The Magic Window

Sunday January 6th 2019

Commuters on a Train -- Cyril Power Commuters on a Train — Cyril Power[/caption]

I grew up in a country where it was unusual, on public transport, to see people reading anything other than a smudged newspaper. I moved to London, where inside the bright-lit tube trains, a colourful collage of hundreds of paper covers made a journey gayer and more interesting. Tired people would bury their minds between the paper covers of novels and magazines. Who was reading Harry Potter? Or Tolstoi? Or The New Scientist?

Today, when you ride a train or a bus or a plane, everyone escapes through the magic windows of their smart phones. In dreary rush hour, the bright colours on the tiny screens light up the faces of workers. It’s the same everywhere — and in that country where no one read, people now watch moving images through the magic window instead.

The transition from paper to magic window, or in some countries nothing straight to magic window with no intervening period of book reading, has been rapid. It’s taken barely a decade.

In fact, the iPhone was launched just one Jupiter-cycle ago on June 29, 2007 — last time the great expander was in the sign of publishing, Sagittarius.

The iPhone has an interesting chart. Beauty and practicality, in the forms of Venus and Saturn, join together in Leo, the sign of performance. And these two are in exact opposition to Neptune, the planet of illusion and magic in the sign of technology Aquarius.

Indeed, Neptune and Uranus, Aquarius’ modern ruler, were in a dance throughout the first decade of this century. First both were in Aquarius, then, when Uranus moved into Pisces, they were in mutual reception. So for years they worked together changing our relatioinship with technology — and creating this magic window into a Neptunian realm.

When Uranus went into Aries 2010, the two planets started dancing to different beats. The Age of the Selfie began. Uranus (technology) in Aries, a sign which rules the head, of course. During the years Uranus has been in Aries each of us asserted our own direct relationship with the internet through our smartphones.

The following year we entered this extraordinary decade of Neptune in Pisces. When we look into our smartphones — we enter the world of Neptunian glamour and illusion, magic and deception. Today, more and more people have this at their fingertips. In a crowded public space, like a commuter train, this escape through the looking glass makes modern life bearable. We can forget our fellow passengers while we swim in Neptune’s realm by watching a video of dolphins or cats or The Magic Flute. 

As Uranus prepares for his final departure from Aries in March, the age of the selfie is ending. Uranus is taking us somewhere else — and one thing is clear — podcasts and audio books are starting to gain real traction — perhaps unsurprising, since we associate Taurus, where Uranus will be for the next seven years or so, with the voice. Audiobooks sales have doubled in the last five years according to The Bookseller magazine. But this is just the beginning: during the coming decade we’ll get used to the idea of books being heard as much as read. 

Meanwhile, the mirror that is Neptune becomes vast in Pisces. Collectively we dive into that alluring watery place — and some of us have trouble coming back to the stony shores of real life. We are lost in the huge worlds created inside our heads by the magic of the smartphone. We travel to distant galaxies, inside the minds of mermaids, to the farthest shores of imagination as we commute home on the packed train. Within each small person, there are worlds more strange and more beautiful than this one.

Can reality ever measure up to such seductive fantasy? That is the challenge of Neptune in Pisces.

I look around the tube train now, and those books and magazines have gone. People around me could be reading or listening or watching anything. Even though I sit right opposite them I don’t know. With Neptune in Pisces we are in a collective world that separates us from the real, lived collective experience. An extraordinary paradox.

I originally wrote this article for my Phenomena column in Infinity Astrological Magazine.

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  1. Doug says:

    Iinteresting times we are living in ! I hope at best the cerebral nature of Uranus will make traditional warring ineffective and obsolete and the problems we and our planet face will be seen as a more collective challenge by its residents and lead us into a more benign and humanitarian future .Now that we have entered the age of aquarius they’re are going to also be more revolutionary themes .Are we mature enough collectively as a race to keep up with the pace of our technological breakthroughs for the good of mankind ? That being said I think Da Vinci , and Jules Verne would feel right in their element in this time.( Have a good day ! : )

  2. Lovely piece as usual and what synchronicity. I’ve disconnected my smart phone as of Dec 26th and now use a retro Nokia with radio and camera. I love it. I carry it on a needs must only. Freedom????

  3. Isy says:

    I twigged to the Chiron placement and the North and South nodes immediately when I saw the chart…

    – Chiron is rather widely opposite Venus, here (I think) as the forces of beauty and proportion. Addiction professionals are trying to work out how to address the intense addictive behaviors that arise around cell phone use. Behavioral health professionals and sociologists are putting loads of time and thought into how to articulate what’s useful and constructive mobile use, and what disrupts the capacity to form relationships and engage in society in a healthy way. Loads of struggle around wounds and healing in these realms of experience. Our old guidelines have really needed updating. The vague consensus that’s starting to emerge is that, what distinguishes functional from unhealthy cell phone use, is whether it contributes to, or distorts, the beauty and proportions of a life one can appreciate having, that allows one to be useful (Saturn) and to shine (Venus in Leo.)

