by Boots Hart, CAP

Friday, April 5, 2013

Transforming Charisma: Pluto conjuncts Vega

 An artist's rendition of the massive explosion which would result when an object the size of
dwarf planet Pluto would smash into the dust cloud surrounding Vega
(image credit: NASA, JPL, Caltech - 2007)

Once Pluto moved into 10 degrees of Capricorn, it came within orb of Vega, another of astrology’s famous fixed stars.

Vega is one of the brightest stars in the sky – the 5th brightest in the whole of the sky. Back around 12,000 BCE, it was Earth’s pole star. And such cycles being what they are, it will be Earth’s pole star yet again – just prior to the year 14,000 CE.

Earth procession of precessional pole stars
(Note: all the years in this diagram have been rounded off to make it
something south of a migraine to create.)

Which yes, from an Earthly ‘pole pointer perspective’ means Planet Earth is currently pointed almost as ‘away’ from Vega as Earth will ever get. If a planet can ‘look away’ from something, Earth has another 800+ years to go, and it will be ‘pointed’ in as opposite a direction as it can get from Vega. And that’s a rather interesting notion, considering that the astrological Vega is known to be a charismatic position.

Why would we think this star exudes charisma? Well, part of that comes from simple observation. Astrology is nothing if not a way of observing the heavens and how celestial objects correlate with how energy – that stuff of which we are all made – manifests here on our mother planet. And while there is a strong belief at one end of the astrological spectrum in all things happening as they should in an unquestioned manner which leads astrologers to heed the choices made by others when it comes to naming points in the sky, there are also thousands of years and millions upon millions of astrologer-administered chart ‘tests cases,’ which in this case have validated Vega as being a star which we can ‘shorthand’ as being emblematic of charisma.

Of course, charisma is as charisma does. There are entertainers who use charisma to entrance their audiences, teachers who use charisma to fascinate  students, politicians who use charisma to sway the masses, lovers who use charisma to entice their beloveds and killers who use charisma to lure others to their death.

As they say, it’s not what you have, it’s how you use it.

The mythic connection to Vega which so lends itself to this charismatic concept of charisma is that of Orpheus. There are several myths about Orpheus, but the most famous of them is known as ‘Orpheus and Eurydike’ (often spelled ‘Eurydice’) with Orpheus starring in the role of a musician of such talent that (to phrase this the Greek and mythic way) he could charm the beasts of the fields and yes, even the gods of the dead.

In this ancient Roman floor mosaic, Orpheus is seen seated amidst all
the animals which have come to listen to him play his lyre.
(photo credit: Giovanni Dall'Orto, Sept 2006 - Museo Archeological Regionale di Palermo)

As usual, this is a story with a twist – and the twist goes like this: the lovely and much-loved Eurydike is strolling through some patch of abundant nature when she is set upon by a satyr. Satyrs are beastly and lusty creatures, and this one had set it’s eyes on Eurydike and was entirely out to get what it wanted from her.

In trying to get away, Eurydike steps into a nest of vipers, is bitten, and promptly dies.

Orpheus is anguished. This not being the day and age where Orpheus would merely become a country singer and make millions on his sad, sad song of tragic love, he sings out his grief and instead of  attracting a music mogul, moves the nymphs and gods to tears. So moved are the gods that they suggest Orpheus travel to the underworld to sing for Hades (aka Pluto) and wife Persephone, daughter of Zeus (Jupiter) and Demeter (the Greek version of the Roman goddess Ceres).

This is where the twist comes in. Moved but still a wily god prone to dark challenges to try the human soul, Hades (Pluto) says that Orpheus can return  Eurydike to life. His talent is so portent that Orpheus deserves the chance to be the force which literally resurrects a mortal life. All he has to do is lead Eurydike out of the darkness of the underworld using the magic of his talent to lead the way…and he can never look back.

And it’s this last part of the bargain which trips Orpheus up. At the very last moment, just before reaching life and light and safety once again, he can’t resist looking back to check on Eurydike.

And because he broke the agreement, Eurydike is reclaimed by the darkness and forever lost.

Orpheus only has to turn and look back once to lose the love of his life (Eurydike) forever.
It's a good illustration of why the astrological Eurydike is generally known
as 'the cost of the thing.'
Orpheus and Eurydice by Christian Gottlieb Kratzenstein (1806)

Fixed star Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, a constellation which represents the lyre of Orpheus – one of his ‘tools of genius’ you might say.

