Back in the late 1980s I met a Japanese man who asked why my Walkman (hand-held device that played what were called cassette tapes) was so big.
Was it big? This is what they sell at the stores, I replied.
A few years later in while traveling in Japan I understood his wonder. At that time, the electronic devices being sold in Japan were not just smaller, but more prolific and innovative. In fact, Japan in the early 1990s is where I used my first keycard to open a hotel room door. While in the United States we were developing computing technology, we were still issuing metal keys to hotel guests.
Big has been a theme of this nation with its large landmass and plentiful natural resources. While at the pool the other day, I saw a swimming instructor teaching two toddlers. The exercise involved cookies.
What kind of cookies do you like?
Do you like big cookies or small cookies?
One of the two girls unfortunately said “small cookies” which didn’t work well with the next step which was mixing the dough in the (big) bowl. She swapped “small” for “big” quickly.
American big may appear to be a result of our great natural resources, but it’s also a result of our trade and foreign policies.
The transits of Pluto in Capricorn (2008 – 2023) and Uranus in Taurus (2019 – 2026) affect the entire planet, but for each nation they mean something specific. For the United States, with “natal” Pluto at 27 degrees of Capricorn, it’s particularly rough because it’s an evolutionary cycle.
In spring 2022, the return will be complete. This is the end of a cycle. Take notes in your diary for your descendants.
Natural Cycles: Uranus in Taurus
Yesterday someone forwarded an Atlantic article about supply chain disruption and why it is occurring. Americans want more, it said, but supply chain is stalled. The supply chain disruptions are often with the parts of objects (cars, appliances) or the containers that hold them (cat litter).
Uranus is enlightenment and clarity and Taurus the body and all tangible, fungible items which includes your body and your house. Expect the entire seven years of this transit to involve supply chain volatility and more body changes. Uranus is a wave, not a line. Uranus is volatile, not “good” or “bad.”
For the people of a nation that can go into the store for boxed cereal and find it almost 100 percent of the time, this is a shock. But remember, people in other parts of the world live this way regularly.
What does it take to assure Cheerios are on the shelf 24/7, 365 days a year?
Americans are finding out.
Much of American foreign policy involves or has involved the control of supply chain from bananas in Latin America to oil in the Middle East. It’s not new, but as Pluto returns to its natal place in the United States horoscope, the control of the last 248 years is ending.
While it disrupts our routines, maybe it’s also time to understand how natural body cycles (Taurus) have been altered by Pluto in Capricorn’s need for order, control and authority.
While Americans like big cars, houses, bank accounts, and big cookies, we do not like one thing to be big: our bodies. To the universe, we can’t send out the energy of “more, more, more, big, big, big” and then expect to have a small body. If astrology has taught me anything, it’s balance. Give me everything big except these one or two things is not balanced.
With an economy based on consumption, the United States is the world’s largest consumer and trash maker. If an economy is based on consumption, “more, more, more, big, big, big” is the goal. I believe our bodies will become healthier if we send the correct message to all parts of our lives, not just our bodies.
It took me a while to realize that I was seeing asparagus every time I went to the grocery. And I kept buying it so that now I’m a little tired of it. I kept buying it because that was my habit when asparagus was only available in spring locally.
Asparagus is available almost all the time now because it comes from Latin America. That’s certainly comforting, as a matter-eating human. Yet asparagus has now lost its specialness. It was a joy and delight to see its reappearance in spring.
Natural cycles have ebbs and flows and we’ve lost that knowledge through our consumer-based society that assures all products all the time with immediate delivery. Our bodies then too have lost that knowledge.
As a friend told me years ago, when she was young her large family would get new clothes at Christmas. It was special and with the other holiday events, made the season especially delightful. We’ve lost that specialness.
Supply chain disruptions have brought that back – if we can get over the compulsion to hoard. In 2020, months went by without chipotle sauce. It was delightful to see when it returned to the shelves. Appreciation and gratitude also increase when there is fluctuation. The fluctuation is simply a reminder.
Dependence on cheap foreign labor
Constant, consistent product also depends on cheap (or cheaper) and abundant labor. Currently two nations supply much of that less-expensive labor: India and China.
During the pandemic, Americans have also come to understand this dependence on foreign labor. Why can’t we make our own masks? We can’t make our own masks because we can’t compete with foreign factory labor.
While your Covid vaccine carries the brand name of the big pharmaceutical companies, much of the actual work is done by contract research organizations in these two countries with millions of scientifically-trained citizens who are less expensive than American scientists.
Fighting with China, in particular, is biting the hand that medicates us. Who fights with their drug dealer? It’s the opposite of smart.
Loss of Control and Authority: Pluto in Capricorn
For the last 248 years, the United States has gained increasing control over global politics and supply chain. As Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, that global control began to wane. Recent political events are simply a response to that loss of power.
In case you haven’t kept up with the news, the United States has been under direct assault by cyber attacks, “Havana syndrome” or microwave assault of US diplomats, and huge disinformation campaigns across all media channels. That Americans are fighting with themselves and trust no one only serves our enemies.
The “trump” card the US is playing is that regardless of how much we are attacked, we still have the military might to blow up the globe.
But we can’t eat missiles. We can, however, eat vegetables.
Let Them Eat Vegetables
During the pandemic lockdown, grocery store shopping was a delight. So few people, so much fresh produce! Many switched to ordering prepared food (prepared by and delivered by others) to avoid the “others” in the grocery store. And after the early hoarding, packaged goods returned (and lots and lots of alcohol).
As noted above, I ate a lot of asparagus, as well as other fresh fruit and vegetables. If there was a disruption in fresh produce in my market I didn’t feel it on the consumer level.
Rather than mourning the loss of global power and control, it might be time to accept that we are getting the treatment we have been giving others. Research any consumer product to the labor-level and see who is doing the work, what they get paid and how the natural resources of their own nations are impacted.
While American pride may prevent it, it’s a good time to turn the next Pluto cycle (248 years) into Capricorn’s higher purpose – personal responsibility. Capricorn in extreme carries the world on its shoulders. But really personal responsibility means understanding the impact of our choices.
Rather than desiring a return to “more, more, more, big, big, big” we can simplify and reduce, as Capricorn is an earth sign and known for its frugality.
And we can eat more vegetables. It’s good for the body.