At the 2009 at the ISAR Astrology Conference in Chicago, the hot topic was predictions about the years 2009-2015. At the conference, and for the months to follow, the astrological community was buzzing about the looming 2010 Saturn-Uranus-Pluto T-Square, and the coming years of the Uranus square Pluto transit. There were predictions of financial collapse, civil war, unrest, assassination and revolution. And the fear expressed in the astrological community was mirrored with identical projections all throughout our culture. It seemed that wherever I looked, people were saying that the apocalypse was at hand, the sky was about to fall and that it was time to head for the hills.
As I started to do my own analysis of the potentials of the coming transits, I zeroed in on the potential for revolution. With Uranus in Aries squaring Pluto in Capricorn, I imagined challenges to the status quo, who could in turn respond with even more harsh measures of control. I imagined the possibility of fascism in response to revolution. History has no shortage of grave human errors. And I wondered if we might be at the threshold of another such time.
Another line of thought had me worried about physical changes in the earth, and catastrophes that we wouldn’t be able to stop. I began to get pretty worked up about all of these fearful projections, and everywhere I turned it seemed that other people were doing the same thing. Because of the daily stress I started to feel, I made a deliberate effort to stop this line of thinking, which was both unproductive and disturbing. I decided to leave fearful speculation to the masters – the newscasters. I turned off the news, and decided I’d just take it day-by-day and respond to whatever life delivered as best I could in the moment.
And then bang – just as the square between Uranus and Pluto heated up, revolution was on everyone’s lips. From the Arab Spring, to the Occupy movement, challenges to the status quo were in full force. Dramatically, the day Uranus moved into Aries, we experienced the colossal earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan. It seemed that all of my worst fears about the potentials of the transits were coming true. I had a feeling there would be more to come. And because one of the potentials of Uranus is that events colored by its transits can be quick and shocking, I knew it would be hard to pin down exactly when or where such events would take place. All of this was a recipe for my fearful projections to start up again. So I really had to make a daily effort to avoid that and do my best to stay present.
Then the shootings started. And right on time, I was shocked and surprised like the rest of you. I’m not sure why I hadn’t considered the lone-shooter scenario as part of the potential of Uranus’ transit through the sign of Aries, because in hindsight, it makes so much sense. But astrology is often like that: easy to explain after the fact, but more difficult to predict with certainty. I’m sure someone out there did accurately predict the increase in lone shooters. But I was so focused on Uranus’ interaction with Pluto spelling r-e-v-o-l-u-t-i-o-n, that I overlooked some of the most basic meanings of both the planets and the signs. So let’s look at them.
As if to taunt Jupiter’s freshly enthusiastic direct motion at the end of January 2013, shortly thereafter Saturn began its retrograde cycle on February 18th in the sign of Scorpio, where it stationed retrograde at 11°. Note that degree, because if you have any planets in 11° or within a degree or two on either side, this will be an important Saturn retrograde cycle for you. Saturn, the planet that signifies the structures and persistence we need in order to bring any endeavor solidly into fruition, is asking us to slow down, maybe change direction, and even to consider revising our plan. This Saturn retrograde cycle lasts until July 7, 2013 when it goes direct again. But many astrologers agree that the cycle isn’t really complete until Saturn finally clears the 11° point at which it stationed retrograde, which isn’t until October. So settle in for a cycle that will require some patience.
When Saturn stations retrograde on a sensitive point in our chart, we’re being asked to review our past plans in search of improvements that will help shore up our foundation. The topic at hand depends on the house Saturn is transiting in your chart, which planets it’s making contact with, and what your natal Saturn’s long-term goals and intentions are. In some cases, the Saturn retrograde process of evaluation makes us aware that our plan (or our job, our home, our relationship) doesn’t have the strength to weather the storm, and that it’s now time to let it come to an end. But we may not figure that out right away. That’s what the cycle is for – to help us get clarity about what’s causing this newly uncomfortable feeling of stuckness that will ultimately edge us into the process.
At the beginning of the cycle, since we may not be aware yet just exactly what is going to end (or begin) or when, we may find that we reach an impass of sorts, a blockage, an obstacle, or a take on a new responsibility. This experience will eventually provide the impetus for change and forward movement once the cycle is complete. In order to get the most out of the cycle, we need to get in sync with the process, which will require Saturnian patience and endurance.
It appears that the revolution will in fact, be televised. Read on and I’ll explain…
The feeling of revolution is infusing our cultural experience these days. From the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement, from the Tea Party to the right-wing extremist calls for violent retaliation against perceived oppression, everywhere we look we can find angry folks who “just don’t want to take it anymore.” And astrologically, these folks are right on time. For we’re now in the thick of one of the major planetary cycles of our times – the Uranus square Pluto configuration.
When two planets are square – meaning they form a 90° angle with each other in the sky – they are enacting a dramatic play of dynamic developmental tension. We can readily see this drama unfold on the world stage. Perhaps no one has done a more thorough and eloquent job of tracking these kinds of cyclic resonance patterns than Richard Tarnas, in his groundbreaking work Cosmos & Psyche, from which I’m drawing inspiration here.
This week, an opportunity presented itself to look closely at the current field of planetary energies infusing our day-to-day lives by way of the new TV series Revolution, produced by J.J. Abrams, of Lost fame. In a laughably clear reference to the planetary energies of Uranus square Pluto, even this fledgling TV show’s title is aptly named. For revolution is indeed at hand. You might have noticed…
The planet responsible for this rebellious cultural brushstroke (which we’ll see coloring our lives for the next few years) is Uranus.
Associated with revolution and revolutionaries, Uranus is also the planet we link with radicals, freedom, emancipation, liberation, independence, innovation and change. Uranus is always out there in the sky doing its thing, just as all the planets are. But we’re seeing an increase in Uranian types of events in the world right now because of the tense relationship Uranus is currently in with Pluto. The planets’ constantly changing relationship to each other (measured by the geometric patterns they form, such as the 90° angle, or square) alerts us to times when some of them take center stage. For example, you may remember all of the excitement earlier this year around the Transit of Venus. Venus took center stage then, and now has stepped back into her usual routine, as Uranus and Pluto step back into the spotlight. Starting to make sense?