Either a Rebel or Slave
THE SUN-MERCURY-CERES-SATURN-PLUTO CONJUNCTION
January 12, 2020
Saturn and Pluto conjoined at 22°46' Capricorn with Sun, Mercury and Ceres all within three degrees
Two of astrology's heaviest-hitters, Saturn and Pluto, have come together in an exact conjunction: an end-of-an-era alignment that brings to a close a long, almost 40-year chapter that began back in 1982.
Several planetary cycles converge with this turning-point conjunction, breaking shore on the turbulent tide of a complex lunar eclipse, with not only the Sun and Moon, as every lunar eclipse, but Mercury, Ceres, Saturn, and Pluto — all in a tight huddle, less than three degrees apart.
Disruptive and destabilizing Uranus, catalyst for change is also involved, stationing direct on the very day of the eclipse; and Eris, Greek Goddess of War and Strife, sister to Ares, God of War, has thrown a monkey wrench of her own into the works: tightly squaring the whole conflagration from Mars-ruled Aries.
SOMETHING WILD AND NEW is crashing into awareness right now, shattering an old, tangled knot of limitation and stagnation, all the while Saturn forces keep trying to re-tie the same knot: keep the status quo/gravy train in place, forces that have long been mobilized, entrenched and powerful.
Yet Pluto disintegration, death and renewal has been unleashed and there is no going back. The knot has unraveled. We are in the death throes of an old, outdated system that does not, like anything, want to die, and will not give up without a fight. But destiny, if there is such a thing, has arrived: the seeds of a brand new cycle, one that will build over the next three decades, have been sown. The Age of Aquarius is dawning, born from the ashes of human-made division and devastation.
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Speaking of division and devastation, the entire eclipse-Saturn-Pluto configuration strongly impacts the United States, sitting right on top of America's own natal, Mercury-Pluto opposition at 24° Cancer (Mercury) / 27° Capricorn (Pluto). So we have a transiting Mercury-Saturn-Pluto riding shotgun with an eclipse that conjoins America's Mercury-Pluto. The events of this week clearly demonstrate the tragic result when potent forces trigger a megalomaniac, who is in turn supported by a corrupt system, Congress in bed with corporate profit-makers and the military-industrial war machine.
"In war, truth is the first casualty." — Aeschylus
The U.S. drone assassination of Iranian General Soleimani, and the lies, dangerous propaganda/fear-mongering mainstream media are spewing, reflects Mercury's involvement in this Saturn-Pluto eclipse Last month Congress — including 188 Democrats — removed language from two policy bills that would have explicitly denied Trump authorization for a war with Iran.that, in turn, conjoins America's Mercury-Pluto: the use of communication to distort, distract and delude others from the truth, no lie is too big. The blame, of course, does not lie solely with Trump, nor is Soleimani — who was actually on a peace mission in Iraq when he was murdered — the devil they would like you to believe. No angel either, however, as Patrick Cockburn wrote in a recent article at CounterPunch, Who Wins and Who Loses in the Iran Crisis?, "Soleimani had started making mistakes, notably in using extreme violence to quell protesters demanding reform in Iraq, thereby alienating much of the majority Shia community that was previously favourable to Iran." (Cockburn has been a Middle East correspondent since 1979 for the Financial Times and, currently, The Independent.)
The truth is, a Democratic-controlled House failed to act last month, which likely would have prevented exactly what Trump has done. With the over-coverage of that counter-productive, divisive, designed-to-distract, supreme waste of time and taxpayer money, the impeachment proceedings, you may not have heard about this. (For those of you who think the impeachment proceedings are a good thing, I have two words for you: President Pence.) Congress — including 188 Democrats — actually struck language from two separate military policy bills (one by Representative Tulsi Gabbard, another by Representative Ro Khanna) that would have explicitly denied Trump authorization for a war with Iran. Additionally, this would also have repealed the outdated, unconstitutional, Bush-era "Authorization for Use of Military Force" (AUMF) against Iraq in 2002, which the Trump administration can now use to provide legal cover for the war crimes that were just committed. As Representative Khanna, stated:
"Any member [of Congress] who voted for the N.D.A.A. — a blank check — can't now express dismay that Trump may have launched another war in the Middle East, our Congress let our nation down again by failing to stand up against a war in Iran."
