AMERICA IN TRANSITION, AUGUST2009
by Jessica Murray
We are now in the final month of Eclipse Season 2009. The Full Moon this month is a Lunar Eclipse, the last of an unusual series that has had astrophiles riveted on the summer sky. It is rare to have three eclipses in a row like this, and rarity is the most telling feature of any astrological event.
One of the most fundamental premises of astrological thought, one that human beings have used to organize our experience since the beginning of time, derives from the logic of the lunar cycle. It proposes that the function of a New Moon is to begin things, which are then brought to a head by the Full Moon two weeks later. And a solar eclipse may be interpreted as an extra-intense New Moon. This means that the set up for August 5 was the extraordinary total solar eclipse of July 21.
This is a good place to start if we want to understand the revelations of the summer of 2009. Such transits are the sky’s way of helping us make sense of a world that by any other measure makes less and less sense at all.
Dead on the Money
As Pluto retrograde (death, breakdown) continues to hammer away at the USA Venus (money, values) by opposition (1), the news has been full of Depression-era statistics. Fourteen thousand jobs are lost every day; one worker in six is unemployed. Whole towns are filing for bankruptcy and government employees are being handed IOUs instead of paychecks. California has dug itself into a financial hole deep enough to swallow up the grandchildren of every surfer and Valley girl in the state.
Yet the banks are raking it in.
Far from being chastened after having created the worst global disaster in three generations, the big financial firms—the ones who inspired the pithiest coinage so far of the Pluto-in-Capricorn years: "Too big to fail"—have been trying for months to loosen accounting rules so they can hide more debt. Since Wall Street melted down last fall, these institutions have resisted every effort to correct the fraudulent practices that allowed their obscene gains. Instead they’ve continued their campaign to bribe Congressfolk (through the quasi-legal lobby system) to vote against new financial regulations. (2)
Solar Eclipse in Cancer
One of the bombshells that went off in the days before the Total Eclipse of July 21 was the news that Goldman Sachs was offering its employees billions of dollars in bonuses. The plot line wasn’t new, but the details were; and more outrageous than anyone had imagined.
To struggling ordinary Americans, the idea that these banks—made up of the top one percent of the wealthiest citizens in the country—would be announcing profits at all seemed downright indecent, given the gargantuan sums of taxpayer money they’d been handed, no-strings-attached, a few months before. And here they were, under the Dark of the Eclipse, announcing a blowout quarter.
Unsavory information started pouring forth about venerable Goldman Sachs, whose practices Paul Krugman of the New York Times called the “heads-they-win, tails-other-people-lose” approach to banking. It was well known that these white-collar con men had made billions by selling securities backed by subprime mortgages, and then billions more by selling mortgage-backed securities short, just before their value crashed. But the more information came out, the more it started to look like every bubble and subsequent bust since the Depression had been gamed by Goldman Sachs.
If American were still a small rural nation with a tradition of tarring and feathering, one would expect to hear the shouts of the townsfolk outside the window, blood in their eyes and pitchforks raised for action.
But the American public seems shell-shocked by the sheer immensity of the robbery taking place , finding it easier to focus upon sex scandals and celebrity funerals. The corporate media is either the cause or the effect of this mass myopia, depending on how you look at it.
For those of us who look for meaning not in causative but in synchronistic terms, the situation on Earth parallels what’s going on in the sky.
The greatest economic crisis in American history is occurring at the same time that the rarest planetary configurations in our lifetimes are gathering overhead. With the Super Conjunction on the US Moon (populace) (3), most people in this country appear too dazed and confused (Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter) to respond to it lucidly. But the rest of the world is watching us like a hawk.
Astrologers have been predicting for years that the dollar would not be able to hold out as the world’s reserve currency for much longer. (4) Since the Wall Street meltdown of 2008 it is more difficult than ever to imagine that Uncle Sam’s trading partners will continue to prop up our inflated greenback. In mid-June 2009, with the Sun bisecting the Saturn-Uranus opposition (5), there was a meeting between the presidents of China and Russia, and officials of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization—in which USA asked to be included but was denied admittance. Some economists have described this event as the first definitive move on the part of America’s major trading partners to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
When the matter is considered from an international perspective, it would seem only rational that other countries would feel a tad reluctant to sustain the multi-trillion-dollar federal deficits that now support America’s wars. These include its two overt military wars, its dozens of covert wars, and its economic civil war: that of the financial sector against the American people.
At this writing the last Eclipse of the summer series has not yet dawned; but we know that whatever comes to light under August skies will illuminate the truths that reared their heads at the New Moon eclipse last month.
Uranus and Pluto are only five degrees away from an exact square now; the first arm of the great Cardinal Cross is forming. The last time these two bodies squared, in 1932-4, while in the bowels of the Depression Uncle Sam launched the modern version of the Federal Reserve System. In April of ’33 the country went off the gold standard.
The much-anticipated Saturn-Pluto square in November 2009 fills out the transit picture. Associated with tyrannies (Saturn) and bald power plays (Pluto), this pair has a dark shadow. The last time they made a hard aspect was in 2001, initiating an era of dictatorial federal authority in the USA. A conscious citizenry would use this power far more responsibly.
This is why mindfulness is so important right now, on the part of every one of us. If the liberating potential of these transits is channeled by an awakened public, Pluto’s evolutionary force will be harnessed to break the calcified institutional and ideological patterns that have held America hostage. The astrological view is that all the chicanery being brought to light right now is cosmically intended to expose wrongs long in the making. Neither a company nor a country can prosper until it has uncovered the thievery of its resources; especially when it’s an in-house job.
1 This transit is active the whole calendar year of 2009, peaking March, April and May; and will be back in full force in December. After this it will incorporate the opposition to US Jupiter as well, through 2011 and 2012.
2 The career arc of former Senate aide Mark Patterson exemplifies the sleazy doings between Congress and Wall Street. Mr P. made gravy out his public service connections when he got himself hired as a lobbyist for Goldman Sachs. Then he became the Treasury Department’s chief of staff, whence he worked to quash all efforts to eliminate executive compensation at bailed-out banks.
3 See my article in the August/September issue of The Mountain Astrologer Magazine. The triple conjunction came to its first peak in late May, sustained a series of squares from transiting Venus and Mars in July, and will peak for the last time in December.
4 See Soul-Sick Nation, Jessica Murray, MotherSky Press 2008, Chapter 12.
5 This two-year transit reaches its next exactitude on September 15. It is discussed in many of the Skywatches on MotherSky.com, including January and March 09 and December 08.
Jessica Murray trained as a fine artist before graduating in 1973 from Brown University, where she studied psychology and linguistics. After a stint in political theatre in the heady early '70s, Jessica moved to San Francisco and began studying metaphysics, where she has had a full-time private practice in astrology for more than 30 years.
Her book, Soul-Sick Nation: An Astrologer's View of America, is available through her website, mothersky.com. Jessica writes a blog, a column in Daykeeper Journal and the monthly Skywatch on her website, MotherSky.com, Jessica's essays appear in The Mountain Astrologer, Astrodispath, P.S. Magazine, and other publications.Recent video and audio interviews with Jessica that address world events can be found in her podcast library. Jessica can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You'll find a complete list of Jessica's articles for Daykeeper here.