Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The astrology of a karmic heritage: the planetary dynamics of Race & Class

Wise souls--innocence worth nurturing..

“The wise have no mind of their own, finding it in the minds 
Of ordinary people.
They’re good to good people and they're good to bad people.
Power is goodness.
They trust people of good faith and they trust people of bad faith.
Power is trust.
They mingle their life with the world, they mix their mind up
with the world.
Ordinary people look after them.
Wise souls are children.”

—Ursula K. LeGuin, Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching

The halls of power in this nation seem so bereft of wise souls these days, but I refuse to despair because great reserves of wisdom and true power are everywhere to see in “ordinary people”—in peaceful protesters animated by childlike confidence that the righteous, loving change they envision is do-able; in voters who wait for hours in the heat and rain to cast their precious ballots, and in those who celebrate, instead of rage, at the successes of others unlike themselves.

I’ve often wondered why major dimensions of human life and society like race and class—so much in the news right now and so much about these “ordinary people”—always seemed difficult to discern in an astrological chart. Meaning that there is no one planet that seems to directly speak to these issues, despite their clear importance to humanity. It’s occurred to me over time that astrology’s roots in ancient civilizations must have something to do with this. 

Think about what life was like for the masses of people in those foundational times: in most places, there were “demigod”-like (Sun) rulers who basically controlled their societies’ resources (like gold, silver, copper-Sun, Moon, Venus) sent their armies (Mars) abroad to conquer new territories and peoples (enslaving the vanquished as they did), and shared a portion of the spoils with their courtiers (Mercury), artists and functionaries (Venus, Saturn) and “wise men” (Jupiter - the educated priestly class, including astrologers) to keep them loyal and dependent. They weren’t even aware of the most distant collective planets (Uranus, Neptune, Pluto), so the larger-than-life forces that accounted for so many of the perils and mysteries of life at that time were simply explained away by the Ruler’s special relationship with “the Divine,” or were expressed in their mythologies. 


Feudalism & slavery were equivalent systems in Europe.

And then, there was everyone else (Moon)—the peasant class who didn’t own land or other tangible property, a lack which consigned them to the common state of feudal poverty and absolute disempowerment: if they didn’t become fodder for wars that served their rulers’ interests, then they labored in the land-owners’ fields, in deadly mines or worse. Slaves served in ruling class homes and fields and built infrastructures, including the rulers’ all-important tombs and monuments. Always prone to the whims of the “gods,” their ruling class spokespeople and the limitations of wrenching poverty, life for these masses was, as Thomas Hobbes famously said, “nasty, brutish and short.”

This description surely oversimplifies human history, but common themes regarding the distribution of power and resources run throughout history and across all cultures. It’s no mystery that the great civilizations—Mesopotamia/Babylonia, Greece, Rome, Egypt—were all built on the backs of the masses, often with a religious pretext—if not to serve the pre-Christian gods and their unquenchable demands for sacrifice, then to serve the “glory of God” as conceived by whatever Church ruled the day. Liberating and nurturing human potential was never a ruling class priority; this humanist concern wasn’t even on the radar screen of governments until the Enlightenment period in Europe, which spawned the great 18th century democratic revolutions in France and the U.S.. 


 Still, the “peculiar institution” of slavery persisted because of its economic utility, so only some humans benefited from that period. For the sake of augmenting the congressional representation of rural southern states, slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person; for the sake of their own interests and dreams, slaves were listed as property and treated as such.  

Over time many Christian churches preached the “curse of Ham” as a biblical pretext for condoning black slavery, which when examined closely doesn’t make any sense and was probably altered over time to mean what such slavery boosters wanted it to mean. 

