By Judith Gayle | Political Waves
Now that the swine flu is proving to be something of a pig in a poke, surely to be revisited in the Fall flu season, we will need another emergency to keep the networks in the race for May ratings. I suspect that the situation in Pakistan
will provide one, and we'll find our TV news alerts accompanied by martial music and dire projections. FOX News will likely posture that we must go Rambo on the Taliban, which is not only predictable but ironic since it plays to the very religious authoritarianism for which the Taliban is infamous.
Growing into the God-ness. Photo by Farida Batool.
FOX represents the school of thought that seldom, if ever, examines the 'mote in its own eye.' It sees no problem with American soldiers charged with fighting for Christian converts
in the Mideast; it does not recognize its own Christianist fatwas. It defends the vengeful God of the Old Testament, extends hate speech as political punditry and gives the Right a place where -- as a blogger recently said of ex-evangelical bigwig, Frank Schaeffer's post
on hate mail from the Religious Right -- Christianity isn't safe for Jesus.
And now, keeping the religious wars amped up, Justice David Souter's resignation from the Supreme Court has given the GOP culture-sweats, and the networks a partisan extravaganza to hype with months of coverage. In the conservative view, the Constitution is not an adaptable document and must be protected from 'activists' that 'legislate from the bench.' That would be any progressive you could name, mind you; Republicans have already launched an attack on Obama's pick, without having a name to attach it to.
While the country itself has moved Left by steady increments over the last several generations, the Court has continued to move further Right; Bush accomplished very little for his party in eight years, but he did give them two radical ideologues in Roberts and Alito, and salted the lower courts with similar. Due to the lifetime tenure of the Supreme judges, this will be the first Democratic placement on the court in almost 15 years.
Souter was a pick of George H. W. Bush and disappointed the Right by staying true to principled Conservatism
. In that regard, he eventually joined those on the Left as a moderate; leaving an Obama replacement unable to change the ideological makeup of the High Court but perhaps to lay the groundwork for further appointments. Only Scalia, on the Right, is of an age to speculate about; Roberts, Alito and Thomas are relatively young men. It will be Obama's pleasure, I expect, to attempt to bring the court back toward center.
By Tracy Delaney
At today's Scorpio Full Moon, the Sun, Moon and several centaur planets form a fixed grand cross, i.e., a cross made up of two oppositions and four squares. This takes place in the fixed signs Taurus (the Sun), Leo (Elatus), Scorpio (the Moon and Chariklo) and Aquarius (Nessus). That's six 'hard' or 90-degree-based aspects working together in formation, and the main thing they have in common is that they are all in fixed signs. These are the signs that the Sun transits in the middle of a season, when we get near one of the cross-quarter days (such as Beltane). They have the stable energy of continuing what we've started. It's the energy of keep going rather than initiate something new, or quit while you're ahead.
Full Moon brightened by God. Photo by
A grand cross can feel like being caught in a crosshairs; like there is something significant to address in every direction. They can also be stabilizing factors, but what is often focused on is the process of change and growth itself.
Although Pluto, modern ruler of fixed sign Scorpio (now a dwarf planet, and having some similarities to centaurs in terms of his elongated orbit and high declination to the ecliptic) seems to deal with the change/stability paradox quite nicely by being fixed in his determination to bring about change. This is not change for its own sake, but rather renewing dedication and commitment to evolution and growth.
Another factor in this chart that supports this idea is the Aries Point. The cross-quarters (the midpoints of the fixed signs) are related to the Aries Point because they aspect it by 45 or 135 degrees -- relatives to the square aspect. So all of the planets in the grand fixed cross are aspecting all of the cardinal points -- the first degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. This makes the chart an enormous intersection between the public and private spheres of existence.
Last year at this time, we experienced a New Moon precisely on Beltane. If you recall, at that time there was no serious public talk of an economic crisis -- though this rates among the many times astrologers 'should have noticed' something was up, mainly due to the Aries Point involvement of the Taurus midpoint.
