AMERICA IN DECLINE
What you are about to read may frighten or enlighten. But we as a nation are surely on a course, like the English and Roman Empires before us, toward decline.
For those of you unfamiliar with my writings, realize that I interpret the cosmic signs based on historical records rather than pure symbolism, in so much as, history repeats itself ” but always with a difference.
Galactic Center (circled), constellations, and stars
The path of the planets across the sky is measured along the ecliptic a 3600 circle that starts at the vernal equinox when the Sun’s apparent path along the ecliptic intersects the equator from south to north. The ecliptic is the actual path of the Earth around the Sun. All the planets appear to move along, above and below, this line. Located just 50 31′ 48 south of this line at 260 Sagittarius 08′ (or celestial longitude 2660 07′ 53) is the Galactic Center. This region, about 20 across, is rich with stars. There is an estimated million times greater star density at the core of our galaxy. So if we lived close to the galactic center (GC) the sky would be filled with bright stars like Sirius and the night would be as bright as 200 full moons!
Astrophysicists increasingly lean toward the idea that our entire galaxy may be a living organism capable of self-communication. Signals of some kind seem to be coming from the galactic nucleus. Waves of electromagnetic and gravitational radiation, and possibly other unknown energies, are expanding from this region of space. What makes this of particular astrological interest is the fact that Pluto has only been aligned with the GC three times since the discovery of America. Pluto, planet of transformation (death into new life), orbits the Sun in 247.7-years; so the first time it was aligned with the GC was in 1510, and the second time was in 1758. Its third crossing took place on December 7, 2006.
The star Aculeus in the constellation Scorpio lies close to the galactic center (2650 50′ celestial longitude 80 51′ south latitude) and, thus, can be used as a convenient way to measure the movement of the stars and other cosmic points against the precession of the equinox over long periods of time. Aculeus is also of interest because its meaning is linked to the Pluto and galactic center conjunction.
The first Europeans to briefly set foot on the North American continent were the Vikings under Leif Ericson in the year 1000. The Vikings did not, however, change the continent as did later expeditions beginning with Christopher Columbus in 1492. In fact, there is no satisfactory proof of any transatlantic crossing between 1015 and 1492. Numerous excursions to America, around Cape Horn of South American and all the way up Western America, and around Africa, and Drake’s circumnavigation of the world were made after Columbus discovered Cuba and the Caribbean islands. This Age of Reconnaissance was to fulfill dreams of tapping the riches of the East. It resulted in a new continent being discovered, looted, and developed. The carnage that results to the native inhabitants of the New World is testimony to the dynamic transformation symbolized by Pluto crossing the GC. The first English settlements in Jamestown (1607), the Plymouth Pilgrims (1620), and the Massachusetts Bay colony near Boston ten years later eventually resulted in the transformation of the New World.
The next Pluto GC alignment peaked December 2, 1758. This was another epochal period in American history. The two great powers of the world at the time, Great Britain and France, had fought three wars between 1689 and 1748. The fourth war, the Seven Years’ War (known in America as the French and Indian War), was the culmination of the conflict between these two expanding empires. The origins of the French and Indian War lay in a territorial dispute over the Ohio valley. Although under French control after the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, the French had only a few settlers in the region that trapped and traded with the Indians until around 1750 when they constructed a line of forts. In response, Great Britain called a conference in Albany to coordinate defense efforts among the colonies and to negotiate an alliance with the Iroquois tribes. The 1754 conference failed to seal a pact with the Iroquois but Benjamin Franklin presented a plan for uniting Great Britain’s North American colonies in defense of British interests while giving the colonies greater power over their own affairs. British officials were uneasy about giving greater self governing powers to the colonies but colonial unity was still a long way off and the French threat was imminent.
War broke out in 1756 and lasted until 1763. By 1760, however, the war in America was over after the fall of Quebec and the capture of Montreal. Great Britain had won the struggle in North America. Great Britain obtained the territory east of the Mississippi as a result of the war. Statues of King George III proclaimed the might of the Royal Crown but the war produced significant divisions between the colonies and the mother country. The British had no desire to exert complete control over colonial affairs, but they did want tight supervision of trade, the cooperation of colonials in local defense, and more financial contributions to the costs of imperial administration. The colonists, on the other hand, resented increased taxes, forced enlistment into the royal navy, and the presence of British soldiers in their midst. Dissent grew as spokesmen like Patrick Henry declared that the king had negated the original pact between Britain and the colonies. Another lawyer, James Otis, when so far as to challenge the English Parliament’s authorization of general search warrants (writs of assistance) to find colonial smugglers of slaves.
