Our long hot summer began when Jupiter conjoined the Sun within hours of the summer Solstice. Then it started kicking the Uranus-Pluto square into gear, which it’ll be doing on and off through next Spring. This is the longest-lasting trigger the Cross has seen since Saturn played that role in 2010.
When Mars, too, enters this range in mid-July, sparks will fly. In the Skywatches we will be looking at how to negotiate these energies on a personal level.
On a collective level, the purpose of the Cardinal T-square is to uncover the rot (Pluto) within the institutions that hold up civil society (Capricorn). This transit does not annihilate, it exposes. It reveals the decay process undermining the integrity of our societal structures (Jupiter).
Putrefaction is a good thing to be aware of. If we knew there was decay inside the apple in our hand, would we bite into it?
Americans have just celebrated their first fourth of July since Edward Snowden revealed every one of us to be, in the eyes of Washington, a suspect. It was our first national holiday since finding about America’s network of secret courts and trials, a setup reminiscent of East Germany under the Stasi.
It was just after the May 20th exactitude of the Uranus-Pluto square that the Snowden episode hit the news. As a general rule, when an event like this makes the headlines, it’s a sign that a new awareness has broken through the crust of collective consciousness: an idea has become real for the majority of the populace.
The NSA episode represents a seismic shift in the mass mind, as regards that unwieldy corporate-and-military-interest-driven bureaucracy that we know as the US government. But Pluto’s secrets are always hidden in plain sight. Snowden’s news was a shock (Uranus) only in the sense that it destroyed the public’s complacency (Pluto).
Hidden in Plain Sight
Americans cannot claim ignorance of the fact that we’ve given our government the power to spy into our nooks and crannies. We have acquiesced to these sweeping intrusions en masse over the years, under first one political party and then the other. Most remarkably, we’ve given up our secrets to guys like Mark Zuckerberg (have you seen this mind-blowing video?), who then gave them to the feds.
Back in the 1970s, Sen. Frank Church investigated Washington’s various spy agencies. His conclusion: If the NSA were ever to use its secret powers to investigate not just foreigners but the US public, democracy would be undone. This bombshell got scant attention at the time, doubtless because the public believed their government incapable of such a scenario.
In the ‘80s Reagan declared the naming of CIA agents a criminal act — even if a journalist had figured it out from public information (!). In the ’00s, the appalling “Patriot Act” was born and accepted with surprisingly little protest, considering America’s self-image as a land of inviolable freedoms. A few years later, we find ourselves with a smart, likable president who nonetheless pursues and prosecutes whistle blowers more relentlessly than all previous administrations combined.1
It’s the cyber-savvy 2000-teens now, and data-mining has been raised to an art form. But our collective moral conscience (Jupiter) has not kept pace. Our technology has evolved beyond the ethical apparatus necessary to supervise it. The arrival on the scene of internet spying strikes me as analogous to what’s happened to medical technology. Hospitals love to acquire dazzling new equipment, with which to conduct tests that are often exorbitantly expensive, unnecessary, even harmful — but nonetheless become required protocol. Cool new machines are rarely allowed to just sit there and gather dust.
Checks and Balances
The USA’s original government-crafters knew what they were doing when they came up with that system of checks and balances. Symbolized by the Sibly’s Libra Saturn trine Uranus, this system is a brilliant recipe for constitutional integrity, worthy of every citizen’s pledge of allegiance. But we have been asked to put our faith, instead, in presidential assurances: Okay, yes, we do have a multibillion-dollar spying network with access 24/7 to every crumb of your most intimate information. But we won’t use it against you. Trust us.2
To give agencies like the NSA, the CIA, the FBI and the DHS the power to sweep away our basic civil rights is to guarantee that sooner or later they will.
Snowden’s chart burst onto the scene at the solstice Full Moon, which can always be counted on to bring things to light. But as many astrologers have noted, there is much that is fishy about the lad – that is, Neptunian. His solar opposition points to selfless idealism (martyrs, conscientious objectors) and of course to subterfuge; it could equally point to lying. There’s a Plutonian sub-theme, not surprising for a man who seems to be risking his life:“This country is worth dying for,” he has said. We see an extraordinary moral conscience. But we can’t see whether he has pledged his allegiance as an agent-turned-whistle blower, a double agent or even a triple one.3
But it doesn’t matter. From a mythopoeic point of view, the world moment needed a Promethean figure, and so it created one in Edward Snowden. If history is one long continuous dream that the human race is dreaming, within which certain figures arise to play archetypal roles, then the myth that Snowden is personifying is far more meaningful than the facts of his case.4
This young man has emerged, right on time, as the Promethean trickster (Uranus opposed to Mercury) who, with a host of foreign states (Jupiter) as supporting players (Cancer) — including at this count China, Hong Kong, Russia, Ecuador and Iceland – has caught Uncle Sam with his pants down.
The takeaway here is the government’s reaction. At the moment Uncle Sam is clumsily telegraphing a fevered desperation to squelch and punish anything or anybody who would draw our attention to his massive malfeasance and its attendant cover-ups.
Obama and his men are bitterly condemning the whistle blower as a treacherous leaker: notice how the latter term has replaced the former in the official narrative. They are like the royal ministers in the tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes, hoping that no one in the crowd step ups and says what everybody’s thinking. Which, in the present context, is: Why is an act which shines the light on egregious wrongdoing itself being criminalized?
In our modern iteration of the old tale, the transits have supplied all the necessary elements: a shocking exposure (Uranus), an immense and clandestine power (Pluto), a public trust betrayed (Cancer) and a small piping voice that states the obvious, thereby restoring ethical balance (Jupiter).
Snowden, Julian Assange, Bradley Manning et al, have exposed themselves to severe punishment, Prometheus-style. I propose that we avert that dreadful outcome by changing stories before the ending. Let’s replace the tale of the doomed fire-gifting god with the tale of the child who points to the emperor. Because in that story, remember, the villagers — once they realized what the kid said was true — closed ranks and backed her up. Ordinary citizens, responding instinctively, redressed the wrong.
This is the moral of the story, if we make it so. All of us are the villagers here. We can and should respond to what has been exposed, and we cannot doubt the power this would have. Remember that blazing headline in the New York Times a decade ago, when record-breaking numbers of people filled the streets to protest the invasion of Iraq? “There may still be two superpowers on the planet,”said the Times. “The United States and world public opinion.”
1 Obama apologists, even now, are claiming that nothing illegal appears to have been done. This misses the point: that outrageous policies have been legalized which, until recently, were rightly illegal; indeed, they were unthinkable. In this time of the national Jupiter Return, it’s not about whether they’re legal. It’s about whether they are right.
2 The one aspect of the NSA business that’s received hardly any media attention is the financial corruption angle. Those private companies to whom Uncle Sam has contracted out its spying, like Booz Allen Hamilton, have dumped big money into the campaigns of the politicians we now hear defending the surveillance state, like Obama and John McCain.
3 Non-astrological investigators too, notably Naomi Wolf, have doubts about his story.
4 With Neptune this strong, those facts, too, will probably remain indeterminable.