Atlantis Online
December 12, 2019, 06:39:27 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: 'Europe's oldest city' found in Cadiz
http://mathaba.net/rss/?x=566660
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

America In Transition

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: America In Transition  (Read 212 times)
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2008, 09:47:43 am »









Thinking unclouded by ideology

To use Mercury with integrity is to attend to self-informing with as much clear-mindedness as we can muster. The planet’s job is to accumulate facts and figures, and connect the dots between them. Mercury is not about platforms and passions. As planets go, this one is altogether dry and neutral (11): Mercury does not concern itself with conviction, faith, or even belief (these belong to Jupiter). It just wants to find out what’s going on.

This essential meaning of Mercury diverges more and more from the way its energies are tossed around in today’s culture wars. (12) It is not that impassioned dramatizing has no role to play in successful public discourse. It is just that where Mercury is concerned, the question is not whether or not one is capable of crowd-stirring rhetoric, but whether or not one is informed. Most of the arguments now identified as clashes between “Blue State” vs. “Red State” beliefs are not differing interpretations of facts, as they purport to be, but riffs between competing ideologies; where the speaker is judged not so much by whether they’ve done their homework but by what “side” they appear to be on. The emphasis is on choosing one’s colors, like a gang member buying a red or a blue handkerchief and then wearing it with panache or not.

True Mercurial creativity cannot exist in this skewed set-up. An uninformed citizenry is a profound problem, but confusing every issue as a “rightwing” vs. “leftwing” matter muddles the issue still further.



Naiveté posing as innocence

To call the tragic young Americans being killed in Iraq “heroes” for “protecting their country” in a war that has nothing to do with wreaking vengeance upon the WTC hijackers, for instance, is a case of naiveté posing as innocence. The idea that only “liberals” believe the war in Iraq to have been based on lies is no longer worth the energy it would take to discuss it. Many such views, seen for years as the exclusive province of “Bush-haters”, in truth represent simple access to information. What we have here is not really a political problem. It is a Mercurial problem.

There is a difference between facts and opinions, a difference that those who honor Mercury must not be shy about asserting. As our educators grow increasingly alarmed and international observers look on incredulously, America’s ignorance about world history, even very recent history, is becoming not just a cultural embarrassment but a fatal flaw, as the geopolitical stakes grow higher and higher.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2008, 09:49:32 am »









Ignorance and fear

The nuclear-threat story the news agencies are now spinning about Iran would be a much harder sell were the American public aware of some very simple facts: such as which countries in the world have nukes already, how they got them and why they have been allowed to keep them. None of this is classified information. It is accessible to every American, and it is common knowledge among the educated classes across the globe. But for lack of this knowledge many among the US public are seriously considering Washington’s insane talk about an Iraq Redux in Iran. If knowledge is power, here is a case where the lack of it could mean unthinkable global catastrophe.

How ready would the man-on-the-street be to support Bush’s latest saber-rattling if he knew that Iran, Washington’s latest bogeyman, is a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty; whereas Israel, with its 200 nuclear warheads, is not? It is doubtful that very many Americans, obediently quaking in their boots right now about Iran, have given a moment’s thought to the fact that India, too, has refused to sign the treaty, has conducted tests with its nukes and used them to threaten its neighbors—all with Washington’s tacit permission, extended this summer in a round of nuclear deal-making backed up by ever-more-tortured White House explanations. The fact that Pakistan, also well-stocked with nukes but still the great good friend of Uncle Sam, is the main proliferator of these weapons to “rogue regimes” is so ironic, given all the hoopla about Iran, as to read as dark comedy.

The elephant-in-the-room in this whole scenario—the one fact that we never hear in media discussions of the matter, yet the one that fairly screams in the silence—is that the USA itself is, of course, the only power that has used the A-bomb (13); the one country whose nuclear arsenal dwarfs the combined arsenals of every other country in the world; and the one government whose leadership in nuclear disarmament—were it to choose that course—could actually make a difference in ending the arms race. Instead, American tax dollars are at the moment being spent on designs for a whole new generation of these lethal monsters, a program which the Democrats—who differ with the Bush regime only in strategy, not in geopolitical goals—have just signed off on this past August. It is a fact that lends credence to the idea that the only force that could stop this and the other ecocidal follies cooked up by our demented leaders would be an informed American public.

Which brings us back to the task at hand: reclaiming our Mercuries.