The Great War for the Empire, as the Seven Years’ War was called, brought to mind the divergence of opinions between Great Britain and its American colonies. As a result, many colonials no longer felt a need for British military power to protect them. The British realized the consequence of the war in North America by identifying six problems: (1) a colonial disorganized command structure, (2) inefficient administration, (3) lax enforcement of trade regulations, (4) wide resistance to taxation, (5) mistrust between colonies, and (6) extreme theoretical divisions in colonial politics. These problems were to fester leading up to 1776 and the birth of a new united nation in America.
We are now living during the third great Pluto galactic center alignment since the inception of our nation. The two previous alignments have several common denominators that aptly fit many of today’s circumstances. These trends are the meaning to this grand alignment.
The first theme is invasion. The voyages of discovery during the 1500s were in fact based on the expansion of wealth and trade. The French and Indian War and the greater Seven Years’ War of which it was a part involved an expansion of territory for the British and colonials. Both invasions were resource driven, just as our war in Iraq was a resource war over the free flow of oil.
The second theme is resource acquisition and protection. Land, and the resources it holds, must be held by arms and braced with laws. The early American settlements fought dearly to maintain their foothold on the New Continent. They had their Christian beliefs and British law to support the villages and towns that sprang up around forts. Territories were carved out of the wilderness ” purchased or taken from the indigenous tribes. The 1700’s were no different as the British rallied support among colonial militias and allied Indians to fight the French and their Indian allies in the rich Ohio valley and all the way up to Canada. The third Pluto/GC is similar to the first two. After successful U.S. military missions to quell social unrest, the challenge in Afghanistan and Iraq was to establish democratic rule of law, train their armies and police, and garner the support of as many tribal allies and Middle Eastern countries as possible. The English and colonials were successful in defeating the French, just as the settlers defeated the American Indians. And so America, now like the British, has successfully invaded Iraq (overthrowing Saddam Hussein) after subduing al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. The protection of Iraq, however, was prematurely abandoned by President Obama allowing a new threat in the region to emerge waving a black flag and proclaiming a new Islamic caliphate (ISIS). The war against ISIS and affiliate Islamic militants continues to this day, fifteen years and counting after 9/11. Complicating the Middle East situation was the arrival of Russia to bolster King Assad of Syria against rebel groups aimed at unseating him (with U.S. approval) and against ISIS forces headquartered in the country. The timidity of the Obama administration in standing up to Assad has given Russia a stake in the region and this same lame leadership has allowed Iran to partner with once enemy Iraq. The multi-nation agreement led by the United States to contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions is a colossal authority cave in paving the way for Iran to be the next super power in the region.
The third theme is cultural change. The Indian tribal cultures were radically altered by the advent of English and European customs. A semblance of French tradition lingered in some regions long after the English took control of North America but English common law, beliefs, and other European mores soon dominated the eastern portion of the continent. The European culture gradually merged with the Indian and rapidly replaced it in the colonies. Pioneers adopted many of the Indian ways but few became Indians. Witness today the mass exodus of refugees from Syria, Libya, and parts of Iraq. European host countries strain to house, feed, and reeducate the millions that have fled their native lands. The greatest threat posed by these new arrivals is not the few terrorists hiding in their midst but a failure to assimilate. Large segments of displaced people have not adopted the language and culture of their host country. Large pockets of alien culture existing in a society erode the foundation of existing laws and customs. Someday there will be a backlash.
Although cultural change of the conquered took place gradually, the enforcement of political change came immediately. When the war of conquest was over the winner’s political structure was forced upon the loser. Conflicts ” be they aggressive wars of conquest or rebellions against invaders – naturally produce scores of dead and wounded, disease statistics, and inevitable mass migrations. The American Indians are a perfect example of how conflicts displace people by the factors just mentioned. The French left in droves after the French and Indian War to their safe havens. The British gained ground in the conflict, especially overseas. And America became English speaking with British based laws.
