Sorry but I just couldn’t resist – there has been so much about Greece in the news, I had to use this title even though I noticed, after I had chosen it, that a few had used it before me. It’s funny, but the lyrics of Grease seem vaguely appropriate for Greece!
“We take the pressure and we throw away
Conventionality belongs to yesterday
There is a chance that we can make it so far
We start believing now that we can be who we are”
From the movie Grease. Lyrics by Barry Gibb.
Being an astrologer, I am always pondering the questions: Why that? Why there? And in particular, because astrology concerns itself with time, why now? Cancer time of year is probably the best and the worst time of year to try to get agreements within a group.
The best – because Cancer should be about protecting the ‘family’ – yes all the family, including pesky nations. A time for nurturing and feeding people. It should be a time of creating safe nests for everyone to live in, and a time for motherly love.
The worst – because Cancer the crab never lets go of something once she has her claws into it. The worst, because patriotism and sticking to national values can result in family feuds. No-one wants to let go of their emotional investment in their side of the argument. We’ve seen plenty of that! Cancer can be moody…
Recently, I gave a lecture for astrologers in London. I was teaching a technique called the Life Clock and during the preparation for this I was reflecting on the sign of Cancer. Between 18 and 24 years of age, each one of us goes through the Cancer phase. A time when we should be leaving home, starting to earn a living and creating our own ‘nest’. Cancer has to do with a sense of belonging. During these years we ask: Who do we belong with? Who can give us emotional support? Where do we fit? What is nurturing for us? In this phase, the critical point is between age 21 and 22. It struck me that Dylann Storm Roof, who gunned down 9 innocent people in a church in Charleston, was at that critical point at age 21. Was he searching for a real family? He said the people at the church were so nice and welcoming that he nearly didn’t carry out his plan. He seems to have been a troubled soul – he was on drugs, he had not found a job like the rest of his classmates, and his family situation sounded difficult, to say the least. It occurred to me that many young men and women of this age are in this situation. Looking for a place where they can be looked after and welcomed into the fold. To become part of a clan. I think the Islamic State group benefits from this search. Why else would so many join willingly – especially the women?
My take on current times is that the world is at a crossroads, where we are learning to use these huge archetypes, such as Cancer, on a group or global level rather than a personal one. And we are struggling. Greece is trying to find out where she fits. This challenge could raise our consciousness levels on what it means to be a global family, and it probably is doing so in amongst the Euro crisis. But like any breakthrough, it doesn’t come without pain. I have no idea about what it would really mean if a Grexit happened. In the scheme of things it is probably irrelevant long term. It is likely to be about something else entirely – such as how the human race learns! There are so many opposing views and of course there are the filter bubbles I wrote about last time. It’s all a mystery to me. So in these situations I go back to what I know best, to see if I can make any sense of anything.
I’ll try not to get too technical as I know many people who read my posts are not astrologers. I like to keep astrology simple anyway – there are so many opinions and charts and dates that it gets a bit mind-boggling. For Germany, for Merkel, for Tsipras, for the forming of the EU, for the start of the Euro – etc etc… These are all worthy candidates for study. But I have chosen 2 horoscopes I like.
One is for Greece – and there are many, after all Greece has a long history. I have chosen the time of the collapse of the military dictatorship in July 1974, which heralded the current regime of democracy. At 4:00 in the morning (!) on July 24th, 1974, Constantine Karamanalis was sworn in as Prime Minister in Athens. This seems to be a fitting horoscope for the current leadership. I liked this chart even more when I found the date for my other chosen horoscope to study. It is that of Alexis Tsipras, who is holding many of the cards in the current problems of the Eurozone. He was born on July 28th, 1974 in Athens – just four days after the start of this regime! He has been quoted as saying that he was born between 1:00 and 2:00 am. I have always thought that countries somehow attract appropriate leaders. Tsipras is exactly the right leader for Greece.
Their charts are such a close match. The only things that are different are the Ascendant – the image they each have; Mars – their plan of attack; and the Moon – how they feel nurtured and what they need emotionally. But the heart (Sun) of Greece and the heart of Tsipras are in one line. Together, the Greeks and Tsipras are a pride of lions, with Alexis as the Alpha male. A proud nation, perhaps a risk-taking nation. And Leos make very good leaders. But they will not bow down to other lions – they will stand and roar. Greece is known as the land where democracy started, in 6 BCE in Athens. This must be significant. I think Greece has a role to play in leading the charge to usher in real modern day global democracy. They are brave enough and creative enough to give it a go although pride might need to be balanced with courage, for it to have a chance. Examining the charts, I think that the Greeks will keep backing Tsipras.
In approach, the country as a whole has more courage than Tsipras personally, and it will probably need it. Greece has Mars in Leo as well as the Sun. This could mean that the people might exhibit a sense of entitlement. A “We can do whatever we like, we are our own bosses” attitude. I think Mars in Tsipras’s horoscope gets him into trouble. He has the dilemma of being a true lion in his heart on the one hand, but unlike Greece, his Mars in Virgo suggests that he is truly trying to be helpful and of service. That can’t be easy and may explain his seemingly erratic negotiation style. Interestingly, Obama also has this combination.
What Greek citizens need is fairness and influence. The Moon together with Pluto in Libra means the populace needs fair discussion and to have their opinions taken seriously. If Tsipras has to accept more austerity after the outcome of the referendum and the current deal on the table at the time of writing, that will be problematic. And he knows it. Alexis has similar needs to Greece by having the Moon in Scorpio. He needs to be in control and have power and influence. It remains to be seen how well he can use these character traits, but he has incredibly good political instincts. Being too sneaky could be his downfall – both he and Greece have already been called untrustworthy. They need to show their power in a transparent way and not play too many games for any success – whatever that means – to be achieved.
