Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dancers and Tycoons

Pluto in Capricorn square Uranus in Aries
I understand there is a war against women underway, being waged by rich white men of the Republican persuasion. I'm also aware of the eternal (so far) battle between the sexes with women often identified as the weaker sex. My own experience has pointed to unnamed conflicts within all people that frequently find a hook in the victim-perpetrator dynamic played out continually in personal relationships. The war is ongoing, and those humans who are wise enough to pursue inner peace through negotiations with their warring selves are sometimes fortunate enough to get off the treadmill and find reason not to blame others for their frustrations and failures. Societal injustice does, of course, figure in, but the problem with focusing too intently on outer circumstance is that the chances for correction are slimmer. Dismantling a patriarchy is not an easy task if possible at all. It's much more difficult to change everybody else than it is to adapt and adjust within the individual self. But you know that. In some societies the overt oppression of women is hard to witness, but the United States has been friendly to female advancement in many ways despite some traditional impediments that fluctuate like all societal trends normally do. 

A precedent was established in the beginning when settlers came out west and women were often left to fend for themselves when their burly husbands got an arrow through the heart or never returned from a wild night on the town. Some simply dropped dead in the corn field since quadruple bypass was unavailable at the time. Fend they did, those women, setting the example of fortitude, resourcefulness, and self reliance, and they developed considerable skill at self defense. Some of them even chose not to marry again, even though it was easy to do so with the preponderance of men who needed a cook, a warm body, and someone to make the cabin curtains. They chose rather to brave the elements alone, fiercely guarding their hard won independence. These memories are within the collective female psyche to this day.

When Uranus touches the Moon and/or Venus, the traditional expressions of femaleness can be rerouted and the female biological role comes into question. A rejection of the role is often unacceptable to society and it poses a threat to the propagation of the species, but it's up to the woman herself to stick to her chosen alternative path. Femininity doesn't always have the "normal" outlet with Uranus, which sometimes leads to very creative results.

Well, now Uranus is tampering with USA Venus in Cancer (moon), as is Pluto. The Pluto-Uranus square is on US Jupiter in Cancer. Uranus in Aries (war) is pushing women to thoughts of independence and personal achievement even if rebellion is required. Pluto in Capricorn is bringing in urges to forge ahead in the outer world away from the protection and sanctity of the home. This is the perfect storm of inner tension involved in this so called war, regardless of what some man, or all men, are doing, be they Democrats or Republicans. Or Communists. The arbitrary divisions assigned to political parties are not as clear cut as many believe. The intelligent Democrat with its heart open wide pouring out infinite love is food for cartoons. The mean spirited  Republican wishing to return to a dark and evil age need not travel at all. That age is the present and always is in one way or another. Recognizing the source of the conflict helps enable resolution of the problem. The fatal flaws of the time are often blamed on a manufactured enemy. The source of oppression, real as it is, can often elude rational recognition. So ages vacillate between enlightenment and darkness apparently on a trajectory of their own.

Stay at home mothers are now pariahs bringing a new twist, especially since career pursuits have not borne fruit as hoped and career mothers are particularly conflicted. A woman can cry in pain and despair with hatred toward Republicans and all assorted enemies, but it distorts the picture and clouds pathways to personal fulfillment. She can hate men all she wants, and I admit that for some women it is an enjoyable sport. Or she can align with males and pick up some knowledge.

 I've found men to be supportive of and often inspired by women's power. They sometimes take pride in facilitating that development and sponsor them on their rise. Another player in the competitive game is always fun for them, especially pretty and pert tycoons. It's up to women to pick these educational specimens and walk away from the troublesome ones that might restrain them and try to hold then down. It's a wide world. Instead of a liability, a smart woman can turn her perceived disadvantage into an opportunity.

The last time Uranus was in Aries,  from 1927 to 1934, women kicked themselves free while Pluto was in Cancer disrupting their security at home. Life made them restless, and they broke out in wild dancing, smoking cigarettes, drinking spirits with the guys, gambling, cutting their hair, and breaking the confines of femininity in many ways. The flapper was the symbol of the modern unconventional woman.

 Coco Chanel initiated a fashion revolution in the 1920s that liberated women from their corsets in favor of soft stretchy fabric that breathed and moved, and some outfits that took on a masculine character. She came from nothing and created a huge business empire, never marrying and consciously refusing to be shackled by societal norms. The changes in clothing took the nation by storm and women were unleashed, free to do what they wanted and shake up the world. (Uranus in Aries)

They wanted to be different, to announce their departure from the Gibson Girl's morals. So they smoked. Something only men had done previously. Their parents were shocked.
"I was sure my girls had never experimented with a hip-pocket flask, flirted with other women's husbands, or smoked cigarettes. My wife entertained the same smug delusion, and was saying something like that out loud at the dinner table one day. And then she began to talk about other girls.'They tell me that that Purvis girl has cigarette parties at her home,' remarked my wife.
She was saying it for the benefit of Elizabeth, who runs somewhat with the Purvis girl. Elizabeth was regarding her mother with curious eyes. She made no reply to her mother, but turning to me, right there at the table, she said: 'Dad, let's see your cigarettes.'
Without the slightest suspicion of what was forthcoming, I threw Elizabeth my cigarettes. She withdrew a fag from the package, tapped it on the back of her left hand, inserted it between her lips, reached over and took my lighted cigarette from my mouth, lit her own cigarette and blew airy rings toward the ceiling.
My wife nearly fell out of her chair, and I might have fallen out of mine if I hadn't been momentarily stunned."
.The trends follow social and political conditions, not oppression of one group over another, although that might be a symptom. The historical facts in the time of the flappers and the last Uranus in Aries transit are interesting.

