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The Astrologer's Newsletter - November/December 2008

The Financial Crisis & The UK: Some Thoughts

by Pauline Smith

1066 UK chart / transits for 15th Sept 2008
Chart 1 - Inner: Coronation of William I 25 December 1066 noon Westminster. Outer : Transits for Monday 15 September 2008

Transits for the current financial crisis work well on all four UK charts despite the long intervals of time between them. Banking had still not been invented before the Coronation of William I in 1066, but Kings then would have had income and outgoings to be taken care of by an accountant (Chancellor) as Governments now so the 1066 chart is still valid for financial matters.

The financial houses are: 2nd income; 5th outgoings, gambling,stock market; 8th taxation; 10th relevant to finance Writing in the 1950s, Carter remarks that the Moon square Uranus in this chart was very sensitive, and in 2008 it still is: transiting Pluto stationed Direct in 28 Sagittarius conjunct radical Uranus on 9 September 2008. This was the final pass and occurred in the global 9th house, Uranus ruling dirty-tricks 12th. Radical Moon in the 12th rules homes 4th and stockmarket 5th. The way was wide open to trouble in both these areas when Pluto stationed. All hell broke loose with the transiting full Moon in Pisces on 15 September 2008 conjunct transiting Uranus sextile dispositor radical Neptune in banking Taurus.

Sun and Saturn transit distress 6th house wherein are radical Jupiter and Saturn in earthy Virgo; Jupiter ruling taxation 8th and far-off 9th, is in detriment; Sun, secondary ruler of stockmarket/gambling 5th, trines fixed Neptune in steady Taurus. The Full Moon was not eclipsed. Perhaps the situation could have been worse? Mars and Venus both rule the first and 7th houses, and with Mercury are about to transit the 7th partnership cusp strongly suggesting the merging of two entities: HBOS and Lloyds TSB. Mercury ruling the 2nd, stations retrograde in 22° Libra on 24 September 2008 150 radical Neptune in Taurus. Mercury exactly on 7th cusp suggests signing of crucial documents regarding the creation of the superbank, but problems may not be completely sorted until Mercury Direct emerges from shadow on 31 October 2008. Mercury turns Direct on 15 October 2008 in 7 Libra square radical Sun and trine radical Mars so expect developments then.

The financial bosses in the USA ignored the festering practices behind the scenes which led up to the crises. They could have stopped the disasters developing, but they did nothing and received massive golden handshakes for their omission. They are well represented by Jupiter in its fall in Capricorn transiting the 10th. Jupiter, the most elevated of transiting planets rules hidden dirty-tricksters 12th and disposes of both radical and transiting Moons in the 12th.

1707 UK chart / transits for 15th Sept 2008
Chart 2 - Inner: Union of England and Scotland 1 May 1707 0 hr, 0 min, Westminster. Outer : Transits for Monday 15 September 2008

In 1707 Scotland traded its independence for English gold - a situation well expressed in this chart by Sun disposing of radical Pluto, Jupiter and Uranus in in partnership 7th, situated in banking Taurus on the IC. Mercury ruling taxation/government 8th, is in neighbours 3rd. England took control, as Scotland well knew would happen, but Scots regretted their loss of sovereignty: Mars in sensitive Cancer ruling status MC, is fallen on Descendant. Economics is at the root of this partnership. Both countries subsequently benefited. In Scotland Unit Trusts - which were once known as Scottish Unit Trusts - were invented, becoming very successful.

Moon ruling partnership 7th, is elevated in 28 Virgo in taxation/government 8th house. Pluto's station in 28 Sagittarius on 9 September 2008 falls on self-undoing, hidden dirty-tricks 12th cusp square radical Moon, evoking the configuration in the 1066 chart transits. Fallen Jupiter in Capricorn transits the 12th within 4° of Ascendant at the time of the Full Moon in 22° Pisces on 15 September 2008. Jupiter rules 12th cusp so represents the recently emerged mismanagement. This full Moon conjunct transiting Uranus falls across financial/taxation 2nd/8th axis. Radical Venus and Neptune are in the 2nd in Aries, but not conjunct. Debilitated Venus rules far-away 9th, disposing of radical Sun so although Mercury ruling stockmarket 5th, and Sun ruling 7th are in fixed banking Taurus, finances could be in better shape. Venus also rules IC representing homes. HBOS is the biggest mortgagor in the UK, and guilty of reckless lending over the last few years.

Neptune in the 2nd often signifies financial losses, and the full Moon in 22 Pisces on 15 September 2008, was in the 2nd house semi-sextile radical Neptune, and 150° radical Jupiter/Pluto, Jupiter and Neptune disposing of this powerful full Moon.

