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Uranus Square Pluto for the Third Time: A Woman’s Perspective

Uranus sq. Pluto

May 20th, 2013 marks the third time out of seven that Uranus and Pluto are exactly square to each other.  I have written much on this theme in past articles as have many other fine astrologers.  We still have a ways to go before this major crisis point which requires taking action and making commitments completes in March of 2015.

What is this collective cycle all about which began when Uranus joined up with Pluto (conjunction) back in 1966?  It was a revolutionary time indeed.  The seeds were planted at that time to change much of the world as we know it.  The sign they were in was Virgo.  It’s important to note also that Chiron (not yet discovered) was opposite in the sign of Pisces.  Haven’t we astrologers been discussing endlessly the possibility that a great ‘Age’ is somehow coming to an end?  The ‘Age of Pisces’?  Are we not trying to enter the ‘Age of Aquarius’?  And what on Earth does THAT mean?

I would suggest that first we need to understand a bit more about the polarity of Virgo/Pisces to fully grasp where we need to go next.  Are we really, truly out of the woods of the Piscean Age?  Has the collective become fully conscious of this polarity?  There is much to question and ponder here.  I urge you readers to dwell on this subject as carefully as possible as we hit this ‘crisis/turning point’.  This Virgo/Pisces axis has much to do with themes involving service/salvation, domination/subjugation, victim/saviour, analysis/synthesis, labor/love, etc.

For the sake of greater simplicity, I am going to address just one small theme amidst the multitude of possibilities of a revolution in Virgo started with Uranus/Pluto.  This theme can be applied as a microcosm of the whole.  The theme is clothing.  From there we naturally move to the theme of apparel manufacturers of clothing, and from there we move to factories.  Finally, we hit a button:  the garment workers of the world who sew the clothes you and I wear.  Just who are these people?

How conscious are you of who created with much labor the clothing that you wear?

Bear in mind that these are all VIRGO THEMES, thus Pisces themes as well.

ancient sewing

We humans, for the most part, need something to cover our furless bodies, especially in colder climate zones, or even desert zones where the Solar rays are relentless.  Sewing garments for protection and self-enhancement is an old, old skill and art.  Tribal and indigenous peoples learned to do it for themselves.  Even through the hundreds of years of so-called advanced civilizations most common people made their own clothing.  If you were of the wealthier merchant or ruling classes you hired seamstresses and tailors to do it for you, or you had your slaves do it.  Either way, it was considered a lowly occupation by most even though incredibly necessary.


With the dawning of the Industrial Revolution mirrored by the conjunction of the two outer planets, Neptune and Pluto in Gemini,  in April, 1892 we saw the mechanical sewing machine beginning to be used in garment factories, and by 1905 women across America could purchase an actual electrically powered sewing machine.
My mother and her mother learned to sew and were very good at even sewing by hand.  I learned on an old Singer sewing machine, and by the time I was a teen-ager I made nearly all of my own clothes.  Having so many planets in Gemini in the house of Virgo (the 6th) I loved the process of buying the pattern, then the cloth, then step by step creating the finished garment until I finally had something beautiful to wear.  I actually loved doing it!  It made me feel happy.

In my late teens I had a wonderful girlfriend who could take those Vogue designer patterns and create marvelous looking high fashion for herself.  I learned some of those skills and tricks from her.  What fun!

Then came the ‘60s and the sexual revolution (remember Virgo can also be a very sexual sign! —-yes, really!!!—it’s Earth, the sign of the ‘Sacred Prostitute’).  By 1966 I had two children, and by 1967 I was a single Mama needing to support those children.  I finished college in 1968 and headed up to the city of ‘free love and flower power’, San Francisco.  Love might have been free for the taking, but a single Mom still had to work to support her children, and also secure child-care while she worked.  In those days there was no easy support system for working mothers.  Is it much better today???  After working a 9 to 5 regular, boring secretarial job with disastrous child-care experiences, I stumbled on a good solution.

