An Exploration of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn – a major planetary wave currently in action which has far-reaching meaning for us all.
Let’s begin by looking at how cycles of Earth and Cosmos entwine: Life on Earth has seasonal and evolutionary cycles, each with their own tone and theme. Within these cycles, things develop. Each ‘cycle’ has a beginning, middle and end. We can see this unfolding in myriad ways; within seasons, animal and plant growth, human beings and communities. And each new cycle, if we look closely, can be seen to have a distinctly unique ‘theme’ of its very own…just like the different phases during our lives. The initiation into each new cycle is heralded by an ‘emergence’… a happening; a seed of something; a new theme arising. Then comes stabilisation; a bedding-in, with habits and ‘roots’ forming and new things gradually becoming the ‘norm’. Then eventually, a breaking down process begins; the decaying and dying phase; stimulated by a change or shift occurring; maybe new information or understanding is gleaned, a sudden uprising of vision, an about-turn or illumination, upside-down-ness or magic. And then after a pause for breath…integration (which can be profoundly wisdom-birthing), a new cycle begins (again). It’s evolution.
Astrology can be really useful in connecting us with the unique underlying themes, tones, colours and ever- shifting qualities which uniquely shape each of these cycles. These themes may be divined by understanding the movements of planets against the backdrop of Zodiac signs, together with the relationships/interconnections between the planets themselves. Clear and fascinating correlations can be observed between celestial patterns and human or animal behaviour as well as plant and weather activity.
Life is enriched by both our observation and engagement. We may then become active co-creators in the interweaving of Earth and Cosmos…an ever-evolving tapestry.
Into the Now of 2019-20 – Saturn conjunct Pluto in Capricorn
A conjunction is when two or more planets are very close to one another in the heavens (within a few degrees). A conjunction represents an alchemical marriage of two archetypes, when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A new essence is birthed from their conjoining.
So firstly, let’s deep-delve into the psychological meaning of each of these planetary archetypes as separate developmental forces within both individuals and collectives…
Saturn moved into the Zodiac sign of Capricorn at the end of 2017. It is the ruling planet of this sign, therefore in an extra strong position…home territory. Its psychological archetype represents the development of a healthy ego-container for our Soul’s purpose to unfold within, and to become a true Authority (author of our own Life). It’s about structure, self-discipline, boundaries, reality, self-reliance, commitment and consolidation. It is the realm of standing at the Threshold; being held accountable for our actions, before we may move onwards into the next phase of our Soul’s journey. It’s a ‘taking stock’….in a necessary and sometimes seemingly ‘enforced’ way. Fate is at work. Images of Saturn are the Guardian of the Threshold, Grim Reaper; serious, dour, sensible and responsible. It’s about reality, as opposed to what we might pretend or want it to be. It’s the need to accept and respect our mortal limits and to live within Time, in a feet-on-the-ground way. Saturn is the wise teacher/mentor who roots for our ‘best’, not an unreal ‘perfect’ kind of best, rather, a grounded ‘good enough’ best of our ability. Saturn is soul-honing and self-sufficient, dealing with what is essential and workable; demanding that we stay within absolute reality (no frills or hubris). It’s our capacity to set realistic goals, plan and organise well in a disciplined way. It carries a willingness to adjust where necessary if something isn’t ‘working’, in order to attain our goal and survive. Saturn’s favourite quote might well be ‘We reap what we sow’. The darker face of Saturn drives us to hang on tooth-grittingly to a known, habitual safety and security-giving structure, in a bid for control. Hunkering down in avoidance and resistance of any change which is perceived as a threat. In this form, we intensify our scaffolding and self-protection… shoring up our defences and ultimately blocking the last window where the light can shine in upon our Soul, and we can shine out.
