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Uranus Retrograde and the Uranus-Pluto Cycle: Navigating the Best of Times, the Worst of Times Part III

“News You Can Use”

Uranus, that great Promethean force, has turned retrograde as of July 9th. Where will the ‘Great Awakener’ now take us? This turning inward phase will last until December 10th when at 0 degrees it will once again begin to move forward in the sign of Aries.  I’ve been writing articles about this movement since it began back in May of 2010.

We astrologers look at time differently than just a linear progression from one day to the next into weeks, months, and years.  We try to observe the celestial orbits of the spheres in their endless dance around the Sun and find it fascinating to realize that these planetary movements actually have significance in both the individual life, but also the life span of vast Collective epochs.

With Uranus now in a slowing down period it may be worthwhile to reflect further on what does this mean to be heading into another major relationship with Pluto, the lord of powerful, instinctual transformations?  I can’t begin to unravel all the mysteries of this particular relationship, but I’ve enjoyed researching Richard Tarnas, again, who does a pretty amazing feat of tracking their cycle together through history starting with their conjunction from 1450 to 1461.  Jeff Green has also been a continuing source of inspiration due to his depth of understanding of not just Pluto, but Uranus. Check out his book Uranus, Freedom From the Known.

What primarily interests me in this article is how each of us, as individuals, can look at the big picture of this energy configuration about to impact the entire globe, and perhaps in understanding the bigger picture take the necessary actions that we each need to do in our own personal lives.

Uranus in Aries we know is about an urge breaking through towards freedom for each individual to have unrestricted and unimpeded access to discover for themselves just who they are and who they want to become.  It is a cry growing ever louder for individual rights.  These rights may include anything and everything depending on how we qualify what constitutes an ‘individual’.  An animal could thus have rights.  Even a corporation, under a recent Supreme Court ruling in the United States, has much the same right as a person to help finance their candidate of choice in a political election. This definition of ‘individual’ seems to be changing in our times.

The last time Uranus was in Aries was from the late 1920s into the mid-1930s.  Workers rights were a big theme then and, once again, this theme is ever present as un-employment continues unabated.

Pluto is in Capricorn and no one living has experienced it before in this sign.  The titanic intensity of this archetype is just beginning to powerfully transform the entire collective structures that have been in place since the 1700s when it was last in Capricorn.  Pluto’s process seems to involve a major break-down (catabolic) before a re-building (anabolic) takes place.  Since we are living in the very beginning of this long 15-year run through a collective earth sign, we ‘ain’t seen nothin yet’.

When you combine these two enormous forces for generational change into dynamic tension with each other what are the likely scenarios?  Mr. Tarnas summarized it quite well when he said that there are always wide spread radical social and political changes present often through destructive upheaval, along with massive empowerment of revolutionary and rebellious impulses, but what I like best that he said is that intensified artistic and intellectual creativity emerges simultaneously.  He also talks about the rapid technological advances and the drive for innovation that accompanies these revolts against oppression and the urge for freedom in all the various realms that collective Saturn has held in crystallized forms through social, economic, political, and religious institutions.

The coming time frame for these types of events has begun, but not yet in total intensity by a long shot.  The time period of extreme tension will be from 2012 through 2015; yes, four years.  However, when I went through the ephemeris and noted the long dance between these two it continues within orb (10 degrees) until 2020.

Both Tarnas and J. Green emphasize in their writings the archetypal powers of evolution being mirrored by these planetary cycles.  I give you one beautiful quote from Tarnas, “I gradually gained the distinct impression that in some sense everything that occurs during one alignment (of Pluto/Uranus) is implicitly present and contributing to every subsequent one, as if it were a single continuing, and cumulative historical development.”  That’s quite a statement coming from a Harvard graduate history professor!

Most of us, therefore, will live through the coming epochal Pluto/Uranus square alignment knowing that it is part of something much bigger and deeper than we can totally comprehend.  What we can do is look back to the last time these two forces squared off with each other in the ‘30s.  At that time Pluto was in Cancer while Uranus was in Aries.  That was a waning square and very different in nature from what we are about to experience.  Waning squares constitute a crisis in consciousness when Kali is often at work beginning her extreme cutting away of all that impedes greater consciousness.  We had only just discovered Pluto in 1930, but soon learned about the forces of power, especially dark power by World War II when we truly played with ‘the fire of the gods’ through our newly discovered atomic weaponry.  Depth psychology was also newly born at that time and the work of Freud evolved into Jung’s work with the collective unconscious and even the concept of archetypes.  These are but two themes that now have changed as we enter the waxing square of Uranus to Pluto which is leading us away from the dark forces because we now have the consciousness to realize that we can co-create a better world.  That, alone, gives me hope, even while it appears that the tipping point has been reached with man’s folly to play with fire before he had the emotional maturity collectively to deal with it as a creative rather than a destructive force.  We now have a much more toxic world environment, and we have global warming on our hands.

