Mythic Prelude for September, 2008:
Simple Math . . .
and John McCain's Astrocartography
Hello, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for the last mellow month that we are likely to see until next year, now that our local planetary machinery is well on its way to the terrifically conflictive heat that will begin to build next month toward the US election day on Nov. 4. For those who have interest in these things, and want to understand better the celestial dynamics of the furious planetary opposition that rules this election, there is much more in The American Election, and other pieces on this site that are related to the Chiron-Neptune conjunction of 2009 - 2011. All of them are listed and linked at the end of this page.
Please note that this prelude, newly re-posted in late October 2008, is a greatly revised version of the prelude that first went up on Hermes 3 on Sept. 1. Now that an apparently authentic birth certificate for John McCain has been found, and it indicates for him a 6:25pm birth time that is hugely different from the anecdotal time of 9:00am on which astrologers had relied until now, this page and the US election supplement page, And the Winner Is . . . , have both been corrected accordingly.
For those who could barely spare time for the original analysis, and now find it practically impossible to focus on anything but absolute essentials with the election only weeks away, the two quick, crispy 30-second bites that apply are:
The immovable objects of habit, dogma and tradition (Saturn) and the irresistible forces of change, innovation and shocks of all kinds, from the useful and necessary to the self-indulgent and silly (Uranus) will align against each other in the remaining months of this year, and again in 2009. The result will be a prolonged, white-hot disputatiousness that will burn and break so many precious relationships that many of us will wonder whether the constructive outcomes of it all, such as they are, really justify all of the enormous friction and antagonism.
The next few months, as greatly transformative as they are politically, financially and in other ways, are only the beginning of the crisis. They are not the climax of the play. Saturn-Uranus oppositions come at intervals of about 42 years, so the previous one was in 1966, when forces of change in that turbulent decade were heating up, but not yet boiling over. This means that as 2008 is to 1966, so will 2010 be to -- yes, you guessed it -- 1968. To explore these events in depth, the incomparable new guide is Richard Tarnas's Cosmos and Psyche (2007).
Back to the present. Our purposes here are to take a brief, initial look at John McCain's StarMaps, or astrocartographs, but mainly to address what is now a far more relevant, if not urgent question for almost all of us: where is the American economy going, and the world economy along with it, and what's going to happen to our money? The UFC intends no disrespect to Mr. McCain, and expresses no preference for Barack Obama, by focusing here only on McCain's USA map, after having covered Mr. Obama's maps for the USA, Europe and Asia in the last two UFC preludes. There will be time and thread enough to look at McCain's other maps, is he is elected, in the years to come. So first to a couple of maps, then on to the math.
Disclaimer! The StarMaps You Get from Hermes 3 are Much Better than What You See Here!
A word about the map images that have appeared on these UFC prelude pages from July through this month. The maps I create when I do personal StarMap readings are maximum quality, much clearer, sharper and with brighter colors than the maps shown here. The maps you see below are low-resolution, medium quality images that you can download much faster than the max images -- some of them over 1 MB -- that I make for clients. We are sacrificing some image quality for speed here, to give you a much faster download.
Looking for a Fight: John McCain's USA Map
(Based on corrected birth time of 6:25pm on Aug. 29, 1936 in Colon, Panama)
For basics about astrocartographs like the ones we'll see here for John McCain, see Hermes 3's StarMaps page. There's more in the July prelude about the directional arrows we see pointing to the top, bottom, left and right of each map.
So to begin. On the evidence of the map shown here, is it likely that John McCain will be elected president of the United States, and that he will spend at least one term in the cockpit of a government in Washington, DC? The answers are either No, or, that if he is elected, he will not be so much a leader as a kind of Warren G. Harding for the early 21st century, used by cronies who will exploit him unmercifully for their own gain. His past and the percentages make this likely, unfortunately. He shamed himself in the Savings and Loan scandal of 1989, when he and four other senators called the Keating Five -- all Democrats except McCain -- sold their influence to prepare a bailout package for failing banks. The Senate soon probed into this unpleasantly fragrant arrangement, and reprimanded three of the senators for improper conduct. McCain was cited only for the lesser offense of poor judgment. McCain's Senate colleagues ruled that he hadn't really behaved like a crook, but he had been careless in getting himself into a questionable deal that could and did prove much more dangerous and smelly than he'd thought it could ever be. John McCain, the Senate ruled, is not really a man who commits crimes. He is actually too honorable for much of that. It's just that he's blind to the crimes that are going on around him, as Warren G. Harding was.
