by J. R Taureau

Age of Aquarious

Age of Aquarius: the computer's
astrological chart is favorable for
seeking the truth and Utopian visions.

J. P. Taureau is a student of traditional mystical and martial arts systems.

How is it possible to erect a valid horoscope for the computer? To start with, how would an astrologer ascertain the accurate moment of birth? And what is the rationale for drawing upon what the scientific establishment views as an archaic superstition to scrutinize the destiny of humanity's most advanced technological tool?
    Certainly celestial bodies have real effects on earthly life: from the supremely obvious solar and lunar cycles that govern our existence to many still poorly understood phenomena like sunspot cycles and variations in radio wave interference determined by planetary relationships. But our knowledge in these areas is in its infancy, and it must be understood that astrology does not claim to be a "science" predicting earthly occurrences due to direct celestial causation. Rather, astrology is a very sophisticated mytho-poetic symbolic language whose "alphabet," created over millennia by humanity's best minds, combines empirical astronomical observation with methods of intuitive cognition.
    By examining the heavens at the precise moment of inception, the astrologer seeks to comprehend the essence, purpose and fate of any entity or endeavor. But even with a human being, when does life actually begin? At the first breath? At conception? Similar questions arise in attempting to determine the birthdate of the computer.

Star Data
The decision to pick ENIAC's first major public unveiling and demonstration in Philadelphia on February 13, 1946, as its "birth" seems well founded. The first public showing can be considered analogous to emergence from the womb, the first breath or cry of a newborn.
    If ENIAC's horoscope applied to a human, I would describe the individual as creative, restless, dynamic, unusually brilliant, an inventor, scientist or philosopher, a revolutionary thinker, quite likely a genius. The grand trine configuration is strikingly appropriate: 1) Sun, Mercury, Venus in Aquarius in the 9th House, 2) Gemini ascendent and 3) Jupiter and Libra in the 5th House.
    Aquarius is the sign of electricity, lightning, radical change and innovation, the search for truth and knowledge whatever the cost or consequence. Abstract ideals, Utopian visions, and revolutions of all types are characteristically Aquarian. So are cold logic and detachment. Aquarius is the most rebellious and inventive sign in the zodiac, but also the most aloof and detached- readily sacrificing individuals for the "truth," a cause, efficiency or simply change. The computer would have to be an Aquarian. The 9th House rules higher studies, law, research and abstract thought-a logical placement. The Gemini Rising Sign shows versatility, curiosity, playfulness (games of all types), restlessness. Gemini is the most purely mental of all signs. Jupiter, the traditional "benefic" planet in the 5th House of Creativity (also offspring and speculation) completes this high-powered triangular formation.
    While the trine is traditionally considered the most "fortunate" aspect, a grand trine can be too much of a good thing: too much ease, facility or overabundant energy can create an imbalance. In this case, it describes the inexhaustible creative potential, the ability and need to constantly revolutionize technology, dramatically expand knowledge and relentlessly discard and overthrow old structures. The 12th House placement of Uranus, "ruler" of Aquarius, indicates that much of this activity takes place behind the scenes, away from public scrutiny, and with hidden and often unforeseen consequences. Everything Uranian and Aquarian is by definition unpredictable and sudden.
    Interestingly, the "difficult" aspects in this chart are those involving two symbols of "yin": the Moon and Neptune, the most intuitive, "psychic" planets. In fact, to pursue our anthropomorphic analogy, this individual would definitely not be "well balanced," but most likely would be self-centered, arrogant, overly cerebral and restless, not very stable or grounded (no earth signs), emotionally repressed, insecure and moody (Moon conjunct Saturn and Mars in Cancer). The "male" and "female," active and receptive polarities of the personality are not in harmony and discomfort is present (Moon in conjunct Sun).
    Of course, ENIAC is not a human. What the chart actually describes is the computer's function and effect on the human race. In this light, these aspects reveal that the electromechanical brain enhances the rational, mental, "yang" polarity in our culture and brings with it rapid social change. The computer presents serious challenges to traditions and the family (Moon/Saturn in Cancer) and certainly does not seem to encourage the softer, emotional, maternal side of human nature.
    The aspects to Neptune in ENIAC's chart are more subtly complex than those of the Moon. Neptune is the planet of dreams, visions, mysticism, but also of deception and delusion. Its challenging aspects to the two masculine symbols (sesquiquadrate Sun, square Mars) indicate on one level a kind of male glamour and mystique, maybe even a touch of fraud and con, but also (especially in light of Neptune's favorable trine to Uranus and sextile to Pluto) a truly inspired, visionary aesthetic and creative dimension.

