We’re in one of the most stressful astrological periods of the year, and it will continue through the first week in April.
On the world stage, the biggest news is the seventh and final pass of the Uranus-Pluto square, which began in 2012 and ends on Monday (Tuesday in the Eastern Hemisphere). We began seeing events related to this long-range outer planetary cycle toward the end of 2010, with the first stirrings of the so-called Arab Spring. Since then, full-blown revolutions around the world have devolved into civil war, most notably in Syria and Ukraine, which have become frightening proxy wars between the United States and Russia. These situations will continue to be highly volatile for the next couple of years, until Uranus moves out of the range of aspect with Pluto.
Of course, those aren’t the only events associated with the Uranus-Pluto square. Issues of race, economic disparity, and environmental crisis all have taken on a new urgency in the past five years. The common theme is the necessary breakdown of social structures that have become dysfunctional and no longer viable. The foundations have been shaken so violently that collapse is inevitable. How long it takes will depend on how long those at the top can continue to artificially prop up the exterior walls.
The Uranus-Pluto square marks the end of the first quarter of a 140-year cycle that began in 1965. Because this cycle is so long, events related to the square can occur at any time during the three years that the two planets move back and forth into exact aspect, and in the year or two before. As we saw in the mid-1960s, the most dramatic events occurred a couple of years after the final conjunction, and because these events were so potent, the ramifications rippled well into the seventies. That means World War III isn’t likely going to start this week. But it could happen at any time in the next five years, so hang onto that fear and anxiety.
Just kidding. But joking aside, there is a high level of stress and anxiety in the general population, and it has grown worse under the Uranus-Pluto square. A lot of it is tied to economic conditions. Under normal circumstances, one can prepare for future uncertainty by socking away some savings and having cash on hand. But these are not normal times. An estimated one-half of Americans can’t make ends meet as it is and so don’t have anything to set aside. I’m told by people in the mental health field that demand for their services is soaring beyond belief, and many of them are having a hard time coping.
Beyond immediate financial considerations, profound internal changes are taking place in many of us that can feel like being on the edge of insanity. In a way, it is. Belief systems are structures of the mind, and when we’re forced to change our beliefs, those structures break down. Until the new ones are formed, there is a feeling of internal confusion and chaos. It’s why beliefs are so difficult to change. Systems have internal safeguards, and they are there for a reason. But, again, these aren’t normal times. Events are taking place that are challenging belief systems beyond their ability to hold together. The result is a chaos within the collective mind.
The square of Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn has coincided with movements of mass discontent with the financial and social structures that favor a hierarchy of privilege. Whether or not we believe that 1 percent of the population should control more than half of the world’s wealth, there is some kind of deep programming, possibly even in our DNA, to believe in some kind of pecking order. So it’s not just the “system” that we’re fighting, but the collective belief in that system. It’s not difficult to imagine how that could lead to mass confusion.
For most of the Uranus-Pluto square, Saturn was in Scorpio, in a special relationship with Pluto that was mutually reinforcing. Since Saturn entered Sagittarius around Christmastime, the mutual reinforcement is gone. There’s now a one-way relationship in which Pluto in Capricorn supports Saturn. Sagittarius is concerned with beliefs, particularly religious, political, and philosophical beliefs. Saturn represents structure and order. But Saturn is receiving from Pluto, the planet of destruction and transformation. So the belief structures represented by Saturn in Sagittarius are being challenged in order to break down and transform.
Meanwhile, Saturn is approaching a battle of his own with Neptune, planet of dissolution, illusion, and blind faith. Saturn just turned retrograde and is at a standstill in the sky. Astrologically, that’s a powerful state. So even though the first exact square won’t take place until late fall, the rumblings are being felt. Over the past few weeks, as Saturn was slowing down, I’ve observed some interesting trends in how information is disseminated on the Internet and how it is interpreted to fit into a particular belief system. I could write a whole article on the topic. For now, though, I’ll limit my comments to the subject of propaganda.
