Monday, December 29, 2008

Pluto in Capricorn: it's about keeping the patient alive

Vince Cable is the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat Party in the UK, and their main economic spokesman. He made a name for himself during his recent brief tenure as acting leader. It was Vince Cable who at Prime Minister’s Question Time in 2007 referred to Gordon Brown’s “remarkable transformation in the last few weeks from Stalin to Mr Bean, creating chaos out of order rather than order out of chaos”, called by The Economist, "the single best line of Gordon Brown's premiership.”

Anyway, he has a clear and forthright and sensible way of putting things, and in an article I was reading yesterday he talked about the paradoxical situation we have, in that in the short term people need to be encouraged to spend more, while in the longer term they need to be encouraged to save. How you explain that to the man down the Dog and Duck, he continued, he didn’t know.

But I can see what he means. In the West we have been living beyond our means and have built up huge levels of debt, in the UK more than in any other country. So we need to break the habit. We need to start living within our means, and we need to start saving again. This is the message of Pluto in Capricorn: a realistic (Capricorn) approach to wealth (Pluto), the need for which we ignore at our peril (Pluto).

But you can’t necessarily do that all at once. The patient is on life support, and you have to keep the circulation going. At present, the patient is haemorrhaging, and will in all probability sink deeper into a coma over the course of the next year. But you have to keep giving him blood transfusions.

Imagine a very simple economy in which the main business is agriculture, and there is also a certain amount of trade in goods which you occasionally need like pots and pans and building materials. Imagine that all the farmers have got into a certain amount of debt, and all at once they all put off buying pots and pans and bricks and medicines etc. What will happen is that everyone will still have enough to eat. But the farmers will be selling off their food surpluses for gold which they will then stash under their floorboards before paying off the local money-lender. The pot makers and brick makers, who are also in debt, have now lost most of their market, and before you know it they are out of business and have sold off their equipment, so that they could no longer make pots and bricks even if they wanted. And quite quickly they can no longer afford even to eat. And then the farmers also lose their markets.

So a large part of the economy freezes and then collapses, and takes perhaps decades to recover. And this applies just as much in our infinitely more complex economy. You can’t have everyone just stopping spending on everything apart from immediate necessities and making do for a while. You need to keep the economy flowing enough so that large parts of it do not collapse and never, perhaps, recover.

I think this is also Pluto in Capricorn: Capricorn as proportionate, realistic response. Capricorn is about what works, rather than being about extreme ideological measures, like the Sagittarian free-market dogma which has been our undoing. Capricorn is certainly about saving money for a rainy day and not living beyond our means. But it is also about a healthy economy with firm foundations, in which all the pieces are alive and working.

So I think Vince Cable is right. For the moment, the priority is to keep the economy alive. Not inflated and reckless like it was, but at least alive. I don’t think we need worry too much about people over-spending, because the credit isn’t there any more for that, even if people still wanted to spend recklessly.

Once we are sure the patient is not dead, then we can begin again with a different kind of economy, that pays more attention to basic book-keeping. It’s a cyclical process, which we have seen before in the booms and busts of the late twenties and late eighties. We get carried away by prolonged booms, and then come rather heavily down to earth again.

So I don’t think that governments necessarily don’t understand the need to live more proportionately when they advocate pumping money into the economy, as both the British and American governments are doing. They are trying to keep the patient alive, and avoid too many amputations, and I think they have to do that.

All the same, I am hoping that Pluto in Capricorn will be more than just a periodic reminder to live within our means. Pluto in Capricorn may also, for a while, take the edge off the philosophy of unlimited economic growth, in which wealth becomes the main end of life, instead of playing an important but supporting role. But humanity has always been fascinated by wealth, and astrology teaches us that life is cyclical. So we may get a bit saner about money and the purpose of work, at least for a while. Until, perhaps, Pluto enters Pisces, another sign that doesn’t know about boundaries.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

The US Need for Royalty

Maybe I’m just a Brit looking in, but US politics seems much more dynastic than what we have over here. This is ironic, as the USA was founded on the idea of rejecting European ideas of inherited power, and the lack of true representation that goes with that.

So in the US you have your Kennedys and Bushs and Clintons, and members of these families have a much greater chance of becoming a Senator or Governor, or even running for President, than your average person. And these families are looked up to and lionised. This is why there is currently such a fuss about the possibility of Caroline Kennedy becoming a Senator, as her uncle Edward Kennedy fades from politics. She has never shown an interest in politics before now.

Of course an interest in politics, like anything, is likely to run in families. So in the UK you will get MPs whose father, say, was in Parliament. But an MP is not a big deal. You don’t get noticed unless you are a Minister or leader of the Opposition. Hilary Benn, son of Tony, is Minister for the Environment, but even then you’d hardly notice him bumbling along in his glasses. Peter Mandelson, the Business Secretary, is grandson of Herbert Morrison, a post-war Cabinet Minister, but not many people seem to know this.

I think the difference is that in the UK we have a monarchy. The Queen is the repository for people’s need for these semi-divine, regal figures to look up to. This means that the politicians, who actually run the country, can be elected on their merits rather than their name.

As I have said before, I think the US needs a King or a Queen. A decadent family with gangster origins like the Kennedys would suit. Just like our British royal family: it's French founder, William I, was effectively a gangster. It would not only help deal with the falsity of these family dynasties: it would also take a lot of pressure off the Presidents to be superhuman, and let them get on with their work. So Bill Clinton had a blow-job off an intern, and then quite naturally denied it. There would probably have been a lot less fuss if he didn’t also have to carry the semi-divine aura that comes with the President’s job.

The UK has Sun in Capricorn. We understand that humanity organises itself hierarchically, that collectively we are like a pack of dogs sniffing around after sex and status. Through our powerless monarchy, and its occasional soap-operas, we take care of a good deal of that need.

The US has Sun square to Saturn. Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn. So the US has an uneasy (square) relationship with hierarchy. In its Declaration of Independence it is in denial of this fact, it claims that everyone is created equal (Saturn in Libra). If you deny something, it goes unconscious and comes out worse than it would have been. From the word go, the hierarchy between black and white people in the USA was worse than anything we had in the UK. Nowadays, the worship of money and celebrity, the division of society into winners and losers, is much more extreme than in the UK.

