We are now officially in the midst of a great spiritual shift. You don’t have to be sensitive or intuitive to feel the tension in the air and to be aware of the earthquakes of change occurring. This 4 year period from 2010 to 2014 is a watershed that we will look back on as the ending of one age and the beginning of a new one. The astrological energy underpinning this great shift is a square between Pluto and Uranus, two of the transpersonal or spiritual planets, so we can see this time as a great opportunity for spiritual initiation. The beginning of this particular dance between these heavy hitting planets was the period from 1964-1968 when they were conjoined. Stories of big shifts are filling the news again, echoing the same grand themes of social unrest and radical transformation that characterized the 60’s. Two stories that jump out at the moment are the financial crisis and the riots in London. Our extended debt limit debate has deepened our awareness of the unsustainability of our global monetary Ponzi scheme. As the reality of the magnitude of our collective financial issues sinks in, the foundations of our sense of safety and security are being challenged. The explosive frustrations of the disenfranchised souls sending shock waves and flames through London right now are the worst manifestations of this collective insecurity, and the rage and indignation behind them is eerily parallel to the energy that fueled the race riots of the 60’s.
The moment of a planet’s discovery has showed interesting parallels with its observed character. It’s almost as if we awaken to a level of consciousness, and then we see the manifestation in our discovery of a new planet like that old saying, “when the student is ready the teacher appears”. Uranus came into our conscious awareness in 1781, in the middle of the American Revolution, and it has become associated with the same wild lightning strikes of energy that characterized our fight for freedom and equality. One of my favorite books about Uranus is Prometheus the Awakener, by Rick Tarnas. In it, Rick makes a case that the mythological archetype that most fits the energy of Uranus is not the mythological Uranus, but actually Prometheus, the liberating figure who stole fire from Zeus and brought it to the mortals. Uranus is very much associated with technological progress and innovation and we can think of the fire that Prometheus brings as the many god-like technologies that we now enjoy that have accelerated our individual empowerment.
During this current square, Uranus is in the sign of Aries, the same brightly burning fire sign it was in when it was discovered. Aries is the most individualistic of the signs, so it is not surprising that we are seeing an impulse for individual freedom sweeping the globe that won’t take no for an answer and that isn’t afraid to use force to achieve its goals. Aries is ruled by Mars, the red planet and the Roman God of war, and tends to embody energetically in the 1st chakra. The 1st chakra is the seat of our most primal animal instinct to survive, and in this climate of limited resources and high survival concern, sudden flare ups of animalistic conflict are possible. The highest octave of this energy though is the archetype of the spiritual warrior, and it is also possible at this time for us to make a quantum leap beyond our animal past. If we can harness Uranus’ lightning bursts of insight, and find ways to ground and integrate its new ideas, this is a time when we can divinize the dense 1st chakra desire energy that causes us so much separation and suffering. This can be a time where we begin to nurture the starry seeds of the new Age of Aquarius and start growing an enlightened society that is closer to the ideals of our souls. At this time, we can take the experiment in democracy and freedom that began during Uranus’ discovery to the next level. We can deepen it’s ideals of freedom and equality embodying them all the way into physical, building that rainbow bridge of unity consciousness that can span the gap between the spiritual and material worlds.
Pluto, the other major player in this drama, came into our consciousness in 1930. Interestingly, this was the last period when Pluto and Uranus were square to each other. So we can also look to the era of the Great Depression to see what themes and energies will be resurging now. Pluto rules Scorpio and has a very different character than Uranus. Pluto was named for the Roman god of the Underworld and is associated with Death, Rebirth and the archetype of the Shadow, both personal and collective. It was most likely happy to be cast into the shadows and relegated to dwarf planet status in 2006. A helmet of invisibility was one of the items of power that Hades possessed and he prefers to do his transformative work in secret. Power and the Will to Power are key concepts for Pluto, and during the stress and uncertainty of the Great Depression we saw the worldwide rise of Plutocracies. Power was consolidated into more and more deadly forms until it reached a peak in World War II with the development of Plutonium, the ultimate form of deathly power. Psychologically, Pluto is associated with our deep unconscious impulses. They can be successfully suppressed and repressed for a while but eventually the pressure will overwhelm our defenses and they will erupt suddenly into our consciousness in a volcanic process than can be very destructive. If we don’t own our own power and our own shadows we will either surrender it to others or project it out onto them, both of which lead to great frustration. The best way to deal with the intense energies of Pluto is to bring them into the light of conscious awareness where their raw energy can be embraced and transformed and channeled into useful transformation.
During the current square, Pluto is in the sign of Capricorn. Capricorn is an earth sign associated with tradition, rules, authority, patriarchs, corporations, and the military. So it is not surprising that as Pluto moves through Capricorn, shadowy abuses of power within many formerly trusted structures has been coming to light. Both Pluto and Capricorn desire power, control, and secrecy, and neither are fond of the diminishing control of information epitomized by Wikileaks. The equalization of power that can come from the world wide web and it’s Freedom of Information is one of the gifts of Uranus in Aries. But Uranus was punished dearly for his democratizing tendencies by Zeus, who chained him to rock where eagles ate out his liver every day. So the lowest octave of this Pluto transit could be a resistance to the liberating energies of Uranus from the old guard forces that personally benefit from the world being in a perpetual state of death, debt, and mahem. But we don’t have to keep regurgitating these old dichotomies and replaying those old dramas. We can learn from the past and stop demonizing others, and integrate a deeper layer of our shadows into the light. The highest octave of Pluto is a kind of soul power that can happily work with Uranus to bring loving destruction to any forms that no longer serve us. Pluto nurtures wholeness through the energy of the dark goddess Kali Ma who lovingly chops off the heads of any egoic energies that are keep us from living fully in spirit. This death and decay makes for fertile compost and clears the way for new life to grow. Capricorn is associated with the bones, and this Pluto transit is a time when any of the old bones of our social contract that are weak and causing us suffering can crumble to dust. The symbol for the highest octave of Pluto and Scorpio is the Pheonix, and if we can die into this surge of Plutonian energy, we can rise from the ashes more alive and whole than we have ever been.
This cosmic shift is a great opportunity for us all to evolve. We are all being called now by Uranus and Pluto to embody a higher level of consciousness. There are times when we can glide through life relatively disconnected from the world of spirit, in blissful ignorance of the bigger picture. But this is not one of those times. There is no denying the great waves of change sweeping across the globe at this moment, our only choice is how well we go with the flow and ride them. And if we can learn to merge with these energies and surf, we can enjoy the wildest rides our life.