The Astrology of Austerity


Here is the birth chart of British austerity, as announced by David Cameron in Cheltenham in April 2009. (26/04/09 22:00 Cheltenham, UK) The chart contains several outstanding markers for difficulty. The austerity chart evinces two tee-squares, a Grand Trine and a few other remarkable features.

The first tee-square then:

  • Venus, archetype of the good times is in detriment, precisely conjunct the Aries’ point, conjunct Mars in his sign and square Pluto. This is a Venus under maximal stress, and unable to make any headway against a supercharged Mars who:
  • Is much better able to cope with a Pluto square, because Mars is in a sympathy with Pluto, where Venus is not. Furthermore a planet exalted or otherwise strengthened is better able to endure stressful aspect.
  • Although not a mainstream marker, the transneptunian Kronos is at 3° Cancer, and represents lofty ideals, expertise and intellectual authority. Kronos opposes Pluto, and in general terms economic experts (Kronos in the 8th) argue that austerity doesn’t work. Pluto in the 2nd, the agenda characterised by the more simplistic ‘money in the hand’ narrative of the Conservative government, holds sway.

Why should this be?

  • Pluto is working for Saturn (by rulership). Saturn is in the Midheaven, so therefore it’s all anyone can “see”. Pluto also rules the chart. Note the language that presaged the advent of this new policy: “The age of irresponsibility is giving way to the age of austerity.” David Cameron has perfectly leveraged the style of Saturn (responsibility) in Virgo (accounting) in the zenith.
  • And bear in mind that the current Pluto-Kronos cycle began with the American War of Independence where Britain lost huge revenues over a tax dispute with its American colonies. Since planetary cycles – no matter how antediluvian in nature – retain a common thread, we can suggest a learning process that involves an element of hubris, and the challenging consequences thereof. Any ruling class (British or other) that seeks to impose austerity through taxation, removal of direct or indirect supporting measures, or through simple authoritarian diktat, is going to tweak this planetary cycle.
  • Saturn is also peregrine, or singleton. This has a tendency to overshadow all other considerations. Saturn squares Ixion, a Plutino in the Hadean triumvirate with Orcus and Pluto, forming a matrix of drives and compulsions that give the raw domination material of the human ego. The great challenge for the adept to overcome. Ixion is the basest of the three Hadean styles, but also the most covert. When Saturn squares Ixion there’s an uncomfortable compulsion to impose harsh, authoritarian measures and thereby get one’s own needs met. Those needs are usually quite unsophisticated too.

But wait! There’s a second tee-square:

  • At its apex we have a Moon that is strong by sign but is at the anaretic degree of Taurus. The 30th degree of any sign creates a great sense of urgency, and here the stressing nature of the critical degree is informed by the most material sign of the zodiac. Great pressure in economic matters.
  • Further the Moon is square to Neptune (also Jupiter and Chiron) This narrow stellium has the flavour of what I would call “flawed idealism” and in Aquarius has a humanitarian, universal application. So it represents quite clearly the ideals of social care, of providing support and benefits (Jupiter) for the unfortunate (Neptune) and disabled (Chiron). This is creating a stress for the Moon’s urgent concern (money). The Aquarius stellium is opposed by Orcus who has just moved into the anaretic degree of Leo. So there’s an implacable force at work, opposed to the ideals of social care, and it’s a privileged force too, Orcus is conjunct Regulus, one of the four Royal Stars, whose interests align with kings, rulers and elites.
  • Moon is also conjunct Mercury who is precisely conjunct Algol, the most unfortunate star in the heavens. Here it gives a tendency to strategisation and stealthy enactment of agendas. It gives an amoral cast to Mercury, who is already innately ambiguous.
  • Overall the Tee-Square to Moon/Mercury/Algol is quite potent. It describes a struggle between an elite and the prevailing social policy of our time.
David Cameron: tough times ahead.

David Cameron: tough times ahead.

But the gloss over all of this is a Grand Trine between Sun, Pluto and Orcus.

  • Yikes! Yes, that’s right. Yikes indeed.
  • Bear in mind that the Sun is the public face of any chart, and here we have a Sun applying to the cusp of the 6th in Taurus. And don’t hardworking people deserve to enjoy the rewards of their hard work? Well, don’t they? You’d have to be some kind of leftie lunatic to disagree with that!
  • A Grand Trine is a ‘safe place’ in the chart, a place that one can fall back into when the going gets tough – for better or worse. So here there’s a sense of being in easy control, a single-minded determination to get things done to one’s satisfaction. It’s smooth and very determined.
  • And the Grand Trine lies in the 2nd the 6th, and the 9th Money, philosophy and the working public.

