Breakthoughs, Breakdowns & Growing up. Solar eclipse. Mars Pluto conjunct Square Uranus.

During the early part of this month we should benefit from the stabilising effect of the recent Full Moon in Taurus. Now is the moment to pause and recognise the enormity of recent achievements and how much has been endured and overcome in the last months.
This is an important time of evolution for us all and most people will have noticed that the pressure is on and the uphill struggle has seemed relentless. Individuals are each faced with their own version of events and situations which challenge and confront. This month may see many breakthroughs and even some breakdowns but it will also give the opportunity to discover some previously untapped strengths and unexpected allegiances.
With Saturn, our teacher planet and lord of the temporal realm, now firmly in Scorpio for the first time since 1985 we have a particular set of lessons to learn. Wherever we find Saturn we are being told we need to “grow up” in that area. Part of that process is to acknowledge certain realities, however distasteful. In Scorpio we can no longer deny the “bad stuff” that goes on in our world. Our days of innocence or ignorance are over. The “bad” in Scorpio terms, includes any subject that provokes strong emotional reactions and especially all that society considers taboo! Saturn in Scorpio says that if we seriously want to be better people living in a better world, we had better start looking under stones to see what there is that might just crawl out. The Scorpio energy insists that nothing can remain hidden when it’s due for transformation. Events now, and into the next two years, make it obvious that there are a lot of dark secrets to be found amongst people that are trying to look like they have social superiority. What will also be revealed, in true Scorpio fashion, is that whoever attempts, in retaliation, to claim the moral high ground, likely has plenty of their own they would like to keep hidden.
The sign of Scorpio, as the phoenix, indicates that there has to be a release of energy, but only after a purging or completion of what has gone before. We can then move into the next phase and rise up from the ashes. This month’s New Moon on the 13th is also a total Solar eclipse which always indicates a departure from the past and subsequent new beginning. During the following few days and into the third week of November the Planets move into a challenging pattern. Mars in Capricorn is determined and when aligned with compelling Pluto becomes a mighty force. This powerful duo square up with noncompliant Uranus in hot headed Aries from 22nd to 24th. This may be an unsettling time when action is required but it’s hampered by confusion over what or who is reliable and trustworthy now. You may find yourself deeply moved by events or need to reach deep within to find meaning during this time. Setting up barriers of protection and trying to put controlling restrictions on others as a defence against behaviour or attitude, fails to be effective in the long term. It also serves to reinforce our own self limitation. Greater understanding of what makes us who we are, without the limitations of social conformity, is the quickest way to release the stress and tension that comes with these difficult alignments. The increased self acceptance allows for greater acceptance of the failings of others.

