By Mary Plumb | February 1, 2010
In this past week, we saw the Full Moon conjunct Mars and the partile square between Saturn and Pluto.
Perhaps I’m responding to the post-lunation disseminating phase in this week’s blog, with my somewhat random collection of thoughts and observations.
On Friday the 29th, it was grand to see President Obama respond to Mars’ transit to his Sun (12°33’ Leo), as the biggest, brightest Full Moon of the year (10°15’ Leo) was nearly exact. The Sun represents the King, the ruler, and with Mars retrograde in that sign, all questions of rulership and authority are being re-examined closely. Mr. Obama seemed both effortless and in command of himself in the room full of his Republican House adversaries. It was a riveting political performance and a fine display of Mars in Leo.
The Saturn-Pluto square is another layer of the story of the times. External manifestations are fascinating to observe as the challenge for power and control signified by these two planets continues to unfold. The Supreme Court decision on January 21st, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, was one quite graphic (and profoundly disheartening to many) display of these planets in action.
I appreciate and applaud those astrologers who have commented on the case. (See Claudia Dikinis for one fine assessment.)
Although mundane astrology is an interest of mine, I wasn’t quite up to looking at that yet and was drawn in another direction.
A minister of my acquaintance gave a sermon that I attended on Sunday. Although I am not part of her congregation, I know her to be in touch with the archetypal worlds, and with the second Saturn-Pluto square perfecting in the afternoon, I was curious to hear what themes would inform her sermon. With Saturn in Libra, we know that all matters of how we experience others are in focus, and the Sunday sermon was about trust and relationships.
Countless surveys and research show that people on their deathbeds commonly say that it is the people in their lives who have brought them the greatest meaning. Yet we know this can take us into a fraught and complex web. (Although hopefully not always as dire as Sartre’s famous statement: “Hell is other people.”) (1)
The minister said that relationship conundrums can benefit from our willingness to see ourselves more clearly, and that relationship struggles are not as solid as we think. One kind thought, one gentle inquiry towards the other (whom we are thinking of as the cause of all our troubles) might go a long way to bridging the gap between ourselves and others. With the pressure and insistence of the square aspect, if we walk along our edge and resist our instinct to seclude and withdraw, we may make a very creative move.
She also gave some guidelines for managing relationships, and all of them resonate for me with Saturn and Pluto. First, take responsibility for whatever we are irritated by in other people, i.e., self-responsibility. We can also reduce our self-importance (try whilst in the midst of an argument with a friend or intimate!) and act with impeccability. Impeccability is not about being perfect, but about being awake to recognize when an action or decision is needed.
Although Mars retrograde may especially incline us to see what others are doing wrong (is it just the people around me who are behaving badly?), it is best, of course, to resist the urge to just have a fight and get it over with, and consider our own actions and motivations. Blaming others and complaining about our circumstances may in fact be a diversion or distraction from what we really need to be doing.
In terms of propitiating the gods and working with the internal dynamics articulated by the Saturn-Pluto square, we are impelled to stay at the very edge of our awareness, recognize painful and recalcitrant truths about our own conditioning and beliefs, and be open to experiencing what may be the most challenging step possible — that of letting go (i.e., of some one, some thing, some thought). Staying true to the inner heat generated by this square may indeed be the most honest, the most magical, the most transformative way forward.
I’ve been thinking about Neptune, too. Transiting Neptune has been at its discovery degree, 25°53’ Aquarius, for the last year. (Neptune was discovered on September 23, 1846 as it stationed retrograde and conjoined Saturn in the sky.) This is also very close to the U.S. Sibly chart Moon (27°10’ Aquarius) and the president’s South Node (27°18’ Aquarius). This transit perfects for the first time in mid-March.
Although I can’t resist the thought that maybe the entire U.S. public is in some kind of trance or spell, I also want to give Neptune the infinite respect it is due. I trust that the confusion or veil often brought by this planet is also a balm to the soul, and being offered for good use. In deference to Neptune’s call to the higher octave — currently infused with Chiron’s wise teaching from out-of-ordinary-time — I don’t know how anyone is keeping spirits up these days without a regular homage to Neptune. We can see countless ways all around us. People are dancing, moving their bodies, making music, writing poetry, and singing their hearts out; others are weeping with sorrow and pouring money, prayers, and supplies to Haiti.
In its connection to the invisible worlds, Neptune also beckons a more subtle awareness of the breath. The breath is our constant companion and that which will stay with us until we leave this world. As a wise yogi said recently, the breath connects us to the life force, which is always positive.
Have a good week everyone!