Events in the coming week, plus Saturn’s entry into Sagittarius the following Wednesday, make for a nerve-wracking, exciting, stressful, hopeful, overwhelming end to a year that has been “all of the above” and more.
Oh, and did I mention stressful?
I got a call yesterday from a friend who has been in the same administrative job for 20 years that, while hectic, has been predictable, for the most part. She told me that the past few months have easily been the worst in her professional life, largely due to a new computer system that was supposed to be the latest and greatest but turned into a nightmare. To give me an idea, she said that instead of the old system, where the phone rang and you picked up the receiver and pushed a button to talk, now it’s as though you have to get up from your desk, walk down the hall, go down the elevator, cross the street to another building, and take the call at a pay phone in the lobby.
Normally unflappable – the go-to person in a crisis – she became so frustrated one afternoon that she picked up her belongings and walked out. In 20 years, she had never done anything remotely like that. She returned a couple of hours later, but it was so uncharacteristic of her that her coworkers worried that maybe she wasn’t coming back at all. There was a tone of depressed resignation in her voice as she explained that little could be done about it. The new system had cost a fortune, and there was no money in the budget to replace it.
My friend isn’t at all into astrology, but she wasn’t surprised when I explained that we’ve been in the grip of a powerful long-term astrological cycle that is manifesting in major stress, disruption, social unrest, and general chaos. Our collective nervous system is exhausted.
Meanwhile, we’re being confronted with increasingly stark realities that require a response. Events in Ferguson and New York exposed millions of people to the military power of the police. The checks and balances that framers of the Constitution designed to prevent any one branch of government from becoming too powerful have broken down, as has the “Fourth Estate,” the free and independent news media essential to a healthy democracy. The Census Bureau tells us that “only” 14.5 percent of Americans live below the poverty level – an improvement of half a percentage point from the previous year – but they don’t tell you that their method of calculation is 50 years out of date and virtually meaningless. With a more realistic method that takes into account all basic household necessities, that figure would be more than twice as high. And while the economy supposedly is recovering, nearly all the gains went to the “one percent.”
As I’ve written before, this phase of the current Uranus-Pluto cycle, which began in the mid-sixties, is the crisis point. This is when reality hits, when we understand that the problems we recognized at the beginning of the cycle not only haven’t been resolved, but they’ve gotten worse. It’s not unlike realizing you have to lose weight and making a New Year’s resolution to go on a diet, only to step on the scale a few weeks later and find that you’ve gained 10 pounds. How could that have happened? And now what?
Collectively, we’re at that “now what” point. As Uranus and Pluto form an exact square on Monday – the sixth of seven from 2012 to 2015 – we’re seeing clearly how the scales have tipped in the wrong direction. On the heels of protests over racial inequality and police brutality, we’ve got a shocking revelation of torture approved at high levels of government, along with a PR campaign to call it something other than what it really is and to justify it in the name of national security. Not that I think these folks really care. To them, the truth is what they say it is, and there’s no risk they’ll end up in jail. We also got a spending bill in the U.S. Congress that pays the fox to take over the hen house, plus an international climate change deal that essentially is an agreement to maintain the status quo.
The rude awakening to these and other harsh truths is particularly jarring as Saturn moves through the final degree of Scorpio. Saturn is the taskmaster who forces us to confront reality, while Scorpio exposes the rot under the paint. Since October 2012, Saturn has been in a reinforcing relationship with Pluto in Capricorn, which represents the collapse of rotting structures. Together, they have presented a sort of united front against the forces of change, represented by Uranus in Aries. But as Saturn leaves Scorpio, the paint cracks, the lie is exposed, and Pluto loses his backup. Sagittarius is the Truth Seeker, and Saturn in Sagittarius is intent on doing whatever it takes to get the truth out. Saturn returns to Scorpio from June to September 2015, but then will remain in Sagittarius until December 2017. Ripple effects from the Uranus-Pluto square will continue throughout that time. Also, Saturn crosses U.S. Ascendant (Sibly) on January 2016, and the country will be in the final countdown to its Pluto return in 2022.
In other words, the revolution – which some are calling the “American Spring” – is just beginning. And what an explosive beginning it is! We’re already seeing the evidence, but there’s more to come this week and next. It could be big, with Saturn changing signs less than 48 hours after a powerful New Moon at 0 degrees Capricorn, the sign he rules. The voltage increases with Uranus returning direct 18 minutes before the Sun enters Capricorn on Sunday evening.
