Dear Cousin, Friend or Client:
Good morning, on the cusp of the ‘official’ last weekend of summer in the US.
The cardinal T-square (or grand cross, depending on what points you count) is taking a little time off. This is the aspect pattern that drove us from the early part of the year until very recently like we were on some kind of wild ride. Uranus, and shortly Jupiter, are spending some time in Pisces, which is like both planets taking a dip in the ocean after a hot day at the beach.
Their next conjunction on Sept. 18, the first ever in Pisces for this 84-year cycle of Uranus, is more visionary than jarring. Saturn is past its series of squares to Pluto (which date to late 2009) and its longer series of oppositions to Uranus (which date to late 2008). This draws to a close the pressure for a certain kind of enforced change; now we just need to get the feeling out of our cells and our bones, and get the hang of voluntarily guiding along the changes that we need to make.
In particular, these developments temporarily take some pressure off of the Aries Point, with one notable exception, which I’ll come to in a moment. Through the end of this season and into the next, the focus is deeply personal. Mercury is currently retrograde and is stirring up all kinds of individual and family-related material and psychological tension by making a long series of aspects to minor planets in Sagittarius. The feeling is like something being on your mind but you know it’s something deeper. You may or may not want to go deeper — though I will say this is an opportunity to explore, work out or put to good creative use psychological material that is usually out of reach.
Venus and Mars are moving in a conjunction from Libra to Scorpio. Venus will soon be retrograde through both of these signs, prompting a deep reevaluation of the meaning of sex and desire in our lives.
The exception to our brief vacation from the Aries Point is the Libra equinox later in the month. The day that the Sun moves into Libra, it’s met by the Full Moon in Aries. This is a Full Moon right across 1 Libra and 1 Aries — the Aries Point exact to the degree. That begins the season with a burst of collective energy that we notice and take personally. But we’re not there yet; first we have the Virgo New Moon next Wednesday, Sept. 8, which is spectacular in its own quiet way — occurring right at the midpoint of Virgo. This happens just four days before Mercury retrograde ends; that is Sept. 12.
Now for a brief look at the news.
I’m guessing you heard about the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that happened Thursday morning. As of press time, details are still sketchy, but no deaths or injuries have been reported. I have not read reports of an oil spill. Despite earlier reports of an oil sheen, U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Peter Troedsson told CNN that there is no evidence of such. Come what may, this is just another reminder that it’s time for oil to go the way of the steam engine.
I’ve got the chart posted at this link on our daily blog. To save last-minute edits and avoid errors, I will update details of the story there rather than here. The chart I’ve published is set for the exact coordinates of the rig. Its position puts it in a likely explosives dump area or drift zone. As we reported in early May, the Gulf of Mexico was used for decades as an ordnance dump. That means there are old bombs strewn all over the bottom of the Gulf, along with 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells that, according to an AP investigation, nobody is monitoring or keeping track of.
So, between randomly strewn bombs, old, leaking wells and the usual dangers of oil and gas production, let’s just say we need a better mousetrap.
The chart we have for the new rig mishap — based on the time the fire was first reported, rather than the actual event — puts the ascendant in the same degree as the chart for the Sept. 11 false flag attacks — 15 degrees Libra, the degree with the image ‘Circular Paths’. The key phrase that Dane Rudhyar has given us to describe this degree is, Coming to terms with the inevitability of establishing steady rhythms of social activity.
Um, no kidding. The other day I figured out that my current car, a three-year-old Nissan Versa with an awesome six-speed manual transmission, may be my last gasoline car. I don’t put a lot of miles on the thing, and I keep up with maintenance; by the time I’m ready to replace it, electric cars will hopefully be affordable and in production. I will miss the clutch and the manual gearshift, though there will be all kinds of cool innovations and of itself, it won’t make pollution. But this will be little improvement if we’re getting our power from nuclear plants, an idea which is a movement gaining momentum.
So, I propose that we get the power we need for electric cars from the Sun, and that we speak loudly against nuclear power. That is, among the many things we need to speak loudly against while we manage and create our lives, and do our part to help the world transition into its next phase of existence and have some fun while we’re here.
