As the European Union lurches from one crisis to the next, the biggest casualty so far looms ever larger on the radar screen. Italy, the third largest economy using the Euro, the 10th largest in the world is seriously in danger of defaulting on it’s debt payments. As it stands Italy’s debt stands at a whopping 130% of GDP. Not much chance of turning that around in the next few weeks, is there? If Italy defaults, this will place huge pressure on France and Germany who will have to carry the majority of the burden, if that is, they decide to do so.
Italy’s chart problems are very obvious if you look at the natal chart. The chart was formed on 2nd July 1871 in Rome at 12.30pm. It features a very strong cardinal t-square with the Sun and Jupiter (the planet of knowledge, wisdom and faith) in close conjunction. Both are in maternal Cancer in the sign of the family. What more appropriate symbol of traditional Italy? That the family is taken so seriously can also be seen with Capricorn on the cusp of the 4th house. That conjunction opposes stern Saturn in Capricorn alongside the emotional Moon (representing the people) in the 3rd house of communication and the press. Here in the opposition we see the influence of strong conservative faith Saturn opposite Jupiter (the planet of religion) in the 9th house, and also in Jupiter opposite the Moon we see the extravagant emotions of the Italian people. This opposition squares Mars conjunct the ascendant. All this emotion, faith, and communication is done with flair and panache. This is a feisty country, passionate and often in crisis.
Uranus in the house of government show the Italian tradition for rebelling against an administration as soon as it has taken it place in Rome, Italian politics are always in a state of flux. With a square from Uranus to Neptune, you can see that corruption and dirty dealing is inbuilt into the Italian system. This Neptune also trines to Venus in the 11th house giving the country and the people a sense of style and a love of beauty and fashion. With Aquarius on the cusp of the 5th house, this creativity is cutting edge, fresh and unusual. Venus makes a square to Pluto in the 8th house showing a real passion for sport, culture and entertainment. This also probably accounts for the liberal & rather sexual attitude to the treatment of women; where else in the world would you get an ex porn star being elected to Parliament? Pluto in the 8th house also gives a clue to what is going on right now. Pluto represents change, constraint, death, destruction and regeneration and the 8th house in mundane (national) astrology is associated with other country’s finance. Scorpio ruled by Pluto sits on the 2nd house of the Italian money and finance supply, so safe to assume that any difficult transits from Pluto or to Pluto would hit Italy financially and Pluto sextiles the Midheaven too, the public face and reputation of the country will be severely affected.
Now, the Italian Saturn (part of this hugely stressful t-square sits at 6 Capricorn, the Moon lies at 8 Capricorn, Jupiter at 8 Cancer, Mars at 7 Libra, the Sun at 10 Cancer and a little further on the ascendant at 13 Libra. All these planets lie at early cardinal degrees and all are at the mercy of transiting Pluto which is gearing up to hit this 7-10 cardinal degree zone in late 2011, through 2012 and into 2013. Pluto is ruthless and will completely shake up the whole Italian economy. This is a transformation on a huge level coming up, and the debt crisis is only going to be the start. The beginning will of this will be as Saturn crosses the Italian ascendant in the middle of this month. Italy has come under greater and greater scrutiny in the past couple of weeks as Saturn has been approaching this point, and in the process activating the natal t-square. Watch out for the default notice to be served on Italy then. The process of Italy’s European partners bailing her out will start as Jupiter enters the 8th house (the other people’s finance coming to the rescue). Behind this generosity, the pain that the Italian economy will have to go through to reform and to repay back the money owed is going to be huge. In simple terms, Saturn is bringing the fear, Jupiter the temporary relief, but Pluto will bring the long lasting change.