Friday, May 27, 2011

Readings (Part II); the Importance of Being a Mess

I’ve decided to offer written astrology readings in response to specific issues and questions.
The more information you give me, the more specific I can be. Job, career, relationships, house-moving, impossible parent, horrible transit, life falling apart…. I’ll write about half a page. Price £30, or £20 if you’re hard up. My email address is on my profile on the right of the page.

It’s not my job to make decisions for people, but I might be able to point you in a useful direction. Nor is it my job to predict the future in a definite sort of way. But I’m happy to be nebulous!

I’ve been thinking how useful it can be to feel like you’re a mess and you don’t know what to do about it. That’s when a lot of change can happen, and often does happen, though maybe over a period of years.

There’s the light and the dark. The light is following your deeper interests, whatever it is that gives you joy. It is also doing the things that make you happy in an ordinary kind of way, and feeling it’s OK to do that – which, remarkably, people don’t always feel.

But I think it’s also important that there are periods where it all stops making sense, where much of what gave your life meaning no longer seems to. And you’re scrabbling around feeling like this retard who can’t make their life work, unlike all the jolly, directed people up there above your private underworld.

As an astrologer, you’re more likely to encounter people when things aren’t working, rather than when they are. And you can re-assure them that no, they are not a retard, it’s a normal and often necessary experience that gives depth to your life.

‘Spiritual’ paths are often presented in terms of movement towards the light. Towards ecstatic experience, union with God, your original self etc. But I think if you’re a teacher (which I’m not), your real job is often being around for people when their life doesn’t add up anymore. And helping them focus on finding their own way through it, rather than latching on to someone else's 'answers'.

It’s very easy for ‘spiritual’ teachers to stop their own underworld journeys, or even never to have been there properly in the first place. You can see it in them: the unprocessed scripts, classically the desires for power or sex or wealth or success, running alongside the undoubted gifts and insights and probably charisma. These people are betrayers. Their 'rightness' or their success is more important to them than you are. Ironically, betrayal can be what is needed, it can pull someone's world apart in a way that is ultimately useful.

I'm sceptical that teachers with followings can ever take people beyond a basic level. The next level, after you've heard what they have to say, is often claiming your power back by leaving! Followers create a collective projection and a handing over of power which even a good teacher can do little about. You see people hanging around for years, trying to advance themselves, when their next real step is actually to leave.

I think we often only end up an underworld mess if there is conflict in us, if there is a deeper element that goes no, I can’t live like that. You see many people happily leading their lives from relatively narrow motives or worse, but it doesn’t bother them.
They appear successful, and it’s we who can’t live like that who can appear to be the ones with ‘problems’. But as is so often the case, the reality is the opposite of what it appears to be. And part of what gives you depth in this sort of situation is that you are not having the approval of the world to make you feel OK about who you are. You have to find it for yourself, independently. But the confidence you emerge with is real, it stands on its own.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pluto in Leo, Pluto in Capricorn and Death

There’s a test coming out this year, costing about £400, that will tell you how long you are likely to live. It is based on the length of your telomeres, lengths of repetitive DNA at the ends of your chromosomes that help keep them intact. Every time the cell divides during the course of your life, the telomere shortens. Eventually it is no more, and then the chromosome itself starts shortening at every cell division and soon becomes ineffective and the cell dies.

So there is a general association between the lengths of your telomeres and how quickly you will start to age. It seems to hold as a general rule, though there are for example some species of seabird where the rule doesn’t hold.

The generation who are now entering retirement, for whom ageing is the big issue, are the Pluto in Leo generation. Pluto is associated with both the power to live and with death, and Leo is associated with youth. So this generation is likely to live longer than previous generations (Leo and youth) and also have a harder time accepting the process of ageing (Leo and youth again!) But also, some are likely to remain young in spirit as they age.

This is happening under Pluto in Capricorn, a sign that is associated with old age. So there is rich symbolism here. Puer aeternus meets senex, eternal youth meets old fogey. Opposites are needed to create an interesting synthesis, and this is what we have. The best of this Pluto in Leo generation will keep the power to live as they age, they will see their lives as having a future.