Mercury is Still Retrograde
Besides this, the news is at a lull this week, in the midst of Mercury in Virgo retrograde. Congress is on recess; it would be a better world if they stayed there (the opposite of progress is Congress). Most of the primary elections are over; at the moment, the polls favor a Republican takeover of Congress (that would not be progress) and it seems a lot of people think that all the world’s problems were caused by Barack Obama. The upcoming elections in November are going to be some of the weirdest in our lifetimes. I suggest you treat yourself to a few evenings watching Rachel Maddow on MSNBC — her coverage of the lunacy has been beautiful. (Judith Gayle in her column below takes on the issues as well.) Glenn Beck declared himself the next Martin Luther King last week, so at least we know who it’s going to be.
With Mercury retrograde in Virgo, this is a very good week for things to be relatively quiet in the world — this retrograde has been mentally stressful, and it seems to be working behind the scenes of all kinds of computer issues. However, there is a hurricane heading for the Northeast, which seems set to dump a lot of rain on too many places that are easily flooded. Let’s hope we get enough water for the trees and creeks and dump the rest out into the ocean.
Meanwhile, the prevailing state of mental tension is deeper than it seems. Mercury, passing between the Earth and Sun in Virgo (the Mercury-Sun conjunction is exact today, and that means that half the retrograde is over), is playing off of lots of high-potency minor planets and a deep-space point in Sagittarius. So what appear to be psychological themes are actually spiritual issues, but as I’ve mentioned before, ‘spiritual’ is one of my least favorite words.
I prefer existential — that is, relating to existence. The mind — which has so much to do and so many places to pick up messages and so many checks to write and kids to drop off/pick up and so many appointments to keep, batteries to charge, and things to back up, update and upgrade — tends to cloud our perception of existence itself: such as, “I’m supposed to worry about another oil rig explosion? I haven’t gone grocery shopping in two weeks.”
Yet, be it known that underneath the mental activity of our moment are some rich gems that have the power to seed our decisions and our growth. This includes discovering information about the past that can be helpful to our healing, growth and development processes.
Mercury-Sun Aspects Pholus, Hylonome
I will give one example. Today’s conjunction of Mercury and the Sun creates a square aspect to two Chiron-like centaur planets — Pholus and Hylonome, both in Sagittarius. I know there are a lot of little worlds floating around; I try not to name too many of them, though these two are worth knowing about. Their names link to write-ups in a Planet Waves annual edition called Small World Stories. So if this discussion resonates with you, you may want to check out what those points are about in more detail. If you want to see the aspects in an ephemeris, check out this custom ephemeris designed to help me sort out Mercury retrograde and do the recent audio package.
When Mercury and the Sun make a conjunction, that is a strong focus on anything that the two planets aspect together. Pholus, the second centaur ever discovered, is the one I most often describe as being about a ‘small cause with a big effect’. This is a reminder to be aware of how the things we do now that seem minor may get significant results. The same is true for errors of judgment, so pay attention.
But the retrograde points back to the causes of the distant past. In fact with Pholus in the picture, that’s a clue to go back to what happened in the generation of your grandparents and great-grandparents. Things that happened to them that we don’t know about, and that nobody remembers, can have a profound influence on how we process reality today. I was once doing a session with a healer who had some ability to peer back to past generations and lifetimes and she said that my issues with money relate back to one male ancestor who was a bricklayer. He thought he had to make his money one brick at a time. I really had to ask myself whether that’s what I believed, and it turned out to be true.
Consider the many possibilities here. Working as an astrology consultant, I’ve seen many cases where a woman in the genetic line experienced a sexual assault, and the beliefs and values she developed in response affected the subsequent generations. How could they not? So we have to be vigilant for these causes.
Pholus also points to the effects of alcohol, the most widely used substance, and the one most often used to mask our problems. Within the family line, the presence of one or more alcoholics almost always comes with a condition of emotional distance in the family environment, and that can last for generations. The issue is less about the alcohol and more about what the people involved were struggling with. Like suicide, alcoholism is a cover-up. The question is what it masks; and that may be more transparent as this aspect happens.
Mercury and the Sun are also square Hylonome in Sagittarius. Hylonome is about the deep causes of grief, which range from the loss of a loved one to a prevailing condition of poverty — that is to say, the ‘poverty mentality’. There is something in this aspect about understanding what is in the past so we can understand the present. We can do a lot to improve our lives, but not if we cannot state what we want, and not if we don’t have a clue what has held us back.
On Thursday there was an interesting alcohol-related news story — a 20-year study indicated that more abstainers died within that time period than people who drink excessively. Moderate drinkers lived the longest. Here is a news report on the study — it’s pretty interesting.
As with diet, we have more evidence that balance and moderation are what we need to aim for. I know that’s not easy, with our lives and the world in the state they’re in, but like anything, balance begins with wanting it.