Saturn in Scorpio, Mercury in Sagittarius, Venus in Libra & a Taurus New Moon

The last Full Moon on 30th September was in action orientated Aries in conjunction with revolutionary Uranus which is a potentially volatile combination. The Moon in a mundane or “event” chart represents the mood of the people and combined with Uranus shows us that people want change and at almost any cost! As we move into October the theme continues and we can expect changes and at quite a pace too. The Sun changes sign each month around the 21st – 23rd and every Zodiac sign lends its different character to the month as the year unfolds. The Moon, which travels the same Zodiac journey thirteen times over the year, changes signs approximately every 2.5 days. In traditional astrology a planet moving into the next sign indicates a new phase of events. This month we have a total of seven of these ingress events, not including the Moon’s progress.
Venus planet of personal values and relationships moves from larger than life Leo into modest Virgo on the 3rd. This will bring an attitude of critical discrimination into our lives as we keep checking on how well our possessions and relationships match up to our desires. We will want to get it “right” especially as the Sun has its focus in Libra, the sign of harmony and balance in relationships, during this time. We start to go deeper when Mercury, governing our thoughts, moves into Scorpio on the 5th with Saturn following a few hours later. Planets in Scorpio always activate a release of tension from stored up energy. This contained pressure is often due to suppression of power or resources that have been kept under wraps out of fear or as a precaution.
Mars the planet of personal drive and competition moves into Sagittarius on the 7th. This is a fast paced combination where the sights are set to distance and long term goals. Also spiritual, ethical or religious aspiration can be the motivation towards improvements.
This intense planetary trend turns us towards our deepest, and darkest, inner life as the Sun also moves into Scorpio on the 23rd. This time of year lends itself to introspection and we draw from our depths to find valuable resources. Scorpio will keep what it doesn’t feel comfortable with hidden until it’s transformed it into a dynamic asset. Either that or the less refined instincts and emotions of this water sign will break out suddenly and sometimes destructively when the pent up energy is suddenly released.
The Sun joins with Saturn in this powerful sign on the 25th to illuminate the limitations and boundaries we have allowed to keep us in check. This is a time to release the behaviours that control us or others. Often these are habitual ways of being that we subscribe to unconsciously. This passing astrological dynamic might just highlight some of the imposed constraints within and without so we can assess their true purpose and value.
The last few days of the month sees Venus move into Libra where she is most happy as its ruler. Here the focus is on our social values and relationship harmony once more. We will want to get along and are prepared to make whatever moves are required. This is especially true with dashing Mercury slipping into optimistic Sagittarius on the 29th. Now is a time for high ideals and striving for a better, more positive way forward. Combined with the Full Moon in peace seeking Taurus there is plenty of opportunity to have some “feel good” moments.

September 2012 Astrology, Mars in Scorpio, New Moon choices & Uranus squares up to Pluto

This is the month of the autumn Equinox, when the day and night are of equal length. Falling on the 22nd the Sun enters the Sign of Libra at 3.49pm (GMD). As the nights begin to lengthen and we head towards the winter Solstice many personal and global issues will be brought into focus.
During September the feisty, action oriented planet Mars is traveling through the intense sign of Scorpio. As the traditional ruler of Scorpio, Mars is easily able to act out his true nature here. Always looking to see where he can get the advantage, gain ground, defeat the competition or achieve his desires, Mars is the thrust and drive behind our personal assertion in life. The nature of Scorpio is transformation at it’s deepest level, and Scorpio really does go deep. Whatever falls under the power of this sign is in for a journey into “the pits” and back. During this process of being taken into the symbolic underworld where the worst in human nature can be found, something alchemical occurs and what once seemed so “bad” is now found to be “good”. Use the forceful and determined energy of Mars to seek for the positive outcome which is always contained as a potential in even the most extreme and seemingly disastrous experiences.
As the Moon wanes in the light of the Virgo Sun and disappears from view we are inclined to move our focus inward to become more reflective. When the Sun and Moon combine at New Moon on 16th the facets of the self represented by these “luminaries” are also blended. Our outwardly projected personality which is illuminated and enlivened by the life force from within, is the Sun’s concern. Our impressionable and emotional nature is the realm of the Moon. When both are temporarily melded together we can act irrationally or emotionally from conditioned responses and unconscious fears. Alternatively we can draw from an intuitive knowing or inner strength and act with calm equanimity. With the influence of Virgo behind this New Moon the choice is to be either hyper-critical and quick to judge or to perceive the potential for perfection and strive to exemplify it.
Being aware of this choice in attitude or expression is even more crucial now. We move into the last quarter of the year following the second exact square aspect between Uranus and Pluto which occurs on the 19th.
This difficult and challenging dynamic between two outer planets sets the general tone and continues in the background during the next few years. As they square up to each other the established order of corporate affairs and control through economics is challenged by a need for complete overhaul and a radical departure towards more individual freedom of expression and autonomy.
Through Pluto’s influence during these next weeks it will become more apparent than ever that those people who power has corrupted are unable to act with any personal integrity. The challenge of Uranus is for each individual to free themselves from bias, prejudice and covert collusion so that personal action and decision can be made without the constraints of fear and confusion.

June 2012 – Lunar Eclipse . Venus Transit . Uranus Square Pluto

June provides some particularly important astrological events whilst the Sun approaches it’s most northerly point at Solstice on 21st.

