April Astromusings Full Moon Wesak Festival, Happy Birthday Taureans! Chiron in Aries, Retrograde Saturn & Pluto, Uranus in Taurus

Taurus

Taurus, golden eyed
bull of God
worshipped with song and dance
in ancient fertility rites
slow sure sensual
sow your seeds
ensuring Mother Nature’s bounty

(c) Anne Robertson 1987

Esoteric Keyword Phrases for Taurus
The Personality asserts: Let struggle be undismayed
The Soul sounds its note: I see, and when the eye is opened, all is illumined

Rulers for Taurus
Exoteric Ruler:
Venus under the Fifth Ray of Concrete Mind or Science
Esoteric Ruler: Vulcan under the First Ray of Will or Power
Hierarchical Ruler: Vulcan under the First Ray of Will or Power

Happy Birthday to all the Taureans who celebrate their birthdays between April 21 and May 21. Taurus forms part of the triplicity of Earth signs with Capricorn and Virgo. Taurus, the Bull, is the sign of fertility as traditionally in the Northern Hemisphere, it brings the regenerative life force of Spring. The glyph for which represents the full Moon with a crescent moon attached to it. The Full Moon can be seen as the Celestial Mother and the upturned crescent moon as the cow’s horns, another symbol of its fecundity. In the Age of Taurus (C.4220 BC-C.2160 B.C) the Egyptians established their vast agricultural empire through an economy based on slavery. During the Age of Taurus the cult of the bull and cow was prevalent. The Ancient Egyptians worshipped Isis as the Crescent, crowned with the headdress of the cow horns, the Horned Goddess, the cow, and as such was identified with Hathor the Cow-Goddess who preceded her. Isis’s husband Osiris, was also worshipped as a horned deity, known as the bull god, Apis. The veneration of the Bull was also prevalent in other cultures, for example the Bull of Minos known as the Minotaur of the Cretan Labyrinth. At certain times of the year young boys and girls were sacrificed to the Bull God. During these festivals young people danced upon the bulls and jumped through their horns in the arenas, a custom which was the precursor of the modern practice of bullfighting. The glyph for Taurus also represents the parts of the body ruled by this sign: the neck, throat and the shoulders.

Venus and Vulcan, the Ruling Planets of Taurus

The ruling planet of Taurus is Venus, the Goddess of Love and Beauty and the patroness of the arts. When she is favourably placed in a horoscope she will bestow her bounty of charm, beauty, creativity, sociability and wealth on the recipient. Taurus rules the second house of the horoscope which governs finances, material possessions and values. In keeping with the Law of Attraction, Venus governs desire and sexuality. Because of the earthiness of their nature, Taureans are challenged to overcome their weaknesses on the physical plane i.e. the desire nature and stubbornness to transmute this into aspiration and goodwill. The esoteric ruler of Taurus is Vulcan, the god of the Hammer and the Forge. His role is to beat “base metal” into a more refined state for spiritual purposes which aids in this transmutation. Esoterically, Taurus is referred to as the golden eyed Bull of God, with its keynote being: “I see and when the Eye is opened, all is light”. This connotes that the goal of the aspirant in the second sign is illumination. The second Labour of Hercules sheds more light on the tests facing the hero in the sign of Taurus.

Hercules Captures the Cretan Bull

The Second Labour of Hercules – The Capture of the Cretan Bull

In the book, ‘The Labours of Hercules’, Alice Bailey elucidates the test of Taurus. Hercules is told by his teacher to capture the sacred Bull of Minos to save it from being sacrificed, and ride it from Crete to the mainland where he is to deliver it to the three Cyclops, Brontes, Steropes and Arges, who dwell in the Holy Place. This, Hercules succeeds in doing by chasing the bull from one corner of the island to another, mounting it and riding it through the waves to the mainland. There is much symbolism involved in this apparently straightforward labour which Hercules has to complete. Minos, the King of Crete, who owned the sacred bull also possessed the maze which has ever been the symbol of the great illusion. The island of Crete with its maze and its bull is an outstanding symbol of the great illusion. It was separated from the mainland, and illusion and bewilderment are characteristics of the separated self. The bull represents animal desire which must be caught and mastered and chased from one point to another in the life of the separated self. Hercules must hand over the bull to the three Cyclops who represent the initiates, having the single eye which symbolises the third eye. It also refers to the Bull’s eye in the constellation of Taurus. In other words the task of Hercules is to overcome desire, transcending the personality self and aligning it with his Higher Self to achieve illumination.

The Constellation of Taurus

Alan Oken in his book Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology writes: ” The Bull has only half a body, its hindquarters seeming to disappear into the depth of space. Its legs are bent under its body. He then goes on to quote the poet Manilius who says:” The mighty bull is lame; his leg turns under; Taurus bends as if wearied by the Plough.” Even though the Bull has only his frontal segments, the constellation of Taurus is very rich in it stellar components. Oken observes that Manilius calls Taurus “dives puellis” – Latin for rich in maidens a reference to the fact that within its demibody are the Pleiades or Seven Sisters and the Hyades, the seven mythological daughters of Atlas and Aethra and half sisters of the Pleiades. The Hyades form the great V of the reddish star Aldebaran often called the “Eye of the Bull.” The Bull’s horns are very long and extend quite far from its body. The tip of the northern horn extends into the constellation of Auriga, the Charioteer. Near the tip of the southern horn is the beautiful Crab Nebula, a huge cloud of stardust and fragments, the remnants of a star which exploded centuries ago.

Under the title of The Theme of Illumination Alice Bailey explains the esoteric significance of the constellation of Taurus. Taurus is one of the most interesting of the zodiacal constellations, the Cross of the Disciple. The “eye of the bull” in Taurus, the magnificent fixed star, Aldebaran, is one of the reasons why this constellation is regarded as conferring illumination. In ancient days it was called the leading star of the heavens, and Taurus has always been connected with light and, therefore, with Christ, who proclaimed himself as the Light of the World. Light, illumination and sound, as expressed of the creative force: these are the three basic ideas connected with this constellation. The “interpreter of the divine voice”, as Taurus was called in ancient Egypt, can be paraphrased into Christian terminology and called “the Word made flesh.”

Bailey continues: ‘The following is of interest’ she includes an excerpt from The Zodiac – A Life Epitome by Walter Sampson: “The bull or the cow is the symbol of this sign, and in the celestial chart it will be observed that the little group of stars called Pleiades are represented just at the shoulder of the bull. Now, in Egyptian sculpture, or painting, the Pleiades are sometimes represented by the figure of the dove with wings outspread over the bull’s saddle. The dove as we remember, is the bird sacred to Venus, and as the Pleiades are part of the constellation Taurus and as we shall see, more Taurean in nature, if possible, than Taurus itself, the dove becomes a specially appropriate symbol for this little star-group.”

Bailey continues explaining the significance of the constellations connected with Taurus:
The three constellations connected with this sign are Orion, Eridanus and Auriga: and the nature of the work in Taurus is beautifully foretold by the three pictures in the heavens which they present to us. The ancient name of Orion was “the three Kings”, because of the three beautiful stars found in Orion’s Belt. The Three Kings represent the three divine aspects of Will, Love and Intelligence, and Orion, therefore, symbolises the spirit. The name Orion literally means “the breaking forth of light.”

Bailey makes the observation about the recurrence of the spiritual prototype: “Again and again, as we circle around the zodiac, shall we find appearing what might be called “the spiritual prototype” of Hercules; Perseus, the Coming Prince who slew the Medusa, symbol of great illusion. He is found in Aries: Orion whose name means “light”, is found in Taurus; in Scorpio, Hercules himself, triumphant and victorious, appears. Then we have Sagittarius the Archer on the Horse, going straight for his goal, and in Pisces we find the King. The more closely we study this heavenly picture book, the more we realise that ever before us is held the symbol of our divinity, the symbol of the soul in incarnation, and the story of matter, as it receives purification and glorification through the laborious work of the soul.

The second constellation connected with this sign is an immense river of stars, which stream forth from under the feet of Orion. It is called Eridanus, or the “River of the Judge”, and it is the symbol of the river of life, carrying souls into incarnation, where they learn the meaning of the words, “as a man sows, so shall he reap”, and where they undertake the stupendous task of working out their own salvation. Just as Orion symbolises the spirit aspect, so Eridanus concerns itself from the form-taking aspect and holds before us the thought of incarnation: whilst the third constellation, Auriga, is the charioteer, leading forth to new lands and so symbolising the soul.”

Taurean Hall of Fame

David Attenborough

Venus, the ruler of Taurus, has dominion over the arts, culinary activities, nature, money, and sensuality. Therefore Taureans are attracted to careers in fields such as music, massage, banking, real estate, farming, gardening, and hospitality. An example of a Taurean who represents a big corporation is Mar An example of the Taurean affinity with nature is evident in the books and documentaries on nature by the famous Taurean, David Attenborough.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

Taureans are well represented in business such as Mark Zuckerberg the chief executive of Facebook.

Piketty-capital-21st-centuryThomas Piketty, a French economist whose work focuses on wealth and income inequality is a Taurean. He is a professor at the The School for Advanced Studies of Social Sciences, associate chair at the Paris School of Economics and Centennial professor at the International Inequalities Institute, which is part of the London School of Economics (LSE). Piketty is the author of the best-selling book Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2013), which emphasises the themes of his work on wealth concentrations and distribution over the past 250 years.

Taureans are well represented in the field of music with such classical musicians as Brahams, Tchaikovsky and Yehudi Menuhin. The prima ballerina, Margot Fonteyn, and Fred Astaire were also born under the sign of the bull. Other famous musically gifted Taureans include, Irving Berlin, Burt Bacharach, Enya, Cher, Shirley Temple,

Barbra Streisand

Shirley MacLaine, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Collins, Lesley Gore, Duke Ellington, Glen Campbell, Roy Orbison, Pete Seeger and  the crooners, Perry Como and Bing Crosby.
Actors of note include Rudolf Valentino, Lionel Barrymore, Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda, Orson Welles, Pierce Brosnan, Gerry Seinfeld, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, George Clooney, Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn, Glenda Jackson, Uma Thurman,

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett, Penelope Cruz, Renee Zellwegger, Michelle Pfeiffer and Joanna Lumley. Writers of note include William Shakespeare, Robert Browning, Anthony Trollope, Vladimir Nabokov, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Daphne Du Maurier, Charlotte Bronte, and James Barrie who created the favourite children’s book Peter Pan.

Taurus is potentially a sign of power and it has had its share of rulers who have brought stability but it also has had its share of tyrants who have abused their power. Queen Elizabeth II who has her ascendant in steadfast Capricorn and  celebrates her 92nd birthday

Mary Robinson

on April 21 2018, epitomises the stable, pragmatic monarch. Mary Robinson, the former president of the Irish Republic and Commissioner for Human Rights for the United Nations, who also exudes this Earth Mother quality, has both her Sun and Moon in steady Taurus. A quality which has reassured many people in times of conflict, both on a national level and in the international arena. Other Taureans who have made their presence felt include Catherine the Great,  Golda Meir,  Eva Peron, Czar Nicholas II, Vladimir Lenin, Hitler, Robespierre, Oliver Cromwell, Ho Chi Minh, Emperor Hirohito, Harry S. Truman, Saddam Hussein. and Pope John Paul II. Some spiritually inclined Taureans include Gautama Buddha,

Krishnamurti

Krishnamurti

Krishnamurti, and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the Jesuit priest and mystic.