While there has been Iranian retaliation for General Soleimani's murder, its missile attack on the Ain al-Assad and Erbil U.S. military bases in Iraq did not result in any casualties: because Iran issued a warning beforehand providing time to evacuate the base. Iran has stated that retaliation for the assassination would be finished with this one attack as long as the U.S. does not counter-attack. Nevertheless, Trump continues to warmonger. The U.S. too, is at least partially responsible for the loss of lives from the downed Ukrainian flight, having proviked the dangerous crisis that led to the crash.
And now, too little, too late — last Thursday, the House scrambled to pass a War Powers resolution to limit Trump's military action in Iran, which states that without Congressional consent, all acts of war must end within 30 days, providing plenty of time for more drone attacks. And for this War Powers resolution to be binding — just as the Articles of Impeachment — it will now go to a Republican-controlled Senate; and if by some miracle it passes there, Trump can just veto the whole thing away anyway.
IF YOU SEE ANY DISCUSSION on mainstream media about the last month's Pelosi/Democrat giveaway to the person they claim to be a dangerous traitor, and whose actions allowed for this disaster, I'll be a monkey's uncle. Instead, Pelosi, and the same Democrats who stood by and allowed the removal of the Khanna/Gabbard provisions, are portrayed as heroes. To get the Mercury-Saturn-Pluto truth, as usual, you have to dig for it, which is the positive expression of this triple conjunction: the sleuth, the skeptic, the researcher, the one who is not easily duped and manipulated, the individual cares enough to figure out what is really going on: face the Saturn-Pluto darkness. For example, one of our national treasures, currently working in the fringes, as most of our real journalists do now, Pulitzer-prize winner Chris Hedges:
The assassination by the United States of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, near Baghdad's airport will ignite widespread retaliatory attacks against U.S. targets from Shiites, who form the majority in Iraq. It will activate Iranian-backed militias and insurgents in Lebanon and Syria and throughout the Middle East. The existing mayhem, violence, failed states and war, the result of nearly two decades of U.S. blunders and miscalculations in the region, will become an even wider and more dangerous conflagration. The consequences are ominous. Not only will the U.S. swiftly find itself under siege in Iraq and perhaps driven out of the country—there is only a paltry force of 5,200 U.S. troops in Iraq, all U.S. citizens in Iraq have been told to leave the country "immediately" and the embassy and consular services have been closed—but the situation could also draw us into a war directly with Iran. The American Empire, it seems, will die not with a whimper but a bang.
The targeting of Soleimani, who was killed by a MQ-9 Reaper drone that fired missiles into his convoy as he was leaving the Baghdad airport, also took the life of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, along with other Iraqi Shiite militia leaders. The strike may temporarily bolster the political fortunes of the two beleaguered architects of the assassination, Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but it is an act of imperial suicide by the United States. There can be no positive outcome. It opens up the possibility of an Armageddon-type scenario relished by the lunatic fringes of the Christian right.
— Chris Hedges, from his Jan 3, 2020 article, War with Iran, at Truthdig.
War, Genocide, Propaganda: Saturn-Pluto in Hard Alignment
Saturn and Pluto, when aligned in hard aspect, as they are now, have coincided with one horror after another throughout history. In Cosmos and Psyche, Richard Tarnas discussed in great detail the archetypal workings of Saturn and Pluto in stressful combination, looking over, with an astrological eye, events that constellated with each alignment. He wrote:
"On the one hand, there was the perception, projection or eruption of threatening subversive elements — infidels, heretics, terrorists, savages, inferior races, barbarians, criminals, subversives, perverts, evildoers. All these can be regarded as representing the archetypal Plutonic 'underworld' in several senses: instinctual, psychological, sociological, theological. On the other hand, this perception of dire threat was matched by a compensatory empowerment of conservative, repressive, or reactionary forces in complex combination and compromise formations. Such an empowerment often brought about the authoritative implementation of methods and activities (war, torture, enslavement, legalized murder, extermination, weapons of mass destruction, manipulate deception and propaganda) that in other contexts, or as used by others, would be regarded by the same parties as something to be morally condemned and prohibited. (p. 236)
THE CURRENT LIES SHOULD RING A BELL for they are a clear reflection (History doesn't repeat, but it rhymes) of those dished out to the public during a previous Saturn-Pluto alignment: at the "full moon" phase of the current cycle now ending, when Saturn and Pluto opposed each other in 2001, which coincided with the events of 9/11. Following that alignment (which also, not surprisingly, dovetailed powerfully with the U.S. chart), we were told Iraq's leader Saddam Hussein (formerly put into power by the U.S) had weapons of mass destruction. As journalist Max Blumenthal pointed out in a recent article: "With its claim of "imminent attacks," the Trump administration has essentially re-mixed Condoleeza Rice's 2003 warning that 'we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.'"
