“When this kind of fire starts, it is very hard to put out. The tender boughs of innocence burn first, and the wind rises, and then all goodness is in jeopardy.”
— The Log Lady speaking to Laura in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Dear Friend and Reader:
Today is the big day. This morning Uranus aligned in a conjunction with Eris for the first time since 1928. Because Uranus goes retrograde and then direct, there will be three conjunctions in close proximity, just like with any Uranus event. The next two are Sept. 25, 2016 and March 17, 2017.
The conjunctions, as you may know, are in Aries. What’s so unusual is that the last time Uranus and Eris got together, in 1927 and 1928, they were also in Aries. This is because Eris is spending 121 years in Aries, more than enough time for Uranus, with its relatively short 84-year orbit, to catch up with it a second time. [View ephemeris here.]
It can be difficult to discern the nature of outer-planet events, especially while they are happening. Yet sometimes it’s possible to suss out. You might recall that a few weeks ago, I looked at how the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the 1960s was perceived at the time.
Because outer planets have this strange, often invisible effect, one must look closely and go beyond the ordinary. That is what outer planets signify: what is outside the realm of normal waking consciousness; what is often invisible to the senses.
Assuming one is not too distracted by ice cream, it’s possible to get some clues, using major cultural events around the time of an astrological development.
The week this happened, Hillary Clinton became the first woman in American history to be the presumptive presidential candidate for a major political party. This fits the pattern of Eris events, which seem to come with advances in women’s rights (particularly Chiron-Eris conjunctions).
A week earlier, Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, somewhat unprecedented in that someone outside the political establishment used a form of media manipulation (rather than political contacts or money) to get as far as he did. In last week’s article I described how the presidential candidates, including Bernie Sanders, were tapping into some underlying background energy to establish themselves. The political candidates are figures dancing around in front of a background environment that is invisible until you know what to look for.
Presently the main element of the background is the Internet. If you want a glimpse of the environment, consider this. Eric McLuhan, the son and dharma heir of Marshall McLuhan, recently wrote:
“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.”
Experiencing the Internet used to be a trip onto the astral plane. You used to dive in and explore, and feel the strange weightlessness of your cyber being, and a strange sensation of being shorn of your identity.
Today, however, we are subsumed by the Internet. It’s part of the ubiquitous background environment. Wherever you go, you’re in some online environment or another: Netflix in the nail salon; digital purchasing every time you swipe a credit or debit card; your travel patterns tracked by E-ZPass and GPS (and so on). Most people carry around a device that accesses the Internet many different ways, which they are doing all day long, in that form and many others.
Meanwhile the conducting media of the digital sphere — microwaves — are soaking our nervous systems to increasing degrees every minute of the day and night, altering consciousness and sleep patterns.
You cannot enter the Internet with your body, and now the Internet is everywhere. Instead of visiting the astral plane, life is now an out-of-body experience. And as Eric McLuhan writes, the body — and identity — are utterly transformed and distorted.
I recognize that describing the Internet this way on the Internet is a little like standing up in church and shouting, “Mary wasn’t really a virgin! And Jesus didn’t walk on water!”
So be it. Here is an illustration. It’s well known among those who communicate with the other side that many dead people don’t know they’re dead.
They live what you might call an unconscious astral life, one that can involve repetitive cycles such as getting up and getting dressed every day, day after day (and that’s all that happens) — somewhat like being in-body but not. [One such experience is documented here.] In a similar way, the living don’t know they’re actually alive, and it’s getting more difficult to figure out.
Now imagine that a nuclear bomb went off over society and all at once everyone was suddenly shorn of their body, and transformed into an astral being — but with nobody knowing what happened. Life is a hazy trance wherein there is no past and no future and only a weird replica of the present. People seem to have human form, but they live in a constant state of dyslexia and vertigo. The prospect of physical experiences or indeed any unexpected development is ‘scary’.
The rules and logic of existence are as strange as in a dream. There might be some internal logic; but when you think about it, exceedingly little makes sense. That’s rather like what happened as the Internet took over. In politics, this has gone from the idea that politicians are liars to the somewhat broader notion that there is no such thing as truth. And this, in turn, easily leads to how it doesn’t matter anyway.