You can’t fault the founding fathers for wanting a more egalitarian society, based on merit rather than inheritance. Saturn was in Libra in 1776, which was a great time for ideals of fairness. But when squared to the Sun you will also get the down-side of Libra, which is ignorance of, or disregard for the nature of ordinary, ‘base’, humanity. The way the US treats its Presidents shows what a deep longing there is in the country for a monarch. Saturn in Libra may not think very highly of this, but Sun in tribal Cancer sure wants it. Natal Pluto in hierarchical Capricorn says acknowledge this about yourself or I will be your Shadow, your undoing.

Anyway, in a few weeks time Americans have a Coronation to look forward to. Whoops, I meant Inauguration.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Some points arising out of a recent conversation with a Chippewa-Cree friend:

If we look at the natural world, it’s clear that every plant, every animal, every insect has the conditions it needs to live its life. This is the way that that mysterious greater consciousness, of which we are all a part, has arranged things, so to speak. And the same applies to us, if we act intelligently. The conditions are present for humans to live their lives. So there is a sense in which the universe is on our side, it nurtures and nourishes us, for in a sense it is simply looking after itself.

I think with humans there is an added factor that distinguishes us, for better or for worse, which is that we don’t know who or what we are. This also reveals that we haven’t been around very long. Animals and plants know what they are, they just get on with it.

But the universe looks after itself. So it would be strange if the conditions were not there for humans to take care not just of their physical needs, but also to come to know themselves. This one has a bit of a wow factor for me: our minds, our souls are so deep and complicated and rich and problematic, yet the possibility is there of becoming fully conscious of who we are during the course of our lives. It would be strange if it were not like this. The conditions are there, not through accessing some special teaching or saviour-figure, but simply by attempting to live in a conscious way.

I am the universe having an experience of itself as Dharmaruci.

So what happens when we die? What we do know is that all the physical elements that we are made of dissolve back into being part of the greater whole. The earth element goes back to the earth, the water to the water and so on. There is nothing ‘special’ about our bodies. So why wouldn’t the same apply to that other element, consciousness? Doesn’t our consciousness simply merge again with the wider consciousness, the wider intelligence that is all around us? Why would it not be like this?

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Thursday, December 11, 2008


It is noticeable, in Europe at least, that any issue involving DNA provokes a strong emotional response in many people. GM Foods are standard in America, while they are hardly grown at all in Europe. And this week the European Court of Human Rights unanimously declared Britain’s retention of DNA from 2 people who had been cleared of crimes to be an invasion of their privacy.

These 2 situations reflect the very strong feelings held by many people about DNA, that it involves the core of life itself, and that it is therefore forbidden territory. For the government to have access to our DNA is therefore an invasion of privacy at the deepest level, not equivalent to it having access to say our bank records, medical records etc. And for researchers to try to alter the DNA of plants and animals is like playing God.

It is understandable that if DNA really is the core of life that people should feel this way about it. And we have been led to believe this by scientists.

I saw a programme last week in which an organic farmer went round the world looking at GM crops trying to be objective about the subject, and to weigh up the results so far. One wonderful contradiction he found was that while in Europe you get protesters breaking into research stations and destroying the crops, in Uganda you get farmers breaking into the research stations and trying to steal the crops, because of a disease problem they are having with their bananas.

At one point he showed us a wild cabbage, which is a bit like a regular green cabbage but smaller. He then showed us the crops that have been developed out of it: not just the different cabbages, but sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. This was very graphic, because the genetic alteration brought about by selective breeding of the cabbage is leagues beyond what scientists have so far done in their more direct, laboratory methods.

People are naturally worried about possible dangers, and they are right to worry, and not to trust big companies using this technology. But people’s concern about the dangers gets very disproportionate, because I think that behind it lies this feeling that life itself is being interfered with, and that this is wrong. But it is hard to articulate this, so it gets loaded onto the possible dangers of GM instead.

In the same way, people get very concerned about privacy issues and the national DNA database, but they are not able to say why. You never read why it constitutes such an invasion, all you read is the emphasis being placed on the term privacy, and supporting adjectives around it, but little in the way of reasoning.

So in both cases what we are dealing with is a lot of unarticulated emotion, and I think the reason it remains unarticulated is because it is based on fear of the unknown rather than on knowledge. We don’t encounter this fear of the unknown to the same degree in other developing technologies, but I think that is because people have not been led to believe that scientists are tampering with the core of life itself. As Francis Crick announced in a pub on 27 November 1963, having just solved the puzzle of the structure of DNA: “We have found the secret of life.”

So that is perhaps the question behind it all. Does DNA really represent the core of life, or the secret of life? Is there such a thing?

The irony is that while we have been led to believe that DNA represents the core of life, the mechanism science gives us for its functioning is that of a computer programme! DNA is nothing other than a chemical code for various proteins, and at various times it unravels and the code is read off.

Of course, it is DNA more than anything else that is passed down the generations, and in that sense it represents the essence that is passed on. But it is still a computer programme!

I do not feel myself to be in essence a computer programme, in the sense of operating through a predetermined set of instructions. I can’t prove this. But I think it is a big and unjustifiable assumption on the part of science that reality can be reduced to that which is measurable by the 5 senses, and repeatable through experiment. It is this assumption that leads us to the idea of DNA being somehow at the core of who we are, because it is the master computer programme behind our physical bodies. I think the onus is on science to prove that reality can be reduced to its narrow terms, rather than on me to prove that I am more than that. I know, for example, that astrology works, but there's no way it can ever be made 'scientific'.

I do not know what I am at my core, or if I even have one, but I find the idea of DNA being that core hard to take seriously. So I don’t feel that the authorities would have the essence of me if they had my DNA code. Nor do I feel that GM is a step too far.

I think there can also be a residual monotheism behind anti-GM feeling: the idea that God created life as it is, and we therefore shouldn’t tamper with it, even though selective breeding is no different. And if you're an Evolutionist, there can be a feeling that nature has created a kind of perfection that we shouldn't interefre with. Evolution is actually an ongoing bodge job, often brilliant and beautiful, but it is based on what works and on making it up as you go along. Consequently it is often far from perfect. Like the human skeleton, that hasn’t fully adjusted yet to walking upright, or fully adjusted in childbirth to the large head size of babies. I’m sure that, given time, there will be ways we can improve on where Evolution has left us.

I don’t believe in separating matter and spirit. I think that matter is alive, and what we feel to be our spirit cannot be separated from our physical existence. This is why changes in physical structure, particularly in the brain, can have such a profound effect on people’s personalities. And similarly with DNA. Changing that, when the time comes, will have a profound effect on who we experience ourselves to be. It’s the same with organ transplants: sometimes the person who has received the organ acquires aspects of the personality of the donor. But you don’t get public outcries against this.