Saturn and Pluto conjoin about every 30 to 40 years, and yes, they correspond with some of the most troubling, pivotal events in history: world war, genocide, massacres, economic disasters, the consolidation of military and economic/corporate power, and with that, the rise of fascist regimes, propaganda, lies and repression of the people, and scapegoating that enables further power to be seized. For specific examples: the two conjoined in Cancer at start of the First World War, which coincided with the Armenian and Greek genocides of 1914/15. Thirty-two years later, in 1947, the next conjunction: the start of the Cold War; the Taft-Hartley Act, which severely restricting the activities and power of labor unions; the National Security Act, that established the United States Air Force, the National Security Council, and the Central Intelligence Agency; the United Nations General Assembly partitioned Palestine, creating Arab and Jewish regions, resulting in the creation of the State of Israel; the U.S House of Representatives approved citations of Contempt of Congress against the "Hollywood Ten" — the screenwriters and directors who refused to co-operate with McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Committee. (Joseph McCarthy was himself a Saturn-Pluto product, born in 1908, during a Saturn-Pluto square.) The GATT, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, was signed, which later, in 1995, immediately following a Saturn-Pluto square, became the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the related NAFTA, North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect in the very same year as the square, 1994. Bill and Hillary Clinton by the way are Saturn-Pluto products themselves, Hillary born in 1947 and Bill, the previous year.
Two Plus Two Equals Five
Also interestingly, in 1947, George Orwell was writing his dystopian novel, 1984, whose themes are textbook Saturn-Pluto, touching on all the key attributes: propaganda, totalitarianism, consolidation of power, and severe repression. The people of Orwell's 1984 future, live with perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and total media propaganda. Sound familiar? Orwell, writing during one Saturn-Pluto alignment only missed, in setting the title year for his book, the following conjunction by two years, for the very next Saturn-Pluto conjunction fell in Libra in 1982, the start of the cycle that is closing today as I write.
Orwell, writing during one Saturn-Pluto alignment only missed, in setting the title year for his book, the following conjunction by two yearsThe 1982 alignment coincided with "Get government off our backs" Ronald Reagan's administration, which set in motion a number of dramatic domestic policy changes — and the seeds of our current dismal state of affairs were largely sown at this time. Reagan's supply-side, "trickle-down" economics, which included massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, slashed and undermined regulation, as well as severe cuts to social services for our poorest people. The lies told through his perfectly Saturn-Pluto "Welfare Queen" propaganda campaign to discredit needy Americans, provided Reagan with enough public support to push these measures through.
Reagan, tracks especially well with Saturn-Pluto alignments, for under the previous 1947 conjunction, he functioned as a secret FBI informant, turning in alleged communist sympathizers, and also publicly testifying and supplying names to McCarthy's witch hunt, with the perfectly Saturn-Pluto name: the House Un-American Activities Committee. The Falklands War and the Lebanon War, with forces under Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon invading southern Lebanon in their "Operation Peace for the Galilee" (wouldn't Orwell love that doublespeak?), were both waged in 1982, and at this time the U.S. began a series of, largely covert, illegal, regime-change wars in Latin America, with the Iran-Contra Affair the most prominent, in which the Regan administration was caught selling arms to Iran illegally via Israel in order to fund an also illegal, far-right paramilitary contra war in Nicaragua.
2001-2002: The Full Moon Phase of the Cycle Now Ending
At each month's full moon, the shadows recede, unveiling what was previously hidden. In this same way, the full moon phase of the long Saturn-Pluto cycle, the opposition of 2001-2, revealed what had been developing since the 1980s. As astrologer Jessica Murray, who wrote, Soul-Sick Nation : An Astrologer's View of America, noted the key activations of the US chart at this time, with the Saturn-Pluto opposition overlying the US Ascendant-Descendant axis. She writes that since 2001:
"the country has transformed its approach to war: A state of incessant, continuous warfare has become normal. The military (Pluto)-industrial (Saturn) complex has a new kind of enemy — stateless religious extremists — and a new modus operandi: extra-judicial assassination by drone. We also have a new kind of soldiery, including a shadowy network (Pluto) of mercenaries (Saturn) employed by private agencies (for example, the one formerly known by that quintessentially Plutonian name, Blackwater).
