5th Jul, 2011

The Tension Builds

The 1960’s are remembered as a time of massive cultural and political ferment that led to many areas of profound and long-lasting transformation. In the US, that notorious decade brought the Civil Rights Movement, an extension of health care to the poor and the elderly in the form of Medicare and Medicaid, the Women’s Liberation Movement, a groundswell of anti-war protest, and the brutal assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy. By 1969, the US had even put a man on the Moon.

The astrological indicator of the enormous turmoil that rocked the world in those years was the Uranus/Pluto conjunction which fell in the latter half of Virgo and was strongest from 1964 through 1966. This aspect remained potent, however, as late as 1969, when it was reignited by multiple Jupiter crossings.  At present, we are at the beginning of the tumultuous first quarter square of Uranus and Pluto which will be most active from 2011 through 2016. In 2017, Jupiter will once again re-energize this combustible combination during the waning year of the square.

Some of the battles that seemed resolved after the activism and resulting legislation of that earlier epoch are resurfacing in today’s agitated climate. One of the greatest victories of the Women’s Movement culminated in the Supreme Court ruling of Roe versus Wade in 1973 that guaranteed the right of women to choose what would happen to their bodies in case of an unwanted or problematic pregnancy. Today this right is being challenged by all sorts of sly and intrusive legislation at the state level under newly-elected Republican leadership.

Another example of the current Uranus/Pluto square reinvigorating an old issue is the recent pervasiveness of legislation in many Republican-led states severely restricting the right to vote. Great progress had been made in protecting and extending this right with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But today’s Republicans have enacted laws at the state level imposing restrictive voter ID requirements that will clearly limit voting in Democratic-leaning constituencies, most notably in the minority and college student populations.

Essentially, the building Uranus/Pluto square will see tensions increase in a number of areas over the next  five years, often leading to heated and sometimes violent confrontation. Economic, political, social, and military disagreements are likely to escalate, and the resulting imbroglios will eventually lead to lasting transformation. Freedom versus oppression and, the flip side of this dynamic, anarchy and destabilization versus measured or restrictive control, will be repeated themes (Uranus versus Pluto). We are already seeing this narrative in numerous areas: the corporations versus the people; the rich versus the poor; the dictators versus the fledgling democratic movements; the libertarian/Tea Party versus those who see the need for government action. In addition, climate change, the elephant in the room of all discussion since no one has the political will to deal with it, will become an increasing reality. As dangerous flooding and deathly heat waves and fires occur with increasing frequency, we will no longer be able to continue our chronic avoidance of the issue.

In recent days we have gotten an unhappy sampling of what the coming years will be bringing due to the building strength of the Uranus/Pluto square from late June through mid-August 2011. This powerful aspect will come within 61 minutes of arc on August 8. In addition, it is being repeatedly triggered by the faster moving planets, leading to some significantly destructive events. On June 28, the day of the brutal multiple suicide attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, the transiting Sun (6Cancer36) was opposite Pluto (6Capricorn11) and just past the square with Uranus (4Aries11), while transiting Mars (5Gemini21) was quincunx Pluto. The Moon at the time of the attack (4 Gemini) was moving into a conjunction with Mars and sextile Uranus.

We have also seen during this time of the building Uranus/Pluto square, historically damaging flooding in Nebraska that threatened the local nuclear power plant, historically damaging fires in New Mexico that threatened the Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory, a historically hot and dangerous heat wave in Arizona, the government of the state of Minnesota shutting down, widespread rioting in Greece, Syria, and Yemen, and the US government paralyzed in a partisan gridlock while the possibility of default looms. Underlying each of these is the question of how much control, regulation, oversight, and sacrifice people are willing to accept in order to transform the current negative trajectory. Or conversely, as in Yemen and Syria, how much anarchy will it take to unseat the resident dictator.

Over the coming 5 weeks, there will be several more activations of the Uranus/Pluto square. On July 5, Mercury will quincunx Pluto. On July 7 and July 8, Venus will square Uranus and oppose Pluto. The Moon will periodically cross the early degrees of the cardinal signs and also trigger some stressful events. But by far the most dangerous configuration will be the Mars transit of August 7 through August 11, square to Uranus and opposite Pluto. This transit will immediately follow a Mercury station opposite transiting Neptune (August 1 though August 8), as well as come during the final Saturn square to the US Sun (August 1 through August 12) and will be followed by the final crossing of Saturn to US Saturn (August 17 to August 28). This suggests that some kind of stuck negotiations, intransigence, and delusional thinking (Mercury/Neptune) during the first week of August may well precipitate a potentially destructive or very volatile crisis between August 7 and August 11 (Mars/Uranus/Pluto) that deeply upsets the US for at least a few weeks (Saturn to US Sun/US Saturn).

It is tempting to see this as a crisis that results from the Congress being unable to raise the debt ceiling. And indeed, this may be part of the picture. If it is, then the Mars transit from August 7 through August 11 may indicate the dangerous economic conditions that result from this impasse, perhaps a precipitous fall in the Stock Market and a sharp rise in interest rates, among other things. But it is also possible that the crisis comes from a completely unexpected quarter and the ferocity suggested by Mars, Uranus, and Pluto acting in concert is more literal – a series of natural phenomenon or violent attacks – rather than economic issues. What is clear, however, is that early August 2011 will provide some very treacherous terrain for us to get through and the resulting events will have wide-reaching and transformative implications.

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