Is Democracy a Dead-end Idea? ~ Mapping global perspectives through Evolutionary Astrology
Daniel Schmachtenberger, whose central interest is long term civilisation design: developing better collective capacities for sense-making and meaning-making, as a means to inform higher quality choice-making, recently highlighted (nov 2nd) the current existential quandary facing the USA, where the people are more or less equally divided and highly polarised, leading to the high probability that no matter who wins the election, the opposing ‘team’ will assume the voting system is rigged and have little or no trust in the system. This means that either the USA will continue to decline and become less relevant as a global power, or it will go through a process of change that will lead to a re-boot. He further concluded that this re-boot would have to occur from the bottom up, from the level of citizenry rather than from government.
As an astrologer, I noticed that he summed up succinctly the current core archetypal picture driving the USA. To see astrological influences affecting a country, we usually draw up a chart for the birth of a country. In the case of the US this is reasonably easy to determine because we have an official date for the founding of the US Republic in 1776. Using this chart and correlating it with the current astrological transits, we see most notably that transiting Pluto will soon make conjunction with the ‘natal’ Pluto in the US founding chart, occurring in Capricorn, shortly before Pluto leaves Capricorn (after about 12 years within the sign) and ingresses into the freedom-loving and humanitarian sign of Aquarius by 2022. In addition transiting Neptune is approaching a full phase opposition with 'natal' founding Neptune on the Virgo/Pisces axis occuring in May 2021 ongoing until late 2022.
Since it takes approximately 245 years for Pluto to travel full circle around the zodiac, no individual gets to experience a Pluto return directly. The very nature of Pluto as the planet of evolution through death and rebirth, is now strongly and intensely impacting on the US cultural and political paradigm, as it drives the country into a death-rebirth process, characterised by the extreme polarisation, tension and civil unrest we are currently seeing, and which won’t reach completion for at least another two years. Pluto processes are very intense and powerful, where resistance to the evolutionary push always generates turbulence and discomfort; the energy, much like an earthquake, shakes things up in such a way that we are forced to face hard truths in order to evolve . The approaching Neptune/Neptune opposition suggests confrontations with reality as it really is and subsequent disillusionment possibly through the release of previously veiled information, with an equal challenge to stay present and not check out through denial and escapism. Will forgiveness be the way forward to a united people? Will spiritual connection heal the divide between people? The key is in determining where the evolutionary forces are headed so that individuals (especially if you’re living in the US) can learn to flow and cooperate with the changes necessary to re-birth into a new stabilised frame of reality.
The threshold of rebirth will occur in the sign of Capricorn in 2022, which will have a powerful impact on US society, and all the structures and systems from which the US is made and a subsequent knock on effect all over the world. There is a strong indication that for the USA to survive, significant social and cultural reform will have to take place. For individuals in the USA (as well as globally due to the recent Pluto/Saturn/Jupiter conjunctions in Capricorn) the onus is on awakening to the realisation that as individuals we need to be willing now to take more responsibility than before; we need to reclaim our power as individuals to self-author and to change the habitual reliance on authority figures to ‘know everything’ and make effort to know for ourselves. This requires a maturation of citizens in order to throw off the default governmental tendency to treat people like infants.
The now very questionable and excessive covid lockdown policies are a very good reflection of this repeating power dynamic within society, where the rights of individuals are overrun, in this case primarily because ‘adults’ cannot have a grown up conversation about the inevitability of death: arguably it has been our collective fear of death that has made us susceptible to a specific narrative that enabled lockdown to occur unquestioned for so long. Initially it was valid for the first lockdown to happen when no one knew for certain just how deadly the virus was, but now during the second lockdown, there is plenty of evidence to show that the virus is comparable (although not the same) to influenza in terms of fatalities, and not nearly as dangerous as TB, which has been around for years and has not so far been the cause of so much fear.
