Monday, 22 December 2008

Italy :2009-2012

My Europe theme continues with Italy and this time my chosen artwork is a Fazzino of Venice.

In the 1990s I spent a lot of time travelling to and form Italy on business. As a result I love the Italian country, its people and culture but in general am sceptical about its economic stability.

The chart for the country is not reassuring. A conjunction of the Sun Mercury and Neptune at the base of the chart suggests that it is difficult to construct anything solid there without finding oneself immersed in a mire of either paperwork or, worse, deception. The country also has Uranus almost conjunct its Descendant and square Saturn. It doesn’t adapt easily to change, and opposition to the state is all part of the way of life. It really isn’t an easy country to run.

One of the key points to note is that a major progressed aspect between the sun and natal mars and Jupiter is now separating, indicating that Italy may be moving away from the leadership style and economic practices of the last few year and into new territory.

The August eclipse this year happened on Italy’s progressed Mars and subsequent lunations have picked up the Sun Neptune conjunction and the Moon at 25 Taurus. One of the more significant country charts – especially in Europe. Unsurprisingly, given Italy’s continuing struggles to meet budget targets etc, Italian bonds are suffering with the financial crisis more than many others in Europe.

At present we see Neptune on the progressed MC of the chart, suggesting things might come out of the woodwork soon as it moves on. The Saturn/Uranus/Jupiter configuration has been activating the country’s Mars and creating some tension within the leadership ( quincunx to progressed Sun Jupiter)

The December 2008 aspects continue into 2009 with the final Neptune aspect to the progressed Mc. The situation is very mixed in the early months, there is definite weakness with Neptune opposing the progresed Mars and squaring the Moon – and emotionally draining time but this compensated to some extend by a trine between Saturn and Mars and an excellent restructuring and development aspect in the form of Pluto trine progressed Jupiter.

However any relaxation will be short lived. April through June, dominated by the Neptune Jupiter conjunction cannot be ignored in Italy. Saturn is conjunct progressed Venus and square Uranus, restraining any feelings of comfort, Uranus conjoins the Neptune Sun – so that people might start demanding new leadership, and the major conjunction itself opposes Mars- suggesting too much trade/liquidity and imbalance. Expect increased pressure on Italy as a member of the Euro and EU and on its commercial enterprises.

July is a little more stable as the progressed Moon briefly sextiles progressed Jupiter and Saturn, but in August we see a key moment as Jupiter crosses the progressed MC. However it should be noted that Pluto is sextile Neptune, a moderating influence and one that might start to lead to long term changes in the country, albeit gradually.

September is a time of drama – Jupiter opposing Jupiter, progressed Sun and square Mars, might see everyone out on the streets, although with a trine to the progressed Ascendant it will all happen in the most Italian of ways. It is accompanied however by a brief opposition between the progressed Moon and Pluto. Power to the people, but not with the most sensible of intentions.

By October the country is definitely in a recessionary state with Saturn opposing Neptune, and the government won’t be able to make a decision about what to do next which means more focus on the Italian government and its opposition , none of which looks to be very constructive. All in all a lot of debate, posturing and declarations but not much in the way of workable policy.

Jupiter returns to the progressed MC in December as Neptune continues square Mars. Everyoen wants change, no one can do anything about it.

Although the trends of 2009 won’t end, the first couple of montsh of 2010 don’t look too bad. Indeed with Pluto starting a 3 year period trine Saturn and the progressed Jupiter it has the first chance for a long time to make workable economic reforms.

Jupiter again opposes progressed Jupiter in February raising the temperature again, and leading to some outspoken views ( Uranus conjunct Mercury as the same time). The aspects of summer 2009 return for another look in the light of the potential reforms but the recession ( Saturn opposing Neptune) shows no sign of abating.

April really does bring impetus for change as Jupiter is square the progressed Uranus and Ascendant as well as opposite Venus. But Jupiter does its chart rounds every 12 years, obviously we need something more.

And in May Saturn conjoins the MC. This is not good for any leader, even less so when Jupiter and Uranus are transiting a Neptune Sun IC conjunction. Summer 2010 is likely to result in some dramatic changes in the Italian government. Indeed the picture looks explosive. The cardinal cross is close to the IC of Italy, and that Neptune signature. Expect revelations, resignations and re-evaluations at all levels. Any doubts that Italy will be a focus at this time, must be dismissed- in August and September the progressed Moon squares the progressed Sun and MC. Change is inevitable for the whole country.

The aspects repeat in October through December so don’t suggest that resolution to issues is found over night – things will drag on, economic weakness ( Neptune opposing Mars) will continue and with progressed Mars increasingly moving to oppose the progressed MC, there may be violent outbreaks.

The beginning of 2011 is better. We still have the powerful Uranus Jupiter aspect shaking things up but the Pluto trine to Saturn suggests it is for the best in the long term and the Saturn trine Uranus aspect suggests that this continues to be a rare chance for Italy to raise its game.

In fact in April there is a rather positive Jupiter sextile to the progressed MC and Mars, a sign of positive leadership (hopefully but not necessarily democratically elected). May/June is a bit mixed as people adjust to the changes and adopt a “let’s see what happens next” attitude.

July through to September provides the country with even more of that very positive restructuring medicine- could it be that Italy has received funding from outside only on the agreement that it makes certain changes?

October is a bit of the past mixed with optimism fro the future with some nice stable ( yes really!) Saturn and Jupiter aspects to the progressed Sun. The Moon crosses the country’s Ascendant axis in November, suggesting that things have reached a turning point.

The country is very close to having progressed Jupiter conjoining its natal Saturn. This really is a sign of consolidation and an extremely rare occurrence in a national chart. Hopefully Italy are making use of it by this time. It is an ill wind…… and perhaps Italy can make use of the global crisis to do things that would not be possible alone.

The year starts as 2011 ended, not wholly positive but sufficiently so. Restructuring continues throughout and I won’t keep repeating it.

In May there is another outbreak of drama and debate ( Jupiter again in aspect to Jupiter & Mars and the progressed Sun and a progressed Moon opposing Uranus).

In August, we reach another key turning point and Jupiter first transits Uranus and then crosses the Descendant in the first of three passes over the coming months. Relations with other nations will be important during this time but, though not necessarily without incident, the general feel of the chart is that the positive changes are continuing. Maybe Italy gets not just outside money but outside help in its actions.

Whatever the nature of the changes, they are still continuing at the end of 2012, and at that point so far so good.

Chart Notes
Italy: 17 March 1861 NS midnight in Turin local time. Source N Campion Book of World Horoscopes.
Relocated to Rome current capital.

Spain :2009-2012

It is back to Europe for my December posts. And we start with Spain. I have also departed from my pattern of using photos for each post, instead this month I am using an art theme. My Spanish picture is El Greco's view of Toledo.

The chart for Spain, that I have chosen to use dates from 1479. Although it is not a chart with a known time, it is a convincing one. It is characterised by some major aspects between the outer planets ( a conjunction of Uranus and Neptune sextile Pluto) and a trine between Jupiter and Saturn. That is quite a combination and it is not surprising the country has maintained its independence, although not of course without problems, since. As you will see this may give it a resilience or dispassionate feel that precludes some of the events elsewhere.

As of 2008 Spain was undergoing a Saturn return; these are trials for young nations but with one every 30 years of so I think we can assume Spain is getting the hang of them by now. However progressed Saturn is within orb of Pluto which can make the returns more difficult especially when accompanied by hard Pluto aspects such as the approaching 2009 Pluto square.

All this, paired with the end of a square between Neptune and Jupiter which started in 2007, and a corresponding progressed Sun/Jupiter conjunction, indicate that the good times are over and Spain is in for a period of difficult entrenchment. Nevertheless it should be bourne in mind that the country is hard-wired for such situations and more likely than most to survive them. As we will see, as a result, it appears the Spanish will just shrug off the financial events and just accept whatever is thrown their way.

At present we have the Saturn Uranus opposition at 19-21 degrees of Virgo/Pisces. This actually makes favourable aspects to the country’s progressed Sun and natal Venus and its Jupiter ( which as mentioned is trine Saturn). So things are bad but the people are still in a positive frame of mind.

The start of 2009 is characterised by the Pluto square, indicating severe recession in some areas: presumably construction given the bursting of the real estate bubble, and banking. However Saturn still makes some positive aspects and in February Uranus sextile Jupiter and Venus, it really suggests financial restraint but not crisis.

March is more tricky; the Saturn return is exact and Neptune quincunxes natal Saturn. The effects of this run right through to the summer. It will be a time of adjustment but again not critical. Of course this makes sense; we really may well have to wait until Spain’s tourist season to see the real picture of the economy.

In April /May when the world will probably be facing some significant currency issues, Spain’s position is mixed. For sure it is dramatically shaken by outside events : Uranus is opposite its Saturn, but we don’t have the situation here that some other country’s seem to show. The Neptune conjunction is widely sextile the Moon, definitely not bad at all, and the progressed Moon makes only positive aspects in May. So Spain will be pulled into other matters but the people and government will still go on much as to date.

In July Saturn passes its return position for the last time and this likely to be accompanied by some bad economic stats. August is decidedly shaky with Uranus opposing progressed Saturn again and squaring Venus, but September suggests that there is some good news as the progressed Moon conjoins Jupiter and trines Venus. It seems that the Spanish are more philosophical about economic problems than many other countries.

However, that does not mean that the problems do not exist. Indeed in October and November with the progressed Saturn return and Pluto square the reality of a major recession becomes clear. This leaves the people in a temporary state of uncertainty and confusion as the Neptune/Jupiter conjunction squares the progressed Moon in December.

The themes of contraction and restructuring continue. Even so, the new year brings some optimism with Jupiter/Neptune sextile the natal moon and Saturn trine the progressed Moon.

