“Terminal Velocity: the highest velocity attainable by an object as it falls through air.”
Each successive era seems to accelerate at a an exponential pace, The Agricultural Revolution came after the Paleolithic (60,000 years old by then) and took 10,000 years, The Industrial Revolution and the Enlightenment took between 300-400 years. The Information Age took 30 years, and so it seems the human project is increasing in velocity towards what, we are ultimately still deciding. It seems that much like the moments that demarcated the changing of eras prior we are once again at a critical threshold in the transition between one age and the next, here we stand now at the beginning of a new era called the Anthropocene. For the first time in the physical history of the Earth a species of biological life it spawned is capable of amassing such an impact on the planetary regulatory systems that it can be said to be a force of nature, we humble hominids not much different from our chimpanzee cousins it seems are a force formidable enough to change the very functioning of our planet. The more extreme aspect of this is that it seems the changes we are initiating are accelerating these processes to a point where they can easily flip into a new phase state, one that is potentially not amenable to human thriving. August will put these issue into a more precise focus:
From Red Queen to Dark Goddess:
Venus Retrograde through Leo and Cancer: August 4th-September 6th, 2015:
We begin the Venus retrograde with the lady donning the guise of the red queen while she traipses through Leo one of the more regal signs. It is always interesting that during these retrograde periods through this particular sign the issues of race relations and the legacies of colonialism come painfully into focus and there is a kind of cultural reckoning. Borrowing a page from the Uranus-Pluto squares of the last few years we have certainly seen a reckoning as it refers to issues of race and inequality both domestically in the U.S. and Canada and in the international community. Expect more of this in the years ahead and especially now with this particular transit. The hope is that through these dramatic confrontations the conversation around these issue can begin to change and we can move towards reconciliation and social justice, but first we have to go through the reckoning, no skipping developmental stages!
With Cancer it is a question of legacies, survival, genetics, tribal memories, and cultural traditions, given that ours is heritage soaked in colonialism, theocracy, violence and ecological devastation ours is one seriously in need of questioning and revision, and that what this opportunity represents the chance to change our legacy and truly for the first time attain what could be a culture true to the definition of the word civilization. We are having to re-learn how to go native, how to inhabit the planet without destroying the systems that give us our life support, work with its processes, and cycles, and if we don’t, we perish plain and simple. It is in this moment we need to be having this dialogue personally and collectively where we begin to address these pressing issues and negotiate with reality, it may have been said that our way of life is non-negotiable but that concept is a non-starter when reality becomes your negotiating partner you don’t have to be in the room. Cancer reminds us of our status as a human family that the distinctions we create in our societies don’t have any biological precedent as there is very little biological variation between us, in the potent symbol of DNA, how interesting it is a molecule we all share and the differences in its configurations are so infinitesimally small between us that we are quite literally a family, that is os the essence of the Cancer archetype . The dialogue is one of harmonizing relations between each other and with the ground of being (our planet).
Venus Conjunct Jupiter: Hyper drive: August 4th:
The already looming issues of race and privilege in the U.S. and the world, will now balloon in their importance and prescience, this is a favorable development and will hopefully entrench the New Civil Rights Era into our collective dialogue and will expand on similar conversations happening all over the world.
Venus Square Saturn: Escalation, August 5th:
This intense dialogue will continue to escalate to the point where it will begin squaring off with authority and those placed in positions of power and privilege. The utter disaster of the Donald Trump campaign is a potent sign that our national character is changing rapidly a lot to do with demographics yes, as well as a change in prevailing attitudes. This will continue to heavily influence the direction of the 2016 Presidential Campaigns.
Venus conjunct Mercury: Voices Raised, August 6th:
Touching off the aspects from days prior will be the one that gives the new societal framework a louder voice, the Internet of course has been the principle technology that has increased the volume on these movements. I would love these conversations raised to such a fever pitch that they become undeniable any further and it begins to impact the forces of history!