So it’s not difficult to see why equality has been so elusive in America and why this primal blind spot in humanity (Chiron) as been so difficult to heal. Over time, an engrained cultural disdain for blacks and an ancestral sense of white superiority evolved into a dogma that reinforced this bias, teaching that blacks were put on this Earth to serve those “better” than themselves. Transmitted and kept alive via family and culture as almost a matter of “genetic heritage,” (Saturn-Pluto) such ideas then spread “virally” (Mercury-Neptune-Jupiter) via information channels, rumor, religious doctrine and through the norms and practices codified into local laws (Saturn-i.e., the Jim Crow laws). 

In times of tremendous tension, these deep-rooted sentiments have exploded into view, often through hysterical fear-mongering, which this nation's sordid history with lynch mobs certainly reflects (Neptune-Pluto). 

Societies have, through these fears and self-serving instinctual biases, created ghetto-like conditions of systemic poverty for black communities, and since to live with no ability to fulfill one’s potential is a sure recipe for disaster (to individuals and to communities), those conditions never fail to produce crime, which is answered by further outcries from fearful white communities, and even more disastrously, by corporate and government disinvestment (Saturn-Pluto), which only exacerbates the blight, structural decline and intense hardship. 

Those who point to the “social contract” as the reason why today’s demands and actions by protesters are unreasonable need to consider that this “contract” (Jupiter-Saturn) has been based on the unwritten, but heavily enforced assumption that black communities should accept their precarious, unequal, second-class citizenship without question or complaint, or suffer the consequences for not doing so. All through our history, any behavior that vigilantes or the police could interpret as a black person “Getting above himself” has been an excuse for brutality, for “putting him in his place.” Does that sound like a contract anyone would sign on to? 

Needless to say, delusion and deception (Neptune) often play a role in perpetuating the deep biases that people feel compelled to cloak in some kind of socially acceptable institution— religion, as we’ve seen, but even more disturbingly, law enforcement

Long decades of policy focus on “law and order” (often a “dog whistle” for police abuse) have only deepened the vicious cycle of injustice and the ravaging of black communities, by incarcerating (Saturn, Neptune) far too many mothers and fathers not just unjustly (often with extreme sentences that signal a double standard for whites and blacks), but unproductively for society in general. We are only choking off the vitality of our overall “body politic” by choking off such an important “organ” within that body. 


Pluto and Chiron are guiding us as we heal our ancestral wounds.


White and black Americans need each other in more ways than we can probably imagine—there’s no going back, and with Pluto hovering so near its return position in the Sibly chart, the stakes are enormous for healing this ancestral Wound. Pluto is now transiting square Sibly Chiron in Aries—it’s time to get this right.   


So, while one planet alone is not designated to rule racism, the dynamics of the phenomenon are definitely covered by the same planets that govern human hearts and minds and the mechanisms with which we design and run our societies. 

Perhaps in trying to understand current events through this astrological frame, we will be able to tease out more than the usual information from the relevant charts. The more dramatic the events, the more starkly clear and discernible the dynamics are in a chart. It’s also key that we’re considering racial justice-related charts within the context of American society—we have founding documents, constitutional amendments and Supreme Court cases that speak to all of these issues and can be factored into the discussion over time. Before we get started with actual charts, however, let’s frame the discussion with some important context:

-         - The roles racial and ethnic minorities have historically played in American society

-          -The seemingly unbridgeable disparities that exist between those roles and the constitutionally-guaranteed civil rights of all Americans

-          -The systemic obstacles that stand in the way of healing those disparities, who supports the unjust status quo and why.

The first point is fairly easy to expand upon—because of historical racial disparities in access to education and better employment opportunities, our minority populations have historically worked in the lowest paying and most physically demanding jobs. This is certainly not true for all, and there has been some progress towards seeing more black professionals, but they are unfortunately still the exception.  

China's minority Uighur population is being forced into an army for cheap labor.

