The New Economic Team: Will It Succeed?


At 12:06 today (Monday, November 24, 2008), Barack Obama announced his economic team. They are: Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary, Lawrence Summers as Director of the National Economic Council, Christina Romer as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, and Melody Barnes as Chair of the Council on Domestic Policy.

The Event's the Thing.
Without looking at the members of the team itself but at the astrological chart of the moment for the announcement, we can see what might lie in store for this group. Opinion varies as to what house or houses of the chart to use for advisors. It is acceptable practice, however, to consider the advisors for a particular area to be “housed” where the matter they are concerned with is found. Since this team is concerned with the economy at large, they can be associated with the 8th house. The 8th house has to do with (among other things) the national treasury, the national debt, interest rates, and financial relations with other countries.

The House of the Treasury
The 8th house has pragmatic Virgo on the cusp with Saturn in Virgo close to hand. This speaks of a practical group that is ready to dig in and get the work done without posturing or prevaricating. They will humbly take their positions and work efficiently and for the good of the community. These are all Virgo qualities. This perspective is supported by common knowledge about this team: They have worked together in the past and share many perspectives. They are more likely to agree very quickly on a plan and move forward.

This is one place where a “team of rivals” is not desirable but rather a team of colleagues. This might create discomfort among some, except that experts on both left and right are coming to a consensus that what the nation needs is a stimulus package that is targeted in specific areas to shore up the Main-Street economy as well as the financial markets on Wall Street.

The Dream Team: Saturn’s Contacts
To see what impact this group will have on the world around them, we can look at the contacts Saturn has with other planets and points. The news is good: Saturn receives harmonious trines from Venus, the Lot of Fortune, and Jupiter, which are lined up in Capricorn. If I could imagine a set of dream contacts, I couldn’t come up with a better one! The two benefics of fortune and the Arabic Lot of fortune are in the most fortunate of contacts!

Because they are located in the 11th mundane (not whole-sign) house, this tells me that this team will be allied with and supported by Congress and will attract many allies for their policies. This house itself rules policies and the goals of the nation. This suggests that they will have a clear vision of what needs to be done and how to do it, a virtual mandate for action. Since these planets are in Capricorn, their policies will take the deepest and broadest view, with a mindful eye toward history. Christina Romer in particular supplies that strength, developed through her research and writings on the recovery from the Great Depression.

Saturn’s Teammate: Moon in Libra
The Moon is always significant in any event chart, as the timer and motivator of activity. The Moon is at 29̊35' Libra, minutes away from a change in sign. The astrological cognoscenti might be alarmed at this, because this could be a void-of-course Moon and in most instances would be. The Moon is void of course when it will make no more contacts before it leaves a sign. This signifies that no further action will be taken before the nature of the matter fundamentally changes.

But we’re in luck! Because Pluto is so late in Sagittarius, getting ready to move into Capricorn next week, the Moon is still moving into its sextile with Pluto! This is a contact of opportunity, and about the best possible situation for the Moon to be in. Why? Well, if I wanted to make sweeping and dramatic changes that would affect the entire world, I would want Pluto on my side. If I wanted to move quickly and have an immediate lasting affect, I would want to take action at a time when a harmonious contact to Pluto was going to occur very shortly, with no further contacts after it which could muddy the waters or push back on my actions.

This is precisely the effect that the Moon in its current location will have! What’s more, the Moon has only harmonious contacts before it leaves the sign: The moving Ascendant and Midheaven, which will change signs before the Moon does, will trine and sextile the Moon to add the joyous support of the people and the perhaps begrudging support in principle of the outgoing Bush administration.

So, What’s Not to Like?
Well, we do live in the real world, where we haven’t yet figured out how to make harsh conditions disappear with the wave of a magic wand. The planets also reflect this reality. After all, we are dealing with an economic crisis that is one of the worst in history.

Saturn has not escaped the grasp of Uranus, but as I’ve said before, I think this is a good thing. In a world where we need to fundamentally question the economic theories of Adam Smith, the invisible hand, and the value of uncontrolled growth in order to save the planet, we need Uranus now more than ever. Their opposition continues through July 2010, and during this time we will figure out (with the help of this team and the cadre of people who will feed their greatest wisdom to them) how to go back to being citizens instead of consumers, but this time on a global scale. Before the Depression, being called a consumer was an insult, a sign of gluttony and waste. This connotation may be revived as we green our economy and our lives.

As Saturn and Uranus circle the ring opposite each other, they will exchange illuminating points, resulting in a reconciling of extreme positions. This is the value of the opposition.

The other substantial challenge of note in this chart comes from the Mercury-Sun-Mars stellium in Sagittarius on the Midheaven. This could be called “the perfect storm in the perfect chart”, a conundrum that we will have to deal with as we make our way through the remainder of the year. If we could only take a month off from the economy, we could avoid this issue, but they haven’t told us we could, so we’ll have to deal with these planets!

The static that these planets represent is considerable, but it is short-lived. And it comes from — you guessed it — the current administration. They are still very much in power, and already Bush has reminded us that his administration is still in control, even before Obama’s statement was made! They are not willing to hand over the reins of power yet. These planets, placed in idealistic and (for these folks) stubbornly ideological Sagittarius, are found at the MC (Midheaven), signifying the nation’s leader, administration, and the party in power.

They are not likely to let go. They are likely to sit on their ideological high horse and make the Obama team (and the rest of us) wait, some in suffering, until January 20 before they will be able to effect even the mildest change. As I said earlier, yes, they will “support” the new team, but they will not support the new team. They have shown themselves to be good at giving lip service. We should always make room in our consciousness for people to do something better, though, and it is possible that they will work out their natural resistance internally as they lend real support to the new administration. (What do you think they’ll do?) No matter what, this is of a short duration, from December 5-15. Watch for their approach to an auto industry loan (not a bail-out - a bail-out was never on offer).

Two More Things Worth Noting
One more thing to note is that Chiron and Neptune straddle the Ascendant in this chart. This represents the people, wounded and hopeful. Another is Uranus in the 2nd house. This suggests a jump-start to the economy with come from the efforts of this team. President-Elect Obama spoke of the need for this, as has one expert after another.

There is reason to believe that this will work. One thing is for sure, the chart gives maximum support to a positive result in the long run, even if we have to wait longer than we think is possible. But I’ve learned that the impossible can be achieved, and together we can make it happen.