Revolution in the Self – Uranus In Aquarius and Pluto in Sagittarius
I recently read something similar to this: “Pluto in Sagittarius sextiling Uranus in Aquarius will bring some of the worst calamities to the face of the earth since Man first started to scribble on clay tablets.” Pretty bleak.
Well, this could be true. Both Pluto and Uranus rule earthquakes, disasters and a lot of other unpleasant things. Aquarius does tend to give revolutionary energy to Uranus and Sagittarius can bring out a lust for power from Pluto. Yet this approach is archaic in the extreme. It harkens back to the time when as cavemen sitting around the fire we looked in the sky, saw five different things disrupt the perfection of the heavens and knew they MUST be evil. Who would tamper with perfection?
This is not all of the facts. The seeds for understanding what is going on in the world lie in the Babylonian, Egyptian and especially the Greek roots of astrology. The symbols used by the ancients gives us all that we need to understand the events that will happen in the next few years. Although Uranus and Pluto were unknown to these people (there’s some debate about that) the tradition still holds the keys to understanding these planets and of course Sagittarius and Aquarius.
The keys are in the symbols of mythology. As in all polytheistic religions, the different gods represent different elements of the human psyche and the members of the culture were aware of this. Mars represents the will, Mercury the intellect and so on.
To understand more about the aspect of Uranus sextile Pluto we shall examine in detail the mythology and the symbols for the planets and the signs concerned. I will do this in the context of the Greek system primarily, as the Roman gods we use today are Greek in origin.
Before there was anything there was Chaos. From Chaos came three things – Gaia, Mother Earth; Eros, Love; and Tartaros, the nether regions below the earth. But Gaia was practically barren. From her sprung Ouranos (Uranus), the Heavens. Ouranos looked upon the Earth, saw its potential beauty and poured forth rain so that the earth would be fruitful. Life arose and Gaia blossomed. Ouranos was a lusty sort and every night he covered the earth. >From these passionate nights Gaia bore children. These were the three Hundred-Handers, the Cyclops’s and the Titans which included a son named Chronos (Saturn).
Now, Ouranos was jealous of his children so he hid them away in a hollow in the earth so they could not challenge him for supremacy. Gaia didn’t like this nor did she like Ouranos “covering” her every night. So she made a flint sickle for Chronos and hid him under her bed. When Ouranos appeared that night, Chronos castrated his lusty father and threw the testicles over his shoulder into the ocean. The blood landed on the ground and gave rise to the Furies, the Giants and the Ash Tree Nymphs, The testicles, however, landed in the sea and from the foam that formed around them was born Aphrodite (Venus). Ouranos was banished. His last creations were the hell of the Furies and the perfect love of Venus, two sides of our nature.
This all relates to the function of Uranus in the chart. Like all “hidden” planets, Uranus represents structures in the psyche which lie hidden in the unconscious. Uranus, so recently born of Chaos, represents something wild, lusty and primal in the Self. It is a force that defies reason in any form and rises unbidden into consciousness. It is also the first creative principle of the Universe, giving birth to all subsequent creative functions.
Inherent in creativity is rebellion, for to create is to bring something new into the world. For a society which wishes to remain stable in tradition this is the most threatening thing that can happen. Newness must be stifled as soon as it arises. Yet each new life is a new creation. Inherent in that new life is a need for the individual to establish an identity – to create a space for her/himself. This space can and usually is contained within the society but can be outside of it. This is also a function of Uranus, to create an identity for the individual. Uranus helps us find the niche where we are most comfortable. When given free rein, Uranus will transcend cultural and societal programming altogether.
In the transcendence of social programming one other function arises. This is to break the bonds of conventional consciousness and provide pathways into the depths of the psyche. This is by no means a perfect pathway because what reaches the conscious mind is too primal to be of real value to the individual unless they are highly evolved in the art of self-examination. Usually Uranian impulses are wild and untamed. Neptune’s function is to bring these forces to consciousness through intuition and fantasy. It is Pluto’s function to see clearly into the depths of the psyche, begin the process of taming it, and to bring to the surface the raw power inherent in each of us.
Aquarius is in many ways quite similar to Uranus but whereas Uranus provides FUNCTION, Aquarius imparts to the planets occupying this constellation ENERGY and a QUALITY of function. Aquarius is the Cup-Bearer-To-The-Gods. He is Ganymede, pouring forth ambrosia, the water of life, for the gods. Ambrosia is forbidden to mortals unless the gods find an individual worthy of it. The best archetype for Aquarius I have run across is the one suggested by Stephen Forrest in his book “The Inner Sky.” He uses the Hebrew Eve as the archetype for Aquarius. The apple is the Greek ambrosia.
