airborne virus upended our way of life in 2020. Major
cultural, political and environmental turbulence is
set to continue, radically altering the way we live on
(from P.S. Windows to the Future, the final essay in “Postcards to the Future” p 365)
As readers who have been following my blog in recent times can see, I have been continuing my Mercurial Musings (along with many other astrologers!), as our world situation becomes more turbulent and challenging with every month that passes: Pluto’s 2023/4 transition from Capricorn to Aquarius –which he enters on 23 March 2023 for the first time since the 1770s – is a major symbolic significator for the new world order slowly being born. No doubt I’ll be publishing a sequel to “Postcards…” before too long, at the rate I’m going! My major astrological interest these days is undoubtedly in the larger planetary cycles, which I have written about extensively in “Postcards…”, which brings 60 of my essays, articles and columns from 1995 to 2021 together. You can view the whole list HERE.
I’m writing this post – partly – for the time-honoured reason of tapping into the Festive Season market and offering my book – which has been wonderfully well reviewed, I’m happy to say! – as an ideal gift: as Juliet Sharman-Burke, psychotherapist, astrologer, tarot specialist, author and Administrator for The Centre for Psychological Astrology, said in her October 2021 review:
“Postcards to the Future” is the perfect book for the present time. Today so many people feel fragmented, too busy to concentrate on anything for long, overwhelmed and exhausted with the amount of information coming at them from the internet, the media and social network platforms and cannot face embarking a long complicated book which has to be read chapter by chapter to make any sense. “Postcards to the Future” offers a range of incredibly stimulating and wise bite-sized essays, articles, interviews and blogs covering all things astrological which can be dipped into by beginners and knowledgeable astrologers alike. There is literally something for everyone in Anne’s “ Mercurial Musings”.
Credit for the above poster: Dawn Durrant
However, the other reason is to say a big Thank You to those of you who so generously reviewed, sold and bought “Postcards…” during this year just passing. I also want to extend thanks and welcome to the many new subscribers to my blog since the wonderful Michael Wright thoroughly re-habbed and streamlined it this autumn. About time too, after ‘Writing from the Twelfth House’s 15 years on the Net!
So – despite the harsh times our world is going through at so many levels at present, I hope you can find some happiness and inspiration both during this Festive Season and the year to come. And – I’d love it if you bought my book, recommended it, and if possible shared this post to spread the word. I’m already putting my next book together: a compendium of writings and research into The Moon’s Nodes in Action including my latest mini-study which appeared onAstrodienst last month. So – if you want to be kept up -to-date, folks, do sign up !!.
In trying to make some sense out of current uncertainty and turbulence, it can help to check out what the planetary cycles are saying. Here are some brief notes summing up the essence of the present day planetary picture.
Carl Jung“In all chaos there is a cosmos,
in all disorder a secret order.”
We know several things astrologically at the moment which describe crisis in the world in general :
We are moving from one world era to another: from a period between 1803 and 21st December 2020 when the twenty-year long Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions were travelling through the Earth element – describing (in shorthand terms) the era of capitalism. This era, simply put, owes its ‘success’ to heedless exploitation of our mother planet, and a way of living which is increasingly obviously no longer sustainable as we continue metaphorically to saw off the branch on which we are all sitting as the climate crisis takes off.
That conjunction’s journey shifted to the Air element for the 200+ years following 2020’s Winter Solstice, when Jupiter and Saturn met at 0° Aquarius: early evidence being an airborne covid 19 pandemic which has upended the way we live, and the fact that our culture is taking a major shift into conducting itself on Air e.g. via zoom, proliferating social media, and increasingly sophisticated advances in Artificial Intelligence or A.I.
This first 20 year cycle of the Jupiter Saturn combination through the Air element between 2020 and 2040 is going to be critical in setting the terms of reference for the new world order into which we are moving.
