Today I've made a video exploring this weekend's Sun/Pluto square, which is particularly intense due to the conjunction between Jupiter and Pluto. It's a little like a Sun/Pluto square on steroids, so it's a good time to check-in and prepare ourselves as this energy comes through.
In the past few weeks, I've received many questions asking me when the astrology says the coronavirus will end, or when the economy will return, or when we will be released from quarantines, etc. I've resisted making a video focusing on the length of the crisis we are facing because in my experience the obsession over how long something difficult will last rarely helps. At the same time, it is a reasonable and practical question, and I know that many people are having a high degree of anxiety about it, and so today I've made a video exploring the timeline of Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto's interactions for the rest of this year.
Today, I've made a new video blog exploring Jupiter's upcoming, and long-standing, conjunction to Pluto. Check it out below.
Remember that my Spring 2020 classes are now open for enrollment. I'm also booking out into July at the moment, so be sure to schedule a reading now if you want to get in sometime over the Summer to check-in or have your chart read for the first time.
Here’s a deeper look at some of the powers symbolized by the current planetary configurations and some thoughts on how we might work with what’s here:
* With Jupiter retrograde in Libra as a powerful planetary player right now, it’s possible that we are being called to task for previous actions or arrogance. If you find that you are facing authority figures, laws, codes, rules, or any kind of disciplinary/performance-based review, it’s important to look inward right now. Justice doesn’t necessarily require that we suffer penalties…but Justice does require that we adjust our internal attitude. Justice asks us to learn something. Justice asks us to respect due process. Justice asks us to learn to be in harmony with cosmic law, truth, order, and wisdom. And with Jupiter in Libra moving backward, we are in a time of review. Calling on your guides and better angels, calling on the divine forces to evaluate you with grace, dignity, and compassion, and opening your heart to correction, goes a long way right now, and it invites mercy from all figures of judgment.
* With Uranus in Aries, along with Mars, we are also being forced to awaken our senses, mind, and body at a deeper level. These planets together act like strokes of fire, lightning, and electricity rocketing out of the ethereal realms. These planets jolt and drive through us until a clear opening appears. Because these energies are opposite Jupiter in Libra, the process of justice right now is swift, immediate, tense, and pivotal. It’s an incredibly important moment to call for protection and to ask for patience and clarity. The outer planetary influences sometimes feel impersonal, especially Uranus in a cardinal sign like Aries. But in some ways that’s the exact medicine we need right now. The point is that if we don’t recognize the qualities above and we get swept up in them, it’s a lot harder to receive their guidance. If we are shocked into a pattern of action and reaction, constantly, we will certainly learn and grow, but the growth will tend to happen in a way that is less conscious. Whatever is less conscious we tend to experience as external to us, happening “to us,” rather than in and through us.
* With Pluto also in the mix, the “sense of fate” is an integral part of our experience right now. We tend to mistakenly debate within ourselves, in our heads, about how much free-will we have versus how much fate’s hand is controlling everything. Pluto’s perspective, the underworld perspective, calls us to consider everything from the vantage point of the soul, which is death. As long as we stay fixed to the image of birth, as long as we associate our lives with birth, we tend to live regressively and therefore the future is constantly something we are trying to take back with us into the womb. We demand that the future be entirely open, indeterminate, and entirely dependent upon our choices or will power, as though we live in a permanent and potential state of gestation.
But death isn’t a choice. Death is a necessity. All things die. And when we live toward the soul’s meaning, we live toward its inevitability. The question shifts from “what will I create with all these endless possibilities?” to “how will I choose to experience all these inevitabilities?” Pluto teaches us the value of living our lives with a view on the future that is moving toward death and the endless mystery of the soul.
Failure, misery, inevitability, impermanence, and pain, these are not the friends of a radically indeterminate future, rooted in the image of birth. But both perspectives are co-present in our consciousness. It’s not a matter of which one is right, it’s the basic fact that they both exist in consciousness that matters. I think for example of the recent film, “The Arrival,” which plays on the themes of precognition and death. Developing pre-cognitive ability is something rooted in birth. It starts with the open possibilities of the future and our genesis, the divinatory or ritual starting moment we might say….but as we learn to see into the inevitabilities of the future, our consciousness narrows or focuses on it, like a keyhole, which in turn leads us back to the present and puts a question to us: how will you choose to live and experience this inevitability? A circle come round on itself. A keyhole vision of the future that is also the key itself. And this is why the aliens in the film used non-linear scripts…sentences that read from both ends toward the center at once.
