Birth of the Microprocessor

You are probably reading this on a device that has a microprocessor, which is the main processing unit of most computers used these days, including the one on your desk, in your lap, or in your hand.  Many of these use a CPU (Central Processing Unit) that is based on Intel architecture, whether or not it is actually “Intel Inside” as that company likes to say.  But in any case, there is a microprocessor in whatever computer you are using right now.  And in today’s world, computers are omnipresent, from the obvious ones in a laptop computer, to the not quite so obvious one in a smartphone, to the various “smart” devices that surround us from smart TVs to smart baby monitors.  But the point is that each of these devices has a microprocessor to give it its smarts.

Many people think that microprocessors have always been with us, or at least all of their lives, but they did come into existence at some point, and that is an important birth point to look at, since so much of the modern world has derived from that.

Electronic computers, when they were first born, operated with vacuum tubes.  Later on, in what is called the Second Generation of electronic computers, transistors were introduced to replace vacuum tubes, and the computers got smaller.  At one point minicomputers were introduced, such has the famous VAX of mid 1970s.  This was a fabulous 32 bit computer very popular in universities and industries at the time.

 

Eniac

 

 

Most people consider the Eniac as the first electronic computer.  It was manufactured in Pennsylvania and dedicated on February 15, 1946.  Here is a chart for the dedication (of course the birth was earlier) drawn for noon which seems reasonable, and also a chart for that time as transits to the US chart.  While Enaic was advertised as a “giant brain” at the time, it would have far reaching consequences on the USA and the world.  For the birth chart of the first electronic computer, we see a conjunction of Sun, Mercury and Venus, with the conjunction of Mercury and Venus very tight, within a quarter degree.  As we shall see later, this Mercury Venus conjunction is important, and indicates love (Venus) of computers (Mercury) to put it in simple terms.  Jupiter trines the Sun, suggesting that many benefits will accrue from this new machine.  A Full Moon is approaching, and was exact at about 11:30 that evening, indication of a culmination of some cycle.   Not a very impressive chart.

 

Eniac_usa

 

But there is one thing to note when we compare this chart to that of the US.  From the US transit chart, we see that the Sun — that day – is conjunct the Moon of the United States, representing the people.  This event would have great significance for the people of the country, though at the time few realized it.  But looking backwards, we see that this is indeed a seminal event.  One other aspect to notice is that the retrograde Mars is on the US sun.  Perhaps this means that the outcome of this event — introduction of electronic computers — would be long in manifesting.

But still no personal computer.  Minicomputers were smaller than the large mainframes that had dominated the industry before, but you would need a very large desk to hold one.  The birth of the desktop computer was  started with the introduction of the Intel 4004 microprocessor, and the story of its introduction shows how hard it is to get a birth date, let alone a birth time for this seminal occasion.

At the end of the Sixties a Japanese company asked the American Intel Corporation to develop a chip to run its new line of electronic calculators.  The result was a integrated circuit called the 4004, since it was a 4 bit processor.  Today most computers run with 64 bit processors.  The difference is that a four orders of magnitude bigger data size can address more memory and run faster.

Four bits is not really much to do any kind of real world processing, so the first microcomputers that are known used an eight bit processor.  The first was the 8008 (introduced April 1982 from Intel), followed by the 8080 (April 1974) which was better and more widely used.  Also popular was the Z80 (1976) developed by Zilog, a company started by the initial developer of the 4004.  Another chip popular at the time was the 8 bit 6502, developed by someone other that Intel.  The Z80 was used by the Radio Shack TRS-80 (hence the ’80’ moniker) and the 6502 was used by the Apple II.

The data I can find for when the 4004 was completed by Intel is sometime in late January 1971.  The head designer of this chip for Intel Federico Faggin (who later went on to found Zilog which made the Z80) found that he got the wafer of the chip at 6pm, as reported from an official Intel website.  Obviously they though it important if they gave the time, but unfortunately for us they did not give a date, other than January 1971.  So we have no date.  The Japanese company, called Busicom, got the intel 4004 in late March 1971.  I couldn’t find an exact date either.   But what turns out to be most important, and what we have at least a date for, is the time that Intel realize that this device — the 4004 — was a real life “computer on a chip” and could be used for many other things than running a calculator.  This event was an ad in the magazine Electronic News announcing that this chip was available.  That date was November 15, 1971, and the chart for that event (set at 12 noon, which seems fairly reasonable) actually has a lot to say. as opposed to the other possible charts.