So, will we yet again believe the war-mongering, in-bed-with-the-military-industrial-complex mainstream media's lies? I certainly hope not, for this Mercury-Saturn-Pluto triple conjunction in shadow aspect IS especially ominous, overlying America's own natal Mercury-Pluto: a combination, which, in shadow form, is the supreme propagandist, the "nothing too evil" covert operator, who will tell you anything to keep amassing power, keep gobbling resources, which is almost always Plutonian oil, something the war machine can never get enough of, pushing even Mother Nature right over the edge of no return. The U.S. military, according to EcoWatch is the world's biggest polluter. "Producing more hazardous waste than the five largest U.S. chemical companies combined," America has left its toxic legacy throughout the world in the form of depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, led and pesticides, including defoliants like Agent Orange, and more.
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"I have no visibility into who the bad guys are."
— Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Defense Secretary, 2001 to 2006
Relatedly, and surprisingly in the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post, was last month's release of the Afghanistan Papers (scuttlebutt is The Papers were retribution for a lucrative defense contract given to Microsoft instead of Amazon). After a three-year legal battle, The Post was granted release of more than 2,000 pages of "Lessons Learned" interviews conducted by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, which clearly show there was "no consensus on the war's objectives, let alone how to end the conflict."
"Despite promises to the contrary, the United States engaged in a huge nation-building effort in Afghanistan, drenching the destitute country with more money than it could absorb. There was so much excess that opportunities for bribery, fraud and corruption became limitless. One U.S. adviser said that at the air base where he worked many Afghans reeked of jet fuel because they were smuggling out so much of it to sell on the black market."
As, even the NY Times chimed in last month, the cost of nearly 18 years of war in Afghanistan totals over $2 trillion; and the results? The Taliban control much of the country. Afghanistan remains one of the world's largest sources of refugees and migrants. More than 2,400 American soldiers and over 38,000 Afghan civilians have died.
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"The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent."
"We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me."
— George Orwell, 1984
A U.S. Eclipse
As mentioned, the United States is particularly entangled in the 2020 Saturn-Pluto alignment and lunar eclipse with the entire Cancer-Capricorn-Aries eclipse powder keg closely overlying the U.S.'s own natal Mercury-Pluto opposition at 24° Cancer / 27° Capricorn, triggering an innate propensity for deception and propaganda, covert operations, all of which must be routed out, must be stopped before we all end up in a REAL mushroom cloud. As usual, we must follow the money, the consolidation of the media, the ever-shrinking number of billionaires who control it: TV, radio, including those "trusted" icons of "democracy": NPR and PBS. Seek out journalists with integrity who have been either cast out of the mainstream or never granted entry in the first place. That is where the truth lies.
One shining example, someone who is doing the thankless, self-sacrificing job of real investigative journalism, revealing entrenched, corrupt power, is the Pulitzer Prize winner, author, activist and journalist, Chris Hedges, already mentioned above. A foreign correspondent for nearly two decades in Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans, Hedges was part of a New York Times team of reporters awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for their coverage of global terrorism. He spent seven years in the Middle East, most of them as the bureau chief for The New York Times, but left the Times after 15 years when he received a formal reprimand from the newspaper for publicly denouncing the George W. Bush administration's invasion of Iraq. The same thing happened to Phil Donahue, another critic of Bush's Iraq policy. Fired by MSNBC one month before the invasion began, they replaced his show with an expanded Countdown: Iraq, initially hosted by Lester Holt. Shortly after Donahue's firing, MSNBC hired Michael Savage, a horrible hate-mongering radio talk show host for a Saturday afternoon show. There are more examples of far worse attacks on journalism, for example, listen to what happened recently to Max Blumenthal after reporting about the regime-change attempts in Venezuela.
