Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh being sworn in before his confirmation hearing began a few weeks ago, before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Photo by Doug Mills for The New York Times.
Dear Friend and Reader:
It may seem that the approval of Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice is on the line. The vote was supposed to happen today, and now it’s been postponed, to make room for a Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for 10 am Monday (that time is likely to change). At that hearing (according to one version of the plan), both Kavanaugh and someone who has accused him of attempted rape when he was 17, Christine Blasey Ford, will testify.
Christine Blasey Ford.
Ford has called for an FBI investigation prior to her offering testimony, which speaks to her credibility. That would help avoid the “he said, she said” dynamic that that is so common to these kinds of incidents. The FBI would be able to interview witnesses, and, at least in theory, proceed with a modicum of impartiality and expertise in the area of establishing a fact pattern. From there, we can listen to the testimony and discuss whether Kavanaugh is morally fit to serve on the Supreme Court.
Whatever you may think or feel about an incident among teenagers from 35 years ago being used as a political tool today — there are several sides to that discussion, to be sure — I think that something else is on the line.
That is the legal and moral definition of a woman in our society. When I say this, please be aware that I am referring to an older concept of feminism than the one that we have today, one based on personal agency and full citizenship. My primary philosophical reference point for feminism is The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir.
Throughout Kavanaugh’s hearing, women protesting his position on reproductive rights were dragged out of the room screaming one by one, till finally the process was closed to the public. This was not exactly a strong showing by feminists. There were no mass protests outside the Capitol Building, for example. The “pink hat” movement could have easily mobilized; there was plenty of time, many recent past successes, and the very most important issues at stake.
By Amanda Painter
Shortly after the Sun and Mercury meet for a conjunction in late Virgo today, they make a tag-team entrance into Libra. Mercury gets there first, ingressing Libra at 11:39 pm EDT Friday (3:39:15 UTC Saturday). Then the Sun follows suit at 9:54 pm EDT Saturday (1:53:59 UTC Sunday) for the equinox.
Above the edge of the fog bank on Bald Peak in Camden Hills State Park, Maine. Photo by Amanda Painter.
As you know, the Libra equinox signals the start of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, and is one of two times in the year when we experience equal hours of daylight and darkness (the first being the Aries equinox, which commences Northern Hemisphere spring and begins the astrological year). Seasonal shifts are major turning points.
As such, and perhaps because of the visible shift in the day-night relationship, I tend to associate them with very specific tones or moods of emotion and energy — though this can be highly personal.
Some people relish the cooler, crisper air of fall and the sense of settling back down and in; I tend to grieve the loss of warmth, bare skin and long days of outdoor play (especially in the water). Whichever way you lean (and whichever half of the globe you’re in), I think it pays to notice the shift of the season and your response to it.
Astrologically, the equinoxes (as well as the solstices) activate the Aries Point. That’s the first degree (or so) of Aries where issues of both collective (political) and personal importance intersect and inform each other, and this quality gets extended to the first degrees of all the cardinal signs (Cancer, Libra and Capricorn being the others).
So what’s hanging out in the early cardinal signs to greet the Sun and Mercury when they land in the first degree of Libra this weekend? Quite an intriguing collection of objects, it turns out, especially if we look at the first three degrees (written as 00 – 02 degrees) of the cardinal signs.