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Posted January 4, 2007

Planetary Currents for 2007
by Mary Plumb

Jupiter, traveling in its sign of dignity in Sagittarius, fills 2007 with the call to take the high road at every crossing, to feel the wind and the rain and notice the clouds and the paths of the birds. The early Greeks saw the weather and celestial phenomena as demonstrations of the invisible, the divine presence, which later became Zeus, the king of the gods. Zeus is the equivalent of the Roman god Jupiter; the Greeks called the planet Jupiter the "star of Zeus."

Jupiter, of course, has long been known as "the greater benefic" and, in traditional astrology, is thought to be at its best while in Sagittarius or Pisces, the signs it rules. According to a 15th-century French text, The Kalendar and Compost of Shepherds (as quoted in Louis MacNeice's out-of-print book, Astrology): "... this noble planet is very pure and clear of nature, and not very hot, but he is all virtues. And there are fixed in Jupiter two noble signs of love; the one is Pisces and the other is Sagittary, signs of no evil nor unhappiness. This planet may do no evil; he is best of all the other seven. He keeps the liver of man and maintains it joyously."[1] I realize this may sound simplistic to modern astrologers, but I wanted to capture something of the idealized state of the planet in respect to its time now in Sagittarius.

It is also telling, with regard to the idea of Jupiter's beneficence, that astronomers believe the planet protects the Earth by using its massive gravity to capture comets and asteroids in our solar system that might otherwise threaten life on Earth.

Looking at the movement of the planets in 2007, the first major aspect occurs on January 22, when Jupiter squares Uranus (both in direct motion) at 12° 26' Sagittarius-Pisces. (See chart) This is the first of three closing squares of the Jupiter-Uranus cycle in 2007. (This cycle began with their conjunction in February 1997 at 6° Aquarius.)

Uranus in Pisces (2003-2011) symbolizes, in part, the quickening or awakening of the most subtle or delicate spheres of human consciousness. Pisces expands in all directions, and Uranus is innovative. People who are sensitive to invisible currents become more so, and revolutionary technologies and methods for healing continue to develop in astounding ways.

One idea that Jupiter square Uranus suggests is that possibilities can change or multiply in the blink of an eye. We may be truly and pleasantly surprised at many things now. Gestures of tolerance or generosity on a grand scale may be apparent in the world. A heightened awareness of greater possibilities for human beings may bring remarkable new technologies or an experiment with a radical way of living. Jupiter is stately in Sagittarius, and Uranus in Pisces is receptive to the grand aims of Jupiter; although we may feel discombobulated by the urgent nature of events, we may have an underlying sense that someone is in command.

The next major pairing of planets is Saturn opposite Neptune on February 28 (20° 15' Leo-Aquarius). The planets of form and formlessness make this an intricately complex and often challenging combination of archetypes.

Over and over, through the months of this aspect's strongest influence (August 2006 through June 2007), we think we know where we stand and what we are doing - only to be swallowed by the oceanic realms again and dissolved into a boundaryless state where conditions are completely obscured. The collective despair about the war in Iraq and a sense of impending crisis regarding our dwindling natural resources are examples of this planetary matchup, as well as the increasing capability of the media to seduce and distract us from what is too painful to examine.

I think there's a hint of this aspect in Time magazine's selection of "You" as "Person of the Year." No one stands out, and we are all part of an amorphous sameness. Saturn, who asks for distinction, tries to see eye-to-eye with the unknowable Neptune at this opposition. At best, the planets respectfully bow to one another from across the zodiac.

Neptune brings both enchantment and confusion; Saturn means both reality and defensive psychological structures. If these planets bridge the gap, the aspect can imply that we sense permeability in our fixed ideas of self or that we hold to a steadfast commitment in our longing for the ineffable. Maybe there really is no doorway into a secure world, except for the safety hatches we find within our own souls. This planetary pairing certainly seems to favor those who have found a way to tune into Neptune's longing and neediness and apply it somehow or give it shape. Artistic expression may be useful for managing the despair, discouragement, or excessive fear this aspect can bring: Make music, sing, dance, or pray your heart out. Saturn's grace can hold moments of inner stillness, and Neptune can gradually and subtly soften the edges of separation.

Since the exact opposition is on February 28, the Saturn-Neptune theme will continue for the next several days, especially during the first of March's two eclipses. On March 3, a total lunar eclipse at 13° 00' Virgo-Pisces has Uranus (14° 33' Pisces) conjunct the Sun and opposite the Moon. (A total eclipse is possible when the Full Moon is within five degrees of one of the lunar nodes.)

The giant planet Jupiter, approaching its retrograde station on April 5, makes its first trine to Saturn (19° 09' Sagittarius-Leo) on March 16. This is a confident combination, suggesting that the extroversion and enthusiasm of the fire signs will be in balance and keenly perceptive. More obviously practical long-term solutions could be easier to find in 2008, when Jupiter and Saturn form three trines in earth signs. For now, it may be easy to use fire's brightness to see a way out of an entangled situation and to trust our capacity to keep moving steadily onward in all our personal efforts.

