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Kaleidoscopic Journey 03/11/2016

Posted by zoidion in Climate, History, Long Emergency, Photography.
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Twin Cities ephemera: Appropriately, to emphasis the contrasts, a rainstorm welcomed us back from our two weeks as far away as Santa Fe. And to emphasize the continuing weather weirding, our home garden showed the zucchini still alive, leaves touched by frost, the broccoli offering a great bounty, plenty of sorrel, even a few last raspberries. Green leaves on the potato plants. Even spiderwort, moonflowers and thyme still blooming — into November.


But the journey itself had brought day after day after day of sun and uncommon warmth, with but one brief interruption. There was a sky-viewing bonus to all the clear weather: It was now possible to see Jupiter in the east before dawn: Jupiter’s “heliacal rising” as the Sun increased the distance since their conjunction on 26 September.

There was some chosen strangeness: Harold Warp’s (his real name) Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska, for example. It is touted as “only ‘museum of progress’ in the U.S.A.,” now functioning (at least in the off-season) by the hands of retired volunteers, and clearly saw its heyday several decades ago.

At our farthest-away destination, Truchas, New Mexico, I found more strangeness, or rather the evidence of economic collapse. (Admittedly, there’s plenty of that throughout the hinterlands, as well as the Rust Belt.) Truchas, on the old high road between Santa Fe and Taos, is an eighteenth-century village of mostly adobe construction, lately favored by artists moving in from elsewhere. More lately, though, since the global economic crisis of 2008-09, much less money has been spent on art; many artists have closed up shop and left, others scraping by on Social Security and occasional odd jobs, some native artisans continuing their beautiful work. The B&B looked closed. An art cafe — High Peaks Deep Roots — was emptied out. The saddest sights of all were the defunct businesses on the old, winding main street, which climbs gradually toward the foot of the steep slopes of Truchas Peaks. The grocery, eatery and gas station had, I heard, been passed on from father to son, but son was no businessman. Now everyone must drive or hitchhike ten miles or more to obtain the basics.

It seemed there was a Dollar General store in view every time I turned my head — except in Truchas.

The weather made for very pleasant traveling, camping and visiting, though I heard rumbles of worry — muttering about the strange cool August with snow on New Mexico’s high peaks, Colorado’s longtime plaintive longing for Lake Superior’s water. (I pointed out the absurdity of spotting the Green Valley Lawn Company: “You people need to learn to live within your means.” Or leave, or die, I thought.)

Easy to think or say, I admit, coming from an area that is on track to set an all-time annual precipitation record. Yet this headwaters region also is prone to frequent drought, just less severe than other regions. The situation could change fairly rapidly.

For now, though, the problem areas are to the south and west. The Drought Monitor looks bad  — a third of the US population now living in places experiencing some degree of drought. And the prospects are ominous.

A changing climate means less rain and lower water supplies in regions where many people live and much of the planet’s food is produced: the mid-latitudes of the Northern and Southern hemispheres, including the U.S. Southwest, southern Europe and parts of the Middle East, southern Africa, Australia and Chile. – World Resources Institute

In one pattern, clouds and rain are retreating toward the poles. Nearly all the arable land and urban areas in North America, under this scenario for example, is likely to experience decreasing water supplies.

So it’s perhaps better to regard the current plenitude of moisture–with its attendant problems and risks (four, count ’em four, flood events in Minnesota in 2016) –as temporary, and plan and act accordingly. Keep the downspouts clear, water barrels ready . . .  for when spring rolls around again.

The process of crossing through several climate and landform zones, as well as state lines, in the absence of “news” input, stimulated the pondering of prospects for the US federal arrangement. One senses that the issue has to be at least in the back of the collective mind of the country as the climax of the electoral train wreck approaches, for the ruinous policies of both major political parties has never been more obvious.

As John Michael Greer has put it:

Very few people out here think of the federal government as anything more than a vast mechanism operated by rich crooks for their own benefit, at the expense of everyone else. What’s more, the same cynical attitude is spreading to embrace the other institutions of American society, and—lethally—the ideals from which those institutions get whatever legitimacy they still hold in the eyes of the people.

Whoa, that goes rather deeply, and sharply, doesn’t it? But that’s the essence of this solar Scorpio month.

