Marjorie Orr on the Financial Meltdown

As readers of this blog know, I’m a great admirer of British astrologer Marjorie Orr. She has done an excellent analysis of what’s behind the current financial meltdown.

While the mainstream press would have us believe that major financial institutions are collapsing because of the housing downturn, the reality is more complex than that.

Massive fees have been earned by folks whom I’ll call “financial engineers” during the past few years by peddling exotic derivatives such as credit default swaps. Evidently Wall Street didn’t really understand the risk involved in these unregulated instruments. Marjorie gets it.

Because of the way her Web site is set up, with scrolling comments, I asked Marjorie for permission to quote her comments on “snake oil salesmen” here. The piece was written before today’s 449.36 drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, to 10,609.66. You can read more at her Web site.

Here’s Marjorie:

It’s very easy to get hysterical about a financial meltdown with the oversensationalized media getting all hyped up, though yesterday in fact only took a few percentages off the stock market rather than the freefall which followed the 1929 crash. And stock markets anyway are not the “real” economy though there will be negative consequences filtering through into ordinary peoples’ lives.

Astrologically speaking the 1929 crash and depression following was due partly to Neptune moving out of overblown Leo (the Roaring Twenties) into earthy Virgo undermining employment prospects; with Saturn in late Sagittarius moving towards bleaker times in Capricorn heading for a really tough opposition to Pluto in Cancer bringing deprivation and squaring Uranus in Aries in the early 1930s.
[NOTE FROM AM: We’re heading for this same T-square in 2010.]

Pluto in Cancer altered family life and changed the status of women, pulling them away from their primary role as homemakers with a tremendous upheaval from Uranus square Pluto. It was largely caused, as is this crisis, by irresponsible lending to Americans hoping to make their fortune on the stock market. The banks lent more than they possessed and the bubble burst with catastrophic results for the next decade.

What has been intriguing me is to work out from the astrology what has been going on in the financial sector this time round. Part of it is irresponsible lending. But the real problem which could lead to banks going bust and people losing their savings – is the ramping up of debt in schemes of mind-boggling complexity which leveraged the original debt into stratospheric proportions, paying the money men percentages all the way up the line.

And it also interlinked all the banks since they laid debt off to each other, so if one goes down the domino effect kicks in. Warren Buffett in 2002 called these schemes “financial weapons of mass destruction – time bombs, both for the parties that deal in them and the economic system.”

There’s a feel here of megalomania, delusional disregard for reality – like the myth of Icarus who flew too high and burnt his artificial wings and discovered the hard way that he was not a god but an earth-bound human. That was there in the 1929 crash – gambling borrowed money to make profits on the markets without having to work for it – which does have a fire sign or afflicted Jupiterian feel about it.

But this time round there’s an additional sense of a hellish enmeshing, a deadly spider’s web of delusions, deviousness, and trickery which adds a Plutonic layer – or worse Pluto pumping its power-driven energy to vastly inflate the bubble. It’s almost Neptune/Pluto – too high and too low at the same time, except it isn’t around at the moment.

These high risk financial debt-offsetting schemes have been around forever, but only grew to prominence with deregulation through the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The 70s/80s had Neptune and then Uranus in fiery innovative Sagittarius (Sagittarius ruled by Jupiter doesn’t like limits). The 80s/early 90s had greed and power driven Pluto in Scorpio; plus the Saturn/Uranus/Neptune triple conjunction in business-oriented Capricorn which brought the first correction to the markets in the crash of 1987.

Whether this year’s end-of-the-line meltdown could be attributed in part to Pluto just leaving Sagittarius (1995 to 2008) isn’t clear. It’s certainly Pluto in a fire sign though its meaning has usually been confined to fanatical religious beliefs. Arguably Pluto just pushed the boat out too far in fiery, risk-taking Sagittarius – snake oil salesmen running amok.