It’s troubling, but not unusual for societies to develop labor systems that include a permanent low-wage mass of laborers—the New York Times reports that China is creating a forced labor force within their ethnic Muslims as we speak:  

“KASHGAR, China — The order from Chinese officials was blunt and urgent. Villagers from Muslim minorities should be pushed into jobs, willing or not. Quotas would be set and families penalized if they refused to go along.
“Make people who are hard to employ renounce their selfish ideas,” the labor bureau of Qapqal, a county in the western region of Xinjiang, said in the directive last year.
Such orders are part of an aggressive campaign to remold Xinjiang’s Muslim minorities — mostly Uighurs and Kazakhs — into an army of workers for factories and other big employers.” 

The systemic nature of this policy decision is reflected by Saturn in a mundane chart, but the fact that somehow there’s an almost unwritten understanding in some societies (like the U.S.) that minority populations will fill the ranks of a low-wage labor force—that better jobs are for someone else—speaks to the Neptune-Pluto dimension of society, our collective unconscious, where the often unspoken phenomenon of racial bias ultimately resides. 

For instance, only recently has the news carried stories about an atrocious race-based riot that was perpetrated by a white mob of thousands over May 31-June 1, 1921 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the post-WWI period during which the Ku Klux Klan was experiencing a revival (there have been three distinct eras of influence for the KKK thus far, apparently). In 1921, the story was squelched and remained unspoken for generations—similar to what has happened with so many stories that cry out for attention. We can’t heal a problem if we won’t bring it into the light of consciousness and awareness,, so it’s a good sign that it’s coming to light in the wake of today’s protests.

Black lives, homes and businesses were destroyed by a white mob in Tulsa in 1921.

 History.com reports the events in Tulsa, which happened in a relatively prosperous black community within that community at that time. The hysteria that ensued was precipitated by Sarah Page, a white girl, who claimed to have been assaulted by a black teenager, Dick Rowland (the same claim that has ended in many black deaths over the years). As they always are, the violent racial convulsions in the Tulsa instance were less about black behavior, and more about imposing power over the black community: 

“As dawn broke on June 1, thousands of white citizens poured into the Greenwood District, looting and burning homes and businesses over an area of 35 city blocks. Firefighters who arrived to help put out fires later testified that rioters had threatened them with guns and forced them to leave.
According to a later Red Cross estimate, some 1,256 houses were burned; 215 others were looted but not torched. Two newspapers, a school, a library, a hospital, churches, hotels, stores and many other black-owned businesses were among the buildings destroyed or damaged by fire.
By the time the National Guard arrived and declared martial law shortly before noon, the riot had effectively ended. Though guardsmen helped put out fires, they also imprisoned many black Tulsans, and by June 2 some 6,000 people were under armed guard at the local fairgrounds.
In the hours after the Tulsa Race Massacre, all charges against Dick Rowland were dropped. The police concluded that Rowland had most likely stumbled into Page, or stepped on her foot. Kept safely under guard in the jail during the riot, he left Tulsa the next morning and reportedly never returned.”





Chart #1: Tulsa Race Massacre, June 1, 1921, 6:00 a.m.ST (approx. dawn timing), Tulsa, OK, Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. Author cast on Kepler 8.0, with thanks to Cosmic Patterns Software.

On June 1, 1921, a fair amount of unstable mutable energy dominated the event, with Jupiter-opposite-Uranus (Virgo-Pisces), Jupiter also widely conjunct Saturn (Virgo), which squared Mars (Gemini), reflecting the brute force used by the mob. Pluto trined Uranus (Cancer-Pisces) and squared Moon-conjunct Chiron (Aries), suggesting a fiery, deeply wounding event that involved fatalities as well. This also reflects how key Pluto-Chiron aspects have been to the karmic, “original sin” of racism in America.

Neptune trined Chiron (Leo-Aries), conjuring up fears, hysteria and reinforcing that some age-old karmic wounds lay dormant in the collective unconscious of Tulsa residents. In fact, fire was the main weapon of choice for the attackers. The roots of Neptune-Pluto-style peer pressure (which certainly figures into whipping up an already agitated Mars-influenced Aries mob) can go back generations and feel quite primal. The history of mankind is imprinted in our collective unconscious, and it’s a hideous picture at times.

