Futurism, Science, Technology, Rationalization, Max Weber, Disenchantment, Black Moon
Modern society has incorporated the futuristic energies of Uranus and Pluto. Here is what I wrote for the Composite Couples aspect of Uranus opposite Pluto:
The two of you are futurists. You wish to sweep away the dead wood of the past - to replace it with stark, clean simplicity. You see a brave, new world that derives its power from science and technology. You would replace sentimentality with efficiency. You would streamline life, reducing it to its bare essentials. This is how you declare your strength and courage as well as your freedom. [seen in the composite chart of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun]
The Italian poet who wrote in 1908 the Manifesto of Futurism, F. T. Marinetti, had Uranus square Pluto in his natal chart. A search for any of the following phrases from the manifesto will return about 330,000 citations of the entire thing: "Mythology and the Mystic Ideal are defeated at last. We're about to see the Centaur's birth and, soon after, the first flight of Angels!… We must shake at the gates of life, test the bolts and hinges." The futuristic potential of Industry and Capitalism, as represented by the automobile, appealed more to this young poet (born Dec. 22, 1876, 12:30 pm, Alexandria, Egypt) than did all of Italy's countless museums, which he likened to cemeteries.
Futurism was the name adopted by the French and Italian artists who followed Marinetti. However, a modernism trend had already been identified by German social philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche (born 1844) and Max Weber (born 1864). Both thinkers predicted, described and lamented the ascendancy of cold, soulless science and bureaucratic efficiency over the Romantic celebration of the creative individual. Weber found his predecessor's insights challenging, but he was ever the realist who selectively elaborated the best of them. Then with his own in-depth research, thinking, and helpful lists of types and principles, Weber mastered and founded the new discipline of sociology. Rationalization is Weber's term for the organization of social and economic life according to principles of efficiency on the basis of technical knowledge. He believed that there was a general tendency in modern capitalist society for all institutions and most areas of life to become subject to calculation, measurement and control. Weber laid out nine main principles or characteristics of an ideal bureaucratic administration. Following these impartial principles leads to greater efficiency, effectiveness, and output.
However, Max Weber also believed that the rationalization process would restrict human freedom and individuality; it would create an 'iron cage', separating individuals from their world and community. While the poet Marinetti celebrated strength and ended up allied with Italian fascism, Weber was a liberal Democrat who sought to counterbalance inequality in the work sphere, in which workers were just cogs in a giant capitalist machine, with equal suffrage, i.e., voting, in the political sphere. He believed in the importance of individual self-determination. Dying at age 56 in 1920 from the Spanish Flu, Weber died too young to be a moderating force in fascist Germany.
By creating an intellectual environment in which anything can in principle be explained by scientific analysis or calculation, rationalization removes the possibility of metaphysical or spiritual explanations of the world. This is the origin of disenchantment. Science fails to point the way towards meaning or value in the form of true being, nature, art, God, happiness, etc. Weber quotes Tolstoy, "Science is meaningless because it gives no answer to our question, the only question important for us: 'What shall we do and how shall we live?'"
Religion traditionally addressed two types of question: how do things work and how shall we choose to behave? The Hebrew Bible mixes together both types of answers. Scientific analysis and calculation can now answer the first type of question in great detail, causing disenchantment with tradition, but science fails to answer questions of value or meaning. Since it cannot answer our most important question, total dependence upon science leaves us with a feeling of spiritual emptiness.
The Power of the Black Moon
Uranus and Pluto represent modern energies, but there is another energy in the chart that is even more evolved, the energy of the Black Moon. As you can see in the charts below, the Black Moon's energies were very strong for both Friedrich Nietzsche and Max Weber. Nietzsche only just missed making the list of the 98 famous people who have the Black Moon dominant because his Moon strength is slightly higher than his BML strength. Max Weber only recently appeared on my radar and is a new addition to the 5303 Famous Charts. The strength of the Black Moon in their charts increased the depth of their humanity. Individuals who have the Black Moon strong manage to avoid getting trapped in the dehumanizing 'iron cage' of rational rules. Like our first exemplar, the audacious and innovative Michelangelo, they have an abstract vision that is not constrained by common rules or limitations. Because the Black Moon represents a higher mental energy than the energies of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, the Black Moon gave both Nietzsche and Weber a point of view from which to appreciate and to critique both the strengths and limitations of the developing modern age.
Re-enchantment Through Connection to the Natural World
Does astrology provide any remedy for the disenchantment of modern man? For his feeling of being an insignificant speck adrift without meaningful connection in a vast, impersonal universe? Weber writes, "As intellectualism suppresses belief in magic, the world's processes become disenchanted, lose their magical significance, and henceforth simply 'are' and 'happen', but no longer signify anything. As a consequence, there is a growing demand that the world and the total pattern of life be subject to an order that is significant and meaningful." In fact, the task of astrology is precisely to discern and to assert meaningful connections that fall outside the realm of science, for which science has no explanation. In effect, astrology restores the enchanted forest, alive with connections and meaning.
As humans, we still respond to the forces and rhythms of the natural world, even if our rational minds discount its importance. A study appeared in the July 14, 2015 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Gregory N. Bratman et al., which finds that a 90-minute walk in a natural setting improves mental health while a 90-minute walk in an urban setting has no such effects. The authors say, "Urbanization has many benefits, but it also is associated with increased levels of mental illness, including depression." It cheers up the mind to focus on the deeply meaningful rhythms of the natural world. Doing astrology is like this, taking a second to orient one's self in the cosmos, to look out the larger window at the planetary connections that exist between ourselves, people, and events.
The closest of Nietzsche's many Black Moon aspects
Moon opposite BlackMoon (Strength: 5.80)
The common denominator with this aspect is that it makes you outspoken. You hold strong beliefs and you voice your opinions. You are a hard worker. You fight especially hard when you feel that the world is against you. At times you might arouse condemnation by your provocative, devil-may-care attitude. It is probably better to be a fighter than to passively suffer from depression. You have some political talent for dealing with people, organizations, and society. You are probably good at improvising solutions.
South Node conjunct BlackMoon (Strength: 5.16)
This aspect tends to make you expressive, like an artist. You are good at channeling insights and feelings through various media. In some way you touch the public nerve or capture the public imagination.
The closest of Weber's many Black Moon aspects
Mercury square BlackMoon (Strength: 3.92)
This aspect can make you a very creative and active individual. You tend to be a hard-working, unpretentious guy. You don't let success go to your head. You have a good capacity for making friends. Freedom from restrictions is important to you, but watch out lest your disregard for convention lead you to take dishonest or crooked shortcuts. The laws apply to everyone, including you. You could become a writer, one whose work explores the meaning of life. You can be vocally creative as a singer. You could excel as a painter. If you find yourself depressed, you can mystically elevate yourself above seeing things as black and white. Elevating your viewpoint could also save you from alienating your supporters with blunt, insensitive statements. This aspect can make you susceptible to insomnia, which can negatively affect your outlook, so try your best to keep a regular sleep schedule. Your life should be quite a learning experience.
Uranus sextile BlackMoon (Strength: 3.77)
This aspect enables you to learn innovative and new ways of doing things on your own. You can apply higher understanding to dealing with everyday life. This can make you skilled, versatile, and extremely prolific at what you do, such as being an artist, musician, or writer. You could also be interested in reforming or refreshing the social world through political activity. You move fast and do not let conventions or rules slow you down. You understand the system and how to take advantage of it. You probably did well in school. You can get down into the trenches where change occurs. You have an affection for humanity. You can use your mastery of technology on people's behalf.
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Last modified on July 22, 2015.