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Slow Global Warming


by Gary Brand - written February 12, 2010,
published in the March 2010 edition of Echo* newspaper
The U.S. Birth Chart for July 4, 1776, Philadelphia, at 2:23
PM, based upon the clockface on the clocktower of
Independence Hall on the back of the U.S. $100 bill The U.S. birth chart for July 4, 1776, Philadelphia, at 2:23 PM, the time on the Independence Hall clockface on the reverse of the U.S. $100 bill.  At the time of this article, transiting Saturn is in the 11th house and transiting Pluto is in the 2nd house of the U.S. chart.

Strikingly beautiful, blue shadows of the rings are cast upon Saturn's cloud tops and the moon Minas. Strikingly beautiful, blue shadows of the rings are cast upon Saturn's cloud tops and highlight the moon Mimas (right center).  This is a color composite of three images captured by the Cassini spacecraft on November 7, 2004 using red, green and blue filters.  The ring shadows appear blue because sunlight is striking the molecules in the atmosphere of Saturn at an oblique angle and blue light is scattered more than other colors in the spectrum.  As a result, other colors in the sunlight penetrate the upper atmosphere and are not reflected back to the camera.  At the bottom of this image, the Cassini division, an open gap in the rings, appears below the semi-transparent A ring (which is a dull brown color because its unlit side is shown) and the narrow, thread-like F ring appears above the A ring.  The bright blue and white streak above Mimas is caused by sunlight passing through the Cassini division off camera to the right, the dark blue band below Mimas is the shadow of Saturn's B ring (the most dense of the main rings), and the lighter blue bands below it comprise the shadow of the C ring.  Courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

Launch of the New Horizons spacecraft, which will rendevous with Pluto in July 2015. This photo shows the launch of the New Horizons spacecraft by an Atlas V rocket at 2:00 PM on January 19, 2006 from Kennedy Space Center.  New Horizons will rendevous with Pluto in July 2015, when the instruments on board will record data about the surface, geology, interior, and atmosphere of Pluto and its largest moon Charon.  It will also take the first close-up photos of these mysterious worlds (mysterious is a Pluto keyword)!  Courtesy of NASA/Kennedy Space Center.

Saturn, Enceladus, Mimas' shadow and the rings. This is a view of the dark side of Saturn on the right, with the surface of the cloud tops south of the ring plane faintly lit by sunlight reflected off the south side of the rings.  The moon Enceladus, which appears just above the rings and just to the left of Saturn's edge, is on the far side of the rings and the planet.  It is lit by "Saturnshine" or sunlight reflected by the sunlit side of Saturn.  The moon Mimas appears as a silhouette in front of the rings because it is in the shadow of Saturn and receives no "Saturnshine."  Since we are viewing their unlit side, the scattered sunlight reflected by the rings makes them subdued in appearance and Saturn's shadow completely darkens them on the side of the planet nearest the camera.  This image was taken by the Cassini spacecraft on June 11, 2006.  Courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.
Every 29-30 years, Saturn moves through or transits the sign of Libra and aspects the following planets in the U.S. birth chart (pictured on the left):  it squares Venus at almost 3 degrees Cancer, Jupiter at almost 6 degrees Cancer, and the Sun at 13 degrees Cancer, and it returns to its own position at almost 15 degrees Libra.  We are currently in one of these two-year periods:  November 2009 – March 2010 and late July 2010 – November 2011 (using a 10 degree orb of influence).  When transiting Saturn makes these aspects, it is in the 11th house in the U.S. chart, which represents Congress, the nation’s prosperity, good fortune, and the money supply.  It began affecting that house in October 2008, at the beginning of the banking crisis.  When Saturn is in this house, the nation’s money supply and prosperity are restricted and Congress is grid locked and/or facing very tough decisions.  Transiting Saturn square Venus and Jupiter in the U.S. chart indicate a restricted money supply, reduction in bank lending, increased rate of bank failures, loss of money and wealth in the stock markets, rising foreclosure rates, static or decreased wages, high divorce rates, declining revenue (2008 U.S. tax revenue fell by 34% – the largest drop on record), Federal spending restraints, restricted access to resources, and skyrocketing national debt.  Transiting Saturn square the Sun in the U.S. chart symbolizes the inability or ineffectiveness of the government to address the nation’s mounting economic problems, a lack of morality and compassion among leaders and the general population, and obstructionism in government resulting from an unwillingness to compromise or negotiate.

