Libra micro-age decan & overflow (January 1692 – December 1701)

The Gemini micro-age (Jan 1687 – Dec 1701) contains a Libra MAD&OF (Jan 1692 – Jan 1697 – Dec 1701) and mimics to a certain extent the early 21st-century configuration – the Libra micro-age decan and overflow (Dec 2019 – Nov 2029). The major influence of the late 17th century was the Leo sub-age decan overflow (1672 – 1731) which appropriately restored the English monarchy and all the opulent embellishments made taboo during the grim years of Cromwell’s Puritans. This period called The Restoration commenced prior to this Libra period in 1660 when the pendulum of English morality swung from repression to license more or less overnight.  This small Libra period was therefore rejoicing in its newly returned frivolity of all types.

The First Global War

Once again, a major conflict was in place though it had already commenced prior to this Libra period, but it was mostly within the Libra period that the fiercest fighting occurred in 1692-3.  The Nine Years’ War (1688–1697) was a conflict between France and an opposing European coalition which included England, Spain and Portugal with theatres also in North America and India. Its importance in association with this Libra period is that this war is not only considered to be the first global war – but also is considered a precursor to the two world wars of the 20th century.

The Nine Years’ War encompassed Ireland and Jacobite risings in Scotland (with some later elements of the Jacobite risings partly portrayed in the TV series Outlander), and North America between French and English settlers and their respective Indigenous allies.  England was once again threatened by invasion, this time by the new European bully – France (which had replaced Spain as the key European power to be reckoned with, but this imminent invasion was thwarted by the destruction of the French navy in 1692.  The last year of this Libra period saw the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) due to unresolved issues of the Nine Years’ War with a focus on maintaining the (Libra) balance of power between different European countries.[1]

Politics

In 1693, William Penn’s (the founder of Pennsylvania) growing concern about the devastation of perennial (Aries) war in Europe resulted in his observation that a “European dyet, or parliament”,[2] was necessary to prevent further war, without going into details.  This is why the Libra world that is coming our way will probably include an international government as even in 1693, people recognized that without an overarching government, such as maintained in the heyday of Ancient Rome, the Mongol Empire and so on, peace is otherwise difficult if not impossible. Genghis Khan is believed to have boasted that a virgin carrying a bag of gold could traverse his empire by foot without fear. Those regions such as Ancient Greece that never unified were always at war with each other.  Indian and Chinese states were regularly at war with each other except when united under one ruler.

In 1692 the Chinese emperor issued the Edict of Toleration of Christianity followed in 1698 with a similar statement of Islam stating:

“Even if you pacify the Hui people and then impede their religious practice, would it be possible to convert them to Buddhism, and have them bow and pray before the lamas? Now that the empire is at peace, make things run the way they are. Forcing them to assimilate is definitely not practical.”[3]

USA & Australia

This period saw the first known publication of an anti-slavery text in the future USA by Samuel Sewall in 1700.  In The Selling of Joseph (1700), he came out strongly against slavery, making him one of the earliest colonial abolitionists.  Sewell argued, “Liberty is in real value next unto Life: None ought to part with it themselves, or deprive others of it, but upon the most mature Consideration.”[4]  The first permanent European settlement of Louisiana occurred in 1699 (now in Mississippi) but the first European explorers had arrived in 1528 in a previous Libra period – the Libra micro-age decan and overflow (December 1527 – November 1537).

Some major discoveries of Australia’s western coastline during this Libra period was made by William Dampier (c.1651 – 1715).  In 1699 Dampier voyaged to New Holland (Australia) and though he was commissioned to explore the east coast, he actually arrived on the west coast (Western Australia) and then travel north, ending up in Timor and also explored the north coast of New Guinea.  His navigational prowess aided later voyages by James Cook and Horatio Nelson and his notes of the flora and fauna was read by Joseph Banks who later became the naturalists on some of Cook’s voyages.  Dampier’s’ voyages influenced a number of novels including Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver’s Travels and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and he believed to be the first to write in English the words “barbecue”, “avocado”, “chopsticks” and “sub-species” plus first recorded the recipes for guacamole and mango chutney.[5] 

