by Boots Hart, CAP

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Prompted by Pluto

This photo of Pluto's system taken in 2005 by the Hubble
 Telescope has just been...well, usurped as the 'real deal'
information on Pluto. (photo credit: Hubble Space
Telescope Pluto Companion Search Team)
There's an ongoing conversation both inside the astrological community and among those who read astrology.

It pretty much amounts to a discussion of everything which the late (and great) astrologer Marion March called 'gravel.'

Gravel, you say?

Yes, gravel. That was Marion's standard reference commentary on the idea of using asteroids, comets and other such small celestial objects in astrology.

Personally, I belong to the metaphysical camp which says this: if anything all counts. So we can't just say that planetary positions are informational and asteroids don't count.

If anything counts, it all counts.

Nowhere is this debate easier to pin down than with reference to Pluto. Originally deemed a planet, Pluto became something close to an astrological obsession - which yes, does pretty much go with Pluto's standard keyword list ('obsession' is always right near the top of said list!).

Then Pluto got...(perish the thought)...demoted. When this happened, 99% of the astrological community simply shrugged. Pluto is Pluto - it's astrological meaning hasn't changed.

Which just proves my point. There are objects out there (Eris, for instance) which are bigger than Pluto. So it all should count, right? 

If you're a reader of this blog, chances are you're already in the same camp of thinking that I am. Otherwise you have a penchant for irritation, which isn't my affair. On this blog we're just looking at how Existence works - we aren't going to be cherry picking, unless we're heading into the kitchen to make a pie.

Into all this came a new wrinkle in the informational bedsheets: a missive brought to us all by the exuberant at NASA, who have evidently been out playing with their Hubble Space Telescope again.

(I so wish I had a toy like Hubble!)

What Hubble has found is another moon orbiting Pluto, bringing the total to five.

LINK to...
(NASA's "Science News" edition for July 13, 2012)

Regarding this article, my favorite line is where the writer refers to Pluto's collective moons as something akin to a set of Russian nesting dolls. I had a set of same as a child and still have a fondness for them.

Yes, what else is new.

 A 'crowd' of Matryoshkas (Russian nesting dollars)
 checking out the goings on in a marketplace in Kiev
(photo credit Grzegorz Polak, September 2006)

But this got me to thinking.
Contemplation du Jour: is it possible that the moons of a planet, dwarf planet (or other object) has, and the NATURE of those they orbit, their geological it possible that those are real-time, science-definable indicators (and/or maybe even partial generators) of effects noted by astrology?

Then came the corollary to same...

Contemplation du Jour, Part Deux: does a physical connection between planet and planetoid (or other object) increase the metaphysical influence of both on a geometric scale?
That the structure of our solar system is a metaphysical reflection of not just astrological effects, but the  macro-micro construction of all life (including our individual and collective lives) me, that seems pretty evident.There's only one Existence and the patterns are way consistent (quack, quack, quack...).

What I'm not going to say here is that there's only one universe, as I suspect physics will in time come to some grandly mind-boggling equation about multiple 'dimensions' beyond the three we see (corresponding to height, width, depth) and the one we don't see (time).

(Thus the term 'time/space' for All Which Is...which only begs the question 'what about all which isn't?')

That's a whole other issue, that 'isn't' stuff.

Getting back to this universe and this solar system in particular...there do seem to be particular segments of 'clockwork gearing' which cause astrologers and astrology fans alike seem to quiver at a bit. Obviously everyone has their personal weak points and all, but in my years as Local AstroSorceress (which amounts to several decades now, as shocking as that seems) I'll go with Pluto, Neptune and Uranus as the top three whinge-whine-shriek-protest-agony-psychodrama production points.

(Personal sound effects yea or nay are welcome.)

My point here is that more people who know a bit about astrology come to me wanting a professional consultation because they know these points are currently active than anything else. And more people who don't know astrology per se, but do know their lives are at a crossroads (or in a mess) come to me and we find that these three points (natally or in transit) are more often activating their chart than not.

Yes, I do get some Saturn skulkers and sulkers. Many of us don't like the Saturn Schedule life seems to have us on. But I seldom get a client come to me complaining about their Saturn (or Saturn-type issues) without further investigation revealing that Pluto, Uranus or Neptune is tangled up in the moment.

So back to that moon thing.

As of now, we know Pluto has five moons. And what about the other planets? Well, at current count, Uranus has 27 moons. And the current count for Neptune is thirteen moons, including the truly bizarre Triton.

