November, 2010
Mythic Prelude:
Jackpot!
Hail, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for November, 2010. As this month will be for many of us a pivotal point when we reset and seek new bearings in time and space, we begin at high speed this month:
History is simply one damned thing after another . . .
according to the famous Sagittarius historian Winston Churchill. And, as so many of us realize now whether we like it or not, the damned things that used to come one after another, in ways we thought we could try to handle, now arrive all at once. Never, it feels, have we been exposed to so many stresses and outrages that none of us seems to have the time, energy and focus even to take them in, much less give them the response they deserve. It is all building to some climax, explosion or reversal on the same day, though much of the terrific noise such events often produce is muted now by media narcosis and the inertia of opinion fixed in the mind and soul, even in the heart. "The air is full of our cries," wrote Samuel Beckett. "But habit is a great deadener."
There is no getting around the importance of Nov. 2. A number of important events and trends all converge on this day. For those who live by Earth-based spirituality, Nov. 2 in the northern hemisphere is the second day of the great autumn feast of Samhain, and south of the equator, it's Beltaine. These feasts respectively represent the burning away of the exhausted old year and the turning into the new, and the burst of spring into new leaves, lambs and everything else that jumps with life. Most of our emphasis here will be in the transformative power of high Scorpio month in early November. Elections are always held in Scorpionic America at this time, sometimes on Guy Fawkes Day (Nov. 5), which commemorates what can ensue when those who are fed up with unresponsive, corrupt rulers decide to go combustible in their self-expression.
Just as many people are getting hot in this time of lurching weirdness that is not nearly as inexplicable as it looks to the perpetually well-deceived, to tweak Jonathan Swift's phrase. As you know if you are paying off a mortgage, or watching the equity of your home float free like a leaf in the autumn wind, or you're getting ready to fight foreclosure, the Foreclosuregate drama that now unfolds, like one of those embarrassing Broadway plays in which famous stars surround themselves with dull supporting players who won't draw any of the limelight away, has gone like this:
Act 1: Shocking disclosures -- at least to those shockable by something more consequential than Raiders 59, Broncos 14 -- show that great numbers of bank foreclosures have been and are being enforced with documents so fraudulent that in many cases it is impossible even to identify which banks actually own mortgages that were hastily thrown together into subprime loan packages. It turns out that for 65 million mortgages, the owner of record is not a bank that issued the actual loan, but Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), which is designed to trigger "Robot Home Snatcher" foreclosures through the Mortgage Electronic Registration Default Enforcement (MERDE) system.
Act 2: A storm of criticism ensues. The attorneys general of nearly all states prepare lawsuits to stop fraudulent foreclosures, and to penalize the banks, who act with uncommon velocity in adopting a "voluntary" moratorium on some foreclosures, and by some banks, all foreclosures.
Act 3: The White House warns that suspending foreclosures will severely damage the American economy. This seemingly very counterintuitive move, coming as it does only a few weeks before millions of frantic homeowners are about to vote in an election, is surprising only to those who have yet to notice that the Obama administration, for whatever sincerity and honor it may have, and its obvious record of accomplishment, is now impossibly conflicted in its relations with the financial powers-that-be. While it may not exactly be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Goldman Sachs and its allied investment banks, it is clearly too interested in keeping the banks in clover, too little interested in keeping Americans in their homes. Something will give on Nov. 2.
Act 4: The banks reverse course. They not only move aggressively again on the foreclosures they had suspended only days ago, but nearly a dozen banks and hedge funds begin investing heavily in "New Tax Man" companies that collect money from homeowners who have fallen behind on their property taxes. In a new synergy between banks and tax collectors, these collection companies also begin to threaten bank foreclosure proceedings against those who fail to pay their property taxes.
Act 5 is about to begin. What can we expect from the given circumstances of a play that so far has made a roller coaster look sedate? What questions do we even know how to frame? How can the Masters of the Universe on Wall Street fly as confidently as they do by the seats of their impeccable pinstriped pants? What do they and their servants in the Congress, the Supreme Court and the executive branch know that you and I don't? Or, more precisely, what do the banksters and astrologers like me know that most people in the United States and everywhere else refuse even to consider? More on this in a moment.
