Uranus square Pluto and
The Astrology of the Times
By Glenn Perry
The origins of the statement, “May you live in interesting times,” is reputed to be an ancient Chinese curse, though the English translation does not convey that sentiment. Whatever its origins and intended meaning, it certainly seems to apply to our current age. As of the time of this writing (Spring, 2013), Uranus square Pluto is reflecting a global economic situation that is dangerously unstable, but definitely interesting.
Uranus, of course, rules change, whereas economics falls within Pluto’s domain. When these two planets are at cross purposes, there is tension between conventional fiscal policy and changing times. All the fingers in all the dikes cannot long contain a reservoir of debt that inevitably will burst through the denials and machinations of the world banking system. At the risk of mixing metaphors, we are teetering on the edge of a fiscal cliff—everyone, that is, but China. I refer again to the Chinese curse, for at present their economy seems to be the most likely beneficiary of a western collapse.
All signs seem to be pointing that the U.S. is going the way of Greece and Europe. Our enabling government with its vast and ever increasing array of entitlements—Medicaid, Medicare, Welfare, and now Obamacare—has more than 50% of the population addicted to wanting more, more, more. And as long as we keep rolling up our sleeves to mainline those promised ‘free’ services, we will keep rolling up the debt until finally we roll right over that cliff into Greeceland. Picture excruciatingly painful withdrawal symptoms (economic austerity on steroids) as we’re coming off a 50-year heroin high that began with LBJ’s ‘great society’ and ‘war on poverty’. Johnson’s programs corresponded with—you guessed it—the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1964-1967 that made a loud clang in the middle of his administration, the reverberations from which we are still feeling—or, reeling, depending on your point of view.
Johnson’s attempt to social engineer America into a welfare state was born from the best intentions, a golden road to hell to be sure. When asked by a reporter if it was fiscally prudent to fund the Vietnam War effort and his social welfare programs at the same time he replied, “Heck yeah man, we’re rich!” Various domestic initiatives including Medicare/Medicaid were undertaken to eliminate poverty and racial injustice. Now, with Uranus forming its first square to Pluto since the conjunction, our country is virtually bankrupt from entitlement programs that Johnson either initiated or expanded. No reasonable person is suggesting they be disbanded, but virtually everyone agrees that they are not sustainable in their current form.
An opening square is a Cancer angle and, like the sign, connotes a process of reflection and restraint. Where have we come from? How are we feeling? An opening square entails putting on the brakes, turning inwards, and reversing course if necessary, just as occurs at the summer solstice. This is apt to mean initiating changes (Uranus in Aries) in the way we fund government programs (Pluto in Capricorn). As Pluto symbolizes a process of elimination (cutting, purging, purifying), and Capricorn is inherently a frugal sign, it would seem that times are ripe for cutting wasteful government spending. But this is easier said than done, especially with an incumbent Democratic administration that regards Johnson as one of their patron saints.
Since the Uranus-Pluto square will repeat itself seven times between June 2012 and March 2015, this ‘fight of the century’ is just into its first rounds. As Bette Davis famously warned, “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” By the end of the evening we may be witnessing a passing of the torch, a shifting of the world’s reserve currency from the dollar to the Yuan, a complete remaking of the global banking system, and an expiration of American economic dominance.
In the meantime, there are interesting developments on the home front, the latest of which is the so called ‘sequester’ that went into effect this past Friday, March 8th, when Saturn and Pluto were in mutual reception and forming an exact sextile. Clearly, this Saturn-Pluto super configuration has its imprimatur upon sequestration. As an idea, sequestration was part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. Across the board, automatic cuts totaling $1.2 trillion were scheduled to begin March 8th, 2013 unless a joint committee made up Republicans and Democrats could agree on better, smarter, more targeted cuts before that date. Regrettably, they could not, and so the sequester went into effect.
It is significant that despite infighting between the two parties, Congress actually made genuine, substantive spending reductions rather than more accounting gimmicks and empty promises of future cuts. This in itself is a victory, which seems to reflect the sextile between Pluto in Capricorn and Saturn in Scorpio (mutual reception). As stated, Pluto in Capricorn is consistent with cutting spending and eliminating waste within government. Saturn in Scorpio entails the same archetypal blend, but from a slightly different perspective. It signifies the proper management of fiscal matters, as in a balanced budget plan that promises to eliminate federal debt over an extended period of time.
At the time of this writing, the House has resurrected the Paul Ryan plan that is geared toward entitlement reform and a balanced budget within ten years. Again, ‘reform’ is a Uranian process, whereas budgetary cuts are consistent with Pluto in Capricorn. Meanwhile, Democrats in the Senate are proposing their own plan, which is likely to have fewer reforms and cuts, but a call for increased tax revenues—that being the difference between the two parties. And so another chapter in the ongoing budget wars of Uranus-Pluto is set to unfold.
* * * * *