July 2015 © Malvin Artley

Greetings Everyone!

Most of us are probably familiar with the saying, “Live for today, because you never know what is going to happen tomorrow.” Of course, there are many variations on the statement, but it is true enough. We could also say, “Live for today and prepare for tomorrow,” but there again, we don’t know what tomorrow will bring aside from probabilities. In the world of human interaction, ‘probability’ is never a given when it comes to spiritual progress. I don’t normally write mid-year letters, but given all that has happened in recent weeks and given the tone of this year as well, I thought it might be at least interesting to have a look at what is taking place in the vein of what these events might mean subjectively. Boy, was I in for a surprise! You might say I got three bags full of information and insight when I sat down to write this. The title of this letter is, of course, a play of words on the old English nursery rhyme dating from 1731 that most of us learned early in our lives. Suffice it to say, though, that the Year of the Wood Sheep has more than lived up to expectations[1], and we are only halfway through the year.

World Events Since the Cancer Full Moon There have been several events of late—especially around and since the Cancer full moon—which should have engaged our attention, for they signal changes that have been instituted subjectively, but which are being met with either scant recognition or with stiff resistance in some quarters. The following is not all-inclusive but can be briefly outlined as follows:

  • The most obvious one has been the Greek financial crisis, which has engaged the Western world for several weeks now. Initial agreement was reached on July 16. Referendum was July 5.
  • The fly-by of Pluto by the New Horizons space probe. This has a profound occult significance, which we will examine directly. (July 14)
  • The confirmation of the discovery of the pentaquark, a subatomic particle that will allow physicists to study the strong force in nature, as well as giving insights into how neutron stars form.[2] (13 July 2015)
  • The stock market collapse in China, which has wiped three trillion (yes, that’s trillion) US dollars off the value of that market in the past few weeks. This has gone largely unreported in the West, but it could become a very big problem. (July 8/9)
  • The nuclear accord with Iran. This happened the day the New Horizons probe flew past Pluto, interestingly enough. (July 14)
  • Gay marriage is now a federally-protected institution in the US. (June 26)
  • Moves for normalization of relations between the US and Cuba. The respective embassies will open for business on July 20. The date for the opening was set July 1 of this year.[3]
  • The apparently uncoordinated terrorist events in Kuwait, Tunisia, France and Syria almost on the same day. Little was heard after that, though. (June 25/26)
  • The removal of the Army of Northern Virginia battle flag (widely known as the ‘Confederate flag’) from the South Carolina capitol building and petitioning for its removal in many other places, including other states and on car license plates, etc. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union at the outbreak of the US Civil War. The current furor followed the shooting of nine black people in a church by a young white male. That flag has been seen for some time as an offensive and divisive symbol in the US, especially in the present century. This has also run in parallel with heightened racial tensions in the US, shootings, burnings of historic black churches (though not all of these have been due to arson), etc. (July 10)
  • More concerted moves to rescind the Citizens United initiative[4] in the US that removed limits to campaign contributions by corporations in the US. Essentially, since that Supreme Court decision, corporations have been treated as individuals in the US and money has been characterized as free speech, especially related to politics. This has actually been ongoing, but there was a most interesting update on in on July 9, including figures on what has been spent on US campaigns in recent years.[5]
  • A court trial to overturn restrictive voting laws in certain states in the US, most notably in North Carolina. These laws are seen to disenfranchise minority voters. The presidential election is next year and the push is on.[6] (July 8)
  • Computer ‘glitches’ (if we believe that they are glitches) that have shut down the NYSE, airlines and phone servers for varying periods in the US in the past few days. This has gone along with the announcement of the theft of the personal data of some 21 million Americans, many of them government workers, by an unnamed foreign power. Fingers are being pointed. (July 8)[7]
  • The massive turnouts to see the Pope in South America, coupled with his calls for reforms in the Church and the capitalist system. The Church (meaning the Catholic Church) appears to be in the process of being re-spiritualized. He was in South America from July 6–12.[8]
  • A series of major earthquakes on the day after the last full moon.[9]

The Occultism of the Pluto Fly-by All of these events took place when Pluto came within the one- degree orb of its zodiacal opposition to the star Sirius, the latter of which is currently at 14 Can 17. We could address each of these points in kind, and I had started to, but then the exercise became quite long and I have since had to limit the effort to a few key points, although even then we can only give the briefest of overviews. However, these things will hopefully show that progress is being made, and that what might at first seem to be fulfillment of some greater prophecies—such as end-times, looming financial collapse, grabs at world domination, et al—are actually only simply indications in the astrology of the world at the moment that are only a part of evolving cyclic occurrences within nations and individuals. Most importantly, none of them indicate any immediate need to be alarmed at the state of the world at the moment. To preface remarks on these items, we need to have a look at the Pluto fly-by, because it sets a tone with all of these events, and in itself was actually a great occult event.