In March the progressed Moon crosses the Ascendant, suggesting that concern is being more openly expressed (although we should note that this is not a timed chart and the importance of this may therefore be overstated). However April shows continued positive aspects with Jupiter trine the progressed sun, and Uranus sextile the progressed Moon. It is not until May that we see much excitement, when the progressed Moon opposes natal Neptune and Uranus and Saturn squares the natal moon. At last it seems the people are demanding change, albeit in a relatively passive way.

June through September is characterised by the cardinal square. In Spain’s chart it is Pluto which is most affected. Saturn conjoins it, Uranus and Jupiter oppose it and Pluto square’s it. Of course this also means that Jupiter and Uranus are trine the natal Neptune/Uranus and Saturn sextile them. So on the one hand we have probably one of the most significant economic situations in the history of the country, but the country is able to adapt. I haven’t looked at any Latin American countries yet but it is possible that the benefits of Spain’s trade with them will outweigh other negatives.

September to December is a little trickier. With some difficult moon aspects to the outer planets and Jupiter and Uranus returning again to opposition with Saturn which will certainly shake up the status quo even further.

The picture in early 2011 until February is for more of the same and particular the conditions of August 2010. Saturn conjoins the chart’s progressed Ascendant in March but again is accompanied by positive aspects to Neptune and Uranus which last into April. Even the fact that we are by this time in a Neptune square cannot be viewed too negatively – lack of direction does not seem to faze in Spain.

The summer seems to be characterised by matters relating to the leadership but with Saturn trine the Sun and Jupiter sextile it don’t expect any dramatic changes, rather a consolidation of the current position.

September through December shows a continuation of the trends. Uranus is trine Uranus and the progressed Mars- a time for action but there is not too much evidence of it being confrontational. There is a Jupiter square to Mars in October and a Uranus opposition to Pluto in November, which might suggest a desire to challenge but since it is accompanied by more trines and sextiles involving Neptune Uranus and Jupiter it is difficult to believe that any significant internal conflict will result.

And early 2012 looks like continuing to represent a lack of progress coupled with mild discontent but nothing more exciting than that. A Jupiter square to the Sun in March suggests some leadership issues but again not much change. And a progressed Moon conjoining progressed Venus in April suggests a party feel.

A mix of stability and general apathy seems to dominate through the summer as Neptune squares Uranus and progressed Mars.

A Saturn square to the natal Sun at the end of 2012 is one of the hardest aspects of the whole 4 years and might constitute a challenge to the leadership but given the general drift of the populace it is difficult to see much drama here.

Source: Spain 19 January 1479 (OS) , time unknown set for 12.00 Local time Madrid.

N Campion Book of World Horoscopes

Monday, 8 December 2008

Russia: to 2012

Although the focus will be on the economics of the coming years, I am starting this post with a brief discussion of the chart I am using for Russia.

I am sticking to only the Russian country chart, partly due to time constraints and partly due to the difficulties in identifying a chart for the Rouble. The currency has been in existence for hundreds of years and though there are dates for its revaluation in the last century, they don’t seem to add much to the country chart. The Central bank charts say very little about the currency as they merely mirror political changes. So it is back to the country chart itself

There are so many charts to chose from as Russia has gone through some quite dramatically different incarnations- at least politically. However I have stuck to my principle and chosen the earliest chart identified in Nick Campion’s book of world horoscopes: from 1613. But it would be lazy to select a chart on a principle alone; what convinced me of the validity of this one as a representation of the Russian nation was its relationship to the events that preceded it in October/November 1612.

The question that then arises is “is it still relevant today?” The answer is most definitely yes.
The chart has a number of interesting configurations. Its Uranus square Jupiter Neptune was activated when Saturn opposed Neptune at the time of the foundation of the USSR in 1922, and resonated to the Uranus/Neptune/Saturn conjunction in Capricorn in 1989-91 that ended that period.

The Saturn Sun conjunction in 1613 was repeated in the late 1990s as the progressed Sun finally returned to progressed Saturn after nearly 400 years. This aspect coupled with a sextile between progressed Mars and natal Pluto, and a positive aspect between the Midheaven and Ascendant resulted in the appointment of Putin. It is interesting to note that he is expected to return to his position in a few years as progressed Mars will reach the natal Sun by 2011/12.

The financial crisis of 1998 is shown in the chart by a combination of factors: Saturn transits Pluto, suggestion a major restriction of the internal accumulation of power and money, but more important in an international context is the transit of Neptune across the progressed Descendant coupled with the Jupiter opposition to the Russian Neptune.

It is interesting to note that some of the same planetary factors are being activated again now.

Neptune in 2008 is trine Uranus and progressed Jupiter and quincunx natal Jupiter, which, by itself, is somewhat ephemeral but not necessarily serious. Until recently Russia was basking in the benefits of an inflated oil price. However in the last couple of month transiting Uranus has been opposed by Saturn and together they are square Mars and Saturn is conjoining natal Jupiter while Uranus is conjoining natal Saturn. This is one country that is really being hit by this first Saturn Uranus opposition. And unfortunately the benefit of a supporting Jupiter is beginning to weaken as it moves towards the end of Capricorn. The rest of December looks like more of the same problems.

In January 2009 neither Saturn nor Uranus have moved much- indeed Saturn is stationed and retrograde over the same degrees for the next couple of months. February when they are exactly opposite maybe very tricky in Russia.

On the other hand Neptune transits again opposite Jupiter, and it is possible that the eclipses at the end of January and early February cause a change in direction in some markets. Jupiter crosses the progressed Descendent and progressed Moon in early February adding to the drama.

By March when Uranus opposes Jupiter and squares Uranus the pieces are already in place for the events of April and May when Jupiter conjoins Neptune and Chiron. In the Russian chart the planets which are being picked up by Jupiter Neptune and Uranus in these months are Jupiter Neptune and Uranus. If there is one country then that is most likely to directly resonate to the forthcoming conjunction it is Russia. As mentioned elsewhere the influence of this configuration is felt over the whole summer and again in December through February 2009. A resolution of any events in spring/early summer can’t therefore be expected quickly.

There are some changes of emphasis as Saturn returns to its square with mars and opposition with Saturn in August, suggesting some internal conflict and repression in the country, and in September when Saturn squares Uranus and transits natal Jupiter, the enforcement of new regulations. The corresponding progressed moon sextile progressed Sun Mercury conjunction suggests that this is acceptable to both government and people.

Because of the continued persistence of the Neptune Jupiter conjunction it si not surprising to note that November and December see more upsets though, as Uranus squares Uranus and opposes Jupiter again.

Although the themes continue into 2010, a new element enters the frame. The transiting Saturn Pluto square does not quite reach the Russian progressed Saturn but it is close enough for its effects to be felt in terms of the need to restructure the organisations of the country. It is also the beginning of a two to three year trine between Pluto and natal Pluto and therefore an opportunity to reorganise and build strength.

February/March is therefore a potential turning point. Jupiter crosses the MC but also the Sun and progressed Mars conjunction, suggesting focus on the leadership ( whether that means change of leader or merely a more forceful approach by the incumbent is harder to identify).

In April and May 2010 we are likely to see some forceful action being taken. The Uranus and Neptune transits to progressed Neptune suggest that the Russian economy is still dealing with the effects of 2009. May is particularly critical as Jupiter joins Uranus in trining the Russian natal moon as well as opposing Neptune, it is a moment which captures the identity of the Russian people.

June is not particularly different in nature and the focus is then in July and August on the perfection of the cardinal cross. As mentioned the only planets that are even slightly picked up by this in the Russian chart are progressed Saturn and natal Pluto. Heavy planets but not a close aspect and it is likely that background restructuring continues to go on in the country and it watches events elsewhere with some element of detachment.

Although Saturn opposes progressed Saturn in September, it is accompanied by a gentle Neptune transit to the progressed Moon and Uranus. A mixed picture which continues in October and November when the Uranus Jupiter conjunction continues to shake things up economically but not, I think, politically.

Saturn opposing the progressed MC in November is tougher and the incumbent administration may find December tricky; as the Jupiter Uranus conjunction continues at the same time as Saturn opposes the progressed Sun and Mercury: possibly creating difficulties with the leadership situation.

The leadership difficulties of late 2011 continue into early 2011. In fact for January and February whilst Saturn is stationed, no real progress can be expected before March.

March, or more probably April, is a key time. Although we still see the Saturn influence, Jupiter transits in opposition breaking up any stale situations, forcing everything out into the open and generally resolving any disputes one way or the other. This is reinforced by the transit of Uranus stationed on natal Saturn from June. I would assess this as being good fro the country in the longer term although disruptive at the time. The Jupiter transit to Pluto in July followed by a transit to the Midheaven in August and September as Pluto trines Pluto, imply a the start of a positive restructuring by the end of September.

While October is mixed, November establishes a stronger foundation based on the September changes. Jupiter joins Pluto in trine to Pluto at the same time as Saturn stabilises through a conjunction with Saturn and a trine with Uranus. All this is finished off neatly by the progressed Moon reaching the Sun and progressed Mars conjunction at the MC. It seems to suggest a very satisfactory end to the year.

The start of 2012 is very positive too. Jupiter transiting Pluto in February, followed by Pluto sextile the MC in March and Jupiter sextile the MC/Sun/progressed Mars in April is the sign of a country establishing strong economic and political fundamentals for the future.

April is a bit trickier with Uranus once again transiting Saturn, upsetting the status quo, but with Pluto stationed sextile the MC it doesn’t look too difficult to overcome.

May June and July see more involvement in the stabilising of the economy that started in late 2011, and although there is some evidence of overreaching in August when Jupiter squares the MC/Sun/progressed Mars, it seems to be resolved by September’s Jupiter sextile progressed Sun.

October and November however suggest some set backs again, and a bit more overreaching is evident again in December but with both Pluto and Saturn making positive aspects to the MC , on balance change is looking good.

Chart Source:
Russia: Start of Romanovs. 3 March 1613 ( NS calendar) Moscow. Noon local time. N Campion Book of World Horoscopes.

