Monday, December 1, 2014


November tends to be a little dim and dank, but as the month comes to an end, we remember to be grateful for the abundance we have.  And then December brings all those twinkly little lights, more and more as the month goes on.

In December, Saturn leaves dank, brooding Scorpio and enters the lively fire sign Sagittarius (for the next two and a half years).  Saturn, as the planet of limitation and restriction, is never exactly perky, but in Sagittarius, there’s a stronger sense of possibilities.  Sagittarius is about adventure, excitement, passion, and wider horizons. 

Sagittarius brings a broader and more philosophical way of seeing the world, so it lends itself to community progress.  Saturn was in Sagittarius in 1957, when the Civil Rights Act was passed, and when President Eisenhower sent federal troops to Arkansas to protect the Little Rock Nine.   It was in Sagittarius when the peace symbol was inaugurated by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.   It was there when the European Economic Community, a precursor to the European Union, was founded. 

Sagittarius is also a sign of travel.  Saturn was also in Sagittarius when Jack Kerouac published “On the Road”, Edmund Hillary went to the South Pole, Sputnik was launched, and the Boeing 707 flew for the first time.  Who knows where Saturn in Sagittarius will take us?  Already the rights of immigrants are in the spotlight, and as the newest wave of immigrants become more established, the country will grow in innovation, creativity, and perspective. 

This November, we’ve seen continual lessons around the racial divide in the US, and these have to do with Saturn in Scorpio’s tendency to dredge up deeply-rooted feelings.  But the future of these movements is more hopeful, thanks to Saturn’s entrance into Sagittarius in December.

The movement in Ferguson was fueled by immediate outrage but it is taking a long-term perspective.  There has been no obvious victory, since the frightened policeman who killed Michael Brown was not indicted.  But that was not really a surprise.  And victory is not always obvious.     

Real change comes more incrementally and invisibly, often in actions not taken.  Real change is the gun that doesn’t fire, the camera that records a response that once went undetected,  the policeman who learns about unconscious racism.  The Ferguson struggle is just another chapter in a much larger struggle linking all of us here, one which brings up some intrinsic questions about our morality as a nation.

Real change comes slowly, and often invisibly, but it’s still a question of seeing what we haven’t seen before.  That’s always the first and most painful step.  The Saturn-in-Scorpio step was seeing the truth, framed in stark terms of life and death, and the Saturn-in-Sagittarius step will be incorporating what we’ve learned into a new social philosophy. 

And so white people in the U.S. have seen some new truths.  They’ve thought about what it’s like for the parents of an African-American teenage boy, walking down the street in any American city.  First they saw it with Trayvon Martin, and then with Michael Brown.  It might’ve been easy to disown Zimmerman’s actions, to see him as an overzealous anomaly.  It’s not so easy to disown a policeman, paid by the government to do its work, protected by the government in the end. 

There could be quite a few confrontations in December, and confrontation can bring even more clarity.  This month, we experience the sixth exact pass of the revolutionary aspect that began in 2011:  the Uranus/Pluto square. 

There is an eager lunging towards change these days.  We can taste our desire for it.  People are imagining change, creating a wide spectrum of new scenarios that match their fantasies.  I’m doing it too, and in my world, there’s peer pressure but no coercion, anger but little violence, and sadness but rarely desolation.  But there are other visions, a multitude of them, some very much at odds with mine. 

As I get older, I think:  small steps are okay, as long as they’re in the right direction.  But the Uranus/Pluto square is not about small steps. It’s lightning-abrupt, powerful, and definite. 

Uranus and Pluto are both about change.  Uranus is about novelty, innovation, vibration, electricity, radical social movements, and scientific progress.  It’s represented on our screens these days as a huge robotic, armor-clad hero, supported by up-to-the-minute technology. 

Science is in a combative pose these days, but still, there are no angry Luddites in the streets.  Nobody is suggesting that we do away with technology, even the conservatives who think the Bible is the last word on everything, and that the earth was created 6000 years ago, and that we never actually went to the moon.  They still want their own tools -  their cars and computers and factory equipment -   to be modern and efficient.  They haven’t become Amish.  So it’s not that science is being wiped out, but that people keep trying to shackle it – as they’ve done so often through the centuries, often in the name of the church.    

So enter Uranus in Aries.  It’s science fighting to be free.  It’s truth, burning for liberty.  And it has its hero myth, since scientists know they have an important role in rescuing the earth from the upcoming crisis.  Science has sullied air and water, but science can save them.  The danger is that science can identify too much with its hero mythos, seeing itself as Superman instead of fallible and human.    

And what is this high-tech robot fighting?  On the other side of the ring, there’s Pluto in Capricorn.  Pluto is slow, buried power, and it’s much harder to show on the movie screens.  It’s the Shadow.  It’s the black-and-white mystery film with its twitching suspense.  And it’s in Capricorn, the sign of structure, tradition and formality, where it’s especially cold.  Think old stone walls.  Think crystal skyscrapers going up to the sky.  Think the quiet, intricate hierarchies of corporate finance.  

Pluto moves slowly, more slowly than any other planet, and yet it has to do with major transformation.  That’s because the power of transformation is underneath everything.  Everything falls. 

So Uranus wants the structure to fall immediately, right now, and Pluto is basically telling it, “Wait, child.  It will all be gone, and there will be something else in its place.”  Who knows what that will be?  Pluto will be Capricorn for nine more years, and in that time, we could all become vassals of the Chinese.  Maybe we should be paying a lot more attention to the struggle that’s going on in Hong Kong. 

What is our path to wisdom in all this?  We have the momentum, when it comes to Uranus in Aries.  But we need to channel our anger, our urge for freedom, and our scientific know-how.  To me, that says that enlightenment should be our goal.  We need to enlighten ourselves and each other, to be willing to see what we haven’t seen before. 

And when it comes to Pluto in Capricorn, it’s also about listening.  There is some rumbling deep, deep underground.  We may not be standing on this earth anymore when it reaches the surface.  But we may.  And if we are here, it may be there’s no technique or tool that will save us.  But there may be.  And it may be that today’s freedom fighters are the ones honing the tools, teaching people to understand what’s all around us.