Were America a nation with a well-functioning collective Mercury, facts such as the examples in this essay—the news is filled with them every day—would inspire a virtual avalanche of dispassionate curiosity in each independent thinker. And where there was skepticism about any of this information—skepticism being the surest sign of a healthy Mercury—further self-informing would be avidly undertaken
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2008, 09:50:57 am »









Putting our Mercuries to use

There is a world of information out there—many of the young blogsters are in on it; readers of the international press are likely to be in touch with it; listeners to Al-Jazeera will have heard much of it—that could give Americans the resources they need to respond appropriately to what is going on in the globe today. It is a travesty of our collective dysfunctional Mercury that so much of this data is all but unknown to the majority of the American public.

We have said that this ignorance is due not to any innate failure of Mercury but to the obscuring climate of today’s culture wars, stoked by a power cartel with a vested interest in keeping the public in the dark. We have argued that the under-use of Mercury in America’s collective intelligence, far from being a problem of lack of information (14), is primarily a function of the way information is framed in a culture obsessed with the dualism of winning vs. losing. Rather than treating facts as neutral mental energies with which to engage in order to enlarge one’s understanding of the world, we have been trained to view facts (all except those sanctioned by “official sources”) almost as we would personal feelings: suspect by definition and fueled by partisan agendas.

Mercury governs knowledgeability, which, when raised to an art form, expresses as erudition—a value treasured in many societies whose literatures and scientific creativity enrich our lives. But Mercury has a deeply practical side as well. The full use of our mental faculties allows us to exercise the free inquiry that would lead us to resolve the many immense problems we are now experiencing as a society.

As consciousness seekers in a world in crisis, we cannot afford to let this part of ourselves atrophy. Human intelligence, as astrology defines it, is not just something to use to get a good grade on a test. In the macrocosmic view, there is indeed a test here: a karmic one, on a collective as well as an individual level. The transits we will be discussing in future columns indicate that there is no better time than right now to prepare for it. To do so we must cultivate our innate dispassionate curiosity, one of the arrows pointing us towards sanity.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2008, 09:53:14 am »









Notes



8 That is, rarely within the borders of the USA does the suppression of dissent take the form of outright murder. But all over the world there are thousands of deaths attributable to the careful control our state-linked media holds over the American public’s worldview. For example, not much ink was devoted in the US press last summer to explain that the armaments Israel was using to bomb hospitals and fleeing refugees in Lebanon came from our very own Pentagon. The media presented the massacre as an unfathomable, if unfortunate, mess in a faraway land, having little to do with us. The number of Americans outraged by this genocidal episode, paid for by their own tax dollars, was thus minimized.

9 The notion that all issues boil down to two polarized sides is itself so ingrained that it seems not even to cross the public’s radar enough to be questioned. See June’s Daykeeper Journal “America in Transition”.

10 Meanwhile, several administrations’ worth of US Middle East policymakers have made no bones about what they mean by “winning.” And it has nothing to do with the people of Iraq, nor about styles of government. To these men, “winning” means securing military and economic control of the region. These goals are part of the public record; they are spelled out in no uncertain terms in neo-con policy statements such as the official National Security Council Strategy (http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html) that anyone with access to a computer can read with their own eyes.  Even without resorting to the Internet, Americans could inform themselves of why their tax money is being poured into Iraq simply by reading in their very own newspapers (granted, it would probably require persevering into the back pages) and using their Mercuries to discern patterns of meaning. For instance, no secret was made of the fact that Paul Bremer’s primary post-Shock-and-Awe project was to privatize Iraq’s oil. He simply took control of it away from the people who lived there. But though the story was printed, its implications were not (nor did our intrepid “investigative reporters” deign to mention that by international law, an invading force does not have the right to pass legislation).

It is very unlikely that viewers of TV news shows think of any of this when they listen to discussions of “winning” in Iraq. The Karl Rove bunch has figured out that the most efficient way to keep the public’s ignorance intact is for media commentators to simply leave the word “winning” undefined. This keeps things nice and vague, encouraging the public to think of it in terms of coming home with the trophy at a golf tournament or soccer match.

11 When placed in Water and Fire signs, Mercury has an emotional coloration that it does not possess in Air and Earth. But relative to the other planets, unalloyed Mercurial logic is undistracted by the prejudicial vicissitudes of feeling.

12 Much of this over-ideologizing of simple information can be chalked up the to the transit of Pluto in Sagittarius (see “America in Transition” in February’s DayKeeperJournal), which tends to recast even the most clear-cut issues as elaborate moral crusades.

13 The recent anniversary of the dropping of “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” on Hiroshima and Nagasaki offers us a timely symbol of the contrast between what Washington says and what Washington does. The strikes incinerated 370,000 human beings, 85% of them civilians. Formerly secret documents now prove that Truman’s White House knew full well at the time that Japan was on the verge of collapse and ready to surrender. The bombs were dropped not to “end the war,” as the White House insisted at the time, but to warn the newly ascendant Soviets of the American military’s indominability—basically the same motive behind the threats against Iran today.

