What if Greece goes Bankrupt? Astrology suggests this might be for the Best!

What if Greece were to go bankrupt?  Astrology suggests this might well be for the best.

Using the Greek national chart of 13 January 1822 (based on the date of Greece’s Independence declaration from the Turks), we find that since 2010, transiting Pluto has been putting direct pressure on Greece’s natal Uranus/Neptune conjunction in Capricorn.

According to Liz Greene (The Outer Planets & Their Cycles, CRS Publications, Sebastopol, CA, 1996, pp 63-64) , Uranus/Neptune represents  ‘… the fantasy of the perfect state which is like a benign mother-god taking care of each individual and free of greed and aggression.’   Liz further suggests that with this conjunction the political system is really a religious vision.

Enter Pluto.

Pluto is about natural evolution.

Pluto is the Great Goddess ‘Necessity’; ignore her at your peril.

Pluto means survival of the fittest.

The Greeks have nothing to fear from Pluto if they’ve been dealing honesty with themselves by weeding out the deadwood as they’ve gone along.  But if they haven’t, then anything past its ‘sell-by’ date will be swept away.  If they fail to let go gracefully, Pluto will rape, steal, and pillage.  Pluto is an outlaw.  Pluto isn’t pretty.

To my mind, this suggests that Greece’s problems have little to do with finances and debt and getting these under control.  Instead, it has everything to do with changing the unrealistic expectations of a society which had become accustomed to a vision of  ‘Messiah’ in the form of a government that will be all things to all people.

Another EU financial bailout would only perpetuate this delusion a bit longer.

It’s time to let Pluto have her way.


 

The Dangers of Individuality – The Sabian Symbol for Today

With the Sun moving towards 24 Leo, the Sabian Symbol for today is an ‘untidy, unkempt man’.

Usually with Leonine energy, we think of proud playfulness, openhearted generosity, and confident charm.   But sometimes, it can all go wrong.

The ruler of Leo is the Sun, which can be equated with the Ego – that part of your personality that maintains the balance between impulses (‘id’) and conscience (‘superego’).   When balance is achieved, you have the unruffled self-assurance so often associated with Leo.  Actually, you’d expect nothing else.   Leo is ‘fixed fire’.  The Leonine ego must come to terms with itself by turning not to the world outside, but instead to within.

Yet after such intense soul-searching, it’s imperative to share your hard-won wisdom with your fellow man.  Most spiritual traditions emphasis this final leg of the Self’s journey as the most important.  This makes perfect sense as Leo’s balancing energy is to be found in its opposite -Aquarius -the epitome of social responsibility and the egalitarian ideal.

But when the ego fails to find balance, the result is complete self-obsession and an unattractive insensitivity to the wider world.

Today’s Sabian less is not just for Leo, but also for everyone.  Individuality is key to human happiness.  But without balance, the exact opposite is attained.  Hence we find the image of this Sabian Symbol – a negative, perverse satisfaction in the neglect of self.

Buildings burn & economies crumble – the Pluto/Uranus Square

Buildings burn across Britain.  In the Middle East, dictatorships crumble . The Euro-zone is in meltdown and the political system in America brings the world’s largest economy to the brink of default.

What gives?

The current Pluto Capricorn/ Uranus in Aries Square symbolising that which we’re going to experience for the next six years.  Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents.  It’s going to be a rough ride.

It all started in 1965 and 1966 when Uranus and Pluto were three times conjunct in Virgo (wholeness/integrity).  During that time, the revolt of students in Berkeley ignited a series of similar events all over the world – remember the Negro riots in Watts?  I do.  It wasn’t a pretty sight.

The divide between the haves and the have not’s had been widening and the ‘powers’ that be weren’t doing enough.  We’re now living through the opening square of that 1965-66 conjunction.  This brings a significant manifestation regarding unfinished business.  The issues represented by that 1965-66 conjunction are erupting yet again – but this time on a broader and more dangerous scale.

The Uranus/Pluto cycle has to do with radical restructuring and destructuring.  The vision is of a freer and more meaningful life.  Our unquestioned acceptance of authority is broken.  We’re fed up with petty materialism and mindless obedience.  The systems of our society aren’t working.  This is what the youth are trying to tell us.   Yet because the Uranus/Pluto cycle takes 127 years to completion, don’t expect an all-encompassing solution soon.

1933 and FDR’s great ‘the money lenders’ speech – history repeats – what will we do this time?

