The Year Ahead

It’s the first day of the brand new year and many are turning their thoughts to what it might bring. Basically, two planetary players set the stage – Uranus and Saturn with a couple of guest appearances from Jupiter, which may provide a much-needed ‘get out of jail’ card as well as fanning the flames of authoritarian anarchy.

The star lore relating to the zodiac signs of Aquarius and Taurus put together pretty much tells the story:

Aquarius

According to the Greek astronomer, Aratus (270 BC), Fomalhaut is at the Pourer’s (Aquarius) feet where it forms part of the fixed cross of the four Royal Stars of Persia – the ‘watchers’ or guardians of the sky (angelic powers). Bernadette Brady (Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars) considers Fomalhaut to be rather like the legendary Persian warrior, Zal, who although seriously out of step with society (a white-haired man who’d been raised in a bird’s nest), managed (through his usually considerate behaviour) to win the heart of the beautiful princess, Redabeh. Even though the odds were against the couple, Zal persisted and, eventually, they were allowed to marry. A lovely story complete with high ideals and lofty visions. None-the-less, a serious clash with mainstream thought and authority (tradition) was needed to achieve their ideals (progress). Let’s not forget that Aquarius is ruled by two very opposing energies – (1) Saturn (authority) and (2) Uranus (rebellion) and both are in play together this year.

Taurus

The brightest star in Taurus, is Aldebaran, which ancient astrologers considered to be of the nature of Mars, the warrior. As such it is especially poignant in respect to military men who achieve great things whilst at the same time, making dangerous enemies. Brady gives the example of Niccolò Machiavelli, the 15th century statesman who wrote The Prince, the classic treatise on gaining and holding political power. Brady points out that Machiavelli’s initial rise to power and prestige was followed by a stark reversal of fortune marked by accusations of conspiracy and treason. History tells us that these accusations were false and that Machiavelli was an upright and honest citizen of highest integrity. Brady suggests this implies that sometime in his life, he had succumbed to temptation to behave with less that utmost integrity. Equally, however, I suggest that it could be that a more classic scenario was at the base – when one rises to power, he/she will make enemies if for no other reason than hubris, pride and jealousy.

Summary

It’s time to break down the barriers – do things radically different – and like it or not, that’s what will happen – expect militant clashes with authority, rebellion against the establishment, the absolute refusal to toe the party line and/or maintain the status quo. The ideals driving all this may sound lofty and at some level that may be the case. But don’t forget that not far behind will be a clash of egos – acts of hubris – and good old fashioned lust and greed – of a degree that could well make your head spin. And oh, by the way, if you find yourself presented with the perfect ‘get rich quick scheme’, do yourself a favour and turn away. Maintaining integrity is the key to getting through 2021 in one piece.

Somewhere, I have the biography of Niccolò Machiavelli. Sounds like it may be time to read it!

A Study in Existentialist Philosophy (Part 12)

My summer ( morphed into winter)  reading: Willem Barrett’s 1959 classic, Irrational Man, A Study in Existential Philosophy.

In his final chapter, The Place of the Furies, Barrett suggests that before we start talking politics we ought to have first undertaken some serious philosophical contemplation about the true nature of man. 

Although Barrett was writing in the middle of the 20th century, the concerns he’s expressing are still valid today. Barrett points out that as children of the Enlightenment, we in the Western world are accustomed to looking at man ‘almost exclusively as an epistemological subject’, an ‘intellect that registers sense data, makes propositions, reasons, and seeks certainty’. 

As children of the Enlightenment, we are also more or less programmed to look to the past and the future to discern what went wrong and plot and plan how we can make it all ‘better’. With such focus, we skip over the realities of today – not the warm, fuzzy ‘today’ for which we are told we ought to express gratitude, but the cold, hard ‘today’, which we are encouraged to at best overlook or at worst fix and fast. But as the Existentialists have tried to point out, both sides of this equation are the necessary lot of the embodied man.

Naturally it does no more good to focus solely on what’s wrong than it does to focus solely on what’s right. Likewise it does little good to put in Herculean effort to fix that which can’t be fixed. But it would do us a world of good to accept that the ‘idol of progress’ (see both Marx an Nietzsche) is just that – a utopian ideal that we may worship but never achieve.