The fourth theme is cooperative control of the conquered people. The colonists and their British overlords’ first-of-all wanted their settlements to survive. This necessitated trade and peaceful cooperation with the Indians. The arrangement to live with the Indians and to purchase tracts of their land didn’t go as planned. Conflicts and wars periodically broke out; nevertheless, treaty after broken treaty did allow many of the Indians to become allies at times and to provide valuable knowledge, help, and trade to aid the new comers. Eventually, it was the Indians, not the settlers, who would be decimated and evicted. A similar type of conditions applied to the British expectations for colonials. The British had no desire to exert complete control over colonial affairs, but they did want tight supervision of trade, the cooperation of colonials in local defense, and more taxes to fund their imperial holdings. Today cooperative control by the U.S. has been mildly successful in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The fifth theme is backlash. The various Indian tribes eventually revolted against the colonies when treaties were broken or their livelihood was oppressed. Sometimes rival tribes joined together to fight the whites. One of the most significant of these uprisings began during the spring of 1763. Under the leadership of Pontiac, chief of the Ottawa tribe, several Indian tribes launched a general attack against white settlements and outposts from Detroit to western Virginia. Over 2,000 settlers died in the two year uprising. Similarly, what the French and Indian War made clear was that the colonists resented increased taxes, forced enlistment into the royal navy, and the presence of British soldiers in their midst ” and sometimes even in their homes. These disagreements were the first brewing storms of rebellion. They would eventually come together and spark the perfect or grand storm of the American Revolution.
The sixth theme is retreat. The British lost their American colonies a decade after the Pluto GC alignment, just as the French lost much of their North American holdings after the French and Indian War, eventually selling the rest in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. The Louisiana treaty guaranteed existing Indian rights, but President Jefferson soon began to talk about the government’s manifest destiny to civilize the Indians and convert them into small farmers. The seeds of the Civil War were being sowed at this time too. Northerners and Southerners argued over the spread of slavery to the new territory that doubled the size of the colonies. Although the French and later the British surrendered their land and political rights in the New World, their cultural influence remained and was incorporated into the social fabric of Americans. The Indians, too, were force-fed the American culture.
The seventh theme is alliance. The Indians, the British, and the French eventually became our allies.
The eighth and last theme is demise. The Pluto GC alignment signals the beginning of the end of an empire. The Indian nations lost control of their domination of North America. The French abandoned all claims to the hemisphere and regrouped to expand their empire in Europe only to lose it with the fall of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1814. This would also be the year that the British lost the War of 1812 with America ” never to threaten her again but destined to be her friend. The War of 1812 had also crushed the Indian confederations that Westerners believed blocked westward growth. This started a period of forced removal of Indians to the West away from expanding white settlers. Spain as an empire was also crumbling with it tenuous hold on Florida soon to end.
What, then, does the Pluto/GC alignment mean for America today? Pluto symbolizes pulling apart or away from something. It is the planet of death, renewal, and new life ” transformation. Divorce after a time of love is represented by this asteroid behaving, semi-planet. Powerful change, forced or inevitable, is Pluto. Something comes to an end and a transformation into a new way of living takes place. This is so reminiscent of the themes just presented.
The star Aculeus, located just over 30 south of the galactic center, is closely positioned to the Pluto/GC. The astrological meaning for Aculeus, gleaned from centuries of star correspondence with human behavior, is linked to the constellation in which it is found. According to tradition, when Scorpio lost its claws to Libra, it also lost most of its position with the ecliptic. Ophiuchus lies over a much larger area of the ecliptic than Scorpio. Thus the Sun travels primarily through the stars of Ophiuchus from November 21 to December 16, rather than the stars of Scorpio. Ophiuchus could, therefore, be the thirteenth zodiacal sign. The Greeks thought of Ophiuchus as Serpentarius – the Healer. This was the god Asclepius, son of Apollo. Asclepius is usually depicted holding a staff with a serpent entwined – the symbol now used for Western medicine. Asclepius was the ship’s surgeon on the Argo who became so skilled at being able to bring patients back to life the gods smote him with a thunderbolt for fear that his healing powers would exceed theirs. Centuries later the Christians altered the myth to fit their philosophies. Ophiuchus became Saint Paul with the Maltese Viper; Moses holding up the blazing serpent in the wilderness; and, lastly, Saint Benedict standing among thorns.
What these myths tell us is that the constellation Ophiuchus is associated with healing and carefulness, rejuvenation, wisdom, and rebirth. Asclepius was said to have the blood of Medusa in his veins. Medusa’s blood on the left side was fatal poison, while the blood on the right was beneficial. Ophiuchus is thus connected with all aspects of healing. It represents the dichotomy of life and death, not unlike the Pluto duality of death into new life.