That might seem like some far out philosophy, but if you sit long enough with all that’s happening you will recognize the one within yourself who has seen this, known this, and sensed these inevitable events all along. The question we are all faced with right now, in the honesty of this inevitable moment is, “how will I walk through this valley?” “What forces and qualities of consciousness will I call upon to walk with me?”
Prayer: Your rod and staff, they protect and comfort us.
Before looking at what to watch for today let’s take a moment to reflect on NASA’s first ever flyby of the planet Pluto, which is happening right now after nearly ten years of flight.
In addition to the beautiful photographs we can now see of Pluto up close, scientists are also still debating the status of many similarly sized objects/planets in the solar system. For example, the chief investigator for the Pluto mission, Alan Stern, recently said he disagrees with the downgrading of Pluto to a “dwarf planet,”: “We’re just learning that a lot of planets are small planets, and we didn’t know that before. Fact is, in planetary science, objects such as Pluto and the other dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt are considered planets and called planets in everyday discourse in scientific meetings.”
As astrologers this might seem silly, because most of us know very well the powerful effects and archetypal/astrological reality of the planet Pluto. Downsize it, upgrade it, or supersize it…it won’t change the fact that Pluto transits are powerful or that an angular Pluto in a birth chart has an undeniably real effect on a person’s life, right?
Well…yes and no. Believe it or not there are a large amount of astrologers who don’t recognize the outer planets (beyond Saturn) specifically because they aren’t visible to the naked eye and because they are somewhat challenging to the ancient system and it’s tightly organized vision. We might scoff at this or consider it a kind of fundamentalism or antiquated ignorance, but it’s actually not so different from the scientists who want to keep the solar system free from the ambiguity of the thousands of other objects we’re discovering all the time. We have to ask ourselves, what is at stake for us that so many astrologers and astronomers alike want to keep a huge variety and abundance of planetary objects out of our awareness? Why is there such resistance to recognizing objects beyond our line of literal sight? Why are we afraid of increasing complexity?
The obvious answer is that complexity and ambiguity threaten our sense of safety, order, predictability, precision, harmony, and rationality. They threaten the idea that God is a tidy creator who made a neat looking solar system. They threaten the idea that astrology is a divine and orderly science or system, with a long standing history that is still valid today. They threaten our philosophies about ourselves, about reality, about truth, about divinity, and they introduce a gigantic sense of the unknown coming closer and closer…it’s presence as ominous as ever.
If we sit back and simply deny the existence of what our solar system is really like…if we say, “well it’s not visible to the naked eye, or it’s not the right size,” the reality of these planets will collect our projections and our denial and it’s likely that they will become emissaries of all that we fear (at least initially). Like the explorers to the west who projected their fears onto the native people they met when they arrived, we are capable of alienating new planetary life forms as much as people or animals or ecosystems.
If we can simply remember that what we’re discovering isn’t just “stuff out there,” but that it’s actual life.
This morning my wife came inside and said “look at this!” She was holding a butterfly who had just come out of its cocoon, literally within minutes, inside of our mailbox. It was learning to walk and move its wings for the first time. After she took it outside I looked at the first picture of Pluto, and I heard a small voice saying, “this is just as precious.”
It’s easy to think of planets as gods or archetypes or powers or signs or significations of the divine mind, or whatever else, but sometimes it helps to just step back and remember that planets are organized systems of life. And just because they are different from ourselves, doesn’t mean we can flippantly objectify them.
This debate about planetary classification. This debate among astrologers as to whether or not these planets have any real “effect.” We miss the butterfly coming out of its cocoon. Interestingly enough, the Greeks frequently compared the psyche or soul to a moth or butterfly…and Hades/Pluto was the lord of souls.
It may take a long time to integrate or synthesize older astrological teachings with newer planetary discoveries, but these planets aren’t just orphans landing on a royal family’s doorstep. Invisible or not, they’ve been here all along, and we would be wise to honor the divine force and life they bring us.