    – Which brings us to the dragon’s head and tail. The best and most forward-thinking use of this technology is to open out our sense of the world and expand & deepen our dreams and views and horizons. It creates platforms that obviate the gate-keepers of traditional publishing and make it possible for lessons to go where they’re needed, anywhere in the world. So, of course, the NN is in the 9th house in Pisces. At the other end of its potential, as we know, we can use it to snuggle into our social, economic, and political silos, exposed only to those who say what we expect and keep us comfortable and feeling tidy and like we belong and that we’re obviously right. SN is in the 3rd house in Virgo.

    The first-house Sun, clutched neatly in Cancer’s two claws, is almost too perfect a placement for the “I” phone, which we clutch so tightly in order to use it at all!

    Nobody could make this stuff up LOL

    It makes so much sense!

    • Christina says:

      Well put. An example of that wide reach is happening today with the campaign on twitter to save that Saudi woman in Thailand from deportation.

  4. Severne says:

    Wonderful piece and comments! I hope Uranus in Taurus also means regain connection with the body and nature, and not just the head. I hear often stories of people that work with young kids, teens and College students and how disconnected they are from their bodies and surroundings (lots of occupational therapists are busy assisting with the regulation of vestibular issues and integrating primitive reflexes).
    A couple of examples: Teens that are failing their driving tests to get a license because their reflexes are not integrated (also videogames, of course).
    An interesting one came from an Alexander technique instructor at a Theater department. Unfortunately it’s been a while and don’t recall the activity they were trying to do with the students, (it might have been something to do with imagining being in a forest, definitely something about being in/feeling surrounded by a 3Dimentional space) but what became obvious was that often, their ‘field of perception’ was about the size of an iPad screen or computer screen.
    I weaned myself from FB around mid-November and only today I opened it for few minutes. Didn’t miss that much. Maybe Uranus in Taurus mean we’ll get to call/talk to each other more?!

  5. Doug says:

    Now that we know about prayer. Lord will you teach us how ? Same with the new tech.Same with anything.Most people can’t build an automobile , but .most know how to drive one and follow the rules of the road.

  6. 44 and counting says:

    Am still using the dumb phone that I got in 2009. The screen has been dying for a couple of years and I’m at a crossroads of trying to decide whether to buy another cheap handset or make the jump to smart.

    I don’t have good reason for the latter other than the world around is gradually making it that bit harder not to have one as banks schools, councils and companies increasingly go online, stay in touch or request payment through them or their apps etc, etc.

    I just detest having to put all my eggs in one basket especially with the obvious dangers of getting hacked, privacy concerns, system outage or even just out of battery.

    It all has a real neptunian disregard for boundaries and I’m sure a lot of the addiction is multiplied in those who don’t know how to set them by just switching the thing off or leave it in the other room. As an introvert it’s beyond me as to why people want to be constantly contactable and not have time to themselves.

    • Christina says:

      We are all being forced into smartphone usage because of how everyone communicates.

      Since I live with a couple of “digital natives”, I note that their approach is quite different from each other. Also they simply take without the smartphone they are out of the loop socially — and quite often they choose to do exactly what you suggest in order to step off that loop. So they have to have it, but they seem more effective at ignoring it than certain other generations.

  7. 44 and counting says:

    Leo venus was retro in 2007 and turned about a month later at the end of July.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens to the iPhone in about 20 years time when its progressions catch up to that date. And of course it’ll be coming up for its saturn return.

    By then we’re going to have Pluto in Aqua as well and beginning to oppose those Leo placements.

  8. Doug says:

    I just acquired my smart phone recently.It does have its advantages for research purposes.( I was able to find your informative site with it.) Growing up in a family that subscribed to National Geographic I get to connect with people in countries I only read about in my youth.
    Of course there’s the problem of ‘ too much information ‘ , but being from an older generation ( and hopefully wiser ) I think I have an advantage to discern better the fact from fantasy workings of it.
    I’m still a ‘ cash only guy ‘, and I’m careful not to type anything that will get me into trouble with ‘ big brother ‘ I have seen how some of the information can be used in an improper and dangerous way especially with.some of the impressionable young minds that have nefarious intent.As I said anyone can drive it , but where are they going ? Now that they know about prayer I just hope the lord will teach them how to pray. Have a good day
    Doug : )

  9. Ghislaine Winning says:

    Excellent post .as a very late comer to new technology and still feeling my way sometimes ,I would be missing so much including this post .must think of joining Facebook at some point.