When Pluto passes close to the Galactic Center healing is needed to remedy earth’s ills be they from war, financial distress, social unrest, environmental damage, or climate extremes. But that is not all.
New threats emerge that challenge the preparedness and stamina of life’s inhabitants. A close look at the star map reveals three stars in Sagittarius and two in Scorpio that are in close proximity with the GC. Nushaba in Sagittarius represents the point of the arrow aimed toward the GC, while Kaus Meridionalis marks the middle of the bow and Kaus Australis the southern extreme of the bow. The meaning of these stars is linked to Sagittarius, the archer, a much feared warrior able to kill from afar with great precision. Implied here is warfare or the need for defense and readiness. Scorpio, on the other hand, stands for transition. Once heralding the beginning of fall, Scorpio was linked to darkness and death because days grew shorter and the nights longer. Autumn no longer begins in Scorpio but this constellation still retains the symbolism of transition.
The stars Aculeus and Acumen are the stinger in the constellation of Scorpio. Pluto passes by them on its journey through the GC region. Aculeus stands for attacks that strengthen. It is part of a nebula and, therefore, linked to blindness. Roman soldiers were tested for eyesight by being able to see or not see this and other nebula. Archers in particular had to pass this test. The reference to eyesight has a corollary meaning as insight or inner vision, intuition, wisdom and common sense. Associated with physical, verbal, or spiritual attacks that one is able to endure and become stronger as a result, Aculeus is an apt cosmic symbol for the Pluto alignment. It means being challenged and subjected to defamatory gossip and accusation, with the possibly of physical attack and injury or death. Wise and prudent uses of force and diplomacy are called upon to successfully deal with these threats.
The meaning of Aculeus is indeed relevant today. We are in need of healing our planet. The looming energy crisis will also require careful thought and strategic planning. New leaders of the world need both inspiration and common sense to cope with our resource shrinking world. Fuel, water, and food wars can be averted with the vision and political skill to do so; otherwise, blind leaders in government will overlook the perils of our times and catastrophes will result. The overseas challenges facing America are truly physical, verbal, and spiritual attacks that are making us stronger. But America must also change with the world. This means a drastic life-style shift from abundance and over-use to more efficient, smaller, and self-sustaining ways of living. In the bigger scheme of things if we do not use wise and prudent force in dealing with extremists and rogue nations, we risk alienating much of the world. We put ourselves and the world at great risk by allowing ideologically ambitious regimes like Iran and feckless ones like North Korea to obtain nuclear weapons. We must take a balanced healing approach with other world powers, respecting all cultures and governments while helping and protecting nations that hold positions in our self interest, and opposing those bent on conquest and the destruction of our way of life.
How do the eight themes of the Pluto/GC alignment relate to future events? (1) Invasion: the 2001 terrorist attack on America started a war to eradicate radical Islamic world terrorism. Osama bin Laden, the architect of Jihad against foreign meddlers on Muslim holy lands, was the chief enemy. His Taliban forces were in Afghanistan. So the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and ousted the Taliban, driving them from their government posts into the mountains, while stripping bin Laden’s training bases. Osama bin Laden and many of his followers, however, slipped away while remnants of his al-Qaeda and ex-government Taliban forces continued an underground fight. Interestingly, the man clandestinely placed in power by the United States in Iraq (Saddam Hussein) would play a pivotal role in the growing War on Terrorism. Hussein’s Iraq was first invaded during the George Bush, Sr. presidency after he invaded Kuwait and threatened the oil fields of Saudi Arabia (this marks the actual beginning of the oil wars). A second invasion of Iraq took place after the Taliban were driven from power in Afghanistan; this attack was largely based on the false premise that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. The U.S., like the English and European settlers, and the British and French governments, were now the invaders.
(2) Resource acquisition/protection: U.S. military bases were quickly established in friendly neighboring countries, and in conquered enemy territory. Staging areas, supply routes, and remote depots were also set up in the region, each being protected by thousands of troops, aircraft, and naval firepower. Most important were the resources – the oil fields and essential infrastructure for a continued military presence. Most civilians, on the other hand, were left with but a few hours of electricity, inept sewer and water systems, no means to rebuild their war-torn country or earn a decent wage. Thus an insurgency war started amid tribal animosities that bordered on civil war. This harkens back to the long Indian wars, the alliances between tribes, and between some tribes and the American colonists, the English, and French. The Indians were the ones who suffered like the Iraqi people today. Rendering service when they would, disagreement and war when they couldn’t, the Indians, like the Shiite and Sunni, both supported and fought the invaders.
