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Stormwatch 23/02/2017

Posted by zoidion in Climate, History, Long Emergency, Mundane, permaculture, Photography, Uncategorized, Weather.
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Twin Cities ephemera: Somewhat to my surprise, Luna — a waning crescent — was visible through wispy clouds after I verified an empty rain/snow gauge at dawn today: Last night the sky was overcast as I joined some folks near the St. Paul Union Depot — I like to call it SPUD — to check out potential sites for a part of the upcoming Northern Spark festival.

I could feel the change in the weather: the wind out of the north closing out five days of weird warmth. Temperatures had been so much above average that when, a few days ago, seven-tenths of an inch of rain fell, it soaked into the ground: The frost was out of the soil. Such an event is nearly unprecedented around here in February.

On one of the dry days, I felt the irresistible call of the garden: I got my clippers to cut the faded, woody stalks of last season’s kale and broccoli plants. My footing was precarious, as the soil was mucky. The layer of leaves I’d laid down in November improved traction a tad.

On the other, south, side of the walkway, I had another look at last year’s new garden plot, and visualized the rabbit-proof fence that I intend for it. Lettuce, carrots and other compatible veggies should do well there — weather permitting. I’m confident that I’ve done a sufficient job of building the soil.

Fortunately, there’s at least another month of relative leisure before setting to that task. And a “correction” toward colder and snowier weather is due. The techno-weather folks agree.

Another sort of storm — political in nature — is of greater concern, especially as an online article by resource researcher Richard Heinberg brings the current situation into stark focus. He elaborates on his perception that the Trump administration is a “presidency in search of an emergency.”

The article is a grabber right from the title: “Awaiting Our Own Reichstag Fire,” an allusion to the convenient, possibly false-flag, event that enabled the minority Nazi regime to consolidate power less than a month after Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany. It happened eighty-four years ago — hmm, that’s exactly one cycle of Uranus — two-and-a-half days after a solar eclipse . . . on 24 February 1933. (That eclipse was not even visible at Berlin, but rather in the southern hemisphere from Chile to Ethiopia.)

Another solar eclipse, again visible only in the southern hemisphere, is days away, on 26 February.

Then, the eclipse was most closely opposite Neptune (symbol of murky conditions, fakery and such), but also Mars and Jupiter — a perfect recipe for a “fog of war.” And Pluto — symbol of the dark forces of the underworld, including the machinations of plutocracy — was rising at Berlin.

se-feb1933

Now, the eclipse is conjunct Neptune, with indications of imminent sweeping changes represented by Mars conjunct Uranus in opposition to Jupiter in square (right angle) to Pluto.

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The significance of Jupiter, in the zoidion Libra (referring to judicial matters and systems), is emphasized by the timing of a particular presidential message to his followers.

trump-tweet-05022017

That was the very day of the once-a-year Jupiter retrograde station: when Jupiter, as seen from Earth, stops moving forward and begins a four-month period of apparent backward motion. It is / was a pregnant moment: a moment of impending reversal.

With those other planets in configuration, it is exceedingly momentous.

To emphasize the precarious situation a bit more: The position of Mercury at the time of that message was exactly — to the degree and minute — conjunct the position of Pluto on the day that birthed a certain founding document. There might be some significance there to the conduct of media of information and opinion.

For some — though perhaps not a great many — the current drama merely confirms the perspective elaborated by John Michael Greer:

Among the standard phenomena of decline and fall, in fact, is the shattering of the collective consensus that gives a growing society the capacity to act together to accomplish much of anything at all. The schism between the political class and the rest of the population — you can certainly call these ‘the one percent’ and ‘the ninety-nine percent’ if you wish — is simply the most visible of the fissures that spread through every declining civilization, breaking it into a crazy quilt of dissident fragments pursuing competing ideals and agendas.

(Serving suggestion: Avoid ingesting “Awaiting . . . “ immediately before bedtime.)

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References

James Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency, 2005

Northern Spark festival

Richard Heinberg, “Awaiting Our Own Reichstag Fire,” Resilience.com

NASA Five Millennium Catalog of Solar Eclipses

Declaration of Independence

John Michael Greer, Dark Age America, 2016

Addendum

Australian astrologer Ed Tamplin offers a welcome back-to-basics view of the current and astrologically similar occasions, focusing on the Jupiter-Saturn cycle.

Season Shift 21/11/2016

Posted by zoidion in Hellenistic, Long Emergency, Mundane, Weather.
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Twin Cities ephemera: The arrival of the first snow of the season is a strange and rather shocking event — isn’t it? Even though it’s inevitable, even though it may melt and come back again later, or not, it’s still a bit of a bizarre occurrence. All of a sudden, there’s a cold white blanket over everything. It’s such a contrast, from one day to the next. Or from one end of the day to the other.

