Archive for category Signs of our Times

The Bank of Facebook

Hello, everyone.

This is really interesting. For the week ending March 13, Facebook surpassed Google in the US to become the most visited website for the week.

We’ve been talking about the breakdown of the banking industry coincident with Pluto in Capricorn and the rise of social media coincident with Uranus in Pisces and Neptune in Aquarius. In the short video below, Thomas Power of Eacademy.com posits that Facebook is a prime platform for peer-to-peer banking. With over a billion users expected by 2012, the capacity for all of us to invest in, loan to, and borrow from each other could annihilate the current banking industry business model. Have a look and let me know what you think.

For more information on Neptune in Aquarius, Uranus in Pisces, or Pluto in Capricorn, see the categories at the right.

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Signs of the Times – the for-profit nonprofit

Hello, everyone. 

Have you heard about the new “low-profit limited liability company?”  This new form of organization, enacted in Vermont, blends elements of for-profit and nonprofit corporations. 

Ben and Jerry’s 

The plight of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream is an example of why this is needed.  When a small business gets to the point where additional investors are needed for expansion, one way of raising capital is to become a public corporation.  However, once a public corporation, the key goal of the business becomes maximizing shareholder value.  In other words, anything that can be done to increase the value of the stock, must be done. 

When a European corporation, Unilever, stepped in with an unsolicited bid to buy Ben and Jerry’s for far more than the current value of their stock, the Board was forced to sell or face a potential lawsuit from the shareholders. 

This case highlighted several issues.  Ben and Jerry’s, as well as many other small businesses, had a philanthropic purpose as well as a financial purpose.  However, once a business takes on outside capital, the shareholders can decide whether or not the philanthropic goals can be pursued.  Yes, Unilever agreed to continue to give 7.5% of Ben and Jerry’s profits and to fund the Ben and Jerry Foundation with an upfront $5MM as part of the deal.  But what happened to the other social principles, like BHT-free milk and fair trade practices with Mexican and Brazilian farmers? 

Vermont steps in 

Vermont, the home state of Ben and Jerry’s, recognized the need for a form of organization that would meet the current social enterprise trend in the business world: philanthro-capitalism, venture philanthropy, green technology, and fair-trade practices, to name a few examples of this trend.  This hybrid model, the L3C, applies to companies formed for charitable or educational purposes, but it can generate profits for the owners as long as those profits are not “a significant purpose” of the company.  

However, there is no sanction against profits, even significant profits.  And since it is based on the Limited Liability Company model rather than corporate law, there are no stringent laws pertaining to the buy/sell decisions of the owners. 

It remains to be seen how this initial statute will morph as other states take it up and as the public begins to use it.  There is also the issue of the IRS and how they will regard the entity.  But I think it is an interesting example of the times: 

  1. With Pluto in Capricorn, traditional forms of business that no longer serve are breaking down, and new forms are emerging.
  2. With Neptune in Aquarius, the rights of people to transact business as they wish without interference from government or shareholders, has gained strength.  Connections between for-profit and not-for-profit organizations are being formed and distinctions between the entities are blurring and merging.  And entrepreneurs are recognizing more and more their individual responsibility to the whole.
  3. With Uranus in Pisces, we see innovation to overcome the mature stage in the business life cycle where shareholders and the public have more power than the original owners.  We see a movement toward collaboration with other forms of business, such as foundations and non-profit entities.
  4. With Saturn in Libra, we see the support of the law to implement structures of partnership, fairness, and balance.  Saturn in Libra bridges two independent entities, making a stronger prototype through a hybrid entity. 

A step in the right direction, I’d say.  What do you think? 

For further reading on this subject, check out the Neptune in Aquarius, Saturn in Libra, and Uranus in Pisces categories at the right.  Here are some other related posts:

Business life cycle – mature stage

The Globalization of Ben and Jerry’s

Vermont Secretary State – L3C

Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at ellen@astro4business.com. I’ll answer it in these posts, anonymously of course, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I look forward to it! Have a question now? Email it and let’s get started!

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Are you “irrationally pessimistic”?

Hello, everyone.

Remember “irrational exuberance”?  This afternoon I was listening to “Talk of the Nation” on NPR and I heard the term “irrational pessimism”.

