Asteroid-World Summer 1989
In company with much of the world, our attention in this issue of Asteroid-World is focused on China (though after a philosophical preface). Major sections of the media have been observing and commenting on the horror story unfolding, especially in Beijing, since the weekend of June 3-4. I had intended to do this issue of Asteroid-World in late July after my Montana seminar and UAC, but the events seemed too momentous to wait. Also, Seraphita sent her contribution early and it is devoted to China.
As I pointed out in my article on Iran in the current, Gemini issue of The Mutable Dilemma, on that momentous weekend within a few hours we had Khomeini’s death to begin a new chapter in Iran, the massacre of unarmed students and civilians in Beijing, and a gas pipe explosion in Russia which killed 400 or more occupants of two passenger trains. A major astrological configuration at the time included a New Moon in a yod to Pluto in Scorpio and Saturn-Neptune-Vesta in Capricorn.
The horoscope for the official beginning of the Communist regime in China is dated for October 1, 1949 at 3:15 P.M. in Peking (now called Beijing) China. I am not sure of the reliability of the chart since I have not worked with it intensively as I have with the charts of the U.S. and the Soviet Union, but the current patterns are certainly appropriate. Looking first at the natal chart, the rising Aquarius fits the formation of a revolutionary government. The Moon just above the Ascendant also fits the emphasis on equality for the masses, one of the primary principles of Aquarius. However, the alternate Aquarian value of individual freedom is more in question. In 1949, the Communist armies led by Mao Tse Tung had defeated Chiang Kai-shek, the general backed by the U.S., but they proceeded to set up their own ruling clique which exercised even greater control over people’s lives. They took the power and the land from the previous owners, the upper class landlords, and set up large communal farms as had been done in Russia.
As our readers know by now, I consider philosophical/religious issues to be the most basic of all that we face in life. Every action we take is based on our values, conscious or unconscious. Every choice we make is similarly based on conscious or unconscious values. And values are determined by our belief system: what we think is true, real, possible, necessary, morally right, and desirable. Desires can range from immediate personal gratification to long-range good for everyone, depending on our personal belief system, whether we are atheists or fundamentalists in a traditional orthodox sect or formulating an individual philosophy for ourselves. Desires (and the values on which they are based) are frequently in conflict. We want what is best for humanity but also to be personally rich and/or famous and/or powerful. We want to discover Truth but also to move the body enough to keep it healthy. We want to be both truthful and kind. We want to be proud of our country but also to hold it accountable for its actions. We want to be loved but also to do what we please. We want our needs provided without having limits placed on us by dependency or vulnerability.
With Uranus, Aquarius and the eleventh house, we want both freedom and equality. If freedom becomes the highest value, we lose equality. The individuals who are brighter, or stronger, or more ambitious, or richer (so able to hire intelligence or strength or weapons or privileges), will sooner or later rise above the majority of the populace. One of the examples from my early studies of anthropology described a group of people who had a truly egalitarian social system, surviving by hunting and gathering without personal ownership of the land. Irrigation was introduced which permitted rice growing. Some individuals, by whatever means, perhaps just the possession of several strong sons who could fight off invaders, acquired the land which could be irrigated. Within a single generation, this group of people was transformed from a society of equals to a kingdom with a king and nobility who owned the irrigable land and commoners and slaves who worked for them. Such a shift is possible only if individual freedom is the supreme value so that “might makes right,” as the old saying goes.
The philosophy of Ayn Rand which is so beloved by the Libertarian Party is a basic statement of this system of values. Rand was an atheist who endorsed logic and reason as supreme but who was personally extremely emotional and neurotic. A recent book by Dr. Nathaniel Branden describes both Rand and his long sexual relationship with her while they both were actually married to other people. An article in the Los Angeles Times on May 30, 1989 also quotes other former close associates of Rand who describe her as psychologically “sick.” Journalist Edith Efren analyzed Rand as a “paranoid character disorder,” and said “Never have I met anyone so incapable of empathy.” It is not quite a joke when we say that Uranus can “love humanity but hate people.”
