The timing of the fervor over Susan Boyle has struck me, coinciding as it does with the conjunction of Chiron and Neptune which are now less than a degree apart. An interesting blog by Dr. Robert Canfield who is an anthropologist at the University of St. Louis sums this up quite nicely:
Buried within the human psyche are feelings, yearnings, anxieties too deep for words, usually. Only sometimes do we see it in ourselves. Always it is something outside ourselves that touches us, somehow, where we feel most deeply. At such moments we remember that we are humans — not mere living creatures, but human beings, profoundly and deeply shaped by a moral sensibility so powerful that it breaks through our inhibitions; it can burst out, explode into public view, to our own astonishment. And sometimes that objective form — a person, an event, an object, a song — embodies deeply felt sensibilities for a lot of us at once, so that we discover how much we share in our private worlds, worlds otherwise inaccessible to anyone one else. It becomes a social event, so we can all rejoice, and weep, together.
This beautifully mirrors the effect of the conjunction of Chiron and Neptune. Chiron presides over those feelings and anxieties that are too deep for words, and Neptune rules the yearning for the soul to experience something more transcendent than our ordinary lives. In these pages we have discussed the pain and fear that have erupted with this conjunction, but the eruption of emotion that has resulted from the Susan Boyle video touches the very zeitgeist of our modern culture.
The superficiality of modern life (particularly over the past 15 years as Pluto transited through Sagittarius and brought with it the rise of celebrity journalism and Botox) has no doubt planted some deep anxieties and despair into western society as we struggled to bring a deeper meaning into our lives. Chiron opens the doorway to the despair and unleashes it, and the addition of the Neptunian influence brings with it a longing for something more real, for a deeper meaning that will show us the way to a higher experience of our lives. This to me is the symbolism of the Susan Boyle phenomenon. An ordinary middle-aged woman taps into something quite extraordinary in the mass consciousness of the affluent West that has had its full of perfectly Botoxed faces and middle-aged bodies that require four hours of exercise to maintain their youth.
I am fairly certain that this phenomenon has not been as strong in, say, parts of Pakistan and Burma where life is a daily struggle to survive. I doubt that in the Congo, in the midst of a brutal civil war, people have been as overwhelmed by the success of Susan Boyle as the Americans and Brits. It is only in the jaded West, where the success of musicians depends upon their photogenic good looks and ability to act in music videos that the beautiful song of an average-looking woman has touched the hearts of so many.