As on the eighteenth: Rain came in with a strong wind, accompanied by a few flashes of lightning and dull rumbles of thunder, followed by sheets of sleet, followed by swirling snow, as the temperature dropped and dropped.

The day before, I was in the garden doing the last few tasks, while the couple were out there in the triangle (the former community garden) that they’d bought last year, for the apparent purpose of having more territory to mow. He was atop the riding mower, in a t-shirt, grinning from ear to ear — reinforcing my sense that there are a great number of Murcans for whom one of the prime satisfactions in life is riding around, making noise and burning fossil fuel. It’s almost enough to push me into applying for membership in Morris Berman’s WAFer society.

 At times, I felt that the push to complete garden work was more like a mad rush. There were several satisfyingly achy days largely spent digging out the finished compost from the largest of the bins, and spreading it strategically on various vegetable beds. It came to an impressive nine loads of the wheelbarrow, and it looked and smelled good — I didn’t taste it, though I know that some gardeners do so. But . . . there’s no need to detail them all.

Still, the effort — and, primarily, my presence on and with the land and atmosphere — evoked a feeling at least soothing, if not actually peaceful, of the psychic wounds endured through the nearly endless, how-low-can-it-go election extravaganza. (Obviously, VERY low.)

Plus, I — and a great many others — were marveling, enjoying and/or agonizing over the weather. Week after week after week of little but unseasonable warmth, sunny skies and dry conditions. But — of course — it (mostly) made astro-meteorological sense: Mars was moving along and across the lower meridian of the current season’s chart [ link ] (based on the equinoctial moment on 22 September): even though Mars (generally signifying warming and drying conditions) was moving through Capricorn and into Aquarius, in both of which cold, contracting Saturn is lord. Those didn’t at first consideration seem to be a combination for bringing record-breaking warmth through much of the central U.S. and increasing drought conditions and more recently wildfires to the southeastern U.S. 

But these are extraordinary times.

And for the northern plains / Great Lakes region, the shift was strongly marked in the chart of the week: the time of the Full ( Super) Moon on the fourteenth was around sunup (Sun rising, Moon setting) for this region. As Luna moved along and crossed the place of Luna in the season chart on the sixteenth, the moisture gathered and began to be dumped across the landscape; then, as Luna reached the upper meridian, the cold air behind the storm began moving in. No more light frosts: It was time for a hard freeze.

The situation seems reminiscent of the time when the hard freeze came over the American political system, in 2009. The country had been through, and was far from out of, the economic calamity that unfolded during the height of the previous year’s election season. Remember that time, when Dubya Bush said, “This sucker could go down,” and the titans of Wall Street engineered gigundo bailouts? Remember how the legislative operations of Washington nearly shut down after Obama’s inauguration, as Republicans declared that they would oppose anything and everything he proposed?

Well, that — the latter — was symbolized in the planetary configuration of the inauguration: six days before a solar eclipse. The authority, prestige and efficacy of the President (represented by Sol, in detriment in Aquarius — proper for a constrained-power president rather than a king) was indeed eclipsed.

(Detriment signifies a status of being “out of place,” at a disadvantage, weakened, uncomfortable.)

The great hope for positive change that propelled Obama to the highest office — represented by Jupiter very near Sol — was also eclipsed.

usa_regime-change-2009

(The term regime-change is employed, using a noon calculation, because — regardless of the exact time the oath of office is administered — the Constitution stipulates that a presidential term ends at noon, and the next administration slips into place.)

Indeed, the mess was eerily enacted by the Chief Justice’s stumble through the verbiage of the oath administered to Obama: itself aptly represented by Mercury in apparent retrograde motion and in exact conjunction with Sol: faulty verbiage eroding the already-weakening authority of the executive.

The complex and chaotic economic situation was represented by the combination of Venus with Uranus and opposite Saturn: more unhappiness and constraint. There was the pared-down “stimulus” bill that passed Congress, but it arguably did little good, as the fundamental problems — most prominent among them, the bailed-out “too big to fail” banks — went unaddressed. And the health-care-system reform, though upheld by the Supreme Court, has proved to be pathetically inadequate.

In sum, this is a picture of a regime doomed from the start. Almost all it could do was continue the erosion of the nation’s foreign relations, by continuing two distant wars — as represented by Mars (in condition of exaltation) in Capricorn.

(Exaltation indicates conditions of special effectiveness, sometimes redounding in unpleasant, unwelcome and / or destructive ways.)