Venus, which has recently been such a spectacular light in the early evening sky as she follows the setting Sun, has disappeared from view. For the last few weeks she has been her closest to earth and a most powerful presence shining brightly on a clear night. From mid May, in retrograde motion she has been rapidly moving closer to the Sun and now is so close she is invisible to us. It takes about another four days before Venus reappears ahead of the Sun at dawn as the “Morning Star”.

This “death” and “rebirth” of Venus in her 584 day cycle is the focus for many ancient myths and legends from around the world. In 2012 there is a further dimension to this important cycle. On June 6th (June 5th GMT) she will pass exactly between the Earth and Sun in a rare transit which occurs about every 120 years in two phases, eight years apart. The first transit of this current phase occurred in 2004.

In Mercury ruled Gemini the emphasis is on communication and social connections. In our western culture Venus represents what we value and is widely known as the Goddess of love but also has associations with the fertility of the earth and as the Morning star, war. Representing the many faceted archetype of femininity the rebellious and feisty Goddess can be formidable when removing obstacles to a hearts desire!

Adding to the astrological conditions in early June is a Full Moon eclipse on 4th. This is likely to bring social issues to a peak, reaching a point of no return, heightening tensions and demanding action. Whilst the Sun/Venus in Gemini is opposite the Moon in Sagittarius they receive a challenging square aspect from Mars in Virgo. This tense dynamic could trigger a strong response to any restrictions touching on freedom of expression, communication or social interaction.

Watch out for disruption within any of the usual media outlets in the next weeks and months. Some forms of exchange or communication may become unworkable, be closed down or fail somehow, but if this is the case it will ultimately lead to a redesigned replacement that better serves the current era.

This theme is continued as expansive and forward looking Jupiter enters Gemini on 12th where it will stay for about a year. These transits can potentially bring great strides in our communication and significant leaps in our consciousness and perception.

To add to the general feeling of movement and progressive change, on 24th the outer planets Uranus and Pluto move into the exact position for the first really challenging aspect to each other since the 1960s. This pair will move in and out of this square angle seven times during the next four years and is the underlying theme for this phase in our personal and collective evolution.

The upheaval within our establishment, political structures and governments will continue during this period. We can expect further “meltdown” of social structures and financial systems in the near future. There will be revolution and rebellion as conflicting ideologies clash and incompatible agendas collide.

Although difficult at times this planetary tension provides the dynamic energy required for us to reach the potential that lies ahead in the following years.

This month’s Full Moon is at 15° Sagittarius on the 4th June at 12:13pm with the New Moon at 29° Gemini on the 19th at 4:02pm

Astrology update for May 2012

During this month and into June we see several of the important astrological events of 2012 coming into play. On May 6 the Moon reaches the point in its orbit when it’s closest to the earth, known as perigee.

Because the Moon travels around the earth in an elliptical orbit each lunar cycle it also has a point when it’s furthest away from the earth, known as apogee. Some months it is nearer or further than others.

Although 2012 is not the closest possible (the last time that happened was 1912) the actual exact time of perigee this May occurs less than two minutes before the exact Full Moon (when the Sun and Moon are completely opposite).

Whilst the energetic forces are amplified in this way we can expect stronger than usual tidal effects and exceptional weather or other geological disturbances. Plants and animals are also subject to the Moons phases. Astrologically we know the lunar cycles can affect our moods and behaviour as well as mundane events and financial markets.

With the Moon in Scorpio we can expect some intense feelings to surface along with power struggles or issues of control being exaggerated.

When the Moon is this close to earth it appears bigger. This is especially so at Moon rise on Full Moon, which you can watch on the eastern horizon as the Sun sets in the west.

The following New Moon (when the Moon and Sun occupy the same Zodiac degree) in very early Gemini occurs within 36 hours of this year’s furthest apogee. To add to the “stress” of this combination the Sun and Moon are at the same declination, which creates an eclipse as the Moon moves across the Sun.

The shadow’s path starts over China and Japan then crosses the Pacific Ocean onto the west coast of America, ending in Texas. It is these areas which will experience the strongest effect over the next months.

