No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions, he had money as well-Margaret Thatcher.
Money, digital currencies, bright shiny skyscrapers, land- wild, or tamed by industrial farming-are yoked to neck of The Bull.
As the Sun enters Taurus this month, this thing we call “money” calls our attention to what we value, to the money we have, or the money we long for. For most of us, our relationship with money is an emotional one, marked by tawdry secrets, cautionary tales, sleepless nights, and magical thinking.
As the Sun moves into earthy Taurus, joined by Mercury and Venus, we’re reminded of the power of practical magic to alter the state of the material world. Magical thinking has been demoted to a response to acute stress and uncertainty: the lucky charms carried in the pockets of young men going off to war, the tiny talismans, rituals that come with the unshakeable belief that we can win the match, or the lottery. Author, Julia Cameron suggests in Faith and Will: Weathering the Storms in our Spiritual Lives, that we ask Higher Power to help us with our finances. This month, we pray, perform a ritual, light a candle, use our will to add a dollop of magical thinking to the mundane, as the winds of change scrape against all we thought was safe and sure.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe... money makes the world go around and silver sixpences have morphed into cryptocurrency, symbolised by the seven-year transit of Uranus through Taurus, (2018-2026.) Uranus in Taurus has highlighted the climate crisis and accelerated the power-hungry cryptocurrency bull run which leaves such a heavy carbon footprint. China is now minting its own digital cash, “in a re-imagination of money that could shake a pillar of American power,” writes James T. Areddy in the Wall Street Journal.
As Uranus shakes and shatters Taurean ground, this archetypal force of chaos and disruption reminds us that we are standing on the rim of the widening gyre between rich and poor. That even wealthy Samaritans with the best intentions can lose it all in what Joan Didion calls this “ordinary instant”. That for most of us there is no settling feeling of security when work is patchy; that money and a gig economy are incompatible bedfellows.
All through 2021, the Saturn/Uranus square will stir up the sediment of social inequality as the rich practice the art of elegant economics and swathes of homeless continue to forage on scraps and shelter beneath flimsy roofs of plastic. The Pluto/Saturn conjunction square Eris of 2020 continues to affect the lives of millions of people who don’t have the luxury of resting in bed as they recover from Covid. US President Joe Biden, who has a pragmatic earthy Taurus Moon, says, “don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” For those who live on the verges of society, there are no budgets. Just a continued search for a warm place to spread a strip of cardboard; perhaps a few silver coins to buy something to eat.
Money has no power of its own according to “Money Lady”, financial advisor and millionaire Suze Orman who says, “Self-worth equals net worth.” She links money with internal power. “You alone are the power source. You are the one who makes the choices to spend money, to save money, to borrow money… money is an amazing teacher; what you choose to do with money shows whether you are truly powerful or powerless.” Her words carry a potency that has brought her riches and fame. Yet for most of us, it’s the personal powerlessness that chafes and scrapes.
Emma Mitchell writes in A Spell in the Wild, “late capitalism is not a meritocracy. We do not do well in life simply because we show up or try hard to be clever or well-behaved or good. Most often, people succeed because of the financial and institutional networks that sit behind them. From private education to parents who know important people in an industry to being able to afford property, to living in affluent areas with better health outcomes.”
The Age of Taurus (4,000-2,000 BCE) coincided with the prosperous river civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia; and for eons, the Bull and the Cow have been associated with wealth, with the flooding of the great rivers, the rich black sediments of the earth. Taurus, despite its association with the muscular bull, is associated with “the feminine”, which has been denigrated, distorted, disowned for thousands of years. Yet she is still there in the sharp green scent of green growing things, in the soft contours of the land, the artists brush that sweeps turquoise and violet across the tangerine skies at sunset. We know her indomitable presence that emerges in the daisies that turn their faces to the sun from cracks in the pavements, in sluggish city rivers filled with plastic, in filthy alleyways strewn with syringes and layered with human detritus where bright yellow dandelions grow.
Accompanying our global rite of passage, Pluto moves through Capricorn, (2008-2023) intensifying and complicating matters of the physical world, highlighting the “masculine” qualities that we glorify in our culture. Pluto turns Retrograde on April 27th, and this retrograde journey lasts five months until Pluto stations direct on October 6th . Retrogrades can feel disruptive especially if Pluto moves over planets and angles in our own birth chart. The intense energy of Pluto may compress and pulverise our tenuous relationship with what we grasp too tightly. Pluto destroys those things that have outlived their purpose; those things than no longer serve the evolution of the whole. As Pluto’s raw power activates our own birth chart, we finalise unfinished business, eliminate and end those things that must be ended, and we contain our own resilience, draw deep on our own rescources.
Expansive Jupiter dips into the dazzling and confusing waters of Pisces on May 13th-July 28th, and will return there for most of 2022, amplifying Piscean themes of compassion and suffering, illusion, and delusion. This is the realm of long-distance travel, higher learning, pharmaceuticals, High Hopes, and Grand Designs. Jupiter turns Retrograde on June 20th, moving “backwards” through the cosmos till October 17th (22° Aquarius) and will eventually join Neptune in Pisces in May 2022. Expect a sharp undertow that draws us back to those things that matter most in our lives right now as we continue to live amidst a global pandemic, economic recession, and the harsh reality of the climate crisis. Naturalist, John Muir wrote “everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”
As we are propelled from the comfort of the old, we may need to borrow the wisdom of the indigenous Americans—only when the last tree has died, and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.
As we face into the reality of many more years of mask-wearing, curtailed freedom, and economic thrift, may we discover that our health is our wealth, that there are diamonds in the dust of loss, and that good intentions are magical resources.
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