Looking forward, we can say that 2016 is a critical year for austerity. Since Saturn has run away with the chart we look with interest to February 2016 as the first Saturn square for austerity. The first Saturn square is always a time of profound testing, where motives, usefulness and reliability are all under serious scrutiny. Ten days later, the Conservative Party chart experiences the first of three Pluto – Moon oppositions.

This is even more noteworthy because on 12th January, David Cameron weathers the middle pass of Pluto square Sun. A profound challenge to leadership and personal authority. Since his Sun squares Orcus natally, his integrity is also undergoing a withering examination at this time. The Conservative Party chart (18/12/1834, 00:00 Tamworth, UK) undergoes a Uranus square to natal Moon two days beforehand and then Pluto opposes the Tory Mars in April, which when viewed together, constitute one of the most fundamental challenges to Conservative politics, probably for many years. Pluto squares the UK’s lunar axis for the last time in ten days from now. The destiny of this nation is being forged as we speak.

The Astrology of Paul Walker’s Demise


Just recently there has been a rash of investigative astrology in relation to the untimely and unfortunate death of Paul Walker, an actor I’d not heard of, but my interest was piqued because of the comparisons made between Walker and the iconic James Dean. This prompted me to revisit Dean’s grand travail, the impeccable exploration of youthful angst that is Rebel Without a Cause.

Dean’s supremely dignified Saturn shines through, like a supernova beneath the waves, in His domicile, in His own house and it makes Dean resplendent and beautiful. What might he have become with such perfect, measured delivery. You could not fail but sit up and listen to his most casual utterance.

The comparisons with Paul Walker are, in my kind view, misguided. Dean was 24 when he died, and Walker 40. Dean was an icon in the making, a truly stellar individual with that strange and mesmerising power of attraction enjoyed by only the smallest handful of celebrity; Walker by contrast was unremarkable, if pleasant enough. Still, they shared an acting career, a Red Porsche and an undisputed tragedy.

Studies of Walker’s demise cite varying opinions about the gathering portents implied in his astrology. In my view, none of the analysis has identified the single overwhelming stormy petrel of the piece, which is the Hadean transit of Ixion to Walker’s Sun and Saturn. Surely, we could say more. Ixion makes hard contacts with Sun and Saturn natally. Orcus is precisely on the South Node, meaning that death is karmic. Isn’t all death karmic? (I hear you cry!) Yes, but some is more than others. Sometimes much more.

Ixion, Orcus and Pluto are the Hadean triumvirate. A hard contact from any of the members of this dark cabal is an event. We do not have to cloak these measures of mortality in a dread costume, but we all know to sit up and take notice when Pluto squares our Sun. Similarly, we should be equally observant when any of the Hadeans ploughs into the Solar field. The Sun is our golden thread of life after all. Any challenge to the Sun is a vital question that must be answered.

With a Sun – Saturn square, there is a challenge to life from a lack of caution. Saturn in Gemini and Sun in Virgo, both ruled by a strong Mercury flavours the brew with 3rd house themes. Natal Saturn is conjunct Memoria (funeral pyres), and opposition Sappho (close friends), and Ixion transited Sappho, squared the Sun and opposed Saturn on the day of the fatal accident. There may be other important supporting factors that contributed to the timing of Walker’s demise, and some of those have already been identified by other astrologers, but the plat principal in this tragic case, is the transit of Ixion.

Why should this be? Well for a start, Ixion is equally supreme in the realm of Hades, being a foremost inhabitant and a cautionary tale for others. His crime was that of hubris, which is always the Hadean problem, whose epithet might be ‘the normal rules don’t apply to me, because I’m special.’ If we feel that we are immortal, and this challenges our already flimsy propensity to caution then clearly we are headed for trouble. Here the hallmarks are that we make a funeral pyre as a result, alongside a close friend. The marks of Hades are so clear as to be undeniable. Ixion, alongside Orcus and Pluto is a serious business, to the extent that the astrological language needs to be redefined. These days we do not deal with Plutonian people alone, we deal with Hadeans, whose nuances, motivations and choices, alongside the uncomfortable consequences of those choices, are increasingly dimensioned. The new astrology is roaring into materiality, regardless of the reluctance of many astrologers to hear its dark, sometimes twisted symphony.