 

4004-usa-better

 

Here is a chart for the transits for that date on the US chart.  The first thing I notice is Pluto at the Midheavern — transformation of the social and public setting of society.  I would say that is a pretty accurate description of the effects the “microcomputer revolution” has had on United States society . But notice also that Pluto is on the Cardinal axis at 1 Libra.  These effects would be on the world at large also.  Again, there should be no argument.  Jupiter is on the Ascendant of the United States on this day.  And it should be obvious that the developments of the microprocessor has led to the expansion of the (economic) power of the United States.  Of course, all other countries now have access to the microprocessor also.  But it is not just Jupiter: a triple conjunction of Mercury, Venus and Jupiter is at the Ascendant.  Mercury is communication and among other things computers; Venus shows the love (even obsession) we have with them; and Jupiter indicate that his love affair with computers (which wouldn’t be possible without microprocessors) is huge and possibly overpowering.  Also note that the Mercury-Venus conjunction in this chart is a bit tighter even that that conjunction in the Eniac chart.   Another aspect, not so obvious, is transiting Uranus conjunct the United States Saturn.  This shows how the forces of change (Uranus) are challenging the forces of the status quo — Saturn.  That was the start of the microprocessor revolution, at the tail end of the Sixties, more than 45 years ago.  It took a while for this revolution to fully manifest itself, but by the time that the Twenty-first Century came along, the revolution was clear.

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Zeitgeist Changes – Part 6

Another important cycle to discuss is that of Saturn and Neptune.  That combination can be looked at in two lights.  Neptune is illusion and Saturn is reality, so the combination allows one to see the reality beyond the illusion.  Neptune has many positive meanings when talking about a human being, but when talking about a collective, such a a nation-state, it is very hard to manifest a positive meaning.  Since much of the world is governed by illusion, with Saturn connected one is able to break through the illusion and see the reality beneath.  But that is not always comfortable.  Illusion is much more comfortable, which is why we like to spend time with movies and television, an obvious example of illusion (and Neptune), to allows us to escape from reality.  Saturn and Neptune also allows one to renunciate worldly reality; Saturn and Neptune together allowing one to avoid worldly charms.

Some example of the conjunction of these two planets will make the preceding more clear when seen in the world and not in an individual person.  Richard Tarnas mentions that Saturn Neptune hard aspects often occur in the later stages of war.  We will see a few examples of that below.  One good phrase for Saturn Neptune is “Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time”.  In other worlds, the illusion that starting a war (or some other project, as in the first example) is glorious happens at the start.  Often propaganda (a Neptunian institution) is used to make the populace feel that everything will be great if we just have this war.  But after a few years of actual war, the reality of the situation sets in.  There is death and destruction and lack of progress.  What seemed like a good idea at the start now seems horrible.  Those realizations often happen under hard Saturn-Neptune aspects.  We will take a look at some conjunctions of those two planets.

 

 

berlin_wall_falls

Fall of Berlin Wall

 

The last conjunction of these two planets was in 1989.  The notable event of that year was the fall of the Berlin Wall, which had been built a Saturn cycle before (that is, it fell as Saturn was approaching its natal position, and still 14 degrees off); many Communist countries in Eastern Europe also dissolved at the time.  In fact, the fall of the Berlin Wall was just four days before the exact conjunction shown in the chart, on November 9, 1989.  For the German people, November 9 marks another important anniversary of an event 45 years earlier.  Kristallnacht happened on the evening of November 9, 1938.  This was a wave of pogroms in German that was a foreshadowing of the Holocaust to come in the next decade.  It is also called the Night of the Broken Glass since the shop windows of so many Jewish owned businesses were broken.

 

sane1989a

Saturn Neptune Conjunction 1989

 

French astrologer Andre Barbault has written a nice mini-history of the Soviet Union on the basis of hard aspect of Saturn and Neptune.  In this description, we will only touch on the conjunctions.  And obviously, we have started at the end of the complete cycle, with the fall of Communism in Europe, to followed by the end of the Soviet Union two years later.