"Before the start of World War I, the Gibson Girl was the rage. Inspired by Charles Dana Gibson's drawings, the Gibson Girl wore her long hair loosely on top of her head and wore a long straight skirt and a shirt with a high collar. She was feminine but also broke through several gender barriers for her attire allowed her to participate in sports, including golf, roller skating, and bicycling.
Then World War I started. The young men of the world were being used as cannon fodder for an older generation's ideals and mistakes. The attrition rate in the trenches left few with the hope that they would survive long enough to return home. They found themselves inflicted with an 'eat-drink-and-be-merry-for-tomorrow-we-die spirit.'  Far away from the society that raised them and faced with the reality of death, many searched (and found) extreme life experiences before they entered the battlefield.
When the war was over, the survivors went home and the world tried to return to normalcy. Unfortunately, settling down in peacetime proved more difficult than expected. During the war, the boys had fought against both the enemy and death in far away lands; the girls had bought into the patriotic fervor and aggressively entered the workforce. During the war, both the boys and the girls of this generation had broken out of society's structure; they found it very difficult to return.
They found themselves expected to settle down into the humdrum routine of American life as if nothing had happened, to accept the moral dicta of elders who seemed to them still to be living in a Pollyanna land of rosy ideals which the war had killed for them. They couldn't do it, and they very disrespectfully said so.
Women were just as anxious as the men to avoid returning to society's rules and roles after the war. In the age of the Gibson Girl, young women did not date, they waited until a proper young man formally paid her interest with suitable intentions (i.e. marriage). However, nearly a whole generation of young men had died in the war, leaving nearly a whole generation of young women without possible suitors. Young women decided that they were not willing to waste away their young lives waiting idly for spinsterhood; they were going to enjoy life.
The 'Younger Generation' was breaking away from the old set of values."

I grew up in a progressive environment during the wave of women's liberation in the 1960s. Brassieres were burned and nipples burst free. It was uncomfortable in ways in its disturbing newness. Women sang meaningful songs about life and wore work clothes and nonsexy flat  shoes. They charged into the world of men and rose to the top of professional ladders only to regret what they'd sacrificed to get there. They discovered what it's like to play unethical games which are a requirement in the high powered business world. They suffered. They then struggled to marry the traditional female roles with professional ones eventually mimicking the ills of manhood with rising levels of heart disease and other such side effects. They smoked their way into lung cancer and finally into psychological depression, feeling possibly even more thwarted than they originally did. Naturally, they blamed the men.

Then a strange thing happened. The big retrograde. Nipples were covered again and now a woman can't purchase a bra without protective padding. Cleavage made a huge comeback, though, and high heels shot up inches beyond where they were before. Women are hobbled once again. Voices returned to Betty Boopness, a sign of repressed sexuality. Then hemlines traveled back up to the crotch further inhibiting freedom of movement, but maybe I'm getting a little too technical here. Suffice it to say, that a certain regression has occurred. Why? The vicissitudes of life I suppose. Or the pullback before the next wave of freedom. It's always a matter of contrast and progression is circular it seems. One always returns to square one.

Now what? Women are on a threshold with more choice than ever, and maybe the terror of that freedom is making them a little crazy. What is the nature of the new liberating force? Can they return to traditional female roles without censure? Are not the women themselves holding each other back with the current wave of public criticism and emotional violence? Cat fighting is enjoying a resurgence which contradicts feminism as I understand it. The women's rights activists are extremely strident but the cause is unclear, other than to publicly eviscerate and humiliate women they don't care for. If there is a sisterhood, what form does it take? And maybe Uranus in Aries is freeing women from the sisterhood itself, allowing them to cut a completely unique and independent path, allowing their distrust of other women to freely exist without guilt. Perhaps our daughters will inherit greater freedom and find the road to self respect and power which will translate into societal admiration and whatever paycheck they want, big or small. Or none. Maybe they can get their feet out of the hobbles.

There's always Pluto in Aries coming right up. That could influence the course of events. At any rate, I'll not panic until Uranus gets through Aries. But I'm  a cheat -- an Aries rising with Mars square Uranus. It's old hat. Men, women, mothers, fathers, they're all complicit. God is too, I think. Jesus seems to be off the hook. He's a strange sort of guy.

Anyway, back in the olden days, women were involved in wars, literally, but the difference then is that they were not in the role of victim. They smartly took advantage of the greater war to charge into the battlefields of their choosing, armed with flasks and cigarettes. Ready for freedom.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Piece of the Pie

It looks like pizza is the defining element of revolution in the 21st century. What is it about this wondrous culinary concoction that weaves such universal magic? Is it the way the strands of gooey cheese stay connected to the whole pie until the very last minute before it slithers deliciously down the excited throat? Is it the coins of pepperoni like treasures retrieved from a sunken deep sea chest? Is it the tomato, as a member of the deadly nightshade family, that reminds us of the intoxicating dangers of poison? Is it the warm fragrance of yeast connecting us to the leavened experiences of all our ancient ancestors? Or is it the circular effect where we gather round together and grab in unison in a free and uncivilized fashion, greasing our fingers and tongues in heavenly delight? Shared ecstasy.
I know not. So scantily clad tattooed goddesses writhe in further ecstasy for all the fellows in park, including handsome policemen with their hanging guns and clubs, while well-fed but unhappy American masses cry out for their piece of the pie.
Rise up! Power to the pizza!
But hold the anchovies please.