For the past century, the word “propaganda” has referred primarily to political communications intentionally skewed to influence beliefs and produce a particular outcome. Demonizing an enemy is a form of propaganda, the intent being to generate public support for a war. The more unpopular the war, the more outrageous the propaganda must be to change their minds. However, lately the term is being used to describe any opposing point of view. For example, if the United States says that Russia started the war in Ukraine and the Kremlin denies it, we used to say that Russia was lying. Now we accuse it of spreading propaganda. The government of Ukraine in December established the Ministry of Information Policy, which was officially written into law in mid-January. Saturn entered Sagittarius exactly halfway between those dates. Journalists protested, calling it the “Ministry of Truth,” a reference to George Orwell’s 1984. The new information minister countered that the agency was necessary in order to battle Russian propaganda, which he further embellished as “Russian information aggression.” This is the same government, by the way, that labels rebels in eastern Ukraine “terrorists” and its fight against them the ATO, or “Anti-Terrorist Operation.” Anyone who aids them or is suspecting of aiding them also is a “terrorist.”
On the other side, there is large and apparently growing audience of readers disillusioned with Western mainstream media who are gravitating to news from Russian media. For this crowd, everything in the Western corporate media is propaganda. So, both sides are adhering to a particular belief system without question. Last week, I came across an article on a pro-Russia news site that clearly was fabricated. It was unintentional; the story came from another news outlet. In any case, most of those posting comments bought it hook, line, and sinker. When one person pointed out that the article didn’t contain a shred of evidence to support its outlandish claim, he was shouted down as a troll.
Neptune is the master of deception. Saturn in the sign of truth is retrograde now and separating from the square. But once the square begins moving toward exact in late fall, I think we’re going to have to confront this dangerous situation of blind faith and lack of independent thinking. We might get a jolt this week, with Mercury in Pisces squaring Saturn on Monday and conjunct Neptune on Wednesday.
Mercury conjunct Neptune also may bring even more bizarre dreams. I’ve had some real whoppers in the past week. Where this stuff comes from is mystery. But that’s also completely in character for Neptune.
The dissolving power of Neptune is a key theme in this week’s New Moon, which coincides with a total eclipse of the Sun. The total eclipse will be visible only in the far north, near Iceland and the Faroe Islands. In other locations it will appear to be partial. Nonetheless, in astrological terms, this New Moon at 29 degrees Pisces is filled with the symbolism of final endings. The very last degree of the zodiac before a new cycle begins, the 29th degree of Pisces is sometimes called the “weeping degree.” Endings can be welcome and yet still be filled with sadness. Grief is part of the healing process. At this New Moon, it’s time for the bits and pieces of ourselves that are extraneous, that somehow don’t fit anymore with who we have become, to fall away and dissolve. But we need to mourn their loss and the loss of an old self that no longer exists.
The New Moon occurs at 5:36 a.m. EDT on Friday, with the Sun entering Aries at 6:45 p.m. This is the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, the official first day of spring, an ancient symbol of rebirth and the beginning of the next cycle. New growth is waiting to burst forth. The trine from Jupiter to Uranus is a path by which thoughts can manifest into reality, including sudden opportunities that contribute to our personal and spiritual growth.
Venus enters her home sign of Taurus on Tuesday, so at the New Moon, love planets Venus and Mars both will be in their strongest signs. Just as individuals can make a fresh start, relationships can be reinvigorated and renewed.
On Sunday, Mercury forms a sextile with Pluto, continuing the trend of tapping into the subconscious, both our own and the collective. Watch for synchronicities between thoughts or images that seem to crop up out of nowhere and encounters in your external world. Also, keep an eye on the news headlines for the revelation of things that weren’t intended for the public to know, such as evidence of covert operations and financial cover-ups.
Watch, too, for Putin to be resurrected from the dead. Hopefully, he’ll be wearing a shirt.
Wishing you all much love and courage,
© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2014.