“Faced by the failure of credit they proposed only the lending of more money.”  FDR/ 1933 inaugural speech

Yesterday, I went for a ‘free and friendly’ financial review at my local bank, Natwest.

After 2 1/2 gruelling hours, the result (after I finally understood the deal) was their proposal to refinance an existing loan at 7% with a new one at 11.5%.

I’d have thought they’ve learned their lesson (after all, after 2008 Natwest- through their parent RBS – is now UK taxpayer owned).

Apparently not.

I firmly agree with FDR’s 1933 message that something drastic MUST be done about the banks.

FDR suggests happiness does not lie in the mere possession of money.  He suggests we need to get back to grips with real social values – that which makes us as a society really tick.

What do you think?

Just when you thought things were going to get better……

Just when you thought things were going to get better,   Pluto and Uranus are coming together – in square – yet again.

We’ll feel the initial effects of this in July and August of this year. But the finale won’t come until March 2015.   What on earth might this mean?

An astrological square is just like it sounds – tension – rock rubs against hard spot – wounds fester, fear dominates, and tempers fly.

Pluto is the great timekeeper of the collective.  He destroys anything and everything that is old and outworn.  Uranus symbolises the eruption of ideas that seize the minds of visionary men.  Yet the voices of the prophets have never been welcome when they bring bad news.

The last square between Pluto and Uranus was in 1933-34.[1]  Then, attempts to reactivate sagging world economies after the crash of ’29 led to Hitler’s rise in Germany (he was seen as both a reformer and national saviour).  In the US, it led to Roosevelt’s ‘New Deal’ (a progressive social program that heralded the start of big government).

1933-34 was the opening of the square.  Now – nearly 82 years  later – as Pluto moves through Capricorn – with the closing square comes fruition. [2]

Through Cancer, we surmise that fear of rejection underlies the suppressed tension of the aspect.

Through Capricorn we anticipate the energy to be released by the square.  Capricorn symbolises the fear of inadequacy  – of failing to achieve.

It is precisely this fear that will drive Capricorn (in the guise of big business, governments, and global economic institutions who are indeed failing to achieve and in fear of rejection) into overdrive.

Enter Uranus in Aries – the energy of the warrior – the crusader – the saviour – the impetuous child.   Might we expect the rise of another Hitler or Roosevelt?  I wouldn’t be at all surprised.  The vacancy is undoubtedly open.

And whoever fills it will rise to power as the result of the collapse and disintegration of that which Capricorn best signifies –  big government and capitalism.[3]


[1] Uranus was in powder keg Aries and Pluto was in maternal Cancer.  The current 2011-2015 square also features Uranus in powder keg Aries.  But Pluto has moved on to oppose maternal Cancer in paternalist Capricorn.

[2] 84 years is roughly the time through which it takes Uranus to make a complete cycle through the 12 zodiac signs.  Thus he has returned once again to Aries to complete the square.

[3] Astrologers may want to take a look at the chart of Karl Marx, who born on 5 May 1818(2 AM in Treves, Prussia) was himself a product of a Uranus/Pluto Square with an opposition of Jupiter in Capricorn and Mars in Cancer across his 11th and 6th houses.

Religious Fundamentalism at its Core

Religious fundamentalism is a recurring problem  – indeed it’s an all-too-familiar subset of the even greater problem of recurring religious wars.  No matter how hard we try, it seems nothing  gets better.

“Leaked documents released by al-Jazeera TV suggest Palestinian negotiators agreed to Israel keeping large parts of illegally occupied East Jerusalem.” (excerpt from yesterday’s news)

In that light, I thought it appropriate to reexamine what’s really going on.  Although written in 2006, the following article does just that.  Maybe there’s something we missed the first time around?  Or maybe there’s something we didn’t want to see?

Religious Fundamentalism at its Core

By Debra Moolenaar

© 2006

Nothing much happened during the years 1506-1508, except that a rather ill tempered monk named Martin Luther took his vows in an Augustinian monastery in Erfurt.  After that, Western culture was never the same.  Luther asked some unprecedented questions about the nature of man’s personal relationship to God, Church, and State, opening the door to an individualism of truth that still drives Western society today.

Oddly enough, it was also during those very same years that the planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were last in exactly the same astrological configuration they’re in today.  As an astrologer, I’m not surprised to find the same questions resurfacing, albeit in a different guise.  Planetary cycles never leave us in the same place where we began.  What good would it do for the baby chick to return to the egg from which he hatched?  This is growth.  This is evolution.  It’s programmed in the genes.

