Vision Quest, Planet Waves' 2016 annual edition, has been published. Order all 12 signs at a great value or choose your individual signs.

Vision Quest, Planet Waves’ 2016 annual edition, has been published. Order all 12 signs at a great value or choose your individual signs.

by Judith Gayle

According to Wikipedia’s definition of politics, it originates from the “Greek: πολιτικός politikos,” which translates as “of, for, or relating to citizens” and regards the practice and theory of influencing other people. Essentially, then, all relationships can be defined as political, as we all seek to influence to get our needs met. Our relationships have a political component.


If we twist the lens of our kaleidoscope to get a broader glimpse, we can see how politics represents a template for governance to meet the needs of society, i.e., the constant back and forth of negotiation and compromise. It has rules. Indeed, it has been legitimized as a ‘science.’

Ultimately, it’s not a stretch to see how politics can become a system to control and coerce, or, as Merriam-Webster defines it, “the activities, actions, and policies that are used to gain and hold power in a government or to influence a government.” I’m sure you agree that it’s that open-ended use of governance to ‘gain and hold power’ that sends a shiver down our spines.

We remember the Third Reich. We remember the old Soviet Union. We look around and see North Korea and Saudi Arabia. We see ISIS, attempting to build a theocratic Caliphate, and instinctively understand that there is something terribly wrong with governmental absolutes that disenfranchise a country’s citizens, exploit its resources and promote policy only for the betterment of the few. An anti-authoritarian reaction makes up the seeds of populism — the notion that government should attend the interests of the general population rather than the governing elite — that have been alive and well since America’s inception.

It’s worthwhile to take a look at this issue, since we are deeply entrenched in 21st century populism. In fact, I’d say it defines us at this point in time. Why? Wiki has the definition that hits the mark: “Populism is a doctrine that appeals to the interests and conceptions (such as hopes and fears) of the general population, especially when contrasting any new collective consciousness push against the prevailing status quo interests of any predominant political sector.”

It’s that ‘new collective consciousness’ we need to examine, because that’s the zeitgeist driving these changes we’re juggling. If we don’t understand what’s happening, it’s easy to fall into fear, and fear is the enemy of progress.

When I think of politics, I think about where we are on the map — not the topography of the planet, mind you, but of the soul. We can no longer pretend that politics doesn’t affect us all, and we must admit that the government has become largely dysfunctional, and the power struggle that defines it is out of balance. That very imbalance is so evident in our current oligarchy that it has finally goaded us into a thorough examination of our inability to get along.

It’s taken us over fifteen years to accept the growing evidence of systemic failure, and a lot has changed during that period. A generation of kids have grown up in perpetual war, the kind we finance but do not attend emotionally or physically. Technology has distanced us from the expectations of patience and nuanced thought, from important aspects of civility and intimacy, while issues of culture and religion have occulted statesmanship and common cause. While we have reason to no longer trust institutional government, we have yet to decide how to remedy that situation. Yet most of us acknowledge that we can’t remain as we are.

This is a matter of soul recognition because the larger organism of politics is about how we treat one another, and that’s what we’re deciding now. So let’s locate ourselves on the map so that we understand where we are at this critical juncture. Let’s put a pin in the cross-hairs of this coming presidential election, because it’s not business as usual. In fact, it’s new business entirely because we have — unwittingly, as a matter of collective consciousness — accepted the legitimacy of the anti-establishment movement. Only when we acknowledge that, can we twist the kaleidoscope to get a bigger picture of where we’re going, and of what we’ve already accomplished.

We can read the tea leaves of states’ rights and privatization on the right, the growing movement for democratic restoration on the left, but let’s not allow ourselves to drop into the dark hole of defeatism by thinking the two are equal in American perception. Corporate media like to keep us wrought up by thinking the two American political philosophies represent an equal split among voters, but that’s not true. The polls show that a majority of Americans overwhelmingly approve the progressive vision of democratic policy.

Bernie Sanders is the anti-establishment candidate who considers our current state of governance corrupted by money, ignoring the needs of the common citizen in order to send wealth up the pipeline into the pockets of the privileged. There is so much evidence that this is true that it seems ridiculous to ignore it, but ignore it we do as we embrace the system that has failed us on so many levels. So many of us are awake, but there are others who can’t face their fears to open their eyes.

Bernie campaigns in the old style of populism, seeking an ongoing movement of justice and equality that reinvigorates government for and by the people. His lifelong adherence to socialism represents a truly American mix of democratic socialism that is currently known as participatory democracy, emphasizing grassroots movements that have the ability to impact a responsive system of governance. As an aside, this cartoon easily illustrates what seems so difficult to discern about Bernie’s one percent argument. This is that picture worth a thousand words. Pass it around.

On the other side of the spectrum, Donald Trump is the epitome of what is known as neo-populism. Where Sanders sees himself as a leader stumping for the rights of the masses, Trump sees himself as CEO of a vast holding company, creating wealth and opportunity for the individual and corporate entities that will, hopefully, trickle enough wealth down to keep the little people content and compliant.