Now, what to watch for given today’s astrology:
* A pivotal moment, the feeling of being at a crossroads, about to receive the news or a decision, about to make a choice (Moon square the nodes, applying to conjoin Mercury and make the new Moon)
* Moody, emotional, familial, private, internal, home bound (Moon in Cancer)
* Fantasies, longings, needs and wish fulfillment, relying on something or someone greater to pull us through, losing ourselves, weepy, depleted, drained, hopeful, romantic (Moon trine Neptune)
* A transformational moment, a powerful surge of unexpected emotion, something relating to home, family, the past, ancestry, genetics, etc (Moon opposite Pluto)
* Hardship, sobriety, difficulty, maturity, focus, commitment in love (Venus square Saturn)
* A new start, a fresh beginning, one that revolves around living situation, family, the past, home or tribe, babies or children, mothering or parenting, land or property, etc (New Moon in Cancer)
Since this new moon is also square to Uranus in Aries, it’s possible that this new moon will mark not only a new beginning but also a departure from something old or outdated in sake of something totally fresh. We might find ourselves needing to completely revamp or restructure certain elements of our lives during the next moon cycle, especially as Jupiter and Saturn will be square and presenting us with a generational challenge…the old versus the new, or the traditional versus the innovative.
Prayer: There are so many things we can’t see with our naked eyes…sometimes they come into view anyway.
Reflections on Pluto moving retrograde:
* Fate means never having to say, “I told you so.” Because when we’ve really understood fate, then we understand that it’s not a matter of prediction or advice. It’s not a simple matter of instructions not followed, as though fate is a punishment, and it’s not about the early bird catching the worm or any other protestant work ethic that saves the day and earns the righteous paycheck. Fate doesn’t need to say, “I told you so,” because fate doesn’t speak out against anything.
* We can’t avoid fate by hoping it will go away or by trying to make choices that eliminate fate’s hand in the matter.
* The word ‘fate’ means, among other things, “to speak,” and it carries an old association with the idea that the words or sentences of the gods in human lives are absolute…there are divine words spoken into our lives that cannot be altered or changed…there are guiding events that we cannot control.
* The word ‘fate’ also carries an old reference to the spirits, guides, or gods assigned to the fortunes and destines of individuals…the ‘fates’ are plural..they conspire with us and through us in order to weave the words of the gods…some of these beings can be prayed to, their minds changed, their help or hindrance invoked…while others cannot be petitioned.
* Isn’t it funny that in certain areas of our lives we already know what’s going to happen? We already know the nature of the story. We know what’s coming, and yet we play the part and the pain or joy of the results still feel as unexpected or as real as though we never knew. Isn’t it strange how fate can feel cold and distancing and yet in the most stubbornly fated events the feelings we have are more alive than ever?
* A question: where are you avoiding the inevitable? What would it look like to stop avoiding it? What are a few small steps you can take to welcome the presence of your fate?
* Fate isn’t a nasty killer, and it’s also not a smiling saint. Fate isn’t cruel, but it’s also not entirely benevolent. Fate isn’t free and it isn’t determined. It isn’t mechanical or indifferent but it isn’t entirely subjective or personal either. There is an intelligence to fate, and yet it remains always surprising.
* Heraclitus once wrote about fate, “Two made one are never one. Arguing the same we disagree. Singing together we compete. We choose each other to be one, and from the one both soon diverge. Without injustices, the name of justice would mean what? While cosmic wisdom understands all things are good and just, intelligence may find injustice here, and justice somewhere else. Justice in our minds is strife. We cannot help but see war makes us as we are. Thus are things decreed by fate.”
* The fates are silent speakers whose words are the invisible echo within everything.
* To contemplate or negotiate your fate, go to a high place and look down at the world below. To remember and receive your fate, look from a low place to something high above.
* To get a second date with fate, stop thinking about her and focus on what you’re doing, or the task at hand. She finds independence attractive.
* When you dream, remember to fall asleep first. Fate thinks lucid dreaming can be like a form of adultery.
* Commit yourself fully to your mistakes. No silver linings or positive spin. Just the image of you making your mistake. Stick with the image. See what it does next. See what it becomes. See what else it has to say. Principles destroy images, and fate loves images more than principles. In fact she sees principles as images first.
Prayer: Stranger and more interesting things are always happening when fate becomes an active part of our imagination.