Uranus Retrograde and the Uranus-Pluto Cycle: Navigating the Best of Times, the Worst of Times Part III
“News You Can Use”
Uranus, that great Promethean force, has turned retrograde as of July 9th. Where will the ‘Great Awakener’ now take us? This turning inward phase will last until December 10th when at 0 degrees it will once again begin to move forward in the sign of Aries. I’ve been writing articles about this movement since it began back in May of 2010.
We astrologers look at time differently than just a linear progression from one day to the next into weeks, months, and years. We try to observe the celestial orbits of the spheres in their endless dance around the Sun and find it fascinating to realize that these planetary movements actually have significance in both the individual life, but also the life span of vast Collective epochs.
With Uranus now in a slowing down period it may be worthwhile to reflect further on what does this mean to be heading into another major relationship with Pluto, the lord of powerful, instinctual transformations? I can’t begin to unravel all the mysteries of this particular relationship, but I’ve enjoyed researching Richard Tarnas, again, who does a pretty amazing feat of tracking their cycle together through history starting with their conjunction from 1450 to 1461. Jeff Green has also been a continuing source of inspiration due to his depth of understanding of not just Pluto, but Uranus. Check out his book Uranus, Freedom From the Known.
What primarily interests me in this article is how each of us, as individuals, can look at the big picture of this energy configuration about to impact the entire globe, and perhaps in understanding the bigger picture take the necessary actions that we each need to do in our own personal lives.
Uranus in Aries we know is about an urge breaking through towards freedom for each individual to have unrestricted and unimpeded access to discover for themselves just who they are and who they want to become. It is a cry growing ever louder for individual rights. These rights may include anything and everything depending on how we qualify what constitutes an ‘individual’. An animal could thus have rights. Even a corporation, under a recent Supreme Court ruling in the United States, has much the same right as a person to help finance their candidate of choice in a political election. This definition of ‘individual’ seems to be changing in our times.
The last time Uranus was in Aries was from the late 1920s into the mid-1930s. Workers rights were a big theme then and, once again, this theme is ever present as un-employment continues unabated.
Pluto is in Capricorn and no one living has experienced it before in this sign. The titanic intensity of this archetype is just beginning to powerfully transform the entire collective structures that have been in place since the 1700s when it was last in Capricorn. Pluto’s process seems to involve a major break-down (catabolic) before a re-building (anabolic) takes place. Since we are living in the very beginning of this long 15-year run through a collective earth sign, we ‘ain’t seen nothin yet’.
When you combine these two enormous forces for generational change into dynamic tension with each other what are the likely scenarios? Mr. Tarnas summarized it quite well when he said that there are always wide spread radical social and political changes present often through destructive upheaval, along with massive empowerment of revolutionary and rebellious impulses, but what I like best that he said is that intensified artistic and intellectual creativity emerges simultaneously. He also talks about the rapid technological advances and the drive for innovation that accompanies these revolts against oppression and the urge for freedom in all the various realms that collective Saturn has held in crystallized forms through social, economic, political, and religious institutions.
The coming time frame for these types of events has begun, but not yet in total intensity by a long shot. The time period of extreme tension will be from 2012 through 2015; yes, four years. However, when I went through the ephemeris and noted the long dance between these two it continues within orb (10 degrees) until 2020.
Both Tarnas and J. Green emphasize in their writings the archetypal powers of evolution being mirrored by these planetary cycles. I give you one beautiful quote from Tarnas, “I gradually gained the distinct impression that in some sense everything that occurs during one alignment (of Pluto/Uranus) is implicitly present and contributing to every subsequent one, as if it were a single continuing, and cumulative historical development.” That’s quite a statement coming from a Harvard graduate history professor!
