As transit trackers knew, July and August were fated to be explosive. Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, Saturn and Pluto were staring each other down in the sky as Proposition 8 was overturned, wildfires raged in Russia (see August’s SkyWatch, “A Tinderbox Moment”) and record-breaking floods inundated Pakistan.
To search for the meaning beneath watershed events like this, we look at the planetary patterns that accompany them. Here, in coded form, we find the underlying themes.
Mars and Saturn
For years now, astrologers have been keeping a particularly sharp eye on the late-summer Mars-Saturn conjunction, a pairing traditionally associated with war. The WikiLeaks story hit the headlines right on time, under the Full Moon of July 25 with the Cardinal Cross in full bloom. Pundits immediately labeled the released intel “a new Pentagon Papers” and pounced on the story in that echo-chamber way they have, hoping to cash in on it before the public’s attention moved on to the latest Congressional Caribbean-vacation-home scandal.
Like the quickly-moving second hand of a clock that meets up with the minute and hour hands, Mars’ position triggered the momentous outer-planet configurations which will take us through the Uranus-Pluto years ahead (2010-2016). Just as the WikiLleaks story broke, Saturn had reached its last exact opposition with Uranus (cat-out-of-the-bag surprises) while T-squaring Pluto (secrets, fatalities). WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was talking about a second big spill of intel at the last exact square (this cycle) between Saturn and Pluto on Aug 21.
It was time to talk about things nobody had wanted to talk about.
Denial and Death
Also revealed by the transit picture was the theme of mass denial, the kind that has stonewalled any in-depth discussion of Afghanistan for almost a decade. The Neptune and Chiron conjunction that has been beleaguering the USA Moon for the past two years (it peaks for the last time in November of 2010) signifies a group mind at war with its own illusions. It is no easier for groups than for individuals to admit to self-deception; but, judging from this epochal conjunction on the national Moon (public mood), a painful (Chiron) arousal from geopolitical somnolence (Neptune) is part of America’s learning curve.
We can also infer here an instructive point about the nature of Pluto, a major player in the transit picture. Though we think of it as the planet of death, Pluto doesn’t create breakdown; it just takes advantage of the rot that’s already there. And though we think of Pluto as the planet of “secrets,” the realities it governs are in fact hidden in plain sight. Like the elephant in the middle of the room, Plutonian subject matter is only invisible to the extent that we choose not to see it.
Accordingly, the 90,000 WikiLeaks reports came as a surprise only to those who hadn’t been paying attention. Observers of the chaotic violence going on in Central Asia have known for quite a while that the Taliban was stronger than ever, that the puppet government in Kabul was corrupt, that the Pentagon wasn’t reporting massive numbers of civilian deaths, and that Pakistan was a very bad choice for a puppet state.
Money and War
It is noteworthy that it was Mars, planetary ruler of all things military, that served as the trigger for the Grand Cross in August. This seems to be a cosmic hint that we’ll be asked to look deeper and deeper into a dark story of which the WikiLeaks intel is only the tip of the iceberg.
Unlike with Viet Nam, most Americans seem to lack a strong moral opinion about the bloodshed in Afghanistan. It is probably the financial implications of the WikiLeaks revelations that have motivated this denial as much as anything. It is no wonder that struggling taxpayers had not wanted to look, until WikiLeaks forced them to, at the fact that the Pentagon was losing the sink-hole of a war they’d just been asked for another 60 billion dollars to fund.
Many mundane astrologers have foreseen extreme economic instability in the years ahead. Pluto resides in the second house of money in the chart of the USA (the entity born July 4, 1776 at 5:10 pm in Philadelphia), and is heading towards its first-ever return. In this column and elsewhere I have written about America’s financial values and self-image being turned upside down and inside out, as Pluto hammers the USA Sun by transit.
This aspect is notorious for pushing to the forefront whatever realities a given culture least wants to look at: those realities that exist just beneath the crust of collective consciousness, kept there by fear, cultural pressure or both. At issue here are the powerful moneyed networks that link the US government, big business, and the armaments industry—a subject that our officials and pundits don’t want to touch with a ten-foot pole. But in a period of systems collapse, it is not to official commentators that we should be turning to ask the right questions. The WikiLeaks exposé may have nudged the public itself one step closer to asking the necessary questions about the relationship between money and war.
Will America’s soul-searching begin to include questions about the role of militarism in the national economy? So far there has been scant discussion about the hideous irony whereby most Americans, broke and getting broker, seem not to mind that 1.09 trillion of their tax dollars go to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cultural taboos are curious things. They are kept in place by silence, sucking the power out of a populace the way psychological repressions suck the power out of individuals. But the transits overhead are powerful enough to chip away at embedded social constructs, and we know from experience that asking just a few questions about highly-charged secrets tends to unleash many more questions, all in a torrent. Such as the staggering sums of cash with which fancy weapons are built which are never intended to be deployed; weapons that continue to be funded because the arms industry bankrolls US Congressfolk. And then there is the unknowable amount of money that goes to pay the salaries of the hundreds of thousands of brand-new intelligence workers, minted since the “war on terror” began (1).
A week before the Equinox, on September 13, Pluto will station direct square Saturn. On September 18 and 19, Jupiter and Uranus will conjoin for the second time this cycle. The Equinox itself arrives on September 22 (PDT) and the Moon is Full four hours later.
Expect cats to jump out of bags.
(1) Not just mercenaries but analysts and desk spies, this vast army of secret-clearance employees, on the Pentagon payroll either directly or indirectly, is reported by the Washington Post to consist of about 900,000 people.