No excuses here, of course—just trying to understand where such hysterical outbreaks come from. Had Tulsa’s settler-ancestors lived through traumatic times with local Native American tribes? Or perhaps the residual wounds left by the Civil War were still festering? It’s not hard to imagine that such mobs might tend to “wake up” once the Neptunian fog has cleared and might have a hard time even processing their actions, much less admitting to what they had done.  Rather than confronting the reality and processing it as an entire community in 1921, the town residents apparently chose to repress it and leave it out of their history books, despite its clear importance to a good number of residents.

Psychologists since Sigmund Freud have helped individuals process the repressed contents of their unconscious minds, to embrace and make conscious their “shadow” sides so those repressed energies can be channeled in more constructive and creative ways. What we sometimes forget is that societies also need this type of therapy if they are to ever be healthy and whole. 


It's easy for capitalism to rationalize racism.



Capitalism & racism

Loyalty to country and party (as defined in the story about China above) isn’t the pretext that strictly capitalist nations would use to engineer a working underclass, but the end result is similar—a sort of wage slavery that allows non-minorities to fill the higher-paid jobs those societies have to offer. Capitalist systems (especially less regulated ones) keep minority populations in thrall by simply making rising above the permanent underclass an almost insurmountable challenge—one that demands the convergence of several extraordinary “breaks,” as well as effort that puts “John Henry’s” contest with the legendary steam-powered locomotive to shame. These conditions block far too many candidates from reaching the next level. 

At our darkest moment as a nation, American capitalists thrived on the backs of enslaved Africans, and many were hard-pressed to give up that lucrative access to a naturally-replicating source of cheap labor—in their technocratic minds, owning slaves was a more secure source of income than owning stocks would ever be, so why not? 

All this evokes Pluto, which also explains the practice of many slave-owners raping their female slaves (the ultimate power trip) and forcing their family names on the humans they “owned,” as if they were branding cattle. During George Floyd’s final memorial service this Tuesday, Rev. Al Sharpton alluded to this practice when he said (I’m paraphrasing here), “every time I write my name, I am writing American history; I am writing the name of the man who owned my great-grandfather.” The Nazis literally tattooed the arms of Jews with concentration camp numbers—many rightly fail to see the difference.   

Pluto is the “usual suspect” when we talk about corporations, in fact, especially when the outsized power they wield in our society is the topic. In fact—as systemic players in our economy—corporations often collude with government officials and policies to make sure that minorities will continue to fill the lowest labor ranks. Whether any of this is done consciously or if it’s simply guided by the corporate compulsion to feed bottom lines is hard to know, but either way, it’s destructive to upward mobility and it reinforces systemic obstacles.

Enough said!
 
One major way in which corporations block upward mobility is by first, extracting more wealth and vitality from working-class  populations than they deliver in jobs or services: this would apply to corporations that charge triple the normal car insurance rates for living inside an urban zip code, and then have the gall to lobby against expanding public transportation (i.e., Detroit), for instance. It also applies to those that promote the school-to-corporate prison pipeline by supporting officials who actively choke off public school budgets and then channel an enormous share of public funding into policing. Is the intention to make sure the prisons have plenty of customers? Always hard to say, but a policy should be judged by its consequences—a topic that’s much in the news these days. 

This dynamic also applies to pharmaceutical companies that profited in the billions for decades from the opioid epidemic, counting on a complicit FDA to look the other way and then employing finance loopholes in the law to avoid true accountability; it applies to companies that contaminate the soil that communities are built on with their fracking, and to those who profited from the debacle of lead contamination in Flint, Michigan’s public water system because state leadership decided Flint’s mostly black community could do without safe water for the sake of budget cuts. Apparently the potential for damaging the brains of Flint’s children was deemed an “acceptable” risk.   