Thus, my opening description of this week as nerve-wracking, exciting, stressful, hopeful, and overwhelming. The diet metaphor may seem a bit lame, but it’s one that many people can relate to. Anyone who has had weight loss issues knows how demoralizing, humiliating and even shaming it can be to face being grossly overweight. It’s overwhelming at first, and often there is a sense of powerlessness. But it can be exciting, too, because finally you are confronting your fear and taking action, which in turn brings hope … hope that turns to discouragement with a lapse, and then another. If you’ve lost a large amount of weight, you know how much of a struggle it is, how it requires deep internal changes, how much your internal programming resists those changes. There also can be external factors sabotaging your efforts. The “body of humanity” in many ways behaves like a human body, only on a larger scale and longer timetable. The structure of the individual mind is a reflection of the collective mind. Just as you can’t lose 50 pounds in two weeks, you can’t change deeply ingrained collective thinking in a couple of years or even a couple of decades. Still, you need to start making the changes. The longer you put it off, the longer it will take to get results.
It seems to me that, collectively, we’re at the point of recognizing we have a problem. That’s not to say that many of you haven’t known it for years; RealAstrologers tends to attract those on the bleeding edge. The difference, now, is that the recognition is reaching critical mass, which is entirely consistent with the next-to-last pass of seven Uranus-Pluto squares over three years. By the last pass on March 16, the critical mass of recognition will transform into a critical mass of action.
Looking at the specifics of this week, the Uranus-Pluto square occurs right after midnight Monday on the East Coast of the United States, late Sunday in Western time zones. The Moon in Libra converts the square to a brief T-square, giving some impetus to the desire to find solutions for a more just society.
Incidentally, it seems that the combination of the Uranus-Pluto square and the station of Uranus may be the astrological signature underlying major glitches in digital communications and Internet connections. Another possible manifestation could be an increase in weather-related power outages.
On Tuesday, Mercury enters Capricorn. There is truth, but there are also practical considerations. Think of the dilemma facing the Census Bureau. There have been attempts to update the method of calculating the poverty line, but can you imagine what would happen if the broad population realized that the numbers have been cooked? Not that this is an excuse for lying to the public, but it’s a very Capricorn way of thinking. Mercury in Capricorn has a head for details and knows how and when to use them for a specific outcome.
Most of the action in the week ahead occurs on the weekend. On Saturday, Venus squares Uranus and conjoins Pluto, emphasizing the need for radical changes in how we relate to one another. On a global scale, it’s about international relations, with diplomacy taking a back seat to financial and military might. In personal affairs, subconscious fears and insecurities can lead to attempts to control others, but situations arise that bring awareness to hidden motivations and desires.
Mercury’s sextile to Neptune earlier in the day opens a short window for discussing deep feelings in a rational, controlled manner. Some people are so scared of strong feelings that they shut down and don’t respond to attempts to reach them. That, in turn, can frustrate their loved ones into giving up on trying. This combination helps bridge hearts and minds.
A sextile from Mars to Uranus late Saturday brings impulsiveness to public protests and social unrest. The entire weekend could be marked by worldwide demonstrations by folks who are “mad as hell and not going to take this anymore.” Not that this is anything new, but with Mars and Uranus in rare mutual reception, there’s more energy than usual behind public outrage. Also, there may be some new tactics to air grievances – including, unfortunately, sudden outbursts of violence. Collectively and individually, this is a high-energy aspect.
Uranus returns direct on Sunday at 5:45 EST, followed by the Sun’s entrance into Capricorn at 6:03. From this time forward, the light slowly begins to return and the days get longer in the Northern Hemisphere. The New Moon follows right behind at 8:36 p.m. The symbolism of a New Moon at 0 degrees of a cardinal point is very powerful, and it’s a message of hope. With Saturn, the ruler of this New Moon, about to enter the expansive and mind-opening sign of Sagittarius, we just might find that structure and limits help rather than hinder. As I write that sentence, I’m looking down on the perfectly laid-out garden below, surrounded by deer fence. Even in its dormant winter phase, it needs protection from predators, while the gardener performs seasonal tasks necessary to promote growth in the spring.
With all the astrological endings and new beginnings between now and December 23, New Year’s Day is going to be obsolete before it launches. I might just break out the champagne on Sunday night.
Wishing you all much love and courage,
© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2014.