Females & Witches

With Libra’s female focus, the Salem, Massachusetts witch trials (1692 – 1693) accused more than 200 people of witchcraft with 30 found guilty, 19 were executed by hanging (14 women and five men). One other man was pressed to death for refusing to plead, and at least five people died in jail. It was the deadliest witch hunt in the history of colonial North America. Only fourteen other women and two men had been executed in Massachusetts and Connecticut during the 17th century.  The after effects of these trials at least produced the pertinent insight that:

“it were better that one hundred Witches should live, than that one person be put to death for a witch, which is not a Witch” [6] 

This shattered the ideal of theocracy in North America based on governments supposedly having God at its head – similar to the aims of ISIS (ISIL) in the early 21st century. Samuel Sewall was one of the judges of the Salem witch trials but later retracted his position and publicly acknowledged his guilt and expressed contrition for condemning the witches on trial.

The Scottish Paisley witches were tried in 1697 after the young daughter of the Laird of Bargarran, complained of being tormented by some local witches – which included one of her family’s servants, whom she had reported after witnessing her steal a drink of milk.  Seven people were found guilty of having bewitched Shaw and were condemned to death – the last mass execution for witchcraft in Western Europe.  Shortly afterwards the former Scottish Secretary of State stated that:

“the parliaments of France and other judicatories who are persuaded of the being of witches never try them now because of the experience they have had that it’s impossible to distinguish possession from nature in disorder”.[7]  

These witchcraft trials represent the ending phase of the persecution of mainly (Libra) females as witches, and any Libra period will promote positive or negative events associated with women.

The Arts

The Relapse, (also known as Virtue in Danger) was a Restoration comedy from 1696. This play is a sequel to Colley Cibber’s Love’s Last Shift where a free-living Restoration rake is brought to repentance and reform by the ruses of his wife, while in The Relapse, the rake succumbs again to temptation and has a new love affair while his virtuous wife is also subjected to a determined seduction attempt, and resists with difficulty. In the 18th century, the prevailing tolerant attitude towards actual and attempted adultery gradually became unacceptable, and the original play was for a century replaced on the stage by a moralized version A Trip to Scarborough. On the modern stage, The Relapse has been established as one of the most popular Restoration comedies.  The Libra connection is obvious.

William Congreve’s comedy The Way of the World was first performed in London in 1700.  It is widely regarded as one of the best Restoration comedies, initially however, the play struck many audience members as continuing the immorality of the previous decades, and was not well received. In 1700, the world of London theatre-going had changed significantly because Charles II jubilant court, that had reveled in its licentiousness and opulence, had been replaced by the far more dour and utilitarian Dutch-inspired court of William of Orange –  a military king who was reported to be hostile to drama.

One of the features of a Restoration comedy is the (Libra) opposition of the witty and courtly (and Cavalier) rake and the dull-witted man of business or the country bumpkin, who is understood to be not only unsophisticated but often either Puritan or another form of dissenter. In 1685, the courtly and Cavalier side was in power, and Restoration comedies belittled the bland and foolish losers of the Restoration. However, by 1700, the other side was ascendant.

The Way of the World’s recreation of the older Restoration comedy’s patterns is only one of the things that made the play unusual.  The 1688 revolution concerning the overthrow of James II created a new set of social codes primarily amongst the bourgeoisie – their rise can be attributed to the newly arrived Sagittarius sub-age (1612 – 1791) bringing wealth and a growing middle class. The new capitalist system meant an increasing emphasis on property and property law. Thus, the play is packed with (Libra) legal jargon and financial and (Libra) marital contracts. These new (Libra) legal aspects allowed some female characters to secure their freedom through an equitable trust and for equality in marriage through a prenuptial agreement.[8]

