The Cardinal Cross Years


Robert Fludd, The Chaos of the
Elements

 

Astrology as Spiritual Constant

Troubled times have always been
astrology's stock in trade. From the lunar calendars of Ice Age shamans1 to the
glossy magazine horoscopes at the grocery store, in one form or another people
have looked to the sky to explain their distresses, large and small. Throughout
human history astrology has provided a spiritual constant.

But
let us take a moment to qualify the term spiritual, for it is a peculiarity of
the times we live in that the word has taken on a newly controversial buzz. To
mention spirituality at a dinner party these days is to risk being shown the
door; and in many circles "New Age" ideas have become as declasse as rancid
patchouli oil. Pluto's entry into Sagittarius in the mid-90s made the topic of
spiritual belief downright explosive, given that the function of the transit
was to turn inside out stale, old ideological verities and the institutions
that represented them. Then Saturn opposed Pluto in the second year of the new
millennium, contracting the issues of higher truth (Sagittarius) and karma
(Saturn) with such violent pressure that something had to give.

The
result was a new equation in the collective mind of religion with worldly power
struggles. Humanity has been struggling through a twelve-year catharsis during
which all things spiritual began to smack of chicanery at best and wholesale
destruction at worst. Believers and skeptics alike have been forced into new
ways of thinking about the quest for higher meaning. It is this transit that
established the background of mass malaise against which the upcoming transits
must be understood.

 

Assimilating Pluto in
Sagittarius

But the high fires of Pluto in
Sagittarius are beginning to burn out, and it is time for us to consider the
next step. It would be nice, for instance, to be able to reclaim the innocence
and loveliness of the word "faith", which during the past few years has been
tainted by cynical usages (e.g. "faith-based" funding, a reference to
government-selected religious groups), rendering the word – and the concept –
justifiably suspect for many thinkers. But we have perhaps achieved enough
distance, by now, to see that it was not meaning-seeking itself – a human
universal if there ever was one – that was the object of Pluto's purge, but our
attitudes towards it. Pluto, the death/rebirth planet, has been killing off the
inauthentic elements of Sagittarian systems all over the world, leaving
humanity waiting for the new approaches to belief that will inevitably arise.
And when they do, it may be that they have more to do with knowledge than with
dogma; more to do with consciousness-raising than with specific teachings and
preachings.

It
is noteworthy that astrology – which, even if one doesn't view it as a
spiritual system, still qualifies as a theoretical worldview (Sagittarius) –
seems to have emerged unscathed from Pluto's eradication of philosophical
nonessentials. 2 Perhaps
this is because astrology is composed of essentials already. As a language of
archetypes, it had no nonessentials to be eliminated. Throughout the Plutonian
rout, astrologers have continued to ply our ancient trade, decoding the
firmament to make sense of turbulence in the world below. As part of the
rebirth phase of the Pluto transit that has dealt faith such a blow, I propose
that we astrologers not shy away from the notion that leaps of faith are still,
and have always been, part of the workings of our craft. By faith in this
context I refer to a confidence in that which is eternal and essential: 3 for
example, the cosmic principles that underlie the astrological alphabet. In
order to be of significant use to the world in the critical times ahead,
astrologers must recognize as axiomatic our commitment to these principles.

To
confer a spiritual significance upon astrological symbols is to see in them not
just a theoretical but a numinous meaning. Even a resolutely secular-minded
student of astrology who picks up a book by a visionary such as Alice Bailey or
Dane Rudhyar, for example, might find herself learning more than just a
methodology of symbolic logic. She might feel herself taking on a kind of
soul-mindfulness, a quality of openness that links her to a venerable tradition
that was once evocatively referred to in European mystery schools as The Dark
Mysteries. She might feel that what she is reading is not just informing her
but inspiring her. To study astrology in this spirit is not merely to learn a
craft. It is to unify the body-mind-soul intelligence.

Cultivating
this kind of intelligence does more than uplift us as individuals. Through the
refinement of each person's awareness, consciousness is brought into the world.

