Where the astrology of the East meets the West
Welcome to astro-economic-influenza, the rapidly spreading economic disease that has captured national and international headlines in the waning months of 2008. The touted prosperity of the raging bull market, the inflated real estate gains and the booming banking sector have all come into question in what people are calling a financial disaster of epic proportions. Suddenly these inflated markets are dramatically deflating.
Curiously the financial sector was worried about inflation driven by $150 per barrel oil a couple of months ago, and now the concerns are about deflation with the same barrel of oil settling in $36 a barrel! The quick fix measures of the old political guard are clearly not working, and as a result they have been soundly swept from power in nation after nation.
What we are witnessing is the beginning stages of economic chaos. The last several years of unregulated free-for-all-markets and mergers, coupled with huge debt, have created an optimistic too-big-to-fail attitude that was way off the mark. The very government the business tycoons proclaimed to be too big and too restrictive of their business practices were successfully downsized and crippled. Government oversight was dismantled and replaced with business lobbyist oversight as soundly documented in Thomas Franks The Wrecking Crew. Now, these same people are asking the very government they dismantled to rescue them. The irony is evident, but the larger question remains: Who is accountable for this economic ruin?
So far the government bail-outs in the waning weeks of the Bush administration strongly suggest that we the people are apparently accountable for this financial wreckage. But, we still need to find out how many more fraudulent Bernie Maddoffs are out there having made off with all the profits, and leaving us all the loss.
How can the times have changed so radically, and so suddenly from feeling good boom times to feeling really bad bust times? Let us examine the astrological roots of astro-economic influenza.
Jupiter, the planet of growth, the indicator of prosperity and hope, has now entered the constellation of Capricorn. This is Jupiter's most weakened condition. Capricorn is Saturnís domain. The Winter Solstice. This is a time of rest and repose. It is not a time of growth.
Jupiter enters Capricorn about every 12 years, but the difference this year is that Jupiter will be eclipsed in late January of 2009, as he lines up with the shadow planets Rahu and Ketu. The simplest astrological interpretation is that, for a time, growth and prosperity will remain in the shadows until Jupiter becomes free of the shadow, eclipsing planets. It is then, and only then, that the extent of the Winter of discontent will be revealed. Until that time it is anyone's guess about how deep and how long this planetary Winter will continue.
Jupiter does not leave the shadow planets until the end of 2009, but he becomes free of them for three months starting in May for a brief respite. Whether it will be a deep recession or a deep depression will not be immediately clear, but letís start by calling a Winter a Winter, not an Indian Summer. It will be clear that this Winter will be global in its reach, as we all now live in a global economy where the world will be depressively flat for everyone.
Perhaps the late Studs Turkel, author of Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression, has some insightful words of wisdom as he lived through such difficult times. ďThe lessons of the Great Depression? Donít blame yourself. Turn to others. Take part in the community. The big boys are not that bright.Ē He further insisted, ďWithout hope you cannot make it. Hope dies last.Ē
Do not let Jupiterís eclipse in Capricorn this year rob you of your hope. That would be the great tragedy of 2009. The big boys were not right about the inflated prosperity, and in all likelihood they will not be right about the depth of the deflated time to come. After all, they just told us last month that we entered a recession about this time a year ago! Hello!
Donít hunker down. Be a stand-up guy and gal for Hope in 2009. With Jupiter in the shadows for most of the year, we will all be on the lookout for an Honorary Poster Person of Hope.
I will start by nominating Barack Obama, the 44th elected U.S. President, who was born with Jupiter in Capricorn. He will bring change, but he can start by bringing Hope.
The dates you selected for our wedding and reception couldnít have been more beautiful weather-wise and more joyous heart-wise. Everyone was happy, including relatives who came from afar. Your input is always so helpful, Dennis, a must when planning meaningful events of all kinds.
Erica Helm Meade, MA, CMHC