The Astrology of Oblivion

Last week, we explored some of the broad themes of Neptune. What a delight Neptune is, with his glorious, undermining illusions.

A few months ago, somebody asked me to look at the case of an aging relative who was becoming ‘confused and forgetful’. We talked about it for a while, science, in the form of a kindly, but ultimately noncommittal doctor had no answer to the problem, nor any advice it seemed, except to “monitor the situation”. The fear was, naturally enough, Alzheimer’s.

It is tempting to assume that Alzheimer’s falls within the purview of Neptune. After all, the key energetic qualities have much common-ground. There is confusion, a gradual drifting away, an encroaching sense of loss and eventually, oblivion. It is not for nothing that it is called “the long goodbye”. I researched the matter, and – in an attempt to better grasp the genesis of the disease and its implications – I looked at the history and origins of the disease, then at several case studies and in that process I discovered something new and remarkable.

As is often the case with disease, we are looking at the ‘last resort’ of astrology. I have written extensively on this subject before, as for example with the “Cascade Effect”, and it is worth revisiting the central premise:

Any physical symptom is simply an expression of the astrology at the level of last resort. That psychic impetus that you have not manifested at some level higher-up in the totality of your awareness has – left with no viable alternative – found its way out into the body, and that is the cause of your symptom. Now, you might argue that you did not decide to drink the lead-poisoned water and that it was all the wicked power-company’s fault, but really, you did decide to drink it, because it was an esoteric response to a profound unconscious requirement that you apprehend some vanishingly precise and unique expression of human experience and the only way you could manage it was to move into an area where the water was poisoned by an unscrupulous corporate entity.

This posits a fundamental truth of the cascade from psychic pressure, which is itself predicated upon your karma and your innate level of consciousness, the totality of which I would call ‘spiritual energy’, through the emotional body and then into the physical body. If you cannot respond at the spiritual level to your karma then it will begin to have emotional effects. If you cannot purge the ‘dark matter’ then it begins to bring a pressure to bear upon the physical body. Louise Hay writes extensively on the subject without the benefit of astrology, but even so, her observations, with few exceptions, were remarkably cogent. If you have no love in your life then your heart will suffer. If you are fearful then you will have a digestive problem. Problems with the liver and pancreas relate to an inability to feel joy. As can be seen, all of these difficulties are preceded by an emotional trauma, acute or chronic in nature, usually between one and three years before the problem begins to manifest into the body. In that interim, the spiritual problem has begun to poison the emotional system.

Of course, as Wayne Dyer espoused: there is a spiritual solution to every problem, and this is true, but it takes an unusual soul to manage the great leap of faith and love to expedite it. Inevitably, even the most enlightened beings struggle to some extent with anger and woundedness, and these emotional symptoms of a non-spiritual response to conflict and difficulty, if not themselves ‘solved’ with a change of heart (and how apt is that phrase in this context!) will manifest into the mind or body as disease.

So when somebody approaches me with a concern about Alzheimer’s, we look first of all at the background to the problem itself, if we can, and try to build a framework within which we might put the problems in context. We hold in our minds the probability that Neptune is at work, but we can make no assumptions. Herein lies a meandering conundrum about the process of astrology too, which bears examination.

Here is what happens when your 6th house is ruled by Mercury opposition Neptune.

When we consider any disease, or even any broad situation in life, we see that there is a result. The result however, is not the cause. The result might therefore be Neptune in one sense or another, but the cause is not Neptune. Neptune may be part of the cause, but there is no one cause in the nativity. Causes are manifold. In fact, the more causes there are, the greater the likelihood of a particular placement manifesting the result. Sometimes this is a straightforward identification process, the apex of a Yod or tee-square, the debilitating and pernicious black energy of a Mars-Saturn-Pluto stellium, or a series of contacts that are within the same vibrational framework: consider Ronald Reagan’s Mercury opposition Neptune – ruled by Saturn in the 4th – Orcus in a Neptune ruled 3rd house, Pluto peregrine. At birth, Reagan’s Venus was his strongest planet, closely outpacing Mars and Moon, and this set the tone for his life mission, to bring order and harmony to the world (according to his own vision (Mars rises in Capricorn) and traditional, homespun values (Moon is in Taurus)) but crucially, when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in August 1994, Neptune had assumed supremacy by his progression onto the IC. He therefore needed to express the quality of Neptune, could not manage it spiritually, nor emotionally, and so the force of Neptune made its way into his mind. The point though is not so much that he was compelled to vibrate at a Neptunian frequency, because that is itself only a result of some other set of prevailing conditions. Thus, if the wind blows from the East, your boat will drift to the West.

Reagan’s first job as a pro-rescuer – and a good one, he saved 77 lives. Neptune only got stronger from here on in…

In Reagan’s case, there is a fascinating stormy petrel in the form of White House correspondent Lesley Stahl who recounts her final meeting with the president, in 1986: “Reagan didn’t seem to know who I was. … Oh, my, he’s gonzo, I thought. I have to go out on the lawn tonight and tell my countrymen that the president of the United States is a doddering space cadet.” But then, at the end, he regained his alertness. As she described it, “I had come that close to reporting that Reagan was senile.”

This meeting took place precisely as Orcus fell conjunct Reagan’s Ascendant by progression.

There is one other important factor to consider in the case of Ronald Reagan’s Alzheimer’s affliction, one final cause, but we must digress further to make it accessible.

When we look at the history of the disease, we find that it was named for Aloysius Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist whose life obsession became a single 51 year old patient, August Deter, who exhibited all of the, now classic, symptoms of the disease: withdrawal and confusion being most prevalent. After the patient’s death, Alzheimer studied the chemical structures of Deter’s brain and discovered that when studied under a microscope, the patient’s neuron structures were deformed, having a ‘tangled appearance’. These tangles cause the proteins to become insoluble, and thus normal brain function is impaired, albeit in a way that science does not understand. The result is Alzheimer’s disease. Doctor Alzheimer presented his research on November 3rd 1906 (at the 37th meeting of the Southwest German psychiatrists in Tübingen, the first order of the day’s discussions, after breakfast), wherein he first described the characteristic neurofibrillary tangle. Alzheimer’s disease was ‘born’.

The birth chart is interesting because Mercury rises and is precisely parallel Arachne on the Ascendant at 22 Scorpio. Mercury trines Orcus. The neurofibrillary ‘tangle’ looks, under the microscope, like a cobweb, and Orcus makes a prison from the mind as a result.

As I researched Arachne further I came to see that this little-known point loomed large where dementia was found. It was a ‘marker’.

Now, when we return to our study of Ronald Reagan’s nativity, we see that Arachne was trine Orcus at birth and had progressed precisely to his Midheaven on the day he was shot by John Hinckley in Washington DC on 30th March 1981. Remarkably, when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1994, Orcus has covered one third of his nativity, and replicated the birth trine to Arachne, albeit now from Leo, rather than Aries.

A seriously bad choice of mug-ee…

Further research bears out. Charles Bronson, another Alzheimer’s sufferer (and Orcan personification) experiences a Grand Trine of (Sun/Mercury) = (Pluto/Arachne) = Uranus, and these form the basis of Kite when Orcus is included: via his opposition to Mercury!

Iris Murdoch too, with Orcus on the Midheaven opposing Arachne on the IC died 9 days after the all-powerful middle-pass of Orcus = Ascendant; her Alzheimer’s was diagnosed as Orcus transited in opposition to her Moon and Mercury. At the middle pass, quite naturally.

By 1965, Neptune was really making himself felt…

Numerous case studies affirm that Arachne and Orcus are the major markers of Alzheimer’s disease in the nativity. But it bears repeating that it makes no sense to rush off and look up one’s own susceptibility. These are merely the routes to a result that your soul needs to manifest. If Neptune becomes your strongest power then you are simply letting go of control in your life, and you can resist that need to let go if you like. As Louise Hay writes of dementia: what is it that you need to forget?

For Ronald Reagan, it is my view that he could not face the ultimate powerlessness of his own mortality on the fateful Washington morning in 1981, exactly as Reagan’s Arachne progressed onto his Midheaven! The sheer randomness of that dreadful threat must have shaken him to his core. Hinckley, his would-be assassin was declared insane and quite rightly, after all, he decided to kill the President in order that he might impress Jodie Foster.

Jodie Foster incidentally has a one-degree opposition between Orcus and Arachne.

And Hinckley? Orcus conjunct Node, Mars and Mercury, square Moon, sesquisqaure Saturn, parallel Jupiter, Uranus and Arachne, semisquare Arachne.

We are all connected, even when sometimes; we really don’t wish to be.

The Dream Dealer

It’s a time of reflection, do you feel that?

Saturn in Scorpio is really starting to work his magic. Except it doesn’t really feel like magic. Or if it is magic then it’s some old-school thaumaturgy, or one of those terrifyingly savage shamanic rituals that unfortunate sailors would get caught up in, far from home, in the South Seas in the 1700s. It isn’t fun at all.

When the Moon hit Saturn in Scorpio, the energetic landscape changed. What I really became aware of was the way in which Jupiter in Gemini was suddenly, through an act of contrast, laid bare, and he looked kind of ridiculous. Suddenly that boundless frivolity started to seem dumb. It was, in true Saturn style, a reality check. The fact is that Jupiter is appalling in Gemini. Arguably not as appalling as in Virgo, but appalling nonetheless. Jupiter, who likes depth and substance has nowhere to go except to spread himself further on the surface, because Gemini gives no natural depth. Saturn in Scorpio gets seriously deep and suddenly Jupiter looks like a second hand car salesman arguing life perspectives with Alan Watts. In many ways I am far more comfortable with Saturn in Scorpio – as ridiculous as that sounds – than I am with Jupiter in Gemini.

