Jessica Murray's America in Transition

Lurching Towards the Crossroads

by Jessica Murray on February 1, 2011

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Word has it that Facebook is filing an IPO. It appears Mr Zuckerberg’s key partner will be none other than Goldman Sachs (1), the most notorious of the financial industry players, whose shenanigans triggered the global financial meltdown. This is a telling augury about the state of the union as the year gets underway.

In February, Pluto, the planet of corruption and breakdown, passes through the 5th and 6th degrees of Capricorn. Pluto’s long-running opposition to the Sibley chart‘s (2) Sun cluster will hover around the national Jupiter (ethics, principles) all year. As we approach the exactitude of the Uranus-Pluto square, the longest arm of the Cardinal Cross, the American Devolution continues apace.

As sky-watchers, we know the Cardinal Cross offers the potential for a wholesale national makeover. No other transit in our lifetimes is as capable of gutting the dying group organism that is the USA, and ushering it into a state of rebirth. But the longer the country delays excavating the rot at the core of its system, the more difficult the upcoming years will be. Given the current cocktail of crises, including unsustainable debt, endless wars and addiction to cheap oil, it will take a very sharp turn of the corner to point the nation back towards economic health.

The devolving collective that is the USA

America’s self-image as a Mecca for the little guy continues to be referenced in the dreams of working-class patriots and in the platitudes of ruling-class politicians, but in practice the country is a plutocracy. This reality must be confronted if the nation’s proud ideals are ever going to find their way into the country’s day-to-day workings. The US Pluto Return that peaks in 2022 is pregnant with this potential.

For a large part of the US population, confronting this reality seems to be very painful. Seduced by the commercial media while struggling to make ends meet, most Americans are too bewitched by the fantasy of the American Dream to perceive the grotesque financial disparities that exist here. An inordinate number of citizens are angry, but not at the wealthy elites who rip them off. They are angry at the educated elites who keep telling them about it. This tendency to look but not see is a symptom of the absence of spiritual health. To the extent that we can speak of a group entity as having a soul, America’s economic crisis is fundamentally a spiritual crisis.

The Internet Revolution

The other collective theme that will be activated in February belongs to the Air element and is mental in character. The passage of Mars and Mercury through Aquarius puts the focus back on the six-year sojourn of Chiron and Neptune (mass trends) in Aquarius (advanced technology), a transit that has overseen a revolution in the way humans relate to each other.

In an astrological context, we can use the word “revolution” here, not hyperbolically but technically. Astrology links Aquarius and its planetary ruler, Uranus, with revolutions of mass consciousness: accelerated changes in the zeitgeist that are drastic and unprecedented.

Since Neptune and Uranus came into mutual reception (3), portable electronics have transformed human interaction. What has changed is not just our mode of communication, but the way we think about communication. The meaning of sharing and expressing ideas has undergone a radical shift.

This revolution has had its epicenter in the USA, whose Moon (the populace) the Neptune and Chiron conjunction has been crisscrossing since 2009. Right now Neptune is again on top of the national Moon, to the exact degree; and it will be provoked into action when Mars and Mercury join it there. These four—and Chiron, too—all meet up between February 20-24.

It’s a good time to stand back and look at what it all means.


Since the entry of Neptune (flooding) into Aquarius, the number of hand-held gadgets has exploded, as have the number of functions they’re used for. A sense of urgent necessity seems to surround the purchase of apps for functions of life that were app-unassisted just a few weeks before. And the length of time between when a new device hits the shelves and when a new one comes along. to replace it is shorter than ever (4).

Kid with smartphone

Since the early 90s, when Uranus conjoined Neptune, the human capacity to access, store and exchange information has been catapulting itself forward at a speed that outpaces our understanding of its implications. This is a revolution moving too fast to be charted. It is obvious that it is transforming our social habits, but how is this transformation affecting us epistemologically and neurologically? As subjective participants in the cyber-revolution, we are hard-pressed to cop a perspective on the changes sweeping us along. A couple of scientific studies have come out recently on brain changes among wired youth, but I haven’t seen any sociological investigations about their implications. One gets the feeling that our scholarly observers of the phenomenon have yet to catch their breath enough to ask the relevant questions.

Here again, astrological symbolism steps into the breach. And along with astrologers, artists are stepping in to hold up a mirror to the times. It seems to me that the movie “The Social Network,” which reflected the buzz of contemporary life both in content and in form, was as massively popular as it was because of our urgent need to understand what is happening to us. There is also a new documentary, “Connected,” coming out, that looks at technology’s effect on interpersonal relationships. “I used to love the way people connected on the street,” the director, Tiffany Shlain, said of a recent trip to New York. “Now I see everyone looking down, texting.” She says she wouldn’t have been surprised to see even the Statue of Liberty holding a torch with one hand and a smart phone with the other.

Time Change

We hear that “six months in digital time equals a decade of pre-digital time” (with “six months” changing to three months, then one, etc.) What is the impact of this extraordinary time elasticity on our subjective experience of the flow of life? The astrology of the situation is suggestive. The archetypes involved (Uranus and Neptune) refer to realms beyond that of linear time (Saturn)—just as the actual planets Uranus and Neptune orbit beyond the astronomical realm of Saturn.

And Chiron, which forms the bridge between Saturn and Uranus, is in Pisces now. This strengthens the tendency of people to space out and become disconnected; and it also strengthens our tendency to become inspired. As we meet and greet others ceaselessly through our tiny little screens, will we become more truly connected (Pisces) with our brethren (Aquarius), or just be going through the motions of connection, while feeling more isolated than ever before?

There is no turning back from our headlong dive into the cybersphere. Only our spiritual consciousness will determine whether we find ourselves or lose ourselves in the plunge.



(1) As soon as Obama was elected, the former heads of Goldman turned up in his administration like a bad penny, and made haste to undermine the effort to institute regulations which were then being discussed to prevent another crash. Treasury Department Inspector General Neil Barofsky recently told Congress: “We are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car.”

(2) This is the chart of the collective entity born July 4th 1776 at 5:10 pm in Philadelphia.

(3) Planets are said to be in mutual reception when the sign each is in is ruled by the other planet; i.e., Uranus has been in Pisces, which is governed by Neptune; Neptune has been in Aquarius, which is governed by Uranus.

(4) Also growing exponentially are the dumps in poor neighborhoods all over the world where these mostly non-recyclable items end up.

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