Friday, February 08, 2008

Spirit of Idealism in the USA

It's fascinating to observe the patterns and passions erupting, from a variety of perspectives, during this long election season in the USA. The conundrum I puzzle over a lot these days: sidereal versus tropical zodiac, nags me regularly as I browse news articles.

There's an interesting phenomenon occurring in the USA now. On first thought it seemed to me to be classic Uranus in Aquarius, which would have to relate to the sidereal zodiac, Uranus is now in tropical Pisces. "Change", a keyword of Uranus and Aquarius, is the buzzword of the moment here. American youth has suddenly become avidly interested in politics, passionately supporting their almost messianic hero, presidential candidate Barack Obama, whose message encapsulates Aquarian ideals.

The movement towards Aquarian ideals isn't only for the youth of the USA. Those left unmoved by Obama's oratory and celebrity endorsements are enthusiastically supporting an equally determined Hillary Clinton, who passionately demands change from the way the country has been run for the last 7 years. Even the old-fashioned Republican party has taken a wee step towards more Aquarian thinking by supporting John McCain, who, though still something of a warrior, is considerably more humanitarian (Aquarian) in his views on some fronts than his party would traditionally have been.

Uranus in sidereal Aquarius initially seems like a good fit, but because we currently have Neptune in tropical Aquarius and Uranus in tropical Pisces the two planets are in what astrologers call "mutual reception", each is in the home sign of the other. Astrologer Robert Wilkinson says (here) that mutual reception "is a very strong influence. It is as though the two planets feed each other, and grow stronger, for good or ill, in their ability to dominate those affairs in the chart." Using the sidereal zodiac, Neptune currently lies in Capricorn, mutual reception with Uranus is absent.

It's not a clear-cut choice to decide which fits the situation better, sidereal or tropical zodiac. It could be argued that Uranus in sidereal Aquarius is a good match for events in the USA, it could also be proposed that Neptune's influence is involved. In a paragraph above I used the word "messianic" quite automatically, and only later, when searching for information in my books, noticed that Grant Lewi, when describing Neptune in Aquarius in his book "Astrology for the Millions" said
"There is a tendency to messianic feelings of social and economic reconstruction, perhaps an inclination towards dubious methods of accomplishing worthwhile goals (an "end justifies the means attitude")".

Rosa Brooks' article "A National Mood Swing", in the Los Angeles Times discusses the current phenomenon (see here)
In conclusion, she writes:

"It’s far too soon to say if the newfound spirit of idealism that’s sending voters (including many independents) to the Democratic primaries in record numbers will endure, paving the way for an era of energized new social movements and reforms. But I’d bet that we really have turned a page. On the Republican side too, there’s a palpable desire for a candidate who doesn’t fit into a rigid ideological box, one who can tap into and reflect our best instincts instead of our most craven fears.

Whether the idealistic yearning for change endures probably has little to do with who wins and who loses the Democratic nomination (or even the White House). Losses can galvanize social movements just as much as victories, and whoever wins the White House will be president of an America different from the one that greeted Bush’s inaugurations in 2001 and 2005. It will be a more hopeful, less partisan nation, one united in its rueful awareness of the ways the Bush presidency went wrong, a nation more ready to pull its socks up and get to work to put things right."

Conclusion: Tropical zodiac may describe this particular situation more exactly than sidereal, depending on one's viewpoint, but sidereal would still describe it well enough.

Astrology aside, the hope in the hearts of everyone is surely that the phenomenon occurring here survives the election, then grows and blossoms, so the world and the planet itself will benefit.

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