There are strong parallels, both historical and astrological, between the present and the late 20s/early 30s. In the 30s there was a worldwide depression brought about by insufficient regulation of the financial markets. In 2009 we are entering a worldwide recession, if not depression, and again it has been brought about by insufficient regulation of the financial markets. In 1932 there was a Cardinal square from Uranus to Pluto, 3 years after the Wall St Crash. In 2012 there will be another Cardinal t-square from Uranus to Pluto, 4 years after the financial turmoil of 2008.
Most of the major powers have significant points in the early to mid Cardinal signs, such as the US Sun at 14 Cancer, and the UK Sun at 9 Capricorn. So just as the Uranus-Pluto square of the 30s wrought profound change across the western world, so too will the coming square. Cardinality is about taking action and about initiating, so we are likely to see a new world come into being.
There is an astrological difference, however, between the 1930s and now, which is that the 1930s Uranus-Pluto square was the closing square of a 104 year cycle, whereas the 2012 square will be the opening square of a new cycle that began with the conjunction of the 1960s.*
So the new world that the 1930s square brought into being was at the same time the concluding phase, the death throes, of an old cycle. It may seem to us that WWII followed by the post-war world was very much the destruction of an old world followed by a huge new beginning, in which a very new and wealthier world order was created. But the astrology tells us that this was not so, that yes it was very big and very new, but at the same time it constituted the death throes of an old order.
I find this an interesting point, because it seems to contradict our experience. But I think this is only so if we look too narrowly – if, perhaps, we are too enchanted by the western democratic, capitalist model. Though this model continued to thrive for some decades after the 1960s, there were at the same time seeds sown during the 1960s, and seeds take time to grow. The 1960s were also a time of mass protests against western militarism and capitalism. There was a feeling of dissatisfaction on the part of a lot of people with what we had become, and would go on becoming.
I think that the economic collapse (Pluto) we are currently seeing creates space for big new ideas(Uranus). As Uranus approaches its square with Pluto, we will start to see some big new ideas coming into the collective, that have resonances going back to the conjunction of the 1960s. The Jupiter-Neptune conjunction – big dream - of 2009 may also help form some of them.
The 1929 Crash led directly to the Great Depression, they were part of the same process. In 1929, Uranus and Pluto were 10 degrees off a square, so I think we need to see that degree of separation as valid. This July Uranus and Pluto will be just 5 degrees off a square, so a fortiori this square is already very much with us, destroying our present reality in a big way, but also starting to provide the inspiration for some big new ideas.
We may, for example, see a resurgence of Communism. I was watching a French philosopher being interviewed on TV, and in response to this idea, the interviewer said isn’t that old hat, a dated 20th century idea that’s been proved wrong? And the philosopher said no, we just got the application wrong, but as an idea it still remains valid. But, he added, we also need some new ideas as well.
The capitalist model we have been living under is taking a hammering. The politicians are having to drop their ideologies and be intensely pragmatic in order to save the world economy. So space is opening up for new ideas. If the suffering were to reach the levels seen in the 1930s in say Germany, then those ideas could be military and fascist. Fortunately, the politicians are in some respects doing a better job than in the 1930s, for the banks are not being allowed to go under. I think this means the new ideas are more likely to creative.
What these ideas will be remains to be seen. I’m not going to try to second-guess outer planets! But it wouldn’t surprise me if part of the mix involves a desire to create an economics of sufficiency and fairness rather than gratuitous, competitive expansion; and a desire to create a different kind of democracy, where the electorate is given real choices rather than vague promises.
I think that current events are bringing us closer to a politics of survival, rather than a politics of excess. In the West, it is a long time since we have had to worry about survival. Though survival issues can create deep fear and irrationality, they have also been a normal part of existence for most people throughout history. It is healthy, it keeps your feet on the ground, it helps you realise what is important. That is why people look back fondly to wartime Britain, tough as it was. Many people were healthier and happier then. New ideas formed on this basis stand a good chance of being down-to-earth and sane, but nonetheless possibly revolutionary. Like the Labour government of 1945 in the UK. There was a deep desire for change coming out of the wartime years, and the new government delivered radical change, despite a wrecked economy: the creation of the welfare state, the dismantling of the Empire, the nationaliation of many basic industries.
*In the 1930s, Uranus was in Aries and Pluto was in Cancer, so Uranus was approaching Pluto, and would finally catch up 30 years later, completing a cycle that began in 1851. What we will have in 2012 is Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus again in Aries (we are experiencing the Uranus Return of the 1930s!), and Uranus therefore moving away from Pluto.