No More Free Lunch

imagesLast month’s Full Moon brought news that sent a chill down the collective spine of the 99%. Net neutrality received its deadliest blow yet when a federal court moved one step closer to allowing corporations to decide which websites get the fast access everybody wants.

The Full Moon was at 26° Cancer/ Capricorn. Transit trackers familiar with the US (Sibly) chart may recognize these as the placements of America’s Mercury and Pluto. It was one of the most astounding astro-synchronicities I’ve seen in a long time.

That Moon was exactly conjunct the USA’s Mercury (media) in the 8th images-2house (corporations). And the Sun was right on top of the USA’s Pluto (power and control) in the 2nd (business).

A Matter of Time

For all who cherish a free internet this is a devastating development (in fact I think the news is so awful that a lot of folks are still in denial. A strange hush seems to surround the issue.) But the astrology of the thing was so perfect, the timing so brilliantly apposite, that we can find plenty of meaning here that goes beyond just devastation and awfulness.

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Certainly we’ve had no lack of warning. A plutocratic takeover of the internet was just a matter of time; and I don’t mean just in terms of business developments. I mean in terms of group karma.

Natal Potential

The potential of any living thing — in this case a country — is encoded in its natal placements: where the planets were at its birth. At the USA’s birth in big-brother-1984July 1776, Mercury was opposed to Pluto in the sky. This is the spine of the US chart and its only opposition.

As in any chart, the specifics are dictated by the native’s free will. So this chart doesn’t tell us how, precisely, the country will suffer breakdowns (Pluto) in the free exchange of information (Mercury). But it definitely augurs the likelihood of powerful interests using their control over the media to control people’s thinking (discussed in my article in the Feb/March Mountain Astrologer Magazine).

In America, television takes the place of more classic forms of propaganda, as Bill Herbst has pointed out.1 Our leaders don’t need to exercise the kind of mind control that we associate with ayatollahs and dictators. We have the corporate media instead.

Ours is a secular, profit-driven Big Brother, whose outreach arm, the images-2advertising industry, has polished to a fine sheen the most psychologically sophisticated brainwashing techniques in the world.2

Grand Guignol

The foundations for the attack on net neutrality were laid on an energy level.

It’s Natural Law: when conditions are ripe, that which is latent suddenly becomes explicit. A collective thought-form pops into reality.  This is why there was so much astrological writing about the transits in January. When planetary cycles stack up like that, probability becomes actuality.

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During the internet’s infancy, all was anarchy. For years, the greatest minds in capitalism tried their damnedest to figure out how to monetize the free-for-all of cyber space. Then the cardinal cross started to peak (2012-15), pushing everything to an extreme (Frederick Woodruff and I talk about the phases of the Uranus-Pluto cycle here.)

imagesWith the longest arm of the cross in place, the national discussion became more and more off-topic and inflamed. Pundits’ opinions became outsized and candy-colored. Analyses of social problems lost all nuance.

The epitomical example of this breakdown in the public conversation is the health care issue, which, though essentially a bureaucratic problem, has been blown up (Uranus) into a Grand Guignol of power politics (Pluto).

The cosmic lessons of our era are being writ large so that we cannot fail to see them.

Completed Cross

Last summer, Jupiter joined the Uranus-Pluto square. In December, Mars fell into step. Where network neutrality was concerned, the cosmic ducks were all in a row. The only thing the configuration needed, at this point, was a quickly-moving trigger – like the second hand of a clock – to move into imagesplace and make what was covert overt.

The first Full Moon of 2014 was that trigger. With it came a milestone event to point out where the next big battle would be.

The telecommunications industry is taking off the gloves.

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Branching Out

Jupiter, whose square to Uranus is exact Feb. 26th,3 is the planet of expansion, ambition, publishing, travel and sprawl. Under these skies, a couple of American businesses have started to embody all of these features, giving the notion of growth a creepy new meaning.

Apple – no longer just your friendly neighborhood computer-maker – isimages-3 getting into medical technology, and  angling to acquire Tesla, the electric car maker.

And consider Amazon, which began by humbly selling and delivering books, then publishing them, then making hardware, then acquiring a vanity newspaper. Now it does everything from producing films to providing server infrastructure for start-ups. And for the C.I.A.

Jeff Bezos’ company has turned into the ultimate cardinal-cross success story, a manifestation of Jupiter (proliferation) and Uranus (technology) that is acquiring a darkly Plutonian edge.4

What, exactly, is Amazon becoming? Since Jupiter started to oppose Pluto in imagesthe sky, the company has outstripped comparisons to old-fashioned gargantuan monopolies like Walmart. It has even outgrown the phrase “telecommunications giant,” as it no longer limits itself to telecommunications.

It has become the 800-pound gorilla that can sit anywhere it wants.

Monsters and Heroes

That natal opposition between America’s Mercury and Pluto is suggestive in this regard. Pluto is associated with the idea of monsters: creatures created through the manipulation and perversion of wholesome processes, in response to which we feel a peculiarly visceral horror. Monsters are imagesgrotesque, unnatural and uncontrollable. In the world of myth, only heroes can vanquish them.

Good thing we have so many heroes around.

As Joseph Campbell tells us, every one of us is a potential hero or heroine. The hero’s journey is individuation: nothing more or less than becoming our unique selves. To do this we must mature into our essential identity, a task that times like these inspire many to take on.images-3

In astrological terms, this means living through the center of our charts. Thus ensconsed, we can express the full creativity of our inborn potential. We find ourselves supplied with exactly the right resources (skills, provisions, “luck”) that we need. And we attract exactly the right monsters to test our mettle, including plutocratic entities horribly mislabeled by our government as “persons.”

When we genuinely engage with life, we draw to ourselves teachers and wise friends; we find ourselves rubbing elbows with high-level compatriots. We magnetize other people and groups of like mind and heart.

“We have only to follow the thread of the hero path…Where we had thought to travel outward, we will come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we will be with all the world…”

– Joseph Campbell

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Notes

1 The Mountain Astrologer (Dec ‘13/Jan 2014).

2 Nothing illustrates America’s Mercury-Pluto better than documentarian Adam Curtis’ masterful “The Century of the Self.” It should be taught in every American school.

3 Though it was in the same place last summer, its impact is more dramatic now because Mars is in Libra, exaggerating the tension by giving the cross its fourth corner.

4 Jeff Bezos originally thought of calling his company Relentless.com.

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