Part 1 – Pluto in Capricorn
When I hear politicians and bankers address the current economic crisis, whether European or American, I deeply regret the disappearance of court astrologers. Queen Elizabeth I of England had astrologer John Dee as a counselor and had one of the most successful reigns in history.
President Obama expressed publicly his complete disdain for astrology and I imagine, by the way they behave, that other powerful people share the same opinion.
What a pity! Mark Twain said “History does not repeat itself, at best sometimes rhymes”, and it is the rhyme that astrology explains through the cycles of the slow moving planets and their angles to each other.
Pluto has a 248 years orbit around the Sun, consequently stays for a long period of time in each sign. While going through each constellation, the gist of the corresponding sign becomes a transforming agent with a great impact upon the world often only evaluated later in historical terms. It defines the zeitgeist of a generation.
In Greek mythology Pluto was called Hades, the god of the underworld, the place where one could only escape by resurrection or rebirth. It was a powerful and terrifying god. In astrology Pluto symbolizes transformational energies, energies that are intense and extreme. It is the symbol of power itself. It is the phoenix that rises from the ashes, the detox that totally purges the organism. In the financial world Pluto rules over debt and taxes.
Obviously it is not a comfortable energy: its objective is to reveal and remove what is rotten, what is toxic, what is no longer useful, to allow for the rebirth of something whole, healthy and beautiful.
Thus between 1958 and 1971 Pluto was in the sign of Virgo (environment) and Rachel Carson publishes “Silent Spring” in 1962 denouncing the terrible effects of pesticides. This book has come to represent the beginning of the environmental movement.
From 1983 to 1995 Pluto goes through the Scorpio (sex) and after the excesses of 60’s and 70’s free love reveals to the world the existence of AIDS.
From 1966 to 2007 Pluto was in Sagittarius (organized religion, absolute truth) and we witnessed the revelations about pedophilia in the church and a world dominated by religious extremists (ex-President Bush included).
On January 26, 2008, Pluto entered the sign of Capricorn; it will stay there until 2023. It moved from a fire sign (Sagittarius) where optimism and expansion rule to an earth sign, by definition a limiting reality. In mundane astrology Capricorn symbolizes authority, government, financial systems, ambition, the desire to exert control and the status quo. In spite of having entered Capricorn in the beginning of the year its effects only came to full force from an astronomic perspective on September 10, 2008. Let me remind you that the world woke up on September 15th to the news of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy. According to Nobel prize winner, economist Paul Krugman “Debt was not what it seems”. The reality of Pluto in Capricorn was knocking at the door with amazing punctuality, showing that debt is debt even disguised as DCS (credit default swaps), showing the deficiencies of the financial world, the unimaginable risks that banks, governments and multinational corporations take while the people remain complacent or ignorant but suffer its consequences.
Another way of understanding the concept of Mark Twain’s rhyme is to observe what happened in the world during previous Pluto in Capricorn periods.
Between 1516 and 1532 Portugal and Spain were pioneers in the discoveries of new lands and new empires were being consolidated. In a peak of arrogance, these two countries reaffirmed with the Treaty of Zaragoza (1529) the Tordesilhas meridian, thereby dividing the earth between them, the lords of the world.
During the last Pluto in Capricorn period (1762-1778) the new lords of the world, the British, thought it was a good idea to tax the colony on the other side of the Atlantic. We all know how that ended … the United States of America was born, a future lord of world.
But who are now the lords of the world? International finance. Just look at the Shanghai World Financial Center (bye Europe, bye USA), inaugurated in August 2008, to realize the enormous power of financial empires. Synchronically it even has the shape of the stylized Pluto symbol.
Governments and financial organizations (Capricorn) will resist as much as possible to transforming (Pluto). They will want to consolidate power; terribly afraid of losing it they will paint dire scenarios if they are not obeyed and will impose restrictive and authoritarian measures. They will show the ugly face of oligarchies.
