by Curtis Lang with Jane Sherry
Posted originally May 26, 2010
AS WE APPROACH THE SUMMERTIME GRAND CARDINAL CROSS OF 2010, an epochal signature in the stars that traditionally indicates the total transformation of cultural, political and economic systems, it appears that we are nearing the end of the Age of Oil, the Age of Globalization.
There’s a massive, uncontrolled deep-water oil spill of unknown dimensions thousands of feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico. [Written in May, but even now, at the end of July, how much do we really know?] So far neither British Petroleum, the company responsible for the spill, nor the US government, have been able, or willing, to quantify the amount of oil and natural gas being released into the Gulf, nor have any credible solutions to the problem been proposed or implemented.
“The damage to the Gulf environment and to the economy of the region will be incalculable and will linger for years if not decades,” says Peak Oil expert and Satya Center contributor Richard Heinberg. “The deadly stench from oil-oaked marshes – as spring turns to hot, fetid summer – will by itself ruin tens or hundreds of thousands of lives and livelihoods. Then there’s the loss of the seafood industry: we’re talking about more than the crippling of the economic backbone of the region; anyone who’s spent time in New Orleans (my wife’s family all live there) knows that the people and culture of southern Louisiana are literally as well as figuratively composed of digested crawfish, shrimp, and speckled trout. Given the historic political support from this part of the country for offshore drilling, and for the petroleum industry in general, this really amounts to sacrificing the faithful on the altar of oil.”
“…This is what the end of the oil age looks like. The cheap, easy petroleum is gone; from now on, we will pay steadily more and more for what we put in our gas tanks—more not just in dollars, but in lives and health, in a failed foreign policy that spawns foreign wars and military occupations, and in the lost integrity of the biological systems that sustain life on this planet.”
“The only solution is to do proactively, and sooner, what we will end up doing anyway as a result of resource depletion and economic, environmental, and military ruin: end our dependence on the stuff.”
It’s also time to end our dependence on the oil-based economy of conspicuous consumption and endless economic growth. The ongoing collapse of the global economy makes it imperative that we learn to live in a more frugal and sustainable world civilization. Several countries in the European Union are currently suffering from a “sovereign debt crisis” reminiscent of similar financial meltdowns that occurred in Latin American and Asian economies over the last thirty years.
This is the first time since the 1930s that advanced industrial countries have experienced such catastrophic collapses in their economies and in their ability to service their debts.
Greece is currently in a state of simmering insurrection in response to the punitive measures forced upon the Greek people by the International Monetary Fund and by the German government, which controls the European Central Bank, and which is co-ordinating the financial community’s response to the Greek meltdown.
America’s economy is said to be emerging from the Great Recession, but many thoughtful analysts suggest that another dramatic financial downturn is not only possible but highly probable.
[It is, of course, utter nonsense to suggest that there is ANY emergence from any recession: ALL the research I do stresses that there is a highly-organised media campaign to distort all indicators and stress signals and to “talk up” the economy, and at the same time to persuade more and more investors to keep on investing! But the level of deceit and outright fraud is now becoming obvious to even those that normally accept at face value anything the mainstream media reports. –Aurick]
North and South Korea are eyeball to eyeball and talking war talk. The war in Afghanistan is still heating up and although President Obama’s plan is for a draw-down of American troops in 2011, at the present time it appears that American drones are extending the battle further into Pakistan every month. Obama and his bellicose Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, continue to ratchet up tensions between the US and Iran, in an eerie reprise of the tactics President Clinton used to isolate and punish Iraq prior to the formal declaration of war between the two countries under President George W. Bush.
Fear and anxiety are rampant across the globe as people and nations prepare for potential economic disaster and possible new and wider wars in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. People around the world are looking for hope, praying for relief from suffering and asking for help from their Spiritual Guides and Teachers, Angelic Beings of Light, and Divine Source. Jane and I have been focused on the search for spiritual and practical guidance as well.
Message to Lightworkers
Late last night, after working all day on this newsletter, I received some extremely hopeful spiritual guidance while in a meditative state, and I would like to pass along the following message to Lightworkers in the hope that you will be uplifted as I was. This is the message in a nutshell:
• We are witnessing another phase in the ongoing collapse of globalization that we predicted in early 2008, very early in the present crisis.
• The world is currently undergoing a crisis that transcends concerns about the end of the age of oil, or class-based political struggles over the proper configuration of rules and regulations in a capitalist economy.
• The events described in this newsletter point to a much more fundamental transformation in human affairs that will be required if our civilization is to survive and thrive.
• This twin financial and ecological crisis marks the end of the High Industrial Age of Hydrocarbons, brought about by uncontrolled greed and predation in financial markets and by the onset of peak oil production, which guarantees dwindling supplies of the fuels that support our current way of life.
• More importantly, this crisis marks the beginning of the end of the culture of hierarchy and male domination that has existed for thousands of years, ever since the establishment of large-scale agriculture, priestly accounting castes, giant-sized grain storage bins, and a predatory, hereditary class of “nobles” in civilizations around the world, from Mesopotamia to Egypt to Europe to Asia.
• The great monotheistic religions of the world, which represent the patriarchal model of spiritual aspiration, have declared war on one another.
• The great Powers of the world, America, China, and the rest, are positioning themselves to obtain a lion’s share of dwindling global hydrocarbon fuels, by peaceful means or by use of military might if necessary.
• It is clear to thoughtful observers that the Gulf Oil Spill, global warming, resource wars in the Middle East, and the unbridled greed and predation inflicted upon the world by financial elites represent the ultimate result of a human civilization based upon the domination of society by predatory financial, political and religious elites.
• We are slowly destroying the Earth’s ability to sustain human life as we know it today. We are impoverishing billions of innocent human beings and concentrating unprecedented wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer predators.
