Life

The astrology of the US addiction to guns, 2017 edition

Astrology of guns USAMuch of this article is reposted from a post from 2013.  Since then we have had the worst mass shootings in US history: 

  • Las Vegas, Oct 2017: 58 dead
  • Orlando, June 2016: 49 dead
  • Virginia Tech, Apr 2007: 32 dead
  • Sandy Hook, Dec 2012: 27 dead
  • Texas church, Nov 2017: 26 dead

Everywhere you turn these days the discussion is about guns.

Guns are not a new topic for discussion, but the feverish frenzy over which gun rights advocates are protecting their rights to own assault weapons and other types of weapons meant for mass killings is rather recent.

There is no nation like the United States in terms of gun ownership.  The (Sibly) chart of the United States has Sagittarius rising, which echoes the expansive philosophies that have always drove the country towards constant expansion and religious ideals, both Sagittarian concepts.  We normally would look towards Mars for signs of warfare like behavior, but in the US chart the passion for guns is found in the placement of Pluto in the second house.  This fanatacisim about guns originates not in an aggressive desire to assert force (Mars) but in a hunger for freedom (Sagittarius ascendant) and a relentless (Pluto) drive to accumulate masses of money through manipulation of the nation’s ideals (second house).

American gun lovers don’t want to accumulate stockpiles of weapons to kill their neighbors.  They want these weapons because they believe that it will protect that Sagittarius rising freedom.  It doesn’t hurt that Uranus (planet of liberation from oppression) conjoins both Venus (partners) and Mars (aggression) in the chart.  That Uranus/Mars conjunction especially denotes a radical desire for liberty at all costs.  Americans own twice as many guns as any other country, per capita.

That’s where Pluto in the second house enters the picture, in the form of the National Rifle Association.  The NRA spent $15 million in the 2012 presidential campaign, using a fearmongering campaign promoting the idea that Obama planned to take away gun rights (he wasn’t).  This same organization used the school shooting in Newtown Connecticut to promote the worry that the government was attempting to take away the guns of American citizens (it wasn’t).  Yet the economic effect was significant: as gun sales accelerated after the shooting, with prices for 30-round magazines rising exponentially.

This, my friend, is what happens with Pluto asserts its hunger for power in the second house of money and possessions.  The fear (Pluto) over the loss of liberty (Sag rising and Uranus/Mars) can generate big bucks (second house).  Military style assault rifles have become the new symbol of freedom: the “musket of today” according to the president of the National Rifle Association.

It’s always helpful to follow the money when attempting to understand something about the United States, and it’s no coincidence that much of the funding for the NRA comes from the gun industry.  From Business Insider:

In its early days, the National Rifle Association was a grassroots social club that prided itself on independence from corporate influence.

While that is still part of the organization’s core function, today less than half of the NRA’s revenues come from program fees and membership dues.

The bulk of the group’s money now comes in the form of contributions, grants, royalty income, and advertising, much of it originating from gun industry sources.

Since 2005, the gun industry and its corporate allies have given between $20 million and $52.6 million to it through the NRA Ring of Freedom sponsor program. Donors include firearm companies like Midway USA, Springfield Armory Inc, Pierce Bullet Seal Target Systems, and Beretta USA Corporation. Other supporters from the gun industry include Cabala’s, Sturm Rugar & Co, and Smith & Wesson.

The NRA also made $20.9 million — about 10 percent of its revenue — from selling advertising to industry companies marketing products in its many publications in 2010, according to the IRS Form 990.

Additionally, some companies donate portions of sales directly to the NRA. Crimson Trace, which makes laser sights, donates 10 percent of each sale to the NRA. Taurus buys an NRA membership for everyone who buys one of their guns. Sturm Rugar gives $1 to the NRA for each gun sold, which amounts to millions. The NRA’s revenues are intrinsically linked to the success of the gun business. …

The chief trade association for gun manufacturers is the National Shooting Sports Federation, which is, incidentally, located in Newtown, Conn. But the NRA takes front and center after each and every shooting.

“Today’s NRA is a virtual subsidiary of the gun industry,” said Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center. “While the NRA portrays itself as protecting the ‘freedom’ of individual gun owners, it’s actually working to protect the freedom of the gun industry to manufacture and sell virtually any weapon or accessory.”