In part that’s a generational problem. Having pondered the conundrum for some time I believe that Neptune is partly to blame (blame? Neptune?) for this. Allow me to explain.

Neptune always gets cast as the good guy; if I may quote myself (from “Orcus” p. 202):

“I believe that Neptune is given a fabulously good press by contemporary astrology, and one that is scarcely deserved. Certainly, Neptune’s reputation is enormously positive compared to his brother Pluto’s, and yet I am endlessly sceptical about how deserving of his many generous epithets Neptune truly is. Like the ocean, Neptune seems beautiful, yearning and restive, a vastness of potential and a personification of a gentle eternity, but it seems that way from the perspective of the safe shore. Anyone who has been beyond sight of land in a black and angry sea understands that Neptune’s power is just as dread as his brother’s; equally as alien and inhumane. Pluto’s realm is buried, however; unknown to the living, whereas Neptune’s treacherous tides and currents are glamorised by his glittering waves and gentle breezes. Neptune’s dreams, poetries and symphonies are spin-doctors par excellence.”

Neptune’s wonderful trick is that he flatters to deceive by presenting us with an image of the ideal that we cannot possibly hope to realise. Then, unattained, the dream becomes a goad to our discontent.

And, when you get to grips with it, Neptune describes your dream. With Neptune in Scorpio, the basic premise is a kind of unencumbered Spartanism. You dream of a life of purity, of minimalism, of spiritual depth. If that Neptune is in the 6th house then you will have a dream about starting your day by donning your robe, walking into the clean air as the day breaks, up to the dojo under the mountain and beginning your meditation. If the 7th house, then instead, you awake in your remote cabin to find sunlight streaming through the trees. Your beautiful, funny, successful wife has made a pot of rich Columbian coffee and you join her on the porch to listen to the birdsong. In the 8th, you wake up in the presidential suite of the Waldorf Astoria. The Swedish women’s volleyball team are staying on the same floor…

Okay, I’m joking, mostly.

But you get the idea. Neptune has a dream. It is highly personal and always alluring because it is purpose-made for you. With a Scorpio placement, the quality of that dream is always going to be characterised by depth and richness. It is not a case of bigger and better; rather it is a case of finding something pure and valuable, like a rich seam of gold deep in the black earth. Imagine that for a moment, it shines in the darkness and promises so much.

The placement of Pluto and aspects to Neptune are going to have a profound influence on the themes of your dream. If you have Scorpio Neptune in the 7th and Pluto in the 10th, then after you have drunk coffee with your wife, you climb into your Porsche and drive into the city to make big-money deals.  If Neptune trines Mars then of course, all the girls flirt with you, you’re so charming after all, but they all know that you’re happily married and can’t wait to get home to see your wife.

With Sagittarius, the dream changes, fundamentally. Now Jupiter is running the show, so it’s not a seam of gold buried deep in the earth any more, rather it’s a bright, hot-air balloon drifting gently in the balmy summer sky. You’re up there in the clouds looking down on the glittering panoply under your feet.

With that Neptune in the 6th house, you want a daily routine that’s filled with fun and laughter and good times. Yes, you can feel that can’t you? You get up and the kids are laughing, the sun is shining, your handsome, jovial husband is cooking breakfast and telling goofy jokes. You sit down to eat and your best friend calls and you arrange to go out for lunch after your yoga class. You see? That is the “more is more and it will all be great fun” style of Neptune in Sagittarius’ dream.

Inevitably though, the dream can become something of a curse. Actually, it invariably does, and when we experience hard transits to that Neptune, we begin to feel just how painfully short of that dream our reality actually is. The Neptune squares are the time in our life when we get the best opportunity to feel how far from that dream we are, and to make necessary adjustments, which invariably require coming to terms with the fact that we are going to have to let go of some things that don’t serve that dream. But that isn’t the only time we can improve the situation.

We are gifted another opportunity when Saturn moves into Neptune’s sign. It rarely feels like an opportunity, because the nature of these two energies are fundamentally dissonant, but for those born with Neptune in Scorpio, now is the time to make the hard and often onerous changes in your life which will help you to make the dream a reality. This is because the planet of reality is bearing down on the planet of fantasy, and when they finally meet, they are going to find a middle ground. It might be that Saturn gives way and you work hard to realise the dream, or it might be that Neptune gives ground and you start to get real about what is possible, and adjust the dream accordingly. Whichever way it goes, and usually there is a combination of both, after this transit, your ideal life, and your actual life will be closer than ever before. The process will not have been easy, or enjoyable, but you’ll be glad of it when it’s done.

With Neptune in Sagittarius, the situation is unique and considerably more compelling. Neptune in Sagittarius’ dreams and aspirations are in many ways bigger than Scorpio’s, and easier to deflate for that reason. But the great cosmic mechanism has ensured that Neptune in Sagittarius gets a double dose of adjustment as Saturn moves into Sagittarius between December 2014, and December 2017. People born in about 1971 are already being given a taste of this problem because – born between 1971 and 1972 they have Neptune in Sagittarius and Saturn in the early degrees of Gemini. They’ve lived with the dissonance of Saturn opposing Neptune their entire lives and as Neptune squares the opposition around now, the reality check can be especially sobering. Neptune is so very idealistic in Sagittarius after all, and the opposition to Saturn really polarises the fantasy with the reality. The dream is extremely positive and the dawning truth at the time of the Neptune squares can feel like a wet blanket the size of the old Soviet Union when it descends.

For those born somewhat after, they will experience Saturn moving into Sagittarius at the same time as their Neptune squares. It’s a double ‘turning of the screw’ on the dream of the perfect life, and for that reason it will feel very tough.

But in both these cases, all is not lost. The adjustment is painful and dissonant, but it also offers a powerful opportunity to make a shift of consciousness, which is always Neptune’s exalting pressure, into a truly spiritual mode of life. Once made, that shift is a panacea for the harshness of Saturnine reality, because it recontextualises material reality, success, status and toil into immaterial terms. Status is no longer being seen as a success, but rather in knowing that one is a good person. The small chores of life are no longer drudgeries, rather they are become meditations. What we call “work” is now “the Work”. Fundamentally, this shift is found in the realisation that the life of contentment and ease that we yearned for is not ‘out there’ but it is inside us, bound up in the distortion of perspective that we are somehow hard done-by, a victim of somebody else, or of God, or that, in fact, because we are good, we deserved better. Saturn teaches our Neptune that nobody gets what they deserve, they get only what they need to let go of the illusion that they deserved better.

Révolution Tumultueuse…

An awful night. I slept very badly because of a series of anxious dreams about flooding. At one point I was in a pedestrian plaza that I did not recognise: there were tall buildings on either side and I had to run to reach a footbridge before a great swathe of dirty water reached me. At some other point I was driving in my car and turning out of a junction I saw that the road was a river! I was stunned, it was raging, covered with debris and I was really worried about the car being washed away, and about some piece of debris taking the exhaust off. When I woke up I was quite intrigued because I thought that it was one of those emotional dream cues, until I saw the news this morning and there I watched the same scenes as I’d been dreaming all night on the screen…

Suffice to say that nothing quite so psychically compelling has happened to me before, I am actually quite unnerved by the experience because the scenes were identical in every detail and it was terrifying.

Before I knew about the Sendai City tsunami though I lay in the dawn murk thinking about the ingress of Uranus into Aries. I did not know at that point that my oil tank had run dry, although it was uncharacteristically cold in the bedroom, a sure sign that the heating hasn’t been working. For the last 7 years Neptune in Aquarius has been lent considerable dignity by Uranus’ passage through Pisces, the two planets are in mutual reception, so Neptune has gained power, support and comfort from Uranus, but tomorrow night, only 24 hours after the Sendai City earthquake hit, Neptune will lose that support. It is no surprise that my heating oil has run out too. My world is, these days, almost entirely metaphysical in apprehension, so I cannot hide from reality in “reality” and pretend it’s a coincidence.

I fully expect therefore to see the current oil crisis continuing in a fluctuating but broadly deteriorating spiral until Neptune moves into his own sign Pisces, and will be immeasurably more potent than he is in the decidedly unlubricated sign of Aquarius. Oil was “discovered” in August 1859 (See Monica’s fascinating article on this subject for more), and Neptune returns to that same point in April 2023 through Feb 2024. That’s oil’s Neptune return.

I would say that oil will probably run out in around 2024, and until that point we can assume that the egress of Uranus from Pisces will have a disruptive effect in the interim and we are seeing that influence quite clearly already. After all, in Aries, Uranus is operating in service to Mars, and since Uranus tends to make sweeping changes and challenge outdated structures, he’ll be working for that agenda under Mars’ direction. Armed revolution is the order of the day. Under Neptune’s influence Uranus will have been trying to transcend, and perhaps revolutionise indirectly, a révolution tranquille, a whispering campaign. Under Mars, things will become, and already are becoming, far more direct. Indeed, the transit of the Aries’ Point is especially potent because the energy shifts from oppressed, voiceless victim to assertive, fighting energy overnight. At the Aries’ Point we, the people, are done with it.

There is still some protection now because while Mars is in Pisces there is a short chain of receptions lending Neptune power (Mars = Neptune = Uranus = Mars etc.), but as soon as Mars moves into Aries we can expect further and more committed disruptions on the world scene. April 4th ought to be especially potent as Mars contacts Uranus in Aries.