14 If anything, our craving for immediate access to huge quantities of information, aided and abetted by a plethora of electronic gadgets whose ever-briefer shelf-life is designed to add to their trendy allure, leaches the intelligence out of our Mercuries rather than strengthening it. Researchers of ADD and other peculiarly modern mental disorders have found that after a certain quantity is reached, the amount of data flooding into the brain exists in inverse relation to the ability to apply it. A British study from 2005 concluded that information overload actually reduces IQ levels twice as much as smoking lots of pot. As James Tulip puts it, “The greatest threat to our democracy is not from evil or incompetent leaders but from an electorate with the attention span of a gerbil on crack.”
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2008, 09:55:09 am »









The Winter Solstice

It is winter now in the Northern hemisphere. The weather is growing cold, the beasts of the forest have withdrawn into their hibernation dens, and America is cranking itself into high gear for the ritual of choosing a president.

The Solstice occurs on December 21. This is the annual crossroads at which Sagittarius meets Capricorn, the sign ruled by Saturn; a planet that at its best bestows a kind of dry, cool wisdom.

Crossroads have been renowned since the beginning of time as the best place to cop a perspective. Many cultures tell stories of mythic figures receiving revelations at a crossroads. Robert Johnson, the great guitarist, was said to have received his musical genius at the dusty intersection of two country paths. Pagan priestesses do their incantations at crossroads for an extra boost of power. Astrologers look for inspiration not at crossroads of Space but of Time, such as those marked in Celtic folklore by the sabbats of the Wheel of the Year. The Solstice is one of these.



Revelations at the crossroads

We have made the subject of this column The Big Picture, presenting astrology as a coded language that can reveal to us what the Universe wants us to understand about these creative, destructive, inspiring times. It is this kind of revelation that many of us will open ourselves to at the crossroads of the Solstice.

We have proposed that each planet speaks to us through its particular placement in our individual charts. Each has time-specific lessons to teach and soul-liberating stories to tell.  When we listen to these messages and commit to them, we become increasingly able to express ourselves more authentically. This in turn allows us to respond to the external world more authentically.

The leap of faith that must be taken here—and it’s not that everyone will or should take it; but let’s face it: astrology doesn’t make much sense unless you do—is that our souls made an agreement to Be Here Now, and that our natal charts are the record of that agreement. Planetary crossroads can jolt us back into the memory of that agreement.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #35 on: July 28, 2008, 09:56:17 am »








Being Here Now

The Now this column uses as its reference point is the first couple of decades of the new millennium. The Here we are singling out for attention is the good ol’ USA. It is often forgotten (at least, by those who live here) that this country is a newbie as far as world civilizations go. Nonetheless, at this particular point in human evolution it has fallen to America to be the flailing giant with the biggest stick—with all the other peoples of the world forced to go along for the ride (England), pretend to make nice (the rest of Europe), fight for their lives (Iraq, Iran, Haiti, Lebanon, etc.), or scurry to get out of the way.

In our last couple of columns we considered Mercury, the planet of dispassionate curiosity. We suggested that if Americans started using their Mercuries responsibly, they would observe their culture and the rest of the world in a spirit of detached inquiry.  We proposed that this approach would utterly transform the stultified yet strangely manic mental atmosphere of American culture.  We argued that if Americans were to deploy their inborn intelligences as the Goddess intended, they would hunger for clean information; they would watch their government’s machinations like a hawk, and they would track even the most discouraging global issues with an attitude of independence and logical thinking—a scenario that would make Karl Rove, the Fortune 500 CEOs and Fox News all quake in their Guccis.

Let us continue looking at the planets; not with the intention of defining them as facets of the individual personality so much as mining them for clues as to how to take the pulse of this world moment. For only then will we find our role.



Planet of the material world

Take Saturn. (Don’t everyone cry at once, “Yes, take my Saturn—please!”). It is everybody’s least favorite planet, and so much has been written about it that we will not go into its standard delineations here. (1) But we will use as a starting place one of its traditional features: that of being the planet most closely aligned with the Earth plane. Saturn’s symbolism matches very closely how most of us think and feel about the material world.