What else is happening Nov. 2? It's the last near-exact formation of the great Chiron-Neptune conjunction that has been featured on many UFC pages since 2008. From now, these planets will move from late Aquarius into Pisces over the year ahead and into 2012, when their long four-year dance will finally come to an end. We have seen and will keep seeing the whole range of scenes that Chiron the Wounded Healer and shape-shifting Neptune the mystic and musician, addict and victim, poet and con artist can possibly play together, in everything from greater holistic awareness and individual and communal self-healing to bitter controversies about health care and industrial-strength lies by the Illness Maintenance Industry (IMI), now engaged in its most assertive efforts yet to destroy competitors of all kinds, from natural food companies like Rawesome -- illegally raided by black-clad police -- to growers of natural medicines, including state-approved marijuana, which are cheaper, more effective and less addictive and toxic than synthetic IMI pain remedies.
And there's more on Nov. 2. For those who think the Galactic Creation Cycle as devised by Carl Johan Calleman is "The Mayan Calendar," Nov. 2 is important because it begins the Seventh Day, the last of the 13 tuns (of 360 days each) that Calleman believes will climax on Oct. 28, 2011 in a one-day-only chance to align with the Divine Plan described in The Mayan Calendar, his 2000 book that is modestly subtitled "Solving the Greatest Mystery of Our Time." Calleman attracted considerable attention in the early- to-mid 2000's for his prescient articles on changes in the world economy, particularly the shift in its center of gravity from West to East.
In recent years he has been less accurate. 2007 - 2009 did not bring the total economic meltdown he anticipated. He has also been an increasingly divisive figure, relentlessly stirring More Controversy Than Anyone Needs by "strongly arguing" for a debate on his 2011 paradigm vs. the "mainstream" date of Dec. 21, 2012; by falsely claiming that his views are "science" while the 2012 date is based only on "belief"; by dishonestly flaming those who disagree with him, notably John Major Jenkins, as prophets of doom when they have never been any such thing; and by ironically playing the fear card himself in warning about the "danger" of waiting until 2012 to get with Galactic Creation, which Calleman insists is not an opportunity for co-creation, but only a move-it-or-lose-it appointment to board or miss the Cosmic Bus. Calleman's position has not been endorsed by any other important Mayanist, or even one of the Mayan daykeepers -- though their reluctance to affirm anyone's date as "right" may reflect their unwillingness to stoke fear, fever and fashion among avid people who want to know where to be and what to wear in 2011 or 2012.
Those who have investigated Mayan calendrics -- see "The Sacred Time of the Maya" in Dance of the Moon -- know there are 22 Mayan calendars -- five of which are still being kept secret by the daykeepers -- and that the known time reckonings of the Maya range from the 260-day tzolkin, 360-day tun, 365-day solar haab and a 584-day synodic cycle of Venus, to combinations of the basic units into the 52-year Calendar Round and longer cycles that all interrelate in what may be the most elegant and beautiful time system human beings have ever created or received. To call Calleman's design -- elaborate though it is -- "The Mayan Calendar" is preposterous. And yet, as Shakespeare might have written in a perfect pentameter line -- there's magnetism in simplicity. That's why millions of people will be linked in meditation and ceremony on Nov. 2, and it is best to honor the sincerity of their intentions.
Place Your Bets!
And -- there's still more happening on Nov. 2, which is the day of a midterm election in the United States, whose computer systems may or may not reflect any actual voting that the country's people may or may not do, as it's recently been revealed that the online voting procedures of "Digital Democracy" for millions of military and expat citizens are yielding such wildly unfastened test results that you and I may as well start campaigning right now (Oct. 28), on the off chance that we'll get elected by some random electronic fizz, pop or other blip, and we'll have the pleasure of meeting soon in my new capacity as U.S. Senator from the State of Cusco, Peru, and your new role as ambassador plenipotentiary from Greater Venus. Cualqier va -- Anything goes!
