The news about the historic first time ever flyby of Pluto is a few days old now but still interesting to me, and this is the first chance I’ve had to post anything. At the very moment of the flyby of Pluto by NASA’s fast moving spacecraft, New Horizons, which took almost ten years to get to Pluto — the Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Mars were all opposing Pluto. The opposition is an aspect of awareness of the Other. It is like looking across a round table at someone sitting exactly opposite you. Although they are furthest away from you, you are in a position to have the most clear, straight-on view of them compared to all the other seats around the table. So with the faster moving planets in this opposite position we got a much better look at Pluto, who is known to us in astrology as the hidden, mysterious, and powerful symbolic god of the underworld. On the day of the flyby the Sun and Moon were unified in Cancer opposing Pluto in Capricorn, representing a sort of spotlight bringing our undivided attention to Pluto. Additionally Mercury’s opposition represents communication with and about Pluto, and Mars represents decisive and probing action regarding Pluto. Wherever Pluto is currently transiting in your birth chart will give an idea of the area of life that is undergoing a slow but profound death and rebirth process (what we associate with Pluto). During the last couple of weeks with this four pointed opposition to Pluto — we had an opportunity for more awareness of what is being disintegrated and transformed within ourselves or our lives.
These faster moving planets were acting as triggers, going over the degrees of the longer-term transit of Uranus square Pluto, which is correlated with a groundbreaking turning point for us individually and collectively, as well as now literally with new astronomical information about Pluto. Even though Pluto is small in size (though New Horizons found it to be larger than anticipated) and even though scientists are finding many other dwarf planets out there in space, I trust there is a reason why Pluto is unique and has been part of our consciousness for a long time. I am struck by the heart-shaped landmass shown in the new photos of Pluto and widely circulated and discussed in the media. Pluto is associated with doing the heavy and sometimes frightening psychological work of confronting one’s unconscious shadow parts. But this new mass awareness of Pluto’s heart, suggests that on a psycho-spiritual level, once we actually have the capacity to get a closer view of our own deeply hidden feelings and motives, for instance, as symbolized by this distant and invisible (to the naked eye) body in our solar system, we may also discover a more welcoming and loving part of ourselves that we never knew before.
Things are heating up as Mars is getting ready to set off the long-term and life-changing Uranus/Pluto square (active from 2012-2015). When there is a trigger from a faster moving planet such as Mars, it can mark a pivotal point within the larger transformational process that is happening. The current waxing Moon in Aries is giving a preview of the flammable energies that are building. On Nov 10th, Mars will conjoin Pluto and on Nov 12th, Mars will square Uranus. When Mars is making hard connections such as these with Pluto and Uranus, there is a potential for aggression, power struggles, shocks, or accidents, etc. However, these aspects can be utilized consciously and productively… Pluto forces us, for the purpose of deeper healing and awareness, to unearth buried wounds or parts of ourselves that may be manifesting unconsciously in the form of external circumstances or unhealthy behaviors and relationships… Uranus brings change — wanted and unwanted — to push us towards living more in alignment with our inner truths and greater potentials. The trigger from Mars to Pluto and Uranus will provide plenty of energy, motivation, and opportunity to go after our own healing and spiritual development and to confront internal or external conditions that are impinging on desired freedoms. Read more...
Last night Pluto turned direct after being retrograde since Apr 14th. When a planet prepares to change directions (or more accurately, its apparent motion from our perspective on Earth), it gradually and increasingly slows down first, comes to a full stop, and then slowly begins to move in the opposite direction. If the planet changes directions at a degree of the zodiac that aspects your chart, the experience of that aspect will be prolonged and intensified. In the case of Pluto, the slowest moving planetary archetype that we study in astrology, this means that if you have any significant planets or points in your chart at or close to 11º Capricorn or 11º of the other Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, or Libra), you will be feeling this Pluto station especially strongly during all of Aug, Sept, and Oct 2014.
So what does an intense Pluto aspect feel like? Well, Pluto is the god of the “underworld.” If you have been “abducted,” like Persephone was by Hades, you will be feeling it — maybe only symbolically or internally but possibly more literally, depending on what is needed for your personal growth. Read more...