Last week I was writing about how the presidential candidates are drawing on some kind of background energies (mental, emotional and environmental conditions) to get the results that they are getting.
I left out two quotes by Donald Trump, saving the best for last.
In a famous episode recently, Trump said he thought that Sen. John McCain, a Republican that even many Democrats used to respect, was not really a war hero.
Whatever you want to call him, McCain was indeed taken prisoner of war, held in the notorious Hanoi Hilton, kept in solitary confinement and tortured over the course of five years. He refused release when his captors offered; they’d learned that his father was the commanding officer of the Vietnam theater of war, and saw a propaganda opportunity. Instead, he opted to stick with his fellow American prisoners who’d been captured before him, following the military code of conduct.
“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said in an interview with the master dreamweaver himself, Frank Luntz. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”
First there is the circuitous ‘logic’ of the sentence. If you woke up from a dream and someone had said that to you, you would be wondering what the heck they meant. If you remember that all facets of your dream are elements of your own consciousness, you might wonder what was going on. The statement, “I like people that weren’t captured” is about as pleasant as swallowing a mouthful of splinters, especially coming from someone who never served in the military much less in combat. But somehow it doesn’t matter.
Now, remember that Trump is the Republican nominee for president — representing the very party that has vocally extolled the virtues of war and war heroes; the party of the last American five-star general, Dwight David Eisenhower.
Remember that the Republicans started the bombing of Iraq in 1991, which has yet to stop 25 years later; it has expanded significantly.
By some miracle Trump not only gets away with this statement (as with many others that would have been unconscionable in the past); he vanquished his adversaries and won enough delegates to get the nomination.
To me this says more about his supporters than it does about him. Values and attitudes have changed. Trump also got away with lying about giving $6 million to veterans groups; the funds did not move until media reports called him to task. This coincides perfectly with every other aspect of the treatment of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. It’s as if the United States took its own service men and women prisoner of war, denying them health care, jobs and homes.
The ground that used to be an important element of American values, respect for veterans, has crumbled. This coincides with what seems to be an inability to get people excited about war, pro or con. It took the Sept. 11 incident — the bombing of Manhattan, and being totally shocked — to get people sufficiently excited about Bush War II that they acquiesced to it.
This is not vaguely about Trump; this is about all of us. He is merely acting as a spokesman, someone with the guts or the ambition to say how he knows many people already feel. In this respect, he’s a great contemporary artist, or an activist — he’s thrown his astral body into the machine.
There is another possibility here, which is that people are seeing through how ridiculous the whole concept of a war hero is. I would still contend that if there’s such a thing, McCain would surely qualify.
Let’s now consider the other great cornerstone of Republicanism, God. Particularly since the 1980s, fundamentalist churches were the hot and happening Republican clubhouses. Jesus and the Republican Party seemed to have a full merger. Abstinence brainwashing became a mandatory program in schools; military prayer breakfasts could be upset by “radical secularists.”
People forgot how weird this seemed, in the context of the American Revolution being a rebellion against a man who was both pope and king. That ground had already shifted; before this discussion began, separation of church and state, a national cornerstone, was already meaningless.
Then Trump trumped that. This, by the way, is my favorite Donald quote of all, because of what it reveals:
“I’m not sure I have ever asked God’s forgiveness. I don’t bring God into that picture,” he said. “When I go to church and when I drink my little wine and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of forgiveness. I do that as often as I can because I feel cleansed.”
My little wine and my little cracker? Seriously? That would be funny, were it not so strange coming from the mouth of someone claiming to be a Republican, unless everyone is lost in their dream body in a dimension where up and down, left and right, have no meaning whatsoever.
A bit earlier in the primary season, there was coverage of fundamentalist Christian leaders figuring out that many members of the flock are not really so Christian at all. They’re in it for the picnics and the social status. Many of these evangelicals don’t go to church or act especially godly. (This had to be news only to them, or maybe someone made it real by doing a video segment and it took on a more vivid form.)
Here is the thing: many people feel this way. They go to church because they’re supposed to, and then feel a little better because they did. But that is not faith.
Even Mother Teresa famously said toward the end of her life, “What do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.”
“I am told God lives in me — and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul,” she wrote at one point. “I want God with all the power of my soul — and yet between us there is terrible separation.”