The antidote to all these global problems is to learn the lessons of Saturn in Libra. Saturn will be in Libra from July 7, 2010 until October 5, 2012. During that time the United States will experience its Saturn Return, which historically has been a challenging time for the country. Saturn is said to be “exalted” in Libra, because the constraining influence of Saturn, known as the Cosmic Taskmaster, is relaxed somewhat in the sign of Libra, which is ruled by Venus, Mistress of Love and Beauty. Saturn in Libra emphasizes lessons concerning the Libra values of co-operation, equity, fair play and compassion.
Saturn in Libra provides us with a framework for optimization of relationships. In other words when Saturn is in this Venus-ruled sign of Libra, Saturn, the planet of Karma and hard lessons is focused on the perfection of relationships. We are presented with circumstances that force us to work co-operatively with others to solve seemingly intractable problems. The more co-operation the better our Saturn experience will be.
On an individual level, and on a global scale, the current global crises, reflected in the stars by the Grand Cardinal Cross of 2010, challenge us to transcend our conflicts with others and to find ways to work together for our mutual benefit and for the overall good of humanity.
The problems of peak oil, resource wars, religious wars, and overly hierarchical societies governed by predatory elites can only be solved by an unprecedented level of co-operation on the individual, family, neighborhood, local, national and global scale. The great challenge for all of us is to overcome our differences and work together to solve the problems that are common to all humanity. That’s a really tough assignment from the Cosmic Taskmaster, Saturn!
My spiritual Guides tell me that the more we can co-operate with one another to find innovative, equitable solutions to our common problems that will benefit everyone involved, the better the outcome will be for all humanity. Humanity is now entering a space of transition, a time of choice and commitment, when the old withers and dies, and the new struggles to be born. Humanity is blessed with an opportunity to embrace a new vision for human civilization. We are entering what my spiritual Guides call an “omnidirectional gateway” with the potential for humanity to make choices that will shape an entirely new reality on planet Earth.
It’s important for Lightworkers to understand that this global crisis is a golden opportunity for humanity to choose accelerated spiritual progress, which will manifest as global agreements to avoid environmental disaster, diplomatic solutions among warring nations and co-operation among friends, neighbors and family to implement energy-saving life strategies and local solutions to the twin environmental and energy crises.
Depending on what choices we make, and how well we can learn the lessons of Saturn in Libra, humanity may emerge from this civilizational gateway into a world of total war of all against all, into a world that resembles the Dark Ages, or into a world in which together we find ways to transcend the limits of the current Industrial Age of Global War, Global Markets and Global Environmental Crisis.
The Grand Cardinal Cross of 2010
There are several extremely rare planetary configurations in 2010, that many astrologers feel will usher in a complete restructuring of global society over the long term. The immediate effects are likely to include the further collapse of the global financial system, massive environmental catastrophes, social upheaval, and potential warfare among classes, nations, religions and races.
Most discussed is the historic Jupiter/Uranus-Pluto-Saturn T-Square (or Grand Cardinal Cross), which includes a Jupiter-Saturn opposition, Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, and the Saturn-Pluto square, featuring Jupiter and Uranus in Aries, Saturn in Libra, and Pluto in Capricorn.
The timing of Pluto’s entry into Capricorn, on January 25, 2008, puts the planet of sub-molecular transformation in the sign associated with big business, big government and big finance, and coincided with the beginning of the present economic crisis, which was predicted on this web site in February 2008 in an article I wrote entitled ” The Coming Collapse of Globalization”. Pluto will remain in Capricorn until March 23, 2023.
Astrologers who attempt to predict future trends and events associate the planet Pluto with the energy of purifying disruption and total renovation of outmoded or diseased elements. Thus when Pluto enters Capricorn a total restructuring of our large financial, corporate and governmental systems seems assured. A series of Uranus-Saturn oppositions and Saturn-Pluto squares since Pluto entered Capricorn have co-incided with further systemic financial and political crises around the world.
The Saturn-Pluto cycle is considered a prominent indicator of world-changing events by mundane astrologers. Saturn and Pluto were square one another during World War I, in opposition during the Great Depression, in square at the start of World War II, and in opposition during 2001, at the outset of the so-called “War on Terror”, which is really a global resource war as much as anything else, a response to the dwindling supply of hydrocarbons on the planet.
The first instance of Saturn opposing Uranus became exact on the day of the US presidential election. The opposition of these two slow-moving giant outer planets takes place five times between 2009 and 2012. The planet Uranus is associated with revolutionary transformations, social upheaval, and lightning-fast changes from one state of being into another.
A Uranus-Saturn opposition indicates a vast struggle between elements that wish to preserve the status quo and elements attempting to birth new social relations, new social institutions, new social contracts and new cultural paradigms.
This type of dynamic is readily visible in today’s world a we watch world leaders struggle to manage the global financial crisis. It is clear that global elites will go to any lengths to maintain the current financial system, which rewards them so well, and that these elites are so far having little real success in restoring normalcy to financial markets, currencies, or stock markets.
In February 2008 I said, “I believe we are witnessing the slow motion collapse of the current financial system, known as ‘globalization’, which is shorthand for a whole range of political, economic and social policies, including laissez-faire Utopian capitalism and its trickle-down economics, Reaganomics, free trade and the leveling down of global wages, human rights and environmental protection, financial deregulation and corporate oligarchy. For over a decade social reformers have waged an intermittent but high-profile mass movement protesting the current system, and anti-globalization protests have become a common occurrence from Washington to Europe to Japan.
“But now it looks like this mass campaign will not be necessary to topple the neo-liberal economic ideology that has had the world in its fevered grip for the last twenty-five years – the system is toppling of its own weight in a slow-motion collapse that will make the chaos that accompanied the unraveling of the Soviet Empire look like a Boy Scout jamboree.”
Fast-forward to mid-year 2010. Despite a drumbeat of “happy news” in the mainstream American media, it’s clear that this is no ordinary downturn in the business cycle, as the pundits and politicians and bankers proclaim.
This is a turning point in history. The current global crisis is written in the stars, where we can clearly see a combination of extremely rare planetary configurations that only occur once in hundreds of years – or even less frequently than that. The negative aspects that have been recurring over the last few years are building up to a climax this summer, in the rare configuration we’ve noted, called the Grand Cardinal Cross. Actually, there will be a series of Grand Crosses in the summer of 2010 –one of which occurs a few days after the solstice, with seven planets participating.