We moderns view the external world—in sharp contrast to the internal world of the psyche—as measurable and verifiable. Similarly, Saturn governs that which is solid and predictable: objects and operations that bow to the laws of gravity, cause-and-effect, and all the other seemingly immutable features of the three-dimensional plane—a plane which has a much higher credibility rating than those other dubious planes one hears about (conceptual, emotional and intuitional).
« Last Edit: July 28, 2008, 10:03:16 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #36 on: July 28, 2008, 09:57:33 am »









Guardian of the velvet rope

As the furthest-out visible planet in the solar system, Saturn represents the boundaries of the real. This correlation reveals a hoary old truism that is deeply embedded in the collective unconscious: If I can see it with my own eyes, it exists.

Saturn’s famous rings are like the velvet rope at a nightclub. The planet seems to say: Everything within this designated area is known, established and has a name; anything outside this area is of uncertain provenance and is probably not worth my time. As the guardian of the velvet rope of a nation-state, Saturn decides what’s in and what’s out in terms of cultural legitimacy. As the guardian of the velvet rope of a town, it decides which is the right side of the tracks and which is the wrong side. In the professional arena, Saturn decides which jobs count as bona fide careers and which are wacky pipe dreams that only teenagers or some bum like Jack Kerouac would pursue.

Saturn seems to believe that it, and it alone, knows what real life is.

The trouble is, when subjected to metaphysical examination, the questions raised by the concept “real life” start squiggling around like worms crawling out of a can. The more you think about it, the more the apparent reality of “reality” dissolves into pixels, as anyone who has seen The Matrix will tell you. Yet it remains true that of all the planets we work with in traditional astrology, Saturn, with its connotations of rock-solid, no-bulls**t reality is the one archetype we most strenuously resist challenging.

We complain endlessly about Saturn challenging us, but we resist challenging it.



Resisting relativism

In astrology, of course, the idea that reality is relative is axiomatic. A client who goes to an astrologer will probably already be hip to this idea; and will find himself nodding away in full agreement as he listens to his astrologer explain that his assumptions about romance are going to be different from his partner’s, and how his unconscious feelings impact his work day, and how his upbringing determines his definition of the perfect home, etc. But as soon as an issue comes up that the client sees as belonging wholly and utterly to the external world—Saturn’s world—suddenly the client may shift gears: he feels he has nothing whatsoever to do with “creating” this part. (This usually happens when the discussion comes around to money.)  He will say, “But wait a minute: now you’re talking about, you know, reality.”

In theory, the idea of a singular, constant, absolute reality was fatally skewered by Einstein, letting loose an onslaught of science fiction writers and string theorists and filmmakers (e.g. “What the Bleep Do We Know”) who continue to rock our Gibraltars with the news that, even from a scientific point of view, reality is relative. But the notion of a good old-fashioned reality, finite and impersonal, remains a stubborn shibboleth of collective thinking. We unconsciously defend the idea of “reality,” and its twin concept objectivity, as if our psychological survival depended on it.

This is an anachronistic use of Saturn, and it is time for serious astro-philes to update it.

Easier said than done. The insistence upon a universally agreed-upon reality is part and parcel of our language and our conventions. A friend may say, “I want a real relationship”. You may respond, “What do you mean by a ‘real relationship’?“ and she may answer, “You know, a real relationship.” (Tip-off number one that we’re up against a lazy Saturn: repetition rather than clarification.) You may ask, “But by “real”, what do you mean? A relationship that would lead to marriage? Living together? Progeny? One that would last five/fifteen/fifty years?” After shaking her head in frustration at all these guesses, she may reply in exasperation: “Oh, you know what I mean! I just want what everybody wants.”

And of course, this is the key. Saturn represents our concept of where everybody else is coming from.

This use of Saturn presumes the existence of a collective external point of view whose tenets are so über-obvious that they rarely get looked into. With this ploy we surround whatever opinion we are championing with a patina of eternal validity and neutrality (a friend of mine who doesn’t think much of astrology once reasoned, “if it were valid, it would be taught at Columbia”). We feel that appealing to an outside-world consensus gives our arguments an unarguable realness that would be lost if we were merely expressing our own unique opinions, desires and fears.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #37 on: July 28, 2008, 09:58:47 am »









Gluing the group together
Saturn’s job is to stick things together. It governs glue and mortar and social cohesion. Groups need a well-functioning Saturn or they can’t coalesce. Individuals need a well-functioning Saturn to glue themselves together, as well as to master an understanding of the rules and mores of their culture. If Saturn is prominent in our chart (say, on or ruling the Ascendant or Midheaven, or aspecting the Sun or Moon), we have a strong interest in knowing what the rules and standards are in any given context: what the protocol is at a particular dinner party, what companies are going to be the next big thing on Wall Street, what the polls say about the mood of the voters. This doesn’t mean that we agree with them, but we certainly care about them.