Taurus Health and Anatomy

Taurus is represented in the human body by the cerebellum, or lower brain, and neck, ears, lower jaw, throat, liver and gall bladder. In her book ‘Astrology and Biochemistry’, Vanda Sawtell writes that the biochemic cell salt for Taurus is Nat. sulph. and is the first cell salt to become deficient where symptoms of disease in the Taurean native are observed. The chief work of Nat. sulph. is to eliminate excess water from the body. In the hot moist weather the atmosphere becomes heavily charged with water, and is breathed into the blood through the lungs. Blood becomes overcharged with water from an atmosphere overcharged with moist vapour, and not from the water we drink. One molecule of the Taurean salt has the chemical power to take up and eliminate from the system two molecules of water. Therefore, the more surplus water there is to be thrown out of the blood, the more sodium sulphate is required. Biliousness and malaria are the effects of a deficiency of this salt. Chills and fevers are Nature’s methods of getting rid of surplus water, through violent muscular, nervous, and vascular spasms and perspiration. There are some people who put on weight in spite of careful dieting. This is because the lymphatic system becomes slowly engorged with excess fluid derived from the atmosphere through the breath. These people need plenty of Nat. sulph. to carry away this excess fluid.

One of the weaknesses of Taureans is over indulgence, so moderation in eating and drinking needs to be cultivated. Because Nat. sulph. works with the fluids of the body it is one of the most important salts affecting the digestive organs. The bile of the liver, the pancreatic juices, and the secretions of the kidneys all depend for their normal functioning upon a proper supply of Nat. sulph. Bile disorders of which there are many, range from sluggish liver and tiredness in the early morning, to gall stones, jaundice, stoppage of the bile duct, and constipation. Diabetics need Nat. sulph. because it stimulates the secretions of the pancreas, liver, and kidneys. When the digestive organs are not functioning harmoniously, then sore throats and colds are frequent. The following are suggestions for liver and throat complaints. Balmony is good for jaundice conditions; Agrimony is good for both liver and kidney troubles and helps the assimilation of food; Centaury is also a good tonic for the liver; A combination of both Agrimony and Centaury is helpful for jaundice conditions, and corrects the kidneys at the same time. Golden Seal is very helpful for bilious subjects; Dandelion is excellent for the liver and as a dyspeptic remedy. Red Sage is helpful for Laryngitis and Raspberry leaves and Mulleins also make good remedies for sore throats.

Taurus rules the colours turquoise, brown and russet. The gemstone for Taurus is emerald and the metal is copper. An ideal homeopathic remedy for the sluggish Taurean digestive system is Belladonna. Aromatherapy oils suitable for the Taurean temperament include patchouli, rose and ylang-ylang. The healing musical note for Taurus is A# (A sharp). Taureans should avoid fattening, starchy foods or liquors because of their proneness to gout. Citrus fruits such as lemon and grapefruit, as well as bananas and melons are beneficial for Taureans. The Taurean diet should include carrots, celery, spinach, beans and peas.

Full Moon Festival in May– Wesak Festival – 11 – 13 May 2018

Taurus is especially connected to the Buddha as Buddha is said to have been born, reached enlightenment and died in the sign of the Bull. The Buddha taught that the path of detachment from the desire is the vehicle for the entrance of Light. These events are celebrated each year at the Wesak Festival, the time of the full Moon when the Sun is in Taurus. The Full Moon occurs at 9 Scorpio 39 on 30 April. It is so-called as the ceremony of Wesak is held in the actual Wesak Valley in the Himalayas at the time of the Full Moon of May. Wesak, the Sun in Taurus Full Moon, is the most powerful Full Moon of the year. According to mystics the ceremony marks the return of the Buddha to help regenerate the Earth. He is said to return at this time each year to bring new light to the world. He appears above a flat rock on which a great crystal bowl filled with water rests. It is said that He and His great Brother, the World Teacher of Love, work in the closest cooperation for the spiritual benefit of humanity. Through the Buddha the wisdom of God is poured forth. Through the World Teacher of Love, the Love of God is poured forth. At the end of the ceremony the water in the bowl is distributed to all the participants who drink from their cups and share it with others. This beautiful water ceremony of communion is symbolic of the Age of Aquarius which we are entering, the Age of the Water Bearer.

Overview for Taureans for 2018
Home and family and career axis is highlighted by a series of eclipses and the karmic lunar nodes. The karmic North Node and two eclipses occur in your domestic sector The first eclipse is a total lunar eclipse which occurs on 31 January 2018 and the second is a  solar partial eclipse which occurs on 11 August. The mover and shaker Pluto continues its sojourn through your travel and education sector facilitating major changes in this area of your life. Lucky Jupiter is continuing its passage through your relationship and marriage sector

Relationships
Lucky Jupiter moved into your relationship and marriage sector on 11 October 2017 and will remain there until 7 November 2018. This should be a beneficial time for your most intimate relationships and business partnerships. Part of its passage here will be in retrograde motion from 9 March to 10 July. Mercury, the planet of communication, pays a visit to your relationship sector from 18 October to 5 November.  Venus graces your relationship sector with her presence from 8 November to 1 December bringing harmony and pleasure to your relationships. Avoid conflicts with loved ones when feisty Mars makes a dramatic entrance here from 10 December 2017 until 26 January 2018.

Creativity, Children and Romance
 Both Mercury and Venus visit your 5th house of creativity, children and romance. Quicksilver Mercury pays a visit here from 7 – 22 September encouraging communication with your children and lovers and providing opportunities to learn new hobbies. Venus graces this sector from 11 July to 6 August bringing harmony and inspiration in these areas of your life.

Home and Family
The karmic North Node and two eclipses puts your domestic sector front and centre. The first eclipse is a total lunar eclipse which occurs on 31 January 2018 and the second is a  solar partial eclipse which occurs on 11 August. Two celestial visitors,  Mercury and Venus will activate your home and family sector. From 22 July to 31 August Mercury, the messenger of the gods will pay a visit there. This encourages communication within your family and any commercial transactions. Venus graces your domestic sector with her presence from 27 August to 20 September bringing harmony and opportunities to beautify your home.

Career
Your career sector is highlighted with the karmic South Node and two eclipses. The first eclipse is a solar partial eclipse which occurs on 15 February and the second is a total lunar eclipse which occurs on 27 July.  Mercury, the messenger of the gods, will pay a visit to your career and goals sector from 1 – 19 February facilitating communication and networking in your career. Feisty Mars will pay two visits to your career and goals sector imbuing you with the energy to pursue your career goals. The first visit will be from 17 May to 13 August and then again from 12 September to 15 November.

Work and Health
Mercury, the messenger of the gods pays a visit here from 23 September – 10 October providing opportunities for communication and networking. Venus, the planet of love and finances will grace you with her presence here from 7 August to  9 September bringing harmony. in the work place.

Finances
Lucky Jupiter moves into your debt and taxes sector 9 November 2018 and will remain there until 2 December 2019. Mercury, the planet of communication and commerce will be in your debt sector from 1 November 2018 until 5 January 2019 providing an opportunity to review your finances. Venus, the planet of love and money, will grace your own money sector with her presence here from 25 April to 19 May which should enhance your finances.

Travel and Education
Pluto, the planet of transformation, continues it sojourn in your ninth house of travel, publishing and higher education, guaranteeing that any travel, writing, publishing or study undertaken could prove life changing for you. Serious Saturn moves into your travel and study sector on 21 December 2018 and will remain there until 17 December 2020 adding gravitas to this area of your life. This sector of adventure, travel, study and publishing is also activated with a visit from both Mercury and Venus. Venus pays a visit here from 26 December 2017 to 18 January 2018 stimulating your passion for study and travel. Mercury pays a visit to this sector from 12 – 31 January  stimulating your desire to study, write and travel.

Friendships, Groups and Goals
Neptune, the planet of spirituality, continues its lengthy sojourn in your eleventh house of friends, groups and goals. Neptune’s lesson is non-attachment so you may find that you have to surrender some of your cherished goals or experience some losses or sacrifices in your friendships or group affiliations. Positively, you will gain a deeper spiritual awareness through your friendships, awakening your compassion and inspiring you to join groups which espouse altruistic goals. Mercury’s visit here from 19 February to 6 March will give you an opportunity to extend your social networks and communicate with your peer groups. Venus, the planet of love and harmony, visits your friendship sector from 11 February to 6 March bringing social harmony.

Spirituality
Unorthodox Uranus continues its journey through your twelfth house of the unconscious and karma which encourages you to experiment and investigate alternative spiritual dimensions. Uranus is not concerned with the herd mentality but rather with mapping out your own unique spiritual path. You may undertake psychotherapy or be inspired to keep a dream journal recording the messages from your unconscious, releasing untapped potential. Since the twelfth house is concerned with karma, people and circumstances from your past may reappear in unexpected and unusual ways where there is unfinished business to be resolved.

Chiron in Aries
Chiron,  referred to as the wounded healer which has been in Pisces for almost ten years moves into Aries on 17 April returning briefly to Pisces from 25/26 September 2018 to 18 February 2019, after which Chiron will remain in Aries until 2026. The energy of Pisces and Aries is diametrically opposite. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac representing pioneering and enterprise and brash individualism whereas Pisces which is the twelfth sign of the zodiac represents sacrifice and merging with the Universe. This represents a shift in consciousness and how we will meet challenges and resolve our emotional wounds. The last time Chiron was in Aries was 1968-1976 when there was a collective groundswell against the Vietnam War which finally brought about peace.

Retrograde Saturn
Serious Saturn turns retrograde at 9 degrees Capricorn 9 on 18 April, turning direct at 2 degrees Capricorn 33 on 6 September. Saturn is known as the Lord of Karma and represents authority, responsibility and hard work. When a planet turns retrograde the energy is directed inward so it could be a time of limitation, restriction, anxiety and fear. Retrograde Saturn means that whatever area of responsibility you have is so important, extra time is needed to take stock and make sure everything is in order before you proceed.

Retrograde Pluto
Transformative Pluto follows suit turning retrograde at 21 degrees Capricorn 17 on 22/23 April and turns direct at 18 Capricorn 45 on 30 September/1 Oct. Pluto represents power, control, obsessions and compulsions so when Pluto turns retrograde it is a time to take stock of your power drives, compulsions, obsessions or addictions or those of others who are impacting on your life.

Uranus in Taurus
After seven years in the sign of Aries, Uranus moves into Taurus on 16 May. On the same day dynamic Mars will move into Aquarius making a square aspect. This is a potentially volatile combination that requires a cautious approach. Uranus will return briefly into Aries from 7 November 2018 before fully entering Taurus on 7 March 2019 where it will remain until 26 April 2026. Uranus rules revolutions, rebellions and the collective while Taurus represents your money, wealth, property and values and the polar opposite sign of Scorpio rules joint finances, inheritances, death and taxes. Therefore, you need to fasten your safety belts to prepare for a radical change in how finance and financial institutions operate. As Uranus hovers on the cusp of Taurus we are already catching a glimpse here in Australia of how it is impacting on the financial services sector such as the Big Four banks and AMP etc. as they come under scrutiny with Royal Commission into the Financial Services Sector as their arrogance, lies, deceit and obfuscation are exposed. The ATO (the Australian Taxation Office) has also come under fire for its cynical actions and bullying of operators of small business so that they can gain funds unethically and illegally. Uranus’s entry into Taurus heralds a critical mass which will act as a catalyst for radical change in business and finance.

Overseas we have seen the Taurean CEO of Facebook under increasing scrutiny with its cavalier handling of our data allowing such data collecting companies as Cambridge Analytica to have access to our data. Facebook is facing international investigations into the illicit harvesting of users’ personal data. The information was collected by Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm that backed President Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

christopher_wylie_2

Christopher Wylie Cambridge Analytica whistleblower

Four Corners recently aired a shocking expose entitled Democracy, Data and Dirty Tricks of how Cambridge Analytica manipulated politics and opinion to influence global elections in the information age, including how it created fake organisations to publish propaganda. The undercover investigation, a collaborative effort by ITN, The Guardian and The New York Times, is likely to cause Facebook more pain by unmasking the execs behind the political consulting firm and the dirty tricks they deployed. Christopher Wylie, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, said the company had the potential to mess with the “psychology of the entire nation” using these tactics. In 2014, former Trump advisor, Steve Bannon, ran Cambridge Analytica.