But, we cannot put the dreadful genie back in the bottle. Nor would those of us who wish to see the deeper logic of our lives wish to, because it is the Rosetta Stone of our time.

Therefore, the moral of this story is to be wary of Ixion and Orcus transits, just as you would with Pluto. These energies are already unleashed into consciousness, but we are still in denial – and nowhere more so than in the very profession that purports to promote the wisdom of the stars. The tragic demise of Paul Walker (and friend) is another tick of the countdown clock, calling time on the increasingly inadequate Pluto-only Hadean model.

Until next time.

November 2012’s Solar Eclipse

I have given it some thought and I have determined that it might be useful to say a few words about the current Solar Eclipse at (close to) 22 Scorpio. Of course you can read plenty of commentary on this from various astrologers who will all tell you that this eclipse will signify a time of deepening responses, the beginning of new cycles of difficult but ultimately rewarding emotional change and a feeling that it is time to get serious or real about life, most especially about the affairs of the house with Scorpio on its cusp, the house where the eclipse falls, and to some extent, as a kind of moderating influence, the houses containing and ruled by the Sun and Moon.

As an example, the eclipse falls for me in the 6th house, and with Sun in the 6th too, ruling the 3rd, and Moon on the Descendant, I am starting my new astrology school. That will change the way that I work (6th) in a profound way (Scorpio) through teaching my skills (3rd) to others (Dsc). It is very simple when you look at it that way. Of course, you will have to look at these factors as they apply to your own nativity and transpose that onto your subjective reality to have it make sense.

What most astrologers fail to mention about this eclipse , or any other lunation for that matter, is that understanding the effect for you and your life depends – and hugely – on where you are in the world when the eclipse (or any lunar phase) occurs.

For example, in the UK this eclipse has been a very curious phenomenon. The Sun and Moon are perfectly balanced, as are Venus and Mars, and too Jupiter and Saturn. These pairs of planets form polarised partnerships in astrology and therefore the fact that each pair is equally potent in the UK eclipse chart is quite fascinating. This suggests to me that there is a getting back to balance imperative arising from the event.

But despite this, in the UK at least, the strongest planet, by some considerable degree, is Neptune. This means that Neptune sets the tone for the eclipse, so the new emotional changes that are called for are to do with getting back to a place of reality, of rebalancing one’s spiritual energy and either fixing, or killing off difficult relationships.

Because that is the other foundation stone of the lunation cycle: every phase is concerned with relating. So if the eclipse falls in your 10th house, it’s the way in which your relationships make you appear to the world at large which needs rebalancing. Have you held onto people in your life because they make you look good, in spite of the fact that perhaps they don’t really nurture you in any meaningful way? Or conversely, have you shut somebody out of your life because of shame, or because they don’t really suit your image and lifestyle somehow? Now is the time to examine how appearances and relationships go together in your life.

As another example, what if this eclipse falls in your 7th house? An eclipse in the 7th is always especially powerful because not only is it an angular position, it’s also a relating house even without the confluence of solar and lunar energies. Here you are being asked to examine the ways in which you relate to partners, especially marital partners (past and present!) Have you let any ‘bad habits’ creep into your primary relationship over the last few months or years? Now is the time to set things straight again, to get some balance back into the relationship. Maybe that means that rather than opting for an easy life, you finally just say what’s been on your mind and get it out into the open, or alternatively, maybe it’s time you were honest with your partner about that situation that you’ve been brooding on for all this time. You know. That situation.

This advice always comes with a caveat though. Neptune is extremely strong and Mercury is weak through this eclipse, so the danger is that you struggle to speak authentically. With strong Scorpio energy the natural predilection is to speak to the heart of any matter, but where Mercury is weak one’s reasoning powers are unlikely to be terribly incisive, and as Mercury squares a very strong Neptune it is extremely tempting to put things in such a way that it glamorises your own part in the proceedings. Indeed, it’s almost impossible not to do this under this influence.

There is a solution to the problem of Mercury – Neptune though, and it goes like this:

  1. Hold in your mind an image of the person that you love (or loved, if they are gone) most in the world and really experience your feelings as you “look” at them.
  2. As you picture that beloved soul in front of you, become aware of your eyes and how they feel soft and caring.
  3. Now, as you relate to others at this time, look at them through these same eyes.