The planetary aspects during this phase suggest not only a new beginning, when something outworn is replaced, but also a cleansing with new alliances or relationships forming.

Neptune in watery Pisces forming a difficult square to the Sun/Moon suggests not only the potential for floods but it could also be a challenging event involving heightened emotions, particularly compassion or sorrow. Also watch out for misinformation or some form of deception.

Stabilising Saturn is strongly connected to sociable Venus whilst transforming Pluto has the feisty energy of Mars focused on it. These energies add to the forward thrust towards change and transformation along with consolidating relationships or contracts of allegiance.

As we negotiate this potent month we can anticipate an increase in the ongoing trend of major shifts or changes on every level of our lives.

The Sun moves into Gemini the sign of the twins on the 20th whilst Venus starts her apparent retrograde motion on the 15th and the pair conjunct in a spectacular and rare event in early June.

Being fast and flexible in your thinking is a Gemini trait along with the ability to reconcile a paradox, holding more than one viewpoint simultaneously and understanding the connecting relationships between, well, everything! All these skills will be an advantage in the coming months and now is the time to hone them.

The next Full Moon is at 16° Scorpio on the 6th May at 4:36 am and the next New Moon is at 1° Gemini on the 21st at 12:48 am

Planet Update – Astrology April 2012

This current Moon phase started with the New Moon on March 22 just two days after the spring equinox when the Sun moved into Aries. The dark phase of the Moon, when it reflects no light from the Sun and invisible to us, is a point of low energy with an apparent pause before the new crescent Moon becomes briefly visible once more, soon after sunset. Its reappearance marks a renewal and optimum time for initiation or beginnings. The sign of Aries is the first in the Zodiac and the movement of the Sun into that sign at equinox marks the start of the new Solar cycle. What we are experiencing now is the effect of both Lunar and Solar cycles commencing almost simultaneously in the very potent first few degrees of Aries.

Adding to the vibrancy, the two most excitable planets Uranus and Mercury were also in the first few degrees of Aries. This is giving us an exaggerated sense of stimulation and super fast pace for the weeks ahead. You may find that you have more things than usual needing your attention and probably more than you can easily manage in your allotted time. The area of life indicated by the location of Aries is in your birth chart will be most affected. This intense frantic energy should cool off a bit when the Moon becomes Full around the 6th April and the work or events of the last couple of weeks, begin to show its promise. There will finally be some sense of completion or resolution and maybe some breathing space, as the Moon comes back to the New phase on 21st.

This lively pace though, will likely continue as Mercury returns to forward motion on 4th although he doesn’t move beyond his retrograde degree until the 23rd. This release of energy should help with getting on top of all the connections, correspondence and everyday tasks that have built up. Mars in Virgo has also been retrograde since mid January and this will have stalled or thwarted putting plans into action. He turns direct once more on 14th and will pick up momentum gradually into June. Some of that frustrated energy might break loose around that time so just be aware of any potential flash points.

In the background but adding to the mix in keeping the pressure on, we see Venus move into excitable Gemini on the 3rd. Venus loves to be around others, charming and beguiling, partying and indulging, she is our most sociable planet. Mercury ruled Gemini is the sign most strongly associated with fast paced ideas, communications and changeability. Venus here is a social butterfly, making connections and passing information around, not lingering to contemplate, just enthusiastically rushing on to the next new thing. She stays in this sign for a lengthy four months and also makes her rare occultation of the Sun in mid Gemini on June 6th.

Social networking is going to be a big theme during these next months, whether its through internet media or good old fashioned social gatherings. There is a need for people to talk and exchange views. The issues that pull people together into like minded groups have to be shared and common values will need to be discussed. When messenger Mercury conjuncts with innovative Uranus in feisty Aries on 22nd we can expect some mental sparks to fly. He then makes a challenging angle to transformative Pluto on 25th. Don’t be surprised to find yourself thinking surprising new thoughts and don’t be too shocked if you find out some things are not the way you thought they were. The planets are telling us to keep up. We’re going through rapid changes and we need to adapt our thinking to match the new situation or we risk being left behind, wondering “what happened?”

