We got a wakeup call last week, and in typical Uranian fashion, it wasn’t anything we could have predicted.
What we know about Uranus is that the worst shakeups happen when we’re most in need of drastic change but resist, for whatever reason. Sometimes it’s because we’re so out of touch with what we really need that it never occurred to us to change anything. More often, though, there’s a voice just beneath the surface telling us that something has to give, but listening to that voice would require so much destabilization in our lives that we ignore it. Sometimes we even deliberately silence it.
The knee-jerk reactions to the Sandy Hook school shooting were predictable. The religious right says we need prayer in schools and the right for citizens to defend themselves with guns. The liberal left says tragedies like this could be prevented with stricter gun-control laws. If there’s any light in the darkness of this horror, it’s that deeper discussions seem to be emerging into the mainstream that transcend the finger-pointing and politicization. What does it say about the level of dysfunction of our society that it took the execution of 6-year-olds to start waking up to a meaningful dialogue?
As astrologers, we try to make broader sense of events. The usual method is to look at the chart for the event and the person responsible. Through newspaper reports, we learned that Adam Lanza, the shooter, was born on April 22, 1992, in Kingston, New Hampshire. We don’t have a birth time, but we can cast a chart for noon.
First of all, neither chart conveys the horror of this event, nor is it an appropriate use of astrology to judge someone’s character based on their chart. Second, without a birth time, there’s too much missing to draw any real conclusions. A noon chart for Adam gives him a Moon of 8 degrees Capricorn, making the first look at the chart startling, because transiting Pluto is at 8 degrees Capricorn. We need to stop right there and remember that the Moon travels through 12 degrees in a day. But then what if we had an accurate birth time of, say, 1 a.m.? That would put Pluto right on his Ascendant. Suddenly there would be pronouncements that he was having a bad Pluto transit.
My point is that we need to take great care in not making charts fit events or people. Sometimes there is no immediate explanation in the chart – just as there is no immediate explanation for how something like this could have happened in the first place. Now, I suspect that if we had an exact birth time, we might be able to dig a little deeper and find some clues. But even then, we have to remember that we are not slaves to our natal chart.
We also have to keep in mind that when we are in the midst of radical, outer-planetary cycles such as the Uranus-Pluto square, events correlating to this signature can happen at any time. Uranus came out of retrograde the day before the shooting. In my mind, this is significant, and it’s why I see this tragedy as a harsh wake-up call.
Those using the event to promote a political ideology are still sleeping. We’re so far beyond that point, it’s frightening. I think not only of the 20 children murdered at Sandy Hook, but all of the children in the world killed, maimed, and emotionally traumatized daily by war and violence. The recent bombing of Gaza – an act publicly supported by President Obama – resulted in the reported deaths of 167 people, including 35 children. The AP photo of Jihad Misharawi holding the body of his dead baby, killed in an Israeli airstrike, is indelibly burned in my memory.
But I am heartened – as much as one can be in the light of such demonic events – that it’s finally dawning on more people that deeper issues must be confronted, including the disturbing truth about psychiatric drugs – particularly the widespread use in children. According to a neighbor, Adam was on medication for an unspecified personality disorder. A related issue being discussed is our society’s approach to mental health. Eventually, though, we’re going to have to address a societal structure that requires so many people to take drugs to be “functional.”
With Neptune in Pisces, the drug issue will come to the fore. Neptune rules drugs and all mind-altering substances, and he’s in his element in the Fishes. The twelfth house, ruled by Neptune (in modern astrology), rules mental hospitals and prisons, so these issues also are going to be more prominent. In the meantime, society is going through an extreme breakdown under the Uranus-Pluto square. I was just reading about a rash of mass murders of school children in China over the past two years. A Chinese newspaper quoted an expert – ironically, an American college professor – who attributed the attacks to stress caused by rapid social change, increasing disparities in wealth, and lack of treatment for the mentally ill.
We have another three years of Uranus and Pluto, so it might be a good idea to start paying attention to real issues and not throwing up smoke screens of gun control and school prayer. We also need to take a hard look at our own lives and make an honest assessment of what we need to change.
The subject of sweeping change is all the more poignant this week as we approach the supposed end of the world on Friday. Now, frankly, I’d be happy to end the world “as we know it.” There’s way too much suffering, and our problems seem so insurmountable as to be impossible. But the world will continue, and we’re going to have to change.
This week’s aspects pale in comparison to current events, but here’s a quick rundown:
On Monday, Mercury opposes Jupiter, in mutual reception. I’m hopeful this will have some relation to negotiations between Congress and the White House to avoid going over the so-called “fiscal cliff.” I am pretty sure, though, given what I see in the charts, that we are going to have some cutbacks. How much and for whom remains to be seen.
On Wednesday, Venus in Sagittarius trines Uranus. Parties will be more subdued this year – I wrote that in last week’s forecast, and it’s even more true this week – but parties will happen nonetheless. We need an outlet from all the grief and sorrow, even if it’s only temporary. Still, the grief won’t be far from our minds, with Venus squaring Chiron on Thursday.
The Sun enters Capricorn on Friday, the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. He immediately forms a happy sextile with Neptune in Pisces. This suggests to me that there might be a brief sign of hope for peace on earth – especially next summer, when Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune form a grand trine.
Speaking of the Big Guy, Jupiter forms a quincunx with Pluto on Thursday and with Saturn on Saturday – the Yod that I don’t put a whole lot of stock in. More importantly, Saturn and Pluto are in sextile and mutual reception, suggesting that breakdowns will happen faster in order for new, more sustainable structures to emerge. Yes, that may mean we don’t get everything we want for Christmas. But, as the old Rolling Stones song goes, we may get what we need.
Wishing you all much love, courage, and peace in your hearts,