Looking forward: The transformation of 2012

Looking back to understand the future.

No matter what you think about the controversy over the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012, there is no question that this is a significant time in human history.  As I write this, a wave of revolutionary fervor is spreading throughout North Africa and the Middle East, and in the United States frustrated workers are taking to the streets in protest against a political structure that favors banks and corporations and strips individuals of their economic rights.

It would be easy to think that perhaps the world really IS coming to an end if you weren’t following the astrological trends.  These trends provide a context for these world events and offer clues to help us to make sense of them as well as the changes that are occurring in our own lives.  The interrelationships of the planets as they circle the Sun help us to define periods of cyclic change that will encourage personal growth and global balance.  Depending upon the nature of the individual planet, areas of life which are out of balance will be highlighted and will require that we make some sort of adjustment in order to achieve a harmonious state in our lives.

In order to understand the nature of the changes that are coming, we must travel back in time to the beginning of 2008 when Pluto entered Capricorn.  As the planet that governs destruction and regeneration as well as revelations about the dark side of human character, Pluto has a transformative effect on the issues of any sign that it travels through.  Pluto’s journey through its own sign of Scorpio witnessed revelations of sexual abuse and the HIV epidemic  (death through sex) which transformed the way most of us viewed the permissive sexuality that came about during Pluto’s sojourn through Libra, the sign of relationships.  Pluto’s passage through Sagittarius brought us not only the September 11th tragedy (death by airplane and religion, both Sagittarian motifs) but also a relentless optimism ® that resulted in “bubbles” in the stock market and in housing.

With the entry of Pluto into Capricorn, that excessive optimism of the Sagittarian theme was forced down to earth with a hard landing.  Where Sagittarius encourages us to seek worlds that lie beyond the boundaries of our imagination, Capricorn requires that we restrict our scope and attend to the details at hand.  The economic debacle that followed Pluto’s entry into Capricorn has been most difficult for those of us who were the most optimistic during the Sagittarian period – those of us who took out large mortgages in anticipation of employment success or who were living beyond our means.

The difficult adjustment period of Pluto’s entry into Capricorn in 2008 was followed by a conjunction of Chiron (wounding and healing) to Neptune (spiritual attunement) in 2009 and early 2010 that brought up all of our anxieties and emotional distress and may have made it even more difficult to work through our economic difficulties.  Chiron’s ultimate goal is to heal any imbalance in the body/mind/spirit system and sometimes in order to do that we must undergo a “healing crisis” which forces the release of mental and emotional toxins which have become problematic.  Occasionally this results in actual illness that must then be attended to.

Where we are now

transformation of 2012Art by  In 2010 a major alignment of planets in the cardinal signs of Capricorn, Cancer, Aries and Libra began to take shape.  Pluto in Capricorn, Saturn in Libra, and Jupiter and Uranus in Aries all  took their places in a drama that forced many of us to make changes in our personal lives in order to accommodate these global forces for healing and transformation.  These forces reached a peak during June’s eclipse in Cancer when the planets aligned in a Grand Cross of transformation and power.

Now that we are just one year away from the dreaded 2012, many are fearful of changes that might still occur.  “Haven’t we had enough change?” we may be asking.   And if everything in our personal lives is in balance, then we have had enough change.  THEN we are ready to take a break.  Until that point, the planetary gods work tirelessly to encourage personal and global transformation to bring balance into our earthly lives.

During the summer of 2011 Uranus in Aries will be within one degree of an exact square to Pluto in Capricorn.    The combination of Uranus and Pluto is a particularly potent one that breaks down old structures and ways of being (Pluto) so that something new and fresh and completely authentic can replace it (Uranus).  This is not always an easy process.  Those of us who remember the 1960s (when Uranus and Pluto conjoined in Virgo) will remember the thrill of radical and revolutionary new lifestyles that broke down the stuffy (Virgo) morality of the period.  This was a time of great liberation around the world: Black Power, Women’s Liberation, the domino of independent states across Africa as colonialism fell– but there was also a great Plutonic cost in terms of human lives that were lost  as the old order was broken down (Pluto) in order for change (Uranus) to take place.

The upcoming square of Uranus to Pluto will actually begin in the summer of 2012, and the two will dance an incredible seven times before concluding in March of 2015.  The turbulence that we see now sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa is just the beginning of this wave of Uranus/Pluto energy that seeks to sweep away the old and rotting corpse of a way of life that no longer works for humans at this stage of their psychic and spiritual development.  This same dynamic will be at work in our personal lives, revealing any pocket of experience that is no longer serving us and which needs to be removed from our lives.   This will understandably create a certain amount of chaos on an intimately individual level.

