November 2023: Horoscopes for Moderns
Emotion Sickness: Ghosts (and Loons) in the Machine
You’re reading WOODRUFF. I cover the convergence of pop culture, psychology, and astrology with a bit of the Tarot and dream work tossed into the fray.
LAST WEEK, AN OFF-DUTY PILOT, riding along in a cockpit and tripping on magic mushrooms, decided that it was time to shut off the jet’s engines mid-flight and bring himself (and 83 passengers) back down to Earth—in a hurry. After making an emergency landing in Portland, the pilot was charged with 83 felony counts of attempted murder. Experts familiar with psychedelic aftereffects described the pilot’s druggy mushroomy condition as one of ‘derealization’— a feeling of detachment from one’s surroundings.
On November 4, Saturn, which has stationed direct and is sitting almost motionless in zero degrees of Pisces, will officially launch into a 2-plus-year inculcation (for all of us) in derealization. Consider the off-duty pilot’s escapade as a fitting metaphor for this most elusive of Saturn transits.
Let’s consider another mindfuck.
Last week, the House of Representatives elected a sort-of-unknown Rep from Louisiana, Michael Johnson, to the two-steps-away-from-the-Presidency Speaker of the House role. Saturn (gravitas and authority) in Pisces (mists and vapors) generates leaders who, over time, come to redefine the term vapidity. (Vapid, from the Latin for vappa: wine that has lost its flavor).
Ostensibly, Johnson, an Aquarian poindexter, with his Mercury in Capricorn, seems a formidable force of organization and convictions. But he’s another smoke-and-mirrors politician who has Trojan-horsed his Christian rhetoric into his various campaign platforms (always money-generators in the South). Oppose queers, abortion, ecologists (he’s a young-Earth proponent [i.e., god created the Earth 6,000 years ago]), and mention the Bible often. Rinse. Repeat.
Johnson’s horoscope is very Saturn in Pisces-like in that he has an amorphic Saturn/Neptune opposition as one of his chart’s defining aspects. This echoes the key conundrum of the ongoing transit (for all of us), namely, what happens when form (Saturn) melds into the formless (Pisces/Neptune)? As relates to individuals, the aspect is associated with someone like Johnson, who is the perfect blank screen for his constituents and opponents to project their hopes and horrors upon.
More revealing is the Sabian degree for Johnson’s 10-degree Sun in Aquarius. According to Dane Rudhyar, the symbol is defined as: “A man who had for a time become the embodiment of a popular ideal is made to realize that as a person he is not this ideal.”