I’m not one of those doom-saying astrologers. I won’t rant about how the world’s going to end in 2012 (or any other year). But Saturn square Pluto is starting this month and going through August of 2010 and it’s serious. It really is heavy. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t let you know how serious it is and how to cope with it.
Saturn is the archetype of the Wise Old Man, the Mentor, the Father Figure, the Authority. When Saturn comes along, he reminds us of our duties, our obligations and the seriousness of the situation. Saturn brings a reality check, sometimes a harsh one.
Pluto is the Phoenix. He transforms everything he touches, putting it through a metamorphosis, a long dark night of the soul. He brings a symbolic death-and-rebirth experience. He also represents our instincts, that part of us that ferrets out the underlying truths.
These are both heavy archetypes and they are in a square to each other, which astrologers traditionally view as a stressful relationship. A square feels frustrating and obstructive to both parties. They are not coming to the table ready to negotiate, but ready to ‘square off.’ They’re in a fighting mood.
Here’s a snippet of conversation between the two:
Saturn: I’m the ultimate authority figure. I’m strong and solid and I have respect for the wisdom of the elders. I represent the continuity of culture and its rules.
Pluto: I doubt you. I think there’s something fishy behind everything you say and do. I think you have an interest in maintaining your position and you don’t really care about the people you have charge of.
Saturn: I’ve been in charge for a very long time. The people put me here. I do what I do to take care of them. I hold communities together. I provide the rules people live by and the punishments that keep them in line.
Pluto: You have ulterior motives. I won’t be happy until I uncover every last slimy thing you’ve ever done and hold it up to the light of day.
Saturn: Don’t even think about crossing me.
Pluto: You know you can’t win. You have a trail of slime behind you a mile wide. I can smell it.
Saturn: No way—I’ve kept my past clean. I am a person of integrity.
Pluto: I think you’re corrupt. I’ll be watching you. One false move and you’re out.
That was a view of Pluto obstructing Saturn. But one can just as easily see Saturn obstructing Pluto:
Saturn: Pluto, I’ve noticed that you love intense experience.
Pluto: Yes, I do. I like life on the edge. I like passion.
Saturn: You can get pretty compulsive sometimes.
Pluto: I like the sensation of falling. I like life pulling at me and I like pulling at others.
Saturn: You become addicted to things too easily. You get lost in your compulsions and lose your good judgment.
Pluto: Did I ever have good judgment in the first place? I have only my instincts to guide me.
Saturn: But you muddy your instincts when you involve yourself in addictions. How can they guide you when you’re continually pulled back towards a substance or habit that makes the pain go away?
Pluto: I refuse to live in pain. What do you suggest?
Saturn: Discipline. Because addiction, while it promises to relieve pain in the short term, only amplifies it in the long term. Eliminate your addictions. Then we’ll talk.
Pluto: Not till I’m good and ready.
Saturn: You’ll probably have to hit bottom first, maybe alienate everyone around you and ruin your life.
Pluto: If the people around me don’t love me through this, maybe they were worth losing.
Saturn: I see—people are supposed to love you while you are free to abuse them because your life is so hard? You’re such a baby. And a victim.
Pluto: And you’re a hardass. You only pretended to care about me. Go away.
You see? Both archetypes have their weak spots and this transit could well bring those weak spots out.
This transit of Pluto square Saturn lasts from November of 2009 through August of 2010. Today’s post is just a taste of what Saturn and Pluto have in store for us. I’ll write more about it as this transit goes on, but for now I’d like to leave you with a few interesting questions to ponder:
- In what areas of your life have you been using your role as an authority figure to avoid changing?
- In what ways have you become rigid, adhering to rules instead of flexibly responding to life’s challenges on a case-by-case basis?
- In what areas of your life does an addiction rule you and cause you to violate your own integrity—whether with yourself or with others?
- When’s the last time you lied to someone—or to yourself? What were you protecting?
These are heavy questions. But if you’re ready for the very foundation of your life to shift in order to change in truly deep ways for the better, this transit is perfect for you.
In November of 2008 I posted an article called Scorpio Rising, Boundaries and Intimacy. In that article I talked about the mysterious fact that underneath the crusty, protective exterior that Scorpio frequently wears is a profound sensitivity, which is hard to see at first, but becomes apparent as you get to know the person better. This sensitivity is both the bane and the blessing of a Scorpio’s existence.