It is such a simple trick, and it is powerfully effective. This completely catharsises negative Neptune energy right at the source and you will find that you can relate to anyone in this way and speak the truth without evasion or unconscious malice.


Of course the situation is going to be different wherever you might be in the world. In New York for instance, Neptune is still strong, but so is Mars. This means that the tone of the eclipse for those living in New York is going to be subtly, but experientially quite different from anyone in London. There’s more sexual energy at work, so it’s useful to go with the current lessons of Saturn in Scorpio and ask yourself where you’ve been avoiding intimacy in your life. As an aside, if you’re looking for more insight about this, try Mandi Lockley’s in-depth but highly accessible Saturn in Scorpio. The other side of the New York eclipse lies in the use and abuse of energy in your relationships, here are a few questions that might get you thinking along useful and self-edifying lines at this time:

  • Is it fair for me to be angry at someone who’s sick, helpless or a victim?
  • Is it fair for that person to be angry with me when it’s not my fault?
  • How does passive and covert aggression block me from relating to others meaningfully?
  • Does being tired prevent me from getting the most out of my relationships?
  • What dreams, desires and fantasies am I keeping hidden from my significant other?

As a final observation for New York, Orcus energy is quite ferocious for this eclipse in your part of the world, so loneliness is part of this picture! If you’re not intimate then you are likely lonesome, right? Time to put your energy into a relationship that can work, and get shot of what’s too broken to be worth rescuing! Yes, plenty of Neptune here. For some instant therapy try reading The Shipping News.

As a final illustration, if you are in Sydney Australia, then the eclipse is going to be even more powerful and profound because it’s visible. But here Saturn is the heavyweight in the eclipse chart, in more ways than one! Mars is also flexing his muscles so the energy here is about a real blockage. What is it you’re not doing out of fear or because of a lack of confidence? Your relationships with friends are highlighted, but this eclipse also focuses inner resources on the way in which your primary relationship fits into your social life. How does your primary relationship stop you being free with your friends? How do your friends stop you from being intimate with your loved ones?

So you see, the tone of an eclipse has a basic quality, but you cannot gauge its specific quality independently of your location. When you apply the locality of this eclipse to your nativity you can begin to formulate some very clear observations about how it will affect you.

If you want to learn how to understand these matters for yourself, then sign up for my 2013 Astrology School. I can show you how it’s done, and much more besides.

And do let me know how the eclipse applies to you: all war stories are gratefully received!

Three Dimensional Astrology: Part 4

This is the final instalment of my series on spiritual astrology, discussing in some depth the midlife transits, the Pluto and Neptune squares, and the Uranus half-return, among others. Thanks to everyone for their support and encouragement; I aim to record material on new topics later in the year, I am under some pressure to finish the final draft of my book!

The episode lasts for 45 minutes, and if you wish to download the file to listen to elsewhere, then you can find it here (45mb).

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.

BritFate: prediction methods explained in detail

Today’s article will be something of an experiment. Because the time and effort required to produce these educational astrology articles is considerable, I am hoping to encourage a positive energy exchange with my readers (up to 800 a day!) so for major pieces I will produce the work in a PDF document which you can download and either read on your computer or print off and read in bed, or over your cereal or while waiting to talk to your bank manager about the overdraft. The article will be free to download, however the link for my Paypal donation page where you can optionally contribute a couple of bucks for my time and effort, will be listed too.

I hope you will be comfortable with that, because although I do get some donations, in general terms there isn’t much incentive to write articles when I get paid much better for writing nativities, so the bulk of my time goes into that instead of providing this free resource.

Today’s article demonstrates a useful principle about predicting future times which I am certain will be a useful delineation of methodology. Here in the UK we are living through interesting times and I have a strong suspicion that these times are about to get even more interesting.

I had a discussion with my doctor recently about predicting the cause of death through astrology, and she asked if it was possible to posit a time of death as well as a cause. Actually, I don’t entirely believe that it is possible to determine a cause of death so much as a style of death, but that’s another matter. What good astrologers have long known is that you cannot predict your own time of death: many have tried and only one Renaissance Italian managed it: on the second attempt! I have read several theories on this and I think it is linked to the subjective perception of one’s demise, of course it will be traumatic, but the actual moment of departure? I cannot imagine that would show up as a problem.