Pluto moved into the Zodiac sign of Capricorn in 2008. This was a year of grinding conflict, crisis, economic earthquakes and reformation (not revolution). Pluto will remain in Capricorn for 15 years. Pluto action lies beneath any situation. It’s the planetary ruler of Scorpio. It exposes the undercurrents of a particular Zodiac sign theme, or any planet with which it is connecting. These unearthings and exposures may arrive in the form of eruptions from our own individual consciousness, or the collective/group unconscious…or may even appear to ‘come at us’ from the outside. (Exploring this question could inform a whole future blog theme!). It represents the realm of the Shadow and the Unconscious; the Underworld of our mythic traditions. Pluto is the art of de-construction, getting to the bottom of the big ‘It’, and smoking out any poisons. It’s the courageous skill of ‘sitting in the void’. It’s our ability to remain steady (after the initial ‘Yikes’!!), in Survival mode; fully present and engaged in the face of traumatic chaos, when everything may be falling apart or disappearing or dying. It’s the process of making our relationship with the mythical dragon which guards riches, jewels and precious metals – the Treasure of Underworld caves. Interpreted psychologically, the Dragon represents the protective and yet permeable/liminal space or boundary-land, between our Conscious and Unconscious. And the (buried) Treasure represents the hidden or amputated aspects of our selves which ultimately call for re-integration. On a global level, Pluto represents our collective survival and evolution, needing to be met with honesty and integrity (integration of our highest Will and our deepest Instincts). Pluto utilises underground antennae and instincts….’sensing’ what lies hidden, processing and hubble-bubbling in a deep stewing process. On a personal level, Pluto is our Soul’s deep journey; Pluto transits face us with the clash between our Conscious self-image, and the deep desires of our Soul which lie beneath our conscious radar. Deep acceptance, griefwork and compassion are necessary if we wish to befriend the Dragon and allow an integration to begin. Challenging stuff. Through Pluto, we meet issues of truth, power, control, raw instinct, desire, passion, survival urges, empowerment and disempowerment. ‘What to hold onto and what to let go of’ becomes a big issue. The darker face of Pluto shrouds and defends personal vulnerability at all costs, erecting smokescreens and masks, wreaking wild or controlled havoc and destruction in its underground rumblings. eruptions and tearing down of walls; dealing in subterfuge and a whole array of manipulative machinations in order to gain and maintain power and control.
Saturn and Pluto are amidst a cycle of conjunction in Capricorn throughout 2019-20, briefly joined by Mars and Jupiter in March/April 2020 (see dates in Appendix, below). Mars and Jupiter add heat, focus, momentum, expansion, excitement, power, a desire to apply learning, an optimistic faith-holding and a great sense of Mission to the already intense de-construction/reconstruction process of Saturn- Pluto.
The combined natures of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn are a powerhouse; a maximisation of two very potent ‘forces’. They act as a pressure-can. And the heat is on. The potential for Transformation is intensified. And here’s where we all come in! It is our human engagement (or not), which shapes the ‘way’ a planetary transit actually manifests. We can go with it, or we can resist. Will we fearfully dig our heels in, or will we find the courage to move closer to our dragons and process and transform? This is our choice and Free Will…and the stakes are high at this point in our Earthly evolution. With this conjunction in Capricorn, the focus swings onto re-defining true authority; matters of survival and ‘How to?!’ from now onwards; respect for our instincts and the Wild; healthy boundary and border creation; and appropriateness and integrity of governance and ‘external’ authority. We may best engage by cultivating patient and persevering X-ray eyes into these issues, both within our own nature and in the collective. These issues form the current core focus and main agenda; both individually and collectively. We may best approach these issues with a raw un-shirking honesty alongside an openness to the spirit of transformation and renewal. Only once we have faced and mourned uncomfortable Truths within our present and past reality and maybe understood the origins and roots of our attitudes and ways, may we be ready to create new and workable values and ethics. These may then inform creative, workable and sustainable plans regarding what constitutes good stewardship and governance. And new systems which support the evolution of the Earth and all of nature may then come into being.