Back to the Life Clock
What is fascinating about Greece and Tsipras is that by being the same age – 41 this summer – they are both in the same life phase. The crisis point in this phase of partnership is 39-40. For people, this point often leads to divorce! I’m not sure what is happening in Tsipras’s private life, but it is clear that the country is facing a relationship crisis! Greece entered this Libra phase, which occurs between ages 36-42, in 2010, the year they were locked out of capital markets due to high borrowing costs. They received two bail outs. The crisis or turning point in this phase was on April 8th, 2014. On April 9th as thousands of striking Greeks marched on Parliament to protest the austerity measures, Greece announced a return to the debt market while awaiting a visit from Angela Merkel later that same week. Germany was already calling for more austerity. This phase often highlights a struggle between following a partner or being able to be yourself within a relationship and the world at large. This was emphasised even more for Greece at the end of last year, as the Sun in the Greek chart was also implicated then. So this is really a fight for the Greek identity. They want to be part of the world, but they also want respect for their proud heritage and the sunny, warm and friendly country they can be. This is why I find the lyrics of Grease appropriate. In a year’s time, Greece and Tsipras will enter the Scorpio phase – the 6 years following that will need to be hugely transformative. This is midlife crisis. Age 45, in April 2020, will be the test of whether they can turn the corner, either together or apart, but there will be rocky times ahead. Sometimes in relationships we need to call it quits to keep our self-esteem. Perhaps Greece should do this if she has to give up too much of her true identity. As Leos, Greece and Tsipras will find it very difficult to be told how to run their country.
Image and reputation
Greece’s Ascendant is in our sign of the month – Cancer – a nation with an emotional image. Their reputation is also shown by a water sign – Pisces – the goal of the country should be to show compassion and be part of the global stage. Tsipras is going for something very different in his personal image and reputation, which are both shown by air signs. He has Gemini – the quick-thinking communicator – determining his image, but that can be seen as too light-hearted and not serious enough for his Northern partners. His mission is Aquarius – the rebel and change agent. This is why I think what he is trying to do has much wider implications for Europe and the rest of the word. Aquarius is a future-oriented sign. Perhaps he is ahead of his time, but what he could be is a game-changer. He is certainly making Europeans examine their principles, and he is not without followers at grass roots level and above. It will be interesting to see what happens when the Sun is in Leo this Summer. More roaring of lions no doubt!
Lastly the current sky
As I write, we will be getting close glimpses of Pluto by way of the New Horizons project. Pluto is in focus and as a private, underworld God, I’m not sure what he thinks of that! At the same time, and maybe it isn’t a coincidence, as well as Nuclear agreements with Iran being highlighted (Pluto’s domain), Greece’s chart is being battered by Pluto, the transformer. Greece’s image is being severely tested and that is having an effect on her partners. This is a huge power struggle. A lot has been said about this in the astrological media, so enough on that already. However I want to comment on a very interesting phenomenon that was exactly timed for the ‘final negotiation’ day on July 12th 2015. Pluto was in aspect with the dwarf planet Ceres in the Greek chart. This is a major time period with the highlights being on 21st Feb 2015 and 13th June 2015. The last exact meeting is still to come on Dec 25th this year and as these dates correspond with important stages in the negotiations (Feb 21st a deal was reached and talks then failed on June 14th), I can’t see this struggle ending until after the 25th Dec. Happy Christmas! And Ceres was exactly in aspect to Pluto in the Greek chart on July 14th, after the weekend of the last tabled proposals. To me, Ceres represents the planet associated with democracy. Her worship was open to everyone as long as you could speak Greek. There were no animal sacrifices inside her temples and through her knowledge of plants she is associated with the growing of crops and hence settlements and civilisations, which required a form of government. The message for me in this Euro-crisis is that democracy, as we now practice it, needs a severe make-over. Ceres seems to be unhappy with the use of power. It is older women who need to step up to the plate and help transform this. The Greeks started democracy – now their role is to make it fit for our times. Good luck to them and the rest of Europe – this is a thorny dilemma! Their struggles may help us all in the long run.
So how do we really form a clan or maintain a sense of belonging?
A wonderful TED talk by Alain de Botton, called Atheism 2.0, discusses the fact that in our secular world of today, the rational has taken over and we have lost a sense of moral guidance. Some of the criticism of the Euro-crisis has been that the decision-making involved lacks a moral compass. De Botton suggests that we should look to how churches operate, even if we don’t like their message, as the world is in dire need of guidance on how to live. Churches have managed to create a sense of community and are collaborative – a powerful mix for getting a message across. Respecting culture and doing what churches are good at, without having to accept doctrine, is what de Botton is advocating. The way churches are run may offer some ideas for maintaining the European community. Perhaps this religious approach explains the sense of belonging that Dylann Roof fleetingly felt in the way he was welcomed, that terrible day in Charlestown. Alain de Botton also speaks of ritual and looking at the Moon – a very fitting topic for this Cancer post.
Website of the Month
I loved this campaign – this is probably the way forward for lots of things. While politicians posture and pontificate and argue blind, Thom, from Bethnal Green in London, just got on with raising nearly 2 million Euros! Although he returned the money as he didn’t meet his target, it shows what one person on a mission can do. Read about the other Greek Bailout fund.
And not really a website but a podcast to explain the Euro crisis using Greek Myths – very enlightening!
Quote of the Month
“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”