More on Pirates: The Original Rebels

In the astrological language, Uranus is the planet of rebellion and revolution against the establishment.  The more repressive the establishment, the more radical the rebellious behavior becomes.  Yesterday I wrote about modern piracy being signified by the current opposition between Saturn, representing the repressive establishment, and Uranus, the rebel.

Johann Hari has an interesting article that has been widely published over the past few days called “You are being lied to about pirates”:

Pirates were the first people to rebel against this world. They mutinied – and created a different way of working on the seas. Once they had a ship, the pirates elected their captains, and made all their decisions collectively, without torture. They shared their bounty out in what Rediker calls “one of the most egalitarian plans for the disposition of resources to be found anywhere in the eighteenth century”.

They even took in escaped African slaves and lived with them as equals. The pirates showed “quite clearly – and subversively – that ships did not have to be run in the brutal and oppressive ways of the merchant service and the Royal Navy.” This is why they were romantic heroes, despite being unproductive thieves.

The words of one pirate from that lost age, a young British man called William Scott, should echo into this new age of piracy. Just before he was hanged in Charleston, South Carolina, he said: “What I did was to keep me from perishing. I was forced to go a-pirateing to live.” In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas. …

At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia’s seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: “If nothing is done, there soon won’t be much fish left in our coastal waters.”

This is the context in which the “pirates” have emerged. Somalian fishermen took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least levy a “tax” on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia – and ordinary Somalis agree. The independent Somalian news site WardheerNews found 70 per cent “strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence”

read more here...

This view of pirates is a depiction of Uranian characters who seek social and economic revolution, rather than being motivated through greed.  When you are starving and desperate, and all around you are wealthy trading vessels, the raiding of those ships becomes a means to feed your family and community rather than an act of terrorism.  It is said “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” and in the battle between Saturn and Uranus those lines are more clearly drawn.

Saturn/Uranus and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism

This is disturbing news, but not surprising in light of the increased polarization of the Saturn/Uranus period during which rebellious attitudes of Uranus face off against the established order of the Saturnian status quo:

Right-wing extremists in the United States are gaining new recruits by exploiting fears about the economy and the election of the first black U.S. president, the Department of Homeland Security warned in a report to law enforcement officials.

The April 7 report, which Reuters and other news media obtained on Tuesday, said such fears were driving a resurgence in “recruitment and radicalization activity” by white supremacist groups, antigovernment extremists and militia movements. It did not identify any by name.

And it’s not just in the US.  European countries are becoming more and more vocal in their opposition to immigration and concerns about extremists in their country, such as in Norway where the anti-immigration party is becoming more powerful, and the threat by the British government to terminate relations with the Muslim Council of Britain.

The beauty of the opposition, such as the dynamic we have now between Saturn and Uranus, is that the intention is to balance two opposing forces.  We have just had the second hit of the cycle, and are headed toward the third in September.  In the meantime, each end of the polarity must explore the other so that the required stasis can occur.

The human brain and robotics: One step closer to Transhumanism

Researchers from Honda Motor Company have developed a new way to analyze human brain patterns and translate them into commands for their new generation of robots.  Several years ago I predicted that in the Age of Aquarius, at which we are on the brink, the distinction between the human brain and technology will be blurred, and computers will plug into our brains directly and pick up our thoughts.

Other research is beginning to show that the use of technology is changing the human brain as we adapt to the new demands of our changing world. As I wrote in this earlier article:

Since Neptune entered Aquarius in the late 1990s following the Uranus/Neptune conjunction of 1992-1995, the boundaries between humans and technology (Uranus/Aquarius) have blurred (Neptune).  When Uranus entered Pisces in 2003, instigating the mutual reception that has been in place since then with Uranus in the sign ruled by Neptune and Neptune in the sign ruled by Uranus, this blurring has increased exponentially.  So really, for the last 15 years we have been wandering into uncharted technological territory.  This period saw the explosion of the internet and the wiring of nearly every human being on the planet into the World Wide Web.