At any Full Moon, the Sun is exactly opposite the Moon, with the Earth suspended in between. So from our point of view on Earth it can feel like an intense opposition/tension between the two major parts of the psyche represented by the Sun and Moon, a split between spirit and soul, or the body and the psyche. In any event there is tension between the two prominent aspects of what we consider a 'self'.
The Sun is spirit, the life force, the universal Source itself. It can also represent the expressive, glory-seeking aspect of self, and in Transactional Analysis, the adult self.
The Moon represents our feelings and emotions, which feel as if they come from our very own personal inner spirit -- the soul. For many people it is the dominant aspect of the personality, whether expressed through sensitivity or through being a perpetual child (in Transactional Analysis, the Moon is the child self. Saturn is the parental self.) Often the Moon feels like 'who we really are inside', which many would equate with soul energy.
Absorbing the Moonlight. Photo by
Whether you ultimately believe in separate souls or not, soul energy is accessible to everyone if we tune in. At the Full Moon we can feel quite separated from/opposed by the Whole, while frustrated by knowing deep down that it simply cannot/should not be so. Is all this tension necessary? Or is it the main thing holding up consciousness?
The Sun and Moon can also symbolise Father and Mother, and that sums up the Full Moon feeling -- when Sun and Moon oppose each other one can feel like a young child torn in two emotionally as Mum and Dad fight, or otherwise relate to one another with us 'in the middle'.
But the Moon has no light of her own and merely reflects the light of the Source/Sun. She is only "full" because the Sun is facing her head on and illuminating all of her sensitive self at once. Hence the feeling of emotional overload, which the planetary setup could imply is something of a passing illusion, literally a trick of the light. We know this for ourselves once the Full Moon has passed, as things begin to settle down again and we wonder what all the fuss was about. So the Full Moon is a crescendo worth approaching consciously.
This weekend's Full Moon is at 18+ Scorpio, exact at 4:01 a.m. UT on Saturday. That's 5:01 a.m. on Saturday in the U.K., one minute past midnight Saturday in New York, 9:01 p.m. Friday on the West Coast of the U.S., and all other time zones are shown here
The Scorpio Moon can experience feelings as intense, deep and transformative, perhaps sexual, perhaps secret, and through Full Moon probably ultimately deeply cathartic. This plunge into the depths of the psyche is facilitated by the light of the elegant, earthy sensuality of the body-grounded Taurus Sun. This in effect grounds the process; all oppositions are across two signs that have something in common, but which they approach very differently, two sides of a certain coin.
This lunation is conjunct Chariklo in Scorpio, square Nessus in Aquarius and also square Elatus in Leo. These are all centaur planets. Centaurs in astrology could be said to relate to Scorpio in the sense that they are all about processes of transformation and integration. All the centaurs die, one way or another; how they die expresses the type of transformation involved.
Illustration from Chariklo article
, Small World Stories. Photo by
Chariklo was the wife of Chiron, and like the mother who quite brutally rejected him, she was a nymph, and she was foster-mother to Chiron's protégés. We know very little about Chariklo from mythology, as she was barely mentioned, but from the few facts we have we can infer a compassionate woman who was blessed with undying patience and the ability to appreciate the plight of mortals.
The interesting oppositions involving Ceres and Black Moon Lilith in her discovery chart, and her lack of concrete myth, both imply to me that she is all about projection -- of the image of the mother we never had, the love we never had, any desperately needed missing experience she is ethereal enough to appear to accommodate. She's what we think we need, and we love her for it. People with strong Chariklo placements seem to receive and obligingly live up to our projected needs and are known as "charismatic" (charis = grace). They seem to do this with loving intent, they can be very healing, conversely the potential problems are obvious.
