My final post of 2011 was entitled Be a Hummingbird in 2012. I would now like to revisit this important topic in light of current profound astrological events, particularly the recent first exact square between the planets Uranus and Pluto, which occurred in the context of Neptune’s fourteen year sojourn in Pisces. In this post I will unpack the symbolism of these astrological configurations, and offer an adaptive response to the challenges they pose.
The outer planets move very slowly around the sun. Pluto’s orbit is 248 years, Neptune’s 165, Uranus’s 84 years, Saturn 29 years, Jupiter 12. In contrast the inner planets move much more quickly; Mars 687 days, Venus 225 days and Mercury 88 days. When a planet moves slowly, its effects upon us are more sustained. It’s like when a storm system stands still, it dumps more rain on an area, than a fast moving weather system. These slow moving impersonal outer planets affect us on a collective generational level, in contrast to the inner personal planets, whose positions are much more unique and specific to each individual.
The planets impact us not only in terms of the energy they exert individually, but the relationship between them creates a unique effect. On June 24th, 2012 Uranus and Pluto formed an exact 90 degree angle to each other in the sky; Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries. As these planets continue in their orbits, they will form six more exact squares between now and March 2015. The effect of their combined energies is likely to be dramatic and deeply felt in the collective. Both exert a grinding, impersonal, ruthless and extreme energy.
Pluto is associated with destruction, transformation and renewal, and Capricorn, related to the element of earth, represents authority, structure, government, and the reality principle. Whatever is inauthentic or has outlived its usefulness will not survive. Uranus is a planet which carries an energy of sudden change, that which is unexpected and outside the box. It is associated with technology, innovation, revolution, sophistication and higher awareness. Aries, a fire sign and the first sign of the zodiac, is a pioneering energy, initiating new beginnings and associated with passionate emotions, war and the struggle for survival.
Contacts between Uranus and Pluto are historically associated with revolutionary movements. This combination was present during the French and American Revolutions and we see it again today coinciding with the Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement, and the protests in Russia and China. Uranus and Pluto contacts often portend sweeping profound world changes and upheaval, both politically and economically. These two planets were in a square relationship to each other in the 1930’s, coinciding in this country with the Great Depression, with bank failures and thousands losing their farms. In Europe, there was economic desperation which created a platform for the rise of the dictators to power.
When Pluto entered the sign of Capricorn in 2008, there was the USA banking crisis and the stock markets plunged. In the ensuing years as the economy has slowed, unemployment has risen, many people have lost their homes to foreclosures, and the global economic picture remains very uncertain. The earthquake and tsunami that resulted in the Fukushima disaster occurred within hours of Uranus’s movement into Aries last Spring.
What can be anticipated when these two forces meet, particularly with Uranus in Aries, is unexpected new beginnings, which shake our foundations. What is to come will not be like what came before. We see this most obviously in terms of climate change, with severe unusual weather events becoming the NEW NORMAL. This year’s June Environmental Gathering in Aspen, the leading thought gathering on environmental issues in this country, was about ‘the new normal”.
In May of this year climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University stated, “Heavy rains, deep snowfalls, monster floods and killing droughts are signs of a “new normal” of extreme U.S. weather events fueled by climate change. It’s a new normal and I really do think that global weirding is the best way to describe what we’re seeing. We are used to certain conditions and there’s a lot going on these days that is not what we’re used to, that is outside our current frame of reference.”
An upsurge in heavy rainstorms in the United States has coincided with prolonged drought, sometimes in the same location, she said, noting that west Texas has seen a record-length dry period over the last five years, even as there have been two 100-year rain events. Hayhoe, other scientists, civic planners and a manager at the giant Swiss Re reinsurance firm all cited human-caused climate change as an factor pushing this shift toward more extreme weather. While none would blame climate change for any specific weather event, Hayhoe said a background of climate change had an impact on every rainstorm, heat wave or cold snap.
At this moment forest fires burning in Colorado and other areas of the Southwest are of an unprecedented intensity and magnitude, fueled by heat, drought, and the proliferation of a pine damaging beetle, which has survived the unusually warm winters in large numbers. Northeastern Florida has been experiencing historic devestating flooding from Tropical Storm Debby, which dumped 17.4 inches of rain in Jacksonville Beach from Wednesday through Friday.
Coincident with the Uranus Pluto square, Neptune has moved into the sign of Pisces in February of this year, where it will remain for the next 14 years. The energy of Neptune in Pisces, which has everything to do with the natural world, sets the stage for people to feel so overwhelmed by the magnitude of the catastrophe at hand, that they either deny what is happening, or feel so hopeless and helpless about the possibility of having an impact, that they become completely passive. This in turn gives rise to a fantasy in the collective of rescue. In many circles there are people who are expecting something akin to the Rapture in Fundamentalist Christian thought, where we will all magically be saved. Belief in “The Ascension” is surprisingly common amongst typically sober minded people, which speaks to the desperation some people are feeling, albeit unconsciously.
The astrologer Eric Frances, on his most recent podcast of Planet Waves, interviewed the mayor of Kingston, New York, Shayne Gallo. Their conversation was about civics: being involved in society, and the need for each of us to be responsible, participatory and informed. Mr Gallo referred to Thomas Jefferson’s view that an educated citizenry is a check on authority. In these overwhelming times, it is possible to feel defeated, like its all too much, and what can an individual possibly do about problems of this magnitude? This is a quintessential Neptune in Pisces response; resignation and submission.
We all need to be as aware as possible of what is going on globally and domestically, to exercise our voices in terms of making use of social media to support causes that we believe in, to talk to our children, to vote, to volunteer, to donate, to blog, to protest. Each of us needs to contribute our unique small piece to try and heal the world during these most precarious times. I believe that we can make a difference, and the alternative is very bleak indeed. An adaptive response, also characteristic of Neptune in Pisces, is to recognize our essential Oneness, and for us to act globally and in a unified manner to deal with the challenges that we face.
In addition, Neptune in Pisces is also associated with immune dysfunction, which is so prevalent these days, and is at the heart of the digestive disorders, neurological and auto-immune conditions plaguing the population. This is due to the degradation of our food supply, the over use of antibiotics, indiscriminate use of hormones including contraceptive pills, and the general toxicity of our environment.
We all need to make an effort to support our physical health through adherence to a natural whole foods diet, including abundant healthful fats, light on grain and sugar, proper preparation of foods, and inclusion of probiotics and fermented foods in the diet. In addition, we would be well advised to take detoxification measures, a few important supplements such as fish and cod liver oils, and pay scrupulous attention to the ingredients in the personal care products we use, to learn and employ stress management techniques, and to get sufficient sleep and exercise.
Individual responsibility must be taken to educate oneself carefully about matters pertaining to health and diet, as well as treatment options, and to advocate for oneself, because with Neptune in Pisces, illusion and delusion abound. The politically motivated recommendations by the USDA for the food pyramid, as well as the standard approach to treatment of most medical conditions with toxic pharmaceuticals, are a prescription for ill health. It is only through a careful, discriminating, informed approach, can we hope to safeguard our own health and the health of our families.