The serpent tempts Eve to partake of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. In the Babylonian culture the serpent represents spiritual knowledge, the knowledge necessary for spiritual rebirth. By plucking the apple, eating it and giving it to Adam Eve broke all convention. It was the ultimate Aquarian act of rebellion. What was once the property of God alone became also the property of Man. For this act of defiance God threw them out of the Garden of Paradise. In this single act Eve gave Mankind much more than knowledge or wisdom. She gave us free will. We are no longer shackled by the chains of absolute obedience to God. There now exist that most precious of human commodities, human freedom. With that freedom comes another precious gift, the knowledge that we are naked. We can see clearly the truth about ourselves.
Why Eve has been given such a hard time by religion is a mystery to me. Freedom and truth is the most wonderful gift and should have been given us by God. Why would a creator create automatons? And later in the Bible, the gift Eve gave us is extolled. It says “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” The Aquarian energy gives the individual this ability to see the Truth with a capital “T.”
The result of Uranus in Aquarius is twofold. The first result is that the barriers to the unconscious begin to break down, allowing us to see clearly the wild untamable parts of ourselves and redeem them. We can, if the functions of the other visible planets are working well, see Truth clearly and act in accordance to that absolute, pure Truth to change ourselves and the world around us. The second result happens when the other planets which mediate our psyche are not functioning properly – Mars is afflicted by an unresolved square with Venus and we are unable to fully express our desires in our actions or Mercury is afflicted in Pisces and we cannot interpret the Truth perceived but twist it, through fantasy, into a terrible shadow of itself. Any number of potential placements or aspects can distort the Truth and make us feel inadequate. This is when fanaticism sets in, when dogmatism arises and we act on the “Truth” in ways which hurt others.
An example of this is the heresy of literalism that has afflicted the Christian Church for the last four hundred years and the Moslem faith almost form its beginnings. Literalism has been around from the beginning in the Christian Church but has not been very prevalent until after Luther nailed his points to the door. Why is literalism a heresy? Because it shuts the door on Mystery. The Mystery has been essential to a true spiritual life since the beginning of time. It is represented in the Old Testament by the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham and in the New Testament by the Gospel of John and his three letters. The Mystery is preserved in the Orthodox community, that closest to the source of the Christian faith. To a lesser degree, Mystery is found in the sacraments of the Roman Church. In the liturgy of one Eastern Orthodox church, the host can be presented by the priest to the worshiper with the statement “Take what you are. Become what you eat.” Could a fundamentalist accept this? I doubt it.
The Mystery is essential because all ritual, all personages, all scripture is symbolic. It points to a greater truth beyond the symbolism. One must pierce the veil of the symbolism and go beyond it to the absolute truth that the symbolism points to which is that all of the theology resides within the individual. It is a living thing in the human psyche. It is the function of Uranus in Aquarius to rend the veil, initiating a spiritual quest to see this creative spiritual Truth clearly. It is the function of the visible planets to bring this Truth alive in the psyche and in the world. Now that Uranus has entered into Aquarius, these veils within the individuals and the collective consciousness of the globe will begin to break down and spiritual Truth will be brought more forcefully into the world.
And it is a good thing that this is happening. Uranus rules fanaticism, terrorism, dogmatism, riots, schisms, tyranny, treason and zealotry. In America this is seen in the rise of fundamentalism, terrorist acts by U. S. citizens, right-wing militia’s, etc. With Uranus in Aquarius these forces will become stronger. The only way that they can be combated is by the individual and collective perception of Truth and the higher functions of Pluto in Sagittarius.