It is interesting to note that Facebook was established on 18 May 2012 during the time the Sun was in Taurus. Looking at the event chart of Facebook, four planets Sun, Jupiter, Mercury and Moon are all in the sign of Taurus while Zuckerberg himself has the Sun and Venus in Taurus. Therefore, Uranus’s transit through Taurus will impact Zuckerberg’s personal planets as well as those of Facebook heralding radical changes in how Zuckerberg and Facebook operates.

A further clue as to how Uranus’s entry may be felt is to recall how in Greek mythology Uranus castrates his father Cronus or Saturn who represents the established order so it could be that the younger financially savvy people are going to emasculate or disempower the old guard – bankers and politicians etc. and their ways of doing business. Uranus also rules lightning and electrical waves and so there could be sudden shocks in store with volatility in the markets. Uranus rules groups and associations so with Taurus squaring Mars in Aquarius it could also involve class-action lawsuits by groups which could be crowdfunded online or by other collective means. People are likely to take things into their own hands to fight against the exploitation of big corporations. There could be the introduction of more digital currency to compete with the old ways of making financial transactions. One thing is for sure we will all be swept up in this radical wave of change. In the words of the iconic Bob Dylan song: The Times They Are A Changin’.

Sources
Taurus Greeting Card Illustrated by Sue Robertson
Taurus Poem by Anne Robertson
Esoteric Astrology Volume 3 Treatise on the Seven Rays by Alice A. Bailey
Soul-Centred Astrology: A Key to your Expanding Self  by Alan Oken
Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology by Alan Oken
The Labours of Hercules by Alice A. Bailey
Astrological Keys to Self-actualization & Self-realization by Clara A. Weiss
Astrology and Biochemistry by Vanda Sawtell

 

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February Astromusings – Happy Chinese New Year of the Dog! Solar Partial Eclipse New Moon in Aquarius

Chinese New Year of the Dog 2018

Happy New Chinese Year of the Earth Dog!
The year of the Earth Dog follows after the Year of the Fire Rooster (2017) preceding the year of the Earth Pig (2019)!

Chinese New Year of the Dog 2018 begins on Friday, the 16th of February and ends on 2019 Lunar New Year’s Eve on Feb. 4. The Dog occupies the eleventh position in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac . Your Chinese zodiac animal is the Dog if you are born in one of the following years: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018.

Characteristics of the Dog
In Chinese society, Dogs are the favoured domestic animal because of their loyalty to their owners. And like a Dog, those born in the year of the Dog possess the admirable canine qualities of loyalty and integrity.

Straightforward and frank, Dog does not pay much attention to superficial details and has little patience for frivolity. Yet Dog is capable of playfulness and spontaneity. Honest and trustworthy, Dog makes an excellent friend on whom you can always depend. Dogs won’t hesitate to come to the aid of their friends in times of crisis, champion the underdog and advocate for ideas they believe in.

Stable, honest, practical, dependable, kind, and loyal are Earth qualities. The element Earth enhances Dog’s character ensuring stability and groundedness. The Earth Dog is endowed with some of the finest qualities of all the astrology signs. Earth Dogs have the ability to succeed in their endeavours, and possess nobility of character.

Of the five Taoist elements Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood, this is the year of the Earth Dog. 2018 is the Male or Yang Earth Dog year. Brown is connected to the earth. Therefore, 2018 is also referred to as the year of the Brown Dog. According to Chinese astrology the sign of 2018 Male Earth Dog year is represented by two mountains that sit side by side indicating strong Earth. People will focus on real estate, agriculture, environment, territorial integrity or religious, or spiritual matters.

Being the year of Mountain Dog we could be confronted by a wild dog which could block your path. That implies you might encounter some obstacles before executing your plan. Therefore, you need to use your wisdom to remove the blockage first, then you will see the wide-open road.

Famous people born in the Year Of The Dog
Donald Trump, Prince William, Kate Middleton,  David Bowie, Cher, Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, Prince, Mother Teresa, Sophia Loren, Donald Trump, Madonna, Alec Baldwin, Dolly Parton, Andie MacDowell, Andrea Bocelli, Charlotte Rampling, Benjamin Franklin, Bill Clinton, Christiane Amanpour, David Niven, Diane Keaton, Ethan Hawke, George Gershwin, Herbert Hoover, José Carreras, George W. Bush, Judi Dench, Kevin Bacon, Linda Ronstadt, Leonard Cohen, Liza Minelli, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Queen Latifah, , Sharon Stone, Shirley MacLaine, Susan Sarandon, and Tommy Lee Jones.

Solar Partial Eclipse New Moon in Aquarius 16 February 2018

New Moon in Aquarius 16 Feb 2018The New Moon Solar Eclipse occurs at 27 degrees 07 Aquarius on 16 February at 8.05 am Sydney summer time. Aquarius rules the 11th house of the zodiac which has dominion of our social networks, our friends, groups and ideals. The event chart of New Moon Solar Eclipse reveals the themes with which we will be dealing. Mercury, the planet of communication, and Juno, the goddess of marriage and women’s rights are both conjunct the eclipse in the sign of Aquarius with Jupiter in Scorpio squaring the eclipse Mercury and Juno. Jupiter also rules law, philosophy, higher education and overseas travel. Being King of the gods, the energy of Jupiter is very powerful so that whatever planets it contacts magnifies the energy it touches. It can cause overconfidence or ego inflation  Added to this is the karmic South Node also in Aquarius.

Jupiter & Juno

Jupiter and Juno – Annibale Caraccio

The archetypes involved in this story are very telling here as Roman Juno and Jupiter or Hera and Zeus in Greek mythology were both husband and wife. However, Jupiter or Zeus, King of the gods, was a philanderer who raped both goddesses and mortals alike fathering children on them much to the chagrin and rage of Juno. Theirs was a very turbulent marriage with each one trying to outdo each other. The asteroid, Juno, in astrology represents commitment in relationships within marriage, business etc. as well as women’s rights and the powerless. Aquarius is ruled by Uranus which represents sudden illumination so this will be a period where there is the great potential to tap into the collective conscious. It heralds the upcoming Age of Aquarius which represents equality, freedom, rebellion, non conformity, higher consciousness and humanitarian endeavour.

With Jupiter in intense Scorpio there will be an opportunity to dig deep in order for us to face the shadow. With it coinciding with the year of the Dog the focus will be on loyalty, integrity. and transparency. The issues that are likely to arise will be whom do we trust with regard to our friends, associates and the people we have hired or elected. Issues such as corruption and wrongdoing are likely to come to a head as the year of the Dog ushers in the theme of loyalty, integrity, trustworthiness and transparency. People or organisations that don’t measure up to these standards will be under the spotlight and held accountable for their past actions with the presence of the karmic South Node. Both Aquarius and Scorpio are fixed signs and the effects of this eclipse will be felt for the next six months.

#Me Too Movement
The prevalence of the Me Too# movement is one of the strong themes of the Eclipse event chart with both Jupiter and Juno and Venus and Mars facing off in the Eclipse chart. Juno and Venus represent the feminine principle just as Jupiter and Mars represent the masculine principle. An interesting piece of synchronicity is that St Valentine’s Day just precedes the solar eclipse. Jupiter, being in the sign of Scorpio which rules sex, death joint finances and taxes will bring these issues to the surface.

Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Company is sued
The American movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, co-founder of Miramax, whose sexual abuse and exploitation of his female employees acted as a catalyst for the #Me Too movement is under fire again with New York’s attorney general suing The Weinstein Company and Harvey Weinstein on Sunday, alleging years of sexual harassment and misconduct by the movie producer. The civil suit alleges that the company’s executives and board repeatedly failed to protect employees from Weinstein, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. The suit also names Weinstein’s brother Bob, who co-founded the company.

Q&A panelists for #Me Too#Me Too Q&A
On the eve of the eclipse ABC TV aired its Q&A on the #Me Too movement hosted by Virginia Trioli with panelists, Josh Bornstein, Catherine Lumby, Isabella Manfredi and Janet Albrechtson in an attempt to have a national conversation on women’s rights in the work place. Virginia Trioli opened the discussion by asking how many women in the audience had been sexually harassed with many hands being raised. Catherine Lumby, a Macquarie university academic and Guardian contributor, Isabella Manfredi, lead singer of the Preatures, and Josh Bornstein, an employment lawyer all made positive and often thought provoking contributions.

Josh Bornstein had some constructive suggestions about improving workplace sexual harassment claims: remove the time limits on reporting within six months; remove the caps on damages; start a debate about confidentiality agreements in claims; and force companies to report sexual harassment claims to a central agency.

Both Josh Bornstein and Catherine Lumby did their best to explain how woefully inadequate our justice system is in dealing with rape and sexual assault, highlighting that only 10% of rape cases result in conviction, and how doctors usually advise patients against prosecuting their rape because the trial can be like a “second rape”. Isabella Manfredi recounted her experiences of sexual harassment as a young woman in the music industry.

Physical Abuse by White House Staffers of their Wives
Just this week in the US we have seen two more powerful White House staffers, Rob Porter and David Sorensen, have had to resign after it was revealed they had physically abused their ex wives and ex partners. The initial defence of these men by the Chief of Staff General John Kelly and President Trump exposed how powerful men at the top protect each other.

Trump & Stormy Daniels
Trump sex scandal with porn star Stormy Daniels
Added to this White House scandal is the scandal of Trump paying off porn star Stormy Daniels with hush money to prevent her going public just prior to the US presidential elections in 2016. An adult film star who has been embroiled in allegations of an affair with President Donald Trump is free to tell her story, her manager has said. Stormy Daniels is no longer bound by a non-disclosure contract after Mr Trump’s lawyer admitted he paid her, manager Gina Rodriguez says Mr Trump’s personal lawyer confirmed in a statement to media he privately paid Ms Daniels $130,000 (£95,000) in 2016. Ms Rodriguez says that acknowledgement allows her client to speak freely. The revelations on Wednesday follow US media reports that the porn actress known as Ms Daniels was paid to sign an agreement stopping her discussing an alleged affair. She first said she had a relationship with Mr Trump in a 2011 interview.In a 2011 interview with InTouch magazine, the actress said she was in a relationship with Mr Trump in 2006 shortly after Melania Trump gave birth to his son Barron.

Oxfam Scandal
Oxfam staff have been accused of hiring prostitutes while delivering aid after 2010 Haiti earthquake. Ex-UN operations chief says the problem is widespread throughout aid charities. The prostitution scandal engulfing international aid charity Oxfam is a symptom of a “global problem” in the aid industry, a former senior UN aid worker says. Oxfam has been accused of lacking “moral leadership” by the British Government over misconduct involving prostitutes in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Further accusations have been made claiming that pedophiles have been infiltrating aid organisations.

Barnaby Joyce Scandal – Symbolic of Jupiter Juno Marriage
While here in Australia we have our own home grown scandal with the Deputy Prime Minister being exposed as a hypocrite while ostensibly standing for family values and commitment to marriage having been found out having an affair with his staffer Vikki Campion who is now expecting their baby in April. The anger of the wife, Natalie, who confronted Barnaby’s mistress Vikki accusing her of being a homewrecker is reminiscent of the aggrieved Juno angered by her philandering husband’s ‘sexcapades’. Since the story broke in the Daily Telegraph last week the scandal has escalated with allegations of Barnaby’s other dalliances and sexual misconduct with minors surfacing. What was just rumour and innuendo is now becoming headline news. Thus is the power of Jupiter to blow things out of proportion. Barnaby Joyce is also undergoing his Chiron Return which means he will have to do some soul searching and face his deepest emotional wounds and atone for those he has emotionally wounded. Issues of nepotism have also arisen with the high paying positions his ‘partner’, Vikki Campion, has enjoyed plus his own high expenses for his time in Canberra and his living rent free in a luxury apartment in Armidale owned by his wealthy mate, Greg Maguire. Barnaby Joyce spent more than $10,000 on family reunion travel while having an affair with his former staffer, raising more questions about taxpayer funds being used to support the double life led by the Deputy Prime Minister. With Barnaby Joyce set to become acting Prime Minister next week while the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be on an official to see President Trump the coalition was in further damage control. There have been debates in parliament about what constitutes a relationship – when is someone a partner, with the Prime Minister citing the Centrelink definition.

