Analyzing astrological archetypes can get so complex that it’s always fun to see them expressed literally. In Star Trek Into Darkness, the newest installment of the sci-fi franchise, we get hit over the head with the Uranus-Pluto square symbolism in the first few scenes. In astro-speak, right now we're in the middle of a long cycle in which Uranus is in the sign of Aries, and Pluto is in Capricorn, and they are in a tense relationship with each other called a square. At the opening of the film, we get to see Spock standing in the middle of a sea of red, in the heart of an active volcano that’s minutes away from erupting. His task is to plunge some technological wizardry into the core of the volcano that will turn the lava solid thus preventing its eruption. His goal is to protect a race of indigenous people who are at a fragile beginning stage of their evolution.
With his sharply angular haircut and high-tech finery, Spock is one of our classic Uranian cultural icons – the genius outsider, whose ability to detach from his emotions is his most prominent asset. The image of him standing in the middle of the volcano vividly embodies the archetypal field of Uranus in Aries – with Spock evoking Uranus and the hot lava and danger of the situation evoking Aries. In its high expression, the Aries endgame is to develop courage. So we can find strong Aries signatures in the presence of heroic deeds.
Pluto also stands out in this image, as the elemental power of the volcano. And the entire situation evokes the transit of Uranus square Pluto, with the vulnerable life forms threatened by environmental chaos, and the struggle to save them.
From the end of February through most of March, we're graced by a ton of planets in Pisces. This is a relatively rare occurence, and some folks born during this time will have what we call a Pisces stellium. Not everyone agrees on the definition of a stellium, but the most liberal definition is having 3 or more planets close to each other in the same sign.
I've been noticing several signs of the deluge of Piscean influence, which is especially heightened now while the Sun is conjunct Neptune in Pisces. Neptune in Pisces with the sun just magnifies the Pisces field immensely. What does that mean? Here is a mini sample of things I just noticed this morning that will help shed some light on what Pisces is all about.
As if to taunt Jupiter’s freshly enthusiastic direct motion at the end of January 2013, shortly thereafter Saturn began its retrograde cycle on February 18th in the sign of Scorpio, where it stationed retrograde at 11°. Note that degree, because if you have any planets in 11° or within a degree or two on either side, this will be an important Saturn retrograde cycle for you. Saturn, the planet that signifies the structures and persistence we need in order to bring any endeavor solidly into fruition, is asking us to slow down, maybe change direction, and even to consider revising our plan. This Saturn retrograde cycle lasts until July 7, 2013 when it goes direct again. But many astrologers agree that the cycle isn’t really complete until Saturn finally clears the 11° point at which it stationed retrograde, which isn’t until October. So settle in for a cycle that will require some patience.
When Saturn stations retrograde on a sensitive point in our chart, we’re being asked to review our past plans in search of improvements that will help shore up our foundation. The topic at hand depends on the house Saturn is transiting in your chart, which planets it’s making contact with, and what your natal Saturn’s long-term goals and intentions are. In some cases, the Saturn retrograde process of evaluation makes us aware that our plan (or our job, our home, our relationship) doesn’t have the strength to weather the storm, and that it’s now time to let it come to an end. But we may not figure that out right away. That’s what the cycle is for – to help us get clarity about what’s causing this newly uncomfortable feeling of stuckness that will ultimately edge us into the process.
At the beginning of the cycle, since we may not be aware yet just exactly what is going to end (or begin) or when, we may find that we reach an impass of sorts, a blockage, an obstacle, or a take on a new responsibility. This experience will eventually provide the impetus for change and forward movement once the cycle is complete. In order to get the most out of the cycle, we need to get in sync with the process, which will require Saturnian patience and endurance.
Full Moon in Cancer 12/28/12 at 2:21 AM PST at 7º Cancer
On Friday December 28th, the full moon, at home in Cancer, the sign of the Great Mother, is matched in expression by its opposition from the Sun in Capricorn conjunct Pluto. Here we have the archetypal mother-nurturer, opposite the solar-expressive father. On this day, our need to find sustenance, warmth, and emotional comfort stands in sharp contrast to our solar principle – the ego’s desire to express, to do, and to accomplish; the powerful drive to be, to exist; the capital-letter expression of I AM. In Cancer the moon wants to support, to heal, to nurture. In Capricorn, the Sun wants to build something concrete, and importantly, to leave behind a legacy. The opposition suggests some tension between these forces. Maybe this nurturing element comes at an unwanted time. Or our drive to accomplish perhaps steamrolls our need for rest, comfort and support.
While browsing the web for some Great Mother imagery, I was reminded of this painting of mother and child set in the Great Depression. This imagery sheds light on another angle of the archetypal polarity between Cancer and Capricorn - here, the nurturing mother seen in her stark strength and vulnerability, at odds with the unrelenting demands of culture, of ego. The mother here is seen struggling to nurture in the absence of adequate resources, thwarted at every turn, by society, and the world of "men." In this month's full moon, the conjunction from Pluto to the Sun adds to our picture that perhaps the Great Mother is facing an adversary who is too strong to "kill with kindness."
It appears that the revolution will in fact, be televised. Read on and I’ll explain…
The feeling of revolution is infusing our cultural experience these days. From the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement, from the Tea Party to the right-wing extremist calls for violent retaliation against perceived oppression, everywhere we look we can find angry folks who “just don’t want to take it anymore.” And astrologically, these folks are right on time. For we’re now in the thick of one of the major planetary cycles of our times – the Uranus square Pluto configuration.
When two planets are square – meaning they form a 90° angle with each other in the sky – they are enacting a dramatic play of dynamic developmental tension. We can readily see this drama unfold on the world stage. Perhaps no one has done a more thorough and eloquent job of tracking these kinds of cyclic resonance patterns than Richard Tarnas, in his groundbreaking work Cosmos & Psyche, from which I’m drawing inspiration here.
This week, an opportunity presented itself to look closely at the current field of planetary energies infusing our day-to-day lives by way of the new TV series Revolution, produced by J.J. Abrams, of Lost fame. In a laughably clear reference to the planetary energies of Uranus square Pluto, even this fledgling TV show’s title is aptly named. For revolution is indeed at hand. You might have noticed…
The planet responsible for this rebellious cultural brushstroke (which we’ll see coloring our lives for the next few years) is Uranus.
Associated with revolution and revolutionaries, Uranus is also the planet we link with radicals, freedom, emancipation, liberation, independence, innovation and change. Uranus is always out there in the sky doing its thing, just as all the planets are. But we’re seeing an increase in Uranian types of events in the world right now because of the tense relationship Uranus is currently in with Pluto. The planets’ constantly changing relationship to each other (measured by the geometric patterns they form, such as the 90° angle, or square) alerts us to times when some of them take center stage. For example, you may remember all of the excitement earlier this year around the Transit of Venus. Venus took center stage then, and now has stepped back into her usual routine, as Uranus and Pluto step back into the spotlight. Starting to make sense?