The Trump-Putin Summit and the Pluto Return

The meeting between United States President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin occurred on July 16, 2018 and the reaction from the Anglo-American press (I have yet to become familiar with the press of other countries in this matter) was immediate, vociferous, and uniformly hostile.  Many called Trump’s acts treasonous.  The term “traitor” was bandied about frequently.  If we look at the chart of the US with transits of the time of the summit, we can shed a little light on why the reaction of the political classes were the way they were.




Here is a chart for 6:20 in the morning eastern time, which means it was 1:20 pm Helsinki time, the start of the summit.  Since the aspects we will be looking at are not terribly dependent on the exact time, timing is not important.  Three aspects stand out.

Saturn is opposite both natal Venus and Jupiter, and in fact Saturn is almost exactly (one minute of orb) opposite the Venus/Jupiter midpoint — black arrow.  Jupiter and Venus are conjunct, and both conjoin the Sun of the US in the natal chart; this triple conjunction is very important in determining the basic self image of the United States.  I’ve discussed this at length in an early post about the Virtuous Nation.  It is difficult to imagine a “nicer” conjunction than that of Jupiter (the “greater benefic”) and Venus the (“lesser benefic”) and since that conjunction is conjunct the Sun of the United States, the country’s sense of self and vital energy, and all the other characteristics of the Sun, are modified by Venus and Jupiter.  The United States has a self image as a beneficent noble country that started with the shining city on the hill, as John Winthrop (Massachusetts 1630) said of the United States, long before the country actually existed.  That line is from the Sermon on the Mount and has been used by many others, such as Ronald Reagan.  So we see that this Jupiter Venus conjunction is extremely important to the US self-image, and the county’s leaders are always shocked when other people do not believe or accept that self image.

But on the day of the summit Saturn was opposite those two planets, and exactly opposite the midpoint of the two planets.  Saturn and Venus/Jupiter are not exactly good buddies.  The placement of Saturn there casts a shadow on Venus/Jupiter, on that self image that America holds so closely to.  Saturn indicates a threat to the image that America is an exceptionally good country.  American does not like that!  That aspect suggests why the reaction was so rabid; deep down, the wonderful self image of the United States was threatened, and that is not good.

Notice that both an aspect and a midpoint are involved in this configuration, suggesting that it is stronger than if only aspects or only midpoints were involved.  We will see in a future post how this applies in other areas.

This next planetary configuration of importance also involves aspects and midpoints: Transiting Mars is sesquiquadrate natal Mars and natal Neptune (red, green arrow), and is exactly on the Mars/Neptune midpoint.  In the US natal chart, Mars and Neptune are square, with an orb of one degree.  This square is also very important to the behavior of the US.  Mars and Neptune are difficult planets together, and the square is probably the hardest of major aspects between the two planets.  Mars – Neptune suggests deceptive uses of energy, or more to the point for a country, the US is under a delusion that its use of energy, war — the most clear manifestation of Mars for a country — is always good, for obviously the US is the shining city on the hill which only has the best interests in mind when it goes to war.  There are many other things that could be said about this aspect, but that is a discussion for another time.  While the country believes that its action are of the highest moral purpose (Neptune), there is much delusion or incorrect belief about the real purpose of those wars.  If one delves truly into the motives and outcomes of various US wars, such as the Vietnam War or any war in Iraq, that is quite obvious.

With transiting Mars involved with the two planets and that aspect, much anger (another Mars term) is brought out.  Everything represented by that Mars-Neptune square is energized.  How dare anyone try to claim that the new Cold War between the United States and Russia (which of course is only due to the bad actions of Russia and the demonic Putin) is not fully warranted, journalists howl.  This is very threatening.  As former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray titles it on his blog, detente bad, cold war good is a current American mindset.

A third aspect of note is that the transiting Sun — representing the day of the event — is conjoined the natal Mercury, representing the press in all its many forms (blue arrow).  There was a Twitter explosion over this summit, and mostly invective.  The major mainstream media fell over themselves in condemning Donald Trump for his treasonous behavior.

A lot of this is the manifestation of Russiagate, the scandal that has engulfed Washington over the last two years.  At first I thought it would eventually die out, but it seems to be sticking around and is gathering even more energy.

Since Watergate, the scandal that brought down President Nixon, occurred during the closing semisquare between Uranus and Neptune, I had long though that the opening semisquare of those same two planets which we see now would see another Presidential scandal.  And I’m beginning to think that this extremely large scandal, perhaps the largest in American history will, when it resolves, be the basis of the Pluto Return of the United States.

As far as I know, no country with any type of constitution has survived long enough for a Pluto Return — the return to the natal position — at about 250 years.  Look at how often even England, not to speak of France or Italy, have formed a new birth chart because of a new government or Constitution.  But the United States keeps ticking along with the same old Constitution.  (For examples of how the Constitution, which is revered by many as almost the Ten Commandments, has been the cause of many of the problems that bedevil this country, see The Frozen Republic and The Velvet Coup both by Daniel Lazare.)  If you are over thirty, you realize how important the Saturn Return — when transiting Saturn returns to the place it occupies at birth — is to our own growth as an adult.  And the effects of the Saturn Return are noticed several years before the event.  I’ve known of marriages, divorces, and major moves that have happened in the run up to  the Saturn Return.  The Pluto Return is even more powerful.  And we will soon get to see one of the World’s first examples!




Here is a graphical ephemeris of the three and a half year period for the Pluto Return.  We see Pluto first comes close to its natal position in early 2021 (black arrow); the first exact conjunction is at the beginning of 2022; the last pass is a the end of 2023 (red arrow); and the last near conjunction is at the end of 2024, though of course that period could be extended.  I believe what we are seeing now will result in a major shakeup in the government, more powerful than what occurred after Watergate.

There are two basic theories of what we are seeing that is called Russiagate.  Either one is unprecedented in the history of the county.  And of course the people that are supporting either narrative differ from the standard Democratic-Republican or even left-right dichotomy that we usually see.  One side is backed by “Establishment” Democrats and Republicans, along with (of course) the intelligence services and all the media outlets, newspapers and television news channels.  The other side is backed by the “extreme” left and right along with corresponding blogs, since there are no mainstream outlets for such divergent voices. Also, several prominent experts in Russian history support this position, but of course they are never heard from in mainstream sources.

The official narrative goes something like this: The Russians conspired to fix our election of 2016 (along with many other elections and movements around the Western World) so that their chosen candidate would be elected, and that candidate likely colluded with them to do so.  Thus we have the President of the United States working for a foreign power.  When in the Fifties the John Birch Society, a conservative anti-communist organization, charged President Eisenhower with being an agent of the Soviet Union, most people laughed it off.  But this time all the press (Mercury), or at least the “prestige press”, are uniformly in agreement and in fact broadcasting the scenario.  To have an actual traitor running the government who is in thrall to a foreign leader is something no one believed would occur in this country.  Many are calling this the new Pearl Harbor or bigger than 9/11.  When the proof of this is final and that traitorous candidate is eliminated, a major shakeup in the government and in election procedures will occur.

The counter narrative has it that the Deep State (what I called the National Security State in a previous entry) conspired to put its chosen representative, Hillary Clinton, into the White House, and when the unimaginable happened and the candidate they were sure would lose became President, they conspired to prevent the current president from doing much and hopefully driving him from office, either through impeachment or other less sanguine means.  The whole Russiagate narrative is like a snipe hunt for America.  The Deep State has much practice in regime change for other countries, and now it is applying those techniques here at home.  This too is unprecedented and when it comes out that this is happening a major shake up of the United States government will occur.

So there you have it, two mutually exclusive scenarios, both of which are beyond what has happened to the American Republic since its birth and both of which will require major changes in the laws of the land and perhaps even the Constitution to prevent such a thing from happening again.  In either case we have a major shakeup coming, fitting exactly with the meaning of a Pluto Return.


Zeitgeist Changes – Intermezzo – a Polemic

I don’t know what the next zeitgeist change will involve, but I do know it will be a radical change, much bigger than the previous zeitgeist changes of the last 125 years.  In succeeding posts, I will give the evidence that this change will be bigger than that expected.  Since I am a human being, my personal preference is that the change be under human control and not something forced upon the world.  But that may not be possible.  As a society we need to grow up, to realize that we have reached childhood’s end.

In 1952 science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein published story called “Year of the Jackpot”; then in 1997 Sebastian Junger published the novel The Perfect Storm.  Both these works of fiction deal with the idea that when several cycles crest at the same time, the result is greater than would normally be expected from any one cycle cresting, which results in the year of the jackpot or the perfect storm.  This is what the world will be seeing at the next zeitgeist change.