We can’t say the Donald campaigns in a traditional mode, since no one can remember his style of assertive and abusive political rhetoric making the grade into presidential politics prior to this. It’s his very ‘strong man, take-no-shit’ persona that has grabbed the attention of many who want to ride the coattails of a perpetual ‘winner’ (if also braggart) and well-financed authoritarian.

Both of these candidates are anti-establishment. Both of them have identified as Independents (Trump has changed five times, across the political spectrum), outliers to the accepted two-party system. Both emphasize individuality, although Bernie’s supporters are looking for their individual votes to change policies that affect us all, while Donald’s are looking for the regressive policies of yesteryear that protect white America from losing its sense of both safety and superiority.

This week, Michael Bloomberg announced that he’s thinking about jumping in. First thing to notice is that he would run as an Independent, essentially a third-party candidate. Also glaringly apparent, he and the Donald share a rare condition, one we seldom find in a public servant: they’re both billionaires. Too late in the game for an easy transition due to the insider trading of the electoral college system, the ex-Mayor of New York could very well be the spoiler between candidates, splitting votes on one side or the other, perhaps both.

While Bloomberg might present himself as slightly anti-establishment, it’s safe to say his money would put establishment politicians in his camp along with the big financial concerns. Still, it’s a no-brainer that he might look attractive to those who want their president a little more polished than Bernie, a little less bombastic than Donald.

Although aligned with the traditional parties, the outliers are actually Independents, distanced from the absolutes of the duopoly. I can understand why Bernie went with the Dems: he had no financial benefit as a third-party candidate and he is the only one entirely dependent on the people for his funding — he had no hope of running a national campaign without party money. That should answer the question of his ability to compromise, flex, or find commonality with others — something at which he’s been accused of having little skill. A look at his long political career would correct that untruth.

On the other hand, it’s obvious that Trump will do as he likes, Pubs or no Pubs, pledge or not. I bet that Donald would never have signed on with the right if he thought he’d rise so quickly through the ranks. His current war with FOX News head, Roger Ailes, and the savvy Megyn Kelly shows how little he kowtows to the party line. He refused to participate in the last debate before Iowa, held by the FOX network. I suspect he thinks he doesn’t need it with all those HUGE numbers he enjoys.

Such a face off of outliers depends on Sanders beating Clinton in the primaries, of course. It depends on Donald not getting pissy with his numbers, throwing a tantrum or throwing in the towel. And, as our Fe Bongolan wrote this week, the progressives have a dilemma not nearly so frenetic as the Pubs in selecting a front runner. That battle is between two attractive candidates which the Democratic party could easily ​approve, but there is risk: which one will assure we do not endure a Trump or a Cruz leading the country in this volatile period of history?

I watched to see who would respond to Fe’s question, and can only assume that this remains a dilemma for others as well. One of her concerns is that the millennials who could sweep Sanders into office might not stick around for the hard work of citizenship, voting at mid-term to give him a congress with which he could work. The concern is genuine, based on what we’ve experienced before. But from the git-go, Sanders has seen his candidacy as a movement, as the second-leg of the #occupy movement, as a growing demand for a return to functional and progressive government:

Look, politicians respond. If the people are asleep and not involved, they respond to the lobbyists and donors. But when people speak up and fight, if you want to survive [as a politician], you have to respond. My job is to activate people to fight for their rights and to force Congress to respond to the needs of working families.

What the president can do is to say to the American people, “OK, if you think that it is important that public colleges and universities are tuition-free, and that that program be paid for based on a tax on Wall Street speculation, well, on March 15th there is going to be a vote in the House, and let’s see if we can bring large numbers of people here to Washington to say hello to members of Congress. Let us make every member of Congress aware that millions of people are involved in this issue. They know how you are going to vote.” Of course we’ll win that.

Based on his proposals, Sanders seems to have the ability to unite not just progressive voters, but a majority of Independents and even a number of Republicans. Hillary’s voters will be largely blue and largely women, mostly establishment and extremely well-financed, but her enemies are formidable. My concern is that the more we are forced to pick at the scabs of (both) the Clintons’ history, the fewer blue votes can be counted on to find their way to the polling ​booth in November.

Me? I don’t want to muster energy to vote against a Republican this election. I want to vote for someone I believe in. And while I think Hillary will be able to speak to the pragmatists I think Bernie can speak not only to pragmatists but to the passionate as well.

On our map, then — where we’ve stuck our political pin — we are newly arrived at a place where change is being demanded, where ‘how it used to be’ isn’t good enough any more. Where anger could turn against itself with Donald as candidate, or find an avenue of expression in following political passion with Bernie. Early in this nomination process, new polling shows that the electability question that Hillary is currently pinning her hopes on is wobbling.

Blue voters are thinking outside the box, especially when the box Hillary represents contains a slow, incremental crawl toward the things that the American people not only desire from their leadership but are beginning to demand. Red voters think they’ve found their superhero in the guy who loves everybody until they cross him. If we follow the money, neither Bernie nor Trump — or even Bloomberg, should he run — is beholden to the PACs and ‘donor class’ that have attempted to buy the election and, so far, failed.