Many of us who have any interest at all in astronomy and science have been enthralled in recent days by the images beamed back to Earth by the little probe that spent just a few minutes whizzing past what was once a largely mysterious little planet at the outreaches of our known solar system—the planet Pluto (dwarf or not, it is still a planet). We have been so caught up in the images and the expectation of the event that we may have missed what was taking place at a deeper level of our collective consciousness, however. From mythology, Pluto is the Lord of Death, or the Underworld. As such, it has always been feared, partly because we have been taught to see death as an ending or parting of the ways rather than as a liberating influence, and largely because for the most part we do not know what lies on the other side of death. We have also been told many things about what has awaited us on the other side of death—much of it terrifying—but which are largely untrue, unless we have been very, very naughty in life, to put it mildly. Pluto and Hades/hell are not the same thing, nor should we try to equate them. Yes, Pluto can be a stern taskmaster and experiences through it can seem like hell on earth at the time, but that is just the point—hell is on earth, or is in life as a personality. Pluto is one of the worlds—the main one, in fact—that removes the hindrances to our enlightenment, but we seem to enjoy being blind much of the time. This being said, what has just taken place, subjectively, with this fly-by?

Pluto was once a world veiled in secrecy, largely because we had no means of seeing it, at least from Earth. The closest we had come to an image of Pluto prior to July of this year were blurry photos from the Hubble Space Telescope. We had to go beyond the bounds of our gravity to see this world clearly. We’ll let the symbolism of that sink in as we go along. We had to reach out with a probe that we had created with our own minds in order to reveal the face of that world. Our earth-based existence was not enough: we had to be creative, and we had to act on our imagination. What we did was to exhibit our ability as human beings to overcome all obstacles to understanding, and this through creative imagination, through known science and through the will to manifest our goal.

At the time of the fly-by, NASA had timed it so that Charon, Pluto’s largest ‘moon’ (more on that one later) was opposite Pluto, i.e. furthest from the sun, so that the most possible light was shed upon Pluto during the fly-by. In effect, Pluto was at a full moon phase when New Horizons flew past. We know that full moons on our planet are the times when the greatest amount of light—objective and subjective—is cast upon our world. They are the times of revelation, of occult impact, when the evolutionary forces that act upon our world are at their strongest. This fly-by also took place when Pluto was opposite the great star Sirius, which is the alter-ago of our own Sun. In all, this event was revelatory, in more ways than one, and we can see that reflected in the events that took place around the time of the fly-by. What was revealed?—the obstacles to our human spiritual progress—not all, but some which are of immediate impact. The opposition is an astrological aspect that generates awareness because it brings conflicting points of view squarely into focus.

In addition, Pluto’s being the Lord of the Underworld means it is also the custodian of mineral wealth, and with the world as it is these days, mineral wealth = money. Some major financial problems in the world were brought forward at the time of this fly-by, given the list above, and with Pluto in Capricorn this will continue to be the focus for the immediate years ahead. When did Pluto enter Capricorn?—in 2008, at the time of the Great Recession, of which we are still feeling the effects and dealing with the causes today. But, Pluto in Capricorn is also a signal of human emergence and achievement. It removes the final obstacles that will then permit us to enter into a new sort of reality. We will become more self-realized through this transit of Pluto through Capricorn, no longer so bound by crystallized materialistic mental constructs. If we could see it, this single event signals a new era in human exploration and achievement. It is a turning point, which will become evident as the years pass. This fly-by signals a new approach in the way we manage the Earth’s mineral wealth and its other resources.

The other thing the fly-by signals is a breakdown of secrecy in the way we deal with each other. There will be greater and greater transparency in our dealings as the years pass. For the next 16 months New Horizons will relay data back to the earth and Pluto will stand increasingly revealed to us. We will come to a much better understanding of the way our solar system has evolved and at the same time a better understanding of ourselves. This is not some pipe dream. It is happening. All we need to do is to look around and this movement toward clarity and insight will reveal itself to us. It is one of the legacies left to us by the passing out of the fifth Ray of science and knowledge—fitting, given the fly-by—and it will eventuate in the lifting of the veil over the very meaning of life and death. In a way, we have begun to conquer the Lord of Death. With that, what significance to we attach to the events in the world today?

The Nations, Pluto and Capricorn Much has been made of the Greek crisis in the Western press, but in reality it is something that has been brewing within Greek society and between them and the rest of Europe for years now. The thing we might not realize is that it is not only Greece that is affected. There are many countries going through austerity measures and groaning under the weight of money usury—i.e., the interest that has to be paid on large loans. Greece is a Capricorn country, when we consider its persona, with Virgo as the soul ruler.[10] This connects her very strongly with Australia, Austria, Brazil, Finland, India, Ireland, Japan and Spain, as far as astrological rulerships.[11] These rulers have nothing to do with actual charts for these countries, though. Rather, they are synthetic expressions, evolved over time, and they are to some extent indicative of the age of the peoples of a country.[12] If we take a look at this list however, some rather striking things stand out. Of the Capricorn countries, we find Greece astrologically connected with Australia, Spain, Japan, India, Austria and Finland. The remainder previously mentioned are the Virgo associations. So, three of these—Greece, Spain and Ireland—two with Capricorn personas and one with Virgo, are in with the PIIGS countries (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain), countries that have found themselves in such dire financial straits in recent years.

