(Note: This article appeared in a newsletter published by NCGR, an organization whose members include professional and student astrologers. That is why the article contains astro-logical jargon. Please be advised that in one-on-one client consultations, no jargon is spoken. If you would like to book a personal consultation to discuss your horoscope in plain English, give me a call or send me an email.)
It’s finally here…the start of a series of seven exact squares between ruthless, transformational Pluto in patriarchal, institutional Capricorn and rebel Uranus, disruptor of the status quo in me-me-me Aries. Some say it’s the end of the world; others say it’s the end of the world as we know it. Breakdowns in governments and financial institutions. Declarations of independence around the globe. Coping with crises we haven’t even imagined. That’s the big picture. But what does it suggest for you?
A planet or horoscope angle in the first half of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) that is challenged by a hard aspect from Pluto-Uranus suggests the potential for a turning point in one’s life, usually experienced as upheavals and breakdowns and/or opportunities for emancipation and empowerment. If you’re an astrologer with a thriving practice, clients with planets or angles at 4-10 cardinal have surely been knocking on your door in recent months, needing insight and guidance in personal crises of change.
Here are a few cases from my files:
Pluto and Uranus in hard aspect to the Ascendant and/or Midheaven suggests dramatic changes of perspective in identity and relationships; major changes of direction in profession; break-outs and break-ups; a reach for power; new starts, including geographic relocation. Case in point: in 2010, a client asked if her married lover was likely to file for divorce that year. I did feel a change of status in his marital relationship was highly probable — not in 2010, but in mid-2011. Why? His Ascendant is at 5 Libra; his Sun is at 7 Cancer conjunct the MC at 6 Cancer. When Pluto and Uranus both hit 5-6 cardinal in the summer, his wife did file for divorce – for a very surprising reason.
Another client with MC at 6 Capricorn felt compelled to leave her job overseas and move back to the United States when Pluto conjoined the MC. Ultimately she wants to change professions entirely, marry and start a family. How long might this process take? My client’s Ascendant is 11 Aries. Uranus and Pluto will complete transits to the angles of her horoscope at the end of 2014. Her exciting, transformational journey has just begun.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn (April 25, 1949 at 11:10AM in Neuilly-sur-Seine, FR) has MC at 8 Aries and Moon at 3 Aries, ruling the 12th house of self-undoing. Uranus in hard aspect to the Moon suggests an intensely focused (ego) need for emotional fulfillment. Pluto to Moon adds even greater emotional intensity and the potential for upheavals, often with women. Pluto rules DSK’s 5th house, which is key to the sexual profile of a horoscope. Apparently no headlines were made on Pluto’s squares to the Moon in 2010; however, on the first conjunction of Uranus to DSK’s Moon in May 2011, the world was riveted by his arrest on charges of sexually assaulting a New York chambermaid. He resigned as chief of the IMF; the scandal derailed any chance of him being a serious candidate for higher office in France. Even though criminal charges in this particular case were dropped, upcoming transits of Pluto-Uranus suggested the drama was far from over.
Pluto made the first of three exact squares to DSK’s MC in January; Uranus made its 3rd conjunction to the Moon as I typed the first draft of this article on February 21, 2012. Headlines were blaring that DSK was being held by French police in an investigation involving prostitutes and orgies. He has been regularly lampooned as a skirt-chasing Lothario on a national television program and his wife, Anne Sinclair, has resumed her career as a journalist. Do you think we will see more changes in the status of that relationship (Uranus rules the 7th and 8th) by the time Uranus and Pluto complete their respective hits to DSK’s MC by March of 2013 and December of 2012? On March 26, preliminary charges against DSK alleging he was involved in a prostitution ring were filed in France. In the first week of May, a motion to have the chambermaid’s civil case against him dismissed was denied, and investigators are now looking into accusations that he sexually assaulted another woman in Washington DC in 2010. (Update: DSK and his wife have now reportedly separated).
Uranus and Pluto in hard aspect to the Sun suggests feelings of intense ego aggrandizement; a break-up or excitable break-out in relationship; prominence and powerful forces creating major change in identity. Matt Lauer (December 30, 1957 in Manhattan — time unknown) and Meredith Vieira (December 30, 1953 in East Providence, RI — time unknown) both have Sun at 8 Capricorn. In May 2011, both announced they would be leaving the “Today” show. Vieira departed in June; Uranus had made the first of three hard aspects to her natal Mercury and Venus in March and April. Lauer was set to leave when his contract expired at the end of 2012; with Pluto and Uranus on his Sun in 2012, we would expect to see him move to a new level.
