Dear Friend and Reader:
I began my comments about this week’s astrology in my Daily Astrology post overnight Sunday, where I proposed we were about to experience a metalogue of some kind. That’s not a word that’s used a lot; think of it as a meta-level conversation, a conversation about what’s being talked about, while that topic is formulating. Or you could say it’s another word for “actual conversation.”
I learned the word early in my astrological studies; it was going around the Psychological Astrology crowd in England in the 1990s, and we thought of it as meaning “that which is being discussed is also arising.” I got this idea because Mercury — the planet of mind and communication — had ingressed Libra on Saturday, putting it where it would be making many aspects.
Among other things, that put Mercury into contact with the Aries Point (an exact opposition, from the first degree of Libra to the first degree of Aries). I knew that would translate to some kind of big news with a personal feeling, and a conversation happening (both in the news, and amongst folks) about whatever that thing was. As Laurie Anderson said in one of her songs, “Oh boy! Right again!”
Sure enough, the ball was in play and we had an extremely interesting discussion this week about those 47% of Americans, all of whom allegedly voted for Obama, who suck off of the government, who have no sense of personal responsibility and who pay no taxes. We think we’re entitled to food, water, health care and a dry roof to sleep under, even if we never want to get out of bed.
This was a rare moment of transparency in politics, and I think that most people actually recognized it for what it was. Everyone who believed that Mitt Romney stands for nothing had a rude awakening. In a secret recording made (apparently by one of the servers) at a $50K per plate fundraiser in Florida earlier this year, we found out that he doesn’t think he’s supposed to actually be president of those 47%, many of whom are Republicans, who collect retirement benefits from Social Security, or veterans on disability. They’re not his concern, he told us. He actually said it; that’s the incredible thing. Think of what else you’re missing.
From an ethical standpoint, he has a lot of nerve, but then, you may not realize how much contempt your supposed representatives have for you — and how many millionaires pay reduced tax rates, or none at all. From a political standpoint, the problem is that many people who are too poor to pay federal income tax vote Republican, which is a topic unto itself; though their choice of candidates is inherent evidence that such voters may lack the analytical skills to figure out that Romney was actually talking about them, not someone else. But then, everything is about someone else, till it’s not.
In his usual hapless way, Romney punted the ball of Mercury right into personal is political territory — and it mysteriously surfaced this very week when Mercury engaged with the Aries Point. (If you somehow missed that story, you can refer to the original at Mother Jones and you can hear my rendition on Planet Waves FM.)
And then Mercury, moving through Libra, came into contact with Uranus in Aries (an opposition) and Pluto in Capricorn (a square) — which it’s doing as I write on Thursday afternoon, when the big news is that candidates for lower office are abandoning Romney, and even big funders like Rove are investing in ad buys for Senate races rather than going against Obama. Said another way, Mercury is talking to, and listening to, the Uranus-Pluto square — the 2012 aspect that has been shaking the world since 2011 (Arab Spring, Occupy, Fukushima, etc.). Among the events this week was an uprising against the United States, including protests at numerous embassies across the Middle East and North Africa, where there are many, many unemployed, angry men with nothing to lose.
There are hints in the astrology that these protests could be coming home any time now. I’ll come back to that in a moment.
Of note, the Uranus-Pluto square made its second exact contact on Wednesday. This is a slow-moving aspect, part of a cycle that began in 1965, which always comes with a blast of revolution. Because Uranus and Pluto move so slowly, and these planets go retrograde (due to the Earth’s movement), the square will happen seven times between mid-2012 and early 2015. (By contrast, the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1965-1966 happened just three times.)
The first exact square was in late June, and the second was Wednesday. So when Mercury made its aspect to Uranus-Pluto this week, the alignment was so perfect you could use it to tune an oboe.
My take is that the conversation that is happening — the many conversations — is infused with all of that charged-up, let’s-move-the-game-along, Uranus-Pluto energy, and anything that happens this week will have added impact as a result; we are in a seed moment, when an agenda is being established. There are many important topics that need to come up, but this discussion of what happens to the resources of society is a meaningful one.
