17-18 Degree Gemini: Two Chinese Men Talking Chinese In A Western Crowd (and Donald Trump’s Xenophobia)

Mundane keywords: social misfits, cultural diversity, minority groups, multilingual, multiple ethnic and cultural identities, one who has difficulty assimilating, foreign languages or specialized languages/codes, China and the Chinese people, cultural ambassador, segregation.

Social and psychological keywords: being singled out for what one says or how one acts, determined to express oneself at the risk of being ostracized, being in and out of mainstream, juggling multiple cultural identities yet never quite at ease in one’s own skin, being a foreigner in one’s own country, the “you and me against the world” mind set, lost in translation, standing out from the crowd, speaking to an exclusive crowd, doubts and suspicion, xenophobia, elitist and inferiority complexes.

The 17-18 degree of Gemini locates in the Libra decanate and sits across the Sagittarius and Capricorn dwads. It describes a mental and communication process (Gemini) concerning personal relations (Libra) in a foreign (Sagittarius) society (Capricorn). The number 8 (1+7=8) and 7 (7th degree of the decanate) denotes the struggle (7) for power and wisdom (8).

We have two Chinese men speaking Chinese in western crowd. Being out of their native environment, they rely on each other for companionship and understanding. We don’t know if this is a chance meeting or a partnership, all we know is that they speak the same foreign language and they are naturally drawn to each other in such a setting. There might be a sense of comradery, a sort of “you and me against the world” mindset. Understandably, from the westerners’ point of view, the language barrier naturally arouses curiosity, mistrust and suspicion.

On the surface, this degree signifies one who is determined to drive home the point in a foreign, even hostile environment. For those living with this degree in their charts, to assimilate or not to assimilate is the question. Acutely aware of the shifting sands in a multicultural society, they hold on to their cultural traditions, abide with the mainstream as needed, and at the same time is mindful of the stark contrast between themselves and the norm. Nevertheless, they are compelled to speak out and are fully aware of the risks.

Martin Goldsmith went one step further and has the degree as “In a crowded Midwestern diner, two Chinese-Americans watch a television newscast, then argue about it in Chinese”. Here, against the all-American Midwest dinner backdrop, the social convention is conservative, commonsensical, and has a respectful distaste for outre behaviors. When the two Chinese-Americans watched the news and argue about it in Chinese, undoubtedly they would draw attention to themselves for their appearance and their foreign tongue, yet, their argued on. There is not only disagreement between the two, there is also glaring difference between the pair and their environment, with no compromise in sight. This degree points to conflict in the interpersonal relationships and one’s relation with the society as a whole.

The depiction of “two Chinese men” is interesting. If we were only to depict foreigners, there would be so many different nationality to choose from, why Chinese? Chinese culture is the longest consecutive major culture in the world. It is formidable in its depth and breadth; it is mysterious and exotic to outsiders yet its heritage directly influences roughly one quarter of the world population. The Chinese language is difficult for westerners for the enormous number of characters that are composites of meanings, pronunciations, and images. The Classical Chinese is often incomprehensible even to native speakers. Therefore, we can reasonably assume the symbol’s emphasis on cultural barrier to a colossal body of esoteric knowledge, at least to the western minds.

Incidentally, number 7 not only resonates with specialized knowledge and non-conformist tendencies, it also points to the path of mysticism. From a higher perspective, Dane Rudyar mentioned being “in” the world but not “of” the world. Ultimately, this symbols asks us to detach ourselves from what’s familiar and taken for granted, seek out the exotic, the esoteric, and a new approach that reconcile the contrasting polarities. Do we abide by the convention or risk the dirty looks? Do we eat at the same diner, or leave the comfort zone? Do we dare to suspend our ingrained prejudice and walk in others’ shoes? More than just choosing sides, we overcome the limitation of duality, and build a unified perspective –we become both the “two Chinese men” and the “western crowd,” at home with the world.

Some famous people and events that shares this degree are:

  • Barbara Bush (Sun): American First Lady and matriarch of the Bush political dynasty. After touring Houston Astrodome, one of the relief center in the horrific aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, she shared her observation of the refugees who have lost their homes and possessions, and were cramped into the crowded facility:

“Almost everyone I’ve talked to says, “We’re going to move to Houston.” What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them”.

