Making the Most of 2004

From 2001 to 2003 world headlines have been dominated by the Saturn/Pluto opposition, which takes place every 36 years and shows severe upheaval of the Establishment. Pluto tends to be reflected by small organizations that exert a disproportionate power, just as Pluto itself is exceedingly small in comparison with the rest of the planets, yet seen as a very powerful transformative force, astrologically speaking. The Saturn/Pluto opposition was reflected by widespread anxiety due to September 11th, and the subsequent polarization of civilizations through the war on terror. With Pluto in Sagittarius, the repercussions have been religious, and the war on terror has had the hallmarks of a crusade.

End of a Trend

With the passing of the Saturn/Pluto opposition the “war on terror” is now an anachronism. Saturn has moved on into Cancer and domestic issues are more likely to dominate the agenda. We are entering a period of consolidation and order.

On a business level the Saturn/Pluto opposition from Gemini to Sagittarius has resulted in a dramatic weeding out of weak players in telecommunications and travel. Prior to this opposition, markets were profoundly affected by a period of euphoria, effectively squashed by the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction in Taurus that took place in May 2000. Earlier that year Jupiter in Taurus had squared Neptune, and it was at this time that Dot Com hysteria peaked, subsequently to crash when Jupiter conjoined Saturn.

Recovery from Dot Com

Huge pessimism and skepticism about technology stocks followed, and many companies were consigned to oblivion by banks trying to salvage what they could. But actually Saturn, travelling in 2002 and 2003 through Gemini, was to trine Uranus in late Gemini/Aquarius, and this showed that those technology and communication stocks that survived the Dot Com crash of mid 2000, and the subsequent World Trade disaster of late 2001, would bounce back in 2003. This has indeed happened. For example in this period Yahoo stock went up from $9 to $44; and Qualcomm from $25 to $59, and there are many more examples.

Uranus in Aquarius and business trends

However, since Uranus makes it final entry into Pisces on the first day of 2004, the rules of the game are bound to change. What we have witnessed in the last seven years, since Uranus entered Aquarius, is the transformation of world consciousness through the accessibility of the web, the ubiquity of Email, and the possession of mobile phones. Information and self-profiling is available to everyone who can reach a computer, and this has had a democratizing effect. Gifted people all over the world can now access business markets anywhere. A world without borders has been created, and in business terms this means that people can combine skills and work together whether they live in India, Japan, Europe or America, and get immediate results. Those who understood this trend early, like developers of search engines, or people who invested in key domain names, have made their money, but that party is now over.

Uranus in Pisces and new business trends

The interesting question could be what is the Uranus in Pisces equivalent to the Internet and the global transformation it carried with it whilst Uranus was in Aquarius. The difference is content, and the content is intuitive. Aquarius has much to do with the rational mind and abstraction, and this manifested in the written word, as experienced through Email, and the mobile phone. Pisces brings pictures and images, which stimulate the imagination. In terms of the Net, this means Flash and far more image-based websites. As far as mobile phones are concerned, then they will all be videophones by the end of the Uranus transit in Pisces. Computers will generally have in-built cameras, with much Email being replaced by video telephoning and conferencing. It will be an interesting world, because there is the possibility of being constantly plugged in both visually and auditorily. This will give a corresponding need to turn off and drop out, so there will probably be a boom in places of retreat, where technology is not allowed. Invest in spas.

Business as Dreaming

For those interested in investment, it is probably a good idea to drop traditional technology stocks, and try and get in early on technology which twins with the imagination. In the film world, the ability to create worlds with virtual reality, and the marriage of people and cartoon images (as for example seen in Kill Bill, Lord of the Rings and recent children’s movies) will experience growth. Studios like DreamWorks and Disney may be well-worth investing in, as Uranus in Pisces shakes up the world of cinema, but outsider producers and studios may produce some of the most lucrative films. Companies making display screens are obvious choices for growth.

