When I tell people that I no longer care to pay for television, they immediately respond with the varying options available to me in my market. (Anecdotal evidence suggests Netflix has the best brand awareness in my market.)
What’s interesting to me, having been on this planet before the advent of cable television, is that there is no question about whether or not to pay for television. When paid television was created, it was considered an entertainment expense. Today, it appears, it has become a necessity. Paying for television is no different than paying for electricity or water. That’s probably because it’s often tied to two services that are increasingly essential – telephone and Internet.
According to this site, experimental television broadcast began in the early 1930s. At that time, Pluto was transiting Cancer, the sign of family and belonging.
Prior to Cancer, Pluto transited Gemini from 1884 to 1914. Gemini rules communication and during this critical time, most of our modern communication devices were created or being created: mass circulation newspapers, state education, radio, telephone and television.
At the end of Pluto in Gemini, we had our first “world” war. Wars are part of our known human history but a “world” war meant something important – we now saw ourselves as one world. We were now a world, not a family or a clan but a whole world.
How did that happen but from mass communication?
If we became one world in 1914, why did we fight instead of inviting each other for dinner?
As Pluto moved from Gemini to Cancer, the sign of family, Pluto did bring us together but unfortunately not at the dinner table. If Pluto in Gemini brought the “mass” to communication, Pluto in Cancer brought the world together through radio then television.
In 1947, television finally exploded after we ended our two “world” wars and had the capacity to develop it. By this time, Pluto in Leo was birthing the “Me Generation” who fought with their parents (in the 1960s), called themselves “hippies” and was expressive to the point of irresponsibility.
How would a group of youngsters across the country have amassed a movement without the power of image that came through television? What was “fame” prior to television? What was self-expression prior to television?
Hippies dropped out of the “establishment.” Was there always an establishment or was establishment a development of their parent’s generation?
Born in the Time of Television, I will never know.
The power of image and any portal that provides image is beyond what I can describe. It’s truly magical, like reality itself. As I often read, we’re not even sure how the eyes make sense of the world.
That we pay for image is understandable because of its great power and magic. As Neptune is transiting Pisces for many years to come, I expect this power to be better understood.
Possibly ingesting image does to your mind what ingesting food does to your body. Neptune in Pisces has brought water issues (such as pollution) to the surface and over its long transit may help us understand image issues and what they do to our mental and emotional health.
Hopefully we’ll get a little of Pisces’ opposing energy – Virgo – to do some picking through the garden to determine which plants are edible and which are weeds.
The Comcast Family
Comcast, the largest broadcast and cable company in the world, according to Wikipedia, was formed on June 28, 1963 as American Cable Systems. Interestingly, the current CEO, Brian Roberts (son of the founder), was also born on June 28 (1959).
Comcast was founded with sun in Cancer, the sign of mothering, nurturing, belonging and family. The moon was in Libra, the sign of partnership.
In this blog, we see early images of television viewing with families gathered together to watch a show. Today I’m sure that still occurs, but probably at a far lower percent as the choices are incredibly more abundant and the idea you watch what your mom watches has definitely gone out of style.
It’s quite interesting to me that television started as a family event then created extremely rebellious youth. That’s the power of image and mass communication.
Comcast was born at a time when television united families after the Pluto-in-Cancer loss of domestic life from 1914-1939. Now that transiting Pluto is in Capricorn, it opposes Comcast’s sun suggesting that the government will breakup the Comcast family.
Comcast is currently trying to merge with Time Warner Cable. Astrological indicators (Pluto in Capricorn, Uranus in Aries) suggest that not only will this be blocked, but Comcast may suffer some other Plutonian damage in the process either from breakup of the family business or excessive regulation.
Could Comcast be nationalized in some way?
In July 2015 when transiting Jupiter opposes Comcast’s natal Saturn in Aquarius, the company may receive the final outcome which will probably involve some communal (government?) stake in the business (Aquarius) and re-branding of certain portions of the business (Leo). From a business perspective, I’m not sure what it means but Jupiter in Leo says, “You can call it yours but you must give a part to the entire group as recompense.”
