The world's been crazy, hanging on a thread, spinning on its side for so long now, it's as if we've forgotten how to look at life from any other angle than this perpetually screwed-up one.
Uranus and Pluto, our two ultra-potent transpersonal-planet juggernauts, have been in continuous square (or tense 90-degree angle) to one another for three long years. The 2010s will go down in histories, both collective and personal, as the bumpy instigation-marker of massive transitions though, still in it as we are, we cannot yet understand their full extent.
It's almost hard to believe, then, we're welcoming the seventh and final exact Uranus-Pluto square tomorrow (Mon Mar 16). That's not to say we instantaneously become exempt from its impact as soon as the planets begin to separate from their exact angle. In fact, Uranus and Pluto will remain within a five-degree orb of their square on and off into early 2017, resulting in more of a gradual tapering-away over the next couple years than an abrupt shut-off. Still, as of this week, the most concentrated expressions of the Uranus-Pluto square will be behind us. Our next stressful Uranus-Pluto period won't come around until they're opposing one another in 2046-2048. Have we made it through the bumpiest astrological ride since the mid-1960s?
Before we start naively celebrating some long-wished-for 'smooth sailing', we must remember that some of the most dramatic events we associate with the Sixties didn't occur until after the final Uranus-Pluto conjunction in 1966. While Uranus-Pluto aspects force us into head-on confrontation with how the shadowy psychological undercurrents of human nature (Pluto) impact or obstruct our capacity for liberating, individuating self-expression which cuts across traditional norms (Uranus), they often cause us such constant destabilization and chaos throughout their height, it can be hard to competently respond to their evolutionary pressures with long-lasting solutions while still under their direct influence.
The Uranus-Pluto square itself has not been a 'solution'. It's merely drawn our attention to the problems, making them so acutely apparent in our consciousness, we've become unable to disavow them any longer. Or haven't you noticed how, since 2012 (or earlier), you can no longer endorse, tolerate, or live out life-conditions which, prior, didn't seem quite so unbearable?
As I first wrote on the eve of the first exact square back in June 2012, whenever Uranus and Pluto come together in any hard aspect (e.g., conjunction, opposition, square), we endure a historical period of increased societal unrest and turbulence, during which issues of human rights and social welfare are more loudly addressed in the collective discourse. In his astro-historical tome Cosmos and Psyche, Richard Tarnas refers to these Uranus-Pluto periods as 'epochs of revolution'. Looking back from our current vantage-point, these past few years have fit the bill pretty perfectly. Our headlines have been dominated by debates on such archetypally relevant issues as wealth inequality, racism, patriarchy, privilege, marriage equality, transgender visibility and rights, police brutality, and the changing role of the US government in both federal and global politics.
What these issues share in common is how they highlight the collision between one's individual rights to self-determination (Uranus in Aries) and existing structures which may inhibit, prevent, or outlaw the expression of these rights, to preserve or strengthen the status-quo for those in power (Pluto in Capricorn). In some cases, the people's push for freedom has yielded notable successes. In others, the traditionalists and plutocrats have doubled-down on asserting their authority. We remain very much in the midst of determining how the strides made on all sides will alter the fabric of our lives going forward. I promise the impact, which we're too close to see clearly right now, will be profound. We'll look back later and realize how certain integral facets of our future lives were born out of developments from this era.
Of course, racism, prejudice, colonialism, the heartless extremes of unfettered capitalism, and other astrologically-timely themes we've been grappling with are not new to this Uranus-Pluto period. Obviously, such injustices predate our current times, and are omnipresent features of modern society. The Uranus-Pluto square has not created these dynamics, which had already long been in motion, but simply exacerbated the tensions at their source producing events which dramatized the dynamics enough to foist them into our awareness (again), forcing us to revisit a more direct collective dialogue about their consequences.
Similarly, these Uranus-square-Pluto years have brought us to at-times-painful realizations about how such tensions operate within our own individual lives whether through the intensification of inner conflicts between independence and responsibility, unorthodoxy and respectability, impulse and restraint, and/or our growing incompatibility with relationships, jobs, and living situations which cannot withstand our continuing evolution. As I described it back in 2011, 'If indeed the personal is political, then the manner in which we choose to conduct our everyday activitieshow willingly we settle for disempowering roles we've been "assigned" by those with the titles and the money, or how defiantly we create alternatives for ourselves that provide greater freedom and individualitybecomes the very battleground for determining what kind of world we'll live in.'
I, for one, am deeply existentially tired. I feel like no stone has been left unturned amidst the major building-blocks of my personal life. I experienced crises in my relationships with family, friends, and my partner, requiring me to face uncomfortable emotions such as shame, jealousy, anger, and loss. I hit up against the limits of how much gratification I could reap from my career 'successes' and began to plot new courses. I felt myself maybe falling out of love with the city I thought I'd call home forever, leaving me to wonder where else I might find such life-giving enchantment. All these major building-blocks had been in place prior to the Uranus-Pluto square's coming-on, along with the latent roots of all the problems which then arose during the square. Some have since transformed to provide me a new level of contentment and possibility. Some remain utterly unsettled, unsettling, leaving me with still no fucking clue how to proceed. One thing's for sure, another constant Uranus-Pluto theme: There's no going back.
Just over the past few weeks, we've received one more mega-dose of Uranus and Pluto, courtesy of the fiery spark-triggers provided by both Venus and Mars in Aries and so it's likely many of us have, once again, come face-to-face with another encapsulating example of our own personal Uranus-Pluto evolutionary struggles. Coming as we are to the end of this planetary aspect's most intense pressures, this is an ideal moment to reflect back over the central themes and challenges of our past few years. What destabilizing awarenesses have been pushed to the surface since 2012? What former versions of yourself have been unable to survive the rampant changes? What liberating visions for a radically different future have started to emerge? How do the developments of these past few weeks resonate with and/or reinforce these insights? There are connections, parallels, unifying threads.
In a gorgeous synchronicity, this final-Uranus-Pluto-square week will be capped off with a solar eclipse early Friday (Mar 20), a day which also happens to be the Spring Equinox (or, if you're south of the equator, the Fall Equinox). Solar eclipses are essentially super-powered new moons, which serve as poignant 'chapter-markers' that energetically signal the transition from one installment of our life-story to another. During eclipse periods (i.e., the couple weeks adjacent to an eclipse), we notice a narrative climax, with many significant developments transpiring in a relatively concentrated span of intensity, as we flip the page to the next set of compelling issues and experiences. The annual March equinox (occurring when the Sun reaches the first degree of Aries) shares a similar new-beginnings theme, as it's considered the astrological new year, with the Sun inaugurating a fresh cycle through the zodiac-wheel, and the start of a new season. The coincidence of these events makes this an incredibly powerful time to ritualize our next-steps and moving-forwards, especially insofar as we now must begin to conceptualize and create the never-before-seen post-Uranus-Pluto-square reality.
But most of us probably don't yet know what that post-square reality is liable to look like, not from where we now sit, still in the eye of the soon-to-pass storm. That's all right, though. For the moment, it's enough to acknowledge the shifting of the tides and, more importantly, to reflect on just how massively formative these past few years will ultimately prove to have been, when put into the perspective of our whole life-trajectory. This was not 'business as usual'. This crazy-ass world isn't always this crazy. There will be 'something next'and we now possess a greater-than-ever capacity to build better circumstances upon the grave of our former discontent. What will we evolve into? What golden chances will be born from the turmoil?