American God

This is being written in August 2017, on the eve of the Great American Eclipse. In this post I want to talk about what this event means, and how we can learn from it.

Whatever else an eclipse is, it is a point of intense focus. The zodiac degree of the eclipse itself is highly charged, energized. Eclipses also connote covering and uncovering, hidden things being brought to light, facades being pierced and shaken up. It is as if the Gods are using a big flaming pointer and saying, Pay Attention at this point!

The part of the world where the eclipse reaches its greatest totality is considered to be the focus of its action, where it is most intensely felt. The United States is the central focus of the track of this eclipse, since it passes pretty much through the heartland of the county.

The United States is a focus of the eclipse in another way – the zodiac location of the eclipse is at around 28 Leo, which is pretty much dead on the ascendant of Donald Trump, our current President. So Trump, and America, are what the Gods are pointing to here.

This is very apt, since it reflects the media’s total obsessive focus on the man – all conversations lead back to Donald Trump, and you can’t have the radio on for more than 5 minutes before he becomes the focus of attention. Trump is Galactic Center, and the entire rest of the known universe revolves around him.

It is common practice in mundane astrology to have the king or leader of a country be the symbolic representative of the country itself – so, for instance, Pope Francis effectively is a symbol of the Roman Catholic Church as a whole, and his natal chart, and the chart of his election as Pope, are a very good mirror of the state of the church today. Francis IS the church today.

In this eclipse, Donald Trump IS the United States.

By Dhruvnv (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Trump is a symbol for everything our country stands for today. The more I consider this, the more I think Donald Trump is a damned near perfect symbol for the acting values that drive the United States – not the values we pay lip service to, but the values that actually drive our government and our economy, the powers that be. The state of our country now is the logical result of the values embodied by Trump.

Donald Trump is a very wealthy business man – money, and the power and attention that money buys, is his highest value.

In this post I want to examine just what it means to make money your highest god, and look at the ways America reflects that. I think this is what the Gods want us to consider and learn from here.

Worship of Money is a logical extension of our culture’s official view of reality, materialism. In this model, physical matter and the “objective” world are what is ultimately real, and everything else arises out of that. This is the core assumption at the root of our current science – if it is physical and measurable it is real, and everything else is fantasy, delusion, unreal. If you can’t measure it in a lab it doesn’t exist. Calling something “unscientific” in this sense is the equivalent of calling it worthless.

This is the direct inverse of the Platonic worldview, which is the worldview in which astrology makes the most sense. In the Platonic view, it is ideas, consciousness, values, that are the root and source of reality, and physical reality and matter are the end result, a mirror or reflection in space and time of these living ideas.

In the Platonic model, the reality we experience is the mirror image of our beliefs and values.

Making money the highest value is the logical consequence of a material based view of reality, and I want to examine the consequences of that worldview here.

What does it mean to worship money?

Matter itself is physical and ephemeral, and it has no inherent value. Our empirical science is, by definition, value-free – you can’t measure value in a lab, so it doesn’t exist. Modern scientists will tell you that the whole notion of the world having a Final Cause, a purpose or goal in the Aristotelian sense, is an outmoded superstition that modern science has discarded.

So if matter is value-free, the only way you can give it a measure of value is by quantity. Not quality, but quantity.

More is better. There is no such thing as enough money, a balance point you can reach that will measure when you have enough. Such a balance point would have to be measured by another, higher value, and our world does not recognize such values.

Money, like matter, does not have any inherent value. If you view everything in terms of money, then all of the creatures of the world – the physical planet, other living beings, other people, life, the universe and everything – are basically commodities to be measured in terms of how much money they are worth. When the world has no inherent value, everything in the world is there to be exploited, to be turned into money.

If money is the highest value, then language, communication, words and other forms of media, are measured only in terms of how they relate to money. The highest standard of truth then becomes, Does it make money? Does it get me what I want?

I used to work for a bank that got involved with a media scandal, where emails from some of their financial advisors showed they were recommending stocks, not on the basis of their real worth, but based on how much profit they made for the bank, so they were selling junk bonds that made the bank a pretty penny. This was, of course, a terrible thing to do, so the bank immediately dealt with the problem – by putting tight security and secrecy rules on what information could be shared in emails and in public. The bank dealt with what they viewed as the real problem. The sin there was, not what they did, but that it was exposed and they got caught.

Crack down on all Leakers, who will face stiff punishment!

When there is no higher standard of truth or falsehood than expediency and profit, then the whole notion of truth gets very fuzzy .

Even with our supposedly objective science, when the results of a new study are released, one of the first questions that people ask is – who funded the research? Who is profiting by the conclusions of this study?

Since money itself has no inherent value – it only has the value that we give it – then money only has value for as long as people give it value. If it is viewed as valuable then it is valuable. If enough people withdraw that, then any form of money can lose its value very, very quickly. This happened in Germany, in the Weimar republic, where the value of their currency collapsed to the point that it took a wheel-barrow full of deutsche marks to buy a loaf of bread.

