Saturday, July 09, 2011

Pluto in Sag, Pluto in Cap and the News of the World

In the UK we have high drama in the publishing world, with Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World, one of the best-selling Sunday papers, being shut down after phone-hacking allegations. The issue first blew up about 5 years ago, after it emerged that royal phones had been hacked by reporters. Heads rolled and journalists went to prison and more celebrity hacking allegations emerged. But now it is alleged that reporters hacked the phone of a teenager who had been murdered. They deleted some of her messages, leading her parents to hope that she was still alive. Other high-profile child-murder cases are being reviewed to see if there was similar activity.

All this was going on while Pluto was in Sagittarius. Sagittarius is publishing and Pluto is dirty tricks and invasion of privacy.

The News of the World was first published 168 years ago, which looks to me like 2 cycles of Uranus. It does indeed have its 2nd Uranus return going on, and this cycle is associated with sudden disruptive events that change your life. The Uranus opposition, occurring aged 40-42, is famously associated with the mid-life crisis (I think actually it begins it, and that the ‘crisis’ continues until our mid to late forties, as Saturn, Neptune and Pluto also reach major points in their cycles.)

So the sudden death of the NoW is a classic Uranus event, particularly the conjunction, which is the cyclical end point. It is a deeply cynical move: people expect to see the Sun newspaper, also Murdoch owned, producing a Sunday edition shortly.

NewsCorp seems to have no values apart from the accumulation of power and money. British Prime Ministers have been well aware since Thatcher that you need the Murdoch press on board to win an election. NewsCorp was incorporated in New York on 12 Nov 2004, on a New Moon in Scorpio, with Mars conjunct South Node in Scorpio. Scorpio at its worst is about power for its own sake. So it is a very appropriate chart. Murdoch himself has Sun in Pisces, just in case there's anyone out there who thinks Pisces people are gentle, lovable Old Souls! Being the most collective of the signs, it can use the power of the collective more than any other sign, for better or for worse.

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The NoW began in 1843 as it continued. It “was aimed directly at the newly literate working classes. It quickly established itself as a purveyor of titillation, shock and criminal news. Much of the source material came from coverage of vice prosecutions, including transcripts of police descriptions of alleged brothels, streetwalkers, and "immoral" women.” Then as now, the police were probably being paid by the newspaper.

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If we see the Sun as the founder and owner of the paper, then the Moon is the people who read it: it is in Capricorn conjunct Saturn and square to Pluto. This is the secret of its success. The people were very conventional and restrained (Capricorn/Saturn/Victorian Era) and Pluto was the fascination with transgressive behaviour that such restraint produces. Now, under Pluto in Capricorn, popular disgust with its methods have brought about its closure.

It’s always worth looking to oneself when a popular bout of righteous indignation is going on. There is a level on which we enjoy being disgusted and appalled. I do! That is why these newspapers sell. All societies have their shadow side, and we need to see it being enacted somewhere to keep us sane. Otherwise we would have to face ourselves, and many of us would implode. The NoW only existed because people paid for it. Like the police who end up in the pay of criminals, the reporters moved ever closer to becoming the monsters they were writing about.

I think the way to approach the shadow side is not to have any idea of transforming it. Let it take care of itself. The only issue is being aware of it versus projecting it onto others.

(The US has a particular shadow fascination in the form of foreign monsters, whether it was the Communists, Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden. It is a need the country has. For a short while, after the fall of Communism, it did not have such an enemy, and the country turned inwards, producing its own home grown terrorists fearful of the New World Order. America is again without a public enemy No 1 after the death of bin Laden, but it will inevitably not be long before another emerges.)

Andy Coulson was the editor of the NoW at the time of the latest phone-hacking allegations, and he has been arrested. He was forced to resign in 2007 after the first bout of allegations (a royal phone-tapping scandal), and claimed he knew nothing about them. This was ludicrous, but he got away with it, and was appointed David Cameron’s main PR man 6 months later. The allegations continued, and 4 years later he resigned as Cameron’s PR man.

So what was Cameron thinking of? Of course Coulson knew what had been happening, he was the editor. He was lying, and being the paper it was, there would inevitably have been other dirty tricks, including phone-tapping, that hadn’t yet come out.

Cameron is a Libran, and his Venus at 7.33 Libra is exactly conjunct the Sun-Venus of the NoW. That is a very strong connection, with perhaps not enough space for reflection. Or a perception that your popular appeal (Venus in a politician) is inextricably tied to the NoW.

