Woman gleaning in the Alawite territory of Syria, 1938. From the John D. Whiting papers, Library of Congress.
Something extraordinary appears to have happened. People are waking up.
There was a point last week that I almost started throwing up thinking about the news that the Obama administration was going to go guns blazing into Syria, on questionable evidence of unspeakable weapons used by a loathsome dictator who butchers his own people. It worked once, right? Why shouldn’t it work again?
Well, it seems that a miracle has happened. People on all side of the political spectrum see through the lies, smoke, and mirrors. I spent hours poring through comments on CNN, HuffPo, The Guardian, Fox News, and several others. The opinion was overwhelmingly against further U.S. involvement in Syria, and a good number of people knew it was “further.” We’re paying attention. We know that the United States has been arming rebels fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, some of them far more frightening than the totalitarian regime they seek to topple. And we know our government has been telling blatant lies in an attempt to hide its covert operations in a proxy war. The epiphany hasn’t been confined to the United States.
For a few days, it seemed that public opinion wasn’t going to deter the White House. The idea that the government would ignore the will of the people was even more depressing. As I write, news from Washington is that President Obama will consult Congress before going ahead with plans for military action. The cynic in me doesn’t think his reversal has much to do with the polls, but is more likely the result of hardball back-room negotiating. There is no doubt in my mind that some serious horse-trading took place. As a reporter in Washington, I saw how these guys work. One can only imagine what House Speaker John Boehner may have promised Obama in return for delivering a vote in favor of bombing Syria.
In any case, with Venus in Libra, action was delayed long enough to allow additional facts to surface. And as long as Mercury is in fact-obsessed Virgo, it’s likelier that people will stay grounded in reason and not let themselves be persuaded by a clever new PR blitz. I imagine the spin-doctors were shocked when horrific images of dying children failed to whip up public support to bomb the evil-doer. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Democracy depends on a well-informed public. While it’s true that 24/7 news coverage has made it more possible than ever to saturate the Internet with the official version of the truth, the Internet also has provided a vehicle for the real truth to surface. The danger, of course, is that one needs to be very prudent in discerning the reliability of a source. But it does appear that vast numbers of people are doing just that – again, judging by the comments on the various news sites.
So, three cheers for Venus in Libra and Mercury in Virgo.
In the coming week, the dominant astrological aspects are the New Moon in Virgo on Thursday and the sextile from the Sun to Jupiter on Saturday (September 7). Virgo is incisive, analytical, and practical. Indeed, despite the rhetoric coming from the White House and 10 Downing, practicality won in the end, and cooler heads prevailed. It’s reasonable to expect that this mood will continue at least through Thursday and perhaps for the following three days. However, toward the end of the week, Mars edges closer to an exact square with Saturn, and the drums of war will get louder.
Click on image to enlarge
In the chart cast for Washington (as always, with apologies to readers outside the United States), we find Virgo on the Ascendant, with Mercury conjunct by exact degree. There is a national discussion going on, and people are having a rational, informed debate. Granted, there may be a few too many details and not enough emphasis on the big picture, but at least the discussion is taking place.
That said, the Sun and Moon are in the twelfth house, suggesting that a significant high-level discussion is going on outside of the public view. This is the opposite of transparency. Harmonious connections to Jupiter and Pluto suggest that the White House is heavily negotiating with Republican leaders and large financial institutions – not that we didn’t already know that. Mercury “receives” from the New Moon, reinforcing the likelihood of an aggressive PR campaign, probably based on select facts. Just like statistics, facts can be manipulated to make any point one wishes.
The G20 leaders’ summit in Saint Petersburg starts on Thursday. It will be interesting to see if Obama relents and agrees to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Obama canceled the meeting in a huff over Russia’s offer of political asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The two leaders also are at loggerheads over Syria – Obama blaming the chemical weapons attack on Assad and Putin implying it was a false flag operation. Putin has suggested the summit would be a good forum for an international discussion about the crisis in Syria. Astrologically, it’s a terrific time to do just that.
Other aspects in the New Moon chart include the Sun’s opposition to Chiron (exact on Tuesday) and a Ceres-Neptune opposition, which is exact within an hour of the New Moon. Sun in Virgo opposite Chiron in Pisces suggests a collective healing crisis. If you have personal planets from 10 to 14 degrees of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, or Pisces, you could feel an extra twinge of emotional pain, possibly from past memories, whether in this life or other incarnations.
Ceres is in Virgo, which I believe she should co-rule with Mercury, so she’s essentially in her own sign and thus strong. If you remember Mythology 101, Demeter, the Greek counterpart of the Roman Ceres, was the only deity who could challenge Zeus (Jupiter) and Hades (Pluto). In the New Moon chart, Ceres isn’t in close aspect with Jupiter and Pluto but will make contact later this month. Her trine with Pluto on September 17 will be especially powerful. Astrologers are still studying the implications of Ceres in mundane charts, and it could be years before we get enough data to form reliable opinions. In the meantime, we can only speculate. Ceres has been prominent in environmental disaster charts (e.g., the Deepwater Horizon explosion), which makes sense, given her mythology. However, she also was conjunct Jupiter on the Ascendant of the chart for the fall of the Berlin Wall, so there’s something about speaking truth to power, which also is part of her mythology. Neptune rules chemicals, including nerve agents like those used in Syria, as well as oil production. We’ll need to watch the headlines to see how this influence plays out.
In Greek mythology, the identity of Virgo is sometimes given as Demeter or her maiden daughter, Persephone, or as Astraea, the virgin goddess of justice. So the story goes, Astraea lived on Earth during the Golden Age of humanity, but when men became violent and corrupt, she left in disgust, leaving them to fight among themselves.
And Virgo indeed is an antidote. Virgo is the sign of service to humanity. In the Tarot, it’s represented by The Hermit. As I was doing research for this post and reading about Islamic practices of prayer, fasting, alms, and pilgrimage, I immediately thought of The Hermit. Substitute “meditation” for prayer, and helping the less fortunate for “alms,” and you have an age-old, cross-cultural formula for spiritual growth. How often do we talk about “purifying” the spirit? This “virgin” spirit has nothing to do with the religious concept of female virginity, but is about daily renewal through disciplined spiritual practice. Ceres is about the cycles of nature, including the cycle of growth, death, and rebirth. As we move through these turbulent times, I find comfort in the idea that everything is cyclical.
Mercury leaves Virgo on September 9, which happens to be the day Congress returns from summer recess and Mars forms an exact square with Saturn. Boehner said the House likely would take up the debate on Syria that week, just when the war drums will be beating the loudest. I think we also need to entertain the possibility of a staged event designed to swing public opinion through fear and panic, hallmarks of Mars. That’s why it’s all the more urgent that we do what we can this week to search for the truth and spread it around. I’ve been doing my part by painstakingly researching news articles and bookmarking those I deem to be based on credible sources and sound reporting. Here are a couple of links from my growing collection. Some of them are old news but noteworthy for their accurate foresight. Please feel free to share your own.
Witnesses of Gas Attacks Say Saudis Supplied Rebels with Chemical Weapons
U.S. Offers Syrian Rebels Military Support, Alleges Assad Used Chemical Weapons (June 14, 2013)
Syria: An Energy-Based Proxy War in the Making?
Before I end this long piece (thus the late posting), I’d like to thank everyone who sent supportive comments and personal e-mails regarding my copyright issue. I’ve weighed the input and decided to keep my feed truncated for the time being. I hope no one minds the extra click to keep reading.
Much love and courage to you all,
© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.