The changes of the next few years will most personally affect those of us with planets between 5 and 15 degrees of the cardinal signs (Cancer, Capricorn, Aries and Libra), and most especially those with Uranus and Pluto in these signs, including:

  • Those born between 1919 and 1928 with Pluto in Cancer
  • Those born between 1929 and 1932 with Uranus in Aries
  • Those born between 1951 and 1953 with Uranus in Cancer
  • Those born between 1969 and 1972 with Uranus in Libra
  • Those born between 1974 and 1978 with Pluto in Libra
  • Those born between 1989 and 1992 with Uranus in Capricorn

With Pluto in Capricorn, the very foundation of our material world will be challenged by the Uranian influence.  Our finances, our retirement plans, our marriages – any of these structures that we build to contain our lives could be threatened if they are not built on solid footings.  The effect of Uranus can be very stressful for the nervous system since Uranus operates on an electrical platform that can excite and thrill us, but also inspire anxiety and distress.   It is crucial to remember during this period that if any aspect of our personal lives break down under these influence, it is because they are no longer serving their purpose and require transformation in order for all involved to move forward in their personal evolution.

Looking ahead to the future

Transformation of 2012The gods are kind and they will be gracing us with a number of powerful harmonious transits to accompany the stressful times.  Chiron (the Soul Healer) and Neptune (the Soul Teacher) both move into Pisces this year where they will offer a direct line for us to communicate more directly with our own inner guides and teachers.  This process will be facilitated by Pluto, the Great Transformer, in a harmonious sextile to Chiron that occurs between 2012 and 2014.  At the same time, Saturn, the Celestial Teacher, will be in a harmonious trine to Chiron, helping us to more easily work with the soul wounds that are the source of our greatest pain, but also the keys to our greatest personal transformation.

Saturn will also trine Neptune between 2012 and 2013, enhancing our ability to give form (Saturn) to our direct connection to the spiritual world and our own personal guidance.  And finally, a harmonious sextile from Saturn to Pluto during this same period will provide us with a solid container (Saturn) within which this tremendous metamorphosis can take place.

Because every human being is interconnected through an energetic grid, the personal work that each of us does to accelerate our personal transformation will have an affect on every other person on the planet.  But this works both ways: we ourselves our affected by the energies with which we surround ourselves.  Waves of fear and distress can be internalized in ways that are not helpful.   We are being guided here by the most powerful of the planetary gods, and a high level of trust in the process will be required of us.

The biggest enemy of personal transformation is resistance, and in a period of extreme volatility such as the one we are entering it is tempting to try to protect ourselves by digging in our heels and attempting to hold back the flood of change.  This will not be effective and will only create additional distress.

As part of this resistance you may find yourself experiencing physical illness or drug addictions (especially with both Chiron and Neptune in Pisces, the sign of escapism as well as spirituality).   You may be plagued with anxieties as you attempt to hold back submerged thoughts and memories which clamor for attention and release.

Or you may find yourself engaging with these planetary energies by allowing yourself to be led by them in a mode that is completely reactive and without thought or planning.  The force of Uranus can inspire us to quit our jobs and leave the country one minute, and regret it the next.  Some of us will react to heightened anxiety by acting out and creating chaos in our relationships and work environments.

Under this pressure, psychotherapy may be helpful, although most psychotherapists are not trained to look at life through the lens of a spiritual awakening.  Throughout this period we will be best served by orienting ourselves towards the spiritual experience by seeking greater intuition and wisdom that is freely given from the inside.  Turning inwards In meditation, ecstatic dance, yoga, chi gong – all of these classic modalities teach us how to work with the energy of life to find the quiet center within.  It is from this center that all effective transformation comes.

And most of all. learn to trust the planets.  Through their guidance and wisdom we learn that just as we fear we will be enveloped by the darkness, the light shines through in greater measure than ever before, bathing us in the warm glow of ecstasy as we leave the darkness of the past behind and walk into a new world.

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By | 2011-03-01T08:30:58+00:00 March 1st, 2011|2012, Longreads|6 Comments

The astrology of Carl Jung and his Red Book

A secret book written by Carl Jung nearly one hundred years ago will be released next month according to the .  Known as the “Red Book,” it was jealously guarded by Jung’s descendants until it was recently found in a bank vault and negotiations with the Jung family ultimately permitted its publication.

The work of Carl Jung transformed the field of modern psychology by incorporating the concept of archetypes and synchronicity into the mystery of the workings of the psyche.  The Jungian process involves delving into our dreams and the symbols that weave a web linking the conscious and the subconscious.  In doing so, we are able to venture on a path of self-discovery and facilitate the process of what Jung called “individuation” in which lost parts of ourselves are recaptured.