And yet the global drama as it unfolds, from a higher more detached level, can be seen to set the right circumstances through which human evolution both collectively and individually can occur. Disruptions to our daily life, and to our comfortable and limited world-view, give us all the stimulus and opportunity to question more deeply and to self-reflect, in a way that perhaps has not been possible on such a large scale for some time. Whenever evolutionary forces are in play, the tendency for individuals is to initially resist; we like to stay with the known because we feel safer that way, and evolution by its very nature means stepping into something new. Resistance is natural but must be managed in order to reduce chaos and instability; nobody is ‘right’ in this process, since we are all undergoing inner change; its about learning to discern what inner change is needed and choosing to cooperate with it, trusting that it will lead to better outcomes for everyone. For many people this will involve accepting that we can be wrong about things, and that periodically even the best perspective will eventually become obsolete.
The Australian founding chart of January 1901 shows a very different picture to the US. Notably it is a very polarised chart with a massive stellium of 7 planets clumped together in Sagittarius and Capricorn, all opposing Pluto in Gemini. The way I see it, is that the evolutionary trajectory of the collective Australian community is centred around diversity; one could say that the people are learning to embrace a diversity of cultures, ideas and lifestyles, while challenged to integrate powerful and polarised religious and philosophical beliefs within their own communities. Of significance is the current Pluto transit at the tail end of Capricorn that has been putting on a great deal of pressure over the last 20 years as it made conjunctions one after the other with 7 planets. At the time of writing, Pluto is in an exact 216˚ Bi-Quintile indicating that there is a real potential for the country to creatively transform in some way that will infuse the people with real spiritual purpose toward new and open-minded ways forward. With Sagittarius acting as a balancer, Australian people need to come together united as one coherent identity generated from a shared set of beliefs about life and truth. As with any Pluto aspect however, there will be a degree of intensity, power-struggle, and facing of the shadow in order to generate enough traction for evolutionary growth.
The ghost of totalitarianism reflected in the austere lockdown measures in Victoria speak strongly to the dark side of Sagittarius, where myopic beliefs, no matter how fervently believed, will eventually be proved wrong. Once again with the Capricorn energy in play, struggles will occur with authorities and existing outmoded structures, and positive change will happen through social maturation at the level of individuals stepping up to do the right thing. It all hinges on how many people can liberate from their social conditioning, dogma and the MSM (mainstream media) biases/influence in order to deeply question their reality.
Observing the recent elections in both the UK and the USA, and other ‘democratic’ countries in general, one begins to wonder whether democracy is in fact a defunct system. Democracies in general thoughout history, prove to have shorter durations than other systems like monarchy, usually no more than 300 years, and in the case of the US democratic system, it has been active for nearly 250 years already. Some argue that we haven’t really achieved a full democracy yet, and that the USA is an experiment that now appears to be failing; corruption has compromised the original humanitarian ideals set in the constitution. When I was at school in Britain, I was taught to believe that I lived in a democracy, but oddly we never spent any time learning about the system of government or the law of the land in which I lived; I entered the world clueless about my rights and how things really work, just like so many others before and since. I think it was more true to say I was living in a country that was attempting to be a democracy, or worse that notions of democracy were but a smokescreen designed to camouflage a less desirable reality of control.
Nowadays we are more aware that our systems are closer to an oligarchy (ruled by the few) or plutocracy (ruled by the wealthy) evolving alarmingly towards technocracy (ruled by technology elites) - the suggestion that Biden is ‘owned’ by the Chinese Communist Party (evidence for this on his son Hunter Biden’s laptop) should act as an alarm to all of us opposed to the imposition of a social credit scheme in the west, as currently exists in China. But before we opt to elevate democracy as the be all and end all answer to our problems (if we could but achieve it), let's look at some of the problems with the idea.
Firstly the basis of democracy is that everyone of age has a right to one equal vote, and that through a voting system, the majority decides what happens. Even at its very best, democracy will always be limited to a proportion of the community ‘losing’ and feeling compromised, since it would be unlikely that everyone would want the exact same thing all the time; as a system the consensus rules, and true individuals are always left as partial outsiders to tolerate a world-view they don't relate to.
Even more fundamental to a working democracy, is the need for all participants (voters) to be highly educated in order for them to be knowledgable enough to vote intelligently. That’s actually quite hard to achieve because education costs time and money, which relies on a working system to provide those resources to everyone, which no democracy has so far achieved.