The mores of a culture may be explicit (I can’t drive without a license, or I’ll get in trouble) or implicit (“Supporting the troops” means supporting the president which means you’re patriotic). Either way, they collectively provide the skeletal belief structure for a certain group at a certain moment in its history. When an opinion has become part of the warp and woof of the group mind, to espouse that opinion glues us into the group reality.

For example, consider the notion To take a new job that pays less than the old one is bad, no matter what the qualities of the new job. Thisis no longer merely an idea (Mercury) but a self-evident truism (Saturn) in the USA. What makes it Saturnine is the belief that “everybody” believes it. Thus if we believe it, too, our sense of membership in the group is secured. We are normal.

What Everybody Thinks
Any discussion of Saturn in the collective must address the notion of normalcy, a major form of societal glue. Normative concepts exude a soothing air of timeless veracity, but of course they are utterly capricious and mutable. For example, astrology books may define Saturn as the planet of success, but what this really means is what a given section of society supposes success to mean at a specific time in its history. It goes without saying that “success” to our great-great grandmother on the American plains did not mean the same thing as “success” to our daughter in New York in 2007. But Saturn would govern both pictures, for it governs the concept itself.

An example of a Saturnine truism that has slipped from outside to inside the bounds of normative thinking in the USA over the past six years is Being suspicious of Arabs is appropriate and natural. Here a fear-based prejudice has achieved the imagined status of What Everybody Thinks—or what the media tells us everybody thinks. This is an important distinction.

Even more important is the question:


                                           Where does What Everybody Thinks come from?
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #38 on: July 28, 2008, 10:00:07 am »









“Reality” and the media


Television and radio play an enormous role in the Saturn pictures that Americans absorb every day about their world. The amount of hours Americans spend in front of their TV sets remains near an all-time high of more than eight hours a day. There are more TV sets in America than people to watch them.

So it would seem more important than ever to take a sharp look at the realities being drummed into our minds during all those viewing hours. The fact that the ownership of American media outlets has been consolidated into an increasingly tiny group of government-abetted mega-corporations, whose echo-chamber technique insures that the same handful of news reports are repeated over and over on all the networks and newspapers at once during a brief but intense news cycle, tells the tale: certain cherry-picked stories are being chosen to be the realities Americans think about and subscribe to. (2)

Much has been written about how fluffy newspaper stories are becoming in Rupert Murdoch’s America, and about how the “news” on TV is morphing into a uniquely modern engine of vapidity identified by the apt coinage infotainment. But as disturbing as it is to see Britney Spears’ parenting woes make headlines in so-called serious newspapers, at least the trend it represents is under discussion (even by the absurdly self-conscious meta-media itself, which spent at least as much time chastising itself for caring about Paris Hilton’s mini-incarceration as it spent reporting it). The American populace is clearly aware, on some level, that such content is printed only to sell newspapers.

Far more dangerous in terms of forming a reality picture of our world in these times is the news that doesn’t get told.

Throughout the ages, the function of propaganda has been to reinforce the idea that if an event isn’t mentioned among the information presented, it must not be important—or, worse, it didn’t happen. When we look at America’s current cultural reality from the Big Picture, it seems unimaginable, for example, that a populace as obsessed with the concept of democracy as ours is would have allowed to fade into the back pages of its newspapers the Military Commissions Act of 9/06: the one that eradicated the writ of habeus corpus for whomever the president decided to call an “alien unlawful enemy combatant.”

More egregious still is the fact that an equally appalling piece of legislation got virtually no media coverage at all. The John Warner Defense Authorization Act was signed at a private Oval Office meeting the same day as the act mentioned above, passed with ninety percent of the votes in the House and cleared the Senate unanimously (a consensus blatant enough to loosen any scales that might still be left hanging from the eyes of those who hoped the Democrats’ triumph in Congress last November would mean a return to sanity).

Tucked away into the deep recesses of this multibillion-dollar catch-all bill for defense spending was a section allowing the president to declare a “public emergency” and dispatch federal troops to take over National Guard units and local police if he, and he alone, determined them unfit for maintaining order. In other words: martial law. (3) This story got less press than George Bush getting down with the maracas on a Brazilian dance floor.

Even so, the martial law item was and is part of the public record. In our last column we discussed the art of using our inborn intelligence, our Mercuries, to self-inform. Were we each to use this birthright consciously, it would provide the data necessary to establish a framework of reality that bears some relationship to what is actually going on.

That’s the kind of reality framework Saturn gives us when it is functioning properly.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #39 on: July 28, 2008, 10:02:16 am »









“But nobody else is doing it”

A fully conscious Saturn allows us to respond to a given situation by virtue of inner standards developed over time through independent experience. We have described an ill-functioning Saturn as one that uses the false reference point of What [we imagine] Everybody Thinks. The irony is that when we use the planet this way we lose sight of its most essential teaching: that of personal responsibility.