Pluto is Jupiter’s brother (Hades and Zeus in Greek mythology.) Zeus was given dominion over the earth, Hades dominion over the nether regions and their brother Poseidon (Neptune in Roman terms) the rule of the seas. The most relevant myth about Hades is that of the “Rape” of Persephone. I use the quotation marks because to the Greeks an abduction was also called a rape. Hades wanted a wife and he saw how fair Persephone was. So he talked to his brother Zeus to get permission to take Persephone, Zeus’ daughter by Demeter, as his wife. Zeus agreed and Gaia blessed the union. She arranged a glade with wedding flowers for Hades and Persephone to meet in and when they met, Hades carried off Persephone to his home in the underground and thus the marriage was accomplished. Demeter, not informed of the arrangement, heard her daughter scream and went looking for her. Both Gaia and Demeter are earth goddesses. Demeter (da-mother) was an earth goddess, probably incorporated from a pre-Hellenic culture that occupied the same lands the Greek invaders occupied. Having total power over the fruiting of the earth, Demeter laid waste to it. The earth suffered from total winter and nothing grew. The gods, realizing that there was a major problem asked Hades to return Persephone to her mother. Hades agreed and returned Persephone but not before he feed her the seed of a pomegranate to insure that she would spend a third of the years with him in the underworld. Thus the seasons came into being. The “rape” , the abduction, has been used by many as evidence of the brutality of Pluto. Yet everything Hades did was in accordance with the customs of the Greek civilization. No matter how distasteful this is to us, it was perfectly reasonable to those of the early Hellenistic period.
Hades function as the god of the underworld is to hold the secrets of the depth of the psyche and to allow them to come into consciousness when the time is right, sometimes bringing a new spring to the soul. The things in us which make us fruitful are the most wonderful and frightening truths that lie in our depths. Pluto’s only function is to bring to the surface that which is most powerful in the subconscious. While Uranus does this in extreme, inexplicable ways, Pluto does this in slow, sometime tortuous ways. These are the most powerful forces in our psyche. When Pluto raises these forces, there is strength involved, amazing strength. This most often is unpleasant for us because none of us like to look at our demons and we are afraid of our angels. Pluto creates a space for the direct experience of the angels and the demons. There is nothing malevolent about this process. It just is.
Neither is there anything transforming about Pluto’s function. As I said Pluto’s only function is to bring into consciousness the unconscious – its desires, drives, its fears and needs. The witnessing of these forces can bring about transformation in the individual, it cannot force transformation. The key to understanding how Pluto’s influence can be transforming lies in another fact about the Underworld. Hermes (Mercury) was the god who brought souls to Hades and the only one who could bring them out again. The staff Hermes carried is the caduceus, the rod with the two snakes of wisdom entwined three and a half times around the staff; the same snake that plays such an important part in the story of Eve. The snakes represent in the Greek tradition what they represent in the Hindu tradition. They are the two main nadis or channels of spiritual energy which wrap around the spine. The are known as the Ida, the female, and the Pingala, the male, which Hermes also represents. (The word hermaphrodite comes from Hermes.) Where these two nadis cross are the seven chakras. The spiritual process (Kundalini rising from the Muladhara Chakra at the base of the spine) which cleans out these nadis to the flow of pure spiritual energy is the Plutonian process. It shows us the blockages in these nadis. Simply showing the blockages does not lead to transformation.
The Uranian process of Kundalini Yoga which focuses mainly on opening the Ajna Chakra should be avoided at all costs unless you have a Kundalini Master (guru) under whose direction you study. To enter this process alone or with someone who is not a Master is suicidal spiritually. I have met people who have managed to open this Uranian chakra and the results were in one case insanity; the other suicide.
View the solar system as a whole, a representation of the body, mind and spirit of the individual. Each planet represents a certain function of one or more of these and the Sun is the center of the constellation of the Self. Pluto brings from the Sun that which will transform us. We can do with it what we wish in any manner we want to deal with it. The first to translate the energy of that which lies deep within the Sun is Mercury. The intellect makes us aware of the forces, translating them according to its capabilities into the rest of the person’s psychology. The way this is handled by the psyche is an unique process depending on the individual’s total chart. In his commentary on the two greatest works of Laya Yoga, “The Serpent Power'”(Ganesh and Co., Madras, India, page 30,) Sir John Woodruffe makes this abundantly clear:
In the phenomenal world there is nothing absolutely conscious nor absolutely unconscious. Consciousness and unconsciousness are always intermingled. Some things, however, appear to be more conscious, and some more unconscious than others. This is due to the fact that Cit [chit – consciousness], which is never absent in anything, yet manifests itself in various ways and degrees.(sic) The degree of this manifestation is determined by the nature and development of the mind and body in which it is enshrined. Spirit remains the same; the mind and body change. (Author’s notes in brackets.)
To me then, Pluto just shows us the blockage. How we deal with it is a function of intellect, will, our ability to approach the relationship with ourselves with love, our interpretation of the wildness that erupts in us, the amount of self discipline, i.e. how all the other planets, beginning with our intellect, deal with the eruptions.