Unfortunately, the annals of Supreme Court cases are filled with corporations that have been sued for unlawfully placing profits over human well-being—not to mention the environment, but rarely do we hear about just how government officials and corporations work together to collude in this quest.

Keeping people trapped in the system of low-wage labor is a starkly Neptune-Pluto power dynamic, and it’s hard at work when companies and governments team up to fight any effort for minimum wage employees to advance within their workplaces through unionization, a living wage that increases regularly with the cost of living, and through continuing education and health care benefits that don’t cost more than they’re worth. One person in a household suffering from addiction or chronic health needs is enough to devastate a minimum-wage laborer, and guess what causes chronic conditions and mental health issues in many cases? Poverty!  

Neptune and Pluto—often with input from Saturn—are adept at creating pervasive “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” environments like this, which seem to disproportionately undermine the efforts of poor and minority individuals. Specifically, the harder they work, the more they appear to be achieving, the more the goal posts for progress slide away from them. Having taught in an urban, largely-minority populated university, I’ve witnessed how students have struggled to turn their hard-won degrees into tangible economic and professional progress: between bureaucratic obfuscation and bias against “state” institutions (Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune) and outright biased resume screening processes (Saturn-Uranus-Pluto--African-American names are often easily discerned by resume bots), every step of their way is met with systemic obstacles. 


Sen. Corey Booker (D, NJ) advocates for the decriminalization of poverty.

Sen. Corey Booker (D, NJ) often talks about the way that mental illness and poverty have been “criminalized” in our society—even unpaid traffic tickets are enough to put poor people in jail for long terms because they can’t afford bail or decent representation, and public defenders often counsel them to enter guilty pleas, just to move their cases along. No surprise, these individuals are often disproportionately black and brown. Such  injustices—which devastate families and communities—are an insult to our constitutional ideals of “Equal protection under the Law,” and are probably the reason the Black Lives Matter movement has caught on so powerfully. If police forces truly behaved as if black citizens’ lives mattered as much as everyone else’s (and their own)—the streets wouldn’t need to be full of protesters. Is it any wonder that demands have been mounting to redefine public safety and policing in this nation?  



Rivers of protesters swelled in the streets of American cities.


The astrology

Here’s where I believe we can start to tease out the complex astrological factors embedded within the mass outpouring of protesters we’ve seen across the nation—and the globe, for that matter. One challenge we have here, however, is in pinning down a precise moment that’s meaningful in the course of this very Neptunian phenomenon of people flooding the streets en masse. 

In fact, it’s all meaningful and historical, and taken as a whole, could constitute an important collective turning point, however let’s try to narrow our focus to one key moment that clearly resonated—the militarized police in D.C. using tear gas and force to clear peaceful protesters from Lafayette Park (across from the White House) on the evening of June 1, 2020, to clear the way for Trump and his entourage to pose for a photo op in front of St. John’s Episcopal. I’ve expressed my feelings about this move by Trump and company in previous posts, but we haven’t looked at the chart for the event. 

Once we’ve analyzed that chart (Chart #2 below), we’ll examine a chart for the June 5th Strawberry Moon lunar eclipse, set for Washington, D.C. This chart should give us some helpful insight into what we can look for in the coming months, not to mention some further thoughts about the dual crises we are living through, between the protests and the pandemic. 





Chart #2: Police clear Lafayette Park, June 1, 2020, 6:35 p.m. DST, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.Author cast on Kepler 8.0, with thanks to Cosmic Patterns Software.

Moon (Libra) squares Pluto-Jupiter (Capricorn), trines Sun-Venus (Gemini), quincunxes Neptune (Pisces) and opposes Eris (Aries). These aspects speak loudly to the people (Moon)-driven nature of the protests, but they also speak to the multiple ways in which the institutional power of government was arrayed against them. The arrogance of larger-than-life government power (Jupiter-Pluto) gave the order to disperse protesters from the park (Saturn disposes these Capricorn points from a harsh Aquarius) so our Executive (Sun) could stage a photo op that would—to his mind—turn the protest to his advantage (Venus). 

