The Quality Formerly Known as Greed

A couple decades ago when vanity license plates surged in popularity here in central Ohio, a friend remarked, “Isn’t vanity supposed to be a bad thing?”

Recently while reading a book, the author commented upon greed. Like the word vanity, I haven’t heard of anyone calling another “greedy” in quite a while. Dictionary.com describes greed as “excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.”

Has Ohio eradicated greed? Should Ohioans be promoting the non-greedy life among their fellow men?

Or is greed strong and healthy living an anonymous life under another, assumed name?

Greed in the Horoscope

The houses of the horoscope that rule money are Taurus (2nd house) and Scorpio (8th house) which I think of as “my money, your money.”

Looking for greed in the money houses is logical, but I don’t think it’s entirely accurate. Greed, like any quality, is separate from the object of desire. The object isn’t the greed; the energy is the greed.

While the earth-sign Taurus may like objects more than other signs, I think it tends less toward greed because of the fact it actually enjoys physical life. Greed, as this Psychology Today article describes, is more like an addiction. If you were gratified by something you built or bought, you wouldn’t need more and more and, therefore, wouldn’t be greedy.

Taurus, unlike other signs, can be quite content with what it has. Contentment, in fact, is a trait I associate with Taurus (especially moon in Taurus) which also lessens the tendency toward greed which is a seeking of something else.

When Taureans go bad, however, they do tend to focus their energies in the material realm such as with Bernard Madoff.

On the opposite pole of Taurus is water-sign Scorpio which wants connection through sharing a bed or a bank account – a physical merging. Because Scorpio, the fixed water sign, tends toward obsessiveness, I can see it being more prone to the energy of greediness, yet I don’t see it ultimately seeking the objects of the world that greedy wants. Scorpio ultimately wants emotional connection, not physical objects.

There are two other earth signs (besides Taurus) that seek fulfillment on the physical plane – Virgo (mutable) and Capricorn (cardinal).

In a Forbes article on billionaires’ horoscopes, it found Virgo as the prominent sign, although Scorpio Bill Gates was on the top of the list. We also must consider in that type of list that some have inherited their wealth and some earned it through creativity rather than pure desire for capital accumulation.

But that’s the interesting thing about wealth – it bestows power and control. Talking about power, we’re back in the realm of Scorpio which is ruled by Pluto. Control is Capricorn which is ruled by Saturn.

The last and cardinal earth sign, Capricorn, is not on the billionaire list but is well-known astrologically for its ambition and materialism. Capricorn is the mountain goat which climbs up, up, up. As they say about power, it’s lonely at the top. Capricorn gone bad can sacrifice a lot of personal relationships through drive for success.

If you find a Capricorn content with his/her position in life, please let me know.

Virgo is the most passive of the earth signs, generally focused on practical aspects of life such as work, health and diet. While I don’t have time to trace the Virgo billionaires, I wonder if Virgo wealth doesn’t come from good old-fashioned penny-pinching. I’m guessing those Virgo billionaires may still clip coupons.

Virgo is more about efficiency than gain, but can get caught up in its own devices in what today is called obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Virgo, Capricorn and Scorpio, then, seem to have a tendency toward capital accumulation or material accumulation not for its own enjoyment, but as a type of addiction or compulsion.

The Roaring 90s

A couple years ago, the most popular post-graduate degree became the Masters of Business Administration – MBA (25.4%) surpassing education (23.6%). Education degrees, keep in mind, are often a requirement. While the years are spotty on this site (some years are not represented), the surge in business undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees came in the early to mid 1980s.

While business degrees increased in the 1980s, it wasn’t until the 1990s that the US had an economic boom. As this Economic Policy Institute site notes:

One of the big stories of the 1990s was the acceleration of productivity growth in the latter part of the decade. Productivity growth averaged 2.5% in the second, compared to 1.5% in the first part of the decade. This improvement primarily resulted from more investment in new technologies, mainly computers and software, and from a tightening labor market that forced firms to utilize their existing pool of workers better.

This resulted in the great increase in consumption as percent of GDP:

Consumption is both the largest component of GDP and a leading indicator for future investment. Consumption as a share of GDP grew steadily throughout the 1990s to more than 68% by 2000.

Is consumption just another word for greed?

The Socialization of Greed

At the beginning of the 1990s, Jupiter was in Cancer while Saturn, Uranus and Neptune were all transiting Capricorn. Pluto was in Scorpio.