Also appropriately for this Libra period, The Fairy-Queen was first produced in 1692 by Henry Purcell (1659 – 1695), a semi-opera and a “Restoration spectacular”. The libretto is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Purcell works were a uniquely English form of Baroque music and he is considered to be the greatest English composer up until the 20th century.  Five of his most notable seven works were composed during this Libra period.  Though not commonly known, his music has been widely applied in the 20th century. He composed an anthem and two elegies for Queen Mary II’s funeral which provided the title music of the 1971 film by Stanley Kubrick, A Clockwork Orange. Pete Townsend of The Who states that Purcell was an influence in their music including the introduction to Pinball Wizard as was the case with the Pet Shop Boys.  Purcell’s compositions also found their way into the movie Kramer vs. Kramer, the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice, and the German-language 2004 movie, Downfall to name a few. He died in 1695 during this Libra period at the height of his fame.[9] 

Some eponymous female characters appeared in this Libra period when in 1697 the French writer Charles Perrault published Mother Goose tales, a collection of popular fairy tales, including Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and The Sleeping Beauty.  Libra’s aesthetic side was on display in 1693 when the first known form of eau de Cologne was created. In 1700, an inventory made for the Medici family of Florence contains the first documented evidence of a piano, invented by their instrument keeper Bartolomeo Cristofori.

Snow White by Alexander Zick – Märchen, Grot’scher Verlag, Berlin 1975, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6330197

Conclusion

The precursor of the two 20th century world wars but with France the protagonist against most other European powers indicates that Libra is not shy when it comes to major conflicts.  Such was the atmosphere of conflict that William Penn introduced the concept of a united Europe which had to wait until the arrival of the Libra sub-age (1970 – 2149) to see this dream manifest as a partial reality with the creation of the European Union.  On the other side of the world, China was turning towards religious toleration for its Muslim subjects and newly arrived Christians.  The earliest anti-slavery text in North America highlights a very early example of the precursor to the Black Lives Matter movement but the author was complicit at the infamous Salem witch trials again demonstrate the active persecution of mainly women and this same period saw the last mass execution for witchcraft in Western Europe following the Scottish Paisley witch trials.  The turning point for the persecution of witches seems to have occurred with this Libra period.  Australia also continued getting attention under Libra with much of the remaining uncharted coastline of north west of Australia mapped by William Dampier while in North America, Louisiana was first settled.

Marital comedies with relevant social issues were the rage with The Relapse and William Congreve’s comedy The Way of the World. The Fairy-Queen was first produced in 1692 and the first appearances of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty brought the world these very famous female characters.  The appearance of eau de Cologne and the first known piano cements this period to archetypes belonging to Libra.

References


[1] War of the Spanish Succession, Wikipedia, Retrieved 04:41, December 23, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=War_of_the_Spanish_Succession&oldid=991913244

[2] Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 198–200. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.

[3] ‘Towards an Understanding of Qianlong’s Conception of Islam. A Study of the Dedication Inscriptions of the Fragrant Concubine’s Mosque in the Imperial Capital’, Journal of Chinese Studies 中國文化研究所學報, 53 (2011): 139.

[4] Samuel Sewall, Wikipedia, Retrieved 04:09, March 14, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Samuel_Sewall&oldid=1005944027

[5] William Dampier, Wikipedia, Retrieved 02:24, March 14, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=William_Dampier&oldid=1004451140

[6] Salem witch trials, Wikipedia, Retrieved 04:55, December 23, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Salem_witch_trials&oldid=991123064

[7] Levack, Brian P. (2003), Witchcraft Sourcebook, Routledge, p263 ISBN 978-0-415-19506-5,

[8] The Way of the World, Wikipedia, Retrieved 05:43, December 23, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Way_of_the_World&oldid=933832985

[9] Henry Purcell, Wikipedia, Retrieved 06:21, January 11, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Henry_Purcell&oldid=998920043

SCORPIO – the Sign of the Times …. Revisited Part 3 – Taxes & Debt

Taxes and debt are also relevant issues for our current Scorpio hotspot.  The GFC that appeared in full force by 2008 coincided with the arrival of the current Scorpio hotspot.  Scorpio is a “contracting” sign, and as a general rule, periods associated with Scorpio will see the equivalent of the Biblical seven years of emaciated cows.  The GFC achieved this admirably well.  However as the Scorpio tempo increased from 2010 onwards, some additional serious financial calamities have appeared.  By early 2010 a number of Eurozone countries were experiencing debt problems including Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and Belgium.  Greece had to be bailed out in 2010, and later in the year Ireland found itself in the same situation with Portugal falling in line in early 2011. More countries with a debt crisis can be expected.

