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).

 

midpoint1979

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.

 

 

1979tg

 

 

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.

 

urne1

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.

 

dsc_0129b

 

 

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.

 

urne1_tg

 

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

 

wealth-inequality

 

 

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.

 

wealth_dist

 

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.

 

income_growth

 

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.

 

gini-index-usa

 

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.

 

bearsterns

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.

 

ploppussu

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.

 

ploppsu_tg

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.

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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.

 

midpoint1945

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.

 

1945tg

 

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.

pollock.lavender-mist

Abstract Expressionism

 

 

rothko-moma1

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.

 

eniac

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.

 

hiroshima

 

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.

discretionary_spending_pie,_2015_enacted_large

 

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.

 

NSS

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.

 

OceanPlasticGyres

 

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

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.

urmpnepl

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.

 

 

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Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

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Nude Desdendnig a Staircase No.2

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Improvisation-x Kandinsky

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Picture With White Form – Kandinsky

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Samovar – Malevich

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Suprematism Eight Rectangles – Malevich

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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 Amazon.com 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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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WW I Graphical Ephemeris

 

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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.

 

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Great Depression Graphical Ephemeris

 

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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.

 

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WW II Graphical Ephemeris

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Neptune Midpoint late Tenth Century

 

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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.

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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.

Early Twentieth Century Disasters

In the early part of the XXth century, inspection and control were lax, safety measures somewhat non-existent, and large disasters occurred more often than 100 years later. Here are four.

The General Slocum was a cruise ship in Brooklyn, New York, built near the end of the Nineteenth Century.  On June 15, 1904 it was chartered by a church group for an enjoyable cruise to Long Island and a picnic.  The ship was carrying an estimated 1331 passengers, mostly German immigrants or second generation German-Americans from a Lutheran Church in lower Manhattan.  The disaster that befell it is less well known than the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, discussed below, which also took place in New York City.  Shortly after leaving the dock a fire started on the ship.  It is still unclear exactly how the fire started.  Witnesses claimed the fire started in either a cabin filled with paint or one filled with gasoline.  The passengers could either die by fire or die by drowning, since most probably could not swim, and the clothing of the early Twentieth century made swimming difficult.  There were mostly women and children on the ship, and the large skirts on the women made swimming difficult.  Ship safety quality had not been maintained: the fire hoses were rotten, the life preservers fell apart and the crumbling cork acted as a dead weight for the wearers, and the life boats were not accessible, in some cases wired down or painted to walls.  To coin a phrase, it was a disaster waiting to happen.  The captain of the ship also made bad decisions that delayed rescue.  Help was slow in arriving.  The ship left dock at 9:30 for a church picnic, and the fire was noticed at 10, which is when the chart is drawn.  As a result, over 1000 people died.  Since most of the people lost were from Little Germany in Manhattan, that neighborhood declined after the disaster.  The captain was sentenced to 10 years in Sing Sing.  He was released after 3 and a half years.  Steamship inspection was reformed.

 

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Slocum Fire

 

The first thing we notice in the chart of this event is the conjunction of Sun, Mars, Pluto, and Venus, with Mars and Pluto (major violence) within one-half degree.  And that conjunction is trine Saturn: Extreme violence on that day (Sun) affecting mostly women (Venus).  The trine indicates that the death in this case had long lasting (Saturn) effects. The Sun opposite Uranus suggests the suddenness of this disaster (and don’t forget that the word “disaster” means “bad stars”, that is a evil combination of planets, and is essentially an astrological word).  The sextile between Jupiter and the Sun, and from the sixth harmonic chart we can see how close that sextile (conjunction is the sixth harmonic) actually is, shows that this disaster was indeed big, that is, Jupiterian.

 

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Slocum Sixth Harmonic

 

The sinking of the Titanic is a famous disaster, and movies have been made of the incident.  The Titanic was supposedly unsinkable, and it left London on its maiden voyage for New York City, filled with both poor people and the rich.  It struck an ice berg in the North Atlantic at 11:38 pm ship time on April 14, 1912.  It took two hours and 40 minutes to sink and more than 1500 people died, making it one of the largest maritime disasters in history.  The Titanic lived up to its name: it was four city blocks long and 11 stories high; it included a gym, a swimming pool, and a squash court.  Since it was considered unsinkable, only half the number of needed lifeboats were provided.  Another problem was a lack of binoculars which prevented crew members stationed in the crow’s nest from seeing the iceberg they were approaching.  The ship was equipped with state of the art communications, but somehow the warnings about ice that were received never were passed on to the bridge.  Many of the lifeboats were lowered half full since ship’s crew was not certain they had been tested for seaworthiness.  Even though there was a close ship when the accident happened, that ship (later identified as the British ship Californian) never responded to the Titanic’s plight.  Most people could have been saved if a rescue ship was available when sinking began.

