by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Transitory Times

 Image based on a photo of a Westclox Big Ben clock taken by JVGJ

When I was teaching myself astrology, one of the things which fascinated me the most (and which still fascinates me) is how planetary cycles overlap and mark significant passages in our lives.

Learning transits – and the clockwork nature of planetary transits – helped me understand why life works as it does. Why people develop as they do. Why certain age groups go through what they go through.

Your chart is individual to you, yes. But there are also transits we each experience at particular age – like the famous Saturn returns at during year 29, again just before we’re 60 and increasingly, yet again just a bit shy of reaching age 90.

Like I say, there are many transits which are famous with astrologers. But there are one set – a confluence of three – that are SO famous that even mainstream society knows about them. Society calls them “The Mid Life Crisis.” Astrologers know them as Uranus opposition Uranus, Neptune square Neptune and Pluto square Pluto.

As a young and naive astrologer, I dutifully read all about this fearsome trio and dreaded the day I would get there.

And then that day arrived, and I realized – even in the middle of the muddle – that this was a period all about getting more real and realistic with ourselves about life.

The best quip anyone ever used to ‘define’ Uranus opposition Uranus was when they said it was like the ‘flipping of a record.’ For those of you born in the post-vinyl era, this may not make sense, and I’d say that it was like flipping a flapjack except flapjacks don’t have grooves. There’s a quality to the Uranus opposition where we experience our turning ourselves entirely around. What once didn’t seem to be important suddenly strikes us as vital. What once seemed terribly important comes to be anywhere between secondary to totally senseless.

Pluto square Pluto is a life challenge. For many of us, something outlives its function. Or we meet up with a defeat. Pluto’s symbolism is a process which reveals where our drives, fascinations and cravings are less about what we’re chasing and more about our inner vulnerabilities and sense of lack.

And when Pluto square Pluto gets tough, it’s that lack which rears up and bites us.

This is not to say this time can’t represent a victory – it can. But when and where we are victorious, it is because we have proven to ourselves (not to others) that who we are at our core is not merely truly worth our own respect, but the real deal.

Pluto square Pluto will often ‘out’ us to ourselves about the lies we’re living. And yes – sometimes the trick is to know the denial from the real deal truth. But then, that’s Pluto square Pluto all over.

Whatever that means is your business. And whatever you learn at this point in your life, you’re unlikely to ever forget.

Neptune square Neptune involves a test of your willingness to feel your own feelings about life, about who you are (or have been) in life, and how courageous you are (or aren’t) when push comes to shove and life asks whether you’re going to give in and resign yourself to compromising something about who you are or whether you’re going to stand up for who you believe you really are.

Or should be, if you could get past all that reluctance - which is often what Neptune square Neptune is about: an event or situation which does get you past your reluctance by imposing the logic of necessity is the mother of invention.

So my mid-life transits came and went…and as I went on working with clients and studying the charts of my friends I realized that their mid-life crisis transits didn’t come up in the same sequence as mine did.
In fact, for some of them, it wasn’t even close.

Mind you, I’ve been thinking about this on and off for probably over a decade. Then I finally sat down and diagramed it all out.

So....what exactly are you looking at?

Starting with January 1st of the 4th year of every decade, I took the positions of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto and then went to look at when said planet hit the degree of the square – or in Uranus’ case, the opposition.

The question I asked was ‘how old would this person be at that point?’

What this tells us is part of why generations differ. And how they differ. The big “difference” being Pluto with that difference entirely due to Pluto’s highly elliptical orbit, what we find is that there are generations (the 1924-born Pluto in Cancer group and those born in the 2000s) where Pluto isn’t in the mid-life crisis equation.

This suggests that the ‘crisis’ point (which is ‘our’ crisis, not a world crisis of course!) really is about who we think we are – which is the Uranus part of the deal. But apart from that, the fact that there are plainly generations who face all these transits at one time. And there are others which get to deal with Pluto somewhere down the line as an entirely separate issue.

As someone born in the mid 50s, I know these transits hit me pretty much all at once. Then I look at my father’s 1920s set-up and know from the ages implied that they correspond both to his two broken marriages and the rise and fall of his rather stellar career.

Then I ask…’how close is close?’ How close do these transits have to be in order for them to manifest in our lives as a period when we just feel like nothing lets up?

That, I don’t know. But I can tell you that having known a bunch of people who fall in the ‘I was born during the 60s or 70s’ barrel, to have Pluto’s square falling before your Uranus opposition seems to be all about the chance of doing it wrong before you get it right.

