Saturday, March 24, 2012

Uranus-Pluto Part 5 of 8; the Nature of Collective Transits and the World Soul

So we have this Uranus square Pluto transit that is affecting the whole world. It is probably going to be most noticeable when the chart of a country interacts strongly with that transit, as it does for all the major powers at different times. But it’s not just about the interaction with charts. We have seen that with the Arab Spring, the series of rebellions against secular authoritarian government that have spread across the Middle East and beyond. We are also seeing the same sort of change in Burma and Russia. It is a like a virus that is spreading across the world. Symbolically Uranus is a planet of protest inasmuch as it is creative, it wants to create new forms and it needs the freedom to do that. The sign of Aries brings a martial quality and a visionary quality to that, and the square from Pluto empowers that protest – empowers in the sense that Pluto brings a life or death quality, for the protesters it becomes an issue of their survival as free human beings rather than mere subjects, that is where the empowerment comes from.

So you have this power from below, Pluto, meeting this power from above, Uranus in a dynamic way. And it seems to be affecting the whole world at the same time, which is remarkable. In the Middle East it is understandable that a spirit of change should spread, because those countries have cultural connections. But why Russia and Burma as well? And why riots in England? And occupy camps across much of the western world?

(Incidentally, I think the Occupy camps may be more Neptune-Chiron than they are Uranus-Pluto. The flavour is more about people being victims of a bad system and wanting the politicians to fix it, but without giving any clear message as to what or how, and eventually and inevitably they get moved on from their camps. I’m not saying there isn’t genuine feeling and grievance there, for there is, but maybe in cultures that have been wealthy and stable for so long, the harsher survival issues that bring in the power of Pluto are not there so much. This is in contrast to people across the Arab world, where you see no lack of vigour and revolutionary motive. The Occupy camps you could say are short of what you’d expect from Uranus-Pluto, especially with Uranus in Aries.)

These mundane transits are I think quite different to personal transits. A personal transit is about you and your stuff, your own need to live more creatively or imaginatively or authentically depending on which outer planet is involved.

But with a mundane transit a whole collective is involved. We get affected personally by the collective change, but the mundane transits seem to indicate that humans collectively are also a living organism. Otherwise why would the spirit of rebellion have spread like it has done across the world?

The mundane transits seem to point to the ancient idea of the anima mundi, the world soul. This is how Plato put it:

Therefore, we may consequently state that: this world is indeed a living being endowed with a soul and intelligence ... a single visible living entity containing all other living entities, which by their nature are all related.

It’s an idea that you find repeatedly in history. In modern times we have had Jung’s collective unconscious and James Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis. Plato lived around 400 BC. Five Hundred years later the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who was one of the Stoic philosophers, put it like this:

Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being; and how all things act with one movement; and how all things are the cooperating causes of all things that exist; observe too the continuous spinning of the thread and the structure of the web.

The philosopher Friedrich Schelling published a treatise entitled ‘On the world soul’ in 1798.

More recently, we have James Lovelock: Evolution is a tightly coupled dance, with life and the material environment as partners. From the dance emerges the entity Gaia.

And: The Gaia hypothesis proposes that all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating complex system, maintaining the conditions for life on the planet.

So I think that a consideration of mundane transits kind of points us strongly towards the idea of a world soul. Because it’s not just humans that are affected by these transits. You tend to get earthquakes and volcanoes associated with these transits as well. On the last day of Uranus in Pisces in 2011, there was an earthquake followed by a tsunami off Japan. The next day, Uranus’ first in Aries, a nuclear reactor exploded in Japan as a result of the earthquake.

So the whole world, at all levels, is going through this Uranus-Pluto transit. And the type of change will depend on the type of consciousness, if you like, involved. For the earth as matter, you’re probably going to get the odd volcano and tectonic shift. 2 plates that have maybe been pushing up against each other for thousands of years will suddenly shift, causing an earthquake.

That, if you like, is Uranus-Pluto at its least refined level. At its most refined level you have an individual human making some sort of major and considered choice about their life, maybe after years of struggle and uncertainty.

And somewhere below that, as it were, you have collective humanity going through its changes, being swept along by new currents that have been a long time coming.

When I say below that I don’t mean that as a put down, any more than I’m trying to put the earth down for merely having volcanoes. I think it’s just that you have to be realistic about what you can expect from collectives, however intelligent the individuals in it may be.

And however intelligent we think we may be, we rest on a base of collective consciousness, and that can take over at times of crisis. Individualised human consciousness is a fragile thing. Our default consciousness is collective.
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When 2 outer planets make a hard aspect, which happens probably every 20 years or so, then the collective is activated, it goes through a change, and consciousness in the individual human sense isn’t necessarily part of that.

I think that what is happening in the Eurozone over Greece is a good example of the difference between an outer planet transit to an individual and to a collective.

Greece borrowed too much money when borrowing was cheap and economies were growing. Now it cannot afford to pay the money back. It has 2 options: either default and leave the Eurozone or be bailed out at the cost of punishing austerity measures.

Greece is choosing the latter route, and it is destroying the country. The austerity conditions that the EU and the IMF are imposing are cruel, and everyone knows they are not likely to work: the hope is that in about 8 years Greece will have a slightly less unmanageable debt. But the austerity measures are contributing to the economy shrinking, making it even harder to pay back the debt. Ministers have been leaving the government in protest at the measures, and the public order minister has said that the people cannot take any more.

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And you can see how Uranus-Pluto has been hitting the Greek chart via the Moon and the Ascendant. The Moon is the people of a country, and the natal conjunction to Pluto is descriptive of how the modern party came about through popular uprising, through a power struggle. The people remain sensitive to power issues, and at present feel they are being trampled on by Germany. Libra gives a sense of what is just and unjust, and the applying square to Saturn in Cancer shows a people who can easily feel uncared for, undernourished.