Like any science, GM can be misused, and probably will be. It will become a particularly powerful technology. But I don’t think there is any essential difference to this technology, if you look at the effects of e.g. organ transplants and selective breeding. You could even argue that to accept the view that GM, or the DNA database, tampers with or invades the core of life itself, is to simultaneously accept that we are in essence computer programmes!

For me, what really needs addressing is the idea of humans as computer programmes. You can’t deny what Crick and Watson discovered, and the mechanism for the working of DNA. It is a brilliant truth, but only an aspect of larger, less easily defined truths about life, that are not confined to the 5 senses and physical measurement.

I don’t know what time Francis Crick walked into the pub, but here is the midday chart for the event (in those days pubs weren’t open in the mornings or during the afternoon beyond lunchtime).

Click to Enlarge

We see Uranus opposite Chiron. I have found Uranus in hard aspect to Chiron around most major scientific breakthroughs. Uranus represents the brilliant, original scientific mind. And Chiron represents the wound to humanity from the one-sidedness of that mind, that has progressively reduced us from glorious creations of the Godhead in a divine universe down to a pile of chemicals dwelling in a mechanistic universe.

And there is a yod, with Mercury at the apex, and Saturn-Neptune at one base and Pluto at the other. Pluto is conjunct the Moon.

So Mercury is the way we think about the discovery of DNA, and the way it has been communicated to us. And being a yod, there is an uneasy relationship with the points at the base that can never be resolved, just accommodated. Moon-Pluto in Leo: there is the instinctive (Moon) fear (Pluto) that our divine individuality (Leo) is under threat. At the base of the yod we also find Saturn conjunct Neptune, which is usually associated with imaginative and artistic, rather than scientific developments. But that statement ”We have found the secret of life” is not scientific, it is a philosophical, mystical statement. Neptune and DNA are both associated with the source of life.

So we have this imaginative, almost religious breakthrough – Saturn-Neptune, coupled with this fear for our souls – Moon-Pluto in Leo. And it resonates with the meaning of Uranus-Chiron – the brilliant scientific breakthrough that simultaneously reduces us.

4 years ago the Progressed DNA Sun entered Taurus, which we can associate with the rise of GM Food (Taurus).

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Pluto in Capricorn Themes

Capricorn rules the knees. As Pluto has entered, exited and finally re-entered Capricorn this year, I have been through a process of sorting out my knees. I’m loathe to admit it, but I’m a bit flat-footed, and over the years my joints had compensated for this – giving me, so I’m told, a hip-swinging feminine gait from the rear! But that is now all in the past, and as Pluto approaches my Capricorn Mars, I am at last starting to walk like a man!

I’d started getting a lot of pain in my knees, and the doctor thought I should just bust my way through it. I wasn’t impressed, and I persuaded him to book me in to see the physio. She gave me a load of correctional exercises, and I said I’m not doing them for the rest of my life. She did say, however, that there is such a thing as a podiatrist, who specialises in feet, and I said yes, that’s what I need. The podiatrist cautiously gave me some raised insoles, and I said raise them as much as you can, and she went all cautious on me again, but agreed. 6 months later, just as Pluto finally entered Capricorn, I noticed that my knees don’t hurt any more. I am obviously deeply attuned to the zeitgeist!

I am not the only person so attuned. Pluto in Capricorn is also about control by the government (Capricorn) of private information (Pluto), as well as general control-freakery (Pluto) by the authorities (Capricorn). In the UK, Parliament is currently up in arms because the police raided not just the home and constituency office of an MP, but his office within Parliament. They also arrested him. This was on 27 Nov, the day Pluto re-entered Capricorn. The arrest and search was on suspicion of "aiding and abetting misconduct in public office" and "conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office", in relation to an investigation into unauthorised disclosure of confidential material from within the Home Office.

In other words, Damian Green – the shadow immigration minister - was using leaked information to hold the government to account, which is a necessary part of our democracy. Gordon Brown, the PM, made his name as a young MP through using leaked information. In the 1930s, Winston Churchill, who was then in the political wilderness, used leaked information from the Foreign Office to repeatedly warn Parliament about German re-armament. His source was eventually discovered and came to a sorry end.

So everyone is finding this arrest bizarre. MPs are enraged at having had the police on their premises, particularly as it has turned out that they did not have a search warrant and could have been turned away.

Who is Pluto and who is Capricorn is hard to say here, but it is an interesting twist on the theme. Damian Green has Sun in Capricorn opposite Uranus, so you can see the event as an externalisation of a tension in his chart between supporting the establishment (Capricorn) and freedom/rebellion (Uranus).

Even more bizarre is that 2 days before Pluto left Capricorn in June, the shadow Home Secretary David Davis resigned as an MP, and stood for immediate re-election, all in the cause of a wider debate on the single issue of erosion of civil liberties. This was also a Pluto in Capricorn issue, and like Damian Green, David Davis has Sun in Capricorn opposite Uranus! In Davis’ case, however, he made the event happen, rather than have it come to him.

Another part of the Pluto in Capricorn flurry has been the landmark ruling by the European Court of Human Rights this week that British police were wrong to retain the DNA of 2 young men who were subsequently cleared of any crimes. British police have DNA samples from 4.5 million people, and it will have huge implications for their database.

Many people are strongly against this database, seeing it as an invasion of people’s privacy. Exactly how it violates people’s privacy is never said. I have a bit of a gut reaction against my DNA being on the database (it isn’t on it), but I find my reaction hard to justify. I think it is no different to officialdom having your name, date of birth, marital status, employment, home address etc etc. I can see the database being enormously helpful in fighting crime. Like the protests against GM food, speed cameras, and fox-hunting (both sides), the issue is driven one-sidedly by emotion over reason.

I think if the authorities want to victimise someone and invade their privacy, they don’t need a DNA database to do it. They can do it anyway. The issue is how much that sort of abuse goes on, not the particular means by which they do it.

I suppose if I had a reservation it would be that the government has shown itself to be spectacularly incompetent at guarding the details they have on people. They get lost in the post, left on trains, in cars etc. As the understanding of DNA progresses, you wouldn't want this information leaking out to the highest bidder.

All the same, as I've said before, I would prefer the government having any amount of information on me than living in a traditional small village where everyone knew my business.