I would say that Uranus energy has been quite affected by the mutual receptions with Neptune over the last few years, and perhaps the Uranian type has been subject to a general malaise as a result, Neptune themes will cloud the effectiveness of the Uranian type under such influence – of course in good ways – but also in difficult ways, and the Cardinal Cross of the last 2 years has simply exacerbated that tendency. Pluto will increase the revolutionary pressure over the next 5 years or so as well, and I fully anticipate the world becoming a much scarier place (especially for Western societies) as a consequence. Having said that though, the world has had ample opportunity over the last few years to devalue Uranian energy, and those who have got onto the Saturn bandwagon in a big way are going to start reaping their ‘rewards’ in the coming days and weeks.

This isn’t just typical Neptunian apocalyptic thinking either: we are seeing it happen on our TV screens. When we oppress innovation, difference, even craziness, we run the risk of gradually narrowing focus, until societies serve only the interests of those who toe the line and the unconventional is stigmatised until it has become deviance and weirdness.

Such are the symptoms of the decline of empires.

The Power of the Witness

Today I would like to focus on an issue highlighted by several comments and questions that I have received on this journal and by email.  Here are two example questions which illustrate the broad principle I should like to expand upon:

Jacque asks in response to Advanced Vulcanology: aspects of Pluto: “I have Sun trine Pluto, Mars trine Pluto and Mercury trine Pluto.  Ppl find me intense, angry, stubborn.  I can also be obsessive, compulsive about certain things n ppl.

My question is: when you speak about transformation, what do you mean?  How do we transform these energies to help us in our lives and relationships instead of it deteriorating into power struggles and people we love leaving us because they cannot handle our demands, which are draining to them.  Please answer.  This has turned into a great issue for me and I am having a crisis bcoz someone very important to me has left me and I did not even know that the relationship was draining them to that extent .”

In a similar vein, Rachel asks: “I want my Chirotic Awakening now! Is there any way to spur this awakening along, or to call it forth or something?

While both these questions are motivated by differing struggles, life conditions, and indeed, planets, there is no question that they deal with the issue of personal transformation and while the process operates in a different manner for each, the objective is precisely the same. I have dealt with these themes in the past, and two articles spring immediately to mind, in the case of Chiron please refer to The Chirotic Awakening and for Pluto try Pluto and the Personal Planets Revisited, both of these intimate some of the qualities of the specific transits of these profound bodies.

If we raise our perspective just slightly, we can apprehend a phenomenon known as the Observer or Witness. This is an awareness that is beyond our subjective perception of life and circumstance. Now, people will argue that objectivity is impossible, and there are countless treatises in psychology texts and journals which would support such a conclusion, however, objectivity is really only mindfulness, which is a quality of awareness which can be actively cultivated through meditation. It is at the heart of the Buddha’s assertion that “meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance.” If you sit quietly, and this is but a moment’s work, and place your awareness slightly above you and to the right, you will perceive yourself objectively. It is a rather sublime trick and it takes practise, this resulting presence is called the Observer or the Witness. It is a very peaceful practise which promotes objectivity – albeit in small phases – but which eventually transmutes into mindfulness, that being a habit of self-possession (as distinct from formality, which is to mindfulness as pride is to confidence). It is mindfulness which is the greatest tool at our disposal in the ongoing struggle to transmute our astrology into a valuable, edifying  journey, rather than a static imperative.

Pluto is himself the arbiter of this new superpower of humankind, and – if I may quote myself – we owe him a debt of gratitude in this respect: “We do not wake up to the complex and far-distant archetypes easily. I see how completely Pluto has made his presence felt in human life of course, but it was not always so. The Wall Street crash of 1929 (financial wipeout) heralded his arrival, and the creation of an atomic bomb followed quickly, but it has taken a great deal of development to realise the transformative potential of Hades. What is truly wonderful is the understanding that with Pluto’s discovery our very beings were invested with a transformative potential! Previously, our astrology was fixed, now we are all waking up to the power to transform! Such a great gift was not even available to our great-grandparents, they were more or less cursed by the stars (or blessed of course), but now, if we are prepared to take the journey into the underworld (which is the monomyth as described by Joseph Campbell), then we can emerge, like Theseus from the labyrinth, one step nearer to our soul’s objective: Solar self-fulfilment. What a profound gift, and that too is Pluto of course: a gift beyond wealth!

Plutonic transformations are incredibly painful and difficult, but I have seen them occur in those people around me too often to deny their feasibility. I do not discount the probability that the immediacy of astrological insight, applied with a healer’s incentive (and occasionally more bluntly) has pushed people and situations to the point of catharsis, triggering remarkable immolations and Phoenix-like rebirths of the spirit. Sad to say, very much more often I have seen Plutonic processes run unchecked into destructive power-struggles, control contests and various forms of bullying, manipulation and outright malice; so these are not matters to take lightly, however, the process is a necessary facet of the new human paradigm, so we must embrace the risk (feel the fear and do it anyway), because otherwise we will not grow in wisdom, strength or character, and most importantly, we will not understand how to love.

There is nothing more tragic in my view than seeing a person in their 60’s who does not understand how to love. I would not curse anyone with that crushing burden of spirit, but the world is populated with these lost souls, shuffling blithely to physical oblivion, but already long dead in their hearts.

So what to do?

Attend to your own journey, because you cannot force change on anyone else and to attempt to do so is to misuse your power, and misused power has implications for the heart in particular. Unlovingness always manifests in the heart. I was born with a hole in my heart, I had to be resuscitated three times as a baby, the priest was called to give the last rites and that tallies with the experience of my own journey, I have had to learn how to love, and to one extent or another, we all have that challenge to face. You cannot force anyone else to change, but you can change yourself, especially with the path marked out by astrology, and that transformation will push those around you to catharsis, without coercion.

Each major transit, progression, direction represents an opportunity to transmute your soul. This perspective is crucial, it is no good feeling hard done by, or blaming: these are childish reactions to our own imperatives: nobody made your life but you, it was mapped in tenor at least the moment you took your first breath, so where is the blame? If somebody deserts you it is because it is what your soul required, not proof of their innate wrongness. If somebody steals from you then it is marked in both your destinies, thief and victim of theft: by all means pursue justice, but not vengeance. Ask the Witness for the appropriate response and you will find your way.

Now, each planet has its modus operandi. If you can familiarise yourself with the sense impression of each then you will be gifted with a remarkable diagnostic tool; broadly – and I could write vast tracts on each of the following, so be generous with your impressions – the outer planets operate on the personal planets in the following ways:

Uranus: A sense of brittleness, rationalising, justifying, being cold, unemotional, abrupt, making hasty, sudden or contrary decisions. Distancing is a common Uranian tactic, becoming remote, feeling alien, misunderstood, separate, outcast, unwanted, these are the sense impressions that arise when Uranus is operating on your personal placements.

Neptune: The Sea-King always evokes a sense of yearning, either positive – which manifests as a dreamy reverie, or negative – which usually entails disappointment. Wishing things were different, feeling defeated, wanting to curl up, go to sleep, wishing yourself dead, in any way at all wanting to escape, disappear, avoid reality, all these are hallmarks of Neptune’s passing. Being confused, evasive, hard to pin down, feeling victimised, wanting to give up or surrender, becoming exhausted with it all, not understanding others’ motives and actually not wanting to believe that they could be so hard, incompassionate and controlling, these are all Neptunian responses to conflict and struggle.

Pluto: The great leveler, He seems to make our strongest convictions into his playthings and he dares us to up the ante time and again, until one day we discover that we pushed too far and lost it all. Pluto evokes feelings of grainy, filmy discomfort. His influence is always slightly unwholesome, as though something pornographic has entered your aura and tainted the situation. Nobody emerges from a Plutonic situation feeling clean or refreshed: indeed, whatever is the diametric opposite of refreshing and cleansing is Plutonic pressure. If you can learn to feel that sensation then you have a very precise warning klaxon o give you advance notice of lose-lose situations. What do you do when a Plutonic confrontation is on the cards? You disengage, get out, create distance, as much as possible, because Pluto can only wreak havoc in a power struggle and refusing to fight is the best way to fulfil the dual objectives of not fighting back and not getting steamrollered at the same time. Be like a guerilla army, become evasive, Neptune is Hades’ brother, and equally mighty. The sea absorbs, it cannot be held or contained, it is not rigid; you cannot smash it. Plutonic people in overdrive are ten a penny just now, so evade, fence them off. Do you know that when a mortal was struck by Zeus’ thunderbolts they could not be buried amid the general population, they had to be buried apart, fenced off, and nothing would grow there! (There’s an Anunaki theory if ever you heard one). The same approach should be taken with Plutonic people and situations – especially at this time: fence them off! Do not engage! Once you learn this method the situations and people are easy to spot. Covert manipulation and aggression are the advance guard, (here is a fabulous book for spotting and calling out the Plutonians in your life incidentally) and normally they will project Pluto, accusing you of being a control freak, all as a cover for their own deep-seated control needs, but be careful, are you quite sure you’re not trying to control the situation? Invoke the witness and see what’s really going on.

Chiron: Here the major sensations are all about a lack of confidence, insecurity, sensitivity and defensiveness. Chiron’s sign placement is much more pertinent than it is for the outer planets as a rule; so in Pisces, victimisation is a theme, Aries, feeling insignificant and unworthy and  so forth. The sign and house of Chiron is very much the area of life that we don’t want to take a stand over, so we might evade the confrontation (Pisces), or come out heavy, all guns blazing so that our opponent simply thinks it isn’t worth it, or conversely being a complete doormat (Aries). Ultimately, Chiron operates in this exact way, making us so uncomfortable with a given situation or theme that we do almost anything to avoid dealing with it. The situation here is complicated for many by the ongoing oppositions between Uranus and Chiron through much of the latter part of the 20th Century. The oscillation between the Uranian and Chirotic manifestations of distress can be quite debilitating, which gives rise to a tendency to rationalise your pain, to distance yourself from it but to experience sudden and abrupt woundings, and equally unheralded healing insights. For those born in the late 1960’s with all the outer planets in a complicated and interconnected matrix (Uranus conjunct Pluto, opposition Chiron, trine Neptune, sextile Ur/Pl) the situation becomes highly charged, any planet in the mix being activated invokes all the others, especially by major transit.

