May 21st, 2013

10 Transmissions from the Uranus Pluto Square

Scalding coffee from a freezing cup.
At the rim no telling
Which is which.
……………………..–Lou Hartman

Once again the cosmic gyre converges into the midpoint of the Uranus Pluto square. Astrologers have pondered this particular alignment — the very moment we’re living through — since the late 60s when the counterculture bloomed and generational divides quaked. Then, the two planets formed a conjunction; a confluence that planted a seed of sorts. Ideals of personal freedom (fueled by volatile social activism) pushed forward, touched the cultural imagination, but quickly quelled into the narcissistic sleep of the 70’s ‘me’ decade. What was missing back then is what we’re getting now. The dynamic of the square, a force that won’t be contained. Conjunctions set ideals, squares put them in motion.

Statistically this particular square is nearly unprecedented — meaning it is rare that two trans-Saturn planets connect by exact angle and then disconnect, reconnect, disconnect, reconnect so many times through their cycle. This is akin to someone scratching her fingernails down a blackboard and then doing it over and over again after you’ve asked her to stop. Take note: We have four more Uranus Pluto squares to live with between now and March of 2015. That’s a whole lot of scrapin’ going on.

Squares tease forth antagonistic forces from incompatible elements within the zodiac. Incompatible elements (in this case fire and earth) display — literally — as ignitions, explosions, sinkholes, and figuratively — well, that sinking feeling you get trying to balance your dwindling finances. Or maybe it’s the phone call from your son announcing his engagement to his boyfriend.

Historically, Uranus Pluto signatures carve deep impressions into the Halls of Time. For instance, Columbus’ discovery of the New World occurred during a Uranus-Pluto square and the Reign of Terror, during the French Revolution, marked an opposition between the planets. Defining moments in history that are taught, years later, in history classes — those tumultuous markers that earmark progress at any price.

So. What about the current signs? My observations: We’re experiencing the Uranus Pluto square as a fascinating and freaky sort of Future Shock. Our moment in time is similar to the accelerated shifts in art and philosophy associated with the Renaissance. Hybrid innovation that made the Renaissance into a bright diadem — sparklingly amidst history’s dark annals.

But what took three centuries to unfold during the Renaissance is moving at an exponential rate during this century. With technology dominating every facet of life, we’re trapped in a dazzling quickening. A disorienting leap that’s left the elderly befuddled; clinging to nostalgic reveries of the past (“I no longer recognize my country!”) While those in their 20s — many of whom crawled directly from the womb and began typing on a computer — are clueless regarding the legacy they’ve inherited. Yesterday a client, born in the 80s, asked me who John F. Kennedy was.

The author Neale Donald Walsch coined an apt phrase for our moment, he calls it: The Time of Instaparency, “… when everything is instantly known, transparently. Such moment-to-moment awareness of all that’s going on everywhere produces alterations in perspective that start dominoes falling…”

Most of us are familiar with the recent markers of this transit — the fallout. We’ve watched the Occupy movement take root, the Arab Spring bloom, the Catholic Church sex scandals force the resignation of its pope. And currently there’s our crippled congress. The stalemated gun control measure is an example of what astrologer Robert Hand describes as “polarization…where Congress can’t even function. That is how the United States is experiencing the Uranus Pluto square.” Viewed globally, Hand continued: “The classic example of the … square is the Syrian revolution. That’s the real McCoy. That’s all out civil war.”

Where are we now? Inquiring minds want to know. What do the present time markers of the 3.0 version of the Uranus Pluto square look like? I recently polled a variety of peers to probe their prescient peepholes. I asked each of them to offer what they were watching or tracking, an identifiable sign that best symbolized the current parting of the veils.

I blended their suggestions with a set of my own to create a Top Ten List that comprises a wide, sometimes surprising array of milestones for this high-powered moment in history. Please share your own in the comments section below:

Number One: Azealia Bank’s Yung Rapunxel.

“Thor was not the god of thunder; he was the thunder and the god” —Jorge Louis Borges

I’m sure there are other ways to subvert the burn and confusion of the Zeitgeist, but for those too lazy (or too timid to consider the virtues of anger) there is rap artist Azealia Banks‘ new video for her song Yung Rapunxel. Banks, born during a Uranus Neptune conjunction, is willing to stand in for you and act out all of outrage in the theater of her reality. Or maybe it’s Athena’s reality and Banks is just ‘channelling’ the goddess. Maybe she’s marrying the human and the divine. Artists can do that sometimes. Regardless — while watching the video — beware her parliament of owls!