I think that the notion of death as extinction, as the opposite of life, tends to create pessimism about old age, which can seem like a long process of delaying the inevitable, even of denying it. The Pluto in Leo generation, functioning through Pluto in Capricorn can, and probably are, changing this. CG Jung analysed many old people, and he said that the unconscious did not behave as though it was going to be extinguished, it behaved as though it were going to continue. So life itself (the unconscious) does not see death as the end of life, and who are we to argue with that? Do we know better? We do not know, we cannot know, what death holds in store for us. But I don’t think deep down we feel it to be an extinction. It is a matter of which we trust: our feelings, or scientific materialism.

So Pluto in Leo will be the first older generation to have a fairly good idea, barring accidents, of how long they are going to live. I think Science is doing us a service here, because it will be giving us information we didn’t previously have. It will have huge consequences for the nature of old age, it will be uncomfortable for many, I find myself slightly balking at it, but I don’t think it serves anyone to ignore information that is there waiting to be had. It would be like a family secret, an elephant in the room.

What Science is capable of doing with that information, on the other hand, is not the same thing. It is one thing to discover information, it is another to take action with it. There are enzymes called telomerases that can rebuild telomeres, and you find a lot of these enzymes in cells that need to do a lot of dividing, such as stem cells (remember them?) and certain white blood cells. Here it is: scientists have injected telomerases into lab mice, and they have in many ways shown dramatic rejuvenation. The effects of ageing were not just prevented, they were reversed.

"What we were expecting was a slowing or stabilisation of the ageing process," Professor Ronald DePinho told the BBC. "Instead we witnessed a dramatic reversal in the signs and symptoms of ageing. These animals had their brains increase in size, they improved their cognition, their coat-hair was restored to a healthy sheen and their fertility was also restored."

There is a Holy Grail here. How long before the process is refined and a billionaire sets up a lab on his private island and injects himself with the stuff? It will be the fulfilment of an ancient fantasy. The first Emperor of a unified China, Qin Shi Huang, sent expeditions to find the elixir of life so that he could live forever. The emissaries never returned, knowing they would be executed when their mission failed. The Emperor ironically died as a result of Mercury poisoning, ingested to prolong his life.

This issue hasn’t entered mainstream discussion yet, but it will. Firstly under Pluto in Capricorn: power (Pluto) over old age (Capricorn). But then under Pluto in Aquarius: Science (Aquarius) appearing to defeat Death (Pluto.) Again, it will be the Pluto in Leo generation who will initially have most to gain from the possibility of rejuvenation. And it is a puer aeternus vs senex issue: that aspect of Leo, more than any other sign, that wishes to remain a child, versus the realities of life.

But which of us wouldn’t be tempted by the possibility of physical rejuvenation? For many of us as we age it is, or could easily become, a deep longing, and you can’t just say no to that. You could have a whole nation wanting it. Paradoxically, if you prolonged life indefinitely, people could not be allowed to have children. By extending life in one fundamental way, you curtail it in another.

This possibility and its implications feel almost too big to talk about, especially in just a few short paragraphs. But there is astrology around it worth pointing out, and the issue itself needs flagging up as one that seems to be on its way.

I think like nuclear power and GM, these things cannot be stopped. The issue is how we deal with them, what attitude to take. If you just say you're anti, that's all very well, but it doesn't change anything; it doesn't add the complexity and ambivalence that the wider culture needs, where the debate is often quite black and white due to the influence of politicians and the media.

Leo understands that life is eternal, that it is a deep, ever renewing source to be tapped into. That is the Leo path: to become that source, but each in their own unique way. Death, therefore is not to be feared, because it is not the end of life. But that is the self-aware, the integrated Leo. The archetype of eternal life will always be at work in a Leo, however aware they are. In its more primitive form, the archetype is literalised and an egotistic desire for eternal life is attached to material existence. The debate about rejuvenation, which has yet to start, could hardly be starting under a more appropriate outer planet configuration – the Pluto in Leo generation encountering Pluto in Capricorn.

Meanwhile, research in separate studies in the UK and the US has revealed that the length of your telomeres, and therefore the speed at which you will age, depends on how educated you are. And that education needs to have taken place when young. The 'better' educated you are, the more slowly you will age.

As one of the Professors put it: "Education is a marker of social class that people acquire early in life, and our research suggests that it is long-term exposure to the conditions of lower status that promotes accelerated cellular ageing."

