We have seen the growth of a materialistic viewpoint over the last 500 years. It started very slowly but with the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions and the Enlightenment, that worldview has become dominant. Scientists were praised as gods after the dropping of the Atomic bomb 75 years ago and that has not really abated in the years since. And even those religions that claim to be rooted in the older worldview have subscribed to the modern materialism. Everyone has so bought into the Cartesian worldview that any alternative is quickly banished or mocked.
In the current world, science is the new religion, and scientists are looked to as authorities just as in an earlier age religious figures were sought for guidance. This is a direct example of Uranus killing Neptune. In the modern age, science has been bought out by Capitalism whose handmaiden it has become, totally prostituted by Mammon. As an example see how many medical organizations are funded by pharmaceutical companies who support a certain theory of disease. It is no wonder that the promptings of science are increasingly disbelieved by the populace. Consider such subjects as nuclear power, genetically modified organisms (GMO), vaccines, various psychiatric drugs for whatever ails you, wireless transmission for cell phones and WiFi and especially 5G, geoengineering, fluoridated water, even astrology. I’m sure you can add or subtract from that list. And for almost all of those items, corporations stand to make much money from the use of them. Though l’m not aware of any astronomers who make more if people disbelieve in astrology, astrology is such obvious nonsense to the scientific world view that scientists disbelieve and criticize the belief in astrology as a freebie, to show that they are honest. Many years ago 86 scientists signed a letter condemning astrology (I remember this since my mother would send me newspaper clippings of this story). Carl Sagan refused to sign that letter since he had not studied astrology. That was a true scientist.
Science has been corrupted by corporations; as long as that is the case science will cease being believed even though it has truth to share. In fact, a scientist recently wrote that “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness… The apparent endemicity of bad research behaviour is alarming. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world. Or they retrofit hypotheses to fit their data.” That was a statement of the editor of the prominent British medical journal The Lancet, Richard Horton, in 2015.
A recent article published and then retracted by The Lancet (with the same editor) shows that this problem has not gone away. The President of the United States has touted the long used anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) (with zinc, it is important to add) for Covid19. The drug has been used without safety warnings for 70 years. Soon after the recommendation a study documenting the health risks of such a regimen appeared in The Lancet. The report was so dodgy one wonders why it was accepted in the first place. Since HCQ is inexpensive ($20 for a two week supply), its use is a threat to the large profits that can be made by a vaccine. It appears from analysis of the report that it was an obvious fraud. This kind of scandal will again darken the name of science and medicine, being yet another example why science will not be trusted in the future. So again Capitalism has bought out Science. A sad day for science. (On a personal note, as a college undergraduate I took many lab courses in both physics and chemistry and one of the first things a student figures out is how to fudge results. Just sayin’.) Doctor Horton explained this fault by saying that pharmaceutical companies are so powerful, and have so much money, that it is difficult to withstand their onslaught.
Technocracy is another word that indicates this over-dominance of the rational. Technocracy was a political movement of the early Twentieth Century that has since become unpopular as a word but very popular in reality. Both former President Obama and all of Silicon Valley are heavily technocratic. The basic philosophy behind technocracy is that only scientists really know what is happening and so scientists should rule the world. People think you must listen to science (Greta Thundberg on the occasion of Earth Day said exactly that) which is a direct statement of technocratic thinking. But technocracy is not a new concept. Francis Bacon, the father of the scientific method, wrote New Atlantis, a utopian novel published in 1626. In this novel a Pacific island is discovered — this being the time when new lands were being found — that is run by scientists and where everyone on the island is morally superior.
