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.