North Beach leather

There was a tiny dress shop in North Beach on Columbus Ave. run by a nice man named Bill Morgan and his girlfriend.  I liked to go in there and look around at the custom-made clothing.  I think I must have told him I liked to sew myself, and one day he asked if I could sew leather.  I bluffed and said, “Sure”.  And that was the beginning of my sewing leather days for what later came to be known as ‘North Beach Leathers’.  That first coat was a bear!  Cowhide made into an Edwardian coat.  But I did it on my trusty Elna sewing machine.  After that Bill and his brother brought me over a true heavy-duty console machine.  Now I was independent!  I could sew at home with my children right there at any hour I so pleased.  I could go back to school to get my Masters degree.  I was liberated!  Except for one thing:  money.  I was paid naturally by the piece.  The faster I worked, the more I made.  But the price per piece was quite low.


Take for example a fringed cow-hide leather jacket made for Credence Clearwater.  Yes, I did it, but cutting leather fringe by hand?  Time-consuming details.  I finally calculated my hourly wage doing this type of work.  It came to 65 cents per hour.  That’s right.  65 cents per hour.

Eventually there were other women involved; for example a pattern draftswoman named Rose who was Chinese. She was so incredibly skilled.  I then saw the multitude of tiny, dark-roomed cells all scattered through-out the residential districts of San Francisco where dozens of Chinese women labored together sewing, sewing, sewing.  That did not look like fun to me anymore!  It was really horrible, quite frankly.  I had no idea what those women were paid.  They certainly didn’t look very happy. Their working conditions were about as dismal as you could get.

Masha Archer dress

Masha Archer dress

Much as I liked Bill and enjoyed the fun at the big parties North Beach Leather put on, I cycled out of that learning experience and did a couple other seamstress jobs with an alterations shop on Nob Hill primarily fixing pants for the local pimps (not my cup of tea either, especially when they tried to recruit me into their stables), and finally with a marvelous designer named Masha Archer who became my friend in the bargain.  But in the end, working as a seamstress was truly at the bottom of the bottom of the wage scale back in the ‘60s in good ole America.


Which brings us to 2013 and the latest garment factory catastrophe in Bangladesh where 1, 127 people were killed in the collapse.  Yes, Uranus square Pluto is bringing it all home through trauma (Uranus) and break-down (Pluto).  Have we yet awakened to the inequities that this ‘Age of Pisces’ has created?  What happened to that Christian saying that the meek and lowly were supposed to inherit—-what?  Now we have the multitudes in China, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Mexico, Haiti, Honduras, and on and on doing what might be called slave labor so the developed world can have their comforts and luxuries.  After all, how many dresses, tops, shirts, pants, and shoes does one woman really, really need?  Does it feel good to wear those clothes knowing that some worker in some far-off country made a subsistence wage—like pennies a day!— so that we could buy it as cheaply as possible?  Or that that worker just might have been an under-age child??  Do any of us ever stop to consider whether the people making our garments were happy doing so?  Spiritually speaking, the energy of their psyches went into our garment, just as we might also consider the energy of an animal who was killed under terrifying conditions also went into the meat we later ingest.  Energy can’t really be compartmentalized that way.  We are connected in unseen ways far more important than we realize.

Uranus now in Aries (individual rights) musters the courage to challenge Pluto in Capricorn (the established institutions and oligarchies of the world) in what began as a revolutionary change in the mid-‘60s for greater equality between gender, race, and the rise of under-developed countries toward a more level playing field in the global market place.  The ‘60s also brought on full tilt the digital revolution, the back-to-the-earth movements, and multiple other changes involving Virgo ruled themes.  But now we see the efforts of negative Pluto (you are powerless in the face of my extreme power) attempting to crush workers rights all over the planet while Uranus (the new Virgo technology which created the world-wide inter-net) is helping to awaken us to what is really going on. With cameras in practically every cell phone, images are shared almost instantaneously as events are happening.  We do now have the tools to become more aware of global life.  I couldn’t even write this article without the use of the research tools available so easily now, and I couldn’t even publish and share my views without this technology.

Such web research led me easily to The Christian Science Monitors recent article “Ethical consumers and the Bangladesh building collapse.”  In this article I read that “It is likely that more people now have easy access to activist tools like the Internet and the freedom of choice in the marketplace to enable them to feel as if they can make a difference in far-flung lands.  Supply chains are now easier to trace.”

What is an ethical consumer?  “….the ethical consumer has a selfless empathy and an elevated moral understanding of what connects people across nationality, race, or creed.  And often, purchasing an alternative product comes with a sacrifice in cost, quality, or convenience.  That takes certain stamina.”