Saturn Retrograde ends, August 2nd:
The Saturn Retrograde through Libra comes to a close as the planet stations and then goes direct. Any contrivances or structures that laid their groundwork during the retrograde period will now begin to move forward and on the schedule established. In particular we have seen a number of developments in the realm of social justice a decidedly Libran area of influence, it is quite possible the momentum gained with these will continue and hopefully the New Civil Rights Era, will gain the gravitas necessary to turn it from a movement to a new frontier in the evolution of our civilization.
The work at hand is not just the wrenching personal work of confronting the heart and its ministrations there is also the collective work that rests at addressing the dark heart of civilization itself. Humanity has yet to actually achieve the milestone of civilization and our culture and intelligence is still in its early phases of development, what this symbol set represents then is the acceptance of this phase of our development and holds out the promise of what is to come if we can resist the temptation to constantly service the needs of the present on the projected deficits of the future.
Jupiter Square Saturn: Speaking Truth to Power, August 3rd:
A possible outcome of this continuing dialogue in society is that the voices of those who suffer under the oppression will speak louder than those is privilege who would continue that status quo. A groundswell in unprecedented support could be witnessed now by all sectors of society, we must remember to not take ownership of the forum or conversation and let the voices of those who have less privilege speak for themselves.
Mercury and Mars Square Saturn: The Nuclear Option, August 6th, 2015:
The immediate reaction of most astrologers to this is “Oh Shit” but knee jerk reactions are ineffective for longer term thinking and prudent decision making. Instead, it may just signal that things could get very real and definite fault lines could emerge in the politicking going forward from this day, perhaps it is time there is a collective figuring out of who is on the wrong side of history? It is also a day when the atmosphere is ripe to ask some hard questions based in a violent and pathological history.
Uranus Retrograde July 26th-December 25th, 2015:
Chaos Theory which is the science that underpins the study of complex systems and a branch of Physics which help us to understand everything from population changes in organisms to the variability of the weather is predicated on a very simple law. It is this: a change in a complex systems initial conditions can have profound consequences downstream, more poetically stated the flapping of a butterflies wings in Los Angeles can lead to a typhoon in Taipei. In essence a small perturbation in the dynamics of a complex systems foundation can have major end results and a Uranus retrograde works mightily on this principle.
It is quite simply that during this transit a massive, out of left field series of changes can occur at the level of foundational principles that leads to a change in phase state, much as we are doing with our planet’s operating system. Climate Change is an apt metaphor for what this looks like, we are emitting a gas, a small molecule in such quantities that the small shift in atmospheric concentration of said gas has massive implications for the climate system and every life-form including ourselves effected by a change in how it functions.
Some basic primers on Uranus retrograde: There is a strong need for autonomy present at these times and a tendency to break away from tradition, circumstances are no longer guaranteed but are subject to change at any moment, a kind of new normal is established, a confrontation with limitations that need to be transcended and cause trouble until we do, a change in the arrangement of affairs which can be unnerving or thrilling depending on perspective, a new level of being, abrupt changes possibly disruptions especially to the status quo, and finally a freeing from concepts, dogmas, methods of behaving and thinking and or beliefs that are limiting to potential and flourishing.
With it retrograding through Pisces, we begin to see the massive effects and changes as it pertains to all life on Earth as Pisces deals with cosmic themes, ultimate meanings, and collective fate. Another purview that falls under Pisces is religion, and how interesting that the world’s religious demographics are rapidly changing . A part of this is the decline is some religions and an increase in others, the two most interesting trends of note are the rise of the un-affiliated which could potentially begin a disrupting conversation around the veracity and legitimacy of religious claims and the rise of Islam which will come to dominate the religious landscape. What is interesting to note is that the conversation started by the unaffiliated could potentially have a radical impact on existing religions and on to the manifestations of the Islamic ascension, it stand to reason it may undergo a similar reformation to Christianity which may secularize it to the extent that the Islam that will become the dominant paradigm may be radically different to what it is today.