Have a safe, sane and adventurous holiday weekend.
Yours & truly,
Shake the Foundations | Political Waves
The nation is wandering in darkness, said Glenn Beck at his ‘Restoring Honor’ rally at the Lincoln Memorial last weekend. Beck’s shtick is ‘standing up for truth.’ His rally, on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, included a Moses-like address commanding wrong-thinking Americans to return to the honesty and integrity of our forefathers. Beck’s laundry list of right-wing, Christianist speakers, including Sarah Palin, called upon God to return us to the absolute faith in Christ Jesus displayed by the founders. Beck wished upon each of us the surge of prayerful patriotism he’d experienced at holding George Washington’s inaugural address in his hands.
Predictably, neither of these things is true. The founders deplored the influence of religion on government and vehemently insisted on the separation of church and state. Nor did Beck ever hold any of the founding documents, which are too fragile to be handled by any but trained staff at the National Archives. Mr. Beck’s revisionism is completely untrustworthy, but his faithful followers believe him to be both well educated and genuine. He is neither.
The left looks upon Glenn Beck as a confused and confusing huckster, a showman more ego-involved than political, willing to say or do anything to attract more attention and money. But to the older, predominately white conservatives who consider Beck’s every utterance heartfelt and trustworthy, he hawks a familiar theme: return to the old ways before it’s too late. Beck is the newest prophet warning of gloom, doom and apocalypse. It’s surprising how popular that message is.
Glenn’s followers watch his convoluted blackboard lectures on FOX News and absorb revisionist lessons from “Glenn Beck University.” Now they can also log on to his news site The Blaze, debuting this week as “an honest source of information and counterpoint to the Huffington Post.” Beckofiles dutifully buy the junk his sponsors market, although most of these products border on scam and certainly exploit the fearful and gullible. Credible sponsors left Beck in droves when he moved from CNN to FOX.
Like other recent right-wing celebrities, Mr. Beck is part entrepreneur, part opportunist. Ms. Palin is another. If the American Dream is to parlay charisma into multimillions, both of these characters are living the good life. Stephen Colbert skillfully skewered Glenn on the rally hyperbole that drew nearly a hundred thousand to Washington, D.C., expecting miracles as advertised. Yes, some 90,000 of our neighbors gathered to experience something akin to a big tent revival and patriotic tribute to the nation’s military. Glenn Beck has become a very unlikely de facto head of the Christian political movement. There is a good deal of money to be made by tapping into the Christianist roots of the Tea Bagger movement, gone leaderless since Dubya stepped away from the podium. It doesn’t matter that the facts don’t support the issues that anger this demographic, or that Beck is a Mormon.
Both Beck and Palin reinterpret and rewrite what doesn’t serve them. They promote resentment against government and rail against the elitism of education, the sinfulness of secularism and the emotional dysfunction of liberalism. They reinforce the belief that the country has been stolen by a black, Muslim upstart, and promise a return to the Good Old Days of white exceptionalism and a soon-returning Jesus. They have no trouble finding an audience. To those who want to believe, Palin’s and Beck’s folksy charm sells a uniquely American mix of theocracy and ideology that has no need to make sense.
The Becks of the world paint a very dark picture of America’s future, oblivious to its internal contradictions. For instance, because 79 percent of Americans believe it’s important to reduce the influence of corporations over elections, incumbent Republican lawmakers are losing their place to upstart Tea Baggers who are not yet in bed with corporations. Yet the system itself is not changed, nor are Republicans willing to allow it to change. Campaign finance continues to be the very core of our political dysfunction. Glenn Beck may call for more ethics, Tea Baggers may whine for less corporate influence, but the right will do nothing to achieve these goals.
The President recently took the GOP to task for obstructing a bipartisan effort to regulate special interest campaign funding from corporations. The Party of No depends on the deep pockets of corporate donors to fund the blitz of television advertising that will win them slots in the next Congress. Republicans also staunchly defend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, set to expire soon. Repeal of those tax cuts could generate enough money to dramatically impact our current economic challenges, but Republicans label such repeal a ‘tax hike’ — and raising taxes is taboo in a capitalist nation, especially in an election year.
Americans have never enjoyed so low a taxation rate, nor owed so much to so many with so little hope of repaying them any time soon. Counter-intuitively, instead of raising taxes on the wealthy, the right proposes to eliminate vital social services up to and including radical changes to Social Security. And the faithful will vote for them?