When we depend upon a vague cultural consensus for our definition of reality, our innate sense of responsibility—that is, our ability to respond—atrophies. Instead of being cultivated from within, Saturn’s energies get projected upon a fictive outer arbiter. And this is where it becomes dangerous, both from the point of view of self-awareness—for it disallows the inner work that the planet demands—and from the point of view of the health and sanity of the collective.

Saturn is supposed to be the planet of adulthood. But when expressed without awareness it keeps us living like teenagers, whose objection to doing the right thing is usually “but nobody else is doing it.”

A case in point is the concept of ecological peril that is just now filtering awkwardly through the choppy waters of the collective unconscious.  Though more and more Americans accept the reality of global warming, most seem to be waiting for some critical mass to be reached before they commit to personally going green.

The hideous oil spills in San Francisco Bay and the Black Sea that occurred just before and after the New Moon in early November  (when the planet Neptune—traditional ruler of oil—was squaring the Sun and Moon) made headlines all around the world, emblematic of a global crisis increasingly impossible to ignore. The sheer size of the Russian spill, said to be the third largest in history, and the proximity of the Golden Gate Bridge spill to some of the wealthiest communities in the world, seem to signal that the possibility of ecocide is transitioning from a remote and abstract concept in the group mind to something more imminent, and closer to home. (4)

The average American may shake her head in despair when reading about these catastrophes in her morning paper. She may also have read about the study that found that if everyone who lived within five miles of their job rode a bike once a week, it would save the amount of greenhouse gases produced by almost one million cars. But though the good citizen in our example will find these facts alarmingly persuasive, she cannot act without first doing something even more daunting. In order to actually get her bike out of the garage and ride it to work, she would have to do battle with her picture of Saturnine normalcy.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #40 on: July 28, 2008, 10:04:12 am »








Inner Saturn vs. Outer Saturn

The most insidious thing about assumptions, as communications experts will tell us, as well as inventors and ecologists and anyone else trying to think outside of the box, is that we don’t realize we harbor them. Most people would readily agree that collectively held notions can be tyrannical to independent thinking, but to dispel them requires identifying them—an exercise which can feel like herding cats. 

The Saturn crisis we Americans find ourselves in today has a long and ignoble history. It develops whenever a population accepts pseudo-realities from an authority figure in the outside world—say, a government, or a business cabal—that has no interest in the people’s benefit, nor in cultural cohesion, nor in the health of the world; yet claims to know what is culturally acceptable. If we as individuals have not cultivated our own inner Saturn—call it the superego, the conscience, or the internal Benevolent Father—we will identify these outer pictures as our own, purchasing thereby our meager little scrap of normalcy.



Pseudo-reality vs. reality

America’s advertising industry, renowned for its psychological sophistication, is well aware of our fear of being deemed not-normal. Moreover these professional manipulators have recently become very hip to our guilt-driven desire to be on the side of the angels when it comes to climate change. Just as Karl Rove made it his business to work the insecurities of the U.S. electorate like a master violinist playing his instrument, the PR departments of multinational corporations have raised to an art form the ability to notice and exploit changes in the zeitgeist before the populace itself has woken up to them.

Thus all of a sudden we see glossy emerald-green ad spreads from Chevron announcing its conservation projects. We hear that our president has seen the light about peak oil and has found the solution in corn-based ethanol, a deliberately misconceived campaign that would create enormous new ecological disasters, as well as confusing and undermining years’ worth of consciousness-raising by dedicated environmentalists.

We watch on the Discovery Channel earnest educational series about saving the ozone; programs that turn out to have been sponsored by none other than Volvo (which is now owned by Ford Motor Company). And in a development so outrageous you’d think it came from a Jon Stewart sketch, Burt’s Bees, makers of all-natural lip balms and essential-oil lotions, has just been bought out by Clorox, bottlers of possibly the most toxic substance in America’s bathroom cabinet.

The pseudo-reality here is this: American business, teamed up with Uncle Sam, is on top of the problem. No need to worry about that nasty global warming thing. Daddy’s got it all covered. Move along now. Go back to your shopping.



Using Saturn like a grown-up

In our next America in Transition we will look at some of the collective assumptions that are hanging in the air, invisibly and perniciously, of American society at the threshold of the peak oil years.  These must be named and isolated by those consciousness-seekers whose goal it is to reclaim their Saturns. It takes discrimination and commitment to separate the false voices of Saturn from its authentic voice. But once we do it, the planet makes us an authoritative exponent of our own chart. An uncanny sense of quiet confidence develops.