North Korea: 2008-2012

With Uranus on its ascendant ( at least in the chart I use) North Korea appears as an outsider, a country that others feel difficulty relating to. However it was not a country that attracted much interest in the west until George Bush’s “axis of evil speech” at a time when the transiting Saturn Pluto opposition was square the NK Sun and trine its Pluto. It is a theme that has continued as the progressed Mars Sun and Ascendant in the NK chart have moved closer to exactitude with the country’s Pluto.

In 2008 there have been some dramatic twists-, with NK planning to restart its nuclear programme and questions over the state of health (or worse) of Kim-Jong-il. The astrology backs this up. The progressed Ascendant is within one degree of Pluto, progressed Mars within one degree of a trine with Pluto and a sextile with the Sun and progressed Sun also within one degree of a Sextile with progressed Pluto. If this was not enough focus on both nuclear military capacity and the mortality of the leader, transiting Pluto is crossing the Descendant and opposing Uranus, emphasising the very idiosyncrasies that makes other countries wary of NK.

Of course there is relatively not so much focus on NK at present due to the western financial crisis and the chart suggests that economically there are some challenges even in NK as a result of that crisis as the current Saturn Uranus oppositions squares the NK Jupiter.

So what do the next few years hold? It is clear that with so many progressions aspecting the country’s natal Pluto that the current issues will not be resolved quickly. Indeed the Sun and Mars aspects to Pluto continue to be effective for a another couple of years and are then replaced with some Mars Jupiter aspects which tend to suggest more active aggression rather than latent fears. The Pluto transit to the NK 7th house will continue until around 2020 suggesting it will continue to be perceived by others as a threat and continue to view other countries as a threat to itself.

The current themes are obviously continuing in existence as we move in to January and February 2009. In February there may be an internal show of emotion – perhaps over the leader- as Jupiter transits the country’s progressed Moon and squares it progressed Midheaven.

March sees NK in a somewhat aggressive mood with Jupiter opposite the progressed Ascendant.
But in April onwards we are interested in how, if at all the Neptune Jupiter conjunction impacts the NK chart. It is interesting to see that the planets picked up are the Moon ( a square) and progressed Jupiter. This implies that the show of emotional fervour described in February continues throughout these months and, indeed, is magnified. Neptune is closing in on an opposition with Saturn too ( although it will not reach the exact degree for another year) and this may indicate grief or depression.

The Neptune aspect continues into August and is accompanied by a Saturn transit of the Sun in July which picks up the progressed Mars/Sun etc that has already been discussed. We may see a new leader, accompanied by a lot of rhetoric, establish position over the summer. Pluto returns to oppose Uranus in August suggesting more spear shaking relating to the nuclear programme.

September and October represent a key turning point as the progressed Moon activates the degree of the progressed Ascendant/Pluto/Sun/Mars once again at the same time as Pluto opposes Uranus for the final time. We would expect any disputes to come to ahead at this time, although it does look like the internal focus will be on new leadership.

The year ends with the transiting Pluto Saturn square giving us everywhere a taste of 2010 in November/December. In the NK case Saturn squares the ascendant and Uranus, reigning in the more aggressive impulses but not lessening the external fears for how the country will act next.

In January and February 2010 the Neptune Jupiter conjunction really begins to reach Saturn and a square to Jupiter- Jupiter itself crosses the MC suggesting a change of emphasis. There seem to be conflicting themes here – on the one hand the country seems to be nearing a severe depression (for a country that appears to have a lot of poverty and repression anyway this suggests that things are about to get worse), but that there is temporary optimism.

In April there is a suggestion that there will be a slight show of military force- Jupiter opposes the Sun and Squares progressed Mars, picking up that Pluto and Sun too, and with Saturn once again square the Ascendant axis there is controlled tension within and outside.

The cardinal square over the summer of 2010 picks up first the country’s Saturn and then the Uranus/ascendant. This is a very unstable time- when there could be significant aggression by or against NK. It is possible that the opposition comes from within – with Neptune opposing Saturn there is likely to be dissatisfaction and in August the progressed Moon squares the Moon picking up the Neptune /Saturn opposition and suggesting that the population are severely challenged and disillusioned.

October transits do not significantly lighten the mood and there is a communications blackout as Saturn transits mercury. And by December there appears to be a very depressed mood as Neptune continues in opposition to Saturn and Saturn conjoins Neptune, which, as we have discussed elsewhere, is the depression double whammy.

There is no change in the first few months of 2011. But by March and April, while the depressing influences are still there, (and indeed Saturn stations on Neptune until August 2011), there is also the start of a new influence. Although the Pluto progressed aspects cannot be said to have completely disappeared they are beginning to weaken by this stage

Despite the Saturn Neptune station, April of 2011 is characterised by a lessening of the negative Neptune influence as it moves to 0 degrees Pisces and trines the ascendant and Uranus. At the same time though Jupiter reaches the degree of Pluto and the Ascendant/Mars progression. This means that the energy previously kept under wraps is more likely to be outward looking. Jupiter moves on quickly and by June is also activating the Uranus/ascendant further emphasising openness.

July looks tricky however with the Mundane Pluto Uranus square aspecting progressed Saturn – suggesting change that might be difficult – something reinforced by the progressed Moon opposing Saturn and then conjoining the MC – a big turning point in the cycle.

In August Jupiter crosses the progressed MC and stations there at the beginning of a new era. Saturn is sextiling the progressed Pluto Ascendant Mars configuration which is now also picking up the natal Jupiter – this indicates that the country may be looking to be involved in more open conflict by this time. The indications are even stronger since towards the latter part of the year the country’s progressed Jupiter crosses the Descendant. At best this is a more open approach to the rest of the world, at worst when combined with the other factors it could be more open aggression.

Certainly the end of the year looks like being a big surprise. The country is having a Uranus square magnified by a Jupiter transit.

The aspects of December 2011 continue into January, and become even more like direct confrontation by February.

In February Jupiter opposes Mars, but we are also by now seeing progressed Mars conjoining the NK natal Jupiter. Another example of an astrological double whammy and one which is characterised by reckless pioneering – in the case of a country it might suggest invasion.

April is challenging as a result with the progressed moon opposing the Sun – this could be the people versus the leader but could represent North and South Korea. It is definitely not an easy time for NK as Jupiter reaches a square to Pluto – a bit of a knock back to the February aspects.

In May Mars passes the country’s IC – an event which happens every two years but in this case probably adds to the “assertive” nature of the other aspects. Jupiter opposing the progressed Sun and making some other tricky aspects makes the whole period very uncertain.

More tricky aspects continue in June and July, though after that the emotions start to calm down and August and September look less overtly difficult ( although there are still some behind the scenes challenges) .

However there is increased evidence of stability in the last months of the year, as Saturn sextiles Saturn and the progressed Jupiter, then the Ascendant Uranus configuration and Neptune trine the Ascendant further softens the effects of the events earlier in the year.

Chart Source:
North Korea: 9 September 1948. 00:00 local time Pyongyang. Wiki

Indian Sensex index 2009-2012

A review of the last year

Along with other Asian indices the Sensex hit a peak in late 2007/early 2008 : in this case in January 2008 of over 21000. Since then it has been falling.

Astrologically 2007 shows that the chart had an extremely inflationary Neptune sextile Jupiter conjunct the Sensex Neptune. Added to this the progressed MC was opposite natal Neptune at the same time.

That is an unusual combination of Neptune aspects and it is not surprising that the efefcst started to fade as Neptune moved on. In fact the extraordinary increases in valuations stopped when Saturn reached its return position of 7/8 Virgo in December 2007 /January 2008. At the same time Pluto was forming a quincunx to the chart’s Jupiter – also suggesting the end of optimism

April 2008 saw Neptune crossing the angles of the chart, and the summer saw the August 16 eclipse across these angles and the final Saturn return, emphasising the size of the changed direction.

Now in November, there is just volatility with Uranus opposite Saturn square both the chart’s MC and Neptune. The close conjunction of Saturn with the Ascendant in the last week was activated when the markets had to be closed for the terrorist activity.

It is quite likely that December will continue to see a lot of restrictions in the market as the Saturn aspect continues and stations on the ascendant. Indeed without the benefit of a trine from Jupiter which was in place last week it is difficult to see much positive for the next months.

Fortunately by the beginning of January Jupiter opposes Jupiter, and whilst this is an opposition it is an expansionary one. Neptune will make a final transit to the angles at the same time so the month will probably be rather strange in terms of trade and values. It is worth noting that the February eclipse is close to the angles too – all in all a very uncertain time. The Saturn Uranus opposition is almost exactly square Neptune and the progressed MC in February too. It is definitely a time for short term trading only- there is no strength only drift.

April May show a distinct change however. Uranus conjoins the Sensex Mars. This suggests very high levels of trade probably after Jupiter crosses the Descendant in the third week of April. It is not easy to determine the price direction from this alone- but given the currency issues at this time one suspects it will swing in both directions before settling down.

The actual conjunction of Neptune Jupiter and Chiron in May is close to the chart angles but not on them – it seems as if most of the activity will have already happened in the market by then. A progressed Moon square Saturn suggests people won’t be able to trade so much due to other factors.

The next key element is in August when Saturn again crosses the progressed Ascendant – which possibly could mean another short market closure. The progressed Moon opposes Neptune in September and the progressed MC in November and this might possibly reactivate the excitement of 2007 market euphoria temporarily – the fact that Uranus again transits Mars indicating volatility tends to confirm that there is a lot of activity in the months of September and October. However the economy forecast for the period is tricky so it is difficult at this point to see why any optimism should occur.

In December Uranus is back on the Descendant but without the effect of Saturn to oppose it, all accentuated by a progressed Moon: there will be upsets in other markets then that will impact on the Sensex.

