Commentaries are posted on a single web page for each calendar month. Each new Commentary is placed at the top. This results in Commentaries appearing in reverse order.
The Saturn/Ketu Conjunction
We're over half way through the mid August to mid October period of chaos brought by the conjunction of Saturn and Ketu -- which has been described and discussed many times in previous Celestial Wheels.
Don't be lulled into complacency just because the past couple of weeks have been relatively calm. Disruption peaks resulted in August when Mercury, the Sun and Venus passed through the Saturn/Ketu pincers, and the eclipses occurred in late August and early September. More challenges are ahead, notably as Venus again transits into Leo to join Saturn and Ketu. This will begin as the calendar turns to October and become acute mid month, when Venus is caught in between Saturn and Ketu. Also, Mercury retrograde begins October 12, bringing confusion to whatever disturbances occur.
Last Week's Discordant Tuesday
The September 16 Celestial Wheel predicted that Mars' entrance in Gemini On Tuesday, September 18 would be an extreme celestial weather change -- from dead calm to stormy. As mentioned many times previously, one never knows how the planetary karma will actualize. The major event Tuesday, the Federal Reserve Surprises Market, Cuts Rates Half Point, was such a karmic surprise -- though not immediately obvious for its positive and negative influences. (Note: a quarter point interest rate drop was expected and would have much less impact.)
The Federal Reserve bent to Mars' impulse and aggression in this major interest rate drop. This was a Martian attack, an overreaction to buck up a weakening economy and stalled investment markets. The movement, from 5.25% to 4.75%, was truly a major change, a nearly 10% drop in the cost of money. This cheered investors, and the DOW Jones has since marched upward nearly every day.
The flip side of this major drop in U.S. interest rates decreases the value of the dollar-- both directly against other currencies, and indirectly in the price of dollar-backed commodities. That is, a lower U.S. interest rate results in lower returns on U.S. investments, and thereby a lower value for the dollar. After all, would you give as many dollars for a stock that previously paid a 5.25% dividend and now paid only 4.75%? Of course not. Similarly, with the dollar less valuable, wouldn't commodities markets ask more dollars for a barrel of oil or an ounce of gold?
Following are two articles from late last week describing this interest rate drop's impact upon currencies: Canada's Dollar Trades Almost Equal to U.S., and Dollar Touches Another Low Against Euro. And here are two articles on internationally traded commodities: Crude oil jumps above $84, and Gold hits 28-year high as dollar touches record lows. So, we'll all be paying more for imported goods and especially gasoline and heating oil, which means your dollars won't buy as much. This is inflation, and it naturally harms the economy by decreasing the value of your dollars. Yet, the news media has remained largely silent on the downside of this major interest rate drop. Myopic Reporters are too busy cheerleaders Wall Street.
Too, real estate continues its inevitable decline from unsustainable highs and excessive financing, for the unraveling of that market remains in its early stages. Too, real estate is illiquid -- it takes time to buy and sell houses, and even more time to build them, Home price falls hit 26 pct U.S. homeowners -- survey. So, a drop in interest rates won't soon begin stimulating the housing market -- too little medicine too late, like the surge troops in Iraq. Actually, as the leaking real estate bubble continues to build into a flood, personal wealth in homes and investment wealth in mortgage-backed securities will decline as their prices drop -- the second punch of the combination, pushing the economy into recession. Losses in housing and housing related securities would actually be a deflationary influence -- buy more house and more stock for less dollars, which means the dollar is worth more. This is obviously confusing, for how can one have inflation and deflation at the same time?
Perhaps thinking of it this way will help. If a patient has one illness, he suffers. If he has two illnesses, he suffers more. Too, you may recall the Stagflation in the 1970s, which was an opposing mix of inflation and unemployment.
While economics is arcane to most, including sometimes this astrologer (economics major in college), these are clear warning signs suggesting further financial conservatism. Cutting back expenses has been suggested previously, and now the Celestial Wheel suggests investment conservatism -- moving some money into foreign currencies and investments as a hedge against the declining dollar and inflation. Here's a terrific Washington Post article on this topic, The Dollar in Decline -- The Currency Is Worth Less, but Investors Can Use That to Make a Buck. Keep in mind, however, The Celestial Wheel is not an investment service, and subscribers are advised to use this information within the broader context of their financial planning, including investment advisors.
How can it be that oil reaches a new high of $84 per barrel, and gasoline prices are unchanged? Shouldn't gasoline, and winter heating oil as well, move up as the cost of their raw materials skyrockets? After all, if wheat increases in price, bread prices go up.
Here's a simple calculation on what gasoline prices should move too. There are 42 gallons in each barrel of oil, What's In A Barrel of Oil?. Thereby, at $84 per barrel, one gallon of oil costs $84/42 gallons = $2.00 Oil represents about half the price of gasoline, A Primer on Gasoline Prices. So, double the $2.00 per gallon of oil to arrive at the retail price of gas -- $4.00
The fixed relationship between crude oil and gasoline prices has been lost to these products being priced by commodities investors buying and selling futures -- what they believe prices will be -- and lots of other gamesmanship by oil producers, governments and oil companies. Yet, the fundamentals of materials cost to finished product -- crude oil to gasoline price -- must prevail, one way or the other.
