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Social Media – Is the truth destroyed because it distresses you?

While it has always been true – in politics and life – that people tend to agree with views/facts that confirm what they already believe and discount those which run counter, it is a phenomenon (confirmation bias) which seems to be turning into the pathology of the 21st Century.

There is some astrology at the bottom but it’s worth pondering on these quotes from Katherine Viner on how technology is disrupting the truth.

“We’re getting countries where one half just doesn’t know anything at all about the other.”

“We are caught in a series of confusing battles between opposing forces: between truth and falsehood, fact and rumour, kindness and cruelty; between the few and the many, the connected and the alienated — between an informed public and a misguided mob.”

“Social media hasn’t just swallowed journalism, it has swallowed everything. It has swallowed political campaigns, banking systems, personal histories, the leisure industry, retail, even government and security.”

“Instead of strengthening social bonds, or creating an informed public, or the idea of news as a civic good, a democratic necessity, it creates gangs, which spread instant falsehoods that fit their views, reinforcing each other’s beliefs, driving each other deeper into shared opinions, rather than established facts.”

“Our news ecosystem has changed more dramatically in the past five years than perhaps at any time in the past 500.”

https://goo.gl/Wzs4yy

So what happened 500 years ago? The Gutenberg printing press was invented which started a process whereby books and pamphlets could be copied out to the general population (those who could read). At that point Pluto was in Cancer and Neptune in Virgo – the exact opposite of the present Pluto in Capricorn and Neptune in Pisces.

What happened five years ago? Neptune moved into Pisces staying till 2026. Neptune in Pisces has in the past coincided with high points for poetry, socially-aware fiction (Dickens etc), religion and hospitals. Karl Marx and Engels were around, and the establishment of theoretical communism took hold last time round of Neptune in Pisces in the mid 19th Century. But feet-on-the-ground, facing-facts is not its strength. Indeed it can be thoroughly loony-tunes in its beliefs, spiralling off into weird delusions.

Maybe part of the ‘post-fact’ era we are in can be attributed to Neptune in Pisces. In the UK we have the inept but highly popular, far-left Corbyn, darling of the proletariat; and the Brexit campaign which admitted to lying the day after it won. In the US there’s Trump, whose interface with the truth (and decency) seems tenuous at best. Yet nothing critical that’s said makes a dent on their supporters. No one believes experts, politicians or the media, so most opt for the comfort of their own ‘echo chamber’ where they are soothed by like-minded opinions – the Daily Mail and Fox news on the right; and the Guardianistas on the left.

Neptune was also highlighted when the expression ‘Yellow Press’ first emerged in the 1890s with the Hearst newspapers, which went for scandal-mongering sensationalism – eye-catching headlines and no fact-checking. Neptune was conjunct Pluto then in communication-oriented Gemini, which can inflate fantasies. So it’s not a new phenomenon, but it is a great deal worse nowadays.

Not sure there’s any great astro-conclusions from all of this. Maybe it’s worse this year with Saturn square Neptune, inducing paranoia on top of Neptune in Pisces’s tendency to wing off onto the cloud tops. No one can distinguish truth from fantasy, so they cling onto what feels familiar and safe, no matter ‘evidence’ to the contrary.

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Donald Trump – an embarrassment to the USA and his own party

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Donald Trump seems to be spinning even more out of control than ever as the election moves into its most serious and vicious phase. His grasp of foreign affairs, exhibited in a recent TV interview, is Sarah Palin-esque; he’s recklessly turning himself into a Kremlin poodle; and now he’s insulted the parents of a soldier who lost his life fighting for the USA.

Even the Republicans are appalled though in true ‘Vichy’ fashion they’re not biting the bullet and withdrawing support. Even one who described him as a “narcissist and egomaniacal madman” has thrown his hat behind him.

At the moment through July and August, Trump has tr Uranus square his Sun/Mars and Venus/Saturn midpoints. Ebertin says of the first – impulsive, overtaxing oneself, hot blooded, upsets (cardiac troubles) – it has military associations; and all of the Mars Uranus tendency to over compensate in grand macho gestures and comments that backfire. The second is quarrelsome, feeling unloved.

Running mid July to early September as well he has tr Pluto square his Moon/Pluto – violent outbursts of feeling.

September gets no easier with tr Uranus square his Saturn giving rise to considerable tensions and again outbursts; with a couple of heavy tr Saturn transits as well. Through October Mars Uranus is back in play.

And today President Obama said he is “unfit to serve as president.” He has shown he is “woefully unprepared to do this job” after his comments on military families as well as his handle on foreign affairs.

