by Boots Hart, CAP

Friday, January 24, 2014

Jupiter opposition Pluto

A drop of water
(photo credit: Michael Melgar, March 2007)

One of the interesting things to be observed when you think things through astrologically is the difference between the effects of personal or inner planets (Sun, Moon, Venus, Mercury, Mars) against what happens when generational planets Jupiter and Saturn - or an outer planet like Uranus or Neptune move through aspects over time. As an example here, nobody (at least that I know of) has any fun at all with the ongoing Venus retrograde. Whoever we are, whatever we’re aimed at doing or being…accomplishing or figuring out, Venus retrograde seems to have found our weak point.

Not that it’s mysterious, no. That quality is exactly what astrologers mean by ‘personal’ planets – they affect us personally, and at a personal level. When personal planets go retrograde very few of us think wonderfully… maybe even rationally…about ‘our person’ or self.

And thus things happen – personally and on the personal level.

Now it isn’t that Saturn and Jupiter or the outer planets (or all that lies beyond Neptune) doesn’t affect our personal life. Our life is our life and we feel all of it. (Hopefully, that is. To be deprived of knowing your Self is after all, a form of losing your life.)

But when we’re talking about Jupiter, we’re talking about something akin to an interface. Known as the planet of ‘expansion’ and ‘increase’ the astrological Jupiter embodies the process of going beyond where you are now, whatever that involves.

Yet Jupiter is not a personal planet. So when Jupiter is in retrograde, the question is more about what we don’t know about where we are now (and how are we going to learn all that?) and all we need to do in life. We’re growing and expanding inside – within the realm of our mind or soul or psyche. We’re realizing that the world is bigger than we suspected. That things can happen we never imagined would happen in life or to us – whichever.

Jupiter's Auroras photographed in UV
(photo credit: NASA,JPL)

Currently, Jupiter’s retrograde in Cancer is coinciding with Venus’ retrograde in Capricorn – which is the astrological ‘reason’ (or indication) that the current Venus retrograde is…well…about as little like the Venus we know and want to love as apparently possible.

I did tell you I’ve been getting complaints about this, didn’t I? Yes. I’ve even been getting protests from people who don’t like astrology – and let me tell you, that’s a sure sign that something is amiss.

Theory would suggest that considering the belief that since everything happens when (and as) it should, this Jupiter-impounding-Venus-retrograde effect which is forcing all of us in some way to take a good look at what it is we need to do or be in order to function cohesively in a world which seems ever more complicated and structurally amiss.

There are no simple answers here. But we do have a bunch of astrological facts to think through – the first of which is the obvious one. We already know that Venus is retrograding back through Capricorn about to go direct at 13 Capricorn. Those gut wringing effects have been with us for a while now asking us to re-prioritize so that the whole Venusian concept of ‘cause-effect’ works correctly – which is to say, what you puts out comes back to you…meaning we can’t be aiming for the effect and trying to ‘back into’ whatever will cause that.

That won’t work. And that’s one of the big points of this time – we don’t just get to do things the ‘pretty way.’

And frankly, if you haven’t gotten that message by now, stand by. Yes, there are a few of us who for whatever astrological reason have had the right rock to hide under to avoid this Venusian chaos, but as an astrologer I’ve never seen a chart which would be theoretically “immune” to everything which is going to occur over the next four or so months. It has struck me of late that it’s some sort of cosmic dirty trick that Venus and Mars tend to go retrograde in a 1-2 fashion as both planets are personal astrological indicators pertaining to our sense of being appreciated in this life and world.

So yes, there is an important point there: how we feel about whether we’re appreciated or not may have nothing to do with how others truly regard us. But it’s a feeling…and that feeling is real. Vitally real.