PM Turnbull Announces a New Ministeral Code of Conduct
On the eve of the South Node eclipse with the Barnaby Joyce Scandal escalating and further damaging the Liberal National coalition Turnbull announced in parliament that Barnaby would be taking leave for a week to reflect on his position as well as a new code of conduct in which sexual relationships between ministers and their staff is banned effective from today and went on to describe Barnaby Joyce’s affair with the staffer as a “shocking error of judgement”. Turnbull acknowledged that his affair had raised serious issues of sex and power inside Parliament House and the deficiencies in the ministerial code of conduct. This move is in line with the US House of Representatives and with the sporting world of the AFL and in the corporate world.

Internecine War within the Coalition
Barnaby Joyce has retaliated against Malcolm Turnbull’s address claiming that the PM’s comments at his press conference yesterday in many instances were inept and unnecessary causing more harm as well as asserting his independence from his coalition partner and his right to remain leader of the National Party. The response of the Labor Opposition leader, Bill Shorten and the Deputy Leader, Tanya Plibersek, claimed that the Liberal National Coalition government is in a full blown crisis. “If Malcolm doesn’t have the courage to sack Barnaby Joyce, then Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t have the courage to be prime minister.”

In keeping with the South Node eclipse a voice from the past resurfaced with the appearance on Sky news of  Junie Morosi, who famously had an affair in 1974 with then-deputy prime minister Jim Cairns. Morosi has slammed the media attention on Barnaby Joyce’s personal situation, calling the interest in the Nationals leaders’ relationships “old fashioned”.

Morosi & Cairns

Jim Cairns & Junie Morosi

Morosi, who was appointed by her lover Cairns to a senior government role that were seen as outside her experience, told The Australian that the complaints about Joyce having won his now-partner Vikki Campion a series of government jobs were just a cover for good, old puritanism on the part of his critics.

Members of the public and the stolen generation applaud Rudd's speech

Members of the public & the stolen generation applaud Kevin Rudd’s apology

 

Kevin Rudd's Apology to the Stolen Generations

Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Stolen Generation

Tenth Anniversary of National Apology to the Stolen Generation
Quite rightly Stan Grant claimed on his Tuesday night program of Matter of Fact that the all consuming media scandal about Barnaby Joyce has overshadowed the important 10th anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s apology to the stolen generation and Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull’s report to parliament on Closing the Gap.

Arrest of Malka Leifer, former school principal, for rape and sexual abuse against children
However it is not only men who are having their karma catch up with them during this South Node eclipse period. Malka Leifer who has been sensationally arrested in Israel, is finally facing the prospect of extradition proceedings almost a decade after she fled Australia after being accused of abusing female students at the Adass Israel School in Elsternwick in Melbourne. She was principal of the ultraconservative Jewish school at the time and faces 74 allegations of rape and sexual abuse against children. Since fleeing in 2008 she has managed to avoid extradition by arguing she was too mentally unwell to face court in Australia. However, Israeli authorities swooped on Ms Leifer, who is aged in her 50s, after a month-long undercover investigation by police, which concluded that Ms Leifer was allegedly faking her mental illness. Her arrest has brought relief to her young female victims who have suffered post traumatic stress disorder, post-partum depression and and suicidal ideation. They said their tireless campaign to have her brought to justice will bring closure for them. With the power of South Node Eclipse and the Year of the Dog truth will out!

Resignation of Jacob Zuma
As I write this post on the eve of the eclipse it has just been announced that Jacob Zuma has resigned as President of South Africa, heeding orders by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to bring an end to his nine scandal-plagued years of corruption and cronyism in power.

Royal Commission into Banking
Commissioner Kenneth Hayne QC and senior counsel assisting Rowena Orr made brief initial statements in Melbourne on Monday ahead of what will be an exhaustive 12 months of public hearings into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry. Home loans, car loans and credit cards will come under the microscope when the Banking Royal Commission holds its first round of public hearings next month. The Commission will hear evidence that suggests consumers have not always enjoyed the.right to be treated honestly and fairly when it comes to home loans,” Ms Orr said. “Some [cases] may involve breaches of the law, while others may fall short of community standards.” The banks will finally be held to account for their misconduct.

Slave like conditions for Domestic Workers in Embassies in Australia
Another example of injustice was exposed on Monday night’s Four Corners when journalist Louise Milligan revealed the shocking mistreatment and exploitation of A at least 20 domestic workers who have escaped embassies and diplomatic residences in Australia, where they were being kept in conditions likened to slavery. Four Corners inteviewed three workers who allege shocking conditions like working for a fraction of the minimum wage. There’s little that law enforcement authorities can do to bring the perpetrators to justice because the employers enjoy diplomatic immunity.

Corporations Pay No Tax
According to an ABC NEWS report online by journalist, Emma Albericci 380 of Australia’s largest companies. ATO corporate tax transparency data — confirmed in email exchanges with company representatives — reveals about one in five of the country’s biggest companies have paid no tax for at least the past three years. Companies who have paid no tax include Qantas, Adani Abbot. Alinta Holdings, Amcor Limited, American Express Australia Limited, Ansell Limited, APN News & Media Ltd. Not one of Australia’s biggest airlines has paid corporate tax since at least 2013 including Virgin and its subsidiary TigerairEtihadEmirates and Qatar. At a time when Australian households have seen their electricity prices soar, the country’s leading energy retailer, EnergyAustralia, hasn’t been paying corporate tax. EnergyAustralia paid no corporate tax for the decade to 2016.

Ten years after the global financial crisis — which they are largely responsible for creating — some of the world’s most prominent investment banks are collecting tidy sums of income in Australia and not paying corporate tax. Among them is Malcolm Turnbull’s old employer, Goldman Sachs, which recently won a lucrative contract with the NSW Government.

Described by Rolling Stone Magazine as, “the great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”, Goldman will be paid $16.5 million as the state’s financial adviser on the sale of the $16.8 billion WestConnex motorway in NSW. The investment bank generated revenue of $1.84 billion over three years but paid zero corporate tax.

The same goes for JPMorgan Chase which raked in $2.2 billion and hasn’t paid corporate tax since at least 2013. Ten years after the global financial crisis — which they are largely responsible for creating — some of the world’s most prominent investment banks are collecting tidy sums of income in Australia and not paying corporate tax. Among them is Malcolm Turnbull’s old employer, Goldman Sachs, which recently won a lucrative contract with the NSW Government.

Described by Rolling Stone Magazine as, “the great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”, Goldman will be paid $16.5 million as the state’s financial adviser on the sale of the $16.8 billion WestConnex motorway in NSW. The investment bank generated revenue of $1.84 billion over three years but paid zero corporate tax.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp hasn’t paid corporate tax for at least 4 years. The media colossus reported total income of $8.5 billion and even boasted a $71 million profit in 2014/15 but no corporate tax was paid.

Neoliberalism’s Trickle Down Economics discredited.
Piketty-capital-21st-centuryThe Age of Aquarius espouses equality of opportunity. French academic and economist Thomas Piketty’s best selling seminal book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, discredits Neoliberalism’s Trickle Down economics. Piketty, arguably the world’s leading expert on income and wealth inequality documents the growing concentration of income in the hands of a small economic elite. This is backed up by Emma Albericci in her report: “There is no compelling evidence that giving the country’s biggest companies a tax cut sees that money passed on to workers in the form of higher wages.Treasury modelling relies on theories that belie the reality that’s playing out around the world. Since the peak of the commodities boom in 2011-12, profit margins have risen to levels not seen since the early 2000s but wages growth has been slower than at any time since the 1960s.” Piketty’s work is the zeitgeist as we move into the Age of Aquarius.

Universal Basic Income
UBIThe resurrection of universal basic income (UBI) proposals in the developed world has gained support from some prominent Australians. UBI proposals centre on the idea that the government would pay a flat fee to every adult citizen, regardless of his or her engagement in skill-building activities or the paid labour market, as a partial or complete substitute for existing social security and welfare programs.
Of the schemes run in developing places like Kenya, Uganda, and India, some have been evaluated statistically, delivering some evidence of positive impacts on educational investments, entrepreneurship, and earnings.
In the developed world, Canada has been trialling a UBI scheme. Finland has also rolled out a trial until the end of 2018 , involving about 10,000 recipients for two years and costing about A$40 million. While Switzerland’s voters just rejected a UBI proposal via referendum, a similar proposal is presently looking like a goer for Utrecht in the Netherlands. Here in Australia, it has been suggested the government might hand out somewhere between A$10,000 and A$25,000 a year to every man and woman.

Free MoneyThe idea of free money has become more popular in recent years thanks to advocates in Silicon Valley like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg. They see universal basic as a cushion for workers whose jobs might be replaced by automation or robots. Advocates argue free money could provide workers with flexibility to retrain for a new career, pursue creative interests, or start their own business.

So on both a collective and personal level this karmic South Node Eclipse in Aquarius represents a portal to clarify and affirm our highest path to make a quantum leap in consciousness. It gives an opportunity to transform our thinking and let go of the past to allow for new visions, to break down our defences where we have become the most fixed, to liberate ourselves from outmoded attitudes and concepts of being. Coinciding with the year of the Earth Dog it will be a year where relationships and organisations will be under the spotlight and will be held to account if they don’t demonstrate honesty, integrity and transparency.

Therapy Dogs

Therapy Dog Trial

Joanne Fuda with Hugo, Felicity Powell with Jezebel, Attorney-General Mark Speakman and Julie Duncan with Amber.

 

Hugo the Caboodle in Manly Local Court

Hugo the Caboodle inside Manly Local Court

To end on a lighter note there was a news item this week so fitting for the Year of the Dog. It was just announced this week that the trial of therapy dogs begun in April 2017 to lend a floppy ear and friendly paw to assist victims of crime in Manly Court has been such a success that it will now be expanded. “Research shows having a dog to talk to and pat can calm people who are feeling scared and nervous — a phenomenon referred to as the ‘pet effect’.” This therapy has been used with great success for child victims in special circumstances as remote witnesses and victims of domestic violence. it will now be rolled out in ten regional and city court complexes in NSW. Canine therapy is also employed in hospitals, nursing homes and prisons. It goes without saying that the dog is ‘man’s’ best friend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Astromusings – Happy Birthday Taureans, Wesak Full Moon in Scorpio

Taurus

Taurus

Taurus, golden eyed
bull of God
worshipped with song and dance
in ancient fertility rites
slow sure sensual
sow your seeds
ensuring Mother Nature’s bounty

by Anne Robertson 1987

Esoteric Keyword Phrases for Taurus
The Personality asserts: Let struggle be undismayed
The Soul sounds its note: I see, and when the eye is opened, all is illumined

Rulers for Taurus
Exoteric Ruler:
Venus under the Fifth Ray of Concrete Mind or Science
Esoteric Ruler: Vulcan under the First Ray of Will or Power
Hierarchical Ruler: Vulcan under the First Ray of Will or Power

Happy Birthday to all the Taureans who celebrate their birthdays between April 21 and May 21. Taurus forms part of the triplicity of Earth signs with Capricorn and Virgo. Taurus, the Bull, is the sign of fertility as traditionally in the Northern Hemisphere, it brings the regenerative life force of Spring. The glyph for which represents the full Moon with a crescent moon attached to it. The Full Moon can be seen as the Celestial Mother and the upturned crescent moon as the cow’s horns, another symbol of its fecundity. In the Age of Taurus (C.4220 BC-C.2160 B.C) the Egyptians established their vast agricultural empire through an economy based on slavery.

During the Age of Taurus the cult of the bull and cow was prevalent. The Ancient Egyptians worshipped Isis as the Crescent, crowned with the headdress of the cow horns, the Horned Goddess, the cow, and as such was identified with Hathor the Cow-Goddess who preceded her. Isis’s husband Osiris, was also worshipped as a horned deity, known as the bull god, Apis. The veneration of the Bull was also prevalent in other cultures, for example the Bull of Minos known as the Minotaur of the Cretan Labyrinth. At certain times of the year young boys and girls were sacrificed to the Bull God. During these festivals young people danced upon the bulls and jumped through their horns in the arenas, a custom which was the precursor of the modern practice of bullfighting. The glyph for Taurus also represents the parts of the body ruled by this sign: the neck, throat and the shoulders.