That perception is an apt verbalization of the planetary transit currently most potent with reference to the chart of the US federal government: Neptune moving into conjunction with the places of Sun and Saturn at the time of the government’s inception at midnight on 4 March 1789, in Philadelphia. (It is a chart too seldom referenced in astrological analysis and discussions.) In brief, that Sun-Saturn in Pisces combination is a perfect symbolization of a federal arrangement, one subject to stretching or even unraveling during “interesting times”: e pluribus unum. Until no unum.

It definitely happened the first time, in the mid-1850s: the runup to the War Between the States: niceties such as the Fugitive Slave Laws (though first enacted in 1793) leading to episodes such as  Bleeding Kansas, where pro- and anti-slavery factions raided each other, elected rival governors and legislatures, and plotted laying siege to one another’s towns. Gulp, oh yeah . . .

The presidential inauguration in 1853 — that of Franklin Pierce — featured, astrologically, the addition of Mercury and Mars: tokens of the increased level of argument and militancy in the period. Who, you think? Essentially forgotten today, Pierce’s administration continued and expanded the expansionist fervor in absurd ways — his vice-president taking the oath of office in Havana, as in Cuba, then dying within the month, leaving Pierce without a backup for the rest of his term; bullying Japan to open its ports to American shipping. It was America running off the rails.


At least we managed to get rid of chattel slavery (overcoming it with wage slavery) in the aftermath.

A similar interesting time came along in the 1930s, when Neptune in Virgo opposed that Sun-Saturn combination.

That time, when Franklin (hmmm, another Franklin) Roosevelt came in in 1933, the country had already endured three long years of ever-deepening economic crisis, with citizens of different political persuasions battling each other and police in the streets. (One of the flashpoints was right here in Minneapolis: the Teamsters strike.)

The government survived the turmoil — Stalin and Mussolini were already well-entrenched, and Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany only a month before Roosevelt’s inauguration — by becoming much bigger. It’s quite dramatically symbolized in the federal government’s Jupiter position in Cancer (same zoidion as when independence was declared in 1776): a combination marking an openness to extravagant largesse. Toward the common people, if it’s being smart.


In the 1933 chart, Pluto (the plutocracy, what would become the Deep State) was hovering around that Jupiter position: In essence, the invisible realm of the captains of politics saw fit to open the taps to distribute the wealth that lay underneath the temporary economic wreckage, the latter triggered by excessive speculation and lack of regulation. (Hmm, sounds familiar.)

At the same moment, Moon and Jupiter were exactly conjunct and in turn exactly conjunct the position of Neptune in the federal chart. Mercury and Mars were again in the mix. These are the astrological ingredients of a welfare / warfare state unfolding.

The pressure had been building for some time to overhaul the system. Roosevelt’s One Hundred Days at the start of his presidency, and the twelve years that followed (the same span as Hitler’s Reich), profoundly changed the government and the nation.

But now that arrangement, the agreement between the people and the government, is unraveling before our amazed eyes . . . the antics of one frequently deranged major party candidate who managed to stumble upon some issues that resonated, the deepening revelations (Is anyone surprised?) of the corruption and incompetence of the other major candidate.

Is Neptune in the mix?

Is it ever. With supporting players.

Jupiter will be in the exact same degree on inauguration day 20 January 2017.

And Uranus, the disruptor, is right back where he was in 1933.

And Pluto has moved half (approximately) of his cycle since then.


No wonder the doo-doo is hitting the wind generator and leaving such interesting Rorschach blots.

Will any Rock be left Standing?


Currently listening to:
Lucinda Williams, “The Ghosts of Highway 20”
The Pines, “Above the Prairie” (especially ‘Time Dreams,’ featuring John Trudell and Quiltman)
Jethro Tull, “Benefit.”



1. Mary Louise Turner - 06/11/2016

I can’t help remembering a conversation we had earlier. You wondered if the best of days have come and gone. Would your daughter ever experience the better days we experienced in the way of the world. Hopefully there are better days, but it doesn’t look like the stars are pointing that way. I just hope I don’t have to live through a Civil War. All I can do is pray for the best. Thanks for sharing your insights as always.
Mary Louise 🙂

2. zoidion - 13/11/2016

Yes, the US situation gets increasingly “interesting” — and the easy times are gone. The passing of peak empire (the 1990s, in my view), peak oil (for the US, in the 1970s) and other peaks means the accelerating unraveling of much of the complexity and centralizaation that was amassed on the way up. The cycle of rise and fall continues, and the notion of “progress” — an essentially straight-line movement of “development” — is disproved. At least astrology offers an understanding of the planetary cycles that represent much of the events unfolding.

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