The next Full Moon is at 18° Libra on the 6th April at 8:19pm and the New Moon is at 2° Taurus on the 21st at 8.20am

Star gazing, the bigger picture.

I watched a fabulous Full Moon rising tonight and it’s conjunct Mars which is at it’s closest to earth now! I also took time to gaze at Venus and Jupiter, so bright in the west even as the sky was still light soon after sunset. The planets are putting on a wonderful show lately.

Seems the Sun is getting excited too!

Do you get the feeling that something is trying to attract our attention?

With all five of the “personal” planets visible there is an emphasis on all those traits represented by them, bringing those qualities to our attention by being so “in your face”

There is nothing quite like being able to gaze up to the skies and absorb the meaning of the benefics, Venus and Jupiter, by letting their light shine down on a clear night.  That’s how the ancients knew their meaning and message. In almost forgotten days before the demands of a modern world took our attention, when there was an abundance of time, quietly and patiently we observed what went on around us in nature and above in the heavens and it had meaning. In those long gone days, when we had time to “stand and stare” and waited long enough, we could see the patterns and cycles as everything in existence came into its fullness and then declined again. The ebb and flow, the growth and decay, the rythmns and seasons, they all came and went. They still do if you watch and wait long enough to notice.

In studying the movement of the planets through the heavens we become part of an ancient tradition, connecting to men and women of cultures and civilisations now lost and written out of the  histories by the victors in conquest. Through the ages, nations of people, busy determining their material security and ensuring their dominance in power, lost the art of gazing, watching, waiting and absorbing.

Through observing the patterns over time, somehow slowly and surely, a sense of what is constant emerges. The “truth” is there, the advice on what to do, the knowledge of how to be, the comfort, the reassurance, the peace.  It’s always been there and isn’t about to go away and if you take the time to stay quiet and still and humble for long enough you might just get to “hear” something that resonates with a deeper version of yourself. It’s a welcome contrast to the stress and worry, confusion and chaos of a world in which we are always trying to achieve something.

That’s what I sense to be in the message from the planets as they shine so brightly. It’s a reminder to look up and notice them, they’re awesome. And they’ve been there following the patterns and rythmns for a very long time and we have something to learn from them. Something about who we really are perhaps?

If it’s a clear sky you should be able to see these planets all through March. At dusk if you look to where the Sun has just set each evening and look up and to the left a bit you’ll see Mercury followed by Venus, Big and bright, and Jupiter just above.

As Venus sets in the west Saturn will be rising in the east.

Mars, for the next few of days is near the Moon, just ahead now, so look to the right and up a bit.

Happy gazing.

Update February 2012

This lunar month started at New Moon on January 23rd coinciding with Mars beginning its retrograde motion. Whatever started then is likely to have an impact around the Full Moon on 7th February. This date coincides with Saturn going retrograde. Saturn and Mars are traditionally known as malefics and have a tendency to be troublesome. Although these planets represent essential drives and bring about plenty of beneficial outcomes, if their energies are expressed negatively the results can be far worse than with the other planets. When a planet is retrograde it’s hard to use the energy in a positive way so they are best accessed for reflection rather than action. Saturn rules over the corporeal world and represents the limitations of material reality.
In retrograde until late June, he will highlight issues with boundaries, restrictions, imposed borders, binding contracts as well as legal, social and religious regulations. Any attempts to enforce these might just be considered a line crossed, boundary breached or unfair discipline. It’s not a good time to push forward with a business contract, impose authority or create a new organisation. Use this time to question the existing arrangements and examine plans and proposals for areas that need review and renewal.
The next few months may seem like endless austerity and conflict. Repeatedly we see how things are just not working out the way they were intended. Whilst this might be our everyday experience there is something else occurring, not so noticeable but certainly both exceptional and profound. About every 164 years Neptune moves into Pisces. As one of the outer planets its journey through the zodiac is very slow taking about 13 years in each sign. Neptune moved into Pisces briefly in April until August last year but now it will stay there until 2025. The last time was between 1847 and 1862. The outer planets are evolutionary and mark time over generations. They affect us as a group and demonstrate deep and lasting social, political and spiritual change. To understand the significance of this event we need to consider the nature of Neptune.
At home in watery Pisces, it’s associated with the unified consciousness, our inter-connectedness and all that exists beyond the physical. It transcends and dissolves boundaries. Pisces represents both the material and spiritual co-existing. Finding the balance between the two is a hard art to practice. During this period we can expect to see a movement to more inclusion, less restraint and greater compassion. Existing boundaries, barriers, separation and segregation will be seen as an unnecessary fabrication when similarity and shared experiences unite people.
As Neptune blurs distinctions and recognisable definitions there may be confusion and disorientation. Some people will find themselves in a Neptunian state of denial and delusion as they try to maintain their personal vision of life. Over the next decade we will each need to choose whether to continue to accept what we are told to believe or begin to trust in our inner senses.

