On May 27, 2010 the planet Uranus entered the astrological sign of Aries and in December of that same year, in Tunisia, Tarek Bouazizi self-immolated himself after his electronic scale and the fruit he had bought on credit were confiscated from him by a corrupt policewoman. That spark sent flames throughout the Middle East, toppling regimes from Libya to Yemen. Uranus would make its definitive entry into Aries on the fateful day of March 11, 2011, coinciding almost to the hour with the earthquake and ensuing disaster at Fukushima. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and the most self driven while Uranus is the planet that represents revolution, innovation and change- together they make a radical, ego driven cocktail.
Uranus reflects many of the traits of the time it was discovered, 1781, when the American Revolution was in full bloom and the French variant was ready to boil over. The last time the restless Uranus had passed through the cardinal sign of Aries was between 1927 and 1935, a time when two of the most revolutionary (Uranus), and megalomaniacal (Aries) leaders in history consolidated power. Uranus will not definitively leave Aries until March 6, 2019, by which time the world will have undergone profound changes. We cannot say with certainty whether another calamitous dictator will appear on the world stage, but, at least in the West, we are devoid of inspired political, cultural and spiritual leadership and someone with exceptional qualities could become the focal point of a world thirsty for meaning and direction.
On one level, astrology is understanding cycles and knowing how to distinguish relevant themes from the noise. Astrologically speaking, the synodic cycle between Uranus and Pluto lasts approximately 128 years, which means that it takes that much time for the two planets to circle each other once. Since Uranus (84 year orbit around the sun) moves much faster than Pluto (245 year orbit around the sun) the synodic cycle describes how long it takes Uranus to ‘lap’ Pluto in their ‘race’ around our star. Astrologers measure these events from the moment the two planets are exactly together (conjunct) and pay special attention to when the two planets are at hard angles: opposed to each other (180 degrees) and square (45 degrees). The story begins with the conjunction and slowly unfolds at the first square, reaches a climax at the opposition, and resolves itself at the second square before coming full circle and beginning again.
The Pluto/Uranus Cycle
This current synodic cycle between Pluto and Uranus began when the two planets met between 1962 and 1968 in the sign of Virgo. A conjunction in astrology refers to a more congenial blend of the planetary forces, but in the case of these two transpersonal superpowers, even when cooperating, their force can seem overwhelming. Uranus is the symbol of revolt, change and technical innovation while Pluto is the lord of death and debt- the cosmic enforcer and the ultimate symbol of power.
When these two met in the 1960’s all hell broke loose. Pluto waged war in Vietnam and set off the Cultural Revolution in China while Uranus instigated the sexual revolution, the Civil Rights Movement, the May of 1968 unrest in France, the Prague Spring, and the space age. Some would say the dark Plutonian forces won out when the Prague Spring was crushed, the Kennedys and Martin Luther King were assassinated just as the Uranian energy was devolving into Mansonian madness. The Apollo Program was one of the few areas where the Uranian revolutionary technology meshed well with plutonian brute force. But each planet also reached into the sphere of the other, the helicopter in Vietnam had a very Uranian flavor to it while the gods of Rock & Roll certainly had a Plutonian, underworld feel to them.
The key to unraveling where we are now is to uncover the seeds sown in the 1960’s and discover what fruits they have borne so far and how these forces will continue to interact, albeit in a more antagonistic and adversarial way as we pass through a long series of squares. Pluto is now in Capricorn, the sign of governments, armies, corporations, bureaucracy and culture. Pluto is certainly at home wielding all this power and the Plutonian compulsion to vaporize all that is weak, superfluous and temporary is implacable. Just as Pluto entered Capricorn for the first time in January of 2008 the financial crisis began, and by his second entry into Capricorn in November of 2008 the world financial system was teetering on the edge of disaster.
As Pluto was shaking out the fraudulent bankers like a mafia Don knocking off underlings who had their hands stuck in the cookie jar, Uranus in Aries was creating a quirky brand of revolutionaries such as Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Eric Snowden. The reaction to 9/11 by the intelligence community has had a very strong Plutonian flavor which is being opposed by this eccentric band of techno-whistle blowers very much in the Uranian mold. They are willing to betray their oaths and reveal all in a desperate, almost frantic need to rock the boat.
On November 1, 2013 we reached the apex, or fourth of the seven direct squares between Pluto and Uranus, where the two planets will be at an exact 90 degree angle to each other. Four was the number of endings, of life without spirit for the ancients, and dividing the 360 degree zodiac into four gives us the most malignant of aspects, the 90 degree square. On the other hand, the zodiacal circle divided by the benefic number three gives us the most harmonious aspect of 120 degrees, or a trine.
Adding emphasis to the importance of this moment, we had a total solar eclipse on November 3, 2013 in the very Plutonian sign of Scorpio which could portend a resolution much like the one we had in the 1960’s. The cosmic call to attention will become even more intense in December with the ominous entrance of the comet ISON, which could potentially put on a brilliant show across the winter nights. The last exact square of Pluto and Uranus will be in March of 2015, at which point the two planets will move apart and the cycle will look for new themes when the planets reach opposition in 2043.
Zeus to the Rescue
What will be the outcome of this great battle? One place to look is the last time Pluto was in Capricorn, over two hundred and thirty-years ago during the American Revolution. At that time the strong hands were the colonists who overcame the weight of the of Capricornian British Empire, but they had someone on their side, which was Jupiter. Jupiter is Zeus, the great benefic, giver of good fortune, opposing Pluto in Capricorn. Jupiter was in Cancer during the American Revolution. Cancer is a very feminine, lunar sign representing the individual, the home, roots and directly opposes the authority and bureaucracy of Capricorn.
The United States has come full circle and once again, as in 1776, we have Jupiter in Cancer and Pluto in Capricorn, only this time, instead of the enemy being the British Empire, the enemy is the centralized power of mega corporations, financial institutions and certain sectors of the intelligence community- the Plutocracy.
The buildup to the plan to attack Syria had a definite Plutonian flavor, not only through the gruesome massacres and filmed barbaric acts, but with the way many governments of the world quickly closed ranks to carry out the attack on Assad. Only the Uranian rebelliousness of the British Parliament and the American voters stopped them short. But as the sixties showed, Pluto can never be stopped: only momentarily diverted. What started in Libya as Uranian restlessness wound up in a horrific, filmed and very Plutonian fratricide. How will Pluto counterattack in Syria? We should remember that Pluto was discovered in 1930; the historic background of the Depression and the rise of fascism should give us pause when considering the essence of Pluto’s meaning.
This tension will come to a head on April 20, 2014, when Jupiter in Cancer goes head to head in opposition (180 degrees) with Pluto in Capricorn, with both planets square (90 degrees) Uranus in Aires. Astrologers refer to this aspect as a T-Square, and it’s considered the most tense and conflictive aspect that three planets can form. The Plutonian force is the intense surveillance of the NSA ; Pluto has no limits, and as he works his way through Capricorn, the sign of time and culture, he is shredding all the false claims of security and patriotism. He is the Egyptian military storming its way back into power, he is the Saudis doing all that is necessary to oust the Assad regime in Syria.
Uranus is the Middle Eastern youth tired of oppression and corruption, facing down the old regime, he’s the Occupy Movement and the mad rush for technology. He’s Eric Snowden escaping to Moscow with thousands of Plutonian files. Uranus is the upsurgent alternative media that rails against the Plutonian corporate mainstream. Something has to give, and that is the beauty of three.
The Magic of Three
Esoterically, the unity of ones falls into the duality of two, which becomes the resolution of three. Jupiter, the philosophical benefic, friend of man, is in Cancer where he is exalted. Exaltation in astrology means the sign where a planet reaches its higher resonance. The beauty and love of Venus becomes the love of God in Pisces. The violence of Mars becomes a standing army in Capricorn, and Jupiter’s genius, philosophy and pride serve man in Cancer. Maybe we saw Jupiter’s hand in the diffusing of the Syrian conflict, though one shouldn’t count Pluto out on that score; he’ll be back to try to complete his agenda. Jupiter is Zeus, the ruler of the Olympians, including Pluto, and through his higher thinking there still might be a way out.
The easy answer is to call for the much lauded happy medium- a little Uranian eccentric individualism, a smattering of Plutonian force behind Capricornian order, and of course the Jupiterian law and philosophy aiding the man in his Cancerian home. But a battle of this magnitude will not end in a smoke filled room but rather a bloody, smoked covered battlefield. The stakes have become too high. The Capricornian financial system has created a Plutocracy never before witnessed and this regime will either conquer all or be conquered, there is no negotiating with Pluto; it will be winner take all.
The concentration of power that we are witnessing in the world, financially, culturally and militarily, in many ways is a direct result of the Uranian technological advances of the 20th century. We can see the Uranus/Pluto relationship perfectly in the Internet. On one hand it’s anarchistic and liberating, but by the same token it allows the Plutonian Big Brother a clear view directly into almost every moment of our lives.
For the United States nothing captured the Uranus/Pluto conjunction better than the Uranian liberation of Haight-Ashbury and the Plutonian violence of the Vietnam War. The Uranian desire for change and innovation led spiritual seekers of the sixties to turn their acid trips into PC’s and the Internet, while the humbled military industrial complex bounced back, creating a high tech modern military. The answer to this truly Cardinal T-Square is Jupiter, Lord of Olympus, wielding his thunderbolts from the very personal and human sign of Cancer.
Astrology is very much like Schrodinger’s cat in that until we open the door, we don’t know whether the poor feline is alive or dead. The same goes with this T-Square. Only by actively seeking an answer in the cardinal sign of Cancer, temporary home to Jupiter, will the options begin to emerge. The consciousness we bring to it will create not only the solutions but the synchronicities that confirm them.