by Boots Hart, CAP

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pluto/North Node: Society Signs

Diagram of the Pluto/North Node
conjunction of November 27, 2010
6:36am (UT/+0)

In the United States, the Friday after Thanksgiving has come to be known as "Black Friday," a day when shoppers newly fortified by a day of rest and much food descend upon malls, shopping with a vengeance. (Or at least storekeepers hope.)

Originally the name of a stock market crash which occurred in 1869, in modern times 'Black Friday' has come to be about a different bottom line, one where SO much shopping gets done (over the weekend following Thanksgiving, now including 'Cyber Monday' online sales)....that this is when retailers traditionally "go into the black" for the year.

In other words, it's when they finally get out of the 'red' (debt) and begin clearing profits for the year.

Anyway...that's the tradition. You know - in your basic 'pretty good' year. But this year has been anything but - and not just in the United States, but in many places around the world.

And we're not just talking retail - we're talking about this having been a hard year for Earth (and its inhabitants) in general. So when we say that the US goes shopping this weekend as we contemplate Pluto conjuncting the North Node, that's not a specific issue. It's more of a bell-weather. And it's not just about money - it's about how we feel about our life. How life, as a whole, is reacting to the pressures being put upon it.

We all together now on that? This is not about shopping or consumerism except as that is one form of human expression of obligation, wish fulfillment, escapism and/or the ever popular concept of the holidays as the time to 'give the gift' but have it be something useful.

No, I'm not sure how many people are delighted with strictly utilitarian gifts. But sometimes, when life is hard, to have what you need actually is a delight. Yes, even if it's socks, weatherstripping, a new shower head or a vacuum.

(And don't get me started on how much vacuums cost. Never was I ever so happy as when the carpet was removed from my house, taking with it the need to have one. We all have things which just irk us. The price of vacuums is on my list. Petty? Maybe. Honest? Definitely.)

That said, what about this Pluto/North Node conjunction which as we have now noted, is happening late on the USA's biggest shopping day?

 Kyoto's Nishiki market
photo credit: Kazutaka Nakano (March 2009)

The North Node is what we should do. And the simplistic reaction to North Node dictates when astrologer mentions them to client? NO! UGH! BLECH! I've ever seen people get up and walk out of the room when confronted with North Node 'musts.' 

But here's the lore: if we will 'do' our North Node thing, then we can have all the South Node we want. And everybody likes the South Node part of the deal.

So let's start there, with the South Node positioned in a degree of 'garbled messages' which tend to be so unclear that we ignore them. This is a metaphysical signal for 'being isolated in my own thoughts and feelings' which doesn't help matters - whether it's a family budget, a national agenda or a company looking at its own bottom line regardless of the general market or societal trends.

Meanwhile, the North Node and Pluto are both in a degree which is about 'curiosity which can get you into trouble.'

Known vastly and over-simplistically as 'transformation,' Pluto is above all the experience of emotionality...and thus emotional transformations. Pluto symbolizes 'the result of the choice' and the experiences which go along from realizing what has 'come of' what you choose to do, or not do.

Coupled with the North Node, we might think this could be a moment when we go to do whatever we're doing and curiosity draws us in and fascinates us to a degree we do what we had promised ourselves (or others!) not to do. And with two Black Holes bracketing this 4 Capricorn position, the fascination and 'alternative reality' quality associated with Black Holes may do exactly that in many cases.

However...this entire dynamic could have a diametrically opposite effect. Pluto's 'transformative' qualities, often known as create, deny or destroy and which in a natal chart often signify a quality which manifests as an obsession and drive at many, many levels...that may well here represent the changing of habits.

One way we would decide - astrologically - whether this is so, or what this might mean would be to look at the ruler of Capricorn, the sign the North Node and Pluto are in. The ruler of Capricorn being Saturn, we see Saturn here positioned at 14 Libra, the 'mask' and whether we live behind it, or come out from behind it.

With Capricorn being 'the goal' and the 'upheld tradition,' we have to wonder if this combination is about changing (Pluto) the way we deal with the traditions and celebrations we share with others (Libra) and as a society (Nodes) in a very real (Saturn) way.

 United States Federal Reserve Chart
(set for noon as a governmental agency)

With a Quasar (brilliance) just ahead of Saturn and a Black Hole (alternative reality) just behind Saturn and Edisonia (the 'bright idea') in opposition to Saturn...this is if nothing else, a rethinking of what we do and why we do it.

And this may mean a change of attitude on the part of all - whether that means shoppers using cash instead of credit cards. Debt and the pressure/debates which come of same (and which are infamously known for wreaking havoc in marriages) is Pluto. It is the emotional consequence of a (Mars) choice made in a given moment.

