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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