The country’s “Saturn return” (transiting Saturn conjunct the position of Saturn in the U.S. chart) is a time of national reckoning, adjustment born of necessity, and karmic payback.  It portends austerity, an accelerating bankruptcy rate, a growing number of homeless people (what a disgrace for the “richest nation in the world”), mounting public discontent, hard times, intolerance of others unlike ourselves, recession or depression, an increased poverty rate, and natural disasters.

The only two times in U.S. history that a recession or depression did NOT occur when transiting Saturn was square Venus, Jupiter and Sun and conjunct Saturn in the U.S. chart was during the Korean War and the Civil War.  However, the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have not prevented an economic meltdown this time because there are many other astrological and economic influences at play (see 2010 Planetary Influences).

The last time Saturn was in Libra square the U.S. Venus, Jupiter, and Sun and conjunct Saturn was October 1980 – October 1982.  This was concurrent with the recession of July 1981 – November 1982, during which the “official” unemployment rate rose to 10.8% (the highest since 1938) and the GDP fell 2.7%.  The Iranian Revolution in 1979 resulted in a spike in the worldwide price of oil and caused the 1979 energy crisis.  This led to inflation, which the Federal Reserve attempted to control by tightening the money supply.

A square to Venus, Jupiter, and Sun and a conjunction with Saturn in the U.S. chart from transiting Pluto began in late 1971 and lasted through 1980, too long a period to be associated with specific recessions/depressions.  However, from August 1973 – July 1975, transiting Saturn was conjunct Venus, Jupiter, and Sun and square Saturn in the U.S. chart.  This means that transiting Saturn was square transiting Pluto and they were both in difficult aspect to the above planets in the U.S. chart.  The oil crisis and stock market crash of 1973-1974 were during the November 1973 – March 1975 recession, which was a period when unemployment and inflation both rose.  Also, impeachment proceedings were begun against Nixon (an example of immoral politicians), who resigned in disgrace in 1974.

The next previous square from transiting Saturn in Libra to Venus, Jupiter and Sun and conjunction with Saturn in the U.S. chart was December 1950 – December 1952 during the height of the Korean War.  Although this square did not coincide with a recession, a major change in the Federal Reserve occurred in 1951 when it reasserted its independence from the Treasury Department and in 1952 the FED instituted a tight monetary policy.

The next previous time that transiting Saturn was in Libra square Venus, Jupiter, and Sun and conjunct Saturn in the U.S. chart was October 1921 – October 1923.  These influences ushered in a recession from May 1923 – June 1924, when business activity decreased by 25% while trade and industrial activity declined by 23%.  Transiting Pluto was also conjunct Venus and Jupiter in the U.S. chart during this recession so this is another prime example (like 1973-1975 and 2009-2011) of a concurrent Saturn-Pluto square to U.S. Venus and Jupiter that was coincident with a recession.  Because Pluto moves so slowly, it was conjunct U.S. Venus, Jupiter, and Sun from late 1913 – early 1932 (using a 10 degree orb), too long an influence to be associated with specific recessions/depressions but an aggravating factor nonetheless.

The next previous square from transiting Saturn in Libra to Venus, Jupiter and Sun and conjunction with Saturn in the U.S. chart was September 1892 – September 1894, which coincided with the “Panic of 1893,” a recession that lasted from January 1893 – June 1894.  During this recession, business activity plummeted by 37% while trade and industrial activity fell by 30%.

So “batten down the hatches” and brace yourself, because the storm is upon us.  The “system” created and promoted by huge, multi-national corporations cannot survive and is currently in its death throws.  What will emerge from this economic nightmare depends upon us.  As consumers, we have been complicit in the support of this “system” and in its demise.  In keeping with the nature of Saturn, it is now time to consider downsizing your lifestyle, simplifying your life (live simply so that others may simply live), and thinking of the rest of humanity when you buy anything.  After all, every product, gadget, fossil fuel, and food purchase consumes some of the Earth’s limited resources.  Although the human population continues to increase exponentially, the world’s resources continue to rapidly decrease.

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.

See articles about the Saturn square Pluto transit at (most recent first):  "Saturn Square Pluto - Part 2" and "The Dark Side of the Force: Saturn Square Pluto and U.S. Economic Crises."

Printable version (without images)
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida

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