Aspects and Planetary Trends
The Play’s The Thing
One great way to understand astrology is by seeing it as the drama of life, being acted on a stage. The planets of our solar system are characters in the play. These characters are universal archetypes, of the sort you have seen a million times in stories for adults and children (The Lover, The Hero, The Innocent, Death, The Magician, The King, Mother Nature, The Healer, The Trickster and so on). Have you ever been in love and felt like your passion touched the universal? Have you ever won a battle, felt like a hero and known that your battle was won for all humanity? Have you ever been wounded, cut to the quick, and known, for an instant, the suffering of all beings everywhere? This is archetypal experience. Like every human being, you contain all these universal archetypes. Sometimes they are active and other times they wait in the wings for their moment. The characters are eager to be experienced by human beings. Each one has something it is trying to say, teach or accomplish, using your human experience to do it. The year of 2014 has an interesting set of dramas in it. Now imagine yourself in a grand theater. The lights are dimming. There is a spotlight on center stage. You are about to meet the characters.
Pluto-type characters might be: Death, Dracula, The Magician or Sorcerer.
Pluto says: “I’m the agent of transformation. Whatever I touch dies and is reborn. Most people find this to be an uncomfortable, even painful process, because they don’t like death. But the butterfly doesn’t care that it once was a caterpillar, does it?”
Think of Neptune as the Fairy Godmother, the Dreamer or the Visionary. Sometimes Neptune appears as a ghost from beyond the grave or the spirit of an ancestor. Neptune says: “I represent the worlds of spirit and the unseen. Things in my realm cannot be measured, yet when people have an experience of me, they know it, even though it cannot be proven. When the spirit leaves the body, everyone agrees the body is dead, but no one can say what has gone.”
Up pops Uranus.
Uranus tends to appear as a force for change and progress. He’s the Experimenter, the Revolutionary, the Voice of the People. Uranus says: “I’m the rule-breaker, the radical. I bring revolution and sudden insight. I descend upon you with the Eureka!-Aha!-lightbulb-going-off-over-the-head experience. I alter your perspective so radically that you can no longer see things the old way and you have to change.”
Now Chiron steps forward.
He’s limping, because he’s a reminder that everyone has a broken place inside, and that as human beings, we are an uneasy union of the animal and the divine. Chiron is The Broken One, The Walking Wounded, the Healer and every character who has ever touched greatness through suffering. Chiron says: “I’m the wounded healer. I remind you of old, stuck pain from the past. This may sound painful, but it’s actually an opportunity for healing deep, ancient wounds and recovering your human birthright. My gift is accelerated evolution.”
Now it’s Saturn’s turn.
Saturn is the Elder, the Judge, the Police, the Old Guard, the Traditionalist. In more modern terms, he’s the CEO, the Corporate Executive. His life is lived in bottom lines. Saturn says: “I’m the heavy. I remind you of all the things you should have done and been. I make you feel guilty, but behind that is a powerful drive to succeed and accomplish great things. I won’t be satisfied until you are the best you can be. Think of me as your own personal drill sergeant.”
And finally, Jupiter takes the spotlight.
Jupiter is the Sage, the Storyteller, the Explorer and Adventurer. He’s also the Perennial Student and the Seeker, always on a quest. Jupiter says: “I’m all about growth and expansion. I know what greatness you’re capable of and I fill you with the hope and confidence to begin it. I’m the one who encourages you to make the promises Saturn forces you to keep. I play good cop to his bad cop.”
Each planet has a simple, pure nature but rarely gets to express itself purely, because whatever sign it happens to be in will limit the ways it can express itself. The sign a planetary character is in is like a costume he is wearing. The costume may constrict or enhance his movement and he may or may not be comfortable in the costume he finds himself in. Each character has a costume that belongs to him, but he is not necessarily always wearing it and may be wearing a costume that belongs to a very different character (imagine the Hero wearing the Mother’s apron, or the Lover dressed up like the Businessman). Some characters will wear a given costume for many years at a time, deeply exploring its comforts and discomforts, while others will pass through signs quickly, changing their costume every year for a new one.
The six planets I’ve listed above are passing through six signs this year: Aries, Cancer, Leo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces.