Irrational exuberance – Fire signs

(Source:Wikimedia Commons)

(Source:Wikimedia Commons)

When Alan Greenspan, then Chairman of the Federal Reserve, coined the term “irrational exuberance”, the planet What is lisinopril used for had just entered the Fire sign Sagittarius where it was to stay for the next twelve years.  Pluto reflects the grand movements in society and the evolution of life on earth.  Sagittarius is nothing if not exuberant.  Pluto entering Sagittarius heralded an era of unregulated prosperity fueled by a frenzy of optimism.

At the time of Greenspan’s speech in 1996, Hydrochlorothiazide weight loss was in Fire sign Aries in trine aspect to Pluto.  Unlike our current Saturn in Libra transit, where Saturn is particularly strong, Saturn is weakened when in Aries.  The passion and entrepreneurial attitude of Aries is at odds with conservative Saturn and Saturn becomes fairly ineffective. A weak Saturn in Aries combined with Pluto in Sagittarius was perfectly reflected in the phrase “irrational exuberance.”

Irrational pessimism – Saturn and Capricorn

Now we hear “irrational pessimism” – Pluto in Capricorn squaring a much stronger Saturn in Libra.  Capricorn, and its ruler Saturn, are known for pessimism – they see the glass half empty.  Saturn’s role is to contract, conserve, and limit. Capricorn is the part of the cycle that makes things real, brings ideas into the material plane, and builds structures to secure our belongings – serious business! 

With Pluto in Capricorn until the mid-2020s this pessimistic, nose-to-the-grindstone attitude could be here to stay.  There was an article in Newsweek this week that spoke about how “even one really tough year experienced in early adulthood is enough to fundamentally change people’s core values and behaviors”.  Even though the economy is improving, Americans are still not spending, which potentially increases the downward spiral.  Americans have quadrupled their savings rate and hope to save 15% of their income going forward.  This seems rational, but those dollars tied up in banks allow the banks to make money, not small business owners who are the engine of the economy and provide the most jobs.

We all understand where “irrational exuberance” led us.  Do we understand what will happen if we succumb to “irrational pessimism”?

Habituating to pessimism?

What do you think?  As for myself, as an exuberant Sagittarius, I can’t live with pessimism and depression too long.  I don’t care much about what’s “real”, I care about my spirit and greeting each day with enthusiasm.  I learned many years ago that we create our reality from the habitual thoughts in our minds.  Are we all habituating to “irrational pessimism”? 

Please weigh in:  do you think this pessimism is rational or irrational?  And what do you think we should do about it?

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Collaboration

The scales of balance. (Source:Wikipedia)

The scales of balance. (Source:Wikipedia)

Hello, everyone.

It seems like every business article I read these days is talking about collaboration.  This seems apropos to Saturn in Libra.  In prior posts we’ve been assessing the current transit of Saturn through Libra which began at the end of October and will continue for the next two years.  (See the category at the right.)

When I saw this word “collaboration” again today I thought I’d look it up in the dictionary.  What I found surprised me.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language posts two definitions for “collaborate”:

             1.  To work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort.

             2.  To cooperate treasonably, as with an enemy occupying one’s country.

We’re all familiar with the first, but did you know the second?  Both definitions represent Saturn in Libra and they are each worth watching for as they impact your business.

Joint Intellectual Effort

Libra is an air sign and air signs are concerned with “joint intellectual effort”, as in the first definition above.  Libra is the seventh sign of the zodiac and addresses our growing awareness of the need to interact and cooperate with others in order to further our personal development and business success.  Marriage and other unions are the province of Libra, as well as business alliances and partnerships.  Diplomacy, skill in negotiating alliances, is a key trait of Libra.

When Hydrochlorothiazide weight loss is in Libra, there are two distinct ways this desire for interrelationship can be expressed.  The first is like the first definition above: a serious committed undertaking with another or a team.  Saturn is exalted in Libra, which means that its usual tendency to constrict receives a breath of fresh air and can bring seriousness and maturity without an authoritarian stamp.  Saturn brings wisdom to the table in a way that supports combined efforts, and removes lack of commitment and Libra’s tendency to vacillate.

You may well see this is your business relationships.  Are you noticing a new seriousness in your alliances and partnerships, and a sense of realism about the direction your business needs to take to insure success?  With my clients I have seen a renewed interest in budgeting and a seriousness about getting legal and contract issues in writing and signed by all parties.  It’s been interesting to see people with an independent attitude suddenly become much more sober about working things out with the people around them.  And some of this has been hard work!  I have witnessed wrenching discussions, coming to agreements, and yes, collaboration, haven’t you?

