Monthly Archives: January 2018

Saturn Pluto is on the march…fasten your seat belts!

A recurring theme in recent talks with colleagues and students has been the powerful impact on our collective and personal lives of the current transit of Jupiter through Scorpio, currently sextiling Scorpio’s ruler Pluto in Capricorn, potentised by Saturn’s recent entry into his own sign of Capricorn – and the start of his long march toward the 2020 Saturn/Pluto conjunction. We can already feel the exacting challenges of the latter combination beginning to build. 

As well as deep, long-standing institutional corruption of various kinds including sexual and financial being dredged, confronted and exposed, there seems to have been an outbreak of a greater sense of collective responsibility regarding how we are treating one another, and our planet. Here are just a couple of examples, from the UK:

The UK’s series “Blue Planet Two – oceans of wonder” fronted by that venerable and influential national treasure the 91 year old Sir Richard Attenborough, has been shown to huge audiences worldwide pricking our collective consciences into action regarding the damage plastic is doing to our oceans. Also in the UK, a minister for Loneliness has been appointed to co-ordinate attempts to tackle more effectively that scourge of modern living.

This upcoming January 2020 Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn – Saturn’s home sign – offers a strong earth/water signal as we move toward the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Aquarius at the end of 2020. We are being challenged to clean up our act in relation to our home planet, and behave with more integrity toward one another as a human community – or face the consequences.

We are moving from an emphasis on  planetary exploitation which characterised the Industrial Revolution and the whole materialist culture arising, to one of global social development – that of ideas, information, communication, and relationships – expedited by technology, for the coming 200 years or so.

So, despite the tough times we are living through and Saturn/Pluto’s upcoming challenges, I feel optimistic on the whole about the new order being birthed in the turmoil of ending, although we baby-boomers will likely not live to see it.

Pondering on Saturn/Pluto and its challenges – a topic of especial interest to me since I was born under an exact combination of those two and am still here (as far as I know…) – reminded me of a column I wrote for the UK’s Astrological Journal a while ago, which described a striking incident evoking Saturn/Pluto. Here it is:

‘…Something oddly unsettling happened to me on 1st June 2016. Not a surprise, you might say, with the Sun that day conjunct Mercury in Gemini square Jupiter in Virgo square Saturn in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces – all churning between 10-15 degrees of the Mutables: my Asc/Desc plus Mercury tossed and turned within this restless brew.

I was peacefully preparing some notes for an especially interesting-looking client booked in for that afternoon. I like noting when clients’ progressed planets change signs, or turn retro/direct, as their life pattern unfolds.This offers good material for enlightening contemplation and discussion. But it’s not something you can quickly and easily do using a computer.

So – I reached for my 20th century Midnight Ephemeris, turned to the 1990s, and made an unpleasant discovery. Someone had torn out pages from the 1990s. But not random pages. The whole of 1993 and 1994. Nothing else was damaged.

There were two possibilities, given that I had purchased this ephemeris second hand on moving into my current office in January 2015. One – someone with keys to my office had come in and torn out specific pages at some point in the last year or so. (You’d never spot my MercurySaturnPluto line-up here, surely…)

Or two – the more credible – whoever sold the ephemeris had hated those two years so much that he/she had taken their revenge via this act of Mercurial vandalism. It was odd, however, that I had not noticed the damage earlier…

What to do, now that I had a maimed ephemeris? Every client from now till forever, I thought, is BOUND to be born in the 1990s or have key life events happening then which require close symbolic examination and elucidation. With the passage of decades, one becomes fully cognisant of Sod’s frequently malign intentions …

Whilst reluctantly concluding, therefore, that a new ephemeris was probably required, a sudden memory lit up my grumpy, puzzled, somewhat paranoid mental processes. During the 1990s, I had made up my own ephemeris for each year. Perhaps I could use two of those to cover the missing years? Had those ephemerides survived one of my periodic purges?

They had! Their distinctive, colourful covers impressed me. How arty I was, briefly, in the 1990s… included with the photocopied ephemeris pages were lined sheets of yellow paper for notes; these were full of astrological significators linked with personal and mundane events for 1991 to 1996. Why had I stopped then? No idea…

A morning was spent browsing through those notes, focusing especially on the two missing years of 1993-4; what a harrowing read! Staggering out semi-traumatised into gorgeous sunshine, I restored balance by basking outside my favourite boho cafe. Sipping delicious coffee and feasting on sandwiches followed by jammy creamy fruit scones, I reflected on our –fortunately – well-developed capacity to forget grim events. How unpleasant and upsetting it is to be reminded.