Constellation Lyra
(Image generated using Stellarium software)

Seen today at 15 Capricorn, there are some curious…and maybe even disturbing qualities to this Vega positioning. Why is that? That would be because 15 Capricorn is not the most determined degree in the zodiac. It’s not even the most determined degree in the sign of Capricorn!

But then…Capricorn can be one seriously determined sign. So wouldn’t we expect that some Capricorn degrees might be less determined, less gung-ho or ready-to-run-the-world than others? Yes, surely we would.

So maybe it’s a matter of comparison?

As it happens, that’s exactly what the challenge with 15 Capricorn is about. This is a degree which is prone to taking not the easy way out, but the soft way out…maybe through not volunteering, maybe through refusing to take a stance or even through pleading inability or incapacity. Taken even further, this degree exudes a quality we might refer to as ‘playing the victim card’ – and when mixed with Vega’s charismatic qualities, that can turn into someone speaking out on behalf of a real victim or the downtrodden…or it can be someone who merely plays weak so they can work a situation to their own advantage.

How do you know which is which? That’s the problem. Much like the alexandrite – a stone with which Vega is associated – it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s the act when you’re just looking at it.

Alexandrite - a form of 'Vega-stone' Chrysobéryl here shows up one
of its various colors under UV light
(photo credit: Parent Gery, January 2011)

And just to make things more confusing, when it comes to anything which is ‘colored’ or aspected by Vega at 15 Capricorn (particularly by conjunction) it may just be that all ‘colors’ are true, which is to say that someone whose chart offers this quality is sometimes one thing and sometimes another.

Puzzled enough yet?

In case you're not fully muddled, allow me to stir your mental puddle a little more. Every chart includes every degree of the zodiac. However, though everyone alive is now living with Vega at 15 Capricorn, not everyone alive will have been born with Vega at 15 Capricorn as the following chart of zodiacal ‘generations’ (as clocked by Pluto) and how they fall vis-à-vis Vega’s position over the last 100 and for the next 50 years.

So is this weakness, which may be partial, may be total or may be seen in the world around you - is that more acute for someone born with Vega at 15 Capricorn, or more confusing for someone born with Vega at 14 Capricorn?

14 Capricorn placements often express themselves through a knack for being able to see things clearly provided they aren't person. When they are personal, these people are all in a fuzz. 14 Capricorn is also known for a quality of 'earning respect,' often through a form of penetrating insight.

So Vega at 14 Capricorn would be a 'figuring out' sort of time, and those born under Vega at 14 Capricorn would be inclined to follow clues to the nth degree. This is Vega in a more 'regimented' form than 15 Capricorn, and in saying that, it's interesting to think how society itself has changed as a reflection of Vega shifting from one degree into the next. 

And no, it doesn't answer my original question. Frankly, I don't have an answer, though I would suspect that people born under Vega at 14 Capricorn may have begun showing vulnerabilities or looking less 'consistent' (whatever that means when you're talking about humans!) once Vega moved on into 15 Capricorn. 

And that about those who have Vega  point focal in some way? Whether conjunct Sun, Ascendant, Nodes or anything else, during the time that Vega has been at 15 Capricorn, that point has expressed itself in some given way. And now Pluto is coming along and changing that. So something may become nothing. Good may go bad, bad may turn to good and it's a decent bet that a lot of people will spot the inconsistencies or vulnerabilities in their stances, methods or plans during this time and act to clean up their act, lest they get caught with their Pluto hanging out.

(I know...that just sounds wrong.) 

Because Pluto’s orbit is controlled by Neptune (in the astronomical and scientific sense) any astrological effect Pluto brings to us is going to have a whiff of the Neptunian about it. As outcome ruler of Pisces, Neptune teaches us to deal with emotional realities through the happy and sad quotients in life which have to do with our assumptions or ‘expectations’ which are merely idealized fantasies not exactly based in any truth. And since Pluto is the outcome ruler of Scorpio (instead of Pisces) this “testing of our emotional realities” is put in our ability to know who to choose to deal with (or to partner with or otherwise be allied with) and how to deal with others and generate support as a measure of our own self-respect and self-worth.