 

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Titanic Hits Iceberg

 

In the chart for the time the Titanic hit the iceberg, and thus the “birth” of the accident, we see the approaching New Moon at the bottom of the chart, so there was no available lunar light at the time of the collision.  There is a semisquare between Mars and Saturn, which suggests the difficulties in rescuing people, both through the half-filled lifeboats and the difficulty of getting a rescue ship.  Pluto hit the Descendant about 20 minutes later, as the ship was sinking.  There is a wide Pluto Mars conjunction here just as seen previously.  There is a one degree Moon square Pluto (periled humanity) that became exact in another two hours, about when the ship finally sunk.  At the same time Neptune came to the Descendant, indicated the ship’s watery grave.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire is well known, but relatively few people died as a result of that fire that took place in a commercial building in Manhattan.  Only 146 people died, mostly from fire in a building from which they could not escape, but some from jumping as they tried to escape the fire.  On Saturday March 25, 1911 at 4:40 in the afternoon a fire broke out on eighth floor.  Immediately a bookkeeper called the company offices on the tenth floor and appraised them of the fire.  Those on the tenth floor exited immediately.  Those on the eighth floor also ran for their lives and escaped.  But no one told the workers on the ninth floor.  Fire escapes collapsed and some got out by climbing down the elevator cables, and others used the two small freight elevators.   Some thought the fire began in a box of fabric scraps that a cigarette was thrown into.  The doors were locked to prevent the workers from leaving, as required by the owners to prevent stealing, and only one of the four large elevators was in working condition.  This incident is famous for highlighting the poor working conditions available for young women in the early Twentieth Century, and caused many demands for reform of labor laws.  Currently, as most clothing manufacturing has moved overseas, such disasters happen in foreign counties, such as the famous one that was reminiscent of The Triangle Shirtwaist fire that occurred in Bangladesh a few years ago.  The owners of Triangle Shirtwaist refused to allow unionization (workers wanted to join the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union — ILGWU — but were prevented by the owners).  After this fire, the ILGWU was much more popular with the public.  The owners of the business paid a week’s wages to the families of those who had died, and received $200,000 from insurance.

 

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Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

 

In this chart we have Moon conjunction Mars (fiery deaths of women) square Saturn conjunct Venus (loss of females).  Pluto is in the tenth house, loosely conjunct the Midheaven and reaches the MC 50 minutes later.

The SS Eastland was also a passenger ship used for cruises, and based in Chicago.  The workers from a General Electric affiliated plant started boarding early for a picnic, a break from their mundane lives.  After the Eastland had been build, it was found to be top-heavy and prone to listing on one side.  On the morning July 24, 1915 the ship soon filled to capacity, which was over 2500 people.  While it sat at dock, the Eastland began to list to one side, causing passenger to gather on the other side.  It kept listing, and finally tilted over 90 degrees to the port side so that the deck was half submerged and the ship rested on the bottom, which was only 20 feet below the surface of the water.  Many were trapped under water, and some were crushed by heavy furniture that moved when the ship tilted.  Even though they were only 20 feet from the dock, 848 lost their lives.  After the sinking of the Titanic, changes had been made to lifeboats carried, and some think that the Eastland was top heavy and thus had a tendency to capsize because of all the lifeboats it carried on the top deck, called the Hurricane Deck.  People dived into the water attempting to rescue passengers, and welders arrived and attempted to open the hull to remove trapped passengers; neither operation was very successful.

 

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Eastland Lists

 

In the Eastland chart, the Moon opposite Pluto jumps out at us; Moon and Pluto have already been mentioned several times in this entry; major events affecting women, and these two planets are trine and sextile the event Ascendant, showing that it happened in this location.  Sun is tightly conjoined with Neptune; this could indicate the watery doom that befell many on that day, or the confused responses to an accident that happened while the ship was at dock.  Mars Uranus combination are famous in accidents (consider the meanings of those two planets) and here we have a trine between Mars and Uranus. And, as in the first cruise ship accident discussed, here there is a Sun-Jupiter aspect — Sun trine Jupiter with orb about two degrees: Another large death toll.

