So I’ll be wanting to say something about the Arab Spring and about the USA and China. But firstly I want to circle back and talk more about collective transits and the individual, and ask what in essence the world is experiencing when there is a Uranus-Pluto square.
This square is something that every country will experience, probably more if their chart is transited by it, and it’s also something that we experience individually – not necessarily in the sense of personal transits, but in the sense of our aerials into the collective, a sort of impact on us personally that the stirring collective has, and that can draw us into it uncritically if our hold on individualised consciousness isn’t very strong.
A classic case of this was under the last Uranus-Pluto square when intellectuals in Nazi Germany were drawn into the party, for example the existentialist philosopher Martin Heidegger. The intellect as rational mind is treated as the highest faculty, as the decisive faculty, in our culture, but these outer planet transits seem to show this is not the case, it is something else, probably authenticity in a Plutonian sense, or self-knowledge, that is decisive.
I’d say an example of this sort of loss of individual consciousness under the present square would be the tendency to blame all our woes on the bankers. I’m not saying they don’t have a lot to answer for, but our economic difficulties have been brought about by a complex of conditions including, for example, lack of government regulation and general infatuation with the good times. And when there are difficulties, the collective tries to find a scapegoat, a simple answer, and the scapegoat may well be to some extent culpable, a good scapegoat usually is. But I think blaming it all on the bankers is a good example.
Above is the man we have all (in the UK) learned to despise. Fred Goodwin, the ex-head of the Royal Bank of Scotland, was stripped of his knighthood a few weeks ago, and he probably deserved to be, but that’s missing the point: the judgement that he deserved it covers up a collective ritual of revenge and blame, it means that we don’t have to face our own part in the economic difficulties. This is what collectives do, they blame somebody else, it’s childish, and we all get caught up in it to some extent. It’s the same with America and Osama bin Laden, judging him as evil and killing him was a means for Americans to avoid looking at their own part in 9/11, the foreign policy and business practices that led to it.
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9/11 was a Saturn-Pluto event for America, but killing bin Laden was a Uranus-Pluto event, triggered by an exact Mars-Jupiter conjunction in Aries, which makes it a great story of daring super-warriors. Pluto, planet of collective death and revenge, was just about to rise over the eastern horizon. Uranus was opposing the US MC, and Pluto was still within range of squaring it, and being the MC it concerned the US’ reputation and standing on the world stage.
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So the collective stirs under these transits, but what is it in principle that it goes through when Uranus squares Pluto? These transits work both ways. Uranus affects Pluto and Pluto affects Uranus, and they join together to create something more than the sum of their parts. Pluto empowers Uranus, and Uranus awakens and radicalises Pluto.
Pluto, being the outermost planet, is in a way the main one, and setting him as the main context for change is probably a good way of looking at it. And this brings us back to earlier in the talk and the example of the Euro and Greece.
Pluto is the life-force, the underlying energy that keeps us living and unfolding. And you get Pluto change whenever the form can no longer support that need to keep living. The resilience to Pluto-change of a system or an institution often depends on how well thought-out it was in the first place, how well it took into consideration the nature of the institution and the nature of the people running it, and therefore how much room it gave for further development. When it runs out of room, then you need a new basis, a death and a re-birth, you can no longer tweak it. Because you are dealing with a collective situation, there is no guarantee that what replaces it will be well-thought out: it may just be a collective reflex that seems for now to provide a way of carrying on.
I think Nazi Germany, which arose under the last Uranus-Pluto square, is an example of this, a reflex collective response to a very difficult economic situation and the humiliation of that and World War I, a response that seemed for a while to give the country its pride back, but in a very narrow way that could only lead eventually to trouble.
So going back to the Euro, it only had a short life, about 10 years, before it ran into trouble, as many had foreseen it would, because it hadn’t been properly thought through in its enacting. Politics got in the way. Because it is facing a major Pluto transit, it will change in a big way, that much is guaranteed. But what we don’t know is how much consciousness will be brought to that change. Will the replacement be properly thought through? Or will it be every country for itself? Or will it be somewhere in between, some countries leaving in a chaotic way after being crushed by the demands of the central powers of Europe, and those remaining creating a new constitution?
I think in a way it is easier to make mundane predictions than personal predictions, because collectives leave themselves less options. And sometimes it’s pretty obvious what’s going to happen. But other times you just don’t know. All you know, from the astrology, is the shape of the change, the principles behind it. I think with Europe we just don’t know. I think the Euro will continue because it is almost a survival issue for Europe, and Pluto gives us the power to survive. But in what form is at present I think unknowable. I don’t think the future is writ out there and with the right astrological tools you can predict it. I think often it really could go in a number of directions.
I think an example of a well-thought through institution, that has therefore had a longer life, is the US system of government. That was hammered out in the late 1700s, with all sorts of checks and balances that took human nature into account, and it has therefore survived a long time. But no system or institution can take the whole of human nature into account, we cannot be reduced to rules and laws, and sooner or later therefore that system no longer provides the basis for life and Pluto will come along and change it. I think that is what is starting to happen now with the US system of government, but I will come to that a bit later.
We need also to bring Uranus into the equation. On his own he demands new life, new forms, and when a system is not outworn, new possibilities within the system emerge. But when the system is outworn, Uranus speeds up the process and presents possibilities that you wouldn’t have thought of. That can make him revolutionary. But again, because we are talking collectively, those new possibilities may not be thought through and considered, they may just be collective reflexes.
Uranus is an archaic god who hated his children and had them imprisoned within the earth. And you could say this is Uranus in its unconscious form. He concerns the opposite of the awakening and the progress that we often associate him with. Instead of promoting new possibilities – his children – he stifles them. It’s as if the vital spark that is Uranus, if we don’t want it, if it is threatening in some way, then it turns into its opposite, it actively stifles new life. On an individual level, it could drive us crazy or depressed. On a collective level, it can lead to fundamentalism and repression.
There may be examples of this over time in the Arab Spring. Uranus-Pluto if you like caused these revolutions, but there is a strong element of Islamic fundamentalism in many of these countries which may eventually be politically dominant. The point about fundamentalism in whatever form is that it stifles new life, whether it takes an Islamic or scientific materialist form. It is saying this is the only way. It creates a seemingly secure but actually false foundation, because nothing is ever the only way. Pluto in his negative form is this false foundation, and Uranus is the stifling of anything that opposes it.
So with Uranus-Pluto on a collective level there is this intense pressure for change on any system whose foundations have run their course. The obvious sign with these 2 planets often seems to be crisis, which is Uranian, revealing the underlying problem, which is Pluto. At least that is one way of putting it.
Another way of putting it is that events start going out of control. This is often a sure sign that the outer planets are getting active. Normally the world is governed by Saturn, life is regulated, and we need Saturn for life to function. But then events happen that can’t be controlled. Under Uranus-Neptune, the Soviet Union could no longer control its satellite countries, and there was a series of revolutions. Under the present transit, the loss of control began with the collapsing of the banks in late 2008. Soon after that were the debt crises in Europe, that are still with us. There was the exploding nuclear reactor in Japan and the Deepwater Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. There will always be events that are out of control, but more so when the outer planets are activated. They point to the need for change and they often are that change. Sometimes they are symbolic, like the zombie parades you were getting last year, the gates of hell, Pluto’s world, opening. This picture above is from Brighton last year.