Aries is a bold, adventuresome Fire sign. An appropriately Arian costume would be a military uniform or a superhero outfit. Impulsive Aries wants to get things done—or at least started, so any planet in Aries is dressed for active duty, armed, streamlined and ready to go. The Aries costume belongs to the planet Mars (another way of saying that is “Mars rules Aries”).
In 2014, Uranus is wearing the Aries costume. Uranus is the Radical and the Rebel and in Aries he is primed for action, so imagine this rebellious planet bringing startling, shocking new changes in a typically Arian way—direct and to the point. Uranus in Aries says “Change is coming—get out of my way! New ideas are bursting forth and I don’t care what the results are. Live for the moment! Re-invent yourself!” Expect the unexpected for the next six years, while Uranus wears the Aries costume. Uranus will be in Aries until 2018.
Cancer is a Water sign, flowing, emotional and sensitive. Cancer is the sign of the Universal Mother, so a Cancerian costume might involve comfortable clothing for domestic wear—an apron, a housecoat, cozy socks. Cancer loves curling up at home with beloved family members, cooking up delicious meals and deepening emotional bonds. The Cancerian costume belongs to the Moon.
Jupiter moved into Cancer in June of 2013 and spends about a year there. Jupiter is at his best in this Water sign: warm, expansive, generous, kind, sociable and loving. Jupiter in Cancer feels, but without being overly sensitive, and intuits, but without paranoia. In Cancer, Jupiter truly pours out the milk of human kindness and expands the feeling of family beyond the borders of genetic family, out into a wide sphere of tolerance and inclusion. Here’s more about Jupiter’s passage through Cancer: Jupiter in Cancer: Endless Summer.
A Fixed Fire sign, Leo is the grandest of the grand. As appropriate for the King or Queen of the zodiac, Leo’s costume is royal robes and a crown. This sign features leadership, creativity, performance and a love of receiving and giving attention. The Leo costume belongs to none other than the fiery, glowing Sun, gravitational center of our solar system.
In July of 2014, Jupiter moves into Leo, which is a fun place for the Jolly Planet to be. Jupiter in Leo can bring expansion, enhanced creativity and self-discovery. “Look at me!” shouts Jupiter in Leo, “I’m discovering myself and you can too!” Jupiter’s Leo stint, from July of 2014 to August of 2015, is loaded with opportunities to take center-stage, get bigger, take on leadership and express yourself. Creativity will burst forth and big personalities will only get bigger.
Scorpio is also a Water sign, and fully as sensitive as Cancer. This is the sign of the Phoenix, the mythical bird that burned down to nothing and rose from its own ashes. Death and rebirth are Scorpio’s themes, so Halloween costumes are appropriate for this sign: the wicked witch, the vampire, the skeleton, the figure of Death with his scythe—these are all images that remind us of the darker side of the zodiac. Another great costume for Scorpio is that of the sorcerer—shaper and wielder of vast, unimaginable powers.
Wearing the Scorpio costume in 2014 we find Saturn. What happens when the inner Judge, the Disciplinarian, the Authority Figure wears the Saturn costume? We are presented with opportunities to practice handling forces beyond our control and opportunities to face death (usually symbolically, not literally) and to let go and grieve the loss of things we didn’t really need. Saturn in Scorpio is as tough and crusty as it’s possible for Saturn to be, while also being demanding and sensitive. Here’s more about Saturn’s passage through Scorpio: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Saturn Enters Scorpio.
There’s a special Mutual Reception in effect in 2014: Saturn is occupying Pluto’s sign (Scorpio) while Pluto occupies Saturn’s sign (Capricorn). In 2013 the two enjoyed a harmonious sextile to each other. By 2014 that harmonious connection is over, but the mutual reception continues to create positive relations between these two astrological heavies. What does it mean? Look here: Saturn And Pluto At The (Mutual) Reception.
Imagine a three-piece business suit, well-tailored. Or a uniform of any kind. Any planet in the sign of Capricorn is expressing itself in a businesslike, serious way, disposing that planet toward structure and order. Capricorn is ambitious and demands that something be built. Capricorn reminds us to be self-disciplined and professional, and to be aware of our reputation.