A good example of the way a largely uneducated, disconnected and uninformed voter population affects the democratic process occurred recently in the island Bailiwick of Guernsey this year. For the first time in its history (due to popular demand) there was an opportunity for island wide voting, which meant that all voters could choose 38 people out of about 150 people who had presented themselves for election. A thick colour booklet was produced, where each candidate had a double A4 page to write about themselves and their manifesto. In a two week period the community was tasked with reading through the information and to make their choices. I myself was not in a position to vote, and could only observe. I noticed how the average voter was either overwhelmed with the task, too busy to give time to reading the information (even when retired), or simply unable to make use of the information to make an informed choice. Some voters avoided the whole process and simply voted for the few people they knew, some needed help to make sense of what each manifesto proposed, some got half way through and gave up, and one person I spoke to, went to a website that highlighted which of the candidates was environmentally minded and blindly voted for those without reading anything; he literally out-sourced his voting rights to someone else. In short, the majority came up with strategies to compensate for their lack of knowledge of both the governing system within the Bailiwick itself, a growing disillusionment and skepticism in the capacity and integrity of potential leaders, and lack of confidence in their own sense-making skills. All in all it appeared to be a haphazard and hit & miss affair, that relied on providence rather than true democracy. Nevertheless it was heralded to be a complete success.
So the question arises, how can the entire adult population, regardless of moral or intellectual capacity, knowledge, wisdom or experience, be trusted to make the best choices over the needs and welfare of the community? In very small communities of 150-200 people as existed in pre-Christian tribal culture, it is possible for everyone to more or less know everyone else. Small communities are generally connected to each other and follow the same or similar collective narrative, but as population numbers expanded and gave rise to cities with thousands of people, and nowadays countries with millions of people, it is impossible to run democratic processes in the way early ‘free’ tribes used to; to deal with this issue we elect people to run the country for us, and this has given rise to modern government and political parties. And because its quite normal for the population to be comprised of different people with varying capacities, roles and lifestyles, the moment we were all given one equal vote (originally in Ancient Greece albeit only Greek free men at the time), it also initiated the development of rhetoric as a means for those seeking to govern, to persuade the common person to vote for them. In modern times those trained and skilled in rhetoric have learned highly efficient, refined and effective ways of commanding people’s votes, which has been made all the easier when the majority do not learn very much about the systems of their government (legal, financial and constitutional) and are vulnerable and disabled from informed choice making.
In recent years we have seen this taken to extreme levels, where elections have become a form of pageantry not dissimilar to a football match with both sides wearing the t-shirts. We are subjected to wild and alluring promises from future leaders, who when elected into power commonly achieve little or nothing of what they promised to do, without risk of reprisal. No wonder then that the world has become chaotic, and that politicians are losing credibility with the public.
I am interested to see how the upcoming Aquarian influence is going to influence future developments. The real question is whether the masses will allow themselves to be manipulated yet again by MSM or whether sufficient numbers across the globe will throw off the hypnotic suggestion from repetitive broadcasting on flickering screens and align instead with pro-humanity choices. Aquarius has a lot to offer in terms of humanitarian and egalitarian values and motivation, but it also has a dark side, and there will be those who will seek to make use of the Aquarian energies in a negative way toward a dystopian, technocratic, world-government system with more control and less freedom. Notably there is a big push now for a global financial reset synchronising with the imminent Saturn/Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius on Dec 21st 2020, that in my view is not in our best interests. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and ideas like UBI (universal basic income) and the dissolution of debts, can be used as bait to buy into a new system that devalues the common person even further, with even more loss of freedoms and rights. We must beware! We must not accept a ‘package deal’ global reset designed by elites for the common people; we the people must come together to create the better new normal we want now. The power elites are already moving on this idea and will convene a twin summit called “the Great Reset” in January 2021 timed to make use of the new Aquarian world view birthing during this time. Key concerns of course will be the issue of climate change (a controlled narrative) and Covid19 and future pandemics (another controlled narrative). The announcement of the Great Reset was made by HRH The Prince of Wales and Professor Schwab during a virtual meeting, followed by statements by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. In case one is tempted to think of Prince Charles as just a gentle and well intentioned fellow, it is worth remembering that his brother Prince Andrew is strongly implicated in child-sex crimes through his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, a procurer of children for sex, and Charles himself is known to have had a close ten year relationship with Jimmy Saville who was also a procurer of children for rich elites. It is possible the prince was unaware of Mr Saville’s criminal activities, but given his position as heir to the English throne, and the significant intel the monarchy have access to, it is hard to believe that MI5 did not know what was going on.
