This file is from PANEGYRIA Volume 4, Number 1 (Spring Equinox
issue). Panegyria is $8 per year; their address is P.O. Box
85507, Seattle, WA 98145. It can also be downloaded from
Earthrite BBS, at 415-651-9496. Enjoy! - Talespinner, WeirdBase
THE VOYAGER EFFECT
Hello again, everyone. It's good to be back.
In breaking my three-issue hiatus, I would like to address a
subject that's been on my mind for some time, and which I've
discussed privately with some of you. It began when I observed a
pattern of correspondence between certain socio-political events,
notably the elction of Ronald Reagan and concurrent recession,
and other apparently unrelated happenings.
I can state it as a question: What is the magical signifi-
cance of a piece of earth being sent to another planet?
The Law of Contaigion suggests that sending spacecraft to
the planets is the same as bringing the planets here. Or at
least, bringing their power and influence. Things once in physi-
cally intimate contact are forever in close magical contact; thus
a magical link exists between the spacecraft and the earth, and
the magical force of a planet is able to travel along that link
when the spacecraft approaches the planet. The planet's influ-
ence is then felt on earth more strongly than is normal. That's
my theory. Is there evidence to support it?
I believe there is, but before I present some of it, let's
discuss the nature of the planets' magical influence. This may
not be obvious to everyone, but astrologers have been studying it
Now, I should acknowledge that most astrologers would deny
this. To them, the influence of the planets upon our lives is
due either to (as yet undiscovered) physical forces, or to the
meaningful coincidences of synchronicity, depending on which
school of thought educated the astrologer. Most would deny
vehemently that astrology has anything to do with magick, which
they regard as unscientific, medieval, and fuzzy-minded. To
class astrology as a form of magick would, to their way of think-
ing, abandon all hope of astrology's legitimacy as a science.
However, as an astrologer myself, I feel free to disagree
with the prevailing opinions of my colleagues, and I do so, and
wil explain why.
First of all, not only is there no known physical force that
can account for astrology, if there were one it would completely
change the way science thinks of forces. Of the known forces,
the one that acts the most strongly at interplanetary distances
is gravitation, and (with the notable exceptions of the sun and
moon) none of the planets generates enough of that to make us
take notice. If there were an undiscovered force, stronger at
such distances than gravity, it would have to be so different
from what scientists think of as a force that any evidence of it
would be discounted. In short, it could not be a physical force
To account for the observations of astrology, this force
would have to change its behavior under conditions which have no
physical significance whatever, such as a planet passing from one
sign to anthoer, say, or forming an aspect with another planet.
These circumstances do, however, have meaning in terms of our own
symbolic understanding of the cosmos and our places in it, and
that is what we should expect--if the force behind astrology is
not physical but magical.
As for synchronicity, has anyone ever come up with a cohe-
rent, non-magical explanation for why certain events synchronize,
making divination (including astrology) possible? The magical
explanation is simple: all things that are closely associated are
also linked by magical forces and therefore tend to dovetail in
time (as well as "matching up" in other ways).
Synchronicitiy without this explanation, indeed without any
explantion, is just an attempt to have magical phenomena, like
astrology, without that hated, "unscientific" concept.
I conclude: astrology is magical. The planets have magical
effects. It is reasonable to assume they have very strong magi-
cal effects, in the same range as the Earth herself. What Witch
+ 1 times, 3 min
the Moon? Of the Sun? And those who
have studied other magical systems, the Cabbala in particular,
know that the other planets also possess powerful forces that may
be invoked in the same way. (Some mages prefer to think of the
forces as springing from the unconscious mind, and of the planets
as only their symbols, but I note that many of them time their
rituals to correspond with favorable aspects of those symbols.
If it quacks like a duck and swims like a duck...)
Now, what are the forces associated with the planets?
What appears below is only a thumbnail sketch of what ought
to be a never -finished painting in three or four dimensions, but
it will serve to convey the basic thought.
Sun--will,purpose, energy, life, dominance, order, reason,
Moon--emotion, intuition, the body, children, water, illu-
sion, mystery, woman.
Mercury--thought, quickness, communication, commerce, scien-
ce, medicine, humor, the nervous system.
Venus--esthetics, beauty, love, compassion, hedonism, soft-
Mars--desire, aggression, anger, courage, passion, lust,
Jupiter--benevolence, expansion, magnanimity, pomp, wealth,
spirituality, optimism, ebulience.
Saturn--restriction, judgement, discipline, endurance, con-
servatism, humility, restraint, correctness.
Uranus--newness, revolution,invention, lightning, storms,
convulsion, transformation, possibilty.
Neptune--selflessness, dissolving, magick, mysticism, drugs,
psychosis, obligation, enlightenment.
Pluto--evolution, molting, ruthlessness, metamorphosis,
power, secrecy, self-transcendence, self-discovery.