In the few months before the mid-terms, no fabulous economic news will buoy the Democratic chances, nor will the Republicans allow any substantive legislation to pass through Congress. More diversions like the 9-11 mosque controversy and the Beck rally will deflect attention from the inequities before us. The Republicans will obstruct progress at every turn, not only because they cannot allow Obama a win, but also because they have no use for governing. They are primarily capitalists, dedicated to removing impediments to money-making and national expansion. There is no social contract in capitalism, no concern for the commonweal nor mandate for equality. This has to stop. We have already privatized ourselves out of a functional government. We can’t afford any more Republicanism if we’re to survive.
Glenn Beck may have inadvertently described ‘what’s the matter with Kansas’ when he accused the president of practicing ‘liberation’ theology. Liberation theology reflects Christ’s teachings on freeing the poor and oppressed from social injustice and poverty. Beck holds that social justice has no place in the religion of the founders or of conservatives. By contrast, social justice is the mandate of American liberals, speaking to our concern for one another and our expectations of the democratic process. Ironically, social justice also describes the belief system of Martin Luther King, the man whose thunder Beck tried to steal last weekend.
While King might admire the number of people Beck gathered together, he would argue that it is for us to “shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” The one thing Beck got right is that there are too many of us still wandering in darkness. Perhaps it’s time we took ourselves into the streets for what we believe. Perhaps we’re past due shaking the foundations. Beck’s rally reminds us that King’s dream still awaits us all.
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, September 3, 2010, #829 – BY ERIC FRANCIS
What happens this week is likely to stay in this week — particularly at work, where there seems to be some drama brewing. Whether you’re experiencing the best or the worst of what is possible, or if you’re in some wild confusion, I suggest you let it go. Take the current flow of events as an example of what is possible, do your best to remember it (you may forget, if you don’t put some notes into your diary), and disappear into the holiday weekend. Do your best not to complicate matters if they are a little weird, and if you’re in the moment of a breakthrough, keep your focus on the idea at hand, what has inspired it, and your response to what you’re learning. In other words, stick to the facts and concepts and how they influence you. Later in the month you will have occasion to put them to work — this is unlikely to be the time for that.
You seem to be trying to unravel something the difficult way that you could unravel much more easily — and explore an opportunity while you’re at it. This ‘something’ relates to what you usually consider among the most challenging endeavors: allowing inspiration to flow through you into creative results that take you to another level of consciousness or experience. It will help if you remember that there are other levels than the one you usually hang out on. Remember that the world is flexible. Remember that everything you touch, see and hear came into being through some act of intention or creation. You can easily reach a zone of awareness where you co-create the world and yourself at the same time. So allow yourself to be surprised by what you are not expecting.
Even in the most painful family situations we can have moments of contact or clarity that transcend all of history. In the most challenging relationships we can see the clouds part and the love shines in brilliantly. In the depths of emotional chaos a door opens at the bottom that leads to a new place. I suggest you proceed calmly through the next few days, forgetting what seems to trouble you, and focusing on the art of existence. Allow yourself to find the succinct words to express your mental and emotional state back to you. Be articulate about how you feel about people, yourself and your life without believing the words are being scratched into a mirror. Whatever you’ve been through the past couple of weeks, you are entering a space where authentic clarity is waiting for you.
You are alive, and the mental and creative processes that exist within you have lives of their own. Much as we try to tame them, harness them, get them to fit routines or professionalize our talents, the mind has its own cycles, seasons and destinations. I don’t intend to describe your mind as something apart from you, rather to suggest that there are different layers in existence, and that you are an organic entity. Therefore if you’ve been experiencing something out of pattern, or feeling resistance or a blockage of some kind, that suggests you’re at the point of breakthrough. I would remind you to make sure you notice, but this one is pretty much impossible to miss. However, to reap the benefits of this experience, you will need to follow through carefully. Ideas don’t morph into books, movies or businesses on their own — they need our focused, ongoing attention.
Money is a game, a puzzle, an experiment, a collaborative venture — think of it as anything but a crisis. In essence, money is what you make of it, and you can make quite a bit of it right now. Remember that from the viewpoint of the physical world we create funds from ideas, from labor or from time. Most of us sell our time or labor — notably, that’s usually the least profitable venture. I suggest you view your financial process as a mix of all three, emphasizing ideas above time and labor. The idea you need is waiting for you, and it would appear to consist as much in something new as in a new way of approaching an old — perhaps very old — problem. You have likely thought of this before, but now the problem and the solution are aligned in the necessary moment.