Even so, this moment that aimed to suppress the First Amendment rights of protesters with quasi-military force so the president could pose in front of St. John’s church with a bible offended American sensibilities overall—polls regarding the president’s handling of this event showed broad disapproval, so while the message of the mass outpouring calling for justice was distorted by Trump’s PR stunt momentarily (Neptune quincunx Moon), it wasn’t irretrievably lost and protesters actually benefited (Moon trine Venus) by the police turning them into martyrs (Mars-Neptune) of sorts in the end. 

This is why peaceful protest can be such a powerful tool—something even Trump seemed to grasp this after the “Black Lives Matter” sign in big yellow letters was painted on the newly-named “Black Lives Matter Plaza” pavement a couple days later—he ordered the withdrawal of National Guard troops that he was previously more than ready to use against American citizens.  He tried to frame the withdrawal as a victory lap—because the situation was in “complete control,”—however, it seems more likely that he realized the situation had become a no-win for him that looked bad in the media—Pisces Mars-Neptune (widely conjunct) square Sun-Venus (Gemini). He trotted out his Attorney-General William Barr to deny that the National Guard had tear-gassed the protesters, with Barr trying to obfuscate (Mars-Neptune) the chemical nature of pepper-spray that he or Trump ordered used in Lafayette Park. Trump’s attempts to spin the media (Gemini) had simply back-fired on him, and the blowback hijacked his message and the benefits he was hoping for.  



The Strawberry--or "Honey" Moon may be related to marriage traditions.


June's Strawberry Moon lunar eclipse

Eclipses give us a window into the near future, with special attention paid to solar-lunar dynamics, which speaks beautifully to situations in which the highest authority in the land (Sun) interacts significantly with the masses of People (Moon). In fact, eclipse expert Celeste Teal reminds us that ancient rulers often used their inside information about the celestial phenomenon of eclipses (they had court astrologers and astronomers who let them in on these mysteries) to awe their subjects and thus reinforce their power over them. Anything to hype their “demi-god” status in the people’s eyes—after all, their authority to rule often had less to do with their competence and dedication to the People than it did to their ability to mystify and dazzle. Some things never change, right?

We see that here in Chart #3 for the June 5, 2020 penumbral lunar eclipse­—not visible in the United States, but it certainly constitutes a potent transiting moment that may have a lasting impact.  Interestingly, it was visible in many regions of the world that have been rallying behind the Black Lives Matter protests right along with the U.S. It was visible across most of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, and a big vertical slice along the eastern edge of South America. Perhaps these regions will find themselves embroiled in more issues concerning the right use of power and authority for some time to come. Let’s examine the chart for more specifics.





Chart #3: Lunar Eclipse 6/5/2020, June 5, 2020, 3:14 p.m. DST, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. Author cast on Kepler 8.0, with thanks to Cosmic Patterns Software.

T-Square: Eclipse point (15+Sag-Gem) squares Mars-Neptune (Pisces). Notice that this is a “dragon’s tail” eclipse, meaning the So. Node falls near the Eclipse point (in the case of a lunar eclipse, the Moon), rather than the No. Node (the “dragon’s head”). The dragon’s tail eclipse is thought to denote a point where it’s necessary to “give back,” and “balance the ledger.” Teal points to this type of eclipse as being “exactly what is needed to complete a project that has previously consumed much time and effort. This eclipse has to do with giving back, serving selflessly, and practicing compassion.”[1] With a Sagittarius Moon, this dragon’s tail eclipse might help to bring passion, intelligence and powerful wisdom to bear on the challenge of systemic racism everywhere it’s found.
As for the t-square to the Mars-Neptune conjunction here, we see the authority issues at stake in the full Moon being subject to possible manipulation, distortion and even corruption, not to mention the possible misuse of the Military (Mars), which is caught in the “crossfire” if you will, between the Executive (Sun) and the People (Moon). Because mutable Gemini is involved and because we have a Gemini Sun president (Eclipse Sun falls very near Trump’s natal Uranus-Node-Sun)[2], we can expect ongoing attempts to manipulate the Media to his advantage, and to dis-advantage the People (Moon). To that end, the use of more passive aggressive techniques such as were seen today in Georgia’s chaotic primary vote are also likely. Investigations are already beginning into whether the voting machines weren’t working across the state, or if the problems were only seen in the majority black precincts. If it’s the latter, this is yet another pernicious example of systemic racism that was supposed to be addressed by the 1965 Voting Rights Act (Aug. 6, 1965), the chart for which featured strong mutable oppositions as well. 

