The life changers: Neptune, Uranus and Pluto cross the I.C.

Liz Greene once wryly observed in one of her seminars that, if you wanted a relatively quiet and peaceful life, you should arrange to be born when the outer planets were as far away from the personal planets and Angles as possible. I wish! say many of you reading this, as indeed does the writer, who has all the outer planets bolted onto all the personal planets and has had anything BUT a quiet life. (Encouraging note for the similarly challenged – I’m not young any more,  but I’m still here –more or less! – and pretty happy with what I have been able to make of my time on this earth to date).

In similar vein, many people – depending on the horoscope yielded by their particular date, time, and place of birth – will never even experience one of the outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto crossing their IC ( for non-astrologers reading this, the IC symbolises the point of origin, roots and core of a person’s life).

However, I have had the lot – and am still here to tell the tale. Here it is….

The Underworld - Ancient Egypt

“Of Cerberus and Blackest Midnight Born” – Neptune, Uranus and Pluto cross the I.C.

In my horoscope the IC is conjunct the South Node at 28 degrees of Scorpio. Pluto, its ruler, is placed in the twelfth house conjunct Mercury, Saturn, Venus, Moon and Sun in Leo. As a child I would lie in bed watching the roses on the wallpaper turn into malevolent  faces as daylight faded; I had to make bargains with them before they would let me sleep.

I read voraciously, and particularly recall the works of Victorian novelist H Rider Haggard whose myth-steeped descriptions of his characters’ adventures in Africa last century fascinated me. But da Silva, the Dutch explorer whose frozen body was found centuries after his death in a cave high up Mt. Kilimanjaro, transferred himself from “King Solomon’s Mines” to the wardrobe in my bedroom, on and off, for a couple of years. Getting to sleep was no mean feat with an imagination like mine!

King Solomon's Mines First Edition
King Solomon’s Mines First Edition

My ‘real’ life – eating, sleeping, going to school – was incidental to my inner life which was full of what I felt were the really interesting questions : why are we alive, where do we go after death, do we live on several planes of existence at once, what is happening in other galaxies, if there are x million Catholics and even more Buddhists and Hindus, how come they are all Wrong and Damned and a few thousand members of the Free Church of Scotland are Right and Saved ?

And what would happen if you unwrapped an Egyptian mummy and I wonder if I could make a shrunken head like the Jivaro Indians and why did people paint pictures on cave walls thousands of years ago?

These were the issues which preoccupied me for years. No-one knew about them except my maternal grandfather. He had spent time taming wild horses alone in the middle of Argentina before World War 1, and in later life was the only Church of Scotland missionary to visit ill or injured foreign sailors of all religions in the local island hospital, despite the disapproval of the Free Church. “We are all God’s children”, he would say firmly to his critics – and to me. He died when I was eleven, after which I spoke to no-one until I grew up and left home about anything which really mattered.

As Pluto squared 12th house Venus, Moon and Sun, then crossed the IC conjunct South Node from 93-95, what was left of my family of origin fell apart in a particularly painful and tragic way. I had to make choices in order to protect myself from the destructive urges of other family members which involved separation from loved ones which is probably permanent. The major decision I made during those years was that the blood tie does not give others the right to destroy your life. I was indeed fortunate in having an astrological framework, which helped to provide a meaningful context for the pain.

As part of trying to process what was happening, I decided to compile a family history, returning to my native island to collect some oral material from old people who knew my family back a couple of generations. The day I sat down to write it up, transiting Pluto was exactly conjunct the South Node, within half a degree of the IC.  During the same week, I looked back through some old writings of my own, finding two unpublished pieces.

The first was written in July 1970, six months after the start of Neptune transiting the IC. I had no knowledge of astrology then…….

“…….My sister and I decided to take the dog and walk from our house, just outside the  town, to a beach very exposed to the sea, well beyond the harbour. It would be a long walk, but it was a beautiful briskly windy sunny day – snatched from the usual bleak incessant rains of  a Hebridean July.

We took a curving route through the town, then via an outlying district overlooking the navigation beacon. This landmark had winked its electric eye reassuringly at the mouth of the harbour for as long as I could remember. Approaching the district cemetery, my sister walked on by, but I slowed down, never having passed through its gates. Only men attended funerals in the Outer Hebrides when I was growing up.

“The sun is shining on the dead today!” I called to my sister. “Let’s go and pay our respects.” She wasn’t too keen. “Have you ever visited Granddad and Granny’s grave?” I asked.

“No,” she said. ” I suppose we could do that.”
We pushed open the heavy creaking gate. The graveyard, beautifully tended, sloped gently down to within a few hundred yards of the sea. I realised that I did not know where my father’s parents lay.

” I remember where Daddy said it was,” my sister said. “Follow me. With our English name, it shouldn’t be difficult to find.”