The Jupiter-Saturn trine on March 16 suggests a stabilizing influence that may be drawn upon during the month's two eclipses - especially the solar eclipse on March 18 at 28° 07' Pisces, which is square Pluto. Since the eclipse falls on the degree of Pluto's March 31 retrograde station (28° 58'), Pluto is especially resolute in its intention to regenerate everything. The days surrounding this eclipse may be emotionally challenging for many; we end the astrological year with Pluto commanding us to keep death and rebirth always in sight. We may be grappling to hold onto whatever we can salvage now, so remembering to be kind whenever possible may be a helpful response to the passion of this eclipse.

Both Jupiter and Saturn change direction in April. Jupiter stations retrograde on April 5 at 19° 47' Sagittarius, and Saturn turns direct on April 19 at 18° 09' Leo. The two planets are now in phase for their second trine, which happens on May 6 at 18° 24'. (Jupiter moves back over the very active middle degrees of Sagittarius to 9° 56', where it stations direct on August 6.) On May 10, Jupiter also makes its second square to Uranus (17° 57' Sagittarius-Pisces), suggesting that the first half of May will be exciting - yet will give us a chance to transform instability and upheaval into heroic or courageous acts.

The middle degrees of the mutable signs have been prominent since summer 2006, when Uranus stationed retrograde at 15° Pisces - also the degree of the September lunar eclipse that year. On June 23, 2007, Uranus, now at 18° 42' Pisces, stations retrograde again and, like Jupiter, retreats back over the middle degrees of the mutable signs. Uranus then turns direct on November 24 at 14° 46' Pisces.

Although the eclipses and Uranus stations show obvious stresses to horoscopes with planets or angles at 12° -19° Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces, other signs are included in the story as well. The very late degrees of the cardinal signs and the earliest degrees of the fixed signs are also tied (by 45° or 135° aspects) to this increased celestial activity in the middle degrees of the mutable signs.

At long last, the final Saturn-Neptune opposition happens on June 25 (21° 47' Leo-Aquarius). (See chart) Neptune is now retrograde, after stationing on May 24 at 22° 02' Aquarius. Both planets tend to have lingering effects, but with this last exact opposition, we could speculate that humanity may have run its course with this particular chapter of reality versus dream, form versus formlessness. We are tuned into our personal muse wherever we can hear her, and we're beginning to sense the fog lifting or a once-persistent anxiety lessening.

As we know, Pluto entered Sagittarius in January 1995. In 1996-97, Saturn (at 2° - 6° Aries) formed three trines to Pluto in early Sagittarius. Then, Saturn opposed Pluto during the fateful events of 2001. Psychologically attuned astrologers are aware that a tendency for projection occurs with the opposition aspect. Much of the world seems to be in various stages of heartbreak or weariness from these events, when George W. Bush, in fact, proclaimed: "You're either with us or against us."

Now, as Pluto prepares to leave Sagittarius, there is just one trine from Saturn at 26° 34' Leo on August 6 - one perfect celestial moment that effortlessly brings together the principles of these two planets. Multilayered ideas and possibilities can be evoked by this trine. Perhaps, in a basic way, Saturn's propensity for self-denial and shame or guilt can now be gracefully reintegrated with Pluto's acknowledgement of the unconscious depths within each of us. Neither Saturn nor Pluto, the God of the Underworld and symbol of the unconscious, need be projected or shamed, but accepted and embraced. This aspect suggests peaceful amends and that a reward for deep, difficult, and compelling inner work is at hand. Jupiter is strong now, too, since it stations direct on the same day, August 6. (As mentioned above, the trine from Saturn in Aries accompanied Pluto's entry into Sagittarius in 1996 and 1997. This Saturn-Pluto trine, in the late degrees, occurs just once in 2007 and will not recur until 2031 in Gemini-Aquarius.)

Although the aspect is partile just once, both Saturn and Pluto were in the 25th degree of Sagittarius for a few days in early November 2006 (when Jupiter was still in Scorpio). Saturn was within one degree of perfecting the trine, when it hesitated, turned retrograde, and backed away from completely sealing the deal with Pluto. We have had time on our side - time to go further with the work of befriending the shadows and fears within us. In August 2007, as the trine perfects, Jupiter is in Sagittarius as a protective witness.

On August 28, there is a total lunar eclipse at 4° 46' Pisces-Virgo. A lunar eclipse, when the Earth passes between the Moon and the Sun, promises dramatic conditions specific to its placement in a horoscope. Instincts about who we are close to and who is leaving our lives may be very strong with this lunar eclipse; we may feel drawn to some people and pull away from others. With Mercury in Virgo exactly opposite Uranus at this eclipse, a commonsense analysis of our immediate situation may not ring true, as the tilted planet Uranus has something unusual to say.