You see, reminds Barrett, the human condition is one of (1) birth, (2) life (a period punctuated by both intense joy and sorrow), and (3) death. The glue holding that all together is anxiety, guilt, and fear. But as Barrett also reminds us, we in the West have become accustomed to label realists like the Existentialists as naysayers and psychotics, for whom a daily dose of the latest happiness drug is a necessary fix. But it won’t fix anything.

That’s just the point.

The ‘whole man’ or ‘well-rounded individual’ is, according to Barrett and the Existentialists, not one who takes endless courses for self-improvement but one who comes to accept that the power of man is nothing in comparison to that of the gods. This is a lesson that both the ancient Greeks (i.e. the great Oresteia  trilogy of Aeschylus) and modern psychologists have gone to great effort to point out.

The gods have become diseases; Zeus no longer rules Olympus but rather the solar plexus and produces curious specimens for the doctor’s consulting room.

Carl Jung

To find the gods in psychology we ought to look first at the genres of our case-history writing. Our reflection needs to turn to psychoanalytic literature as literature. I am suggesting that literary reflection is a primary mode of grasping where one is ignorant, unconscious, blind in regard to the case because one has not differentiated the subjective factor, the gods in one’s work.

James Hillman

Take away:

We ignore the gods (an integral part of our embodied reality) at our peril and not everything can be fixed.

The 2nd American Civil War

For some years, astrologers including me have been predicting a very rough time for America, a rough time that might well result in the 2nd American Civil War.

At least I was met with disbelief at best and derision by many – well, sad to say it seems the writing is on the wall…

Check out a very, very recent article in the Washington Post, The Republican Party Now Has More in Common with the Southern Minority of 1860 – it makes for as much a scary read as one of my original posts on the subject.

There’s still time to change this.

What About My Rights?

One reason for studying politics is to understand the processes surrounding ‘who gets what, when, and how’(Peters, 23). These processes are inextricably bound to the relationship that states forge with their citizens and are primarily accomplished through formalised organisational state structures (Peters, 25).[1] 

I suggest the concept of ‘rights’ is central to the study of politics because the role of that concept has played in the actual practice of Western politics has often not turned out as expected.[2]

From the 17th century, many Western states have focused on ensuring they do not unjustifiably infringe upon certain ‘indefeasible’ and ‘hereditary’ rights of their citizens (Paine, 472).[3] Hobbes held that even when infringement is justifiable, rulers ought first to obtain consent (legitimate authority) from their citizens (Tuck, 78). Rousseau ups the ante;  he says the goal of all state legislation should be to ensure ‘liberty’ and ‘equality’ for all citizens (Wokler, 17).

No longer must states simply refrain from infringing on the rights of their citizens, but they now must take positive steps to ensure them. For example, Hobbes, keen to avoid the ‘nasty’ and ‘brutish’ life of man living in a political vacuum (i.e. anarchy), declared rulers had a duty to ‘ensure a safe space’ for everyday life (Miller, 22). Bentham (Course materials 3.3) said the states should secure the greatest happiness of the greatest number of citizens which included removing obstacles to education. In 1960’s America, military force was used by the state to guarantee the constitutional ‘rights’ of Negroes to have  equal access to higher education (Kennedy, “Civil Rights Message”). 

It is arguable that instead of making citizens safer, freer, and/or happier the concept of ‘rights’ has often achieved the opposite. McKelvey (2020) reports that during the current Covid-19 pandemic, many Americans cite constitutionally enshrined liberties to deny laws requiring facial coverings to protect not only their own health but also that of fellow citizens. Delton (2017) suggests the alt-right, dedicated to destroying ‘liberal cultural hegemony’, have been deliberately weaponizing the right of free speech at universities by promoting unsavoury spectacles and instigating violence. However authorities choose to react, their ‘legitimacy’ is undermined. 

Have we in the 21st century come full circle back to Hobbes’s initial 17th century concerns? 

If so, I suggest that is because we have put more effort ensuring those ‘indefeasible’ and ‘hereditary’ are enforced rather than understanding the real role they play in the actual practice of Western politics. 

  


Bibliography

Black, Henry Campbell. (1979). Black’s Law Dictionary. St. Paul: West Publishing. 

Butler, Christopher (2002). Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Callinicos, Alex. (2004). ‘Marxism and Politics’, in Leftwich, A. (ed). What is Politics? Malden: Polity Press, pp. 53-66.