Ayn Rand was born on February 2, 1905 in St. Petersburg, Russia (current Leningrad) but I do not have a birth time for her. She had Chiron, Ceres, Sun, and Saturn in Aquarius; Moon, Mercury, Pallas, and Uranus in Capricorn; Venus, Juno and south node in Pisces; Mars in Scorpio; Vesta in Libra; Neptune in Cancer; and Pluto in Gemini. People who are expressing the high side of Uranus (and other forms of letter eleven) want the same freedom for everyone that they want for themselves. The primitive side of latter eleven is hardly distinguishable from letter one: pure self-interest. Of course, we lack house positions for Ayn Rand’s chart, but it is significant that if we include Cancer with personal needs (we are the baby demanding our own needs until we become the parent caring for others), Mars and Vesta were the only factors that Rand had in the interpersonal signs. Though I think that Mars remains a co-ruler of Scorpio, it is also a difficult placement as it calls for learning to share possessions, pleasures, and power with other people in close face to face contact, as well as for looking before leaping and persisting rather than changing constantly. The natural instinct of Mars is to focus solely on personal desires, to act impulsively, and to keep changing. (Naturally, this is modified by the sign and house placements and aspects of Mars in individual charts). Vesta in the interpersonal area is good for working with people but can be a real hazard in caring relationships with its focus on the job rather than on the people. So Rand’s sign placements match her writing which encouraged selfishness and they match the descriptions of her character as lacking in the capacity to care about the feelings and needs of others. Her ruthless philosophy, like the ruthless cruelty of the Russian and Chinese Communists, seems to be rooted in materialistic atheism which believes that this world is all there is. She glorified individualism while the Communists glorify the masses and call for individual sacrifice for the good of the state. But both lack the empathy that is the goal of the Pisces Age; the awareness that hurting another is ultimately injuring oneself because we are all connected.
If equality is elevated to be the supreme value rather than individual freedom, we have the value system of Communism. Remember, the value system should not be confused with the actual practices of so-called Communist leaders. Land and factories may belong to “the people” in name, but a relatively small number of individuals still control the army, the secret service, the taxes, and the natural resources. And those individuals are not only still human, which means with personal ambitions or desires for pleasure and power. They are usually the ones with the strongest desires for power, and often the most ruthless in their willingness to wield power. So the system preaches equality and starts by reducing the former ruling group to the level of the masses (or just kills them). But given human nature, the new leaders, ruling “in the name of the people” end up with privileges which are very similar to those possessed by the former ruling elite. Equality remains the guiding principle, with everyone theoretically contributing to the society through their labor and having their basic needs met. But since the full employment is guaranteed and everyone is paid the same regardless of effort or skills, there is little incentive to work hard or well. Quality tends to deteriorate, except in areas where pride in involved as in the Soviet space program.
As I have often written, if any one of our twelve sides of life (or a part of one in this example of the conflicting values of Aquarius) is carried too far, it becomes a monster. We have to maintain our balancing act, messy and frustrating as it often is. Since humans are still human, we need incentives to keep a good many from slacking into mediocre parasitism. But we also need checks and balances on the handling of power/money, the main corrupters of the fixed dilemma. A form of democratic socialism seems the closest humans have managed to come to such a balance, but the “elite” who own or manage a large part of the power/money of the world have been increasing their share in recent years at the expense of masses of destitute individuals. Where extremes of personal freedom (as in the U.S.) have facilitated extreme disparities in wealth, we need to work out some kind of compromise. When a man playing games with money and producing nothing of value to the society makes more on his lunch hour than a laborer makes in his entire life, there is something wrong in the system. On the other hand, where equality has been claimed (though not really practiced by the Party leaders), we are now witnessing the calls for less corruption and more freedom. We are likely to see many more marches and confrontations in the next 50 years if Landscheidt is right on his choice of 2030 as a major phase jump with 2002-2011 also scheduled to be a period of social unrest, instability and major changes. See my review of Landscheidt’s book in the Gemini 1989 Mutable Dilemma.
So, finally, back to China’s chart as they struggle between the Aquarian values of equality (still the top value of official Communist dogma), versus individual freedom (sought by the students), versus new technology (wanted by the leaders, partly because it would enhance their power and wealth). To get the new technology, China had to open more to the west, including sending its students to study in western democracies where they were infected by ideas of freedom. To improve the finances of the country, equality was reduced by permitting more freedom for entrepreneurs, some of whom became richer than their neighbors, but then the control of the masses became more difficult and other problems surfaced like inflation which did further damage to equality. In a conflict between values, there are no easy answers. Compromise is like riding a bicycle; a constant balancing act. Men who have been members of a ruling elite (whether called Nazi, or Communist, or Religious, or inherited Nobility), tend to prefer force as the method that is most likely to maintain or recover their threatened power position. Only where there are two or more groups with near-equal power is compromise likely to have a chance. It is totalitarian power, regardless of the name of the ruling person or small group, which usually refuses to compromise since it does not have to.
