The unhappy events of the last few weeks of 2008 give us all grave concerns for the future of the Middle East. The effect a widening war could have on Western economies and daily lives have profound implications for our economies and the personal futures of those who choose a military life.
I fear that the US administration is still top-heavy with hawks who have convinced themselves that the only solution to the "Iranian Problem" lies in the use of military force. If they follow the course of expanded war, the outcome will almost certainly be horrific. The traditional associations for Mars and Pluto include "large explosions" and as we enter 2008, we have Mars Retrograde, opposed Pluto (at a critical degree). With Pluto also conjunct Jupiter, and recent events in Pakistan, it is no wonder more than one astrologer is concerned about the potential for nuclear terrorism in the Middle East.
There could be expanded home-grown terrorism. Atlanta and New Orleans are highlighted as potential danger areas. "Middle America" suffers from grave challenges and the possibility of war coming back home. This is unlikely to be outright rebellion, but it could take many forms. There are already signs of an epidemic of family and spousal abuse by returning vets struggling from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These men and women are not receiving the quality of care they have earned and deserve. Their resentment is rising like bile in the throat of America. I am concerned that more than one former soldier may snap, with terrible results in the heartland.
Russia and Iran will be implicated, openly or secretly, in meddling with the war in Iran. Russia and China could face diplomatic challenges related to oil, Internet technology or space exploration. There could be something of an arms race brewing between the two.
The Canadian currency should continue to remain strong in 2008. Gold will be volatile, but look for it to go higher. A big player in the gold markets could be found to be hoarding gold or somehow manipulating gold prices.
There may be an outbreak of violence in Turkey, related to Cyprus.
Hotspots to watch in Africa are Libya, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria.
I am actually optimistic about the year ahead in many ways. The interesting challenge this year will be for women. There are both challenges and renewals for those who consider themselves "feminists". What do women value? What really matters? From what source springs our authority? Do we take what we can from old, white men, following their lead, or do we decide for ourselves what matters most to us? Do we chart our own path, or follow in the footsteps of our ancestors, repeating the dances they taught us as children?
A woman will take over as the major new CEO of a large company, to try to bring them back from the brink of disaster. There will be a jump in the numbers of women in leadership positions, including the rise of women in political leadership, particularly in Europe.
An old technology in communications could make a comeback this year. Letter writing could become a retro-fad. People will be looking for new-old ways of making contact with family members and loved ones.
There could be a breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease. The treatment could involve stem cells in combination between embryonic and adult donors, together with drugs and some form of innovative or alternative treatment. A compromise between competing drug companies could lead to a major new treatment that includes some older treatments.