Number Two: Same-Sex Marriage Sex

“Surely the real revolution is to establish the fluid continuum of human sexuality and to win acceptance from heterosexuals of the presence of pleasure-promising homosexual impulses within themselves.” — Camille Paglia

Seattle artist Steven Miller’s photograph captures the essence of what’s gone missing amidst the newfound acceptance that’s turned the mindset of America, seemingly overnight, into a less bigoted place for gay Americans. Namely: Gay sex.

Miller’s photograph, titled Drawing Down the Old Gods, celebrates the Uranus in Aries edge of the ongoing square: The phallic force that’s quickened a cultural mind-turn, a shift that’s aligned with the spirit of same sex unions, call it: The freedom to love. Gender roles that are open-ended (Uranus in Aries) but sanctioned by the old order (Capricorn, where the planet Pluto transits). When gender becomes fluid the planet Mercury is evoked — the god who eschews sex identification because, well, it’s such a drag. (No pun intended.)

Yes, more gay Americans can marry; they can parent or adopt children, teach in schools; open a business and attend a gay-friendly church. But the line in the collective imagination seems drawn there. The Supreme Court’s willingness to hear arguments related to the rights of gay Americans is symbolic of a dialogue taking place in the imaginal realm of the culture: Namely, pondering what gay people actually do on their honeymoon? This is the next milestone for gay America and its supporters: Acknowledgment of the primal scene.

Rather than a porn-ified vision, Miller’s camera has captured a mythic moment: A ‘breaking dawn’, two men married in tantric potency with Mercury’s sigil enclosing the union, like a stamp of approval from the winged messenger — a potent emblem for the next phase of the Uranus and Pluto square. A phase that’s set to bring a little bit of the chthonic — the instinctive creative drive — into the process.

Doubt the potency of this moment? Consider the blowback. The blaring blather of Christian wing-nuts trumpeting their Jehovah-steeped Bible yap into more crazy, droning distortions. And to whomever will hear them (last count: about 68 people and Victoria Jackson). Their condemnation grows wackier each day.

Or, worse, the rage seething in Europe and the Middle East, parts of the globe where Old World proscriptions dominate the same sex dialogue. A recent LGTB gathering, to counter homophobia in Georgia, was met with screams of “Kill them, tear them to pieces!” by a maniacal anti-activist mob. This is the harsh reality within the algebra of enlightenment: When one phase of the heart opens another responds with tighter, more contracted resistance.

Number Three: The New (Christian) Pope

When I asked astrologer Robert Hand for his impressions of the ongoing Uranus Pluto square he offered the following:

“I think the major revolutionary event of the last couple of years may be the election of Francis I as pope.”

“Now, he’s not a liberal in any ordinary sense, he’s definitely a Christian conservative. But part of Christian conservatism is concern for the poor and eschewing wealth for the sake of spirituality. The only thing saving the rest of the church is that Francis appears to be a gentle man. They have elected a Jesuit pope and that means he is not only pope, he is the head of the Jesuit order which the pope always is anyway. If he as his wits about him he will use the Jesuit order to purify the church.”

“As I texted my wife when they announced who the Church had elected: “I think they just inadvertently elected a Christian.”

Number Four: The Rana Plaza Nightmare

James Surowiecki writes in the May 20 issue of the New Yorker:

“The collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex, in Bangladesh, last month is now the deadliest accident in the history of the garment industry, and one of the worst industrial accidents ever. Coming after a string of South Asian factory fires last fall that killed hundreds of workers, it provides painful evidence that, two decades since big Western companies started adopting codes of conduct for their suppliers, too little has changed. The problem isn’t so much evil factory owners as a system that’s great at getting Western consumers what they want but leaves developing-world workers toiling in misery.”

Number Five: Barack Obama Elizabeth Warren

The fact that a presence like Elizabeth Warren exists in Congress is suddenly much more important than that of President Obama ensconced as a lame duck and beholden to monster squid institutions like Goldman Sachs — the very sort of Plutocratic creature Senator Warren draws a sword against.

Warren entered Congress with an impressive record that shows her command of economics and longterm activism on behalf of the middle class. And her horoscope holds a golden signature ready made to engage the moment: An exact conjunction between the Sun and Uranus at zero degrees Cancer. This marks her as a key player upon the treacherous Pluto in Capricorn stage set.

I discussed Warren with writer Jessica Murray, astrology’s most diligent sociocultural commentator. Murray’s book At the Crossroads documents, with sharp astro-sleuthing and keen political savvy, the key astrological markers of our current tumult. If you don’t have a copy consider yourself only half-informed. Jessica is like Rolling Stone‘s firebrand journalist Matt Taibbi with an astrolabe.

Regarding Senator Warren, Jessica offered this:

“I have renewed respect for the Aries point, since the Cardinal Climax of 2010 — all those months when Uranus and Pluto danced around the first degrees of their signs, and were set off by the Equinoxes and Solstices. Zero of the Cardinals seems to be playing a key role in this era of ours, and for this reason it does seem apt that Elizabeth Warren’s chart features that Sun Uranus conjunction.”

“She seems to be a daughter of the world moment, a voice of humanity (Uranus) and human feeling (Cancer) whose exceptionality (Uranus conjunction) makes its own kind of point: Her opinions and vibe have a normal, decent quality, the kind you would expect to be the norm among our public servants; and the fact that it is so glaringly not the norm is sadly telling.”

Number Six: An Occult Revival 

Mitch Horowitz, editor-in-chief for Tarcher/Penguin and author of Occult America offered a set of insights that brought a blast of radiance to my survey — a true blue Sagittarian optimist:

“I think we may be feeling a shift right now in questions of authority — personal and cultural. On an intimate scale, people are frightened of claiming authority in their own lives –and I think many of us are having to come to terms with our willingness to accept appropriate positions of personal leadership. Likewise, on the scale of the larger culture, I think we’re seeing the peak of the intellectual authority of those figures who belong to what might be called the “new atheist” school, i.e., ultra-materialist philosophers — who have gained the upper hand in a cultural debate over the relevance of metaphysics. As their authority reaches its peak, however, the scale is set to tip.”

“For the first time in a while, I’ve come to feel that we are in store for an occult/New Age revival — probably coming within five years. Hence, we face a personal struggle to come to healthy terms with issues of personal authority, and we face a cultural turning point in which the authority of the arch-materialist voices crests and then wanes.”

Number Seven: Education Revolution

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” ― Mark Twain

Astrologer Kate Petty was quick to praise the work of educationalist Sir Kenneth Robinson and offered Robinson as an example of someone with the sort of future vision required to invigorate a dying dream.

Robinson presents a set of revoltuionary ideas to confront and transform “the outdated attempts to teach in current mass institution education systems — from kindergarten up to the university level.” Petty added the question: “Is any real learning taking place in such institutions?”

When you watch Robinson speak in the above video I dare you to not feel inspired and catch a glimmer of hope sparking against the debris the current crisis in education.

Number Eight: Techno-Driven Boycotts

Astrologer Stephanie Gailing alerted me to Buycott and my wallet — and conscience — did a backflip.

This is the sort of modern day convenience that scares the shit out of corporate bean counters and their minions from Monsanto’s Island of Dr. Moreau.

As Gailing explained. “This is technology that pulls back the veil of corporate ownership, empowering the individual to make market-shaping purchasing decisions that align with their beliefs and ethics.”

Download the app, for Android and IOS directly from Buycott.

Number Nine: Clash of the Paradigms

Astrologer Ray Grasse has tracked the Uranus Pluto square for years. His close readings are some of my favorites. He suggested the following for this Top Ten list:

“Here’s a new poster for the new Guillermo del Toro movie. How’s this for an cinematic expression of the Uranus/Pluto energies in effect now? A scientifically-engineered robot versus a primal underworld beast.”

“The hi-tech robot, the Uranian/Aquarian figure, symbolizes more progressive/liberal/rational attitudes on the rise (such as towards gay marriage, women’s rights, heath care, science, etc.), while the ancient beast from the underworld symbolizes more regressive/conservative “reptile brain” emotions and attitudes that are rooted in the past.”

“The battle between these two creatures embodies the struggle taking place now between old and new, as the emerging Aquarian paradigm struggles to overcome powerful resistance from more traditional values and institutions.”

Number Ten: The T-Shirt

Illustrator Shelley Barnes, whose stellar logo for the Uranus/Pluto square crowns this article, has created what everyone needs to move forward into the final dance between these two astrological dynamos: A t-shirt, which you can order here. (Along with other sigil-marked wonders!)

As Barnes notes on her site: “In honor of this awesomely turbulent but transformative time I’ve created the following artwork to commemorate the whole ordeal. Whether you’re going with the flow or struggling to resist, this one is for you!”

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