Tag Archives: civil rights

Back From the Edge

Dear Fellow Traveler:

Today is the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. I do have some good news to report in today’s short edition (which does not include a horoscope), but first I suggest we pause in remembrance of the people who unexpectedly met their end as the American B-29 Superfortress bomber Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb over them on a warm, cloudless morning. Three days later, in a move that made no sense for strategic purposes, the American military dropped another bomb on the city of Nagasaki.

Born in Quincy, IL, in February 1915, then-Col. Tibbets (center) was one of the pilots who tested the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, the world’s first atomic bomber. He was the commander of the mission that dropped the first atomic bomb on a population. Photo retrieved from BBC obituary of Paul Tibbets. See gallery here.

To glimpse the mentality behind the use of the atomic bomb, let’s consider that Col. Paul Tibbets, the commander of the mission, named the B-29 after his mother — her name was Enola Gay. As if to emphasize the point, the ship was codenamed Mother. The bomb was codenamed Little Boy. And 65 years later we are still killing mothers and fathers and small children, and it is rare that I hear a word of dissent. So while we’re asking how this could have possibly happened, we need to ask how the same thing is happening today.

I have covered the astrology of Hiroshima previously, on the Planet Waves blog. That entry includes the chart. I did the astrology of Paul Tibbets for Jonathan Cainer’s site several years ago — here is a link.

The Hiroshima chart has an image of mother and little boy — an exact Moon-Saturn conjunction: exact as if someone had planned the chart (I’m sure nobody did). Saturn, ruler of the feminine sign Capricorn, is often an image of mother and matriarchy. The Moon is an image of mother, or of child. The implicit message is sick: blame mom for this ethical and technological disaster. And it has the signature of craving an emotional high, one that is typically expressed sexually: a Venus-Chiron square. Most significantly, the chart picks up something called the Nuclear Axis — the defining moment of the nuclear age, when an atomic reaction first took hold — from every corner. Currently there are two potent, slow-moving minor planets dancing around the Nuclear Axis, which forms a cross through the early-to-middle mutable signs Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.

They are the centaur Pholus (small cause, big effect) and Ixion (anyone is capable of anything). Isn’t that charming? So we — whoever ‘we’ is — need to be careful. And they form a conjunction from March 2011 through September 2014. This happens near the Great Attractor, which is like a giant energy magnifier in the middle of (go figure) Sagittarius. So we have another image of what 2012 is about, and that sounds like sorting out this nuclear issue both politically and spiritually.

When we think of our great country (and by that I include the UK and allied Europe), we need to remember Aug. 6, 1945. When we think of our constitutional democracies and the lifestyle that it’s possible for us to attain here, we need to remember this holocaust — literally, an all-consuming fire. Holo means whole, as in holistic. Caust means burns, as in caustic. When we wonder what it’s possible for humanity to do to itself, and wonder about Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot, we need to remember Harry Truman and the Enola Gay.

The bomb went off over the Shima Surgical Clinic. Truman came on the radio shortly after the bombing and described Hiroshima as a military base. He was lying. (Like many cities, it had one, but it also had a large civilian population.) He told his fellow Americans that we had done God’s work. It is incredible that there hasn’t been more outrage or even philosophical pondering of the use of an atomic bomb on a civilian population. It happens occasionally. Few people are aware of the reference in U2’s The Unforgettable Fire.

The Shadow of the Bomb

I have a theory about the nuclear issue, which is that it lurks in the background of our minds all the time. Those of us who were born before the Berlin Wall came down were basically raised on the idea that humanity could blow itself up within 15 minutes any day of the week. We’ve all heard of the near-misses caused by geese being picked up on radar as incoming missiles, which may be urban legends — but that doesn’t matter. It is very much the thought that counts.

The first atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima early in the morning of Aug. 6, 1945. The explosion and radioactive fallout killed 140,000 immediately and many more in subsequent years. The bomb was extremely inefficient, fissioning just 1.6% of its fuel. Photo retrieved from BBC obituary of Paul Tibbets. See gallery here.

So when we wonder why the people who run the world, and we who are part of the world, can live with the many games of brinkmanship that go on every day, we have an example of how we are trained to live with this as an emotional state. I am asked several times a week whether “the world will end” in 2012 and what stuns me every time is that people seem to accept that this is a possibility.

And it is true, it’s technologically possible to wipe out a lot of humanity using manmade devices in a very short time. As kids, we all spent time, perhaps a lot of time, thinking about this, and it is soaked into our cellular memory. The vision of the mushroom cloud is something that everyone exposed to books, movies or television has seen, and we all know what it means. And this potential did not exist before Aug. 6, 1945, when the great and good United States of America became the first and so far only nation to drop a nuclear bomb on a population.