That’s why Pluto has so much allure. We want to feel loved. We want to feel like everybody respects us (or even envies us, if that’s your thing). But our need for that – and thus our vulnerability to be taught lessons on that basis…that comes from our own self worth and our own self respect. The really secure person can lose out on a business deal or go through a relationship breakup and be sad about it, but they don’t fear that happening. They know sometimes you win, sometimes you lose,and that anyone who is going to measure them based on their winning or losing and not their willingness to learn from life and build on what they learn…that’s the sort of Scorpio-Taurus ‘value structure’ Pluto tends to test. Those tests happen in areas of ‘emotional security’ (Scorpio) where we tend to be most vulnerable – thus the investment, matters of death, danger, war and control, sexuality and power – those are the venues where we tend to experience what which astrology refers to as the ‘transformative’ quality of Pluto because it is through such life lessons that we change by confronting our emotional security.

When Pluto moved into 10 Capricorn in January 2013, it came within orb of fixed star Vega. Pluto won’t actually conjunct Vega to the degree until March, 2015, when it will arrive at 15 Capricorn and then go station/retrograde AT 15 Capricorn in April of 2015, moving back and forth across this degree until it leaves 15 Capricorn in November of 2017.

And even at that, Pluto won’t leave the orb of Vega until late in 2019. That means the whole of this time will be experienced through a shifting of the emotional mist one might call the ‘Pluto-Vega Effect.’ Our feelings about what’s cool and what’s not cool will change. Ideas which seemed totally appealing just last year may suddenly – even startlingly – lose their glossy appeal. Some people who represent this quality will loose their gloss too – at least for us.

But as that happens, others will be revealed as new sources of inspiration…and yes, provocation. And some of us will discover our own deep wells of inspiration and feel ourselves recognizing our own potential for better outlooks through believe in our own capacities.

It’s also worth remembering that other planets will aspect this conjunction along the way – and that as ruler of Capricorn, Saturn’s travels and its sign of residence will give us big clues about where we’re likely to experience this Pluto-Vega Effect. Saturn’s current transit of Scorpio says we are going to learn a lot through the entire list of Scorpio subjects: war, death, investments, power, money, sex, conception, control, debt, the emotions connected to our ability to agree with others, garner support and create agreement – however these subjects come up, they are likely to ‘stir up’ this question of whether we like someone (or ourselves) as much as we thought we did.

Vega the star, as photographed by the Spitzer Space Telescope
(photo credit: JPL-NASA, Caltech, University of Arizona)
Given the Pluto-Vega connection, with Saturn in Scorpio we are likely to get exposed to incidences and examples of people taking advantage of others emotionally - and the consequences of that. Given the ‘soft’ side of 15 Capricorn, we may have many people denying their own feelings or not caring about the feelings of others, with all sorts of Pluto-Vega reactivity coming out of that.

Once Saturn moves into Sagittarius in late December of 2014, our growth and hardest struggles will be more in the area of application – where we should apply ourselves and what it takes to achieve our aims and goals. Knowledge, learning, the willingness to try and matters of ethics and legality become weapons of choice as well as tools for wining and losing during this two-and-a-half year cycle, which of course we’ll talk about then.

But after that…then Saturn enters Capricorn. With this occurring in December 2017 (in other words, after Pluto has finished its exact conjunction with Vega) that marks the years 2018 and 2019 as a time of emergence and fruitful potentiality for some, and a time when those who have merely ‘taken advantage’ of situational power without having earned their metaphysical keep are going to either come to nothing or recognize the emptiness of their gains.

Those who have been hoping, wishing and wanting the world to change are about to get their wish.

One only hopes they’re going to help make the world a better place – not because of the ‘evils’ which will arise if they don’t, but because they will lose out on their own respect for who they are if they don’t try.

Ultimately, charisma is about what affects us. What enchants us. What moves us.

But since this charisma is seated in Capricorn, we know this isn’t just about watching and being impressed. Capricorn is a cardinal sign – a sign of action. So we are asked to use the best of what is revealed to us going forward to improve on what is, and thus build a better tomorrow.

It's all possible when we learn to use our finest talents to the fullest. And yes, we can even save that which is most precious to us (or those we love) when we take a poisonously wrong step in life. We just have to care more about having faith in the process (or our process) rather than what it's going to cost us - which may be the great test of Vega in this day and age, especially now that Pluto is hyping the game.


  1. Beautiful. Thank you for this.

  2. During 2018 and 2019 I have gone through the dark night of my soul. What a journey it has been. Reaching the Tree of life reality is never easy:-)