The Astrology of Social Media
by Sally Lloyd
Like it or not social media is not only here to stay and, today, it's where a nearly 2 billion people get their information. Unfortunately it is also the source of considerable misinformation that can have drastic consequences, as we have seen in the last few years and this year in particular.
Although there are no times are available for the launching of the two most popular social media sites, Facebook and Twitter, the launch charts are interesting, especially in light of the fact that they both had their inception in San Francisco, California, the home of the Gold Rush and the centre for the 1950s beat poets and the hippie counterculture that peaked with the 1967 "Summer of Love"; a city that sits on one of the most strongest fault lines on the planet.
Facebook was launched on February 4th, 2004 and Twitter March 21st, 2006, which means that both charts have Uranus in Pisces and Neptune in Aquarius, i.e. in mutual reception. Pisces as we know is the twelfth sign and is related to public institutions and covert societies in mundane astrology, it is also about the emotions and the subconscious natally and Aquarius as the eleventh sign is about associations and community groups, hopes carried to foreign shores and Aquarius is the sign of the inclusive, universal and idealistic. Uranus is linked to all revolutions and innovations in society and Neptune is associated with imagery to mass media.
It was clear that social media was going to have a dramatic effect on society. However, the Facebook chart shows a trine between Uranus and Saturn that isn't present in the Twitter chart, which, perhaps, explains why it is Twitter that is the source of so much controversial social media hype. Also, in the Twitter chart is a conjunction between Mercury and Uranus, the two octaves of communication, showing that it would indeed be Twitter that became the most popular site for saying what we think in short bytes. Pluto was in Sagittarius at the time and as Pluto is that planet that forces anything submerged to the surface and Sagittarius is the sign of the broader vision, enthusiasm, adventurous as well of recklessness and tactlessness, there was already intimations of what was to come.
Again there is a marked difference between the two charts because Pluto in the Facebook chart it is square a retrograde Jupiter in Virgo (Jupiter was also in Virgo at the time of the Brexit vote) placing the planet of publishing in the sign that goes with the attention to detail that affects developments particularly methodology is underlined here in a tense relationship with Pluto in Jupiter's own sign. By the time Twitter was launched Jupiter had moved into Scorpio and was then square Neptune, which again signifies that Twitter tendency for tweets to be used as a powerful way to confront things but at the same time fudging and misrepresenting information in a way that can be destructive, vengeful and overly dramatic.
Sagittarius has characteristics that deal with ideology, philosophy and cultural identity. When this sign is transited issues of nationalism and patriotism are emphasised. People's beliefs become spotlighted, be it from a religious, intellectual or cultural perspective and often social change takes place by an altering of people's worldview.
In July 1979 Ian Dury and the Blockheads released a single called "Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3", which contains the lines below, and while the song didn't have anything to do with social media (it come into existence until 1997) it seem to me to echo what we have now.
"A bit of grin and bear it, a bit of come and share it,
You're welcome, we can spare it"