Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Grand Trines of 2013

Corporate profit making under the present capitalist system is malignant and self destructive. What is more is that the people who run these corporations know it but either care not a jot or can see no alternative but to carry on spreading the disease. If the world was one human body, then a corporation owning the left hand, intent only on making a profit for it’s shareholders (let’s say they are the fingers of the left hand), would have the left hand clothed in the warmest glove while the rest of the body, bereft of resource, froze to death. They would then be in charge of the richest, most powerful, well clothed and protected dead hand. Ultimately capitalism, at least in the way it is structured today, must change to survive - and it cannot be allowed to grow again to dinosaur proportions.

On 2nd June 2013 an applying square between Mars in Gemini and Neptune in Pisces gathered power. Neptune, in it’s own sign, trined Saturn in Scorpio, notorious for trying to keep functions and structures secret, and starting a grand trine with Mercury (trade) in Cancer (at home), with Venus (Financial) waiting in the wings to knock of a second grand trine in a couple of days time. To make matters more complicated, the position of Mercury and then Venus, who both need to make 5 degrees of Cancer to make the grand trine, start to apply by opposition to Pluto in Capricorn (Saturn’s sign) and also makes a T-square with Uranus (the reformer) in Aries (the activist). Now this seven planet involvement in motion is triggered with the square, which is a problem to be acted upon, then moves into a grand trine, a defence mechanism determined to keep everything going on as it is, and finally a T-square, which demands that there must be reforms.

So let us pick this situation apart and give it some kind of real meaning. On Sunday morning, 2nd June 2013, the BBC reported on a survey by Which? asking people if they could work out the cheapest energy (Mars) tariff for their gas (Neptune) and electricity (Uranus). Of the two types of energy, gas has seen some of the biggest hikes in cost, mainly because of it’s link to oil prices (oil is also Neptune). Now with Mars and Neptune in a waxing square, the rising cost of energy is not a new story but it is also true that nothing of any significance has been altered to benefit the customer. In fact for the UK, and there are many energy firms owned by foreign business, all of the big six companies take out the profit for their shareholders before doing anything else, some of the companies have a really bad reputation for not paying fair tax in the UK (mentioning no names NPower) and when there are any dealings with Mars and Neptune one has to consider how much fraud contributes to the embarrassingly slow passage of any of the energy companies to reform their cost structure in a way that would provide transparent pricing and genuine competition to a product that for virtually everyone is a force-purchase (One might also question as to whether aggressive tax avoidance and filtering profits through Lord knows how many companies and ending up in a tax haven - whilst perfectly legal in today’s society - is not only fraudulent but must be one of the reforms made before 2020).

Neptune (confusion, vagueness, obfuscation) is a great description of the current energy tariff pricing structure for UK consumers. First there are a number of ‘price plans’ with each company setting the start of the plan differently; one company charging price ‘A’ for the first 1500 units and a second charging price ‘A’ for the first 2000 units. Price B becomes equally difficult and price C settles down because most people in an average family dwelling would have paid prices A and B anyway and settled into price C long before the end of the month. The average price of fuel is similar no matter what company you choose, so it is clearly a method used by the big energy companies just to create confusion.

The cornucopia of price tariffs are confusing not just because of their different pricing plans but also the way that the units are calculated. At the moment it is necessary to use a calculator to follow the formula given on the bill to work it out. Why they can’t just charge you gas at a simple price per therm is either an amazing act of cerebral incompetence or a deliberate ploy to do absolutely anything to keep energy bills obscure.

The energy minister for the government, and Ofgem, the regulating body, appeared to denounce the Which? survey that proved the best way to help customers understand the cheapest energy company for them was to make prices a flat price per unit purchase. The energy minister told the BBC (2nd June) that blending the standing charge in with the unit cost of energy might make it cost more for some of the lowest income households.

In my humble opinion this is a huge energy market, a large regulating body and a government department for energy creating muddle headed thinking with no intention of making any changes. If we tried to blend the standing charge in with a price per unit we would once again be confusing prices. It is simple... it is so simple. Tell us the single price per unit for the whole month -separately, no price plans, and then tell us the standing charge and we can see at a first glance who is offering the cheapest gas and who is trying to rip us of with standing charges. It is really that simple. And before anyone comes back at me about competition between companies, that is simple too. Make your price per unit cheaper than the other guys. Problem solved. Now get on with it.

The energy companies know this but they don’t want to do it.