There are two reasons for the industry support for the NRA. The first is that the organization develops and maintains a market for their products.  The second, less direct function, is to absorb criticism in the event of PR crises for the gun industry.

Read more here.

With Uranus in Aries since March 2011, this excitement over personal liberty has become almost hysterical.  Uranus itself rules rebellion against the status quo and the kind of radical change that destroys outmoded structures, and in Aries, the sign of the pioneer and individualist, that revolutionary fervor has become more intensely personal.  Uranus will remain in Aries until 2019, so it’s unlikely that we will see this story become less significant anytime soon.  On the contrary, as Uranus continues to bump up against Pluto in a challenging square formation over the next couple of years the story is likely to become more significant and likely, more ridiculous.

Personally, I have  a hard time understanding how a culture that is so obsessed with personal liberty where guns are concerned can be so oppressive when it comes to a woman’s personal health or wardrobe.  In my state of North Carolina the state legislature recently introduced three bills in the same session: two to allow guns in restaurants and in schools, and one to prohibit exposure of a woman’s nipples.

If nipple exposure could generate cash, I am certain that someone would find a way to defend it.  In the meantime, wardrobe violators, be warned!  America’s passion for liberty does not extend into your personal life.  It is only intended for corporations and profit.

 

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By | 2017-11-06T09:03:57+00:00 November 6th, 2017|Crime, Life|2 Comments

Gender identity in the birthchart: A peek into the Aquarian Age

I’ve been listening to archived episodes of Chris Brennan’s excellent astrology podcast which has generated a lot of blog ideas.  One of the more interesting episodes was this one on sexual orientation which features astrologer Christopher Renstrom.  Chris and Christopher discuss a wide range of ideas from a historical perspective which I found very interesting since I am not that well versed in the ancient astrological works of Ptolemy and other ancient astrological history or the rules surrounding the prediction whether or not an individual was gay based on planetary configurations in their astrological chart.

Ancient astrologers such as Ptolemy were much more concerned with absolutes in prediction and description of the human experience than we are today; for example, suggesting that if Venus and Jupiter precede the Sun in a man’s chart and those two planets also aspect Mars, that man will only be interested in sex with men.  Or, if Mars and Venus in a woman’s chart are both in masculine signs (fire and air signs), she will be inclined towards lesbianism.  I haven’t done enough research to know if these rules are true, but I did look up Jodie Foster’s chart.  Ms. Foster is a noted lesbian actor whose Mars is indeed in the masculine sign of Leo, but her Venus is in the feminine sign of Scorpio.

In my experience with gay clients as well as profiles of well-known people, it seems to me that the LGBTQ experience encompasses a very wide spectrum of attributes.  There are transgendered individuals who experience themselves as having incarnated into the wrong body.  There are “gender fluid” people who are attracted to people of both sexes.  There are gay men who are more feminine than their body suggests, and lesbians who are quite masculine. I have written a great deal about the gender fluidity of the Aquarian Age (this article, for example) and have noticed the presence of the asteroid Pallas in the charts of transgendered individuals.  Uranus rules the Aquarian Age, and Uranus is the planet that turns stereotypes upside down, demanding a new paradigm for examining the world and we are certainly seeing that in the realm of gender identification.”

I recently read an article about British singer Sam Smith who has come out as “nonbinary,” meaning he does not identify with either gender.  Sam has Mars, the male archetype, in the very masculine sign of Aries, and Venus, the female archetype, in the feminine sign of Taurus, and Venus aligns with the Sun to bring more of the feminine into his personality.

click chart to enlarge

Smith was born under the conjunction of Uranus and Neptune, a period during the early 1990s where the spirituality and potential for illusion of Neptune collided with the paradigm shifting of Uranus.  I have noticed that people born during that time are exceptionally creative and operate on a different frequency than the rest of us, tending not to fit into the nice societal boxes in which we like to operate.

Most interesting in the topic of gender identification though is the presence of the asteroid Pallas in a prominent position in his chart (squaring Mars and conjunct the Moon and North Node).  As mentioned above, Pallas continues to prove herself an important factor in the charts of those who do not identify with traditional gender roles.

