Aquarius, the Internet and the Empires that Mark and Jack Built

Planets on the Net

Is the Internet Aquarian?

Continuing the exploration of all things Aquarian, Aquarius and the Internet have long been linked. The internet opened a world of niche interest groups across the globe, of humanitarian movements but also crackpot fringe groups and nerds, and so the technological innovation became the ultimate connector. But it has both liberated people and entrapped them into digital interaction. Prior to the internet, people rarely met others who shared their interest. Rapid texting and virtual meetings have now taken over from where hand written  snail mail letters and real meets left off.

The internet and Aquarius are clearly friends- or frenemies – depending which side of this fixed sign you tangle with best- the Saturnian or the Uranian. The modern rulership of Aquarius since Uranus was discovered Uranus places it firmly in the domain of science and technology, A.I. and progressive spirits. It involves wires, or is wireless, so connection is through air waves that are invisible to the naked eye. Yet it still requires electricity and hardware. It connects the world from a few servers and automates processes through electronic means and pockets of data. In all these domains it is very Aquarian-Uranian. But what we do on the internet covers the gamut of human behaviour which is not purely Uranian. It has a flavour of all the planets.

Planets on the Net
Planets on the Internet © Kieron Devlin, Proteus Astrology, (2021)

We go to the internet almost 24 hours a day for multiple activities: to find world-wide trends and tides of opinion from social media influencers, graphs mapping flow and change, and to do ‘crowdfunding’ which is the Moon; we use it to communicate and do business, learn a skill which is Mercury: to find friends and lovers, and shop for clothes, adornments and accessories, which is Venus; to find sports training, enter competitions, or be dragged into heated debates which is Mars (and the shadow side of Mars are the internet trolls, more Pluto). The internet was even created using military technology designed solely for surveillance -very Martian. To feel lucky we enter games and bet money, or do the lotteries, or study in online universities which is very Jupiterian. But we also book holidays abroad- if they are possible – online more than ever.  Saturn would refer to the architecture behind the scenes, the time limits, rules and regulations and access gateways. The Sun is less emphasised because the sign of Leo opposes Aquarius and a life spent clicking away on the net, may be the antithesis of following your true life purpose as the sun impels us to do.  The internet of ‘things’ therefore is not only one-sidely Aquarian.

The internet is an ocean of information so it relates to Neptune on a grand scale and Neptune is – the connectivity, the flow with images of the sea, that we are ‘vessels’: we surf, we navigate, log in, we go to landing pages etc. Being on the internet can be like wading through fog or being literally ‘at sea’ or drowned in a sea of information. But it is also called a world wide web in which the spiders lurking at the centre can entrap us in the media spin. And where is the data stored? In the cloud.

The Crying Spider
The Crying Spider Odilon Redon (1881)

If there is any new kind of pathological dependency that we didn’t have ten years ago, it is on our smart phones. If we are deprived of them, it even has a name Nomophobia. Another phenomenon that people often forget to acknowledge is the way the net blurs the lines between what’s real and what is not. Social media has become the surrogate the imposter for actual friends in your actual neighbourhood, the kind you can talk to face to face in real time. If all your friendships are now online be wary at where the boundaries lie in order not to be caught in the net of false friends and fake intimacy.

Liquid Modernity (2016)

Neptunian territory is sticky and nebulous. Zygmunt Baumon ( who shares the same birthday with Jack Dorsey, Nov 19th) mentioned this with his theory of liquid modernity. He said solidity is collapsing and freedom can seem like a curse to the very fearful who hold on to their old chains. Individuality is set in tension with rigid ideas of society and community. Technology has become the extension of the bodily senses- where flesh and blood ends and the technology begins is less easy to place.  Interesting that Liquid or Liquide also refers to cash flow which may be disrupted (Uranus in Taurus).  Life enacted on the internet can appear brighter, sexier and more glamourous than in the external world, especially now during restrictive lockdowns. But we are the ones who let it in just like a vampire through the door; once inside, it can drain all your energy until it leaves only the husk of your former vital self.

Information on the net is in itself neutral, unless we have ways to  discern, curate, select and process the overload that comes our way each time we switch on. Maintaining your critical faculties is essential as online users can be swept along by the tide of opinion, by ‘Influencers’ and being deceived by what appears to be factual yet is merely promotional, contain an agenda or outright propaganda -a blend of Mercury and Neptune.  These sea-faring metaphors are doubly apt as the high seas are where lawless pirates reigned supreme.  

Tim Berners Lee
Tim Berners Lee

The originator of the internet  was Tim Berners Lee (a Gemini with Chiron in Aquarius) who warns that it is not neutral and that government surveillance and censorship is rife. The idea that the web is open and free is simply not true. He created a crowdsource for a Magna Carta for the web which is a very Aquarian its concept establishing who has the right of access-which is anyone at all. Also he said that silos of information are anathema to the principle of connected and open knowledge so hyperlinking data bases is the way to go set against protectionism and racketeering. His chart shows a more Mercurial energy than Aquarian with Mercury in its own sign of Gemini and hardworking Mars with Neptune and the North Node in practical-minded Virgo but the Chiron in Aquarius suggests he regrets having created the net that it opened up a Pandora’s box and hope was the very last creature to crawl out.  

