On 3 January 2021, Bitcoin turned 12. In Western astrology, this is usually a very important time as it coincides with the very first Jupiter Return. Given that Jupiter is the planet of luck, abundance and expansion, this is usually seen as a very fruitful, expansive and fortunate period filled with growth and adventure. (It’s a very different story in Chinese astrology, though!)
For those unfamiliar with astrology techniques, this transit occurs every 12 years or so, when Jupiter returns to the position it occupied at a native’s birth, or when the chart was set up. In human terms, this right of passage coincides with puberty, and is usually celebrated via various ‘coming-of-age’ ceremonies around the globe.
Jupiter & the 2020 All Time High
Jupiter returns don’t only happen to people. The same principles can also apply to the astrology charts of companies, events or organisations. And Bitcoin has certainly proved that: The world’s most well-known and established crypto currency reached new all-time price highs just as Jupiter reached 29 degrees Capricorn – the exact degree of its natal position, on 17 December 2020.
What made the whole return even more ‘extra’ was the fact that it took place within days of the solstice grand conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in tech-savvy Aquarius on Dec 21 2020. The influence of Jupiter was palpable in the ebullient and expansive mood of investors – indeed, over the Christmas holiday period and into the first half of January, we saw an explosion, both of price and of buyers wanting to get in on the action – a trend that continues to grow, despite it’s characteristic volatility.
2020 vs 2017
To my mind, the current ‘mania’ surrounding Bitcoin fits very well with the optimism and increased confidence that a favourable Jupiter transit usually brings. What potentially makes this time different to the last price rally, which peaked on Dec 17 of 2017 at £12 772 (the exact ‘midpoint’ or halfway mark of the Jupiter Return cycle when transiting Jupiter was trine to Bitcoin’s natal Jupiter). However, deadly Pluto soon put an end to this, which is why the bubble ended up bursting in Feb 2018.
Is 2020-21 Different?
So, the question is – is this time different? Will it be another case of ‘tulip mania’ or the Dot.com bubble, as some analysts such as Peter Schiff? Or will it, as some of the more progressive fund managers like Cathie Wood, turn into a longer lasting bull market?
Although I am by no means a Bitcoin expert, I thought it might be fun to have a crack at making some predictions, based on the astrology and personal observations of the market and my own crypto trading experiences over the past six months or so.
Jupiter & Mars: Risk vs Reward
As you probably know by now from previous forecasts, although Jupiter generally bodes well for market conditions, leading to upward movement and favourable market conditions, it can sometimes lean towards over-optimism and inflation – even mania – if left unchecked.
Together with Mars, the planet of high octane, testosterone-fuelled action, Jupiter influences can increase risk-taking and create overly optimistic outlooks. It is also the planet of religion and beliefs, and so can indicate faith in a particular currency, commodity or stock.
Mars can also increase competitiveness levels, leading to a laddish, chest-beating culture which is of course, very common in the world of trading. I find it interesting that, despite being created as a reaction to the 2008 global financial crash, Mars is very strong in the Bitcoin chart: it forms a conjunction with Pluto in the early degrees of Capricorn, in itself a very ambitious and success-oriented sign. So although it does have quite a few placements in progressive and detached Aquarius, it still retains a certain degree of capitalistic aspiration.
Moonboys and Hodlers
This Mars-Pluto conjunction in the Bitcoin chart is, for me, very interesting. As well as enhanced levels of stamina, drive and endurance, this placement can also create tunnel vision that can border on obsession, and a kind of ‘fight to the death’ mentality. So, by it’s very nature, Bitcoin tends to attract competitive individuals drawn to the drama and intensity that comes with such high stakes gambling (notice that Pluto is positioned in the 5th house of speculation), but are also staunch advocates that’re extremely loyal and devoted to the crypto cause.
Here, I can’t help but think of the so-called ‘Moon boys’ and ‘hodlers’ in the crypto trading world who are almost evangelical in their zeal about the potential future price of Bitcoin. (We’ve all seen those YouTube videos telling everyone to ‘buy buy buy’ and ‘hang onto your coins because the price is going to skyrocket’ and so forth.) In true Plutonic fashion, they also tend to be up all night watching every price move like a hawk and talk in a rather paranoid fashion about not letting ‘whales psyche you out of your coins’ etc etc.
It will probably not surprise you to learn then, that both Mars and Jupiter were pretty active during January, especially in the third week, which led to some fairly decent upswings. However, with erratic Uranus also in the picture, things got a bit more swingy and volatile, making trends a little harder to predict.
Given this rather zealous and sometimes quite emotional and rash combination, the importance of managing risk becomes very important, especially when there is increased volatility, c/o destablizing influences like Uranus. Which is where Saturn comes in.
Saturn: Steadying the Ship
I think one of the reasons why investors may be more bullish about Bitcoin’s long term prospects in 2021, is because of Saturn. Although traditionally the planet of bear/bust, due to its tendency to constrict and contract whatever it touches, Saturn can also act as a stablising influence. By tempering the zoom in Jupiter’s ‘boom’, which can lead to price bubbles (especially when egged on by risk-taking Mars), Saturn helps to smooth out volatility and bring a degree of maturity and stability to the market. This may be one of the reasons why the ancient Babylonians, who ‘invented’ astrology, called it the ‘steady one’.