Saturn has been in Leo since July 2005 and will remain in that sign for much of 2007. This combination of planet and sign suggests that an uncomfortable pressure has been placed on all matters of the heart and on our sense of personal identity and ego. Saturn, at best, has not dimmed the light of the Sun (ruler of Leo) but has brought a new ground of maturity and wisdom to the inner life. On September 2, Saturn enters Virgo, where it will stay until late October 2009. As Saturn's gifts of stillness and perseverance manifest in an earth sign, we may begin to get inklings of how to function with more grace and simplicity. During Saturn's time in Virgo, we will have many opportunities to recognize what is essential and what allows us to say "yes" to whatever life asks of us.

Pluto stations direct on September 7 at 26° 18' Sagittarius. There is a solar eclipse on September 11 at 18° 25' Virgo. Like the lunar eclipses in September 2006 and March 2007, this eclipse is strongly colored by Uranus - now at 16° 38' Pisces - a planet whose tendency is to startle. (Uranus stationed retrograde in June at 18° 42' Pisces and goes direct on November 24 at 14° 46' Pisces.) Mars in Gemini squares the eclipse, making for a very restless, if not nervous, energy. This is not a time for rigidity; if we can be flexible and calm, we will more easily use the multiple resources at hand.

Jupiter makes its final square to Uranus (now retrograde) on October 9 at 15° 35' Sagittarius-Pisces. Again, the urge to innovate on a large scale is pervasive and inviting. Although the square aspect indicates tension - or at least brings the planets' dynamics to our attention - Uranus's placement in Pisces could symbolize its receptivity to Jupiter's guidance and natural authority.

On October 29, there is a one-time sextile between Jupiter and Neptune at 19° 15' Sagittarius and Aquarius, respectively. (See chart)The 60° aspect between these two planets, always linking harmonious elements, does not occur very often in the sky. Jupiter and Neptune were brothers in Greek mythology - guardians of the heavens (Zeus) and the oceans (Poseidon). The last time we experienced a Jupiter-Neptune sextile was in 1999, with Jupiter in Aries and Neptune in Aquarius. We will not see this gentle opportunity again until 2011, when Jupiter in Taurus will make one sextile to Neptune in Pisces.

Jupiter in its own sign of Sagittarius is in dignity, of course, yet Neptune is strong now, too, as it turns direct on October 31 (at 19° 15' Aquarius). These planets are resonating easily with one another and can symbolize a personal ethical stance or worldview that is tolerant, inclusive, and inspired.

The last major aspect of 2007 is a dramatic one: Jupiter's one-time conjunction with Pluto on December 11 at 28° 24' Sagittarius. (See chart) (As I mentioned above, this is the degree of Pluto's retrograde station of March 31.)

Zeus, the king of the gods, was all-powerful and all-knowing. In the ancient world, one of his many roles was to bear witness and be the keeper of oaths and promises; if he were present, oaths were bound to be kept. Also, Zeus was often kindly disposed to humanity and offered forgiveness and pardon to mankind.

Just before changing sign, Pluto has been waiting for Jupiter to catch up in zodiacal longitude. Now, at their conjunction, they work in consort in these final degrees of Sagittarius. We've had time to take a correct stance and be poised in body and mind before shooting this arrow toward our highest and furthest aspirations. The arrow will fly, and aided by Jupiter's capacity to pardon and forgive, a truly magnificent promise for the future may be evoked.

Alas, Pluto and Jupiter in Sagittarius are prone to excess and hubris, which was the only sin that was known in the Greek world. Awareness of our limits will develop naturally as we are brought awkwardly down to earth with Jupiter's ingress into Capricorn on December 18. Also, Saturn stations retrograde on December 19 at 8° 34' Virgo, ending the year with both the headiness of inspiration and the earnestness to keep on going through thick and thin. Humility [2] may be more necessary and more profoundly felt when Pluto enters Capricorn in January 2008 - but that's another year and another story.

Reference and Note

[1] Louis MacNeice, Astrology, Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1964, pp. 58-59.

[2] I wish to thank my always ebullient Jupiterian friend, Stefan Windroth, for pointing out to me that the root hum (contained in "human" and "humble") is derived from the Latin humilis, meaning "low" (from humus, earth), which is etymologically akin to the Greek chthon, meaning "earth," and chamai, meaning "ground."

(Reference: Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/humble)

© 2007 Mary Plumb - all rights reserved

Mary Plumb has been studying astrology since the 60s. She has practiced as an astrological counselor since 1985 and has been the Book Review and Web Editor for The Mountain Astrologer magazine since 1993. She has written numerous articles for TMA over the years. Mary has taught a variety of astrological topics to all levels of astrology students - including, most recently, a series of Astrology Salons (2001-2003); annual talks at the Southern Oregon Chapter of NCGR in Ashland; and, in November 2005, the Black Moon Lilith and the Progressed Moon Cycle at the Oregon Astrological Association in Portland, Oregon. She also gave the keynote address in Ashland at the NCGR Regional Conference in November 2004. She is available for consultations, in person in Ashland or via phone: 541.488.3048. You can read her blog at www.maryplumb.com, or contact her via e-mail at: mary@maryplumb.com

© 2007 The Mountain Astrologer. All rights reserved.