right near the Capitol, and beware, we’re talking about the Moon.) The charts are both here:
Gazing into my liquid crystal, in the first chart I see a Full Moon in the 10th house, very nearly right exactly over the seat of government (including the White House, which is close by). As the Full Moon reaches exactitude, it arcs over the District of Columbia. I also see Uranus in Pisces rising, just as this happens. And I see a grand cross in the early cardinal signs: Mars in Aries, Sun in Cancer, Jupiter in Libra and the Moon in Capricorn.
We are in Aries Point country.
I will spare everyone another lengthy Aries Point rant, except to say that these early degrees of the cardinal signs (those on a cross beginning with the first degree of Aries, which is the first degree of the tropical zodiac) are hot, hot degrees lately, they have wide impact, and this grand cross makes aspects to the charts for many recent news events going back even unto the autumn of 2000.
Here is my prediction:
During summer’s heat, in the century’s 5th year,
Under the smoggy light of the Emperor’s Moon,
Something extremely fishy happens, kind of soon
Everyone gets big-time confused — more than usual.
Hey, that was fun. I need to get that to rhyme somehow, though. I’ll try again, with two extra mysterious lines that scholars in the 27th century can debate at enormous length:
As the word of whatever engulfs the land
Only Fools can tell if it’s good news, or bad.
Like a cheesy concert, the fog machine is abused
The device, from Sears, gasps, as the warrantee droops.
The real emperor is revealed, as is his agenda,
Whilst someone in government shoots himself in the pudenda.
The days surrounding the second of these two Full Moons, on July 21, are filled with more mystery and wonder than the first. Saturn has just gone into Leo, and is making its fifth exact opposition to Chiron (and its first to Nessus, as Chiron and Nessus are in a conjunction).
The Moon opposes the Sun within hours of Saturn opposing Chiron, meaning that the two events play off of one another and, as far as I am able to see, work in an exponential way. Saturn, the Sun, the Moon, Chiron, Cancer, Leo and Capricorn are all linked up in an energy pattern that sends out some powerful vibes (note the rulerships: Sun rules Leo where Saturn is; Saturn rules Capricorn where the Moon is; Saturn also rules Aquarius where Chiron is; the Moon rules Cancer where the Sun is).
(For those reading the ongoing rulerships discussion in the Q & A column, this is one example of where this technique comes in handy.)
The forthcoming Saturn-Chiron opposition is the first on the Leo-Aquarius axis. This is part of a series of such aspects spanning between 2003 and 2006 (which began in Cancer-Capricorn). The opposition does not repeat until an extremely interesting day in December 2067 which, thanks to a new technological breakthrough that emerges next week, many of us will get to experience.
In much the same way, the series of Cap Full Moons works as a unified process. Something begins, then it continues; and in fact it continues through the season. In the days following the second Cap Full Moon, Chiron retrogrades back into the late degrees of Capricorn for much of the year, twice making aspects to the chart for the stolen election of 2000.
Hold on, the last bit of this article is coming through in quatrain form:
Old news is new, new news is old.
Something is up with the price of gold.
DVD-ROM extends memory’s reach.
Get all the mercury out of your teeth.
One From the Vault More on the Capricorn Moon here:
Happy Birthday, Gemini!
Creativity may be the single most misunderstood concept in the world. It’s usually associated with painting or music, but what few people recognize is that in addition to creative talent, those who succeed in the arts all, with no exceptions, do one thing: they take a chance on themselves.
The ability to use one’s energy constructively is an important part of the creative process. But the risk factor is the other vital piece of the picture.
This is the one step you need to take if you truly want to move beyond the past, and give yourself a chance to live in a way that’s more fulfilling and closer to the potential you feel inside yourself. The slow transit of Saturn through Cancer, your 2nd solar house, has taught you what is important to you — and helped you drop a lot of things that are not so important to you.
But there may have been an action item missing, and you’re now getting ready for that step. It may seem that outer-world events or people close to you are acting as provocateurs; if so, all the better. Whether you like the people around you or not, one thing is certain, they are teaching you something, and they are pushing you in the direction of taking care of yourself.
And a very big part of that process is expressing your right to be and express who you are in your own way. Often, that involves standing apart from people you once considered close to you. You may have to make certain adjustments where your family’s values are concerned, since these values have, in the past, been truly important to who you are.
In a sense, you’re being pushed out of your comfort zone, but you’re being pushed into a much better place.
These developments will, most likely, develop quickly from the place you stand today. What now exists in idea form, or as a potential, proceeds rather steadily to the level of an agreement. Yet this is an agreement you enter on your own terms — that is, on terms you feel are genuinely mutually supportive, and at the very least, actually fair to you. But in all likelihood, there is a real meeting; everyone gains; and you discover, in the process, that you stand on equal terms with the world.
This is a big change — and I think you’ll like it.
