Friday, December 10, 2010
Wikileaks and Uranus-Pluto; America's New Public Enemy No 1
Hilary Clinton called the release of the diplomatic cables “an attack on the world community.” Actually, the cables didn’t really tell us anything we couldn’t have worked out already – like the fact that a number of Middle East countries would like the US to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities, or that the US is suspicious of Russia. Or that Hamid Karzai personally benefits from the opium trade in Afghanistan. Or that the US spies on UN officials.
Astrologer Jim Sher makes the point that “…what is coming out is that for the most part, the U.S. policies we are being told about are basically what is really happening. It is what a rational person would expect. Diplomats are being shown to be sharp, well-informed, lucid and astute.” I thought that was a great point. The leaks empower us, they reassure us that yes, we can work out what is going on, there is not some vast conspiracy of deception going on.
Not that I thought that anyway, but it can be very hard to get a rational political discussion these days in ‘alternative’ circles, because people are so influenced by conspiracy thinking, that in some very vague way they know what is ‘really’ going on. Here’s where I will lose a lot of my readers (!), but I find most of this thinking complacent, self-serving and irrational. It seems to stem from a sense of personal disempowerment that gets projected onto governments. Of course, some government conspiracies are for real, they are backed up by good evidence, and they are fascinating. Like the German government setting up a hijack in the 70s to dispose of some Palestinian prisoners they didn’t know what to do with. Or the coups set up in South America by the US.
The Wikileaks phenomenon is presided over by Pluto (secrets) in Capricorn (governments). A lot of us probably expected the opposite – that governments would become more secretive and controlling of information. But the reverse has happened, probably helped by the incoming square from Uranus (the unexpected) to Pluto. Pluto is now properly in Capricorn, moving up to 7 degrees next year. His first couple of years in Capricorn coincided with a Saturn-Uranus opposition, bringing a high degree of uncertainty and changeability with it. But that Opposition is now over, and Pluto is far enough into Capricorn for us to begin to discern some of the trends of this long transit. And it seems reasonable, in our internet age, to foresee a period in which governments will not be able to control information in the ways they always have. Previously if someone wanted to reveal classified information, what could they do with it? They could tell the Russians, and that would be that. Nowadays they can just stick it on the internet for all to see. And there will always be people working for government who are prepared to do this.
So Wikileaks seems to presage an age in which governments will have more openness forced upon them. And the Uranus square to Pluto is only just starting: what Wikileaks is doing now is just the beginning of something that will probably become much more normal and established over the next few years.
Of course, governments will respond by tightening up security and, for example, by keeping conversations more private and verbal. And I don’t think it is at all a straightforward issue. I welcome all these cables that have been released for the insights they have given us into how governments work. And as even a Pentagon spokesmen have said, the standard government response that the release of this info puts lives at risk cannot so far be backed up in the field. It’s overblown.
But governments have a difficult job to do, and they have to be able to speak freely, both amongst themselves and with other governments. Personal communication often makes all the difference when institutions are rubbing up against each other. If confidentiality is compromised, then we may see a world in which conflict becomes harder to head off. And because information flow becomes tightened, government departments will become more distanced from each other.
So I think it is inevitable that the Wikileaks phenomenon will to some extent lead to the very opposite of the openness it is trying to create. And that will be the ironic way in which the type of Pluto in Capricorn that we all fear will come about. Uranus-Pluto, as we saw with the conjunction in the 1960s, has the theme of rebellion (Uranus) against power (Pluto). Just as Uranus has started a run-in towards its 1st close square to Pluto next summer, so has the Wikileaks phenomenon exploded. It is the opening salvo of a longer term theme, in which we will see ever more internet exposure of government activities, and ever more attempts by governments to clamp down on them, along with increasing secretiveness by governments. It will be highly polarised, just like the 1960s. By the time Uranus-Pluto is well and truly over, however, which won't be for another 7 years or so, we can expect some sort of outcome, some sort of accommodation - and quite a different world when it comes to the way governments control information and the access we are able to have to that information.
Though I think it is in many ways a good thing that the US diplomatic cables have been released, I don’t think we need a repeat unless there really is something that needs exposing. There is also an ethical issue here. If your government is doing something corrupt, and you are an employee with access to the relevant info, then there is a case for breaking your confidentiality agreement and blowing the whistle. But if it is just the usual interchange between diplomats that is needed to keep the world functioning, then I think it is unethical, and it is unethical for Wikileaks to have published them. It is interesting that Jupiter, ethics, is conjunct Uranus and squaring Pluto at the moment. The square to Pluto suggests an ethical compromise in dealing with the powers that be.
Julian Assange, who heads Wikileaks, has done some good in exposing corruption. But I think he has also shown an indiscriminate opposition to authority which made my first thought about him that he has father/authority issues. When I looked him up on Wikipedia, I read that he is from Australia, that his parents split up when he was 8, and the new stepfather belonged to a controversial and secretive cult, the Santiniketan Park Association, which seems to have had a highly abusive attitude towards children. When he was 11 his mother took Julian and his younger half-brother into hiding for 5 years due to a custody battle over the younger brother with the stepfather. Assange has his stepfather’s surname.
So a distance from his natural father clearly developed when he was young, and being taken into hiding for 5 years from a stepfather belonging to an abusive cult is pretty extreme. At the same time, his stepfather has this to say about the young Julian: "A bright boy with a keen sense of right and wrong. He always stood up for the underdog with his school friends, he was always very angry about people ganging up on other people."
So you can almost see the man in the boy here, and Wikileaks itself: the genuine and courageous desire to stand up for what is right, mixed in with a sense that any authority/father has dark secrets that need exposing.