The next zeitgeist change may be several things, partly depending on your previous outlook on the world.  If you worship Google, then you might expect that The Singularity will occur, as predicted by Ray Kurzweil.  The Singularity is that time when AI (Artificial Intelligence) becomes so powerful that we all have to be worried/all our dreams will come true.  If you are into Near Term Extinction (Guy McPherson) this zeitgeist change will involve the death of the last human being.  Perhaps an asteroid will hit the earth, causing many deaths.  Perhaps there will be an invasion of the earth by an alien species, and they will enslave us or eat us.  We may see a major nuclear war, something which the National Security State seems to be hellbent on creating.  We can’t be sure of what the future holds, only that something big is coming down the pike.  But whatever it is, it will not involve self driving electric cars.

But what I think, paying attention to what is occurring on the earth, is that the changes will involve what is called climate change.  Since the zeitgeist change in the first decade of the Twentieth Century, cars have become more and more omnipresent.  Since the Great Acceleration started with the second Twentieth Century change at the end of World War II, we have been consuming more and more at an accelerating rate.  Then after the third zeitgeist change, this acceleration has increased yet again as the markets have assumed extreme power.

In regards to climate change, people split into two groups:  One group, called “climate deniers” maintain that there is no such thing as human caused climate change.  The climate may be changing, the say, but the climate has always changed.  The other group — call them “Climate Optimists” — says that the climate is changing because of man-made greenhouse gases, and we can stop this problem by replacing all the uses of fossil fuels — oil, gas, coal — with electricity that is generated by solar panels, the wind, and nuclear reactors.  Being children of the Enlightenment, they think that technology will save us, after causing many of the problems that plague us.  The writer Naomi Klein says that the first group — climate deniers — has a better grasp of the realities of the current situation than the second group.  The deniers realize that if man-made climate change is real, to combat it will require a major change in the way we live, in the alteration of our best loved institutions, such as capitalism, and those threats are so great that they must deny that the climate is changing.  The other groups imagines that some tweaks to the current system, such as elimination of fossil fuels, will change our system enough to avoid catastrophe and then we can continue with our system of growth and consumption.  It is said that most people are for combating climate change if they do not have to change their lifestyle, an example of climate optimism.  So we have a choice between the ostrich method of hiding one’s head in the sand, or moving the deckchairs on the Titanic.

But climate change is not the problem, it is only a symptom a a much larger problem: that problem is overshoot — see William Catton’s book of the same name.  An example of overshoot is when the Road Runner chases Wile E Coyote off the edge of a cliff — he has overshot the cliff literally.   But the coyote does not realize the problem until he looks down.  We haven’t looked down yet.  Overshoot means we have gone beyond the bounds of a finite earth in terms of resource use and waste disposal.  The point of 100% use was achieved in the early Eighties, and at that time, instead of trying to cut back and limit our use we stepped on the accelerator and increased our usage to a greater degree than had been the norm to that time.  Perhaps the tepid solutions suggested now would have had a chance of working if tried in 1980.

Nodal Problem.

What the world society has now is what I call a Nodal Problem.  The nodes of the moon – those points where the moon’s orbit crosses the sun’s orbit — the ecliptic — are symbols used in astrology with widely different meanings.  One of the most used is in the discussion below.  The North Node — also called the head of the dragon — is where we get our sustenance, and the South Node — the tail of the dragon — is where we expel wastes.  In physics these are considered as a source and a sink.  We have had a Jupiter problem at both ends of the nodes, using too much of everything and producing too much garbage.  Earth’s people, and most obviously Americans, have acted as though there is an infinite source and an infinite sink.  We have trashed the earth.  We are about to see a Saturn problem at both ends of the Nodal axis.

The list in the following paragraph consists of a few examples of the overshoot overtaking us that have crossed my attention recently.  Daily headlines will always add more details, and there are many more instances that could be used.

The last few years have seen the deaths of large number of mammals and even greater percentage of flying insects, what is being called the Sixth Extinction (see Elizabeth Kobert’s book of the same name).  Every since the late forties when their use began, the world has seen increasing use of pesticide (which kill pests) and other poisons on our food crops.  And while there have been fewer pests, there have also been fewer beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies.  As a result of the deaths of insects — remember when a journey of a few hundred miles would result in a car windshield covered with dead insects — birds, which eat insects, have suffered massive declines.  The results of out massive use of plastics has been well documented.  It has been said that all seafood contains plastic, and that plastic ends up in you when you eat the seafood.  There are cases of whales dying because there are so many plastic bags in their gut.  But there is also overfishing of the oceans, which has been going on for some time, but with new, more industrial ways of harvesting the oceans, more fish are dying accidentally, and more fish are harvested for food for humans, resulting in a dieback of the oceans.  If you read stores of how thick the fish were just a few centuries ago, and compare it to now, you will be shocked by how much has changed.  Meanwhile, on land, humans are spreading out to cover more and more of the earth.  This results in lack of areas for birds, insects, and mammals, and the closing of corridors that large land based animal need to get from one place to another.  And there is an increasing lack of water, as the ground water is depleted and there is less snowfall in the winter, and of topsoil, which is vitally needed for growing food, which is being used or blowing away, partially because of  bad farming practices.  Everyone now has myriad toxic chemicals in their bodies, and even newborn babies have such chemicals.  Not only do automobiles spew poisons in to the atmosphere, but tire dust is put out as the car moves along, and the amount of pollution from tires is greater than the amount produced by the internal combustion engine.  It has been estimated that for the amount of iron produced by one apple in 1950, by 1995 25 apples were needed, and by 2015 36 apples were need, as the nutritional level of food decreases because of global warming and increase use of toxics on food.  We have nuclear pollution that also needs to be cleaned up, from Handford Washington to Fukushima Japan.  And rapidly expanding is the threat of electronic pollution, from smart electric meters to 5G networks.  And of course there is an increase of greenhouse gases because of automobiles and the raising of cattle, among other things.

William Ruckelshaus was head of the EPA under Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.  He proposed the following solution in an article in Scientific American 1989.  This was back in a time when Republicans were to the left of the Democrats of today.  Both Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore have called Nixon the last liberal president.  As neoliberalism started, the Republicans moved to the right, as Republicans are wont to do.  The Democrats, instead of arguing from principles of Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson, agreed with the Republicans but wanted their ideas to be more moderate.  Thus the center of discourse in the United States moved to the right.  And that action was repeated over and over again, with the result that those ancient Republicans are seen as liberal, a once prominent feature of the Democratic Party.  In fact, in recent primaries, Bernie Sanders of Vermont captured much following because he was still a liberal (though technically not in the Democratic Party), a species that used to be found often in that party.  Just as a thirsty man will drink brackish water, the voters gravitated towards Sanders.

What Ruckelhaus proposed was the need for a Sustainability Revolution, like the Agricultural (Neolithic) Revolution about 10000 years ago, and the Industrial Revolution about 300 years ago, though this time under human control and in short period of time.  This is neither a new idea or a radical one, or at least not in the last century.

The current American lifestyle is not sustainable, but no one dares to say it.  And many people are frustrated because they can not have the American lifestyle that they feel is owed them.  It is very difficult to tell these people that that style of life is no longer attainable.  And consider that if you make at least $30,000 annually in the US, you are in the top 1% of the world.  And the other 99% want a better lifestyle, something closer to the American ideal.  Are they to be told to shove it, that we Americans have already used of all the available resources and then some?  That will not make most people happy.  So it should be clear that restrictions need to be made.  Perhaps American need to return to the standard of living that was enjoyed in the Seventies and that which is enjoyed by the Europeans.  It is easier to reach sustainability if society is more equal (see discussion of the book The Spirit Level, mentioned in the last post).  This is similar to the process during World War II, when it was necessary to limit the upper income people so that other people would feel better about limiting their lifestyle for the war effort, since many felt that if the rich people were allowed to increase their income, those who are not among the wealthy would not like to limit their life style.

Another thing to note, which is referenced in the title of this blog, is that we are coming off a 500 year party that started around 1500.  As this party evolved, which opened up more of the earth to partying, and used more and more resources, and produced more and more trash, more joined in the successful party.  As pointed out previously, the three zeitgeist changes of the twentieth century increased the partying even more.  After a party, it is necessary to clean the party grounds and dispose of the trash.  The other thing one must do is replenish supplies.  We will see that the next zeitgeist change is one that only occurs every 500 years.  Indeed, the Party is Over and we need to grow up.

Zeitgeist Changes – Part 4

There were two main changes in the world with the third midpoint of the Twentieth Century, and we are still living fully with the repercussions of those changes, as well as those from previous times.  One thing that you will notice is that there is no major art movement that corresponds to this third zeitgeist change, unlike the first two.  This is, I believe, because now Art (with a capital A) is a big business.  The major change that occurred at this time — 1978-1980 — was the rise of neoliberalism.  One can not judge anything happening in the world today without accounting for the neoliberalism that rules everything.

Neoliberalism is the doctrine that the markets know all, that only the market is fundamental.  I call neoliberalism Markets Uber Alles, that is Markets above all, reflecting the sayings of the Nazis (Deutschland Uber Alles) and the punk rock group the Dead Kennedys (California Uber Alles).