Liquid Light

New liquid technologies will be of interest. For example, when Neptune entered Capricorn, the first liquid crystal displays appeared displaying digits (in calculators etc). With Neptune in Aquarius, there is more of a sense of “liquid electricity or light” – laptop screens for example – and there are certain developments with minute switches, which work on the principle of metals that melt at room temperature to create mirrors, enabling non-mechanical switches. With the reception of Uranus in Pisces and Neptune in Aquarius, there could be some interesting interactions of this nature.

Selling with Images

The manifestation of Uranus in Pisces will not be obvious at first glance, but the boom period will probably come through after the middle part of the 7 years phase. There will be a dramatic fall off at the end – for example when Saturn squares Uranus in 2008-9. But early surges of growth in new technologies can perhaps be seen with Jupiter in Scorpio trine Uranus from November 2005 to August 2006, and later with Jupiter in Capricorn sextiling Uranus from April to November 2008. The water trine from Scorpio to Pisces is obviously rather good for the expansion of the sex industry, especially when the ability to deliver films in real time becomes generally available. Generally speaking the established film world will be just as much under threat in this period through free sharing of films, as the music industry has been. This certainly brings a risk element into investment in this area, but those who earlier invested in bandwidth should get their payoff during the course of this decade.

Consolidation Trends

Looking more specifically at 2004, the year is dominated by just a few major planetary cycles, none of them very threatening. The main business cycle is the Jupiter/Saturn sextile, which is very close for a long period during April, May, June, July and August. The first sextile actually took place at 13 degrees Virgo/Cancer in early November 2003, and the next two take place on April 30th at 8.55 degrees (just as Jupiter goes stationary direct, and the 18th August at 21.53 degrees. It is difficult to assess just how beneficial this sextile is going to be, as Jupiter is in detriment in Virgo, and Saturn is in detriment in Cancer. Still, seeing this sextile as the first important aspect between the two planets since the 2000 conjunction, it should signal a sensible expansion and growth. With the entry of Saturn into Cancer, many astrologers had expected a dip in the property market, but generally property prices have continued to rise, fuelled by record low interest rates. Continued investment in this area up to August 2004 will probably bring modest gains.

2004 for the US Economy

The Saturn/Jupiter sextile will likely bring greater stability to the American economy, especially as the first sextile activated the US’s and Bush’s Sun positions in Cancer. Stability, but not expansion. The record low value of the dollar will hardly be stimulated by this weak sextile, so perhaps the very weakness of these planets actually reflect the concrete benefits a weak dollar brings, in the form of stimulated exports and tourism. If this is so, then the low point for the dollar will be the April to August period, after which time it will go up, with a dramatic change as Jupiter hits the square to Pluto on August 6th. By the time Jupiter reaches 0 Libra and is joined by Mars exactly on the US (Sibley) Midheaven at the end of September, there could be a great boost to America’s position.

Love and money in 2004

The planet Venus is up to extraordinary tricks in 2004, and this will bring the role of women to the fore. And of course, in our personal lives, we can expect major developments if Venus is strong. Taureans will see major economic transformation, and Libras very significant development connected with travel and education. Geminis will also be affected, as Venus enters Gemini on April 3rd, goes stationary retrograde on May 17th, stationary direct at 9 Gemini on June 29th, finally leaving Gemini on August 7th – four long months in the sign. 2004 is one of those rare years, when Venus in its retrograde motion actually passes across the disk of the Sun, and it will be clearly visible (with suitable eye protection) for a few hours on June 8th.

There are a number of key issues connected to this retrograde cycle of Venus. These cycles take place every eight years, each time two degrees earlier in the sign. As Pluto will be from 22 to 20 degrees Sagittarius during the 2004 cycle, Venus will make an opposition to it three times. Clearly this shows crisis and transformation in relationships. For some this will be an economic crisis, for others, relationship crisis. Politically it shows women-power, and economically an ongoing transformation in the communication and education sector. In Iraq this period straddles the expected transition to a provisional government at the end of June, and it is worth noting that in the 1958 Iraq Republic horoscope, there is a Moon/Venus conjunction at 19 and 20 degrees Gemini. Let’s hope women get some electoral power at this time. It will certainly bring a dramatic transformation of the electoral process.