The absence of any effect from the Pluto Saturn square is notable in this chart as it was in the country chart. Instead in February we have a repeat of the Uranus conjunct Mars leading to more volatility and significant trading. It is a theme which seems to continue, being activated again in may when Jupiter joins Uranus. The conjunction of Mars and Mercury in the Sensex natal chart means that the index tends to create a lot of excitement and rhetoric about how it is doing and what that means. There will be a lot of this, but most won’t really have any reflection on how the constituent parts of the index are really performing and things will calm down in May through July when Saturn again opposes Uranus across this axis.

August 2010, the peak of the cardinal cross is a bit of a mixed event on the Sensex. The main aspects are to Venus, so people are likely to be taking about value but Saturn makes a difficult quincunx while Pluto is sextile, restructuring of the index may happen- in line with what is happening in the world economy – maybe some companies are merged globally changing the constituents.

October seems to suggest a repeat of the themes of March April but by then they have evolved. There is volatility but now Saturn opposes the chart’s Sun and progressed Venus and quincunxes the progressed Sun, perhaps there are attempts to reform the index and the market at this time. Whatever the reason the volatility continues throughout November and December, but there is evidence that there is more and more regulatory and government involvement in the market at this time.


In January Saturn reaches the Sensex Pluto, this suggests a potential for substantial crackdown on corporate or market activity. However there is still substantial volatility and discussion about the index for another month or so.

In March Jupiter reaches the Sensex Sun suggesting a new more open attitude again and with Pluto trining Saturn at the same time as Saturn continues to station on Pluto there is a big motivation for a complete restructuring.

March is actually positive as Jupiter conjoins the Sun and progressed Venus. The index looks attractive now. But by June July there are some restrictions again. It is a mixed time with less volatility and a wait to see what happens attitude which continues through to September.

Another batch of regulation, restructuring and radical index reorganisation takes place in October November, and the year ends with another patch of wait and see.

The restructuring effects of Pluto trine Saturn continue into 2012, but are less restrictive. The early months are mixed and there is a sense of optimism about value again as Neptune conjoins Venus by April.

Pluto squares the Sun by April but is trine the moon- the people benefit but those in charge are less enthralled. This leads to a bit of a boom in June as Jupiter conjoins the MC, and there is a general feeling of positive direction by August when Jupiter sextile the Sun progressed Venus conjunction – a real sense of wealth is possible. The year ends with the continuing effects of Pluto trine Saturn appearing to form a solid base but there are worrying trends in 2013, that might dramatically reverse this, so caution is advised.


Sensex index: Base 30 March 1979 15.30 local time Mumbai. Source sensex confirmed by BSE site.

Chart note. The base is stated to be 1 April 1979 but this was a Sunday. I have used close of business on the previous Friday instead.

Indian economy and Rupee: 2009-2012

In order to look at the economic position of India from now until 2012, I am using two charts: that of India itself and, since the Rupee has existed for centuries and there is no definitive chart for it, the chart for the Reserve Bank of India(RBOI)

The RBOI chart seems to reflect the world economic situation. At the beginning of the year Jupiter crossed the chart IC, representing a 12 year turning point in financial matters in the country, and a trine between transiting Pluto and the RBOI Uranus ended this year. Then in mid September 2008 Saturn made a once every 30 year transit to Neptune- always a depressing influence, ( and mirrored by a square to Jupiter in the Indian chart), furthermore the August 16th eclipse with Neptune lay across the chart’s Saturn axis, a recessionary double whammy effect. The August eclipse came close to some of the planets in the Indian chart, but there is a sense that it the effects are only just beginning to be felt and that more unravelling may be felt in the coming year.

Of course India is in a very different situation to the western countries. Despite the rapid growth of the economic market since the relaxation of restrictions in the early 90s and particularly the growth of the outsourcing market in the last 12 years the country is still characterised by a substantial low income population, whilst it is unlikely to escape the effects of the impact of the contraction elsewhere, it will play out in a very different way in India.

We have already considered elsewhere (my previous post) the current aspects to the Indian chart, notably the Jupiter IC conjunction and the impact of the Saturn /Jupiter/ Uranus configuration. The former represents another economic turning point, but the latter configuration is for the most part not economically negative – rather indicating merely a change in trading patterns.
The configuration also picks up the RBOI Venus, but again this is a supporting aspect not a negative one.

We therefore turn to 2009 to see if and how the Indian economy will be affected by global economic events.

Late January/Early February may see some political events, which suggest the start of some major economic shifts as transiting Jupiter squares the Indian Pluto opposite the Sun but the impact of global financial matters still seems peripheral with the Indian Mars continuing to be positively aspected by the outer planet configuration.

There is evidence of the need for adjustment in the RBOI chart by mid February when Neptune forms a quincunx with progressed Pluto and the MC and a conjunction with Saturn. Currency and debt issues from elsewhere may be having an impact by this time.

This subtle change also starts to be reflected in the Indian country chart. By March there is evidence in that chart that things heat up a bit as Jupiter squares progressed Mars and Uranus conjoins the country’s Neptune. This might lead to the start of unexpected issues regarding technology security or underground crime which could negatively impact the country’s economic reputation. It is also an indicator of potential dramatic currency movements, which given the potential for both globally in April May, has to be considered significant.

The May Jupiter/Neptune/Chiron conjunction is exactly on the Indian progressed Venus, and the accompanying Uranus transit to the progressed Neptune/Ascendant conjunction looks potentially very unsettling.

The theme is mirrored in the RBOI chart. The Neptune conjunction aspects not only Saturn , but progressed Mercury , Pluto and progressed Jupiter , while Uranus conjoins progressed sun squares progressed Jupiter, and opposes the progressed MC. At the same time Saturn is conjunct the chart’s Neptune. A very difficult time for the currency and the Banks in India

The aspects essentially stations throughout the “summer” months and in the Indian chart is accompanied by a Saturn square to Jupiter that suggests contraction /reduced activity or increased regulation. The latter is further indicated by the upcoming trine between the progressed Sun and Saturn, suggesting a tendency for more government involvement even if the people do not fully support it ( the progressed Sun is quincunx the Moon).

Again there is confirmation in the RBOI chart: Saturn in August September opposes the progressed Sun and quincunxes Saturn . In the Indian chart the period of August and September is mixed by mainly characterised by the continuing Uranus station and a square between Saturn and the T-square in the Indian chart involving Neptune Jupiter and Venus. The latter t-square has two meanings – a financial one and a spiritual one –a previous Saturn aspect saw the statue milk miracle. If the financial implications are considered then the results do not suggest prosperity – quite the opposite, there is likely to be a rejection of the material in favour of the spiritual.

Matters do not improve in October, as Saturn reaches its opposition with the progressed Indian Neptune Ascendant conjunction. This suggests the potential for severe hardship at this time.

November is more mixed though and December 2009 even has some positive elements with a sextile between the progressed moon and Mars, suggesting at least some action, although it could conceivably be wrongly directed. A progressed Moon square Jupiter in the RBOI chart seems to suggest that too.

The themes of May 2009 onwards continue into the beginning of 2010 with December 2009 through to February 2010 resurrecting many of the issues.

Now however there is also the beginning of the Pluto/Saturn square to consider. However it appears its effects are limited: other than a minor aspect to the RBOI progressed Saturn there is little impact. It is quite likely that the 2009-10 Neptune conjunction creates so much dissipation of energy that there is little of the structures left to be confronted. In March of 2010 both charts
show some cross aspects involving Saturn and Pluto but they are mixed – restructuring which is as welcome as it is difficult.

Neptune and Chiron reach progressed Venus sextile MC in the Indian chart in March and suggest potential to find some relief – the lack of activity in the RBOI chart suggests that this is not economic related. Indeed in April when Uranus squares the progressed MC, there may be a change of leadership or direction and a challenge to everything that has happened post the early 1980s when Uranus conjoined the progressed Mc. A Jupiter square to the progressed Indian Jupiter and conjunction with the progressed Moon suggests the people are gripped by a strong momentum again but not necessarily with much constructive material result.

In May, the Uranus Jupiter conjunction reactivates the progressed Ascendant/Neptune/MC in the Indian chart and the progressed Sun opposite MC in the RBOI chart. Another shock to the financial system is likely then. As a result, June is mixed in the Indian chart – with conflicting Saturn aspects to the MC and progressed MC - no doubt it takes some time to establish the long term implications of the effects.

Interestingly, as already mentioned, the cardinal square in July and August is relatively unimportant in both charts. Indeed the effects in the Indian chart look generally positive with easy aspects to Uranus – change is not being resisted at this time. In the RBOI chart the progressed Moon picking up Neptune conjoining Saturn seems to suggest a paucity of funds but nothing more.

There is more activity again in October when Jupiter and Uranus retrograde over the Indian progressed Ascendant and RBOI progressed Sun and Saturn conjoins the RBOI Ascendant. It may be apparent by this time that things are not resolving themselves and the country’s economic situation is worse than expected.

However November suggests a more mixed outlook. With Jupiter trines to progressed Jupiter and Venus in the Bank chart, offsetting the restricting in activity that is implied by Saturn conjoining Mars and squaring Sun and Mercury. In the country chart continued unsettling effects of Uranus are balanced by a stablising Saturn sextile to Saturn opposing the Sun. Leadership in the country and the Bank will be no party at this time but might start to control matters.

The year ends with a Uranus conjunction to the RBOI progressed Sun, suggesting more changes of leadership or direction and a reactivation of the transiting Uranus conjunction with Neptune in the country chart by the progressed Moon- suggesting a closing of one chapter and start of a new operation.

January 2011 continues the themes of December 2010 and the conditions extend over the early months of the year.

In March 2011there is a suggestion of a turning point as Jupiter crosses the ascendant in the RBOI chart. There is a sense of potential hope in the Indian chart too as Neptune conjoins progressed Vensu again and sextiles the progressed MC. A Saturn trine progressed Jupiter suggests some positive concrete steps rather than just wishful thinking.

