Saturday, June 13, 2015

Government Surveillance, Saturn-Pluto and Uranus-Eris

Back in 2007, as Pluto was about to enter Capricorn, one fellow astro-blogger (who I can no longer locate) predicted that a theme of this long transit would be government (Capricorn) secrets (Pluto). This guy has proved startlingly right, and it has come about through the growth of electronic communications, and governments’ need to bring law and order into this new domain.

Uranus covers electronics and the internet (amongst other things), and he operates through sudden, disruptive action. As Uranus came into square with Pluto in Capricorn, so came Wikileaks and Edward Snowden – the massive, unauthorised release of government secrets.

The motivation of Wikileaks, under Julian Assange, was to undermine the authority of government, which he saw as inherently tyrannical, and replace it with…. well who knows? Snowden’s motivations were more mixed: he wanted people to know the extent to which they were under government surveillance, but he also released many classified documents that revealed details of US security operations. Any country has the right to protect itself, and this action of his suggests to me that he wanted to harm his country as well as to help it. He has Sun in Gemini opposite Neptune, and Moon in Scorpio, so there is plenty of room here for self-deception (Neptune) and revenge seen as just cause (Scorpio). As well as the self-sacrifice of Neptune and the desire for truth of Scorpio.

But the big issue that has been raised, both in the US as well as in the UK, is the extent to which governments should be allowed to surveil (yes, the word exists!) via electronic media.

Some people seem to view any surveillance as an unwarranted intrusion by government. I take the view that if the words ‘bomb’ and ‘semtex’ were to start appearing in my private emails – or even in my phone calls -  I would expect a government computer to pick up on that and pass it on to a real human being. I would regard it as a dereliction of the government’s basic duty to provide safety and order if this were not to happen.

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That is my starting point, and I have little patience with the basic position of simply opposing government surveillance, and the paranoia about any form of authority that often comes with that. It has been dressed up to sound spooky, when in fact it is a fundamental duty of government, and always has been: knowing what is going on and who is up to no good.

Imagine you were living in a village 200 years ago, as most people did, where everyone knew everyone else’s business. Think of the freedom we have from that now – but also its price, which is lack of belonging, the loneliness and anonymity of big cities. And all we are being asked to do is to sacrifice some of that modern privacy to a computer, so that if we’re intent on harm, real people can then get involved.

The English are a very private people, so that is probably the issue here. Whereas Americans tend to be more open about themselves, but also more suspicious of government, so that is probably the issue there. (The US its roots in the rejection of authority, expressed by its Sun square to Saturn; whereas has UK has Sun in Capricorn on the IC, which is very private - yet in square to Uranus, one effect of which, I think, is to make us feel our privacy is not secure - hence an Englishman's home being his castle.)

One way or the other, there is genuine debate to be had, because the government will inevitably overstep its powers. There will be abuses, however tightly we regulate and surveil the surveilleurs (not sure if that is a word – well it is now!). The debate is not whether to have surveillance (it’s been happening and will continue whatever we might want) but the degree to which it should be allowed and how to oversee it.

So Uranus-Pluto has raised the issue in a very in-your-face manner. In 5 years’ time, Saturn will conjoin Pluto in Capricorn. That is probably the time it will take to get this area properly regulated, and in a way that people are relatively happy with. And this is partly because all the issues are not yet clear. Saturn (appropriate regulation) of government (Capricorn) surveillance (Pluto).

In the news today is a story about Chinese hackers gaining access to sensitive personal data on millions of US intelligence and military personnel. This seems to me a worry several orders higher than the necessary evil of the government  potentially knowing details of my personal life through my phone calls or google searches.

There are probably more shocks, like the above news story, to come, shocks that change the issues involved.

Next year, Uranus will conjoin Eris, which he does every 85 years or so. Eris is a dwarf planet beyond Pluto whose astrological meaning is not well understood yet. She moves so slowly that I think it makes it hard to discover or ascribe meaning to her. Eris is brother of Ares, the god of war, and she is a goddess of chaos, strife and discord. She causes trouble. Snubbed at a wedding, she created discord between some goddesses, using an apple, that led to the Trojan War.

Conjunctions and oppositions are the most powerful dynamic aspects, and in the case of slow moving planets like Uranus and Eris, the aspects last for a year or two either side of the exact aspect. The last exact conjunction was in 1928, the year before the Wall St Crash. The Watergate break-in, which came to consume American political life, occurred with Uranus within a degree of opposing Eris.

Both these planets have disruptive, game-changing effects on the collective, so when you put them together…. I think the Wall St  Crash and Watergate speak for themselves. I’d say 2016-17 are the years to watch out for. It could easily involve sudden events that show the frailty of the internet – superhacks, or a worldwide crash of the internet. And all leading to the more solid foundations and regulations of the 2020 Saturn-Pluto conjunction.

Of course, Uranus-Eris could be events other than internet – like Islamic State setting off a bomb filled with nuclear material, contaminating a wide area. But this is pure speculation, I am NOT predicting, just trying to give a flavour of the sort of game-changing events we are likely to see in 2016-17.


KN said...

Do you have any thoughts on this in the context of Russia/Putin? News released today about the US sending more tanks etc. to Baltic countries and other ex-USSR Eastern Europe.

Sara said...

Hmmm.... catastrophic evnets when Eris and Uranus get together?

A few years ago, there was a BBC series 'Survivors', about the remnants of population left after a multiphase vaccine for flu went wrong and killed people by the millions. A few weeks ago, there was a news item about someone undertaking the development of a multiphase vaccine for flu, and I had that 'really, really bad feeling' that sometimes happens when speculative fiction turns into bad reality. Not saying this is how things will happen, but when warning bells sound, I pay attention.

There is a herd mentality in the US that prompts people known as 'preppers' to go into making bulk purchases of disposable goods like food, and paying for the construction of underground bunkers on their property. They are convinced that everything is going to 'crash' (for want of a better term) and they need to have stocked up on everything imaginable.

If this is Eris and Uranus influencing their thinking, who am I to say they are wrong? If the internet crashed tomorrow, and WiFi along with it, a large portion of the US population would be cast adrift. I'm not syaing it would result in chaos, but landlines have really gone out of use by most people.

I think this bears closer examination.