It was an arresting sight. A wide dark blue ribbon of uniformed, chattering, excited schoolkids carrying home-made placards. Escorted by teachers, they were weaving their noisy way through our local Botanic Gardens, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
I quickly jerked awake from the (usually) semi-somnolent half hour stroll to my office, finding a way through the stream of youngsters, giving them thumbs-up as I went. Of course! They were taking part in the Friday morning schools protest as part of the Extinction Rebellion movement. ‘…and getting some exercise too!…’ remarked a passing teacher cheerfully.
To me, this was a significant moment. Although of course like everyone else I’ve been following the Greta Thunberg story with admiring interest, and reflecting a great deal on the power of one determined enough person to bring about significant cultural, social, political change, this was my first direct physical and emotional encounter with the ordinary grass roots reality of what is clearly happening at ground level at present….Uranus in Taurus is shaking the political and social ground under our feet.
Our changing culture…
From UK’s The Guardian newspaper, 14.3.19…‘…Children at tens of thousands of schools in more than 100 countries are due to take part in the walkouts which began last year when one teenager – Greta Thunberg – held a solo protest outside the Swedish parliament. Since then the climate movement has snowballed with schoolchildren on every continent except Antarctica taking part….There are 1,659 climate strike events planned worldwide…’ On 15 March 2019, an estimated 1.4 million students in 112 countries around the world joined her call. This is an astonishing achievement.
In that small Friday morning moment in our small country, I felt very keenly the power and magnitude of a major shift in public consciousness which has begun in recent months, and is coming into sharp focus as the Saturn/Pluto conjunction at 20-23 Capricorn arrives at exact alignment with the Moon’s Nodes during April and May 2019.
In my original research study, The Moon’s Nodes in Action, I presented my findings on both the individual and collective significance of changes linked to the Nodal axis linked with Pluto. As I write this piece on the day of the Taurus New Moon, Saturn is exactly conjunct the South Node. Clearly, both Saturn and Pluto linked with the Nodes are pointing to our being at a deeply significant turning point collectively.
The Fixed Grand Cross horoscope
The Leo /Aquarius polarity can be clearly connected to individuals – in this case, children and young folk, a major expression of Leo energy – rising up to demand a better future for our human collective. The Taurus/Scorpio polarity can equally be connected to our Earth through Taurus, and Scorpio through the current deep crisis our planet is in, requiring urgent collective purgative action.
Does this suggest the astrological fixed cross to anyone? it certainly does to me! I have been reflecting on its profound metaphorical significance for some years now, as our collective moves into an era of increasing turbulence and disorder. I’ve also written about it recently in my ‘Astro View from Scotland’ column in Dell Horoscope Magazine.
Have a look at this symbolic horoscope with Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto and the Moon’s Nodes placed within the fixed cross, with 0 Aquarius as its Ascendant, and 0 Scorpio as its MC. I have placed Aquarius on the Ascendant, not because I believe that we are entering a new age of universal siblinghood, peace and love – check the current evidence, people! – but because there seems little doubt now that we are entering an era of unique interconnectivity for both good and ill ( plenty of that…) expedited by astoundingly rapid technological changes in recent times.
The world is connected like never before. Let’s use that for the common good if we possibly can.
There is much to say on this powerfully metaphorical horoscope. I’ll concentrate for now on the key points.
Let’s look first at the North Node in Cancer in the sixth house of this chart, with the South Node exactly conjunct Saturn and closely conjunct Pluto in the twelfth house. I have been doing much reflecting on these Cancer/Capricorn Nodes since they moved from Leo/Aquarius last November 2018, both in reference to my own personal life, and our collective lives.
It strikes me as supremely apt that the Nodes should be in Cancer and Capricorn as they join up with Saturn and Pluto – the ruler of this chart’s MC in Scorpio – at a time when we are mourning the damage we have done to our mother Earth (Cancer, ruled by the Moon) and fearful of what the consequences are going to be (Capricorn, ruled by Saturn).
We are increasingly unable to avoid facing the consequences of our actions, from the whole period when Pluto was last in Capricorn at the start of the Industrial Revolution to the present time, as we realise that an economic system rooted in exploitation of the resources of the Earth cannot continue without dire consequences.
