Has Jim Rogers Been Reading Jim Kunstler?

Check out this story from CNBC, where legendary commodity investor Jim Rogers says that he’s bought land and started farming. I’ll confess I haven’t read the whole story yet, but I was expecting Rogers to advise us to buy gold.

Here’s my thinking on bullion: The approaching conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune in Aquarius opposes Leo, the sign that rules gold. An Aquarius stellium helped make Leos India (Slumdog Millionaire) and Sean Penn (Milk) winners at the Oscars. I’m betting it will do the same thing for gold.

In case, you don’t know who Jim Kunstler is, check out his site. The peak oil guru, who was recently profiled by The New Yorker, envisions a world where food will be grown locally — by you and me!

Well, the U.S. started as a nation of gentleman farmers back when Pluto was last in Capricorn. Maybe we’re going back to the future.

Jupiter in Aquarius: You’ll Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends

Jupiter, the Great Expander, moves into the group-oriented sign of Aquarius on Jan. 5, 2009.

Twelve years ago, the last time that Jupiter was in Aquarius, I made some grand predictions for a friend of mine born under the sign of the Water Bearer.

I predicted fame and fortune, but what came to pass is that my Aquarian friend became a member of the board in the Manhattan co-op where she lives. She also became a de facto volunteer in her building, looking in on elderly neighbors and bringing them food.

The moral of the story? Jupiter is likely to step up your involvement with groups, associations, networks, and other organizations during its year-long trip through the sign of Aquarius. It may not expand your bank account, though.

Later in the year, when Jupiter meets up with visionary Neptune, which is also in Aquarius, you may have the opportunity to pursue a cherished dream or project, or you may get involved in a charitable or spiritual group.

As blogger Nancy Schorr points out, Jupiter and Neptune will be conjunct for most of the summer. The last time this aspect happened in Aquarius was in 1840, which many historians equate with the beginning of various socialistic and utopian schemes.

The Moon in the U.S. chart is in Aquarius, so volunteerism and group action could become quite important in a nation that has just elected a former community organizer as its President. Stay tuned: The number of friends you have on Facebook or the number of folks who follow you on Twitter may indeed be the ultimate status symbols.

A Cosmic Take on Cuisine: The View From Brazil

Gian Paul, who has emerged as the Brazil bureau chief of Astrology Mundo and Lula watcher par excellence, is back with a fascinating look at cuisine and the cosmos, peppered by some personal insights. After all, this is a blog.

Here’s Gian Paul, a Swiss-born finance type who follows French astrology and loves Belgian chocolate. (Pralinée only, s’il vous plâit.)

In a recent edition of BusinessWeek, there are two alarming items, related and of astrological interest:

The first is that an increasing percentage of Greek children today are overweight, similar to in the U.S. The second is that nearly 3,000 restaurants and cafés have closed in France this year already.

The decline in the number of French eateries is most likely taking place in the Western Hemisphere as well.

What’s truly alarming is the speed at which things are going downhill in France, where a a gourmand culture has existed since before the French Revolution. One hundred years ago, a somewhat sophisticated meal consisted of six or seven courses or so. If it were a banquet, the number of courses would normally increase to 20.

BusinessWeek concentrates on the “economic” side of the issue, as one would expect for a business publication. So what’s the astrological angle?

I am a follower of the French type of astrology. One of the best French astrologers I know, Henry Gouchon, always related health issues with children to the planetary transits that they had in the first four years of their lives. An intriguing concept. Even more so because it’s possible to look up these transits much later in life, when some health problems have become chronic.

Many people struggle at one point or another in their lives with a weight problem. Some physicians find psychological reasons, while others cite early childhood habits or ignorant parents.

In astrology, health is associated with the sign Virgo and the sixth house. With Moon in Virgo opposing Mars myself, I am quite sympathetic to those with ulcers.

I used to be a financial analyst at one stage in my life, covering oil, chemicals, and drugs. Back in the Sixties and early Seventies, I remember there were practically no new drugs coming out of research. Then all of a sudden came Tagamet, the revolutionary anti-ulcer medication, as well as a slew of various anti-cholesterol drugs, beta blockers, etc.

Interested in astrology, I went searching for the astrological link. Drugs are related to Neptune. Here’s my theory: Neptune had to move out of Scorpio in the early Seventies and into Sagittarius in before drug research could make a quantum leap forward!

