A wave of austerity measures is sweeping through Europe, to the discomfiture of its inhabitants. The discomfiture has been such that in profligate Greece there has been civil unrest, making it difficult for the government to make the necessary spending cuts: this has in turn threatened the stability of the Euro. With Europe being the world’s leading economic power (until China eventually supersedes it), this has in turn destabilised world markets.
These spending cuts are the domain of Saturn, the planet of responsibility and earthy reality. Since late April he has been virtually at a standstill, strengthening his presence and, as he has changed direction (which he did a week ago), forcing difficult decisions to be made.
Saturn is currently in thrifty, book-balancing Virgo, which he entered in the autumn of 2007, just before Pluto entered Capricorn in January 2008 and the long boom years started to dramatically unravel. Saturn will leave Virgo for the last time in July this year.
So his passage through Virgo has been textbook stuff: it began with warnings that the financial system was no longer stable, and concluded with the implementation of the spending cuts needed to balance the books.
In the UK, the government has not yet been specific about the cuts needing to be made. This is because the process was delayed by a General Election in May. But they are talking it up, preparing us for the cuts. They are, naturally, claiming that the mess is much worse than the previous government had said. David Cameron has also said that the cuts will affect ‘our whole way of life.’ As a sign, perhaps, of Saturn moving into fair-minded Libra, the Treasury plans to consult the public and various bodies such as the Trade Unions as to where the spending cuts should take place.
America, of course, is also an economic superpower, and since Monday world markets have been sent tumbling by bad job figures from the US. In the last month, only 20,000 new jobs were created, if you take out exceptionals, which is not what you’d expect from an economy that is emerging from recession.
The markets have tumbled because of fears of the long-heralded ‘double-dip’ recession. I don’t know whether there will or won’t be, but it kind of makes sense that since the governments borrowed so much a year ago to rescue the banks and avoid a Depression, which is much worse, sooner or later you have pay-back time, when governments have to cut their spending, and this threatens a further recession.
I’m not particularly anxious about a double-dip, because the chart for Pluto’s original entry into Capricorn is quite good.
Click to Enlarge
As you can see, Pluto was in a conjunction with the 2 Benefics, Venus and Jupiter, and trine to its dispositor, Saturn. So this is about an economy returning to a healthy balance after some Saturnian/Capricornian reality checks (which may include a double-dip recession) rather than a disastrous Depression. A Depression would be a swing to the opposite extreme from the mania of Pluto in Sag, and Pluto in Cap is not about that.
A planet entering a new sign suggests a new phase, a new beginning for the energy that planet represents, shaped by the sign it is entering. On 20th April Chiron entered Pisces; on 27 May Uranus entered Aries; on the 6th June Jupiter entered Aries; on 7th June Mars entered Virgo after 8 months in Leo (it usually spends 2 months or less in a sign); and on 21 July Saturn will enter Libra.
If we are talking about the planets from the Sun through to Venus, then they are changing sign all the time. But beyond those planets, to have so many changing sign in such a short period is highly unusual. It means the world is changing, that a lot of new things are starting to happen all at once.
Beginnings can be hard to see, but what is happening may become clearer as we move towards late July when 4 of those planets join Pluto in a Cardinal t-square, that will be very tight between Mars, Uranus and Saturn (about 1/2 a degree). This configuration is incredibly dynamic, acting as a trigger point for the underlying tectonic shifts that Saturn opposite Uranus (which is nearing its end) and Uranus square Pluto (just beginning) are bringing about. It is rather like an earthquake that has been building for a long time. Explosive military situations are technically very possible, but the Libra emphasis suggests diplomatic solutions, which reflects the instincts of the current leader of the world’s military superpower, the USA.
Click to Enlarge
What we have now, as I have said before, is crisis. Will there be a double-dip recession? Will the Euro survive? Will the Deepwater Oil Well be capped? The main crisis, however, is economic, so I expect the July t-square to involve economics more than anything else. And, as usual, I expect the main events surrounding this t-square to occur in the run-up to it, probably late June/early July.
There will be a relative suddenness to events. A second dip to the recession, that takes some years to emerge from, seems to me the likely outcome. A recession that will create a world economy based, for now, more on material needs and necessity than the overblown consumerism and borrowing and financial engineering of the Pluto in Sagittarius era. A recession that will inevitably also see power move towards India and China.
I don’t see this as inconsistent with my optimism around the chart for Pluto’s entry into Capricorn, because I don’t necessarily see recession as a bad thing. In the West, there is still enough food and shelter and clothing etc to go around – the difficulties in this respect are political rather than economic, and a boom won’t solve that – so what is the problem? A recession collectively gives us a time to reflect, to consider what sort of economy we want, what our values are, and I welcome that.