 

No Atheists in Foxholes

It is said that there are no
atheists in foxholes. As the epoch upon us presents us with geopolitical and
environmental issues of almost surreal urgency, we need an astrology that is
infused with not only intellectual rigor but with compassion for a world in
distress. It becomes clearer with each new headline in the morning newspaper
that what humanity needs right now is not just knowledge, but wisdom.

Wisdom
demands perspective. Yet the partisanship, us-against-them factionalism,
culture-war labeling and all the other small-picture models being tossed around
by the media in contemporary society undermine perspective rather than promote
it. What we need is a Big-Picture perspective, and not simply for the sake of
being "spiritually correct." We need it because the world moment has come to
feel too overwhelming for many of us to even look at, let alone to productively
address, without it.

 

Assimilating Saturn Opposite Neptune

The most recent major transit to
make its mark on the collective mindset was the Saturn/Neptune opposition (2004
-07), whose final exactitude was June 25, 2007. Right now humanity is in the
assimilation phase of this critical teaching, both as a collective and as
individuals. It was a very peculiar pairing of planets, and now that we have
achieved a modicum of post-exactitude detachment from it, we are perhaps in a
better position to take in its meaning. As the premier drama of the last half
of this decade, the Saturn/Neptune paradox marinated the world's consciousness
-softened it up – in preparation for the great configurations of the 2010s.

The
opposition set up a tug-of-war between the planets of realism (Saturn) and
surrealism (Neptune). For about three years, Neptune's penchant for the
non-ordinary seeped into humanity's conception of "real life", giving us a
fools' paradise of disillusion, meltdown and revelation. A notable example of
this theme occurred at the transit's second peak, on February 28th, 2007, when
the stock market plummeted on Wall Street: here we had, in one fell swoop, a
symbol of three of the themes for which the opposition is notorious: illusion
(was the wealth signified by all those little stock numbers real in the first
place?), deflation and anxiety. Another stunning synchronicity was the release
of Michael Moore's documentary "Sicko", which explored the relationship between
the American insurance industry (Saturn) and the ideal of universal healthcare
(Neptune) four days after the transit's final exactitude in late June 2007.

As
is true of all oppositions, this one was a juncture point in a larger whole;
that is, the Full Moon phase of the cycle that began when Saturn and Neptune
conjoined in 1989. That was the year the Berlin wall (Saturn) melted away
(Neptune), a benchmark of modern world history. These last few years have given
us the cyclic aftermath of that development: we have watched geopolitical
verities that were once held as gospel being exposed as illusory or downright
fraudulent.4

Make-believe
is governed by Neptune. It represents the image-making capacity of the mind,
very strong in children (Let's play house); and makers of video games (You are
now in a mist-enshrouded castle). For the media-defined cultures of the West,
this transit had a field day. From the point of view of collective psychology,
there is a relationship between the wholesale resignation with which America
accepted the contested elections of George W. Bush and the glazed-eyed avidity
with which it gobbles up stories about Lindsay Lohan's stints in rehab. Saturn
and Neptune have been hosting a game of Let's-pretend-this-is-reality.

During
the Saturn-Neptune years we saw water disasters (Neptune) wipe out villages in
Southeast Asia and inundate a great historic city in the USA as if they were
sand castles leveled by the tide. We saw national boundaries (Saturn)
effectively crumble (Neptune) as immigrants found their way into the First
World wherever and however they could. We saw the concept of global warming
transform in the public mind from a science-fiction-like notion or "hoax"
(Neptune) to a consensual reality (Saturn).