These sensations and experiential modes are therefore our teachers and if we can listen to them we gradually begin to develop a measure of self-awareness which in turn, gives us a certain power of transcendence. We subtly rise above our astrology which results in greater self-possession, poise and calm.

This then is the key to transformation. To become aware of ourselves and to learn to hold our compulsive, unmanaged and unmoderated innate behaviours in check whilst at the same time to learn to recognise those behaviours in others so that we can minimise the damage that they do to us, gently, using whatever non-aggressive paradigm suits the archetypal drivers of the situation. If we are confronted with Uranus’ aloofness in another, be open, be immediate, try not to be upset by the distance and the coldness, it’s nothing personal, just self-protection. If Neptune is at play, be precise. Don’t let the situation run amok, but rather try to focus on each point or bone of contention and thrash it out (but gently) so that confusion is not allowed to hold sway. Uranus is a great antidote to Neptune! If Pluto prevails, look to Neptune: don’t make yourself an easy target and the best way to achieve that with Pluto is in trying to counter-control. Instead, make yourself scarce, a missing puppet cannot have its strings pulled! If you cannot escape from the confrontation, your best recourse is to simply weather the storm, the less said the better. The Plutonic fires cannot rage without adequate fuel. If Chiron is involved, then (and this is difficult) take it. Don’t fight back, don’t resist, the nub lies in our sensitivity to wounding not in anyone else’s power to wound us. Does that make sense? Their power over us is a phantom if we do not give it dignity with our sensitivity, shame or fear.

And of course, it cannot be the work of a day. Transformation is the work of a lifetime, and it all begins with the Witness.

Venus, Mars and Neptune, with a little Zeus for good measure…

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Thunderbolts are go!

Today I would like to look in some detail at the various dynamics of the relating planets – Venus and Mars – in their applications to Neptune. Whilst not nearly as abrasively uncomfortable as Venus and Mars to Pluto connections, this blend does create its own unique difficulty and with understanding, there is certainly enormous potential for progress.

I could of course talk in the abstract about these energies, but it would be better in my view to use the example of Venus Williams, the American tennis sensation who has won, with her sister, every major title and honour in the sport. Let us begin by looking at her chart for reference:

Venus Williams: 17 June 1980, 14:12 (+7:00) Lynwood CA, USA

Of course, what can be seen right away is the enormous number of correlations to her sister Serena: here are just a few:

  • Vesta (at one level, the sister) is on the Aries Point, thus public projection and prominence are the result in relation to the female sibling.
  • The only real connection that Vesta makes though – at a subjective level – is its conjunction to Sun, thus the father is the common ground, and pretty much the only common ground.
  • The asteroid Isis (42) is exactly conjunct the Midheaven: a career configured with a sibling, (Isis also relates to sibling relationships), and with the sign Cancer there is tenacity and loyalty here, but crucially, the conjunction is squared by Icarus (1566), and this is a square from Isis to Icarus of only 7 minutes of arc, so there is astonishing adrenaline-producing tension between them; a big part of her drive to the top is based upon her need to beat her sister, to be faster, better, in Icarus’ terms, to fly higher!
  • Mercury is at the apex of a tee-square from Pluto opposition Pallas. If we take Mercury to signify sibling relationships, what we have here is in fact sibling rivalry, Pallas speaks of behaviours and strategies that are developed to please others, and learned (most especially in a female nativity) through the daughter role; thus pleasing father is the key. Imagine how that feels when opposed by Pluto; it’s not going to be comfortable; there’s a real desperate, gun-to-the-head quality at work here, must be what father wants, and that tension gets channelled into Mercury, into the sibling dynamic. Note how Pluto is ruled by Venus and Pallas by Mars, and these planets are square to each other and both in hard aspect to Neptune, there’s essentially a competition here based on a need to be more attractive than the sibling, to be more lovable, to be preferable to father. This is echoed by a conjunction of the asteroid Lilith (1181) to Pluto, selection or favouritism, being the chosen one is a life or death issue.

The ultimate sibling rivalry, Venus as runner-up...

Now let’s consider, in this context, the tee-square of Mars, Venus and Neptune. Mars is the focus of the tee-square from Venus opposition Neptune and is therefore squared by both and importantly ruled by Mercury, echoing the key motivator in the pattern, being more attractive to father than the sibling. Confusing messages about sexuality would have begun here, love would have begun to unravel as a concept, and very early on this would have been a feature of the family dynamic. All the groundwork for later psychological imprints is done between the ages of 3 and 5 when the hard aspects of Mars to Venus/Neptune and Pluto to Pallas are perfected by Solar Arc, these early childhood years are formative in terms of the sibling dynamic and an awareness of what it means to compete for and win father’s attention begins to make itself felt. In any case, Neptune configured with the Venus-Mars square is profoundly significant, and this is the timing that we can isolate through Solar Arc measurement. We can project these timings forward and look for applications to angles to determine major transition points in relation to these early dynamics. We note the following:

Lifetime Solar Arc directions to As/Mc

1999 was Venus’ breakthrough year, and it marked a period when both herself and her sister Serena were in the zenith of their sport, Venus was ranked in the world’s top 3 for the first time and she faced her sister in a major final for the first time too. The sibling rivalry dynamic was lit up by the Sun’s presence at the zenith of the chart, and with Sun in Gemini, ruling Mercury therefore, it was inevitable that her sister would be configured.

Moving ahead to 2003, the Venusian quality is illuminated by the Arc to the Midheaven. The date here is 5th August and exactly 40 days later, her sister Yetunde Price was murdered by mistake (Venus is opposed to Neptune) in a drug-related drive-by shooting (squared to Mars which is profoundly conjunct Zeus, which rules firearms) near the tennis courts where the sisters used to practise when younger. Note too that Yetunde was a half-sister, and half-siblings are very often a feature of hard Mercury-Pluto contacts. 2004 was inevitably a hard year, Venus lost much of her previous form and struggled to make her usual impact in part because of a persistent abdominal injury which first troubled her at the time of her sister’s shooting. Note then that Mars (violence) conjunct Zeus (firearms) falls at 17 Virgo, the degree that corresponds to the abdominal muscles.

What we glean from the general tone and dynamic of the nativity is that this tee-square is profoundly powerful, most especially when it is activated by Solar Arc in this way. Let us try to understand the energy at work here, because these planetary relationships do manifest in very specific ways. When we understand and recognise these patterns we begin to be released from their unconscious directives.

The theory of tee-squares is very simple. The opposition creates a pattern of dissatisfaction, inability to find peace because of contrary drives, and the tension this creates is expressed through the apex planet; it fuels the apex point, and in the nature of the square aspect is a tense, driven, challenging and experientially uncomfortable force; it is the channel through which the internal tension is cathartised. Thus, when we understand the opposition, we can begin to speculate as to the motive force behind the external expression of drive.

So, Venus opposition Neptune. We can tell right away that there is a problem balancing (opposition) the themes of love (Venus) and reality (Neptune); in a nutshell it describes a condition whereby the experience of love never quite matches up to the ideal. There is a longing and a yearning – at a very deep level – for perfect romantic union, and the usual pattern for the individual with this aspect is to fall in love very quickly, and for a time everything is perfect, wonderful, a transport of the most exalted kind; the new partner is delightful in every way, it is a rapture, a deep and rapturous soul-union and all is well with the world. Neptune creates enormously high expectations, indeed, it creates impossible expectations, and this is the mechanism by which the innate spirituality of the planet is awakened, regardless of what planets it contacts. The expectations of impersonal Neptune are designed to be so perfect that they have to be beyond the reach of any mere mortal being, so the inevitable conclusion is disappointment (another profoundly Neptunian theme), and with time and repeated episodes of disillusionment in relation to the contacting archetype (in this case Venus, thus romantic disappointment), the transcending process is awakened. The soul learns that no other human can fulfill the dreamy expectations of Neptune, so the love nature begins to focus on transcendent objects of love, the divine, the spiritual, a love of humanity; impersonal love is awakened, the soul begins to focus on spiritual rather than personal desires and themes. Neptune uses divine discontent to fuel the journey toward transcendence.

Mundanely, the pattern is nearly always identical; I call this the ‘One Who Got Away’ Syndrome. Usually, there was a figure from the past with whom the individual didn’t quite consummate a relationship. There may have been a brief fling, or even no fling at all, just a desire for one, but crucially, the relationship never progressed beyond the first rapturous days and weeks of divine contentment. The relationship may have lasted long enough to have been in some way meaningful, but never so long for the mundane and unpleasant realities to impinge upon Neptune’s awareness. The personal hygiene issues and tendency to be a real grump on Monday mornings never quite registered, so the relationship still holds the promise of perfection, even after it is over. Often the reason that the relationship ended is considered to be in some way tragic, as befits Neptune, perhaps they were forced apart by external circumstances and loss and sorrow are bound up in the story, but crucially, it is important to recognise that had the relationship managed to progress, then it would inevitably have fallen into the disappointment trap: because that is what Neptune does.