The attacks on Democracy, media manipulation and propaganda, and its result: paving the way for dangerous consolidation of power in swift ascendant over this, almost 40-year, cycle, seizing ever more control of our political and economic systems and leading us to the razor's edge of the climate chaos abyss. Since 1982, we have seen massive shifts of wealth and power, eroding labor laws, environmental protections, and civil liberties, slashes in education, healthcare and other social services, militarization of the police, the ever-growing surveillance state, and the devastation of the American middle class, thrusting millions more into poverty.
This is all Saturn-Pluto's deep, dark side. In fact, these very mechanisms for the consolidation of power: the trade agreements that sent manufacturing jobs overseas, resulting in the rust belt and other areas of severe hardship and poverty, the establishment of the NSA, the CIA, the WTO, the IMF; the attacks on labor unions, civil liberties, were all established or set in motion under previous Saturn-Pluto alignments, 1982 and the two earlier conjunctions in 1914-15 and 1947 (I've compiled a list of Saturn-Pluto alignment dates and events at the end of this article). Again, Hedges writes:
Global finance capital has seized control of the economies of most nation-states. The citizens watch, helplessly, as money and goods are transferred with little regulation across borders. They watch as jobs in manufacturing and the professions are shipped to regions of the global south where most workers are paid a dollar or less an hour and receive That this desperate hope by the outsiders is peddled by con artists and charlatans such as Johnson and Trump is part of the sickness of our age, an echo of the economic distortions and right-wing populism that saw fascists rise to power in Italy and Germany in the first part of the 20th century.no benefits. They watch as the taxes of the rich and corporations are slashed, often to zero. They watch as austerity programs dismantle or privatize utilities and basic social services, jacking up fees to consumers. They watch as chronic unemployment and underemployment devastate workers, especially the young. They watch as wages stagnate or decline, leaving working men and women with unsustainable debts. This economic tyranny lies at the root of the unrest in Hong Kong, India, Chile, France, Iran, Iraq and Lebanon as well as the rise of right-wing demagogues and false prophets such as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It does not matter whether liberals or conservatives, Tories or Labour, Republicans or Democrats are in power. Finance capital is impervious to political control. The newly defeated Labour Party in Britain, by adopting a Brexit-neutral stance in the election, badly misread the zeitgeist. Yes, its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, had to contend with hysterical warnings of economic collapse and endured a smear campaign—amplified by a media mouthing the accusations of his Tory opponents—that included claims he was a threat to national security and an anti-Semite, but his and Labour's failure to appreciate how desperate workers were for a solution, even one growing out of magical thinking about the promise of Brexit, was a mistake. Brexit is not a realistic alternative to economic tyranny. But it at least offers a hope, however unfounded, of shattering the bonds of corporate power. It posits itself as a weapon in the war between the insiders and the outsiders. That this desperate hope by the outsiders is peddled by con artists and charlatans such as Johnson and Trump is part of the sickness of our age, an echo of the economic distortions and right-wing populism that saw fascists rise to power in Italy and Germany in the first part of the 20th century.
— Chris Hedges, from his Dec 15, 2019 article, Hope Lies in the Streets, at Truthdig.
YET ANOTHER EXCELLENT SOURCE for the truth is the awesome Jimmy Dore, well-read, entertaining, always right on the beam. Here's one of his latest shows with Max Blumenthal discussing the Soleimani assassination:
Another journalist doing great investigative work out in the media fringes is, the already mentioned, Max Blumenthal. Author of several books, including Republican Gomorrah, Goliath, The Fifty One Day War, and The Management of Savagery, he is another journalist worth following. He founded The Grayzone in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America's state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions. In a recent article at the Grayzone, he wrote:
With its claim of "imminent attacks," the Trump administration has essentially re-mixed Condoleeza Rice's 2003 warning that "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." Back then, the US attacked a sovereign state to rid it of WMD that did not exist. This time, it killed the second-most important Iranian official to prevent a killing spree that was not on the way. And Trump administration officials knew they were lying.
In fact, Pompeo pitched assassinating Soleimani to Trump several months ago, well before any attacks were "imminent." And in the wake of the general's killing, a US official revealed to the New York Times that the NSA had intercepted "communications the United States had between Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and General Suleimani showing that the ayatollah had not yet approved any plans by the general for an attack."
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"If we do not replace the ruling elites soon we are finished as a species."