Perhaps Pluto’s early foray into Capricorn (February to June 08) was a trigger to start clearing out the mess (purging being a Pluto effect) that the Triple Conjunction in Capricorn in late 80s/early 90s began but couldn’t quite get a grip on.

Pluto in its negative aspect is highly enmeshed, very secretive, controlling, stops change but eventually gets so constipated it silts up with toxins and self destructs. (The financial world ever flamboyant in its language is talking now of ”toxic debts” running into trillions of dollars/pounds.) In its positive aspect Pluto clears away garbage, deconstructs outdated attitudes and systems, reduces old power structures to ashes in preparation for the phoenix to arise. In the process it necessarily has to disentangle or destroy the spider’s web of the old controls.

What is scary about the present financial crisis is how interlinked it all is – a few poor folk down Missouri way were lent too much money to buy houses and suddenly every financial market in the world is in a state of nervous collapse. Capitalism will have a very different face come the middle of the next decade.

Isn’t that an amazing analysis? Thanks, Marjorie, for letting me reprint it here at Astrology Mundo.


It’s Two for Tiger

Even I’m starting to get sick of the Sarah Palin sideshow so I’m going to catch up with yesterday’s news that golfer Tiger Woods’ wife is expecting their second child.

Earlier this year, I made some grand predictions about how this was going to be the best year ever for Tiger, a Capricorn, because Jupiter was transiting his sign.

I predicted a Grand Slam — four major tournament wins in the same year — as well as an expansion of Woods’ home and family. Well, at least I was right on one count — the family is indeed expanding.

As golf fans know, Tiger has had a less-than-stellar year so far because of leg surgery. One astrologer who got it right was Marjorie Orr. Unfortunately, I can’t link to her post on Tiger because of the way her Web site is set up. But hats off to Marjorie for seeing that Jupiter in your sign doesn’t always mean more wins and more money. It can mean more children and more homes.

While We Watched

Who cares if some if the pyrotechnics at the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics were computer-generated? Everyone agrees the Chinese pulled out the stops.

But while the world was watching the Olympics in China, Russia and Georgia got into a nasty little war. It’s in one of those far-away places that most Americans won’t be able to find on a map, let alone pronounce — South Ossetia.

If you want to figure out what’s going on, Marjorie Orr has got the story. She’s done a number of posts over the weekend analyzing what’s at stake on the ground and what the triggering events were in the sky. This is where Marjorie’s background at the BBC comes in handy.

Since I’m still fixated on name asteroid, I looked up the asteroid Georgia to see where it is right now. It’s at 8 degrees of Gemini, squaring transiting Saturn in Virgo. Jude’s Threshold has got some interesting stuff about this sudden war if you want to learn more.

Calling All Rick Astley Fans

Before I tracked down Kathryn Cassidy’s post at Collaborating With Fate on the Internet phenomenon known as “rickrolling,” I e-mailed Marjorie Orr and asked her to take a peek at singer Rick Astley’s chart. I asked Marjorie if she could see any reason for the boomerang of his 1987 hit Never Gonna Give You Up, thanks to Internet pranksters.

Marjorie has responded to my request and has posted her interpretation of Astley’s chart, which is somewhat hindered because we don’t have a time of birth. You can read it here. Scroll down if you don’t see it.

Update on Elsa P’s Top Ten Sources

Folks, the news isn’t good. I e-mailed Elsa P and she confirmed that Elsa P’s Top Ten Sources is down and says it might be gone permanently. This is a huge loss for me personally as well as for the astrological community. In addition to blogging about astrology and her own life at the ElsaElsa Blog, Elsa has been posting snippets and links to astrology blogs around the world on her site all day long. To use industry jargon, she’s an “aggregator.”

Until I started Astrology Mundo in March, I relied solely on periodic commentaries at StarIQ, AstroDataBank, Nancy’s Blog, and Marjorie Orr’s Web site for my astro fix. Then I started getting traffic from Elsa P’s Top Ten Sources and I checked out her site.

