Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pluto Gets to Work

Pluto in the Capricorn Season
Last December when the Sun met with Pluto euphoria was in the air and wishes were freshly minted with hope just in from the horizon. This year we're two Jupiter-Neptune conjunctions wiser and the cosmic digger is ready for serious business with Saturn intimately involved. Change has occurred if not exactly what some had anticipated. So far I've found this holiday season to be one of the weirdest I've ever been in. A magnetic distraction seems to have gripped society's psyche, although some are dutifully recalling the Baby Jesus and purchasing commodities as well as can be expected.

The Veil Dissolves
Jupiter Conjunct Neptune
So it came to pass. Collective illusions so diligently maintained have melted away revealing just how corrupt and ill-behaved our political officials really are. It's difficult to miss. An excellent study in how they operate. The stabbing, bribing, stealing, and most of all -- lying -- have aligned to expose the plutocracy in action with its unattractive appetite for power creating a depressing drama available in each and every home for the pleasure of the viewing audience. The pecking keys are certainly registering the alarm.
People are angry with the government. The battle is on. It always is, really. This one can be classified in the "war of necessity" category. The Saturn-Uranus-Pluto days are as good as here and it's getting time to consolidate and mobilize. The disease in the system demands a cure. The promised unity does appear to be happening after all but not quite for the reasons predicted.
This is the initial breakdown phase of Pluto in Capricorn dealing with group finances versus personal. The current administration was designated to facilitate the demolition before reconstruction can begin. Everything they touch is turning to disaster, magically illustrated by the 29 Scorpio Moon of the inuagural chart.
A Monster in the Halls
The first big Plutonian monster came in the form of the insurance care bill now under attempted construction. If Pluto-Saturn succeeds, the bill goes. The insurance companies represent the established order. Simple.
This drama was played out for the people to recognize the technique of their political office holders. The spin has spun out of control and now the truth is emerging from the wreckage, just the thing they thought they could forever cover up. "The truth will out," it's said, and I tend to believe it. "You lie" covers a lot of yous.
The punishment of Saturn-Pluto can seem brutal and everyone is due to get some of it, for virtually none of us is innocent. It's amazing to feel the rage surfacing and there's going to be a lot more, especially when Uranus gets its revolutionary fire. Group movement like this comes from within the body politic and not much can stop it. Pocket picking will arouse almost anyone. Price gouging has its pitfalls. Money issues have hair triggers.
So the breakdown is upon us. It's far from reform. There's nothing to reform. What's happening now is a panicked attempt to medicate the sickness with impotent measures, trying to keep the entity functioning. The system needs a doctor. And I don't think its covered in a plan.

I've actually been impressed with some of the bloggers lately. Their wits are being sharpened and probably being refined and tooled for the battles ahead. Some of the unsatisfying personal infighting is turning into fine debate. It could get stimulating.

So on this Jupiter-Neptune celebration of religious saviors, aside from the gifts generously offered by the magi, human creatures have engaging challenges ahead that are garnering attention. I'm interested in following the story.
Painting: Suspended Power: Charles Sheeler