Is it probable that this man, if elected, will stand up to insurance companies, Big Pharma, and those who are profiting more handsomely than any death merchants in history from what has now exploded in recent years into an uncuttable, untouchable $1 trillion US military budget? Best not to bet your house on this, if you still have one. The surprising answer, though, believe it or not, is . . . Yes! McCain really may try to take on a few of the Emperor Pigs, as a man of courage and some decency will, and he could even take a few out. But in the end, one way or the other, the porkers who are left at the trough are going to take McCain to the cleaners and then wheel him back out, seated inside the world's first two billion dollar warplane, ready for the battle they want.

How does McCain's USA map show this? We read again from east to west, as we have in Barack Obama's maps in the two previous preludes. We start with two of the most powerful, relevant lines that we see going through the eastern corridors of power in Washington DC, New York and Boston. While no disrespect is intended here to the good people of Maine, who have McCain's green Chiron on the Nadir line passing through the eastern tip of their state, this line and the others we see east of it are likely too far away from major population centers to have much influence on McCain's prospects in this election, or in his life as a whole.

But the curving yellow Sun on the Descendant line that runs between Boston and New York, and the vertical blue Jupiter on the Midheaven line that passes between New York and the capital, are a very different matter that together make this map as different as day from night when we compare it to the first astrocartographs that seemed to apply to McCain. His maps based on a 9:00am birth time have no lines anywhere within 500 miles of Washington, but the ones drawn for 6:25pm have two mighty lines that indicate a very strong drive for recognition, success and high social position (the Sun) and associations with people of wealth and power (Jupiter), and a chance to fuse and direct these potent resources toward very ambitious aims.
The Sun line certainly fits, from what we've seen of McCain's campaign and career so far. As Jim Lewis wrote, "you project pride, vanity, regality, dignity, and some arrogance" under this line. And, as the Sun is always related to influences and issues with one's father, it's only to be expected that McCain, like the president he hopes to succeed, has had to play a complex life scenario of trying to measure up to a very successful father -- who in turn increased the pressure by working to equal his even more dominant father -- while at the same time trying to defy the odds and break the rules as an officer who seems compulsive at times about living by everything but the book. The Sun line that influences McCain in Washington, like all Sun lines, has a flamboyant, theatrical quality that favors actors and those who want to behave like them, by creating life roles that one may seem born -- or at least driven -- to play. The flying daredevil and hell raiser, and the maverick, are easy to play for a man with guts and some joie de vivre who can get away for a while with being all balls and no ballast.
The role of the president, though, requires some gravitas, and this is where McCain's Jupiter line comes in. Under this line one tends to meet and bond with rich and powerful people, some of whom will see the advantages of steering their ambitious new acquaintance in the direction of public office, then exploiting his likely success in the political arena for their mutual profit and prestige. It can all go soundly and safely enough unless and until one gets seduced by the easiness of it all -- a danger to which those who have something to prove are especially prone. One of the problems with the Gravy Train line of the Jupiter Express is that it will probably have to stop at Scandal Junction sooner or later, and will attract a curious and not entirely friendly crowd when it does. If one is lucky, his associations protect him from the full fallout of his carelessness. This can explain why McCain was one of the two Keating Five senators (the other: John Glenn, re-elected to one more term) whose careers were not soon finished by the Savings and Loan flap of 1989, and who has sailed serenely through three more terms in the Senate.