These next few weeks leading up to the December solstice are going to be very revealing. If there is plenty of evidence of voting fraud in the recent US elections, which some sources say there is, the most obvious being that Trump visibly lost large numbers of votes on screen for everyone to see, which is an impossibility in a legitimate process, since once votes are given they can’t be taken away, then we may well see a shocking reality change for Democrats, and a shock wave spreading around the globe as other countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, France and the UK, all use the same digital systems supplied from the same company, and it will become obvious that if the US elections were rigged, then how many other elections world wide have been rigged and for how long?
If we return to the key themes associated with the recent Pluto/Saturn conjunction in Capricorn, on the ‘light side’ we can envision the social majority (all of us who are not in power) stepping up, recognising that we are part of the problem when we aren’t participating as true adults within society, allowing ourselves to be hijacked and distracted and sidelined by corporate and governmental powers, and that the only way forward toward order and wellbeing is to become fundamentally more responsible on every level; to utilise and develop self-discipline and put every effort into making the world a better place - the world that is right in front of us (locally) rather than the one we can’t influence at an individual level, by striving for integrity and moral virtue in order to lead the way by example.
On the ‘dark side’, the push will be to lure people to submit to authority figures both elected and unelected; to conform to socially engineered cultural norms; to agree to and follow the prescribed consensus narrative as presented to us through MSM, and if that doesn’t work, to create or make use of events to scare people into submission, and to create as many barriers, boundaries and defences that cause even more social fracturing and disconnect leading to more depression and governmental control than before.
What can we do as individuals?
The key to these times is to learn how to think rather than react and to be able to tell the difference, and make adjustments when reactive behaviour is driving our mindset and action taking. This means we have to take responsibility for sense-making, rather than take everything at face value in trust that official sources such as MSM are always truthful and serve the best interests of humanity; we have to realise that all information broadcasted to us whether through radio, tv or social media will contain some signal (truth) and some noise (error) and as a consequence we have a responsibility to ourselves and others, to learn to discern how much signal and how much noise there is in the information we are receiving at a given time; we should no longer use a naive and infantile ‘trust everything’ approach. We have to realise that we currently live in a hostile ‘world-war’ situation that is occurring at a psychological, political, financial and cultural level, which so far, thankfully, has not resulted in military combat on a world-war scale with uncountable physical casualties.
But war takes many forms, and confusion abates when we understand the nature of the times. We are immersed in culture warfare, identity warfare, narrative warfare and information warfare, much of it driven by social media. It is essential to understand social media and how it both operates and shapes human behaviour. We know with a certainty that in spite of new technology aiming to connect us more than ever before, paradoxically we are less connected to each other than ever before. Face Book (FB) is perhaps the most successful social media platform, which captured the attention of a vast majority of anyone with a mobile phone or computer. Some of the creators of the platform in silicon valley have come clean in the last years admitting that they were well aware they were manipulating human behaviour through reward mechanisms such as ‘likes’. Young minds in particular were very vulnerable to addiction to pseudo-attention that promoted the illusion of being likeable, loveable, worthy and okay; common insecurities natural to human development in adolescence and early adulthood. Other methods of communication such as SMS, Messenger apps, and twitter encourage smaller and smaller simplified forms of communication that convey very little and have no nuance. Social media has had the effect of training a large majority of people toward ever shorter attention spans, incapable of dealing with any level of detail or nuance vital to proper sense making, essentially dumbing down the people’s ability to process the complexity of global developments. The power of this change is so great that MSM in the form of newspapers and broadcast news have had to adapt to the trend, making news reports even more sparse in information; as Bari Weiss the editor for the New York Times wrote in her recent resignation letter “Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions.”
As I mentioned earlier there is no such thing as a free lunch. One of the aspects of the internet which has been most alluring is the number of ‘free’ services available. Email such a gmail, and most social media platforms like FB and twitter are offered ostensibly as ‘free’, and they all come with a very long ‘legalese’ contract that virtually no one is bothered to read, partly because its hard to understand and partly because it takes time and energy, but when we accept the terms, we are not aware that we are giving them permission to ‘own’ everything we write and record everything we say, and harvest information from us collectively. How else has FB managed to be worth over $500 billion for a perceived ‘free’ service?