We are told a lot of outrageous lies in politics. It was nice to see a pushback against one of them. It was even more satisfying to see the facade of compassionate conservatism tumble down with a thump. Along with Mitt’s comments about the 47%, we learned that he really doesn’t think the Palestinians can handle their own country, and he gave direct instructions for how a terrorist organization can blackmail the United States by threatening to use a dirty bomb, say for example, in Chicago.
Most impressive was Romney’s stupidity, a fact alone that disqualifies him from holding public office, particularly the presidency. In this moment of history, nearly every person who can write his or her name is carrying a video camera. There are more video cameras in people’s pockets than there are guns, and heck, they’re a lot more dangerous. If Second Amendment advocates fancy themselves a menace to the government, they might want to switch amendments to the First, and feel what it’s like to really have some power you can use every day — not just think about using.
NDAA Litigation Against Obama
While this cyclone was brewing, a far more significant story got far less attention. At the end of 2011 (that’s to say, on New Year’s Eve), Pres. Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a law with the primary purpose of funding the military. In this particular version of the law was a provision that allows the president to arrest any American citizen deemed to be aiding our enemy in the War on Terror, detain them indefinitely, keep them in offshore penal colonies and to have the military serve as a domestic police force — something that violates the traditions and explicit provisions of American law.
Six people, including Chris Hedges (Pulitzer Prize-winning author), Noam Chomsky (linguist and Papa Smurf of the American left) and Daniel Ellsberg (who helped end the Vietnam War by smuggling the Pentagon Papers home from work), sued Pres. Obama in federal court, seeking to block that provision of the law. Late last week, U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Forrest in New York ruled that the law was unconstitutional and issued an order blocking it, saying that the issue touched the heart of civil liberties.
If anything vibrates with Uranus (the planet of revolution) and Pluto (the planet of evolution) working together, it’s activism on this level — taking on the King directly.
Obama’s lawyers, representing the federal government, appealed that decision, waging “an all-out campaign to block and overturn an order of a federal judge,” in the words of the lawsuit’s co-lead counsel, Bruce Afran. “As Judge Forrest noted in her opinion, nothing is more fundamental in American law than the possibility that journalists, activists and citizens could lose their liberty, potentially forever, and the Obama administration has now lined up squarely with the most conservative elements of the Republican Party to undermine Americans’ civil liberties.”
Hedges, in his column this week, wrote that, “The decision to vigorously fight Forrest’s ruling is a further example of the Obama White House’s steady and relentless assault against civil liberties, an assault that is more severe than that carried out by George W. Bush.” (A lot of people who study government are saying this, though if you listen to FOX News, you will never hear Obama criticized for doing the same things as Bush.)
Obama won the next round — early this week, a single judge on the appeals court placed a stay on Judge Forrest’s order. One question Hedges and his lawyers raised is why Obama went to court to fight for the same provision of NDAA that he said he had problems with, when he signed it into law.
Hedges wrote, “The request by the government to keep the law on the books during the appeal process raises a disturbing question. If the administration is this anxious to restore this section of the NDAA, is it because the Obama government has already used it? Or does it have plans to use the section in the immediate future?”
Afran, his attorney, proposed an answer. “A Department of Homeland Security bulletin was issued Friday [Sept. 14] claiming that the riots [in the Middle East] are likely to come to the U.S. and saying that DHS is looking for the Islamic leaders of these likely riots.”
“It is my view that this is why the government wants to reopen the NDAA — so it has a tool to round up would-be Islamic protesters before they can launch any protest, violent or otherwise. Right now there are no legal tools to arrest would-be protesters. The NDAA would give the government such power. Since the request to vacate the injunction only comes about on the day of the riots, and following the DHS bulletin, it seems to me that the two are connected. The government wants to reopen the NDAA injunction so that they can use it to block protests.”
Speaking of protests — I spent a lot of the weekend and week studying the chart for the 2012 election, and writing a special report that you’ll read in this space shortly. The weeks leading up to the election look like the scene of a protest, including violent incidents, and a mess internationally, including acts of war.
Since I’m not the White House astrologer, I cannot tell you if the government is aware of this astrology — but it sure is impressive, and it squares (pardon the pun) with a plan to suppress the very protests that look inevitable.