Uranus and Jupiter in Aries will square Pluto and Moon in Capricorn. Saturn in late Virgo, about to re-enter the Cardinal sign of Libra, will form the third corner of the Grand Cardinal Cross, and the Sun and Mercury, in Cancer, will form the fourth. This will give the solstice period near the end of June — already considered a sacred portal for many spiritual thinkers, ancient and modern — the quality of a bulls-eye. The deployment of the stars this summer suggests that the events that began in 2007 are now set to reach a climax. The financial crisis that began in New York has now spread across the globe.
The Global Financial Meltdown: Part Deux
The Banking Crisis of 2007-2010 that was sparked by the collapse of the U.S. housing bubble has now spread far beyond America, and is threatening to destabilize debtor countries such as Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and the UK. The new financial hegemon, China, is also suffering from a severe case of unprecedented cheap credit-driven financial and property bubbles, a slumping stock market, shriveling export markets, an overvalued currency and domestic unrest.
The Greek financial crisis threatens the entire Eurozone, and by extension, the global financial system. Markets around the world have gone bipolar in a series of hysterical moves targeting the debt of the European countries perceived to have the weakest economies.
“Bank stocks plunged last week under the theory that banking companies will take large losses in Europe. The theory is correct. Banks will get hurt,” Richard Bove of Rochdale Securities LLC wrote in a mid-May 2010 research note. Bove wrote in a separate report last week that “big American banks have a bigger stake in this drama than thought.” He estimates that JPMorgan Chase has $1.4 trillion of exposure across all of Europe alone, while Citigroup Inc. has $468.4 billion. Analysts say that large U.S. banks have ties to troubled European nations through overseas counterparts, and these ties create risks that are difficult to quantify, but which are certainly quite dangerous. U.S. money-center banks routinely trade derivatives, orchestrate currency swaps and handle other types of large transactions with major European banks. U.S. banks may not hold a lot of government bonds issued by troubled Euro-zone debtor countries, but European institutions with deep ties to the U.S. banks do have a dangerous level of exposure. If Greece defaults, for example, that could create a crisis of confidence in the European banking market that would spread to large U.S. banks.
“Obviously, the European banks have exposure to Greece. The U.S. banks have loans out to those banks,” said Keith Davis, an analyst with Farr Miller & Washington. “There are a number of different ways they can have exposure — it’s not hard to imagine how a wildfire can spread.” (From “Europe’s debt Crisis, US Banks Exposure“, Paul Davis and Matt Monks, American Banker)
The response of the German financial and political mandarins who control the levers of Eurozone monetary policy has been to implement a series of policies that Herbert Hoover would have recognized and approved whole heartedly.
Instead of recognizing that the financial crisis requires creation of jobs, debt forgiveness for individuals, homeowners, small business, and even countries such as Greece who were taken in by the false promises of financiers who steered the country into over-indebtedness, the German masters of Eurozone monetary policies are forcing the Greek government into the arms of the international financiers at the IMF, who are putting Greece into a fiscal straitjacket, cutting services, wages, pensions and benefits and raising taxes on the middle classes.
In effect the plan is to force the average person in Greece pay for the bailout of the big foreign banks who stand to lose money from making highly speculative loans to the Greek government. The IMF forced similar measures on an array of Latin American and Asian debtor nations in the Eighties and Nineties, resulting in the impoverishment of many nations and the ratcheting up of social tensions that spilled over into civil war in many cases.
The destabilization of governments required to enforce inhuman policies that impoverished tens of millions often required a military coup to install a dictatorship that would crush dissent, murder substantial numbers of dissidents and enforce the austerity measures demanded by the international financial community. Now these same failed policies that wrecked numerous Third World Countries are being prepared for implementation in advanced, industrialized countries for the very first time.
As the world learned from Herbert Hoover’s failed austerity policies in the 1930s and from the failed IMF restructuring of debtor nation social contracts in the last decades of the Twentieth Century, austerity programs do not lead to financial recovery for financially troubled individual nations or for the global economy. In fact the results are quite the opposite. Such policies can successfully provide a steady stream of high-cost loan monies to the big bank and financial houses that stand as creditors in such situations, but the social cost is so huge that these policies were almost totally discredited prior to the present crisis. To the amazement of informed observers, these same failed policies are now being resurrected in the Eurozone, at the behest of “global markets”.
“To make it worse, ‘the markets’ can’t seem to decide what they want from these governments in order to love them again,” reports Mark Weisbrot in the May 26 UK Guardian. “Two weeks ago the euro was plummeting because the financial markets wanted more blood: they wanted Greece, Spain, Portugal, and the other currently victimised countries of Europe (Italy and Ireland) to commit to more spending cuts and tax increases. Then they got what they wanted, and within a day or two, the euro started crashing again because ‘the markets’ discovered that these pro-cyclical policies would actually make things worse in the countries that adopted them, and reduce growth in the whole eurozone.”
Despite the “no” vote delivered in financial markets on these retrograde austerity policies, they are still popular among bond hawks on Wall Street, who have successfully pressured President Obama to abandon all plans for additional fiscal stimulus in the United States and to embark on an American austerity plan that will slash government services, reduce government payrolls, increase unemployment, encourage defaults on pension plans, increase taxes and fees, and generally reduce living standards for all Americans not employed by the financial sector.
Despite the protests of the deficit hawks, the German government and the bond markets, the primary danger to the global economy is still not inflation, it is deflation. The world stands on the brink of another Great Depression. In response to the drumbeat of gloom and doom stories about the impending crash of the dollar and the ultimate bankruptcy of America, to be brought about by President Obama’s economic stimulus packages, economist James Galbraith believes that the danger of deficit-driven inflation in America is ZERO.