Pluto, like Uranus and Neptune, can only function for the development of the soul if the intellect (Mercury), the will (Mars), self-discipline (Saturn), etc., function at their best to allow conscious changes to be made on the structure of the mind. Patterns of thinking must be broken and built anew. Ways of behavior must be changed. The nature of our relationship with all things must be brought to a higher octave. These are not Plutonian functions, they are the functions of other planets. All Pluto can do is show us the power inherent in the Self and present us with the results of the misuse of that power which, by facing squarely the blockages, we can transform for ourselves.
Successfully navigating Pluto’s revelations produces a positive transformation in the individual. The alchemy of all the planets produce a new, more highly evolved person. One is raised to power and greatness which is characterized by great humility. This humility will be present because when the sextile between Uranus and Pluto becomes exact, Pluto will be retrograde. The other choice when confronted with the results of Pluto’s function on the psyche is to do nothing. Pluto’s function runs wild and unchecked by the mind. What happens then?
The monsters within take over our souls. In each life we repeatedly face our demons. Any event that shakes us to the depths of our soul can bring them up to the light of consciousness. If the choice is to ignore them and not use the intellect, the will, etc., to deal with them they become dominant in the psyche. All the negative traits of Pluto are the result of not dealing with the power that Pluto brings to the surface. We become the demons. Megalomania, violence, grandiosity, dogmatism, a hunger for power, a sense of powerlessness, and an end-justifies-the-means way of thinking are a few of the results of making a conscious decision (Mercury) to not deal with the demons. Little – and not so little – Hitler’s are born. They begin to ruthlessly rule that portion of the world around them that their forcefulness allows them to rule. This is not a function of Pluto, it is a failure of the complete psyche as represented by all the planets.
Pluto is a vehicle. In humanity there is the sublime and indifference. Pluto lets us see these universal forces within ourselves. These graces and fears are the forces which change the world, first in ourselves, then in those around us, and if strong enough, in the whole world. We can become another Hitler if we ignore them. Or, if we choose to face them and use humility and love to overcome them, we can become a saint.
First there is the darkness of the underworld. We chose to do nothing and embody it or chose to use the functions of the other planets to bring light to the dark. In either case, the results we embody are communicated to others. They know what we are saying, consciously or unconsciously, as they, too, harbor the same demons and angels we do. There are no new forces in the psyche. All of them are in all of us. We can be either Gandhi or Hitler. There are people who will resonate to either or both Hitler and Gandhi. The way we manifest Plutonian power will strike a chord in them. We can lead towards the light or towards the dark In this lies a final trap. The exercise of power can cause us to misuse power. Unless we have the humility of realizing the infinite absurdity of our lives in the grand scheme of universe we become vain and feel that we are somehow above the rules. We begin to dominate others for personal gain even if our ultimate goal is good. In this is the final hell of Pluto; once we fall into this trap set by the exercise of Plutonian power, we descend into Hell. The whole world suffers.
In Greek Mythology there was a creature who knew hell very well. He was Chiron, the centaur; half man, half horse. He was a son of Zeus and immortal. In general the other centaurs were a sorry lot, fighting, drinking, whoring and generally running amok. Chiron was the exception. He sought learning and wisdom. Highly versed in mathematics, astronomy, medicine (he was a great healer and other immortals were jealous of him for this) he, alone among his kind, chose to expand himself (Jupiter), becoming a wise being, even to the gods. They recognized his wisdom and knowledge and sent many of their children to him for education, including some of the Argonauts, Jason himself in the group. Chiron, above all else, was a teacher of wisdom.
When he was accidentally wounded by a magical poisoned arrow during a brawl, he should have died, but being immortal he only suffered incredible pain. Yet he continued to teach. He wanted death because he had yet to experience this one thing. When Prometheus was bound to a rock for bringing fire to the mortals, Chiron learned that the only way Prometheus could be freed was for another immortal to take his place in Hades’ realm. Chiron, for the good of the mortals and because he had never experienced what he believed to be the final expansive experience, death, willingly walked into Hades’ realm, freeing Prometheus. For this act he was placed in the sky as the constellation Sagittarius by Zeus.
