Since I wrote the piece below yesterday (which still stands), the Congressional talks over the bailout have imploded, and we have seen the collapse of another bank, Washington Mutual, the biggest failure in US banking history (albeit seamlessly bought up by JP Morgan.) It is hard to keep up with events. It is still nowhere near what happened in the thirties, when thousands of banks went under. But that is the real fear, the real possibility.
Here’s a prediction: the $700bn (read $1 trillion or more) bailout of Wall St isn’t going to work, assuming it gets through Congress. It may seem to work for a while, but it is sticking plaster over a deeper issue that will eventually come back with renewed ferocity.
This is because what we are encountering is Uranus-Pluto. There’s no way you can ‘work’ with Uranus-Pluto, for it is too powerful and it is not human. A whirlwind from the gods is coming in over the next few years, and it is hubris to think that we mere humans, with our partial understanding, can control it. That is why the Great Depression of the 1930s is still not properly understood, for it occurred the last time that Uranus squared Pluto.
So those financiers who will admit they do not understand the current situation are in tune with the gods. Those, like Hank Paulson, who came up with the $700bn scheme, are not looking nearly deeply enough.
What we are seeing is the beginning of a highly unpredictable and profound change in the world economy. The $700bn (read $1 trillion) bailout is essentially an attempt to hang on to the old system, with a few rules changed here and there, largely for political reasons. For purely astrological reasons, therefore, it cannot be part of the long-term solution. It is beside the point.
I think that transiting aspects between outer planets need to be given very wide orbs, because they are so powerful, the changes they bring about take so long, and their action is readily observable over these wide orbs. So I think I am probably being over-conservative when I use an 8 degree orb in these cases. The astrologer Richard Tarnas reckons we need to use 15 degree orbs for the bigger collective transformations. And if you look at the events of Jan 2008, when Pluto entered Capricorn and the financial turmoil began, you really also want to implicate Uranus, which was 14 degrees off a square and closing.
I think it is because Uranus was involved that Pluto’s entry into Capricorn has been so dramatic. If we look back at Pluto’s entries into Virgo through to Sagittarius, none of them were particularly dramatic, though over time his effects were certainly felt.
So what is happening now is beyond our understanding, far more than if it was just a single outer planet. Look at what happened from the mid 1980s through to 1991, as Gorbachev began his programme of perestroika that eventually (and unintentionally) led to the collapse of the USSR. This was Uranus-Neptune, and it began when they were about 16 degrees apart. As they closed in on each other, the drama intensified, and I don’t think any of us could have predicted what happened, or understood it fully at the time. It was 2 outer planets, just like the 60s were with the Uranus-Pluto conjunction, and you get this huge cultural impetus on all sorts of levels that takes decades to work through, and that takes decades to get perspective on. And that is what is happening now. There is this deep impetus coming in, and all we can do is live through it and be awed by the changes we see.
9/11 was the ‘result’ of Saturn opposing Pluto in Sagittarius. That changed everything, in a way, but we still had the same underlying system. Saturn is not an outer planet, so its aspects to outer planets are not of the same nature. 9/11 is going to become much less significant as Uranus-Pluto gets underway, not just because of the passage of time, but because it actually doesn’t have the same level of significance.
I don’t know whether or not to see Pluto as an ‘evolutionary’ force. He can certainly provide the conditions for some sort of evolution to take place, if that is what we want. And I’d say the same about Uranus and Neptune. The last Uranus-Pluto square picked us up in the late 1920s, and dropped us in the Second World War, out of which a very different world emerged. Certainly the old world had reached some sort of tipping point, some sort of big imbalance that inevitably led to change. And of course things that some of us call 'good', like the UN, came out of that. As well as things that some of us call 'bad', like nuclear weapons and the Cold War.
But there is no way I could say that the last Uranus-Pluto square led to an overall evolutionary step forward for humanity. It was just different. It is like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, who uses wheels when he finds himself on the ground, and then wings when conditions change and he is in the air and having a very different experience, when events have propelled him from one state to the other. But one state isn’t inherently more ‘evolved’ than the other.
I don’t think Pluto is a ‘moral’ force either, for that is a human idea and Pluto is remote from human life, far more so than Jupiter, who in his own hypocritical way governs ethics. So I don’t think that current events, from an astrological point of view, are about Wall St financiers getting their ‘comeuppance’, however much we might like to see that. Some of them may come unstuck, and that may satisfy our desire for fairness or even for revenge. But many if not most will no doubt remain rich and employed, though perhaps not quite as rich as before.
On the other hand, Jupiter is in Capricorn this year, so if any of these CEOs and hedge fund managers do find themselves suddenly subject to human law, it is to Jupiter that we need to look.