The studies corroborate well-established links between health and socio-economic status. But even if you acquire high status and education as you get older, it's the early conditioning that matters. Which suggests to me it's not just about lifestyle, it's also about how you think about yourself. Humans are pack animals, and we are deeply conditioned to think in terms of status, of pecking order. (Hence celebrity worship, which is nothing new.)
Our education system does not produce rounded people, but it does produce people who feel they are high status, and it seems to me that that feeling somehow translates into physical well-being. It's not fair and it's primitive, but it's there. It also seems to me a clear example of the mind-body connection that goes as far as influencing our DNA, but the researchers didn't go into that. With Pluto in Capricorn, we can expect plently more research into ageing (Capricorn) as well as its connection to social status, another Capricornian consideration.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Internet Writing and the Ownership of Ideas

I started wondering yesterday if Facebook was superseding my blog, because of the sheer amount of exchange of comments and links that you get on Facebook – including links to my own blogs. And the fact that my last 2 blogs were composed either of links or short, independent, paragraphs.

But no, my main blogging consists of longer pieces that would exceed by a long way Facebook’s limit. And then I thought there is a hierarchy (in a neutral sense) going on now in the publishing world, that goes in 2 directions. There is firstly a hierarchy of length and finish, at the top end of which you find books, which are highly edited and hopefully thought through at length, developing themes over hundreds of pages. Then you successively get magazine articles, blogs, facebooks and finally twitters, each of which become gradually shorter and less polished.

But then, in the other direction, you get a hierarchy of flow and exchange of information, at the top end of which is twitter, and at the bottom end of which are books, where you have to go to a great deal of trouble firstly to read and then perhaps to comment on an author’s work, and he/she may well not reply – or if they do, it may be a standardised letter. And to get the book in the first place, you have to find it and buy it. One of Britain’s national treasures, the anti-astrology Stephen Fry, is at both ends of this hierarchy, writing the odd book while maintaining a following of hundreds of thousands on twitter. Although if you have this sort of following, only a few of you can actually exchange information with the twitterer.

So you have this hierarchy - books, magazines, blogs, facebook and twitter - which going in one direction encourages depth of thought, and in the other encourages exchange and flow of information. In a way all this is obvious, and I’m sure it must have been said many times before. But I’m not going to search people out and credit them, partly because I thought of it myself, and partly because I don't see the need to do so.

Which brings me to another point, which is ownership of ideas. If someone directly quotes me, fair enough, credit me, though I won’t be heartbroken if you don’t. But if you take an idea from my blog and run with it, I really don’t mind if I am not credited with it – I would just be glad to see it out there, getting woven into astrocyberthought, unencumbered by a name tag. (NB I do, nevertheless, tend to credit other people for their ideas!)

Internet writing is not yet based much around money, it is hard to control, and I think that frees us from ownership of ideas. OK, you may one day put your blogs together into a book, but I don’t think it’s going to affect sales just because some of ‘your’ ideas have become well-known in an unattributed sort of way. Just make sure you write in an engaging style!

I think a lot of it is just egotism. Medieval religious artists used to not sign their names on their pictures. It was the work that mattered. And I think it’s the same with ideas. (There is something about publishing a book that can make some people feel they are real in a way they weren't previously, it makes them a 'name'.)

I had a daft situation arise a while ago, that got me thinking about this. I had interpreted some charts on my blog, and someone was miffed because they had apparently put on Facebook and Twitter the idea that these charts needed interpreting, and were now claiming ownership of that idea and wanted me to credit them. Note they had not actually interpreted these charts, they had just had the idea that someone else should do so, charts which were in the public domain anyway. It was a ridiculous situation.

Internet writing is transitory, and the ideas get passed around. Some of my readers weren’t very enthusiastic when I experimented with audio blogs, because what they wanted to do was read my pieces quickly and move on. That is also how I work on the internet. I pick up the basic ideas and move on. Longer pieces, such as you’d get in magazines or books, often also have just a few basic ideas, but expounded at length. That is why I resist giving talks or writing magazine articles.
Because it seems to me it often involves trying to find a way of saying something in 10 pages instead of 2, or finding a way of talking for an hour instead of 10 minutes. For the same reason I often find it hard to read astrology articles in magazines, or listen to astrology talks.