(More on Triton in a moment.)

Meanwhile, the current number for Jupiter is sixty-six moons...and Saturn - as it turns out - is the granddaddy of them all in the Moon Department with some 200 moons, of which only some 50-plus have names.

 Two of Saturn's many, many we see Dione and 
Titan (note: not Triton, which is a moon of Neptune).
(photo credit: NASA-JPL-SSI, color composite by Emily Lakdawalla)

Then there are the inner planets. Mars has two moons, Venus and Mercury have no moons and Earth of course, has one moon - our much beloved Luna Moon.

There being the well-developed concept of the inner planets (plus one star and one satellite) being astrology's 'personal realm' everything inside the asteroid belt (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus Mars) may be excused from this contemplation as they are 'us' (so to speak) and therefore less about what 'affects' us.

Beyond the asteroid belt we have Jupiter and Saturn. Known as the 'generational' or 'building' pair, they are about what we do...our efforts to grow our lives (Jupiter) and to get somewhere with same (Saturn).

Saturn defines the extent of our 'personal reach' in life because Saturn is the planet farthest from Earth that we can see with our duly naked eyes.

(Which brings up a whole set of questions about far sightedness and near sightedness, don't you think? Evidently far more people are near sighted than far sighted. What does that say about humans as a group?)

So that Saturn has its bucket-load (plus) of moons seems pretty much on target. Saturn represents that which we build, the 'rules' by which we have to build, the tasks and responsibilities we have in life and our  achievements and limits.

Saturn also refers to everything we block out and all of the places we 'won't go.' (Or don't go, depending.) 

This makes Saturn and its 200 moons seems something like building blocks we can work with, and that with which we build a fence.

Without question, Saturn represents everything which those who concentrate on their daily life deal with daily. That there are astrologers out there who to this day don't want to deal with any object - planet-sized or otherwise - beyond Saturn says a lot about what kind of hold daily reality has on many folks.

Some of us, however, like to explore. We like to postulate and think about the workings of life. We want to know the why that is what it is and not just what it is.

And let's be real here...those who want to only deal with everyday reality are still subject to that which happens beyond their wrapper and bow. If there's a hurricane and they live in its path, they're going to get swamped. If war breaks out, they may well be subject to it.

They have obsessions and vulnerabilities too. In fact, though I haven't looked at the chart of the one person in my life at present who holds to this 'everything beyond Saturn has no effect' sort of position, I'm pretty willing to make a bet that the very symbols he denies the effect of are, in his chart, representing his denial.

Yeah, that would be pretty much how it works.

So back to the subject of moons....(continuing of postulation): Is it possible that as science comes to better understand the physical nature and physics of celestial moons that metaphysicians will better understand how they translate as astrological attributes?


Is it possible that the OPERATIONAL mechanisms of our solar system contribute to the strengths noted as astrological effects in the chart and in transit?

This last seems particularly noteworthy since with 200 moons, there's no doubt but that Saturn takes the...uh...moon cake.

This is also where I get back to Neptune...and hence, Triton. When Pluto got "demoted," that left Neptune as the last 'true' planet in our solar system. Neptune (or more to the point, Neptune's orbit) would seem to be the dividing line between everything we can know and that which is unknown as a conscious mechanism.

Things Kuiper Belt are things we embody. Or things we experience which become motivational and then we embody them. But as active 'it's in my head' sort of 'I can get hold of it' sorts of things...that doesn't seem so apt with KBOs (Kuiper Belt Objects). About the best we can do is gain awareness. And yes, that counts. Once aware, we can 'catch' ourselves in that mode and not do 'that.'

But the mode, the attribute, the tendency still exists.

The KBO list includes many an illustrious object. There's Eris, Sedna, Deucalion, Chaos, Haumea, Ixion, Huya and...yes...Pluto.

And literally hundreds (if not thousands) of others.
But Neptune IS the last full-fledged planet out there. So Neptune stands as the illusion versus the ideal...that we know or think we know against the dream, the exultation, the faith which rewards us and the reality which disappoints us. With Neptune we know...but do we know for sure?

Furthermore, the Pluto of our obsessions - that Pluto is physically (and therefore metaphysically) controlled by Neptune. And this is where we get into a discussion of why Neptune appears to 'spin off' its' Neptune 'now you believe it, now you don't' effects. Every one of the objects controlled by Neptune (known collectively as Plutinos) seem to have a magnetic allure - pro AND con - in our lives.

