by Boots Hart, CAP

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pluto Direct (With a Uranus Twist)

 NASA artist Pat Rawling's concept of Pluto as it might be seen from
its moon and partner, Charon (NASA, October 1992)


Pluto will go direct on Tuesday, September 18th at 5:06 in the morning (+0/UT). This station is being taken at 6 Capricorn, a degree the Sabian Symbols image as ‘A VEILED PROPHET SPEAKS, SEIZED BY THE POWER OF A GOD.’

Please note: that’s “A” god, not “THE” God. The idea here is about passion. About conviction. About motivation. And that all is not clear…or yet available (maybe to be presented?) in fullest form is denoted by the idea of a ‘veiled prophet.’

While we’re here, a few notes on the word ‘prophet.’ Modern parlance has come to think of the term as allied to prognostication….along the lines of the word ‘prophesize’ which means to see and speak accurately of a future yet to be experienced.

That’s not, however, what the word started out being. The Hebrew concept of ‘prophet’ (which is probably the earliest we have) merely denotes ‘one who speaks for another.’ If there’s a CEO who has laryngitis, for instance, the person who reads their speech for them and who helps interpret the whispers and gestures said CEO uses to try to answer questions – that “interpreter” is, in ancient Hebrew terms, ‘a prophet.’

Think of it…it could have been a job description.

Moving on to ancient Greece, the prophet (or prophetess) of Delphi for instance…s/he was charged with telling the truth as interpreted from ‘a god,’ which in the case of Delphi, was Apollo. Apollo being the god of truth and enlightenment, this fits particularly well with the rest of the Sabian Symbol, giving us to know that this degree – 6 Capricorn – is about recognizing the truth. Or maybe some ‘aha’ moment.

From the stories you hear about the Temple of Delphi, it isn't all
that apparent that Delphi s a tiny town clinging to the side
of a rather steep mountain. But it is. And the view is - as shown
above, often rather spectacular. Who said those Greek gods
didn't know the old 'location, location, location' maxim?
(photo credit: Antonio DeLorenzo and
Marina Ventayol, June 2007)

Well, maybe not a moment. With Pluto, truths tend to ‘dawn’ in our consciousness. Though with this current indicator being a retrograde-to-direct station, there may well be a ‘moment of truth’ when things shift or change.

As always, being that this is a station, we give it an ‘allowance.’ The two-to-three days prior and the two-to-three days after the station (yes, I’m beginning to expand these parameters a bit, simply because of observational effects)…these seem to be telling times in terms of the object taking station.

With Pluto, the effect is emotional or emotionally provocative – which would be why Pluto is associated with all the things which tend to provoke us most easily: rejection, money, sex, war, death, birth, taxes, surgery, investments…

And since through the thousands of years prior to Pluto’s discovery Mars-the-initiator was considered ruler of Scorpio, we understand why this pairing…Mars as first ruler, Pluto as outcome ruler…is so descriptive of Scorpio dynamics.

Put simply, Mars is about the choice to get involved in some interactive venue – the investment, the intimate relationship, the having of children, the agreeing to have surgery. And Pluto denotes the emotional effects – the emotionally ‘transformative’ process we experience as a result of having made that choice.

And that emotional part? That explains why when in areas of life Scorpionic we try so hard to ‘control’ the outcome.

Or deny our responsibility – that we knew any such thing. No, no…it couldn’t have been our fault!

Scorpio is the home of two very important sayings. The Mars part of Scorpio says ‘try, try, again’ and the Pluto part of Scorpio says ‘the burned hand teaches best.’ Yes – there are spectacular successes which are a result of Scorpio involvements, but most of us have a few burned fingers, to be sure!

Okay…so Pluto, this secondary/outcome ruler of Scorpio…is currently in Capricorn.

And what is Capricorn?

Capricorn is:

1. The sign of commerce

2. The sign of rules, laws,regulations and all the penalties/life setbacks we incur when we don’t color inside the social/societal (ethical, legal, regulatory, moral) boundaries. Or even inside the lines of our own personal standards…which yes, sometimes extends to family or cultural standards.

3. The sign of management and structural integrity. Neither building nor company nor country nor family nor life stands where there is a lack of firm foundation or responsible loadbearing cohesion.

4. The sign of where our world intersects the ‘big world’ whether through our efforts (career, marriage) or through how others regard us for whatever reason (social standing, reputation).

5. The sign of durability and all things tangible, factual and established, lasting and ongoing – particularly those things we ‘hang our hat on’ personally, nationally or otherwise in the support of or structuring of ongoing efforts.

So we combine the Pluto/Scorpio “things evocative” quality with the Capricorn structural-commerce-morals/regulations quantities and its no wonder we’re hearing the public and political fracas we’re hearing going on around the world. It’s no wonder that we’re passionately involved in trying to clarify our direction and the path to our goal. Or goals.