All of the aforementioned countries suffered greatly with the financial downturn of ca. 2008 when—you guessed it—Pluto entered Capricorn. As a result, they have suffered austerity and have had to look at restructuring their societies in fundamental ways. Finland, which had recently seen boom times, is now feeling the pinch, too, and is about to get a big taste of austerity.[13] It is very young as a nation[14], and it is a nation that has trumpeted the virtues of austerity to the rest of Europe in these past few years and was one of the most vocal critics of Greece. But, in the next years, hard times are about to cause a restructuring of its society, too. Now, we can say that the hard economic times apply to the world at large, because the Great Recession of the last decade affected the entire planet. This is true, but the Capricorn countries have suffered in a way that others have not, and we will see why as we go along. As for the Capricorn countries, the economic hardship has not been of the same character in Australia and India, but there have been other challenges in those societies that have caused a re-think for them in many areas. And, we are not yet finished with the transit of Pluto through Capricorn.

Capricorn as a personality ruler for a nation or group very often indicates a quite crystallized expression, along with age and materialism.[15] So, if we want to see how the soul of a nation or peoples emerge, then we should watch countries with Capricorn personas very carefully. Incidentally, Capricorn is only found as the soul quality with Finland. Of further interest to note is that Brussels and Paris also have Capricorn as their personal expressions. When Pluto transits through a sign, the countries that have that sign as their personality ruler go through a shake-up, prior to the emergence of a new soul quality. Pluto serves to ‘right some wrongs’ within a country, as it does with individuals. It also serves to highlight the very things that stand in the way of a country’s spiritual progress, as it does with people. It is very much what we might expect individuals to go through when Pluto transits through their sun-sign.

Having all the preceding points in mind, what does all this mean from an occult perspective? One thing to take note of is that when Pluto transits through the sign that rules a nation’s personality it serves as an indicator of just how crystallized a society  has become, or not, and the amount of unrest and difficulty is directly related to the amount of crystallized influence in a nation, as it is with individuals. It is also a test of political will for a nation, for Pluto always challenges a person’s will and in so doing, helps to develop it. Readers familiar with the books of Alice Bailey will be familiar with the astrological and Ray rulers of the various countries that are set to play a role in the  immediate future of our planet. For Greece, the Rays are not given, nor do we have what I would call an accurate chart for that country, but just by knowing the signs associated with a country and what aspect of the country those signs rule, we can discern quite a bit. For instance, it is not by accident that the current phase of the Greek crisis transpired at the same time we got our first real pictures of Pluto—which are stunning, by the way.

When Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008 we saw the start of the biggest recession in history since the Great Depression. Pluto is halfway through the sign now. Pluto is a Ray 1 influence. Of the nations that have Capricorn as the personal expression, Spain and Greece were hit particularly hard with Pluto’s entry into Capricorn. Both cultures are very old, and both of them have deeply engrained cultural attitudes related to money, power and influence. On the surface, it seems obvious that at least some of these old societal structures need to change. Both countries once ruled over extensive empires, especially the Spanish, who were the first nation to have ‘an empire upon which the sun never set.’ They lost much of that empire, especially in the New World after that Pluto transit of Capricorn (1762–1778), when Pluto was in Pisces and Aries. The reason they lost that territory, which was virtually all of their colonies in the New World, was due to a variety of factors, not the least of which was a lack of administrative stability in their colonies and a weak military presence there. Spain was so weakened by the Seven Years War, which ended just before Pluto entered Capricorn, especially it navy, that in effect, Spain ceased to be a major power with Pluto’s transit through Capricorn in the 18th century. For Greece, she was under control of the Ottoman Empire at that time, and given the Ottoman’s strength then there was little possibility for the success of a Greek revolt.

Capital, Labor and the Coming Changes To get a further idea of how Pluto affects nations when it transits through the signs that rule its personal and soul rulers, we have a good example with the US. The US is ruled by Gemini in its personal expression. Pluto was last in Gemini from 1883–1913. A primary theme that seeks adjustment in the US is given to be the relation between capital and labor. Consider the following:

The fight between capital and labour will reach its climax in the United States, but will also be fought out in Great Britain and France. Russia already has her own solution but the lesser nations of the world will be guided and conditioned [Page 27] by the result of this battle in the British Commonwealth of Nations and in the United States.[16]

We have a big clue as to what will happen and where to look in the immediate future with regard to money and the divisions between labor and capital in that quote. The British Commonwealth comprises 53 countries and comprises roughly 33% of the world’s population.[17] It includes India, Australia, South Africa and Canada, and its member states are found on every habitable continent. Britain and Northern Ireland are the only European member states of the Commonwealth. For those who have an interest in economics, India and South Africa are members of the BRICS economic association.[18] In the figure below, the BRICS states are in red, with possible member states in blue.

 Commerce, ruled by Gemini, has always been a big deal to the US and to Britain, the latter having Gemini as its soul ruler. Poland also has Gemini as its personality ruler. Like the colonial powers before her, the US has extended her reach worldwide and has sought in recent decades free trade agreements with other countries and regions. She already has the NAFTA treaty and is now seeking to push through the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement—what some people are calling the ‘dirtiest deal you never heard of’.[19]

The member states in negotiation are in green (above), countries that have expressed an interest are in light green, and possible members are in blue. Of interest is that India and China are members of the BRICS association, Mexico has expressed an interest in BRICS, and India is in the Commonwealth as well. It could get quite interesting if India winds up in both BRICS and the TPP. This being said, what happened when Pluto transited through Gemini in the period stated before?