A healthy Saturn is the key to feeling, at last, like a real grown-up. It is also the key to figuring out how to be of use to our dear green-blue planetary home, which is in such pain right now.

________________________________________
« Last Edit: July 28, 2008, 10:06:59 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #41 on: July 28, 2008, 10:08:25 am »










Notes:



1 Visit mothersky.com to for an essay on Saturn’s personal meaning and how to work with its challenges.

2 Visit mothersky.com for a discussion of the astrology behind the American media.

3 The act extends “public emergency” conditions to any place “where the president determines that domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the state… are incapable of maintaining public order.” See “Censored!” in the San Francisco Bay Guardian 9/5/07, an annual report on the Sonoma State University’s Project Censored.

4 For a discussion of the transits behind the oil spill, see December’s Skywatch at mothersky.com.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #42 on: July 28, 2008, 10:10:18 am »









In our last column we discussed Saturn’s association with the concept of “reality.” We proposed that it seemed pretty arrogant for one single planet to claim to be the last word on a concept as all-encompassing as “reality.” How does Saturn get away with it?



It gets away with it because It is the definer. It establishes rules and sets boundaries. Saturn’s considerable clout has nothing to do with logic; it has to do with authority and control. Saturn is the Because-I-say-so planet.

We spoke last time about the concept of reality being, well, a concept; not an absolute. Mystics and magi have been aware of this distinction since time immemorial, of course, and the New Physicists have recently corroborated it in terms that the modern mind could theoretically accept. But the man-on-the-street has yet to receive the memo.



Saturn decides what’s true and normal

Anachronistic though it may be, in the modern world Saturn still means what it meant before the string theorists and Carlos Castaneda started messing with our minds about the nature of reality. In a given culture, Saturn governs those consensual viewpoints that are felt to be so unarguably real that they don’t register as relative. They register as self-evident.

An example is the idea that American-style democracy is the most superior form of government the world has ever seen (1). It is not considered a mere opinion; it is a defining cultural premise. So is its corollary: that the desire to introduce democracy to less-enlightened nation states is a proper and, indeed, an idealistic position for a politician to take. The only argument between the two major political parties on this issue concerns the means by which an American-style government should be foisted upon, and thereafter managed within, the benighted countries involved. The question of whether it should happen elicits no argument; only how it should happen. It’s considered too obviously true to subject to argument. One doesn’t argue about gravity, either.

We proposed in our last column that the Saturnine concept of normalcy is similarly relative: that what a culture considers to be base-line normal changes from decade to decade, if not from year to year or month to month; even varying widely from one socioeconomic group to another—all the while seeming, to the person holding the assumption, to be as immutable as Mt. Everest. Saturn represents all viewpoints which take for granted that Everybody sees things this way except for a few wingnuts.

To the extent that we stay stuck in this collective application of the Saturn principle it becomes impossible to assess, or respond to, what’s going on in the world today. Our job as symbol-readers must be to rediscover the elasticity of the archetypes we find in the astrology books, thereby to use them, in all their fullness and complexity of meaning, as tools of consciousness.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #43 on: July 28, 2008, 10:11:52 am »










Saturn decides what is important
The operating principle behind a group chart, no less than an individual chart, is that all the planets should operate together into a smoothly functioning whole. If a planet is estranged from the overall life purpose of the entity (especially if it is at cross-purposes with the Sun, as we will see next month when we look at the US chart), problems arise. An un-integrated planet is often taken over by its shadow side. It is prone to projection (i.e. cast out upon the external world). It may stay stuck in arrested development.

One of Saturn’s key principles is the word/concept important. Saturn presides over the people and subject matter deemed importantby a given group at a given point in its history. A well-functioning Saturn will bestow importance upon public figures and issues that stabilize the group by bringing forth worthy values from its past which benefit the commonweal.

An unhealthy use of Saturn will drive a group to confer importance according to artificial and capricious criteria, as a bouncer at a nightclub does whose boss has instructed him to allow inside the velvet rope only the attractive and rich-looking among those waiting in line.

The election extravaganza
A timely example of distorted Saturn can be seen in the current showcasing by the American telecommunications industry of the biggest money-making scam in media history: the presidential campaign season. This massive election-prep period, with its preternaturally early whistle stops, its up-for-grabs scheduling of primaries and its rule manipulating run amok (2), is proving itself as elastic as Mike Huckabee’s old trousers.

