Hello, everyone.

Remember “irrational exuberance”?  This afternoon I was listening to “Talk of the Nation” on NPR and I heard the term “irrational pessimism”.

Irrational exuberance – Fire signs

(Source:Wikimedia Commons)

(Source:Wikimedia Commons)

When Alan Greenspan, then Chairman of the Federal Reserve, coined the term “irrational exuberance”, the planet Pluto had just entered the Fire sign Sagittarius where it was to stay for the next twelve years.  Pluto reflects the grand movements in society and the evolution of life on earth.  Sagittarius is nothing if not exuberant.  Pluto entering Sagittarius heralded an era of unregulated prosperity fueled by a frenzy of optimism.

At the time of Greenspan’s speech in 1996, Saturn was in Fire sign Aries in trine aspect to Pluto.  Unlike our current Saturn in Libra transit, where Saturn is particularly strong, Saturn is weakened when in Aries.  The passion and entrepreneurial attitude of Aries is at odds with conservative Saturn and Saturn becomes fairly ineffective. A weak Saturn in Aries combined with Pluto in Sagittarius was perfectly reflected in the phrase “irrational exuberance.”

Irrational pessimism – Saturn and Capricorn

Now we hear “irrational pessimism” – Pluto in Capricorn squaring a much stronger Saturn in Libra.  Capricorn, and its ruler Saturn, are known for pessimism – they see the glass half empty.  Saturn’s role is to contract, conserve, and limit. Capricorn is the part of the cycle that makes things real, brings ideas into the material plane, and builds structures to secure our belongings – serious business! 

With Pluto in Capricorn until the mid-2020s this pessimistic, nose-to-the-grindstone attitude could be here to stay.  There was an article in Newsweek this week that spoke about how “even one really tough year experienced in early adulthood is enough to fundamentally change people’s core values and behaviors”.  Even though the economy is improving, Americans are still not spending, which potentially increases the downward spiral.  Americans have quadrupled their savings rate and hope to save 15% of their income going forward.  This seems rational, but those dollars tied up in banks allow the banks to make money, not small business owners who are the engine of the economy and provide the most jobs.

We all understand where “irrational exuberance” led us.  Do we understand what will happen if we succumb to “irrational pessimism”?

Habituating to pessimism?

What do you think?  As for myself, as an exuberant Sagittarius, I can’t live with pessimism and depression too long.  I don’t care much about what’s “real”, I care about my spirit and greeting each day with enthusiasm.  I learned many years ago that we create our reality from the habitual thoughts in our minds.  Are we all habituating to “irrational pessimism”? 

Please weigh in:  do you think this pessimism is rational or irrational?  And what do you think we should do about it?