They are a very gritty mix with Trump’s Pluto conjunct Obama’s Leo Sun; DT’s Mars conjunct BO’s Uranus and BO’s Mars square DT’s Sun and Moon – so Trump continually tries to put down and rile the president; while Obama manages to do the same in return. and stirs up fairly primitive anxieties in Trump since BO’s Sun is conjunct DT’s 12th house Pluto.

Their relationship chart, needless to say, is horrible with a composite Sun Uranus on the point of a T square from an opposition of Saturn to Neptune – at cross purposes, suspicious, no ground for compromise. That T square is being elbowed sharply at the moment with tr Uranus conjunct Saturn and will be so right through till 2017. There’s also another composite T square of an irritable Moon opposition Mars square Jupiter which is sagging under the weight of tr Saturn square tr Neptune hard aspects at the moment and on till the election and beyond. Tr Saturn is square their composite Mars through this month as Obama goes on the attack.

Trump’s Gemini Sun (opposition Moon) is, of course, conjunct the USA’s Mars, so he was always going to be a polarising figure who stirred up arguments. And his Saturn Venus in Cancer is conjunct the US Mercury and opposition the US Pluto – so again a tendency to split into supporters and haters.

The Trump/USA relationship chart does show September as being a high stress month with tr Uranus square the composite Mars – so more public explosions can be expected.

Emma and Lord Nelson – a legendary love affair

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Emma, Lady Hamilton became one of the most infamous mistresses in British history when she embarked on ‘one of the history’s greatest love affairs’ with Admiral Lord Nelson. Artefacts from her life are now on display at the Maritime Museum at Greenwich.

Born 26 April 1765 in England in poverty, she had a child by a nobleman when she was 16, found another protector, became artist George Romney’s muse and was much painted, reluctantly married the British envoy to Naples where she became the confidante of the Queen of Naples (Marie Antoinette’s sister), fell in love with Horatio Nelson and had a secret daughter by him. After his death she ended up in debtors’ prison and died, as she started, in abject poverty in Calais.

For her daughter, she hoped for a better life: ‘A life well spent makes old age pleasant and honourable and I hope my dear Horatia will be good, virtuous and improve her time.’ And indeed she did, marrying a vicar and bearing 10 children.

Emma was a Sun Taurus trine Pluto in Capricorn and trine Neptune in late Leo, so undoubtedly talented, indulgent and wishing for great things (Nep Pluto). Her Pluto opposed a pushily confident Jupiter (Moon) in Cancer – so Jupiter was her driving planet with all its largesse. Her Venus in upfront Aries was conjunct Uranus and trine Neptune, leading to her wayward romantic life.

Nelson died 10 years before her and during those years of decline tr Pluto in Pisces was starting to square her Solar Arc Uranus Venus and then Sun; with tr Uranus Neptune in Sagittarius in opposition to those Solar Arc planets. When she finally died Solar Arc Saturn was over the opposition to her Pluto and moving towards the conjunction to her Jupiter with Solar Arc Neptune square her Jupiter – bursting the bubble of all her hopes and dreams.

Horatio Nelson, was renowned as a naval strategist with his successes during the Napoleonic Wars and was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar. Born 29 Sept 1758 9.30am(?) Burnham Thorpe, England, he had a military and ferociously determined Mars in Scorpio on his Ascendant with an 11th house Libra Sun and a powerfully confident Jupiter Pluto in Sagittarius. Emma’s Jupiter opposition Pluto was square his Sun so she’d undoubtedly lift his spirits and morale; with his Virgo Moon trine her Taurus Sun putting them in the same wavelength. Though her Saturn Mercury was in his 7th, landing him with problems. Her Neptune was conjunct his Midheaven, conferring a mythic status to their affair and his biography.

Their relationship chart had a passionate composite Venus opposition Pluto square Jupiter opposition Uranus (Saturn) – so equal amounts of mutual support, rolling crises, separations, tensions, and an inclination to transgress boundaries and common sense in their relationship. There was a good-for-publicity composite Mars Neptune conjunction, but its downside can be undermining for one side as the other thrives.

Mama Merkel – the ties that bind under strain

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Angela Merkel did say she would not stand for a fourth term in the German elections due in September 2017, but has since backtracked from that, hinting she may.

Islamist attacks on German soil and the increasing burden of incoming immigrants is causing internal dissension though she gives no indication she’ll drop her open door policy.

Her Sun Uranus in Cancer is conjunct the Germany 10th house Uranus – and all three planets are getting a severe shaking up from a tr Uranus square, in her case from late March and in Germany’s from late April. So both their destinies are in for a fairly radical shift.