“Communism”. (2020). Martin Luther King, Jr. – Political and Social Views;  Stanford. https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/communism. Accessed 25 October 2020. 

Delton, Jennifer. (2017). “When ‘free speech’ becomes a political weapon”. The Washington Post; 22 August 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/08/22/when-free-speech-becomes-a-political-weapon/. Accessed 25 October 2020.

Grosby, Steven (2005). Nationalism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Israel, Jonathan. (2012). Democratic Enlightenment: Philosophy, Revolution, and Human rights 1750-1790. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kenney, John F. “Civil Rights Message”. SoJust: Speeches on Social Justice, 2006-2018, www.sojust.net/speeches/jfk_civil_rights.html.

Martin, Michel. (2010). “How Communism Brought Racial Equality to the South’. NPR News, 22 August 2017. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123771194. Accessed 25 October 2020. 

McKelvey, Tara. (2020). “Coronavirus: Why are Americans so angry about masks?” BBC News, 20 July 2020; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-53477121. Accessed 25 October 2020.

Miller, David. (2003). Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Paine, Thomas. (1995). ‘The Rights of Man’, in Kramnick, I. (ed). The Portable Enlightenment Reader. London: Penguin, pp 469-472. Black, Henry Campbell. (1979). Black’s Law Dictionary. St. Paul: West Publishing. 

Peters, B Guy. (2004). ‘Politics is About Governing’, in Leftwich, A. (ed). What is Politics? Malden: Polity Press, pp. 23-40.

Squires, Judith. (2004). “Politics Beyond Boundaries: A Feminist Perspective’, in Leftwich, A. (ed). What is Politics? Malden: Polity Press, pp. 119-134.

Tuck, Richard.  (2008). Hobbes: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Wokler, Robert. (2001). Rousseau: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



[1] Squires (119-121) suggests politics should be defined broader to include the discourse of power whenever and wherever social relations are ordered. This essay adopts the more restricted definition of politics suggested by Squires (132) although I agree that especially regarding feminism, such a narrow definition is not only unhelpful but harmful. 

[2] I define ‘rights’ as (1) ‘natural’, in the sense that they ‘grow from the nature of men and depend upon his personality’ and (2) created by ‘positive laws unacted by a duly constitutional government’ to create ‘an orderly civilized society’ (Black, 925).

[3] I define ‘state’ as a ‘structure’ that exercises territorial ‘sovereignty’ through laws regulating the relationship of individuals within that territory (Grosby, 22).

Scandal, Subversion, and Break-down in Law and Order in store for the United States?

Mundane astrologers often construct ingress charts for each of the four annual calendar quarters in order to assess where a nation-state is headed for that quarter.

This chart is drawn for the Sun’s ingress into Capricorn on 21 December (Winter Solstice) in Washington, DC and should give a flavour for what to expect in the United States from then until March 2021, when at the Vernal Equinox, the Sun moves into Aries.

SUMMARY: From the winter solstice on 21st December 2020 until the Vernal Equinox on 20th March 2021, it is highly like that some subversion perpetrated on the American people will turn into a scandal of such magnitude that there will be significant change not only of America’s self-image, but also its image in the eyes of the rest of the world. Deception and confusion will be the order of the day and it is quite possible this will also manifest in break-down of law and order.  

DETAIL:

