Postcard from the past


This year marks the 100th anniversary of Canada’s first radio broadcast. On May 20,1920 the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of Canada broadcasted the first Canadian radio program. Within 10 years the number of radio sets in Canada increased from a few thousand to nearly 300.000.

This trend and opportunity of mass programming on an unknown scale did not go by unnoticed from the Canadian political establishment. The only trouble was most of the radio stations were based south of the border, out of their political reach and influence. As a counterweight to the American content, which dominated the Canadina skies, the government in 1929 decided to get involved in radio business. Almost seven years later, on November 2nd, 1936, the state owned, managed and financed CBC radio was established. It would eventually cover most of the airspace of the second biggest landmass on earth. The Crown cooperation was established with the clear intention of broadcasting and “programming” Canadian content following a blueprint of the in Britain established BBC radio.

As a side note: when reading up on the history of the CBC I found out that they had taken over former radio stations from the Canadian National Railway. The CNR had set up numerous stations along their railway network to keep passengers entertained while traveling on their trains. So when CBC radio started in 1936 they could use a ready to go system that was already conveniently established by the railroad company. 

About twenty years ago, when I arrived in Canada, I remember CBC radio as being a big part of my first days in a new country. From the start, CBC radio has shaped my perception of the new country I now call home. It helped me to comprehend its history, political and cultural background. Even up to today, hardly a day goes by in which I do not listen to a report or news from CBC radio. I guess that applies to many newcomers, who find their first 101 orientation to Canadiana, on the airwaves of this state run organization. As you can tell, I, for a long time, felt somewhat attached to the radio organization since I appreciate most of their journalistic craft. But lately my sentiment has changed. I became curious as to what might have sparked my change in sentiment. I set out finding the dates to create the chart of the reputable media company, a task that proved not to be too difficult, as online sources offer detailed historical content for the public.

As always, with organizations of this kind, the “birthday” is known, but the exact time the business was established is unknown. I generally find that a midday chart is rather telling about the “quality of time” and character of the event or entity. For that reason I will be using a midday chart.

For new readers, charts like this represent the entire organization and reveal how that entity is perceived in general and how its business will be conducted. In this particular case it does not reflect an individual radio show, nor does it characterize a certain reporter or host. This chart characterizes the corporation – meaning it is the chart of the organizational body. 

By the way, this doesn’t only apply for CBC radio. It can be applied for any corporation or organization. 

I will start with the classical fashion of exploring the chart. Starting with the AC – in this case Capricorn – and its planet Saturn in the second house. 

Capricorn likes to lecture and teach and in this case that energy is directed directly at the populous (Hs2). A tendency to lecture individuals who hold and express different views originates from here. On the flip side, it surely backs up the CBC mission statement: to build, foster and protect Canadian values. A job which Capricorn tends to be good at, since the preservation of tradition is one of its hallmarks. 

That could be seen as quite “positive”, if Saturn would not have an aspect with Venus (in 11). This tells me that the determinative is negated and socialized. Subsequently resulting in a form of social constraint, which subdues an individual’s origin, negates their own independent being and with that denies them place and time. 

Pointing to the same contextual direction is a Scorpio MC with its planet Pluto in house seven – indicating a plan is delivered or “planted” into the common consciences. I guess that it is called a radio program for a good reason – as someone is programmed or could I say conditioned. ( for more information on this see my earlier Pluto article).

Another facet to the chart – Hs 5 and 6, both ruled by Gemini and Moon in house six and Moon’s aspect with a Mars/Neptune constellation in house 8.. All this clearly points to the strength of CBC radio in the journalistic field. It underlines a definitely good hand for journalistic, analytical, interrogative and investigative skills, which are surely a strength of the CBC radio. The Moon, which is situated in the sixth house, suggests that the examined and reported conditions relate to home / Canada. The Aspect to Mars/Neptune explains why the radio station seems to have a “passion” to deliver stories about people who have fled their home country and found a place in Canada; additionally, they are also dedicated to the discussion around gender identity. The entire content of Hs 5./6. is transformed into an imaginary notion with Mercury in house 9.

Taurus in house 4. with Venus in eleven – reveals that it is not a conservative channel. This perhaps explains why the budget of the CBC was cut dramatically under the reign of the Conservative party and resulted in layoffs.

I do not want to sound too harsh, since I still enjoy some of the reports and interviews on CBC radio; however, shaping a real and authentic national identity cannot be accomplished by a state run radio station and its subsequent “programming”. Canadians would be better off not being told (Saturn) how citizens need to behave in order to be considered “Real Canadians”. Identity is not something you develop by being programmed and it certainly cannot be “produced” by an airwave induced code of conduct.

Copyright 2020 Dirk Heinicke all rights reserved