The visionary Jesuit Father and palaeontologist Père Telihard de Chardin would seem to agree.  In his acclaimed book The Phenomenon of Man (1959), he suggests that man and the universe participate together in an intelligible evolutionary movement toward unity and individualisation.  Such an apparent contradiction in terms does not faze him.   He posits there are two major evolutionary trends, one towards extreme individualism, and the other towards interrelation and co-operation.  What’s more, he’s defined the conditions of our advance – a global unity of awareness coexisting with a high degree of variety.

Consider what, for example, might underlie the recent controversy over the Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed?  Or certain ‘crimes’ committed in the name of religion, such as the London bus and tube bombings in the July 2005?  What underlies the cataclysmic backlash? What’s the pattern and where does it lead?

In the recent prestigious Gifford lectures in Edinburgh, the guest speaker Jean Bethke Elshtain, Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, delivered a series of talks entitled ‘Sovereign God, Sovereign State, Sovereign Self’.  Elshtain argues that, although once God alone was the sovereign in all things, over time his sovereignty became ‘privatised’.  Such sovereignty was usurped first by the State, and then by the ‘self’.  It would seem that the sovereignty of ‘he’ evolved into that of ‘we’, and then solely to ‘me’.  The boundaries between politics and religion blur.  Where once I prayed to God for Z.Y, and Z, I now demand it from the government.

Like Luther, Elshtain asks uncomfortable questions.  If we disobey the state, in the name of who or what do we do so?  Is it possible to defy state sovereignty in the name of God’s sovereignty?  If so, what kind of sovereignty must that be?  Should we be subject to an obedience unbound by human law?  Can a privatised God sustain us into the future?  Like Teilhard, she deals with apparent contradictions.

Teilhard considers that our evolutionary challenge is to ‘see’ or ‘perish’ in the sense that man cannot survive unless he understands the bigger picture of who and what he is.   For Teilhard, ‘seeing’ is not the same as ‘believing’; indeed they are mutually exclusive.  Beliefs are all too often an excuse to bury our heads in the sand.  Beliefs are narrow, pigeonholed, and dead-end.  Evolution requires a broader view.  It requires us to consciously transcend our individuality.  The truth lies before us if we choose to see it.

Religion throws up enormous questions with which it’s difficult to cope.  It’s comfortable to demand certainty where there’s none to be had.   This is religious fundamentalism at its core.  And who is best placed to provide the answers – ‘he’, ‘we’, or ‘me’?

That’s the question that we must answer if – as sovereign societies – men are to survive.

What 21st Century Women Might Learn From Simone de Beauvoir

We’ve Come A Long Way Baby – But Where Do We Go From Here?

Carrie Bradshaw, feminist icon from the hit series Sex and the City, has a good income of which to dispose as she pleases.  When not shopping for outrageously expensive shoes, she brags about sexual conquests with her female friends. Paradoxically, while enjoying these pursuits once reserved by the patriarchy for men, Carrie dreams of the day that her egoistical and fabulously wealthy prince charming, Mr Big, will sweep her off her prettily shod feet and carry her to patriarchal bliss.

And she’s not the only one.  It is sobering to realise that the immense popularity, especially with younger women, of the feminine paradigm Carrie represents, provides a gauge on how 21st century women view themselves as women.  Increasingly, young women are looking to return at least in part, to the pre-feminist, patriarchal, stereotyped norm.  We’ve come a long way, baby, but where do we go from here?

For help, we might turn to one of the founders of the feminist movement, the existentialist philosopher, Simone de Beauvoir.

In her groundbreaking work, The Second Sex (1949), Beauvoir argues that contrary to popular belief, femininity, or what it means to be a woman, is not organically or metaphysically predetermined, but culturally defined.

Further, to maintain their superior, ‘top dog’, patriarchal position, men perpetrate myths that by their nature, women are dependent upon (and inferior to) them (Beauvoir, 281).  These myths force stereotyped roles upon women, depriving them of their existential freedom to live authentically in accord with their own values, a freedom always enjoyed by men.  To remedy the disparity, Beauvoir calls for economic, political, and reproductive (through birth control and abortion) parity between the sexes.

