The Longest Arm of the Cross, the transit of revolutionary (Uranus) and deep-structure (Pluto) change, is upon us. The rebellion in Tunisia has spread to Egypt. Yemen is seething, Jordan is restive, and the Saudi royals are getting very nervous.
As the resentment among the populations of these long-simmering Arab states boils over, the Uranus-Pluto square feels far less theoretical than it did even a few weeks ago. We are watching, in real time, the clash between ordinary people (Uranus) and the cartels that control them (Pluto). (For a cartel in a golf cart, see the photo at right. Did you know that W’s affectionate nickname for Hosni Mubarak was “Hose?”).
In corridors of power all over the world, there’s a mad scramble to decide how to respond. First-World politicians and pundits who have built their careers on platitudes about democracy are getting the chance to put their allegiances where their mouths are.
At six degrees of Capricorn, Pluto is opposed to Jupiter (international affairs; ideology) in the chart of the USA right now, heading straight for its Sun. It will be interesting to watch the reaction of Uncle Sam to this turbulence in its client states. What will ordinary Americans make of it? Geopolitically naïve in the best of times, xenophobic in the worst of times, most Americans have historically been clueless about this part of the world. They seem to blandly accept Washington’s deep abiding friendship with Saudi Arabia, never mind that the place is a feudal monarchy where you can get your hand chopped off for stealing a sack of grain. Mubarak’s Egypt, too, was labeled a“friendly” regime, despite the fact that his people suffered for thirty years under the iron thumb of a military rulership known for its torture chambers and secret police.
For Americans who watch the mainstream news, the word “dictatorship” equates not to Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia or Jordan; but to Cuba. This isn’t because Cubans themselves consider their country a dictatorship, nor is it because Americans would find the term apt, either, were they to actually go see the place with their own eyes. It’s because the Cuban government doesn’t kowtow to Washington.
The engine behind the US government’s “good-guy/bad guy” evaluations is, of course, petro-political and military; not ideological. For all the State Department’s high-minded huffing and puffing (the American chart’s Sagittarius rising is great for moral posturing), Washington’s interest in Egypt has nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with the Suez Canal.
Moreover, Egypt has proven handy as an out-of-the-way place to stash torture victims. Although it’s been public knowledge for years, this dirty piece of business has been all-but-absent amidst the American commentary about the Egyptian situation, unmentioned both by media pundits and the man-on-the-street. It’s hard to believe that Americans could be so naive as to imagine that Washington picked Egypt for this hideous purpose without any knowledge that Mubarak tortured his own state enemies.
The Obama administration is being criticized for being inconsistent and stumbling in its reaction to the revolution, as if that were the worst of it. Apparently, the really relevant issues — including the shameful practice of rendition, and the strategic importance to Washington of Egypt’s geography – have been designated off-limits to analysis. Too many worms in those cans.
While juntas that pose minimal strategic risk to the US ruling class (such as Burma) elicit all manner of holier-than-thou condemnation from Washington, the repressive Arab dictatorships –- absurdly termed “moderate” in official euphemism –- have been given a pass. The power of that magic phrase “US ally” is such that senators who regularly heap calumnies on Venezuela’s leadership have not batted an eye about Uncle Sam’s brutal puppet regimes in the Middle East and North Africa. There’s been not a peep of dissent in Congress over the bankrolling of Mubarak and his thugs. Under the past six US presidents, Egypt ranked second only to Israel as a recipient of US military aid.
From self-described “conservatives” among the US populace, the response to such uses of taxpayer money has been inconsistent to the point of schizophrenic. Whether through rank hypocrisy or good ol’ American ignorance, their attitudes defy moral logic; even pragmatic logic. They’re outraged to the point of apoplexy about the expenditure of even a couple of million dollars on something like social services for immigrants, yet these righteous citizens seem serenely unperturbed by the 1.3 billion dollars a year, for the past thirty years, that gets spent to prop up a despot in Egypt. It’s astounding, really. A billion-and-a-third dollars annually. During a deep recession.
Now that the tinderbox is starting to explode, things will start moving very fast. I suspect it will become harder and harder for the propagandists’ story lines to keep up with global events. There will doubtless be efforts on the part of the US and its allies to halt the momentum of other popular uprisings (which extend, at this writing, to Libya, Iran , Algeria and Pakistan) inspired by the success in Tahrir Square and to play dirty tricks behind-the-scenes to control them; all in the name of “stability.” But such attempts will be increasingly strained. I go into detail about this in my new lecture “Uranus Squared.”
We can expect media distortions in those countries, like the USA, where the powers-that-be have much to lose from genuine democracy. But in the age of the internet, global opinion is hard to control; as has been boldly demonstrated by WikiLeaks (discussed in February’s Skywatch). Too much is happening, during these years of the Cardinal Cross, for the old guard to stay one step ahead of change.
Astrological symbolism will help us keep our heads above the fray. From the planets involved, we can see the energy in the streets of Tunis and Cairo as an example of explosive (Uranus) evolution (Pluto) at work. Seen as a manifestation of the Uranus-Pluto square, even the most disruptive events are revealed to be nothing more nor less than a new chapter of life on Earth unfolding.
Uranus and Pluto were conjunct in the sky during the mid-1960s, as the Rolling Stones sang “Things start breakin’ down.” That conjunction has now evolved into a square; as the collective consciousness of the ’60s has evolved into that of the 2010s. If we do our part, these breakdowns will turn into breakthroughs.