The next Full Moon is at 19° Leo on the 7th February at 9:54pm and the New Moon is at 3° Pisces on the 21st February at 10:35pm

January 2012 – Mars Retrograde

As we fully enter into the New Year putting seasonal holidays behind us, the focus turns to everyday concerns once more. You may though have a niggling feeling that this year’s concerns might be anything other than “everyday”.

2012 has achieved heightened significance as the year when the world as we know it, changes. Whilst you are waiting and watching for these big changes to occur on the world stage you may not have noticed quite how much you’re changing in the privacy of your own inner life! Those who want to stay ahead of the game will have been actively making adjustments as fast as personal awareness will allow. The small personal shifts in the way we perceive things will bring about the best possible outcomes this year.

With socially minded Venus connecting with Neptune, the dissolver of boundaries, in altruistic Aquarius around the Full Moon on the 9th we are getting the message that other people really are equally important. This pair of caring planets makes a strong Air trine to stabilizing Saturn in Libra so expect greater participation in social activities that benefit the wider community. Benevolent Jupiter in down to earth Taurus is now moving forward again and sustains a supportive Earth trine to transformative Pluto through to March. This influence gives a much needed boost in the optimism department.

The big astrological story this month features feisty Mars which represents our basic survival instinct and energy for action. He is the thrust behind the desire to “have” or “achieve”. Currently traveling in modest and measured Virgo he is discerning and slow to act. Mars stays an unusually long time in this perfection seeking Earth sign, not moving into Libra until early July. Every twenty six months Mars turns retrograde. He’s now moving evermore slowly until on January 24th he’ll turn to retrace his steps, not going forward again until mid April. During this phase Mars comes closest to Earth (a phenomena known as perigee) and is visible in the night sky.

Any attempts to press forward with new ventures will likely be less effective than desired or end with unexpected outcomes. Somehow the energy required just dissipates and takes longer to regain momentum. This phase though has its benefits. Often Mars acts impulsively with a drive to achieve his goal at all costs and wins his prize through might and muscle rather than foresight and planning. Take advantage of Mars retrograde to be introspective and consider your motivations. Pay special attention to any “knee jerk” responses, defensive behavior and unconscious competitive drives. Those who don’t use the self reflective Virgo discernment may let their ambitions take control leading to an explosion of repressed anger as they cling to a desired outcome. Would be warmongers are well advised to have a rethink of their strategies now. Any aggressive action is likely to backfire badly.

For my detailed 2012 forecast visit www.katearbon.com

This Month’s New Moon is at 3° Aquarius on the 23rd January at 7:41am

The Astrology of 2012

The anticipation has built over years, maybe even decades, and now finally the year 2012 is here. “Is this the end of the world or civilisation as we know it?” It may be surprising to some that with such a focus on this particular twelve months, the coming year doesn’t really produce the earth shattering astrological configurations we’ve been led to expect. That’s not to say though that there’s nothing of significance being enacted in the heavens during 2012.