The grand trine demonstrates how the defences are in place. First there is the product provided by six big institutions (Neptune in Pisces) in trine with Saturn in Scorpio (Deals and structures conducted away from the public gaze). To complete the grand trine on 2nd June 2013 it is Mercury in Cancer (Domestic trade) and quickly followed on 4th June by Venus in Cancer (Domestic profit) In layman’s English this set of grand trines demonstrates the murky behind the scenes stuff that is going on in our domestic energy industry is something that the big six companies are more than happy to remain murky and behind the scenes. Whether there is fraud, deliberate non competition, excessive profit and even bribery and corruption (all of which are possible), the fact is that the energy companies want to protect the level of profit and the continued security of their market share at all cost. They don’t care about fuel poverty or the quality of life for their consumer. The profit always comes out before the investment or price freeze.

Many astrologers imply that a trine aspect is an ease aspect and somehow nice. Well the grand trine here shows how easy it would be for the big energy companies to sit on their hands and just let everything carry on in their favour as it is right now. And the consumers to not think it is very nice; in fact the people are very angry about it.

By 4th June 2013, when Venus starts to apply itself to the grand trine, Mercury starts to apply its opposition to Pluto and sets of the T square with Uranus. The Uranus / Pluto square is the third in a series of seven squares that will finish in 2015. On the collective it symbolises a life changing sequence of events challenging (square) reforms (Uranus) to the status quo (Pluto). The global events that will unfold between 2010 and 2015 are ongoing and history will wax lyrical about the hugely fundamental shift in power and influence in a manner far too great for this small article. But suffice it to say that corporate power and energy are just a part of this mighty square’s journey through the old, corrupt and outmoded functions of life, so that by the 2020s, history will look back at a decade of blistering change.

Mercury symbolises not just trade but also that of the trickster; it makes sense when you consider the apparent need for sales ‘techniques’ to persuade people to spend money on something they probably never needed or wanted. Energy, however, is a force purchase. People have no choice but to spend money on it, so the only choice is to whom they spend that money with. All energy companies buy electricity and gas from one source. The price may vary for them according to how much is purchased in one go but aside from that, the only other competitive variations they can change are the administrative costs (the standing charge) and the profit taken out.

As mentioned before, at the moment the profit is taken out first, then whatever is left from money taken in can be channelled into infrastructure, safety and development projects. But if transparency is forced by showing clearly what the customer is paying for, the game changes dramatically. Energy companies may then have to consider taking their profit last, invest less in maintenance and repairs (bad idea but it often happens that way) or go out of business.

And energy companies know that they are not being competitive because of the way they trade. The changes being demanded are scary for them because the reforms needed will be root and branch reforms. And in a few day’s time from this article they will know that they cannot just sit back and do nothing. But they will still try to do just that. So it means that we have to make them - like decide amongst ourselves which company is the most expensive and wipe them off the map by switching to anyone else - then see if the survivors want to reconsider their position.

By 7th June the pot starts to boil. Mercury moves on to set up the close T-square it started a few days before and Venus takes the grand trine spot with Saturn and Neptune in its own right. Now we will be talking money. But the energy companies will try desperately to suggest benefits and offer sweeteners and literally anything and everything except the necessary reforms. But Mercury has moved on to become the negotiator for change and reform, so Venus will take on the role that is all to do with protecting profit and market share. It is likely to be a conflict that progresses not an inch.

Here demonstrates the sheer reluctance of companies to work with the reforms and make the right changes. Often the resulting compromises and caveats that get proposed rather than just do what needs to be done generate some hideous abomination of an unacceptable work around, watered down to the point of being useless. Asking a company to change something that will cost it in profit is like trying to engage a turkey in how it would like to be carved at Christmas. The scenario with the energy firms places the spotlight on Ofgem as a viable regulator and surely must review what exactly it is that they are regulating that make them suitable for the purpose.

The UK has always had the potential for fraud in business (Neptune in 2nd house of 1801 chart) and with Saturn presently in the UKs 2nd house, we are about to witness an increasing series of scandals involving money and power (Because the Uranus Pluto square will bring all the ugly little buggers kicking and screaming to light). Neptune can also symbolise the highest of ideals (how many times to we hear a company caught red handed espouse the policy that the company takes its responsibilities very seriously? It sounds like a good thing to say but they still got caught doing the opposite). Telling people your high values is one thing but living up to them is completely different.

With Saturn running through secretive Scorpio there will be so many behind the scenes shenanigans while pretending altruistic high morals to the public face. From now until the beginning of 2015 at the very earliest one would be wise to look closely at every promise made by government or business. We can expect mendacity with bells on, half truths, omissions and statistical contortion.

For example, the UK government pounced on the news at the beginning of June 2013 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that they expected the economy in the UK to grow by 0.8 per cent in 2013 and 1.5 per cent in 2014 - a small revision down from its November forecast. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne leapt on the news that the OECD backed further spending cuts, justifying his austerity measures.