It’s interesting that if you packaged up this whole NDAA business — deporting of citizens, anything and everything (including political speech and even peaceful protests) subject to being called terrorism, and a government giving itself license to round up its people and put them in military camps — and said it was happening in another country, many Americans would be indignant. It’s the kind of thing used as propaganda to get us to go to war against evil-doers who have no respect for freedom. But if you point out the law that says it could happen here, well, that gets the ostrich effect. “I am not a terrorist. Thankfully, it will be used against someone else — someone who probably deserves it.” Right?
Hedges added, “In the last 220 years there have been only about 135 judicial rulings that have struck down an act of Congress. Most of the cases involved abortion or pornography. Very few dealt with wartime powers and the separation of powers, or what Forrest in her opinion called ‘a question of defining an individual’s core liberties’.”
And This Week, Even Sex is Political
Did you catch that Naomi Wolf, an American author and political consultant, has a new book out, about sex? It’s called Vagina: A New Biography. I commend Wolf for figuring out that there is a sexual-social-political connection, and taking advantage of it.
Toni Bentley, who reviewed the book for The New York Times, summed it up this way: “The female counterpart to your penis is not (spoiler alert) our vagina, and calling a book about the female sex ‘Vagina’ is like calling a book about the male sex ‘Scrotum’. Talk about a near miss.” I kept thinking the same thing. Did this woman get her entire sex education at The Vagina Monologues?
“The clitoris is the diva at our party, and she sports the most sensitive millimeters of flesh — male or female — in human existence. Her 8,000 nerve endings — let me repeat that: 8,000 — outnumber those on your circumcised penis by a mere 100 percent,” Bentley wrote in her review. But the clitoris, well, hardly anyone talks about that in polite company, while science is still trying to deduce what it’s for. (Implication: its evolutionary purpose cannot be female orgasm. It has to be about something else, perhaps related to women’s role in hunting-gathering).
Wolf has been something of a sensation this week, as the latest heterosexual woman to come out of the closet (right on the heels of Sandra Fluke). There is so much sexual tension in the air that the world has a spontaneous orgasm any time a woman even mentions sex publicly. Whatever it takes.
This week Wolf wrote an opinion piece for CNN, and I would like to offer my analysis of some of her thoughts. She asks: “Who decides when and how breasts might be exposed; who decides who can say vagina and where; who decides who is a slut; and who must be punished with hard labor for asserting their right to define their own sexual and artistic identities.” [She forgot the question mark, which insinuates that she was making statements, not actually asking questions.]
“The sexual revolution came and went, and yet women are still not as truly sexually free as they deserve to be — here or around the world. They are not yet, as these struggles show, fully free to define the meanings of their bodies and their desire, to assert their sexual wishes without punishment — including punishment by the state. And they are not yet fully free to claim the right to sexual pleasure and autonomy without enduring public shaming.”
Let’s start with the sexual revolution, assuming there even was one. What exactly was it a revolution against? Well, presumably against sexual oppression. Most of what we think of as sexual oppression is created with guilt and shame. Yes, there are plenty of efforts to make sex illegal, but they’re not really efficient. As for who deserves to be free: with an emotionally based self image issue like this one, those who deserve to be free are those who do the personal work that it takes to be free.
The way oppressive forces control sex is to shame people. You can, therefore, be pretty sure that when anyone speaks up for sexual freedom, someone is going to try to shame them. That shame, which has as its power source our natural instincts, is used to turn us against ourselves. To be free, the first thing we have to deal with is the shame itself.
As long as that shame exists — as a public function or as a private one — there is a need for sexual revolution. Or perhaps the concept we’re looking for is healing. While it might seem that we need to stand up for our rights to abortion and birth control and to be queer and for that matter to be ‘straight’, I would propose that most of what we need to stand up to are our own toxic emotions. Those are what hold us back; those are the tools that are most readily used against us by anyone else.
To have sexual freedom for oneself, it’s not necessary to enter public discourse. In fact, it’s better to shut up about what you’re doing. You just figure out how to have a good time, and the chances are you’ll be left alone. Maybe you might come out to your friends, and your mom and dad, so you don’t feel so lonely, and even when you do that, the thing you’re up against is indeed shame.