On another occasion she wrote: “I feel just that terrible pain of loss, of God not wanting me, of God not being God, of God not really existing.”
There are many ways to look at this, though it’s fair to say that she and Trump with his wine and crackers speak for many who simply don’t relate to the ideas of God or of organized religion, who do it because they think they have to, or fake it for some other purpose.
It’s refreshing that we knew all those foot-tapping, affair-having, warmongering Republicans were full of shit anyway.
It is disturbing in that we lose even the thin pretense of a moral code. As Benjamin Franklin put it, “If men are so wicked as we now see them with religion what would they be if without it?” For all his wisdom, Franklin did not seem to consider that religion itself was one such source or at least propagator of evil.
This all makes perfect sense in a world where everyone is floating around the astral plane without an orientation on body, on identity, and with languishing connection to others. In harmony with the astral level, we see sharp polarization, get a chilly feeling and suspend even the broadest ideas of reason. It makes perfect sense where everything is just more newsfeed going by. It’s perfectly logical in a world where what we think of as information comes from places like Gawker and BuzzFeed.
To me the identity chaos factor here is described by Uranus conjunct Eris. As I documented this week on my two programs, the first Uranus-Eris conjunction arrived with the first TV broadcast and the first commercially licensed radio station. These were the ‘new media’ of their day that pretty much ran identity, individuality and comprehensible national identity through the blender. What we are seeing now is the hyperdimensional version of that. Because this is in Aries, it describes something of the foreground or the figure; the state of the human ego.
Two other factors visible in the astrology further describe this condition, though more from the background.
One is Pluto in Capricorn. You might think of this as an influence that is rotting out the structures of tradition. When Chiron passed through Capricorn, Enron was revealed to be a termite-eaten facade of a business. Now that Pluto is halfway through Capricorn, every facet of American big business and banking is being revealed as a Ponzi scheme.
Remember that when Pluto ingressed Capricorn, the next thing that happened was that the subprime mortgage crisis blossomed into the Great Recession. What banks lent money to how many people claiming to make how much per year, and were packaged as securities and sold as investments to major banks and corporations? All leading to a multi-trillion-dollar bailout.
Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2022) is destroying some traditions, and it’s resurrecting others. My prediction several years ago that under this influence everything old would be new again seems to be coming true.
But we need to retrieve more than wood, glass, cast iron and revivals of every comic book character from the 1930s if we want to have any common ground. We need some return to actual, living tradition. Change is not about the slaying of all that was old, but rather the updating of our culture so that it can help guide and contain our experiences.
Our current state of psychic vertigo is driven by change so fast nobody can keep up. Either you thrust it forward as a tech giant, or you’re dragged along as a consumer/user. This really has become about change for its own sake, or rather to keep dangling a new shade of glitz in front of people to get them to take out their credit card.
Change and upheaval at the current pace are for many people a little like the astral realm known as Nightmare Alley.
There is a kind of equivalent factor going on two signs away. Neptune in Pisces (2011-2024) might feel like inspiration to some, but to others it’s like a deluge of delusion. That alone would be enough to make everything seem like a spooky dream, a seance or the astral realm known as Summerland (not the TV program but rather a false paradise sometimes found in dreams).
This is the realm of sex is porn, porn is sex, look but don’t touch and overindulge in everything (because why not?). It’s about ‘my life is good, too bad for you’. It’s an astrological condition desperately in need of light and warmth, but light just reflects in the fog and heat is oppressive.
We currently have Chiron in Pisces, which is offering an opportunity for some clarity. Chiron is the person in the room full of tripping people who says, “Wow, we’re tripping. This is all so strange.” Chiron in Pisces is the person who notices that someone in the teeming crowd of Grand Central Station has collapsed, and instead of stepping over him, stops and calls for assistance. Chiron in Pisces says, “This may be a dream, but you can still show empathy. It matters.”
Chiron is an option, and it’s not one that many people choose. To most these days, it’s the person or the thing that seems too real, the question that penetrates too deeply. It’s the reminder within the dream that this is just a dream. It gives new meaning to the idea, “Nothing I see means anything.”
