Election 2016: It's Time to Grow Up | Weekly | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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Election 2016: It's Time to Grow Up 

Last Updated: 10/10/2016 9:06 am
click to enlarge ERIC FRANCIS COPPOLINO
  • Eric Francis Coppolino

The 2016 election was never closer than it is today, and that's good news. Everyone wants it to be over. For two years we've been run through a nonstop political cyclone of vapid tirades, ignorant speculation and statistical prediction that vaporizes into raw emotion. Anything anyone says, whether political or not, is subject to being immediately reduced to a toxic substance, with just about everyone coming back in line for another cup.

Mention the weather and it can become a debate about global warming denial. Mention going for a hike and that can turn into a discussion about hunting, which turns into a fight over the Second Amendment. Is everyone darker than an albino a potential terrorist? Republican candidate Donald Trump has laid back a little on his sexism and misogyny, only for that space to be taken up by Hillary Clinton supporters: any critique of her can be perceived as a statement against all women, everywhere.

We've stopped wondering how Trump got as far as he did, which is similar to how Clinton got as far as she did (they just did, which suffices for our current mental environment). Now we're about to have an election. In this article I intend to read two charts: that for Election Day, and another for the inauguration of the new president. I don't intend to predict the winner, but rather to look at the conditions surrounding the election and the inauguration.

Elections have been fairly calm since that fateful night in November 2000 when Al Gore won and George W. Bush was declared the winner. But they are contentious for many reasons, including the Supreme Court weakening protection for minorities, while those same people are being falsely accused of voter fraud. There remains some post-traumatic stress about how presidential elections might turn out, which has grown worse since the internet has taken over.

The results of the Bush/Cheney presidency, which included botched, illegal wars as a result of 9/11, mass surveillance of the public by the NSA and the banking collapse of 2008, are warnings of what might happen if the election does not go well.

Now we have a contest between two candidates who are, if nothing else, well established slick operators, working in an environment that verges on explosive. The volatility is papered over by the American obsession with everything being hunky dory, underneath which is a thick layer of paranoia. If you're reading this article and you live outside the United States, take a moment and be grateful.

Dixville Notch, NH: First in the Nation

Let's take a look at the election chart. Because early voting and absentee voting start many weeks in advance of Election Day, there is no actual time for the first ballot being cast.

The chart I use is for one minute past midnight on Election Day for a town called Dixville Notch in central New Hampshire. The 12 residents of that town gather at midnight, vote and announce the results. If nothing else, they are the first locale in the nation to complete the election process and to report a vote tally. The results of that voting are not predictive, but the chart is a symbolic commencement of the election process. Everything in astrology is ultimately a metaphor. I'll refer to this chart as the election chart.

First of all, it appears that the election actually happens. There has been some discussion among political astrologers that it might be called off, but I don't see that. There is the potential for some chaos, mostly involving data and other electronic factors. Hacking incidents are reported in the news regularly; the internet-based voting system is far from immune from that problem.

This chart's first statement is that the election will be close—closer than most sources are currently predicting. After the nominating conventions, when Clinton had a clear lead, this seemed difficult to believe; today it's easier. The near tie is illustrated by a rarely used, slow-moving point called Transpluto that's rising to the degree in the election chart. Transpluto deals with everything that's narrow, tight or restricted.

We might see a vote tally that's reported as too close to call, in a sense paralyzing the process. It's almost certain that litigation will follow the election.

The narrowness of Transpluto also describes the so-called discussion of the issues. The problem is that what we think of as discussions are not oriented on actual problems and therefore cannot be oriented on solutions. In our safe-space digital daydream, anything that is potentially offensive is filtered out or deemed a crackpot theory.

This election seems to be taking place on the level of junior high school class president, only instead of being a popularity contest, it's about who hates whom a little less than they hate someone else. The process has been reduced to voting out of fear of whomever one does not want. Those taking sides are both convinced that the world is in serious trouble if the other party wins, and both sides may be right.

This chart looks like the shrill quality of the discussion gets worse over the coming weeks, and that there is a steadily decreasing interest in understanding much at all.

The second thing that jumps out is a description of the environment that looks deceptive and mean. The conjunction of Neptune (illusion, fog, and deceit) and Nessus (karma coming back, the results of a long chain of events) describe the psychic climate. There is the genuine expectation of something dark happening. There is the open expectation of fraud.

The full effects of the internet did not set in until the smartphone showed up. This has had a dissembling effect on consciousness; everything got smaller, shallower and more subject to immediate dismissal. Another message of the internet is that nothing is real. This is the first presidential contest in the age of the pocket computer. The impact of the digital age shows up boldly in this chart. Remember that we are in the time of the Uranus-Eris conjunction, the aspect of our era in history.

