There are a couple of significant shifts in the next few days, but the dominant aspect this week is the approaching Uranus-Pluto square, the sixth in a series of seven from 2012 to 2015.
There won’t necessarily be any new events related to the upcoming square, which is exact on Monday, December 15 (late Sunday in Western time zones). Events associated with outer planet cycles can occur days, weeks, and even months from the date when the alignments are exact. This pass of the square appears to have manifested in nationwide protests against police brutality, sparked by yet another grand jury decision not to indict a white police officer involved in the death of a black man. There are also ongoing protests around the world, some of them very violent.
The Uranus-Pluto square is the first crisis point in a cycle that began with a conjunction in 1965-1966. Those were turbulent years, with many of the same issues we’re revisiting now – if they ever even went away. Sometimes it seems as though nothing ever changes.
I’ve been going over charts for the previous cycle, which began in 1850, in the hope of finding some clues about where all of this might be heading. The turning point is the opposition, which in the current cycle won’t be until 2046. In the previous cycle, the opposition point was 1901-1902. I was particularly interested in the square in December 1901, not only because we’re approaching the anniversary date, but because it occurred with a powerful conjunction of Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter in Capricorn. It’s always a bit tricky to identify which events are related to which astrological signatures, but a couple of things did jump out at me.
In September 1901, President William McKinley was assassinated, and Vice President Theodore Roosevelt assumed the presidency. That alone is noteworthy, but one of his first acts was to invite Booker T. Washington to dinner – the first time a black man had been invited to the White House and the last for another 30 years due to the political fallout. [WARNING: The following quote is offensively racist. If you don’t want to read it, skip to the next paragraph.] Among the personal attacks was a statement by South Carolina Sen. Benjamin Tillman, who said, “The action of President Roosevelt in entertaining that nigger will necessitate our killing a thousand niggers in the South before they will learn their place again.”
It might seem disheartening that we’re still fighting that battle, but we have to remember that racism and ethnic bias go back thousands of years and that they exist in many forms in the world today, not just white against black. And while recent events show how far we have to go, they also show how far we have come. In 1850, slavery was still legal in the southern states. Between the Uranus-Pluto conjunction and the first square in 1876, the Civil War was fought and slavery was abolished, even though civil rights for African Americans were struck down by the Supreme Court and had to wait for the next cycle. So it’s not surprising that the current “crisis point” reflects the civil rights marches of the mid-sixties, which in turn mirror earlier attempts to gain equality under the law.
Pluto is about evolution, which by definition is slow. His orbit, remember, is more than three times the average human life expectancy. Uranus, meanwhile, is about awakening consciousness, often through bursts of shock and upset. When they work together, it is possible to hasten evolution in consciousness, but with chaos and trauma inevitably part of the process.
The second thing that caught my attention in the 1901-1902 opposition period shows the positive, creative side of the Uranus-Pluto cycle and is actually quite exciting. Uranus rules technological innovation, and with Uranus and Pluto combined, those technologies can transform whole societies and change the course of human history. Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison were born less than a month apart in 1847, just before the beginning of the Uranus-Pluto cycle (Edison was an Aquarius). At the square in 1876, Bell patented the telephone and Edison was demonstrating the phonograph. A couple of years before that, in April 1874, Guglielmo Marconi was born in Italy. On December 12, 1901 – four days before the Uranus-Pluto opposition was exact at 17 degrees Sagittarius-Gemini – Marconi sent the first radio transmission across the Atlantic, from England to Canada. Gemini, of course, is the sign of communications, and Sagittarius is associated with long-distance travel and contact with foreign countries.
Much has been written over the past four years about the role of the social media in the protests around the world. Meanwhile, cell phone and tablet technologies continue to expand at a mind-numbing pace (I haven’t been able to keep up). Who knows where the technology will be at the Uranus-Pluto opposition in 2046? All we can say for sure is that it will be as astonishing as trans-Atlantic radio transmissions at the turn of the 20th century.
