I wrote about the next big alignment, the 2020 Saturn-Pluto conjunction, a few weeks ago, and I feel inclined to go at it again, but from a different angle. The conjunction will be in Capricorn in early 2020, and I suggested it would reflect an era of big business, when the multinationals would gradually become the biggest political force in the world, more powerful than national governments.
And maybe there’s another possibility, if you consider this: the last time there was a Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn was in January 1518, 2 months after Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg and began the Protestant Revolution.
But firstly, the natures of Pluto and Saturn.
Pluto is death. He is also power. His meanings are quite raw. He is sex. He is taboos. And he is not under our control. We can propitiate him by recognising him, and by yielding to his demands – and they may be to give up everything we have, in the interests of something that is truer about who we are. Pluto doesn’t care if things are comfortable in mere human terms. He is Necessity, that deep impulse in life to slough off the old and to renew itself. It is a process that can take years. It just seems to drag on and on sometimes. And it may not be that we are holding back, it’s that the new isn’t ready to be born, we are in the chrysalis phase.
But when we are ready, it is definitely a new power to live that surges up: something that was always there, but not yet ready to be lived.
And if you watch your Pluto transits, or recall them, and enter your experience with that lens, you’ll start to understand astrology on your pulses, it’s real knowledge on which you can build. Learning the signs and houses etc is necessary, but it is seeing it work deeply for yourself, that is the real initiation into this esoteric knowledge. And all esoteric means is seeing how things really work, seeing through the illusion of our all-consuming sense experience to the dreaming behind it.
And these transits can occur on a collective, as well as a personal, level.
And then there is Saturn. Saturn is the worldly taskmaster. We often find him difficult when we are young, because he’s a planet of age: patience, discipline, practicality, responsibility, finding your place in the world. These aren’t necessarily easy things when we’re young, and they’re certainly not cool. And that’s why Saturn can seem difficult. But when we’re older, we’re often onside with all that stuff, and Saturn becomes our friend, a planet of abundance: but earned.
So Saturn gives form and shape to things: you put him next to the energy of an outer planet, and things happen. Outer planets, which are not visible to the naked eye (hence their late discovery), aren’t a part of our conscious endowment. They come from somewhere else. They certainly stir the pot. But it can be a difficult process translating that, integrating that into who we are. Put Saturn into the mix, Saturn who lives in the liminal zone between the inner and outer planets – one foot in this world, one foot in the other – and bang, you have Uranus, or Neptune, or Pluto transmitting their vast energies onto this plane.
Bet you hadn’t thought of Saturn as having a foot in the other world? He seems to be so much a planet of this world, in fact he often seems to deny the other world, that is his shadow. “You are what you earn”, rules Saturn.
Saturn needs to be turned into the protector, instead of the denier, of the inner world. That is the task of the US, with her Sun in square to Saturn, her Protestant Saturn that gives no-one a moment’s rest.
But just think about it astronomically. Not only is Saturn’s form-loving nature perfectly designed to be a bridge between the outer and inner planets. But one side of him inevitably faces towards us, the inner planets. And the other side faces fate, destiny, the outer planets. The demands of Saturn, at his best, aren’t just the rules of the world. They are tinged with our destiny, those things we need to do.
So when we put Saturn and an outer planet together, there is an immediate channel for those outer planet energies, you’re not waiting for years for the outer events. At the end of 1989, Saturn conjoined Uranus-Neptune, and the Berlin Wall came down. In 2011, Saturn opposed Pluto, and we had 9/11. And in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his theses to the church door.
Pluto energies either empower, or overturn, the entrenched status quo. Pluto is about new life, a new paradigm. It isn’t necessarily something we attach value to, particularly on the collective level. I think the outer planets show that there ISN’T a collective evolution going on. How would one judge that anyway? Was the world post 9/11 ‘better’ than what came before? This may be the case on a personal level too. We always have the choice to resist the deeper truth that Pluto wants us to live by. America, for example, could have seen 9/11 as its chickens coming home to roost, as Obama’s erstwhile mentor the Rev Wright later put it. That would have been a collective insight. But she chose, by and large, not to see this obvious truth (and this includes Obama): her response instead was to lash out at Afghanistan.
|SATURN OPPOSITE PLUTO|
So because the collective tends to be unconscious in its responses, the events around Saturn-Pluto can just be a swing in the opposite direction. The last conjunction at the end of 1982, in Libra, could also be seen in these terms. It was the beginning of laissez faire economics, the empowerment of (relatively) rule-free capitalism. Essentially that was just a reaction to the rules around finance that had been brought in as a result of the Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed. Libra, losing our hard-earned balance. And of course the result of that was the Great Recession.
