The square between Uranus and Pluto is the big transit that the world is going through right now. We only have these challenging angles between 2 outer planets every 20 or 30 years: the last one was the Uranus-Neptune conjunction in the early 90s, when the Cold War ended. The world always goes through a phase shift under such transits.
The world, of course, is always changing. But change has a habit of being gradual, and then tipping over relatively rapidly into a whole new phase. We can see this in our personal lives, and we can see it in the world. And the rapid, pivotal periods generally correspond to hard outer planet transits.
All you know from these transits is the shape of the change, the principles underlying it, and the broad time period. You don’t know at what point major events will occur. Often they occur in the very early stages, like the 2008 financial crisis, when Uranus and Pluto still had 4 years to go before they would make an exact square. However, the inner planets often give clues as to timing. In 2008, Saturn was opposing Uranus, creating instability (Uranus) in the financial system (Saturn.) Five years later, we have Saturn and Pluto in mutual reception (each in the sign the other rules, a bit like a conjunction) and the West seems to be pulling out of the Great Recession. An empowerment (Pluto) of the foundations (Saturn), with both planets having a financial meaning.
Saturn is the planet that facilitates the expression of the outer planets, which are invisible to us, but not to Saturn, who is far out enough to see them.
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The next square between Uranus and Pluto is on 1st November, and is the 4th of 7 over a 3 year period. So we are approaching the mid-point. In last week’s piece I said that economically it appears to be over bar the shouting, with the crossings to come being a working through of the changes that have already happened.
But I think that was not quite trusting the astrology, because surely the central crossing of this inherently crisis-ridden transit will have some kind of peak to it, some kind of crisis which we will see in the run-up to it (which is when events tend to occur)? And sure enough, over the last week there have been political crises, with financial implications, in Italy and the US, both of which were inevitable.
In Italy, Silvio Berlusconi’s conviction for fraud (about time) is threatening the stability of the government. Italy has a huge debt which has drifted onto the Eurozone back-burner, it is the elephant under the carpet. The smaller economies like Greece and Ireland and maybe even Spain were always bailable-outable, after an appropriate show of reluctance by the rest of the Eurozone. But not so Italy. The debt seems just about manageable if there is political stability. The next few weeks, in the run-up to the Uranus-Pluto square, are critical. (Since writing this, the political crisis seems to be over - for now. The government has survived a no-confidence vote.)
The next few weeks are also a bit nerve-wracking for the USA, due to political deadlock over the budget. The US has been here many times before, with government services being shut down due to a lack of funding. Beyond that, the US will soon have to raise its debt ceiling in order to pay its bills, and if there is not Congressional agreement before then, Obama will have to raise the debt ceiling on his own, like Clinton before him, and then fight his right to do so in the courts.
The cause of the deadlock is that the Republicans (who control the House of Representatives) won’t agree to the budget unless the funding for Obamacare is stripped. This is, of course, profoundly undemocratic, because Obamacare has been passed into law, so the Republicans are using the budget to try and neuter a law they don’t like. On the other hand, it’s how Congress works, and the Republicans see it as a moral issue, an unfair law.
And the US has been there before as well. Like in 1977, when the Senate wanted Medicare funds to be available for abortions where rape or incest had been involved, but the House didn’t. It was Democrat vs Democrat this time. It’s not all just nasty Republicans.
And then as now, there was a hard transit from Pluto to the US Sun at 14 Cancer. One outcome of this earlier transit was that from 1980, government workers were not paid during shutdowns. The US Sun is in the sign of Cancer, and it is square to natal Saturn, so the US looking after its own people, caring for them, is an ongoing issue which has been raised under both the last Pluto transits. Abortion can be argued from both sides, it is very complex – religion apart, is your priority the mother or the unborn baby? Is there right and wrong here? Is it about a governmental duty of care (the Cancerian Sun) or is it about the people's ‘rights’ (the American Aquarian Moon)?
Uranus-Pluto may be mid-way through its series of squares, but both planets have yet to aspect the US Sun at 14 Cancer. Pluto won’t exactly oppose until 2015. So there are ways to go. The transit is partly to do with the claims of business (Saturn) vs the needs of the people (Sun in Cancer). But it is also to do with power and government in the US, and the dysfunctionality that arises under the present system, when due to partisan politics, the government of the world’s most powerful country cannot even set a budget, one of its most basic duties.
And there is a particular dysfunctionality that has been around since Clinton, which is the right wing of the republican party, the Tea party as it has become known. They were neo-cons before that. Under Clinton they did their best to undermine the President, convulsing the US in the very trivial Lewinsky affair and making the country look ridiculous.
So the present transit to the US Sun may be a time when this dysfunctionality is addressed. With the present shutdown, it seems that most people are blaming the Republicans. The next couple of years may see increasing attempts by the right to stop Obama governing, and consequently a popular turning away from what the right is trying to do.