“What is the nature of the danger?” Galbraith asked in an interview in The Washington Post. “The only possible answer is that this larger deficit would cause a rise in the interest rate. Well, if the markets thought that was a serious risk, the rate on 20-year treasury bonds wouldn’t be 4 percent and change now. If the markets thought that the interest rate would be forced up by funding difficulties 10 years from now, it would show up in the 20-year rate. That rate has actually been coming down in the wake of the European crisis.”
“So there are two possibilities here. One is the theory is wrong. The other is that the market isn’t rational. And if the market isn’t rational, there’s no point in designing policy to accommodate the markets because you can’t accommodate an irrational entity.”
“We should be focusing on real problems and not fake ones,” contends Galbraith. “We have serious problems. Unemployment is at 10 percent. if we got busy and worked out things for the unemployed to do, we’d be much better off. And we can certainly afford it. We have an impending energy crisis and a climate crisis. We could spend a generation fixing those problems in a way that would rebuild our country, too. On the tax side, what you want to do is reverse the burden on working people. Since the beginning of the crisis, I’ve supported a payroll tax holiday so everyone gets an increase in their after-tax earnings so they can pay down their mortgages, which would be a good thing. You also want to encourage rich people to recycle their money, which is why I support the estate tax, which has accounted for an enormous number of our great universities and nonprofits and philanthropic organizations. That’s one difference between us and Europe.”
“The way people suggest they can cut spending without cutting [economic] activity is completely fallacious,” Galbraith explains. “This is appalling in Europe right now. The Greeks are being asked to cut 10 percent from spending in a few years. And the assumption is that this won’t affect GDP. But of course it will! It will cut at least 10 percent! And so they won’t have the tax collections to fund the new lower level of spending. Spain was forced to make the same announcement yesterday. So the Eurozone is going down the tubes.”
“On the other hand, look at Japan. They’ve had enormous deficits ever since the crash in 1988. What’s been the interest rate on government bonds ever since? It’s zero! They’ve had no problem funding themselves. The best asset to own in Japan is cash, because the price level is falling. It gets you 4 percent return. The idea that funding difficulties are driven by deficits is an argument backed by a very powerful metaphor, but not much in the way of fact, theory or current experience.”
The neo-liberal ideology of globalization, which established the current totally dysfunctional global financial system, is based upon very rigid notions concerning debt. When countries run deficits, the conventional wisdom is that they should slash spending, privatize assets, selling them off to speculators for a dime on the dollar, fire public sector workers, slash the social safety net, and cut all essential services, while raising taxes on essential commodities, or establishing a consumption tax, which will hurt those with the lowest incomes the most and impact those with high incomes the least.
As previously mentioned such policies are deflationary and they have not worked in Latin America and Asia in the last three decades. Nor did they work under Herbert Hoover’s administration in the 1930s, when these policies worsened the impact of the Great Depression and considerably lengthened its duration.
But we seem to be going back to the future, and our leaders around the world seem determined to replay the policy failures of the past because they are incapable of envisioning any alternatives.
As these austerity measures are implemented in Greece, they will be a drag on the Euro-economy, and may not prevent the sovereign debt of other highly indebted nations, including Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the UK, from coming under pressure. As it becomes more and more difficult and expensive for those nations to finance their debt and issue new bonds, the likelihood of IMF-sponsored austerity programs being forced on those nations increases dramatically.
As such programs are implemented civil unrest is virtually guaranteed. Riots, nationwide strikes and political paralysis such as have appeared throughout Greece could spread across Europe. Even if such unrest is avoided or repressed the end result of these austerity programs would be to further depress economic activity in the Eurozone. The austerity measures in Europe will end up negatively impacting those countries, like Germany and France, that export to their less affluent neighbors. The end result could be the complete financial and political disintegration of Europe.
The countries undergoing the IMF financial shock treatment could easily become European versions of Russia after the fall of Communism, when that country received financial shock therapy of a similar type, causing tens of millions to lose their livelihoods, depressing average Russian lifespans by decades, and creating virtually Third World conditions in that country.
The suffering in Russia as a result of these policies was nearly incalculable, but the austerity programs did force the Russian government to sell off their energy assets and other government owned assets to the aptly named “oligarchs”, who made billions off the suffering of their fellow Russians. Overall, economic “shock therapy” created a form of Russian gangster capitalism that persists to this day.
Amazingly enough, the leaders of the two economic superpowers, the US and China, are moving as rapidly as they can toward a similar form of “shock treatment”, planning to implement their own austerity measures in response to bond market criticism of those governments’ economic stimulus packages.
“China and the United States have begun to hunker down and pursue deflationary policies,” reports financial commentator Mike Whitney in his recent article “The Road to Recession”. [http://www.counterpunch.org/whitney05192010.html ] “China has already been blindsided by a steep 14.5% rise in the renminbi over the euro in the past 4 months which is beginning to hurt exports. But China’s leaders are also trying to unwind a real estate bubble that was created by loose monetary policies and the massive $600 billion fiscal stimulus package. Rather than drain liquidity by raising interest rates, (which would strengthen the renminbi) China is tightening lending standards to put more pressure on speculators. It’s a circular strategy to deal with a serious problem.”
This is from The People’s Daily in China online: ”On April 16, the State Council rolled out a series of measures to curb the domestic housing market amid concerns over asset bubbles. These measures include a 30 percent down payment for first time buyers for houses larger than 90 square meters, 50 percent down payment and lifting mortgage interest rate for second home buyers. The government has also imposed a temporary ban on mortgage applications for third or above home buys and cross-city purchases. Shanghai will be the third region after Beijing and Shenzhen to have rules governing property buys,” said Sun. “By tapping on the brakes, China will likely limit the fallout from the burst credit bubble, but will also slow investment which is the main driver of growth,” Whitney continues. “That leaves the experts divided about what the future holds in store; many now believe that China is headed for a ‘hard landing’.”