Or even some shelter from the storm.

That just all of this would denote an emotional or unstable or provocative time is rather well told by two things. And then we add in Uranus.

  A false color image of Uranus taken by Voyager 2
during the month of January 1986
(photo credit: NASA)

The reason to add Uranus in with our thinking in this moment is because September 19th (at 6:55 am, UT/+0) is when Pluto in Capricorn will perfect a square to Uranus in Aries.

In astrology, squares are pesky things. They tend to denote our focusing so hard on one thing that we don’t balance out our efforts. Long vilified (square aspects have long been thought of as things which twirl handlebar mustaches)…a square in our charts – and therefore in transit – is an opportunity to achieve through being challenged.

Just as in architecture, square angles are “building blocks.” So sigh all you want to about the loveliness of trines, but when it comes to getting what you want out of life, look to those moments when life hits you with the challenge.

Or when you realize you’ve insisted on plowing straight ahead when you should have taken a hard turn.

Or when all comes tumbling down because you haven’t built on a firm foundation.

Uranus committed to its transit of Aries back in March, 2011. You may remember this time as being when the Earth’s crust gave way near Japan, setting off a huge earthquake and accompanying tsunami.

Lives were changed – and not just in Japan. We all became more aware of what it meant to be alive, and what we can or cannot do to ‘master’ Mother Nature.

Uranus entering Aries signified that force. I know of nothing else which could have demonstrated this idea that we should be aware of life and the precious opportunities we have…and which maybe won’t have tomorrow…than Uranus in Aries.

Uranus in Aries says ‘make something of your life.’ Uranus in Aries urges us to not squander our lives on the silly stuff, but to make each moment matter. To consider the ramifications of what we do…and leave undone. To think about how today’s action in one place can upset someone’s plans tomorrow.

Or maybe damage our world…THE world…for many.

That’s just what Uranus in Aries is. And considering that Uranus moves about four degrees a year, Uranus is going to be transiting Aries for yet a while. Currently it’s still in the first ten degrees of Aries – the first decanate (“deca” meaning ‘ten’ in Latin). These ten degrees of any sign are where that sign manifests through our physical being and in our actions. So this is a time when we can disrupt our own lives through what we do…or what we don’t do. Or when, through our awareness, or lack thereof, or determination to ignore certain factors, when we can either put ourselves on a path to personal achievement or trip ourselves up.

Or to varying degrees, both.

Obviously Uranus is all about…well, distance. Wherever you are, Uranus is the urge which, consciously or unconsciously motivates (or provokes) you to try out that ‘other thing’ and thus…in experiencing the whole, be afforded greater choice. So if you’re a ‘part of the group’ person, Uranus is all that provokes or evokes the urge to separate from the group (or distinguish yourself) in whatever manner. And if you’re a ‘I go my own way’ person, Uranus cycles are that which make it necessary to experience and focus yourself about working with others and being part of ‘the process.'

Thus the reason why we experience Uranus as ‘change’ or instability is precisely because human beings are stability-loving creatures. We love the idea of change, but the experience of it? That's is quiver-inducing...especially when we're not in control of the situation.

And guess what planet is associated with control? That's right...Pluto.

As secondary (outcome) ruler of Aquarius, Uranus denotes where we succeed or fail in our world and in the world through our willingness, un-willingness, ability or ineptitude when it comes to connecting to others WITHOUT violating all those Capricorn concepts we just talked about.

Aquarius and Capricorn as constellations pictured on the
Mercator celestial globe which dates from 1551
(Harvard Map Collection)

And that is why Aquarius, sign of economics, is always a dicey issue to tinker with. Whether we’re talking about personal income, corporate income, gross national product (GNP) income or anything else, the ‘free flowing inclusiveness of opportunity’ which sounds optimal and which might well be optimal if it could be a ‘status quo’ is a lovely thought. But the Saturn-Uranus quotient which represents the ‘two sides’ of the Aquarian coin (and therefore, any set of economic considerations) inevitable runs into problems with all of the above.

But that doesn’t mean people don’t try, which accounts for a lot of societal Saturn-Uranus ‘change it versus don’t change it’ arguments.

And here’s the astrological deal…Aquarius is ruled first by Saturn and then by Uranus. Those who ‘leap’ to the Uranus part…the freedom, self-empowerment, the income…those who grab the Uranian brass ring without doing the Saturn work to prepare AND who don’t honor needs implied by the general Capricorn standards regarding structure inevitably find that ring to be too hot to handle.

So! Ask yourself…now, as we are coming into the height of this Pluto square Uranus and therefore finding ourselves in the midst of a stretch of time which mixes the impetus of necessity, the requirements on static/ongoing structures and unpredictability, instability and a general need to change…how’s that working in your life?