Transiting Saturn is on the 8th cusp signifying the British government's attempt to stabilize the situation by waiving any rules obstructing the merger of HBOS and Lloyds TSB. BOS is an abbreviation of Bank of Scotland, and the British Chancellor of the Exchequer is himself a Scotsman. Saturn ruling Ascendant perhaps also represents both ends of the Union - Scotland is a Cancer country. HBOS is an alliance between the Halifax Building Society and BOS echoing the subject of the radix.

The quick moving stellium of transiting Mercury, Venus and Mars in balanced Libra closely applies to the opposition of radical Neptune and square of radical Mars. However, Mercury's station in 22 Libra on 24 September 2008, is 150 radical Sun on IC and exactly opposed radical Neptune in the 2nd, putting the merger between the 2 countries and the two banks under stress, but also perhaps weakening the SNP's demand for restoration of Scottish independence. Mercury rules taxation 8th and stockmarket 5th so perhaps this planet's station in 22 Libra could, by opposing 2nd house Neptune in fiery Aries, reduce financial volatility, at least for a while.

1801 UK chart / transits for 15th Sept 2008
Chart 3 - Inner: Union of Great Britain and Ireland 1 January 1801 0 hr, 0 min, 0 sec Westminster. Outer : Transits for Monday 15 September 2008

The full Moon in 22° Pisces on 15 September 2008 falls in the distress 6 house of this chart, putting the Sun in the 12th and bringing to light dubious practices which caused global financial turbulence. R. Moon ruling the MC is dignified and elevated in the financial 10th house, and trined by transiting Full Moon in Pisces. R. Venus ruling taxation/government 8th and Ascendant, is on stock market/outgoings 5th cusp in Aquarius and receiving the trine of the quick moving stellium transiting the 1st house of this chart. The transiting stellium is also square radical Moon, semi-sextile radical Neptune, sextile radical Mercury and in opposition to Fortuna. All except the effect of Mercury soon pass. Mercury's station Retrograde in 22 Libra on 24 September 2008 means that this planet will twice more square the radical Moon, also repeating aspects to other planets mentioned above and to radical Sun, Mars and Pluto. Mercury stations Direct in 7° Libra on 15 October, ruling dirty-tricks 12th and far-away 9th, conjunct ascendant in 7 Libra. The New Moon on 29 September also conjoins ascendant - at this time Irish banking is prominent in the news.

Saturn rules homes IC, whereon sits radical Sun and transiting Jupiter in Capricorn. But there is mutual reception between Sun and Saturn, returning Saturn to dignity and putting this planet in the way of transiting Jupiter's conjunction early in December 2008, so perhaps help from abroad or a neighbour may be forthcoming later this year -Jupiter rules 3rd and 9th houses!

Pluto's station in 28° Sagittarius on 9 September 2008 is 150 radical Jupiter, and this aspect continues for another year at least. Jupiter rules distress 6th, disposing of the crucial full Moon. Pluto ruling income 2nd is heading to square radical Uranus from 2 Capricorn, Uranus ruling outgoing 5th to suggest lean times for some time to come. Despite the full Moon's trine to elevated and dignified radical Moon in financial 10th, British and Irish finance cannot escape distress.

1922 UK chart / transits for 15th Sept 2008
Chart 4 - Inner: Partition of Ireland 7 December 1922 3.28 pm GMT Westminster. Outer : Transits for Monday 15 September 2008

In the 1922 UK chart there is a close radical grand trine in water between 2nd house Pluto, 8th house Jupiter and 11th house Uranus. The full Moon on 15 September 2008 in 22 Pisces and 11th house completes another grand trine in water with radical 3rd house Moon in Cancer, and with 6th house money planet Venus in detriment in Scorpio. The 6th is the house of distress, and the 3rd the house of journalists who have of course enjoyed having so much to talk about - banks do not collapse every day! Lehman Bros went to the wall, and the remaining two investment banks have applied to become another kind of bank. The trouble with Northern Rock rumbled away for a year, and HBOS shares fell to nil before Lloyds TSB, helped by the Chancellor who waived rules, merged to save HBOS - such good food for hungry journalists. We hear the word "global" very often, and in the 1066 chart Mercury rules 3rd with Pluto transiting Sagittarius in the 9th; in the 1801 chart Jupiter rules 3rd with Mercury ruling 9th situated in 3rd; in the 1707 chart Mercury is again in 3rd. In the 1922 chart radical Moon ruling 3rd is dignified in 3rd. How about that! One water grand trine says "help me" and here two water grand trines scream the message! Desperate measures were needed to save HBOS. "The government is building up a great wall of debt which has to be repaid". How? By raising taxes: the taxpayer will foot the big bill in the end. Radical Pluto is in financial 2nd while transiting Pluto is on taxation 8th cusp, and with Jupiter transiting Capricorn in the 8th house, the painful solution through increased taxation is perfectly expressed.