  1. Quite possibly the most important aspect of this chart is the conjunction of Neptune and the Moon in the 4th house. Not only is this tied closely with the IC (in this chart the cusp of the 4th house) but it also at the ‘bending’ (or square) to the nodal axis of 19 Gemini/Sagittarius 25. Typically, planets in such a position function as a ‘point of release’ in the sense that things ‘manifest in the outer world. 
  2. In mundane astrology, Neptune is associated with subversion, delusion, and disillusion especially regarding the nation’s self-image as well as the image that said nation presents to others. Neptune is also associated with scandals that result in deception and confusion. Because the Moon is associated with the common people, the population as a whole, this suggests that some kind of subversion will be perpetrated on the American people. 
  3. This theme is further suggested by Neptune/Moon being in the 4th house, which represents the concept of home and community.
  4. That the nodal axis sits in the 1st and 7th houses of this chart again suggests some change to the national image, or even the ‘American dream’ (1st house) that will come as the result of foreign relations (7th house). In other words, the suggestion is that the US national image will be effected by some sort of scandal or subversion of the common people and that this in turn will effect foreign relations. 
  5. That the north node (19 Gemini 25) is reasonably close to the US natal Mars (21 Gemini 22), further suggests that aggression of some sort will be involved. To see how this might work, we might look to Mars, which because Scorpio is rising, is the Solstice chart ruler. Not only is the Mars in this chart ‘fighting fit’ (being in Aries, the sign of it rules) but that Mars is exactly in square to Pluto, which equates to all things hidden and secretive in a society as well as violent phases of self-healing.
  6. Earlier in the month on 14 December 2020, there is a total eclipse of the Sun at 23 Sagittarius, which being opposite that natal American Mars (22 Gemini 22), would have been activated by that eclipse.
  7. Eclipses denote beginnings and endings and with this eclipse again tied to the 1st and 7th houses of the natal American chart, the themes of national self-image and foreign relations is highlighted.
  8. Even earlier, on 30 November 2020, there was a lunar eclipse at 8 Gemini 38 that ties exactly with the US natal Uranus at 8 Gemini 55. Uranus is linked to revolutions, innovation, and break down of order. It would seem that what started around the time of that lunar eclipse at the end of November will continue to grow out of proportion. 

What to Expect from the US Elections 2020?

SUMMARY:

Based on a horary done on 25 August 2020 at 11:36 PM Minneapolis, MN  we might well expect that Biden will win the popular vote but the electoral college may deliver a different result. Either way, the transits in play today suggest that there will be confusion – maybe even subterfuge – and it might all end up in the courts.

Expect some resolution around the 11th of November but the ‘new beginning’ for which we’re all waiting won’t be ushered in until the Winter Solstice 2020 (21st December @ 10:03 GMT).  

The individual natal charts of the two presidential contestants suggest pretty much the same. Trump is not in good shape – major transitions ahead – and not in a comfortable way. Biden is in much better shape re: winning this election but there are health concerns that could get in the way of his enjoyment of this win.

Analysis:

HORARY:

  • Trump is the sitting president so he is represented by the ruler of the 10th house – which because Aquarius is there, means Saturn.
  • Saturn is in sign of rulership so that’s good but retrograde (moving backwards) so not so good. Saturn is also in a cadent house (9th) – which is weak. 
  • Most importantly, Saturn makes no connection with the Moon in this chart, which represents the ‘people’ i.e. the voters.
  • Biden is represented by Mercury because Gemini (the sign ruled by Mercury) is on the 1st house cusp. The question was framed – will Biden win – so he takes that placement. 
  • Mercury is also in good shape – in rulership in Virgo and NOT retrograde – but driving forwards. This is good. Mercury is also in the 5th house, which is succedent, and although could be better placed, is in better condition than Saturn.
  • This goes with the polls.
  • The next aspect the Moon will make is to form an exact square to the Moon, which is the contact/connection with the voters for which we are looking. The popular vote goes to Biden.
  • This however doesn’t consider the electoral college – which we will take to be represented by the ruler of the 11th house (groups, legislature, local government).
  • Because Pisces is on the cusp of that house, Jupiter is symbolic of the Electoral College. Interestingly, the Moon (popular vote) makes a conjunction (by antiscia) with Jupiter (the Electoral College) so one interpretation may be that the common vote is now subsumed by the Electoral College (Jupiter) and Jupiter is in Capricorn which might suggest Trump wins via that pathway.
  • Jupiter is in fall in Capricorn and this doesn’t bode well for a clean win – keeping in mind that Jupiter is conjunction Pluto, often representing scandals and behind-the-scenes deals/game-playing, this muddies the electoral waters. 

Transits

  • Mercury (communication and connections) today stations and turns direct (in Libra – i.e. the legal system) whilst forming a Square with Saturn. This further suggests problems/blockages/delays with the outcome of the election – contest results in the courts is a real possibility. 
  • Peaceful transition is not likely because in the 9th– 12th  of November, Venus (ruler of Libra) opposes Mars (conflict) on the very day that Jupiter (legal system) forms an exact conjunction with Pluto (dirty deals). 
  • But then shortly after this, we ought to see some resolution = as these transits bringing it all to the head start to dissipate.
  • Finally with the Winter Solstice, Jupiter and Saturn form a conjunction in Aquarius and energy of 2020 will be finished and a new phase beginning on an ideological and philosophical level. 

