Europe: When Bread Runs Out, Enter the Circus

Thursday May 17th 2012

About two thousand years ago, peace reigned across the Roman Empire. From Alexandria to the Hadrian’s Wall, all opposition had been crushed and people were able to trade, farm and prosper without fear of being molested by marauding barbarians.

Meanwhile, in the bustling, wealthy, multi-ethnic heart of the empire, Rome itself, the million-strong population was kept quiet with free grain and wild spectacle at the Colosseum. Aside from the odd skirmish in some of the friskier sections of the Empire, all was calm, prosperous, even orderly…

While the Pax Romana continued for about 200 years, the rulers of Rome spent their time plotting against each other, gorging until they were sick, shagging (almost anything) and murdering (mostly each other, but often just whoever was handy).

Both the Pax and the perversion may be exaggerated in historical accounts. Nevertheless, it does show that you can have a whole empire run by total crazies (like Caligula who tried to make his horse a consul) and yet it carries on. People go on selling wheat, grinding flour, baking bread, making babies, going to school, gossiping. And the empire  keeps everyone safe and reasonably well off (aside from the odd famine) all that time. What’s more you could travel from Londinium to Masada on Roman roads, using Roman baths (much of the time) and communicating in Latin.

Our leaders here in Europe must be wondering how the Romans did it. And the citizens of Europe are certainly wondering how we let the likes of Silvio Berlusconi, Nicolas Sarkozy, Tony Blair and chums run the place for so long. While the economy continued to flourish, somehow it didn’t seem to matter so much. This year’s Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee may be enough to keep the British population quiet, but those two events are not going to cut it on the continent.

The Romans would have recognised this behaviour: Give the people bread and circuses, and that will keep them quiet and happy. But when the bread runs out, watch out for the mob.

Europe is in deep trouble. There’s no getting away from that. An economic crisis has led to an identity crisis. One result has been the Occupy movement which started in Spain, another has been the rise of fascist parties from Greece to Sweden, a third has been the removal of all the parties that were in government when the crisis started – except one.

The chart for the European Union is under massive stress right now, with the Sun held in a pincer between Mars (in Virgo) and Pluto (in Cap), as Mercury (the markets) zaps the euro-cyclops right between the eyes from Taurus.

The fixed star Algol, the monster’s head, is conjunct the EU’s Moon nattily. In itself, that is rather ominous, since  Algol is associated with decapitation – the loss of leaders. The Moon in earthy Taurus in this chart signifies the people, the salt of the Earth.

The euro-Moon will be transited by the magnifier Jupiter on the day of the eclipse (May 20). This Moon, the people in a mundane chart, is the highest planet in the EU chart and it is square to Saturn in the 7th and opposite Mars in the 4th creating a very tight t-square. Saturn-Mars is a mean combination and they both send harsh beams to the Moon from strong positions, since both planets are in their home signs.

Mars in this chart signifies the army, police, law enforcement. Saturn is authority, rules, the laws, the state. It looks as if, despite being at the top of the chart, the people of Europe have been rather crushed under the heel of authority. But now, with Jupiter transiting that Moon (and in fact fortifying it the whole time he’s been in Taurus) the people have been flexing what little muscle they have at the ballot box. Almost every single leader has been replaced in the past year except the most important one, German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Meanwhile, transiting Saturn, which brings restriction, has been bouncing between the EU’s Venus (money) and Jupiter (plenty). Currently, Saturn Rx is at 23° Libra, sending a direct trine to its own position in Aquarius in the natal chart and to transiting Venus Rx. Together these three points are creating a grand trine in air, which is holding still this week and next because of the retrograde motion of the planets.

We can expect that the idealistic partnership (Saturn in the 7th in Aquarius) will be strengthened through talks (Venus in Gemini, Saturn in Libra). This is a positive aspect. But will this strengthening actually be beneficial for the future of the EU?

The first hit of the Pluto-Uranus square is at 8° Capricorn-Aries on June 26. We’re already completely in this zone now because these planets are so heavy duty.  This will sextile-inconjunct the EU Sun at 8° Scorpio. The inconjunct from Uranus (revolution) in Aries (beginnings) is awkward and that particular angle always means that something’s got to give; something has to change. On the other hand, the sextile from powerful Pluto in steady Capricorn is both dynamic and easy. This suggests that there will be change in the EU’s core make-up, and it will be radical.

Mars is currently transiting Virgo in the EU’s second house of income – and the planet of the sharp knife has been there all year, an unusually long time. Surgery has been performed on the EU finances, but cuts are not enough. On the day of the eclipse (May 20) Mars will be sextiling the EU Sun and on the day of the Uranus-Pluto square it’ll be sextiling the natal Pluto.

I think Greece is going to leave the EU. Pluto-Mars suggests a necessary operation, like the removal of a cancer.

You may notice that the EU is having a nodal return this summer. The North Node is returning to the spot  where it was on the day the Union was born. This marks a new direction in a person’s life, the end of one phase and the beginning of the next. One chapter is closing for the EU.

Actually, brioche would do nicely.
Here’s some by Chardin.

Then in the autumn, Saturn, which rules foundations, is going to cross the bottom of the EU chart  suggesting a restructuring may take place over the following two and half years as Saturn hits the huge EU Scorpio stellium. There needs to be both bottom up and top down reform of the Union, including a complete rethink of what Europe is about and what the EU is for.

Right now Venus Rx, which rules values, is sending a very elegant beam from the sign of mind, Gemini, to the natal Saturn and also to natal Venus and transiting Saturn. There could be no clearer signal that the Union needs to rethink its fundamental values. That needs to take place right now.


The mob (that’s us) needs to be fed some bread, because we’ve had enough of circuses.

For more on Europe and the euro:
Euro Trashed
Eurozone: The Leadership Void
Oh Rose Thou Art Sick
Greece, Archipelago of Dreams (Take a look at where the Uranus-Pluto square hits this chart)
Liberté, Egalité, Identité

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  1. Link says:

    Great post Christina. We live in interesting times. Especially liked the glib truth of: “Nevertheless, it does show that you can have a whole empire run by total crazies”. Indeed.

  2. pirateway says:

    Yes true, but the Circus cannot last forever… In a determined and specific moment, Circus must end… And if you have no bread, riots can happen…

    The real problem is what you said in another post, entitled: “Eurozone: The Leadership Void”, it is the Leadership void the real problem, the real knot that lead to riots…

  3. Christina says:

    For Euope, I am worried about civil unrest, the rise of fascism and ultimately conflict, although I’m hoping we avoid the last two. Civil unrest has already been happening of course, and will resurge in the summer months. Fascism is already here, most notably in the shape of Marine Le Pen, and conflict… well we need to work really hard not to let that happen.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The people have been trained to believe in improving standards of living, of advancement. This is being reversed and is contrary to social/political expectation among the population.

    The politicians have allowed businesses and large organisations to take over, and these large bodies are only interested in their own well being.

    Its a contradiction.

  5. Christina says:

    Dear Anon – All good points. Pluto in Cap is exactly about these megacorps – but will they get stronger or weaker? Since astrology works in polarities, it could go either way.

    Yes, we are all trained to see history as a linear progression & maybe it’s not that straightforward. Rome came and went, the Pharaohs lasted 3000 years or so but eventually they went. But also, as a species, we make two steps forward and one step back, in the same way that we do as individuals.