  • Jason Alexander (Moon): American actor famously known for his portrayal of George Costanza, a neurotic man suffering from low self-esteem and habitual lying, among many other personality flaws. He goes to great length to start and maintain romantic relationships but always falls short.
  • Jim Carrey (Moon): Canadian American actor and comedian. Famous for his maniacal brand of comedy, Carrey suffered from depression for significant period of his life and overcame it through spirituality.
  • Donald Trump (Uranus): American business man and presidential candidate. His has strong appeal to so called “angry (white) republicans,” and routinely offends various ethnic minorities during his presidential campaign. He is seen as xenophobic.
  • December 5, 1955 (South Node): Trial of Rosa Parks and the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Parks was arrested for refusing to yield her seat in the colored section to white riders when the white section had filled up. The boycott was the first large-scale civil right protest in U.S. history. It was successful in removing the seating segregation on Montgomery buses.
  • June 3, 1946 (Uranus): The United States Supreme Court ruled in Morgan v. Virginia that a Virginia law requiring segregation of white and African-American bus passengers was illegal for interstate travel.

Sources:

“Barbara Bush Calls Evacuees Better Off.” New York Times. N.p., 5 Sept. 2005. Web. 12 Dec. 2015. [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/07/us/nationalspecial/barbara-bush-calls-evacuees-better-off.html?_r=0]

Astro Databank: [http://www.astro.com/astro-databank]

Wikipedia: Montgomery Bus Boycott [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Hand_Laundry_Alliance#cite_note-9]

Wikipedia: Irene Morgan [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irene_Morgan]

“Montgomery Bus Boycott.” History.com. A+E Networks, 2010. Web. [http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/montgomery-bus-boycott]

Leung, Rebecca. “Carrey: ‘Life Is Too Beautiful'” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 8 Nov. 2004. Web. 13 Dec. 2015. [http://www.cbsnews.com/news/carrey-life-is-too-beautiful/]

Goldsmith, Martin. The Zodiac by Degrees: 360 New Symbols. Boston, MA: Weiser, 2004.

Rudhyar, Dane. An Astrological Mandala: The Cycle of Transformations and Its 360 Symbolic Phases. New York: Random House, 1973.]


Copyright (c)2015 Eunica Lux. All Rights Reserved.

 

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21-22 Degree Sagittarius: A Chinese Laundry (and Donald Trump’s Moon)

San Francisco Chinese laundry, 1881. Public Domain.

Mundane keywords: immigrants, racial issues, labor, self-employment, East Asia and its people, washing and laundering (literal and metaphorical), stereotyping and character assassination, foreigners and aliens, society-imposed limitations.

Social and psychological keywords: racism, stereotyping, xenophobia, alienation, finding a niche in difficult social and economic environment, overworked and underpaid, carve out a niche for survival, inability or unwilling to assimilate, profound understanding of large-scale misdeeds and the cause to right such wrongs.

The California Gold Rush of 1848–1855 commenced the first significant wave of Chinese immigration to the U.S. The predominately young male population were first welcomed for their hard work in the mines and large labor projects. However, as the gold deposits dwindled and labor market tightened, anti-Chinese sentiment grew.

Degrading stereotyping and fictitious accounts brought on by competing prospectors and laborers, mostly European and American, were deliberately spread by union bosses and politicians, which exacerbated the racial hatred. Consequently, anti-Chinese legislation kept Chinese immigrants out of desirable careers. Many turned to the laundry business as it was often the only job to be found. At one time, in San Francisco, about 89% of the laundry workers were of Chinese descent.

Hand laundry was grueling work. A typical 10-16 work day consists of manual labor over kettles of boiling water and hot stoves. From Wikipedia:

“Laundry work was especially wearisome, because it meant the soaking, scrubbing, and ironing of clothing solely by hand; moreover, prompt and high quality service was necessary to keep customers satisfied. Workers in laundries and groceries received the going wage of twenty-five dollars per month, and despite long hours the work-week was seven days. For the majority of the Chinese, then, the daily routine was almost solely working, eating, and sleeping. There were a few other occupations available to Chinese”.

