Sunday, 6 November 2011

Uranus-Pluto and Our Changing World

Change is a fact of life, both on the personal and the collective level. This is an undeniable truth. Yet all too often when change comes, instead of accepting it, we resist, dig in our heels and work our asses off to restore the status quo and get back to business as usual, even if the status quo clearly isn’t working for us anymore.  To date, this has been the response to the global economic crisis, but the more the force of inevitable change is resisted, the deeper we’ll fall into the abyss.

Those who follow the motions and patterns of the planets have a reliable and useful perspective from which to observe the world and the changes that occur within it. This is because, through history, astrologers have observed that certain planetary patterns and alignments coincide with certain themes and events playing out in history*. From this knowledge comes a useful tool for predicting when and where change is coming and what form that change might take. If we look at the alignments that are coinciding with the current global economic crisis, a very telling picture emerges, a picture indicating that we are undergoing a long process of deep, disruptive, but necessary transformation.
Despite all the warning signs of the ‘credit crunch’ which followed years of easy credit, questionable practices in the financial sector and the build up of massive personal and national debts, in 2008 the world was shocked by the collapse/near collapse of some of the globe’s biggest financial institutions. Shoring them up with public money ultimately meant that, in the main, those institutions and those that run them (part of the 1%, as defined by the Occupy Movement) were free to carry on with business as usual. Meanwhile, the 99% (the world’s ordinary people) were presented with the bill. Recession set in, followed by slow, almost stagnant recovery, high unemployment, state implemented austerity measures, heavily indebted governments and the near certainty of double dip recession.

Also in 2008, Pluto moved out of the sign of Sagittarius and into the sign of Capricorn, where it will stay until 2023. Pluto moves slowly, taking 248 years to return to the same spot in the sky, so when Pluto changes signs it’s a big deal and we can reliably predict that collective change will occur, according to the themes symbolised by the sign Pluto is in.  
Don’t let Pluto’s demotion to dwarf planet fool you, Plutonic change is dark and dirty and takes no prisoners. It involves a purging of that which has outstayed its welcome. It is the cosmic transformer which deals with issues that are above and beyond our personal will. It does this by unearthing our collective shadows and making us face our primal fears. If we don’t embrace Plutonic change it will take us by force.

So what are the themes of Pluto in Capricorn? First a brief summary of the themes of Pluto in Sagittarius (1995-2008): this period was about growth without sufficient boundaries, controls or accountability. It was about overconfidence and the spread of globalism. We heard a lot about economic buoyancy, boom and bubbles while Pluto was in Sagittarius. Pluto was trying to warn us that bubbles eventually burst (such as the dotcom bubble which began in 1995 and dramatically burst in 2000) and that under our current capitalist system a boom always comes before a bust. Global free market capitalism was spiralling out of control. Pluto’s sign also reflects who we collectively choose as our enemies. With Sagittarius symbolising the foreign, it’s not surprising that our biggest real or perceived threat was the foreign terrorist. This fear had us take our eye off enemies closer to home. Under Pluto in Capricorn these ‘enemies’ have been exposed.
Pluto in Capricorn symbolises the shadow side of corporations, imbedded societal structures, governments, plutocrats and authority figures (the 1%). These are the new ‘enemies’. These are the systems that need to change and transform. If they do not change on their own, or do not change fast enough or deeply enough, they will be forced to change and much (more) global suffering will be inevitable.  The boom and the bubbles of 1995-2008 have gone for good. Growth has been stopped in its tracks and the bust has well and truly arrived. Those who currently hold all the power are doing everything they can to uphold the status quo and get things back to the Pluto in Sagittarius days. Well, I have a message for them. Pluto in Sagittarius is not coming back, at least not in our lifetime. Rather than growth without boundaries, Pluto in Capricorn is all about boundaries and about accountability and accepting responsibility for our mistakes. Collectively, we must act with extreme caution, for Pluto in Capricorn heaps upon us the full might of karma for our actions. It also speaks of the boundaries of nations, a topic very much currently to the fore with the Greece/Eurozone crisis.

Pluto in Capricorn is also about resistance and we can clearly see how the 1% are resisting the inevitable collapse of the current model of capitalism. They lack the motivation to see another way because they simply don’t want things to change, they can’t see how they will profit from doing things differently. They will not give up their power easily.
The 99% though, can use the power of resistance to say no, to question and to oppose, to suggest an alternative. The 99% can be a powerful vehicle for positive collective transformation. 

Since 2007 an exciting, powerful and incredibly disruptive planetary alignment has been forming. Rebellious Uranus has been squaring up to Pluto in Capricorn. Uranus’ energies have been compared to those of the mythical Prometheus, who stole the fire from the gods and gave it to man. Combined with Pluto, Uranus ignites revolutionary impulses and upsets the status quo. This planetary combination has been associated with mass rebellion against the establishment, revolutions, civil rights movements and radical social and political change. Below is a list of events that coincided with some of the Uranus-Pluto alignments of the past. Reading through the lists you will see the same themes occurring again and again, building through time:
The 1643-1654 alignment: the English Revolution, part of a wave of revolutions and rebellions across Europe; the emergence of the radical Puritans, the Roundheads, the Levellers and the Quakers; the forced abdication and execution of Charles I.