Creating Reality -- Manifestation 101, The Secret....
October 2004 seems so long ago now, though just three years. Then, Robert Suskind wrote a compelling article in the New York Times entitled, Without a Doubt. The focus is upon G.W. Bush's unshakable certainly in his positions, but that's not the most telling part. Suskind relates that in the summer of 2002, one of Bush's aids explained the philosophy (emphasis added).
Well, obviously, this philosophy hasn't worked out very well. Keep this in mind if you feel drawn to writers and speakers advocating personal manifestation (like The Secret), which is another way of saying, we create out own reality. If you still doubt, ask yourself whether you want to adopt the same philosophy as G.W. Bush.
This is a challenging time in the world. There are lots of changes, many difficult, and these call for clear and objecting thinking, not delusion, of personal responsibility, not irresponsibility. The law of karma is immutable -- action brings reaction, which means only effort to change can bring a new reality. Wishes aren't action, nor are they reality. Wishes are only unmet desires.
Solar Eclipse Hangover
The September 8 Celestial Wheel predicted personal energies would be compromised in the September 11 solar eclipse. This appears to have occurred, for everyone has been wilted in one way or another this past week. The drop in the Sun's physical energy continued through this weekend as the Sun approached the sign/house boundary between Leo and Virgo. A planet at the edge of a sign/house loses power, just like a river's current is weak at the riverbank.
This energetic fall-off is aggravated by energetic Mars also ready to change signs now-- from Taurus to Gemini. So, this has been a resting weekend.
The rather muted response to Bush's Iraq plan can be understood as a reflection of this energy void, though protestors in Washington DC certainly made some noise.
The Sun and Mars will nearly simultaneously make this sign shift this evening (Sunday) and then gradually begin to pick up energy in their new signs throughout the day Monday. You'll find Monday morning will be tough to get going, but you'll pick up steam in the afternoon.
A Discordant Tuesday And Grim Wednesday
Certainly too, the stock market trading will be intense, globally, and Mars' machinery signification is sensitive.
The next day, Wednesday, will also be turbulent, for then the perceptional Moon will have shifted in Sagittarius, directly under Mars' aggressive aspect (glance).
Use discretion in your personal lives -- both in interpersonal relationships and avoid any physically risky activities.
Transit Mars Influence On The U.S. Chart
An obvious result will be to break relationships, which will test the national fabric. Although four planets in the seventh house of relationship creates tremendous intensity among groups in the U.S., Jupiter provides a stabilizing influence -- the keel under the U.S. boat. Here's why. Jupiter rules the first house of the self, and it is placed in the seventh, which is not just relationships but also the other. This ties the self to the other, binding the nation together like glue. This disposition also results the self's happiness being tied to the other's happiness. (Note: when this occurs in personal chart, the person does everything possible to please his/her mate, the the bond is lifelong.)
Mars' repeated transit across these four planets, particularly Jupiter, will greatly test of the bonds holding the U.S. together. Yet, as transits are like weather events, these karmas will be temporary and may not have enduring impacts. Additionally, transit Jupiter will begin transiting the first house on November 22 for a year. This will counteract Mars' disruptions to some degree.
Also, the U.S. will not be running Mars in its Dasas (planetary cycles), which are the underlying karmas. This is very fortunate. If the Dasas -- the river of life -- included Mars, then the destructive Mars (weather) transit could tear the fabric of U.S. political society.
It is too early to predict what will occur this fall and winter as transit Mars attacks relationships in the U.S. chart. The chaos inducing Saturn/Ketu conjunction (mid August to mid october) is yet to run it's course, and those destructive karmas must intensify through mid October -- as these two malefics approach exact conjunction on October 19. The U.S. and much of the rest of the world, will be shaken by that karma, particularly in regard to Iraq, Iran, real estate, the economy and oil.
However, it's obvious that there will be great struggles this fall and winter over economic and political issues facing America. The Iraq war must be central here, as will be the economy. This is a primary reason The Celestial Wheel has not attempted to predict the results of the party primaries -- for either party -- nor the result of the November 2008 presidential election.
Thereby, for those upset about G.W. Bush apparently maneuvering the country into staying in Iraq forever, as well as unfair social and economic issues, don't give up. Saturn/Ketu must further upset Bush's plans this month and next, and then Mars will bring further disruptions through the fall and winter. Additionally, the combination of transit Mars and Jupiter stimulates advocacy -- doing the right thing -- and hopefully Congress will respond. (Note: Mars' five month transit through Gemini is G.W. Bush's twelfth house of loss and hospitalization.) Yet, these cosmic disturbances will further stress the middle class and the poor. The Celestial Wheel's suggestion to be financially conservative is important here for your future welfare.
Tonight's Presidential Address on Iraq
The country is obviously faced with a real dilemma in Iraq.
