2010: A Pivotal Year


Let me just put this out there right up front: I expect 2010 to be something of a game-changer.

Even as I write that, I can't be entirely sure of exactly which games (personal, societal, global, galactic) are slated for changing—or whether these changes will feel, to any one of us, either transcendent or destructive. (It'd probably depend who you ask, and on which day.)

But the dramatic concurrence of astrological events in mid-'10 first captured my (and many other astrologers') attention many years ago, and I've since been wondering how it all might manifest. This year, we'll get to see. And if astrology really is as prophetic and/or synchronous with our earthly lives as its longstanding tradition indicates, we're in for an explosive development or two that just might kick-start a longer-term radical reorientation of our cultural values. (Oh, is that all?)

Before I get further into the astrological specifics, I'd like to reiterate one of my fundamental premises in my work as an astrological commentator: I believe the future is never firmly set in stone, as if already written in permanent ink in the annals of destiny long in advance of us actually living it out. Instead, we always possess free will (to a greater or lesser degree, depending on individual circumstances) to turn left or right, proceed straight ahead or turn back around… presenting us each with gazillions of chances to make seemingly small decisions that ultimately determine the course of history. It's this belief that undergirds my moves to publicly interpret the astro-happenings, with the hope that such insight will assist us in consciously taking our personal decision-making more seriously. After all, our future depends on it.

To be sure, the sensational astrology of 2010 holds enough of a wallop to scare the crap out of folks who get off on fearing the worst. We'll witness the formation of a tight T-square (two planets in opposition, both making squares to a third) between heavyweights Saturn, Uranus and Pluto. As if that weren't enough, planetary amplifier Jupiter joins in through conjunction with Uranus, giving our solar system's rabble-rousing revolutionary a definite advantage. And to throw in even more instigating activeness, the planets converge into the T-square in the very earliest degrees of the cardinal signs, highly sensitive regions of the zodiac most closely associated with 'the turning of the seasons'. It's hard not to interpret this combination in terms of provocation, confrontation and tumult.

That interpretation, however, doesn't neatly equate to 'something bad'. Just as easily as the symbolism can point to breakdowns and uprisings, it could also signify the birth of progressive advances in how we administer our social relations, such that the spirits of individual freedom (Jupiter and Uranus in Aries) and collective responsibility (Saturn in Libra) are in better balance… and neither too unduly despoiled by the despotic maneuverings of those who control the vast majority of our material resources, and who are quite early on in their unsightly process of dying-in-order-to-be-reborn (Pluto in Capricorn).

Under these effects, we can provoke each other's innovative imaginations to create incredible breakthroughs that improve our situations… or we can merely provoke more fruitless fights between two hopelessly incompatible (and stubborn) opposites. We can confront those parts of ourselves that still don't behave in alignment with our higher aims, as well as confronting our existing institutions' increasingly challenged ability to continue serving the purposes for which they were originally intended… or we can confront only other people about what they aren't doing to our liking. The tumult could be a circumstantial creative chaos, that side-effect which naturally accompanies any startup venture's earliest efforts. Or it could be a more anger-fueled outbreak of defiant anarchy, complete with the volatility and violence possibly suggested by a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Aries, the warrior-sign.

Each individual's everyday choices, from the seemingly small to the overtly monumental, contribute toward ultimately fixing one or another of these futures into being.

We're already accustomed to the Saturn-Uranus-opposition energy, which has been with us since the autumn of 2008, its first (of five) exact peaks occurring smack dab on the US's Election Day. This is the polarization vibe, between conservatism and radicalism, holding tight and letting loose, that has hit a fevered pitch in our popular consciousness. The pressure to blend these sharply opposing forces is, perhaps, being presently exemplified by President Obama's incessant insistence on forging compromises that, in the immediate sense, seem to be satisfying neither pole (and have, admittedly, bred some disappointing moments for this astrologer). Or is it that Obama's mastery of the rhetoric of both sides of this opposition has obscured an underlying reality… that he really is a fuller member of one or the other than his appearance may reveal? Only time will tell.

Then, the Saturn-Pluto square arrived this past autumn, bringing deeper awareness of the unfairness permeating our social agreements. Such awareness leaves us little choice but to confront our gnawing disgust with how, no matter how responsible and considerate and just we may be, the cards are too overwhelmingly stacked against us—and by powerful establishment execs, no less, to whom we tacitly give the consent to govern. It was a Saturn-Pluto showdown that was also in effect on 9/11, when disenfranchised terrorists expressed their disgust with unfair imperialist practices by downing the WTC towers. While their tactics were indefensible, their repulsion with power structures they saw as shortchanging them against their will is a feeling many of us can relate to… and are likely to endure more intensely at this time.

The third branch of this remarkable configuration—a square between Uranus and Pluto—is the last to emerge into our experience, though it's also the one with the most enduring effects and deepest ramifications. Will I scare you by labeling this piece 'extreme transformation'? In his groundbreaking Cosmos and Psyche, scholar Richard Tarnas goes to great lengths in detailing how the hard aspects (conjunctions, oppositions and squares) between Uranus and Pluto coincide with 'epochs of revolution' throughout centuries of history. This upcoming waxing (or 'first quarter') Uranus-Pluto square doesn't hit its first precise peak until 2012, though it first moved within five degrees of exactitude (a standard orb of influence) last summer, so we're not quite to the transformative extremity yet.

And it's that same standard five-degree orb within which all the aspects I've mentioned (Saturn-Uranus opposition, Saturn-Pluto square, Uranus-Pluto square, and Jupiter-Uranus conjunction) will be contained during July and August of this year. Pretty intense, huh?

But the Uranus-Pluto square (their first major interaspect since the mid-1960s) will merely be getting its feet wet during 2010, in preparation for seven exact hits between 2012 and 2015 (and staying within the five-degree orb through 2017). This approaching 'epoch of revolution' is only barely beginning—and what it will bring necessarily remains up in the air for the moment. Based upon what transpires this year, the extreme transformation ahead may prove to be more or less dire.

Which is why I'm referring to 2010 as 'a pivotal year'… not only because the course of our next period in history will seem to pivot quite palpably in some different direction, but because its events will clearly prove a decisive factor in which direction that is.

Our lives are on schedule to turn. 'Toward, or away from, what?' is as yet undetermined.

Thanking the Times (11.20.09)