Radical Mercury and Sun are conjunct in far-away Sagittarius and in partnership 7th house, Mercury ruling Ascendant and financial 2nd, Sun ruling homes 4th. The crisis began in USA with repossessions of homes bought by sub-prime mortgagees whom it was always known would be unlikely to maintain payments. The officials concerned did not care about the consequences so long as they themselves profited.

In the 1922 chart Venus and Mars both rule dirty-tricks 12th. Venus is in detriment in Scorpio in distress 6th, trine radical 3rd house dignified Moon, but square Mars in Aquarius in 10th. Banking Taurus is intercepted in the hidden 12th. The dirty-tricksters operating behind the scenes are represented by Mars and Venus. Although not dignified in Aquarius, Mars has the advantage of being in another Saturn ruled sign (Capricorn being the sign of Mars' exaltation) and elevated. Mars is in altogether better condition than Venus. Transiting Mercury, Venus and Mars are conjunct over radical exalted Saturn in distress 6th. Saturn ruling bosses 10th and far-away 9th disposes of radical Mars. At least one dirty-trickster was a boss. Journalists say that Alan Greenspan, former boss of the Federal Reserve Bank, knew long ago what was happening, but did nothing to stop the rot. Greenspan connived at the dirty-tricks, and in this chart Mars represents him. Some will blame Greenspan, but Mars is not in bad condition so along with other bosses who collected golden handshakes for their part in the catastrophe, Greenspan is OK in spite of all. Journalists also say that short-sellers and mortgage lenders should be better regulated: Mercury stations Retrograde in 22 Libra on 24 September ‘08 to repeat previous aspects to radical planets twice more - the matter will be discussed again. Radical Chiron is conjunct 12th cusp so it is unlikely that dubious practices will be completely rooted out of the financial industry. "Light touch restriction", "free market economy" are phrases often heard. However, transiting Saturn is exactly 150° RChiron from 5th. so at least some of the mortgage sellers and short-sellers may be licking their "wounds" for the time being.


The new Moon on 29 September was in 6° Libra, sign of harmony and co-operation.

On 29 September 2008 it was reported that the merger between HBOS and Lloyds TSB was in doubt. Mercury's station Retrograde on 24 September in 22 Libra was on the 7th partnership cusp of the 1066 chart. This station was also on the 9th cusp of the 1707 chart; sextile Saturn and square Moon of 1801; sq Moon of 1922. Negotiations are hindered until Mercury Direct covers the same ground offering the opportunity to re-think and resolve problems. Delays and repetition are features of Mercury Retrograde, and in current vital events could not be better expressed. However, during Mercury's Retrograde period there is usually a window of opportunity as the planet moves backwards at more than 1° a day, briefly allowing everything, including money, to flow more freely. The window here is between 4-8 October. Any configuration can work for good or ill, and around 5 October it was announced that following Bradford & Bingley's failure, the Irish Government would guarantee savings in Irish banks up to £50,000, making Irish banks a safer option. The recently nationalised Northern Rock also became a safer haven for savings. Northern Rock and Irish banks promptly received a huge inflow of funds from savers. On 4th October the British government was considering raising the guaranteed compensation for savings in British banks from £35,000 to £50,000 to stop the haemorrhage of money from them.

Mercury loses speed to Station Direct on 15 October in 7° Libra right on David Cameron's Venus/As conjunction, Venus ruling his 2nd and 9th, and on G W Bush's Neptune in 3rd ruling his 9th. With the new Moon in 6° Libra on 29 September, both Cameron and Bush made speeches appealing for co-operation above party politics, and British shadow chancellors hurried to No 10 Downing Street for discussions with the Labour Chancellor. Perhaps we will hear from them again around 15 October.

On 29 September it was also reported that President Bush's $700bn bank bailout plan had been rejected by the House of Representatives. Worldwide shock/horror followed. The US Presidential Election on 4 November 2008 is getting in the way: the Plan is very unpopular with the US electorate so both Republican and Democratic Representatives were afraid of losing their seats if they voted for the Plan. On 2 October the Senate (no election for Senators just now) approved the revised bailout Plan. When the house of Representatives voted again on the revised Plan, the measure was passed on 3 October 2008 to worldwide relief.