But it doesn’t have to be all bad! And maybe the good stuff doesn’t always get seen. Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn can be an empowerment of the rigid structures and hierarchies. But it can also be a revolution against them. This was what Martin Luther did to the Catholic Church. His actions contained a very powerful seed, which is often the way with Pluto.
If we look at the Saturn Pluto conjunctions of 1518 and 2020, they both have the Sun at 21/22 Capricorn. This suggests a connection between the 2 conjunctions, and that the successful opposition to entrenched establishment - in that case the multinational church - could, in 2020, see the beginning of a successful movement against multinational companies whose only interest, like the church at the time, is themselves. Below are the charts for the 2 conjunctions.
So I think the coming conjunction is likely to be both an empowerment of big business – there is no obvious way of controlling it as it gets bigger – but also protest against it.
There is a choice we can all make about what dream we live by. The big business dream is one of them, and seems to be getting stronger. But Saturn-Pluto also gives the chance to create other dreams, and make them practical (this is a very practical conjunction, with both Saturn and Capricorn present.)
On Saturday 11th November myself, Kate Hubert and Moira Lake will be running another astrology day in Devon. Here it is:
Crafting the Collective Soul: Towards 2020
a day of astrological exploration
for all levels of experience, from beginners to professionals
What sort of world do we want to create? The Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 2020 is one of those critical times when there is a choice, both collectively and individually. The world is created by human intention, and that intention can be conscious and soulful. Humanity’s dream of what it can be does not just lie with the big corporations and their interests. How can working with the planets guide us in meeting the challenges of this time?
Empowerment and Actualisation: Saturn–Pluto in the Natal Chart with Barry Goddard
Pluto empowers, Saturn pushes us to actualise. For many of us, the period around 2020 will represent a major life-shift. We will begin by looking at the Saturn–Pluto conjunction of 1982 through the charts of some public figures, where the collective aspect of these planets is also involved. We will then look at the 2020 conjunction through the charts of some of us who are attending the day.
Barry Goddardhas been using astrology to describe and predict world events since 2003, mainly in his blog at www.astrotabletalk.blogspot.com, as well as in astrology magazines. He has been doing personal astrology readings since 2002, and also does shamanic healing work and runs trance dances.
Crisis, Renewal and Remaking Our Worlds with Kate Hubert
The journey of Pluto through Capricorn is revealing the corruption and redundancy of the structures that underpin the world as we know it. We are called upon to create new ways of being. Exploring astrological archetypes experientially, we can anchor into a deeper system of significance and begin to understand the inter-relationship between individual and collective experience.
Kate Hubertis influenced by esoteric and Jungian astrologies and a love of druidry. Based in Ashburton, she's been a professional astrologer since '99, offering readings, teaching and workshops, www.awenastrology.wordpress.com.
Before Our Eyes with Moira Lake
How has the world changed in the six months since our first astro-day in May? What have we made, together and individually? We’ll look at the astrology of hurricanes, fracking, transhumanism and activism. How does life after 2020 look now? We’ll experience direct input from the planets as we lend them our voices and listen to their conversations.
Moira Lakehas been a professional astrologer for over 25 years. She also works as an energy healer and shamanic worker. She practises in Dartington. For more information, visit www.hearthstarhealing.com
Venue: The Hexagon, Park Rd, Dartington Estate, Totnes TQ9 6EQ Saturday 11th November 2017 10:00-17:00 £50 (£35 low income) Booking/Info: Kate Hubert email@example.com 01364 654494
So what happened when the South of the USA tried to secede from the Union? The American Civil War. Countries don't like losing bits of themselves. They have less power and size and influence as a result. So of course the Brexit negotiations are going to be difficult, because it involves the EU losing power and influence, and this is a visceral issue. Only last week there was a threat to push Catalonia out of the EU if it split from Spain: this is bullying, but it is also realpolitik. The EU does not want its member states fragmenting. I think there has been a lot of misplaced idealism about the EU in the UK - as well as misplaced demonisation. (Personally I think there were good reasons to stay and good reasons to leave, no-one was 'right'). The EU is a state-in-the-making, and like any other. So we need to expect the EU to make leaving very difficult for the UK, if only to warn off any others who might want to leave. As well as because they are seriously pissed with us. And that's not making the EU the 'bad guys': as I said, it's just how things work.When change happens to the UK, it tends to be big and over a short period. This is because the main points of the chart - the Sun, the Moon, the Node and the Angles - are within 12 degrees of each other in the cardinal signs. So when an outer planet hard aspects the UK Ascendant (at 7 degrees), it will go on to hard aspect all those other points in the ensuing years.
