In the first two articles of this series, I looked at what happens when Pluto and Jupiter get together in the sky and form a stressful square:
Jupiter Squares Pluto: Going To Extremes
Jupiter And Pluto Go On A Binge
This month’s square is their final pass, so their influence will be fading quickly after February of 2011 ends.
Today’s story finds them sitting on Mount Olympus, contemplating the landscape.
Jupiter: I love a view from a lofty height like this. I can see forever and I can really get the big picture this way.
Pluto: This is not my favorite view—I prefer to look underneath things.
Jupiter: You always get so dark when you do that. You like to find the darkest, grittiest, ugliest thing at the bottom of something and point it out.
Pluto: And you have a way of overlooking what matters. I put human beings through their own dark places. It’s my job and I’m very good at it.
Jupiter: Yeah, but I’m the king of the gods. I help people see the heights they’re capable of. That’s more important.
Pluto: Not in my world. In the underworld, I’M king. You can’t even get in unless I let you.
Jupiter: Oh, I can get into the underworld anytime. I just don’t usually want to. It’s not the best vacation spot.
Pluto: But important things are going on there!
Jupiter: Stop pleading, Pluto. It doesn’t look good on you. Make your point.
Pluto: I will. People need a place to go when they die. They need a concept of hell to sober them up while they’re alive. They need a way to work off bad behavior. They need a well of souls to rejoin after death and to be reborn out of.
Jupiter: I just don’t get why this stuff matters.
Pluto: It may not matter to you, but it matters to human beings. You’re a god. You live forever. You don’t die, can never be reborn. A human being can become a little bit more like a god by going through death and rebirth. That’s why I’m here. To make it possible for a human being to burn away his mortality and become his finest, greatest self.
Jupiter: Who’s making himself sound important now?
Pluto: Here, I’ll show you what I mean.
Pluto grabs Jupiter’s arm and whisks them both away to the underworld. It is a dark, dreary place. They stand in an empty landscape where everything is in shades of gray. A Human Being trudges along, unaware of the presence of the gods.
Pluto: This human is experiencing what they call a “long, dark night of the soul.” Eventually, he will come out the other side of it and find that he has changed in a very fundamental way. He will be a new person.
Jupiter strikes a light. It flares up brilliantly. The Human Being perks up.
Pluto: (putting the light out) Hey, don’t do that!
Jupiter: Why not?
Pluto: This human hasn’t gotten to the end of his journey yet.
Jupiter: But you just said the journey through the darkness has to end sometime.
Pluto: He has to suffer some more first. Then he will get to the light at the end of the tunnel. It will happen naturally in the time that’s right for him.
Jupiter: Who are you to say that I didn’t just provide the light at the end of the tunnel?
Pluto: I’m the Lord of the Underworld, that’s who!
Jupiter strikes another light and illuminates it even more.
Pluto: Cut that out!
Jupiter: (moving away from Pluto and turning the light up. The Human Being reaches for the light with a look of hope on his face.) No, I won’t.
Pluto (roaring) You’re RUINING IT! This is supposed to be scary!
Jupiter laughs and runs around with the light, totally confusing the Human Being and keeping just ahead of Pluto.
Jupiter: Thought I’d shed a little light on the subject.
Pluto: You bring humor into the most inappropriate places. This is a serious matter. This Human is experiencing real tragedy and you’re making fun of it. False hope only adds to the anguish.
Jupiter: Can’t take a joke, can you? There’s nothing so serious in life that a little lightening-up won’t help. Humor is the best way.
Pluto: You’re going to leave this Human with the idea that the gods are laughing at his troubles.
Jupiter: Aren’t they?
Jupiter: Maybe this Human will learn to laugh at his own pain and not take himself so seriously. Laughter and tears are sometimes very close to each other. You should take yourself less seriously too. Oh, and the joke’s on you—told you I could get into the underworld whenever I wanted to. Nah-nahhhhh!
Pluto: You’re insufferable!
Jupiter: I’ve been called that before.
Pluto: You’re nothing but a giant gas—oops, I mean gas giant.