Jung’s awareness of the synchronicities in life incorporated the use of dreams, ancient symbols and archetypes, alchemical symbolism, and astrology.  He wrote:

“The collective unconscious appears to consist of mythological motifs or primordial images, for which reason the myths of all nations are its real exponents. In fact the whole of mythology could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective unconscious. We can see this most clearly if we look at the heavenly constellations, whose originally chaotic forms are organized through the projection of images. This explains the influence of the stars as asserted by astrologers. These influences are nothing but unconscious instrospective perceptions of the collective unconscious.”

from Jung’s lecture “The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious,” Collected Works.

In 1913 Jung “found his psyche starting to teeter and slide, until finally he was dumped into what would become a life-altering crisis.”  He began experiencing visions and hearing voices, and in what he later called a confrontation with the unconscious he used the experience to attempt to tear down the wall between his rational self and his psyche.  “He found himself in a liminal place, as full of creative abundance as it was of potential ruin, believing it to be the same borderlands traveled by both lunatics and great artists.”  Quotations from the New York Times article.

Carl Jung’s birthchart reveals his extraordinary cpmmectopm to the archetypes of the unconscious.   His Sun was in the sign of Leo, reflecting the ultimate need for self-expression and self-understanding.  His Sun was angular, sitting right on the cusp of the seventh house of partnership (or Descendant), suggesting that he defined himself through the Other.  His Leo Sun was therefore exactly opposed to his Aquarius ascendant which requires the transcendence of the Self into an experience of the Collective.

With Aquarius on the ascendant, Jung’s chart was ruled by both Saturn (the traditional ruler)  and Uranus (the modern ruler).  This is a complex combination because those two planets are so different, and it gives the Aquarian nature a double-edged sword.  On the one hand there is a need for order and discipline with Aquarius under Saturn, but the Uranian influence gives Aquarius its love for the unconventional and the embrace of the collective.  With the Leo Sun exactly opposite the Aquarius ascendant Jung would have been torn between the individuation, as he put it, of his Selfhood (Leo), and the sublimation of individual consciousness into the mythology and symbology of the collective (Aquarius).

Angular planets are more significant in the birthchart, and Jung’s Sun was angular because it sat right on the angle called the descendant at the seventh house.  His sun formed an exact square to Neptune, the planet of dreams and the subconscious, fantasy and illusion.  Neptune was also angular, sitting right at the cusp of the fourth house of home and inner life, the point that we call the Nadir or the .  Neptune at this point brings an intimate connection with the our ancestral past that transcends the boundaries of ordinary reality.  Any planet found at the Nadir of the chart affects our inner world and our very sense of being incarnated in a body, and Neptune at this point suggests a tenuous anchor between body and spirit. Neptune, like the Sun, formed a square to Jung’s ascendant, which exacerbated the thinness of the veil between Jung’s conscious Self and the subconscious and transcendent (Neptune).

The square from Neptune to the Sun has been a topic of great debate over the past couple of years because we find this aspect in the chart of President Obama.  Because Neptune has a tendency to blur boundaries and confuse the issue, when it forms a challenging aspect like the square to the Sun, which represents the development of the Self and the Ego, there is a challenge to the formation of that sense of individuality.  We already see that with the Sun sitting on the descendant, the point of the Other, Jung has a tendency to lose himself.  The square from Neptune exacerbates this.

At the time Jung descended into his journey of darkness, transiting Uranus was crossing the ascendant of his chart and setting off this whole dynamic that challenged his Selfhood.

According to the article in the  last Sunday, the unraveling of Jung’s psyche began in 1913, a period of time that coincides with the transit of Uranus over Jung’s ascendant, the point of personal identity.

Uranus is strong in Jung’s chart, since it forms a tight square to his Taurus Moon.  The Moon in the birthchart represents our emotional security, and in the fixed signs the emotional nature can be quite rigid and resist change to the breaking point.  The challenging square from Uranus, planet of sudden change and shock, to the Moon suggests an early shock to Jung’s sense of emotional security and an unpredictable relationship with his mother.  In fact, Jung’s mother spent a great deal of time alone, disconnected (Uranus) from the family and in contact with a variety of spirits and apparitions.  He later said that his concept with women was one of “innate reliability,” something that is echoed here in the square of Uranus to the Moon.  He also likely felt abandoned by his mother with Pluto in conjunction to his Moon in the natal chart.

Jung’s study of psychology brought him into contact with Sigmund Freud, and the two had a close association for several years that ended in 1912 as Uranus made the first pass over his ascendant and opposing his Sun.  The Sun in the chart can represent one’s relationship to the father, and Freud was a father figure of sorts to Jung.  Uranus transiting in opposition to the Sun likely created a rebellious (Uranus) desire to forge his own way and express his own ideas (Sun).