Significant ideas can be communicated quickly, and you will keep your audience. And the audience can interact. On the blog, we exchange comments. If I’m talking, I like to keep it brief and then see where the ‘audience’ takes it. Ownership of ideas starts to seem a bit daft in this sort of context. It’s for wannabe bigshots who take themselves far too seriously!

I don’t know where that leaves ownership of photos, but again, with so many people putting their pics on the net and passing them around, it’s hard to keep control of what is ‘yours’. I don't know who 'owns' the pictures I use on my blog, and I'm not sure what purpose it would serve to put a name under them, though I would do so if asked.

With both ideas and pictures, whatever the rights and wrongs of ownership, the fact is that we have a situation that is very hard to control. The net is a free-flowing universe in its own right, and I think the best thing is just to let go and be part of it. The free flow and exchange of information is its strength and getting too hung up on what is ‘yours’ just gets in the way of that. You are playing into the hands of those who want to over-control the net.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Shamanic Bits and Pieces

I took a look at Facebook first thing this morning, and there was Tom asking if anyone wanted to talk about shamanism. Liz Jones Iwasiuk had commented, “From what I understand it's a very very old way of life........I met one about three years ago and he was very interesting. He said to me that "women are the leaders of men and as soon as a man relaxes and lets his woman lead him life is much much easier" ........he has a point!

I then made 6 comments in the next 25 minutes:

I'm reading 'The Secret Fire of the Philosophers' by Patrick Harpur (who wrote Daimonic Reality). It's a History of the Imagination, but it's grounded in the experience of daimons in the natural world, from pixies to animal helpers.

Neptune is in Pisces for the next 14 years, so I think there's going to be a lot of interest in the Dreamtime.

I tend to think that for many men, their strength is in getting things done, and for many women their strength lies in the wider vision of what needs to be done and how to go about it. Women can act as a sort of soul guide for men, who also need to woo their own anima, move towards a sort of ecstatic union within. It probably works the other way round too, though I wouldn't know how. (Any women out there care to comment?) I think women's leadership can be esoteric, not everyone will see it.

A shaman or a poet who is a man has more than the usual sense of the feminine within, which is experienced as ecstatic. He follows it and trusts it, it is what gives his life meaning. There is little place for this in our society, where it is having a job that validates you!

What is the opposite of Death? The answer is Birth. We think the answer is Life, and that causes a lot of problems. That when you die, life ceases. That is not traditional. The dead are dead, but they are still with us, they have moved on, they have had the next initiation. (Pinched from Harpur’s book above.) Jung found that the unconscious of very old people did not behave as though it was about to be extinguished, it behaved as though it were continuing indefinitely.

You've caught me when I've just got up and thoughts come to me! I think the above might go on my blog! I guess when I'm just up I'm fresh, but still close to the dreamworld.

;) Emoticon with a hairy right eyebrow.


It is because we fear death that Pluto appears to us as a dark god. That is our own projection. Pluto is certainly a god of power, the power to live and the power to survive. He is weighty but has a sense of humour. He is the power beneath our feet, pushing upwards. If you live from that power, then you don't need to fear him. He is the bountiful nature of life.

Here's an interesting quote from Harpur's book that brings together fairy abduction and conspiracy theory:

The Sidhe need human robustness, wrote Yeats, while we need their wisdom. Just as they take young mothers to suckle their babies and young women for wives, so the modern 'aliens' - the so-called greys - take female ova or foetuses in order to strengthen their race. The lack of reciprocity in early versions of this interesting folklore was later amended when it became widely believed that the aliens were in cahoots with the government, who sanctioned their activities in exchange for their 'wisdom' - in this case an advanced extraterrestrial technology.

Here's another one I picked up from Facebook, by John Perkins (who wrote The World is as You Dream It, as well as Confessions of an Economic Hitman):

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pluto in Aquarius

Pluto will move into Aquarius in 12 years time. Aquarius is associated with birds, and Pluto is associated with irrational fears. Saturn also has this association (Pluto took over some of the functions of Saturn.) Hitchcock’s film The Birds was released in March 1963 with Saturn in Aquarius square to Neptune (film).

Under Pluto in Aquarius we are likely to see a rise in cases of Anatidaephobia, which is defined as a pervasive, irrational fear that one is being watched by a duck. The anatidaephobic individual fears that no matter where they are or what they are doing, a duck watches.

