Friday, August 16, 2013

Why I hate the Age of Aquarius

'Everybody wants to be an individual, but Everybody Else does too'
                                                                                   - Don Walker, songwriter

Social media is beginning to bug me. Big time. I have difficultly passively accepting the twenty first century forms of communication, especially Facebook, and its dumbing-down of the richness and mysteries of life.

I cringe when I feel that I have to compete for attention amongst ‘friends’; bragging about the mediocre focaccia I ate at that hip ‘n’ cool inner west café, posting snapshots online of an unfinished meal that looks like the bottom of a well-used public toilet. I’m angered by this crap taking precedence over the human touch. I don’t apologise for the values that I have, but they sure are at odds with our culture. Whatever happened to spending quality time with love ones, hooking up with friends in the real world, pursuing passions that involve discipline and assiduousness, getting into music, getting into literature, getting into *life* … without succumbing to the sickness of compulsively documenting it online.

Obviously, I see the value of using the Internet and social networking sites shrewdly, otherwise I wouldn’t keep this blog going or create Astro Shite, but I am witnessing a disturbing trend of dumb and embarrassing cyber narcissism, and it saddens me. I’m perplexed by my reaction because I can’t work out where my place in all of this is, or whether I do have a place in the soap opera that is the virtual world.

Typically, I turn to astrology for answers. Now, that’s a language I understand. When a concept or an issue is explained in astro-speak, I get it. I can count on this ancient esoteric science to provide insights into modern life’s conundrums, altering my perspective so that I understand some of the madness. And it is madness. The mental disorder commonly referred to as ‘madness’ is governed by the sign Aquarius and its ruling planet, Uranus. Moreover, Uranus’ axis of rotation is tilted sideways. What delicious metaphors for the Age of Aquarius.

While astrologers dispute the timing of the Aquarian Age (that’s a blog post for another time), we can agree that its effects colour aspects of our lives, most notably through our dependency on the Internet. Technology and virtual reality are hallmarks of this epoch. Aquarius is the least human and least animal of the twelve astrological symbols: it lacks the empathetic nature of the Crab, Scorpion, and Fish; it can’t match the fiery actions of the Ram, Lion, and Centaur; and it’s repelled by the earthiness of the Goat, Bull, and Harvester. What we are left with when we deal with air signs – especially Aquarius – is spiritual, emotional, and physical detachment. Aquarius’ symbol of the Water Bearer is deceptive. The focus isn’t the water bearer at all, but the urn of data, ideas, and mental activity that he carries and pours freely onto unsuspecting mortals, hence, the sign’s affiliation with technology.

In spite of the Utopian visions of the 1960s counter-culture, the Age of Aquarius has little to do with a spiritually oriented, love-sharing global community as typified by the song This is the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius and the musical Hair. In fact, the driving force of the Aquarian Age (and, therefore, modern society) is information. The biggest challenges we face are those of the mind. So far, it’s been a triumph for the airheads. Thanks to the likes of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian (who, incidentally, are air signs), the ‘famous for being famous’ syndrome now dominates mainstream popular culture. It is acceptable for unremarkable individuals to be entitled to wealth, fame, and adoration without possessing a noteworthy skill. The ethos of ‘earning your stripes’ is, like, so twentieth century. Get with the program, girlfriend.

The old social glue no longer sticks. Aquarius is more sociable and scene-conscious than emotionally engaging and altruistic. My own dealings with people are more impersonal and superficial than they were over a decade ago. Social networking sites cultivate this remoteness through inane sound bytes while fostering a ‘group trance’ mentality comparable to substance addiction. There is a price to pay. Castrated from the divine source, our spirit and bodies will rebel (if they haven’t done so already).

Fortunately, we can exercise free will in the way we choose to respond to the hype. The road to self-awareness and healing  is long. For humankind to reach the inner understanding essential for healthy co-existence, many Ages must pass. Nevertheless, we are entering a turning point in the evolution of human consciousness. Self-consciousness is a priority for the Aquarian Age citizen if we are to become capable members of the human race. To help navigate through the current challenges, Ray Grasse, author of Signs of the Times (Hampton Roads, 2002), offers a set of practical suggestions that might help keep us sane:

~ leave room for silence in your life ~ make space for living, organic organisms in your environment ~ maintain a compassionate heart ~ avoid being hypnotized by the 'group trance' ~ become self-reliant ~ take control of your everyday attitudes (that is, don't depend upon external events for inner fulfilment) ~

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Astro Shite for August 2013

Aries
Your most potent period for love and romance starts 16 August, when Venus visits your seventh house. Under this transit, one-on-one relationships appeal to you more than casual flings. Your insufferable narcissistic personality disorder dissolves as you become willing to compromise and make peace with your significant other. The Mars cycle from 28 August supplies you with the drive and confidence to forge ahead with neglected zine projects.
Aries God: Mars

Taurus
Mercury supports desperately needed home renovation projects between 8 and 23 August, urging you to take action with that humpy you call home. Unfinalised decisions need to be settled and implemented around 28 August, when Mars muscles in on your comfort zone. You’ll be wordsmith extraordinaire when Mercury leaves your domestic sector for your creativity zone on 23 August. This transit establishes your place as the Oscar Wilde of the zine world, complete with a dapper silk smoking jacket and encyclopaedic knowledge of poke bonnets. Bugger me!
Taurus God: Bacchus