Third Zeitgeist Change of Twentieth Century


Here is the third midpoint between the three outer planets.  In the exact midpoint for September 10, 1979 we see that each of the three planets is at the same degree in consecutive signs, so that Neptune and Pluto are sextile and Uranus is semisextile the two other planets.  Since this is not only a midpoint configuration but also important aspects are involved, the configuration is stronger than if it were just a midpoint.  By inspecting the graphical ephemeris, one can see that, depending on the orb you allow, this midpoint configuration lasted at least from late 1977 to late 1980, which saw the election of Ronald Reagan as President of the United States.  The Uranus-Pluto midpoint is indicated by the reddish line which is intersected by the blue line of transiting Uranus in the top half of the chart.






Neoliberalism leads to privatization and austerity, which increases inequality; this has main effects on all of the population both rich and poor.  Inequality causes increasing stress among the people, resulting in more gun deaths and racial discrimination, worry about jobs and anger at immigrants.  Now, after 40 years of neoliberalism, things have changed drastically and we don’t remember what came before.  More and more power has devolved into private hands; there has been so much austerity that people are feeling the stress and act in destructive ways, both to themselves and others.  What was once thought as the commons is increasingly controlled by private power.  In several places water, which was once thought as a right of all, is controlled by a business.  Deregulation strips rules that govern the behavior of corporations, since the corporations know best.  Carter started this out with deregulation of the airline industry and the long distance truckers.  We have the greatest percentage of homeless since the Great Depression, and the current wave of homeless started appearing in the early years of the Reagan administration.

Another thing that Carter did that helped get neoliberalism started, even though it cost him the 1980 election, was to appoint Paul Volker head of the US Federal Reserve in July 1979 and Volker soon changed the monetary policy of the country, resulting in bad economic conditions that doomed the Carter presidency.  This policy was carried further on by all succeeding Presidents.

Back in the Twenties, an Italian encyclopedia defined fascism as corporatism, which is the definition that Mussolini adopted for his meaning of fascism.  America is now totally in thrall to corporations, organizations that in early America were chartered by states for a specific purpose, but now are seen as the dominant business form.  Corporations are people, which was “decided” (see this previous entry for the reason of the double quotes) by a Supreme Court decision in 1886, and has only been strengthened by later decisions, such as Citizens United v FCC.  Businessmen and CEOs are heroes of society these days — look at the adulation given to Elon Musk — and it is surprising that it has taken the country so long to elect a businessman as President.  Perhaps neoliberalism is just a further stage of fascism.

Here are some of the signs along the way in the rise of neoliberalism: Margaret Thatcher, the storekeeper’s daughter, was elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1979, and brought neoliberalism to that country with increasing austerity that has never gone away.  She served as a good partner for Ronald Reagan, elected 18 months later, to remake the world in the vision of neoliberalism.  Her motto was TINA — There Is No Alternative.  And she certainly remade England, with her crushing of a coal miners strike being only the most obvious example.  And governments after Thatcher, either Tory or Labor, followed the Thatcher formula.  Even now Britain’s National Health Service, a beacon for the world, is being dismantled and replaced by private practice.  Then Ronald Reagan was elected in the United States, as a perfect complement to Thatcher, and he helped move the neoliberalism agenda (“the problem is government”) along, and all Presidents after have also helped move neoliberalism forward.  In California a referendum was passed in 1978 called Proposition 13, which limited property tax increases and has prevented California from getting enough money to do many things that it wanted.  Passage of this had profound implications for the state, and was a trendsetter for the country.  The major effect of this act was to limit property taxes in the State of California, which hampered the construction of new schools, among other things.  The act also required a two-thirds majority of both houses of the state legislature to change the state taxes.  Since it was difficult to get such a majority in both houses, there became less and less money for such things as education, both for public schools and the state university system, which had been relatively inexpensive for residents and had been renowned for its quality.  Both those things disappears in the aftermath of the passage of this act.  Remember the leader in China that took over in 1978 after Mao died: This man, Deng Xiaoping, is reputed to have said that to get rich is glorious, which is certainly a neoliberal motto, and after that Communist China became a capitalist power.  Notice now how many things are made in China that used to be made in the United States, and how few things are still made in the United States.



The Nineties


But neoliberalism did not really get going at full speed until the election of that first baby boomer president, Bill Clinton, and the important conjunction of Uranus and Neptune in he early Nineties, which saw the rise of Financial Capitalism.  In the graph below, you can see that sometime in the early Nineties profit from manufactured goods was surpassed with profits from financial services for corporations.





I often think that the Nineties were as important as the Sixties, but they don’t get the credit.  I have an blog post about the Nineties in the works now.  But the Nineties did not have as great a soundtrack as the Sixties.  The Nineties saw the popularity of the Internet, in the guise of the World Wide Web, soar to heights, as well as the rise of financial capitalism.  The aspect indicating all this was the Uranus Neptune conjunction.  In the chart for an exact conjunction of those two planets in September of 1993, notice that in addition to the conjunction Saturn is square Pluto, often a nasty combination, and that the Uranus-Neptune conjunction is square a Mars-Jupiter conjunction.  Much happened at this time. From the graphical ephemeris we see that while the conjunction was tightest in the period 1992 through 1995, it lasted the whole decade of the Nineties.




Here are a few graphs that show the effects of neoliberalism on America.





The first graph shows the percentage of total wealth held by the top 1% and the bottom 90% of the US population starting in 1962.  You can see that the amount held by the upper 1% decreased until the late Seventies, exactly when neoliberalism started to take over, and then their share started to increase.  The share for the bottom 90% reached a plateau in the Eighties, and then started to decrease.  In the following years, the two lines are increasingly separating.




The next graph reinforces the impressions left by the first.  It shows the wealth of the bottom 90% and the upper 0.1%, that is the upper tenth of the upper 1%.  Again it shows the wealth of the upper 0.1% falling until the late Seventies and then increasing, while the wealth of the bottom 90 % increased until the middle Eighties and then started falling.  As of the last year available for this graph the parentage of wealth for the two groups has almost crossed.




This next graph shows the income growth in 1980, before neoliberalism really took off, and in 2014, after the full effect of neoliberalism had happened.  In 1980, most of the income growth went to the poorest people, those who really needed it.  In 2014, the poorest actually lost income (ie negative income growth) and most of the income growth went to the very, very rich.




Finally here is a graph of the Gini coefficient, the standard measure of income equality. Normally Gini is a number from 0 to 1, but sometimes to avoid decimals it is from 0 to 100.  With a Gini of 1.0, one person has all the wealth (and that person is probably named Jeff Bezos) and with a Gini of 0 the wealth is spread equality to everyone.  Thus decreasing Gini means less inequality, and increasing Gini means more inequality.  We see from this chart that Gini decreased until the late Fifties and then, except for some blips, remained low through the Sixties and even early Seventies, but after that started to take off.  We haven’t reached the heights of Gini we had in the Thirties, but there is still time.  The most unequal country, of modern developed countries, is the USA, far beyond (or below) others, followed by Portugal and Britain.

The effects of increasing inequality are immense, and essentially they destroy society.  There is more violence, racism, teenage pregnancy, mental illness, and everyone is affected, not just those at the lower income.  There are so many changes caused by inequality that a book is needed to document them all, and in fact such a book was published in 2010: The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett.  This is the standard reference for the problems caused by inequality, which has increased because of neoliberalism.  And to add insult to injury, those who are at the upper levels of income condemn those people who act out because of the effects of inequality, calling them such names as “deplorables” and “black predators”.

Another inequality phenomena seen in America is that the average lifespan has decreased for two years running.  Normally, life expectancy always increases, unless something very large happens, such as a major war, depression, or for example in Russia when the Soviet Union fell.  Many of the increased deaths that caused the average life span to fall were suicide, alcoholism, or drug overdose (the opioid crisis).  These are all “deaths of despair”, and despair has certainly increased with the ravages of neoliberalism.



Bear-Sterns Collapse


In the period 2007 through 2009 the world experienced a major financial meltdown called the “Great Recession”.  One signal of that meltdown was the collapse of Bear Sterns, a chart for which is above.  The most significant indicator of this meltdown was Pluto transiting over zero Capricorn, which has been discussed before.  One would think that such a failure of neoliberalism would indicate that major changes were needed.  And one would be wrong.  An incoming President oversaw the transfer of much money to the financial institutions that caused the crash, and very little to the people truly hurt by the crash.  The joke at the time was “Where’s my bailout.”  And unlike the Savings and Loan crisis of the late Eighties, where hundreds of bankers were put in jail, this time no one was imprisoned.  Truly neoliberalism is now much more dominant than it was in the late Eighties; when you don’t solve an obvious problem but rather patch it up, there are only more problems once the patch falls away, and we know this from our own lives.