For those who are interested in considering the implications of the nuclear issue, I can recommend two books: American Ground Zero, a book of photos from the testing era in the American Southwest; and The Fate of the Earth by Jonathan Schell. If I had my way these books — particularly the first — would be out on a table in every classroom. The first describes the nuclear testing program centered in Nevada and New Mexico that conducted 140 air burst detonations in the 1950s and 1960s, including extensive human and animal experimentation; and the second describes the consequences of nuclear war and how we can avoid it.

This really is our problem. It may seem that awareness of how it influences our psychology and emotions is all we can gain from understanding history, but that is where the healing process begins. On a deeper level, I believe we need to understand what humanity is capable of, and the depth of shadow we possess — at least those of us who want to be empowered members of our race, devoted to creating a sane and peaceful world.

And in News from Vesta

On Wednesday, the U.S. District Court in San Francisco has ruled that Proposition 8, the Mormon-backed amendment which banned gay and lesbian couples from marrying in California, is unconstitutional. This is a victory both symbolic and real. It won’t take effect immediately — the judge made his ruling and then stayed the decision until appeals can be filed by the losers. Everyone knows how this is going to shake out. Everyone knows that [some] heterosexual people don’t have the right to claim that marriage is exclusively for them.

Hon. Vaughn Walker.

This is a truly incredible decision, which sorts out the issues in a clear and declarative way. After an exhaustive trial, court found no evidence that heterosexual couples do a better job raising kids than homosexual couples. Heterosexual marriage is not harmed by the creation of homosexual marriage.

Here is a little taste of the ruling’s language:

“Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”

Gee whiz. Those of us who are civil rights freaks live for paragraphs like that. U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who tried the case and wrote the decision, was first appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan (his nomination was stalled) and then nominated a second time by George H.W. Bush (it was approved by the Senate). So he is supposedly a conservative’s conservative. Now the chief judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, he is also gay.

As Time put it, “Instead of ‘gay marriage’, Walker wrote in a 138-page ruling, there is just marriage — and everybody is entitled to it, no matter what gender they and their would-be spouse happen to be.” This is called equal protection under the law, which is provided in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This is the same amendment that grants citizenship to any child born in the United States, and which has recently come under attack by the Tea Party.

This is also the case where supposedly archconservative attorney Ted Olson (solicitor general under Bush) joined forces with supposedly uber-liberal attorney David Boies to sue the State of California on behalf of their clients, a gay couple and a lesbian couple, who sued because their rights were being denied.

Richard and Mildred Loving sued the Commonwealth of Virginia for the right to marry, which even in the 1960s was banned by state law. Today we look back at that and wonder what flavor crack everyone was smoking. As a result of their lawsuit, all race-based restrictions to marriage were ended in the United States. In a few years we will be wondering what people who favored banning gay and lesbian couples from marriage were thinking. Wire service photo.

As this decision came out Wednesday, Venus was conjunct Vesta. Conjunct, as in you would think they planned it that way — again, I am sure nobody did, except the great cosmic dance of synchronicity. We have a glimpse into this marvelously complex asteroid that few astrologers seem to notice has everything to do with sex, sexual orientation and sexual shadow material such as guilt and shame.

Why do certain people rabidly oppose homosexuality and try to push their position on the whole population? Well, it doesn’t take much of a psychology background to figure out that they’re not dealing with some of their own issues. At the end of the day, homophobia is fear of oneself. Homo means same, and you cannot get more same as you than you. Homophobia is self-hatred, and when these folks make laws or constitutional amendments that affect what millions of people can and cannot do in their most private lives, they are projecting their self-hatred onto society. The personal is indeed political.

This case is headed for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and almost invariably to the Supreme Court. All the legal scholars I’ve heard comment on the decision say it’s impeccably well-crafted and it’s going to hold up under scrutiny. The facts of the case are set in stone; now it’s up to the higher courts to see if the judge applied the law correctly. Just like in the 1960s when the ban against interracial marriage crumbled (in 1967, during the last Saturn-Uranus opposition), we are watching history being made before our eyes.

In addition to Venus-Vesta, which clarifies a theme, this decision came in what we will remember as a momentous summer of the cardinal T-square on the Aries Point.

Plugging the BP Well

And in yet another not-so-random bit of good news, BP killed — as in really killed, with a cement plug — its runaway oil well Thursday. The well blew its five million or so barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico concurrently with Chiron in Pisces, nearly to the day. The rig exploded about 22 hours after Chiron entered Pisces, and was initially capped July 15, stopping the flow of oil five days before Chiron retrograded back into Aquarius.

We learned a lot from this process. This week we were also told in a NOAA (the federal agency that regulates the oceans and the atmosphere) report that most of that oil had mysteriously disappeared; that the Gulf of Mexico had somehow cleaned itself up. We will know something close to the truth when Chiron returns to Pisces in February, or rather, that is when the real damage assessment will begin.

