Oh My Stars

beliefnet astrology matthew currie elan gale neptune pisces

Diane (left) relaxes with her cousins in the back yard.

Although the long and ongoing Uranus-Pluto square gets the most press among astrologers — nothing gets your attention like a good revolution or two — it’s easy to overlook Neptune’s long trip through the Sign it rules: Pisces.  Any planet is considered to be particularly strong when in the Sign it rules, and Neptune is the ruler of illusions.

Illusions come in many forms. There are the illusions one finds at the bottom of a bottle of wine, or in a hypodermic needle, or rolled in a joint. There are also the illusions contained in a film or TV show or a well-told story. Then there are the little lies we tell ourselves every day, whether it’s “my work as an accountant is making a real difference in the world” or “I’m really a starship captain, and not an accountant at all” or “I think so-and-so from Human Resources finds me attractive.” There are also the delusions one can enjoy that involve hearing a frenzied sermon, swapping YouTube links with our fellow Conspiracy Theorists, or watching a morality play where the bad guy gets what he deserves and the good guy wins. We all participate in fictions to one degree or another: it’s what’s called “willing suspension of disbelief.” Everyone knows that Harrison Ford isn’t really an archaeologist and isn’t really being chased by Nazis… but for the duration of an Indiana Jones movie, we suspend that knowledge in order to enjoy the story. We love fiction, but at least technically speaking, we are participating in a lie.

Let me tell you a true story about lies in the Age Of Neptune In Pisces.

The Internet has been abuzz lately with a story about a feud between a guy named Elan Gale and a woman named Diane, who found themselves on a delayed flight just before Thanksgiving. Unlike most situations where two strangers rub each other the wrong way, a note-passing feud broke out, Twitter was involved, and the matter became an international sensation. Some considered it a hilarious tale where someone suffering from chronic rudeness got served justice for being annoying to someone who was just doing his job. Others saw sexism and rudeness of a different sort in the whole matter.

It turns out though that ultimately both interpretations were wrong. The entire story was a fabrication.

Until last week, Elan Gale (born October 27, 1983, time unknown, Los Angeles CA) was best known as a television producer. His best-known product was “The Bachelor”:  a heavily produced and edited “reality show” based on the stage-managed (yet still “real”) quest for the cure to that most horrifying of disorders… being single. Thanks to the Internet, Elan’s name is now most closely associated in the public’s mind not with a show about curing America’s rampant plague of singledom, but for a Thanksgiving feud on an airplane with a rude passenger.

To summarize: Elan was stuck waiting on a plane trying to get home for Thanksgiving, as many people are every year. A woman in the plane named Diane became loud and unruly and began making life difficult for the staff. Elan intervened in the form of passing notes and causing further provocation to Diane, eventually resulting in an uproarious tale of justice delivered, or a disturbing display of public rudeness vs. public rudeness, depending on one’s perspective.

The punchline? It turns out that none of this really happened. We all just heard a compelling story and played along.

Now: was Elan just lying, or was he telling a morality story based on the sort of thing that happens all the time in real life? Was he making up a story for attention, was he revealing some inherent sexism, was he striking a blow for the common man, or was he just doing it for attention? And what about the person who claimed that Diane was a real relative of theirs, suffering from a real case of terminal cancer, and that this was the source of her frustration, and that Elan should be incredibly ashamed of himself? What was that person’s motivation in all this?

You tell me.  Great Art often calls for multiple interpretations, and so can A Great Lie.

For the record, Elan Gale has his Sun, Mercury and Saturn in Scorpio, and his Moon in Cancer… all Water Signs, and all well equipped to handle Neptune in Pisces. He seems wired to deal with our current era’s illusions, and to create a few of his own.

The last time Neptune was in Pisces, it saw the rise of Impressionism and the first Gold Medal for portrait photography — both of which are arts that make things seem more real by making images that are, in fact, less realistic. This time around, the means to produce popular art are more widespread than any time in human history. Neptune remains in Pisces until 2026. What miracles and wonders will entertain and annoy us all, as artists of all kinds (including the kinds the world has never seen before) create their works? It remains to be seen… and it remains to be seen how we react to it.

“We are all better artists than we realize.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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