Saturday, 3 December 2016

Portugal: The country that loves being sad

The Portuguese are content with their discontentment, and, in an odd but enlightening way, actually enjoy it. As an American, I’ve been inculcated with the importance of being happy – or at least pretending to be happy – at all costs. It’s an ethos epitomized by the smiley face emoji, which is said to have been invented in the US in 1963, and empty expressions like “have a nice day”.

Portugal’s culture of melancholy is hard to miss. You see it etched on people’s sombre expressions – this is no Thailand, known as the Land of Smiles – and even in the statues that occupy prime real estate in Lisbon’s public squares. In most countries, the men (and it’s almost always men) honoured in such places are macho generals. In Portugal, it’s moody poets.  Nov.29

The mundane horoscope of Portugal is based  on the  Proclamation of the Republic [1]. Notice that in this chart the Moon is opposite Neptune. In a mundane horoscope of a nation “the Moon signifies the people, the masses, commoners and the population as a whole” [2]. Neptune is linked to a kind of soul-sickness and existential sadness so that its opposition to the Moon  tells us why the Portuguese suffer from a kind of disillusionment.  And since balm for Neptunian disillusionment can often be found in the realm of the imagination, it is no surprise that the sadness finds vehicles such as poetry and music.

The article was published on November 29, the very day a New Moon fell on the MC at Lisbon. The New Moon was conjunct Saturn and square Neptune in the 1st house. In addition to the Moon the  “ 1st House - Corresponds to the nation and its people, first impressions, the image of the nation and outer persona of it's people” [2]. Once again Neptune is highlighted and its square to Saturn tells us about the sadness and resignation that the people feel.

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