Just How Serious is This Saturn-Pluto Transit?

Last year I re-read the Saturn-Pluto chapter in Cosmos and Psyche in preparation for the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn in January 2020. It’s a pretty heavy piece of writing and research, and I thought, "this has to be unnecessarily bleak - surely there’s a positive side to this." Turns out the weight of the info matches the weight of this transit.

Here are just a few highlights of what Tarnas found correlates with Saturn-Pluto times like those we’re in now: "Challenging historical periods marked by a pervasive quality of intense contraction...grim awakenings and sudden breakdowns, whether political, economic or psychological...moral darkness...perceiving and constellating danger, subversive threat, and malefic shadow elements in a rigidly polarized world view...global economic and political collapse and fascist empowerment...mass suffering, disease, death and fear...the violent unpredictability of life...intensified collective awareness of dire threats to the human species..." And that’s just for starters.

There were some intense moments in 2019, but nothing quite as grim on a mass scale as the tone of this research. Looking back I can now see how pervasive the influence of Jupiter in Sagittarius was last year. Under that influence, we had space for optimism and best-case scenarios, even in the midst of our growing Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn fears.

When did things change? Almost instantly after Jupiter entered Capricorn. The virus was spreading in Wuhan, and by January, we knew there was a dire problem. Trump was impeached in the house, and afterwards the senate vote revealed the extent of corruption there. Trump nearly started a war with Iran overnight. Brexit got real. Then, as the COVID-19 virus was spreading in the US, politically-driven decisions led to delayed testing, which will undoubtedly lead to lives lost. As of today, testing is still not widely available or implemented. Numbers are being thrown around every day, but without extensive testing in the US, there’s not much we can say definitively without projections and models based on testing being done in other countries.

How much worse will it get?

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Saturn and Pluto Are Here - How Will You Show Up?

Life is feeling a bit intense these days. Have you noticed? As usual, astrology gives us insight into the collective energetics we all experience. Today, as I post this, Saturn and Pluto, two planetary heavyweights, are forming an exact conjunction in the same degree and sign of Capricorn. This formidable alignment heralds serious and often grave events, such as in 2001 when the World Trade Center was attacked, and these two planets were in opposition.

The conjunction marks both an ending to the previous cycle, which in this case began with the last conjunction in 1982, and the start of a new cycle. So we see endings and beginnings; chapters closed, chapters opened.

When Saturn got very close to Pluto last year, it was also conjunct the south node, which correlates at times with release, and the Notre Dame cathedral burned as we watched, unable to stop it. People around the world grieved for the loss.

Saturn has to do with the passing of time. Saturn transits mark time, remind us of its limits, and that so many things in life have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Combined with Pluto, in the current cycle we’ve been seeing the end of long story lines, such as with the cathedral, but also in lighter examples, like the culmination of 18 Marvel films with Avengers Endgame, the end of the Game of Thrones saga, and the last of 9 Star Wars epics.

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Impulsivity and Culmination in the Unfolding Present

Mars Out of Bounds - Innovation and Impulsive Misfires

We are now in a Mars out of bounds period which started April 21 and goes through June 12. This is an exciting time with the potential for innovation, breakthrough, and dynamism at the high end of possibility. At the low end, if this Mars is active in your chart, it might also be a time when you’re more likely to fly off the handle, take impulsive actions you later regret, or chase down “crazy” ideas that in the end turn out to be just that.

A couple of weeks ago, I predicted we’d see Trump’s Twitter feed heat up even more than usual because this Mars out of bounds is going to directly impact his chart. Mars will form conjunctions with his natal Uranus, North Node and Sun from April 25 through May 4. During this time he’s likely to be even more impulsive and erratic - Mars will apply some developmental pressure in the form of conflict and heat and the desire to take action. He may leap before he looks even more than usual. He may get angry and lash out. We can predict he’ll do that even without Mars going out of bounds on his Sun because he’s demonstrated that behavior repeatedly. This Mars transit just elevates the potential in a way that we can safely speculate about the outcome.

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Capricorn Mastery in First Man

First Man, the feature film by Damien Chazelle about Neil Armstrong’s Moon landing, succeeds as a biopic where others fail by showing us a vulnerable human being rather than a larger-than-life hero. Normally in a film about someone so iconic, we’re presented with an amalgamation of ideals about that person that coalesce into an unrealistic but often entertaining one-dimensional portrait. I’m not faulting Hollywood. The format itself is limiting. I mean, just how do you convey something complexly human about a life in the span of two hours?

Some succeed by by focusing on a moment of time - a key transition or transformation the character undergoes during a crisis point. But director Damien Chazelle masterfully works his magic by showing us a series of human moments over time, conveyed with the seriousness and reverence its subject deserves. The result is a film that leaves the viewer with nail-biting anticipation even though we already know the ending.

Watching the films, and indeed, Chazelle’s entire filmography, the Saturn archetype stands out - from the dark father theme that fuels his stunning debut Whiplash, to this wounded but stoic, serious and responsible version of Armstrong. Chazelle’s second film, La La Land, brings sober Saturnian reality to the Hollywood musical romance with an uncharacteristic bittersweet ending.

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Aim High, But Wisely

This week I got an email that made me smile because it had Jupiter in Sagittarius written all over it. Here’s an excerpt:

“As I reflect on 2018 and the goals I set, one thing stood out to me as something I have to change going into 2019 goals. I didn’t aim high enough.

I want to be real clear about one thing up front. I did not hit ALL my goals for end of the year, and that’s OK. But what is most important are the goals I did hit, and even some of the ones I didn’t. What would have happened if I set them HIGHER?

You see, the lesson I learned this year that I wanted to share with you is that goal setting isn’t about checking things off a list. Goal setting is about aiming so high that even when you come up way short, the results are amazing!!”
-Kenny Rueter

Jupiter in Sagittarius unthrottled is like Tigger in full form - exuberant, positive, and resilient. We all have access to some of that optimism right now. You can hear it in Kenny’s words with the idea that if we believe “the sky is the limit” we might miss out on the getting the stars too. So why not aim for the stars and then be thrilled when we get the sky?!

That’s a great Jupitarian sentiment, but there’s an obvious reason this isn’t always the best advice: sometimes when we aim to high, the disappointment of not even coming close to our goal is disenchanting and discouraging.

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