When one scrutinises the OECD mission to: ‘promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world’ Note the term to ‘promote policies’ The OECD was originally formed to assist in co-operation between countries after World War II, to encourage mutual growth and to avoid revenge through economic means or retribution of one country to another. But considering that governments send ambassadors to the OECD to espouse government policy, it is hardly surprising that the OECD simply regurgitates the expectation of individual member countries. Put simply, they are no independently objective body.

If my previous predictions are in any way to be fulfilled (and I have no reason to consider otherwise), then I believe that the chances of the UK growing by 0.8 per cent this year is about as realistic as cycling backwards to Mars on a pedalo. Until 2016, the UK is very much in danger of a triple dip recession, unemployment has still to increase, the Euro will collapse and the only way any of us will go right now is down. Barbault’s method is still to play out it’s prediction of 2016 as the lowest economic point. Lying in politics is alive and giving us little chance of making informed decisions. Corporate newspapers censor what is really going on in the world; Avaaz, 38 degrees and Care2 Causes are among those who lead the way in true freedom of the press. If you want to know what is going on, don’t ask a politician and don’t believe corporate owned media.

The effects of the grand trine of June 2013 appears to be greatly upsetting, as what we want to change is met with implacable indifference by those who must change (The protests in Turkey over building on Taksim square may well prove the point). Those who resist the changes will pay only lip service to the disenfranchised. If nothing else, the inaction will demonstrate visibly why reforms must happen. We are a large body of people, enslaved and suffering purely for the comfort and rewards poured upon our metaphorical left hand. Eventually, for self survival if nothing else, the right hand must rip the glove from the left just to demonstrate how bloody cold it is.

We should watch this grand trine with personal interest because the bigger, and more influential grand trine in July 2013, when Jupiter meets Saturn and Neptune will join all the little personal niggles and disgruntlements with corporation and governments into one big disenchantment. Austerity and unemployment will figure incredibly high on the agenda (and food crisis, energy, environmental, banking - it’s almost becoming everything) and as a water trine one can expect with the two societal planets in play there will be much emotional input. Demands for structural reform and wholesale overhaul will be much in evidence. Consider that when people feel strongly enough they will take to the streets. Many have already done so but with Jupiter joining the party, so vast swathes of people not normally disposed to protest and vocal disaffection will join the activists. The Eurozone will perhaps experience this much more because of the dire effects of austerity and unemployment they have suffered in comparison the the UK, US and other less afflicted nations.

From 14 July 2013 to 19 July 2013 Mars will become increasingly more assertive. Riots may be impossible to stop. Venus in aspect to the Uranus / Pluto square points the finger exclusively at money (austerity and the banks that caused it) as the causation. In the UK we may finally bury one slogan forever, ‘we’re all in this together’ and show the Prime Minister ‘David Cameron’ the power of his second slogan ‘The Big Society’ is alive and well when the people rise en masse against the policies he and his party have made them go through.

But let’s not get too happy about all this talk of retaliation and revolution. The grand trine is not an aspect that symbolises sorting anything out. It is a lot of noise and energy that will certainly put any government or corporation on notice that they reform or die. But for national austerity programmes running now, the dye is cast and there is no turning back; if the trine is an ease aspect then in this case it is like a greasy pole and once you’re on it there is very little to do but wait until you get to the other end. No, this grand trine is the precursor to the real business that will be the cardinal grand cross of 2014. What goes on in 2013 is a bit like a trailer before the film premier. Perhaps governments and large companies, banks included, should think of this as a year’s notice to change voluntarily. Unlike trines, the squares and oppositions cause incredible friction and the choice then is likely to be ‘change, or be changed’.

We may also have to beware of some serious terrorist activity as Mars conjuncts Jupiter to join the grand trine but also Jupiter opposes Pluto (Jupiter / Pluto connects with terrorist activity). I imagine that affected governments will want everyone focused on the fearful effects that terrorism causes, mostly to distract us from the main reason for our discontent. The fact is that, because of the grand trine, the time will be ripe for anything that can happen with ease to happen. But irrespective of individuals and extremist organisations, the main focus on reform is just not going to go away.

We the little people have a huge role to play. Anyone who says nothing and does nothing are accepting passively that they can do nothing about the way life is. The Arab Spring defies that stance. We in the more affluent West have had it so much easier and our worst enemy as a result is evident in our apathy to participate. For those who really would like to see improvements and are willing to get involved, organisations like 38 degrees and Avaaz offer many opportunities to sign and even start petitions in order to force political debates and change the course of political opinion. Avaaz has over 20 million members, so we are not talking small groups. So if you haven’t joined a group, consider the thought over July as all the reasons to be part of such a group unfolds in front of you.

The grand trines should be sufficient warning shots over the bow of those who want the status quo to stay as it is that it cannot and it will not. This is the firing gun and let all those with ears to hear pay attention. It is also the beginning of a momentous change in who holds the reigns of power in our world.