Venus and Vulcan, the Ruling Planets of Taurus
The ruling planet of Taurus is Venus, the Goddess of Love and Beauty and the patroness of the arts. When she is favourably placed in a horoscope she will bestow her bounty of charm, beauty, creativity, sociability and wealth on the recipient. Taurus rules the second house of the horoscope which governs finances, material possessions and values. In keeping with the Law of Attraction, Venus governs desire and sexuality. Because of the earthiness of their nature, Taureans are challenged to overcome their weaknesses on the physical plane i.e. the desire nature and stubbornness to transmute this into aspiration and goodwill. The esoteric ruler of Taurus is Vulcan, the god of the Hammer and the Forge. His role is to beat “base metal” into a more refined state for spiritual purposes which aids in this transmutation. Esoterically, Taurus is referred to as the golden eyed Bull of God, with its keynote being: “I see and when the Eye is opened, all is light”. This connotes that the goal of the aspirant in the second sign is illumination. The second Labour of Hercules sheds more light on the tests facing the hero in the sign of Taurus.

Taurean Hall of Fame

David Attenborough

Venus, the ruler of Taurus, has dominion over the arts, culinary activities, nature, money, and sensuality. Therefore Taureans are attracted to careers in fields such as music, massage, banking, real estate, farming, gardening, and hospitality. An example of the Taurean affinity with nature is evident in the books and documentaries on nature by the famous Taurean, David Attenborough.
Taureans are well represented in the field of music with such classical musicians as Brahams, Tchaikovsky and Yehudi Menuhin. The prima ballerina, Margot Fonteyn, and Fred Astaire were also born under the sign of the bull. Other famous musically gifted Taureans include, Irving Berlin, Burt Bacharach, Enya, Cher, Shirley Temple,

Barbra Streisand

Shirley MacLaine, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Collins, Lesley Gore, Duke Ellington, Glen Campbell, Roy Orbison, Pete Seeger and  the crooners, Perry Como and Bing Crosby.
Actors of note include Rudolf Valentino, Lionel Barrymore, Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda, Orson Welles, Pierce Brosnan, Gerry Seinfeld, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, George Clooney, Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn, Glenda Jackson, Uma Thurman, Cate Blanchett, Penelope Cruz, Renee Zellwegger, Michelle Pfeiffer and Joanna Lumley.

Shakespeare's 400th anniversary

Writers of note include William Shakespeare -the 400 years’ anniversary of his death is currently being celebrated, Robert Browning, Anthony Trollope, Vladimir Nabokov, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Daphne Du Maurier, Charlotte Bronte, and James Barrie who created the favourite children’s book Peter Pan.

Taurus is potentially a sign of power and it has had its share of rulers who have brought stability but it also has had its share of tyrants who have abused their power. Queen Elizabeth II who has her ascendant in steadfast Capricorn just celebrated her 90th birthday on 21 April 2016  epitomises the stable, pragmatic monarch.

Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson, the former president of the Irish Republic and current human rights commissioner for the United Nations, who also exudes this Earth Mother quality, has both her Sun and Moon in steady Taurus. A quality which has reassured many people in times of conflict, both on a national level and in the international arena. Other Taureans who have made their presence felt include Catherine the Great,  Golda Meir,  Eva Peron, Czar Nicholas II, Vladimir Lenin, Hitler, Robespierre, Oliver Cromwell, Ho Chi Minh, Emperor Hirohito, Harry S. Truman, Saddam Hussein. and Pope John Paul II. Some spiritually inclined Taureans include Gautama Buddha, Krishnamurti, and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the Jesuit priest and mystic.

Thomas Piketty

Thomas Piketty

Another Taurean who has come to the fore in the last couple of years is the French academic and economist, Thomas Piketty whose book Capital in the Twenty First Century has taken the world by storm.

Overview for Taureans for 2016

Relationships
Venus graces your relationship sector with its presence from 24 September to 18 October bringing harmony and pleasure to your relationships. Mercury, the planet of communication, pays a visit to your relationship sector  from 25 September to 12 November encouraging communication and networking with your primary relationships.

Creativity, Children and Romance
Jupiter and the karmic north node are currently moving through this sector. Jupiter will be there from 11 August 2015 from 9 September 2016. Jupiter is the planet associated with good fortune and expansion. However, from 8 January until 8 May 2016 Jupiter will be retrograde rendering the normally out there ebullient Jupiterian energy more introspective. The nodal axis is from the 11 house of friends, groups and goals to the 5th house of creativity, children and romance. A solar eclipse will occur here on 1 September, highlighting this area of your life.

Home and Family
Two celestial visitors Venus and Mercury will activate your home and family sector. Venus visits first from 13 July to 5 August bringing harmony to your domestic sector and a desire to beautify your home. From 15 to 30 August  Mercury, the messenger of the gods will pay a visit there. This encourages communication within your family and any commercial transactions.

Work and Health
There will be solar eclipse in your career sector on 18 August highlighting this area of your life. Both Venus and Mercury will pay a visit to your work and health sector. Venus will grace this sector with her presence from 31 August to 23 September bringing harmony to this area of your life. Mercury, the planet of communication and commerce will follow closely on the heels of Venus remaining in your work and health sector from 8-24 September giving opportunities for networking.

Finances
Both Mars and Saturn are currently moving through your 8th house of other people’s money and debt. Both of these planets are currently in retrograde motion which may slow down transactions. Saturn will be retrograde from 24 March until 13 August. Saturn is known as the Lord of Karma and is sometimes a hard taskmaster causing us to face our limitations and shoulder our responsibilities. Mars will be retrograde from 17 April to 29 June. Mercury and Venus will pay a visit to your finance sector. Mercury, the planet of communication and commerce will be in your finance sector from 13 November to 2 December which could enhance your finances. Venus, the planet of love and money, will grace you with her presence here from  19 October to 12 November.

Travel and Education
Pluto, the planet of transformation, continues it sojourn in your ninth house of travel, publishing and higher education, guaranteeing that any travel, writing, publishing or study undertaken could prove life changing for you. Pluto will be retrograde from 18 April to 26 September. This sector of adventure, travel, study and publishing is also activated with a visit from both Mercury and Venus. Venus pays two visits here from 24 January to 17 February and then again from 13 November to 6 December 2016, stimulating your passion for study and travel. Mercury pays two visits to this sector from 11 December 2015 to 2 Jan 2016 and again from 3 -31 December, stimulating your desire to study write and travel.  Part of Mercury’s visit here will be during its retrograde phase from 19 – 31 December 2016.

Friendships, Groups and Goals
There will be a lot of activity in your friendship sector this year with not only Neptune, Chiron and the karmic south node present but also the occurrence of two eclipses here. Neptune, the planet of spirituality, continues its lengthy sojourn in your eleventh house of friends, groups and goals. Neptune’s lesson is non-attachment so you may find that you have to surrender some of your cherished goals or experience some losses or sacrifices in your friendships or group affiliations. Positively, you will gain a deeper spiritual awareness through your friendships, awakening your compassion and inspiring you to join groups which espouse altruistic goals. Chiron, the planet of wounding and healing, as well as the karmic south node are also moving through this sector so there may be some karmic dues for you to pay in this area of your life. There is a total solar eclipse occurring on 9 March and a lunar eclipse on 16 September highlighting your friendship sector. Mercury’s visit here from 5 – 22 March will give an opportunity to extend your social networks and communicate with your peer groups. Venus the planet of love and harmony visits your friendship sector from 13 March to 5 April bringing social harmony.

Spirituality
Unorthodox Uranus continues its journey through your twelfth house of the unconscious and karma which encourages you to experiment and investigate alternative spiritual dimensions. Uranus is not concerned with the herd mentality but rather with mapping out your own unique spiritual path. You may undertake psychotherapy or be inspired to keep a dream journal recording the messages from your unconscious, releasing untapped potential. Since the twelfth house is concerned with karma, people and circumstances from your past may reappear in unexpected and unusual ways where there is unfinished business to be resolved. Venus’s presence here from 6 – 30 April should bring harmony here. The lunar eclipse in Aries on 23 March highlights this area of your life.

Taurus Full Moon or Wesak Moon -22nd April 2016 3:25 pm AEST (Sydney, Australia)
Sun  02:31 degrees Taurus and Moon 02:31 degrees Scorpio.

Wesak Festival
Taurus is especially connected to the Buddha as Buddha is said to have been born, reached enlightenment and died in the sign of the Bull. The Buddha, a native of Nepal, taught that the path of detachment from the desire is the vehicle for the entrance of Light. These events are celebrated each year at the Wesak Festival, the time of the full Moon when the Sun is in Taurus. It is so called as the ceremony of Wesak is held in the actual Wesak Valley in the Himalayas at the time of the Full Moon of May which is actually the Full Moon in Scorpio. Wesak, the Sun in Taurus Full Moon, is the most powerful Full Moon of the year.

According to mystics the ceremony marks the return of the Buddha to help regenerate the Earth. He is said to return at this time each year to bring new light to the world. He appears above a flat rock on which a great crystal bowl filled with water rests. It is said that He and His great Brother, the World Teacher of Love, work in the closest cooperation for the spiritual benefit of humanity. Through the Buddha the wisdom of God is poured forth. Through the World Teacher of Love, the Love of God is poured forth. At the end of the ceremony the water in the bowl is distributed to all the participants who drink from their cups and share it with others. This beautiful water ceremony of communion is symbolic of the Age of Aquarius which we are entering, the Age of the Water Bearer.This full moon is the second of three powerful full moons.

As well as the full Moon in Scorpio, dynamic Mars and Pluto, the rulers of Scorpio have turned retrograde. On both a personal level and a collective level this focusses on issues of power. It is time where we need to face our shadow selves which will give us the opportunity to transform and heal ourselves. With this powerful energy there is no place to hide.

Sources
Taurus Greeting Card illustrated by Sue Robertson
Taurus Poem by Anne Robertson
Esoteric Astrology Volume 3 Treatise on the Seven Rays by Alice A. Bailey
Soul-Centred Astrology: A Key to your Expanding Self  by Alan Oken
Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology by Alan Oken
Astrological Keys to Self-actualization & Self-realization by Clara A. Weiss

 

 

 

December Astromusings – Saturn Square Neptune, Inequality, Paris Climate Change Conference

9 SagiHappy Birthday to all the Sagittarians who celebrate their birthdays from 23 November to 22 December. The illustration my sister and I chose for our card for Sagittarius depicts Arjuna, the warrior and seeker of spiritual truth in the Indian epic song, Bhagavad Gita, and Lord Krsna urges Arjuna to adopt a path of action freed from fear, reaction and inner conflict, offering a vision of the Self which is shining, limitless and untouched by sorrow. This could be a parable for our times, encapsulating the role of Sagittarius – the visionary, optimist and adventurer.who aims his arrow at the heavens.

Saturn in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces

Saturn moved out of intense Scorpio and into idealistic Sagittarius in September 2015. In November and December Saturn makes a square with Neptune in Pisces. Both Sagittarius and Pisces are mutable signs so there is flexibility there. This square will continue into 2016. There will be three hit of this square between Saturn and Neptune. The first one was on 26-27 November 2015 at 7 degrees Sagittarius and 7 Pisces. The next hit will occur on 17 – 18 June at 12 degrees Sagittarius and Pisces. The third and final hit will be on 10 September 2016 at 10 degrees Sagittarius and 10 Pisces.