 

 

SaNe1953

Saturn Neptune Conjunction 1953

The previous conjunction of those two planets was in 1953, about one month before the Korean War ended.  The Korean War started in June 1950 and was essentially won within a few months as the invading North Koreans were driven back across the border with South Korea.  But General Douglas MacArthur, the leader of the “United Nations ” troops, wanted more, and he drove into the North and up to the Chinese border.  MacArthur was fired by President Truman in April 1951.  The Chinese then fought against “United Nation’s” troops and the war became bloodier and longer than anyone had expected.  MacArthur wanted to use many nuclear weapons in the battle, and most towns and large buildings were destroyed in the North.  Americans pilots complained about no targets left to destroy.  Approximately 20% of the Northern population was killed.  Dikes were destroyed, and rice paddies were then flooded, a war crime when committed during World War II.  Many in the United States were getting unhappy with the war that was promised to be short, and when General Dwight Eisenhower ran for the President in 1952, he vowed to go to Korea to see what could be done about the War.  He went to Korea on November 29, 1952 shortly after he was elected President.  The war itself was ended in July 1953, though of course a peace treaty has never been signed with North Korea so technically the war has still not ended.

On March 15, 1953, about two months before that exact conjunction, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin died.  He had ruled the Soviet Union since the death of Lenin in 1924.  Soviet citizens had long suffered under the ruthless leadership of Stalin.  He was replaced by Nikita Khrushchev, who made a secret speech to the 20th Party Congress denouncing Stalin and his crimes, and instituted a policy of destalinization, which of course angered hard liners that had served under Stalin.  This policy lasted a few years until the hard-liners were able to regain some control.

 

SaNe1917

Saturn Neptune Conjunction 1917

 

There was another conjunction in 1917, a little over a year before World War I ended.  This was about four months after the US entered the War.  By this time there was widespread disillusionment with the war, which had started with such great hopes that it would be over quickly.  At the beginning, troops believed they would be home by Christmas of 1914.  In Russia, the Tsar had been overthrown, partly because of war-weariness, but still a major battle called the Kerensky offensive was started, named after the leader of the Provisional Government that had replaced the Tsar, and its failure led to the Russian army falling apart, the Bolsheviks seizing power in November, and the withdrawal of Russia from the war.  This caused some in Germany to think that the war should be ended now that a major force against them had disappeared.  In Germany, socialist Rosa Luxemburg led opposition to the war and was jailed because of that.  British lieutenant Siegfried Sassoon protested the war as being prolonged on purpose by those who could end it; many in combatant countries felt the same way.  Socialists attempted to hold a peace conference in Stockholm in July, but counties refused to issue passports for those wishing to attend.  In general, many were upset that the “War To End All Wars” hadn’t ended.  Again, the war started as seemingly a good idea but by the time of the Saturn-Neptune conjunction, many wanted the war to be over.

 

mexwareal

Mexican American War Starts

 

Here is chart for the start of the Mexican-American War in 1846, a war that saw the first anti-war movement in United States, with among other people a young Whig congressman by the name of Abraham Lincoln.  In this chart we see the conjunction of the two planets on the US Moon, representing the people of the US.  And the war was certainly controversial.  The Democratic President James Polk (a Scorpio) was all for expanding the United States, and the concept of manifest destiny had just become popular.  He sent troops beyond the border recognized by Mexico hoping for the response which he got.  But many people, including most of the Whig party, which was the alternative to the Democrats of Andrew Jackson, opposed the War.  The exact conjunction on 4/3/1846.  Despite the large number of people against the war, it went on with many questionable activities from the American troops.  This has been discussed in more detail in a previous post.  The war finally ended in February of 1848, and resulted in the United States adding California, Nevada, Utah, and most of Arizona and New Mexico, the biggest expansion of the country since the Louisiana Purchase.

So it appears that Saturn-Neptune conjunctions are positive in the sense that people turn away from bad circumstances, such as war; the problem was finally revealed but the bad circumstances were allowed to go on for a long time.

Zeitgeist Changes — Part 5

The Fourth Turning is a 1996 book by William Strauss and Neil Howe that was recently popular during the election of 2016.  It postulates a crisis for America soon, because previous crises have bedeviled America ever 80 to 90 years since the Revolutionary War.  As astrologers, that time period should ring bells, and in fact the cycle has extended longer than Strauss and Howe imagine.  As has been suggested by this blog, it is unfortunate that historians don’t know astrology.  If they did, they would realize that this pattern extends from before the Revolutionary War and corresponds to planetary periods.  By looking at the astrological pattern, we can see this cycle has been occurring since the nation was founded, and is getting more intense with each succeeding cycle.  The period of 80 to 90 years is one Uranus cycle and one-half of a Neptune Cycle.  Let’s look (again) at what happened every 80 to 90 years in American history.