This whole discussion operates on a spectrum, and the issue of gay or straight is not always clearcut; nor is the issue of gender identification.  As we continue to move through the portal of the Aquarian Age these distinctions will continue to unravel and a new paradigm of human-ness will emerge.

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By | 2017-10-25T09:24:14+00:00 October 25th, 2017|Life|5 Comments

Jupiter square Pluto, Phase II: the Death of Truth

War on Truth Jupiter square PlutoJupiter and Pluto are locked in a battle of wills in the sky right now – the second phase of the challenging square (90 degree) aspect that began last November.

Jupiter and Pluto both have something to do with the idea of truth.  Jupiter, a personal planet,  represents our own individual truth – the philosophies and ideas about truth (theology) that we formulate for ourselves and then share with others in religions or through publishing these ideas.  Pluto, a transformational planet,  is concerned more with Ultimate Truth – a Truth that is beyond any of our individual ideas of what is true, but the real Truth of life and death.

Under this Jupiter/Pluto alignment we have seen an increase in “fake news” – both real and imagined – and an ever decreasing burring of the line between truth and fiction.  Truth  is seen to be a lie, and lies are seen as the truth to the point where Time Magazine’s new issue asks “Is Truth [Jupiter] Dead [Pluto]“?

Under the square between Jupiter and Pluto the President of the United States has declared a war (Pluto) on media (Jupiter) and declares most news (Jupiter) as being lies (Pluto) unless it’s complimentary of him.

A recent “fake news” story about a Hillary Clinton’s involvement in an alleged child sexual abuse ring operating out of a pizza parlor dubbed Pizzagate circulated widely before it was debunked by Alex Jones himself who perpetrated the story.  However, 50 people gathered in DC to protest the fact that the so-called scandal was ignored by the media and refused to believe that the story wasn’t true.

Evidence of a War on Truth is everywhere and from viewpoints all across the spectrum:

The final square formation between Jupiter and Pluto will occur in August 2017.  It’s difficult to imagine where we will go from here – will we ever return to a world in which there is an understandable Truth to which we can all agree?  About anything?

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By | 2017-03-27T12:42:52+00:00 March 27th, 2017|Life, Politics|11 Comments

The limits of positive thinking

positive thinkingWhile Pluto was in Sagittarius (1995-2008) optimism and positive thinking (Sagittarian traits) rose to an art form.  Pluto tends to bring a compulsive drive to any sign that it travels through, and while a certain degree of optimism and positivism is a good thing, the benefits of this kind of thinking end when other feelings are pushed into the underworld of the psyche.

Having worked a great deal to perfect my own positive thinking apparatus, I know very well how powerful changing your thought patterns can be.  When Pluto entered the more dour and practical sign of Capricorn in 2008 many found it difficult to maintain the habits of positive thinking and started to fall into fear and despair as the life they knew during the economic downturn began to spiral down along with the economy.

What I have learned in my own journey to transform my life is that along with changing our thought patterns we must honor and release the negative emotions that cloud our lives.  We can’t just ignore them or pray them away.  These old hurts and sadness and frustration and rage linger in the body until they can be processed through the psycho-emotional system and released.  These emotions and feelings are our teachers.  They are the debris that remain after painful experiences which we would just as soon forget so that we can more fully understand what happened to us.  This is the role of Chiron in the birthchart – to trigger these old feelings so that they can be processed and healed.  Chiron’s archetype is the mentor – the teacher who having undergone great trials gains great understanding and is able to impart wisdom to others.  These skills come after the healing of the wounds by which Chiron is well known.

My sister told me the other day that her book club is reading a book called Positivity so I looked it up.  The author proposes that if your ratio of positive emotions to negative emotions is 3-1 you will flourish and achieve success in the world.  This makes perfect sense and there is no doubt that cultivating positivity from the outside in, “acting as if” to change your thought and habit patterns, is a powerful step to change.  But this kind of system fails to provide a tool for reaching the darkness in the psyche and transforming the painful places that keep us from being able to embody that positivity in a real sense.