The reality check of Pluto in Capricorn points to the fact that we will have to balance our budgets. We will have to pay for what we spent or for what we let our government spend. With Pluto in Capricorn, financial engineering might be tried again but it is destined to fail in the long run. The stark truth is that we spent what we did not have and now we have to live with what we can afford.
How to do it and who is going to pay is a question of social justice. In order to explain it, I need to talk about another energy represented by Uranus, the planet of rebellion. It changed from the most peaceful sign (Pisces) to the most aggressive sign (Aries) in May 2010. This part of the analysis will be addressed in part 2.
Part 2 – Uranus in Aries
Uranus is the first planet of our solar system that we are unable to see with the naked eye. It was discovered in 1781, a time when the United States was fighting for independence and when the French revolution was brewing. It symbolizes the essential characteristics of that period: freedom, change, rebellion, revolution. The slogan ““Liberté, égalité, fraternité” implies social justice and is totally uranian. Its energy manifests without warning, shakes, electrifies, radicalizes, opens new perspectives. It is associated to technological innovation; it is Newton’s “Eureka”. The eccentric is its most basic expression but the genius, those capable of introducing true improvements both at personal and collective level is its most elevated expression.
Uranus has an orbit of 84 years around the Sun, therefore spending seven years in each sign. Since it spends less time than Pluto in each sign it is less relevant in defining the zeitgeist. However, its path correlates with world events that usually haven taken us by surprise. In May 2010, it changed signs from the most peaceful (Pisces) to the most combative (Aries).
On December 2010, Mohamed Bouazzi set himself on fire to protest an unfair fine and for lack of economic solutions for himself and his family. This individual act was the trigger to the movement known as “Arab Spring” that changed and is changing Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Yemen….
Meanwhile in France, a 93 year old humanist, Stephane Hessel, in October 2010, publishes a pamphlet called “The Outraged” that sold more than 3 million copies in several languages. His reasons for outrage included the growing gap between the rich and the poor, the need for media free of corporate power, the need to protect the environment, etc. He advocates non-violent insurrection.
The Tent City of Tel Aviv, “Los Indignados” of Madrid and Occupy Wall Street that was born in New York and is spreading all over the United States are some of the faces of Uranus in Aries. Goodbye to peaceful protests with candles (Uranus in Pisces), hello to active resistance and cicil disobedience (Uranus in Aries). These movements have not yet a defined agenda but the underlying motives are very clear. Social injustice: the 99% of OWS speaks to those forgotten by the political and financial system that caused the bubble and the crisis and who is not paying for any of it. These movements express global hostility about increasing taxes and decreasing pensions and welfare services “allegedly” to get us off this crisis. They are profoundly unfair because they impact a population that did not make any money in financial speculations.
Will the protests become ever more violent? Let us see what history tells us about former periods of Uranus in Aries?
From 1843 to 1850, but for brievity just considering 1848:
- Marx and Engels published the “Communist Manifesto”, a revolutionary philosophy that is at the origin of the Soviet Union, a state created with uranian ideals but whose implementation did not match the ideology.
- A revolutionary wave spread across more than 50 countries challenging traditional authorities and demanding social justice. In Europe this period is known as the “Spring of Nations”. Many died, reactionary forces won for the time being. However, serfs were abolished Austria and Hungary.
- In Italy this year was so fraught with rebellions that the expression “fare un quarantotto” (do a forty eight) is even today synonymous of confusion and disruptions.
In the period between 1927 and 1934:
- India’s flag goes up for the first time; Gandhi becomes more vocal demanding independence and starts the Salt March protesting against the British monopoly. Thousands of Indians join in this nonviolent march.
- In China, Mao announces the newly created Chinese Soviet Republic in 1931 and launches in 1934 the first of a series of marches.
- In the United States the crash of 1929 and following Depression dominates this period.
- In Europe the Weimar Republic was affected by the American crash. Unemployment grew to unimaginable levels leading the way to the rise of the Nazis and Hitler’s election.