 To Cooperate Treasonably?

The second definition above is startling though.  We’re used to thinking of collaboration as a mutually beneficial relationship to some benign end.  But to cooperate treasonably with the enemy?  Unfortunately this is also a manifestation of Saturn in Libra.

When Saturn is in Libra situations come into our life with difficult lessons about loyalty and cooperation.  Saturn can play the employee who betrays you.  Saturn can be the competitor who undercuts you.  Saturn can be that notice from the government that the auditor is coming.  Saturn can be the partner who is demanding accountability from you or the virus that infects your network.  These are the negative faces of Saturn in Libra:  Saturn the taskmaster spurring your progress through challenging situations with others.

Two Faces

So be on the lookout for both kinds of collaboration.  The first is the antidote for the second.  If you’re running into the negative face of Saturn in Libra, collect a loyal team around you and accept their guidance.  That’s how to maintain the balance that is the goal of Libra.

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Signs of our Times: Energyville

Wind PowerHello, everyone.

Today I’m starting a new feature in Astro4Business Intersections.  I haven’t found the perfect name for it yet, but something like, Signs of our Times.  I frequently hear or see things that are perfect examples of some current astrological configuration.  If there is a compelling and long-term transit in the sky we should see it reflected in every part of society, and we do.  In advertising, theater, music, politics, education and every other aspect of life there are numerous examples that express the present time.  Rather than rely on wisdom from Chaldean or Medieval times, we can learn from current astrological examples.

I think this will have important business applications, too.  If we can recognize and really understand the times we live in, we can take advantage of this knowledge to gear our products and services toward these times.  It will also be interesting to begin to sight a major change in the sky in advance through the changes we observe in society around us.  I hope you enjoy this feature and that it helps you think about the current times and how we can best interact with them.

Energyville, from Chevron

Have you seen the ad on “Energyville, from Chevron?”  Billed as “An energy game developed by The Economist Group”, Energyville is an online game that stimulates and educates about how to meet the energy demands of a hypothetical city.  I usually cast a pretty cynical eye at advertising; I especially notice which heartstrings the company is attempting to pull.  But this advertisement and online game is an interesting example of the current Generic avodart transit through Pisces.

A tagline in the ad is “put your ideas to work”.  This is the realm of Uranus, the realm of ideas, innovation, and inventiveness.  This ad is full of text with no supporting photos of humans, animals, or other emotional content.  This is Uranus, too, the cold, rational process that searches for Truth rather than emotional connection.

Pisces is also apparent.  First of all, Pisces rules liquids such as oil and it generally rules the common needs of society as a whole, such as the need for a source of energy.  Pisces also rules the mature and transitional stage of the business life cycle, which is the stage all of the established energy companies are experiencing now.  In the mature stage of the business life cycle, the peak has passed and the company or industry has two choices:  innovate or terminate.

Uranus in Pisces Innovation

In a prior post we reviewed how Metformin hcl was using Uranus in Pisces type innovation through diversification, committee leadership, global connection, and terminating their internal hierarchies.  Now we’ve got Chevron using another type of Uranus in Pisces type innovation:  inviting all of us to help solve the energy problem through an online game.  In other words, they are attempting to make their mature stage business problem into our problem.  Of course, energy is our problem so I think it’s a brilliant marketing strategy that they are at least attempting to look like they are involving all of us in the solution.

And fundamentally, the approach is valid.  If everyone’s involved, if everyone’s thinking, who knows where the most brilliant solution will come from.  Uranus works in the group mind, often building a spectacular breakthrough simultaneously through many minds at once.  And perhaps making a game of it helps to bring the freshness and spontaneity that provides the ground for true breakthrough in a way that fear of scarcity and guilt about overuse do not.

Rational Uranus.  We’re all in this global village together Pisces.  If you go to the site willyoujoinus.com you can play the game yourself.  There is a feature at the top of the game that shows how many barrels of oil are being consumed in the time you are playing the game.  Now that’s something that does pull at the heartstrings.

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Metformin hcl

Cisco_logo_svg

AUDIO VERSION:  What is clomid

Cisco Systems is a name we all know, but few of us know exactly what they do.   During the dotcom boom Cisco was the supplier of most of the gear that guides data through the internet, like switches and routers.  In March 2000 it was considered the most valuable company in the world. Then during the dotcom bust in 2001 much of its stock market value was lost.  In the last seven years, it has responded not only by diversifying its businesses but also reworking its organizational model to meet the new realities of today.

