On January 3, 2013, at noon, the 113th Congress was born. The chart for this Congress carries within it the seeds of a massive power struggle, already in the early stages of erupting. The current confrontation is over the funding of the Affordable Care Act, the federal shutdown and the raising of the debt ceiling. But do not think for a moment that when these battles are resolved, it will be smooth sailing from then on.
The dominant configuration of the years 2011 through 2015 is the Uranus/Pluto square, and one area in which this Clash of the Titans is being played out is in the halls of Congress. With Pluto (9Capricorn25) in a waxing conjunction with the Midheaven (10Capricorn31) and the Sun (13Capricorn29), and Uranus (4Aries48) in a waxing square with Pluto, the Midheaven and the Sun, we can expect wave upon wave of high-stakes drama over the remaining 18 months of this term. In particular, when Uranus and Pluto activate the Midheaven or Sun degree by transit, major sparks will fly.
In general, the Uranus/Pluto square can bring significant conflict between a renegade faction (Uranus) and the status quo. In addition, a controlling, manipulative and often secretive strain (Pluto) can become dominant and confrontational. Moreover, with Uranus, fixed ideas may become heedlessness to existing norms or contrary views; with Pluto, fixed emotions can become unhinged fanaticism, paranoia and a vicious battle for survival. At its best, Uranus offers sudden, transformational events that inspire awakened perceptions and effective action about issues that have been too long ignored. Pluto, on the other hand, while also transformational, brings a slow, intense build-up of pressure, taking things to an almost crazed extreme until they implode from within, leading to a paradigm shift in consciousness.
We have seen these intensified extremes play out in the Arab Spring rebellions, the Syrian civil war, the growing violence in Iraq and Egypt, and the increase in extremist factions and terrorism elsewhere. Currently, these same planetary energies are being manifested in the US Congressional impasse: a somewhat delusional, right-wing extremist faction; a dangerous build- up of economic pressure that could reach a horrifying crisis point; fixed ideas heedless of their destructive impact; and an increase in confrontation with little to no willingness to compromise.
The period from September 25 through October 5 has been particularly grueling. Transiting Saturn has been in a waxing semisquare with the congressional Moon (25Virgo30), duplicating the natal aspect. This has brought a great deal of stress and pessimism. As this aspect wanes, Defense Department workers are coming back to work and all of the federal employees have been promised retroactive pay, easing at least some of the strain. Moreover, the Uranus square to the Congressional MC also began to wane after October 3rd, possibly slowing down some of the more wild and reckless attitude on display.
Nonetheless, Pluto is returning to its natal place in the Congressional chart (9Capricorn25) from September 19 through November 2, and is being joined by a square from Uranus to natal Pluto from October 6 through October 31. Thus, this month’s Uranus/Pluto square will fall exactly on the Pluto position of the Congressional chart. Pluto in a chart represents where the strongest, most intense, and at times fanatical feelings exist. It suggests obsessiveness and an all-or-nothing, kill-or-be-killed attitude. Strong activation of its position can indicate an extreme power struggle of some kind.
Natal Pluto in the Congressional chart is at the end of the 9th house, conjunct both the Midheaven and the 10th house Sun, giving it significant potency. The double-whammy of a combined Uranus and Pluto transit (10/6 to 10/31) points to radical, unbending positions, potentially taking us to the very edge of disaster before release. Moreover, the Saturn transit square President Obama’s Sun (12Leo33) and conjunct Vice-President Biden’s Mars (12Scorpio35), from October 15 to October 23, suggests a time of significant strain and possibly forced compromise for the administration.
Unfortunately, partisan gridlock and exceptionally strong emotions may return to Congress repeatedly during this term. The Congressional progressed Moon will square natal Pluto from December 25 through January 20, pointing to another very emotional and stressful time.
Probably far more troublesome and dramatic, however, will be the long Pluto station conjunct the Congressional Sun (13Capricorn29) from February 8 through May 16, which closely parallels the transit of Pluto opposite the US Sun (13Cancer19) at the same time. A months-long, very dramatic and high-stakes power struggle is likely to come with this transit and may reach a fevered pitch in April, when Uranus, Jupiter and Mars also come to 13 degrees of the cardinal signs. Moreover, the Congressional progressed Moon will further agitate this configuration when it makes a square to the Congressional Sun from April 4 through May 10.
It is not clear how the intense confrontation and high-level anxiety suggested by these strong Pluto aspects in the Congressional and US charts during the first five months of 2014 will play out in the domestic and foreign policy arena, but it seems likely both areas will be impacted. Domestically, if the GOP continues to obstruct the president, he may feel forced to take on more executive power (Pluto) in order to deal with dangerous situations that cannot be left untended. The current threat to use the 14th amendment to handle the debt ceiling crisis if Congress refuses to act may be a harbinger of things to come. In response, it is not impossible to imagine the GOP, under this tension-filled Pluto transit, upping the ante to impeachment hearings. On the world stage, any number of situations may reach a boiling point at the same time.
One characteristic of Pluto transits is the tendency to take things to such extremes that they eventually implode, thereby leading to transformation. We may find that the partisan gridlock in the US Congress needs to reach a rabid and dangerous crescendo, or perhaps a series of them, before the dangerous hyper-intensity yields to more rational behavior, probably sometime in 2015.