No sooner had the phone hacking scandal dissipated then the UK was hit by global stock market volatility with European and American shares falling to record lows in the wake of uncertainty about US and Italian national debts at the start of August.
A few days later, a number of flashmobs and riots broke out, starting in Tottenham, London on the 6th, soon spreading across the UK the following week, accompanied by wholesale looting of certain high street shops . At the time, Pluto and Uranus in cardinal signs came within 1 degree of an exact t-square with Mars in Cancer – almost exactly one year from the Pluto-Mars-Jupiter t-square that formed part of the so-called 2010 ‘cardinal event’. This reached its peak on the 6th of August 2010 when the Pluto-Mars-Jupiter t-square became a grand cross when joined by Saturn in Libra and the Moon in Cancer.
For a recap of my commentary about the 2010 Cardinal Event, you can visit the Astro-Sphere Astrology website.
Extremely tense formations, both the 2010 and 2011 configurations involved Pluto, symbol of dramatic reform and fiery Mars, planet of war and youthful impetuousness – a heady mix demanding major institutional change – a quality emphasised in August 2011 by the involvement of Uranus, planet of social revolution, rebellion and disruption. Worth noting in terms of the youthful demographic involved in these flashmobs is the fact that Uranus, in its position in Mars-ruled Aries, the first sign of the zodiac and therefore considered a youthful sign.
Interestingly, Mars energy was also prominent during the students’ demonstrations back in March 2011 about university tuition fees which turned increasingly violent as first Jupiter, then Mercury, Uranus and finally the Sun entered Aries and squared Saturn in Libra. With David Cameron a Sun Libra, and his Deputy-PM, Nick Clegg, a Sun Capricorn it seems as though Saturn in Libra came to represent the parental figures of authority, and the rule of law against which the demonstrators felt they had to act out against. Certainly the Liberal Democrats got a lot of stick from students around the time of this event, with many stating that they felt that they had been betrayed.
Both events led to huge financial losses, both for individuals and business owners. It may therefore be significant that Mercury, ruler of commerce, was retrograde for most of August – tellingly, stationing on the 3rd – just two days before the stock markets destabilised and three days before the riots broke out. At the time, Mercury, on the cusp of Virgo and Leo, was in orb of an opposition to Neptune – a configuration that reached exactitude on the 8th in the signs of Leo (Mercury) and Aquarius (Neptune). This negative aspect is associated with disillusionment, confusion and misguided thinking. Certainly, we saw a lot of people with very unsettling ideas about themselves (Leo) in relation to society (Aquarius), including a very worrying sense of entitlement present in the justifications used many of the looters to explain their actions. Many spectators reported feeling a sense of unreality about the whole situation. Words such as ‘mindless’ hooliganism and thuggery were used by community leaders to describe what was happening. It was almost as though Mercury’s retrograde, and therefore weakened condition, together with its negative contact with Neptune, made its chief quality – that of rationality and intelligence – temporarily disappear.
Looking at the relationship between Neptune and the current financial crisis, it is worth pointing out that some astrologers, including Maggie Hyde, have felt that the 2007/8 and 2001 recession were in large part caused by a reliance on ‘fantasy money’i. She and her colleague, financial speculator, Jack Kenny, point to a set of squares and oppositions made by Jupiter (expansion= ‘boom’) and Saturn (contraction= ‘bust’) to Neptune just in 2000 and 2006 – just before both downturns, suggesting that perhaps it was Neptune that came to symbolise financial speculation not based on real assetswhich eventually led to financial meltdown.
In recent months, Neptune has been retrograde, slowly edging back towards the cusp of Pisces – reaching 0° Pisces on the 4th of August 2011 – around about the time that the stock market fell and the riots occurred. Chillingly, the Japan earthquakes and tsunami’s that occurred in March 2011 happened just as Neptune, then direct, crossed the boundary of Aquarius and entered Pisces…and a week after the New Moon in Pisces. One wonders what will happen when Neptune returns to direct motion and re-enters Pisces on the 3rd of February 2012!… We are also due a Full Moon in Neptune-ruled Pisces in September – hopefully this will not augur in a time of super floods or storms either….