Upsets, upheavals and long-term turnarounds – cardinal squares, retrogrades, eclipses and more

There are so many unusual and dramatic movements at work in the skies at the moment I thought it would be worth spending a little time exploring them to see what is going on.

Uranus square Pluto

First of all there is the ongoing cardinal square between big-hitting planets Pluto and Uranus[i]. This kind of aspect is what we call ‘generational’ because it is so unusual it will only be repeated every sixty to seventy years or so, so at the most we will each only experience two such occurrences. As the planets involved are slow moving these aspects also tend to continue over the course of a few years gradually increasing and decreasing in intensity in wave like patterns. This is the case with the Pluto Uranus square at the moment which won’t finally move out of orb until 2015.

The square is indicative of tension, potential conflict and aggressive energies. With this square we have Uranus, planet of revolution, in Aries, sign of the ego, the sense of self indicating upheavals in the ways we think about our selves, our desires. This is challenged by Pluto, planet of deep psychological and political transformation in Capricorn, sign of hard work and responsibility. These two signs and planets challenging one another show the potential for upheaval and conflict because the status quo does not support our desire for greater individual expression and fulfilment.[ii]

See also Cardinal Square and Personal Planets 2013

Saturn into Scorpio – Including Saturn Retrograde 2013

In addition to this long term influence we also have Saturn moving into Scorpio within the next month – something that only happens every 28 years or so. This is another indicator of a long term shift in perspective and focus, from thinking about close relationships and what we need from them, and what we can give, to thinking about mutual responsibilities, power dynamics, what really underlies our behaviour in relationships. It’s a pretty deep and intense energy and before he jumps headlong into it Saturn is wanting to make sure all the issues stirred up while he was in Venus are resolved, or at least as fully understood as possible.

Constellation Scorpio

Saturn and Pluto in mutual reception

Once Saturn moves into Scorpio he will be in the sign ruled by Pluto, while Pluto in Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, so there two planets have a mutual understanding – their energies will work well together. Far reaching psychological (on a personal level) and political (on a society level) transformations will start to move more quickly.

We may well find that previously hidden motives of politicians and those who deal with our shared resources (bankers, for instance) become uncovered kicking off yet more disruption and upheaval.

As Saturn leaves Libra we may also find that things we had thought were in balance become unbalanced – and with Pluto ruling such issues as recycling and pollution it may well be an indicator that climate related difficulties come more to the fore. More conflict over resources on a global scale and also over how waste is disposed of – all in all the move of Saturn into Scorpio while the cardinal square of Pluto and Uranus works itself out is supportive of mass changes to the status quo arising from previously hidden issues. Saturn is more supportive of Pluto and transformation than Uranus in this process suggesting that our sense of self and self-interest might feel under threat from these issues, having no easy outlet – people may act aggressively out of self-interest as these social changes start to impact on each of us.

 North Node into Scorpio

On top of these issues we have the North Node – the path of future karma – moving into Scorpio. This is an event which happens every 19 years so another long term influence coming into play – and moving into the sign that Saturn is about to move into, emphasising the direction that Saturn is pushing towards, helped along by the powerful undercurrents of Pluto. At the same time the South Node which is always opposite the North Node move through Taurus. South Node indicates karma accrued in the past and in Taurus is in the sign of farmers and bankers. The pressure continues to be on the bankers and the farmers continue to find themselves under pressure. We need to look at issues to do with food security, soil fertility, pollution and cleaning up our act.

After the iron curtain collapsed food became scarce and people made gardens to grow their own in the cities – something we might want to think more about perhaps?

Pluto turns direct

When I wrote this Pluto was slowing down to turn direct – this marked an increasing intensity to the Pluto energy as it becomes more focused on a single point. It will raise or remind us of the issues pressing from that cardinal square and may feel like something of a weight dragging us down, making it difficult to move, to make decisions. I think of this energy, slow and considering (not very considerate), as a current from the deep that wants to pull under, or which pushes to the surface – like a whirlpool that almost looks still on the surface but underneath is almost impossible to resist. That is the kind of force we feel, and if we have planets or points that make a strong contact to Pluto (for instance birthdays at the end of December or June) than the likelihood is you felt it even more strongly than most.