In modern astrology we try to emphasize the positive psychological benefits of all planetary influences, so we use words like transformation, death and rebirth, and rising anew like the phoenix from its ashes, when speaking of Pluto. We talk about going within into the depths of one’s being and taking an honest look at what is hidden and lurking in the darkness of one’s unconscious. All of that is relevant and true, but sometimes Pluto transits are described that way instead of being described simply as being in hell, faced with cruel circumstances or actual criminals, and only to be released after a long and tortuous nightmare is over. During an intense contact with Pluto, it can truly feel like being in hell and it is possible you will meet some dark characters while there. I want to honor that fully. But in time, like Persephone, we may come to appreciate our time in the underworld. We have learned so much about ourselves and about life from the abyssal voyage. We have probably lost a bit more innocence and naiveté, painful as it is necessary. In Jungian psychology it is said that what is not given a conscious outlet in oneself will be encountered externally in others. By the time we return to the surface where the sun shines, we will not only be wiser and stronger, but we will be more whole, as we integrate our experience of Pluto. That is why Pluto is also associated with hidden treasures, riches, and wealth. We must venture down below in order to discover and take them for ourselves.
There are two particularly tense times in June that echo the dramatic changes, upheavals, and long-term effects of the Cardinal Grand Cross that peaked in April. On June 14th Mars squared Pluto again, and on June 25th Mars will oppose Uranus again. Squares and oppositions are known to be stressful or hard aspects, but they serve the purpose of pressuring us to turn corners, make choices, and overcome obstacles or problems that require attention, by calling upon our ingenuity, strength, and determination. Mars contributes plenty of vigor and energy to confront these challenges but can spur us into overdrive and add volatility or impatience to the mix. Uranus brings revolutionary thinking outside of the box, but this can also mean being suddenly outside of one’s comfort zone. Pluto tends to dig up buried parts of the self that have been suppressed, revealing hidden wounds, as well as potential treasures. If these Grand Cross aspects are not affecting your chart significantly, all of this may only be experienced as a subtle feeling or in the background of the collective. But many people were and still are being directly and concretely affected by the Grand Cross and these eruptive aftershocks. The Grand Cross can be seen as a Crossroads and with the planets in the Cardinal signs there is a lot of energy for initiating new directions. Read more...
While Mercury is retrograde (June 7-30) it is a fitting time to review, reflect, and fill in additional necessary learning in connection with the complex internal processes and/or life-changing events and developments that have occurred, and which may still be stirring up conflict or confusion especially as new possibilities emerge. Mercury is having us go back and forth over the territory helping us to make sense of and integrate our experiences, as well as giving us an enticing glimpse into a richer existence more aligned with our larger self.
Another thing to note while Mercury is retrograde is that it is common to either not have all the information about matters or to not have good mental clarity about matters, and the pieces may not fall into place or all come together until after Mercury turns direct (July 1st). However, June 19th is a good day to pay attention and listen, as the Sun and Mercury will meet, planting relevant clues in the mind related to the vision of ourselves or our lives of which at this point we can only get an obscure sense.
These are high intensity days within a long-term process of change
Sep 18th-20th are high intensity days. Conflicts, crises, resolutions, and shifts that occur now are part of a long-term and deeply transformative process of change, which is happening on both the individual and collective level. On Sep 18th, Pluto stationed direct, right before the second of seven exact Uranus/Pluto squares on Sep 19th, giving this generational-changing/revolution-bringing aspect extra momentum. Then on Sep 20th, fast moving Mercury triggers the Uranus/Pluto square, which has the potential to stir unconscious or core issues up and into our thoughts, words, and day-to-day interactions. We may not be able to fully appreciate or understand the full impact of what is now in process, as there are still five more exact Uranus/Pluto squares to come through 2015. The seven squares in total indicate that it will be a profound series of changes and upheaval, unfolding over time, urging us to let go of outdated and restrictive structures within our psyches and within our societies. This process can feel challenging or scary, as a part of us has to die to the old way, but ultimately it correlates with a strong push forward and a rebirth that is aligned with liberation from internal and external limitations that are no longer serving.
Today Mars triggers the long-term aspect of Uranus square Pluto, which could put some volatility in the air. Uranus square Pluto is happening over the next 3 years. We had the exact square on June 24th and will have 6 more passes of it through 2015. This aspect marks the first significant turning point since the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto back in the 1960’s, which was associated with ubiquitous cultural revolution. Dane Rudhyar calls the first waxing square a “crisis in action.” Tensions have been building… Big changes and all-embracing transformations in the collective as well as the personal sphere are called for during this period.
Pluto went retrograde on April 10th. Because Pluto moves so slowly, when it is stationing to change directions, it stays in the same degree of the zodiac for weeks to months at a time, creating a powerful force field of Plutonian energy in one spot. If activating one’s natal chart, Pluto stationing can feel as though a hole is being burned through the part of oneself that Pluto is touching. Pluto is the planet that most correlates with depth psychology and integrating the shadow, because Pluto aspects or transits are known to bring to light things that we would rather keep hidden, even from ourselves. Read more...
Pluto, aka Hades, rules the underworld. As in the Greek myth when he abducted Persephone down into the underworld, Pluto transits may feel as though one is being carried off unwillingly to an area of darkness and forced to face a difficulty, while feeling powerless to overcome it. The experience often involves a letting go process of some sort — letting go of control, letting go of what is comfortable and familiar, letting go of a superficial reality — for the purpose of admitting in a deeper inner truth and going beyond old limitations.
“Pluto’s transits are ordinarily concerned with the death and destruction of the old, this destruction being necessary in order to make room for the new… Pluto, by transit, therefore symbolizes the power to release the more enduring from the transitory, whether it be the soul from the body at death or the individual self from the old shell of personality and ego. Transiting Pluto brings to the surface hidden or subliminal conditions in order that this energy can be released from the old shell and transformed into a new source of consciously-usable power.” ~Stephen Arroyo
As the planets move through the sky and through the zodiac, they affect each one of us differently depending on how they connect with one’s individual birthchart. There are some astrological events, however, that happen to everyone at approximately the same age, which mark important rites of passage and correspond with certain life phases. Here is a list of a few of the major ones:
Saturn return (Saturn conjunct Saturn), first one at age 29:
This is the symbolic entrance into adulthood — new structures are built or current structures break down if they are not in alignment with one’s proper track in life, responsibility increases, and/or obstacles must be overcome.
Second one at age 59: This is a time of passing on the torch to the next generation — all that has been learned and achieved can now be shared fully, and let go of, as one prepares for the last third of life.
Pluto square Pluto, varies due to Pluto’s irregular orbit, currently takes place at age 35-37, but in certain other eras, it was around age 62:
This is a significant turning point involving the integration of one’s shadow — can be experienced as intense pressure, forced growth, or having to surrender. This eventually leads to regeneration, transformation, empowerment and finding new purpose and meaning in life.
Neptune square Neptune, age 40-41:
This is a spiritual turning point — the need arises for direct experience of something greater than the ego self. Initially it can manifest as confusion, doubt, or escapism, but leads to a shift in consciousness.
Uranus opposite Uranus, around age 42:
Uranus brings freedom from that which is limiting or preventing one from being true to oneself. Sudden changes and shock often accompany this transit, but culminate in the awakening to a new life.
Moon’s Nodal return, every 18.6 years, at approximately age 19, 38, 56 and so on:
The nodes have to do with the soul’s direction in the larger scheme of one’s life. The nodal returns are moments in time that may be particularly destined and feel like they have a karmic quality to them.
Jupiter return, every 12 years, at age 12, 24, 36, 48 and so on:
These are times of growth, opportunities, blessings, and abundance connected with the area of life where natal Jupiter is in the birthchart.
I would love to hear about people’s experiences with these major passages through time. Feel free to contact me with questions or comments.
The Sun is conjunct Pluto tonight (2:41am EST on 12/29 at 7º Capricorn ♑). If it’s lighting up your chart, this aspect can correspond with powerful, compelling emotions, and primal fears or wounds coming up to the surface. Pluto has a unique way of digging through the unconscious and bringing up that which is ready to be seen, loved, and healed.
Today the Sun enters Scorpio ♏, joining Venus and Mercury, bringing the Scorpio archetype into sharp focus. Where we have Scorpio (or Pluto, the modern ruler of Scorpio) in our chart reveals where we are compelled to dive into the depths, because superficiality is not tolerable. We crave to fearlessly face the truth in ourselves, others, and life — because it is the prerequisite for authentic bonding, one of Scorpios ultimate goals.