An American Way of Death

The massive killing of concert goers in Las Vegas is in the news, and since an exact time the shooting started is available, I had expected to write about the chart for this incident. But just to expand the scope of this entry, I decided to cover the charts for two other recent mass shootings.  There are so many it was an embarrassment of riches, so to speak, but I finally decided on two more very famous incidents: the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado and the Sandy Hook shootings in Connecticut.  Then we are looking at an incident from the East Coast, one from the center of the country, and one from the West.  But mass killing didn’t just happen recently.  There were many massacres of Native Americans throughout American history, but they are not well timed.  But one early incident occurred in the Twenties involving school children that we have a date and time for and I will look at this also.

 

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Las Vegas Massacre

 

Looking at the chart for the first shot at the crowd, we see the long lasting transits Uranus semisquare Neptune, which goes in and out of orb over the next three years, and only sets the background to the craziness of the world during these years, and Uranus opposite Jupiter, not nearly as long lasting as the previous aspect — Jupiter moves through one sign per year — and indicates an excess of unpredictability.  But the most obvious aspect is Saturn just above the Descendant, about half a degree.  The exact opposition to the Ascendant would happen about four minutes later, in the midst of the shooting.  Saturn has a bad reputation, called the “greater malefic”.  Saturn opposite the Ascendant says that something bad is coming into your environment from the outside, which is exactly what happened.  Notice also the Venus-Mars conjunction trine Pluto.  The Mars trine Pluto is quite close, orb about nine minutes.  Mars-Pluto suggest great violence, but this aspect is a trine, not a square.  Most people think a trine is soft and easy, unlike a square.  But this is not quite true.  A trine indicates action that goes on easily, without causing an upset which is noticeable.  In the case it is now known that the shooter amassed a huge supply of weapons and carefully planned his action.  The whole operation appeared to come about without difficulty, indicative of a trine.  Of course this aspect was long lasting, whereas the Saturn on the Ascendant was very brief, since the Ascendant changes at the rate of approximately one degree every four minutes, so this aspect was only valid for several minutes, exactly the time of the shooting.

 

 

lasvegasusa

Las Vegas Shooting – USA

 

And here is a chart for the transits at that time in the US chart.  We notice that both Neptune is square the US Ascendant and Uranus is sesquiquadrate that Ascendant.  This occurs because of the Uranus semisquare Neptune aspect mentioned above, but in this case we see that that aspects is so situated that both planets aspect the US Ascendant, meaning that the craziness mentioned about directly impacts the US.  Transiting Saturn is opposite the US Mars — frustrated energy.

 

columbine

Columbine Shooting

 

The next chart is for the shooting at Columbine High in Colorado in 1999.  Among other things, this shooting highlights the hypocrisy of American leaders in regards to mass shootings and gun control.  Bill Clinton, President of America at the time of the shooting, spoke out against the stupidity of this shooting at the same time that he was bombing Serbia and killing many civilians.  I suppose very few of his listeners at the time noted the extreme conflict between what he said and what he did.  The old saying “Do as I say, not as I do” was never more useful.  In this incident, two high school students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 students and teachers and wounded 24.

In this chart we find Mercury exactly — less than a quarter degree — on the Midheaven. This event was communicated – Mercury — fairly immediately to the populace at large. Everyone knew about it.  To further accentuated the people’s knowledge of this event, we have the Moon (people) square mercury and the Midheaven.  What is most noticeable is the T-square involving Saturn opposite Mars square Neptune.  It is hard to imagine three planets with a more negative reputation.  Mars square Neptune, also seen in the US chart, show misapplied or confused energies.  Saturn and Mars shows frustrated energies that do not come out the way expected (the two lads involved had expected an explosion from bombs they had planted, but that explosion never happened) or are frustrated.  Saturn and Neptune have been discussed before, simply indicated the disillusion with what had once been thought to be a good idea.  Notice that the orbs in all three of these aspects are tight; the Mars Saturn opposition is within 20 minutes, and Mars is retrograde, adding to the underhanded nature of actions at this time.