By the mid 1990s, Saturn had moved to Aquarius. Jupiter changes signs every year so in the decade passed through 11 signs from Cancer to the beginning of Gemini.

The economic boom of the 1990s occurred with Saturn and two outer planets (Uranus and Neptune) in the Capricorn with Pluto in Scorpio.

What’s so fascinating here is that the economic boom occurred with three major planets in Capricorn. Come 2009 Pluto begins to transit Capricorn and a great portion of that gain of the 1990s was destroyed.

Let’s start with Saturn in Capricorn. Saturn rules Capricorn so Capricorn is very happy with this overseer. Saturn in Capricorn are the solid, practical messages sent by our traditions and elders to follow the rules, follow authority (true authority, not anyone that calls him/herself authority), be stable (like buy a house) and save your pennies for a planned future. Oh, and make sure you have insurance.

So far, so good.

Uranus in Capricorn says that conscious awareness and sudden shifts will occur through this same energy.

During the 1990s sophisticated and abstract trading began from individuals known as “quants.” Their trading took down a few corporations from Long-Term Capital Management to Lehman Brothers. The high mathematical and statistical nature of these business practices meant that the average person couldn’t understand them yet one day would find the price of their house had diminished and wouldn’t exactly know why. Electricity trading also rose in this period, as Uranus rules electricity. Enron’s paper financial gains occurred during this period and collapsed in 2001.

Let’s not forget all the technology developed during this time was part of the boom. This increase in technology has further increased our dependency on electricity, which began being traded during that same time (interest to speculate where this will lead).

All the while Saturn in Capricorn had been telling us, “What’s more unassailable as an investment than your home?”

Uranus made us aware of abstract practices that we average folk could never understand but that affected whether or not we had a job and a home.

That’s quite an awakening.

Which brings us to Neptune in Capricorn which “spiritualized” this same energy. Neptune is the glossy glow that is put around the lover’s face in the movies. This halo increased substantially around the individuals who brought us technology and economic growth (which at the time was believed to be a real thing).

The spiritualization of Capricorn seemed to create the belief that “if it’s good for the economy, do it.”

This Neptune in Capricorn energy (which moved to Aquarius and is now in Pisces) worshiped and admired anyone that made money through Capricorn endeavors. These became our new heroes.

The Capricorn and Scorpio (and Virgo) tendency toward greed does not appear to have been eradicated but transformed through the spiritualization and socialization of business.

If greed is consumption which is the basis for the US economy, greed, then, must be promoted for us to survive in this country as we do today.

What if the US economy wasn’t consumption (greed) based? Would we be forced to travel into our own greed to discover what this addiction is truly seeking?

I wonder what an economy of contented people who didn’t need much would look like.

Prone to Greed, Prone to Depression?

What’s interesting, too, about Capricorn and Scorpio energy, is that, according to astrologer Liz Greene, these two signs are also prone to depression (Dynamics of the Unconscious, p 95).

When our economy fails, we call it a Depression, although we’ve also decided to transform that term and instead call it a Recession. Pluto began transiting Capricorn in late 2008-early 2009 and, with it, came a depression of the financial and emotional kind.

Your house is gone, your job is gone so who are you? What is the point of this life? What was the point of all that striving? What was I truly striving for? Will I ever find a job? Will I lose my house?

For Americans, work is defining so loss of work can be extremely traumatic.

If Capricorn and Scorpio tend toward both greed and depression, is greed an attempt to alleviate depression?

An NCHS brief states that:

From 1988–1994 through 2005–2008, the rate of antidepressant use in the United States among all ages increased nearly 400%.

While our economy was booming, our spirits were falling.

Possibly instead of trying to fix the economy, should we try to understand and alleviate this collective depression? Maybe then we wouldn’t have to ever again worry about the economy because we would be happy with our material goods and not constantly seeking more and more.

Greed can then have its name back.

We can then spend some time searching under rocks to find where vanity is hiding.

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About ohioastrology

I'm just another soul trying to make sense of the world. As I've grown, so has my understanding of astrology. I'd like to communicate that astrology is not occult and not fortune-telling but that it is a fluid, creative description of the life we choose to live.
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One Response to The Quality Formerly Known as Greed

  1. Pingback: Conspiracy Theory: The Virtue | Ohio Astrology

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