Punch Drunk Britain

Friday February 8th 2013

(This is the second part of my piece on the UK. There is much more to say, but for now, this will suffice.)

Sometimes it feels like Britain is a boxer still upright after 10 rounds but punch drunk: standing up because of a combination of will power and show business. One blow after another has knocked our confidence in the establishment and the systems that run society.

For most people in Britain, the deepest underlying questions are about the economy. As a nation we are massively in debt. How are we going to get out of this?  And what is it exactly that we do to earn money?

The two key houses to look at for economic questions are the second house of income, and the eighth house of debt. Clearly Saturn, the planet of restriction, going through the house of income for the coming two years means tough times ahead. Belts will be tightened. But it may also indicate a tightening of rules, and a better organisation of money and banking.

Printing money has its limitations (no kidding), the soon-to-be new head of the Bank of England said yesterday. Like the archbishop, he comes into office with Jupiter still in the 9th house of priestsMoney is the modern religion. The head of the Bank of England, its high priest.

When the Big Bang took place in 1986, tr Uranus, the planet of explosions, free markets and electronics, was conjuncting the UK natal Mercury who, of course, rules markets, in Sagittarius, the sign of expansion and big ideas. The Big Bang essentially did two things. It deregulated the financial markets in London, and it computerised them.

The initial result of these changes was the rise of the financial sector as an economic driver in the UK. Since so many other industries had gone to the wall, it seemed to be something of a godsend – here was an industry that was truly world class. Then came the banking crisis, the collapse of RBS and Northern Rock, the Libor scandal, the revelations of tumescent pay-packets. And the realisation that those pay-packets had made London unaffordable for nurses, teachers, tradespeople, and anyone working in publishing, and this inflation of property prices had rippled out across the country.
The UK progressed Moon is also back where it was during the Big Bang, in the 8th house of debt. The pr Moon is on a 27-year-cycle. In a human life, this lunar return is a Janus moment, when you look back at your life and you look forward, and you ask yourself: “Is it worth going on?” (Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janice Joplin thought not.)  I’m not suggesting that the deregulated City of London is about to OD on smack, but it could be a moment when the rules change. What comes after the Lunar Return is always the Saturn Return, which is a time of taking responsibility for one’s actions. Perhaps the City will finally do that. (Much eye-rolling in the office. ed)
Pluto’s imminent move into the fourth house of property may well have an affect on housing prices. These are unsustainably high, unless we sell the whole country to the Bank of Qatar.  Pluto transits can be empowering but they can be fatal. The Sun in Capricorn (large international institutions) in the fourth could also represent the immense clout of the banks which underwrite political power in Britain. In a worst case scenario, Pluto conjuncting the Sun could represent a quiet takeover by plutocrats as the country sinks under its debt (also ruled by Pluto).
I realise I could write a book about this, but I’m going to curb my enthusiasm and simply try to point out where a couple of Britain’s economic strengths are.

For a start, arms dealing has been a big money-maker for Britain for centuries. That would be Mars (war) ruling the second house of income. But yuck, who wants to earn a living creating machines of death. The other obvious money-maker is imagination: Neptune in the second. Britain’s creative industries are our meal ticket: specifically those that explore childhood, darkness and vision. That’ll be Venus and Pluto in the fifth and Neptune in Scorpio. (Sounds a bit like the opening ceremony of the Olympics.)

Saturn contacting that Neptune could be putting these industries – film, publishing, gaming – on a more solid footing.

There is much more to say, but I think I’ll stop and see what you have to say. I’ll be taking a week off but do go ahead and comment. The new system means you should be able to get your comment published as long as you’re a real human being.

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  1. What Britain does have, as you say, is imagination, creativity and initiative, and while that will not return the country to its past ‘greatness’, it will help to maintain national confidence until new forms of earning revenue emerge (going out on a limb there!!).
    I should point out that I live in Spain, where there is a spectacular lack of imagination, creativity and initiative, and now that the housing boom is over and Spain is in the process of pricing itself out of the tourism market, I worry as to how the economy can be redeveloped successfully. So my message is – don’t worry, Britain, you have the can-do spirit to recover – I don’t know if Spain does, or at least not for a few decades.

    • Christina says:

      One of the thing I didn’t go into is the disastrous and destructive tinkering with education by successive governments. I’d put that down, astrologically, to Pluto’s transit through the third. All is not lost, of course, but it’s had quite a detrimental effect on a generation or so.

      So the creativity is certainly there, but it lacks firm foundation.

  2. Christina says:

    Just a note on the current transit of Jupiter through Gemini. As you know, it’s just gone forward. So I’ve written a very wordy article that needs to come in two parts.

  3. Vanessa says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Vanessa says:

    Thanks Christina for these articles. Very good indeed and has taught me a bit more about British history too.

    Did you write anything as detailed as this about the US? Would you? I’d be interested in hearing your take on the US chart too.