Jung’s perilous descent into the dark land that straddles the conscious and subconscious between 1912 and 1917 has been called a “creative illness” by his biographers.  He retreated from public view, studying Gnostic writers and psychic phenomena.  He write, “It would be no exaggeration to all it a state of disorientation.  I felt totally suspended in mid-air.”  (Memories, Carl Jung.)  This is a very apt description of the experience of a Uranus transit, in which everything we know and hold on to may be turned upside down as our soul and psyche attempts to reveal the truth that lies within us.  At this stage Jung, having rejected the paradigms of religion and psychoanalysis, was left without a theological leg to stand on and had to make his own way through the darkness.

The transit of Uranus over Jung’s ascendant set of a rebellion within him against his own identity (ascendant/Sun) but also set off the square to Neptune in his chart.  It’s no wonder that his subconscious became filled with dreams and fantastic images as the collective subconscious (Neptune at the nadir of the chart) exploded under the Uranian influence.

Jung’s descent into creative madness culminated in December of 1913,  He had visions of falling into a hole in the earth in a shamanic experience that he later postulated was a sacrifice for the greater good (natal Sun square Neptune is the martyr or Christ figure).  At the time, transiting Jupiter was in an exact square to Jupiter in his chart which as we now know opposed Chiron exactly.  An opposition of Jupiter to Chiron in the natal chart suggests that the shamanic experience that Chiron provides facilitates the development of the construct of meaning for the individual (Jupiter).  There is a powerful inner connection to a deeper reality, and this can sometimes overcome the experience of material reality.  When Jupiter transited over this sensitive point, at the height of the Uranus cycle, Jung was liberated (Jupiter) from the boundaries of physical reality and freed to travel into the mysteries.

When we are in the middle of a transformational experience it can be so uncomfortable that we don’t recognize its value.  Later on, we often look back and say “what an amazing time that was.”  This is powerfully true for this experience of Jung’s.  Jung’s biographers have debated this period in his life for what is now nearly a century.  Some said that Jung was clairvoyant and predicted World War I.  Some say that Jung experienced temporary insanity.  Some say that Jung had a Christ complex and believed he was sacrificing himself for the good of humanity (again, Sun/Neptune).

The astrological symbolism reveals something much more magical: the opening up of a soul to the shamanic experience that revealed the depths not only of the personal subconscious, but the transpersonal subconscious as well.  Without this soul journey Jung would likely never have been able to connect so deeply with the archetypes and symbols that formed the foundation of his work that viewed psychology as an alchemical process.

On a personal level we can also imagine that this experience, which took him on such an incredible transpersonal voyage, also provided him with a healing crisis of his own that accelerated his inner work so that he could later set aside his own personal issues to explore the transpersonality of the psyche.

During this period he wrote very little of a professional nature, but instead poured his visions and thoughts into 1330 pages of notebooks.  He included paintings using pigments that he himself produced and wrote in the style of the fourteenth century (Source:  The Wounded Jung, Northwestern University Press).  He  later put together 600 pages of these writings into the Red Book which was then jealously guarded by Jung’s heirs after his death, as you can read in the Times article.

Jung brilliantly utilized his descent into madness in order to transform the field of psychology forever.  This concept of the alchemy of personal transformation provides the foundation for the work that I and other transformational astrologers do in our client work.  Rather than look at an illness as a disease, whether mental or physical, we look to see what planetary dynamics are at work here and how they can be used for transformational purposes.

We have Carl Jung, and his descent into the underworld of the subconscious and subsequent return, to thank for that.

For more on Jung’s alchemical transformation and astrology, 

By | 2009-09-21T06:41:39+00:00 September 21st, 2009|Consciousness, Favorite posts, Longreads|Comments Off on The astrology of Carl Jung and his Red Book

Pluto in Capricorn: A History Lesson

Thanks to Elsa and for by Shane Ward on Pluto’s imminent entry into Capricorn written back in 2004.

The previous ingress of Pluto into Capricorn was 7 January 1762. (For the record only I will mention that in 1762 Peter III of Russia was crowned only to be murdered 6 months later and replaced by Catherine II. This was a very quick fall and rise that stank of corruption and infamy). US Independence was around the corner (1778) and as Pluto is in the later degrees of Capricorn in this chart it is worth reviewing what sparked the rebellion against the British and the events that led to their defeat. It is also worth considering now how often history has a tendency to repeat in some way.

The Seven years war of Britain against France (and Spain towards the end) happened between 1756 – 1763. George the III ascended the throne in 1760 (acquiring Buckingham Palace in 1762).

After the war it was time to count the cost [emphasis added]. The Bank of England had been set up in 1694 to help Great Britain recoup its previous war debts. Even though Britain had plundered much Spanish treasure from Havana and elsewhere this time around, it still had debts amounting to ?133,000,000. Britain by now, however, had colonised many countries. It had attained greatness and was now a global force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately the lack of finance over the following years led them into very unpopular territory. Britain needed revenue from their subjects including India, Cuba and America. It was the time of realisation of the British Empire but it had cost them dearly. The Stamp Act of 1763 was the first attempted tax of the colonies. Naturally this was viewed in an unfavourable light, especially in America.