Mercury Trine Uranus: The Conversation Amplifies: August 2nd and August 13th:
My best hope for these two transits which Mercury and Uranus seem to make twice a month is this that the continuing conversations around religious legitimacy, Secularization, Climate Change (especially in light of new evidence just released), Race, Universal Basic Income, Existential Threats and Inequality. These are all areas that fall under the Uranus in Pisces sphere and also areas that society desperately needs to make progress on, hopefully in this review period it will afford us the opportunity to do so, that the Climate Talks in Paris fall on a day just six days shy of the end of the retrograde is encouraging.
Venus Trine Uranus: The Feminist Perspective: August 19th:
An interesting feature to note about the Uranus Retrograde is the possibility that this important discussion around religious veracity is being spearheaded by feminists the world over of every possible ideological stripe (and if the feminism isn’t intersectional then it ain’t shit). This particular configuration is a strong symbol of this nascent and essential dialogue which will hopefully amplify in the periods ahead. It is my sincerest hope that this dialogue will continue long after this transit.
Science Fiction Dreams:
Neptune Retrograde through Aquarius: June 12th-November 18th, 2015:
I have written about this retrograde in detail here. With that in mind, I will refrain from a lengthy discussion on this except to outline the basic premise of this transit. Neptune retrograding back over the sign of humanism, science, the future and progress, is a moment to look more critically and objectively at our dreams of the future, and begin to critique some of the grand schemes being suggested for their veracity, and ability to be applied to the real world. It is easy to get lost in the techno-fantasy and forget about the hard reality of deploying these innovations onto the ground floor of experience, it is exactly this that needs to be done.
Mercury Opposition Neptune: Lost in the Future: August 12th:
This represents a curious conundrum it is the needs of perception opposed to those of higher perception. In this case of our world crisis it might look something like this. If the Neptune through Aquarius transit represents our greatest science fiction dreams than Mercury in opposition in Leo represents the need to communicate those on a practical level so that they can begin to be implemented on a collective scale. The technologies and innovations that are in the supposed future need to be made available today, they cannot wait for tomorrow. These vital technologies of both a social and technical nature must be deployed now to secure a viable tomorrow and to make adaptation to rapidly changing conditions more bearable and leaving most of our social complexity intact. There is certainly the problem of base-load and scaling up to overcome and also cultural lag; that said Mercury is counseling that we get over the perceptual smokescreen and raise the collective voice, while we may have our head in the clouds, we need our feet firmly planted on the ground.
Global Initiation: Extinction vs Apotheosis Crisis:
Pluto in Retrograde through Sagittarius, April 4th-September 24th, 2015:
I’ve written elsewhere of the connection with Sagittarius and the Global Village (there is a huge difference between globalism and globalization), and it is a concept more cogent than ever as we embark on the human future it will increasingly come to encompass planetary scale decisions. Prediction becomes an important tool in this transition.
The problem with prediction is and the future is that once you go beyond the five year mark probability begins to break down and the odds increasingly fade to chaotic noise and increasing inaccuracy. It is largely due to this that I refrain from making very many of them, what this moment does symbolize is the way being opened to begin these essential cultural dialogues and not a moment too soon. We are fast approaching the eleventh hour moment and we would be wise to feel the sense of urgency the intensity of the razor’s edge and begin to deal with these inconvenient truths. I really don’t need to go into the specifics here of what it is we are collectively facing and what it requires is an incredibly deep and intimate questioning of the veracity of our entire social order everything from taken for granted economic assumptions to the social positioning of various groups within society, and here’s the clincher unlike past bifurcation moments and departures from historical trends this one is not local but global and will pertain to every single human being extent on the planet in this moment. It is a collective future that is at stake here, not just the fate of a single civilization.