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Pleasures of Pessimism

Life in Saturn-Pluto Times
"The mind seems to be wired for negative thoughts. Common wisdom says that pessimism is a problem. The anti-pessimists warn: “don’t think like that or you’ll doom yourself to failure.” But common wisdom can be wrong, and pessimism can be helpful – if it is done correctly."Dr. Shawn Smith
I ran across a fascinating article in my paper yesterday and I thought it would be a good time to update you on some research I've been doing.
A 4-year-old boy who was hit in the head by a foul ball at a minor league baseball game in September spoke his first words since the accident this week, a major breakthrough in his recovery from an injury that nearly killed him.
~Luke Holko told his mother he wanted "more" crackers during snack time Tuesday night.
The boy can also say "no.
Leingang: Associated Press
What's so interesting about this is the negative nature of his first words. I recently learned that experiments in the lab have pointed to human brain wiring being that which leans toward the negative. News and television certainly bear this out. My theory is that it has to do with survival need and feeling insecure in a perceived threatening world spurs humans to become extra aware of potential danger, feeling uneasy about relaxing too much into paradisiacal thoughts. The psychologist above concurs.
Pessimism seems to be hardwired into us. We are masters at spotting flaws, dark clouds, and dangers. Imagine standing in front of a beautiful stained glass window. It is a wonderful creation of color and form... and in the corner of this beautiful window is a broken piece of glass. Most likely, your eye will immediately gravitate toward the flaw. With effort, you might ignore the missing piece and enjoy the artwork, but there is little chance you will miss the imperfection. Most minds will want to focus on it.
Why does pessimism come so easily? Why, when faced with something as lovely as stained glass or a new home, must the mind inventory every blemish? The answer might lie in the adaptive, positive effects of negative thinking. Evolutionary psychology teaches that widespread psychological traits are adaptations that help us cope with the environment. Pessimism may be an adaptation that promotes survival.
The Power of Pessimism

Here's the fact. Optimism and pessimism are equally valuable in moderation. Some people deal with an unpleasant present by looking forward to a rosier future. Others protect themselves against disappointment by expecting less. Personal preference.
Now that Saturn and Pluto will be aligned as the current educators it could well be that some of the negative aspects of experience are up for consideration. Venus and Jupiter conjunct in Cancer in the United States chart does indicate an upbeat positive emotional nature, but the opposition to sometimes-menacing Pluto in stern Capricorn is sure to affect this "have a nice day" mentality. The "it's all good" philosophy. The stigma around thinking negatively is silly. Guilt can be better placed. If positivists are firm in their views, the negative won't harm them. And vice versa. They provide a perfect balance, well appreciated by Saturn in Libra.
Since 1993 anti-depressant use in the country has skyrocketed 50%. Obesity is epidemic and heart disease is our No.1 killer, the heart being the seat of happiness. All of this points to an underlying depression that if acknowledged and worked with could lead to a sincerely better mood in time. Events lately are leading to a confrontation with this somber side of reality and the case for a little pessimistic thinking could be sensible, especially when Pluto opposes Jupiter. It doesn't eliminate happiness. It doesn't want to. It might make serious thought desirable and even pleasurable. Here is an interesting article about the value of negative thinking....
A study conducted by professor Joseph Forgas at the University of New South Wales showed that bad moods can actually turn out good for you, as it makes people less gullible by increasing their ability to judge and also is a big memory boost.
The study proved that people who were experiencing bad moods were more critical and paid more attention to the surrounding environment than happier people, who were more likely to believe everything that they were told.

“Whereas positive mood seems to promote creativity, flexibility, cooperation, and reliance on mental shortcuts, negative moods trigger more attentive, careful thinking paying greater attention to the external world,” Forgas wrote. “Our research suggests that sadness … promotes information processing strategies best suited to dealing with more demanding situations.”
To conduct this study, the team actually conducted several experiments that began by inducing happier or unhappier moods to the subjects, by recalling a past event or by watching movies. In one of the experiments, they were asked to analyze the truth (or lack of it) behind urban myths and rumors; the result was that those in sadder moods were less likely to believe what they were told and showed an increase of analytic ability. The sadder people were also less likely to make rash decisions or those based on racial or religious beliefs and made fewer mistakes when recalling a past event.
“Positive mood is not universally desirable: people in negative mood are less prone to judgmental errors, are more resistant to eyewitness distortions and are better at producing high-quality, effective persuasive messages,” Forgas wrote.
It’s been known for quite a while now that a good mood can increase work capacity, concentration and creativity, but not so much effort has been put into understanding what happens to you when you are feeling unhappy.
Mars Retrograde in Leo
Saturn will be spending the next several months tight with Pluto, and Mars in the ebullient often joyous sign of Leo will be in an extended retrograde, a perfect time to see what ails our collective spirit. Just when Mars leaves Leo for Virgo, Saturn will be back in Virgo and possibly, with good analysis, some answers will present themselves.
The Skeleton of Reality
A fantastic idea I have to cope in these difficult times is to accept the reasonable naysayers since their influence is increasing and will probably be on the rise even more for awhile. It's helpful. The more hopeful can use their services to get through the hard times.
Jupiter in Pisces next year continues the magic carpet roller coaster ride and the negativists can teach you how to better handle the crashes when they inevitably come. A certain amount of naivete about human nature has its charms, but savvy comes in handy, too, especially when Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto get together for a party.
I'm an optimist on and off, yet I feel less of a need to be either way at this point. It does what it does. I do what I do. I'm okay with negative experiences since they're so numerous and inevitable. I'm used to them. I'm joyous enough, being an experienced opportunist. I've discovered that there's always something else. I have eggs in multi baskets.
Cage free.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