The period of 1883–1913 did not see anything of particular interest for Poland, but in the transit of Pluto through Taurus (Poland’s soul ruler) serfdom was abolished in Poland. The Gemini transit signaled the growing unrest between Britain and Ireland, which erupted in the Irish War for Independence just after Pluto entered Cancer. However, Poland, Britain and the US were all embroiled in WWI after Pluto entered Cancer. The Gemini transit fell squarely in the time of the Progressive Era[20] for the US. It was the time of the birth and growth of the union movement, of monopoly busting, of tariff legislations, of interstate transport reforms, of campaign reform, the era  of Teddy Roosevelt, the creation of the FBI, the Mann Act and ended with the establishment of the income tax and the Federal Reserve. It was a big time of adjustment for the US. Roosevelt typified the leadership of this era of US history, and he remains one of the best-loved US presidents. He is known for his ‘Square Deal’ domestic policies. It was in his administration that construction of the Panama Canal was started, talking about commerce. He promised the average American the breaking of trusts, fairness, regulation of the railroads and pure food and drugs. Conservation was a top priority. Now, this doesn’t sound like public turmoil, but we need to look at this in context.

At the start of the Gemini transit of Pluto, the US was in the midst of the ‘robber baron’ era—the era of the great industrial capitalists, of which there were about 30. At that time there was no protection for the American worker, who typically worked long hours for very low wages. In addition, the use of exploitative practices by these few men, comparatively, was widespread, which included monopolizing resources, squashing competition by buying competitors and then eventually raising prices, with schemes to sell stocks at inflated prices to unsuspecting investors, which would lead to destroying the companies on which the stock was issued. These men also had  high levels of governmental influence. Does any of this sound vaguely reminiscent of the present day? The Gemini transit of Pluto signaled an end to that by exposing such practices and igniting public actions against them. The union movement was violent, especially in the early days, marked by events such as the Haymarket affair, in which 4 were killed and 60 injured in a bomb blast at a union rally in Chicago. The May Day parades are a remembrance of that, especially in Mexico, and it is a symbol for workers internationally, although you would be hard-pressed to find an American who knew anything about it these days. It was an initial setback for the union movement, but it served to strengthen resistance, and workers eventually won their demands, one of the primary of which was an eight-hour work day.

There is another transit of Pluto that is also very important for nations, as it is for people, and that is when it transits through the signs that signify the soul of a nation. For the US, that sign is Aquarius, and Pluto was last in Aquarius from 1778–1798. For those readers familiar with US history, that transit started a few years after the start of the American Revolutionary War, which began in 1775 and ended in 1783. As a result of that war, the US emerged as an independent entity. It assumed the beginnings of its national identity. The transits of Pluto through the sign signifying the soul expression of a nation can be seen as analogous to transits of Pluto over one’s ascendant. This is a very important milestone, if it happens, and marks the emergence of something quite new in one’s self-expression. Russia also has Aquarius as its soul ruler, and when Pluto was last in Aquarius, Russia was in her Golden Age of empire under Catherine the Great, who oversaw great expansion of Russian territories, including the colonization of Alaska. That period also saw Russia emerge as one of the great powers of Europe. It was a time when the Russian Empire stretched from Europe to North America, linking the East and the West via a single land mass, “I link two ways,” being the motto of Russia.[21] Pluto through the soul ruler’s sign sees advances in national identity, as well as identity crises. It draws out the soul of a person or nation, or hopefully so. For Greece, Pluto transited through Virgo from 1957–1971. This would be an important period to note for Australia and Ireland as well.

For Greece, the period when Pluto was in Virgo, approximately, marked a time when Greece transitioned from a monarchy, to a military dictatorship, and then finally to the Third Hellenistic Republic, which lasted until 2010. The latter came right at the end of the dictatorship when Pluto left Virgo and entered Libra. If we look at Ireland, which also has Virgo as its soul ruler, Ireland joined the UN two years before Pluto entered Virgo and the Troubles started when Pluto was transiting Virgo. Northern Ireland is never mentioned in the Bailey books, and I take that as an implication that Ireland will eventually be reunited. The Irish people inhabit both parts of Ireland. The Troubles brought forward the schism between the two groups with the aim of the resolution of their differences, seen subjectively, and the situation as it stands now is that if the peoples of Ireland decide to reunite, they are now bound by treaty to be allowed to do so. For Australia, the period of Pluto through Virgo saw the abolishing of the white Australia policy, the start of reconciliation and integration of aboriginals within Australia at large, the construction of the Sydney Opera House, decimalization of the currency (Australia adopted its own currency and abandoned the British pound), and Australia saw its largest turnouts in protests of the Vietnam War (200,000). Pluto through Virgo was the Vietnam era. The important thing to remember about the ascendant in general and about the soul ruler of a nation is that it is an indication of a movement toward unity, toward a more creative expression and of a greater sense of identity.

The Capricorn Countries and the Near-Future Given all the preceding history, then, what do we see happening with Greece and the other Capricornian countries, and for the world at large in the near future? Starting with Greece, there are several sides to the current Greek story, and one of these applies to the world at large as well, a side which will inevitably lead to a change in the world financial structure. This will take some years, but it will happen, either from the inside-out, which is preferable because it is more stable, or by some event—a revolution or major war. We might consider the following:

In the re-generation of money and in the changing of man's attitude to it will eventually come world release. If this cannot take place, then some dire condition will arise; money (as we know it) will vanish off the earth and the situation will have to be met in some other way.[22]

Pluto rules the house of the natural zodiac that, among other things, represents the usury of money—a big part of the banking sector in other words—and this applies especially to international banking. That is the 8th house. As such, Pluto rules loans and lending, taxes and taxation, pensions, bankruptcy and the like. We like to think that Pluto rules over transformation and the death of outmoded thoughts, which it does, but as we can see it also has this peculiar relationship with money. Saturn is associated with the banking sector, too, as it deals with the structuring of finances and the ambition that leads to wealth generation, and has traditionally been associated with bankers especially. So, with Pluto’s transits through Capricorn (Saturn rules Capricorn) we might expect to see a shakeup in the banking sector. That is exactly what we have seen since the start of the Great Recession, and we have ten more years of Pluto in Capricorn to go.

There are many points of view on the current world economic situation, some views expecting a greater crash than what we saw ca. 2008, some seeing greater world conflicts over resources, the view that there is some cabal of powerful men and corporate collusion that seeks to control the world financially and reduce the greater part of us to the position of debt slavery, so-on and so-forth. I think there is a point of truth in all these views, but none of them has the whole picture, and to a big extent, the sense I get is that they are proscribed outcomes. We should always be careful if we buy into a proscribed outcome, because the very act of proscription has crystallization of thought inherent in it. The more negative points of view as to the world situation do not have to come true. If what we see happening with the public at the moment is any indication, we (meaning the bulk of humanity) can still change the world view on economy into something more just and especially something which offers more freedom to people and greater equality in world affairs. This will involve changing the present world system from the inside-out, which will take time.

Here is the thing: Corporate interests, if that is what concerns us, rely on public support. They are very sensitive to public opinion and corporations compete with each other, so prices have to be kept within reason, otherwise there is no market. In short, if we do not buy their products, there will be no corporation. This is a simplistic view, but it is the essential point to a free-market economy. Once the public at large realizes that one little fact, then any illusion of corporate power and control over our destiny collapses like a house of cards. The same is true of governments. And, governments, the public and corporations are all indissolubly interlinked. The big wild card in the present world situation is the public, and the chief thing the public needs is information—good, reliable information—to make informed decisions, along with the inspiration and will to change. It is there, and we are on the way forward. We just need more momentum in that direction.  So, we have looked at nations, Pluto and astrology. What do we see with the present crisis in Greece?

The Greek Crisis In examining the Greek crisis, which we can only do very briefly, we also want to keep in mind that what is happening in Greece is not unique, and that Pluto affects all countries at some time or another. The reason the Greek crisis is of such interest is multifaceted—it is a Western country, it is part of the great European experiment going on at the moment, it is serving to highlight problems in Western and world financial systems, it is ancient and has given us much in the way of philosophy and culture, and to some degree, we see ourselves reflected in the Greeks. But perhaps the thing that is most interesting and is probably not widely recognized, is that Greece is nearing a new period of enlightened activity and world service, hence its Capricorn persona. This may take some years or it could happen relatively quickly, but that is up to the Greek people to decide. Parts of its old culture are in the process of being broken down prior to the emergence of some of its of its national soul qualities. And, in times of critical change in a nation, powerful individuals, for good or ill, step forward. With that, let’s start with the Greek PM, Alexis Tsipras.

 Alexis Tsipras, Leo Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime Minister is a Leo, very likely with Gemini rising, although the birth time is not know for certain.[23] However, if we take the time of approximately 1:30 AM, then this puts Neptune at its current transiting position square to Tsipras’ ascendant, with Saturn about to make its direct station very close to his Scorpio Moon. Personally, I would place the birth time closer to 1:20 AM, but we don’t have much space to go into why here. Suffice it to say, he was elected as Prime Minister on 25 January of this year, when the solar arc of Venus was conjunct transiting Jupiter on his IC (for the 1:20 chart) on a platform of resisting the austerity measures the rest of Europe was seeking to impose on the Greeks. Of note, though, is that at the time there was a solar arc of Neptune opposite his natal Mercury, with transiting Pluto about to make a conjunction with the solar arc, which gave him the speech able to sway the public his way, but which also might indicate that he lied his way into office, or at least may have been under some seriously misguided notions. Then too, he may have been under some greater inspiration that we have yet to realize, or he either for that matter. Saturn was also approaching its retrograde station trine to his Sun at the time of his election.

Now, with Europe having held a gun to Greece’s head, we see Saturn about to make its direct station about two degrees away from his Moon and squaring his Mars. Saturn squaring Mars is a classic, especially for making bad financial decisions and for decision-making in general, and he has to go through all  this with Saturn essentially sitting on his Moon. These are not ‘happy transits’. I can see why he feels he has had to do an about-face and accept even more punitive measures from the EU, but it is likely going to cause his downfall, especially now that he has done an about-face and seemingly sold out his constituency, as many people feel that he has. Maybe he felt he had no other choice, but then, maybe he is not the man people thought he was—a wolf in sheep’s clothing, given our present theme for the year. To give the man the benefit of a doubt, he has found himself in a most unpleasant set of circumstances, but I think he has a few ideas up his sleeve. This transit of Saturn to the square with his Mars was in effect and close to exact when he announced the Greek referendum on the bailout terms, which resulted in a resounding ‘No’ vote by the Greek people. It was widely cheered in Latin American countries and the Caribbean, and he even got a letter of congratulations and support from Fidel Castro. All this being said, anyone who looks at the situation in any depth would see that Greece was set up and never really stood a chance. There are many reasons to say this.

We will start with Tsipras and then take a wider view. Tsipras is a member of the communist party in Greece. He is a self-described atheist. He is unmarried and has two sons by his long-time, live-in partner. He has even given one of his sons Che Guevara’s first name, Ernesto.[24] These personal matters may seem of no consequence to most of us, but some leaders and people of influence see such things as a red flag, and it colors their opinions. As for the referendum, opinions vary widely on the matter of the referendum and the ‘No’ vote, both inside and outside Greece, but one thing that is clear in the bailout package put forward by the IMF, the European Commission (EC) and the European Central Bank (the Troika) is that it is intent on Greece selling off its state-owned assets and privatizing its infrastructure. This is clearly something the Greeks understandably want to avoid, as it takes away their sovereignty. While it is evident that Greece has a clear and present need to restructure its finances, especially with regard to its social structure, like starting with people paying their fair share of taxes, no communist-led government, at least ideologically, is going to allow a sell-off of its assets to outside interests. And, the Greeks historically are quite resistant to any form of outside interference with internal Greek affairs.

Greece and its Future in the EU Further, as for whether Greece will stay in the EU or not, Tsipras has already talked about help from Russia[25]—something else that has no doubt stuck in the craw of the power brokers in Europe and which has drawn the wary eye of the US and NATO forces. We hardly hear of these little facts in the news. If we think that Greece is going to be allowed to leave or will be kicked out of the EU, we might want a re-think on that one. It may eventually do just that if there is a popular revolt, but not under present circumstances. Just as Russia wants to avoid NATO on its doorstep in Ukraine, so NATO wants to avoid Russian influence on its doorstep in Greece. Likewise, the US saw Cuba in the same light with the USSR. Are we really surprised at what is going on here? The financial interests want to turn Greece into their own private yard sale. The Greeks have made it clear  that they want to keep what is rightfully theirs and that they want their sovereignty—and most especially their dignity. The US and NATO clearly have a vested interest in keeping Greece in the EU and on-side with NATO (Greece is a NATO member). The NATO connection probably played a big part in influencing Tsipras to accept the bailout terms, even though those terms somewhat resemble what Germany had to endure with its war reparations after WWI. This is going to get nastier, especially into the following years. I’ll be surprised in the Greeks endure all this and follow along obediently.

If Tsipras stays in power, which I really think is doubtful the way things are playing, then things are going to be very interesting indeed in the EU. If he does have Gemini rising and he does have the best interests of the average Greek citizen at heart, then he will be adept with his Leo Sun and Scorpio Moon at playing both ends against the middle to get his agendas through, and this on all sides of the questions regarding Greece. Greece has initially caved in to EU and IMF (re: US) pressures, but that will hardly be the end of the story. Initially it would probably cause the collapse of the current government and trigger fresh elections, at a time when Tsipras is likely to weak astrologically, and most likely result in a conservative government more friendly to the Troika, but the resentment felt by the Greeks toward the EU and Germany in particular as a result will be enormous. The rest of the world has taken notice, too. People are apt to forget that one of the big reasons Germany is the power it is today is because its debt was forgiven at the end of WWII—something it is refusing to do with the Greeks—and the country was rebuilt and made an ally, especially with the US. How soon we forget.

The Source of the Greek Woes Greece has had several problems which have directly contributed to its financial woes and for which it is directly responsible. It has repeatedly misrepresented itself in its financial reporting in the past, and this has been accomplished with the aid of Goldman Sachs (re: Wall Street) and other banks, which have disguised Greek debt figures and which have made huge profits through loans to Greece in recent years, allowing Greece to spend beyond its means.[26] This misreporting has caused a crisis in confidence with people seeking to invest in Greece, thus contributing to lack of revenue. There has been widespread tax fraud in Greece for years, with upwards of €80 billion in Swiss banks.[27] The black economy[28] in Greece is about 25% of its GDP. That’s a lot of unreported and untaxed income. As of 2012, Greece was seen as the most corrupt country in the EU due to these sorts of practices, but since initial reforms, it is now said to be on par with Italy, Bulgaria and Romania.[29] To put this latter in perspective, these countries rank at 43% on a scale of 1–100 percentage points, with most of the world being even more corrupt for a variety of reasons. Another reason Greece is not able to pull itself out of debt is because it bought into the Euro currency, which means it can no longer devalue its currency in order to draw in foreign investing. And, to top all this off, because of Greece’s financial straits, it is seeing one of its largest emigrations in recent decades, with most going to the UK, the US and Germany, and it is losing many of its more skilled people because opportunities are better abroad at the moment. Then, there is the migrant problem that especially southern Europe faces now and the falling birth rate in Greece. All these things add up to a big problem for Greece, and one which must be addressed internally. Talk about Pluto in Capricorn.

Problems and Solutions Within the EU Then, there are problems with the EU itself and the way it  is structured. These things will be worked out in time, including closing loopholes that allow member states to swap financial derivatives to mask debt, for example, which is quite legal at the moment. Then, there is the pronounced criticism of Greece from other EU member states, who feel that Greece should just suck it up and play by the rules, as they have had to do.[30] However, the most enlightened approach I have heard to the Greek financial woes is from a French economist (Thomas Piketty, pictured below)[31], with

France’s personality being ruled by the third Ray, interestingly enough, and with Paris having a Capricorn personality:

"Great Britain, Germany, and France were all once in the situation of today’s Greece, and in fact had been far more indebted. The first lesson that we can take from the history of government debt is that we are not facing a brand new problem. There have been many ways to repay debts, and not just one, which is what Berlin and Paris would have the Greeks believe…Germany is the country that has never repaid its debts. It has no standing to lecture other nations…history shows us two ways for an indebted state to leave delinquency. [The second] essentially, it consists of three components: inflation, a special tax on private wealth, and debt relief….We need to look ahead. Europe was founded on debt forgiveness and investment in the future. Not on the idea of endless penance. We need to remember this…We need a conference on all of Europe’s debts, just like after World War II. A restructuring of all debt, not just in Greece but in several European countries, is inevitable…A new European institution would be required to determine the maximum allowable budget deficit in order to prevent the regrowth of debt…Those who want to chase Greece out of the Eurozone today will end up on the trash heap of history. If the [German] Chancellor wants to secure her place in the history books, just like Helmut Kohl did during [German] reunification, then she must forge a solution to the Greek question, including a debt conference where we can start with a clean slate. But with renewed, much stronger fiscal discipline."

The Church and World Finances The problems of Greece will eventually be solved and the next years are going to be very interesting, indeed. Greece will emerge from this renewed and invigorated. It will have much to offer as a result of its having come through its present difficulties. But, the biggest fight about wealth and capital will not come from Europe, although some examples for a more lasting and positive change in world finances are very likely to come from there. The Church can help in this, too, as Europe is still primarily Christian and with a strong Catholic element. Pope Francis, in his recent trip to South America, has been drawing huge crowds. In his speeches he made excoriating attacks against the greedier side of capitalism, calling for equitable distribution of wealth and dignity for the poor and the common workers of the world. Pope Francis is a Sagittarian with Cancer rising[32], with Aquarius Moon. In his last speech in South America he urged tens of thousands of young people to “Make a mess, but then also help to tidy it up.”, referring to the current financial system. What he said bears a repeat:

Make a mess, but then also help to tidy it up—a mess which gives us a free heart, a mess which gives us solidarity, a mess which gives us hope. We don’t want young weaklings. We do not want young people who tire quickly, who live life worn out with faces of boredom. We want youths with hope and strength.

Changes Being Wrought in the US Some people might see these words as inciting revolution, or as inflammatory at the very least, being a call to bring down or at the very least change the current world order. They didn’t go down well with conservatives in the US, who have asked him to tone down his rhetoric prior to his visit in the US in September. He has said he will look at their beefs. Well, his words are revolutionary. They call for a revolution in the distribution and use of the wealth of the world, a decided turn away from and address to the 1% who control most of the wealth in the world. This was reflected in the recent referendum by the Greeks. We are seeing the bare beginnings of a larger public uprising. Couple this with a recent call by US senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont, who has also been drawing large crowds as he stumps for the Democratic nomination for president, calling on a million young people to march on Washington, and what do we see happening? His call for a march on Washington likewise did not sit well with conservatives, to put it mildly. In fact, it scared the hell out of them. Part of the world problem with finance at the moment is the overwhelming influence the moneyed interests play in politics. Of course, this has always been the case, but the tide is turning. We see a good example of this in US politics. This leads to another point, which are moves toward election reform in the US—a movement which is gathering steam.

As it stands, anyone with a lot of money can buy influence in Washington, and there are many corporations and rich individuals at work taking advantage of this law, which is relatively new and which was pushed through by Citizens United, a conservative non-profit group in the US, with the aim of buying the next president and future congressmen. People can say what they want about the Citizens United victory, but the aim and result is plain to see. This brings us to a point occultly: the same thing that is happening with the Capricorn countries now will happen with the US when Pluto enters Aquarius in the first half of the 2020s. The soul of the US will seek a greater expression in the life of that nation, and greater moves toward national unity will ensue. This includes minorities in the US as well. Let’s pause and let that sink in for a moment, because this will also apply to Russia, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Pluto was last at its current position in 1769, and it entered Aquarius in 1778, three years into the American Revolutionary War. In 1769 a rebellion was brewing in the US over taxation without representation. At the time Britain was heavily in debt from the Seven Years War, which had ended a few years before. So, to fill its coffers Britain thought that the colonies should help pay for the presence of British troops in the colonies, which had driven the French from North America in the Seven Years War. The American colonists weren’t having a bar of it, largely because they were not represented in the British Parliament. At the same time, the colonists claimed that even the little bit of representation they had in England was insufficient and that their local circumstances would not allow them to pay the taxes imposed by the Parliament anyway. Are there any parallels in the US today? It could be argued that there are, although not in the same way as things were in 1769.

Pluto was opposite the soon-to-be US Sun in 1769, by the way, as it is now. Does the US Congress represent the American people fairly these days? Arguments for and against can be found on all sides. The trend that is worrying is the increasing influence of corporate interests  and the vested interests of certain very wealthy individuals in the US government. A recent study[33] out of Princeton and Northwestern Universities has found that America is no longer a democracy, but rather is an oligarchy. What this means is that the average American is not fairly represented and that the vested interests have a free hand in running the country—that is, so long as the public rolls over and accepts it.

The tide is turning in America, though, as it will in Greece and other countries. People are getting more restive as the years pass because pensions are disappearing gradually every year, people are working harder and longer for less and less return and with little job security, the social security cost of living increases are being cut, there is little will by the government to raise the minimum wage, etc., etc. And, the biggest reason people give for arming themselves in the US is because they feel insecure. They fear the government. This is something that people outside the US and many within the country see as insane. However, many of the gun owners in the US feel that an armed populace is one of the best deterrents to a government enforcing its will against its citizens. Gun sales have spiked in recent years, especially since 2001. There is something to consider, remembering what happened in September of that year. Of course, there is much in the way of conflicting data for gun sales and ownership, for the reasons people buy them, etc. But there is little political will in Washington to outlaw or curtail gun ownership in the country. The real sense that I get is that the populace of the US is readying itself for something, given what I see coming astrologically and given the fact that history tends to repeat itself with the planetary cycles. The one thing we wish to avoid, though, is some sort of armed conflict in the US, or elsewhere for that matter, but these trends we see indicate that people are not happy, feel insecure and distrust their leadership.

The next US election is going to set the stage for what will come early in the next decade, if not before. Most likely we will either see another Bush or Clinton in the White House, neither of which is exactly ‘clean’, or who offers us much hope of anything different. If there is another Bush in the White House, then we will likely see another US war, and most likely in the Middle East.[34] I hope that is not true, but given the advizors he has around him at the moment, people should be very wary. I have serious doubts that someone like Bernie Sanders has a snowball’s chance of making it to the White House. Even if he did, the Congress would be stacked against him. His message, though, is getting through, and that is a real sign of hope for the US. Perhaps that is all we need at the moment—for the major parties to get the message. This is enough for us to get an idea of what is happening at the moment from an astrological perspective.

In summation, I don’t see a world collapsing financially or turning into some sort of dystopic or anarchic state. What I see instead is that we will gradually wake up to ourselves, take a look at our past conditioning, and then come forward into a more peaceful and ordered world as a result. There will be suffering in the interim as we learn. This is true and inevitable. But, that suffering will be nothing like what we saw in the world we saw in the last century. We have seen the face of the Lord of Death now, and his is a thing of beauty, not a monster to be feared. He works to remove the obscurations to our enlightenment, and that is hardly a bad thing. His fellow world, Charon, ushers us across the abyss into a place of rest and repose when all is said and done. We have much to look forward to in the immediate decades ahead, and great work to do. The chief task before us in the next ten years especially is to change the way we see and treat wealth, starting with ourselves. This will take hold when we realize that wealth is a tool, and it depends not on the amount of possessions one has, but on the value we place upon life, our freedoms and especially upon our unity as a human family. Wealth should bring freedom to others and not simply to oneself. That, I think, is where the few who have amassed great material wealth within the larger world miss the point, and that is the attitude that needs to change. It will change, one way or another. Pluto is bringing and signaling that change with its current transit through Capricorn. Wealth should bring lasting happiness, not misery. Let us hold a point of focus for lasting happiness in this time of world need.



21 July 2015


[2] The strong force can be seen as the force which holds matter together, to state the concept in its simplest terms. It is the strongest force in nature, hence the name. For the CERN announcement, see: 

[4]Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission (2010)

[10] Alice Bailey, The Destiny of the Nations, table, p. 67.

[11] Op cit.

[12] Ibid, pg. 70.

[14] Finland only became a republic in 1919. Prior to that it had been a Russian territory, and before that, part of the Swedish Empire. See:

[15] Op cit. “Some nations…are crystallised and have nearly run their course as personalities.”

[16] Problems of Humanity , p. 26.

[21] Bailey, The Destiny of the Nations, table, p.50.

[22] Bailey, Discipleship in the New Age I, p. 272

[23] Alexis Tsipras, 28 July 1974, 1:30 AM, Athens, Greece. There was no daylight savings time in Greece in 1974. Source:,_Alexis

[28] Usually untraceable, and hence untaxable, business dealings that are not reflected in a country's gross domestic product (GDP) computations.

[32] Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis I), 17 Dec 1936, 9:00 PM, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Source:

[33] Gilens, Martin and Page, Benjamin I; “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens”, from on politics/Vol. 12, Issue 3, pp.564–581.