Back in the heyday of LSD when people had parties to ingest the drug, at least one person withheld and was designated as the watcher so that if on your trip you felt as if you could fly, this person could prevent you from jumping out of the window.
Today we have designated drivers when folks go drinking. Under the watery haze of alcohol, people all too often feel they are steady enough to drive. Drinking “goggles” affect driving as effectively as partner choice.
Since we already have the idea in place, Ohio Astrology (OHA) proposes we also implement a Designated Watcher Program.
What does the watcher watch?
The Designated Watcher watches for relevant news.
Uranus in Aries
As noted in the blog My Uranus in Aries, the digital age has produced the ability to target market directly to an individual’s preferences (in the past we were more broadly lumped with those who shared common interests). If I recently purchased vanilla-scented candles, the data collectors note this and send more offers for vanilla-scented candles. They may even add an offer for lavender-scented candles or pretty candle snuffers.
Now that we’ve engaged with what is called social media, these companies too collect this information. Now I may still receive direct mail or email offers for candles, but also will see candle offers when I search for dog food or a weather update. When I’m on social media or email, a sponsored offer for scented candles will appear in my feed or offers on the side panel. I may even see stories and posts about candles.
Uranus is the planet of sudden enlightenment and Aries is the sign of self (“me first”) so it’s no wonder the Selfie Movement was hatched during this seven-year transit. Constantly taking pictures of oneself was once viewed as vain and self-centered. Today it is culture which has stretched into the targeted marketing that caters to the needs of this self to an extent that I have constant offers based on my individual preferences. This was once labeled temptation.
The positive side of Uranus in Aries is the self-motivation and self-respect needed to rise against discrimination and oppression. We see this too in the Selfie Movement.
The negative and nefarious side of the Selfie Movement is that others cater to my personal interests to the extent that what doesn’t interest me is never in my field of vision. It’s essentially blocked not from totalitarian efforts to control my reality, but through my positive feedback on doing just this. This is especially concerning when it affects what we call “the news.”
A friend and I recently tried to determine if there were really more animal maulings than ever or if these stories in the past would have been kept to the local news. As we discussed it, my marketing brain immediately put together the pieces. I, like others, recently clicked on a viral news story involved a child and zoo animal. Now, 80 percent of my “news” feed regards human/animal situations or animal situations. There was a time when “dog bites man” was the cliché for a nonsensical news story.
Jupiter transiting the last degrees of Virgo could explain this as Virgo rules pets in addition to work, routine and diet.
But I continue to suspect that my current local “news” feed is what many years ago would have been relegated to the “news of the weird” section of the local free paper. In fact, we no longer have the “news of the weird” section. Weird is the new norm in that it is Uranus-in-Aries tailored to what received the most clicks today. Just because we clicked on the sensational story doesn’t mean that’s all we read yet because it received the most clicks, that is all I now see.
In response, I’ve vowed to click no more on these stories (although I must admit I tried to watch the video of a woman running down her boyfriend after her admitted he was HIV positive and never informed her – the video didn’t load and I came to my senses). I will send the big data machine that lives in the cloud a strong and firm message – I’m not interested.
Neptune in Pisces
While Uranus in Aries is tailoring both marketing and “news” to my individual tastes (such as wanting to read only about cats), Neptune is transiting its own sign of Pisces which brings heighted feeling, intuition, self-sacrifice, spirituality and shared group feelings.
Neptune also rules image including the moving image of film. My current hypothesis is that what the eye sees is “real” to certain parts of our brain. Ingesting visually is as important as ingesting physically yet today we see more image than ever without considering its health effects.
Pisces is also a water sign so we’re seeing a rise in water issues from scarcity to pollution. Neptune is putting water on all of our “watch” lists.
While much of the random violence we’re seeing today could be connected to Uranus in Aries (Aries is ruled by Mars, god of War), Neptune in Pisces has responded by sharing the pain of others. Pisces feels and we’re seeing ever larger groups of people suffering the same pain which is now being felt by others far away.
Neptune in Pisces’ ability to empathize with the feelings of others is extremely important for a planet consumed by material gain. Where it can go wrong is that while great joy or great grieving occurs, others can take advantage of us while we’re distracted.
The great irony here is that while information is available to the average person like never before, marketing filters that information for the greatest emotional impact. This is the Pisces – Virgo polarity in action. We have so much detail (Virgo), that we are overwhelmed (Pisces) and provided information that provides emotional (Pisces) release.
If I search for strawberry-flavored water, the data machines will send me information on the health benefits of water, companies selling water and strawberry farms where I can pick my own strawberries. Marketing will never, ever choose to send me information on lead contamination in the water. That is a story that might make me think twice about buying bottled water.
Neptune and Pisces are also great at creating images. My favorite of today, also of the Virgo-Pisces polarity is the idea of “health food.” All real food (i.e., not processed and not modified), technically, should be healthy. In my local grocery, there is an aisle of processed food labeled “health foods.” That’s marketing and image making. The reason you pay more for that “health food” is that it costs more to market.
The Designated Watcher Plan
What can we do? We can more carefully watch the news. But since there’s a lot to filter through and since we do want to occasionally watch a girlfriend running over her ex-boyfriend with her car, OHA suggests we have a Designated Watcher Plan.
In today’s world of extreme weather and random violence, many families and groups have put together emergency plans. The Designated Watcher Plan can piggyback onto those efforts.
Possibly in a monthly rotation, the Designated Watcher can refuse to click on any story considered sensational, important only to a local area not one’s own, written by marketers or just plain useless. The Designated Watcher will focus on relevant news that often escapes coverage such as lead in the water, environmental degradation, local and global economic situations, loss of civil rights, illegal executive privilege, bribery and corruption.
The Designated Watcher will inform his group of these important pieces of information so that they can take action when desired and during elections cast votes as well-informed citizens.
The Designated Watcher will inform his group through the old-fashioned form of human interaction where data has no ability to post ads and banners that prohibit our ability to concentrate. Full attention is critical when receiving important and relevant information.
Watch for a Designated Watcher near you.