It’s only when we want to take the step into advocating liberation on a larger scale that it’s necessary to engage with the larger public realm, and stand in that mysterious ‘personal as political’ Aries Point magnifier — where Mercury has been all week, sparking these kinds of conversations. Then one invariably gets an earful of what society is made of, and what judgments and emotions are contained in the humans who populate it.
Though Wolf seems to long for a world where it’s safe to speak up without being shamed, she is missing the very point of what we need to do right now — which is to confront precisely that shame as the oppressive force. The problem is that things considered shameful are presumed to be that way because they’re also presumed to be ‘wrong’.
Therefore, to speak up is to stand up and to do exactly the thing that everyone else seems to be judging in the first place — being open about your sexuality. This is territory that’s taken back, and you can expect a few people to throw tomatoes. Said another way, if you’re going to confront resistance, you can reasonably expect a little. If you’re going to stand up for anything besides alleged Biblical monogamy, you’re very likely to piss off a good few people.
Wolf concludes her article, “Until that real freedom arrives, we can honor the pioneers such as Lisa Brown, Pussy Riot and the young women of Tahrir Square — and keep up the fight to be free to name our bodies and ourselves.”
Until that real freedom arrives? Does she think that freedom pulls into the station like a train, steps onto the platform, stops for a cappuccino and takes a taxi to the hotel? This reminds me of the people who want the fruits of the land without plunging in their pitchfork and turning over the soil. We want fire, but we’re not willing to split the wood. We want food, but we’re not willing to cook. Wait — where are we? I just checked my GPS and it’s flashing the words WESTERN CIVILIZATION.
The state of the sexual discussion is so dismal at the moment that Wolf’s ideas may have value if we bother to consider and question them — though I don’t think she understands the nature of the problem and therefore cannot speak about the solution.
Mercury is still on the move, and the Sun is about to ingress Libra, where it too will pass through the Uranus-Pluto square, and stir the pot. May the metalogue continue.
Friday, September 21, 2012. Weekly Horoscope #918 | Eric’s Zodiac Sign Descriptions
Libra Birthdays This Week
In my 2012 annual edition, I promised that 2012 would be “the most important year of your life.” That’s still true, though the next four seasons also promise to be the most interesting year of your life. I suggest you avoid having expectations about anything, mainly for the reason that those expectations will often have you aiming too low. I suggest you do everything you can to consider the highest, most creative potentials — which might feel like aiming for the stars. But you’ll be doing no such thing — what you accomplish and what adventures you embark upon will take place on Earth, among people, in an environment of experimentation rather than false certainty. There are a lot of people who wish they could be as open to the possibilities as you are, and as willing to let go of the dreaded habit of clinging to what is known. I assure you that what you don’t know, and what you’re about to discover, is a heck of a lot more interesting than what you think you know.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — Whether a relationship or partnership holds any promise as a long-term involvement remains to be seen — though events certainly seem to be moving quickly at the moment. The speed of developments is not a fair indicator of how things might work out in the future, though how you and whoever else is involved move through the sequence of changes certainly is a valid indicator. This is a real-time experiment, under field conditions; this is not about speculation or theory. You’re actually in the territory you want to be covering, and this experience will come with excitement, sense of risk, the emotional exchange and being turned back on yourself to process the experience, basically all at once. Pay attention to how events develop, how you feel about them, and what you notice about the dynamics of the relationship. Notice whether you feel the truth is being told, pay attention to how responsive others are and how you feel at the end of the day. I suggest you take notes, because there are too many details to remember them all. This is one situation where the end really is written in the beginning.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Beware of emotional pitfalls, particularly ones that have been a big problem in the past. It’s your destiny to outgrow and resolve these issues, not to be bound by them. Here is what the aspect structure is describing. You are in close proximity to a spot in your emotional body that feels like an injury to your self-respect. Whatever it was, it has roots in (Northern Hemisphere) summers of 1999 and 2001, though you may not connect those two dates. You may fear that you’re in the same place, or still carrying some residual tendencies — though I suggest you note that feeling and keep going forward. There is something else going on, and it involves your relationship to this elusive thing called ‘maleness’. Much has been said about the alleged differences between male and female desire, though at least for you right now, there is something of a role reversal going on. You can regard any experiences you have of men over the next few days as a form of inner exploration. You’ve skipped over this territory before; I suggest that this time around, you go in deep.