Unfortunately, these pharmaceutical breakthroughs were also accompanied by great advances in the adulteration of food. Interesting that the food industry is a favorite investment area of Warren Buffett, with his Jupiter/Pluto conjunction in Cancer, which rules food.

We have witnessed the advent of an onslaught of sugar substitutes and food preservatives, as well as artificial flavors, fragrances, and colors.
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So, back to our poor Greek kids and French restaurant owners. Blaming Neptune’s passage through Sagittarius does not offer much consolation. However, thanks to the “mutual reception” of Neptune in Aquarius and Uranus in Pisces, we have an opportunity for scientists to discover what is truly healthy. (Mutual reception occurs when two planets are transiting signs ruled by one another.)

Having suffered from a heart attack and having cholesterol problems for quite a long time, I have been forced to become knowledgeable about this domain. Only eight years ago my cardiologists were insisting that I eat margarine, not butter. Now margarine is out.

I was happily eating eggs and red meat, while the drugs to control cholesterol were counterbalancing my excesses. Everybody was happy: Nestlé, Kraft, P&G, Pfizer, Bayer, Roche, and many others. Even good restaurants because I had returned as a client.

I realize that I’m not alone in adhering to one gastronomical regimen, only to be told by a doctor or the press that it’s “wrong,” and that I must change lanes. When everyone was jogging, carbs were good. Then, as people became glued to their desks and their computers, high-protein diets like Atkins and the Zone were all the rage.

For those who dismiss the “Mediterranean diet” as a fad, you’re wrong. It’s truly healthy and wonderful food. Too bad those Greek kids have abandoned this traditional way of eating.

And while Napa Valley vintners extol the virtue of wine as part of a healthy diet, they fail to tell us that new processes to mature wines more rapidly use quite a variety of Neptunian ingredients that are far from natural.

The Greeks who came to New York to run the diners for years may have the right idea: Go home to a little Greek island to retire. Enjoy a variety of local cheeses, olives, delicious tomatoes, and truly natural wine.

Thanks, Gian Paul, I’m off to a samba class to keep off the fat!

Neptune in Aquarius and Pluto in Leo Drug Addicts

CNN has a story this morning about how more Baby Boomers are becoming drug addicts. I haven’t checked the methodology on this, which may not be sound. But here’s what’s interesting: Transiting Neptune, the North Node, and the wounded healer Chiron are together in Aquarius opposing the natal Pluto of Baby Boomers born in the third decan of Leo.

With the public-oriented North Node in the picture, the media is “discovering” the story.

Some boomers are falling prey to Neptunian escapes such as Internet porn and chat rooms where they can pretend to be someone they’re not. Persuading themselves that they are still sexually attractive in their fifties and sixties is a preoccupation of some folks born with Pluto in Leo. Just look at the section on sexuality recently added to Huffington Post.

Don’t get me wrong. As a Capricorn, I’ve always had a thing for old guys and an appreciation of older feminine beauty. I think Georgia O’Keeffe was beautiful in her Eighties! Age accentuates good bone structure, which as a Saturnian type, I adore. So don’t accuse me of age discrimination, please!

I’ve seen more than a few boomers become obsessed with vitamins and supplements as they look for the fountain of youth. I’m not talking about a One-a-Day vitamin or natural remedies for menopause. I’m talking about people who are running up their credit cards (Neptune) and spending thousands of dollars that they don’t have on so-called elixirs that may or may not work.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to feel sexy and healthy at 60. But there’s a certain desperation about some Baby Boomers that doesn’t make it seem like a lot of fun.

I wonder if the desire to turn back the clock isn’t behind the drug addiction as well. The “uppers” that CNN is reporting boomers are becoming addicted to, like crystal meth and crack, give one a transitory feeling of being powerful.

These drugs are often done in tandem, by gays and straights alike, with remedies for impotence, giving the user the feeling that he’s back in college and can go all night. I say “he” here because I haven’t heard of an erectile-dysfunction medicine for women. This kind of euphoria gets harder to come by in our youth-driven society where boomers are being marginalized.

The media seems amazed that people in their 50s with well-established careers, homes, and families could fall prey to this temptation. As astrologers, we know better.

Transiting Neptune opposing natal Pluto is a powerful combination indeed. And, thanks to Neptune in Aquarius, we have more potential addictions that are legal than ever before — casino gambling, Internet porn, mood-altering prescription drugs, even astrology blogs!