An artist's conception of Pluto and its moon-and-binary-partner, Charon
(courtesy of Pat Rawlings, NASA - October 1992)

Evidently life doesn’t want us resting on our laurels collecting huzzahs and accolades…which brings us back to Jupiter. Life wants us to keep growing – that would be the Jupiterian view. So as Jupiter moves from 13 Cancer into 12 Cancer and ‘locks in’ this face-off against the forces of transformation and our need to change something in order to move on…ahead…or even just to stay in one place, so we move from the more theoretical realm of 13 Cancer (an unusual Cancer degree which functions through the intuitive mind) into 12 Cancer, a degree which through exposing us to whatever is habitual, mundane and seemingly inescapable tends to drown dreams in false promises we may well think are safer.

This issue is purely Cancer: Jupiter in Cancer. There is in essence, no safety in yesterday’s solutions. We can try to avoid the inevitable, but if we do, inevitability will find us – eventually and inevitably. A lot is breaking down and a lot is coming out. Jupiter’s being positioned in this image at 13 Cancer brings in dog star Sirius, which questions our use of brilliance and our willingness to be simply…dazzled.

And when we do, and of through that we end up with nothing – or with something we know is utterly wrong for who we are…is the lie theirs? Or is it the lie that we told ourselves when we truly knew better?

Asteroid Hel and Child are sitting right beside Jupiter at 11 and 10 Cancer respectively bringing in the emotional aura of wanting things to be good and to go well. But are they? Given the opposition from Pluto (i.e., Pluto/Venus retrograde) this would seem to be some form of personal naiveté being brought to our own mental table for a bit of carving.

At least trimming of the fat. We’re better than all of the wishing and hoping, the placating, putting off and ‘going along to get along’ we’ve been doing - it’s time to get down to work. Across the zodiacal gulf, Pluto is just sitting there alongside asteroid Psyche (our mind) in Capricorn, asking us to use what we know in a manner which can change our direction – and maybe that of a few others or something else out there too.

Pluto conjunct Psyche is the sign of a changing mind. Those who resist Plutonic energetics generally get crushed, stripped or unjustly taxed – even punished. Those who stop trying to define today and tomorrow by yesterday inherit Pluto’s power.

These months are not just about us. To think so is likely to be one of our big and bigger mistakes – as indicted in the above t-square. With Jupiter in the ‘goal’ position here we are asked to get ‘over’ our Uranian ‘I don’t want to’ selves…or to embrace the unique and Uranian in our Self and to use that universally so that we can achieve our Jupiter (expanded) goals.

T-squares always, always, always ask us to think more globally. To therefore have an Aries Uranus at the ‘hurdle’ of this t-square asks us to ‘use our Self’ in a universal way or in a universal cause – or merely to understand that what we’re going through is something everyone can relate to, or everyone is going through in their own uniquely Uranian way.

That process starts with our moving ‘off’ our Venus/Pluto position – which could well be some sort of personal ‘power base’ into something new or unknown. Against that, Uranus in Aries (pretty much by nature) represents the nerve-wracking which  generally requires at least some ingenuity and maybe a bit of risk. Then again, Uranus in Aries can make us think we’re risking when we’re not – we’re just stepping outside of some ‘known’ or ‘comfort zone.’

Into all this comes the idea of 9 Aries, a degree which concerns the need to make corrections, often of the “course correction” type. Realizing that such things are universal may help us now as we admit – even just to ourselves – that how we have been going about something isn’t optimal.

9 Aries also supports learning about the pros, cons and variable values concerning just doing ahead and doing things as opposed to stopping to consider the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and/or ‘popularity’ of something among friends, associates and others. Considering this is an early Aries degree and Aries is (if nothing else) the heart and soul of ‘I am me’ it’s curious to think of any Aries degree as being ‘group-oriented.’ But maybe that’s the point – Uranus in 9 Aries will be, if nothing else a test of our willingness to own our opinions and gain perspective on who we are in any given situation.

Not that this t-square stops there.

Yes, that is a complicated diagram – and thus an indication to us that things will be complicated. So let’s just go through it one item at a time…

The bulk of the additions here end up centering in Pallas (dispassionate perspective) retrograde – indicating a perspective on ourselves. That Pallas is in Virgo increases our ability to carefully ‘inspect’ what we’re doing – a positive in anything complicated, technical or task-oriented. Against this, Pallas in Virgo can be a negative where feelings are concerned. Pallas is hardly a cuddly symbol and when we add in the Virgo tendency to opt for the earthy and practical, this combination could be wonderful or disappointing, depending on how earthy your personal natal chart is. (Or isn’t.)

