Sunday, April 20, 2014

Your Dogma Is Chasing My Karma

Earlier this month (April 9th, to be precise), I attempted to write about the Grand Cross (aka Double Square or Perfect Shit Storm) in a unique, witty, literary way -- by creating a little dialogue among the four principal players: Jupiter, exalted in Cancer; Mars, retrograde and in its detriment in Libra; Pluto in Capricorn, and Uranus in Aries.

However, I think there is still room for a ymore traditional approach insofar as explaining the specific aspects and planets involved. We have officially entered the peak of the Grand Cross, with one doozy of an aspect after another from today through Wednesday. I will attempt to break it down without having a nervous breakdown in the process -- and please understand that because these aspects are all happening on the heels of one another, we really won't have any breathing time to "process" any of them until next week at the earliest.

Please also note that all times given are EDT.

Easter Sunday began with a bang: the Jupiter-Uranus square (exact 3:25 a.m.). I can tell you exactly where I was: waking up with a stiff neck on my sofa, having fallen asleep a couple of hours earlier while watching 54, an almost laughably bad (except that it wasn't funny) so-called drama about a young man's rise (and probable fall, though I missed that part) at disco mecca Studio 54, where owner and tax-evading sleazemeister extraordinaire Steve Rubell "discovered" this cute-but-naive-and-kinda-stupid 19-year-old (barely played, with a bad "Joy-zee" accent, by Ryan Phillipe) and made him a busboy-slash-boy toy, then bartender-slash-boy toy. Neve Campbell, playing a soap-opera goddess, shows up at one point, then wisely disappears -- unlike poor coat-check girl disco-diva-wannabe Salma Hayek. There was a method to my madness for streaming this inane piece of dreck after my best friend departed: first of all, we'd watched Blue Valentine, which left me with such a bad taste in my mouth that no amount of wine guzzling or tooth brushing would fix it, and second of all, I figured a movie like 54 would be perfect to watch under a Jupiter-Uranus square: the excess! The unwise gambling! The lack of impulse control in general! The disco-as-church theme! Was I ever mistaken. I would've been better off engaging in potentially pleasurable excess than watching a pale, paint-by-the-numbers rendition of it. However, if any of you spent the Jupiter-Uranus square losing your life savings in Vegas or AC, putting expensive, poisonous substances up your nose or into your veins, or attending a condomless orgy, you may be wishing right about now that you'd spent a low-key evening at home.

We are now working up to the Jupiter-Pluto opposition (exact this evening at 7:05 p.m.). Religious dogma, anyone? I wonder how many people today are deciding it would be a swell gesture, in honor of Easter, to revive the old-school punishment called crucifixion. I wonder how many government officials are scaring the bejeezus out of their citizens, or are posing as officials, per last Tuesday's debacle involving leaflets in eastern Ukraine addressed to "Jews of Donetsk," ordering them to pay the new pro-Russian revolutionary authorities $50 apiece for individual registration, or else face property confiscation and deportation. It was signed "Independent Donetsk Republic" and an identical flyer was signed "Your People’s Governor Denis Pushilin." But wait! It was apparently a belated April Fools' Day prank, delayed till Passover when the joke would be even funnier, for Pushilin denies any involvement in this notification. Yet the local Jews are, understandably, not amused -- and as Ukraine desires more than ever to join the West, I wonder what the cost in terms of human lives and nerve-induced puke will come to.

Not that the Jupiter-Pluto opposition only has to do with religious fanaticism and war; one has only to look at an article in today's New York Times (preferably the online version, so you can eyeball the comments section) to realize it also includes the cost of illegal immigration. It seems that last month, a 12-year-old girl from southern Ecuador hung herself in a children's shelter after Mexican authorities (that's right; Mexican, not U.S.) busted her in the company of a "coyote" (a person paid a pretty penny to shepherd others across various borders -- in other words, a Jupiter-Pluto opposition personified). The girl did not want to leave her grandparents; she'd attempted the long trip before and failed. And the grandparents did not want to lose their granddaughter, whom they'd taken care of since she was a baby, after her parents immigrated (illegally) to the U.S., settling in Queens, NYC. But in the end, the $20K the parents gave to various coyotes trumped everything else, and as a result, Noemi Álvarez Quillay died.

Who knows what physical and psychological traumas this girl (along with thousands of other minors every year) endured while making this treachorous trip in the company of coyotes and then questioned (probably harshly) by authorities. She probably felt that it was her fault she'd gotten caught a second time. Perhaps it was a murder made to look like a suicide. Noemi's parents did not even go down to Mexico to identify their child, for if they left the U.S., they certainly wouldn't have been able to reenter. As you might expect, the comments on this tragic story run the gamut from "it's a crime against humanity not to have an open-border policy" to "it's the parents' fault and they should be deported and charged with child abuse" to "we in the US have to take care of our own before taking care of the rest of the world." One person invoked the inscription on the Statue of Liberty; another reminded this poster that it applied only to legal tired, poor, huddled masses willing to go through Lady Liberty's home base of Ellis Island.

Jupiter is now conjunct U.S.'s Sun at 13 Cancer, which would be great except that Pluto is also opposing U.S.'s Sun. I can only barely comprehend how comparatively lucky I am to be a white American citizen and not, say, a woman in a third-world country who feels that her home brings her nothing but poverty, disease, and various forms of sanctioned abuse. And the U.S. government relishes the role of being not only the world's cop (military-industrial complex, anyone?) but the world's savior. I'm not talking about a genuine sense of compassion here, but the inflated, Jupiterian sense of U.S. exceptionalism, of knowing better, and being better, than the rest of the world. The mixed message that the U.S. sends -- that there are indeed immigration laws, and you should absolutely abide by them, but if you're willing to risk life and limb to get in, if you successfully cross the border and settle in a city where there is plenty of under-the-table, under-minimum-wage work to be found, you will most likely not be kicked out -- is probably not the best solution. It certainly didn't turn out so well for young Noemi or her family.

By now you're probably not in the mood to read about Monday's Uranus-Pluto square (number 5 of 7); I'm certainly not in the mood to write anymore about it right now -- I've written about this aspect too many times already over the past two years. I also currently lack the energy and fortitude to get into Tuesday's Mars-Jupiter square or Wednesday's Mars-Uranus opposition and Mars-Pluto square. I'll try to post again tomorrow, but for now, I'll just say that all of these Mars aspects really, really suck, and I recommend avoiding all manners of machinery if at all possible.

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