A Capital Idea

The whole arrangement of the country is up for redefinition, a whole era is in the process of yielding to another.

Did you catch, among the daily info blizzard, that blip about moving the capital of Indonesia? Probably not — it’s somewhere on the other side of the world. I missed it too at the time — 16 August — and I’m continually scanning for stories that illustrate the trend of collapse. (Confirmation bias, you say? I’ll admit that.)
All right, that’s not a particularly accurate word — collapse — to communicate the ongoing pattern. Neither is “Long Emergency” (James Howard Kunstler’s term, and the title of his 2005 book), though I’ve used that one. “Long Descent” — John Michael Greer’s phrase — is perhaps better.
Whatever one calls it, this story is a prime example: the prospect of moving Indonesia’s central government apparatus from Jakarta, on the densely inhabited island of Java, to the sparsely inhabited and lightly exploited island of Borneo. (Cue the internal jungle scenes, complete with headhunters.)
How come? Well, Jakarta, swollen far beyond capacity to support its population in relative comfort, is sinking into the rising sea, at a rate of about six inches a year.
Jakarta, Miami, Venice, Tokyo . . . There’s a pattern within a pattern.
Of course, Jakarta’s whole population of thirty-some million won’t be picking up and moving across the Java Sea. Most of them will likely scatter to wherever else they might eke out a living. And the projected monetary cost — thirty some billion dollars — will no doubt escalate. That’s quite a sizable diversion of resources that would otherwise be applied elsewhere in continuing the established organizations.
It’s uncanny, the way that Indonesia’s national horoscope — timed to 27 December 1949 at 5:22 p.m. — is linked to the planetary patterns of its recently re-elected president Joko Widodo and that of this moment and the near future.
The very disparate nature and tumultuous destiny of a vast island nation is represented in the Gemini ascendant. (The national motto is “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika”: “Unity in Diversity.”) Also, there is a potent cross pattern consisting of Sun (in Capricorn: conservative principles at the core of national life) opposite Uranus (innovation and disruptive situations) and Moon (representing the people at large) opposite Mars. Martial Mars is especially influential, even volatile, in the first degree of Libra (cooperation / conflict).

Never was the susceptibility to rapid and violent change more apparent than in the bloody aftermath of the attempted coup of 1965: Indonesia’s burgeoning Communist Party was blamed and eradicated. (This was as the war in Vietnam was rapidly escalating in the scale of violence.)
That larger configuration will be eclipsed — built-up forces released, the status quo torn — when the solar eclipse of 26 December 2019 (with Jupiter close by) falls on the Sun (the head of state) of the nation’s chart. For extra kick, the eclipse path crosses Indonesia. Reliably, that signifies something quite big (Jupiter) involving the business of government (Capricorn).
The whole arrangement of the country is up for redefinition, a whole era is in the process of yielding to another. That is the message of the slow approach of Pluto — joined now by Saturn and soon Jupiter (entering Capricorn next week) — to the place of messenger Mercury: “lord” of the Gemini ascendant.
The big dreams, deceits and illusions so evident throughout the world in 2019 correlate with the Jupiter – Neptune configuration in the sky. Note that both planets link with Saturn (societal structure) and Chiron (social fault lines) in the national chart for the era following colonization by the Dutch and invasion by the Japanese.
The coming Aquarian Shift of social-political orientation — the switch of Jupiter – Saturn conjunctions (every twenty years) from Earth to Air signs — shows for Indonesia a decisive tilt toward much greater involvement with and influence by foreign businesses and governments. That is the significance of the conjunction (on 21 December 2020 in the first degree of Aquarius) connecting closely with Jupiter in the prime chart for Indonesia. The action is in the ninth place or house of the chart, indicating key developments and deeper entanglements in the areas of treaties, trade agreements and other external arrangements.
This is underscored by reference to the natal chart (21 June 1961, time unknown) of the president. That chart shows Jupiter even closer to Jupiter’s place in the national chart. Thus, functionally, Mr. Widodo — the first president of his country whose origins are rooted neither in the political elite nor the military — is in office primarily to facilitate this major new phase in the country’s evolution.
On the surface, it may appear that the high price of relocation must be paid for through the opening of the vast landscape of Kalimantan to “development.” This would bode ill for the delicate ecologies of the rainforests and continuation of indigenous peoples, as it has in Brazil. Yet the Aquarian Shift implies that the dominant pattern of the past two centuries — earth exploitation and technological implementation without precaution — is due for alteration.
Indonesia’s role may well be to exemplify a different understanding, a more holistic sensibility.

Skewed Signals

Mercury has a special significance with the zoidia (signs) Taurus and Scorpio, and particularly in this retrograde period of Mercury.