Except that as far as I can tell, we’re longing for meaning, and know it exists. The question is where to find it, or even where to search. Some might say within, and they would be correct. Others might say, reach out to your brothers and sisters and acknowledge their existence; they too would be correct.
Monday Morning Horoscope for June 6, 2016 | By Eric Francis Coppolino
Aries (March 20-April 19) — Feed the weird part of yourself this week: the nonconformist, the artist, the original thinker. This takes slightly more courage than doing what you might usually do, or going along with what everyone else seems to be doing. You can feed that aspect of your psyche as well, taking as few risks as possible — though if you do, you’ll be missing out on some glorious opportunities. The planets look like this: to think differently, you have to break free from the structure of your past ideas, and the past in general. This is unusually easy at the moment; everything is conspiring to draw you in that direction. Yet internally, you’re craving deeper contact with yourself. Mars, your ruling planet, has re-entered Scorpio, which is calling on you to be submissive to your own inner emotional truth. You have not reached the bottom of your journey there; stay open and guide yourself deeper. You’re doing this for one reason: liberation.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You’ve arrived somewhere you’ve been before, perhaps only recently. Your challenge is to see it as a new place. The way to do that is to change your vantage point in some way, such as remembering something you learned that influenced your understanding of your life or of a relationship. You seem to be under pressure to resolve some form of indecision or uncertainty, though I suggest you keep your mind open to the possibilities. Key situations are definitely not resolved, though you may not want them to be. ‘Unresolved’ means subject to change, which in your scenario will likely be change for the better. Over the next week or so, you will be able to put words and ideas to things you’ve been thinking for a while but have not been able to consider clearly. Just make sure that clarity does not fix your viewpoint. Keep your thoughts, your eyes, your ears moving. Turn your head from side to side and notice what you see.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — The debate over whether love works, or is real, or lasts forever, is meaningful only to those who are obsessed by guilt. Once guilt is seen as the obstruction that it is, the nature of love becomes obvious. Yes, it’s something that you offer to the people around you; yet in our era, perhaps the greater need is to accept the love that’s offered to you. You can only have as much as you’re willing to receive, and I suggest you open all the way up and just let people care about you, feel for you and support you. You might be thinking that love and support are just not there; or “I’ll receive it when there’s more available.” That, however, is not a formula for happiness. Embrace what is offered to you. Little kids smiling at you count. Random dogs saying hello count. Your ex emailing to see how you’re doing counts. Even an honest ‘no’ gives you information about how and where to proceed: count that as a form of affirmation.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You can see and feel ‘both sides’ of yourself with unusual clarity right now — so well that you might decide there are a lot more than two. Yet they aren’t separate; you are not separate from yourself. Inner division is an optical illusion, yet it can take some learning to understand that on an intuitive level. You might try a meditation for the next week or so, in various forms: I am united with myself; I am one being; I act in harmony with my own intentions; I am aligned with my creative force. It’s true that one of the most challenging spiritual quests is healing the sense of a Self divided against itself. As you explore, learn and facilitate that healing, you’ll experience many points of personal reunion; each of them beautiful, each a reclaiming of something that’s truly yours. And as you do this, you will become stronger, more honest and less easy to deceive.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You cannot control how other people perceive you. Try as you may, everyone is going to come up with their own idea. There is no point resisting or resenting the attention that you get, when you try so diligently to be visible and to make the right impression. It’s interesting how much energy people invest in being their own publicist, stylist and manager trying to get a grip on their image, and the mixed feelings that result. While you cannot control what others think, you can influence it. The distinction is relevant because wielding influence is different from the illusion of controlling someone’s perception. One distinction is that it would necessarily lead you to pay attention to the response you get from your environment. That will tell you a lot, and you’ll have more fun. You just need to hang loose and be more transparent. Open up and actually offer people insight into your thoughts, and notice what happens when you do.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Reach for something big. Yet recognize that means offering yourself wholly to what you want. Our whole society is centered around getting right now. There seems to be little recognition that getting anything involves an exchange, and when what you want is something dear to you, something you identify with, the thing you give is yourself. This is making a good few people freaky, as it seems like they’re sacrificing something. Giving, however, is different from giving up. Offering is different from sacrificing. You expand, you grow, you become, by offering yourself. Your whole life is about growth, becoming and evolving, and if you leave out that crucial part about surrendering your energy to what you want to become, one result will be inner conflict. The question is: what benefit would you see from rolling yourself into a little ball and holding on tight? A flower blooming is a sign of life. Vulnerability not only demonstrates love; it makes love possible, and makes it real.