Technocracy is an example of technological fundamentalism: technology will save us, which has been called (James Howard Kunstler) the Google mindset – ‘Dude, we’ve got technology so no worries’ and so we don’t have to change our way of thinking. One example of this belief that technology will save us is the current negative reaction (and censorship) among environmentalists to the recent film The Planet of Humans produced by Michael Moore, who once was a darling of the Green Set. Many in the green energy movement believe that once everything is electrified we will be be free to continue our previous lifestyle. Many who don’t think of themselves as “climate deniers” nevertheless don’t really see that they deny the magnitude of the “problem”, which is not a problem but rather a predicament (John Michael Greer). A problem needs a solution; a predicament needs a change so you can live with it, since the predicament will not go away once a (not the) solution is found.
Transhumanism is another concept promoted by technocratic oriented individuals, especially those around Silicon Valley. Loosely, this is the idea that human beings can avoid illness and even death through technology, though one may wonder if the resulting being can still be considered human. A current streaming show called Upload illustrates this belief in overcoming death through technology. Expect to see more news about transhumanism in the future as the wealthy geniuses of Silicon Valley reveal more of their plans to the public, worked up about health threats from the latest pandemic.
While it is hard to produce a date and chart for this overriding event of the last 500 years, a good chart for the crux of this turning is found in 1821, just as the Industrial Revolution was reaching a wider world than just Great Britain. It has been a doctrine of this blog that the outer planets and their angular relations are important in historical events. Aspects of the three outer planets, such as the conjunctions of Uranus and Pluto in the decade of the Sixties or the conjunction of Uranus and Neptune in the decade of the Nineties were defining of the nature of that decade. Even more potent are aspects involving all three outer planets, especially midpoints. Also important for world events are aspects to the cardinal — Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn — points, as in for example the conjunction of Pluto with zero Capricorn as signifier of the Great Recession. So it interesting to look at the aspects of the third decade of the Nineteenth Century, with Pluto a 0 Aries square the Uranus-Neptune conjunction at 0 Capricorn. Many charts could be drawn for this period of time; the one I chose has Uranus and Neptune conjoined at zero Capricorn square Pluto at zero Aries; Mars is opposite the conjunction at one Cancer forming a T-Square with Pluto at the apex; Jupiter and Saturn are a few days past a conjunction showing the start of a new twenty year cycle. There is also a Full Moon. This is an important time for humanity. And if you graph the per capita GDP for the world over time, it continually grows at a steady rate with only two upwards bends: around 1820 and just after 1945.
The Romantic Movement was a large reaction to the rise of rationalism in the Eighteenth Century indicated by the Enlightenment, the rise of laissez faire capitalism, and the Industrial Revolution. This too is signified by this chart. The Romantic Movement was an intellectual fashion during the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth centuries in literature, art, and many other fields that emphasized emotion, intuition, nature, and a return to historical roots. The planet Neptune is almost synonymous with the Romantic idea, as opposed to Uranus, a good symbol for the Rational, Enlightenment period. Uranus was discovered in 1781 just as these trends were getting started, whereas Neptune was discovered near the End of the Romantic Movement in 1846.
In every case over these many centuries with hard aspects of Uranus and Neptune, Neptune was bent to Uranian principles, because that is what served the direction of society. The way this manifested itself is what I call “Electronic Drugs”, the Electronic part suggesting Uranus and the Drugs part suggesting Neptune. For example, in the conjunction of 1821, the “Electronic Drug” was photography. We can not imagine, since photography is so common these days and many people take photographs many times a day, what an immense change this was from the norm of the preceding millennia. The only fixed representation of a scene known by people before that time was a painting. Then for the opposition of the early 1900’s the electronic drug was moving pictures, which again was a huge change from what had gone before. Previously only in a stage play could one see life recreated, but with cinema this could happen often. Also at this time George Eastman introduced the box camera so that individuals and not just professionals could create photographs. Radio also was developed in this time frame. Then for the square of those two planets in the middle Fifties the electronic drug was television, which had existed before but by that period became immensely popular. Again this was a huge change where people could watch moving pictures in their home. This also changed politics, for example in the Kennedy-Nixon debates of 1960. Then, with the conjunction of the early Nineties, the world saw the rise of the World Wide Web, the Internet brought to the masses. Video and more are now streaming. Many more ideas are now set loose on the world, it could be a hard time for orthodoxy. The web will be seen to have huge implication of most everything in life, and we are only beginning to see some of the changes. You can see this with the censorship of the web becoming more and more popular.
