Cleaning out an over-stacked bookcase, I came across some old magazines, which is always enjoyable. Now why did I want to keep a 1995 issue of National Geographic? Which story made me save it for the last 24 years?
One old magazine I actually recall fondly and would have actually remembered still having is the February/March 1996 issue of The Mountain Astrologer which focused on the 1995-2003 transit of Uranus in Aquarius. The byline reads It’s About Time.
Time. They got it right.
Astrology and Economics
I’ve always likened astrology to economics. While there are some underlying immutable laws, the mix of factors makes prediction possible but never exact. Astrology is the same.
From 1995-2003 Uranus was in Aquarius the fixed air sign noted for its rebelliousness, revolutionary mindset, technology and inventive foresight and desire for the ideal society. Uranus “rules” Aquarius so it was like a double dose of Aquarius and a huge potential for great changes in social interaction.
As you’ve noticed, there were great changes in social interaction during that time.
If you were alive in 1995, you know that we did things are are obsolete today like plug our phones into the wall, leave home without any tracking device, driving to faraway places using a paper guide called a “map” and went to restaurants and movies without knowing what others thought about them.
History.com describes it best with an article title: The 1990s: When Technology Upended Our World.
But how exactly did technology upend our world?
Uranus in Aquarius
When we think of the “upended world,” we often think of the Internet, hand-held technology and social media. What it boils down to for me is the entry of ever-present moving image. We are visual creatures so moving image is highly addictive. Today more than ever you are physically with people, but they are not really there with you. It’s like seeing movies with others – you are together, but not.
Yet the opposite polarity of this ever-present moving image is that you are now connected digitally to people in other places on the planet. You are both more connected to others than ever and less connected to others than ever.
Many of the astrologers in the 1996 issue of The Mountain Astrologer focused on the potential changing social relations. One, Steven Forrest, wrote:
So what’s in store for us for us in the next seven or eight years? It is tempting to predict great upheavals in alternative medicine, computer technology, social relations and so forth – tempting because these predictions are 100 percent safe in that they’ve already reached critical mass. The question of what Uranus in Aquarius will really “make happen” is ultimately futile – the whole point is that we are about to be given unforeseeable gifts, the wild unpredictable fruit of individual human genius. In Uranian fashion, it does not proceed logically out of the past, but rather hits with startling surprise of a lightning bolt. Only this shock of light doesn’t fade.
Gloria Star wrote:
Today we hear some politicians talking about humanistic ideals, but do not always see humanitarian results. The body politic needs a new revolution, and during the next several years it will create at least one! The battles will, once again, be fought over self-expression. We are removing many barriers and creating a more global society . . .
In addition to the articles on changing social relations, this February/March 1996 issue of The Mountain Astrologer included the articles Changing Our Minds About Time, The Mystery of Time: Our Inner Relativity, Breaking the Time Famine, and A New Timepeace: Bending and Mending Time.
The social upheaval was just beginning and the astrologers linked the astrological symbolism and the current social patterns to understand the great changes that would occur with social relations and time.
Social relations and time . . . what’s the connection?
If we go back to the early 20th century, many folks did not have telephones. To talk to someone, you had to see them in person. The invention of the telephone made communication by voice possible over long distances. If you didn’t want to talk to someone, you didn’t answer the phone.
The change to digital didn’t just offer enhanced ability to communicate and convenience; it also removed the physical barriers. You no longer “can’t answer the phone” with the same impunity. We are now all emergency room doctors on call 24/7.
The collapse of barriers appears to have also collapsed time itself. As digital allows uninvited entry, there is more activity in the ever-present now than ever before. The more activity, the more time passes.
While the early promise of digital was convenience, the open borders have created in influx of relationships to manage from the most important personal and business relationships to relationships with every minor aspect of your life, such as managing a relationship with a business that provides you hand lotion.
Uranus in Aquarius collapsed time. The space between you and the outside world was a bridge of time that no longer exists.
And everyone wants everything now. There is no more time. Only poor people in faraway places have the time to make the stuff that the digital world wants now.
Uranus in Aquarius to Uranus in Taurus
The other day while standing at the break room microwave, I noticed a scale under the table. No one was around, I observed, so maybe I’d take a quick weight check. Pulling it out and stepping on, I discovered it was digital. I could not simply see my weight.
How did it work? Where was the manual? Would I have to Google it to see how it worked?
There was time, back when this issue of The Mountain Astrologer was produced, where I could step on a scale and see my weight. I could also park without the use of a smart phone app. I could do many things directly without a digital screen in between.
If Uranus in Aquarius brought the digital transformation, Uranus in Pisces (2003 – 2011) made us worship it and Uranus in Aries (2010 – 2019) created the intense personalization (see My Uranus in Aries).
Now that Uranus is in fixed earth-sign Taurus and moving direct (since March 2019), technology is the new norm, it is reality. There is no going back to the simple life of stepping on the scale and knowing your weight. Every activity is a data transfer to a collector of data.
Digital data is now a commodity. Your behavior is a commodity. Shoshana Zuboff calls this “surveillance capitalism.”
The Free and Open Internet – Did You Enjoy it?
Aquarius’ elevator speech models the French Revolution – Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Uranus was discovered in 1781, a few years before the Bastille was stormed. The discovery of Uranus coincided with what we call the Age of Enlightenment.
When Uranus was in Aquarius in 1996, the ideal was a free and open Internet. And it did exist that way, until about the time Uranus moved into Pisces (2003).
What both economists and astrologers can miss is the interplay of future energies on current patterns. Economists try hard to add the unknown. Astrologers have the advantage of knowing future transits.
Many other articles in The Mountain Astrologer looked ahead to the continuing transit of Pluto in Sagittarius then later (which is now) Pluto in Capricorn.
While Uranus in Aquarius in a vacuum is a free and open Internet, bring on Pluto in Sagittarius (1995-2008) religious wars and Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2023) authoritarianism and these Uranus in Aquarius changes in social relations and time are exploited by those that want to control.
In The Guardian article China’s hi-tech war on its Muslim minority we see all the promise of free and open information used in the way of the old-fashioned, 20th century prison bars. Now that behavior is a commodity, there may no longer be a need for brick and mortar prisons. Now that’s digital for you!
Like the electric fence that keeps dogs in front yards, the digital that enlightened us is now the digital that controls us. But it doesn’t need to be that way.
Liberty, Equality and Fraternity are still the highest aims of Aquarius. While 2020 and 2021 are filled with planets in Capricorn (Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto) which seeks social order but can fall into authoritarian control to achieve it, beginning in 2022 the planets move into Aquarius and in 2024, Pluto will follow.
Hopefully Pluto in Aquarius will retain the highest goals of the digital transformation which are global awareness, free and open information and the focus on “now” to solve social problems, not simply to ship products.
This transformation may have to first pass through Aquarian brotherhoods where you have to gain entry into these ideal societies until they become a larger, social norm.
Time will tell. Meanwhile, we can keep up with our astrologers who are looking ahead and providing the signs. It’s time to listen to the astrologers.