Unemployment is at a 20-year high in the United States, around 10% as of November 2010. This constricting of our economy (see blog “Pluto in Capricorn, Christmas is Over”) has affected all of in some way. If we are not personally affected through loss of job or income, someone in our family or group of friends is, and we can see what financial hardship can do – unpaid bills, foreclosures, strains in relationships and unmet physical needs.
It occurred to me the other day why looking for a job, especially in a bad economy, is so noxious. The US is commonly referred to as a consumer society – buying products is what keeps the economy moving (as opposed to manufacturing and exporting). In the financially bubbled late 1990s and early 2000’s, we had easy access to credit and the things we wanted. I want a new tennis racket – I can save or I can charge. Saving means “later” and credit means “now.” Credit gave way to instant gratification. Instant gratification created sophisticated Internet tools that continue to allow us order all the books we want from Amazon.com in one blink-of-an-eye click (which I still love, no matter how my wallet shrinks).
When I shop, I choose. As a US consumer, I have great power to make choices. I ordered the blue shirt, not the black shirt. I send it back, no questions are asked and I then receive the blue shirt. Or I take my receipt back to the store and exchange the black shirt for a new DVD, because at that moment a DVD is more appealing.
When I interview for a job, someone else is choosing. None of my awesome power as a consumer is relevant. I arrive for the interview early. I wait for the interview. I wait for a follow-up phone call, I wait for an offer. I move from powerful consumer to powerless beggar.
I wonder if our power as consumers has made us forget the fact we are still dependent upon others for income? “Mine” and “yours” are interdependent. Maybe part of the intense psychological impact of the recent recession is that we were recently very powerful beings with credit and bonuses. Yesterday we had sign-on bonuses and today we get pay cuts. We were highly valuable, now we’re as precious as sand.
In the natal horoscope, the 2nd house is our money & assets and the opposite 8th house is other people’s money, shared assets and taxes. At a deeper level, the 2nd house is about values. Our values can most easily be seen in how we spend our money. The deeper level of the 8th house is recognition – others give us money because of how much they value or care about us. Who isn’t offended when not receiving a raise? It sends the message that you are not valuable enough for more money or that you are doing something wrong. The 8th house also rules inheritance and if you are left out of the will, it sends a strong negative message about your person.
In the past decade, we were encouraged to buy houses through low interest rates and banks’ willingness to lend money. The banks were encouraging 2nd house self-sufficiency, right? Yes, until you received your letter in the mail suggesting you borrow off of that house to buy things – things for your house, or maybe a car or maybe a vacation . . . Very clever to lend us money and then engage us in borrowing off of it. Our 2nd house self-sufficiency was turned into 8th house debt.
The sign on the cusp of the 2nd house and planets within it represent an individual’s attitude toward money, resources and values. If the sun is in the 2nd house in a practical earth sign, this is someone who likes to save money. But if the moon is in the 2nd in a fire sign, this would represent someone who spends impulsively.
Moving to the 8th house, look again at sign on cusp and planets within. If the sun is in the 8th house, most likely the person is sharing assets with someone, maybe as the party that brings more physical assets to the relationship. If the moon is in the 8th house, the person expects others to provide for them.
The 2nd house is more independent, while the 8th house is more dependent. As with all polarities described in the horoscope, they are inter-related. My independence is still dependent on someone providing me money (wage, inheritance, trust, welfare). My dependence allows someone else to interact in the world while I take care of certain aspects of his/her life. You can’t go to work with your baby; someone needs to watch the child to allow you to be independent.
Don’t feel powerless on that next job interview. We are all part of a whole, dependent on each other for our livelihoods. And don’t forget the 2nd house habit of saving for a rainy day. The rainy days have arrived.