— Roger Hallum, Co-Founder Extinction Rebellion
The Last Nail: Ceres-Saturn-Pluto and the Accelerating Global Warming Disaster
Ceres' role in the eclipse and the Saturn-Pluto conjunction indicates that Mother Nature will be an ever-growing force to be reckoned with throughout this new Saturn-Pluto cycle. Indeed right on cue, are the horrific wildfires burning across huge areas of Australia, showing how global warming can push forest ecosystems past a point of no return. As Bob Berwyn, at InsideClimate News, wrote:
Some of those forests won't recover in today's warmer climate, scientists say. They expect the same in other regions scarred by flames in recent years; in semi-arid areas like parts of the American West, the Mediterranean Basin and Australia, some post-fire forest landscapes will shift to brush or grassland.
More than 17 million acres have burned in Australia over the last three months amid record heat that has dried vegetation and pulled moisture from the land. Hundreds of millions of animals, including a large number of koalas, are believed to have perished in the infernos. The survivors will face drastically changed habitats. Water flows and vegetation will change, and carbon emissions will rise as burning trees release carbon and fewer living trees are left to pull CO2 out of the air and store it.
In many ways, Berwyn adds, "it's the definition of a tipping point, as ecosystems transform from one type into another. The surge of large, destructive forest fires from the Arctic to the tropics just in the last few years has shocked even researchers who focus on forests and fires and who have warned of such tipping points for years." He adds:
The projections were seen as remote, "something that would happen much farther in the future," said University of Arizona climate scientist David Breashers. "But it's happening now. Nobody saw it coming this soon, even though it was like a freight train. It's likely the forests won't be coming back as we know them."
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What Can Be Done?
The Mercury-Ceres-Saturn-Pluto alignment is a stark reminder to turn up the skepticism, and stop blindly absorbing corporate media propaganda. It is important in this age of dangerous spin and manipulation, to seek out real journalists. In light of Ceres' role in this Saturn-Pluto eclipse, shining a light on our ever-increasing climate change disaster, in addition to the other journalists noted above, consider reading Roger Hallam's Common Sense for the 21st Century: Only Nonviolent Rebellion Can Now Stop Climate Breakdown and Social Collapse. Hallum is one of the co-founders of the Extinction Rebellion: organizing and inspiring a new and more effective brand of activism world-wide. Again Chris Hedges, from a recent article at Truthdig:
Hallam's lucid and concise book, which echoes Thomas Paine's "Common Sense," says what many of us now know to be true but do not say: If we do not replace the ruling elites soon we are finished as a species. It is a cogent, well-argued case for global rebellion — the only form of resistance that can save us from ecosystem collapse and human-induced genocide. It correctly analyzes the failure of environmentalist activists in groups such as 350.org to understand and confront global corporate power and thus make a meaningful impact as we barrel toward ecocide. "Common Sense for the 21st Century" is a survival manual for the human species.
"The corrupt system is going to kill us all unless we rise up," Hallam, a co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, bluntly warns. The activism, protests, lobbying, petitions, appeals to the United Nations and misguided trust in "liberal" politicians such as Barack Obama and Al Gore, along with the work of countless NGOs, have been accompanied by a 60% rise in global carbon dioxide emissions since 1990. The United Nations estimates this will be augmented by a 40% rise in CO2 emissions in the next 10 years. Hallam, who has long been a part of the environmental movement, says of his past activism: "I was wasting my time."
"We, like those who opposed the long night of communism, no longer have any mechanisms within the formal structures of power that will protect or advance our rights. We, too, have undergone a coup d'etat carried out not by the large stone-faced leaders of a monolithic Communist Party, but by our largely anonymous corporate overlords. George Orwell wrote that all tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but that once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force. We have now entered that era of naked force. There are no excuses left.
Either you join the revolt or you stand on the wrong side of history. You either obstruct through civil disobedience, the only way left to us, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street, and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. You either taste, feel, and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt, or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. You are either a rebel or a slave."
— Chris Hedges
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"But most histories understate revolt, overemphasize statesmanship, and thus encourage impotency among citizens. When we look closely at resistance movements, or even at isolated forms of rebellion, we discover that class consciousness, or any other awareness of injustice, has multiple levels. It has many ways of expression, many ways of revealing itself-open, subtle, direct, distorted. In a system of intimidation and control, people do not show how much they know, how deeply they feel, until their practical sense informs them they can do so without being destroyed.
