In December we‘ll get a big blast of the Uranus-Pluto square, the transit I’ve been calling the longest arm of the Cross. The Cardinal Cross is the epochal configuration of planets that exploded this past summer, and will continue, with variations on the same themes, for about six more years.
Whenever a more fleeting planet (Mercury, Mars, Venus, the Moon) passes through the early degrees of a Cardinal sign, it will trigger the Cross. The quicker planet acts like a finger plucking a harp string, causing reverberations that make a distinct sound. If we listen, we’ll hear transformation. Personally and collectively, we are transforming. That’s what the cosmic crossroads means.
But there’s tremendous tension in the air, as people react with fear to the drastic cultural shifts that are the raison-d’être of these transits. To not freak out, we need to see these changes in context — in the biggest context we can imagine.The involvement of Uranus in the Cross does suggest drastic shifts, but Uranus’s cycle is long and slow – it takes 84 years to go around the zodiac – which tells us that we won’t get anything we haven’t been prepared for. And Pluto, the planet of death, exists only to usher in rebirth.
The concept of destruction for its own sake does not exist in astrology, nor in Nature.
The month of December features its own annual crossroads: the winter solstice when the Sun makes its ingress into Capricorn.
Heightening the drama this solstice is the fact that Mars, too, will be in Capricorn; and so will Mercury. From Dec 3rd through Dec 29th, these two planets will conjoin and square Uranus, Pluto and Saturn, coming to a head in the middle of the month. That’s when Mercury and Mars conjoin with Pluto, the most powerful player in the Cross. With each of these hits, the harp string will sound. Everybody who’s not shut down will perceive it.
Mars transits are not subtle.
Civilization and its Discontents
It’s a time to reconsider what we mean by “civilization.” This is a word associated with Capricorn, the sign occupied by Pluto between 2008 and ’23 . It’s going to kill off the outworn assumptions we harbor about what constitutes an advanced society.
In the Western world, schoolchildren learn that industrialization, modern science, capitalism and imperialism are all benchmarks of civilization. I don’t think it’s ever stated as such; it’s just something we absorb with the ABCs. We’re given to understand that the contemporary world represents the pinnacle of human thought and behavior, whereas the ancient world roiled with chaos and barbarism. Everywhere, that is, except in classical Greece and Rome. (And, interestingly, in Mesopotamia, which my generation was told was “the cradle of civilization;” but this accolade seems to have changed with the political winds. Once the Western powers began to covet Middle Eastern oil, they decided that Iran, Iraq et al were deeply uncivilized after all, and that they needed the Great Democracies to enlighten them via military control).
The transits overhead are daring us to question this assumption. What if it was all propaganda?
The mass mind is going through wrenching shifts of viewpoint (Pluto) about how human groups organize themselves (Capricorn). To more and more people it is becoming apparent that the industrial revolution has resulted in ecological devastation ; that capitalism has resulted in plutocratic inequalities the world over; that imperialism and colonization have resulted in gross injustice. And that the Goddess-worshipping societies of the pre-historical world bore little resemblance to our stereotypes of brutish “cave men” with clubs.
When you think of a civilized society, what sort of images come to mind? I think of the availability of rest rooms downtown. And clean public spaces. I think of the quiet library near my house, and the bench in front of the hardware store that has no advertising on it. It’s just there so people can sit down.
If we were ask this question of regular people all around the world, what types of answers do you suppose would turn up again and again? I bet a lot of people would that it was the richness of a culture’s art that made it civilized. Or the value a state places upon education. Or how well its leaders used reasoned moral arguments, to inspire the citizenry to deploy its highest capabilities.
Some might propose that what counted most was how highly a society prioritized peace over war.
I doubt we’d say that what made a society civilized was having a booming GDP. But this seems to be the key criterion you read about in official circles. This is unabashedly the case with the proud new ascendant powers, China and India; they’ve been asserting their vigorous economies as proof of their worthiness to enter the club of civilized nations. And in the USA, schools have been pumping resources into business curricula as fast as they can, while de-funding the humanities. Lip service is still given to the kinds of values that the humanities nurture — democracy, empathy, tolerance and free speech – but less and less investment is made in the training that fosters such values.
As to the prioritization of peace over war, given the amount of money the USA has invested in the armaments industry — including the billions it makes in weapons sales to other countries — by this measure America is the most uncivilized nation the world has ever seen.
But this trajectory cannot be sustained. By Natural Law, that which is non-life-affirming cannot go on past a certain point, and we are reaching that point. Many aspects of human civilization are dying. It isn’t the capacity of humanity to be civilized that’s dying; it’s just the non-life-affirming aspects that are dying. They have to be sloughed off so that we can become re-humanized. We are coming to the tipping point of a long, slow learning curve.
The processes denoted by the Uranus-Pluto cycle – devolution, social change and evolution — are organic. To conceptualize these transits in terms of sudden mass destruction is too simplistic. Action movies work that way, but Nature doesn’t. The changes represented by the Cardinal Cross may be mammoth, but they are natural and perfectly sequenced, one phase segueing into the next. We’re being given all the time we need to understand and assimilate what we need to learn.
Even if we did say that wealth was the main marker of a civilized society, the question that needs to be asked is: Whose wealth are we talking about? When the experts issue their proclamations about a country’s overall financial health, what part of the demographic are they referring to? In the USA, whenever there’s a spike in the wealth of Wall Street traders, big investors, high-earning professionals and CEOs, we’re told that “the economy is on the mend”. Yet the average worker may be doing worse than ever (like right now, for example).
The USA chart’s Sun occupies the fourth corner of the Cross, that of Cancer.