The Empires that Mark and Jack Built

If the internet is the medium then the flexing of muscles apart from Google and You Tube has to be on social media platforms which have flourished to the point of taking over our lives. Social media moghuls like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Jack Dorsey of Twitter are a type of empire builders – ones to watch closely- their rise has been meteoric, but so might be their fall.

Mark Zuckerberg chart
Mark Zuckerberg, natal chart (astrotheme.com)

Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, is a Taurus born May 14th 1984 with a concentration of planets in Scorpio – Pluto at zero °, and a triple conjunction of Saturn, Mars and the Moon between 15-19 ° of this sign. This highlights a double strength of both Pluto and Mars, the traditional and modern rulers both in their own signs. While Venus is beautifully placed in its own house of Taurus, it opposes the Moon/Mars and the Sun opposes Saturn.

These are tough placements, both powerful and challenging, outlining a turbulent personality full of tension and tripwire who is fixed in his ways and plays cards close to his chest. You may never quite know what he is thinking or doing and the Pluto opposite Mercury means power and control issues in communication- more like interrogation and willfulness to get even at all costs. This is a formidable character not to be messed with easily. He is stony-faced when testifying and clearly we do not yet know all there is about him to make a full assessment yet.

The David Fincher film the Social Network (2010) reveals that Zuckerberg is not above stealing ideas and then displaying arrogance by despising the Vinkelvoss twins and Divya Narendra who had the original idea.  Some might say he ‘co-opted it’ and just made it his own. He was eventually obliged to pay out $65,000,000 in a case acknowledging the theft of intellectual property. There are no planets in Aquarius natally connecting him to that futuristic sign, but the launch date of Facebook is another matter. It is pure Aquarius.

If the story is authentic, then the launch of after his Facemash scandal where he hacked personal details of Harvard students, The Facebook was launched at Harvard on February 4th, 2004. Unfortunately, the exact time is not known, though from reports, it was most likely in the evening. If it was at 6pm, then the Moon is at 29° of Cancer which makes sense as Mars, Saturn and Jupiter have all opposed that point and Pluto is due to get there by 2024.  So the fortunes of Facebook are in the news and will continue until it is transformed one way or the other, perhaps to its endgame. The Sun that day was at 15° Aquarius – making Facebook totally about the internet, groups and networking. It will be interesting to see what happens when Saturn passes this point by January 26th, 2022. There may be a call to order.

This launch seems a lucky date as there is a star configuration in the chart and Jupiter on the Ascendant.  They were in business almost immediately. But the Sun is conjunct Neptune so this could allude to some deception around its inception. There are two grand trines one in Earth, Jupiter in Virgo is trine to the North Node and Chiron in Capricorn is opposed to the Moon in Cancer. But the oppositional forces are prominent with more than usual number of squares to several key planets. The chart is full of challenges and conflicts. Zuckerberg’s natal Pluto opposes natal Mercury, that troublesome even litigious point as Mars conjuncting the Mercury and thus also opposing Mars.  He made a ton of money quickly as Facebook spread fast around the world, but there was ‘collateral damage’ along the way- otherwise known as ‘road kill’ – his friend, co-creator and financial supporter, Eduardo Saverin, who was dumped, and the Vinkelvoss twins with Divya Narendra, and no doubt others, whom Zuckerberg views as sore losers.

Jack Dorsey born a twelve years later than Zuckerberg in 1976 is a late Scorpio -November 19th, 1976. His Mars is at 28 °of Scorpio  conjunct the Sun which gives a booster of drive and energy with intensity. It also opposes Jupiter in Taurus hinting at massive fortunes to be made. Apparently, he wavered about his role with Twitter and almost became a fashion designer favouring black garments often made by fellow Scorpio Rick Owens.  Similar to Zuckerberg, Dorsey has no planets in Aquarius, but the first tweet has an Aquarian stamp with Chiron, Venus and Neptune four degrees apart  all in Aquarius.

Jack Dorsey
Dorsey and Crowley lookalikes?

That tweet made was by Jack Dorsey on March 21st 2006 at zero ° of Aries. He co-founded this texting platform which was then called Twttr but it was as if he knew that the Cardinal zero point and start of the astrological year marks the beginning of Spring it would give a huge boost to his pioneering enterprise born out of Silicon Valley. At this time,  2004, Dorsey was approaching his first Saturn return- so it was his personal coming of age in the world and a masterstroke. Jupiter was in Scorpio and Mercury, which is said to rule all communication, was in the psychic sign Pisces conjunct Uranus- the higher octave of Mercury, all emphasising originality of communication in a fluid almost borderless manner.  By 2012, Twitter had 200 million active users.

