Greece attempts to renegotiate its EU debt deal

(3 February 2015)  Anxiety in financial markets seems to have eased a bit in recent days as the newly-minted Greek government endeavours to negotiate a new debt deal from the EU.  The anti-austerity Syriza government is trying to postpone their debt repayment in order to give a boost to the domestic economy.  Spearheading these efforts is the new Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who has become something of a celebrity through his wit and casual style, as contrasted in this picture with the buttoned-down formality with his UK counterpart, George Osborne.  Varoufakis has reiterated his government's desire to remain in the Eurozone under any circumstances by citing the lyrics to the old 70s pop song Hotel California, "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

Varoufakis has the horoscope of someone who is both intellectually inclined and who seeks novel solutions.  While we don't know his birth time, he was born March 24, 1961 in Athens.  For convenience, we will use noon and use the Chandra Lagna chart as a stand-in for the proper rasi chart. Right away, we can see that key Moon-Mars conjunction in Gemini.  Gemini is a very cerebral sort of sign as it gives prominence to the exchange of information and communication.  The Moon-Mars conjunction is a classic signature for a quick-thinking and intelligent person. regardless of the sign it is placed in.  The Gemini placement likely makes him that much more witty and voluble. 

And of course the bottom line planet for intellect is Mercury.  Varoufakis' Mercury is placed in an air sign (Aquarius) in a tight conjunction with Ketu, the South Lunar Node. Mercury-Ketu conjunctions often confer a preference for originality and a special sense of perception that may fall outside the mainstream.  Ketu is all about erasing or challenging boundaries, which is why it is prominent in the charts of people who follow a spiritual path.  It seeks to transcend the everyday world in its search for meaning and union with the Absolute.  When it is paired with Mercury, the thinking process is liberated from the simple rules that govern rational thought so that the individual may become more creative and be more apt to think unconventionally.  The fact that both the Moon and Mars are placed in a sign that is ruled by Mercury (Gemini) means that this unusual and even iconoclastic quality may be manifested more widely as the Gemini energy has an outlet to spread through the rest of his chart (and his life).

His intellect may be more obsessive and penetrating due to the exact opposition aspect with Pluto.  Pluto's influence on Mercury is often one what is capable of great focus and may give the native a desire to delve deeply into matters of perception and logic.  Taken together, this trio of Mercury-Ketu-Pluto is quite a clear indication of a very intelligent and focused person who is able to makes sense of complex problems.  This is not to say that his particular solution to the Greek debt problem is more correct than anyone else in the EU. Rather, his career in economics can be seen as a reflection of this intense desire to solve problems according to some kind of rational paradigm.  Both left-wing and right-wing politics can be said to follow rational paradigms, even if their ethical assumptions differ fundamentally. 

Other placements in his Moon-as-Ascendant chart are also positive for a successful career.  Sun is in the 10th house from the Moon (status, high profile) and his near-stationary retrograde Venus is in the 11th house (gains, high income, wishes fulfilled). 

This current rise to fame is less clearly seen in the transit chart in Chandra Lagna but may be more evident through his tertiary progressed chart.  The close Sun-Jupiter conjunction is the perfect astro signature for the gains and rewards he is no doubt enjoying in his recent appointment as finance minister.  Progressed Jupiter moves very slowly -- just a bit more than one degree per year -- but the progressed Sun moves about one degree per month so it should be seen as an accurate timing device for Varoufakis' ascension onto the world scene. The fact that this conjunction isn't exact until April suggests that the odds favour some kind of solid debt deal in the days and weeks to come.  The man is definitely on a roll which should see him preside over a successful renegotiation of Greek sovereign debt. 

But difficulties may surface as progressed Mercury and Venus align with progressed Saturn in the coming months.  That alignment appears to be closest in June and July, although the Mars station in May also looks a bit troublesome.  Just what these alignments may indicate is hard to say.  More bad economic data out of Greece?  German impatience with Greek internal restructuring to limit public spending?  Whatever it is, it seems likely that Varoufakis' honeymoon period is likely to end by late spring or early summer. 

Financial Markets Update

Stocks slumped last week as the latest comments from the Federal Reserve suggested a more hawkish policy towards rate rises in the future. The Dow lost about 3% closing at 17,164.  Indian stocks fared rather better (as has been the case recently) with only a modest pullback as the Sensex remained above 29,000.  This bearish outcome was in keeping with expectations as I thought the various Mars aspects during the week would likely mean declines.  Even the late week Sun-Mercury conjunction seemed suspect as stocks fell sharply on Friday. 

Thus far this week stocks have risen predictably given Monday's Mercury-Venus-Neptune alignment.  I had noted the bullish tendencies of this alignment in my investor newsletter. We could see a little more upside in US markets today (Tuesday) on the Moon-Jupiter conjunction, but the rest of the week looks less positive.  The problem here is that Mercury is in a bearish aspect with Saturn for much of the rest of the week.  While it is quite unlikely we will see a decline through the rest of the week, one would think that this bounce won't last and that some downside will occur.