The
Third World has experienced a different set of teachings from the opposition of
Saturn and Neptune than has the First World. The developing countries of the
Earth are moving from chronic to acute material crisis. Meanwhile, the First
World – with its peculiar tendency to think of itself as the only real world –
remains deeply, existentially confused. But confusion is the language Neptune
speaks. Confusion is porous, and opens up space for a different kind of truth
to get a foothold. From the point of view of spiritual astrology, the foggy
free-for-all of melted-down sureties that has characterized these years is part
of a cosmic plan to confront the various forms of denial that afflict and
endanger human consciousness. Many sacred cows have collapsed during these
insecure times; many heretofore credulous thinkers have reconsidered the nature
of deceit – including self-deceit-and the illusions that make up popular
culture. The nature of reality itself has changed for millions of people. 5

This
is the deeper purpose behind the Saturn-Neptune conundrum. As it ebbs during
late 2007 and early 2008 its lessons are sinking in, laying the groundwork for
the era-defining transits to come.

 

The Epochal Transits of 2009 – 2014

Much has been written about the
daunting transits that signal the millennium's entry into its second decade. As
we analyze these world-altering configurations we notice the symbolism of the
various planets converging into a synthesis, and the whole becoming more than
the sum of its parts.

It
is from the vast, slow-moving outer-planet cycles (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto)
that we expect the most far-reaching effects; and when these make major aspects
with the social planets (Jupiter and Saturn) as well as with the personal
planets (such as the Moon and Mars) at the same time, the rarity of the
patterns that result puts them into a category that deserves a unique degree of
awe, respect and attention.

There
will be a series of Grand Crosses in the summer of 2010 -one of which occurs a
few days after the solstice, with seven planets participating. The square
between Uranus and Pluto will form the backdrop, with Jupiter coupled with
Uranus in early Aries and a Moon conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn adding a
late-breaking note of immediacy. Saturn in late Virgo will form the third
corner, and the Sun and Mercury, in Cancer, will form the fourth. This will
give the solstice period – already considered a sacred portal for many
spiritual thinkers, ancient and modern – the quality of a bulls-eye. Two years
later, the Grand Cross of June 2012 will feature the ongoing square between
Uranus and Pluto now joined by the Quarter Moon; meanwhile Neptune will have
entered Pisces, and will be forming an exact mutable T-square with Jupiter,
reinforced by the lunar nodes. By 2014 the two outer-planet overlords will have
made their way to the middle degrees of the cardinal signs, paralleling a
square between Mars and Jupiter in Libra and Cancer respectively; with a
Moon-Pluto conjunction on April 20th again providing the grace note.

Students
of the Mayan calendar may recognize this timing as lining up with the dates
singled out at the Harmonic Convergence in 1987 by Jose Arguelles. 6 The
ancient Mezo-Americans numbered among many indigenous traditions that foresaw
the period we are now in as the end of a great cycle in human evolution and the
beginning of another. The visionaries of prehistoric India referred to this era
as the Kali Yuga: the Dark Times.

It
is not only informative but humbling to recognize that other prophetic
traditions besides Western astrology have identified our epoch as a pivotal
turning point. A little comparative cosmology will go a long way to
universalize our understanding, which supports our goal as sky watchers: to
respond -rather than react – with equanimity to the times ahead.

 

As Above, So Below

As the dramas in the sky are
mirrored by real-time dramas down here on Earth, astrologers have stepped up to
the plate. Particularly since the Saturn-Pluto opposition seven years ago, the
times upon us have inspired an upsurge in astute astrological commentary, which
is keeping pace every step of the way with the worldly events in the headlines.
Synchronistic with the dystopian ecological and geopolitical scenarios with
which these transits have been linked — among them, the scarcity of clean
water, the extinction of many natural species and warfare with no end in sight
— contemporary seers have been galvanized to respond with insights to match.

To
hold the Big Picture is to remember that perilous times augur the appearance of
planetary healers, as a wound galvanizes white blood cells. A given culture
will generate the very souls who are necessary to meet that culture's demands.
It should not surprise us that it happens this way in the human world, for this
is obviously the way it works in the natural world: a pond will be inhabited by
the very marine life exactly suited to its specific temperature, depth and
degree of salinity; including just the right types of microflora and fauna to
regenerate its detritus, turning dying into rebirth. Human societies follow the
same laws. Right now, planet Earth sorely needs vision; and so we are getting
visionaries. 7

