The Lord of Wealth: Pluto in Capricorn
Three things are changing right now that will have an affect on every single citizen of this planet. They are the global economy, the climate and power.
I’m writing this as the Lunar Eclipse in Libra completes, and Pluto, the planet of transformation appears to stand still in the sky. The Lord of the Underworld is “stationing retrograde” at 13°35 Capricorn.
Pluto will not move on a single minute until April 22, reversing then into 13°34. So Pluto is in position right now ready to face a challenge from Jupiter on April 20, Uranus on April 21, and from Mars on April 22. Come and get it…
Pluto is associated with wealth, with capital — not with money, that is the realm of Venus. Pluto controls assets, Venus goes shopping. Plouton means wealth in Greek, that’s why we talk about rule by a wealthy elite as a plutocracy.
The capitalist system under which most of us live was born some time around 500 years ago in the early modern period, but it really started to kick with the dawn of the Industrial Revolution — about 240 years ago. This fits roughly with cycle of the planet Pluto through Capricorn. The last time Pluto was in Capricorn was during the 1770s and before that the 1520s.
Last time Pluto was in Capricorn some important switches in ownership of various portions of our globe took place. America won independence, but meanwhile in India and China, the reverse was happening.
The British East India Company was a private enterprise so powerful that it had its own army, its own ports and eventually its own states in India. In 1772, Warren Hastings, a poor boy who had worked his way up through the ranks of the Company, became the first Governor of Bengal, appointed by the Crown. In other words what had been a private company became an arm of the British government that year. In 1773, the Company got a corner on opium grown in Bengal and began smuggling it to China. This led to a terrible epidemic of drug addiction in China and eventually China’s forced entry into trade agreements with the West.
India would be under the British yoke until 1947; China would be locked into trade agreements with the UK for more than a hundred years, and the consequent secession of territory lasted much longer.
So we see a transnational corporation with more power than most governments (sound familiar) the loss of the American colony, released the manpower and weaponry needed to take on India and China — and, of course, colonise Australia, a process which also began under Pluto in Capricorn. And China and India brought into the capitalist system. In short, a massive shift in global power took place at that time, which played out slowly over the next 200 years. In fact Capitalism. Without the global trade created by imperialism, all the factories of the Industrial Revolution back in Manchester and Leeds and Birmingham would not have had enough raw materials or markets. The British Empire was a massive expansion of capitalism, a huge rocket: UK plc was born under Pluto in Capricorn.
Pluto in Capricorn: watch what is happening to capitalism. The banking crisis began as soon as Pluto went into Capricorn in 2008. But the bankers did not pay. In fact what we have seen is the greatest concentration of wealth in the hands of the fewest in more than a century in the developed world. This growing inequality has been happening since the 1980s, but when Pluto went into Capricorn it accelerated.
(A caveat here. You only have to travel a little to find that in many, many poorer countries things are better than they were in the 1980s: there is better health and a growing educated population.)
We have the Occupy movement (Uranus in Aries) to thank for familiarising all of us with the idea of the “one-percent”.
The French economist Thomas Piketty has shown that assets generate more money than labour. In other words, owning a flat is going to earn you a better income than making something and selling it. Since the latter is the engine of traditional capitalism, this is a problem. Piketty’s data is making waves with economists right now because it stands the usual model of capitalism on its side. If you just have stuff, you end up with a so-called rentier economy, like the one that led up to the French Revolution. Not good.
Now money equals power. One of the jobs of democratic government is to stop the rich from having all the power. There has to be a separation between political power and financial power. Pluto doesn’t like that. Without good legislation and a decent court system, every time a wealthy person committed a crime, she would be able to buy her way out of jail. In other words, no law and order.
So we need Jupiter to ensure justice. Right now Jupiter is in Cancer, the sign, among other things, of the mother country, patriotism, the nation, opposing Pluto.
Now law and order is in part a social contract between the members of a community. We could never have enough policemen to stop us if we all decided to live lives of crime, so we all have to agree not to do that — and expect some people to break that agreement. But what happens if the very people who are supposed to be preventing crime are, in fact, the criminals? We end up with a place run by gangsters, say Russia or Zimbabwe. All the power and all the money concentrated in the hands of a few families. Pluto again, and Pluto does also rule both crime and crime-busting.
So in this Cardinal Cross, we have Uranus, the spirit of individual freedom, Jupiter, the spirit of justice and Mars lining up against Pluto. How does Mars fit into this brew? Mars is currently in Libra, the sign of justice and law, fairness and equality. Although Mars is no match for Pluto in the long term, he can easily square up to him now — and win. Mars fights battles, Pluto fights wars. Mars in Libra is strength in the service of the law and of fairness.
We need this Cardinal Cross to balance the power of Pluto in Capricorn.
This fortnight between the two eclipses is special. This era is special. What is happening now is so huge, it is likely only with hindsight that we will be able to see it clearly. In 200 years, an astrologer will be able to say. “That Cardinal Cross in April 2014 was a pivotal moment for capitalism because the consequences were thus and thus…”
Right now, it’s the privilege of astrology to simply be able to feel the cogs changing.
(A discussion of climate is for another post.)