The underlying transit that the world is experiencing is the Uranus-Pluto square. A new world is being born, whose form is not yet clear, but Trump and Brexit are indicators of where things are going. Away from globalisation, towards protectionism and border controls. And maybe an economic crisis along the way.
At present there are overlays of Uranus conjunct Eris, and Saturn square to Neptune. Uranus-Eris describes the game-changing shocks to the system, the earthquakes, of which there are more to come.
And Saturn-Neptune describes the ‘post-truth’ world which we are, for now, entering. A world in which politicians win elections by telling bigger whoppers than usual, which then get whirled around social media. That is what it amounts to.
But it's not that simple. It is right-wing politicians who are telling the whoppers (in the cases of Trump and Brexit), and the liberals are fighting back using their own cultural weapons, promoting the concept of ‘post-truth’ to describe their political enemies.
I don’t like the cold-heartedness of many right-wing politicians. But if the liberals had won by telling bigger lies, I don’t think the Republicans/Tories would be promoting a word like ‘post-truth’ and getting it put in dictionaries, as if it were a description rather than a weapon. When Tony Blair lied about WMD, we weren't told we were entering a new era in which politicians told big lies. And what he (and GWB) did was lie in a much more serious way than anything that has happened this year.
While there will always be a few who believe the lies that politicians tell, I don’t think most people do. People vote for the more charismatic candidate, the one who connects best with people, for better or for worse. In the case of Brexit, we had the appeal of Boris and Nigel Farage on one side, and the relatively bland David Cameron on the other. And it was the same with Trump and Hillary. (To say that doesn't make me right-wing: I'm not.)
This way of looking at things is, of course, insulting to the intelligence of the voters, but it is the way things go in elections time and again. You don’t even need astrology to predict the outcome. As Churchill said, Democracy is the worst form of government, apart from all the others. It is the ongoing Saturn (substance) vs Neptune (appearance) nature of democracy, and Neptune generally wins. It is how GW Bush and Obama each won the presidency, and how Tony Blair became the UK leader.
Saturn-Neptune describes the fact that the debate has come to centre on the lies of politicians. But it’s not the real issue, because politicians have always lied. Neptune is a hall of mirrors, it reflects back on itself.
And the same people who are crying foul because of the lies of the Brexit and Trump campaigns, have also been denying loudly that the Brexiteers and Trump actually won. The political lies are (correctly) being called unusually egregious, yet the simple facts of who won and who lost are being denied.
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The lies, particularly in the case of Trump, have admittedly been exceptional. The man will say anything that suits, and exaggerate and castigate to his heart’s content. (Though I also think it is important to admit when he has a point, like when he said that Castro was a dictator; otherwise our opposition is blind, and this kind of blindness is surprisingly common amongst ‘educated’ people.)
But the pretence that Trump and the Brexiteers lost - or that the elections were stolen and invalid, or that Brexit won't happen, or that the electoral college won't elect Trump - has to me seemed to be what is truly unusual about these events. Yes, Saturn-Neptune and bigger lies from politicians, that is part of the picture, if anyone is actually listening. 'Twas ever thus. But this new element of outright denial of a basic fact by an educated part of the population: that is what is truly different. Maybe we should be talking about the post-fact era?
I think it shows just how polarised things have become politically, which is what one expects from the larger picture of Uranus-Pluto. But I think it reminds us yet again that being educated and being self-aware are not the same thing. I think that the sense of moral superiority that many liberals have also confuses the picture, like Trump/the Brexiteers can't have won because they're the bad guys, so how did they cheat us?
Being an astrologer and being self-aware, at least in these polarised times, do not seem to be the same thing either. At a major astrological conference in the USA in October 2016, a panel of 12 experienced astrologers unanimously predicted that Hillary would win (though some said that it was 11 out of 12.)
Either way, this just doesn’t happen when you ask a bunch of astrologers to predict something. And if they’re good, I’d expect most to be right. But I certainly wouldn’t expect them all to have the same answer - in any other situation, it would be called groupthink. But these were 'gifted' astrologers, we are told, so that can't possibly be what was happening!
And I don’t think it comes down to method either, though I’m wandering now into the nature of prediction. I think if you rely on method alone for predicting, it will break down in time. Mercury the trickster comes in, this was something that Jung found. No, there is also intuition involved, even in how you decide which charts to use. It is the skilled intuition that is essential, that is the real gift of the astrologer. But because it is personal, it is also subject to personal wishes and the wishes of the collective.
This, I think, is what happened. It can happen to all of us, and we can all get predictions wrong. I do. But astrologers are well known for being politically liberal. It was a fiasco, and soul-searching is needed.
It makes astrology look ridiculous, and heaven knows we don’t need that. But the reason I’m writing about it is that the issue was then surrounded by the same sort of defensive denial that you find in the population at large, namely that Trump hadn’t won the election because Hillary got more votes, even though everyone knows that it doesn’t work like that.
This denial compounded the fiasco. Astrologers, and diviners of all sorts, need to be able to stand apart from their political preferences and collective currents. This is really basic. And we will sometimes fail. But please at least let's be honest when we get it wrong.