Global
warming is at the forefront of the mass mind right now, and is of course being
viewed – by those who have come to take it seriously – primarily as a
terrifying catastrophe. But though fear is naturally part of our human response
– what we might call in this context our "secular" response – I propose that
when we back up from our everyday view of the world, deliberately seeking the
distance that astrology provides, it becomes possible to conceive of global
warming as the Goddess' gift to this epoch. The sheer enormity of the situation
is forcing humanity, in a gun-to-the-head kind of way, to completely shift
gears. The fact that the fate of the Earth is at stake makes for a compelling
incentive to connect dots that were not connected before: suddenly everybody
from Arnold Schwarzenegger to the automotive industry is clambering onto the
bandwagon, trying to be seen as going green. The dubious sincerity of many of
these gestures notwithstanding, we can be sure that when even government and
industry start paying attention to issues such as these, their cultural meaning
can be said to be entering a new level of mass consciousness.

Less
widely discussed but getting increasing media attention is the fact that the
poorer countries of the world will suffer sooner and more severely from these
climate changes than will the wealthier ones. What we must come to terms with
here is more than an ecological issue. In the decades ahead, the societies who
contributed most to the problem by burning fossil fuels too heavily will get
off relatively easily compared to the millions of Earth dwellers who never saw
the inside of an SUV. 8

Informing
ourselves of realities like resource depletion and social injustice through
geopolitical awareness is a first step. But to maintain our sanity as well as
to be of some use to the world, we need to then press into service our
spiritual intelligence. It is unarguable that global scenarios both real (mass
suffering in impoverished parts of the world) and imagined (terrorists on every
street corner) will elicit in the years ahead no lack of collective worry and
fear. What I am suggesting is that we astrologers, each in our own way, have
the ability to offer a kind of dispassionate observation to replace the fear we
see around us, as circumstances arise. For the sake of this discussion we will
define "fear" as an acute awareness of the seriousness of the situation but
without the requisite understanding. Astrology, as a vocabulary not of
literalisms but of meaning, has the potential to stand back and be the calm,
judgment-free observation point that offers perspective amidst the chaos. As
the Neptune-Saturn opposition has signified, right now there is an epidemic
lack of clarity afflicting the mass mind. But astrological archetypes, at their
most essential, allow us to cut through the fog. They allow us to look at mass
feelings without being caught by them. They allow us to look at horrors without
being horrified.

The
times are ripe for a wide dissemination of the astrological viewpoint, though I
am not speaking solely of foisting forecasts upon a skeptical public. Even if
we astrologers do not succeed in imparting to our society the data of what we
see in the years ahead, if we are able to impart the scope inherent in the
astrological way of seeing – the transcendent principles that underlie our
worldview – I believe we will add tremendously to the clarity that will become
more and more urgently needed.

 

The Uranus-Pluto Square

Much has been written about the
upcoming cardinal configurations, and this article will confine itself to just
one piece of it: the square between Pluto and Uranus. The most enduring and
most potent of the assembled forces, this aspect forms the backdrop of the
planetary dramas of the first half of the decade to come. The relationship
between Pluto and Uranus will function as a main plot does in a well-told
story, anchoring the meaning of the subplots that surround it.

Uranus
represents the unstoppable force of ideas whose time has come. Pluto represents
the raw power and inevitability of breakdown and renewal. Together they force
consciousness changes in the collective that are – relatively speaking –
explosively sudden. Already we can see the accelerated speed that will
characterize this next phase of human evolution. When we consider the normal
snail-like pace of changes in entrenched collective consciousness, it is
nothing short of astounding that a massive shift in popular awareness about
global warming has happened in no more than a couple of years' time, thanks not
just to Al Gore but to the Saturn-Neptune opposition and the square between
Jupiter (social reform) and Uranus (revelation).

 

The Progeny of the Counter-Culture

The meaning of outer-planet
aspects derives from their roles in unfolding macrocycles.9 Thus the
best way to begin to understand the upcoming Pluto-Uranus square is to consider
the last time these two planets conjoined, forty-odd years ago. It was then that
these two were in their New Moon phase and the seeds for the current transit
were planted.