One of the main sources of income outside of Britain was via the East India Company. Generally remembered for trading in tea (we’ll come back to that in a moment) it was trading in 1763 mostly in opium.

Forcing the natives in India to grow opium and selling it to China had been going on for quite a while. The ships returned with China black tea to sell to the wealthy. The British Government openly condemned the trade, of course, but secretly supported the valuable revenue it was producing. Likewise the East India Company also traded (by proxy naturally) as carrier ships for the slave trade, which was another lucrative source. The East India Company literally ran the country of India at this time. For the record, the first Indian tea to be imported into the UK would not occur until 1887.

The East India Company had its own flag, the Grand Union flag that has a tangible link to the United Sates Stars and Stripes. Readers in the United States may now start to feel uncomfortable, especially if they are already observing parallel similarities to current wars and national debts at this point!

The coincidences are alarming. One of the main communication routes between India and Britain was Iraq. In 1763 the British Company set up a factory in Basra for commerce and enterprise.

By 1773 Britain was still trying to recoup its debts. The growth of Britain’s trade and commerce had significantly expanded and the London Stock Exchange was founded. Meanwhile, the East India Company had not done so well and was on the verge of bankruptcy. The drug trade had become more difficult and, to assist in a continuation of revenue, Britain allowed them the sole franchise to sell tea tax free to the colonies. The Americans were undercut by this action and is what led to the now famous Boston tea party (1773) incident (Note the long running Saturn/ Neptune conjunction from Feb 1773). This was the first dissent leading to the American declaration of Independence (4 July 1776) citing the unalienable rights of ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’. The power and passion behind these simple values were taken up on the background of oppression and the right to self Government. Great Britain could not impose its will on the people of America. First they lost America and then they lost face and had to reconsider their position in the world.

Pluto ingressed into Aquarius in January 1778.

So what do we learn from this? Pluto goes into Capricorn when a nation that has risen to greatness is on the back end of a war that has cost a fortune. So great is this cost that they seek to recover their losses in a grossly unfair and oppressive manner; So powerful is the need to obtain money that even companies become big and powerful enough to run other countries. The people suffer until the burden becomes oppressive. The control and manipulation becomes so much that they say enough is enough. They demand the unalienable rights of ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’. Those who tried to impose their will on others were turned back.

Now which period of time am I talking about -1762 to 1778 or 2008 to 2024? Personally I think that the parallels are a little too scary to ignore. Not convinced? OK let us look at it in a more up to date manner.

Let us assume that it is the United States of America and not Great Britain that is now involved in a Seven-year war. The destruction of the World Trade Centre in 2001 led to the war against terror. In 2002 the coalition forces invaded Iraq (How strange was it that Britain got Basra!). What if this little slice of the war on terror lasts for Seven years until 2009? The cost has been astronomical (US national debt is around $137,000,000,000 I understand). Not only that but the single minded obsession to forge ahead regardless becomes oppressive to their allies and/or the occupied. The people in occupation cry out for independence – for the very same unalienable rights of ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’. A small collection of countries joins together – a sort of United States called Europe. But the very nature of democracy means that Great Britain is no longer a single entity. However the fall manifests it will be the United States of America that has to reconsider its position in the world. Remember that Great Britain thought it could dictate terms back in 1778 and got hammered by a bunch of farmers!

To recoup the losses there is no way that the country will survive from its own internal manufacturing. So it must use the profit making abilities of a large company to produce big enough revenues from an international source. It is unlikely to be opium, slaves or indeed tea. But it could be oil. Oil from where you may ask? If I read the 2004 presidential election campaigns correctly I understand that George W Bush plans to drill for oil in the Antarctic – something that has been regarded as taboo for years. One could imagine that this act would ruffle a number of feathers. Alternatively I suppose that the oil in Iraq could be siphoned off by way of compensation. Naturally this would go down like a lead balloon with other oil producing companies on the grounds that they would have had their trade effectively cut off. Both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait would be incandescent with rage! One wonders what would happen to the US dollar if oil producing companies started to value and sell oil barrels in terms of Euros instead of US dollars?

This is eerily prophetic since the attempt to establish a permanent base in Iraq from which to siphon off oil for Americans is almost certainly a dismal failure, and George Bush has just been off in Saudi Arabia trading arms deals for lower oil prices for Americans.