The outliers, bless ’em, are the leaders of movements, even the unlikely Donald, who just took a shot in the dark with his candidacy. These are grass roots movements, already in place. Homegrown, if you will, and looking for leadership. For Sanders, whose political positions seldom waver, the movement came to him. Trump simply stumbled upon his, but it seems clear that the way we’ve done business for quite awhile is coming to an end.

While the old way was busy talking to itself, the concerns of a nation began to grow another kind of political intention, one that we’re seeing bloom all around us. Perhaps we might read that as the backside of a Pluto/Uranus square, eh?

That’s why, seems to me, any establishment politician who assumes that the people will regain their sensibility and come back to status quo (center) is wrong. Populism is doing all the talking. With the two-party system increasingly anachronistic — an expensive and self-sustaining failure at improving the lot of its citizens, with its faulty electoral and gerrymander​ing process having created a congressional stalemate, seemingly unable to legislate itself out of a paper bag — this election is the establishment’s to lose.

3 thoughts on “Homegrown

  1. Barbara Koehler

    I love you Jude; these are wise words indeed. . well thought through and built on a concept that PW has stood for through the 13 or so years I’ve known this site. Your title “Homegrown” implies rootedness and the roots of a body will be symbolized in its natal chart as the IC; the nadir of any and all charts.

    In the U.S. (when we use the widely accepted Sibly version) the IC of its chart is 1+ Aries, the infamous Aries Point. When transiting Uranus first ingressed Aries almost 6 years ago he was about to make the 1st of 3 conjunctions with Jupiter at 0+ Aries, while Jupiter himself was also in the process of making 3 oppositions with Saturn. On the day Uranus entered Aries for the 1st time on May 27, 2010, the Sun was opposite the Moon and conjunct the U.S. NATAL Uranus in Gemini. When that 1st conjunction between Uranus and Jupiter took place on June 8, 2010, the Sun was conjunct Trump’s natal Uranus. On both of these dates transiting Neptune was conjunct the U.S. Moon in Aquarius.

    We can see from this that the United States was at a point where its government and society was at a half-way point in a cycle (the opposition between Jupiter and Saturn), its people were in a state of confusion and/or unrealistic expectations (trans. Neptune conjunct natal Moon), and Donald Trump had a wild hair to go global (trans. Sun conjunct his natal Uranus trine natal Jupiter). However, Bernie Sanders’ natal Jupiter-sextile-Moon was also awakened by this transiting Uranus-conjunct-Jupiter because Bernie’s Jupiter at 19+ Gemini was conjoined by the transiting Sun within 48 hours after the Uranus-Jupiter conjunction was exact! The time was ripe.

    It goes without saying that anytime Uranus (transiting or natal) is found at the nadir of a chart there will be uprootedness, but when it is a country, especially a country as big as the U.S., it will have global impact. That transiting Uranus reversed itself in 2010, returned to Pisces for a while then came back to Aries with a whole different picture (chart) speaks to the wisdom of the gods and goddesses. This time the Sun in Pisces would square the U.S. Mars at 21+ Gemini (which connects with Trump Uranus and Sanders Jupiter) and and as well, was opposite Juno at 21+ Virgo (who was 1 degree from the U.S. , Neptune). Transiting Neptune would have moved one small degree further away from the U.S. Moon (it was 2011 and a glimmer of light was at the end of the economic tunnel). The Moon at this 2nd entry of Uranus into Aries would be conjunct the US. natal Uranus in Gemini. Good grief, the People revolt.

    For what it’s worth, the 2nd Uranus into Aries chart was a Locomotive pattern, defined by an empty trine (1/3rd of the chart has no major planets) with retrograde Saturn in Libra (conjunct the U.S. Sibly Saturn) as the Engine and the Moon as Caboose. Marc Edmund Jones says about the locomotive pattern . .
    “The power lies in the disproportion of these two parts [empty trine and occupied 2/3’rds]. The basis of the dynamic is found in the native’s resulting strong sense of a lack OR a need, of a problem to be solved, a task to be achieved in the social and intellectual world around him. The temperament reveals a self-driving individuality, an executive eccentricity that is not queerness or unbalance but rather is power.”

    It would seem then that Trump and Sanders are merely fulfilling a Uranian need to shake up the status quo that existed in the beginning of a cycle between Jupiter and Uranus, a cycle that will reach its half-way point when transiting Jupiter opposes transiting Uranus. That will happen the day after Christmas this year, just as transiting Saturn in Sagittarius trines transiting Uranus and sextiles transiting Jupiter. Remember that Saturn was the Engine in the Locomotive pattern of the 2nd Uranus ingress into Aries, and Saturn is a symbol of government as well as stability.

    These grassroots movements are historic and if I may say, one is (possibly) Blue grass (a lovely breed) and one is crab grass (considered a weed). They are filling the space being uprooted by Uranus at the base of the U.S. chart and only one will survive. I’m betting on the Blue, and as the U.S goes, so goes the world (IC and MC on Aries points).

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