Vieira’s Moon in Scorpio suggests a need for control and to be seen as a person of substance. Lauer’s Moon in Aries suggests a need for importance, or as Noel Tyl succinctly says, to be “numero uno”. In February of 2012, transiting Pluto reached 8 Capricorn, conjoining both Suns. What happened? Matt Lauer made headlines by reportedly asking for $30 million a year to stay on at “Today” (he was then making $17 million). Prominence? Ego aggrandizement? Will Mr. Lauer settle for $25 million a year? Yes – and he did – sometime during the spring of 2012. But wait – there’s more! Pluto and Uranus exactly squared Lauer’s Sun in June. As of June 25, Lauer’s co-host, Ann Curry, has been bought out of her contract, leaving no doubt that when it comes to the success of “Today”, Matt Lauer is Number One. We should keep an eye on this developing story in December, when Pluto and Uranus will once again be at 8 cardinal.
Meanwhile in January 2012, Meredith Vieira made headlines as a guest panelist in a presentation at the 92nd Street Y. She talked about how Today had been taking more time away from her family than she was comfortable giving. She now presumably has more control over her time, fulfilling the need of the Scorpio Moon. Vieira also expressed a desire to “do something meaningful” with her life — not surprising to hear as she approaches the first pass of her second Saturn return at the end of 2012. By the time Uranus and Pluto complete this cycle of transits to the Sun in March of 2013, the flashes of genius that will inspire and empower that “something meaningful” will likely occur – and may already have. As it turns out, Vieira has a production company. In April, a documentary which she executive produced, The Woman Who Wasn’t There, broke ratings records when it aired on the Discovery Channel.
With Uranus and Pluto in hard aspect to Mercury, mindset and communication are energized, empowered and transformed. A client of mine has Mercury in the 1st at 4 Capricorn, ruling the 6th house of work/service and the 9th of publishing/broadcasting. She is a writer and a film critic. With Uranus-Pluto energizing Mercury she acquired an agent, and she is developing her first book. As a film critic, she has expanded from print journalism into television, and currently appears on weekly program whose ratings continue to increase. Her rise in career status was also suggested by transiting Saturn to her 9 Libra MC in 2011, with more empowered breakthroughs and/or major changes of status suggested as Uranus and Pluto hit 9 degrees of Aries and Capricorn in 2012-2014.
With Uranus and Pluto in hard aspect to Venus we anticipate intense individuation and empowering transformation in social expression, sometimes accompanied by an exciting and/or “resistance is futile” relationship. A friend has Venus-Neptune conjunct at 3-4 Libra, suggesting a need for refined and beautiful social expression and aesthetic sensibility. In 2010, with Pluto’s first square to the Venus-Neptune conjunction, this man, whose earlier career involved radio and audio post-production, “suddenly” became obsessed with photography, transforming unremarkable objects found in the urban jungle into intense, ethereal works of art. Take a look at Venus-Neptune in Libra, super-charged by Pluto-Uranus – www.jbbermanphotoart.com – and marvel that these works were created in just eighteen months.
Pluto-Uranus to Mars suggests forceful application of will and effort – sometimes downright brutal. On June 5th, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin (Nov 2, 1967 in Colorado Springs, CO – birth time unknown), emerged victorious in a highly publicized recall election just two days after transiting Uranus squared his Mars at 7 Capricorn, and a few weeks before the second conjunction of Pluto to Mars. Note that Mars is square Walker’s natal Saturn at 6 Aries, suggesting a militant “my way or the highway” approach to fulfilling the reigning need of Walker’s Moon in Scorpio for power and control.
Walker was elected in November 2010, on an applying solar arc from the Sun to his natal Venus that was exact in December. But the popularity suggested by that pattern was challenged in February of 2011, with the first transit of Pluto to natal Saturn. The threat of loss and potential for self-destruction suggested by Pluto to Saturn was all over the news. Many voters were infuriated by Walker’s extreme effort to strip collective bargaining rights from union members employed in the public sector. By the second hit in June, there was talk of a recall effort, and by the third hit in December of 2011, that effort had officially begun.
By 2012, however, the pressure on Saturn had subsided in comparison to the empowerment suggested by Pluto to Walker’s Mars. His efforts were further strengthened by the persuasive communication suggested by two solar arcs: Pluto to Mercury in late April and Mercury to Pluto in late May. We know what happened in June. How long will this power surge last? We’ll have to watch, as Pluto completes its transit to Mars in November 2012, and Uranus completes its transits to Walker’s Saturn and Mars in February and March of 2013. Uranus to Mars suggests continued efforts to dominate through force of will. Uranus to Saturn suggests a potential breakdown of old patterns, driven by an ambition to “re-invent the wheel”.
