Understand the Future through the Present


We are in the 2-week interim between the Apr 19 solar eclipse new moon and May 4 lunar eclipse full moon. This is the changing of the guard, the abrupt and intense transition marking the end of the last chapter of life (which began at the time of the last pair of eclipses in Nov 03) and the start of something new.

During the few weeks surrounding eclipses, events suddenly develop, take off in different directions, put previous crises to bed and highlight new issues begging to be dealt with now. To get a preliminary (clairvoyant?) glimpse at the significant cultural trends to expect over the following months, skim the news during eclipse periods as one would consult an oracle, letting significant symbolic correspondences rise to the surface of awareness. Beyond such observations, resist making predictions as to outcomes. The future has not happened yet, so we cannot be definite about what it will bring, though we may certainly intuit which features of it will produce developments.

This has been a particularly bloody April in Iraq, where the more-than-100 dead troops comprise the highest single monthly U.S. casualty count since the war began, not to mention the countless more dead Iraqis. All this, while the U.S. forces are supposedly preparing to hand off power (to whom?) on June 30, while more violent instability and internal squabbling than ever shows its ugly self. An interesting sleight-of-hand, this hand-off will be (or won't be?)—who will be slighted by it, and at whose hand?

Simply put: As a world community, we do not know how or when the situation in Iraq will be resolved, only that the pot has already been stirred and a course of action already begun that must play out, leading to more decisive plot-turns yet to unravel. Remember, this is a chapter initiated by an eclipse in Aries, branding it with quick and potentially aggressive action of the think-first-ask-questions-later variety.

Even as a nation, we cannot agree on how we feel about the war. Instead we are totally polarized, and consequently we are split down the opinion middle in advance of November's presidential election, with polls showing a dead heat between Bush and Kerry. With the Apr 19 solar eclipse conjunct to Mercury retrograde in Aries and a Gemini theme of 'two sides to every story' featured heavily during these few months, I wouldn't plan on this stalemate situation developing into one with a clear leader anytime soon. We should expect mind-changings and flip-flops up until the end on this one, or at least until the next eclipses in October paint a new picture.

Beyond simply the war in Iraq, the broader cultural issues raised by the Bush/Kerry match-up remind us that we remain poised on the cusp between the Piscean and Aquarian Ages. 'What role should religiosity play in politics?' pits the spiritual interconnectedness of Pisces against the ardent freedom-loving humanitarianism of Aquarius. Of course, this tension leads Piscean-Age politicians like Bush to act in 'defense' of marriage, when they believe they're acting to protect essential reflections of divine will. Kerry, meanwhile, takes a more Aquarian stance when standing up against a Vatican cardinal's censure and taking communion as a statement that Catholic politicians can maintain their faith and still be pro-abortion-rights. Faith will always be a driving force in America and throughout the world, but whether a leader prioritizes the freedoms of all people (Aquarian) or sacrificial deference to a single prevailing spirituality (Pisces) will continue to produce social disagreement.

One more tick-mark to the Iraqi violence tally, this past Saturday brought >suicide bombings launched from boats against an Iraqi oil export terminal. Suicide bombings are a quintessential symbol of Pisces, the sign known for its faith-filled self-denunciations in favor of an idealized spiritual holism. Interestingly, Pisces also rules fossil fuels and gases, free-flowing, biochemically-refigured traces of past life broken down to their subtlest form. Attacks from water, the element highlighted by the current Saturn-Uranus trine in Cancer-Pisces, are difficult to contain, as it is impossible to patrol all the world's oceans and seas.

Similarly, attacks, accidents and natural disasters occurring to our water systems or our fossil-fuel reserves, or through uncontainable airborne gases or chemicals, mirror the movement of Uranus (abrupt disruptions, explosions, radical elements) through Pisces. Not surprisingly, in line with the influence of last week's eclipse, the Uranus-in-Pisces threat of SARS has reemerged in China, and the hysteria about communicable disease (which I identified as a growing trend in '04) that comes with it.

As we stay aware of such threatening possibilities, we must also realize that these threats are as slippery for authorities to try to manage as curtailing suicide terrorists, whose willingness to become martyrs makes them elusive enemies.

But we don't actually require an abrupt disastrous event to generate significant danger to our water or air. We've already done it ourselves, through years of steadily increasing environmental abuse built into our lifestyles. The oceans are in deep trouble, and while this is not new news, its profound implications are just now beginning to affect us.

Over the coming few years, we will no longer be able to ignore this news: climate change, increased flooding, species extinction. It's no wonder that this year's celebration of Earth Day came and went without much notice. We do so dangerously little to 'celebrate' the Earth any given day, why should April 22 be any different?

Looking beyond the Earth holds more clues, particularly in light of the major recent discovery of Sedna, the largest solar-system object we've found since Pluto. Sedna is both our newest planet and complicates the whole question of what a planet is. Astrologers follow the lead taken by astronomers when they name new celestial bodies, and we draw synchronistic meaning from the associated myths. Sedna is an Inuit goddess (the only 'female' planet besides Venus and our moon) who dwells angrily under the sea, due to her father having first married her off against her will and later allowed her to drown to save himself from her wrathful husband's attacks.

Hmmm… a feminine energy angry at her male caretaker for thinking only of himself, unleashing her tempest through the oceans… a poignant astrological discovery for today. Even our recent explorations of Mars reveal the one-time presence of water (and maybe it's still there somewhere?) on an otherwise bone-dry planet, leading to the conclusion that life may or may not have existed there before (or now?) but that massive planetary change in climate and water levels can and does happen. Hmmm…

Luckily, thanks to the oncoming Aquarian Age, we will have science to help bail us out from our self-made trouble with new and unusual applications of technology to challenge our current meaning of 'life'.

Afraid that your exceptional pet will die one day and take his exceptional pet genes will him? Well, now you can employ Genetic Savings & Clone, a California-based firm, to bank Fluffy's DNA and, once the techniques become fully developed and stabilized, turn it into a genetic carbon-copy of your beloved pup.

Tired of typing or using a mouse? The FDA has approved clinical trials on the surgical implantation of computer chips into the brain so that you can make something happen just by thinking about it. What has long been thought of as 'magic' will soon be reality. It's not as outrageous as it might seem—after all, visions of the Internet would have seemed pretty magical to me when I was a kid, and that wasn't so long ago.

Soon, I'll even be able to tell you to think here to read this week's horoscopes… until then, you'll have to inconvenience yourself by clicking…