(3) Cultural change: The American Indians were driven from their lands in mass migrations and mostly decimated by disease; in a similar way, tens of thousands of Iraqis have either been killed or have left the country. Sanitary conditions and unexploded ordinance will take their share of innocent victims too. The people of Afghanistan and Iraq will never fully recover from the cultural changes that are being forced upon them by our occupying troops and logistic support teams. Indian life was changed forever by the French and the Spanish, and especially by the English and European settlers. Corporate America has come to Iraq for oil contracts. Trade will be an enduring legacy if a pro-western government can stay in power. Expect McDonalds and other American icons of culture – ranging from electronics to clothes, to movies and music – to infiltrate upscale parts of Iraq and Afghan culture.
(4) Cooperative control: America, like the British earlier, has no desire to complety dominate and control their conquered lands. What is desired is tight supervision of trade, cooperation of the Afghans and Iraqis to police their people, and to draw up democratic constitutions so that the free world can cooperate and trade with them. Most importantly, favorable agreements between European and American oil companies and distributors must be made and protected to ensure that the vast oil reserves of the region are traded in dollars and shipped to allied nations.
(5) Backlash: Almost immediately after the fall of Baghdad and the surrender of the Iraqi military an insurgency grew. Baath party members and Hussein loyalists were not incorporated into the new government, nor were most ex-soldiers provided jobs. This resulted in a huge, mostly Sunni, revolt. Soon Shiite and Sunni factions were fighting each other – and coalition forces as well. The splintered, on-going fighting is reminiscent of the three century Indian wars. We face a long series of protracted struggles in Iraq and Afghanistan. The war on Muslim extremists is like a wildfire. It will spread with remarkable speed, die down, and reemerge in unexpected new directions. Terrorist cells are spread all across Muslim countries in Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Asia, and Indonesia. Only in our national interests will we intervene to weed them out. The Darfur region in Africa is one example. This Chad territory is rich in oil. The Chinese are already positioned in Africa to do business with them. To protect our interests and secure trade, the Defense Department created Africom in October 2007. Africom is an African command center to consolidate bases and operations in the continent. Soon we will be actively participating in fighting there.
Iran and Syria poise significant threats. There is the Yemen problem, Libya, Pakistan, and unanswered questions concerning Saudi Arabian trustworthiness. Any nation with a substantial force of Islamic militants is a potential hot spot too. There are forces aligned against American interests the world over, but especially in the oil rich regions, like kindling waiting to be ignited.
The Pluto GC signals a global realignment of power is in the making. A shift in the balance of world power results in huge geo-political consequences. What new alliances could be formed to counter U.S. and NATO aims in the Middle East? Russia, buoyed by huge oil wealth, is helping Iran and others with nuclear development. Russia is also propping up the Assad regime in Syria and has a solid foothold of air bases in that country. Russia and China have increased trade and diplomatic missions. Russian interests in resource rich Ukraine fuel the breakaway republics. Our European allies in NATO, although supportive of our military role in Afghanistan, did not share U.S. concerns that Iraq posed a serious terrorist threat. America, it seems, extended itself far beyond its borders to secure vital trade and resource deposits in Iraq. The British did so in America and elsewhere around the world over a century ago.
The first five themes of the Pluto/GC have been met or are coming together. The sixth through last theme have yet to fully manifest.
(6) Retreat: As the Indians, the French, and the British retreated from lands that they could no longer hold, so too will Americans leave Iraq, Afghanistan, and any other occupied territories invaded during the war on terrorism. What will be left behind is a permanent legacy like that of Genghis Kan, Alexander the Great, the Roman Empire, and Napoleon. This great legacy is a smattering of our culture, politics, and trade connections. America defeated will have gained what her corporate sponsors wanted in the first place new markets. The U.S. and a few allied oil companies will provide Iraq and, perhaps, Iran if she is overthrown, with the expertise and equipment needed to pump, refine, and distribute black gold. Valued contracts worth billions of dollars will, hopefully, keep America afloat in the middle of her rising national debt.