NATAL CHARTS

  • TRUMP:
    • Transiting Jupiter/Pluto/Saturn are opposing his natal Saturn/Venus conjunction in this 12thhouse and this often is interpreted as divorce and similar legal issues – and because the 12thhouse is involved, we can also thing about prison. 
    • On the other hand, natal Saturn in Trump’s chart is well-protected  (i.e. enclosed by the beneficial planets, Venus and Jupiter). This could be why Trump seems to slip away from conflict – i.e. Teflon Charlie. 
    • But transiting Neptune will next year make a square aspect to Trumps nodal axis and his Sun and Moon (the ‘lights’. This suggests something of a karmic change – a crossroads – and not usually in a comfortable way – as well as a feeling of being ‘lost’ and ‘displacement’. A serious question of his purpose in the world.  In any event, next year will not be stable for Trump next year – and so even as he wins, he is likely to struggle – maybe with a Democrat ruled Senate?
    • Natal Progressions –  these are not usually as prominent as transits but they do suggest the individual’s state of mind and Trump has a progressed new Moon (in Virgo) in his 12th house – this theme of something new happening and in the 12th house ( prison or otherwise displaced and in limbo). Progressed Ascendant for Trump changes on the Winter Solstice 2020 (big day anyway as noted above) from Libra into Scorpio – and now the ruler of his progressed chart is Mars which in this progressed house is debilitated in Libra in the 12th house (again). Further, at the same time the progressed MC (midheaven) shifts from Cancer into Leo and progressed Saturn is right there too. This suggests the way in which Trump is in the world is difficult and challenged. 
  • BIDEN
    • A lunar eclipse in his natal 7th house on his natal Saturn on 30 November 2020 suggests the end of conflicts in divorce proceedings – in this case, expect separation and resolution of issues with opponents. The status of Saturn in his chart is huge and in his progressed chart, his Saturn turns direct. 
    • A solar eclipse in his natal 1st house on 14 December 2020 – this suggests a moment of personal empowerment – life path changes hugely – and this happens near his Lot of Victory (Arabic parts). 
    • Transiting Jupiter/Saturn enter Aquarius (new beginnings) on the Winter Solstice immediately form a square with Biden’s natal Moon in Taurus, which is an empowered Moon in the 6thhouse. This is favourable not least because his Part of Fortune is here. An exalted planet in the 6th house provides ability to overcome misfortunes. 
    • However, this could also suggest significant health problems for Biden coming up. Put that together with the eclipse in his 1st natal house – new beginnings yes, but at what cost?
    • Transiting Neptune is going over his IC (4th house in this chart) – traditionally this suggest moving to a new house – perhaps in the White House?
    • Transiting Saturn/Pluto/Jupiter – which is a heavy hitter and not so comfortable planetary grouping is making an opposition to Biden’s natal Jupiter, which is the chart ruler (Sagittarius rising). This could be another suggestion of ill-health. The good news is that his natal Jupiter is exalted in Cancer so suggests he might well ‘escape’ or overcome an ill-health issue. 
    • If health issues do arise prior to Biden’s inauguration (if he wins), this could represent a big-bang ending for calendar 2020. 
    • There are suggestions that should Biden win this election, he either would not run or win a 2024 election. There is a ‘winding down’ in his career/vocation. 
    • Progressions – Biden is also coming out of new progressed moon – in his 1st progressed house – and making conjunction with (exalted) progressed Venus in Pisces, the Moon in Pisces, and the progressed Part of Fortune as well as sextile exalted Mars (in Capricorn). This is good stuff and points toward victory. However, the progressed Ascendant in the chart coming conjunct to the progressed South Node again suggests health problems. 

The Morality of Self-Interest

I’m current enrolled an on-line course in Politics through the University of Oxford and am struggling.

As might be expected, there are many ‘high concepts’ being tossed around like ‘rights’, and ‘freedom’, ‘justice’ and ‘equality’. But the thing that really puzzles me is how all these seem to find their way back to ‘ethics’ and ‘morality’.

Now, I think we all agree that we will need to disagree on what ‘morality’ means but in the back of our minds we’re feeling pretty good about it because, after all, it’s a ‘high concept’, right?