She does not advocate that men and women be equals.  Nor does she suggest that man is the ideal to which women should aspire.   This would serve only to maintain the perception that women are outsiders trying to infiltrate the norm. She cautions that in her bid for freedom, woman should not abandon her femininity, which (like childbearing) makes her truly different from man.  To do this, would be to renounce a part of her humanity (Mahon, 196). Besides, none the above will achieve the desired goal.  For Beauvoir, each of us necessarily is constrained by his or her situation, the socioeconomic, political, and bodily givens in which we live, work, and play.  It is parity in these respective playing fields that Beauvoir advocates and by definition this presupposes gender difference.

Sixty years later, feminism faces perhaps its most serious challenge.  In her book, Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, Susan Faludi chronicles the outrage of both sexes that feminists have encouraged women to focus on autonomy, independence, and career (traditional male concerns) at the expense of children and family (traditional female concerns).  Shattered lives and nationwide unhappiness is only result they see.  Have feminists ignored the advice from Beauvoir and forfeited their femininity in order to become pseudo men? Might Carrie and her compatriots be back paddling into the pre-feminist, patriarchal, stereotyped norm in a confused effort to regain their femininity?  Will this get anyone where they want to go?

If the goal is freedom for women – parity on the playing field – then Beauvoir would have to answer no.  She specifies the feminist battle will only be won when both women and men recognise each other as peers, each free subjects to pursue his or her own goals (Beauvoir, 754).  Firmly linking freedom to brotherhood, Beauvoir argues this is possible only when both sexes have equal access to their humanity without penalty to their economic and professional positions (Moi, 228).  To accomplish this, both men and women must take charge of their own existence, conscientiously exercising the choices with which they are presented.  Shunning this ultimate human responsibility by hiding behind predetermined stereotypes is the ultimate bad faith.

In conclusion, what advice might we give Carrie?  Beauvoir might say that while you’ve come a long way, baby, you have a long way to go. Take responsibility to make your life your own and stop blaming others when it doesn’t work out as planned. That’s good advice as far as it goes, yet still, its tone is essentially patriarchal.

Even as Beauvoir warned against women abandoning their femininity to become pseudo men, she was herself, so much the product of the patriarchy that she could only envision femininity vis a vis its opposition to masculinity (Léon, 147).  In that light, femininity could have little positive value as it is doomed by definition, to lack (of masculinity).  Subsequent feminists (albeit not existentialists per se) like Hélene Cixous, have glorified the feminine in its own right, with the view to denying the political, social, and economic significance of gender difference and instead making it a cause for personal delight (Léon, 148).

I suggest that if Carrie can transcend the traditional male/female stereotypes she seems to be straddling, and instead embrace that which it truly means for her to be woman she will have attained the real essence of Beauvoir’s existentialist, feminist ideal.  If that means a closet full of outrageously expensive shoes and bragging about sexual conquests then so be it.  If not, then we’ve come along way, baby, but its time for a direction change.

____________________

De Beauvoir, Simone.  The Second Sex, trans. by H M Parshley. London: Everyman’s Library, 1993.

Faludi, Susan. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. New York: Doubleday, 1991.

Mahan, Joseph. Existentialism, Feminism, and Simone de Beauvoir. Palgrave Macmillan, 1997.

Léon, Céline T. “Beauvoir’s Woman: Eunuch or Male?” (137-167), The Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir, ed. by Margaret A. Simons. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2006.

Moi, Toril. Simone de Beauvoir – The Making of an Intellectual Woman. Oxford; Oxford University Press, 2008.

Tidd, Ursula, Simone de Beauvoir. London: Routledge, 2004.

Ward, Julie K., “Reciprocity and Friendship in Beauvoir’s Thought” (223-242), The Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir, ed. by Margaret A. Simons. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2006.


Pluto in Capricorn /when we will realise we can’t eat money

Threat, compulsion, humiliation, survival, necessity, and loss…..

When Pluto comes calling, everything past its ‘sell by date’ is swept away …. and if we fail to let go gracefully, we’re in for one hell of a nasty ride.

With Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2024), we’re forced to shed outdated ‘structures’ and replace them with something sustainable and new.

While at the collective level we may see nation-states, economic systems, and multinational corporations (perhaps capitalism itself) collapse under their own weight, to see what will go on at the personal level, we look at Saturn in our charts.

My natal Saturn is in Libra conjunct with Neptune and Mercury in my 4th house.  Shortly, Pluto will square my natal sun while Saturn conjuncts it.

As the result, I expect pressure to take a more serious look at my role in my partnerships.  Libra does have a tendency to blame ‘the other’ when things go wrong.   Libra also likes ‘peace at all costs’ and such compliancy invites others to become overly aggressive to compensate.   Yikes!