Aries (March 20-April 19)
You have the capacity for expressing yourself in precise, highly organized ways at the moment, and I suggest you identify the most important projects or goals you’ve been working toward and direct your energy toward them this week. It may work out to be a personal or domestic situation that appears to be going through a significant change at the moment, perhaps a development that has been brewing for at least six months. The important thing is to make the key decisions that remind you that you’re not in the hands of fate. You are in your own hands — though you’re hardly alone. For once, your needs really do matter, if you remember.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
If you’re married or getting married, provocative events may lead you to re-think the wisdom of your decision. I ask, however, how does it feel when you do it? Do you have a sense of something more like freedom, more like guilt, or more like remorse? More important, would it be possible to discuss what you’re feeling with your partner? I can assure you of one thing: most of what is happening has to do with challenges to your image of what another person should be. And over this, you have just about complete control.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
You may have the feeling something big is coming, but rather than being a question of fate, it’s one of those opportunities you can take if you want. Life really is for the living, and those who are alive are often faced with the option of giving up something secure for half a chance of something better. You could say you’re experiencing an unusual spell of luck at the moment, but what’s really happening is that you’re allowing what is important to you to guide your life. Congratulate yourself — this is a true accomplishment.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You may feel that despite so much certainty in your life, the most important questions remain unanswered. You have to give them time, and from the look of things, not so much time as you may think. By the extraordinary events around the summer solstice, you will have many reasons for deep confidence in yourself and in those close to you. It’s true that certain others you trust deeply are different animals than you are, but they’re offering you something you can never provide yourself. That something is external feedback about the great gifts you possess, and how much positive influence you have on the world around you.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Pay close attention to what colleagues and friends are saying, and developments on the work front won’t seem so surprising. What transpires over the next week or so has the power to benefit everyone in ways that few people could imagine, but as usual you’ll be the one playing drums. But you’re also in a unique position to hold a vision for the future, and it’s as if the goals you have now carry a particular blessing that will allow them to manifest not only more quickly, but bigger and better than anyone expects. But it’s a combination of intuition and work that will get you where you want to be.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
In any learning process, there come moments when you need to test what you’re taking in, or directly challenge the teacher for more information. If you choose to do this, remember to keep your objectivity and be open to what you discover. Certain developments may demonstrate that your ideas about a particular issue may not be as valid as the deeper values you have held for quite a long time. Sometimes, the fact that ideas have lasting value demonstrates their validity. Other times, an idea is appropriate for its particular moment. Just remember that what you want or need is more important than what anyone else says is right for you.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
Most people have no clue when they’re being deceived, and most times what we feel is intentional deception is nothing of the kind. You need to sort out where you stand with a particular person, but you need to do it gently. The current developments in your life require that you proceed forward from this point onward with something approaching absolute confidence in the people around you. With each passing day, their influence becomes more important, and as you may suspect, the whole scenario is indeed building toward a peak of intensity that will call for your full awareness. Best to start now.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
You’re typically an intuitive person, but there can be a big question about what to do when you get two contradictory messages. You might stop and ask what’s based on opinion and what is based on a deep message from your unconscious. Pay particular attention to dreams, remembering that because people spend so much time denying fear, dreams are the perfect place to reveal what makes us the most apprehensive. You have every reason to trust the process of your life right now, and few reasons for actual doubt. So don’t let your imagination run away with you.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
The timing is right to make a significant move or change. But the keyword is significant. Remember that for quite a while you’ve put some of your most cherished agenda items on hold because so much else has been happening around you. The idea is less to strive for what is ambitious and more for what is truly meaningful to you, and you may want to run that question past yourself one last time — since it’s not too late to change your goal. There’s no doubt that you want the best for everyone involved in this particular situation, and even less doubt that you can facilitate just that development. Just make sure it really works for you.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Surprise (or surprising) professional developments this week can have far-reaching implications for you and others, though this may not be obvious at the moment they occur. However, it will be obvious by this time next week. It’s important that you not judge what’s happening, but rather put your energy into responding in a calm and professional way. A number of people are waiting in the wings to help you, who would in fact make an excellent team. Hopefully, you’ve been courting their support and making sure they know you love and trust them. If you have not been sending that message, now’s a great time to start.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
Certain recent developments have eminently practical application, but to find this out for sure, you’ll need to take a chance. Aquarians are typically viewed as innovators and rebels, but your lesser-known conservative tendencies could prevent you from taking a particular risk while you have the opportunity to do so. It’s time to put those tendencies in the past, where they belong. As the author of your own life, you need to be bold, you need to be honest with yourself, and more than anything, you must truly respect your ideas. They deserve it, and so do you.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
For a Fish, believing in yourself is not a luxury: it’s a bottom line psychological health necessity, and your number one spiritual goal. A series of unusual developments this week can take you past nearly everything you thought you were capable of, and go a long way toward dispelling your usually abundant negative expectations about life. Meantime, make clear agreements, do your best to keep them, and hold people to their promises. Such is good business, but more to the point, it will help you maintain your confidence. What you learn, in the end, is more important than any other gain you may receive.