To some extent I want to reserve insight on this question because I cover the topic quite throughly in my forthcoming book on Orcus, however, that is not actually the purpose of this exploratory digression in any case, the simple fact is that it is much easier to predict a time of death for an individual by looking at the transits, progressions and directions of those people in their intimate circle. If you see then that there is a period of adversity for all those connected with the individual, which is concommitant with an illness, accident or other mortally-threatening happenstance in their nativity, then we can mark that as a possible exit point for the soul in question.

The demise becomes explicable after the fact, as was the case with Natasha Richardson (for example) and there is no question that this insight would have been available beforehand, however, there are numerous convergences of life-threatening portents in a human life and they cannot all result in death (well, the first which does is logically the end of the matter) but undoubtedly they will denote near-misses. You wouldn’t even have to know about it of course; I remember one instance where I crossed a road in London and upon reaching the other side I noted the look of horror and distress on the faces of the many people standing stock-still on the pavement: apparently I had almost been hit by a bus, but, lost in thought I had been oblivious to my brush with mortality.

All of which is a rather long-winded means of pointing to a methodology. Compare the futures of a group and you will see that where there are concurrences, there are therefore shared experiences of significance in the making.

The article today will demonstrate how this method works, how you should put it together, and how to identify hotspots in the future. For the purpose of the demonstration I am going to use the combined nativities of David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, the UK coalition government (which has a birth time) and the nation they govern as well. If we view the three through a convergent lens in this way, we can easily ascertain where the stress points lie. You of course can use the charts of any associated group, and by applying the same methods you will be able to identify future hotspots of especial significance.

If you wish to download the article (5000 words+) please consider making a small donation via Paypal.

The article is available as a PDF document: please click here to read. And remember, I would rather you enjoy the article for free than forgo the article because you don’t wish to make a donation.

The War of Earth and Sky

Saturn’s opposition to Uranus reaches its excruciating zenith any moment now and I for one will be delighted to have the tension past its peak: like an overtightened violin string, it is sounding more than a few screechy notes in life’s orchestra. Despite the inherent discomfort of this transit though, it can be leveraged, both as an excellent opportunity to realise personal growth and too, to fine-tune your connection with a metaphysical Universe. The opposition then is a lesson in disguise – and one that contains enormous potential benefits if you understand the harmonies of the planets – the first task for any aspiring metaphysician then, is to see the possibility that the echoes of those divine notes are manifest within the events, attitudes and situations which surround us every day of our lives. Once you have acknowledged this perspective, then you are on your way to a paradigm shift in consciousness. Skill simply grows with application and learning.

Saturn and Uranus have myriad correspondences, but they are profoundly antithetic, for this reason, any aspect between them is fraught with tension. It is an ancient battle; the elder Gods of earth and sky have been at war for as long as people have looked on and witnessed, with awe and consternation, the clash of elements. Everyday that same struggle is replayed in the clash of personalities and belief systems that is reenacted in homes, families, places of work and in the political and religious spheres of the entire planet. The opposition therefore offers a glimpse of that archetypal energy to be scryed in all of our relationships and struggles.

Fundamentally, the battle is between the old and the new and that is most likely to be expressed in the struggle to realise change in the face of resistance. On one level, this might mean that banking institutions are forced to reform their practices, accrued over centuries and reflecting a time where poverty was akin to criminality: the bankers were a wealthy elite who were able to manipulate the social clay into forms of their own choosing. The traditional banker is Saturn therefore, forced to contemplate radical reform – Uranus – in the guise of new charging structures, government bail-outs, and with the Saturn – Uranus opposition in square with Pluto in Capricorn, the transformation of old business models is the only way to balance the tension of these two ancient adversaries. At another level, you may be struggling with the same issues – writ small perhaps, but no less personally compelling for that fact – in your own life, where you are experiencing the same clash of old and new, traditional and avant-garde and one of the most interesting insights is to identify where you are involved in a power-struggle – because the squares to Pluto are manifesting the oppositional tension – and which side of the ancient divide you have fallen on.

