Relationships in the balance

As I write this, small but intense planet Pluto is slowly turning, changing directions in the heavens and beginning to move forwards again. He turns so slowly that he appears to stand still in the skies for a few days, focusing his energy which is currently strongly directed towards both Chiron and Uranus. The sextile to Chiron is the aspect that has played a significant part in the recurring yods over the past few months, this energy is loosening somewhat for a little while as Pluto directs his attention more towards Uranus. This shift of attention is suggestive of a move from delving into deep, spiritual matters and looking for healing on a number of levels towards the more revolutionary or inspirational energy of Uranus insisting on seeing something done! In actual fact though this is a very subtle shift in energy, the real work is tying all three energies together – the spiritual healing required by Chiron in Pisces with an insightful reimagining of our ‘self’ and our personal importance and desires with a demand for being determined and persistence in our work towards a more responsible attitude towards power, authority and how we contribute to society.

I thought I would look at a chart for the precise moment when Pluto begins to move forward again to see if there were any other interesting things going on to help shed light on what his forward motion might bring. Most interesting to me is the conjunction of the Moon with asteroid Pandora – the conjunction is only 8 seconds of arc separate. Many of us will be familiar with the myth of Pandora, the first woman, created out of clay by the gods to be the bride of Epimetheus. Epimetheus was Prometheus’s brother, and Pandora was in fact sent as a curse to punish men for their acceptance of Prometheus’s gift of fire. Beautiful, gifted and inquisitive Pandora was the means by which the gods loosed all evil upon men when she opened the box she was given as a wedding gift – but she also brought the gift of hope, through which all evil can be overcome.

In the Pluto station chart Pandora and the Moon are making quintile aspects (1/5 of a circle) to both Pluto and Venus. Quintiles are creative and constructive aspects and connections between Venus and Pluto are generally pretty intense, steamy affairs. Add in to this combination the curiosity and naivety of Pandora and there is an energy around at the time that Pluto turns direct which very much looks as though it wants to throw Pluto off his stride – Pluto has been intent on digging into the deep political motives that shape our world, insisting on changing them where they don’t work, on us all becoming more responsible. Now along come Venus, Moon and Pandora with a quite different agenda – one of fun, enjoyment, a devil may care attitude of let’s live in the now and hang the consequences. Actually, it looks as though this is exactly the lift that Pluto needs, he stops going back over his tracks and starts to look towards Uranus again shifting his attention from the deeply spiritual Chiron towards the revolutionary but potentially selfish and self-serving Uranus in Aries.

Add in to this mix Mars moving towards a conjunction with Aphrodite (the Greek version of Venus) whilst at the same time in square to Venus herself and we get a sense of tension in relationships, curiosity, maybe wondering whether this is the right one, the right path, the right thing for you to be doing right now. If you’ve felt a certain sort of pressure in your life recently, a nagging feeling about something then this shift from backwards to forwards motion of Pluto might help to illuminate what is causing the problem. The involvement of the lighter and faster moving energies of Venus and the Moon are a temporary distraction but also, as with the myth of Pandora, they leave behind hope for the future and a vision of how things might be. It looks very much as though this energy is going to be playing out in relationships between men and women; there are power struggles and temptations, what looked wonderful and like a gift from the gods is not all it seems and should be treated with caution.

Unfaithful Aphrodite caught in the net with her lover Ares (Mars)

Almost as soon as Pluto turns forward the square to Uranus become exact helping to shed light on what needs to be done. The first couple of days of this week are particularly good for some thinking or meditating to see if there are ‘stuck’ issues in your life that need to change, the planetary energies are very supportive of constructive change at this time. That’s not to say it will be easy though, the square is a tense aspect and you might meet from some resistance, especially if the changes you feel need to be made are likely to upset a comfortable routine.

Add to this potentially creative and constructive, tense energy between Uranus and Pluto the fact that Mercury is about to run through these energies, forming that infamous cardinal t-square. With Mercury getting caught up in this tension it could cause some cross words, arguments, debates, discussions… Or Mercury could exercise his more tactful and diplomatic side (after all, he is in Libra) and find ways of talking through the changes that need to be made, understanding different points of view and reaching agreed ways forward. The old advice to breathe deep and count to ten before saying anything is good advice, especially later in the week as these aspects become exact.

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