Our  paternal grandfather had been posted to the Outer Hebrides before the First World War, meeting our grandmother on his first trip ashore. English gentlemen were a great rarity in these parts; very desirable “catches” to aspiring island girls like Granny, who had by all accounts been a handsome, strong and wilful young woman. He was well and truly caught; apart from a period of war service he remained in the Outer Isles for the rest of his long life.

His death devastated my grandmother. They had been married for fifty two years. I remember sitting with her in her bedroom, she who had always turned herself out so elegantly propped up in bed, an old singlet of my grandfather’s failing to conceal her droopy, withered breasts from my young eyes. Up to then I had never known the desolation of not being able to console another human being – or that old people ever cried. She wept and wailed and moaned, repeating:
“I don’t want to live any more. What’s the use, what’s the use now he’s away? “

Live on she did, doggedly, for nine years, lightened only by a late addition to the family. I was fifteen when my brother was born. Granny was eighty two, and half way senile. The child was called Frederick, after Granddad; as the novelty wore off Granny slipped into senility, a querulous fractious husk, and finally just a husk, and a medical miracle, carried off at eighty six with her fourth bout of pneumonia.

I was at university when she died, having become so distant from her by then that  I felt nothing but a vague sense of relief ….

“I’ve found it !”
I had fallen behind my sister in my reverie. She was standing about twenty yards away; I hurried to the spot. It was a plain, simple grave. A low railing ran round it. The headstone was in sandstone, with only the facts of their births and deaths etched on it in gold lettering. Noting with satisfaction, which my grandmother would have shared, the absence of ‘fancy versification’, I stood and looked at the grave.

Without any warning, for I had felt quiet and composed, there was a rush and a roar in a deep silent centre of my being; a torrent of desolation and grief swept through me. I wept and wept and wept, quite uncontrolled.

There they were, half my being. Where had it all gone: the passion of their early love; the conception of their children; her sweat and blood and pain as she thrust my father into the world; their quarrels, silences, love, laughter, loneliness and grief; their shared and separate lives? And this was it. On a hot beautiful day with the sea lapping on the shore and the seabirds wheeling and diving, a few bits of cloth and bone under the earth, an iron railing and a stone above.

I was not weeping just for them. Overwhelmed by  total awareness of my own mortality and that of all human beings before and after me, I had never felt so stricken, so vulnerable, so alone.” (i)

The second piece, however, written in the autumn of 1971, at the end of the Neptune transit to the IC, whilst Neptune was 0 Sagittarius, shows that something else was now emerging from the underworld which would offer me inspiration and support :

(The ‘pibroch’ referred to is the music of lament played on the Scottish bagpipes)

“ It was a clear autumn evening. Peter called just after seven; he was going out to practice some pibroch. Would I like to come along? It was a rare time of balance – in the weather, in the satisfaction of work which was still new enough to be stimulating, in the fact that Peter and I were falling in love.

Peter drove several miles out of town, winding slowly up deserted country roads to a hill above a small village. Taking out the pipes he began to blow them up, and after much tinkering began to play. To avoid distracting him, I strolled slowly down the road. Peter was standing on a bank of grass at the top of the hill; on his left was a little wood. On the other side of the road was a ditch thick with whin bushes.

Beyond the ditch was a rusty, sagging fence; on the far side of the fence, smooth, mossy moorland dotted with whins, their vivid yellow colour fading into the deepening dusk. In the distance I could just see the  Highland hills, purple and rust, gathering shadows in the autumnal twilight.

Venus Rising
Venus Rising

A myriad of stars, taking their lead from Venus, was growing bright with increasing intensity. A mellow harvest moon was slowly rising, casting a glow on the hills. The air held a hint of cold. I could feel the melancholy music of the bagpipes flowing through me like a magical current.

Reaching the foot of the hill, surrendering myself completely to the intensity of the moment, I lay down in the middle of the road. Spreading out my arms, I gazed up at the stars.

A gentle breeze blew over my body, soughing through the reedy grass. Drifting with the music through the night sky, slipping away from awareness of myself or the present, I was a timeless spirit of the air, travelling the vastness of space on the notes of the pibroch. An unobtrusive rhythm, a pulse, began to beat; growing more and more steady, it became a whispering message in my mind :

‘ There is nothing to fear,’  it said. ‘ There is nothing to fear.’

An image of my lying dead, under the earth, came to me. Such images, occurring at other times, had filled me with panic and disgust. Now, there was none of that. I could gladly have died at that moment; my flesh would return to the earth and nourish it, my spirit would soar to infinity. The pulse continued, flooding me with its light :

‘ There is nothing to fear, nothing to fear, nothing to fear….’

At that point of spiritual ecstasy, I felt the absolute reality of my soul.