Her relationship chart with Germany is very complex – with a confident Jupiter Pluto trine Venus, so success and popularity. But there’s also a Cardinal Grand Cross of composite Sun opposition Mercury square Neptune opposition Uranus. That configuration has already been under strain in 2016 and it will escalate through 2017 with tr Pluto back to square the composite Sun in January, and square Mercury from March, so huge challenges and bitter debates. With tr Uranus square Neptune in February and then square Uranus in April causing disruptions and rifts. And tr Saturn square the composite Moon three times through the year, bringing separation, coolness and a sense of loss.

This may not all be down to immigration, since the Eurozone financial problems which have disappeared off the headlines may be back in a major way with Italy struggling, Greece unsolved, France sagging badly etc etc.

Theresa May and China – hostile vibes

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UK PM Theresa May has a track record of being suspicious of an overly close relationship with China, on security grounds. So no surprises she put the brakes on approving the £18 billion Hinkley Point nuclear plant project which was designed to have one third Chinese money invested in it.

Given that her Libra Sun is almost exactly conjunct the China Sun, she might have been expected to be more on their wavelength. But her Uranus falls exactly on their Descendant; her Mars in Pisces opposition their Saturn and her Saturn is conjunct their MC – all of which adds up to a gritty, bad-tempered, divisive interface where her obsessive caution puts a damper on their ambitions.

The relationship chart between them has a hostile, power-struggling Jupiter opposition Mars square Pluto; and highly-strung, distrusting Saturn Neptune square Uranus. Especially from the start of 2017 there are all manner of upheavals, jolts, tensions erupting into the open. And those run on until the end of her term.

Philip K Dick – insane fantasies that are coming true

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Philip K Dick was a science fiction writer whose vision for an automated future is coming scarily true. Best known for the film Blade Runner, based on his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, he had 11 movies made from his 44 novels and 100 short stories. Despite this he lived in near poverty throughout his career.

Born 16 Dec 1928 12.15pm Chicago, he arrived prematurely, losing a twin sister at birth, and was nearly starved to death himself. He was brought up by his depressive mother after his parents divorced, was ill as a child and damaged by amphetamines fed to him for asthma, which arguably led (along with an unsettled childhood and volatile mother) to ongoing psychosis in his adult life. He drank, pill popped, attempted suicide several times, ended up in psychiatric hospitals, married five times and died in 1982.

Out of what psychiatrists deemed to be schizophrenia came a stream of creativity. His paranoia brought visions of talking bluebottles, caterpillar double-agents, extra-terrestrial ants and protective spiders – and an uncanny presentiment of things to come. He was buried beside his twin sister, where his name had been engraved on the tombstone since her death in readiness, which sounds like a story from Scott Peck’s People of the Lie.

His chart is full of quincunxes (inconjuncts) which would produce strains, stresses and a sense of never fitting in. He did have a strong communication 9th house with a Sun Mercury Saturn in Sagittarius there with Sun Mercury trine a 1st house Jupiter and trine Neptune which was probably what saved him. So a Fire Earth Grand Trine, giving him talent and drive, formed into a Kite with Sun Mercury opposition Mars in Cancer in the 4th.

He had a maverick Uranus on his Aries Ascendant sextile Venus in Aquarius inconjunct Neptune in the 6th – certainly creative, though also indicating fragile health. His Aquarius Moon was inconjunct Pluto in his 4th which with a wide-ish sextile from Moon to Saturn, produced another influential, though also potentially self-destructive, Yod with Pluto as focal point. He had a third Yod from Neptune sextile Mars inconjunct Venus, which can be indulgent though can also lead to a strong sense of social purpose.

His Sun Mercury opposed a 4th house Mars in excitable Cancer with Mars square Uranus – so an explosive personality stemming in part from an aggravated home life and relationship to his tough, ex-marine father and his over-hasty entrance into life at birth (Uranus Asc). His Mars was, to some extent, saved from implosion by being on the focal point of a trine of Neptune to Jupiter, allowing him to channel his anger into fantasies and dreams. He had another mini-Grand Trine of Venus trine North Node in Gemini, sextile Asc Uranus.

His creative, though also manic and unstable, 7th Harmonic (septiles) is extraordinarily strong; as was his ‘genius’ 13H; and leaving-a-legacy-for-history 17H.

What a complicated chart with a Grand Trine, two mini-Grand Trines, 3 Yods and one volcanic square – and a complicated life to go with it. Talent, vision and huge challenges.

