November 01st, 2013

Apocalyptic Reverie: Uranus/Pluto v.4.0

“Under the comb, the tangle and the straight path are the same.” —Heraclitus

Zombie survival guides. Alien interventions. Super bugs. Reality show raptures. Economic cliffs. Anti-Christ-Palooza. Terrorists and Tiaras. Bit coin. Gold coins. Gluten. NSA. GMOs. Homo-trimony. The new Arcade Fire album.

Signs, symbols and Zeitgeist stingers. Time traveling omens from Armageddon are the stock and trade of our modern day narrative. The stories and anxieties we lay down and fret about until the Ambien kicks in. But why such a narrow bandwidth? Where’s the bigger, wider picture? The range of other frequencies?

Scenarios of doom monopolize our inner landscape because speeding up to the end means a new beginning is just around the corner. That’s one theory. The catch of course is the way we resist other narratives. It’s critical now to think beyond the parameters of being a garden-variety human being. This is the nut of the ‘message’ from the ongoing, exact as of today, again, for the fourth (out of seven swipes) Uranus Pluto square.

When food, money, energy and optimism are scarce we become attached to whatever sort of hoard (be it our meager amount in savings or the way Plutocrats hog all the wealth and investments in their seemingly exempt world) we’ve come to associate with as a means to see us through to the new phase. The catch? You can’t cross the river in a boat and then take that boat with you as you explore the new world. It’s too cumbersome and defeats the purpose of surrender.

So we’re looping right now. Sort of like animals do before being eaten by a predator. You’ve probably seen shots like this on those nature shows you watched as a kid. The prey runs around and around in a circle, hysterical, before the killing bite is administered by the predator. Right?

Our inner animal is a bit freaked. So, like your pet, you need to assure it all will be well. You’ll take care of things and keep the wolves away from the door. Do that for your inner critter, you’ll gain a lot of traction in the process.

The weirdness happens when we observe ourselves observing others and the world we coexist in. If we’re not dwelling on our own crisis of faith, then we want to read about it in the news or watch it in a sci-fi or horror film; a tacit way of confirming that everyone’s sort of fucked up at the same time.

Fact or fiction doesn’t matter — just that we’re seeing clearly that everything is caving in — that’s the essential ‘meaning’ behind the obsessive imagery we circulate and share and post and tweet about it — over and over and over. It’s the Hologram of the Season. The reality bite that keeps on biting.

As I’ve already mentioned, I associate this End of Days meme with the fourth swipe between Uranus and Pluto. The number four makes things sharply concrete; there’s less of a feeling for a creative outlet with four, like there is with the number three. Four is two plus two which feels like two sides against two other sides — the nature of two being opposition and discord. A doubling up of angst.

My field notes show that Uranus is associated with time warping. A hybrid process of time speeding up, which means our subjective experience of time is altered and tweaked out — it kind of forces us to feel and peer into the future, despite our best efforts to avoid perception. This quickening happens via Aries. So the sense of urgency, to remove constraints, shackles, anything that limits freedom, imparts that time bomb feeling. Tick tock. Uranus becomes the hair shirt we’re wearing. It’s exciting to think about it except for one small impediment:

Pluto is akin to a black hole generator. When our awareness is touched by Pluto, nuclear fission occurs; meaning, we phase between one reality and another reality in such a way that forces us to leave the former reality and pop into the later reality which, to our animal nature — our survival drive — is associated with annihilation of the former, and so, well, we balk and freeze and hover. And yet the worm hole beckons.

We might have wonderful notions about surrendering or ‘letting go and letting god’ — but as my dad used to say: “Everyone wants to get to heaven but no one wants to die.” That sums up the Pluto part of the equation. You’re sorta fucked whichever way you turn, and again, this is the point of Pluto: A version of reality is establishing that we’ve never seen or even thought of before. And that can freak the mind right out from under its toupee.

Wherever Pluto is transiting is where this old world/new world bardo establishes. In Capricorn it means the reality matrix is split in two, so you have these gigantic gaps between extremes. And you can sense this if you study the sort of economic disparity we’re faced with daily.