The South Node conjunct Saturn and Pluto in the chart’s twelfth house offers graphic symbolism of the deep fear of our past actions’ consequences slowly rippling in a frightening tide throughout our world’s undercurrents. Sir David Attenborourgh’s masterly, informed, passionate and frightening account of the damage we have done to the world’s oceans has gripped the collective imagination.
We are now beginning to pay attention, take action eg on single plastic use and on trying to clean up the oceans’ plastics infestation caused by humans’ usage of our once-pristine seas as a dumping ground. But this combination also points out that we need to face what we have done, and take action. Saturn/Pluto lets one off with nothing, either personally or collectively.
The North Node’s position in Cancer in the sixth house of our everyday environment, powered by that relentlessly judgemental twelfth house Saturn/Pluto conjunction, shows that we ARE now beginning to take the problem seriously. A major resource in this is the idealism and spirituality offered by second house Neptune in Pisces, making an encouraging and softening, but practical trine and sextile to the Nodal axis/ Saturn/Pluto combination.
This chart’s ruler, Uranus, in the fourth house conjunct the IC in Taurus, is shaking up the whole fixed grand cross from the core. Things can not, and will not, stay the same. Recent severe storms, cyclones and floods in Africa and the Indian sub-continent have pointed that out graphically to us in recent weeks.
Eleventh house ruler Jupiter’s presence currently in Sagittarius in the tenth house speaks of collective optimism that we can effect changes in our value and belief systems which will help to move us in a more constructive direction.
This optimism, allied to the grimly persistent Saturnian determination of campaigners like Greta Thunberg, seems at present to be spearheaded by young school and college students. The future belongs to the millennial generation upcoming – time for the baby boomers to get off the world stage and let those young people get on with it.
I am really struck by how much that symbolic fixed cross horoscope accurately reflects the currents of our time.
Concluding – with Saturn/Pluto
The Saturn/Pluto return cycle of between 33 and 38 years has a pretty grim reputation. Here is an interesting summary of its essential qualities both positive and negative:
‘…Plutonian power resembles a tank of unstable nitroglycerin stored in the back of a old pick-up truck finding its way down a bumpy dirt road. It must be used with care and balance, with respect for individual human rights and liberties. (It)… can function both as lifeblood of a free people and as the destroyer of liberty; it can lead a people into the deadness of bondage or into the happiness conferred by freedom. Applied with care, with consideration for the prerogative and good and free will of others, within the form-giving and ethical intent of Saturn, this synod can give birth to a high civilization…’ (i)
I included the term ‘just war’ (ii) in the title of this post. The Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Cancer in the second decade of the Twentieth Century was linked to the First World War; in Leo in the 1940s, to the Second World War and its aftermath; in Libra in the early 1980s to the rise of AIDS and the Falklands War.
Perhaps, though, this new Saturn/Pluto cycle beginning in 2020 will bring, not the kind of mass warfare that people fear, but a ‘just war’ – the battle to save our planet from our own folly.
One could make several hard-headed criticisms of the Extinction Rebellion movement and its youthful leaders and protagonists, eg how on earth do we turn our economic system around by 2025,as they are demanding, without causing massive economic disruption and collapse?
Nevertheless, as a member of the older generation, seeing the movement’s rapid rise in recent months has made me feel optimistic. Let’s hope leaders like Greta Thunberg with Extinction Rebellion can put such worldwide pressure on our politicians that they are forced to take constructive action. And in the meantime, we can all do something to bring our lifestyles more in line with protecting rather than destroying our Mother planet.
“Start where you are, and do what you can” is my favourite Saturnian mantra. What’s yours?
(i) Here is a very interesting article exploring historical perspectives on the Saturn/Pluto cycle:
(ii) Principles of the Just War. A just war can only be waged as a last resort. All non-violent options must be exhausted before the use of force can be justified. … A warcan only be just if it is fought with a reasonable chance of success. Deaths and injury incurred in a hopeless cause are not morally justifiable.
1700 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2019