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Aspects and Planetary Trends in 2024

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 2023 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.

The Characters

Pluto icon by BetelgeuxMeet Pluto.  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?”
Neptune icon by Betelgeux
Here’s Neptune.  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.”

Uranus icon by BetelgeuxUp 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.”

Chiron icon by BetelgeuxNow 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.”

Saturn icon by BetelgeuxNow it’s Saturn’s turn.  Saturn is the Elder, 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.”

Jupiter icon by BetelgeuxAnd 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.”

Their Costumes

Each planet has a simple, pure nature but rarely gets to express itself purely, because whatever sign it happens to be in will limit and shape its expression.  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 new ones.

The six planets I’ve listed above are passing through five signs this year: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. In this video you’ll learn a lot more about how this will play out in 2024:

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 it is “Mars rules Aries”).

Chiron, the Wounded Healer, is wearing the Aries costume. Chiron in Aries reminds us of the Wounded Warrior within. There may be a wounding and healing of the masculine principle. In other words, men may feel wounded as men and those who move toward healing instead of blaming forces outside themselves can release a huge load of past pain. We will be called upon to be honest with ourselves and each other, and to assert ourselves in positive ways. It’s time for the grizzled, war-torn and hyper-vigilant inner Warrior to come home, heal that PTSD and become a hometown Hero. The world is not your enemy. Chiron will continue through Aries until 2026.

A Fixed Earth sign, Taurus is solid and reliable, and very close to the land. Taurus is about all things sensory and sensual and loves to be in the company of pets small or large. The Taurus costume must be something comfortable to wear indoors and out, something you might find on a hippie chick who does yoga wherever she finds herself. Or it might be the beat-up old blue jeans of a farmer or the flour-dusted apron of a baker. The Taurus costume belongs to Ceres the Earth Goddess, also known as Mother Nature.

Uranus in Taurus places the Rebel in a sign famous for stubbornness. This suggests a time of passive resistance and digging in the heels. “If change happens at all, it will be MY way,” calmly states Uranus in Taurus, “and no other.” Yet Uranus has been known to bring tremendous innovation to areas of life according to the sign it’s in at the time (think Uranus in Cancer / 1950’s / invention of domestic appliances), so who knows what changes may happen in industries connected with food (such as farming and food processing) or money (such as banking or finance)? Uranus will wear the Taurus costume until 2025.

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 during part of 2024, Pluto the Transformer is wearing it.

Pluto in Capricorn 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 2024 ends—there’s still time for big changes to be made.

Aquarius is a Fixed Air sign and therefore both intellectual/cerebral (that’s the Air part) and also stubborn and fixed in its ideas (that’s the Fixed part). This costume consists of nerd glasses and a scientist’s lab coat, as is fitting for the sign of experimentation and brainstorming. Aquarius is about ideologies and paradigms–those belief-structures and “castles in the air” that might seem utopian to one person but dystopian to another. Aquarius gathers communities around a shared seed-idea and builds a sense of tribe and belonging–which can, for some, also mean the feeling of being a misfit or an outcast.

Pluto in Aquarius is kind of like the figure of Death wearing a robot costume.  Pluto is destroying the old and birthing the new in the fields of technology, the internet, and social connectivity.  Pluto in Aquarius says:  “I won’t be happy until everything we know about how to connect, group, innovate, socialize, and the future is destroyed and rebuilt.  What is ‘freedom’ really?  What are the implications of  ‘the internet’?  How do we think for ourselves within a group? 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 began its transition into Aquarius in March 2023—retrograding back and forth over the Aquarius cusp until it fully enters the sign in November 2024.

Pisces is oceanic, spiritual and unbounded.  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 this costume.

Saturn is donning the Pisces costume this year. Pisces is the costume that belongs to Neptune, but traditionally Jupiter ruled this sign for thousands of years before Neptune was discovered. Saturn makes work of whatever sign he moves through and in Pisces that’s mostly about spiritual and artistic service. How do we provide spiritual or artistic services in ways that sustain us materially and emotionally? How do we establish working structures so that we are not giving beyond our means? How do we balance integrity and devotion to our practice while also trying to survive and find success? How must we continue to work on our compassion, empathy, and sense of connectedness, and where have we hit walls in this regard? This is a year of soul-searching and also doing the work of reworking our services so they are more effective, realistic, and truly in the best interest of others and ourselves. If we do not do this work, we are likely to become more rigid and fearful about giving, and feel progressively more closed off and limited. In this way, we will discover how easily giving can become withholding. More about Saturn in Pisces in this blogpost. Saturn moved into Pisces in March 2023, and will begin its transition onward into Aries in 2025.

Neptune herself is 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.” Neptune will wear the Pisces costume until 2025.

This year Jupiter the Expander begins in Taurus and mid-year, moves on into Gemini.

Jupiter in Taurus is carrying over from 2023. In Taurus, the Fixed Earth sign, his usual giant aura of hot air grows solid and turns to fertile soil, and his naturally bombastic energy becomes grounded and slow. Jupiter represents our collective wish to grow and explore, so Jupiter’s transit through Taurus marks a time when people will be more interested in exploring food, agriculture, horticulture, nature, our own bodies and an embodied existence, creativity and artistic pursuits, economics and financial stability. Now we take the Jupiterian urge for expansion, whose interest in the foreign and exotic can tend towards manifest destiny or cultural appropriation, and develop it into something tempered with sensuality, stability and solid values. But the earthy faith of Jupiter in Taurus has a shadow side: hedonism, greed, skepticism, a glorification of the material, and the worshipping of the wealthy and beautiful.

Gemini, and Jupiter in Gemini: we’ll add a paragraph about this as it approaches, and probably a video too!

The Scripts They Are Playing Out

Characters in a play do not stand about 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 any year’s drama are usually the ways the planets dialogue with each other. They do this by forming 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 third 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). These planetary meetups cause interesting emotional “weather” for us here on Earth.

In 2024, we’ll experience a harmonious sextile between Jupiter and Chiron, and a stressful square between Jupiter and Saturn. When our video about these interesting planetary connections is ready, we’ll post it here.

More astrology resources: 

If you feel a strong resonance with one or more of these six planetary characters, it may be triggering your own birth chart (this page might give you a clue).  To find out more, you may want a full reading of your birth chart (for a list of our services, look here).

To find out more about other astrological events happening this year, such as eclipses and pivotal days, see this:  Transits in the Year 2024.

If you are interested in seeing the planets at work in one of the most dramatic years in recent history, you can check out the  videos we made in 2020. We explained why the year went the way it did, charted the course of the covid-19 pandemic and cast it all in a hopeful light. Here’s our video Pandemic Year 2020, A Retrospective. For the whole story, view our playlist on Youtube.

The gorgeous woodcut-style planet icons on this page were created by Betelgeux whom I found on deviantart.com and who appears to not be there anymore.

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