An Unfolding Story

A major part of an astrologers work is to study and translate the “story” that’s being told as the planets move through our skies making their aspects and alignments. An advantage the astrologer has through watching the “signs and portents” is that it becomes obvious there’s a continuous unfolding of events occurring in cycles and series that stretch out over differing periods of time. The Sun cycle takes about 365 days to complete, our measurement of a year. Our Moon has a 29.5 day cycle and this in turn has a larger pattern of about 19 solar years. Mars takes around two solar years, Jupiter twelve and so on. Pluto’s slow progress takes 248 years to complete one full turn. It’s from the idea that we are about to complete a very very long cycle that has given this year its apocalyptic status.
Much of the emphasis on 2012 comes from the Mayan long count calendar which covers a cycle of thousands of solar years. Calculations have suggested it will complete on 20 December 2012 with a new long count starting on 21st December. Others have claimed it ended on 28th October 2011. Although an Astrological event may take place at a specific time we experience the effect from the configuration of slow moving planets over several years. Within such huge eons of time an exact date becomes a minor issue and we are actually no more likely to notice anything tangible on those dates than we are at the Solstice or Equinox each year. What we are experiencing now though is the culmination of many cycles and the beginning of a new era. But as with the nature of time, it doesn’t all happen at once!


2008 -2011

The last few years have been dominated by several major configurations featuring planets in cardinal signs making stressful cross and T square formations, notably a series of five Saturn Uranus oppositions. From 2008 to 2011 we experienced a dramatic period of upheaval and a turning point for the majority of the world’s population in which the political, social, cultural, and economic challenges of the last decades reached a peak. Global financial, political and religious structures crumbled as systems of government failed the ordinary people they were meant to serve.

Uranus Square Pluto

By mid 2011, Uranus, planet of idealism and revolution had moved into Aries whilst Pluto, planet of destruction and renewal became firmly established in Capricorn.
The powerful effect of their interaction is seen in the great evolutionary upheaval they initiate amongst the various population groups around the world.
The influence of these outer planets on any of us as individuals depends on where they fall into our own birth chart.

These two heavyweights of transformation started to form a challenging square aspect during July 2011 and we got a taste of things to come. This volatile combination is the signature of the next few years.

The Uranian archetype is altruistic and wants unrestricted freedom of expression. It is innovative and breaks through the constraints of established order. Whilst in Pisces it was prey to self delusion and couldn’t grasp the truth amongst the smoke and mirrors. Now, and for the next seven years, it’s in feisty Aries and we have a call to action, confrontation too if necessary. It serves to overthrow complacency and disrupt the status quo. It may bring chaos and apparent anarchy which will be more difficult for some people than others, but this too happens regularly in cycles. It last occurred 84 years ago during the early 1930’s.
Pluto differs in its expression but also represents an archetype which ultimately works in the interests of our combined evolutionary development. Through the process of degeneration and decay something new can emerge. This is a principal of life and death and an ongoing cycle represented all around us. We often fear this undeniable force and attempt to control its effects but that only creates stress and often pain, emotional or physical. Eventually we all have to let go to a greater force. It has the effect of overthrowing personal agendas in favour of the “good of all”. The Pluto archetype is about a journey which somehow transforms us into something further along in our shared evolution. Whilst in Capricorn, Pluto will be at work on our structures, systems and organisations. Thus we see it working to undermine the control of governments, religion and the judicial systems. Everything that we have built up over time that has crystallised or fossilised, keeping us within its constraints, must now be broken down and rebuilt.