The barriers that divide reality into factions are also thinning. This cosmic alchemy exposes rich to poor, hetero to homo, white to black, oppressor to oppressed and on and on. Pick a polarity, there are thousands, just know that the water has broken and we can’t push things back up into the birth canal.

Which is another way of acknowledging Neptune’s long transit through Pisces; in tandem with Pluto’s ongoing grind through Capricorn. This is a longterm sequence that culminates in 2023. Neptune gestates it, Pluto cuts the cord and Uranus pops it out where everyone can see and be moved by it. It’s kinda cool when you see it objectively, isn’t it?

From the collective’s point of view, the signs Capricorn and Pisces correspond to the process of culmination and closure within a culture; so these themes are throbbing in both the neocortex (Uranus) and mammalian/reptilian (Pluto) parts of our brain. Americans especially can not fathom that their position as a world power would, could, actually be falling apart.

But humility is critical. Civilizations rise and fall. It’s natural. Why would we think our culture should escape decline and decay. And why would we consider ourselves to be exempt from having to live through such a collapse? We aren’t. But again, that’s not the whole story.

In his lengthy conversation with the Jungian James Hillman, which was transcribed into the book We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World’s Getting Worse, the writer Michael Ventura elaborated on the very moment we find ourselves in the middle of:

“A great culture, Western culture is dying. Or, to put it a little less darkly, it’s transforming such that you won’t be able to call it Western civilization anymore. Nobody knows what’s going to come. The New Agers think a marvelous period is about to dawn; the right and left each live in fear of the other ‘winning’ the transformation; which the technocrats think they’re going to reprogram humanity. In reality, it’s out of everyone’s control, and the very grasping to control it just increases the momentum and cost of the decline.”

Hillman’s advice: Celebrate the fallout. Get behind the death throes. Not in a morbid way but as a reality check. An acknowledgment and honoring. And then once you’ve done that get on with your living.

Wonders and beauty and art and healing and innovation and joy are born from crisis and decay and dissolution. We’re the only culture that doesn’t have a god like Shiva to celebrate and honor. Instead we book appointments at botox clinics and put our parents into assisted living so as not to feel the burn.

But the psyche always compensates for denial — and thus our obsession with zombies and fiscal cliffs and Jesus’s return. The imagery, the feeling, will find us out regardless our tactics for stealth and denial.

So embrace the notion of End of Days, not literally, but as a metaphor within the Zeitgeist. Of course the story never really ends, as Michael Mead writes in his fantastic book The World Behind the World:

“When people feel The End fast approaching, the beginning is also close at hand. The world, ever on the verge of explosion or collapse is also an eternal drama, a story being told from beginning to end, again and again. At the ‘end of the world as we know it’ the Unseen World waits to be found again.”

38 Responses to 'Apocalyptic Reverie: Uranus/Pluto v.4.0'
Filed Under: Astrology and Memes
  1. Luna remarks:

    November 2nd, 2013 at 5:21 am
  2. Lorna remarks:


    November 3rd, 2013 at 12:28 am
  3. Emily remarks:

    You’re incredible. Thank you.

    November 3rd, 2013 at 8:58 am
  4. Jen remarks:

    I’ve been reading your entries for some time now. I always have to read them twice, and I am always glad I did. This one, I shall read at least three times.

    November 3rd, 2013 at 12:22 pm
  5. Paddy remarks:

    Thanks for suggesting alternative ways to live/perceive during this wild ride, Frederick.

    November 3rd, 2013 at 1:03 pm
  6. frederick_a_woodruff remarks:

    Thank you for your feedback, I’m really pleased to know the post might inspire new ways of considering this potent transit.

    November 3rd, 2013 at 1:09 pm
  7. Olga remarks:

    “So embrace the notion of End of Days, not literally, but as a metaphor within the Zeitgeist”
    Thank you Frederic. xxx

    November 4th, 2013 at 5:06 pm
  8. Soda remarks:

    Great as always! It described very well the agonising process of pluto pulling me into dark hole. As a young graduate, I understood, I need to do the work, find myself a function in the society, instead of searching for a job.
    Fortunately, I found my inspiration and destination in the ‘new world’ and so I am now on the right direction, I looking very much forward to 2020. It’s gonna be a fabulous year.

    November 19th, 2013 at 9:51 am
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