In May 2011, Saturn returns to its November 2010 position in the Indian chart and stations opposite the progressed Sun suggesting a repeat of tests for the administration. In the RBOI chart there is a mixed picture – Jupiter conjoins progressed Venus opposite Mars but sextiles Saturn and natal Venus- some people will be benefiting from economic measures but in general the country will not as the progressed Moon opposes progressed Saturn. Indeed there is evidence of more restrictions on trade in June when Saturn squares the Sun and conjoins progressed Mars again.

June seems to indicate a change in the overall Indian situation. In the country’s chart although we see continuing effects for the Saturn and Neptune aspects , Jupiter crosses the Descendant at the end of May heralding a change in relationships and internal transformation.

The months of July to September appear mixed, with many of the existing aspects continuing in both charts and little change of direction expected. Jupiter in the India chart is stationed for much of the time on the country’s Sun/Pluto opposition . Since this opposition was the result of a battle for power between corporate and government interests, it can be expected to throw up the same themes and while Jupiter crosses this point regularly, the station will emphasis this polarity. By the time Saturn crosses the Indian Descendant in early November we can expect a change in the balance of power. The time is marked by Saturn conjoining the RBOI progressed Mars suggesting a new bout of financial restriction and when Saturn aspects progressed Venus and Pluto in December a stabilising of reserves.

The India chart generally continues the positive spirit that started in 2011 in the first months, indeed there is evidence that things are actually looking a little more secure with Saturn sextile the progressed MC in February and the progressed Moon trine natal Saturn in March.

Pluto also starts to make a sextile to the Indian Sun/Mercury conjunction and by February Jupiter enhances this. It is a powerful combination and potentially a great opportunity to restructure some elements of the economy.

The opportunities continue through much of 2012. However it is worth noting that the positive aspects from Pluto conflict with some Uranus aspects (this is all part of the global Pluto Uranus square) and there are likely to be unexpected challenges throughout.

In the RBOI chart, the year starts with significant restraint, as Saturn opposes Uranus and progressed Venus. The themes shown in the country chart repeat here as transiting Pluto passes the IC, starting to build up a new cycle. But as noted above, this is subject to challenge from outside forces over the coming months as Uranus will square Pluto.

The opportunities, however, are further strengthened in March/April as Uranus trines the country chart Saturn and the progressed Moon conjoins natal Sun aligning the interests of the government and people albeit for only a short time. Mars transiting Jupiter in late March suggests a real impetus for change but could also represent conflict. In the RBOI chart there is some relaxation as Jupiter opposes the Moon Jupiter conjunction, but this might lead to over eagerness and there is some evidence that there is pull back in May.

Saturn stations on the Indian country Descendant throughout June to September 2012 which suggests hardship and the implementation of strict policies, probably including ones over major companies. The RBOI chart has Neptune transiting the progressed Saturn confirming the theme. But overall this is a year where major changes can be made for the longer term.

There are also still factions that create periodic upsets but in general the situation looks more stable by the end of the third quarter.

By the end of 2012, when Saturn transits the Sun/Pluto opposition the restrictions are biting both government and corporate sector but there appears to be much more financial stability. However it has to be seen whether this is strong enough to support the economy in 2013 and beyond.

India chart: 1 November 1858, Delhi, (midnight GMT)- see my previous post

Reserve Bank of India:1 January 1935 Calcutta ( 00.00 local time), . Source Reserve Bank of India Act at
Note some provisions of the act were effective 1 January, the remainder 1 april of 1935

India and Pakistan: political forecast to 2012

As I write this on 30 November, it is almost a month since I did the bulk of the work on the Indian charts that I needed in order to post my forecasts to 2012; but I remained uncertain whether I had chosen a “good” chart for the country. However the tragic events of the past few days have convinced me that the chart does have validity: well, at least as much validity as any of the available charts for the nation.

While the subsequent two posts will address the economic conditions in India in the coming years and the likely direction of the Sensex index, this post will deal only with political issues. It will identify the risk periods in both India and Pakistan’s charts, highlighting if and where they occur simultaneously, and might lead to confrontation between the nations, rather than internal political and terrorist problems within the countries.

As mentioned the Indian chart does show some potential for upset at present. The natal chart has progressed Moon square Uranus this month, suggesting upsets for the people. There is also a close quincunx between Mars and Jupiter, potentially meaning that periodic outbreaks will always tend to destabilise this nation. The natal planets are at 20 degrees of their signs, and the current Jupiter Uranus Saturn configuration is activating this with transiting Jupiter conjoining Mars. Now while Jupiter transits Mars every 12 years and makes even more frequent aspects, it is given extra strength by the other two planets.

Although this is a post on political matters, we cannot ignore the impact of the Jupiter/Saturn/Uranus/ configuration and the current global economic conditions, and the fact that it is Mumbai, an economic centre that has suffered and not Delhi. Indeed a relocation of the chart to Mumbai shows Jupiter actually on the IC at this time.

It is interesting to note that the configuration also picks up the Jupiter in the Pakistan chart- but worth also noting that the aspects are not exact this week and were more significant a few weeks ago, when the focus was on the activities around the Afghan border and was talk of imminent financial crisis in the country- it does not seem to be directly connected to this week’s events. A progressed Moon square Mars aspect has also passed already. However Jupiter aspects to Pakistan’s natal and progressed Sun were active during the week but this only indicates focus on the administration and nothing more.

As we move through December Jupiter will cross the IC of the Delhi chart by the middle of the month, possibly leading to political consequences from the current events. On 13th December Pluto will oppose Pakistan’s Mars, – this period looks difficult for both countries.

The last week of the month also has Jupiter sextile the Pakistan progressed Jupiter and opposite the country’s Moon, it is the anniversary of Benazir Bhutto’s death and may lead to some mass rememberance by supporters.

The continued impact of the Uranus Saturn opposition continues throughout the early months of the year and in India Jupiter reaches a square to the Sun/Pluto opposition in early February at the same time as the opposition is exactly aspecting Mars. It would not be surprising if this were to be a particularly difficult time for the government, especially the final week of February when Jupiter squares the progressed Mars.

At a similar time Jupiter transits the Midheaven of the Pakistan chart opposing its progressed Mars which suggests outright challenge to leadership, which could conceivably come from inside or outside the country. March sees Jupiter continuing the theme as it transits the Pakistan stellium opposing Pluto and Saturn.

However in India, I believe the focus shifts to purely economic matters at this time. The only apparent non-economic manifestation of the Uranus conjoining Neptune and the progressed Ascendant might be floods or spiritual themes such as “miracles”.

In Pakistan, though, May sees the beginning of an Uranus square – hard aspects such as this happen every 21 years, and this is the final incoming square in the first cycle since the country’s creation. Expect some big shifts to begin and to continue through the summer.

In India the focus continues to be economic throughout the summer.

The next major events are in the latter part of the year. Saturn transits the Indian progressed Descendent and opposes Neptune in early October, whilst this may indicate the impact of recession on India’s partners and thus on its own economy some sort of government or external restrictions may be in effect. Violence is not particularly indicated though.

However in October /November 2009 the Pakistan progressed Moon squares the Pluto Saturn conjunction and Saturn squares Uranus before going on to aspect transiting Pluto and square the country’s Mars, this is likely to lead to a reactivation of or repercussions of the May Uranus square followed by a military crackdown at this point. Early November looks especially tricky as Mars transits the IC and activates a slow moving conjunction between progressed Mars and Mercury.

It does not, however, suggest any aggression between the two nations, indeed the indications are that what we see here is all about what is happening in the rest of the world and how that plays out in a local context.

With the themes of May through to December continuing into February 2010, we won’t see much new in this context until later February or March.

Pakistan is likely to continue to undergo a difficult time as Saturn square Pluto resonates to the countries Saturn Pluto conjunction. In February/March the square will also activate the country’s progressed MC at 5 degrees Aries, suggesting dark times.

In late February Pluto forms a quincunx with the Indian chart’s progressed Saturn. The progressed Saturn position is a key point in the chart, picked up in the independence/Pakistan chart and the Republic chart. With Pluto making an aspect, albeit a minor one, we can expect attempts to undermine the Indian administration. It is notable too that the progressed Sun at 11 Aries is picking up the natal Saturn and Moon – another critical degree in the country’s chart. Furthermore at the end of February Jupiter opposes the Moon, suggesting the potential for mass action, which would not be significant by itself but will be when coupled with the other themes.

By April Uranus makes a square to the Indian progressed MC, indicating attempts to overthrow the leadership by the end of May when Jupiter conjoins Uranus on the progressed Ascendant.

In Pakistan, at the same time Saturn returns to its square to Mars, and Mars again reaches the country’s IC and related stellium, repeating the theme of military crackdown from the latter part of 2009.

Although the cardinal cross is within orb of these points, it is not exact and the impression is that much of the difficulty will already have occurred prior to July /August in Pakistan. In May the Jupiter Uranus conjunction and Neptune both activate the Pakistan progressed Jupiter, suggesting possible floods or spiritual outpourings, but little impact on the political environment and the remainder of 2010 is characterised by a depressive but not disruptive climate.

There is no indication of much change in India, either, over the rest of the year despite or perhaps because of the fact that the cardinal cross is at its maximum elsewhere. Indeed there seems to be holding pattern throughout late 2010 and early 2011.


Although the first months of 2011 are subdued in India, more happens in Pakistan. Transiting Jupiter squares Mars, which suggests upsets and possible violence again. This is compounded by Pluto in square with the progressed MC and further activated by Jupiter again in the last week of February. This is quite an explosive combination. In March when Uranus reaches a square to Mars, there are likely to be unexpected outbursts.

In April and May Pakistan shows a likelihood of further economic problems which are likely to reflect on the government, and the charts suggest that these problems are the dominant theme through the middle of 2011 in that country.

