By Mary Plumb | August 6, 2012
I’ve been thinking about people who have planets or angles at 8°- 9° degrees (or earlier) of the cardinal signs. I wanted to see what kinds of experiences some have had as we’ve made it through the first exact portal of the Uranus-Pluto square. (This was precise on June 24 with Uranus at 8°23’ Aries, and Pluto retrograde at 8°23’ Capricorn.)
World events are awesome for astrologers to witness. (1) The unfolding display of these majestic aspects will continue for years and there are many layers to their meaning. (2)
As I wrote in an earlier blog, Richard Tarnas made the association between the planet Uranus and the Titan, Prometheus, in his book, Prometheus the Awakener (1995). I wrote: “A personal revolution is at hand for each one of us as Prometheus steals fire from the gods now through the sign Aries, the sign of individuation and singularity. It will feel scary; we are at the limit of convention and security in some significant way inside ourselves.”
If Uranus holds a deep memory of our ability to steal fire from the gods and Pluto’s helmet of invisibility alludes to the mystery of his power, we know that unusual inner experiences are a theme of the time. Being startlingly present to the irrevocable, unrelenting pressure of transformation, we are entering a landscape that may feel intimidating, yet carry the experience of awe as well.
I sometimes experience Uranus as what is over the edge and just out of view. Pluto takes us into murky places: both dark and damp swamps of clogged waterways, and the hidden tunnels of wealth ready to be mined in our own interior lives. (I’ve heard about two brothers who recently became obsessed with gold panning in the Colorado mountains; this might be a very good activity for some.)
Pluto always takes us further in or further back, no matter how much ‘work’ we have done, how many awakenings or insights we have had. This combination of energies is upon us all — both beginning travelers, (those newly being drawn to the unseen worlds), and those who’ve been focused for years on discovering life’s deeper layers (perhaps accompanied by years of trauma or healing, or therapy or spiritual practice) — and is a deeper call to authenticity.
The conditions and placements of the planets in our individual charts are needed for specific advice, of course, but here are a few general suggestions for dealing with what the planets might bring. For some people, it might be useful to enhance natal Saturn — both for stability, and to encourage an appropriately contemplative state of mind if inner/outer conditions are rocky and feeling out of control. Depending on the individual constitution and situation, engaging natal Mars — with its ability to recognize when action needs to be taken — can be a good strategy. With my natal Moon in Cancer, my timeless method is creating a safe space for rest and retreat when the demands of the outer planets, that which we are sharing with the greater collective, become overwhelming or overbearing.
Here are a few personal stories.
I know someone with 9° of the cardinal signs on all of the angles; Libra is on the Ascendant. Transiting Uranus at the Descendant has brought a new theme into his longtime domestic partnership; both people are openly exploring the idea of including someone else in their intimate lives. (So far, all appears to be going well in this somewhat unconventional arrangement.) He is also in a hugely successful period in his work life with his business growing very quickly into international markets. As transiting Pluto is on the nadir, his youngest child is about to depart for college and he is surprised at how anxious he feels about this upcoming, inevitable event.
Someone I know, who is well into what has been a dramatic series of events in the midlife transits years (i.e., already past Pluto square Pluto and Neptune square Neptune), has natal Uranus at 8° Libra. With the first Uranus-Pluto square, he spoke of a newly discovered ability to “witness” himself, i.e., to observe. This is a great potential of Uranus – the detachment required to view our lives and conditions. With this first opposition to natal Uranus, he has spoken of having a wider view and a new understanding of “human nature.”
My friend has 2° Libra rising with 2° Cancer/Capricorn on the IC/MC axis, i.e., 2° of the cardinal signs on each angle. In the last few years everything in her life has changed: she moved to a different state, and has a different job that brought a completely different life style and social milieu. She has natal vertex at 8° Aries in the 7th house. With Uranus having precisely crossed the point of “fateful encounters,” her former partner has come back into her life. My friend, who has had Uranus and Pluto transiting her angles since 2009, has moved through their life-altering energies successfully. She is stable in her inner life; her former partner is struggling mightily with the current transits. It is an emotionally challenging situation, but so far, she has been able to bear witness or hold space for his acutely turbulent state of mind.
Another friend has natal Mars at 8° Libra (ruler of the Aries Midheaven) in the 4th house. She has Cancer rising and she told me that her “tendency to nest” has been uprooted. She said she’s rediscovered the “gypsy” part of her nature. She left an apartment she’s been in for years and is literally moving around a lot in paid caretaking situations. She’s been in all kinds of different environments — palatial and simple — and she said it’s been “creative and unconventional” (some of her friends think she’s gone off the deep end) and a “very liberating experience.” This friend is a long time Buddhist practitioner so the experience of liberation is especially meaningful to her.
For easy reference, here are the dates of the Uranus-Pluto squares:
June 24, 2012: Uranus at 8°23’ Aries and Pluto rx at 8°23’ Capricorn
September 19, 2012: Uranus rx at 6°57’ Aries and Pluto at 6°57’ Capricorn
May 20, 2013: Uranus at 11°14’ Aries and Pluto rx at 11°14’ Capricorn
November 1, 2013: Uranus rx at 9°25’ Aries and Pluto at 9°25’ Capricorn
April 21, 2014: Uranus at 13°34 Aries and Pluto rx at 13°34’ Capricorn
December 14, 2014: Uranus rx at 12°35’ Aries and Pluto at 12°35’ Capricorn
March 17, 2015: Uranus at 15°18’ Aries and Pluto at 15°18’ Capricorn – both planets are now direct for the first, and only, of their partile squares
I’m eager to hear what’s going on in your worlds!
(1) I’ve been using that word (awesome) a lot lately. Although I know it is an 80s (90s?) verbal idiom, I was heartened by this short video about The Biological Advantage of Being Awestruck.