These were awful, turbulent times: not only at a macro level, but also in our small personal worlds…many of us ‘plugged in” to the same degrees as the major planetary patterns of those years suffered very considerably. I often found myself talking to clients about family traumas which in many cases closely mirrored my own.

From my notes, January 1993 “…the start of a momentous year, with a triple conjunction of Uranus/Neptune at 18/19 degrees Capricorn in February, August and October, AND a triple meeting between Saturn in Aquarius square Pluto in Scorpio from 24-27 degrees of their respective signs in March and October 1993, then January 1994…world situation incredibly unstable, turbulent and cruel throughout 1992 as exactitudes approached…”

The notes went on to describe planetary links to major oil spills, earthquakes, mudslides, volcanic eruptions…and that was just January and February 1993! There followed, as many of us will remember, ongoing IRA bombings on the UK mainland, the first attack on the World Trade Centre, attempts to stop a genocidal war in the Balkans, and horrific genocide in Ruanda…Worth quoting, from the UK’s ‘Sunday Times’ on 22/8/93, two days after the second exact Uranus/Neptune conjunction:

“Islamic fundamentalism, if it remains unchecked, could destabilise Egypt, Sudan, Africa, Middle East – the whole world community…” Grimly prescient.

I now understood why that mysterious reader had torn out 1993 and 1994. Feeling very reflective, and grateful that life had eventually reached calmer waters in recent times, I headed off home. There in the mail was a letter: the first for many years from a close relative – from whom I was forced to cut off contact in 1993/4.

As a famous scientist once observed, life is not only stranger than we suppose. It is stranger than we CAN suppose…’

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Endnote:

This post was first published as my 8th Not the Astrology Column in the July/August 2016  Issue of the UK’s Astrological Journal, edited by Victor Olliver.

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1200 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2018

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Jupiter in Scorpio, astrologers and Prometheus – a cautionary tale..

Since sharing When Transits Bring Suffering by Dana Gerhardt on my Facebook Page a few days ago, I have been reflecting yet again on the reality that the Cosmos’ unfolding energy patterns – from which astrology helps us to extract meaning – offer us darkness as well as light as the Wheel of Fortune turns… I ruminated on this topic recently in my column for Dell Horoscope Magazine, offering a striking example from my own life by means of illustration…

“…The Titan Prometheus was a pretty arrogant fellow, in my view. According to Greek myth he stole the fire of knowledge from the gods, hidden in a fennel stalk, to give to humanity for our enlightenment. Did he consult any humans beforehand, to see if we wanted such a double-edged gift?

To the best of my knowledge, he did not. He thought he knew best. For this blatant act of hubris, ie thinking you are as smart as the gods, he was savagely punished by Zeus, their king.

You probably know the story, but it bears repeating, just to remind us that hubris is not a good idea. Chained to a rock, Prometheus had his liver pecked out by an eagle on a daily basis; it regrew overnight – the punishment never ended.

In astrology the planet Jupiter, named for the king of the gods in Roman myth, rules the liver. In the Prometheus myth, the liver was chosen as the focus of torture because the ancient Greeks regarded the liver as the seat of life, soul, and intelligence.

So – wherever Jupiter is in your horoscope, that’s where you are compelled to seek to broaden your experience, widen your horizons, deepen your knowledge. However, the myth would appear to suggest that you need to be careful with the results of your quest and its impact on both yourself and others.

Jupiter has very recently moved into the sign of Scorpio, ruled by the Lord of the Underworld, Pluto. Wherever Scorpio is in your birth chart, that’s where the soul-enhancing benefits of deepening your understanding and experience within that dark terrain can be gained over the next year.

Jupiter in Scorpio crops up often in the horoscopes of astrologers, as do Jupiter/Pluto aspects, or Jupiter in the Eighth House. This should not be a surprise, either to astrologers themselves or those who know them. Astrological knowledge is powerful  – as such, it is potently attractive to those of us prepared to do the in-depth work required in order to become fluent enough to practice as astrologers and/or astrology teachers.

However, with such deep knowledge comes a warning, which Prometheus should have heeded; one which astrologers should note, if they have the wisdom and humility to do so: fire burns. By acquiring such powerful knowledge, hidden from most people, we are procuring the gods’ fire. That fire can burn us as it did Prometheus. It can burn our clients and students too, if we are not careful.

Consider this example from my life last year: late in May 2017 I was preparing to attend the Student Astrology Conference in London on 2-3 June. There had recently been two major terrorist attacks on the UK: one in March in London, the second in Manchester just over a week before we were due to set off. One of the key transit patterns common to those attacks was the long square between Saturn in late Sagittarius and Chiron in late Pisces.