Those most vulnerable in my opinion are those whose natal Pluto makes connections to their Sun, Moon, or Ascendant. A former hairdresser of mine whose Leo Sun was conjunct Pluto lost everything when transiting Neptune opposed his Leo conjunction.

Of course, this doesn’t have to be a self-destructive transit. A friend of a friend discovered the tango in her mid-fifties as Neptune opposed her natal Pluto. It became an obsession.

I’m sure when Neptune in Pisces comes to oppose my natal Pluto in Virgo, I’ll become a shoe addict since Pisces rules the feet!

The Wonders of Wireless Electricity

One of today’s most popular Web searches is “wireless electricity.” Yesterday, Intel cut the cord and demonstrated something called a “wireless energy resonant link,” which transmitted electricity to a lamp on a stage that was burning a 60-watt bulb.

This is big, folks. What’s the astrology of it? I’ll chalk it up to today’s opposition of Venus in Virgo and Uranus and Pisces. Mercury, the planet of communications, is conjunct the Venus, so we’re hearing a lot about this breakthrough.

On a broader level, this could also be due to the “mutual reception” that is the result of the transit of Pisces ruler Neptune through Aquarius at the same time that Aquarius ruler Uranus is traveling through Pisces.

Don’t expect to find the system at Best Buy or Circuit City next week, though. This AP story says much research remains to be done before wireless electricity is available on the market.

As revolutionary as wireless electricity sounds, the idea was something that inventor Nikola Tesla envisioned back in the last century. To read more about Tesla, click here.

The Coming U.S. Depression

I tricked you! This isn’t going to be a post about the tanking dollar, shaky real estate, or how much longer the stock market can stay aloft. No, it’s a meditation on the vulnerable state of the U.S. psyche and how a hit to the stock portfolio or a home’s value can lead to poor self-esteem.

With Moon in Cancer at the Midheaven, I’m perfectly capable of getting depressed when bad things happen to other people — kids coming back from Iraq and killing themselves and then the government trying to cover it up, 22,000 dead in Myanmar (previously known as Burma) after a cyclone, the filly Eight Belles having to be put down after coming in second at the Kentucky Derby — to name just three.

We live in extremely materialistic times, when people measure happiness by how much money they earn, how much their stock portfolio has appreciated, and how much their house is worth. Now, I know there are other things that make people happy — your percentage of body fat is 17, your kid got a perfect score on the SAT, you have 10,000 friends on MySpace — but money is a typical barometer of happiness in our consumerist country.

So when the bank account takes a hit or when the raises at work come in at 2%, not even enough to keep pace with the rising cost of living, people get bummed out. This is especially true for older people, who often feel that they don’t have enough time left to start all over again.

People who measure happiness in dollars are going to be disappointed over the next few years is that transiting Neptune, the planet of disillusionment, is coming to a conjunction, or meeting, with the U.S. moon.

There is a lot of speculation about when the U.S. was “born.” We know it was on July 4, 1776, but at what time? I’m not going to waste time here debating the merits of the various U.S. birth charts. Suffice it to say that I like the “Sibley” chart, which was also favored by legendary symbolic astrologer Dane Rudhyar. You can see it here, courtesy of a Web site called AstroFutureTrends.

The Sibley chart works for me because it has a 12 degree Sagittarius/Gemini Ascendant/Descendant. On Sept. 11, 2001, the deadly Saturn/Pluto opposition in Gemini/Sag was straddling the Ascendant/Descendant of the Sibley chart. I rest my case.

In the Sibley chart, the U.S. Moon is at 27 degrees of Aquarius. In fact, any chart you draw up for July 4, 1776 has an Aquarius Moon. What varies is the degree of the Moon and the house cusps.

To me, the Aquarius Moon denotes how much freedom women have had in America compared to the Old World as well as our “melting pot” culture, which generally embraces immigrants (except for when times get tough and we turn on them, but that’s another story).

Neptune will station, or stop, on May 27, as it changes direction and begins its retrograde motion. Neptune is traveling with the North Node, which rules the public and collective experience, and Chiron, the asteroid known as the “wounded healer,” right now. But transiting Neptune has yet to reach the national Moon in the Sibley chart.