The USA is currently undergoing its Pluto return at 27 Capricorn in 2022, with attendant turmoil, and there is a major war taking place in Ukraine which began in the Spring of 2022, showing no sign of coming to an end any time soon. Pluto’s cycle is around 248 years; we have seen, since his entry into Capricorn in 2008, every institution on the face of the Earth dredged and purged with all its unresolved crap coming to the surface. Until Pluto finally settles into Aquarius on 19th November 2024 – just after the next USA Election on 5th November 2024 – the purging and dredging which began in 2007/ 2008 will continue. From all of this you can see that the time over this winter is going to be especially critical worldwide as the Lord of the Underworld returns to Aquarius on March 23rd 2023, for the first time since the revolutionary decade of the 1770s. Astrologer Jessica Davidson has done a fine historical survey of Pluto’s Aquarian ingresses – and impacts – over a long historical timeline. Read it HERE
However, I take comfort from my knowledge of that historical timeline, however sketchy it may be – cultures have always alternated between periods of chaos dominating, out of which of arise new ways of humans organising themselves – as order gradually reasserts itself.
Learning to live with uncertainty, trying to find our personal balance in an era in which chaos (Neptune) is increasingly more evident than order (Saturn) seems to be what we are all challenged to do at present.
My personal motto is ‘start where you are and do what you can’ as positively as possible, in order to make some small individual contribution to the birthing of a more constructive world order from the old one: an order which is clearly deeply corrupt and well past its sell by date…
For the UK, an era ended on the 8th of September 2022 with the death of Queen Elizabeth the Second, an event which reverberated around the world. Regardless of one’s politics, the death of a monarch has archetypal power: many people with no particular regard for the UK royal family – including this writer – were surprised at the impact this event had.
However, the Queen’s passing at this especially turbulent time not just in the UK’s history but in the world at large has focused my reflections on the particular significance of the fractious and divisive Saturn/Uranus lens through which we humans seem to have been substantially viewing then acting out our collective social and individual lives from the spring of 2020 when Saturn first entered Aquarius, and are likely to continue to do so until Saturn enters Pisces in the spring of 2023. With Saturn gradually coming into orb of a wide sextile to the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in Taurus in early 2024, let’s hope things then cool down somewhat…
There is, of course, a much bigger symbolic backdrop to this particular Saturn/Uranus square. Being especially interested in observing how the larger planetary cycles correlate with changing patterns of human collective behaviour, I have already written in some depth about the significance of the big shift from an Earth era defined by the 20-year Jupiter/Saturn cycles traversing the Earth element from 1803, to an Air era beginning with the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction at 0 Aquarius on the Winter Solstice of 2020, then running for around two hundred years. (i)
Pluto will emphasise this momentous era shift by first entering Aquarius in the spring of 2023, following on his long sojourn in Capricorn from the spring of 2008 which kicked off with a devastating world banking crisis. Also – in 2025 Neptune enters Aries, for the first time since the onset of the American civil war in the 1850s, ushering in a Fire/Air period for the next number of years.
So – our lives are not likely to settle down any time soon…
Ranging from the climate wars (Extinction Rebellion, anyone?) to increasingly rage-filled trans and woke movements on both sides of the Atlantic, to land-grab war in Europe with attendant disruption to food and energy supplies worldwide, to a bitterly contested and hugely divisive election result in the USA, to revelations of an increasingly persecuted Uighur minority in China, my impression – having lived through quite a few Saturn/Uranus aspects by now! – is that divisions and polarisations arising from the period of the current square, have been more black-and-white, intolerant and brutal than in previous Saturn /Uranus periods.
Why should this be? Having thought about the matter in the context of other large-scale disruptive changes also taking place has brought me to what I think is an explanation, symbolically speaking.
Putting things simply: Saturn rules Capricorn, the last sign of the 1803-2020 Earth era to be traversed first by the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction, then by Pluto, lord of the Underworld. Symbolically speaking, with the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction then Pluto moving into Aquarius, the rule of planetary old god Saturn is being replaced by that of planetary new god Uranus. However, to add another layer of complexity and conflict, Aquarius’ old ruler is Saturn, new ruler is Uranus – and Pluto’s shift from Capricorn to Aquarius will not be completed until 19th November 2024: a mere two weeks after the next USA Election takes place on 5th November 2024. What stunning timing…
Astrologers man their symbolic barricades over this one: the Trads insisting on Saturn as co-ruler of Capricorn and Aquarius, the Mods favouring Uranus alone. Take your pick…whichever you favour, there is an especially bitter symbolic battle of the giants taking place worldwide as we shift from one long Era to another, a battle at every level: environmental, political, national, cultural, personal.
So – what comes next?