Highly eccentric, supposedly. From the Greek ekkentros, from ek ‘out of’ + kentron “center.’ Off-center, in other words: out of proper or at least usual, expected alignment.
That’s the word on Mercury’s (Hermes’) path around Sol, which necessarily affects Earth’s reception of Mercury’s emanations.
Distance from Sol at aphelion (farthest from Sol) is half again as much as at perihelion (closest to Sol). And Mercury’s orbit is tipped seven degrees to Earth’s orbit.
Even more unusual: These occasional transits of Mercury — as does Venus — across the face of Sol. This latest one on 11.11 is the first in a series of three, ending in 2039, all in the second week of November. Going back to the start of the seventeenth century or forward to the year 2295, all are within that time frame, or at the very opposite time of the year. (Similarly for Venus, the transits fall in the first third of either June or December.)
Curious, eh?
So astrologically speaking, Mercury has a special significance with the zoidia (signs) Taurus and Scorpio, and particularly in this retrograde period of Mercury. That effectively extends from 12 October to 7 December.
Earth’s gaseous atmosphere, especially wind patterns (Mercury’s domain), responds. Just take note of the very unusual early-season cold weather that has descended once again on eastern North America, with literally hundreds of low-temperature records expected to be surpassed.
And note that storms of historic impact have followed the pattern of eccentricity. One of them was long implanted in the common memory of most folks of the western Great Lakes and northern Plains regions, though it has largely passed out of living memory. The reference is to the notorious Armistice Day (now Veterans Day) blizzard of 1940, when high winds and bitter temperatures that accompanied a surprise cold front brought panic and/or death to hundreds. To paint one picture: Many hunters were out in the fields and marshes when they were suddenly enveloped by and isolated within whipping clouds of snow; escape was all but impossible. Exhaustion and hypothermia ruled the day.
George J. McCormack’s report in his Text-Book of Long-Range Weather Forecasting (1947) stated:
“On November 11, when the actual transit across the Sun took place, tornadoes, blizzards and gales wrought havoc in twenty western and southern States. Storms carried the first major cold wave of the season, with a temperature of 21 degrees below zero reported in Montana. Winds velocity at Detroit’s airport was measured at 78 miles per hour. The worst storm on Lake Michigan in twenty years and the hardest blow in Chicago since 1898 were reported. Property damage amounting to millions of dollars was reported in Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis.”
What are the reports on 2019’s version? Especially beyond weather, though that is quite apt to be noteworthy. What weirdness, what snafus, what shifts of consciousness and awareness have flashed into personal and collective beings?
On political center stage in Big Swamp City on the Potomac River, North America, the latest extravaganza of the Caesar Brothers and Sisters Circus is opening another near-climactic act. (On other continents, one may peruse the fare of other bunglers. Take a peek at the situation in Brazil, for starters. The article by Chet Zdrowski in the Mountain Astrologer — “Uranus, Gaia and the Amazon: Shell Shock and Climate Change” — is well worth the time.)
They’re pretty much all drawn from the tattered, disreputable and generally clownish Patriarchs Playbook.
And appropriately, the representative from Hollywood, a most Schiff-ty character, Adam (mythic first man), strides now into the ring, upon Mercury’s very winged heels.
How will it go for him and his narrative? Not very conclusively, I dare say — just going by the Mercury-ness of it all. Call it a battle of the memes.
And there are some curious aspects of the astrology.

For one thing, according to the planetary pattern for his published birth date, he was born on the day of a somewhat similar Sol – Venus conjunction, except that Venus was on the opposite side of Sol from Earth. And just the day after the summer solstice, calling on him in some way to emphasize the core values of his home and country: Cancerian issues.
They are part of a partial energetic lattice from Taurus (moveable goods, money, assets) to Scorpio (other people’s claims on same), from Mars (action, aggression) to Neptune (vision, fantasy). Also included: Pluto’s element of revelatory power and manipulation.
An actual birth time is not available, however I suspect noonish is about right. Virgo rising seems right, with Pluto and the lunar north node therein. There is such a strong sense of destiny about his arrival on the scene as fog-master Neptune arrives at his south node: the importance of the cloud of unknowing about where he came from and who are his actual constituents. He comes off, via the media, as cool and thorough. And yet there’s a hidden game — of course, it’s politics, right? No, there is more, much more, than “usual” or “typical.”
The position of Mercury in the natal chart is enough to make any astrologically savvy person howl: the next degree over from Mercury’s place on 4 July 1776 (when Mercury was retrograde). For Schiff, it’s the twenty-sixth degree. And check out the Sabian Symbol (I’m referring to the Cafe Astrology page): “ A violent storm in a canyon filled with expensive homes.” Gosh, doesn’t that sound just like what’s been going on of late around Mr. Schiff’s district and from one end of California to the other?
And resonating to the very time of his arrival on Earth, Jupiter and Saturn are back at the very same areas as in the natal chart. The fancy phrase for this is phase recurrence. What it means is that the passion play of morality and rectitude has its perfect emcee.
Plus, Uranian electricity has been jangling the course of battle as that planet, in the past couple of years, has passed back and forth across the natal place of Mars. The past New Moon was directly opposite, signaling the crucial phase of investigations and plans.
And lookee there — an early Gemini Moon: in Mercury’s zoidion of diurnal duality. It’s perfect, coming home to a jangled home.
Let the show resume! It’s the Greatest Show on Earth!?

[See also the excellent and extensive article by Brian Clark, “Mercury: Pi in the Sky,” in The Mountain Astrologer, Dec. 2018 – Jan. 2019.]