Hello Taurus — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). If you would like to hear your Taurus birthday reading, please visit this link.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — In order to understand the nature of a problem, you will need to take a chance. That may mean considering possibilities that seem risky, or point to potentials that you don’t want to consider. When it comes to understanding psychological and emotional dynamics, many people will avoid an idea because they don’t like what it implies. I suggest you treat anything like this that you encounter as opportunities, and even as low-hanging fruit. Meanwhile, I suggest you ditch the notion of a ‘happy childhood’, if such a thing influences you. Childhood is extremely complicated, we tend to forget most of it, and in truth, it’s never easy. Embrace the complexity of what you went through, and the contradictions involved, and recognize the fact that there are parts of you that are still aching from some of what happened. You’re also very likely to be carrying the pain of your parents, and at the moment, what your mother passed along to you is high on the agenda to be looked at, understood and resolved. Said another way: you are ready.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You’re ready for some deep nourishment — which is different from your average, everyday kind of nourishment. The best way to have this need fulfilled is to admit you have it, and remain open and aware, rather than in a state of frustration. I know there’s a taboo against admitting need — whether we (as in we humans in Western society) fear being perceived as that dreaded thing ‘needy’, or whether we fear some compromise of our image as being fully satisfied. Forget your outer image, and I suggest you be mindful of the interplay of you and your self-image. It’s time, I believe, for you to acknowledge directly what you want, and what you know will nourish you, first to yourself and then to someone with whom you may share something so intimate. If you enter territory where there is shame, embarrassment or guilt, you know you’re in the right place. These things are almost always veils thrown over what is the most meaningful, what is the very hottest and ultimately, over who you know you are inside.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Keep going and you’re bound to get results. You may be experiencing mixed feelings about that idea, since you know that you’re exerting more energy than you need to. You may also be stalked by the feeling that ‘everything has to change, all at once’. While that’s going on, you may have the feeling that you’re mired in something that’s consuming your energy unnecessarily, though you don’t necessarily know what it is. You might feel at the same time like you’re pushing against an obstacle that seems like it’s outside you, but which is really part of your own emotional makeup. Yes, there is a lot going on at once. But it’s all one experience, and I suggest you step back and see your current circumstances for what they are. You’re in a truly adventurous dynamic with your environment. You’re changing it, and it’s changing you. You’re currently the one in the situation whose ideas can have the most positive influence. Therefore, stay on that level — of being open, and of respecting what comes through your mind and hopefully ends up being jotted down for reference and elaboration in the immediate future.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — I was about to write that it’s not possible to devote too much energy to self-esteem, though if you are, I suggest you ask yourself why that is. I’ve said many times that in terms of personal psychology, the self-esteem deficit is one of the most serious problems we face as individuals and as a society. You’re in exactly the position you need to be in to make some bold progress on this seemingly intractable issue — but to do so, you need to be unusually honest with yourself. I suggest you start by questioning and even stopping the things you typically do to make yourself ‘feel better about yourself’. This might range from any form of self-improvement technique to the designer handbag. You might also include accounting for the influences of medication, on the chance that might be involved. Treat these things as cover-ups for both the real problem and the real solution. They interfere on two levels: one is a physical obstruction, and the other is a matter of where you invest your faith. You don’t want to feel good about who you are; rather, I would propose that what you want is to have faith in yourself.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — What do you identify with, within yourself? Your personal assets? Your problems? What you’ve accomplished? Your relationships? You’re bigger than all of these things combined. This can be a challenging lesson to learn, since one at a time these different elements of experience tend to take over consciousness and our sense of identity. Yet none of them are really you. Yes, they all give you clues, and those clues point to something deeper, bigger, vastly more significant than any transient experience. You can, however, use these experiences in interesting ways. One is to notice what they all have in common. Look for the underlying motive, need or desire that connects the many seemingly different experiences of your existence. Trust that there is a common thread, use your imagination and see if you can figure out what it is. You can also experiment with the sensation that everything is a mirror, or that consciousness itself is a reflection — and if that is true, what, exactly, is being reflected? You may wear a thousand masks, but someone is behind them all.