When the forces of Uranus and Pluto come together we can expect some rapid and comprehensive changes. The last powerful combination was during the 1960’s when there were mass demonstrations and social upheavals. There was a lot of experimenting with communal living, mind blowing drugs and anti establishment attitudes. Social norms were overthrown, rigid class divisions dissolved and the “modern” social era emerged.
This current square aspect is the first major challenge to the changes that came out of that social revolution. It first became exact during late June 2011 and will continue its influence until early 2016.
The challenge we have to face is rooted in our sense of individualism. There are serious questions to ask about our own personal integrity. It is rapidly becoming obvious throughout the world that those who we have entrusted with power are now exercising a very questionable authority. But it’s easy to see it in another person. During the coming years the spotlight will eventually turn inwards and we have to look at where we’re in conflict with our own standards of behaviour. If we want to have freedom from material restraints (Uranus) we have to be purged of self importance and become honourable (Pluto).The struggle will be acted out on many levels as we are forced to face ourselves. We have to question what is really true and appropriate and what have we blindly accepted as a convenient or comfortable assertion.
Human rights, individual freedom and choice will be confronted by those who desire to hold power. Suppression, force or manipulation is likely to be used in an attempt to achieve supremacy and we can choose to go along with it or not.
We can expect a build up of increasing pressure until sufficient power exists to crash through the established political, financial and religious structures and remove the outmoded ways of being, within them.
This time period will seem chaotic and disruptive but it is essential to clear away systems, governments and social divisions that no longer serve us. The next few years will be both exciting and confusing. We still don’t know exactly how things are going to take shape and there may have to be several changes before it settles into something workable. Focusing on personal integrity, core values and removing obstacles to social co-operation within your community will help keep you connected to something dependable.


Rare Occultation of Venus

Another completion takes place this summer echoing the theme of new beginnings. On 5th June Venus passes over the Sun at 15 degrees Gemini, in what’s known as an occultation. As with an eclipse the planet passes in front of the Sun and can be observed from earth, a phenomenon occurs in pairs about eight years apart approximately every 121 years. Previous occasions have been 1631, 1639, then 1761, 1769, followed by 1874, 1882. The first of the current phase was on June 8th 2004. This once in a lifetime event often coincides with a period of social and economic reformation and is the herald for a new set of personal and social values. The last few years has seen a shift in values of all kinds, personal yes, but also financial and with how we relate to physical resources like food, water and land use.

Venus, goddess of love and beauty and planet of attraction tells us about what we value. We have an innate desire to interact with others and to be attractive and desirable so we can “belong” to a social group, partner or family. She uses the energy of attraction to bring what we value to us through a kind of magnetism of likeness. When Venus joins with the Sun in such a spectacular way their energies are combined and it’s as if Venus becomes infused with the brilliance of the Suns power, like a light getting turned on, in a big way. It’s as if the Sun, our solar heart, is imparting its message through our social values. The expression “hearts desire” comes to mind with this symbolism and I would expect that whatever yours is, it will be magnified by this conjunction. If you want to know what your true hearts desire is then take time during this rare event to tune in and find out. In Mercury ruled Gemini the emphasis is on communications and making connections. We could see a change in the way we use social media this year. Venus also makes a square to Mars and this event will bring to light the methods used to get what we want and at what cost on a deeper personal level. Expect to experience a heartfelt reaching out to others in direct challenge to those who choose conflict as their form of communication.

Neptune in Pisces

The third major influence this year is Neptune starting a 13 year journey through its own sign, Pisces. It’s been in Aquarius since 1998 and made a temporary move into Pisces from April to July 2011 when we got a taste of its potential. Neptune is another of the evolutionary planets and acts to break down barriers and dissolve physical boundaries that divide us. The sign of Pisces is the last in the Zodiac cycle and represents the return to a spiritual state beyond material limitations. Its territory is the realm of dreams and mystical experience as well as chaos and disorder. At worst we will be prey to deception or a refusal to accept stark realities preferring to remain in a comfortable denial. Potentially though, we can expect a growing wave of compassion and upsurge in yearning for connection with our spiritual home. The principals of brotherly love and human kindness are easily characterized in this combination.


Inevitable Change

2012 is probably the year when we finally see that real and profound changes are taking place. It’s happening so fast now that we cant fail to notice. This is a necessary change because we’ve gone as far as we can down a particular path and the systemic problems are deep and entrenched. The very way people relate to each other will need to evolve before the transformation is complete. The next few years will teach us some hard lessons but humanity will survive. What’s happening now will teach us that individual survival is dependant on co-operating with each other, not opposing, or controlling, but through mutual respect. It will also become apparent as we re-organise our societies that everyone will need to take equal responsibility for the society we live in and it can no longer be delegated to someone else. Humanity is about to “grow up”.

“Become the person who you would like to have around if your well being depended on you” (Anonymous)