Times are changing

Friday August 13th 2010
This is from an old copy of the defunct magazineĀ Punch. I can never see the joke, but it does seem appropriate.

We had dinner with an entertainingly gloomy Irishman last night. He’s clearly enjoying the credit crunch a lot – because it means that he can wallow in deepest pessimism, which makes him strangely cheerful. So far he’s been very accurate in his economic forecasting – but then it is his job.

He’s one of those people who thinks astrologers are in general deluded, slightly sad-sack individuals who need to prop themselves up with a false set of beliefs in order to make their small lives more bearable. I hope – and indeed expect – he assumes I am bizarre exception to the usual rule.

The funny thing is though, his whole feeling about the current situation in the world reflects exactly what the planets are telling us. How annoyed he would be to know that the people making predictions closest to his own are a crazy bunch of astrologers.

I don’t think this feeling of trouble ahead is true of everyone. Unless they have already been directly effected by the crunch and its consequences, a surprising number of people still seem to be under the illusion that somehow things are going to get back to how they were in the nineties and noughties.

Henri Rousseau’s Dream, first exhibited in 1910.

It feels like all of us have been living in a big dream. This is a function of the planet of dreams and illusion, Neptune, travelling through the sign of we, the people, Aquarius, over the last ten years or so; and Uranus, Aquarius’s ruler travelling through the sign of Pisces, Neptune’s ruler. This is known as mutual reception and strengthens the impact of both planets.

Another result of this combination has been the glamourisation (Neptune/Pisces) of ordinary people (Uranus/Aquarius) – eg Big Brother, Britain’s Got Talent etceteraa etceteree.

But importantly over the last three years, this dream has softened the real impact of the credit crunch. It means we haven’t yet had to face up to cold reality. Many of us have been able to float along or scrabble along – just – without having to make any significant changes.

Transits of Neptune can be like taking Mogadon, but do we have to go cold turkey now?

Here are the dream dates.

Neptune entered Aquarius in December 1998. Last seen in Aquarius in 1834 -1848 (the year of revolutions in Europe.)
Uranus entered Pisces in January 2004. Last seen in Pisces 1920-1928.
Uranus is in Aries May – August 15, 2010, then back into Pisces until January 2011.
Neptune enters Pisces in April 2011.

Now Uranus’ foray into Aries this summer was accompanied by much fire and brimstone. (As we saw from the newspaper headlines, although it’s hard to tell these days, we’re becoming inured to natural disasters, economic crises and gulf gushers.) All the outer planets got involved in-a-once in a lifetime T-square on the first degrees of the cardinal signs.

Uranus was especially important because he was on the first degree of the first sign of the Zodiac and accompanied by the grand old man of the Solar System Jupiter, there, perhaps to wish him mazel tov and bonne route. That put Uranus right at the start of a new 84 year pilgrimage through the signs and gave us a glimpse into the future – and an inkling of what the world might be like when we wake up from our dream.

This is from Turkish Wikimedia Commons.

But the Brave New World is not quite upon us yet, because Uranus will retreat into the opiate embrace of Pisces from September to January 2011. Then – kablam!

(Last time Uranus, planet of revolution, innovation and change, was in Aries, we saw, among other things, and off the top of my head, Hitler’s putsch, the Spanish Civil War, Japan’s invasion of China. Yikes. But on the good side, we saw the crystallisation the idea of non-violent resistance led by Mahatma Gandhi. Here he is on the Salt March in April 1930.

And Neptune – well – the Fisher King is about to leave the electric energy of Aquarius to enter his own kingdom under the sea. He hasn’t been there for more than a century, so it should be fascinating. Neptune rules among other things film, fashion, glamour, illusion, oil – yes that’s petroleum oil – musicians, the muses in general. He’s also associated with Jesus and the idea of the scapegoat, sacrificing the one for the good of the many. (A recent example of this was the resignation of Pisces PM Gordon Brown. Much good it did anyone.)

So we will still, collectively, have one foot in the land of dreams, even when Uranus finally shakes off the strange embrace of Neptune and Pisces and powers into the future. Nevertheless, expect a rude awakening next year.

In short, we are in a period of transition – even if we haven’t grasped it yet. We may have made some adjustments but there will be more to come – personally and collectively. Ten years from now, we’re going to look back and say – “Wow, the world was different back then.”

And my gloomy friend? He says, just wait and see what happens when interest rates go upā€¦

Uranus has just spent this summer briefly at the beginning of Aries, in order, I suspect, to join in the Cardinal party. We’ve been given a glimpse of things to come, but thank God we don’t have to stop the tranquillisers yet; Uranus slips back into Pisces for a final fling until January next year. Then it’s a whole new world.

Why do I say that? Well, Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac. This is the beginning of a new once a century cycle for Uranus (which has an 84 year orbit). But this cycle has already been kicked off this summer with Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter, pushing Uranus into this new phase. Jupiter, planet of luck expansion and pilgrimage, actually conjoined Uranus at this first degree of Aries, as if to say mazel tov and bonne route.

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