Much speculation regarding the shape of things to come has been going on for some time now, set to intensify as we await Pluto’s traverse through Aquarius from the spring of 2023 to early 2044, giving a heavy symbolic weighting to that sign for a long time to come.
Aquarius is the sign of the human collective, symbolising an energy driven to pursuing and promoting ideals regarding how we should be moving forward in order to create a fairer, more equal world. It is a highly rational, technology and future-oriented, “Let’s get together to make the world a better place”, kind of energy.
As such, we should see some major developments at all levels as power (Pluto) shifts towards The People, away from plutocrats, oligarchs, and from politics rooted in gaining material power and control through exploitation of planet Earth’s diminishing resources, towards (in theory!!) more equal world-wide sharing of power derived from an Air-based technologically expedited economic system. Also, the development of wind and solar energy is likely to accelerate with Neptune’s shift into Aries from 2025 onwards.
Pluto’s last sojourn through Aquarius (1778–1798) brought with it sweeping changes in social order and public rights, including: the ratification of the American constitution following the USA’s breaking away from Britain’s colonial control, the rise and expansion of the Industrial Revolution, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and the publishing of ‘The Vindication of the Rights of Women’ by Mary Wollestonecraft.
None of this was accomplished without The People or individuals in one way or another rising up against prevailing regimes, rules, or ideas perceived as being outdated and oppressive. So we can expect cultural, social, political and environmental upheaval to gain momentum as Pluto shifts into Aquarius and the Capricornian penchant for collective coercive control socially, politically and environmentally is severely challenged. We are very much seeing this right now, with recent uprisings in Iran triggered by the death of a young woman in the custody of the so-called Morality Police still ongoing, and widespread public protests triggered by three years of stringent covid restrictions right across China. These protests are largely being spearheaded by the young…
What we really need in tomorrow’s Aquarian world, though, is a radical change of attitude. Essentially, as one astrologer I was reading recently so succinctly put it, it is ‘…time for us to figure out what it means to be human and how to live together on this planet without fighting over everything…’ (ii)
A tall order indeed…
In our own small country the UK, still insisting on seeing itself as a major world player, we can certainly expect People Power to exert itself more forcefully as we move towards next spring. Our new Tory Chancellor is reportedly considering removing the cap on bankers’ bonuses imposed by the European Union following the greed-fuelled virtual collapse of the world banking system in 2008. (BBC news 15.9.22) This will not go down well – to say the least! – with those sectors of our population who have to choose between heating and eating this coming winter.
UPDATE: the new Chancellor and his Prime Minister lasted less than six weeks in power, having created mayhem on the world financial markets and worsening the already serious cost of living crisis in the UK with their disastrous budget. The incoming Prime Minister Sunak and his Chancellor Hunt have acted swiftly to abandon those policies and restore a measure of stability – for now…
Also, our late Queen, mourned and well respected by much of the UK’s population, especially in Scotland where she died, having been laid to rest with due pomp and ceremony, huge questions will surely come to the fore regarding the future of the monarchy in our increasingly strained United Kingdom.
What, then, of the wider picture, especially regarding Russian President Putin’s increasingly disastrous-looking attempt to land-grab and control Ukraine, currently looking like the feistiest, bravest nation on the planet?
Here are the forthright words of that redoubtable Australian astrologer, Jessica Adams, from a post on her website on 13/3/2022, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine:
‘…And yet, you don’t need Putin’s birth chart, actually, to see which way the wind is blowing, though. Pluto (power) in Capricorn (the man at the top) is finished on March 24th, 2023. This is the end of an era when plutocrats (which Pluto represents in astrology) who are the top goats on the mountain (Capricorn) fall off – as the mountain itself collapses…’ (iii)
‘The old order changeth…’ (iv)
Fasten your seat belts, people. It’s going to be some ride!
This is an edited version of my essay“The old order changeth, yielding place to new…” published in the UK’s Astrological Journal November/December 2022, soon to be re-published in The Federation of Australian Astrologers Journal under the same title, with permission…
(i) See the P.S Windows to the Future section of my recent collection “Postcards to the Future”(August 2021), including ‘Waning and waxing crescents: windows to the future’ (first published in The Mountain Astrologer Dec 2020/Jan 2021)pp 365-380