McCain will need all the money and the high-rolling friends he can find, to help him weather the challenges that the other lines in his USA map all bring. The red lines, in astrocartographs as in everything else, are danger signs. The bright red Mars on the Descendant line is not only a fighting line that can indicate likely areas of conflict, but it may also show where adversaries are likely to be. So it makes sense that the southern portion of this line goes through Texas, the power base of an opponent who has done McCain in twice -- in 2000 and 2004 -- and looks ready to do it to him again, even if indirectly and mainly by association. The same Mars line goes up through Illinois, the home turf of the man against whom McCain now wages what may be his last big battle.
The dark red Pluto on the Descendant line that passes through the Midwest and down into the Sun Belt is equally challenging for McCain. This line identifies places where we will have to be as secretive and indirect as Pluto in order to avoid conflicts that could be ruinous, so it is quite appropriate that this line passes through parts of the country that McCain has tried to hold close by pretending to be more in alignment with their political and religious values than he really is. "Others think of you as a leader, or a menace almost instinctively," wrote Jim Lewis about this line. It is somehow not surprising that the areas under this line are the places where McCain's habitual trump card, his stay at the Hanoi Hilton, seems to be most persuasive.
Does the gray Moon on the Ascendant line that runs parallel to this Pluto line provide any softening, or really any relief, from the conflict and power struggles of the two red lines? Not really. If anything, it only exacerbates the tension, because it adds to the general scenario of power struggles with men the potential for being disadvantaged in one's connections with women. The general situation here, as a Moon line clearly involves relationship with women, is that one tends to wind up in a position not of equality, much less of independence or control, but in a dependent position that comes from responding to a marriage opportunity that looks much too good to pass up, though its price may entail a weakening, even a forfeiture, of the posture of control that most men, especially warriors of the McCain type, tend to prefer. Does this Moon line have "Cindy McCain" written all over it? Decidedly, and in darker, sadder hues that clearly show what misery we invite into our lives when decisions about marriage are based on calculation and expediency rather than love.
This leaves one line in McCain's USA map for the contiguous 48 states, and it highlights the huge difference between StarMaps based on a birth time of 9:00am -- which has enough Sun Belt lines to decorate an Italian festival -- and a birth time of 6:25pm, for which McCain has only one line passing through the American Southwest: the purple Uranus on the Nadir line that runs vertically through Arizona. For most ordinary, struggling people. this line normally represents a life in which matters of home, livelihood, relationships and social connection are in such continuous flux and upsetting change that one can seem a kind of revolutionary figure even when he is anything but. For McCain, fascinatingly, the same thing is true, only on a much weirder, wealthier scale. It can actually happen, amazingly enough, that a person like McCain, who owns so many homes that no one is really sure how many he really has, can seem as much of a person of no fixed abode as the beleaguered and manifestation-challenged person who doesn't know where he'll lay his head next.
Where does Alaska come in? As we see here, its four lines form a kaleidoscope that reflects different aspects of Sarah Palin as the Republican nominee for Vice President. She brings strong advantages, as three of McCain's Alaska lines display the values that Palin adds to the Republican ticket: sheer beauty (blue Venus on the Midheaven line); confident communications that energize the McCain effort (green Mercury on the MC line); and, shown in the purple Neptune on the MC line, the mass illusion that motivates millions of bare-chested, beer-blown men who dream of having sex with the Governor of Alaska.
The unfortunate kicker is in the last element of McCain's astrocartograph for Alaska: the vertical yellow Saturn on the Nadir line that represents limitation and obligation, and the painful compromises that can occur when one has to embrace unwelcome convictions for the sake of gaining a desired goal, or trade his principles in order to pretend to be something that he is not. Has McCain actually done this? Does he really have any principles left to trade? The next few weeks, and the aftermath of the election, will tell the tale on this one. For now, all we know for sure is that the sobering, anchoring, very heavy effect of this Saturn line, reflecting as it does Ms. Palin's vain attempts to operate far beyond her depth, are enough to outweigh all three of McCain's other Alaska lines. Not surprisingly, in an Oct. 30 poll, 59% of voters considered Palin unqualified to be Vice President, much less President. That's the kind of stark reality that a Saturn on the Nadir line can bring, no matter how positive other factors are. It can deliver, in terms that weigh a ton, the leaden truth of McCain's cynical choice: that an ethical breach has occurred here, and it has opened a gap so wide between McCain's principles and his practice that even right wing pundits, a week before the election, are sighing at the sadness of it all.
