Locked Out and Hacked: Saturn, Mars and Websites
Last week I was preparing the Horoscopic Astrology Blog for a traffic spike due to an interview that Patrick Watson and I did with ABC News for the Political Astrology Blog.
I was trying to make sure that the blog could withstand a large increase in traffic, but I was also trying to beef up security, in order to try to avoid getting hacked since a lot of attention would be directed to the blog once the interview came out.
At one point during the course of the week I installed some new security software that was designed to provide better protection against people who are trying to guess the password in order to gain access to the website. Things were going pretty well, and I was impressed with the way that the software was blocking some automated computers that were continuously trying to gain access to my site.
I was in the process of writing an article on the blog when I decided to save the draft and refresh the page. Suddenly the page went blank, and in big bold letters it simply said something to the effect of “you have been blocked from accessing this website.” I had been blocked. From my own website. After the initial panic subsided, I was able to infer that the security software that I had just installed earlier that day must have malfunctioned, and it had locked me out of the website completely.
At this point I started to scramble in order to figure out how to fix the problem, and for some reason I glanced at the astrology software program I use, Solar Fire, where I had the chart up for the current moment.
I noticed that Saturn was right on the ascendant, rising over the eastern horizon at the moment when I realized that I had been blocked from my website. Oddly appropriate symbolism given Saturn’s conventional significations, which often have to do with rejecting and excluding things. “Great,” I thought.
Eventually after contacting tech support and trying a few different things, I was able to figure out a way to get back into my website and disable the security software. After everything settled down and I had figured out what went wrong and how to fix the problem, I decided to take a look at the chart for that moment again, for the sake of consistency.
Now, it is not that I’ve never observed these types of real-time correlations before, but I just thought that this was a particularly vivid example of the way that the archetypal nature of the planets can sometimes manifest itself in very direct, concrete ways, sometimes in situations where you least expect it.
What is interesting is that if you pay close attention to transits in this way, you start to notice that these sorts of things are happening all the time. Let me give another example.
A few days after the Saturn-ascendant debacle, I was looking through some of the pages on one of my other websites when I noticed a typo in one of the articles. I decided to open it up and start editing the article so that I could fix the typo. For some reason I opened up the html code in the editor and started reading through it when a specific word caught my eye. Viagra. After a few very brief moments of questioning why I wrote a section in the article discussing the use of Viagra by the second century astrologer Vettius Valens, I realized that my website had been hacked, and someone had inserted invisible ads and links for various products into several pages on my site.
Remembering the security incident I had a few days earlier, I decided to cast a chart for that moment again — the moment when I realized that my website had been compromised and essentially vandalized. I brought up the chart, and noted that this time it was Mars that was right on the ascendant. Despite the situation, I couldn’t help but laugh, albeit very dryly.
Interestingly, I went back and checked what the chart looked like when I first noticed the typo which eventually led to me looking at the code and subsequently making the discovery that I had been hacked, and at that moment the ascendant had just moved into Virgo.
So the event which eventually led to the realization that my website had been compromised occurred as soon as the ascendant moved into Virgo, and then the actual discovery that the site had been hacked, as well as my subsequent realization of the extent of the intrusion, occurred while Mars was rising over the degree of the ascendant.
These are just a couple of examples of the types of correlations that you can sometimes see occurring when you pay attention to when certain planets hit the angles. What was interesting about this for me was the fact that the basic astrological meaning associated with those two planets was displaying itself within a setting that is relatively new, yet the symbolism is still relatively straightforward. Saturn hit the ascendant and I was locked out of my website. Mars hit the ascendant and I realized the the site had been broken into.
Additionally, in the first instance the rising of Saturn correlated with the actual external circumstance of getting kicked out of my website, whereas in the second instance the rising of Mars correlated with my sudden awareness of the fact that the website had been hacked into at some point in the past, and not the actual event of the hacking itself, which it turned out had taken place weeks earlier. This raises some interesting conceptual and philosophical issues, because on the one hand we see the astrology as being capable of correlating with an objective external event, and on the other hand we see it correlating with what was essentially my sudden awareness that an event of a certain type had taken place.
Finally, I wanted to write up these examples because it provides us with some inkling of the types of situations that astrologers will need to learn how to deal with and understand in the future, as society continues to become more and more focused on technology and computers. The good news is that it shows that astrology is still applicable in these areas. We have a lot of work to do in making empirical observations about the types of events and situations that certain planets correlate with when it comes to these new areas of human experience though. The examples I’ve given above seem to show the underlying archetypal principles are still very much valid and relevant, but it is simply a matter of observing how they work in a new context.
The take-home lesson here is simply that when something significant happens in your life, try casting a chart for that moment, and see if there is anything that you can learn from it. In doing so you may be able to help the astrological community to expand its understanding of some uncharted areas.