In India, in May of 2011, there is a tricky patch while Uranus transits the progressed Moon and when a conjunction of the inner planets including Mars transits the Indian Pluto Sun opposition as Neptune squares the country’s Uranus and Jupiter crosses the Descendant. Such a combination suggests possible attack. Difficulties continue through June and July as Saturn stations opposite the progressed Sun and are highlighted when Jupiter transits 6/9 degrees Taurus in July to mid August. The latter transits repeat as Jupiter goes retrograde in September October.

After an uncomfortable but not disruptive six months in Pakistan, in October there are some indications that the country will face more upsets as Uranus squares Mars again and Pluto returns to square the progressed MC reactivating the problems of the early months of the year, and continuing them into 2012.

In India the picture is quite different by this time. In December Saturn crosses the Indian Ascendant, completing a cycle beginning in 1981, but this is likely to relate to the development of major corporations in the country rather than the direct political situation.

Some levels of disruption and restrictions on the ability to govern remain in Pakistan in early 2012. By April there is a very challenging picture with Saturn stationed on the country’s progressed Sun – suggesting that the government is under significant stress, further emphasised by the now close-to-exact Pluto Uranus square transiting the progressed MC. This suggests that the country may be undergoing a complete breakdown in government at this time. It is not all bad though- there are no difficult aspects to the progressed Ascendant, so the situation is unlikely to involve direct external conflict. The only exception to this is in April when Jupiter passes the Ascendant.

In any case, the themes in Pakistan do not seem to be especially reflected in India. Admittedly in February when Jupiter completes its final transit of the Indian Pluto opposition it repeats the themes of July – Oct 2011, which might suggest some knock on effects. But, when Saturn stations on the Indian descendant around July, this is likely to reflect economic rather than political impact: a fact that is emphasised by transiting Pluto trining the country’s Pluto ( remember its source in the East India company) during the year.

By December 2012, Saturn reaches the Indian Sun/Mercury conjunction, and although there are likely to be leadership associations with this, it again suggests that it is concerns with reorganising the corporate sector that will occupy them rather than any other influences.

India chart: 1 November 1858, Delhi, (midnight GMT)- see notes below

Pakistan: 15 August 1947, Karachi, 0.00 local time. N Campion, Book of World Horoscopes

A note about the charts

I am gradually beginning to establish a principle for country charts. My preference is for an earlier chart over a later one, so if there is a chart for when a country starts to exist with defined boundaries that is the one I will use even if that country is subsequently occupied by another nation.

This means that as a general rule I won’t use independence charts – unless the nation really did not exist in its own right beforehand. The separation by independence of a part of a nation will lead to a new chart for that nation but not for the original nation, which, although redefined, will still for the most part retain continuity of national spirit.

I may use republic declaration charts, rather than the prior monarchy charts if these have more reliable data and represent a sufficiently significant moment in coalescing the national feeling of the nation and its relations with other nations.

In the case of Pakistan I have therefore used the independence chart as, until this date, it was not a separate nation from India. The subsequent declaration of a republic made little difference to this.

However I do not use the same moment for India. I have, in fact, not used any of the charts generally used by other astrologers for this. I have chosen the earliest chart I could identify. India was essentially formed gradually from a number of states through economic means in the 17th & 18th centuries by the East India Company. However in 1858, following uprisings, England removed the powers of the EIC and took control over the nation itself. Whilst not representing a time when India was independent, this moment is a good one for defining when India became one politically rather than economically. The decision was taken in August 1858 but was to be legally effective 1 November of the same year, (thus at midnight UK time), proclamations were made on that day in different cities at presumably different times, so the most useful time is the midnight UK time relocated to Delhi or where applicable to the other state capitals.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Crisis! What crisis? - Capitalism, consumerism or something else?

What crisis?” is, of course, not a denial of the problems so far, nor those yet to come. It is a genuine question; to what does this crisis fundamentally relate? This post will look at whether what we are experiencing is a crisis of global trade, of industrialisation, of capitalism, and/or of consumption or just a trivial banking crisis and what the astrology has to say about each. First of all let’s get the basics out of the way by setting out what I mean when I use some of the terms:

At its most basic; any exchange of anything- either for money or by barter. Does not have to be for monetary profit, although it will normally arise as a result of the mutual self-interests of the parties. It obviously requires division of labour and/or resources to be worthwhile. It can however be enforced by a third party at a value that the third party determines.

Society and urbanisation
We are not seeking to define the society and urbanisation merely to state that both are dependent on trade and on labour and resource division regardless of what system is implemented to allocate or enforce them.

A faith based system with two components,
§ physical money (usually but not essentially state mandated legal tender) which allows non-barter exchange transactions without a banking intermediary. In this case the parties must physically encounter each other to make a transaction and almost all transactions will, on one side, be for non-money items.
§ Banking IOUs known as bank accounts, which allow promises to pay between parties to be exchanged for other promises to pay through the banking system intermediaries.
In this case the originating parties do not have to meet, and the true parties at any one moment are unknown to each other, e.g. an employer has a liability to pay salaries and bank account from which it will make its salary transfers, it does not know the ultimate borrowers from the bank that will “fund” that account, only the bank intermediary. The employer makes the transfers, and the employees become the depositors who are now no longer owed a salary by a known employer but are owed the same amount indirectly via the bank by the combination of borrowers, until they in turn transfer the IOU to another party when they purchase good or services.

Unfortunately most definitions are loaded by the political bias of the writers and too often accompanied by the word exploitation on the one hand or free market and open competition on the other. I will try to be as even handed as possible in mine.

In its purest form capitalism would be any activity which involves individual or private interests, as opposed to state ones, in production.

The wide definition of private interests just makes it a meaningless concept as under this definition even peasant ( though not slave) labour is capitalism, even if they own nothing else, as long as the peasants are free to select the amount of work they provide. This is not as crazy as it seems; in theory I could start with nothing and sell you consulting without any investment in anything other than my time. I could even charge you an exorbitant fee and gradually accumulate large amounts of resources. ( i.e. I could be a strategy consultant); equally I could do so just for subsistence.

With the above definition, free-trade and capitalism are synonymous. Indeed freedom is its key.

So better to specify capitalism as the use of certain privately owned resources, above and beyond one’s own labour, to accumulate more resources.

But in this definition of capitalism, freedom, free-trade and capitalism are no longer synonymous. Our starting position has allocated certain resources to the players, and does not require that all players start with anything like the same level of resources. Thus the freedom of some players is more limited than the others. Furthermore, in this case, trade can happen without any accumulation of resources so we can have free-trade without any capitalism. It is harder to have capitalism without trade; although one may own capital in the form of a sheep or a tin-mine, if no-one else wants the wool, meat or tin, there won’t be any trade, and no capital accumulation.

A process that can be considered to have started in the mid to late 18th century, as a product of technological innovation, whereby the production of and increasing number of goods and services became automated – i.e performed by machines rather than people.

Financial capitalism
Essentially the accumulation of resources from money related activities such as investment, banking and speculative activity rather than from physical production.

Consumerism should not be considered the same as Capitalism; although it may well be difficult to make a success of the latter without someone providing the former!

While the division of labour inherent in advanced societies means that members of such societies need to be consumers of at least some things, consumerism as generally defined is considered to exclude the basic needs, and to refer to those purchases above and beyond such basics. Clearly it is only possible to have consumerism where there is an excess of resources accumulated. So it is certainly compatible with capitalism.

In theory, at an individual level, capitalism could lead to substantial resource accumulation without any consumerism, if all resources are reinvested in the production process. However at society level we are back to my original statement that it is difficult to accumulate substantial resources if there are no buyers for your services…

The history and the astrology

So let’s take a look at history. Trade and capitalism in its most basic sense has been around a very long time, in fact it is how families tend to operate, whether or not money is involved in the transactions, so it’s an integral part of the human condition. There is little point in looking for an astrological cycle to match it to – unless we are also looking for the end of the human race: an interesting exploration I am sure but one I propose I leave for others to pursue.

The same problem applies to money, especially physical money- it has been core to the effective functioning of society and urbanisation- an exact date for its invention is not available.

We can however take a look at the modern evolved versions of the above.

In its modern sense, capitalism has been bound up with industrialisation. Indeed when economic historians talk about a crisis of capitalism this is to what they are really referring, basing their start date with Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations of 1776. And by association the same applies to many other astrologers. It is obviously a key point, what planetary activity triggered the process of industrialisation?

The industrial revolution is generally considered to start with Hargreaves and Arkwright’s inventions of the 1760s. Astrologically that corresponds with a grand earth trine between Pluto Neptune and Uranus, (though even Uranus was not identified until 1781). That might not sound particularly significant; it was, however, the first and only grand trine involving these three planets that occurred between the Pluto Neptune conjunction that determined the beginning of the Renaissance in 1399 and that which determined the modern and oil era in 1891. The planets, signs and degrees are thus important for the industrial age.

Three things are worth noting. First, the earth trine makes it all too easy to wear out the earths resources; we are aware of that now and need to grasp opportunities that these planets provide us to employ technology to slow the process down. The upcoming square between Pluto and Uranus can potentially help by making us face some of these issues. Secondly Pluto was in Capricorn in the late 1760s as it will be over the next decade, so we can expect radical restructuring is everything that has been built since that moment; it is time to transform and renew and question some fundamental assumptions. Finally, the most critical times for the industrial era will be when all three planets are in hard aspects- i.e. not yet – Neptune has not completed its long sextile Pluto. The next critical point is 2059. So far there have been a couple of critical points – in 1821, when Pluto was square a Neptune/Uranus conjunction, a minor aspect in 1888, and another in 1932-33. Until 2059 then we still have some choices. So in the coming few years we are likely to encounter a mini-industrialisation crisis but not a complete destruction of our industrial capitalism world view.

What about consumerism? As readers of my oil chart exploration will know, I also date the current oil usage era to the 1891 Neptune Pluto conjunction and more specifically to the start of the sextile in 1950.