In
the mid-1960s, Uranus and Pluto occupied the same location in the zodiac for a
few mind-blowing years; a period that those who lived through them will never forget.
This was the transit that made the sixties The Sixties: Uranus, governor of
revolution, and Pluto, governor of social decay, conjoined in the sky while
opposing Saturn: status quo thinking – and KABOOM: the counter-culture was
born. Taboo-busting cultural ideas raced around the globe like an uncontained
wildfire, changing the mores of the generations extant and the ones not yet
born. The babies who drew their first breath under that epochal conjunction –
which was in Virgo when it occurred: the sign of health, work and service – are
in their prime productive years now. We have seen some of the members of this
intense generation create subcultures of skateboarder punk and nihilism, and
others use their Virgoan genius to remodel health movements both personal
(natural nutrition, alternative medicine) and global (radical ecology,
sustainable agriculture).

From
2010-2015 Uranus and Pluto will take the next big step in their relationship,
analogous to the First Quarter Moon. The heady revelations of the hippies and
yippies will be ready for post-millennial application. The winsome flower-child
vision will have developed into a set of responses -or reactions, depending on
the level of consciousness involved – to the crises the globe is facing at
present. To cite the most obvious example, the precedent of the Nixon
presidency, a casualty of the massive social dissent accompanying the mid-60s
transit, will find its First-Quarter parallel in the elections of November of
2008.

 

Pluto in Capricorn

By this time, Pluto will have
entered Capricorn, an ingress about which so much has been written that I will
only summarize some of the main points here. Pluto's job will be to cull the
dead wood from any and all institutions governed by Capricorn. As was the case
with religion when Pluto was in Sagittarius, the ultimate point of this transit
will be to revive an aspect of human experience that has developed pockets of
unsustainable decay. Governments, corporations and all other patriarchal
hierarchies will be assiduously screened by Pluto to ascertain their viability.
Capricorn's governance of governance suggests the exposure of corruption in
persons and agencies that play the role of the authority figure, whether
expressed on the family level (fathers), the village level (mayors, tribal
elders), the company level (CEOs), the national level (presidents) or the
deific level (patriarchal gods such as Allah, Yahweh and Jehovah). There may be
a sea change in the global acceptance of women in positions of leadership as
the paternal archetype is purged. The whole notion of federalism may be shaken
to its very core, while regionalism and local authority begin a new ascendancy
(clues of this trend are already in the air: consider the flurry of state
challenges to Washington's environmental policies, and the slow food movement's
emphasis on edibles being locally-grown).

To
understand this sixteen-year transit in Big-Picture terms is to see that
Plutonian change is neither about punishment nor about demonstrating
right-and-wrong thinking. All Pluto wants is to rid the global organism of
toxins in a certain arena so that the world body as a whole can survive.

 

The Dark Mysteries Revolutionized

If we agree that Uranus' job is
to revolutionize whatever it touches, then its function here must be to
drastically change the meaning of everything under Plutonian governance. In
this confrontation between the planet of science and the planet of secrets,
even death will face the Uranian challenge.

We
can expect the notion of physical death to shift dramatically when the Uranus
square yanks Pluto into the 21st Century. Experimental life-extension
technologies will very probably push and pull at mass assumptions about this
most dreaded of human experiences, with existential quandaries and ethical questions
coming along for the ride. The square will certainly jack up the tension that
already exists in the human mind between the role of human intelligence
(Uranus) and those Dark Mysteries which ordinary intelligence alone cannot
fathom (Pluto). The secular societies of the West are not known for their
acceptance of the role of mortality in the human condition; on the contrary, a
fear-driven stagnation in the collective unconscious has stymied our
understanding of death and shrouded the subject in denial. 10 There is
reason to hope that the blaring klieg light of Uranus will stimulate a new
curiosity in the mass mind about this and other cultural taboos. Through the
elegant balance of a perfect ninety-degree angle, Pluto – which represents
scenarios that are often so viscerally disturbing that they are difficult to
even think about clearly, let alone act upon – is going to be confronted by a
planet that is, especially in warrior-like Aries, fearless in the face of
taboo.

