Into the Eclipse, and the Conjunction

In Najaf, Iraq, the coffins of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were carried through a large crowd on Saturday. Photo by Anmar Khalil / Associated Press.

Dear Friend and Reader:

What we are witnessing now in the world is typical, even predictable, of what you would expect from combining an eclipse with the most potent planetary alignment since the 1960s. You would expect the world to be on the brink of war. It was only a month after the Saturn-Pluto opposition in the summer of 2001 that the World Trade Center came down and the U.S. began its ongoing wars with Afghanistan and Iraq.

It’s also typical of what you would witness from a borderline-personality president who is up to his eyeballs in an impeachment, and desperate to shift the narrative and cling to power. Even Bill Clinton bombed someone back in the days when he was facing a Senate trial. That seemed more like lashing out.

This is all evocative of the brilliant movie Wag the Dog, where a president facing re-election in the midst of a sex scandal (the Girl Scout sitting on his lap in the Oval Office, remember?) engages a master spin doctor to fabricate a war against Albania.

However, this episode is not being shot in front of a green screen, or directed by a Hollywood producer. There is no phony refugee holding a bag of Cheetos that gets edited into her beloved cat, with whom she is fleeing.

Iranian lawmakers in Tehran chanting “Death to America” on Sunday. Photo by Mohammad Hassanzadeh/Tasnim News Agency, via Associated Press.

Assassinating the Military Leader of a Sovereign Nation

Pres. Donald Trump, without the knowledge, advice or consent of Congress or its leaders, and behind the back of most of his own administration, assassinated the military leader of a foreign nation with whom we are not at war, on the territory of another sovereign nation. There is no formal policy assessment process in the White House.

News reports are saying he was given a selection of options, and chose the most extreme. It was an open act of war against a country with whom we were not at war. In fact, under Pres. Obama, the United States and Iran were at their most peaceful, ever. Then Trump threw out the nuclear accord that Obama negotiated. And now he has killed one of their most venerated leaders, and in retaliation, as of Sunday, Iran has discarded the terms of the nuclear accord entirely.

He has made a martyr out of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, who is now in paradise as people pack the streets of the Middle East in mourning. Islamic society loves martyrs, in the sense that it makes them into icons of war. This is a bit different from Christianity’s love of historical martyrs; Islam loves them served fresh. Though the two religions have one thing in common: fundamentalists in both Islam and Christianity believe we are in the End Times. Worse, they feel that it is their role to hasten the process.

Iran controls access to the Persian Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz. See full map here.

Soleimani was someone who created the sprawling Iranian proxy military force throughout the region, and was the closest thing to an internationally respected leader in the area.

From the standpoint of military strategy, this move was the closest thing to suicide that Trump could have done. Nobody (in the West or in Israel) doubts that Soleimani was a terrible guy; the question is, did it make sense to murder him? Well, make sense to whom? While Russia issued a statement condemning the move, you can almost hear the champagne corks popping in Putin’s office.

Trump is not a strategist. He cannot operate an umbrella.

The Persians invented chess. They are master strategists. Unlike the U.S., their culture is intellectually advanced. And it is passionate. We are an electrically-induced pseudo-tribal culture. The Persian Empire dates to the 6th century BCE. We have not made it through our first Pluto return. The Iranians have made it through 10 of them.

Iran’s Geopolitical Advantage

Iran controls the Strait of Hormuz, that grants access to the Persian Gulf. They have operators and sleeper cells stashed away many places. American infrastructure is vulnerable. There are days when it feels like a 14-year-old can hack a nuclear power plant. This wouldn’t be difficult for their most advanced internet engineers. Many American facilities may already have malware placed on their servers.

So for Trump to wag the dog with Iran is certifiably insane. But we could have guessed this is what would happen — that he would create some massive distraction to get him out of his mess. He is also playing the old trope, “Don’t change horses in midstream,” meaning when the country is at war, don’t change leaders. We now have confirmation that he would start World War III to accomplish that.

As my friend Sam Dean pointed out yesterday, the world has plenty to deal with without the stuff that Trump creates. A massive swath of Australia is on fire, with temperatures around 104 degrees. Smoke from distant wildfires is setting off fire systems in the cities, and is polluting the air in New Zealand. This is part of a much larger climate problem — it’s just the current manifestation that we are seeing.

Donald Trump has been caught soliciting foreign powers to mess with two elections — 2016 and 2020. He seems fully invested in the Russians. Did Putin tell him to kill Gen. Soleimani?

Can we even deal with these conditions? I keep coming back to the words of Eric McLuhan:

“The body is everywhere assaulted by all of our new media, a state which has resulted in deep disorientation of intellect and destabilization of culture throughout the world. In the age of disembodied communication, the meaning and significance and experience of the body is utterly transformed and distorted.”