Here’s an excerpt from hedge fund manager Hugh Hendry with a particularly grim forecast: “The composition of China’s growth has undergone a potentially treacherous change: in the absence of expanding foreign demand for its exports, it has instead come to rely on a massive surge in domestic bank lending to fuel its growth rate. Indeed, when measured relative to the size of its economy, the 27pc point jump in bank loans to GDP is unprecedented; at no point in history has a nation ever attempted such an incredible increase in state-directed bank lending. “What a turnaround: from an export juggernaut to a credit addict. Who would have thought it necessary back in 2001, the year everything all started to work out for China?….China has become the world’s biggest creditor, after amassing nearly $2.3 trillion of foreign exchange claims on us. However, the specter of a creditor nation running persistent trade surpluses has ominous historical portents. It has happened only twice before, with the US economy in the Twenties and with the Japanese economy in the Eighties.” (“China: Hugh Hendry warns investors’ infatuation is misguided” UK Telegraph) “China’s economy is reeling from over-investment, under-consumption, and razor-thin profit margins,” argues Whitney. “A slowdown in China will only deepen the downturn in the EU by reducing the amount of liquidity in the system. This will lead to tighter credit and falling demand.”
Here in America, deflationary pressures continue to mount, even without the application of IMF and Herbert Hoover approved policies to beggar the middle classes while protecting the interests of the biggest and most poorly managed banks and investment houses. Here in America, there is widespread unwillingness to acknowledge the fact that the economy is not in a recovery from a traditional recession, but rather in a precarious state of instability which appears to be poised for another disastrous downturn.
Obama’s Wall Street bailouts, orchestrated by Treasury and the Fed, have put trillions of dollars in the hands of financial giants, and these banks and Wall Street investment houses have not used the money to write down bad assets on their books or to make loans that would promote economic recovery in the real economy, rather these trillions have been used to speculate in the stock markets, and the rush of Obama dollars into that market have created another vast financial bubble, which is even now on the verge of collapse. Meanwhile, millions of American are being reduced to debt peonage and worse.
Howard Davidowitz, the veteran retail industry consultant and chairman, Davidowitz & Associates, said in mid-February, 2009 that Americans’ standard of living was undergoing a “permanent change” as a result of negative wealth effects of an $8 trillion from declining home values, a $10 trillion from weakened capital markets, and a $14 trillion consumer debt load.
“Millions of jobs were lost in the year 2009 with a spate of companies shedding workers: 20,000 jobs cut at Caterpillar; 8,000 jobs cut by Sprint Nextel; 7,000 at Home Depot; 8,000 job cuts from the merger of Pfizer and Wyeth; 2,000 jobs lost at GM plants in Michigan and Ohio with many more clusters of thousands of jobs lost throughout the country,” said Davidowitz. “Over 3 million American homes will be lost to foreclosure this year. Unemployment is closer to 20% with millions out of work and giving up trying to find jobs. States are going broke with a huge pension crisis on the horizon and cannot meet their public budgets to provide basic services.”
“Schools are falling apart, families are living in their cars while ideology and political correctness dominated while massive corruption was allowed to run rampant under the direction of a generation who can only be called the “worst generation” in the history of the world” writes Davidowitz. Davidowitz continues: “It is said that 60% of all student loans in the U.S. are in default with an estimated $730 billion dollars in private and government student debt. the remaining 40% that is being paid leaves 60% in “forbearance” while interests continues to add up on top of the principle.”
How did this crisis occur?
In the introduction to his 2006 book, “The Economics of Global Turbulence”, UCLA historian Robert Brenner explains the structural flaw inherent to capitalism which inevitably leads to crisis.
“The fundamental source of today’s crisis is the steadily declining vitality of the advanced capitalist economies over three decades, business-cycle by business-cycle, right into the present. The long-term weakening of capital accumulation and of aggregate demand has been rooted in a profound system-wide decline and failure to recover the rate of return on capital, resulting largely – though not only – from a persistent tendency to overcapacity, i.e. oversupply, in global manufacturing industries. From the start of the long downturn in 1973, economic authorities staved off the kind of crises that had historically plagued the capitalist system by resort to ever greater borrowing, public and private, subsidizing demand. But they secured a modicum of stability only at the cost of deepening stagnation, as the ever greater buildup of debt and the failure to disperse over-capacity left the economy ever less responsive to stimulus….”
To deal with pervasive stagnation, Brenner says that the Fed embarked on a plan that would use “corporations and households, rather than the government, would henceforth propel the economy forward through titanic bouts of borrowing and deficit spending, made possible by historic increases in their on-paper wealth. themselves enabled by record run-ups in asset prices, the latter animated by low costs of borrowing. Private deficits, corporate and household, would thus replace public ones. The key to the whole process would be an unceasing supply of cheap credit to fuel the asset markets, ultimately insured by the Federal Reserve.” (“What’s Good for Goldman Sachs is Good for America: The Origins of the Current Crisis“, Robert Brenner, Center for Social theory and comparative History, UCLA, 2009)
“The present crisis is not accidental,” says economic analyst Mike Whitney. “The system is performing as it was designed to perform. The low interest rates, lax lending standards, leverage-maximizing derivatives, even blatant securities fraud have all been implemented to overcome the basic structural flaw in capitalism – its long-term tendency to stagnation. Naturally, this lethal policy-cocktail has generated greater systemic instability and increased the likelihood of another meltdown.”
“The Great Depression was composed of two separate panics… the economic conditions created by the first panic were eating away at the foundations of financial institutions and governments, notably the failure of Creditanstalt in Austria,” explain financial blogger Megan McArdle in a recent article, “Why Should You Be Freaked Out About Greece? Remember, The Great Depression Had Two Parts”, [Megan McArdle, businessinsider.com]
“The Austrian government, mired in its own problems, couldn’t forestall bankruptcy (and) the contagion had already spread. To Germany. Which was one of the reasons that the Nazis came to power. It’s also, ultimately, one of the reasons that we had our second banking crisis, which pushed America to the bottom of the Great Depression, and brought FDR to power here,” writes McArdle.
Now, in 2010, Germany is again threatened by financial contagion from its neighbors, and the situation is so explosive that once again it threatens to destabilize the entire Euro-zone, financially and politically. So what’s the bottom line for the global economy this summer?
