Gathering clouds

At this writing, the New York markets are not yet open. Everyone is speculating about whether they will come tumbling down, or if the S&P downgrade of the U.S. credit rating will be shrugged off by investors. A shrug-off could certainly happen: after all, professional investors often by 'junk' bonds and very iffy penny stocks. But markets run on psychological contagion just as much as rational assessment, and with Neptune back in Aquarius and Mars about to square Uranus and Pluto, a mild reaction seems unlikely.

Some people are apparently hoping for a crash, a way of clearing out our old system so that we can begin building a more sustainable, sane economy and society. As much as I'd like to see change, I don't think we are ready for such a dramatic shift. Bread lines and mass unemployment are more likely to fuel violence and mindless destruction than to stir up universal compassion at this point. The London riots over the weekend are an example.

Those riots are also yet another example of Neptune in Aquarius - as they were apparently coordinated via a network of Blackberrys, making them harder to trace than other social networking devices. With Mercury opposite Neptune, getting a clear idea of what happened may take some time, if it happens at all.

We are in the most energetically packed week of the month. Between now and the full moon on the 13th, the energy will be running fast and furious. Mars squares Uranus later tonight, then Pluto on Wednesday, followed by Saturday's full moon.

You might want to get a bag of popcorn and watch what happens in the world, as issues bubble up and burst open. But in our personal lives, those same energies can lead to a sense of frustration and anger. The Dog Days of summer are hot this year, so try to chill.