From 7 October the British government raised the level of compensation on deposit accounts from £35,000 to £50,000, stopping money flowing out of British banks. The window of opportunity in Mercury's Retrogradation certainly stimulated the movement of money, but not in the way either G W Bush nor the Chancellor had intended - banks were still not lending to each other. T.Venus is now in detriment in Scorpio, remaining in this sign until 18 October. Transiting Mars moved from detriment in Libra to dignity in Scorpio on 5 October 2008. Mercury Direct does not exit shadow, transiting the degree of R.Station in 22 Libra, until 31 October.

At 8.00 am on 8 October 2008, as Mercury's window closed, The British Chancellor confirmed his £50bn Plan to save the High Street banks, in effect creating a private/ public partnership. Howzat for an expression of Mercury's Station Retrograde on the 1066 partnership 7th cusp in Libra conjunct transiting Venus and Mars! It is hoped that this measure will restore confidence and encourage banks to lend to each other again thus preventing further recession.

On 9 October 2008 it was announced that three Icelandic banks had gone to the wall causing millions to be lost by British Local Councils which had invested heavily in these banks' Bonds without compensation guarantee. When their assets were frozen, Gordon Brown retaliated by invoking a law meant to restrict terrorists' funds, freezing Icelandic assets in the UK, and deeply offending Icelanders. (Mercury Retrograde is now over Brown's 7th cusp). Iceland is virtually bankrupt and looks to Russia for bailout.

Mercury's station Direct in 7° Libra is on the Bonds 8th cusp of Iceland's 1918 chart, sextile Sun at MC and sextile Neptune (Sun=Tr Mercury=Neptune) but square Cancerian Pluto. This Station of Mercury Direct falls near Ascendant of Iceland's 1944 Chart exactly sextile radical 3rd ruler Pluto in Leo in 10th, also trine radical dignified Mercury conjunct Uranus (ruling stockmarket 5) in II and far-away 9th. USA is not the only far-away place to be affected by 9th house involvement in transits to UK charts. Local authorities may be big, but they are still very 3rd house organisations, and Mercury is natural 3rd house ruler.

Although the Chancellor's measures rallied the stock-market a little, the FT index had fallen back again by the morning of 10 October, and pundits were saying that the huge injections of cash into the ailing banking systems in USA and UK had failed to restore confidence. At 7.00 pm it was reported that panic had seized the Stock Market, and police had been called to quell a riot outside the Bank of England! The FT index was down 3,932 at close of trading on the blackest day since 1929, the day the world changed.

Transits to the 1066 chart on 10 October 2008 (The 1066 Saturn return is now beginning):

Transiting 1066 planets
Sunsquare Mercury
Mercurysquare Sun & MC
Venusopposite Neptune
Marstrine Pluto
Jupiterconjunct Mercury
Saturnconjunct Saturn, trine Mercury
Uranusopposite Saturn
Neptunesquare Neptune
Plutoconjunct Uranus, semi-sextile Venus
Chironsemi-sextile Mercury, quincunx Saturn

On 14 October there was a full Moon in 21° Aries, conjunct transiting Eris, named after the Goddess of Chaos. This full Moon is conjunct 1066 Ascendant, conjunct 1707 Neptune in financial 2nd, trine 1707 Jupiter in 7th, semi-sextile 1707 Sun; square 1922 Moon from the 12th house. Does this full Moon signify the climax of present financial turbulence?

Incidentally, the Venus/Mars conjunction on 12 September 2008 in 15 Libra was:

Conjunct GW Bush's Chiron; Conj Cameron's Sun, sextile/trine S/N Nodes; Quincunx Brown's Jupiter; Sq 1066 Mercury; Sq 1707 As;

Opp 1801 Fortuna, trine Venus, sextile Mercury; Conj 1922 Saturn, sextile Mercury/Sun conjunction opp Chiron, Sextile Neptune;

On 22 April 09 Venus/Mars conjoin again in 29° Pisces, again on 21 June 09 in 14° Taurus; again on 21, 22, and 23 August 2010 in 13°, 14° and 15° Libra to repeat the significant synod. Would 4 years be a fair estimate of the length of this recession?

Mercury will Station Retrograde on 20 August 2010 in 19 Virgo - Sq GW Bush's Nodal axis and Conj Cameron's Pluto, Brown’s S Node and semi-sextile Pluto;

Conj 1066 Saturn, trine Mercury; Sextile 1707 Mars, trine Sun, sextile MC;

Conj 1601 Moon, sextile Neptune (Moon=Tr Mercury=Neptune), square Mercury. Trine 1922 Fortuna, semi-sextile Saturn, semi-sextile Neptune (Saturn=Tr Mercury=Neptune).


Written: 13th October 2008