I had been living in the dark. It turns out there is a whole world of astrology blogs out there. Since then, nearly every spare minute I have has been spent trolling the astrology section of Elsa P’s Top Ten Sources and catching up with what other bloggers have to say. Elsa has something new practically every few minutes.

I don’t know if it’s a technical, financial, or personal issue that has led to the blackout at Elsa P’s Top Ten Sources, but I pray that it is resolved soon. Elsa, we love you! Please come back! Tell the Soldier he better help get you up and running again or he’s going to have this Army brat to deal with.

What Astrologers Say About Ingrid Betancourt’s Rescue

I’ve been following the case of Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt with great interest ever since she was captured by rebels six years ago. I was thrilled to see that she was rescued on July 2 in a daring rescue mission.

Michael WolfStar at StarIQ has dedicated his entire July 8 NewsScope column to Betancourt’s story. It’s an amazing piece of analysis. You can read it here:

Here’s what Dutch astrologer Marga Bervoets has to say about Betancourt’s rescue:

British astrologer Marjorie Orr and her readers are having a lively discourse on the astrological aspects that triggered Betancourt’s liberation:

If you don’t see any references to Betancourt, scroll down as Orr updates her thread constantly.

I think that one reason why I’m fascinated with political hostages is because a cousin of mine was one of the Iranian hostages who spent 444 days in captivity before being released in the first days of Ronald Reagan’s administration.

I recently posted on Burmese Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been imprisoned for 18 years by Myanmar’s repressive military regime.

Maybe her story will have a happy ending the way that Betancourt’s and Nelson Mandela’s did.

Mundane Musings

Interesting that with transiting Mars in Cancer making a T-square with the Aries Sun and Mercury and Jupiter in Capricorn over the last week that skyrocketing food prices have come onto the media’s radar. Here’s a good CNN piece that wraps up the food news..

In Haiti, Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis was forced out of office in a weekend vote by parliament because of food riots in that country. In Haiti’s chart, set for Jan. 1, 1804, you can see that transiting Mars near the Midheaven is squaring natal Uranus in Libra in the first house.  Translation: Anger about food or home issues leads to sudden changes. Here’s Haiti’s chart, courtesy of Astrodienst.

Having visited Haiti several times myself and having made the acquaintance of many journalists, historians, musicians, and filmmakers who are very knowledgeable about the place, I feel guilty about the superficial interpretation. I could spend weeks looking at this chart and studying the history books. But I’m facing some time constraints. I’ve put analyzing the Haitian independence chart in depth on my to-do list.

In the meanwhile, at the risk of sounding blithe about suffering in a country where people are subsisting on mud cakes, I’m going to digress here and point out that on Jan. 1, Haiti’s Independence Day, it is traditional to make, serve, and eat pumpkin soup.

Back in the Nineties, after a trip to Haiti, I was scouring the Internet for the Soup Joumou recipe and couldn’t find it. Now, thanks to the explosion of blogs, I can find hundreds of recipes for the soup, which usually includes meat. Here’s one that I’m going to try:

I really should have gone into broadcasting because I have a tendency to inject a little happy talk into my news. Back to the grim reality, though. Egypt, Ivory Coast, and Cameroon have been hit by unrest because of rising food prices. Americans are also waking up and smelling the pricier coffee.

Here’s a link to an interesting radio interview on rising food prices by Amy Goodman at Democracy Now. Goodman talked to Raj Patel, the author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System, about the current food crisis:

Barry Ritholtz, my favorite money guy, has a lot of interesting stuff on the implications of runaway food prices for governments around in the world. Click on The Big Picture in my Blog Roll to read his excellent analysis. Over the years, I’ve posted comments on Barry’s blog and have tried to gently introduce him to astrology, but he’s having none of it. That’s O.K. I still love his economic analysis and his book and music selections. He’s a hip dude!

