I’m not sure it’s possible to isolate the exact moment that knowing the difference between right and wrong stopped being a valued indicator of good character. I know it was well before Mr. Trump and his Gang of Hungry Ghosts seized the ring of power. I also know that these mendacious players are perfect examples of what happens when a person has no character. For these gangsters, it’s not how you play the game—winning is all that matters. My best guess is that slide into our amoral society accelerated during the ’80s, when spin took over as a platform for success, Reagan’s Hollywood persona became more important than his policies, and looking marvelous became more important than being marvelous. Somewhere in the age of coke and shoulder pads, Gordon Gecko replaced George Bailey as a hero. The good guys became the suckers. That was the decade Mr. Trump hit his stride.
The astrological patterns of the ’80s shed a little light on how contemporary culture began its more blatant tilt toward spin. In 1980 and 1981, a Jupiter/Saturn conjunction occurred in Libra. These conjunctions happen every twenty years and they always indicate a cultural shift as well as a regime shift. In 1982, a Saturn/Pluto conjunction also occurred in Libra. Saturn/Pluto conjunctions signify the struggle between contractive forces that want to maintain their grip on the status quo and revolutionary forces that strain for change. Both new cycles took place in Libra, the Sign of relating, which translated into new attitudes toward relationships. And both new cycles also swung those Libra scales of justice and fairness toward a more conservative direction. Reagan nominated Sandra Day O’Connor in 1981and William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Kennedy in 1986/87.
But that’s not all. In November 1983, Pluto moved into Scorpio, where it stayed until 1995. Pluto rules sex, death, finances, and the process of transformation, both individual and collective. During its journey through Scorpio, we experienced the AIDS epidemic, the surge of the recovery movement, the breakdown of the Soviet Union and its brand of communism. From an astrological perspective, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 is attributable to a Saturn/Uranus conjunction that occurred three times in 1988.
For those of us who lived through the ’80s, that decade was one year of upheaval after another. The world changed: sex became deadly, money became everything, and greed was nothing to be ashamed of. It was the decade of “the one with the most toys wins.”
At the present moment, as we continue to be bombarded by the list of all those who have lied and continue to lie in service of the god of greed, I can’t help but wonder not only how we got here, but most importantly, how we’re going to emerge from this culture of deceit. How do we transform the idea that truth doesn’t matter? Of course, many people still value truth and don’t lie as a way of life, but given the current culture of dishonesty, it would be wise to consider where many of us have normalized deceit in our personal lives. Often we lie to ourselves as a way of bolstering spirit. Some lie to children to protect them from information that might be disturbing, but others ask children to lie as a way of covering up awful behavior—the behavior of adults or family.
This week’s focus on deceit is brought to you by a Mars/Neptune conjunction. Mars signifies the process of individuation and the intensity of character that allows us to form a self that knows itself as separate and distinct from others. Neptune symbolizes the vastness of imagination and is seen as the urge to merge and the ability to stand in someone else’s shoes. Neptune is empathetic, and at the extreme end of that spectrum, it signifies a susceptibility to suggestion. It can be argued that we believe what we want to believe and no amount of fact or fiction is going to change opinion. But if that were always true, no one would ever grow and nothing would ever transform. We grow, but slowly, and sometimes not quickly enough to make difference.
We know that Mr. Trump isn’t the first president or elected official to lie—he’s simply taken lying to a grotesque level—his actions have laid bare the agenda of those who seek to maintain positions of privilege at any cost and revealed their total disdain for the rule of law. Unfortunately, it’s a level we need to pay attention to because Mr. Trump teaches others—especially young people—daily by example that lying is just fine, especially if it gets you what you want. Lying, as many of us learned quite early in life from Pinocchio, isn’t just fine. And even though telling the truth can be uncomfortable, it is liberating. Let’s be determined to live our lives with greater integrity in all the small things that we do, so that the bigger picture can reflect our commitment to truth.
To be completely honest about this astrological week…Mercury Direct begins tomorrow, at 5:22 PM EST. And so the retro-madness of 2018 comes to a close. Just be aware, its best to wait until the beginning of next week to set plans and projects in motion.