Published by WallStreetWeather.net
As the two largest planets in our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn are opposing each other now through the spring of 2011, bringing large scale global events that alter the balance of power in economic, political, and societal structures.
Jupiter represents growth and expansion which can lead to excess. Saturn represents contraction and limitation. Like its famous rings, Saturn likes to work within the boundaries of existing structures. Jupiter’s optimism and desire for short term gain sharply contrasts with Saturn’s cautious and disciplined approach that desires long term stability. Oppositions make us fully aware of the differences that exist between these two divergent energies. The expression “opposites attract” could have originally been used to describe when two planets are in opposite zodiacal signs as the energies share enough similar qualities to cooperate and bridge the gap that exists between them.
The influence of bullish Jupiter and bearish Saturn in opposition to one another is most powerful from May through August 2010 and during late winter/early spring 2011. In financial markets, long term planetary oppositions operate like a seesaw. One minute Jupiter will exaggerate Saturn’s fears and the next minute Jupiter will stage a rally by overestimating Saturn’s fundamentals. Overall, Saturn is likely to contract Jupiter’s excesses and keep the markets trading within a range.
The opposition marks the midpoint or “full Moon” of the Jupiter/Saturn cycle. Saturn will be the dominant energy during the waning phase of this cycle (2010-2020), as Pluto the planetary energy ruling debt is in Saturn-ruled Capricorn (2008-2024). Adding to the pressure is Saturn squaring Pluto (2009-2010) in the waning phase of its cycle (2001-2020) at the same time Jupiter opposes Saturn in August 2010. Both of these planets are putting pressure on Jupiter to stop attempting to overstimulate the economy.
Saturn rules time. Jupiter and Saturn represent a 20 year cycle that began on May 28, 2000 when Jupiter and Saturn conjoined in Venus-ruled Taurus (money, banks). Jupiter and Saturn squared Uranus in Aquarius (extreme price movements), reflecting the stock market’s peak just prior to the conjunction before the markets headed in the other extreme. Since Uranus rules tech, the Nasdaq experienced the sharpest decline due to the collapse of the dotcom bubble.
When Jupiter conjoins Saturn the pro growth interests of big business and governments are in sync. Venus in Gemini conjoined the Sun (speculation); both opposed Pluto in Sagittarius. Multiple market booms and busts are fueled by the central banks (Sun conjunct Venus) overly accommodative monetary policy. Pluto in Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius (1995-2008) created cheap debt that inflated the price of various asset classes worldwide.
The prior conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 1981 occurred in Venus-ruled Libra which led to the Savings & Loan crisis the last time Jupiter and Saturn opposed each other during 1989-1991. Scandinavian banks faced their own credit crisis then. The Nikkei peaked and subsequently crashed.
Jupiter opposite Saturn brings major changes in government and government policy towards other countries which can lead to a shift in borders and boundaries. The Berlin Wall fell* which led to the reunification of Germany, the Soviet empire collapsed, and the U.S. invaded Iraq for the first time. (One Jupiter/Saturn opposition cycle later, the U.S. is engaged in Iraq War No. 2.)
During the first opposition on May 23, 2010 Jupiter in Pisces will oppose Saturn in Virgo, while the oppositions on August 16 and March 28 will occur with Jupiter in Aries and Saturn in Libra. The last time Jupiter opposed Saturn in the same signs was during 1951-1952.
Once again, Jupiter conjoined Saturn in the banking sign Taurus during 1940-1941 which saw the creation of the IMF and World Bank. A couple of key events that occurred during the Jupiter/Saturn oppositions of 1951-1952 are being played out during the current cycle.
The Federal Reserve has aggressively lobbied Congress, threatening its “independence” would be jeopardized if financial regulatory reform subjected the central bank to periodic audits and removed its supervision of banks.
In early 1951, the Fed fought to restore its “independence” from government control in an opposite yet somewhat similar dynamic. During the current financial crisis, the Fed engaged in quantitative easing (printing money) by purchasing Treasury debt in order to spur growth (Jupiter). Monetizing the debt and maintaining nearly zero interest rates have the additional benefit of helping the government (Saturn) lower its borrowing costs.
Back then, the Fed agreed to the government’s request to monetize the debt by maintaining very low fixed Treasury yields to reduce the cost of financing WWII. Inflation soared when price controls were lifted after the war, but the government wanted the Fed to maintain the fixed Treasury yields to support the cost of the new war in Korea. At the time Jupiter in Pisces opposed Saturn in Virgo in 1951, the Fed and the Treasury reached an Accord that restored the Fed’s independence by allowing the central bank to drop the pegged interest rate on government bonds.