Pluto-Uranus to Jupiter can be spectacular. Uranus suggests a potential windfall opportunity or other sudden break; Pluto suggests resourcefulness and/or a bid for power or leadership. One of my clients has Jupiter at 10 Aries in the 7th. With transiting Neptune ruling the 7th and opposing Venus at 2 Virgo in the 12th, she is starting a graduate program in art therapy (Venus rules the 2nd and 9th). She will finish at the same time Pluto (ruling the 3rd of mindset and communication) and Uranus (ruling the 6th of work and service) complete their transits to her Jupiter. Art therapy is a dream job for her. Her mindset and work will likely be empowered and emancipated; her need for reward through personal recognition will be fulfilled by the clients she will serve (Jupiter in Aries in the 7th).
This woman had also been experiencing Pluto and Uranus to Saturn at 4 Libra. In her horoscope, Saturn is in the 1st house, conjunct the Sun (ruling the 12th) at 1 Libra. What pressing need for independence and/or transformation in matters of ego-identification coincided with transits to the Sun from Pluto and Uranus (at the Aries Point)? At age 60, she changed her name.
Another example: Facebook was launched on February 4, 2004 in a Harvard dorm room in Cambridge, MA. With Saturn at 7 Cancer in its birth chart, Facebook has just gone through an painful IPO, transforming its corporate structure from privately held to publicly traded. Despite the hype of being the third largest IPO in the history of the United States, at the end of the trading day (May 18, 2012), the stock did not move much from its opening price of $38 per share. It is currently trading at $33, and the lawsuits and investigations into the alleged mishandling of the IPO (otherwise known as that “messy ordeal”), are just beginning. Hard, hard work against the threat of loss? This struggle to increase value is certainly consistent with Pluto and Uranus transiting natal Saturn. Is Facebook is doomed? I am not so sure, noting that founder Mark Zuckerberg (5/14/1984 in White Plains, NY) will have transiting Pluto and Uranus to his Jupiter in 2014. What powerful resources and windfall opportunities might occur in his life at that time?
Uranus-Pluto to Uranus will be experienced collectively by those born between 1949 and 1953 with Uranus in the first half of Cancer. If you live in the United States, you are about to turn 65 and are likely thinking of retirement. Can the Social Security, health care and pension benefits you counted on during your working years provide you with enough to retire comfortably – or has your sense of security been disrupted? Born between late 1968 and 1972? With your Uranus in the first half of Libra, your midlife crisis is likely to be especially intense, with similar beliefs about the long-term security and employment being challenged. Add to this pool those born between 1973 and 1978; they have Pluto in the early half of Libra. Pluto-Uranus to natal Pluto suggests they will wrestling with similar issues, as beliefs about the security and reliability of society’s governments and corporations are challenged – and in many cases, torn down.
Uranus-Pluto to Neptune will be a collective experience for those born 1943-1951 with Neptune in the first half of Libra. Keywords suggest disorientation and bewilderment if one’s socio-economic status is in jeopardy; heightened sensitivity and/or irritability; a spiritual awakening.
Just as I’m wrapping this piece up, a new client has emailed to book a consultation. She has Sun, Pluto and MC at 6 – 9 Cardinal. She’s just returned from an encouraging series of job interviews at a company halfway across the country. The company is now apparently ready to make her a formal offer, and she is debating whether she should tell the head hunter who tapped her for the position that she is interested in the job. What do you think? Could this be a favorable time for career advancement that involves relocation?
I am confident that awareness of the transits of Uranus and Pluto in her horoscope will enable my client to appreciate the powerful personal potential suggested by these transpersonal planets. As astrologers, we can help our clients develop the patience and courage required to manage these extraordinary periods of development. I know this from personal experience. I have Sun at 8 Aries. Have I been experiencing a number of events which have brought major changes in life – and also opportunities for emancipation and empowerment? But of course – and here I am with an article published in a national astrology newsletter. How cool is that?
URANUS SQUARE PLUTO
June 24 2012 – 8 degrees 24 Ar/Cap
September 19 2012 – 6 degrees 57Ar/Cap
May 21 2013 – 11 degrees 14 Ar/Cap
November 1 2013 – 9 degrees 26 Ar/Cap
April 21 2014 – 13 degrees 34 Ar/Cap
December 15 2014 – 12 degrees 36 Ar/Cap
March 17 2015 – 15 degrees 18 Ar/Cap