We have a reliable birth date for Assange – 3 July 1971 in Townsville, Australia, but not a reliable birth time. There is one circulating from someone who claims to have seen his birth records, but according to Lynn Hayes who has written about it: “…as you'll read in the comments from Australian astrologers, the method of data collection appears to be somewhat suspect since birth records there evidently do not include birth times and can be obtained only by a relative.”
So we have the midday chart, and as you can see right away, Assange has Sun square to Uranus: rebellion (Uranus) against authority/father (Sun), and also the father you are separated/split-off from (Uranus). But we can’t simply reduce this aspect to childhood difficulties, because it carries an ‘adult’ meaning in its own right that at its best involves a dynamic and progressive disruption of the status quo, both within oneself and outside oneself. It is hard to settle into a rut with this aspect. And when it seeks external manifestation, it is established authorities which are likely to be the target.
In Assange’s particular case, Uranus is in justice-seeking Libra, while the Sun is in Cancer, meaning that his target countries are likely to experience his activities as an attack on their homeland security (Cancer). With his Sun being close to the US Sun, you can see why his attacks have been so effective there. He instinctively knows how to get to them.
His Mars is in Aquarius (again ruled by Uranus) giving a desire to progress humanity through action and even aggression. Aquarius being Air means he can stand back and choose his target in a considered manner, but the square to Jupiter in Scorpio means he can be more destructive than he realises.
Assange has Sun trine Moon (his Moon is between 0 and 12 Scorpio), so he is at ease with who he is on a basic level, he is not conflicted. But therein also lies the danger, for the primal wateriness of his Sun and Moon lack reflective ability; bring in the Mars square Scorpionic Jupiter, and you have someone who could be doing more harm than good, while thinking he is one of the good guys (Uranus/Aquarius). Here is the thing: Uranus comes from principles and ideals, rather than consequences of actions. And you don’t know what the consequences of all these leaks are going to be. The stage is too big, the amount of loaded information is vast. Your actions might create a more open society. Or they might lead to war. Or both. You don’t really know.
Assange’s Mars is conjunct his North Node in Aquarius. What comes easy is his South Node in Leo: the lone individual doing something unique and original – and aggressive (Mars opposite)! What comes harder is integrating that into the wider community (Aquarius). For now he has put himself at odds with much of the world. With Chiron making a t-square with his Sun-Uranus, he has made himself the outsider/victim/scapegoat in a big way. But you never know, a few years down the line, as Uranus-Pluto progresses, all this may look very different. Assange may come to be seen as a catalyst (Uranus) for a big change in the world.
Fascinatingly, Saturn is now in the same sign – Libra – as when he first went into hiding with his mother when he was 11. Saturn is a planet of confinement and therefore prison, which is where he now is, after a period of hiding. In both cases Saturn has made a square to his Sun. (Being in Cancer, you can see the involvement of his mother in the earlier instance.) It suggests the connection I made earlier between the stepfather who was a member of a secretive, abusive cult, and the desire now to reveal the secrets of governments. Saturn is also authority, which again is both the stepfather and the USA, which shares Assange’s Sun position. That said, I am not suggesting that Assange’s actions are simply a reaction from childhood. There is clearly a connection, but it may be that he has made something of his early experiences, that the response is a creative one. With Saturn, at best, we learn from experience.
Julian Assange is 39 years old, and beginning that mid-life juncture where you have lived out your earlier, unreflective impulses that propelled you through the first half of your adult life, and where it is time to look back and see why you have done what you have done, what was genuinely you, and what was the influence of others and early conditioning, and what you want now. This process takes some years as all 3 outer planets plus Saturn hard-aspect themselves. But Assange has this more intensely, for his Sun is at 10 Cancer, which will be hard-aspected by both Pluto and Uranus over the next 2-3 years.
Given what he has done, he could be a dead man. Or spending 20 years in an American jail: America will do its best to create the necessary legalities, and apply the necessary pressure, to get their man. According to an article on the BBC site, though, this will be problematic for the US. If they try to do him for espionage, for example, then that is a political crime, and there is no extradition treaty between the US and the UK, or the US and Sweden, for political crimes.
Back to Assange. As for the rape charges, Assange has natal Venus square to Pluto, currently being hard-aspected by Uranus. So there is a dark element to his sexuality, issues of power to be dealt with: either letting women have power over him, or the reverse, or both. Assuming the rape charges were a set-up, a honey-trap, Venus-Pluto could attract this. During August, when the alleged events took place, Mars and Venus were conjunct in Libra, and passed over Assange’s Uranus and squared his Sun. The sign of Libra suggests to me it was a honey-trap. Mars and Venus also passed over Saturn (protection) in early Libra, and apparently much of the case rests on whether or not a condom was used. Early in August Mars and Venus were also part of the Uranus-Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto Cardinal t-square, so events took place then which were hugely catalytic for Assange (and for the world via Wikileaks). The likely outcome seems to be at least bail and surrender of passport in Sweden while the Americans do their best to press charges.
HOWEVER, it is also increasingly clear that there is huge public support for Assange. In London, he has not been given bail, but people who did not know him offered to stand surety. Australia’s ex-PM Kevin Rudd has said that Assange was not responsible for the leaked American cables, it was whoever pinched them in the first place. Rudd is right, and to this extent Assange is being scapegoated for someone else’s crimes.
It is quite thrilling, and true Uranus-Pluto, which is about a collective rebellion, not one man. Through his Uranus in Libra, Assange has become a voice for collective protest as it is activated by Uranus-Pluto. The internet is ruled by Uranus, but so is rebellion, so in a way the internet is coming of age as it becomes a tool for mass protest.
On another Uranus-Pluto note, in the UK we are seeing protest by students against big rises in student fees in a way we have not had since the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the 1960s.The rebellions are on their way!