The Pluto transit to the Moon has finished its exact crossings, and it has brought the people low, made them subject to the harsh austerity measures of foreign powers. Uranus made its first exact opposition last year, and will do so again this summer. Popular uprisings seem like a certainty.

So you can see how the transits have worked, and how Pluto addressed what could be called an inauthentic situation, one that did not have a proper foundation.

But what strikes me about the situation, not just in Greece but in the Eurozone’s response, is the blindness of it and the lack of choice available. I think it is a good example of the difference between a collective outer planet transit and a personal one.

There is cruelty towards Greece going on. It’s people are being made to suffer in a way that isn’t going to help. Yet it doesn’t seem to me like there is some nasty regime out there determined to make Greece suffer.

The Greek people have been portraying Angela Merkel, the leader of Germany, as a Nazi, stomping on Greece. But she is prevented from bailing out Greece further by the German people, who have had enough. It’s understandable that the German people should feel that way, for where does it all end? Italy is next in the line-up for needing to be bailed out.

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It is interesting that Angela Merkel has said that she does not want to see any countries being forced out of the Euro. She is a Cancerian, she is mother Merkel looking after Europe. But she also has Sun conjunct Uranus, and she grew up in East Germany. She grew up in a divided country, and now again she is faced with division, with splitting, and she doesn’t want to go there. So her Sun-Uranus in Cancer, her childhood and her leadership all have this common theme.

But back to this collective mentality. What characterises it is lack of choice and lack of creativity. Either Greece stays in the Euro by making punitive cuts or it leaves and goes bankrupt. Either way there will probably also be a breakdown of social order. And this suffering is caused not by an evil regime but by the blindness and limited choice that governs collectives.

If Greece were an individual person with the same chart undergoing the same transits, there would be far more choice involved. The person may decide, for example, that their financial problems were caused by wanting to keep up with the Jones’ at the expense of his or her underlying values. That on its own wouldn’t solve the financial problem, but at least there would be hope for a different, more meaningful life. And that can make all the difference. The individual person, and Greece, will probably pick themselves up financially in the long run. But there would still be a big difference: the individual can learn from his or her experience, whereas countries don’t tend to learn, at least not for very long. Of course, some people can behave just like collectives: they don’t see any choices, and they don’t learn. The attempts by Pluto and Uranus to creatively move them on are likely often to be destructive.

So with these big transits that affect the world, I tend not to expect too much while hoping that the worst doesn’t happen. The worst did happen under the last Uranus-Pluto square in the early 1930s. Germany, strangely enough, was in a similar position to where Greece is now, broke and having to make huge war repayments, just like Greece is having to pay off unmanageable loans now.

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What is fascinating is that Germany’s natal Moon, the people, was at 19 Capricorn, which the Uranus-Pluto square of the time was hard aspecting as Germany disintegrated and the Nazis rose to power. So astrologically it is very similar to Greece now. Fortunately Greece is a small country. But the people feel that Europe and particularly Germany is oppressing them, and the natal Moon-Pluto may not look very pretty a few years down the line.

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And if you compare the charts of modern Germany and Greece, you can see the opposing Saturns. The Greek Saturn is in Cancer, what matters to them is that the people are looked after. The German Saturn is in Capricorn, what matters to them is that the correct rules and fiscal prudence are observed. It’s like 2 different languages. From a German point of view Saturn in Cancer looks like an irresponsible South European country. From a Greek point of view Saturn in Capricorn seems heartless.

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Unknown said...

Fantastic post. Interesting, clear and full of good examples and very much in touch with reality. A good application of Astrology to "real" life situations. Thank you, really enjoyed reading and thinking as I read.

omphale said...

I can see the 'victimizing' of Neptune/Chiron in the Occupy protest. But I also saw a lot of cold/unfeeling and heavy-handed violence instigated by the various police departments that could be described by the Uranus/Aries square Pluto/Capricorn. I'm guessing that the Occupy people are catching their collective 'breath' and will become more focused as Uranus applies to Pluto for the first of the squares this summer. The way that it got so large and widespread so fast took us all by surprise (Uranus)......

Sara said...

This makes so much more sense than anything else I have dug up about the current transits. It's easy to find a personal relevance in the phrase "harsh austerity", which may be not just the result of authority, but of self-imposition out of necessity or desire to do the same things with less. It's a great way to learn what you can do without.
"At its most refined level you have an individual human making some sort of major and considered choice about their life, maybe after years of struggle and uncertainty." -- Now I'm beginning to understand why I waited so long, almost 30 years, to work on my own projects and avoid the trap of paycheck dependency. I'm also beginning to better understand why I'm feeling the effects of the Uranus-Pluto transit so intensely.
Excellent series of articles. I am truly looking forward to the remainder.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your analyzis.

Once you take the Gregorian calendar reforms into account the USA was born a Leo. That has much bearing, yes?

ANU said...


Nice post. Yeah, the outer square is hard. I was on a roller coaster for three years (2008-2011) when the Uranus-Pluto-Saturn T square went through my hot natal stellium.

But what about the outer grand trine that will happen in mid July 2013?(Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn) When this trine is exact it will hit my sun/moon mp and my 'love interest's sun/moon mp simultaneously (both within one degree). So consequently also hit our composite sun/moon mp. (btw pluto also will be just 4 degrees from the composite sun/moon mp)

Incidentally on the same day uranus will be stationed opposite my natal vertex and his natal Uranus (uranus oppostion). Again within a degree. What might be in store?