The one thing we do know about Gordon Brown is that Pluto is coming up to conjoin his MC at 4.43 Capricorn, having spent this year conjoining his Chiron at 0.53 Capricorn. Until a few days ago it was looking like this Pluto to Chiron-MC transit was going to be about his undoing, about his gradual destruction as Prime Minister, culminating in a landslide win for the Tories in 2010.
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But the banking crisis seems to be changing that. Uranus transits are known for being the ‘unpredictable’ ones. Well in their own way, Pluto transits are no more predictable. Which of us could ever have guessed beforehand what was going to happen to us under a Pluto, or indeed Neptune, transit?
In a poll a few days ago, Labour were ahead of the Tories when people were asked who they trusted to see them through the present difficulties. Gordon Brown was known as the Iron Chancellor, and while his reputation now seems inflated, because he was Chancellor during the good times, this current crisis has nevertheless brought him onto home territory. He never had this sort of test while he was Chancellor, and it is these situations that make or break reputations.
I think he has probably made his reputation through the bold steps that Britain has taken this week to shore up its banking system, effectively part-nationalising it, with the money that the government has given to purchase shares in the banks going to re-capitalise them. It may be that Pluto on the one hand will enhance Brown's reputation for economic competence, while destroying his aspirations to be a great leader in a wider sense - which everyone except him seems able to see that he never will be! There is the real legacy of Capricorn, but also the self-inflicted wound of Chiron.
Nationalising the banks, at least to some extent, seems to be the only possibility of saving them worldwide, and there is strong ideological resistance to this in the west, particularly in the USA, which is why it is lagging behind. It is interesting that it should be a Labour government, with its socialist roots, that feels able to take this step. New Labour has spent its whole time in power fleeing from its roots. Now that we are in a crisis, it is returning to them.
The West thought that it had left Socialism behind when the Cold War ended, when free-market Capitalism seemed to have finally triumphed. The Cold War began to end in the late 1980s, when Saturn was conjunct Uranus. Now, with Saturn opposite Uranus, socialism, in the form of state ownership of businesses, has reared its head again.
It is not being done, however, for ideological reasons. The ideologues are the free marketers – Uranus – whereas the nationalisers are being pragmatic, they are addressing the needs of the system as a whole, they are Saturn. For now, Saturn seems to be triumphing over Uranus.
The present situation could also be seen as a late outcome of the recent Saturn-Neptune opposition. The effects of the previous opposition of 1971/2 were not seen until a year later, when we had an oil crisis followed by a recession. And it is the same now, but with the ‘socialist’ dimension thrown in. The Cold War also ended under a Saturn-Neptune conjunction, and I think Socialism, with its attempts to be fair, is better described by Neptune than by pragmatic Saturn. So this is another echo of the Cold War era. As is the recent resurgence of Russia. And as governments step in to rescue their banks, so is Neptune stationing.
It is not surprising there should be these resonances, for the Cold War ended under a Saturn-Uranus-Neptune conjunction, and we are now in the middle of the ensuing oppositions, first of Saturn to Neptune and now of Saturn to Uranus.
It does look like these attempts to shore up the system might just work. I don’t think any of us, however distasteful we find the system, wants to see a collapse of the banks and then the economy, with all the suffering that would bring. Even if we do pull through, the system has had a huge shock, and it will take a long time to build up trust between banks again. It also marks the beginning of a 2 year struggle, as Saturn performs its opposition to Uranus, between the free marketers (Uranus) and the pragmatists/regulators (Saturn).
The even bigger theme of Uranus square to Pluto is also starting to come our way. Pluto is a god of wealth and riches, and so is intimately related to the economy. He is also a god of our survival instincts, which money easily brings into play – even for people who have far more than they will ever need!
So the current crisis is not just about trying to save the banking system and then banging in a load of regulations to stop it happening again, until the next time. That will probably be part of the story, and it is more predictable because Saturn, which is not an outer planet, is involved. But Uranus-Pluto we can only stand in awe before. Whatever necessary steps are taken in the economy over the next year or two, underlying it is this much bigger change that is completely out of our hands.
That said, I do not want to belittle Saturn-Uranus. The opposition of 1918 marked the end of World War One, the conjunction of 1942 marked the point when World War II began to turn, the opposition of 1965/66 heralded the massive social changes of the 60s, and the conjunction of 1989 marked the end of the Cold War. So Saturn-Uranus is bringing us into a new era, the old order (Saturn) is being disrupted and shaken (Uranus). All the same, that will only be a start, for Uranus-Pluto, which is already with us, has even bigger work to do.