There’s an unsavory aroma in the air. As Mercury meets up with Pluto (decay), both opposing the USA’s Jupiter (increase) and Venus (wealth), money’s on the mass mind.
Our terminology around money says a lot about our ambivalent feelings about it. Money is associated in vernacular English with pollution and corruption: we speak of people being “dirt poor,” for example, and “filthy rich.” I thought of this last week when I read that researchers have found dangerously high levels of the carcinogenic chemical bisphenol-A on dollar bills.
In the USA, the potent charge attached to money is indicated by Pluto, the planet of taboos, in the second house of the national chart (see “America’s Money Karma” on the Lectures Page). All taboo subjects require euphemisms; for example, people who find “sexy” a naughty word may coyly substitute “sensual”. Accordingly, a tortured new coinage entered the English language with the Mercury- Pluto conjunction (propaganda) in early December. The Federal Reserve, whose use of numbers economist Laurence Kotlikoff has called “Enron accounting,” has announced a scheme to buy up government debt that they call “Quantitative Easing”. It’s a trillion-dollar program that Ben Bernanke wants us to know is not what it looks like – i.e. printing money out of thin air (Jon Stewart said: “Oh right, Ben. We’re not printing money; we’re imagineering money.”) As astrologer Jim Perilman has pointed out, Ben B.’s natal Jupiter is opposite his Sun: he’s a naturally inflationary guy.
It is not only the US that’s in money trouble, of course. National borders mean nothing to Pluto, whose entry into Capricorn in 2008 inaugurated the global financial meltdown. The Uranus-Pluto square, exact seven times between 2012 and 2016, is wreaking havoc everywhere on Earth, exposing Big Money’s smoke-and-mirror games wherever they are to be found.
The Eurozone’s currency crisis is spinning out of control. Last month’s bailout of Ireland — Celtic Tiger, we hardly knew ye! –has deepened suspicion worldwide that the Euro is crumbling. In London last week, Prince Charles’s limo got mobbed by rioters as he made his way to the theatre. They aren’t too happy about the austerity cuts over there.
The dollar is in deeper trouble. America’s Saturn Return (stringent challenges) in the tenth house (international credibility) is peaking through 2011, lending credence to predictions that the dollar will lose its status as the global reserve currency. The International Monetary Fund is fully aware that the USA is broke, but seems to be hoping nobody reads its reports. And since any mention of taxes is career death for politicians, and the mass media only reports the nonsense they do mention, most Americans seem to have no idea that keeping taxes at their current level rate is fiscal suicide.
The global scenario is one of self-destructive debt (Pluto), untethered speculation (Uranus) and unavoidable austerity (Saturn) – all of it increasingly associated with banks. As far as profits are concerned, the bankers are coming out on top, as they always have; but to the public they are coming off as villains. Hollywood, always a good indicator of the mass mood, is once again putting out movies with evil Gordon Gecko characters. But something has shifted since the mantra “greed is good” was first ascribed to Wall Street, in the 1980s. Back then, it was presented as a shocking bit of fictional dark humor; whereas now, since Pluto entered Capricorn, it has been borne out by real-life events. Now no one’s laughing.
As Mars gets ready to join Mercury in its opposition to the US Jupiter (exact Dec 13th and 14th), an outpouring of public outrage has erupted over the linking of unemployment benefits to tax cuts for millionaires. With Mars and Pluto involved, you know there will be intense power plays; and you suspect that whatever appears on the surface will be covering up layers of intrigue.
My hunch is that the threat to cut millions of jobless Americans’ benefits was craven stagecraft. I don’t believe the GOP would have dared to actualize a policy so flagrantly anti-populist. It would have not only cost them their jobs, but risked triggering Washington’s worst nightmare: a mass uprising. Consider FDR, whom history lauds as a great hero of progressivism. He was all too aware that if he didn’t offer concessions to the working class, there’d be riots in the streets. Avoiding revolution is one point upon which both ruling parties of the American plutocracy fully agree.
The pundits, meanwhile, are using the issue to begin a timely discussion about ethics and decency (Jupiter). Moreover, it’s refreshing to hear them making the very pragmatic observation that since the Bush cuts went into effect in 2001 all the wealth has trickled up, not down. In other words, the tax-cut apologists’ central premise has been shown not to work. And as everyone who’s gone through a Saturn Return knows, functionality is the first and last criterion for anything under this transit.
On the other hand, it did work in terms of its plutocratic intent: the richest 1% of the US population has already scored about a trillion dollars since the breaks began.
And it is working in terms of its cosmic intent, too: ordinary people (Uranus) all over the world are smartening up about where the power lies.