NOTE: There will be no weekly column next week due to the annual forecast webinar taking place on Sunday, February 20.
Review and preview
Consumer prices in January rose more than expected over the past 12 months, indicating a deteriorating outlook for inflation and cementing the likelihood of substantial interest rate hikes this year. The consumer price index, which measures the costs of dozens of common consumer goods, rose 7.5% from a year ago, the Labor Department reported Thursday.– Jeff Cox, “Inflation Rises 7.5%, Even More Than Expected and Highest Since 1982,” www.cnbc.com, February 10, 2022.
So how is the US government’s grand experiment in modern monetary theory going? Not good… The pain (of inflation) could have been lessened if the Fed had started to withdraw its pandemic money rush over a year ago. But Washington had come to believe that a new era of free spending and low interest rates had dawned. The old fiscal and monetary truths no longer held, and those who warned against inflation were proclaimed dinosaurs of the Reagan era. – “Inflation haunts Biden’s economy”, Wall Street Journal “Review and Outlook”, February 11, 2022.
With Thursday’s ultra-hot inflation report during the mutable sign’s quarter moon in Gemini on the same day, it was just too much for the recent rally from the January 24 low (Mercury’s retrograde midpoint) continues. It didn’t help that tensions also escalated over the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine with the Big Dipper “war drills.” With all this mutable cosmic energy, plus Jupiter approaching its conjunction with Neptune in Pisces, the see-saw behavior between irrational exuberance and hysteria among investors caused a sudden jolt in global equity markets mid-week. First, stock indexes hit their highest level since the January 24 lows. Then they abruptly reversed and fell sharply on Thursday and Friday, not without some short-lived efforts to recover along the way.
Now the concern is that the FED will raise interest rates as early as next month, and not by a modest 1/4%, but most likely by 1/2%.
As difficult as it was for the stock markets to digest, it was not a problem for gold. The combination of rising inflation and war threats rocked the yellow metal through 1865 on Friday, its highest level since Nov. 19. Just two weeks ago it was trading at 1780.
It was also not a problem for crude oil, which is also thriving on this combination of investor concerns. Crude oil climbed to a high of 94.66 on Friday, its highest level since Aug. 22, 2014, and up nearly 50% from its Dec. 2 primary cycle low. This is further confirmation of Jupiter’s bullish effect in Pisces as it approaches Neptune. All of these are geocosmic factors related to the association with crude oil.
Bitcoin and Ethereum followed a similar course to stocks, with recovery highs reached on Thursday, February 10, after which they declined somewhat sharply through Friday. The question in both cryptos and stocks is whether the rally is over and the next leg to new multi-month lows is just beginning, or will this drop just be a correction? of the rally that has taken place over the past two weeks? And if it’s the former, what pain will the Federal Reserve Board be willing to let Americans go through before they change their minds and back out of their plans to hike rates multiple times over the next few months?
Short-term geocosmics and longer-term reflections
Americans took on more new debt in 2021 than any year since before the 2008-09 financial crisis. Total household debt rose by $1.02 trillion last year, boosted by higher balances on home and auto loans. – Orla McCaffrey, “Household Debt Rises by $1 Trillion in 2021,” Wall Street Journal, February 9, 2022.
“A nickel is no longer worth a penny.” – Yogi Berra
Pluto rules debt and pain, and the United States is now experiencing its first Pluto return. So let’s first clarify a statement made last week that February 22, 2022 was the Fourth passage of Pluto’s return of 248 years. It’s not technically correct. This was Pluto’s fourth passage over the natal United States Moon/Pluto conjunction based on the founding chart of July 2, 1776 that we use, which posits the United States Moon at 25°09′ Capricorn and Pluto at 27°36′ of Capricorn.
Pluto crossed the position of the natal Moon of the United States for the first time on January 30, 2021, shortly after President Biden took office. It will cross the natal position of Pluto for the first time on February 22, 2022. The series of six passes over these two planets (three times over each position of the Moon and Pluto) ends on December 29, 2022 Yet, as with all matters involving a transit of Pluto, events associated with decisions or choices made during a transit of Pluto often take 1-3 years to manifest, as the nature of Pluto has a “incubation-like” process. For an in-depth discussion of what this means, please refer to the Pluto return chapter contained in the Forecast 2022 Book. In fact, the opening pages of this book also discuss the importance of Pluto transiting through its natal Moon/Pluto position in the chart of July 2, 1776, which is based on the date the vote for the Declaration of Independence took place. was completed, not July 4, 1776, when it was delivered to General George Washington and the American Revolutionary War began.
We’ll have more to discuss about Pluto’s return to the United States during our annual webinar on February 20 at the world. For example, Pluto is in opposition to President Biden’s native Jupiter, which is his ruling planet. It is also in a T-square facing the Sun/Moon opposition of Vice President Kamala Harris. As we have said many times in this column, no one escapes a harsh transit of Pluto unscathed. President Trump was no exception, and Biden, Harris and the United States are not unscathed either. All will need a major adjustment – a drastic transformation from their current trajectory – to move through this transit stronger than before. Indeed, it requires a surrender of ego before healing can begin. Without a major change in behavior by choice, the choice will be made by others who can transform its path. With Pluto, we experience the deep humility that comes from encountering this important life lesson.
In the shorter term, we are about to enter a very interesting and potentially positive period over the next three weeks. It begins with the first of two conjunctions between Venus and Mars in Capricorn on the February 16 full moon, followed by the sextile of Jupiter and Uranus on February 17. Venus and Mars in Capricorn can relate to political efforts to broker a deal to de-escalate the threat of military action. Jupiter sextile Uranus indicates an inventive and original new proposition. It’s a very smart and clever combination, offering new and yet practical ideas that could result in a deal.
It may be necessary to wait for the second conjunction of Venus and Mars in Aquarius (a sign governed by Uranus) on March 6 to be finalized. So perhaps a two-step dance is underway to manifest a rather brilliant plan to return to diplomacy, at least for a time. Otherwise, Venus and especially Mars in conjunction with Pluto at the end of Capricorn on March 3 could instead blow everything up. That’s what Pluto can do with Mars. The stakes are very high, but there is hope if all parties are serious about reaching an acceptable compromise. Mars and Pluto aren’t always so willing, but Venus is generally open to compromising for peace. It’s right there and the cosmic energy swings as Venus and Mars enter Capricorn into Aquarius on March 6th. This is the same degree to which the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction occurred on December 21, 2020 and started the “New Aira” in astrological terminology (a term coined by MMTA graduate Kat Powell as it relaunched the series 20-year Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions in air signs for the next 140 years).
It’s all about the choices our beleaguered rulers are making now, and Venus is the planet most representative of choices – and the planet that has the hardest time making a decision even if it wants choices. Given that President Putin is a Libra, who is ruled by Venus, one can only imagine the stress he (and all Libras) might be going through in the next two weeks regarding their alliances. This is a watershed moment for them, or anyone with natal planets in very late cardinal signs or very early fixed signs.
As the hippies and flower children said in the late 1960s, it’s time to “make love, not war.” It makes you wonder “where have all the flowers gone” since?