The Chart for Oil is based on the 1st strike on 28 Aug 1859. (Nick Campion’s Book of World Horoscopes). The old ruler of Oil, Jupiter, is Angular and exalted in Cancer, and the modern Ruler Neptune is in its own sign of Pisces in the 2nd House of wealth and resources. So the chart immediately looks ‘radical’ – i.e. it describes its subject well.
I’ve been wondering for some years what would happen around the Neptune Return of this chart. Being a mundane chart with a long life and subject to slow collective undercurrents, I think we can view the Neptune Return as having begun when Neptune entered Pisces.
(In the same way the US Pluto Return at 27 Cap arguably began when Pluto entered Cap in 2008, and the financial meltdown made clear that the country will not be No 1 for much longer.)
The conventional wisdom used to be that we would soon reach ‘Peak Oil’ (remember that?), when world reserves and consumption would be such that the rate of oil use would start to decline. And I used to regularly see posts claiming that Peak Oil had been reached, and I was sometimes suspicious that the authors were saying this to some extent because they wanted Peak Oil to have been reached, so that the world would be forced to look at alternative sources of energy.
But it did seem for a time as though the Neptune Return of the Oil chart would indeed coincide with Peak Oil, and would be the primary meaning of the transit.
But then fracking came along (frak is the futuristic word for f**k in Battlestar Galactica), and the oil industry suddenly has a whole new lease of life.
According to Wiki, large scale commercial fracking began in 2013 (after many years development) – as Uranus-Pluto were hard-aspecting the Asc of the Oil Chart, and Neptune was opposing its Sun. And there was a Jupiter Return that year. So both observation and the astrology tell us that the use of oil has entered a major new phase.
The Uranus-Pluto transit describes the unexpectedness and technological nature of this development (Uranus) and the renewal of the industry (Pluto). It also describes the wide protests against fracking that are occurring.
The current Uranus-Pluto square (2012-15) has been a time of protests and revolutions, just as was the conjunction of the 60s. Rebellion (Uranus) against power (Pluto). The empowerment (Pluto) of the people (Uranus). Those words make it sound like a good thing. But it’s neither. It’s just what happens under Uranus-Pluto, and it equally describes the crucifixions in the new Caliphate as it does the Occupy protests. And whether or not they are ‘good’ depends on your criteria and which side you are looking at it from.
Apart from the expansion in the use of fossil fuels that fracking allows, there are also other concerns about its environmental impact – its use of a lot of water, the chemicals it puts into the ground and the toxic wastewater it creates, and earth tremors. There are many accounts from the USA of people living locally to fracking operations becoming ill.
You can see it all unfolding: the authorities doing their best to ignore the harm that fracking is causing because there is so much money to be made. A new industry not being regulated because the government is in the pockets of big business. Eventually, years down the line, when there is enough evidence to take the companies to court and win, better regulations will be brought in. And we’ll look back and wonder what sort of society it was that allowed these ghastly things – and there will be ghastly health incidents – to happen.
For now, the authorities are doing one of the things they do best, which is turning a blind eye where big money or perceived national interest is concerned. Big money is amoral, it is like a beast in the jungle.
In the financial crisis, there was no point blaming the bankers. They just did what bankers will do if you don’t regulate them. Blame the government and the people who kept electing them for not exercising Saturn properly. And the same goes for fracking. There's no point blaming the oil corporations, we know what they are like, it is proper regulation that is needed.
The trouble with Uranus-Pluto is that it polarises. Issues get raised in no uncertain terms, but it is also war. I don’t know if fracking can be done in such a way that it causes minimal environmental damage. But fracking is probably going to happen on a wide scale however much people protest, because our economic security is perceived to be at stake.
All the same, the protests are flagging up the concerns, but we will probably have to wait until polarising Uranus-Pluto has done its work before actual negotiation leading to better regulation can take place. Both the fracking and the protests against it have been born under Uranus-Pluto, so they both have power and longevity. It’s probably the beginning of a long struggle.
In 2019-20 Saturn will conjoin Pluto in Capricorn. That will be a good time for some proper regulation of this new industry. People are sensitised these days to the damage that corporations can wreak, which means regulatory action can happen more quickly. 5 years would be fast, relatively speaking.
At the same time, protesters come with mixed motives like anyone else, even in a good cause. The anti-fracking movement will inevitably have attracted a percentage of people who hate authority – another expression of Uranus-Pluto - and who are only too happy to fight against it. And who are probably also genuinely concerned about fracking. It’s complicated. But this element gives ammunition to the opposition, because the way we go about these things is as important as the cause itself. What can happen under Uranus-Pluto is that each side starts to resemble the other.