Another
opportunity for breakthrough that the transit will bring not a moment too soon
is a revolution (Uranus) in the world's approach to recycling detritus and
waste (Pluto), now being generated at breakneck speed by the consumer cultures
of the world – China being the latest contender for this sorry award.
Radioactive waste in particular (Pluto) is one of those issues that is so
troubling that most of us try to avoid thinking about it, unless, that is, a
toxic dump were being proposed for our own neighborhood. 11 Uranus,
associated with ingenuity and pristine clarity of mind, is the antidote to mass
unconsciousness around this Plutonian subject matter. Again, in Aries, the
Great Awakener is likely to express itself through actions, not merely words
and ideas.

 

Oil: More Pluto than Neptune

The operative principle that we
must envision here is that of Uranus waking Pluto up to its regenerative power,
shocking it into dropping its lethal, outmoded manifestations. To have faith in
the ultimate benefit of this shake-up is to remember that, by Natural Law, it
will not destroy anything except that which has grown toxic.

Another
Plutonian arena that has become fatally distorted is the world's relationship
with oil. Tem Tarriktar's prescient articles in this magazine12 linking
the peak oil years and 2010-12 anticipated what now seems to be a general
consensus in the industrialized West: that our dependence upon fossil fuels is
untenable. The pairing of the words "addiction" (Pluto) and "oil" has become a
commonplace in American parlance. More and more of us have come to understand
that the USA has ignored its manufacturing base -as well as any serious search
for clean energy solutions – like a drunk who has forgotten to eat. The
oil-drunk First World has been in the driver's seat of the globe for some time
now. Uranus is coming along to slap that drunk sober before he drives us all
over the cliff.

With
every passing month, the meaning of oil in the collective consciousness – due
to the geo-military patterns that have grown up around it and the ecological
side effects of its use – segues into a new and complex transitional meaning,
encompassing the hybrid symbolism of wealth and war, power and destruction. Now
less Neptunian than Plutonian13, oil is
undergoing an iconic status change.

Uranus'
job is to jolt humanity into alertness, jettisoning stale material like a wet
dog shaking its fur. The petro-politics of foreign policy, the grotesque profit
disparities that accrue to the fossil fuel business, and all the other aspects
of what oil represents will no longer remain the privileged information of
political observers but will be pushed into the domain of received wisdom among
the populace. The squaring-off between common knowledge, i.e. that of The
People (Uranus) and the clandestine knowledge held by elite power groups
(Pluto) will be a running theme during the peak oil period.

 

Uranus Plutonized

Uranus in Aries (2010-17) augurs
a new phase in technology that will be fast and furious. While the Pluto square
is active, science (Uranus) will be forced to confront Nature and its laws
(Pluto); among them, decay and renewal. This suggests that the tech industry
will have to come to grips with the pattern of planned obsolescence for which
it is notorious.14 Pluto
eliminates excess, and has no patience for flash and superfluity; qualities
which typify the current tech-gadgetry boom.

Uranian
genius will be forced to apply itself to pursuits that match the needs of the
times; e.g. the new engineering techniques that will become increasingly
necessary to deal with the results of climate change. The way the world uses
its technology and medicine (Uranus) will be rapidly updated as civilization
turns to science to save itself.

 

Popular Dissent

Uranus in Aries is going to give
the world a seven-year lesson in new ways to challenge authority, and its
square with Pluto can be expected to raise this defiance to a fever pitch.
Pluto pushes whatever planet it touches to extremes, and pumps it full of
power. This presents a disturbing picture of social unrest unless we consider
the powerful creative change that comes of spiritually informed dissent. Our
work as conscious creators of the world we want must involve visualizing a
fiery Uranus worth empowering.

