In the last two blogs, I discuss a contemporary gift, from modern magi to Christian newborns, in the parallel relational construction of astrology and the Thomist’s insight into primary and secondary causation.
Here is a picture of the association of primary and secondary causation with the category-based nested form.
For astrologers, the superlunary sphere parallels primary causation. The sublunary plane matches secondary causation.
Here is how that looks.
My example entails a celestial event on January 20, 2020, the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto at the edge of the constellation of Capricorn, teetering into Aquarius.
Saturn is a massive planet. It is visible to the unaided eye. Ancient astrologers tracked this “roving star”.
Pluto is a dwarf planet, invisible to the naked eye. It is 0.2% the volume of Earth. Tiny Pluto is discovered in 1931, during search of the Knieper Belt, inspired by a perceived incongruity in the orbit of Neptune.
The year of discovery stands between the two great Battels of the Enlightenment gods, the naïve battle among the Mercantilist gods (1914-1918) and the hot battle among the Fraternal Ideologies (1939-1945). What better time to discover a distant invisible roving star and label it with the name of the pagan god of the underworld?
Pluto seems large at first. Improved measurements reduce its size. More dwarf planets have been found. Eris, discovered in 2005, is slightly larger than Pluto.
So, why would a modern astrologer worry about Pluto?
Why not only follow the visible planets tracked by our ancestors?
The periodicity of Saturn is a little over 28 years. Many modern humans live to see two full orbits. This short periodicity may capture the psychology of the mundane world, but not the sociology. Sociology requires longer periodicities. Pluto’s circuit of 248 years fits the bill, as do the legitimate planets of Uranus (discovered in 1781, 84-year orbit) and Neptune (discovered in 1846, 165-year orbit).
What does this imply?
The addition of unseen, distant planets with multi-generational periodicities offer modern astrologers the long periods useful for sociological readings.
Now, I return to the nested form for the conjunction of Pluto and Saturn in the constellation, Capricorn. The Wuhan plague starts right before the inauguration of this year of the rat.
Both the mundane event and the celestial conjunction are real. An actual event2 occurs on Earth. A potentiating event1occurs in the heavens, within the normal context of Capricorn3.
However, the conjunction between Saturn and Pluto is also actual2.
Is there a way to configure the category-based nested form in order to account for the realness of the celestial event?
Yes. One way follows Peirce’s secondness. Secondness consists of two contiguous real elements. The nomenclature is one real element [contiguity] other real element. For example, I could write, celestial event [contiguity] mundane event. However, there is no material or instrumental causality between these two real elements. So, this route is blocked.
Another way is to construct two category-based nested forms and hierarchically arrange them. One nested form enters a situation level (corresponding to actuality). The other nested form enters a content level (corresponding to potential).
The relation between situationb and contenta is the same as between actuality2 and potential1. Yet, the relation occurs between nested forms, rather than elements with a single nested. The qualifier “virtual” (meaning, “in virtue”) denotes the distinction. Situationb virtually emerges from (and situates) contenta.
In sum, the actuality in the celestial sphere2a may be distinctly separated from the mundane plane2a through a two-level interscope, as described in A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.
Here is how that looks.
According to this sensible (two-level) construction, the mundane plane2b virtually emerges from (and situates) the celestial sphere2a.
Ironically, this relational structure also applies to both genetics and natural selection, as demonstrated in Comments on Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight’s Book (2017) Adam and the Genome, as well as Speculations on Thomism and Evolution.
Notable, for both genetics and natural selection, the content levela is relatively independent of the situation levelb and contains a potential1b exploited by the situation levelb. For astrology, the situation levelb places the content levela within a mythic framework1b that is tested by the congruence between actuality2b and potential1b, in the normal context of astrology3b.
The fall of Wuhan2b passes the test and addresses the question, “How much potential does the miniscule Pluto have?”
But there is more.
The celestial drama of Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter entering into Capricorn2a can be read in light of events on earth2b.
Pluto enters into the constellation of Capricorn on November, 2008, during a world-wide financial crisis. Easy-finance mortgages, packaged in the USA, are sold throughout the world. When the bubble bursts, powerful Wall Street companies swoon.
Central banks save the day by propping up financial firms. In the following years, debt levels rise, extraordinarily, surpassing the debts of 2008.
Now, in early 2020, dozens of economic bubbles are ready to pop.
In 2008, the H1N1 virus jumps to humans in Mexico. In 2009, the so-called “swine flu” produces a small panic.
Meanwhile, in 2007, Chinese and American scientists collaborate on research into the SARS virus, which swept through Asia four years earlier. They publish detailed studies of bat-associated coronaviruses. This work is continued by scientists at the Wuhan Virology Institute, with subsequent publications, even to the unfortunate outbreak.