Mutable Retrograde Cycle 2011 – 2013

I’ve written plenty about the mutable retrograde cycle of 2011 – 2013 and the way it raised issues in personal relationships, demanding that we find ways of ensuring the outward social structures in our lives match up with the ways we want to live – that our inner ideals are reflected in our outer lives. We are not yet through all the impact of this cycle as Jupiter has yet to retrograde over much of the previous Venus retrograde and bring to the fore the square to Chiron[iii].

Does the outer world reflect our inner world – or is something awry?

As noted previously, Mercury rules this current round of retrogrades and at the beginning of October Mercury joins forces with Saturn and they leap into Scorpio together hand in hand. This marks a change in tone and the remainder of the retrograde series is marked by the responsibility and dutifulness of Saturn – it’s time to get real, to knuckle down and to really make those changes.

Cardinal Retrograde Cycle 2013 – 2014

In a mirror image of the mutable retrograde cycle, Jupiter, Venus and Mars will all retrograde in square/opposition to one another, overlapping and in cardinal signs, activating the cardinal square. This will bring the crystallization of events/emotions/responses and things set in motion during the mutable retrograde cycle and will lead to an intense understanding of who you are, how you got here and what you have to deal with and/or accept about yourself and the place you are in now that you are here.

Jupiter stations retrograde conjunct Chaos

Just as Pluto stationing direct focuses his energy on a point so too does Jupiter stationing retrograde. What is more, Jupiter is stationing conjunct minor planet Chaos which can bring some very odd and unexpected energies into the mix – it’s not revolutionary and dramatically surprising like Uranus, but you might find yourself taken unawares by feelings you didn’t think you had, saying things you didn’t expect to, hearing things that surprise you, make you do a double take, cast a very different light on what you thought you already knew and understood. All these are the occurrences that light the mood for Jupiter turning retrograde, looking after unfinished business – even business you thought was finished, until these unexpected and unlooked for come creeping out on you.

Maybe you have a sense that something is creeping up on you unawares?

In less personal terms we might see others taken aback by things said to them – there could be some quite enlightening interviews with politicians and public figures at this time. Gemini governing the media could also shake things up with regard to media ethics – and the whole Murdoch and News International saga might hit new and interesting levels.

Current Lilith opposing Lucifer on the nodes

Just as all this was clicking into place, at the beginning of September 2012, there was a short lived but extremely unusual alignment of Lilith on the South Node opposing Lucifer on the North Node. This is especially symbolic when we consider the emphasis that has been put on aligning social and spiritual values with the retrograde cycle connecting to Chiron in Pisces and conjunct Neptune so closely. Lilith was removed from creation because she would not let Adam treat her unequally and Lucifer was branded evil despite his name meaning bringer of light he has been associated with all manner of darkness and wrongs, just as Lilith has. These two combining so dramatically on the nodes has moved closer to our conscious awareness those aspects of our life where we feel some deep sense of rejection, betrayal, hurt and also where we refuse to give in and sell out.

Lilith shows where we are angry over past injustices, where amends must be made as she is on the South Node. Lucifer sheds light on the way forward – and it may not be what we expected or wished for, but the way is shown. This aspect has been particularly potent over this weekend so if you have been feeling unsettled, angry, resentful about anything these things are being raised now because a way through is shown – it may take some thinking about, but there it is.

All in all, these long term and unusual aspects and movements indicate that something is up – things cannot continue as they have been. There is no quick fix solution suggested, but a long term turnaround in our thinking and the ways we behave, a turn around that might not be without struggle, but things have now got to the point where they can’t be avoided.


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