The UK is at the end of Pluto performing this journey. He last did so from Libra in the 70s, when the UK joined the EU, an interesting symmetry around the transformations of identity that Pluto often brings about. His culminating transit is an opposition to the Moon, which will be exact during 2018. This may be a bit of a difficult and dark underworld journey for the British, but within that will also be the seeds of who we will be next. This is about Necessity, not right and wrong. Pluto takes us on a journey that we have to undergo, and I think that is what is happening to the UK. It took Boris' charisma and loose relationship with the truth, and it took Corbyn's ambivalence to make it happen, but Pluto will use whatever tools he needs.Saturn will move into Capricorn in January 2018, and he will spend 2 years hard aspecting the major points of the UK Chart. So this is perfect for the Brexit negotiations. Saturn is a planet of manifestation, of working through obstacles. And this is exactly how it is going to be. Uranus is no longer transiting the UK chart, so I do not expect we will suddenly crash out of the EU.
|UK 1801 Chart|
And Theresa May, who has Moon square Saturn-Node, and Venus square Saturn, is the sort of character that is needed. Cometh the hour, cometh the woman. She is Saturnian, so she is not very appealing and not very imaginative, but she has a job description, which Saturn loves, and she is dogged and will see this one through to the bitter end. I wouldn't vote for her as leader, but I admire her tenacity and commitment to seeing this through, particularly with such a difficult government to lead. Pluto is also part of her Moon-Venus-Saturn-Node aspect set. And I think this gives her that superhuman Pluto quality that will survive the nuclear war, survive whatever. She is like the Black Night in Monty Python, however much you wound her, she'll keep going. Like her opposite number, Jeremy Corbyn, who has Moon-Mars square Pluto, and possibly square Saturn also. They are both very tough.
|Theresa May (time unknown)|
So the next 2 years will be difficult, as Saturn transits the UK chart, and Pluto takes the people (the Moon) to the Underworld, from where we can be reborn. Poorer, quite probably. But also with a renewed vision for the country that will begin to heal the divisiveness and tumult of Brexit.
I've had this notion that I'd like to do 1-to-1 astrology tuition by skype or FB video. In my usual informal way. Do you have that thing in you about astrology that keeps coming back, and you want to see where it goes? One hour a week, £10 a session (if that's too much, we'll sort something). No knowledge necessary. Just keep your appointments and do a bit of homework/practice between sessions. I'll follow your enthusiasms. Let me know You can comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Politically, the UK is in disarray. The Prime Minister is barely hanging on at the head of a minority government. And the opposition is headed up by a charismatic leader who wants to take us back to the seventies – to socialist policies that led to the ‘winter of discontent’. There are no new ideas on the table.
And a similar theme is apparent across the western world. The US is being led by a very strange man, full of sound and fury, who was elected on his promise to redress the unemployment caused by globalisation, but who is not able to get anything done. And there was a resurgence of left wing politics, in the form of Bernie Sanders, during last year’s election.
Angela Merkel’s position in Germany, since the election, parallels that of Theresa May in the UK. Her party slumped in the election, and there has been a far-right resurgence (as there has been in the US; in the UK, Brexit has also legitimised elements of the far right.) I predicted at the start of the year that Merkel would go, based on her transits. That hasn’t been the case, but in any case the transits aren’t giving her more than a few years at most.
Spain is in the midst of a constitutional crisis, as Catalonia moves towards declaring independence unilaterally. Greece continues in economic crisis, as it has been for years. And France in its desperation has elected an untested youngster as President (after a far-right resurgence in its election), much as Obama was elected on a huge wave of hope in 2008. At best these Redeemers, like Obama, don’t get much done. Already Macron’s popularity has reached record lows for a new President, as the position goes to his head (what would one expect?) and he adopts the trappings of royalty.
Across the West, many people are feeling desperate, as the old economic certainties evaporate. This has led to a rise in political leaders promising redemption. But we are not yet desperate enough to have the dictatorships that are the usual outcome.