Revolt Against Neoliberalism


There was a revolt against neoliberalism and the results of the financial crash in the second decade of this century, illustrated by these charts.  Transiting Pluto was opposite the US Sun at the the same time as the opening square (from the conjunction of the Sixties) of Uranus and Pluto.  Thus at the same time as the opposition, Uranus was square the Sun of the United States.  This is even more obvious from the graphical ephemeris, were you can see that Pluto is opposite the Sun (gold dashed line) from 2013 to 2016.  In fact, the last close opposition is just before the election of 2016.  Upon seeing this before the 2012 election, I said that whichever party won the 2012 election would lose the 2016 election.  Whichever party held the Presidency during the Pluto opposition would be so disgraced by the time it was through that they could not hold the Presidency.  The Sun represents the government and the President.  The previous time this aspect happened was before the American Revolution and the Sun represented the King in England.  It was a time after the Seven Years War and Britain was laying taxes on the colonies in order to pay for that war, things such as the Stamp Act and the Tea Act.  The colonists were not happy and the American Revolution eventually resulted.



Pluto Opposite US Sun


The other big change under this third midpoint was the birth of Islamic terrorism, which did not really exist before this period.  After Carter’s national security advisor Zbigniew Brezheniski (died May 2017) got the CIA to stir up trouble in the Soviet aligned government of Afghanistan (still considered the best government among those in the country that remember it) the Soviets invaded and the US and Saudi Arabia trained the mujahideen fighters to combat the Soviet invasion.  The mujahideen were guerrilla fighters from various Muslim counties, at first Afghanistan, and they often fought non-Muslim invaders.  Al Qaeda (which means the Base) was developed from that group of which Osama bin Laden was a member.  From those early terrorist groups, all the modern Islamic terrorists are descended.  When these terrorists groups — and that is what they were, even though they were funded and supported by the United States and Saudi Arabia — had driven the Soviets from Afghanistan, they turned to other opponents, such as when the United States set up troops in Saudi Arabia under the first George Bush.  This is no secret, since Brezheniski bragged about it to a French newspaper, and a British newspaper interviewed Bin Laden when he was fighting the Soviets.

At the same time — 1979 — a group of insurgents attacked a mosque Mecca, the holiest city in the Muslim world and called for the overthrow of the Saudi government.  As a result of this attack, the government of Saudi Arabia decided to more support the extreme branch of Islam call Wahhabism, though it had already been a dominant doctrine in that country.

Also in this period there was a revolution in Iran, in which the Shah — who had been installed in 1953 by a coup organized by the US and UK — was overthrown in a revolution from the religious leaders of Iran and many Americans were held hostage.  This started the long antagonism between the rulers of American and Iran, a dispute that we can see played out currently.

In early 2001 a book was published by scholar Chalmers Johnson called Blowback, which predicted that all this support of terrorist activities would blow back on the sponsors of such terrorists.  The book was mostly ignored until the 9/11 attacks happened a short time later, when suddenly Johnson was praised for his prescience.

And of course blowback is what we are facing now, with for example the group ISIS or Daesh.  One can expect even more blowback from the actions of many countries in their attempt to overthrow the government of Syria, which currently seems to be the hot spot of the world.

But remember, all of this flows from the actions of a certain government in Afghanistan in 1979.  One wonders how many deaths, destruction, and refugees have resulted since.

So here we are forty years into the neoliberal experiment, and with the “War on Terror” (first announced by Ronald Reagan, though this is often forgotten) taking place in many countries, mostly in the Middle East.  People tend to forget how much has altered with this third zeitgeist change and they assume that things have always been as they are now, and will always be the same only more so.  They don’t realize that another zeitgeist change is coming, and that it is not that far off.

Skripal Poisoning

Now that L’affaire Skripal is staring to unravel, it is time to look at the astrology of the event.  This incident occurred in early March, when a Russian double agent and his visiting daughter were found unconscious on a park bench.    Almost immediately the Prime Minister of England, Theresa May, declared that they were poisoned by a potent military grade substance she called novichok that could only be created in Russia.  Expulsion of Russian diplomats from Great Britain were followed by the same from several European countries and the United States.  This all happened before any evidence was provided.  Interestingly, Sergei Skripal lived only seven miles from Porton Downs, Britain’s top secret chemical weapons laboratory.



Skripals Found



Here is the chart for when the couple was found on a park bench in Salisbury, England.  The most noticeable thing is the exact — less than a quarter of a degree — conjunction between Sun and Neptune in Pisces; Neptune is said to rule Pisces, thus increasing the Neptunian effect of this conjunction.  This can be read two ways, both of which are true.  Neptune rules poisons and deception.  This tight conjunction says that on that day (Sun) there was both a poisoning and a deception.  This blog has pointed out before that Neptune plays an important role these days, with transiting Neptune squaring the Ascendant of the United States, Neptune trining the Sun of the same nation, Neptune at the Ascendant for the Washington, DC Capricorn Ingress (see chart below) last December — a forecast for the next year, that is 2018 — and of course the four year period at the end of the second decade of the Twentieth First Century has a transiting semisquare (chart below) of Uranus and Neptune, the opening semisquare of those two planets after their conjunction in the early Nineties.  So Neptune is writ big in these current times.  While Neptune can be read  as spiritual for evolved beings,  for the wold as it is now, Neptune always  plays outs as illusion,  deceptions, lies.



Capricorn Ingress 2017




Exact Semisquare Between Uranus and Neptune


The other noticeable aspect is Jupiter at the Nadir, opposite the Midheaven, in other words at the lowest point of the chart.  To me this says clearly that whatever Jupiter represents — expansion, enthusiasm, optimism — is at low ebb at this time.  Since at this time there is much talk about a war with Russia starting in Syria occasioned by another suspicious poison attack, I would say that is right on the money.

After this event was reported I felt cheapened.  In previous years, when a false story was reported to drum up action at the international level, at least those who made up the story attempted to make it believable.  Now days, they don’t even try.  Perhaps they think that whatever evil deed they accuse the Russians of doing will be instantly believed by the consumers of such news.  And unfortunately they are right.  With their accomplices in the media willing to spread any news desired by, as the current term has it, the Deep State, there is no trouble getting the public to believe any outlandish story.  Consider the antecedents:

The Mexican American War started when President Polk sent troops beyond the border recognized by Mexico and got the response he expected.  The first major anti-war movement spread in America as a result, consisting of among others the young Whig Congressman Abraham Lincoln.  As a result of this war the United States got California and several other states.

When an explosion occurred on the cruiser Maine in the Havana Harbor, it was considered done by the evil Spanish and thus led to an American War in Cuba. Subsequent research has suggested that the explosion was internal, perhaps exploding boilers, but we still really don’t know.  And there were few to offer an alternative at the time.

There are some who suggest that FDR instigated the attack on Pearl Harbor that led to America getting into World War II.  But in any case after America restricted oil that Japan needed for its activities, it was only a matter of tie before Japan struck back at America.  But this information wasn’t widely reported at the time.

In Korea in 1950 it was questionable whether the North would invade the South or the South would invade the North first, because of a series of provocations going back and forth, but of course this wasn’t reported at the time in the relatively small news environment that existed in the early Fifties.

When North Vietnamese ships attacked American cruisers off the shore of North Vietnam, there was no alternative (except I. F. Stone’s Weekly, the “Alternative News” of the era) to suggest that maybe we had attacked North Vietnam first, or perhaps not all the attacks that the US reported actually occurred.  And after all, the attacks that America claimed could certainly have happened.

But as we get closer to the present, the stories used to start war seem more fanciful.  In Serbia, there were claims of major genocide, but in fact the killings were greater after America intervened.  The stories of the Iraqis dumping babies from incubators at the start of the First Gulf War have been widely ridiculed, but still the war happened. Then the “weapons of mass destruction” myth used to get us into Iraq has been debunked throughly since then, and have been used as a model of how false stories can lead America into War.  The claim that Gaddafi was handing out Viagra to his troops so they would rape even more of their opponents I thought was unbelievable, but American news consumers seem to be very credulous.  But the Skripal poisoning incident takes the cake for unbelievability.

Consider the fact that a weapons grade nerve agent, ten times more deadly than VX or sarin, was smeared on the door handle (this is the latest version of the story of how the poisoning happened) of the Skripal home, and then after being exposed the two residents of the house were able to go about their business for seven hours before succumbing to effects of their exposure.  Perhaps this shows that Russian genes are that superior.  This nerve agent, we are told, acts immediately, is almost always deadly, and causes a loosing of the bowels and bladder.  Nevertheless the Skripals were able to enjoy a seafood meal before collapsing on a park bench 20 minutes later where they were found at the time listed on the chart.  But with a military grade poison many of the locals near to the infected area should also have been stricken (according to a local hospital there were no poisoning cases), but perhaps there is something in the water of Salisbury the imparts an immunity to the citizens of that town, preventing a nerve toxin from harming.  And now we have news that both have recovered from this deadly nerve agent, and Yulia has been released from the hospital, just in time for Easter!  And they say there are no more miracles in the modern age!

