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“We Are All Egyptians”

Many of us are closely following the uprising against plutocracy, tyranny, and repression, and the spectacular bravery of people in Egypt and throughout the Middle East. (1)

A New York Times headline this morning reads, “Normal Life in Cairo Begins to Resume.” Of course, we know differently.

Stepping back to the longer cycles of time, we know that as Pluto moves through Capricorn, we are in an extended time of accelerated death and rebirth on all fronts.

With Uranus squaring Pluto (not precise until June 2012), revolutionary (Uranus) transformation (Pluto) is a grand and overarching theme of our time. The world will be different, and we haven’t seen yet what these coming brilliant and disruptive (Uranus) transformations (Pluto) will look like.

As one more specific indicator of the time: As astrologers, we know that mundane events that take place near the time of an eclipse have long lasting implications; the waves and results from actions at an eclipse are magnified.  As I wrote last week, the events occurring now in Egypt were seeded in part by Mohamed Bouazizi, the young man in Tunisia who set himself on fire in protest of a tyrannical and oppressive regime. He died on the day of the solar eclipse on January 4.

The planet Saturn is where we get swallowed up, or oppressed, or contracted into a too-tight skin or a too-confined experience of our world or ourselves. On January 25th, Saturn stationed retrograde at 17º14. (2) (This degree, and all that resonates with it, stays sensitive and meaningful until Saturn turns direct at 10º Libra on June 13.)

The middle degrees, i.e., 10º – 20º, of Libra are the Uranus decan of Libra. (3) So, Uranus is a subtext now to Saturn’s gift at solidification. Uranus is the radical vision, as yet unseen.

Retrograde motion is retrieval, a backtracking. Saturn is painstaking, and yet solidifies the infrastructure that we hold fast to. And that infrastructure is now infused with the necessary radical and brilliant urge towards freedom. I think of it as overthrowing the tyranny, in our own minds and emotions, of all that is oppressing us.

Mars was conjunct the Sun precisely on February 4th at 15º Aquarius; this degree is strengthened by being on the Aries Point of maximum potency of expression. Both planets then moved to trine Saturn in Libra, exact on the 5th and 6th.

This is a robust picture for us to draw upon this week: Mars and the Sun together, with Saturn’s support. Mars and the Sun declare a personal boundary; something inside says no, I’m not going to do this anymore, and Saturn confirms and stabilizes our resolve. The planetary archetypes of individuality (Sun), drive (Mars), and diligence (Saturn) are connecting with ease.

As Rick Tarnas has so eloquently described, astrologers know that inner and outer events are connected by meaning. We watch the planets move against the backdrop of the zodiac. The planetos, the wandering stars, and all of the newly recognized celestial bodies, are the messengers from the great beyond. And these movements are occurring within the very cells of the human being. As above, so below is unimaginably vast in scope, and absolutely precise and personal; both far away and deeply inside. Everything indeed is alive and animated and interconnected.

In traversing my own life and the people I see, it seems that no one is having an easy time. I have many clients and friends with great and obvious difficulties besetting them, e.g., health challenges, severe financial stress, acute depressions, relationship woes, and anxieties of all manner.

Even those who have everything — I know a few people with ample money, loving partnerships, successful children and careers, etc. — are experiencing the pressure of inexorable change in some deep or invisible compartment of mind.

Saturn in Libra suggests that our safety and security come in the shared social endeavor. We are equals as we build bridges for the new life and new consciousness that is calling us all. Sometimes that bridge is simply a call or visit to a friend, who is caught in some undercurrent of despair, or being swallowed by the tides of the time. We seem to take turns there, being crushed, or overwhelmed, by the pressure upon us, and maybe, just as often, feeling the exhilaration of a rebirth.

I always have to remember the Moon. The Earth’s closest ally is the Moon; our emotional lives and intimate connections with each other are our most accessible guardians of the psyche.

Jodie Forrest includes these words from Carl Jung in her lovely article, The Water Houses, in the current TMA: “Emotion is the chief source of all becoming-conscious. There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.”

Last night, the Moon-Jupiter conjunction in early Aries was very bright here in Oregon; that was an inspiration for this blog, too. The Moon moves quickly, and every month it touches every part of our horoscope, every part of us. Jupiter will be in Aries quickly, only until June 4.

Moon-Jupiter in Aries shows a paradox of an inner ruthlessness towards disarming our protective armoring, standing vulnerable and open, and gently, ever so gently, holding each other in the embrace that sustains us all.

Note: The current issue of TMA has a theme, The Archetypal Roots of Astrology. The articles are wonderful, and we’ve already gotten lots of praise for it. I was especially taken with Kate’s letter (she’s our Special Projects Editor), which is an eloquent summary of her intent as editor of this issue. If you haven’t read it yet, please do enjoy it here.


(1) Here’s an opinion piece by Nicholas D. Kristof: We Are All Egyptians

(2) If this is not something you’ve heard before, here is a good description of the decans:

(3) I wrote last week, “On January 25 thousands of people took to the streets protesting against poverty, high food prices, and overall government corruption.”



  1. Mary, I enjoyed your thoughtful essay. Thanks for getting to the root of our transformative journey.

  2. Mary, I deeply enjoyed your column this week. Thank you so much. I’m thinking that Mubarak may reach the end of his presidency on the Full Moon of February 18th. The Moon at 29 Leo conjuncts Regulus: the sign of Pharoah or king. Full Moons bring closure, endings. A flowing out or dissemination of pent up energy.

    The brutality now visited upon the protesters is part of the harshness you drew attention to by pointing out that paradox of Moon-Jupiter in martial Aries. I knew “Pharoah” would visit punishments upon his “subjects.” That’s how an autocrat views citizens.

    My prayers go out to Egypt and also to all we know here at home who are having such a tough time.

  3. Hi Jo and Claudia,

    Thanks for commenting..

    Stay warm!


  4. Well written and enjoyable read Mary.

    I especially enjoyed your step into mundane analysis and would like to see you do more of this, as diverse perspectives are so important in our rapidly changing times.

    The transition into this new era will require much strength and perseverance from many people as the cardinal inclinations will be with the world for some years, and in fact, has only just begun.

    Thank you for gifting us with your spiritual wisdom and fine astrological analysis.

  5. To make a childbirth analogy—the pain is hardest and most intense when you are pushing. The Egyptians are trying to birth something new into the world.

  6. Mary, you wrote: “Moon-Jupiter in Aries shows a paradox of an inner ruthlessness towards disarming our protective armoring, standing vulnerable and open, and gently, ever so gently, holding each other in the embrace that sustains us all.”

    And, it seems that Saturn in Libra is trying to show us that it doesn’t happen without necessary steps. The will to disarm our armoring, combined with tenderness and with the practical steps necessary to attain it…basically practice.

  7. Retrograde motion is retrieval…

    What a memorable connection —Thanks, Mary.

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