Libra, in its desire to create good relations, is often naïve about people. (Have you noticed that if you make a critical observation about someone to a Libran, they will instinctively defend them, and you end up feeling like the bad, ungenerous guy for having said something truthful!)

Cameron is now leading the popular sense of disgust at the NoW (which, of course, we are all enjoying. String ‘em up, put them in the stocks!) But he is also defending his decision to employ Andy Coulson. He said he had decided to give him a second chance. There it is, the Libran naivety. I’m the good guy giving this guy a second chance. But it is strange. You only give someone a second chance if they have done something wrong. But at the time, Coulson had officially done nothing wrong, though we all knew he had.

So Cameron is trying to have it both ways. Either Coulson had done nothing wrong, in which case he didn’t need a second chance. Or he had done something wrong, and on top of that was lying about it, so what was David Cameron thinking of?
I wonder how conscious Cameron is of his Mercury in Scorpio which, being in square to his natal Moon-Jupiter in Leo, can be tricksy and self-serving.

Cameron clearly thinks of himself and sincere and straightforward, but then how do we explain his behaviour over his personal passion, the National Health Service? Soon after the election, we were presented with plans to radically overhaul it, which he had previously concealed, presumably to get elected. Then the detailed plans were presented some months later, and they clearly hadn’t been thought through properly by Andrew Lansley, the Health Minister, and they came tumbling down. Firstly we have what I think was Cameron’s deviousness in keeping plans of this magnitude concealed. Mercury in Scorpio. And then he put too much trust in a minister to sort it all out. Sun and Venus in Libra.

People don’t usually have much wisdom unless they’ve been dismembered to some extent and had to rebuild themselves. This process makes them more who they authentically are, and less a product of their background and childhood fantasies (Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, wanted to be 'King of the World' as a child.) The trouble with politics is that you can’t do that. You always have to look good, and if you come apart, that is the end of your political career. This is why we had so much trouble with Tony Blair. He had his dismembering while he was Prime Minister, and the country had to suffer it. Unfortunately, he didn’t seem to learn much – he just turned increasingly to religion.

So I think it’s the same with David Cameron, another young PM, who is less of a religious nut and also less politically talented. He is earnest and hard-working and a bit naïve in a Libran way. Cameron has Sun at 15 Libra, so his dismembering won’t be for another 3 years, when first Uranus then Pluto hard-aspect his Sun. Expect betrayal (Pluto) by those close to him (Libra), particularly by his even younger Chancellor, George Osborne. With Sun in Gemini opposite Jupiter-Neptune, Osborne is a much more talented showman than Cameron.

NewsCorp is facing a crunch point in its attempts to take full control of BskyB, the main satellite broadcaster in the UK. There is a lot of opposition to more Murdoch domination of the airwaves. It seems more than a coincidence that this crisis over the NoW, which brings into question Murdoch’s fitness as a broadcaster, should happen now.

Another big issue around the press lately has been super-injunctions, whereby celebrities are able to get gagging orders to stop the press not just from revealing their sexual misdemeanours, but also from revealing the existence of a gagging order. The move towards greater legal protection of privacy began in 1998 after the European Human Rights Act was passed. The internet has brought the super-injunctions tumbling down, as erring footballers were named on Twitter. This process has taken place under Pluto in Sagittarius and Pluto in Capricorn. Pluto in Sag created the power (Pluto) to keep secrets (Pluto) from publication (Sag). As the injunctions escalated, it effectively became the state (Pluto in Capricorn) protecting people’s secrets, but the state decided it did not want to do this, as when the PM said in Parliament that he felt uneasy about super-injunctions.

Privacy (Pluto) versus institutions (Capricorn). This issue is also being thrashed out on Facebook and elsewhere on the net. As individuals, we are having to decide how much we want to reveal about ourselves, and to who, in a way that we’ve never had to previously. But the big companies such as Facebook and Google also have an interest in using our personal information, and regularly overstep boundaries unless specifically stopped from doing so. It is a new issue, and is set to continue for years as the internet continues to develop, and as Pluto moves steadily through Capricorn.

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1 comment:

Alice Brown said...

Have quite read about this before but i am really happy to read your post on Pluto. This one was quite interestingly narrated article. I enjoyed reading it thoroughly, thanks for the share...!!