This leads me to bring your attention to the last conjunction of these two when Pluto and Uranus joined together in the sign of Virgo in the ‘60s, and most intensely between 1965 and 1966.  Virgo is an Earth, Feminine sign where mastery of right dharma in our daily life is so very important.  The ‘60s gave rise to so many movements including civil rights, anti-war, holistic health, natural foods, environmental, women’s rights, and gay rights in addition to the technological advancements in the digital world and scientific discoveries that have taken us into the quantum world.  A conjunction has the power to initiate and seed the next cycle.

So the ‘60s seeded the urge to return to what had been neglected far too long; what I would call ‘the Sacred Feminine’.  Many of the movements that I have participated in since then I can see were seeded in me at that time such as women’s groups, food co-op buying clubs, organic gardening, animal rights, natural childbirth and a return to breast-feeding babies, alternative health practices, yoga, meditation, joining groups like Greenpeace and Amnesty International, etc.  Side-by-side all of that has been the use of these ‘magical’ new tools of communication such as the computer, inter-net access and e-mails, cell phones, digital cameras, DVD players, and on and on into the micro-chip world that now is everywhere present.  Virgo’s themes are present in all of these changes, some of which are a return to ancient ways, while others are straight out of the science fiction books not that long ago.

Looking back to that seminal time we can see how fast our world has changed.   Yet there is unfolding a crisis point as we head into the 90 degree, square aspect.  Some kind of action is demanded both collectively and individually to bring into form what was birthed in the ‘60s.  A first quarter square is a time of commitment.  It is the ‘Sacred Marriage’ phase of a complete cycle and the Virgo beginning point of Pluto with Uranus asks for the courage to defend what is most sacred to our survival as a species, the protection of nature on this Earth.  That seems to me to be the first principle.  With it comes more valuing of the feminine and our connections with each other where diversity in unity creates our means to sustainability.  Of course there are many other themes running alongside what I am writing about and many voices are needed now to bring to awareness what needs to be done.  Since those distant days the threat of nuclear devastation is now a living reality.  We are living in a toxic, global soup of countless poisons and we are facing, at last, our own species extinction if we don’t address soon the Pandora’s Box we’ve opened in our hubris to conquer nature.  Global warming is our reality and we don’t really know what fully lies ahead.

So what will Uranus squaring Pluto mean for all of us?

I like to think that the most positive outcome of this next Uranus in Aries square to Pluto in Capricorn would be the innovative force of millions of individuals all taking action to create a better collective world. I look forward to the hundredth monkey effect where people awaken and move forward with courage to tackle what must be done in every part of the world.

Reinette Senum at Farmer's Market in Nevada City, CA

I already see such individual acts by bright, creative people right here in my own community. For example, I think of a wonderful, independent, and strong Aries woman who was mayor of our small town who recently helped spear-head the building of small, portable houses for the homeless.  She rallied everyone to come and help build them together as a community.  She’s always doing things like that.  She promotes the local Farmer’s Market where diversity is the hallmark of unity for sure.  She fights hard to bring green and local products into our county year around.

Homeless Shelter

This particular community in the foothills of the Sierras is known for its rugged individualists all living out in the woods, doing their thing.  Something has changed, however, and there is a growing sense of community where people do emerge from their independent digs and join together to help the whole.  That’s what Aries and Capricorn can create together I feel.

I’d love to hear from as many of you readers as possible to see what examples you can share around this theme.  What can be created that’s magnificently wonderful from Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn?  What’s going on where you live?

July 13, 2011  12 Comments
Categories: Astrology, Pluto, Uranus | Tags: , , , , ,


1 remy { 07.13.11 at 3:28 pm }

Wow Genevieve, this one is good! Gave me chills. In my natal chart I have my Libra Moon in the 9th squaring Uranus in Cancer in the 7th. All of these major transits have been and continue to express themselves quite personally for me. The main piece that is coming up right now is that I am having lots of unconscious material coming into my awareness. I am seeing where my past has resulted in decisions and choices which have kept my from my own natural expressive freedom. I am learning more and more each day to feel the feelings and then to choose to forgive myself and anyone else involved. In other words I choose to let go. And it is working. I can’t begin to know as yet the long term effects of this but I feel deeply aligned with what you are writing about here. A new day is coming and it starts with the nitty gritty day to day choices I am making. I feel honored to be able to do this work. And to be a part of this wonderful community you write about here. We are so lucky!
Thanks again for this wonderful post.

