January seemed to be a month themed around economics and money. The headlines were filled with news and views on this topic, from speculation and fears about the future of Europe and the global economy at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to anger and indignation about banker’s bonuses and the apparent lack of corporate responsibility or social accountability exhibited by the finance sector when it comes to top executive pay in the UK.
With a raft of planets, including the Sun, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Pluto, all inhabiting or passing through earth signs for the first two-thirds of the month, it seems appropriate that many of us were absorbed by thoughts of material security and issues of survival during January.
Interestingly, both the Sun and Mercury spent most of January in pessimistic and conservative Capricorn – the same sign as reformer, Pluto, which is set to shake up governments and force the rebuilding of social institutions from the ground upwards, until at least 2024. As the ruler of Scorpio, Pluto is also associated with the attributes of revenge and retribution, so it was interesting to note how many UK bankers were reported to be feeling as though they were being made into scapegoats by politicians and were victims of a public ‘lynch mob mentality.’ These reports surfaced in the paper in reaction to the news that the former chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), the bank that received the biggest proportion of taxpayer’s money during the financial bailouts in 2008, Fred Goodwin was stripped of his knighthood for his role in the company’s failure.
The term, ‘scapegoat’ has interesting verbal associations with the zodiac sign of Capricorn, the constellation of the Mountain Goat, which I thought was quite thought-provoking, whilst the word, ‘catharsis’ (used by one economics reporter in describing the current political trend towards introducing legislation to regulate the financial sector more, as well as place heftier taxes on executive bonuses) is definitely a word synonymous with the attributions of Pluto. Put together, it strongly suggests that one of the side effects of Pluto’s transit through Capricorn will be a systematic purging of the corrupt elements within our society, including those who have abused their position in order to profit from the misery of others. This is theme that I have talked about several times in the last year, and one which I think we will continue to hear more about as Uranus and Pluto continue to move in and out of contact with each other between now and November 2013.
Fairness, or the lack thereof, especially when it comes to the pay gap between rich and poor, was also a major theme towards the end of January. This could perhaps be symbolically attributed to Saturn’s current tour of Libra, the sign that rules fairness and justice. To many people, including those who support the Occupy Movement, it seems as if corporations, and indeed capitalism itself, has for too long operated within a paradigm which encouraged the rampant exploitation of people and resources, for no reason other than that of unbridled greed – a situation that is fast becoming morally acceptable to many people. It will be interesting to see if the ingress of Neptune into Pisces, the sign of compassion and charity, helps to rectify this. Many people feel that the time has come to restore some soul and humanity back into the business practices of the West – perhaps Neptune’s return to its own sign, could be a sign that we are about to engage seriously with this process.
Neptune also seemed to have a hand in events surrounding the capsizing of the cruise ship, the Costa Concordia, which took place on the 13th of January 2012. On this day, Venus, planet of pleasure and holidays, made a conjunction to Neptune, mythical ruler of the sea, in the final degrees of Aquarius. Although generally considered to be a positive blending of planetary energies, conjunctions can sometimes be a little ambiguous, perhaps because there is no telling whether the good or bad qualities of each planet will be emphasised. In this case, it seems as if the combination of the two led to a serious lapse in critical judgement on the part of the ship’s captain, causing him to steer the ship off course, which ultimately had serious consequences. The fact the Venus and Neptune were in Aquarius could be interpreted as emblematic of an unforeseen or sudden marine accident.
In addition, Chiron, the asteroid associated with wounds and injuries, was also hovering near to Venus in the early degrees of Pisces, which might well symbolise the tragic and unnecessary deaths of several passengers who never made it off the ship. Just as an aside, when the Titanic sank off the coast of Newfoundland, Chiron was also located in the early degrees of Pisces and Venus was in Aries, the sign of its detriment– a coincidence? The accident occurred off the coast of Italy, a country traditionally ruled by the sign of Pisces.