The Question is can humanity as a species and wearing the mantle of civilization (which humanity still has yet to achieve) survive outside the Holocene Epoch (the era that the human species emerged in), which is coming to a close due to our auspices. It is the pertinent question we have to answer during this wrenching transition and it could be either our apotheosis and maturation into a truly evolved species or it could be our extinction we are in the process of making that choice it is the cross roads we face. Another factor to keep in mind is that if we survive this transition and prevent our species and civilization from going over the edge we will not be in the clear, there will still be massive mitigation and adaptation crises in the centuries ahead and still some risk of extinction what will be different is that we will have greatly reduced the probability of that happening and of course given other life-forms a fighting chance granted the great re-wilding of of the planet, and the re-establishment of it’s life-forms will probably be the key issue that defines the 22nd century.
I believe we do have a future and a bright one at that if we play our cards right and it is during these times we must begin to defines the contours of a new social matrix one that will truly lead us into the eco-technic age, and attain the long desired dream of our visionaries of a truly sustainable society.
Mercury Trine Pluto: Existential Threats: August 15th:
Pluto represents the evolutionary catalyst, the force that puts the blowtorch next to the collective cheek and encourages us to make eleventh hour concessions that radically and irreversibly change our course. Under these auspices the conversation around collective existential threats is heightened in importance. Nick Bostrom is a modern philosopher who intensively focuses on these issue and is a leading proponent. Another way that we all can take action is to sign the petition that the future of life institute has been circulating to address research priorities towards existential threats facing humanity. The five biggest are: Climate Change, Superintelligence, Nanotechnology, Nuclear War and a Bioengineered Pandemic.
The Sun enters Leo: August 10th:
I can’t help but think of the Beyoncé song “Partition” when I think of this sign, the sings deeper meaning aside. It is the kind of song that carries all the punk rock swagger that says pack your junk because it is Leo Season now!
Space Opera: Full Moon in Capricorn, August 29th:
This is a take no prisoners type of lunation, it deals with pragmatism in the extreme, and we are certainly living through times where a practical, rational, and brokering no bullshit position is the one that will carry the zeitgeist. That said it is a lunar arc that gets things down to the brass tacks, and wouldn’t it be nice if we could see a carbon tax? That is a market signal that would put humanity back onto a nice course correction that would certainly get us back to planetary essentials.
We are living through some interesting times which are no doubt truly epochal and we can’t afford to sleepwalk into the future, but we must face it fearlessly with all of our faculties at our command, and that space cadets is what I will leave you with.
Thinking Utopian: How about a universal basic income? Mike Konczal, as part of the Washington Post’s Wonk blog, Published May 11th, 2013, retrieved on July 24th, 2015 from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/11/thinking-utopian-how-about-a-universal-basic-income/
Holocene Epoch: The Age of Man, Mary Bagley Live Science Contributor Published March 27th, 2013, at 12:26 pm EST, retrieved on July 24th, 2015 from: http://www.livescience.com/28219-holocene-epoch.html
Humans May be the most adaptive Species, Scientific American, Nathaniel Massey collaborating with Climate Wire, published September 25th, 2013, retrieved on July 24th, 2015 from: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/humans-may-be-most-adaptive-species/
A child born today may live to see humanity’s end, unless, David Auerbach, Reuters U.S. Edition, Published June 18th, 2015, retrieved on July 24th, 2015 from: http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/06/18/a-child-born-today-may-live-to-see-humanitys-end-unless/
The Fragment on Machines, Karl Marx, The Grundrisse, pp 690-712, Published 1939-1940, First Edition, German edition by the Marx-Engels Institute Moscow, Russia, retrieved on July 24th, 2015 from: http://thenewobjectivity.com/pdf/marx.pdf