Since we paused for the Sabian Symbol with Pluto, it seems only fair to do the same for Uranus. Said symbol is as follows: ‘A MAN SUCCEEDS IN EXPRESSING HIMSELF SIMULTANEOUSLY IN TWO REALMS.’

The most obvious interpretation of this would be the connection or expression of our personal life and our business life. Or perhaps our individual life with that of some ‘group’ (social, societal, cultural, professional, personal, etc.) we belong to. Or even it’s a question of our expressing ourselves as an individual in conjunction with a relationship partner or our family.

Then we come to Uranus. Where we try to contain ourselves the most, where we are not free to express ourselves, that’s where Uranian energies tend to be most potent. Especially in Aries, Uranus wants us to break through the preconceptions and false fronts (societal masks and otherwise) which we all tend to adopt in order to get along better.

 You think Earth - or even Earth's Moon has it rough?
Above is a photo of Miranda, one of the moons of Uranus.
(photo credit: Keele Astrohysics Group/NASA)

Of course…you may be one of those rock solid rebels. You may be someone who doesn’t care two hoots about getting along with others. You speak your mind, you do your thing and to heck with everybody else. If you’re such a person, Uranus in Aries will remind you that you’re not alone on the planet – and that lesson may come hard, notably by making you feel very alone.

Like everything else in astrology, the question is where we are along the continuum. We all tend to get polarized. And we may be very social in one way and very individualistic in another.

At this time we’re all likely to be hitting a check point about what’s working and what’s not. With that will come an opportunity to capitalize on what does work and correct what doesn’t. Considering that Pluto is not just involved but highlighted at the moment, we can guess that there is a strong emotional quotient of whatever kind in the mix.

At a guess, I’ll go with a lot of ‘but why CAN’T I do it this way?’

Whether what’s at stake is some status quo we’ve been living with which isn’t working for us any more, some fallacy we’ve believed in which has been proven incorrect…whatever gathers you to the core of your own being now is what you need to face the construction – and perhaps the need for reconstruction – of.
Having said all that, there are a couple of other notes we should take into consideration here. The first is that Pluto is not done conjuncting Facies.

(Ah yes…I hear you moan…)

For those who are late to the Facies party, here’s a link to the original post on same (LINK). which not shockingly coincides with Pluto having gone retrograde last April.

And yes, there have been a smattering of posts touching on Facies since then, all of which can be found using the word cloud in the sidebar.

In short however, Facies is a globular cluster – a ‘messier’ known in astronomy as M22.

M22 - Facies by Hewholooks (June 2009)

As a mass of stars which looks from a distance to be one thing, Facies doesn’t have that fabulous a reputation. Known as a ‘fixed star’ (which it’s technically not), Facies’ multi-star composition denotes ‘many factors’ and thus often a situation or problem which ‘many things have gone into’ or which cannot be created, mastered, executed, changed, reorganized, built, improved …or whatever…very simply.

Beyond that, Facies is known to denote a difficult moment, a difficulty in life, a bad attitude, a bad debt, a bad outlook – something which is frustrating, maybe even nasty.

Facies is currently positioned at 8 Capricorn. The first thing that says it that Pluto isn’t going to finish it’s primary conjunction to Facies until mid-December (2012).

On the other hand, Facies/Pluto IS being set off now.

Since this seems to be a post full of Sabian Symbols, there’s no reason to stop at this point. Thus the symbol for 8 Capricorn (Facies’ position) is: ‘A Crystal Gazer.’
Astrological philosopher Dane Rudhyar considers this Sabian symbol to be all about inner awareness. To that I think it’s sensible (maybe even wise) to add the idea that those who gaze into crystals are looking for answers. There’s also a question of ‘how clear is that crystal?’…which reminds us that our ability to find answers is no better than the clarity of our vision.

 The Crystal Ball by John William Waterhouse (1902)

Also…as regards this square, let’s be fair here. This Pluto-Uranus square has been in the works for some time. This current feinting of galactic ways began back in May, 2010.

You remember May 2010. There was a giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico due to the Deepwater Horizon well blowout. The European Union was setting up its initial bailout of Greece. An Icelandic volcano erupted, throwing off Atlantic and European air traffic. A would-be bomb was found and deactivated in Times Square, NYC. There were floods and mudslides in Poland and Russia which killed a lot of people.

Oh yes...and Nicholas Copernicus - the fellow who figured out the Earth revolved around the Sun (not vice versa) was disinterred and reburied in Poland, which is just the astrologer's note.

All this happened as Uranus was cracking through the 29 Pisces/0 Aries barrier - a circuit/reset it would retreat from, returning to commit to Aries a year later in March 2011. The real point here is that Uranus was direct and Pluto was retrograde. We thus felt the 'quivering' inside. People felt under threat. Humans realized they weren't invincible.