Finally a few points from one of my readers, Geoff King, taking a historical perspective on Pluto in Capricorn:

The last time but one was 1516 to 1532 . During that time two very Pluto in Sag things happened. One was the reformation, the other the dissolution of the monasteries. We can forget nowadays that the Monasteries were a key economic feature of life at that time, with vast wealth bequeathed to them over the preceding centuries and something like 1 in every 500 males living in them.

The message then was that the traditional Capricornian authority was being Pluto-ed.

The next Pluto in Cap was 1762 to 1778. That was the start of the industrial revolution and the way I would interpret that is that up to that point the traditional authority (Cap) based itself on land. There just weren’t many other ways to gain wealth in Britain prior to 1762 other than by owning land. Then Pluto comes along and erodes that traditional wealth.

I’m sure we will see something similar this time round, it's just working out which institutions and establishment figures will be eroded. Obviously banks are very Capricorn but I think also the shift of power from West to East is another manifestation. I’m sure the Royal family will come under attack too but I’m sure there are other things I’m missing from this.

One thing that surprised me is that I expected Pluto in Cap to mean that we realise commodities like oil and metals are finite but so far the values of these things is going down rather than up.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

The Lemming Theory of History

I think that conspiracy theory, in the sense of world events being secretly controlled by small groups of people, is similar in principle to the old-fashioned ‘great man’ view of history, which Tolstoy attempted to discredit in his novel War and Peace. According to this theory, history is largely shaped by great men like Napoleon: “highly influential individuals who, due to either their personal charisma, intelligence and wisdom or Machiavellianism, used power in a way that had a decisive historical impact.”

Tolstoy’s most effective presentation of his case was in describing the nature of battles, of which he had first hand experience. What we might learn in a history book is Napoleon’s brilliant victory at such-and-such a battle, brought about by the orders he gave. What Tolstoy points out in detail is the huge disparity between the orders that were given, and the course of events on the ground. The outcome of the battle, in other words, had nothing to do with the orders given by the ‘great man’. The victorious Russian general Kutuzov in War and Peace goes to sleep in his tent during a battle, having the wisdom to know that any orders he gives won’t make any difference.

It’s not that ‘great men’, or small powerful groups of people, do not make a difference. They can, if they seize the moment. But it is soon gone in the wider current of forces that shape society. In the last analysis, I think it is this wider current, the collective will of society, that has the most power.

Barack Obama may make a difference to America. But he is in the position he is in because there is a collective longing for certain types of change that he has been able to respond to and articulate. There have always been leaders and influential groups of people. Sometimes they are able to rise above the collective and shape it, for better or for worse, at least for a while. But they are like temporary islands in an ocean.

The ongoing world financial crisis, and plunge into recession, is a good example of the unconscious collective having the upper hand. A huge force has swept through the world, and gone are our usual illusions that anyone is in control. The notion that somehow a few people engineered this is risible. It has been a wonderful and instructive example of the ultimate power of blind collective forces. These forces haven’t come out of nowhere. They have been building for years through the reckless, herd-like actions of the banking system, the politicians who are supposed to regulate it, and the millions of people who have borrowed far more than they should have. It’s very hard to point a finger at particular groups of people and blame them. It’s human nature at a collective level that has brought it about.

Hence my title ‘The Lemming Theory of History’, which remarkably doesn’t produce any results on Google. The lemmings go over the cliff because all the other lemmings are, and they are being pushed on from behind. Even if you have been financially prudent over the last decade, you are still having to go over the cliff, you are still being affected by the recession.

So individuals, or even, if you want, secret conspiring groups can make a difference for a period, even for decades, while the currents are with them. But the bigger trends are fundamentally collectively determined.

This view ties in with society seen as a chart in mundane astrology. Yes, the inner planets are there: there is the Sun as the leader, the Moon as the people, Mars is the army and the violent gangsters, Venus is the women, Jupiter the gamblers and empire builders and so on. But then you have the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. We know from our own individual lives that we cannot control these planets when they are active, we can only do our best to co-operate and to remain conscious. These planets carry the deeper themes of our lives, as well as ushering in the new phases, the big transformations. Living with outer planets can be hard enough for us as individuals, with our capacity to make choices. So how much harder it is for a collective, where choice-making and consciousness are much more problematic, to live consciously with these planets.

It is therefore entirely in keeping with the astrological view of the outer planets to see society as fundamentally, and largely unconsciously, in the grip of collective forces, with the odd moment of inner planet consciousness here and there. The Lemming Theory of History! Yes there are great men and women, and yes there are conspiracies/cabals, but they are small fry in the bigger sweep of things.

With Uranus moving in to square Pluto over the next few years, we are at the beginning of one of those great collective transformations that we see from time to time. The last was Uranus conjunct Neptune in the early 90s. Despite his best efforts, the leader of the USSR at the time, Gorbachev, was completely powerless in the face of the collective forces that tore apart the Russian Empire, with a speed and ferocity that surprised everyone. These moments when outer planets join up and completely take over do not come from nowhere: they are like underground rivers meeting and bursting through to the surface, sweeping through towns and villages. They were there all the time, quietly growing in strength and carrying the collective with them, which in its hubris thinks it controls events.

By the way, what keeps me on these sort of themes is living in Glastonbury, UK. For many people here, it is a common sense fact that any major world event has been deliberately and secretly engineered. They are not clear about who or what or how. But that’s not the point. The point, I think, is to avoid engagement with reality, while retaining a sense of superiority to it.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Pluto in Capricorn: the End of Democracy as an Ideology?

I was just watching some American protesters making the serious point that Barack Obama is not to be trusted because his middle name is Hussein. Never underestimate some people’s capacity for stupidity. They really do believe stuff that most of us would consider comic exaggeration. Like Barack sounds like Iraq, and Obama sounds like Osama, so he must be a terrorist! But you also have to give Americans credit for showing up Sarah Palin for the idiot she is, albeit an intelligent idiot. A well-known comic, Tina Fey, has created a hugely popular and scarily accurate impersonation of her. In one of her sketches that got a lot of laughs all she had to do was recite part of a speech that Sarah Palin had actually made.

As Pluto finally moves from Sagittarius to Capricorn, we are leaving an era of fundamentalism and ideology, and entering a period of pragmatism. The ideology of unregulated markets has been receiving its death blows in recent months. Democracy as an ideology also needs a few death blows. Not that I’m against democracy per se. I’m against the worship of it. It works, sort of, and it’s better than some systems. But it also means that idiots who think that Obama’s middle name is suspicious get a say in who runs the country. And, being an Absolute Truth, it gets used as grounds for invading other countries because they are not democracies.