Sergei Skripal was a washed up double agent who had been returned for Britain almost a decade ago in a spy swap, where he now lives.  An axiom of spycraft is never kill a spy swap person, because it could queer any further spy swapping, something that is always needed.  One can be sure that Vladimir Putin knew this, but perhaps Theresa May was not aware of this doctrine.  And the obvious question is why would Putin want to kill a retired spy with an agent which screamed “Russian” shortly before an election and a World Cup tournament to be held in his country.  There are many easier way to kill an ex-spy than using a military weapon.

And what is this special agent novichok anyway?  The world means “newcomer” and if any existed in the Soviet Union (some are doubtful that it ever existed) it was eliminated long ago, and in fact Britain recently congratulated Russia for having eliminated its stock of chemical weapons, something that the United States has yet to do.  But a British-American thriller called Strike Back, which played as recently as the end of 2017 in Britain, has a story line where the term novichok is mentioned several times as a plot device.  Perhaps that is where Theresa May got the idea for using that term.

The best explanation I have heard is that the Skripals succumbed to food poisoning from the seafood meal they consumed a short time before they were found.  It is well know that there is a condition called paralytic reaction to shellfish poisoning (PSP) that causes symptoms very similar to what the Skripals underwent.  In fact, seafood can produce a neurotoxin call saxitoxin (STX) which is the most potent neurotoxin produced by nature, and the United States experimented with the substance for chemical war possibilities back in the Sixties.  Since they had eaten at a seafood restaurant shortly before they were found, the timeline fits an attack by STX.

I’m old enough to remember when the news media of a country would investigate and uncover facts like these.  But this information comes from a Norwegian blog, by way of a German blog.  Perhaps the reason these stories aren’t more believable is that there are many alternative sources that uncover the truth.  So what we see now is an attempt to censor alternative news sources, called “fake news”.  There are already reports of many fewer referrals to left wing sites since Google changed their search algorithm; I’ve heard that YouTube (owned by Google) is censoring a video.  And of course Facebook is now restricting what can be shown.  Last November the Washington Post (blog of Jeff Bezos) published a list of “suspicious” websites which you should not trust.  What we see now is that the “Wild West” days of the Internet are over, and the Internet is being tamed for the good of all right thinking people.

Zeitgeist Changes – Part 3

This second midpoint, unlike the first and third midpoints of the Twentieth Century, was a Pluto apex midpoint. And, as we shall see, Pluto was very appropriate.



Second Midpoint of Twentieth Century

This midpoint was only exact once, about a week after German surrendered, called VE-Day, for Victory in Europe.   That holiday is still celebrated in Russia, which lost 20 to 30 million people in World War II.




From this graphical ephemeris we can see how the midpoint — Uranus/Neptune is indicated by the blue line near the Pluto line near the top –got  tighter in 1944 and the separated in 1946.

Of course there were many changes because the Second World War ended. Europe had to be reconstructed; war criminals had to be tried; much territory of many countries had been devastated.  But there were other changes as well.  Decolonization broke out around the world: India became its own country and not a colony of Britain . The Korean peninsula, which had been one country for a long time was divided into two along a parallel of longitude.  The new country of Israel was created in the Levant as a home for those Jews who had not perished in the preceding war.  Within the United States new forms of painting were developed, such as abstract expressionism and color field painting.  Whereas before this period American artists had always placed second compared to European artists, with these movements America was recognized as offering a superior new artistic style, one that was followed elsewhere.


Abstract Expressionism




Color Field Painting


Another extremely important change, that has only gotten more important as time has passed, was the introduction of the first electronic computer.  The idea of a stored program computer had existed since the Nineteenth Century — see for example George Babbage, Ada Lovelace (who had a computer language named after her) and the difference and analytical engines — but the first electronic one is considered the ENIAC, developed in Pennsylvania in 1946.

Here is the chart for when it was dedicated; probably the first operation happened earlier.  The most noticeable aspect to me is the tight conjunction — quarter degree — between Mercury and Venus at 0 Pisces.  Since obviously Mercury in this chart represents the computer, this chart promises the extreme love, even addiction, that people in the future (i.e now) have for computers.



First Electronic Computer


It was a new world in more ways than one, and many problems that later became manifest originated in this period.  The afore mentioned separation of Korea is still in the news and causing problems.  Israel and its relationship with its Arab neighbors and with the native occupants who were scattered with the arrival of Jewish settlers is still a prominent feature of today’s world.  The fact that French colonies in Southeast Asia were, when the Japanese had been defeated, handed back to the French resulted eventually in the Vietnam War that tor America (not to mention the lands of that part of the world) a part of the Sixties and Seventies, and had effect in following years.

But I want to talk about only three of the changes that occurred with this second midpoint, but these three strongly influence the shape and behavior of the world today. Fortunately for astrologers, we have charts for the beginning of two of these changes.

If no other event happened in the time of the second midpoint, the dropping of the first atomic bomb in wartime (there was a previous nuclear test call Trinity in New Mexico about three weeks earlier) would be significant enough to indicate a zeitgeist change.  And at the time many people commented that the dropping of the atomic bomb cleaved all of history into before the bomb and after the bomb.  They could realize at the time that this was an event of tremendous importance.  People also realized at the time that the world after this event would be different than the peaceful world before.  This is something that we are living now, long after the bomb was dropped, and when nuclear weapons, most far more powerful than the ones dropped on Japan, exist in numbers unimaginable to those of the early postwar years.  We don’t appreciate now how drastically the world has changed from that 80 years ago.

When the bombs were dropped, many thought that it was not necessary.  Both Generals Eisenhower and MacArthur thought so.  Most of the Joint Chiefs did not think that the bombing was necessary or desirable.  The United States Strategic Bombing Survey, a study of the results of US bombing during World War II, predicted that the conflict with Japan would end by December 31, 1945, and most likely by November 1, without a ground invasion, without the atomic bomb, and without the Soviet Union entering the war against Japan, which Stalin said the Soviet army would do three months after the end of the war in Europe, which was on May 8.  One can imagine what the Soviets thought after they saw the US use the atomic bomb on a defeated country that was all set to surrender.  The bombing of Hiroshima should be seen as the opening act of the Cold War and not the closing act of World War II.  Attributing the surrender of Japan to the dropping of the atomic bombs does a great disservice to the troops of the United States (and other allied countries) whose long fight to take back the Pacific areas from Japan should be seen as the act that won the war in the Pacific.

Right after the announcement of the bombing, many people were scared.  Even though only the US had the atomic bomb at the time, many could imagine what it would be like if such a bomb were dropped on NYC.  Scientists pushed the danger also, and suggested that World government was the only thing that would prevent the destruction of the world.  Others pushed the benefits of nuclear power for the country, and painted pretty pictures of the Utopia that would exist once the peaceful atom was harnessed.  For more details of this period see By the Bomb’s Early Light by Paul Boyer.

By the end of the decade, attitudes had changed, partly due to the Soviet Union testing its own bomb in 1949.  Many believed you could survive a nuclear war with fallout shelters, and elaborate plans were made for civil defense and evacuation.  Fallout shelters were a home improvement craze for a few years.

The present belief that the bomb was necessary to end the war in the Pacific without a ground invasion by the United States that would cost a million lives was first started by two articles at the beginning of 1947, the first one in the Atlantic and a more definite one in the February 1947 issue of Harpers by Henry Simpson, who was the Secretary of War.  This proposed that a million soldiers would die in a ground invasion of the Japanese homeland.  This article was necessary because the public was beginning to wonder if dropping an atomic bomb — let alone two of them — was really necessary.  But the two bombs were different: the first one, called Little Boy (what a sweet name for an awesome weapon) was a uranium bomb.  Uranium — named for the planet and god — is the last naturally occurring element.  The elements after that have been created in the laboratory and are thus artificial, even though a couple of them have been found in nature, produced by naturally occurring radioactivity.  The next element after uranium is neptunium, and the one after that is plutonium. The bomb dropped on Nagasaki — Fat Man — was a plutonium bomb, and there has been speculation that it was dropped because the newer device needed to be tested in the real world.




This is the chart for the time the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima at 8:15 in the morning.  It is most appropriate that Uranus was on the MC, and because of the motion of the earth this conjunction would be exact two minutes later.  Uranus is also square the Ascendant with orb less than half a degree.  There was definitely change in Hiroshima on that day and at that time!  Mars is also near the top of the chart.  The Moon is conjunct Saturn, and the conjunction will be exact in twenty minutes.  This conjunction suggests restrictions and limitation on the people, and maybe suffering of women.  And then Pluto is conjunct the Sun (it was exact a few days earlier) which suggest the nature of the event.