When
we imagine the sign Aries at its highest – not the ego-driven warmonger but the
fearless pioneer – we have an appropriate archetype with which to characterize
Uranus' new model of leadership. This kind of leadership is not just irascible,
but mindfully iconoclastic: Uranus has been linked with the myth of Prometheus,
the divine outlaw who broke rank in order to bring fire to humanity. Optimally
used, Uranus in Aries will provide the people of the world with the courage to
shake off whatever political, economic and social circumstances that have grown
oppressive. Many will feel the impulse to assert (Aries) their vision of
democracy (Uranus) rather than just talk and argue about it. Pluto will provide
the life-or-death circumstances that make this a requirement.

Pluto's
pressure upon Uranus suggests the will of the citizenry to throw off its
passivity and to become boldly pro-active. Forward-looking Uranian individuals
will be prompted to perform from the core of their beings. The adolescent
infighting that afflicts so many progressive movements has the chance, now, to
change relatively suddenly, and be replaced by coalitions of mature and
responsible social reformers.

Ultimately,
the puerile arrogance of contemporary humanity itself – that aspect of the
modern personality that imagines it shoulddominate Nature simply because it can
– will be given a dose of Pluto's cold, dark comeuppance when the square
becomes activated.

 

Our Mission if We Choose to Accept it

When using astrology to look at
the future, it must be remembered that we are accessing a mystical language
that works not with specifics but with symbols -which must be decoded, like a
dream. This astrologer's view is that events are not immutably "written in the
stars" or fated to happen in a precise form. Though the great themes of a given
epoch are laid out in the sky, the particulars of the future are written with
every moment. This is what makes our attitudes towards the upcoming transits so
important.

I
have suggested that the spiritually oriented approach to the Cardinal Climax
years is one that deliberately cultivates a viewpoint that goes beyond fear.
Neither is passive incredulity an appropriate response at this point: none of
the global challenges being heatedly discussed right now – by the U.N., by the
media, by concerned citizens amongst themselves – is new or surprising to
anyone who has been paying attention. We are seeing conditions long in the
making rendered obvious for the sake of wrenching the collective into a new
consciousness. Our goal must be to get in touch, on a gut level, with the fact
that the breakdowns we see around us are signals of incipient breakthrough.

As
Rick Tarnas and others eloquently remind us, the modern Western mind itself,
with its machines and weapons and power games, has grown so out-of-whack as to
be needful of tough-love intervention, like a self-harming child.15 The
transits up ahead are no more or less dramatic than they have to be, in order
to apply the appropriate restorative treatment. And when our hearts are open to
the task, we may find ourselves not only able but eager to engage in the
healing, as if a part of our being knew all along that we were born to the
task.

As
astrologers regarding these intimidating transits we walk a fine line. We must
neither lapse into unrealism about their severity, nor forget that though the
trends they suggest are immutable their specific manifestations are not. The
spiritually informed response to the upcoming Grand Crosses will be to name,
confront and transform – as a collective, and as individuals each blessed with
different gifts and proclivities – the transits' potentials at as high a level
of expression as possible. This is fundamentally what is meant by the
much-touted truism We create our own reality; whose corollary is that we each
decided, on a soul level, to incarnate into this particular place at this
particular time.

__

 

References and Notes

1 Archeologists have found bones from the
Pleistocene period marked with what appear to be phases of the Moon.

2 And yet we did suffer a purge of
a kind, when the astronomers demoted Pluto itself, in August of 2006, to "dwarf
planet".

3 To have faith is not the same
thing as being optimistic. To lack faith is not the same thing as pessimism.
The terms optimismand pessimism refer to character traits, not to the presence
or absence of that transpersonal Neptunian phenomenon we are calling faith.
This distinction becomes important when the words are used to shift and
trivialize the terms of public debate. It is a misapplication of the term
pessimistic to use it to refer, for example, to the observation that the world
is running out of oil; or that fish populations are dying off. To characterize
such discussions as "pessimistic" is to confuse the facts themselves with one's
emotional responses to the facts.

4 The last time these two planets
had opposed each other was in 1971, when America was going through a similar
mass disillusion (Neptune) with its official stories (Saturn). Consider Viet
Nam, currently an enthusiastic trading partner with Uncle Sam, its former
mortal enemy. Contrast this extraordinary development with the scenario being
spun by Washington during the sixties, about what was sure to happen in
Southeast Asia if the USA lost the Viet Nam War. Virtually unquestioned at the
time, the domino theory of communism turned out to be a Neptunian chimera.

5 For a Jungian analysis of this
transit, see Bill Streett 's superb discussion at http://www.astro-noetics.com.

6 See, for example,
http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/converg.html

7 The work of Paul Hawken
wonderfully illustrates how this Natural Law expresses itself in human society.
Hawken has set up sort of a Wikipedia for Lightworkers: www.wiserearth.org,
which lists and interconnects thousands of environmental and social justice
movements and puts them into historical context. The project gives the lie to
the illusion that consciousness workers so often labor under: that they are
lone voices in the wilderness.

8 Early in 2007 the U.N.
Intergovernmental Panel addressed the fact that despite a new plethora of
recommendations about how to accommodate upcoming climate changes (diversifying
crops, shoring up levees, etc.), poor countries – impoverished even further in
recent years by globalization – simply do not possess the resources to take
remedial action. The fact that several African states are expected to face
starvation from the lack of freshwater supplies by 2020; and that the economies
of Latin America are expected to suffer disproportionately when decreases in
moisture trigger a shift from their tropical forests, are but two examples of a
myriad potential humanitarian catastrophes scientists are beginning to catalog.

9 Bill Herbst's article, "Empire
of Community", in The Mountain Astrologer of June/July 2007 provides a thorough
documentation of this and other far-reaching outer-planet cycles.

10 For a historical overview on how
the phenomenon of death changed in meaning over the millennia in the Western
world, see my essay athttp://www.reclaimingquarterly.org/web/astrology/astrology-1-pluto.html.

11 It is in the Third World that
tens of millions of toxic consumer items have been piling up in dumps, where
they are picked apart for reusable parts by, in many cases, the tiny fingers of
children (see Giles Slade, Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in
America, Harvard University Press, 2006).

12 Among them, the editorial
"Saturn-Pluto and Peace" in the April/May 2003 issue and "The Neptune-Pluto
Cycle and the Next Seven Year" from the June/July 2004 issue. Tarriktar has
linked the recategorization of the physical planet Pluto with the global
changes of the underground treasure which it symbolizes: oil ("The Years Ahead
and the Oil Crisis", op cit).

13 Neptune, governor of lubricants,
is the traditional ruler of oil. But a joint rulership with Pluto is gaining in
astrological logic. Because the stuff originates underground it has always
borne the mark of Pluto; and its having become in recent centuries a coveted
treasure (Pluto governs hidden wealth) argues further for the linkage. But
there is a further consideration that argues for Plutonian rulership: the kind
of wealth oil creates is peculiarly plutocratic. A miniscule proportion of the
world's population is awash in oil's staggering profits. By contrast, most
Americans, for example -ordinary gas and oil consumers – are seeing nothing but
higher costs; and the denizens of those Third World countries where the oil
companies have set up shop, such as Nigeria, are seeing destruction of their
environments on a massive scale. Finally, the epitomical expression of the
Pluto-oil linkage is the war in Iraq, which is believed – fairly universally
among international observers and by an increasing number of Americans- to have
originated from a plan to control (Pluto) the Middle Eastern oil fields. The
fact that this war has lined the pockets of a very few military contractors to
the tune of 27 billion dollars, all paid for with the tax money of millions of
Americans, illustrates a baldly plutocratic state of affairs.

14 It is estimated that at least 90
per cent of the 315 million still-functional personal computers discarded in
North America in 2004 were trashed; along with, the following year, 200,000
tons of cell phones (see Slade, op cit).

15 See Rick Tarnas' The Passion of
the Western Mind, Harmony Books, 1991; and Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a
New World, Viking Press, 2006.