In my own life I have become embroiled in a struggle between Catholicism and astrology: inevitably, my choice to fall on the side of Uranus was no choice (in the sense that I have never attacked Catholicism, but I have been attacked for being an astrologer by those with strongly held Catholic beliefs) but it is powerfully synchronous all the same to count the metaphysical correspondences. I have a Uranus-Pluto conjunction while my adversaries have Saturn conjunct Pluto, so the tee-square of Saturn and Uranus to Pluto is drawing out the powerful unconscious forces between us, casting us in the ancient mould of Saturn versus Uranus. Inevitably, I am cast as the breaker of the traditional and the wrecker of sensible good-order. This is yet another feature of the struggle: Saturn casts Uranus in his role – not as a necessary revolutionary agent – but as something sinister: his new way is denounced as irresponsible, anathema to Saturn of course, and it is often remarkable how one’s allegiance is projected in this way. In recent months I have witnessed the language of Saturn, a veritable list of Saturnine keywords in fact, repurposed, fashioned into barbs, and slung unceremoniously in my direction. Deeply uncomfortable of course, but at the same time fascinating to witness.

So where in your life has this battle been taking place? If there is a power-struggle in your life, it will probably have emerged into the open over the last few months as the tee-square took shape, although its genesis would have occurred in the latter part of 2008 when the first opposition between these two behemoths was formed (partile on 3rd November 2008, but palpable from September onward. As an aside, the last time these oppositions were in the heavens was between March 1965 and January 1967: in January 1967, the Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco popularized hippie culture, leading to the legendary Summer of Love on the West Coast of the United States, and the 1969 Woodstock Festival on the East Coast.) You will have found yourself on one side or the other: adopting the role of Saturn or Uranus and perhaps accusing or defending on the basis of one perspective or the other. Here’s how it works:

  • If you are defending on the basis of your being responsible, sensible, of good-standing, successful, burdened, restricted, unfairly weighed down with responsibility, and reliable, or if you are attacking on the basis of your opponent being unreliable, irresponsible, a loser, weird, a misfit, mad, bad or dangerous to know, then you are in the role of Saturn and you are opposing Uranus.
  • If you are defending on the basis of being carefree, exciting, original, different, inclusive, revolutionary, being a risk-taker, wanting freedom or advocating positive change or of you are attacking on the basis of your opponent being dull, over-cautious, staid, fearful, repressed, oppressive, authoritarian or status-obsessed, then you are in the role of Uranus and you are opposing Saturn.

In general terms, with the opposition falling across the Libra – Aries axis and tee-squaring Pluto in Capricorn (thus disposited by Saturn), the weight is with Saturn, so the Saturnine types are much more likely to be those with the power agenda (because Pluto is Saturn’s servant). This doesn’t mean that Saturn will win, as we will see later, the only winners are going to be those who can keep themselves in check. With Aries-Libra configured the battleground will be over themes of relating, and it may well be disguised as what is best for the other person (that is the struggle between the rulers of Aries and Libra, Mars and Venus otherwise known as I know what’s best for you. The Aries – Libra opposition disguises its own agenda in concern for someone else and because Mars is selfish and Venus is cooperative, the opposition is experienced as one person trying to force the other to compromise, using Saturn and Uranus as the chief protagonists. Look to the house positions of the opposition to gauge its nuances. In my own case the opposition falls across the 6th and 12th: I have been accused (for example) of doing the “work of the devil” in recent weeks. Work is the 6th, and the devil is clearly Uranus cast in the role of mad, bad and dangerous to know with 12th house – religious – overtones. Uranus rules astrology, and Saturn conventional religious perspectives (like Catholicism), so it is simply the old battle being manifest. Awful to experience but fascinating to witness as I have said.

Understanding and identifying the effects of the opposition in your own nativity are quite straightforward, and there are many benefits to doing so; not the least of which is through gaining an appreciation that transits, especially when forming intense configurations, always have a profound influence on our life direction and situation, even if only through the medium of related natal placements. You are much more likely to be affected by these dynamics if you have planets in the Aries’ Points, or at the middle of the fixed signs. People born in 1972 for example, are likely to be seriously pressured under these transits because of the presence of Pluto in the first degree of Libra. Similarly, those born between 1946 and 1949, where Pluto transited the midpoint degrees of Leo, will be drawn in to these power-struggles. Anyone born between 1990 and 1993 also, with Pluto in the middle degrees of Scorpio. Bizarrely (or not actually), everyone that I know born in these years has been drawn into an intense and destructive power-struggle at this time.

The same dynamic will manifest according to the nature of the aspecting point in the nativity, so, if your Moon aspects the Aries’ Points – as Mel Gibson’s does at 00Li00 – then expect power struggles with families, mothers, wives and women in general. If Neptune is involved, as it is for anyone born in 1942 and 1963-4, then deceptions, confusion, dissolution and escapism all feature in the power-struggle dynamic, difficult dreams are a feature for these people. Consider too those children born in 2004 with Neptune at the midpoint degree of Aquarius, who may be struggling with nightmares at this time as the power-struggle emanates into the Neptunian subconscious realms.