Given that Saturn formed part of the duo in that grand conjunction on Dec 21 , and that it moves a lot slower than Jupiter (around 1.5 times so) it gives situations time to ripen more gradually. And as we know from Aesop’s fable, it is often the tortoise that wins the race, rather than the hare…
So, I note with interest the growing number of news articles concerning institutional interest in crypto currencies, as well as reports of large companies like Blackrock, PayPal and Grayscale choosing to invest in Bitcoin.
Saturn & Stablecoin
Traditionally conservative, these types of financial institutions resonate well with the more cautious energy of Saturn, as do regulators – Saturn is not afraid of introducing rules and limits where necessary to calm and create more order.
Saturn’s ingress into Aquarius on Dec 17th, where it will remain for the next 2.5 years or so, therefore fits very well with the US Treasury’s decision in early January 2021, to not only allow American banks to hold the cash deposits that underwrite stablecoins like Tether, Paxos, Gemini and the US dollarcoin, but also to participate as ‘nodes’ on a blockchain, meaning they can also accept & process crypto payments, essentially taking them mainstream.
“Stablecoins refer to cryptocurrency backed by an asset such as a fiat currency, including U.S. dollars or other foreign currency,”Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
No doubt this decision was partially motivated by China’s introduction of the digital Yuan (e-Yuan) in 2020, along with a likely drop in the value of the US dollar as a result of more quantitative easing measures to stave off a post-COVID recession.
Defi and Uranus
However, a central bank-backed digital currency runs completely counter to the anti-establishment ideology that underpins ‘defi’ cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, in that they are not decentralised. In other words, they are simply digital fiat currencies issued and regulated by central banks.
Which brings us onto the question of revolutionary and ‘defi’ant Uranus.
It’s important to remember that Bitcoin was created 2009 in response to the global financial crisis. This is implied by the news headline embedded in the coinbase of the very first block ever issued. Published in The Times of London on January the 3rd 2009, it read: ‘Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.’ This is backed up by titbits left in various forums and chatrooms by Bitcoin’s mysterious inventor, a computer programmer using the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto, who claimed that he’d created Bitcoin out of anger about the 2008 crash. According to the New Yorker:
He wanted to create a currency that was impervious to unpredictable monetary policies as well as to the predations of bankers and politicians. Nakamoto’s invention was controlled entirely by software, which would release a total of twenty-one million bitcoins, almost all of them over the next twenty years.The Crypto-Currency. Bitcoin and its mysterious inventor, Oct 10 2011
Uranus and Campanus
This has the signature of the rebel planet, Uranus all over it. Disruptive tech is just what Uranus is all about and if we look at the Bitcoin chart, it is written into it’s very nature: Uranus in Pisces opposes Saturn in Virgo. In astrological language, this is all about giving the banking establishment and fiat currency the middle finger.
Now, this is where things get really interesting and suggest to me that Nakamoto knew his astrology: if we use the Equal/Campanus, rather than the more popular Placidus house system, we get Uranus in the 8th house of shared resources and Saturn in the 2nd house of value, possessions and net worth. This fits with the defi ideology (and the blockchain technology which makes this possible) that money should not be owned or controlled by any one person or organisation (2nd house), but should rather be transparent and belong to everyone (8th house).
I have put in a Campanus-based version of the chart (above) which retains the nodal axis along the angles but moves many planets around to somewhat more idealised positions than would otherwise be the case. Notice how Mars and Pluto move out of the 5th house of speculation and into the 5th house of work, and the Part of Fortune – a significant money indicator, moves to the 11th house of groups and society, as opposed to the 10th house which can sometimes symbolise the elite.
A Currency for the People
Now, Uranus in this chart sextiles the Part of Fortune in the 11th from the 8th, again suggesting ‘defi’ – a currency that belongs to no one but benefits all/the whole. Interestingly, Saturn is also making a harmonious trine to the Part of Fortune, helping to steady and stabilise its value whilst also ensuring accurate calculations (Virgo is all about getting the details right) and most people agree that blockchain technology in and of itself, is very reliable and accurate. And because every single transaction is recorded on it, it allows for a large degree of transparency – no more cooking the books (Enron or PWC anyone?) or secret backroom deals with those in power – everything above board and traceable.
Uranus is also notoriously unpredictable, and as the ruler of the Aquarius descendant, a bit of an enigma: difficult for others to ‘grasp’ or figure out – hence all the volatility associated with trading it. I think a Uranus-ruled DS also speaks of the notion of coding and encryption, which is of course, central to all crypto currencies.
All of which helps to explain why it has such fans in sci-fi lovers, computer geeks and anyone with an anti-establishment/anti-elite bent such as members of the Occupy movement.
What’s next for Bitcoin?
Aside from Jupiter, which will spend the next 12 months or so in Aquarius, from where it will create some fabulous bullish conditions, especially from mid-May to the end of Dec 2021, I think the key trend to watch is the upcoming set of squares between Saturn and Uranus in mid-February, Mid-June and late December 2021, and their effect on Bitcoin’s future course of travel.