By | 2008-01-17T19:05:00+00:00 January 17th, 2008|Longreads, Planetary cycles, Pluto in Capricorn|Comments Off on Pluto in Capricorn: A History Lesson

Pluto through Capricorn 2008-2024

Glastonbury towerThis image is The Tower card from the Glastonbury Tarot, a much less frightening image than the Tower in other decks. The Tower in the Tarot signifies destruction and rebuilding of the established order, which is exactly what Pluto in Capricorn is all about.

It’s too easy to get caught up in the distress of change and the sense that things are falling apart around us, and we often forget that from the ashes there is a new and usually improved reality that arises in its place.  That is why I like this Phoenix image representing the emergence of something new out of the ashes of destruction.

Part I: Introduction

Although Pluto is a small planet (in fact, it is now classified as a dwarf planet) it packs a powerful punch. Pluto represents death and endings and the breakdown of the structures in our life that are required in order to bring transformation and fresh beginnings. Pluto brings us face to face with the ultimate reality of life and, watching over us like a shamanic guardian, destroys whatever stands in the way of our soul’s ultimate destination.

Pluto’s passage through the signs brings with it a compulsive fascination in the issues denoted by that sign. He ruthlessly exposes the darkness that lies at the core of the sign’s archetypes and, destroying the old order, demands that we rebuild on the ashes of the old. Like the Phoenix bird with which it is associated, Pluto dies and is regenerated to begin anew.

Pluto has been traveling through Sagittarius since 1995, bringing with it wars (Pluto) over religion and ideology (Sagittarius), as well as “culture wars” and the growing divide between groups that think differently, all Sagittarius archetypes. Sagittarius rules the media and entertainment, and the rise of a new compulsivity in celebrity journalism has grown up since Pluto entered Sagittarius, with the internet spawning a huge new gossip market. Sagittarius carries with it a nearly relentless optimism; ruled by Jupiter with its expansive need for growth, Pluto in Sagittarius has seen soaring home prices and a burgeoning stock market that seems to have no end. The “new economy” of the dot com era occurred under Pluto’s Sagittarian influence, as did the explosion of the vacation home market.

Pluto transits typically include a breakdown phase, where structures that no longer serve us are dismantled to make room for new structures that are more in line with our spiritual evolution. I like to think of these periods as course corrections, where our guides or gods decide that certain changes are required. If we understand the process and can surrender to it with trust, this can be an exhilarating time of transformation and empowerment. If we resist and hold on to the past it can be full of tragedy and pain.

Capricorn is the sign of the builder, the achiever. Capricorn is rooted in the material world and understands that life on earth requires a practical approach to the matters of earning a living. There is also a drive for success; to climb the highest mountains like the goat which is it’s symbol. For Capricorn, the ends justify the means and achievement of one’s goals is the important thing and it is able to maintain a powerful focus.

Its rulership by Saturn gives respect for discipline and authority and Capricorn has tremendous respect for governmental structures and the stability of a moral system. However, Saturn also bestows its tendency towards pessimism and lack of humor as all things personal are sacrificed for the goal. There is often a tendency to prize material things above those of the emotional or spiritual realms, and this lack of balance can create a dry and miserable experience.

When Pluto goes through Capricorn we can expect the transformation of all things ruled by that sign – such as our religious institutions, halls of government and political structures, the way we inter our dead and take care of our old people, construction techniques and buildings, and how we handle ownership of property.

While Pluto takes 244 years to orbit the Sun, its elliptical orbit means that it doesn’t spend the same amount of time in each sign. For example, it only took twelve years to travel through Scorpio, but it took 26 years to get through Cancer and 19 years through Leo. Pluto will be in Capricorn until 2024, and this occurs at a time when our Capricornian structures are ripe for transformation. Industry (Capricorn) in developed and developing countries as become a major source of carbon emissions which threaten the survival of life on earth. The Catholic Church (Capricorn), rocked by sex scandals, is struggling for survival. The very way we do business (Capricorn) is being forever changed by the globalization of politics and the economy.

Part II: The Historical View

Pluto will enter Capricorn for the first time January 25, 2008 and will retrograde back into Sagittarius one final time on June 14. It will journey back into Capricorn on November 26, 2008 and remain there until January 21, 2024. For sixteen years, Pluto will engage in a process of breaking down and then rebuilding the structures on which we depend for a successful experience in the material world.

There is a natural evolution to the path of the planets through the zodiacal signs as each sign offers a completely different experience than the sign before. In Sagittarius, Pluto has been compulsively expansive and optimistic, intensifying religious fervor – all qualities of Sagittarius. In Capricorn, Pluto seeks to contract and solidify and build solid structures for society. In the process, the structures that already exist are broken down and irrevocably transformed

breakupPluto was last in Capricorn from November 1762 until December 1, 1778. Pluto deals with transformation of the political and economic realities of our world, and its entry into Capricorn marked the end of the Seven Years’ War in which France ceded Canada to Britain, but political unrest was felt throughout Europe as well as in the Colonies and this period marked a reconfiguration of many of the nations in the world. Catherine the Great acceded to the throne after the murder of her husband, perhaps at her own hand, and presided over wars with the Ottoman Empire that resulted in Russian acquisition of much of the Turkish lands. The first partition in Poland occurred during this period which split Poland into three sections owned by Russia, Prussia and Austria. Britain traded Cuba to Spain in exchange for Florida; Parliament passed the Stamp Act to pay for the wars that began the Colonial rebellion that resulted in the American Revolution.