Now we should consider in this exact context the fact that Mars also squares Neptune. You can put this together yourself, because as the other major component of relationship, Mars concerns itself with sexual (as opposed to romantic) love and this then is also pushed to be the focus of the Neptunian disappointment trap. Typically, Mars – Neptune has very vivid sexual fantasizes that – again – cannot be satisfied by mundane reality and so sex becomes a disappointment too. The wish is to be transported into a state of sexual Nirvana, but it cannot happen, the woman with this aspect especially tends to project it onto the man in her life, his sexual performance doesn’t therefore match up: it is always disappointing. The man is of course perfectly aware of this (albeit at an unconscious level) and this is why he often takes refuge from the self-doubt that is engendered by the projection in Neptunian themes, alcohol, drugs, pornography and illicit affairs. Deception becomes a key component of the projected dynamic. It is astoundingly common for Mars – Neptune women to discover that their husband has been having an affair behind their back, often for many years! The dynamic is quite compelling, knowing (deep-down) that he can never satisfy his wife’s sexual needs, he protects himself from emasculation and ego-collapse by finding somebody whose sexual needs he can satisfy. He is not ostensibly being unfaithful even, or at least that was never his objective, it is invariably an act of self-defence (although understandably it is extremely difficult for the deceived partner to see it this way).

Finally, Venus squares Mars, and here there is no transcendent conundrum, this is simply an inability to reconcile love and sex, the two feel uncomfortable because there is a competition dynamic at play where love is concerned. Love (Venus) becomes confused with winning (Mars), indeed, all Venusian themes are given dynamic tension through the competitive, physical, go-getting drive of Mars. This dynamic again plays out in Venus Williams’ nativity: with Venus in Gemini (siblings), there is a competitive edge to the need to be loved. Competing for love, might be the watchword of this aspect, and remember that this square rule the Pallas-Pluto/Lilith opposition, which says “if I’m not father’s favourite, then I’ll die”. It was her father who pushed the sister’s to become tennis players and his ruthless determination that they be the best that has provided much of the energy for their astonishing rise to prominence.

There is so much more of interest here (if I had the time I’d write it all out), but suffice to say:

  • Consider how the tee-square expresses. Mars is in Virgo, so power is combined with precision. Ed Moses had Cazimi Venus conjunct Mars in Virgo, perfect precision of movement, economy of movement, here force is applied with skill.
  • Then Mars is in an absolutely partile conjunction (10 minutes!) with Zeus, the Transneptunian associated with firearms and sports! (Archie Griffin has a Cazimi Zeus!) Zeus threw thunderbolts right? Venus Williams has the fastest serve in women’s tennis:

    [From Wikipedia] She holds the record for the fastest serve struck by a woman in a main draw event. At the Zurich Open, she recorded 130 mph (210 km/h). She also holds the record for fastest serve in all four Grand Slam tournaments: 2003 Australian Open quarterfinal – 125 mph (201 km/h), 2007 French Open second round, 2008 Wimbledon final, 2007 US Open first round – 129 mph.At Wimbledon in 2008, her average first serve speed was 115 mph (185 km/h) in the quarterfinal, 116 mph (187 km/h) in the semifinal, and 111 mph (179 km/h) in the final. She also had a higher average serving speed than then World No.1 Roger Federer as well as eventual men’s champion Rafael Nadal.

  • Mars is at the halfsum of Uranus and the Midheaven, so unusual authority, career individuation is realised through precision and power (and throwing thunderbolts).
  • Venus’ boyfriend Hank Kuehne has (wait for it) Zeus conjunct Sun, with Sun at 18° of Virgo, mere minutes from Venus’ Mars/Zeus conjunction. It’s impossible without knowing his birth time to say how exact this might be, certainly it’s within a few minutes at most. That’s one relationship that was certainly written in the stars!

That’s plenty for this article, please bear in mind that I can apply this same insight (and much greater detail) to your own nativity, so please check Astrology Hour if you would like more information.

Hank Kuehne

A Sea Change on the Horizon?

seachange

For many months now I have been watching the future. Inevitably this is a key concern of the astrologer, the Uranian, the Aquarian, the 11th house individual, but actually, this coming month there is an astrological event of staggering magnitude in the making.

So far as I can work out, 27th of May will be a day of great importance in the destiny of this world.

Of course, better astrologers than I have come unstuck through making such bold proclamations and I do not wish to characterise this “happening” as having any profoundly calamitous or dramatic overtones, indeed, the nature of it all suggests that it may be much more subtle than we at first understand and of course, to pinpoint a day is also a little presumptuous, since this is only the point of greatest intensity, but I am getting ahead of myself.

The event: in astrological terms at least, is a super-conjunction of Jupiter with Neptune and Chiron within a 15 minute orb of 26° Aquarius.

Below is the chart for the evening of 27th May, at five past nine in the evening here in the UK. I have looked at this in numerous ways most especially regarding house systems. I have experimented with putting the stellium on the 1st to judge its expression, using an arbitrary point in space, and placing the Sun on the 1st too in the tradition of daily horoscope writers, but in the end I have decided upon a simple 0° Aries configuration: it is the birth point into consciousness and form and this I believe will give the easiest route to interpretation.

Before I begin to explore the scenarios it might be as well to talk about generalisations. Jupiter – Neptune contacts speak to spiritual philosophy, non-materialism, matters of faith and religion, disappointed hopes, idealism, speculation and financial wipeout. Neptunian affairs are expanded and Jupiterian concerns are dissolved or transcended. Chiron enters the fray and themes of wounding and healing are highlighted, but these are humanity’s wounds and the effects are undoubtedly global.

One way of getting a flavour of the contacts is to look at what was going on the last time these contacts were made. Jupiter was conjunct Chiron in 1990, just days before Iraq invaded Kuwait and today, mere days before the next contact the UK is pulling its troops out of Iraq. Is this the end of the Iraq problem? Consider that the last time that Neptune was conjunct both Jupiter and Chiron was in September 1945, within a day of the end of the second world war and at the end of that set of contacts, the United Nations was formed

Before that, the last time the same superconjunction occurred was in the summer of 1881 when Britain signed the Pretoria treaty which ended the Boer war, within 3 days of the closest contact between Ju/Ne/Ch. The cessation of wars therefore appears to be a theme of the great conjunction of these planetary superpowers with the rogue comet Chiron.

ju_ch_ne021

There are an enormous number of potentials here and it would be best to start with the most obvious, and possibly the most unattractive.

Scenario One: Global Pandemic

Jupiter conjunct Neptune conjunct Chiron. Here Jupiter expands Neptunian energy and attaches a measure of pain to the result, pain which is itself magnified. Poseidon (Neptune) was called “worldshaker” by the Greeks and with the Aquarius and 11th house influence this could certainly be an issue which affects the whole of humanity. With Pandora configured too it could also be of case of something having “got out”, and in the absence of any concrete measures being mooted, hope appears to be the last commodity available.

Sun and Saturn are peregrine. Authority and societal structures are out of the picture and with Saturn overexpressed in Virgo (and note: the exact midpoint of Virgo) and Sun in Gemini there are themes of communication breakdowns and health problems. Pluto is on the midheaven and in Capricorn, so change is afoot, and the usual structures do not hold. Sun is also in partile square to Ceres (not a minute out) which again suggests a real vitality problem, sickness even.

Moon and Mars are strong, Moon is in her sign, in hayz and at the midpoint of the Sun – Ceres square with the Sun too at the midpoint of the Moon – Venus square, a need to protect loved ones and family then. Chiron is exactly square Algol whose ancient imagery is of piled up corpses. Proserpina squares the stellium too, so loved ones may be taken down to the underworld and Neptune is stationary at this exact moment too.

The imagery of Neptune is interesting in this context. Neptune has of course long been associated with sickness and far more than Pluto is an impersonal force of devastation. Pluto actually represents an intensely personal confrontation with the Underworld, Neptune is the maker of sickness and has a much broader and less individual reach. It should be noted too that regardless of the broad trends indicated by this point in time that the event-mapping of the moment is somewhat uncomfortable to contemplate. Pl=Ve/Sa suggests transient states of chaos, the halfsum involves Venus in Aries (thus representing the physical body via the 1st) and Saturn in Virgo and the 6th: health. Thus, chaotic and confusing conditions relating to physical health. Then consider the darkly foreboding implications of Ne =  Ma/Ur = Ve/Pl! Fainting fits, raving madness and incredible fear combined with immoral and desperate behaviour.

Scenario Two: Global Financial Collapse

This was my original opinion and I have held this particular view for more than a year now. It appears to hold true as well, at least thus far. Global conflict is, in these latter days, increasingly economic, sanctions have replaced gunboats, but more widely I do believe that this theme bears out, even mundanely. In all cases of the previous conjunctions of this type it would appear that idealism wins out after a sustained period of pain and wounding. At this time Uranus transits the midpoint of Mars – Jupiter and Mars – Neptune from the 12th house. This suggests sudden plans being formed to combat sudden crisis conditions in business institutions, and as Uranus rules the stellium in Aquarius it is a decision taken by a hidden group; the ruler is well aspected however, so I am not especially pessimistic. A world currency? This possibility has been on my thoughts for longer than I care to mention. I do have grave misgivings about this as a concept and it could only probably be put into place if a profound financial crisis were in evidence (whether it had been manufactured or not). This last factor is echoed by the square to Mercury in Taurus: an enormous financial lie (Me sq. Ju/Ne from Taurus and the 2nd).

Scenario Three: A Spiritual Forward Step

Events of this type are invariably precursors to major shifts in thinking. In 1534, when Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron were all conjunct Martin Luther translated the bible into German for the first time and the Church of England became a functioning entity through Henry VIII’s first Supremacy Act. In 1945 the United Nations was formed. These are cohesive events which create a sense of higher purpose that can be shared by all people and crucially, which offer a sense of unity and a glimpse of a more enlightened future.

