Tuesday, November 16, 2010

CHRIS HEDGES: One of America's Rare, True Leftists.

I'm interested to see the natal chart of Chris Hedges, journalist, author, war correspondent, and peace activist. His writing alternately inspires and troubles me. In some of his articles at Truthdig, he comes over as potentially aggressive, paranoid, pessimistic and doom-ridden. Although, I have to say, what he writes aligns very closely to how I'm beginning feel - most of the time - that there is no longer any "proper" leftist thinking left in USA politics.

It hasn't always been so, that much I've gleaned from reading (and posting) about such people as Emma Goldman, Howard Zinn, Eugene Debs, Abbie Hoffman, Mother Jones and others. Their views and ideals have been crushed gradually, but with determination, over several decades.

There's serious imbalance here. Any appearance of balance is cosmetic.
Both Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives in positions of authority have been bought and paid for by the same masters. We can choose between Coke and Pepsi - minor differences in flavour and ingredients, but basically the same non-nourishing entity, and it's much the same in US politics.

Is there any solution? Are most Americans satisfied with what they have? Perhaps so, because I see little strong objection about it. But even though they seem complacent, or resigned, to what there is, they ought to be offered a clear choice, and there is no true choice available at present. Many seem not to realise this, or not to want to admit it to themselves. Perhaps the people haven't yet appreciated where our present political route could lead. Give 'em time! Two Fs to describe possible consequences: feudalism & fascism - a natty combination of these would mean that we and our descendants would be well and truly 'effed' for decades to come - maybe even centuries if Earth survives that long!

At the weekend I watched the following video interview with Chris Hedges about his new book The Death of the Liberal Class. If a passing reader can spare 20 minutes it's well worth the watching. Interestingly, here, he came over in person as a quiet, mild-mannered, compassionate and well-balanced individual - not at all as I had imagined he'd be from some of his writing. Perhaps I'd been doing what some people, when trying to be clever, like to call "projecting".

Chris Hedges is the son of a Presbyterian minister. In a quote from Robert Shetterly's lovely book Americans Who Tell the Truth Hedges said:
I have always sought to meet the moral and ethical standards my father set. He remains an invisible witness to every action I undertake. Seven years after he had died in 2002 I was called into the office of The New York Times. I had been speaking openly against the Iraq war and the paper issued me a written reprimand telling me that if I did not cease speaking out against the war I would be fired. It was not an easy moment. I had spent nearly fifteen years at the paper, including time as the paper’s Middle East Bureau Chief. I faced a choice. I could comply with the paper’s demand and pay fealty to my career, but to do so would mean betraying my Dad. This betrayal was something I could not do. As I left the building, knowing my time at the paper was finished, I realized that the greatest gift my father had given me was freedom

Hedges' biography is encapsulated at Truthdig - a clip:
He spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

Hedges was part of the team of reporters at The New York Times awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002. The Los Angeles Press Club honored Hedges’ original columns in Truthdig by naming the author the Online Journalist of the Year in 2009, and granted him the Best Online Column award in 2010 for his Truthdig essay "One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists".
He was born on 18 September 1956 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. I wish a time of birth were available but I can find none, so a 12noon chart has to suffice. Moon degree and ascending degree and/or sign will not be accurate.

His natal chart describes the man in the video more clearly than how he comes over from his writing, in my opinion. I'd so like to know his rising sign - if anybody has a birth time for him, please do let me know!

Sun (self) and Jupiter (publishing, religion, excess) in Virgo, the critical and discerning sign (ruled by Mercury, the writers' planet); Mercury itself is in Libra, Airy, mentally oriented sign of balance and fair play. Even that much astrology does kind of describe him, already neatly packaged! But there's more, of which I'll add a couple of extra comments.

Moon would have been somewhere between 2 and 15 Pisces placing it likely to be conjunct Mars and in opposition to Sun and/or Jupiter. This is another version of the balancing act his Libra Mercury performs. Moon and Mars together in some signs, and opposing personal planets could mean trouble - but in Pisces, not so much. Pisces connects to spiritual and religious matters, it's a gentle but wise sign, last of the 12 with their gathered wisdom embedded. Mars here reflects an energetic determination to do what the native sees is right according to his inner wisdom - rather than harbouring aggressive tendencies.

I'd have expected that either Aquarius or its modern ruler Uranus would show up prominently in Chris Hedges' chart. Well, Uranus does.....it's conjunct Venus and sextile Mercury shedding its astrological rebellious, radical influence upon two of his important personal planets. Aquarius isn't emphasised except by the presence of Chiron, known as "the Wounded Healer", at 6.49 degrees Aquarius (just 3 minutes away from my natal Sun as it happens). I don't often take notice of Chiron, but here it could be of special significance, sitting as it does opposite Uranus/Venus in Leo performing yet another balancing act between the urge to be radical and rebellious and the urge to heal.


Gian Paul said...

Hi Ann, some wonder let me access your blog again (truth is I reverted to my ancient phone/modem provider and for now it works again - hope for semper!)

I was intrigued by your statement that Chris Hedges should have Aquarius or Uranus prominent in his map. You found not, I think at the contrary he has a very telling Uranus position in Leo, it's opposite sign of where he's prominent or domiciled.

As we now have a true left-wing revolutionary - and a Lady-President here in Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, I recently made her horoscope and so remembered that she has Mars at 3-4 degr. Leo, two degrees away from Hedges' Uranus. She also has no planets in Aquarius and her Uranus (in Gemini) is mostly "intellectual", opposing though her Sun.

The Lady has some guts for sure: under the military dictatorship here she was arrested and tortured for having robbed a bank to buy guns for her terrorist companions, even participated in emptying an arms arsenal of the Brazilian army etc.

Born on Dec 14th, 1947 (time unknown, in Belo Horizonte), she is a strong Sagittarius, having Sun and Jupiter/Mercury in that sign. Venus/Moon in Capricorn (she is not really pretty) gave her the idea, I guess, at age 15, to exchange her priviledged private
school run by nuns for a public one, saying that the real world was there. She ended up with a doctorate in economics after being out of prison when the military here collapsed, then became politician, Mayor of Porto Alegre, Minister of Energy (under Lula) and then his Chief of Staff. And now she became the first woman president of Brazil.

On top of her agenda is to continue fighting (eliminating, she says) poverty and letting all citizens have access to broad-band internet. I personnally of course count on that!

R J Adams said...

"The liberal class evolved into a class of courtiers."

How true that is, both in America and Britain. They sold out their beliefs for personal gain.

Twilight said...

Gian Paul ~~~Good to see you here again!

Well, yes, that's one way of looking at Hedges' chart and the link to Aquarius/Uranus.
If we knew his birth time there could well be a stronger connection - Uranus or Aquarius on an angle for instance. His Uranus conjunct Venus IS good too.

Thanks for your interesting astro rundown on your new Prez. in Brazil - she sounds exactly what's needed here.
It will be very interesting to see how she fares in her new position.

Again, as with Hedges, perhaps her birthtime would put Uranus or Aquarius on an angle. Her time of birth might emerge at some point, as might Hedges - I hope so.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~~ Didn't they though!?
You've set a paraphrased quote from the Bible rattling around my head:
"they sold their birthright for a mess of pottage".

Fabienne Lopez said...

Hi Twilight:

Maybe, just maybe there will be a rebellion, if Americans realized the American is dead if it ever existed. People are so attached to that notion that anybody can make it big in the USA, from nothing. The consequence is their unwillingness to end tax breaks for the rich, in case their ever make that far.

Twilight said...

Fabienne/Astrology Unboxed ~(I think you meant to type
"If Americans realized the American Dream is dead...."

Well, yes, though I think things must become a lot worse for more people before emotions would raise to the level of rebellion. Even then, I doubt that enough people have the stomach for it these days - knowing what kind of force and firepower the govt. has at its disposal.

If things do get worse though, and a strong left-wing leader were to emerge in either an established party or a new one - someone already trusted by liberals, then there might be a chance to, at least, bring back balance and choice.

Wisewebwoman said...

Yes, T, I too wonder if it is dying breed we are looking at. I've admnired Hedges along with Pilger for quite some time. The clear voices of truth.
When I see that **** Bush being honoured for his book and his torturing I know we are at End Days.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ I'm not sure about End Days, but I think we're at a very low point, in the USA especially, moreso than the UK. But the wheel will turn for us all, eventually. Nature doesn't like imbalance, which is what this current scenario amounts to.

Trouble is that Nature works VERY slowly and we may not be around to see the "dénouement".

Nutsie said...

The other radical sign is the far reaching Sagittarius and 5 degrees (12.40pm) would put Uranus in the ninth trine to the Ascendant. Then we have planets in the 3rd and 9th indicative of a writer, Sun and (Mercury) on the MC indicative of a public figure, Saturn and North Node in the 12th which gives the structure and Dharma to collective intuitive thought. Better a speculative than a 12 noon I always reckon!
Cheers, Nutsie

Twilight said...

Nutsie ~~~ thank you for your input. Yes, that time of birth would be a nice fit, I agree.

It's very tempting to speculate. I'm wary of doing so on the blog as a rule, because it kind of plays into the hands of skeptics, who say that astrologers "make astrology fit" by various means....etc.
But I agree with you in this case. :-)

Anonymous said...

Note also that he has a Fixed Cross in his chart. This may be the most fundamental force between his power and will to resist in the name of higher morals.

- Fixed Cross / blacksun?

Twilight said...

Anonymous ~~ Indeed - and thank you for pointing that out. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. It looks like we both have Mercury at 10 degrees of Libra, no wonder I like his writings... Certainly a position for social justice.

Twilight said...

Anonymous ~ You're very welcome!
Glad it was of interest. :-)