 

starve1

Starving Time

 

The first successful colony in what has become the United States was in Jamestown in what is now the state of Virginia in May of 1607.  The Winter of 1609-1610 is called the Starving Time: Of the 500 residents of Jamestown in the Fall, only 60 were left by the time Spring rolled around.  Domestic animals were killed for food, and some cannibalism took place, as shown in (for example) a New York Times story about a current archaeological discovery on the James River.  A fleet from England did finally come, but it had only more colonists and not food.  In the summer of 1610 (July 7) as they sailed away, another ship with supplies came and they all returned to the colony, which then was firmly established.  This was the first crisis of America.  If we look at chart for November 24, 1609, that winter of the Starving Time, we see that Uranus is on the Descendant of the United States.  However, looking at the next chart for November 24, 1614, when Neptune first came to the Midheaven, we see that it is a full five year after the crisis, and so this does not seem to fit the pattern.  Of course, in this example the crisis only lasted a few months, not nearly as long as the others did.  Or perhaps since there was no government (represented by the MC axis) there was no transit of the MC.  Note that in this case the Uranus conjunction occured before the Neptune conjunction/opposition, but those two will exchange places over the cycles.

 

starve2

Starving Time 2

 

king_wm_war1

King William’s War 1

 

Several wars occurred in the early colonies, called in general the French and Indian Wars, since both were involved, and each war got a name in the colonies depending on who was the ruler of England at that time.  They had different names in Europe, since France was also involved.  Both France and England had colonies in North America, and the French were allied with the Native Americans, and those two overseas powers were involved in several wars to determine who would have possession of the New World.  Spoiler: England won and would become the dominant force in the world for 150 years.

In 1688, there was the Glorious Revolution in Great Britain that replaced the Catholic King James II (son of King Charles I who was executed in the English Civil War) with Protestants William and Mary from Holland.  Thus the first such war in America was called King William’s War, and it was fought in 1689-97 with England, France, the American Indians, and the American colonists.  This was about 80 to 88 years after the Starving Time, and from the chart we can see that Uranus was at the Descendant during the War, Neptune reached the IC of the United State (not yet born) in 1697, three months before the end of the war.

 

king_wm_war2

King William’s War 2

 

Eighty to ninety years later, after all the French and Indian wars had died out, and after the important Seven Years War (1756-1763), which saw England defeating France to become top dog in the world, it was time for the Revolutionary War, and sure enough those two planets were in their correct spots.

 

Rev_war2

Revolutionary War 1

 

The official dates for the Revolutionary War are from the Battle of Lexington and Concord (April 19,1775) to the surrender at Yorktown (October 19, 1781).  This first image is for June 23, 1777; that date is not, as far as I know, a stand out date in the Revolutionary War.  Notice that all three outer planets are near their birth locations.  This is not surprising, considering that this chart is less than a year after birth.  What the chart does show is that Uranus is passing over the Descendant and on this date is exactly opposite the Ascendant for the first time since birth.  Again, not surprising since the natal position of Uranus is close to the Descendant.  Whereas the Ascendant relates to the personal projection – a good synonym is persona – the Descendant is the opposite point, and indicates how we relate to the outside world.  In personal astrology, this often is used to refer to the partner or people one draws to oneself or open enemies.  In either case, it refer to energy coming to us from outside, which can easily be seen as a war which also comes to us.

 

rev_war_i

Revolutionary War 2

 

In the second chart, for November 23, 1778 we see that Neptune has come to the Midheaven of the United States.  The Midheaven refers to the way the country relates to the outside world or vice versa; one can see it as a public persona as opposed to the private persona of the Ascendant.  Perhaps this suggests that a war, which involves the government (MC axis) of the United States is always started under the illusion of good intentions and a peaceful outcome.