One way or the other, though, win or lose, Mr. McCain is, and will almost certainly continue to be, as financially secure as one can be in these times. Where does that leave the rest of us? This brings us to the
Simple Math
It's plain arithmetic, really, just a matter of basic addition, multiplication and division, even if the numbers are very, very big. How big? Let's start with $45,000,000,000,000 -- that is, 45 trillion dollars. Why this number? Because many securities market analysts have been citing this figure for almost a year -- see Blowing Bubbles, from November 2007 -- as the total value of the mysterious, intricate investment instruments called credit-default swaps, or CDS for short. George Soros noted, in "The Financial Crisis," an interview by Judy Woodruff (New York Review of Books, May 15, 2008), that "credit-default swaps . . . make it possible for investors to bet on the possibility that companies will default on repaying loans. Such bets on credit defaults now make up a $45 trillion market that is entirely unregulated. It amounts to more than five times the total of the US government bond market. The large potential risks of such investments are not being acknowledged.”
Just how much is $45 trillion? The only way most of us can begin to comprehend a figure so immense is to break it into smaller pieces. So we divide it by another number -- let's say the number of days since Jesus was born.

So: 2008 years @ 365.25 days = 733,422 days

Divide $45,000,000,000,000 by 733,422 days and you get:
$61,356,217. Let's just round this down to the nearest million, so it won't look like we're trying to exaggerate anything or alarm anyone. We'll figure, then, that very recently, only in the last nine years, in fact, a few thousand people, most of them in the United States, have invested in credit default swaps a total amount of money equal to 61 million dollars for every day since Jesus was born.* When we consider the American economic situation in these terms, rather than in our own narrower needs, plans and options, it's clear that the usual financial questions -- whether productivity, "growth" and markets are going up or down, what currencies and metals one should hold, whether and how to diversify, how to make assets more mobile and flexible, when and where to relocate, if necessary -- may all be of great practical importance, but they are only the skin and the details, not the bones and the core of the spiritual problem that encloses everything else.
* Credit default swaps were pioneered by the investment bankers of JPMorgan in 1994. In 1999, for the first time, after the Clinton administration engineered the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act of 1933, commercial banks and insurance companies, not just investment banks, were eligible to trade in CDS contracts. CDS deals were first used to hedge mortgage-backed securities in 2004.
The astounding scenario in which we find ourselves, so eye-widening that our grandchildren may look back at us and wonder What Were They Thinking?, is that of all of the people living on Earth, a tiny pocket of a minuscule portion of one percent, all of them persons of immense wealth, are betting galactic-scale sums of money on the collapse of the world economy and the universal misery that will ensue from it. This is unprecedented in our history. While it has happened before that billions of human beings have held the same disempowering, life-negating beliefs -- there is no counting the poor souls who've bought the "Hell" scam -- the CDS Game, even so, is a first. The dream killers are not just walking the talk of destruction by putting their money where their aims are. They are pounding the talk. They have just nailed to the table a heavier bet on human agony than anyone in history has ever placed.
It is one thing to be a bear investor who anticipates when an overly zippy market will correct itself by moving downward before it goes up again later, as it will when the market is breathing normally. But it is a very different thing to bet that the entire system will collapse, so everything will be lost, and that means I had better insulate myself. So I create a loss shelter called a credit default swap. I take one out on everybody I know, because I'm betting they will all fail and none of them will pay me back. Then I grease government officials to classify my CDS paper as "insurance," so it can't be regulated the way investment securities are. Then I wait for everything to fall apart, so I can really clean up. Or, if I'm bored, or tired of delaying gratification, I may even do a thing or two to help bring the crash about. Has there ever been, in our whole experience, a schematic of doom as toxically, pathologically mad as this, as utterly negating of happiness, and of life itself, for humanity and our home on Earth?