Anatidaephobia is derived from the Greek word "anatidae", meaning ducks, geese or swans and "phobos" meaning fear. As with all phobias, the person coping with Anatidaephobia has experienced a real-life trauma. For the anatidaephobic individual, this trauma most likely occurred during childhood.

Perhaps the individual was intensely frightened by some species of water fowl. Geese and swans are relatively well known for their aggressive tendencies and perhaps the anatidaephobic person was actually bitten or flapped at. Of course, the Far Side comics did little to minimize the fear of being watched by a duck.

Sometimes that fear can become so intense as to completely stop a person's ability to maintain daily functioning. Unchecked, Anatidaephobia can become a debilitating condition that interferes with the person's social life, their personal life and job responsibilities. Untreated, Anatidaephobia touches every aspect of a person's life.

Meanwhile, from Greg LeFever on Facebook we read that The White House has finally released a photo confirming the death of Osama bin Laden:

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Sunday, May 08, 2011

Scottish Independence

Scotland is still part of the UK, but it has had its own Parliament since 1999. Every 4 years there are elections, and we have just had some. In April 2007, just before the last elections, I wrote:

So the astrology for Scotland around both the 2007 and 2011 elections suggest to me that the SNP is going to gain considerable ground in both, probably becoming the largest party this time, becoming the majority party in 2011, and this setting the stage for moves towards full independence in the succeeding few years.

It’s nice to score a ‘hit’, because what I wrote has come true in both 2007 and 2011. Alex Salmond, the leader of the SNP, has always wanted an independent Scotland, so we will see how long it takes.

There is no chart in the normal sense for Scotland (and the same goes for the US Sibly Chart), and the one I used was based on an Aries Ingress a long time ago. Here’s more of what I wrote 4 years ago:

Time for some astrology, and a chart for Scotland. This is not easy, as we can't be entirely confident of the year of its founding (842 AD), let alone the actual date. Scotland was formed from the conquest of the Pictish kingdom by the Irish kingdom of Dalradia (in what is now Argyle) by Kenneth MacAlpin.
In his ‘Book of World Horoscopes’ (from which the above information comes), Nicholas Campion says: “We do not know precisely which year the union took place. However, if we set a chart for the Aries ingress of 842, that would fit with the astrological practice of the time, as practised in the Arab world, in which the Aries ingress prior to an important political event would have signified that event. Given that military campaigns usually took place in the summer, there is an excellent chance that the Aries ingress of 842 immediately preceded the Dalridian conquest of Pictavia.”

So we have a chart for March 16 842, 16.21, Edinburgh.

Click to Enlarge

In my blog of 18th March, I pointed out that the next day’s partial solar eclipse at 28 Pisces was conjunct the UK Moon at 29 Pisces (1066 chart) and square the UK Uranus at 29 Sag. I continued: “Uranus is, amongst other things, about splitting, and only today Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish Nationalist party, has been announcing his plans for how a Scottish government would work and his plans for a referendum.”

So there you have it, with the added point, that I hadn’t clocked at the time, that the Scottish Pluto is at 27 Pisces! So that eclipse really did have a lot to do with Scotland’s desire to break away from England (Uranus) and assert its own power (Pluto). On top of this, Pluto is squaring the Scottish natal Pluto by transit this year. So the astrology seems to suggest that this week's elections are likely to play a crucial role in Scotland’s moves towards independence. And the Scottish chart, artificial as it is, is already looking like it might work.

The Scottish chart has Moon at 7 Aries conjunct Uranus at 13 Aries (an interesting correspondence with the UK 1066 chart Moon square Uranus). Freedom and independence are important to the Scottish people. This Moon-Uranus in Aries is square to Mars at 14 Cancer, showing that we are dealing with a warrior race. If we add on Saturn-Neptune in Capricorn, we have a Cardinal t-square, which becomes a Cardinal Grand Cross if you add on Node in Libra. With this sort of astrology, I am amazed there haven’t been more rebellions, and given that conditions are now right, it can only be a matter of time before Scotland is independent. Maybe it is their Saturn in Capricorn that has kept them realistic about independence and actually quite at home in the Union, through the Protestant work ethic that they share with England (1801 chart - UK Sun at 10 Capricorn conjunct IC).