Most of us, therefore, will live through the coming epochal Pluto/Uranus square alignment knowing that it is part of something much bigger and deeper than we can totally comprehend. What we can do is look back to the last time these two forces squared off with each other in the ‘30s. At that time Pluto was in Cancer while Uranus was in Aries. That was a waning square and very different in nature from what we are about to experience. Waning squares constitute a crisis in consciousness when Kali is often at work beginning her extreme cutting away of all that impedes greater consciousness. We had only just discovered Pluto in 1930, but soon learned about the forces of power, especially dark power by World War II when we truly played with ‘the fire of the gods’ through our newly discovered atomic weaponry. Depth psychology was also newly born at that time and the work of Freud evolved into Jung’s work with the collective unconscious and even the concept of archetypes. These are but two themes that now have changed as we enter the waxing square of Uranus to Pluto which is leading us away from the dark forces because we now have the consciousness to realize that we can co-create a better world. That, alone, gives me hope, even while it appears that the tipping point has been reached with man’s folly to play with fire before he had the emotional maturity collectively to deal with it as a creative rather than a destructive force. We now have a much more toxic world environment, and we have global warming on our hands.
This leads me to bring your attention to the last conjunction of these two when Pluto and Uranus joined together in the sign of Virgo in the ‘60s, and most intensely between 1965 and 1966. Virgo is an Earth, Feminine sign where mastery of right dharma in our daily life is so very important. The ‘60s gave rise to so many movements including civil rights, anti-war, holistic health, natural foods, environmental, women’s rights, and gay rights in addition to the technological advancements in the digital world and scientific discoveries that have taken us into the quantum world. A conjunction has the power to initiate and seed the next cycle.
So the ‘60s seeded the urge to return to what had been neglected far too long; what I would call ‘the Sacred Feminine’. Many of the movements that I have participated in since then I can see were seeded in me at that time such as women’s groups, food co-op buying clubs, organic gardening, animal rights, natural childbirth and a return to breast-feeding babies, alternative health practices, yoga, meditation, joining groups like Greenpeace and Amnesty International, etc. Side-by-side all of that has been the use of these ‘magical’ new tools of communication such as the computer, inter-net access and e-mails, cell phones, digital cameras, DVD players, and on and on into the micro-chip world that now is everywhere present. Virgo’s themes are present in all of these changes, some of which are a return to ancient ways, while others are straight out of the science fiction books not that long ago.
Looking back to that seminal time we can see how fast our world has changed. Yet there is unfolding a crisis point as we head into the 90 degree, square aspect. Some kind of action is demanded both collectively and individually to bring into form what was birthed in the ‘60s. A first quarter square is a time of commitment. It is the ‘Sacred Marriage’ phase of a complete cycle and the Virgo beginning point of Pluto with Uranus asks for the courage to defend what is most sacred to our survival as a species, the protection of nature on this Earth. That seems to me to be the first principle. With it comes more valuing of the feminine and our connections with each other where diversity in unity creates our means to sustainability. Of course there are many other themes running alongside what I am writing about and many voices are needed now to bring to awareness what needs to be done. Since those distant days the threat of nuclear devastation is now a living reality. We are living in a toxic, global soup of countless poisons and we are facing, at last, our own species extinction if we don’t address soon the Pandora’s Box we’ve opened in our hubris to conquer nature. Global warming is our reality and we don’t really know what fully lies ahead.
So what will Uranus squaring Pluto mean for all of us?
I like to think that the most positive outcome of this next Uranus in Aries square to Pluto in Capricorn would be the innovative force of millions of individuals all taking action to create a better collective world. I look forward to the hundredth monkey effect where people awaken and move forward with courage to tackle what must be done in every part of the world.
I already see such individual acts by bright, creative people right here in my own community. For example, I think of a wonderful, independent, and strong Aries woman who was mayor of our small town who recently helped spear-head the building of small, portable houses for the homeless. She rallied everyone to come and help build them together as a community. She’s always doing things like that. She promotes the local Farmer’s Market where diversity is the hallmark of unity for sure. She fights hard to bring green and local products into our county year around.
This particular community in the foothills of the Sierras is known for its rugged individualists all living out in the woods, doing their thing. Something has changed, however, and there is a growing sense of community where people do emerge from their independent digs and join together to help the whole. That’s what Aries and Capricorn can create together I feel.
I’d love to hear from as many of you readers as possible to see what examples you can share around this theme. What can be created that’s magnificently wonderful from Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn? What’s going on where you live?