Saturday, Oct. 25, 2003

With Saturday's Scorpio New Moon (exactly conjunct Mercury), we begin the final approach to the Harmonic Concordance — the long-awaited total lunar eclipse of Nov. 8, 2003.

The Concordance, which combines an eclipse with a "grand sextile" or "Star of David" pattern, is followed by a solar eclipse in early Sagittarius about a month from today. Welcome to the eclipse zone, which we pass through twice a year. All regions of spacetime have similar characteristics when eclipses are at hand, including a sense of acceleration of events, concentration of experience, and an odd fated quality. But it's not fate at work; we are merely moving through the changing landscape of time, and have many choices for how to adjust, adapt and maximize the environment we're in.

A good way to visualize the time acceleration factor is that a lunar eclipse is like living a month in a night. The Moon goes through an entire cycle, beginning with full, waning to the new or dark phase, and then waxing back to full in about three hours. Living 29 days in an evening is an unusual event, and it can shape the course of our lives in unusual ways. Keep your mind open for choices, and know them when you see them. Continued tomorrow. Here's an old essay on eclipses you might like.

Sunday, Oct. 26, 2003

The Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus are now in Scorpio, which has been a vurrry interesting region of space in recent seasons. Much of the story is told by the presence of the Centuar planet Pholus (discovered 1992) in this sign, a slow, several-year process. Pholus makes us curious. About what? The mysteries of birth and death; about sexuality, power, and control dynamics; and about surrender. Scorpio on one level is about control, but on another, it's about the emotional psychology -- and the reality -- of letting go, of releasing, and of moving into the next sphere of awareness. Pholus in Scorpio has that vibe of seeking the ultimate orgasm.

To the extent that we cease to explore and express curiosity about our sexuality, I believe we put the brakes on growth, in particular, spiritual growth. Sexual consciousness is spiritual consciousness because we enter direct experiential awareness of the great mysteries. You know, not religion, but religious experience. Turning sex to sin and extinguishing (or attempting to extinguish) sexual curiosity are some of the worst crimes ever committed against humanity. Pholus is helping keep the fire alive. Its somewhat strange message: consider the sexual values and experiences of your parents and grandparents. We each carry a piece of their sexual karma and history, and we need to work it out.

Other planetary factors in Scorpio have been amping up this message. For example, Sappho has been calling for a little more sensitivity to our need for sexual exchanges with people of our own gender. We talk freely about the dark side of this -- homophobia. We don't talk about homotropism, the natural instinct in every person to relate sexually to one's own sex. My research suggests this is a point of the most intense curiosity for some of the most ordinary people in their most vulnerable moments.

As well, Psyche in Scorpio, joined by Juno in Scorpio, have been calling our attention to the perpetual wound of marriage and the struggle we face with the expectations of that barely human institution. These are hot issues, and they press our buttons. In the next 28 days of the Sun crossing Scorpio it's only going to get that much more intriguing.

Planet News - Daily for Monday, Oct. 27, 2003

Truthfully, I was expecting some "news of death" with the Sun, Moon and Mercury aligning in early Scorpio (which happened Saturday), but I don't like to make dark predictions and it seems that news and news of death are about the same thing at this point in history (going back 60 or so years with a few peaks here, there and right now). How long before it gets boring, or the constant grind of fear wears us down?

News of the wildfires raging in southern California suburbs is pretty harrowing, something akin to war, and obviously not so glorious. Meanwhile, the war in Iraq is becoming a bigger and bigger mess; there has been a new surge of violence, including an apparent assassination attempt on Paul Wolfowitz, one of the war's engineers going back a long way. This coincides with the beginning of the Islamic holy month Ramadan. The validity of the whole Iraq experience is being questioned occasionally, but the questions are not being answered. They are more like rhetorical questions. "Oh, so now that we know all the intelligence reports were trumped up, there's nothing we can we do about it, right?"

