When things go wrong, it is always galling to listen to a well paid “accepted expert in the field” telling us that “such an occurrence could only have been foreseen with the benefit of hindsight” – implying of course that it is impossible for anyone to have hindsight in advance! To astrologers it is doubly galling, because in the time leading up to the problem, their carefully considered warnings are often dismissed as unscientific superstition.
So will the present global economic crisis prove to be a pay back time for astrologers? Will we be listened to at last? If so, what should we say?
Certainly some astrologers have told me that they do tend to receive more requests for their information and insight, when things go wrong – be it economically or otherwise. Just as we tend to double-check the transits, when an occurrence in our own lives takes us by surprise, our clients are more likely to make an appointment, when their relationships, careers and finances seem threatened.
Right now, stories of the loss of cared-for homes and investment schemes relied upon for retirement have been hard to hear. What advice can we give when, with Pluto just in Capricorn and the Saturn/Uranus opposition ongoing until July 2010, it is the lessons of Saturn, rather than those of Jupiter, that have to guide our analysis?
If our foresight of the coming four years provides understanding, we will be sought out by clients. In what ways might this happen and what should we say when it does?
Before answering this question, we have to point out a crucial irony. Even though the best qualified financial and other professional advisers have been shown recently to be profoundly wrong in their judgement, they, not we astrologers are still considered to be qualified. You should continue to encourage clients “always to seek professional advice to match their judgement against."
We are likely to be consulted about matters that fall into three interdependent areas that tend to flow on from one to the other. These are: financial and ecological; careers and relationships; our children and their future.
After the 1987 Stock Market crash, there was a massive development of Financial Astrology, which built through the 1990s and continues to be used at an expert level. Even with a rudimentary understanding of outer-planetary transits, most astrologers can see their connections to changing fashions of business and culture.
Yet, Melvyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, and Alan Greenspan, long time Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, in evidence to their respective legislative committees, implied it would be unreasonable to expect them to have hindsight when they planned for our future. Economic booms and busts cannot be anticipated. They are occasional factors of the system that we have to adjust to.
Is that good enough? Does not a world economy seduced by Pluto in Sagittarius and Neptune in Aquarius, and then petrified as Pluto approached Capricorn explain our current situation? If it does then why was it not planned for? Also, how successful will be panic measures initiated on retrograde Mercury and extended in a rush around the first Saturn/Uranus opposition, just before Pluto left Sagittarius – no wonder Barack Obama stayed away from that November G20 meeting. A void-of-course Pluto three pronged strategy aims to avoid financial collapse by re-capitalising the banks, artificially reducing interest rates (makes debt easier to maintain) and to borrow money to pay for tax cuts.
The aim is to “kick start” a process of consumption, production, buying and selling, employment, so increase asset value of stocks, property and pensions to act as collateral for more borrowing and so back to a growth based world economy. Will this work with Pluto in Capricorn and the continuing Saturn/Uranus opposition, or will it make matters worse and bring our nations closer to bankruptcy?
Whether advising individuals or the large macro-economy the golden rule seems to be the same – let go of Jupiter for a while and turn to Saturn to help you. Seeking to spend our way back to a past that has gone is the road to ruin – right now growth (Jupiter) is your enemy. So replace growth by sustainability – make Saturn your friend – let its ways guide you to a more lastingly happy future. What we take, we give back. What we do not use, we do not need. During the times ahead ecological demands are not an “inconvenient truth”, but rather exactly what we need.
Applying such a key principle to every area of our lives could be remarkably reassuring. How much less do we need to spend (and work). How much more can we share with and help each other. By using less, how much less is there to put right. Letting go, accepting change relieves the pressure.
Such rationalisation of economic activity does not mean turning away from scientific and technological progress; rather we use all our skills to enable sustainable give-and-take to be a practical golden rule. If we are to borrow and invest let it be for this – to apply our innovative genius to the cutting edge of sustainable technology – lead the world again through a brilliant New Deal of the 21st century.
Financial downturns force us to ask questions about what we want from life (career), how we relate to each other and to what extent these two work against or take the strain and support each other. Status, losing a job, family responsibilities, feeling you have let down or been let down by a partner do not have to blight our lives. All can be used to improve their quality. Perhaps our relationships were suffering from overwork. By spending more time with those we love, we can find better ways of organising.
Maybe what I have been working so hard for was destructive or unwanted. By losing a high powered job, I have found the way of life I really wanted. The key thing about structural change symbolised by Capricorn Pluto and a Saturn/Uranus opposition is we are forced to make adjustments that are based on certainty; not assumption, hope and illusion.
Of course, for some people times will be so hard that it would be unhelpful and unkind to suggest “everything is for the best”.
Yet, even here, the Saturn archetype can encourage strength, teach us to be stronger and clearer in the future. When we see past errors we make an investment that ensures we will never make the same mistake again. Great present challenges offer the chance of great future achievements. If that does not work then we must turn the tables; apply Saturn to Saturn; insist that enough is enough; limit limitation; change to systems that work better.
Cultures vary, but in United Kingdom the relationship between society and its children is ambivalent and contradictory. On one hand there is great concern for the physical welfare of young children and that their education should give every child an equal chance to succeed in the competitive adult world. On the other hand, we tend to abrogate responsibility for their values and what they do with their spare time. In financial matters, we have used our prosperity to be generous in the short term, but have mortgaged their future by our economic decisions. Having taken on massive debts as individuals and a society, we have encouraged them to do then same in late adolescence.
In many ways the nemesis of the economy, upon which such approaches to the next generation were based, is a new opportunity. Instead of our children being held and fixed at the mercy of an established world economy, the future is more fluid. If we do not know the answers, there is room for them to express themselves and create.
Maybe the first step is to accept a radical change in assumptions about the objectives of education. Would it be better to base it upon values, respect and relationships, not academic achievement alone? Indeed, much less certainty about attitudes and structural relationships between the adult world and younger generations could open creative channels. We may well find that the insight of a youth culture sired in a world of advanced technology and multi-faceted information is far more appropriate than our own. In the challenges that lie ahead, categorising and making policy for certain age groups and stages in life may be replaced by care based on individual need.
Should we see our relationships with our children as more than a limited period of obligation ending in release of responsibility? Seeking mutual understanding, co-creating the future with them could make many problems concerning pensions, debt and world ecology far easier to solve.
Of course, you will have you own ideas on how to use the change from a Jupiter focussed to a Saturn focussed world to give positive advice to clients. Whatever these are, seeing the limitations of Saturn as an opportunity to put right the problem the client comes to us with seems to be a fruitful way to proceed.
The magic of astrology comes from understanding the essential meanings of the astro-cycles, so that, whatever the times we are living through, we can make things better – ease the difficulty. As when interpreting a chart we see squares and oppositions provide strength to achieve; so, unlike most other advisers, astrologers can have the insight to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat – however hard the way toward it.
If we can do this, then the global downturn may well be of great benefit to astrologers and the world we seek to serve.