Speaking now to Scorpios everywhere, there’s a powerful gift embedded in the sensitivity of Scorpio and that gift is instinct. Validate and pay attention to your instincts. Let go of any need to explain or justify them. Watch where they lead you and you will learn to trust them. In order to get there you will probably have to let go of an addiction or two, because addictions will interfere with your ability to trust your own instincts.
Once you’ve made friends with your own best asset (instinct) and eliminated some of your worst liabilities (addictions), proceed to carve out space in the world where you can be yourself without self-consciousness or apology. Find a few friends with whom you can share your innermost thoughts and feelings, who can effortlessly have genuine compassion for your dilemmas. Stick to those friends like a magnet. Be very good to them and recognize that you are not always easy to get along with.
Let me also suggest this: when you are extremely upset about something, separate the meaning from the reality. Notice that there’s a difference between what actually happened and what it meant to you. Notice that it might mean something entirely different to other people. Let this liberate you from the compulsion to act on your feelings. Recognize that most people around you have good intentions most of the time. If you respond to the intentions rather than the actions, people will generally respond well to you. The fastest way to get rid of a good friend is to punish them for a clumsy but well-intentioned act. They’ll be running from you in droves if you do that.
Choose your friends, loves and companions wisely, love them unconditionally and tell them your truth. This will give you a rock to cling to in life’s many storms.
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Neptune has spent the last few months (since May 28) traveling backwards. Today she turns her face forward and re-covers the same ground. Why should it matter to you? If she’s passing through a zone where you have a planet in your natal chart, she’s bringing you a powerful opportunity to vision and re-dream your life this year. And it’s still in progress.
This Is A Pivotal Day
If you are one of the millions of people having a Neptune transit this year, today may be pivotal for you. Around May 28, you came to realize that some area of your life is crumbling. Since then, you’ve been re-evaluating that area. You’ve been in some confusion about it, feeling perhaps that it’s muddy or blurred. You’ve turned inward on yourself to feel into it, either because you want to or because circumstances have forced you to seek clarity. That area of your life is in suspense and you’re waiting for the right moment to act. That moment is not today, but today (Nov 4, 2009) is when the seed may be planted that will lead to the right moment happening in the next few months. This day is pivotal in the process of you coming to clarity in your vision.
Today (and I mean this loosely—it may happen as soon as 2 days before or as late as 2 days after today) is pivotal. Today may be the day you realize your internal quest for understanding is over. You’ve heard the message the universe is sending to you and you’re almost ready to act on what you’ve learned. You can now gather yourself to take that action sometime in the next few months (between now and March of 2010).
“What is a Neptune transit like . . .”
During a Neptune transit you feel more sensitive than usual. There is an awakening of your intuition, a blurring of the boundaries between the world of everyday physical reality and the unseen realms that interpenetrate this one all the time. Feelings spill over lines into inappropriate places; dreams loom large and the imagination beckons. Sometimes you have psychic openings as well. All this is very non-physical because a Neptune transit is subtle and has more to do with internal than external experience, so it could glide right by without you noticing it tugging at your sleeve. But you don’t want to ignore it because it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of your expanded imagination and to dream your life into existence on purpose.
“. . . and how do I know when I’m having one?”
First of all, you know by feel. If what I’ve described resonates for you, it’s likely you’re having a Neptune transit. (If it resonates, but only a little, you may be having a transit, but by a planet other than Neptune.) Also you should know that while transits of most planets are accompanied by real-world events, Neptune’s transits can be so subtle that they are hard to notice or distinguish from the rest of your life. What you’ll generally notice during a Neptune transit is a sensation of life in suspense or a sense of confusion for the duration of the transit, followed by increased clarity after. It’s great to find out about a Neptune transit while you’re having it, so you can use it while it’s happening, because otherwise it could go by and you’d be in a trance.
You can find out whether you’re having a Neptune transit by peeking at your chart. This year Neptune is covering the space from 23 to 26 degrees of Aquarius. This will affect you if you have any planet in the space from 23 to 26 degrees of any of the four Fixed signs (Aquarius, Taurus, Leo or Scorpio).