The second important event was the passage of the National Security Act of 1947 (passed Congress July 26,1947) creating the National Security State.  The NSS (Marcus Raskin 1967) goes under various names such as the Military Industrial Complex (Dwight Eisenhower 1960) the Power Elite (C. Wright Mills 1956) and the term that has currently become popular the Deep State.  This NSS has caused America to become a militarized State.  Currently, the United States spends 60% of its disposable income for past, present, and future wars. One imagines that this is like a father who spends a majority of his income on firearms and his children are starving and his house is falling apart.  In this case that father would be judged as being quite deficient in his fatherly duties, and if you were a family member an intervention would be considered important to get him to change his ways.

The National Security State  was developed during the Truman Administration and the rise of the Cold War, right after the end of World War II.  Instead of returning the defense expenditures to the lowly amount that it was before the United States entered the War, the leaders of the country remembered that the one thing that finally licked the Great Depression was the increased defense spending that was needed to fight the War, and they decided to use “Military Keynesianism” to prevent a return to depression.  But Truman was warned that in order to have major expenditures for the military, he would have to “scare the hell” out of people.  And to do this he ramped up fear of communism and of the Soviet Union, a country which had lost so many people and whose country had been devastated in the War.  The Cold War was born out of loyalty oaths and the Truman Doctrine,  which gave rise to McCarthyism and many other things that marked Fifties America.  With the passage of the National Security Act, America became a militarized country.  The graph below show where the discretionary expenses of the Federal government go. Notice that 54% goes to the military, and another 6% goes to veterans.  Thus, at least 60% of the US budget goes past, present, and future wars.  This would once be considered impossible, unbelievable, and insane.  But since the zeitgeist has changed, people assume that spending this money for “defense” of a country that is mostly surrounded by oceans is perfectly reasonable.



The NSS has a distinct origin in the National Security Act of 1947, which created the CIA (an extension of the wartime OSS — Office Strategic Services — which coordinated spying), changed the War Department to the euphemistically named Defense Department, and created the Air Force as a separate military branch.  Books have been written (cf William Blum) about all the covert acts of the Central Intelligence Agency.  They fomented their first coup in 1948 — only a year after their birth — in Thailand, and then another coup the next year in Syria.  Syria has always been a popular country for the CIA to be involved in.  In fact, the United States just ended the most expensive CIA operation in history — called Timber Sycamore — which was an attempt to overthrow the elected government in Syria.



National Security Act takes effect


Here is a chart for when most the National Security Act of 1947 became realized.  For a chart such as this one the 12 noon time is correct.  We see that Saturn and Pluto are conjunct.  As noted before, hard Saturn Pluto aspects are not nice, and are often seen at the start of wars.  Here we see the start of the First Cold War.  Mars is semisquare the MC, suggesting war or violence.  Jupiter is conjunct the Ascendant, showing the expansive powers of the National Security State, and in fact it has swallowed up the government.  Mercury is conjunct Neptune, showing the propaganda and false stories (called in better times lying) that is a hallmark of the National Security State.  But the closest aspect is the square between Moon and Pluto with a zero orb.  Pluto semisquare Ascendant is a prominent feature of the US natal chart, and here Pluto again comes to the fore.  Pluto indicates overwhelming power, the kind that the “exceptional” country the United States of America is so willing to use.  As I have mentioned elsewhere, this shows the meme of the US: My Way or the Highway.  Just a brief listing of some of the operations the CIA has engaged in will give an idea of the scope of its operation.  As exposed by the Church Commission in the Seventies, the CIA tried to assassinated several foreign leaders, such as Fidel Castro, who was target perhaps hundreds of times.  Nelson Mandela of South Africa was turned into the South African police by the CIA.  In the early Fifties there was operation call MK-Ultra (see Acid Dreams by Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain) which besides introducing LSD to America, gave unsuspecting people doses of that substance.  In one case, they gave LSD to customers of prostitutes and then watched hidden to see how the subject behaved under the influence.  Another CIA operation was called Mockingbird in which CIA got journalists to plant stories which would make opponents look bad.  And the CIA is still very active in the public sphere, with news that the former director of the CIA (who supported the drone program and voted for the Communist Party in 1976) will be a national security correspondent for NBC and MSNBC, and that 50 ex-CIA employees are running in the 2018 primaries as Democrats.  And of course this year’s most hyped film, Black Panther, has an important role for a white benevolent CIA agent.  Thus the CIA and the National Security State will have even more influence on the public.

Another important feature of this period is called the Great Acceleration, which can be seen as the beginning of the Anthropocene Era.  The chemical industry, that had greatly developed during WW II, spread out after the war with a range of consumer products, since the military would no longer be buying.  These chemicals, like many of the new foods that were developed to sate the increasingly complex American palate, became more widespread, and what was good for America was good for the rest of the world that wanted to become Americans.  So large quantities of pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers were used on the increasingly large crops needed to feed a hungry America.

Plastics had first been developed in the middle of the Nineteenth Century, but little used.  In the Twentieth Century plastics had usually mean Bakelite before the War, expanded again and again after the War.  After the war commercial needs required plastic.  And plastics were based on petroleum.  More and more products were made plastic.  The plastic component of just about everything led to plastic that was no longer used to be just about everywhere, including five plastic “patches” in ocean gyres as shown in the map below.




The pesticide industry also expanded greatly after the War.  Before the war, most foods could be considered basically organic.  But after the War, more and more farmers considered that they needed chemical help to beat down the weeds.

Humans expanded to cover more and more territory.  The Baby Boom, that produced so many children starting after the War, required more and more houses to supply more and more families.  And those new families required automobiles and roads to hold the increasing traffic.  And eventually the children of these families produced yet more children and the cycle was repeated.



Levittown — an Early Postwar Community


And there was more and more production of things and wastes.  Nuclear bomb required nuclear testing.  And the use of atomic power to generate electricity required nuclear power plants along with the danger of radiation.  This produced nuclear fallout and then contaminated areas around each failed nuclear planet; those that hadn’t failed were potential danger zones.  Besides more faming to produce more food for the growing population, there was more fishing using larger tools that would deplete the sea’s population  (already inundated with plastic waste), and more and more consumer items were manufactured that required more “rare” materials, and some not so rare, such as phosphorus and oil.

We are living with the results of the Great Acceleration.

Zeitgeist Changes – Part 2

The first decade of the Twentieth Century was filled with many important aspects: The first was the Neptune-Pluto conjunction of the early 1890s; then Uranus opposite Pluto and then Uranus opposite Neptune; Neptune cardinal, then Uranus cardinal and finally Pluto cardinal.  But in the midst of this was Uranus at the midpoint of Neptune and Pluto 1901-1907.  This was  the first zeitgeist change of the Twentieth Century.


Uranus at Midpoint of Neptune and Pluto


Now, living under the fruits of Modernism, the revolution in the early part of the Twentieth Century, we forget how revolutionary the changes of that period were to those accustomed to the relatively slow-paced life of the Nineteenth Century.  No one is alive today that remember those days.  And what a revolution it was.  Automobiles became increasingly poplar among people who were not wealthy, allowing people to move around at much higher speed than had previously been available for most. Electrification of urban areas allowed the use of nighttime hours, which had only been illuminated by oil or gas lamps.  Cinema was changing people’s perception of life by allowing scenes that had only been seen by few to be seen by many for only a small price.  Some art became totally abstract, and other art was somewhat representational but still widely different from conventional life.  Music took strange atonal paths.  And two great breakthroughs in science — special theory of relativity and quantum mechanics — changed the strictly mechanistic sense of the universe forever.  In psychology, people learned that human motivations was often pushed by unconscious forces that where not imagined previously.  And of course the introduction of the first mechanical airplanes were to change the world forever.  What follows are a few highlights of the revolutionary changes at the beginning of the Twentieth Century.

The first Russian Revolution took place in 1905; it wasn’t successful and made the Russians even angrier.  Then, after the disastrous World War I, they fought the second Russian Revolution of 1917, which was successful.

The Emperor of China, Puyi, who was the twelfth ruler of the Qing Dynasty, served as a child emperor for a few years.  A film was made about his life in 1987.  Born in 1906, he ruled from 1908 to 1912.  He was not only the last emperor of his dynasty, but in fact the last emperor of China.  The Twentieth Century was encroaching on China.  By the end of that century, China would be a place unrecognizable to Puyi.

The NAACP – then called the Niagara Movement, so called because the forming members were not allowed to eat in a hotel in the United States so they had to meet on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls – was formed in the United States in 1905.

The International Workers of the World, commonly known as the Wobblies, were formed in 1905 with the intent to be One Big Union.  They wanted all workers to join together to form a union, and were on the forefront of radical labor action, for which they paid a high price.

An Indian lawyer in South Africa by the name of Mohandas Gandhi, promulgated his doctrine of non-violent protest, called Satyagraha, on September 11, 1906.  This is often referred to as “the first 9/11” but has a much different meaning in history than what the phrase “9/11” usually refers to.  He later moved back to India where that doctrine changed the government.  His doctrine was also adopted by Dr. Martin Luther King in the United States, with far-reaching repercussions.