I am especially fascinated by the emphasis in the Chinese chart on the principle of equality. A major part of the chart is in air signs or houses or in Scorpio or the eighth house, the other one of our twelve sides of life which deals with equality. Air is a spectator and instinctively equal, just watching the show, trying to understand it, talk about it and accept it. This is harder for Libra and the seventh house than for Gemini or Aquarius, since letter seven involves the lasting, close adult relationships. It is harder to accept people as they are and not try to change them when you live with them. It is still harder for letter eight (Pluto, Scorpio, eighth house) where possessions, passions, and the power drive are central issues. The power should be used for self-mastery, but the temptation is always there to use it to control other people. And where factors which symbolize personal power are connected to letters seven and eight, there is often the fear that others will control us if we don’t do it first. The eighth house of the Chinese chart holds the Sun (ego-needs), south node (a lesson), Neptune (unconscious search for the Absolute), Mercury (conscious aspect of the mind), Pallas (often political and involved in social justice), and Ceres (service and nurturing). Mars (personal will and power), Pluto (shared pleasures and power), Juno (another Pluto in many ways), and Saturn (a lesson in living voluntarily within the rules) are all in the seventh house. I have seen few charts with as much emphasis on learning how to live together on close terms with others. Of 21 factors, the only ones which are not connected to air or letter eight are Chiron, Jupiter, the MC, the Antivertex, and the north node. The chart fits the pressure to learn how to live together which stems from both the enormous population of the country which has crowded the people, offering little personal space, and from the cultural pressure to shift from a very patriarchal, hierarchical, elder-dominated system towards the Communist ideal of equality.
The potentials for power-struggles are very strong in the chart since the seven-eight emphasis can be either cooperative or competitive. As readers know, the placement of keys to personal power (letters one and five) in the seventh or eighth signs or houses can manifest as surrender, conquest, or retreat and avoidance until we learn to share the power, have healthy, game-playing competition, and help people. In the chart for China, we have Mars (natural ruler of letter one) and Saturn (co-ruler of the Aquarius Ascendant) in the seventh house while Neptune (ruling the first house Pisces) is in the eighth house. Leo is also in the seventh house and the Sun is in the eighth house. The confrontation between personal will and shared will is shown again by the Mars-Pluto conjunction. The need to compromise is urgent, but the present ruling elite may have to die first. There is a fascinating contrast in the chart between the enormous emphasis on equality and the worship of power shown by Chiron in Sagittarius in the tenth house and by Jupiter in Capricorn in the twelfth house. Uranus repeats the theme. The Aquarius rising calls for equality, while Uranus, which rules it, is in the Leo house, symbolic of the king. The inner split is clear with Uranus closely quincunx the Ascendant and rising Moon.
Unfortunately, current progressions do not offer much hope of an early resolution of the struggle. The Sun began a square to Pluto, each in the sign of the other, about a year ago, and the aspect will last for two more years. P MC reached the opposition to Uranus about three years ago, with P Venus moving into the aspect a few months ago. P Moon entered Aquarius and started a quincunx to natal Moon, an octile to Pluto, and a trioctile to P Sun as the student demonstrations were escalating. It was just starting an opposition to P Venus when the crackdown came. This summer and into the fall, P Moon will continue to form stress aspects: opposite P Venus and P MC, quincunx natal Moon and Ascendant and Chiron (a yod), conjunct Uranus, trioctile Venus, square natal Sun and P Antivertex, P East Point, and finally (in 1990,) P Ascendant. Other current aspects which just reinforce the likelihood of power struggles include P Ascendant trioctile MC and opposite Mercury while P Ceres squares natal Moon. I hope that some of the student leaders can escape the country and wait for a more propitious time to resume the struggle. But it could be a long wait. Late 1999 has dramatic aspects for change. There will be a progressed New Moon conjunct the MC and P Mercury and sextile P Jupiter, and Pluto goes retrograde. But the changes are not likely to come without a struggle. P Mars will be on Saturn. The Sun-Moon-Mercury conjunction will be octile natal Mercury and moving into the octile to the rest of the Libra stellium. P MC will square the nodes and P Venus will square natal Neptune-Ceres and the P nodes. The patterns involve cardinal signs in fixed houses or fixed signs in cardinal houses; conflict or competition or cooperation, in the juggling act of life. Another important period of change is suggested in 2004 when P Uranus reaches the exact octile to P Pluto and the trioctile to natal Moon. P Sun and P Mercury will have moved into Sagittarius and P Moon will enter Aquarius and cross the natal Moon and Ascendant. Freedom may come in small increments. Astrology has a long view.