(7) Alliance: The Indians, French, and British each became U.S. allies in time. And so will the Afghans, the Iraqis, and other Muslim countries due to economics and cultural exchanges. The human price before this stage is reached, however, may be staggering. War with Iran over its nuclear buildup would be one scenario.
(8) Demise: This is the last and most difficult phase in the grand alignment of Pluto and the galactic center. It will take years to unfold ¦ but manifest it will.
The great, indigenous Indian nations of the North American Continent were eventually driven from complete power in less than three centuries; they lost most eastern lands after the second Pluto/GC alignment. Financially strapped by the end of the Seven Years War and unable to successfully tax the colonies to pay for her war debts, the British Empire gradually shrank. Britain could afford to lose America and still become the first industrial nation in the world. It would be two hundred years after the Pluto/GC alignment before Britain’s role as world leader passed to America. The United States has been the dominate power and economic engine of the world since World War II. The Pluto/GC alignment signals the beginning of the end of American supremacy. It may take several decades, even a century or more, before America passes the torch of leadership to another nation or united group of nations. But a cyclic study of history suggests that the footing for this exchange has been set. We can only identify the signs of decay within: rising national debt, falling value of the dollar, political corruption of the Constitution, continued rise in importance of the military/industrial complex, unwillingness to adequately prepare for an end to the era of oil. Whether America will successfully meet these challenges or succumb to one or more of them is yet to be seen. Another nation or united group, nevertheless, will soon ascend as we descend.
Pluto aligned with the galactic center precedes another important celestial marker. The equinox and solstice points define the electrically turbulent change of seasons. Large storm fronts caused by massive electrical disturbances in the Sun tend to occur around these times. The equinox and solstice points, therefore, are sensitive to planet alignments. Pluto crosses 00 Capricorn (winter solstice point) January 26, 2008. Pluto will retrograde later and cross the 00 point again on June 13, 2008. The final crossing will be November 26, 2008. The last time Pluto crossed the winter solstice was in January, July, and November of 1762, right before the end of the devastating Seven Years War.
The Seven Years War was the First World War. It had enormous effects resulting in a shift of world power. National boundary were changed, countries rose in influence while others fell. Although Britain won the war and cemented world power, she was pitifully hurt financially. The Crown tried, unsuccessfully, to tax the American colonies to help pay off the huge war debts. All this did was to hasten colonial rebellion and lead to the inevitable bid for independence.
Just as the French and Indian War in America set off the Seven Years War in Europe, Pluto aligned with the GC precedes the entry into Capricorn. America, now like the British Empire of old, was attacked on 9/11/2001 by a relatively weak and spread-out fanatical group called al-Qaeda. The war in Afghanistan soon led to a greater conflict in Iraq. These two engagements are the precursors of a further spread of violence worldwide that will likely last for two or more decades and cost the lives of more people than all previous wars combined. Iran will likely be the center of the next mega-war. But just as sure as the Seven Years War weakened the British economy and led to her losing the crown jewel – the resource rich colonies – so too will America be vitally hurt by the billions of dollars spent (without taxes being raised) fighting the war on terrorism (a.k.a., ideological oil wars).
The financial subprime credit crisis that started to unfold in the fall of 2007 weakened the U.S. economy. The stock market tumbled down and government efforts to forestall a severe recession were enacted in early 2008. The underlying bond markets felt the effects of the real estate slump and credit crisis sinking the U.S. into the worst recession since the Great Depression of 1929.
The 2008 Great Recession was as long as it was severe. Some of the effects were still noticed in 2016. Fortunately, it did not trigger a world depression. A world depression is most likely when the U.S. starts to default on her debts. The first of the baby boom generation retires in 2008. In the next two decades a tsunami wave of 80 million boomers will retire. This huge income generating and spending generation will overburden Social Security and put increased tax pressure on the two younger and smaller generations that follow. The government estimates that the peak in oil production will be in 2010 or later. Much higher fuel costs plus the boomers retirement will likely be major factors in a world downturn. It is imperative that America heed the transformative message of Pluto/GC and reverse unhealthy financial policies before it is too late. The star Aculeus points the way to the healing actions necessary to avert financial disaster and nuclear war. We must be careful in our negotiations with nations, make wise choices to sustain our economy, and rejuvenate our nation through sensible laws that protect but do not burden us.
 Reflecting the concept of transition the Sun only spends nine days among the stars of Scorpio, the other twenty-one in the constellation Ophiuchus.