1787-1798: the French Revolution; the earliest emergence of modern feminism (Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication on the Right of Women); in the US, France and Britain, the first widespread calls for the abolition of slavery, along with the Haitian slave revolution and the freeing of slaves in the French colonies.
1816-1824: revolutions across much of South and Latin America including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil and Venezuela; revolutions and revolts in Spain, Portugal, Italy and France.

1845-1856: revolutionary uprisings in most European capitals (1848-49) including Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Budapest, Prague; the abrupt overthrow of a number of governments throughout Europe; Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto); upheavals in China; Japan, India and the Ottoman Empire; the emergence of the women’s suffrage movement in the US; the peak of abolitionist activism in the US; Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin; Thoreau’s influential essay On the Duty of Civil Disobedience.

1896-1907: the founding of the major socialist parties in England, the US, Russia and France; the beginnings of modern Communism; the emergence of the militant women’s movement (Emmeline Pankhurst); Booker T. Washington’s calls for social and educational reform for blacks; the Boxer Revolution in China; the Russian Revolution of 1905; the emergence of Lenin and Trotsky; the founding of independence movements including the World Zionist Organisation and Sinn Fein; the influential political writings of Leo Tolstoy; Gandhi’s struggle for Indian Rights in South Africa (his methods influenced by the writings of Tolstoy and Thoreau).
1928-1937: the Spanish Civil War; a global upsurge in radical socialist movements; the empowerment of labour unions in the US; economic upheavals including the Great Depression, which informed new economic theories, most notably Keynesian economics which informed much western economic decision making up until the late seventies; the protest music of Woody Guthrie and co. which went on to inspire the protest music of Dylan etc. during the next major Uranus-Pluto alignment.

1960-1972: the evolution of radical socialism; the non-violent civil disobedience movements employed by Martin Luther King and the anti-war protests ( inspired by Gandhi); the widespread emergence of the women’s lib movement (Millett, Greer, Lessing, Steinem); the culmination of the black civil rights movement in the US (Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X and the Civil Rights Acts of 1965 and 1968); the resistance activities of Nelson Mandela and the ANC in South Africa; the rising popularity of Marxist revolutionary leaders and their ideas including Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and Ho Chi Minh; Mao’s Little Red Book.
The ongoing 2007-2020 alignment (exact between 2012-15): a resurgence in Keynesian economic theory in response to the global financial crisis of 2007/8 (which advocates active monetary and fiscal policy making by the government in order to stabilize the economy); the Arab Spring including revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and ongoing civil uprisings in other countries including Bahrain, Syria]and Yemen;  a wave of strikes, riots, protests and civil unrest throughout Europe and the US; the global Occupy Movement, advocating peaceful protest, a new manifestation of the non-violent civil disobedience movements that occurred under previous alignments.

So what’s next? This is only the beginning for the current Uranus-Pluto alignment, which doesn’t make its first exact connection until June 2012. Between now and 2020, the planetary alignments indicate that we are likely to see the economic situation getting worse if the same-old, same-old solutions are applied.
I predict that, in response, the Occupy Movement will grow and develop, with other movements springing up worldwide. New and existing radical political groups (from both ends of the political spectrum) are likely to grow in voice and influence, but in particular there will be a new interest in radical socialism. More revolutions and mass uprising are inevitable, not ruling out European countries such as Greece, Spain, Italy or even the UK. Friction between European countries is also more than possible, caused by tensions over the EU’s role as a central controlling force. I will not be surprised if the Euro collapses by or before 2020. The EU as a body will look very different, as more and more EU countries reclaim their national independence. Overall, cries for a fair, just, democratic world will be so loud it will not be possible to ignore them.

We should expect the unexpected and rule out nothing, even that which currently seems impossible.  The only inevitability is that by the time 2020 comes around our world will be a very different place. To get there in good shape, we need to break free from the old way of doing things. Those in power are refusing to let go, but they do not seem to realise they are sailing on the proverbial Titanic. When the ship goes down, it is up to the 99% to seize the opportunity to replace the old with a new society, based on true democracy and fairness. We must continue to build democratic communities from the grassroots up, to provide a positive model for the years to come. At the same time, we need to do whatever we can to free the world’s precious resources from corporate control and demand collective ownership of the earth we walk upon.
*This phenomenon follows the ancient Greek Neo-Platonic idea that the same patterns are reproduced at all levels, from the largest (the macrocosm or universe-level) down to the smallest level (the microcosm).

References: historical correlations from Cosmos and Psyche, Intimations of New World View, Chapter 4.  Author: Professor Richard Tarnas. Published by Viking Penguin, 2006.
With love, Mandi

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