Barack Obama has Chariklo close to his ascendant, and the USA Solte (Scorpionic America) chart has it exactly rising, both in Aquarius. The ideal adoptive mother theme seems to come out in charts, e.g., Angelina Jolie has Chariklo conjunct Moon in the 9th house (overseas matters).
Nessus, coincidentally exactly on Barack Obama's ascendant in Aquarius right now, is about power dynamics, the balance of power in any given relationship, and its use and abuse. It can signify any position on the victim-persecutor scale, and in its most negative form can be about abuse, sexual or otherwise. Nessus's orbit starting in near Saturn and then crossing way over Neptune's (most centaurs only skim Neptune if that), looks like a symbol of a big fat boundary issue, which abuse is often about, it's often very unconscious and deluded (Neptune) and is a case of not knowing or caring where the line is -- because someone has enough power not to have to care.
A positive expression of Nessus would be using power reasonably or judiciously (Saturn) for the highest good of all (Neptune), even though you could easily get away with not doing so. Nessus in Aquarius could be viewed as the power we hold as a collective and what we choose to do with it, and what we are collectively in denial about thus causing conveniently unconscious abuse e.g., how Western lifestyles impact the rest of the world.
Nessus square both the Sun and the Moon speaks of how we treat ourselves. The square aspect always asks for an internal check-in before looking at the world, and the implication is that right now we have genuine opportunities to use our power to help or harm ourselves.
Elatus is often said to relate in some way to elegant self-expression or the lack thereof. In one version of Chiron's myth, Elatus was the guy Heracles was aiming for when Chiron received his infamous accidental wound from the poison arrow, which first passed through Elatus's arm and killed him. Elatus was one of many who had run to Chiron for protection. So the arrow passed through him and transformed (killed) him without him ever knowing the role he had played in such an important story; the best expressions are those that we allow to come through us, with the ego out of the way, and can have effects that we will never be aware of.
The Taurus/Scorpio angle is all about attachment and releasing attachment. Here, we see the many factors affecting that process, the most meaningful being the choice of whether to use our power to help our own cause or to get in our own way; to be our own friend, or give that job to someone else; and whether we can stand aside and allow this thing called the ego to take its relatively minor role and let the more creative aspects of the psyche do their work.
Tracy Delaney has plotted, schemed and collaborated astrologically with Eric since around 2001. She is the programmer of Serennu.com, the best centaur and minor planet ephemeris and resource on the Net. She is a Pisces who lives in Wales.
Editor's Note: These briefs are written each week by a guy named Eric Francis of Little Rock, AK. I found him googling my own name, discovered he was a journalist, and he came on board as our news writer. I was hooked from the first line of his bio, "I am a newspaper man." Kid, you're hired. -- EFC
Coming Up in Daily Astrology and Adventure
Born May 4, 1906, just after the dawn of powered flight, Dr. Eileen Marie Galloway
may never have ridden a rocket into space, but she still became one of the most important contributors to the American space program.
Eileen Galloway relaxes at home earlier this year.
Her work began just after Russia launched its Sputnik satellite. From a small office in the Library of Congress Annex, she undertook the duty assigned her by President Lyndon B. Johnson as staff consultant for hearings on space technology and its military implications. Galloway became an expert in space law and policy, and an ardent opponent of the militarization of space. She was also instrumental in the creation of the legislation that established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA.
Galloway died on May 2 of cancer, two days short of her 103rd birhtday.
According to the Washington Post
obituary, she described her job this way in a 1958 interview: "I translate the world of scholarly research" into a form in which "it can be understood in the world of practical politics."
On the memorial page at NASA's website, she was hailed as "the grand dame of space" and credited her with helping write the legislation establishing the agency, particularly language "emphasizing international cooperation and peaceful exploration."
It also showed Galloway's sense of humor, quoting her as saying her reaction to her appointment by Johnson was, "The only thing I knew about outer space at that time was that the cow had jumped over the Moon."
The NASA site also includes a link to a 2006 video interview with Galloway.
Galloway, who had lived in Washington, D.C., was preceded in death by her husband George Barnes Galloway and a son, David Barnes Galloway. She is survived by a son, Jonathan Fuller Galloway, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
We've discussed before
the threat that orbital debris -- the bits and pieces left over from launches, collisions, and parts just falling off satellites -- poses to everything from commercial satellite launches to the International Space Station.
Space debris populations. Credit: NASA.
Now, officials in the United States military announce that they will share more of the information they have on exactly what's in orbit where, be it functioning satellites or wayward debris, according to a May 1 report by Peter B. de Selding at Space News
The goal of this initiative (dubbed the Commercial and Foreign Entities program, or CFE) is to prevent the creation of even more dangerous orbital junk by letting commercial and government entities know what's potentially in the way of their next launch.
The system is experimental right now. It will work by allowing "open access to basic data on most satellites' locations through the space-track.org
Web site," reports Space News.
Good news for anybody who's about to launch a new telecommunications satellite -- or teenagers with unusually ambitious high school science projects -- but there's a catch of sorts, notes the Space News article. That's because "the CFE data is considered far too imprecise to be used to avoid in-orbit collisions in low Earth orbit such as the February incident involving an operational Iridium mobile communications satellite, which collided with a retired Russian Cosmos spacecraft," the article reported.
That bust-up put 870 bits of debris into orbit that can actually be tracked from the ground, and "likely thousands of smaller pieces our sensors can't track," U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Larry James, commander of U.S. Strategic Command's Joint Functional Component Command for Space, said in the article.
Not all debris in orbit gets there by accident, and not all debris is created equal. Sometimes nations -- the United States and China, to name two -- create it intentionally, according to the article. According to Joseph Rouge, director of the National Security Space Office at the Pentagon, America tested an anti-satellite system in 1985, and China tested one in 2007.
"Our 1985 test created debris with a 15-year life," Rouge told Space News. By contrast, the Chinese missile destruction of a Chinese satellite created debris that will remain in orbit for more than 1,000 years.
Who says government agencies can't have a sense of humor?
NASA is preparing to send what is probably history's most expensive treadmill
to the International Space Station, and it will carry with it one of popular culture's most popular names: COLBERT, as in Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's Colbert Report.
For You America! Stephen Colbert Wins NASA Station Naming Contest.
Cobert, whose political satire show often skewers taxpayer-funded programs like NASA, urged his viewers to submit his name to the space agency's poll on what to name the Node 3 module that will be added to the station next. As a result, "Colbert" was the top vote-getter.
Recognizing that such popular adulation should be acknowledged (and, likely, that it wasn't good to name part of a major international space presence after a sharp-tongued comedian), NASA christened the treadmill, under development for two years, the COLBERT. That stands for Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill. A step up from its old name, the terribly banal T-2.
"I think it's great for NASA that Mr. Colbert got his audience interested in the space station," said Curt Wiederhoeft of Wyle in the article on NASA's news site. He is the project manager for the treadmill under the bioastronautics contract. "Comedy Central attracts a lot of younger viewers, and the space program's going to need the next generation's support and interest."
Wiederhoeft further noted the treadmill should last as long as the space station does. Designed to handle 150,000 miles of use, he speculated it would probably see just 38,000 miles of use by station personnel.
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, May 8, 2009, #765 - By ERIC FRANCIS
(March 20-April 19)
You are a different person than you were two weeks ago, and you're in a dimension beyond where you were late last year. I suggest you account for the ways. Look at simple matters first: how you feel about yourself; the ways in which you're comfortable with your life, and the process of adjustment you are in; and the quality of communication in your relationships. You seem more willing than ever to think the ideas that are meaningful to you rather than those that will garner you the approval of people close to you. In fact, it would seem that at some point recently you arrived at a place in yourself where your own feelings were actually more important to you than those of other people. This may seem like an odd thing to say to an Aries, given your famous reputation for being self-centered; but we both know what is behind that particular veil.
Read your 2008 annual for Aries. Order your Next World Stories 2009 annual for
and Aries rising here.
(April 19- May 20)
Over the next several days, you are poised to break free of one particular deadlock, only to be drawn into a new depth of confrontation with yourself. The radical lesson (in the true sense of the word radical -- meaning at your roots) lesson that you are learning is about how to relate to others in a way that is not oppressive, wrought with expectation or coming with a control agenda. This specifically includes a self-control agenda, which can be one of the most crippling things in a relationship, and one of the most difficult to admit. It's easier to run a control drama on someone else than it is to let on you're doing it to yourself; and it will come as a true relief when you decide you're determined to do neither. Hint: the opposite of control is communication.
Read your 2008 annual for Taurus. Order your Next World Stories 2009 annual for
and Taurus rising here.
(May 20- June 21)
Mercury recently stationing retrograde in your sign may be sending subtle shockwaves through you, or the sense that you're losing control of your agenda in life. I would propose that you're letting go of a false agenda in search of a real one. You will probably need to proceed in that order; and I assure you that you can live for a little while without a plan, a purpose or a sense of intention. Have you ever had the feeling that so many people fill their appointment calendars weeks or months in advance just so they don't have to actually consider what they want to do, when the time comes? Life proceeds on a program, and while it's not perfect, it seems to be good enough. What I'm getting at here is that it's actually not good enough, and you are well on your way to better.
Read your 2008 annual for Gemini. Order your Next World Stories 2009 annual for
and Gemini rising here.
(June 21- July 22)
This week's Full Moon in your cousin water sign Scorpio is your invitation to plunge into a new world of your sexuality. It is time for a change, and that most likely means some form of adventure, of daring and mostly of depth. If you're wondering who, or what, or when, make your own opportunity. You have more attractive power going for you than you think, and the current atmosphere of confusion, chaos and the constant verge of fear will work for you, as long as you present an alternative. To encourage or allow others to step out of their fear, you need to be willing to take a risk with your heart-center open. The moment this is true, it will be plainly obvious.
Read your 2008 annual for Cancer. Order your Next World Stories 2009 annual for
and Cancer rising here.
(July 22- Aug. 23)
We are almost always our own worst enemy, and you're passing through some psychic territory where the lessons are focused on how not to do that. You need to figure out what else you can be, and you need to go beyond being an ally to yourself: you need to actually be your own friend, mentor, spiritual advisor and life coach. It is true, you have plenty of input right now. There are likely to be people who are willing to help, and some are the sort you've never encountered before. There seems to be no limit to what is coming in from the world around you, and you're learning to discern what is true from what is not. No matter how you do this, you're going to be checking against internal reference points, so the truth always comes down to you.
Read your 2008 annual for Leo. Order your Next World Stories 2009 annual for
and Leo rising here.
(Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
The odd paradox of the moment is about how much more you want to do than you feel free to do. You might be noticing this one wherever you look. It's being enhanced by your rapidly growing sense of your own potential, which is providing the intensity of the contrast. In other words, your limitations are casting a shadow that seems deeper than it is, based on the intensity of the light of what you feel is possible and more to the point, what you know you must do. Here is a little game you can play with the world. Imagine that every goal you have, you will meet in a way other than the one you are planning, or the way that you expect will work. Don't worry about how you're going to get there; just let it be different than what you're expecting.
Read your 2008 annual for Virgo. Order your Next World Stories 2009 annual for
and Virgo rising here.
(Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)
There is something, well, bisexual about your charts at the moment. This is a long-developing story. We will never know the real extent of bisexuality in the human race, for two reasons: the conditioning to mandatory heterosexuality gets stronger by the day; and most of us find a gender orientation and then camp out there like George Washington's army at Valley Forge. Now is the time to loosen things up. You have options for how you identify who you are, and I suggest that if you find yourself taking one viewpoint and refusing to let it go, consider that you're doing something other than acting on a preference. There is beauty everywhere, in everyone, and it's your privilege not just to observe, but to explore.
Read your 2008 annual for Libra. Order your Next World Stories 2009 annual for
and Libra rising here.
(Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
A Full Moon in your own sign is about getting to know yourself, your emotional tendencies and personally experiencing the way that others see you. The Sun often represents how we see ourselves; the Moon is the intuitive response that others have to us. This is an extremely useful phenomenon, given the reputation of Scorpio as so often being something other than it is; that reputation being perpetuated because you tend to veil the sweet side of your nature and emphasize the determined, focused, power-centered side, even when you show up with wine and roses. I think you'll get a clue how to seem good-natured even in the midst of being good-natured. If you find one or two subtle points where you can be friendlier, this week it's triple word score.
Read your 2008 annual for Scorpio. Order your Next World Stories 2009 annual for
and Scorpio rising here.
(Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
You may be nervous about setting things in motion, things you cannot reverse. This would seem on one level to be the perfect excuse to do nothing, since you have this lurking sense that your life could run out of control. I'm not saying that it will; but what I am saying is that holding back on doing something that might potentially have a real effect is just about the best way to hold up all progress. One bellwether you can be alert to is your curiosity level, and your corresponding response to act on that curiosity. Watch both simultaneously. Be mindful of moments when you try to convince yourself not to act on your curiosity because you're afraid that something might happen. By that I mean that something you want to happen might happen, even if it will have unexpected consequences. Everything does.
Read your 2008 annual for Sagittarius. Order your Next World Stories 2009 annual for
Sagittarius rising here.
(Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
Saturn, your personal planet and one of my favorite planets, continues to retrograde in over-cautious, over-critical Virgo; this is how it feels to be a young girl controlled by her mother. If you're someone who has ideas but they're never good enough or big enough, you may finally crack open the situation now. Saturn is now square something called the Great Attractor, and this is bigger than any negative opinion you may have and it's bigger than the fear that's regularly instilled in us that we are constantly being spied on by a God who doesn't really answer when we pray. Right now if you focus your intentions and make a conscious effort to recognize the value of your ideas, you definitely stand a prayer of a chance of making the changes you want so badly.
Read your 2008 annual for Capricorn. Order your Next World Stories 2009 annual for
Capricorn rising here.
(Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
You've been working on yourself longer than you think -- a lot longer, and you've accomplished more than you think. You need to claim your progress and give yourself credit for what you've accomplished; and that credit translates to the courage to make the choices you need to make. I have often quoted A Course in Miracles' idea that every decision you make stems from what you think you are. I suggest you plug in this concept now, since what you think you are and what you become are quite closely related at the moment. You are also in an odd and high-amperage relationship with what other people think you are and you need to watch this one carefully. The same astrology that is helping you define yourself is also making you susceptible to the views of others, and you need to discern what is coming from you, and what is most assuredly not.
Read your 2008 annual for Aquarius. Order your Next World Stories 2009 annual for
Aquarius rising here.
(Feb. 19- March 20)
If you encounter resistance, quickly move on. In other words, the last thing you want to do right now is to get caught in the negativity or hesitancy of others. They have good reasons to be confident in you, but not as good as the ones you have. It is impossible to convince a skeptic, mainly because skepticism is a game that would better be called Convince Me if You Can. At the same time, when you see signs of cooperation or others expressing their trust and willingness, propagate the relationship. Now is the time when what you build, you build big; what you think and feel manifests in ways that will help direct the course of your future. Or rather, help you create the course of your future. You have enough doubt of your own, and you're finally learning to put it in its place. I think you'll prefer confidence a good bit more. It comes from you.
Read your 2008 annual for Pisces. Order your Next World Stories 2009 annual for
and Pisces rising here.