But notice in every one of these hard aspects, Neptune has not really been manifested in a Neptunian way, one that is gravely needed. Perhaps when Neptune goes to zero Aries and at the apex of Uranus and Pluto, these totally Neptunian manifestation will be shown.
The development of the industrial world and all that implies was made possible by these scientific inventions of the last 500 years, and especially made possible by hydrocarbon based energy, first from coal for the first 100 years and then by oil. This made growth the watchword of the industrial world. Some have called the Nineteenth Century the Coal Century and the Twentieth Century the Oil Century; what energy source will define the Twenty-First Century?
Growth is the mantra that all government systems – fascism, capitalism, socialism, communism, whatever — follow wholeheartedly. This system of growth practiced by all governments worldwide is what is breaking down. This was highlighted almost 50 years ago by a book called The Limits (Saturn) of Growth (Jupiter) which was immediately rejected by many “serious” thinkers upon publication in 1973. What seemed as a fantasy by many people back then now seems like a description of the world. The book’s projection of the world in 2000 is now seen as hewing closely to reality. That book’s lessons on exponential growth is something everyone should know.
So this is the result of 500 years of rejection of an ancient way of looking at the world and thus disenchantment.
There are signs that the materialistic worldview in Science is changing, that there is a recognition that mysticism has something to teach science. There are bookshelves of volumes indicating this, and the rush was started by the publication in 1975 of the book The Tao of Physics by physicist Fritjof Capra. That field of study has only expanded in the last 45 years. Those interested should check out the works of physicists David Bohm (“implicate and explicate order”) and biochemist Rupert Sheldrake (“morphogenetic fields”). Many of the ideas expressed in these books extend from quantum mechanics, a major scientific revolution that started in the first decade of the Twentieth Century which I most closely associate with German physicists Max Planck and Albert Einstein, but many others contributed to the study. These developments started under under the midpoint of Uranus (at zero Capricorn) at the apex of Neptune and Pluto, the first major zeitgeist change of the Twentieth Century that I pointed out previously. That these developments in what could be called “meta-physics” started with the ferment of the Sixties is nakedly indicated by the book called How the Hippies Saved Physics by David Kaiser.
I’ve discussed previously the predominance of Neptune in the next 10 years. Combining this with the above discussion of Neptune as the irrational, one may read this as the end of the over reliance on the rational, that is a growth of irrational or Romantic in this decade as one possible interpretation of Neptune. One of the trends we may see in this decade, still new and according to some not starting until 2021 (the argument being that there was no year zero) is an increasing respect for the irrational, the right brained, the feminine, the lunar. We need to make the world whole again by bringing back the irrational. We need a re-enchantment of the world. Another useful book in this regard is by Morris Berman called The Reenchantment of the World published in 1981, which lays out another argument along the lines of this post.
But Neptune can play out in many ways. For example, the powers in charge of the world are currently trying to form a Dickian (after the science fiction writer Philip K. Dick) world (called the Great Reset by the World Economic Forum) if we let them, and they are using Neptune to hide what they are doing from us. Hyper rationality is being used as a cover. (You don’t want to argue with Science; are you some kind of Luddite??) Will we see through the illusion in time to wrest control back into peoples’ hands and restore democracy? Neptune can go several ways and so which one will it be? This dominance of Neptune also suggests (self) deception so we must be eternally skeptical of pronouncements and always look beneath the surface truths. But Neptune also represents the Irrational as shown above, and perhaps this prominence of Neptune over the next 10 years represents the return of the irrational for a more balanced position in the world. Perhaps this coming decade will see the re-enchantment of the world after 500 years of the growth of the rational.