Of these ten, we have sent spacecraft (with or without
humans aboard) to six: the Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn,
and Uranus. Within the next five years, we will add two more:
the Sun and Neptune. Each time, as I hope to show below, there
has been an influx of the planet's energy with corresponding
changes in the social (and sometimes atmospheric and geological)
environment. This influx centered in time around the closest
approach of the spacecraft to the planet, but extended for about
a year into the past and future. The table below shows the dates
of various spacecraft landings, crashes, and fly-bys of the
planets, and significant events that occured during the same
period of time.
1965-71--Exploration of Mars by robot spacecraft, culmina-
ting in the landing of Viking to gather and study samples and
examine Mars for the possibilty of life.
Escalation of the American military presence in Vietnam
from a few thousand "advisors" to 500,000 combat troops and
round-the-clock bombing. Simultaneous escalation of the anti-war
movement in the U.S. The Civil Rights movement also went into
high gear, with the Watts Riot (1965) and other violent (Martial)
civil disturbances. All of these quieted noticeably after 1971,
with "Vietnamization" bringing American troops home and the U.S.
presence ending for any significant purpose in 1973.
1966-72--Exploration of the Moon, beginning with the first
soft landing by a robot spacecraft in 1966, and culminating with
the manned lunar landings of 1969-1972.
Emergence of the women's movement. Explosion of interest in
all things occult, and in Goddess-worship. The hippies. Trans-
formation of consciousness at the level of play and instinct, to
recognize the emotions as legitimate human functions. Surge of
interest in mystical religions, especially Hindu and Buddhist.
All these phenomena peaked in 1969-72 and have declined since,
though none has disappeared altogether and some--notably the
women's movement--probably represent permanent changes.
1973-74 Voyager I fly-by of Jupiter.
The Watergate trials, a crusade for good government. Nixon,
a paranoid, Saturnian personality, resigns the Presidency.
Gerald Ford, an amiable bumbler and decidedly a Jovian personali-
ty, becomes President; two years later he is defeated by Jimmy
Carter, a deeply religious man and also a Jovian personality. A
minor economic boom also occured during this period, accompanied
by rapid inflation.
1979 Voyager II fly-by of Saturn
Recession. U.S. diplomats held hostage in Teheran, Iran.
Jimmy Carter is defeated in his bid for reelection by Ronald
Reagan, campaigning on a conservative, Saturnian platform;
conservative Republicans win big in Congress as well. The con-
servative tide peaked at this time, and began to decline; con-
servatives have lost in every election since, though Reagan
himself won reelection on a far more moderate platform in 1984.
AIDS appears, eventually generating widespread reevaluation of
sexual freedom and return to restraint in some circles, bigotry
January 1986 Voyager II fly-by of Uranus
Surge in terrorist activity, storms, volcanos, earthquakes.
Return to a more militant stance on the part of the women's
movement. Radical Neo-Nazi groups make the news. Unrest in
South Africa boils over, verging on all-out civil war. Sweeping
changes in leadsership in U.S. government and, even moreso, in
the U.S.S.R. Major medical breakthrous in treatment of cancer and
I would predict that terrorist activity will peak in the
first quarter of 1986 and then decline; the same goes for anti-
apartheid activity-- any major impetus must come by mid-February,
after which the movement is running on inertia. Unseasonal
weather will continue through spring, then subside to a more
normal pattern. The Republicans will get creamed in the '86
elections, but the conservatives will hurt even worse; any Repub-
licans who do keep their seats will be moderates ( or so entren-
ched nothing short of death or major scandal could unseat them).
However, traditional liberalism will not do well, either; the
winners will be neo-liberalism and regional and special inter-
ests. There will be important discoveries in many branches of
For Neo-Pagans, the year will bring greater media exposure
and a more strongly felt need to define just what we are. Many
old habits of thought will have to be abandoned.
I regard these predicitons as something of a test for the
Voyager Effect theory. The next major happening is in 1989, when
Voyager makes its last planetary fly-by-- of Neptune. The next
human-toting voyage is scheduled for the early part of the 21st
century: a joint U.S.-Soviet trip to Mars(!!)
If the Voyager Effect holds true, we can use it as both a
warning and an opportunity. A warning, because such mass-con-
sciousness influxes of magick are as likely to take negative as
positive forms. An opportunity, because we can use the influx to
improve our own (or the planet's) circumstances. For example,
the Saturn fly-by could have been a chance to increase responsi-
bilty instead of letting it manifest as reactionary conservatism.
We can use the Uranus flyby to boost creativity, and perhaps to
discover solutions to problems that have so far proven intract-
able--instead of(or at least in addition to) allowing violent
radicalsim to rise.
I'll be following this more in future issues. -- Skytoucher