War and Illusion

Uranus 22 Pisces
Jupiter conjunct Neptune
The United States has Neptune in the 22nd degree of Virgo. The current president has Mars at 22 Virgo. Together they square US Mars in Gemini. It's no wonder that Uranus stationing at 22 Pisces in opposition to this point has brought to consciousness the conceptions, or should I say misconceptions, about violent combat, killing humans, and the justification, even glorification, used by people to absolve the guilt they naturally and fortunately feel about such actions. The spiritual necessity is also an argument used by Mars and Neptune.
When Jupiter last conjoined Neptune, the human population was entertained with a speech about global unity and peace next to the great pyramids of Egypt. It was an uplifting theatrical event for many viewers.
Now that the final conjunction is upon us, the identical individual spoke to the same planetary inhabitants about the goodness of war.
This has caused confusion in the collective psyche, not the fault of the speaker, really, since the times indicate a review of the dilemma, especially now that Saturn is in Libra with its urge toward balancing war and peace.

The shocking nature (Uranus) of the last two speeches, generously woven with war propaganda, has disturbed the collective and brought forth the desire to shove it under the Persian rug. That might not be a wise idea since two wars being waged by the country, one soon to be raging further, is cause for concern. The opportunity to discover magnified awareness is here, considering Uranus, the nation's natal Saturn return ahead, and Mars retrograde in Libra by progression also in line to be crossed by Saturn. A good time for intelligent application of logic.
It's interesting that the latest external war is a civil one and the Mars progression along with the coming cardinal transits indicate a civil battle of our own, but I'll get back to that in a moment.

The peace speech was terribly problematic for many reasons. It was arrogant, presumptuous, deceptive, historically invalid, cloying, contemptuous, and perhaps slightly too rushed considering it was a declaration of permanent war without consultation with those required to enact it on the ground.
It's the attitude of the country. Fun and games. Haphazard and cavalier. The speaker merely elucidated the underlying patterns of thought.

The idea that wars are justified is a big problem for humanity. The nihilistic view of inevitable war is depressing and not a good rationalization for the current one.
The philosophy of war is useful in the classroom, but on the battlefield, it's too late to ponder the right and wrong. Reason becomes pure mission. It's true that war leads to peace and back to war, but this law of physics is not a good argument when real people are being killed and immediate response is called for. Generals, soldiers, preachers, philosophers, and so on, all have specific jobs and in terms of real battlegrounds, it works best when they know exactly what the tasks are.