Such a moment might have lasted a second, an hour, or a hundred thousand years; but the music ceased, and the chill which was gradually taking over my body drew me back gently into the present…….” (ii)

The knowledge that such a vitalizing sense of connectedness was possible, glimpsed during the above experience, kept me going through the long struggle to believe that  life had an overall meaning, and to find my own way of offering my energy creatively in the years which were to follow.

When Uranus crossed the South Node/IC in 1980/81, I began to study astrology, thereby fulfilling a prediction made by an astrologer I had casually encountered in a laundrette in Bath in England in the early 1970s. I also met, moved in with and later married my partner – his Scorpio Moon is conjunct my IC and South Node, and he has an Aquarian Sun and Venus. All very appropriate symbolism for the timing of the Uranus IC transit !

His steadfast support, combined with the deep awareness of teleology which many years’ practice of astrology brings, have been vital for my personal and professional growth and development from the time Uranus crossed the IC until now, (ie end 1995-early 1996) as Pluto moves off that point.

When Pluto was still transiting the IC, but from Sagittarius, I applied and was accepted for a major astrological study course. The very day that Pluto was exactly on the South Node and about to cross the IC for the last time saw me beginning the first year of study. I felt a powerful sense of standing on firm inner ground after the turbulence and trauma of the last few years – of being in the right place at the right time, of having done what I could, for now, with my family inheritance – of being ready to move on to the next growth cycle.

Now that the outer planets have crossed the IC and moved into the Western hemisphere of my Horoscope, I feel liberated from much of the pathology of the past, and  more able to use directly in the world the undoubted creativity inherited with it. Nor do I need any longer to make bargains with the shadowy figures who emerge when the light of day is dimming….


i & ii : Both extracts have been published both together and separately  in several articles in the USA, the UK and  Australia, eg in “Of Cerberus and Blackest Midnight Born” which appeared in the UK’s Astrological Journal, 1996,  and was then reprinted in Considerations magazine (USA) in the same year.

and –

“Of Cerberus and Blackest Midnight Born” is a quote from ‘L’Allegro’ by the English poet John Milton


2500 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2009/2017

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

24 thoughts on “The life changers: Neptune, Uranus and Pluto cross the I.C.

  1. Very interesting…..I have a Scorpio 29 IC…`s been a wild ride for me as well.

    Thanks, Q. Perhaps we should set up a 28/29 Scorpio I.C. support group! Anne

  2. Dear Anne,

    A pleasure reading your lyrical poetry in prose, delighted to have walked with you a while through the portal entry guarding your IC. I congratulate you on your successful navigation through turbulent waters of your past and deeply appreciate the wisdom that you share.

    Thank you very much.

    Thank YOU, for your affirmation. Anne

  3. What wonderfully evocative and beautiful writing. I was transported somewhere other than my quiet room with its whirring old laptop.

    I identify with the voracious reading in childhood, with the patterns of the wallpaper changing into faces (in my case the patterns were on the curtains) I used to will them to change into flowers which lasted momemts before the faces reappeared – sleep wasn’t an easy place to get to.

    I have Moon and Mars in the 12th house, Mercury conjunct the IC and the outer planets contacting all my personal planets. Sun conjunct Uranus (4th house), Venus conjunct Pluto and Neptune opposite moon.

    My inner life as always seemed bigger than my outer.

    I love how you write,it has been a long while since someones words have captured me like that – Thank you.

    Thank YOU so much for this wonderfully affirming comment, Susannah. And I have either owned, own or have read every single one of the books you list on your site! Will email you – planning to add your blog to my site (small tech problem to overcome first!) Anne

  4. Haha I had floral wallpaper too, and I saw faces in the flowers, and the butterflies had personalities. One year I travelled to the other side of the globe for 3 weeks, and came back to a room seemingly swabbed over in yellow from the walls to the floor, to the drapes; the color I told my mom I never wanted my room to be. I used to have rituals about going to bed, deals with imaginary entities across the country, historical figures in the abandoned rooms of my home (Abe lincoln was in the attic down the hallway), and creatures under my bed, of course.

    I love that you say that blood ties do not give others the right to destroy your life.

    I feel that I am in the midst of the kind of changes you described in this story. Thank you for your blog, I really am grateful for all you’ve written here.

  5. Dear Caroline

    thank you. Feedback like this affirms my reasons for setting up the blog……and so glad to share experiences with you – I wonder how many other wallpaper fantasists there are – besides us – amongst the child population?!

  6. Good grief! It’s certainly like a kind-of parallel as far as I am concerned. Haunted by the stars and planets, I walk the early morning garden or hang out the window to put nothing between me and the planets. At 56 I should know better, some would say to this Sagittarian with Moon, Venus and Mercury in Scorpio. (24.11.54) I too fled the super-religious righteous and paid the price.