We don’t have a hard aspect between Neptune and Pluto yet. The sextile might be wide but it will return for one last dance in 2032. When is the next square? 2059. I won’t be terribly worried by then, but I suspect people won’t be in maximum consumption mode any more. Just as well as we at least partially eliminated the industry that was supplying it in the preceding paragraphs!

There is another side to the consumerism of the 1950s and that is personal credit. The Diners club card was a creation of the 1950s and the other cards followed, the possibility to easily buy consumable items on credit was born. The 1980s, after the Pluto Saturn Jupiter conjunction sextile Neptune, also saw the burgeoning of home equity withdrawal, particularly in the UK, and the corresponding increase in household indebtedness.

It does appear that this credit has reached a limit now. It probably has another phase to go through until 2032, but that will take a few years to get off the ground again. We do not have a crisis point in this area, but we have reached a maximum elasticity point as Pluto and Neptune have separated from their sextile. By itself this situation would certainly lead to recessionary conditions over the coming years but not a repeat of the “meltdown” we have seen.

However, the other side of consumer credit is of course the accumulation of resources through financial capitalism. And this certainly seems a likely area to explore given the events of the last few months.
Most references to financial capitalism refer to America and date its emergence to the 1890s. Before we return again to that infamous decade, though, we should note that Modern Capitalism by Henri Eugène Sée dates the introduction of modern financial capitalism to bills of exchange in the 13th century trade fairs. However these were discrete events and the major financial investment before 1400 was in state bonds, it was the creation of the bourses in the 16th century that created financial capitalisism in its broader sense. We can then, in practice, date modern coordinated financial capitalism to the Neptune/Pluto conjunction of 1399, (the first in Gemini and the beginning of the Renniasance). Even though it took until the end of the sextile in the 1530s to establish the first permanent bourse in Antwep, it was the Renaissance and the exploration that accompanied that period, that led to the trading need for larger scale financial capitalism. Later joint stock companies from 1600 (around the time of a Pluto Uranus conjunction trine Neptune) gave the world a new financial commodity to trade. Financial capitalism was not something that followed industrial capitalism, but something that not only preceded it, but enabled it.
Thus done, we can return to the authors who refer to the 1890’s. They are also right; financial capitalism as we experience it today was a product of the second Pluto Neptune conjunction in Gemini: the next level of development of the system. And it is the subsequent Pluto /Uranus conjunction of the mid-60s in the form of computerisation that has enabled its expansion this time in much the way the bourses did before. Furthermore, much as the age of exploration created trading demand in the first Gemini Pluto/Neptune cycle, it is the consumer age and its associated aspirations that has fuelled this phase of growth. So is financial capitalism over? The end of the banking system and stock markets perhaps?

No. As bad as things may look, we are not at a square between Pluto and Neptune. However there is evidence that we are at a crucial turning point.

The 1st August eclipse was conjunct the Sun of the 1891 Pluto Neptune chart, as we know from our review of Paulson’s chart. Now by itself that does not sound very exciting given that eclipses are at least twice yearly events. But if I say it is the only total solar eclipse at this exact degree since 1891 that is more interesting. Making it even more interesting is the lunar eclipse of 15th August, one of only a couple of lunar eclipses that have fallen within 2 degrees of a Neptune/Sun conjunction since 1891 and, even more significant, one of a pair (since the February 2009 eclipse will still be within 2-3 degrees of Neptune).

What we have seen then is an eclipse of credit inflation. We do have, astrologically, exactly what the media have been calling it, a “credit crisis.” But we have only demonstrated a consumer credit crisis, not one rooted in inter-bank lending/derivatives etc. What about the elements of financial capitalism that have had fingers pointed at them during the crisis?

Hedge funds for example? The first so called hedge fund is generally credited as being set up by A.W Jones in 1949, close enough to the Neptune Pluto sextile to tie it in with that cycle. However the hedge fund “industry” did not really start until 1966-68- naturally at a critical industry turning point when Uranus and Pluto were in conjunction – many of these disappeared with the 1973/4 Pluto Saturn square.

However, it is not hedge funds per se that present a problem it is their competence and their strategies. And, in fact, it was the derivatives industry which led to the hedge fund boom of the last two decades and particularly the last few years, so it is to derivatives history that we turn for further inspiration.

Derivatives of some sort, like money and borrowing, have a long history; indeed interest itself is essentially a derivative, albeit a simple one that no-one even stops to consider. But the earlier ones were transparent at least to their counterparties and are not directly relevant. More recently it could be argued that the establishment of the Chicago Board of Trade on 3 April 1848 (incidentally a day of a partial solar eclipse) was a key moment in modern derivative history. The true modern era, however, dates from 5 periods post 1950: 1965/6, 1973, 1982, the early 1990s and 2000. Let’s deal with the derivatives themselves first. In 1973 Black & Scholes proposed their options pricing model, and on 26 April of the same year the Chicago Board Options Exchange began trading standardized, listed options with regulation in the form of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Astrologically the period was characterised by a grand trine between Saturn, Uranus and Jupiter, and a wide trine between Neptune and Jupiter.

Then on 30 September 1982 Liffe was established, and on 1 October CBOT launched its first options on futures contract for U.S. Treasury Bond futures, corresponding to the Pluto Saturn conjunction.

The relevance of the dates 1965-6, early 1990s and 2000 is that the greatest advances in the volumes of financial capitalism in general and derivative trading in particular have come because of technology. While I don’t intend to detail computing history in this post, 1965-6 is mentioned as it represents the core, although not the beginning, of the harnessing of computing power, the early 1990’s as the birth of the internet and e-trading and 2000 the year that LIFFE became a fully automated exchange. It is these advances that have enabled not only the growth of trading but also the use of program trading, algorithmic trading and the invention of numerous derivative products through quant models etc.

Finally, in relation to the hedge funds and derivatives trading we need to consider the related dimension of leverage. As already stated borrowing has a long history most of which we can ignore. Unfortunately I am unable to track down the dates for when leverage for derivatives and “hedging” became significant, but it is likely to be a product of the low interest culture of the mid -1990s onwards, in the US and elsewhere and it really appears to have taken off post 2000/2001.

Keen observers will note that we are currently experiencing a long Saturn Uranus opposition with a trine to Jupiter and next year’s conjunction involves Neptune and Jupiter, all of which resonates to the 1973 developments. The 1982 events, on the other hand, resonate to the Pluto Saturn cycle – i.e. the implications of this have yet to be fully revealed and will follow in 2009-11. The growth of derivative creativity increased as Pluto sextiled Uranus in 1997 and finally the growth in leveraged derivatives dates to the Jupiter Saturn conjunction square Uranus in 2000 followed by the Saturn Pluto opposition in 2001. We are looking at more than one cycle here and of course major problems arise because so many of these cycles are converging in the period 2008-2012.

It was the Neptune aspect to the August eclipse that resonated to the financial unwinding of the consumer credit problem via the banking system. However, while that is not over yet, (remember the February eclipses at a similar degree), what we are seeing now is the impact of the Saturn Uranus opposition closing out any excess misguided post 2000 leveraged derivative and hedge fund activity. It is time for a spring clean, and with the long opposition plus the coming Pluto aspects, this facet of the crisis is only just beginning. However deducing the medium term impact of this on individual markets cannot be done without reference to those individual markets, something I am addressing gradually elsewhere. It is not a simple case of fund liquidating and asset prices falling in the medium term – though the short term effect might indeed be so– it depends on the destination of the funds once a fund is liquidated.

In conclusion then, we are looking at significant but not terminal points in the history of industrialisation and consumer credit and we are looking at a big shake out in the hedge fund and derivative markets and other over-expanded elements of financial capitalism. The changes as Pluto transits Capricorn will not be easy but we still have chances to make industrial and even some elements of financial capitalism work if we don’t try to bury the problems and acknowledge the flaws in the applicability of some of the fundamental assumptions of neo-classical economic theory. I suspect we won’t do so, I have less faith in humanity than most astrologers, but one can hope.

Sources: all accessed 25/10/2008
Modern Capitalism. By Henri Eugène Sée
A brief history of the hedge fund: Jim McWhinney

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Popular music Part II I-late 80s to date

The 1990s begin early

Finally, in 1988, we get some real planetary activity. A Saturn Uranus conjunction in 1988, in Aquarius, coupled with a Pluto Jupiter opposition, followed by a conjunction between Saturn and Neptune in 1989 opposed by Jupiter and coupled with a sextile of Saturn to Pluto. The importance of the two conjunctions is enhanced by the fact that they were the prelude to the later conjunction of Uranus and Neptune. In reality, the 1990’s started here.

So as the 1980’s pop scene was really on its last legs by 1988/89, having become so bland as to be without direction, not surprisingly anything new was a relief and the sampling idea took off, albeit not with much insight with Jive Bunny having 3 number 1s in 1989. It was the crossover into the mainstream of DJ led music.

The other creeping theme that resulted from the upcoming conjunction was the birth of the boy band trend; again filling the need by 1988/89 for something new in the pop scene and another trend for the producers to cash in on. And once again the light stuff hit the mainstream in the US before the UK with New Kids on the Block.

1990-Relections on the score

So really starting in the last couple of years of the 1980s, the 1990s at last ushered in some real changes with the first outer planet aspect since the mid 60s; Neptune conjoining Uranus in 1993 and later Pluto sextiling Uranus in 1995.

Neptune and Uranus together are considered astrologically a rather esoteric combination; a chance to reach for the higher levels of consciousness. We saw what they did in the late 1960s while in sextile with the growth of psychedelic rock. Not really surprising then to find that their conjunction led to dance music and, specifically, trance music, coupled with the wide use of drugs, becoming one of the dominant styles of the early 1990s. Trance built on the earlier Uranian experimentation with techno, which had started with the conjunctions of 1968-71 and developed with the oppositions of 1977 and the aspects of the early 80s.

