I don't know if you give a hoot about what's going on in the heavens. But you ought to, because the latest word from the stars is anything but heavenly for us. In brief, "the planets are getting very mean and political and economic chaos lie ahead."
That's the bleak astrological message I got the other day from Bob Marks, 68, a leading professional Big Apple astrologer who has been tracking planetary movements for more than 30 years.
Here's his story, which is peppered with a slew of disturbing astrological signs and conjures up memories of the late 1960s (such as student riots and demonstrations, unrest, the Watts riots and the escalation of the Vietnam War).
For starters, Pluto, a planet of extremes, death, rebirth, terrorism and mass death -- which produces change on a massive scale -- is now in the sign of Capricorn, one of the signs of the zodiac and a symbol of organization. When Pluto enters Capricorn, it changes the way everything is organized and it may take decades or centuries for this occurrence to be completed. The last time it happened was in the 1700s and we got the American revolution, which represented the start of a major shift from monarchy to democracy.
Prior to that, Pluto also entered Capricorn in the 1500s. That's when Martin Luther nailed his Luther's 95 thesis to the door of his church and started the reformation and led to 150 years of religious wars that left Europe totally reorganized.
In astrology, the four strongest degrees of the zodiac are the first degree of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. These degrees are called the world axis and any planet that's in them is greatly increased in strength.
Relating this to modern-day events, in January of 2008 Pluto went into the first degree of Capricorn and less than two months later, Bear Stearns went belly up. In June of 2008, when Pluto went back again into the first degree of Capricorn, Lehman Brothers went out of business and the economy went into a freefall. On November 26, 2008, Pluto once again went into the first degree of Capricorn and on that very day there was a major terrorist attack in Mumbai, India.
From August to October of this year, this duo will link up again, which means, Marks tells me, "look for more startling headlines."
Adding to our planetary woes, says Marks, who since 1979 has hosted and produced Astrology Now, a weekly show on a Manhattan cable TV station, is that on October 29, Pluto will have company as Saturn, the planet of difficulties and obstacles, or as he characterizes it, the "grim reaper," enters the first degree of Libra.
Further, in early November in a one-two punch, more astrological stress will be created as Saturn and Pluto form a 90-degree angle or a square. In astrology, this is an angle of stress, notes Marks, who recalls that the last times this angle was formed occurred in 1914 (shortly after the start of World War 1) and in 1949 (at the start of World War 2).
"I'm suggesting the formation of this angle increases the chance of a major conflict around the world," Marks says. And since Saturn is the planet of contraction, he warns, there is also the inference of an extension of the economic downturn, and certainly not as everyone says, the impending end of it. The message from above, as he sees it, is that we won't see an end to last year's economic crash and a recovery until 2011, which is extremely negative for the stock market.
Intensifying the risks of serious problems, Saturn and Uranus, the planet of sudden, unexpected change and chaos, are now opposite each other, which, Marks notes, can polarize a society and lead to social upheaval. He notes, in fact, we're already seeing new signs of upheaval with the demonstrations in Iran. The last time Saturn and Uranus were in opposition was in 1965 and 1966, the start of the all the upheavals of the sixties. Such a formation is slated to occur five times in the current cycle, two of which have already taken place. The last time was November 4 on Election Day, which means, Marks says, the U.S. will lack stability for the ensuing four years.
He also raises what he says is "the distinct possibility that President Obama will not complete his term in office." His personal horoscope and his second inaugural horoscope show great instability, Marks says.
Marks notes that Mars, the planet of energy, war and violence, will join Saturn and Uranus next July 10, while Jupiter, which enlarges things, and Saturn, the planet of extremes, will both be close by. In layman's terms, explains Marks, "you're looking at a meeting of King Kong and Godzilla with a whole bunch of other monsters thrown in." To our astrological worrier, it suggests "something will start next summer that will turn the world upside down."
Conspicuously ominous for the U.S., Marks tells me, is that Pluto is opposite this country's sun sign (the 4th of July sign of Cancer). The last time Pluto afflicted with the U.S. the sun sign was in 1972 though 1984. During that period, we experienced the first oil crisis (1973), Watergate (1972-1974), stagflation for the entire 1970s, the Iran hostage crisis (1979), the second oil crisis (1979), and during the eighties a major recession with unemployment over 10%.
Marks' astrological conclusion: "The crisis of the 1970s is coming back."
Some readers may view all of this as a lot of gobbledygook, but it's worth noting that people have been making decisions based on the position of the stars for thousands of years. Interestingly, too, while the current recession is clobbering lots of businesses, Marks, who charges $225 for an astrological reading, is not among them, he tells me. "When the economy turns sour, like it is now, people get worried and I end with more clients."
E-mail me at Dandordan@aol.com