Launch of Twitter
Dorsey and Twitter Launch Date charts side by side

While Dorsey is not an Aquarian, his natal Saturn in Leo opposes Neptune in Aquarius in this ‘event’ chart synastry- Leo is another ‘fixed’ sign and points to control of the life story, discipline of purpose. There is a loose conjunction of Chiron, Venus and Neptune all in Aquarius. Without knowing the time, it’s not possible to say which house these are in. If they were say in the 8th house, of Scorpio, the house of sex and death, this might hint at decline of Twitter embedded into its inception as good fortune has a sell-by date. One strong signature in the Twitter chart is Mars in Gemini is opposite the Moon and Pluto in Sagittarius which square the Sun and the North node. That gives a clue that Twitter is nothing if not contentious and Dorsey, like Zuckerberg, has had several lawsuits accusing Twitter of abusing its house rules, of uncontrolled bias and of political manipulation.

In 2021 Dorsey is exercising more power than ever as full CEO, but Venus will conjunct Twitter’s natal chart Chiron at 8° Aquarius on February 8th, shining a light into its affairs and social value, and Chiron points to vulnerability in social groups, and presumably on the internet. The Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Mercury and even Pallas have already transited this sensitive point earlier in January and now onwards into February.  So the Aquarian intensity is reaching its peak.

If there is an Achilles heel, it may be revealed or the wounded point prodded. While Venus and Neptune together also in Aquarius in the Twitter chart, together speaks of fantasy romance, and social enhancement,  it could also lead to illusions and deceptions in the Twittersphere and a loss of value for Twitter whose shares have dropped massively. Venus will cross the Twitter’s natal position of Venus 14° Aquarius to coincide with Valentine’s day February 14th, which may have to be all virtual roses, or love via a Zoom link- virtual chocolates and a tweet or two. Rival networks are now appearing and snatching at the tattered wings of the Blue Bird.

Dorsey’s own Venus is in Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, and typically for a Scorpio not much is known about his private life as he is tight lipped, though speculation is rife about which partners he chooses. Let’s see how all this plays out for him and for Twitter. Another sore point is that his natal Neptune at 13 °of Sag is conjunct the final Eclipse of the year at 12° of Sagittarius  on December 4th. Eclipses are pivot points that can bring in the new as much as they can take out the old but this could relate to the issue of whether it is a platform or a publisher (Sagittarius) and the laws around that set to change and become more regulated.  

The Internet and Astrology: Uranus and Urania

Urania
Urania, muse of astrology (1592)

We have not seen the end of the internet yet, but we are likely to see its curtailment bringing in the Saturn side of Aquarius but also bursts of brilliant expansion in use due the genius flashes of Uranus changing things in a nano-second.  As to the question whether the internet is Aquarian, well yes, sure,  but it is much more than just Aquarian. It has most definitely helped the spread of astrology itself ruled by Uranus ( not forgetting muse asteroid Urania, mistress of astrology/astronomy) and now millions across the world can cite tech mishaps that and blame it on Mercury retrograde.  They talk of their Moon signs. Even Saturn returns have gone mainstream, as well as all the astro-memes. Some say these just trivialize the subject of astrology which requires years of arduous study. But the memes also popularize it, so it is a plus and a minus equation.

Because of the internet people know how to obtain their natal chart by a few clicks and knowledge as vast as antiquity is at our fingertips as long as we know how to preserve the freedom as Berners Lee says, of that knowledge, it has a positive use for self education and communication. That Magna Carta may be the leverage needed to avert the self appointed net police going the route of a potential digital orgy of book burning.

Saturn Square Uranus Times Three

The signature aspect of 2021 is the square of Uranus and Saturn which happens three times. The first one comes on February 17th; the second  is on June 14th and the third and final is on December 24th. It represents a clash that could be played out on the net represented by Uranus. This could trigger the people to awaken but also ensnare them as the instigators of control represented by Saturn- the karma police are at the ready to assert their rules and restrictions. The old and the new, are poised for a tension-filled face off more exciting than the entire 8 seasons of Game of Thrones. It could have a generational gap flavour.

Heinrich Fueger
‘Prometheus brings fire to mankind’ Heinrich Fueger (1817)

The great awakener is Uranus who is associated with Prometheus bringer of fire to the people in defiance of the gods. Uranus is in Taurus and squaring the concentration of planets in Aquarius. So we could see some top-speed fireworks going off on the world stage and new ideas about money and food production. Most people are on their devices watching this battle for who controls information unfold before our eyes. They are glued to screens perhaps confused as when we look outside nothing much is happening. But it really is as Uranus is mental energy and rules the nervous system. What we think is real has an instant effect physiologically. The mind does not distinguish between real and imagined and triggers responses via neuropeptides and hormonal flow. Hence the term body-mind makes more sense as it is an eco-system.  But so few have control of their minds and the quality of information input is all important so it is good to be aware of what may come. Chiron – currently in Aries- may also play a role here as it orbits exactly between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus and through healing arts can connect psyche and soma. It can ‘bridge’ the sudden downloads of originality (Uranus) and wire them into the real world (Saturn). So we are in for an exciting year ahead. 

 

This is Part 2 of a 2  part exploration of Aquarius. See Aquariana (Part 1).

 

© Kieron Devlin, Proteus Astrology, February 6th, 2021.

All rights reserved.

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Published by Kieron Devlin

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