Unlike the Fed Accord, sometimes the differences highlighted by the Jupiter/Saturn opposition are unable to be resolved and the opposing forces agree to disagree. The Armistice agreement between North and South Korea following the Jupiter/Saturn oppositions has left a conflict unresolved with the tensions reaching a heightened level as Jupiter and Saturn repeat their cycle in the same signs of the zodiac, and Saturn conjoins the progressed** Sun in Virgo of the chart for the Armistice agreement.
After an investigation into the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel that killed 46 sailors on March 26, South Korea has now accused North Korea of violating the Armistice by firing a torpedo from a North Korean submarine into the South Korean warship. In addition to what I previously outlined concerning the situation, tensions between the North and South could reach a boiling point around June 4 when Mars in Leo opposes Neptune in Aquarius. This could see further aggression by the North as this alignment stresses the charts of North Korea and its “dear leader” Kim Jong Il.
With the Last Quarter Moon in Neptune-ruled Pisces, this could once again manifest as another surprise attack by sea. Any diplomatic agreements to punish the North’s behavior are likely to only have a temporary effect as the July 11 Solar Eclipse exactly conjoins the Armistice agreement’s natal Uranus in Cancer. This is likely to create more surprises and rebellious acts by the North that violate the agreement as the North could embark on another incursion over the border.
With all the endless comparisons between the current financial crisis and the Great Depression, it should not be surprising that Jupiter opposed Saturn between1930-1931. The planetary similarities do not end there as during the Depression Jupiter and Pluto in Cancer opposed Saturn in Capricorn and squared Uranus in Aries. Uranus will enter Aries on May 27 for the first time since the Depression. Once again these planets will form challenging alignments in cardinal (initiating) signs, only this time around Jupiter and Uranus in Aries will oppose Saturn in Libra and square Pluto in Capricorn.
Even more potent this time is that these alignments will converge this summer in the beginning degrees of cardinal signs. What took years to unfold in the past can happen in the course of a few months, days or even seconds in our interconnected global world.
Saturn rules government and its first square to Pluto in Saturn-ruled Capricorn in November 2009 brought the world’s attention to the potential that a sovereign debt default could be the next phase of the financial crisis after government-owned Dubai World announced it would delay making payments on its debt.
Jupiter in Pisces opposite Saturn in Virgo May 23 describes the contrasting actions by global leaders to keep the sovereign debt crisis contained within the borders of the Eurozone. Virgo and Pisces represent the end of a cycle. The Moon in Venus-ruled Libra and Venus in Cancer opposing Pluto in Capricorn highlight concerns about the loans and sovereign debt held by banks. Regardless of what is emanating from Wall Street, the May 27 Full Moon in Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius on Jupiter-ruled Thursday is likely to keep the attention of U.S. markets focused abroad. Saturn’s energy is pronounced now as it turns direct May 30 after being retrograde since January 13.
Jupiter in Pisces opposite Saturn in Virgo is sending a message from across the Atlantic that it’s time to clean up the debris from the party and sober up.
At least conceptually, Europe and the new UK government understand that large scale sacrifices (Jupiter in Pisces) must be made and budgets severely cut and operated under tight controls (Saturn in Virgo) as pro austerity (Saturn/Pluto) measures are enacted. The EU plans to issue fines for governments within the Eurozone that fail to meet deficit reduction targets.
True to the energies of the opposition, this is 180 degrees away from the pro-growth, high deficit mantra of the US. With Jupiter the ruler of the USA chart and Venus conjoining Jupiter in Cancer, pro-growth policies to spur consumption are part of the nation’s planetary DNA.
What the market fails to grasp right now is that if pro austerity measures are enacted in Europe and the UK it would make their sovereign debt more secure! Despite the dollar being the world’s reserve currency, America’s lack of fiscal restraint makes the economy vulnerable to attacks on a comparative basis by the bond vigilantes this summer as Jupiter and Uranus in Mars-ruled Aries can bring a sharp and unexpected spike in Treasury yields as they oppose Saturn (government) and Pluto (bonds).
As I have previously described, all of these planetary alignments are impacting the Federal Reserve’s natal Sun in Capricorn opposite Pluto in Cancer, and the sector of the Fed’s chart (Midheaven) representing its reputation that is ruled by Aries. As the leader (Sun) of the Fed, Ben Bernanke has put the Fed under self-imposed pressure not to restart purchasing Treasuries and mortgage securities (Pluto).
This summer as Jupiter and Uranus conjoin the Fed’s Aries Midheaven and square the Fed’s natal Sun and Pluto which is also challenged by Saturn in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn, Bernanke and the Fed’s credibility would clearly be damaged if the Fed reversed course. Without the ability to lower rates, the Fed has used up all its ammo. While I will probably be wrong about the Fed dropping its “extended period” policy accommodation and actively raising rates this summer that does not mean the Fed will not allow intermediate and long term rates to rise.
