It's election day in the United States and many people will go out and cast their ballot to vote for candidates, clauses and laws.
Take a look at the Tonkean macaques (Macaca tonkeana), a group of fruit-loving monkeys that live in the forests of Sulawesi, Indonesia.
The forests these monkeys dwell in are full of fruit trees, which grow randomly in the forest. When in search for which direction to go in for their beloved fruit, they make a choice by majority vote.
When a particular Tonkean macaque wishes to move the group, he or she walks a few steps in the desired direction, pauses, and then turns his or her head back towards the rest of the group. This tells the group they should move to a new food patch. The remaining monkeys then decide whether to support the direction that was suggested, or whether to offer an alternative. If an alternate direction is proposed, each group member votes by joining with his or her chosen candidate. Just like the leader did, they walk a few steps, pause, and then turn their heads back to inspect the rest of the group.
Once the majority of the group has voted, the remaining undecided voters simply side with the majority, walking along but not turning back to monitor the others. Those who opted for the losing recommendation simply turn to catch up to the group.
Like other primates, these monkeys maintain a strict social hierarchy, but all group members vote when it comes to these sorts of decisions. And what feels most democratic is that any individual may act as initiator, regardless of age, sex, or hierarchical status.
Have you been feeling an internal shift lately? Or perhaps a sense of unease or disruption? If so, you may be feeling the effects of Mars Retrograde.
"I declare that the heart's release by sympathetic joy has the sphere of infinite consciousness for its excellence."