The Saturn-Uranus Chronicles


Saturn and Uranus form another exact opposition on Tuesday (Sep 15), their third out of a total of five exact peaks spanning fall '08 through summer '10.

I cannot stress enough what big news this is. Doesn't that starting date of 'fall '08' sound familiar? Isn't that when it became glaringly apparent our global economy was in the shitter… and that, in fact, it might never function quite the same way again?

The polarization between preservation (Saturn) and innovation (Uranus) is evident everywhere. The hardest part to swallow, perhaps, is that both sides have valid points. Both sides also currently possess a tendency to overstate their unabashed, unquestionable correctness… asserted so strongly, no doubt, as a reaction to facing their opposing adversary so directly over so prolonged a period of time.

These Saturn and Uranus energies are sharply different from one another, and, at their opposing phase, they are most markedly in head-to-head competition. This is why so many of us currently feel caught amidst perpetual questioning of whether we ought to strive to persist, restraining our immediate discontent in order for our struggling and saving and sticking with it to eventually yield stable long-term results (Saturn)… or whether continuing along the same path will prove to be a deflating dead-end, whether, instead, more drastic and dramatic breaks from the existing norms are needed to breathe life back in before irreversible decay sets in (Uranus).

Any of this ring a bell? The opposition's dual-pressures have been hitting those with personal planets in the last third of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) with the harshest challenges. As far as Sun-signs go, this would most strongly affect those with birthdays around Jun 11-19, Sep 13-21, Dec 12-20, and Mar 11-19.

We surely see this playing out in President Obama's chart, where his natal Mars at 22 Virgo has been under Saturn's thumb by conjunction, an influence that can constrain one's assertiveness while bestowing a discipline to how battles are fought… and, at the same time, has faced assault from Uranus by opposition, signaling disruptive attacks from radical outside forces, daring Mars to lose his Saturn-enhanced cool. How else could we characterize the President being heckled during his health-care speech by a member of Congress accusing him of lying? the unyielding questions about his citizenship, despite the blatant hard evidence provided by his birth certificate? the baseless comparisons to Adolf Hitler, a disgusting insult to the millions of people systematically slaughtered during the Nazis' reign of terror?

The issues at stake in the US health-care debate are just one hypervisible example of this Saturn-Uranus standoff: Do we resist too revolutionary an overhaul of the health-care system, fearful of the unknown and its potential promises of losing what safety we (that is, some of us) already have, or do we go for the big future-minded gamble, knowing that a massively progressive gain necessitates massive risk, unsure if the potential chaos of reinvention will be worth it?

While I clearly stand on the side of passionate advocacy for reform that provides health care (including a public option) for everyone, I do not mistake this debate for simple. Reorienting our societal mindset—as well as redirecting our tax revenues—is a scary venture. Though it's apparent to so many folks that something must change to some degree, we cannot foresee, in this period of palpable transition, what will happen next. We're reaching an obvious end, without a clearly sketched-out beginning to succeed it. In the face of this undercurrent of collective fright, strange behaviors emerge.

Opposition phases, such as Saturn-and-Uranus's present placements, are like full moons. What's been previously covered up is now exposed to the light. Gaps, cracks and chasms become unavoidably obvious. We must confront that 'things ain't what they used to be'.

During the Saturn-Uranus opposition of 1918-1920, a shocked world struggled to cope with the aftermath of WWI through recessions and surges of revolutionary activity. The US's participation in this 'Great War' broke its long-standing policy of isolationism, opening up greater involvement in global activity. But even as progressive President Woodrow Wilson labored on behalf of establishing the League of Nations (precursor to the UN), his legislative opponents managed to block the country's participation in the fledgling group… all while the nation endured its first 'Red Scare', with anarchists and worker-collectives kicking societal fear into high gear with bombings and civil unrest.