A Royal Marriage

see chart for the Royal Wedding

Venus enters Gemini with Mars already at 8 degrees Gemini, so during a long period Venus gains on Mars… but she slows down to go retrograde, never quite reaching conjugal bliss.
This is likely to be reflected by a planned liaison that never quite makes it. Considering the double nature of Gemini, one possibility is that there are several candidates for the lovebirds’ affections, of which only one (if any) survives in the last analysis. However, there is a least one famous marriage planned for this time: that of Mary Donaldson (born 5.02.1972) to Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. Here the marriage is planned just days before Venus goes retrograde. It’s probable that the Venus/Pluto opposition here more reflects “Down Under” – Frederik found his future queen in Tasmania.

It’s an odd choice of time, what with Mars in Cancer right on the MC conjoining Saturn, strongly indicating that the professional duties of the royal couple will be rather heavy, and bound by tradition. It’s no easy job being a foreign princess in a patriotic country that expects new arrivals to immediately learn the rather difficult language of Danish. The wedding takes place with transit Neptune just minutes of arc away from her Sun at 15 Aquarius. So much for the dream of royalty.

Still, it is interesting to see that the Moon is both in reception with Mars, and also in reception by exaltation with the Sun. As Mary Donaldson has Mars in Aries trine Jupiter in Sagittarius, it clearly suits her to find a prince (who is also an elite soldier) in a distant foreign land. But if she tries to assert her own will, there is sure to be considerable tension. If the Moon in Aries can be received by the Sun in exaltation (giving up personal initiatives and fulfilling a queen-like role) then things may work out well. With her Venus exalted in Pisces, and her Moon in Libra (albeit in conjunction with Uranus), she should have no difficulty being a female icon. As Venus is soon to go retrograde here in the 9th house, Mary will obviously want to return periodically to her native land, most notably three years after the wedding.
The Mars/Venus interplay

After going direct, Venus finally catches up with Mars at 16 degrees Scorpio, square Neptune on December 6th, repeating the previous Venus/Mars conjunction of December 2002. For those receptive to the movement of Venus there will be echoes of this earlier conjunction – as Venus is in exile and Mars disposes of her, the woman is in an extremely weak position in love affairs at this time. Mind you, the situation is the reverse in the first 10 days of November, when Venus in Libra disposes of Mars. There could therefore be a reversal of power in love as the year draws to a close.

Jupiter and Pluto

Another major influence in 2004 is the final square between Pluto and Jupiter. This was almost exact in November 2003 (a crisis month for those ruled by Jupiter), and unfinished business from this time will be resolved when the square forms in early August. Jupiter in Virgo has had a lot to do with humanitarian organizations. For example just as it entered Virgo and opposed Uranus (and Mars retrograde) in August 2003 the UN had to withdraw their mission from Baghdad because of a devastating bomb attack. The Jupiter/Pluto square will again place humanitarian organizations at risk from terror, but will also signal major restructuring within these organizations. The ethics of the death penalty will also surface at this time – this could of course be a time when Saddam Hussein’s fate is decided in this respect.

Peace and the US election

When Jupiter moves from exile in Virgo into Libra, things will brighten up. The October eclipse takes place with five planets in Libra, so this sign will be in the headlines in some way. On November 5th, Venus conjoins Jupiter at 8 Libra, which is surely a happy period, and a great time for relationships in general. Jupiter/Venus combinations are often related to peace, so we can expect a lot of successful international diplomacy at this time. Of course it occurs immediately after the US election which – in contrast to the 2000 election – promises to be just and fair. Saturn stations at 27 Cancer at this time exactly opposite US Pluto, so perhaps this means a time of reckoning for secret powers that manipulate behind the scenes.

2004 begins with a businesslike atmosphere as the establishment tries to create stability and order in the wake of the Jupiter/Saturn sextile. It ends with a Jupiter/Neptune trine, which takes place on November 29th 2004, and repeats in the following year in March and August, with Neptune from 13 to 17 Aquarius. Enjoy the dreams, inflate the balloons and celebrate the euphoria. It could last a long time… but when the Saturn/Neptune opposition takes place from Leo to Aquarius in 2006, then make sure you have parachuted to safety.

Adrian Ross Duncan 19.01.2004

 

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