Natal Saturn in Aquarius doesn’t fit in with the group, is not playing by these ideal rules the group creates that do not consider family or personal relationships.
Possibly the government will do to media what it does to banks – says you have to give up market share to another brand.
I haven’t followed media as much as banking, but know that in banking the government doesn’t care what you’re called or how many pieces you have because it’s involved in all those pieces regardless.
Maybe it’s the same with media. I haven’t explored why the government regulated television conversion from analog to digital which seems odd for something that is just entertainment. Possibly that digital regulation represents the Pluto opposition which was in orb at the time (2009).
Brian Roberts, current Comcast CEO, has Uranus, Mars and Venus all in Leo. Jupiter will begin transiting these planets in spring of 2015. Uranus will also continue its transit of his moon in Aries.
At that time, Roberts may take impulsive and unexpected action. Roberts’ chart isn’t one of someone who speaks irresponsibly, but in his role as CEO he might find himself taking back his words as Jupiter creates a strong need to save a brand, save an image.
Roberts has natal Saturn (in Capricorn) opposing sun (in Cancer). Transiting Pluto has already been over that so the worst of the bargaining is actually over. The worst wear and tear of government versus security has passed. Transiting Saturn in Scorpio transiting Roberts’ natal Neptune then Jupiter in Scorpio suggests that some money was owed or demanded and that, too, has passed.
My own political saying is that it takes 20 years to hear the political truth, well past the time you can do anything about it. Likewise with this Pluto-in-Capricorn transit which affects both Comcast and Roberts personally, as they have the same birthday. Maybe in 20 years we’ll know what Comcast had to negotiate with regard to this business transaction.
Both Comcast and Roberts also have a little transiting Neptune action with transiting Neptune in Pisces opposing natal Pluto in Virgo. Neptune is Pisces is the big picture, Pluto in Virgo obsession about details. Through excessive focus on detail, Roberts may be missing a big smokescreen.
With Pluto calling the shots, I’m guessing Roberts has already signed on a dotted line. Pluto’s a difficult planet to manage if you want to hold on to anything that you have.
Dynastic fathers and sons
The astrological contacts between father Ralph Roberts (founder) and son Brian Roberts involve planets you’d expect from dynastic succession – Saturn (structure and authority) and Pluto (power and control).
Both father and son have Saturn in the sign opposite their sun. The father has Saturn on his son’s Pluto and Pluto on his son’s sun. Ralph, essentially, had no choice about being in the business.
Ralph may be a business man at some level with that moon in Aries, but he may have gravitated naturally to something less “successful.” Natal Saturn in Capricorn represents a compulsion to be successful and a compensating fear of failure.
When you’re left an empire, how can you fail?
When Ralph Roberts’ Leo energy gets activated next year with the help of Uranus transiting the moon, we may see some self-expressive behavior that ignores Saturn-in-Capricorn’s cautious advice and fear of failure and loss of reputation.
Roberts Sr. is at quite an advanced age (94) and we don’t know how much influence he exerts on his son. From the charts, I’m guessing it is a lot regardless of his ability to enforce his views. As Roberts Senior lessens his hold over time, Roberts Junior may be able to shed some of that Saturnian, paternal, influence and exert that Leo energy.
Jupiter in Virgo
While transiting Jupiter in Leo may ignite changes from Brian Roberts, it probably won’t be until late 2015 that changes to Comcast occur.
In October 2015, Jupiter will conjunct natal Pluto and Mars in Virgo in the Comcast chart. However, a few months later in January, Jupiter goes retrograde (apparent backward motion) and returns to the October 2015 placement in May 2016.
Virgo squares the natal Venus and Mercury in Gemini which suggests some limitation of communication.
CEO Roberts may want to take his vacation before Jupiter enters Virgo as it will be a trying time for the company.