Branching out

A company in the Mature Stage of the business life cycle,  by 2001 Cisco’s core business had already peaked and would never again reach the annual average growth rates it once had.  So the company has developed a strategy to move quickly into new businesses, businesses that can capture the higher rates of growth that are expected at an earlier point in the business life cycle.  This branching out has become institutionalized in the company culture in the last seven years.

The company calls new areas of growth “market adjacencies”.  The CEO of Cisco, John Chambers, gives an interesting clue for this kind of diversification.  Of the thirty or more market adjacencies the company is exploring and investing in, he says he hopes that at least half will be successful.  (Clue #1 for small businesses:  don’t expect everything you try to pay off.)

Cisco’s biggest current bet is on video communication, which it believes will increase tenfold by 2013.  (I believe so too, with Neptune moving into Pisces in 2011, but that’s a different post.)  And Cisco’s not waiting passively by for someone else to develop the technology.  It is planning to push its own video communication tool, TelePresence, into homes, and give “match-day experience” in people’s living rooms. 

Cisco’s TelePresence utilizes high-definition screens, spatially sensitive microphones, custom video-processing technology and networking equipment.  Cisco already uses the TelePresence technology at an impressive rate in its own business, turning videoconferences into approximate face-to-face meetings, 5,500 times a week.  These updated, upgraded videoconferences offer the nuances of body language and tone of voice, allowing coordination and cultivation of relationships among employees across the globe.

“Welcome to the human network”

In addition to and really more fundamentally innovative than diversification into adjacent business lines is Cisco’s restructure of its management process.  Cisco has continually restructured internally, first operating in divisions according to lines of business, then changing to a functional structure.  (The company has a Sun/Uranus conjunction in its chart which indicates its leaders, symbolized by the Tretinoin cream, are engaged constantly with change, Generic avodart.) 

Now Cisco has developed an elaborate system of cross-functional committees to bring new products to new markets.  Some of these committees function without a formal leader although there is documented “replicable processes” for how groups are set up and how decisions are made.  Jay Galbraith, a noted management consultant, calls Cisco’s system a “culture of collaboration”. 

There have been drawbacks to this though.  Some people can flourish in a structure like this; lone wolves, as talented as they may be, cannot thrive, and loss of talent ensues.  A fifth of Cisco’s leadership has left the company. 

But Uranus in Aries is coming!

So what do we see here, from an astrological point of view?  This is an excellent example of a company using innovation (Uranus) during the mature and transitional stage of the business cycle (Pisces).  Natural Pisces attributes abound in the story:  diversification to deal with new market forces, committee leadership, and collaboration, as well as global connection, dissolution of structures, termination of hierarchies.

And the risks to this strategy?  If I were their astrologer I would tell them, good job!  You used the Uranus in Pisces time well, taking the last seven years to restructure your business innovatively, both in products and internal culture.  But Uranus in Aries is coming!  The innovation during the next seven years will come through the start-up phase, of the business cycle, from the efforts of the entrepreneur, the lone wolf that you just forced out.  The committee/matrix structure will not lead to ongoing innovation.  And the diversification strategy which worked so well with Uranus in Pisces will need to find a single overriding focus as Uranus moves into Aries during the next year.

Over the next two years, we’ll watch Cisco as we go through the transition between Uranus in Pisces to Uranus in Aries.  My hunch is that the current management will not be able to be weather the shift in focus under the weight of all those committees.  They will be forced to segment the company into smaller units to retain innovation and competitive edge.

We’ll wait and see…

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Neptune in Aquarius – How to Compete with Free?

According to Chris Anderson in his book, Free:  The Future of a Radical Price, free is not going away but there are things people will still pay for.  He says people will still pay to

  • Save time
  • Lower risk
  • Purchase things they love
  • Achieve status
  • Keep using something you’ve got them hooked on

It’s time to innovate and the real innovation in this economy, Anderson says, is finding new and unique ways to charge for your goods and services.  He refers to two groups of consumers: 

  • price sensitive consumers who will like the free version (think Linux);
  • risk sensitive consumers who will like the paid version (think service level agreements from Microsoft). 

In other words, when you reach new customers, it doesn’t mean you can’t charge some of them.  But you’ve got to either match the price of free or ensure that the differences in quality overcome the differences in price.