The key issue here is that this is big business, and business is a competitive arena; all newspapers, social media platforms and broadcasters survive only if they can command our attention, and this has resulted in the evolution of what is termed ‘limbic hijacking’. The term refers to the limbic brain, a set of structures in the brain that deal with emotions, behavioural responses (especially survival) and memory. New strategies emerged, to do whatever was needed to get our attention, and the most effective way has been to induce shock, anger and outrage, and so our ‘news’ has become a parody of what it once was, designed to trigger emotional responses to cultivate addiction to the negative emotional states that keep us fearful and glued to the screen. In today’s world, attention is money, and we all have a finite time to live in this world; of all the things we have, time is perhaps the most valuable, and it behoves us to make sound self-valuing choices about who and what we give our attention to. Do we focus on being loving creative beings, or lose ourselves in endless distraction via social media and online gaming and streaming services? As things stand, the evolution of social media and its knock on effect on attention span and MSM news, actively undermines democracy, because it disables consensus intelligence and awareness to make good decisions.
The side-effect of computerised algorithms used in google search, FB, Youtube etc has led to the phenomenon of ‘echo-chambers’ referring to the way we ‘see’ news on FB feeds, other news feeds and the way Youtube curates for us. For an individual interfacing with the vast information landscape in virtual space, there are some key challenges; how do we find what we are looking for from literally millions of sites? How do we get something useful quickly, without having to wade through pages and pages of undesirable content? The algorithm attempts to solve this problem by ‘watching’ everything we pay attention to, and delivering to us more of what we like; its an inadequate solution that creates the significant issue of ‘echo chambers’, a term used to describe the way social media tunes us into information we can easily relate to, and tunes us out of everything else. Every time we hover over a youtube or face book post, we feed information back to the system; every time we give a thumbs up, or ‘like’ something or ‘subscribe’ to a channel, we feed information back to the system, and a picture is built up over time, refining always the way information is fed back to us. If one relies on for example a FB newsfeed, then the type of news presented is based on what the algorithm ‘thinks’ is desired by the individual, and we get caught in an information echo chamber, were our specific view point on life is enhanced, validated, emphasised and doubled down on, leading to a limited and somewhat distorted view of the world, which is perhaps the main driving cause of escalating polarisation within culture, most visible in the USA.
Incidentally Donald Trump issued an executive order in the US on Feb 2019, on the one side supporting the development of AI, but on the other, putting in place key restrictions on how AI can be used in silicon valley (google) enforcing that AI must support civil liberties, privacy and American values as well as national security.
In light of all of this, the question arises: Is there something even better beyond the lofty and well intentioned vision of democracy? And if so how might we collectively generate a new better possibility that we currently have little or no idea about? I think the answers to this ultimately lie with the forces of evolution bearing down on us in 2020, where two complimentary narratives have emerged. The first is the story of our impending extinction due to the destruction of nature for profit, and the second is the story of ascension, one associated with numerous prophecies throughout the ages that speaks to a shift in human consciousness ushering in unimagined new possibilities. As to which one plays out, we can only wait and see, based on the choices each of us make in the next few years.
On an optimistic note however, although we appear to be descending into chaos, chaos in itself is not destined to lead us to destruction, for it also represents a loosening of structures so that evolution and positive change can happen. With the imminent conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius, followed by the ingress of Pluto into Aquarius in 2022, we can be sure of one thing: the energies in play will be very supportive of awakening, and if we personally choose we can ride the waves of light-speed evolution, in ways that may not have been available before. Pluto in Aquarius will significantly amplify both the speed and intensity of human evolution, so hold on tight and enjoy the ride!
Does awakening have to be all bad? Check out this youtube of colour-blind people wearing special glasses that enable them to see colours for the first time. In my view awakening to a larger understanding of the world and reality and what it means to be human is an essential key to successful transition in this window of global change. The metaphor of a colour blind person literally seeing something new in a way that changes their entire perception of life is a very apt one for these times.
Aquila Idha is an Evolutionary Astrologer, Personal Mentor, and Tarot Consultant.