Venus in the Cardinal Cross; Leo New Moon

On a strictly personal note (there is no such thing, of course), Venus enters Libra today, and joins the cardinal T-square. It will make conjunctions to Saturn and Mars, square Pluto and oppose Uranus and Jupiter — that’s a lot of Venus action in a few days. Then tonight the Moon enters Cancer, joining the cardinal cross as well. The whole arrangement aligns with the June 26 lunar eclipse, shaking a few fruits and nuts out of that cosmic tree.

Simplified chart for Venus ingressing Libra late tonight (early morning Saturday in Europe and the UK). The Moon is at 3+ Cancer, precisely opposing Pluto for the event. This is an emotional, fast-moving setup where events, feelings, love affairs, opportunities and various forms of drama can precipitate quickly. Pay attention! More details are in the free weekly audio.

It might be a lot of fun — Venus is an eccentric planet, and loves to get up off the couch and become a totally different cat from time to time — or it could be emotinoally stressful. The Moon is suggesting that our feelings could go through a whirl of hot water, passion or indulgence. These would be a fine few days to cultivate the art of avoiding drama and imbibing trust, and learning how to let loose and experiment with your feelings in a creative (rather than destructive) way. We do a lot of suppressing our feelings and desires here in our moment of the Anti-Sixties, and the charts are saying that there are plenty of other possibilities.

For those curious about the Leo New Moon on Monday, I have covered that in the latest free weekly audio, along with an introduction to the forthcoming Mercury retrograde in Virgo. The Leo New Moon is opposite a conjunction of Nessus and Damocles — not asteroids, but high-voltage minor planets — and is something of a game of psychological chicken, played out on a cosmic scale. This New Moon seems like the perfect opportunity to keep your sense of self, and your esteem of self, when faced with those who perpetuate psychological abuse as a way of life.

The two aspect patterns — Venus-Moon joining in with the cardinal cross, and the New Moon opposite Nessus and Damocles — are related. What they have in common is that we need to learn how to make better relationship choices, and to discover the limits of when to stop identifying with another person and their role in our life. The missing piece is our sense of self: literally, our sense of existence. As I have suggested before, many of us barely know we exist, and we would be a lot happier if we had the revelation that we do. Often we need to figure it out. In that process of deductive reasoning, we can start with making a list of all the people we think we would betray by existing — and proceed from there.

I will not be writing Tuesday, and there are no more August horoscopes to distribute; I’ll be back Friday, one week from today. I’ll send out a reminder Tuesday. Daily Astrology & Adventure, our positively awesome blog, will continue updating, and I do plan to do Wednesday’s audio — so listen for me there.

That’s the news! We’re living through once-in-a-lifetime astrology. You can taste the freedom that brings sanity.

Yours & truly,




Eyes Wide Shut

By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

Sometimes it feels like we, the people, are just spitting into the wind. For reasons I cannot fathom, there are those who think that the way things are is the way things are supposed to be. They think out-of-control Wall Street is a necessary evil, that adventure capitalism is the only way to keep the boat afloat. They believe insurance companies are a necessary middleman dedicated to our wellbeing, leaving us to fight for our right to be victimized. They think militarism is still a way forward toward stability and power even as we borrow to invest in unnecessary wars. Maybe they aren’t thinking at all, and that’s the problem: they just don’t want to know the reality of our situation.

An article in The Wall Street Journal this week floated the notion that the rich no longer need the working class to sustain them, because thanks to NAFTA, their money is invested and yielding profit overseas. This outsourced economy is the logical consequence of decades of stagnant wage growth — essentially flat-lined since 1973 — and constant erosion of the middle-class for more than a generation. Remember failed Democratic candidate John Edwards, who was wrong on so many levels? He was right on the one that counted: we live in two Americas, but few are willing to admit it. The rest are not only in a state of denial, but use every possible pretense to keep from recognizing the ugly truth about our political, military, financial and social systems.

For instance, documents examined recently by The Washington Post reveal a shadow government of more than 850,000 employees with top secret clearance overseeing our national interests. With neither public oversight nor fiscal accountability, homeland security has metastasized into a huge, unwieldy, ever-expanding secret government. The Washington Post tallied up “more than 1,200 government organizations and more than 1,900 private companies working on counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in some 10,000 locations across the U.S.” Given this level of overkill, I’d have expected someone to sound the alarm on this as either blatantly un-American or overblown bureaucracy run amok. I didn’t hear a peep.

In addition, Wikileaks has provided an unwholesome picture — in 76,000 leaked documents — of Afghani and American incompetence and cultural limitation during many years of war. The reports, which mainstream media and government dismiss as neither news nor secret, reveal American attempts to prop up an illusionary Afghani government to be as effective as herding cats. The record shows that our intention to root out Taliban and al Qaeda quickly dissolved into supporting thugs and coddling traffickers, giving us little to celebrate ethically or militarily. What is most disturbing about the Wikileaks revelation is that the flap about leaked state secrets didn’t even phase us: we’re so used to being lied to that we fully expect a truthful version of events to surface eventually, and we’re so apathetic we can’t even rouse ourselves to defend the whistleblower.

Continued at this link…