And to my reader from yesterday’s post who hasn’t figured out how to compete with free, you’re in good company.  Neither has YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, and many other companies with outstanding reach.  They still lack a business model that actually makes a profit. In fact, Google, the godfather of free, is beginning to be dragged down by the increasing investment in computers and data storage equipment needed to keep up with the 20 hours of video per minute being uploaded to YouTube, for free.

A couple of more gems from Anderson’s book:  he says that you can shift your company culture, or personal mindset, from “Don’t screw up” to “Fail fast”.  This is a freedom of Neptune in Aquarius.  Since effective efforts are not so much personal but collective these days, we are freed from the mental block of thinking it is up to us to find the correct answer to a problem.  The community is there like never before.  I love music sites like Jamglue where you can upload your songs and let the community work out the backgrounds and mixes.   Or Sound Cloud,where you can put up a demo and let people give feedback on your work. 

When the marginal cost of trying new things is zero, we are free to throw ideas against a wall and see what sticks.  Not that the marginal cost of our time is zero.  The time you spend experimenting may be time wasted if the idea goes nowhere.  And in the meantime, there’s that constant requirement of eating and shelter to take care of.  But I like this “fail fast” idea – I think it’s very Neptune in Aquarius.  Seems like a good idea?  Try it.  Another good idea?  Try it.  A totally different good idea?  Try that one too.  An off the wall idea?  Yes, that one too.  Neptune’s inspiration doesn’t always come in familiar forms.  But one way to be successful is to be a conduit for what she is trying to bring into the world today. 

The other gem from Anderson’s book I want to pass along is, “Every abundance creates a new scarcity.”  What has become scarce in this environment of zero cost for marginal bits?    

An excerpt from my blogging mentor, Yaro Starak gives the clue:

… Being open, honest and demonstrating your personality in everything you publish on your blog is the key to developing rapport… I want you to be very open, honest and real with your readers.

This reminded me that what can be scarce with Neptune in Aquarius is the very opposite of the Aquarian energy – the individual personality.  Even in this time of the ascendancy of the group you can find a platform on which to stand out, to demarcate yourself with your individuality.  The quotes above from Anderson and Starak apply to any product or service.  What is in abundance?  Digital bits.  What is scarce?  Face to face personal contact.  And personal responsibility.

My tax clients know they can take their taxes to H & R Block, or do them on TurboTax.  Even my astrology clients can buy computerized, very accurate reports about their strengths and weaknesses, or coming days.  Why don’t they?  Because personal interaction is vital to many kinds of problem solving.   And they know I will consider their unique situations compassionately and with commitment to their personal success.

What are you doing that the internet cannot do?  Let’s create a forum for how to compete with free.

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Neptune in Aquarius – Free, the Radical Price

Back to Free, The Future of a Radical Price, the book by Chris Anderson.  I heard Chris speaking with Terry Gross on NPR (Listen) and it was so intriguing I listened twice and started reading the book, which, of course, is free.  His idea/observation is that free can be a profitable business model and the first new business model based on the internet.  And the model is this:  making lots of money charging nothing. 

Free is not new as a business marketing strategy.  It’s long been known that giving away one thing free can create demand for something people are willing to pay for.  But in this internet kind of free, 99% is given away and a tiny majority pays for everyone else.

One example Chris cites is the Wall Street Journal.  Their website is free and is full of useful information.  But the archives and more specific data are only available to those who pay for it.  Google is another example.  Google’s services are available almost completely for free and yet the company is making a huge profit.  How is this possible?

There are some standard economic principles that play into this equation:

  • In economics 101, you learn that the entire supply and demand cycle is based on having to make choices in the face of scarcity.  Not in the freeconomy.  Free is driven by abundance.  Abundance of what?
  • Bits, digital goods.  Moore’s law says that the digital world gets cheaper, 50% each year.  (Actually, Moore was talking about transistors, but his basic axiom has become applicable to the digital world.)
  • Marginal cost – unlike atoms, which are inflationary, based on the scarcity principle, bits get cheaper and cheaper until the marginal cost of producing products digitally becomes zero.  Take this blog for instance.  Does it cost me anything more to have 10,000 people read it than 1 person?
  • Barriers to entry – when marginal cost is zero, standard barriers to entry into a market are virtually zero.  Not that long ago, a writer would have either had to self-publish at considerable cost or spend many, many hours submitting manuscripts.  Now, publish on-line, for free.

So, with marginal cost of production down to zero, anything that becomes digital will become free, or available in a free version.