In a highly developed society, the Establishment cannot survive without the obedience and loyalty of millions of people who are given small rewards to keep the system going: the soldiers and police, teachers and ministers, administrators and social workers, technicians and production workers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, transport and communications workers, garbage men and firemen. These people-the employed, the somewhat privileged-are drawn into alliance with the elite. They become the guards of the system, buffers between the upper and lower classes. If they stop obeying, the system falls.
That will happen, I think, only when all of us who are slightly privileged and slightly uneasy begin to see that we are like the guards in the prison uprising at Attica—expendable; that the Establishment, whatever rewards it gives us, will also, if necessary to maintain its control, kill us."
— Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States
Bernie Sanders has been working on behalf of ordinary Americans throughout his long and distinguished years of public service. More than any other candidate, he understands the scale of the climate crisis, and the urgency with which we must act NOW to address it. For that and many other reasons, I support Bernie Sanders and am making my support known to my readers because it is imperative that we no longer vote into office politicians who are taking money from corporations and billionaires, who through their obscene wealth have purchased what should be OUR representation. These are the same individuals who have enriched themselves off the backs of the rest of us, indeed devastated all life on this planet. They will, through their unquenchable greed for power and profit, kill us all if we do not stop them.
If we are to turn America around, begin to steer it in a right, responsible and just direction, getting money out of politics, righting this Saturn-Pluto destruction of democracy, must be done first. We have a chance to do that with Bernie — and it really is now or never.
Saturn-Pluto: Conjunctions and Oppositions 1914-2020
- 1914-1915 - three exact conjunctions: October 4 and November 1, 1914 (both at 2° Cancer) and May 19, 1915 at 0° Cancer
- 1931 -- three exact oppositions ranging from 19°03 to 21°40 Capricorn (Saturn)/Cancer (Pluto) Pluto was discovered in 1929 -- Uranus was also squaring Pluto at this time to form the only Saturn-Uranus-Pluto t-square of the 20th century
- August 11, 1947 - one exact conjunction at 13°07' Leo
- 1965-66 - three exact oppositions from 13°55 to 17°34' Pisces (Saturn) / Virgo (Pluto) Uranus at this time was also conjunct Pluto; so, as in 1931, the Saturn-Pluto and Uranus-Pluto cycles coincided
- Nov 8, 1982 - one exact conjunction at 27°35 Libra
- 2001-2002 -- three exact oppositions from 12°37 to 16.35 Gemini (Saturn)/Sagittarius (Pluto)
- Jan 12, 2020 - one exact conjunction at 22°46 Capricorn coincides with a lunar eclipse and Uranus's direct station
Intervening Square Alignments
- Oct 9, 1922 - one exact square at 11°13 Libra
- Mar 26, 1940 - one exact square at 0°40 Taurus/Leo
- 1955-56 - three exact squares from 26°48-29°42 Scorpio/Leo
- 1973-74 - three exact squares from 3°47 to 4°39 Cancer/Libra
- 1993-94 - three exact squares from 23°56 to 27°06 Aquarius/Scorpio
Saturn-Pluto Conjunction Events
Three exact conjunctions: Oct 4, Nov 1, 1914 (2° Cancer), May 19, 1915 at 0° Cancer
- April 9, 1914 – Tampico Affair: An incident involving United States Navy sailors in Mexico and army troops loyal to Mexican dictator Victoriano Huerta, leads to a breakdown in diplomatic relations between the United States and Mexico.
- April 20, 1914 – Colorado Coalfield War – Ludlow Massacre: The Colorado National Guard attacks a tent colony of 1,200 striking coal miners in Ludlow, Colorado, killing 24 people; President Woodrow Wilson asks the United States Congress to use military force in Mexico, in reaction to the Tampico Affair.
- April 21, 1914 – United States occupation of Veracruz: 2,300 U.S. Navy sailors and Marines from the South Atlantic fleet land in the port city of Veracruz, Mexico, which they will occupy for over six months. The Ypiranga incident occurs when they attempt to enforce an arms embargo against Mexico, by preventing the German cargo steamer SS Ypiranga from unloading arms for the Mexican government in the port.
- April 22, 1914 – Mexico ends diplomatic relations with the United States.
- June 12, 1914 – Greek genocide: Ottoman Greeks in Phocaea are massacred by Turkish troops.
- June 28, 1914 – Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria: Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip, 19, assassinates Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Duchess Sophie, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, triggering the July Crisis and World War I. Anti-Serb riots in Sarajevo and Zagreb break out.
- June 29, 1914 - The Secretary of the Austro-Hungarian Legation at Belgrade sends a dispatch to Vienna, suggesting Serbian complicity in the crime of Sarajevo. Anti-Serb riots continue throughout Bosnia; Khioniya Guseva attempts and fails to assassinate Grigori Rasputin at his hometown in Siberia.
- July 4, 1914 - Lexington Avenue bombing: Four people are killed in New York City, when a bomb intended to kill John D. Rockefeller explodes prematurely, in the bomber's own apartment.
- July 5, 1914 – A council is held at Potsdam, powerful leaders within Austria-Hungary and Germany meet to discuss the possibilities of war with Serbia, Russia, and France.
- July 11, 1914 - Over 5,000 people attend a rally in Union Square, Manhattan, called by the Anti-Militarist League to commemorate the anarchists killed in the July 4th Lexington Avenue bombing.
- July 19, 1914 – George V summons a conference to discuss the Irish Home Rule problem. It meets from July 21–24, without reaching consensus.
- July 26, 1914 – Bachelor's Walk massacre: The King's Own Scottish Borderers of the British Army fire on Dubliners at Bachelor's Walk, killing 3, and injuring 38 people.
- July 28, 1914 - World War I: Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia by telegram. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia orders a partial mobilisation against Austria-Hungary.
- July 29, 1914 - World War I: Austro-Hungarian Navy river monitor SMS Bodrog fires the first shots of the war, opening the bombardment of the defences of Belgrade, Serbia's capital.
- August 1, 1914 - The German Empire declares war on the Russian Empire, following Russia's military mobilization in support of Serbia; Germany also begins mobilisation; France orders general mobilisation; Marcus Garvey founds the Universal Negro Improvement Association in Jamaica.
- March 19, 1915 – Pluto is photographed for the first time, but not identified as a planet.
- April 24, 1915 – The Armenian Genocide begins, with the forced and brutal deportation and murder of Armenians from Turkey.
- November 24 1915 – William J. Simmons revives the American Civil War era Ku Klux Klan at Stone Mountain, Georgia.
- November 25 1915 – Albert Einstein presents part of his theory of general relativity to the Prussian Academy of Sciences.
- December 26 1915 – The Irish Republican Brotherhood Military Council decides to stage an Easter Rising in 1916, an event that sparks the later Irish War of Independence.
1947 - one exact conjunction Aug 11th at 13°07' Leo
- April 16 - The Texas City disaster: one of the deadliest industrial accidents and largest non-nuclear explosions, in the Port of Texas City at Galveston Bay.
- May 22 - The Cold War begins: In an effort to fight the spread of Communism, President Harry S. Truman signs an Act of Congress that implements the Truman Doctrine. This Act grants $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece. The Cold War ends in 1991.
- June – The Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is introduced.
- July 26 – Cold War: U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act of 1947 into law, creating the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council.
- August 14-15 - The Partition of India: India and Pakistan are divided as separate nations and gain independence, as self-governing nations, from the British Empire.
- September 18 - The National Security Act of 1947 becomes effective on this day, creating the United States Air Force, National Security Council and Central Intelligence Agency
- October 30 - General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), precursor to the WTO, was signed by 23 nations in Geneva, and took effect on January 1, 1948. It remained in effect until the signature by 123 nations in Marrakesh on 14 April 1994, of the Uruguay Round Agreements which established the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 1 January 1995.
- November 13 – The Soviet Union completes development of the AK-47, one of the first assault rifles.
- November 17 - The Screen Actors Guild implements an anti-Communist loyalty oath; the House Un-American Activities Committee begins its investigations into communism in Hollywood in 1947.
- November 24 – McCarthyism: The United States House of Representatives votes 346–17 to approve citations of Contempt of Congress against the "Hollywood Ten", after the screenwriters and directors refuse to co-operate with the House Un-American Activities Committee concerning allegations of communist influences in the movie business. The ten men are blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studios on the following day.
Events coinciding with the subsequent 1982 conjunction were mentioned in the above article.
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The Tarot card, The Two of Swords, included in this essay, is a scan of the original Rider-Waite deck. Authored by A. E. Waite and illustrated by Pamela Coleman, it was first published in 1909 in England by Rider and Company.
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