This month and next is the interval of opportunity to end Bush's endless wars.
Since May, The Celestial Wheel has focused upon the mid August through mi October chaos resulting from the conjunction of malefics Saturn and Ketu in Leo. The August 12 Celestial Wheel listed primary predictions for this tumultuous interval, and these were reprinted August 25.
Three weeks into this interval, it's worthwhile tracking early results of these specific predictions:
Gasoline prices rising to a new peak
This optimism elicits from the U.S. chart's planetary cycles (the river of life's underlying karmas) being Moon/Venus/Jupiter from August 6 to October 26. This combination of benefic planets stimulates hope and optimism. Yet, these influence belie the transit (weather on the river) effects of the destructive Saturn/Ketu conjunction. Further, because the U.S.'s chart's transit Jupiter is in the twelfth house of loss, Jupiter's wisdom is lost.
Here's current gas price graph for the U.S. showing the reality -- that prices bottomed out in mid August and have moved laterally and up since then at a no so cheap price of $2.80.
Too, Ft.com reported yesterday, Oil price tests an all-time high -- at over $77 per barrel. This latest boost from an already high level was stimulated by Israeli jets flying over Syria. Further concerns about the oil supply, whether from Atlantic hurricanes harming Gulf oil rigs or other Mideast disruptions, must push gasoline prices to record heights either this month or next. (Note: This astrologer bought a gas scooter last week, and 100 mpg is sure better than the around town 12 mpg the old Lincoln gets -- putting my money where my prediction is.)
Economic decline brought on by real estate crashing
Economic pressures on homeowners are also finally and inevitably forcing reducing spending, which then harms corporate profits. This article from Yahoo, Wal-Mart misses view and cuts full-year forecast, is foreboding. Here's a key quote, It is no secret that many customers are running out of money toward the end of the month.
The U.S. government entering into a two month crisis
The resignations of Karl Rove (8/13) and Alberto Gonzales (8/27) are obvious signals the Bush administration has largely failed in its second term. G.W. Bush has abandoned all his second term goals, except trying fruitlessly to salvage Iraq, his great misadventure. Recall that a primary quality of Saturn with Ketu is big plans that fall apart, resulting in chaos.
The Iraq war coming to a head
G.W. Bush is a living legend in his ability to convince Americans the war in Iraq can, and is being, won. He has been so persuasive, it is expected Congress will not insist upon ending the war quickly, but will acquiesce to a gradual troop reduction with the U.S. remaining in Iraq for the long haul -- 10 years at least This occurs despite previous such claims having been proven untrue. Check out this MoveOn.org video -- just in case you've forgotten how, and how many times, Bush has mislead, rather than lead.
There are dual astrological reasons for this quite amazing turnaround. First, as mentioned above, the U.S. chart's planetary cycles are unwisely optimistic. Second, Bush's planetary cycles are Mercury/Mercury/Mars from July 28 to September 18. Bush's Mercury is deceptive, and Mars is his career planet, placed in the second house of speech, which is why he lies so convincingly. Further, Mercury/Mars is both shrewd and the combination for liars, thieves and politicians.
Yet, there are emerging voices objecting. Read Truthout's reprint of Paul Krugman's New York Times editorial, Time to Take a Stand. See also The War As We Saw It, a report by seven U.S. soldiers returned from Iraq. With Congress back in session now, watch for major fireworks as both Democrats and Republicans kowtow to Bush and take heat from the public.
It's already old news (August 15) that the U.S. is accusing the Iran military of being a terrorist organization. See the Washington Post's, Iranian Unit to Be Labeled 'Terrorist'. Here's a truly chilling article on September 2 from the UK's Timesonline, Pentagon "three-day blitz' plan for Iran. Note that Iran's chart is hit directly by the upcoming September 11 solar eclipse, detailed below.
Bush's recent gains in again persuading Americans he's winning the Iraq war can only have short shift. Pushing this unpopular position and untenable position has put him in a self-created trap. Note Bush's chart is harmed by the September 11 solar eclipse, explained below.
The illegal alien problem, is heating up
This issue remains on the front page in national and local media.
Osama Bin Laden's Video Tape
The September 11 Solar Eclipse
The gravity of the Saturn/Ketu conjunction is aggravated by cosmic disturbances including the August 28 total lunar eclipse and the upcoming September 11 partial solar eclipse.
The July 4 Celestial Wheel, in discussing this lunar eclipse, That this eclipse occurs on 9-11 is naturally disturbing. Further concern arises from this September 11 being a Tuesday, which is both Mars (violence) day of the week and also mirrors the the 9-11 Tuesday in 2001.
The U.S. chart does indicate some exposure for this 9-11, but its ninth house position indicates that government and the stock markets are the operative karmas. The foiled terrorist attack against U.S. interests in Germany may very well have exhausted this eclipse's violence karma. G.W. Bush, however, has considerable physical risk at this eclipse, though he could just have a temper tantrum.
The solar eclipse occurs just after dawn on the U.S. east coast but will not be visible in the U.S. or Europe.