What does this mean for us as business people?  If your product can be digitalized and you don’t make it free, someone else will.  As Anderson says, either you’re giving it away for free or you’re competing with free.

One of my regular readers commented on the Neptune in Aquarius trends.  Some excerpts:

My work (commercial art, illustration) has been seriously affected by the internet, both positively and negatively. Over the past decade or so the computer has allowed me to reach clients all over the world, has introduced me to markets I couldn’t have even imagined, and has streamlined the research I do in preparing my graphics.

On the other hand, competition has gotten more and more fierce, availability and quality of “stock art” has gotten progressively better, and my asking prices are being driven down by this culture of “free.” In the arts, which is the area I know about, the internet has created a situation where “professionals” and “amateurs” can compete on almost-level ground. For example, there was recently a Superbowl ad done for free by an amateur. These usually cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and the sponsoring company in this case basically got the work for free. So we who have been considered professionals in the arts are suddenly threatened by throngs of amateurs, do-it-yourselfers who have access to technology that enables them to make a fine looking product that in the old days only a pro could produce.

So what’s an old pro to do? As you mentioned in your last post, we’ve got to find a way to distinguish ourselves beyond just craft. We have to have better ideas, or a better ability to address the real needs of our clients, or … I don’t quite know what. That’s the problem!

The downside of free.   Have you experienced the downside of Neptune in Aquarius?  Let us know in the comments section below.

More on Free, tomorrow.

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Neptune in Aquarius – Free

I’ve been thinking about Free lately, as in Chris Anderson’s book, Free:  The Future of a Radical Price.  Chris is the Editor-in-Chief of WIRED magazine, my favorite monthly read.  He is also the author of the megahit, The Long Tail and was previously the U.S. business editor at The Economist.

I did my own research on the word free and found that it has many different meanings.  I’ve decided  to personally append the following meanings to the sign Aquarius.  From the Encarta Dictionary:

  1. Costing nothing, a free meal
  2. Not restricted in rights, a free country
  3. Self-ruling, a free people
  4. Not regulated, free to choose
  5. Not attached, the free end of the rope
  6. Disregarding traditional limitations, free verse
  7. Not blocked, free flow of electricity
  8. Giving something readily, free with advice
  9. Open and honest, a free manner
  10. Favorable, a free wind

And then there’s freedom, free will, free lance, free trade, and the newer freemium, and freeconomics.  This word free has some big shoulders!

I went to my The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language because I couldn’t figure out how this same little word could contain meanings as diverse as costing nothing and self-ruling.  What I found was fascinating.  The word free comes from the root pri, which means love, beloved, belonging to the loved ones, dear, precious, peace, noble, joyful.  The etymology cites that the primary sense seems to have been “beloved, friend, to love;” perhaps from the terms “beloved” or “friend” being applied to the members of one’s clan – the people free to come and go through your territory at will.  The sense of free as “given without cost” was first seen in 1585, presumably from “free of cost” to members of your clan.

Isn’t Free a great concept for Neptune in Aquarius?  Neptune is the connector, the urge to merge with a beloved ideal, and Aquarius, the group, the extended clan.  The word free goes right to the root of our time in all of its senses:  costing nothing because you don’t charge your kin, the extended, global community; not restricted in rights, as in open-source software; self-ruling, like the agreements on how to use the social networking sites; disregarding traditional limitations, abbreviate those tweets; giving something readily, the law of reciprocity.

We have utilized this concept for ages, of course.  I don’t charge my son for tax or astrological advice; he doesn’t charge me for computer and internet advice.  He is my kin; we exchange our skills and talents freely.  What has morphed with Neptune in Aquarius is who we call kin: now people across the globe who we’ve never met in person support our endeavors and we support theirs.  There are forums in every imaginable subject in which people freely share with each other the best of their wisdom.  I can call on the community, the global community, to answer any question I have with a simple Google search.

My son uses this often in his work.  When he has a thorny technical problem to solve, first he looks on line to see if anyone else has resolved it.  He often finds the answer or at least a clue that provides the opening for him to successfully resolve it.  If the answer is not online, when he has resolved it, he posts it.  The next person that runs into the same issue can access his best thinking, instantly and free of charge.  Why does he do it?  Reciprocity, certainly, but also for the pure satisfaction of contributing to the advancement of shared knowledge.  This is kinship of another kind, Aquarian kinship, based on a deep understanding of who are our kin:  those who love the same knowledge as we and who share the desire to advance its frontier.

More on free in the next posts…

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