It also takes a certain consciousness which is akin to the opposite sign of Virgo, Pisces.  Wasn’t the ‘Age of Pisces’ supposed to be about compassionate love, forgiveness, and understanding?  Wasn’t the ‘Age of Pisces’ supposed to be about union and universality vs. exclusivity and privilege?  If we as a collective can’t reach that point in our consciousness, how on Earth are we ever to get to the ‘Age of Aquarius’ where everyone is supposedly going to be equal in every sense of the word?  Granted, these are ideals, but I’d say we have a long, long way to go before we arrive at some semblance of what Pisces is all about spiritually speaking.

With Chiron now back in Pisces where it was in the ‘60s we have a bridge towards that greater consciousness of unity.  Now we can be conscious of Chiron because it was discovered in 1977 with the rise of computerization.  In fact, Chiron is now at 13 degrees of Pisces positioning itself between Pluto and Uranus as just such a bridge designed to encourage healing and greater awareness of the lowliest amongst us.  But why should anyone be the lowliest?  Everyone truly does matter.  That should be the message.  If there weren’t people sewing our garments we wouldn’t have them!  Machines have not yet been invented to do that.  Sorry.   Don’t we want those workers to have a safe, clean, well-lighted space within which to work?  Don’t we want them to make decent wages to support themselves and their families?  I think we do.  Now we have to make sure the corporations who drive this global market are held responsibile for these workers conditions.

We are precious too!

We are precious too!

So here we are at the third square.  We have four more to go.  We aren’t even half way there.  But this incident in far-off Bangladesh has truly awakened us to the fact that precious people labor still under in-human conditions.  We need to all do what we can to put a stop to such inequities and change the pattern.

One new device, thanks again to Uranian technology, is a good beginning.  While it isn’t about clothing it is about what we consume.  Food!  Check this out and get happy!  It’s a free application designed for your iphone or ipad called Buycott.  All you have to do is scan the bar code of a product you are considering buying with this app and it will automatically tell you which corporation is behind what you are buying.  Not only that, but it will also tell you if that corporation is supporting the big bads like Monsanto who are contaminating your food, or even the 36 corporations that donated more than $150,000 to oppose what would have been mandatory labeling of genetically modified food. (First in California). Bingo.  Let’s next do it with clothing!  Let’s have an app that tells us exactly the chain of companies leading to this particular garment and which companies are using factories which violate workplace safety standards, child labor laws, and pay insanely low subsistence wagers to the hard-working people who stitched that beautiful garment.  Let’s keep Uranus innovations and inventiveness boldly going forth where no man, woman, or child has yet gone in this insanely treacherous Plutonian time. Let’s not allow the Plutocracies of the world to suppress our freedom of choice and human rights!

May 23, 2013  13 Comments
Categories: Astrology, Chiron, Pluto, Uranus | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


1 Jane { 05.23.13 at 2:35 pm }

You struck a connecting nerve with me, thank you for posting this, i’m grateful that you share your insight, as it always makes so much sense. Thank you, be blessed for all you do

2 Sara { 05.23.13 at 3:22 pm }

A powerful description of how we’re all implicated in inequalities. Thank you for all you put into this Genevieve and for sharing your own story! I’m thinking of the scene in the film Gandhi where the Indian people burn all the cloth they’d received from factories in the north of England which had overtaken their own industry. So many strands to contemplate, including the reminder that each item of clothing carries its hidden story too.

3 ingrid Weiss { 05.23.13 at 3:48 pm }

Bravo, Genevieve! This is one of the most powerful, beautifully written pieces I’ve read in a long time. I thank you for producing it and shall pass it along to my email contacts. Ingrid

4 LB { 05.23.13 at 5:14 pm }

Thanks for posting this. If you think about it, ethical consumption helps address many of the injustices in our world, especially if we include the consumption of non-material goods and services.

I have to add how my mom (Taurus Sun and Moon, with Venus in Gemini) was a very talented seamstress who, for a brief period of time during the late 40’s, worked for MGM sewing garments for the stars. She quit because they wanted her sew quickly and sacrifice quality, something she wasn’t willing to do. I remember North Beach Leather very well and enjoyed reading about your own experience as a seamstress.