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Your charts describe the way in which you’re striving to be, or at least to experience, the opposite of what you are now. This looks like a healthy expression of your creative imagination. It’s also a viable way to explore the tension that you’re feeling, which is a kind of inner standoff between two different emotional realities. It’s as if you feel entirely like one of them in one moment, and entirely like the other in the next moment. Which is really you? How can they both feel so vividly true? Consider the possibility that you contain parallel realities. They can coexist like separate dimensions, each of which is valid when you’re in it. Rather than trying to reconcile them against one another, be fully in each of them as you experience it. This will feel a lot better than trying to compel yourself to reconcile them. Both are valid, even if one seems to exclude the other. Be fully where you are and what you’re feeling in every moment and understanding will come.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You’re in the process of figuring out how much fun you can have, if you get this pesky thing known as attachment out of the way. I know, most people cling to their attachments, even beyond being attached to them. This is similar to being in love with being in love, only it’s less fun. You of all people have the ability to slip right into the space of nonattachment, which is not about giving things up one at a time. Rather, it’s about making contact with your cosmic origins as a direct emotional and psychic experience. While few of us know with certainty the full nature of our journey through the universe, you have the ability to feel the essence of that journey and to embrace it, even if you only do this occasionally. Feel the essence of everything, particularly yourself, as being in motion. Everything is transient within time, though the planets are aligned such that you can feel that transience, and experience both the freedom it contains, and your ability to make contact with others in the midst of the kaleidoscope of your life.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — There is an imperative on emotional maturity right now; consider this a kind of professionalism in the face of change, uncertainty and the demand for leadership — that is to say, your leadership. You have a unique, and well-seasoned, perspective on the unsettled quality of the moment, though you are also in full contact with the potential that’s lurking beyond the chaos. In times such as these, people who can offer a steady example and have a vision are the ones who have the opportunity to shine, while everyone else is scrambling around. Now, as for the maturity piece: this is a learned skill. It’s learned from experience and by following examples, and you have both. The pace of events is about to pick up; you must slow down, long enough to confer with certain people you trust (most likely older than you) and to make reasoned decisions that you don’t have to reconsider. Take things one step at a time — that number is one, not two. And if you find yourself positioned high up, use that as a means of gaining perspective, rather than demanding respect.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Do you have to be powerful to be successful? It depends on your concept of power — and of success. If you view power as something that a king has, which is basically that of a ruler over people, success would be measured in how much authority you have. If you view success as the ability to get a job done well, power is more like the gift of being able to muster up cooperation, support and enthusiasm toward a goal. Under this model, power is also about any ability you have to move creative energy and resources in the direction you deem necessary, fun or useful. Under this second definition, you are just getting a taste of what is possible. Once Saturn crosses the success angle of your chart early next month, you will be taking a step up in the world — though initially that means an increase in your responsibilities, and the beginning of doing the work to establish and solidify your reputation. I don’t mean your image or the theory of success that you’re using — I do mean your actual reputation for achievement, which is very much a work in progress.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — The art of the deal — it’s not usually your thing, though I suggest you make it your thing for the next few weeks. One thing about your chart, and about life, is that everything is negotiable. Most people don’t believe that, and don’t have the chutzpah to put that idea to work, though I suggest you keep it in mind. Consider everything flexible, everything subject to the principle of fairness, and remember that life is a social and relational affair above all else (rather than being a bureaucratic function or a game). Therefore, stick to the human level in everything you do. Grease the wheels that make your community turn, look for the leverage points to get action and remember what you want at all times — both individually (for you) and collectively (what serves others). Ideally you will engage only in situations where you feel confident that the outcome will be the greatest good for all concerned. And remember you have more influence making that happen than you might think at the moment — though I suspect you’ve got a clue.