That Atropos and Sphinx are united with Pallas at 11 Virgo speaks either to a good will which is for some reason being held/caged in or the definitive (Pallas) understanding that the (Sphinx) time for waiting is (Atropos) over. In sextile (denoting an opportunity) to Jupiter, there is no requirement per se that we do anything, but we could. With the Pallas-Atropos-Sphinx grouping solidly trined to Pluto/Venus, we have the standard trine notification that the status quo isn’t going to change until we do – which in this case comes in part from the Uranian t-square hurdle we talked about plus this Pluto/Venus-Pallas group-Jupiter ‘workaround.’

We’re working around our situation…and around ourselves. (Yes, it’s come to that.)

However…with all of the above (this is beginning to sound like a murder mystery), the Pallas triad is also inconjunct Uranus. This astrologer isn’t going to make any call on which end of this 150 degree inconjunct is going to give, but either the Pallas end or the Uranian end is likely to give between now and…oh, call it mid/late May.

Did I mention that mid/late May is when Mars goes direct after going retrograde on March 1st? And how there’s going to be a solar eclipse in Venus-ruled Taurus while Mars is transiting Venus-ruled Libra?

I’m just guessing here…but in reading through an ephemeris it looks like we’re all in for some seriously trying growth over the next couple of months. How you and those around you choose to handle this time will without question raise issues of helplessness and the need or call for those types of self-discipline we would all much rather exert through exercise than personal vulnerabilities of self or to others. And yet, courtesy of Juno, Chiron and Dionysus at 11 Pisces in opposition to Pallas, Atropos and Sphinx in Virgo, we will all face, hear or experience such moments, with the sorriest part of it all being our own lacks and a resulting feeling of regretted failure to live up to our own standards of belief about ourselves.


Another thing to consider: everything here and about this time is not only what it is in the moment, but also part of a greater Jupiter/Pluto synodic cycle. Such cycles roll through about every thirteen years with the last one having begun in December 2007 at 28 Sagittarius – a degree which one one hand requires patience and endless dedication...and which on the other is often slow to mature, coalesce or succeed. The Sabian Symbol for this degree reads as follows: “A FAT BOY MOWING THE LAWN OF HIS HOUSE ON AN ELEGANT SUBURBAN STREET.” The original keynote from astrologer Marc Edmund Jones speaks of ‘The need to attend to everyday tasks which both ensure social worth or respectability, and benefit one’s constitution,’ which Dane Rudhyar brings down to pithy succinctness by citing SOCIAL RESPECTABILITY.

With Jupiter and Pluto having begun their synodic cycle at this degree, in some senses the joke is on us – and it’s no joke. Wherever these two start their cycle is the crux of a thirteen-year-long odyssey which will bring most of us to our knees through lessons which teach us the fallacies of ego and the illusions built into our most mortal, human desires.

Then again, life does have to get us to do something somehow.

This month’s Jupiter-Pluto opposition perfects on January 31st, the same date as Mercury’s Pisces ingress and Venus’ turn to direct.

I repeat: this is NOT a genteel time. We can get over life not being what we would like it to be and not working the way we thought it would - or not.

After January 31st, Jupiter will continue in retrograde as Pluto moves into achievement-oriented 13 Capricorn.

 From Solar Fire's Graphic Ephemeris generator, a screen shot of a partial page
showing activity patterns for the early months of 2014. The symbols at the left
being (from the top down) Saturn, Uranus, Pluto, Jupiter and Neptune, if you
follow the green Jupiter line you will see where it aspects Pluto's position at
the end of January and rather late on in April.
Then we get April. With Mars retrograde in Libra (can we say ‘relating and relationship issues’?) Jupiter turns direct on the 6th, we take a breath and then pass through a lunar eclipse in Libra (more interactivity) and Pluto’s station/retrograde on April 14th.