5 Natasha { 05.25.13 at 6:10 am }

Thanks for the wonderful reading. I only have one of your creations left, a two piece cotton jacket & skirt. Wish I had the leather jacket and pants that you made. I do have one of North Beach creations after they moved to downtown San Francisco. Never will I throw it away. I for one will not buy any
Apple products. They do not buy their fair share of taxes keeping a lot of revenue in off shore accounts. Maybe a lot of computers are made in sweatshops, but I have to start some where. Love you Genevieve. Natasha

6 Natasha { 05.25.13 at 6:11 am }

I mean pay their fair share of taxes.

7 Genevieve { 05.25.13 at 10:10 am }

Thanks for sharing Natasha! Those ‘one of a kind’ creations are now truly priceless. And you are right about Apple. It’s all part of the corporate sell-out in not supporting the people of their own country of origin. There seems to be no loyalty where corporations are concerned.

8 Daniel { 05.28.13 at 5:37 am }

I would like to emphasize a feature of the Uranus-Pluto square which seems to me ignored by most astrologers. During 2012 – 2015 Pluto is hugely supported by other configurations while Uranus is not, such as:
– March 2012 Grand Trine in Earth with Pluto at 9 Capricorn, Mars at 9 Virgo, Jupiter-Venus-Black Moon conjunct at 9 Taurus

– Pluto is in sextile with Saturn for almost a year 2012 – 2013 (and also in mutual reception 2012 – 2015)

– Pluto receives a sextile from Chiron for almost 2 years (2012 – 2014)

– A long with 3 exact alignments mini trine (Pluto-Saturn-Chiron at 9-12 Capricorn – Scorpio – Pisces)

– Although a bit wide, Pluto receives a sextile from Neputune for most of this time

– Pluto will be sextiled be the North Node in Scorpio in the autumn of 2013

– Uranus, on the other hand will not receive during these years not any sextile or trine or conjunction from the big planets exept for the fast-moving personal planets which will transit Pluto too

9 Genevieve { 05.28.13 at 10:26 am }

Daniel—This is GREAT information. Thank you for pointing out all of these aspects and links. The next thing I’m sure my readers will want to know is what does all of this MEAN? I better get back to the drawing board! I have noticed that Earth signs like Virgo and Taurus are greatly benefiting from Pluto’s passage in Capricorn. Capricorns, of course, are transforming their energies, goals, and sense of purpose. It will be interesting to see how Jupiter in Cancer impacts all of this and I plan to write about it in the near future. Thanks again Daniel.

10 mei-ling { 03.25.14 at 10:35 pm }

Genevieve, this is a deeply thoughtful article. What I’m holding on to the most profoundly is the interconnection of all energy. As you stated energy can’t be compartmentalized. I have been concerned about worker exploitation for some time. But when I’m buying I often don’t think about it. I love accumulating scarfs of various colors—and I buy them inexpensively, except for a couple of handmade crafted scarves. I rationalize this by telling myself that even if I bought them at Macy’s for four times the price, the workers would still be making pennies. Somebody else would be pocketing the money. I have already stepped away from eating animal products where the animals are treated like consumer resources while they “live.” I realize that eggs and meat from literally “cooped up,” imprisoned, chickens cannot have the same energy value as chickens who pasture outside and are allowed to have a life. No matter that scientific measurements may claim that the nutrition value is just the same, it is not. Now I will consider the energy of exploited workers that goes into the knit shirts and other clothing I wear. The sadness, the energy drain, the harassment, the long, long hours. Low consciousness humans— whether driven by poverty or wealth— tend to prey on other in the most detestable ways. Just because I’m not actively doing it, I am still culpaple of mindlessly supporting the exploitation. Awareness is key in taking action, and moving towards good for everyone. That is “God’s kingdom on earth” to my mind and heart.

The photo of the dead couple holding each other in the collapsed building is deeply touching. love mei-ling

11 Genevieve Vierling { 03.26.14 at 2:28 pm }

I so appreciate your comments Mei-ling. I know you to be one who lives totally by your convictions. It is a great struggle often to consume with a conscience and put your money behind your beliefs. I certainly slip up on that one!

12 Jan { 09.30.16 at 10:22 am }

Genevieve Hello!
I sooo enjoyed your piece! I have always loved to sew and also love to write. This was a very enjoyable and insightful article. You finished college in ’68 and I finished in ’67. Just wanted you to know how good this is to read!

13 Genevieve Vierling { 09.30.16 at 11:46 am }

Why thank you Jan! I don’t often write personal anecdotes so I appreciate your feed-back and it’s always nice to connect with a peer who shares a common interest. 🙂

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