Written by Pam Younghans
Our mother Earth, like all of us on this journey of awakening, is going through powerful shifts. Strong earthquakes, reawakened volcanic activity, and unusual weather patterns are being experienced around our globe, and most likely will continue as we work with the energies of the ongoing Pluto-Saturn square throughout the next six months.
I am reminded of a quote I heard by Barbara Marx Hubbard, to the effect that "if we were experiencing labor and didn't know we were having a baby, we'd think we were dying." It may help to remember those words as life takes its twists and turns in the weeks ahead, and to keep the awareness that there is a much larger growth process underway than many may realize.
This past week, Mercury interacted with the Pluto-Saturn square, bringing into our awareness the need to take charge and become more empowered in some area of our lives. That is at least one of the primary purposes of this influence -- not to overwhelm us with issues that need to be resolved or crises that need to be handled, but to help us see where we have given our power and authority away and allowed fear or inertia to take over.
There's no getting around the fact that we are being faced with challenges now -- that is, after all, one of the definitions of a "square" aspect (which forms when two planets are 90 degrees apart on the 360-degree zodiac wheel). Any square aspect requires us to deal with an obstacle in our path. It tests whether or not we are able to act responsibly, which can be defined as "the ability to respond as needed."
Many astrologers have written that a square can be seen as either a stumbling block or a stepping stone, depending on how we choose to view and utilize it. I think of a square aspect not just as a stepping stone, but as an opportunity to take a major step upward, to elevate ourselves in some way.
Imagine you're walking along, and come to what appears to be a solid wall in front of you. But then, as you take a moment to get a better view, you see that it is actually a huge stair step directly in your path.
You realize that you cannot just keep walking easily as you were, since that would mean endlessly knocking your head against the front of the step. And to turn back would mean giving up on this important journey, when there is so much that you still want to experience that lies ahead.
In deciding to meet this challenge, you accept that there is extra effort required, both in figuring out how to get up that tall step, and then in actually climbing it. But, once you've gotten to the top, you're at a whole new level of experience. You have a new, higher perspective and a much better view of the landscape ahead of you. And, you've also gained in personal strength and self-respect, having risen to the challenge that was presented.
This week, the Sun will be working directly with the energies of the Pluto-Saturn square. The opposition to Saturn comes first, and is exact later this evening (Sunday, March 21).
Any aspect that involves Saturn can be a bit sobering, and sometimes even feel depressing, as we are looking directly at the stone wall and perhaps are not yet aware that there is a way to conquer this obstacle. Saturn is the realist, the "Dr. Phil" of the planets, requiring that we see where we are concrete terms. Saturn asks, "How's that working for you?" and our answer usually is "Not very well."
But that's not the end of the story. Once we have gotten past the reality-check phase, we can start to get our bearings and see what is possible, given some effort on our part. This is when we can use the strength and backbone that Saturn also represents, and come up with realistic solutions to the problems that have arisen. The Saturn-Mars sextile on Monday should help us move into this next action phase.
The Sun then forms a square aspect with Pluto on Thursday, and we are challenged to find the courage needed to dismantle structures -- both internal and external -- that have been limiting progress toward our higher goals. There is empowerment that comes with Pluto aspects, but we usually must be willing to let go of lower-vibrational responses and attitudes on our way to that new level of personal power.
Pluto is increasing in his effect now, as he slows his pace in preparation for going retrograde (backward) on April 6. His interaction with the Sun this Thursday may highlight specific issues and areas that are important for us to work on, individually and communally, both now and in the months ahead.
And as always with Pluto aspects, we are reminded that our ultimate power lies in our ability to make choices -- choices in how we act, how we re-act, and whether we decide to give in to fear or instead choose to access the perspective and core knowing of who we really are.
NorthPoint Astrology Blog: Be sure to visit my blog during the week for additional comments and perspectives at http://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/.