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The Uranus-Pluto Squares: Serving the Needs of an Epoch

“The essential task of astrologers should be to
interpret human life in terms of the needs of the epoch.”
– Alexander Ruperti (1)

In my last post on TMA’s blog, I predicted “the triggers for the Syrian crisis could very likely be transiting Sun, Mercury, and/or Mars to the charts of Obama and/or the July 4, 1776 charts. One time in particular to watch will be the period around September 12, as Mercury moves ahead of the Sun by 15 degrees. Hellenistic astrologers called this ‘phasis,’ or an appearance, as Mercury returns to visibility around this time.” (1) On September 9, just a few days before Mercury’s official appearance, a perspicacious remark by a news reporter (Mercury) changed everything about the direction of the Syrian crisis, turning it from an imminent military strike into a diplomatic discussion. (2) This change in direction happened as Mercury crossed 0° Libra, the autumnal equinox point, part of the World, or Mundane, axis. The tropical zodiac is based on the seasonal “turning points” of the equinoxes and solstices. “Tropical” probably derives from the Greek word tropos, meaning to spin or turn. Because the cardinal points mark the places of the turning of the seasons, world events often seem to turn in accord with planets crossing these foundational places in the tropical zodiac. For instance, the Fukushima nuclear disaster happened in March 2011 as Mercury crossed the vernal point (i.e., 0° Aries) in conjunction with transiting Uranus.

Chart: bi-wheel: U.S. chart, July 4, 1776, sunrise and transits for September 9, 2013
(The Uranus-Pluto conjunction at 16° Virgo on June 30, 1966 is also noted.)

In the transit chart for September 9 (outer wheel), we see the Sun crossing the degrees of the most recent Uranus-Pluto conjunctions, which were in 1965-1966 at 17°-18° Virgo. This signifies world leaders (Sun) being forced to confront some of the collective issues of our times (Uranus-Pluto). We can also see that transit Mercury is square natal Venus in the chart of the U.S. cast for July 4, 1776 (sunrise). Venus symbolizes diplomacy in a mundane chart and the U.S. natal Venus at 2° Cancer is also on the cardinal or World axis. Transit Venus is in her own sign of Libra, thereby transferring some of her natural dignity to Mercury upon his ingress into Libra (a concept known as co-presence in Hellenistic astrology). Although it is more than any of us may have expected, or even hoped for, the significations for this event are therefore clearly stated in the transits to the July 4, 1776 chart.

Also, since transiting Mercury is 13° ahead of the transit Sun, Mercury is approaching a crucial turning point in its cycle. In Hellenistic astrology, if a planet will make the 15° separation from the Sun within a week, it is considered to be in “phasis,” or making an appearance, and the chart is seen to be saturated with the significations of that planet. Both the July 4, 1776 chart for the U.S. and the chart for September 9, 2013 meet these requirements: Mercury was 15° from the Sun on July 1, 1776 and on September 12, 2013 – both less than seven days from the events of the Declaration of Independence and the turning point in the Syrian crisis. Therefore, Mercury has overwhelmed and saturated an issue that had previously been considered only a Mars matter (a military strike as the only option) with Mercury’s signification of communication.

This coming together via communication is also a signification of what I call the Mercury Elemental Year of Water. (4) Because all three Mercury retrogrades are happening in water signs this year, Mercury spends much more time in water signs than the other signs. One of the primary qualities of water is moistness and cohesiveness. This also happens to be true of the year 1776. Both years represented opportunities for messages and messengers to find new levels of cohesion.

Furthermore, with the most recent Uranus-Pluto conjunctions moving from Aries (1850-1851) to Virgo (1965-1966), we can see that the choice of communication over belligerence is clearly in alignment with the needs of our epoch. The day after Mercury reached 15° of separation from the Sun, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reached agreement on a framework for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons. (5)

I use a chart for Russia similar to the one used by Adrian Ross Duncan (6), for December 25, 1991 at 7:32 p.m., the moment the new flag was raised over the Kremlin in Moscow. (7) The following chart shows this horoscope for the “new” Russia on the inside; the July 4, 1776 chart for the U.S. next; the previous Uranus-Pluto conjunctions in the third ring, and finally, in the outer ring, the transits for September 14, 2013, the day of the proposal agreement.

Chart: Inner: “new” Russia; 2nd: U.S. July 4, 1776; 3rd: Uranus-Pluto conjunction; outer: transits for September 14, 2013.

We can see in the outer wheel that transiting Mercury in Libra, still in “phasis,” or in the process of making a dramatic appearance out from under the Sun’s beams, is also in a t-square with the epochal Uranus-Pluto squares. This transit t-square is also in alignment with the nodal axis of the horoscope for Russia. Russia’s nodes are located at 9° Capricorn/Cancer; Mercury in the transit chart for the agreement is at the South Bending of Russia’s natal nodal axis. Perhaps this means we are finally leaving behind the belligerence of the previous epoch — the period between the Uranus-Pluto conjunctions in Aries/1850-1851 and Virgo/1965-1966) — which saw two World Wars. Another hopeful sign that this may be true is the Venus/North Node/Saturn conjunction in Scorpio happening at the North Bending of the U.S. natal nodal axis at 6° Leo/Aquarius. Perhaps we’re seeing a defining moment of a new direction for the U.S. I have often said that alignments with/to the nodes represent opportunities for us to “renegotiate our sacred contracts.” (8)

Please, make no mistake, this author is far from naïve or unaware of the many hidden undercurrents and possibilities this alignment in Scorpio represents. There are numerous reasons to believe that this agreement may not be what it appears to be; the real issue here may have more to do with U.S. and Russian interests regarding oil and/or the dollar as the default currency for oil sales, aka the “petrodollar.” (9) Recently I have stated in at least two different public forums that I’m afraid political issues often serve as a veil that keeps us from seeing the incredibly simple and profound primary need of our epoch.

