On 31 January, it was announced that several undersea internet cables had been cut. This occurred shortly after Mercury went retrograde in Aquarius. Mercury is the planet of communications and Aquarius rules not just technology but also the egalitarian nature of the internet, Aquarius being the sign of the humanitarian.

This incident brings to light not only the connectedness of human society (ideally) embodied by the internet (it is clear that not everyone is connected and the question of uneven access is always contentious), but also calls attention to how fragile those connections might be. It also calls attention to the intimate connection between those networks and the raping of oceans we are experiencing as symptomatic of the central crisis of our times.

Tech blogger Mike Wendland writes:

Still, with so much of the globe dependent on Internet connectivity, the breaks are focusing attention on the vulnerability of the oceanic network that handles 95% of the world’s Internet and telephone traffic. Colonel R.S. Parihar, the secretary of the Internet Service Providers Association of India told the International Herald Tribune that the incidents have been a wake-up call to the global telecommunications industry.

“These are owned by private operators, and there are no governments or armies protecting these cables,” he said.

95% of Internet and telephone traffic is conducted through these undersea cables. Am I the only one astounded by that figure? And by the associative truth that it is the oceans that connects the continents?

Water onto green glass Astrologer Eric Francis of Planet Waves has written about the potential of the Internet for several years (see also), as well as of the significance of water in our turbulent times (see also ‘Sedna Astrology’). Water is not only the stuff of our physical lives, our cells being made up of 70% water, but also our emotional and psychical lives:

Water relates to the unconscious, the emotions and the inner experience of well-being and security — or the lack thereof. It is the intuitive sense, and the psychic sense. All astrologers study the attributes of water as human energy in their work, though the signs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. The Astrology Encyclopedia by James R. Lewis gives an overview of these attributes. “The emotional sensitivity of the water element shows itself somewhat differently in each of the signs of the water triplicity. Cancer’s watery nature typically manifests as feelings about home, security, and family. Scorpio’s emerges as strong feelings about sex, death and occult mysteries. Pisces’ watery nature appears as mysticism, sensitivity to music, and impressionability.” (Francis, Water Worlds, 2005)

What’s interesting during this Mercury retrograde, is that the symbol for Aquarius is also the Water Bearer. The glyph for Aquarius is two squiggly lines signifying ‘the water from the water bearer’s vessel, as a symbol of open-ended spiritual energy’.

This dual nature of Aquarius is part of its inherent contradiction (though it is not traditionally conceived of as a dual sign like Gemini, Libra and Pisces). It is an Air sign (along with Gemini and Libra). It is a fixed sign (along with Taurus, Leo and Scorpio), but displays much of the characteristics of a mutable, due to its rulership by unpredictable Uranus. Even its two ruling planets appear to contradict each other — its ancient ruler is Saturn, which governs discipline, institutional structures and hard work, and its modern ruler is Uranus, which governs the unpredictable, the eccentric and the individual. In other words, Aquarius is both about society and the individual — not one or the other, but the two together.

Dew drop in a jar flower It seems to me that the image of the Water Bearer is an apt one. Aquarius is not Water itself, but ‘bears’ it in a container. In many images, the Water Bearer is pouring the water out of the jar and watching it flow. Water, as an embodiment of human emotions, unconscious desires, and inner well-being, is being rationed out by the individualistic, assertive Water Bearer, who is capable of being idealistic and detached at the same time. I can’t imagine anyone better for the job, can you? Water uncontained can become a destructive force — witness the destruction of the tsunami. Have we never also witnessed the destruction that excessive emotional expression can wreak?

The oceans, and the Internet are finite, and fragile, resources, and — we would do well to remember — so are the resources of our inner psyche and outer connectedness.

If we are also at the beginning of the Age of Aquarius, what better time to reflect on these matters while Mercury is retrograde in Aquarius?

The images of water falling onto green glass, and of dew drop in a jar flower are sourced from stock.xchng.