>From this we can see that Sagittarius brings to the planets which occupy it the energy to seek, to explore, to expand, to heal, and to seek the ultimate experience of death in life for the expansion of consciousness in a spirit of humility. The spiritual life is characterized by the seeking of experiences which will produce the death of the ego domination in our psyche which imposes desires on us. For a person to grow spiritually desire needs be overcome and the ego thus conquered. The ego never goes away; it eventually become the servant of the soul rather that the dominator of it. Each act we perform, each experience we have and our reaction to it, must be examined for the influence of self-seeking motives which reinforce the ego. Once found, these desires need to be brought to heel by a conscious act of will. This process takes place in the intellect which chooses a course of action based on the highest motive we can know or learn. The ego rebels to this process. It will raise desires that, if indulged, will reinforce the ego’s desire. This is the source of all suffering, all pain. The wisdom and fiery power (yagna) of Sagittarius is a catalyst for resisting desire and for seeking these small ego deaths in everyday life.
Combined with the functions of Pluto, Sagittarius produces great things in the individual and the world. The power of the unconscious mind will be brought into focus and the Sagittarian process will transform this into greater spiritual depth in the individual and thus also in the society. Each individual will see a decrease, either great or small, in the power of the unconscious to produce selfish, unhealthy behavior in outward and inward actions. Since the rebellious, unconventional nature of the ego (Uranus in Aquarius) sextiles this planetary placement there will be a spiritual revolution. All of society’s darker, wilder sides (Uranus) will be transformed by Pluto in Sagittarius into a much more positive expression of the power of the inner Self. This infusion of Uranian wildness is necessary for society to grow. All the vegetables we eat were once wild plants. But Uranus in Aquarius needs to be tamed. Pluto in Sagittarius does the taming, in us and in the world.
Uranus in Aquarius sextiling Pluto in Sagittarius
The sextile between Uranus and Pluto will become exact between 10 and 11 PM, March 8, 1996, GMT. Each place on the globe will experience this differently according to the house placements of the planets. While Uranus has been applying to this aspect there were fixed stars transited. The last major fixed stars Pluto and Uranus have transited while the sextile is applying (becoming exact) will set the tenor for the sextile and what is to come. Pluto will be conjunct Akrab (Delta Scorpii) and Beta Scorpii. For many years this has been seen in mundane charts as a bad influence causing catastrophes, riots and upheavals. This is because the stars are seen as a combination of Mars and Saturn. For the psyche, however, there is a much different interpretation. Even the older astrology texts realize that if well aspected by Mercury or Uranus the planet affected by these stars will produce in the individual a heightened ability to do research into the Occult. Thus, he will and self-discipline will increase to deal with the energies of Pluto. Uranus will leave the influence of Altair (Alpha Aquilae) on February 29, 1996. Altair is in the Eagle (Aquilae) and is a blend of Mercury and Jupiter influence. Thus the expansiveness of Sagittarius is supported by the intellect and the wildness within us will be more expansively and rationally dealt with to broaden our inner Self.
Mercury will square Pluto at exact conjunction, but I believe that the influence of Uranus will far outweigh this square since the structures of the unconscious are affected for a longer period of time than intellect (Mercury), a psycological function that is changing rapidly.
A process is beginning. A revolution in consciousness has started. People will begin to know their own power and start to grow into it. It is not the power of darkness although at times the darkness must first be experienced so that it can be redeemed. Pluto brings the darkness. Uranus brings wildness. Neither are bad in themselves. Order does not equal bliss nor does chaos equal evil. In our wildness are the riches which, when befriended and tamed by the intellect and conscious, ethical choices of the Plutonian process, becomes a life full and generously lived. The darkness, when transmuted, becomes the golden crown of our being. Natraj (Shiva) is dancing and Shakti is making this manifest. We are coming to an age of personal greatness based on the power and humility of the soul. If we can avoid the trap of vanity, the expression will be magnificent. The revolution of a meditative presence in the world is here. All we need to do is cooperate.
Uranus in Aquarius sextiling Pluto in Sagittarius is the honoring of our need to be free and our roots as deeply powerful, divine beings. It doesn’t get any wilder than that!
by James D. Joy
Jim Joy is a professional astrologer and writer. He has been “in” astrology for twelve years. His main astrological interests include Transformational Astrology (astrology as a tool for personal and spiritual growth), Uranian, and Draconic astrology. In his previous life Jim was a geologist and oil company executive.
As an astrologer, Jim seeks to place the emphasis on finding solutions, and considers it very important never to present a possible problem without presenting its solution. His search for answers to his clients’ problems has led him to learning the techniques of spiritual direction and the use of modalities drawn from modern psychology.
Jim’s focus in life is very much on the spiritual, but he includes all aspects of ones life in his definition of the spiritual. Jim is a Scorpio with Taurus rising and the Moon in Gemini, and lives with his dog and two cats in Austin, Texas.