NorthPoint Astrology Journal
This past week has been an intense one, with the Full Moon conjunct Mars and the exact Pluto-Saturn square in effect. Some things we thought we had figured out have gotten off track, and it's been hard to know what steps to take next, or even how to think about the options.
It certainly doesn't help forward motion to have Mars retrograde right now, and with Saturn also moving backward, we may feel things have stalled so completely that they are actually reverting to their previous state. This is perceptual, of course -- in the same way that a planet going retrograde is perceptual.
When we look at the sky now, Mars and Saturn appear to be going in reverse, but that is only an optical illusion, as planets never actually change their orbital direction. And so, perhaps our view of current circumstances is also an optical illusion, and things are actually progressing according to plan.
Still, we know that planets in retrograde aren't just toying with us for their amusement. We're meant to be learning something during this time.
With Mars retrograde in Leo, the sign of personal self-expression, we are going through a review process to find out what we really want to create in our lives. So often we create by default or lack of intention/attention, and so the path that lays down before us has a similarly lackluster appearance.
Now we are being asked: What truly brings you joy? What inspires and uplifts you, and makes life not just satisfactory, but creatively fulfilling? Now is the time to consider our answers to these questions, not just casually, but with full attention to the importance of knowing ourselves that completely.
And then there's Saturn, also retrograde, but engaged in an intense battle of wills with Pluto. Saturn is concerned with physical manifestation, and when he is both retrograde and challenged, we can feel that our outer world -- the one we usually look to for continuity and stability -- has very little substance we can rely on.
Pluto may be small in stature, but he makes up for his size limitations by the intensity of his gaze. He is focused quite intently on Saturn now, using that laserlike vision to see what is lies beneath outer appearances.
Imagine this like an imaging study where, by X-ray or MRI, structures and tissues become seen that are normally hidden to our eyes. This is Pluto's job, to help us become aware of what's going on beneath the "skin" of whatever we are focused on, so that we can see truth and take appropriate measures -- thereby claiming our empowerment rather than allowing our lives to be controlled by the unseen.
Saturn is in Libra now, the sign of harmony and justice. Even if Pluto weren't involved, we'd still be experiencing opportunities to take a more objective look at our relationships, social structures and legal system. We'd be sorting through what is and isn't working, clearing out our closets so that we could start over with only the clothes that really fit.
But, with Pluto fully present, that "objective look" goes far deeper. This level of scrutiny does have a positive purpose -- to help get us back to the core values that are our strength, and to remove all that is superfluous. And yet, it can be a very tough road, and many are finding themselves in the midst of profound life challenges.
As we weed our gardens, it can be easy to slip into negativity and cynicism. We know from past experience that weeds tend to grow again, and if we were to dwell on those thoughts, we might be tempted to give up.
It's important now for each of us to find that one spark of hopeful intention that we can focus on. It may be a creative inspiration, a spiritual goal or a higher purpose. Even a single word or image that contains meaning for us, that we can dwell on, can be helpful at this time.
According to the planets, there should be some easing of tensions by the end of this coming week. Jupiter is supplying a release valve for the energies of the Pluto-Saturn square, as he helps us make practical-world adjustments on Friday (Saturn quincunx Jupiter), then makes new options more apparent on Saturday (Pluto sextile Jupiter). Uranus helps on Saturday as well, opening our conscious minds to new solutions, especially those of a higher spiritual nature (Uranus sextile Mercury).
And on Sunday, Neptune, Chiron and Venus join together at 26 degrees of Aquarius to inspire greater awareness, compassion and healing, especially in the realms of relationship and community. The Sabian symbol for that degree of Aquarius reads:
A garage man testing a car's battery with a hydrometer: Skill in applying knowledge of natural laws to the solution of everyday problems resulting from life in our technological society.
As I began to transcribe the words for this symbol, it brought to mind Oprah's latest cause of educating people about the dangers of texting while driving. Aquarius rules technology, and Oprah is using certain forms of technology (television and the Internet) to bring awareness and healing to the broader community about "everyday problems resulting from life in our technological society."
And now, having read the further interpretation of this Sabian symbol, I am amazed by the additional parallels:
Here we see a man using his analytical mind to check up on the operation of the machines his inventive genius produced. This simple commonplace operation is used here as an indication of how deeply technology involves us in small matters, yet matters which in some circumstances could make the difference between life and death -- i.e., the mechanical failure in a car on a crowded freeway.
If Dane Rudhyar had foreseen the advent of text messaging in 1973, when he wrote his book on the Sabian symbols, he might have included the dangers of texting-while-driving in this interpretation!
Rudhyar concludes his explanation by expanding its application to more metaphysical considerations:
This symbol tells us that we constantly need the use of our intellectual power of observation and analysis to check on the effectiveness of the energies at our disposal.
As always, when looking at life symbolically, we can pretend that we've dreamed the events, to see what they might mean on other levels. In essence, this "dream" about the dangers of texting-while-driving is about looking more closely at activities that are now habitual, that distract us from paying attention to where we're going. We might also throw in the idea that technologies are involved, as well as the need for immediate gratification.
There's also a certain element here that relates to Mars being retrograde in Leo, that we are revisiting our need for constant attention and interaction on the physical plane, to see if and how it truly benefits our progress.
Having just looked up Oprah's astrological chart, I am finding confirmation for what I was going to write next -- that these next few weeks may be an especially important time for those of us with Pluto in late degrees of Leo in our charts. (In general, this covers people born between late 1953 and mid-1957.) Oprah was born in early 1954, so fits in this category as well.
The influence of the Neptune-Chiron-Jupiter alignment in Aquarius has been with us since spring of 2009. This alignment has been a major player in the spiritual awakening and healing that has been occurring over the past year. Jupiter has now moved into Pisces, leaving Neptune and Chiron to complete the process begun by the three.
The coming month may be an important time for those of us who are children of the mid-1950s, since Neptune and Chiron are now opposing the Pluto in our birth charts. As Oprah has demonstrated, we may find opportunities to become stronger instruments of healing and empowerment through the causes that we choose to champion now. And, we will learn how much more powerful it is to lead by example, rather than by decree.
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