Saturn in Scorpio a fixed sign is very rigid  but in the mutable sign of Sagittarius there is room for more fluidity and experimentation. Saturn’s restrictive energy is diametrically opposed to the freedom loving, idealistic energy of Sagittarius whereas Neptune, the ruler of Pisces, is completely at home in Pisces. This challenging energy forms a backdrop for the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Mali and Beirut where the perpetrators of violence are prepared to die for their beliefs and ideologies.  The Western world was reeling with shock at the terrorist attack in the heart of Paris and ‘Je suis Charlie’ morphed into ‘Je suis Paris’. Prior to this there was an attack on civilians in Beirut but critics rightly noted that it did not arouse the same condemnation that it did when a terrorist attack occurred in a Western country.

Sagittarius is about beliefs, ideologies and zealotry when unchecked. It also rules freedom, travel and adventure and optimism. The aim of the terrorists is to strike fear into the hearts of all ‘infidels’ and restrict our freedom of movement. People had already expressed fears about travelling but it is important for us to remain positive and not give in to fear and hate which is the aim of the terrorists.

Thomas Piketty – Inequality in Middle East fuels ISIL

Piketty_in_Cambridge_3_crop

Thomas Piketty

A year after his 700 page opus Capital in the Twenty-First Century rose to the top of America’s best-seller lists, Thomas Piketty is propounding a new theory about income inequality. It may prove more controversial than his book, which continues to generate debate in political and economic circles.

The new argument, which Piketty spelled out  in the French newspaper Le Monde, is as follows: Inequality is a major driver of Middle Eastern terrorism, including the Islamic State attacks on Paris earlier this month — and Western nations have themselves largely to blame for that inequality.

Piketty writes that the Middle East’s political and social system has been made fragile by the high concentration of oil wealth into a few countries with relatively little population. If you look at the region between Egypt and Iran — which includes Syria — you find several oil monarchies controlling between 60 and 70 percent of wealth, while housing just a bit more than 10 percent of the 300 million people living in that area.

This concentration of so much wealth in countries with so small a share of the population, he says, makes the region “the most unequal on the planet.”

Within those monarchies, he continues, a small amount of people controls most of the wealth, while a large proportion— including women and refugees — are kept in a state of “semi-slavery.” Those economic conditions, he says, have become justifications for jihadists, along with the casualties of a series of wars in the region perpetuated by Western powers.

His list starts with the first Gulf War, which he says resulted in allied forces returning oil “to the emirs.” He implies that economic deprivation and the horrors of wars that benefited only a select few of the region’s residents have, mixed together, become what he calls a “powder keg” for terrorism across the region.

Piketty is particularly scathing when he blames the inequality of the region, and the persistence of oil monarchies that perpetuate it, on the West: “These are the regimes that are militarily and politically supported by Western powers, all too happy to get some crumbs to fund their [soccer] clubs or sell some weapons. No wonder our lessons in social justice and democracy find little welcome among Middle Eastern youth.”

Terrorism that is rooted in inequality, Piketty continues, is best combated economically. To gain credibility with those who do not share in the region’s wealth, Western countries should demonstrate that they are more concerned with the social development of the region than they are with their own financial interests and relationships with ruling families. The way to do this, he says, is to ensure that Middle eastern oil money funds “regional development,” including far more education.

He concludes by looking inward, at France, decrying its discrimination in the hiring of immigrants and the high unemployment levels among those populations. He says Europe must turn away from “austerity” and reinvigorate its model of integration and job creation, and notes that the continent accepted a net 1 million immigrants per year before the financial crisis.

Yanis VaroufakisAYanis Varoufakis on Q&AThe Global MinotaurYanis Varoufakis – The Global Minotaur

Another vocal critic of  inequality and the austerity measures imposed on Europe is the former professor of economics and former Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis who is currently on a speaking tour in Australia. In his book The Global Minotaur,  Varoufakis argues that the current financial problems are connected to the emerging fault lines of the international monetary system. The US (the Minotaur) used to govern the international monetary system, but no more; and this crucially means that there is no surplus recycling mechanism that can reliably stabilise the world economy. He makes the following analogy: Just as the Athenians maintained a steady flow of tributes to the Cretan beast, so the ‘rest of the world’ began sending incredible amounts of capital to America and Wall Street. Thus, the Global Minotaur became the ‘engine’ that pulled the world economy from the early 1980s to 2008.Going beyond this, Varoufakis lays out the options available to us for reintroducing a modicum of reason into a highly irrational global economic order.

Paris Climate Change Conference

Paris has not only been the centre of attention because of the recent terrorist attacks but is also now hosting the Climate Change Conference. Nothing has polarised Australian leaders more in the recent years than the bitter debate over climate change with climate change sceptic former Prime Minister Abbott leading the charge against climate change advocates. The bitter dispute caused the demise of Malcolm Turnbull as opposition leader, a strong climate change advocate who was replaced by Tony Abbott. PM Kevin Rudd lost his nerve about following through on an ETS. Abbott cartoon re carbon taxWhen Julia Gillard replaced Rudd as PM promising a carbon tax  Abbott and his supporters carried out a  relentless and vicious campaign against Gillard. Since Malcolm Turnbull replaced Abbott as PM he has been treading very carefully not wanting to rile the extreme right wing rump of the LNP. Turnbull’s caution has lead to the opposition’s taunts that Turnbull atended the Climate Change Conference carrying Abbott’s baggage with no new propositions to bring to the table.

The Plight of the Pacific Islanders

FRANCE-DIPLOMACY-OBAMA-SMALL-ISLANDS

US President Barack Obama poses with leaders of small island nations

The Labor leaders’ Bill Shorten’s and Tanya Plibersek’s recent trip to the Pacific islands highlighted the plight of the small island nations whose leaders are pleading for urgent action at the Paris Climate Change Conference to prevent their islands being submerged. President Obama stood with the pacific Island leaders declaring that he was an island boy born in Hawaii and knew only too well the beauty but also the fragility of islands’ ecosystems.

The Goal of the Climate Change Convention

The overarching goal of the Convention is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit the global temperature increase to 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. As ministers from around the world arrive for the final days of the climate talks in Paris there is a sense of optimism that solutions to some of the toughest disputes are starting to emerge.

Bill Gates leads Coalition of Entrepreneurs Supporting Action on Climate Change 

Previous conferences have failed to reach their targets with vested interests of some countries conflicting with the common goals, especially between the developing and developed nations . The polarisation over the validity of the science the climate change is being replaced now reaching a critical mass where the evidence of climate change is now undeniable. Sagittarius is about optimism and we have to remain optimistic if we are to reach some consensus on this most pressing issue facing humanity.

Bill Gates at Paris Climate Change

Breakthrough Energy Coalition

It is heartening to see entrepreneurs led by Bill Gates putting their money where their mouth is.  Bill Gates and other wealthy entrepreneurs announced the creation of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a global group of private investors committed to “early-stage investing in potentially transformative energy systems” with “near zero carbon emissions.”

The coalition includes those with experience in clean energy investment, including Virgin’s Richard Branson, and venture capitalists John Doerr, and Vinod Khosla. But it also brings into the fold supporters new to the field – including Amazon’s AMZN -1.44% Jeff Bezos, LinkedIn’s LNKD-2.47% Reid Hoffman, Facebook’s FB -1.59% Mark Zuckerberg, as well as hedge fund titans and leading industrialists from around the world.

To work effectively with this Saturn in Sagittarius Neptune in Pisces Square we need to remain positive and open to new possibilities and ideas so that we can manifest (Saturn) our visions (Neptune). This planetary configuration may pose challenges but it can also allow for a paradigm shift in our world view.

 

June Astromusings – Full Moon in Sagittarius, UK Elections, Rising Inequality – The Super Rich and Us

Hi dear friends,

Happy Birthday to all the Geminis who celebrate their birthdays between May 21 and June 21. The Full Moon at 11 degrees 49 Sagittarius occurred today 3 June at 2.19 am Sydney AEDT. This is a time where things come to a head and we have just heard the news of the resignation of Sepp Blatter, the recently re-elected  President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter who bowing to pressure fell on his sword. This Full Moon is likely to affect people with mutable signs around 11 degrees of Gemini, Sagittarius, Pisces and Virgo prominent in their chart.

David Cameron's election victory

David Cameron

Cameron, Milliband, Farage & Clegg

Winner – Cameron and Losers  – Milliband, Farage & Clegg

Nicola Sturgeon's election victory

Nicola Sturgeon – SNP

UK Election Results

There is so much currently happening in the world that is hard to keep up with it all. Apart from the surprise of the sudden change in the leadership of the Australian Greens that I wrote about in my last post there was also the shock results in the recent UK elections that confounded all the pundits and pollsters. On 7 May David Cameron led the Conservatives to victory, despite all the predictions of a hung parliament. To add insult to injury the main contenders, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP all suffered a resounding defeat, causing all leaders of their respective parties, Ed Milliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage to fall on their swords. The other shock was the huge win by the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) led by Nicola Sturgeon gaining a stunning 56 seats out of 59.

David Cameron's natal chart

PM David Cameron

The urbane Cameron is ‘to the manor born’, a descendant of earls and baronets and through his paternal grandmother, Enid Agnes Maud Levita, Cameron is a lineal descendant of King William IV, albeit on the wrong side of the blanket. Through this illegitimate line he.is a 5th cousin of Queen Elizabeth II.

Not surprisingly he has the Sun, ascendant and Venus in Libra so he can turn on the charm. He was born on 9 Oct 1966, 6.00 am London, UK. The planets were favouring Cameron during the elections with his progressed Sun trining his natal Jupiter, as well as transiting Pluto squaring his natal Sun. However, he does have some major Saturn transits which will pose some challenges for him over the coming months. Transiting Saturn has been moving over his progressed Sun. While Saturn has given him the mantle of authority and responsibility it will also pose tests and obstacles.

Nicola Sturgeon's natal chart

Nicola Sturgeon SNP Leader

Cameron may meet his nemesis in the newly elected SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon, whose resounding victory should give her quite a bit of leverage in the power stakes. Nicola Sturgeon was born 19 July, 1970 3.16 pm in Irvine, Scotland. She is a Cancerian with her Moon in the independent sign of Aquarius and feisty Mars and zealous Jupiter in aspect to her Sun. Her progressed Sun in Virgo is conjunct her natal Pluto. Expansive Jupiter will cross over her Midheaven in July next year and move into her career sector by mid year in 2016 giving a boost to her career and goals.

Cameron Sturgeon meeting

Cameron and Sturgeon go head to head

She has wasted no time in making demands of Cameron, warning him he would be personally responsible for a second independence referendum if he blocks her demands for an extra swathe of powers being transferred to Scotland. In an attempt to ramp up the pressure on Mr Cameron, she told him “the ball is in your court” over delivering more powers than those agreed by the cross-party Smith Commission and warned the consequence of refusal would be another referendum within the next few years.

She insisted that a “material change in circumstances” would be required to justify another referendum, such as the UK voting to leave the EU against the wishes of a majority of Scots.

Mr Cameron has promised to make Holyrood one of the world’s most powerful devolved parliaments by including a Scotland Bill in his new Government’s first Queen’s Speech. This would see Holyrood get control over income tax, a share of VAT, air passenger duty and a swathe of benefits.

However, Ms Sturgeon also wants power over business taxes, employment and equality law, the minimum wage, national insurance and a greater proportion of welfare. Business leaders have warned devolving corporation tax could damage the economy by breaking up the UK single market. Watch this space for further developments.

Ed Miliband, the previous leader of the Labour Party, born on 24 December 1969, 2 pm London, UK, has transiting Saturn conjunct Neptune which would have put a dampener on his ambitions. He also had volatile Pluto moving across his Midheaven, indicating a huge transformation in his career – in this case it has been devastating for Ed Milliband with the worst results  for the Labour Party in 30 years and his subsequent resignation as leader of the Labour party.

Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg born 7 January 1967, 5.30 am Chantfort St Gile fared no better. He had heavy Saturn on his natal Moon, with volatile Pluto and Uranus activating his natal Sun.

The third contender, Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP was another big loser He was born 3 April 1964 in Downe Kent, UK (time unknown). He had the volatile Pluto Uranus square activating his Aries Sun.