As the non-Chinese vying for the same business interests, Chinese laundries were the targets of harassment by local governments:

“In 1880, 95 percent of San Francisco’s 320 laundries operated in wooden buildings. The city passed an ordinance requiring owners of laundries in wooden buildings to obtain a permit. Two-thirds of the laundries were owned by Chinese people, but none of them was granted a permit. Only one non-Chinese owner was denied.”

–Chinese Laundries by Alice Myers

In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was signed. It aimed to keep Chinese from entering the U.S., and excluded Chinese nationals in the U.S. from seeking citizenship, making them permanent aliens.

During the Great Depression, the job of launderer became increasingly attractive and again Chinese were targets of hostility from white labor unions. In 1933 the New York City Board of Aldermen passed a law to limited ownership of laundries to U.S. citizens while the Federal law suspended naturalization of Chinese immigrants.

The Chinese Hand Laundry Alliance successfully repelled the anti-Chinese legislation and preserved the livelihood of thousands of Chinese laundry workers. The labor organization continued to advocate for the civil rights of Chinese in North America.

Around the turn of the 20th century, one in four male Chinese immigrants in the United States worked in a laundry. The stereotype of Chinese Laundry persisted well into present days:

Here is a Jawbone commercial taking place in a Chinese Laundry:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DW3TQpz64rA

An satirical report from the Onion: “Chinese Laundry Owner Blasted For Reinforcing Negative Ethnic Stereotypes”

http://www.theonion.com/article/chinese-laundry-owner-blasted-for-reinforcing-nega-1563

21 to 22 degree Sagittarius locates in the Leo decadent (10-degree divisions within a sign) and the Leo duad (2.5 degree sections within a sign). It is the 21st degree of Sagittarius and 1st degree of the decadent, therefore carries the energy of numbers 3, 7, (3×7=21), and 1.

People and matters contacting this degree identify themselves passionately with –or against – an individual, a ethnic or social minority group that’s underprivileged or prosecuted. The social climate that supports such discrimination and injustice is often prejudiced, hypocritical, unreasonable, and going against the universal value of fairness and equality.

Due to Leo’s influence, there is also a strong dramatic element associated with these unjust events. Spreading of falsehood, or some sort of a “creative” effort, is often involved.

On the opposite side of same coin, this symbol speaks of the bitterly oppressed and those who take on the thankless job of cleaning up the aftermath of epic misdeeds. At its higher expression, this degree allows profound understanding of the deep rooted injustice and societal wrongs, and take courageous action to counter such atrocities.

Some famous people with 21-22 Sagittarius degree in their chart are:

  • Donald Trump (moon), whose hard-line and controversial stance of deportation of illegal immigrants marks the flagship issue of his presidential campaign.
  • Richard Gere (moon) , known for his dedication for fair treatment of the Tibetan people and preservation of their culture. He was also a pioneer in the fight against stigma and discrimination against AIDS and its patients.
  • Amanda Knox (moon), an American student accused of murdering her roommate while studying in Italy. She was subjected to unprecedented negative publicity before her trail in Italy. Fictitious accounts of her live were invented by local authors for monetary gain. The CBS special report of her ordeal was titled “American Girl, Italian Nightmare”.
  • Harry Hay (moon), “the father of gay liberation.” He stood against assimilationism by the mainstream gay right campaigns.
  • King George VI (Sun): Living under the shadow of his elder brother Edward, King George reluctantly ascended the throne after his elder brother abdicated in order to marry divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson. King George VI oversaw the crisis of abdication, the hardship and eventual triumph of World War II, and the rapid decline of the British Empire.

Sources:
Norton, Henry Kittredge: The Chinese [http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist6/chinhate.html]
Jung, John: History [blog post] [https://chineselaundry.wordpress.com/history/]
Myers, Alice: Chinese Laundries [http://immigrationtounitedstates.org/426-chinese-laundries.html]
[Unattributed]: Chinese Launder [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ChineseLaunderer]
Wikipedia: Chinese Hand Laundry Alliance [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Hand_Laundry_Alliance#cite_note-9]
Astro Databank: [http://www.astro.com/astro-databank]


Copyright (c)2015 Eunica Lux. All Rights Reserved.