In our minute corner of the Milky Way galaxy, in that barely noticeable solar system of which our tiny Earth is part, ingenious humans aeons ago devised a symbol system, based on observation of the relationship between planetary movements and human behaviour. They were thus able to unlock what the meanings of those energy shifts might be. We astrologers are still observing – and what an especially interesting time this is in which to be doing so!
Astrologers, however, do not have an observational monopoly. Songwriters have a pithy way of capturing behaviour patterns too: ‘Birds do it, bees do it, Even educated fleas do it, Let’s do it, let’s fall in love…’ Cole Porter was probably an optimist – or he never experienced the scouring, disruptive force of Uranus/Pluto in action.
Since the turbulent 1960s conjunction, the first exact squares of those two planets (moving gradually towards exactitude since around 2007/8) have been ripping across the world from 2012 onwards. The Aries/Capricorn combo is currently just past the fifth of seven exact squares. A highly notable effect has been massively disruptive and often violent falling out of love between established nations, their leaders and populations.
Uranus/Pluto in action worldwide
The most dramatic, extreme expression of this is the ‘Arab Spring’ which has been sweeping across the Middle East since December 2010 in Tunisia. Street trader Mohamed Bouazizi’s despairing self-immolation in that country triggered off massive popular uprisings which swept away dictators like Egypt’s Mubarak and Gaddafi in Libya.
Its current major manifestation is the ghastly civil war in Syria which shows no signs of abating in its grotesque destructiveness. In the meantime, Libya is descending into a chaos of fighting factions, whilst Egypt appears to have replaced its democratically elected civilian president Morsi, swiftly deposed by people power, with yet another military-backed president and government. (NOTE: I completed and submitted this article on 14.6.14, before the subsequent flare-ups of severe disruption in Ukraine, Gaza, and Iraq where ISIS/ISIL erupted with brutal, shocking violence)
Be careful what you wish for…
Arrival at reasoned compromise is not one of the most notable manifestations of the Uranus/Pluto combination. With this particular square, Pluto in Capricorn’s archetypal thrust is towards the destruction of institutional and political structures which have outlived their usefulness.
Uranus in Aries is immediate and not very nuanced in its headlong pursuit of a new, ideal social order which is – per se - bound to be better than the old, discarded one. Nothing short of revolution, achieved by force if necessary, is its aim. Caught up in the passion of the moment, a leap into the unknown is acceptable, exciting.
Reasoned, hard-headed contemplation of consequences is not high on revolutionary agendas.
Uranus: the revolutionary egg breaker
Liz Greene offers a succinct caveat regarding the Uranian archetype in action, thus:
” But Uranus doesn’t recognise the value and nature of time, or the importance of slow growth and compromise. Nor does it recognise the reality of individual human feeling. The vision of the future must happen now, and anything standing in its way must be annihilated or, at best, reformed. This can result in enormous suffering, for individuals as well as for the collective. The basic philosophy of Uranus is that, to make an omelette, one has to break eggs. The problem is that the eggs are the emotional and instinctual needs of individual human beings. Revolutions always have a way of going out of control.”(1)
We are all caught up, tossed about every which way, by the shifting energy patterns of a restless cosmos. Both individuals and nation states are, as it were, given a chip of prevailing energy patterns to act out.We are run far more by the dark tides of those turbulent energies than we may care to admit. Uranus Pluto waters run deep in ‘passionate intensity’, shallow in temperate rational analysis.
Uranus/Pluto strikes Scotland
Bearing this in mind, let’s turn to Scotland, one of the four countries making up the United Kingdom. At the UK general election of May 2011, the Scottish National Party headed up by First Minister Alex Salmond won a sweeping mandate from the Scottish people. Many Scots voted SNP not out of a desire for separation, but because as a minority government from 2007, they had appeared to be doing a more competent job of running the country than the Labour Party, whose long domination of Scottish politics had led to terminal disillusion on the part of much of the electorate.
With this strong mandate, the big push to a referendum vote on Scotland’s future was on. On 18th September 2014, Scots will go to the polls to answer a simple question:
“Should Scotland be an independent country?”
Scotland’s Horoscope: from 1005 to 2014
In 1999, the year Scotland gained its own parliament for the first time in nearly 300 years, I wrote an article presenting and briefly analysing Scotland’s horoscope.The most commonly used chart for Scotland is that of the crowning of Malcolm the Second at Scone on 25 March 1005 at noon (see DATA at end of article).
In this chart can be seen quite clearly some of the main themes which the wider world associates with Scotland. On contemplating both the natal horoscope, along with its progressions and transits for 1999, I was amazed at the accuracy with which this thousand year old chart seems vividly to describe Scotland’s complex national character. Furthermore, the transits and progressions summed up the state of play in 1999 very clearly.
You can read the article here: http://anne-whitaker.com/2014/02/12/scotlands-horoscope-2/
I concluded by saying “…there is a death/rebirth process going on in Scotland’s ties with England and the UK. The outcome of that is by no means clear, many Scots wanting nothing less than the end of the long marriage with the UK…”
Fifteen years later, we know the answer to that speculative statement. After the Independence Referendum on 18th September 2014, there is a credible chance that the UK will formally cease to exist in March 2016.