Even if we set aside the content of the speechifying and its attendant punditry, the sheer girth of this media phenom—its extravaganza-like presence across the media landscape—tends to seduce even the most skeptical American into believing that there is nothing more newsworthy in the whole wide world than that day’s tiny poll shift or the tear that appeared in Hillary’s eye or the number of times Rudy said “9/11” in a speech. Low-level Saturn logic concludes that if the official voices of a society—in this case, the talking heads on TV—are giving this subject so much attention, it cannot be nonsense. It must be reality.

We have seen that Saturn gets its heft from the notion that this is what everybody thinks. The scale of the stagecraft involved in America’s election-year machinery is cultivated to convey the idea that everybody thinks these goings-on are über-important. Although, as we have seen, Saturn resists defining who this “everybody” is,media consumers are cajoled into assuming that what they are watching represents something of overweening concern to some vast, universal majority.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #44 on: July 28, 2008, 10:13:48 am »










Saturn decides what the majority is thinking, even when it isn’t

But the more closely we look at it, the idea of The Majority starts to shift and fluctuate, much like the idea of reality. Like other Saturn-governed concepts, it is less sacrosanct than we are led to believe.

For example, pollsters tell us that only a dinky little third of the American electorate is behind the Bush-Cheney cabal at this point, but one would never know it given the great honking sound and fury emanating from the candidates vying for the GOP torch. This contingent is given a huge amount of airtime, because, of course, the game is rigged; they represent agencies with oodles of money and connections to the seat of power. (3)

What does this scenario have to do with the workings of Saturn?

Skewed media positioning provides its beneficiaries with a patina of gravitas, Saturn’s ultimate prize. The lack of a level playing field of visibility has fed into a fictive construct that not only do most people find these individuals and their scripted sound bites eminently significant, but that most people see these views as normal. The intention is to make the most foolish, off-the-wall public figures achieve an aura of being the voice of majority opinion without it being literally true. (This phenomenon has a counterpart in the financial world. Stock analysts call it the “salience bias:” investors give high-profile information—even when it is obviously flawed—more weight than they give sound, lower-profile information.)

In our last column we described the tendency of individuals in the grip of a Saturn picture to disdain subjecting their story to statistical analysis (for example, the idea that “most marriages last until-death-do-us-part”). The irony here is that the presumption of factuality is exactly what makes their view feel so solid.

But even when such stories are backed up by empirical data, Saturn persuades us to believe that its truisms are not just true; they are more than true. They are common knowledge. There is a sense of psychological weight surrounding Saturnine institutions and viewpoints that would not exist if they were thought to be the beliefs of the minority.



Saturn decides who The Fringe is

Most Americans—whether right- or left-leaning—know that endorsing torture is not a value that the US citizenry as a whole identifies with. If we’re talking about actual majority opinion, it is very improbable that Mitt Romney’s call to double the size of Guantanamo represents mainstream thinking. Moreover, it seems likely that most Americans in their heart of hearts detected the whiff of the nutcase about Sen. McCain changing the lyrics of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann” to “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran;” as well as about Mr. Huckabee’s announcement that if all the nation’s aborted fetuses had gone to term, the US wouldn’t need low-cost immigrant labor.

Nonetheless there exists a stubborn collective resistance to seeing these stances for what they are: the unwholesome, bizarre opinions of a fringe wing of an unpopular party. The stagecraft shoring up these gentlemen—the fact that they are given the imprimatur of the headlines day after day, and that big-name reporters analyze, with grave solemnity and dead seriousness, their every word and gesture—is designed to prevent them from being seen as fringe thinkers.

Even were an idea to pop out of one of these speakers’ mouths that was fringe-like in a positive sense—i.e. refreshingly unique—Saturn would have none of it. Saturn does not acquire authority by being original or idiosyncratic. It gets its avoirdupois from the idea that certain things are generally known and accepted. These candidates do not aspire to be seen as brilliant or innovative. They want to be thought of as predictable exponents of What Most People Think. They are running on the Saturn platform.

With perverse irony, the faux-majority thinking trope works its magic all along the political spectrum. Many leftwing Americans buy into this fallacy every bit as much as the cheerleaders of the candidates we are describing. Consider that American progressives—the type of voter who might see Dennis Kucinich as a harbinger of integrity and common sense, for example—even this kind of American, if she watched enough TV, would tend to get snookered by Saturn’s Reality Show. The rules of this show declare that if Kucinich is denied a place in the big debate, he must not be a real candidate. Thus if a voter identifies with him and believes in his authenticity, she must be the fringe thinker.

By this skewed logic, the anti-war contingent, despite being identified by pollsters as the overwhelming majority of the US populace, tend to see themselves as the odd-men-out, as voices in the wilderness, as the weirdos.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy