AUGUST, 2002



Astral Prelude:

The Price of Admission

This month we focus on what will be the most important ongoing planetary aspect from this month through early 2003. The trine (120° angle) between Saturn in Gemini and Uranus in Aquarius has been in effect since late July; comes to the exact arc of the trine on August 21 -- just before the Full Moon -- then fades until Sept. 20. The trine recurs from November to January -- exact again on Dec. 16, Beethoven's birthday -- and then comes for the third and last time in this cycle early next year. As is usually the case with the slow-moving "outer" planets, the Saturn-Uranus trine will occur in a set of three, starting this month.

The Law of Three applies here, as we have seen recently in the Saturn-Pluto opposition of late 2001 through June 2002. The three phases are:  

Action, as the most "positive" and dynamic possibilities of the combination unleash a current of change and new creative possibilities;

Reaction, as the soul must now address the deeper issues of truth and purpose uncovered by the action phase, and either steps willingly into the voluntary suffering of necessary change, or resists, and has to writhe its way through what it refuses to see and do;

Realization, in which the lessons of the first two phases are integrated toward greater vitality, freedom and a more productive alliance of soul, mind, heart and body; or the soul lessons are ducked and denied, so that certain black-bordered karmic bills fall due.

The main questions at this point, as the Action phase of this new aspect now begins, are what the general features of the Saturn-Pluto trine are, and how they are likely to play out in our individual lives, in the mass semiconsciousness of the United States, and the planetary hive mind that embraces cetaceans and other aware species as well as humans. This last point is especially germane now, as only a few days ago dozens of whales beached themselves and died on the U. S. mainland. There are only two plausible explanations for this: either the whales have been deafened, crazed or otherwise disoriented by the US Navy's LFAS sound frequency experiments; or they have consciously sacrificed themselves for the purpose of raising an alarm about human actions and policies that have now gone beyond greed and environmental irresponsibility to the deliberate destruction of species whose presence and power are vital to human evolution, and whose passing will dim our collective awareness and impede our spiritual movement.

This calendar makes no comment on conspiracies. For the rationale on this, see the Astral Prelude for April 2002. For now, it is enough to look in passing on the comments of the hero Schwitters, in Tom Robbins' novel Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates, on "the manner in which the powers that be, with the greedy compliance of the media and the eager assistance of evangelicals, [are] busily bovinizing humanity, seeking to produce a vast herd of homogenized consumers, individually expendable, docile, and, beyond basic job skills, not too smart . . ." We have known for a while that our planet consists of two human populations: one that seeks to spiritualize consciousness and move beyond the illusions of matter and limitation into the highest frequencies of bliss and serenity; and another that remains rooted in physical pleasures and addictions, toys and opinions, the adrenalin rush of hate, and anything else that helps to block the perception that something, and it may be me, has got to give.

We also knew that the more the spiritual consciousness of the planet ascends and evolves, the more the forces of domination and control will lie, scheme and fight to keep the human herd fat and sleepy. What we did not know was how amazingly resourceful and ingenious the power elite would be in devising endless distractions and scares to keep us ditsy and nervous. H. L. Mencken had it pegged when he wrote that "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

Yes, a certain shocking event in September, 2001 was hardly "imaginary", and similar threats exist, yet the point remains. If individual human beings and our institutions were able to take the energy we devote to excuses, fabrications, blame, scaring others and being scared, and doing everything but acting on the truth, and we could channel this power into a sincere commitment to bring about love, health and freedom for all of humanity and the Earth, then our collective mind would have gone nova years ago, and the extraterrestrial beings that are said to be gathered around our planet to watch the last act in our drama of surrender into unity would have applauded the show, thrown flowers of sound and light, and gone home to Arcturus and Sirius and Spica and wherever to share the good news with the family over a hearty feast of air and joy.

The last act of the play is taking longer than the audience, and many of the actors, would like. For the moment, it seems best to see what the immediate scenario of the month is, and how to play it. Generally speaking, a trine or other "favorable" alignment of Saturn and Uranus combines the patience and tenacity of Saturn with the surprising and unpredictable qualities of Uranus to produce an indomitable fortitude, an ability to land on one's feet, stay afloat, keep flying by the seat of one's pants -- pick your native element and your metaphor -- even when challenges seem insurmountable, and allies do not respond. Reinhold Ebertin wrote that a Saturn-Uranus trine may manifest as "Growth of strength through the overcoming of difficulties, difficult but successful battles in life for the purpose of overcoming a dangerous situation." The good news is that we will get through it, whatever it is. The tough news is that we will have something to get through.

What will it be? Choose whatever matters most to you, at a time when corporations, churches, governments, and the collective egos of entire societies seem to decide that the best way we can respond to rising tides of change is not to move our beach blankets a little farther inland, but to build a bigger and fancier sand castle right under the next big wave. The big question is not What Will Change? -- because so much will -- but How Do We Perceive the Change?

Consider only the Coming Economic Adjustment, as the dying Piscean economy, with all its hierarchy, secrecy, exclusivity and deceit -- and the bedrock of dog-eat-dog fear on which it has rested until now -- inevitably gives way to the post-capitalist Aquarian economy of small like-minded teams who operate laterally on uncertain and uncontrollable terrain, under very unpredictable conditions. The modern electronic farmers' market that aims to satisfy our true needs, instead of just creating and stroking empty new wants, must replace the unsustainable casino economy we have now. The old paradigm of greed and fear will yield to a new model based on love and friendship, not because these Aquarian values are nicer and nobler, but because we must learn to work together if we intend to survive.

How all of this will be perceived depends on one's point of view. To those who are at the top of the old Piscean economy, the Big Change will resemble an economic crash. To those who are already creating the new economy, or who are awakening to the reality and their responsibility for it, the Big Change will look like the inescapable medicine that stings in order to heal. The Universal Festival Calendar makes no predictions of disaster. It only notes in passing that some of the overdue changes that are coming this month, and through this year, will be seen as disastrous by those who are most resistant to change.

Look for some specific occurrences. From the top of the month, as Jupiter moves out of his "exalted" position in Cancer and into Leo, politicians come under increasingly heavy scrutiny and fire as their links with corporate corruption are exposed and understood. This will apply especially in mid-month, as Mercury -- now confident in Virgo, sign of his rulership -- moves in square (90° away from) Pluto, and emboldened individuals in the normally timid and obedient American media may actually go on the attack. This trend continues until late September.

In spiritual terms, the opportunity to perceive and learn with little pain is here, for those who wish to take it. Some practical cues for playing the Saturn-Uranus trine this first time around:

Watch Pluto slow in his orbit, come to stasis for few days, then go into an apparent retrograde (backward) motion, so slowly that for most of the 135 days from June 18 until October 29, Pluto has been or will be in the 16th degree of Sagittarius. The Sabian symbol for this degree position is relevant. The "Sea gulls watching a ship", wrote Marc Edmund Jones, symbolize "the spirit's demand for its full share in the privileges and rewards of human society, and of the individual's realization that his personal interests are served only as he maintains an unceasing vigilance in his own behalf." The opposing symbol, for 16° Gemini, is "A woman suffragist haranguing", a symbol of (Jones again) "the soul's demand for a full participation in the responsibilities of human society, and of the realization that the values of life are maintained only as there is a mutual give-and-take in respect to every real difference in point of view."

Watch the mothers. On August 6 Venus enters Libra, one of the two signs of her rulership. As Libra is the natural sign of the seventh house of marriage, the role of Venus as mother is the issue. Mothers are especially good at parenting, and bear watching, when Venus is in Libra (until Sept. 7).

And watch the Sufi poets, as in the lines from Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky: "The price of admission to hear / The lofty minstrel speak of love / Is affordable only to those / Who have not exhausted themselves / Dividing God all day / And thus need rest."


Copyright 2002 Dan Furst