2 Genevieve { 07.13.11 at 3:41 pm }

Remy, What you’ve written so accurately describes what Jeff Green talks about in his book, ‘Uranus, Freedom From the Known’. As Uranus begins to flood our consciousness, everything that inhibits us from the past will emerge so that we can move on with greater freedom. He also discusses past lives and his belief that their programming also may be suppressing us, and it is also released under a Uranus transit. Perhaps our collective unconscious will get a good dose of ‘release’ as well so we can get on with things!

3 Curt { 07.14.11 at 2:10 am }

It sounds like we need to pay attention to the dichotomy of “individualism” and “collectivism”.

Okay, so I’m currently studying Psychology and I’ve taken a few Sociology course as well. One of the things that seems to be a recurring theme in my Soc. courses is that people don’t really communicate well. Most of the time we talk to strangers, it’s part of some ritual or another. (“Here’s your change. have good day.” “You too. Bye.” how many times have we heard/said that?) If a stranger came up and tried to engage us in conversation, most of us would probably wonder what’s wrong with that person (or what are they trying to sell). Even when we’re being “sociable”, we often either put up a false front or withdraw completely. Is it any wonder then, that many people feel isolated? (“No one cares about me, why should I care about them? Why should I care about myself?”) This ritualism and isolation leads to Psychological and Sociological problems.

Where am I going with this? I call it “Talking with strangers”. Right now I’m just going out of my way to engage complete strangers in some light, but genuine conversation. As I become better trained and more experienced, I’m hoping that I can start having brief conversations with strangers that help them feel better about themselves and the world around them. I want to try to get people to feel like the world, even complete strangers, genuinely care about them. I hope that feeling will in turn cause them to genuinely care about the world, even complete strangers. I want to create genuine communication and connectivity. In case you haven’t noticed, a key word here is “genuine”, so a trick will be to actually find something about each and every person that’s interesting. Furthermore, while actually talking to someone, it seems imperative to be more concerned with communicating than to be concerned with helping them or saving the world. Although the latter is the ultimate goal, the former is the chosen method.

Now many Psychologists and Sociologists would likely say that people can’t be treated in quick conversations. You have to take time and really get to know a client before you can treat them. In many ways I think that’s true, but I don’t think it’s completely true. Most Psychological and Sociological pathologies develop over a long period of time. Like any other disease, the longer they go untreated, the harder they are to treat. For that reason, I view “Talking with strangers” as being something like an immunization or a vitamin supplement. If the idea spreads so that it becomes likely for each person to have genuine conversations with strangers a few times a week, my hope is that some Psychological and Sociological pathologies will be stopped before they ever take root. The key problem is that the concept would take a huge number of people in order to actually make an impact.

I know all that sounds uhmm.. hopeful.. at best, but hey, what better time to challenge the ritualistic and isolationist structures of societal norms in an attempt bring individuals together in a more connected and caring community?

4 Karen { 07.14.11 at 2:58 am }

Curt, what a wonderful, thoughtfully caring post. You would do well to develop this theory perhaps into a book; but most importantly to practice it in daily life, something I think I will work on myself. And Genevieve, an inspirational post! Each one is thought provoking. Positive change on an individual level, which transcends into the collective is increasing everywhere; often superfically unnoticed but changing the very core of who we are. Thank you, Genevieve, for putting into words, what many of us are feeling and helping it to become reality.

5 Genevieve { 07.14.11 at 3:43 pm }

Curt and Karen, Thank you both! This is exactly what makes blogging worthwhile. You know, my husband practices what you’re doing, Curt. He loves to talk with strangers and get human and personal. I really see the value in it now. He loves to do it with waiters, and other people in serving positions. They feel valued when someone notices they are a real person! We all need that.

6 Jack { 07.17.11 at 2:54 pm }

I believe that the major change in society will be gay rights. Saturn in Libra, Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn all point to that change. I think that during the last Uranus/Pluto square woman rights like voting were on the front-end… I think that now will be gay marriage and adoption of children by gay couples. Reading your article I don’t think this will happen before 2018 when Uranus gets in Taurus but the fight will probably start next year. I don’t think that people are ready for this large change before they meet some bad influence from Pluto in Capricorn (system discrimination of gay people).
In the economy I think that innovations will be focused more on how companies work (internal use) much more than on individual’s purchases. I think that those innovations will eventually transform all companies to become more efficient.
In politics (global picture) lets not forget Neptune in Pisces. I think that in the next decade there is going to be complete transformation of Nato and UN, and US will no longer need to have such a large army. If stopping the war in Vietnam was the theme of the previous Uranus/Pluto conjunction now we’will be finishing what was started back then. I think that China will become a democracy one way or another. I expect a revolution in China to start when Saturn enters Scorpio next year.

