The Uranus-Pluto square rises to a high flame in April. This is the slow-building, epoch-defining transit that we’ve been looking at in this column for several years now, focusing on its potential as a game-changer for the USA—whose birth chart it confronts with both barrels.
As astro-trackers know, the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11 occurred only a few hours before Uranus re-entered Aries, which went a long way in corroborating the potency of the Aries point. Uranus will be flirting with this degree of the zodiac the rest of this calendar year, as it moves retrograde and direct.
Astrologers expect shattering group events to take place whenever Uranus, the planet of quakes both literal and figurative (see my lecture, “Redefining Normalcy,” slams up against Pluto, the planet of breakdown. The astrological antecedent of what is happening right now was a cultural earthquake, not a geological one. It took place during the mid-1960s when Uranus and Pluto were conjunct.
This time, because of the transit’s cardinal emphasis and the degrees involved, the US chart is being hit head-on. Uncle Sam’s natal Cancer-Libra aspect is being completed by the Aries-Capricorn aspect; and together they are boxing in America’s consciousness. The transit is compressing and squeezing the USA into a new level of understanding itself.
It’s a troubling, exciting, appalling, exhilarating time to be a citizen of the red, white and blue.
Mars in Aries
April begins with Uranus (defiance, disruption) once again in the early degrees of Aries, as it was during the spring and summer of 2010. Since then, the global status quo has been disrupted not only by telluric quakes but by political ones as uprisings have exploded, right on schedule, in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, among other hotspots (my lecture “Uranus Squared” discusses the jasmine revolutions.)
As if the world moment weren’t inflammatory enough, Mars (war, anger, bold action), too, enters Aries this month. When it moves into orb with Uranus and Pluto, it becomes a trigger for the energies of the longest arm of the Cross. Energies that have been simmering come to a boil when Mars joins the fray. We should expect a furious surge of energy.
Mars is the planetary ruler of Aries; in no other sign is the red planet so quick on the trigger. On April 3, Mars and Uranus conjoin to the degree; on April 11 Mars moves into an exact square with Pluto. Throughout the month this most irascible of planets will provoke the pattern already laid out by Uranus, Pluto and the US Sun cluster; like dry kindling stacked up and ready for the match.
For consciousness seekers it’s time to get serious. Now is our chance to summon up the highest possible perspective on this epoch we are living through. It’s time to consolidate in our minds what we’ve learned so far.
Astronomically, the Cross in question is the perfect square formed when planets moved into position, just so, to form that shape in the sky. This geometry has a symbolic resonance, deriving from the Pythagorean significance of a tetrad: a numerological archetype characterized by instability, breakdown and decay.
Astrologically, we can interpret the Cross as the crossroads we are standing at, as a world. Economically, environmentally and geopolitically, humanity is hovering over a threshold unprecedented in its history.
Uranian defiance is alive and well in the American heartland, where a callow and corrupt new governor is doing his best to dismantle the unions, arguably the one remaining institution remaining to the American working class to protect it against the ravages of systemic greed.
In Ireland, angry voters wreaked vengeance for their shattered financial expectations upon the country’s ruling party, which had been in power for 61 years. In Pakistan, protestors are up in arms about the murder of two locals by an American CIA contractor, who has infuriated the populace by claiming diplomatic immunity. In China and elsewhere, pro-democracy demonstrations are being nipped in the bud—so far—by the hard-line autocrats in charge.
In oil-rich Bahrain, whose Washington-supported monarchy hosts the US Fifth Fleet, much of the violence against protesters is being perpetrated by foreign mercenaries from US ally Saudi Arabia. The ultimatums aimed at Libya and Bahrain from the White House that were issued at the Equinox, on the perigee Full Moon—which was also, with perverse appropriateness, the 8th anniversary of the war in Iraq—should be viewed very skeptically. There is a world of Plutonian subterfuge beneath the new saber-rattling. With Mars on the rise there is more need than ever for Americans to do their homework before green-lighting the Pentagon yet again.
On April 11, Pluto makes a retrograde station, just two days before its exact square with Mars. This means that Pluto, the most transformative of all the ingredients in the Cross, will be just hanging there in the sky, at maximum strength, hovering over the degrees that conflate its power with the force of Mars (rage, militancy). In the chart of the USA, where the transit between Mars, Uranus and Pluto forms a T-square with the natal Sun, there is plenty of anger simmering among the restive populace. And plenty to be angry about.
Americans are still limping along in a protracted recession caused by the chicanery of some of the highest-paid individuals in the world; while those same individuals rake in record-breaking bonuses and get elected to high office (witness white-collar criminal Rahm Emanuel finessing the mayoralty of Chicago). The number of families on food stamps has reached 43+ million, an all time-high of 14% of the population. Yet the country’s wealthy are doing better than ever before. While small business owners watch their companies go belly up, Tiffany’s, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue are booming.
And what assistance are Americans getting, in these hard times, from official channels? Instead of being represented by actual public servants, they are represented by a political class that consists—with exceptions so few you can count them on the fingers of one hand—of corporate servants.
If American voters wanted to serve their own best interests, all they’d have to do is pay attention to what their representatives do rather than what they say. The same politicians who cry “It’s about jobs” (1) whenever a microphone is in front of them tend to be the ones de-funding social services and programs that create jobs; including, recently, meat inspection, railway construction and the Small Business Administration. The self-styled “conservatives” who repeat the “jobs” ad nauseam tend to be the very folks supporting the busting of unions, retaliatory lay-offs and out-sourcing on the part of their big-business sponsors.
All things considered, it’s hard to think of a time in its history when the US citizenry had so much justification to feel outraged.
It is an homage to Mars when anger is acted out appropriately; i.e. consciously and creatively. We have been seeing a lot of high-level Mars lately. Even among many self-professedly “apolitical” Americans, dire conditions have inspired armchair complainers to reinvent themselves as bold activists.
When informed of how their tax dollars are actually spent—that is, when apprised by sources other than right-wing pundits, who would have them believe that all their money goes to abortions and immigrant services—Americans have gotten angry. Hearing that their government spends 54 per cent of tax dollars on the military—a military that accounts for 47 per cent of the world’s total military spending—brings up the positive force of Mars: that of creatively self-assertion in the face of an intolerable situation.
As a world, we are in the midst of an era that is full of extremes, and the transits this month are extreme to match. With Mars and Pluto setting the tone, it is time to allow the urgency of current events to stoke our own courage. Nothing emboldens like tragedy, calamity and grotesque injustice.