Most intriguingly in my view however, The stellium occurs on the astrologers’ degree of Aquarius. This is a profoundly sensitised point in the internal dialogue of astrology and it creates quite a buzz across the polarity to the 27th degree of Leo. Unquestionably this will up the ante for the world of astrology, even if not overtly.

The Sabian is delightful too:

An Ancient Pottery Bowl Filled with Violets.
This is a symbol of the permanence or changelessness of the real as an ultimate assurance to the human heart. No matter how many shifting forms the face of life may present to man, there are always the surviving tokens of an enduring stability on which the ephemeral and the superficial are unable to make any impact. Where there is replacement of substance and variety of structure there is also an over-all continuance of meaning and identity in which self may anchor itself. The keyword is TRADITION. When positive, the degree is a high realisation of values and a real gift of using them, and when negative, a loss of self in conventionality and its meaningless trappings.

In my heart of hearts I believe that we are all faced with a choice in this life and at no time has the urgency of the withering dichotomy that is the  collision of material and spiritual values been so apparent. This degree tells us that it is time to get real about our values. We as individuals do not have to hide our lights under the bushel of shame that has been handed down to us by those with no universal – only selfish – conviction. I for one refuse to be ashamed of those tenets I hold dear. I am here to help people and I do not want to be enslaved into the empty material trappings that are the garb of those who have not dared to believe in anything more. What of it if I go to my demise destitute? The rationalised avarice of our times is built upon a pyramid of parasitism that I simply cannot tolerate as a life philosophy. I want none of it, it sickens me, although not with an angry disgust, but just through proximity to the unclean and the poisonous. If life can be better, lived to a higher ideal then I want to aspire to that possibility, and if it cannot, then at the very least I do not have to be dragged down by it daily, again and again.

It’s actually very simple, but it takes a peculiar and rather detached view of your own place in this world to realise it.

Jupiter – Neptune: Shooting for the Stars

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio than are dreamt of in your philosophy. (Shakespeare: Hamlet 1:5)

One of the great challenges of my life, as an astrologer, is the ongoing pressure that I feel to reconcile my understanding of astrology with a world that – for the most part – has no understanding of it: the same frustration must be felt by any student of the immeasurable, and from the seminary to the psychiatrist’s consulting room, the only answers to such conundrums are to be found within one’s personal integrity, so that, in spite of the protestations of the closed minded, you can find solace in your own simple good intentions and the knowledge that regardless of the narrow strictures of proof and disproof (and a lack of proof disproves nothing) you have been able to help people.

Jupiter - Neptune is differently motivated

Jupiter - Neptune is differently motivated

And that is but one of the many manifestations of Jupiter’s contact with Neptune. Specifically it describes the nature of the square, which creates a challenge for the native to demonstrate that their underpinning life-philosophy is not inherently impractical. This hints at a condition which is far more than a simple conundrum because the very nature of any contact whatever between Jupiter and Neptune is profoundly idealistic and in its first principles there is a gravitation towards those kinds of ideals that are difficult to make concrete or to actualise: they are inherently transcendent, powerfully spiritual and leave little room for mundane and material concerns.

If there is a mundane expression of Jupiter – Neptune however, it is a leaning toward speculation. Jupiter – Neptune people can risk it all on the turn of a card and quite literally lose everything, but by that same token, they are somewhat armoured against the worst effects of such misfortune by their very nature, which underlines the reality that they’re not actually all that bothered by material stuff in the first place, so the sense of loss is somehow shallower and less urgent in any case.

And fundamentally, it doesn’t matter too much what aspect you have between these two gentle giants, (as I have said before, I [concurring with the view of Noel Tyl specifically] strongly advocate the view that all aspects are squares) because there is a propensity toward idealism and non-materialism in any of the aspectual relationships, with only a smattering of ease or urgency to distinguish them apart. The square creates a tension for the native such that he feels an inner pressure to harmonise his inner stress about materialism, while the trine is comfortable and feels no such difficulty: on the other hand he or she might be entirely too laid back about the material and drift into a dissolute insolvency as a result. The results are often the same or similar with only the quality by which the aspect is subjectively experienced varying in any marked degree.

june01

Jupiter - Neptune might be best advised to forgo that trip to Vegas...

The major difficulty with any combination is that there is no especial drive to jump on the career treadmill and slog along day after day simply to make money. That sounds innocuous enough, however, in a society that defines success only in material terms, the Jupiter – Neptune individual is cut adrift with no recognised path of self-worth to follow. In some cultures – Eastern ones mostly – a monastery or mission might suit, but here in the West, the aspect only creates a person at odds with the rest of their community; they certainly don’t want to be outcast, but they fundamentally fail to identify with the raison d’être of Western life: to them, working the 9 to 5 simply to secure material rewards makes no sense at all. Okay, they will “get it” intellectually, and understand that of course one needs money to live, but they don’t believe in it. This is rather akin to working for anything you don’t believe in of course, such that you might have to do it to get by, but your heart simply isn’t in it like it is for everyone else, it seems kind of dumb and pointless, even if you still have to do it.

And that leads to one of the other major manifestations of Jupiter Neptune contacts in the astrology. Being misunderstood. The Jupiter Neptune person is simply out of step with everyone else in society, because his motivations are unlikely to be material or status orientated. Everyone else characterises this person as a ‘dreamer’ at best, or (at worst) a ‘failure’, because their standards of success simply do not motivate this soul, so they’re just not as fired up to achieve it as everyone else. Undoubtedly this creates an element of instability in material matters too. This person struggles to be all that bothered by their bank statements so they’re unlikely to pay too much attention to penny-pinching or the best credit card rates on offer and by that same token, they’re unlikely to make much in the way of money, or save much money, or really have all that good a grip on the whole idea of money, quite frankly. They’re wired differently.

The best potential of Jupiter – Neptune is for creating spiritually motivated individuals who have a truly sympathetic nature. They can listen to the troubles of others and identify with their suffering, they’ll happily make time to listen to others’ problems and offer a shoulder to cry on or they’ll relate an empathetic anecdote to demonstrate just how much they really do understand. They care, they really do.

Specifically then, the conjunction is the most innate blend, idealism is iternalised and shines out of every pore, pay especial attention to the sign and house placement. If in Libra or the 7th then idealism in relationships becomes key, in the 11th or Aquarius friends are important, humanitarian or charitable ideals are manifest and hopes and dreams especially can be pie in the sky. Wherever the conjunction falls there is a measure of impracticality, a fair few disappointments but an ongoing and actually very endearing naiveté. With the square an element of tension and difficulty is inevitable. This person struggles with the impracticality and disappointment of the conjunction and is likely to find the tendency to being misunderstood most uncomfortable and enervating. Eventually, with work and evolvement, the square ought to ease through the 30s until by middle life there is a measure of comfort and acceptance. The square is most often characterised as a challenge to disprove the impracticality of one’s life philosophy. This person can be defensive and undermined easily by others who see their motivations as baseless and unworkable, which in turn prompts others to couch their criticisms in too-strong terms. The exact same is true of the opposition, and here the polarity of houses and signs becomes paramount. Across the 2nd and the 8th there can be (for example) an idealistic attitude toward money (2nd) so that this person is overly reliant on others for financial support (8th). Across the 1st and 7th (or Aries and Libra polarity) idealism manifests in preconceptions about one’s independence, or one’s partner’s independence, thus putting strain on the marital relationship. Only with the trine or the sextile is there a convenience of ease. The native experiences a great deal of luck and good fortune for the most part, they are inherently generous (and this is true of all the aspects, albeit with differing results) and easily sympathetic and refined. The danger (as with any easy aspect) is that the ease is mistaken as a free-pass, no work is done and the good energy devolves into a dissolute credulity. The trine, perhaps more than any other combination can be taken advantage of time and again by others who have no scruples about taking advantage of Mr or Mrs easy-going. Once again, this is true of all the aspects, because Jupiter – Neptune is so innately kind and sympathetic they are all too prone to exploitation by the unprincipled and hard of heart, but the trine is so very forgiving that it takes far longer to learn where to draw the line. At least with the square the lessons are so uncomfortable and stressful that some measures are taken to filter out the con-men from the genuinely needy (at least after the first hundred or so hard-luck stories are told).

For the person with significant Jupiter – Neptune contacts, the best advice ought to be to simply recognise this innate tendency to non-materialism and idealism and work out a strategy for attending to the practicalities of this life such that once the wolf is kept from the door they might take a little ease and revel in the freedom of knowing that there is more to life than cars, houses and investment portfolios and all the other worthless nonsense that society exalts as meaningful and valuable.

For Jupiter – Neptune, the best things in life really are free.

Lost in Translation: Neptune in the 3rd

nep3_01Today, I would like to look a little at the various manifestations of Neptune in the 3rd house. It is never kind to mock the afflicted. However, since I can speak entirely subjectively – I have Neptune in the first few degrees of the 3rd in Scorpio – I feel I am allowed some absolution. Scorpio is not an uncomfortable placing for Neptune, although it requires a considerable transformation before its best qualities might be realised. Neptune transited Scorpio between 1956 and 1970, so its effects are especially generational, but of course, in the personal nativity there are specifically Neptunian qualities and predilections which, when properly understood, give considerable insight into the placement.

I am first and foremost an astrologer, which in my case is nearly completely Jovian and Chirotic, but Neptune has a profound power in my life even so, my interest in music, poetry, film and most especially photography provides clear evidence of this, but with Neptune in the 3rd, what is perhaps even more clearly an indication of Neptune’s influence, is my quite shockingly atrocious sense of direction.