7 Jason Palmer { 07.21.11 at 3:35 am }

great stuff, i am noticing a return to 60s style movements, this explains it all really, we are all connected, with the universe, which is why ancient civilisations were so obsessed with the stars and mapping them, great blog !

8 Moira { 07.21.11 at 6:42 pm }

What Curt said and does.

Speaking with perfect strangers, while in transiting planes, trains, subways is one of the most magical events of my life in communication with others. It’s absolutely amazing how you can connect with someone on a soul level in a few minutes, for a few minutes, and that experience will change you — distill in you — forever. Happens to me almost every day in cyber space now! This crazy, craving world of ours … seeking contact with each other through vast expanses of space and time.

I’m not worried about Pluto’s de-constructive energy so much. And definitely paying attention to Uranus’ illuminating new methods to re-weave the collective soul.

Sorting it all out in the transits these days, some years behind, and some years to go … thriving with the Aries’ power at the Uranian fore !

9 Mia { 07.28.11 at 5:15 pm }

The New Yorker just ran an article about the rise of the “Tiny House” movement, wherein adherents opt to live as simply as possible. An abstract can be seen here:

I see examples all around of people getting back to basics, connecting with what really matters, and sensing the ties that bind us to one another and to the planet. These are exciting times! Thanks so much for this lovely and inspiring article. I have revisited it many times since you first posted it.

10 Genevieve { 07.29.11 at 10:21 am }

Thanks for the link, Mia. Yes, the tiny house movement is now surging forward. I have a friend getting ready to purchase one. Some of them are just charming, looking like little gypsy wagon-houses. Small is beautiful!

11 Carl Karas { 08.04.11 at 8:36 am }

I have been pondering the Uranus pluto square of late myself. Your blog confirms many of my own inklings. I think so much comes from the 60’s conjunction. i have lately been struck by the observation that Virgo and Pisces are trapped in the US Sibly (5:10) Chart. If the question seems alway to be- why is this eathy/feminine revolution taking so long in this country I think the answer lies in the Sibly Chart. Why so much Green-washing, why the rise of male dominance again (‘a Bro would never…’), why are the arts being co-opted (from Janis Joplin to American ‘Idle’ in the space of 50 years!).

Maybe it’s time to make a new ‘Chart’ for the USA- one where these creative ideal you mention will be able to flourish?

12 Sheree { 12.10.11 at 1:34 am }

I was just walking through the Civic Center this evening as an Occupy San Diego march was beginning. Two young women with placards
were calling out to encourage passersby to join the procession which was peaceful and serene with the marchers carrying tulip-cup shaped
candle holders. As the women called out they were saying it was
Friday, Women’s Day — a march against violence and in support of
women and children. They shouted to all that they were marching for them, and loved them.

It reminded me of People’s Park marches in
Berkeley in the 60s. My children have asked why the hippie peace and freedom movement didn’t seem to change anything. Stopping that war did seem to take Forever…even though many of us devoted
so much energy to it.

The story of Maya Lin and her Vietnam Memorial is such an inspiration but it is so heartbreaking to see it with all those names…so many lost…too soon …and now our children are losing friends to
wars and they are starting to understand…and we have the Twin Towers Memorial and probably soon the Iraq and Afganistan War
memorials…and … When will humans learn to (as we used to say to tusseling pre-schoolers) “Use your words instead.”

As was mentioned above,
it takes a critical mass, the 100th monkey…but from the collective pain also comes great art and enduring inspiration with each one who feels it and works to end it will eventually pass along to their children, knowing it takes generations, but the collective
unconscious eventually does evolve…I noticed in a series of Occupy photos, 54 in all, that the media started with pictures of rather a
negative POV, maintenance workers cleaning up after an event…only if one went clear to the end of the pictures did one see the real impact of the Occupy Movement–a square in Madrid with thousands of people marching together at night…and in Berlin, Amsterdam, and really around the world. Technology will allow us now to join together for the good fight in a nanosecond, with the spirit of the 60s but with the speed of enlightenment. “Make Love not War” eh?

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