Eclipses are harbingers of major change as their effects are felt before and after their occurrence. The June 26 Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn conjoins Pluto and opposes the USA’s natal Venus and Jupiter in Cancer. Congress will have probably passed financial regulatory reform before this time and the ramifications that the US financial system is being slowly steered back to more plain vanilla banking with dividend paying bank stocks being viewed like utilities, will just be beginning to sink in.
Between mid July and mid August all of the planets I’ve been describing will be forming challenging alignments in cardinal signs. Mars will move into Libra July 29 followed by Venus in Libra August 6, triggering the action between the other planets. Mars and Venus last traveled together during late August to October 2008 during the height of the financial panic.
These energies lead up to mid August when Jupiter in Aries will oppose Saturn in Libra at the First Quarter Moon in Pluto-ruled Scorpio on August 16. At options expiration, Venus will conjoin Mars, Mercury will turn retrograde in its home sign Virgo, and the Sun in Leo opposing Neptune in Aquarius will create confusion amongst leaders as to what to do. Venus will conjoin Mars and both will square the Moon (sentiment) in Saturn-ruled Capricorn August 20 and 21 as Saturn and Pluto square off for the final time.
It is at this second opposition of Jupiter and Saturn that our relationships will be put to the test. The financial crisis erupted due to a lack of trust regarding relationships with financial counterparties. Now it progresses into the financial relationships between banks and nations and nation to nation as Jupiter opposite Saturn brings out nationalistic tendencies. However, all types of relationships could be under strain now. Some will emerge stronger, and others will break apart. (On a lighter note, Since Libra rules romantic partnerships and Jupiter rules comedy, watching some I Love Lucy episodes*** would be an appropriate antidote at this time since the series made its debut the day Jupiter in Aries opposed Saturn in Libra on October 15, 1951.)
The USA will be undergoing its Saturn return**** during the final opposition of Jupiter and Saturn on March 28, 2011. The Sun is straddled between Jupiter and Uranus in Aries opposing Saturn in Libra. Jupiter’s ruler Mars is in Neptune-ruled Pisces conjoining Uranus while Libra’s ruler Venus is in Pisces conjoining Neptune, which will shift from Aquarius to its home sign Pisces April 4.
Jupiter rules the court system and Saturn is exalted in Libra the sign of balance represented by the scales of justice. Long established and entrenched legal structures that benefit corporate interests are beginning to dissolve as new laws born out of the necessity to restore fiscal discipline ultimately end up benefiting the good of the nation.
If Congress passes a law that is now in its early stages in the Senate that companies who do business with the government cannot lobby the government that would prevent the medical industrial complex from trying to influence regulations. If defense contractors can’t lobby, our bloated war budget would be sharply reduced. While this may seem very remote, I think the planetary energies reflect the public regardless of their personal political affiliation has finally become fed up with Washington’s too cozy relationship with big business and are prepared to do something about it if Congress won’t. Washington and their special interests will realize that “polarizing” (another word for opposition) the population into taking up extreme sides of the political spectrum for political and financial gain is waning.
Mars/Aries is war and Venus/Libra is diplomacy. With the Sun squaring Pluto (power and nuclear issues), the USA’s relations with China, North Korea, Iraq, and Iran will be undergoing transformation as the USA’s reputation in the world undergoes transformation at its Saturn return.
Jupiter opposite Saturn reflects that optimism and fear are both overblown. While the planetary alignments in cardinal signs are going to be quite challenging to say the least, living in the transition phase of the planets shifting from mutable (ending cycle) signs (Pluto in Sagittarius, Saturn in Virgo, Uranus in Pisces) to the beginning of cardinal signs (Pluto in Capricorn, Saturn in Libra, Jupiter and Uranus in Aries), is necessary to transform the outworn economic model known as our “free enterprise” (i.e. government subsidized) corporate system that depends on growth at all costs (Jupiter) back to one where individuals, corporations, and the government equally contribute to the betterment of society to foster long term economic stability (Saturn).
Slow, steady, and sustainable growth is the new mantra now.
*Saturn was conjoining Neptune then, symbolizing the dissolving (Neptune) of structures (Saturn).
** A mathematical calculation that moves the planets forward in time as a method of prediction.
***Speaking of long running (Saturn) TV shows, even the name Law & Order represents Jupiter and Saturn. The original series has run one full Jupiter/Saturn opposition cycle as the original series debuted in 1989 and the final episode will air on May 24.
****A Saturn return occurs about every 29.5 years when Saturn returns to its birth position. It marks a time of major upheaval and restructuring. Saturn will conjoin the USA’s natal Saturn in Libra during November/December 2010, March/April and July/August 2011.