Depending on what orbs you use, Neptune will be conjunct the U.S. Moon next year. Early in 2010, Jupiter in Aquarius will be part of the mix, compounding whatever the issue is. I think that’s when the balloon is really going to start deflating. Coincidentally, as transiting Neptune conjoins the U.S. Moon, it will be squaring the Sun of the New York Stock Exchange birth chart. (For more on the Big Board chart, see my post, “Under the Buttonwood Tree.”)

In my book, Neptune conjunct the U.S. Moon spells collective sorrow and suffering. The idealism about American opportunity will be dissolved. The loss of hope in the face of material difficulties such as unemployment, bankruptcy, and home foreclosure may push some people over the edge.

As I mentioned in my post about 1 Dead in Attic, Chris Rose’s excellent book of essays on Hurricane Katrina, I’m always upset to hear about people committing suicide. When I was in high school, my best friend took her own life and I’m still haunted by the fact that I didn’t do more to try and prevent it.

It’s not just a hurricane that can drive people to commit suicide. Sometimes it’s the end of economic system like communism. Look at these national suicide rates from the World Health Organization.

Scroll down the list. The countries with the highest suicide rates, as of May, 2003, the latest year for which figures are available, are those that were part of the former Soviet Union or its satellites. Look at the Russian Federation, with the highest suicide rate on the list, which doesn’t include every country in the world.

In Russia, 70.6 males out of every 100,000 people kill themselves. In Belarus, 63.6 males out of every 100,000 kill themselves. Ukraine’s also bad, at 52.1. What a waste! And, of course, these numbers don’t take into account all the people who are killing themselves in slow motion through alcoholism and drug addiction.

In the U.S., 17.6 males kill themselves for every 100,000 people. I’m using the figures for men, rather than women, because males are more likely to take their own lives than women, despite the popular image of female depressives. If you’re interested in global suicide rates for women, they’re also in the WHO chart.

Given the long-term financial outlook for the U.S., it’s imperative that the Senate and House reconcile their versions of legislation giving “parity” to mental health. However, even if the two bills are reconciled and President George W. Bush signs the resulting Mental Health Parity Act into law, it’s still not going to help the people without health insurance.

The coming conjunction of Neptune and the U.S. Moon undoubtedly will put lots of pressure on the next administration to really address the health insurance issue. Let’s hope it’s not an epidemic or a biological accident that brings about the “tipping point.”

Internet Addiction: Let the Healing Begin

The current Neptune/North Node/Chiron lineup in Aquarius is a good time to get in touch with one’s addiction to TV, Internet, video games, and other forms of technology. I’m not making light of this issue. It’s a serious problem in our society. 

Interestingly, this is National TV-Turnoff Week. Click here for more information: http://www.tvturnoff.org/

Are you a Net addict? Take this quiz and find out:

http://www.netaddiction.com/resources/internet_addiction_test.htm

The questions really make you think. Here’s one I made up on my own:

Do you scream at your computer when Web pages are slow to load? (Be honest.)

In the spirit of recovery, I’m turning off my laptop right now and going to make the bed and get dressed!

The Church Gets Its Groove Back

I was talking to a friend yesterday who lives in New York. Like me, she’s a closet astrologer. She was marveling at the Pope’s lovefest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the good vibes coming from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was raised Jewish, throughout the whole thing.

My observation was that with Neptune, the North Node, and Chiron moving closely together in Aquarius, that it’s a good time for the church (Neptune) to heal its wounds (Chiron) with the public (North Node). Why was Bloomberg in the mix? He was on born on Valentine’s Day, which puts this transiting Aquarius stellium smack dab on his Sun.

Here’s Bloomberg’s chart, thanks to AstroDataBank: http://www.astrodatabank.com/NM/BloombergMike.htm

Those who know Bloomberg observe that his tastes are ecumenical, to say the least. With a group of Aquarius planets in his seventh house, he thrives on mixing with all kinds of people, not just the tribe he was raised in.

In another manifestation of the current Aquarius lineup, we’ve got pilgrims flocking to the Italian village where the body of Padre Pio has been exhumed. Here’s the link to that story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080424/lf_nm_life/italy_saint_dc

It doesn’t stop. Here’s a news story from Britain about a trio of Roman Catholic priests who have signed a recording contract. Neptune in Aquarius could be seen as favorable to religious music and certainly the North Node is about connecting with the public. Here’s the link to that article:

http://music.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,2275794,00.html

Takes me back to my childhood and “The Singing Nun.”