What about timing? By transit, Pluto and then Uranus will be hitting this Moon-Uranus-Mars-Saturn-Neptune-Node from 2011 onwards, at the time of the next Scottish elections, and a year or two after the next UK general election. So the move towards independence will probably be greatly empowered by these transits and the run-up to them: it seems reasonable to suppose that these 2 elections will result in greatly increased numbers of SNP MPs in both the British and Scottish Parliaments, with probably a clear majority for the SNP in the Scottish Parliament from the 2011 election onwards. This will only be the start of the Pluto transit, and we can expect to see full independence as the Pluto transit to the Grand Cross finishes about 5 years later, around 2015/2016.

Interestingly, Alex Salmond, the leader of the SNP, was born on 31 Dec 1954, giving him Sun at about 9 Capricorn conjunct Node at 5 Capricorn, which interacts strongly with the Scottish Grand Cross, and indicates a re-empowerment for him, through Pluto, from about 2011 onwards as well.

Back to the Scottish Chart. The Progressed Chart has Node conjunct MC in 2010, and the converse Progressed has Pluto conjunct MC in 2010. So the Government (MC) will have some sort of encounter with its destiny (Node) and be re-empowered (Pluto) around 2010.

So the astrology for Scotland around both the 2007 and 2011 elections suggest to me that the SNP is going to gain considerable ground in both, probably becoming the largest party this time, becoming the majority party in 2011, and this setting the stage for moves towards full independence in the succeeding few years. Looking at it the other way round, events now and where they seem to be going lend plausibility to the 842 Aries ingress chart for Scotland.

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Friday, May 06, 2011

Obama the White Man

I recently watched a film, ‘Pierrepoint’, about Britain’s last public executioner. He hanged hundreds of people, including 202 Germans after the various war trials. After his career ended in 1956, he commented that it left a bitter aftertaste, saying that, ”I have come to the conclusion that executions solve nothing, and are only an antiquated relic of a primitive desire for revenge which takes the easy way and hands over the responsibility for revenge to other people...”

Revenge is something that as a self-aware human one needs to forego. It is based on hatred and a desire to destroy. It is essentially life-denying rather than life-promoting. This doesn’t mean that sometimes certain people don’t need to be ‘taken out’ (one of a series of US military euphemisms that have entered our vocab in recent years – collateral damage; extraordinary rendition etc). But motive is all.

The desire for revenge is a natural human emotion, and when a nation is feeling it strongly, as the US has felt about bin Laden for many years, you cannot simply stand in its way. The job of the leader is to introduce some dignity into the process, to treat the enemy as human, and not to let people rationalise what is happening, saying ‘justice’ when they mean ‘revenge’.

This is not what President Obama is doing. His words on hearing the news of bin Laden’s death were “We got him,” a deliberate quoting of George Bush at his cowboy worst on hearing the news of Saddam’s capture. With Bush, it was merely a capture; it is far more distasteful to say it of a death. Obama has shown only joy at the death of his fellow human, and being a leader who is adept at using symbolism, has made a beeline for Ground Zero.

After he had hanged someone, Pierrepoint treated the body with respect and care as he prepared it for the undertakers. His point was that whatever they had done to deserve being killed, they had paid for it and were now innocent.

From a US point of view, bin Laden was an enemy who needed to be killed. The trouble with America is that they don’t have much conception of treating your enemy with honour. They are so convinced of their own rightness, of American 'exceptionalism', that anyone who opposes them is simply a mindless terrorist to whom the normal rules of war do not apply, they are ‘illegal combatants’.

It is well known that during the First World War, there would be ceasefire on Christmas Day and you would even get enemy forces coming out of their trenches and playing football with each other. Wars aren't what you'd want, but it is a case of each soldier fighting for his or her own country, and you can’t begrudge them that. It is what most of us would do if it came to it, however pacifist we might think we are. And honour among soldiers involves recognising that your enemy is in the same position as you are in. He is not ‘bad’, not the demon your government would have you believe. You would still kill him without blinking if necessary, but because you have to, because your country’s security is at stake, not because you hate him.

