As the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing begin to wind down, let’s take a quick look back at memorable moments from the competition. A chart set for the opening ceremonies (8 PM local time, 4 February 2022, Beijing, China) shows an exact conjunction of the Sun with Saturn at 15 Aquarius, pulling focus (Sun) to acknowledged masters and top achievers (Saturn) in their fields, in a quest for professional (Saturn again) recognition (Sun).
Posts by Alex Miller
Winter can seem a very bleak period, but there’s beauty and wonder everywhere, if you know where to look for it. Last year we had a blizzard in late January, which dropped more than 30 inches on the property, and kept it snowbound until mid-March. In my youth, this used to be the natural state of things in my area, snow cover from Christmas to Easter, but climate change has made that a rarity. The year before there was no measurable snow accumulation the entire season, and this year, though we’re still running below average, we’ve managed to have a series of smaller snowfalls which, aided by bitter cold spells, have helped to keep the ground covered throughout January, if only by a few inches.
We’ve known for years that, as President, Donald Trump was shredding the Constitution, igniting division, and generally flushing the country down the toilet. We just didn’t know it was literal.
But on Friday, 4 February 2022, as Mercury came to its direct station conjunct Pluto, news (Mercury) broke that while in office, Trump routinely destroyed (Pluto) papers (Mercury) relating to the presidency. In doing so, he violated the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which establishes that all such papers, from rough notes and memoranda to correspondence and drafts of Executive Orders, are public property of the United States, to be retained by the National Archives, and not the personal possessions of the president, subject to his whim. Apparently the most common method of destruction Trump employed was to tear papers and toss them into the waste can, after which staffers would retrieve the pieces and tape them back together for preservation at the Archives, although some were in such a state of confetti as to be irretrievable.
At the age of 25, Elizabeth found herself reigning head of an empire upon which the sun literally never set, comprising some quarter of the globe. The seventy intervening years have seen much change and turmoil, both for Britain and the world at large, but the Queen has been a rock in the stream of time, a stabilizing influence for her people, and an invaluable source of information and experience for her governments over the decades.
In 2022 the United States is undergoing a profound and deeply transformative period in its development, namely the return of Pluto to its natal degree. Pluto’s orbit is roughly 248 years, so this is a cosmic event that no human has ever experienced, but it can occur for longer-lived entities such as nation-states. The historical record for what transpires at these times is mixed at best, and subject also to such interruptions and mutations as major political reorganization. (Is it really valid, for example, to continue using a chart for the Norman Conquest of England for today’s United Kingdom, a different political entity entirely, albeit with a titular head-of-state whose ancestry dates back to those days?) As well, when such charts are used, we may see recurrent themes under successive Pluto Returns for the same country, but not necessarily among all countries.
Don’t you ever wonder how this all works? I know I do. After 15+ years of intense engagement with asteroids, I’m no closer to an answer, but sometimes I like to revel in how even the most mundane of mundane events can be reflected in the stars. On January 28th, two Biden-related stories made the news – a bridge in Pittsburgh, PA collapsed just hours before a presidential visit touting the need for repair of crumbling infrastructure; and the White House acquired a new furry occupant, a grey tabby cat with jade-green eyes named Willow.