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, Nick Bostrom, Oxford University Press, 2014,
Existential Risk Reduction as Global Priority Nick Bostrom, Global Policy, Vol 4, No. 3 (2013) pgs. 15-31, retrieved on July 25th, 2015, from: http://www.nickbostrom.com/
How unlikely is a Doomsday Catastrophe? Nick Bostrom with Max Tegmark, Nature. Vol 438 (2005) Pg. 754. Retrieved on July 24th, 2015 from: http://www.nickbostrom.com/
The Future of Humanity Nick Bostrom, New Waves in Philosophy of Technology, eds. Jan-Kyrre Berg Olsen, Evan Selinger, and Soren Rils (Palgrave McMillan, 2009) retrieved on July 24th, 2015, from: http://www.nickbostrom.com/
The Future of Human Evolution Nick Bostrom, in Death and Anti-Death, Ed Charles Tandy (RIA University Press, 2006). Retrieved on July 24th, 2015 from: http://www.nickbostrom.com/
Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, part of the Working Group III series on climate change mitigation, published 2014, retrieved on July 24th, 2015, from: http://www.ipcc.ch/
Future Timeline: 21st Century and 22nd Century, retrieved on July 24th, 2015 from: http://www.futuretimeline.net/21stcentury/21stcentury.htm and http://www.futuretimeline.net/22ndcentury/22ndcentury.htm
On the Death of Sandra Bland and Our vulnerable bodies, Roxane Gay, New York Times Opinions Pages, published July 24th, 2015, retrieved July 24th, 2015 from: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/25/opinion/on-the-death-of-sandra-bland-and-our-vulnerable-bodies.html?_r=0
The Wayfinders: Why ancient wisdom matters in the Modern World Wade Davis, Published October 13th, 2009, House of Anansi Press Toronto Ontario Canada.
SURJ: Showing up for Racial Justice a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice: http://www.showingupforracialjustice.org/
Black Lives Matter: a visionary movement that is advocating for racial justice and equality: http://blacklivesmatter.com/
Race Forward: An organization that seeks to bridge the gaps in social justice communities and advocates for a united front: https://www.raceforward.org
Ta-Nehisi Coates woke me up: Lessons on race, atheism and my white privilege, Greg M. Epstein, Salon.com, published Monday July 27th, 2015, retrieved on Monday July 27th, 2015, from: http://www.salon.com/2015/07/27/ta_nehisi_coates_woke_me_up_lessons_on_race_atheism_and_my_white_privilege/?sc=alternet
7 Key Changes in the global religious landscape, Michael Lipka, published April 2nd, 2015, Pew Research Center, Retrieved on July 27th, 2015 from: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/02/7-key-changes-in-the-global-religious-landscape/
We need a Muslim Reformation, Naser Khader, published March 26th, 2015 for Newsweek online edition, retrieved on July 27th, 2015 from: http://www.newsweek.com/we-need-muslim-reformation-316906
The Rise of the Islamic Feminists, Elizabeth Segran, for the Nation, published December 4th, 2013, retrieved on July 27th, 2015 from: http://www.thenation.com/article/rise-islamic-feminists/)
James Hansen Spells out Climate Danger of the ‘Hyper-Anthropocene’ Age, Joe Romm, for Think Progress, Published July 27th, 2015, retrieved on July 27th, 2015 from: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/07/27/3684564/james-hansen-climate-danger-hyper-anthropocene/
Terminal Velocity, Wikipedia, multiple authors, retrieved on July 27th, 2015 from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_velocity
Future of Life Institute Open Letter on Existential Threats, to sign go here: http://futureoflife.org/AI/open_letter
The Five Biggest Threats to Human Existence, Anders Sandberg, published June 23rd, 2014, for the website I Fucking Love Science, retrieved on July 27th, 20915, From: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/five-biggest-threats-human-existence
Latino’s laugh at Trump’s Comment that he will win the Latino Vote, Dolia Estevez, Forbes, published July 8th, 2015, retrieved on July 27th, 2015, from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/doliaestevez/2015/07/08/latinos-laugh-at-trumps-comment-that-he-will-win-the-latino-vote/
No Time for White Guilt: Why I’m skeptical of White Allies, Jaimee A. Swift, For Harriet, retrieved on July 27th, 2015, from: http://www.forharriet.com/2015/07/no-time-for-white-guilt-why-im.html#axzz3h84zt9nF