There could hardly be a more important subject than that of climate change and the environment, and yet I haven’t been able to find an astrological take on it via the internet or anywhere else. I’d been occasionally pondering this one for a couple of years, and I finally came upon a way in last December through my blog on The Uranus-Pluto Generation. I was talking about David Cameron, the leader of the UK Conservative party, who has been attempting to make the environment for the first time a major issue in British politics, and I realised that this guy has the 1960s Uranus-Pluto conjunction in his chart, probably conjunct his ASC, and despite him being a Tory, his environmentalism is therefore probably for real.
And the conjunction is in VIRGO. Virgo is concerned with the cycles of nature (through her presiding goddess Astrea) and with technology (Virgo is Mercury-Mind ruled, an earth sign, analytical and perfectionist). And what technology has done is to disrupt the cycles of nature, leading to our environmental issues. So it is a very Virgoan issue. Eureka! It’s obvious when you think about it.
During the 1960s, when David Cameron was born, Pluto was in Virgo (1956-1972). For most of the 1960s, depending on what orb you use, Uranus was in conjunction with Pluto. During that period we saw the beginning of environmentalism as a radical protest movement (Uranus-Pluto).
In Sept 1962, for example, Silent Spring was published, a book that “claimed detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment, particularly on birds” and which “is widely credited with launching the environmentalism movement in the West.” (Wiki). Uranus was at 1-2 Virgo, Pluto was at 9-10 Virgo and both were opposite Chiron! The Sun may well have been in Virgo as well.
The two international environmental protest movements that we have probably all heard of, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, were founded in 1969 and 1971 respectively, though Greenpeace arose out of protest movements that were around a year or two earlier. So these two are also offspring of the Uranus-Pluto conjunction as it came to an end, with Pluto in late Virgo and Uranus in early Libra. The World Wildlife Fund was founded on 11 Sept 1961, with Sun and Pluto in Virgo, and Uranus 11 degrees off in late Leo. (I have heard it said that outer planet conjunctions are so far reaching on a mundane level that we need to consider them as operative up to 15 degrees apart).
The common factor in all of this is Pluto in Virgo: this was the period when humanity’s protest against environmental destruction (Virgo) first became empowered (Pluto). And Uranus was the protest, sometimes out of sign.
30 years later, from 1995 onwards, Pluto moved into Sagittarius, squaring its position in the 1960s, and so re-empowering the environmentalism that began in those times. And that re-empowerment consisted in the fact the environmentalism moved from being a protest issue to a mainstream political issue.
Probably the most significant move in this direction was the Kyoto treaty, which assigned mandatory targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to signatory nations. The treaty was negotiated in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997, opened for signature on March 16, 1998, and closed on March 15, 1999. The agreement came into force on February 16, 2005. (Wiki) It originally came out of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, established in 1992. So Kyoto and what led up to it takes us through virtually the whole of Pluto in Sagittarius.
Even though George Bush notoriously opted out of Kyoto, environmentalism as a real political issue has still progressed in the USA, through eg. the Gubernator’s initiatives in California and even in GWB’s recent State of the Union Address. So with Pluto at the very end of Sag, the issue is still being empowered politically.
As Pluto finishes squaring its 1960s Virgo journey, so is Uranus in Pisces now working its way through an opposition to Virgo, but some years behind. So out of this Pluto re-empowerment we can expect to see all sorts of interesting and radical and unexpected developments, both political and technological. There may well be a major leap forward as soon as the end of next year, as Saturn moves into opposition with Uranus, a combination which is well-known as a signature of technological breakthrough. As well as, politically, the bringing of radicalism (Uranus) into the status quo (Saturn).
And ironically, it may well be the USA, the worst polluter of all, and the last to come on board, which will come up with many of the breakthroughs. The USA has historically proved very inventive and able to rise to a challenge, and its natal Saturn-Uranus Trine can only help.
Incidentally, Barack Obama, the rising star of the Democrats and a contender for President, has Uranus in late Leo and Pluto in early Virgo, so I think we can see him as a member of the 1960s Uranus-Pluto generation who may be central to addressing the environmental crisis. When there is a pressing collective need like this, leaders will tend to get elected who are instinctively in tune with it. This is a point in favour of him winning the next US election. The Saturn-Uranus opposition, at 19 Virgo Pisces, will be hitting his Mars at 22 Virgo, and all at election time in Nov 2008. This is again a favourable pointer, not just to him winning, but to him having the dynamism to bring something new into politics that breaks the mould and which also addresses the environmental issue.