Saturn-Uranus Squares: Change Management
It is here that we will see a potential rift develop between the needs of institutions, consumers and regulators on one hand ( = Saturnian centralisation, greater scrutiny and accountability, and increased price stability) and Bitcoin’s in-built distrust of the establishment, dislike for rules and hierarchical structures, and a desire for autonomy (defi) = Uranus.
Saturn, by nature, has affinities with law and order; and tends to favour conformity and conservatism over freedom, anarchy and the will of the individual over the group. Both, of course, have their strengths and weaknesses. Without it’s influence, ordinary consumers could potentially get ripped off by hackers and/or unscrupulous dealers/trading platforms. Bitcoin’s lack of traceability would also mean that criminals and terrorists could continue to use it as payment for illegal/nefarious activities. So, Saturn is needed if people are to trust in the crypto currency and have enough confidence that they won’t lose their money for the currency to go mainstream.
Bitcoin’s notorious Uranian volatility would also need to be stabilised in order for it to be adopted for business use. If prices continued to fluctuate wildly, it would be difficult for businesses to plan ahead, budget for future costs/expenses or agree contracts etc
Pluses that could Turn to Minuses
In many ways, the things that right now form part of Bitcoin’s charm/attraction may prove to be reasons for its ultimate downfall/failure in the future, so it is going to have make adjustments if it is to have any hope of longevity past Nakamoto’s 20-year timeframe. Otherwise, Bitcoin may well be eclipsed by other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum or one of the new stablecoins such as USDC or the Gemini USD coin, which are backed by real assets – in both cases, US Dollars. I don’t think that term was invented by accident, do you?
Many people have likened Bitcoin to gold as a safehaven or hedge asset to hold during periods of volatility in the ‘conventional’ markets, and perhaps this is a better way to see it long term – it’s high ‘value’ deriving largely from it’s increasing rarity (the two year halving cycle built into its protocol helps to ensure this).
Here, I find it telling that although many people see it as a digital asset – reflecting its Aquarius descendant, Bitcoin’s Ascendant is Sun-ruled Leo, which of course, is the planetary ‘overlord’ of this rare and lustrous metal. Perhaps one of the reasons why it is considered the ‘king’ of crypto-currencies (I would actually argue that Bitcoin is a queen – just look at her volatility/unpredictability, which has all the hallmarks of a woman who does exactly what she wants with no apologies).
And although she may currently be very volatile, many proponents argue that this will change over time as more people HODL and institutions buy in. However, it is also worth considering that gold can also be extremely volatile (changing price as much as 30-40%), as Harry Dent points out. An added plus, many argue, is that Bitcoin, in contrast to gold (which can be a little high maintenance), you don’t have to take on the additional costs and hassle of storing it or moving it safely, or indeed, worry that some ‘fractional reserve’ merchant (or central bank) is actually reselling/lending out your gold reserves to multiple people.
As the Bitcoin bull market continues and, with it, the accompanying FOMO, FUD and hype, a lot can happen. Much, I think will depend on macro-economics and fiscal policy at government level – more on which below.
Of course, as we know, governments and institutions haven’t exactly had the best track record at managing economies, especially since the 1930’s. People also talk about Bitcoin as a pyramid scheme when really, that is EXACTLY what capitalism is. So, the Uranian side of the coin, especially it’s 8th house focus on sharing (flat power structures and equal distribution of wealth) and collaboration (open source coding) certainly has some valid points to make.
Most people agree that the world’s wealth needs to be distributed more fairly across the board and not just concentrated within the top 1% who are, in many ways, exploiting the people below them. Otherwise, unequal wages, the loss of the middle class, tax evasion, nepotism and institutional elitism, which stamps out any true chance of succeeding by merit, will also continue to foment civil discontent and ultimately unrest. A
nd let’s not even talk about the growing mountain of debt and inflation that will continue to grow like a cancer if governments and the financial system refuse to acknowledge that their current models of economics simply do not work.
These are all Uranian-ruled issues. And as we learned from my recent analysis of Uranus and its role in both the American and French history, elites who continue to ignore the plight of ordinary folk and continue to maintain a medieval ‘let them eat cake’ attitude about the ‘peasants’, do so at their peril.
Here, I think a useful metaphor for these Saturn-Uranus squares is the tension between an idealistic but principled teenager/young adult (like, say, Greta Thunberg) who sees the world in absolutes (Uranus) but who is also less conditioned by generational groupthink or socio-economic norms; vs. the more seasoned and mature (but also more jaded, fearful and sometimes controlling) viewpoint of an adult who’s ‘been there’ and perhaps realised that life doesn’t always work out perfectly, and sometimes you have to compromise if a workable way forward is to be found.
So, which side will win out? Can Bitcoin shed it’s teenage mindset and mature into something more mature? Will the ‘suits’ kill it’s original spirit out of greed, or a lack of imagination? Perhaps, rather than think of this as a win-lose scenario, it’s better to try and find a win-win solution?
One thing is for sure: Change is coming, whether we like it or not. The key thing is how we choose to manage it.