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OK, just imagine this. You’re wandering innocently down your local supermarket aisles with your basket. The items may look the same, may even taste the same…but they’re not. Your breakfast cereal has cheetah genes, which will make catching the bus easier. Outside the supermarket, there’s no more hunting for your car in the lot, since thanks to the border colllie genes in the leather upholstery, it comes when you whistle. And you’re pleased you got that firefly gene toothpaste, because it will give you more than a glowing smile. It’ll also be handy for finding the kids at bedtime.

Genetically modified (GM) food is all around—and in—us. And we’re told that in the interests of our health and longevity, and because of the ability to feed more people, added shelf-life and resistance of crops to weather and disease (which cuts down on pesticides), GM is a Good Thing.

The rise of GM has accelerated since 1999, when Saturn in Taurus formed the first of several squares to Uranus in Aquarius, a pattern that lasts throughout 2000. Why do these two planets introduce such a new world order into our daily bread?

Control and Big Bucks: Saturn

Saturn is the ancient god of agriculture. In Taurus, it represents more than the Earth and the food that grows from it and builds our bodies. It’s also about who owns and controls Earth’s resources. And Saturn in Taurus is very, very territorial. Saturn’s role in Taurus’ business is to consolidate its own power in the marketplace. Note how Saturn wants to simplify things and downsize—if only a few corporations own everything, that’s about as simple as it gets. Huge conglomerates are circling the markets, trying to establish top-dog position. They’re reinventing seeds and taking out patents on life forms—in other words, staking out our genetic landscape. Why? Big bucks. Saturn in Taurus has a miserly quality, so there’s nothing altruistic about their intentions, although the mantra “feeding the world” gets a lot of press.

Global Economy: Uranus

Now, Uranus in Aquarius means zero barriers. It’s something totally universal. It’s about sharing the benefits of economic development and scientific advances with all mankind (which is what the demonstrations against the WTO were all about). Like the Internet, it thrives in the public domain, not in private hands. This planet of lightning techno-discovery is giving us the tools to remake ourselves totally, from the cells up. We’re standing in our own garden of Eden, test tubes in hand, and the possibilities are more than amazing, even freakish.

Who Owns What? Saturn and Uranus Square Off

Uranus is knowledge and access to information. But Saturn, especially in Taurus, is miserly with this knowledge, which is now called intellectual property. So here we have two planets like boxers in opposing corners. Uranus is democratic and humanitarian. Saturn is the alliance of big business, world banks and big governments. And one of our prime concerns at the moment is who owns this research. Saturn in this brave new global economy is out to own this genetic Eden. None of it can be released without authorization (Saturn). But do they really understand the consequences of the genetic research? The scientists (Uranus in Aquarius) themselves aren’t really sure what’s happening.

While Saturn squared Uranus, genetic discoveries and their potentials were spawning headlines and urgent questions about safety and ownership. Then, in May 2000, we had a lineup of six planets in Taurus, including a once-every-twenty-year event, a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction. Conjunctions like that signal a long-term trend, just as appointing a Supreme Court judge sets a specific tone. It zoomed in on the future significance of Saturn’s square to Uranus.

This Taurus line-up leaned on the gates of our knowledge like a big bull in the paddock and took the fence out. That Taurus bull is not going to be penned again. It's going to keep pushing the limits of the food frontier through genetic manipulation. With the “bull-headedness” of Taurus, we’re now squaring up to Mother Earth herself and telling her that she’s just not up to scratch, and we can do it better, bigger, faster. More than likely, she’s already discovered what we’re up to. Some of the noticeable shifts in climate, weather patterns and the new ability of viruses to cross the species barrier may be her way of letting us know she’s not too happy.

Crossing Barriers

With Uranus and Saturn at cross purposes, we’ve already got accidental (Uranian) leaks where GM crops leap fences. When GM animals follow suit, we could see the rebirth of real centaurs (Sagittarius) and fishtailed goats (Capricorn). That crucial conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Taurus will give priority to fiery debates for at least the next two decades, like privacy (think Internet, think databanks), global warming, genetic therapy, cloning, new viruses and old plagues.

GM is a diplomatic way of saying genetic manipulation. Crossing natural barriers allows more than just surface alteration. We’ve long bred livestock for docility and ease of handling, but it takes generations to come through. Now we can do it instantly (and give chickens four legs at the same time for kids who like to eat on the run). Genetic techniques incorporated into our food can mold us. What’s to stop us from breeding people (clones) for intelligence, for resistance to nerve gas, for working blind in salt mines, for organ donors, for beauty or humor? Ideals are dangerous. They are written in sand, and vary from age to age and culture to culture.

But it’s not all bad news. If you’re worried about glowing in the dark from eating rabbit, or about tipping 300 pounds from too much salmon, well, there is one solution…why not bypass eating completely? With chlorophyll inserted into your skin cells you can sit and photosynthesize while you’re cruising Bermuda with all the money you’ve saved. At lunchtime, city parks will be thick with CEOs spread out like starfish on the grass, doing the new power lunch. It’ll be easy being green after all.



Dany is an author and counselling psychologist, specialising in internet and gambling addictions. Ricky is the publisher of an entertaining weekly astrological newsletter, and practising astrologer. Both live in Sydney, Australia.

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For more information about Ricky Corcilius, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Ricky Corcilius:

  • Cybersex: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Typist   10/13/2000
  • Gambling: Let the Good Times Roll   9/12/2000

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