Post election riots in UK

Post election riots in UK

UK Anti-Austerity Riots

What has been the reaction to the Tory’s holding so much power? Within days of the resounding victory of the Conservative government there were demonstrations when the anti-austerity protestors confronted lines of police outside the gate leading to the prime minister’s Downing Street residence.

Greens party activist Elliot Corner said the UK needed a proportional representational system.

“We are here because we’ve seen bankers get off scot-free while the working people are the only people who’ve been punished under the rabid schemes of prosperity,” he said.

Mr Cameron, whose government has enacted tough spending cuts to bring down the budget deficit and promised more to come. However, the Scottish Nationalist Party SNP promised to end austerity after winning a resounding victory in the elections.

“The people of Scotland on Thursday voted for an SNP manifesto, which had ending austerity as its number one priority,” SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said. “That is the priority that these men and women will now take to the very heart of the Westminster agenda.”

Mr Cameron’s Conservative Party can rule in its own right with a majority of 12 in a 650-seat parliament.

Trickle down economic myth

The Super Rich and Us – the Myth of Trickle Down Economics

Rising Inequality – The Super Rich and Us

I have written in previous blogs about the austerity measures in Spain and Greece and the rising grassroots protest movements against this increasing inequality with Podemos in Spain and Syriza in Greece and Occupy movements. It is timely that the ABC recently showed the BBC documentary The Super Rich And Us by Jacques Peretti. In this two-part documentary he challenges the theory of “trickle-down economics” (that is the theory that tax breaks for the rich benefit society as a whole).

Jacques peretti with jet of super-rich 2

Jacques Peretti

Britain has more billionaires per head than any other country on earth, yet Peretti claims it also the most unequal nation in Europe.  Peretti claims that they were told the super-rich would make us richer too, so he explores the reasons why this hasn’t that happened, and what the arrival of their astronomical wealth really means for the rest of  Britain.

Jacques Peretti examines how the super-rich first exploited an obscure legal loophole to make Britain one of the most attractive tax havens on earth surpassing Switzerland or the Cayman Islands. He argues this was no accident. Wooing the super-rich was a deliberate strategy by government to reconfigure the British economy, under the belief their wealth would trickle down to the rest of us. But it didn’t. The OECD now say the British economy would have been 20 per cent bigger had we not pursued the super-rich. So he asks who sold us the fallacy and why?

Jacques challenges the architects of these policies, as well as tracking down the foreign multimillionaires who are buying up Britain and turning Britain from a nation of property owners to a nation of renters.

Thomas Piketty

Thomas Piketty

He uncovers new research that shows growing inequality has been driven by this key factor of unaffordable property, and the far-reaching effect this will have on every aspect of our lives. Inequality is reshaping Britain into two simple classes: the 99 per cent and the one per cent. He interviewed amongst others Thomas Piketty the French economics professor  whose seminal book ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century’ has taken the world by storm. Piketty claims that the increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of a wealthy few is a major threat to our democracies. It is leading to a shrinking middle class. One of the main means of the rich becoming richer is through property. ownership. The crisis is so evident in London with foreign speculation driving prices beyond the reach of the average person.

In Episode Two of the documentary, The Super Rich and Us, Peretti investigates how inequality was pinpointed as a business opportunity before the crash by the biggest bank in America, as a way of making money from a more divided society. Jacques also looks at how our work life was made deliberately more unstable in the 70s to drive a new 80s profit culture, and how an acceptance of huge executive bonuses was manufactured. He interviews the billionaires who have profited from this social engineering, including some who are fearful for the society being created, and the people whose decisions are changing the very way we live.

Silly poor peoplePeretti exposes the deliberate policies that were introduced to cause people to fail such as in the case of the US Citigroup Bank who exploited the poor by making billions in profits from their misfortune, thus squeezing the middle class and creating the hour-glass society with the very wealthy one percent at the top and the very poor at the bottom. He explores the new ideology of risk introduced into capitalism, the huge salaries of CEOs and the increasing credit card debt. He exposes how these people created the illusion of prosperity of the consumer society which led to increasing household debt.

Peretti shows how by 2000s society was unrecognisable from the one in the 70s when securities were sold on solid foundations. By the 2000s securities were sold on risky foundations leading to the sub prime mortgages and the subsequent GFC which benefitted the super rich. Peretti paints a bleak picture of the future prospects for work where UK is becoming a nation of freelancers microjobbing with no guarantee of security. He reveals the increasing trend where people seeking employment by posting their credentials on People per Hour website and wait to see if there is some work for them.

Rich-vs-Poor cartoonThomas Piketty warns that the inequality with extreme wealth on one hand and extreme poverty on the other is profoundly altering our future and in the long run looks frightening. Peretti says we are seeing the polarisation of wealth as it has never been seen before.

In conclusion, David Cameron, leader of the Conservatives, may have been re-elected in a landslide victory but the pressing socio-economic issues that face the UK and all of us collectively will not go away and the increasing inequality needs to be addressed for the sake of us all whether in the 99% or the super rich one percent. Governments and economists ignore the warnings at their own peril.

 

 

April Astromusings – New Moon in Aries, Pluto stations, Rising tide of protest against EU Austerity Measures

Hi dear friends,

2 TaurusHappy Birthday to all the Taureans who celebrate their birthdays from 20 April to 21 May.

New Moon In Aries, Mars square Jupiter and the station of Pluto

This is the second post for the month of April as there is quite a lot of cosmic activity occurring. We have a New Moon in Aries on Sunday 19 April 4.56.48 am AEST Sydney time. Aries, being a cardinal fire sign promises enormous action and energy. The New Moon is the time to sow new seeds, initiate new projects which will come to fruition at the Full Moon. Being in the cardinal fire sign of Aries you need to be proactive in keeping with the pioneering spirit of Aries. We also have Mars, the ruler of Aries, in the sign of Taurus squaring off with Jupiter in Leo. If you imagine a bull in a China shop confronting a leo lion leader of the pack you will be able to imagine the energy that it conjures up. Added to this Pluto, the god of the underworld, stations on 17 Apr in preparation for its  retrograde cycle turning direct on 25 September.  All this makes for volatile energy with the combination of the elements of action of cardinality and the stubbornness and fixity of purpose in fixed signs.

David versus Goliath – Grass roots protests against austerity measures of EU and IMF

As I mentioned in my previous post we are still under the influence of the powerful Pluto Uranus square. We can see the effects of the change it is bringing collectively none more so than in the rising tide of dissent and protest of the southern European countries of Spain and Greece against the extreme austerity measures imposed on them by EU  and the IMF. There has been a grassroots uprising which has been occurring in these countries which is challenging the status quo of the major parties. It is a paradigm shift in how politics is being conducted borne out of a deep dissatisfaction of how the ruling parties have been handling the crippling economic conditions brought about in part by the corruption of the ruling classes and their sense of entitlement

Since the onset of the economic recession in Europe, the political establishment’s response has increasingly favoured  austerity measures in attempts to bring down budget deficits and control the rise of debt. The anti-austerity movement has responded by giving rise to a wave of anti-establishment political parties. Opposition to austerity is seen as the force behind the rise of Podemos in Spain led by academic and broadcaster Pablo Iglesias, Italy’s Five Star Movement led by Beppo Grillo and the Syriza party in Greece led by Alexis Tsipras who swept to power in the recent general elections in Greece.

Thomas Piketty

Thomas Piketty

Thomas Piketty, French economist and academic and author of the seminal best-selling book Capital in the Twenty First Century, welcomed the political reaction to austerity, saying the rise of anti-austerity parties is “good news for Europe”. According to Piketty, European countries tried to get rid of their deficits too quickly, resulting in a situation where “their citizens have suffered the consequences in the shape of austerity policies. It’s good to reduce deficits, but at a rate that’s commensurate with growth and economic recovery, but here growth has been killed off.”

In the hour-long TV interview, Piketty described austerity policies as “a failure” and supported the Podemos agenda of a basic income for those most affected by the crisis as well as restructuring debt, a policy that has been heavily criticised by Spain’s hitherto dominant parties, the Socialists and the Partido Popular.

He pointed out that at the end of the second world war France and Germany’s debt was 200% of GDP, “when there was no such thing as public debt”. “It’s incredible,” Piketty said. “It’s an act of historical amnesia to tell southern European countries that they have to pay all their debt, down to the last cent, with zero inflation.”

Pablo Iglesias - Podemos

Pablo Iglesias Turrión

Pablo Iglesias, the charismatic leader of Podemos (Spanish for “we can”), is a force to be reckoned with. He is not the first Pablo Iglesias to shake Spain’s political order. He is named after the man who founded the Socialist party PSOE in 1879. (His parents first met at a remembrance ceremony in front of Iglesias’s tomb.) As a teenager, Iglesias was a member of the Communist Youth in Vallecas, one of Madrid’s poorest and proudest barrios. Even as a teenager, he was “a leader and great seducer”, recalled a senior Podemos member who had attended the same youth group. Iglesias studied law at the Complutense University before taking a second undergraduate degree in political science. He went on to write a PhD thesis on disobedience and anti-globalisation protests that was awarded a prestigious cum laude grade.

In the 2014 elections of the European Parliament the newly formed Podemos won 5 seats wresting away seats from the two mainstream Parties, PSOE and Partido Popular.

Two weeks after the Madrid assembly of October 18 2014 Podemos was polling ahead of both the PP and PSOE and first in direct intention to vote. After only eight months of existence Podemos already had 27.7% support versus 26.2% for PSOE, 20.7% for the ruling PP and 3.8% for IU. Support for Podemos comes from all major political parties, most of all from PSOE and IU, but also from a change in the composition of those who intend to abstain.

The economic and political crisis in Spain has produced a new way to fight backa form of resistance with deep roots across the country and a real chance of winning power. And just as with the birth of other forms of resistance, whether they be trade unions, rallies, boycotts, strikes, sit-ins or forms of democratic political organising, it is not something applicable only to Spain. Podemos has established a new paradigm for politics in Spain: la casta versus the people, old politics versus new. Podemos represents a new tool, a new experience, another way for a new century to carry on with a struggle that is centuries old.

It is interesting to look at Iglesias’s natal chart (17 Oct, 1978, 7.10 am Madrid Spain) to see what drives this leader of Podemos. He has the Sun in Libra which is conjunct Pluto, the ruling planet of his stellium of planets in intense and passionate Scorpio. With Uranus and Mars conjunct Venus in Scorpio, and Pluto conjunct his ascendant he would come across as a very passionate individual. Added to this he has Mercury, the planet of communication, in Scorpio. The Sun, Mercury and Uranus prominent in the first house confer on him qualities of leadership and that of a gifted communicator and networker. Uranus there would give him that revolutionary zeal and strong individualism. Jupiter, the planet of philosophy, law and publishing, is prominent in the 10th house of career and is in the sign of Leo squaring his Mercury in Scorpio. He has the Moon in Taurus another fixed sign which would all add to his determination.

Pablo Iglesias's natal chart SF

Alexis Tsipras & Pablo Iglesias

Alexis Tsipras & Pablo Iglesias celebrating Syriza’s rise to power in Greece

.Turning to the recently elected Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras, a friend of Iglesias who was present to congratulate Tsipras on his win in the elections (see pic). Tsipras (28 Jul, 1974, 1.30 am, Athens Greece) has the Sun In Leo in the third house of communication with a Gemini ascendant which would make him a gifted communicator. He also has 3 planets in sensitive Cancer and Jupiter in compassionate Pisces as well as the Moon in intense Scorpio. Like his Spanish comrade Iglesias, Tsipras also has Jupiter prominent in his 10th house of career. This position of Jupiter would enable them both to see the bigger picture. It will be interesting to see what transpires with the challenges that Greece faces to pay back its crippling debt and to watch the trajectory of Podemos in the upcoming municipal elections in May and more tellingly in the general elections in Spain in November later this year.