However the fringe European countries suffering debt crises pale to insignificance at the prospect of the USA going virtually bankrupt.  This situation developed primarily due to the mainly conservative US government in the first decade in the 21st century lowering taxes at the same time as engaging in new and expensive wars and increasing government expenditure.  It is one of the ongoing political ironies that the conservatives (Republicans) in the USA shout the loudest to reduce government expenditure and reduce taxes but whom when in office increase government debt the most.  The American voting public seems unable to understand this nebulous aspect of their political culture. This is unlikely to change much as the prime sign for the USA is Pisces, and clarity is nearly always absent when Pisces is strong.

Laurence Kotlikoff in February 2011 states that the current state of finances in the USA is worse than Greece when it had to be bailed out in 2010 by the European Union.  One of the reasons the USA is in such a parlous situation is that it has adopted ENRON styled accounting and for several decades has kept future social security liabilities “off the books”.  To correct this situation, the US government needs to raise all federal taxes by two-thirds the current levels.[i]  Not only are the rich in the USA currently paying reduced taxes, the tax take from corporations in the USA has plummeted in recent decades.  By 2002 and 2003 it was reported that US companies were paying their lowest proportion of taxes since the Second World War.  In the 1950s, corporations paid over 25% of all taxers collected in the US, which dropped to 20% in the 1960s. By the second half of the 1990s it dropped further to 11% and by 2002/3 corporate taxes provided a mere 6% of the US tax base. Apart from corporate tax reductions provided by the US government, major US corporations take undue advantage of various tax reduction schemes to minimise their taxes.  This includes paying massive bonuses to their leaders and employees, much of which they claim as a tax deduction – but not shown as expenses in their financial accounts to their shareholders.[ii] 

The prime zodiacal sign associated with both the USA and corporations is Pisces, which may explain why the USA deifies corporations and capitalism – and thus honouring them with paying far lower taxes as the years roll by.  The Roman senators in the Roman Republic were equally short-sighted in their approach to tax.  In the 2nd century BC they outlawed taxes.  This is understandable as the Roman senators represented the same rich constituency as the American Republican Party, and people that have financially benefitted from society due to their enterprise or ingenuity, seem to dislike paying taxes to the same society they benefit from.  This folly by the Roman Senators resulted in an ongoing lack of funds for government expenditure, especially for their armies.  As a consequence, the Roman generals had to find other financial means to pay their soldiers, either from the booty of war or other means.  This slowly tied the loyalty of the soldiers to their generals rather than the Roman state.  It was only a little more than a century after this taxation change by the Roman senators that generals with their armies usurped the Roman Republic and moved to the dictatorial end of the political spectrum. 

What will be the short, medium and long-term trend in the USA if corporate taxes are kept significantly below their real taxation responsibilities and the rich continue to pay minimal income taxes?  It will not take long to discover.  The next Cancer micro-age overflow (2015 – 2029) will bring out all of the dirty washing in the USA.  Previous Cancer micro-age overflows experienced in America does not paint a pleasant picture.

The worse countries in the world for debt are basically the western nations of Europe, North America, Australia plus Japan.[iii]  The richest countries in the world are accumulating the greatest debt indicating a significant fault line. From a rational point of view, the poorest countries should have the greatest debt in an attempt to try and catch up with the developed nations.  Ultimately debt means bringing forward expenditure than normally would have to wait.  Bringing forward expenditure also means bringing forward the associated pollution.  The mainly western-developed nations are behaving like the old medieval aristocracy, demanding a far higher material quality of life and lording over their serfs (Third World countries) – but throwing them some crumbs from time to time.  We live in the delusion of a progressively democratising world, but in reality, democratic countries do not behave as equals on the world stage.

