Four Seasons | Monthly Forecast | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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Four Seasons 

Last Updated: 08/13/2013 4:14 pm

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What we think of (or, for many people, do their best to ignore) as the news went wild: One of the first events of the year was the earthquake in Haiti, which happened in the midst of a massive Capricorn alignment. The confirmed death toll from an event lasting about a minute was 230,000—one of the most deadly quakes in recorded history. Obviously, the problems in Haiti are not over. They began long before the quake, and an island with next to no resources—and the very place where Columbus “discovered” America—was laid to ruins and had to begin rebuilding itself.

Eleven days later, the United States experienced a legal earthquake that hardly anyone noticed: The Supreme Court voted 5-4 in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to allow PACs and other organizations to air electioneering advertisements anonymously and with no limit on spending. To paraphrase Keith Olbermann, this is a ruling that says the freedoms inherent in the First Amendment allow you to gut and destroy the First Amendment at will. He rated it as the worst judgment by the Supreme Court since the Dred Scott decision, which held that a black person can never be a citizen—and which led to the Civil War.
This was followed the next month by another quake in Chile, which triggered tsunamis throughout the Pacific. At 8.8 magnitude, it was one of the most powerful quakes on record.

In April, the Earth continued to speak when a volcano in Iceland erupting during Mercury retrograde disrupt air traffic throughout the world. I think this is a good reminder of how little it takes to disrupt so much. People were stranded for weeks in odd corners of the world, waiting for the dust to settle so they could take an airplane home.

Also in April, a quake in Qinhai, China, killed 2,000 people. And the entire Polish government, including President Lech Kazcynski, was killed in an air crash.

The same month brought the BP oil spill—one of those eminently preventable disasters compounded by the mix of greed, corporate domination (BP seemed to be leasing the whole Gulf from the US government, complete with the right to control the Coast Guard, and shoo away regulators and the media), lack of oversight, and total incompetence, all resulting in nearly 90 days of oil gushing into the sensitive Gulf Coast environment. Instead of watching scratchy video images of men hopping around on the Moon, we looked at video of the Earth bleeding into Gulf waters for three months.

This was right around when a bunch of miners got caught underground in Chile and an international drilling team set about the project of getting them out: Two big drilling projects were under way at the same time—relief wells in the Gulf, and a rescue shaft in Chile.

Right when the oil stopped flowing, the midterm election season began and the drama shifted from the physical world to the psychological world. As the economic recovery seemed to take forever in the United States, voters directed their anger at Democrats, while Republican politicians directed their anger at Mexicans, gay and lesbian people, Muslims, the poor, and the elderly. We saw the rise of the Tea Party, a repackaged form of neoconservatism, promising to roll back health industry reform, repeal the minimum wage, and pass an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment. They say they’re for smaller, less invasive government—yet 71 candidates from the Tea Bag movement openly supported criminalizing abortion even in the case of rape and incest. Budget cutters and deficit spending opponents support extending tax cuts for the richest 2 percent of Americans, which would cost the treasury hundreds of billions of dollars in the next decade.

Earlier in the year, I described 2010 as an anti-Sixties moment. Now it’s cool and groovy to be a killjoy “conservative” and you’re supposed to run scared or shut up if you’re a “liberal.” It’s time we eliminate or redefine these terms, and use concepts that are more descriptive of who we are. Do you respect your neighbor’s privacy? Do you believe we would be happier treating the Earth a little more gently? Do you believe everyone has a responsibility to pay our fair share of the costs of society?

When you think of the grand cross in the cardinal signs, remember this confluence of events. Notice how many involve the energy of Pluto in Capricorn—a focus on events deep beneath the Earth, or involving the structure of society.

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