Have you felt like the only thing constant these days is change? In 2013, life for many people has been riddled with curveballs or unexpected events. The rug’s been unceremoniously pulled out from under you. Attempts at self-reform have been challenged. Not much has come easily. In order to pass “Go,” you’ve had to face your own shadow nature, take a hero’s journey, or have a near-existential crisis first. Rash moves and thoughtless actions have met harsh consequences. This no time to live an unexamined life, that’s for sure. For many of us, the theme song for any major decision has been The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
So, what are the cosmic forces causing this? Controlling Pluto and freedom-fighting Uranus are engaged in a three-year series of harsh, 90-degree angles, called “squares” in astro-speak. As we’re tugged between these contrasts of old versus new, we’re all being forced to examine our deepest values and motives. We know we need to open our minds, adapt and try a new approach. At the same time, we don’t want to throw the baby with the bathwater. Some rules were not made to be broken—but sussing out which ones to keep has been quite a process.
From 2012-15, there will be seven “exact” squares, when the two celestial bodies are at the same degree. During these periods, we’ll feel the tension strongest:
Attempting a peace summit between the planet of liberation (Uranus) and the cosmic control freak (Pluto) ain’t easy. Pluto digs in its heels while Uranus leaps without looking, which can leave us feeling scattered and utterly confused about which direction to take. Heightening the pressure, Pluto is in patriarchal Capricorn, guardian of hierarchies, governments, structures and the old guard—while Uranus is in hotheaded Aries, defender of autonomy and individual rights. If Lady Gaga and Rush Limbaugh (or the late Margaret Thatcher) had a tea party, it would look like this. (Crash! We can hear the heirloom china shattering). It’s a veritable Zuccotti Park in the sky, with the astrological “one percent” and the “99 percent” duking it out. Occupy…Solar System?
Yet, even with the harshest of planetary events, there’s always a greater lesson or opportunity. Here are a few suggestions for how you can navigate this.
With Lord Pluto, king of the unconscious, in the mix, it’s karma, karma everywhere. Before you forge ahead with firebrand Uranus-in-Aries’ stubbornness, pause and ask yourself: WHY? Why am I doing this? Why do I want this so badly? Why am I fixated (a Pluto issue) or obsessed with things going a certain way? Pluto is associated with the phoenix that rises from the ashes. So if you’re going to tear down an institution in your life, make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons…whatever those are. Don’t rush. If you’re uncertain, allow yourself the time to really mull it over and soul search.
In the quest for progress, fast-moving Uranus can make us skim over the finer details, rushing headlong into reform or pursuing change at all costs. But when change happens that quickly, something valuable can get lost or destroyed in the process.
For instance, consider the f-ugly 20th-century “form follows function” architecture movement, which was considered future-forward. Yet, its character-free ethos of “form follows function” stripped away the beauty of ornamental design, replacing it with steel towers and stacks of housing projects. (Fluorescent lights or flattering sconces? You decide.) Uranian revolutionizing can start to look a lot like Pluto’s coldness when taken too far. So let’s honor what is good about enduring traditions, and fuse them into a new-school redux. (We loved New York magazine’s recent travel feature “The Urbanist’s Warsaw,”a guide to “post-pierogi” Poland’s cuisine, art and culture, which sounds like a cool mix of hipness and heritage—a fine Uranus-Pluto balance indeed.)
As Uranus and Pluto square off, we can expect to deal with the uncomfortable chasm between old and new now, as people and industries undergo growing pains. In some cases, it can be an interesting intellectual inquiry—while in others, it’s retro gone wrong.
An interesting example: We Are The XX, two next-gen women’s attempt to “brand feminism for a new generation.” Members of the old feminist guard might be uncomfortable with such a glossy, glamorous spin on a grassroots activist movement. We Are the XX talks openly about ‘branding’ and uses mainstream media/advertising tactics in their effort to reinvent feminism. Can it be done without also tainting the movement’s founding philosophies (or pissing off Gloria Steinem)? That will be an interesting Uranus-Pluto negotiation.
A godawful example: RHONJ cast member Melissa Gorga’s new book Love, Italian Style, which sets the women’s movement back to Neanderthal days (see for yourself with this spot-on Jezebel review). Her attempt to teach modern women the “secrets” of her traditional marriage made us gag, boiling down to: have sex with your man even when you don’t want to, let him yell at you when he comes home frustrated, dress mainly to please him, and never let him change a diaper.
Since Pluto rules the underworld, things might be happening that aren’t apparent in tangible form yet. You may feel like you’re spinning your wheels when you aren’t. Perhaps you’re just allowing a situation to marinate and undergo its due process. With impatient Uranus jumping the gun, it’s hard to remember that progress can also take time. So while we’re all for manifesting, don’t freak out when your visualization doesn’t deliver on-demand or instant results. Divine timing is where it’s at now. Yehuda Berg’s The Power of Kabbalahhas interesting things to say about how time plays tricks on us—being the greatest test of our ability to stick to our beliefs or convictions. Here’s where some of Pluto’s tentacled tenacity could come in handy.
Aries: Pluto in your 10th house of career vs. Uranus in your 1st house of identity
Issues with authority figures, men, fathers, husbands. Finding your own authority and voice. Creating a career path that reflect your authentic self. Allowing yourself to be “mainstream” and an individual at once. Living in the moment versus planning for the future. Being a “company man” versus going solo.
Taurus: Pluto in your 9th house of faith/expansion vs. Uranus in your 12th house of fear/closure
Have you dealt with unfinished business before moving ahead into something new? Are you stuck in the past instead of seeing the big picture? Are old patterns, addictions and fears preventing you from growing? Are your “philosophies” about life outmoded and lacking faith? Are you in need of more compassion—for yourself and others? Running away versus staying put and dealing. Being overly optimistic one minute, feeling like a victim the next.
Gemini: Pluto in your 8th house of intimacy vs. Uranus in your 11th house of detachment/groups
How much “me” time and “we” time do you need, and what’s the right balance? Your desire to keep things light battles with your need to feel safe and intimate. You want both breadth and depth, and can’t always have them at once. Doing a “come here, now go away” dance with people. Revamping your inner circle. Jealousy, intrigue, power plays and learning when to address them head-on versus when to let it go.
Cancer: Pluto in your 7th house of relationships vs. Uranus in your 10th house of career
Balancing your personal relationships with career demands. Learning how to navigate interpersonal dynamics. Standing up for yourself if someone is being dominating. Reconfiguring the power structure in your relationships.
Leo: Pluto in your 6th house of health/organization vs. Uranus in your 9th house of expansion
Don’t promise more than you can deliver. Learning how to be precise and not exaggerate. Learning how to toot your own horn and not be a “good girl” or “good guy.”
Virgo: Pluto in your 5th house of passion/self-expression vs. Uranus in your 8th house of privacy/intimacy
How much do you hide and how much do you reveal? Allowing yourself to get attached to someone intimately without losing yourself. Learning how to trust, be vulnerable, let down your guard and speak from the heart. Detaching from a manipulative person, recognizing hidden agendas. Making passive income from your creative talents.
Libra: Pluto in your 4th house of home/family vs. Uranus in your 7th house of relationships
Disentangling from family dynamics. Keeping your family out of your relationships, learning how to detach from need for parents’ approval. Children/pregnancy change the nature of an intimate relationship. Instability and changes in your love life, not letting that shake your emotional foundation. Becoming more secure in yourself, despite what others think of you or do with their own lives.
Scorpio: Pluto in your 3rd house of communication vs. Uranus in your 6th house of health/organization
Communicating precisely and openly, since your words manifest your reality now. Just the facts, ma’am—saying what you mean and meaning what you say. Mind-body connection, learning how your thoughts can make you sick…or well. Learning how to adapt to change better, not freaking out when someone you count on (e.g., an assistant or service person) moves on. Revamping your systems, upgrading technology, becoming more efficient instead of trying to control everything.
Sagittarius: Pluto in your 2nd house of work/money vs. Uranus in your 5th house of creativity/self-expression
Fears about money and scarcity, not letting those interfere with your creativity. Old self-worth and confidence issues come up. Suddenly in the spotlight, need to transform your self-image and step into fame. Watch your temper and overreacting when your security is threatened. The need to build financial stability versus having creative freedom.
Capricorn: Pluto in your 1st house of identity vs. Uranus in your 4th house of home/family/foundations
Family can be disruptive, living situation in flux. Changes in your family or home environment. Or, you’re changing as a person, and this causes the role you play at home to shift. Putting yourself first instead of being the rock for everyone. Moving, uprooting, changing your image. Interesting women come in and revolutionize the way you see the world and yourself. Discovering your voice, fighting for women or children’s rights.
Aquarius: Pluto in your 12th house of healing/closure vs. Uranus in your 3rd house of communication
Healing through holistic mind-body connection. Not being gullible or overly trusting with friends. Be a rebel FOR a cause, instead of a rebel without a cause. Learning about the quantum field, law of attraction, how what you say/think manifests into reality. Overcoming fears, learning radical new approaches to healing and well-being. Practicing forgiveness and compassion, but still saying what you think.
Pisces: Pluto in your 11th house of groups vs. Uranus in your 2nd house of work/money
Not letting other people’s opinions dictate your self-worth. Standing up to a bully. Leading a group/team project. Freelancing, consulting or working on a more independent basis. Upgrading your technology skills to increase your market value. The desire to make a difference versus the need to make a steady income.
New/Old life image via WeHeartIt.