The Uranus-Pluto Cardinal square of 2010 onwards is the opening square of the cycle that began with the Virgo conjunction of the 1960s, so we should see the issues that began to be raised in those days receive new impetus from 2010 onwards - and probably even now.
Back to Pluto. Its square since 1995 from Sag to its 1960s Virgo journey is also relevant by sign, because Sag, for all its questing and enthusiasm, is well known for its lack of interest in mere earthly, ordinary matters. (In the system of esoteric rulerships, the earth is the ruler of Sag, suggesting what this sign needs to do to function at its best). And in this case it has been disastrous. We have our ever expanding quest for knowledge and know-how (Sag) based on a dismissive and exploitative attitude (Square) towards the cycles of nature (Virgo). This current transit is on the one hand a square in the worst sense, in that our destruction of the environment is accelerating; and it is also a square in the best sense, in that we are slowly beginning - in some countries - to rise to the challenge of addressing the issues it raises.
In my December blog on Pluto and the Galactic Centre, I made a connection with the Pluto-GC cycle and the environmental issue. Pluto last conjoined the GC in about 1760, as the steam engine which was crucial to the Industrial Revolution, which powered (Pluto) it, was being invented. Now, as Pluto conjoins the GC again last year and this, we are unavoidably faced with the environmental consequences of that Revolution. The GC’s involvement suggests that this issue is an important part of humanity’s evolution. It is not just a technological problem we have to solve. It has all sorts of deeper ramifications to do with our attitude to the planet.
Incidentally, the 1760 Pluto-GC conjunction also had Eris involved a few degrees away. Little Miss Mischief. Yes, here’s this wonderful opportunity to live as you have never lived before and generate untold wealth. There’s going to be this little problem 240 years from now, but I’m not telling you about that. What we have done to the environment is an externalisation of what’s in our own psyches, and Eris set us up for that. It’s horrible, but it’s been necessary, that’s how transformation sometimes works, and it points to part of Eris’ function in the transformational process. She sets us up for a necessary fall. 240 years later, with Pluto again conjunct the GC, Eris has turned up trine to the conjunction, ensuring we know that she has also been part of the picture – and maybe even to help us sort the mischief, while she creates some more for the next Pluto-GC conjunction.
So far we have Virgo and Pluto-GC-Eris as the main players in the environmental crisis. I think that Ceres also needs to be brought in. Ceres was promoted to the status of dwarf planet last year, so she obviously wants us to look at her. The promotion took place on 24 Aug, with the Sun in Virgo. As the goddess of growing plants she has a strong connection to Virgo. And through her daughter Persephone, who was a virgin (until Pluto got his hands on her) there is another strong connection to Virgo.
Ceres goes through all the signs every 5 years, so is bound to have aspected Uranus-Pluto during the 1960s. There were still some interesting ones, though. On 9 Nov 1965, Pluto and Uranus were between 18 and 19 Virgo, and Ceres was opposite at 18.32 Pisces. There were other occasions as well where Uranus and Pluto were very closely conjoined while Ceres was making a very tight aspect to them. So I think we can draw her in to the environmental issue as well.
Ceres and Astrea are both goddesses who love nature, which I think all humans also do, when they think about it. In looking at Ceres we also need to look at the main myth surrounding her, which is the abduction of her daughter by Pluto, her grief and her eventually finding Persephone, but only having her back for 6 months of the year – which became summer – while the other 6 months her daughter spent in the underworld with Pluto, and this became winter, Ceres’ time of sorrow.
So Ceres becoming prominent now suggests to me that we are entering the initial winter where Ceres has lost her daughter and doesn’t know where she is. We have lost our innocent, and unknowing, attitude to nature, as we collectively realise we are destroying her. But we can never go back to how we were – our technological advancement cannot be undone: Persephone has lost her virginity. To solve the problem, some sort of arrangement has to be made between the Ceres of Nature and the Pluto of destructive technology, just as Ceres and Pluto in the myth have to come to an arrangement. Ceres is resigned to it, but as a mother she is never happy with it. In the same way, Nature will probably never be as wild and bounteous as before humanity became technological. But at least an arrangement can be made to the benefit of both.