The problem is, however, that even a quick look through history  – see A Short History of Ethics by Alasdair MacIntyre (Routledge Classics, 2002) for an excellent overview – shows loud and clear that for although ‘morality’ has meant many things to many people the bottom line has always been – ouch – morality = self-interest.

  1. To the ancient Greeks, morality meant ‘fit for purpose’ – a man who performed his socially allotted function was virtuous or moral.  If a man wanted to get on in the world, it was in his self-interest to be as moral as possible.
  2. With Christianity, morality meant doing what God said to do.  Clearly it was in one’s self-interest to do this because  Heaven was much preferable to Hell.
  3. By the Enlightenment (17th and 18th centuries), morality meant doing what was best for society.  A man was obliged to do so because of his contractual obligations (either to his government or his fellow men). Given all the bloody revolutions at the time…well, I suppose you get my drift.
  4. With Kierkegaard (early 19th century), morality meant fulfilling your obligations – which meant everything that didn’t make you happy.   Although at first glance, its hard to see how this would be in one’s self-interest – but when you realise (1) that Kierkegaard embraced a radical form of Protestant Christianity (2) and he believed the only alternative was the pursuit of self-satisfaction, then it all makes perfect sense.
  5. Nietzsche (late 19th century) believed men now lived in a moral vacuum.  After all, if God were truly dead (and we killed Him), then it only made sense one might as well do as one pleased (he called this the ‘will to power’).
  6. Then come the reformers (early 20th century) – for whom morality meant to do as they said –  after all – God was on their side.
  7. By the late 20th century & early 21st century – in midst of media madness, morality can be summed up as ‘you got to look right to be right’ – ( I believe this is attributable to Strom Thurmond)  – and there’s little doubt it’s in everyone’s self-interest to do just that.

The problem I’m having with all this is wherever I turn, the ‘moral’ trump card is being played. Lawmakers say that because their laws at not ‘unjust’ the people have a prima facia moral duty to obey them. Even the American Constitution weighs in on this.

How? Well, it’s a road map to how some people are going to tell others what they can and cannot do – and that if the map is followed, the laws forthcoming will be ‘just’ and hence morally binding upon us.

Even the idea of our ‘rights’ as citizens comes into play especially regarding our ‘freedom’ (of choice). This is because in order to have that freedom, we need a moral space in which to pursue it.

And oh, by the way, freedom cuts both ways – as Rousseau said several centuries ago, one can be ‘forced’ to be ‘free’ – and worse, one can be forced to obey ‘morally’ justified laws that he or she doesn’t like in order to protect the ‘freedom’ of others.

Will President Trump Survive Covid-19?

I  just listened to an excellent live stream from the brilliant astrologer Acyuta Bhava – Das (Nightlight Astrology) during which he addressed the horary question of whether or not President Trump will survive Covid-19. 

Although he hemmed and hawed regarding the ethics of asking – must less answering – questions like this, there seems to be little doubt that in his view there are several significant indications that Trump may not survive.

I won’t go into too much detail, but suffice it to say that the SUN (representing the President) in this horary chart (see below) is in Libra, its sign of ‘fall’. The next aspect to be made by it will be a difficult square with Jupiter/Pluto/Saturn in Capricorn (signature of Covid-19). I would add that the Moon in a horary chart always shows how events will unfold and after having made an opposition (difficult) to this Sun will run straight into a conjunction with all-powerful Mars in Aries – malefic and strong and in retrograde (covering old ground). This Mars is in the 6th house of illness – not good. During this whole time, that Moon makes a difficult square with that Jupiter/Pluto/Saturn (Covid-19). The final aspect made by the Moon will be a trine with Venus in Leo, hot and fiery and burning up – with perhaps fever.

Of course, as Acyuta Bhava rightly points out, there are alternative interpretations (such as an extended confinement and isolation) but the upshot is that this even if Trump should survive, this is a will prove a very rough patch from which he is unlikely to fully recover – either political or health-wise.

There’s suggestion that this has been ‘written in the stars’ or in the cards from the start. There were indications back in March 2020 that Covid-19 was going to play serious havoc with both the American president and people. I suggested this would not be plain sailing for Trump in 2020 back in 2017. But let’s not jump on or off the bandwagon and point fingers and assign blame to Trump or otherwise.

