So imagine the astonishment and awe when the Montgolfier brothers staged the first manned balloon flight in front of Louis XV1 of France in Versailles on September 19th 1783.
“Manned may not be the correct word,” writes British author and astrologer Adrian Ross Duncan. “There was a duck (could handle flight), a rooster (maybe could not), and a sheep (probably would die). But all returned safely to Earth after an 8 minute flight reaching 1500 feet.”
Duncan says this happened two years after the discovery of the first outer planet, Uranus, which astrologers associate with innovation, explosion and revolution. “In this way a new, third dimension was added to human experience.
“Here in 2016 there are about three quarters of a million people in the air at any given time, flying fast and at high altitudes, and this change has happened in the space of just over 200 years. Has anything as dramatic as that happened in any other 200-year period in history?” he asks.
Duncan is the former president of the Copenhagen Astrological association (Ekliptika) and AstrologSkolen, a school for consultant astrologers. He is the author of Doing Time on Planet Earth and Astrology: Transformation and Empowerment.
“Less the two hundred years ago, if you wanted to reproduce a likeness of someone, they had to be sketched, painted or sculpted. Only the rich could afford it. Apart from this, there were no permanent visual representations of reality,” he points out.
“That was until Louis Daguerre invented the daguerreotype, an early photographic technique, which was developed during the 1830’s and presented to the world free, as a gift, by the French government on August 19th, 1839. By 1847 effective cameras were developed, and soon everyone was queuing up to have a selfie,” Duncan says.
This was around the time the second outer planet, Neptune, was discovered (September 1846). Neptune is associated with new perceptions of reality. By the end of the 19th century photographs were artificially sequenced to create film, and entranced audiences flocked to cinemas.
“Today the average American spends over five hours a day watching television. Two hundred years ago, we sat around the piano, then blew out the candles and just went to bed,” he noted.
Mass Destruction and Globalism
Mankind has always found ingenious ways of making war, but historically this has involved seeing the enemy and striking them with a projectile of some sort.
“Lots of people could be killed if you had enough soldiers to do it. Around the time of the discovery of Pluto in 1930, scientists learned to split the atom, releasing the energy that had been locked in matter at the birth of a star. With the arrival of the nuclear age, utter destruction can be wreaked almost instantaneously, anywhere in the world, by a handful of people.
“Growing up in the nuclear shadow, civilization has been forced to review the whole idea of war, and indeed no war between the great powers has taken place since the Bomb was dropped. We live under the doctrine of mutually assured destruction (MAD). We have been made aware of the fragile, global nature of our existence on this planet.”
The Engines of Change
Duncan says Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are in fact engines of change in the transformation process from one astrological Age to another. Each planet has, with its discovery, evoked an inventive response, which has changed existence from a narrow, local experience to a sense of total connectivity with the world.
“Connected with Uranus is the harnessing of the explosive power of air (its latest iteration being the jet engine), electricity, the development of communication technology, and the transformation of social structures from the local to the collective or mass. Connected with Neptune is the bewitchment of our consciousness through the manipulation of our sensory systems… the creation in fact of virtual reality.
“Connected with Pluto is the transformative power of small but potent objects… the bomb, the birth pill, the computer chip, which have changed previously unchangeable things, like war, biology and memory,” he said, adding:
“The consequence today is that we live in an electric, 24-hour wonderland, in touch with everyone, everywhere, all of the time. Try explaining this world to an 18th century priest or scientist.”