More often, we get the news and that's the way it is, and no connection is being made in every single article (for example) about a soldier's death that we, we being the country to which you pay taxes each and every day, are only there based on lies, and based on the fact that it's not so easy to get out.

Why don't we go back to the egg, the election scandal of 2000? However you look at it, George W. Bush was not elected president in any conventional sense of the word, plus there was a big scandal in Florida involving deregistering tens of thousands of Democrats before the election, and he won at the Supreme Court by just one justice's vote. Now we are harvesting the fruits of that illegitimacy. Everyone just went a long for the ride, did we not? That'll learn ya! But it's not so funny if your sons and daughters are struggling with thirst, breathing depleted uranium and under ambush in the Iraqi desert with no hope of return.

I know a lot of people are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about getting Georgie and his friends out of office, and many see it as a done deal -- but it's not going to be as easy as anyone thinks. He's not supposed to be there in the first place. By he, I mean he and his team of PNAC operatives (for those not familiar with the Project for the New American Century, it's the alien agency that's currently in control of the US government and much of world destiny). But hey, they have a web page, they must be on the level. And they're a dot-org, just like Greenpeace.

Here are two new horoscopes - November 2003 and the Health Outlook


Daily for Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003

Another day in Scorpio.

Move through that old familiar corner of the sky.

Reach into that darkness, that light of day.

--

So does anyone think we're supposed to be getting a message from the simultaneous wildfires in southern California and what has been called the Ramadan Offensive in Iraq? At the end of this entry I'll leave you with a link to William Rivers Pitt's analysis of this week's events in Iraq and their relationship to the Tet Offensive of January 1968, which also coincided with the New Moon (Eastern cultures often time their holidays on lunar cycles, which are natural commencement and transition points).

Yesterday I moved my desk back to a section of my apartment where I'd get more light and a warmer environment. As the seasons changed, the space where I'd had my office all summer just stopped working one day. Sitting here is reminding me of Sept. 11, because I had just moved to this space and set up my office in this part of the house just a few weeks before. It's an eerie feeling sitting in front of the bay window where I repeatedly visualized -- not voluntarily, thank you -- a jet airliner coming in through the window. I've never had any illusions that "the news doesn't affect me" but that was pretty intense.

Waking up can be unpleasant, particularly when one wakes up to the intentionally inflicted chaos and anarchy of the world, or to a lurking sense of guilt that maybe you're doing something to keep it going. I do wish my brothers and sisters, my cousins and parents, all those people holed up in their cute little homes on Vashon Island and playing Vivaldi in their SUVs, would wake up to the necessity for participating in collective world processes. Why do I think they're not? Um, math. My estimate is that if five percent of the people who know what's happening in the world really cared, the world would not be in the state it's in. Actually, it would probably take less than that.

Anyway, here's the relationship between the southern California fires and the Ramadan Offensive. In order to maintain our standard of living, we pretty much have to wage Iraq-type wars. We have to keep feeding our hunger for energy, oil being the very blood of capitalism, and all the luxuries that virgin crude oil provides -- plastic for our cars, carpets, appliances, trash bags and soda bottles and so forth. Many, many people were willing to swallow the hook in Iraq being some kind of "threat" in order to cover up their own awareness (i.e., guilt) that this was a war for our lifestyle.

When Bush says that those bad people "hate our freedom" that is what he means. He means they, whoever they are, maybe the people we're bombing or those who see our bombing camptigns and and occupation of Iraq as the overtly economic aggression they are (rather than being anything remotely political), understand that we plunder them to feed our own out-of-control debauchery.

Nobody had any business building millions of homes in southern California where there is no water. The Chandler family, which, developing that region 100 or so years ago, made its billions in corrupt, Tammany Hall-style "honest graft" transactions (they would acquire the very land that's now burning dirt cheap, steal water rights from somewhere else, and reap millions in real estate speculation when property values went through the roof) left us with this legacy we are so rudely rediscovering today. And this is hardly any consolation to people whose homes, for which they have worked so hard, are being swallowed by 100-foot flames lit not by an "Arab terrorist" or "Muslim extremist" but by a local hunter and some domestic arsonists.