Compare that with the Dubya Bush regime, which began under a peculiar cloud: the president selected by the Supreme Court rather than elected by the people, the president himself effectively directed by his own vice-president: represented by the conjunction of Sun and Neptune.

usa_regime-change-2001

But notice especially the position of Mars in the seventh place (one of the prime action spots) in domicile in the ferocious zoidion of Scorpio. This of course represents the overwhelming force applied to Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. The ensuing chaos resulting from woefully inadequate planning and the delusional expectations of the “neocons” is represented by Mars’ angular clash with Sun, Neptune, Mercury and Uranus. The people at home became subject to a vast, invisible information-gathering apparatus, as symbolized by a conjunction of Moon and Pluto.

Now look at the chart for the 2017 regime change.

usa_regime-change-2017

Significantly, Luna is in the same zoidion, Scorpio, as in 2009. Then, Luna was late in the last degree: further indication of the non-viability of the Obama regime. For Trump, Luna is within the first third of Scorpio, in nearly exact angular connection with Neptune — indicating that overall success or failure will hinge on murky matters of images, expectations, visions, confusion, deception, scandal, and (prominently) the oil industry. (Actually, Luna and Neptune were less closely but more problematically connected in 2009, when Obama’s “hope and change” campaign was followed by the dissolution of hope when nothing much changed.) Perhaps Trump can fare better.

Much in that regard will depend on how he and his team handle events in the days and weeks following the solar eclipse conjunct Neptune on 26 February, especially in the first week of March. (See also the article by Pat Paquette on the Mountain Astrologer site.)

Obviously, deep resentments and divisions among the people are still present, as indicated by Luna in Scorpio, where Luna is in “fall” — the most debilitated condition in the Hellenistic system of delineation. Large segments of the population are in dire circumstances, feeling bitter, ready to lash out, looking for someone to punish. The tone of the grinding campaign season hasn’t helped. Toning down the rhetoric — and refraining from “tweeting” (Twitter isn’t making any money and will likely disappear before long, anyway) — is key, and a distinct possibility: Luna is “offered help” in this chart by Mercury the communicator.

Plus, there is a crucial difference between 2009 and 2017: In 2009, Luna appeared low in the western sky, but out of sect in the daytime, thus more problematic. In 2017, Luna is invisible, just below the western horizon: a lower degree number than the ascending degree in the opposite place and zoidion.

As suggested in the previous post, the time is at hand for a fundamental shift — this time, contraction — in the size and scope of the federal government. Prominent among Trump’s campaign themes was an intention to redefine and reduce disadvantageous commercial and military commitments. Indeed, Trump’s triumph has already borne fruit: The Trans-Pacific Partnership deal appears to be a dead issue, though international trade has been declining of late anyway. Others loom: state-level health-care plans, and the status of vast areas of federally-controlled lands in the West. As the struggle over precious Earth resources and the necessities of life intensifies, the battleground shifts to state courts and legislatures.

It seems likely that much more attention will be paid in the years immediately ahead to the Constitution’s Tenth Amendment (the last in the Bill of Rights): “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The chart for the Trump regime indicates emphatically that sweeping changes must begin: the defining opposition of Jupiter and Uranus (a pair representing “the Promethean spirit of rebellion and self-will”*), with Pluto (structural, often overwhelming, change) in the zoidion of business and government). In cardinal zoidia (Libra, Aries and Capricorn, respectively) and in cadent places of the chart, the indications are for relatively swift changes to occur.

As for large-scale “shovel-ready” infrastructure spending: Not likely — not with Venus (related to money and feel-good feelings) beset the way she is in 2017, exactly between Mars and Neptune, and nearly ninety degrees from Saturn. This spells conflict, confusion, constriction. The curious thing is: Every eight years on the same date, Venus is back to the exact same degree, or very nearly. (Take a look at those charts again.) So in some ways, 2017 is a bit like 2009 or 2001 all over again. (“Groundhog Day,” anyone? Maybe we’ll do it better this time, maybe we’ll get it.)

Maybe, just maybe, there may be some dawning awareness that it might be a good idea to look at a long-term picture and recognize that liberating shrinking resources to invest in local public transit and intercity passenger rail might significantly help the nation hold together.

Once upon a time — in the 1970s, when the limits to economic growth** first jolted the nation — someone who worked a glamor-free job wrote a book called Small Is Beautiful.*** Rather than focusing on such nonsensical projects as sending humans to Mars or manufacturing millions of driverless cars, maybe enough political force could coalesce around more modest projects, even reclaiming some of what was discarded.

What a radical concept.

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* Mundane Astrology, Michael Baigent, Nicholas Campion and Charles Harvey, 1984

** The Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome’s Project on the Predicament of Mankind, Donella Meadows, Dennis Meadows, Jorgen Randers and William Behrens III, 1972

*** Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, E. F. Schumacher, 1973

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