And this applies to bin Laden. 9/11 was a terrible thing to do. But so was invading Iraq without proper forethought, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths (a hundred-fold more than 9/11), all for the purpose of controlling a region because it supplies your oil. Meanwhile allowing your people to wrongly think Iraq had been involved in perpetrating 9/11. This is the nature of war. People and nations do terrible things. And yes, if you can you will probably kill the leaders of the other side.

And sometimes you can take the moral high ground, particularly when your enemy is not fighting for its own security, but in order to expand its sphere of influence and control.

But this was not the case with bin Laden. America cannot take the moral high ground, not after what it has done, and not when you consider that bin Laden’s desire was to fight American control in the Middle East, and that he was fighting an enemy that vastly outnumbered him.

There are plenty of Americans who can see this. Famously, or notoriously, Obama’s erstwhile mentor Rev Wright, who said about 9/11 that, “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.” Obama would not have any of this, and disowned him.

I think events around the death of bin Laden are very revealing about Obama. His Mars at 22 Virgo conjoins the US Neptune at 22 Virgo and squares the US Mars at 21 Gemini. Mars-Neptune is the cowboy aspect in the US chart, the glamorisation of violence, the delusion of America’s undiluted rightness.“We got him,” says Obama after the gruesome death of his enemy codenamed ‘Geronimo’, another glamorisation.

Like bin Laden, Geronimo was a warrior fighting the expansion of US control over his people. And like bin Laden, he did some terrible things, evaded capture for many years and pulled off some stunning feats. So you can see the connection, and Obama needs to own up to it. (Obama’s Mars squares the Sun of Geronimo the Gemini and opposes the Sun of bin Laden!)

Obama needs on the one hand to own up to the grudging respect it shows for his enemy, and at the same time the racism it shows towards the Native Americans, the way they were treated like vermin to be removed from land the Americans wanted.

An Afro-American aware of his heritage would never have used the term Geronimo. Obama is half Kenyan and half white American. He does not have in his black background the centuries of racism and brutality that white Americans have inflicted on other races. If he does have it, it's in his mother's white background. He thinks like the white American who is able to believe that the US is essentially a good and religious nation with respect for human rights, that is promoting freedom around the world. He has had relatively little experience of being at the sharp end of America’s ability to trample over anyone and anything that stands in its way.

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We have had a lot of experience of the Obama who has Sun in Leo square Neptune. What we haven’t seen so much is the Moon in Gemini square to both Pluto and Chiron. The Moon isn’t so visible anyway, and in Obama’s case it is also hidden away at the bottom of the chart, and hidden by secretive Pluto. The Moon becomes more visible when you are familiar with, and at ease in a situation. I have often wondered about his Moon. Anyone who casts a light as bright as Obama once did has got to have a corresponding shadow lurking somewhere, and I always felt his Moon would have something to do with it.

Gemini is the twins, it is light and dark, it is Jekyll and Hyde, or at least can be. If you are not reflective, then it probably will be. And when it comes to America’s shadow, the way America treats others, Obama has repeatedly shown himself to be blind.

Obama’s Moon is at 3 Gemini, and Neptune has recently entered Pisces, the sign that squares Gemini. With the natal square to both Pluto and Chiron, this Moon can express itself in a really bad way if someone is not conscious. I think Obama’s unalloyed joy and cowboy attitude at the death of bin Laden, and his collusion with the US at its mob worst, is a sign of this Moon relaxing and becoming activated as Neptune moves in to square it. It is populist, and will likely win him the next election; but anyone who is hoping for more is likely to be disappointed. The fine words though, as always, will be there.

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In Obama's Progressed Chart, over the next year we will see Prog Mars opposite Prog Asc, and Prog Moon moving into Aries. So Obama the warrior is likely to become more prominent, and the Nobel committee will be wondering what they must have been thinking in 2009.

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Monday, May 02, 2011


The man who 2 years ago won the Nobel Peace Prize has now gained an equal amount of political capital through achieving the death in a military operation of America’s public enemy No 1, Osama bin Laden.

Let’s make no mistake about it, bin Laden was not a ‘bad’ man in the sense of being worse than any political leader who is protecting, through military means, the interests of his people. Obama protects the interests of America, and bin Laden protected the interests of the Arab world. It is very hard for many Americans to hear this, because 9/11 was such a wound to the American psyche, and America sees itself as a moral leader on the world stage.