Another week passes, Jupiter (now direct) opposes Pluto for the third and final time and we arrive at the solar eclipse at 8 Taurus, a degree known for its ability to test how well what we think the world is matches the world’s seriously worldly realities. 

Do or be done in by that we choose to leave undone would seem to be the message here. The learning isn’t easy and our failure to learn becomes our mortal hindrance.

That’s all I can really tell you.


  1. Hi Boots ....

    This is a beginner's question ... regarding the diagram with the T-square ... when you draw in the arrows - as in Pluto towards Uranus and Uranus towards Jupiter - does that indicate energy flow? And if so ... is that a way to use, resolve, or understand the T-square in one's chart by using the planet's house placements?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. To your question: yes, no and not so much...t-squares are tricky no matter what. But about the arrows in the diagram: because most of us read right-to-left, there's a natural tendency to 'read' a chart (as you look at it) in this manner - which with a t-square could be wrong, as they are always read in zodiacal order - 'through' the "t" of the square.

    Does this represent a direct/directed flow or energetic? Yes - always to some degree and probably very much so in this case because we're talking about non-personal planets. I tend to think we are now moving into position to 'set off' ongoing processes replete (in many cases) with opportunities which get us past OUR sticking point(s) PROVIDING we get past thinking of ourselves in favor of the "I" individual as 'the every man' that we all are as members of the human race.

    The transiting Uranus/Pluto square has been with us for some time - since 2009, directly in the wake of the world-wide economic crisis. There is an aspect of this Uranus square which is worldly...and then there is an aspect of it which is totally esoteric and about who we are - intrinsically, as human beings. To 'grab' both ends of the core (Uranus/Pluto) square is to be who you are while evolving to free yourself us - most of all in your own eyes, mind or soul - to be that person, to be unique, to dare cross established lines where and when such actions will further your growth while being something others...the world...would find worthy. There is, unquestionably, change implied in this square, and while we're 'grabbing' that, because we now see Uranus as the 't' of the t-square, we have to get past something about our Self or which is holding us back...something.

    T-squares always ask that we think 'big picture' and universally rather than as the star of our own drama.

    To your question #2: yes, and this would be where I would start thinking this process through...

    Part one: look at the planets involved in your natal chart. Understand their placement and their relationship to each other or to (very particularly) any planet which rules the sign another of the t-square planets is in both IN your natal chart and in the transiting picture.

    Part two: look at where the transiting planets fall in your natal AND solar chart. Factor in those life arenas and - if any planet involved (in this case Pluto, Uranus or Jupiter) is seriously aspected in the solar chart, give that area of life some serious 'weighting' (that being the astrological term) or emphasis.

    In's the Uranian thing which is getting us/getting to us. We want to be free without having to break out of old conceptions and images/self images. But that won't do. We need to own both our strengths and our weaknesses - and some of those weaknesses may turn out to be 'strengths in disguise.'

    That's the way forward. It's hard because though people always say they want change, change is often daunting, particularly when we're being asked to (in true Uranian fashion) take on ideas, tasks and challenges with no guarantees...which brings me to one other item I didn't mention in the article (and which I was reminded of as my chiropractor reassembled me this morning): energies which get denied - willingly or unwillingly - will find expression. Uranus in Aries can manifest as anxieties, broken bones, weight loss, anorexia, neurological or 'wasting' issues, odd test results, ego or physical bruising or, as we might see in my case, how a sudden physical change such as I went through by doing the prescription med detox or which someone else might experience through surgery or even the birth of a new child - it all counts, it all can prove challenging.

    Sometimes the energy is physical...sometimes contemplative. In a true body-mind connection, we can solve the one through balancing that out with the other. But will we? That's the question.

    Does that solve the question? If not, let me know!

    - Boots

  3. As a double ruled Venus -Taurus asc. and Libra Sun I'm digging this! Mid-late May what will be on the other side. Thanks Boots!