Under such conditions, which Robert Wilkinson calls a "Grand Irrationality" that moves so many people to act foggily and even ferociously against their own best interests, it will be useful to look briefly -- promise! -- at a chart cast for the climactic moment on election day, when the alleged outcome is called in the hour before midnight by storytellers in the media center of New York. The chart is quite simple, and delivers a good prognosis for what's likely to be dealt and staked from this month through January 2011, when the top players are likely to stack their chips and rake in plenty just after the top of the New Year, weeks before newly-elected Congresspeople are sworn in.
US Election Day: Nov. 2, 2010, 11:00pm New York, NY: 40 N 43, 74W00
The planets at the bottom, except for one, are unconnected with each other or anything else in the chart, so they can be said to represent those people who have little or no sense of positive aims or communal purpose, and are acting apart from or against those whom they perceive as irrelevant, or hostile, to their interests. The main action here is in the three conjunctions in the upper right of the chart, from the 6th to the 9th houses. In the 8th house is our friend the Chiron-Neptune conjunction. In the 6th the horseshoe-shaped Moon's Node and Pluto are in a conjunction that will be exact on Nov. 9 and remain in effect for another two months, through Jan. 9. The Moon's Node is related to alliances and associations, especially with groups of people rather than individuals. Pluto is the transformative force of power exercised by mass movements more than institutions, especially in political and social currents that are driven by secret and subliminal forces of propaganda operating by means of symbol and suggestion rather than articulate definition. Thus Pluto - Node combinations are said to manifest as crowds and mass meetings that draw factions and countries toward a common and possibly karmic destiny.
Not that a conjunction like this one is a once-in-a-lifetime event. The Moon's Nodes move in a retrograde cycle of roughly 18 1/2 years, so they will overtake slow-moving Pluto about every 17 years, as they did in February, 1994. What their conjunction will likely bring shows in the zodiac sign of their meeting -- this time Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, the spiritual teacher whose lessons are serious at best when accepted and grim when resisted -- and other planetary relationships like the Jupiter and Uranus casino in the 9th house. These two planets will be conjunct from Nov. 29, and will align exactly on Jan. 4.
Jupiter is the money and the official power, the bringer of abundance and enthusiasm, expansion and success. Uranus is the innovator, magician and creative revolutionary who brings change that is exciting, upsetting or both, depending on whether one welcomes it. Together these two planets entail risk-taking and speculation. When they are well-aligned they are lucky, often bringing without effort unexpected gains that seem to drop from the blue. When they form a conjunction, as they soon will, the same themes apply, only with more individual initiative and independence, as those who have inside knowledge and nerve try to take the big pot with little or no thought for the little fish who get swept along and away when the Great White makes his killing.
Finally, the Moon in the 3rd house opposes Jupiter and Uranus all across the country all through election day, but only until a few hours after midnight on Nov. 3. While the fast-moving Moon moves opposite the cosmic crapshooters for only a day, her position here could not be more significant, as she herself and her home sign of Cancer rule all matters pertaining to the home. What could possibly be a better planetary symbol of the urgency, panic and rage that drive tens of millions of Americans now, than an alignment that shows how the homes of so many have been recklessly endangered by the predations of those whose games with other people's money have been fast and feverish? Does this matter at all to the players? No. Are they going to place some of the biggest bets of their lives between now and January? Yes. They've been doing it for a century and more.
Millionaires Don't Use Astrology, Billionaires Do!
the Aries railroad magnate and strategic banker John Pierpont Morgan may have said. This quote, which lives in the zone between high probability and urban legend, appears in every book about money and astrology. It has so far been traced no further back than a 1988 article -- which does not cite a source -- in the San Jose Mercury News. But is Morgan very likely to have said it? Yes. His interest in astrology is well known. He was not only a client of Evangeline Adams, the first great American astrologer, but he was so impressed with her skills that he ordered from her a special private astrology course that would teach him to cast his own charts and track his own trends.