In fact, the Supreme Court basically struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act in June, 2013, when it decided that states with histories of disenfranchising black voters (i.e, via Jim Crow laws) would now be free to change their voting laws without federal supervision. Needless to say, there have been problems ever since. Perhaps it’s time for an updated, renewed VRA for the way forward? 
Jupiter rules Sagittarius Eclipse point; Jupiter conjoins Pluto in Capricorn. We have two “Lords” of the eclipse in this chart—Jupiter, as noted here, and Venus, because it falls within three degrees of the Sun, opposite the Eclipse point. It doesn’t happen often that two benefics corule an eclipse, but here we have it. Before we leap to the conclusion that this chart portends nothing but positive impacts, however, we’ve already seen some potential challenges with the t-square we discussed and nothing about these two rulers tells me we should simply dismiss all that and expect warm fuzzies and champagne instead. Venus (Gemini) also falls square Mars and very widely square Neptune (Pisces), so we might expect the Market to remain volatile and for financial issues to dominate our leadership in disruptive ways. There will likely be some high-profile women in the news, perhaps women who find themselves battling deceptive, and/or corrupt men (Mars-Neptune in Pisces).
For its part, Jupiter feels constrained and uncomfortable in Saturn’s home sign of Capricorn, but its conjunction with Pluto in the 4th house here suggests that “grass roots” Power will hold its own against an out-of-touch Executive (Sun). This Jupiter-Pluto duo conjoins Pallas, in turn, suggesting that the focus on Justice and what Demetra George and Douglas Bloch call “a feminine-defined quality of heroism, bravery, courage and sensible toughness.”[3] George and Bloch associate Pallas in Capricorn with “structural perception,” which makes perfect sense, given our society’s need to tease apart and deal with the systemic (structural) ways in which racial bias informs so much that goes on in our institutions and government. They also say that “There is a strong power drive for authority over others in political and social institutions. The wisdom of Pallas in Capricorn is the wisdom of order—putting things in their proper sequence.”[4]
Pallas Athena
It’s rather chilling to see the concept of political “order” floated here—we know what that means in Trump’s lexicon and in the police systems so many have been abused by, but in Pallas Athene’s capable feminine hands, we will hopefully be looking at a renewed approach to true social order, as opposed to “police state”-order. It seems significant that Pallas is sandwiched in between Jupiter and Saturn, with the latter hovering in the first degree of Aquarius, waiting for its Great Mutation conjunction with Jupiter this coming December. The new cycle they begin there will ideally herald the beginnings of a total structural re-envisioning of so many of our social systems. In that sense, what we’re going through right now with the outpouring of people on our streets calling for the defunding or dismantling of police departments doesn’t seem as outrageous as it might.
Finally, it’s important to examine this chart for signifiers about the public health crisis we are still embroiled in, despite seeing so many people risking their health to protest George Floyd’s death by having the breath crushed out of him under a police officer’s knee. The Mars-Neptune t-square to the Eclipse axis suggests that public health issues are also caught up in the clash between Executive and People power, and it’s quite possible this situation will continue to play out over the life of this eclipse. The over-representation of minority populations in COVID infections and fatalities is well-documented—could there be a political context for understanding why? A distinguished professor of bioethics at the University of California, Berkeley, Osagie Obasogie seems to think there is—in fact, he points to parallels between our dual crises, calling them the “twin pandemics” of the coronavirus and police violence against black people. From the Washington Post:
“Pandemics are often thought to be unforeseeable acts of God that emerge suddenly to wreak havoc on unsuspecting populations. But that’s not how public health practitioners think about them. More often than not, pandemics have a political economy behind them, in which substandard living and working conditions connected to social inequalities produce opportunities for disease to spread unchecked. That was true for the 1918 flu pandemic that started on farms in Haskell County, Kan., and it also appears to account for the emergence of the novel coronavirus. ..
Floyd’s autopsy revealed that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, though he had no symptoms and it wasn’t a factor in his death. Perhaps the most tragic similarity between these twin pandemics is that the tepid response from the federal government can be largely attributed to the fact that the same populations — poor, dispossessed minorities — disproportionately make up the dead and suffering. The government’s reaction would be dramatically different if these plagues mostly affected white middle-class populations. Black lives seem not to matter, which reveals an underlying eugenic ideology in the United States of letting disease and violence thin the herds of undesirable groups.”
As another writer put it some time ago, Trump stopped caring about containing the virus when he found out who was dying. This may be overstating the case, but it’s hard to excuse his indifference in regards to those suffering from both these crises and his current focus on trying to distort and leverage people’s outrage and pain into political advantage is enormously troubling. One media outlet is predicting there will be an October “surprise” of a COVID vaccine—if it has anything to do with this mutable t-square in the eclipse chart (which it might), its trustworthiness will be shaky, at best.
And, as we saw in Georgia this week, we will also need to demand more from our state election systems and to absolutely refuse to be deceived into mistrusting our democratic processes because such cynicism serves a political purpose.  