Democracy has gained ground as an Absolute Truth because its main protagonists, Europe and the USA, also happened to be rich and capitalist. Therefore democracy becomes equated with that great virtue, wealth, and the capitalist system that has produced it. This has been particularly so since the West’s triumph in the Cold War.

However, now we have the rise of China, which is not a democracy, but which is becoming very wealthy through capitalism. So this will relativise democracy, it will no longer be the One True Path. So this may be a theme of Pluto in Capricorn: the undoing of some of the West’s hubris about its own political system, and a more accurate understanding of it as a political approach that works quite well in some ways and under certain circumstances, but not in others. i.e. a pragmatic, Capricornian understanding.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Saturn-Uranus: Walls that divide Communities

Here’s one for the current Saturn-Uranus opposition, from the New York Times:

New Fence Will Split a Border Park

Tougher fencing being installed to curtail illegal crossings will slice through a San Diego park that has connected neighbors on either side of the U.S.-Mexico border.

A fence/boundary (Saturn) that splits a community (Uranus).

Building began on the Berlin Wall in Aug 1961, during an inconjunction of Saturn to Uranus. It was initially a wire fence. In 1965, during an opposition of Saturn to Uranus, work began on replacing the fence with a concrete wall. The Wall was demolished in late 1989, at the conclusion of a conjunction of Saturn and Uranus.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Reports of the death of globalisation have been greatly exaggerated

Appropriately for the end of Pluto in Sagittarius, the UK government has just released a load more files of UFO sightings, this time from 1986-1992.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Reports of the death of globalisation have been greatly exaggerated, at least by me. My reasoning, just over a week ago, was that the globalising impulse of Pluto in Sagittarius was coming to an end, and with Pluto entering Capricorn, with its emphasis on boundaries, and with each country having to save its own banking system, we might see a withdrawal into separateness, at least for now.

But I think there are more possibilities than this. And globalisation has been taking place on many levels – economic, cultural, political and technological. In some ways it has been helpful, in other ways it has been unfortunate. If you see life as occurring in cycles, like I tend to do (and like astrology does), then globalisation looks like a phase we are passing through for now, and eventually we will do so again. If you believe that humanity is engaged in a sort of collective evolution, that we have a kind of destiny, then globalisation looks like the point at which humanity finally began to come together as one. This looks like a fundamentally good thing, being a collective evolutionary stage. Just because you believe one or the other viewpoint strongly doesn’t make it truer. It’s a good one to argue over a few bottles of wine.

Another possibility for Pluto in Capricorn, on an economic level, is that proper form is given to the globalisation that has been taking place in recent decades. An attempt is being made at this, in the wake of the near-meltdown of the global banking system. George Bush, in the final months of his Presidency, is hosting a series of summits to try and come up with some new rules and institutions for international finance. Meanwhile South Korea is going to guarantee loans made to its own institutions by foreign banks. So people are looking to the future again, even though a recession seems certain. And it does seem that economically there is a lot of political will behind maintaining the level of globalisation we have achieved.

So this is how Pluto in Capricorn looks to be shaping up, on one level. Rather than a retreat into national boundaries, it looks like economic globalisation is going to get even stronger by being given firmer foundations. Another meaning of Pluto in Capricorn is World Government, and this might be a direction we go in over the next 16 years. Pluto in Sag has been a bit like the Wild West, and now we have proper government coming in.

There is also the issue of resources. It is becoming clearer that we can only consume so much oil, water, commodities, food etc, and the world seems to be getting towards that point of maximum consumption. So whatever improvements are made to the world financial system, Pluto in Capricorn will be increasingly marked by a struggle for resources. Towards the end of this transit, for example, we will see the Neptune Return of the first oil strike of 1859, and Neptune rules oil. So there will be a tension between the increased trade and prosperity that economic globalisation, with an improved set of international laws (Pluto in Cap) gives, and the withdrawal into national boundaries (also Pluto in Cap) that a struggle for resources will tend to lead to. Pluto will reach its mid-way point of 15 Capricorn in about 7 years time, while it is still square to Uranus, so it may be then that the really defining issues of Pluto in Capricorn become clear.

The trouble with globalisation so far is that it hasn’t been so much about interconnectedness and the realisation of our common humanity etc, but about American culture and values and business practices becoming the world’s culture and values and business practices. Globalisation has to a large extent been about domination.

But that is the nature of countries. It became very clear at the Olympics, for example, that China has huge ambitions to occupy the top spot. Personally, I’d rather have America there. What seems almost inevitable, however, is a return to the old system of competing superpowers.

The internet is a result of the globalising process we have recently been through. That seems likely to develop rather than disappear. But it has also had its Wild West, Pluto in Sag, aspect. Pluto in Cap will inevitably bring in more regulation which is sorely needed, for it has become a haven for thieves and paedophiles. But there is always a price to pay for that. Like with Glastonbury Festival when, during its Saturn Return, a wall was built around the site. It kept out much of the criminal element, but also a lot of the free spirits.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Case Against God

Pluto in Sag ruled by Jupiter in Capricorn? Or is it an eccentric attempt to upset (Uranus) the established order (opposite Saturn)?

From BBC News:
Legal case against God dismissed

A US judge has thrown out a case against God, ruling that because the defendant has no address, legal papers cannot be served. The suit against God was launched by Nebraska state senator Ernie Chambers, who said he might appeal the ruling. He sought a permanent injunction to prevent the "death, destruction and terrorisation" caused by God.

Judge Marlon Polk said in his ruling that a plaintiff must have access to the defendant for a case to proceed. "Given that this court finds that there can never be service effectuated on the named defendant this action will be dismissed with prejudice," Judge Polk wrote in his ruling. Mr Chambers cannot refile the suit but may appeal.

'God knows everything'

Mr Chambers sued God last year. He said God had threatened him and the people of Nebraska and had inflicted "widespread death, destruction and terrorisation of millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants". He said he would carefully consider Judge Polk's ruling before deciding whether to appeal. The court, Mr Chambers said, had acknowledged the existence of God and "a consequence of that acknowledgement is a recognition of God's omniscience". "Since God knows everything," he reasoned, "God has notice of this lawsuit."

Mr Chambers, a state senator for 38 years, said he filed the suit to make the point that "anyone can sue anyone else, even God".

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Large Hadron Collider

On 21st October the Large Hadron Collider will be unveiled in Switzerland. It will be the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. Through colliding sub-atomic particles at energies never before achieved, scientists are hoping to make breakthroughs in their understanding of the fundamental nature of matter.