There were anarchist and syndicalist movements forming all around the world, such as in Korea, China, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, and South Africa.  Details of this international anarchism are found in the book Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World 1870-1940 edited by Steven Hirsch and Lucien van der Walt.

In America in 1904 there was one of the biggest ecological disaster that had ever happened in that country.  In that year started a chestnut bight that destroyed an estimated 3.5 billion chestnut trees in the country.  The cause was a fungus imported from Asia.  By the time the Great Depression hit America in less than 30 years the people of especially Appalachia were hit by this lack of food and lumber.

In the realm of science, two major theories were developed in this period which revolutionize science and our concept of the Universe, which up until that time had been based on theories of Issac Newton in the Eighteenth Century.  In the very small quantum mechanics was developed by Max Planck, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Albert Einstein, and others.  In the very large the Special and General Theories of Relativity were developed by Albert Einstein with help by Max Planck and others.  Both these theories had profound implications and brought science beyond Newtonian physics.  And in 1912 the meteorologist Alfred Wegener developed theory of continental drift, which was immediately rejected only to be accepted a quarter of a century later.  The theory was first suggested in the late 16th Century under a Uranus-Pluto conjunction. Also in the first decade of the Twentieth century scientists like Henri Becquerel, Ernest Rutherford, and Marie Curie made discoveries that laid the foundation for the atomic bomb.

But there were also big changes in our concept of the interior world, lead by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, who first communicated in 1906.  There were many others developing the new fields to explore the mind, such as psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.  The concept of the subconscious and the interest in analyzing dreams were just two of the ways their ideas changed the world.




Les Demoiselles d’Avignon


Nude Desdendnig a Staircase No.2


Improvisation-x Kandinsky


Picture With White Form – Kandinsky


Samovar – Malevich


Suprematism Eight Rectangles – Malevich


Dynamism of a Car – Luigi Russolo

The art world also saw a big burst of change.  The Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and the French artist Georges Braque were starting their careers which would lead to the school of Cubism.  Picasso’s painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon from 1907 shocked and scandalized the art world.  Also at this time an artist who is considered one of the best of the Twentieth Century, along with Picasso, was at work. This was Henri Matisse.  Marcel Duchamp, who later would be famous in the world of Dada, created the painting called Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, which was shown in 1912.  In Italy the movement know as Futurism was developed.  The artists of this school were enchanted by the speed of cars and planes, of the new world forming at the beginning of the century.  In Russia what has been called the Russian avant-garde was developing.  The best known artists of this school were Wassily Kandinsky and Kazimir Malevich but there were many others. They took abstraction far beyond the ideas of Picasso and Duchamp.

Among writers there were James Joyce, who often considered the outstanding author of the Twentieth Century, and Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.  Upton Sinclair and Jack London were publishing novels that shook up the view of the world.  And don’t forget L. Frank Baum and his Wonderful Wizard of Oz, rumored to be a political parody, which is still influential.  Theodor Herzl published his idea of Zionism, whose influence is felt strongly 100 years later.

The development of computers took a step forward with the work of Herman Hollerith. He developed the 80-column punch card that could be used to tabulate data automatically.  This device was used to automate the 1890 census, speeding up the time it took to finish the count by a factor of eight.  He founded a company which was later merged to form IBM.  The use of 80 columns was popular in the computer field through the Eighties.

But then an even more important development necessary for the whole modern electronic age happened in the middle of the first decade of the Twentieth Century.  This invention is little remembered today, thought it is as important as others that are still heralded.  This device was the audion or triode, invented by Lee de Forest (called the Father of the Radio) in 1906.  I found him mentioned in a book called The Shallows by Nicholas Carr, which has further references.  The audion was an amplifier for electric currents, and made possible radio and long distance telephone calls, which would otherwise be limited by weak signals.  Vacuum tubes were extremely important in the first electronic computers, invented under the second zeitgeist change of the Twentieth Century, and when miniaturized into transistors, were important in the second generation of electronic computers, developed in the Fifties.

Cars were becoming increasingly popular in the first decade of the Twentieth Century. This popularity was greatly helped by the introduction of the first affordable automobile, the Model T Ford in 1908.  This automobile was released by the Ford Motor Company of Detroit Michigan and not only allowed the middle class to afford an automobile, but provided employment to many, including recent immigrants to the United States and Blacks fleeing the Jim Crow South.  The implication of the automobile were profound but they weren’t realized for many years.  All of the gas burned polluted the atmosphere causing the greenhouse effect, and people stopped moving, leading to many diseases of inactivity.  As a result of the widespread use of the automobile large stretches of open land have been paved over, for highways, parking lots, and driveways—personal parking lots for each home.  In fact , some homeowners associations require all houses to have driveways, whether or not they are used.  If an alien viewed Earth, the alien might believe that automobiles are the dominant life-form on the planet.  These automobiles are attended to by small symbiotes who feed them and keep their outsides clean, and buy them fuzzy dice and dashboard mascots, in exchange for which the small symbiotes are taken places by the automobiles.

Motion pictures were developed during this period.  People like Edison in 1891 and Lumiere in 1895 developed a way of projecting a picture onto a screen: if this was done often enough the human brain would not see individual frames but rather continuous motion.  But by the early years of the Twentieth Century motion pictures became wildly popular as the art of cinema developed and people no longer had to be content with images of simple motion.  By the middle of the first decade of the XXth Century feature films – films longer than one reel – were being produced.  At the same time actors began to get credit and production companies were organized.

But it was not only motion pictures that became increasingly popular, but still pictures that could be taken by an individual.  Today when many people carry camera with them on their cell-phones, we forget what a breakthrough this was since before this time photography was a difficult process not suitable for someone not truly interested in the act.  This change was due to George Eastman and his introduction of the Brownie camera in 1900 with the motto “You push the button, we do the rest”.

The development of the airplane, most famously by the Wright Brothers, in the first decade of the new century, revolutionize life.  Another person famous in the history of powered flight, who may also have a claim to the first flight, is Glenn Hammond Curtiss, who made the first officially witnessed powered flight and founded the aircraft industry. The names of both these pioneers lives in the name of the current aerospace company Curtiss-Wright Corporation.  The dream of flying like a bird had been a long one for mankind, as the myth of Icarus suggests.  It was given a boost with the development of hot-air balloons by the Montgolfier brothers in 1783, allowing humans to float over Paris. But by the Twentieth Century powered flight came into being, and there were many developments after that in the field.  This allowed humans to move easily from place to place around the world, and also, as an unforeseen consequence, to transfer all types of animals and microbes from one part of the world, where immunity existed, to other parts of the world where that particular disease had never been seen.   We are living with the consequences.

Music also changed in this period.  Igor Stravinsky changed music with his Rite of Spring, first performed in 1913.  The production was shocking, and the use of chords changed the way future composers looked at music.  There was also a Futurist movement in music with many of the same origins as in painting.  Charles Ives was one of the first American composers to be known throughout the world.  The French composer Edgard Varese was relatively unknown at the time, but he has influenced many such as the rock artist Frank Zappa.  Sergei Prokofiev was another composer who broke away from the Nineteenth Century.

Another important change for the United States and the rest of the world was that in this period — specifically 1899 — the United States made the conscious decision to become an empire.  Full details are given in the recent book by Stephen Kinzer The True Flag.  In the aftermath of the Spanish-American war, the United States came into possession of colonies: Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.  In the latter, the US was engaged in a fierce struggle to hold on to the islands  against the natives who for some reason did not want to be governed by another foreign power.   The American Anit-Imperialist League was founded to battle this war, and had prominent members such as Mark Twain,  William James, and Andrew Carnegie.



Here we see two charts: One for the explosion of the battleship Maine in the Havana  Harbor, thus beginning the Spanish-American War.  The  second chart is for the explosions on 9/11, thus beginning the War on Terror.  Notice they are the reverse:  The first chart has Pluto on the Descendant of the United States opposite Saturn, indicating an explosion outside the country.  The second chart has Pluto opposite Saturn again, but this time Pluto is on the Ascendant, indicating an explosion in the country.  I see these two events/charts as booklends to the American Empire.

The period 1900-1913 saw the greatest immigration in to the United States.  People from other countries were seeking a new home in the United States, and often working at low paying jobs and living in tenements that had developed in larger cities, unlike the immigrants of earlier times that formed homesteads in rural territories.

This period saw changes in the commercial sphere as well.  The first Sears catalogs had appeared at the end of the Nineteenth Century; they were the of the day, allowing people to look at many products within the comfort of their homes.  The early Twentieth Century saw the improvement of the catalog, which reached more people.  The cash only department stores, that catered to the urban population (still a minority in a country that was basically rural), started to allow products to be bought on the installment plan, which meant that consumers could buy products that were previously unavailable to them because of prices that were beyond their budget.  This  practice of installment buying led to problems during the Great Depression a quarter century later.