As an example of the relationship of (Scorpio) debt to economic well-being, there were only two years in recent history when the US household debt was the same as the GDP – in 1929 and 2007.  The first coincided with the Great Depression, and the second with the GFC.  In response, Columbia professor David Beim stated that the economic problem may be blamed on the banks and financial institutions, but the real culprit is the general public.  People are living beyond their means and are borrowing far too much money to support their dreams.[iv]

However it is the banks and financial institutions that are getting the bulk of the bad press.  From the astrological perspective this is understandable as banks are ruled by Taurus, and Taurus is opposite Scorpio.  In a Scorpio period Taurus banks will be in 7th house mode.  They will either be in attack mode or under attack.  With some significant bank failures and problems around the world and the perception banks resorted to exotic financial instruments that caused the banking collapse associated with the GFC, the status of banks have plummeted in the last few years.  This is entirely in accord with the current Scorpio hotspot. 

As of May 2011 many smaller banks continue to fail each month in the USA.[v]  It is instructive that the cause of bank failures for the most part relate to the massive drop in real estate prices associated with questionable loans linked to questionable collateralized debt financial instruments.  Everything to do with real estate is associated with Cancer, and it must be remembered that the current Scorpio hotspot is the Scorpio micro-age decan and overflow (2005–15) within the Cancer micro-age (2000-15).  Scorpio debt is the problem sitting within the context of the Cancer real estate market shake-down.

The result of over-borrowing is default and bankruptcy for individuals, businesses, banks and countries.  The fact that a number of European nations plus the USA are currently experiencing the downside problem associated with debt is due to the previous over-reliance upon excessive debt.  Debt is one of the scourges of the modern world, and may be one of the Four Horseman of the Modern Apocalypse.  If the world was run by a world government that acted rationally, permanent steps would be put in place to counter debt in the same way steps have been put in place in many nations to limit other scourges such as cigarette smoking and AIDS. This is not the case so whatever patchwork approach is taken by governments to offset mounting debt is unlikely to prove effective in the short term at least.  There remains four more years until 2015 when excessive debt will cause further problems.

A number of conservative governments and other governments that have fallen foul of their debt have significantly changed the ratio of their taxation to spending levels.  For conservative governments they mainly try and keep taxes low and reduce services.  For other debt-ridden countries, they not only reduce services but must increase taxes.  Taxes will be in the march in a Scorpio period.  This is the source of social unrest in some countries like Greece and Spain where the populace are venting their displeasure at their falling collective wealth.  Taurean wealth will always be in detriment in a Scorpio period.

The banking and GFC are further convincing evidence that the world is currently under the influence of Scorpio – the sign of our times.  Taxes will continue to be an issue and the rich plus banks will be aggressive in trying to defend their turf. This is a time of seven-emaciated-cows so temporarily at least, the world must tighten its belt, reduce its consumption, pay more taxes and therefore exist with less money and wealth – all the hallmarks of Scorpio.


[i] Laurence Kotlikoff, “America is bankrupt”, Feb 11th 2011, http://www.economist.com/economics/by-invitation/guest-contributions/america_bankrupt, downloaded 22 April 2010

[ii] Robert McIntyre and T.D. Coo Nguyen, “The Gap Between Statutory and Real Corporate Tax Rates”, First published by the Multinational Monitor, Vol 25, No. 11, http://reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate_welfare/real_tax_rates_plummet.php, downloaded 22 April 2011

[iii]World debt comparison – The global debt clock”, http://www.economist.com/content/global_debt_clock?page=6 , downloaded 23 april 2011

[v] “Bank Failures in Brief”, FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) http://www.fdic.gov/bank/historical/bank/index.html downloaded 28 May 2011