Alexis Tsipras's natal chart

 

September Astromusings – The French Connection

Daniel Cohn-Bendit_

Daniel Cohn-Bendit

Daniel Cohn-Bendit's natal chart

The May June Events  of 1968 in France
I have always been fascinated with French politics. Having trained as a French teacher I have always been a Francophile. I remember as a uni student being swept up with excitement of the May June Events of 1968 France when the French students took to the streets to protest against the authoritarian system in both the tertiary and secondary education sector, led by the student leader Daniel-Cohn Bendit or Dany Le Rouge as he was affectionately known both for his politics and his shock of red hair. Not surprisingly he is an Aries with his ruling planet Mars squaring rebellious Uranus in the 9th house of higher education. He was born in France of German Jewish parents. The student riots acted as a catalyst for the powerful trade unions to join forces with the students, culminating in wild cat and major general strikes, almost bringing the Gaullist government to its knees. They were heady times as I studied this phenomenon with Vera Sauran our lecturer of French sociology.

Simone de Beauvoir – The Second Sex
It was also around this time that I was inspired by Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex and studied Jean Paul Sartre’s literature on existential philosophy

Simone de Beauvoir receives the Prix Goncourt

Simone de Beauvoir receives the Prix Goncourt

Simone de Beauvoir's natal chart

I recently had occasion to revisit the life and work of Simone de Beauvoir when I saw the French movie, ‘Violette’ about the life of the French author Violette Leduc who met Simone de Beauvoir in 1942. Simone de Beauvoir encouraged Violette Leduc’s writing including her outspoken sexual autobiography and other books which caused a stir in France at that time. I recently gave a powerpoint presentation on Malala Yousafzai who among many other awards was awarded the Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women’s Freedom. Simone de Beauvoir herself was awarded the coveted Prix Goncourt prize in 1954 for her novel The Mandarins, one of my treasured books.
Simone de Beauvoir has a Scorpio ascendant, Jupiter in Leo in the 9th house of philosophy and publishing, Neptune in Cancer conjunct North Node in 8th opp Uranus, Mercury, Sun, Moon conjunct Mars in Pisces conjunct Saturn in 4th, Hygeiea trine Juno, Pallas Athena is in Virgo in 10th opposite Moon Mars. She was a brilliant philosopher of existentialism. Along with Jean Paul Sartre she presided over avant-garde Parisian intelligentsia. She also has Vesta in Cancer in 8th opposite Uranus and Mercury in Capricorn,  and Pluto is in 7th . She was an advocate of sexual liberation, had an open relationship with Sartre, and encouraged Violette Leduc to publish her outspoken autobiography on female sexuality.

Contemporary French Politics – Dangerous Liaisons – The President, the Journalist and the Actress!
French politics is again in the news with the latest scandal that has erupted with the publication 2 weeks ago of a kiss and tell book Merci Pour Ce Moment by Valérie Trierweiler the former partner of the French president François Hollande. Francois HollandeNormally the French don’t care about the private lives of their political leaders. It is a well known fact that president the late François Mitterand not only had a mistress but also a daughter from that liaison. Mr Mitterrand, who was known as the Sphinx, began his double life long before he was elected president, but the existence of his second family was revealed only near the end of his political career. Less than a year after leaving office in 1995, he died of cancer, an illness he also tried to keep secret. His mistress Anne and their daughter Mazarine Pingeot attended the state funeral along with Mr. Mitterrand’s wife, Danielle, and the Mitterrands’ two sons.

François Hollande's natal chartIn January this year 2014 the magazine Closer revealed that continuing in the age-old tradition of  French presidents, François Hollande had been enjoying a secret affair with the beautiful French actress Julie Gayet 18 years his junior, who has not shied away from full-frontal nudity in her films. Hollande’s natal chart indicates his sense of adventure in his love life with headstrong Mars in Sagittarius in the 7th house of relationships. He has never married any of his long-term partners preferring his freedom. He also has black moon Lilith in Scorpio which would attract dramas in his life. When the scandal of his affair with Julie Gayet erupted transiting Pluto was approaching his north node in his 8th house of sexuality.

On 10 January this year the magazine released photos it said are of Mr Hollande and Ms Gayet arriving separately at a Parisian pied-a-terre, a stone’s throw away from the Elysee Palace. The man pictured is in a Francois Holland cartoonhelmet, but the magazine claims that it is Hollande.

The photos came after months of media speculation that there has been an affair going on, while his relationship with ‘First Girlfriend’ Valérie Trierweiler had reportedly become strained.

Eternal Triangle

The Eternal Triangle

The alleged liaison dangereuse seemed to be very well organised. It has been claimed that Ms Gayet arrived there in her white Citroen, having come from the Paris apartment where she lives with her two children. Thirty minutes later, Mr Hollande’s bodyguard comes to inspect the entry hall of the building. Two or three minutes afterwards, Mr Hollande is allegedly dropped off by an Elysee Palace motorcyclist, and the president spends the night. The same motorcyclist apparently picks him up the next day, after a bodyguard drops off croissants to the happy couple. The ‘scandale’ provided a field day for cartoonists lampooning the president’s amorous antics!

Valerie Trierweiler

Valérie Trierweiler

The revelations came as a complete shock to his then partner Valerie Trierweiler who ended up being hospitalised suffering from  nervous shock. Fast forward 8 months from January to September and France has a best seller flying off the shelves in one day outselling the best seller of five years Fifty Shades of Grey!- Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! The president was completely taken by surprise by the publication of the book by his former partner of 7 years. In her book she tells how she tried to commit suicide on learning of her partner’s infidelity with the beautiful young actress Julie Gayet. It is not surprising to see quite strong connections in Hollande’s and Gayet’s synastry with her planets in Gemini conjuncting Hollande’s Gemini ascendant. It would fit the hallmarks of a passionate clandestine union with his Venus conjunct her Pluto and his Mars opposite her Venus and square her Pluto.

Trierweiler relates how Hollande visited her in hospital to inform her that he was ending their relationship. However, it is not his callous behaviour toward his former partner that has been so damning for Hollande but the slur on his socialist credentials where Trierweiler said he despises the poor to whom she claims her referred to as ‘sans dents’ meaning toothless!

In France, money and the desire to make it are perceived as dirtier than sex. That’s why no one reacted when Hollande said in 2006: “I don’t like the rich. I admit it.” Again, in a speech in 2012 that helped carry him into power: “I like people while others are fascinated by money.”

While in public Hollande has admitted disliking the rich in private, according to his ex, the president mocks the poor and, echoing a 16th-century French proverb, a man without money is like a wolf without teeth, calls them “les sans dents“, the toothless.’Julie Gayet's natal chart

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Julie Gayet

No one in France cared much about his trysts with Gayet or his bad behaviour towards Trierweiller but people do care about this. Within minutes of the revelation about his “toothless” remark, social networks were ablaze. Two new Facebook groups emerged, the leftwing Nous les Sans Dents and the right-wing La Revolution des Sans Dents, the tagline of which is: “Better no teeth than no balls.” Nevertheless the ‘sans dents’ have rushed out to buy Trierweiler’s memoir pushing it to the top of Amazon France. Bruno Roger-Petit, political columnist for the left-leaning Le Nouvel Observateur, pointed out last week, with Trierweiler’s book: “The president has been stripped naked. Naked as no president has been before him. The king’s body has been profaned.”Julie Gayet's natal chart

Hollande is France’s most unpopular leader since the Second World War, with a poll taken last Thursday by IFOP for Le Figaro showing that nearly two-thirds of French voters want to see him resign before his term ends in 2017. A quarter of socialist voters said that they want to see the left-wing leader go.

His credibility has been dealt a serious blow by Trierweiler’s book as she paints him as an uncaring leader and a member of the ‘caviar left’, France’s term for ‘champagne socialists’.

Valérie Trierweiler's natal chartWhile Hollande has plummeted in the polls since the publication of Trierweiler’s memoir besmirching his hitherto impeccable socialist credentials but there has also been condemnation of her memoir on all sides of the gender and political divide – men and women, socialist and conservative alike have strongly criticised it. Even Front National leader, Marine Le Pen joined the chorus of condemnation, calling her book “indecent” and “a dishonour to France” Trierweiler’s chart reveals potential challenges in love and relationships with a fixed T square from Venus in Aquarius in the 7th house squaring Neptune in Scorpio in the 4th opposite Jupiter in Taurus in the 10th house. It is interesting to note that transiting Jupiter, the planet of publishing, was exactly conjunct her ascendant when her book was published.

Segolene Royal 1st woman nominated for presidentPrime Minster Manuel Valls as well as Ségolène Royal, Hollande’s partner for 30 years and mother of his four children before he left her for Trierweiler, hit the airwaves in defence of her former partner.

“What nonsense”, protested Ségolène Royal, declaring that Hollande’s record in regional politics demonstrated his concern for the most vulnerable in society. It was Ségolène Royal, the president’s long-term partner who threw her hat into the ring and ran for the presidency in 2007 only to be beaten by Nicolas Sarkozy. However, she did gain kudos for being the first French woman nominated for the Presidency. One of her economic advisors during her presidential campaign was none other than the French economist, Thomas Piketty whose recently published tome entitled Capital in the Twenty-First Century has taken the world by storm being so in tune with the zeitgeist. Piketty was born on May 7, 1971, in the Parisian suburb of Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine. It is interesting to note that was another Taurean born on May 5 1818 and that was Karl Marx, the German philosopher, who wrote the seminal book Das Capital. Piketty addresses some of Marx’s main theories in his book whose title Capital defers to his predecessor. At the age of 22, Piketty was awarded his Ph.D. for a thesis on wealth redistribution, which he wrote at the EHESS and the London School of Economics.

Karl Marx &  Thomas Piketty

Karl Marx & Thomas Piketty

After earning his PhD, Piketty taught from 1993 to 1995 as an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1995, he joined the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) as a researcher, and in 2000 he became professor (directeur d’études) at EHESS. Piketty won the 2002 prize for best young economist in France and is currently Professor at the Paris School of Economics. He is in his midlife transition having his Uranus opposition Uranus this year.

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Thomas Piketty

I bought Thomas Piketty’s book last week which I am in the process of reading. I have not yet finished reading it but I have been able to understand the thrust of his argument. His books marks a paradigm shift through which we will view economics and the capitalist society in the 21st century. With an astronomical amount of data including references to literature and sociology he presents a wholistic view of society. He puts paid to the concept of ‘trickle down economics’ and while he wrestles with the same issues that preoccupied his predecessor Karl Marx he draws different conclusions not envisaging an apocalyptic outcome. He equally dismisses the Kuznets thesis as a fairytale. He pleads for the need to address the increasing inequality where the rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer. While he is still in favour of capitalism he does suggest measures such as global taxes on the wealthy to curb the increasing trend toward inequality and patrimonial capitalism where the concentration of wealth will be increasingly in the hands of wealthy dynasties. His book is a timely warning if we wish to prevent serious social disruption with an increasing under class such as has occurred in USA. This is a major preoccupation with which developed countries have been concerned. We have witnessed the phenomena of Occupy Wall St movement. Our recent ideologically driven federal budget measures, is a blatant attempt at social engineering here in Australia by putting more of the burden on the poor and vulnerable and ignoring the contribution that the corporate sector should make. It has been hotly contested and branded as being unfair and divisive with the simplistic slogans of ‘lifters’ and ‘leaners’ mouthed by the LNP. I would make Piketty’s book compulsory reading for our all our federal politicians who curry the favour of the wealthy at the expense of the poor.

Thomas Piketty's natal chartLooking at Piketty’s chart it is not surprising to see that he has the Sun in the sign of Taurus which rules wealth and possessions. He also has Venus, the ruler of his sun sign, conjunct his Midheaven. Having serious Saturn in Taurus trining Pluto in Virgo would give him the staying power to do the painstaking research compiling data of over two centuries for his book. With 4 planets in the 11th house and Mars conjunct Vesta in Aquarius in the 8th house and the North Node in Aquarius he would be visionary, having a unique approach to his research and a strong humanitarian urge to improve the lot of humanity. Marx also has a concentration of Taurus in his chart with the North Node, Sun, Moon and Venus all in Taurus.Karl Marx's natal chart