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Slow Global Warming


by Gary Brand - written October 15, 2004,
published in the November 2004 edition of Echo* newspaper

  • Plutocracy - a government or state in which the wealthy class rules.
  • Oligarchy - a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or a dominant class.
  • Democracy - government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and is exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
  • (Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (2003))

Streaks of cloudtops on Neptune that tower an estimated
31 miles above the surrounding atmosphere! Streaks of cloudtops on Neptune that tower an estimated 31 miles above the surrounding atmosphere!  They are stretched for great distances (hundreds or thousands of miles) by winds that reach more than 1,300 miles per hour!  This image was taken on August 25, 1989 by Voyager 2.  Courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.
his article is the first in a series on the impact of the three outermost planets of our solar system (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) on the U.S. birth chart during the next two decades.  This analysis will contain the author's vision of what lies ahead for us as a nation and as a culture and how we will get there from where we are now, based upon the future astrological influences of these planets.  First, though, here is some background.

Anyone who still believes that we are living in a democratic nation just isn't paying attention.  The above definitions of plutocracy and oligarchy describe our true form of government much more than the term democracy.  Yes, we have elections in which we can all vote but for whom are we voting?  How many members of Congress are millionaires or even billionaires or are controlled by such people?  The answer is ALMOST ALL.  How many Congressional election campaigns are primarily financed by wealthy individuals and corporations run by the wealthy?  The answer is ALMOST ALL!  Of the 535 members of Congress, how many have a son or daughter in the armed forces in Iraq?  The answer is ONE.  How many Congressional seats are not even contested by the other party each election?  The answer is TOO MANY!  We don't really have a choice most of the time when we enter the voting booth.  There is no representation of minority parties or even minority points of view in Congress or in state legislatures (minorities, in this context, does not mean just ethnic minorities).  But there is hope for change in the future.  The present system of wealth is based on real estate and cheap oil but the world's oil supply continues to dwindle and cannot indefinitely support the current real estate boom.

Neptune is traditionally associated with petroleum and its derivatives and with natural gas but Pluto also signifies all natural sources of power buried underground (after all, he was the ruler of the mythical Underworld).  Neptune also represents our imagination so use your imagination right now to picture a world where the price of a barrel of crude oil is so high (say $400 or more) that the products made from oil (like gasoline and plastics) are priced out of the reach of 98% of Americans or they become an occasional luxury.  Imagine no more plastics or products made from them (look around you at all of the products and appliances containing some or made primarily of plastics), no more gasoline powered cars made of plastics, no more asphalt roads, no more airplanes powered by gas, no more cheap shipping of products across the country or half-way around the world by gas-driven trucks or planes, no more electricity generated by oil or natural gas, no more food cheaply produced by huge agribusinesses and transported hundreds or thousands of miles to the grocery store nearest you, no more drugs, pesticides or herbicides produced from petroleum products, and no more huge multi-national corporations dependent on cheap overseas labor, cheap shipping and high energy consuming machinery (hey, some of these results are good).

Oil is so fundamental and necessary to sustain our present way of life that it is difficult, if not impossible for some, to fathom a world without cheap oil and gas and it may sound implausible to many.  However, no one can dispute the fact that no more oil is being created in nature nor the fact that we human beings, particularly in the U.S., China and India, are consuming it at an alarming rate of millions of barrels a day.  Though some consumers, and we are all consumers, say "the world won't run low on oil for a long time - let our children and grandchildren worry about it," the truth is that the scarcity of global oil and natural gas is not just inevitable - it is in our near future.  Some new books that demonstrate this are The Party's Over by Richard Heinberg, The End of Oil by Paul Roberts and Out of Gas by David Goodstein.  Though these authors have their own visions of our future without cheap, abundant oil, few people today are hypothesizing what would happen if there were a revolution or coup in Saudi Arabia and a government hostile to the U.S. who refuses to sell us their oil seized power.  The Saudis are the biggest supplier of our addiction to cheap oil and, without it, the oil embargo of 1974-75 could look like a picnic.  What does the astrology of the outermost planets have to say about what's in store for us?

Transiting Pluto will oppose Venus and Jupiter in the U.S. birth chart beginning in 2008, reaching maximum intensity in 2009-2011 and lasting through 2013.  This is the first time in our history that transiting Pluto has formed these oppositions, which signify power conflicts with other nations (Venus and Jupiter are in the 8th house of other countries' money and resources), probably over resources.  Because Jupiter rules the U.S. chart 2nd house of our resources, we are not only blessed with a wealth of natural resources but we have eagerly consumed them (U.S. Jupiter is conjunct U.S. Venus - pleasure and indulgence).  Transiting Pluto opposite the U.S. Jupiter portends the drive to economically excel, but it also portends an attitude of "might makes right," arrogance, and self-righteousness.  On a more fundamental level, Jupiter represents our Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms so this is likely to be a perilous time of assaults on our freedoms, particularly from those in power, with terrorism or the threat of it as the excuse.  This is also apt to be a time of increased assumption of power by the plutocracy - consolidation of power by the wealthy power barons - in a desperate attempt to shore up their out-dated paradigm.

Transiting Pluto represents revolution and rebirth so this period will herald the beginning of the end of plutocratic rule by executives of huge corporations.  The revolution that is coming may not be bloody but, instead, may be one of individuals taking back their power through small, local, collective and innovative efforts to fill the void left by the inevitable decay of a system based on greed, avarice, and selfish, personal aggrandizement.  The average person will come to realize that selfish consumption can no longer fuel our economy.  The next article in this series will address when the war against Iraq will finally end and the emergence of a new cultural paradigm based on cooperation and the common good.

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida

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