With Neptune involved, the country revels in the mythical warrior and savior role which she had in WWII, despite the atrocities she committed. But the current war doesn't fall into that category and no amount of rhetoric can really alter that. It's fascinating that the escalation was so perfectly timed with this call to arms, and the upcoming trial of the 9/11 suspects adds to this oddly perfect timing. We're about to be treated to the burning towers again in another attempt to sell the mushroom cloud phantasmagoria if all goes as planned. But could this be the chance to turn away from this age old game that doesn't seem to be working well right now? Could this be by the grace of fortune some of the reasoning behind this bizarre scenario? A peace prize for the propagation of war? Could the dissolution apply to this endeavor as well? Maybe there will be some peace ahead. Who can tell?
A good first step for this Neptune-Mars nation would be a closer gaze at the harsh reality of the murderous act sans romance. The identification of evil is in the realm of religion, not for politicians. War and religion have never been a good mix. To put a metaphysical face on a war for profit and regional domination could in itself almost be placed in that evil realm if one were inclined to make that judgement. The job of judge and executioner is held for select humans, not just anyone at whim. To label anyone as evil is not an act to be taken lightly when ending the life of another by force is the result of the labeling. Attempted spiritual rationalization of killing will ultimately not work, I don't think.

Mars retrograde in Leo
The Return of the Axis of Evil
In perfect synchronization, Mars is now retrograde in warrior-king Leo. The annoying superiority, the American birthright to exceptionalism, is beginning to wear on the country's psyche. Now the brown man has taken up the white man's burden of civilizing the primitive peoples of the planet. Civilizing in a most uncivilized way, I hasten to add. The courage of the Sun King Warrior has its place in fairy tales, and maybe even occasionally in the real world, but honest protection of benevolent elements is probably rare with armies of humans on a kill.
The least liked part of the declaration for me was the statement about this country's moral authority. That's ludicrous and the talk fully becomes ridiculous at this point. The monologue can't be taken seriously, another stroke of fortune, and history must be having a good chuckle. To say that we've killed for moral reasons and to secure the safety of the planet is largely false. Queries at ancient burial grounds will verify my position. And to apply that great moral obligation to the current wars doesn't have credibility. The assumption of moral superiority is one of our biggest problems, I feel, in all areas of living. It's a difficult thing to judge.
But all things happen for reasons of sequence and orchestration. The rage building up around the country will come in handy. The disillusionment of the Jupiter Neptune conjunction along with the bipolar trip from hope to despair and back again, and forth again, and back and forth ..... is prep for the cardinal years, as dizzying as it can be. The aggravation might be just the right thing.

Reality and/or Disillusionment
I'm a silver lining expert. I've yet to encounter another human creature who can find something good in any situation more easily than I can. But I'm relinquishing that need temporarily while Uranus finishes up in Pisces. This final Jupiter-Neptune conjunction has dropped the shoe but I find it a relief. Now there's a little less to fear. You can sweep up the pieces of illusion, melt it all down, and form it into a nice new shape to your liking. Illusions are plastic. Might as well do it now before Aries gets here. A last minute sculpted masterpiece. Mars in Leo also knows about this.
Pisces is a perfect time to float in the vast sea of confusion and even futility, basking in the moment in view of an unknown future that you get tired of looking at. The dreamer brings chaos and foggy roads to be navigated before clear direction is encountered in Aries. The cardinal entities are progressive in the sense that they bring action. Forward motion. One knows what to do, both personally and collectively, just as one doesn't know what to do right now. It's not the time to do. It's the time to be.
I'll go out on a limb and say that we're not likely to perish as a species. Events will lead people ahead to logical conclusions and new puzzles. I think it's a time of letting circumstance guide outside the strengths and weaknesses of particular humans. It's going to happen anyway. Leadership is always intact in some respect. It's required. It's everywhere.
Aries and Capricorn mean battles with the system and the group can safely count on that. Civil discord is scheduled and the breaking apart is really revving up now. Citizens against the government and vice versa. People against big business. Corporations having trouble with the government and the consumers. Party against party. Conflict within the parties. Factions within factions. Separations and a diminishing desire to be like others. Aries. You can see the beginning of interesting arguments among the blogs, all favored by Saturn in Libra, differences to be actualized further with Uranus in Aries when independence and the fight for individual identity arise within the confines of relationship.

I, myself, am quarrelsome, but I find my desire for hands on conflict diminishing somewhat, possibly due to advancing age and electrochemical change.