And that seems to make sense when we look at the 'operational Neptune' as a planet...particularly with regards to Neptune's most major moon, Triton.

 Neptune's Moon Triton as photographed by Voyager
 (photo credit: NASA-JPL, August 1998)

Triton is the only moon in our solar system known to orbit in retrograde motion (that is to say, in the opposite direction that it's planet turns). To those of you into electricity, this may well remind you of how electricity gets generated.

And what do we get from such generation? Electricity aside, we get electro-magnetic fields.

So...does Triton's retrograde orbit around Neptune 'generate' its 'parent planet's ability to control the orbits of all those Plutinos through that which science calls 'magnetic resonance'?

More to the point here, does this explain to us why we seem to be challenged to work 'against' our nature when it comes to all things Neptunian OR Plutinonian?

(Yes, I just coined that word. If you have a better version, contact me.) 

Does this explain why objects like Neptune and Pluto (and the rest of the Plutinos) represent things which have such a powerful affect on and in our lives?

We are attracted to such things as if magnetized by them. The power of power and the illusions of power and the power we so would like to have over life - ours, and maybe everybody else's.

Why and how this all works is a gorgeous, glorious puzzle. And I'm going to hazard a guess that until we know more about Triton and other planetary moons (and have the software with which to explore same), we may never have an answer as to why these things work as they do.

When I hear people why money should be invested in national space programs (here in the US and elsewhere) my answer is this: so we can better understand the nature of Nature and thus, ourselves.

Somewhere out there, in the totality of what's out there lie the informational nuances which explain why humans are the way we are.

For now I will postulate that Plutinos are powerful because they are not just 'of themselves' but a 'systemic energy' which involves not just the Plutino object, but also Neptune.

And by inference, all these other Plutino objects.

I once described Neptune as a 'veil' between all we know clearly and all we will never understand fully. Combined with all the Plutino orbits, this would seem to be a set of billowing veils beyond which all is not quite clear.

It is rather dream-like.

So this news about Pluto...what does it mean? Pluto itself is not such a large object - it's less than 20% the size of Earth. And now that we have one more moon in Pluto's garland, that gives us greater awareness of Plutonic complexity and our tendency to act out in Plutonic ways.

Or with Plutonic insight. That's one of the really interesting qualities of the Pluto-Neptune connective. Together they seem to draw us into situations by which we learn. Anyone who has ever gone through infatuation or a torrid love affair knows the tale. Anyone who has built an empire only to have it crumble beneath their feet knows this cycle.

In the end, these are our processes of learning we're talking about. Knowledge is Power is probably the most Neptune-Pluto statement which is out there.

And it's ours to know, so long as we will focus not on 'them' but on our Self.

Through a good long swath of the 1900s (starting back around 1944, late in WWII), Pluto and Neptune traveled in a 'transiting sextile.' They were always in sextile, whether pleasantly or otherwise. That began to waver a little towards the end of the 1980s, but it wasn't until the mid-90s that these two really parted ways.

What this speaks to is the idea that everybody born with this transiting sextile in their natal chart has an opportunity to harness those two things: knowledge and power.

Given the nature of sextiles, this also means that those born with this configuration are actually less likely to summon themselves to try.

Sextiles are opportunities, yes. But they do not compel, no, not even when Pluto is involved.

As for those born after the Neptune/Pluto sextile broke apart, we would assume there would be a more free-wheeling mentality to their seeking throughout life.

Then again, if we look at history (particularly social and economic history) since the mid-90s, this could be good and this could be bad. One of the signature of Neptune-Pluto connectives seems to be that of caring for others and a sense of inner conscience.

And now that we know Pluto has five moons, that may well be the sign that we need to know more about what impels...and compels us. The need to know...the desire to have...the concept of stewardship which means we have to give a gosh about someone other than our own even to the extent of caring about what kind of a world 'our own' are going to inherit...?

It all seems tied up in this sort of thinking.

Now you know what I do on a day when NASA sends out one of it's fun little missives. Welcome to my world!

 Perhaps the most spectacular photograph of Saturn ever taken,
this image was taken by spacecraft Cassini when it was on the
 'back side' of Saturn and in position to create what we would refer
 to as an 'eclipse of Saturn' with the Sun directly
 behind the ringed planet.
(photo credit: NASA-JPL-Caltech)

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