Turning now to the newer asteroids, every one that I expected to be strongly aspected is featured in the chart for China. There are far too many to list them all, and I think the sheer number of appropriate aspects supports the validity of this chart. In view of the massacre of innocent civilians on the weekend of June 3-4, I expected Dresden and Guernica to be involved. They were cities in which civilian targets were fire bombed. In the chart for China, natal Dresden and Dolores were on Pluto and P Pluto remains conjunct them for many years. P Sun is just starting a two-year square to them. Dolores is the Spanish word for “sorrow” and was the town where the Mexican independence rebellion started. P Guernica is also square Dresden and Dolores, conjunct natal Venus, and trioctile P Uranus and P Moon. Hebei is the Chinese province from which the troops came who carried out the massacre. Natal Hebei was on natal Mars and P Hebei is quincunx natal Jupiter and opposite the East Point. The latter position on the West Point is similar to being on the Descendant which can function as a key to partners or to open enemies (in the old language). Natal Atlantis which is so often a key to power struggles or the abuse of power was square the MC and octile Mercury. P Atlantis is square P Chiron in the tenth house, so still showing conflict between the equality and potential for cooperation of the seventh house and the executive power of the tenth house. Of course, when we fail to function cooperatively in the seventh, it becomes a key to competition or warfare.
We would also expect aspects to the asteroids for Japan and Taiwan. The Chinese communists fought the Japanese throughout the Second World War, and defeated Chiang Kai-shek after the war so he was forced to retreat to the island of Taiwan. The mainland Chinese are still trying to lay claim to Taiwan. The asteroid named Taiwan is in the first house of the Chinese chart in opposition to Mars. P Taiwan is now opposite P Pluto, quincunx P Saturn, square P Sun, octile P Venus, and trioctile P Moon, moving into the trioctile to Uranus. After years of being ruled by a dictatorship, the Taiwanese have finally achieved some democracy and there is no way they want to be under the thumb of mainland China. Natal Tokio was square the MC in China’s chart, trioctile Mercury, and opposite Atlantis. P Tokio is opposite Juno, suggesting the uneasy partnership that has been developing between Japan and China. An opposition can be a partnership or competition or serious conflict. China wants Japan’s technology and Japan wants the Chinese market, but neither trusts the other. Experts speculate that the Chinese might learn all they could technologically and then, with their huge population advantage, really give Japan a challenge. Of course, if they alienate the developed democracies, they could delay modernization for a long time. Natal Nippon (Japan) was on Winchester which we see repeatedly associated with guns. P Nippon has been conjunct the south node for years and is still in orb. P Winchester has reached the conjunction with Mercury so it is also octile MC and Atlantis, and trioctile Tokio.
Other aspects include P Mars which is currently square natal China, P Peking which is square natal Chiron, P Washingtonia which is square the Antivertex, and P America which has been conjunct P Juno for some years as we have developed a cooperative relationship with the Chinese, but P America is now octile Uranus and trioctile the midpoint of Moon/Ascendant. It is also octile natal Guernica and trioctile natal George and Rockefellia which are conjunct. P George and Rockefellia are conjunct natal Urania (similar to Uranus) and square P Jupiter as our leaders rethink their financial and military cooperation with China. One of our newest asteroids (recently discovered and named) is Armandhammer, named for the U.S. head of Occidental Petroleum who has started a huge coal mining project in China. Armandhammer was just past the Ascendant and trine the Sun when the Communist government formed in 1949. Its progressed position has for some years been trine the stellium in mid-Libra and it is still in orb of the trine to the true nodes, P Neptune and P Pallas. P China is currently conjunct natal Herbert and Barbara at 18 Sagittarius, while P Herbert is on natal Russia and the midpoint of natal Ascendant/MC. P Russia is on P Vesta as Russia seeks to work with China. Natal Moskva (Moscow) was on Juno. P Moskva just reached P Saturn. Another asteroid which might be associated with the U.S. is Potomac, the river which runs through our capital city and is in view of the Pentagon. It was on the natal MC along with Fanatica in the Chinese chart. P Fanatica is currently square Saturn. The initial demonstrations started with university students. The progressed position of the asteroid Universitas is conjunct P Pallas, P Neptune, and the south node of the Moon. I can’t imagine a more appropriate place for it than on the asteroid of social causes, the planet of idealism (and sometimes martyrs), and the south node as a key to lessons. The students were clearly too idealistic for their own survival. P Russia and P Vesta square the Libra group, and it is significant that Gorbachev and his wife were witnesses to the height of the demonstrations. P Raissa is conjunct Saturn (natally it was octile Neptune and Ceres) and Michel (equivalent to Mikhail) was natally on Tokio, square the MC. It has progressed to oppose Raissa. It has been reported that the Chinese leaders considered it a loss of face that Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev saw the student demonstrations.
Many more asteroids might be cited, but these are enough to convey the message. So we will turn to Seraphita’s contribution on asteroid names. [Not in the web archives.]