Europe is in crisis over the Euro. This situation keeps sending global shares tumbling, reflecting the possibility of a wider crisis. South Korea has just suspended trade with North Korea, in a crisis over the deliberate sinking of a ship by nuclear-armed North Korea. The oil-spill crisis off the US coast, the biggest ever, is over a month old and the oil continues to escape. Many airlines have been thrown into crisis by the volcanic ash coming from Iceland, which seemed to ease off, then it started up again, now they’re saying it’s easing off. The US is putting forward proposals for sanctions against Iran, the latest move in a crisis that has lasted years.
What characterises most of these crises is that they keep going, with no end in sight. Jupiter is rapidly approaching a conjunction with Uranus, which enters a new sign on Thursday; a few weeks after that it will begin to station, intensifying its presence. The crisis season is far from over. It leads straight into the well-known cardinal t-square of late July 2010, involving Saturn, Uranus, Pluto, Mars and Jupiter, joined by the Moon and Venus a week later. This will be a time of deep resolution of problems that have come to a head in the previous months. It could also be a very problematic time, with events turning against you unless you really know what you’re doing.
A crisis by definition is a situation that cannot be controlled: if it could be, there would not be a crisis. And outer planets are like this. The inner planets make up our conscious sense of who we are. A human life consists of getting to know our inner planets and surrendering to our outer planets, and learning to tell the difference. The outer planets perform a very useful function when humanity gets above itself, thinking of itself as god-like (which it is, but only partly.) I think that most of life cannot be known or controlled, which is why chaos can take over so easily, reminding us that we only have islands of knowledge in a vast unknowable ocean.
So Europe’s Crisis. Europe needs to act as one if it is not to be walked over by the US and China. But it’s not easy getting such old nations, with such a history between them, to unite. Look how hard it was for the original 13 US states, which had much more in common, to come together. It nearly didn’t happen. How much harder it is for Europe.
The crisis over the common currency, the Euro, provides one of those make or break moments for Europe. The crisis has arisen because insufficient provision was made in the original rules to deal with member countries that live too much beyond their means. The miscreants were bound, of course, to be the undisciplined Latin countries like Greece and Italy and Spain, and not us responsible – and less exciting – Protestant northern countries. To prevent such a crisis you either have to be able to force countries to live within their means, which means surrender of sovereignty to a degree we haven’t yet reached in the EU; or you have to chuck those countries out of the Euro (but not necessarily out of the EU).
It’s hard to see what the outcome will be. Germany has been the chief paymaster of Europe, and this is causing a political crisis at home, because Germans are getting fed up with bailing out other countries and they want more contribution from some of the other states. Britain, the second wealthiest along with France, is not a member of the Euro and has no intention of helping out.
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Astrologically, the Euro is undergoing a hard Uranus transit to its Angles that will not be over until Spring 2011 at the earliest (stage 1 of the resolution), but Uranus will come back to within a degree of the Angles in autumn 2011 (stage 2?). So whatever the EU does, the situation will remain unpredictable and unsettled until at least next Spring.
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The EU (or EEC as it then was) and the Euro both came into being on the 1st of January at midnight in Brussels, though obviously in different years. This means they have the same Sun and Angles, and it means that the future of the EU is now intimately tied up with the future of the Euro.
What is striking about the chart of the EU is the degree to which it describes an economic union rather than a political one (where I would expect to see lots of e.g. Aquarius and Libra). It has Moon in materialistic Taurus conjunct a Scorpio-Taurus Nodal axis, in the 2nd and 8th Houses of wealth and shared wealth. The EU seems to have reached a point where further economic integration is not possible without more political union, so that there can be budgetary control.
We see the connection between the economic and the political through Venus in Aquarius: the planet of wealth in the sign of idealistic group enterprise. So there are attempts at political union. But that poor Venus is conjunct Chiron and square to the Moon and Nodal axis, suggesting a conflict between the economic and political aspirations in which the economic wins out. Add in Uranus in Leo, and we have a Grand Cross which makes this attempt very unstable.
We also need to consider the Sun in Capricorn. This trines the Moon and sextiles the North Node. This suggests to me what the outcome might be, for Capricorn is a hierarchical sign (which we already see through the dominance within the EU of the Franco-German axis.) I think we have to forget about political union, and look at a hierarchical economic union. That will work, according to the chart. You have the richer countries that can be relied on to live within their budgets forming a close union, perhaps including currency union, and then you have the rest forming part of a larger European Free Trade Zone.
The EU will be going through deep change over the next few years as Uranus and Pluto hard aspect the Sun (and Pluto trines the Moon). It will be a different organisation, and in a way it makes sense that it will be one in which the richer countries will no longer be obliged to bail out the more profligate ones, because that is just the way people and countries work. It will be an organisation of first and second class members.
Pluto brings up survival issues, and having come within 5 degrees of the EU Sun, those survival issues are starting to become apparent. There is a very strong motivation for the EU to survive in some form in a world divided into superpowers, and therefore a very strong motivation to divide up the EU according to economic criteria, so that some countries cannot threaten the well-being of others and of the whole organisation.