When I lived in North Wales an old college friend came to visit and we decided to celebrate our reunion and procure beer. We jumped into his car and proceeded to make our way down the mountain and out onto the main road to Bangor, our nearest town. Needless to say when we drove past Caernarvon, a town some 10 miles further away I realised that my Neptune in the 3rd had got the better of me once more. Had this been an isolated incident then it might be fair to consider it an aberration, but I cannot truly claim any such convenient exemption, because the stark fact is I could quite easily get lost on a guided tour.

Classically, Neptune in the 3rd is experienced as affected logic. This is not necessarily equivalent to a mental diffculty, but as an outright negative potential it most certainly manifests as a tendency to confused thinking, most especially where logical processing is required. Neptune though operates on a  subtle level, so the compensation of Neptune in the 3rd is a lateral power of mental formulation, insights are more likely to be inspired than deduced, they are received whole, as if out of the ether, not arrived at incrementally. As ever with the concerns of Neptune, he has the power to delude, deceive and disguise, but also the ability to exalt, elevate and elutriate and this refining metaphor requires, most absolutely, a paradigm shift if it is to give up its lost treasures. Indeed, Neptunian thinking is of the kind that casts its treasures up onto the shore with the passing of the tides, and there you might stumble upon something marvellous and unexpected, but if you try to force it, to logicise its function, then you will be casting about and all at sea and no doubt very soon lost in the mist.

Subjectively I am quite happy with my Neptune in the 3rd, or at least I have learned to not fight with it for the most part, and I enjoy my photography immensely (I especially like to take technically challenging panoramic shots). This weekend just gone I went on an expedition to capture a particular image I had in mind and with Neptune so configured (I am currently enjoying my fifth Neptune square) it involved the sea, photography and a certain wistful and dreamy notion I was working through:

Click for a larger view

Click for a larger view

Neptune in the 3rd, I believe, gives this insight, or certainly this facility with communicating something of the dream, but it can too make communication into a quagmire. Consider the nativity of Saint Hildegard of Bingen whose Neptune is in the 3rd and profoundly interconnected with the overall arc of her nativity:

52) Bermersheim, Germany

Hildegard of Bingen, Abbess: 17 Aug 1098 22:50 (LMT +0:32:52) Bermersheim, Germany

With Neptune both tee-squared and given power and structure from Pluto and Saturn respectively, there is little doubt that Neptune moved her at a profound level. She resisted writing about her visions, which she had experienced consistently since early childhood, but eventually the impetus of Neptune became overwhelming:

But I, though I saw and heard those things, refused to write for a long time through doubt and bad opinion and the diversity of human words, not with stubbornness but in the exercise of humility, until, laid low by the scourge of God, I fell upon a bed of sickness; then, compelled at last by many illnesses, and by the witness of a certain noble maiden of good conduct [the nun Richardis von Stade] and of that man whom I had secretly sought and found, as mentioned above, I set my hand to the writing. While I was doing it, I sensed, as I mentioned before, the deep profundity of scriptural exposition; and, raising myself from illness by the strength I received, I brought this work to a close – though just barely – in ten years. [...] And I spoke and wrote these things not by the invention of my heart or that of any other person, but as by the secret mysteries of God I heard and received them in the heavenly places. And again I heard a voice from Heaven saying to me, ‘Cry out therefore, and write thus!

All of these themes: mysterious sicknesses, humility, service to a higher cause and transmuting those more refined and spiritual motivations into a written missive are profoundly sympathetic to the most positive manifestations of Neptune in the 3rd. Saint Hildegard was not only a writer, she was also a counselor, linguist, naturalist, scientist, philosopher, physician, herbalist, poet, visionary and composer. The exulting power of Neptune here finds its purest octave. Neptune in the third was further shared by Louis Pasteur, Bobby Fischer, Emmanuel Kant and Albrecht Durer, proving that given proper consideration, his power can raise up, rather than raise doubt.

It is not always so.

Where Neptune is overly constrained into base and self-serving expressions, it becomes a deeply confusing and uncomfortable energy:

00) New Haven, CT, USA

George W. Bush, Politician: 6 July 1946 07:26 (EST +05:00) New Haven, CT, USA

For George Bush, with Neptune peregrinated in Libra and applying hard to the cusp of the third, the power of Neptune is especially pronounced, as will be more than amply illustrated by a selection of quotes from the great man himself – No doubt he knew exactly what he was trying to say:

They misunderestimated me.
(November 6, 2000 in Bentonville, Arkansas)

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.
(August 5, 2004)

Will the highways on the Internet become more few?
(Concord, New Hampshire, January 29, 2000)

I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.
(September 29, 2000 in Saginaw, Michigan)

I think we agree, the past is over.
(May 10, 2000)

This thaw—took a while to thaw, it’s going to take a while to unthaw.
(Alexandria, La., Oct. 20, 2008)

I remember meeting a mother of a child who was abducted by the North Koreans right here in the Oval Office.
(Washington, D.C., June 26, 2008)

Throughout our history, the words of the Declaration have inspired immigrants from around the world to set sail to our shores. These immigrants have helped transform 13 small colonies into a great and growing nation of more than 300 people.
(Charlottesville, Va., July 4, 2008)

Don’t Jump In! Moon conjunct Neptune.

Moon conjunct Neptune is dreamy, refined and often misunderstood.

Moon conjunct Neptune is dreamy, refined and often misunderstood.

Imagine this scenario: someone you know has come to see you and on their way over they have got stuck in traffic, had an argument with a co-worker on the phone and discovered that their husband spent the housekeeping on a hooker, then they call in at your house, and actually, they like you very much and just want to hang out for a while so they don’t mention any of that bad stuff, but inside they are angry, upset, hurt and frustrated, as would only be natural for anyone who had experienced such a frustrating and upsetting set of circumstances. For most, this visitor would appear agitated perhaps, maybe a little off and flat and for anyone without Moon conjunct Neptune it wouldn’t represent much of a blip on their personal radar, off their friend would toddle, and they might think to themselves “hmm, they seemed a little odd today, no matter”, and they would carry on about their business and probably forget all about it.

Not so for Moon conjunct Neptune. Not by a long chalk.

For anyone with Moon conjunct Neptune, they can feel the anger, resentment and frustration from their friend almost as a physical force in the room. The hostility would be profoundly uncomfortable, they feel so uncomfortable in fact that they may even begin to physically sweat, or shake, or feel a little wan and pale. And even before their friend was out the door they will already be running through the list of all possible misdemeanours they could possibly have committed to have caused such an upset, because it is entirely possible that their friend is angry because of something they have done, or said, or not said, or not done, or implied, or inferred or failed to anticipate.

Moon conjunct Neptune is sensitive.

So sensitive in fact that they can walk into a room and feel something in the walls. Moon conjunct Neptune doesn’t like hospitals, or asylums, or even places where somebody else has been in a bad mood in the last hour; and they really absorb the ambient and prevailing feel of people and places; they’re so sensitive in fact that you might even consider it a kind of social disability, because people who don’t have Moon conjunct Neptune simply have no clue how to behave around this person. Moon conjunct Neptune often wants to simply shut herself away if only to feel normal…

It’s not all bad though. There is no more refined possibility of feeling than that which exists as a potential within this aspect. It is entirely possible indeed to experience a sense of near-rapture when the conditions are just right. There is a deep well of feeling and compassion possible within this blend that probably exists nowhere else in the astrology, it creates many difficulties, peculiar ideas and strange notions, a feeling of being unsatisfied and misunderstood, a very difficult level of sensitivity to people and events, but by that same token it creates a sensitivity that when tweaked positively can open up a wide and verdant vista of communion with life that is truly rich and rewarding.

The most difficult consideration of Moon Neptune conjunctions however is found within this very deep pool of feeling that is created within the psyche, because all too often, and most especially in times of adversity, it is all to easy for them to simply “jump in”. It becomes something of a siren call for the native, not so much to wallow in their sense of being misunderstood, but actually to dive head-first into it and actually revel in it just a little. The most important advice I can possibly offer to anyone with Moon conjunct Neptune is to learn to recognise this tendency and when they hear that seductive song, to resist: “don’t jump in!” Skirt around the edge if you have to, paddle a little if you want, but keep your head above water: self awareness is the key, and the eternal refrain: “don’t jump in!” Make it your mantra.

The sense of Moon conjunct Neptune through the signs can be easily delineated by studying some examples.

Moon conjunct Neptune in Leo

Moon conjunct Neptune in Leo

Moon conjunct Neptune in Leo works rather well, because Leo is among the most naturally affectionate of the signs, so there is a route out of the adversity of this aspect through allowing that natural predilection to feeling human warmth shine through. At its worst Moon in Leo can tend to the vain and snobbish, but wherever Neptune is configured there is created a predilection to the immaterial. Those with this aspect who pursue the inclination to love of luxury found in the Moon placement will invariably experience disappointment as a result. Neptune in Leo though is profoundly melancholic too, so the tendency to jumping in to the lake of sorrow is decidedly exaggerated here. Jack Lemmon, Anne Frank and Peter Ustinov all demonstrate the gentle and kindly warmth of the conjunction in the eternal flame of the sign Leo: consider Nancy Reagan, Queen Elizabeth II and George C. Scott, all of whom evinced both Moon and Neptune in Leo, but without the conjunction, the quality of the blend when viewed in this context, is unmistakable.

Moon conjunct Neptune in Virgo.

Moon conjunct Neptune in Virgo.

