The revolution has reached Wisconsin.
All in the scope of a bare few weeks, the world’s mind has been blown by the jasmine rallies (see new lecture, Uranus Squared) in the Middle East and Africa, student protests in the U.K. and anti-government eruptions in China and Pakistan; among other uprisings all over the globe. The world-altering transits that have kept astrologers buzzing for the past several years are coming to fullness. We are now in the latest phase — begun last summer and peaking through 2016 — of a long destabilization process, cosmically designed to rend asunder humanity’s sense of stasis.
Provoked by retrograde Saturn (resistance), the square between Uranus (rebellion) and Pluto is moving in for the kill. Among Pluto’s manifestations are agencies of control that are so deeply rooted in the group mind that they have become a way of life; even for — especially for — those whom they dis-empower. Two examples of such agencies: dictatorships that have eliminated all political opposition for 40 years, and plutocracies so riddled with corruption that reform has heretofore seemed impossible.
The transit astrologers call The Cardinal Cross is destabilizing Jupiter (values) and Saturn (authority issues) in the chart of the USA,. To keep us guessing, the cosmos has set the drama in a place more closely associated with apple-pie county fairs than with guerilla politics: the American Midwest.
In the role of Uranus we find schoolteachers and other public employees, whose dramatic camp out in the state capitol alerted millions of observers to the governor’s efforts to crush the unions. Personifying the role of Pluto, we find those chilling eminences grises the Koch Brothers and their paid mouthpiece, Gov. Scott Walker (whose bland, wholesome cover was blown on Feb 23rd by a prank call that purported to be from David Koch, in which the boyscout-faced governor admitted that he’d considered hiring agents provocateurs to disrupt and discredit the demonstration).
Representing Pluto on an institutional level, we have the propaganda machine comprised of Fox News and right-wing radio, which have come out against the workers. At first blush, their taking this stand seems utterly counter-intuitive. How do these self-professedly populist commentators manage to side with The Man, in fight after fight, and still maintain their credibility with thousands of Americans as the voice of the underdog?
The enormously well-funded, well oiled-machine that is the corporate media makes full use of the dark psychological urges governed by Pluto. These originate in the viscera — Pluto is an emotional planet, not a mental one — and relate to the human fear of failing to survive. Plutonian impulses tend to lurk in the shadows of semi-consciousness, as if aware that they wouldn’t pass muster with our rational thinking and ethical values.
These impulses are what gives the attack on the unions its ugly power. Fear, rage and envy are being used by the state and its cheerleaders among the talking heads to pit one group of struggling citizens against another. Frustrated and infuriated Fox viewers are being exhorted to dis-identify with the hard-working teachers — essentially, to blame the lousy economy upon them — for having the gall to expect a decent living. The cri de coeur here is “Goddammit, I don’t have a secure job; why should they?”
Making schoolteachers the enemy must have been the easy part. Appealing to the anti-intellectual insecurity of its listeners has always been a winning strategy for Fox. Last week, railing against how high teachers’ salaries were, Megan Kelly’s sneering tone when she pronounced the phrase “50 thousand dollars” was clearly meant to convey that the figure was obscenely unwarranted; her voice dripped with scathe when she condemned the teachers’ “guaranteed paid summer vacations.” It is beyond ironic that these same commentators take the exact opposite tack where taxing millionaires is concerned.“$250 thousand dollars a year is not all that much money,” said one of them recently, defending the fat-cat tax cuts.
Presumably, the interests of the bailed-out hedge-fund crowd, unlike those of teachers and firefighters, are deemed worth safeguarding. In the upside-down moral universe of American plutocracy, the value of Wall Street’s work — all those arduous hours spent speculating, foreclosing and trashing the global economy — trumps the value of educating children, putting out fires and policing the streets. Thus the oft-heard apologia for executive compensation: We have no choice but to offer the rich-and-successful all this money, in order to stay competitive. In one of the more twisted justifications for the increasingly feudalistic income gap in the USA, the common folk are shamelessly told that their country would suffer a “talent exodus” if those bloated CEO bonuses were to be reined in.
It was when Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008 that political and economic injustice started to break through the floorboards from beneath collective consciousness into open public discussion. In the USA, a poorly educated and dis-informed public has so far largely embraced the narrative of a political establishment that stonewalls genuine social change and condones sociopathic greed. But this scenario is unraveling. Uranus moves into Aries on March 11th, to be inflamed even further by Mars’s ingress in early April. As impoverished autocracies across the globe boil over with citizen revolt, the populace of the USA is having a harder and harder time staying in denial about the gaping abyss between rich and poor here at home. With Cardinal trigger transits accelerating the Cross this Spring, the realization is hitting the common folk that there’s something wrong with the way free market capitalism prioritizes private wealth (Pluto) over individual human lives (Uranus).
The word crisis, linked to the idea of the crossroads, implies decision-making. The cross spelled out in the sky right now is a prompt to each of us, to respond (not merely to react) to the tensions in our world. This response may be one of thought (air), emotion (water), action (fire) or creative gesture (earth); but it must be a response. The only way to do this is to get into the moment — which is where every transit tries to get us to go. Awake and in present time, we are able to truly consider what’s at stake, to draw on our powers of discernment and to stand up and be counted, using the unique resources that make us who we are.