The 1992 charts had number 1s that encapsulate these themes, with the Shamen’s Ebeneezer Goode and Snap’s Rhythm is a dancer.

The importance and strength of the conjunction cannot be underestimated, and its effect was felt from 1989 through to 1997. But everything has its time and so it is not surprising that Wikipedia says “By the end of the 1990s, trance remained commercially huge, but had fractured into an extremely diverse genre. Some of the artists that had helped create the trance sound in the early and mid-1990s had, by the end of the decade, abandoned trance completely in favor of more underground….”

As mentioned the only other key theme of the conjunction was the taste for Boy Band pop, with the UK copying the US producing a prolific stream of bands, etc. The strength of the conjunction also tapped into the Neptune Jupiter aspects of the years, recreating some of the manias of the early 1970s, and although it may seem to be the antithesis of the trance scene, in fact it harnessed the same energy from the conjunction to whip up mass enthusiasm in a very similar way. Only the object of the addition was different.

By 1997, however, a new 12/13 year cycle was ending and begin with a Neptune/Jupiter conjunction. Once again this tapped into the fervour factor and allowed the music business to harness a new commercial pop market. In this case it was the birth of girl bands most notably the Spice Girls, who also tapped into the Pluto Saturn trine with the spirit of “girl power.” I would also include Britney in this category, depite her being a solo artist as she tapped in to the same cycle.

But the focus in the decade was not only on the Neptune Uranus conjunction. At least as interesting was the Pluto Uranus sextile in 1995. Neptune and Uranus together are all higher states and not very practical. With Pluto though, we get true creative direction, the developments that derive from the dance music of this time mixed with the heavier impact of Pluto are only now (2008 onwards) likely coming into their own

Furthermore rock still existed in the 1990s although it was rarely mainstream in the whole decade. New alternative rock bands in the mis 1990s around the time of the Pluto Uranus sextile were probably typified by Muse, formed in 1994, Evanescence and Linkin Park in the US in 1995 and 1996 respectively and Coldplay a little later in 1998 under a rather more depressing Neptune Saturn square.

Finally, decades after its creation during the Pluto Saturn square of the mid 1970s, the Pluto Uranus sextile of 1995 followed by the Pluto Saturn trine and a Uranus Saturn sextile of 1997 allowed hip hop to become mainstream, at least in the US. It was becoming an integral part of popular music, and many American pop songs had a major hip hop component. To such an extent that even the harder elements of gangsta rap with its controversial lyrics and themes was becoming an accepted part of the mainstream. One of the features of the trines of the period was the growth of featuring, with many collaborations between artists of different genres, allowing the blending of styles which as we have seen is often the key to broader commercialisation. As a result by 2000 over two decades after its formation rap was a mainstream popular music form, although it took until the Saturn opposition to Pluto to perfect the effect in the Uk.

2000s- Take a bow

Despite the success of hip hop in the US in the late 1990s, it was not until 1999/2000 that Eminem brought the rap genre to the UK mainstream.

In terms of astrology the 2000s have more in common with the 1970’s than any other decade. With no outer planet aspects until post 2010, it does not have the impetus of the 1960s and 1990s, but a multitude of Saturn aspects means there is more opportunity for cross-over than in the 1980’s, and as we have mentioned cross over is good for integrating more interesting elements from the fringes in to mainstream pop.

Remember the Pluto Saturn Jupiter conjunction of 1982 and its mega commercialisation effect? Well, part of that the cycle ended in 2000 as Saturn and Jupiter formed a new conjunction and the commercialisation of that era took a further hit in 2001 when Pluto opposed Saturn. It might have meant overt terrorism for the USA but for the music industry it meant commercial terrorism in the form of file-sharing.

Unfortunately that in itself has not done much for creativity as the music industry has focussed on other ways of commercialising the product, original creativity in rock has arguably taken a back seat. However, as we have seen from the development of hip-hop, the partial demise in the mainstream of traditional rock music has not left a gap. It has been replaced by the broadened appeal of modern R&B which no doubt purists would consider the sell out of that genre instead.

The year 2000 in the UK charts was characterised by the vast quantity of short lived number 1 records. Astrologically the Jupiter Saturn conjunction came with a package of 5 other planets in Taurus in May and a square to Uranus. It also introduced us to the talent show pop star – a reaction to the file-sharing as record companies looked for new markets, Unfortunately such commercial activity is the downside of Jupiter Saturn and Uranus – the upside will have been creativity which will be going on at some level somewhere even if not in the mainstream.

We have already mentioned Eminem, who caught the shake-up vibe of the year, there was still quite a smattering of dance music too with Fragma, Sonique and Groovejet. While the latter partly represents the end of the 1990’s era, the focus had moved to female DJ/vocal on these, a development that reflects the merging of dance from the early 90s with the emphasis on female artists of the latter years.

The potential darkness of 2001’s Saturn Pluto opposition actually seemed not to reach the charts in style terms that year. However that summer was characterised by Shaggy’s Angel, Robbie Williams’ Eternity and a cover of Eternal Flame- clearly the theme of death and rebirth was going on but not as a new genre. Indeed it is in its own way scary to note that in the week following September 11th the Uk number one was Bob the Builder!

In the background, however, the other change that was happening was a move towards global music. A low key theme in the 1990’s, the conjunction of 2000 allowed it to supplant the more bland pop offerings as the new decade progressed. In 2001,Shakira broke through onto the English-speaking world with her latest album. World music was already an expanding background theme but not mainstream. It is likely that the period 2009-2012 will see a greater move in this direction.

2002-2003 astrologically was dominated by a Neptune /Saturn and then a Uranus/Saturn trine backed up by oppositions of Jupiter to first Neptune and then Uranus. With trines gradual assimilation of change is the name of the game. Remember that these trines arose from the cycle that began with the conjunctions in 1989- 1993. Wikipedia states “In October 2003 for the first time since the dawn of rock'n'roll 50 years ago, none of the artists in the official Billboard American Top 10 was white. The ascendancy of rap and contemporary R&B as the music of choice for young Americans, black and white, was total and irrefutable (most notably Alicia Keyes, 50 Cent and OutKast)”. Whether that statement was applicable to the UK in the same year is debateable too but even in the UK the dominant hits of the year were the US Black eyed Peas “Where is the love’ and Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”.

The next shift was 2006-7 with a Pluto and Saturn trine, and a Saturn and Neptune opposition , and a Pluto Jupiter conjunction.

The somewhat contrary effect of the aspects was the come-back phase. Pioneered by Take That in 2006, it also seems to have been a product of the Saturn opposition to Neptune and the Jupiter aspects bringing about an element of nostalgia. The Saturn Neptune configuration might have created the longing for the past but success or not of the reforming bands is determined in the longer term by their new material, and the ability to harness the trines and sextiles to blend more recent styles to update their styles.

The other effect of the 2006-7 conjunctions gave rise to such creative hits as Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy, and the to Scissor Sisters. These represent yet more blending of themes and utilization of the sampling that was born out of the hip hop and dance genres, to create whole new sub-genres. Although frankly it is harder to match the astrology with the styles at such close quarters, it will be much easier to see a genre in retrospective.

One other less obvious trend was the increase in assimilation of global influences. Whilst in the power ballads in the 1980s movie becamehits, in the 2006 film Inside Man took the reworked Bollywood Chiyya Chiyya for its theme. It wasn’t a single but it more than worked, another sign that music for the next decades is likely to go global in style.

We are now in late 2008 and the statement regarding R&Bin the US can most definitely be extended to the UK. We are also approaching the first of five opposition contacts between Uranus and Saturn – the old and the new. As I wrote the first draft of this (on Saturday 19th) I noted that the top Hit40uk top 10 hits this week is dominated by mocking irony. (It is the common theme which links the music and videos of Pussycat Dolls’ When I grow up, Kaiser Chiefs’ Never miss a beat, Pink’s So what, Rhianna’s Disturbia, Katy Perry’s I kissed a girl, Sugar Babes’ Girls and Ne-Yo’s Miss Independent). That is the pleasant effect of having the Uranus- Saturn opposition supported by Jupiter, and has been responsible for some delightful humour about the credit crunch and the global meltdown scenario too.

However I expect the mood to darken further, and the humour to take second place as, over the coming few years, the Jupiter trine disappears and the cardinal cross comes more into focus.

A return to some very dissonant sounds can be expected by 2010. The styles born out of the Uranus/Pluto conjunction of 1965 will meet their biggest resistance yet. Expect the final death of residual old rock groups, and any artists who have not learnt to integrate traditional rock with the wider elements. On the other hand the aspects are likely to lead to a much heavier style in the mainstream again. Furthermore we can expect more global influences, especially in the underlying beat especially by 2010 when Uranus and Jupiter are in conjunction in early Aries, but opposite Saturn. Technology is also likely to create further changes in this period probably related to the restructuring of some of the big music companies.

However, before that, in 2009 we will also encounter the Jupiter/Neptune conjunction together with Chiron. Since this relates to healing and consciousness, music is likely to take on a transcendent feel for a year or so.

Where music goes next can perhaps be identified by looking to a statement by Muse "I've been listening to quite a lot of music from the south of Italy on this album", Bellamy admits. "I've been living in Italy for a while, and I discovered this music from Naples, which sounds like a mix of music from Africa, Croatia, Turkey and Italy. It kind of gives it a mystical sound, so I think that's one thing that influenced the album. I like being influenced by things that have a mixed style ”. Mystical and boundary crossing- certainly Neptune/Jupiter and Chiron fits that as well as the global influences.

Though, at the extreme there is a possibility that someone might go for re-creating space music and the sound of particles colliding as a side effect of interest in the Large Hadron Collider!!

In the longer term, there are likely to be major changes in 2020 when Pluto Jupiter and aturn conjoin as in 1982, and a reduction in commercial popular music as a whole post 2032 as Pluto and Neptune finally separate from their sextile.