The author of the Positivity book was involved in some interesting research:

The varied good outcomes empirically linked with positive affect support the broaden-and-build theory, which asserts that positive emotions are evolved psychological adaptations that increased human ancestors’ odds of survival and reproduction (Fredrickson, 1998). The theory holds that unlike negative emotions, which narrow people’s behavioral urges toward specific actions that were life-preserving for human ancestors (e.g., fight, flight), positive emotions widen the array of thoughts and actions called forth (e.g., play, explore), facilitating generativity and behavioral flexibility. …

The theory holds that in contrast with the benefits of negative emotions—which are direct and immediately adaptive in life-threatening situations—the benefits of broadened thought–action repertoires emerge over time. … Positivity, by prompting approach and exploration, creates experiential learning opportunities that confirm or correct initial expectations. By contrast, because negativity promotes avoidance, opportunities to correct false impressions are passed by (Fazio, Eiser, & Shook, 2004). These findings suggest that positive affect—by broadening exploratory behavior in the moment—over time builds more accurate cognitive maps of what is good and bad in the environment. This greater knowledge becomes a lasting personal resource.

Although positive affect is transient, the personal resources accrued across moments of positivity are durable. As these resources accumulate, they function as reserves that can be drawn on to manage future threats and increase odds of survival. So experiences of positive affect, although fleeting, can spark dynamic processes with downstream repercussions for growth and resilience.

Despite the fact that this research has been “debunked,” I have no doubt that this is true.  Seeing a silver lining in every cloud is tremendously beneficial for moving through difficult life experiences.  However, in attempting to live this way we often fail to face our demons and challenges which can hold us back in the long run.  In my Visioncrafting work we seek out that darkness and those negative emotions so that we can transform them into a framework of positivity rather than ignore them, avoid them, or stuff them in a corner of the psyche. (This link goes to a self-guided workbook that you can use on your own to effect lasting change.)

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By | 2016-08-22T07:36:09+00:00 August 22nd, 2016|Life|0 Comments

A reader asks, “When will we know peace in the world?”

I received this in my email today:

I should think that every published astrologer would be writing about a time when all of these horrid transits and conjunctions will end. Or will they ever? Yet, I have scoured The Mountain Astrologer, online astro sites and subscribe to anyone who might talk about such events. It’s hard to keep a positive attitude when each new year seems to be nothing but another annus horribilus.When will we know peace in the world? When will all of this stress from the heavenly bodies subside? We’re exhausted with it.

I know that many people can relate to this person’s anguish and this has been a very long period of cataclysmic change, beginning in 2008 when Pluto entered Capricorn and continuing through 2017.  That said, according to the New York Times:  “Of the past 3,400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for 268 of them, or just 8 percent of recorded history.”

Statistically this is not the worst period of modern human history in terms of the number of political or war deaths as you will see from the table on this site.   However, this does not change the fact that we are living through THIS period, and deeply affected by the trauma and destruction that we see around us.

It’s important to remember that “the stars impel, they do not compel.”  The planetary alignments create an environment which forces an adjustment where change is needed.  If our lives are flowing in harmony and we feel that we are in alignment with our soul purpose, difficult planetary aspects do not necessarily create terrible events.  But the Universe is always striving for balance, and whether in our psyche, our personal lives, or our national political systems – whenever there is a lack of balance or corrupt system, these planetary configurations have the potential to bring about a crisis so that healing may occur.

To answer the question posed by my reader, the period beginning in 2025 marks a series of harmonious planetary cycles which include flowing sextiles from both Uranus (revolutionary change) and Neptune (spiritual transcendence and creativity) to Pluto (transformation) that continue until 2032 (except for a little blip in 2028-2029 when Saturn challenges Pluto which will then be in Aquarius.  Still – we cannot delude ourselves into thinking that this will magically transform the human condition into the peace, love and understanding that the Hair musical predicted for the Aquarian age.

In the end, our experience of the world begins within.  We cannot by ourselves change the world but we CAN begin by accepting the things that we cannot change and working to clear away the dysfunction in our own mind, body and spirit.  We can begin looking for light instead of darkness. We can transform our thinking to seek solutions instead of complaint.  Then we become the light bringers, and the world becomes a little less dark.

 

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By | 2016-07-16T11:14:01+00:00 July 16th, 2016|Consciousness, Life, Uncategorized|2 Comments
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