The thirst for revolution in France, England and Russia stemmed from a reaction to the breakup and reconfiguration of world nations (Capricorn) that followed the colonial expansion (Sagittarius) that preceded it. Pluto’s previous passage through Capricorn back in 1516-1533 c.e. was preceded by the original exploration of the New World that gave rise to the later Colonial ideals. Once the original explorers had returned to the courts of Europe, under Pluto in Capricorn those countries set out to conquer the New World and create new colonies that were subservient to the European rulers. The rise of anti-Catholic sentiment that brought about the rise of Protestants under Pluto in Sagittarius gave way to Martin Luther’s formalizing his revolt with his nailing his Thesis to the door of the Church in 1517 under Pluto in Capricorn, founding a new structure of worship, the Lutheran Church.

Part III:  What can we expect in the future?

Although Pluto will enter Capricorn for the first time in January 2008infrastructure, it will retrograde back into the late degrees in Sagittarius in June 2008 where it will make one final sweep through the Sagittarian issues of religion, philosophy, travel, ideology, journalism, optimism, and general expansion. Throughout 2008 it will be virtually stationary, traveling less than three degrees during this period, from 1 degree Capricorn back through 28 degrees Sagittarius. Because it will be stationary for so long, where its influence is the most powerful, I would expect a great deal of intensity and forced transformation during this period. This will be particularly intense for those of us who have planets in the late degrees of the mutable signs (Virgo, Pisces, Sagittarius, Gemini) or the early degrees of the cardinal signs (Capricorn, Cancer, Aries Libra).

Pluto causes endings and new beginnings – it forces us to surrender as it rebuilds us from the inside out. I suspect that throughout next year the intense optimism of Pluto in Sagittarius will battle with the necessity for realism of Pluto in Capricorn, and it will be a while before the economic problems really hit home. Mars will oppose Pluto in early March, which will create some fireworks of aggression and confrontation, and Saturn will make its second trine to Pluto in April which will ease the challenge of the new requirements of Capricorn Pluto which wants to tear down and rebuild the structures of our life and planet and intensify the power bases that govern society.

Once Pluto is firmly entrenched in Capricorn beginning in December 2008, we will begin to really see it at work. This of course will follow the US presidential election in November 2008. Pluto seeks to focus and intensify as well as break down and regenerate. The structures of our world keep societies in order and functioning: churches, governments, buildings – all of these are ruled by Capricorn. But so are bridges and tunnels, and the entire infrastructure upon which we live, particularly in urban areas, are likely to experience a severe breakdown while Pluto travels through Capricorn. Underground transportation, under the domain of the god of the underworld, could become a battleground as Pluto often brings warfare or death in the areas of the sign through which it passes (such as September 11th during Pluto in Sagittarius, where air travel became a conveyance of death and total world transformation).

During the passage of Pluto, we see extremes and compulsions in the area of life associated with the sign through which Pluto travels, and with the Capricornian association with governments and government buildings I would expect a worldwide attempt to solidify a global government and minimize individual liberties. Pluto deals with issues of power – on a personal level such as personal empowerment as well as with the power structures that govern all of humanity that fall under the rubric of the Capricorn theme. When Uranus enters Aries in 2010-2011, there will be a fervor as the pendulum swings back towards individual liberties. By the time Uranus forms a square to Pluto in Capricorn in 2012-2013 there will be tremendous cultural, social and political upheaval which will further transform governments and political structures.

Pluto’s reach will extend beyond governments, however. Capricorn also rules the elderly and end of life issues, and Pluto’s passage through Capricorn could transform the way we view the entire process of death and dying, including the disposal of the body after death.

Often Pluto’s passage through one sign is a reaction to Pluto’s passage through the previous sign, and in Capricorn there may be a reaction of the practical and materialistic Capricorn against the ideological idealism of Pluto’s travel through Sagittarius. An overdose of pragmatism could lead to the negativity and depression with which Capricorn is sometimes associated. Capricorn is associated with achievement and can be ruthless in its efforts to climb to the top, and we could see an increased obsession (Pluto) with climbing the ladder of success that leads to a breakdown in certain segments of society.

