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The Astrologer's Newsletter - January/February 2009

The Credit Card Revolution

by Eileen Richardson

Launch of the credit card
As my new Barclaycard-Goldfish statement arrived through the letterbox it set me thinking back to how it all began. Barclaycard was the first credit card to be introduced to the UK, following the success of similar schemes in the USA. Barclays bought the system from Bank America and chose a disused shoe factory in Northampton as the base for this new revolutionary venture designed to change the way we shop and spend. The date for the launch of Barclaycard was 29 June 1966. The chart is set for midnight, and the advertisement in the national press read ďThis morning 29 June 1966, 30,129 shops display this sign and 1,008,387 customers start shopping by BARCLAYCARD*".

 

Prior to the introduction of the Credit Card, the only way to pay for things was by cash or cheque. Obtaining loans or securing hire purchase agreements were tedious affairs. Inevitably, this easy way to obtain goods had its downside, as the growth of borrowing also lead to the growth of debt.

Take a look at the chart for Barclaycard. The Pisces Ascendant, ruled by both the prominent Neptune and Jupiter, makes an exact trine to the Sun-Jupiter conjunction in Cancer on the cusp of the 4th/5th house. Modern devices for the home could be obtained so easily. Our lives and lifestyles improved tremendously. The 8th house Moon-Neptune conjunction in Scorpio sits on the south node. Neptuneís limitless boundaries in the house of other peoples money, borrowing and debt, although making a sextile to the Pluto-Uranus conjunction, also forms a sesquiquadrate to the Sun, suggesting perhaps inclinations of deluding or deceiving for the purpose of affecting gain, as soon became clear when the monthly interest was added to the unpaid debts. Mars in Gemini on the IC forming a quincunx with the Moon-Neptune conjunction may well represent those monthly bills sent in the post. However, with the current ever growing problem of online fraud and credit card deception, this may well more significantly allude now to the need for constant surveillance by the companyís security staff. This chart speaks clearly for itself.

After the birth of Barclaycard many more were born (charts not shown). Access, known affectionately as Ďyour flexible friendí was launched in 1972 by other main UK banks. In 1996 Goldfish, the first card to offer a points scheme was launched, with comedian Billy Connelly promising a more user friendly card with less financial jargon. The points earned on spending could be converted to vouchers to spend in the popular high street retailers. Ownership of the Goldfish card allowed us to choose our preferred goldfish design and as a Leo rising Pisces myself, this really appealed to me!

Goldfish, in its Jupiter return year, offered an interesting opportunity for Barclaycard. Following many mergers and changes affecting the whole of the financial industry, it was on 7 February 2008 (the day of the solar eclipse, with retrograde Mercury conjoining Neptune on this eclipse) that Barclays agreed the purchase of Goldfish. This eclipse squared the Moon-Neptune and nodal axis, as well as forming a quincunx with Pluto-Uranus. The sale was complete by 31 March 2008. There are inevitably a few more changes. The current transiting Saturn-Uranus opposition definitely activated this long planned for merger, which took a lot of negotiation. Saturn was making its way towards the chartís Pluto-Uranus conjunction at exactly 16Virgo, together with transiting Pluto squaring the Barclaycard Saturn. Saturn will retrograde back over this degree in early April 2009 and make its final pass during the third week of June. This may signify refining the business, it may mean cutting back and curtailing any ideas of growth. The lunation cycle for the business is now going through its third quarter moon phase marking a time of crisis and inevitable change, when no doubt the company is forced to embark on a reorientation. Itís a time to let go of unhelpful people (staff or bad customers), associations, misguided beliefs, and anything that is no longer viable. During September and October 2008, just as the new Barclaycard-Goldfish cards and new pin numbers were being issued, the progressed Moon in Taurus landed on the second house North Node at 24TAU45. Progressed Moon hitting the nodal axis is always a significant indicator of necessary change. 27 October 2008 was the day of the launch of the new Barclaycard Goldfish when customers could go ahead and start using their new cards. Mine proudly states that I am a Founder Member.

Launch of the credit card - chart progressed to 27 Oct 1008
Take a look at the Barclaycard progressed chart for the launch of the new Barclaycard Goldfish on 27 October 2008. Progressed Mercury in Leo sits on the IC of this chart, whilst p.Mars now conjoins p.Jupiter and Venus. The progressed Gemini ascendant, ruling Mercury and these harmonious third house planets, making easy aspects to the p.nodal axis looks good to me.

Transiting Uranus has yet to reach the Barclaycardís Saturn. This suggests to me a possible need to break away from any out-dated rules or regulations. Also, I canít fail to mention the implications of Pluto in Capricorn transiting through the tenth house of the natal Barclaycard chart forming a yod between the Venus-Mercury sextile. As transiting Pluto sits at the apex of this yod, it suggests to me a possible readjustment to the hierarchy of the establishment. Any old-fashioned establishment views need to be re-viewed, which may well happen in the new year when Mercury goes retrograde.

 

Debit cards and prepayment cards are now increasing in popularity whilst the credit cardís usage is declining. I really believed that plastic cards were here to stay in all their many innovative useful forms. Where would we be without them? Itís only a couple of years ago that there was a great deal of discussion about how we would become a cashless society. The chief executive of Barclaycard, has suggested that plastic cards, much like cheques, will become virtually obsolete as customers take up mobile and biometric systems to pay for purchases. The days of the credit card seem fast diminishing. The Credit Crunch has hit home.

Now as the credit card bills for the Christmas spending spree pour through the letterboxes in January, especially when Mercury turns retrograde on 11th January at 07AQU45, will we be regretting those spontaneous purchases, or returning goods to the shops? Or for online purchases, posting them back? (Whenever Mercury is retrograde we always find ourselves doing something with the prefix Ďreí). Itís a time to take care and think again. When Mercury is retrograde not all is as it seems. There may be a number of misleading promotions or counterfeit goods for sale. On the 2nd February as it stations direct at 21CAP44, the same degree as on Boxing Day when we first went mad at the shops in a last ditch attempt to enjoy the festivities of the season, we may find ourselves with a few regrettable purchases. Recession hit businesses may well be shutting shop for the final time. Pluto, making itself at home in Capricorn, is strutting its stuff.

 

*http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5109662.stm