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — What limits do you suspect are wrapped around your potential? Said another way, do you decide what is possible today based on what you accomplished previously? That would be a mistake, because the definition of an accomplishment is doing something you’ve never done before. That’s the whole point. So you need a better basis for assessing what you’re capable of than the past. This would take you out of your proverbial comfort zone, though you might ask yourself how comfortable it really is in there. Or, you might ask: Does self-doubt make me feel good? And if so, why? Anyway, you can go beyond that, though you would need to tap into some long-forgotten resource or talent. There is something you know perfectly well how to do, and it holds a key to your ability and willingness to do so much else. Remember, this comes from you, not from someone else.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — There’s a reason to avoid going deep into your feelings: you might learn something about yourself. It would be something you could no longer deny, and would therefore need to rearrange your life around. It looks like you can sense the potential for radical changes to your day-to-day activities, the way you structure your life and — most significantly — who you think you are. What may be making you nervous is that you don’t have any sense of who else you might be. But that’s like saying you don’t want to leave your room because you don’t know what you would find when you do. The whole point of discovering and admitting that you don’t really know who you are is so that you can enter the unknown with a sense of adventure. But you’re not really going far; you’ve been carrying a vast, unexplored world within you your whole life — and now it’s calling you.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the United States president from 1933 to 1945. He is famous for many things, including a statement about the nature of fear that they used to teach (in partial form) to schoolchildren. He said: “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Your astrology is insisting that you have a clear, fully aware relationship to any form of anxiety, hesitation, nervousness or the bouts with outright panic that so many people experience these days. The reason you want a conscious relationship with these feelings is that it’s the only way to resolve them. You can bob, weave and dodge all you want, but you will still feel pursued by your own inner emotions. Just remember: fear and desire often masquerade for one another. You would do well to pause and ask yourself what’s really going on.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — As one challenge eases, another seems to come on. Yet have you considered that this energy is coming from inside you? For many years, you’ve built your life on an idea of stability and predictability. You’ve associated an idea of consistency with being a good person. Yet did that equation serve to create either goodness or consistency? Now, any direction you want to move demands that you change. That’s because you have no choice but to grow, and growth is change, which means being different. It’s possible to try to build your life on some concrete idea of yourself, oriented mainly on being secure. Yet you’re likely to create a tense, rigid emotional state when the thing you need is to move and flow. There is so much energy rising up from your core that it would be dangerous to block it. That includes hanging around people who reward you for being stuck or narrow. Your real friends embrace you in all your contradiction and wild potential.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — What you need is experience, not theory. It’s easy to chew everything over in hypothetical form, especially if you live mostly on the Internet. Genuine exploration happens through your physical body. Even if you’re a theoretical physicist, a designer of bridges or professor of philosophy, you don’t really know something for sure until there is an actual experiment performed. I suggest you set about doing that experiment, by which I mean anything prompted by an idea, which also has an uncertain outcome. You might do something like driving to an odd part of the countryside, intentionally getting lost. Visit some strange part of town or some other city, where you would never ordinarily go and where you know nobody, and do something the natives do. Take any chance to immerse yourself in unfamiliar environments, and to expose yourself to points of view you totally disagree with. That will stoke your creative (and social) fires brilliantly.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Don’t take the pressure so seriously. Most of it is based on abstract thought. It’s true that you’re being called to greater things in every facet of your life simultaneously. What you’re experiencing as stress is actually energy, which can work for you or against you: that’s your choice. Therefore, it will help if you connect everything to your motivation, by which I mean take inspiration from anything in your environment. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention. It’s amazing how that can foster the efficient use of time. In that spirit, I suggest you invest no precious time waiting. Rather, make conscious choices and take action. Look at your limits and decide what to do with them, rather than merely living with them passively. Everything — by which I mean every problem or scenario — has a workaround. Learn how to identify your options and choose from among them. You have plenty.