    I definitely see the gift that is the imagination, creativity and imagination that comes from the UK. I can see it in the American TV, as they often remake or copy British shows, or just become mad fans as is the case with Downton Abbey. So I believe the UK has a lot to offer the world in terms of its creativity.
    Again great article!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Great work Christina, fascinating integration of geopolitics economics and social inputs with the astrological overlay

    could you expand a little on the pluto in the fourth house of property or even a dedicated article on it, particulary as it’s such a key focus for people (englishmens’ castles)

    • Anonymous says:

      I quite often find in my search that rents are on average twice what the payable business rates are – plus some rounding-up. Also I have discovered that rates and rents are not equal across the country. The barn I was talking about is two story but run down. I was looking at a two story ex-wharehouse in bournemouth. The rent is cheaper than the asking rent on the barn, the business rates are cheaper in bournemouth and the building itself was in much better nick than the barn. Not only this but good old bournemouth has a catchment of 400,000+. Doesnt make sense.

      Coming back to low interest rates. There is a big problem for us all. yes mortgage payers enjoy their payment not going up, but, as double entry book-keeping if you take from one side it has to be added to the other just to balance – you know. So this is the reason why inflation is running at 8 per cent (although the government will not admit to this). In effect young, old, poor, those renting, those homeless are all subsidising the low interest rate and paying toward someones mortgage.

      The currency war that has been started by Japan and unofficially joined by britain has seen ten per cent reduction in the value of the pound this year but has only brought a 0.1 increase in exports. Have you heard of something called Money Supply Growth (MSG). This is what managers and bosses have their wages tied to. They always get pay increases in double figures as a consequence of the linkage. Year upon year. Meanwhile us poor shmucks are convinced by propaganda that wages should rise in line with inflation – at best. This year alone wages should really increase by 18 per cent for everyone.

    • Christina says:

      Yes and I believe the local councils are in on the game too. For example, I live in a well-heeled suburb, but on my high street (which is one block long) there are six charity shops, a Tesco, a Co-op, a Sainsbury’s and M&S – oh and several coffeshop chains. No real person can afford to rent a shop here, because of the business rates and the high rents. The charities get reduced rates so they fill up the space. But If I want to buy a nail, or a lightbulb, or an onion from a grocer, I have to drive somewhere.

    • Anonymous says:

      Low interest rates are a double edged sword. The house price may be low but banks a not doing business with other banks and this is another factor that is crippling the economy.

      High asset prices (this includes houses) is stopping progress. This couple with shrinking wages which has been happening for thirty years or more. The trouble is that the 90 per cent have been by propaganda convinced that its prices that need to be kept low. Not that wages need to increase. I heard this week that the top 10 per cent have got a 120 per cent of the wealth Where does that leave everyone else. Now even macdonalds is complaining that their happy meals are not selling as noone can afford them.

      Personal story coming up 🙂 I live in west wales. You would think that due to the big distance from the south east of England that asset prices would be cheaper. Not so. There is an old barn I wanted to rent to set up a craft business. The barn has not been let for years. You would imagine that the landlord would jump at renting out the barn. But what happened is more like Estate agent: make an offer that you think you can afford. Next day Estate agent: That was too low and the landlord has someone else who wants to rent. I will more than likely get back to you and then we can negotiate a rent that is accetable to both. ME: that was my highest offer Estate agent: Oh. And so that was the end of that dream. The point is around here there is little money at the best of times and times like these … but estate agents and landlords are still operating a price fixing cartel where they deliberately keep the prices high. Mind you the welsh are the type to cut of their nose to spite there face. Its our way or the high way. No matter what the personal cost to the landlords of business premises. They dont have the chinese philosophy of better something than nothing.

    • Christina says:

      I have to admit it concerns me personally too, anon.

      As with all astrology, it could go either way – an explosion of value or a collapse. However, you and I both know that housing is very highly valued at the moment here, especially in London and the South-East. The difference between the average wage and the average house price is wider than it’s ever been. This is bound to be challenged by Pluto’s entry into the fourth – which has only just begun. That plus the transit of Saturn through the second don’t bode too well.

      The thing that worries me about this is the fact that so much personal debt is built on the high value of property. People have been led to believe that they are richer than they are in reality. Pluto, of course, rules debt.

      On the other hand, this is a small island with a limited amount of housing, so property is bound to be reasonably expensive. But on the third hand (Kali here), central London which fuels prices in the South-east and beyond has been partly bought up by foreign investors – who get an easier ride from the taxman than we do. Uranus’s transit through the seventh might suggest that foreign friends are less reliable than they use to be.

      And on the fifth hand, there are the low low interest rates that we have had forever. If the rates had been allowed to rise, many people would have lost their houses already. Remember the late 1980s and negative equity. Rates went up to 15%. We have a new head of the Bank of England.

      I am keeping my eye on Jupiter’s opposition to Pluto at 9° in August and then twice in 2014.

      Finally, there is the question of the value of land (the fourth house is also the land itself). Will the value of land explode? While the value of housing collapses? It’s happened before. Pluto’s transit through the fourth is a long one. There will be years of this testing, so you can be certain that how the land lies in 20 years or so will be quite different than how it is now. This is investing for your children.

  6. P says:

    I’d love your take on Canada while you’re at it 😀