 

sandyhook

Sandy Hook Shooting

 

The third chart here is for the shooting at Sandy Hook School in Connecticut.  In this incident 20 year old Adam Lanza shot 20 students all of whom were under eight years old, and six adult at the elementary school.  He had earlier killed his mother and at the end of the killing at the school he committed suicide.  The chart is not very impressive; the tightest aspect is in the Sun-Saturn semisquare, which is about seven seconds of arc.  But let us look a little deeper, at the fourth harmonic chart.  The fourth harmonic chart, like any other harmonic chart, shows nothing that is not already in the primary chart, just like a microscope shows nothing that is not already in the thing being observed.  But the fourth harmonic chart shows things that aren’t easily noticeable in the primary chart, things that can be very important.  And in this chart we see that there is a T-Square involving some very interesting planets.  Now realize this is not a T-square, involving an opposition and two squares, in the conventional sense.  The “opposition” in this case is the exact semisquare between Sun and Saturn pointed out above.  In the fourth harmonic chart a semisquare or a sesquiquadrate appear as oppositions, since they are based on one-eight of a circle and eight times one half (opposition) is four.  The squares in the fourth harmonic chart are actually semi-octiles, multiples of 22.5 degrees, but important hard aspects.  Here we have Sun, Saturn, Neptune, showing a difficult day, one where things do not turn out as expected.

 

sandyhook4

Sandy Hook Fourth Harmonic

 

And just to show that large scale mass murders are not just due to guns, here is a crime that occurred in the (Roaring) Twenties involving dynamite.  This took place in the Bath Township of Michigan.  This incident still remains, even after Sandy Hook, the deadliest school massacre in American History.  At the time dynamite was a relatively new explosive, having been invented by Alfred Nobel 60 years earlier.  Bath was a small village near the capital of Michigan, Lansing.  An initial explosion at 8:45 in the morning was from a cache of dynamite that had previously be laid.  Not all of the dynamite planted exploded.  A member of the school board named Andrew Kehoe drove up to the school with a dynamite filled pickup truck which he blew up by shooting the truck, killing himself and several bystanders.  Forty-five people died as a result of his actions, including 38 students.

 

bath

Bath Township Massacre

 

So here is a chart for the main explosion at the school, from dynamite which was on a timer.  There was also an explosion at the same time at Kehoe’s house, which killed his ill wife, and explosion later at the school when Kehoe shot his truck, killing himself, the school superintendent, and some others.  There is a square between Sun-Mercury and Neptune — confused communication and a day (Sun) of deception.  But notice Mars conjunct Pluto with Mars less than a degree off the Ascendant– violence, bloodshed in the environment.  Jupiter is right on the Midheaven, and  Jupiter is considered the “greater benefic”.  Perhaps the deaths would be much greater if all the dynamite planted at the school went off, so there was some luck involved.  Also, many students were on a break and so avoided the blast.  But Jupiter also suggests the magnitude of this killing, which as I said before is still the deadliest in US history, and it was at a small school.  And Jupiter is conjunct Uranus (see Richard Tarnas for other meanings of the conjunction involving discovery) which reflects the opposition of the same two planets in the Las Vegas shooting chart.

 

Early British History

The Battle of Hastings in 1066 was an important turning point in British history, and thus also in American history.  It was discussed in this blog a long time ago pointing out that the split between the”Red States” and “Blue States” extends back to the Norman Invasion and the Battle of Hastings.

With the Norman Invasion, French royalty who believed that they were the proper inheritors of the British crown invaded England and the Norman prince William battled with the current ruler of England, Harold Godwinsson.  So we had a Anglo-Saxon army of traditional English peoples battling the invading army of the French-Normans.  These two groups had two different mindsets that influenced English, and thus American, thought down through the ages, now almost 1000 years.

The Normans were philosophically descended from the Romans and their idea of a Republic, that is to say representative democracy, and also of course the Catholic Church. The defenders, though Christian (and thus Catholic) at the time, were descended from the paganism of the early English and Scandinavians, who had invaded England over the last few centuries.  These people were believers of Democracy, which is to say direct democracy.  See the article at the link for more details.  The democracy of the Anglo-Saxons is today more visible in the town democracy of New England, which was originally settled by the descendants of the traditional English (for more details see Albion’s Seed by David Hackett Fischer) whereas the national government of America runs on a republican form of government which was represented by the French Normans. Most of the early government was designed by politicians from Virginia, who were descended from the Royalists who settled in the states and were from the Cavilers in England, descendants of the French Normans.