I have a Uranus/Mars conjunction in late Gemini/early Cancer in the tenth house. Observing the ephemeris with increasing disquiet, wondering what unpleasant collective events might be triggered by transiting Mars moving through Gemini and once again setting off the Saturn/Chiron square, I suddenly realised that I was ‘plugged in’ to this pattern.

Mars would be exactly triggering my Uranus/Mars midpoint, opposing Saturn transiting the fourth house and squaring transiting seventh house Chiron. On the London Conference weekend.

Given the overall picture, I was worried to say the least. What should I do? Should I tell my husband, thereby alarming him? (Fortunately he is an Aquarian, and not easily intimidated!) Should we cancel our trip? It certainly looked as though some unpleasant surprises were coming our way. In the end, having decided that all this difficult symbolism was contained within an overall protective grand kite pattern involving my horoscope and transiting planets, I concluded that things would be difficult, but not directly involving me or us.

So it proved. One hour before we departed on 1st June, a close relative called me to say his wife was going to have surgery soon for breast cancer. At Euston railway station in London, tired from travelling, we got into a black cab with a driver who blasted us with the full force of his rage against the world for the full half hour it took to get to our hotel. And on the night of 2nd June, less than a mile away from our hotel and the conference venue, there was a devastating terror attack on London Bridge.

My foreknowledge of the broad picture, but not the detail, undoubtedly caused me distress. I could give many other examples as I am sure could my astrologer colleagues, of being burned by this wonderful knowledge we have – which can also be so constructively helpful and illuminating both to us and to our clients.

What would you have said to an astrology client with the planetary line-up described, if they had asked you “Should I go to London next weekend?”  I am still thinking about that one. But in the end we have to trust the sacred space of the consultation, our link to the Divine, be humble – and  strive to do no harm…”

Endnotes:

This post first appeared in my bi-monthly column for Dell Horoscope Magazine  ‘The astro-view from Scotland’ in the November 2017 Issue.

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900 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Dell Horoscope Magazine 2018

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

As 2018 begins, Saturn in Capricorn speaks…

As part of the slow process of emerging snail-like from the tinsel shell of the Festive Season, and preparing to greet the new world of 2018, I returned, as I sometimes do, to  Persian poet Rumi’s wonderfully wise poem “This being human”. Do read it, if you have not done so already. It contains great wisdom regarding the turbulent duality of light and dark forces which constitute not only human nature, but also Life itself. It also feels a very appropriate message from Saturn in Capricorn…

Light and dark are inseparably interdependent: maybe, Rumi is suggesting, it would be wise to honour them both, since those dark destructive energies which periodically sweep through, causing havoc personally and collectively, contain  messages, guidance  from Beyond, which are telling us something we usually do not wish to hear. 

A year’s turn, no matter what our beliefs, brings with it a deeply-ingrained, archetypal need to take stock, reflect on the year gone by, and perhaps resolve to make some positive changes in the New Year emerging. As 2018 dawns, Saturn from his natural domain in Capricorn, will gather momentum in his work of reminding us both personally and collectively that we need to behave with as much integrity as possible and take full responsibility for our own actions as the next few years unfold.

I am not alone in having had Life hurl me against the same wall a few times before I eventually ‘get the message’, and with painful slowness begin the process of change which is being demanded of me by a deeper, wiser Self –  that chip of divine light which is present in every one of us.

Writers offering comforting platitudes skimmed from a glide across the surface of life, or perhaps digging down a little, do not move me. My help comes from  those who look unflinchingly into the world’s dark heart without underestimating in any way the destruction and cruelty to be found there, but who can balance what they see with inspiring affirmation.

Despite all the awfulness of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ which is an ever-present reality through the ages both personally and collectively, Life is full of opportunities to be ‘surprised by joy’, to seek and find meaning in even the most scouring of experiences. That is certainly what I have come to believe.

Some writers have a way, also, of reminding us of how we need to change by poking us where it hurts, just as Saturn does… Reflecting on the current dismal-looking state of  planet Earth and its denizens as 2018 begins, I have been chewing upon one of my favourite anger-generating topics: how our need to be RIGHT  – and its world-wide manifestations via religious, political and scientific fundamentalism – has probably caused more bloodshed, mayhem and havoc throughout history than anything else, when I recalled this short but pungent poem by the poet Yahuda Amichai.

With thanks to Monica Domino who published it last year on symbolreader, I offer you this as a New Year meditation:

“The Place Where We Are Right”

“From the place where we are right
flowers will never grow
in the spring.

The place where we are right
is hard and trampled
like a yard.

But doubts and loves
dig up the world
like a mole, a plow.
And a whisper will be heard in the place
where the ruined
house once stood.”

Yehuda Amichai

 

 

 

 

 

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600 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Yehuda Amichai 2018

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House