Friday, 23 September 2016

Saturn-Neptune and the Ig Nobel prizes

What makes astrology supremely relevant is that it discloses an unsuspected dimension of the world we think we know so well. It is as though we have become accustomed to see only the horizontal yarn of the weaving, the weft, and are largely unaware of the warp. We are accustomed to break down our world, in order to understand it, into certain categories, recognizing what belongs to this category, what belongs to that. That is ‘scientific’. However, astrology is about learning to think in new categories. It embodies a system of new categories that are as different from the ones to which we are habituated, as the warp is from the weft. In this system objects and events that at first sight appear to have nothing whatever to do with each other are shown to be intimately connected. Conversely, things we naturally tend to associate may be distributed otherwise in the astrological scheme. Understanding the world around us depends on our power to perceive patterns of meaning, to make the right connections, recognize what belongs with what. It is not easy. Unaided, it is as if we are looking at the weaving from the wrong side, and it seems a mess, but with the help of astrology we can see the design as it is meant to be. As the shuttle of the cosmic loom ceaselessly weaves its intricate design, astrologers have the responsibility, or rather the awesome privilege, to work towards restoring to humanity the sense of high meaning it has all but lost.”

Dennis Elwell, The Cosmic Loom

The Trickster

Investigations into rats wearing pants, the personalities of rocks and the truthfulness of 1,000 liars won Ig Nobel prizes on Thursday night (Sept.22)  at Harvard, where Nobel-winning scientists gathered to honor the strangest research of the year. As in past years, the tone of the awards show vacillated from gleeful absurdism to satire to genuine wonder at the lengths to which scientists will let their curiosity lead them. The peace prize went to a gang of philosophers from Canada and the US who published a paper titled On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit.

 A chart for the Sept. 1 New Moon solar eclipse at Boston progressed to Sept. 22 brings the eclipse to an alignment with the Ascendant, thereby triggering it. About the stars that form the backdrop to the eclipse, Diana Rosenberg writes:

Here the audacious Lion and Argo’s restless wanderlust lend an inner wildness to tropical Virgo’s quieter nature (normally analytical and research oriented). Most here are idealistic , with a will to discover life’s deeper meaning  through religion or philosophy.  With the courage of the Lion, they attempt to go beyond accepted ideas and behavior , sometimes shocking people, then using their notoriety to advantage. Tough, pragmatic and versatile, they may bring about sudden breakthroughs, realizations and discoveries contributing to the fields of ecology, religion, philosophy, literature, education, communications and science. They are imaginative – even the most scientific and fact-oriented among them allow a tinge of the wild and weird to edge into their psyches.

The event  took place just as Mercury stationed to go direct on Sept.22. forming hard aspect to Saturn-Neptune and the angles at Boston.  Mercury is the Trickster. In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a trickster is a character in a story (god, goddess, spirit, man, woman, or anthropomorphisation), which exhibits a great degree of intellect or secret knowledge, and uses it to play tricks or otherwise disobey normal rules and conventional behaviour.

Mercury-Neptune is linked to lies and deceit (bullshit?) while Saturn is a planet that separates fact from fiction so that is it at all surprising that  the  peace prize was awarded to a paper titled On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit?

Elwell has defined the term multicongruence as  the tendency for certain things and conditions to co-occur because they belong together at a higher, unmanifest level.  In recent posts (see list below)  we have several examples of news connected to the Saturn-Neptune square.  Many are straightforward cases  of the detection of fraud. But the Saturn-Neptune combination can work in two ways. With Saturn acting on Neptune we have cases where lies and deceit are uncovered but when Neptune acts on Saturn it  infiltrates, weakens, dismantles, or dissolves a rational structure or even crippling laws or social  paradigms that we had internalized (Alabama pipeline leak; Florida sinkhole; Canada legalizing heroin ).

In which category would we put the present news item on the “strangest research”?  To my mind this falls in both categories. Since the prize went to the paper on the detection of “bullshit” that is clearly Saturn operating on Neptune. But what of the bigger picture here….the fact that the establishment (Nobel Committee) recognizes weird and strange (Neptune) research to be valid  is in itself  a victory for Neptune in the closed world of Saturn.

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