Freedom, Exercised Judiciously?


There actually is some astrological method to the proverbial madness of my recent remarks on freedom (found here and here), not mere crotchety ranting on my part.

(Not that crotchety ranting, for its own sake, doesn't have its virtues…)

I've been considering the many ways we collectively celebrate freedom, often without any qualification, in advance of both Jupiter's and Uranus's return to independent Aries in early 2011. I foresee 'freedom', as buzzword and rallying-cry, to continue dominating popular headlines into next year and beyond—much as it has throughout US history, and with that intensified zeal we've witnessed over the past couple years of 'Tea Party consciousness', by which many ordinary habits and duties of the federal government are now seen, according to certain readings of the Constitution, to infringe upon on our personal liberties.

This fiery debate over the role of government and other authoritarian influences in individuals' lives, versus our individual freedom to choose how to handle our own business (or is that 'our solitary burden to fend for ourselves against too-large-to-fail for-profit entities'?), will likely last through much of the 2010s.

The broader astrological backdrop at play here is the just-now-forming square between Uranus and Pluto—arguably the most potent planetary pairing for triggering deep and chaotic societal metamorphoses—which remains within a five-degree orb of exactitude through 2017.

Uranus, the great revolutionary and liberator, crosses into Aries to kick off a new zodiacal cycle in mid-March 11… a planet-in-sign combo that accentuates sudden self-directed assertions of will and declarations of independence. Uranus in Aries inspires our freedom-fighting tendencies at their rawest, favoring the drive to immediately move ahead above any sense of group-minded forethought. It's an agent of pioneering action, leading the charge toward something new—anything, really, as long as it's different from what came before and disrupts whatever authority's holding back the individual's rights. Uranus in Aries points to radical deeds by brave mavericks who proceed on instinctive faith (and rightfully so) that such singular acts by rebels on the fringe can indeed change the world.

Pitted in dynamic first-quarter square (dubbed the 'crisis in action' aspect by Rudhyar) against Pluto in Capricorn, an emissary of slow painful death-and-rebirth circumstances within our structures of governance and resource-management… well, let's just say this fired-up Uranus isn't apt to hold much respect for existing traditions, nor its myriad symptoms of now-crystallized corruption.

Uranus-Pluto squares are already ripe enough with revolutionary chaos, as the pursuit of liberation from restriction unveils, in the process, a seamy underbelly of entrenched power abuses—all of which only stands to make 'the people' even angrier (especially certain mavericky individuals). Then, add the influence of the cardinal signs (the most initiatory of the qualities): Uranus in the sign of 'the independent warrior' and 'new beginnings' (Aries) vs. Pluto in the sign of 'the state' and 'responsible management that endures' (Capricorn). The symbolism reads as a perfect-storm recipe for collective turmoil: rebelliously fiery agents of change vs. an unrelenting authoritarian status-quo.

I've been struck by how perfectly the recent WikiLeaks news story—in short, a mysterious international group of renegades continues to release anonymously-leaked documents that expose the hidden machinations of global governments and corporate entities—mirrors the symbolic clash I just detailed. Operating completely outside of traditional rules of media engagement, WikiLeaks' ongoing revelations have the various interdependent arms of Big Brother covering their faces in shame, as it becomes clear just what the reigning Emperor's 'new clothes' really consist of. Talk about a radical threat to these ruling bodies. Even WikiLeaks mastermind Julian Assange's own astrology chart echoes this dynamic. It prominently features a tight Sun-Uranus square (signature of the eccentric rule-breaker and contrarian), which is due to be hit hard by transits from the approaching Uranus-Pluto square. Uranus still holds many more shocks to Pluto's 'systems' in coming years. And the leaks go on…

As if to further accentuate the need for such courageously liberating acts of self-possession, Jupiter will also be in Aries from January 22 through June 4, 2010. This symbolic reiteration ensures the coming call for Aries-style embrace of dynamic forward movement is doubly loud. Jupiter in Aries magnifies the impatience behind folks' unwillingness to accept unjust limitations on their desired activity, while heightening optimistic belief in their own ability to actually do something about it. Obviously, the planets are speaking out quite clearly on the present value of bold individuals as innovators—and as enemies of plutocracy. The latest round of incessant 'freedom!' alarms, in this context, makes perfect sense.

Neither Jupiter's nor Uranus's movement into Aries is an especially fresh headline, as both planets spent a few months there earlier this year before retrograding back into Pisces. (Uranus was in Aries from May 27 to August 13, with Jupiter there from June 6 through September 9.) During that entire period, however, in addition to their squares to Pluto, Jupiter and Uranus faced direct face-offs with Saturn in Libra… a mitigating, moderating, diplomatic influence whose presence, by opposition, prevented too sudden or extreme an explosion of Jupiter/Uranus rebelliousness. For every anti-status-quo move made, it seems there was a parallel step of compromise or restraint taken to counterbalance the revolutionary tides. Rebellion was happening all right, but simultaneously contained by countervailing forces. Thus was the tense 'backed in on all sides' drama-queen astrology of mid-2010.

Beyond the next few months, alas, the great regulator Saturn will cease to bear much moderating impact over this super-bumpy Uranus-Pluto business. While Saturn has one more opposition to Jupiter in store (in late-March), he is done aspecting either Uranus or Pluto for a good couple years—right as the square between these two comes ever closer to its first exact hit in mid-2012. In other words, the 'training wheels' for this massive societal reorientation, which will occupy much of the remaining decade, are at the beginning of the process of falling off.

My recent meditations on freedom have unfolded against my awareness of this increasing astrological shift away from the checks-and-balances afforded by Saturn's involvement in the Uranus-Pluto drama… and toward more impulsive, irrational, deeply subversive and potentially quite ugly actions on behalf of our collective liberation.

Ought we to push back against plutocratic attitudes, corrupt rulers and stale institutions? Absolutely. Indeed, we're rapidly reaching a point of 'no other choice'.

Is there a likelihood of 'going too far' with it? Most definitely. Non-strategic, anger-driven demands for 'freedom!' quickly devolve into anarchy, if wholly uncontained by any rule of order. We need order to get things done… not to mention to protect ourselves from the very real dangers of chaos, instability and social breakdown.

That's where my mind's been going on this timely issue. Just as food is sustenance until binged upon, at which point it becomes a threat that can hinder or kill us, so too is freedom only a value worth fighting for in properly healthy amounts.