Astrologically, we are at the end of the square from Uranus to Pluto, and awaiting the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn in 2020. This square has torn apart the old stability, and the root of the problem, as far as I can see, is globalisation, along with wealth moving from West to East. In the West, as a consequence, we have built up huge debts, while generations have been consigned to unemployment.
Saturn-Pluto will be an affirmation of the new world order that is coming into being, while its sign of Capricorn has a particular emphasis on the powers of big corporations and government.
With the lack of new ideas, and with Saturn-Pluto being just over 2 years away, it is starting to look like what we have now will be the new norm. I asked myself the other day, what is the presiding political force in the world? And I think it is the multinational corporations, in the West, at any rate. And I think this will be the principal meaning of the new Saturn-Pluto cycle: an era in which big corporations rule the world. That is why the governments have no new ideas, and why they are so ineffective: it is because they are increasingly no longer in charge. Our democracies merely give an illusion of control.
The last Saturn-Pluto cycle, which began in 1982, started this process. It was the era when Margaret Thatcher ‘freed’ the markets, took away the rules that had been sensibly introduced from the 1930s onwards. And America soon followed suit. It led to these ongoing bubbles and crashes, because unrestrained greed is not a good principle on which to run an economy. And it led to the increasing power of the corporations and the financial institutions that often own them.
But it’s not ‘them’. Let us not make the mistake of thinking there is some dark force ruling the world that is not ourselves. That is the basic mistake, based on simple psychological projection, of conspiracy theorists.
It gives institutions more power than they have, and ourselves less. It is usually rooted in a feeling of powerlessness and issues around (male) authority. After all, it is the shareholders who run the big corporations. And the biggest shareholders are often the pension funds. My pension, your pension (if we have them)! At any rate, it is the man or woman in the street. People have the power to switch pension providers. Or not use Google. For example.
But that is not the way humanity works on a collective level. We feel powerless, and we want simple certainties and to be told what to think. This makes us feel secure. And the big corporations, and the governments they (effectively) run, are only too happy to provide that.
What is the principal function of a government? Panem et circenses, bread and circuses. Appeasement. We don’t realise just how controlled we are. What the government and the big corporations need are wealth producers who don’t rock the boat. (Student debt is very effective at tying people in to this system.) People who work hard and conform to the collective ethic feel good about themselves, they belong, they are respectable: and they feel even better about themselves in comparison to the people who aren’t like that: the losers, the unemployed, the disabled, the third world, foreigners, you name it. This is the not very pretty shadow of ‘respectability’. We all have some of this.
But it’s always been like this, to a greater or lesser degree. There are periods, like the 60s (and its Uranus-Pluto conjunction) when something else comes in that stirs things up for a while, and then we go back to our sleep.
We have just had things stirred up again by the Uranus-Pluto square. And there seemed to be different possibilities for a while. The free speech and level playing field of the internet. The occupy protests. The Arab uprisings against western-controlled puppet governments.
But I think much of that is closing down again, for now. I’m not being dystopian. It’s just how these huge collectives that we now live in work. Orwell was right, if you think of governments and multinationals as the same thing.
It is because of globalisation that the corporations are able to have even more power: even empires like the US and the EU are increasingly unable to control them. Look at what a struggle it has been for the EU to try and control Google, for example. And if you push them too hard, they’ll just take their business, or favours, elsewhere.
So I think this is the Saturn-Pluto era we are entering: an era in which the world is run by the big corporations. It is already happening. And the big corporations do not care about people. If they did, they would be at a competitive disadvantage. The individuals within them may care, but the organisation itself cannot afford to. That is why you get psychopaths in charge, who can be very good at appearing to care.
So the gig economy, in which people have less or no job security, is here to stay. The rising inequality is here to stay. And the greater ability to keep an eye on people and influence them, through mass surveillance and data collection, is just beginning. This will be the new Saturn-Pluto norm.
And of course, the coming AI revolution, in which the mass of humanity will be increasingly dispensible, will cement a world that is run and owned by the privileged few. In which people live brainwashed by the virtual reality of the internet.
But that will happen under Pluto in Aquarius, ‘the empowerment of the robots’. The last time Pluto was there, in the late 1700s, we saw the first wave of mechanisation, the Industrial Revolution. But we also saw rebellion against that, for Aquarius is a sign of rebellion.
Pluto enters Aquarius in 2023. I don’t think we will take this new world lying down. The neo-Luddites. That is where I have hope.