It now seems a long time since the world was teetering on the brink of economic meltdown. It was all of 4 months ago that Barack Obama was inaugurated in the middle of a crisis that seemed like it could result in a 1930s-style Depression, with widescale collapse of banks and industries. Though we are all well aware there is a recession, the sense of crisis has receded.
Astrologically, this is due to Saturn and Uranus temporarily moving away from their opposition to each other. Uranus disrupts and threatens the established order of things (Saturn), and from September through to March, the time of greatest crisis, these 2 planets were never very far from opposing each other.
Since then, Saturn has moved back as far as 15 Virgo, while Uranus has moved up to 26 Pisces, making the opposition very wide and so less operative, for the moment. If we chuck in May’s Jupiter-Neptune conjunction, with its hope for the future, then we can see why things don’t seem so bad economically. Jupiter and Neptune are in Aquarius, and Saturn and Uranus are the co-rulers of this sign, which is quite a nice loop connecting the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction to the economic situation.
Another little loop that ties it all up even more closely is that Saturn also rules Capricorn, and Pluto entered Capricorn last year, reflecting the contraction and sense of proportion (Capricorn) that has entered the economy (Pluto, who is a god of riches.)
So the major events in the sky - Pluto entering Cap, Saturn opposite Uranus, and the Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron conjunction - all weave into a single story due to the signs that Saturn and Uranus rule. What that story is will become clearer with hindsight. But what I think we can say is that the disruption to the established world order brought about by the central connecting aspect, Saturn-Uranus, is facilitating both a return to a sense of economic proportion and sustainability (Pluto in Capricorn), as well as a hope for a better world (Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron in Aquarius). There it is, the astrological zeitgeist in a nutshell!
This story, however, is not just economic, even though the economy is playing a central role, as it usually does. The disruptions and new dreams are happening on all sorts of levels. The political level in America is the obvious one: in a sense, what could be more revolutionary (Saturn-Uranus) and inspirational (Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron) than electing a black man as president, given America’s history?
The world political situation, however, is more problematic, particularly in the Middle and Near East. It is problematic, at least, from the West’s point of view. The temporary easing of the Saturn-Uranus opposition does not seem to have resulted in any easing of the threats to the established order in the region: Iran continues to edge closer to becoming a nuclear power, apparently unstoppably; Pakistan continues to move closer to becoming a nuclear-armed, militant Islamic state; the Taleban continue to make the war look unwinnable in Afghanistan; and the violence in Iraq, which threatens its fledgling democracy, refuses to go away. The new hope of Jupiter-Neptune seems to be more on the side of the regional fundamentalists than of the Western powers.
The Saturn-Uranus opposition finishes in July 2010. The US may well have got it right in planning to withdraw from Iraq by 2011, because the instability may have eased by then as Saturn and Uranus move away from each other. Either that, or the remaining 3 oppositions will bring such huge opposition to the US occupation that they will be forced to leave.
Saturn and Uranus will make their next exact aspect in September – the 3rd out of 5 – and will be getting close to each other in August. So we are approaching the midway point of a process that began last autumn. Economically, we could be due for a fresh round of disruption after what might prove to have been a false dawn this summer.
Some astrologers predicted that things would look better this spring and summer, in which they seem to have been right, but that also it would be a false dawn. I don’t think it is a false dawn, because the western economies have been taking the right Capricornian/Saturnian steps: saving the banking system from collapse (unlike in the 1930s), cutting back unnecessary spending, downsizing inefficient companies like General Motors and investing more in sustainable energy initiatives. Also, the chart for Pluto’s Ingress into Capricorn in 2008 looks nice: Pluto conjunct Venus and Jupiter, and trine to the ruler of Capricorn, Saturn. Saturn retrograde in the chart shows a considered response to the economic crisis.
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So I am economically optimistic. There is a way to go in sorting the western economies. But because many of the right pieces are being put in place, I think that the remaining 3 crossings of Saturn and Uranus will have more of an emphasis on new economic possibilities and new industries, rather than on disruption and destruction, though some of that is also bound to be present.
If we put together the fact that we have this autumn both the concluding phase of the Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron conjunction, and the start of the second phase of Saturn-Uranus, then I think we could see the beginnings of a new economy. Yes, probably still far too like the old for many of us; but at the same time, with more of an emphasis on saving rather than spending (as Obama has said he would like to see in the US), on industries based around new technologies, and on a more responsible use of energy resources.
As Saturn-Uranus draws to a close in July of next year, so will we see the beginnings of an even bigger tectonic shift, as Uranus and Pluto move within 3 degrees of a square to one another. This is the really big shift, because it will hard aspect major points in the charts of all the western powers. So what is happening now is merely preparatory. It could herald big advances in a new type of economy. It also seems likely to herald a Middle and near East that are increasingly beyond the control of the West, intensifying the West’s search for new energy sources.