Money as a measure of value is not exactly stable or secure, to put it mildly. It can go from highly valued to worthless overnight. Watch the stock market.

Where do we see signs that money is America’s highest value, our God? Let’s look around.

In our culture, money is the “bottom line” – a term from accounting, meaning the final balance, the final reckoning, the final judgement. Everything else needs to be justified in terms of money.

The debate going on about health care is pretty much exclusively in terms of money – what does it cost? Who is going to pay for it? How is it going to be funded?

Dealing with climate change? Not if it hurts business. If you want to justify dealing with climate change you need to talk about how much it is going to cost.

Illegal immigration? They’re stealing our jobs, they’re costing us money.

Building a new stadium instead of funding schools? Think of how much money the stadium will bring into our economy.

A minimum living wage? Prove that it won’t hurt business.

Want to learn effective communication? Effective communication is all about marketing, closing the sale. The Art of the Deal.

Don’t have a lot of money? You had best look like you do, if you want to get respect. It’s called, Keeping up with the Joneses.

Going to college and getting an education? Focus on a major that will get you a good job. College education is justified in terms of how much it will increase your lifetime income. Thinking of a major like music or philosophy? You’re throwing your money away. Colleges are in a money pinch? – cut the subjects that don’t make a profit.

You want fame and respect? Money will buy you fame and respect. To be poor, to be without money, is shameful and you get despised, looked down on. To be poor in America today is the worst of sins.

You want power? Money will buy you power – look at the costs of the various election campaigns from last fall. The greatest government money can buy.

You want sex? Money will buy you sex. Drive up with the right expensive car and the beautiful women will line up for you. (Didn’t someone say something about how, when you have money, you can do whatever you want?) Driving an old beat up car? Forget it, you won’t get the girls.

The Internet? – basically a marketing tool, right? Get your message out there in front of people and make the sale. Get people on your mailing list because they are your market. Bring them in by offering them something free – and then close the sale.

Thinking of improving your house, making it look nicer? Think of how much that adds to the resale value of the house. The city just stripped a lane of trees from our neighborhood? – shameful, it hurts the property value!

How is the well-being of the country measured, how healthy we are as a country? Look at the Dow Jones stock market average, and the leading economic indicators.

Money is all about More, Bigger being Better. I live in Minnesota, and when friends come to visit, the one place they want to go is – the Mall of America. Why? Because it is the Biggest shopping mall in America – the biggest temple to the god Money. You go to the Temple and sacrifice to the God by buying stuff.

You want to know what is really motivating the decision makers in government? Follow the Money.

You already have some money? Invest it well in something that will make more. The purpose of making money is… to make more money.

If money is your highest value, there is no such thing as enough money. It is a ravenous beast, a bottomless pit, and everything else ends up getting devoured by this God.

Money equals value, and everything else needs to be justified in terms of its cost or profit. Money is the bottom line.

Notice the funny vicious cycle at work here – you want to make more money? Raise your prices! When you do that, the money you have is now worth a bit less, since it can’t buy as much. So how do you deal with that? Raise your prices to make more money – and you end up with larger and larger heaps of money that is worth less and less all the time. Bigger and bigger piles of… nothing.

The Great American Eclipse is all about America waking up to the consequences of making Money, matter and appearance your highest God.

If we just blame the man Donald Trump we are completely missing the point. Donald Trump is a mirror holding up America’s values for us to see and learn from.

So please, America, look in the mirror, and Behold your God. See what sacrifices your God is demanding of you. Look around, and see what you have built your country on, see its logical and inevitable result. Tremble in the presence of the God which is holy to you above all else.

America, look in the mirror and Wake Up.

I hope I have given you some thoughts to ponder. What is going on in America today is much bigger than any one person – it is the result of a path we have been on for decades, and the state of our country reflects the values we act on.

This is what it means to make Money your God – hollow, signs that point to nowhere. Where it leads to, is more and more nowhere.

Stoop not down unto the Darkly-Splendid World; wherein continually lieth a faithless Depth, and Hades wrapped in clouds, delighting in unintellible images, precipitous, winding, a black ever-rolling Abyss; ever espousing a Body unluminous, formless and void.
– Chaldean Oracles, Westcott translation


American God — 4 Comments

  1. The focus of the eclipse and your excellent article may well be on America but this mirror is one that reflects the world. And maybe, just maybe, if we keep looking closely and meditating thus – as sombre as this may be – we will come to see not only ourselves (as you have pointed out here) but a way to change the reflection.

    • I completely agree that it reflects the world also. And I agree, that it will take us each coming to terms with this, meditating and thinking on it, to find a way forward. Thanks much for your thoughtful comment.

  2. Well thought out and written article. Thank you for bringing to the surface that which so many do not want to. Enjoyed thoroughly. Agree with Elaine’s comment. Our world is in need of much love at this point in history. I open my heart and mind in meditation for guidance in these turbulent times. Again, thank you, Charlie!

  3. Pingback: Eclipse! Go Inside! | Student of Astrology

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