I can't answer this question. It's for those who know the whole sweep of history and human will better than I do. But in the sheer breadth of vision that could create them, and their potential impact, credit default swaps could actually rank right up there with Hell and the Holocaust. There are differences, of course. Hitler never invested anything like $45 trillion in Auschwitz, and CDS traders are not racists discriminating against anybody. They're betting the whole pot, everything they've got for one last shot at El Banco Busto Grande del Todo el Mundo, and if they play their cards and get the dice to fall right, everything everywhere goes belly up and all the rest of us claw each other over food until no one's left but those willing to work as guards and waiters for a few tanned, purring families living on boutique islands off Dubai. Are credit default swaps the sickest, most suicidally negating concept in history? Your call. Can something be done about the danger they represent? We fondly dream.
If credit default swaps and the gnomes who traffic in them were well known, then they could be recognized as one of the most self-destructive, world-killing anti-myths that anyone's ever invented, on a par with the devious dwarf Mime in The Ring of the Niebelungs. But the CDS Game can't qualify as a myth yet. To be a myth, something has to be at least a little famous, and credit default swaps aren't even a D-list issue for most people. If CDS looked and acted like celebrities, the way blue chip stocks do, then they could be one of those great game of chance legends, like the archery contest in The Odyssey, the dice game in The Mahabharata or Ra and Thoth tossing stones for time itself. Credit default swaps could be the ultimate tragic gamble story about how human beings, in the end, will do no more than save their own and be otherwise engaged as everybody else plops into the Dumpster of Doom.
So far there has been no concerted movement and effort to counterbalance the powerfully negating energy that the CDS Game represents. Such a cohesive counterintention, by those who practice Big Love and aspire to compassion, would be a wonderful idea if it were more feasible. But we know how this goes. When extremely focused people want to do one and only one thing, like corner all the money, then they network beautifully and click into rhythm with each other like a Breguet watch. But lightworkers tend to be much less one-pointed, so that a dozen people want to do 13 different things, pursuing their own agendas and priorities. For all we know, one of Saturn's own test protocols for this moment in time is to keep placing higher bars and thicker walls in our way until we learn how to get with the collective program, see what we all want and manifest it. When we finally nail this, by marshaling our resources and the intentions toward the higher frequencies of feeling and living that we aim to hit and sustain, then we will co-create the outcome that we are not going to fail and live in agony. We will grow and ascend into fuller, more serene spiritual consciousness. That is our role, and our destiny. We formed the intention of it before we came here: to achieve, by a collective act of purpose, intention and will, the peace, freedom and happiness of all our people and of all beings on Mother Earth.
Either we are able to do this or we are not, and the only way to keep testing whether we are ready for the attempt is to align our intentions in global meditations and ceremonies, and local festivals and other events that generate high emotional frequencies of love and joy. The feeling is everything. If the feeling is created strongly enough by humans and other beings, it could transform our collective consciousness by altering our collective frequency. Now that we can envision this scenario, is it our responsibility to attempt it? Maybe. As more and more people come to consider this -- and they must, as more and more people are waking up -- we choose more consciously now the moments when we gather and align. More on one of these below.
Here's just one last fun thing to do with 45 trillion dollars. Figure that if American taxpayers get stuck with the bill for the predatory destructiveness of the CDS traders, as so often happens when yet more banks and other buccaneers are saved from ruin at public expense, then it's easy to figure the average amount each American will pay.