All it takes is a small tear in a bio-protective suit to release a genetically modified virus into the populace.
Pluto is a tiny player. Yet, events2b in the fields of finance and virology readily play into the image of a minute celestial being, fully capable of exerting its influence within each constellation2a. Pluto is a sign of death and renewal. Capricorn is associated with sovereign power and political order.
In contrast to dwarf planet Pluto, Saturn is massive. Saturn enters the constellation of Capricorn in December 2017.
At the time, in the USA, President Donald Trump finishes the first year of his term. National politics is rent by (false) corporate media narrative explaining why Hillary Clinton loses the 2016 election. The (fraudulently initiated) Mueller investigation offers promise for revenge. (Innocent) General Michael Flynn (under tainted legal counsel) pleads guilty to lying to the FBI. Republican candidate, Roy Moore, loses a senate bid in Alabama under the weight of (numerous, manufactured and media-driven) accusations (for sexual misbehavior 30 years prior). Q posts on the dark web for the first time (and is later vilified and ignored by corporate media). A foot of snow falls in Georgia. The city of Atlanta is paralyzed. Facebook admits censorship.
Worldwide, Britain triggers article 50 of the EU constitution. Mohammad Bin Salman becomes heir to the Saudi throne. The nineteenth congress of the Chinese Communist Party names Xi Jinping to a second five-year term, then ends without naming a successor.
Saturn is all about time. Time reveals all things. Already, in the first quarter of 2020, the American news of 2017 is shown to be deceptive (see parentheses above). World news of late 2017 is similarly qualified as Saturn passes through Capricorn.
Jupiter enters Capricorn in December 2019. It will leave December 2020, after Saturn and Pluto are no longer in retrograde. The mythic attributes of Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter entangle. The first complete conjunction occurs January 12, 2020. Pluto leverages the weight of Saturn in a mythic story1b, telling of the fall of Wuhan and the spread of a novel coronavirus2b. The mundane plane1b resonates with the celestial sphere2a.
What lesson can I draw?
The story, told above, addresses history and sociology. Pluto’s advantage comes from its extraordinarily long periodicity. It lingers within each constellation. It moves slowly, just like sociological transformations. Seven visible planets go into conjunction with Pluto as it passes through each constellation. Saturn goes into conjunction with Pluto every 33 years.
The last time Pluto passes through Capricorn is from 1762 to 1779, during the corruption of Louis XV in France. King George III rules Britain and milks her colonies. Frederick II serves Prussia, winning battles and promoting Enlightenment ideas. Maria Theresa, daughter of Charles III, rules the Hapsburg Empire. Catherine the Great captures the throne in Russia. The Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth suffers losses in 1772. Mohammad Karim Khan Zand rules Persia, ending 40 years of war. The Ottoman Empire suffers peace and militarily falls behind its European rivals.
1762 through 1779 marks a calm before the storms of the French revolution and the American insurrection. Germany, Russia and Austria partition Poland. The Enlightenment reformer, Joseph II, follows Maria Theresa. Persia enters civil war after the death of its regent.
In many ways, the current transit of Pluto recapitulates its previous passage through Capricorn. The deaths and rebirths of many political-religious unions are already underway, include those political systems that claim to be “not religious”.
The long periodicities of Pluto, Neptune and Uranus offer modern astrologers a vantage not available to ancient astrologers. Long periodicities allow the contemplation of a sociological spiral through history. The ancient astrologers thought that the mundane world lives within celestial cycles. Now, modern astrologers imagine a spiral, where celestial cycles are superimposed on an unfolding that transcends the rhythms of the heavens.
The wise men in the gospel of Matthews catch a glimpse of this theodrama, when they lay their gifts before an infant king. They follow the stars. Look what happens. Surely, they did not anticipate…
Astrology expresses the same relational structure as genetics and natural selection. Yet, it operates to bring the mundane plane into mythical union with the celestial sphere.
Astrology also expresses the same relational structure as primary and secondary causation, offering an intimation (or proof) on the actuality of God.
Just as, in astrology, the motions of the celestial bodies2a are independent of events on the earthly plane2b, yet are situated by the mundane1b, the actuality of God2a stands independent of primary3b,1b and secondary2b causalities, yet is situated by themb.
The primary causalities of the Divine Will3b and the Divine Presence1b do not physically move. Secondary causalities2b, exhibited by creatures, facilitate bodily motion. The actuality of God2a gives rise to the unmoved (Divine Presence1b) Mover (Divine Will3b), just as a celestial actuality2a underlies the zodiac’s constellation3b and the astrologer’s reading1b.
This implies that, just as the planets move before stationary luminaries in the celestial actuality2a, the actuality of Godmoves before the actuality of God within the Divine Realness2a.
These parallels are gifts, from the astrologer, to the modern scholastic.