At the moment, it is this ‘I was born during the 1970s’ group which is in the middle of their mid-life transits. As you’ll notice on the graph, their Uranus oppositions are a bit ‘pushed back.’ Imaged by the green blocks, the pattern of the age at which we hit our Uranus opposition is a nice ‘s’ curve (or sine wave, if you prefer) ranging between age 38 and 44, and people of the 1970s vintage are pretty near the top end of this range.

So they’ve already gone through their Pluto square. That happened (on the average) two years ago – in 2011. They either changed something or something changed for them. And now they’re moving into the period of the Neptune square – a time which is often confusing or which evokes insecurities depending on how truly realistic you are. Or how well you understand the difference between what life really is and how things really work as opposed to how you want it to work.

Or what you’re hoping you won’t have to face.

Or face up to.

The particulars in this come from where Neptune falls (natally and by transit) in your individual chart, of course. But as a theory, those born in the earliest part of the 1970s are feeling the Neptune fuzziness, those born in the mid-1970s are about to get fuzzed and those born at the end of the 1970s have a year or so to wait before the fuzzing begins.

When I look at this chart it suggests to me things like why those born in the 1920s have been nicknamed ‘the greatest generation.’ They didn’t get to the fuzzy and confusing parts of life or the realization they were on the wrong track until they were already in their 40s and life didn’t change the nature of their playing field at a core level until their early 50s. When I think of this as the generation which stayed in their marriages and who worked so hard to build the world they were living in, that makes sense to me as part of the home-hearth-cultural bent of Pluto in Cancer.

With their Pluto-before-Neptune-and-Uranus set up, I look at this chart and see the Pluto in Virgo Yuppies and the early part of Gen X / Pluto in Libra) having hit economic turbulence just when they bought into mortgages and debt loads as part of the cosmic process which will evolve (once they get through the Neptune square and Uranus opposition) into better understandings of the ‘them’ versus ‘the me.’ It’s always fascinated me that the Pluto in Virgo Yuppie challenge is so very much about learning the value of universality (as opposed to my possessions, my wealth, my whatever else) and that the generation immediately following (Gen X / Pluto in Libra) needs to learn more about being who they are as individuals without the branding, grouping and logo’ing.

I look at this chart and I see that by the time the latter part of the Pluto in Sagittarius Millennial tribe reaches their mid-life crisis time (around the year 2044) we will be back to a pattern which in looks is very much like that of the 1920s. Yet with the source energy being Pluto in Sagittarius, this group isn’t going to be about building the world, they’re going to be about making it work.

(Again, yes.)

Then I look at the pattern for those being born now and in the near future, the Pluto in Capricorn kids. They will experience the Uranus opposition and Neptune square at the same time, rather like those born in the mid-1960s did. And it’ll fall right around age 40, probably a little shy of that (making this a projection for around the year 2054). But their Pluto square? That doesn’t happen…give or take…until they’re sixty-two.

To me this speaks of the dawning of realistic space travel and the rehabilitation of our Earth from the perspective of a race which has learned better.

And that says a lot of very good things…and very tough things.

It’s of course to remember that these patterns have repeated countless times. The last time we had a ‘no Pluto square until age sixty-two’ generation would be one Pluto cycle back from January 1914 – or in the year 1767. So what happened 62-odd years later? That was the late 1820s, a time when the world (which is to say, the humans of this world) were redefining the map on a national (astrologically, Capricorn) level. It was a time when established trades were putting their abilities to work building (i.e., creating the Capricorn structure) which would lay in a provisional framework our modern world would one-half Pluto cycle later (Pluto in Cancer) grow out of.

And that’s the other thing I think about when I look at that diagram of transits. I think about how this moment we’re living in – the year 2013 – is the ‘mid-life crisis’ point for things which were set up in the 1970s. The 1970s was when lawyers and ‘things legal’ moved from necessity to a level of glamor and power. And forty years later, I think we’re seeing both the good and the not-so-good in that. The 1970s was when health care moved from the friendly family doctor who took care of most everything (and who you paid for yourself) to corporate medicine and soaring costs and the nightmare which health insurance has become.

We don’t know what will happen with those problems yet. But we do know that the Pluto square to that time would have come before a Uranus opposition which hasn’t happened yet.

But I think we all know something is about to give – which demonstrates rather well that on the astrological level you can look to any point in time and see where it will evolve from there.

Yes, all of life is transitory.

1 comment:

  1. I was born in 1954....when I was 39 I got a brain tumor and also witnessed a work related mass murder 2 months apart. I now am going through my second Saturn return.