In Virgo then, compare the three examples above: the Dalai Lama, Dustin Hoffman and Marvin gaye with any three other natives born with both Moon and Neptune in Virgo but out of the conjunction: so, for example, Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson and Lou Reed. Immediately you will get a sense of the conjunction, the blend, which sensitises, softens and creates an often difficult vulnerability in the manner. Moon in Virgo alone is not the greatest placement for Selene, since it creates an incompatible practicality where the head rules the heart, a love of tidiness, method and order but also, in its best manifestation a tendency to simplicity and frugal habits. At its worst, Neptune in Virgo is pedantic, fault-finding and difficult to work with (which is a criticism very much associated with Dustin Hoffman for example), but it also gives an intuitive understanding of others and a profound interest in natural health. When these influences are brought into the conjunctive blend then we have a potential for great sensitivity to environments, especially cluttered, chaotic spaces. It makes one hyper-sensitive to working relationships (which explains Dustin Hoffman’s reputation almost perfectly) and gives a profound interest in simple, healthy lifestyles and philosophies: which rather gels with the Dalai Lama’s admirable message of compassionate simplicity. Any Moon – Neptune contact speaks volumes about the relationship with the mother too, perhaps she was fault-finding and practical but in some other sense vague or hard to understand or especially sensitive herself. Maybe she was a clean and tidy drunk. Possibly she was profoundly spiritual and methodical in her habits too; the blend always plays out through the maternal experience in one way or other.

Moon conjunct Neptune in Libra

Moon conjunct Neptune in Libra

Libra creates a subtle leaning toward the Other, thus any configuration in the sign of the scales profoundly affects the entire process and approach to relating, and the Moon – Neptune blend is no exception. Neith put it this way, which speaks to this exact potential:

Having spent many years dealing with a Moon-Neptune conjunction in Libra making it very difficult for me to see the reality of what was going on in my relationships, I have some experience and a few thoughts on coping with Mr. Fogbank.

All of that innate sensitivity and confusion is experienced through close relationships, and nowhere more so than in the marriage, although it can potentially create a similar ambience in business or creative partnerships too. Moon in Libra alone creates a need for love and affection as well as a measure of dependence on the partner for security and comfort and when Neptune in Libra is configured there is a genuine requirement for friendship with the partner too, so all of that sensitivity that is implied by the conjunction must in some sense be played out through the partner, who must be a friend of the most supportive kind otherwise the native will tend to become melancholic and confused and – as ever with Libran concerns – slightly off-balance. Sting, David Essex and Benazir Bhutto all shared this conjunction.

Moon conjunct Neptune in Scorpio

Moon conjunct Neptune in Scorpio

Moon conjunct Neptune in Scorpio creates a very different ambience to Libra, although the vulnerability and sensitivity engendered by the aspect is still its standout feature. Consider the three examples of John Cusack, David Schwimmer and Greta Scaachi and contrast them with three natives having both Moon and Neptune in Scorpio but without the conjunction of the two in force: Will Smith, Liz Hurley and Jennifer Lopez. The softening and emotionally refining influence of the blend in these latter cases is absolutely conspicuous by its absence. Moon in Scorpio alone creates a tough, resilient, emotionally tenacious and frank impetus, while Neptune in this most emotionally intense of signs creates a very peculiar disposition, one that is rather difficult to fathom which simply increases the potential for being misunderstood that is already inherent in the aspect itself. Scorpio is of course deeply compassionate when evolved, and this aspect certainly encourages that outcome in those affected; this set of circumstances makes the Moon – Neptune in Scorpio native most likely to withdraw from the world – a fairly natural condition for the Scorpio in any case – since the sensitivity is increasingly tweaked by the experiential incomprehension which is the result of this blending. Neptune in Scorpio creates a tendency to soul-sickness and states of low level melancholy too and often this, when integrated into the emotionality of the Moon, creates a soft but world-weary ambience. When all is said and done however, Scorpio on the Moon is required to survive on meagre resources, they can nurture themselves on Spartan rations, emotionally as much as anywhere else, so there is at least an intimation of balance in the equation.

At its very best, in whatever sign it is found, the contact of Moon and Neptune of any type creates a great sympathetic ability in the astrology, a person who can understand and empathise with the difficulties of others, but the conjunction feels those self-same difficulties more directly and immediately than any other type of contact, and very often the sense is entirely involuntary. Vivid dreams are another factor in any of Moon’s applications to Neptune. At worst, the contact creates a tendency to fantasy, delusion and dishonesty, most especially with the square or the opposition, but even in such difficult cases, the overriding impression is one of profound sensitivity.

Outer planet transits: Christmas or crisis?

Surveying the aftermath of the Pluto transit...

Surveying the aftermath of the Pluto transit...

Transits are no big mystery. Even an arc or progression is simply a transit writ large on the life story and the transit itself, regardless of magnitude, is simply an opportunity to experience an ongoing evolution of nativity. Put another way, a transit is only an opportunity for experience, one that you weren’t born with, and one that you will handle no doubt, with reference to the placement of those transiting energies in your own astrology. This means, fundamentally that if you have a Mars Pluto square, then difficult transits of Mars to Pluto will not be nearly so brutal for you as they would for the person who has no Mars Pluto contact in their astrology, simply because you have experience. By the same token, the individual who has transformed Plutonic themes in their life has really been such grist for the mill that they can actually weather Hades’ worst excesses, if not with aplomb, then at least with a measure of dignity. In the case of Pluto, or indeed any of the outer planets, transits are astoundingly profound providing the native is alive to them and any measure of evolvement is enormously beneficial in living through them. Awareness, particularly self-awareness, is invaluable in this study.

Let us consider the three principles: Uranus, which shatters the crystallised forms, Neptune which dissolves and nebulises and Pluto which intensifies unto death; these are all very fundamental principles, difficult to examine and analyse; very often it is weeks or months later before we can see with any clarity what has happened. However, there is a common thread to all of these principles, they operate in very different ways of course, but fundamentally, they all promote change and growth, or they will damage you in the process.

Uranus first. Here is the principle of crystallisation, Uranus makes brittle and shiny, it is like a bright shell in quality and it is tied up in that sense with ego-formation, since it governs individuation, a crucial component of the ego; thus when we are different we are set apart. The impetus of Uranus then is to individuate, and we set off on that path and reach a point where we think “aha! Now I am a person of quality and difference, others will notice me, I shall stop here because I’m all done.” But Uranus won’t have that, because individuation evolves, our difference of yesterday loses its shine today, so we are forced through some shattering process to reinvent our individuality, to reassess and reconfigure. That is Uranus.

Now Neptune who does almost the opposite of Uranus and dissolves rather than crystallises; he takes away structure and forces us to confront the numinous and actually to find the value in it. We need to learn to respond to that small sense of value here, it is no good to say that we will create things of greatness, because where Neptune is configured we have to give up, let go and trust in a higher and less tangible Universe. Neptune speaks to the lilies of the field and not kings in high castles, so if you are able to work with that then you have a chance, otherwise, just watch it all slip away…

And finally, the toughest of the lot, the lord of darkness. Pluto is the most powerful and implacable impetus of them all, although I have a mind to Orcus right now which is at the very least interesting. Pluto says, “you know that one aspect of your life that is the most resistant to change? Well, brace yourself, because I’m going to kick the crap out of it until you give it up.” There’s no subtlety to Pluto, even if it is very, very deep. Inexorably, without mercy or respite, Hades destroys the concepts, values, beliefs and structures of our world until they are dust.

Very quickly though you will see this outer planet theme. They all do more or less the same job albeit utilising markedly differing approaches. At the end of a tough transit of any of Uranus, Neptune or Pluto, we are left with a new paradigm to contemplate. If the cycle is complete and we have worked with it, then we will undoubtedly be in some sense enriched by the experience and even if that enrichment feels like a dubious gift, it is still a thing of value.

Now, nowhere is this more true than a transit to any of the four major angles of the nativity. A transit of Pluto to the Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven or Imum Coeli is so markedly powerful and affective that it simply cannot be placed in the same context of a house transit or even a planetary contact. This is an understanding that is borne out time and again. Indeed, as I write this Pluto is stationary and peregrine on the IC of my own astrology calling for a radical transformation of those issues relating to family, roots, childhood and so forth. My deepest origins are being made over. It will be the same for any contact of any of the outers by mundane transit to any of the angles, or by progression or arc as well, more so in fact. Progressions of Pluto by arc to the angles will have a once in a lifetime effect, and there is usually great upheaval in that especially since the natural inclination is to resist. You cannot resist that force, it will kill you in the attempt.

Now on the one hand, you ought to be rightly nervous about these kinds of applications, because they are never going to be easy, but on the other, when you are an astrologer you cannot really say that you didn’t see it coming. I was well aware that I have this incredible transformational opportunity looming in my life for quite some time and please note the language I employ here. I understand in theory more or less exactly how these contacts ought to work, I understand esoterically (if you like) what they are calling for and why they are calling for it, so I do not have the excuse of confusion and non-preparation. That is the lot of the astrologer. Fundamentally, for the ill-prepared however, the immediacy and upheaval of a major outer-planet transit to one of the angles will inevitably have this flavour of crisis to it. If you cannot see the destination point then absolutely it will have all the appearance of a leap in the darkness, thus it becomes risky, ill-prepared, poorly conceived and just a little irrational. If on the other hand you see the necessity for transformation then it becomes a different creature altogether, it is nothing more than a catalyst for evolution; something the adept welcomes and (respectfully) embraces. Whether the transit is from Uranus, Neptune or Pluto too, is hardly relevant except to determine something of the manner of the transformational push: the point is the impetus to change, not the manner of it, even if subjectively some transformations are going to be less painful than others. Uranus for example is scarily abrupt, quick and sudden, while Pluto takes his time, grinding everything down to the smallest granules…

As an astrologer, outer planet transits to the angles are a no-brainer. They will be felt, they will be major and they will alter the landscape irreversibly, but once it is all done with, you will be closer to yourself than ever before, and that is how the system was designed to work.

So don’t fight it.