The Uranus-Pluto conjunctions in Virgo in 1965-1966 were the first conjunctions of this pair not to occur in fire signs for more than 700 years. (10) Shortly after this long reign of fire was ended by conjunctions in an earth sign, we humans saw the entire Earth from space for the first time. (11) The first photograph of a “full” Earth, known as the “Blue Marble Shot,” which became the inspiration for Earth Day, holds the secret to the most fundamental — dare I say elemental — need of our epoch. Virgo is the sign of proper stewardship of resources and of efficiency, order, and cleanliness being next to godliness. The gross excesses of the fiery Industrial Age must now be controlled and cleaned up if we are to have any hope of living harmoniously in alignment with the needs of our epoch and our planet.

In fact, when you look at the entire cycle of the Uranus-Pluto conjunctions through the four elements, an interesting economic pattern emerges. The last time the conjunctions occurred in earth signs (approximately 800 BC to 181 BC), as they are now, was when coinage of precious metals became the dominant currency. Copper, silver, and gold formed three tiers of coins for common, business, and state transactions. This system lasted through the air period that followed (from 181 BC to 582 AD). Many of the economic innovations that define our modern economy were introduced in the medieval Islamic world between the 7th and 12th centuries AD. (12) This period was defined by Uranus-Pluto conjunctions in water signs (from 582-1201 AD). It wasn’t until the 17th century that paper money entered Europe during the fire period (from 1343 until 1965).

After the earth conjunctions began in 1965, the U.S. abandoned the gold standard, which tied its currency to precious metal deposits, and instead negotiated an alliance via Saudi Arabia where the U.S. dollar would be tied to oil. Enter the petrodollar. Of course, this is in alignment with the July 4, 1776 horoscope for the U.S., which has Neptune at 22° Virgo conjunct the previous Uranus-Pluto conjunctions. Although an economy based on the burning of fossil fuels is not in alignment with the epoch defined by conjunctions in earth signs, this author is hopeful that the U.S. will continue to take the first baby steps under these waxing Uranus-Pluto squares away from the belligerence, waste, and pollution of the previous fire period toward a more sustainable future defined by alternative energies and the power of the pen over the sword. Perhaps then the fruits of the current cycle, which we are destined to reap at the waning squares (2064–2065), will be somewhat less bitter than those of the previous waning square cycle (1932-1934).

References & Recommended reading:

(1) Bell, Lynn, “A Conversation with Alexander Ruperti,”
TMA Dec/Jan 1997/98 #76 –pg 34.

(2) The Uranus Pluto Squares: A Crisis in Action

(3) Mediaite

(4) The Mercury Elemental Year 2013

(5) Washington Post

(6) World of Wisdom

(7) NY Times

(8) Tuning into the Subtler Signals in the Sky

(9) See Eric Francis Coppolino’s excellent and well researched astro-reporting from the last two issues of Planet Waves.
Planet Waves

Planet Waves

(10) Jenkins, Palden
Astrological Cycles in History

Uranus-Pluto cycles and the storms of history

(11) The Atlantic

(12) Wikipedia

Bio: Gary P Caton is an eclectic Astrologer who embraces an organic process-oriented approach of spiritual exploration via the Living Sky. Gary has studied Spirituality for over 24 years. After exploring Shamanism and the Tarot, in 1993 his life was changed by a magnificent Dream where he was shown planetary alignments and became an Astrologer. Gary earned a degree in Counseling with highest honors and has developed a unique multi-discipline path to practicing Astrology over 20 years. Visit Gary at his website Dream Astrologer


  1. Fascinating reading, Gary. The Mercury work is really great- a planet so overdue for re-investigation.

    Mars is still a pretty powerful trigger of events, tho- I wonder what will go down when he takes his turn in the Cardinal Grand Cross?

    • Great question Carl. It is a year where both Mercury and Mars are more available than usual for the US (79 year synodic return). I kind of doubt that we would go back on this deal with Russia, but that doesn’t mean other fires won’t ignite…

  2. Gary,
    Complicated reading ; I will have to go back over it…
    Did you take into account Saturn transiting Bashir’s Mars/ Neptune conjunction in Scorpio, around Halloween, (Oct 30th)? It will be trine his Saturn @ 13 * Pisces, so I was thinking he should be in Switzerland by that time. The way things are going though, it looks like he may still be in power…?

    • Hi Alan, I had not looked at the charts of the individual players except for President Obama (in my previous post), but now that you mention it, that transit would account nicely for the authorities (Saturn) being all up in Assad’s (born 9-11-65) chemical (Neptune) weapons (Mars) stores

      Furthermore, Mercury Rx will make 3 passes over same area (Assad’s Mars-Neptune conj in Scorpio)-right in the time period that Kerry insists there must be inspectors “on the ground”

      A more pressing date is the week deadline he’s been given to hand over a list of all the stores -which find Venus passing over the same aforementioned conjunction (Assad’s natal Mars-Neptune)

  3. Great article, Gary; thanks! Putin’s intimate involvement in the process can be seen in asteroid Vladimir (#1724), which appears at 13 Aries exactly conjunct Syria’s Descendant, and in Bashar’s chart at 13 Pisces, exactly on his Saturn. When the deal was brokered, Vladimir at 4 Sag was exactly on Syria’s natal Washingtonia, and in transit T-Square with Neptune 3 Pisces Rx and asteroid Russia 6 Virgo, forming a Grand Cross with Syria’s natal Mars/Uranus at 5 Gemini and Bashar’s natal Mercury 4 Virgo.

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