One other thing grabbed me about the 1901-1902 Uranus-Pluto opposition. In May 1901, barely two weeks after the second of five passes, was the first stock market crash. The Panic of 1901 was caused in large part by the dealings of greedy railroad magnates and banksters backed with oil money. Thousands of small investors were ruined, not unlike the fallout from the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008 (incidentally, Lehman Brothers was founded in 1850). On December 3, Roosevelt delivered a famous 20,000-word address urging Congress to rein in the power of the large corporations. Again, it’s discouraging to think that the banksters might have another 30 years to pillage and plunder – until the Uranus-Pluto opposition in 2046 – but at least there’s some hope.
The thing to remember throughout these troubling times that this is a crisis point in a long-term cycle. There will be resolution eventually, but some of us may not be around to see it. Children born in the past five years will grow up to be instrumental in bringing about the changes we’re seeking now.
Looking at this week, the two biggest events are the entry of Venus in Capricorn on Wednesday and Jupiter’s station retrograde on Monday, reinforced by favorable aspects from Mercury and the Sun later in the week.
Whereas Venus in Sagittarius is the party girl, Venus in Capricorn is more staid, although not necessarily any less naughty. She just doesn’t broadcast it, but rather clothes it in a frosty, regal exterior that she’ll strip off only behind double-bolted doors. Speaking of clothes, she wears only the most expensive and well-constructed. She wouldn’t be caught dead in H&M, but patiently waits for a good sale at Sak’s (unlike Venus in Taurus, she never pays full price for anything). It will be interesting to see how retailers fare this holiday shopping season, especially those who offer luxury goods at a deep discount.
Maintaining a sense of decorum and waiting patiently for the right time to get what you want can have its own rewards. Hold that thought, because it could be downright dreamy over the weekend, with Venus in a lovely sextile to Neptune on Sunday (December 14).
Jupiter, meanwhile, has been the king of bling in Leo, but he’s about to dim the lights for a few months and go down for a nap until April 8. Jupiter’s retrogrades tend not to be disruptive; to the contrary, his amplifying influence isn’t as loud, unless he’s in a seriously conflicting aspect, and right now, he’s not. Gifts also aren’t as big, bonuses are less than expected, and so forth. But nothing gets taken away from you, at least not anything related to Jupiter transits. And even the cutbacks may not be apparent upfront, as Mercury and the Sun both make easy sextiles with the Big Guy this week – Mercury on Friday and the Sun on Sunday.
The latter actually could be brilliant, as the Sun and Jupiter are in a special relationship called mutual reception that happens only every 12 years. The last time it occurred was in December of 2002. It’s likely to be a good weekend for holiday shopping, especially for the latest in electronics.
If you’re not into all that, cozying up to a warm fire with good friends will be especially satisfying, all the more so with a drink spiked with your favorite “flavoring.” For me, that’s my special non-dairy eggnog with a splash of dark rum, but hot chocolate with a dash of chili would work, too.
Despite the chaos all around us, there is a lot of love and warmth this week, and we won’t need to look too hard to find it.
Wishing you all much love, warmth, and courage,
© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2014.
Hmmm, your background is now your foreground; can’t read the text, sorry.
It looks fine on my computer, Michele. Is anyone else having that problem? Maybe it was a temporary glitch?
A friend of mine is launching a new company in January… It will rely heavily on digital media. Any cause for concern with Jupiter retrograde?
Thanks for all you do!
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Gretchen, although it would be better for a business planet such as Jupiter to be direct, the bottom line is that Jupiter is retrograde for four months out of every year, and it’s usually not practical to wait that long. That said, I would avoid picking a time of day when Jupiter was the chart ruler or co-ruler (Rising Sagittarius or Pisces). For digital media, Mercury retrograde is more problematic. Mercury turns Rx on Jan. 21. I have done electional charts, so feel free to have your friend contact me if he or she is interested in having one done.
I’m Sag w Venus 1’55* Cap. I have a close trine w Mars 4* Virgo, as well, which seems to really reinforce the Cappy coolness. How you describe Venus/Cap here is pretty right on for me except for the clothes. Most of my clothes are Old Navy, Target etc and some of my favorite items are ones I’ve found on the clearance rack! Also, while I try to present with some modesty, I still enjoy wearing bright colors and especially like some sparkle. (Maybe it’s my Aries moon that just wants what it wants right now)
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