The Astrological Journal January 2017
Victor Olliver's Editorial
Post-truth politics, strange times and Uranus
Supposedly, we're living in an era of 'post-truth politics' and populist rebellion against establishment elites. So, in this issue, what better planet to focus on than rabble-rousing Uranus, associated with rebellion, independence (or crankism), reform and sudden turns? From Maurice Fernandez's piece on the Jupiter-Uranus cycle, to Jonathon Clark's essay on 18th century flight at the time of the 'discovery' of Uranus, to Andrew Ifandis' portrait of potty-mouthed singer-songwriter Adele (Aquarius Ascendant with Mars rising), we're immersed in the zeitgeist of bold, weird and mould-breaking goings-on.
The outcome of the recent US presidential election is perhaps the most spectacular example of this trend and one that sets the tone as we enter 2017. It's worth noting that Donald Trump's natal Uranus (conjunct Sun) is close to the US's Mars in the 7th house in Gemini (Sibley chart). Seventy years later (and as of election day, 8 November 2016) Trump's progressed Uranus had covered all of just three degrees or so to make exact this natal conjunction with US Mars on 22° Gemini, harnessing the culminating power of his natal Full Moon on this degree. No wonder his sense of public mission as maverick saviour of America! It just so happens that 22° Gemini is a trigger point in the history of the US presidency (see Smiljana Gavrancic pioneering work on sensitive degrees in nations' charts on page 11). Also, by election day, Trump's solar arc Moon was just minutes out of conjunction with US Moon (yes, in Aquarius), joining his heart and the people in a mood for iconoclastic adventure, which is one way of putting it. If only some of us had given more weight to all this pre-8 November.
Smiljana's essay is one of a number of pieces in a US election special showcasing a few successful forecasts. Alas, astrology did not acquit itself universally well on this occasion, judging by the number of calls for Hillary Clinton, a fact addressed by Roy Gillett on page 8. Are we as astrologers too eager to go public with our forecasts in mundane astrology, creating hostages to fortune? And if we are correct in our prediction, do we not encourage a public expectation of prophet-like infallibility that's bound to disappoint eventually? These are questions at least worth asking as some of us scuttle back to our horoscopes to probe where events went wrong.
The 13th sign and more weirdness
Against much competition, oddest tale of all in this issue is that told by Kim Farnell. I had no idea that the satirical sci-fi writer John Sladek had created a 13th-sign hoax in 1977 with his book Arachne Rising: The Thirteenth Sign of the Zodiac. His imaginary but much-believed spider sign (in a curious coincidence with the above on the US presidency) encompassed 22° Gemini near its termination. I am sure this cannot be significant at all, but I leave it hanging here to meditate upon.
It cannot be any wonder, then - given the demand for space - that Part 2 of Wade Caves' collection of memoirs from leading astrologers (on what first drew them to the horoscope) has had to be held over to the March-April 2017 issue. Sorry, Wade! Blame Uranus.
This is the editorial from the January 2017 edition of the Astrological Journal, the UK's premier astrological magazine.