 

Hastings

Battle of Hastings

 

Though the battle of Hastings lasted all day, we do have a time for when it started: 9 am.  Here is that chart.  The most prominent feature is Saturn at the Midheaven — a little over one degree away.  While Saturn is often associated with bad outcomes, and this was certainly true for the defenders under Harold, Saturn more particularly refers to the long lasting implications of this battle — it influenced British history for the next millennium.  Neptune, which of course was unknown at the time, is placed on the Descendant: Things coming from outside the immediate environment — that is from France on the other side of the English Channel — were not seen clearly.  Mars is square Saturn and the Midheaven, certainly appropriate to a battle whose result would influence England and the world for a long time to come.  Also note the formation involving Moon, Midheaven, Saturn, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and Mars, five of the seven planets known at the time.  If we look at the fourth harmonic chart of this event, it is more clear.  Saturn, Mars, Midheaven are opposite Sun, Moon (it was a last quarter Moon) with Venus loosely conjoined.  This was a major event involving battle and, with the connection to the two lights — the Sun and Moon — this event was quite important.

 

Hastings4

Battle of Hastings Harmonic 4

 

William founded a dynasty of kings.  His granddaughter, Matilda, married Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, who liked to wear as his personal symbol a bit of flowering broom, whose Latin name was Planta genista.  Their son became king Henry II, the first of a long line of Plantagenet kings.  That dynasty lasted until it ended at a battle at Bosworth Field, and the victor became Henry VII, the first Tudor king, in 1485, who defeated the notorious Richard III.  In the years before that the English rulers were engaged in a civil war between two families of the Plantagenets in what was called the War of the Roses, a popular theme in the plays of Shakespeare.

Another important event of early British history is called “Murder in the Cathedral” — the killing of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, by forces loyal to King Henry II. There was a movie made about this event called (big surprise) Becket, staring Richard Burton in the title role, released in 1964, and a poem/drama by T. S. Ellot called “Murder in the Cathedral” written in 1935.  We have an approximate time for this murder: Thomas had just gone to vespers, which is approximately at 6:30 in the evening, when he was killed.  Four knights thought the King wanted Thomas killed, though perhaps they misunderstood what the King said.  As a result all four were excommunicated.

 

becket

Killing Thomas Becket

Several things stand out: Mars conjunct Jupiter — plenty of violence.  Moon opposite Uranus: Unexpected events at this time.  The Moon moves one degree in two hours so the exact opposition would take place two hours later.  Of course the time of this event is only approximate, since all we know is that the Archbishop was at vespers when the murder occurred.  Mercury conjunct Neptune: confused thoughts.  And Venus on the Descendant: Venus (justice) was setting and it would be below the horizon in about 10 minutes.

Henry had two sons who became kings.  One, Richard I who was known as Lionheart, spent most of his time away from home fighting in Crusades to drive the Muslims from the Holy Land.  His brother was John, the king after Richard died.  John upset his aristocratic barons and they forced him to sign the Magna Carta (Great Charter) giving them more rights.  This was famously signed in the fields of Runnymede – a meadow near the Thames — near Leicestershire, on June 15, 1215.  I haven’t been able to find an exact time, but noon is a reasonable guess.  The Magna Carta is considered the first written constitution, and has served as the inspiration to many in the time since it was written, even though like most good ideas there were many, many times when its promises were not observed.  Still, it is an important landmark.

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Magna Carta

 

 

In this chart we see Sun conjunct Venus — justice on this day — conjunct the Midheaven, not surprising since it is a noon chart.  This conjunction is square Uranus, the planet of change and of revolution, and this document was that.  There is a quincunx, 150 degrees  which indicates a difference between the Sun — King John — and the people, in this case the barons, which needs adjustment.  This quincunx is close, 2 minutes from exact.  Note that the Sun is at 0 Cancer, the first day of Summer.  Since this was the Julian calendar and not the Gregorian calendar that is used today, thee was a bit of slippage between the seasons and the calendar.

 

bosworth

Battle of Bosworth Field

 

Finally, here is a chart for the battle that ended the Plantagenet reign, and ushered in the Tudor dynasty.  The bones of Richard III were recently found in a car park (ie, parking lot) in England to much notice.  The Battle of Bosworth Field is historically very important in England.  This is the most unimpressive chart I have seen of an event, especially one of so much import. The only thing of note is a recent Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, which indicates the beginning of a twenty-year period of a new ruler.  This is all true but not very impressive.

But at a large scale, this year – 1485 — is important.  In November of that year, the planets were bunched as closely as they had been in 500 years (as discussed previously).  This indicated the end of the previous 500 year cycle, and the beginning of the next one, the one I call the 500 Year Party, which ended in 1982.  And indeed, the reign of Henry VII is considered the beginning of the English Renaissance.