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One Life at a Time 


Finally, a bit of good news here in the Anti-Sixties, after a year featuring various scenarios of apocalypse, environmental devastation, and intolerance: After more than two months of nonstop work, an international team successfully brought 33 Chilean miners safely home from half a mile beneath the Earth. I stayed up half the night watching, one by one, as the men emerged from beneath the ground in a little capsule, and were greeted by loved ones, the president, and his wife. It was better than the Beatles.

In the anxious times we’re living through, this is a triumph of humanity, even though the problem was created by the people who run a massive corporation hiring people to dig for gold under extremely dangerous conditions. This was not a natural disaster. But the solution represented humanity at its best.

We could fault the worldwide vigil around the rescue as a feel-good event, but I daresay that’s what the world needs now: to actually feel good about life and love rather than the stock market or “American Idol.” We do a lot of getting pissed off and most of that involves how little regard is afforded to the worth of life. Watching those guys come out of the rescue pod one by one, and embrace their families, it was impossible not to appreciate being alive, right then, on the spot.

Yes, we can even feel good about humanity’s ability to cooperate at doing something helpful. There was a time those men would have been left for dead, even if some effort might have saved them. Part of what did save them was publicity—you’re always safer near a TV camera, unless it’s hidden in the ladies’ room. The drilling experts, engineers, submarine scientists, geologists, and (actual) rocket scientists got the guys out. The doctors and psychologists on the surface actually seem to have offered some significant help.

Yet in reality it was the miners themselves who kept it together under some strange, extreme circumstances, rationing teaspoons of food and cups of milk for the first 17 days on the verge of starvation. They organized work tasks based on their specialties, keeping their living space clean, digging wells for fresh water and most of all, getting along. Or rather—getting along, eventually. Apparently the sanitized account of events has left out the at-times intense conflict that they experienced, and their darker thoughts of waiting to die during those first 17 days.

Efforts for rescue began August 5, without any knowledge of survivors, and for 17 days those efforts persisted nonstop without any success. The government and rescue teams kept trying, drilling bore holes into different layers and shafts of the mine, even sending rescuers down ventilation shafts that collapsed. Everyone is amazed by the success of this enterprise, but if rescuers had given up during those 17 days, there would have been no rescue. From that first day on, the message from the president on down was to spare absolutely no expense.

Let’s go to the chart and see what story it tells. Remember that in doing mundane astrology like this, the first thing to do is observe whether, and how, the chart describes the event. That story starts straight away with the ascendant.

The time the first miner emerged was am local time. Astonishingly this gives us an ascendant in the first degree of Cancer, activating the world-as-one Aries Point—a kind of astrological jackpot. In case you think this is likely to happen (regardless of how often it’s been happening lately), remember that the ascendant degree changes every four minutes: it flies by. Any chart that highlights the early degrees of any cardinal sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn), particularly the very first degree, qualifies, and this is rare.

With the Aries Point highlighted, the most intimately personal events mingle with the most public. We learned about the family lives of the miners, including some intimate details, but moreover, we felt close to them and their families, a Cancer theme. Over and over, we heard reporters comment on how emotional the situation was. Hard-nosed Dylan Ratigan shamelessly asked one man on the scene to describe his experience from an emotional perspective—a giant leap for mankind. We could all empathize with these men and their families. That’s a nice image of the Aries Point with a Cancerian flavor: the world coming together emotionally as a family, including the girlfriends and mistresses.

Exactly opposite the Cancer ascendant is Pluto in early Capricorn, right on the 7th house cusp. Remember the cardinal cross I’ve written about 41 times this year? It made a big cameo in this event, coming up exactly on the horizon. That means emphasis, and Pluto was one planet making the point. Ceres (the former asteroid, now dwarf planet) and mythological nemesis of Pluto, was in a conjunction to Pluto, as if directly negotiating for her daughter Persephone to be brought up from the underworld. Ceres had just arrived in Capricorn a few days earlier. It was as if she went down there personally and got the guys out.

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  • Eric Francis Coppolino discusses humanity at its best.

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