By the following Saturn-Uranus opposition in 1964-1966, this archetypal polarization had been channeled into a Cold War division of the globe between US- and USSR-dominated factions, including a beginning-to-spiral war in Vietnam, while Americans were still recovering from JFK's assassination and the demise of the 'Camelot' dream. Against the backdrop of counterculture anti-war and civil-rights movements, President Lyndon Johnson signed historic legislature outlawing racial discrimination and—an especially poignant detail now—initiating Medicare, a government-administered health-care program for senior citizens. These nation-rewriting changes did not happen without resistant push-backs, incidentally, which is important to remember in light of our present situation.

We see similar resistance today, at another Saturn-Uranus opposition, from 'conservatives' who want to see neither another increase in governmental spending for a social program that effectively transforms health care from a privilege to a right (and takes money directly out of the pockets of health-insurance profiters whose self-interest helps subsidize the cost of many politicians' campaigns) nor a redefinition of traditional marriage so as to extend the same legal benefits of government-sanctioned partnership to gays and lesbians within a secular society. Many feel the country they know and love is being taken away from them, and they're understandably freaked. For some of the more reactionary types, such fundamental social change is grounds for civil disobedience, as witnessed by inciting and borderline-violent behavior at Tea Party protests and health-care town halls, disrespecting the President's authority through character lies, name-calling and death threats, and stockpiling guns and ammo to protect their constitutional right to bear arms.

From the other pole we label 'liberal', we witness an outraged reaction to this heightened tone of perceived viciousness, scapegoating and misinformation. While heated partisan politics is nothing new in this country, supporters of Obama hang their jaws in disbelief as the public dialogue's apparent devolution. ('Death panels? Really?) Against this intensifying backdrop, many liberals likewise feel the country they know and love is being taken away from them… perhaps having forgotten the paranoid conspiracy theories and personal smears against former President Bush and his administration members they themselves lobbed so recently… perhaps also conveniently forgetting their own complicity as members of a society that has collectively profited, in affluence and physical security, from the very longstanding national policies they vocally abhor. Fiscal conservatives might rightfully remind them that something's got to pay for liberals' idealistic social programs.

As we now head into an even tighter spot—Saturn moves into a square with Pluto over these coming weeks, while Uranus also begins to approach a Pluto square—it's become even harder, yet even more crucial, to rise to our highest selves. No matter which 'side' we're on, we all feel as if something we know and love and hold dearly in our hearts (and not just our country) is being taken away from us. No matter who we are or what we desire, we cannot look back and wish for a nostalgic return to an idyll that, most likely, never quite existed in the idyllic form we romantically recall. We must look into each other's eyes and recognize this shared experience, if we hope to bridge the ideological differences.

We require each other's values as references, pivot points, to remind us that large communities, such as nations and states, are charged with serving vastly divergent needs among diverse populations. Insisting that it go unilaterally our way (and to hell with those 'crazies' with the 'evil' or 'heartless' beliefs) is to look in our neighbors' faces and tell them, 'I know what's best for you, and I don't care what you think because you're wrong.' In our media-mediated world of canned talking-points and anonymous online-comment wars, it's become too easy to overlook that this message is, in fact, what we're delivering when we spew rhetoric rather than listen and respond in dialogue.

I refuse to believe that the majority of people who oppose my beliefs are bad or heartless. There is unquestionably a small sliver of power-players who do seek to manipulate our collective minds and undermine progress, in order to impose their authority and protect their outrageous profit-margins. But most of us want the same things in life, though we may come at it from radically different angles—we want health and prosperity for ourselves and our loved ones, the freedom to live as we desire (so long as it doesn't infringe upon anyone else), and a level-enough playing field that affords us a fighting chance at achieving a dream or two.

Can't we keep ourselves humble by retaining this perspective… and when we do get angry, can't we direct it at that small sliver of folks who actively seek to divide us so they may control us, rather than fighting to destroy our fellow well-intentioned, if not deeply fearful, citizens of the US, the world and the universe?

The 'Push-Me-Pull-You' of Saturn Opposing Uranus (5.20.09)