Today, and in previous days, there have been numerous stories in the news of ambushes and knife attacks. The most celebrated is the story of Raoul Moat who ambushed a policeman and his ex-girlfriend and her new lover, the latter who died. He became, in the public consciousness Uranus and some applauded him as a kind of misunderstood misfit and potential folk-hero (Uranus/11th house) while others, especially establishment figures like the British Prime Minister were moved to condemn him and his supporters as irresponsible. Ambushes, knife attacks and prejudice are themes commonly associated with the asteroid Hopi which is currently configured with Uranus at 00Ar07, bound up irredeemably with the power-struggle dynamic. Knife attacks have been ten to the penny in the news over the last few days after a groom slashed his bride’s throat ,a man stabbed his new stepmother to death and a paramedic ambushed and stabbed a nurse in the car park of the hospital where they both worked. These are just a few of the more prominent ambush and stabbing stories of recent days.

And, in each of these cases, they are people who, unaware of the metaphysical Universe in which they live, have lost all perspective in the struggle between the old ways and the new and – determined to prevail at all costs – have simply eliminated the opposition. One of the key problems with the Saturn – Pluto energy in particular is that, when under duress, it becomes extremely authoritarian, judgmental and incompassionate and it fixes on a position until the point where Uranus does what Uranus does best: he rebels. Then everyone is cast in their familiar old roles: the responsible versus the irresponsible or the oppressive against the liberating, depending on your perspective.

Make no mistake though, the opposition itself is a front. The opposition is where all the action is taking place, but the presence of Pluto at the squaring point – around 0° of Capricorn, is the real agenda, but because Pluto is receiving the tense energy, he is simply doing what Pluto always does, and keeping himself hidden.

If the opposition falls across the 1st and 7th then ostensibly there is opposition between yourself and your most intimate partner because one of you wants more freedom and the other wants more security, but the hidden agenda is about how things appear (10th) or about family or property or some problem located in the distant past (4th).

If the 2nd and 8th are involved in the opposition then the outward manifestation of that tension is to do with money, debt, inheritance or self-esteem but the true agenda is children, the way you express yourself or what you want to do for enjoyment (including love affairs) – 5th house, or its politics, at whatever level (11th).

These examples should give you some idea how the tee-square might be affecting you. If you see that happening then you gain a real insight into the metaphysical Universe and how it really does affect us in our everyday endeavours: and in seeing that you are given the opportunity to realise that you are not compelled to act upon the pressures of the planets. If we understand that here is a subtle but very powerful pressure to pit Saturn against Uranus and to adopt one stance or the other, then we can determine to resist that pernicious energy, let it wash over us instead of weighing us down. And this is no idle ideal either: because we have to be careful not to allow ourselves to be cornered by the dictates of the aspectual tension. Consider the case of the groom who tried to murder his fiancée when she called off the wedding: clearly, the impetus existed to formalise and traditionalise their relationship (Saturn), she wanted out and called off the marriage (Uranus), so he attempted to kill her (Pluto). It is without doubt a very extreme example, but it illustrates very neatly the conceptual exchange of energies.

As explained earlier, there is particular danger in adopting the Saturn position, because Saturn has rulership of Pluto within the aspect pattern, so the urge to control, overpower and destroy the Uranian rebels will come naturally and unquestioned at this time, but it will almost certainly backfire in the long-term. Similarly, in following the chain of rulerships we see that Uranus rules Neptune, so victimisation comes into play here too. Uranus will utilise evasion to attempt to escape from Saturn’s strictures. Victimisation (real or imagined) may become a theme, and much of the negative energy for the Uranian will be channeled into wishing that things were different: Neptune really doesn’t enjoy brutality and bullying.

Of course, it’s not over yet. August will be a tough month as Jupiter first squares Pluto on the 3rd, which will up the ante for sure in any power struggle and then opposes Saturn on the 16th; then old Pain and Torment get together for a last-ditch oppressfest on the 21st, when Saturn squares Pluto at 3 Libra and Capricorn respectively. That will be the final salvo in the war between earth and sky, thankfully, but the devastation left might be more than anyone bargained for.

(How have you experienced the old battle? All war-stories gratefully received!)