If a life-or-death decision was involved, though, Morgan thought it wiser to seek Adams' counsel than to trust his own journeyman's reckoning. When he declined an invitation to sail on the Titanic along with John Jacob Astor and other megaplutocrats, he cited his astrologer's advice that the north Atlantic route to England was not a safe place for him at that time, and -- like Enrico Caruso and many others who used Adams' advice to time their engagements and travels -- he chose instead a sea voyage through the Mediterranean to southern France. A few people snickered at him until the Titanic went down on the Night to Remember. By 1912, though, J. P. Morgan was past caring what anyone thought.
By that time the great avarician had been heard to boast more than once that it hardly mattered who was in the White House or Congress as long as he controlled the money. After he steered the United States through a financial panic for the second time in 1907 -- the first being 1893 -- he was for his last five years the closest thing the US had ever had to a national bank. His crowning achievement? He railroaded the Federal Reserve Act past an absent Congress and a clueless Woodrow Wilson not long before he went to that big diamond vault in the sky in March, 1913. His legacy is not only still with us, but it grows heavier and more ruinous every year.
It will be interesting to see the correlation that an astrologer will draw some day between Morgan's greatest financial successes -- like buying US Steel from Andrew Carnegie -- and planetary aspects that favored him, like transits to his Jupiter and Uranus. And here's another question that is much more relevant to us now: Is it likely that Morgan was the first and last great American mogul to time his bets with the help of an astrologer, or . . . is it more likely that other ambitious gamblers and hunters like Morgan, seeking any advantage they could find, have been secretly using astrology as he did ever since?
It's evident enough, from the outcomes we're seeing, which of these is likelier, as a few uncannily lucky people who have no comment about astrology get richer and richer, while those who have plenty of condescending comments about astrology have fewer and fewer food stamps to rub together. Picture what it must be like to be the astrologer to one of the Masters of the Universe, and to tell him -- almost invariably him, very rarely her -- when to place his bets and make his moves. Picture being paid very handsomely for giving counsel that enriches the client beyond imagining and ruins everyone else, and what pangs and tremors of conscience one would have to traverse in the ethical no man's land between the practice of ancient, noble learning and the utter corruption of one's art and soul, and it isn't hard to suppose how the Faust scenario would be re-told today.
If Faust were alive now, he wouldn't be retained by Mephistopheles or another demon tempter whose horned and bat-winged nature is hidden under the hose and pumpkin pants of a courtier like this one, painted by Delacroix for Berlioz' La Damnation de Faust. Barry Faust would be the astrologer to Lloyd Blankfein, and would advise him to bet that Jupiter-Uranus transit on Jan. 4, and get the money offshore as soon as the Jackpot hits.
The word is appropriate. Today its meaning is positive. It usually signifies, as it did in the year I was born (1944), a lot of money that one wins on a TV game show or from some other windfall. But a jackpot had an element of high risk in 1881, when it meant the progressive antes in a poker game that gets richer when nobody holds jacks or better to open. In 1902 criminal slang, a jackpot meant trouble, especially an arrest, as to "jack" something means to take it or grab it, as in "hijack." So both nuances will apply now, and through January 2011. Want to bet which one will apply to Lloyd and his astrologer?
We'll never tell, as in gang parlance, to "sing" means something very different from what it means to you and me. Mr. Faust will never sing, no matter what happens, any more than Evangeline Adams ever did. Mr. Furst will, though. He has little to bet and nothing to lose, and all his wealth is tied up anyway in his community, his family and his friends. Best to sing honestly with them. Keep Holding That frequency.

Please help support the Universal Festival Calendar and Hermes 3.

The UFC comes in a convenient e-mail Newsletter for $25 a year, $50 for three years. A lifetime subscription is $100.

Click here to subscribe, or donate to the work of Hermes 3.

The Chiron - Neptune Conjunction of 2009 - 2012:
Prelude (Nov. 2008) and Acts 1 - 4 (April 2009 - Aug. 2010): see UFC Index
Act 5: Denouement: Near Chiron-Neptune Conjunction of Nov. 2 - 3, 2010
2012: The End of . . . What?
Copyright 2010 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved.