The Uranus-Pluto square, Mars enters Libra and the Leo Mercury Retrograde…
Uranus-Pluto and the Next Great Transition
One of the biggest astrological configurations to come along in a long time is the ongoing Uranus-Pluto square. The first exact hit of this configuration, which was one of the main patterns of both the 1960s and the Great Depression, happened on June 24, 2012. But we will see several more direct hits between now and 2015, with these two heavyweight planets staying in close aspect to each other during that time period.
It’s hard to overstate the magnitude of Uranus-Pluto hard aspects, especially since the configuration is happening in the (action-provoking) cardinal signs and is close enough to the Aries Point (ground zero of the world horoscope) to affect basically everyone and everything on the planet.
Uranus is the archetype of liberation, invention, innovative thinking and sudden, shocking change. I think of Uranus as the archetype that brings Divine Intelligence down to Earth. When Uranus strikes (and it is aptly compared to lightning striking, both in the extreme power of its effects and in the on-and-off quality of its action), things change. With Uranus in Aries, the first sign of the zodiac and the Fire sign expressing the need for impulsive, passionate action and risk-taking behavior, new ideas and concepts are flooding into consciousness and thus into the world.
With these new ideas, which will tend to come in spurts and in short bursts of fiery intelligence, comes the need to take action. The Universe wants newness now. Acting on these ideas in some way, whether it’s creating a new piece of software, making a radical change in our identity, moving to a new city because we somehow sense we will find likeminded people or better opportunities there, or radically shifting our thinking and trying on new perspectives aligns us with the Uranian influx.
At the same time, Pluto in Capricorn is slowly but surely undermining the big world structures that have represented safety and security for the masses over the last 260 years. (And yes, we often do seek security and safety in situations that are manifestly bad for us.) Pluto wants to bring down the old order and what Pluto wants, Pluto usually gets. If we look at the last two times Pluto transited Capricorn, we had the American Revolution in the 1770s and the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s. Both of these movements were striking enough in their own revolutionary character, but they also radically changed the world for centuries to come. Martin Luther’s act of theological rebellion made it acceptable for humans to communicate directly with God, bypassing the authority of the established Church. While the Catholic Church continued to survive and even thrive in some parts of the world, it would never again reach the apex of power and authority it held before the Protestant Reformation.
The Pluto transit of the 1760s and 1770s brought the American Revolution and the Industrial Revolution. Almost overnight, the West went from a largely rural agrarian society ruled by kings and queens to an increasingly urban way of life. People flooded the cities as mechanized manufacturing became the norm; suddenly we believed we had the right to rule ourselves and establish our own forms of government. In both of these Pluto-in-Capricorn cycles we can see the genesis of the world we live in today.
In the periods when these two planets are in hard aspect to one another (conjunction, square or opposition), we tend to experience an extremely intense dynamic. Uranus wants to set everything free and is willing to use extreme force to make this happen. Pluto taps into the repressed aspects of the world soul, bringing what has been repressed, denied or buried up to the surface and in the process buckling the foundations of the established order. But with Pluto in Capricorn (the sign of the establishment), there will often be an extreme repressive reaction from the powers that be or from the groups of people who benefit most from the old ways of doing things.
This is the astrology of revolution, and right on cue we see more unrest erupting in the Middle East. (The revolutions of 2011 happened with Uranus and Pluto in very close aspect, although the initial exact square didn’t hit until June 24 of this year.)
Today’s Capricorn Full Moon (12 Cap 14, 2:52 pm EDT) falls within a few degrees of the still nearly-exact Uranus-Pluto square and promises to bring awareness of this energy to greater heights, both personally and collectively. The Capricorn Moon has a bottom line quality about it. Security and stability are key values here, and the Cap Moon feels better if people are following the rules and acting according to the terms of the contract. The problem here being that the social contract is in the process of being rewritten in ways that will be at least as extreme as the American Revolution or Protestant Reformation.
Still, we might do well to look at our own bottom line here. What are we willing to sacrifice in order to make the transition from a system that is dying before our very eyes? Where are we holding on to the past, even though we know that past no longer holds sway? What in our lives truly holds value going forward, i.e. what can we count on?
Mars in Libra
Complicating matters further, Mars moves into the cardinal Air sign of Libra today (Tuesday, July 3). This might be good news for those of us who have had just about enough of Mars in Virgo, but Mars’ entry into Libra positions it directly opposite the Aries Point. Any hard aspect from Mars to the Aries Point tends to bring more violence in the Middle East (it’s like clockwork). But Mars in Libra will also be slowly approaching a direct hit to both Uranus and Pluto, squaring Pluto on July 17 and opposing Uranus on July 21. Mars here is like the spark that ignites the gunpowder or the trigger of the detonator.
Please don’t get me wrong – I’m not forecasting World War III or the collapse of the world monetary system in July. I’m just pointing out that things are going to change in ways we can’t control. What we can do is do the work of figuring out who we are beyond all the trappings of our family and cultural identities and focus on what has lasting value. Mars in Libra is a crusader for justice, so we might also find ourselves attracted to take action in a cause we believe in. Just remember that fighting the power only gives energy to the power. What we want to do, especially with Uranus in Mars’ home sign of Aries, is align ourselves with the forces of innovation and renewal. It’s OK to be angry – but making productive use of that anger means channeling it into creating something new and better, not getting locked into lose-lose battles with the forces of darkness.
Mercury Retrograde in Leo
Mercury stations retrograde in the 13th degree of Leo on Saturday, July 14. Mercury will return to direct motion in the 2nd degree of Leo on August 8. My suspicion is that this Mercury Rx might come as something of a relief. When the planet of thought and communication slows down and reverses course, it tends to force us into slowing down as well. Leo is the sign of the Sun and of the eternal child. With Mercury Rx in Leo, we are asked to consider our own essential energy and to look at how we are using it to bring joy and pleasure and creativity and light to the world.
Especially given the background of the Uranus-Pluto square, we might want to use these three weeks to look at how well we’re doing at enjoying ourselves. This isn’t an injunction to party while Rome burns, but rather an opportunity to slow down, look around and remember just how much enjoyment we can derive from the simple things in life. Having enough healthy food to feed our bodies. Connecting with the nourishing, inspiring energy of Mother Nature. Playing with our children. Getting our bodies moving. Making art, dancing, singing, expressing ourselves.
Sure it’s hard not to be concerned when the world seems to be falling down around us, but we really are a remarkably resilient, flexible and adaptable species when we decide to be. In times like this when so much is beyond our control, making a conscious choice to enjoy ourselves when we can is a powerful act.