I remember waiting for midnight to strike on 31st December 1999 and instead of whooping for joy at the prospect of a new millennium, worrying if I'd be able to get cash from the ATM machine and whether my laptop would cease to function. Then there were all those Nostradamus' warnings about the end of the world. Of course, we passed seamlessly from one millennium to the next and as far as I can tell the world is still spinning on its axis. And yet...
The first decade of Century Twenty-one ends spectacularly on a lunar eclipse - not a full-on total eclipse but partial - and all eclipses bode events of global significance. Endings and beginnings, closure and completion are full moon themes and it seems entirely fitting that on 31st December 2009 we will be closing the book on an extremely turbulent decade, and opening a fresh chapter. Hopefully, a better one.
Change there will be, however, things are not going to change for the better overnight. In September 2008 events in the world of finance set in motion the huge correction we are currently working through, and it will be at least 2013 before we start to see the kind of growth that breeds real optimism and confidence in the future. What we can celebrate on New Year's Day 2010 is that we are at the bottom and the only way on from here is up!
The main astrological signature on the next decade will be Pluto's. This slow moving planet - all right, I know it's officially a celestial dwarf but its transformational nature hasn't changed one iota - gives a whole generation is shape and texture. We have already seen financial institutions come toppling down, bubbles bursting and the State assuming greater control, and it is a trend that will continue in increasingly extreme forms until Pluto exits Capricorn in 2024. A world government could be formed during this time - a necessity born out of the Earth's dwindling resources, famines and wars - and with an impressive trio of planets in Capricorn as the decade ends 2020 looks to be the year in question. And, yes, there'll be good things too: breakthroughs in gene research will produce cures for cancer and motor neurone disease, we'll be able to put the mortally wounded or ill in a state of suspension, an awkward peace may well be established in the Middle East, and we should be able to get from London to Sydney in four hours in a rocket-powered plane.
2012 is another year to ring around in red in your ten-year-diary. According to the ancient Mayans, who knew a thing or two about astrology and time measurement, on 21 December 2012 at precisely 11. 11 am, the world will come to an end. Actually, this is not quite what the Mayans meant: their conception of time was circular with every ending marking the beginning of something new. (Now, where have you heard that before?) However, this date is of huge astrological importance: at the exact moment of the Winter Solstice on 21-12-12 the sun will sit on the heavenly crossroads between the Milky Way and the galactic equator forming an exquisite alignment with the centre of the galaxy. Wow, indeed.
And my prediction is that we will all still be here on 22 December 2012. Interest rates will be on the rise, David Cameron will be defending the actions of the Treasury Secretary, Madonna will be separating from her third husband, Jesus, and the Beckhams will be celebrating the birth of their fourth child - a girl, at last!
As they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same. And in a funny kind of way, I think that's rather comforting. Welcome to the the next decade!
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