Jupiter: Caught you making a joke!
This is getting ugly, so we’ll draw a curtain over the scene here, Gentle Reader.
Suffice it to say that when Jupiter and Pluto get into conflict, sometimes we find ourselves making fun of a bleak situation, just to find some light—any light at all—in the darkness.
This month is the final pass of the Pluto-Jupiter square. If you have anything at all in 7 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn, you’re probably feeling it. And if you have Jupiter and Pluto together in your birth chart (in any aspect at all—conjunction, sextile, square, trine, quincunx or opposition), most likely you tend toward extremes and a dark (sometimes inappropriately) sense of humor.
All Air types (people with a strong Gemini, Libra or Aquarius influence in their chart) have some things in common. They tend to live in their heads and they love abstract thoughts. They prefer a beautiful theory to a hard reality and they are interested in communication, sharing ideas and networking. But there are some interesting differences that show up when Air is strong in the chart of a woman as opposed to that of a man.
There’s a marked tendency for Air-type males to be strongly intellectual (leaning toward math and science) and to not develop their social skills, while Air-type females tend to be strongly social and not as math-and-science-oriented as their male equivalents. Why should this be? Are men and women really so different physically that the same astrological influences should bear out different results in the bodies of two different natives? Why do Air-type men grow up to be techies and scientists, while Air-type women grow up to be social mavens? Why do Air-type women sometimes talk so much and say so little, while Air-type men can be logical to the point of being cold, critical and boring?
It’s not because of biology—it’s that nasty little virus sexism at work again. Just when we thought we were living in modern times and had evolved into a post-feminist utopia, how uncomfortable to discover that we’re actually still promulgating sexist ideas and limiting our children.
Even today, it’s still ok for men to be smart in ways it’s not ok for women to be.
Boys get rewarded for smarts, while girls get rewarded for social skills. While both boys and girls are encouraged academically in their younger years, the further the education goes, the less women are encouraged to pursue their studies, especially when it comes to the hard sciences. This is much, much less true for younger generations, but older generations have a longer view of how far women have come and how far there still is to go. A potential employer still looks at a woman and thinks, “she’s going to take off and have a family at some point; she’s a flight risk for my company.”
Conversely, women still get taught social skills in a way that men are not. While mothers explain to daughters the intricacies of social interaction, sons get tossed out into the world to fend for themselves socially, with nothing but their conscience to guide them, and no actual savvy. This leaves males clueless in many social situations, feeling that women are running circles around them and that every social interaction has layers of meaning that are mysterious and inscrutable. The result is that an Airy man, who has lots to say, can talk endlessly about his ideas and have no idea that he’s lost his audience.
I’ve done a lot of readings for Air-type women and believe me—they know how smart they really are and they know that all the gossiping, chattering and superficial bantering is survival behavior and they are tired of not being taken seriously as an intellectual force. And readings I’ve done for Air-type men have clued me in that, while they easily identify with their intelligence, that intense focus on the life of the mind can result in a boorish cluelessness that is very off-putting to exactly the people they’d most like to impress.
If you are one of these Airy folks, you might want to ask yourself if you’re living the full potential of your Air nature. It’s your God-given right to be both intellectual and social, but because of lingering gender roles you may have to fight for that right. For both genders, the key to Air lies in good questions. Ask intelligent questions as if you really want to know. Be curious—both about people and ideas. In conversation draw people out. The wonder and curiosity we all had when we were small is the heart of Air intellectual and social skills. Learn to ask good questions and you’re set. If you have an Airy person in your life, encourage them to develop both sets of Air skills. If you have an Air-type child, it’s your duty to counteract these social trends and make sure your boy learns to communicate warmly with others and your girl takes her smarts seriously.
Thank goodness these things are changing, and rapidly. Today it’s more common to see a proud “geek girl” who worries more about her grades or her research than her hairstyle or the latest gossip. And it’s more common to meet a boy who is socially adept without seeming too much of a “sensitive New Age guy.” Perhaps a balance will be struck at last.