Final thoughts

I’ve never felt the weight of my own surname—Robertson—more than I have during these days. I taught for two decades-plus at Detroit’s Wayne State University, where I had numerous black students over the years whose last names (Robertson, Robinson, and other variations) were clearly derived from the Scottish Robertson clan that my own heritage harks back to. It didn’t take much to deduce that there must have been slave owners somewhere in American history who carried that name and imposed it upon their slaves, so my students were the descendants of that karmic heritage in which some obscure ancestor of mine (whom I'll never know about, most likely) may have played a role. Clearly, our clan motto, "Virtutis, Gloria, Merces" fell far short during this history, but there was nothing I could do about that for my students, except to try being a committed instructor who demanded a lot of them, but promoted and celebrated their success to the best of my ability. 

It seems to me that the best our nation overall can do for the African-American descendants of that painful passage is to re-envision the expectations—that “social contract”—we live by as a nation. “Liberty and equality,” not to mention “equal protection under the law” aren’t just pretty, outdated words on a page—they are essential to healing our karmic Plutonian wounds at long last, and to engineering a kinder, more enlightened and equal society in the coming Aquarius Jupiter-Saturn cycle that launches this December. 

Let’s not be na├»ve, however—the police can only ever be as good as the system they work within. Reforming police departments sounds good, but it's basically tinkering around the edges, when the problem runs deep as the ocean and involves all of us, either directly or indirectly. Someone rightly observed that, “we can’t legislate good will,” but we can build a better system that rewards good will and doesn’t reward hatred and bias.  

IMHO, it’s long past time to flourish together in this nation, and to not allow fear--or fear-mongerers- to drive us apart.   





[1]Celeste Teal, Eclipses: Predicting World Events & Personal Transformation, Llewellyn Publications, Woodbury, MN, 1st ed. 2006, p. 11.
[2] Donald J. Trump birth data: June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m.DST, Jamaica, NY.
[3] Demetra George and Douglas Bloch, Asteroid Goddesses: the Mythology, Psychology and Astrology of the Re-emerging Feminine, 2nd ed., Ibis Press, Lake Worth, FL, p. 91.,
[4]Ibid, George and Bloch, p. 105.