Thursday, September 03, 2020

Saturn, Pluto and the Postponed Recession

At the end of September, Saturn will start to move forwards again, closely followed by Pluto. Jupiter will have gone direct a couple of weeks earlier. These 3 planets conjoined in January, and marked the beginning of the Covid crisis. So we will be entering a new phase in a month, and I think that will mark the transition to a recession proper. So far it has been held at bay by government furlough schemes and, probably, by the public spending much of the money it saved during lockdown.

By paying the wages of struggling businesses, governments are saving them from going bankrupt. But they can only do this for so long, and Covid shows no sign yet of going away. So I think the theme across the West this autumn will be the winding down of furloughs and subsidies, increasing numbers of businesses going under, and unemployment rising. The recession proper will have begun, as Saturn's forward motion in Capricorn brings a dose of realism to world economies.

The hardship for many that this will involve is the price we will be paying for the lives saved by lockdown. How much this has also been a postponement - of people dying from Covid later rather than sooner - remains to be seen, as does our view of the lockdown as it ends, and whether it was worth it. At present this discussion is hard to have because many people have been frightened into thinking of Covid as a deadly disease, rather than the nasty bug with a low mortality rate that it actually seems to be.

We have been trained to think of recessions as bad, and booms as good. But recessions reflect the natural need to go inward and reconsider and attend to our underlying values, after a period of outward expansion. In this way Saturn embodies natural law.  

The current recession began with lockdown, and has been given added transformative power by the presence of Pluto. This is no ordinary recession. Saturn-Pluto is a powerful transit that marks a transition from one era to another. It will be a different world that we will be waking up to at the end of this year, as Saturn finally moves into Aquarius and away from Pluto. The Saturn-Jupiter cycle, which begins anew in December, also marks the beginning of a new era.

So, come the new year, we will be thinking about life as before and after Covid. Already we see the huge boost that this has given to the big tech companies - Apple is now worth more than the top 100 UK  companies combined - while the High Street spirals downwards as people shop more online. Fear has stalked the land in a way not seen in Europe since WWII, and this will be burnt into the collective psyche for some time to come.

Political eras will come to an end, inevitably, as the world moves into its new phase. Merkel is on her way out anyway. It is hard to see Trump surviving with his consistent trailing in the polls, and the likelihood of the recession becoming more real between now and the US election. Is Boris Johnson part of the new order, or part of the old order? He has at least another 4 years in office - short of a resigning issue like Suez arising - and I think he is strategically too sure-footed for that, flawed as he is in the details of day-to-day management. Starmer is not a performer - a vital ingredient for political success - and Boris (like Blair before him) will have Neptune on his side in the coming years. So I think that Boris is part of the new order. 

The US will undergo its Pluto Return in 2022. This will be in its 2nd House (Sibly Chart). So expect a big psychic wobble about its place in the world, as China emerges from Covid hotter on America's heels than expected. What is it to be American if you are not No 1 in the world?