From Wiki: ‘When activated, it is theorized that the collider will produce the elusive Higgs boson, the observation of which could confirm the predictions and missing links in the Standard Model of physics and could explain how other elementary particles acquire properties such as mass. The verification of the existence of the Higgs boson would be a significant step in the search for a Grand Unified Theory, which seeks to unify three of the four known fundamental forces: electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force, leaving out only gravity. The Higgs boson may also help to explain why gravitation is so weak compared to the other three forces. In addition to the Higgs boson, other theorized particles, models and states might be produced, and for some searches are planned, including supersymmetric particles, compositeness (technicolor), extra dimensions, strangelets, micro black holes and magnetic monopoles.’

The LHC is being commissioned just as the Saturn-Uranus opposition starts to become exact (4th November). Good timing! Saturn-Uranus is associated, amongst other things, with scientific/technological breakthroughs: Uranus gives the brilliant ideas, and Saturn the impulse to give them concrete form. It is hard to imagine that the LHC won’t produce breakthroughs.

Approval for the project was given in 1994, just as Pluto entered Sagittarius. Construction began 4 years later, within a 27 kilometer underground tunnel on the Swiss-French border. It is an enormous project, and has involved thousands of scientists. Now, with Pluto in its final months in Sagittarius, it is about to bear fruit. It will give us the power (Pluto) to further our understanding of the universe (Sagittarius).

On 21st October there will be a Void Moon between approx 1pm and 4pm GMT, so they would be advised not to have the opening ceremony then. Events beginning under a Void Moon have a way of not bearing fruit, like the first voyage of the Titanic and the Tibetan protests against the Chinese.

Another Pluto in Sag project is ITER, which is an international attempt to create a nuclear fusion reactor. Formal agreement to build the reactor occurred on 21 Nov 2006. Pluto was in Sag trine to Saturn, which is nice for the project actually happening. The Moon was in Sag, and crossed the nuclear axis on that day. And the Sun was conjunct Jupiter. So plenty of expansive Jupiterian/Sagittarian energy. The idea is to produce 500MW of energy through a sustained reaction of up to 1000 seconds. If they pull this one off (and construction alone is expected to take 10 years), then it opens up a future of much safer nuclear power, and a lot more of it, with virtually no radioactive waste.

I long for the world to operate in a simpler and more sustainable way, that brings us back to the basics of life, and reconnects us to the natural world. (I have Virgo Rising). At the same time I am thrilled by futuristic technological advance. (I have Aquarius Sun). I like reading space operas set in the far future. (I've just read Peter Hamilton's 'The Reality Disfunction'). I think that genetic engineering as applied to people could create some fantastic advances – elimination of inherited diseases and disorders, whether physical or mental, for example. Most people I know do not share my enthusiasm! They tend instead to be horrified by GM or nuclear fusion. There are, of course, horror scenarios which many scientific advances have brought and will continue to bring. But I think it is hard to argue that scientific advance has overall made the world a worse place, and that major branches of research should therefore be stopped. In any case, it's going to happen anyway, and I'm not going to spend my life opposing the inevitable.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008


On Aug 8 Russian troops moved into Georgia, as a response to Georgia’s military action against its own break-away region of South Ossetia. Over 2 weeks later there are still Russian troops in Georgia as ‘peacekeepers’, and the Russian government seems to have every intention of keeping them there long-term. There has been nothing that Georgia can do, and no possibility of military intervention by the West. Russia, it seems, can do what it wants with its former satellites.

This action has sent a chill through the West, and investors have been withdrawing assets from Russia at a rate not seen since the collapse of the rouble in 1998. The Russian invasion of Georgia was an historic moment, possibly marking the beginning of a new Cold War. Russia is going its own way, and will not hesitate to take military action to achieve its ends.

During the Russian Revolution of 1917, the country let go of its rulership of its satellite countries. As Stalin’s power grew, the re-conquest of the newly independent countries was engineered. He re-created the Russian Empire. The recent invasion of Georgia seems to mark the beginning of another attempt by Russia to reclaim its old Czarist Empire, having lost it for a second time when Communism collapsed at the start of the 1990s.

These events have got me thinking about the chart for Russia. Lynn wrote a piece last year advocating the chart for 12 June 1990, when the Russian parliament declared the sovereignty of the Russian Federative Republic within the USSR. And Nancy recently wrote a piece, using this chart to describe Russia’s current and future actions.

What I can’t get over in this chart is the unaspected Sun in Gemini, conjunct Gemini MC. I use the Sun to describe the kind of leader you get, the MC to describe the institution of government and the country’s standing in the world. These 2 points together are too significant to ignore, and try as I might I cannot see the Russian leadership as unaspected Sun in Gemini. If it was Italy, I could easily see it. They have a new government most years, and seem quite happy to elect and re-elect a corrupt showman like Silvio Berlusconi who owns most of the country's TV stations (also Gemini!) That is the type of government you would see. Russia is not this at all. It has its dark side, but not in a Gemini way, because it is completely up front about it, it does not see anything wrong with it: this is Pluto/Scorpio territory.

What the 12 June chart does describe was the unstable nature of Russia’s declaration of sovereignty. Russia did not actually have full legal independence from the USSR at this point, and indeed there was an attempted coup by the old guard a year later.

The defining event that created the modern Russia was on 19 Aug 1991 when Boris Yeltsin stood on a tank outside the Russian parliament (the White House) and proclaimed resistance to the attempted coup. This moment was hugely symbolic and significant. The coup rapidly fell apart, and within a short space of time Yeltsin was President of a Russia that was entirely free of the old Communist power.

His proclamation of resistance to the coup was in effect a proclamation of the existence, or the beginning of the existence, of the new and entirely sovereign Russia.

The exact time is uncertain, but 11am would seem to be not too far off.

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What we have in this chart is 10th House Sun conjunct Jupiter in Leo, square to 1st House Pluto in Scorpio. Yes! Now we are in business.

There have effectively been 2 Presidents since 1991, Yeltsin and then Putin. (Medvedev, elected in March, is Putin’s puppet, there for 4 years until Putin can legally be President again: Sun square Pluto manoeuvring!) Both have been like the King of Russia, a Leo quality. Yeltsin was Leo at its most excessive and chaotic. Putin has become the supreme strongman who tolerates no opposition and has dragged Russia out of its chaos and humiliation, and back to the country we used to know.