The effects of this conjunction reach back to around 2011 and ahead to about 2018. They can be summed up in this quote by a philosopher named Eric McLuhan: "The body is everywhere assaulted by all of our new media, a state which has resulted in deep disorientation of intellect and destabilization of culture throughout the world. In the age of disembodied communication, the meaning and significance and experience of the body is utterly transformed and distorted."

If you're wondering about why everything everywhere seems so chaotic to the point of unraveling, you might ponder this and see if it resonates. Say the words, "deep disorientation of intellect and destabilization of culture" a few times to yourself. It's not the content of the internet but its architecture that's behind this effect.

The mind is also assaulted, primarily by the robotic factor of the Internet (the Net is one gigantic robot). The news feed tells you what you have to think about in the order you should think about it. Our machines are now our teachers of how not to think for ourselves, and in the election chart, this gets infused right into politics.

For those curious, the aspect I'm looking at is the Aquarius Moon conjunct Pallas (the body politic; the public, under the influence of politics), sextile Uranus and Eris (the internet and its effect on consciousness). That is shorthand for "the public is now fully connected directly to the internet and therefore is easier than ever to manipulate."

The chart includes a dose of dark conspiracy theory (Mars in the last degree of Capricorn), which is also about rage at corruption. The problem with that rage is it has nowhere to connect to. When it's expressed, it's usually in a partisan way (the other side is corrupt) even though everyone knows that the issue reaches across party lines.

All of this is set in an idealistic context, where there exists hope that somehow the process can work out well, and that the presidency itself is somehow a benevolent thing. There is still some association of the United States presidency with national parks, amber waves of grain and George Washington who did not chop down the cherry tree.

The Inauguration Chart

The time the new president takes office is noon on January 20 following the election. It's easy to cast the inauguration chart; we always know when it's going to happen.

Because the inauguration happens at a fixed time, the new president is always inaugurated with the Sun in Aquarius, with Taurus rising and with Capricorn on the midheaven. Everything else is variable.

Features of the 2017 inauguration include the Moon in Scorpio, many planets in Pisces, and our friend the Uranus-Eris conjunction hiding in the 12th house (which is like a veil that conceals things). My impression is that this chart is describing the concealment of something huge. There is pageantry and fanfare; there is a most excellent show. The show is the scrim that hides everything going on behind it.

The new Aquarius Sun gleams from on top of the chart—and then in the next house over in Pisces, a cluster of planets describe the public show, and the public eating it up. The first time I saw this chart, my impression was that Bernie Sanders would be president; though now, barring some truly strange circumstances, that's not likely.

It's almost like this chart is flaunting nostalgia and a sense of how good it is to be back in the past, while being in denial of the present. I believe that most of the time what we call politics operates on the level of religion: that is, hope, belief and fear of the unknown. People tend to see what they already believe is there, and this is particularly true of politics.

The person who is sworn in knows how to exploit this factor in consciousness, and how to do it in a sly way. There is an indication the new president understands that their most significant official power is making appointments to the Supreme Court.

The chart contains an endless well of consequences coming through this event, which people pretend not to understand. The flow of consequences feeds a bigoted, narrow, critical viewpoint that makes it nearly impossible to think in a creative way. In order to solve national and global problems, it's necessary to both be creative and to take some risks, and this chart describes every other approach.

The Problems With Presidential Elections

When the US presidency is up for grabs, it distracts the country from other issues for nearly two years. It seems important. Yet the conversation tends to go nowhere.

The president has limited actual, legitimate influence over the governance of the country, but thanks to electronic media, a huge image. This image is a mirage. There are three co-equal branches of government in the United States. Most real governance happens on the state, county and municipal level.

The president is largely a figurehead. Because his or her power includes access to the nuclear arsenal, a truly modern problem, that raises the stakes. Yet during an election we treat the presidency like it's a hybrid between regent and superhero.

In essence, the United States wastes two years listening to people lie about how they're going to solve all our problems—and expecting them to do it. Then it spends the next two years angry that no problems are being solved—a genuinely codependent state of affairs. Along the way, nobody actually stands up to the government. For all the talk, we take it as it comes.

I don't think we will have sane civic life until more people have stood up to their parents and claimed their lives as their own—which any therapist will tell you is a rare phenomenon. Until then, the authoritarian miniature state (the family) will be the model for the full-on authoritarian state (the government).

I hate to break the news, but nobody is going to descend from above and solve our problems for us. We must do it together

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