Ramadan Offensive by William Rivers Pitt. Much more at Truthout.org.

Photo: NASA and ESA (European Space Agency)

The approach to the Harmonic Concordance, the spectacular Nov. 8 total lunar eclipse in Taurus, is being commemorated by a shocking fireworks display in the form of the most awesome solar ejections since 1989. These blasts of electromagnetic radiation (and probably a whole collection of other forms of radiation as yet undiscovered by science) engulf the Earth, toasting its critters and its technology in a vast plume of energy. To see the full effect of what a solar flare of the magnitude we're currently experiencing means, I suggest you watch the image above shown as an animation at SpaceWeather.com.

The event you'll see occurred Tuesday morning. The Earth is in the direction of that big explosion.

Writes Robert Roy Britt at Space.com, "Kicked up at 6 a.m. ET Tuesday, the major solar eruption comes on the heels of four other flares late last week and over the weekend. All were considered fairly severe, but the latest eruption makes the others seem like solar sneezes."

For contrast, last week's significant flares were catalogued in the vicinity of an X2 rating. Tuesday morning's was listed as X18, with the higher numbers denoting a more powerful event.

Nobody seems to be denying that these events have an effect on Earth life. They can knock out power to enormous areas by disrupting energy grids and computing equipment, and they create spectacular arouras as well. How to conceptualize their effects on the psyche is more complicated. The best way may be just seeing what we notice. The second best way, given the holographic nature of reality, is probably to read the current astrology of the phase in which the event occurs. (This is making me want to investigate solar activity at the time of my clients' births and see if I observe a trend.)

Today's ejection happened during a Moon-Pluto conjunction in Sagittarius, emphasizing the beyond-the-world (Sagittarius) nature of the event, as well as its penetrating power and its ability to effect the lives of billions (Pluto). We are also in the Days of the Dead. As Jeanne Treadway reports in the forthcoming Planet Waves Weekly, Oct. 28 is traditionally celebrated as a day to honor those who have died violently.

Uranus has also moved into its degree of stationing in Aquarius, the last time this will happen for some 75 years. Uranus changes to direct motion on Nov. 8, the day of the Harmonic Concordance, and makes its final ingress into Pisces Dec. 30.

Deep space astrologer Philip Sedgwick reminds us that this event is part of the waning Mars perihelion and of the fact that Uranus will cross the Mars perihelion point in the next year (Subscribers: see Phil's article, delivered by email). My own sense, in less abstract terms, is that this has everything to do with the forthcoming Harmonic Concordance -- that this is about a quickening of the energy process as we dive into that threshold. Continued tomorrow.

Brilliant idea - weekend off from Blogging! But check for regular updates to PlanetWaves.net. I'll be posting one of the November stories every couple of days. This week Planet Waves Weekly looks at the Days of the Dead and Halloween, offers an intriguing look ahead for Scorpio birthdays, plus the weekly horoscope. Email subscriptions were sent out at about 9 a.m. Pacific zone and seem to be arriving at their destinations across the network without too much fuss.

Just a reminder to site visitors, some of whom I know have been reading for years. Planet Waves is supported by its subscribers. All the work on all the web sites is underwritten by our generous subscribers, who receive the highest level of service: weekly mailings, access to the subscriber area (which has extra archives), plus the annual horoscope. That's correct -- the 2004 annual horoscope will be available only to subscribers and those who purchase Aquasphere, the 2004 CD, now in production.

We're doing our best here to both provide increasingly excellent services, to cut through the noise and bullshit in both the mainstream media and the mainstream astrological market, and also to provide incentives for you to subscribe. We are an honest-to-goodness home-based small business, supported by the customers who walk in off the street. Without the budget to drive a massive national marketing machine, we DEPEND on word of mouth and the integrity and generosity of our readers -- you. Thank you to everyone who has subscribed, thank you for the extraordinary rate at which you renew, and please keep those cards, letters and suggestions coming.

Have a fine weekend. I'm finally getting to slow down after a positively nutso two months. Love to you, and may the Angels be in Los Angeles and San Diego.

Nov. 3, 2003

I spent much of the day yesterday exploring the charts for election season of 2004 as part of the Aquasphere project. It was not a pretty picture. While the chart for Election Day is decorated homewindowly by Sun square Neptune aspect (applying, or building in strength, and a rather slippery kind of strength at that), the month prior to the election is an eclipse vortex and the weeks following the election are something of a mine field, with numerous occultations of major planets by the Moon. I also went back and reviewed the election of 2000 -- remember that? -- in particular, the chart for Mercury stationing to direct motion at the end of the last degree of Libra just as the polls closed down in Dade.

The good news is that the rare and rather stunning astronomical events coinciding with that election, not to mention it being the year of the Metal Dragon, are not going to happen again. And we are not sailing into the opposition of Saturn and Pluto, which was the homewindow event behind the World Trade Center's destruction and all that followed. The bad news is that the die was cast with that election chart and we continue to live under its influence. The election of Nov. 2004 -- if it even happens -- is a second act in the same performance.

About a month ago I was corresponding with Jim Shawvan, the astrologer who predicted the election disaster of 2000, and I mean predicted it down to some fine details. He gave me a few formulas for charts for Bush and Cheney, rather complicated instructions to look at both charts with three different types of progression (secondary, tertiary and minor). Mind you, this is a little like having Jerry Garcia tell you to practice these few chords and you'll see what I mean. So I did the charts, after a week or two delay, and went over them, and more or less saw what Jim was talking about. There seemed to be a goodly bit of antagonism between the two of them, and it seemed to go back a long way -- lifetimes -- and it seemed to be coming to a head.

Last week, Jim sent out an interpretation of his analysis of the charts. He said that on or around Dec. 10, there is a fair chance that Cheney will become president, and that Bush may experience some kind of problem at an international conference on that date. Interpretation B (also presented as part of Jim's talk at the recent ISAR conference), was that Cheney would take a short trip to the next dimension, or be forced to resign. This is the astrology of an "abrupt turn of the road" and we do, in fact, go through astrology many times in life that has the look of death chart, but these days we agree to grow, we know that issue, so we get the constant experience of what is called 'psychic death' or the ego shedding a layer of itself / It Self. And, in a very real sense ladies and gentlemen of greater metropolitan reality, that's about all of us, that necessity to take it to the streets of our own minds and hearts. See things and ourselves a little different way.

Certainly, we are approaching a moment where something has to give.

You can feel that, right?

On one level, we are just feeling the rumblings of giants throwing their boulders around (as Gandalf once said) and on another level, the ground level, we stand at one of the most critical world turning points I've ever heard of. It humbles the greatest science fiction. The delicate balance of the ecological situation, the world nuclear situation, the global water crisis, the impending oil endgames, which will force the frail economy into an extended reinvention phase -- all of these situations, which affect every single person living on the planet, including you, plus me, plus my mom, are influenced by decisions made on what we think of as the top levels of government and far above. More than that, the stability of these interconnected systems is closely related with public perceptions (which means the level of collective fear, cooperation, consciousness) and public participation in change and responding to crisis, necessity, etc.

There are really two possibilities for how we relate to it all in the big picture: that we're powerless or we're not. If we're not, we have the ability to raise awareness, or withdraw it, which will influence how we respond and react to what we see and experience. It is possible to be quite strong and influential and not use that strength or influence. If we are powerless -- that is, powerless to affect change on a larger collective scale -- then where does our ability to effect change reside? Where can we make a difference in our own lives? I know it's challenging to think about. I grapple with many of the same problems you do every day.

Men and women of the cosmos, this is the time to be an artist, journalist, minstrel or adventurer. To just simply be conscious if not exactly free.

Nov. 4, 2003

The war in Iraq has gone into full-tilt overdrive. We are in the midst of the Ramadan Offensive, which has been escalating daily. Like Vietnam, Iraq is an important news item each night, but the war is still in the background of consciousness, not the first thing we think about every day. That may take a while; those of us with small children may be explaining the situation to them as teenagers. But not if we speak up and act to stop it.

We have not, as a community, connected with the many issues of this war: how many children we are killing (half of Iraq's population is under 14), or how we have destroyed the infrastructure of a poor country -- again -- and are largely leaving the people to struggle (despite peachy-keen news reports of our great success, and $87.5 billion new dollars allocated, one does not simply rebuild a country, as anyone who has rebuilt their house after a disaster knows). We are not dealing with the depleted uranium that's soaked the desert and is blowing into the cities, amounting to nuclear war; we have not begun to see the pain and devastation caused to US service people when they return home disabled and sick as a result of exposure.

We are not listening to the families of military personnel who want their loved ones returned home. We have not begun to address the possibility of the draft. Recently, the Selective Service people sent out announcements that they were seeking draft board members for local communities (I know because I applied to be on my local draft board).

We have not begun to address our sense of national guilt for committing the kinds of atrocities that happen every day in Iraq, and worse, with the fact that we're doing so in the name of "freedom," which is offensive to the notion of freedom and to the sensibilities of any honest person. We have not, and neither has our media, taken seriously the lies that were told to the public and the world community in involving the United States in an unwinnable and depraved war.

We have not begun to address the massive profits being hauled in by companies like Halliburton and the Carlyle Group, whose executives populate the administration. We have not made the connection between the oil executives who run the White House and the fact that Iraq has the second largest known oil reserves in the world. Perhaps this is because so many people drive two-ton SUVs that get less than 15 miles per gallon, oil that is mixed with blood.

I want to reprint part of our March 28, 2003 weekly edition, where the astrology of the commencement of the war is described, in an essay called Taking a Ride on Mars Conjunct Chirron. The war began under a Mars-Chiron conjunction, which has been an omen in American history in the past.

--

Dale O'Brien is a Eugene, Oregon-based astrologer who has studied Chiron in the charts of 2,500 individuals, and has lectured and taught about the new planet since the early 1980s. He offered Planet Waves readers his take on the Mars-Chiron combination.

"A significant issue would be being a bully, or being bullied. Psychologists have done these studies in which the abused tends to become the abuser. So whenever I see Mars-Chiron in any aspect, I look for that as a potential issue."

He likened it to the story of the Karate Kid in which someone who was threatened by bullies takes up a means of acquiring power and discipline and learns how to take care of himself. He takes the martial power of Mars and adds the precision and artistry of Chiron.

"With Mars-Chiron, one does not win by overwhelming force. It is not like Mars-Pluto or Mars-Saturn. It's associated with what would be called guerilla warfare. During the American revolution, the British and the other European soldiers would go out marching in a square. They would stand in a square and shoot at each other in a square, like Saturn. And what happened in the American revolution is that the Americans would stand on the edge of the woods and from behind trees and stand at the British standing in their red coats. And they would say, 'That's not fair'.

"They weren't behaving like human beings in war, they were using their animal instincts." Chiron, as a Centaur, is half-human and half-animal; he is fully connected to his animal side. As such, Chiron and all the Centaurs represent something that is, in a sense, super-human: we're animals. We may speak and play musical instruments and do surgery on one another, but we're animals, too. Is it any wonder that Centaur planets are not especially welcome in the cerebral, Greek-dominated world of astrology?

