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Those Little Gaps of Silence


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Within the past year or two, I received a comment from a listener to Planet Waves FM, who complained that I pause too much when I'm speaking. He said that he would be running my program through a "truncate silence" filter, in order to condense my language. He wanted to speed up the pacing of my thought process. Apparently I think too slowly for him; if he only knew.

This is the perfect example of how electric media affects people: we come to expect being overwhelmed. By electric media, I mean the whole story arc of an electrically powered environment, from telegraph to electric light to digital. They all have one thing in common, which is electricity. (Technically, the word electronic refers to the presence of transistors, which are little electric switches.)

The telegraph made it possible for information to reach from the White House to Buckingham Palace at the speed of light (it used to take a month), or for people to play chess in real time, between New York and Baltimore. It was equally good for both purposes.

The electric light blended night and day, which in turn messed with our natural rhythms and our relationship to the natural world, and to the cosmos.

Radio, television, and digital media overwhelm us with information, opinions, options, and images, to the point where it's nearly impossible to breathe. They scramble sensory balance to the point where it's difficult to perceive one's relationship to one's body.

There was one really strange week in mid-May, where everything seemed to have happened at once—and it deserves to be remembered. Within a few days, someone opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon on a group of US representatives and senators who were practicing for a charity baseball game, critically wounding one; the attorney general of the United States had to deny publicly that he was involved in espionage and treason, and on live television refused to answer many questions from senators; a 24-story affordable housing tower burned down in London, killing many people.

The president of the United States is under investigation by the special counsel (an independent federal prosecutor) for obstruction of justice; he is also considering firing the guy who is investigating him; the jurors in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial were deadlocked, and the judge declared a mistrial; the president is trying to roll back normalization of relations with Cuba (apparently Russia is okay, when Cuba being friends with Russia was our original excuse for blockading Cuba). A woman in Maine drowned a rabid raccoon in a puddle. Donald Trump turned 71 years old.

We have not heard much from Mike Pence lately. I suspect he's already president, doing the job quietly, while his boss takes the country for a ride on a train wreck. Does anyone really want things to go faster?

Where do we think we're going? Lakota Shaman Lame Deer wrote many years ago that Americans are on "the road to nowhere—a paved highway which they themselves bulldoze and make smooth so that [humans] can get faster to the big empty hole which they'll find at the end, waiting to swallow them up." He may as well have been referring to the "information superhighway," which is an early term for the Internet. It's definitely starting to feel like a road to nowhere.

Mercury Square Neptune: Crisis of Reason

That crazy week was kind of typical, as we race along at the speed of light. What all those news events that ripped through consciousness that week have in common is that not only did we hear about them via Internet or digital cable news, they are all emerging from a society dominated by that environment. The hyperbolic speed of events, and their rapid delivery, are all properties of electric media.

When you get a week of events like this, it's natural for both astrologers and astrology fans to wonder what the heck was going on in the sky. While there are always many little things going on, the main event of the week I described was Mercury square Neptune. Mercury is, on one level, about mind and communications. Let's start there. Mercury square Neptune has some difficulty discerning the truth. It blurs the differences between "true" and "untrue" in a kind of irrational haze.

People who have this aspect in their natal chart must work for intellectual integrity. It does not come naturally or as a birthright. If they don't do the work of cultivating that integrity, they will remain in that fog, and typically pay for it somehow. That's where our whole society stands at the moment.

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