This is a country that is expansionist (Sun conjunct Jupiter in the 10th) and ruthless about the use of power (1st House Pluto in Scorpio). There is no pretence here. America pretends to be promoting democracy and free trade as a way of extending its own power in the world. Russia just moves in the military. With Russia, you know exactly what you are dealing with, and you are right to quake if you find yourself on the wrong side of this regime, whether at home or abroad. If abroad, they will send agents to kill you, or they will invade your country. If at home, they will take away all your wealth and put you in prison on trumped up charges. Poland was threatened by Russia recently with a nuclear strike for agreeing to an American missile shield.

In a way the game is very straightforward, but it also played with Scorpio cunning. Russia chose its moment to invade Georgia, and it was a complete triumph for them. Step by step, Putin has built up Russian power over the last 8 years, and step by step they will move in on their old satellite countries in the coming years. They will increasingly support the countries in the Middle East, like Iran and Syria, that America opposes. Putin is very sure footed in his exercise of power, both in gaining it for himself and hanging onto it, and doing the same for Russia. He will go down in history as one of its great leaders. He is very Plutonic/Scorpionic himself, having Pluto on the Midheaven conjunct his South Node (and conjunct the Russian Sun), Scorpio Asc and Moon in Scorpio's House.

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The people are hugely behind Putin, behind their King, and we can see this in Russia's Chart in the trine from the Moon (the people) in Sag to the Sun in Leo. They believe (Sag) in their King (Leo). They are a religious people (Sag), though the government would not be afraid to use the military against them (Moon square Mars). Their religious, mystical side is also expressed by North Node conjunct Neptune, and the sign of Capricorn indicates the traditional forms, particularly the Eastern Orthodox Church, that we find in Russia.

This new Russia has an unaspected Saturn in Aquarius conjunct Aquarius IC. Saturn describes our ability to work and give shape to our life. Despite its increasing power and wealth, Russia remains chaotic and criminal, and is only gaining wealth due to the lucky accident of having vast oil and gas reserves (Pluto conjunct second house cusp: underground riches). Modern Russia has its origins in a struggle for freedom and independence, which is Aquarius IC.

Despite the brutal nature of its game, Russia has a Libra Ascendant, suggesting that it is open to negotiation and diplomacy. (Putin is also a Libran.) Given the gangster-like nature of Russia, we are probably talking about ‘Reason’ in the way that the Godfather used it, and which has its own brutal logic.

The Aries Descendant describes Russia’s straightforward aggressive, even military, response to its enemies.

Russia was born under the Uranus-Neptune conjunction of the 1990s, and in the 1991 chart I am using, this chart is conjunct the North Node. So this points to its destiny as a country, which you could say is to maintain its own individuality (Uranus) while being part of the global community (Neptune). We have recently had a Neptune-Node conjunction (opposite the Russian Sun), and Russia’s response has been Neptune at its worst: the dissolving of its boundaries with Georgia through military action.

Russia has Mars at 21 Virgo, closely square the American Mars at 21 Gemini, which comes as no surprise. The 2 countries are destined to be rivals, just like the US and Iran, who also have squaring Mars. Russia invaded Georgia 2 days after a Mars return, with Uranus opposing. It was a sudden and surprising event (Uranus) that revealed more fully the nature of Russian military ambitions (Mars return). And it was very precisely aimed (Virgo), unlike the US, which has Mars square Neptune, and entered Iraq without thinking it through. Russia’s Progressed Moon is currently conjoining her natal MC, describing the change (Moon) brought about in Russia’s standing in the world (MC).

Putin became acting President in Dec 1999, and then elected in May 2000. This was under a transiting conjunction of Neptune to Russia’s Saturn/IC. From Russia’s point of view, he brought new inspiration (Neptune) to the country after the despair (also Neptune) of the Yeltsin years, and he activated the country’s Saturn, getting it to start pulling itself together again. In the years following Putin’s election, Pluto conjoined the Russian Moon at 19 Sagittarius, reflecting the renewed belief (Sag) in the country that the Russian people (Moon) came to feel.

Since then Neptune has continued to pass through Russia’s 4th House (homeland, territory). In 2005 Neptune squared natal Pluto and is now opposing natal Sun-Jupiter. This has brought a new activation. Firstly, you can see Putin manoeuvring himself into being effectively President (Sun) for life. And you can also see the dissolution of boundaries (Neptune) around the homeland (4th House) starting to occur – which is a nice way of saying that a process of re-absorbing its old satellites, though force if necessary, has begun, just like in the early days of the Communist regime (again under a Neptune-Sun transit! The Sun of the Communist regime was at 16 Scorpio, conjunct the Pluto of modern Russia, which is why Russia’s present actions remind us of the old regime.)

Neptune will be opposing Russia’s Sun for a year or two yet, so I expect this process of moving in on the old satellites to continue: what we have seen in Georgia is just a start. Russia will not do anything reckless, but it will be bold, and will not take any steps backwards, because it is not in its nature. Those ‘peacekeepers’ will be there for a long time! As Neptune finally moves away from opposing the Russian Sun, there will be a Progressed New Moon (in 2011), the beginning of a whole new 29 year phase: a reborn Russia, once more a major power with, quite possibly, much of its old Empire back.

To an outsider, what seems to characterise Russia more than anything is the pursuit of power: first of all, a desire by the government for complete control within the country, and now for power on the world stage. This seems to come second to the pursuit of wealth, which for many European countries has for decades been their main pursuit, sheltering under the protection of American power. So it is a different motivation to what we in Europe are used to.

But people or countries are not so much into power for no reason. It is interesting that Pluto is connected with both power and the survival urge, as if to say that they are connected. And in Russia Pluto is strong, being in its own sign of Scorpio, in the first House, and (widely) square to the Sun. For such a country, not having an eminent place in the world (Sun in 10th House Leo) would feel like not existing (square to Pluto.) Russia has to become a superpower again or it will feel continually humiliated. Russia was deeply humiliated by what happened to it in the 1990s, and fortunately it was not at the hands of an aggressor, or there would be a price to pay. A Pisces can take humiliation. Leo-Scorpio you humiliate at your peril. (It is therefore unlikely that Hillary Clinton will ever forgive Barack Obama for defeating her.) The square from the Sun to Pluto suggests an imbalance, a neurosis in Russia's power seeking, that however much power she has, it will never seem enough.