This square did not perfect. Indeed by October 2010 Uranus and Pluto fell out of 5-degree aspect to each other and everyone fell back into old habits (good and bad habits, yes.).

The square didn't renew until April 2011 - in the wake of Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster. As it did, once again we humans recognized that we're playing with fire (to some extent, literally) by thinking we know how to run our physical world.

The 2011 Pluto-Uranus aspect got tighter and tighter until July 2011. Then with Pluto already in retrograde, Uranus (the faster moving planet) went retrograde as well. Things have been unsettled ever since...with a wee 'respite' of sorts which began in December and extended into early March, 2012.

In the United States, that was the heart of primary season. What might have been 'vague misgiving' about life erupted in a cloud of political rhetoric with most everybody who isn't pontificating or pundit-ing more aware than ever that there's a gap between the conversation you hear from the top of the pile political, commercial and whichever-nation-national and the concerns regular people have about life.

The realities of life.

All of which asks what you have been doing during that time? Have you been pontificating or pundit-ing in some manner political, personal or otherwise?

That’s really the question. For those who have actively tried to change things, Pluto’s turn to direct (on the 18th) as this square finally hits its head on the 19th may bear fruit. That fruit may simply come to you in the form of (Aries/Uranian) perspective. Or it may involve some sort of very real and very tangible (Capricorn/Plutonic) change. For those who have taken on the really hard tasks in life or in their life, this square and Pluto station/direct will constitute real steps forward. The work isn’t done yet, no. We know many facets and challenges lie ahead, as symbolized by Facies. But if you’ve faced the facts and opted to innovate or renovate your LIFE…now you will see some sort of substantial shift.

And to that I say…take one huzzah from petty cash and call me in the morning.

In other words, celebrate yes – stop that nose-to-the-grindstone thing, no.

In physics they refer to the overcoming of inertia. Its one of the hardest things we ever do and yet life asks us to perform this (literally) ‘trying’ miracle time and time again. Astrologically, it is symbolism like Pluto square Uranus which indicates when unpredictable “change worthy” times around us challenge us to take advantage of the ‘opportunity to create opportunities for ourselves.’ Many of us would prefer making our changes when all is calm and placid, but that doesn’t seem to follow with astrological patterning.

So if things are hard, acknowledge it. If things are challenging, buy a big bottle of aspirin. Challenge yourself anyway.

One more symbolic noodle to add to the salad before we toss it around. This noodle is named Scheherazade (which yes, says it might be pita and not a noodle, but let’s just leave that aside – or as a side, depending…).

Asteroid Scheherazade is going retrograde at 16 Gemini – just shy of ‘teacher/learner’ fixed star Rigel – on the same day that Pluto goes direct. This is another version of our ‘not having learned’ quite yet, which goes with the concept that Pluto is going direct in conjunction with Facies, but it won’t finish its primary conjunction of Facies (M22) until December. It’s also akin to the Pluto-square-Uranus notion that things either are changing or they need to.

Plainly, we aren’t “there” yet.

But Scheherazade also carries it’s own message, and that message is about “storytelling.” The implication would be that with Scheherazade having been direct (and now going retrograde) that we’ve been being told a story. Or that we’re trying to get someone else to hear our story. Or that we’re trying to get them to believe some story we believe – whether about ourselves or…considering this is Gemini…some fact or some choice which may be true – and then again, maybe not.


 A scene from Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade
 by L. Bakst (prior to 1917-public domain in Russia)

There are a couple of interesting factoids here, the first of which is the obvious and synchronous part: Pluto is going direct as Scheherazade is going retrograde. That’s a ‘turn in the tale’ which, with Uranus squaring from Aries, is the very reason why this blog has a suffix: ‘with a Uranus twist.’

Where things have gotten twisted, this period may serve to untwist them. When things are humming along on an uncertain status quo, a wrench may fall into the works. For those who’ve been applying torque to life’s gears, trying to overcome some sort of inertial – especially if you’ve been want to reflect some sort of ‘tale’ out to others, this would be the time. With Mercury currently passing through Libra this is a time to connect and a time when others will react to whatever we are and do, good or bad. We will become more aware of who others are – and aren’t.

As this station comes into force prior to Pluto going direct on the 18th, it’s also worth remembering that this is the moment of the Virgo New Moon, which we just talked about (see the post prior to this one).

It’s time to ‘get it right.’ And for those who have been trying to get to the right or make it right or make that right thing function – this is your time to push through and find out both what’s on target and which challenges remain. Or if you prefer...what we are damaging by thinking we get to have things our own way - individually and every other way.

Will we be direct – or be directed? And if so, by what?

Those are big questions which in taking a turn now, will be with us for yet a goodly while.

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