The Clairvoyant Computer
A cursory examination of some coming transits to this chart permits us to indulge in a little general speculation. The year 1984 marks the computer's Uranus Return ("midlife crisis"), which should spawn further breakthroughs but also sudden unexpected developments, shakeouts and failures in the industry. Saturn's squaring of the Aquarian grouping in 1985 might witness major restructuring and raise serious questions about the effects of computer-induced innovations on the workplace (6th House), education and careers (9th House and Midheaven).
    The year 1986 should be a dynamic, expansive year for computer-related phenomena. Jupiter will conjunct the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Midheaven. Late 1987 and '88 will see Uranus and then Saturn sextile them, so that these three years could extend into a period of expansion and achievement. The year 1993, on the other hand, will be a serious testing period, with much restructuring when Saturn passes through late Aquarius. Finally, immediately after the Millennium around 2002, we can expect the most unpredictable and wild developments in this field as Uranus passes over the computer's Sun, Venus and Midheaven. Assuming some of us are still here, that should really be something to see!

a computerized chart
Self-portrait: a computerized chart for the computer era.

Astrologers in ancient times assigned astronomers to track the planets. Today we assign computers and obtain fast, accurate chart computations even on cloudy nights.
    On February 13, 1946, at approximately 12:30 P.M. in Philadelphia, ENIAC was demonstrated and at that moment set a horoscope showing the trends and timing in computer developments. Appropriately, ENIAC's birthday is in Aquarius, the sign of the New Age, of invention, of waves and radiation and electronics. Aquarius represents subtle, stubborn and detached energy with a slightly warped sense of humor, a penchant for puns and a powerful concern for humanity as a brotherhood. We can look at this map with confidence as a good indicater of upcoming timing and trends.
    1984. With Aquarius on the ascendant of the solar return, this is a particularly significant time of high creativity and many turning points. Lasers may well become feasible computer technology. New alliances and partnerships abound, some of them producing strange bedfellows indeed. While a shortage of raw materials threatens, subtle changes behind the scenes lead to new monitors and technologies possibly related to fiber optics. Communications cause a dramatic, positive change in public attitudes. Less hoopla surrounds computers, and a firmer base is established in educational software. Fortunes can still be made despite an increased demand for low-priced quality. Women become an important new market, perhaps due to a computer product packaged specifically for their needs. Foreign languages and communication in general are spotlighted.
    1985. Both the ascendant and the birth chart within 24 degrees of Gemini indicate a major move or adjustment of persona, but the overall thrust seems to be toward stability. There is much work to be done and the money picture is bright. A standard is set that lasts a very long time. (Compatibility amongst computers?) Medically, computers get involved with muscles. A purge is due in the industry. Many secrets are revealed, and privacy becomes a major issue as linkages increase.
    1986. The big four-oh! Synergy could become a catchword this year. A mental (almost mystical) aspect here shows groups of people using their intellectual power collectively to visualize and create, then physically realizing their ideas with great ease. Liquids and gases become a factor in hardware design. Some new languages may be developed. Computer sabotage and terrorism are a possibility in a band two states wide, from Nevada to Colorado.
    1987-89. The overall energy is for change, but in practical applications rather than major technological innovations. A major shake-up in the image of the industry is due. Unity prevails, and a release of tension similar to that of September '83 helps stimulate far-reaching expansion (probably into space). Speed of computer processing will increase, with much money from authoritarian sources involved-possibly from government or huge corporations.
    1990s. Computerized sensors around the earth could yield vast amounts of data should political paranoia give way to allow it. Weather, agriculture and earthquake information would forewarn. The computer industry becomes a little more "home"-centered as immense networks connect us all to each other. Protective scramblers, or "smoke screens," gain in popularity. Computer art could become as popular as movies and will certainly be used in stress relief and meditation. Satellites will relay any data anywhere by codes and methods unknown.
    The future of computing may be peculiar and at times bizarre. But we can rest assured that there is no trace of malevolence in its horoscope.

IAEN SULLIVAN, consultant and counselor, Astrology Service of San Pablo, California

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