Divide $45,000,000,000,000 by 300 million Americans and you get:
$150,000. This is the amount that every man, woman and child in the United States could be billed, let's say by the IRS writing to say "We've changed your account," to cover the losses of extremely wealthy people who amuse themselves by trading credit default swaps, and then, yet again, find an ingenious way to get others to cover them by making the bite look smaller than it really is. After all, $150,000 per person is only $600,000 for a family of four: more than just taxi fare, obviously, but perhaps manageable enough if John McCain is right in defining the American middle class as people making under $5 million a year. Not everyone sees this so calmly, of course. The emotional temperatures of more and more Americans are beginning to zoom up and down for days on end between the ice of stark dread and the fire of rage, as they brood on the starkest eventualities: that unless we find some overlooked assets somewhere, or we figure out some radical new wrinkle in the way we use numbers, then the bills that we will have to pay now, and our descendants will have to pay later, will look so immense that not even a whole lifetime of hard work with good pay will dent them.

Concepts of debt repayment are about to go Mayan, or Hindu. The numbers will be that big. It’s only a matter of time before a clever, telegenic guy with a shiny gold calculator will show you how you can mortgage your entire akashic future, turning it into a very long-term debt service plan that shows you in what occupations, and in how many future lives, you’ll finally become debt-free. In some century not far from now, souls could find themselves incarnating in the USA because it’s their time to work out the karmic debt that they must pay for inflicting the suffering of debt on others. Or we may lean toward this choice of life role in order to work out soul dross that we still carry from some other road. If your soul is navigating this slithery thorougfare, please be sure you don’t just read the fine print, but you write it yourself.

Under the very jumpy, juiced conditions of the present and the years ahead, holders of light and keepers of frequency, even experienced and effective ones, may have to learn some new meditations and other techniques for keeping energy high, recharging oneself, detaching from the disputatious fury of others, finding and encouraging allies who form larger masterminds for specific communal purposes, and helping those who want a happy ending to see that this can no longer just be wished for, and entrusted to others to deliver. While Carl Johan Calleman has been very prescient about the economic changes now aflow, and is no doubt correct in saying that we need at times to open ourselves to divine guidance and medicine in passive, receptive meditation, we may also have to get active at other times, and get active together, if we aim to renew the Earth as a realm of love. If we really do intend to create the societies and the world we want, these things will have to be more actively, skillfully intended by individuals, and done cohesively by teams. In the spiritual curriculum of 2008 - 2012, Manifestation 101 and The Art of Intention are about to move from the electives list to the core studies. The Age of Aquarius is coming, or here, and it is time to get responsibly in the game.
To address and ultimately dispel the world-killing thoughtfield of people meeting quietly in small groups behind closed doors to invest in universal ruin, the best move may be to do the opposite: meet joyously in large groups in open places, and do worldwide ceremonies like the Global Harmonizations that Circle of Sound does at the solstices and equinoxes. The next of these, coming at the autumn equinox on Sept. 22, will align people across many time zones and dozens of countries, all using crystal singing bowls and other sounds, and above all their intentions, to anchor the frequencies of love, compassion, unity, acceptance and peace throughout the world. I will be doing sound indoors and out three weeks from now: at the Cairo sound circle near the Giza pyramids on the equinox itself, and an ancient Egyptian chant meditation with bowls inside the King's Chamber of the Great Pyramid. We will play the Third Eye bowl, in A, inside the stone box (not the "sarcophagus"), which is also pitched to a perfect concert A. We will sing for peace, global harmony and bliss. If you'd like to synch your sound with ours, let me know. Keep Holding That Frequency.
Please help support the work of the Universal Festival Calendar and Hermes 3. If you feel this site has value, you can make a donation, or order UFC subscriptions -- $25 a year, $50 for three years, $100 lifetime (my lifetime, that is). Just click here.



The Chiron - Neptune Conjunction of 2009 - 2012:
Prelude: The American Election of November 4, 2008
Prelude Supplement: And the Winner Is . . .
Act 1: Conflicts: The Neptune Return of April 11, 2009
Act 2: Complications: The Triple Chiron-Neptune-Jupiter Conjunction of May-August, 2009
Act 3: Turning Point: The Exact Chiron-Neptune Conjunction of Feb. 16 - 17, 2010
Act 4: Crisis and Climax: The Crosses of Summer, 2010
Act 5: Denouement: The Near Chiron-Neptune Conjunction of Nov. 2 - 3, 2010
Copyright 2008 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved.