For mundane astrology (world forecasting), Mars is prominent as the planet of action, thus precipitating events in the world. With the U.S. now running its Mars Dasas (planetary cycle), Mars' position has become dominant. (Note, Mars is a first rate malefic, but it isn't all destruction, for Mars also signifies courage, adventures, engineering... and many other useful qualities.)
The July 24 In-depth Forecast, Mars/Saturn Conjunction Summer 2010, illustrates by showing Mars in all four of the harmful transits which have steered the Millennium Contraction's the unfolding,
This past August's Mars/Saturn conjunction brought much suffering. Hurricane Katrina was another Mars/Saturn issue, then Mars and Saturn aspecting each other.
Note that the second and third Mars transits involved Rahu -- the head-of-the-dragon eclipse point. 9-11 was the same energy. Although that was Mars on Ketu -- the tail-of- the-dragon eclipse point -- because the eclipse points are always 180 degrees apart, Mars was aspecting Rahu then. Too, the The Challenging Summer Of 2008 was similarly Mars/Ketu with Mars aspecting Rahu. Remember $4.11 gasoline?
So, Mars transits involving impersonal Saturn and Rahu are tumult in the heavens bringing catastrophe to earth. The current Mars/Venus conjunction, harmful for its length from early September to late October, is difficult for people, for Venus is a personal planet.
December's Mars/Rahu Conjunction
Coming up this December is another Mars/Rahu conjunction. This will be in Sagittarius, which is the U.S. chart's first house of the self. This transit combination will made extreme by including Mercury, the planet in the U.S. chart signifying business and relationships of all kinds. Mark your calenders with traffic-light caution orange for the period December 1 through 21, which last day is also a total lunar eclipse. I'll do specific analysis of this transit later in October.
Venus/Mars Personal Tragedies
The September 27 Short-subject Commentary entry, Venus/Mars Passion Accumulates, advised that last week would be tough. Below are media reports of a burst of personal tragedies then.
Mars is actually right on top of Venus now but will clear the planet of compassion tomorrow.
Maybe Israel Did Attack Iran?
The Mars/Saturn Conjunction Summer 2010 forecast predicted Israel would attack Iran. The September 19 Predictions check cited several Iranian provocations and the suspicious attack on its gas pipelines.
But maybe Israel did attack Iran after all, In a Computer Worm, a Possible Biblical Clue. Deep inside the computer worm that some specialists suspect is aimed at slowing Iran’s race for a nuclear weapon lies what could be a fleeting reference to the Book of Esther, the Old Testament tale in which the Jews pre-empt a Persian plot to destroy them.
Tea Party Losing Steam?
AnotherMars/Saturn Conjunction Summer 2010 forecast prediction is also becoming validated, that the Tea Party will lose steam, ...as we move into the fall, the U.S.'s wise Jupiter will be freed from extremist Mars. America's mystical paranoia, that began in April 2009 and has continued nearly unabated since then, will fade. The fear-based emotional hold will yield to objective reality.
Glenn Beck is coming under major media fire now, Glenn Beck Lands NYT Mag Cover: Women Love Him But Does Fox? An interesting tidbit is his losing appeal, His show now averages two million viewers, down from a high of 2.8 million in 2009, according to the Nielsen Ratings. Here are some other negative reports,
And lo and behold, it seems the voting public is coming to its senses! NEWSWEEK Poll: Anger Unlikely to Be Deciding Factor in Midterms.
The right side of the bell curve has dominated with the popular protests predicted in the December, 2009 In-depth Forecast, U.S. And Global Economic Trends For 2010. This topic was discussed again in the June In-depth Forecast, Popular Protests.
I did err in not anticipating the major protesting would come from the right, as I believed the Republican party had destroyed itself in eight years of G.W. Bush's destructions. What I missed is that the very far right Tea Party would gain appeal by protesting both the Democrats and the Republicans. I did, however, correctly identify and timed the peaking of America's mystical paranoia in the March In-depth Forecast, Tug Of War, which accurately predicted, Fox News' galaxy of stars will fade, especially Glenn Beck. The midterm elections should prove out that the Tea Party is a tempest in a teapot, not a major and meaningful political movement. Then the defeated Mama Grizzlies will slink off to their winter dens. The Tea Party is really more akin to the Know-Nothing Movement in the 1840s and 1850s. This article makes that point well, The Tea Kettle Movement noting also the movement lacks a leader of national stature and ability. T&A only works really well in Vegas, and even there, things aren't going well, Las Vegas Faces Its Deepest Slide Since the 1940s.
Lastly, the left is finally stirring in this weekend's rally, One Nation rally energizing liberals. If you think about it, the left doesn't have much to bite into with a Democratic president and Congress. Only the Tea party figured out an effective protest strategy -- Mama Grizzlies bite! They complain about everybody using fear and sexually charismatic Mars vixens.
The September In-depth forecast, Millennium Contraction Migrations, included a discussion of the drought in the U.S. West. Here's a confirming article,Water Use in Southwest Heads for a Day of Reckoning.
Heads-up -- A slow week
The below was emailed directly to Subscriber-Participants early this morning.
Transit Ketu Signals The Tea Party
There are lots of ways Vedic Astrology can help us understand trends in the world. One of these, the transits of the eclipse points (Ketu and Rahu) signals in the U.S. chart when long-standing relationships break down, leaving a void to be replaced by something new.
Ketu, the tail-of-the-dragon eclipse point, brings insight but in doing so, also dissolves on the worldly plane. Ketu is always opposite Rahu, the worldly craving head-of-the-dragon eclipse point.
Rahu, being opposite, is in the first house of the self, asking the question, Who am I?, incessantly, for Rahu is never satiated. He seeks to redefine the national identify, and Ketu gives him that opportunity by dissolving the influence of long-established political groups. In Vedic Astrology, the eclipse points, although opposite in nature and also position, work together.
Of course, the Dasas -- planetary cycles -- are the underlying karma, and transits remain the secondary karma. The first is akin to the river of life and the second to weather events on the river. Keep in mind here that because Ketu and Rahu work together, when one is active in the Dasas or transits, both influence. Also, how the planets act in the Dasas indicates how they will act in transit. The Dasa of Ketu is thereby definitive. The December 2004 In-depth Forecast,The United States Through Its Planetary Cycles, Part I and Part 2, tracked U.S. history through the Dasas, which repeat every 120 years. The first Ketu Dasa ran from 1845 to 1952 (Part I), Domestic harmony (family and community life) was increasingly harmed via abolitionist writings and the Underground Railroad, and the women's first rights convention. These demonstrate Ketu's insight to redress unfairnes.
The second Ketu Dasa ran from 1966 to 1972 (Part 2), If there is one label to typify and describe Ketu's second cycle is is Counterculture. Although initiated at the end of the Mercury cycle in 1965 by Vietnam protests, Eastern mysticism and hard rock music, it wasn't until otherworldly Ketu's began its cycle that mass culture began to truly transform. A button-down culture broke away with long hair, jeans, drugs, sex, and of course, rock & roll.
In this context, then, let's consider the current Ketu transit and the accompany Dasas (to two levels) in regard to the five previous Ketu transits through Gemini. These confirm the pattern and also better illuminate what's happening now.
Ketu in 7th 11/09 to 5/11, Dasas Mars/Rahu 5/09-6/10 -- Tea Party. These folks reject both parties, hankering for a new paradigm, which they sincerely believe echoes an American ideal which never existed.
Ketu in 7th 4/91 to through 10/92. Dasas Venus/Ketu 10/91 through 11/92 -- Ross Perot independent run enabling Bill Clinton to win presidency. Cliton defeated establishment Republican sitting President Bush 1 and also brought conservatism back to an overly liberal Democratic party.
Ketu in 7th 11/72 to 3/74 Dasas Mercury/Ketu 12/91 through 11/92 and Venus/Venus/Rahu 2/74 to 8/74. Watergate break-in June 1972. Nixon implicated in Watergate summer 1973. Nixon resigns August 1974. This paved the way for Jimmy Carter's presidency, which had admirable and idealistic intentions but the Iran hostage issue ruined him.
Ketu in 7th 3/1954 to 9/1955. Dasas Mercury/Ketu 5/1951 to 5/1952. Then Mercury/Venus until 3/1955. This was the Korean War, which ended in a stalemate and also hardened the Cold War into a similar stalemate between Democracy/capitalism and totalitarian pseudo communist central planning that lasted until the U.S.S.R. fell on its own weight in 1991.
Ketu in 7th 6/1935 to 2/1937. Dasas Saturn/Ketu 8/1935 through 9/1936. This was both the depth of the depression and Roosevelt's New Deal, which didn't rescue the country but reduced hardships and redefined government to providing a safety net.
Heads-up -- Venus/Mars Is Nearly Over
The below was emailed directly to Subscriber-Participants early this morning.
The Sun has been weak in its fallen sign of Libra, which brings confidence and health concerns. As the Sun is both light and heat, it illuminates but also burns. With mental and nervous system Mercury and loving and content Venus closely conjunct the Sun, the mind has been confused and the emotions stressed.
This combination began October 20, peaked during the last three days and is gradually easing off. It's been an uncomfortable time for everyone, and especially unnerving as the frenzied midterm elections approach. Even if you've removed yourself from politics, and the news in general, you can feel the dissonant energy from those around you. This can be confusing for nothing really terrible happening -- resulting in a gulf between your objective and subjective realities. Still, there's been a lot of miscommunications and relationships (personal and business) bruising that have had real consequences for many. Too, with the body and sense of self weakened, there is a tendancy to take things more personally.
It's best to sit back, take a deep breath, be patient until next Tuesday's election is over -- and then get on with your life.
The Sun/MercuryVenus combination's confusion results in the populace and the media vacillating and uncertainty about their own positions and midterm results. However, there is a common thread emerging that the country is coming to its senses by seeing the Tea Party candidates as the extremists they truly are. Here's a current article recognizing this, Tea party antics could end up burning Republicans.
Too, Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity tomorrow, misunderstood for many reasons by lots of folks, is finally coming into focus for what Stewart actually intended, Jon Stewart and His Rally May Shun Politics, but Attendees Are Embracing It. That is, the rally title means what is says. Recall the December 2009, U.S. And Global Economic Trends For 2010 predicted popular protests, and its good these are not the exclusive domain of the extreme right. Only when there is a broad-based tidal pull for reform, will that process truly begin.
President Obama was on The Daily Show this past Wednesday. Jon Stewart responded to Obama's assertion the reform bills have been effective, It feels like some of the reforms that have passed, like health care, have been done in a very political manner that has papered over a foundation that is corrupt. FOX News, of course, loves this! This could be the best, and most pithy, line of 2011! While Matt Drudge clearly has his finger on the pulse of conservative America, Stewart nails the progressive view -- and also appeals to the common sense of the middle-of-the-bell-curve America. Bill Clinton coined, It's the economy, stupid, term to defeat H.W. Bush in 1992; the underlying truth now is that the Gilded Age banksters caused this economical debacle, and Obama's diplomatic approach has failed to rein them in, nor make them accountable. The slogan now should be, It's the banksers, stupid. As Clinton also so truthfully said, Politics is a contact sport, and Obama doesn't get that. Smart is different from wisdom.
However, we shouldn't truly expect more of Obama or the Democratic Congress. The U.S. chart's seven year Mars planetary cycle -- from the fall of 2008 to late 2015 -- signals economic contraction, what I've termed the Millennium Contraction. The Mars cycle responds to the greedy Moon's ten year cycle of the Second Gilded Age. During this period, public protests mount, but so do the efforts of Gilded Age monied interests to retain their wealth and power. It will only be when the next planetary cycle, that of Rahu*, that the Second Progressive Age actually beings -- a rebalancing of society to shared democratic values.
(*The head-of-the-dragon eclipse point signifying worldly cravings and desires that can both harm and heal. Rahu's 18 year cycles bring rebellion. The first began in 1775 with rebellion against the English King. and the second in 1895, the commencement of the First Progressive Age.)
Mortgage Documentation Scandal
This issue remains in the media, reinforcing the understanding that the banksters (and their fellow monied interests) are the enemy. But too, as Jon Stewart says, the government has failed in its job to regulate them -- allowing the rich to get richer at the expense of the rest of us, When Tea Party wants to go back, where is it to? The share of income accruing to America's wealthiest 1 percent rose from 9 percent in 1974 to a tidy 23.5 percent in 2007.
Wells Fargo Is Target, Role Model in Foreclosure Probe, "These people think they can play by a different set of rules,” Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray said in an interview today on Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness with Margaret Brennan.” “It’s not just individuals who signed flawed affidavits. It’s a business model designed on fraud.”
Let's just hope that after midterm elections dust clears, we'll have representatives from local to national governments who finally begin addressing the economic crisis with the effective and necessary combination of hard choices -- spending cuts, tax increases and business regulation. These won't stop the inevitable economic contraction, but they will soften the painful landing. It's not as bad to break one leg in a fall than two, just as crutches are better than a wheel chair.
Real Estate Deflation
Real estate values continue to decline and will do so until all the air in the bubble has leaked out -- which is the very heart of the Millennium Contraction. This was discussed in detail in the July, Through The Millennium Contraction. This entry also details fundamental economic influences, for, it's not going to go away.
The basic rule that a home is only worth as much as its replacement value, less depreciation, cannot be avoided. Roofs wear out, and tastes change. And tis rule is becoming more putative for existing homeowners as replacement costs drop. Land is cheaper. Materials such as lumber, cement, etc. are going down. Labor costs are dropping as contractors lower bids just to cover payroll and construction workers back off from the boom's high wages. A few years ago, it cost about $100 per square foot to build a basic quality house. Now, that price is as low as $80. And for those of you who built, or bought, fancy houses with gourmet kitchens, hardwood floors.... at $200 or more per square foot, you paid far too much for a luxury and size standard nobody wants any more -- because the market can not longer afford it.
Second, home prices, even as they drop still, are being propped up by the Federal Government keeping interest rates down, which has brought historically cheap mortgages. As interest rates increase with the inevitable inflation caused by too much government debt, mortgage rates will also zoom up. So, if you put your house on the market now for say $200,000, a 90% mortgage at 4.5% interest would cost a buyer about $8000 annually, or just $670 monthly. Well, lots of folks can afford that! When mortgage rates double to 9%, that same $180,000 mortgage will also double in cost, to $16,000 annually, or $1,350 monthly. Will buyers pay $200,000 then? No. Folks who could only afford $670 will be priced out of the $200,000 market, and those who can afford more won't pay as much. Prices won't drop by half when mortgage rates go up, but they sure will plummet further.
Given these two realities, housing prices have no place to go but down, down, down. No amount of optimism, love for your home, believing your community is special.... will change this. Money cares nothing for these. Money is absolutely objectve and often cruel. Money takes no prisoners.
The Four Home Ownership Situations
Everyone is affected. There are no exceptions.
When you boil real estate down to the essentials, there are really only two variables -- whether you treated your home as a home or as an investment and whether you live in a bubble area or not. From these arise four possibilities, listed from best to worst. (You also need, however, to carefully evaluate your income and your long term needs, but that's a separate topic.)
A. Treated home as a home and:
1. Don't live in a bubble area In this case, your home is more realistically valued and thereby practical to own. There is really only one change to consider -- refinancing your mortgage with a lower rate 30 year fixed rate mortgage to reduce your monthly payments. You can safely stay in your home, but if you need to sell it to relocate either for a job or retirement, you can do so. Even if your home value has fallen, your replacement home will also have dropped in value -- making this transaction a wash.
2. Live in a bubble area I this case, your home has lost a large share of its value, but you probably bought it before the bubble, or perhaps after the bubble burst. You are ther by probably not underwater on your mortgage.. (If you bought at as the bubble got huge, then you bought for investment and don't belong in this group.) You should refinance at the current lower rate if possible. If you have to relocate, you will probably take a larger loss than the savings you gain by the price decline in your new home -- unless you move to an area that has been hit as hard. That, however, is not a good idea. If you move, don't change swamps but seek higher ground. Since your home is going down in value quickly, if you have to relocate, the sooner the better.
B. Treated home as an investment and:
1. Don't live in a bubble area You would either have paid too much for your home and/or have too large a mortgage. You have a large unrealized loss. You likely don't qualify to refinance at today's low interest rate. As you are paying too much for your mortgage, your overall quality of life suffers. If your income drops, you could lose your home to foreclosure, and the loss will be realized. If you have to relocate, then the sale of the home will also make the loss realized, although fotunately, it won't be huge. Regardless of whether you stay in your house or not, your long term financial situation suffers. As the excessive cost of owning the home continues, and it also gradually slides in value every month, best to get out as soon as you can and start over.
2. Live in a bubble area This is obviously the worst situation, and it has no upside. You paid too much for the home and/or have too large a mortgage. You are underwater on the mortgage, and your home's value continues to drop rapidly. There is also no opportunity to refinance. In this case you must sell, and the sooner you do that the less your realized loss will be. However, as I wrote this morning to one such beleaguered client, It's possible that you could take advantage of this mortgage documentation mess to escape from your mortgage -- like a short sale or a mortgage modification.... Certainly, December, when this should hit the fan, may be the opening you need. Looking at this from a different angle, the Tea Party inevitably fails because anger alone doesn't work. But, the old saying, Don't get mad, even, does.
Another housing consideration to mitigate your home ownership costs is renting out part of your home. If you can't do that, but a child or parent beset with the economic contraction moves in, charge them rent. Too, you should increase its energy efficiency, get some mileage out of the land with a garden, and/or if you have extra land, sell off part of it. If you have an empty mobile home or other portable structure, sell these, tear them down or find a practical use. Luxuries like swimming pools, extensive gardens, water features.... can be eliminated. You should also review your homeowner's insurance and challenge your property taxes if these have risen a lot and haven't dropped with the property value. You should also closely monitor the costs of owning your home compared with renting. In other words, consider and pursue every means possible to improve the economic viability of your home, for regardless of whether you treated it as a home or an investment, you must offset its long term value decline. Even in the best situation, you may be better off renting than owning, for real estate is deflating everywhere and for the long term.
Well, I didn't say any of this would be welcome, just necessary. And please, don't shoot the messenger!