Are you listening to the rhyme?
In my opinion this is just the beginning of a period of great change as the two main energies, Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries will form a 90º degree angle seven times from 2012 to 2015. This angle indicates cosmic tension with expression in mundane affairs.
Governments and lords of finance will want to cling to power and maintain the status quo and the people will want a fairer, freer society. It will result in a conflict that will produce a world different from the one we have today. Better or worse depends on us. The conflict will not be equally felt everywhere in the world. I think the United States will feel it more acutely because it has deeper social injustices and compared to Europe it has been living in an economic mirage controlled by corporate finance.
Part 3 – What can I do?
Planetary cycles are like a great clock that can tell us when a crisis is more likely to arrive. However, astrology does not tell us what we will decide to do about it, but favors paths that are consistent with the planetary energies in play. This is my objective today. Then each one will decide when and how to act.
Uranus in Aries points to active change, to the willingness to fight against unfairness, injustice, in order to build a better world with a better distribution of resources and wealth.
Pluto in Capricorn points towards a thorough the transformation of economic and political systems, especially those that are no longer useful, that no longer serve the 99%. Meanwhile, this economic crisis has shown that much of the apparent value created by modern finance was a mirage. The financial sector merely moves money to make money. It does not create additional goods or services; it does not create anything that has real value. Capricorn is about intrinsic value and Pluto “wants” to rectify the situation. Also, do not forget that Capricorn is an earth sign so it advisable to change the way we handle the Earth.
Uranus and Pluto are locked in a 90º angle for an unusually long time (2011 – 2016) which indicates the possibility of a paradigm change for society. This is one of crucial periods in the history of humanity when by using well cosmic energies we can open up new paths for future growth.
Uranus and Pluto
Hope is fundamental but the basic recipe for this period has been summarized by a Portuguese poet, Gi, certainly inspired by the current energies:
you shall dare to close loudly the door
you shall dare to smash presidents and bankers
you shall – once and for all – scare away from the mirror
that viscous thing you call fear
Here are more detailed suggestions:
• Became informed – our problem is a lack of knowledge about the workings of the financial system. The public in general is kept ignorant by the 1% and the media does nothing to really illuminate us. It merely repeats talking points. Find alternative source of news. Cartoons the like this one on You tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xA_glFb0oWs&list=UUGn0GBU2xhv1GrGi-KqeeyQ
gives more truthful information than the Wall Street Journal , CNBC or the New York Times
• Ask questions, uncomfortable questions to bankers and politicians. Demand accountability which suits the capricornian archetype. Find out who is handling your money and who is making the decisions that affect your future and the future of your children.
• Get involved in a cause, in your community, in your state, in national politics. The OWS are protesting against the general unfairness of the system but still have yet to find answers, and you can contribute with some. Be active, be revolutionary, be fearless as suggested by Uranus in Aries, do not let oligarchies rule.
• Be prepared because change is coming at a high speed and start with yourself. What can I change in my life, what can I jettison, what baggage am I carrying for no purpose at all?
• Don’t sell your life for cheap consumerism. Bake cookies instead of buying them. Pluto in Capricorn demands quality and appreciation for the essential. Enjoy good bread and butter instead of a fancy spread on prepackaged toast.
• Nurture the Earth, join the productive and renovating cycle; at least plant some herbs on your window sill and make sure you compost in your garden.
As an astrologer, mother and grandmother I believe in my capacity to contribute to a better future.
I wish all my readers Good 2012 Resolutions that hopefully will not end in a drawer. Deserve the New Year … in the words of another poet, Brazilian Carlos Drummond de Andrade:
To have a New Year
Which deserves that name
You, my friend, have to deserve it,
You have to make it new, I know that it’s not easy,
But try, experiment, be conscious.
It’s inside of you that the New Year
Has always been dormant and waiting
(translation and complete poem found here http://allpoetry.com/poem/8594433-New_Years_Recipe-by-Carlos_Drummond_de_Andrade )