The Eclipse and Conjunction Are a Portal to the Future

We are now directly experiencing that transformation and distortion. And while the world has gone mad, we all have our individual lives to live, our work to do, our people and critters to take care of.

Solar grouping at the time of Friday’s lunar eclipse.

We have to maintain our existence under both the stress of world events and of the conditions that are creating them.

Though they are currently being abused by many, the eclipse and conjunction represent a portal to the future. That’s a good thing too, because we’re all headed there.

In terms of what astrological guidance I might offer, I can say this. Given that Capricorn is the focus right now, we have to do Capricorn and do it well.

That means knowing where your grounding is. You might not feel like you have any, but if so, then take your shoes off and feel the Earth.

Make contact with a few of the important people in your life. Take care of important business. Work for closure of pending matters in your life. This is not the time to begin things. It is time to work for completion and resolution.

Begin with what is most urgent. Negotiate timeframes and honor the passage of time. Honor limits. Honor your word: your promises and your truth.

We live in a moment when individual responsibility is considered something of a joke; where the big fad is to be a victim of existence. Even if you don’t consciously believe that or accept it, it has a way of seeping into consciousness.

I am not sure what is so appealing about this to so many people. It’s a very serious trap. It has the feel of what psychologist Erich Fromm called the “escape from freedom.” True freedom entails responsibility, and is the reward of being responsible.

That’s part one.

Hong Kong at slow shutter speed. Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

As for Part 2: We Need a Vision

Part 2 is needing a vision. Part of the myopia of our times is the failure to see what is possible. Start with what is possible for you. You are probably aware of something in your life that is time-tested, and keeps coming back to you: some sense of who you are and what you want.

I don’t mean a whim or a hunch or fad described by jargon like “empowerment.” I mean something scratching and itching at your soul; something you want to live for or that you absolutely must do.

Make contact with that and stay in contact with it. Though it seems like the times we are in are only destructive, there is tremendous opportunity for expression, expansion, and self-creation.

Part of what you must do is set the conditions in your environment to support your potential — particularly your human environment. It’s vitally important at this time that you choose who you want to influence you. There are many people preaching the gospel of woundology; those who are shrieking nonstop about being victims of existence.

You don’t want to get caught up in those views, and to the extent that you are, it’s time to wake up and pay attention.

Remember: Chiron is in Aries. This is a point of self-awareness and self-actualization. These things are available all the time. Yet we are at a crux point, a fulcrum. As David Bowie said, “Small moves mean a lot.”

Especially right now.

With love,

Happy Birthday, Baba!

3 thoughts on “Into the Eclipse, and the Conjunction

  1. marie hawthorne

    Mercury, the Sun, Ceres, Saturn, Pluto and Chariklo

    If only I had a mixing board. I was originally thinking of the Kalachakra Mantra for Saturn, but first, in honour of mathematical equations, Algebra. Edith Piaf was an option for Chariklo, but ‘Non, je ne regrette rien’ had to be ruled out as it was used as a war anthem. Sade’s ‘The Sweetest Taboo’ got a look in for Pluto-Charon, but for the current moment seems too sugary; and miscegenation as a concept tells more about Pluto-Charon in helping identify the taboo taboos – the unspoken words that colour (ha!) much discourse without actually being mentioned. I’m calling them the ‘toxic doxic’ as a form of philosophical and/or sociological shorthand. Besides, Omara is an end of month Scorpio Sun, and she’s Cuban and she’s petitioning African deities. So, I shall continue to dance; yes, a lot of dancing. Dancing as planetary propitiating. Serious stuff and very old-fashioned, very Capricornian.

    Keep dancing!

    Sun: Everybody Loves the Sunshine – by Takuya Kuroda (21 February 1980)

    Mercury: I Sing the Body Electric – words by Walt Whitman (31 May 1819) [this version is a bit OTT, but that’s Mercury…]

    Ceres: Harvest for the World – by The Isley Brothers (Ernie Isley / Marvin Isley / O’Kelly Isley / Ronald Isley / Rudolph Isley / Chris Jasper. Jasper,neighbour and principal songwriter 30 December 1951 )

    Saturn: At This Time by Algebra Felicia Blessett (9 April 1976)

    Pluto-Charon: Tabu – by Omara Portuondo Peláez (29 October 1930)

    “Oshun, Ifá, Obatalá, Chango, Yemayá
    Oshun, Ifá, Obatalá, Chango, Yemayá
    Tierra del África añorada
    De río caudaloso y cielo azul
    Y aquí si el negro mira la hembra blanca
    Y aquí si el negro mira la hembra blanca
    Tabú, tabú, tabú
    Tabú, tabú, tabú”

    Chariklo: I Say A Little Prayer – by Aretha Franklin (March 25, 1942)

    1. Amanda Painter

      Marie, I love this! Looks like you’ve had a lot of fun putting this together — and clearly gave it some real thought. Thank you for sharing it here!

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