Uranus continues to be pretty much stationary in the sky. He has started moving backwards, but very slowly as yet. He is within 6 minutes of the stationing point of 22.39 Pisces. So his effects continue to be very noticeable. Uranian events are shocking and sudden, surprising and disruptive and destabilising, but can also be progressive.
As I wrote in my last post, Uranus has been the main factor behind the recent escalation in the Iran crisis, which should recede soon, as Uranus picks up speed. I think he is also the main factor in the latest financial crisis to hit the USA, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the 2 giant mortgage companies, threaten to go bust. It has suddenly come into the news, rather than gradually building, and is very destabilising and disruptive for the US. So it’s very Uranian. The shares in the 2 companies halved in value the other day, which is extreme.
Meanwhile, as BBC News reports: ‘One of the largest US mortgage lenders, the California-based IndyMac Bank, has collapsed amid a growing credit crisis. Federal regulators seized the bank's assets, fearing it might not be able to meet withdrawals by depositors. It is the second-largest financial institution to fail in US history, regulators say.’ And the fifth US bank so far this year.
The credit crunch keeps coming back, amid sporadic reports that the worst is over. The worst is not over, for good astrological reasons, if nothing else. Uranus is kicking off the bouts of instability, but the underlying and bigger theme is Pluto. With his move into Capricorn, underlying structural change to the financial system is needed. This has begun to be recognised, indeed it has been recognised for some time now. But it hasn’t been done. It will take time. So there will continue to be these bouts of instability, which may even escalate into much larger crises, until this change has been effected.
In June of 2007 there was the following item in the New York Times, which I wrote about: “The entire international economic architecture established after World War II – the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and what is now called the World Trade Organisation – is today facing questions about its relevance in a global economy.
The three institutions are buckling under the weight of globalisation, trade disputes and the ambitions of rising economic powers in Asia and elsewhere, experts and policy makers said.” This was even before the credit crunch came along.
Pluto in Sag revealed the inherent tendencies towards excess, recklessness and wastefulness within the western economic model, which Pluto in Capricorn will have to address. Pluto is currently having one last journey through the final degrees of Sag. He is currently retrograde. Retrograde motion forces us to look inwards and reflect in order to make the planet work well. And this retrograde Pluto is forcing us to look at the excesses and recklessness of the Sag period. We keep attempting to bandage up the situation and hope all will be well again (false Sag optimism). And then something like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac threatening to collapse reminds us yet again that there are these underlying structural issues. At the beginning of the current Pluto retrograde period we even saw the stockmarket recovering. Many people rightly did not trust this. It was Sagittarian false optimism. It is good that the stock market is low (but not unrealistically so). It means that somewhere we are looking steadily at the actual problems.
Pluto in Capricorn also concerns national security and governmental control. It is worth remembering, before we get too spooked by the spectre of Big Brother, that governments are often pretty inefficient, like any large organisation. Like last year, when the UK government managed to lose benefit data on 25 million people! More than anything, we need a sense of humour around governments and their blundering attempts to organise our lives. And we also need to remember that organisations, particularly large ones, are not very conscious. There is not some malign efficiency at the core of them, rather semi-conscious shuffles and bodges in various directions, which are beyond the ability of any single individual to do much about. I think that animal-herd behaviour is much the best model to describe collective humanity, however intelligent and aware the individuals within it may be.
So this is what I mean when I say that Pluto in Capricorn will involve increased governmental control. It means that the herd will be shuffling in that direction for a while, there ain’t much we can do about it, but we can at least be aware of it and study it and above all have a sense of humour about it. OK, we see individuals who are able to manipulate that herd behaviour – like George Bush manipulating people’s fears after 9/11 – but he is still as much part of that collective as anyone, more so if anything, because he is functioning as a mouthpiece for certain aspects of that collective. Beware of a leader with an outer planet on an Angle, like Bush and his Pluto Rising!
This move towards greater government control was seen a couple of days ago when the US Senate approved a Bill to broaden wiretap powers.
The Bill also included immunity for phone companies who had illegally wiretapped at the behest of the Bush administration. A lot of people aren’t happy about this. I think it is a bit like the torture at Abu Ghraib, where the junior soldiers were the ones who took the rap, and those further up, who had greater responsibility, got off. With the wire-tapping, the companies were going to get prosecuted, while the government, who had ordered it, was going to get off.
I’m sympathetic to the phone companies, because what do you do if you are an executive with a career and a mortgage and a family and the heavy-handed Bush government leans on you to wiretap? What are the consequences for you personally if you don’t comply? Wiretapping ain’t great, but it is not in the same league as torture. I couldn’t say that in the same position I would not have complied with the government. Of course, Bush isn’t giving the companies immunity for this reason. So it’s the right move, but for the wrong reasons.
It’s taken a long time to get this Bill through, during which time a temporary surveillance measure expired, ‘prompting accusations from Mr. Bush that the nation’s defenses against another strike by Al Qaeda had been weakened.’
This is where the whole surveillance thing started – 9/11. Get over it, will you! That was 7 years ago, and there hasn’t been a single further attack on the US mainland since. Even concerning 9/11, the USA could have avoided that if it hadn’t been asleep on the job and ignored obvious clues like Arabs taking flying lessons, but not being interested in learning to land! The government didn’t need any extra powers even then. For geographical reasons the US is remarkably safe from foreign attack.
So this is Pluto in Capricorn as government control for its own sake, based on fear rather than an accurate reading of the actual situation.
Barack Obama voted reluctantly in favour of the Bill, not because he didn’t want increased surveillance, but because he didn’t want the phone companies to have immunity. He wanted the increased powers because he says the world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place. I think he is right about that, but I also think it is a change in foreign policy which is the answer, rather than sitting on the population at home.
Barack Obama is a superb performer and a very talented politician. This lies behind much of his popularity. I think the election in November will be a no-contest. But you get a deeper sense of someone when you look at their policy decisions and the reasons behind them. Barack Obama is hard to get a personal sense of, which you would expect from Aquarius Rising. But decisions like this give me the sense of someone quite conservative, who is not able to think ‘outside of the box’, who is quite determined by the world he finds himself in. Also his comment to the Jewish lobby that he wanted to see Jerusalem remain the undivided capital of Israel. That is a conservative, right-wing thing to say, that can only inflame the Arab world.
Obama is very good at standing for something. That is a huge asset as a politician, and it has given people huge expectations for him. I think his Aquarius Rising does give him a genuinely progressive approach will result in some good developments. But Aquarius is ruled by conservative Saturn as well as revolutionary Uranus. I think in many ways he will prove disappointingly conventional. Mixed in with all the talent and vision I can’t get out of my head the image of a kid (Sun in Leo) who is hungry for power (Moon square Pluto.) But that is politics as usual, and people as usual, so I’m not going to damn him for that, and he may well prove quite good as Presidents go.