  7. Dear Colleen

    I think all those planets of yours cluster round my 29 Scorpio/South Node: no surprise that there is common ground between us. Just you keep hanging out that window! And believing that all gods are One. Thank you for visiting and commenting. Solstice greetings as the year turns…..

  8. Thank you for this article. Neptune is about to be exact on my IC this week. I’ve been in the throes of something horrible – what some websites describe as the dissolution of the self. How long does this transit last?

    1. Hi Sharanya

      I cannot comment on your chart without having seen it: all I can say (as someone who survived and grew through a ten-year meltdown – Neptune opposite six Leo planets in the Twelfth House) is : hold on, take things one day at a time, and try to have faith that something deep and ultimately transformative and renewing is at work in your life. All good wishes Anne ps here is a link to something I wrote during my own ‘dark night of the soul’. It may help….

  9. Thank you, Anne. Hmmm – faith in something greater than the immediate self, because the immediate self is being dissolved. I will remember that. Many thanks again.

  10. Anne,
    The excerpts of your writing are terrific. They evoke such beautiful imagery. You have a great deal of talent in more than one area.
    Thank you for “liking” my about… What was it that you liked about it?

      1. Well, if we aren’t honest in here, where can we be? Though I am generally honest about most things, most of the time, much to the chagrin of others, and sometimes of myself.

    1. Thanks, Bev; we certainly have strong affinities in our perspectives on life.

      I find contemplation of that great cycle of birth, growth, decline, death – and rebirth – deeply comforting and affirming.

      Do keep dropping by. I’m just off to visit you now!

  11. If the outer planets transiting the IC are tough, then imagine how difficult it is Uranus-Saturn-Neptune DIRECTLY on the IC, all in Capricorn. One word? Horrible 🙁

  12. Anne, I really love your writing!~~Reading your blog articles is like having an experience. Your beautiful imagery evokes so much inside me & makes me smile. Ty for sharing your creative wisdom….You truly are a gifted astrological writer!:))

  13. Hi Anne, thanks for you insightful article and for letting us into your deepest pain and transformation :). Having your IC on your South node, certainly placed you in a position to deal with your past and embrace your creativity, and having your partners moon there too, he is a wonderful emotional blessing from the past :). I am very happy for you! 🙂
    Currently, transiting Uranus is conjunct my IC ( 7 degrees prior), and transiting Neptune 2nd house is conjunct my natal Saturn and Chiron (return), and opposite my Uranus/Pluto/Moon conjunction in 8th house; and transiting Saturn is square my natal Saturn. I am already feeling deep purging from my family wounds ( having been groomed by my biological family of narcissists, bullies and psychic vampires, to be ‘the strong one’ which meant that I was to tolerate abuse (on all levels) and be there for everyone in crises situations, always the giver, never the receiver of anything, accept abuse and to be used. None of my biological family knows anything about me, as they just demand things from me and never ask me anything about myself, and if I try to speak, they cut me off and quickly disappear. However, they are quick to judge me, and put their projections upon me, when they have issues, and cast me out as the ‘black sheep’ ignoring me, saying bad things about me, not helping me when I ask, yet they expect me to be always available to counsel them and do things for them. Well, enough is enough! I’ve never felt like I was ‘one’ of my family, never had the same values, or modus operandi, and this led me to study my ancestors ( as I never knew my Uncles or Aunties or cousins) even went back as far as 1800 BC, and I communed telepathically and in my dreams to certain individuals from my past who made me feel important and valuable, and I found historical records of other ancestors who were compassionate and led good lives, and now I have the strength to finally say good riddance to the bad apples. Thus, trauma and adversity has led me to my deep creativity and freedom! And, love has put me first, to have compassion for myself, in order to stand up for myself and what is right! Phew… Is this the sort of thing that can happen during a Uranus transit to the IC? Or, is it simply a result of my own inner explorations, and the acceptance that things are as they are, and I can not do anything to change it, only myself 🙂 .

    1. Many thanks, Bridget, for this full, deep and honest feedback. I think that the symbolism of the transit and your inner explorations and changes are interwoven…one reflects the other. The important thing is to be able to use the insights provided by the symbolism to move forward in your own development. And it sounds very much to me as thaough that is just what you are doing…sadly, not all families are more supportive than toxic. This is a tough fact of life and it takes courage – and time- to face and step away from family pathology.

      1. Thank you Anne. Yes, ‘as above, so below’, I see the inter-connection :). Being an enforced rescuer-even if the dramas were acted out subliminally by my family, and acted upon by my conditioning and good intentions to be helpful- is no fun nor helpful to me, nor the perpetrator ( who sees no wrong in their toxic behavior), as Christ found out! I have the strength now to say ‘No!’ to that behavior, and to not follow the matyrs path! Hooray! I follow my joy instead 🙂 .

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