NB: There have been clear ‘real life’ correlations already evident during this cycle of Saturn-Pluto – Issues around Authority; governments faced with unprecedented far reaching decisions for their nations alongside being starkly faced with a survival-need to co-operate on a global level, (as ghosts rise from their past actions). Democracy/ dictatorship issue: who is acting as a ‘good parent’?; GB: a now greatly increased need for health service workers and police, after recent drastic cutting of their funding; Gross lack of support and value of care and service workers, Exposures of bad practices and grand mistruths within governance and media; Issues of Accountability; Mass migration and refugees; Tribal survival; Boundary/border issues; Food shortage, amongst many other crucial issues.
Saturn and Pluto both have gritty and pithy natures…within both these archetypes is a drive to ‘Face It’; to thoroughly and deeply process things ‘internally’ on pathways of a very solitary, deep journey of individuation. Both these principles focus upon dealing with things ‘completely’ and thoroughly; making wisdom out of experience, accepting difficulty, challenges, endings and losses as part of a necessary process of survival and evolution: The Great Process. Chrysalis to Butterfly on the journey of truly becoming an Authority in one’s own Life and in co-operation with others. Deep courage-demanding stuff.
Saturn ‘nails’ us. To our unworked issues which need dealing with, before we can move onwards on the trail…the principle of a ‘Stop’ sign, a traffic light, an external ‘authority’ or agent creating limitations and blocking any movement…until we are have ‘got’ the message and are ready. In combination with Pluto, we are nailed much harder, and the transformative alchemical heat is on. The Truth will out, but probably only after sufficient and intense build-up, and probably in ways we would never have imagined…a wave of ‘happening’ with accompanying flotsam and jetsam exposed on the surface for all to see. Pluto erupts. Saturn’s structure yawns and creaks, doors open and slam. Order and known familiar territory gets destroyed in the process. We wrestle with what to hold onto and what to let go of. Saturn’s security and boundaries are severely challenged and may well react with tightening up and holding on. It’s a rhythmic and incendiary battle. Things are brewing; chaos ensues, bubbles burst, things are learnt, we feel pulled and pushed, squished and restricted as the heat turns up. It’s intense and compellingly all-consuming. It’s the pressure-can of a lockdown.
And after each eruption, within the centre of it all, we might just experience the silent peace of the Void. Hope and faith in transformation lead us to look for any still-glowing embers which may happen to be hidden within the volcanic ashes of eruption/destruction…of a Phoenix feather-colour. Something new is being birthed from deep within the purity and space of the Void. A spark which needs kindling.
Our task is to be brave, to combine instinct, intuition and intelligence, to polish our antennae, face reality and seek deeply, to take response-ability, to work our stuff, to enquire, to dream, to wonder, to kindle faith, to actualise values, to grow and mature, to be grateful, and to commit to becoming new ways of being Wise ones together.
May we seek and find courage to breathe fire into new inspirations which truly serve the needs of all beings on Earth.
May we act with and ruthless compassion…and Truth.
Appendix:- Major and meaningful planetary alignments of this time:-(for those of you who like dates, details, numbers, and Astro-nerdiness)
- Saturn conjunct Pluto in Capricorn – this planetary wave builds during Spring /early Summer 2019, crests/peaks in mid-December, is exact on 6-14thJanuary 2020, separating March 2020, before returning into close re-alignment again in August-November 2020.
- Jupiter conjuncts Saturn and Pluto for the whole of March. Jupiter conjuncts Pluto late March/ early April 2020.
- Mars joins the Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto alignment mid-end March 2020.
- Moon in Capricorn on March 18th creates a powerpoint…joining Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. A 5 planet conjunction in Capricorn.
- Meanwhile, Neptune is swimming through Pisces….
- Sun and New Moon conjunct Neptune – March 6/7th
- Saturn moves from Capricorn into the sign of Aquarius – March 22nd
- New Moon (Moon and Sun in Aries) – March 24th
- Mars conjunct Saturn in Aquarius – March 30th – April 1st
- Mercury conjuncts Neptune – April 4th
- Full Moon (Moon in Libra/Sun in Aries) – 8th April
- New Moon (Moon and Sun in Taurus) – 23rd April
- Uranus is in Taurus from early 2018 until 2026 (Uranus retrogrades back into Aries during November 2018, re-enters Taurus in March 2019)