I must agree with Acyuta Bhava that each of us has some destiny to play out during our lifetime and that free will is not always what it is cracked up to be.

Looking at the connections between eclipse cycles in Trump’s birth chart that are now again coming to fore in 2020, we get a real sense of this. Likewise, horary and Trump’s natal connections with the fixed star, Regulus, which tends to kick back harshly when one goes too far, tell the same story. As Acyuta Bhava points out, this is truly in the ‘heart of the Lion’ and it will adversely affect Trump.

Now, the only question for each of us is how we will deal with it ourselves and don’t forget your own destiny…

What is Politics?

Interesting question, what is politics – don’t you think?

Apparently there are many possible definitions but the one with which I particularly resonate is all about POWER!

 I’m thinking back to Orwell’s Animal Farm and the abuse of power through totalitarian propaganda because propaganda is how anyone stays in power (i.e. nation-state, head of household, corporate).  

In this case, I’m defining propaganda as opinion management which surprisingly is ethically a neutral term.

So why does it get such a bad reputation? I suspect it has something to do with the use of opinion management (spin doctors – sound bites) across a broad base having made everyone increasingly suspicious. Yet the most amazing thing is that however suspicious and fed up we get with the spin-doctors and the sound bites they produce, we keep asking for more and what a surprise – we keep getting it!

But what we fail to understand is that politics – just like propaganda – is a two-way street – THEY produce the sound bites – but do we have to BITE?

Life, Liberty, and the Avoidance of Tyranny

Try it: Google ‘democracy in USA is finished’. If, like me, you get 28.3 million hits in 0.49 seconds, are you really surprised?

Let’s face it: as a democracy, America is on the verge of collapse and it is only the less astute citizen who fails to acknowledge that this proverbial writing has been on the proverbial wall for more than two millennia.

In his famous political essay The Republic, Plato (circa 424-348 BC) teaches that as surely as Democracy evolves from Oligarchy (a system of government where the rich rule the poor) that Democracy evolves into Tyranny. While the first transition results from an excess of wealth as with the English monarchy from whom the American colonists won freedom in 1776,  the later results from an excess of freedom. Plato provides some startlingly scary examples of the warning signs, should you care to read them. 

Plato also teaches that bloated with desire to do whatever we wish – whenever we wish, (i.e. the American obsession with unlimited free speech and unmitigated gun control), the citizens of democracy will at last become so sensitive that we no longer can endure ‘the yoke of laws’. Consider why recent laws requiring Americans to wear face masks to save their lives in the face of the pandemic killer, Covid-19, have become such an intense, hotly debated political issue.

This is the beginning of the end.

“… for there is a law of contraries: the excess of freedom passes into the excess of slavery, and the greater the freedom the greater the slavery.”

It happens like this: because law and order have vanished, the disgruntled citizenry elect a champion to seize control.  All goes well until inevitably the champion oversteps his bounds. When the citizenry try to remove him, they discover their champion turned tyrant is even more lawless than they. 

Plato teaches the champion turned tyrant is one of ‘false and braggart words and opinions’ who calls impudence ‘good breeding’, lawlessness ‘liberty’, wasteful extravagance ‘magnificence’, and self-control ‘want of manhood’. Not to cast aspersions, but am I right in guessing this might sound familiar?

As an American, I lament that so many of my fellow countrypersons have not read Plato nor are they likely do so prior to this November. But then again, ought I to be surprised? Recently media analyst, Mark Dice, asked Californian beachgoers why they celebrate the 4th of July and far too many of the replies were shocking.

I mean, how could any American who actually believes that America obtained its independence from China want to read Plato?

Has such ignorance, as Plato has plainly predicted, truly sealed the fate of the country of my birth? I hope not. Not only has America survived a good many serious challenges to date but so have other democracies like the United Kingdom. That America survives this epic challenge, remains up to each and every citizen to do his or her civic duty and remember that at all times individual freedom must be balanced with individual responsibility. 

If this democracy known as the United States of America is not to topple into the abyss of perpetual tyranny, this balance point must be found and respected.

Let’s face it: Tyranny is unlikely to bring the citizens of the United States of America anything close to which, more than two hundred years ago, they had promised themselves; ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’

Some may say this is not true; it is their democratic right to do so. But is it wiser to believe them or Plato?