Earlier this week NPR aired a story about hedge fund Alden Global Capital buying America’s newspapers to downsize them and turn a profit. As “the business of America is business,” it’s not a surprise, at least at this stage of privatization, that those buying up newspapers are interested solely in profit rather than any dedication to the public good.
So what? We may say. The media exaggerates; is biased; is negative. But remember, in our digital age the media responds to our clicks. Our media is biased, exaggerated and fear-invoking because that is what we respond to. Complex, nuanced information does not sell well. While the Internet initially broadened our world, ironically it is now shrinking our world into individualized marketing pods. And many players are involved in helping us stay in self-contained universes.
As I listened to this news story, my astrological thoughts moved to Uranus which will go into Gemini in the mid 2020s. As Gemini is all about information and communication, I wondered what we would do if at that time there were no newspapers.
The planet Uranus was discovered in 1781 during The Age of Enlightenment which introduced a more rational, less deterministic view of human life. In Denmark, a German physician – Johann Struensee – befriending the mentally unstable and incapable King Charles VII – helped enact these enlightened reforms:
- Abolition of torture
- Abolition of unfree labour
- Abolition of the censorship of the press
- Abolition of capital punishment
- Abolition of the practice of preferring nobles for state office
- Introduction of a tax on gambling and luxury horses to fund the nursing of foundlings
- Ban of the slave trade in the Danish colonies
- Removal of penalties against those who produced illegitimate children
- Criminalisation and punishment of bribery
- Re-organisation of judicial institutions to minimise corruption
- Re-organisation and reduction of the army
- Reform of the state-owned medical institutions
How are these reforms faring today?
Looking through the list, a few could be re-implemented today all over the world. Torture might be illegal within the US borders, but since 9/11 has been openly pursued outside of our borders. Is there censorship of the press? Technically no but when the press is purchased to dismantle, then isn’t that the same effect? In many countries journalists are being assassinated. Bribery in the US was institutionalized for the upper classes as lobbying and corruption is now openly accepted as a political norm.
The issues of 18th century Denmark are eerily similar to the issues of today across the globe although the forms may have changed and marketing and public relations are used to mask realities.
Uranus in Taurus and Gemini
Today Uranus is in Taurus, about halfway through its seven-year transit. Taurus is a fixed earth sign and rules material life – body, house, earth.
Shifts in supply chain have provided enlightenment into the complex dependencies that create material comfort in the West. Consistency is a Taurus trait and Uranus has cracked the routines of Western life. While your news analysts keep trying to predict a return to normalcy, expect supply chain and financial volatility for the next four years.
After Taurus comes Gemini – mutable air, very different from Taurus. While Taurus loves routine, Gemini hates it. After seven years we may be more comfortable with a more flexible, fluid existence. Gemini is the mind, mental stimulation, socialization, information and communication. Gemini is fun – something we all want after the heavy earth energies of 2020 (many planets in Capricorn with Uranus in Taurus).
For me, Gemini is the journalist while its opposite sign Sagittarius is the philosopher. Gemini seeks the facts and Sagittarius tries to make meaning.
What will happen when Uranus is in Gemini and there are no newspapers?
This astrologer will trust in Gemini creativity that we will have a better way to have accurate, valid information.
The Second Coming of the Enlightenment
When Uranus was discovered on March 13, 1781 it was transiting Gemini (mutable air) at 24 degrees. In 2030, we may have another Age of Enlightenment as it returns to this position. On March 13, 1781, Pluto was transiting fixed air sign Aquarius and Neptune was in cardinal air sign Libra. Fraternity, liberty, equality – words of the French Revolution and words beloved by air signs. Air signs are social and these three outer planets in the three air signs brought “enlightenment” through rationality and exchange of ideas as opposed to religious dogmatism and immutable social position.
In the mid 2020’s, Pluto will move from Capricorn to Aquarius. Neptune will also move but not to Libra like during the 18th century Enlightenment but its opposite sign Aries.
What kind of enlightenment will the 21st century create?
With Neptune in Aries, I suspect the glamorization of warriors and warfare like the heroes of the Greek stories. Maybe we’ll even see children named after the Greek and Roman gods.
We may worship warships.
Creating fraternity, liberty and equality in the 18th century was about land. In the 21st century, it’s about information, and other technology that moves through the air, invisible to the eye but affecting our lives. Wars are now digital – cyber attacks, microwave attacks and probably dozens of other invisible technologies.
How does one create equality in a digital world? What does equality even mean?
My thoughts go to the past, the Greek city-states. But air is about the future and possibilities, not the past. But guaranteed it won’t be boring and we must keep alert in a world of information play. Gemini likes to learn and we will need to learn quickly to keep up.