Donald Trump – Russophile tendencies

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Donald Trump’s cosying up to Vladimir Putin, and (jokingly) suggesting he hack into Hillary Clinton’s emails and leak them, is not without context. Trump has had business dealings for years with Russian oligarchs – which if he were forced to release his tax returns would be obvious. And his present campaign manager Paul Manafort, worked with the pro-Russia former Ukraine President. At the Cleveland convention there was a shift in policy, watering down support for Ukraine against the pro-Russia separatist rebels. Needless to say, there are also those within the Republican fold with oil and gas interests in that region.

With Putin’s Jupiter in Taurus (focussed on acquiring money) falling conjunct Trumps’ MC, it’s not surprising that DT sees him as a main chance. But it’s a relationship based on power with a close Sun Pluto conjunction in the composite chart, which would get nasty if Trump stepped out of line. Putin’s Pluto falls in DT’s 12th conjunct his Mars, so much behind-the-scenes string-pulling on VP’s part; with VP’s aggressive Mars conjunct DT’s Moon and opposition DT’s Sun.

If Trump makes it to President, having a ‘useful idiot’ in the White House would suit Putin’s purpose well.

Trump’s astrocartography puts his war-like Mars MC line through eastern Europe and down through Libya and central Africa. His other aggressive Mars (Descendant) line highlights China and Indonesia as flash-zones for him.

His Pluto MC, where he’ll meet his deepest, darkest and potentially self-destructive issues runs through central Europe (Brussels etc). His relationship chart with the EU is explosive, and hints at widely divergent aims. That chart is under immense strain over the coming few years. The USA/EU relationship chart is sagging badly through 2017, as diplomatic adjustments are made with whoever wins the presidency.

Hillary Clinton’s relationship with the EU also looks highly troubled over the next several years as well; and her relationship with Putin, which is argumentative enough at the best of times, is even more riven by dispute. She’d be a much more difficult nut for Putin to crack.

Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Amancio Ortega – 9th Harmonic happiness

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Jeff Bezos has become the third richest man in the world after strong earnings from Amazon, the company he founded. According to Forbes estimates, his fortune is only surpassed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and that of Zara founder Amancio Ortega.

Bezos, 12 Jan 1964, is an ambitious, business-minded Sun Mars in Capricorn with Jupiter in pro-active Aries.

Bill Gates, 28 Oct 1955 10pm Seattle, WA, is a Sun Scorpio with a pushily confident Jupiter Pluto in Leo square his determined Venus Saturn in Scorpio; an Aries Moon and Mars Mercury Neptune in Libra.

Amancio Ortega, 28 March 1936, has an Aries Sun and Mars with Mars square Pluto in Cancer, but otherwise a much more Mutable chart with planets in Pisces, Sag, Gemini and Virgo.

All have a dose of Cardinal planets giving initiative. All have Jupiter in a Fire sign giving inspiration and confidence.

What intrigues me is that all three have powerful 9th Harmonic charts. Traditionally there was supposed to be a pure, slightly mystical or humanitarian bent to the 9H. But it turns up again and again in the charts of the moneyed. ‘Follow your bliss’ isn’t always about aiming for nirvana.

Australia – indigenous children cruelly mistreated – calls for action

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There have been vociferous demonstrations in Australia after the transmission of a documentary showing what the Sydney Morning Herald described as ‘the inhumane and abominable treatment of children in juvenile detention in the Northern Territory.’ It described a ‘taxpayer-funded hell-hole’ where children were beaten, kept in solitary confinement in cruelly small spaces for unconscionably extended periods, constrained in barbaric devices, thrown against walls and onto the concrete floor and sprayed with tear gas. The overwhelming majority of the victims are Indigenous. While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people make up less than a third of the NT’s population, they account for 97 per cent of children in detention there.

The Australia 1901 chart has a sporting Mars in the 5th, though that can be bossy/aggressive where children are concerned. Especially since Mars is on the focal point of a Mutable T Square to Pluto in Gemini opposition an 8th house Venus Uranus in Sagittarius. Tr Neptune is exactly on the opposition to that Mars at the moment, until early 2017; and tr Saturn is just off the square, returning in a few weeks’ time, and is conjunct the Venus exactly now – so much concern and shock as it is dragged into the open. The Solar Arc Moon is also moving through the 5th and is picking up the tr Pluto trine this year and next,  bringing pressure to bear on transforming Australia’s attitude to nurturing (Moon). Plus there is a Solar Arc Mars conjunct Saturn, exact in 3 months so in effect now, which certainly points to cruelty.

There may be other ways in which these influences will manifest in coming weeks and months but they certainly look descriptive of this horror.

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