I was sent an interesting article from the Asia Times which describes Russia’s motivation as being that of survival:

"Russia is fighting for its survival, against a catastrophic decline in population and the likelihood of a Muslim majority by mid-century. The Russian Federation's scarcest resource is people. It cannot ignore the 22 million Russians stranded outside its borders after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, nor, for that matter, small but loyal ethnicities such as the Ossetians. Strategic encirclement, in Russian eyes, prefigures the ethnic disintegration of Russia."

The writer continues on the subject of Russian versus American strategy:

"Again, the Russians misjudge American stupidity… Think of it this way: Russia is playing chess, while the Americans are playing Monopoly. What Americans understand by "war games" is exactly what occurs on the board of the Parker Brothers' pastime. The board game Monopoly is won by placing as many hotels as possible on squares of the playing board. Substitute military bases, and you have the sum of American strategic thinking.

America's idea of winning a strategic game is to accumulate the most chips on the board: bases in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, a pipeline in Georgia, a "moderate Muslim" government with a big North Atlantic Treaty Organization base in Kosovo, missile installations in Poland and the Czech Republic, and so forth. But this is not a strategy; it is only a game score.

Chess players think in terms of interaction of pieces: everything on the periphery combines to control the center of the board and prepare an eventual attack against the opponent's king. The Russians simply cannot absorb the fact that America has no strategic intentions: it simply adds up the value of the individual pieces on the board. It is as stupid as that. But there is another difference: the Americans are playing chess for career and perceived advantage. Russia is playing for its life, like Ingmar Bergman's crusader in The Seventh Seal."

As I said earlier, we can see this difference in the Russian and American Mars. Russia has Mars in Virgo, which is analytical and precise, and it is square to the Moon, so it can be ruthless, it can put the needs of its people (Moon) to one side. America has Mars square to Neptune, so its military thinking is not precise and strategic, but prone to delusion, as well as idealism. Mars is trine to the Moon, so it takes its people more into account, the US is not happy with American body-bags.

This is also why Russia may get away with gradually re-conquering its former satellites. Nowadays, the psychological impact of asymmetrical warfare is a force to be reckoned with – if you are a liberal democracy. Asymmetrical warfare is another word for what we call terrorism, where one side is much stronger than the other, so the minority engages in acts such as suicide bombing that have a big psychological impact on the majority population, and can eventually wear it down. This was the IRA’s tactic in the UK, and it was ultimately successful: the government was forced to negotiate.

So you could easily imagine this happening in Russia’s satellite countries as she attempts to control them. Except that Russia is only just about a democracy, and certainly not a liberal one. Remember Chechnya? Chechnya is a region of Russia that for years, during the 1990s, engaged in terrorist acts in attempt to gain independence. Eventually Moscow installed a government favourable to itself, and has been ruthless enough with the opposition – torture occurs as a matter of course if you are detained – to re-assert control. So Russia shouldn’t have too much problem controlling its satellites, and the recent events in Georgia will have emboldened her.

The Lunar Eclipse of 17 Aug, set for Moscow, was very powerful.

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The Sun-Moon opposition closely aligns with the natal Russian Sun. And the chart itself has Pluto on the Descendant - power (Pluto) over enemies; Jupiter in the 7th (success with enemies); and North Node conjunct MC, suggesting a time of great significance (Node) for Russia's place in the world (MC). So if the Georgian President had looked at this chart before he took his gamble with South Ossetia, he might have had second thoughts!

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pluto and the Technological Singularity

In a personal chart, an outer planet can effect permanent change. This is because as individuals we have the capacity to learn from our experience. Not so with mundane charts i.e. for countries and other collectives. As has been said, what we learn from history is that collectively we don’t learn from history. At least, not very much, and it’s soon forgotten.

The good side of this is that when e.g. Pluto passes through Sagittarius, and you get an outbreak of religious fanaticism, you know that it won’t last forever. Similarly with Pluto in Capricorn. We may end up being spied on by the government more than we’d like, but again it won’t last forever.

Actually so far I’m not too bothered about being spied on because I’m not planning on breaking the law. It’s still better than living in a village where everyone knows everyone else’s business and their history. I think that however many CCTV cameras there are around, and however many government agencies have my medical records etc, it’s better by far than living in said small village. That is my perspective on the surveillance society!

Another feature of Pluto in Capricorn will, I think, be moves towards a world economy based more on sustainability rather than endless growth. This is going to happen because resources are dwindling relative to demand. I think this will be a lot healthier. But I don’t doubt that if we manage to invent our way out of this predicament, greed and excess will return (another name for an economy based on endless growth.)

Speaking of inventions, Pluto’s passage through Aquarius from 2023 could bring new power (Pluto) to science (Aquarius). We will, of course, also be faced collectively with the shadow side of science. This is a big subject, and perhaps a bit premature! But one intriguing possibility is that Pluto in Aquarius will usher in the ‘technological singularity.’

No, I didn’t know what that meant either until a few weeks ago. A singularity is a point beyond which it becomes impossible to predict what will happen, like the edge of a black hole, or where a mathematical curve shoots off to infinity.

So the technological singularity is a point where technological progress has accelerated to such a degree that the ordinary methods of extrapolating into the future become too limited to be useful. Certainly for at least the last hundred years the rate of progress has been accelerating, and it is becoming harder and harder to keep up with the new inventions. Who, just a couple of years before it happened, could have predicted the internet and all that rapidly came with it?
So you could argue that we are already entering an age where the future is becoming harder to predict due to the accelerating pace of technological change. The technological singularity is just a logical extension of this.

Even more intriguing is the idea of a technological singularity brought about by developments in artificial intelligence to the point where you have machines that are in certain respects more intelligent than we are, and therefore able to initiate technological advances more effectively than we can. You really do get a singularity then, a whole paradigm shift where no prediction at all is possible. Even if these machines were only slightly more intelligent than us, “they could improve their own designs in ways unforeseen by their designers, and thus recursively augment themselves into far greater intelligences. The first such improvements might be small, but as the machine became more intelligent it would become better at becoming more intelligent, which could lead to an exponential and quite sudden growth in intelligence.” (Wiki)

This then leads to sci-fi scenarios such as the robots trying to take over.

In Wiki we also read: "Berglas (2008) notes that computer speech recognition is approaching human capabilities, and that this capability seems to require 0.01% of the volume of the brain. This analogy suggests that modern computer hardware is within a few orders of magnitude as powerful as the human brain."

So in 15 years time, as Pluto enters Aquarius, I expect some of these themes to start moving from the realms of science fiction and into reality.

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