Under the influence of Mars-Chiron, says O'Brien, "The advantage is often for the underdog. He explained that the U.S. recently dropped numerous pamphlets in Iraq about how to surrender. And then what happened is that the Iraqis read the pamphlets and in an incident last week, came out looking like they were surrendering, and caught the American military off guard. 'Oh, we figured you were either fighting or surrendering'. And now the Americans are saying, 'This is totally unfair, you guys are not fighting fair'. The American position is that they're just supposed to stand there in their underwhelming numbers and their underarmed capacity and get the snot beaten out of them. So that issue is up, big time."

O'Brien said there's a sense that America was bullied by 9-Eleven, taking the mentality, "You hurt us, so we're going to hurt you back. You and I know and the rest of the world outside the United States knows that it wasn't Iraq that did 9-Eleven. But nonetheless, on a raw psyche level, the masculine psyche of the country has been wounded."

He said the aspect could be likened to "Underestimating one's enemy militarily." He encouraged me to dig up the history of the peak years of the Vietnam war as told by Mars-Chiron conjunctions. The three dates that came up were Feb. 13, 1968, Jan. 29, 1972, and July 24, 1973.

There's a LOT of history in those dates. As a point of background, at that point the Vietnam war had become the longest running war in the history of this country, and over 30,000 Americans had died. Lynden B. Johnson, a Democrat, was president, and it was pretty much his war. He had inherited it from Eisenhower and Kennedy, but Kennedy was in the process of withdrawing troops at the time of his death. Under Johnson, the war escalated greatly. But the Americans were bogged down in what was clearly becoming a no-win situation where everyone was losing.


Mars-Chiron Conjunction and the Tet Offensive

The weeks surrounding the Mars-Chiron conjunction of Feb. 13, 1968 (in Aries) saw something called the Tet Offensive. This was a campaign by the North Vietnamese waged during the time of Tet, the New Year, which is normally a time of truce.

Some references below come from a timeline at: http://www.landscaper.net/timelin.htm

"Communist plans called for violent, widespread, simultaneous military actions in rural and urban areas throughout the South -- a general offensive. But as always, military action was subordinate to a larger political goal. By focusing attacks on South Vietnamese units and facilities, Hanoi [the Communist capital] sought to undermine the morale and will of Saigon's forces [the southern capital, and purported US ally]. Through a collapse of military resistance, the North Vietnamese hoped to subvert public confidence in the government's ability to provide security, triggering a crescendo of popular protest to halt the fighting and force a political accommodation. In short, they aimed at a general uprising by the South Vietnamese."

The offensive didn't work so well. While those days of January and February 1968 saw some of the most intense combat of the whole 25-year Vietnam experience, the rebellions were put down in a few days. But there was a twist: it was a shocking PR victory for the North Vietnamese. The north lost in military terms, but won in PR terms.

"Americans at home saw a different picture. Dramatic images of the Viet Cong storming the American Embassy in the heart of Saigon and the North Vietnamese Army clinging tenaciously to [the city of] Hue obscured the assertion that the enemy had been defeated. With almost a half-million U.S. troops already in Vietnam, doubts on the conduct of the war prompted a reassessment of American policy and strategy." To say the least.

The Defense Department called for deployment of nearly 60,000 more troops, reservists and former servicemen, which Johnson put into perpetual "government study" mode.

On February 8, 1968, three college students involved in a civil rights protest against a whites-only bowling alley were killed in confrontation with highway patrolmen in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy said that the U.S. could not win the Vietnam War. February 18, 1968. 10,000 in West Berlin demonstrate against the war.

On February 29, 1968, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, one of the great hawks of his day -- comparable to Donald Rumsfeld -- resigned after concluding that the U.S. could not win the Vietnam War.

This was followed by the My Lai incident of March 16, 1968, which involved the infamous Charlie Company raping and massacring women and children in a Vietnamese village while superior officers hovered overhead in helicopters. This incident was later exposed by investigative journalist Seymour Hersch, and became one of the great symbols of the atrocity of the war.