How Are We Doing? Mercury Sends More Messages About the Economy

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When Mercury turned around on the 15th, there were three times I wanted to watch to see how the economy responded. They are actually upon us now: October 24–26, 29, and November 1.

The players are the same: Mercury, Jupiter, Chiron, and Neptune. (Lurking in the background for now but creating a long-term trend are Saturn and Uranus.) All four of these planets are especially active right now. Jupiter is pleasantly aspecting Saturn. Chiron and Neptune are ending their retrograde periods, which started at the end of May.

As anticipated, Friday proved to be a rough day for stock exchanges around the world after more bad news on corporate earnings. All indexes were down, and some to their lowest levels in 5 years. According to Scott Fullman of WJB Capital Group, “People have been saying that we’re in a recession. This is the realization.” (AP, reported on MSNBC.com, no link available).

Redefining the American Dream
So, what we on the streets have known since February (and years earlier in some areas) is that we’re in a recession. It’s taken Wall Street a while to recognize it. This fits with the current planetary patterns. When Neptune returns to forward movement, we “discover” something collectively and individually. Chiron plays a part in this too. In my post, “McCain Rubs Salt in the Great American Wound,” I mentioned that Neptune is our representative of the Great American Dream.

As Chiron passes over Neptune 2008-10, Americans will be redefining what this dream is. On Bill Moyers’ Journal, he told us that the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) has just released a report on income distribution and poverty, detailing global gaps between rich and poor. The United States has the fourth highest inequality in incomes between the highest and lowest, after Mexico, Turkey, and Portugal. The report says, “Rich households in America have been leaving both middle and poorer income groups behind. This has happened in many countries, but nowhere has this trend been so stark as in the United States.” Moyers says, “Now there’s some real spreading around of the wealth, in one direction — up.”

The Chimney-Up Economy
The American Dream obviously needs redefinition, when all the wealth gets sucked to the top. This chimney-up economic model, firmly supported by free market fundamentalists since the 1980s, has ruined American society and the dreams of the middle class and poor along with it. I was right in picking out the most insidious remark that McCain made in the last debate, about spreading the wealth around, which the media missed completely.

This remains a robotically repeated cornerstone of his floundering campaign, firing up those fearful (but worthy) “low-information voters”, who do not understand the finer points of economic policy (who does?) and see their dreams slipping away. When a hypothetical Joe the Plumber (or any “low-information voter”) hears “spread the wealth”, he sees himself as having his money taken away even though he doesn’t have it yet. When he hears about $150K spent on Sarah Palin’s wardrobe, he doesn’t experience cognitive dissonance at the disparity between her expenditures and his ability to spend that much himself; he anticipates the time when he will have that much to spend on his wife and family, because he can achieve the (old) American Dream if he only votes for McCain-Palin.

Healing the American Dream
This is the old American Dream that Chiron’s transit over Neptune will help us cast aside in favor of a more meaningful one. Chiron in mythology was the wounded healer. He knew how to empathize with others and heal their wounds because he himself had been there. This alludes to the fact that we do our best healing of others from the context of our own painful experiences. They humble us, teach us the way back to health, and help us show the way to others. When we offer healing to others, we also heal ourselves. While this experience is global, in the US the American Dream needs healing. (On the global level, the planet needs healing.)

The American Dream needs to be de-materialized. It needs to go back to its roots as the embodiment of a free life that is full of abundance and prosperity, but not necessarily the material kind: the wealth of good health, happiness with your family and friends, the ability to have and enjoy leisure time, security in your job, and help from the government if you are caught in circumstances beyond your control. It is being de-materialized, and it will be re-formed by every American who carves their future out of the rock of the new economy.

Another Economist with a Clue
In another segment on Bill Moyers’ Journal on 10/24/08, Moyers interviewed James K. Galbraith (son of famed economist Kenneth J. Galbraith) about his new book, The Predator State. Galbraith displayed reassuring clarity in describing what is going on economically and what the US can and should do about it. Although I need a broader understanding before I give his perspective my 100% seal of approval, I am intrigued and encouraged by what he said. I recommend watching this segment rather than me trying to summarize it for you. I am adding Galbraith to my list of the brain trust we should consult to resolve the economic crisis. That list also includes Paul Krugman and George Soros. For insights that we can understand, try Thom Hartmann and Bill Moyers.

Events over the next two weeks will be seminal in shaping our economic future, and among them October 24–November 1 will stand out. The planets show us the energies we will have most available but do not determine how we will respond to their support.

2 comments:

neith said...

The American Dream needs to be de-materialized. It needs to go back to its roots as the embodiment of a free life that is full of abundance and prosperity, but not necessarily the material kind: the wealth of good health, happiness with your family and friends, the ability to have and enjoy leisure time, security in your job, and help from the government if you are caught in circumstances beyond your control.

Exactly, Terry. As your basic non-consumer, I've watched people around me frantically acquiring more "things" than they will be able to use in a couple of life times for years.

Pluto in Capricorn is going to nail those folks with the bumper stickers about the biggest toys wining big time. I may get the last laugh yet! :-D

Terry Lamb said...

I agree. It's the new economy, which some like you have been a part of for a long time. :)