If you’re one of those who believe that New York real estate is immune to the forces of gravity, I’d advise you to check out Marjorie Orr’s excellent post on Gotham, which she twinned with an astrological forecast for London in A Tale of Two Cities approach. You’ll also find Orr in my Blog Roll.  

When Will Prince William Marry?

Nothing cheers up an empire, even a diminished one, like a royal wedding. And with Pluto now in Cap, the pressure is on for 25-year-old Prince William to tie the knot.

While the British tabloids are speculating about a 2009 wedding for Will and girlfriend Capricorn Kate Middleton,  I’m think the souvenir makers shouldn’t fire up the kilns for the royal wedding plate just yet. I’m wagering that William will marry on May 21, 2011.

Why? On that day, his progressed Venus comes to meet his 0 degree Cancer Sun, which is exactly trine natal Jupiter at 0 degrees of Scorpio at the midheaven. Meanwhile, progressed Moon is conjoined progressed Sun at 27 degrees of Cancer.  There are two marriage signatures happening at the same time: progressed Venus to Sun and progressed Sun/Moon.

Here’s Prince William’s chart, courtesy of Astrodienst.

Interestingly enough, when I went to google May 21, 2011 to figure out what day of the week it was (before realizing it doesn’t matter because it will be a decreed a national holiday if a royal wedding does take place), I learned from this blog that it’s been selected as the day the world will end. Well, if this does indeed come to pass, it’s going to be a beautiful ending because there’s a lovely Venus/Mars conjunction in Taurus that day, broadly opposing William’s Jupiter.

The chart of a person such as William, who will basically live his entire life in the public eye, is a golden opportunity to watch astrology in action. If William were my client, one of my first questions would be: What was going on between your parents in 1992? That’s when his Sun progressed to a perfect square with natal Mars, which is at 9 degrees of Libra. A quick Google search reveals that’s the year his mother and father publicly split up, though their divorce didn’t take place until four years later.

An ordinary person might not be able to remember when his parents broke up or he might not want to talk about it. With a public figure, you can use the Internet to search key events and time periods in his life.

For instance, the current transit of Jupiter in Capricorn in William’s first house, broadly opposing his Sun/Moon conjunction in Cancer, is bringing him into the public eye in connection with the military and sports, both fine pursuits for a future king. Click here to read about him presenting the Six Nations trophy to the Welsh rugby team.

As the son of the Prince of Wales, William serves as royal vice-patron of the Welsh team.

Think hanging out with rugby champions sounds like fun? You haven’t heard the half of it. Earlier this year, William flew solo for the first time as part of a four-month stint with the Royal Air Force. The Prince, who is a Second Lieutenant with the Household Calvary, is fulfilling a “long-held ambition” to earn his wings, according to a palace press release. Sounds like natal Jupiter at the midheaven to me. This boy was born to fly!

Britain’s royal family has the official last name of Windsor, but William is known as Lieutenant Wales.  I wonder if the prince extends his hand and says, “Will Wales. It’s a pleasure” when meeting someone. I’ll let my readers who are up on Debrett’s Peerage and royal etiquette advise me on that one.

Based on what I’ve read about Princess Diana’s efforts to instill a sense of egalitarianism in her boys, William may indeed use a common touch in certain situations. Obviously, chatting up strangers is a requirement for his future job, but he appears to do it well, as evidenced by this photo.

Still, no Yank astrologer is really going to “get” a royal’s life. That’s why I’m steering you to British astrologer Marjorie Orr, who has a fascinating read on Middleton. You can find Marjorie’s Web site  in my blog roll. Once you’re on her site, click on “The Astrology of Today’s News.”

With her Plutonian energy, Kate’s got the staying power to hang in there another three years (or longer) to become Mrs. William Wales. In the meantime, she can burnish her public service credentials. Now, for all I know Kate is out feeding the poor in her spare time, but the paparazzi aren’t following her then the way they do after she’s spent a night clubbing at Boujis. She needs to borrow a page from Diana’s playbook and cultivate an image as a humanitarian.