This current onslaught also marks the final throes of a Saturn/Pluto cycle that commenced with a Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Libra in 1982 (when I started law school).  That cycle, which ends in 2017, is a lesson about ideals, justice, and fairness.  It may put a rather abrupt end to my naive ideals that men act rationally and with honor.

One only has to do is to look at the news….

Capricorn is about morals and morals are about how we deal with each other.  So with Pluto in Capricorn….how long can the inconsiderate, antisocial, and overly selfish behavior we experience from others every day continue?

Enter Uranus in Aries at the end of May 2010 (YIKES – it’s HERE now)!  Now the proverbial ‘shit’ really will hit the fan – Stay tuned as the face of power as you’ve known it changes big time.  The last time time Pluto was in Capricorn was between 1760-1776 and the last time Pluto was in square with Uranus (as it is right now), Adolf Hitler came to power.  And don’t forget that before that, Karl Marx was born with a Pluto/Uranus square.

Rousseau’s Social Contract & Why the Rich Get Richer While the Poor Get Poorer

My husband and I recently visited a charming 280-acre National Trust property nestled in the green hills of south Oxfordshire.  First built in the late Middle Ages, Greys Court comprises a substantial complex of sandstone buildings and walled courtyard gardens.  Enjoying coffee and cake in a long, low building said to have garrisoned Cromwell’s soldiers during the Civil War, we contemplated battles long since fought and won. With dozens of other tourists, we rambled  through the three-gabled Elizabethan house dreaming of what it must have been like to have grown up  in such a comfortable and privileged home .

But it was while admiring century-old wisteria awash in a sea of bluebells that I remembered Rousseau’s observation that the ‘fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody’.  If this were true, then why do some families flourish on 280 acre country estates while others scratch out their survival in a city slum? Rousseau suggests a diabolically simple answer:

“The first man who having enclosed a piece of ground, thought up the statement this is mine and found people simple enough to believe him…was the real founder of civil society.”

Society yes.  Civil no.  It was Rousseau’s view that the social contract devised by men to make their property secure was not in accord with the ‘natural order’, but instead was a hoax perpetrated by the rich on the poor.  In other words, the poor (majority) had been tricked into agreeing to give their right to share in the wealth of the land to the rich (minority).   According to Rousseau in exchange for peace and protection:

“All ran headlong to their chains, believing they had secured their liberty.”

I question whether such a social contract remains in society’s best interest in the 21st century.  Do we still require privileged property owners to care for us?  Or in a post-modern democracy are we capable to taking care of ourselves?

If we conclude the later, then is it not up to each one of us work toward changing the terms of the social contract?  Do we really want that in the interests of all, the rich get richer while the poor get poorer?

Or might we rather like it the other way around?

The (Philosophical) Demise of Democracy

Of late, there’s been much debate about the collapse of authority in the UK.   It would appear a consensus  of sorts has finally been reached this is not a good thing.  However the hope is the new government will sort it all out for us.  I wonder.

In The Republic, Plato reminds us that just as surely as Democracy evolves from Oligarchy (a system of government where the rich rule the poor), that Democracy evolves into Tyranny.  While the first transition results from an excess of wealth, the later results from an excess of freedom.  He provides some startlingly scary examples of the warning signs:

“Father and son, citizen and foreigner, old and young are all on a level; fathers and teachers fear their sons and pupils, and the wisdom of the young man is a match for the elder, and the old imitate the jaunty manners of the young because they are afraid of being thought morose.  Slaves are on level with their masters and mistresses, and there is no difference between men and women.  Nay, the very animals in a democratic State have a freedom which is unknown in other places.”

Plato then goes on to remind us that bloated with desire to do whatever we wish whenever we wish, the citizens of democracy will at last become so sensitive we no longer can endure ‘the yoke of laws’.

This is the beginning of the end.

“… for there is a law of contraries: the excess of freedom passes into the excess of slavery, and the greater the freedom the greater the slavery.”

It happens like this: because law and order have vanished, the disgruntled citizenry elect a champion to seize control.  All goes well until inevitably, the champion oversteps his bounds.  When the citizenry tries to remove him, they discover their champion turned tyrant is even more lawless than they.

I suggest that a little more respect for authority won’t kill us and in regards to freedom, a little less emphasis on our ‘rights’ might help us come to terms our  ‘responsibilities’.   Don’t leave the preservation of what you hold most dear to the government.  You might not be too pleased if you do.