The current picture
In this article I have chosen a limited focus: to set the political turmoil going on in one small country, Scotland, in the context of a bigger world picture dominated by two disruptively transformative planetary archetypes i.e. Uranus and Pluto, frequently present at key revolutionary moments in history. I look forward to the appearance of a swathe of detailed mundane analyses, very much extending the narrow scope of this one, and bringing in both the UK’s charts and that of the redoubtable Mr Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister (whose birth data I have included at the end of the article).
Let’s look now at Scotland’s natal chart (see above); then Uranus/Pluto as it links to the same chart with its hand-drawn overlay of secondary progressions (in green) and transits (in red) for that fateful date of 18th September 2014:
The position of the Uranus/Pluto square could scarcely be more prominent. Uranus has been crossing Scotland’s Aries ninth and tenth house planets and Aries MC since 2010/11, and is currently squaring the progressed MC/IC axis from the tenth house. Pluto sits right on the progressed MC, along with the progressed Sun and Neptune – AND Scotland’s natal North Node. (note: Alex Salmond’s North Node, Sun and Mercury are at 5, 9 and 13 degrees of Capricorn respectively – the UK’s North Node, Sun, MC and ASC are 14 Aries, 10 Capricorn, 9 Cancer and 7 Libra)
It’s also worth noting that transiting Neptune is opposite Scotland’s Moon at the time of the referendum, reflecting the longing of the population for some kind of future independent Eden – along with uncertainty and confusion, inability to know where the post-referendum truth may lie, whatever the outcome…
These significators depict a heady mix of energies: a nation suffused with idealism and longing for a radically altered structure to its national life and role in the wider world, urgently prepared to demolish the old order, inspired by a pioneering vision of a radical new future.
Which way forward?
So – which way will it go on the 18th of September? Astrology has its range of successes and failures to show, as have other practitioners of the predictive arts eg physicists, economists and weather forecasters – remember the failure to predict the Great Storm of 1987? We do much better at describing the essence of a pattern, but identifying the exact branches is much more hit and miss. Personally this cheers me, since it appears to suggest a creative balance between fate and free will in the universe.
However, it is possible to see some clear pictures emerging from this contemplation of the stripped-down meanings of the Uranus and Pluto archetypes, and by observing how they are clearly playing out right now across the world. The seventh and final exact square takes place on 17th March 2015 at 15 degrees Aries/Capricorn, gradually fading in intensity over the next three to four years. Hopefully after that, the dust should start settling; we can begin at that stage to assess what the possible political costs and benefits have been.
A few things seem clear from reflecting on Scotland’s horoscope for the 18th September 2014 and thereafter through the lens of this Uranus/Pluto square. Regardless of the outcome of the referendum, the old order is now untenable, is on its way out. The scouring forces of change, for good, ill –or both – will have their way. Scots want more of a say in how their nation is run. They will have that, one way or another.
Be careful what you wish for…
Uranus being Uranus, consequences that no-one could have predicted are on their way both for Scotland and the whole UK. Fasten your seat belts, everyone. It’s going to be a bumpy ride!!
25 March 1005, Scone, Scotland, Noon (traditional symbolic time for the coronation of the king). Coronation of Malcolm Canmore, aka Malcolm the Second. Source/s: this date is given as the start of the year 1005 in the Annnals of Ulster, as quoted in Early Sources of Scottish History Volume 1, p 521, covering AD 500-1296. This work was collected and translated by Alan Orr Anderson (1879 -1958) and first published in 1922 by Oliver & Boyd (Edinburgh). A corrected edition was published by Paul Watkins in Edinburgh in 1990.
(note: the Horoscope in this article is set for Perth, Scotland, a latitude and longitude so near Scone as to make no difference to the horoscope’s planetary positions, Ascendant or Midheaven – the computer hadn’t heard of Scone, apparently! And – the date changes to 31 March when calendar adjustments are made from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar)
Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland:
31 December 1954, Linlithgow, Scotland, 16:30 GMT
Source/s: A Multitude of Lives A book of astrological data and biographies. Paul Wright, Parlando Press, Edinburgh, 2009, p220
References and Notes
1)Liz Greene, CPA Seminar Series, Volume 7:
The Art of Stealing Fire, p 3.
Anne Whitaker lives in Glasgow, Scotland. Her background is in adult education, generic and psychiatric social work, and private practice as a counsellor, counselling supervisor, and mentor. She has worked as an astrologer, teacher, and writer since 1983. Anne blogs at www.anne-whitaker.com, where her e-book Wisps from the Dazzling Darkness — an open-minded take on paranormal experience — can be purchased.
Contact Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org
(NOTE: this article was requested for the Association of Professional Astrologers International’s Newsletter, where it was first published in June 2014. It was subsequently re-published in the UK’s Astrological Journal in its September/October 2014 issue.)
19o0 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
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