This hard-wiring of technology into our brains comes easier for those of us who are already rather electric in nature, with Uranus strong in our charts.  For others it’s a more difficult

Modern Piracy during the Saturn/Uranus opposition

modern piratesphoto from Nick Ryan’s website. When I first heard about the new epidemic of piracy in Somalia I confess I thought it was a joke. Pirates, I thought, were the legendary ruffians that terrorized the Caribbean hundreds of years ago.  It turns out I was wrong, and piracy is alive and well and has been for years, particularly off the Somali coast and other areas including Indonesia, Bangladesh and Brazil.

Modern piracy evidently thrives on political unrest, and political unrest is often seen when Saturn is in a stressful aspect with Uranus.  Saturn represents established governments and the status quo, and Uranus is the revolutionary, the oddball, the eccentric.  Pirates act outside of any governmental system, and seek to undermine the conventional structure through acts of rebellion and violence for financial gain.

The last peak of piracy incidents occurred in the first half of 2003, the worst 6-month period on record according to Wikipedia.  This coincides with the opening square in the Saturn/Uranus cycle, when Saturn in Cancer formed a square to Uranus in Pisces.  The entry of Pluto into Capricorn in 2008 witnessed another uptick in incidents of attacks by pirates, accelerating as Saturn moved into position to oppose Uranus in the sky.  By September and October and into November and December, when Saturn and Uranus were within five degrees of their exact opposition, the incidents of pirate attacks had accelerated steeply, reflecting the intensification of the conflict between the radical behavior of Uranus, which seeks to break up the power structure, and the suppressive factor of Saturn.

The second phase of the Saturn/Uranus opposition occurred in early February and seems to have coincided with increased publicity for the piracy incidents.  Saturn and Uranus will face off an unusual five times before completing the cycle in July of 2010, and by then Uranus and Pluto will be preparing for their own battle which will create its own intensity of radical behavior.

Saturn is responding to the Uranian behavior by sending more ships into these waters to suppress (Saturn) the rebellious activity of the pirates (Uranus).  The question remains whether the nations currently in power have sufficient resources to quell these microrebellions as they spread to follow governmental instability.

Happy Resurrection Holiday! The Origins of Easter

EasterArt by Diane Clancy I have always found it interesting that the timing Christian holiday of Easter is based on the lunar cycle and the Spring Equinox.  The holiday that the Christian world celebrates as Easter retains much of its pagan roots as a fertility festival and a time of balance as the days and nights (in the northern hemispheres) are of equal length. Even the name “Easter” is taken from the Saxon fertility goddess Ostara or Eostre, who is related to Astarte in ancient Babylon and Ashtoreth in ancient Israel.  And the Easter bunny is, of course, an old pagan symbol of fertility.

The resurrection story of Jesus is virtually identical to the tale of the resurrection of the Phrygian god Attis who preceded him:  According to Gerald Berry’s Religions of the World: The Record of Man’s Religious Faiths Primitive rites, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity and others written in 1965, “About 200 B.C. mystery cults began to appear in Rome just as they had earlier in Greece. Most notable was the Cybele cult centered on Vatican hill …Associated with the Cybele cult was that of her lover, Attis (the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was a god of ever-reviving vegetation. Born of a virgin, he died and was reborn annually. The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection.”

Another interesting aspect to the timing of Easter is its combination of the solar and lunar calendar, taking place as it does on the first Sunday following the 14th day of the lunar month following the Equinox.  The Jewish festival of Passover, which was certainly celebrated by Jesus and his followers, takes place on the 15th day of the month of Nisan in the lunar calendar, which is the first Full Moon after the Equinox.  The ancient Christian leaders, probably wanting to differentiate their Easter holiday, uses an “ecclesiastical” full moon rather than the actual lunar event.  (Passover, however, is not a resurrection festival.)

Other ancient cultures celebrated the resurrection of their dying gods:  Osiris, Tammuz, Dionysus – all are gods who died and were reborn anew. In the Spring, when life springs forth anew from every tree and flower, there is a sense of resurrection and rebirth and an opportunity for a fresh new start. Even in Islam there are some stories (not universally accepted) that Mohammed ascended to heaven on a a white horse, although no effort is made to connect this phenomenon to the Spring resurrection festival.

Let us celebrate this renewal, no matter what our faith, and the beginnings of Spring!