I heard a very disturbing item on BBC radio last week about music being used as a form of torture on inmates at Guantanamo Bay. There's probably nothing new in this "technique" - in fact the American representative who was interviewed in the item called it "coercion", claiming it was not torture.
Imagine having a song for children, sung by the Barney the Dinosaur character, played loudly and continuously - way above safe or normal decibel levels - for 24 hours in an environment you can't get away from. Or "Babylon" by David Grey (a favourite at Guantanamo apparently), heavy metal, even classical music. Is this torture? Or is torture defined as beatings and water-boarding? That was the issue being explored in the item.
My response was yes, it is torture to use music in this way. It was described by someone who had experienced it as worse than physical torture because it is disorientating and creates long-term psychological disturbances.
What does this have to do with astrology? Music and its creation relate to the planet Venus, which is the manifestation in form of relationships of all kinds. In the case of music, it's the relationship of the notes, the intervals between them and the emotions and qualities which are conveyed. Shakespeare's opening line in "Twelfth Night" is "If music be the food of love, play on." Venus, like all the planets, operates on different levels of conscious awareness - asleep, waking and awake. At the awakening level, Venus can express aesthetics, creativity and art; at the fully awake level higher qualities such as beauty and a perception of the divine. To use music as a form of torture is so far removed from its roots as to be obscene and profane.
More than the misuse of Venus is involved here. Venus/the use of music is the method, but the intention is fuelled by the lower manifestations of Pluto. This transpersonal planet, which can lead us from the depths to the heights in personal journeys of growth and understanding is here being expressed on the lowest, most asleep level of its energies. Pluto asleep is power for change and transformation used externally rather than internally. In short, forcing one's will on others, megalomania, manipulation and destruction.
The singer David Grey spoke out strongly against the use of his music as an instrument of torture, and the issue of whether musicians whose work is likewise being abused could sue. Sadly and wrongly, it seems that the only grounds they would have for this would be for payment of royalties rather than the immoral and inhuman use of their creative works.
Next time you're choosing to listen to music, whether it be by David Grey or Barney the Dinosaur, remember that someone somewhere is probably also listening in. But they don't want to, and the music is loud, and goes on and on. . . .