Pluto Crosses Cardinal Axis


But this whole period of growth was brought to an end by another astrological configuration: Pluto crossed into Cancer.  In Uranian astrology, the world horoscope is based on the cardinal cross: 0 of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn.  These form the foundation of the world, hence the term “World Horoscope”.  This is also the basis of the tropical astrological signs.  And Northern Hemisphere centric, they place 0 Cancer at the Tenth house cusp, because the Sun is the highest then in the northern hemisphere. When these outer planets, especially noticeable with Pluto, cross this axis, the world is changed: one example: when Pluto crossed into Capricorn in 2007-09, the world experienced what is called the Great Recession.  Five hundred years before that, at a similar ingress, the Reformation began.  Half way between the two, also a Capricorn Ingress of Pluto, the English defeated the French in Canada during the Seven Years War, and thus became the dominant power in a unipolar world.  In 1914, Pluto made several entrances into Cancer, and within a month of one of those, a royal couple was shot in Sarajevo, igniting the First World War and thus ending the developments of the first decade and a half, under this midpoint of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

Much of this entry was previously published in “Modernism and the Start of the Twentieth Century”;  I have plagiarized several paragraphs.

The major changes of this period are so ingrained in the modern world that there is little controversy about them.  Not so for the next  two zeitgeist changes of the Twentieth Century.  These are still close to the current era, and their effects are still prominent in the current world.

Zeitgeist Changes – Part 1

The major contours of history are shown by the transits of the outer planets — Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.  For example, World War One was shown by a semisextile between Neptune and Pluto, the Great Depression was indicated by a semisquare/square/sesquiquadrate between those three planets, World War Two was shown by a trine between Uranus and Pluto, the Cold War was indicated by the long sextile between Neptune and Pluto that lasted (as did the Cold War between the United States and allied powers and the Soviet Union and its allied powers) between 1945 and 1991, when the Soviet Union dissolved, and the Sixties by a conjunction between Uranus and Pluto.

Here are charts that illustrate these aspects. Included is both a wheel chart showing when the aspect is exact, and the the appropriate graphical ephemeris showing how the aspect behaved over time.  A brief note for those not used to a graphical ephemeris (described in the section Definitions at the top of this page).  The graphical ephemeris shows the motions of the planets over time, and this is indicated by the horizontal scale along the bottom.  The graphical ephemeris is shown in the harmonic appropriate to make the aspect in question look like a conjunction; thus for example the semisextile — thirty degrees — is a twelfth harmonic (30 X 12 = 360, a full circle) aspect so that a graphical ephemeris to show the semisextile between Neptune and Pluto shows those two planets being close together in the time period shown is drawn in the twelfth harmonic.



World War One


This first chart shows a fairly exact semisextile between Neptune and Pluto, which were conjunct a quarter century earlier, on 9/23/1916, in the midst of World War One. The next image shows the graphical ephemeris from June 1914 when the conflict started, to when the conflict ended about where the black arrow is.  You can see that the semisextile started becoming within orb at the start of the war on the far left of the graph, got very tight during the middle part of the war, and then separated.



WW I Graphical Ephemeris



The Great Depression


This next chart shows an exact triangle consisting of Uranus sesquiquadrate Neptune, Neptune semisquare Pluto, and Pluto square Uranus to complete the figure on 4/7/1932 at the height of the Great Depression.  In the corresponding graphical ephemeris, we can see a close Neptune-Pluto semisquare with Uranus approaching aspect with the two at the left of the graph, right as the Great Depression was starting.  Then all three travel together — in the eighth harmonic — in the peak of the Great Depression.  Finally, by 1935, the three planets begin to separate from aspects.



Great Depression Graphical Ephemeris



World War Two


In this next set of charts, we see an exact trine between Uranus and Neptune on 4/7/1942, when World War Two was going strong and all parties were involved.  In the graphical ephemeris, Uranus and Neptune start to travel in trine at the left of the chart in 1936, when the war really started with Japan invading China, Franco attacking forces in the Spanish Civil War, and Germany invading several countries.  The war officially started in early September 1939, with Germany attacking Poland; this is the second vertical line to the left of the center line, where the trine is exact.  The trine separates after 1943 and gets even wider as the war draws to a close.



WW II Graphical Ephemeris



Cold War


With the Cold War, we see an exact sextile between Neptune and Pluto on June 27, 1953, when the Cold War was going strong.  But the Cold War lasted a long time, from 1945 until the disappearance of one of the protagonists of the Cold War in 1991.  In this graphical ephemeris spanning 50 years, we see that Neptune and Pluto start to get within orb of a sextile at the far left of the graph in 1945, and they go in and out of exactitude over the next 50 years.  The sextile finally separates for good in late 1990 and 1991.  You can see that the two periods where the aspect was very exact in the early Fifties and the early Eighties.





The Sixties


Finally here are two charts for the Sixties, the first showing an exact conjunction on April 4, 1966.  The corresponding graphical ephemeris shows Uranus and Pluto approaching conjunction in 1964 (though with a larger orb it may have been earlier — the separation at the far left between the two planets is about five degrees), the conjunction is exact in  1965 and 1966, and then  the conjunction widens after that with the orb being about four degrees at the right of the graph, which is September  1967.



Sixties Graphical Ephemeris



Aspects involving all three planets are more potent that those involving just two, and the strongest of those is the midpoint.  Midpoints involving the three outer planets occur at most three times a century and, as we shall see later, these midpoint configurations indicate a major change in the zeitgeist of society, one so great that it can be called a “Soft Coup.”  People who come of age after the midpoint do not realize that the world was ever different than what they know, and others soon forget that the world was once different, so that they begin to accept the new reality as having always be the fact.  These are zeitgeist changes.  Zeitgeist is a German word that means spirit of the time, the way people think or believe, like the water that a fish swims in.  Once you forget that the zeitgeist has changed and believe that things have always been as they are now, you also come to believe that things can’t change, that they will always be like they are now. That is the difficulty many people have as they attempt to predict the future; they think that things will go on as they are now, and as they have always been — they just carry on the trends that are happening now for a few more years.



Neptune Midpoint early Sixteenth Century


There are two or three midpoints most centuries and (for the last 2000 years) they alternate between Uranus at the apex with Pluto at the apex.  There are two exceptions: the first is that once every 500 years we have Neptune at the apex.  From a limited sample, these midpoints are the most important since they indicate a change that will influence the next 500 years.  The last such midpoint was about 1503-1506; this period saw publication of the first maps of the earth that were similar to the ones we use today; the voyages of the previous decade had shown the Europeans that there were new continents.  These new maps and conception of the world set the stage for the subsequent colonization and exploitation of that new hemisphere that would definitively influence and shape the next half millennium — the 500 Year Party.  The previous midpoint with Neptune at apex was 990-993, and that period saw the rise of Otto I — first ruler of the Holy Roman Empire — and a rebirth of art in the medieval period.  This is called the Ottonian Renaissance.  In China the Song Dynasty started, and there soon resulted in what is called the Song Renaissance, where among other things gunpowder and movable type were developed.



Neptune Midpoint late Tenth Century



Midpoints Eighteenth Century


The other exception is that once every 500 years there is a century where the three outer planets are in signs of the same element so there is potentially a grand trine.  In this case all three take tuns being the apex planet.  This is the only midpoint activity of that century.  The last trine like this occurred in the period 1760-1776.  This saw the Enlightenment and the birth of the United States.  The one before that was in 1240 through 1265.  Mongol hordes from Asia, led by grandsons of Genghis Khan, had been attacking Europe for many years in the Thirteenth Century, and may have introduced gunpowder into Europe; they mysteriously started to withdraw in 1242.  Perhaps the fact that the climate changed significantly at this point was one of the reasons for the sudden withdrawal.  But the next quarter century, the period of this midpoint configuration, was a time when the beaten Europe had to recover itself and redefine its reality.


Midpoints Thirteenth Century


Here a my preliminary thoughts to the meanings, beyond the zeitgeist change, for these various types of outer planet midpoints.  Uranus apex midpoints signify a change; this is sort of the default midpoint result.  Pluto apex midpoints are a more transformative change.  Neptune apex midpoints represent the most far reaching change, determining the next 500 years, but also the most nebulous or least obvious.  The grand trine configuration of all three apex planets in a midpoint represents a change in many dimensions over a wide period of time.

About 2500 years ago — 576BCE — there was a triple conjunction of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.  Since the period of Neptune is about twice the period of Uranus, and that of Pluto is three times the period of Uranus, this is not impossible.  The period for the conjunction of all three is about 4000 years so the next will occur in 3369CE.  But for the 500 years or so after this conjunction, that is before the Common Era started, the midpoints of those three outer planets did not follow the scheme indicated above.  The midpoint of this 4000 year cycle was in 1396 so we are in  the second half of this long cycle.