Gemini
Your ruling planet, Mercury, is at his mischievous best from 23 August. You’ll make a lasting impression in your two-toned Winklepickers, gold stovepipe pants, and skinny green tie. The Sun and Mercury combine forces to accentuate your personal sphere from 22 August. Under the Sun’s influence, you envision revamping your image along the lines of Aunty Jack or Tiny Tim. Make that dream happen with a fat suit and football socks.
Gemini God: Hermes

Cancer
The emotional tsunami that overwhelmed most Cancerians last month should dissipate, thanks to the New Moon on 6 August. Jupiter is doing his duty of expanding your pathetic little world by teaming up with Uranus around 16 August. Stay focused on your long-term vision by only accepting offers that align with your purpose. Venus visits your home environment mid-month. Beautify your Toowoon Bay hogan with shrunken heads and buffalo skins. Jupiter and Pluto face-off between 4 and 11 August. Like that John Travolta-Nicholas Cage film of the same name, the balance of power within your intimate relationships needs reworking. Now that I think of it, this may be the plot to an entirely different film, but you get my drift.
Cancer God: Indra

Leo
The Leo New Moon on 6 August highlights the Lion archetype. You may not be King of the Jungle, but you are King of Kongs Jungle Lounge. Sweet. Leadership and strength come readily after a few rounds of Flaming Lamborghinis. The New Moon aligns with Uranus, showing that unconventional ideas are the way forward. Break with tradition as you break wind. Mars follows Mercury into your sign. Progress is powerful as you observe the Rizzeria printer spit out a few of your DIY nuggets. Financial education becomes indispensable after 23 August. This transit should curb your extravagant spending habits to a certain degree, but I doubt it.
Leo God: Apollo

Virgo
Virgo, you’ll be chuffed to know that others will acknowledge your brainpower when Mercury enters your sign on 23 August. Hot damn, you make intelligence sexy! The Venus cycle from 16 August improves your financial situation. Finally, you’ll be able to restock your beauty and grooming pantry with roll-on wax, lime plaster, and sand paper for a more desirable you. Make the savvy move to splurge on modern art as an investment: Archipenko, Bobomazov, Diebenkorn, Hundertwasser, Nieuwenhuys, Rauschenberg … yeah, we get it; you know stuff.
Virgo God: Vulcan

Libra
The Sun-New Moon link of 6 August demands that you put old friendship dramas behind you. Turn over a new fig leaf with your mates and go nude kayaking together. Venus in your sign from 16 August morphs you into the Purple People Pleaser. You adapt your personality to suit others and lose your identity in the process. Look to your polar opposite, Aries, for tips on regaining your individuality by acting like a selfish git. Mars encourages you to step into leadership, Gangnam Style, from 28 August. Finding inner peace helps you deal with worldly situations when the Sun and Mercury infiltrate your spiritual zone from 23 August.
Libra God: Rama

Scorpio
Mars swings his dick through your professional sector from 28 August. You become an intolerable knob, as confidence and arrogance drives you to succeed at any cost. Mercury and the Sun energise your social sector from 23 August. Stand out from the crowd like a buffoon in a clown suit. After two demanding years of disciplined spiritual practise, Mercury and Venus lighten the load by drawing you into a weekend satanic cult. You quit after admitting that going Skyclad and sacrificing goats on a Sunday arvo’ isn’t really your scene.
Scorpio God: Shiva

Sagittarius
You are able to think quickly on your feet, thanks to favourable links from Mercury and Mars to your Sun. Finally, you have something noteworthy to say that doesn’t involve your impressive achievements or buff body. A need for freedom arises between 15 and 26 August under the Jupiter-Uranus link. Burn your tummy shape-wear garments and liberate yourself from restrictive situations. Your chosen life direction comes under scrutiny between 4 and 11 August with the Jupiter-Pluto opposition. If you have made compromises to go with the flow of dead fish, then this can be a time of frustration and bad hair days. Reclaim your power, follow your true calling, and eliminate those fishy smells with white vinegar.
Sagittarius God: Chiron

Capricorn
The Sun and Mercury invigorate your ninth house from 23 August. You seek a higher purpose that leads you to experiences beyond guerrilla photocopying and knitting tea cosies. The details of daily life bore you shitless under this transit. Whitening your teeth and itemising your Telstra bill are low on the list of priorities now that Mercury asks you to rethink your personal philosophy. Missing dental appointments, getting lost in your own home and other forms of amnesia are messages from the Universe requiring you to examine the Big Picture.
Capricorn God: Saturn

Aquarius
The Aquarius Full Moon on 21 August highlights the balance between personal passions and group connections. This eclipse raises questions regarding the value of individual talent if it’s not put to collective use. What a perfect cycle for you to astound the nation with your scat-gargling skills on Australia’s Got Talent. Venus shines under this Full Moon, so apply plenty of bronzer for that muddy Oompa Loompa look. Mercury enters your relationship zone on 9 August and asks that you remove lipstick from your teeth before snogging that bogan from Bexley.
Aquarius God: Vishnu

Pisces
The Sun and Mercury light up your house of romance from 23 August. If you have been neglecting your intimate relationships, this transit propels you to pay particular attention to them. If you’re single, cut back on work, Zumba classes, and Four’N Twenty pies to focus on meeting new people. You’ll have success after 23 August with Mercury ensuring that crafty pick-up lines will get your leg over.
Pisces God: Mithras