If you don’t have your chart, or don’t know how to read your chart, you might want to order your own personal Astrology Chart Decoder. This is a special tool I’ve invented that puts your chart’s details in English, instead of astrology symbols. Your Decoder tells you where every planet in your chart is located: the sign it’s in, the house it’s in and the exact degree it occupies. When you’ve got your Decoder in front of you, check to see if you have anything at all in 23, 24, 25 or 26 degrees of Aquarius, Taurus, Leo or Scorpio. If you do, you are definitely having a Neptune transit this year. And knowing that gives you the chance to see the opportunity that’s in front of you, instead of being so lost in a trance that you don’t even notice it happening, much less benefit from it.
“How long does it last?”
A Neptune transit will typically last for 1 to 1-1½ years. Today is just one part of it, a pivotal day in its flow. The timing of your transit will be personal to you. It takes an astrologer to look it up—it’s not something I can just tell you in a blogpost. In an astrology reading you can find out the timing of it and how to move through it consciously, instead of spending this valuable time in a fog. You can also find out which part of you (i.e. planet in your chart) is being affected by this spiritual change. Is it Relationships (Venus)? Career (Saturn)? Home (Moon)? Or it could be something more subtle.
“What do I do now?”
Neptune is the Dreamer, the Visionary. When she comes knocking at your door, she is asking you to re-dream a specific part of your life. She has activated your imagination and called you away from the world of everyday things into the dream-world, the place where you imagine things before they come to pass.
View this time as a vision quest. It’s a great time to influence your own future through what you focus your hope on and also to call on your spiritual guidance. Call your ancestors, your spirit guides, your angels, your totem animals—whatever feels right to you. Use that imagination of yours, which is so active right now. Sit in meditation. Imagine, dream, fantasize. Notice the subtle currents that are all around you all the time—you are equipped to notice them now more than usual. Let the images grow blurry around the edges—images without bounds have larger possibilities. This is an excellent time for a manifestation practice, to make use of the Law of Attraction and bring something into your life that you’ve wanted for a long time.
Also take care of yourself. Recognize that some part of you has been spirited away but that your body still needs stewardship. Feed yourself properly, even if you feel like you are sleepwalking through life these days. You want your body to be in good shape when you come back to it. In particular, when I say this is a time for dreaming and re-dreaming, I mean that literally: get enough rest and sleep, especially if you are in the habit of sleeping too little. Keep a dream journal if you can—your dreams may have messages for you and it may be hard to recognize them until later. Writing them down will preserve them for understanding at a later time and the process may well sharpen your intuition.
Neptune transits are wonderful for Neptune types, and even if you’re not a Neptune type, this period may make you into an honorary Pisces for the duration. Neptune types are often flaky and wander through life as if in a dream. They have a faraway look in their eyes, are distractible and resist the hard lines of the physical world. They frequently overrun other people’s boundaries without noticing it and tend to have a poor sense of boundaries themselves, especially when they’re young. They prefer their world of dreams and visions to the world of material concerns and they do best in life when they find a way to bring their dreams into the material world to share with everyone. So they make great artists and filmmakers. While a Neptune transit can draw a grounded person into their dream-world, paradoxically it has the effect of drawing a dreamy Neptune person into the physical world, of grounding and strengthening them. During a Neptune transit a Neptune type can blossom
Neptune’s curse (if you can call it that) is the same as her gift: access to the land of imagination—whether you like it or not. You’ll have an increased sense of the spiritual meaning behind everything you do. Everything becomes infused with meaning and spiritual power. This is a great time to ask questions, to direct them to your spiritual guidance and attend to the answers that emerge.
Your increased sensitivity is a gift from Neptune, goddess of the ocean. Make friends with Neptune and you will find yourself able to pay attention to the physical world even as your awareness of the non-physical grows. Oceanic Neptune may be sweeping you away into her vast depths but you can learn how to swim in her waters and that way you don’t have to drown. And maybe—just maybe—you’ll emerge with a really big fish.
When it’s over, it’s over
After this transit ends, your period of spiritual awakening will be over. It’s quite possible you’ll have another transit like this in a different area of your life in the next few years (it’s likely in fact), but this one will have passed. If this period is frustrating to you, be at ease, because it will end, and soon (between now and March). But also, and more importantly, take advantage. Use this spiritual opening while it’s happening. It doesn’t happen every day.