Your father’s house has many rooms. And in our society, father is a mystery on the order of what we think of as God. In fact, our obsession with God is little other than a stand-in for our teetering relationship to father. You seem to be dealing with legacy material that at once is about family and at the same time has overtones of spirituality or religion. I suggest you pull back the curtain on anything that comes cloaked in spiritual, religious or even mystical values, terminology or ritual. State your business in the most succinct psychological and physical terms possible. Think of events with dates, locations with addresses and people with names. Notice direct parallels between what you are experiencing now, and what you experienced much earlier in life. Remember that inheritance comes in many forms other than cash or property — and you can’t use it or give it away till you claim it as your own.
Current aspects describe situations that feel competitive, but where you’re not sure you have the edge. The approaches that others are taking sometimes seem to work better than the ones you normally take, and I suggest you invest no energy at all in doubting yourself. The question is, what actually deserves to be approached in a competitive way, and what calls for being approached in a cooperative way? We don’t usually see the damage done by turning everything into a game with a winner and losers. I suggest you imagine how productive life could be if we devoted ourselves to designing mutually supportive approaches to life. One of those could involve sex. If you want more or better sex, I suggest you support everyone around you in getting exactly what they want. That approach will help you get what you want.
Making ethical choices takes courage, and courage is what you — and the world — needs right now. You seem to be questioning whether you can find it, but do you really have a choice? Lately it seems like you’re on your own; you’re getting many signals from existence that remind you that you need to be self-sufficient, fend for yourself and, as if that were not enough, face some of your deepest fears. One involves abandonment. This seems to be at the root of many challenges in our relationships; we have not devised a mode of relating that does not, in the end, land most people out in the cold, in court, or left alone. Yet as much as you may recognize this, the question arises: what do you do when you have to move on from a situation? Observe how you’ve been treated in the past, and notice the effects this had on you. You don’t have to repeat the pattern, and there are many different approaches you can take.
You are gradually making contact with the emotional truth behind a sexual or romantic experience. Indeed, the notion of ‘the emotional truth behind’ could be applied to everything in your life, to any question, to any desire — particularly a desire to tap your deeper creativity. You can use this as a tool to figure out whether you truly want something you think you want; you can evaluate what lurks behind your quest for happiness. But perhaps most useful, you’re about to discover why you’ve felt so unstable for so long, and finally be offered some real information about what you can do about it. In short, you have used your sense of instability for useful purposes, such as avoiding getting stuck in certain situations that don’t serve you. But you need a better approach, one that relies more on flexibility and innovation rather than instability or uncertainty.
Everything about your charts speaks both of seeking a new level of achievement and also a new depth of self-understanding. To discover your true longterm vision, I suggest you look back to an idea that you may have given up on long ago. How long ago? Well, what was your very first idea for what you wanted to do with your life? Children are closer to their original intentions for coming to the world; they have had less time to learn, but also less time to forget. Yet often these intentions and desires have a way of being critiqued out of existence. If you can recover this and other early goals that you had, you will also learn something about where they went; that is to say, you’ll catch a glimpse how you talk yourself out of what you want. Once you figure that out, you can stop doing it, and focus instead on creating what you desire the most.
A discovery or revelation on a matter that involves shared finances or a contractual agreement is offering you precisely the information that you need right now. I suggest you focus on the information that has, and very likely still is, coming to light, and remember that this situation is all about where the resources of you and someone else come together. What belongs to whom? Who plays what role in the situation? I suggest you look at where you’ve given your power away; study this down to the details, and figure out how you got where you are right now. It’s going to require some sorting out of the past to see the way forward. And eventually you will have to get down to the nitty-gritty of the situation, which may have you a bit nervous — you would much prefer these details to work out for themselves.
You may feel stretched impossibly between two opposites or situations that have little in common. People may be irritating you beyond the point of wanting to even deal with them; your mind is on other things. I suggest that you keep your distance from any situation that resembles this description. Don’t detach or disappear; rather, work at an arm’s length and things will go a lot more smoothly. What is happening today is on a timeline of about one additional month, as long as it will take for Mercury to station direct in your opposite sign, for the Sun’s dramatic ingress into Libra, and for other critical aspects to help you get an authentically clear vision of where you’re heading in life. The details that matter so much right now will matter a lot less then, so I suggest you conserve your energy for what really matters: creating rather than fixing.