That Mars is in Sagittarius' 3rd decanate at this moment guarantees a lot of advertising and going back to our 'Black Friday/Cyber Monday' shopping model, a genuine desire to have things be as they "always have been" on everyone's part - whether you're the merchant trying to promote sales, the buyer wanting to 'have it all' or the anti-commercial person who would like to just go back to a time when holidays were about quiet times of family or contemplation or gratitude...or however anyone thinks of them.

Then there is also a bit of 'indicator history' to contemplate here. The world-wide economic fracas which led to such anguish in 2008 happened as Pluto moved over the MC of the US Federal Reserve's noon (governmental functionality) chart.

With the great heat of the American presidential campaign (replete with name calling and mud slinging) having ignited during March/April 2008, President Obama actually took office as Pluto completed its transit of the Federal Reserve Sun. This is a mark of a previous 'round of thinking' which would have begun one Pluto orbit ago.

Pluto's orbit being 248 years long, that would put the initiation of this 'theoretical' round (theoretical since the Fed wasn't yet in existence) as being in 1761. As it happens, 1761 was the year when George III became King of England - just in time to deal with the American revolution (lucky him!).

 King George III of England in
coronation robes
painting by Allan Ramsay

In the process, the English (and general political situation) also managed to annoy an already vastly over-extended French monarchy - one then headed up by Louis XVI - into entering the war on the side of the (American) colonies. And that exacerbated France's own problems to the degree that it ignited the French Revolution, bringing about the execution of Louis XVI and his wife-of-political mandate, Marie Antoinette.

In short, cycles repeat.

As noted by astrologer Ray Merriman, the US Federal Reserve opened it's doors for business earlier in the day on December 23, 1913. And that chart, I've written about elsewhere (link). But as a US governmental entity we set any applicable chart to noon - under the theory that the government is the 10th house (the uppermost house in any chart) as the Sun is at its zenith at noon and as citizens of any country, we look 'up' to the government as top dog power in our nation.

(No jokes here, please. Several names went through my head too, but we're not going to wax frivolous. At least not at the moment!) when you set the chart to noon, what you come up with a wheel (above) which shows 29 degrees on all four axis points: what the Fed does is critical to the country - and arguably, the world. Cycles repeat and financial controls-markets-reserve banks do not exist in isolation.

Staying with the Fed's governmental chart, the current  conjunction is taking place as Pluto is moving away from the Sun (indicating a great change/upheaval already having taken place and now in motion) heading towards 7 Capricorn, where it will encounter Ceres.

Ceres alone is a symbol of what you have worked for and earned, so you harvest. Ceres success depends on not just wanting the results, but being willing to do all the hard work such as that farmers do in raising their crops.

Link to an article which describes the nature of Ceres in more detail.

In this Federal Reserve chart, Ceres is pictured as being opposition Charybdis, meaning there has to be a constant willingness to keep after various problems. Those problems - again, as described by this chart - are about debt. But not just debt as a concept - debt more specifically as a matter of home-family-real estate and desires.

Considering the interconnected nature of world economics, this clearly denotes the 'consumer culture' as a whole. A 'dominating whole.' If this was only a matter of 'consumerism' (Charybdis ruled by the Fed's governmental 8th house Scorpio Moon), then regulation of interest would be the one key. But Charybdis is an asteroid. Ceres is a dwarf planet.

 Dwarf Planet Ceres
photo credit: Hubble - ACS/HRC

Guess which one is more important? Or to put it another way, which needs to be our greater priority?

Yes, that which we understand is necessary needs to empower the consistency of effort. This cannot be about passion or beliefs or fear - that's anti-Ceres and plainly Charybdis in negative form.

Like as not, this whole discussion comes down to a couple of questions: will we make sacrifices now or later? What does 'sacrifice mean to us? What do sacrifices made in the past which have allowed us to get where we are today - what do they mean to us?

Who are we and what do we really value? What is the difference between what we want (Pluto) and what we should want, or should want ourselves to want (Pluto/North Node)? Where do we talk the talk but totally not walk the (Pluto/North Node) walk, hiding behind our (Saturn) mask of what should be changed and done (Pluto/North Node) but which we're just as happy to leave up to others (Libra) to take on the (Saturn) hard work and the (Saturn) challenges of doing?

Pluto will arrive at 7 Capricorn - the Fed's Ceres - in spring 2011. What we are going through now is a 'lead up' to that. Given how hard it is for societies and nations to change, we all know what 'should' happen, but which won't happen until the proverbial shoe falls.

Or kicks us in some providential part.

March/April 2011 has Pluto going station/retrograde right atop the Federal Reserve Ceres. That transit ends in January 2012, describing 2011 as a year of serious change.
So you can either fiddle and dance now, or pay the piper then. And maybe you'll do some of both. How much is probably up to you, and starts now.

It will be definitely interesting to hear reports of how retailers do over this long holiday weekend. It will tell us much about ourselves...what we're dealing with and what we're choosing to ignore now, and face later.
Stay tuned!

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