May 2013
Stay on Your Toes

imagesOpen your mind and upgrade your software. It’s time to interact.

There are four ingresses into Gemini this month — thrilling news to lovers of mental engagement. The skies favor word-clever dialogues and exciting, new ideas. Venus ingresses on May 9th, the day of the solar eclipse. Mercury enters on the 15th, the Sun goes in on the 20th and Mars joins them on the 31st. Counting Jupiter, this makes five planets in the sign of communication and learning.

At the Full Moon eclipse on May 24th, the Sun in Gemini (discussion) will be opposing the Moon in Sagittarius (teaching). This polarity encourages us to talk back to the teacher, whoever our teacher happens to be. It’s question time: a time to be philosophically curious; to step back and look at our lives – and the world at large – from the big picture. And there will be a lot to see…

The Longest Arm

We’re now at the third exactitude out of seven of the Pluto-Uranus square, the transit that puts this era on the map. It peaks on May 20th — four days before the eclipse. This is when the ongoing story of the Cross gets updated to Spring 2013.

What have we learned so far about the longest arm of the Cross? Since its first big hurrah at the Cardinal Climax of 2010, sky watchers have grown increasingly familiar with the square, a rare chunk of planetary geometry that stimulates wrenching change in people and systems. To understand what’s changing, we have to follow the instructions of this month’s lunar eclipse. That means standing back from everyday events, and trying to grasp what’s different from how things used to be.images-1

All of the planets represent change of one kind or another; the word planet, from Latin planere, means wanderer. They’re moving objects. But outer planets like Uranus and Pluto represent the most comprehensive and drastic kind of change. The square between them doesn’t just alter us; it subjects us to an overhaul.

But we have to back up to see it. Decay and gestation, governed by Pluto, are slow, subtle processes. Putrefaction starts under the surface; new life begins in the dark. Uranian change is less subtle but also undercuts the ego’s normal functioning, bedeviling the part of us wants everything to be stable. Uranus has been making waves where there was once smooth sailing. It has been interrupting processes that used to be taken for granted, and inciting questions in the formerly rule-bound.

These are changes that will not revert back. This is you-can’t-go-home-again change.

What Wants to Happen?

Many meaning-seekers have been aware for three years now that something intense is going on inside of them. From the point of view of self-awareness, this period right now – especially ripe between 2012-15 — seems to condense several lifetimes into a handful of years.

drama_queen1Have your personal dramas multiplied? There may seem to be more of them, but what’s happening is more than quantitative. These changes are qualitatively different from the kind we usually get.

If prominently placed in your chart by transit, Uranus and Pluto are not going to let you coast. Do you know what houses of your chart these two are transiting through? This is where the dramas are life-altering. Once we identify where change wants to happen, we can stop resisting it. We can get with the evolutionary program.

Collective Changes

On the level of mass consciousness, these years are threatening the way we used to see civilization. The European debt crisis is shaking to its very foundations the self-image of what used to be called the First World. The entry of China and India into the superpower contest is forcing Uncle Sam and the former empires of Europe to completely reconfigure their strategies.

The USA, whose strongest hit from the Uranus-Pluto square3 arrives in 2014-15, is for all intents and purposes images-6bankrupt. But this fact has yet to be assimilated by the collective consciousness, because of the strange insularity of Wall Street, where the Dow Jones is currently exulting in record highs. However, with Pluto (corruption) now in America’s second house (money), the public is becoming increasingly aware of the surreal nature of the financial sector: the way it presents itself as the true economic reality while devouring the real economy, the production and exchange of goods.

Even more fundamental than these social shifts is the question of Earth’s physical sustainability. The specter of ecological calamity is no longer a strange, new concept. May we finally agree that it is no longer a partisan opinion? It’s a reality now: a consensual truth of our contemporary world, and one that will continue to be forced into the conscious awareness of more and more of us with every passing week. I refer to the fact that the burgeoning global population is up against an infrastructure unready to meet its needs for clean water (see February’s Skywatch), enough food, and something to power our societies that isn’t oil.

Clean Power

Pluto governs oil (I argue the case for this rulership here), and Uranus governs electricity. Astrologer James Perilman believes that the square between them is forcing us to face our Achilles heel: our slavish dependence on the electrical grid. When you think about it, for such a technologically sophisticated era, our having put all our energy eggs in this one basket is remarkably unimaginative. It is clear that the reliability of this set-up will be “challenged by extreme weather, earthquakes, power overload, and terrorist hackers. ..[we will be] thrown back 100 years without the psychological conditioning to deal with it.“

Of course, our immediate reaction to this scenario is distress. We humans are not wired to embrace the idea of being wrenched out of our comfort zones. As Perilman suggests, even more threatening than our expectation of physical suffering is the psychological threat to our most basic suppositions of entitlement.

We moderns tend to forget that, throughout history, denizens of even the hottest Equatorial regions managed, by means of Earth-friendly building techniques, local materials and such cultural rituals as migration, to survive their summers without air conditioners. But the thought makes us shudder now, doesn’t it? It feels an absurd images-2affront, to compare our modern standards to those of the distant past.

But how relative our idea of deprivation is! Especially in the affluent West. Most Americans would probably dismiss, with angry impatience, the very idea of exploring alternatives to our jealously guarded lifestyle conventions. Such as air conditioners — huge energy suckers – which threaten the power grid more perilously with every passing summer, as global temperatures rise. What would it feel like to respond with genuine interest to the idea of  saner energy scenarios, rather than reacting to them with emotional threat? This month’s eclipse in Gemini is the perfect time to try on for size a perspective of detached curiosity.

Manifestation is preceded by ideation. We wrap our minds around an idea, first: we start imagining, for example, a world with clean, non-exploitative sources of energy; a world where our communities are unbeholden to monopolistic utilities. This is the process the transits are supporting. It’s about picking up cues from the future (Uranus) and moving beyond the destructive aspects of the past (Pluto).

All over the world this month, ideas will be flooding into human minds, with a sense of sanity regained.