In Buddhism there is a category of being known as gods who are not used to suffering, so when they do suffer, it is terrible for them, reality itself has been upturned. This was what 9/11 was for America.

The death of bin Laden is, for America, primarily revenge for 9/11. It is as simple as that, and many Americans will be rejoicing. Of course Barack Obama, like any US President, will make speeches about the justified death of a bad man. But it is sweet revenge. That is why there are crowds outside the White House chanting “USA! USA!”

The method of bin Laden’s death shows all too clearly why many in the Arab world have a big problem with America. It took place in Pakistan without the knowledge of the Pakistan government, which has cravenly attempted to take some of the credit for the operation.

In cutting off a head of the Hydra in this manner, several more will replace it, as the fires of anti-Americanism are stoked in Pakistan. It is a matter of national dignity, and it is the Islamists who are standing up for it. If America wants an Islamic revolution in nuclear-armed Pakistan, they are doing exactly what they need to achieve it.

You can see it from both sides. It is not a moral issue, though it ought to be. It is a matter of instinct and survival. America is vitally dependent on Middle East oil, so it will do what it has to in order to ensure those oil sources are under its control. This infringes the sovereignty of the Arab world, and it fights back by whatever means, including flying passenger jets into buildings.

It is tempting to take the Arabs’ side because they are the underdogs, but what would they do in the same position? There would be a determined attempt by many to impose Sharia Law (as opposed to Coca-Cola) on the rest of the world.

This war is not Jupiter, Human Law, or righteousness, which is how both sides present it. It is a struggle for survival on both sides, which is Pluto.

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As the operation to kill bin Laden ended, Pluto rose over the Eastern horizon. Jupiter was also Angular, but hidden on the IC next to Mars in Aries. Jupiter, if you like, provides the justification for the war (Mars) at home (IC). But Pluto was the planet being given expression to (ASC). Pluto and the hidden Mars show the secrecy behind the operation.

The operation began at 22.30 and was over at about 23.15, so I estimate bin Laden died at 11pm. Any black ops readers care to comment?

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What about 9/11 and the death of bin Laden? Saturn is the planet that describes the reaping of consequences. The Asc of the 9/11 chart is at 14 Libra, exactly conjunct the US natal Saturn. Since last August, when the hunt for bin Laden began in earnest, Saturn has twice crossed the 9/11 Asc, and has one more crossing to go, in late August. So bin Laden/Al Qaeda have reaped the consequences for 9/11. 9/11 itself was a reaping of consequences for the US (as US Saturn conjunct 9/11 Asc shows), and there will be further consequences to reap for the killing of bin Laden. Given the movements of Saturn (not to speak of the Uranus-Pluto conjunction), there could be more major events before the end of August. From the point of view of Al Qaeda, there has to be major retaliation or it will be seen as a sign of weakness.

With both Progressed Mars and Saturn now moving backwards (for the first time) in the US chart, American power is on the wane, and the death of bin Laden is a temporary success in a war they cannot win.

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We don’t have a birth time for bin Laden, but the date of 10/3/57 seems to have some credibility. And it gives a mutual Mars connection with Barack Obama: Obama’s Mars at 22 Virgo opposes bin Laden’s Sun at 19 Pisces; and bin Laden’s Mars at 25 Taurus is opposite Obama’s MC at 29 Scorpio. With Bush, who failed to capture bin Laden, there was a mutual Uranus connection: Bush’s Uranus squared bin Laden’s Sun, and bin Laden’s Uranus conjoined Bush’s Asc.

Under Bush, bin Laden was an elusive figure and we weren’t even certain he was alive. Bush stoked the fires of collective anger against him, set him up as public enemy No 1. All this is Uranus. Whereas Obama isn’t one for creating scapegoats, and in a straight fight (Mars), he won.

At the same time, the US has Mars at 21 Gemini square to Neptune at 22 Virgo. Gemini is light and dark, and it is in the 7th House of foreign countries, so having a foreign enemy is almost necessary for the US, and there is glamour and delusion (Neptune) and dubious legality (9th House Neptune) around it. Obama’s Mars at 22 Virgo is at home in this national complex. So even though he doesn’t stoke the fires of enmity like Bush did, he buys into the badness of America’s enemies.

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