This is the year of his Jupiter Return, a year to cash in on many fronts 2nd house. But it also means that the transiting Jupiter-Pluto square impacts him all the more powerfully peaking in Jan, July — early Sept, and Nov What makes someone risk his personal security for a public goal?
Some people seem fated to embody the big, difficult ideas with which their collective is struggling. Edward Snowden, for example, was leading a remarkably unremarkable life that exploded into something extraordinary. It was a move with profound ramifications for himself, his society, and the age we live in.
None of us will live long enough to experience a personal Pluto Return.
The Ruler of the Chart in Vedic Astrology
It takes this planet around years to cycle through the zodiac. But Americans will experience a Pluto Return collectively, in , when this tiny clump of power reaches the degree of Capricorn that it occupied on July 4 th , When a planet returns to its natal position, the native hunkers down with the archetype in question. In any given period, Saturn represents the status quo, while the outer planets represent threats to the status quo. Throughout , astrologers have watched the Uranus and Pluto square approaching like a revolutionary advance guard.
The epochal Arab Spring has segued into winter; the European Union threatens to break apart at the seams; there is mounting chaos in Russia, Africa and India. The weekend before the Autumnal Equinox. It was apparent right away that what happened on April 20 th in the Gulf of Mexico was no ordinary oil spill. Within days, the disaster moved through several meaning changes in the public mind: from that of an accident brought on by the failure of a mechanical device, to that of an example of how government fails to regulate oil companies, to that of a call to reevaluate our position on travesties against Nature.
Pluto is the planet of taboos. How appropriate it is that the god of Hell is the governor of these festering energies, always in the atmosphere but rarely discussed honestly and directly. The danger attached to these ideas causes baroque mythologies to build up around them, a system of apologias which would provide a fascinating self-study if we had the courage to look into them. It is human to resist confronting this realm of the psyche. Astrology is a language of symbols.
A chart is derived from the arrangement of planets in the sky at the exact time you were born, from the vantage point of the exact place you were born.
Translating the symbolic configurations of a birth chart into terms the client can understand is the art form that the astrologer practices. Published in The Mountain Astrologer Aug. It felt to many as if a flood of inspiration was unleashed —- not just in the USA, but, remarkably, all over the world — whose power astrologers chalk up not to a man winning an election, but to the epochal transits upon us. Astrology has always provided a spiritual constant. The winter solstice is the most inscrutable juncture point of the annual cycle. All of us who read charts have at some point been spooked by transits of Mars.
It is perhaps the most closely watched and most cursorily interpreted planet in transit astrology. But considered alone, the very obviousness of Mars tempts us to remain on the level of symptom rather than meaning. A planet whose governance includes such mundane activities as walking, talking and thinking is not often plumbed for existential meaning.
Mercury opposes Pluto in the chart of the USA. This article will look at what the rest of the country does with it. To understand the fraught topic of American power metaphysically, we must first strip it of its connotations. Interpreting a chart is like painting a still life: if we want to truly observe the object, we start by forgetting what we think we know about it.
What would most astrologers, using straight-out-of-the-textbook astrology, make of a Mercury-Pluto opposition, if they found it in any group chart? Both skeptics and masters in the field will agree: astrology is not an exact science. It is a fluid, subtle symbolic system with interpretive results as varied as those who practice it. In the ancient world, when there was less distinction made between art and science, and none at all made between science and religion, astrology was considered a philosophical art form.
And there is an art to going to an astrologer.
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To early humans, the circularity of the life cycle was a given. Evidence from archaeological findings and creation stories the world over suggests a universal world view which held that all living things, human beings included, follow ever-repeating cycles: birth leads to death leads to rebirth.
This, in a nutshell, is the law of Pluto. Before the sky-god religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam rose to dominance, a movement that began around five thousand years ago, spirituality was Nature-based. Among the ten planets used in popular astrology, Saturn is far and away the most likely to get negative spin. Indeed, if we were trying to assign a planetary rulership to the concept of negativity itself, most astrologers would chalk it up to Saturn. Whether we understand what is happening in astrological, political, moral terms — or just want to duck under the covers and not look at it at all, every one of us who identifies as an American feels a sense of fatal decision in the air.
What is it all about? Above us are planetary configurations that spell out quite clearly the themes our country is playing out. It is fitting that Neptune should be the most glamorized planet in popular astrology. Read The Corporate Mystic. Aquarius: Question Authority. Collaborate with like-minded souls.
We are all in this together; everyone counts, everyone matters, everyone can and does make a difference. Create community. Watch Patch Adams , Erin Brockovich. Read Three Cups of Tea. Pisces: Be in gratitude as much as possible. Trust your intuition, study your dreams, listen to your heart. Watch Groundhog Day , Gandhi. Life is a journey. And our birthchart is a map of where we want to go.
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It details the directions we want to explore, the challenges we'll meet, and the gifts we'll have to bring back to others. At first the signposts can look quite intimidating.
Planets, signs, aspects, houses are just the basics. Then there are asteroids, midpoints, rulerships, transits and progressions to add in and relocation, synastry, and numerous other techniques and applications. Where do we start? And where does it end? The key to making sense of it all is to understand how everything is part of a cycle.
When we see the components of astrology as part of a meaningful progression, the puzzle of seemingly disparate parts melds into a template of wholeness. This is the ultimate goal of studying astrology, to come into conscious relationship and wholeness--relationship between the different parts of ourselves, with others, and with the Universe itself. The very shape of the birthchart illustrates this goal. The cosmic code of our life's journey is framed by a circle, an ancient symbol of wholeness.
Combined with the four directions, this forms a mandala, an archetypal symbol of integration. Mandalas are centering devices, and reveal both our center of individuality and our connection to the Source, the Great Center. The fundamental components of astrology signs, planets, houses, aspects are derivatives of this great circle. The twelve signs of the zodiac Gr. Each sign marks a particular set of qualities necessary for the evolution of consciousness.
From personal identity Aries to transpersonal consciousness Pisces , each sign expands on the learning of the previous sign, and is preparatory for the next phase. Each correlates to the one before, to the one after, to its opposite, and to all the other signs by its relative position in the progression. The twelve houses relate to each other in much the same way as do the twelve signs, building on each other and progressing into ever more inclusive experiences. They differ in that they represent the environment and activities which will most directly lead to mastering the energies symbolized by the planets and signs.
But the progression of the houses closely parallels that of the signs. Each relates to the house before it, after it and opposite it as well at to the rest of the houses. The relative positions of the planets also symbolize an evolutionary progression of consciousness. The greater the distance from the Sun, the more encompassed beyond the personal and the greater the awareness needed for its skillful expression.
Each planet is a gate or threshold into a more inclusive understanding which can only come through mastering the previous level. The aspects also form a progressive cycle of development. A conjunction is the beginning of a new cycle, akin to Aries and the Ascendant symbolizing a new beginning. An opposition is analogous to the opposite sign, Libra and the Descendant, the balance between self and other. The phases of the moon beautifully illustrate this progression. The moon's form constantly changes, but it is an orderly development, a waxing and waning, which, much like the seasons, echoes the cycle of the signs, planets and houses.
Understanding this fundamental and continuous progression is one of the major keys to astrology.
Understanding the power of symbols and their multi-dimensional qualities is another. Symbols are like colors and tones which stimulate the unconscious and embrace many levels of meaning and interpretation.