Capricorn is the costume that belongs to Saturn, but right now Pluto, the Transformer, is wearing it. This is kind of like the figure of Death wearing a business suit. Pluto is destroying the old and birthing the new through business and discipline. Pluto in Capricorn says: “I won’t be happy until everything we know about how to run a business or government is destroyed and rebuilt. What is ‘order’ really? What is ‘structure?’ What is ‘discipline?’ I must get to the essence of these things and to do so I may have to burn away everything on the surface until what is true underneath is revealed.” Pluto will be in Capricorn until 2023—a good long time.
Pisces is oceanic, spiritual and boundary-less. Imagine a Piscean costume as the garb of an Illusionist, one who spins dreams, illusions and fantasies—or the messy, paint-smeared smock of an artist, someone who manifests a vision in reality. And yet another Piscean costume might be the garb of a monk, someone who cares nothing for the physical world and has no possessions beyond a begging bowl. Neptune is the owner of these costumes.
In 2014, Chiron, the Wounded Healer, is wearing the Pisces costume. Chiron in Pisces does his work gently, bringing up old wounds relative to intuition and illusion. If you’re cut off from your intuition, Chiron will show you. If you’re deluding yourself about something, Chiron will know. “Watch your dream life,” says Chiron, “That’s where I’ll be, showing you places where you are split or broken and showing you how to heal them. You’ll find wholeness in your dreams and in your spiritual practice.” Chiron will be wearing the Pisces costume until 2018.
Neptune herself is also wearing Piscean garb this year, donning her own favorite costume and thus becoming the dreamiest Dreamer she can be. “What magic I can make!” says Neptune in Pisces, dancing and casting sparkles everywhere. “What dreams I will spin, what fantasies and imaginings! I will feed the imaginations of artists, visionaries and poets everywhere. Let me enchant you with the possibilities your life holds.” But beware and stay grounded, for this combination can lead to illusions, delusions and escapism. Neptune will wear the Pisces costume until 2025.
The Scripts They Are Playing Out
Characters in a play do not stand around doing monologues. Instead they interact with each other. In the same way, the planets do not operate in isolation and the most interesting parts of the drama of 2014 will be the ways the planets dialogue with each other.
Planets in the sky form specific relationships with each other. They assume roles toward each other and play out a script. Some of these scripts are harmonious (astrologers call them trines and sextiles) while others are stressful (squares and oppositions). And there is a fifth kind of script that brings two planets together in a neutral way, neither stressful nor harmonious, to ally themselves and have a meeting of the minds (conjunction).
Uranus squares Pluto—and a guest appearance from Jupiter
Some pretty crazy social unrest can get stirred up when Uranus the Rebel meets Pluto the Transformer in the sky and when Jupiter throws himself into the mix everything just gets bigger. The turbulent Uranus/Pluto connection lasts from June of 2012 to March of 2015, with Jupiter playing a part from August of 2013 to April of 2014. Here’s a post thread about it: Uranus and Pluto Topple the Great Edifice (September 2012) Expect big, sweeping societal change and revolution and watch for further blogposts as this combination develops, including posts about the Jupiter connection as they happen.
Saturn trines Chiron—and a guest appearance from Jupiter again
Saturn the Disciplinarian meets up with Chiron the Wounded Healer. Sounds harsh, right? Not necessarily: Healing the Wounded Father (November 2012) Saturn and Chiron’s harmonious connection happens from November of 2012 to August of 2014, with Jupiter trines them both, forming a Grand Trine in Water from July of 2013 to May of 2014.
In fact, Jupiter’s so active this year that I wrote a post about it: Is Jupiter Your Good Fairy?
Saturn and Pluto in Mutual Reception
This one is really sweet and really good for business. It was especially good while Saturn and Pluto were also in sextile (during 2013), but just having them in each other’s signs is still a great thing: Saturn Sextiles Pluto at the Mutual Reception (December 2012)
Chiron sextiles Pluto
When Chiron the Healer and Pluto the Alchemist form a harmonious connection in the sky, tremendous, deep healing is possible–and it doesn’t even have to hurt. Here’s the first of my blogposts showing you how: Chiron and Pluto at the Alchemical Pool of Healing (May 2012) This harmonious connection lasts from May of 2012 to February of 2014.
I’ll be posting the further adventures, dialogues and conflicts of these characters throughout 2014. If you feel a strong resonance with one or more of these characters, it may be triggering your own birth chart. To find out more, contact me or look here.
To find out more about other astrological events happening in 2014, such as eclipses and retrogrades, see this: The Year 2014