 

civil_war_i

Civil War

And 80 to 90 years after the Revolutionary War, along comes the Civil War, sometimes called the Second Revolutionary War, for different reason depending on which side the speaker is on.  The dates for the American Civil War are from the firing on Fort Sumter (April 12, 1861) to the surrender at Appomattox court house (April 9, 1865).  For the the Civil War there is only one chart, for March 11, 1862.  The war had started almost a year earlier.  We see both Uranus opposite the Ascendant as in the first Revolutionary War chart, and Neptune conjunct the IC (Imum Coeli –the Bottom of the Sky) of the United States chart, opposite the Midheaven.  This is about one Uranus cycle, 84 years, after the first chart.  The fact that Neptune is now opposite the earlier position (the second chart for November 23, 1778) is not surprising since the period of Neptune is almost exactly double that of Neptune.  Note also that since the natal Uranus is close to the Descendant and the natal Neptune is close to the Midheaven, these periods are also close to a Uranus return and a Neptune bi-return.  But we do see a pattern.  Notice by this time both Uranus/Descendant and Neptune/Midheaven axis aspects occur at the same time.  We will notice later that the Neptune aspect will occur before the Uranus aspect.

 

WW2_1

World War II 1

 

The dates for American participation in World War II – the Americans were definitely late to the party – is measured from the attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) to the surrender of Japan (Germany had surrendered 4 months earlier) September 2, 1945.  One notices that the wars get larger – more participants and over a larger area — and more bloody over time.  Starving Time in Jamestown only lasted one winter and less than 500 people died, though of course by percentage of population it is very huge.  Compare that to World War II, which lasted for the Americans four years and less than 500,000 Americans died, though it was a world war and many people from other countries, especially the Soviet Union that bore the brunt of the German invasion, died.

 

WW2_2

World War II 2

 

Let’s look at the World War II charts.  The first chart is for November 5, 1942, the first time Neptune conjoined the Midheaven of the United States in this cycle.  Then the second chart for World War II for August 6, 1944, one year to the day before the dropping of the atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, the first pass of Uranus to the Descendant of the United States.  Also Neptune is very close – one degree beyond – the Midheaven.  This was again one Uranus cycle, and one-half a Neptune cycle since the Civil War.  The pattern repeats itself.  Notice how the Neptune aspect now takes place before the Uranus aspect.  The Descendant is where energy comes in to you from outside, and so Uranus on the Descendant suggests disturbance, upset coming into the country, like for example a war.  At least it was in the four cases we looked at.  Since we have only the United States as an example, and only five cases to draw upon, we can’t draw a definite conclusion.  But in every case there was, the correlation was exact.

What we have seen are five crises, starting at the birth of the colony at Jamestown and occurring every 80 to 90 years with increasing death, violence, and geographical spread, involving the United States.  The obvious question is when will this pattern happen next.  As you may already suspect, this is coming up soon, and this is one of several cycles that are coming due at about the same time.  We will leave for later the exploration of the exact date; but first, we must look at another cycle of great importance.

But how will the next turn of the Uranus/Neptune cycle manifest?  One might expect another war, even bigger than World War II.  This reasoning was what caused The Fourth Turning‘s notoriety during the election.   Several possibilities: Aliens from outer space will invade and the nations of the world will band together to fight them.  A bit fanciful, then perhaps it will be an asteroid that will be expected to hit the earth and the nations of the world will band together to fight it.  Or perhaps it will be a world wide fight between the 1% and the 99% since inequality will have become so much worse than it is now.  Several people consider the state of the United States so divisive and contentious – the term used is polarized — that a new civil war is expected to break out, so that is another possibility.  This period could see the Third World War, more horrible that the Second which occurred 84 tears before.  Or perhaps this will see the final collapse of the ecosystems of the world.  But since I’m an optimist (Jupiter conjunct Sun) my best guess is that the nations of the world will finally decide that the global crises are so ominous that they need to band together in a World War II-scale attempt to fight for the survival of the planet.  Of course it should have been done in the 1980s.  There is much more that needs to be said about this period, one of the most important of at least the 21st Century, but we need to have more background.  If this is the type of crises we will face in a few more years, it suggests that many things will happen between now and then to make the countries of the world think that that type of world wide response is finally necessary.  And they are, you need just to look around with eyes unblinded, which is difficult with the constant bombardment of information that we daily receive.  But the signs are all around, we just have to see them through all the chaff.

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.

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.

 

 

picasso2

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

nude_no2

Nude Desdendnig a Staircase No.2

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Improvisation-x Kandinsky

kandinsky_pict_whith_white_form

Picture With White Form – Kandinsky

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Samovar – Malevich

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Suprematism Eight Rectangles – Malevich

luigi-russolo-dynamism-of-a-car

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.