There is always a side to Pluto cycles, and in Capricorn we are likely to see an increase in stability and a more practical approach to economics and business than we saw under the Sagittarian influence. The inflated (Sag) bonuses for CEOs that we saw in recent years are likely a sign of the past as businesses and corporations become more concerned with Capricornian fundamentals than with Sagittarian appearance and image. Capricorn is essentially practical and prizes achievement above all else, which means achievement of real goals and objectives. Although Pluto in Capricorn will bring out secrets (Pluto) of governments and other political entities (Cap), there will be an increased focus on proficiency, skill, and a successful outcome rather than spin and propaganda of the Sagittarian era.

I don’t know about you, but all of that sounds to me like a great improvement and to which I am looking forward!

By | 2007-12-14T13:01:00+00:00 December 14th, 2007|Featured posts, Longreads, Pluto in Capricorn|Comments Off on Pluto through Capricorn 2008-2024

The US Progressed Sun: The Next 30 Years

piscesThis is part III of the series on the US Progressed Sun. Catch up with Part I here and Part II here.

The Sun of the US astrological chart (Geeky astrological note: I use the Sibley chart with Sagittarius on the ascendant) progressed into Pisces on the exact day of the 2004 Presidential election. We saw in Part I and Part II how the progressed US Sun has brought major shifts in the attitudes and circumstances of the United States culture, and I expect this cycle to be no different.

Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac: it is the sign where we long to transcend the boundaries of ordinary reality and attain an experience of the beyond. For the devout this takes the form of a longing for god; for the atheist the transcendent experience may come through music. Some, such as Richard Dawkins, spend their whole lives fighting against the transcendent impulse within them. The darker expression of the Pisces impulse brings us into a state of confusion and delusion when reality becomes blurred and undefined. It is easier to look back and assign astrological significance than to predict the future, but let’s see what we could see under the Pisces influence.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, the US nation was united and strong in their resolve to battle the forces of darkness, but by the time the 2004 elections came about Americans were beginning to have doubts and that national resolve began to splinter. Just after the election Colin Powell resigned, the first chink in the Bush administration to fall. Pisces tends to obscure the truth, and suddenly the world appeared far less black and white.

The United States has become much more culturally diverse over the past 50 years, and under the Pisces influence racial identification will become much less defined and specific. We are already seeing this with the candidacy of Barack Obama, who is not white, not a black descendant of slaves – he defies categorization. There is a Muslim member of congress, and Latinos are gaining a foothold in the power and economic structures of the country. This trend towards a blurred national identity will continue under Pisces.

Pisces rules endings, and as the US entered its influence the Terry Schiavo case opened up a new debate on end-of-life issues. Sacrifice and redemption is associated with Pisces and Neptune, and controversies over birth and death will bring changes in the way our society looks at these transitions.

A true experience of the divine is what Pisces offers, and the movement out of dogmatic theology into a more authentic and transcendent experience will continue to be more and more important for Americans. Psychic experiences will become ever more accepted, as we are seeing even now in our major media. The television show “Medium” premiered in January of 2005, just after the US progressed Sun moved into Pisces, and was the first of many such shows that came afterwards. The darker side of Pisces could lead some into a well of confusion and deception, however, as the yearning for the divine can combine with the urge for self-sacrifice and atonement that we also find under Pisces and encourages some to leave their discrimination behind.

The sacrificial urge can also be expressed in a higher form through benevolent compassion and nonviolence as prescribed in the Buddhist religions, and we will likely to see a spread of these congregations throughout the US. Pisces bestows empathy and a desire to understand the plights of others which could lead to increased understanding between various social and religious groups. This growing empathy could lead to a greater sensitivity to environmental issues as well, and perhaps the urge for martyrdom and redemption will encourage the kind of conservation that can help preserve the earth’s resources.

Music is associated with Pisces, and I would expect new forms of music to enter popular culture in the US. Fantasy films are likely to become even more popular for adults as well as children; top grossing films in 2005 were fantasy films.

The next 30 years could mark a weakening of US global power. Pisces is not a sign of action or strength, and it can be difficult to achieve enough focus and energy under the Pisces influence to be able to effect real change. In addition, the US progressed Mars turned retrograde back in the summer of 2006 which many astrologers believe to be the end of US global domination. It will be difficult for Americans to unite behind a common purpose under the Pisces influence and we are likely to see a fragmentation in the government, particularly with transiting Pluto entering Capricorn and then squaring Uranus in Aries in 2010-2013.

The cycle of the zodiac marks a natural evolution and progression, and each transition is equally important and the next 30 years will bring a crucial phase for the evolution of the United States. Only time will tell exactly how that will manifest!!

By | 2007-09-05T10:23:00+00:00 September 5th, 2007|Favorite posts, Longreads|Comments Off on The US Progressed Sun: The Next 30 Years
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