“With the implementation of austerity programs throughout Club Med (Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy) German surpluses will shrivel and the EU’s GDP will shrink. Efforts to cool China’s economy will have equally damaging effects on global growth by choking off liquidity and slowing overall investment,” explains Mike Whitney. “The constraints on spending will adversely impact fiscal stimulus in the U.S. and accelerate the rate of deterioration. The political climate has changed in the U.S. and there’s no longer sufficient public support for a second round of stimulus. Without another boost of stimulus, the economy will lapse back into recession sometime by the end of 2010.”
So how bad will the second downward leg of the Great Recession likely become?
“A bigger meltdown than the credit crisis? Yes, Bush’s team drove America into a ditch. But now Obama and his money men, Summers, Geithner, Bernanke, are digging the hole deeper,” says MarketWatch analyst Paul Farrell in a May 25 commentary entitled “Warning: Crash dead ahead. Sell. Get liquid. Now.” [http://www.marketwatch.com/story/crash-is-dead-ahead-sell-get-liquid-now-2010-05-25?pagenumber=2]
“[Billionaire investor George] Soros says we have not learned ‘the lessons that markets are inherently unstable.’ As a result, ‘the success in bailing out the system on the previous occasion led to a super-bubble.’ Now ‘we are facing a yet larger bubble.’ Worse than 2008?”
“…This may not be a correction,” says Farrell. “Not even a bear. What’s coming could be worse than the 2000 dot-com crash and the 2008 meltdown combined, a ‘Super-Bubble’ says Soros.”
The Big “Big Picture”
To see the big picture, it’s helpful to step back from today’s news headlines and research the details of the extremely complex star system configurations that we will see this summer. We’ll explore their deep meaning and take a look at a vast historical panorama that will show us what happened during earlier similar situations. This may help us to process the extremely challenging and powerful energy of the Grand Cardinal Cross of 2010.
In astrology, a Grand Cross is said to occur when four planets are separated from each other by square aspects, appearing to be 90 degrees apart from one another. A grand cross can also be viewed as two oppositions (180 degrees apart) separated from each other by a square. In a grand cross, there is one planet in each astrological element (earth, air, fire and water) but all the planets are in similar signs, such as Fixed, Cardinal, or Mutable.
Because all the aspects in a grand cross are considered difficult, the grand cross is seen as a source of extreme tension whereby various aspects of the personality (represented by the planets) are working at cross purposes. This pulls the individual in different directions, and can lead to paralysis. It is said to take extraordinary effort to overcome the conflicts in a Grand Cross.
On one hand, the alignment represents a stalemate between opposing forces, and, on the other, the alignment represents a time where pressure, hardship, and frustration ultimately give birth to something radically new.
Twice in the twentieth century Pluto, Saturn and Uranus aligned in hard aspect: once in the early 1930s and again in the middle part of the 1960s. These were both times of financial turmoil and social conflict that led in one case to the New Deal and in another case to the end of the Vietnam war and the emergence of the sexual revolution, the women’s movement, the civil rights movement and the environmental movement.
This summer 2010, the Grand Cardinal Cross will include a series of both Uranus-Saturn oppositions and Pluto-Saturn squares. Pluto will be at 0-3° Capricorn, Uranus and Jupiter will be at at 0-3° Aries, and Saturn and Mars will be at at 0-3° Libra, respectively, while Earth & Moon will transit at 0-3° Cancer. It is assumed by astrologers studying mundane astrology that it will be a time of many challenges and changes. [See a list of planetary aspects at the end of this article.]
A July 26 alignment appears to be especially momentous. It occurs under a full moon, and includes Mars conjunct Saturn, opposed by Jupiter conjunct Uranus, all squared up to Pluto in Capricorn – the signature T-Square of the year, with the Red Planet and a full moon thrown in for good measure. Mars is integral to both of this year’s final Saturn-Uranus oppositions.
The 2010-2011 Jupiter-Saturn opposition is a typical “three-peat” alignment, due to retrogrades of first Saturn, then Jupiter and then Saturn again. It’s the first such opposition in these signs since the 1951-1952 triplet. Previous oppositional triplets like this occurred in 1156-1157, 1097-1098 and 362-363 in the Common Era (CE), as well as 551-550 and 492-491 BCE (Before the Common Era). With only a half-dozen or so examples in 3,000 years, this particular transitional opposition of Jupiter and Saturn is fairly rare.
Pluto moved into Capricorn previously in 1762. Many astrologers have remarked that the infamous Revenue Act of 1762 and the Stamp Act of 1765 provided the triggers that set off the explosion known as the American Revolution. And many astrologers have remarked that Pluto’s 265 year cycle around the Sun often corresponds to the rise and fall of Empires. America is experiencing its Pluto Return at this time, so there is a school of astrological forecasting that expects the American Empire to implode during the next few years.
Many astrologers are also suggesting that the Grand Cardinal Cross represents the impending disintegration of the social, political and financial paradigms implemented during the Industrial Revolution, which is said to have begun in approximately 1762, when Pluto last moved into Capricorn.
The combination of the BP Gulf Oil Disaster and the ongoing turbulence in global financial markets, which now threatens to undermine the social contract and the political system in a large and ever-increasing number of countries is seen by some to be a clear indicator that the Industrial Age of Oil is drawing to a close.
Astrologers hold out hope that the current Age of Oil will be replaced by a new, sustainable Age of Renewable Energy. It is reasonable to expect that the next twenty some odd years, while Pluto is in Capricorn, will also see the emergence of new sources of energy, new, sustainable economies and societies, and new post-carbon ways of life.
One big question is whether the new post-carbon civilization will be born through blood and war, famine and economic collapse, or through a more harmonious transition. Another big question is whether we will enter a new Dark Age as existing structures collapse.
The extent of environmental degradation and disasters caused by human activity during the Age of Oil cannot be quantified and predictions concerning environmental impacts are iffy, but most scientists agree that we have only a few decades at most to wean ourselves from dependence on hydrocarbon fuels and products.
The events occurring this summer should provide us with signposts that will help us to understand the direction world events are taking, and to more accurately predict the broad shape of future probabilities.
“The heavy stuff is coming up May 30-June 25, when 12 major signatures unfold, including Jupiter and Uranus moving into Aries and forming a conjunction with one another,” says financial astrologer Robert Merriman, who writes for StarIQ.com. “There is no greater correlation to primary and longer market cycles in Financial Astrology than Jupiter and Uranus in a hard aspect like this. I would say that this should be very exciting, filled with many powerful events and wild price swings in financial markets. But we are already experiencing it. This is the 4th layer of the Cardinal Climax. The fifth and deepest layer is coming up late July through early August. And then we will know what the ground looks like. But hopefully we can remember the way back out—or find a new way out.”
It’s all pretty complicated, but here is some information that could help to clarify the various influences at work at this very busy time in the sky, and to identify the more positive aspects at work during the summer of 2010.
One major aspect involved in the Cardinal Cross is Saturn in Libra squaring Pluto in Capricorn. This is a waning square, which means that this aspect is a point in a process that began when Saturn and Pluto were last conjunct, in 1980-83. This waning square indicates that policies and cultural paradigms that were initiated at that time are now waning in influence, and in fact, about to pass into the dustbin of history.
The victory of Ronald Reagan, of social Darwinism and of neoliberal laissez-faire capitalism occurred during the years from 1980-83, and it is clear to unbiased observers that the current financial crisis represents the slow, painful death of the Reaganite ideology which extolled unbridled competition, deregulation, privatization, unilateral use of military force, and know-nothingism.
Unfortunately, the crisis of Reaganomics is also a crisis of the entire global financial system, because during the last thirty years the entire world has adopted the ideology of the extreme right wing Reagan-Thatcher team and it has become the conventional wisdom in almost every major country of the world. The waning square indicates that a time of decline has begun for all institutions that are affected — in this case financial institutions, currencies, and political systems and ideologies. This time of systemic decline will persist until the next conjunction of Saturn and Pluto, many years into the future.
The Uranus-Pluto square perfects seven times between the years 2010 and 2015, indicating that this decline will be accelerated again and again over the coming years.
The United States will be hit particularly hard by these aspects. For the first time since the American Revolution, both Saturn and Pluto will be in the signs they occupied at the time of the 1776 Declaration of Independence.
“If we use some variant of the Sibly chart as a significator of American civilization and we get that Sun-Saturn square on July 4th from Cancer to Libra (in 2010) – through the 200-plus years of American history, every time two outer planets have aligned in the opposite cardinal signs and you get a grand cross, there is a great depression, there is a complete falling apart of the economy,” explains astrologer and Satya Center contributor Bill Herbst.
When you combine this Saturn-Pluto square aspect with the opposition of Saturn and Uranus, you get a powerful “centrifuge” effect, which acts like a Cosmic blender, shredding the institutional arrangements that characterized the late Twentieth Century Industrial Age.
The last time there was a Saturn-Uranus opposition was in the 1960s. At that time there was a financial crisis caused by overspending in the US on the Vietnam War and the Great Society social programs. Americans wanted both guns and butter and found they couldn’t afford everything on the menu. Americans still want both guns and butter, and they still can’t afford everything they want, so that hasn’t changed.
However the crisis of capitalism in the 1960s was in some ways a result of friction caused by the conflict between unions and working people and society’s wealth-holders – investors and corporations. There was a Cold War going on all over the world between Communism and capitalism which was very expensive and dangerous for all concerned. In addition, formerly powerless members of society were suddenly standing up for their rights in the US. Young people refused to submit to the discipline of the American dream, and opted out of the corporate world in favor of sex, drugs and rock and roll.
Even more frightening to the American leadership, young people refused to take part in the war in Vietnam. African-Americans took to the streets and demanded the rights taken for granted by white Americans. Women refused to be confined to the traditional female roles of housewife, mother or whore and demanded the right to work alongside their husbands, fathers and sons.
So the neoliberal leadership took it upon itself to establish a new American culture, a Reaganite culture. Thirty years later, the power of unions has been crushed. Young people view service in the military as a road to a good career, and perhaps a chance to be a hero. We have an African-American president, but the civil rights movement has disappeared. Latino-Americans are in danger of being targeted by anti-immigration policies that could result in the creation of a national identity card, and requirements that every American prove their citizenship and bona fides on a regular basis to any uniformed police officer who wants to see them. Women are ubiquitous in the work force, but they earn less than men, and now conventional female roles are becoming increasingly attractive to a new generation of girls who have no memory of a time when women had to fight for their rights.
The American elites have successfully implemented a dramatic rollback of Constitutional rights, creating an authoritarian form of American democracy that those of us who came of age in the 1960s barely recognize. It is understood now that the government can classify anyone as a terrorist and they will be immediately stripped of all rights of citizenship, without any form of trial or redress. Americans assume that ubiquitous video surveillance, phone tapping, and humiliating searches in airports are all necessary and proper elements of a functioning democracy.
But this financial oligarchy sustained by a newly authoritarian form of democracy is destined to break down, under the influence of the Saturn-Uranus opposition, along with all the mechanisms of control that have sustained it, here in America, and around the world.
That’s a good thing. We are being given a chance to let go of the current status quo, and business as usual is destroying our civilization. The hydrocarbon based Industrial Revolution brought us World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and the Unending War on Terror, projected to last fifty years or more. That amounts to nearly 200 years of warfare. The Age of Oil also has brought us to a point where humans have destabilized the global environment, warming the Earth and polluting ocean and soil to the point where the continued viability of our civilization is in question.
The unbridled economic competition of the Reagan-Thatcher years has also loosened all the ties that sustained a shared sense of community that transcended gender, race, political affiliation and economic class, fueling a growing sense that each individual human being is engaged in a war of all against all, in which the winners take all and the losers are left to fend for themselves, no matter how horrible the outcome may be.
This soul-destroying war of all against all is the product of those spiritual forces that seek to regress humanity to a state of animalistic consciousness. There is no place for compassion, for selfless service, for individual spiritual practices and progress, in a world devoted completely to ruthless, unbridled economic competition. In a world of dwindling hydrocarbon resources, where dominant societies all depend utterly upon hydrocarbons for fuel, food, transport and military might, resource wars are bound to be the end result.
So it is vital for economic, social, political and spiritual reasons that the current culture die and disintegrate. Naturally it is important that the disintegration be managed in such a way as to minimize the harm done by the cultural collapse, and to optimize opportunities to experiment with and implement new cultural paradigms, new economic systems, new political systems and new sustainable energy sources.
But the Cosmic Weather Forecast indicates that the birth of the new world culture and the post-Oil economy will be a forced birth. The New Age will bear the marks of Pluto and Saturn’s forceps upon its forehead. So we must all be prepared to meet these extremely challenging times with an attitude of reverence, love, self-sacrifice and above all, courage and faith.
For now we are faced with a stark choice. We are either part of the problem or part of the solution. There is no pressure to instantly formulate answers to all of humanity’s problems. It is clear from a look at the stars that it will be at least the year 2012 before new visions, new ways of being, new forms of community, begin to form, in an embryonic way.
The difficulty is that there will be immense fear surrounding the sense of loss that is inevitable when cultural collapse takes place. That sense of fear impels people and nations to act aggressively, to act impulsively, and to act without concern for the effect their actions will have on others. The antidote to all that fear and anger and aggression is to internalize the highest aspects of the Saturn in Libra archetype. Saturn is exalted in Libra, and represents the ability to harmonize conflicting demands through creative mediation rather than confrontation or aggression.
Those of us who are Lightworkers or work in the healing arts, and those of us who hold aloft the standards of civil liberties, social justice, environmental equity, and human rights will be besieged by a tidal wave of negative energy emanating from those who wish to salvage the status quo, and from those who wish to act impulsively and aggressively to scapegoat relatively powerless others for society’s problems. Tension, worry and fear of loss are the primary energy signatures of the planetary and cultural forces that could tend to paralyze those seeking to help birth the New Age.
Meditation, tranquility of mind, and faith in our Higher Purpose, our spiritual guidance and our evolutionary path as human beings will see us through the sea of negative emotions surrounding us. Don’t expect the society around us to suddenly snap to the nature of the problem and embrace the new. That way you won’t be disappointed. We Lightworkers have to play a long-term game. We know in our hearts, and we hear in meditation that in the end this inadequate global civilization will pass away and something new and beautiful will replace it. The stars confirm our inner guidance.
“…If we look at the planets beyond Saturn and their relationship to one another, we see another reality unfolding. There are even longer-term cycles of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto to one another. These planets are in their waxing phase, which suggests this is also a time of growth,” says financial astrologer Raymond Merriman of StarIQ.com.
“In fact, it is a time of Renaissance, with brilliant inventions in science and technology and progress in the quest for world peace in the not-too-distant future,” Merriman continues. “The pain and suffering of today are destined to result in decisions that lead to a brighter and even more advanced civilization than what we experienced during the last century. It may seem that we are going backward, to a time of lawlessness and financial darkness. But we will come out of this, if I am reading God’s handwriting the heavens correctly. Even the forthcoming square of Uranus and Pluto [between 2011 and 2015] is not insurmountable. This is a waxing square, not a waning square. Waxing squares are like “the pain of the birthing process”, not like the pain of the waning square, which is the realization that the end of something is near. In the waxing square, the light is on the increase: the future is brighter. . .After all, in the midst of the Cardinal Climax period of 2008-2015, we have this wonderful window of opportunity when Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune are in mutual reception for only the second time in 3,000 years. Jupiter and Neptune are conjunct in the forward-looking sign of Aquarius. There is hope, and with hope there is no limit to what is possible.”
May you each receive the Grace and Spiritual Guidance you need to overcome fear and anger, and the Inspiration and Vision you need to begin to implement new ways of living lightly on the Earth, with love and compassion for all those around you, even those you have traditionally thought of as your enemies.
Many blessings, Curtis and Jane
Grand Cardinal Cross 2010 Timeline
May 23, 2010 – Jupiter opposes Saturn (first time since 1990-91)
May 27-28, 2010 – Uranus enters tropical Aries
May 30th, 2010 – Saturn stations direct motion
June 5-6, 2010 – Jupiter enters tropical Aries
June 6-7, 2010 – Mars enters tropical Virgo
June 8, 2010 – Jupiter conjoins Uranus
July 5, 2010 – Uranus stations retrograde at 0-Aries
July 8, 2010 – Jupiter turns North in declination
July 11, 2010 – New Moon total eclipse at 19-Cancer (not seen in N. America)
July 21, 2010 – Saturn re-enters tropical Libra for good
July 23, 2010 – Jupiter stations retrograde
July 25, 2010 – Jupiter Squares Pluto
July 26, 2010 – Fifth Saturn/Uranus opposition
July 31, 2010 – Mars & Jupiter turn S in Declination
August 3, 2010 – Jupiter, retrograde, Squares Pluto again
August 6, 2010 – Venus turns South in Declination
August 13-14, 2010 – Uranus re-enters tropical Pisces
August 16, 2010 – Jupiter Opposes Saturn
August 20, 2010 – Mercury retrogrades in Virgo
August 21, 2010 – Saturn Squares Pluto
September 8, 2010 – Saturn turns South in declination
September 8, 2010 – New Moon at 15-Virgo
September 8, 2010 – Venus enters Scorpio
September 8-9, 2010 – Jupiter re-enters tropical Pisces
September 12, 2010 – Mercury stations direct
September 14, 2010 – Pluto stations direct
September 14, 2010 – Mars enters Scorpio
September 19, 2010 – Jupiter conjoins Uranus in Pisces
October 8, 2010 – Venus stations retrograde in Scorpio
[Photo Credits: Scroll over photo to see credits. Artwork is by Jane Sherry]